Headscratchers / A New Hope

  • Why did Luke take charge during the final Trench Run? Biggs and Wedge both have more experience than Luke, and they outrank him as well (its unlikely that Luke was given a high rank for his second mission in the Rebellion).
    • They don't outrank him - they are all regular pilots. And Biggs, at least, knows about Luke's piloting skills. He took charge because he was the best pilot (and because he was ordered to by Red Leader).
    • As already said, the pilots with lower numbers don't outrank Luke. When Red Squadron was originally formed this would have been true, but casualties leave gaps and mess up everything, Red Leader/Red 1 being the only exception. Rebel squadrons in the EU fly in pairs. Judging by dialogue Biggs (Red 3) was Luke's (Red 5) wing-man. By the time Luke made his run on the exhaust port, most of Red Squadron was wiped out. Wedge's wing-man was presumably shot down already, and Biggs was already watching Luke's back while Luke looked for more TIE fighters to blast apart. Hence, Wedge would take up position on Luke's other wing, allowing the trio to share shields. This particular formation is not really used in real life in combat due to being awkward, but here would be a case of reorganization. The Y-Wings of Gold Squadron would presumably be organized in the three-ship formation from the start since they were supposed to be the ones to blow up the Death Star in the original plan. A good chunk of this is fan speculation, but the rest comes from the EU. I hope this helps.
    • Plus, sometimes, during a crisis, it's not always the person with the most seniority or authority-by-position who takes charge, but sometimes someone farther down the chain who seizes the initiative. At this point, most of both squadrons have been blown to pieces, so there's little organization left of any kind. Luke stepped up, so he got to be in charge.
    • Red Leader actually put Luke in a position of authority well before he got blown up. "Luke, take Reds 2 and 3. Wait for my signal to start your run." Part of being a good officer is recognizing talent when its shown to you, and the Special Edition adds a brief scene of Red Leader questioning Luke's ability to handle the X-Wing. When Biggs gives him qualifications, Red Leader admits that Luke will "do alright." One could speculate that Red Leader knew Biggs well enough to know that if he vouched for someone, that someone was pretty damn good.
    • As far as the numbering is concerned, since Rogue One showed that the previous Red 5 was killed at the Battle of Scarif, they may have just put Luke in the first available slot.

  • Why is Han Solo on Tatooine? When I first saw the film, I assumed he was hiding out on this backwater planet in order to avoid the intergalactic crime lord that he'd pissed off so much he was sending bounty hunters after him. Imagine my surprise, on seeing RotJ, when it turned out that Jabba actually resided on Tatooine. It's not as if Han has gone there to apologize or offer compensation for the cargo he dumped. He's simply whiling away the hours in a dingy cantina. He's not even surprised when Greedo shows up to threaten him, so he obviously knew he was in trouble. It could be likened to someone ripping off the Vegas mob, then coming back to town to play the slots.
    • Tatooine is a whole planet, and Jabba is just one mob boss not some all-seeing overlord. Han probably expected to go unnoticed. As for what he was doing, he was looking for work - a wretched hive of scum and villainy probably has need for smugglers, it's also possible that he had recently taken a shipment to Tatooine.
    • It's more like someone ripping off a Vegas mob, then hanging out in Reno.
    • Han was quite capable of making another deal with Jabba in the first movie and the expanded universe suggests that Greedo was more a sign of Jabba's irritation than any real grudgenote .
    • Although Luke calls the planet a backwater, its clearly shown even in the first movie, to be a major hub for the region it is in. Its like say Mombasa (Kenya) or Dakar (Senegal) in our world. Not the center of trade, but a major port in its region. So, its understandable why Han, who runs the galactic equivalent of a trucking business, would be there. To find business.
    • It also is probably a case of Greedo having an already existing feud with Han. It makes complete sense for Jabba to threaten to kill Han if he doesn't pay his debt. That's how mob bosses keep people in line and paying their debts. But unless he has defaulted many, many times and seriously pissed him off, Jabba is much more likely to want Han brought in alive so that he can take the Falcon as compensation and possibly indenture Han further. We can assume that by the time of Empire Jabba has had to go through with his threats.
      • No "probably" about it; Greedo out-and-out says he's been waiting a long time for the chance to shoot Han. Jabba almost certainly sent Greedo to intimidate Han, but due to a pre-existing grudge, Greedo took the opportunity to provoke Han and incite a violent confrontation. (One he obviously hadn't expected to lose.)
      • Greedo is also trying to extort Han. "If you give [the money] to me, I might forget I found you." Jabba contracted him to express his displeasure at Han owing him, but Greedo was taking a personal interest. EU material suggests that Greedo attempting to kill Han wasn't part of the plan, Greedo took that upon himself. There's much EU speculation that Greedo was not the brightest bulb on the tree, much of it revolving around the fact that he apparently didn't have a plan for dealing with the incredibly pissed-off Wookiee who's best friend he'd have just killed.
    • Based on the extended special editions, minus the fact Greedo shot first (NO!), there is a scene where Jabba is at Han's ship waiting for him. The whole scene leads to some Fridge Brilliance to me. Greedo was set up to die by Jabba. Reasons are not necessary, just the fact that we know (later) that Han is such a badass and the fact that that scene was so "cordial" leads me to believe that Han might have been there to talk to Jabba specifically... Jabba just surprised him a little by showing up first. He always seemed to have the intent to pay Jabba, things just kind of spiraled out of control and eventually, Jabba just wanted Han dead.
    • This is explained in The Han Solo Trilogy. Han had come to Tatooine specifically to see Jabba, to ask for more time to pay off his debt. He thought he'd have better luck talking to Jabba in person.
    • Heck, doesn't he even tell Greedo that he was on his way to see Jabba?
    • In all fairness, Jabba isn't the most mobile of individuals, and his palace isn't exactly close to Mos Eisley. And being a Hutt/slug, Jabba might not really like getting out into the direct sunlight of the two suns anymore than absolutely necessary.

  • Why didn't the soldiers fire on the pod despite knowing that there could be droids on board?
    • Presumably they didn't think that if there were droids, they'd be worth shooting at. I doubt the guys at the guns knew yet that the Death Star plans had been jettisoned from the blockade runner.
    • The commanding officer specifically told the gunner to let it go as there were no life forms detected and it had probably short-circuited.
    • One would think that that would make it even more eligible for target practice...
      • That'd be like the USS Missouri firing at an empty lifeboat during a combat operation.
      • If you see an empty lifeboat, you can be fairly confident that there aren't invisible sailors on it. But within the context of star wars, they should have known that droids don't show up on life scans. Which raises the question as to why they just scan for life forms instead of droids(assuming that's possible).
      • It may not be. What would you scan for? Electronics? In an escape pod that's filled to the brim with them?

        Honestly, the more sensible reason they didn't fire on it is because if they blew it up, they would never be able to confirm whether or not the plans were there, and that was the mission—to secure the plans.
      • Doesn't C-3PO have a line to the effect that droids aren't allowed in escape pods? Presumably R2's programming to find Ben had over-ridden this but the gunners would have no reason to think it.
      • C-3PO's exact lines to R2-D2 are "You can't go in there; it's restricted!" However, every human-sized droid occupying an escape pod means one less human who could occupy it instead, and there is some logic in prioritizing human life over... whatever droids' equivalent to life is. So it does make sense to exclude droids from access to the escape pods. And of course the Imperial gunmen would be thinking the same thing; it wouldn't occur to them that the Rebels might jettison a mere droid or two.
    • They do show that they have droid detectors in the Cantina, but aside from that, when your commanding officer tells you not to fire, you obey them. As for why he told them not to fire, who knows. Maybe he has to write a report on each firing incident and didn't want to do the paperwork. Not even being sarcastic, considering that the series seems to have a great deal of bureaucracy involved in every decision made (or not made).
    • Blowing the pod apart wouldn't necessarily be a smart move, whether there were life forms on board or not. They want to find the stolen plans, after all; if they vaporize the pod, they'll have no way of knowing if the plans were inside or if they were smuggled off Leia's ship in some other way.
    • The radio drama throws in a line of Antilles firing off pods beforehand to make this one seem less suspicious.
    • My headcannon is that there just happens to be a standing order not to destroy unoccupied rebel vehicles (including escape pods), because the Empire wants to study rebel tech and reverse-engineer it in case they find anything interesting. (Obviously imperial tech tends to be superior anyway, but Palpatine doesn't want to take any chances.) My other headcannon is that this order was actually created by rebel spies and covertly added to a bureaucratic database somewhere, specifically so they could pull off a "Put droids in an escape pod" plan if the need ever arose. Leia knew all about this situation, which is why she gave the Death Star plans to two droids. In other words, she didn't get lucky. She knew in advance that the pod would not be shot down.
    • Given that the Commander immediately goes to Vader to tell him about it, he probably thought he should refer to Vader, since this wasn't expected.
    • The downside of strangling your subordinates every time they make a wrong decision is that most of them will decide that its safer simply not to make any decisions. Vader's singularly poor (and homicidal) leadership skills guaranteed a lack of initiative and general mediocrity from his crew.
    • Everyone in the Star Wars universe seems to underestimate droids. For that matter, all the droids we see except R2-D2 and C-3PO are pretty stupid. The idea that droids could take an escape pod on their own might not occur to them. Maybe entrusting the plans to a droid was a brilliant piece of lateral thinking by Leia.
      • Uh... "and C-3PO?" Except for being six-million-lingual, C-3PO is as dumb as a sack full of hammers. You'd think he was designed by an eight year old child or something.
      • Specifically R2-D2 seems far more capable of creative thinking than you would expect from a droid. Even C-3PO with all he does over the course of the movie has to be pushed into doing anything beyond his basic function by his human companions. In the Expanded Universe, it is implied that it is standard practice to memory wipe astromech droids every couple of years or so, but Luke won't let that happen to R2, meaning he has developed far more personality than most droids.
      • If you take the Clone Wars series as canonical, Anakin does the same thing. He even gets chewed out by Obi-Wan for it.
      • But even in A New Hope, Artoo is unusually rebellious— he runs away after hours, not years, of Luke's ownership.
      • Artoo isn't being rebellious at all there — his last order from Princess Leia was to make contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi as soon as possible, and that's exactly what Artoo is doing. Artoo doesn't actually start to acknowledge Luke as his owner until after he's carried out this order... up until then, only the restraining bolt the Jawas fitted him with is holding him in place.
      • The EU has stated that some higher level droids are programed to self-destruct if they attempt to run away. That's why R2, not C-3PO got it.
      • It is also stated in several works that the droids are usually wiped routinely, to keep them interfacing properly with the standard electronics. It has been noted dozens of times that this caused frustration for the X-wing techs, because they needed Artoo to stay around and talk with the now-quirky X-wing computer.
      • That said, this troper doesn't even thing R2 has EVER had his wiped in his 200 plus years (I'm counting the Legacy comic)
      • 170 plus years that we know about (-33 to + 137), but even that begs one quest, how big is his hard-drive?
    • IIRC, they wanted the plans intact, or at least confirmation that the plans had been recovered. If they had been stuck on the pod, and the crewmen blew it up, they wouldn't have gotten any confirmation that they had recovered the plans, which is kind of the whole reason they bothered boarding the Tantive IV in the first place.
      • But the reason the commander told the gunner not to fire was that there were no life signs aboard, and that it was accidentally jettisoned, not because they wanted the plans intact.
      • Good thing for Leia that Vader had orders to make certain that the Tantive IV hadn't passed on the plans anywhere else first, or else the simplest solution to their problem would have been to simply blow up the entire ship.
    • Plus, the dialogue alone shows sufficient reason to hold fire; there was no reason to shoot it, as there were no life signs on board. Either the crewmen had specific orders to not waste shots on empty pods, or they were just being lazy.

  • Why didn't the rebel ships fly directly to Death Star's power plant instead of flying through that long trench to reach it?
    • Because flying directly would've exposed them to fire from every turret on that side of the base. The trench provided cover.
    • The "power plant" was deep inside the station (probably at the core) and out of reach. The trench had the exhaust port that led to the reactor, so they had to dive into that sooner or later to make the shot. Being closer to the station means that fewer guns can be brought to bear (even if turbolasers can't effectively target star fighters, filling the sky with enough of them will make flying through it suicide, just ask Porkins). The trench robs some maneuverability, but dramatically reduces the force the Death Star can bring to bear. And as for enemy fighters: who else by Darth Vader and his elite wingmen could have followed that narrow path? TIE Fighters' only defense is their maneuverability, they'd be daft to follow the Rebels in there.
    • To expand on this, the likely reason for having to fly through it for such a long trip is probably due to the size of the target being so small, therefore the pilots would want the extra time to line up the shot.

  • Why didn't Darth Vader recognize Leia when they were in the cell together?
    • I know the real reason is because the script hadn't been written for RotJ yet (or even really conceived) but what's the in-universe explanation? Vader apparently figured out who Luke was pretty quickly, knowing without a doubt that it was his survived biological child; why wouldn't he have done the same for Leia? Or at least noticed while she was resisting the mind probe torture that she was using the Force, if only instinctively to protect her memories. He would have wanted her guarded even more and possibly it would have made him doubt the Emperor's lies about his dead family at an earlier date.
    • It's instructive to note that Vader only recognizes Luke as his son after Luke Skywalker's name has been made public in-between ANH and TESB as The Hero of Yavin. Vader shows no recognition of Luke on the Death Star anymore than he does Leia, and he did see Luke face-to-face in the hangar bay, and could only pick up 'This one is strong in the Force' as opposed to 'Wait a damn minute, that's my kid!' when sensing Luke's Force presence during the Battle of Yavin. Since Leia is not going around using Anakin's own last name, and is far more "latent" in the Force than Luke is (Luke was already actively using his powers even before he was trained, while flying around on Tatooine — Leia wasn't doing anything similar), the clues that let Vader eventually pick up on Luke aren't going to tip him off about Leia.
      • According to the Death Star novel, Vader started to notice that Leia looked a bit like Padme, but before he finished his thought, he blocked it off and avoided it. Soon afterwards, he thought about it again, but brushed it off as he considered her dead anyways as the order for Leia's execution had already been signed.
    • Their confrontation on the Blockade Runner obviously isn't the first time they've met. It's likely that Vader's encountered Leia before in her role as an senator for Alderaan, detected a very slight affinity for the Force in her, and dismissed it as just another case where a petty sensitive's unconscious knack for reading emotions got them a leg up in politics. If there were still a Jedi Temple, her talent might've been worth testing, but the Sith don't recruit anyone at the weak end of the spectrum, so why bother?
    • He probably didn't know Padme was having twins.
    • Leia stopped him from recognizing her. We know she has latent force ability and could resist torture. She probably had been trained in the use of the Force to protect herself mentally and used that ability to make Vader think she was just a harmless aristocrat. Nothing to see here, move along. This is not the lost daughter you were looking for.
      • And why would Vader/the imperials take notice of her sensitivity (incidentally I don't see any indication that it was "weak"), except perhaps as a small note in her file? Even if they are hunting force sensitives, she is the daughter of a powerful senator, whom they (at least initially) would not want to cross. The cover story for Leia is that she was a war orphan adopted (also in broad strokes her actual story) by the Organas. A family known to be friendly to the order. At worst they think that Leia was a baby saved from the temple? That makes no difference to them, its not like Bail can train her.
    • As for resemblance to Padme, that is easily explainable. Both were young, idealistic female politicians and Leia was raised in much the same circles as Padme moved in. Not surprising that you would see a resemblance, even if there was no blood relation at all. The Imperials who had no reason to connect Leia with Padme, would not think about that. True, **if **Vader was told that his child survived and was adopted by Padme's friends, Leia would be top of the list of suspects, but sans that knowledge and context, on the Death Star (and earlier) her Force Sensitivity is just an annoying complication. Not a red flag.
      • Also, how many times have you been told by a complete stranger that you remind them of someone (without it being a pickup line)? And that's on one planet of "only" about six billion. Now imagine a galaxy with hundred of thousands of inhabited worlds, with millions of billions of trillions of people living in it. Running across someone who looks like someone else really wouldn't be that remarkable.
    • Plus, Vader's eyesight is shot to hell by that helmet. Likely, Force Sight wasn't his long suit, either. It's only natural to the Miraluka species, and isn't the easiest ability to learn or use by sighted species, even for trained Jedi.

