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Lightsaber cross guard
- About the new weapon, is it me or, should a Jedi slid down her lightsaber toward the Sith's hand, it would not actually meet the part of the guard that is made of hard light?
- Isn't that similar to the usual criticism Jedi duels usually have? With being an Absurdly Sharp Blade and all, why in duels they don't switch off the saber, then turn them on again a millisecond later and blam, the duel is finished? Regarding your question, I read that they appeared in the comics, and they're more or less Rule of Cool.
- In the (now Legends) EU, that kind of trick was an actual lightsaber combat technique, rarely used because it required split-second timing and incredible reflexes, even for trained Jedi.
- The problem with that is their enemy's lightsaber would also slip past theirs.
- Apparently it's an older and more archaic weapon. Presumably they realized it was Awesome, but Impractical relatively quickly, so not many of those were made or used.
- Is it (wait for it...) an elegant weapon for a more civilized age?
- There are metals that can repel a lightsaber's blade; the electrostaffs used in Revenge of the Sith as an example that has not been rendered non-canon. Perhaps the cross guard's "hilt" is encased in said metal.
- Stephen Colbert has addressed these concerns: his theory is that the two smaller beams are actually connected to the main beam and the metal shafts are just there to focus them, therefore if another lightsaber hit that part it would still be hitting beam and not just bits of metal that could be sliced through.
- Wouldn't a cross guard made of lightsaber plasma be impractical for its wielder? It would seem impossible for a user of the cross-saber to perform any of the fancy tricks seen in past lightsaber battles without cutting his/her head or hands off with the cross guard. And if you are cornered, lightsaber pointed out, your opponent could simply push your own saber, with its added cutting surface,towards you for an easy death.
- You might be able to just turn it, then.
- I think this video shows best that the cross guard is not nearly as hazardous as it looks.
- Even if the cross guard beams are part of the blade, striking the metal part would still send molten metal flying, putting the wielder at risk of injury.
- Stephen Colbert actually explained that since the two side beams are still part of the blade, striking the metal casing wouldn't really do much since the beam won't be cut along with the metal. Colbert can explain it in detail here.
- The Visual Dictionary explains that the focusing crystal in Ren's saber is cracked (supposedly it's intentional?) which causes the ragged and unstable look of his blade. The vents that the cross guard come out of are to vent the excess energy from the unstable blade.
- If you look closely in the film, you can see that the metal "prongs" from which the cross guard blades extend are not fully cylindrical, they're open at the top. Showing that they're not actually important emitters for the cross guard blades, so those bits getting cut wouldn't do much (and that the cross guard blades are, indeed, part of the main blade.)
- You can't slide two lightsaber blades against each other. You can pivot them, or pull them apart, but you can't slide them, since their made of plasma, which means they are both magnetic and amorphous, causing them to stick. That, and the Colbert explanation (which is also correct) mean that the metal part of the cross guard is a simultaneously small and irrelevant target (you have to aim right there, and all you'll do is cut a bit of metal before you hit plasma). Watch the fights. They never once slide the blades against each other, just hit, maybe pivot (like when Anakin killed Dooku), or break apart.
- The cross guard gives the wielder an extra weapon in a blade lock, as demonstrated by Ren burning Finn's shoulder, and would also help protect against having one's hand cut off, which does seem to happen, but it does have one drawback. It means that Ren cannot maneuver the lightsaber as quickly or smoothly close to his torso. It is part of why Ren has to use such arcing slashes and creates a defensive weakness if an opponent is inside the ideal strike radius of the lightsaber but not close enough to grapple. All of Ren's wounds come when his opponent is within that area.
- This. I also recall Ewan McGregor criticizing Ren's lightsaber for the cross guard since it limits mobility on the hand, especially when twirling the blade itself, which is kinda essential to defense. Unless Ren can refine the design, or he decides to go all Dante and use his sword like Rebellion, guy's gonna have to settle for a normal blade.
- Kylo's fighting style is wild and brutal, using wide swings and smashing strikes, and in addition several times when he crosses sabers with a hero, the hero's saber gets blown back, as if the blade itself pulses and pushes the other lightsaber away. Chances are Kylo's studying from Dante's school of swordplay and fighting like he's using a claymore instead of a katana/rapier hybrid of the prequel trilogy. It fits that his lightsaber is also vaguely built like a claymore, too, with a long blade and a cross guard.
- He's about one step away from taking two blaster and calling them Ebony and Ivory.
Why only send Finn, Han, and Chewie on Starkiller base
- Why did the resistance only send those 3 Starkiller base, and not send like a commando squad with them so while the 3 of them are disabling the shield they could setting up the explosives in thermal oscillator?
- If I recall correctly, it was mostly Finn's plan that got them to Starkiller Base, when he led people to believe he knew how to deactivate its shields. He later admits that he's primarily there to rescue Rey and doesn't actually have a pre-thought-out plan, so it's possible he rejected the prospect of bringing along more forces just in case something in his not-plan went wrong.
The Force "awakens"
- According to the original film, the Force is "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together." So how can it "awaken"? It's always active.
- Apparently it'll make reference to the fact that Luke won't be the last Jedi alive anymore.
- And yet according to Episode 1, the degree to which someone is force-sensitive is dictated by the level of midicholorians in their body, as dubious a concept that is to latch onto. The Empire wiped out the vast majority of force-sensitive individuals, meaning that it was dormant. So now it's waking back up. It could mean more in terms of the overall plot - the Rebel Alliance is typically invoking the Force with their motto, so perhaps this film starts to reflect a turn of the tide. We don't know how quickly the Empire crumbled here, after all, if the Rebels formed the New Republic, and so on.
- Force sensitives are the ones who "awaken" their powers when they tap into the Force, not the other way around.
- As all we have to go on so far is a short sentence that seems to be more poetic than literal so we don't know, but I'd guess while the force has continued to exist it has also been confirmed to guide individuals to whatever ends it wishes so perhaps the Force has been quiet and ignored people for decades but now decides to start influencing the destiny of the Galaxy more actively.
- MAD Magazine once had a theory that the Force once had a human form (which was Luke's true father, but that's another story). And there were a lot of theories in that article that ended up being true. (The involvement of clones, Boba Fett's dad appearing, etc.)
- Well, one of the animated series did give the Force not one but three physical, humanoid embodiments but somehow I don't think that'll be considered canon. I imagine the awakening in question will be rather metaphorical.
- The Ones ARE considered canon, but since they're dead, I doubt they will have any real effect on the story.
- It's possible the Force both empowers users, and is embodied by them. That it's ability to flow and do it's thing requires Force sensitives to be connected to it. As a result the almost total destruction of Force users in the galaxy basically rendered it voiceless and dormant.
- Since the movie is out, it's entirely possible that the title referred to Rey, as she is Force sensitive, but the Force wasn't exactly awake for her, only using the force intentionally by the third act.
- Poetic license. Easier to say than "Star Wars: The Force Which As We All Know Is Simply A Cosmic Energy Source Was Attracted To Rey Because Her Dad Is Totes Luke Skywalker And Jedis Have The Polarity Of Their Neutron Flow Reversed So They Are Like Force Lightning Rods".
- J.J. Abrams actually explains the meaning. According to him, the Force went "dormant" after Kylo Ren destroyed Luke's attempt to reform the Jedi Order. However, the Force began to "awaken" again when a new wave of Force sensitives like Rey have begun to appear.
- This one can be explained in another way other than poetic license. The Force is treated as a living thing (it guides the actions of light side users). Maybe after the battle that destroyed the proto-Jedi Order and sent Luke into hiding The Force itself woke up and decided that the galaxy needed more Force sensitives and set about "awakening" more of them? I mean, if we assume Luke found the remaining sensitives to train (and they subsequently were killed off) That would leave Luke, the Knights of Ren and the Supreme Leader the remaining active force users in the Galaxy (IE People actively engaged in galactic affairs). And with Luke in hiding and no longer intending to return to the galaxy at large, that's a total of eight active users.
- This. It's not that the Force itself "awakens"; it's that it awakens more people to its existence, evidently starting with Rey.
- In the wake of Rise of Skywalker, the Force "awakening" makes metaphorical sense after all (heavy spoilers): Rey had always been heir to a strong Force potential, being Palpatine's long-hidden granddaughter. But she didn't actually begin to experience her own potential until she'd met Finn, who was another latent Force-gifted individual. Meeting other Force-users or potential Force-users, in retrospect, seems like one of the best ways to rouse a latent Force-sensitive person's abilities; in Rey's case, her awakened Force ability was simply strong enough to give the Light Side a new agent by which to challenge the Dark.
Anakin's Force Ghost, or lack thereof
- In the second trailer, it seems the villain Kylo Ren is a fan of Vader. Why doesn't Anakin's ghost set him straight?
- Maybe Force Ghosts are only able to appear before Light side Jedi. I'm sure there's a bunch of E.U stories that contradict that, but since that's all no longer canon, anything is fair game.
- The official line in the Star Wars Legends stories is that a dead Force user's ability to manifest in the living world fades with time. In The Thrawn Trilogy, nine years after his death, Obi-Wan had only enough energy left to appear in Luke's dreams and for a final voice-only piece of advice. The Truce at Bakura shows that Anakin himself was already at the "able to appear in dreams only" stage only a few weeks after dying, though he was able to get a couple of words out two decades later in the last book of the New Jedi Order series.
- An interesting answer, but attention should be drawn to Yoda's description of becoming a Force Ghost in Episode 3. "An old friend has learned the path to immortality." Going on that quote, it seems that being a Force Ghost can last forever.
- Perhaps Anakin did try to set Kylo Ren straight but Kylo Ren dismiss him as a Jedi trick, claiming that Darth Vader was a true Sith who perished trying to defend the Emperor from Luke Skywalker, and not a fallen Jedi Knight who made a horrible decision named Anakin Skywalker. It might lead to an interesting role reversal if Luke decides to unveil the truth to Kylo (if he hadn't already). I could picture it now:Luke Skywalker: Supreme Leader Snoke never told you who Darth Vader really was.
Kylo Ren: He told me enough! I know everything about Vader, including the fact that you killed him to avenge your father!
Luke Skywalker: No Kylo, that's simply not true. For my father was Darth Vader. And he turned away from the Dark Side.
- It's unclear how much the general public knows about Vader's life and death. They may not know that Anakin and Vader are one in the same and they might not know that Vader turned away from the Dark Side in his final moments. Even if Kylo did meet Anakin's ghost, he would have no reason to believe that it's really Vader.
- Now that much of the Legends rules about Force Ghosts has been retconned, and the Force is apparently awakening after a decades-long slumber Force Ghosts might not be able to manifest at all, or at least not in a way that allows them to interact with the living.
- Force Ghosts have only ever appeared to those with strong connections to them, normally family or students. Darth Vader never met Kylo Ren as he died before Ren was born, so he would have no reason to even be aware of his existence.
- The obvious answer is that Sebastian Shaw is dead and Hayden Christensen would get booed offscreen.
- Then why not use Matt Lanter (The voice of Anakin in the clone wars)?
- In the official concept art book, there's a page with a proposed image for what ghost Anakin might look like, using Hayden as a basis, but instead of just being Anakin, it's sort of half Anakin, half Vader, indicating that while he turned good, he may not have quite made it all the way back to the light side. No idea if this concept may show up in later movies, but perhaps it's possible that while the spirit of Anakin has been communing with Luke, maybe it's the spirit of Vader who's been appearing to Kylo. Perhaps instead of being Loony Fan, it's possible that Vader might be haunting him as revenge against Luke.
- It definitely makes some sense to have Anakin and Darth Vader as two separate Force Ghosts, or to have the Force Ghost alternate personalities. The nature of the Force, being 'influencing action, but also obeying commands' as Obi-Wan phrases it to Luke could cause a definite division. The novelization of Revenge of the Sith discusses the fact that, after his fall, Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are different people in all but fact, confirming Obi-Wan's view on the matter. It is something that they could definitely explore, that while Anakin/Vader, the physical person, was redeemed at the very end of his life, the powerful impression he made on the Force, and his strong and long emersion into the Dark Side on his spirit wouldn't just go away, especially dying so shortly after.
- Maybe Anakin's force ghost was there, in a sense, and he's the reason that Rey learned how to use the Force so quickly. He's been dead for some time. Maybe explaining the intricacies of the Dark Side is a bit harder than giving someone some pointers on how to Mind Trick a Stormtrooper.
- There was at least one case in the Legends Universe of Force Ghosts of Vader and the Emperor appearing to Anakin Solo, attempting to tempt him to the Dark Side. So, maybe Force Ghosts can be manifested by either side if a Force User changed alliances.
- Kylo says that he feels the "pull toward the light." It's possible that Anakin is causing that.
- Who ever said Anakin would want to remain a Force Ghost for long? The love of his life has been all-the-way-dead for decades. It's entirely plausible that he only appeared on Endor that one brief time to check that his kids were happy, then let himself fade away permanently in hope of being reunited with Padme.
- Just what was the weapon those Stormtroopers were using that could block a lightsaber?
- I seem to recall Grievous' guards having them in Revenge of the Sith.
- It is called an Electrostaff and it is indeed used by General Grievous' Magna Guards.
- In a sense it's kind of Crazy-Prepared of them. They have tools to deal with lightsabers at a time where all knowledge of how to make one is very exclusive at best (although it could just be a stun weapon that happened to be on the field at a good time as well).
- The Visual Dictionary explains that it's called a Z6 Riot Control Baton; it was designed specially for suppressing riots on First Order-controlled planets. It would make sense that some Stormtroopers would have brought them to Maz Kanata's planet, in anticipation of a revolt from the pirates at Maz's outpost. The end of the baton is made of "collapsible conductor contact vanes"; they seem to be able to conduct electricity that can counteract lightsabers (although the dictionary doesn't explicitly say this).
