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Headscratchers for A New Hope. New entries on the bottom.

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     Luke In Charge 
  • 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 (it's 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 wingman 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 because it's dangerous to fly that close in combat (or any time), but here it would be a case of reorganisation. The Y-Wings of Gold Squadron would presumably be organised in the three-ship formation from the start since they were supposed to be the ones to bomb 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 organisation left of any kind. Luke took charge, 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 recognising talent, 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.
    • Although he has seniority over Biggs and Luke, Wedge didn't seem quite up to taking on actual leadership around this time, which is why he so willingly deferred to the green but more self-confident Luke.
    • There are several reasons why Luke took charge during the final Trench Run in "Star Wars: A New Hope". First, Luke was chosen by Princess Leia to deliver the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance. This gave him a sense of importance and authority within the Rebel mission. Second, Luke's previous experience as a pilot and his skill in shooting womp rats on Tatooine gave him a strong foundation for his role in the Trench Run. He had trained with Obi-Wan Kenobi in his younger years, and had used a similar technique to destroy the Death Star's exhaust port by blowing up the womp rats. Third, Luke was the only one in the team who had the Force and had successfully used it to destroy the Death Star. This gave him an upper hand in the mission as he could rely on his Force senses to guide him and he could also trust the Force when the odds were against him. Finally, Luke was the main character of the movie, and his actions and decisions drove the plot forward, making him the natural leader in the final Trench Run.

     Han on Tatooine 
  • Why is Han Solo on Tatooine? When I first saw the film, I assumed he was hiding out there to avoid the intergalactic crime lord that he'd pissed off so much that 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 apologise 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 (which is in the same state, for those who don’t know).
    • For the purposes of the story, most planets in the series are treated as and can be considered little more than countries. Tatooine is a country Jabba controls a big part of. That said, it's still a fairly big country, and it's not like Han is number one on Jabba's hit list (yet).
    • 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 remote, it's clearly shown in the first movie to be a major hub for the region it is in. It's like Mombasa (Kenya) or Dakar (Senegal) in our world. Not the centre of trade, but a major port in its region. So, it's understandable why Han, who runs the galactic equivalent of a trucking business, would be there. To find work.
    • 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 missed from two feet away. He clearly had no intention of killing Han.
    • 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 whose 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 spiralled 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 characters, and his palace isn't all that 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.
    • Han was planning on using the money he made from transporting Obi-Wan and Luke to pay back Jabba in the first place so why he's hanging around there seems obvious. He's looking for a job to pay Jabba. It might seem risky to job hunt in the backyard of the guy he owes money to, but if Jabba or his men do actually show up he can just tell them he's looking for work to pay him right there. Which is basically what happens in the extra scene. Jabba shows up and Han tells him he's gonna make a huge payday from the Alderaan transport job and Jabba basically says that's great go do the job and then come and pay him, and if he's not back with the money in a reasonable amount of time then he blew his last shot and he'll start sending bounty hunters to kill him. The only real question is why Han proceeds to then ignore it and adventure with the Rebels for two years until the constant bounty hunters finally convince him to go back and pay Jabba, despite it being far too late by then. Instead of taking care of it right after the medal ceremony and being free to join the Rebellion then.
    • The Expanded Universe — the Rogue Squadron games, for instance — often had the Empire attacking the Yavin base conventionally. They knew where it was, after all, so they would've been there soon after the medal ceremony. The Millennium Falcon was also very much known to the Empire at that point to be helping the Rebels, so it was no longer an anonymous smuggler ship that could just flit off to Tatooine anymore without getting Imperial attention.
    • In the Star Wars universe, Tatooine is a remote desert planet in the Outer Rim Territories, an area outside the jurisdiction of the Galactic Republic's laws. It's notorious for being a haven for smugglers, bounty hunters, and other outlaws, and is known for its lawless environment. Han Solo, a smuggler himself, is likely hiding out on Tatooine to avoid being captured by bounty hunters and the Empire. Additionally, it's possible that Han Solo is on Tatooine to sell his smuggled goods or to pick up new shipments. It's not unusual for smugglers to operate in these kinds of environments, as they can operate outside the reach of authorities.

     Yes soldiers, the whole Original Trilogy is YOUR fault! 
  • Why didn't the soldiers manning the Star Destroyer’s turbolasers 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 because 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.
    • Destroying that escape pod could have endangered their ship. Explosions are best avoided when possible.
    • 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 overridden 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 (or other organic sentient) who could occupy it instead, and there is some logic in prioritising organic 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 the gunner 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 vaporise 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 empty pods beforehand to make this one seem less suspicious.
    • My headcanon 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 headcanon 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 defer 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 it’s 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 questioned by Obi-Wan about 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 was 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 indicated that some higher-level droids are programmed to self-destruct if they attempt to run away. That's why R2, not C-3PO, got it.
    • It is also said 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, it doesn't seem like R2 has EVER had his memory wiped in his 200 plus years (I'm counting the Legacy comic)
    • 170 plus years that we know about (33BBY to 137ABY), but even that begs one question, 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 in a pod that someone blew up, they wouldn't have gotten confirmation that they had recovered the plans, which is why they captured 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.
    • With the benefit of Rogue One it could now be seen as the gunners making a call back to the Battle of Scariff. The Tantive ejected from Raddus' ship just after boarding, and now "there goes another one" as now something is ejecting from the Tantive just after it was boarded in turn.
    • 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.
    • The new canon gives a definitive: they really do effectively charge by the laser. Those guys were just being lazy. And stupid; the Empire doesn't recruit anyone with a triple-digit IQ unless they're Force-sensitive.
    • "The Sith of Datawork" in From a Certain Point of View finally answers this. It's a combination of not wanting to do the required paperwork and a lack of incentive. Good old fashioned bureaucracy.
    • R2-D2’s solid state drive (and it is surely that rather than an HDD considering the sheer numbers of rough knocks and beatings he’s taken) size shouldn’t be much of a concern. It has to be both big and to allow for compression routines. And if size ever does become an issue there, they can always back up non-essential (read: non-’’plot’’-essential and also not-essential to his regular duties) data to other storage until/if he ever needs to use it again.
    • Rogue One gives more context to this. With the destruction of Scarif, the Rebels had the only existing copy of the plans. The Empire was not content to destroy the plans when it looked like they had a good chance of recovering them.
    • In the Star Wars universe, there are several possible reasons why the Imperial soldiers on board the Star Destroyer did not fire on the escape pod carrying C-3PO and R2-D2. One possibility is that the soldiers had not been ordered to fire on the pod, and with the sheer amount of traffic and ships coming and going from the Death Star, it's possible that the soldiers simply missed the pod as it floated into space. Another possibility is that the Star Destroyer had more pressing matters to attend to, such as protecting the battle station or pursuing other Rebel ships, and may not have considered an empty escape pod to be a high priority target. Additionally, it's possible that the soldiers on board the Star Destroyer were unaware of the significance of the escape pod and may have assumed it was simply debris. Overall, there are many reasons why the soldiers may not have fired on the pod, and the movie suggests that it was simply a stroke of luck that allowed R2-D2 and C-3PO to escape with the Death Star plans.

     Straight In 
  • Why didn't the Rebel ships fly directly to the 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 starfighters, filling the sky with enough of them will make flying through it suicide, just ask Porkins). The trench robs some manoeuvrability, but dramatically reduces the force the Death Star can bring to bear. And as for enemy fighters: who else but Darth Vader and his elite wingmen could have followed that narrow path? TIE Fighters' only defence is their manoeuvrability, 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.
    • One other consideration is that, to actually reach the trench and exploit it, the fighters have to approach the Death Star first. It is reasonable that they may have made an initial attempt to take a shot while on approach, though I don't recall if the movie confirms or denies whether they made any attack runs during the approach. One reason you might not want to? The same reason the trench was safer: a higher number of point-defence systems would have a clear line of fire, which is a bad thing if you assume the torpedoes can also be shot down, and taking the shot at a distance magnifies this by affording the point defence more time to intercept the torpedo. Once they were actually up close, as noted above, there are good defensive reasons to hug the surface. And assuming the torpedoes can be intercepted by point defences, that factor gives another good reason to take the shot while under as little fire as possible.
    • In the Star Wars universe, the Death Star's superlaser weapon was located at the core of the battle station, and the only way to reach it was through the winding trench surrounding the station. The trench provided an unobstructed path to the superlaser, but it also served as a kind of natural obstacle course for attacking ships, forcing them to maneuver through a narrow corridor while avoiding the battle station's defensive systems. The trench was heavily guarded by the Empire's TIE fighter pilots, making it a dangerous path for the Rebel pilots to navigate. However, the reward for making it through the trench to the Death Star's core was the ability to deliver a direct strike to the battle station's power source and destroy it once and for all. This is why the Rebel Alliance chose the dangerous trench run strategy over other options.

     Father Not Daughter 
  • Why didn't Darth Vader recognise 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 recognises 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 any more 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 presumably 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 Padmé, 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 Padmé was having twins.
    • Why would he need to know that? At the time, he hadn't yet learned that Luke existed. So far as he knew, Padmé could have been carrying a singleton daughter.
    • Leia stopped him from recognising 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 that’s her actual story) by the Organas. A family known to be friendly to the Jedi Order. Worst case, they think that Leia was a baby saved from the Temple? That makes no difference to them, it's not like either Organa can train her.
    • As for resemblance to Padmé, that is easily explainable. Both were young, idealistic female politicians and Leia was raised in much the same circles as Padmé 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 Padmé would not think about that. True, **if ** Vader was told that his child survived and was adopted by Padmé's friends, Leia would be top of the list of suspects, but without 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 eight 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.
    • Considering how much Padmé had evidently been respected and mourned as an important Senator and ex-Queen, it's even possible that Vader - and anyone else who might've noticed their resemblance, for that matter - dismissed their similarity as Leia playing up how much she looks like Padmé, purely as a political move. No shortage of Real Life politicians have benefited from looking and dressing a lot like a revered predecessor, after all.
    • The first time Anakin and Padmé met, she was using look-alikes as her royal bodyguards. It's not as if the notion that some other woman could look like Padmé is inconceivable to him; heck, if he's like most grieving husbands, every dark-haired woman of similar build probably reminded him of his lost love for years. If anything, he might've felt a pang of "oh, gad, are these wretched guilt-flashbacks ever going to end...?"
    • Darth Vader is such a separate entity from Anakin in terms of personality and attitude, that he himself felt like a different person. Thus when he saw Leia, he was seeing Anakin Skywalker's daughter... but he's not Anakin Skywalker anymore, so what does he care? She's just some woman to him, nobody important or special. It's only after his conversation with the Emperor in V that he begins to think of essentially 'adopting' Luke Skywalker and bringing him over to the Dark Side, and therefore seeing him as his own son for the first time.
    • I don’t think Leia was using the Force to resist the mind probe, just her incredibly strong will. In Obi-Wan Kenobi she demonstrates this will even as a ten-year-old. Under the threat of torture and maiming that clearly terrified her, she wouldn’t tell Reva anything. That has nothing to do with the Force, just superhuman strength of will.
    • In the Star Wars universe, it's possible that Vader didn't initially recognize Leia as his daughter because he had never met her before. He knew that he had fathered twins during Palpatine's experiments with the Force, but he was told that they had both died at birth. He didn't know that his daughter had survived and was living as an important figure in the Rebel Alliance. When he captured Leia on the Death Star, he was focused on torturing her for information about the Rebel base and he may not have noticed any similarities between her and his daughter. Additionally, it's possible that Leia's resistance to the mind probe and her use of the Force were not immediately obvious to Vader, who may have been focused solely on extracting information about the Rebel Alliance. It wasn't until he met Luke on their duel in Cloud City that he began to suspect a connection and eventually learned the truth about his family after witnessing Luke's emotional reaction to discovering the truth about their father-son relationship.

     Moisture Farm 
  • 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. 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.
    • If you discount the EU, it'd most likely have passed to Beru's family if Luke never returned to lay claim to it. We can reasonably assume the Lars family died out with Owen - else, Cliegg would presumably have called upon his own extended family to rescue Shmi after he'd lost his leg in the first attempt - but we know nothing at all about the Whitesuns.
    • In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker it is confirmed that the homestead was abandoned for 35 years after Star Wars: A New Hope, with its moisture vaporators intact. That's the 'official' canon answer.
    • In the Star Wars universe, it's not entirely clear what happened to Luke's moisture farm on Tatooine after he joined the Rebel Alliance and moved to Yavin IV. As you surmised, Luke did sell his land-speeder to the Jawas, but it's not known whether he sold the entire moisture farm as well. It's possible that the equipment was left behind for the next set of Jawas to swipe, as you suggested, or that Luke had someone else take care of the farm while he was away fighting for the Rebellion. However, it's also possible that the Empire may have seized the farm and turned it into a military base or other facility, given its proximity to the Outer Rim Territories. Ultimately, the exact fate of Luke's moisture farm is not clearly stated in the Star Wars canon, and may be left up to the viewer's imagination.

     Ponda Blood 
  • Why was there blood when Obi-Wan cut that alien guy's arm off in the cantina? Lightsabers are supposed to cauterise the wounds they inflict.
    • Either the guy's Bizarre Alien Biology doesn't allow cauterisation, or what we think is blood is actually just a drink spilled conveniently right where the guy's severed arm lands.
    • Because George wanted a PG rating and that was how they got it. Or maybe lightsabers don't completely cauterise wounds.
    • Yes they do. But maybe he had some kind of Bizarre Alien Biology.
    • It's (not) interesting to note that The Empire Strikes Back is the first film where the cauterisation from lightsaber wounds is really solidly depicted. But even then, while Luke's lightsaber appears to cauterise where it struck the wampa, later on when Han uses it to slice open a tauntaun, there's a bit of flame but no cauterisation. It seems to simply be a matter of what special effects are used for a given scene by then. If you want an in-universe reason, an alternative is that Obi-Wan and Luka's lightsabers are fairly old and likely had seen very little use (not to mention maintenance) between Revenge of The Sith and A New Hope, and Tatooine is likely not a good environment for a weapon's functionality. If it doesn't transfer heat as rapidly as a lightsaber in better condition (like Darth Vader's, which did cauterise quite well), that might also explain why Luke's saber burnt flesh when cutting through the wampa's arm (being in contact for longer due to the limb's thickness) but a light graze along a tauntaun's skin only caused some brief flames, and why Obi-Wan's didn't do this when used against a human-sized target. That said, the out-of-universe reasons remain the obvious cause.
    • On close inspection, the severed arm's stump looks almost hollow inside. It could be that the alien guy's anatomy relies on hydraulics rather than filament-contraction for movement, in which case it's hydraulic liquid that spilled out of an organic actuator too broad to sear shut, rather than blood from a narrow (hence able to be cauterised) transport vessel.
    • You're right, lightsabers are supposed to cauterize wounds, and in most cases, they do. However, in the Star Wars universe, certain species can have different biological properties or characteristics that make it possible for them to bleed even when hit with a lightsaber. For example, the species of the alien that Obi-Wan cuts the arm off of in the cantina is called the Ponda Baba. The Ponda Baba, like many creatures in the Star Wars universe, has unique biological features that could cause it to bleed when struck with a lightsaber. The same could also be true for other species and creatures that are shown to bleed when hit with a lightsaber in other Star Wars media.