  • So what, exactly, happened to the moisture farm? Luke sells off his land-speeder, but there's no indication he sold the farm too. Did all of the droids and vaporators and other equipment just get abandoned for the next sand crawler full of Jawas to swipe?
    • Presumably all of the droids were destroyed by the Storm Troopers.
    • According to the EU (so you can probably take it with a pinch of salt), the farm lay derelict and abandoned until Luke returned to Tatooine a few years later and sold it on. It eventually ended up in the hands of the Darklighter family, though they were more concerned with owning the land than the homestead itself, which fell into disrepair.

  • Why is it that everyone in the galaxy appears to know the language of everybody else? Think about it — Luke speaks droid (whatever that is), Han speaks fluent Wookish, Huttese, and whatever language Greedo speaks. Where did all these hardworking moisture farmers, starship pilots, and mercenaries find the time to learn three or four languages? And how come everyone they speak to in their own language understands them without having to use a translator?
    • Everyone in the galaxy clearly does not know the language of everyone else. Luke speaking a language of droids that he works with and Han speaking languages of the people he works with don't mean everyone is fluent in everything. If they were, droids like C-3PO (whose main function is translation) wouldn't be needed.
    • Also, point of fact, Luke doesn't understand R2. In A New Hope, C-3PO has to translate for him, and in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke's clearly reading a translation of the droid's beeps on his X-Wing's console. The camera lingers on it a couple times while R2's beeping to demonstrate it.
    • Farmers, pilots, etc. knowing several languages isn't all that strange anyway (See immigrants, multilingual countries, and probably other examples on Earth.)
    • People raised in a multilingual environment tend to learn languages quickly at a young age. Owen knows Jawa because inhabitants of Tatooine regularly deal with Jawas, but he doesn't speak Boccee or Vaporator. Han and Lando travel a lot and so probably picked up a lot of different alien languages over the years. In the ancient world it wasn't uncommon for merchants or the educated to understand two or three languages other than their own.

  • If Owen and Beru really didn't want Luke getting involved in anything relating to the Jedi, Rebellion, or anything else, why didn't they raise Luke as their son rather than their nephew? Why did they let him keep the name Luke Skywalker instead of calling him Luke Lars?
    • Prior to the Prequels I always considered that Luke must have been adopted when he was a boy old enough to be aware of what his name and antecedents were. However, ROTS has it that he was an infant when it happened so, yeah, there's no reason for them telling him the truth about his father if they didn't want to. Luke could easily have grown up thinking Beru and Owen were his parents. To their credit, they came clean with him (which must have been a strange conversation, given that they weren't even blood relatives). However, it probably wouldn't have made much difference to the outcome - it would just have been a big surprise when he heard the truth from Kenobi.
    • The reason they didn't claim Luke as their son is they didn't see the need. When Obi-Wan gave Luke to Owen and Beru, it was under the assumption that Anakin was dead. It wasn't until years later that they realized Anakin survived as Vader but by then the Lars' had probably already informed their nephew of his father's life and let him keep his father and grandmother's name. So they thought they were honoring a dead guy when really they were painting a target on Luke's back. Further, claiming Luke as their own might have been difficult since it would have been obvious that Beru wasn't pregnant.
    • It's unlikely to be common knowledge that Vader is Anakin and, in any case, Luke doesn't know his father was a Jedi. He thinks he was a navigator on a spice freighter who never fought in the Clone Wars. Kenobi explicitly says 'That's what your uncle told you.' And it wouldn't be impossible to gloss over Beru not being pregnant when she typically wears shapeless, baggy clothing and lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere. To be honest, it's difficult to know why the Lars' told Luke he wasn't their kid. I think it's a plot hole that likely stems from the original backstory being somewhat different, with the twins being older when they were adopted. Otherwise, why would Luke ask Leia, in ROTJ, what she remembers of her real mother?
      • While that is the Doylist answer, the in-universe reasoning could be that Owen and Beru were simply uncomfortable lying. It's one thing to raise your orphaned nephew, it's another to claim him as your own. Especially since Obi-Wan could have removed Luke at anytime in the event of a threat. Maybe they didn't want to get too attached in the event of a separation?
    • There's also the fact that Anakin and Owen have the same mother. Owen may have decided to let Luke keep his surname, and know something about his birth family (even if it was mostly lies), as a way of honoring his dead mother and (presumed) dead half-brother.
    • Owen explicitly tells Anakin they are stepbrothers when they first meet so Owen is actually the son of Cliegg Lars and his first wife and is not a blood relative of Anakin.

  • Why was there blood when Obi-Wan cut that alien guy's arm off in the cantina? Lightsabers are supposed to cauterize the wounds they inflict.
    • Because George wanted a PG rating and that was how they got it. Or maybe lightsabers don't completely cauterize wounds.

  • Why wasn't Luke more upset about the death of his Aunt and Uncle?
    • People react to tragedy differently. Some break down into tears, some enter Heroic B.S.O.D., and others get really pissed off. Luke was in the "get pissed off" group. Revenge was his motivation to defeat the Empire, until he meets Yoda and learns to be a Jedi.
      • In the Radio version C-3PO implies that Luke is weeping when he returns to Obi-Wan, but it's never stated explicitly.
    • Cynical explanation: Luke hated living with his aunt and uncle. Their deaths left him Conveniently an Orphan, so he was free to go traveling the galaxy with Obi-Wan.
      • Even if he'd hated them both, seeing their burned bodies ought to have at least merited a grimace of visceral revulsion. He was a naive young mechanic on a small farm that didn't appear to include livestock, so he shouldn't have been particularly blasé about gore.
    • It was always my impression that he was horrified beyond belief at everything. He probably bottled it all up and had a good cry later after he had a chance to take it all in. Assuming the events take place in the timeline between movies, after the destruction of the Death Star, Luke has three years to come to terms with his emotions about his family, then mourn them, and finally get past it. Or at least live with it.
      • I agree a bit on the above. Luke's simple farm life has taken a massive turn that he clearly wasn't ready for the moment he found Leia's message in R2-D2. What follows is just a series of life changing events with people he knew in his old life quickly dying soon after a small interaction with them. He just it all in stride and something tells me once it was all over and everything is safe for the time being did he finally get the time to truly mourn the losses.
    • He just came from the scene of a Jawa massacre, heaping dead bodies on the fire. That tends to temper your reactions to additional grief.
    • It could also be a really bad case of Fridge Horror. Remember, a big chunk of what drove Anakin insane and got him stuck on Palpatine's leash was a barrage of Force-based visions about his mom dying (which came true because he heeded Obi Wan's advice and didn't intervene) and Padme's death (Self-Fulfilling Prophecy). Luke may have had visions along these lines well before it actually happened, or sensed the whole thing in the Force while it was happening, but had no idea what it was at the time, so it may have been more like a surreal bad dream coming true before the shock fully wore off.
      • The film cuts away as soon after Luke sees their bodies. Assuming he had a healthy balance of emotions like Jon Solo suggests, he probably collapsed and cried for what felt like an eternity, wishing he had died with them and blaming himself. After that though, he realized who was really responsible, and that even as he lay there, they were doing it to thousands of other kids' parents across the galaxy. After that, becoming a Jedi sounded like a pretty good idea.
    • Luke is probably in shock and also according to the (Star Wars Legends) EU, with everything going on Luke didn't really have a chance to grieve until after the Battle of Yavin, where he's implied to have broken down in his quarters.

  • Why does Obi-Wan let Vader kill him so easily? Okay, he becomes a ghost, so he it's not like he's completely gone, but wouldn't it have been better if he'd been around longer as a human to mentor Luke and explain him things? (As a ghost he seems to contact Luke only rarely.) I guess it's possible the lightsaber duel with Vader was such that he couldn't escape it, and he realized Vader was gonna win eventually... But even in that case, couldn't he at least have tried to fight longer to buy the heroes more time before Vader kills him? Now he just puts his saber down and lets Vader hit him. I know the real reason for Obi-Wan's death is that Alec Guinness didn't want to do any more Star Wars movies, but couldn't Lucas at least have written him a death scene that makes more sense?
    • Look where Obi-Wan is, where Luke and the rest are, and what's between them: A couple dozen storm troopers, a big shaft, and Darth freakin' Vader. Obi-Wan couldn't have disengaged from Vader and rejoined Luke and the others without taking up considerably more time, which would risk Luke and the others being captured and killed. He knew that Luke wouldn't leave without him if he was alive, so he made the choice to let himself die so he didn't delay their escape.
    • Sir Alec Guinness was actually pretty pissed when he learned that his character would die. He was definitely looking for a bigger role than "Go to the Dagobah system."
      • I remember hearing a rumor a long time ago about Obi-Wan dying because the actor didn't think that the movies would be successful and came back to play Obi-Wan's Force Ghost when he found out how popular the first one was, guess that wasn't true. Anyway Obi-Wan was clearly in an unwinable situation given Vader and Stormtroopers being on both sides, and besides Vader would have stopped Obi-Wan if he tried to escape NO ONE was going to prevent him from getting his payback for what happened on Mustafar.
      • Not true: Sir Alec Guinness was about the only person working on the film who believed it would be a success, which is why he negotiated to be paid a percentage of the takings rather than a flat fee. He's said in interviews that it was his idea to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi (which wasn't in the first version of the script); he said "I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo."
      • ^ The way I heard it, this went through several stages. First Lucas mentioned the idea of killing Obi-wan. Guinness was pissed at first, but after awhile he accepted it as a better way to tell the story.
    • He wanted Luke to hate Darth Vader by letting the boy see his mentor die at Vader's hands. This would go along with the general effort to keep Luke from learning of his relationship to Vader, or to keep him from being tempted to join Vader or risk everything on an attempt to redeem him.
      • According to George Lucas, when he split his original story into a trilogy there was simply nothing Obi-Wan could do after fighting Vader without taking over the lead role from Luke. Of course, Lucas then had to invent a new tutor for Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, hence Yoda.
    • He did it to make a distraction so the others could escape (the reason he went to fight Vader in full view of the docking bay in the first place). He decides to let Vader kill him because he knows he's going to die soon anyway and it was a convenient way to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence so he could go on being Luke's mentor as a Force ghost. Of course Luke, being an idiot, ruins his mentor's sacrifice by letting out a Big "NO!" that attracts all of the stormtroopers' attention.
      • It amuses me that an above headscratcher accuses Luke of being a sociopath for not having a Big "NO!" reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle's corpses, while this one is calling him an idiot for having a Big "NO!" reaction to seeing his mentor killed right in front of him.

  • Anyone else bothered with how completely nonchalant Luke is about Vader killing Biggs? He mourns Obi-Wan, a guy he barely knew up until a few hours ago, but they made it pretty clear Biggs was a fairly close friend of Luke yet Luke doesn't even acknowledge his death once he docks back on Yavin ever.
    • Post-battle euphoria, which is extremely common and documented. An enormous amount was riding on that battle, and the fact that not only did Luke survive but he dealt a crippling blow to the Empire in the process, plus the elation of everyone else around him would be enough to sweep him up, at least for a bit. The realistic emotional response to that kind of a victory is intense euphoria, as the soldier in question both comes down off the adrenaline and has the exhilaration of both surviving intense combat and winning a battle and being congratulated by his fellows. He's got time to mourn later.
      • Which I get... if he ever did mourn Biggs. The guy is never, ever brought up again. It makes for greater motivation to despise Vader in Empire Strikes Back but from the end of A New Hope, it's as if Luke's childhood friend and idol never existed.
      • How would Luke have any idea that it was Vader that did it?
      • Why would he be mourning three years later, which is the next time we see him, if he's been part of a Rebellion that's seen death and chaos and violence and death and more death and also death? He mourned him in the intervening three years; it would make no sense for him to be torn up over it three years after he'd died, when countless others have died as well.
      • Well the wikia says "Although deeply saddened by the loss of his friend, Skywalker did not grieve over Darklighter, for he could still feel him through the Force."
      • Also, you only have so much screen time in a movie, and you need to consider the moods you want to create and sustain. Luke's mourning, we may safely presume, did happen, but it was off-screen.
      • This seems to be an incredibly common criticism some people have about mourning in movies... that because every death doesn't send the good characters into a complete and total Heroic B.S.O.D. for months on end, they didn't care at all. Luke looks absolutely horrified when Biggs dies, but then has to focus on saving his own life and finishing the mission. After that he's carried away on the aforementioned euphoria high. Demanding that he constantly be remembering Biggs and bringing him up after that is a little silly, it practically sounds like Homer talking up Poochy. "And when he's not around, the other characters need to be talking about him! 'Where's Biggs?!'".

  • Princess Leia wears a long white dress. She's in a space battle, captured by Imperials, tortured, dragged through a trash compactor, engages in various firefights and escapes from the Death Star, and that beautiful long white dress (not to mention her hair and make-up) remains ''perfect''.
    • See, they just don't show all the times Leia has the men in the group stop so she can do a quick dress change, powder her nose, and fix her hair. Without her, they would have actually been in and out under 10 minutes. Oh, and Obi-Wan wouldn't have died...selfish bitch.
    • If you look at her, though, her hair is definitely not perfect - strands are coming loose and sticking up, and she looks significantly more disheveled. As to why it's not come undone completely? Her hair (as seen in RotJ) is long enough that it can be very snugly coiled around itself and still create those sizable buns; it was probably also hair-sprayed and pinned in place, and those sorts of things can make a hairstyle resilient now in the present without futuristic Star Wars technology. Even hair that is simply braided tightly and held with a hairband can stay in place for days, with strands coming loose and sticking up precisely as Leia's hair is doing. She also appears more and more tired as time goes by in the film. As to her dress, there's a chance it's made of a stain-resistant and tear-resistant fabric - we have that technology available today, it's not a stretch to imagine a princess familiar with action and firefights would want a few gowns made out of a similar material.
      • He dress does accumulate some smudges during the Death Star escape. Not nearly as many as it should, but you can put that down to magical technology.
    • Not related to Leia, but how come Luke gets pulled underwater by the dianoga and comes up soaking wet with his hair plastered to his head, but a couple of scenes later his hair is perfectly dry?
      • The dehumidification systems outside that area are really freaking good. Fridge Brilliance moment: They'd have to be. Something like the Death Star would be a nightmare to operate without top notch humidity controls. There'd be condensation everywhere if there wasn't, especially if there are large sections containing liquid water (which, again, there must be), so there must be incredibly powerful and incredibly sophisticated dehumidification systems to combat that; able to distinguish between wet clothes (and wet wookiee hair) and moisture-laden living tissue. They'd almost certainly be operating at maximum just outside the water-laden compartments too.