- I'd say it's probably just riot gear, and the "interacting with plasma" bit is a coincidence that the trooper took advantage of (they should be pretty well-versed in weaponry, after all, and pretty much all of the setting's weapons use plasma).
- Why would they have riot batons when they (should) have stunner guns? For that matter, does anyone see Stormtroopers (or the First Order in general) as humane and democratic enough that they would not use their default lethal weapons against rioters?
- It's not elaborated upon in the movie, but the First Order was treading carefully in politics. Killing rioters willy-nilly might have drawn some unwanted attention from the New Republic. Granted, right before the battle on Takodana they performed an act of war, but the baton would still be in the arsenal. And not to mention, Kylo Ren is searching for any leads to the map, so a non-lethal shock baton would come in handy - just look at the information he got from Poe. Seeing as this battle was much larger than the initial raid on Jakku, Kylo Ren would have a much lower chance of being in the immediate area to put an enemy in stasis, you'd want the non-lethal option to be more available. It's true, they did kill tons of the pirates on sight, but notice they tried to capture Han, Chewie, and Finn.
- Still doesn't explain the necessity of batons when stun guns should be available. "but notice they tried to capture Han, Chewie, and Finn" - uhuh, Plot Armor as it is.
- Weapons set to stun have never been used reliably in any of the movies. The only time they're actually used is the first movie, and the EU tries to explain why: stun blasts are a pain to aim. They wobble all over the place and are not guaranteed effective. The troopers used one on Leia because 1) they absolutely had to take her alive and 2) she was in a closed-in corridor where aiming was less of a problem and 3) she was not a particularly hardy combatant so the stun was likely to work.
What Is The First Order? Why is There a Resistance Against them?
- Pretty simple questions, who are the First Order and how did they amass so much power and resources that they one upped the Death Star, in spite of being implied to be The Remnant of the galactic empire? And why is the situation for the New Republic so desperate they're reduced to sponsoring a resistance movement rather than using their actual military against the First Order? It seems like the whole political situation of the new continuity is very underdeveloped. By the way, if there's any kind of All There in the Manual explanation of this whole thing I'll gladly read it.
- It will almost certainly get one later, but from what we see in the film it appears that the First Order has taken over the remains of the former Empire and appears to have some sort of peace or non-aggression treaty with the New Republic. The resistance is objecting to the First Order's rule and though they don't profess any links with the New Republic it's pretty obvious to everyone involved that the Resistance is receiving a large amount of it's funding and equipment from them. This is why they attack the New Republic's fleets, kind of a Pearl Harbor first strike against an enemy they know is just biding their time.
- It's All There in the Manual in the form of the tie-in books that bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Basically, the Republic decisively defeats the Empire, now dubbed the Remnant. The Remnant surrenders to the Republic, with the Remnant forced to disarm and the Republic deciding to decommission the majority of its fleet to focus on rebuilding. Afterwards, the Republic and the Remnant transition into a Cold War-style conflict, with the First Order being a particularly fanatical sect of the Remnant. Due to the Republic wanting to maintain peace with the Remnant, it's reluctant to take any direct action against the First Order, which is why they use the Resistance as a proxy force.
- I'm confused. If the Republic decisively defeated the Remnant, why does the Remnant still exist? Why didn't the Republic absorb the Remnant's territory and wealth, thus re-establishing the galaxy-wide domain of the original Republic? And if the Remnant was allowed to exist for some reason, how was it able to re-arm after the Republic forcibly disarmed it? Did the republic simply not notice that the Remnant was building a friggin' Starkiller? Or if they did notice, why didn't they intervene before the weapon was complete? If they had simply disarmed the Remnant and kept it disarmed, then they wouldn't need to worry about keeping peace (since the Republic would easily beat the Remnant in any rematch). The only way this works is if the Republic didn't "decisively defeat" the Remnant, but rather the two sides fought to a draw and eventually they called a truce.
- The Visual Dictionary briefly touches on how the First Order gets weapons. Apparently, in order to circumvent the treaty restrictions against selling weapons to the First Order, two weapons industries jointly spun off a subsidiary company called Sonn-Blas Corporation that now "operates within First Order space." This company manufactures all of the weapons and other defense technology the First Order uses. Still unclear how the New Republic avoided noticing that they were amassing a huge army, lots of weaponry, a fleet of starships and a planet that destroys entire systems, though.
- If they fought to a draw the Remnant wouldn't have disarmed. The Republic won, but occupying and pacifying Remnant worlds was obviously not practical. Likely they just wanted the war over with, so they could focus on rebuilding. And they are doing something about the Remnant rearming, it's called the Resistance. Being a republic, justifying a war effort against someone who's not presently attacking you is a difficult process, and supporting other forces to do the job for you is a time honored tactic in those situations. (See America in WW2.)
- It's pretty fair for the Republic to justify retaking any Remnant controlled territories, considering that they were held by the original Republic. It would be like the Union allowing the Confederacy a continued existence as a rump state after the US Civil War because they weren't posing an immediate threat.
- Even with the knowledge the resistance is pretty specifically engaged in a partisan war with the imperial remnant, and that the First Order is essentially set up in regions of space that were previously undocumented in a sort of Werewolf/Stay Behind mission. But still, how did they make Starkiller? It's one thing to set up an effective army and navy by using the resources available in a relative safe haven. It's another thing to assume they could build something like Starkiller without leaving the relative secrecy which normally protects them.
- Indeed. A Galactic Empire built the Death Star. The Emperor had literally all the wealth in the universe at his disposal. Where did the Order get the money?
- If I'm allowed to WMG, they probably organized themselves in the first couple years of the New Republic's rise and laid plans to strike back at that time. During the conversion phase to the New Republic, Imperial currency was probably still accepted at enough places to finance their operation (or at least turn it self-sustaining) and they simply annexed as much Imperial military hardware as they could get to their sites beyond that (since they were regarded as a non-threat by the New Republic, their activities probably weren't being monitored carefully enough for the Republic to see they had amassed a dangerous amount of firepower from the old regime). By the time the 30 years have passed that comprise the Time Skip between VI and VII, they're now a superpower in waiting, having built the remainder of what they need to be a threat in-house.
- Also, "decommissioned the majority of its fleet"? Why? The original Republic at least had an excuse of having the Jedi to protect them and leaving in peace for thousands of years (or even generations), and even that proved to be a disastrously shortsighted policy. This new Republic should really know better.
- The background suggests they didn't want to leave the impression to the galaxy that they're replacing the Empire with another empire with just a nicer name with their military strength hanging around. But seeing that it is mentioned that they do have at least a fleet does imply they're at least smart enough to be ready for a crisis barring planet destroying weapons.
- To be fair, it's implied that the Republic would still curb stomp the First Order in an actual fleet engagement, even with most of their navy decommissioned. They simply weren't ready for Super-weapons (though to be honest, they should have been).
- Well the Republic probably assumed (not unreasonably) that the First Order didn't have enough resources to build any super-weapons, or that they would notice the construction of such a super-weapon if they did have the capability. And to be fair, it had been thirty years since the appearance of the last super-weapon, so they might have become a bit complacent.
- The Visual Dictionary also explains that the First Order has secretly been making alliances with rogue Imperial fleets that have been hiding in fringe territories and beyond the edge of the known galaxy. Even at the height of its power, the Empire could never fully exert control over the Outer Rim, and there's no reason to think the New Republic would be any more successful.
- Perhaps it's much like Germany re-arming in the 30s. They weren't supposed to do it, but stopping them would have basically meant having another war, which many with memories of the previous one were, understandably, reluctant to start.
- After Kylo Ren, a well known agent of the First Order, kills almost the entirety of the New Jedi Order, why didn't the New republic go to war for killing off the Jedi? This is the First Order attacking and committing genocide against one of their people and assets, and then they do NOTHING about it. Honestly, all the Writers excuses for why the republic is so weak is almost insulting to anyone with a brain.
- Well here is a thing the republic kind of start from scratch too. The Rebel won but that doesn't mean all will elect them as new leaders. For all we know they had to do a bunch of conflict and treaty of disarmament with the newly freed world some might even being taking over by gangsters who made their move after Jabba's death and the Empire crumbling (i.e Kanjiclub) so yes maybe their military is as bad as the First Order if not worse. And as for the Jedi massacre, given a bunch of forum commenting how bad it was to have the Jedi order being so close to the government maybe in this world they said screw Jedi/Sith conflict if they kill each other we aren't gonna go at war over it, people don't declare war if someone set fire to a church in real life too.
First Order membership
- Who is actually in the First Order? Are there entire systems pledging loyalty to the Order or is it just a hodgepodge of Imperial zealots who decided they needed to unite in order to reinstate the Empire through whatever means are at their disposal?
- Supposedly the Empire, and its remnants, staked out new territory in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy that were not part of either the Old Republic nor the (known) Empire. From these worlds, the First Order has been rebuilding their military, relying on the fact that they were largely undocumented even during the Empire to prevent anyone in the New Republic from realizing just how many resources they actually have at their disposal. Remember in The Empire Strikes Back how Admiral Ozzel made an offhand remark about how there are "so many uncharted settlements"? Well, apparently the Empire was both charting and colonizing quite a few such systems.
- Then who is resisting them? For there to be a "Resistance", it implies someone has been invaded and occupied, which presumably means the First Order is in control of charted, well-populated areas too.
- For that matter who would willingly join the First Order? The Empire almost spectacularly self destructed after the Battle Of Endor, this hints at a chronic level of disfunction within the Empire, and it would be more beneficial to NOT rejoin the empire. And the fact the First Order has to conscript children or babies to get enough soldiers is going to breed massive amounts of unrest against the First Order, since the Jedi doing the exact same thing was a major sticking point for the Confederacy against the Jedi Order. It make it all smell of plot convenience.
- My guess? Les Collaborateurs and everyone who had it good under the Empire, I doubt the Stormtroopers and officers still alive are fine with just an amnesty if they can't get a job and are potentially game for nazi hunt.
- My guess is that for some people, the Empire doesn't seem all that bad as compared to the Republic. After all, the dying days of the Old Republic are still within living memory (especially when you've got aliens who measure their lifespans in centuries). The Old Republic was weakening and corrupt, hence the large and influential Separatist Movement. Take, for instance, Tatooine. In the late Republic era, it's a lawless hellhole where slavery is still practiced and gangsters literally run the place. Money is no use and even the Queen of Naboo isn't safe. By the time of the Empire, sure, it's not a fun place, but at least there's a degree of law and order. While the Empire is undoubtedly evil, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of planets considered themselves better off. "So Alderaan got blown up? Well, who cares what happens to Alderaan? We're okay."
- Didn't Jabba still run the place during the Empire? Didn't he also still owned slaves? The Empire did nothing on Tatooine but add Stormtroopers on the cause of death list.
- Jabba was still around but he didn't run the planet. He bribed the local garrison commander to turn a blind eye to a lot of his stuff but he had to keep himself off the radar a bit, and as the garrison wad understrength it was still a smugglers haven but as was said there was some law and order. The Pod racing ban was enforced and when the Stormtroopers heard "there had been some trouble in here" in the cantina they were there within minutes. There's no evidence they knew a lightsaber had been used either as they sent only two guys and didn't mention it to the barman.
- You're both running with the idea that the Empire had an ongoing presence on Tatooine, imposing "a degree of law and order". But I had the impression that the Stormtroopers were only there because of the Death Star plans. The Tantive IV gets attacked in orbit, Leia sends the plans down to the planet (via R2D2) and Vader gives the order to "Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally, commander. There will be no one to stop us this time!". We see Stormtroopers investigating the escape pod landing site, and later we see Stormtroopers elsewhere. There's no mention of any pre-existing Imperial force out here, apart from the fact that there's someplace called "the Academy" which is apparently off-world. Nobody contacts the local Imperial governor and asks him to retrieve the Death Star plans, because there isn't any local Imperial governor. Vader gives the job to one of his subordinates. ("See to it personally, commander.") So when Stormtroopers set up a checkpoint in Mos Eisley, the locals don't see this as a standard Imperial thing that happens everyday. What they see is that the Empire has taken a temporary interest in the place, and nobody is much willing to put up a fight about it. The barkeep at the cantina doesn't inform the Stormtroopers because they're the usual police force around here; he informs them because (presumably) the Stormtroopers went around and bribed/threatened people into informing them of rebel activity in the area. Aguy with a lightsaber is presumably working with the rebels, since the Empire has murdered like a million Jedi at this point and one would assume that the remaining Jedi would like some revenge. That is why the barkeep tells the Stormtroopers about Obi-wan. I mean yeah, sure, in general maybe the Empire brought "a degree of law and order" to otherwise lawless places, but Tatooine isn't an example of that. Once ANH is over, the Empire abandons Tatooine. Luke returns to the planet in RoTJ and there's no hint of any Imperial presence there.
- One thing about Tatooine in the Republic era: it wasn't part of the Republic. The Republic didn't enforce order on the planet because it was part of a foreign nation. Did Tatooine change hands in the Imperial Era, or did the Empire pop in and enforce a blockade on a planet that didn't belong to them?
- In real life, there have been plenty of instances where a dictatorship has collapsed, but there are people who still get nostalgic for the old days of certainty.
- If Poe survived the TIE Fighter crash by ejecting his seat (probably very far) then how did his jacket ended just inside the TIE wreckage?
- He removed it before they took off.
- They are careful to show this. It's easy to miss on a first viewing, but noticeable afterward..
You can't put the shields back up?
- After Captain Phasma turns of the shields around the Starkiller Base off, why doesn't General Hux simply turn them on again instead of watching helplessly as the TIE fighters attack? Even if Phasma put the shields in some kind of a computer lockdown, you'd think the commander of the entire super-weapon would have the override codes to undo whatever she did?
- The shields were only there to keep the Resistance forces off of the planet. Once they were on the planet, turning the shield back on would have done nothing.
