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Fridge Brilliance:

  • Obi-Wan's comment that some blaster marks were caused by Stormtroopers as opposed to Sand People because of their precision comes off as more and more hilarious as the Original Trilogy goes on, but if you think about it for a bit, you realize that the last time he ever saw Clone Troopers in battle was when they were badass as all hell.
    • Actually it's an inversion of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. The Stormtroopers were supposed to let Luke and the others escape the Death Star so they would lead the Imperials back to the secret rebel base. They're missing on purpose!
    • Exactly. For some reason everybody forgets this and the fact that the stormtroopers were very efficient in mowing down the rebel crew at the beginning!
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    • And it's not like the main characters were any better than the stormtroopers themselves in the whole theatrical film (seriously, watch how many shots the heroes fire versus how many actually take down stormtroopers).
    • We also saw in Rogue One that the force can be used to protect its user as Chirrut did during his Survival Mantra.
  • Han Solo said he could do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. A parsec is a unit of distance, not of time, so this seems like a classic case of writers not doing their homework. However... relativistic effects include space compression..., as you approach the speed of light, the total mileage of the trip actually decreases.
    • Alternatively, the word "Parsec" could have a different meaning in the Star Wars Canon.
    • In truth, the whole "parsec" thing was Han talking out his ass, as was noted in the original script. Kenobi is even visibly irritated by the obvious bluster.
    • Or it could mean that he found a shorter (and therefore faster) route than anyone else.
      • That doesn't translate into speed though, which is what they were talking about.
    • This is actually addressed in the Expanded Universe. The Kessel Run is a route to a facility in the Kessel Maw which is full of black holes and other such travel hazards. The closer to the facility you drop out of hyperspace, the more dangerous it is because all the black holes and every other kind of space hazard imaginable screws with your navigation and you ability to plot a course. Han waited until he was about 12 parsecs away from the facility (taking his life into his hands, but it's Han) to drop out of hyperspace, setting a new record.
      • Which would actually make for retroactive Foreshadowing of The Force Awakens, when Han drops the Falcon out of hyperspace within a planet's atmosphere, shattering his previous record into itty bitty pieces.
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    • The idea that the "12 parsecs" line was Han BS'ing something to impress Obi-Wan and Luke doesn't just make sense to explain an obvious science gaffe; it also makes sense that Han would make something up based on who he was talking to — an old hermit and a naïve Farm Boy. He probably figured that they'd believe any kind of crap he fed them, not knowing that the old hermit was once a Jedi Master with lots of spacefaring experience.
  • The last survivor of Gold Wing's attack is Gold Five (the one who knew what he was doing). His last transmission begins with, "Gold Five to Red Leader..." yet Red Leader replies with, "I copy, Gold Leader." This could be a script error, or it could mean that, since the original Gold Leader (Dutch) had been killed, that position now fell to the next senior (surviving) member of the squad.
    • Indeed, calling him that could've been Red Leader's way of informing Gold Five of his field promotion.
  • The duel between Obi-Wan and Vader seems extremely slow and awkward compared with subsequent duels featured in the rest of the franchise, but neither Obi-Wan nor Vader is in their prime anymore. Obi-Wan is an old man who hasn't been in battle for decades, and Vader is an asthmatic quadriplegic in what is essentially a walking iron-lung.
    • Also, while Vader did hunt down and destroy the remaining Jedi, he probably hasn't fought another Jedi in at least a decade, probably longer. He's out of practice, too, and clearly brushes up a bit before he faces Luke on Cloud City.
    • Despite all that Vader is still clearly toying with Obi-Wan. "Your powers are weak, old man!" Vader is drawing out the fight in order to torture Obi-Wan so he can hurt him as badly as Obi-Wan hurt him on Mustafar.
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    • Back in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin was driven by his emotions and passions. His hate and rage made him unstoppable but also prone to making rash judgments. Vader is cool and less emotional than his younger self. as Obi-Wan says in Revenge of the Sith is "more machine now than man". More methodical and cautious.
    • During their duel, Obi-Wan refers to Darth Vader as "Darth", as if it's his first name instead of a title, since they originally didn't plan on making Vader and Anakin Skywalker the same person. But by this time, Obi-Wan has grown to believe that Anakin is truly gone, being replaced by Darth Vader.