  • A stormtrooper commander says "All right, men, load your weapons." Uh, what? Their guns are lasers. What would they have to load?
    • Blast weapons in the Star Wars universe use power packs that eventually need to be changed out or charged.
    • When does that line get said, I don't think I've ever heard it.
      • Just before the Millennium Falcon takes off from Mos Eisley.
    • Unless the gun is designed to be plugged into an outlet to recharge, it will need to have something loaded into the weapon to fire - and only an idiot would design a man-portable weapon that can't be reloaded when its power runs out.
    • Because it sounds cooler than "All right, men, safeties off."
    • The answer to "What would they have to load?" is "Batteries." This troper is a regular at Laser Pointer Forums and knows that the correct way to store a diode-based laser is without batteries. You don't want a clueless person to find your laser with batteries in, switch it on without the appropriate safety goggles and fry his/her eyes. In the case of other kinds of lasers (e.g. gas lasers, dye lasers etc.) the question doesn't even apply, because they have to be connected to an electrical outlet to work.
    • It's the equivalent of drivers shifting gears when speeding up, despite already being in a cruise gear. Saying "Lock and load" is a dramatic set dressing for the audience to convey combat readiness and add tension.
    • But what about Star Wars Battlefront? In that game, the gun gets overheated, and if you time it right, it'll recharge instantly and you can continue shooting. If you touch it while it's overheated, you'll just burn your hand and'll have to wait for it to cool down.
    • Blasters do need to be reloaded. In the new canon, they convert various gases into plasma(not lasers). In Legends, they need both gas and a power pack, and fired particle beams, not lasers. In both canons, Cloud City was a refinery for the main type of gas used for Blasters (Tibanna gas). And in both canons, blasters don't shoot lasers.

  • Why does Luke Skywalker, a simple farm boy, apparently just carry around a grappling hook?
    • He lived in a mountainous area. It's not unlikely he goes climbing now and then. Which grappling hooks are useful for.
      • I always figured the grappling hook came from the stormtrooper belt he was wearing at the time.
      • The Radio Adaption has this stated outright- we even get a few seconds of Luke digging through the belt for the hook.
      • Because we see so many stormtroopers grappling onto things. However, I do recall one of the earlier "tech/art of Star Wars" books mentioning it being standard Stormtrooper equipment.
      • We never see stormtroopers using combat knives either. Should we therefore assume that stormtroopers never carry one of the most widespread and utilitarian tools ever made? The same tool carried by almost every soldier of every military on the planet Earth?
      • Yes? Without any evidence onscreen, I'd say there's no reason to assume they had knives. However, the grappling hook does make an appearance, and it seems like the most reasonable explanation is that it was from the trooper belt.
      • There's never any onscreen evidence that Luke or the Stormtroopers poop, either, do you assume that either of them don't? Stormtroopers almost certainly carry bladed weapons of some sort, it's just that they never become relevant. If you want some sort of canonical evidence, then in The Old Republic when you kill Imperial troopers one of the potential pieces of grey loot you can get from them is "vibroblade parts".
    • It is from his Stormtrooper belt, if you look you can see that it was on the belt even before Luke stole the armor.
    • Shoot, a grappling hook is a WAYY more reasonable piece of equipment to carry on a ship with artificial gravity. And some of the latest belt-clip knives are so unobtrusive as to be invisible until needed. So they could have been carrying a Ginsu battalion in all those little white belt boxes, we just never saw them get used.

  • As soon as she's captured, Princess Leia tells Darth Vader "I'm a member of the Imperial Senate, on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan." Why would she be on a diplomatic mission to her own home planet? I realize that she is, of course, lying. Still, that must have been her actual cover story. Wouldn't it have made more sense to say that she was on her way back home for a vacation or a family wedding or something?
    • It's not at all unusual to have a senator sent to his/her home state as part of official government business. In fact, they'd be the best person to send.
    • She's not Alderaan's representative. She's a Senator. She's expected to be neutral in Galactic affairs, not pro-Alderaan. As stated above, she'd be the best person to travel from Coruscant to Alderaan on a diplomatic mission. A better question is: How thoroughly is Coruscant penetrated by Rebel spies if they can whip up a full-blown diplomatic mission just to cover a transmission intercept? The only possible advantage that cover would confer over a private flight is diplomatic immunity, which they couldn't possibly have expected to really matter all that much, especially considering they dissolve the Senate entirely two scenes later. With just a casual reference by Tarkin, no less - it wasn't even a big deal then because the Senate was mostly a useless entity after twenty years of Imperial rule. A New Hope even directly states that their only real function was as a bureaucracy to allow the Emperor to exert control over individual systems. When that problem was taken care of by a slight shift in authority, the Senate was swept away, to the surprise of no one. Why, then, did the Rebel Alliance risk a cover that could be so easily checked for a benefit that was merely theoretical anyway?
    • It may not be that the rebellion "whipped up" a diplomatic mission to send Leia there, but that there was a scheduled diplomatic mission Leia joined onto in order to get pretense to return to Alderaan.
    • Watching the prequels, I was under the INTENSE belief that Senators are representatives of their home-worlds, like the US Senate has two people representing their state. However, it is possible that in the interim twenty years the Imperial Senate was changed as you said so they'd have to be neutral. By New Hope, the Senate was essentially a giant rubber stamp for the Emperor, the Regional Governors, and the Imperial Navy.
      • I'm with you. I'm pretty sure Senators are supposed to represent their home-worlds/systems. Nowhere is it stated that they have to be neutral. By the time of the empire they are a joke of their former selves, but they still are not neutral, politically speaking. Getting involved with the rebellion is another matter, though.
      • The prequels were during the time of the Republic where Senators WERE representatives of their homeworlds. But under the Empire things have obviously flipped, with Senators not being neutral, but being representatives of the EMPIRE meant to keep their homeworlds in line. Note that the one objection to the Emperor's dissolving the Senate is a comment of "Who will keep the local systems in line?" That implies that it's a senator's job to tell their home system what the Empire wants them to do and make sure they do it. So a diplomatic mission to Alderaan would probably be a regular occurrence for Leia.
    • She's saying that she's traveling between the Senate on Coruscant and Alderaan on an official diplomatic mission. Not that she's carrying out diplomacy with Alderaan on behalf of the Senate.

  • The Jedi were all but destroyed, and Obi-Wan only managed to survive because he went into hiding for 20 years. And yet the first time we see him go out in public, he whips out his obviously Jedi weapon to break up a bar fight.
    • Well he was intending to leave Tatooine pretty soon. Maybe he figured by the time he got back from Alderaan, news about his actions in the cantina would have died down. In addition, he's preparing to train Luke so this scene is useful because it shows Luke just what a Jedi can do.
    • The first thing he does is go, "Oh, don't worry about the boy, let's just have a drink on me and forget about it." Then the other guy pulls out his blaster and starts shooting. What the hell else was Obi Wan supposed to do? The other guys forced a confrontation, meaning Obi Wan's choices were to intervene, which at that point required immediate and overt use of his Jedi abilities, or let Luke deal with it and probably get at best mugged, and at worst shot.
    • To be fair, just because Obi-Wan Kenobi was using a lightsaber doesn't automatically mean he's a Jedi himself. As far as the patrons knew, he just found a lightsaber from a dead Jedi's body and decided to keep it.
      • Yes, but either way it marks him. To quote Talon Karrde, who was confronted with the same issue: "You [are] either Luke Skywalker, Jedi, or else someone with a taste for antiques and an insufferable opinion of his own swordsmanship."
    • Yeah, tensions were too high at that point for something like a mind trick, so Obi-wan's options were pretty much bust out the lightsaber (which tells people he might be a Jedi) or overtly use the Force (which tells people he is a Jedi or something very similar). Neither option is great, but the first is marginally better, so it's what he had to go with.
      • Notice that everyone in the cantina gasps and takes a step back. They had to have assumed he was a Jedi. Or, worse, working with the Empire (EU has multiple lightsaber-wielding personal agents of Palpatine, remember). It was just the best option they had available, and they were leaving soon anyway. Note that the Empire does catch on almost immediately when someone basically runs off and tells the nearest stormtrooper that some odd old dude is waving around that there beam sword thing. The stormtroopers then immediately chase them to the Falcon and open fire. They must've known Obi-Wan was a Jedi.
      • Break cover or let a mission critical asset (Luke in this case) be potentially killed. Not much of a choice there. Using a lightsaber and no overt use of the force might let him keep his cover intact as compared to a overt use of the force that would blow his cover completely. (Although at the loss of the lightsaber.)
      • What cover? Sure, Kenobi's attempting to keep things on the down low personally, but Luke was openly wearing the lightsaber. Anyone in that cantina significantly older than he is — say, the very people who pick a fight, or the bartender, or Greedo, or Han — should be old enough to remember the Jedi. Anakin himself recognized a deactivated lightsaber as a child, and canonically several people there were not only his age, they were his acquaintances as children.
      • I don't know, Han, along with quite a few other people, seem to regard concepts like the force with disbelief (That Imperial officer who mocks Vader for following an 'ancient religion' comes to mind). Although that's more of a problem with Star Wars' rather tangled continuity. As for Luke, remember that he was born a few days after the Jedi purges began, and thus looks too young to fit the criteria for a renegade Jedi. Most would probably just figure that he's some junker who got lucky and came across an old lightsaber somewhere. Obi-Wan, on the other hand, fits the age group for a Jedi AND demonstrates that he knows how to use one effectively. That'd cast a lot more suspicion on him than Luke.
    • There's also the look Obi-Wan gives the bar. A definite "anyone else?" kind of look. He may have been taking a calculated risk: show everyone he's a Jedi, and thus absolutely-not-to-be-messed-with, and possibly alert the Empire that he's here. He said himself that Mos Eisley is a Wretched Hive, and the Cantina seems to be the center-point of the hivey wretchedness, so preventing any future conflicts would have been advantageous. And as several people had pointed out, he was planning to be long gone before the Empire could act on the sighting.
    • It wasn't just a "bar fight." A gun was drawn. At that moment, Obi-Wan had no choice but to pull out a weapon able to end the fight right then.
    • Another option; Refuge in Audacity. We're dealing with a cantina chock full of crooks of all kinds of species, in varying degrees of intoxication, somewhere on the ass end of the galaxy. Most of the crooks wouldn't want to report this to the local Stormtrooper garrison (as they probably have outstanding warrants already). Anyone who did? Well, a non-human would get blown off due to Imperial stupidity regarding "alien" species. A human crook who reported would likely get blown off as a drunk. And even if they weren't, by the time it got high enough in the command chain for Palpy and Vader to hear it, the story would likely be blown so far out of proportion as to not be credible anyway. The crooks would be better off going back to their intoxicants and pretending they didn't see a thing.
    • Not only that, but Obi-Wan and Luke are already planning to leave permanently at this point. By the time a rumor of someone using a lightsaber reached the authorities and they got a hunt together, Obi-Wan and Luke would already be long gone.

  • "She'll make it .5 past light speed". On an interstellar scale, that's not very fast, is it?
    • Depends on the rating scale you're using. Could mean anything, really.
    • Discussed already on the archives page. Hyperdrives use a series of classes based on a decreasing scale. .5 is ludicrously fast by this standard. "Light-speed" is simply slang for hyperspace travel.
    • The way that Han speaks of light-speed in the original film strongly implies that according to these films' scientific outlook breaking light-speed will automatically send you into hyperspace, where the ordinary rules no longer apply.
    • Also, Han uses parsecs as a unit of time; I know there are Fanwanks for this, but the obvious explanation is that he never studied physics, and is just full of it. He knows his ship is fast, and makes up numbers that he thinks sound cool.
      • Actually the more obvious explanation is that George Lucas never studied physics and space, but as an in-universe explanation Han just spitting BS makes more sense. Shame the whole "Kessel system has a black hole AND GEORGE ALWAYS MEANT IT TO" explanation has been adopted by the EU.
      • Reading the script for A New Hope (I have a copy of the original script in hardcover), when Han delivers the infamous Kessel Run line, Obi-Wan is supposed to look highly incredulous as he knows that Han is clearly bullshitting. Unfortunately it didn't translate well to screen.
    • Maybe it's referring to how fast light travels in hyperspace. It may also explain why people can go faster than c, like how in Futurama they achieved FTL travel through increasing c.

  • Why did they go directly to the Rebel base? Leia openly stated that they were being followed. So why didn't they fly to a relatively distant planet, make multiple copies of the Death Star plans on different machines and send those machines to different locations. There was no need to lead the Empire to the base so quickly.
    • What makes you think they had the time or resources for that? The Empire is big. Any stop at a place that isn't Rebel controlled runs the risk that some Empire agent is going to be there and catch you. And there's the tracking beacon too, so any time you stop? The Empire is catching up. The most important thing at that point was to get the plans into Rebel hands before anything else could happen to them.
      • They clearly had enough time to get to the base, have a team analyze the plans, have a meeting with all of the pilots present, pay Han, get the fighters ready and intercept the Death Star before it was in range of the moon.
      • Most of which probably only took a few hours altogether. And besides, had they gone anywhere but straight to the rebel base, the Empire would quickly realize their plan's not working and so just recapture them. Leia had a miraculous second chance at delivering the Death Star plans to the Rebellion, and she figured losing the Yavin base would be worth it.
    • Technology Marches On. The film having been made in the 70's, Lucas and the writing team (as well as the audience) were clearly not computer-savvy enough to know that data files can be copied, not just moved. The plans are treated almost as if they were a physical object, even though Vader clearly states that he knows that they "were beamed to this ship (Tantive IV) by Rebel spies". Yes, it would have been logical to make/transmit copies of the plans to other Rebel agents rather than flying straight to their secret base (especially since Leia accurately guessed that they were being tracked). But then the climatic battle would never have happened.
    • More on the tracking beacon: why not dump it into space in orbit around some random uninhabited planet, possibly via the same method that Han dumps his smuggling shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser? Or just disable the thing? After all, it was in a giant box that may as well have read "tracking device" or "bomb", so it's not like they could've missed it. Did the rebels want to lead the Death Star to them, simply to spare themselves the inconvenience of hunting it down after analyzing the plans?
      • ...and why do you think it was a really obvious box with 'tracking device' written on the side?
      • Yeah, I don't know what the hell he's talking about. We never even see the tracking beacon.
      • I suspect he believes the beacon was inside the box the two Imperial technicians carried aboard the Falcon.
      • That was the scanning suite.
    • The whole point of retrieving the plans was to destroy the Death Star. So the only reason to delay the Death Star would be to prepare an attack force. At this time, the Rebellion was just starting out, Red and Gold Squadrons may be all they actually had. Note that neither is a "full" squadron by Star Wars definitions, EU is pretty solid that a squadron is twelve fighters. By those standards, Gold "Squadron" is barely a flight, and Red "Squadron" is just over half-full. Attacking the Death Star while it's commander believes he's on the offensive may have been seen as their best bet (and, indeed, is a leading tactic in guerrilla warfare.)
    • Han doesn't believe that his ship can be tracked. ("Not this ship, sister.") Maybe tracking devices tend to malfunction when the tracked ship is extremely fast, but Han didn't bank on them using a really high-quality tracking device. Leia had doubts, but ultimately decided to just get the plans to Yavin before anything could go wrong.

