Headscratchers: The Empire Strikes Back

  • Yoda and Obi-Wan are extremely willing to leave Han and Leia to die in the hands of the Empire because they want Luke to stay and train to stop Vader. Though the biggest reason Luke has a leg up on Vader, that Luke is in any position to threaten Vader is because of his association with Leia in the Rebel Alliance. I don't think Luke would've been able to pose much of a threat to Vader if he were a lower-ranking Rebel.
    • The way I see it, the Emperor implanted an Asskicking Equals Authority order so the institutions by themselves are no longer an inmediate threat with the Senate extinguised and the civil war ravaging and so on, only force sensitive players are able to change anything in the You Kill It, You Bought It sith enforced policy. The movies suggest the Empire is a Decapitated Army without Palpatine, the Rebel Alliance and its assets are of secondary importance there, only capable of tactical victories.
    • As Cracked.com would point out, Luke leaving with R2 to try to save his friends actually helps in the long run. If R2 wasn't there to fix the deactivated hyperdrive aboard the Millenium Falcon, Leia, Lando, Chewie and Threepio would have been captured and killed. In particular, Leia would've been tortured about the location of the Rebels once again before being killed, which would lead to the Rebellion's defeat. So if he didn't leave now, help them he wouldn't, and all they've fought and suffered for would have definitely been destroyed.
    • Jedi are not omniscient and have had a lifetime being taught that dying in the name of duty is not the worst thing that can happen. I'm guessing this leaves them numb to the fact that other people don't think that way (they typically are the ones on the front line, so it's not like they expect anything they don't do themselves).
    • Because they're worried about Luke falling to the Dark Side, which would actually be worse than the Rebellion collapsing. Luke himself realizes towards the end of Return of the Jedi that allowing himself to be killed and thus making it much harder for anyone to depose Palpatine would be preferable to him becoming Sith. Even if Luke had lost the chance to really effectively oppose the Emperor, as a fully-trained Jedi he could still have sought out students in secret and rebuilt the Jedi Order underground. If he left, got captured, and was turned, that was it, Game Over for the Jedi effectively forever, in Obi-Wan and Yoda's eyes.
  • At the Battle of Hoth, the soldiers who were in the trenches didn't do a damn thing. The whole battle was carried by the snowspeeders. For instance, after Wedge and Jansen took down an AT-AT, there was one soldier who saw it and said "Come on!", and started running towards it only for it to be destroyed by another snowspeeder a few seconds later. Even taking into account that this was all a distraction, if you took them out altogether, you wouldn't notice.
    • Given the harsh conditions on Hoth, the Rebels were probably planning on an Infantry assault, likely augmented by TIE fighters. The Rebel speeders had to be modified pretty drastically in order to work on Hoth, so it was likely assumed that the walkers wouldn't be of any use. The shield would prohibit Imperial bombardment, and Rouge Squadron was on hand in case any fighters/bombers were sent in. The problem (as we see) is that the walkers obviously did work, and thus outclassed 90% of what had been prepared for the battle.
    • The whole point of the Rebel defense on Hoth was to buy time for the Rebel members to escape. While largely unseen, I always assumed that there were some Imperial ground troops as well that were prevented from storming the trenches.
    • Also, always remember, they're the plucky underground rebels fighting an extremely rich and militarized empire in a series of pitched battles. This is not two well-armed superpowers duking it out on terms both sides have had a hand in choosing. The rebels are using what they've got, not what they need to be effective. They're firing from ground positions because they haven't read the script and don't know that the snowspeeders will handle everything.
    • The did have anti-vehicle turrets and high-power blaster rifles, but they were just completely outclassed by the AT-A Ts. They were doing the best they could with what they had, what they had just wasn't good enough. And again, they were just buying time for the evacuation, so even if they only slowed the walkers down by making them shoot at the defenders, that was more Rebels and equipment that could make it off the planet.
  • As Luke is leaving to go rescue Han and Leia, Yoda comments on how "now matters are worse." Obi-Wan replies that "That boy was our only hope." to which Yoda says, "No, there is another." Obi-Wan's been criticized for forgetting Leia, but isn't he right and Yoda wrong? The two are lamenting that they could lose Luke because he is going to face Vader. And yet, Vader already has Leia, so how is she another hope?
    • Partly, the line was written when Luke's sister wasn't Leia. Also, though Vader had Leia, nobody was aware Leia was Force sensitive at all.
      • He still had her, and wasn't going to release her, so she wasn't much of a hope, even with her Force sensitivity unknown.
      • Leia was a rebel leader and figurehead, but she would still have been much easier for the rebels or (if he got really desperate) Yoda to rescue, since she most likely would have been significantly less well guarded than Vader's own friggin' prodigal son.
  • During the Battle of Hoth, was there any impediment to the snowspeeders flanking the AT-ATs or coming up behind them? Every approach in the movie comes from the front, where they can be easily shot down by those massive forward batteries on the thing's head. Since AT-ATs don't seem to have rear-facing artillery, the speeders could have just flown past them from out of range, turned around, then attacked (or fired their tow cables) from behind.
    • Could be that the walkers came in waves, and with each successive wave the speeders had to approach head-on due to time constraints. 4 walkers don't carry enough troops to attack an entrenched enemy base, especially with walkers being destroyed on the way in.
    • The walkers are heading towards the base. The snowspeeders have to launch from the base. They're thus going to have to come around from the front, at least at the start. It's either that or loop way around, and they don't really have time for that.
  • How long does it take Yoda to train Luke to be a (admittedly partly trained) Jedi? You'd think a few months at least, the length of a Biggest Loser season say, but Luke is trained in the time it takes Han to fly through an asteroid field.
    • Actually, Yoda trained him for longer. The trip to Bespin, according to the EU took quite a while. The main hyperdrive was toast and the backup one was very slow.
    • It's also implied that they stayed on Bespin for awhile (a few days at least) before the Imperials were able to fully spring their trap.
    • I think the point was Luke was not trained enough by the time he left.
    • The new canon reference book Star Wars in 100 Scenes confirms this, that Han used the backup hyperdrive to reach Bespin and that it took months to get there, which is why they couldn't use it earlier until they had thrown Death Squadron off the trail.
  • Good grief, the entire battle of Hoth is one massive plot hole. So the Rebels have their planetary shield up, right? And the Imperials can't fire through that shield to bombard the base. The Rebels, meanwhile, have an ion cannon that CAN fire through the shield (from the inside), and it can temporarily incapacitate a Star Destroyer in a few shots. So...why didn't they just take out the Imperial fleet, then fly blithely out with all troops and technology intact while the Imperials try to regain power? Or, failing that, just take out the dropships that are carrying the AT-A Ts, or just use the ion cannon to shoot the AT-A Ts themselves. Seriously, that ion cannon could have won the battle in like three different ways. Or even, maybe, I don't know, USE THE BOMBERS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO TAKE OUT HEAVY ARMOR, RATHER THAN THE AIRSPEEDERS WITH WEAK BLASTERS AND NO SHIELDS??????? Seriously, the Y-wings would have taken down those walkers easily. Or, even, since it's clear that when there's a clear shot, a few blaster shots can take out an AT-AT when hitting the neck, just fly up to the side, stop in midair (these are repulsorcraft, remember, not fixed-wing aircraft), point at the neck, and shoot! Seriously.
    • Because the ion cannon only incapacitates the Star Destroyers, as you said, temporarily. As in, just enough time to stop them from actually intercepting a ship.

