Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Return of the Jedi

Go To

New entries on the bottom.

    open/close all folders 

     Empire Shields 
  • Why can't very large vessels like the Death Star and the Executor project their own impenetrable deflector shields? Seriously, when you look at the size of the power plants projecting the shields used by the Rebellion at Hoth and the Empire at Endor, both should easily fit on a battle station the size of a small moon or a starship larger than Manhattan Island! They wouldn't even need independent power sources. The Imperials could have just stopped firing the Death Star's super-laser to divert the power to an onboard shield generator. Executor needs to generate huge amounts of energy to jump to lightspeed. It's not using anywhere near that amount of power while cruising in orbit. It should be easily capable of at least temporarily maintaining one of those shields that can handle "any bombardment".
    • What you see in the movies are the shield generators, not the power plants that supply energy to them. It's possible that the power plants that supply enough power for impenetrable shields are impractical to install on capital ships for whatever reason (too much space, too much mass, etc). The Death Star should have had one (the expanded universe mentions that even Alderaan had a planetary shield), but didn't (or didn't use it), probably because all power was focused on the destructive capabiliTIEs of the superweapon (and moving a moon-sized weapon through hyperspace, which would take a non-negligible amount of energy on its own). The engineers probably assumed that the station was armoured enough to withstand bombardment when the shields were down to charge the superlaser. The second probably didn't fix this issue and was still in development; the focus of the development was to get the new super-laser operational as planned, because Emperor Palpatine wanted to wipe the floor with the Rebels. In short, yes, maybe they could have used the shields for protection, but they didn't, opting an offensive instead of a defensive measure.
    • The original Death Star did have an energy shield. There's actually dialogue in the movie when the X-Wings are on approach that mentions that they're passing through the shield (called a "deflection field"). They only move to attack speed when they pass through it. Presumably the shield would deflect external bombardment but the X-Wings were moving too slowly to trigger it or could bypass it somehow.
    • Actually, the exact words used were "magnetic field". Since it is stated that the first Death Star was designed to resist attack by capital ships, it is reasonable to assume that the shields were tuned to repel large objects, so as to keep them at a distance where the Death Star's point defences could spray them with turbolaser fire. The shield protecting the second Death Star was obviously more dense, as it was never assumed that the fighters could get through it, even if they flew very slowly. However, the installation on Endor that was projecting the shield was large, but not ridiculously so. Both the Death Stars and Super Star Destroyers had reactors powerful enough to project similar shields. Indeed, one wonders what the interior volume of Executor was filled with, since they did not seem to have any unusual weaponry or even an especially large complement of TIE fighters! But then, it also did not have any kind of backup bridge either, hence how a single A-Wing crashing through the windows could send the entire ship into a nosedive!
    • The Executor DID have a backup bridge, but it was stated in the EU that with all the confusion of the battle, there was not enough time to transfer control of the ship to the backup bridge to prevent the ship from crashing into the Death Star II.
    • WMG: Perhaps the Death Star requires an ongoing energy reaction in order to create the power it needs for the superlaser. And perhaps you can't just turn it on and off at will. Maybe turning it off would require a reset time of several weeks, so for practical purposes you need this reaction to be continuous even when the superlaser isn't being used. And maybe this reaction produces a weird kind of radiation which interferes with ordinary shield generators. Hence the need to place the shield generator at a great distance from the actual Death Star.
    • Why didn't the first Death Star have a shield to protect it from starfighters? Because it was basically a prototype (how many planet destroying moon-sized space stations existed before that?) and because the Empire didn't think starfighters would be a threat. Why didn't the second Death Star have such a defence? Maybe it would have once it was complete, but it's important to remember that the second Death Star was a trap! The Empire needed to give it a weakness to lure the Rebellion into attacking it, and why not give them the same opening that worked so well last time?
    • Another possibility is that, for this specific kind of shield generator, it can project a field of energy around other objects, but not around itself. The heroes didn't encounter any sort of forcefield when they approached it on the ground, did they? So if you put one on the Death Star or a Star Destroyer, you'd have to leave the thing projecting your shielding exposed and all but wearing a target that says "Shoot Me!"
    • Remember the second Death Star is still under construction, it’ll have its own shields once it’s finished. As for why they aren’t already operational, the Emperor has to make it look like an attack on the Death Star could succeed to draw the Alliance into his trap. Maybe the Death Star can’t generate its own shield with so much of the hull not yet in place.

     And there was much rejoicing, except there shouldn't be 
  • Plenty of stuff about the Special Edition has been complained about ad nauseam, but I'd like to throw in that the scene of the people on Coruscant celebrating the end of the Empire is just plain wrong. While it's understandable for Lucas to want to show everyone a Happily Ever After ending, the truth is that there's absolutely no way that the capital of the freaking Empire would behave that way. There would be an absolute lockdown by the Imperial troops at best, massive disruption and riots at the very worst. The time period between the Emperor's death and the takeover of power by the Rebellion would be one of chaos, not partying.
    • It was an evil and oppressive rule over the galaxy? Shouldn't that be enough reason to celebrate?
    • Plus there's no way in heck news could travel *that fast* to the galactic core from a world out in the middle of nowhere, even with the technology used in the SW universe.
    • Yes, the news could move that quickly. Data can be transmitted at the speed of hyperspace, which allows galaxy-wide transit in a few days tops.
    • EU-Canonically, that's pretty much what happened. The happy partying was more rioty in other areas we didn't see, and practically the moment we stopped seeing the Coruscant Uprising, Stormtroopers and other Imperial forces moved in and brutally put down the celebrations and riots.
    • Specifically, in the X-Wing Series this is Castin Donn's greatest failure. His Rebel cell, on receiving the signal broadcast of the events of Endor, immediately hacked public view screens and displayed it. It was a counter to the propaganda and coverups they knew would happen immediately. The public went insane, and in one plaza the crowd pulled down a statue of the Emperor... and almost immediately stormtroopers came and fired into the crowd. Castin saved a baby whose mother had been shot before he could be trampled.
    • In response to the original poster's issue with the capital of the Empire behaving that way, they aren't happy about being that. They were the capital of the far nicer Republic less than a lifetime ago.
    • For a Real Life comparison, think Berlin 1990 rather than Berlin 1945.
    • We don't necessarily know that all the celebrations are happening at the same time. The parTIEs on Coruscant could be in response to the Rebellion (New Republic) finally liberating it, and the celebrations on other worlds could be occurring either when the Empire is finally thrown off the worlds, or news reaches them, or the Imperial forces pack up and leave because they have bigger fish to fry (namely, a Rebel/New Republic fleet breathing down the neck of an Imperial battlegroup.)
    • You're assuming that, following word of the Emperor's death (and Vader's death, and the Death Star's destruction), that an emboldened public didn't rise up, storm the Imperial capital, and seize control of the planet all in that same day, with time for partying afterwards.

     Jabba's Callous Regard For A Bomb 
  • 3PO, R2, and Luke have to knock on the huge door, get past the guards and the Majordomo to talk to Jabba. But Leia (as the bounty hunter) and Chewie on a Chain come in the side door, with a freakin' THERMAL DETONATOR?! And Jabba doesn't wonder how they got in there?
    • Bounty hunters and the like are Jabba's major clientele, so it's not surprising at all that a bounty hunter could get in. She might have been impersonating a regular at the place. Jabba doesn't wonder "how they got in there" because bounty hunters go in and out.
    • Also, Leia was bringing in Chewie- in other words, someone Jabba had placed a major bounty on. Of course Jabba's going to want to see her, so that probably smoothed things over considerably.
    • And apparently Jabba doesn't really mind that people come into his presence armed... he's expecting that, partly because he works with bounty hunters so much (who not only would take forever to disarm, but most likely wouldn't want to... do you want to be the guard that tells Boba Fett to leave his armour in a locker?), but partly because he thinks he's thoroughly protected. No one scanned "Boushh" for explosives because they just assumed he had explosives on him... the surprise was in the audacity of using them to threaten the mighty Jabba in the middle of his own palace.
    • That was also what impressed Jabba. The bounty hunter (Leia) was threatening to blow up the entire room, judging by everyone else's panicked reactions. Apparently a willingness to extract revenge even at the cost of your own life easily gets you on Jabba's good side.
    • Not revenge, (at least in the character of the bounty hunter Leia was impersonating) but double the fee. Jabba explicitly says he appreciates a bounty hunter that willing to go to the mat for business, and offers her a 40% bonus.

     Camouflage and C- 3 PO 
  • The elite Rebel commando unit headed by Han is making their way across the forest moon of Endor. They're going quietly in their camouflage gear. With an uncamouflaged bright, shiny gold robot with No Indoor Voice. Smart.
    • One has to wonder how R2-D2 managed to get around. He's not exactly an all-terrain vehicle.
    • In ''Heir to the Empire" Luke remarks that you'd be surprised how far that little droid can get on his own.
    • They probably weren't actually expecting to meet much resistance until they got closer to the shield bunker. They were probably planning to have Threepio wait for them somewhere at some point, it's just that things came to a head earlier than that.
    • R2-D2’s rolling-legs can get him over pretty bumpy ground. Not that Endor is overly rough terrain to begin with. And while they didn’t show it until the release of Attack of the Clones, he does have jet-boosters which can help him negotiate less even ground, too.

     Other Ways For Vader To Kill Palpatine 
  • Why did Vader pick up Palpatine instead of breaking his neck with his one good hand? If he had enough time to pick him up then he had enough time to get a good grip around his neck and snap it. The Emperor dies and Vader gets to live.
    • Not enough time, maybe? Plus, the prophecy stated "Balance to the Force" which to the Jedi meant no Sith. Vader was a Sith, ergo he had to kill himself as well. It's Redemption Equals Death.
    • Word of God and other materials confirm that Vader was trying to throw himself down the shaft and grabbed Palatine in a Taking You with Me ploy but didn't quite have the strength to make it over the railing.
    • His son was being fried in front of his eyes, so he had to make a decision right then and there. He didn't have time to think things through, so he chose and chose poorly.
    • Considering that the Emperor explodes causing huge amounts of energy waves to run up and down the shaft, merely snapping his neck might not be enough.
    • Telekinetically pulling Luke's lightsaber to his remaining hand and bisecting the Emperor would also have been a good choice.
    • Did he even know where the lightsaber landed? For all he knew, it rolled over into the bottomless shaft and was gone for good. Besides, the prophecy clearly stated that the Sith had to die. Vader figured this was the quickest way to fulfill that prophecy.
    • I think Palpatine is set to explode when he dies, just because he's got so much Dark Side energy. Vader's not content just to kill Palpatine; he has to save Luke too. If he'd killed Palpatine right there, the explosion would've killed Luke. So he had to throw Palpatine down the shaft.
    • Vader's first priority was not to kill Palpatine but to save his son. If Vader had placed his hand on Palpatine's neck to break it, or called the saber to his hand with the Force as other tropers have suggested, it would have given Palpatine a moment to stop torturing Luke for his own sadistic pleasure and kill him right there. So, Vader immediately stopped the threat to Luke by turning Palpatine away and redirecting the Force lightning into himself, forcing Palpatine to concentrate all his efforts on taking Vader down instead.

     The Emperor's Final Plan 
  • The Emperor says that the plans to the second Death Star were leaked intentionally, to lure the Rebels in a Batman Gambit and crush them. But in the end, Lando manages to destroy it without problems. If the plans were leaked intentionally, why didn't he leak forged plans ? What kind of an idiot would show their opponent their true weakness when they can just as well lure them into attacking the strong points?
    • The Emperor was clearly overconfident, and thought that the Rebels would never actually get a shot at the Death Star. The plan entailed never letting the shield go down after all.
    • The "plans" that were leaked weren't the schematics for the Death Star, it was the location and the fact the Emperor himself would be there.
    • Eh, even if the plans were forged it's not like the Rebels weren't going to not be able to work out the basic method of 'fly into open core, shoot core."
    • Yeah, but it would have taken them a while to find a convenient shaft on a station the size of a moon if they didn't know exactly where they were.
      • The superstructure was mostly open. Probably any shaft would have sufficed. And the second Death Star was basically a ballooned up version of the first, the plans for which the Rebels already had.
    • The plan required the Rebellion falling for it. That requires a degree of authenticity, he's already got some discrepancies which are inherent in any deception, too many discrepancies and he risks tipping his hand. Even Palpatine cannot be completely certain he has the monopoly on the Rebellion's information acquisitions systems, so he needs to make the bait attractive enough that the Rebellion will have to take it, but it cannot contain too many lies and risk them pulling the thread and having the whole thing unravel. A lie is best clothed in truth after all, and he doesn't believe the shield can be penetrated or the great Imperial fleet evaded.
    • There's also that the Rebels have a full set of plans for a Mark I Death Star. While design variations can reasonably be expected for the Mark II Death Star, making the leaked plans too obviously bullshit would have tipped the Rebels off... and since they have the original Death Star plans available for comparative analysis, they're set up fairly well to spot any bullshit.

     The Executor's presence 
  • Shouldn't the presence of the Executor have tipped the Tydirium crew off that the Empire was waiting for them? It was only the biggest, most powerful thing in the Imperial fleet that could still get away with being called a ship, and it's being there doesn't put any crimp in their plans?
    • Pay attention to the briefing. One of the reasons they give for why this is the perfect time to strike is because they know the Emperor himself is going to be there. And the Executor is the Emperor's flagship. Of course it's going to be there.
    • Eh, the Executor's nothing special. (And it's Vader's flagship, not the Emperor's.) "There're a lot of command ships." Yes, General Solo, there are.
    • That's even more confusing. Wouldn't it follow that the Emperor would bring substantial backup to protect a supposedly incomplete battle station? I mean, he did, but it never occurred to the Rebels that he'd secretly be rollin' deep?
    • The LOCATION is secret, and the new Death Star is almost complete; also you have Vader in the introductory scene making Jerjarrod shit his pants by casually mentioning they are behind schedule AND that the Emperor is coming to oversee the final stages personally.
    • Plus, Palpatine is springing a trap; when the actual battle starts it is safe to assume the vast majority of the Imperial Starfleet is joining; but only with instructions to contain the Rebel fleet and making sure they stay in the kill box; the Death Star is possibly already operational at full capacity even from the start of the movie, it's just not mobile yet. The Emperor does state that the battle station is FULLY operational when he taunts Luke. This means, all of its defence mechanisms are in place and working, their only "weak" point is the incomplete surface that would allow to navigate the superstructure. Spreading the rumour that the Death Star is not yet completed IS the actual trap, and the bait is having the Emperor being there in person.
    • Secret projects don't usually have the entire sector fleet called in to protect them.
    • But the Emperor's whole plan revolved around it not being secret for very long. I can sort of buy the Rebels being desperate to strike a fatal blow, but without a single "This is too good to be true"? Where was the "That's impossible, even for a computer" guy? Oh, wait... that was Wedge?!
    • Now you're confusing me. You'd prefer that the Rebels found out about the secret project by finding out that the entire sector fleet was protecting it, making it unassailable? What's the point there?
    • Not at all; I'm just saying it's weird that the Rebels didn't even consider that it might be a trap, given the Empire's track record of deception, and that they considered the Executor and it's accompanying squadron, plus a nigh-impenetrable energy shield, "relatively unguarded."
    • Perhaps the Rebels believed that, for even a secret project, the Executor and its escorts would be considered sufficient protection by Imperial Command. After all, Imperial doctrine says that even a single Star Destroyer is enough to subject an entire star system. Also, at this time, there were four other Super Star Destroyers in active service.
    • It's not like the Rebels only sent a couple of squadrons on this one like they did at Yavin. They mustered together what was, until the Emperor sprung his trap, the largest fleet of ships we had seen in the entire series. The plan was to jump in, send in Lando's team to dive into the Death Star's core before the Imperials could react to the shield being down, and then wail on the Executor and her escorts. The plan was for the whole op to be done and them on the way out before reinforcements could arrive, assuming that the Imperials based their strategy around the assumption that any attacking force would be delayed by the shield.
    • Not to mention that the best-laid traps are ones that your enemy can't ignore. If the Rebels don't attack the Death Star, Palpatine gets a new invulnerable Death Star and the Rebels are screwed. If they do attack, they fall into the trap and the Rebels are screwed. Really, it's a bit of a Xanatos Gambit, where the Empire wins either way.
    • Or they would have won, if not for those damn plucky Rebels.
    • Actually, it is the apparent absence of ships in the area that should have raised suspicions! Think about it: the Death Star is a gigantic megastructure. Yet, there is no indication that the Empire is strip-mining Endor for the raw materials to build it. So where are the materials coming from? A steady stream of freighters should have been coming and going from the system in order to support the project and deliver materials. Yet, when Tydirium arrives it is the only ship in line awaiting clearance through the deflector shield. That would imply that local space had been cleared of all traffic deliberately! The Emperor could not "oversee the final stages of the construction" if construction ground to a halt because supply ships were no longer being allowed into the system!
    • There is also a blink-and-you-miss-it moment when Han, Leia and company first get into the bunker. Leia looks at a display screen, which clearly shows a large number of ships approaching Endor. She notes that "the fleet will be here any moment". This implies one of two things. First, that the display was showing the Rebel fleet approaching through hyperspace, something which various sources have claimed is supposed to be impossible. Hence why a Hyperspeed Escape is a viable tactic. But Leia should know that. So the alternative would be that the display is showing the Imperial fleet, already in-system, closing in on Endor so as to intercept the Rebel fleet as soon as it comes out of hyperspace. Except that in this case Leia should be freaking out over the realisation that the Empire has a massive fleet ready to pounce on the Rebels!
    • They only say the Death Star is relatively unprotected not that there were no ships there at all. The Executor being there doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a trap.

     Palpatine's Leak 
  • The entire movie would have been a lot shorter if the Emperor had remembered that if you are deliberately leaking the access code to the enemy, you can just write down which code you gave them and make sure nobody else is using it, so that the enemy will be automatically identified when they show up. As for the logistics of doing this without risking the Rebels figuring it out? We saw in the movie that the Rebels had no idea whether or not their code was still good until they actually tried it out, so, one bunch of alphanumeric squiggles looks much like another. Also, the bridge crew of the Executor would not need to be told anything about the plot; merely leave a notation in their logbook that "If this particular ID code shows up, call Lord Vader at once. Yes, even if it's the middle of the night. Trust me, however afraid you are he'll kill you if you wake him up is nowhere near as slowly and horribly you'll die if you don't. Signed, The Emperor. PS: Don't lower the shield until and unless you are personally told to by either Lord Vader or me."
    • The trap was to lure the entirety of the Rebel fleet over there, and he succeeded. Go watch the code checking scene again and the Flight Operator does consult with an officer stating that the code is old but that it checks out; it's not on screen but how do you know they allowed them to go through since such an old code would be reported as leaked? Vader sensed Luke anyways and it was in his best interest to let him through to capture him and sway him to the Dark Side. The objective of the trap was to lure the Rebel fleet; if they had destroyed the shuttle or captured it the shuttle passengers could have warned Rebel command about it and the whole point of the trap would be moot.
    • Oh, right. Vader did figure out Luke was onboard that shuttle, even without using this tactic. And yet the shuttle was still allowed to land, instead of just being tractored into the Executor's hangar bay. Look, if you want the Death Star blown up that bad, Anakin, just get in your TIE fighter and go do it yourself.
    • I expect the Rebels made arrangements along the lines of the fleet only departing to attack the Death Star once the away team contacted them and confirmed that they had successfully landed. Palpatine probably guessed this and wanted to let the strike team through so the Rebel fleet would attack and he could wipe out all his enemies at once.
    • There was no check-in signal in canon; we know this from the part where Lando had no idea whether the shield was successfully taken down or not until after the Rebel fleet arrived in the Endor system. Also, no check-in signal could be credibly expected; the Rebel ground team couldn't even use com-links for fear that Imperial signals intelligence would pick up their signal, how the heck are they supposed to operate an interstellar transmitter?
    • Lando and his crew had access to a frequency for the shield, they were actively looking for it; you can assume the Empire knew this too and just switched the shield frequency to something else while still jamming the Rebels; go watch the scene again. Lando's copilot is not entirely convinced it would be that easy, allowing Lando through questioning to infer they were being deceived. It is when the Rebel fleet pulls out that the Imperias fleet arrives.
    • If the Executor opened fire on the shuttle or grabbed it in a tractor beam, they'd know the plan was a bust and thus would have every reason to break radio silence to warn the fleet. Not as if they'd have anything to lose at that point.
    • There's also that the Emperor's plan cannot assume that the sabotage team has a means of contacting the Rebel fleet; if you go on the assumption that they do, the entire Imperial plan is impossible. Nothing short of shooting the shuttle down by surprise could kill the entire sabotage team quickly enough that the last survivor couldn't gasp a quick warning into the radio, and doing that first option means they miss check-in anyway. Ergo, any line of speculation that has the Emperor worrying about the sabotage team having radio check-ins is one where the ROTJ movie doesn't even happen.
    • It IS possible that the commando team was able to send transmissions from the shuttle, but not from anywhere near the shield generator itself for fear of interception. In fact, consider that in order for Han's scheme to work at all someone must have had to take the shuttle Tydirium and actually deliver some supplies to the base on the moon after dropping the commandos some distance away - otherwise it would be obvious after just a few hours that the Executor had cleared a shuttle that had never arrived, and the alarm would be raised. This skeleton shuttle crew would then have been able to return and deliver the message that the plan had worked so far, but perhaps the commandos themselves didn't have the equipment to send a signal after insertion. Knowing this, Palpatine would have needed to allow them to insert safely, with the plan to curb stomp them when they got to the actual generator. What doesn't make much sense is keeping that part of the plan secret from Piett, since he could have accidentally scrubbed the plan by being more suspicious about the old code.
    • That's why he has Vader stationed on the command ship, just in case Piett gets too twitchy Vader can override him and make sure the plan goes through despite any suspicions.
    • Whether or not the shuttle actually has an interstellar transmitter (the EU makes it plain that interstellar transmitters are large enough that only capital ships have them, but ok, fine, that's the EU), its not really relevant. Between the Executor itself and the Death Star, the Imperials can easily jam any transmission that one shuttle could make, a billion times over. So, wait until you know what shuttle it is, then suddenly light off all your active jammers before the Rebels can even know anything is wrong, tractor the shuttle, and board it. Don't turn the jammers off until after the shuttle has been taken apart and everybody on it was stunned. Easy peesy. The Rebel fleet is hardly going to detect that somebody used a broad-spectrum jammer in the Endor system from outside the Endor system — indeed, the Imperials were using some type of jamming field in canon, and Lando doesn't notice it until after the Rebel fleet's all in the Endor system and he's wondering why the Falcon's sensors aren't working.
    • Also, the shuttle does not necessarily have to arrive and depart safely in order to make the scheme work. It merely has to fake a crash-landing on Endor, so the Imperials think they already know why it didn't arrive on schedule. Plus, given that the assigned command crew of the shuttle were Han, Chewie, Luke, and Leia, and all of them were intending to get out when the shuttle landed, who's left to fly it anywhere else?
    • The Probe Droid in the Empire Strikes Back had an interstellar transmitter so they clearly come small enough for the strike team to have one.
    • They mention that it's an old code. I just assumed that some Imperial pilot a while ago defected and told them everything he knew including the code.
    • The Rebels are supposed to get through. Remember the Emperor is overconfident and isn't just trying for military victory: he's a sadist. It's not enough that the Rebels lose, they have to suffer. Letting them think they're winning and then pulling the rug out from under them is much more fun than simply crushing them outright.
    • Everyone is missing the simple explanation - the Emperor only claims to have leaked the location and status of the Death Star and the shield generator. He never claims to have leaked the security code or allowed the Alliance to capture a shuttle. The code and the shuttle really were stolen in covert ops made by the Rebels.
    • The 'simple explanation' does cover why no special code for the Rebels, but it still doesn't address the idiocy of allowing them to land on Endor at all. Vader knew the shuttle was full of Rebels before it even finished the password sequence; he has no reason except a firm clutching of the Idiot Ball to not order that it be tractored into the Executor's hangar bay immediately. The Rebel sabotage team had no "we must make this check-in or else the fleet doesn't come" condition in canon, nor could it be credibly expected to have done so (see points above re: fear of interception and possibility of jamming). Additionally, the Emperor's entire plan relied on the assumption that the Rebels would have only the information about Endor that the Emperor chose to deliberately leak to them and that the Rebel fleet would jump in blind; if Palpatine wasn't confident he had that information monopoly, he wouldn't have tried his trap in the first place. Further evidence lies in the behaviour of the Rebel fleet once it does arrive at Endor — at no point does either Lando or Admiral Ackbar actually make any attempt to call the ground team on the radio, not even to ask them “do you still have any chance to lower the shield any time soon, or should we all be running away now?”. Lando's only method of knowing whether or not Han and his team are still in action is using the Falcon's sensors to check if the shield is still up or not. It is shown that the Rebel ground team had no way of contacting the Rebel fleet even at as short a range as “within the Endor system”, which casts huge huge doubt on the notion they had a way of contacting the Rebel fleet over the interstellar distance between Endor and the fleet's original muster point.
    • Because Vader and the Emperor didn't just want to lure the Rebels into a trap, they also wanted to turn Luke over to their side. And even without that, if the Rebels hadn't been granted clearance, the shuttle would have just bugged out and returned to the Rebel fleet, and voila, the trap is ruined. Hell, this is shown on-screen when Han tells Chewie that the Empire doesn't believe them (ironically just before Vader gives them permission) which implies that the strike team already had a plan to hightail it in case the Empire doesn't approve of the code given. The Emperor wanted to be absolutely sure that the Rebels would fall into the trap and keep in mind, he did have "an entire legion of my best troops," stationed near the bunker, so really the plan was sound, Palpatine just didn't expect the Ewoks to be a concern (and during the battle, until Chewbacca hijacked an AT-ST, the Ewoks really weren't a concern; they caused some damage with their booby-traps but there wasn't any prospect of breaching the bunker).
    • When Vader informs Palpatine that the Rebels have landed on Endor, Palpatine responds "I know". Quite possibly, he had done almost exactly what you suggested. He leaked a specific code to the Rebels, and he set up the computer to send him a personal message in case that code was ever used. Now as to the next question: why didn't he kill the Rebels right then? My best explanation is a check-in system based on a returning shuttle. The Rebel commandos had no means of radio communication (not even intra-system comms) that the Imperials could not intercept. However, they did have the shuttle itself, which was scheduled to land and then leave the system. Rebel informants were waiting at the shuttle's next (non-Endor) destination. If the shuttle showed up on time, they'd inform the Rebel fleet and the plan would proceed. But if they shuttle didn't show up, they'd assume it had been destroyed by the Empire and the plan would be abandoned. There could even be a Rebel soldier who remained hidden on the shuttle the whole time, just so he could check in with the Rebel forces stationed outside the system. Presumably the commandos exited the shuttle via some sort of stealthy paratrooper manoeuvre, so Palpatine didn't know at that point exactly where they were. But he felt confident that his legion of ground troops would hold them back in any case.