  • I don't know if this has already been asked, but... how come Obi-Wan looks so old in this one (and as a Force ghost in the sequels, natch)? According to Wookieepedia, he was 57 when he died, but he looked much older. I know that Sir Alec Guinness was 63 when he played that part, so it's not much of a stretch, but in Phantom Menace you have a 60 year old Qui-Gon, played by a not-yet-50-year-old Liam Neeson, and he certainly looks *a lot* younger than Guinness, so... any guesses? Does the EU address this? Is it explained somewhere?
    • My guess is that Qui-Gon was living at the height of the republic, with Jedi health care and generally good conditions. Obi Wan, however, spent his later years living in a hole in a backwater planet.
      • Stress could also factor into it, I mean just for reference look at the appearance of a U.S President at the beginning of his term and after. You have to consider Obi-Wan's predicament, the entire Jedi Order was destroyed as an organization with only a few scant survivors across the galaxy, his best friend Anakin betrayed him and he was forced to cut him down in battle only for him to survive as a shell of his former self as Vader, and is on the run from the Empire in fear for his life. You try not growing a few gray hairs after an ordeal like that.
      • Challenge Accepted!
      • Keep in mind that he's spent the last twenty or so years living on a desert planet. With that much sun, people (humans, anyway) just don't age very well. Owen was just forty-two at the time of his death, and in my opinion, he looked far older than his years.
      • Even without extra stress, some people just don't age very well. Sometimes it's just genetics.
      • And the older he looks, the less he'll be associated with General Kenobi of the Clone Wars.

  • Why is Vader Tarkin's subordinate? Isn't he supposed to be the Emperor's right hand man? And why there isn't another Grand Moff after Tarkin's death?
    • Formally, Vader outranked Tarkin, being Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy. Tarkin was pushing his luck in talking back to Vader so much; Vader bided his time, because the Empire needed Tarkin just then. Tarkin felt he was a rising star in the Empire, since the Emperor had wholeheartedly adopted his big idea (the Death Star) and his political strategy (crush the slightest sign of resistance with overwhelming force). Maybe Tarkin felt that he was about to become the Emperor's new right-hand man. And Tarkin just had an overconfident personality in general; that's what killed him in the end.
    • According to Wookieepedia, Ardus Kaine took over as Grand Moff of Oversector Outer after Tarkin's death.
    • Also, Tarkin is the Death Star's commander, and the whole project was his baby to begin with. That probably plays a big role in why Vader defers to him so long as they're both on board (though had Tarkin done anything/ordered Vader to do anything that the Emperor really didn't want, Vader certainly wouldn't have gone along with it- and per some sources, Palpatine put him there in the first place to make sure Tarkin didn't let the station's power go to his head and decide to become The Starscream, something that happened in the radio play). Oh, and there were plenty of other Grand Moffs both contemporary with and after Tarkin- he was just the most prominent and important (both politically and to the story).
    • I always took it that Tarkin and Palpatine went back a ways, career wise, and met when they were both young men and found they had similar political philosophies. Tarkin consequently would've been an ardent supporter of Palpatine even before the Empire was created. In short, Vader was Palpatine's right-hand man and apprentice, but Tarkin was his friend, his old college roomie, if you will. Special privileges come with that, including getting to boss around your old political crony's walking iron lung cyborg enforcer dude. ... And then of course Tarkin's backstory and history with Palpatine were emphatically not expanded on in the prequels, completely jossing this personal pet theory.
      • Actually, we do see a Captain Tarkin in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon, and while not an old college roommate, they were both middle-aged men when they met, he does mostly fit the bill you described. It just adds that he also knew Anakin, probably meaning he wasn't bossing Vader around so much as sternly telling Vader to stop killing his underlings to keep up appearances) and Vader agreeing more like someone doing him a favor rather than obeying a command.
    • Because of the Sith "Rule Of Two", it would be insanely idiotic for Palpatine to let Vader have command of the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, since it is after all a Sith imperative that one kill one's own master. Hence, Palpatine puts the station under the command of a muggle, and makes it clear that Vader's fleet authority does not apply on the Death Star. Tarkin could even have standing orders for his hordes of stormtroopers to (try to) kill Vader if he attempted to take over the station. It's too huge for Vader to run by himself, or personally threaten everyone onboard. So he is literally outside of his jurisdiction when he is on the Death Star.
    • Since Tarkin was a Grand Moff, one of the highest positions in the Empire's hierarchy and by far the most important person on board besides Vader, he was also the only one there who Vader respected enough to take his opinion into account. Earlier in the film we see Vader conferring with one of his subordinates and listening to his criticisms, so he's not a total narcissist like the Emperor is and he can be perfectly reasonable. Vader didn't care about Motti and didn't particularly want to kill him, just to intimidate him. Since it makes no difference to him, he just goes along with what Tarkin says in that situation.
    • Vader may outrank Tarkin in the general military, but the Death Star was Tarkin's pet project, and may lie outside the normal chain-of-command. Thus, Vader defers to Tarkin in Death Star-related matters. Besides, Peter Cushing gave Tarkin ridiculous command presence, which Vader may be responding too (or at the very least, realizing that this is a good and competent commander that the Empire wants to keep happy and employed.) Besides, the impression this troper always got was less that Tarkin was Vader's superior and more that the two were equals, with Vader choosing to defer to Tarkin's authority because this was his station, and Vader respected him enough as a leader to follow his lead.
    • It gets tricky with Leia saying that Tarkin is "...tugging Vader's leash." I've always assumed that Vader was a sort of special-rank character. He technically outranks everybody, but can be placed to work under specific people as needed. Basically, unless A: the emperor states otherwise, or B: no particular orders have been given, Vader always works as the dragon for SOMEBODY.
    • We shouldn't take what Leia says too literally, she was basically trash-talking her captors in defiance. No doubt if Tarkin had been the one to capture her and Vader the second one she saw she'd have accused Vader of holding Tarkin's leash instead.
    • Alternatively, it could be accidental Fridge Brilliance. Throughout the prequels, Anakin displays two childish personality traits: tendency toward hero-worship and susceptibility to goading, manipulation. What if he's never grown out of it, and people in the know, like Senators (who might also be force sensitive) and other military commanders, can see it and been both using it and laughing behind his back for decades as this oh-so-powerful Force wizard is tweaked and pushed by Palpatine, Tarkin, Thrawn and others until he's a laughingstock to the real movers and shakers. It would explain how that commander in the briefing room felt safe sneering and taunting a greatly superior officer, until Vader applied mind to throat behavioral modification.
    • Fast forward to Kylo Ren, an extremely childish, easy to goad person, held in contempt by the other military leaders around him, despite being frighteningly powerful. Snoke is clearly manipulating him as well. Maybe the dark side works that way in some people, or Sith Lords choose easily manipulable apprentices intentionally.
    • Imagine that you are a serious, experienced military officer of a Fascist state, and are used to strict hierarchy and military discipline. And suddenly you're told that you have not only to listen some eccentric weirdo wearing a black mask and cape who calls himself "Dark Lord", but to actually follow his commands. I imagine that many Imperial officers thought that the Emperor was going senile and favoring all kinds of nut jobs instead of talented soldiers, and treating Vader accordingly — at least until he "corrects" them.
    • Vader isn't really Tarkin's subordinate. Yes, Takin does have that "Vader, release him!" moment, but Vader only obeys because he feels like it. Later on, Vader tells Tarkin that Obi-wan is onboard the Death Star, and declares "I must face him. Alone." Note that he doesn't ask Tarkin for permission here; he makes this decision all on his own, and Tarkin makes no move to stop him. Later still, Vader independently decides to send out TIE fighters to attack the rebel X-wings and Y-wings. Again, no indication that he needs Tarkin's approval to do this. Maybe they're sorta equal, at least in the context of the onscreen events.
    • As for the Doylist explanation, it's clearly a leftover from earlier versions of the script. Darth Vader was at one point supposed to be a bit lite Henry Kissinger, a politician heavily involved in the military, but technically outside their command structure (this was also when The Emperor was supposed to be a slimy Richard Nixon-type politician rather than an evil space-wizard). That got changed in Episode V, which makes this movie look weird in retrospect.

  • In Episode III we see that the construction of the Death Star has begun soon after Luke's and Leia's birth. In Episode IV the Death Star is used for the first time, and Luke and Leia are now about 19 or 20 years old. So it took 20 years to finish the Death Star? Okay, it's huge, but couldn't a galactic Empire still have had it made a bit faster?
    • I believe Word of God is that the Death Star seen at the end of Episode III is, in fact, a smaller prototype and not the final product seen in the original film.
      • Wookiepedia seems to disagree with that. Apparently it really did take 20 years for the Empire to build the damn thing.
      • Makes sense. Remember, it wasn't the Empire from the moment Palpatine assumed emergency powers... it was still the Republic. Palpatine could have probably just started ordering the ridiculous amount of materials and personnel he needed to construct the Death Star quickly right away, but it would have made the Senate go "Uh, wait, what?" And in the early months, possibly even years, of his reign Palpatine couldn't necessarily risk the Senate trying to overrule him. It would have taken years for him to consolidate his power to the point that the Senate was, in fact, powerless, during which time the construction would likely proceed quite slowly. And once he just out-and-out converted things to the Empire, he was probably putting a lot of resources into building more Star Destroyers and stamping out the beginnings of rebellions. He could have ramped up production on the Death Star but not to "finish it in a year" levels. So twenty years isn't unreasonable, all things considered.
      • Also they're building a moon-sized space station with a laser that can destroy entire planets. There's a fair bit of R&D involved in all that.
    • Now that Rogue One is out, we know the project became stagnant for a while and had a saboteur afterwards who might have done everything to delay the completion of the Death Star. Also, they were still trying to keep the Death Star's existence secret from the Senate — Vader's comment about the Jedha test shot being a "mining accident" and so forth. By the time of ROTJ there's no Senate to even pretend to play nice with; the Emperor can allocate funds and resources more openly for Death Star II.
  • At the Battle of Yavin Luke is about to be shot down by Vader when Han comes out of hyperspace and shoots Vader and the other TIE fighters off of Luke's tail. Great, but two other groups of Rebel fighters had made attack runs on the thermal exhaust port before then: the flight of Y-wings from gold group, and then a first flight of X-wings led by Red Leader. So why didn't any of the X-wings from red group try to shoot Vader off of gold group's tails, and why didn't Luke, Biggs, and Wedge try to shoot Vader off of Red Leader's tail? Consider the following exchange:
    Red Leader: Keep your eyes open for those fighters.
    Red 10: There's too much interference. Red 5, can you see them from where you are?
    Luke: No sign of any—wait, coming in .35.
    • Well, that's great Luke. Now, why don't you try doing something about it? Especially since Luke, Biggs, and Wedge were pretty much just hovering there, doing nothing.
      • In the time it would take them to get to them, it would already be too late, especially considering that there was so much AAA fire in the air that they had to fly down the trench in the first place.
      • How do you know it would have taken too long to get to them? It didn't take Han too long, and they could have at least tried. Also, there's no evidence that there was too much AAA or that it would have taken too long. In the film, when Red Leader is making his attack run, you can see Luke, Wedge, and Biggs just flying along above the trench. If Vader could fly into the trench and catch Red Leader, there shouldn't be any reason that Luke couldn't have flown in and caught Vader.
      • Luke tries to help them—"Turn to point-oh-five, we'll cover for you"—and Red Leader tells him to stay put; he knows that Luke and the others are the last chance should he fail and doesn't want them to possibly blow it helping him.
      • He tries to help after Red Leader had already completed his attack run, missed, and flown out of the trench. Why didn't he fly into the trench after Vader and try to shoot Vader and the other TIE fighters while the attack run was still happening?
      • Because Red Leader ordered him to prepare for an attack run beforehand, not to act as a reserve and rescue him. Luke was high up and away from the trench, readying for his own run on the the exhaust port. He wasn't in a position to help.
      • In fairness to Luke, this is his first battle ever. And he received a standing order from his squadron leader: "Hole up here and wait for my signal to start your run." He probably assumed that Red Leader knew what he was doing, and everything would be fine, until it was too late.

  • How did the Dianoga live in the trash compactor? Wouldn't it get crushed?
    • Did you forget that the reason Luke survives that scene is because Dianoga lets him go and GTFO's from the trash compactor as it starts up? Whatever the thing is, it evidently has enough sense to get out of dodge when the crushinating starts.
    • The trash has to go somewhere after it's been crushed, right? There must be a pipe or something that leads out of the room. (I mean aside from that one door, which just leads into a hallway.) The Dianoga swims through the pipe whenever it needs to escape. It probably visits a bunch of different compactors, looking for the best food.

  • The boarding of the Tantive IV... Okay, so they are supposedly the elite 501st Stormtrooper squad or some such, but seriously. They're coming through a doorway. A narrow doorway which can fit maybe two people side by side. Are you seriously telling me that a couple of dozen people with guns can't just shoot constantly into said doorway and thus murder anything that even thinks of trying to come through? Had they had the mentality of the prequel trilogy, this would probably have set up a scene where after having many troops mown down trying to get through, Vader strolls through with lightsaber in hand casually blocking all the shots and cutting down the defenders. That would have been cool, and would have introduced the "guys with laser swords and magic power" concept quite nicely.
    • If you pay attention during the fight, you'll notice that most of the Tantive IV's crew recoiled from the blast as the door blew off. The Stormtroopers rushed inside, and then Tantive IV's crew recovered and started firing. By that time the Stormtroopers were already inside and a number of Tantive IV crew had already been killed. The Stormtroopers also had sheer fire superiority and armor that protected them for the most part, whereas the Tantive IV's crew had no armor. Look closely while the battle is raging right then: the blaster bolts are creating fairly intense explosions when they hit the walls, and near-misses are killing the unarmored crewmen whenever they hit via shrapnel. A couple of Stormtroopers were killed, but the majority of the Tantive IV crew holding that position were killed and in the confusion and smoke and noise, they were routed and withdrew. This is actually fairly realistic, as lightly-trained, poorly-armored, and lightly-armed ship crew fighting heavily-armored boarders with heavy weapons and solid discipline will break first. (Yes, I know Stormtrooper armor is shit elsewhere in the movies, but in this scene it actually seems to be working pretty well.) The only Tantive IV crewman to actually retain enough discipline to keep a cool head and return fire effectively is the first one to lean out of cover and drop the first Stormtrooper. Then he dies and the rest are routed by sheer enemy firepower.
    • Maybe that's more the point of Stormtrooper armor anyway: less to protect against direct hits from laser weapons (seemingly an impossibility anyway), and more to keep the soldiers active longer against near-misses, collateral damage shrapnel, etc.
    • In the Real Life military, this is called a dynamic entrance, in which you storm through a door with sound and fury. And yes, typically the first man through the door is either wounded or killed if the enemy is prepared, but Stormtrooper standard procedure has always been a form of Zerg Rush anyway.
    • Also, what else are they going to do? Its not like they can just walk in through the Rebel warship's armored hull, not without taking a lot more time (and likely needing heavy engineering equipment). They all fit themselves in through the airlock door because there isn't any choice. This is because the designer of the Rebel warship was an at least reasonably competent defensive architect.

  • I understand that space is a very big place but seriously, how did the Empire manage to build a Death Star without anybody noticing? Unless they were always leaving it at the extreme far end of nowhere that's actually dangerous and they're lucky nobody exited hyperspace inside this moon sized thing that wasn't supposed to be there!
    • As far as I understood it, the Empire moved the Death Star around quite a bit. Any area that it was moved to was probably declared a no-fly zone.
      • Also, space is big. Try to comprehend how big the sun is in comparison to yourself. Stop, because humans can't really manage that. Then try to scale up to an entire galaxy. For reference the Milky Way galaxy might hold between two hundred and four hundred billion stars. The orders have to get written down somewhere so someone might notice a ludicrous amount of building materials, engineers and ships being moved around but actually figuring out where the materials were going and what they were for would be incredibly difficult task on a galactic scale. It's probably more a sign of the sloppiness of the Empire that the rebels managed to find out what the Death Star was before its public debut.
    • According to Wookieepedia, the Death Star sustained several attempts at sabotage before it was ultimately completed. It's a good bet that the location of construction wasn't that well-kept of a secret, for reasons already mentioned.
    • Space isn't just big, it's... well, effectively infinite. Consider that one of the most common hooks to tales of lost treasure in the Star Wars universe is "So this fleet got their navicomputers corrupted and hyperspaced off to god-knows-where..." And this understood to be a perfectly valid and believable backstory for losing entire fleets of ships. The disbelieving scoffing is never "Oh please, we'd find it eventually, it's a fleet of huge starships", it's always "Oh like you could ever find it in all the space it could be in."