     Luke Reacting to the Lars Massacre 
  • 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 BSoD, 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 explicitly said.
    • Cynical explanation: Luke hated living with his aunt and uncle. Their deaths left him Conveniently an Orphan, so he was free to go travelling 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 took a major 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 takes it all in stride and something tells me once it was all over and he had a chance to process it, only then did he begin to mourn his 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 Padmé'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 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 realised 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.
    • Or, given the extreme danger and time-pressure they were under, Obi-Wan sensed Luke was about to do just that, quietly passed a hand in front of the young man's eyes, murmured something about how "now is not the time for grief", and shepherded Luke back to the speeder in a daze. Then he'd let the boy cry himself to sleep once they're safely off in the Falcon.
    • Luke is probably in shock and also according to the (Star Wars Legends) EU, with everything that was happening, 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.
    • Having just watched this scene, I have determined the ultimate answer is "because you're not very good at reading emotions, OP." When Luke sees the bodies, his face shifts into stunned horror, and then he briefly has to look away like he's going to be sick, before slowly forcing his gaze back to them with pain in his eyes. When the camera switches to a view of him behind, he sways slightly like he's barely staying on his feet. Mark Hamill actually did a really good job acting out Luke being overwhelmed by the horror of their deaths and you just didn't notice.
    • In the Star Wars universe, Luke was understandably upset about the death of his aunt and uncle. However, he was also a young and inexperienced farm boy who had just experienced a great deal of trauma and shock. He was also focused on his mission to rescue Princess Leia from the Empire, and may not have had time to fully process the loss of his family. Additionally, he was still coping with the loss of his parents, which he had only recently learned about. Overall, Luke was likely in a state of shock and grief, and was focused on his mission to save the galaxy and his new friends.
    • I'm surprised no one's brought up the later sequence where Vader strikes Obi-Wan down. Luke does a Big "NO!", and a few scenes later he's sitting at a table looking really upset as Leia comforts him. But just that moment he's called to help Han with a big space battle, and he's acting like he's having the time of his life. You can chalk all this up to Luke's personality if you like, but personally I prefer a Doylist explanation: Lucas wanted the film to maintain a relatively innocent tone, to be a slam-bang adventure and little more. Because of this it never dwells on the tragic aspects of the plot very long, and the actors therefore never act sad more than fleetingly. The sequels, in moving in a darker direction, showed much more emotional turmoil.

     The Loss of Ben 
  • 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 realised 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 rumour 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 unwinnable situation given Vader and Stormtroopers being on both sides, and besides, Vader would have stopped Obi-Wan if he tried to escape.
    • 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 percent 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 a while, 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: 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.
    • In the Star Wars universe, Obi-Wan Kenobi's decision to let Vader kill him can be seen as a sacrifice made for the greater good. By allowing himself to be struck down, Obi-Wan was able to become a Force ghost and maintain a connection with Luke, allowing him to continue to guide and mentor him throughout his journey. Additionally, Obi-Wan knew that there was a greater purpose to his death, which was to set the stage for Luke's ultimate showdown with Vader. By allowing himself to be defeated, Obi-Wan also gave Darth Vader a powerful motivation to continue down the path of the dark side, ultimately leading to his redemption in "Return of the Jedi". While it may seem like Obi-Wan could have fought longer or escaped, his decision to let Vader strike him down allowed him to become an even more powerful guide to Luke from beyond the grave.

     Concerning Luke's friendship with Biggs 
  • 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 who killed Darklighter?
    • 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 BSoD 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 be continuously 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?!'."
    • In several book sources of the film- including the kids' chapter book "Star Wars Journal: The Fight For Justice" and the official novelisation of the film (based on the original screenplay), it makes it clear that Luke does actually mourn Biggs, especially since Biggs is of course his best, childhood friend, and his death presumably happens within only a couple of days after Luke loses three other people who meant a lot to him- Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, and of course Ben Kenobi.
    • Nonchalant? If anything, a common criticism is that Luke mysteriously appears to be particularly broken up about Moustache Guy's death — until the awareness of some cut scenes make it clear that Moustache Guy is in fact ol' buddy Biggs from the Toshi Station scene we just learned about.
    • It's possible that Luke was so focused on the rebel assault and defeating the Death Star that he may not have had the time or emotional space to fully process the death of Biggs. Additionally, with the high-stakes and intensity of the battle, it's possible that Luke's grief was suppressed or masked by the urgent circumstances. It's also worth noting that the original Star Wars was released in 1977, and in that time, male characters in movies were less likely to show emotions such as grief or sadness. Ultimately, the reason for Luke's lack of reaction to Biggs' death is likely a combination of the intense focus on the mission, the high-stakes nature of the moment, and the cultural expectations of cinema during the period.

     Leia's Hair 
  • 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 in 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 dishevelled. 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.
    • Her 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 why does Luke get pulled underwater by the Dianoga and comes up soaking wet with his hair plastered to his head, but then 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.
    • They weren't just damp when they came out of the trash compacter, they were soaked to the skin and reeking of garbage. Hardly the best conditions under which to sneak around. Most likely, Luke had R2 direct them to the nearest shower-and-air-drying cubicles to clean up before they went any further, to ensure they wouldn't leave an obvious trail of stinky puddles behind them that even the dimmest Stormtrooper could follow right to the escapees.
    • In the Star Wars universe, Princess Leia's appearance throughout the events of "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" is a testament to her resilience and dedication to her mission to save the galaxy. Despite all the hardships she faces, including being captured by the Empire, tortured, and subjected to numerous physical and emotional challenges, Leia remains determined and focused on her goal. As a princess and a leader of the Rebel Alliance, Leia's appearance and presentation play an important role in inspiring and uniting her followers. Therefore, it's possible that she makes an intentional effort to present herself in a polished and authoritative manner, even in the midst of dire circumstances. Additionally, it's also possible that her space-age attire is designed to withstand extreme conditions, including high-speed space travel, physical combat, and other challenges she encounters throughout her journey.
    • With regards to Luke's hair being dry, Mark Hamill has said that he pointed out this error while they were filming it, and Harrison Ford replied, "Hey, kid, it ain't that kind of movie."

     Load Your Unloadable Weapons 
  • 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 replaced or charged.
    • When is that line 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." 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 have to wait for it to cool down.
    • Presumably, the power pack has enough charge for the duration of the mission, but must be replaced and recharged later.
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation.
    • 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.
    • In the Star Wars universe, stormtroopers are equipped with blaster rifles that fire plasma bolts, which are charged using a power pack or battery. When a stormtrooper says "load your weapons", they are probably just specifying that they should charge or turn on their weapons, which is known as "priming" or "charging" a blaster. This process prepares the blaster for firing by charging the laser capacitor with energy, allowing it to discharge a powerful bolt of energy once triggered by the user. While this process is not exactly the same as loading a projectile weapon, the phrase "load your weapons" has become a common phrase in the Star Wars universe to indicate that the stormtroopers should be ready to engage in combat or other activities with their blasters.

     Grappling Luke 
  • 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 that 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 armour.
    • Shoot, a grappling hook is a WAY 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.
    • In the Star Wars universe, grappling hooks are commonly used as a tool for scaling heights or grasping objects during combat. Luke Skywalker is a skilled fighter and often finds himself in dangerous situations, so it's not surprising that he carries a grappling hook with him as a survival tool. He may have acquired the grappling hook as part of his survival gear or personal equipment, or it may simply be a convenience for him as a force-sensitive individual. The grappling hook can be useful for climbing, grappling onto objects, pulling oneself up or across a gap or opening, or even securing objects in place as needed. Essentially, it can be viewed as a versatile tool for exploring and navigating his environment, whether natural or man-made, as well as for potential combat situations, making it a practical piece of equipment for him to carry.

     Lying Leia 
  • 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 realise 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 said 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 Palpatine dissolves 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. The movie even directly states that their only real function was as a bureaucracy to allow the Emperor to exert control over individual star 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 homeworlds, like how the US Senate has two people representing their state. However, it is possible that in the intervening 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 (aka Moffs), and the Imperial Navy.
    • I'm with you. I'm pretty sure Senators are supposed to represent their homeworlds/systems. Nowhere is it said that they have to be neutral. By the time of the Empire they are a shadow 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 and 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 travelling 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.
    • This. The most likely scenario is that she's supposed to be escorting the Senator from a completely different system who's coming to negotiate with her own world's government about some matter totally unrelated to the Rebellion. Which is a perfectly normal and courteous thing for a Senator to do, and a likely reason she was picked to pass on the Death Star plans in the first place.
    • Note that Vader himself calls her out on the hole in her story, namely the absence of any diplomats other than Leia on board. If she had genuinely been part of a diplomatic mission, she would have been escorting the ones who would actually negotiate with Alderaan as advocates for the Empire or another system within it; she wouldn't have been speaking on the other party's behalf.
    • Rogue One establishes that Vader sees right through the ruse because he saw her ship leave directly from the docking bay of a Rebel ship inside the system where the plans were stolen from. Her excuse that she was on a diplomatic mission makes even less sense, unless she's desperately trying to convince Vader that it's a case of Mistaken Identity or she's coming up with a story that would sound better at her trial for high treason later.
    • There are several possible reasons why Princess Leia might have chosen to say she was on a diplomatic mission to her own home planet of Alderaan. One possible explanation is that she was trying to deflect attention away from the fact that she had just delivered the hidden plans for the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance on a secret mission. By claiming to be on a diplomatic mission, she may have hoped to avoid suspicion and buy some time to figure out how to escape and continue her mission to defeat the Empire. Additionally, Alderaan is a significant planet in the Star Wars universe, and it's possible that Leia's claim to be on a diplomatic campaign was intended to establish her importance and credibility as a Senator and leader of the Rebel Alliance. Overall, while her story may not have been entirely accurate, it served a greater purpose of allowing her to avoid immediate suspicion and gain some leverage in her interactions with Darth Vader, who was known for his ruthlessness and lack of mercy.
    • She may have gone with the "diplomatic mission" like because they had set up in advance. Maybe she had filed some paperwork somewhere to make it look like she was scheduled for a diplomatic mission, and she was hoping that Vader had seen the paperwork and so the lie might seem plausible. (A rather desperate gambit after a guy has already carved through your ship and shot up your crew, but at that point any lie is a desperate gambit, so she might as well play the best card she's got.) It may also be that she'd planned to have an ambassador onboard to sustain the lie but that person wasn't available for whatever reason so she was forced to rely on the paperwork alone.

     Return Of The Jedi, the True One 
  • 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. Huh?
    • 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, using a lightsaber doesn't automatically mean that person is a Jedi. 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 to use 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 that's what he did.
    • 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 assumed the lightsaber user 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 compared to an 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 recognised 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 centrepoint 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 use a weapon adequate 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 rumour of someone using a lightsaber reached the authorities and they got a hunt together, Obi-Wan and Luke would already be long gone.
    • Using a lightsaber in a Mos Eisley drinking hole probably isn't any more incriminating than using a weapon normally associated with pirates, smugglers, sandpeople, blaster-runners or the Hutts. On a planet crawling with thieves, chop-shops, fences, gangsters and junk-peddlers, who's to say where some scruffy old desert-rat might've picked it up?
    • Obi-Wan kept a low profile to keep himself and Luke undetected while Luke grew up so that the Empire and Vader wouldn't find them. Until the time had come that Luke could be trained, and they and Yoda could begin their counter attack against Palpatine and Vader. Not only was the Empire on the planet anyway (and had just wiped out the Lars family, something that might have piqued Vader's interest) but Obi-Wan was planning to return to the battlefield and train Luke as a Jedi anyway so the jig was effectively up and hiding was no longer needed because the moment they'd been waiting for had come. Maybe a year or so sooner than they expected, but the attack on the Lars and completion of the Death Star forced their hands and Luke was old enough to suit their purposes. Once Obi-Wan started meddling in their affairs, with a young Jedi the striking image of pre-Vader Anakin at his side, Vader would quickly figure out what they'd been up to.
    • It is possible that, in the heat of the moment, and faced with the danger posed by the situation, Obi-Wan's training and instincts took over, leading him to forget about the need to maintain his anonymity and instead focus on the more immediate need to protect himself and the innocent bystanders in the situation. Additionally, perhaps he was overconfident in his abilities, believing that he could take on the stormtroopers and the rest of the Empire's forces without being discovered by using his powers and lightsaber sparingly. Or maybe he just got a little carried away with the excitement and forgot about the consequences. In any case, you are right that his decision was not entirely practical or logical. It was perhaps a moment of weakness or a lapse in judgment, demonstrating that despite his powerful abilities as a Jedi, he was still fallible and susceptible to mistakes.

     Not-So-Fast Lightspeed 
  • "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. "Lightspeed" is simply slang for hyperspace travel.
    • The way that Han speaks of lightspeed in the original film strongly implies that according to these films' scientific outlook, exceeding lightspeed 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 skeptical because 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.
    • You raise a valid point. While 0.5 past light speed may seem like a high speed on a human timescale, on an interstellar scale, it's still relatively slow. According to established Star Wars canon, the Millennium Falcon can travel approximately 34.5 light-years per hour at full speed, which would equate to approximately 13,572,000,000 mph. So while 0.5 past light speed is impressive by human standards, in the vast reaches of space, it's nowhere near the speed needed for rapid interstellar travel. It's worth noting, however, that Star Wars is a work of fiction and some elements of the story may not necessarily be accurate or realistic according to real-world physics or laws of science.

     Straight to the Rebel Base 
  • Why did they go directly to the Rebel base? Leia speculated 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 Imperial 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 analyse 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 realise that 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 analysing 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 that person is talking about. We never see the tracking beacon.
    • I suspect they believe 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 point, the Rebellion was rather young, 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 common 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.
    • Or maybe it's a case of covert ruthlessness on Leia's part: she knows the Empire is probably tracking them, and is actually counting on them to do so, so she can force the Rebellion into immediate action. We know there are lots of other authority figures within the Rebellion's ranks, and some of them would probably drag their feet on taking on something as formidable as the Death Star if she leaves them that option. Worse, when word gets out among the Rebels about what the Empire's new death machine is capable of, they're liable to see a rash of desertions, panic, and/or betrayals by their own people. And waiting will also give the Empire's engineers more time to review the planet-killer's design and compensate for weaknesses. The longer they delay, the worse their chances of ever stopping the Death Star will be. So she lets the Empire track them back to Yavin, gambling everything on the Rebels' ability to discern vulnerabilities and destroy the thing before it can blast them all into oblivion. She's arguably betraying her own allies' secrecy in order to lure Tarkin and his world-killing war machine into a trap, which is a pretty ruthless desperation-tactic on Leia's part... and which, when you think about it, is Fridge Brilliance: she's Anakin's daughter, not just Padmé's, for all that she might resemble her mother far more closely. And she has her home planet and adoptive family to avenge, so isn't going to show restraint in her tactics any more than Anakin held back in avenging Shmi.
    • It was the best way to get the plans to their techs and the forces to counter attack the Death Star as well as lure the Death Star to the place where they could attack it. While risky, what better place to stage their counterattack than their main base as all their forces are there and wouldn't have to go very far. As we see on Hoth in the next film the Rebels can evacuate a base pretty effectively in record time. Presumably if they analysed the plans and said "yeah there's nothing we can do here that thing is totally indestructible" then they'd just evacuate and abandon the base. And probably double think the whole Rebellion thing too given that there would be nothing they could really do against the Empire at that point but sit back and hope Palpatine didn't abuse the galaxy too badly. Fortunately that wasn't the case.
    • It kinda depends on the state of the Rebellion at the time and Leia's options for long-range communication. If she can contact fellow Rebels, then obviously they can arrange a rendezvous in which some other ship delivers Han's money (or spice) and picks up Leia and the plans. But maybe Leia didn't have any means of making contact besides going to the base itself.
    • I like to imagine an extra scene where Leia sneaks around in the Falcon's innards finds a tracking device and disables it (this annoys Han, first because she wasn't supposed to be sneaking around and secondly because he has to eat crow when it turns out she was right and the ship was being tracked). Then she gives Han the real coordinates for Yavin IV and they change course. But it turns out that Vader had anticipated all of this and he had actually installed two tracking devices to begin with, so the Empire is still able to follow aliong after once device gets disabled.
    • It is possible that Leia and the Rebel Alliance had limited resources and felt the need to act quickly in order to get the plans to the Rebel base and begin the work of analyzing and planning for the attack on the Death Star. They may have also been concerned that the Empire would not give up easily and would continue to search for the plans, so they decided to take the risk of leading the Empire to the Base, which they believed was well-fortified and could hold off an attack. Alternatively, it is possible that they underestimated the capabilities and resources of the Empire and did not anticipate how quickly and effectively the Death Star would be deployed against them. Ultimately, it is hard to know for sure what was happening on their end and why they made the decision to go directly to the Base, but it is clear that it was a risky decision that had far-reaching consequences for the Rebel Alliance and the galaxy as a whole.
    • Ya know, it's never established, but the best explanation for all this is that Leia assumed that the Empire already knew the location of the Rebel base. After all, they'd just recently stormed the Tantive IV and taken several crewmembers captive, and the Tantive IV had been heading for the base at that time. It's very plausible that at least one person knew the destintation and cracked under a mind probe, and/or they found some way to fish the destination coordinates out of the ship's computer. So Leia has to contend with the possibility that the Death Star is going to show up at Yavin in a couple days no matter what she does. In that case, she figures that the best thing to do is to deliver the plans as soon as possible, even at the risk of being tracked.
      • On second thought Tarkin made it clear that he didn't know the location just before Alderaan was destroyed. But you could still run with the theory of "She assumed that the Empire would discover the location in the near future".