      As for using the Ion Cannon to take out the AT-A Ts or those dropships, did you even see it? It's a giant mounted gun pointed straight up. It simply does not have anywhere near the articulation to hit something near the ground, and was probably only able to hit the Star Destroyers because they're frigging huge.

      As for using the Y-Wings, they're slow as hell (i.e., great targets), and there's a throwaway line about the speeders having to be modified to work in the conditions on Hoth—presumably that's what's keeping them from using the Y-Wings. And there is never anything in the entire canon of the series that ever indicates that Y-Wings, X-Wings, or any other fighters can come to a dead stop in mid-air like you're suggesting.

      So, please, cut it out with the allcaps screaming.
      • Plausible on that ion cannon, but they should have been able to do something with it. Even just shooting it at the ground by the AT-A Ts would at least be worth a try. The bottom line is that the Rebels are given this massively powerful plot device that can apparently do some pretty spectacular things (especially given how terrifying and powerful S Ds are implied to be), and there's no real explanation for why they can't just do any number of other things with it.

        As for bombers — they're not all that slow. Probably not much slower than airspeeders, given that they're spacecraft, not air vehicles. Besides, as I said, they have actual shields, so they could probably take more than half a shot before they fell out of the sky. Not to mention that they more than likely could just lob proton torps at the things from like three miles away. And the cold conditions — we saw X-wings taking off right out in the open with no trouble.

        Speaking of taking off, when X-wings and Y-wings, and I think also T-47s, take off, they're pretty much stationary. It makes no sense for them to be unable to come to a stop, since they use antigravity tech and don't rely on speed to keep themselves up. It's just that they usually don't stop, because it's impractical, because they'd get fried. But in this case there's nothing other than maybe some AT-S Ts on the battlefield that would actually be able to aim at them properly. They probably wouldn't stop entirely, just slow down enough to get in a quick shot or two at the side.
      • Not just "plausible" on the ion cannon—look at the thing. It is physically incapable of pointing anywhere except up into the sky. By its very design, it cannot possibly do the things you're suggesting they should try.

        The X-wings took off and flew straight up into the atmosphere, not stick around close to the ground flying and fighting. They're not specific about just what needs to be done to convert the snow speeders to work on Hoth, but apparently there's something that makes it so that the space fighters don't just work.

        Just because they hover when they take off doesn't mean they can come to a stop in mid-air like you're suggesting. We're never shown any of the fighters be capable of doing that throughout the entire series. Any time they stop, they're within a few feet of the ground.
      • It has a fair amount of freedom, assuming it's mainly limited by the fact that it shouldn't point into the ground. I'm assuming the only reason it's spherical is so it can rotate.

        There's a difference between an airspeeder and a starfighter. Fighters are almost certainly designed to work in all sorts of environments. If they can't work in a cold climate, how are they going to operate in a space battle full of debris or a nebula? (Granted, space isn't actually cold, but some environments these things would be expected to work in certainly are. Air support on freezing planets, for example.) Besides, they wouldn't have to be there for long. All they'd have to do would be to spend a few minutes locking on to the AT-A Ts and lobbing out a few proton torps, and bam! No immediate threat, plan an extended fighter attack on the Imperial fleet, evacuate the base with all personnel intact, and find a new base.

        Wrong. Remember the speeder chase in Aot C? Anakin takes his "shortcut" and they lose Zam, and then they pull up to a dead stop in midair, possibly miles above the ground, and argue for a minute before Anakin jumps. And don't tell me it's a different technology. They're repulsorlifts. They're used in everything. And as I keep saying, it makes no sense for an antigravity system to rely on airspeed.
      • That's a big assumption not supported by what we see in the movie. Look at it. Unless it's going to be rolling, it's not going to be pointing anywhere near where the AT-AT's are.