  • So the Stormtrooper tracked the droids to the Jawas and from the Jawas to the Lars farm. How did they not know about Luke? Why wouldn't they have left a squad behind to wait for him to go home? They had no clue R2 ran away. As far as they knew, Luke was with them doing his chores and they'd be back for lunch or dinner.
    • They didn't know he was there. It's not like they'd necessarily have records of every inhabitant of an out of the way moisture farm, and Owen and Beru knew he wasn't home, and they weren't going to tell them there's one more person in the farm that they missed.
    • Fun fact! Mercilessly slaughtering the people who own a home doesn't give you instant psychic knowledge of the rest of their family's whereabouts.
    • OK, I'm gonna use the above line for my protagonist when he confronts the villain. xD But yeah, like another troper said, Beru and Owen knew Luke wasn't home, and they weren't about to give up his location or do anything that'd risk sending them Luke's direction.
      • I'm guessing that the OP is wondering, given an inspection of the household would likely inform them there was a third person living there, why they didn't leave troops behind to capture Luke if he came home?
      • They sorta blew any chance of ambushing any remaining family members by practically torching the settlement. How were they supposed to know Luke would be stupid enough to approach a smoking settlement?
      • I think they just lost their temper. Do you really expect anything more from common mooks? Their mindset is likely: Step #1- Find Person. Step #2- Discover Person's Relative(s). Step #3- Interrogate Person's Relative(s). Step #4- If Relative(s) don't talk, kill them all, torch the place, and leave.
      • Given Luke's talk about applying to the Academy, he probably had stuff lying around his room (data files, pictures, posters, etc.). Most parents/guardians keep a room for their kid when they leave for college, so it could be that they assumed Luke had shipped out and his room was only used on vacations.

  • It always bothered me that the way Vader is portrayed in this movie is not that of the second in command of the galaxy. Maybe that's just my interpretation of the scenes.
    • Chalk it up to one part Early Installment Weirdness, one part the Death Star being Tarkin's baby and as such he can order around just about anyone he wants short of the Emperor himself if they're on board (and, if you count the EU, one part Palpatine having told Vader to obey Tarkin while also watching him for sings of potential treasonous behavior).
    • It seems that George Lucas original concept for Vader wasn't that of an important member in the Imperial chain of command, but rather of a specialist or mercenary, personally hired by the Emperor himself and thus, with special status but little or no official powers. This would make any recognition he received derive from its expertise and efficiency rather than by holding an actual rank. Of course, as the franchise grew and grew, Vader´s place In-Universe shifted immediately to that of The Dragon to the Emperor, but in A New Hope, we can still feel the Hired Gun shades from the original Lucas idea.

  • Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker. So he has Anakin's height by the end of Ep 3. However, in Ep 4, he is a huge bodybuilder type of guy. So how did he grow to his new size?
    • At some point he said "The black suit and scary helmet look is insufficiently imposing! I need lifts!
    • "Huge bodybuilder type of guy"? Um...what?
    • I think you need glasses (this is coming from someone who has had glasses since infancy) if you think Vader is some kind of body builder. He is tall; Anakin was also tall. He's not huge at all, having mostly normal arms. Any real anomalies come from his armored life support suit. Basically, Anakin/Vader didn't grow; he got put in a heavy armored suit that is a bit more bulky than a Jedi's robes. Cape and all I think Vader takes up less space than Anakin does wearing full Jedi robes.
    • Dave Prowse, the man in the Vader suit, was a bodybuilder and weightlifter. He's not huge by Schwarzenegger standards but he's still a pretty big guy.
      • He might be tall, but honestly he just doesn't look like a body builder in that suit (to me, anyway). Some old Star Wars toys I used to have reinforced my view of Vader not being very muscular (robot limbs making that unnecessary). Unlike my other characters Vader's arms showed no muscle tone at all, and I didn't really see any in the films. Maybe I'm not paying attention enough, but Vader and body builder do not seem to go together, especially since he'd never get through airport security the easy way.
    • Hayden Christensen is a bit over six feet. Dave Prowse was about 6'6". The extra six inches could've come with the armor - the height difference between Vader and Palpatine is about the same in both the end of 3 and their last shared scene in Jedi.
      • In the last scene of Revenge of the Sith, that's actually Hayden Christensen in the Vader armor. And yes, they put him on lifts to make him taller. He deliberately didn't practice walking in them because he wanted it to look like Vader himself was still getting used to the extra height/cybernetic legs.
    • With heavy boots on, cybernetic legs which are not necessarily the same length as his organic ones, and a helmet on, it's not inconceivable that Vader could be slightly taller than Anakin. Keep in mind too that Vader seems much taller than some of the other characters because they aren't all that tall themselves - Mark Hamill is 5'9" and Carrie Fisher is just 5'1".

  • How did Han and Luke get promoted so fast? Just because he blew up the Death Star, Luke is automatically a Commander? Yeah, it was great and all but he should have gotten a medal for bravery and then work his way up through the ranks. And Han became a general? How is he General material? And what about Chewbacca? Does he have a rank? If not, he should. He did just as much as Han and yet no one refers to him by rank.
    • It's not uncommon at all to promote someone if they pulled off something like that. There's something called the "Forlorn Hope." When a fortress was under siege, and a wall was finally broken, someone has to lead the charge in, and the first platoon charging in is usually slaughtered or at least takes heavy casualties. So if you were either part of this charge or led it (I can't remember off the top of my head which) and survived, you were instantly promoted to an officer rank. Also, three people from the X/Y-Wing Fleet survived the Death Star, and we're shown that Red Leader is not among them. Luke would've been promoted by default.

      As for Han, by the time he's made General (not til toward the end of Return of the Jedi), he's done a hell of a lot for the Rebel Cause too.
    • No, I think Han was a General in ESB as well. Even so, General is still a major leap for someone after only about 3 years of service.
      • No, Han was just a captain in ESB, if he is anything at all. I say captain because that is what he is referred to as by Darth Vader, the only person to refer to him by rank that I remember. Also, the fact that he got sent out on a perimeter patrol would suggest that he is not a senior officer. Luke, while being a squadron leader, could get stuck with the same job because, with his aircraft temporarily grounded, he had very little else to do. And if you go by the logic that since Red Leader was killed on Yavin, Wedge should be Commander, seeing as he had seniority over Luke.
      • Apparently blowing up the Death Star makes up for a lack of seniority.
      • If you look at Red Squadron's roster in the Battle of Yavin, seniority is all over the place, Red Leader being the only call sign that indicated seniority. For example, Red 11 was in charge of one of the subunits, called flights, despite having a high call sign number.
      • Let's simplify this a little: They're a band of plucky rebels, not an official military fighting force. If they want to say "This guy did something really huge for us and he's a hero to everyone who believes in our cause, let's reward him with a nice high rank", they can do that pretty easily. "Join the rebellion, fight under General Solo" sounds a lot more impressive as a recruiting motto than "Join the rebellion, fight in potential viewing range of Captain Solo".
    • But what about poor Chewbacca? He is never addressed by rank but he did as much if not more than Han.
      • There are some hints that the Rebellion, despite its opposition of the Empire, was still a little human-centric, especially at the beginning. The more charitable interpretation is that not that many people other than his circle of friends really talk with Chewie all that much (apparently understanding Wookiee isn't that easy) or refer to him since he's not really a solo entity most of the time... he's either Han's sidekick or, when Han's frozen in carbonite, Leia's sidekick, so he just goes where they go. He might have a rank and it's just never referred to, or may have been offered one and turned it down (while Han accepted it for the paycheck).
    • Wait, why would Han be promoted in between ESB and Ro J? He's literally not doing anything during that time period: he is stuck in carbonite. There is nothing he could have possibly done to warrant it. He doesn't successfully participate in any missions, he doesn't do any heroics, he doesn't help make battle plans, he doesn't fix anything, he doesn't so much as make a comment that leads to someone else preforming something worth being promoted for.
      • Maybe he got promoted for all the good work he did on Hoth, but it took awhile for the paperwork to go through.
  • Luke doesn't automatically become a commander. By the time of ESB, three years have passed, plenty of time to work his way up through the ranks. Keep in mind we also don't know what the rank system of the Rebel Alliance is like and therefore "commander" is a somewhat vague term anyway. In real-world navies, commander is a middle rank and not nearly as high as an admiral. As for Han becoming a general because he volunteers to lead a small band of commandos on Endor... that's a real stretch.
    • In ESB, Han is "Captain" because he's the captain of his own ship, the Millennium Falcon. In Rot J, he's a General because he volunteers to lead the Endor strike force, even though a more appropriate rank for that force would be Major. But given the importance of the job, the Rebellion may have felt that General was more appropriate, or because they felt he needed some additional recognition for undertaking what may well be a suicide mission (seriously, the first part of the mission is bluffing your past a frelling Super Star Destroyer!) Three years passed between ANH and ESB, plenty of time for someone of Luke Skywalker's obvious talents to rise to an officer rank. That Wedge wasn't promoted over him may simply be due to the fact that Luke is a better pilot and leader, or that Wedge (in keeping with his EU characterization) passed over promotions he was offered to stay in the job he liked and was good at.
    • Fridge Brilliance when it comes to Luke after watching the Clone Wars series and Expanded Universe materials. Jedi Knights were given the rank and position of General in the Clone Wars, and their (mostly teenaged) Padawans had the rank of Commander. Luke, at that point, is roughly on par with a newly minted Padawan, and the rank is a nod to his Jedi status as much as it is his deeds in the Alliance.

  • Why did Luke and Han leave the droids in that control tower in the Death Star when they went to go rescue the princess? They were carrying vital plans and the whole point of going to Alderaan was to give R2 to Leia. Why would they at least not try to hide them on the Falcon or something?
    • Perhaps, they wanted to have their best hackers at the most important, abandoned control panel nearby where they plug in the system. That they were near a panel is how they got them out of the trash compacter. Though they may not have thought it out that far and just left them there without even figuring out that could pose a problem if they get caught.
    • The whole attempt to rescue the princess was an Indy Ploy (ironically not thought up by Harrison Ford's character) that Luke came up with off the top of his head. It revolved around Luke and Han pretending to be Stormtroopers and delivering a plausible prisoner to the detention level. Having a pair of clearly non-standard droids following them around would have messed that up.
    • Also, the Falcon was under armed guards and being swept for droids by electronic detectors. It was the opposite of a safe hiding place.

  • Why was Leia surprised when Tarkin broke his word considering that he's presumably committed massacres before?
    • There's a big difference between ordering the deaths of, say, 200 people, and 2 billion. An entire planet is an unprecedented order. Hardly anyone would have expected Tarkin would indeed go that far, which he did because he was already planning for a demonstration.
    • Exactly. The closest thing to what Tarkin did was the bombardment of Taris, which had happened 2,000 years ago, still wasn't nearly as destructive as actually blowing up the planet, and even the Sith of the time thought it was going a little far. (There were a couple of similar incidents that happened shortly after, but exactly how close they were to global annihilation and what the death tolls were are a little vague... the writing on KotOR 2 was so rushed and muddled that I think even The Old Republic mostly ignores it.) In fact, it's probably arguable that even Palpatine wasn't really intending to go around blowing up major hub worlds of the Empire with the thing and Tarkin had gone too far... the threat of the Death Star was supposed to keep everyone in line, not actually using it every time someone from some world that was an important part of the Empire stepped out of line.
      • I'm sure Palpatine was planning on using the Death Star on an at least reasonably well populated world. The thing about weapons of this nature is that to be effective threats, you have to use them at least once, both to demonstrate that they do what you claim they do, and that you are willing to use them. Otherwise, the threat is meaningless.
      • The Death Star was test-fired on the prison world Despayre, blowing it up in two shots. Not publicized to the galaxy at large, but technically the weapon had already been tested once. Add in the two "tests" we see in Rogue One, and it was clear that Tarkin could have limited himself but chose not to.
    • Tarkin offers her, in exchange for her cooperation, changing the target from civilian to military. Tarkin, was intending to fire the Death Star at SOMETHING, one way or another (from Leia's point of view). The Empire was currently at war. As a military commander, it would not seem unreasonable at all for him to make such a bargain. It just happens he is more of a sadist that she realized.
    • The radio drama played on the subplot that Tarkin was thinking of a coup against the Emperor with the Death Star and thus this "demonstration" was as much for Palpatine as Leia. It also has Vader openly telling Tarkin that destroying one of "the prime worlds" without even bothering to check with the Emperor is a bad idea but Tarkin overrules him.
    • The EU does mention Palpatine was not happy afterward about Tarkin doing this without his permission. Arrogant as Palpatine was, he understood that blowing up a planet as notable for peace as Alderaan would backfire; just about every single Imperial soldier from the planet immediately defected to the Alliance, thousands of pissed-off expats looking to avenge their families signed up, and Rebel cells all over figured they had nothing left to lose.

  • Han is leaving the bar when Greedo comes up to him and points a blaster at him. Yeah Han took care of him (by shooting first of course) but why didn't Chewbacca come back when he realized that Han was missing. Or at the very least wait until he came out of the bar with the potentially dangerous people who might be hunting his best friend. This Wookiee is supposed to owe a life debt to Han, yet he really discounts security.
    • Because Han sent him out to prepare the ship. So Chewie went out to prepare the ship, not stick around to make sure nobody in all of Mos Eisley wanted to hurt Han. He's not his babysitter.