     Unarmed Luke 
  • Why did Luke walk into Jabba's lair unarmed, instead entrusting his lightsaber to R2-D2 in a convoluted Gambit Roulette? It's not like they were gonna frisk him on the way in, and if they tried there was always the mind trick. Not only could he have made short work of the Rancor, but in fact the poor beast would have been spared entirely as Luke would have had Jabba looking down the wrong end of a most lethal weapon immediately.
    • He didn't want to have to use lethal force, or even the threat thereof, unless it became absolutely necessary. There's a huge difference between the vague (paraphrased) "You're screwed if you don't free us" and "If you don't free us, I will stick this burny death-beam into your eye", morally speaking. He probably wasn't planning on the Rancor or anything like it — and in any case, he managed just fine.
    • The gambit is so convoluted, I have never been able to work out which part of what transpired was as Luke planned it and which part he had to improvise. The nods and what-nots on the sand barge seem to indicate that ending up above the big maw in the desert was always The Plan, but that seems rather implausible. Can anyone work out what plan Luke hatched before going in?
    • It wasn't so much a gambit as Xanatos Speed Chess. Plan A was, obviously, to just negotiate with Jabba and get Han and the others out; if that fell through, having R2 inside with his lightsaber is the clear Plan B—but R2 isn't present when Luke first confronts Jabba, so he has to improvise. There wasn't a "gambit" going on at the barge, the nods were just along the lines of, "Good, you're here, I see you, we'll figure something out."
    • Luke's plan actually wasn't that bad: Lando is the inside man, the first one in and is there to look after the rest of the operatives as they arrive and make sure no harm comes to them. 3PO and R2 go in next, because R2 is holding Luke's lightsaber since Luke could never get in there armed anyway. Leia, posing as Boushh brings in Chewie as a pretense for gaining access to the palace as well as Jabba's favour so she can hang out there for a while, waiting for the right time to bust out Han, after which Lando will get Chewie and the droids out. Luke himself is the ace in the hole, if for any reason any part of the plan goes awry (as it obviously does onscreen) he comes in to negotiate for the prisoner's release. Should Jabba refuse then they move into "aggressive negotiations."
    • It was pretty bad. Everything that happened before Luke arrived served no purpose and only got more people captured. Even if everything had gone according to plan, Chewbacca would be locked in a cell, from which escape would be hard, Leia would have a guarded door barring her and Han's escape and the droids would be working for Jabba, from which they might have been able to escape, depending on how closely Jabba guards his droids. Lando would probably be able to get out, but not take anyone with him. Luke should have gone in alone from the start, leaving the others to call for backup if negotiations failed. Or even better, show Jabba that said backup was available, to give him some incentive to negotiate: "Hello. This is Admiral Ackbar of the Mon Calamari starfleet - you know, the one with warships capable of obliterating your entire palace. Now, this is not a trap - I mean threat - but Solo and Skywalker are friends of mine and I would appreciate to have them back in one piece". At which point Luke could offer whatever he was going to give in exchange for Han's freedom.
    • And yet everyone (except Threepio) played SOME role in the battle on the sail barge. It's implied that Luke knew (possibly even via the Force) that his plan was going to go down like this, so he got all his pieces into place, but still left plenty of options for ending the threat peacefully.
    • They knew Han was being held prisoner in Jabba's Palace, but likely didn't know where in the Palace. So the plan was to get as many people as they could inside to search the place, with Chewbacca voluntarily being taken prisoner, because then wherever the guards take Chewie, that shows them where prisoners are kept (obviously not realising Han was being kept as a wall decoration rather than in a cell).
    • Luke's plan was to get them out of Jabba's Palace, as he viewed it too well-guarded to fight his way in or out of.

     Get Han 
  • Leia basically tells Han she's going to take him and go... it implies her getting caught wasn't part of the plan. So basically the plan was "screw Chewie and the droids... let's go get Han!"?
    • This was indeed a Xanatos Gambit on Luke & Co.'s part, and it works out like this.
    • Plan A- The droids convey Luke's offer to Jabba. If he accepts and frees Solo, then Lando, the inside man, steals the droids and they all escape (probably with assistance from the rest on the outside, as in all the other plans below).
    • Plan B- Leia and Chewie infiltrate the palace. Leia frees Han. Lando waits until the uproar over Solo's escape, then makes his move and frees Chewie, who helps him steal both droids.
    • Plan C- Luke walks right in and uses his Jedi Mind Trick on Jabba, who returns Han, Leia, and Chewie to him. They escape. Lando carries out Plan A as outlined above.
    • The fact that Jabba is resistant to the Mind Trick brings up a Plan D- pull a gun on Jabba, and use the uproar as a means to improvise an escape on the fly. At this point it becomes Xanatos Speed Chess. Nobody counted on the trap door right under the platform. However, when it comes to the barge Luke and Artoo are Crazy-Prepared and Luke can count on his trusty sidekick to get into position to launch him his lightsaber at the right moment.
    • Why couldn't Leia just roll a couple of thermal detonators into Jabba's throne room while he and his flunkies were asleep?
    • The same throne room where the guy they're trying to rescue is being held?
    • Presumably the carbonite would protect him.
    • The room is also full of slaves and innocent (kind of) bystanders. And Lando and C-3PO.
    • Not to mention, as our own history shows quite clearly, that rebellion and resistance groups are heavily reliant on gangsters and black marketeers for supplies, support, and intelligence. Blowing up Jabba in his own throne room, or planting a warship in orbit (if the latter was even possible without the Empire cottoning on or wasting resources in such a way), would not only burn their access to Jabba's resources but would make the Rebel Alliance persona non grata with a huge swathe of the Imperial underworld and non-aligned warlords. The long term effects of such an action would be far more deleterious than simply not getting Han. It makes sense to try and inveigle him out or negotiate his release somehow. Even staging a rebellion and prisoner escape on Jabba's barge at the site of a public execution is less of an affront to the black market men than strong arm tactics would be.
    • One thing they needed to do was ascertain Han's status, if he was still in carbonite or not, if not where he was being held and what his physical status was, if he'd be able to help in his own rescue or be a walking wounded liability. Lando apparently wasn't able to communicate outside the palace (since Threepio seems surprised Han is still in carbonite), or he did communicate and they just left Threepio out of the loop like they did for everything else. In this case, Leia's getting captured achieved one important part of the mission objective: getting Han out of carbon freeze and self-mobile, so they didn't have to figure out a way to both defeat all of Jabba's thugs and get Han defrosted, likely in the middle of a firefight, and get him out of the palace while he's still in the worst stages of hibernation sickness.

     Who's Afraid Of The Star Destroyer? 
  • So the reason that the Rebel fleet's desperate frontal assault on the Executor worked because no one had ever thought to actually fight a Star Destroyer head-on? I mean, sure, the Rebels don't exactly have the resources to toss around to go on balls-to-the-wall assaults, but what, did everyone else just give up when they saw a Star Destroyer? "Welp, Star Destroyer's here. Everyone pack up, we're surrendering."
    • Possibly so, since hardly anybody has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with one, and those that do (basically just the main Rebel fleet) are more bent on fleet preservation. When you're badly outnumbered in a war, you can't afford to fight an even battle of attrition, so the Rebellion was all about Fabian strategies or raiding efforts. When they were finally forced to go head-on, the Rebel ships turned out to be much more effective than expected - remember that Star Destroyers, powerful as they were, possibly hadn't ever had to face a significant threat from other capital ships in the past 2+ decades of the Empire. There's even some Real Life parallels in the way that from the building of HMS Dreadnought up through the end of World War II, there was actually very little fighting between opposing battleships, and on many occasions they performed poorly against lesser ships when put to the test (Denmark Strait, Cape Matapan, 1st Guadalcanal, Surigao Strait, and especially Samar).
    • It's not that they hadn't tried before; go look at the scene in question. Once they discover the Death Star is operational Lando proposes Ackbar to go engage the Executor at point blank range. Ackbar retorts that "they won't last long against a Super Star Destroyer at that range" not that they CAN’T win the engagement. Akbar also doesn't state that their ships are weak, as the spectator can infer from the visuals that they CAN take on normal Star Destroyers at point blank.
    • He said "At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers", meaning the entire Imperial fleet that was there. They weren't confident about their chances at all.
    • Ackbar first calls for a retreat since they can't repel the Death Star laser with their shields; Lando then proposes to engage at point blank presumably to keep the DS from firing on their own ships and buy some time "We might take some of them with us".
    • And they DID last longer with this strategy and were even able to disable the Executor's shield generator; they downed it on a lucky shot since they had a ship accidentally crash INSIDE the command deck.
    • The Executor isn't a Star Destroyer. It's a Super Star Destroyer; it's more than 10 times the size of the regular Star Destroyers, and it's Vader's flagship. So, yes, when they saw it on the battlefield, it was shorthand for "you are so fucked right now."
    • Especially when the Death Star revealed that it was quite operational and capable of firing the death ray. That's why Ackbar was all "RETREAT! RETREAT! RETREAT!" He knew how fucked they all were and rightfully assumed that this attack would spell their complete and utter doom.
    • Entertainingly enough, that's exactly how it worked in the X-Wing game. You had until the Star Destroyer arrived to finish your mission. Once they showed up and began to spew forth wave after wave of TIE Fighters, it was time to finish up and get the hell out of there.
    • Besides all that, Ackbar probably meant on a one-to-one basis. If they had superior numbers, the Rebels might be bolder, but it's not made clear whether or not the Rebels even had equal numbers with the Imperials.
    • Indeed. The Rebel fleet is clearly based on speed and agility while the Imperials use brute force and raw power. While not always the best source in most computer games only the Mon Calamari cruisers can go toe to toe with a Star Destroyer and stand much of a chance.
    • And that's only because of their fighter compliment.
    • It may have worked because it was a completely suicidal attack - the Rebels probably incurred more losses in the process of taking out the Executor than any admiral would consider an acceptable trade in a normal battle. The Battle of Endor was simply too desperate for retreat or surrender, and it probably also involved a larger enemy force than any Super Star Destroyer had ever faced.
    • Although I'd say taking out the Executor meant that the battle was an acceptable trade. That thing is worth a half-dozen of any other ship type out there fighting.
    • The attack on the Star Destroyers wasn't meant to be a brilliant strategy, it was simply the lesser of two evils at that point, as the Death Star wouldn't be able to fire on their ships anymore without hitting the Star Destroyers in the process.
    • Or, may not have been able to do that.
    • It's not that the Rebel ships were incapable of taking on a Star Destroyer. Some of their ships were roughly as powerful as standard Star Destroyer. At least one (Ackbar's flagship) was nearly double the size of a standard Star Destroyer. But they didn't have very many of those. The majority of their ships were smaller, less powerful ones. And the Imperials had a full Sector Fleet reinforced by Vader's Death Squadron. They outnumbered the Rebels significantly. Attacking head-on against a superior force is generally considered a bad idea. The Rebels no doubt (the EU backs this up) had fought Star Destroyers before, but that typically would've been hit-and-run ambushes against individual ships on patrol rather than large-scale fleet battles.
    • It wasn't that this was the first time a Star Destroyer had been attacked head-on, it was the first time a Star Destroyer had been attacked head-on at point-blank range. Getting that close means you're much easier to hit (though, you can hit them much easier, too) and the odds of ship collisions suddenly become appreciable. It was a very dangerous gamble, there's a reason no one had ever done it before. But it was either go to knife-fight against the Star Destroyers, let the Death Star pick the Rebel fleet off one ship at a time, or give up on ever defeating the Empire.
    • Keep in mind, Lando's idea of charging the Imperial Fleet head-on is a means of escaping an ambush. The Imperial ambush bracketed the Rebels into a kill zone to be picked off one-by-one, the correct decision in any ambush is to get out of the box as fast as possible. The secondary effect here is that the Rebel forces remain highly concentrated; sure, a Star Destroyer can decimate anything short of a Mon Calamari cruiser in single combat, but the combined fire of the entire Rebel fleet concentrated on one ship at a time has a way of evening that out.

     No Endor Speeders 
  • Why were there any speeder bikes on Endor? Endor is the last place you want fast moving, lightly armoured vehicles. It's so heavily covered in forest that it's known as the forest moon. We even see why it's a stupid idea in the movie, several Scout troopers die because they crashed into trees. Speeders make sense on moons and planets with large open areas to drive (or hover) on, large tough vehicles that can smash through obstacles make sense on Endor.
    • Speeders prove they can fly above the tree line when Leia does just that to take down the scout trooper on her own. The question is why don't they do that as a matter of course.
    • But Endor is a moon known specifically for its dense forests. What would the use be of going above the tree line if you can't see anything going on below it?
    • Why is something that's bigger, louder, and going to require tons more maintenance (knocking over trees isn't exactly easy on the equipment) preferable? Believe it or not, "completely wreck everything about the planet we're on," isn't necessarily the best idea. Those crashes happen because they're in a fight and someone pushed them into crashing.
    • Leia never goes above the tree line, at least not in the movie (does the novelisation say otherwise)? She only flew up and out of the scout's line of sight. Flying up into the foliage of a densely-packed forest, amid the overlapping branches and leaves, would be more suicidal than flying between the tree trunks.
    • Small hover bikes would probably be a decent mode of transportation through a forest under normal circumstances. They don't need to go at full speed all the time.
    • The "they're trying not to unnecessarily wreck up the place" is actually supported by the EU. Palpatine is apparently something of an amateur naturalist... he likes collecting rare, endangered, and often extremely deadly creatures. Darksaber had him make a point of saving a particularly voracious species of beetle from Yavin because he thought they were going to blow it up. Anyway, as the others said, they probably went a fair bit slower on the speeders in normal circumstances, but "I'm outnumbered a dozen to one and these guys look pissed" is not normal circumstances so the one Stormtrooper took off like a bat out of Hell.
    • Funnily enough, in the EU (specifically the novel Choices of One, by Timothy Zahn) Thrawn is the one who recommends that Palpatine actually bulldoze the forest around the generator and make it unassailable, until he realises the Emperor is setting a trap. So the exposed generator was also part of the trap, as was everything else. Of course he dismissed Thrawn's warning about not underestimating the Ewoks, which came back to bite him in the ass.
    • Also, look at the size of those trees! Some of them are as thick as an AT-AT is wide. I wouldn't necessarily bet on the AT-AT in that head-on collision, since a tree that big is probably very old, and very well-rooted in the ground. Also, time spent crashing through vegetation is time the enemy has to get away or plan a counter-attack, so smaller, quicker vehicles that can manoeuvre around the trees, instead of through them, make more sense. We only see one AT-AT on Endor at all, and it's conspicuously absent from the final battle, probably because it was just wholly ineffective as a combat vehicle in that environment, and better served as a transport.
    • Speeders are actually quite viable for that terrain. The two times we see them being used are during desperate, full-speed chases through the forest. During normal use, their operators would move at a slower and less dangerous pace.

     Blow Up The Palace 
  • Early on in the movie we see Jabba and co. asleep in roughly the same area. Why didn't Leia just throw her detonator at them then? It would have had the same ultimate effect and wouldn't have been as unintelligent as trying to sneak Solo out.
    • She'd be caught in the blast radius?
    • Murdering a dozen people in their sleep - even criminal bastards who richly deserve it - is A) not in character and B) not really what she's there for.
    • Not to mention that Threepio and Lando are in there.
    • Plus, while they didn’t know it yet, she was Luke’s sister, also a Force sensitive, and that would be a decidedly Dark Side action to take. Remind us again about how taking the stealthy approach was the unintelligent move?

     Medical Problem 
  • Why did the Rebel Fleet bring the medical frigate with them to the Battle of Endor? As a meat shield? As cannon fodder? It's a (relatively) tiny ship with few weapons and no fighter complement, so its offensive value is virtually nil against an Imperial vessel. Its ability to function as a hospital ship would also be hindered by the running battle: any casualties or injuries incurred in the midst of combat (on the Endor surface or aboard Rebel starships) that required immediate medical attention would have to be treated on site, as ferrying them to and from the frigate would put even more personnel at risk. And injured Rebels that didn't require immediate care could wait until the end of the battle, when the moon's orbit was secure, and then have the Fleet summon as many hospital ships as it wanted. But the ship's presence there only forced the Rebel fighters to waste time protecting it, and in the end, the related materials say that it was eventually sunk by the Death Star anyway. So was there a point of having it there beyond giving the Imperials something else to shoot at? Because even that's debatable: surely the Empire would realise the frigate's minimal tactical value and would focus instead on juicier targets like Home-One.
    • The original plan for the battle hadn't called for prolonged fighting. The Rebel ships would swoop in, and the fighters would attack the Death Star while the capital ships, with some fighters who stayed back, ran interference to keep the ships inside from being attacked. The medical frigate would be an asset in that case since a pilot who has ejected from his fighter would be able to be recovered by a shuttle from the medical frigate quickly, since this was going to be the equivalent of a 'smash-and-grab' run. However, since the shield was still up, that's when the frigate became a liability, as the lack of defences meant that it wouldn't be capable of surviving the pitched battle that they got stuck in.
    • I don't know if the medical frigate lost anything by being a hospital ship, but in the game TIE Fighter those frigates are far from defenceless. Besides carrying at least a squadron of fighters, frigates of the type shown in the film have some scary point defences. The ships aren't good against Star Destroyers, but I wouldn't volunteer to strafe one in a TIE Fighter, that's for sure. The frigate, in the original plan, was probably supposed to provide some anti-fighter support, not trade turbo-laser volleys with a Star Destroyer.
    • What if it's a converted medical frigate just like many of the star cruisers are converted luxury liners? FWIW, if you look carefully and use freeze-frame, the Rebels have at least two of these frigates in the battle.
    • It IS a conversion. The ship is a Nebulon-B escort frigate, a number of which defected to the Alliance.

     Sloppy Fett 
  • All right. You're a feared, experienced bounty hunter, with a variety of long-range weapons including a huge Hand Cannon carbine that you're very good at using. You're in a very advantageous position (the shaded deck of Jabba's barge) and your target is on lower ground (the deck of a sand skiff,) out in the open, distracted by scores of other guardsmen, and doesn't even know you're there. His weapon, while powerful, is limited to a range of maybe two meters. And while he may claim to be a Jedi, he's only using basic melee attacks to defend himself and his friends, so staying away from him is still the better option. You have every possible advantage you could ever want to blast him to smithereens. Why would you ever fly from your position to land almost on top of your enemy, immediately alerting him to your presence and intentions, and then draw your carbine at point-blank range to his face where he can chop it in half before you can blink?
    • Factoring in the prequel movies, Boba saw his 'father' take down at least one Jedi via Five Rounds Rapid and the element of surprise during the Battle of Geonosis. Probably figured dropping right in front of one who was already distracted by the Mooks would give him a decent chance. As for the point-blank range: if Boba had missed, then Luke would know where he was attacking from. Point blank means less chances of missing and less time for Luke to react.
      • That answer is contradictory. If he misses a distant shot, and alerts Luke to his presence, the latter still can't react against him (e.g. use the Force, or take his time to leap and climb onto the barge to engage in melee) because of all the mooks distracting him. OTOH, Luke saw Fett coming in even before the hunter touched down on the skiff, so taking care of him when he pulled his gun took only a split second.
    • Plus Boba is a bounty hunter, not an assassin. The bounty for Luke SPECIFICALLY states that he has to be alive. Boba figured he could snatch a nice Imperial bounty on him. He's not there to kill Luke, he tried to capture and subdue him after all.
    • What bounty? The movie makes no mention of it. And if the novelisation does, then wouldn't it still be safer, and smarter, for Fett to set his carbine on stunnote  and snipe at Luke from the vantage point of the barge, instead of shooting at Luke's face from two inches away?
    • If Luke was needed alive, then blasting him from afar would be useless anyway; the Mooks would kill him stun or not. Boba has to show up in person to show that he wants to bring Luke in himself, holding back the Mooks. So if you have to do that, using the surprise close range tactic you saw your father pull off successfully is actually the best bet.
    • You can't "snipe" with the stun setting on blasters in the Star Wars universe. Stun beams are extremely inaccurate, the one time in the movies they're shown being used is in a confined space at near point-blank range. That's why hardly anyone uses them, in either the movies or the EU, you're more likely to get the same results by just running up to someone and slugging them in the head. Also there's a line in, I believe Empire Strikes Back, that all of the prominent Rebel leaders have bounties on their heads. The fact that Luke's would specify alive is pretty much basic logic... Vader says repeatedly "I want him alive" when talking about Luke, so saying that any bounty on him wouldn't specify 'Alive Only, No Money Dead' or some such wouldn't make sense.

     Unarmed Emperor 
  • When the Emperor was trying to taunt Luke into attacking him, he appeared to have no means of defending himself against a lightsaber swing. If Luke had gone ahead and attacked, wouldn't that have ended with the Emperor lying dead after being cut in half (yeah, the EU talks about clone bodies and such, but that's not mentioned in the film, ever). And don't get me started on the taunting. Every time Luke comes close to attacking, the Emperor opens his mouth and Luke thinks better of it (unless the whole "if you'll attack me you'll magically turn Evil" thing was Reverse Psychology, but that doesn't make sense either).
    • I think the whole point of that was to pit Luke against Darth Vader, to see if Luke would make a worthy successor. Remember, the Emperor's taunting succeeds and Luke does try to hack down the Emperor, only for Darth Vader to intercede.
    • I believe this was posted elsewhere, but I shall post it here in hopes that it helps: the Emperor was taunting Luke in order to ensure that Luke fell to the Dark Side. Luke would be able to find ways to justify murdering the Emperor (needs of the many, kill the head and the body dies, etc) but those are righteous thoughts compared to slashing an old man in anger and cold blood, and this would be Luke's first step to the Dark Side. Once Vader stepped in, Palpatine kept up the onslaught of taunts to ensure that Luke would not only fall, but would enter the Emperor's service just like his father did. Seeing how well the strategy of pushing a man when he is hovering just above his own personal Moral Event Horizon worked with Anakin, it's a valid theory that the same thing might work on his son.
    • And considering the end of The Force Awakens, there is now even more credence to this.
    • Why did Vader protect the Emperor anyway?
    • Either to keep Luke from turning to the Dark Side or because he knows that if he doesn't protect the Emperor and the Emperor survives, he'll have the Emperor and Luke to worry about.
    • It's been driven into him. A properly-trained Sith Apprentice both loves and hates his Master in equal measure, and will protect him from all threats until the day when he rises up to kill him. Palpatine pulled that off almost perfectly... he both took everything Anakin had and gave Vader everything he has. Even when Vader is trying to turn Luke, he says "Join me, and together we will depose the Emperor and rule the galaxy" (mildly paraphrased), not "Off the Emperor on your own, we'll work it out afterwards".
    • Other books make it clear that Vader knows the Emperor wants to replace him with Luke - a Jedi equal in power to his father and not crippled by lava and lightsaber. The prosthetic limbs are why Vader can't use Force lightning.
    • The novelisation for The Rise of Skywalker finally answers this: if Luke had succeeded in striking down Sidious, his essence would have transferred into him. Vader knew this, and blocked Luke's strike to protect him from being possessed.
    • If Luke had attacked Palpatine and Vader hadn't intervened, Palpatine would've defended himself by zapping Luke with lightning. He wasn't truly unarmed; he only appeared that way.
    • Dying is also a risk that's inherent to being a Sith Lord. Palpatine puts himself in mortal jeopardy all the time in these movies, counting on his own power and cunning, or the fear and loyalty he's instilled in others, to enable him to come out on top. If he dies, then clearly he was no longer worthy of being called the Lord of the Sith. It's a feature, not a bug.
    • Palpatine has Vader to defend him. And if he senses that Vader is going to hesitate, he can just hit Luke with Force Lightning before he actually does anything. Palpatine is technically unarmed, but he's not remotely defenceless (ok yeah, the prequels established that a lightsaber just absorbs Force Lightning, but that wasn't canon yet).
    • Unless Yoda or Obi-Wan told him that Palpatine can shoot lightning AND that a lightsaber can deflect it, then he won’t be expecting it and his surprised reflexes are not necessarily going to cause him to instinctively try to deflect this awful, alien new weapon away. Presume that they just forgot to mention it, because that would have been an acutely plot-relevant thing to mention and depict being mentioned. Oh, and I see that this matter is also the subject of another question down the page.

     If Jabba Didn't Refuse 
  • So what would have happened if, against all odds, Jabba felt generous on the day Threepio and Artoo showed up and actually accepted Luke's plea for Han? He could've accepted the droids that Luke sent him in good faith, tossed a blind and crippled man out into the desert to fend for himself, and gone on with his business. But then Luke is out of two loyal, priceless droids and his brand new lightsaber. Of course Luke knew Jabba would never accept it (and thus planted Chewie and R2 inside the court so they'd help him break Han out,) but what if he had?
    • He could always make another lightsaber. As for the droids, well, they're just droids. As far as Han is concerned, Luke didn't know Han would be blind or even that he'd still be frozen when he formed the plan. If he'd just booted Han out of the palace, he presumably would be expected to be fine on his own till Luke could catch up with him.
    • Don't forget that Lando was there before R2 and Threepio showed up. Odds are, he was inserted in case of that eventuality. If Jabba had felt generous, then Lando would have probably snuck away and helped Han get away, at which point Luke would have probably have snuck in at night and spirited the droids away.
    • The droids probably could have left on their own, without needing Luke to come get them. Artoo would have gotten Threepio and convinced him to leave, hacked any systems he needed to get out a door, and in the eventuality of a purely mechanical door could have said "Hey, goldenrod, take this and slice us a hole, okay?" Which would have been pretty hilarious to see, Threepio actually wielding a lightsaber, however awkwardly.

     Death Shield 
  • The Rebel Fleet initially can't attack the second Death Star because it is protected by a shield. Even fighters can't get through. Why wasn't this an issue in A New Hope?
    • That Death Star was mobile, while the second Death Star in orbit around Endor and had its shield being projected from there. The first Death Star had no shield during the final battle because it was deep in enemy space with no other Empire stronghold around. Had it been attacked near an Imperial world, it likely would have had one and the Rebels would have had an even tougher battle.
    • The shield on the Death Star II was being projected by a station on Endor. Or, the shield on the DSII exists specifically because of the failures on the DSI. Alternatively, the Death Star novel gives an interesting explanation: they comment about how it's easy (relatively speaking) to build a weapon that can destroy a planet, and it's easy to build a shield to protect it. What's hard is doing both at the same time. As a result, the Empire decided to rely more on the immense amounts of firepower the DSI was capable of to kill anything that got near and shield only a relative fraction of it.
    • The Empire didn't view anything as small as a fighter as a threat to the first Death Star— they expected, if anything, huge capital ships to attack, so that's what they designed it to defend against. It was an elephant and expected to be attacked by lions or hyenas, not mosquitoes. The shield in Return of the Jedi was a deliberate response to what happened in the first one— they were forcibly made aware of the weakness and made an effort to compensate for it.
    • Shields are not created equal. Both Death Stars had their own shields, to keep their hulls from getting shot up, but there are ways around those and enough firepower will still bring them down, at which point it's time to see how strong the hull is. Both Death Stars were so massive that the odds of conventional attacks doing appreciable damage before the fleet is wiped out, either by the Death Star's own anti-ship turbolasers or the Death Star's escort fleet, are nil (the Death Star was intended to have at least a few capital ships with it when it officially started being the ultimate weapon in the Empire's arsenal). The kind of shield protecting the second Death Star was more more comprehensive, akin to the Rebel's planetary shield on Hoth, "strong enough to deflect any bombardment." It was only intended to protect the Death Star while it was under construction, and thus still had exposed weaknesses. Once the hull was finished, the only way to destroy it would be to grind it down with laser fire, while under the guns of its turbolasers, its escorts' turbolasers, and its capital-ship-eating super-laser.