        It's not nearly that easy to take out one of the AT-AT's. They're still heavily armored, and they have support on the ground—remember those thousands of ground troops in the battle? The empire would be pretty shitty if their biggest assault vehicles were easy to take out with a handful of torpedoes. Since, you know, wading through that kind of fire is the whole reason for an Armored Transport in the first place. And an extended fighter attack on the Imperial fleet? The fleet that has hundreds and hundreds of disposable Tie fighters and enormous ships which dwarf in power most of what the Rebellion has in total, let alone what they have at Hoth? There's a word for that kind of thing: Suicide.

        I said fighters. And, yes, from everything we see in all of the movies, the fighters are not capable of sudden and complete stops in mid-air like you're suggesting. There are a dozen air-combat scenes that would have, and should have, played out completely differently if they were capable of that.

        So, in short, you're saying the rebels are dumb because they didn't make their Ion cannon do something it couldn't do, didn't instantly annihilate the armored transports they could barely dent with capabilities their fighters didn't have, and didn't proceed to commit suicide by head-on attacking a fleet that has them outnumbered and outgunned in every way.
      • The ion cannon probably couldn't take down the AT-A Ts, but my other points about it stand, given that there's no proof it doesn't have better aim than you think.

        What makes you think an AT-AT could stand up to a proton torpedo or even a concussion missile? They never even tried anything other than ludicrously weak blaster cannons. "That armor's too strong for blasters", not torpedoes. The things are designed to take out shielded capital ships, remember. And oh you mean like they did in the next movie, and won? I'm not saying that it necessarily would have worked, but they would have had a lot more options than they did as it was. They had plenty of bombers, that clearly could have spent enough time in the atmosphere to launch torpedoes on their way up, and while they admittedly weren't likely to be able to defeat the entire Imperial fleet, they could do something similar to what they did, only with lots fewer casualties and more exploding Star Destroyers since they would have all their fighters and capital ships in one place.

        Everything indicates that they can. There is no reason why they wouldn't be able to. You're grasping at straws now. I already explained why fighters don't normally stop during combat, and that's because they'd get shot if they stopped moving, which wouldn't happen here because the only flak is either from AT-S Ts that could be taken out relatively quickly by turrets or speeders, or is only a problem if you're right in front of the AT-A Ts. And you keep saying that I'm thinking they should come to a complete stop, instantly. I'm not. All they'd need to do would be to slow down. Actually all they'd need to do would be exactly what Luke did with that little maneuver before he flew between the legs, only aiming at the neck instead.

        Oh and there's yet another reason they could have won that I'd forgotten about. Luke uses his lightsaber to cut a hole in this thing. That brings up a lot of questions. He has a melee weapon, which would have given him a massive advantage should he have chosen to enter the vehicle and slaughter the snowtroopers in the confined space, then taken control of the thing and used it to eliminate the others. Failing that (operating the walkers apparently requires a lot of physical strength, but still, this is Luke Skywalker we're talking about here), he could at least have taken out some of the others the same way he did while the Rebels were retreating. The fastest way to do that would be to grapple up onto the top of the thing, cut a hole, drop a bomb in, Force/grapple jump to the next walker, rinse and repeat. Granted he'd need more bombs, but seriously.
      • No, the proton torpedoes cannot take down shielded capital ships. They never do, once in the entire series. The only time a capital ship is taken down is after they destroy the shield generators. As for them "winning" in the following movie? Well, no. They won because they blew up the Death Star and killed the emperor—they did not take on the imperial fleet and win ship to ship. They only had a chance because the Emperor specifically ordered his fleet not to attack in full strength, and that was while the Rebels had literally every single ship they could get their hands on.

        Right, no indication that they can't do that, except that they never, ever do that at any point in the series even when it would have been extremely useful. Regardless of how you think they should work, clearly the fighters work on some principle that requires them to move at speed, or at least makes it difficult and impractical to come to a stop in the air. And the writers, as I understand it, admit that the AT-AT blowing up after it topples was a cheat that shouldn't have happened—it was there to indicate the thing was destroyed and out of the fight. Can you imagine how hilariously idiotic it would be if your armored transport completely blew up while standing from just a couple laser shots to the single most obvious vulnerable spot this side of a giant glowing eye?