     You Are An Old One 
  • I don't know if this has already been asked, but... why does Obi-Wan look so old in this one (and as a Force ghost in the sequels)? 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 hovel on a desert planet.
    • Stress could also factor into it. For reference, look at the appearance of a US 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 organisation with only a few survivors across the galaxy, his best friend betrayed him and he was forced to cut him apart only for him to survive as a shadow of his former self, and he 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.
    • We see from the prequels that Obi-Wan always looked and acted older than he was, he was one of those personality types who was always stuffy-looking and acting middle aged long before he reached middle age. Living alone in the harsh conditions, and brooding about his failures, on Tatooine just accelerated it.
    • In the EU, it's suggested that the harsh conditions of living on the desert planet Tatooine, in addition to dealing with the emotional toll of Anakin's fall and the Jedi purge, may have contributed to Obi-Wan's aging process and overall physical appearance. Additionally, in legends, it is believed that Force-users who live in a state of constant emotional turmoil may become physically aged, a process that Obi-Wan went through as his feelings towards Anakin and the Jedi order became increasingly complex and conflicted. There's also some speculation that Obi-Wan used the Force to alter his appearance to blend in better with the Tatooine populace, which he did successfully for many years, which may also have resulted in his seemingly advanced aging. Overall, his physical appearance and apparent age are a reflection of the challenging life he led, which included emotional turmoil, constant surveillance and danger, and a life of isolation in a harsh, unforgiving environment.

     Tarkin's Apprentice 
  • Why is Vader Tarkin's subordinate? Isn't he supposed to be the Emperor's right hand man? And why isn't there 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 indispensable to 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 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 cooperated - and according to 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 to 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 favour 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 (or rather a non-Force sensitive), 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 large and complex for Vader to operate it alone 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 to (or at the very least, realising that this is a good and competent commander that the Empire wants to keep happy and employed). Besides, the impression 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 had 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 laughing stock to the real leaders. 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 behavioural 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, used to strict hierarchy and military discipline. And suddenly you're told that you have not only to listen to some eccentric weirdo wearing a black mask and cape who calls himself a "Dark Lord", but to actually follow his commands. I imagine that many Imperial officers thought that the Emperor was going senile and favouring 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.
    • Speaking of "Vader, release him!", notice how nobody even thinks about disciplining Vader for choking an officer within an inch of his life. If Tarkin outranked Vader, you'd think he'd punish him for gross misconduct. But he doesn't punish Vader. That's because he can't.
    • 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 of a Henry Kissinger-lite, 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 the Empire hierarchy, Darth Vader was indeed a subordinate to Grand Moff Tarkin. Although Vader was the Emperor's enforcer and had immense power within the Empire, he was still a member of the military and was obligated to follow orders from his superiors. Tarkin was the highest-ranking official in the Galactic Empire and the only one besides Darth Vader and the Emperor himself with the authority to issue a direct order to the Death Star.
    • After the death of Tarkin on the Death Star, there were others who could have potentially occupied the rank of Grand Moff. However, the events of the film, as well as the fact that the Death Star itself was destroyed, may have significantly undermined the authority and standing of the Grand Moffs within the Empire. It's also important to note that by the time of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Vader's status as the Emperor's right-hand man and his ability to carry out the Emperor's will directly without the need for intermediaries may have further diminished the authority of the Grand Moffs, further reducing their importance within the Empire. It's also possible that with the loss of their leader as well as the destruction of the Death Star, the Empire may have decided to restructure its command hierarchy, reducing the importance of the position of Grand Moff and instead granting Vader direct control over much of the Empire's military operations, especially as it relates to the pursuit of the remaining Rebel forces.

     Yavin Vader 
  • 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 AA 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 AA 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 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.
    • It's not as if the other X-wings stopped for a coffee break; they were involved in the battle the entire time. If you ever wonder "Why didn't they do X?" it's probably because they were busy dodging TIE fighters at that moment.
    • There are a few possible explanations for why the X-Wings from Red group did not shoot Vader off of the Gold group's tails or why Luke, Biggs, and Wedge did not try to shoot Vader off of Red Leader's tail during their attack runs on the thermal exhaust port.
    • One possible reason is that the Rebel Alliance was a hastily assembled force with limited coordination and planning capabilities. Although the Rebels had some advanced fighters and experienced pilots, they may not have had the resources or communication systems necessary to effectively coordinate their attacks and provide cover for one another during the battle.
    • Another explanation is that the Rebels were up against a sizable and highly trained Imperial force, which included Darth Vader, one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy, and his elite squadron of TIE fighters. The Rebels may have been concerned about overextending themselves and spreading their forces too thin, and may have decided to focus on completing their mission of destroying the Death Star rather than trying to protect each other.
    • Finally, the Rebel pilots may have simply been overwhelmed by the chaos and adrenaline of the battle, and may not have had the situational awareness necessary to coordinate their attacks effectively. The battle was extremely fast-paced and intense, with many fighters engaging in dog fights and trying to evade the Imperial forces' deadly laser blasts while also trying to concentrate on their primary mission of destroying the Death Star. In these types of high-stress situations, it is all too easy for pilots to become momentarily distracted or confused, and for communication breakdowns to occur.
    • Overall, while it is clear that there were some missed opportunities for the Rebel Alliance to coordinate their efforts more effectively during the Battle of Yavin, it is important to remember that they were fighting against overwhelming odds and were ultimately able to achieve their goal of destroying the Death Star, a victory that would have massive consequences for the galaxy.

     Trash Creature 
  • 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 GTFOs of the trash compactor as it starts up? Whatever the thing is, it evidently has enough sense to get out 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 Dianoga is a large, aquatic, carnivorous creature that usually inhabits the sewers and lakes of Naboo, but is able to survive in a variety of environments. It is capable of surviving in extreme conditions, including highly polluted waters, which is why it is able to survive in the trash compactor on the Death Star. Despite the immense pressure from the trash compacting mechanism, the Dianoga's highly durable, flexible body allows it to withstand the crushing force. Additionally, the Dianoga has a highly resilient digestive system that allows it to feed on the organic waste in the trash compactor, which provides it with the nutrition it needs to survive. Overall, the Dianoga's remarkable resilience and adaptability make it a formidable opponent, even in the harsh environment of the Death Star.
      • Are you just quoting from Wookiepedia?

     Boarding Party Dumb Dumbs 
  • 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 that doorway and 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 mowed 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 armour that protected them some, whereas the Tantive IV's crew had no armour. 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 unarmoured crewmen with 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-armoured, and lightly-armed ship crew fighting heavily-armoured boarders with heavy weapons and solid discipline will break first (yes, I know Stormtrooper armour is useless 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 kill the first Stormtrooper. Then he dies and the rest are routed by overwhelming enemy fire.
    • Maybe that's more the point of Stormtrooper armour 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 armoured 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.
    • You raise a valid point. The narrow doorway should have provided a clear advantage for the defending Rebel troops, who were armed with blasters and could have easily shot at the attackers as they came through the doorway. However, it's important to remember that the Empire's approach to combat is often based on overwhelming force and shock and awe tactics. By using a large group of troops to breach the door and storm the ship, the Empire was able to quickly gain control of the situation and seize the Tantive IV, which was a critical part of their plan to recover the Death Star plans and locate the Rebel base. Additionally, with the help of Darth Vader, the Empire's elite 501st Stormtrooper squad was able to overcome the defenders and secure the vessel, despite the narrow doorway and the Rebel's apparent advantage. Ultimately, the Empire's tactics and the overwhelming power of the Force helped them gain the upper hand in this critical battle.

     The Death Star That Came Out Of Nowhere 
  • 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 would actually be 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 an 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."
    • If a ship were to fly in a random direction, it would traverse most of the known universe before it flew into anything. The universe is empty space with a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny bit of matter sprinkled around here and there.
    • You make a valid point. The Death Star is an incredibly large and complex superweapon, and its construction would have been a significant undertaking that likely would have been difficult to conceal from the galaxy's inhabitants. However, the Empire is known for its use of secretive construction facilities and for taking extreme measures to protect valuable assets from discovery. In the case of the Death Star, the development and construction of the superweapon were shrouded in secrecy, with only a select group of individuals aware of the project's existence and progress. The Death Star was constructed in a remote location, with the Empire taking numerous steps to conceal its construction, including building it inside a gas giant planet. Additionally, the Death Star was equipped with advanced stealth and shielding systems, making it difficult to detect or attack while it was still under construction. Finally, the Empire likely utilized other means of protection, including the deployment of security forces and interdictor cruisers to prevent unauthorized access to the construction site. Overall, while the construction of the Death Star would have been a massive undertaking and likely would have required a significant amount of resources, the Empire's commitment to secrecy and the use of advanced technologies likely allowed them to succeed in building this powerful superweapon without it being discovered by the Rebel Alliance or other hostile forces.

     Knowledge About Luke 
  • So, the Stormtroopers 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 every 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. But yeah, 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 in 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.
    • Remember that they aren't actually looking for Luke: they're looking for the droids. Owen had previously instructed Luke to take the droids in to town for a memory-wiping. And Luke never told his guardians that R2-D2 had run away - he was afraid that if he did, he'd get in trouble for having taking off R2's Restraining Bolt - so when they were interrogated, his aunt and uncle would've told the Imperial troops that Luke must've taken the droids away for that very purpose. If the stormtroopers had merely waited for Luke to come home after completing his errand, they couldn't ever be sure if the droids had previously known about the plans or passed them on, because neither droid would remember anything they'd done. So they had to intercept R2 and 3PO before their memories could be erased and their one remaining lead as to the plans' location, wiped clean.
    • Owen and Beru knew full well why Luke was left with them. It's likely they'd sooner die than give up anything about him because for all they know the droid story is BS and the troopers were actually there looking for Luke because Vader had found him after all those years and were there to take him away. Owen would never tell them where Luke was to get the droids so they'd all be left in peace because he'd probably suspect Luke was the target all along and he's been around since the fall of the Republic so he'd know better than to believe anything Imperial Troopers say about being left in peace. Likely once Owen and Beru saw Stormtroopers walking up they knew they were dead. They'd probably been expecting something like that might happen one day for the last 20 years. If Luke had been home when the Stormtroopers showed up they'd probably have hidden him or told him to leave.
    • You raise an interesting point. While it's clear that the Stormtroopers were able to follow the trail of the droids to the Jawas' Sandcrawler and then to the Lars farm, it's not entirely clear why they did not continue to monitor the farm and wait for Luke to return home. One possible explanation is that the Stormtroopers were under significant time pressure to locate the droids and retrieve the Death Star plans as quickly as possible. Darth Vader had personally overseen the operation, and the Empire was aware that the Death Star plans were extremely valuable and could have grave consequences if they were to fall into Rebel hands. As such, the Stormtroopers may have been more focused on moving quickly to the next stage of their operation, such as searching Mos Eisley or interrogating more Jawas, rather than waiting for a small, unremarkable farm boy to return home. Additionally, the Stormtroopers may have assumed that there was no reason for Luke to be involved in the situation. The droids and the plans were the primary objective of their mission, and they may not have known or cared about Luke or his role in the matter, as he was not a known Rebel sympathizer or a significant figure in the conflict. Overall, while it's possible that the Stormtroopers could have waited for Luke to return home, it's likely that they were simply focused on completing their primary objective as quickly as possible.

     Darth Vader, the Second In, Oh Wait. 
  • 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 command and 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 signs of potential treasonous behaviour).
    • 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 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.
    • This fits in with the concept that the Emperor was not originally conceived as a Big Bad Sith Lord manipulator like he would eventually be revealed to be. In the original novelisation, Senator Cos Palpatine was a merchant prince who got set up as Emperor but only so he could be the puppet of the same fascist warlords and megacorporations who put him in power. Vader is kind of like a Samurai Elite Enforcer/Emissary. The original idea was that the Empire was a cross between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan so that would explain Vader's samurai like armour.
    • If Palpatine believed that the Death Star wouldn't have been destroyed if Tarkin had been obliged to heed Vader's warnings not to think that the planet-killer was invincible, then maybe he promoted Vader to a position where even the Joint Chiefs and Grand Moffs would have to fear him, because of the events of this movie.
    • I understand where you are coming from. Vader is a powerful and feared figure in the Star Wars universe, and it's easy to lose sight of the fact that he is ultimately one of many pawns in Palpatine's scheme to cement his power over the galaxy. In "Star Wars: A New Hope," Vader is primarily portrayed as a ruthless enforcer, sent by Palpatine to acquire the Death Star plans from the Rebel Alliance by any means necessary. His actions on Tatooine, including his treatment of Captain Antilles, Admiral Motti, and Princess Leia, are consistent with this portrayal. However, it's important to remember that Vader is also a key part of the Empire's command structure, and his actions in the film are ultimately serving the larger goals of the Emperor and the Galactic Empire. He is a complex and multi-faceted character, and his role as a leader of the Empire is just one aspect of his overall characterization.

     Leaving The Droids 
  • 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 compactor. 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.
    • It is important to remember that Luke and Han were in a hurry to rescue the princess, who was in immediate danger, and they may not have had the time or the opportunity to worry about the safety of the droids in that moment. Additionally, the Empire was aware of the importance of the Death Star plans and would have been actively looking for them, so hiding R2-D2 and C-3PO on the Falcon could have been a risky move. Furthermore, Luke and Han may have assumed that the droids would be safe in the control tower, as they were located on a secure Imperial base and surrounded by heavily armed Stormtroopers. However, they did not realize that Darth Vader and Princess Leia were also on the station, and that Vader was determined to retrieve the plans at all costs. This ultimately led to the capture of the droids and the creation of several challenges for the heroes.