     Big Moon 
  • Not such a big deal, but doesn't anybody find it odd how big the moon of Endor is? In A New Hope, Luke and Han mistake the original Death Star for a small moon, and it is stated that the second Death Star is just as big as the first. When the briefing occurs and a hologram is shown, the Death Star is DWARFED by the moon. How big is this moon? I know it's potentially possible for a natural satellite to be that big, but still. And how big must that planet be?
    • Wookieepedia says that the planet Endor is a gas giant 148,000 km in diameter and the Forest Moon of Endor is 4,900 km in diameter, while the first Death Star was 160 km. (For comparison, Jupiter is 139,822 km and its largest moon, Ganymede, is 5,262 km. Earth is 12,742 km, Earth's moon is 3,474 km, and the two moons of Mars are both less than 30 km.)
    • In fact, we can make even more direct comparisons without even leaving the Jovian system. The Death Star is only marginally smaller than Amalthea (160km vs 167), and the Forest Moon is only marginally larger than Callisto (4,900km vs 4820.6). And Amalthea isn't the smallest of Jupiter's satellites, nor Callisto the largest. That's just the kind of range moons can have, even in Real Life.

     Ewok Sins 
  • Why did the Ewoks refuse to obey their "god" when he told them to free his friends, it wasn't until he started flying around above them that they did what he ordered, why would they disobey the one they worship and then not take his warning seriously?
    • There are different kinds of gods. Threepio's translation is partly guesswork, remember, he doesn't know the exact language they're using, he's just putting it together from everything he knows about languages. The actual word they use might be more comparable to, say, "house spirit", or "oracle", or something like that. They might be intending to honour him, ask him for advice, have him bless babies and whatnot but not actually let him run the joint. When he apparently starts displaying actual powers they're all "Oh holy crap he's that kind of god, do what he says before he smites us!"
    • Also, the Ewoks may have believed Threepio was testing them to see how loyal they were. They may have believed this god prefers sacrifice over mercy, especially the sacrifice of one who tried to attack the god (Solo). We really know nothing of Ewok culture and beliefs at this point in the series.
    • Watch the body language of the "head priest" Ewok. He's clearly not happy about his spiritual importance being usurped by the arrival of a god, so he's trying to assert his own authority. The novelisation, I believe, expands on this idea. Essentially, the Ewoks are in the middle of a pissing contest between the High Priest and The Guy The High Priest Answers To/Chief.

     Tempting Anakin vs Tempting Luke 
  • Palpatine's corruption of Anakin was slow and well put together, he spent years gaining his trust, praising his powers and gradually turning him against the Jedi while using his fear for his family to finally get him on his side. Why then did he think he could do the same to Luke in just five minutes, Luke already knows he's an evil Sith Lord and has reason enough to never want to join him. All Palpatine's methods seem to amount to to is him going "Watch your friends die hahahahaha soon you will be begging to be on my team!" How is pissing someone off going to make them like you? And after beating Vader wouldn't it be more likely that he would then attack the Emperor rather than go "hey you know what, I really want to join you now"?
    • For one, Palpatine had access to Anakin since he was a small child and thus had plenty of time and opportunity for the slow path of corruption. He didn't with Luke. Thus his attempts are a bit more blunt through necessity. But that also implies that Palpatine hasn't been doing what he can to tempt and corrupt Luke, partly simply by giving him ample cause to go into battle, which is one of those things that always puts Jedi at risk.
    • Palpatine's kind of speed-chessing it here. Step One: get Luke to give in to the Dark Side. Step two: once he does, make him realise how awesome it feels to just cut the fuck loose. Step three: convince him that Palpatine can teach him to have that feeling all the time, and the power that comes with it, and how to use it to get everything he's ever wanted, and things he didn't even know he wanted. Complete all steps before Luke can murder Palps in Dark Side Rage.
    • Luke says it best: "Your overconfidence is your weakness." Palpatine has been the Emperor for so long that really doesn't believe he can lose. And anyway, if he fails to turn Luke to the Dark Side, he can just kill the guy with Force lightning. There's really no downside. The one thing Palpatine doesn't expect is that Vader, the guy whom he spent years manipulating, will suddenly turn on him.

     Ouch, Oh Wait! That's Robotic 
  • Minor one, but when Luke cuts off Vader's hand it's later shown to be robotic. Yet Vader still yells like a real hand was cut off, why?
    • The robotic hands still feel pain.
    • Supporting this: at the end of ESB, Luke twitches and says "ow" when having his new hand prodded. No reason Vader's wouldn't be just as sensitive.
    • Note also how Luke cries out when somebody shoots his robotic hand during the battle on Jabba's barge. Actually, both reactions are less than what one would typically expect from having one's actual limb amputated or injured that way: compare them to Luke's scream of agony when Vader slashed off his real hand back in The Empire Strikes Back, and it's no contest. Apparently, robotic prosthetic limbs simulate enough pain that you'll notice and acknowledge it, but not much more than that.
    • "He's more machine now than man."
    • Even if there wasn't a short-circuit or some such, amputated stumps tend to be very sensitive.
    • A further point: droids are capable of feeling pain too, as demonstrated with the droids being tortured down in one of the dungeons in Jabba's palace in the scene where R2-D2 and C-3PO are getting their assignments. In Tales From Jabba's Palace, Jabba's head droid EV-D99 (the one giving out those assignments in that dungeon) was revealed to be a sadomasochistic sociopath and serial killer studying the subtleties and inner workings of these pain sensors in depth by torturing her fellow droids. Presumably, Luke and Vader's prosthetic hands were fitted out with something like these sensors for all the same reasons biological hands have pain nerves, i.e. to discourage people from actions that would injure those hands, and to serve as an instant alert system if they do happen to injure them.

     Really No More Rebellion? 
  • If the Rebellion lost the Battle of Endor, how would it automatically mark the death of the Rebellion? Couldn't the Rebellion just reorganise itself, and try to attack the Empire again, maybe after the second Death Star was completed by looking for small thermal exhaust port on it that they could torpedo away, after the second Death Star is away from its shield on Endor?
    • First off, the second Death Star was explicitly designed without that flaw, and even then the original was defeated by a guy with superhuman capabilities. I think the only way the second Death Star could be beaten would be by infiltration and sabotage. However, by then the Empire would have the ability to reproduce the Death Stars with relative impunity (relative because a Death Star is a goddamn huge money sink even with a million systems backing it). Secondly, while new rebellions might pop up, the "Alliance to Restore the Republic" would have been crushed, and as the most successful rebellion against the Empire, it would probably damage morale something fierce especially with a potential fleet of Death Stars backing the Empire up. I'm thinking the Empire would be relatively secure for the next few decades, at least until Palpatine dies from old age/Dark Side Corruption/getting murdered by his successor.
    • It would be the death of the Rebellion because they would be annihilated. They threw everything they had at the Death Star - even the transports they used to evacuate Hoth, for whatever reason - and with the Star Destroyers blocking their escape, it was either win or die.
    • Couldn't they just jump into hyperspace and rip right through the fleet? The special SDs that prevented hyperspace are considered non-canon.
    • Not necessarily. Admiral Piett states that "We're only to keep them from escaping," indicating they had some way to keep the Rebels from just popping back into hyperspace. Second, hyperspace is exactly that: not normal space. Even if the Rebel fleet could jump back to lightspeed and get away from the Imperials, they wouldn't "rip through them." And once they've abandoned this shot at destroying the Death Star, they aren't going to get another one. Defeat is defeat, retreat is slower but still assured defeat, once that Death Star is fully armoured and invulnerable.
    • Ships in the Star Wars setting can't go to hyperspace that close to a planet. The gravity well stops them. That's what the Interdictor ship does - project a gravity well. And a planter bigger than Jupiter makes a huge gravity well.
    • If they did escape, couldn't another shot be this: a Rebel strike team steals an Imperial Star Destroyer, poses as Imperials, ask for the shield to be deactivated, and then destroys the second Death Star?
    • No, it couldn't. It's one thing to steal a shuttle. Stealing a Star Destroyer is just plain completely out of the Rebellion's capability as a whole, let alone a "strike team" and it requires the Empire to not notice that a massive amount of metal is missing. You might as well ask them to just steal the Death Star itself.
    • A single shuttle could be missed. An entire Star Destroyer, with its thousands of crewmen and mass would be noticed extremely quickly.
    • Rogue One establishes that a solid object can block something from going into hyperspace at close range.
    • The Rebellion was committing everything to an all-or-nothing gamble. They thought the Emperor had made a critical error by being on the Death Star while the Imperial fleet was absent, and they committed their entire fleet to the attack. It was either destroy the Death Star, or die trying at that point.

     Han Knowing Anakin 
  • Minor one, but does Han Solo ever find out Darth Vader is Luke and Leia's father? It seems to be a critical need-to-know thing to know about his future wife and brother-in-law.
    • Luke and Leia probably just said that their dad was a Jedi named Anakin Skywalker who died a long time ago. I'm not sure Han would take it all that well if he found out that he was about to be the son-in-law of the second most evil man in the galaxy. Would you want to tell him? Some things are just better left unsaid, y'know?
    • I presume they had that discussion when Luke dragged Vader's body out of his shuttle to give it a Viking funeral. Han is a pretty straightforward, live-in-the-moment, kind of guy, he may not have liked it but he isn't the sort to dwell on things. Once he washed Vader's corpse-smoke stink out of his clothes he probably never even gave Vader another thought in his life.
    • He's well aware in the EU, for what it's worth. The one with the biggest hang up about it is Leia. It takes her much longer to come to grips with it than anyone else. She rebuffs an attempt by Anakin to apologise via the Force, she's initially adamant about not having children with Han, and she obviously has issues being able to separate Anakin and Vader as Luke does. To be fair, she's the one that dealt with Vader for most of her life, he's tortured her directly, and she partially blames him for Alderaan. Han, on the other hand, while subjected to some horrible stuff by Vader, is a much more cavalier person in general.
    • Essentially, they fall on opposite sides of the nature/nurture debate. Leia feels it’s nature, Han is backing nurture. The novel Tatooine Ghost deals directly with this, as Leia learns of Anakin's exploits and of her grandmother's existence, with the backdrop of Han pushing for kids while Leia is balking.
    • Boy, I bet Han wishes he had listened to his wife on that one...
    • And it's probably easier for Han, since he's only related to Vader through marriage, not blood. He doesn't have the 'daddy is the second most evil man in the galaxy' weighing down on him as Leia and Luke do.
    • Based on Episode VII, yes, he does.

     A Shocking Warning 
  • Based on what Yoda and Obi-Wan witness from both Palpatine's and Dooku's attacks, you would think that they'd give Luke a good primer on Palpatine's personal Beam Spam weapon, Force lightning. Perhaps neither thought Luke would be stupid enough to face the Emperor (they only wanted Vader killed). Instead, Luke plays Idiot Ball (for drama's sake, as it was that great moment of stupidity that leads to Vader's redemptive sacrifice).
    • What we have seen of Force Lightning indicates that if you are a Jedi Master (Yoda, Mace Windu, or Obi-Wan Kenobi), you can deflect or catch it 'somehow' using your lightsaber. EDIT: Upon rewatching the prequels, Yoda can even catch it barehanded and throw it back at the caster! Young Anakin Skywalker, however, was blown right off his feet by Dooku's lightning on Geonosis. I would guess that Luke, as of Jedi, is much closer to young Anakin's level (Padawan ready to graduate to full Jedi Knight) than he is to being a Master. Luke is perhaps a little farther along the path, given Yoda's pronouncement that "No more training do you require", but he still is no Mace Windu. I presume the Idiot Ball referred to is Luke's tossing away of his lightsaber; but I would venture that the lightsaber wouldn't have helped him in any case, and his Drop Your Lightsaber gesture is what dramatically illustrated his refusal to kill his father and turn to the Dark Side.
    • In the novelisation Luke does use the Force after the initial blast of electricity, trying to repel the lightning. He manages to hold it off for only a few seconds before being hit by it again, because the Emperor is just so much more powerful than him. As for the original question, it still stands. Yoda even says "Of the Emperor beware - do not underestimate his powers," but doesn't mention anything useful about what these powers are.
    • Well it's all wonky now that the prequels exist, but I imagine that the original idea was that Force-lighting was an utterly unique power that Palpatine invented himself. Yoda didn't warn Luke about it because he had never heard about it. He knew that Palpatine was powerful, but he didn't know the details. Palpatine was always good at keeping secrets, after all.
    • Pretty much. It's stated to be a corruption of the Force. Also, Yoda was dying. He was barely able to tell Luke that he had a sibling before he passed away.

     Rescue Mission 
  • A few things about the mission to rescue Han from Jabba. Firstly, what was the point of keeping Lando in disguise? He didn't do anything useful and he even led Leia to Jabba after she was captured! And then in the Sail Barge battle, he wrestles with ONE goon a little before they're both knocked off the skiff. Also, speaking of Leia, why didn't Luke or Lando or R2 or anyone try and help her out? She was basically a sex slave to a slug and, yet, none of them so much as mention the fact she's enslaved, nor do they make any attempt to rescue her. And, yes, it was awesome to see her kill Jabba all by herself but seriously, some help would have been nice.
    • Lando was insurance— he's there so that Leia has someone on her side to help if Jabba says "Execute her" instead of "put her in a bikini." Leia is perfectly capable on her own and, you know, escapes on her own and kills Jabba with her own hands. They didn't go out of their way to help and rescue her because they knew she didn't need it.
    • You have a strange idea about any human's abilities if you think Leia would have survived for more than five seconds if Jabba simply decided to kill her. When she's first caught, she's surrounded by a lot of strong, armed, and quite possibly experienced killers. Short of blowing herself up, she's got no options, even if Lando is still there to help. Also, just because she could escape on her own does not mean her friends should expect her to. She'd help them, so they should help her. Luke does precisely that.
    • I can buy that Lando was insurance but I doubt that they didn't rescue her because they thought she didn't need the help. Leia getting caught was probably not part of the plan, and her being chained to Jabba certainly wasn't. Leia is perfectly capable of handling herself but when you're chained to a giant slug with armed guards near him and with no weapons on you, anyone in that position would be vulnerable. So, again, why would they not, at least, try and rescue her?
    • Part of the plan? Maybe not Plan A, but certainly a known possibility. As for them trying to rescue her... perhaps you mean something like, say, Luke jumping over to the barge, engaging the guards, on it, and helping her swing away afterward?
      Leia is not some damsel in distress that needs a big strong man hero to rescue her. That is the point of her character. And everyone else involved knows exactly how deadly and capable she is. They didn't go out of their way to make rescuing her a top priority because they knew she could take care of herself.
    • I know she's not a damsel in distress, as you can see by the fact that I explicitly said that she was perfectly capable of handling herself. Now that you point it out, I guess Luke's plan was to jump over to the barge, rescue Leia, and then blow up the barge. Too bad Leia beat him to it! Alright, that's all cleared up.
    • I always got the impression that by the time Luke got in there they were on plan D or F or something. Not part of the original plan at all, but adapting to Jabba and his goons changing the plans they laid out. As for why Lando was in disguise, what would you expect him to do? Lose the disguise and then his life? He may have seemed useless, but I always assumed he was to remain hidden until all else failed. Fortunately, things worked out with plan Z (finally).
    • Most likely, Lando was feeding information about how things were going in Jabba's palace back to Luke, to alert him if something went wrong.
    • Trying to rescue Leia at the point where she's first captured would have been counterproductive. The plan to steal Solo in the middle of the night was blown, so Lando is leading her to Jabba and shaking his head at her, signaling "not yet, wait for Luke, the last piece, to come into play, before we make our next move." After all, Chewbacca is in a cell at that time and is no help, R2 is on the sail barge already (probably) and the team is split up. It's really only after they are all gathered together for Luke and Han's execution that they are all in a position to work together. Lando being in disguise should have let him surprise Jabba's men and be very effective. The fact that he performed horribly was not his fault, his luck let him down. He compensated later by blowing up the Death Star.
    • Think of Lando as a kind of wild card (he'd probably call it a skifter or something). Whatever happens, the crew has at least one armed ally in Jabba's palace that Jabba doesn't know about, ready to intervene as needed no matter what the need is.
    • If you watch closely, you can see that at first, Lando tries to escort Leia out of the Throne Room, presumably somewhere else in Jabba's Palace (perhaps the dungeons, from which she can make her escape?). But then Jabba demands to see her, and one of the Gamorrean guards pushes her up to the dais where the fat slug licks her face.
    • In the EV-9D9 section of Tales from Jabba's Palace, Lando destroyed the two droids who’s places would be taken by C-3PO and R2-D2.
    • Lando also started trying to rescue Han six months before Luke did, which was why he was there. He's less well-known and more easily disguised than Chewbacca. Plus, he couldn't resist. No seriously, he really couldn't.
    • What you mean they made no attempt to rescue Leia? They made every attempt to rescue Leia. It's just that the rescue ends up happening in the middle of a big fight where everybody is collectively rescuing themselves and each other. When Luke is busy killing dudes on the mini sail barges, every guy who attacks him is a guy not guarding Leia. The chaos outside gives Leia a chance to kill Jabba, which in turn gives R2 a chance to cut Leia's chains. Then Luke personally shows up on the main sail barge and kills more dudes, thus helping to rescue Leia, who in turn blows up the whole barge to help rescue Luke.

     Lando & Boba 
  • How come Boba Fett didn't recognise Lando?
    • Lando had a mask on.
    • Why would he care, even if he did? Boba wouldn't have made any connection between Lando and the Rebels, as he left long before that connection was made (publicly). Sure, he might have recognised him as one of the guys shooting at Slave I as it left Bespin (can't recall if Lando was even in that scene, and if he wasn't, that makes the point), and been a little miffed, but that was business. Fett is a businessman, first and foremost. But again, why would he care? Jabba has already paid him (not even Jabba would withhold payment from that one...), so it is no longer his problem. He could potentially double-dip Jabba, as once Han has escaped, a capable (and now proven) bounty hunter will have to be hired to track him down again...

     Threepio On Endor 
  • In Return of the Jedi, when Han Solo is leading the team of crack commandos who are heavily camouflaged and very stealthy, why do they bring along a shiny brass robot? No good reason, that's why.
    • They were divinely influenced by C-3PO to bring him to his worshippers, the Ewoks. Or maybe he was previously programmed as an assassin droid and the memories resurfaced? Though more likely is that the writers wanted the C-3PO-as-Ewok-god plot point and either forgot or didn't care to work backwards from there to justify him tagging along.
    • Someone needs to translate for R2. The rest of the team doesn't seem terribly happy to be bringing him along anyway.
    • Perhaps they brought him along to translate for the Ewoks and convert them to their side, the Rebels knowing that Underdogs Never Lose. A better question would be: why do they need a full-sized android to be their translator in the first place? Yes, he would be useful for diplomatic functions where they need a life-size representative (like Jabba's palace) but surely there's a handheld translator out there somewhere. Luke's X-Wing has a translator for R2.
    • Yes, Luke's X-Wing has a translator, but they probably all do. The droid is like a co-pilot, and they speak a specific artificial language, which would be easy to translate back to Basic. Completely foreign languages ensconced in an otherwise-isolated culture... not so much.
    • Possibly they were planning to use 3PO as a distraction for the Stormtroopers, in which case his shininess would actually be an advantage. They didn't say this out loud because they knew he'd freak out if he knew their intentions, and they never did so because that Ewok who stole the speederbike stepped up and did it first.
    • Ahh, but he does get used for a distraction. He baits the Stormtroopers into an Ewok ambush after the Rebels are captured.
    • Perhaps he was originally going to stay in the ca-, er, ship, but when they got there something came up that necessitated taking him with them. Or, more likely, they were planning to leave him somewhere before going into actual combat and then come back for him afterwards.
    • If things went wrong at the bunker, they'd need Artoo to help deal with the computers, and Threepio to translate for Artoo. Any other unexpected stuff comes up during the mission, they may need Artoo's Swiss Army Droid capabilities, and again need Threepio to tell them what the hell Artoo is saying.
    • Threepio doesn't just translate languages, he can also recognise and decipher military codes and messages.

     The Tydirium's Landing 
  • So, shuttle Tydirium is "bringing parts and technical crew" to the forest moon of Endor. The Emperor and Vader know what's up, and let it pass. Piett suspects there's something off, but heeds Vader's command. But the rest of the Imperial crew has no idea why that shuttle, instead of landing in the nice, elevated, designated landing platform, suddenly veered off course and landed in the middle of a forest, and was never heard from again. Sure, anyone who brought this up would be told not to worry about it, but wouldn't the Rebels themselves realise the myriad issues with this plan?
    • Guerrilla fighters, rebels, and general resistance forces rarely have the option of a good plan, or the luxury of time to plot one. What they get are opportunities and plans with a shot of working. As far as the Endor plan goes, it is far from the worst long shot in existence. Especially when it looks like the alternative was "Death Star II". This was probably the best they could get, what with Palpatine carefully orchestrating the scenario to constrain them.
    • Also, with some clever piloting and maybe a fake distress signal it's not impossible to fool the Imperial air traffic controllers into thinking you crashed in the middle of the forest, as opposed to landing there. Granted, you run the risk that the Imperials might send out a search-and-rescue flight that will then find your perfectly intact and empty shuttle sitting on the ground, but betting on the Empire to be callous and wasteful of human life is usually a safe bet. Spaceships crashing from orbit don't usually leave survivors anyway.
    • Callous and wasteful of human life... sure. Callous and wasteful of an expensive spaceship, probably not. Besides it's a top secret project, any random crash is going to be investigated in case it wasn't an accident. Also as mentioned in the Star Wars headscratcher archives, the military does not watch everything that closely. The Executor let them pass, and would expect to get a call from the base if the shuttle never arrived but since the shuttle isn't expected by the shield generator in the first place, there would be no reason to call it in.
    • Parts and equipment intended for any of the Imperial teams out in the field would naturally be shuttled to them rather than carried out there on the back of a speeder bike. And we know the Empire has patrols out.
    • It's actually "parts and technical group," which ironically is true as far as it goes... they're bring parts (of bombs they're going to use to blow up the bunker), and a technical group (to place said explosives for maximum kaboom).
    • "Anyone who brought this up would be told not to worry about it." Knowing who Vader and Palpatine are, they would do way more than tell them don't worry about it if they question it. Sith are not really nice or reasonable bosses.

     What did Jabba do to her? 
  • When Jabba captures Leia he clearly seems to be acting with lustful intent, and C-3PO says "I can't bear to watch". Yet it doesn't seem that Leia is so completely traumatised by the event that anything incredibly horrible (on the level of rape) had happened to her. So just what was it that Threepio couldn't bear to see? Or is it just that, being his typical protocol droid self, he's just that sensitive? And anyway, why is Jabba fond of humanoid females in quite that way? Would he not be more attracted to his own kind, finding humanoids as repulsive as we do him?
    • According to the EU, Jabba does have something of a fetish for humanoid females (which even other Hutts find weird), and even if you don't take that into account, there are some people who are into animals or creatures who are not remotely human. Jabba could be similar to that. As to Threepio's reaction, yes it's just him being his usual self.
    • At the risk of getting into too much information, it's widely speculated that Hutts aren't, er, constructed in such a way as would allow him to, uh, take advantage of the Princess' situation. So, the worst that happened to Leia was that she was forced to wear a ridiculously fan-service-y getup, chained to a throne, and oogled by some criminal lowlifes. One of whom she killed directly, and most of whom she helped kill shortly after. I'd call that a balm to soothe any emotional wounds.
    • You also have to remember that Leia has been tortured multiple times, first when she was tortured repeatedly while a prisoner on the first Death Star, and then again while a prisoner in Cloud City—the film shows us Han's torture, but Leia was also brought back to the cell shortly after Han was, and says to him "why are they doing this to us?" (emphasis added)—and seems not to be particularly traumatised by that either. Also, shortly after the destruction of Alderaan, and the murder of her whole homeworld, she was comforting Luke about the death of a man he had known well for a matter of days, maybe. You just have to accept that she is a very tough, very resilient person who can keep going after events that would leave most people psychologically crippled.
    • Going by other novelisations and possibly some cut moments from the script... Jabba snogged her.
    • Also according to EU novels, Jabba ordered his underlings to put Leia into the slave gear right there in the throne room, stripping her bare assed naked in front of everyone in the process. Threepio understandably would be horrified to witness the Princess of Alderaan and the Rebel leader so utterly humiliated, especially by such lowlifes.

     R 2 Meal 
  • When its implied the Ewoks are about to eat the main members of the cast, why do they string up R2-D2? Do they just assume he's a weird creature with a hard shell and meaty insides?
    • Considering their level of technological sophistication, most likely.

     Anakin's Body Remaining 
  • If Darth Vader was a Jedi why didn't his body disappear when he died as Obi-Wan and Yoda did?
    • Because that doesn't happen every time a Jedi dies. Watch the other movies.
    • Who says his body didn't disappear? Unlike Yoda and Obi-Wan, he's not wearing robes. He's wearing hard-shell armour. And huge chunks of his body (including all four limbs) have already been replaced by cybernetic parts. Since Vader/Anakin was already lying down when he died, his armour wouldn't have any reason to collapse after his body disappeared out of it. And then Luke takes the armour to burn for Anakin's funeral.
    • But his head was exposed, it counts as his body and it didn't disappear.
    • Probably because it didn't disappear until Luke put him on that pyre. By that point, his mask was put back on, so we didn't get to see if he became a Force Ghost until the party.
    • Qui-Gon's body didn't disappear after death, but he somehow figured out how to become a Force Ghost afterwards, and taught that power to Yoda and Obi-Wan, allowing them to become one with the Force instantly upon death. Anakin must've figured it out the same way as Qui-Gon, only faster, and became a Force Ghost shortly after dying.
    • There's also Anakin's nature to take into account; conceived by the Force and extremely powerful.

     The Reactor 
  • When Wedge and Lando take out the Death Star's reactor, why does it tilt over and start to fall? The reactor is at the exact centre of the Death Star, and there's no rational reason to have artificial gravity in a section that would rarely if ever have people in it. And for that matter, if people did have to enter that massive chamber to do maintenance on the reactor, artificial gravity would actively hinder them and make it much more dangerous. Thus, the reactor should even if completely severed from the bottom of the chamber by the missiles exploding, have just floated there.
    • There actually IS gravity; it was pulled towards Endor.
    • While I could make up some fanon about the synchro-whatsits on one side collapsing and creating a tilt that was merely the illusion of an imminent fall, it's easier just to admit that the tilt-and-collapse was a visual shorthand for "Dude, I'm broken, dude."
    • Once it breaks off from the superstructure, it stays in one spot and the Death Star keeps orbiting Endor.
    • That's not how gravity and motion work (When you jump, does the planet move under you before you land? Of course not.) I second the explanation that it's just to make it obvious to viewers that it's broken.
    • Whoever said it's being pulled by gravity? For all we know it's being pulled by magnetism. Maybe the generator uses powerful magnetic fields for whatever reason, and those fields go haywire once the thing gets damaged.