        "He has a melee weapon" does not give Luke some ungodly advantage. He's not a Jedi yet. The sum total of his training consists of that drone. Instead, it's "he has a melee weapon that's extremely dangerous to its own user, and he doesn't really know how to use it." If he wades into a box full of enemies with laser blasters depending on a weapon he has not been trained with, he is going to die.
      • No, he's not. I don't care if you're a Jedi or not; if you have a sword and you're fighting a bunch of people with combat rifles in a tiny space designed for troop transport, you're going to slaughter them before they even have a chance to fight back, and that's not even taking into account the fact that you have enormous natural potential with psychic abilities, with which you have (very) rudimentary training and with which you have been practicing, albeit mentorless, for three years, you're wielding a sword that can deflect bullets, and the average storm/snowtrooper's aiming abilities.
      • That is completely wrong in every single way. A cramped environment hampers the ability to swing a sword, and you know what else it does? It gives you no room to dodge. The idea that he'd "slaughter" them just because he has a sword is utterly laughable.
      • Not when you have a sword that can cut through anything. Granted it takes a bit of time with heavier materials but still. Suffice to say, if they were expecting a random ambush inside their twenty-foot-high tank, then Luke would lose. If not, he wouldn't. Actually come to think of it, he could just lob in a low-yield grenade to clear the place out, then take out the occupants of the cockpit with his blaster.
      • Completely wrong again. Unless Luke can slaughter everyone in there before they even know he's there (hint: He won't), he is going to, at some point, be confronted with several troopers firing at him at once in cramped confines where he has no room to dodge.
      • I already explained why fighters never stop. They would get shot, because space battles are normally full of laser fire because whoever's in charge of the formation is smart enough, unlike the AT-AT drivers, to cover every angle. Besides, the snowspeeders wouldn't have to be any higher than they are during takeoff to target the neck, and I just said that they wouldn't even have to stop entirely. The only argument that can really be made is that they have some sort of maneuvering thrusters that take time to turn off or something. And as you keep claiming that it would be useful for fighters to be able to stop, it makes no sense for them not to be installed with the same repulsorlifts that power airspeeders like the one Anakin stole. If I were a Doylist, I would just say that it's so they look like aerial fighters, but if I were a Doylist I would have written all this off as bad writing long ago.
      • Stopping would've been great in the Death Star trench—stop, let the tie fighters swing past you, then shoot them down. The only time we see the fighters do any of the sort of maneuvering you're thinking of is when they're landing—probably they switch to something like a landspeeder's drive when they get close to the ground and slow down enough.
      • Don't even get me started on all the problems with the Battle of Yavin. And my point stands: they would have gotten sniped by those turrets at the end of the trench had they stopped. Or the TI Es would have stopped too. Besides, it's pretty much irrelevant in space combat because, y'know, no gravity. Although the Death Star did have some. Here I'm gonna look at repulsorlifts on Wookieepedia. (...) Kay. Repulsorlift range is the six times the diameter of the planet the repulsor is pushing against. Approx. 75000 kilometers for an average-size habitable body. And they're "included on virtually every type of vehicle". It later says that includes airspeeders and starships capable of operating in an atmosphere. They're said to be capable of "levitating" an object, with no mention of speed.
      • Nope again. Remember two things: One, they went into the trench partly because there were fewer turrets up there, and two, the turrets stopped when the Tie Fighters followed them in there. And most of the technical stuff only came years and years after the movies. I'm arguing the movies here, not the expanded universe (which, as far as I'm concerned, can in great quantities be thrown out for missing the point. I'm looking at you, contrived explanations of the Kessel Run).
      • No, it can't be thrown out. You can argue the movies all you like — that's not what I'm doing, and it wasn't from the start. Besides, that brings up even more problems, since most of the ones I haven't mentioned I'm accepting the EU explanations for. And regardless of repulsors, they've gotta be capable of deceleration anyway, because otherwise they'd be completely useless for basically anything. I mean at the very least they must have retrorockets. So they could have used your trick regardless. (They also should have been able to just cut engines, turn around, and fly backwards to shoot at the TI Es, using momentum to keep moving and repulsors to escape the DS's gravity. But hey, another movie, another battle, another Swiss-cheese plot point.)
      • And yes, proton torpedoes are designed for anti-cap-ship use. We see an orphaned torp striking a Star Destroyer in the background during the Battle of Endor (right when that flaming TIE fighter goes past), and shortly afterward, concussion missiles from a pair of A-wings are used to take down the very shields you mentioned by striking the generators. Which brings up another Fridge Logic, that being the fact that you could just have the guided missiles hit the weakpoint — the neck — and be done with it. (If you want proof, Luke's torpedoes obviously curved into the vent shaft at the end of ANH. And that wasn't just him using the Force or they wouldn't have even bothered trying, since at that angle a straight shot never would have gone in. Also the discord missiles in Revenge of the Sith.)
      • The torpedoes weren't guided—remember, the other guy's just struck the surface. I think that was supposed to be something like them getting caught in the vent shaft's suction or something. They can't be guided because Luke isn't using the targeting computer, remember. And all that still depends on A. the AT-AT's having such a glaring and obvious weak point (which they probably don't), and B. the Rebels even knowing about it.
      • It's a vent, not a vacuum cleaner. Those torpedoes would have had no chance of actually going straight down the shaft without guidance. And (Wookieepedia saves the day again) it's confirmed that Rebel fighter-issue proton torps can maneuver. Quite well at that, apparently. As for A/B: the Rebels obviously knew about it, given that they specifically aimed at it after the thing was taken down. Besides, I maintain that a torpedo would completely obliterate those walkers. They're ground armor, not dreadnoughts.
      • Luke turned off his targeting computer, remember. His torpedoes couldn't have been guided, because he explicitly was not using the thing that would have been guiding them. And no, they didn't "specifically aim at it" so much as they straffed the thing with blasterfire. And you're "maintaining" something that you've basically made up. That's most of your argument, really—that you, personally, think that things should be working in ways that we never see them work. That the Rebels should be using tactics and equipment that we're shown will not work at all the way you're suggesting they should.
      • I am not the one saying that repulsorlifts work like wings when there are onscreen examples proving that they clearly don't. You are making stuff up. The protons they were using have onboard guidance systems, and as we saw in ANH, apparently they can maneuver without the aid of a targeting computer, the purpose of which would presumably be to lock on and hone the aim further. Although you do have a point; the targeting computer thing is odd since it really appears that the torpedoes are guiding themselves in, not being Force-manipulated, simply from the way they're moving. However, the plan clearly required homing torpedoes in order to work, or else they would have to have flown straight down toward it. (I know, I know. More fire. But there would have been ways around that, and they were swooping around up there anyway.) Meanwhile, there's no indication that the armor is too strong for anything more than blasters. Torpedoes are heavier weapons. That's obvious simply from the visuals and the way they're portrayed; they're clearly meant to evoke bombs or missiles. Or maybe, y'know, torpedoes. Either way they're clearly more powerful than the bullet-esque laserbolts. EDIT: I checked Wookieepedia again, and it appears the purpose of the targeting computer is to help the pilot aim, not to actually guide the weapons.
      • I guess it's analagous to the reason modern air forces (hell, air forces back to WW2) have specialized ground attack aircraft for close air support as well as air superiority fighters. And if you think for a moment about how frikking BIG space is you realize that there would have to be specialized vehicles like speeders for close air support on a planet. A fighter that can travel between Yavin IV and the Death Star in less than 5 minutes is going to be fast. A pilot trying to take part in a ground battle would be futile, once he hit the throttle on his X-wing, he would blow completely past the battlefield; just like an F-22 doing Mach 2 is not going to be able to strafe an enemy tank with its cannon. That's why we have Apache helicopters- of which the snowspeeders might be the in-universe equivalent.
      • For air support the real-world analogy you're probably looking for is the A-10, not the AH-64. Snow speeders don't hover in one spot.
      • Yes, I wanted to say "A-10" and don't for the life of me know why I didn't. Probably all the talk of "hovering" further up the page got me confused. The snowspeeders are A-10 Warthogs, the X- and Y-wings are F-22s.
    • Ok, I'm late to this discussion, but I want to give my two cents regarding the ion cannon: OP, you're suggesting that they use the ion cannon to destroy the AT-A Ts... I repeat; using the weapon that can disable Star Destroyers temporarily, (of which they only have one) to take down the tiny (in comparison to star destroyers) walkers. Even if the ion cannon could target the walkers (which I seriously doubt), using it on them would be Overkill to ridiculous degrees and since they're evacuating at the same time... well, congratulations, you've stopped the walkers, and consequently, lost all your space capable vehicles because the orbiting Star Destroyers were untouched. That is why the ion cannon was only used to disable Star Destroyers; so the transports could escape untouched. Using it in any other way only runs the risk of losing even more personnel to the orbiting Imperial Fleet.