  • Why weren't the rebels trying to evacuate Yavin while the Death Star was approaching? Yes, they were hoping someone would be able to blow it up, but all of them acknowledged it was a plan that had only a slim chance of working. Rather than sitting around, waiting for the Empire to arrive, shouldn't they have been evacuating their most important personnel and war material in case the starfighter assault failed? The Battle of Hoth shows they can tear down a base in relatively short order, so wouldn't you expect them to be doing the same when they have a planet-killing super-weapon on final approach?
    • The only reason the evacuation in Hoth worked was because they had an ion cannon they could use to disable the Imperial ships that would stop them from evacuating. Apparently, Yavin didn't have anything like that. Evacuation would've meant running right into the Empire anyway.
      • Yet the Empire didn't have Star Destroyers or other ships present (if they did, those ships would presumably be blockading the planet to disrupt any attempt at escape and they'd still be there after the Death Star blew up) and the Death Star, when it arrived in-system, was still on the far side of the gas giant. I'm not sure what Imperial ships the Rebels would need an ion cannon to fight against...
    • Maybe they created an evacuation drill, and redesigned their bases to be tear-downable, only after the Battle of Yavin showed the need.
    • They would have to be a pretty bad military to not have an evacuation plan in case the need arose. More likely they had so little time to evacuate that by the time they got off world they would be cooked by the Death Star anyway. The Battle of Yavin was rather short because the Death Star arrived right after the Falcon did and it was a last-ditch attempt to stop the base from being destroyed. This does run into a problem in that the Rebel technicians must have had enough time to analyze the plans to find the weak spot... how long did that take?
      • R2 might have done some analysis beforehand, cutting down on the amount of analysis time. The data might have also come with a searchable database that would allow imperial engineers intent on making repairs and improvements to find what they were looking for more quickly. With plans for something that big and complex, anyone not already intimately familiar with the station's design would be useless otherwise. The rebels could use such a system to quickly search for weaknesses.
      • Not to mention they aren't looking for a general weak spot, which probably takes months, but a weak spot they can exploit right now and with the resources they have to hand. That would cut down on a lot of options and review time. Wasn't Yavin the Rebel's first real victory too? They might genuinely not have had much in the way of resources or talent before then, no one backs an obvious loser, and the Emperor had been faking being a reasonably just ruler until New Hope too. He didn't shut down the senate and let the Moffs off the leash until during that movie. A big victory for the rebellion coupled with a sudden rise in harshness amongst previously unmolested systems (not to mention the whole Alderaan thing) would mean that between New Hope and Strikes Back the Rebellion probably had a sudden influx of resources and talent.
      • With the added context of Rogue One we now know the rebels on Yavin already knew of a flaw in the Death Star's design even before they stole the plans (the fact that destroying the reactor would trigger a chain reaction destroying the Death Star), meaning they could narrow down things to looking for ways to exploit it with their available resources rather than just trying to find any kind of weakness.
    • Who says they didn't evacuate? Rogue One shows us a wide variety of capital ships, not a single one of which appears on or near Yavin. If we assume that all we see is all that's there, what we have are two fighter squadrons and a skeleton crew. It could be that all of the rest of the Rebellion, much of which we see in ESB, had already left.

  • Just happened to rewatch the movie and the Obi-Wan Moment in particular. It suddenly came to me, wasn't Kenobi's sacrifice... kinda stupid? There he is, fencing with Vader, and all the stormtroopers abandon their posts at the hatch of the Millennium Falcon and gather round to watch them (and maybe even pass popcorn) - that is, exactly what the heroes need to quietly sneak aboard the Falcon. And then he sees Luke, and allows Vader to kill him, Luke immediately starts shouting and shooting, Stormtroopers return fire, and they only escape because it's Stormtroopers. Wouldn't it make much more sense to keep fighting Vader until everybody is aboard and then give in to Vader, so that they wouldn't wait for him?
    • No, because Obi-Wan feared the heroes would try to save him, and thus lose their chance to get aboard unnoticed. If he's already dead, then they have no need to intervene in the duel.

  • So, how come Luke never got any Jedi training while he was growing up? Obi-Wan knew where he was, had been keeping an eye on him, and yet never once thought it would be a good idea to train him? Luke is their last hope. They know he's likely the last Jedi that'll be able to confront the Emperor and Vader, yet his only training is relegated to a little lightsaber practice on board the Millennium Falcon and some hasty 'too old to be a Jedi' training with Yoda? Wouldn't it have been much more effective to gradual teach the boy as he's growing up so that he'll be a much more powerful Jedi when he's older?
    • Because that would draw more attention to him, and his uncle and father figure would've forbidden it. Obi Wan knew this, and says as much.
    • Also, there's the line about the lightsaber: "Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it." The available dialogue indicates that Owen was not enthused with the idea of Luke following at all in Anakin's footsteps, and this is expanded upon in various EU material. In particular, the NPR radio drama for An New Hope indicates that the one time Luke and Ben met prior to the film, Owen ran Ben off the farm. Owen may have made it clear to Obi-Wan that he was not welcome, and that Owen wouldn't allow Luke to have any Jedi training. Then there's the Revenge of the Sith novelization, in which Yoda realizes that the Sith have changed and adapted, they've learned to fight a new war. While the Jedi have spent the last thousand years preparing to re-fight the last war. The old Jedi have no chance against the new Sith, and Yoda immediately vetoes Obi-Wan declaring that he will train Luke as Anakin should have been trained, because Yoda knows only a new kind of Jedi can defeat this new kind of Sith. And indeed, because Luke believes (through the emotional attachments he was raised with, that are forbidden to Obi-Wan's brand of Jedi) that Anakin can be saved, he ultimately gets Anakin to turn on the Emperor.
    • Don't forget that Obi-wan has a personal reason to be reluctant here. The last time he trained a Jedi, it turned out really bad. It's easy to imagine him constantly putting off the training idea, because he's scared of screwing up. Then once he sees Leia's message, he finally decides that he's waited long enough, it's now or never, and he's gotta train Luke as best he can.
    • Plus there's the implication that Owen really didn't want Luke having anything to do with the Jedi-"your uncle was afraid you'd follow your father on some damn fool crusade," or something. Plus there's the fact that he's worried for his family's safety.

  • Why do Owen and Beru look like if they were in their 60s? They were just like in their late teens / early 20's when they adopted Luke and there have only passed 19 years since that.
    • Just being out under one sun seriously ages your skin. Imagine what two suns do to you.
  • Shown leaving the Death Star as it explodes is Luke, another X-Wing (presumably Wedge who was damaged and pulled back because he wouldn't be any help) The Falcon, which just showed up and one lone Y-Wing. Who the heck is this guy? Only 3 Y-Wings were part of the group earlier and they all got shot down. Why didn't this guy try to help or do anything. Did he just chill out the whole fight and nobody from the Empire noticed him there? It's not an error either because that shot of them leaving is redone in the Special Edition and that one random Y-Wing is STILL there.
    • We don't see every single thing that happens to every single ship. The questions you're asking are unanswerable because it's just a background detail to show that others were involved in the shot.
  • While it doesn't really change anything, why is Dantooine "too remote" to demonstrate the station's power? You're blowing up a planet, people will notice and word will travel. It's obviously a charted world or nothing would have been there to begin with.
    • Because, in Star Wars as in real life, the people they're trying to convince won't care as much about some obscure backwater that nobody's heard about. The same reason people get much more mobilized and upset over terrorist attacks in places like Paris or the US than they do about people getting killed by the thousands in third-world countries.
    • But conversely they're also destroying a planet. Violence in unstable regions like Syria goes unreported because the world already sees it as a common occurrence there (it sucks but we as a society already know how bad it is there so it just becomes an expectation). This would be the equivalent of what Al-Asad did in Modern Warfare where he detonated a nuke in the middle of the city. That is not something that happens every day, regardless of where it takes place. If the Empire has a weapon that is capable of vaporizing entire worlds, the first occurrence of its use will definitely turn heads even if it's at a relatively quiet corner of the galaxy.
    • It'd be more the equivalent of detonating a nuke in the middle of some unknown village miles away from anything of note. The core worlds don't really care about the outer rim territories — even when the Republic was a thing, they didn't bother to do so much as outlaw slavery out there. A lot of people in the core planets would probably see them blowing up a nowhere backwater like Dantooine as, essentially, running a bluff — yes, they have the weapon, but they're not going to use it on a world that matters. Tarkin wants to use it on Alderaan not just to say the weapon works, but that they are willing to use it on planets that "matter." Basically like killing off a main character rather than a red shirt.
      • Technically, the Republic couldn't outlaw slavery on Tatooine and points beyond. They were not part of the Republic and therefore not within its jurisdiction.
      • Dantooine, by the Film era, was nothing more than a lightly-settled farming planet well off the big hyperspace routes with nothing of value. Even the Jedi Enclave and the Rakata ruins that were there during [Revan and Exile's era were bombed to slag, looted for anything that might be useful, and long paved over. Alderaan? Core World, founding member of the Republic, and a center of galactic art, culture, and trade. Tarkin wanted to make a statement, and the only target that would have made a bigger impact would be Coruscant itself.

  • When the Death Star attacks Yavin, the Rebellion sends some fighters to destroy it. At one point during the attack, an Imperial officer says to Vader "We count thirty Rebel ships, Lord Vader, but they're so small they're evading our turbolasers." The largest number of rebel fighters we ever see in a single frame is seventeen. When the pilots are reporting in, only nine, counting Red Leader, do so, although that does not include Gold Group, only Red Group. So thirty seems to be the highest estimate for the number of Rebel fighters at the Battle of Yavin. Presumably, considering the stakes in this battle, the Rebels sent every fighter they had; they took Luke, a complete stranger of uncertain flying skill (yes, in a deleted scene Biggs vouched for him, but still, he had never flown an X-Wing before), indicating that they were pretty desperate for pilots. Now, shortly before the battle, Vader had said to Tarkin that "This will be a day long remembered: it has seen the end of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the Rebellion", and, earlier in the film, Tarkin had anticipated that once they knew the location of the Rebel Base, they would "crush the Rebellion with one swift stroke." That suggests that Vader and Tarkin were anticipating that the destruction of the Yavin base would effectively end the Rebellion. That implies that a large proportion of the Rebellion's assets are located at Yavin. During the meeting on the Death Star, however, General Taggi said to General Motti that "The Rebel Alliance is too well-equipped. They're more dangerous than you realize." So here is my confusion: the "well-equipped", "dangerous" Rebel Alliance keeps such a large proportion of its military strength in its secret base at Yavin that destroying Yavin will allow the Empire to "crush the Rebellion with one swift stroke", but that military strength was at most thirty fighters, of which only three survived the battle of Yavin. So something is not adding up here.
    • Yavin was not the entirety or the bulk of the Rebel Fleet. It was probably its most significant base, and, at the time, held its leadership. Tarkin is not saying they're going to exterminate every member of the Rebellion — he's saying they're going to break its back by destroying its leadership. That and Motti might well be, you know, wrong. Don't assume everyone is speaking the total and absolute truth.
      • Fair enough, but if Yavin houses the bulk of the Rebel leadership, such that destroying it would cripple the Rebellion, why is it guarded by only thirty fighters? I actually like your second explanation much better: if the Imperials were simply wrong about the importance of the Yavin base, and it actually wasn't all that important to the Rebellion (incidentally, Mon Mothma does not seem to have been at Yavin, which reinforces the idea that Yavin was not really the center of the Rebel leadership), then that might explain why Leia did not ask Han to pull the Falcon over somewhere in deep space so that they could find and dump the homing beacon. She wasn't especially worried about it, because she wasn't leading the Death Star anywhere all that important.
      • With more Rogue One information coming in, it seems that the Yavin base actually had been more extensive, including having both Mon Mothma and Bail Organa present there, but when Leia was captured they evacuated their leadership first. It also seems that the Rebellion chewed through much of it's resources even getting the plans in the first place.
  • It is clear that Chewie cannot pronounce "Chewbacca". So why is he called by that name?
    • Presumably it's the closest approximation in Basic to Chewie's name in his own language. We see this all the time: "John and "Juan" are the same name in different languages. The only difference is most humans aren't capable of reproducing the sounds necessary to say Chewbacca's name in his native language.
  • So, our heroes make it to the Alderaan system, where they see that the planet has been destroyed and there's this new moon-sized Imperial space station. They put two and two together, and try to leave... but they're captured by the Death Star, before Vader realizes that they're the ship which now has the Death Star plans. So, why did they capture the Millennium Falcon? 1) The whole point of the Death Star was to intimidate the rest of the galaxy into submission, so to do that, they should have let the Falcon escape to spread the news about Alderaan's destruction 2) Before Vader realized they have the plans, the Death Star crew just knew of the Falcon as a freighter known for smuggling who escaped the Empire at Mos Eisley; in other words, not exactly important enough to get the attention of a Planet Killer.
    • The Empire just saw the Falcon blast its way out of Mos Eisley with the two droids it's looking for. Plus, they would grab the ship anyway because they don't know what it's doing there. Letting it go wouldn't have spread news about the Death Star because until the Death Star grabs the ship, Han and the others don't even know it's there or that it exists.
  • If the point of hiding Luke was to keep him away from Vader and the Emperor then: a) Why did Kenobi deliver the baby to his evil father's next-of-kin?!? Even Luke calls Owen "uncle"! One would think that just in case, the Empire would keep a dossier on Owen and Beru, given how they're related to one of the Empire’s main officials. And then b) Why do you keep the father’s last name in the kid?!? He’s Luke Skywalker for crying out loud!! Even if the plan worked OK, it was just tempting fate!
    • This has already been covered. When Obi-Wan gave Luke to Owen and Beru he thought Anakin was dead and didn't learn otherwise for a few years. Tatooine is not in important world, it's at the ass end of nowhere and nobody is watching it. even once restored Vader has no interest in going back there, and in fact physically can't because it upsets him too much and jeopardizes his life support systems. Nobody is watching Owen and Beru because they're nobodies, they're not even blood relations to Anakin and they spoke to him only once. And most of this is on Owen's head as he and his wife are the ones who decided what to call him and what to tell him about his family since Obi-Wan was not welcome there.
    • Don't forget, Anakin hates Tatooine-there's nothing but bad memories there for him. It's the last place in the Galaxy he'd want to go back to.
    • There's also the possibility Luke was glorified bait. We have the Sith Rule of Two, which limits our problems to Palpatine and Vader. Of course, the Sith also work on Chronic Backstabbing Disorder (which Rule of Two tries to account for and turn into an asset instead of fatal flaw). Now, there's Anakin's twins. Anakin didn't know he was having twins. Anakin has a Berserk Button about losing family. Both have a Force Sensitivity of "yes." With Leia, they kept her hidden with allies, changed her surname, gave her all the indoctrination about duty and stoicism, all the military, political, and diplomat training - everything but the Force and lightsaber training. With the other? Put him in plain sight, don't change the name, no training whatsoever. If the Force was with them (and it was), Anakin wouldn't bother going near Tatooine again and Palpatine wouldn't bother, as it's (apparently) a low-rent dustball in the middle of nowhere. If they were unlucky, and one or both of them went looking? Well, they'd find the not-that-well-hidden Luke, not be looking for Leia at all, and leave the rest to Sith being Sith. They'd end up with either Vader or Palpatine dead and the other grievously wounded, all the better for Obi-Wan and Yoda to finish off, hopefully with Luke being none the wiser. And if Luke was turned? Well, we still have our ace in the hole over on Alderaan would could be persuaded to kill her brother if you gave her the "for the greater good" speech.
  • Here's a meta one, regarding the "Who Shot First?" debate. Instead of making all these hokey-as-hell edits, why doesn't George Lucas just cut away to something else when Han and Greedo start shooting, and then cut back to Greedo laying dead on the table? That way, he can keep it ambiguous as to who shot first, but still keep in the spirit of a good Western.
    • Because that would have been even sloppier and worse.
      • How? There were two or three reaction shots from the other patrons after that the blasts could've easily been played over before cutting back to Greedo and Han. At least it's better than that photoshop-looking trash they tried in the Special Editions.
      • Because there's no reason to cut away from a character's actions like that. It's not so horrific that we need a discretion shot, and just doing the reaction shot would create implications that are not intended. It makes no sense to cut away at that point, and would have been obviously a sloppy fix to a problem that shouldn't have been there in the first place.
      • I'm strictly speaking from the point-of-view of the "Greedo Shot First!" camp, which happens to be the one George Lucas is on. I certainly agree that it was an unnecessary and ridiculous change from the start, but if Lucas was so adamant about Greedo shooting first being canon and not making Han look like a cold-blooded murderer or whatever, he could've at least avoided editing the scene into what is the very definition of Special Effects Failure.
      • Well, you said it yourself: Lucas is being ridiculous. And one of the ridiculous things he insists on is that we should actually see Greedo shoot first, rather than do this whole "cut-away" idea. Yes, it looks dumb. But Lucas either doesn't notice or doesn't care.
  • I know that the Rebels were in a hurry to destroy the Death Star, but why didn't they have gunners in the Y-Wings, so that they could provide cover-fire from any TIE Fighters that tried intercepting them in the trenches? Don't tell me they were short on pilots, since we see a whole bunch of them at the ceremony in the final scene.
    • Where, exactly, are they going to put a gunner? The Y-Wing is a single-seat fighter-bomber that doesn't have a gun turret on it.
      • According to the Expanded Universe, there were two variants of the Y-Wing. One was a single-seat, used in this film, and the other was a two-man fighter, used in Return of the Jedi.
    • Don't know if it's canon anymore, but the Complete Cross-Sections book said that the Y-Wings they used were the one-seater variant (though it does say that there was a two-seater version). It also said that the ion cannons(meaning they temporarily disrupt electronics rather than doing actual damage, like the gun the Jawas use on R2) on the Y-Wings were extremely finicky and hard to calibrate, and only two Y-Wings taking part in the attack actually had them working. However, it does say that they were used, and that the only Y-Wing to survive was one of the ones with the working ion cannons.
  • How were small fighters able to blast holes in the Death Star's surface and blow up its turbolaser towers just with their laser cannons? Surely such a large and important installation would've been shielded from that? Even if not or they somehow got inside the shield, the opening crawl says its armored, but the laser cannons on a small fighter are the weakest space weapons it would be up against!
    • Yes it is shielded, they even make a dialogue point of saying the fighters are passing through the shields. The fighter's turbolasers are still quite powerful though, however they are only doing limited damage. They score a few lucky hits on vulnerable locations, manage to spark a few overloads, but it is still like sticking pins in a grapefruit.
    • "The space-station is armored" does not mean "every single piece of it is heavily armored and impenetrable." A person, for instance, can be "heavily armored," but his hands might still be relatively vulnerable because a bullet-proof hand isn't going to have the dexterity to use a weapon.
    • The exact quote is "We're passing through the magnetic field!" I know the armor wouldn't be completely impenetrable, but if it can't withstand the guns of a small fighter it can't withstand anything.
    • You're acting like the fighters were doing heavy damage to the station, as if they could have just shot it to death. A handful of hits on the surface and being able to destroy a few gun towers does not in any way mean they could do any kind of similar damage to the rest of the station. You're inventing a problem where none exists. And you're forgetting the fact that a gun is already extremely vulnerable because it needs to be to be able to move. The guns aren't hardened targets, because they can't be. You're trying to say that because the blasters could damage the most vulnerable part of the outer shell, that means the station as a whole isn't armored? That doesn't make any sense.
    • I'm not saying that the fighters could have shot it to death or that the station as a whole isn't armored because the guns aren't. (although the guns could have been shielded) I know that the fighters couldn't do any meaningful damage to the station, but it just seems strange that strafing the surface (not the guns) like Luke did would have been able to get through the armor. Or maybe the force told him to shoot at the exact are he did because it was another weak spot an it wasn't explained??
    • There are probably any number of structures on the Death Star's surface that can't be armored, because their purpose precludes it. A lot of other times, the pilots are probably just blasting away randomly, not caring if they're chewing up armor (armor doesn't negate damage, it just absorbs it instead of something actually important) or actual vital components, because the point of those attacks is to draw the Death Star's attention away from the Y-Wings about to make the trench run. The attack is supposed to look like "Oh, look at those puny Rebels, fighting futilely with tiny fighters against our massive Planet Killer! They have no chance to do any damage- wait, why are we blowing up?"
  • Why is the Death Star operating alone without any other capital ships? You would think an asset that important would always have plenty of escort ships wherever it goes. Heck, you'd think it would have an entire fleet backing it up. Also at Yavin, why does it not launch its TIE fighters until after the Rebels have commenced their attack on it? You'd think they would have them space-born the moment the Death Star dropped out of hyperspace.
  • On a meta-level, I gotta know—why does Obi-Wan catch so much crap from fans for not telling Luke the truth about his father straightaway? Putting aside the real-life reason behind this (the story rewrites and such), what effect would it have had on an idealistic Farm Boy if Obi-Wan had said something like this:
    "Your father was one of the greatest Jedi Knights who ever lived, as well as my student and closest friend. Unfortunately, he fell to The Dark Side and helped to massacre his Jedi brethren, including defenseless younglings. He and I then fought to the death, and I left him horribly wounded, after which he was recreated as a cybernetic warlord. Now, I'm going to train you to be a Jedi Knight, and when the time comes, you must kill your own father."
    • It might be awkward and shocking for Luke, but he still lied to a boy's face to trick him into killing his father.
    "Your father *sigh*. Luke, I knew your father ever since he was half your age. My mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn, was the one to discover him, and due to the enormous potential he sensed in young Anakin Skywalker, he took it upon himself to train the boy to become the greatest Jedi and peacekeeper the galaxy had every known. Unfortunately, my master was killed shortly afterwards, and the responsibility of training your father fell to me long before I was ready. I taught him to think, and I taught him to fight, and at times it seemed I had taught him right from wrong and compassion, but alas, the combination of the departure of his own apprentice, his growing disillusionment with the council he believed held him back, the toll the clone wars took on all of us, the manipulations of the former Chancellor, the fear of losing his wife and you while you were still in her womb, and above all my own failings as a mentor, set him down a dark path from which he would never stray. Luke, your father- your father is the man in the dark armor that strikes fear into the hearts of the Empire's enemies. Your father is Darth Vader, and since his fall, despite my best efforts to first redeem, them defeat him, he has committed countless atrocities, and is now more machine than man. Twisted, evil. I cannot ask you to battle your own father and make right my mistakes, but I can ask you to understand that if Palpatine and his Empire are not stopped soon, the misery and rage felt by Darth Vader will soon come to consume every being in the galaxy. Whether they know it or not, the galaxy is counting on the Jedi Order."
    • The reason Obi-Wan lied to Luke is both reasonable and obvious, even if one disagrees with him. He didn't tell Luke that Vader was his father because he was concerned that Luke would be reluctant to kill Vader if he found out. Seeing as that is literally exactly what happened when Luke did find out, it's kind of hard to argue Obi-Wan was in the wrong. As far as Obi-Wan was concerned, Vader was a lost cause who had to be put down. It was simply too dangerous to try to rely on there still being good left in him. He needed to be taken out in the most direct way possible and anything that interfered with this, such as Luke knowing Vader was his father, was an unnecessary complication.
  • How exactly were Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru murdered? I'm wondering if it was from a plasma grenade or they torched their bodies with flamethrowers. Could it have been a nuclear weapon the Stormtroopers used?
    • We can entirely rule out nuclear weapons due to the entire homestead not being entirely wiped out. Wrecked, yes, but a nuke set off nearby would have incinerated the buildings and turned the nearby sand to glass in a very wide region. A plasma grenade (not something I've heard used in Star Wars often; usually grenades are some variation of 'detonator'), thermal detonator, or any other grenade would not have caused damage so evenly all across the bodies and should've done more damage to the nearby building than was shown. The most likely way Beru and Owen were killed would be blaster fire. Since that doesn't quite result in charred skeletons, flamethrowers were probably used to incinerate the bodies. Don't ask me why they did that, but that's really the only option, at least from your guesses, that the damage corresponds closely enough to.
    • Robot Chicken has a very convincing theory. Or two.