     Splitting Up Command 
  • "Split up and head back to the surface. And see if you can get a few of those TIE fighters to follow you." Who the hell would break off their pursuit of an enemy rapidly approaching the vulnerable core of their battle station, to go chase after a few fighters who seem to be in retreat? It seems that in reality, all Lando would do is needlessly reduce his own numbers and draw more fire onto himself and Wedge; the fact that some of the TIEs do break off strikes me as nothing more than a case of Too Dumb to Live.
    • The TIE pilots might not know the ins and outs of the inside of the space station — if they don't know which way the core is, they're going to pursue all the enemy pilots who might.
    • It's certainly not as if they outright tell the Imperials what they're doing.
  • Related to the above, after the split-up why don't the gunners on the Falcon start firing at the TIEs that are still in pursuit?
    • Lando may have been distributing the ship’s energy to give a good balance between acceleration (to haul ass to the reactor core, and subsequently away from it when it started to explode) and rear shields (to defend against TIE attacks, while also relying on manoeuvrability to take evasive action around the superstructure piping and such which the fighters with their distinctive shapes may have struggled more with) at the expense of the turbolaser batteries, so the gunners knew that their shots wouldn’t have much effect and didn’t bother firing overly much.

     Lando's Apology 
  • Did Lando ever apologise to Han about his betrayal at Cloud City?
    • I don't know, did Chewie ever apologise for trying to choke Lando to death even while he was trying to help them escape?
    • Chewie may have apologised offscreen.
    • Not really that kind of relationship. They'll do stuff (rescues, blowing up Death Stars) to show that they're sorry about what they did, but they don't actually apologise to each other.
    • He actually apologises as soon as the betrayal is revealed: "I'm sorry. They arrived here just before you did. I had no choice."
    • Chewie probably filled Han in on Lando's help. That probably earned Lando forgiveness in Han's book.

     Vader Easily Forgiven 
  • Did Darth Vader get off too easy? I mean, sure he turned back to the Light Side at the last minute but before that he had no problem murdering anyone who was so much as standing in his way in the hallway. He spent over twenty years being the public face of Imperial tyranny and now he gets to spend eternity in Force heaven because in his last moments he saved the life of someone he personally cared about.
    • According to the old EU, Luke felt Vader got what he deserved in terms of both forgiveness and punishment, so was in balance with the Force. Leia felt Vader could never ever be forgiven. For everyone else, who knows? It's one of those things that every individual has to form their own opinion over, there is no right or wrong answer.
    • As far as Anakin is concerned, being Darth Vader for 20 years until his Redemption Equals Death was the punishment for his crimes. He only joined the Sith so he can gain the power to cheat death and save his wife from childbirth. However, this decision caused him to destroy the Jedi Order, betray all of his friends, lose all of his limbs and burn in Mustafar's lava fields after losing a duel to his former best friend and master, being forcibly converted as a cyborg in a permanent iron clad life support suit, and then realise it was all for nothing since Sidious revealed his wife died anyways, meaning that he has nothing left except embracing the identity of Vader and hating himself for how things turned out. The fact that Luke even suggests he could turn back from the Dark Side is shocking for Vader, for even he thought he was beyond any form of redemption after all this. Saving Luke from the Emperor was really his second chance of making the right choice and atone for his initial sin (the fear of death) that led him down the Dark Path.
    • I like to think that he only showed up for a short while to thank Luke for redeeming him, and then he went to some sort of Force Purgatory to do penance for his sins. Who knows? Maybe he can personally apologise to his victims somehow. Although Force users are the only people who can come back as ghosts, it may be that everyone still goes to some sort of invisible afterlife even if they're not a Force user.
    • No indication of the former in canon; if anything, his appearing alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda and subsequent ghostly appearance suggest otherwise. The latter is theoretically possible, though.

     The Executed 
  • Why did the Executor start to plummet after the bridge went out? Wasn't there a backup bridge?
    • The most common theory (and a common explanation in the EU) is that the Death Star was putting out a strong artificial gravitational field in order to keep the Rebel Fleet from escaping into hyperspace. When the Executor's bridge was taken out, the ship (which was fairly close to the Death Star) got caught in its massive gravity well and pulled in before any backup controls could take hold.
    • The Death Star wouldn't even need an artificial gravitational field, it's the size of a small moon, it would have gravity all on it's own.
    • The Death Star II is about the size of Ceres, and should thus have a weak field of about 0.03g, assuming equivalent mass.
      ...amusingly, by definition, the Death Star II is less the size of a "small moon" and more a dwarf planet! Bring that up to Han Solo! "It's heading for that small moon!" "That's No Moon. It's a dwarf planet." "Actually, it's a space station."
    • It depends on the source. The movie novelisation only pegs the DS2 at slightly less than twice the size of the original Death Star, which was 120-160 km.
    • The gravitational field being emitted wouldn't be to allow for gravity on the Death Star, it would be to prevent Rebel ships from escaping into hyperspace. Gravity fields disrupt hyperspace, dragging ships back into normal space if they come to close to one. In the EU, the Empire creates an entire class of ships (Interdictor-cruisers) for that express purpose.
    • The whole battle was taking place above Endor, a planet-sized moon with a lot more mass than the Death Star. If anything Executor should have fallen onto it if gravity was the deciding factor. In addition, the presence of Endor negates the possibility of the Death Star putting out a strong gravitational field, otherwise having it in such a low orbit over the moon would have caused major tidal effects. Besides, as per the in-universe rules governing jumping to hyperspace, the Rebel Fleet was too close to Endor to do so. In order to make the jump, they would have needed to break out of orbit and move a good distance away.
    • Another possibility is that the Executor was in the middle of a manoeuvre that involved turning in that direction, and the pilot was killed before he could complete the manoeuvre and turn back away from the Death Star. A third possibility is that the pilot yanked on the controls in any old direction in order to try to shift the ship so that Arvel Crynyd's A-Wing wouldn't crash into the bridge and kill them all.
    • If you look you can see flames coming from the engines just before it hits the Death Star. At least it does in the DVD version, I can't remember if it was there in the original.
    • There almost certainly was a backup bridge. And it wouldn't make sense for it not to be manned in a major battle. However, everyone on the main bridge was annihilated about two seconds after they realised there was any danger, so the secondary bridge crew may not even have realised they were in charge in time to do anything before smack.

     Shield Bomb 
  • Couldn't the Rebels just bomb the shield generator from orbit?
    • And wasted hours getting the ships close enough and aiming the shots, all while allowing "bulletproof" space ships to take pot shots at you on a whim? Not exactly subtle...
    • They had, like, a lot of ships didn't they? Some of them bomb, others fight off the Empire, what's the problem? And what do you mean by bulletproof?
    • They didn't have a lot at all compared to the Empire, so speed was essential. They needed to get in and destroy the Death Star as fast as possible to prevent being completely wiped out. By "bulletproof" I was referring to the station itself, which would be completely invincible until the shield was down. Having to separate their squadron into two distinct forces had a much larger chance of failure then showing up with the generator already down (which was the intention) and going full-throttle against the Death Star.
    • True, but their plan relied on a rather wild hope that the generator wouldn't be fully defended, which failed miserably and would've doomed the whole operation if it wasn't for... ugh... Ewoks. Orbital bombardment looks somewhat more reliable to me. Besides, in the end it wasn't the capital ships that took out the DS but a squadron of fighters. But even discarding the idea of bombardment, wasn't there ANY contingency plan in stock? Like a full scale assault on the generator with hundreds of troops and heavy weapons once it was clear that the covert operation failed. Nothing at all?
    • The generator itself is protected by its own impenetrable forcefield.
    • As noted above, Endor itself was fully shielded; the only way that the Rebel team could get down to the surface would be if they were cleared by the defence fleet to enter the shield. There's no other way to get troops onto the surface - especially after the assault began. Orbitally bombarding the shield would have been useless, as planetary shields are designed to take that kind of abuse and laugh at it.
    • In fact, if I remember correctly, the weapon devised to get around that sort of shielding? The Death Star.
    • It was never meant to be implied that their plan was perfect or even the ideal solution, but there are clear reasons why they chose it and not a straight rush in and start shooting. Ideally, the way their plan was envisioned, the shuttle got them down to the planet, nobody detected them, and they either deactivated or destroyed the generator swiftly while the armada shows up in orbit simultaneously. So in theory, the plan was sound. And really, I don't think they had time or resources for a "backup plan". It's a relatively small force of dedicated soldiers and pilots up against the might of practically the entire Empire. Think USA vs. Malta.
    • The Rebel Alliance did not have the hundreds of troops, tanks, or warships necessary to mount the kind of assault you and so many others are talking about. Yes, the chances of success would be much higher if they sent a massive armada to bomb the living crap out of the planet, and a powerful force of armour and infantry would also do much better than a small force of infiltrators, but the fact that they are "The Rebel Alliance" and not "The Astoundingly Well-Equipped Anti-Imperial Ass-Kickers" means that their options do not include those two infinitely preferable strategies.
    • Simple: a stealth mission would have a higher chance of success. The generator was guarded by the entire Imperial Navy, from the local surrounding space. A small, land-based infiltration force had a better chance, just like how a small squadron of fighters had a better chance of taking out the Death Star than a frontal assault.
    • Fact is the Rebels did not know a huge fleet was behind the corner waiting for them. Every 'fact' the Bothan net provided was leaked on purpose by the Emperor. Rebels thought the Death Star was -relatively- poorly defended (the Executor being there was no mystery though) because the shield generator made a fleet unnecessary. If they really came in and attempted to destroy the generator through brute force, the Empire would have had enough time to respond to the attack with other ships in the area. Instead they tried to blow up the generator, drop in, blow the thing and get out before a serious response showed up, which is the usual Rebel hit-and-run MO. Also they had to move quickly because the intel they received indicated that the DS superlaser was not yet functional. Must give credit to the Emperor for a really well set-up trap, too bad he screwed it all up by giving fancy orders to his fleet (troops losing to a bunch of Ewoks wasn't exactly his fault though).

     Vader Dying 
  • It just bugs me that Darth Vader, or I guess I should say Anakin as he was redeemed at this point, suffocates to death on the Death Star. Sure his iron lung was short-circuited but you would think that the space ship that Luke escaped on would have had medical technology that could sustain a person's general health and oxygen until Anakin could be brought to a medical facility and his suit and especially his iron lung repaired. I have watched the Return of the Jedi for years and yet when I watched it recently this struck me as odd, we have breathing masks in our modern day aircraft for goodness sake; you mean to tell me that in a universe that has faster than light space travel they can't afford to have some damn breathing masks, oxygen masks, or space suits that provide air for you to have where the airless void of space will kill you if anything happens to your ship?
    • Well A) what's the likelihood that a shuttle, picked at random out of possibly a whole bay of things will have a hyperbaric chamber, and B) it takes more than a breath-mask to overcome Vader's issues, remember his lungs are pretty much shot without the equipment, plus he picked up a few bolts from Palpatine turning pretty much into totally. Oh and C. he'd be braindead by the time Luke had got thing halfway back to the fleet, and D. he's a mass murderer at best, so it's possible that someone would deliberately botch something anyway.
    • Yeah, you're making way too many assumptions for what a run-of-the-mill shuttle would have as far as medical equipment. In addition to the above, don't forget E. He never made it to the ship. Even if the ship was a fully staffed, fully equipped medical frigate, even Star Wars tech isn't going to be able to do much for a corpse.
    • A. This is explained by scientists who are researching the field of advanced space travel, noting that any ship flying through space is going to want to have full-fledged medical facilities on board because as vast as the universe is you may be wandering space for months or even years at a time depending on where you are headed (and that's if you have faster-than-light space travel) and some random escape pod with only an oxygen supply is not going to last you if it can't also provide food, water, and medical equipment to help you if you get injured or sick. Now granted this is just a small ship and there is a nearby fleet and forest moon for Luke to land on but it should at least have some sort of equipment.
    • B. Before Vader underwent his surgery he was put on a medical capsule that provided a breathing mask for his damaged lungs, obviously breath masks can at least sustain him until he can get to a proper medical facility in the fleet. Besides breathing masks utilise sterilised and clean oxygen just like the air that was used in the chamber that Vader was repaired in, Vader can breath with purified oxygen, regular oxygen has pollutants that would infect his scarred lungs and he would die of infection and lack of oxygen.
    • C. Explained in part B.
    • D. Now this is a fair point that someone could botch Vader's surgery out of revenge for what he has done but we have the fact that Vader would be a political prisoner of the highest order for the Rebellion, being the Supreme Commander of the entire galactic military Vader has more inside knowledge on the Empire than anyone next to that of the now-dead Emperor himself. Vader's survival would end the war with the Empire faster than without him that is for sure, and Luke could plead this to the Rebels as a bargaining fee for his father's life and if not that, at least Anakin can be executed for his crimes knowing he helped the Rebellion end the war with the Empire.
    • E. Yes he did, they were on the hangar door of the ship, Anakin told Luke to stop trying to save him believing that nothing could stop his death now.
    • Well A. that was a shuttle, not a long use spaceship, and so the changes of having anything more advanced than a medikit on board were fairly remote (when was the last time you saw a medical facility on a commercial airliner?), which answers both B. And C. as well. For D. looking at what happened after RotJ, I highly doubt he'd have had any value as a political prisoner since very few in the Empire actually liked him. And E. he probably aimed Luke at the nearest shuttle bay, not the best equipped.
    • A. Realistic space travel would require decades, or even hundreds of years, to go from place to place, when you have to wait that long to get to your destination then yes even your escape pods need to be fully staffed as if they were space ships in and of themselves. Now granted Star Wars isn't completely realistic but I would expect something medically relevant to be on ships even if they can get to where they need to go in hours or days. If A is valid then B and C should still apply. D. Since when did whether or not lower-ranked officers liked their commander translate to him not knowing anything about military operations? Supreme Commanders in our world dictate how wars are fought so Vader should be no different, Vader's rank means he can give orders that outrank any other officer's orders and his orders are ultimately the go-to orders that decide how the war is fought, as he is second in command to the Emperor himself, and would know the galactic military inside out since he commands it. E. It was never said that Luke went for the best equipped, but I would realistically expect to see at least a spare space suit or breathing mask that would be used for the sake of survival if the void of space leaks in and sucks the air out of the ship.
    • Well space travel in SW takes place in days, not years, and this is a shuttle than can go dozens of lightyears a day (assuming it takes a week to get to Endor), so the distance thing has no relevance, and furthermore, Luke grabs a shuttle, which, surprise surprise, would have to be completely outfitted to keep Vader alive, otherwise it probably only bandages and a few antibiotics on board. Also, how much 'specific' information would Vader have that the Rebellion didn't already know, and as for giving orders, there were Admirals prepared to openly rebel against unquestionable authority, there are a lot more who'd be prepared to rebel against Vader, especially in light of the fact that the Emperor died in mysterious circumstances. Oh, and as for equipment, Vader was a big guy, there was probably no way to get him into a normal space-suit, and no way to seal a normal space-suit helmet around his head.
    • Vader survived severe third degree burns and triple dismemberment through the use of a medical capsule, which surprise, surprise, had oxygen that sustained him until proper surgery could be conducted. Having a malfunctioning suit is better than being burned and having no suit, a supply of oxygen, which any reasonable air or space craft would need regardless of how far it can travel in whatever speed, should have kept his condition stable and that is all I have to say about that. How much do you think the Executive Branch of America knows what the President knows, they pretty much share information with each other on a regular basis so there are very few intelligence gaps between the President and his cabinet, Vader is the same way with the Admirals and the Emperor, and any rebellion he would face Vader would have crushed. Luke does have a lightsaber, a quick surgery via cutting off the robotic parts of Vader's body could allow a space suit to fit if there were no other oxygen supplies.
    • Take a look at the scene again: Luke really did make his best effort at getting Vader to the shuttle, getting him practically up to the boarding ramp before Vader made his dying request to have his mask removed. Whether the shuttle had any medical equipment that could have helped and whether Luke could have figured out how to use it in time, he clearly gave it his best shot. That he was able to get his father's remains on board after that and get out well ahead of the Death Star's last big flaming explosion is something of a testament to Luke's sheer determination. It stands to reason, therefore, that Anakin's assessment of the situation was right: death was imminent, and nothing Luke could do even once they were on the shuttle was going to prevent that. His determination was enough for Luke to overcome his own extensive injuries (prolonged full-body electrocution is no mere flesh wound) to carry his father all the way to the shuttle, but not enough to save his father's life, and that's really just all there was to it.
    • Hey, guess what? Vader was mortally wounded. He explicitly says that he's going to die, and his suit has onboard medical equipment that says, in much more technical terms, that he's going to die.
    • And the dismemberment of 3 of his limbs, severe volcanic burn scars, and the days of surgery that put him in his suit in the first place with no anaesthetic weren't mortal wounds? Hell Vader in the expanded universe has been through all sorts of abuse, explosions, lightsaber wounds, severe blunt force trauma to his body, and had his armour broken down to the point his skin underneath is exposed and even had his helmet damaged and knocked off. He always got his suit repaired after each and every one of these incidents and continued on his Imperial business, and they were never written off as "mortal" wounds that would stop him, the Emperor as powerful as he was could not stop Vader from continuing his march to the reactor shaft that he threw his master down despite the barrage of Force lightning. That is a mortal wound rather than all the other stuff Vader has been through?
    • Well the dismemberment and surgery were no issue to his health, but he was right on the edge from breathing volcanic gases, and the surgery that saved his life probably pushed him too far over the top to survive without it.
    • The issue lies with the Rebellion. Even if Luke somehow managed to get Vader to a nearby medical facility, what's he going to say to everyone there? Think they're just going to drop 20+ years of hatred for Vader and work on a way to save his life just because Luke told them to? Of course, not to mention the fact that if Luke begged people to heal Vader, they'll think he's defecting. Vader did it because it was better this way. He dies redeemed and Luke can escape a hero.
    • Vader is the commander of the Imperial military and was Palpatine's trusted(ish) associate for decades. Can we say intelligence asset anyone? I would bet that if Rebel med techs could have saved him, they would have tried to. On top of that, you not only have the medical person's mindset of 'do everything you can to heal this person despite who he might be' and the little fact that the only real medical personal you see in the films are DROIDS, who would presumably not have much in the way of grudge-holding capacity...
    • A breath mask is not the same thing as an iron lung, folks. The mechanisms in the suit physically push super-oxygenated air into his lungs via a small hole in his trachea below his voice box so he can breathe. That's just been shorted out by Palpatine, along with probably most of the other mechanical equipment sustaining Vader, and his prosthetics. A fair number of his internal organs are cybernetics at that point too- including his heart- so basically anything short of a full stasis pod probably wouldn't have kept him alive long enough to get medical help.
    • Also, for what it's worth, I always got the impression that Vader wanted to die. Having killed the Emperor and reconciled with his son, he now has nothing left to live for.
    • Let's not forget that Vader took a *massive* amount of electricity when he was tossing Palpatine into the shaft. Having your life support system completely shorted out when you can't even breathe on your own is bad enough to kill you, but add in being *Dragged* through the Death Star on top of it? Yeah, no chance.
    • Also, I don't think "Anakin survived Mustafar" can really be used to say he should have survived Palpatine's lightning. In real life, people survive horrific-looking injuries sometimes, and they sometimes die from seemingly mild injuries that happened to hit the right vital spot. Anakin survived for several hours after being burnt alive; that he only survived a few minutes after the Force lightning shows that, regardless of the details, those injuries were even more serious and lethal than what happened on Mustafar. As for a likely reason why: the lightning didn't just turn his suit off, it fried all the metal along with every bit of flesh connected to it. His organs were probably roasted, his heart was likely going through massive electricity-induced arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, and that's on top of the damage that the suit no longer working was causing (and assuming Force lightning doesn't have any corrosive Dark Side effects that no medical science could deal with). As Anakin himself said when Luke protested removing the helmet (thinking that it'd kill him), nothing could have saved him at that point.
    • Also, the ravages of time. Anakin was a young, strong man at the peak of Jedi Padawan martial arts training who willed himself to survive out of love for his wife. Decades later, Vader was an old man whose physical body hadn't been exercised in years (tell me how you're going to do cardio training with three prosthetic limbs?) who had just realised how much of an asshole he'd really been all that time, but saw redemption as a Force Ghost only seconds away.
    • Also, this isn't an RPG, where you heal up after getting beaten up after a night's sleep. Darth Vader's suit was all that was keeping him alive after Mustafar. Without that, he's boned. As demonstrated.
    • And don't forget, Palpatine sensed Anakin's agony when he got maimed on Mustafar, so would've brought a full suite of medical equipment, medical droids included, along when he retrieved him. Luke probably doesn't even know how to work whatever medical gear a standard shuttle would be equipped with, and if the gear is automatic, it probably wouldn't be programmed to deal with something as bizarre as a mangled, aging cyborg of a unique, probably outdated design.
    • There's one key point you guys seem to be missing here, in his first few days as a Sith Lord, Anakin was as strong in the Dark Side of the Force as he would ever get (did you miss his bright yellow iris'?). The only thing keeping him going after Obi-Wan left him for dead was pure, blind, seething hatred for Sidious, Obi-Wan, Padmé, the Jedi Order and each and every aspect of his life. After he calmed and realised what he had done to Padmé, he was filled with a self-loathing that would haunt him for decades up until he saved his son from Sidious. At that point, he finally let go of decades of torment, sadness, and anger. He couldn't keep going because the anger that sustained him 20 years earlier had left him long ago. He was just an, old, tired man who had finally been released of his torment and now just wanted to die.
      • Vader has several other internal cybernetic implants in addition to the iron lung, you can see them when he's being electrocuted. They were probably shorted out. Also Sith lightning is very nasty stuff, Luke actually got a lethal dose off of the Emperor here and had to have treatment in the follow up book.

     The Shaft 
  • Classic question I know but what was the reactor core for the Death Star doing in the Emperor's throne room? Some sort of twisted symbolism of how his throne should be near the "heart" of the Empire's military might? Regardless of his intent I wouldn't want to be near a reactor core if I didn't know how to stop the numerous technical issues that can come up in reactors.
    • They needed some way to kill the Emperor, and throwing him down a shaft was what they decided on.
    • George Lucas must have had quite a time explaining that plot point at the drawing board, "OK guys so the Emperor is going to be electrocuting Luke near his personal reactor shaft stationed in his throne room and then Vader now redeemed as Anakin saves his son by throwing him down said reactor shaft. Any objections?"
    • Because it’s nowhere near the reactor core. There's a tower on the Death Star's "North" pole where the Emperor's observation tower was located. The shaft in question is... just a shaft. When you get thrown down a shaft and fall hundreds of meters before hitting something hard and metallic, you tend to suffer instant death.
    • At the bottom of the shaft is a ball of pure energy, which looks exactly like the reactor core of the Death Star that Lando and company blast in order to destroy the Death Star. It is unlikely that it is a different core than the one we see destroyed, the fall would have killed the Emperor on impact but the pure ball of energy he fell into wouldn't have helped.
    • There is no ball of energy at the bottom of the shaft. And if there is, it has nothing to do with the core of the station. The massive expanding energies that come from that scene are the dark forces Palpatine was in control of leaving his body when he dies. Basically... he exploded into blue energy. And before anyone says that is ridiculous, it is George Lucas (or was) and the whole universe of Star Wars is ridiculous, so how is this any less probable?
    • Uh, why, exactly, wouldn't the Death Star have more than one reactor? That thing needs INSANE amounts of power just to generate life support for something that massive (light, heat, and air don't come free, to say nothing of meals and "sanitary facilities.") Factor in weapons, shields, the planet-killing superlaser, hangers, and amenities, and makes perfect sense that the Death Star would have had multiple reactors all over the place, specifically to supply power to their individual sections. The "main reactor" was the one supplying power to the superlaser (and probably hyperdrive and sublight engines), so it was the one that made the biggest boom.

     Out Of Control Ships 
  • The Super Star Destroyer Executor loses its shields, and moments later an A-Wing crashes into the bridge. After this, the huge, gigantic, MASSIVE ship crashes directly into the Death Star, killing all on board. You're telling me that on a ship that size, there are NO redundant control systems? No damage control teams? No engineering section to say "Holy crap, we just lost the main bridge", and take control of the ship? That's just poor design.
    • If I remember correctly, the thing crashes less than a minute after the thing crashes into the bridge. Given the rest of the battle going on, it might've taken a few more seconds than it should have for the rest of the crew to realise what had happened, and they didn't have time to pull the ship out of the Death Star's gravity (it might also have been too close to that as well) before it crashed.
    • It's a 19 km long starship, the resources alone should have mandated a backup command centre if not a string of them. With a design that stupid they virtually deserved to lose it.
    • The Executor did have backup control centers, including a fully-functioning secondary bridge. It's just that the Executor was already in the Death Star II's gravity well and was being pulled into the station before anyone could react in time to save the ship. Watch RotJ again: The Executor starts falling immediately after Crynyd (the A-Wing pilot) crashed into the bridge, and within seconds is in a straight-vertical dive. Even if command and control was transferred to the secondary bridge, it would still take several seconds before anyone figured out what the hell was going on, or for the transfer of command and control between the two stations to finish.
    • Timothy Zahn put forward the (justified) point that the Executor attracted a large group of upwardly mobile fleet officers, in the quite realistic hope of a "My-boss-just-got-Force-Choked" promotion. In similar concentrations (cough*The Pentagon*cough) it is not unknown for Colonels to serve as gofers and coffee servers. When the bridge took the hit, there may not have been enough actual ship officers to man the conn in time to prevent the collision.
    • I'm no scientist, but shouldn't the largest concentration of mass have been attracted to the DSII, rather than the smallest (that is, the tiny point of its nose)? Also, why did the ship suddenly disappear as it exploded? (sarcasm)
    • It gets worse when you remember that the whole battle was taking place in low orbit above a planet-sized moon. If gravity were really the deciding factor then Executor should have crashed on Endor.
    • Don't forget the ship had the entire Rebel Fleet pounding on it. Maybe a combination of physical and ion damage prevented (or at least slowed) the transfer to the backups.
    • That's the most plausible explanation, because really, for a ship that size you should be running the battle bridge in full duplex, so that the changeover takes milliseconds.
    • "Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer!" Yeah, I'm fairly certain that was a contributing factor to Executor's destruction.
    • All the pointless little changes Lucas made to the Special Editions, and he never bothered to improve the destruction of the Executor, which is one of the most underwhelming explosions of a 19 km long starship crashing into an artificial dwarf planet I've ever seen. Then again, both Death Star explosions and the Alderaan explosion are equally lacking. They are too "sparkly"; just adding a Praxis ring isn't a substitute for throwing solid-looking debris in all directions.
    • E=mc^2. Matter can be transformed into energy, and energy into matter. I always assumed the explosions were so intense that all the matter was transformed into the energy you see. There literally was no debris.
    • Except that if you converted something as massive as Executor directly into energy the output would briefly exceed that of an average star. The Rebels wouldn't have needed to hit the reactor, Executor's destruction should have destroyed the Death Star. But then, technically the Death Star's destruction should have destroyed Endor.
    • You can see flames coming from the engines just before it hits the Death Star, there was other damage.
    • I always took it that the destruction of the bridge fried the C&C systems there, resulting in the ship losing control and manoeuvring randomly (“randomly” just happened to be straight into the Death Star.) Backup C&C systems may have been damaged, or they may have still been fighting the shorts from the destroyed main bridge. Ultimately, one can presume that the crew were trying to save the ship, but ultimately failed.