    • In so far as Rogue Leader can be taken as canon (and I do considering it's movie-accurate in many respects, with a few embellishments for the sake of gameplay), it shows that Y-wings can't destroy AT-ATs with bombing runs. Even their advance-strength cluster munitions are ineffective on the walker's neck and other parts. It seems as though that they are up-armoured against pretty much everything short of a thermobaric warhead.
    • The planet defense ion cannon are not terribly accurate weapons, even hitting something like a Star Destroyer is more luck (and the fact that it was sitting on the same outbound vector the escape Rebel ships were taking.) Shooting it at AT-A Ts, even if it could depress to that degree (highly doubtful), would have been pointless; they wouldn't hit anything.
  • While checking for lifeforms on Hoth with their high-tech sensors, Luke and Han conclude there's nothing living there...moments before a big, very big, critter jumps up and takes out Luke and his steed. How'd they miss him? And what did such a huge carnivore normally eat on that planet?
    • I just assumed they were checking for prowlers around their base, specifically. As for how they missed the wampa? Beats me. Maybe the radar somehow couldn't pick it up? Wasn't there a blizzard going on at that time? Also, the wampa would have likely been trying to hide from Luke and the tauntan (which is presumably one of its main source of meals).
    • Depends on what the sensors were looking for exactly. I have no idea what kind of life signs could be picked up remotely, unless they were scanning for heat sources. So, the sensors they planted were IR scanners. Now let us assume that the Wampa is a creature superbly evolved to live on Hoth, one whose fur holds body heat in so well that it radiates at almost the same level as the surroundings; in other words, a creature that doesn't show up on an IR scan. Maybe this is a common adaptation for all the native life forms of Hoth, or at least a good many, which would be why it seemed that there "isn't enough life to fill a space cruiser". Or- maybe the wampa hides under the snow, waiting for prey to pass, which would have the same effect. Either way, it didn't show up on infra-red.
    • A better question is, what the heck does the wampa EAT? Well, tauntauns, but then, what do THEY eat? Hoth's not crawling with plant life. Plus, Han's mount freezes to death before the two humans—these are supposed to be native fauna, but they can't survive a typical night in their planets' weather? The question isn't where did the wampa come from, it's how does mammalian megafauna survive on Hoth in the first place?
    • I always figured the Tauntan was simple overworked to death because Han was forcing it to go as fast as it could go without any breaks. Luke's clearly got along fine outdoors before the Wampa iced it.
    • Lots of animals can't necessarily survive a typical night in this planet's weather. That's why they make nests and houses to get away from that weather.
  • During the Battle of Hoth, snowspeeder pilots realize that their guns can't penetrate the AT-AT's, so they trip one using a cable. They they shoot at it, and it explodes. So, the snowspeeder guns suddenly got more effective after the AT-AT was tripped. How?
    • It's easier to make a called shot to a weak point on a target that isn't moving any more.
    • The crashing fall might have loosened some of the armor, or damaged the chassis, making it more vulnerable.
    • The neck is the weak point of the AT-A Ts, thus it getting shot at from the neck would cause it to explode.
    • Heavily armored at the front doesn't mean heavily armored on all sides.
  • How did it take so long for Luke to discover that Darth Vader is his father? It hasn't been that long since his transformation, and surely there must be plenty of people in the Rebel Alliance who are aware of the connection. Did no one bring it up?
    • If recall correctly, the EU claims most people believe Anakin Skywalker was among the Jedi killed during the attack on the temple. So not many know he is Darth Vader.
      • Addressed in the new EU book Tarkin, where Governor Tarkin, who served with Anakin during the Clone Wars, strongly believes Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader are the same person, but considers the rumors that Vader was actually an cybernetic-enhanced super soldier that Palpatine introduced at the end of the war. Some even think there's more Vaders just waiting to be activated in a lab somewhere.
    • Once Anakin was confined to the Darth Vader suit, Palpatine had no reason to reveal his identity, and every reason to conceal it. Villifying all the Jedi in the public image would be much easier than villifying all but one, and the only reason to reveal that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker is to make people fondly remember their romantic notions of his heroic exploits, which would make them fondly remember their romantic notions of the heroic exploits of all the other Jedi, which would make anti-Jedi sentiment that much harder to cultivate.
  • This is more a question to the original script, but most fans know that Vader's line, "No.... I am your father!" was originally, "No.... Obi Wan killed your father!" What I want to know, is what was the original line in the script for "Join me.... and we'll rule the galaxy as father and son!"
    • As far as I know, the line was already intended to be "No... I am your father!" when the script was released. The reason it was shown as "Obi-Wan killed your father!" was because Lucas wanted to keep the reveal a secret. During filming, when they were recording that scene, the only people who knew the actual line were George Lucas, Mark Hamill and James Earl Jones (who's lines would be edited in later), so it was planned at that point, possibly even earlier. I know that doesn't really answer your question, but I think the line could have been left the way it was in the original script, and use it to show that Vader is a complete nutjob, when in actuality it was a cunning deception.
  • Why no air support at Hoth? Couldn't the Empire have just sent down fighters to help the walkers?
    • Planetary shield around the base.
    • The Rebels mention that the speeders had to be modified to work in the cold of Hoth, so it's likely the Empire simply didn't do the same for their fighters. Alternatively, they were holding the fighters in reserve to take on whatever fighter escorts the escaping rebel ships had.
    • If you take five minutes to consider the strategic outlook of the war and the tactical situation of the specific battle, it becomes obvious that in any interstellar war between space-faring militaries/civilisations (that is, assuming neither party has access to some kind of planet-to-planet teleportation technology), maintaining naval supremacy above a targeted planet would almost always assume a higher priority of importance than any form of ground assault. Ships sitting in orbit could either bombard the co-ordinates of the rebel base or maintain a blockade until more Imperial reinforcements arrive (or both). It makes sense to concentrate every vessel capable of space-flight above orbit, since the rebels have to get past them sooner or later. Remember that the reason the ground assault was really necessary was purely to destroy the shields of the base. Its extraordinarily unlikely that a fleet's worth of ground assault units wouldn't be able to manage that, but even if they didn't... so what? The rebels have to leave as quickly as possible, or the Imperial presence will just get stronger and stronger until escape is impossible. The argument could be made that the Empire needed a stronger assault force on the base because they also needed to take out that ion cannon, but firstly to my best recollection the Imperial force didn't know they had one until it opened fire (and therefore its a hindsight observation), and secondly it gives the rebels a much better chance at dividing and conquering their enemies.
      • A better question still: why didn't the Empire send some of those fast, agile ground assault vehicles from the prequels, rather than slow and cumbersome mechanical camels?
      • The camels, while slower, were also better protected from mines and had an important advantage over the fast, agile vehicles: armor. A single missile could take out the older vehicles, whereas the only AT-ATs that are destroyed are taken out by a Jedi and Sir Issac Newton. Also, the AT-ATs were enclosed, while the older vehicles often weren't, offering more protection from enemy fire and the cold. Given the distance to be traversed and the conditions that had to be dealt with, the AT-ATs were the better option.
      • The Empire DID send some of their fast, agile ground assault vehicles: AT-STs accompanied the AT-ATs, as can be seen in the film. According to supplementary materials, one of their roles was to use their sensors to ensure that the heavy AT-ATs had a safe path that could bear their weight.
    • They did have Orbital Support in the form of the Star Destroyer that was glad to see the first ships leave the surface. They were apparently not prepared for the ION Cannon strike. One could argue that all the lack of prep was due to Vader sending out forces all over the galaxy searching for his son. He sure was not looking for the rebels. He could not have cared less about the rebels. All he wanted was Luke. And the Empire forces on Hoth suffered for his hard focus.
    • Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike show that both Wedge and Luke encountered TIE-fighters harassing the evacuating transports. They employed bombers against the transports before/as they were taking off, and standard TI Es and interceptors against Rogue Squadron and to help soften up the transports. They didn't need to support the ground contingent because a) the AT-ATs are better suited to destroy the Ion cannon and it's surface defences and b) the whole walker squadron had the ground battle pretty much won all by itself and some snowtrooper support without requiring air cover.