    • Taking that even further...Obi-Wan calls him Darth, as if it's his first name, which it was at the time; it wasn't until the Prequels that we learn that Darth is a Sith title, or rank. Which now makes it look like Obi-Wan refuses to call Anakin by his Sith name, and just calls him by his title. Similar to if someone just called Obi-Wan "Jedi".
    • Additional Fridge Brilliance once Rogue One came out. There was barely any time passing between the Rogues' Heroic Sacrifice and the beginning of ANH. Vader had no time to go back to his healing chambers and rest up/recharge, so he wasn't anywhere close to full strength. In The Empire Strikes Back, he's rectified that issue with a regeneration chamber on his personal flagship. Also, Obi-Wan wasn't fighting to defeat his former padawan. He knew it was his time to meet the Force. All he was doing was buying the twins time to get out of there.
  • Luke is told that his father was a navigator on a spice freighter. It turns out this is actually true From a Certain Point of View. In The Clone Wars, it is revealed that one of the ships that Anakin flew during the Clone Wars was an old spice freighter called the Twilight.
  • It always seemed strange to me that the cantina is so busy so early in the morning... then it occurred to me. Mos Eisley is a spaceport, making the cantina the Star Wars equivalent of an airport bar with patrons from lots of different timezones. It's always five o' clock somewhere!
    • Luke went out searching for Artoo in the morning, met Obi-Wan, went to his house, found the dead Jawas, and discovered his aunt and uncle were killed by Stormtroopers. That had to take a couple of hours. They probably arrived in Mos Eisley the the afternoon.
    • Quite a few of the cantina's alien patrons have much larger eyes than humans, as do the members of the band. It's possible that the current crop of drinkers are mostly nocturnal, or originate from worlds where their suns' light is less intense. They're out boozing in the middle of the afternoon because they're staying up past their usual dawn bedtimes to party!
    • Tossing some real science in here, different planets actually have different day-lengths due to distances from the sun. Tatooine having two suns could mean that it has extra long days, such as around 30-40 hours encompassing a single 'day'. Luke could have spent hours doing everything so far, and turned up at the bar at their equivalent of 9pm, the usual sort of time you'd find a bar full of hard-drinking louts
  • On the Death Star, Luke he initially expected Han to be enticed into rescuing a beautiful princess in peril, except, it doesn't turn out this way. In fact, Han only does so grudgingly, not remotely impressed by Leia's good looks, and he's openly hostile towards her. This may strike a bit odd as he this goes against the western cowboy type, but after watching Solo, his behavior makes much more sense: Han likely remembered how badly it ended for him the last time he risked his life to save a beautiful girl.
  • The scene where Luke swings himself and Leia across the chasm in the Death Star escape was yet another homage/crib by Lucas from a classic movie, but no one ever seems to mention it in the rundown of all the tributes (Dambusters, Hidden Fortress) contained in Star Wars. It's taken directly from 1958's "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" - wherein Sinbad is rescuing a princess from the fortress of an evil wizard (sound familiar?) and at one point is forced to do that exact move.
  • Many of the scenes that give Imperial Stormtroopers their reputation as coming from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy come from the segment when everyone is rescuing Leia from the Death Star. But at the end of the scene, it's revealed that the Imperials let them escape deliberately so they could track them to the imperial base. The stormtroopers were missing on purpose! (Obviously, this doesn't cover everything later on, but whenever they miss Luke, the same idea applies, since Vader specifically orders him taken alive.)
  • So, the last two remaining Jedi have decided to go into hiding, taking Vader's children and secreting them away from him. One goes off to live with a trusted ally of the Jedi council. The other? They decide to put him on his father's home planet, with his father's half-brother and his wife, using his father's birth name.
    • I'm not sure I understand?
    • I think that should be at the Fridge Logic?
      • It's explained in the expanded universe that after everything that had happened on Tatooine, Vader would never go back there or have anything to do with it. Plus, he and Palpatine are the only ones in the Empire who know his origins and real name, and they're not looking.
      • It may also have to do with the Rule of Two and the Sith penchant for Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Luke's obvious bait. If Vader or Palpatine make a play for Luke, the situation is going to end with at least one less Sith for Yoda and Obi-Wan to deal with. And even if the surviving Sith manages to corrupt Luke? Well, they have their ace in the hole over on Alderaan who has everything but the Force training. The real money was on Leia.