     Tarkin's Shocking Action 
  • 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 publicised 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 than she realised.
    • 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 afterwards 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.
    • Tarkin's purpose in destroying Alderaan, according to the supplementary material, was to Make an Example of Them to the galaxy. The whole purpose of the Death Star was to cow the galaxy into submission; anyone disobeying, challenging or outright rebelling against the Emperor would have their whole planet blown up both to eliminate enemies and to warn others not to try it. Alderaan was chosen by Tarkin because it was a major populated planet. Had he chosen to destroy Dantooine, some sparsely populated frontier planet or just some uninhabited moon, it would have had nowhere near the chilling effect of destroying Alderaan.
    • One possible explanation is that while Leia obviously knew that Tarkin and the Galactic Empire were capable of committing terrible atrocities in pursuit of their goals, she still believed that the Empire was ultimately governed by reason and that Tarkin would not simply resort to mass murder without some logical justification. She may have believed that, despite the Empire's ruthless methods and its willingness to use intimidation and violence to achieve its ends, there was still some underlying sense of honor or rationality that would prevent the Empire from engaging in needlessly destructive behavior. When Tarkin breaks his promise and orders the destruction of her homeworld, Alderaan, Leia likely realizes that the Empire is capable of committing even more heinous acts of evil than she had ever imagined, and that the only way to prevent similar atrocities in the future is to stop the Empire's stranglehold on power.

     After Han Shoots Greedo 
  • 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 realised 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.
    • Han Solo has a reputation for being independent and relying solely on his own skills and intuition to get by. He likely trusts his own judgment and capabilities to handle any situation, regardless of the potential consequences, and may not have seen the need for Chewie to provide additional security. Additionally, Han may have been in a hurry to leave the bar and was focused on completing his mission rather than waiting for Chewie to come with him. Chewbacca is fiercely loyal to Han Solo and would do anything to protect him, but he also understands that Han is capable of taking care of himself and may not see the need to hover over him at all times. Additionally, as a Wookiee, Chewie may have a different perspective on the risk involved in their mission and may have considered it a necessary risk to complete their errand. Ultimately, while it is possible that Chewbacca could have done more to ensure Han's safety, it is important to remember that Han is a skilled and resourceful individual who often excels in high-stakes situations, and Chewie may have trusted him to handle the situation on his own.

     Leaving Yavin 
  • 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 analyse 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 A 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 A New Hope and The Empire 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 TESB, had already left.
    • It is possible that the rebels on Yavin IV were simply too caught up in the preparations for the battle and the excitement of attempting to destroy the Death Star to consider the possibility of a failed attack. Additionally, it may have been difficult to coordinate a mass evacuation while they were facing such a looming threat. The Rebels were a fledgling organization with limited resources, and organizing a large-scale evacuation while being attacked by the Imperial fleet would have been a daunting and risky task. Furthermore, they may have believed that their best hope was to destroy the Death Star before it had the opportunity to destroy them. Therefore, their primary focus was on the upcoming battle and their hopes that it would be successful, rather than on the possibility of a failed attack and the need for an evacuation. In retrospect, it is clear that an evacuation would have been a wise move if the assault on the Death Star had failed. However, in the heat of battle, decisions are often made based on emotion and hope rather than logic.

     The Obi-Wan Moment 
  • 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 unnoticecommandod. If he's already dead, then they have no need to intervene in the duel.
    • Obi-Wan's sacrifice in "Star Wars" is often viewed as a heroic and noble act, and it played an important role in helping to set Luke on the path to becoming a Jedi and saving the galaxy. However, it's also true that it could be seen as a strategically unwise decision, as Obi-Wan could have potentially helped Luke more by staying alive and providing guidance and training, rather than sacrificing himself to stall Vader. One possible explanation for his decision to sacrifice himself is that he realized that the Empire's focus on stopping the Rebels from escaping on the Millennium Falcon would have likely resulted in the destruction of the ship and the deaths of all on board. By sacrificing himself to stall Vader, he may have seen it as a way to give the Rebels a chance to escape and continue their fight against the Empire. Additionally, Obi-Wan may have seen his sacrifice as a way to spark a new hope in Luke, who would be left to carry on the Jedi legacy. By sacrificing himself and trusting Luke to continue the fight, Obi-Wan may have believed he was fulfilling his duty as a member of the Jedi Order, and ensuring the continued survival of the Jedi ideals. Ultimately, despite potential strategic implications, Obi-Wan's sacrifice was a selfless act of courage and selflessness, and a defining moment in the series that helped to establish the power of the Force and the importance of sacrifice in the fight against evil.

     Lack of Training 
  • 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 gradually 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 A 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 novelisation, in which Yoda realises 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.
    • It's true that Obi-Wan did not actively seek to train Luke during his childhood, and the lack of formal training during his formative years may be seen as a missed opportunity to prepare him for the challenges he would eventually face as the sole hope of the Jedi order. One possible explanation for this is that Obi-Wan was trying to protect Luke from the dangers of his father, Darth Vader, who was actively hunting down any survivors of Order 66 and the Jedi purge. Obi-Wan may have felt that exposing Luke to the teachings and practices of the Jedi order would have made him more vulnerable to discovery and capture by the Empire, and that he would be better off staying hidden and unassuming until the time was right for him to receive formal training. Additionally, Obi-Wan may have recognized that Luke was too young to fully understand or appreciate the responsibility and danger of the tasks ahead of him, and may have believed that it was better for him to simply focus on survival and stay under the radar until he was ready to receive training. However, it's also true that Luke's lack of training as a child may have been seen as a missed opportunity to prepare him for the challenges he would eventually face as a young adult, and he had to quickly try to catch up before he was thrown into the challenges of the wider galaxy and the fate of the Jedi order. It can be argued that Luke's lack of formal training may have contributed to some of his early struggles, including his rash and foolish decisions that almost cost him his life, as well as his difficulty in fully mastering the Force and becoming a Jedi Knight.

     The Lars’ Age 
  • 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.
    • It's possible that Owen and Beru's harsh and difficult life on Tatooine aged them prematurely. The desert climate, lack of resources, and constant threat of danger from both the harsh environment and the harsh people who inhabited the planet may have taken a toll on their appearance and health, making them look older than they really are. Additionally, their heavy work on the moisture farm and their focus on trying to protect Luke from danger and discovery may have contributed to their physical stress and weariness.

     X-Wing Aid 
  • 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.
    • The official Disney canon is that there were eight Y-Wings at the Battle of Yavin, with the survivor being Gold Three, Evaan Verlaine from the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic. In the Legends EU, it was considered to be Keyan Farlander, the protagonist of XWing.
    • It's possible that the Y-Wing fighter pilot may have been in a support role during the final battle, or was providing air cover for the Falcon or the remaining pilots from the Rebel assault. While they may not have been directly involved in the final attack on the exhaust port, they could have been keeping an eye out for any Imperial reinforcements or pursuing fighters. In the heat of battle, it's common for some pilots to have a less active role, or even to take on a supporting role by keeping watch for additional threats, in addition to their primary duties. Additionally, it's also possible that this Y-Wing fighter was not present for the main attack and was instead stationed on a different part of the Death Star's surface, providing air support in case any of the Rebel pilots needed assistance or were being pursued by the Empire. Ultimately, while it's not clear exactly why this Y-Wing was present during the final moments of the battle, it could have been any number of reasons, ranging from a support role, to air security, to providing backup in case any of the Rebel pilots were injured.

     Too Remote? 
  • 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 mobilised 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 vapourising 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.
    • Characters who were anti-slavery advocates may have been hoping that the Republic would extend its power outside of that jurisdiction and force some type of resolution there, like how the United Nations sometimes comes together to try to deal with humanitarian issues (like famine in Somalia) in less developed and/or war-torn countries (the fact that Somalia has been in the UN for six decades now, nonwithstanding).
    • 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 centre 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.
    • By destroying Alderaan, Tarkin wanted to send the message that no matter how beautiful or popular your world might be with the rest of the galaxy, the Empire will not tolerate supporting the Rebel Alliance.
    • Dantooine's remoteness may have made it a tempting target for the Empire for a few reasons. First, the Empire may have chosen a more isolated planet to demonstrate the Power of the Death Star because they felt that the destruction of a more highly populated world could have caused more of an outrage among the galactic population, leading to more resistance and possibly more rebellion against the Empire. Additionally, a more distant and isolated planet like Dantooine may have been an easier target for the Death Star to aim at and destroy, as it would be less likely to be defended by other rebel ships and weapons. Finally, the fact that Dantooine was a base for the Rebel Alliance may have made it an even more attractive target, as the Empire could not only demonstrate the power of the Death Star, but also strike a blow against the Allies at the same time. Ultimately, while it may not have been the most tactically sound decision to choose Dantooine as a target, the Empire may have believed that its remoteness and isolation made it a suitable demonstration of the Death Star's immense destructive power.
      • What are you talking about? Dantooine was not a tempting target. Tarkin specifically says that "Dantooine is too remote for an effective demonstration." Also, Dantooine didn't host a rebel base! All they ever found was "the remains of a Rebel base, but we estimate that it has been deserted for some time." In the end they never made any attempt to attack Dantooine. They attacked Alderaan instead.

     Tarkin's Plan concerning 30 ships 
  • 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 Tagge said to Admiral Motti that "The Rebel Alliance is too well-equipped. They're more dangerous than you realise." 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 Tagge 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 centre 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.
    • Keep in mind Tagge is trying to convince Tarkin to evacuate in the remote chance the Rebels win; it's in his interest to exaggerate the threat so Tarkin flees, most likely with Tagge himself in tow.
    • There also seems to be a conspiracy to remove Tagge from power by Tarkin and Motti; if you take the latter two plotting to stage a coup against Palpatine as canon, Tagge reads as a staunch loyalist. Tarkin and Motti probably downplayed Tagge's concerns solely for politics in the hopes that when his concerns were revealed to be unfounded they could use that as a pretext for replacing the head of the army with another ally of theirs. In Motti's chapter in the From A Certain Point Of View anthology, he's already evidently trying this. Tagge is the only officer taking the Rebel threat seriously because he's the only one who doesn't have some ulterior motive.
    • It's possible that the size and capability of the Rebel Alliance navy at the time of the Battle of Yavin was exaggerated by the Empire. The Empire had limited knowledge of the actual size and capabilities of the Rebel Alliance navy, and so their estimates may have been based on incomplete or inaccurate information. Additionally, the Empire may have made assumptions about the Rebel's capabilities and resources based on their size and the relative ease of their capture of the Princess Leia and escaping with the Death Star plans. Furthermore, the Rebel Alliance may have underestimated the strength and capabilities of the Empire, leading them to believe that they could hold off the attack on the Yavin base with a smaller force. They also may have been trying to preserve their resources for future engagements and were not expecting the Death Star to be fully operational. In the end, the Rebel Alliance's plan succeeded, despite the odds against them, and they were able to take down the Death Star with just a few fighters. However, this was only the beginning of their struggle against the Empire, and they would need to build up their military strength and resources before they could truly challenge the Emperor's power.

     The Point Behind The Falcon's Capture 
  • 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 realises 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 realised 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.
    • All that aside, the Falcon encountered that one TIE fighter before it detected the Death Star, and began chasing it and jamming its communications. That, in itself, was grounds to apprehend the freighter, even if word of the Falcon's abrupt departure from Mos Eisley hadn't been reported to Tarkin yet.
    • The Empire stops ships all the time. The reason Han is in debt to Jabba in the first place is because he dumped his cargo and ran when an Imperial ship tried to board him. Tractoring it probably would have been standard procedure. They only got into hostilities with them because it had Obi-Wan (a former Jedi) and the escaped droids on board and they resisted when boarded. If it had just been Han and Chewie with some regular cargo on board and they hadn't just escaped an Imperial ship earlier they probably would have just checked them and let them go.
    • Alderaan is a large, populated world, so presumably there were a bunch of ships already in the area when the Death Star attacked. Those people can spread the word all on their own.
    • You are correct that the Death Star's main purpose was to intimidate the galaxy into submission. However, the crew of the Death Star, under the command of Grand Moff Tarkin, was eager to test the power of the station's superlaser, which was capable of destroying entire planets. The destruction of Alderaan was a demonstration of the Death Star's might, and it was important for the Empire to use the occasion to gather as much data as possible on the destructive capabilities of the superlaser. In addition, the Death Star had been sent to the Alderaan system as a response to a report of a Rebel presence there. Even though the Empire did not know for certain whether or not the Rebel base was located on Alderaan, the destruction of the planet would have served to remove any possibility of a Rebel presence there. Furthermore, Tarkin had a personal vendetta against Leia for her role in exposing the Death Star plans and wanted to see her executed. As for the Millennium Falcon, Vader was aware that they had the Death Star plans and did not want to let the ship escape with such valuable information. Even though the Falcon was just a freighter, it was an important target for Vader and Tarkin, and capturing or destroying it was a priority for the Empire. In the end, the Empire's focus on capturing or destroying the Millennium Falcon proved to be a critical mistake, as it led to the Death Star plans being delivered to the Rebel Alliance and ultimately resulted in the destruction of the Death Star.

     Where Luke Was Kept 
  • 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 for 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 an 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 jeopardises 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.
    • Not to mention all the sand.
    • 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 the Jedi (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 the Jedi 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.
    • I have no clue, but one possibility is that Obi-Wan was operating under the assumption that Vader would avoid Tatooine, given his painful childhood memories of the planet. This assumption might have seemed reasonable, given that Vader avoided Tatooine for almost twenty years after the death of his mother. However, as we see in the movies, Vader's interest in Luke eventually overcame any reluctance he may have had about returning to Tatooine, so it was a risky move on Obi-Wan's part. He might have been hoping that Luke would be able to leave Tatooine for a safer place once he became old enough to be trained as a Jedi, but ultimately the plan failed, and Luke remained on the planet for years, with his true identity hidden only by his uncle and aunt's silence (which might have seemed like a safe bet, considering that the entire Empire seemed to ignore the existence of the Outer Rim).

  • 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.
    • The Rebels were in a hurry to destroy the Death Star because they believed that it was fully operational and capable of destroying any planet in the galaxy. They were also aware that the Empire was aware of their presence on Yavin 4, and that they would launch a counterattack as soon as possible. The Rebels' Y-Wings were primarily designed for bombing runs and were not equipped with blasters or other weapons for dogfighting. According to Star Wars lore, the Rebels did not have enough trained pilots to fly both the Y-Wings and the X-Wings during the Battle of Yavin, so they assigned their best pilots to the X-Wings. In addition, the Rebels' primary objective was to destroy the Death Star, and they believed that the best way to accomplish this was to exploit the thermal exhaust vent weakness that they had discovered. Since they knew that the Death Star was heavily defended, they decided to focus their resources on destroying the Death Star by flying into the trench and targeting the vent, rather than on defending against TIE Fighters. Overall, the Rebels' decision to assign their best pilots to the X-Wings and their focus on destroying the Death Star, despite the risks, was a strategic choice based on their limited resources and the need to prioritize their objectives in order to successfully complete the mission.