  • Is it ever explained (even poorly) how exactly Cloud City is able to float? Is the atmosphere really that thin (which would mean, assuming they are human, Luke & co. would not be able to breathe outdoors)? Is there some kind of mystical device that creates lift without any visible heat or light being given off? Granted, even for a modern jet plane one has a hard time seeing the exhaust, but Luke was hanging under there for a little while and I sure didn't seen anything resembling a "thruster".
    • Antigravity is extremely common in the setting to keep things afloat.
    • Repulsors. Same way landspeeders float and starships can lift off the ground without any visible exhaust.
    • The center pole that hangs below the city is the repulsorlift that keeps everything afloat.
    • And the center pole is made out of the stuff that black boxes are made out of.
    • So, essentially, a Jedi did it
      • No, a Jedi did not do it. Pay attention. Cloud City is held up by repulsor force fields.
      • Oh, you're no fun.
    • Bespin has a "habitable layer," where the pressure and atmosphere are survivable. Obviously, that's where Cloud City is.

  • Why is Lando wearing Han's clothes at the end of the movie?
    • There are 3 possibilities I've just thought of :
      • 1) It's a sort of 'uniform' traditionally worn by Independent Interstellar Traders. Or, if you like, Smugglers and Space Pirates.
      • 2) Lando's usual, expensive, wardrobe was inappropriate for his new role as a Space Pirate (too flashy and eyecatching).
      • 3) They are actually Lando's clothes. Remember, Han won the Falcon from Lando in a card game. Perhaps Lando's outfits were still on board and he's only now reclaiming them.
      • Well, the pants are standard Corellian military issue, according to the Han Solo novels (it goes on a bit about the red piping).
    • Lando didn't have time to pack a change of clothes when fleeing Cloud City so he would only have the clothes he was wearing at the time. It's a safe bet that Han had some of his clothes stored on the Millennium Falcon making them the obvious and possibly only option when Lando needed to change.
    • Simpler explanation: Lando is taking on Han's role in the True Companions until he is rescued. Naturally he's going to dress like him.
      • But that's the meta reason; I doubt Leia, Chewie and Luke held a meeting and said "okay, since Lando's temporarily assumed Han's place in the story, we'll dress him up like a Replacement Goldfish in the meantime. Come on Lando, let's go shopping!" In-universe, it could be any one of the three above reasons, or just a fashion sensibility than Han and Lando happen to share (if anything, Lando's original clothing as the administrator of Cloud City was probably out of the ordinary for him).
      • Given that he goes back to wearing something very similar to his Cloud City getup as General Calrissian in Return of the Jedi, I think the likeliest explanation is that he needed a new set of clothes, and Han's old duds were all that was available.