- The real mystery is how Phasma was able to disable the shields in the first place. You'd think that such a critical function would require several senior officers working in tandem, to prevent this very scenario from happening.
- An even bigger mystery: The stormtroopers are bred from birth to have no identity, no fear of death, and blind obedience. But threaten their captain, and she just gives it up?
- The Stormtroopers are indoctrinated (badly, since Finn was able to shake it off) from a young age, but the officers at a senior level are kinda idiots and losers. Which makes sense, all the Old Empire's A-list material was on Death Star 2 or on the Executor so the First Order is drawing on people either too young for the level of power they wield or who just were not good enough to rise above the pack in the first place. In keeping with that, Phasma is all mouth and showiness and little to no competence or backbone.
- Possibly it's a safety measure? Those kinds of shields have to draw crazy amounts of power, you want to be able to turn them off quickly in case there's an overload or something.
- You mean it draws more power than a weapon capable of destroying entire solar system? And the problem is the switch to turn off the shield should be in a control room, monitored by several people, not in a tiny room with a single person in it.
- To be fair, when the camera pans back out to Han, Chewie and Finn you can see a couple of Stormtroopers lying on the ground behind them. It does appear that the room was guarded by at least two Stormtroopers that the group was somehow able to take out while still maintaining control over Captain Phasma.
- First, the super-weapon part was directly powered from an external power source (a star), not an internal one that would need to be maintained perpetually in order to keep the shield up constantly, so a little apples and oranges. Also, when we saw the shield control room, the camera did pan over a few bodies. Yeah, it's weak, but I can kinda give it a bit of wiggle room.
- But the weapon draws the energy from the star. It needs something to pull in and harness all that energy stably. Whatever powers the star-sucking ability is probably a massive energy sink in itself (even if, theoretically, the base begins recycling some of the energy it draws in to continue drawing in the remaining energy, something has to start that process), going back around to the original point. If one were to guess, the super-weapon and the base itself is powered by the planet's core.
- Ships can't pass through it, remember? Presumably it's a two-way street; the shields need to be lowered for the First Order's vessels to depart, just like the shield around the second Death Star needed deactivation for their own ships to pass through in Return of the Jedi. Thus for convenience they need to be somewhat easily opened from the inside.
- If video games are any basis, dropping shields takes very little time but putting them back up occurs at the same rate as recharging them after they have been knocked down by weapons fire.
- That actually happened in Trench's debut episode in The Clone Wars.
Our planet will soon be wiped out, better just stand here!
- The Resistance leaders find out that their home base planet is the next target of the Starkiller Base... And they just stay there until the Starkiller is seconds away from firing at them. Why don't they evacuate from the planet?
- Caught that one myself as well. It's weird that nobody even mentions it, but thinking about it - they have something like 15 minutes (iirc) before the weapon will fire, there just wouldn't be time for such a large scale evacuation. It's basically "stop it firing in the first place or bust".
- Also, previous movies and Star Wars Rebels (which is canon) have established that it takes only a few minutes to get a starship ready and leave a planet. Even if they don't have the time to evacuate everyone, surely they should at least evacuate as many people as possible, including important leaders. It doesn't make any sense not to do so.
- If they did manage to evacuate, the loss of their base of operations (and the equipment in it) is going to make chances of a counterattack slim and they are at a point where the First Order is too dangerous to leave idle. Without the support of the Republic thanks to the attack from Starkiller Base, there is probably no way for the Resistance to recover if they leave their base to be destroyed. Much like the Battle of Yavin, they decided to go for an all or nothing chance to take it out, pooling everything they got if it meant a chance to destroy Starkiller Base.
- Considering the Starkiller Base could destroy entire solar systems, it's possible that they wouldn't have time to move out of range of the back blast from the planets' destruction even if they'd taken off.
- But Star Wars spaceships are capable of accelerating to faster-than-light speed almost instantaneously. So they could be in a totally different system long before theirs is destroyed. As for not wanting to abandon their base, why don't they just fly to a different system, wait until the moment Starkiller Base should fire at them, and if nothing happens, then the heroes have succeeded and they can immediately return to their base. And if their planet is destroyed, well, it's still better to have no base and be alive than to have lost both the base and their lives. They can still try to rebuild the Resistance somewhere else. Deliberately staying on the planet is just a pointless, needless sacrifice.
- But the issue here is that only the Resistance has the proper military resources to carry out an attack with their base and running away now would just a major setback that they just can't do. The Battle of Hoth ended with the Rebel leaders escaping but the loss of a major base pretty much placed them on the defensive until Endor...And that took months to build up a major fleet. Abandoning a base that has enough to carry a proper attack and coordination from leaders when there is a super weapon that destroys solar systems out there manned by men who have no hesitations to pull the trigger until all of their enemies are destroyed is a very dumb move. Rebuilding is just wasting precious time and they know it.
- But again, they don't have to run away permanently, just get far enough from the planet that its explosion won't affect them, and then wait to see whether the Resistance squad sent to Starkiller Base manages to disable it... And if it does, they can just return home, with their faster-than-light ships they can do that in an instant. But if the Resistance fighters fail to disable Starkiller, their two options are, A) to die with their planet, effectively ending the whole Resistance there and then, or B) escape and live, and at least have a chance (no matter how slim) of rebuilding the Resistance. Why would anyone in their right minds choose option A? As we have learned from Star Wars Rebels, the original Rebellion initially consisted of very small guerrilla cells, with only a handful of members and ships, and yet they eventually managed to take down the Empire (despite it being much more powerful than the First Order). Since Leia was part of the Rebellion, she knows this well. Would it really be characteristic of her to give up hope if the home base of the Resistance was destroyed, instead of choosing to live and postpone the fight for another day? And even if Leia has become suicidal in the intervening years, that doesn't explain why everyone else on the planet is so eager to die too.
- I got the impression that the officers stayed so they could act as Mission Control for the X-Wings, just as Leia and the others did at Yavin 4 Base years before. However, there is still the question of why didn't they just leave a skeleton crew at Mission Control and have everyone else evacuate.
- There's a chance that they were doing evacuations offscreen. Also, military evacuations typically aren't necessary, so it's likely that many (especially senior officers) said "Screw it, I might as well stay and risk death - if we fail, I won't have too much to live for anyway."
- But if some/most of the Resistance are evacuating offscreen, why would their senior officers stay on the planet? The Resistance would still need its leaders. People like Leia and Ackbar were part of a rebellion where small groups of fighters took down the entire Empire against impossible odds, so is this kind of defeatism really characteristic of them? Would they be really like "we lost this battle, might as well die" instead "we lost the battle, but we'll live on to fight another day"?
- Now that I think about it, where does it imply defeatism for the Resistance? This is more like defying ridiculous odds just because a window of opportunity is available which is always a thing about the rebellion. Both attacks on the Death Stars were insanely risky due to pooling their military leaders and fleet but they took it because of the fact they have the info needed that would make the attack worth it if done successfully. If Finn hadn't told them about Starkiller Base's weaknesses, then perhaps fleeing is a good option (though where is a good question since the First Order doesn't seem to care as long as they can keep shooting up Republic space). But the fact it does have weaknesses is something that they're willing to ride on devoting all their resources (from fighters to mission control) if it meant sparing many planets from being potentially shot at from a planet destroying weapon.
- Sure, they would want to devote all their resources, but at the Resistance home planet, all that means is having a working mission control. There's nothing more they can do there, so having anyone besides the people in mission control staying on the planet is not "giving it all we have", it's just Stupid Sacrifice. And I'm pretty sure Leia, Ackbar, C-3PO, R2-D2, and everyone else we see on the planet aren't all needed for mission control.
- You could pretty much make the same argument for the battle of Yavin then, as the majority of rebel leaders other than mission control didn't need to be there despite the fact the Death Star was aiming right for them. There are good point made but otherwise, they're not window dressing, and they have military experience. If you went by the logic of them doing nothing but Stupid Sacrifice, then you may as well say that every battle the rebels did is nothing but Stupid Sacrifice.
- Simple explanation. They don't evacuate because the Resistance operates deep within First Order Territory. Any attempted evacuation would be met by Star Destroyers waiting along the logical evacuation routes picking off the evacuation ships. Sure, they might break through the blockades and get free but what then? They can't arrange a meet up ahead of time because captured ships would give that away. It makes far more tactical sense to stand their ground (Particularly if they have defensive weaponry like the Ion Cannon seen on Hoth and then organize a concerted effort with the surviving/reactivated ships from the Republic to break out. Which seeing as Starkiller base shooting at them would likely be more then enough to galvanize the surviving Republic planets into a war effort.
- I don't recall the movie saying that the Rebel Base was located "deep within First Order territory"? Unless I'm mistaken, there was no mention of its location. Also, since hyperspace allows for faster-than-light travel, is there any reason why they would have built their base inside enemy territory?
- The movie doesn't specify one way or another, but I believe both the novel and the published screen play indicate that the Resistance Base is in First Order territory (or at least in territory they claim), although I thought what I had read about that was that it was on the border rather than 'deep within'. Also, while FTL travel is common, the exact mechanisms of that are vague with what is currently in canon, as are average or expected travel times between different locations. The most detailed are in The Clone Wars and Rebels, which both indicate that while it is possible to travel across the galaxy quickly, various hyperspace routes and other obstacles mean that one cannot simply jump in a ship and go from point A to point B in a perfect straight line.
- The big reason groups in Real Life commit acts of terror that target large civilian populations is to imply "the government won't save you". Here the First Order outright states that and has the means to reach out at touch the galaxy. There would have been no where to hide for the Resistance in a galaxy full of former imperials and planets full of people cowering in fear of Starkiller Base. Had the attack failed, all those imperials could have joined up with the First Order and many planets would have fallen in line because they would have seen the Resistance as weak.
- Yes, we get it, if the attack failed, it would've been bad. How is that an excuse to just lie down and die? Also, are you telling me, that the Resistance, that had enjoyed the full support of the Republic for 30 years, had one base, and no spare ones to retreat to?
Instant lightsaber expertise
- Before the climactic fight against Kylo Ren, Rey had never in her life used a lightsaber, and she'd only found out a couple of hours earlier that she can use the Force... But as soon as she grabs Luke's saber, she suddenly becomes a skilled enough fighter to stand against Kylo and win! Okay, Kylo was weakened by his wound, but he was still trained as a Jedi and had been using the Force and wielding a lightsaber for many years. Earlier in the movie we saw him stop a laser blast midair by using the Force. So how does a complete rookie like Rey beat him? Even Anakin and Luke weren't that prodigious when they first started.
- I'm sure we'll learn more later, but what's interesting to me is that even Finn, with no apparent special skills, was able to briefly hold his own.
- There is a common belief that a non-force user wielding a lightsaber would be too careless and chop their limbs off, though there have been exceptions in the EU.
- I'm almost certain Finn has some amount of natural force potential, and that he freaked out at killing civilians because he reacted to the wounding of the force. He's certainly not nearly as powerful as Rey, but he is extensively trained. Rey on the other hand is clearly very talented, and also noted to have experience in melee combat. Kylo Ren however is heavily wounded, has dragged himself quite a way while wounded and Snoke is likely far better a teacher of force powers than Lightsaber combat (I mean, look at the guy).
- Just expanding on the 'heavily wounded' part, Chewy hit him with a blaster that was shown to send stormtroopers flying a dozen feet in the air and Finn manages to tag him on his right arm/shoulder during the fight, which he clearly favors. Added to that, fights are exhausting. He has to stop and psyche himself up by smacking his wound even before he starts fighting Finn, and all of that is going to wear on him more with every second, plus while he's on the offensive a lot, that means he has to chase the others as he goes. Winning the fight was more a question of endurance than skill.
- Re Ren hitting his wound, I took this as trying to dark side himself up by focusing on his pain and other negative feelings.
- Kylo Ren's exhaustion is evident when he offers to train Rey. Ren is pouring with sweat and is ghastly pale, despite handily winning up to that point. The increased strength and coordination of Rey's attacks give him a look of visible surprise and knock him off balance, even before his leg wound. And this is after looking like he might fall down for a moment after defeating Ren. He is wounded twice in quick succession and tries to regain his advantage by grappling with Rey, but between his wounds, her Force/Anger fueled strength, and her previously seen grappling skill, he is unable to overpower her and is defeated.
- I took the fact that he was hitting his wound to be that he was using the pain to keep himself from passing out.
- Finn WAS a trained Stormtrooper, and as his brief fight with the other Stormtrooper shows they've been given melee training. While a lightsaber will be different than, say, a vibroblade, at the end of the day the basics will be just as useful.
- I thought the film made it fairly obvious that Rey received some formal training when she was a child that she'd either forgotten or had locked away. At any rate, it is explicit that she already had extensive melee skills from the very beginning of the film.
- Actually, her lightsaber skills for the first half of her fight are pretty terrible. She doesn't know her range, and is trying lousy thrusts, which she sort of lunges into rather than just stabbing. Her blocking is decent though. In short, she fights like someone does with a staff or short spear - not a sword. For contrast, after she focuses on the force at the end of the fight, she's doing much better slashes, maybe with some force help.
- Rey's individual moves aren't any better after she taps into the Force, they are still badly telegraphed, they just have more power and coordination behind them, enough to knock Ren off balance and get inside her guard. It also calms her. Until then she is fighting desperately and instinctively with no coordinated strategy.
- Like the above said, Rey is very much on the defensive at the beginning and makes no actual progress against Kylo. He seems intent on turning her to his side or at least recapturing her as well so he's not going full out. Once he mentions the force she goes all zen and lets the force guide her, after which she turns the tables. I would think it was a one-time thing, what with the force seeming to be intervening so directly.
- There's nothing that indicates Kylo Ren is particularly skilled at lightsaber combat, either. It's likely that Kylo had never faced another lightsaber-wielding opponent, and was suddenly put on the spot when he realized he had to fight another Force user.