     Why No Endor Holocaust? 
  • Wouldn't the destruction of an object the size of the Death Star in orbit above it also have resulted in the destruction of the Ewok's home-world?
    • Sigh.
    • Yeah well I don't care what the canon says, the Death Star had a volume of like 2.5 billion cubic kilometers (taking account of the unfinished section), and even if 99% gets dissipated across the galaxy that still leaves 25 million cubic km behind, and even if only 1% of that were to hit Endor then that's a quarter million cubic km of debris. You'd have to throw out the laws of physics not to flatten half the nearside forests in Tunguska-like explosions or worse.
      • Canon-wise, the destruction of the reactor core apparently created a wormhole due to the exotic fuel used. Thus, most of the mass was flung about the galaxy, and the rest was shot by down the Alliance.
    • You read the numbers right? 1/100th of 1% is still enough for probably extinction-level devastation. Hell, even 1/10,000th of 1% would a pretty serious issue.
    • Then let's just assume it was 1/1,000,000,000,000 of 1%. There's no precedent to bind us here, so we can basically make up whatever numbers we want.
    • The Alliance shot down multiple pieces of debris entering the atmosphere at varying angles and speeds? Really?
    • And wouldn't the re-entry friction of so much material actually have caused fires across the planet?
    • And how about the fact that any of the pieces that survived re-entry hit Endor would almost certainly been radioactive due to the Death Star's reactor being destroyed? Toxic wastelands, anyone?
    • WRT all of the above: Endor's planetary shield blocked all of the debris.
    • Well A) Endor had no planetary shield, it was protecting the Death Star, and B) the shield generator blew up before the Death Star did (in fact they had to blow the shield up to be able to get at the Death Star).
    • It is quite possible that there were not one, but two shield generators on Endor. One to protect the Death Star and one to protect that one. We don't see the other one because once they are on the planet, it's not relevant.
    • Except that we have nothing to suggest there were two shields on Endor. It's much simpler (and probably more accurate) to assume that Lucas just wanted the plot to go a certain way without necessarily thinking out all the steps.
    • No, there was a shield that protected Endor itself. That's why the Rebels only sent a ragtag team on Endor: because access to the planet was severely restricted.
    • And even if it wasn't mentioned, it would make sense to make one: the Empire may have realised that the Rebels/traitorous members of the Empire would try to counter the Death Star with another planet-destroying weapon. Thus they gave Endor a shield generator so this theoretical planet buster can't remove the world giving theirs the defence shield.
    • That's not Fridge Brilliance. The resources required to make a Planet Buster is far above what the Rebels could muster (that fleet they had was everything space borne). There was a shield on Endor, though it's not clear whether it covered the whole planet or it was simply a dome that protected the area around the installation, nor whether it was part of the same installation that was protecting the Death Star as that would mean the Rebels destroyed the moon's shield at the same time. If there was a Shield Generator outside of the Death Star's protecting the whole planet, how did the Rebels make a surface landing?
    • The Rebels made a surface landing because they gave a passcode and Vader gave the order to let them land on the planet. That all happens right on screen.
    • There is a shield for Endor, dialogue says so. On approach, Han's line is "This is shuttle Tydirium, requesting deactivation of the energy shield." If the energy shield only protects the Death Star, and the strike team is going to Endor, why would they need the shield deactivated? Second, when Vader reports to the Emperor, he says "A small group of Rebels have penetrated the energy shield and landed on Endor." Again, what would the Death Star's energy shield have to do with getting to Endor? Endor had a shield for the exact same reason the Death Star did, to keep Rebels out (or, to be perceived as keeping Rebels out, so they wouldn't know they were walking into Palpatine's trap until it was too late.) Whether or not it was a different shield than the one protecting the Death Star is a good question, but it seems likely that the two systems would be separate, so Endor may indeed have had a functional (perhaps still active) energy shield when the Death Star was destroyed.
    • Look, this is really very simple. The Rebels had a Jedi on hand. He did it.
    • It depends on info we don't have. How much initial energy was released, and how much of that was absorbed in the process of popping the station like a bubble? What size were the fragments? Were they blown equally in all directions or, like the (Special Edition) first one, was there a primary band of debris and if so was it perpendicular to the gravitational pull or parallel? What density are these fragments and are they hollow (which would highly accelerate disintegration in the atmosphere)? How heavily inhabited is Endor? What proportion of the pieces fell in oceans or bare rocky areas (or arctic/desert biomes, assuming Endor has any)? And so on and so on. The wreckage of the battle, especially big stuff in decaying orbits, could have been tractor beamed away... but even if all these factors have favourable answers, I can't pretend it isn't a real headscratcher.

     The Empire's Doom 
  • Why is the collapse of the Empire seen as a "good thing" at the ending of ROTJ? The Emperor's only potential successor was also dead, so wouldn't everything have simply collapsed in the ensuing power vacuum?
    • Because the Empire was a evil, Sith-backed totalitarian government based on racism, tyranny, and fear. There would undoubtedly be squabbling between warlords in the vacuum for a bit, but the Rebels would be able to take over, as they'd probably gain more support after Palpatine's death. And really, anything is better than a government that destroys planets to root out rebellion.
    • This always bugged me too. When you really look at it, was the Empire really that evil? Prior to the establishment of clones, the Imperial military could be interpreted as an all volunteer force of, presumably, millions if not billions if not trillions of people. Even after the introduction of clones to the canon, the EU establishes that the vast majority are volunteers. Volunteers who, based on their actions, believed in the cause they were fighting for. Countless stormtroopers and fighter pilots laid down their lives to preserve the longstanding order that the Empire had established. On top of that, the Rebels are very few in number, which indicates that the majority of the civilian population of the galaxy is largely ambivalent toward the Empire. In fact, if you consider the Clerks argument (civilian contractors on the Death Star II and personal politics), a large amount of the civilian populace actually supports the Empire.
    • In contrast, look at the Rebels. What exactly were they fighting for? Perhaps I've stumbled upon a bit of Fridge Brilliance here. If you (tying in with an above sentiment of people in the future looking back) think of the events as a propagandised version of history, then the one-sided nature of the story (as in "Good vs Evil) makes a bit more sense.
    • *coughcough* Alderaan *cough*
    • The Empire used slavery on aliens and permanent conscription on humans as well. Imperial Stop Loss Order, or I'm Milking Scragged, Life Over. And the A New Hope radio drama mentions "reeducation camps".
    • RE: The Clerks argument and the 'civilian contractors', what a lot of people who cite it as part of a "was the Empire really that evil/were the Rebels really that good?" argument tend to forget/ignore is that in the very same scene, someone else essentially points out that those civilian contractors were working on a huge-ass battleship (called The Death Star, for cryin' out loud — how big a clue do you need?) being constructed for the military of a powerful empire that was embroiled in an ongoing conflict, and had to know on some level the dangers they were facing and what they were potentially getting themselves in for even if they choose not to acknowledge it (and if they genuinely didn't know what they're getting themselves in for they are, at best, very naive). Volunteers or not, civilians or not, if you work building battleships during a war you don't get to cry foul if someone from the other side tries to drop a bomb on you to stop you building battleships. As for whether the Empire was bad just because it managed to get people to support/volunteer for it, that, frankly, means absolutely diddly— hate to go Godwin’s, but people supported/volunteered for the Nazis. And most of them did so not out of genuine commitment but because they were terrified of the consequences of not doing so. Popular support (or the appearance of the same) doesn't make you right/good.
    • It’s not even Godwin’s; you were comparing one fascist government and the civilian population connected to it with another. So a perfectly legit comparison.
    • Dude, they blew up a goddamn planet. They killed billions of innocent civilians just to make a point. Tarkin makes it perfectly clear that the Empire is not popular: "Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battlestation." I haven't even mentioned all the innocent Jedi who were killed in Order 66, nor the democracy that was overthrown by a self-appointed dictator. That dictator, by the way, personally arranged the preceding civil war (the Clone Wars), playing both sides (he controlled the Republic while his apprentice Dooku controlled the Separatists) and getting people to kill each other in large numbers, all for the sake of consolidating his own power. Oh, and don't forget that Imperial troops slaughtered Jawas and blamed it on the Sandpeople, and they also killed Owen and Beru. Incidentally, Luke talks about how much he hates the Empire even before the destruction of Alderaan or those other things I just mentioned, and we can only imagine what other horrible things they've been doing to inspire that hatred. I can't comment on the EU because I haven't read/played/etc it, but in the movies at least the Empire is clearly evil.
    • If you take into account Shadows of the Empire, which George Lucas had a direct hand in, the primary contractor for the second Death Star was Prince Xizor, a galactic-level Godfather. Not exactly a sympathetic figure to work for.
    • Zahn's books cover this somewhat. In fact it was Zahn who invented the more "friendly" Imperial Remnant common in the "New Republic" EU publishing era (read: everything between Return of the Jedi and the New Jedi Order series). Many of Zahn's books ask the question; what would the galaxy have been like if the Empire weren't ruled by a crazy Dark-Side-obsessed narcissist? His books also point out that the New Republic is also not perfect and pretty much all of the "New Republic" era is focusing on the massive fallout, wars, rebellions, and power struggles that take place after the collapse of the Empire.
    • Why should everything collapse? In canon the Rebel leaders take a great deal of power in the new order (much like real life) and most of the galaxy would have had a long history of self-rule with just a twenty year blip of Imperial rule. As for why it was considered a good thing... the Empire's murders, discrimination against nonhumans and tendency to blow up planets might have had something to do with it.
      • Episode VII is coming out, so Sequel Hook. Also we know that the Empire being run the way it is bad because a). People don't like totalitarianism, especially since people had a democracy (thus no general Values Dissonance like, say, early civilisation), b). Willing to threaten Rebels with a planet destroying weapon, which is the galactic equivalent of the United States threatening to nuke cities if they rebel, c). just LOOK at them and d) they have Palpatine as Emperor. And I'm not even mentioning the Expanded Universe.

     Constructing Death Star 2 
  • The Death Star IIs construction. They way it was constructed seems completely illogical and impractical, as it's being built in a way that looks like it barely came out of battle.
    • What? What's wrong with it? How do you think you're supposed to build a moon?
    • They could start with building a frame, at least.
    • The thing was over 900km in diameter, building a frame first would have been immensely illogical and impractical given the size of some of the things they had to fit in there.
    • Why do you need a frame for something being constructed in zero G?
    • It might help when the thing you're building is large enough to have it's own significant gravitational field. However, anti-gravity technology in the SW universe once again makes this less of a counterpoint. Not to mention a big point in the space battle is that they got the main weapon online long before it was expected to be finished. They probably started with everything they needed for the big gun, and just built around it.
    • Correct. The novel Darksaber even has a ship that is, specifically, just the weapon with a basic spaceship built around it (that winds up looking a lot like a giant lightsaber, thus the name). The Rebellion seems to have been under the impression that the entire facility was necessary for the Death Star's weapon to function... turns out that Palpatine actually just intended for it to be that large so it could be massively intimidating and house a ton of soldiers as his new Imperial seat of power, a kind of Mobile Oppression Palace.
    • I think I've been over this before on the archives page, and it's the same reason why Randall in Clerks shouldn't have feared so much for the construction workers: it was obviously never meant to look complete, or at least not until after the Battle of Endor. Remember that they were luring the Rebellion into a trap (no, I'm not going to say it). They wanted them to think that the Death Star was still too incomplete to be operational when in fact it was working just fine. The incomplete look was a large part of the ruse. They were good to go, as they proved. Probably afterwards they would have brought the construction crew back but for the time being this was exactly how the Death Star was meant to be.
    • Well if you aren’t going to say it, someone has to say it!

     Carbonite Cuffs 
  • When Han goes into the carbonite, his arms are bound, but not when he comes out. What happened to his restraints?
    • Maybe they were biodegradable?
    • More likely, they were remote released. Han was thus in the process of reaching up to try and haul himself out when they started blasting him with carbonite, explaining why he's in the position he is. Either that, or the moment he was lowered out of sight he started furiously picking the damn things and got them off, and in another moment would have hauled himself out of there.
    • That does leave the question of why they'd release him mid-freeze, making it more plausible that he picked the cuffs. Then again, if it was intentional then giving Han a chance to try (and fail) to escape would be very useful for testing whether a struggling patient will still be safely preserved in carbonite, which would've been very useful for Vader to know later when he tried to freeze Luke during their fight.
    • You can see two Ugnaughts remove his cuffs in the carbon freezing scene starting at about 2:18. They probably did this to give him a better chance at surviving the process by shielding his face, which would account for his iconic hands-up pose as well.

     Sarlacc Question 
  • Excuse me if this one's already been done to death, but during the Sarlacc pit fight, why does near-blind Han ask Chewie to pass him the blaster so he can shoot the tentacle that's grappling Lando? If Chewie can hold Han's weight up with one hand in order to pass the weapon to his partner, why couldn't the Wookiee have fired it at the tentacle himself? His vision wasn't impaired, and his manual dexterity is good enough to work on the Falcon's electronics without difficulty.
    • In the Expanded Universe, Han is repeatedly described as the better shot. The two have worked together long enough that Chewie probably knows that.
    • Because Han has a giant ego and always assumes he is the best person for the job, any job, regardless of actual ability. By the time Chewie had talked him out of it Lando would be in the Sarlacc's belly. Plus Chewie probably still holds a little bit of a grudge against Lando for the whole betraying them to the Empire thing. Sure he might not actively do anything, but if the half-blind Han either misses and lets Lando get eaten, or nails the traitor by accident, hey I bet the Wookiee wouldn't be losing much sleep over it.
    • Chewbacca was injured. That's why he was downed. Besides, his signature weapon is the bowcaster, and sometimes a captured laser rifle. Han is the pistol specialist. Chewie and Han figured a half blind Han is still more accurate than a limping Chewbacca with one.
    • Also, range. Thanks to hanging upside-down and being held by a Wookiee, Han is a lot closer, and would have an easier time hitting the relatively small target that is the Sarlacc's tentacle without accidentally hitting Lando in the process, even taking Han's obscured vision into account. If Chewbacca took the shot, he'd be aiming to hit a small target without accidentally hitting Han or Lando in the process.

     Throw Away Sword 
  • What exactly was Luke intending to do when he threw away his lightsaber and defied the Emperor?
    • He was intending not to fall to the Dark Side.
    • Holding onto the lightsaber was a temptation for Luke to strike down his father. When he saw Vader defeated and with his twisted form he knew that holding onto the lightsaber was a trap. To strike down his father would lead him to the Dark Side and would force him to become a twisted and evil slave of the Emperor just as Vader had been. Throwing away the lightsaber was symbolic of Luke's lack of desire to fight.
    • Which would have had the ultimate goal of getting himself (the last Jedi in the movies) killed and with the Emperor's intervention quite possibly destroying the Rebel fleet. Yet one is giving in to the Dark Side and the other is the good thing to do.
    • A possible result, not the "ultimate goal". He was standing up for his principles.
    • Having the lightsaber wouldn't have made a difference at that point anyway, which is why throwing it away is just symbolic of Luke standing up for his moral principles and means that Luke was going for a Doomed Moral Victor gambit at that point. Emperor Palpatine was much more powerful than Luke. In a battle of the Force Luke was hopelessly outmatched and could do little but just sit there and suffer as Palpatine tortured him to death, only Vader had enough power to deal any harm to Palpatine. Unfortunately due to Vader's suit and its weakness to electricity attacking his master was a death sentence.
    • Wait, wasn't the Force Lightning a surprise? Maybe I solved this myself... he threw away his lightsaber, not expecting the Force Lightning, because how would he have known about it?
    • Even if Luke didn't suspect the Force Lightning nevertheless he should have realised that for Palpatine to be Vader's master, who knows how to use the Force, then he would also need to know how to use the Force. The lightsaber toss was a symbolic action for Luke, he was embracing the peace of the Jedi. Luke asking for Vader's help was him trying to reach out to his father one last time and as he soon realised Anakin loved Luke more than his Vader persona was capable of hating and more than his own life.
    • Luke understood that if he fell to the Dark Side, he would be a tool of more pain and destruction, and thus letting himself die was the option likely to lead to the least suffering for others. Which is why a later EU book that basically had him go to the Dark Side because "Gosh, maybe I ought to see what this is like since I've been preaching so hard against it" was so gorram stupid. But anyway, at that point between fighting further and letting himself die, Luke knew that the greater good would be best served by his death. It's basically showing that he learned the lessons Obi-Wan had been trying to teach him.
    • Luke isn't Stupid Good. He probably just threw it away as a symbolic gesture and figured that if the Emperor tried anything, he'd be able to pick it up with the Force in a split second. He just didn't expect a 100+ year old man to be so damn quick on the offensive.

  • A medical question: does Vader die from asphyxiation/suffocation, or was it the toxins in the air that polluted his weakened lungs? The Star Wars Wiki (or Wookieepedia) talks about how in sterilised air chambers Vader's lungs could process air but under normal circumstances his lungs would get infected from toxins in the air which is why he wears the respirator. The generally accepted answer is that Vader's lungs were just so weakened in general that breathing unassisted by the respirator was impossible. Which answer is more responsible?
    • He needs the iron lung in his suit to breathe properly.
    • He died from suffocation, because Palpatine had just shorted out his iron lung as the former was about to toss him down the reactor. Without the iron lung, Vader suffocated to death because he couldn't get enough air in to survive.

     Fall Back 
  • Okay, how come when Luke hit Jabba's mooks with his lightsaber they fell back instead of getting sliced?
    • Not sure how many mooks actually get hit with the blade, but it looked like quite a few of them were trying to get away from it. Unfortunately for quite a few of them, getting away from the blade meant being eaten by the Sarlacc.
    • The real reason, of course, is because special effects technology wasn't good enough to have Luke slicing up actors in makeup, and it would have pushed the film far past a PG rating (even with no blood.) In the EU, specifically the Dark Force Rising novel, there are signs of a lightsaber kill that are very subtle, but there if you know what to look for (and Thrawn, of course, does). My personal hypothesis is that there's a kind of "lightsaber cut" Jedi learn that does injure or kill their opponents without actually slicing them apart, and Luke learned this type of lightsaber combat first and best. Against droids in the prequels, most Jedi just don't bother, possibly because droids a little more robust.
    • Actually, the PG rating at the time allowed far more than the PG-13 rating allows today and they were pushing those limits quite successfully until Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom caused the MPAA to push back. You could even briefly show a woman's breasts and still get a PG rating as seen in The Beastmaster.

     Imperial Endor Knowledge 
  • How did the Imperials know that Han and his strike team had broken into the shield generator bunker on the forest moon? There were four stormtroopers, three of which were pursuing an Ewok with a speeder bike, while the other one had been captured/killed by the strike team. They even got a Rebel trooper to disguise himself as that scout trooper. So, even if the Emperor planned the whole thing as a trap, how did the stormtroopers know that the strike team was within the bunker at that exact moment? Even if they did know, wouldn't the Rebel trooper dressed as the scout trooper just say some bull about everything being fine?
    • When you have four guys manning a place, then they all mysteriously disappear, it's not hard to figure out what happened. Also, yeah, someone saying some bull about everything being fine worked great back in A New Hope, didn't it?
    • True but all that Rebel guy had to do was be like "Hey, some Rebels just fled into the woods/an Ewok stole a speeder bike. If you hurry, you could catch them! I'll stay here and guard the bunker."
    • They were expecting Rebels to show up. An Ewok steals their speeder, three guys go to chase him down, and the remaining scout trooper reports it. Any halfway competent security force expecting an infiltration will go on alert when someone steals a vehicle from the guards. Note how when the Rebels enter, they momentarily surprise the guards and workers in the power room, and then they get swarmed by Imperial troops. It was almost certainly a case of the guards going on alert after the theft, someone in the power room signalling the fully-anticipated intrusion, and the guards swarming them.
    • Exactly, the whole thing was a trap. They wanted to get the Rebels well into the base so there was no chance they'd escape. Whether or not the few guards near the entrance knew about it is debatable, but it's safe to say the Empire would willingly sacrifice a couple to spring the trap.
    • Simple. While the Rebels were watching the guard at the bunker, the troops waiting in ambush were watching the Rebels. Soon as they saw the strike force go in, they counted to ten, then swarmed the place.

     Lando's Involvement 
  • Why did Lando choose to reveal himself during the skirmish at the Sarlacc pit? Luke clearly didn't need help and Lando didn't even do anything to help. If anything, he ended up a hindrance. Lando should have acted still undercover and that way if, for some crazy reason, the plan went sour, the heroes would still have an ace in the hole.
    • Um... he tries to help because he's on their side? And more practically, he reveals himself so that in all the chaos, no one who's on his side kills him because they mistake him for an actual Jabba mook?
    • Yeah, I'm real sure Luke would totally kill Lando accidentally. Everyone knew that Lando was on their side. What they didn't know was if they'd win the Sarlacc battle or not. What is the point of an "ace in the hole" if you don't keep him as an ace? Especially during a battle where, if things went south, Lando could bail them out.
    • Things had already gotten as bad as they possibly could. They were in the middle of escaping an execution; they either escape or die trying. There would be no "later". There was also precious little Lando could do to continue blending in and not hinder the escape plan.

     Vader Protecting His Master 
  • Why does Vader prevent Luke from killing Palpatine?
    • Vader needed Luke to get angry enough that he would fall to the Dark Side, not just kill an old man and then have a My God, What Have I Done? moment. Luke needed to actively embrace the Dark Side when he made his move against either the Emperor or Vader, so they took turns pushing his emotional buttons until they could find the one that would accomplish this. Whomever he didn't kill would then become his master.
      • Sith ping-pong. These guys play for high stakes!
    • Because Palpatine is his master. He's psychologically dependent on the guy, so he doesn't want Palpatine to die.

(At least, not always. His speech near the end of ESB may indicate he's feeling rebellious that day. Or it could be that the entire "Let's kill Palpatine and rule the galaxy ourselves" bit is a lie, intended to persuade Luke to surrender.)
  • The Emperor is capable of stopping Luke's swing even without his lightsaber. It would have been... inconvenient... if the Emperor stopped it by himself, when his faithful right hand man was right next to him.
  • Plus it was only one moment of brief anger. As Vader would know, it takes more than one single act to turn one to the Dark Side. Remember when he killed the Tusken Raiders? That didn't automatically turn him evil. Wouldn't be too good if he'd let Luke destabilise the entire Empire and still refuse to join him.

     The Length of the Second Death Star's Destruction 
  • So, the Death Star construction started at the end of Episode III in it's structure and it was completely finished in episode IV, let's suppose that because of Luke and Leia's age they took at least 17 years building it. But in The Return of the Jedi just 3 years and a month have passed and the new Death Star was almost finished and fully functional. How could they build it so quickly this time?
    • It takes a lot longer to build something the first time than to build it a second time. The first time had to go through rounds of prototyping, development, and just plain trial and error. The second time, they'd already done the hard leg work, so they made some improvements and built over from what they already knew. Don't compare it to the time it took to go from zero to Death Star 1.0; compare it to the time it took to go from Death Star 0.9 to Death Star 1.0.
    • There's also the possibility (not supposed by anything, just a theory) that the Empire were working on both Death Stars at the same time, but the 2nd was started later and had to be modified to account for flaws in the previous one, thus being mostly complete 3 years after the first one was destroyed.
    • Rogue One answers this; Galen Erso's missing expertise held back the completion of the Death Star for quite a while, and even after he was forcibly re-recruited, he likely did all that he could to delay the project.

     He Doesn't Fly Now 
  • Why didn't Palpatine use the Force to fly back up when Darth Vader threw him over the ledge?
    • When has anybody in the movies or the 3D cartoon series demonstrated the ability to fly?
    • You asked: [1]. It's not a particularly common Force power, but plenty of Force users have used it, including Darth Sidious. Levitation specifically is useable by just about every Force user.
    • In short, Palpatine had spent the last 23 years being the top dog of the galaxy and of Vader. He was so confident that nothing could stop him that he literally couldn't even imagine that this puny little Jedi kid could dismantle it all by simply reminding Vader of his past as Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine couldn't just fly back up because he was too busy reeling from the shock of the betrayal, trying to wrap his mind on how this was even possible. Then he died.
    • It does seem as if Force users are sharply limited in how many Force abilities they can concentrate on at the same time. He was still uselessly spewing Force lightning (on top of various EU claims of other powers he was using at the time), so maybe his surprise kept him from being able to switch powers until he'd already smacked into something at terminal velocity.
    • Mana regeneration is lower in combat, and after spamming Force Lightning he was almost OOM. Vader interrupted him while FL was still channelling and hit him with a knock-back that turned into a Pit Fatality. Vader could tank the direct damage but not the Do Ts, and died during the cutscene.
    • Force Flight is likely not canon in the new EU, and possibly an Ass Pull to begin with.

     Tap Tap Tap 
  • After that Ewok has stolen a speeder bike, leaving all but one trooper to pursue him, Han Solo taps the one trooper on the shoulder and then runs away to where the rest of the commandos are. The stormtrooper follows and is captured. First of all, how could the trooper feel the tap on the shoulder when he's WEARING armour? Secondly, why did he run after Han instead of blasting him?
    • Wearing armour doesn't mean you don't feel anything. Far from it. Seriously, tap someone on the shoulder who's wearing football pads, they'll notice. Second one, he probably wanted to capture him.
    • Ever wear football or hockey gear? You can still feel impacts with it because the padding hits you and the dude was carrying a pistol... that was on his stolen speeder from what I remember.