  • How long did it take for Yoda to train Luke on Degobah? It was shown not having been more than a few days and that was far less training than Luke's father received? Is Yoda just THAT GOOD?
    • Hard to say. Obviously you can't show that much training on a film without a montage, but it's never really stated how long it was, anyways. Beyond that, Luke went off half-trained, and quite deficient (compare him to some of the stunts other Jedi do in the prequels).
    • Yoda didn't think so. He told Luke that he had taught him everything that he could. WTH???
    • Not when he was departing the first time. When he faced Vader, he lost, and would've been captured if not for things completely out of his control, i.e. Lando.
    • "Everything that he could" doesn't necessarily mean everything there is to know. Yoda wasn't in any shape to teach Luke much about lightsaber combat, for example, and there's probably a lot of teaching that goes on in a young padawan's life that there just wasn't time for. Yoda was saying he's given Luke all the instruction that he could in the time he had, not that he taught Luke everything there was to know about Jedi.
    • There is no indication that Luke's training takes "no more then a few days." He is training for the amount of time it takes for the Falcon to fly from Hoth to Bespin at sub light speeds. I realize that Star Wars isn't exactly hard science, but we can assume that if it only took a few days to fly between star systems, lightspeed wouldn't be nearly as important as it's made out to be. We're talking possibly several months to a year, certainly a good deal more then a few days.
      • That doesn't jive. If the Falcon was that long in transit, why did Fett track it that entire time rather than calling in his employer to collect the bounty? Shorter interval means he can move on to additional contracts.
      • Because you don't collect a bounty just for calling someone up and saying "Hey dude, I'm looking at the bounty, money plz." You have to actually, y'know, capture the bounty and go turn it in.
    • It's also worth remembering that Yoda's primary concerns weren't about teaching Luke how to use force abilities, but the philosophy behind the Jedi and the Force. Sure, battle meditation would probably be useful, but it's not much good to someone who can't resist the draw of the Dark Side.

  • This spoof video has a point (1:44). Why didn't Vader grab Luke with Force after the kid'd jumped into the shaft in Ep. V?
    • The same reason that Jedi/Sith fights don't just involve throwing each other around with telekinesis. You can block telekinesis that's directly applied to you.
      • Except that Vader was far more powerful than Luke was at that point, plus his son's hand had been severed and thus Luke's ability to resist would be negligible given the pain he would be in. I always felt that the reason why Vader didn't grab Luke with the Force was because he was hurt by the fact that his son would rather die than stand by his father's side, I know that if my family showcased some sort of disappointment in me, like Luke did against Vader, then I would be affected by it.
      • OP: Of course you would, but you are not an imperturbable, emotionally-scarred, evil cyborg (you're not, right?). Even notwithstanding that, it'd be very naive for Vader to expect that Luke would just leap into his embrace right away, especially after all the pounding, arm-cutting, Han Solo-freezing, Empire-serving and Alderaan-blowing up, and Vader was anything but naive. Next, family issues can be sorted out, unlike the consequences of a thousand-mile drop. Finally, what about Force Precognition? A deathwish should be a very strong emotion, surely Vader would sense it. And Vader did use telekinesis sucessfully during his fight with Luke.
      • Vader used telekinesis, but it was to throw inanimate objects around, he never picked Luke up. Given how ridiculously effective such a power would be if it really worked, the fact that he never used it suggests that Luke is strong enough to put up some resistance. After dropping down the hole Luke only needed to resist for a few seconds before he fell out of reach.
      • In the novel he used it directly on Luke (to push, not to pull, I admit, but come on). As mentioned above Vader was incomparably more powerfull than the boy even before all the beating and arm-cutting.
      • Force Push and Force Pull are two different powers. Pushing involves creating a concussive blast in the air which hits the target and knocks them down (in the prequels you can clearly see the shockwave), but pulling involves using the Force directly on the target. Force users are able to resist Force attacks against themselves, if you look at The Force Unleashed for example, throwing stormtroopers around with the Force is a standard tactic, but as soon as you face someone who is even vaguely skilled with the Force it becomes largely useless and certainly not something you can rely on to work if you only have a few seconds.
    • One word: Whiplash.
      • If Star Wars functioned with any normal sense of physics Luke would have splattered into a million pieces the moment he made contact with the cold, hard surface of that tunnel that must have been about a thousand miles below. I am assuming that the Force can cushion the damage that natural physics would have on a body so Vader grabbing Luke would have been no more dangerous than what Luke was about to fall to... his death.
      • If you look carefully you see that Luke gets sucked to the side into the vent, arresting his momentum, and after a fall of much less height than that. Vader was shocked for the second or two in which he might have been able to do anything.