- It is hard to judge Ren's actual skill, because he barely uses his best moves in favor of trying to dominate his opponent. He actually shows some pretty impressive fencing moves against both Finn, when he disarms him, and Rey, when he traps her in the blade lock, but he mainly tries to fight like Darth Vader. He starts the fight using Vader's powerful downward smashing strikes, which send Finn just about flying backward, but after a couple such strikes the effort causes Ren to pull up in pain from his wound. Afterward he switches to side to side strikes, which is effective at knocking his opponent's off balance, but is more difficult to followup on and get into a good defensive position.
- We know he trained under Luke for some time and killed the Jedis at his temple. We see Kylo running one of them through during Rey's vision, so we know he has had some training and has killed other Force-users.
- Yes, but the people Kylo killed were trainees who were most likely caught by surprise and probably didn't even have their own lightsabers yet. Afterwards, Kylo went for years without battling an even vaguely equal opponent.
- Keep in mind that lightsaber combat has regressed greatly since the time of the Old Republic. The fights Kylo Ren has with Finn and Rey are similar to the simpler fights from Return of the Jedi than the elaborate ones of Prequel trilogy.
- And it really does make sense given how the only Jedi alive (Luke) was only trained briefly by an elderly Obi-Wan on the Falcon, and again briefly by an elderly Yoda on Dagobah. The rest of it he either had to pick up himself or was told retroactively by the Force Ghosts. The likes of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Anakin were trained from childhood by the best of the best. It is a very well implemented piece of Fridge Brilliance when you think about it.
- Just because lightsaber combat hasn't been formally practiced since the Old Republic doesn't mean there would be nowhere to learn swordsmanship at all. Swords have been obsolete for centuries in real life, and yet the Japanese arts were preserved unbroken, while enough of the European arts survived to enable its reconstruction by people with no formal instruction in Western Martial Arts. To say nothing of contemporary sport and classical fencing. I wouldn't even say that lightsaber combat has truly "regressed" from the Prequel era. In fact in many ways it's the opposite: By the late Old Republic the techniques have become big and flashy, which actually works against a fighter in earnest combat. Just compare the late European masters such as Meyer to earlier ones such as Ringeck; Ringeck is a simpler and much more closely-tied to the battlefield art and kill-or-be-killed dueling. By Meyer's day tournaments had become the most important and central aspect of swordsmanship, evident in its much more elaborate and flashy technique meant to impress audiences. Liechtenauer (the "father" of known European swordsmanship) was openly disdainful of men such as Meyer, denigrating them as mere showmen, and would consider the much less fancy, but more direct and efficient technique of Ringeck (who was perhaps a generation removed from Liechtenauer himself) superior. So by the late Old Republic, the Jedi are no longer facing opponents who wield lightsabers on a regular basis, leading to the art evolving for the sake of the art itself, rather than for its practicality in actual battle. When Luke comes around that more formalized form of swordsmanship has been lost, and during his attempts to reconstruct it went back to the earlier, more martial style.
- Watch Kylo's attacks, and ignore anyone else's. There's not exactly a lot of finesse involved. He's got a few nifty moves, but he relies on "I have a saber, your blasters are invalid" or "I have the Force, hahahaha why are you even trying?" a lot when non-lightsabers are involved.
- Also keep in mind that Kylo Ren was almost certainly off his game. He's not decidedly evil, he doesn't have a focus on his anger or his fear. One clue: he kept hitting himself in his wounded side. Why? Because he needs the pain to drive off his grief. On top of that Snoke explicitly states Ren's training is incomplete.
- It's also possibly that while facing Finn, Kylo has a case of Suicidal Overconfidence. He knows Finn is an ex-Stormtrooper, and he's made his disdain for them clear in the past. Given that he can probably also sense that Finn is likely not Force sensitive, it's possible that he was toying with Finn a little. Of course that cost him once Finn managed to graze him on the arm. As for Rey, he had already experienced her Force potential in the interrogation so he might have already been considering training her. Therefore, much like when Vader fought Luke at Cloud City, he was deliberately holding back so he could take her alive (and possibly convince her to give into the dark side herself).
- Also, I believe I once read on This Very Wiki somewhere that decently trained martial artists can sometimes be caught off guard by someone with no proper training. I believe the idea is that a martial artist is trained specifically to fight other martial artists, but that means some random joe can surprise them with unconventional moves. As was pointed out above, Rey's attack is to thrust the saber like she would with her staff. Kylo has likely never been trained to expect a move like that in a lightsaber duel so he wouldn't be quite prepared for it.
- Very accurate statement. As a fencer, it's incredible when a novice suddenly stomps me. Their sheer unpredictability is hard to counter. Likewise, for the gamers out there. No matter how hard you train, button mashers are always a challenge at first because you never know what to expect.
- Look at her expression during the fight. Not only does she have the melee training mentioned above, and Kylo Ren is a wounded, crippled, emotionally traumatized, poorly trained in melee, and young and inexperienced man; but she's running on the emotions of Han's recent death, a man who almost served as a replacement father for her, and whom she had been building a close relationship with throughout the movie. She went Dark Side, or at least grey. She spends a good part of her fight enraged, and was likely to have killed Ren in cold blood had the destruction of the planet not intervened. Ren, on the other hand, is shown to use fear and intimidation more than actual combat skill, as mentioned, to get his way, so he's not good at finishing targets, and as soon as someone else gets the upper hand on him, he'd be prone to giving way the rest of the way. All in all, it's not only understandable that she won, it would be flat out unlikely that she wouldn't once she started channeling the force.
- I take Ren to be skilled in flashy, more impressive moves that can be practiced more easily, like immobilizing blaster shots (he must be able to get hold of one of those droids Obi-Wan started off Luke's training with), but he hasn't bothered too much with discipline. With his injuries, emotional pain and humiliation, he's not controlling his movements or mind the way he ought to, perhaps hardly using the force at all.
- In a straight fight, Kylo Ren easily beats Rey. Even during this fight, heavily wounded and totally gassed, he still manages to beat her back with brute strength, even though he's pretty clearly not trying to kill her. Rey's advantage came when she managed to get him off balance; he slipped up and lost focus for about 20 seconds and got a face full of lightsaber for his troubles.
- Here's what really doesn't make sense: He throws Rey about 30 feet backwards into a tree, and then when Finn comes him, instead of using the force on Finn, he decides to fight him instead of just throwing him also. And then Rey gets back up and takes the saber, and he again, doesn't respond by tossing her through the air, freezing her in place, etc. It's like he wanted to give them a chance.
- I'd thought it was established that throwing Rey, combined with fighting through his injury, burned him out and he was running on fumes. Combine this with the fact that he wasn't thinking clearly for same (specifically the injury), his conflict over killing his father, and his anger over Finn's treason. Toss in a bit of pride and arrogance at being challenged, and you've got a handy recipe for Forgot About His Powers.
- Ren's access to Force powers also seems to be strongly linked to his hot temper, rather than coldly-focused like Vader's or gleefully indulged in like Palpatine's. He may have mustered the power to throw Rey that far in a sudden burst of rage, whereas the roiling, weary frustration of a prolonged skirmish wasn't the right kind of anger for that.
- Ren's not tying to kill Rey, hence why he simply used the Force. Finn however, is not only a traitor to the First Order, but also happens to be holding onto Anakin's lightsaber. Ren's going to take his time. And when Rey gets back up, not only has Ren just been weakened again, but he's possibly trying to show her the power that she can wield under his tutelage.
- Snoke hangs a lampshade on Kylo Ren being beaten by a girl who had never held a lightsaber before in the next movie.
Starkiller Base aiming
- How is Starkiller Base supposed to aim at the target planets? I mean, Death Star was a 100% artificial space station that could perfectly be maneuvered like a spaceship, but this time it's a natural planet that has a natural rotation movement which would actually be too hard to manipulate so it can't be piloted and directly-aimed to a specific target.
- Starkiller Base also literally eats stars to use as fuel/ammunition. While the movie doesn't elaborate on it, it's probably safe to say that the First Order can move it around as they please, both to aim the weapon and to get it to new stars.
- The novelization and Visual Dictionary elaborate on how the whole thing works. Essentially the blast is so powerful that it drills straight through into hyperspace. After that it travels through hyperspace until a gravity well pulls it back out into real space, at which point it obliterates whatever object was creating that gravity well. Thus aiming the weapon works the same way as plotting a hyperspace jump. Presumably the stars they consume already have pre-plotted hyperspace lanes, so they just point the base in the right direction and fire. This implies that they cannot necessarily directly fire on any target they choose. There must be a clear hyperspace route, or else the beam will just destroy the first system it encounters. This also implies that if you knew their next target, you could render the entire weapon useless just by dropping an unmanned Interdictor cruiser between it and the target.
- How is Starkiller's beam weapon able to split up like that? Did they just invent a Homing Laser?
- Probably. They were targeting several planets at once so the laser was probably purpose-built to eliminate entire systems.
- It's a torrent of energy traveling through hyperspace and being pulled back out by the gravity of the planets themselves. Essentially you can assume the actual beam is big enough to cover the entire system, and we're only seeing the parts that intersect with a gravity well.
- If that's the case, then why didn't almost the whole beam get pulled into Hosnian's sun? And no, that wasn't the one it drained to power the weapon because it fired from across the galaxy.
- Nearly all of it did get pulled into Hosnian's sun. That's why it was able to destroy something as gigantic as a sun. We're talking about a gargantuan amount of energy here, enough that the system's planets could be destroyed by the infinitesimal fraction of it that didn't get slurped into the system's star.
- What are you talking about? None of the beam has anything to do with Hosnian's sun. It didn't destroy Hosnian's sun.
- If we Earthlings were able to do it in the 1980s using simple rocketry, surely the massively advanced technology of the Star Wars galaxy would be able to break a beam weapon down into several independent beams.
- Was the star actually destroyed? The idea of the star actually not being very damaged but the planets being dusted makes more sense. Otherwise, why bother with planetary gravity wells at all, just destroy the star and let the solar system disperse outside of the habitable zone. Everyone on the planets still dies and the intact planets can still be harvested for some of their natural resources. No! You can't move energy without applying a greater amount of energy, unless you're some kind of reality warping god, and none of those are in play in this galaxy, much less The First Order. The beam has less energy than the star that powers it and even less after traveling multiple light years entering and exiting hyper space. The preparation process might destroy a star but the finished product shouldn't. The gravitational binding energy of multiple Earth sized planets could very well still be in the realm of destructibility, however, and considering how wasteful Star Killer Base is, it'd probably be better if it wasn't. If the planet's own gravity actually did pull them back together. Everyone on them would still be dead, either on impact or from the structural rearrangement. And then the planets could still be harvested for some of their natural resources. And no, Roboteching a laser, or even just a simple stream of plasma, is not comparable to recursive rockets or carpet bombing.
- You seem to be under the misunderstanding that being practical and reasonable was the point. The point is to make a demonstration of force in a very visible way, and blowing up the planets does that. And the other point is, they're not destroying the star at their target, it destroys the star closest to Starkiller Base. A planet is probably pretty hard to move, and in the time it takes for it to get to the System and start draining its star, everyone you'd want to kill would have left and you're right in the center of their fleet. Starkiller Base is a long-distance, shock-and-awe propaganda weapon, not made for reasonable efficiency.
Destroying the fleet
- How the heck was the weapon able to destroy the Republic's main fleet? Don't tell me the Republic seriously just keep their primary space fleet sitting around their capital/GHQ doing nothing? Whoever allowed that should have been shot for incompetence.
- Who says they kept the entire of their navy around their capital system? It's never indicated that their entire fleet was stationed at the capital, just a really important one, the destruction of which would cause a fair amount of chaos. Besides, they were trying to show the galaxy that they weren't the Empire, so keeping it near the Capital might have been seen as the best solution for that.
- Background materials explain that the New Republic reduced their overall military to a single fleet, mainly to act as a quick reaction force to any trouble spots in the galaxy. This was motivated by the anxiety of systems that had lived under the thumb of the Empire for decades. Allowing individual member systems to maintain their own local militias and keeping the Republic government's fleet out of their faces helped preserve the sense that this was a more free society than the Empire had been. It was strategically unsound, given the threat posed by the rapidly-militarizing First Order. But Leia and others who warned about this were dismissed as warmongers.
- The idea of keeping a single fleet around your capital world as a QRF is just functionally dumb, but also extremely shortsighted when you have a clear and present enemy in the First Order, who are basically the Empire taken up to eleven. Even a single fleet of a million ships wouldn't be enough to properly get every where in any reasonable time frame, much better to have sector fleets who are in the sector capitals (Which is governed by the New republic so it would make sense for them to keep fleets there, and also acts as an administrative capital for the region). There, solved all the problems before.
Resistance strike fleet
- Why are there no Y-Wings? X-wings are great fighters, sure, and more maneuverable. But the Y-Wings (and B-Wings, IIRC) are the BOMBERS. If you're going to bombard a base with a nice surprise window, why did you send nothing but fighters?
- We don't know how long the Resistance has been around for. Assuming they aren't being backed by the New Republic, it's possible they don't have enough funding for extra fighters yet.
- Also don't forget that this is a totally new X-Wing model and due to several changes in starfighter manufacturing since 30 years ago it's possible that other military spacecraft were discontinued.
- The Resistance is essentially an independent proxy force run by Leia and only nominally supported by the Republic. It's likely they weren't really given access to the best equipment.
- Y-Wings were already pretty old by the time of the original trilogy too. It's possible that 30 years later fighter technology has advanced to the point where they were completely obsolete.
- The new Resistance X-wings looked to me like a fighter-bomber. Note that Poe gives the order to "go for another bombing run" during the battle.