     Starscream vs Undying Loyalty 
  • In Empire Strikes Back, Vader was pretty much like "Bwa ha ha! Luke join the Dark Side and we'll kill the Emperor and rule the galaxy together!" But here, he's all mopey and subservient, refusing to even contemplate betraying his master. Why didn't he try to convince Luke to team up with him to kill the Emperor while they were walking to the throne room? Even if he couldn't turn him to the Dark Side at the moment, Vader could still point out that the Emperor's death would be a boon for both of them.
    • It's a lot easier to plan against your super-powered, psychic boss when he's not in the next hallway over, probably listening to what you're up to through the Force.
    • Having your own son decide they'd rather die than be with you hurts. Luke rejects Vader in the most direct way possible, by hurling himself to his likely death at Cloud City rather than assume power with him. That has gotta hurt even the darkest of hearts, and I think it is reasonable to say that Anakin had built up a nice little domestic fantasy about himself and Luke together before that confrontation in Empire. Then when Luke survived and showed up still all idealistic and talking about redemption, that had to provoke more than a little introspection in even the darkest heart. Knowledge of the prequels helps, so if you watch the films in Machete Order it means Vader/Anakin's characterisation makes sense.
    • Maybe Vader goes through mood swings. The Dark Side messes with your head, especially when Sidious is in charge. Also, maybe Vader never intended to kill the Emperor, and what he said in TESB was a lie. After all, "Kill the Emperor and Rule the Galaxy" is more tempting than "Be the Emperor's Servant Forever!"
    • Both Vader and the Emperor know that the other is plotting to kill them and take Luke as an apprentice. But they can't exactly reveal that in front of the other.
    • In the new EU, Vader actually gets rebellious after TESB. He challenges Palpatine and gets utterly defeated, which leaves him in the mopey/subservient state that we see in ROTJ.

     Padmé’s Afterlife 
  • The whole "ghost" thing raises some questions. Is there an afterlife for Jedi? If so, is there one for non-Jedi? Does that mean Padmé is in a non-Jedi heaven, and Anakin is in a Jedi heaven?
    • While it hasn't been brought up in canon (except for the quick line from Han in TESB), Jedi go to a realm known as the Netherworld of the Force. Force ghosts go there, but are able to return for a short period of time (Obi-Wan talked to Luke for the final time near the beginning of the Thrawn campaign about 9 years later). Sith go to a region called Chaos or the Void (or Hell in Corellian mythology). They are unable to become true Force ghosts, but can bind their souls to some object or location through the sacrifice of others, such as the Karness Muur (bound to the Muur Talisman) or Exar Kun (bound to his temple on Yavin IV).

     About Banthas 
  • On Tatooine, we see a herd of elephant-sized Banthas near the Pit of Carkoon. Cows, which live in grassy fields, have to eat all day in order to survive, and they're much smaller than elephants. However, the Banthas sure aren't in a grassy field. Unless they can eat sand, how can a single one of these behemoths survive on Tatooine, let alone an entire herd of them?
    • Photosynthesis? Maybe all that "hair" is something more akin to grass? Although one does wonder about the many large life forms on Tatooine, given the complete absence of standing water. The sapient species that have colonised the planet rely on technological condensers to extract water vapour from the atmosphere because apparently there are not even underground aquifers to tap into!
    • There are aquifers on Tatooine. They are rare and fiercely guarded by those who know about them (mostly Sand People). Other beings get their liquid through local plant life, chiefly the hubba gourd.
    • Maybe they can eat sand. Or maybe there's microscopic life inside the sand (akin to plankton) and that's what they eat.

     Guards Out Of Their Post 
  • So, does it bother anyone else that the Empire's defeat hinged on the Empire's inability to guard a door for a couple hours? The battle would have been more or less an Imperial Curb Stomp to the Alliance if the shield had stayed up and at one point, the Rebels on the moon had all pretty much been captured by "A Legion of the Emperor’s Finest Troops". Somehow, however, the stormtroopers are incredibly distracted by teddy bears with stone age tech jumping out of the woods that they forget that their number one priority is to keep the shield generator from getting blown up. Instead, they run around acting like complete idiots chasing the Ewoks for an hour, more then enough time for Han and Chewy to get inside the bunker and blow it up. The Imperials had ONE JOB and failed miserably at it. What makes this even worse... there's no particular reason they needed to have forests that close to the bunker, when it would have been easy enough to clear the trees around it and set up defence in depth and fortification to prevent an Ewok from getting within a mile of the bunker without becoming flash fried by pre-sighted Imperial laser cannons. You know, stuff that any competent military leader on Earth could do facing armies with similar tech, let alone teddy bears with rocks and spears.
    • You're right, the base did have one job - being an attractive target to the Rebel Alliance so that they would be lured into a trap. If the base had been set up to be utterly impregnable, then the Rebels would've taken one look and had nothing more to do with the place. Also, you have a much better chance of preventing your base from being destroyed if you actively repel attackers while leaving their captured comrades still in custody of your allies.
    • The real point is, all they had to do was retreat inside the bunker and keep it locked for 24 hours and maintain radio silence. The battle and the Rebel strike team were really irrelevant to the overall plan. There wasn't any go/no-go signal to the Rebel fleet and it was assumed the "surprise" raid would be enough to guarantee the shield would be down. They were coming no matter what. Capturing Han's team wasn't necessary. They just needed to be kept out of the bunker long enough. If the commander hadn't opened the door to pursue the Rebels, the Rebellion would have been crushed.

     Truly Dead 
  • Luke challenges Vader's worldview and claims that there is still good within him. Vader rejects it and says it is too late for him. Luke then says "my father truly is dead," acting as though he has lost. However later he still sticks to it and even basically reiterates the same points word-for-word. Was Luke conceding his father may have fallen entirely just another play in his game to turn Vader (banking on his demonstration of hopelessness as a way of forcing Vader to reflect, which does kind of work) or was he speaking his honest mind? If the latter, what caused him to go back again when it came time for the lightsaber duel?
    • What Luke is saying, in effect, is that, if what Vader has said is true, then his father is dead, but only if. If Vader can change, then Anakin still lives. To put it another way, Luke, Vader, and Palpatine are fighting a psychological war, and everything that each one says and does from the moment that Luke confronts his father in the Imperial base on Endor has to be seen as a manoeuvre in that war.

     The Interceptor's Failure 
  • The TIE Interceptor that gets eaten by the explosion of the Death Star II during the Millennium Falcon's escape is apparently faster than the Falcon (as per the EU) but can't outmanoeuvre it so it has to follow it out. It didn't occur to the pilot to just take out the Falcon and clear its own escape? It's not like they were friends. This seems more like Fridge Logic but just to be safe I'll call it a Headscratcher.
    • I am sure the TIE pilot wanted very badly to do just that and probably tried, but the Falcon has deflector shields that the Interceptor's guns could not have penetrated in time.
    • TIE derivative vessels in the original trilogy generally don't have their own deflector shields, so flying through a cloud of burning and exploding shrapnel and debris from the Falcon's destruction would have been just as much a death sentence as getting exploded by the Death Star's destruction. The pilot really only had one slim hope for survival and that was to tuck in behind the Falcon and hope like hell that it was fast enough for them both to escape. Not a great plan, but best there was in a field of one.

  • The Alliance's plan for the attack on the second Death Star was that the "cruisers [would] create a perimeter, while the fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor." Why would the cruisers create a perimeter? Were they worried that the Death Star would escape? Remember, they thought that the Imperial fleet was scattered throughout the galaxy looking for them, so they were not expecting to need to fight the Imperial fleet. So apparently the plan was to have all these Rebel capital ships just floating there while the fighters flew into the superstructure and did all the work. What for? As far as I can tell, the Rebel capital ships were only present at the battle to be targets for the Death Star.
    • There's no way for them to stop the Death Star from sending out a distress signal once it's under attack. Therefore, even if they're scattered all over the galaxy, the odd Star Destroyer can still pop in and try to assist. The Rebel fleet is there to hold those ships off if they show up.
    • A bigger question is why they didn't stick with this strategy! The Death Star's superlaser has a very specific field of fire, and the Rebel fleet could have slipped out of that kill zone simply by moving around it. This would have also forced the Imperial fleet to break formation, since if the Rebels moved their fleet behind the cover of the Death Star (and it's impenetrable deflector shield) then they would have been able to either prolong the space battle without having to worry about the Death Star's firepower, or been able to break out of orbit and jump to lightspeed.
    • The Death Star superlaser can fire off-axis, and if they're close enough to prevent it from firing over it's own horizon, then they're close enough for the hundreds of thousands of surface-mounted turbolasers to rip them apart.

     Luke's Robotic Hand & Force Lightning 
  • Why didn't Luke's mechanical hand malfunction or something along the lines of it after the Emperor's lightning? Doesn't lightning mess with electronics (e.g. when the power goes out in a lightning storm)?
    • Maybe it did. We don't see him do much with the hand aside from lugging Vader around. It's not like he has to do anything with a lot of dexterity at that point.
    • It doesn't seem that it does, given the number of times Anakin gets electrocuted by Dooku in The Clone Wars.
    • In The Truce At Bakura (set immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi and now consigned to Legends continuity), it's indicated that his whole body was in rather rough shape after that; his hand was pretty much the least of his worries. Also worth noting: his hand had already taken a shot from a blaster during the battle on Jabba's barge, and he'd covered up the wound with a glove rather than taking any time off to get it repaired. Apparently, it's a tough little prosthetic, and unlike Vader's suit, it doesn't have a lot of delicate circuits to overload.
    • Even if his robotic hand completely shorted out, I imagine that Luke could use the Force to move the fingers manually if he really needed to.

     Force Speeder 
  • Why doesn't Luke use telekenisis during the speeder-bike fight? The whole thing seemed a lot harder than it should be for a Jedi.
    • When we see Luke use the Force to move something, he has to close his eyes, take his time and concentrate to very slowly move C-3P0 around a handful of feet. He is simply not at the point where he can reliably use it on the move, during a fight, while he's got to concentrate on other things like not running into trees at 100 MPH.
    • Luke is by training, and personality, a fighter pilot. He is used to piloting space fighters and speeders, when the speeder bikes take off like they do it is far more in-character for him to impulsively jump on and give chase and try to shoot them down. Hanging back, using telekinesis and taking a more measured approach is just not (yet) in his nature. Perhaps he thought later "oh snap, I could have Force shoved them", but in the heat of the moment; no.

     More Money 
  • It's been years since I watched ROTJ, but as I remember, Luke offers Jabba the droids for Han. Han owed Jabba a great deal of money, plus he'd avoided him for years. Why didn't the Rebels just offer Jabba a greater amount of money? "Here you go Jabba, Han's debt to you plus interest!"
    • Two reasons: (1) the Rebels may not have the spare money to pay off some random slug crimelord on a forgotten planet much less even the time. They're focused on fighting the Empire, not paying off Han's debt for him. (2) Even if they did, what makes you think Jabba would let Han go? All he'd have to do is say, "I accept your gracious gift of money, but tell Solo the bounty is still on his head!" Jabba had been insulted by Han's actions and wanted the man to pay dearly. They could've thrown all the money they had at him and Jabba would've still insisted he wanted Han's head (and indeed this is what Han tries to do).
    • Another reason: The Rebels might have moral objections to giving Jabba any money under any circumstances. Imagine how they'd feel if they gave Jabba money and he used that money to buy slaves! Luke's offer of droids was obviously a deception; he had no intention of letting Jabba keep them in the long term.
    • This is why real life governments refuse to negotiate with terrorists.

     Jabba The Idiot 
  • Am I the only one confused by how adamant Jabba was in refusing to deal with the Rebels? He must've realised being obstinate with a military organisation that has caused problems for the Empire would end badly for him.
    • Jabba's not the only crimelord Hutt in existence. If the Rebels tried to mess with him, all he'd have to do is call up all the thugs, bounty hunters, and, oh, every other Hutt in Hutt Space, who are united in a criminal empire and would view a threat to one Hutt lord a threat to them all, and now the Rebels have to fight a two-front war against both the Empire and the Hutts. Suffice to say, he is untouchable.
    • Considering that the whole plan was to "mess with him" and the Rebels didn't start a crime war when they killed him (the Hutts didn't like it much but they contented themselves to a few death marks on a few specific people) he obviously can't have been that untouchable.
    • Well at any rate Jabba thought he was untouchable. Don't forget that the Rebels won the war a short while after they killed Jabba, so the crimelords who might have united to get revenge suddenly found themselves facing the full power of the new Galactic Republic, instead of a rag-tag Rebellion constantly being hammered by the Empire. With circumstances suddenly favouring the Rebels/Republic, I can see how the crimelords might decide to minimise their revenge plans and cut their losses. But Jabba couldn't have known in advance that circumstances would change that way.

     Luke & Palpatine 
  • Luke's refusal to strike at Palpatine on his throne is a headscratcher, for two reasons:
    • 1. Even if, as stated above, Yoda for some reason never gave Luke specifics on Palpatine and how he fights ("All seven forms of the lightsaber he knows. Though Force-lightning, his favourite attack is"), did Luke honestly think Yoda was warning him about Palpatine's intellectual and political power? Anyone bad enough to be Darth Vader's master is never defenceless, and Luke himself was trained by a creature impossibly powerful in the Force, despite his old age and feeble body.
    • 2. Does the Jedi code against killing defenceless enemies really extend to your mortal enemy in a guerilla-based war? Everyone else in the Rebellion would literally kill to be in such a prime position to take out the Empire's leader, who's death would, at the very least, seriously destabilise his tyrannical government, and be a massive victory for the cause. If Luke had other feasible options, like reform or capture, I might understand, but refusing to capitalise on such an opportunity just because Palpatine is old is a serious Good Is Dumb moment from a character who was supposed to correct all the old Jedi order's mistakes.
    • Already discussed above, but it would be the first step. Luke almost certainly would have killed Palpatine out of anger, and from there, the darkness is invited. Rey comes close to this in The Force Awakens after she defeats Kylo Ren. And yes, it would seem that it does, based on Revenge of the Sith.
    • The OP here. This isn't the place to debate the Dark Side and how it can be used sparingly, so I'll accept that answer. I've also seen analysis videos that suggest Luke could've killed the Emperor without falling, which is why Vader stopped him. But what scene in Revenge of the Sith shows the Jedi code saying that? Capture was an at least somewhat viable option for Windu, and it's generally agreed that Windu made the right choice, and the old Jedi order fell because they had stagnated and become too sure of their code and unready to face new evil.
    • From what I gather, the distinction is that there's a measurable difference between "righteous anger and killing an obvious evil" versus "killing out of pure rage and bloodlust and you just want to see that person die."

     The Empire's Timing 
  • Why doesn't the Emperor wait to try to "convert" Luke until after the battle for Endor is over? Why does it have to be done immediately? It seems like an unnecessary distraction. If you have the battle for the fate of galaxy raging right outside your station, wouldn't it be better to focus on winning that and then go back to trying to convert Luke after it's done? Having the Emperor and Vader focus their efforts on winning the battle instead of converting Luke could have made a big difference. When you are trying to win a battle, you want your best leaders on the job, not dealing with some family side-project involving one man. Furthermore, it would be much easier to convert Luke after winning the battle. Think of how much easier it would be to convert him if his team has lost, his friends are all killer or captured, and there is no more hope for victory. A mentally devastated man deep in despair over defeat is much easier to manipulate then a man who still has hope his team can win.
    • Palpatine doesn't think of it as a battle, he thinks of it as a slaughter, he finds it inconceivable that his trap could result in anything other than a total and crushing victory for his forces. He's arrogant and loves melodramatic statements. He wants to show Luke his friends are dead, his cause is lost, and that Luke could do nothing but watch. He wants Luke to feel the pain as it happens. Palpatine is not a logical and rational man, he's someone who revels in being a bad guy and enjoys the power trip it gives him.

     Force Rancor 
  • Minor question, how come Luke didn't try to use the Force to help him calm the Rancor?
    • Two possible reasons, the first being that maybe he did but it was so hungry or murderous that it just wasn't possible. The second, more likely reason, is that Luke is still inexperienced in the ways of the Force and just didn't think of it during the fight. Luke, like his father before him, is much more of man of action and his first instinct is to fight.

     About The Droid 
  • At the start of the movie, C-3PO says "Lando Calrissian and poor Chewbacca never returned from this awful place!" when they're approaching Jabba's Palace, indicating that they both went in there first and didn't come back out. We know that Lando was undercover as a bodyguard, but then Leia (disguised as a bounty hunter) shows up later on with Chewbacca as a prisoner. What?
    • Maybe they didn't fill the droids in on that part of the plan.
    • Yup. As far as the droids knew, being seperated from Lando and Chewbacca could only mean they were captured, but as the end of TESB shows, they were actually the first on Tatooine to lay the groundwork for the plan (probably by long range reconnaissance).

     Ackbar's Point 
  • "At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers," Ackbar said of the Rebel Fleet engaging the Imperial Navy. But wasn't he proved wrong by the Rebel Fleet's overwhelming victory over the Imperial Navy, Death Star be damned? By the end of the Battle of Endor, when the fleet flees the Death Star's explosion, we see a huge line of Alliance frigates, corvettes, and capital ships getting the hell out of Dodge to escape the blast radius... but conspicuously absent from the picture (even at other angles) are any Star Destroyers or Interdictors. And even if they were simply out of frame, we skip from the explosion to the celebration, as if all remaining Imperials had suddenly given up and left without continuing the battle. Since by all indications there was a turning point in the naval battle —taking the DS out of the picture, we see the Rebel Fleet sink more Imperial vessels than the reverse; Home One wasn't anywhere near as damaged as its opposite number; Ackbar had the luxury to pick his targets instead of having to concentrate on defence; and there was the Alliance's obvious starfighter supremacy that the Empire couldn't match— doesn't this mean that the Rebel Fleet was actually superior to the Imperial Navy, it just needed to be pushed hard against the wall to realise this?
    • I think we have to assume that the Rebel fleet was something of a Glass Cannon, able to deal a lot of damage in the short term but utterly unable to keep it up over the long term. The only thing that saved them was the destruction of the Death Star.

      Of course you may ask how, exactly, the loss of the Death Star led to the loss of every other Star Destroyer. The Legends canon explained that Palpatine was using a Force technique called "battle meditation" which reached into the minds of all his soldiers and improved their focus. When Palpatine died, it created a kind of psychic feedback that left everybody scrambling and vulnerable, which in turn led many Star Destroyers to flee the area.

      There's also been talk/speculation that the Emperor really didn't provide a backup plan for his own death, because (a) he believed that he would live forever via the Force (if not killed), (b) he assumed that any sort of "If I die then Person X is in charge" system would simply motivate Person X to murder him, and (c) he was extremely selfish and couldn't bear the idea of anyone else getting to rule over the Empire that he personally created. Thus, the thinking goes, he deliberately set up the Empire to be a house of cards that would instantly collapse into a civil war if he ever died. He organised the Empire with lots of high-ranking officials who didn't technically outrank each other and had all their disputes resolved by the Emperor personally, knowing full well that without Palpatine to call the shots everything would quickly devolve into infighting and competing claims for power. In the short run, this motivated everyone to keep Palpatine alive, since nobody could know for sure how they might fare in a war of succession. But once Palpatine actually died, the chain of command immediately broke down, none of the high-ranking Imperials felt that they could trust each other, and everyone decided to just leave Endor to the Rebels rather than continue the fight and risk getting stabbed in the back by their fellow Imperials.

     Palpatine's Stupidity 
  • Palpatine seems to be acting insanely stupid right before his death. He knows that threats to Anakin's family generally constitute a Berserk Button and knows that Vader will eventually wind up trying to kill him anyway due to the Rule of Two, so why didn't he realise that zapping Vader's own son to death right in front of him would have rather nasty consequences?
    • Well first off, I believe that Word Of God would state that before Vader's ultimate redemption, he is not actually "Anakin" anymore, but a hollow shell of Anakin consumed by hatred, grief, etc. so Palpatine can easily be forgiven for not expecting his puppet, who seemingly hasn't ever directly disobeyed him after his conversion, to go ape-nuts and throw him into a reactor. Second, the "zapping to death" wasn't the true intention. Palpatine was attempting to use pain and torment to drive Luke to fight and kill Vader and become an even stronger puppet. He doesn't consider Vader because he is trying to replace him, in essence, with an even more powerful Skywalker. A bit of a gamble, no doubt, and one that definitely didn't pay off for him, but the way he saw it, either A) He got a brand new, insanely powerful disciple or B) Luke would be killed, Vader would remain powerful, and the Rebel Alliance would have lost it's great leader. Not insanely stupid, just a plan backfiring horrendously due to Palpatine's underestimation of the "Light" side of the Force, Luke's resolve, and the good left inside of Anakin.
    • It's also been heavily implied in Expanded Universe works such as Dark Empire and the Thrawn Trilogy that Palpatine's heavy use of the Dark Side was causing him to age prematurely and just decay in general. This may have affected his reasoning towards the end, causing him to make rash decisions instead of planning things out carefully as he did in the prequel trilogy.
    • When Palpatine is engaged in the act of torturing his enemy to death, he's as blissfully detached as a man shooting up. That's how dangerously sadistic that fucker is. Probably Vader could have walked up behind him banging cymbals and it wouldn't have distracted him. Also, Palpatine may not have much of a problem with Vader eventually killing him (it appears to be a longstanding tradition with those weirdos) but he doesn't expect him to betray and destroy the Sith order itself in doing so, defeating the purpose.

     Shuttle Conspiracy 
  • In Return of the Jedi, didn't the Rebels think that a shuttle arriving a top-secret location supposedly holding cargo, then never going where it was supposed to and completely and mysteriously disappearing might be a wee bit suspicious? Also, that the Empire might have ways of tracking a shuttle (like future radar analogues) and might consider investigating said mysterious shuttle?
    • The plan was to bomb the place and get out. By the time the Empire smelled something fishy, they should've been blown up.
    • They gave the bomb team several days before the actual Rebel fleet arrived, more than enough time for the Empire to investigate a security breach in a top secret area. We, as the viewers, know that Palpatine already knew and was prepared. But the Rebel leaders didn't. From their point of view, how could they imagine that the Empire wouldn't investigate the mysterious shuttle and up security and issue a general alert? The shuttle landed a considerable distance from the bunker, so it's not like they could get in and blow it up before the Empire investigated such an important potential security breach.
    • Someone is unfamiliar with military logistics and bureaucracy. It’s a single shuttlecraft making a routine delivery and transmitting a routine code and clearance. The military in Real Life does not track every single vehicle coming and going that closely, and keep in mind, the only ones who encounter the shuttle are the Executor, which is essentially on guard duty. As far as guards are generally concerned - especially on a ship as big as the Executor - once a transport has given its clearance, its out of their hands. Tracking one small shuttle is entirely beneath them. They're generally not going to keep track of it, and assume that if there's a problem, the people the shuttle is delivering its stuff to will call them. Since no one is expecting this shuttle period, that call's never going to come in. And also, this is a single shuttle going missing in the same system that the Death Star is being built in. Y'know, the planet-sized explodo-moon. The sheer amount of traffic coming and going likely means that tracking all of the inbound and outbound flights is going to be a complete nightmare for the logistics officers. One shuttle passing through their perimeter that flashes its code just doesn't matter.
    • For starters, this is supposed to be a top-secret project. Also, the Emperor is there, and there would consequently be a huge beefing up of security. Besides, only a small landing pad (not all that much larger than Vader's shuttle) is actually seen on Endor proper. So most of the traffic would not be going there. A shuttle not going anywhere near where it is supposed to be and vanishing mysteriously right near a top-secret project is very suspicious.
    • For starters, this is supposed to be a top-secret project. Yeah, and they're building a fucking planet. That's going to require a shit-ton of resources, which is going to require a shit-ton of transports, which is going to require a shit-ton of incoming and outgoing flights. It doesn't matter how top secret it is, when you're building a planet it’s going to require a massive logistics effort, during which one small transport is going to be of minor concern.
    • A shuttle not going anywhere near where it is supposed to be and vanishing mysteriously right near a top-secret project is very suspicious. Again, if the shield complex on Endor is not expecting an incoming transport, they're not going to asking about one that doesn't show up in the first place. Once the shuttle has given its credentials, its literally out of the Executor's area of responsibility; in Real Life, guards generally only check with the destination of an incoming transport and get clearance for it when its credentials don't check out or there's an inconsistency. And the crew of the Executor is not going to be asking for confirmation from every single transport's destination when you've got thousands of transports coming and going while constructing the giant killer laser moon.
    • Maybe the shuttle did go where it was supposed to. Maybe it claimed to have a mechanical problem, landed, let the Rebel fighters off, and then took off again (with some unimportant Rebel as pilot). Then it landed at its usual place, dropped off some cargo, and left the system on schedule.

     False Code 
  • If the Emperor leaked the code to the Rebels,why didn't he just send them a fake code that comes up on Imperial databanks as "You know that Rebel sabotage team we're expecting? Guess who. Go tell Lord Vader and/or the highest ranking officer you can find. Failure to do so immediately will result in very nasty things happening to you. Now scram."? The objective was to ensure that the team accomplished nothing. Being peeled apart by Darth Vader and 500 Stormtroopers is a lotta nothing.
    • They didn't need to use a fake code because both Vader could sense Luke's presence on the shuttle. He allowed the shuttle to pass through because they were fully expecting an attack on the shield bunker and had a full legion of troops waiting.
    • OK, but that still doesn't answer the question of why they let them land on Endor rather than just nabbing them with the tractor beam on the Executor while they were still in space.
    • I got the idea that Vader was derailing the original plan for his own purposes. Palpatine dispatched the 501st as a precaution.
    • In order to lure the rest of the Rebels there, the plan had to look like it was working. For all the Emperor knows, the strike team is in contact with the rest of the Rebels and waiting on their signal, or at least is watching to make sure they make it to the planet. Capture it right away, and the rest of the Rebels go, "Well, shit, that didn't work, we need another plan," and don't show up for the finely crafted trap.
    • If the Emperor leaked the code Ah-ah. WRONG. The Emperor didn't leak the code. This was never said or even really hinted at. In fact, the Rebels were using a perfectly legitimate code; older, but otherwise perfectly fine.
    • Yes it did say it. Palpatine even said it was he who allowed the Rebels to know where the shield generator. And what does whether or not the code is legitimate have to do with the code being leaked out?