     Laser Shielded 
  • 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 it’s armoured, 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 armoured" does not mean "every single piece of it is heavily armoured and impenetrable." A person, for instance, can be "heavily armoured," but his hands might still be relatively vulnerable because a bulletproof 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 armour 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 armoured? 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 armoured 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 armour. Or maybe the Force told him to shoot at the exact area he did because it was another weak spot and it wasn't explained??
    • There are probably any number of structures on the Death Star's surface that can't be armoured, 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 armour (armour 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?".
    • Uh... as far as I can tell, small fighters didn't blast holes in the Death Star's surface. At best they made a few dents which caused some localised tremors. But we never see any actual holes in it. We don't see Stormtroopers getting sucked out by explosive decompresion or whatever. The damage inflicted by the fighters was actually quite minimal (before Luke's proton torpedoes, of course).
    • You have a good point. The Death Star was indeed heavily armored, and its surface was protected by powerful shields and batteries of turbolasers. It is unlikely that the lasers on small fighters such as X-Wing and Y-Wing would have been able to cause significant damage to the Death Star's surface or to its turbolaser towers. However, the Rebel pilots in the Battle of Yavin were able to exploit a weakness in the Death Star's construction. They discovered that the thermal exhaust vent, the only vulnerable point in the Death Star's design, was uncovered and unprotected. By targeting this vent with precision, the Rebel pilots were able to strike directly at the reactor core, which caused a chain reaction that destroyed the Death Star. So, the key to the success of the Rebel mission was not the power of their weapons, but rather their ability to identify and exploit the enemy's vulnerabilities. By focusing their attacks on the exhaust vent, they were able to create a breach in the Death Star's armor and deliver a devastating blow that ultimately destroyed it.

     No Defences Around the Death Star 
  • 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-bourne the moment the Death Star dropped out of hyperspace.
    • It's almost like there's this incredibly arrogant guy commanding it who is convinced it's the ultimate power in the universe and that it is completely invincible, to the point that he completely disregards warnings that they're in danger, or something.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 lampshades the impracticality of such superweapons that are floating coffins without Boring, but Practical support. The Empire probably figured the Death Star had so much armour nothing could ever destroy it, at least not before the Death Star deployed its hundreds of thousands of Tie-Fighters and destroyed the threat, so having any routine support or perimeter control was a waste of resources. The Death Star in general was a stupid idea on the Empire's part, but it didn't have to work, just be scary to the populace.
    • The Death Star was designed to be a self-sufficient and powerful asset that could operate alone, without any other capital ships or escort ships. Its massive size and firepower made it capable of defending itself against most threats, and it was equipped with powerful shields and turbolasers that could destroy most enemy ships. Additionally, the Death Star was capable of moving through hyperspace on its own, which allowed it to travel quickly and unpredictably, making it difficult for enemies to track or intercept it. As for why the Death Star did not launch its TIE fighters until after the Rebels launched their attack, it could be due to a number of factors. One possibility is that the Empire's leaders underestimated the strength and determination of the Rebel Alliance, and did not anticipate that they would be capable of mounting a successful attack on the Death Star. Another possibility is that the Death Star was still calibrating its targeting systems when the Rebels launched their attack, and it needed to wait until these systems were fully functional before launching its TIE fighters. In any case, it is clear that the Empire's overconfidence and lack of preparation ultimately contributed to the Death Star's destruction, and it serves as a valuable lesson for leaders in any organization, military or otherwise: it is important to take potential threats seriously, and to be prepared to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of an attack.

     The Cause of the Lars Massacre 
  • 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.
    • In the Star Wars canonical universe, it is not explicitly stated how Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were murdered by the Stormtroopers. The canonical source material simply states that they were found burned to death, with their bodies lying alongside their burned home. It is possible that the Stormtroopers used some kind of energy weapon to kill them, such as a plasma or laser weapon that could have caused them to burst into flames. Alternatively, it could have been a conventional weapon such as a flame thrower or a nuclear weapon. Given that the Empire was known for their extreme brutality and their willingness to use any means necessary to accomplish their objectives, it's not out of the question that the Stormtroopers could have used something as extreme as a nuclear weapon to kill Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Ultimately, we will probably never know exactly how they were murdered, but it is clear that their deaths served as a powerful reminder of the brutality of the Empire to Luke, helping to cement his resolve to join the Rebel Alliance and fight against the Empire.

     Vader is no Lie Detector 
  • 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 practised 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."
    • She's not lying. There is a Rebel base on Dantooine. It's just abandoned.
    • Has Anakin ever sensed a lie via the Force? He can sense Obi-Wan's presence, but maybe that's not the same thing as sensing a lie. Maybe he just doesn't have that particular skill.
    • Leia has latent Force powers, so she might be subconsciously armoured against the Force techniques that would detect a lie or force her to tell the truth. One way or another she did demonstrate "considerable" resistance to the Mind Probe, so it's not hard to imagine she's resistant to Force-users as well.
    • Vader could likely sense that Leia was trying to deceive him, but he was unable to determine the truth of the matter with certainty. While the Sith Lord was powerful in the Force, he was not omniscient, and his ability to sense the truth or falsehood of a particular statement was not infallible. Furthermore, even if Vader had sensed that she was lying, he may have still allowed the Rebels to escape, knowing that their escape could lead him to other members of the Rebel Alliance, or potentially even their secret base. This was a tactic that Vader and the Empire frequently used, allowing their enemies to escape in the hopes that they would reveal additional information or leave behind other clues that could lead to greater success in the long run. In the case of Leia, she was able to deceive Vader thanks to her determination and her natural resilience in the face of torture. Her strength and resilience helped her to keep her secrets and protect her allies from Vader's grasp, even in the face of extreme psychological and physical pressure.

     The 12 Systems 
  • Why did Cornelius Evazan 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 if you try to collect then and there, and all of a sudden 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.
    • It's possible that he was just an idiot. It's also possible that he didn't have a death sentence anywhere, and was actually just making stuff up because he wanted to look tough (in fact, if he's a guy who just wants to pick a fight to show how tough he is, that would help explain why he starts yelling at Luke for no reason. He probably picked out Luke specifically because the kid looked like a wimp).
      • Idiot is probably not the right word for Cornelius Evazan—the man was a doctor, after all—but he was very foolish.
    • Just because a guy has an arrest warrant in some other jurisdiction doesn't mean there's a big enough bounty on his head to be worth the bother of dragging him back there.
    • It is not clear why Cornelius Evazan would have bragged about having the death sentence in twelve systems. Perhaps he was trying to intimidate or impress the other patrons in the cantina, or perhaps he was simply a braggart who enjoyed boasting about his reputation. However, it's worth noting that Evazan was a wanted man in many systems throughout the galaxy. As a member of the Dr Evazan and associates, a group of hardened criminals and smugglers, Evazan was known for his violent and criminal activities. He and his partner, Ponda Baba, were notorious in the Outer Rim for their use of force and extortion, and they were sought by law enforcement in many systems. In any case, Evazan's bragging was ultimately met with disaster. He and Ponda Baba engaged in a violent confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo in the cantina, and Ponda Baba was killed in the ensuing battle. Evazan was wounded and ultimately captured by the Imperial forces, and eventually, he was transferred to the detention block to await trial.

     How to direct Proton Torpedoes without a computer 
  • 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 manoeuvring 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 torpedoes 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 reached out to do so.
    • 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 lock onto, 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 blindfired the torpedoes and guided them at their target with the Force, they 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 training probe 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 up 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.
    • According to the top answer on this Stack Exchange thread, Lucas had intended for the proton torpedoes to "drop" into the exhaust port like real bombs. The reason they flew the way they did in the movie was because it was hard to animate a realistic flight path at the time.
    • You are correct that the proton torpedoes used by the Rebel fighters to destroy the Death Star were pre-programmed to make a 90-degree turn at the end of their flight, in order to enter the thermal exhaust vent and reach the reactor core. This was a crucial part of the attack plan, as the vent was the only vulnerable point on the Death Star's armor. The pilots did not need to manually control the torpedoes after firing them, but rather, they simply had to release them at the correct time, so that they would strike the vent and cause the chain reaction that destroyed the Death Star. The targeting computer in the Rebel fighters' X-Wings was designed to calculate the proper moment to release the torpedoes in order to ensure that they would reach the vent, but Luke Skywalker shut off his computer and used the Force to guide his shot, making him the ultimate hero of the battle and allowing him to destroy the Death Star and save the Rebel Alliance.

     Yavin Dog Fighting 
  • Can someone explain to me the dog fighting tactics used in the Battle of Yavin? When the starfighters 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 armour to protect him while he set up for his torpedo run. The wingmen couldn't hang very far back because that would let the TIEs 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 braker in behind you. They could also have called in support (which Luke specifically offers in the book).
    • It is true that the tactics used by the Rebel fighters in the Battle of Yavin do not seem to conform to conventional fighter tactics and formations that were used during World War II. This is likely due to the fact that the Rebel Alliance was a small, outnumbered force operating on limited resources, compared to the massive Imperial Navy that they were up against. It is also important to note that the Rebels did not have as much experience in space combat as the Imperials, as the Rebels were primarily a ground-based resistance movement that had only recently started using starfighters. Moreover, the Death Star was not a conventional target, as it was not a moving ship or base, but rather a massive space station that was extremely well-protected. This required the Rebels to use unconventional tactics to successfully achieve their objective. In general, the main focus of the Rebel fighters during the Battle of Yavin was on providing cover for the bomber squadron, which was tasked with making the critical assault on the Death Star. The starfighters were tasked with drawing the attention of the Imperial fighters and keeping them occupied, while the Y-wings launched their assault on the thermal exhaust port. The lack of experienced pilots and the unconventional nature of the target made this task particularly challenging, as the Rebels had to overcome both the overwhelming numerical advantage of the Imperials, as well as the extreme difficulty of the target.

     Death Star Trench 
  • 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.
    • It vents into 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 armour the trench that the exhaust is going to be channelled 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 armour up that than it is to armour 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 armour. 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 movie-ohwaitasecond. 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 armoured 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 armoured 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 armour 50+ kilometers of exhaust vent along with a few dozen or hundred kilometers of trench to handle the exhaust, they can armour 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 armour 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 TIEs 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 TIEs. 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 armour them properly." 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 armour up a few turrets to deal with thermal exhaust, especially as there's probably hundreds to thousands of kilometers of armoured plating already built into the station to handle said exhaust.
    • The turrets have moving parts, so no, you 'can't' armour them to the same degree as the rest of the trench, because if you make the armour 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 armour the turrets the way you could armour a stationary object, but that doesn't mean you can't armour up the turrets enough to make them resilient against the exhaust. They have the engineering chops to build a planet-sized, planet-killing space station. Armouring 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...."
    • 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.
    • The placement of the exhaust port is probably just a coincidence. The port doesn't need to be connected to a twenty-mile trench; it just happens to be there. In fact there might be 1000 other exhaust ports that aren't in trenches, but the Rebels targeted this one because it was the easiest one to approach without getting chewed up by turbolasers (the walls of the trench create a natural barrier around approaching fighters, limiting the number of defensive turrets that can be brought to bear). The trench itself is probably only there as a side-effect of the construction process. For whatever reason, they had two big chunks of Death Star that couldn't be connected seamlessly, and this area is just the "seem" between those two chunks. Maybe construction ships originally flew slowly down this same path, constructing the walls of the trench as they went, and that in turn provided a kind of "backbone" which supported the construction of the rest of this particular section of the Death Star.
    • Sources have confirmed that the narrow exhaust trench actually runs north-south, whereas the larger, equatorial trench is used for many more purposes, as others mentioned earlier. And yes, they are very distinct in terms of width, depth and purpose(s).
    • You raise a valid point - the design of the Death Star with its massive trench leading to the exhaust port seems to present a rather glaring vulnerability, one that the Rebel alliance exploited to great effect in the Battle of Yavin. However, it's important to keep in mind that the Death Star was a massive and extremely complex device, far beyond the understanding of most people. It was also the creation of a highly advanced civilization that had mastered both technology and the darker side of the Force, all under the guidance of one of the most powerful Sith Lords to ever live. The Death Star was more than just a space station - it was a weapon of immeasurable power and destruction, and its design was carefully crafted to maximize both its offensive capabilities and its ability to intimidate the galaxy. It's also worth noting that the trench leading to the exhaust port was heavily guarded by Imperial Star Destroyers and other warships, as well as by turbolasers and other defensive measures. This made it extremely dangerous and difficult for Rebel fighters to make their way through the trench and attack the target, and it is a testament to their skill, determination, and bravery that they were able to successfully carry out the mission. In short, while the design of the Death Star with its massive trench leading to the exhaust port may seem impractical or even absurd, it was nonetheless an effective weapon that was capable of inflicting immense damage on its enemies. It serves as a reminder of the dangers of hubris and overconfidence, as well as the importance of being prepared for the unexpected in any battle.

     Not Stopping The Tracking 
  • 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 comms 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.
    • Not that I’m doubting your answer overly much, but still, where has it been established that the Falcon doesn’t have a long-range comms system?
    • It's also possible that Leia told them about Yavin before they left (possibly while they were on the Death Star, after all it would have been better if someone knew where to carry the plans in case she died), and only afterwards realized that it was all a setup by the Empire. Notice she does try to convince Han that they were being tracked, but he didn't believe her (and presumably didn't intend to go anywhere else, since the rebels would have the money he wanted).
      • There's no way she mentioned Yavin before they left. If the Imperials had heard about Yavin, they wouldn't have placed a tracking beacon on the ship and (more to the point) Tarkin wouldn't be so nervous about taking "an awful risk".

     Plan Copy 
  • 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 built 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 analysed 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.
    • The officer who reports the flaw says that the base's technicians only discovered the danger by taking the Rebel fighters' own actions into account. Which means the attack was already in progress when they realised the exhaust port was an issue, so they only had a few minutes in which to devise a countermeasure and put it into effect. Unless they routinely stored suitable armour patches and the necessary equipment to install them right next to the exhaust port, there simply wasn't time to make the fix.
    • Maybe the engineers thought the guns could target any fighters the Rebels would be able to field, or that the commander would mobilise 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 mobilise.
    • Sure, but it's not like they had to reconstruct the whole station - just wield a protection grid/lid over the shaft’s exit. If it impedes with the shaft’s 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.
    • Basically. They know full well the exhaust port is a weak spot but... well there has to be an exhaust port SOMEWHERE for the station to work. When they noticed the fighters flying right into the trench that led to the port they realised "Oh no they must know where the port is." and it was technically a danger but the odds of them making the shot without getting shot down were so low it wasn't worth getting too concerned about. The fighters and defences should have been enough to take care of some X and Y-Wings and they nearly were. The Imperials certainly never expected the Millenium Falcon to make a sudden return and jump into the fray at the last second.
    • You're forgetting something: it's possible that the Imperials don't know the specs of the Rebels' proton torpedoes. In fact the on-hand torpedoes might have been modified for this exact mission, once the Rebels figured out what they needed. Remember that the goal is to set off a chain reaction, and that might require a very precise kind of explosion with a precise energy signature. In any other circumstance it wouldn't matter, but this is a very special circumstance! So maybe the Imperial engineers were frantically looking over their copy of the plans for every weakness they could think of, while the Rebels were able to quickly narrow the search to "things that would be vulnerable to our torpedoes, which have X, Y, and Z qualities that the Imperials don't know about." During the battle, the Empire notice that the Rebel ships are all gunning for a particular exhaust port, which gets them thinking "Hey, is it possible that Rebel torpedoes have Quality Z and we just don't know it? Because we ran the figures just now, and if they do have Quality Z then it turns out that might be enough to trigger a chain reaction via that exhaust port." This is turn is what prompts the line "We've analysed their attack, sir, and there is a danger." But they couldn't have figured it out in advance, because they didn't know the exact specs of the enemy's weapons and they didn't have the critical clue of "they're aiming for this one specific exhaust port."
    • Well, it's important to note that the Rebels stole the plans for the first Death Star, which was built in complete secrecy and with the utmost precision by the very same engineers who designed and constructed the station. Moreover, the plans were highly classified and not accessible to many members of the Imperial military. In the heat of the moment, the Imperials had other pressing concerns, such as tracking down and capturing the Rebels who had stolen the plans, and subsequently preventing them from using the sensitive information to launch a significant attack on the Death Star. They also had to contend with a lack of reliable intelligence and a general sense of overconfidence that their massive station was virtually indestructible. This led the Imperials to overlook the potential vulnerabilities in the Death Star's design, despite the obvious threat posed by the Rebel Alliance. In hindsight, it's clear that the Imperials should have taken the Rebel threat more seriously and invested more resources into securing the Death Star's infrastructure. However, the Empire was notorious for its overconfidence and hubris, and this ultimately led to their downfall in the original trilogy.