- Capital ships could actually be a liability. Since Starkiller Base is a planet, there is plenty of room for large weapon emplacements. Plus, if the shields were raised again the capital ships would either be locked out or trapped inside. The X-Wings were small and agile, and thus better able to attack this type of target. As for why not other types of fighters, the Resistance is supposed to be badly under-funded. X-Wings are a versatile air-space superiority fighter. A-Wings and B-Wings are better suited for space, and Y-Wings were outdated. If forced to make a choice by budget constraints, Leia probably figured that X-Wings offer the most value per ship.
- Y-Wings were basically obsolete when the Rebellion had them, the B-Wing was designed and built specifically to replace them. But B-Wings are rather expensive, a "poor compromise" ship (not being quite as good at bombing as Y-Wings or quite as good at dogfighting as X-Wings), and is hideously difficult to maintain. None of these are good options for a Resistance. On the other hand, the X-Wing excels at just about any role you want to put it in, is apparently rugged enough it's a breeze to maintain, and the Republic likely has scads of them just laying around, since they're the "official" fighter of the Rebellion/New Republic, so they'd be easy for the Resistance to get their hands on (officially or otherwise.)
- The Y-Wings seen in the OT were already aged, having been developed during the Clone Wars. The X-Wing (Fighter/Bomber) was the first fighter designed exclusively for use by the Rebels, which means it was likely designed around the principals of hit and run style warfare. Which would, in turn, make it perfect for the Resistance. On the other hand the more specialized B-Wings (Bomber) and A-Wings (Interceptor) were designed later once the Rebellion had started to move forward and acquire more resources and support. Which means they could acquire more expensive hardware and keep it maintained. Logic would say that a smaller, more mobile force would rely on the more economical and mobile X-Wing when conducting asymmetric warfare. For a final point we could look at the new droids used by the new X-Wings and how the X-Wing no longer needs a large support team. (I.E. there are no cranes used to load the droids, the new X-Wings have internal ladders) Also, it could simply be a matter of what can go quietly missing in large numbers.
- Point of order: The concept of the X-wing being a relatively new design at the time of the original movie was background developed by the West End Games RPG � thus now falls under Legends � and the background information originally created by Joe Johnston indicated that even the T-65s were older fighters by the time of Yavin (I believe the novelization describes them as "decades" old). The X-wing was certainly a well-rounded machine, but you can't say it was designed for the Rebellion's tactics. For that matter, even under the Legends EU the X-wing was actually designed for the Empire, but was rejected in favor of the cheaper TIE-series.
- Y-Wings would have been an excellent vessel to send to the Resistance, since its old, relatively well known, reliable, and fills a vital bombing aspect that the Resistance would need that the X-Wing simply cannot perform with major design changes. In my opinion the reason why we didn't see it in the movie was because it was over looked by the writers being either lazy, not caring, or going for rule of cool with the X-Wings.
- That's like saying that F-105s should fly alongside F-16s, "since it's old, well known, reliable, and a bomber." The T-70 X-Wing is a product of 20-30 years of improving fighter design, and carries a whole host of improvements over the nearly 50 year old Y-Wing. The only advantage it has over the T-70 is its(incredibly unreliable and difficult to maintain) ion cannon, otherwise the X-wings are more maneuverable, faster, and actually more heavily armed! According to Wookiepedia, the Y-Wing carries a load of 4 proton torpedoes, but carefully observing TFA shows that the X-wing has 10(Poe launches two during the initial bombing run and eight more in the interior of the base). Just like real life, advances in lifting weight in newer multi-role fighters has clearly allowed them to carry more armament than the old dedicated strike fighters of the past.
Starkiller Base Distance and Scale
- So, this super-Death Star planets from across star systems in a matter of seemingly seconds....really? Is that what I saw?
- Yes, that is what you saw. It took me until my second viewing, but they do mention the weapon fires through hyperspace. That makes this station more dangerous than the first and second Death Stars because it doesn't have to show up at a system, first, to fire.
- Except that you can clearly see it traveling through space at a visible speed. In fact I think it moves seemingly faster than the Death Star super-laser. I mean the people of the planet have ample time to look out into space and scream before the planets are destroyed.
- It fires "an ultra-powerful beam that blasts through hyperspace". Why it is still visible when traveling could have to do with unknown properties of hyperspace, such as the beam overflowing outside of the hyperspace tunnel when traveling or something.
- The idea the weapon can shoot through hyperspace is fine but it should just be left at that. The Hosnian system should have been far away from the Resistance base, no one should have been able to see it, etc. It would have been better to have Hosnian Prime destroyed then the Resistance loses communication there, a probe is sent out and they walk into the same situation Han did when trying to get to Alderaan and now everyone knows that there's this weapon that can fire from an unknown range in the hands of the First Order. Raises much fewer questions and doesn't require a confusing explanation like warping spacetime around its points of destruction that allow it to be witnessed from far away. Finn fills everyone in proper when he arrives at the base, allowing the movie to continue like normal without having to see the weapon fire firsthand.
- The base is drawing in Dark Energy. When the energy is expelled as the beam weapon, it is converted to Phantom Energy "through a hole in sub-hyperspace". "The people stationed at the Base called the dimension through which the phantom energy beam traveled "sub-hyperspace", and this method of delivering the payload was near-instantaneous across vast distances." So you are witnessing phantom energy travel through a hole in sub-hyperspace at near instantaneous speed, appearing as a slowly drawn out effect due to the viewer being far away enough to view the entire system where the vast distances involved make near-instant appear as several long, drawn out seconds.
- "When the phantom energy struck a planet, the interaction produced enough heat to ignite the planet's core, creating a pocket nova. The spacetime disruption caused by the phantom energy's passage would make the nova instantaneously visible thousands of light years away." Note this mentions the nova from the planet's destruction being visible, but does not state if the beam is visible from the spacetime disruption effect, though it's possible the "phantom energy's passage" is just as visible from the effect.
- Did nobody else feel the movie jumped the shark with a super-weapon that drains Suns? I realize that basic physics is not a strong suit, but still there are limits to the suspension of disbelief. Okay, the Legends continuity had the Suncrusher's supernova torpedoes, which is insane but semi-plausible. But to drain billion of years worth of nuclear fusion energy from a body thousands of time bigger then the planet into a single shot? So we're supposed to accept that the First Order somehow has revolutionized technology to the point where they have some kind of super tractor beams capable of extending several light-minutes away, able to defeat a sun's gravity to pull out its mass and then possess some kind of super electro-magnetic shields capable of containing and condensing a level of energy that dwarfs the firepower of the Empire, the Rebels and the entire history of the Old Republic into FUEL CELLS? If the First Order has this kind of tech, why are they wasting it on a base? Their fleets should be damn near invincible if they'd simply add it to their ships.
- Well, the old Legends continuity did have the Star Forge, which could drain the energy from a star to power itself, so it is technically plausible. Having said that, yeah, Starkiller Base seems like a gigantic waste of resources and technology, especially when compared to other weapons. If they had used the power of stars similar to the aforementioned Star Forge, they could've literally built an armada that would be able to conquer the entire galaxy, instead of using yet another inefficient method of destroying planets. This might jump over to Fridge Brilliance if you take into account that the First Order is trying to emulate the Empire as much as possible, while not learning from their mistakes, such as the fact that planet destroying super-weapons are seriously inefficient compared to other things that could be done.
- The Star Forge is different it actually uses the Force "Space Magic" to drain stars to somehow produce a near limitless supply of machines and ships. That's insane but it can fit within the accepted lore of the Star Wars universe... when asked how your literal answer can be "Space Magic." Starkiller base is created through technological means and needs a "technological" or at least a technobabble explanation to do what it can do. That explanation also has to at least make logical sense in-universe and with what was seen in the original and prequel trilogies.
- One advantage of the Starkiller weapon is the ability to fire through hyperspace. So it doesn't need to move to the site where it wants to fire in order to target something (meaning you can't see it coming). So that in itself paints the weapon as a scientific advancement for arms manufacture. However this raises a separate issue in that it probably had to have the "fire through hyperspace" component because of the massive girth required to house such a ridiculously massive super-weapon. If they had invested in something smaller then they probably also wouldn't have needed to devise a way to shoot a beam through a wormhole (although the stealth component doesn't hurt).
- Even the Death Stars are pretty wasteful from a weapon perspective. The energy required to overcome gravity and blow a planet apart is far more than is necessary to destroy all life. It's supposed to be a weapon of terror, not war. However, yes, draining an entire star to destroy planets is over the top. Why bother with the beam at all? Since it has to be able to move to avoid being a one or two shot weapon, why not just drain the sun of the system you want to take out and use the energy for other purposes?
- Draining the sun does not instantly destroy all life in the system. Destroying the sun would give whoever you're targeting more than ample time to just leave. And that's not taking into account the Starkiller's own speed — it can fire through hyperspace, but it may not be able to move through hyperspace. A weapon that will take weeks or months to get to its target is a useless weapon.
- The first problem involves siphoning the sun, using the Spaceballs principle, over a distance far enough for the planet's inhabitants to stand on the surface comfortably, comparable to the goldilocks zone, despite Ice Planets being outside of that zone, while the energy lost while traveling this distance is not enough to make the weapon ineffective, despite this siphoning being done across an astronomical distance with conventional mechanics and no sci-fi explanation. Wait, the explanation is the base is collecting Dark Energy, and also running on dark energy, and the Thermal Oscillator is creating a containment field to contain the energy itself and to allow the base to expend less energy while running on dark energy. This is supposed to take care of the second problem, No Conservation of Energy, along with the intuitive sense of ice being cold and naturally dealing with excess heat. The planet is not dealing with enough energy for it explode, it is dealing with less energy, that less energy being enough for it to be stably contained within the planet and harnessed by the base as a super-weapon. In order for the blast to be more powerful than the seemingly weakened energy it is drawing in, the energy would be presumably catalyzed and made powerful enough to be fired without destroying the planet. The thermal oscillator containment field, containing the energy in a way that is safe and stable, could presumably be maintaining the stability of the atmosphere, the planet, the energy being drawn in, and the energy being expelled when the weapon is fired, but it is actually not stated to be doing that, that is all speculation. The base is running on dark energy. The containment field is containing the energy. The energy containment is allowing the base to be expending less power as it runs on dark energy. So the field is the gas tank, for the automobile that is the base, while it sucks in gasoline, from a great distance away, through an array of thermal collectors, redirecting energy to the planet's core without losing significant energy, held in place by natural planetary magnetics and the containment field. How do the thermal collectors work? They just work.
- In addition to draining dark energy, the base drains the star and blocks out sunlight until it extinguishes the star. This was prevented by the Resistance, but the base could have drained the entire star. We don't know the size of the star relative to the planet, but if it's anything like the size of the Sun compared to the Earth◊, good luck with that. In addition, the explosion of the planet created another sun, making it a binary star system.
- How large a population base does the First Order actually have? It's possible that, without enough warm bodies to man a whole fleet, the Starkiller is actually more practical.
- On that note the Starkiller weapon is by far more practical then the Death Stars. The main point being that while the Death Star can kill an entire planet so can a single Star Destroyer (Granted the Star Destroyer is much slower at it). On the other hand the Starkiller can destroy an entire solar system worth of planets more or less simultaneously with out putting itself at risk of a counterattack. If anything the Starkiller base is the Death Star done right.
- No matter how large or small your population is, a giant super-weapon with an inefficient method of destroying planets is never a practical solution. According to the background material, the First Order does have a large armada hidden in the Unknown Regions, meaning they would have enough able bodies to help conquer the galaxy on their own. If they have the ability to drain stars of their energy, they could use that energy to construct even more machines of war. If they need to destroy planets, they can probably find a cheaper, easier, more efficient and much more stealthy way of accomplishing that. Starkiller Base may be "the Death Star done right," but that doesn't mean that the concept of giant planet destroying super-weapons is a good idea, especially when you can find far more practical solutions.
- I assume that he Base doesn't take the whole suns energy. (I don't care what the writer say, its impossible to do, vastly overkill, and it makes more sense my way) It just takes a percentile of a percentile of the energy, then fires that energy into hyperspace. The sun growing darker was for dramatic effect for the movie. After all if they had to use a sun every time they wanted to fire, it would mean they would need their planet to go through hyperspace itself, and since it would need to go through hyperspace, be hyperspace rated and have engines large enough for that and not kill everyone on the planet by ripping apart its biosphere.
Unusually Uninteresting Planetary Annihilation
- It seemed like nobody really gave too much of a damn that an entire planet had been destroyed by an evil empire and that said planet was the capital of a galactic government. AND it seemed like The First Order doesn't bat an eyelid at destroying the capital of a rival galactic government. You'd just...think this would be handled with more gravitas. Hux seems to be the only one to make a huge deal about this.
- This is most likely a result of the film having a very narrow focus on the individual characters and largely ignoring the goings on of the rest of the galaxy. The Resistance obviously had bigger issues to worry about with Starkiller Base targeting THEM, as well as Finn being more concerned about Rey's safety.
- I feel like it's a reference to no one giving a crap about Alderaan in the original.
- But they did. Remember Obi-Wan's famous reaction to all the millions dying at once into the Force? The death of the Hosnian system should have hit Rey like a sledgehammer.
- Rey was barely awakened to the force, and was certainly not well-connected to it at that point in the film.
- Yeah, I remember Obi-Wan having a small reaction. Then it was never mentioned again. Not even by Leia.
- To be fair, Star Wars tends to be spotty on reactions towards some pretty gruesome acts they have witnessed. I mean New Hope has the death of Owen and Beru, Alderaan's destruction, and Biggs' death but were pretty much forgotten (while Old Ben's death at least has a moment for the heroes to grieve...For not a long time).
- Well, a movie only has a limited runtime, and you can only have a character focus on a tragedy for so long before it risks becoming Narm. At any rate, the phrase "A million is a statistic" is probably in play here. It's much harder to feel bad about the deaths of billions of people you don't know then it is to mourn those who are closest to you.