  • Another reason Vader doesn't go to Tatooine even though Obi-Wan is doing a very poor job of hiding is because, the last time they fought, Obi-Wan KICKED HIS ASS. Anakin/Vader was young and powerful and Obi-Wan still left him with one working arm and burned nearly to death when they fought. Confronting him after having 3 of his limbs replaced and his body dependent on a mobile life support system is not a good idea. The best strategy is for Vader to wait years as he grows more powerful in the Dark Side of the Force while Obi-Wan, assumed to be hardly using his Jedi skills in hiding, grows older and weaker. Vader doesn't realize that Obi-Wan is also learning how to still keep his identity when he dies instead of becoming one with the Force like other Jedi.
  • The scene in the cantina where Obi-Wan cuts off a guy's arm for harassing them comes off as pretty harsh at first, from a guy who's supposed to be a protector of the peace. Then it occurred to me that as long as you can retrieve the arm (i.e. it doesn't fall down a shaft in Cloud City) it's probably pretty trivial to reattach severed limbs in the Star Wars galaxy. We can do that today, and we don't have medical droids and a galaxy-spanning civilization. So what Obi-Wan did was, long term, probably no worse than breaking a guy's nose is to us.
    • The only problem being that apparently they can't. For example, Count Dooku cut off Anakin's arm and they gave him a prosthetic, rather than reattach his original arm which was laying on the floor of the hangar. Possibly being cut off by a super-hot laser sword damages tissue in such a way that it cannot be healed. But more likely this is just a case of Technology Marches On and Lucas wanted to preserve the idea of permanent injury being possible even though real-world technology implies that they should be able to do better than they do. Certainly it is an open question as to why there were no better medical treatments available for Vader's many injuries. While a portable iron lung that you could wear might have seemed spiffy back in the 1970s, nowadays we would be talking more about lung transplants if a donor were available (and I doubt that a Sith Lord would hesitate to have somebody carved up to get themselves some spare parts).
      • The point about Vader's suit is explained in the expanded universe. Palpatine specifically used old technology to rebuild Vader so that he would constantly be aware that he belongs to Palpatine now.
      • Obi-Wan didn't cut off Ponda Baba's (walrus guy's) arm just for harassing them— he was trying to defuse the situation when Ponda Baba drew a blaster. Cutting Ponda Baba's weapon arm off was a restrained use of force.
      • Indeed. Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan were clearly interested in lethal force. The fact that Obi-Wan only lopped off one arm (instead of killing both of them) shows quite a bit of restraint. For anyone else, once someone pulls a firearm on you, you're completely justified in killing them on the spot.
  • Why did the Death Star's designers leave such an obvious weak point in the form of the thermal exhaust port? It's an integral part of the design, and not something that can easily be overlooked. Then I realized— they did it deliberately. The marksmanship needed to make that shot was virtually impossible, even for a computer... but not for a Jedi. As far as the Empire knows, there are only a handful of remaining Jedi, who probably don't have the piloting skill or experience necessary to make the run. So even if they were to somehow obtain the intelligence about the Death Star's weak point, there wouldn't be much they could do to exploit it. However, both Vader and the Emperor are very skilled in the Force, and Vader is an excellent fighter pilot. Most likely, they had that port added the way it was in case the Death Star's commander got too big for his britches and decided to strike out on his own. With a weapon that could destroy a planet, that scenario is both more likely and more dangerous. However, with that weakness, Darth Vader could easily go after the Death Star and make the fatal shot. The Galactic Empire is even more clever than they seem!
    • There's also this. In hindsight, a station that big with that huge a gun needs some place to vent out the heat besides its business end.
    • The fact that the exhaust port was ray-shielded (preventing lasers from penetrating) shows that the Empire was at least somewhat aware of the possibility. The port wasn't particle-shielded (preventing objects, instead of energy, from going through) because that would have had the exact same effect as welding a chunk of plate steel over the port (the hot gas can't escape, the station overheats, bad things likely happen.)
    • The now-Legends canon Death Star novel explained that the Death Star was built with conscript and prisoner labor who worked with a proverbial gun to their head. In other words, the kind of people who had every motive in the galaxy to sneak in as many sabotages as they could get away with. Truth in Television with World War 2 labor camps that produced a very high number of dud weaponry.
    • Rogue One gave an official explanation: the chief designer, who had been forced to take the job, put the weak spot on purpose as revenge for his wife's death and having to send his daughter on the run.
  • Why is Leia so rude to Tarkin when she's a prisoner on board the Death Star? It seems so petty and pointless. Then you realize that she's deliberately trying to provoke him. And why? Because she wants him to kill her. Consider: they've been questioning her under torture about the location of the rebel base. As strong-willed as she is, she knows that no one can hold out forever. She wants him to kill her so that she can't give up her comrades.