     Backup Plan 
  • In the final battle, did the Rebels 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 almost any other (there’s a 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.
    • By all accounts this was do or die. Either they destroyed the Death Star with it's weakness they found right there or they failed and the Empire would go on to have total control of the galaxy with it. If they even tried to escape or regroup they'd just be delaying the inevitable when the Death Star found the next planet and blew it up. And trying to repeat the attack would be unlikely to succeed as it would give the Empire ample time to fix the reactor flaw. Trying to make a backup was pointless, either they won here or were as good as dead.
    • Yes, the Rebel Alliance did have backup plans in case the attempt to destroy the Death Star failed. They had multiple escape routes planned and ships on standby to rescue any rebels who were unable to make it out of the Death Star before its destruction. Furthermore, the Rebels had established a network of safe houses and contacts throughout the galaxy in the event that they were required to go underground and continue their fight against the Empire from a position of secrecy and evasion. So even if the Death Star survived the battle, the Rebels were prepared to continue their resistance and eventually strike another blow when the circumstances were favorable.

     Walking Carpet 
  • Why does Leia call Chewbacca a "walking carpet" 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.
    • Cuz she's annoyed and angry.
    • My guess is her bad mood might have something to do with the fact that she just witnessed everyone she ever knew and loved being blown to bits. You'd be a little testy too.
    • That was the torture talking. Remember, the torture?
    • I know this is an old question, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly Early-Installment Weirdness (notice how the first film doesn't even seem to even have any aliens in the Rebellion). Retroactively, it makes sense to explain it as a case of O.O.C. Is Serious Business (Leia was just tortured and Forced to Watch her planet be destroyed, it's not far fetched to think she was feeling bitchy at the time because of that).
    • Consider she kicked off by insulting Luke's height and sassing Han and basically becoming the trope codifier for Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like, possibly it's simply equal-opportunity snarking.
    • It's worth noting that while Leia's statement about Chewbacca may have been disrespectful and dismissive, it was not intended to be interpreted as an ethnic slur. Leia is simply referring to Chewbacca's physical appearance, which does indeed resemble that of a walking carpet. That being said, it's important to treat all members of the Rebel Alliance with respect and dignity, regardless of their species or background. The alliance is a coalition of diverse individuals and groups that are united by their shared goal of defeating the Empire, and it's important to remember that this goal is not possible without the contributions of every member, human or non-human. By valuing and respecting each member's unique qualities and abilities, the alliance can operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness, and ultimately achieve their ultimate goal of freeing the galaxy from the Empire's grip.

     Nobody Stopped Us 
  • 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 organised 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.
    • The very opening crawl explains this. The Empire just came fresh out of the first major battle they lost to the Rebels.
    • According to Rebels, Rebels had already stopped them from building TIE Defenders and accessing the World Between Worlds, among other victories. (Admittedly, these had not yet been conceived in 1977, so Vader was just referring to a Noodle Incident.)
    • Well, while it's true that Vader and his boss, Emperor Palpatine, have had a strong hold on the galaxy for the past twenty years, there has been resistance to their rule. One of the biggest threats to their regime came during the Great Jedi Purge, which saw the vast majority of the Order's members hunted down and exterminated in what's known as Order 66. However, some Jedi survived and continued to fight against the Empire from the shadows, even after their defeat. The Rebel Alliance was formed shortly after the Great Jedi Purge and has been an ongoing menace to the Empire, carrying out several successful missions and attacks against their military installations and personnel. Additionally, there have been various other resistance groups and factions that have opposed the Empire's rule and fought back against their oppression and tyranny.

     Leia's Grief 
  • 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.
    • Fun fact, that guy is not just a lackey (or at least he wasn't originally written that way). According to the script he is "Willard, the commander of the Rebel forces."
    • Leia probably spent some time in her prison cell fighting back tears, she just didn't do it on camera. When we do see her, she's still coping with overwhelming grief, but she's at the stage of being really, really angry about what's happened. Hence, her carping at her rescuers and the ferocity with which she joins in the blaster-fights.
    • It's true that Leia has every right to be greatly affected by the tragedy of Alderaan. Losing her entire home and everyone she cared about in an instant is an unimaginable loss and one that would take a great deal of time to process and overcome. It's also true that everyone deals with grief differently, and some people may find themselves throwing themselves into work as a way of coping or avoiding the painful emotions associated with loss. However, it's worth noting that Leia is a character who is known for her bravery, strength, and determination. While she certainly experiences grief and trauma throughout the film, she's also shown to be a resilient and principled leader who puts the greater good of the Rebel Alliance above her own personal pain. She understands the importance of the mission at hand and knows that she needs to keep moving forward in order to help bring about the downfall of the Empire and the restoration of freedom to the galaxy. That being said, it's not that Leia is completely emotionless or numb throughout the movie. She does have moments of vulnerability and grief, but she also shows incredible bravery and resilience in the face of adversity. Ultimately, her character is one that inspires and unites people, and serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of moments, there is still hope for a better future.

     Firing The Moon When Ready 
  • 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, 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 a worried man. He believes his station to be invincible, so much so that he didn't even launch any TIEs 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 at least 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 lethal 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 fragments. It's highly likely that the Death Star wouldn't be able to destroy a gas giant, or even have much of an effect.
    • Again you have to bear in mind how ‘’big’’ space is. Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede orbits at a million kilometers. If Yavin IV is somewhere approaching Earth-sized (it seems to be, since humans walk around as if it has "normal" gravity), that makes it some 40 times more massive than Ganymede and thus it probably has a far more distant orbit around Yavin Prime (particularly since it's probably quite a bit more massive than Jupiter in order to have such a big moon). And the further away it is, the more the blast effects will dissipate before arriving.
    • 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 liquefies 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 centre 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 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.
    • As mentioned above, there's a good chance that Yavin Prime is bigger than Jupiter. It clearly has at least one moon far bigger than any of Jupiter's, and a more massive planet has far better chances ending up with more massive moons (current canon gives Yavin Prime a diameter of 200,000km, or 1.4x that of Jupiter. But for a gas giant that tells you remarkably little about its mass). Gas giants with higher mass than Jupiter are remarkably common in our galaxy. While there's controversy about whether anything bigger than 13 Jupiter masses (ie big enough to fuse deuterium) can be considered a planet or whether they're automatically a brown dwarf, even the most restrictive definition means there are hundreds of known "super-Jupiters" out there. And it stands to reason they would be out there in the galaxy far, far away too. So even if the Death Star's superlaser is powerful enough to destroy Jupiter, is it also powerful enough to destroy a planet 13 times more massive?
    • Hyperspace works on pre-existing routes. For most systems, there's only one way in or out. If you look carefully, you'll see that the Falcon makes the same approach to Yavin base. Plus, the Death Star didn't need to go all the way to Yavin, just go around the gas giant far enough to get a clean shot.
    • Even if you disregard the concept of hyperspace lanes, the Death Star has to get from Point A (the brand-new Alderaan Debris Field) to Point B (Yavin), so unless they deliberately take a longer route they're going to show up on the "whichever way is in the direction of The Space Dust Formerly Known As Alderaan" side of the system. The moon being on the wrong side is thus simply bad timing on the Empire's part, though how bad their timing is would depend on how long Yavin IV's orbital period is. Assuming they calculated where Yavin IV was in its orbit, the alternatives would be to either plot a longer course that lets them approach from a different direction (adding a delay of unknown length, when already in pursuit of a demonstrably-faster ship), or wait for it to be a time of a "year" on Yavin IV where they'll exit from the Alderaan Asteroid Field with a clear line of fire (by which time the Rebels had better be long gone, unless Yavin IV's orbital speed is relativistic).
    • You're assuming that they arrived in the system with a full charge, as if the Death Star is a loaded gun and they can fire it at any time. But we're talking about the galaxy's biggest laser! It takes a while to charge up, right? At least that's what I assumed. So they spent the entire battle just charging it up. Orbiting the planet and getting within visual range of Yavin IV was just a bonus; the real reason they didn't fire immediately is because they didn't have enough power to do so. They've just spent a ludicrous amount of energy moving an object the size of a small moon through hyperspace, and now they have to spend another ludicrous amount of energy charging the superlaser. It's not exactly point-and-click.
    • On the other hand, it may be that the hypermatter reactor can charge separate supersized batteries, one for the superlaser, one to power the hyperdrive, maybe others for other functions. Meaning that it could save a shot charged up before, or even perhaps during the hyperspace journey. This warrants further investigation.
    • The simple answer is that Tarkin was overconfident and didn't want to waste the Death Star's destructive power on an insignificant moon. He wanted to destroy the Rebel base as a show of force and intimidation to the galaxy, demonstrating the power of the Empire and its military. It's also worth noting that the Empire had already destroyed a significant portion of the Rebel fleet and the base on Yavin 4. Tarkin may have believed that the rebels were no longer a significant threat and could be dealt with more efficiently through targeted strikes rather than massive displays of brute force. Additionally, the Death Star's laser was a massive drain on the station's energy resources, and Tarkin may have been reluctant to use it excessively. While the Empire was clearly in a position of power at the time, there was still the possibility that they could encounter a significant rebel alliance or enemy force in the future, and Tarkin may have been concerned about having enough firepower to deal with that threat should it arise. Overall, it's likely that Tarkin simply didn't view the moon as enough of a threat to warrant the Death Star's destructive power, and felt that the destruction of the Rebels on Yavin 4 would be sufficient to establish the empire's dominance throughout the galaxy.

     Hard Search 
  • 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."
    • It's not just you - the Empire's search for 3PO and R2 on Tatooine was definitely a bit heavy-handed. While it's understandable that the Empire would want to use force to get their hands on the droids that contained the Death Star plans, it seems like they went a bit overboard in executing their search. And yes, it's definitely true that Stormtroopers tend to resort to violence rather quickly in many cases. But even so, it seems like the Empire could have taken a less violent approach to their search, especially given that they were up against villagers and farmers who were clearly not armed or a major threat to their power. Ultimately, the Empire's search on Tatooine serves as a reminder of the brutal and overwhelming force that they are willing to use in order to achieve their goals, with little regard for innocent lives or the well-being of those caught in their path.

     Rebel Medals 
  • 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 while Han and Chewie only showed up at the end.
    • Who says they didn't? The film gives no indication that the scene with Han and Luke being awarded is the entirety of the ceremony; it was probably just the end or main part. The guys you mentioned may have received medals earlier, or perhaps away from the actual ceremony. Wedge at least definitely got recognition for his contributions at some point; he got a bump up in rank between ANH and ESB.
    • Luke destroyed the actual station while Han took down Vader, one of the Empire's most dangerous pilots. Wedge meanwhile got damaged and had to retreat. Obviously Wedge's ability to fight that kind of battle and survive got him recognition and attention through promotion and squadron commandship but he didn't really do anything medal worthy in that battle. Certainly not enough to be dragged in front of the whole Rebellion in a big ceremony and become one of their bigshot heroes when his accomplishment was basically "Not dying."
    • We could also say the medals weren't just for the battle itself, but for their role in rescuing Princess Leia (and the plans) from the Death Star as well.
    • That's a good point. While many of the other Rebel fighters who helped to destroy the Death Star did receive medals during the ceremony, Wedge Antilles and the surviving Y-Wing pilot do not appear to have received any recognition for their efforts. It's possible that this was simply an error or oversight on the part of the Rebel leadership, as the chaos of the battle and the aftermath may have made it difficult to keep track of all the individuals who played a role in the victory. Additionally, Han and Chewie had a more direct role in the final moments of the battle, as Han was able to use his experience as a pilot to land a critical shot on the Death Star's vulnerable exhaust port, while Chewie served as his co-pilot and helped take down several Imperial TIE Fighters along the way. This may have caused them to stand out more among the many Rebel fighters who played a role in the battle. Alternatively, it's possible that Wedge and the other surviving Y-Wing pilot were awarded medals off-screen, or that they received recognition in other ways that were not shown in the movie. Regardless, it's important to remember that all of the Rebel fighters who took part in the Battle of Yavin played a critical role in the defeat of the Empire, and their bravery and sacrifice will always be remembered as a turning point in the fight for freedom in the galaxy.

     Finding Ben & Luke 
  • 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 sense them, or at least he sensed Obi-Wan. He said so out loud.
    • 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.
    • Adding to this, Obi-Wan’s Force signature would have been much stronger than Luke’s at this point, particularly if Obi-Wan deliberately flaunted it to lure Vader to him and away from the rest of the heroes.
    • How exactly does he come to realise that "the Force is strong with this one"? He could be sensing it directly, but I always assumed that Luke was just doing a really good job of navigating his X-wing, anticipating Vader's moves before they happen so Vader can never line up a good shot. Vader knows from experience that this sort of maneuvering requires some connection to the Force, which provides the pilot with mystical intuition. This lines up with the previous scene onboard the Falcon, where Luke blocks blasts from a flying remote even though he's blindfolded. He can just sense where it's going to go and react intuitively. Luke wasn't actually doing anything like this on the Death Star, so Vader had nothing to notice or comment on. But once he sees Luke flying his X-wing like that, he realizes that the Force is strong with him.
    • While it is true that Darth Vader's abilities to sense the Force were incredibly powerful, it's also important to remember that his powers were not without limitations. He may have been able to sense Luke's connection to the Force during the final battle because of the intensity of the situation and the strong emotional connection between Luke and Vader. However, it's possible that the presence of Obi-Wan and other Rebel fighters on the Millennium Falcon earlier in the movie may have clouded Vader's ability to sense Luke's presence. Additionally, Vader's focus may have been divided between the battle and his interrogation of Leia, making it more difficult for him to fully concentrate on sensing Luke. Ultimately, the reasons for Vader's inability to sense Luke on the Millennium Falcon could be the result of a combination of factors, including both external and internal limitations.