     Turn The Lightning Off 
  • When Vader picked up the Emperor, why is it he just kept shooting lightning out of his hands? Wouldn't a better course of action have been to use the Force to trip Vader?
    • He seemed to be too surprised to handle the situation effectively. You know how some people and animals lose control of their bladders when they're surprised? It's like that, but for lightning. Also, he couldn't see Vader's legs from his position, while moving something you don't have line-of-sight to seems to take more concentration than moving something you can see. The Emperor didn't have enough time to focus. In any case, the lightning did work- it killed Vader. It's possible that the Emperor felt he couldn't best Vader in a duel, so he decided to take him with him.
    • You don't need to see something to use the Force on it. Besides, he demonstrated an ability to think clearly and calmly under life-threatening pressure before. Remember in Revenge of the Sith, where he talks Anakin into backing down when he was at lightsaber point?
    • Presumably Anakin was countering the Force push, having the advantage of being firmly braced against the ground instead of suspended in the air. Also, note that Palpatine didn't stop the lightning as he fell, or even try to slow his fall using the Force, implying that Anakin was countering his attempts to save himself.
    • But Palpatine was stronger than Anakin. Before Mustafar he had the potential to be twice as powerful as the Emperor. After that, his power was estimated as at most 80% of Palpatine's.
    • Presumably that's why he got electrocuted, instead of countering it and not dying.
    • Because then Vader would have fallen and squished him.
    • Given that Vader has shown that his grip is so crushing that he can snap a human spine simply by closing his fist tightly, try to imagine how much agony Palpatine was in when Vader's hand was around his neck.
    • Palpatine had gotten a lot older since then, and he was already pretty old to begin with. His mind probably wasn't as good anymore.
    • Then again, some sources indicate that certain emotions are inherently connected to some powers, and that the emotion for Force lightning is "I hate you specifically so much I want you to die twice." If that's the case, then Palps may not have been able to turn off the flow, and it draws attention to a fundamental flaw in Dark Side practice (loss of control).
    • The emotion for Force-choking someone is "I hate you specifically so much I want you to die twice". The emotion for Force lightning, a far less precise and discriminatory use of the Dark Side, is "I'M SO MAD I'MA GONNA BREAK EVERYTHING URRRAAAGH".
    • This explains why Darth Vader can't use it — not just that his cyborg body can't handle it, but he's also way too mopey and tormented inside to indulge in Palpatine's exultant break-everything gleeful rages. Palpatine smiles, cackles, expresses sheer exultant anti-joy at the pleasure of being evil *all the time* ; Vader, by contrast, never seems happy at all.
    • The emotion of pure hate for Force Lightning is exactly true, a similar event occurs when Darth Bane uses lightning on a Jedi in the second Bane novel just when a dying Jedi locks him in a Force-conjured sphere of energy. The lightning rebounds uncontrollably, Bane cannot turn off the power, and he is fried to a crunchy crisp. Only the efforts of one of the best healers in the Star Wars universe bring him back to health - not without much, much labour involved. In the interim, Bane is completely comatose and on the brink of death. Thus, Palpatine was so shocked and angry at Vader's betrayal that the Dark Side flowed forth from his hands like a great spout of rage, unable to be halted.
    • The metallic nature of Vader's suit conducted Palpatine's lightning back to him and they somehow got locked in a "feedback flow" or something, (like when you put a microphone next to a speaker) which wouldn't stop until one was taken out and this was sufficient to kill Vader.

     How Vader Killed The Emperor 
  • Why is it that Vader thought that the best way to kill the Emperor was to pick him up while he was shooting lightning and throw him down a big hole? Since Vader's robot arms have super-strength, and seeing as how the Emperor is really old, shouldn't Vader have been able to kill (or at least KO) him with a punch to the back of the head? Granted, it would ruin his dramatic death scene, but still...
    • There's still a chance that he could take the punch and start shooting both of them. Do we know for certain that Vader's arms have super-strength? He's never shown bending or crushing anything with his hands.
    • Except Captain Antilles' neck, less than ten minutes into ANH.
    • Yes, in several books that are official canon, Darth Vader mentions that his arms are strong enough that just one can lift a person with no help from the Force. We see him doing that in A New Hope. Also, the Emperor's heavy use of the Dark Side rendered his body physically weak. Vader was also strong enough to snap that starship captain's neck with one hand in A New Hope (the official canon book states that his neck snapped). Given those factors, it is extremely unlikely that a punch to the back of the head from Vader would leave Palpatine conscious.
    • Remember what happened when the cyborg General Grievous hit Obi-Wan? He shrugged it off. This is a cyborg figure who can punch hard enough to dent starfighter armour, (and had done so just earlier) so it's not unreasonable to think that Palpatine just might have blocked it using the Force.
    • Vader had the element of surprise. Grievous did not. Plus Palpatine couldn't stop him from picking him up and tossing him into a giant pit, so it is unlikely he could stop a punch, which is quicker. Or Vader could've just grabbed his neck from behind and snapped it, since it has been confirmed several times that he has the strength needed to do that.
    • True, but let's assume it was a spur of the moment thing where Vader wasn't really thinking clearly.
    • The book version reveals he did think about it before acting.
    • Interesting. Can you quote it? Just because he put some thought into what he was doing doesn't mean he was thinking clearly though.
    • Can't quote it, mainly because it's a couple paragraphs long. You just wonder why he didn't go for a method that should've been thought of first.
    • This doesn't make any sense. Just because he had artificial arms that can crush necks doesn't mean he can lift a human being one-handed; those arms are attached to fleshy shoulders. Unless he was capable of unassisted one-handed human-lifting before the augmentation, the joint would fail before he got any substantial weight off the ground.
    • Tell that to the starship captain in A New Hope.
    • Bracing with the Force.
    • In Revenge of the Sith he catches Obi-Wan's two-handed lightsaber swing with his off-hand (keep in mind Kenobi is a Jedi master, and an expert at saber combat), and shortly thereafter grabs him by the throat and starts choking him while grasping his arms and almost making him cut his own head off. Before the accident, Darth Vader was already supernaturally strong, and with the added durasteel plating and reinforcement of his skeletal structure, it's no wonder he can pick full grown men up off the ground and throw them across the room without drawing on the Force.
    • Because, as Lore Sjöberg said, the most important rule of the Force is "Die in front of Luke".
    • Tossing Palpatine down that pit, spewing lightning all the way, also helped set off the chain reaction that nuked the new Death Star. Perhaps Vader wanted to take down not just his master, but as much of the evil the two of them had wrought as possible?
    • Possibly, but has that been confirmed in Legends or canon?
    • Vader is strong, but he's slow. A punch, by definition, has to move quickly in order to work. I don't know if Vader is capable of actually punching anything.
    • It's been theorised elsewhere on this page that holding Palpatine created a feedback effect. Palpatine's lightning zapped into Vader and then back into Palpatine, shocking him and forcing him to shoot out additional lightning (In real life, if you touch an electrified wire, it can zap your muscles into contracting, forcing you to hold on to the wire and get zapped even more. This was a similar thing, just with Force powers). This explains why Palpatine kept zapping him; it was involuntary at that point. It also helps explain why Vader chose that method of attack. If he had tried anything else, Palpatine might have survived and counterattacked, and Vader might have been defeated. This was the one method he had that turned Palpatine's strength against himself, ensuring his death (and ensuring Vader's death also).
    • Extensive community service doesn't sound too bad, either.

     Leia vs. Stormtroopers 
  • Han and Leia get cornered by two stormtroopers while in front of the backdoor to the shield generator. Leia then fires one shot (as the sound effect clearly indicates) at the two stormtroopers and she gets them both. Now, I know stormtroopers are pathetic, but that's pushing it just a bit.
    • This may have been Leia's Force powers starting to show themselves.
    • No, there were two shots. I remember that scene. One shot we see, then a sound effect as the camera pans away.
    • I found her picking off the Imperial on the top of the walker from the ground, far more impressive. One shot.

     Vader's Movements in the Final Duel 
  • During the Luke/Vader duel, why the hell did Vader lie down and flail his hand around before Luke cut it off? That just looked really bad and I think that someone with mechanical limbs would still be able to stand up after Luke began the berserker attack.
    • Partly because he's not trying to actually beat Luke. He needs Luke to totally give into his anger and at that point, the best course of action was to really let Luke just go nuts. Another interpretation is that he was simply overpowered. He wasn't like Grievous, his mechanical limbs were a hindrance (Palpatine deliberately had his limbs designed to be flawed to keep him in check) and he connection to the Force was reduced. Luke on the other hand was younger, fitter and stronger.
    • He flailed around because he was panicking. Luke had just gotten a massive power boost from his newfound anger, and Vader wasn't ready for it. Perhaps his conscience was getting to him too. He saw that Luke was actually starting to give in to the Dark Side, and he felt horrible watching his son start down the same path of horror that he himself had been trapped in for 20 years. So Vader started losing his will to fight. Luke noticed this change after he cut Vader's hand off; Vader wasn't just defeated and helpless, he was in a state where he didn't even want to fight anymore. Vader's conscience was finally revealed. This inspires Luke to back off from the Dark Side.

     The Droids Belong To Jabba Now? 
  • Was Luke really serious about giving C-3PO and R2-D2 to Jabba the Hutt?
    • I think he probably knew from the start that Jabba wouldn't agree to the deal, but keep the droids anyway. It was probably an excuse to get 3PO inside in case they needed a translator and get R2 in so he could give Luke his lightsaber.
    • It was all about getting R2 on the inside. As much as I love 3PO, he really had no business going on that mission.
    • Threepio is a translator droid, making him extremely useful to an intergalactic crimelord like Jabba. Especially considering his most recent translator got a very violent pink slip. Luke knew R2 and 3PO together would be far too valuable and attractive a gift to pass up. And there's no way Luke would leave the droids in Jabba's clutches after all they've been through together. Lando (the inside man) would have smuggled them out later on the QT.
    • Maybe. Robots in the Star Wars universe seem to be second-class citizens at very best (less than slaves at worst) no matter what they think or "feel" and no matter if the owner is a villain or a hero. And even if Luke had developed a soft spot for his droids, he probably still saw them as property. Since Luke was raised as a farmer, his relationship towards 3PO and R2 would probably be akin to that with cattle or farm equipment: You may appreciate a cow or a tractor, but not to the point of making them family or even pets. You could also think of it as Luke willing to risk the loss of a cherished material possession (again, think a cow or a tractor) to save the life of a human best friend who has done him quite a few solids over the years.

     Obi-Wan's Wrong Statement 
  • Interesting point, Ben says "It was they who had to save you. You achieved little by rushing back prematurely, I fear." Except that this is totally untrue, because while Luke might have been a burden R2 was essential in their escape, and thus Luke 'did' save his friends in a way.
    • ....did you miss the part where Luke was hanging by one hand, with only one hand, underneath Cloud City and would have died if it weren't for his friends saving his life, as a direct result of running off prematurely?
    • Did you read the part where it was R2 (who arrived with Luke) who repaired the hyperdrive?
    • Obi-Wan probably meant that Luke personally had not achieved much. R2 may have been helpful, but Luke can't really take much credit for that.
    • Luke could take credit for it, since without him, R2 would be uselessly sitting in a swamp. If Luke had obeyed Yoda, the hyperdrive would still be broken, the escape plan would be for nothing, and all of his friends would likely be dead.
    • Obi-Wan wasn't talking about R2. He was talking about Luke. You know, the word "you." "You(as in, you, specifically, Luke) achieved little." R2's presence was incidental. Luke himself accomplished precisely dick.
    • Keep in mind Obi-Wan and Yoda weren't right about everything (see: Anakin's continued existence in Vader). Yeah, Luke got himself into a lot of trouble, but as mentioned, if Luke hadn't gone back R2 couldn't have accomplished whatever. Yoda was warning against attachment, namely to Luke's friends, but much of the point of the original trilogy is that love can be a highly effective motivator for Jedi, something Yoda hadn't really bought into. So from a certain point of view, no, Luke had no business going back. From Luke's point of view, his going back, once again, allowed R2 to save the day.
    • What are you talking about? That line is in the script, but it's not in the actual movie.

     Threepio the Diety 
  • The Cargo Cult bit in Return of the Jedi brings up an intriguing bit of Fridge Logic, given 3PO's master, Luke, was in danger of death at the time and requested he go along with it to free them. 3PO responds with "It's against my programming to impersonate a deity!" Just how big a problem is deity-impersonation among Protocol Droids for them to have their priorities this way around?
    • Well, there might be lots of hunter-gatherer level civilisations in the galaxy, I guess droid engineers didn't want their robots to be used by unscrupulous individuals who might want to take over one of them with a shiny metal god.
    • Except that why the heck would an exploration team bring along a protocol unit. They seem to be quite flimsy (a blaster bolt only shorted out R2, but another blew 3PO clean apart), require a huge amount of maintenance (oil baths and that, but you never see R2 in one), and would surely be of marginal utility (a good sound-synthesizer is a nice addition, but a big beast is better put off with a big pointy stick). It would probably have been more logical for C-3PO to have said "impersonating a deity is not part of my programming" or "I don't know how, that was never included in my programming".
    • You'd bring a protocol droid around if you thought there was some sort of intelligent society there, and you might need to translate. I mean, hell, look at Return Of The Jedi right there. The Ewoks used a primitive dialect, but C-3PO was able to translate, and it's because of him they were able to form their little alliance. It's probable that the 'don't impersonate a god' programming came about the first time something like this happened and the primitives ignored the organic explorer/negotiator and just worshipped his golden metal man instead.
    • Alternatively, the line could be taken to mean that there's one thing C-3PO is programmed for, and that's acting as a protocol droid. He's programmed for that specifically, so pretending to be a deity would be contrary to acting as a neutral mediator. So, basically, it's his way of saying, "But that's not my job!"
    • Maybe, but this was a combat mission (they should at least have painted him or had him wearing fatigues), and they obviously weren't expecting to meet any intelligent natives (they acted surprised when they did), so the only reason I can see for bringing him along is to translate for R2 (whom should also have been painted), and even then they should have been able to get away with something much smaller, simpler and sturdier than C-3PO.
    • He's a robot. He doesn't have free will. He can't go against his programming. The writers just had him say it in the same tone as, "That would be rude!" because they thought it would be funnier that way, and because he probably does find it rude. Han lashes out like he does because he's frustrated.
    • Obviously he can go against his programming, since he willingly impersonates a deity later in the film. ("Threepio, tell them that if they do not do as you wish, you'll become angry and use your magic.")

     Vader BBQ 
  • Regarding Darth Vader's armour I have a problem with what they did with it at the end of the movie. I don't have a problem with it being thrown in a fire to be burned, that is a nice throwback to what they did to dead Greek heroes, but the problem I do have is that a simple bonfire could burn Vader's armour. Throughout the Expanded Universe Vader's armour has been through crap that makes being set on fire look like child's play, meaning that it is state of the art armour that does its job of protecting the wearer; so how exactly does a simple bonfire of all things finally do in Vader's armour? Also you would think that the Rebels would want to keep the armour as a trophy to tell the remnants of the Empire, "Look what we did to Vader, now surrender or else.", would have made for great propaganda.
    • While I doubt there are any canon explanations for this, I have a practical one. The Expanded Universe was written after Return of the Jedi. In the Main 3 films, Vader's suit serves as little more than a massive respirator, so based on that depiction, it makes perfect sense.
    • There's quite a bit of difference between taking a few blaster shots or bomb blasts and sitting in the middle of a roaring bonfire for several hours.
    • Except that a blaster can take chunks out of a wall, whereas you probably couldn't do the same with a blowtorch in a matter of hours. Given this, taking a few blaster bolts is actually going to be more of a struggle than taking a few hours on a bonfire.
    • Kevlar might stop bullets, but it's still flammable, and can still be cut. You're talking about two entirely different types of damage. Just because something can stop one type doesn't mean it'll stop another. It doesn't have hit points where Blaster type damage takes off more than Fire type.
    • Vader's armour was built to be able to resist anything short of explosions and lightsaber blows, a lightsaber being a blade made of pure plasma energy should be thousands of degrees and explosions are self explanatory in regards to their heat. They FAR OUTRANK a simple bonfire in terms of heat.
    • A) Armour Does Not Work That Way. Armour being resistant to directed energy does not mean that every single piece of that armour is going to cover every single inch of Vader's body to the point that it would be impossible for any heat at all to get inside. Also keep in mind that Vader's armour did not resist being hit by lightsabers; Luke winged him once and inflicted visible pain to Vader's arm, and he sliced clean through one of Vader's arms without the blade even slowing down. Vader's armour has also never shown particular resistance to blaster bolts; when he deflected Han's shots, he was using Force Deflection. B) This was a prepared funeral. Even if Vader was wearing head-to-toe ultra-super-duper invincible armour that wouldn't let a lick of flame touch a bit of his skin, Luke could have removed pieces of it so that he could burn.
    • The last entry said ANYTHING SHORT OF, not that the armour WAS RESISTANT to lightsaber blows. Anything short of a lightsaber blow shouldn't even be able to hurt Vader's armour unless that impact hits the armour repeatedly, so what Luke does to Vader is understandable given the armour's limits. No read up about what Vader's armour is made of, Vader's gloves are durable enough to deflect a blaster bolt, he wouldn't have needed to use the Force to stop it. What was said about it being a prepared funeral makes sense, especially since Luke could have carved holes into it with his lightsaber so that the fire could burn the armour inside-out. The point about the armour being used as propaganda, regardless of any wishes Luke may have had to respect the visage of his father, not being brought up still seems pretty odd.
      • Except that blaster bolts don't reflect off normal surfaces, if they did they wouldn't have done such a number on the walls in Cloud City. Reading the Wookieepedia article, the only bits of actual 'armour' in the whole suit are the helmet, pauldrons/upper chest section and the boots, the rest is described as just blaster resistant, which means that it'll probably take a few pistol shots, but would be unlikely to offer much protection against anything more powerful than a pistol.
    • Regardless of anything said about Vader's armour in the Expanded Universe, the fact still remains that up until Return of the Jedi, Vader's armour had shown no resistance to anything more than ordinary space suit. Therefore, the only canon that comes into play is the original canon of the first three films. So, we can conclude the Vader's armour burning in the bonfire is entirely appropriate, unless you expect Lucas to rewrite all three movies whenever the Expanded Universe adds a new layer to the story.
    • Maybe it’s powered armour? So while powered it can withstand all sorts of crap, and when unpowered a few hours in a fire will break it down?
    • According to the Expanded Universe Vader's armour does run on a battery source, but that is mainly for his prosthetic limbs and button panels on his suit that regulate his health, drug doses, heartbeat, etc., and pretty much unrelated to his mechanical lungs that have to function all the time. It recharges using personal chambers that Vader uses and even has a means of recharging through solar energy and Vader always has a personal battery on hand just in case he needs it. The armour Vader used could have been weakened due to I’ts lack of power, with its wearer being dead and all.
    • Sorry, “armour weakened due to lack of a wearer”, how does that one work, I mean, armour is supposed to “protect the user” right?
    • Well it is a common element in fiction that powered armour isn't as powerful when it isn't actually electronically on. Though the actual armour itself if it were for example bullet proof while on should be bullet proof while off as well, but the point still stands that armour is better worn than being hung up to dry.
    • Not as powerful, yeah, but unless it uses shields then it ought to be as 'tough' off as on.
    • Lucas has all but stated his intention outright never to stop revising his films anyway, so what does it matter? Maybe three or four editions from now the armour won't be burnt.
    • Well that seems less likely now given how he sold the franchise to Disney.
    • "Also you would think that the Rebels would want to keep the armour as a trophy to tell the remnants of the Empire, "Look what we did to Vader, now surrender or else", would have made for great propaganda." Luke probably kept that from happening. Vader was his father, after all. I can't imagine it'd feel good to see what is essentially his father's body being paraded around like a trophy (yeah his corpse probably wouldn't be in there but on an emotional level it's still him). So either he hid the body and told the Rebels that Vader went down with the Death Star, or he used his not inconsiderable cred as Hero of the Rebellion (to say nothing of his influence with Leia) to keep Vader's armour from being used as a propaganda piece. Besides, the propaganda value of blowing up TWO Death Stars and murdering the Emperor vastly outweighs the ability to mount Darth Vader's armour on the wall.
    • Was the armour really all that damaged? I remember it staying intact; the bonfire was more of a symbolic thing than an attempt to actually destroy the armour. And if it was damaged, well... whoever said it was just a bonfire? Maybe they treated the armour with some sort of corrosive lighter fluid first.

     Watch Them Die 

     The Sarlacc 
  • How does the Sarlacc digest someone for "thousands of years"? Wouldn't they die of dehydration or thirst in the interim, long before natural causes kick in? Unless sapient beings in Star Wars are borderline indestructible, that Sarlacc wont be digesting anything alive for more than a few days, a week at most.
    • In Legends, it's said the Sarlacc injects nutrients into creatures its digesting and changes their metabolism so they live a thousand years or more. Which doesn't really make sense when you think about it as if the Sarlaac basically has to "feed" it's own food source how can it gain enough nutrition to survive?
    • Nobody said you'd remain alive for a thousand years; they just said the digestion would take that long. Presumably you've got "pain and suffering" for a day or two before you die, and after that you simply have the indignity of being slowly digested (instead of getting a proper burial.)

     Force Ghost on a Log 
  • Why would a ghost need to sit on a log?
    • The same reason why ghosts appear to breathe, talk, or walk around like people: force of habit, a consequence of taking visible form, or A Form You Are Comfortable With. Obi-Wan has had a lot more experience as being alive than being dead at this point, so doing things like sitting down don't seem that unusual. It also has the effect of making Luke sit down and pay attention, and that's valuable in itself.

     Sith Dental 
  • Why does the Emperor have rotten teeth? You'd think an Emperor could afford better dental hygiene?
    • Seems reasonable to guess that the Dark Side was as good for his teeth as it was for his skin and eyes.

     What Happened To The Destroyer? 
  • What happened to all the Star Destroyers that ambushed the Rebels at Endor? They seem to just disappear after the Death Star II is destroyed. Did they all get scared and warp away after or what?
    • They probably retreated. They just lost the Death Star, their best Star Destroyer, and all their senior leadership. At that point retreating to regroup and restore their chain of command was probably the best option.
    • No, it was the worst. If they has stayed, they could have accomplished the goal of the mission by wiping out the Rebel fleet, then dealt with the succession crisis later at their leisure. But Imperial officers are chosen for their stupidity (so they'll never challenge Palpatine) and/or selfishness (so they'll commit any atrocity); when their Emperor died, those that weren't scared shitless saw not a victory for the Rebels, but an opportunity to seize power themselves, so they all fled.
    • You shouldn’t be so confident in those assertions. Canonically, Sidious was able to use battle meditation as a Force power to best strengthen his military and focus their efforts. Upon his death (to say nothing of the loss of the Death Star, the Executor and other key Star Destroyers similarly leading to a collapse in morale), the fleet commanders may have suddenly lost all their nerve and cunning, and felt the only way to salvage a positive outcome would be to flee and regroup to consider their next move.

     Lando in the Hole 
  • Why did Lando and the Rebels fly through some (relatively) small hole in the Death Star II instead of, you know, that HUGE gaping hole on the right side of it that hasn't been finished yet? Seems like that would be a lot easier?
    • Maybe they wanted to ensure that the larger Imperial ships couldn't give chase.
    • When Mon Mothma is giving exposition, we get to see an hologram of the Death Star's superstructure, and it is shown that the only way to access the core was through four tunnels located in the (already fully built) station's equator.

     Endor Shields 
  • Is there any limit to the number of shield generators you can put on Endor? If not, then why doesn't the Emperor just build multiple shield generators on Endor so that way if one gets destroyed the Death Star’s shield would still stay up? And even if there is some reason he can't put multiple shield generators on Endor, couldn't he at least build fake shield generators on the other side of Endor that look just like the real thing? Then he could just leak the plans containing the location of the fake shield generator to the Rebels and they would waste their time trying to attack it instead of the real one. To me it just seems like giving the Rebels the actual location of the key facility that could expose the Death Star is a needless risk, even if he does expect his army to wipe them out. Putting up multiple shield generators or fooling the Rebels with a fake shield generator would remove even the tiniest risk of something going wrong.
    • Yeah, the limit is that if you make it too hard then the Rebels you are trying to lure in will decline to stick their heads in the trap. If it seems too hard then they won't take the bait.
    • But you don't have to let them know there are multiple shield generators on the planet. Remember the Rebel strategy is based on plans the Emperor deliberately leaked in order to lure them into a trap. So the Rebel knowledge is only based on what he lets them know. So why couldn't he leak the plans to one shield generator, while at the same time keeping another secret one on the other side of the planet they don't know about?
    • There is always the risk that the Rebels find out through other means. Baiting a trap is always a balance and involves trade offs. Tempting enough to be successful bait, good enough to work as a trap, genuine enough so as to not spook the target, all those things have to be stacked together.
    • This is the only time in the entire trilogy we see a shield generator with this much power. It covers the entire Death Star with a field that ships can't even fly through (in contrast to the Hoth shield, which resists bombardment but can't stop the Empire from sending in ground troops). Presumably it's just really freaking hard to build a shield generator that can do that, and building two of them was out of the question.

     Hitting the Skiff 
  • Why in the name of Lucas did Lando, when the fight broke out above the Sarlaac, opt to hit the nearest skiff guard with his helmet, as opposed to, oh, I don't know... the VIBROBLADE he was carrying for the first twenty minutes of the film? Granted, just lugging a weapon around for weeks won't necessarily make you an expert at using it in a real combat situation, but it'd still have to be more effective than whacking a hardened thug with a floppy hat. No wonder Lando went plunging over the side of the skiff into the Sarlacc pit...
    • Yeah. Maybe he really was just more of a good shooter and pilot than a melee fighter, hence why he was tasked with taking down the Death Star II. I can’t remember how he’s depicted in the 2018 movie, in case that would contradict this (admittedly, most of its action is set a good 13 years before ROTJ).

     Burnt Out Anakin 
  • When Vader/Anakin is unmasked at the end, why do his injuries not look like burn scars? I know some people are probably thinking they hadn't decided that's how he was injured yet but from what I've been able to gather Lucas always intended his injuries to be due to fire/lava.
    • Interesting question and one I've been wondering since I first saw the film. Maybe they didn't have the time/budget/resources left to do the makeup the way they wanted to? Maybe they thought it would be too gruesome for a PG movie (the PG-13 rating didn't exist until 1984, a year after Return of the Jedi came out)? Or maybe in Revenge of the Sith they just decided to screw continuity, push the prosthetic advancements to the limit and make the burns as revolting as possible. As for an in-universe answer as to why they look different: I remember in Legends that they mentioned things like reconstructive surgery and synthetic skin that could have been used to repair most of Vader's cosmetic damage, but that the former wasn't done since Vader's face would be covered anyway and the latter caused him to itch constantly. In Disney's Canon, maybe those Bacta tanks are able to slowly repair most of the burns over the 23 years between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi. They can make artificial limbs that are as good as if not better than natural ones, so repairing flesh probably isn't out of bounds for them.
    • As for that last sentence, always take any claims Lucas has about things being planned out in advance with a grain of salt. Even with details confined solely to the timeframe of the original trilogy, you have things like Darth Vader's role in the Imperial hierarchy, the Emperor's characterisation, the big reveal of Darth Vader being Luke's father, and Leia being Luke's sister; all of which make contradict details in preceding movies.

     Skull Showing 
  • I'm by no means a expert on X-rays, but when Vader gets electrocuted by the Emperor, how can we see his skull when it's hidden behind a metal mask?
    • It's just a Rule of Cool Visual Effect. The characters in-universe probably couldn't see it, but ever since the first cartoons, showing someone's skeleton flashing had been the way to show them being electrocuted.
    • Sith Lightning may have special properties including being able to reveal the bones in an X-ray effect of someone encased in metal and other protective materials.