  • The Empire no doubt expected that the Rebels would throw a bunch of frigates and dreadnoughts to destroy the Death Star... and those would be dispatched with its planet-killing laser. However, the Rebels send a wing of fighters and light bombers... far too small and fast for the Death Star's main gun (and most of the laser batteries) to hit.
    • EU material suggests the first Death Star's superlaser couldn't recharge quickly enough to be effective against capital ships (that was an improvement made for Death Star II). Rather, the turbolasers littering its surface were intended for use against attacking capital ships, presuming that anything smaller than a cruiser was a complete non-threat.
  • Vader notes "The Force is strong with this one..." while zeroing in on Luke.... right at the time that Obi Wan starts talking to him from beyond. While Vader had no idea who exactly was flying this X-Wing, he obviously was picking up on the Force emanation. He didn't know what exactly was happening in that cockpit, but the surge was registering with him.
  • Tarkin refusing to escape with his personal shuttle becomes a lot less arrogant and a lot more logical once you think about the possible results of the battle. If he stays and the Death Star succeeds, he will have earned credit for destroying the rebel stronghold and once again proven the Emperor's trust in him. If he flees and the Death Star succeeds, he will appear cowardly and lose the favor of the Emperor and the respect of the other commanders. If he flees and the Death Star is destroyed, he will again appear cowardly, but this time also responsible for losing the Death Star, something the Emperor would not take lightly. Finally, if he stays and the Death Star is destroyed, he will not only escape a gruesome punishment by the Emperor, but also save face by having stayed on his post, earning a place in the Empire's possible history book. The only true option at any time for him was to stay.
  • Remember how early on in the film C-3PO calls Luke "Sir Luke". What does Luke eventually become? A Jedi KNIGHT.
  • The current state of the Jedi and their eventual return is brilliantly explored in the main theme of the Force. It starts off slow, and quiet, feeling almost tired and forlorn, with only a few instruments. Later, you add other instruments, as the Force begins to return. Eventually, it ends on a high and hopeful note, perfectly mirroring not just the first film, but all of them, even the prequels. It almost says, "no matter how bad things get, there is always hope."
  • Seems rather odd that a Rebel movement fighting something like The Empire would emulate a Nazi rally from Triumph of the Will. However, a sizable chunk of the rebellion would have been made up from Imperial defectors, so of course they'd borrow from ceremonies they used to follow.
  • Han's dismissive statements about the Force and the Jedi seem strange because he's old enough to remember the establishment of the Empire. Until you realize that he's lived through decades of Imperial propaganda demonizing the Jedi Order.
    • Not only that, but there were thousands of Jedi at the height of the Jedi Order. That number is relatively small compared to the quadrillions of sentient beings that live in the known galaxy. This means that most people probably only heard rumors and myths about the Jedi and never actually met one. This would have made it easier for the Empire to demonize the Jedi and more likely for someone who was alive when the Jedi were plentiful, like Admiral Motti, to be dismissive of their powers.
  • For the first hour of the film, Leia has a faux-British accent that is dropped halfway through the movie and never heard from again; notably, she drops it right in the middle of the Alderaan scene. It's entirely possible that she was using her dignified "senatorial voice" initially to seem condescending and show her bravery, but when Tarkin threatened to destroy Alderaan, she reacted in her natural accent.
    • My interpretation was honestly that Leia was just mocking Tarkin's own British accent, possibly to hide how scared she really is, but when Alderaan is threatened she drops it, realising that this is NOT the kind of man you want to upset
  • The first time that Luke mentions Obi-Wan to his uncle, Owen tells him point blank that "[Obi-Wan] died around the same time as your father". Of course, we learn less than fifteen minutes later that he was clearly lying about Obi-Wan being dead, and we learn at the end of the sequel that everyone was lying about Luke's father being dead. But in hindsight, his statement ends up being entirely true From a Certain Point of View: Obi-Wan did symbolically "die" around the same time that Anakin did, because he cast aside his old identity and became the reclusive hermit "Ben Kenobi" right after Anakin did the same and became Darth Vader.
    • Also worth noting: the sentence right before was "I don't think he exists anymore." — even with metaphorical truths Owen isn't quite certain Obi-Wan is entirely dead, but he'd likely prefer to think he is, because if Obi-Wan came back it quite likely could involve Luke.