  • Han hides the Millennium Falcon by landing on the backside of a Star Destroyer's island...superstructure, whatever. The Falcon looks tiny by comparison. TIE fighters are shown to be very small—certainly not substantially larger than the Falcon. Yet late in RotJ, a TIE fighter appears to explode against the superstructure and it's almost the same size.
    • Perspective. The TIE was closer to the camera when it kabooms, plus that particular Star Destroyer had an enlarged command tower, since it was serving as a communications vessel. Yes, one of the blasts from the X-Wing hit that SD, but a. Deflector Shields and b. The X-Wing probably snap-rolled left to avoid the TIE's debris, and it's final shot just went off during/after the manoeuvre.

  • Apparently in this film's special edition, when Luke decides to fall to his death rather than join Vader, a scream is digitally added as Luke falls. Why would Luke scream if he's accepted his fate and chose to fall.
    • Falls are still scary even if you've decided to jump. Also, his arm's still burning from being chopped at, so it might also be from pain.
    • That's the reason why George Lucas decided to remove the digitalized scream in the 2004 DVD version.

  • I just had a massive Fridge Logic realisation. Near the end of the movie when Lando and Leia save Luke and attempt to escape in hyperspace, it almost doesn't work and we are treated to Vader questioning the imperial admiral if he deactivated the Falcon's hyperdrive. I have a question about this decision. This was obviously done after Han and Leia had been captured, so why didn't Vader just ORDER THE FALCON DESTROYED SO THEY COULDN'T SOMEHOW ESCAPE? There was no need to keep up the appearance that the Falcon was still on the landing pad!
    • Deactivating the hyperdrive was a spur-of-the-moment decision made after Luke escaped from Vader. Vader suspected that they would go for the Falcon (easiest ship for them to use) and rescue Luke in it. Also, if the Falcon was destroyed or removed, Lando would have known about it. Its his city, after all. If the Falcon is intact, they're going to go for it, so they know which ship they've got Luke on, and can grab him while he's escaping. If they disabled the Falcon in an obvious manner, then Leia and Lando would end up using a different ship. Vader didn't order the hyperdrive disabled to prevent them from using it, he ordered it disabled because it was a trap.
      • But as Matt II mentioned, they could have "physically" disabled it from the inside, making it appear intact but unable to take-off. Problem solved.
      • If they had disabled it completely then they would have been unable to rescue Luke. Vader doesn't care about Leia and the others, but if they picked up Luke on a ship with no means of leaving the system it would make the real prize easy to catch.
      • Fair enough, that's logical, but wasn't there a way to completely wreck the hyperdrive? I know time was an issue, but couldn't they have removed certain vital components, making it impossible to repair?
      • Removing vital components would have been obvious; if Star Wars ships are anything like modern craft, the moment even a slight bit of gear is out of place a warning light flashes in the cockpit. Remove the components of one of the most vital systems on the ship, and you're going to get a big flashing trouble light on your consoles.
      • So remove the light too? And the flashing trouble with the trouble light light.
      • They've only got a limited amount of time to work, remember. Removing parts of the dashboard would have likely necessitated taking it apart, which they didn't have time for.
      • Check the timeline - the Falcon had escaped before Vader and Skywalker's final showdown. The Hyperdrive must have been deactivated before Luke had even landed, possibly so that in case he successfully rescued Chewie and the others rather than being lured into the freezing chamber or if he was able to evade Vader, he'd still be trapped. His X-Wing was probably similarly disabled immediately after he left it.
      • Why do so many Headscratchers revolve around the concept of "Why weren't the bad guys hyper-precognitive and why didn't they do everything perfectly and win?"
    • I thought it was because Lando wanted the Millennium Falcon for sentimental reasons so Vader agreed not to destroy it.
    • Oh, and how did Lobot know the hyperdrive have been sabotaged, and how did he know exactly what was wrong with it?
      • IIRC, Lobot intercepted the order from Vader and forwarded it to R2.
      • Actually, R2 learned it from the city's central computer. There was probably a record in there because the Empire either used local techs (thus generating a work order), sourced local parts (thus generating a requisition/comandeering order), or simply logged that they'd disabled the hyperdrive as ordered using one of Cloud City's communication consoles (thus generating a communication log.) As a wise man once said, "The bureaucratic mentality is the one constant in the universe."

  • If mynoks are known for chewing the power cables then what for the first mynok Leia sees attacks itself to the window with the mouth open ? Mynok don't feed on glass, do they ?
    • "Known for" =/= "the only thing they do."

  • On Bespin, Vader seems remarkably unconcerned that he's captured Leia, one of the most important political figures of the Alliance, who got away from him once before.
    • Because Vader's only concerned about Luke at that point.