- The original poster is incorrect about no one caring about Alderaan. Alderaan was a peaceful planet that had a reputation of pacifism and political negotiation. It was then destroyed for NO REASON by the Empire, infuriating EVERYONE, and terrifying them, because if a model world like freaking Alderaan was destroyed for having rebel sympathizers, who's next on the chopping block!? Tarkin pushed for it because he wanted a weapon of fear. He was so successful that everyone immediately realized that it was safer to destroy the death star then to risk being "Made an example of". Since no one could appeal to the Senate because "Oops" The Senate was just disbanded, the only logical solution was to ALLY with the Rebels. When the Rebel Alliance then proved their worth by destroying the Death Star, the Empire was thrown into a galactic civil war since Palpatine's two modes of control and maintenance of public dissent, the Senate, and the Death Star, were both now gone, he had no way of averting the Rebellion from exploding after the Destruction of Alderaan showing how evil he was.
- And that's all depicted in the movies, is it?
- It's actually all depicted in the first movie. The title crawl itself begins with the sentence, "It is a time of civil war." Ben Kenobi keeps Luke from accompanying him to released the tractor beam by saying that the droids must be brought safely to the Rebellion "or other star systems will suffer the same fate as Alderaan." When Leia makes her appearance at the Rebel Base, she dismisses talk of Alderaan by noting that they have "no time for our sorrows" and that an attack must be planned against the Death Star (using the information in the R2 unit), because this is their only hope. They even include mention (early on) of the Imperial Senate being disbanded, and Leia's claim to Tarkin that the introduction of the Death Star will cause more worlds to defect. "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
Can't figure out the map?
- How exactly do they think the map with Skywalker's location on it doesn't correspond to any known systems? As shown in the end, it's HUGE chunk of the galaxy!
- The Unknown Regions take up a good 1/5th-1/6th of the Galaxy, and for various reasons has never been officially mapped and and only rarely explored. Whoever made the map to Luke had taken the time to map the planets in the Unknown Regions, which would not appear in any other maps, and so the map is likely very recent or very, very old, possibly dating to the time of the Rakata, when they mapped the Galaxy for the Infinite Empire.
- How could any area of that size be unmappable? Even if you can't get there via hyperspace (because of "hyperspace reefs" or whatever), you can still look around with telescopes and map what you see. Heck, here in Real Life we don't have any FTL transport, but we still know the layout of our galaxy. There's no way that an area of that size is devoid of recognizable features.
- Also it's stated that what BB has is not a complete map, only a portion. It has Luke's location, but not in reference to anything else in the galaxy. This is why they need to compare it to other star charts. Presumably this is why Artoo was in a low-power state, he was using all his processing power to compile as complete a map of the galaxy as possible so they can make use of it when someone does finally find Luke.
- Look again. When we see the partial map inserted into the galaxy-wide map, the partial map takes up like 3% of the total space. So it's simply wrong to say "It has Luke's location, but not in reference to anything else in the galaxy". Ir references like 3% of the galaxy! There's a lot of stuff there!
- Galaxies are big. A tiny piece is not useful for finding something in there. It's like handing someone in China a map of a building somewhere in the American Midwest.
- One thing is to know the basic features (i.e., stellar content, positions and properties of star systems...) and other much different and harder is to find someone there among the myriad of places to look for. Space is very, very big, even a single planet.
- Don't forget that is a three dimensional map, which makes it even more troublesome to read if you don't have a good point of reference.
- You also need to know the correct hyperspace lanes to use so your ship doesn't run right into a planet/sun/Asteroid Thicket or stray too close to a large gravity mass. Knowing the coordinates of the planet and the safest way to get there are two completely different things.
- Honestly, the fact it represents such a huge portion of the galaxy is probably part of the problem. It's in an area evidently mostly unexplored (which makes sense, Galaxies are big, and exploring parts with minimal intelligent life and seemingly no reason to go there seems like it'd be hard). They have a starting point that is essentially gibberish without a bigger map, and points of reference would be very hard to find without first knowing where this section is at all in the universe.
- Tying into all of this, when they got that map and it was incomplete, they were under a more than a minor time crunch. Maybe if they had time they could whittle down various stellar formations until they found the one they wanted. But we only saw their reaction to the map during that crisis. Which very well could skew the reaction to what would otherwise be a still conceivably usable map.
- There are a lot of stars in a galaxy. You can cut out half of them and still have what looks like a galaxy map. So maybe BB-8's map was not only just a portion of the galaxy, but it didn't show all of the stars in that portion. R2's map was not just the rest of the path, it was also the reference points needed to get there. Like, if I showed you a map of twelve city blocks, but only two buildings were labeled, having a map of the rest of the city could definitely help you out. Even if it's a neighborhood you're familiar with, there could be a dozen places that have a Wawa down the street from a McDonald's.
- It's a little like Rush Hour 3. One of the villains gives Carter and Lee the exact address that they're looking for, on a road named Roosevelt... then Carter gripes that every city in the US has a street named after Roosevelt.
- I assumed the systems on BB-8's portion were actually fakes- the only authentic piece was the line leading to Luke's location. Thus, someone with BB-8's piece would just have the end of a line surrounded by red herrings, and someone with R2'S piece would get the line leading into an empty space too big to search.
- I actually thought of this as well, and did some napkin maths, bear with me here:
- Kylo is super force sensitive... why didn't they just fly through the missing sector (they have the rest of the map) and look for Luke leaking the force? He's so powerful it's hard to imagine him being able to hide all traces from someone who is directly related to him, given the way the force is shown to work with relationships. Han showed that the whole idea of hyperspace corridors is no longer canon (he jumped directly to starkiller's surface). The missing piece of the map looks to be on the order of between 1/2^4 and 1/2^5 of the galaxy by area, but it's towards the centre so the density will be higher, so I'd actually place it somewhere between 1/2^3 and 1/2^4 of all the stars in the galaxy. For the sake of the argument we will use the bigger one. The galaxy in canon is about 100k lightyears in diameter, meaning its comparable to the milky way. That's on the order of 10^11 stars in the galaxy, so a search space on the order of 10^9 stars. The First Order has what appear to be unlimited resources (they built a star system, sun draining superweapon) and they know for a fact that Luke is on the original Jedi temple. The place is going to be attuned to the force, it's going to resonate with Luke and they have a partially completed map that even gives them a main line to branch out from. Send out scouts to make sure you only visit systems with planets in the habitable zone, use advanced AI or heuristics to map the best routes as they are scouted with a traveling salesman sort of algorithm (I wonder if P=NP in Star wars?) and you can probably reasonably bring the search space down even further. It's been shown that powerful force users can reach out across the entire galaxy too. So let's conservatively say the search space is on the order 10^7 planets that kylo would have to be near the surface of for 1 second, even though i think that it would be closer to 10^6 honestly. In the worst case scenario, where he happens to visit Luke's last, it takes him 117 days to search. 10 seconds per planet gives 3 years. The number of preconditions for what kind of planet Luke necessarily has to be on makes it stupid that they didn't just send a probe to every planet.
- Yoda was able to go under the radar when he exiled himself why couldn't Luke? Plus this is the first Jedi Temple so who knows what kind of hideout they have for dark side users (think the tree in Dagobah but weirder.)Never mind that while force sensitive Kylo sucks at focusing so yes he knows there is force in that galaxy but can he pinpoint the planet? And even if he pinpoints the planet it's like saying your suspect is on Earth that's still a lot of ground to cover.
- Plus, Luke would surely be able to sense it if his nephew came within Force-sniffing range, and probably before Kylo could pinpoint his uncle's location. Presumably he still has whatever ship he'd used to get to that planet in the first place, so could simply pull up stakes and leave at the first hint that a Dark Force-user was in the neighborhood.
Finn being on Takodana, yet seeing Hosnian Prime's destruction
- When the Starkiller blows up Hosnian Prime (the Republic Capital), our main characters are on Takodana. They see the destruction in the sky. So apparently Takodana and Hosnia are in the same system, right? Because otherwise that explosion wouldn't be visible. But wait, if they are in the same system, why did we land on Takodana? Isn't the Republic on our side? If the capital is right there, shouldn't we just land there and tell them about the map? Or did we somehow know in advance that the entire place was going to explode?
- Takodana and Hosnian Prime are not in the same system, they're halfway across the Galaxy from each other, as was Starkiller Base. Which just makes the problem worse.
- This is JJ "Red Matter" Abrams we're talking about. Suffice to say, Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale.
- JJ Abrams has done this before, with the destruction of Vulcan being seen halfway across the galaxy. At least it's slightly more justified in this case, as Star Wars has always been far, far softer sci-fi.
- Word of God is that the weapon created a tear in hyperspace that allowed the destruction to be seen elsewhere in the Galaxy.
- That is a very confusing explanation at best...
- As you can see from the map◊, Starkiller Base, Hosnian Prime and Takodana are all pretty... there's no way that can work.
- Ruleof Cool. That is all.
- How is Hosnian System's destruction that quickly visible from Takodana? According to the size visible from there, Hosnian System is light-years away which means it would have taken probably days, months or even years to see the planets burn from Takodana's sky.
- Please see the "Finn being on Takodana, yet seeing Hosnian Prime's destruction " section for the discussion on this topic.
- This is a totally different headscratcher, I'm talking about how much the explosion would have taken to be seen from Takodana, not if it could have been seen or not.
- As mentioned in answer to that headscratcher, apparently firing the weapon creates a "tear in hyperspace", and since hyperspace allows for faster-than-light travel, it would also explain why the destruction is seen almost immediately.
- The chasm that the starkiller weapon's main aperture is located in is easily over a thousand miles deep, and the weapon's internals clearly go far deeper. The gravity of the planet by rights should have pulled the entire atmosphere down into that hole. How is everyone breathing?
- That's not how atmosphere works. Atmosphere will expand to fill available space. It might make the rest of the atmosphere a bit thinner, but without knowing how much there was in the first place it's impossible to say it would lower it below breathable pressure.
- Also, considering that life support technology exists, it's possible that they could make up for any loss atmosphere.
- It is not stated, but it is possible the planetary shield is maintaining the atmosphere.
- They can harvest the power of the sun, keeping a viable biosphere shouldn't be that difficult with that much energy.
- The trench may not have been dug out from scratch; the First Order might have chosen that particular planet to become Starkiller Base because it already had a gigantic canyon suitable for conversion into such a facility. Lot less work and expense that way.
Burning the atmosphere
- Once the weapon fires, it's pushing the entire energy of a star through it; how is the atmosphere not igniting from the muzzle blast?
- Probably extremely powerful shields or containment fields.
- That's what I think, too. Especially considering how whenever the heroes in Star Wars need to blow up a super-weapon, they don't send in the galactic-sized equivalent of a nuke, they simply take out the systems that are stabilizing said super-weapon and let the weapon more or less destroy itself through chain reactions and the like. The bad guys may not know how to properly protect their shields and whatnot, but let it never be said the shields aren't effective when they haven't been hacked.
- Atmospheres igniting isn't really a thing. There's little to burn in the Earth's atmosphere, and there's no reason to assume it's different for Starkiller Base. It might be possible to cause a fusion reaction, but that's more of a "this could potentially happen" sort of thing than "why is this not happening?" And since they're draining the energy of an entire star to destroy planets, presumably they can stop their atmosphere igniting even if it were a real issue, anyway.
- The thermal oscillator containment field may keep the atmosphere stable, or the base itself may have functions to keep the atmosphere stable, but this is only speculation; it has no stated functions concerning the atmosphere. Or the planetary shield handles this, though its only stated function is to be "strong enough to deflect any bombardment".
- The beam sends phantom energy that ignites the core of the planet. It's like Romulus getting wait a minute.
Finding the Prisoner
- Kylo knocks Rey unconscious and takes her onto his ship. Finn sees this. Later he insists on going to the Starkiller so he can rescue Rey. But wait, how does he know that she's on the Starkiller? She could be anywhere! Maybe Kylo took her to his capital ship. Maybe he put her on some other ship. There's simply no reason why she'd be on the Starkiller instead of anywhere else in galaxy. Related question: Even if Finn knows that Rey is on the Starkiller, how does he plan to find her when he gets there? The thing is the size of a planet!
- Two possibilities. 1: Because the Force told him so. 2: We've seen two large vessels in the First Order: A Star Destroyer and Starkiller Base. It's possible that he knows that long-term prisoners are taken back to their main base (as opposed to those interrogated quickly on a Star Destroyer), or he's just playing the odds and hoping he's right. Either way, probably a plot hole, since it's not brought up at all.
- Finn used to work on Starkiller Base, so it's perfectly possible he knows that's the place where the First Order keeps its important prisoners.
- In fact he rescues some hotshot pilot at the beginning of the film...
- ...From the Star Destroyer. In fact, for an active agent like Kylo Ren, it would make no sense to go down to the Starkiller base, when he has a perfectly good ship to operate from.
- Because going to Starkiller Base to disable the shields is the only chance he'll be allowed to rescue Rey. He's hoping that she's there, or at the very least, making sure that she's not before they blow the place up. Besides, Ren's Star Destroyer was by Starkiller for its first firing, and since it would likely be compulsory for Ren to be there
Stormtroopers with no experience
- Finn is part of the Stormtrooper strike team in the beginning. This must be an important team, since it's working directly with Kylo Ren and they're on an important mission (finding the map to Luke). But Finn mentions later that that was his first battle. His first. Why was he part of such an important team, working with such an important commander, and embarking on such an important mission, if he had zero combat experience?
- Because they're attacking a largely civilian outpost. There's no serious threat there, it's as good a place as any to give a group of Stormtroopers their baptism by fire. It's also possible that the attack force had a mix of experienced troops and newbies, so that the veterans could show them the ropes and keep them in line.