  • Princess Leia only seems like a Damsel in Distress because we see most of the movie from Luke Skywalker's perspective. When you see the movie through her eyes, you remember that she never actually had any reason to believe that anyone was coming to her rescue until Luke barged into her cell in Stormtrooper armor. Indeed, nobody would have come to her rescue if the Millennium Falcon hadn't been pulled in by the Death Star's tractor beam right after arriving at Alderaan—a Contrived Coincidence that gave Luke and co. the perfect opportunity to rescue her. Up until that point, she fully expected to give her life for the Rebellion, and had no reason to believe that she wouldn't have to. From her perspective, she's a loyal Rebel soldier fully prepared to sacrifice herself for the cause. There's a reason Leia's a feminist icon.
  • The X-Wings locking their S-Foils into Attack Position seems to be mostly pointless, aside from Rule of Cool, but given George Lucas's love of homaging older works, and his later habit of basing starfighter designs on historical fighter aircraft in the Prequel Trilogy, it seems that the S-Foils could be a reference to the specially designed flaps or air brakes used by dive bombers in World War II. They would be extended to maximize drag (and prevent the airplane from ripping itself apart in a high-speed dive) just before the bomber rolled into its attack dive.
    • The "S" in "S-foil" stands for "stabilization", in point of fact.
  • Uncle Owen apparently told Luke that his father was a navigator on a spice freighter so that he wouldn't have to acknowledge that he was a veteran Jedi. Sure, we know that he didn't want to tell Luke the truth about Anakin, but why that lie specifically? Owen knew Luke well enough to know that he was determined to go to the Academy at any cost, and that he spent his free time shooting womp rats from his T-16 Skyhopper because he wanted to be a fighter pilot. Owen probably knew that he would never be able to dissuade Luke from going to the Academy, but he presumably would have tried to steer him towards a safer occupation than piloting fighters in combat missions. Serving a support role (like navigator) on a large, well-armored civilian vessel (like a merchant freighter) would be a good compromise—and Luke would presumably feel a lot better about opting for a job like that if he thought that he was following in his father's footsteps.
    • Spice dealing is also a very disreputable occupation, like running illicit drugs would be in the real world. Telling Luke "your dad was a drug smuggler" would not only be a good way to try and dissuade the kid not to ask too many questions about his dad, but it's a lot less shameful than "your dad is a child-killing, mass-murdering, half-robot enforcer for the batshit crazy maniac ruling the galaxy".
    • On a more pedestrian level, it's also a pretty good way to counter any temptation for your own kid to start doing or selling spice. "Your dad thought spice-running 'isn't that bad', too, and look what happened to him!" Not a bad strategy if you're bringing your nephew up on a planet infested with drug dealers and gangsters.
  • Leia's "resistance to the mind probe is considerable". Presumably the mind probe is a Force probe. Her resistance is due to her latent abilities with the Force thanks to her parentage.
    • Not only that, but her parents probably ensured that she learned some kind of Psychic Block Defense, to keep Rebellion secrets away from telepaths like Vader and the Emperor, who she would have been around as part of her job as a Senator.
  • The scene where Motti was Force-choked was a set-up: Tarkin and Vader knew that many of the chiefs of staff (especially Motti) were arrogant and likely to do something stupid even when they were supposed to obey Tarkin and Vader in everything once the Senate was disbanded, so Vader took the first opening he had to try and get a reaction and they quickly showed that Vader could kill them anytime without even touching them and Tarkin was the only one who could stop him.
    • In addition, the total nonchalance that the other Imperials display while Motti is being choked suggests that they've seen this before—which makes Motti look even more stupid for thinking that he could get away with challenging Vader to his face.
      • And in relation to the above, how fittingly ironic is it that Admiral Motti (along with everyone else in that meeting room besides Vader) dies in the explosion of the Death Star, caused by a Rebel pilot following that "ancient religion" Motti ridiculed, with said pilot being the secret son of the guy you mouthed off to, for extra points?
  • Vader seems unusually furious in the opening sequence, snapping orders at his men where usually he's calm and composed. This makes far more sense in light of Rogue One: Vader's absolutely livid because he came within an inch of stopping the Death Star plans escaping, literally saw the Tantive IV fly out of his reach, and the crew still have the nerve to try and bullshit him about it being a consular ship on a diplomatic mission.