     Redemption Problem 
  • I've been thinking a lot about Vader's supposed redemption, and I can accept that, while his actions might not have been excusable or forgivable, that he'd redeemed himself and repented. And, if he'd lived longer, he wouldn't have demanded the leaders of the Rebellion make him their leader, killed them when they refused, then started a bloody war against the other Imperial leaders to take Palpatine's place. Saving his Luke wasn't just a good thing a bad person did out of selfish, evolutionarily hardwired love for his offspring, like how him killing the Sand People was the opposite. But what motivated him to change? I've looked at novelisations and Word of God, but all they talk about is how he saved Luke because Luke loved him. If Luke still loves him despite everything he's done, terrific! He gets to be a Sith Lord, and have loved ones. Win-win.
    • Love for his son. How is that hard to see?
    • How does that motivate him to repent. How does that make him see his actions any differently? He loved his son, so he saved him, but how does that make him want to save anyone else?
    • Love Redeems. It's a common trope.
    • Yes, it is a common trope, but when written well, it's the summary of a series of events that starts with the villain feeling love and ends with them redeemed. Because Even Evil Has Loved Ones, there has to be a mid-point. Star Wars may love Black-and-White Morality, but that doesn't give it a free pass to explicitly say "no one who doesn't want their offspring tortured to death in front of them by a man who, moments before, ordered them killed, can be an authoritarian murderer." A character doing something out of character and critical to the plot that's supposed to define how we view them (that is, Darth Vader deciding to be good, not just him saving Luke) for no good reason is the epitome of bad writing, and I want to find that mid-point is.
    • No one is saying Vader is an automatic good-guy in the eyes of the galaxy. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi pretty much makes it clear that Vader is still seen as the evil POS he was. The whole point for his repenting was that he finally realised what it meant to love like a Jedi. He understood that compassionate love was different from possessive love, and it was possessive love that got him into this mess to begin with. His killing Palpatine was his way of saying 'I'm sorry' to both Luke and Padmé. Correct, the galaxy isn't about to organise a hero parade for Vader down Main Street, Naboo any time soon but that's not what he was thinking of. His penance wasn't to the galaxy, but to his wife and children. In short, his mistake was that rather than listening to Padmé and thinking on what she wanted, he only looked inward, thought only of himself. This time, he would correct that by saving Luke, putting Luke's needs first over his own. That's the entire point.
    • I understand that the galaxy never forgave him. I want to know about his soul, which was apparently pure-enough for him to get into Jedi-Heaven (it's possible that becoming a Force-ghost is just a technique that anyone can learn but only Qui-Gon, and subsequently Obi-Wan and Yoda knew, but that's obviously not intended). You may be onto something about him learning compassionate love, but there's no obvious point at which he learns to respect and listen to his loved ones opinions; he just doesn't want them to die horribly. Unless we're going to deny Dark-Siders moral agency (I asked a similar question on the main Star Wars headscratchers page), it's entirely possible, and more in-character, for him to continue being an authoritarian murderer after Palpatine's dead; just one who doesn't murder his offspring and mates. And if they protest, he can pull a Star Saphire by locking them up forever or brainwashing them (he clearly doesn't have a problem with torturing Luke, just killing him.) What realisation does him not wanting his offspring murdered bring about?
    • The Prequels and Return of the Jedi made it very clear that there was still a sliver of Anakin Skywalker buried under all that hate and self-loathing. Luke even tried to drive the point home.
    Luke: "I've accepted the fact that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father."
    Vader: "That name no longer has any meaning to me."
    Luke: "It's the name of your true self, you've only forgotten." (…) "I know there is good in you, the Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully."
    • (Continued from above) Essentially, what made him turn to the Dark Side? To save his loved ones. After he realised his decision killed Padmé, the Jedi, and enslaved the Republic, he felt he was beyond redemption. Then here comes Luke telling him it is possible and when it came down to Luke needing to be saved, guess what happens? The Anakin that was stirring in Vader woke up and he finally decided to do the right thing. The Heel Realization was that he could still be saved, that Luke was right about him. There was still good in him. As for the Force Ghost issue, according to one novelisation of the movie, Obi-Wan visited him as he was dying and offered to teach him because (1) he stopped the horrors and (2) Obi-Wan wanted to do one last thing for his friend.
    • Those seem like two different answers, both of which have problems. The first says that Vader/Anakin knew he was the bad guy, but didn't think he was capable of being good, but up until the above quote, he seems fully on board with Imperial/Sith dogma.
    "Then they should be made to."
    "From my point of view the Jedi are evil!"
    "You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor!"
    "Together, we can end this destructive conflict, and rule the galaxy as father and son."
When and why did he have a change of heart? The second answer implies that it's a split-personality thing, which would make Anakin not responsible for Vader's atrocities, but the prequels and Clone Wars went out of their way to show that everything nasty about Vader (killing children, racism, choking people who annoy him, believing in authoritarianism) was a part of Anakin from the start, and he certainly identified and acted (somewhat) like Anakin between him kneeling before Palpatine and getting dismembered. Did the Vader personality absorb all his negative traits, and the Anakin all the good ones, and now he's a new and improved Anakin?
  • The Dark Side is frequently shown to be an almost demonically possessive Force; its path “in” is a Force user giving in to negative emotions; anger, greed, hatred, and as Yoda said, fear, are paths to the Dark Side. Anakin was flawed; and those flaws opened him up to corruption by the Dark Side which is when he did the exceptionally bad things. It seems like the Dark Side is a feedback loop; give in a little to anger or fear or do something terrible, you get a bit of Dark Side in; get a bit of Dark Side and you do bad things, repeat. It’s only making the conscious choice to not let those things control you that you shake off the influence of the Dark Side, and Anakin/Vader- not quite a split personality, but rather two sides of the same coin- managed to throw off its influence when The Power of Love took effect. Anakin, like the Force, had a dark side, which was negative aspects of his personality. Giving in to fear let that side win at first. Choosing to act differently fixes things, returning the good man he once was into control.
  • So when a Force-sensitive gives into fear or anger, the Dark Side corrupts them, and makes them believe in totalitarianism? And loving anything, even your own offspring, enough to risk your life to save it undoes all that? I suppose that's consistent with what's shown in the films, but is extremely unsatisfying from a character and philosophic perspective, and makes the moral agency of every Sith we've seen questionable.
  • Only if you boil it down to such extremely simplistic, overgeneralised terms rather than looking at the individual circumstances.
  • Care to explain? My point is that the individual circumstances don't lend themselves to Vader becoming a good guy, since he seems to think he already is, unless there's magic involved.
  • It's not that "the Dark Side makes them believe in totalitarianism" or that "loving anything undoes all that." That's the gross oversimplification, the suggestion that every Force user is going to react to those things the same way, as if there's an on/off switch being triggered by event flags. Each Dark Side user fell for their own, personal reasons. Those that turned back toward the light, again, each did so for their own, personal reasons.
  • So everyone has flaws (like Anakin believing in totalitarianism), but when a Force user engages with those flaws (like Anakin betraying his order), the Dark Side makes those flaws consume the person so they're nothing but bad (like Darth Vader). But when they engage with whatever positive qualities embedded deep enough in their personality to remain after Dark Side corruption (like Anakin sacrificing himself for his son), the light side makes them realise the error of their ways and returns them to a base-state (Anakin before he became Vader)?
  • That is closer, yes — but I would add a lot of "coulds" in there. Again, it's not a simple on-off switch — it's a path, and Jedi have to walk it constantly. The long in short of it is, if you let your emotions like anger, fear or greed control you? That's the Dark Side. If you can let go of your emotions and act selflessly? That's Light Side. This post uses a lot of official sources to explain it more thoroughly than I can.
  • If the Dark doesn't alter one's mindset, and the Light makes right and wrong clear, Vader becoming good by sacrificing himself to save his son does not make sense, nor does the idea that Luke killing Vader in anger would make him evil. As pointed out above, Vader thought his hate and anger and torture and genocide were justified, and had no real loyalty to Sidious anymore, and Luke would rather jump down a bottomless pit than join the Empire. Wanting to protect Luke should not have changed Vader's mind about anything other than the part of the Sith (not Imperial) code that says you can't have a family. We have to acknowledge that Vader's "change in moral grammar" isn't normal from a philosophical-psychological point of view, or chalk it up to changes in his mind we never see.
  • Woah, guy, where has it ever been suggested that Sith are forbidden from having family? I think you’re thinking of the Jedi. Sith, if anything, embrace attachments, if usually in a very negative way.
  • The Dark does change you — it corrupts you, if you allow yourself to be driven by selfishness and your negative emotions. Anakin was driven by selfishness — by what he wanted. It's sympathetic and tragic because what he wanted was what any of us would want — his love and partner to live. But it's the Dark Side because he decided that he needed it so badly, he was going to murder a bunch of people for it. Also remember that the person Darth Vader really hates the most is himself. It's less that he thinks his hate and anger and all that is justified and more that he decided, "This is just what I am now, there's no going back," and decided "peace and order" were, again, worth murdering people for. In that late scene of ROTJ, the "selfish" thing for Vader would have been to do nothing — Luke has made it clear he wants nothing to do with Palpatine's scheme, he won't be turned, so let the Rebel scum fry so you can keep your "peace and order" by finishing off the Rebel scum. But saving Luke was selfless — he did it knowing not only that his precious Empire would die, but also he himself would, for the sake of others. That's what makes it the Light Side — not just that he saves the hero and kills the bad guy, but that he puts his own self-interest aside for the sake of another. TL;DR: Vader's Dark Side started with, "Everyone else has to die so Padmé can live," and the return to the Light was, "I will die, but my son and the Rebellion will finally undo the wrong I did so long ago."
  • That makes sense... mostly. It's easy for me to see that Vader hates himself for choking Padmé and taking that leap at Obi-Wan; those two things cost him his limbs and his family, but there's little to nothing, even in the EU, to suggest that he hates himself for any moral reasons, while there's plenty of evidence that he believes in totalitarianism and peace-through-violence both before and after donning the armour, so it seems like the Light Side would have to have provided the necessary epiphany to make him a good guy.
  • A person doesn't hate themselves just for two specific actions. They hate themselves for what they are. Vader hates what he is, not just two actions he happened to take in the middle of turning to the Dark Side. He hates himself because everything he did to save Padmé was for nothing. He hates himself because somewhere, he recognises that he's a monster now, and far from saving the love of his life, he's the thing that killed her.
  • And not just her. He hates himself because he recognises that he destroyed the thing she loved (the Republic) and the family that took him in when they didn’t have to (the Jedi) all for purely selfish reasons. And he can’t go back and undo it. Yeah, I’d be feeling pretty ‘lost’ myself if I were in his shoes.
  • From the glimpses we get into his ideology, he doesn't see himself as having destroyed the Republic anymore than Tarkin does; he's reformed it into something stronger. Padmé wouldn't agree, but when she told him that to his face, he didn't listen. Likewise, by the time he turned on the Jedi, he'd lost faith in them at best, hated them at worst for, from his POV, screwing him over at every opportunity (tricking him into thinking Obi-Wan was, dead, exiling Ahsoka, not going far enough to end the war, not making him a Master, etc). Thematically, it makes sense to conflate every bad thing he did under "falling to the Dark Side', but in-universe he had multiple motivations that lead to varied outcomes and it makes sense he'd regret some actions but not others.
  • And "What he is" that he hates himself for could just as easily be "reckless" "stupid" or "weak" as it could be "evil." If the franchise wants the audience to buy that he isn't the same as or most Stormtroopers and officers who probably love their families and think the Empire is better than the Republic and blowing up planets is necessary (but wouldn't mind being at the top of the food chain) then it needs to provide evidence some evidence in his dialogue or internal thoughts, but it's done the exact opposite for decades. There's only one, relatively vague quote to the opposite effect (“it’s too late for me, son”) but countless where he says he's bringing order to the galaxy and his wrath is righteous.
  • Yes, it "could" be seen as that. But it isn't. He's a character who went too far, realised it, and then found that he couldn't come back, so he rolls with it while secretly hating himself. He's projecting an image that he's "righteous" to outwardly justify things — introspection and doubt are not things that he is going to participate in. The film doesn't need some arbitrary "evidence" like a shoehorned monologue to show what's been clear to most viewers for decades.
  • Warning: Wall of Text Incoming:
Most viewers concede that he redeemed himself: the film itself more or less gives Word of God by showing him in a stand-in for Heaven at the end. But having scoured forums, wikis, and Quora; there is no such consensus among the fandom as to how/why. Respected Star Wars YouTubers claim Vader and Anakin are split personalities, many say that the Dark Side corrupted him and the love for his son purified him, making it less about morality or psychology and more about how the Star Wars universe works. Others posit all that happened was that his will to risk his life for Luke that made him reject Sith Philosophy specifically, and that he might still back the Empire if he’d lived. Some say he believed himself in the right up until Luke showed he’d rather die than join him in TESB, after which he questioned himself. The very answers above are rather inconsistent, going from “he was automatically redeemed because he felt love” to “Didn’t believe he was capable of doing any better” to “He didn’t want to acknowledge that he was the bad guy,” none of which make all that much sense. If he never thinks about what he’s done (and there are ways of showing a character has a conscience or doubts reflect without a monologue, especially when you have comics and books written from his POV) how does he realise he’s gone too far? It’s clearly not an inevitable conclusion, since most everyone else who lived through the Clone Wars and has backed Palpatine since then hasn’t come to it (there’s literally an episode in The Clone Wars that shows Anakin and Tarkin have similar opinions on the failures of the Jedi and Republic). And if he’s willing to ignore an Imperial planet getting blown up, then he still doesn’t have to acknowledge he’s the bad guy to save Luke; getting rid of a decrepit old leader to inspire a younger, more powerful one through a Heroic Sacrifice that will make him see the Empire in a new light and believe he owes Vader (which is exactly what happened in an earlier draft of the script) is probably about as justifiable by Imperial dogma as plotting against the guy the whole fucking Empire revolves around. Or he can just tell himself “I can be selfish and act against the Empire just this once. It’s not like Palpatine has contingencies to destroy the galaxy in the event of his death, or that the Empire is staffed by incompetent buffoons that will ensure its demise once Palpatine’s gone, no matter how much it will still outnumber the Rebellion.” At the end of the day, this is a fairy tale in space, and fairy tales play to emotion, culture, and archetypes, not logic, so in his haste to avert the Downer Ending of a son having to kill his father and validate western optimism and admiration for Vader, Lucas probably just forgot that there’s a difference between having a redeeming quality and actually being redeemed (in the same way that scene treats it like Luke will not just turn evil, but loyal to Palpatine if he attacks Palpatine or Vader while angry). And then with the prequels, foreshadowed Anakin’s fall and explained how the Empire came about a little too well, thus creating an inconsistent character who redeems himself out of nowhere (similar to how the “Martha” bit in [2] makes little sense.)
  • Since you brought up [3], I daresay that the Headscratcher page for that adequately litigated the “Martha issue” and showed how it came out as logical in the wash.
  • It’s not really inconsistent. Basically Vader's painfully aware that he destroyed his own life but thinks he can't ever change so he just rolls with it. He suppresses his self loathing behind justifications; finding out Luke was alive and fighting him brought them to the fore, and Luke choosing possible death over joining him just rattled him even more. The Vader in ROTJ is one who can't lie to himself anymore. When Sidious was torturing Luke Vader had something he hadn't had in years; the chance to make things right (notice how the situation is almost identical to the Mace Windu death scene). The other option was to just stand by and do nothing, and maintain his delusions. When Vader moved to save Luke he did the morally difficult thing (risking his own life to undo his mistake rather than just stand back, avoid death and continue to pretend that oh there's nothing I can do.) THAT act was so selfless it reawakened the good that he had long buried and allowed him to throw off the Dark Side's hold (the Dark Side is like a drug that influences you... but only if you allow it to.)
  • That is one interpretation of his character arc, (one that I'll dispute if I'm asked. That was the first time it occurred to him he could kill Palpatine/risk his life for anything? No. He suggested the idea to Luke in the previous movie), but again; it is far from the agreed upon one in the fandom; it depends on a variety of contentious interpretations as to how the Dark Side works, if Anakin/Vader's personal and political convictions, what events did and didn't impact him, etc.
  • It’s redundant for you to invoke the idea of him killing Palpatine/risking his own life for anything in the movie before, because that would be in service of the Dark Side and the Rule of Two (killing, or attempting to kill, one’s master to take their place) and furtherance of the Empire, in stark opposition to doing it in selfless service of someone he loved.
  • We don't need to invoke split personalities to explain this. He's faced with Luke, yet another loved one who's going to die if Vader doesn't do something about it. This is what causes him to snap. He decides that he is not going to fail to protect Luke the same way he failed to protect Shmi. He is not going to contribute to Luke's death the same way he contributed to Padmé's death. If the man he calls "Master" is murdering Luke, then obviously the man does not deserve to be his Master. Luke's suffering likewise reawakens his long-dormant sense of compassion. This quickly causes Vader to re-evaluate his entire life. He recognises how much Palpatine and the Dark Side have twisted him for evil purposes. He realises that the power he obsessively sought after Shmi's death didn't protect future loved ones but rather put them in danger; Luke is only here because Vader helped Palpatine come to power in the first place! He also rejects his previous excuse of "It is too late for me" when he discovers that he actually does have a conscience after all. He realises that Shmi and Padmé would both insist on saving Luke's life if they were here. Not just that, but obviously they'd want him to care about people in general just as he used to care about people in general when he was young. So he rejects not only the murder of Luke but also everything the Emperor stands for. He rejects callousness, tyranny and cruelty. He rejects self-serving excuses. He gives his own life to make the world a better place. That is what gets him into Jedi Heaven.
  • A trope not thought all the way through seems a lot easier to buy than all this speculation and conjecture of decisions he made in a few seconds. All the audience sees is him turn on his master when Palpatine's torturing his son to death in front of him; makes sense at face value, but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Novelisations and other works that allow us to see his thoughts often roll with the split personality angle, albeit only implicitly. But while we're on the topic, A. he had no loyalty to Palpatine, but is implied to believe in the Empire. B. without the magic of the Light and Dark Side, why would saving your own son reawaken compassion for everyone? These films themselves show that selfishness vs selflessness is not an all or nothing game, nor does loving someone mean you listen to them or care what they think. C. Why would Luke's near death offer more revelation than Padmé's actual one?
  • A. He calls Palpatine "Master". He floated the idea of overthrowing him in ESB but you could take that as a lie intended to get Luke to join him. (I haven't read the EU so I don't know what his actual thinking was). Even if he was rebellious at that stage, he clearly had a subservient relationship before and after. ("I must obey my Master".) B. No one is claiming some universal law by which everyone who has compassion for their kin necessarily has compassion for the rest of the universe. It's just that sometimes learning compassion for one person inspires compassion for other people also, and this is one of those cases. The film never implied that this is an automatic thing that happens in every case, and as far as I recall neither did anyone in this comment thread. We're just describing what happened in Vader's case specifically, going by the onscreen evidence that he saved Luke and later showed up as a Force Ghost apparently hanging out in Jedi Heaven. C. Because he's had twenty years to think about it. There are plenty of real-life cases where a person has an experience and then years later they have a similar experience, but the second time around they have a very different reaction from the first time. That's not some big mystery; it's human nature. Sometimes people change. Darth Vader has evidently changed. That's the story. You can also make a case that the real difference is who is doing the killing. When Vader kills Padmé (or is led to believe that he killed her), he blames himself for not having enough self control. He rededicates himself to Palpatine's teachings so he can learn self control. But Luke is a different case; he's getting killed by Palpatine directly. Vader can't logically blame himself for not being strong enough (as in Shmi's case) or not being disciplined enough (as in Padmé's case); it's super obvious that Palpatine is the bad guy and the source of all problems here. It's highly plausible that this leads Vader to a revelation in which he realises that Palpatine has always been evil and following the Dark Side has always led to horrible outcomes, so Vader rebels against everything Palpatine stands for (as I said earlier) and that is ultimately what redeems him. I admit that the movie doesn't officially tell us all this in great detail, but these are at least plausible explanations of what we see onscreen.
  • A. By that point in time, in both Legends and Canon, he was only subservient to Palpatine (whom he hated) out of Pragmatic Villainy, and wasn't lying. B. Part about it being a reaction exclusive to one man? Fair enough, except seems rather unlikely that Vader would be that man, not (just) because he's so villainous, but because he was a proper Jedi once who knew what altruism and compassion were and is strongly implied to already believe he's acting for the greater good of the galaxy. C. Setting aside how no such self-reflection happened during the interim years according to previous posters and the EU, the point of a character arc is to show the events that logically lead to a character changing, which Star Wars usually has a pretty firm grasp on. We're entering matters of conjecture and opinion, but Padmé's death should been more eye-opening because it was him doing the killing; Palpatine is a different man who’s making the choice to torture Luke to death (instead of killing him quickly, imprisoning him, or trying a different approach to turning him), something Vader would not do despite also following the Dark Side, proving Vader can be a Sith and still feel love (which brings us full circle).
  • I’ll say something else- you seem to feel that the fact that there’s varying opinions as to the exact nature of Vader’s Heel–Face Turn (and other aspects of the Star Wars story) is a problem. Others do not. Many works allow for differing interpretations of their stories, characters, settings, etc. I would argue that’s the entire point we have pages such as Headscratchers to begin with.

     If Darth Vader Was Alive 
  • Not sure this counts as a Headscratcher, but I've always wondered: what would happen if Darth Vader survived? Would the rest of the Rebels believe he was really redeemed? Or would they just have him executed anyway?
    • This scenario was used in the "Infinities" comic books, and apparently they'd just give his life support suit a new paint job and invite him into the party.
    • They could just sentence him to life in prison. He'd probably want them to punish him in some form.
    • This answer makes more sense. It seems unlikely the galaxy would respond to his mass murder, torture, terrorism, kidnapping, accessory to genocide, and so on by just saying "Aw, you're a good guy now, no biggie."

     Lightsaber colour 
  • Why is Luke's new lightsaber green instead of blue? Does he just like green better?
    • Doylist: they wanted a different colour than blue so it would stand out better against the blue sky during the Sarlaac battle. Watsonian: a kyber crystal (which powers the lightsaber) bond with the Force sensitive who initially takes them, and this gets reflected in their colour, but the Force user can't choose which colour they get (with canonical exception of red and white blades, which come from Sith injecting their hate into Jedi blades, and Jedi purifying Sith blades, respectively.) And once it's bonded with it's initial user, it's set, so another user who would get a different colour with a crystal they bond with initially won't change the colour of the blade. We still don't know the full story in canon of how Luke got the kyber crystal for his new lightsaber, so it's possible he found one of the few crystals left after Order 66 that just happened to be green (a popular theory was that it was Qui-Gon's, that Obi-Wan kept with him on his hut on Tatooine), or it could be that green is the colour Luke naturally creates when bonding with a crystal (his blue one was originally bonded with Anakin, who had a very different personality).
    • Word of God is also that they wanted audiences to be able to tell, at a glance, that it wasn't the same one he lost in the previous film and thus be confused, and it's symbolic of Luke becoming a Jedi in his own right and emerging from his father's shadow.

     Was Luke even willing to pay for Han? 
  • How would Luke pony up the money to buy Han back from Jabba? Neither he nor Chewbacca are rich; Leia is a Princess, but probably lost all her inheritance when the Death Star blew up her planet; Lando doesn't earn money since the Empire took over Bespin and the Rebellion would probably not pay for a mere captain who doesn't even have aristocratic blood. Had Jabba taken up Luke's offer, was Luke planning to short-change him?
    • Leia was still able to give Han his promised reward after he rescued her from the Death Star in ANH, which was also after Alderaan was gone, so she either had money in accounts off Alderaan that the Empire couldn't freeze, or she has enough pull with the Rebellion to be able to dip into their funds occasionally, at least when it comes to saving a man who, while technically a captain, was vital to their most important victory yet and had saved Leia's life numerous times.

     Leia Bleeding 
  • When Han touches Leia's blaster wound, there is blood on his hand when he pulls it away. It's been established that blaster wounds cauterise immediately. Either this is a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, Rule of Drama, or, most plausibly, Han cut his fingers trying to hotwire the door.
    • She wasn’t hit by the blaster bolt directly, but the shrapnel from the part of the structure where the bolt did hit caused the bleeding.

     Endor's Gravity 
  • I thought I read somewhere that either Word of God or some source book said that the forest moon of Endor had a lot less than standard gravity to explain how things like Ewok hang gliders worked. Does anyone know the source for this? I want to mention it on the All Gravity Is the Same page but don't like doing that without a source.
    • Star Wars: Complete Locations is such a source, according to Wookiepedia’s article on the moon.

     Obi-Wan sitting on a log 
  • Why does the ghost of Obi-Wan sit on a log when talking to Luke? For one thing, why would he get tired and need to sit if he's a ghost? For another, how can a ghost sit on something if he's intangible?
    • Maybe he isn't actually sitting, but floating on a sitting position? Maybe he has some sort of reflex to sit since he was alive even if he doesn't need it?
    • This was also answered in an earlier folder.

     Why is Luke ok with blowing up the sail barge? 
  • Ok, most of the people on it were Jabba's minions, but we also know Jabba had some slaves with him. Why is Luke, The Hero, ok with blowing up innocent people?
    • There's nothing to indicate that everyone from the palace came on the sail barge trip; presumably somebody has to stay behind and sweep the floor or whatever. So I like to imagine that Lando secretly arranged for all the slaves to be left behind when they went out on the sail barge, because he expected it would come to a fight and he didn't want any innocents to get hurt. I also like to imagine that he mentioned this to Luke during the fight, so Luke knew that blowing up the barge wouldn't hurt any innocent people.

     Piett running shield security 
  • At the beginning of the film, Vader's shuttle is approaching the Death Star and it appears that shield security is handled by a station on board the Death Star itself. Later however, as Tydirium is flying in, shield security seems to be handled by Admiral Piett on board the Executor. Presumably the Executor is not permanently stationed at Endor, and doesn't an admiral have better things to do? Why the change?
    • In the first case, Vader was landing on the Death Star itself, so the crew there handled his request. In the latter case, the ship noticed them first and requested confirmation on their mission (which was this time headed to Endor). As for Piett, it's possible that he was near the comms when the shuttle arrived and he thought the unexpected arrival was odd.

    Imperials helping Vader at the end 
  • Remember the famous "unmasking" scene where Luke and a dying Vader are talking? In the background, Vader's troops are evacuating. Why didn't the troops help their dying master/leader? You mean to tell me they didn't notice Darth Vader dying on the floor?
    • It turns out crushing the spines of your underlings whenever they fail you isn't a useful technique for winning the loyalty of said underlings. Who knew?
    • That, or when they saw Luke dragging the dying Vader toward a shuttle, they thought "Holy shit! That guy managed to somehow kill Lord Vader! Screw that, I'm getting as far away from him as possible. I don't want to give him any reason to kill me either!"
    • Also, "evacuating". As in, running for their lives in panic as the world is exploding around them. Not the best conditions to start playing hero.
    • Additionally, they probably didn't even see Luke dragging Vader to the ship and if they did, they likely assumed he was some brave Imperial cadet dragging their Dark Lord to safety.
    • On a more out-of-universe example, it would have been really awkward and inappropriate to have a random Imperial officer/soldier intervene with Luke in what was otherwise supposed to be a touching moment between the dying Anakin Skywalker and his son.

    Leia's and Lando's bounty hunters identities 
  • Were Leia's and Lando's bounty hunter identities made up by the rebels or did they steal the identities of bounty hunters?
    • Leia's disguise Boushh was an actual bounty hunter.