     Stormtroopers Lying 
  • Why did the Stormtroopers try to make it look like the Jawas were killed by Sand People? It's not like the mighty Empire would suffer any consequences for killing a small band of junk traders out in the remote areas of a backwater planet. And the troopers later walk around Mos Eisley in broad daylight, while making it very obvious that they're looking for someone, so it's not like their presence on Tatooine is some kind of secret.
    • I imagine that Imperial officers are of two minds on the subject. On one hand you've got folks like Tarkin who are quite willing to kill innocent people and take credit for it (see: Alderaan), because he figures that this will scare the galaxy into submission. On the other hand you've got some other people who figure that killing innocent people just boosts recruitment for the Rebellion, which makes everything harder in the long run. Officers of the latter persuasion will be inclined to cover up the Empire's misdeeds whenever they get the chance, and apparently one of those people was in charge of the Tatooine operation.
    • Plus I'm sure that with the Empire looking for top secret intelligence information, they don't want people to know that they are looking.
    • It's certainly possible that the Empire's attempt to make it look like the Jawas were killed by Sand People was an attempt to cover their tracks and prevent the news of the Empire's presence on Tatooine from spreading throughout the galaxy. After all, if word got out that the Empire was actively interfering with the daily lives of Tatooine's residents, it could have sparked a potential rebellion among the planet's citizens and made it more difficult for the Empire to maintain control over the remote planet. And while it's true that the Stormtroopers' presence on Tatooine was no secret, the Empire may have wanted to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to their activities and operations on the planet. By making it seem like the Jawas were killed by Sand People, they could easily deflect any suspicion that the Jawas were killed by Imperial forces and avoid drawing attention to their presence on the planet.
    • The storm trooper detachment had a job to do—for Darth Vader, no less. Even so, it's possible that they did not want to antagonize the Hutts by leaving evidence that they were bullying jawas and moisture farmers who probably paid protection money to Jabba. Jabba wasn't nearly as powerful as Vader or the emperor, but he was prone to retaliate against the Empire in some way. Thus, when they were out of the public's view, the storm troopers took some steps to remain covert.

  • When they're on the Death Star and Artoo plugs into the computer, he informs Luke (via Threepio) that Princess Leia is onboard. Luke immediately understands the significance of this; Princess Leia is the girl from that "You're my only hope" message! But wait, how does Luke know that? Leia never identified herself in that message. In fact, no one in the entire movie refers to her as "Princess Leia" before that particular scene onboard the Death Star (Vader calls her "Princess" earlier, but not "Leia", and anyway Luke wasn't around during that conversation. At the homestead, Threepio says "She was a passenger on our last voyage" but doesn't refer to her by name). The only reason the name "Princess Leia" means anything to the audience is because we read the opening crawl. Luke shouldn't be able to recognise her name.
    • Maybe Obi-Wan happened to mention it during the trip to Alderaan.
    • This is just my two cents, but since Leia is a member of Alderaan's royal family, Luke could've heard about her before, possibly seen her in some hologram news, and he just didn't make the connection/remember that that was Princess Leia until he heard her name.
    • You raise a valid point; it's true that Luke was not present during the conversation in which Leia identified herself as the one who sent the message to Obi-Wan. However, it's also possible that Luke was able to put the pieces together based on the information available to him. For example, Obi-Wan explained to Luke that the Princess was being held aboard the Death Star by the Empire, a group of individuals who are known for using fear and intimidation to achieve their goals. He also informed Luke that she had sent a message to him via R2-D2, a droid who has known the young farm boy for most of his life. And finally, Luke had previously encountered Leia during her rescue mission, and he would have noticed that she was a strong and capable individual who was willing to stand up to the Empire. Given all of this information, it's possible that Luke was able to put two and two together and realize that the individual who sent the message to Obi-Wan was the same person who was being held captive on the Death Star. While it may not be explicitly evident in the movie's script, it's certainly within the realm of possibility that Luke was able to make this assumption based on the context clues available to him.

     Leia's Accent 
  • What's the deal with Leia's accent? Sometimes she sounds British and sometimes she sounds American (compare "Governor Tarkin. I should have expected to find you holding Vader's leash" with "Would someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?").
    • Since all the Imperial officers sound British and all the Rebels sound American, I like to imagine that Palpatine has established some sort of "Imperial Accent" which high-ranking people are supposed to speak. Leia's natural accent is the "common" (American) accent, but as a member of the Senate she was forced to learn (and present) the "Imperial" (British) accent as well. She tends to slip into her native accent whenever she's stressed or whenever there aren't any Imperials around to hear her. By the time of TESB, she's been out of the Senate for three years and she uses her native accent 24/7.
    • Word of God is that the British accent she uses is actually a Coruscanti accent and her American accent is a Alderaanian accent.
    • Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Leia, has spoken about her struggles with consistency in her accent as a young actress. She has said that she had difficulty maintaining a consistent accent throughout A New Hope, and that it was one of the things she was most critical of herself about in the film. It's also worth noting that, as an American actress playing a British princess, she may have been particularly sensitive to criticisms of her accent and may have subconsciously altered her accent over the course of the film. Additionally, it's important to remember that language and accents can be influenced by a variety of factors, including stress, emotion, and the presence of specific individuals in a particular scene, all of which could have played a role in Leia's accent inconsistencies throughout the film.
    • She only used the British accent when talking to Vader and Tarkin, probably to sound composed and undaunted by them, as well as likely being a form of mock politeness. Otherwise, she used her normal accent. Notice that it starts to slip when Tarkin threatens to blow up Alderaan and she drops it completely when he gives the order.

     Motti Not Believing In The Force 
  • The whole scene with Motti and Vader never made sense. Motti doesn't believe in the Force and makes fun of Vader for believing in it. All this despite it being common knowledge that Darth Vader is a powerful Force user (as he quickly shows Motti).
    • It is a big galaxy, and most people never met a Jedi, much less a Sith, in person. Not to mention that Palpatine has been discrediting Jedi pretty heavily, at least early in his reign. It is very possible that Motti has just taken the party line on the matter, thinking Vader is just another charlatan who trades on the discredited Jedi tropes to get his way and cow people.
    • The vast majority of people in real life have never met the rulers of their countries either, but pretty much everyone learns about them in school. And if they did have magic powers it's pretty hard for me to believe they never would have taught that (particularly in a regime like the Empire, where they stress to the citizens how great and powerful their leaders are). Really, the whole thing makes Motti seem like a Flat-Earth Atheist.
    • Simple: Motti has never seen those powers in use, so assumes they're propaganda. There were people in Iraq that believed Saddam had a magic jewel that made him invincible. Official North Korean history is that its founder was literally sent by Heaven, and that Kim Jong Il played one game of golf and played it absolutely perfectly. None of that is remotely true. So, Motti hears that the Emperor is a wizard, and that his buddy is also a wizard. He's never seen them in action, so he assumes it's propaganda to keep the rubes in line.
    • It's also possible that Motti does know that Jedi and Sith have special powers: he just didn't believe in the religious explanation for those powers. Psionic abilities demonstrated by individuals wouldn't necessarily prove the existence of a greater "Force" that permeates the universe, any more than the existence of lightning proves that Zeus exists.
    • Note Motti's appearance, he looks to be 40 tops probably even younger and is the youngest officer in the room by a good decade if not more. He was likely no older than a teen when the Jedi were wiped out and a small child pre-Clone Wars so he almost certainly never saw a Jedi in action. Sure he's heard the stories but he probably figures they're mostly nonsense. Note that Han, who's about 35 and would have been around 16 when the Jedi were wiped out and also a young child pre-Clone Wars (and thus also probably never met a Jedi and only knows the stories) also thinks the Force and Jedi are nonsense at first. The older officers meanwhile probably served in the Clone Wars and therefore saw the Jedi's abilities first hand and know Vader is legit.
    • For the record, the actor playing Motti was about 30 at the time so yeah, probably young enough to be groomed by the Emperor's propaganda machine.
    • You're correct that Motti's disbelief in the Force and his subsequent mocking of Vader seems to be a bit confusing, especially considering the well-established fact that Vader is widely known as a powerful Force user in the Imperial ranks (and indeed, his use of the Force on Motti is a quick and obvious display of this). It's possible that Motti's attitude towards the Force and Vader's beliefs was due to his own arrogance and delusions of grandeur. He may have believed that, as a highly-ranking Imperial officer, he was above such "mystical" concerns and that his own power and influence were more important than any supernatural abilities. He may have also underestimated the true nature of the Force and Vader's abilities, assuming that they were nothing more than a harmless curiosity or that any such powers could be easily overcome through technological advancements and military might. Ultimately, Motti's dismissal of the Force and his taunts towards Vader served as a reminder to the audience of the Empire's hubris and overconfidence in their own power. It also demonstrated the potential danger of underestimating the power of the Force, as Vader's subsequent use of the Force to choke Motti was a clear demonstration of how the Force can be used to wield tremendous power and influence over others, even in the presence of those who may believe the Force to be nothing more than a myth or a relic of the past.

     Tarkin's Trap 
  • When the Millenium Falcon is escaping Tarkin mentions they are letting them escape on purpose with the intent of letting the beacon they planted allow them to find the Rebel base. Why then do they send some TIE fighters out to attack them? Isn't that counterproductive?
    • Because not sending the TIE fighters would look suspicious.
    • You raise a valid point: if the Empire intended to let the Millennium Falcon escape on purpose so that they could track its movements and locate the Rebel base, then it doesn't make sense for them to have sent a group of TIE fighters out to attack them. By attacking the Millennium Falcon, the TIE fighters would risk damaging or destroying it, which would defeat the purpose of using it to track the Rebels. It's possible that the TIE fighters were sent out unintentionally or without full knowledge of the plan to let the Millennium Falcon escape. It's also possible that Tarkin was simply trying to maintain appearances and wanted to show that he was taking active steps to capture the Rebels, even if the real plan was to follow their movements and locate their base. Alternatively, the TIE fighters may have been sent out to pursue other goals, such as gathering intelligence or maintaining control over the local space. Ultimately, the decision to send the TIE fighters out to attack the Millennium Falcon is open to interpretation, and the reasons behind it may have been influenced by a variety of factors, including the strategic goals of the Empire, the individual motivations and personalities of the officers involved, and the heat of the moment decisions made during the course of the battle.
      • You're overthinking this. Leia says "They let us go. It's the only explanation for the ease of our escape." The simplest explanation is that the TIE fighters didn't risk destroying the Falcon, because they'd been ordered not to destroy it! They were deliberately making bad shots the whole time, trying to look threatening without doing any real damage. Probably the pilots hoped that the Falcon would just jump to hyperspace as soon as possible. Unfortunately for them, Han decided to kill them all before he made the jump.

     Han's Original Role 
  • If Han had actually agreed to take part in the assault on the Death Star at the beginning, what would his role have been, exactly? The Millennium Falcon is easily the equal of any snub fighter in terms of speed, manoeuvrability and firepower, so would the Alliance higher ups have had Solo make the assault run with the Y-Wings? Or would the Falcon act as a wingman, or troubleshooting assault craft, shooting enemy fighters off Rebel ships trying to make their run?
    • The Falcon would probably have been disabled with a tractor beam if it had taken part from the start. The small fighters appear to be small enough to be able to ignore the tractor beams with only a little turbulence, larger ships than the Y-Wings would probably have been little use. It is only because everyone is already focused on the battle that Han is able to jump in with the element of surprise at the last minute. The Falcon would have been of more use as an evacuation vessel. The question is more, given they can afford to pay him for rescuing Leia, why they didn't pay Han some more to carry off some of the non-essential high command and equipment in his passenger and cargo carrying freighter instead of just letting him leave on his own.
    • Maybe they would have put him in an X-Wing.
    • Han’s ship, while fast and manoeuvrable, is also just pretty bulky in comparison to the Rebel starfighters so it wouldn’t handle overly well doing the entire trench run. The narrow space in that trench is better left for the two wingmen of the pilot who’s taking the shot to provide shielding for his attack run. It also sports concussion missiles which are more tailored for locking on to take down enemy starfighters than the precision task of blowing up the Death Star reactor. Given these factors, and it’s turbolaser turrets (assuming they were both manned by Chewbacca/Han and then a third party Rebel soldier), the Falcon would be better placed intercepting and drawing TIEs away from the trench run (and also staying away from it to avoid the turbolaser emplacements around it). As for why they didn’t pay him to evacuate the non-essential high command and equipment, it’s likely they would have considered this action cowardly (also, a waste of precious finances if they do believe the mission can be accomplished... which they are hoping for), and that at least the high command would be better off aiding the taskforce by whatever means available.
    • If Han Solo had agreed to take part in the assault on the Death Star at the beginning, it's likely that he would have played the role of a wingman to the X-Wing fighters or Y-Wing bombers making the assault run on the station's weak point. The Millennium Falcon is a versatile and powerful vessel, but it lacks the precise maneuverability needed to make a successful attack on such a small target. Instead, Solo would have been assigned to protect the other craft with his powerful weapons and exceptional flying skills, taking out any enemy fighters or defense systems that threatened the success of the mission. Alternatively, it's possible that Solo would have been assigned the task of transporting Rebel leaders or intelligence officers to and from the battlefield, using his ship's speed and stealth capabilities to sneak past enemy patrols and deliver key personnel to and from the station. Ultimately, Solo's role would likely have been determined by the specific needs and strategies of the Rebel Alliance, and would have been tailored to his strengths as a pilot and a leader.

     Death Star Moving 
  • How does the Death Star actually move? It doesn't appear to have any engines, though we only ever see it from one angle so I guess it could have some on the back.
    • By venting propulsion through a network of thermal exhaust ports, which are tied directly into the main reactor?
    • For interstellar travel it has a hyperdrive, which is confirmed in Rogue One (and implied in this film, because Alderaan and Yavin aren't in the same star system). For real space travel, it probably has ion engines like star destroyers to act as manoeuvring thrusters, just ones that are spread around the station that are very small compared to the bulk of the station and used sparingly. Also, during the final battle, they aren't used as much because the station is taking advantage of Yavin Prime's gravity to swing them around it.
    • Great question! The Death Star is powered by a powerful reactor located in the station's core. This reactor generates a massive amount of energy that is used to power a combination of propulsions systems, including repulsorlift engines, which allow the station to hover in the air or space, and sublight engines, which allow it to move through hyperspace. The Death Star also employs a special type of engine known as a hyperdrive, which is capable of moving the station across vast distances at faster-than-light speeds. This engine can be used to move the station between different star systems, and is what allows it to travel from one battle to another. However, it takes time to charge and power up the hyperdrive, which is why the Death Star is usually accompanied by a fleet of support ships, such as the imperial star destroyers, which can provide protection while it is charging its hyperdrive. Overall, the Death Star is a highly advanced and powerful vehicle that is designed to dominate the galaxy and instill fear in its enemies. The station's weapons, armor, and propulsion systems make it one of the most formidable craft in the galaxy, and its ability to travel from one system to another allows it to be a constant threat to any target, whether it's a rebel base, or simply an entire planet that it has been sent to destroy.

     Letting A Shot Happen 
  • When Han is in the Cantina and Greedo has him at gunpoint, while they're talking why doesn't Han just shoot Greedo instead of letting Greedo shoot first? Obviously this is a contentious special edition change, but In-Universe, what reason did he have not to shoot first?
    • Greedo has the drop on Han, so Han needs to bide his time for a few moments so he can get his blaster out without Greedo seeing it. As it is, if Han moves for his blaster before they sit down, Greedo shoots him before it clears the holster.
    • It's a classic dilemma: shoot the bad guy before he shoots you, or try to talk your way out of a potentially dangerous situation? If Han had shot Greedo first, he would have guaranteed his own safety in the moment, but he would also have revealed himself as a dangerous and aggressive person, potentially making the situation even more hazardous for him in the future. By trying to talk his way out of the situation, Han was showing that he valued diplomacy and communication over violence, and was hoping to de-escalate the conflict before it became fatal for either him or Greedo. Of course, in the end, Greedo did shoot first, but Han ultimately emerged victorious because of his quick reflexes, his skill with a blaster, and his resourcefulness in using the environment and the other patrons in the Cantina to his advantage. Ultimately, Han's decision to try and talk his way out of the situation showed that he was a skilled diplomat and negotiator, as well as a formidable fighter, and it's this combination of traits that allowed him to succeed in so many dangerous situations throughout the events of the original trilogy.