  • The aftermath scene where Luke's shaking his head in disbelief and Leia comforts him takes a lot of flack, even from the late Ms. Fisher herself, because Leia's arguably been through a lot worse. But think about this - Leia has had a lifetime's worth of training as a ruler, diplomat, and military officer (notice how she tells Dodonna that there's no time to grieve once they hit Yavin), and while the loss of Alderaan was her worst loss, it's hardly her first. Essentially, she's already a Jedi Consular in every way but the Force training. Luke, meanwhile, is this country bumpkin with no experience in any of the above who lost his home, his family, and his mentor trying to rescue her. She's trying to distract herself from her own sorrows.
    • It could also be that A Million Is a Statistic is in play, and as stated above, will deal with her own grief, which is currently too big to comprehend, later on when she has a chance to relax.
  • Leia's famous plea for help from Obi-Wan ("Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!") takes on a new meaning when you remember the title of the movie. Leia specifically says that Obi-Wan is her only hope because she believes that he's the last surviving Jedi, and the only one who can complete her final mission for her. She doesn't count on Luke, who proves himself as a Jedi and ultimately finishes the mission that Obi-Wan started. In other words: when she thought Obi-Wan was her only hope, Luke proved himself as a new hope.
  • When Obi-Wan invites Luke to come with him on his mission to take the plans to Alderaan, Luke refuses, still feeling obligated to support his family on Tatooine. Obi-Wan is clearly unhappy with this, but seemingly unwilling to press the issue, despite the high stakes in the game currently. Two things to consider, however: Anakin Skywalker was shanghaied by Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi into joining the Jedi Order at an age where he was too young to understand what he was getting into, and that ultimately lead to the creation of Darth Vader, something which Obi-Wan is understandably reluctant to repeat. Secondly, although the audience doesn't know it yet, Obi-Wan knows that recruiting Leia might still be possible, and since she's the one asking him to help to begin with, she's probably going to be likely to agree, provided Obi-Wan can rescue her.
  • When the commanding officers on the Death Star meet, there's one chair next to Tarkin that remains empty. Come Rogue One, and it becomes clear that said chair belongs to Orson Krennic.
  • Obi-Wan's Heroic Sacrifice becomes so much more meaningful in light of Revenge of the Sith. What was Anakin's Fatal Flaw? Not being able to confront death, and being so afraid that he would rather pull a Face–Heel Turn than accept the death of someone he loves. Obi-Wan's last action was a lesson to both of his students-trying to avert this with Luke, and also by completely destroying Anakin's thanatophobianote  by not only sacrificing himself, but doing so willingly and contentedly, showing that there are far worse things than dying.
  • The little moment Luke and Han share after the smuggler's "I'm in it for the money" exchange with Princess Leia: Han (sincerely or not) expresses his disinterest in Leia, sparking a "good" from the former farm boy. Han, realizing he's hit a sensitive spot, decides to troll the kid by seemingly speculating whether or not Han and Leia would make a good couple, to which Luke swiftly responds in the resoundingly negative. Knowing what we now about Luke and Leia's ties, this moment could now be perceived less as a potential paramour trying to discourage a rival and more like a big brother (older by minutes) keeping a shady outlaw away from his vulnerable kid sister!
  • Han Solo's stance as a Flat-Earth Atheist in regards to the Force seems very strange and even unlikely, when you consider that Revenge of the Sith shows that his best friend and copilot Chewbacca not only knew Jedi Council Grand Master Yoda, but personally witnessed him decapitate two Clone Troopers and helped him escape Order 66. Chewie has first hand knowledge of the powers Jedi possess(ed), and in their many years together, he undoubtedly shared the story of that catastrophic incident on Kashyyyk with his friend and captain. Solo either dismissed Chewbacca's account of Yoda's feats as "simple tricks and nonsense" (and perhaps ultimately the Wookiee did as well), or it may simply be that Han and Chewie, like a lot of good, longtime friends, simply don't discuss topics like religion or politics, as they are potentially very sensitive subjects. Whenever Han would make a dismissive comment about the Force and the Jedi, Chewie probably just rolled his eyes and let it go.
  • In Attack of the Clones, Anakin slaughters an entire village of Tusken Raiders for killing his mother, and the Expanded Universe says that Anakin would become a demonic figure to the Tusken Raiders. When Obi-wan saves Luke from the Tusken Raiders by scaring them off, it's likely that the Tusken Raiders believed that Obi-wan was the demonic figure inspired by Anakin.