- Well the Empire has fallen for like what? 50 years top? Pretty much every stormtrooper has to trained from birth gotta be newbies so it's not like they can pick elite guard yet.
- Not to mention, Finn is explicitly mentioned as being a skilled soldier in supplementary material.
- In ROTJ, when the rebels had to take out the shield generator on the Endor moon, they sent a crew of like 20 well-armed soldiers to get the job done. Makes sense, right? This is a critically important mission. They probably crammed that shuttle with as many soldiers as they could. But in this movie, when the Resistance needs to take out the Starkiller's shields, they send...three people. Just Han, Chewie and Finn. What the hell? Isn't this mission, like, super important? Haven't we already seen what the Starkiller can do? Doesn't it threaten the whole balance of the galaxy? So why don't we send as many soldiers as we can? Why take a risk with a smaller crew?
- Yeah, it's a bit questionable. That said, it's possible to hand-wave it by saying that they have better intel about what's going on in the base (Finn might be Sanitation, but that does mean he's probably walked most of the halls of the base). In that case, stealth would be paramount, the more people you send, the higher the chances someone gets caught. Doesn't explain why a secondary team isn't sent for redundancy purposes, though.
- Not to mention, Han's plan to get on the planet was downright suicidal and he probably didn't feel comfortable bringing along anybody else that didn't have a personal stake in the matter.
- Everyone has a personal stake in the matter. If the Starkiler survives, the First Order is gonna conquer the galaxy. And in the more immediate sense, all those Resistance soldiers are gonna be killed by the super-weapon.
- I figured it was two main reasons. The first was because only the Falcon could get inside the shields properly (the whole "drop out of hyperspace inside a gravity well" trick that they tried) and we should all know how protective Han is of the stupid ship. The second was for minimal visibility; on Endor, the plan was to take the shield generator by force, with a full platoon. That's not an option on the Starkiller, so the goal is stealth, to get in and out without some patrol raising the alarms.
- Add to this the fact that for the most part, they're not in a forest, but knee-deep in the First Order.
- Other plans like using diversionary teams to go out and strike their vital substations on the planet, like say, turbo-laser control, the Thermal Oscillator on foot, Ect. Would have been excellent diversions from the primary mission of disabling the shield, and then they could even use the excuse, "To save the only known Jedi we have right now". They likely did it for story's sake, in an actual military, the you would have hedge their bets.
Jumping past the shield
- The Falcon gets past the Starkiller's shield using hyperspace. Has that ever been how shields worked before in the Star Wars canon? And if the Falcon can do that, why not have all the X-wings pull the same stunt? Then you could ignore the shield entirely!
- As Han mentioned when he brought up the trick, it is insanely risky. It required extremely precise timing, because if you are slightly too early, you leave hyperspace outside the shield, and you accomplished nothing, and if you are slightly too late you ram the planet, which is obviously much worse. Most pilots or ships would be simply incapable of pulling something like that off, but Han is good (and reckless) enough to try it. It's likely that Poe could pull it off with his X-Wing, but Han gave the impression that he's pulled this particular stunt before, and has some practice doing it with the Falcon, so he was the only one who was allowed to try. As for whether the way shields work would allow it, Han said it himself in the movie. Shields block attacks in regular space, but they don't extend into Hyperspace and thus don't block anything that traverses it.
- Not to mention, the lore that a planet's gravity well pulls a ship out of hyperspace is purely an Expanded Universe concept, which Disney moved into the Legends continuity.
- Actually, Interdictor technology is still canon.
- In A New Hope, one of the potential hazards that Han cites of hyperspace travel is flying right through a star. Which presumably would be bad because you would get pulled out of hyperspace inside the star, or at least very close to it. He might have actually been using this fact here. If a ship will get forced out of hyperspace by a gravity well, then flying directly towards a planet would result in you dropping out either near to or inside of said planet. The trick is timing it perfectly so that you emerge from hyperspace before you would end up underground. This is a trick he might have only been willing to attempt in the Falcon because of his familiarity with the ship.
- Also note that Han came very close to intersecting with the terrain, flying low enough to leave several long gouges in the landscape with the Falcon's underside. Now picture half of Poe's squadron coming out of hyperspace and plowing into the ground before they have a chance to orient themselves.
- What is the Millennium Falcon (and Han) most famous for? The Kessel Run: a feat of dangerously skirting gravity wells while in hyperspace. Seems like just the ship (and man) for the job; it is likely no one else has the experience to pull it off successfully.
- Han also implies that this is only possible because of the type of planetary shield Starkiller Base uses: "Their shields have a fractional refresh rate � keeps anything slower than lightspeed from getting through." It may be that the shield is simply not very common and that's why we've never seen this done before.
- At one point, Kylo is alone on his ship. He's struggling with the "temptation" of returning to the good side of the force. He speaks aloud to Vader's helmet, asking it to help him stay on the Dark Side. Um, is Vader really the best guy to help you out in this situation? Ya know, 'cause he's the poster child of abandoning the Dark Side? Shouldn't you direct your attention towards someone less redeemable, like maybe Palpatine?
- Remember that Luke is the only one who witnessed Vader's HeelFace Turn. Once Kylo started feeling the allure of the Dark Side, it makes sense that he would start to idolize Vader, as he was the most prominent and coolest Dark Side affiliate in recent history (Palpatine was much less visible and more of a shadowy figure). Maybe Kylo convinced himself that Luke had lied about Vader's fate? Maybe he believes Luke actually killed both Vader and Palpatine, and then came up with the story of Vader abandoning the Dark Side, so that the Light Side would seem more appealing?
- That's the thing about idolizing somebody. You tend to focus only on what you want to see in them and actively ignore the flaws.
- Also, Vader's last-minute repentance could easily be dismissed as something that Luke made up. With Clone Wars era history mostly erased by the Empire as part of the smear campaign of the Jedi being "traitors", what is on-record regarding Vader probably focuses on his time as the Emperor's enforcer as opposed to his earlier Jedi career.
- And well, Vader is his grandfather. That fact alone gives him an immediate reason to personally connect to him.
- Also, while Luke was confident that there was good in his father, he honestly barely knew the guy from first-hand experience. Leia presumably dealt with him far more and had time to cement her judgement that Darth Vader was a terrible person. So it's possible that his view of his grandfather is more colored by Leia's opinion of him as an evil bastard than Luke's opinion of him as a misguided hero.
- The novelization's way of addressing this is that Snoke has taught Kylo was that this betrayal was a lapse in judgment on Vader's part, caused by the emotions of seeing his own son in danger. While part of this could understandably be that Snoke doesn't want Kylo to turn on him too some day, it is certainly justified in Kylo's mission to advance his training by killing a member of his own immediate family, lessening the chance that this particular weakness of a Jedi can be used against him in the future.
- From a dark-sider's point of view, Darth Vader is a great but Tragic Hero whose Fatal Flaw was compassion for his son, which got him killed.
- Soon after Finn meets Rey and BB-8, they get attacked by the First Order. The Order troops call in airstrikes. Wait, isn't that a really bad idea? The Order wants to get the map so they can find Luke. If one of those airstrikes hits BB-8, the map will be destroyed and Luke will remain alive. (And he can return from his self-imposed exile whenever he likes.)
- As you can see, the TIE Fighters at first were only trying to cut off the group's escape. However, once they got into the Falcon, they didn't really have much choice but to shoot it down and hope they could salvage BB-8 later. In addition, the regular First Order troops were given orders to destroy BB-8 if they couldn't capture him, with only Kylo demanding it be taken intact.
- Hux explicitly accuses Kylo of putting personal priorities ahead of First Order ones in the matter. From his perspective, Luke is not a player unless somebody goes and drags him out of seclusion. If nobody knows where he is then Luke is not a problem.
- While Kylo would like to find and kill Luke, Snoke makes it clear that his first priority is that Luke stay out of the fight. Destroying the map and leaving him lost seems like an acceptable way to do this for Snoke.
- It's said (though I can't remember if before or after the assault on Jakku) that they would prefer to retrieve the map but if they must, it is an acceptable casualty. So they concede that, while not ideal, destroying the map so the Resistance can never see it is still an acceptable endgame.
Guarding the lightsaber
- Maz has Luke's lightsaber. She says she's been "guarding" it, IIRC. Um, no you haven't. You left the saber in a random unlocked box in a random room right underneath your cantina. A drunk guy could easily stumble down that way, find the lightsaber by sheer chance, and walk off with it, and you wouldn't even know! Shouldn't you guard this thing a little more closely?
- If I recall correctly, the door changed color when Rey got close. I interpreted that to mean that the door unlocked when Rey got close, maybe something in the locking mechanism sensing another Force User or something? It feels like there's enough "What the hell's going on?!" with that scene to give that beat a bit of a pass.
- Maz seems to sense that Rey is the one who is supposed to find the lightsaber. So maybe, once Rey entered the pirate base and Maz figured out who she is, she turned off the security systems that were normally guarding the saber to see whether Rey would be drawn to it?
- Maz hints that she's a force adept, so it's certainly possible the area was set up to attract and admit anyone with a strong connection to the force and light side alignment.
- The Visual Dictionary confirms that Maz is Force-sensitive, so she certainly could have arranged Rey to find the lightsaber once she sensed her Force potential.
- Also, Rey didn't open the door - the door opened for her. I agree that there's clearly some Force stuff going on that wouldn't allow a random drunk near Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber.
Lollygagging in Jakku's orbit
- Kylo's capital ship is near Jakku. We know this because when Finn and Poe escape in a stolen TIE Fighter, they visibly don't get far before they're hit. They crash-land, and later Finn escapes with Rey. Once they reach orbit, they seem to be in no hurry to get to hyperspace. Sure, they're concerned about fixing the Falcon so they don't flood themselves with poisonous gas, but there's no hint of awareness that Kylo's ship is right there and it'll nab them in moments. Compare this with ANH, just after the Falcon escapes from Tatooine. They have to get to hyperspace fast in order to escape from the Star Destroyers in orbit. Hyperspace is the only way to be safe. But in this movie? Eh, whatever. It's fine. In fact they get picked up by Han Solo, fight off some gangsters, and then go to hyperspace, and this whole time Kylo's capital ship hasn't managed to fire a single shot. It's like they're invisible.
- Non-Hyperspace flight's always been odd in Star Wars. In Empire Strikes Back, the Falcon flew from Hoth to an asteroid belt to Bespin without ever entering Hyperspace (we know this, because the Hyperspace system was busted, a major plot point). Maybe there exists some sort of faster-than-light travel that's considerably slower than Hyperspace?
- It's quite possible that they entered orbit on the opposite side of the planet, so the entire planet was essentially acting as a shield.
- Also its likely that the Falcon is simply faster then the Star Destroyer and they took off in a straight line until they could get the hyperdrive operational. In A New Hope the Imperial Fleet is sitting above the Falcon because by that point they had some idea the "droids they were looking for" were located at that particular port.
- Part of the reason Finn and Poe are shot down seems to be that they got distracted arguing about going to Jakku. Except TIE Fighters are short-range ships, so they couldn't have gone to another planet like Finn wanted.
- The TIE Fighter Finn and Poe hijacked was a Special Forces variant, which is equipped with a miniaturised hyperdrive.◊
- Even some older model TIE fighters had hyperdrives. Vader's customized one did. As did the TIE Interceptors first seen in Return of the Jedi. It would make sense that since Finn wanted to get the heck out of the system entirely, he would lead Poe to a TIE fighter that could accommodate two people and that would have hyperdrive capability.
- TIE Fighters have also been souped up since the days of the Empire.
We need a clean ship
- Han takes them to Takodana so they can get a "clean ship" that'll take them to the Resistance. What makes him think the Falcon is being tracked? There's no reason why it would have a tracking device onboard. (Unlike in Episode 4, when there was plenty of reason to suspect that.) All he says is that the Falcon can be seen on scanners, but can you really detect a ship from a multi-lightyear distance? And if it's so easy to find the Falcon, why did it take Han so long to find it himself? The whole thing just seems like an excuse to make the Takodana scene happen.
- The Falcon is even junkier than ever, likely leaking all kinds of trackable gasses behind it. It's also a very famous design, and likely pretty rare now given it's age.
- Maz heavily hints that the real reason Han brought Finn, Rey, and BB-8 to Takodana was because he didn't want to face Leia again, which is a certainty if he were to take them all the way to the Resistance base.
- The Falcon has been sitting in a junkyard for decades, making it impossible to track. The moment they fly it into space, Han finds it again.
- There's a scene in the novel cut from the film itself where Unkar shows up on Takodana and says he tracked them there. How did he track them? Using the defunct but still detectable if you know what to look for homing beacon Vader placed on the Falcon in A New Hope. If he could look for that, the Order could too.
- That... makes absolutely no sense. If the tracking device from A New Hope was never removed in between the films of the Original Trilogy, then the Empire could've easily just tracked the Millennium Falcon to Hoth instead of needing hundreds of probe droids scouring the galaxy. Or hiring bounty hunters to search for the ship in the asteroid field. Or followed the Falcon to the Rebel fleet at the end of Empire Strikes Back or before the Battle of Endor. If the tracking device was still aboard the Falcon since the events of A New Hope, then the rest of the Original Trilogy would've been a lot shorter.
- It's also because Han knows that Baala Tikk will turn him into the First Order, which is exactly what happens.
- When they arrive on Takodana, Han explicitly states that once the Falcon went to space, he and Chewie were able to detect it, and the First Order should be able to do the same.
Finding Finn and Poe
- After Finn and Poe escape in a stolen TIE Fighter, they're quickly shot down. The First Order doesn't find Finn again for a least a few hours, judging by how thirsty he gets in the meantime. (Heck, even just the jog towards the "main" crash site seemed like quite a distance.) Why does it take them so long to locate Finn? They see the trajectory of the crash on their scanners. They have their own TIE fighters, which presumably move faster than the damaged fighter Finn had. Seems like Finn should have been found within 10 minutes of hitting the surface, not hours later as the movie implies.