  • When Leia lies and says that the Rebel base is on Dantooine, why couldn't Vader sense that she was lying?
    • How do we know he didn't?
      • If Vader had sensed it, he probably would have said something to Tarkin and they wouldn't have wasted time sending a scout ship to Dantooine.
    • Force-users seem to only be able to read the minds of other force-users they're currently battling. They can sense emotions easily, but it's believable a practiced liar could suppress their true feelings, at least enough to make their origin dubious. "Is she afraid because we're threatening to blow up her planet, and doubtful that we'll believe her if she does tell the truth, or is she lying? The dark side never was very good for this sort of thing."
  • Why did Cornelius brag about having the death sentence in twelve systems in a cantina frequented by bounty hunters?
    • Someone's been watching How It Should Have Ended. But everybody and thing in that bar probably has a bounty on it's head somewhere. It's just try to collect then and there, and you're starting beef with God-knows what gang. Plus, Rogue One suggests those two were feeling pretty invincible after being less than an hour ahead of the Jedah incident.
  • Did anyone ever realize how every human involved in the plot to hide the Skywalker children died on the same day? The Organa family, the Lars family, Captain Antilles, Obi-Wan Kenobi,... Those odds are crazy ridiculous.
    • Never tell me the odds!
    • Where's the proof that the Lars's and Organas got it on the same day, for all we know several days pass between when the Falcon launches and when Alderaan gets blown up, and in fact it may be a day or two between the offing of the Lars's and Luke's reaching Mos Eisley.
    • There is explicitly at least one day between the deaths of Captain Antilles and the Lars family - Luke decides to wait until morning after R2 runs away. It seems quite likely that a few days passed between the droids landing on the planet and being sold as well. Also, Yoda was involved in hiding them and he survived for a few years after this.
  • So if Luke turned off his targeting computer, how did the proton torpedoes know when to do their 90 degree turn? Were they preprogrammed to follow the route down into the core, so all the pilots had to do was fire at the proper moment and then let the torps do all the maneuvering by themselves?
    • He guided them with the Force. I thought that was the whole point.
      • You're missing the point. Like, how? Did he use the Force to shove them in physically or did he alter their programming on the fly? Somebody explain this to me.
      • Yes, you can move stuff with the force
      • At that point in the series Luke could barely pull his pants up with the Force. He probably couldn't guide torpedos with it, and fly his ship at the same time.
      • It could have been instinctive; he is, after all, the son of The Chosen One. Once he knew subconsciously he'd be able to do things like this, he could have
      • Plus he had Ben to guide him, so control wouldn't have been much of an issue.
    • The targeting computer was to get through the jamming. Its likely the torpedoes were preprogrammed to home in on the largest power source they could, but they needed to be guided to the exhaust vent itself through the massive jamming field around the Death Star itself. The instrumentation on the targeting computers on the fighters couldn't get through said jamming fields, which was why they were missing. Once Luke blind-fired the torpedoes and guided them at their target with the Force, the dropped into the exhaust vent.
      • What surprises me is that when the X-Wings got close enough, their targeting equipment didn't simply "burn through" the jamming? In real life, if a fighter gets close enough to a jamming source - for example, another fighter with ECM capabilities - then their radar starts to penetrate ("burn through") the jamming and can lock on to the target. On a similar note, just as modern missiles have a HOJ mode ("Home On Jam[ming]", which does exactly what it says on the tin) why don't proton torpedo seekers have a similar HOJ function? Since this is in a rather technologically advanced society, I'd bet even fairly basic torpedoes would have a rudimentary HOJ mode. The only way I could see them reasonably excusing this is if it was a torpedo that requires the launch platform to illuminate the target for them and then the torpedo tracks the target in the terminal phase of flight, but they were trying to be reasonably stealthy. The analogue in the real world would be SARH (Semi-Active Radar Homing).
      • First, to deal with the issue of "burning through" the jamming. The X-Wings are pitting their sensors against the jamming capabilities of a one hundred and twenty-kilometer-wide space station that can literally destroy planets. The X-Wings are just a bit outclassed. Secondly, HOJ only works if you're targeting the jamming device. In this case, the jamming device was the entire Death Star. HOJ would simply have the torpedoes plow into the Death Star's surface, doing absolutely nothing.
      • Can someone explain to me why the targeting computer can cut through the jamming while normal sensors can't?
      • The same way your eyes can see an object even when radar jamming is making it impossible to see it with a radar.
      • The targeting computer is an instrument, same as the sensors.
      • And? A simple laser designator would work just fine and operate on the same principle as human eyes.
      • Or even better, a camera with basic pattern recognition software. They have futuretech out the ass, don't tell me they can't rig up something that simple when they've already got droids who navigate visually.
    • My take on it was that the torpedoes were guided to a degree ("lock onto the big glowy heat source"), but not well enough to avoid the walls unless carefully aimed. After all, the Rebellion are running on a "beg, borrow, steal" economy, so they probably wouldn't have access to anything better-guided. Luke's connection with the Force instinctively told him when to fire after he let go of a mechanical crutch like the targeting computer, just like how he got better at dealing with the remote with the blast shield down - trusting the Force rather than a computer.
    • This fails to explain 'why' they had to run the trench anyway, why not dive-bomb the damned hole?
      • Because every single gun on the Death Star would have had a clear shot at them. This is answered in detail further down the page.
    • The torpedoes likely have the mechanisms and programs to do the hard turn they need, but they need the information from the targeting computer to be able to use them to get through. What Luke did was provide that guidance himself, using the force.
  • Can someone explain to me the dog fighting tactics used in the Battle of Yavin? When the star fighters were making their attack run, the one who was actually going to make the attack was supposedly being covered by his wing mates. Now, I'm not a fighter pilot, but I do know you don't cover your wingman by flying beside him. Instead, you fly well over him or behind him. So, if an enemy pilot drops onto your buddy's tail, you can drop behind the enemy fighter. In any World War II documentary, you see this. You'll see torpedo bombers making their way to their targets with friendly fighters, hovering above, ready to drop onto any enemy craft going after the bombers. In the first Death Star battle, you see nothing like this. You just see a bunch of stupid wingmen with "shoot me" written on the back of their fighters.
    • They were flying behind them. Specifically, they were flying close enough behind them to cover them with their fighters' shields. For all intents and purposes, the lead fighter's wingmen were disposable, ablative armor to protect him while he set up for his torpedo run. The wingmen couldn't hang very far back because that would let the TI Es slip inside the gap and smoke them, and they couldn't fly outside the trench overhead, because of the anti-air batteries.
      • One tactic they never seemed to use is sudden braking (yes I know it's space, but they were acting like they were in atmosphere), forcing the bad-guys to scatter or risk collision.
      • That's because any pilot who's paying attention can easily defeat that kind of tactic.
      • Only by dodging, which would disrupt the pursuit, and leave the breaker in behind you. They could also have called in support (which Luke specifically offers in the book).
  • Why does the Death Star have a huge trench leading to the exhaust port? I understand the obvious need for an exhaust port, something that big has gotta have a lot of waste heat, and a six foot hole is an efficient way to go about it. However, the trench that leads to it doesn't seem to serve any purpose at all, except for a hide away place for Rebels evading the turrets so they make a run to the port and destroy the whole station with one missile.
    • The exhaust has to go somewhere while the Death Star is rotating. And when an object of that size rotates at all, it rotates fast.
      • Which fails to explain the trench, especially as it's like 20 miles long.
      • Again. The Death Star is big. And when something that big rotates, it rotates fast. You will need a long trench, and the DS engineers were clearly overengineering.
      • Since it vents into vacuum, I fail to see the point.
      • How often does this need to be repeated? The Death Star rotates. If it rotates, exhaust will splash over the surface of the Death Star. And when you have a reactor that pumps out enough power to destroy entire planets instantly, that exhaust is going to be pretty damned lethal. The trench channels said exhaust.1
      • It vents onto vacuum, so the exhaust is going to spread out radially, which is fine on the surface, but in the trench some of it is going to spread into the sides of the trench itself. No, frankly the only use I can see for the trench is to make it so that it can be destroyed, and give the good guys a victory.
      • Which is why you armor the trench that the exhaust is going to be channeled down. Without the trench, exhaust will be spreading over the surface as the Death Star rotates. it's easier to build a long trench to channel the exhaust and only have to armor up that than it is to armor up a wide swath of surface area.
      • Hey, if the missiles/torpedoes can hit the reactor it can't have been 'that' deadly, or required 'that' much armor. Besides, there's turbolaser turrets right on top of it, and who in their right minds puts delicate electronics in what is 'supposed' to be a blast-furnace?
      • Yes, because exhaust will be constantly pumping out of the exhaust vent 24/7. Like it was in the movieohwaitasecond. And there's no evidence that those turbolaser turrets were "right on top of" the exhaust vent, or that the turrets themselves weren't properly armored to deal with the venting exhaust, either.
      • Exactly, exhaust will be pumping out more-or-less constantly, else the thing would be a Thermal 'Relief' Port, not a Thermal 'Exhaust' Port. Also, if the trench had to be that long to effectively dissipate the energy from the port then the turrets simply wouldn't be down there because you'd fry them every time you rotated the wrong way.
      • Except that there was no exhaust escaping from the vent in the movie. You can very clearly see that nothing was escaping from the vent when the torpedoes arrived. Ergo, exhaust is not constantly escaping from the vent. And again, if they armored the edges of the trench to handle the escaping exhaust, they can do the same for the turbolaser turrets in the trench. Seriously, if they can armor 50+ kilometers of exhaust vent along with a few dozen or hundred kilometers of trench to handle the exhaust, they can armor up a couple of turbolaser turrets, too.
      • Because all exhaust is visible to the unaided naked eye...
      • How do you 'know' there was no exhaust, it could have been 100°C in there, and as already pointed out, the exhaust doesn't have to be visible. Also, those turrets have moving parts and are within 100 meters of the hole, so there is no way you can armor them properly.
      • Actually, interestingly enough, the majority of games in which the Death Star trench run is used (which is a lot) and the movie seem to support the idea that the part of the trench near the exhaust port doesn't have any turrets, note how Luke doesn't have to dodge any fire from turrets from around when the TI Es arrive to his shot.
      • The reason there's no turret fire when the TIE's show up is because the turrets stop firing so they don't hit the TIE's. Remember the movie? Luke and Biggs's conversation goes, "The turrets have stopped." "Oh, that means fighters are on their way."
      • "So there is no way you can armor them properly." Because....you say so? Considering the fact that the Empire's engineering corps had the capability and skill to develop and build a planet-sized space station, I seriously doubt they couldn't armor up a few turrets to deal with thermal exhaust, especially as there's probably hundreds to thousands of kilometers of armored plating already built into the station to handle said exhaust.
      • The turrets have moving parts, so no, you 'can't' armor them to the same degree as the rest of the trench, because if you make the armor too thick there isn't enough room for all the parts. The only way you could do it would be to put a permanent particle shield around them (this might actually have happened, we don't know).
      • No, you wouldn't be able to armor the turrets the way you could armor a stationary object, but that doesn't mean you can't armor up the turrets enough to make them resilient against the exhaust. As the above troper pointed out, they have the engineering chops to build a planet-sized, planet-killing space station. Armoring up a few turrets to handle exhaust - especially in a setting where hundreds of gigatons of firepower are hurled around in every turbolaser blast - would be child's play.
      • Two ways to look at that, your way (possible, but unlikely), and the other: That there ARE turrets there, but they stopped firing because Lord Vader was flying a TIE to take out the rebel starfighters in the trench and didn't want to create a friendly fire incident after which Vader executes the Gunnery squads. Notice, the firing from the turrets only stopped as Vader's TIE moved in behind the X-Wings.
      • Of course there's no visible exhaust escaping from that port. It's a small, secondary port. Did everyone forget General Dodonna's briefing? "A small thermal exhaust port, just below the main port...."
      • Okay, fine, they 'can' armor the turrets, but that doesn't explain why they need the trench in the first place. I mean, they wouldn't need to armor the surface anything like as well because the radiation would be spreading out into space, not, as it would in the trench, into the sides of the trench.
    • From Wookieepedia: "Splitting the station into two equal hemispheres was a huge equatorial trench approximately 503 kilometers in length for the first Death Star and 2,827 kilometers for the second Death Star. This area of the station housed most of the major landing bays, drive thrusters, sensor arrays and tractor beam systems."
      • It's not the same trench.
      • ...Yes it is. It's the equatorial trench. The trench that runs around the entire circumference of the Death Star. That's the trench the Rebels flew down to reach the exhaust vent. It just so happens that the major landing bays, drive thrusters, sensor arrays and tractor beams are also located in this trench.
      • It's not. You could hide the Great Pyramid in the equatorial one, you might just be able to hide a town-house in the one they ran down.
  • If Lucas really intended for Greedo to shoot first, why doesn't Greedo shoot first in the movie's novelization?
    • That change only happened because the movie's rating would have been changed otherwise. Just blink and think that Han shot first in that sequence.
  • Why does Leia lead the Falcon to the rebel base? She says it, she knows the ship is being tracked. Why not go to some random planet, leave the Falcon there, and take another ship?
    • She likely thought that both the plans and themselves would be captured again if she landed anywhere else, since they were being tracked. At this point of time there weren't any independent worlds from the Empire, and anyway any planet they went to is at risk of getting superlasered.
      • Ehm, summon a ship from the base, rendezvous with it somewhere inconspicuous, travel to the base on it and then use the Millennium Falcon as a bait, anyone?
      • How? The Falcon doesn't have a long-range comm system. They would have to stopover in the Yavin system to comm the base, and the Imperials would note the system that the Falcon stopped at and find the base anyway. Leia has no contacts that she could reach before the Imperials found them.
  • The rebels used the plans they stole to find the vulnerable spot in the structure of the Death Star. Good for them. So, what's the very first thing the imperials should've done as soon as they learned of the theft? Exactly, give the back up copy to their engineers and tell them: "I want these plans combed with the finest comb and all the structural imperfections that a relatively small rebel task force could exploit to harm the station found. Commence." Surely, the exposed ventilation shaft that the rebels found so easily, would've been found by another group of qualified specialists, let alone by the very people who build the damned thing. So, why exactly wasn't that done?
    • Granted, they didn't do it right away, but during that final attack, one of the officers on the Death Star goes to Tarkin mentions that they've analyzed the attack, and discovered there is a way they might get through and destroy the place. Tarkin waves it off, but it's obvious the guy was talking about that exhaust port.
      • Well, WHY didn't they do it right away?
      • They probably did. A station the size of the Death Star likely has a laundry-list of little vulnerabilities like the exhaust port. They probably only brought it up because the rebels were targeting the port directly.
    • Maybe the engineers thought the guns could target and fighters the rebels would be able to field, or that the commander would mobilize a larger counter-force against the rebels. After all, the rebels only got the port at all because Black Squadron was the only one to mobilize.
      • Sure, but it's not like they had to reconstruct the whole station - just wield a protection grid/lid over the shafts exit. If it impedes with the shafts operation, fine, make the grid removable and close it right before the rebel attack. Or was Tarkin THAT incompetent, he decided that moving against the rebels with a known unfixed vulnerability would've been a good challenging sport?
      • Tarkin doesn't believe the station is vulnerable. And it really isn't. The exhaust port is a billion-to-one shot.