  • Admiral Motti mocks Darth Vader's belief in the Force, specifically deriding his lack of success in uncovering the location of the Rebels' secret base with that "ancient religion". But as it turns out, Vader didn't need any "sorcerous ways" to uncover the Rebel stronghold: he used good old fashioned trickery and deception, tricking Luke and co. into leading the Imperials right to it.
  • Why are droids not allowed in the Mos Eisley Cantina? Well, since most would consider it impractical to create a droid with a functioning digestive system, and many droids don't seem to have a mouth, it can be assumed that droids are unable to eat or drink. If someone is unable to drink, they don't really have a reason to be in a bar.
  • As absurd as it seems, there's actually a practical reason for something as immensely powerful as the Death Star: planetary shields take a lot to take down, even with Star Destroyers (in The Empire Strikes Back, Echo Base's theatre shield is so powerful a fleet including five Star Destroyers and the much larger and more powerful Executor isn't expected to take it down quickly enough to prevent an evacuation, with planetary shields being much more powerful). That was also a likely part of how they planned to justify the Death Star to the Senate long enough for Palpatine to find an excuse to dissolve it (something that happened far earlier than expected): if the Empire needed to assault a shielded planet, the Imperial Fleet would just need to have the Death Star blast it once to take it down in seconds rather than mobilizing dozens of Star Destroyers and fire at it for days or weeks or hope a torpedo sphere (a siege platform intended specifically to take out planetary shields with concentrated proton torpedo fire) could get to its generator.
    • The planetary shields also may have played a part in Tarkin targeting Alderaan specifically: the planet was known to have a planetary shield... That can only delay the planet's destruction for a tenth of second. If a rich Core World's planetary shield can resist a single shot for a tenth of a second and doesn't even soften the impact enough to prevent its world's destruction, what choice does anyone but to surrender the moment the Death Star shows up?
  • Much is made of the Death Star's ability to subdue the Empire just by existing. Tarkin did not made it up, is a variation of the "fleet in being" concept, in which a fleet keeps major enemy assets tied to counter it simply by existing and never leaving harbor. Even the Death Star's eventual failure is based on this concept, as if the fleet leaves harbor it becomes vulnerable and could be destroyed alongside its deterrent potential.

Fridge Horror:

  • Consider the Tantive IV security detail's point of view at the beginning of the movie. They are unarmored and lightly armed — practically just security guards — and their ship is being pulled into the bay of a massive Star Destroyer about twenty times bigger than their ship. And they know that an army of the dreaded Stormtroopers (armored and heavily armed) are coming through that door any minute to kill them all. They have absolutely no chance.
  • When Artoo and Threepio's escape pod is jettisoned a gunner on the Imperial Star Destroyer sees it exclaiming "There goes another one!" and is about to shoot it until his superior officer tells him to hold his fire because his sensors didn't detect any "lifeforms aboard". This exchange means that there had been other pods with living beings in them that tried to escape capture but were destroyed by the gunners.
    • Those two gunners' failure to act pretty much ensured the Death Star's destruction. Guess who isn't going to be happy with either of them?
    • It should be pointed out that along with those gunners was likely a tractor beam operator. Its unlikely they would outright destroy the escape pods if they could instead pull them in instead. After all they want to try and find the plans for accountability, and for all they knew Senator Organa could have been in one of those escape pods and then they would be in deeper trouble with Vader.
  • The Stormtroopers didn't just shoot Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen and have done with it. They massacred them, torched their farm and left them as smoking skeletons. Think about that. These faceless dumb henchmen we see missing their shots routinely and going down in one hit are...disturbingly resourceful killers. That savage killing wasn't undertaken by Tusken Raiders. It was undertaken by human beings. War Is Hell, man.
    • George Lucas has gone on record saying that Star Wars was inspired in part by the Vietnam War, and how a small group of rebel fighters had to fight off a "larger, technological empire". With that in mind, the Stormtroopers torching a family farm searching for a droid seems eerily similar to the use of napalm on entire villages in Vietnam.
  • A mix of horror and brilliance. Luke's lack of reaction to that massacare may have been for good reason. One, shock. Second, he likely sensed it and knew his aunt and uncle were already gone before he saw the proof. Worse, Tatooine has a lot of Sand People raids on farms like his, and it's pretty common for farmers and other common folk to be slaughtered. Just see what happened to his grandma. He may have had to clean up other farms and the remains of the inhabitants.
  • Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise. Obi-wan should know- he probably used to lead them. Alec Guinness' monotone delivery now seems more like a tortured man trying hard not to relive the days he led the stormtroopers and their predecessors...
    • I feel the need to point out that the Stormtroopers in A New Hope were NOT clones. Most, if not all, clones were dead by this time. Only the 501st, then renamed Vader's Fist, were the remaining clones and there was not that many of the 501st around. Sure, maybe some survived, but what are the chances that the VERY few that are still alive were ones that Obi-Wan used to know and/or lead?
  • After Evazan and Ponda Baba are injured by Obi Wan, the patrons of Mos Eisley go back to their business within seconds. This indicates this kind of thing (or worse) happens all the time there. They also quickly return to their business after Han blows Greedo's head off and tosses some money to the bartender for the "mess".
  • "This is your father's lightsaber" - a weapon that was used to slaughter 30 younglings, among other atrocities. It's essentially the Star Wars equivalent of the rifle used at Sandy Hook.
  • The Death Star had a whole deck (level) for detention. There probably were a lot of innocent people inside cells who perished when the Death Star exploded.
    • Not necessarily. Having capacity doesn't mean that capacity is in use. If I buy a brand-new tractor-trailer, it doesn't come loaded with boxes of cargo. The Death Star was only within the span of the film declared "fully operational." There's no reason to believe they'd already started using its detention facilities in any significant way. Most likely to be aboard would have been any other high-value passengers from the Tantive IV, but that possibly only amounted to Leia.
    • If Leia were the only prisoner, the whole "Prisoner Transfer from Cell Block B" thing would have fallen apart a lot sooner. That the initial complaint was only that proper bureaucratic procedure (and the implicit ego-stroking therein) had not been followed (rather than "wait, where did the Wookie come from??") implies they have enough prisoners for this to be fairly routine.
    • It's a big space station, with who knows how many Imperial soldiers aboard. They may very well have some of those guys locked up for various offenses big and small. In fact, such folks are likely to be the majority of prisoners aboard any Imperial vessel unless they're actively taking prisoners from combat or police actions, which the Death Star hadn't had much chance to partake in, outside of Scarif and the Tantine IV.
  • During the opening scene, just before Vader shows up, you can hear what's going on behind that door. Listen closely (this is even in the theatrical version): lightsaber sounds. Now, recall his latter scene in Rogue One, which happened mere minutes before…
  • At the start of the movie Luke is planning to join the Academy. While this may not be specifically an Imperial Academy you can bet a lot of graduates do end up in the Imperial Starfleet. The Empire would have a vested interest in keeping an eye on the recruits so they could persuade the best ones to join the Empire. And of course, they would want to know if there were any talented recruits who were likely to join the Rebels. Considering Luke's skills at a pilot eventually, he would come to the Empire's attention. And the minute Vader or the Emperor heard about a young talented pilot by the name of Skywalker from Tatooine they would take notice. Luke might have always hated the Empire but it wasn't personal until his aunt and uncles death. And he didn't hate Vader personally until Obi Wan's Death. With no training in the force, no guidance from Obi Wan and no reason to personally hate the Empire or Vader... Luke would have quite possibly accepted his Father's offer to overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together.
  • Stop and think about the destruction of the Death Star for a moment. A fully functional battle station the size of a moon, and with a crew of roughly two million, completely destroyed. Thousands of people killed and not all of them believed in Palpatine's ideals, they just didn't have any other choice in the matter. How many families have been torn about because of Luke's actions? How many children have been lead to believe that the Rebellion is the true evil in the galaxy because their mothers and fathers were taken away from them?
    • One of the Expanded Universe novels brings this up and Luke has to deal with the realization that he was responsible for the deaths of one million people on board.
    • Taking this idea further — now that we've watched The Clone Wars, we actually know one of the people who were on the Death Star when it blew up — Admiral Yularen (he only makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the theatrical film, but still). From what we see in the installment, he doesn't seem like a bad person at all. If anything, he's the one who has to put up with shenanigans on a daily basis, courtesy of being under Anakin's command. It just makes it so much more horrifying because we know this guy...and he hardly seems like the sort of person who deserved to die that way. Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • This is something that should've come up first, but the destruction of Alderaan has more frightening implications when you recall that Luke and the others were on there way there as it happened. Had they arrived on the planet much sooner, they would've been blown up as well. And not just the heroes, but the Death Star plans inside Artoo as well. It makes you realize how much of a close call an instant victory for the Empire it was.

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