     Fighter Detection 
  • During the final battle, the Rebel commander on Yavin says "Squad leaders, we've picked up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters coming your way." But how is the ground base on Yavin 4 able to detect these fighters in the first place? There's no line of sight from the moon to the Death Star. For the same reason that the Death Star can't instantly zap the moon, the Rebel base shouldn't be able to see what's going on at the Death Star.
    • They could have surveillance satellites around the system keeping an eye out for Empire ships and the like. After all, they're talking with the fighters somehow.
    • They're not detecting the TIE fighters themselves, they're detecting their radio signals.
    • The Rebel base on Yavin 4 was equipped with advanced sensors that were able to detect the approach of the Empire's starfleet, including the fighter wing that was sent to attack the base. These sensors were designed to detect any potential threats to the base, such as incoming ships, and were able to distinguish between friendly and hostile ships based on their signature. The Rebel base was also able to monitor other Imperial activities in the area, such as the movement of the Death Star, and was able to coordinate with Rebel ships in the area to monitor the battle and respond accordingly. The sensors on Yavin 4 were able to detect the approach of the enemy fighters, allowing the Rebels to prepare for their attack and ultimately destroy the Death Star.

     Bouncing around in fighters 
  • Why is it that when we see the Red and Gold squad fighter pilots close up in their fighters they're bouncing around, floating up and down? Whereas when we see the fighters from the outside they're fairly stable.
    • I don't think the pilots are supposed to be bouncing around. Note that the engines of the X-Wings tend to shift around as well. I believe it's meant to be a camera trick to make the viewer experience the changes in momentum when the fighters turn.
    • The bouncing and floating movement of the Red and Gold Squadron pilots in their fighters during the Battle of Yavin is a visual effect used to convey the intensity of the dogfight and the stress that the Rebel pilots are under as they prepare to launch their attack on the Death Star. It represents the extreme forces that the pilots are experiencing as they navigate their ships through the chaos of the battle and attempt to stay on target in the face of overwhelming opposition. The relatively stable movement of the fighters from the outside is a reflection of the fact that the Battle of Yavin was a large-scale space battle involving hundreds of ships, and in order to convey the scope and scale of the battle, the filmmakers used a combination of visual effects and practical models to create a sense of depth and spatial relation between the different elements. This included using motion control rigs for the X-Wing and TIE fighter models when shooting their exterior shots, which allowed for more precise control and manipulation of the models to create the illusion of movement in the scene.

     Did the Falcon exit hyperspace and shoot Vader's wingman? 
  • I always assumed that is what happened because of the bright flash behind the Falcon and that the ship seemingly evaded all the Death Star's defences. Yet I've had difficulty finding a source specifying exactly what occurred there.
    • Yes, that is exactly what happened. Remember, the Death Star is sitting right in front of the hyperspace lane exit, between it and Yavin IV, so the returning Falcon would necessarily exit hyperspace almost right on top of it. Han needs only to quickly react to the situation he finds himself in, and we know Han has very fast reactions.
    • Officially, that bright flash behind the ship is Yavin's star. Han flew directly out of the sun to mask his approach.
    • Yes, you're correct in that the Millennium Falcon did exit hyperspace and shoot Vader's wingman during the Battle of Yavin. After escaping the Death Star's tractor beam, the Falcon exited hyperspace to find that it was surrounded by an Imperial fleet, including Vader's star destroyer, the Executor. The Falcon quickly engaged the TIE fighters that surrounded it and eventually made its way towards the Death Star, taking out Vader's wingman as it did so. Once the Falcon reached the Death Star's trench, it became a target for the Death Star's defenses. However, thanks to the Falcon's impressive agility and the skill of its pilot, Han Solo, the ship was able to successfully navigate the trench and make the key shot that ultimately destroyed the Death Star.

     At the medals ceremony 
  • There are several men on the dais standing behind Leia, Luke and Han. They look like security guards. Why are they there? And they don't look like they're happy and proud to be a part of this great victory. One of them is an older man. I assume he may have officiated some sort of religious observance just before the medals are given. Have we been given identification for him or the others?
    • While it is a Rebellion, military personnel are expected to retain a stoic, fearless appearance even during ceremonies. Especially if you are a guard.
    • The men you see standing behind Leia, Luke and Han on the dias were likely part of the security detail responsible for providing protection for the senior Rebel Alliance commanders during the award ceremony. As the Rebel Alliance had just achieved a major victory over the Empire, it was important to ensure the safety of the Alliance leaders during the celebration. Additionally, some of the men may have been military officers or members of the Alliance Council, who were invited to observe the proceedings and recognize the heroes of the Rebel Alliance. Overall, the presence of these men on the podium was likely intended to indicate the importance of the medals and the ceremony, as well as the gravity of the moment, as the Death Star had just been destroyed and the future of the galaxy was now up for grabs.
    • Old man? You mean General Dodonna?

     "Skywalker, huh? By any chance are you related to..." 
  • None of the Rebel Alliance seemed to recognise the name Skywalker from anywhere. Luke just appears to be some nobody with an insignificant name. Even in early drafts, Anakin Skywalker was a General with a reputation. Owen claimed that Luke's father was a nobody to the general public. But Obi-Wan, of course, knew better (even in the early days of the franchise before the big reveal) and said as much. The Alliance elders, whom Luke would have met after helping rescue one of their most important Rebel agents, didn't think to connect Luke's last name with anyone notable that they might have heard of or known from the old days.
    • Perhaps Skywalker is actually a very common name like Smith, perhaps widely taken because of the legendary Skywalkers of the past. Not the most satisfying answer, but does have canon support in one film...
    • Some parts of the EU take the opposite approach to the above comment, saying that "Skywalker" isn't a common name and that people do associate Luke with the old Jedi hero; we just don't see it happen in the film itself so it's all a bit ambiguous.
    • I can imagine Leia having these thoughts: "Wait, did he say his name was Luke Skywalker? He couldn't be related to Anakin Skywalker, could he?, there's way. What are the odds that the guy who comes to rescue me just happens to related to the apprentice of the other Jedi I was planning to meet on Tatooine? I mean really, next you'll be telling me that he's also my secret twin brother! That's ridiculous."
    • While you were probably being a little facetious there, it’s quite possible that Obi-Wan instructed Bail Organa to be similarly hush about Anakin Skywalker, and any relation he may have to the present day figure of Darth Vader, as he was himself to Luke.
    • While that may seem like a plot hole, it's important to remember that most of the Rebel Alliance leadership did not have personal connections with the Skywalker family. According to the established canon, Anakin was not a highly publicized figure during the Clone Wars, and he was only known by a select few individuals within the Jedi Order and the Republic. Furthermore, after the rise of the Empire, the Skywalker name was likely not commonly associated with the Jedi or the Rebel Alliance. Most people in the galaxy likely didn't even know that Luke's father had been a Jedi Knight, let alone a famous one. As such, it's not surprising that most of the Rebel Alliance leaders didn't make the connection between Luke's last name and his father's legacy. Obi-Wan, on the other hand, knew the truth about Luke's heritage and had trained with Anakin during the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan's insistence on protecting Luke and ultimately giving up his life to ensure Luke's safety was a testament to his belief in the importance of the Skywalker name and Luke's destiny to eventually confront his father and bring balance to the Force.
    • I heard a story once that they originally filmed a scene with Luke standing in the temple hangar, and some old timer coming up to him saying in so many words, "You're Anakin Skywalkers' boy? I flew with your Pa; he was an excellent pilot." Either way, Luke obviously knew his father's name, that he was a Jedi, and that he flew fighters during the Clone Wars; based on the conversation with Obi-Wan alone, nothing would have seemed amiss even if someone did ask Luke about it on occasion. Almost no one knew that Anakin had become Darth Vader; it was not common knowledge until after the Republic was restored and Leia's political opponents decided to use that against her.

     Changing Clothes 
  • OK I know Changing Clothes Is a Free Action but still. After the trash compactor scene Luke and Han change back into their normal outfits from the stormtrooper armour, but where were their clothes in the meantime? The armour is skintight, at least the black sleeve they wear underneath is, there's no room for more clothes under there.
    • The Stormtrooper uniform has a little moulded on back pack, and a storage cannister on the rear of the belt. So they could have stuffed their clothes there. Alternatively, that body glove is just really good at compression.
    • The only logical explanation for this is that Luke and Han simply left their clothes in the hallway just outside the trash compactor area. When they were rescued from the trash compactor, they quickly changed out of the stormtrooper armor and back into their normal clothes before heading back to the Death Star to rescue Princess Leia and ultimately escape the space station. This is a minor detail that is not explicitly shown in the film, but it can be inferred based on the actions and behaviors of the characters and the events shown on screen.
      • Left their clothes in the hallway? When?? You're telling me that they put on stormtrooper gear while onboard the Falcon, carried their clothes with them, went to that one specific hallway leader from that one specific trash compactor, left their clothes their for some reason, then went off to save Leia and coincidentally wound up in that exact same trash compactor??

     Darth Vader's Lightsaber 
  • It's pretty well-known at this point that Vader was not supposed to be Luke's father until Empire. So was it just a happy coincidence that the hilt of Vader's saber was almost identical to Luke's (aka Anakin's old saber)? Or did they use a different hilt on set and create a new one for Empire when the twist was established? I can't recall a shot where you can clearly see Vader's hilt in A New Hope.
    • It was kind of a coincidence, driven primarily by availability of materials. Vader's lightsaber hilt (i.e. the original one used in the first film) was fashioned from an old-style camera flash gun, just like Luke's but using a different flash brand, and it wasn't changed for Empire except maybe a few minor details.
    • Great question! While there were some minor changes made to Vader's lightsaber hilt in The Empire Strikes Back to better match Luke's, the hilt design was largely the same in both films. It's possible that certain details were changed to better fit with the new twist of Vader being Luke's father, but the core design of the lightsaber hilt remained consistent across the original trilogy. As for not seeing Vader's lightsaber hilt in A New Hope, that's because Vader primarily used his hands to wield the Force in that film. It wasn't until the sequel that he really started using his lightsaber in combat, so there were fewer opportunities to see the details of his lightsaber handle. Even so, there are a few moments in A New Hope where you can catch a glimpse of Vader's lightsaber, particularly during the final battle aboard the Death Star when he duels Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    Death Star's tractor beam 
  • So if the Millennium Falcon was captured by a tractor beam at such a distance that the Death Star still resembled a moon, why couldn't the Death Star use that same tractor beam to snag the Rebel fighters at the end of the movie? It clearly has a long enough range that it could have grabbed them well before they became ensconced in that trench, and you can't expect me to believe a battle station that size doesn't have multiple tractors beams capable of capturing multiple targets. Even if it couldn't grab all of them, it doesn't make any tactical sense not to take a good chunk of them out of the battle. Are fighters just too small for a tractor beam to lock onto?
    • There's actually a few different reasons for why that didn't happen (not counting the out-of-universe answer of 'not cool enough'). The first is Tarkin himself. His answer to the Rebel fighters is to ignore them. He doesn't even launch fighters. Vader does that. The second reason is a bit more of a guess. The tractor beams have to have a maximum range. The further away a ship is the harder it is going to be to pull on it. At the distance the Falcon was at it was probably in line with several tractor beams. Worse, the tractor beam operators knew where it was thanks to the TIE fighter that buzzed the Falcon. The individual Rebel fighters are smaller than the Millennium Falcon, making them harder for the operators to get a lock, assuming they were on alert in the first place. This also assumes there is no unmentioned system for countering tractor beams that doesn't work in the Falcon's case. The Rebel fighters are also heading towards a 'pole' of the Death Star rather than the 'equator', which would keep them yet further away from the tractor beams located at the 'equator'.
    • Obi-Wan actually disabled the tractor beam(s) while they were onboard, though realistically you'd think that Tarkin would have them turned back on again. A better answer is that the tractor beams only cover particular sections of space, and there are some gaps in the coverage. The Rebels had the complete set of Death Star plans, so they knew where the beam generators were located and they knew which areas lacked coverage. They designed their approach with that in mind.
    • The reason why the Death Star didn't use its tractor beam to capture the Rebel fighters was because it was not necessary. The Empire's strategy was to allow the Rebels to attack the surface of the Death Star, which would give them a false sense of security and put them in a vulnerable position. By letting the Rebel fighters continue their assault, the Empire would be able to take advantage of their vulnerabilities and quickly eliminate them. The Empire had the advantage of being well-equipped with weapons and defenses, and it was only through the Rebels' determination, quick thinking, and skill that they were able to find a weakness in the Death Star's design and ultimately destroy it. Additionally, the fact that the Death Star was not yet fully operational, and the Rebels' attack on the surface of the station had likely disrupted the operation of some of the Death Star's systems, including its tractor beam, which would also explain why it wasn't used in the fight against the Rebel fighters.
      • The Empire did not have a strategy of luring in the fighters to give them a false sense of security so they could be eliminated. Tarkin's entire strategy was to ignore the fighters because he thought the Death Star was invincible. Vader sent out TIE fighters to destroy them, but he could have done that just as well in open space. There was no tactical advantage in letting the rebels get close.

     Leia knowing "Ben" Kenobi 
  • When Luke Skywalker goes into Princess Leia's cell on the Death Star to rescue her, he takes off his Stormtrooper mask and explains "I've got your R2 unit. I'm here with Ben Kenobi". Leia responds "Ben Kenobi? Where is he?" This implies that Leia would know who "Ben" Kenobi is, but she clearly knows him as Obi-Wan Kenobi, given that that was the name she mentioned in the holographic message she put in R2-D2. She would have absolutely no idea that Obi-Wan went by the name "Ben Kenobi", since she'd never even been to Tatooine, where he was hiding under that name. While she probably knew that Luke was talking about Obi-Wan, it's still strange that not only did Leia not question what he meant by "Ben" Kenobi, but she also referred to him by that name immediately afterwards.
    • Obi-wan might have passed his secret identity name before going into hiding, so Bail and by extension Leia would know it. Alternatively she heard the name "Kenobi" and connected the dots really quick.
    • She knew “Ben” from a Noodle Incident that was ultimately depicted in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • It's not entirely clear why Leia was able to understand that Luke was referring to Obi-Wan Kenobi when he mentioned "Ben," but it's possible that she was able to make the connection due to her familiarity with Obi-Wan's past and his mission on Tatooine. Obi-Wan was a legendary figure in the Rebellion, and it's not unreasonable to assume that Leia may have heard stories or even rumors about him prior to her rescue. Additionally, given the fact that Obi-Wan and Yoda were two of the few surviving Jedi at the time of the Battle of Yavin, and that they were both actively working to support the Rebellion in different ways, it's also possible that Leia's exposure to the Rebel Alliance's inner workings would have familiarized her with the names and identities of prominent figures like Obi-Wan. Ultimately, while it may seem unlikely that Leia would have known the name "Ben Kenobi," it's plausible that she was able to make the connection based on her knowledge of the Rebellion, the Jedi, and the work they were doing to oppose the Empire.