  • The final battle of A New Hope - did they have any backup precautions at all, just in case the attempt to destroy the Death Star didn't work?
    • No. What "backup precautions" could they have come up with? Besides evacuating the base?
    • Yeah, that was an all-or-nothing desperation attack. If it failed, they were screwed.
      • That was pretty much my main issue. What if Vader had just blasted Luke or Han didn't decide to come back? They would've been stuck on a planet that was milliseconds away from getting kaboomed.
      • Which is the entire point of the movie, that the Death Star is so ridiculously OP that, had Luke not pulled off that shot, the rebels would have been wiped out. Are you saying that the main point of the movie bugs you?
      • Yeah, seriously, your problem is that, "If the good guys don't win, the bad guys do." Isn't that pretty much how every dramatic conflict ever works?
      • It's more "why are we sticking around when we know the Death Star is coming?"
      • And where would they go? They're being chased by a world destroying super weapon, an emperor who can predict the future, and the entire military might of a galactic empire. Their options are somewhat limited, and any place they can run to will either be worse off than the Yavin base (not as much time to set up before DS shows up) or inhabited (so a world will die when the base is attacked, something the rebels very much don't want). They're out of options using their last desperate ploy to prevent themselves from being destroyed. Pulling off the torpedo shot from Yavin's base is easier than from any other (gas giant in the way) so going anywhere else would be worse than just hoping for the best.
    • The Empire doubtless had the base too surrounded for them to flee.

  • Why does Leia call Chewbacca a "walking carpet" in A New Hope considering that it sounds like an ethnic slur aimed at Wookiees in general and Chewbacca is clearly a sapient being? I would imagine that an important person in the Rebel Alliance would be more respectful to nonhumans who are fighting against the Empire.

  • Near the start of the original Star Wars movie, Vader exclaims "There will be no one to stop this time!" Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't he and his boss basically ruled the galaxy for the last twenty years? Who stopped them last time?
    • Well we know the Rebel Alliance has been around some time, since they were organized enough to steal the Death Star plans, form a base on Yavin, arrange a small armada of ships, etc. Therefore, we can also assume that the Rebel alliance has been meddling in the affairs of the Empire for some time. This is what Vader is likely referencing. While the Rebels have not outright "stopped" the Empire, they have impeded them and fought against them for years, so Vader is expressing his anticipation of being rid of their annoyance and threat.
    • Um, Luke blew up the first Death Star remember, I imagine that put quite a big kink in the Emperor's plans.
    • Except that the line in question comes from the first Star Wars film, so Vader wasn't referencing an event that hadn't even happened (or even been conceived as being possible) yet.
    • The very opening crawl explains this. The Empire just came fresh out of the first major battle they lost to the rebels.

  • In the first film, Leia watches her entire planet get incinerated right in front of her. Most, if not all of her family and friends were killed instantly. Does she spend the rest of the movie a) freaking out; b) in numb disbelief; c) in a slightly crabby, bantering mood? I mean I understand everyone deals differently with grief, and some people manage by putting their head down and immersing themselves in work, but I can't imagine how anyone could experience a tragedy like that and keep going without a great deal effort of holding herself together, and that isn't really shown to any extent at all.
    • Wasn't there a part when she arrives at Yavin where the other Rebellion members tell Leia that many were evacuated in time, or something to that effect? Plus, Leia (and don't try to contradict with Expanded Universe examples, as they didn't exist yet) has been a member of the Rebellion all of her life, we can assume, so she has probably been prepared for this situation or has at least seen many other friends and relatives killed in-action.
      • No, the only mention is when one Rebel lackey comes up to her and says "When we heard about Alderaan, we feared the worst." I can't imagine anyone on Alderaan had time to evacuate; they weren't even given any warning that they were under attack. Plus I sure didn't see any spaceships zooming away from the destruction on-screen.
  • Why didn't Tarkin order to blow up the planet that the moon with the rebel base was orbiting? The effect would've been devastating and they wouldn't have to wait while the rebels attacked them (thank you, Cracked.com). Yeah, I know the story about the gunner who lagged with the laser charging, but why would Tarkin lag as well?
    • According to the Expanded Universe:
    • 1. The first Death Star superlaser has at least a 3 hour recharge time, so you can't just shoot the gas giant out of the way then hit the Rebel Base.
      • Wookieepedia (the other other wiki) says a 24-hour recharge time.
    • 2. The superlaser's effects on a Gas Giant are unknown but according to speculation from the characters who designed and used the thing it wouldn't have been that effective, it wouldn't have even come close to destroying the gas giant
    • 3. Destroying the Gas Giant (assuming it was possible) wouldn't necessarily render the moon uninhabitable fast enough, the rebels could potentially escape. Hitting the moon means they have no chance to escape.
    • 4. Tarkin is neither an impatient nor worried man. He believes his station to be invincible, so much so that he didn't even launch any TI Es to deal with the incoming fighters. He was almost certainly enjoying every second of coming in range knowing how the rebels at the base would be worrying.
      • 2. Well, test it on some gas giant on the way to the base, duh.
      • So they should take a diversion away from their target, shoot the laser (requiring a three hour recharge time), and give the Rebels time to escape/ get more fighters ready? All for a test which the engineers expect to be a failure anyway, and which would at best suggest that they could use a tactic that would save them half an hour or so.
      • 3. How is destroying the planet not lethal to the moon? It would be hit with the horrendous heat wave, barraged with the debris (well, if there is debris from a gas giant, I don't insist on that one) and fly spinning into space, no? As for rebels escaping, I got an impression that they had more then enough time to escape before the DS arrived but didn't intend to. By the way, why the hell didn't the rebel command evacuate? Even granted the base would've been destroyed, it's better to live and fight another day, no?
      • Right, and all those things would affect the Death Star just as much.
      • Not to mention that the beam could destroy a rocky planet with around Earth's diameter at full power. Do you have any idea how much larger a gas giant is? Not to mention the higher escape velocity for the planet's pieces. It's highly likely that the Death Star wouldn't be able to destroy a gas giant, or even have much of an effect.
    • Is blowing up a gas giant even possible? Wouldn't it be like trying to blow up a cloud?
      • "Gas" giants are something of a misnomer. While they are mostly made of volatiles like hydrogen and helium, they're so big that internal pressure liquifies the gassy stuff after a tiny fraction of the planet's radius. Further down, if the planet is large enough, hydrogen becomes metallic and does some interesting magnetic field stuff. In the center is a rocky chunk that is probably a few times the mass of Earth, which way back when served as a seed for the accumulation of nebular gases. In all, a gas giant is reasonably dense, and extremely massive. If we use the SD.net calculations for the Alderaan-destroying shot of around 10^38 J, several orders of magnitude greater than the minimum to blow up an Earth-like planet, that makes the Death Star just about powerful enough to blow up a Jupiter-sized gas giant. Since the gravitational binding energy is not being overcome by a factor of millions, the explosion would be much less dramatic, probably taking several minutes for Yavin to have its radius doubled, and quite a bit more for the blast to reach the target moon. The real question, I think, is why didn't the Death Star take a different hyperspace route and approach from the other side of the planet.
  • Is it just me or does the Empire's search on Tatooine for 3PO and R2 seem a little heavy-handed? I know we are talking about a maniacal military machine with little to no experience or regard towards proper investigative techniques, but why was it necessary to kill all those aboard the sandcrawler and all those at the Lars Homestead? Granted, we never get to see the conduct at both locations and I suppose it seems plausible that at both locations the Empire could have met resistance that necessitated the use of force, but it still seems like if a whole contingent of Storm Troopers knocked on your door/ship and asked you to give them the location of two droids, you would either tell them where to go/hand them over with little to no complaint if you are a being interested in self-preservation, which would remove the need for any sort of violence, unless the Storm Troopers just like that kind of thing... Then again, the Stormtroopers do seem the to be the "shoot first, ask later" type, so maybe this point is moot.
    • The droids are potentially carrying extremely high value intelligence. They want to make sure that even if they get the droids, anyone else who might have gleaned that information is taken care of. I mean, would you want to be the one to explain to Vader, "Hey, yeah, we got the droids but, um, it looks like that farmer who bought him might have gotten the plans out—Ohgod you're Force choking me now."
  • So many people wonder why Chewie didn't get a medal, but another question might be why didn't Wedge and the surviving Y-Wing pilot receive medals? They fought in the entire battle.

  • So, Vader senses that the Force is strong with Luke during the final battle. Yet he couldn't sense both Luke AND Obi-Wan when they were on the Millennium Falcon earlier in the movie?
    • He did say that he sensed a presence that he had not felt in a long time. He initially dismissed it but sensed it again when Obi-Wan was heading to the tractor beam generator, which is what convinced Vader and he went to discuss it with Tarkin.
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