- Planets are big. It's possible that their prediction of where the crash site was was a bit off, and thus the search took long enough for Finn to escape. A 10 mile search radius is massive from a human perspective, but tiny from a global one.
- Not to mention, the TIE wreckage sunk into the sand very quickly after crashing, leaving practically zero trace. This would have certainly confused any search parties as they suddenly have no point of reference to search from.
- Finn shot up the Finalizer's hangar bay when Poe was busting them free from the mooring cable. It's quite possible that the damage to the hangar delayed any further launches until they put the fires out and fixed some things. Since Kylo Ren had already gotten the information that the map was inside BB-8 from his Mind Rape of Poe, hunting down the escaped Resistance pilot and traitorous stormtrooper would have been a lower priority objective than finding the droid. The First Order appeared to have already broadcast a bounty on BB-8 to the planet well before their second attack.
- I had this thought the moment the Han said "Ben!" but, why is Kylo Ren named Ben? In the original Expanded Universe Luke names his son Ben because Obi-Wan was his mentor, guide and sorta father figure. Han and Leia have no emotional connection to Ben, Leia never even really met him, and for Han he was a guy who paid him for a job.
- Not to mention that "Ben" wasn't even Obi-Wan's real name, just an alias he used on Tatooine. Maybe Leia and Han just liked the sound of that name?
- Alias, yes, but Luke continued to favor it even after learning Obi-Wan's original name. There's a symmetry here: Ben as the alias that concealed Obi-Wan's real name, and as the real name that continues to dog Kylo Ren.
- I suspect a Noodle Incident.
- Most likely, Han just picked up a grudging respect for Obi-Wan for the short time he was with him, especially when you consider that if he had never taken Obi-Wan's job, he never would have met Leia and never would have fathered Ben in the first place.
- Not to mention that Obi-Wan fought Vader on the Death Star to cover their escape. I'm sure dying to save your group from death at Vader's hands is deserving of some sort of honor as well.
- I think it's just obvious that Han and Leia let Luke name their kid. Why? Who knows. Maybe because of everything Luke had done for them. Maybe because Luke was afraid/decided he would/could never have kids himself, and told Han and Leia so. (If Rey IS his daughter, it was 10 years later or so when she was born). There could be any number of reasons why they let Luke name him; and it's not something that's unheard of, for new parents to let another close family member name one of their children.
- Perhaps they just like the name Ben. Perhaps they put a bunch of names in a hat and drew one at random. Perhaps they put them on a dartboard and threw a dart. Why is Luke named Luke? Why is Han named Han? Meaningful Name needn't been in play here.
- Leia never met Obi-Wan on screen, but her original hologram message hidden in R2-D2 said, "Help me, Obi-Wan. You're my only hope." She obviously had a great deal of respect for the man, if she is willing to send him information vital to the survival of the Rebellion.
- Seeing how Han went from a cynic who never believed in the force to a man who pretty much is a firm believer, I thought it wasn't surprising he would name his son after the one man who was one of the few that actually calls out on Han's lack of belief (As Old Ben said to Han, in my experience, there�s no such thing as luck) and got Han into the whole story once they met in that Cantina.
- They also may have named him Ben in Luke's honor. They knew how much Obi-Wan meant to him, so they decided to make their son a Dead Guy Junior to show their respect for Obi-Wan and their love for Luke. They also would have bet on their kid being Force-sensitive, so they wanted the next apprentice for the Jedi order to have a worthy name that would commemorate a great Jedi of history and give Luke (his future master) an even stronger connection to him. Like Luke becoming Obi-Wan, their son being named Ben would make everything come full circle.
- They may not have had a change to get to know Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi the man, but he's still a very important person in their lives. Ben Kenobi handed them the keys to defeating the Empire and re-establishing the Jedi Order, to say nothing of bringing Han and Leia together in the first place (albeit inadvertently, but Obi-Wan would probably be the first to say that it was the Will of the Force). While they may not have an emotional connection to the man himself, it's certainly feasible they wanted to honor the legacy of him that had such a profound impact on their lives, despite his brief time with them.
- One of Harrison Ford's real life sons name is Ben, so that may have also had an influence over the character naming.
Lightspeeding inside the shield
- How could Falcon lightspeed so close to a planet when planetary mass/ gravity is supposed to stop hyperspace jumps? Even in the new EU there are Interdictor Cruisers that stop all jumping by replicating those.
- Considering how the old EU has been retconned, and we still don't know the specifics of how the new canon Interdictors work, it may be that the Interdictors manipulate gravity in a different way. Maybe a ship isn't pulled out as quickly if it's heading directly towards the source of the gravity well. Generally, nobody is crazy enough to do something like that.
- Keep in mind that when an actual planet is involved the ship is pulled out of hyperspace because it's slamming into the ground. The Interdictors project a gravity well into otherwise empty space.
- OP: I always thought that planet's gravity stops hyperspacing until the ship is far enough, maybe atmosphere also has something to do with it.
- In Legends, at least, the reason Interdictors work is because hyperdrives have hard-wired failsafes to cut out inside gravity wells, because if they didn't, you'd smash into planets. But the speeds involved in traveling through hyperspace mean that even with the safety, you'll usually hit the planet (or it's "mass shadow" in hyperspace) anyway. Interdictors project a gravity well in empty space which triggers the safety cutoff. Depending on the radius of the shield and the planet's gravity, it's entirely possible there's a small space between them where you can travel in hyperspace (relatively) safely, especially since most of Starkiller Base seems to have been hollowed out to make room for the super-weapon, reducing the planet's mass and therefore it's gravity. It seems likely, in a Wild Mass Guess, that this trick is only possible to bypass Starkiller Base's shields, and not other planetary shields, because of the planet's reduced mass, mass shadow, and gravity well.
- They're in the Millennium Falcon! Remember what Han said in the first movie about "flying through a sun or bouncing too close to a supernova" if the hyperdrive didn't have time to calculate a safe course? Han might have had those hard-wired failsafes removed, either to enable this exact trick (which would be incredibly helpful for smuggling), or as a side-effect of boosting its speed. Point is, if any ship could go from lightspeed straight to atmosphere, the Falcon would be it.
- So, a rather huge deal is made out of the Lightsaber Maz was watching over being the same one used by Anakin and later by Luke. This makes it the saber that Ben gave to Luke at the start of Star Wars. The very same Lightsaber that was lost down a bottomless chasm in Cloud City at the end of Empire Strikes Back. Surely it'd be more sensible to use Luke's green sword from Return of the Jedi or a third, hypothetical blade wielded by Luke later on?
- Ancestral Weapon. Even if Luke used his lightsaber from Jedi more, Anakin's lightsaber is still more significant because of who it belonged to before Luke. This is why it was also coveted by Kylo Ren, and the fact that it was believed lost only increases its value. It's also widely considered to be the lightsaber among the fanbase; Graflex flash handles are virtually impossible to find now, because of how many hobbyists have used them to recreate this particular weapon.
- It's also a bit of a Legends nod since Luke originally did find the blue saber again and passed it on to Mara Jade. Assuming Luke still has his green blade, he'll probably allow Rey to keep the blue one as her own. It's a case of Broad Strokes.
- Who would leave a fully functional starship completely unattended on a planet full of scavengers? It would've been stripped of everything of value in an hour or just, here's a crazy idea, stolen! Even if we assume there were guards, but they ran away in the chaos of the attack, shouldn't it be, I don't know, locked? It's not like the owner just arrived and went to the restroom for five minutes - Falcon was kept under tarp, so clearly it's been there for a significant period of time. On the other hand it did have an owner, the scrap trader.
- Even Rey, a scavenger, initially dismisses the Falcon as "garbage". It is actually her second choice when the ship she originally wanted to steal got blown up. The locals may have all erroneously believed that the Falcon had already been stripped of anything valuable, and that even its parts would be old and worthless. That its current owner was keeping it functional may not have been common knowledge. Also, it is quite possible that they were working on it when the First Order attacked, and decided to try to run rather than stay with a ship that they didn't think could escape the TIE fighters.
- Added to that, the ship off the ground for, what, an hour before Rey has to make some emergency repairs to keep the thing from flooding with poison gas? Even in its prime the ship was on the verge of falling apart at the seams, after years of sitting in the desert it's probably just the will of the Force that made it so it didn't fall apart on take off.
- The Falcon was the property of the guy that controlled the food. Messing with it would likely end with the scavenger in question starving to death.
- Also, it could have presumably been guarded before, but the guards fled once the shooting started.
- Or indeed, the guards could have been Unkar's thugs who attacked Rey before the TI Es showed up.
Recognizing the Falcon
- How did Han know the Corellian freighter he caught was his Millennium Falcon? There were a lot of YT-1300s produced and apparently all of them are similar inside.
- True but the ship was old and falling apart when Han had it, and that was even with him making constant repairs. It's hard to imagine the others of the model series were in better shape and while Han loved the ship enough to constantly fix it, it's highly doubtful that the owners of the other YT-1300s all felt the same. Add to it that the Millennium Falcon is only so fast because it's been modded over the years by Han and possible Lando as well as previous owners, and it seems likely that most of the other YT-1300 Corellian freighters have been destroyed, broken down, or thrown away over the years. So the sight of a YT-1300 would mean that the odds are it's the Millennium Falcon.
- Han knows his ship. He's practically put it together and rebuilt it over the time he's owned it. He'd recognize things like scoring from hits in dogfights, the new radar dish he had to install, and dozens of other little bits and pieces of the ship that only he would know about.
- Even though a lot of YT-1300s have been produced, many were heavily customized based on their owners' individual needs and tastes, with the Falcon being no exception. Also, the YT-1300 was already an old design even in the Original Trilogy era, so there probably aren't very many of them left, anyways.
- Han also apparently used some kind of remote access codes to lock out the Falcon's controls when he brought it aboard his freighter. The fact that this worked at all would have proved that this was in fact his ship.
Han Using the Bowcaster
- Early in the film, Han borrows Chewie's bowcaster, sees its power, and goes "I like this thing." In the thirty-plus years Han and Chewie have been partners is this really the first time Han's had occasion to borrow Chewie's gun?
- Maybe it was a new bowcaster? Chewie's gun didn't seem to be quite so powerful in the original movies.
- This is going to be REALLY pedantic, but in the now un-canon EU, Bowcasters shot Green bolts, not Red, as seen in a lot of the video games. Supports the idea this is a new/upgraded/modified Bowcaster (...yeah, really pedantic is an understatement >_> ).
- The EU is hardly a reliable source to begin with; The one time we see Chewie fire his bowcaster in the Original Trilogy (destroying a speeder bike on Endor) it fires red bolts, not green.
- It's never wise to upset a Wookiee. Han clearly respects Chewie so he's not going to be messing with the bowcaster unless he specifically asks to. As to why he never thought to do so? He's got his own trusty blaster and in a gunfight, he'd want to use that one while Chewie used his own weapon.
- Except that he did. Like, five minutes earlier, when Chewie was wounded by the pirates, Han took the bowcaster and fired it. And, accidentally, it fired much weaker than later. What was up with that?
- Also in the now-uncanon EU, bowcasters were so powerful that the recoil would dislocate the shoulder of anyone without Wookie strength and several Han Solo/Chewbacca novels explicitly mention that much like a real crossbow, the bowcaster needs to be recocked after each shot which ALSO requires Wookiee-level strength. However, it was also noted that Chewie's bowcaster was specially modified to be more manageable. Still though, I imagine it would have an unpleasant amount of kick regardless.
Easily escaping Jakku
- Poe got off Jakku and made it back to the Resistance well ahead of Han, Chewie and Finn. This actually makes sense in that, unlike Finn, Poe was a pilot and as soon as he could get his hands on a working ship he could get out there. The only question being, where did he get a working ship on a Scavenger World?
- Well, the Falcon somehow found its way there from the outer space - and not via crashing - so it's not inconceivable that there could be other functioning starships on entirety of Jakku. It's been heard about, it's hardly a completely isolated world. For a more convoluted plot, Poe may've snuck on board of some transport carrying Stormtroopers who'd been searching for BB-8. Once it returned to the Finalizer, he could then sneak to the TIEs and steal one like he did with Finn before.
- "Scavenger World" doesn't mean that there's no commerce. All the parts Rey and others scavenge must go somewhere, and the money that pays for the food they get as payment has to come from somewhere. There's probably interplanetary traders who stop by Jakku every so often to pick up parts for old ships and such.
- Alternatively, Poe was rescued by the resistance because Leia thought "Poe should be back by now. Better send a team to find out what happened to Poe on Jakku."
- The novelization has a whole subplot about this.
- Is it ever stated that Jakku wouldn't have any transport? There were two spaceships in the nowheresville Rey lived. And I'd assume that the parts are used to repair spaceships or sold to someone, likely someone who wants to repair a spaceship given how individual parts seem to work alright between ships (with ships being very heavily modified by owners specifically because of this).
- Jakku seemed a lot like Tatooine in Episode IV; plenty of ships going in and out with cargo and supplies, but most people too poor to afford to leave.
- We see one ship taking off in the film. That's what Rey's watching wistfully. In the novel there's a deleted scene of her watching a mother and child from one of the ships who've come to Jakku briefly, so people and ships come and go all the time.
Finn in sanitation
- If Finn was one of the best Stormtroopers in his class, then why was he working in Sanitation?
- Truth in television. Low-ranking soldiers are often assigned to menial tasks like sanitation. It helps to instill obedience and discipline.
- Wait, when did they say he was one of the best? He'd never even seen combat before.
- Prequel novels. He was apparently at the top of his class in training.
- Well that just shows what kind of academy they are running. They had to trade shooting straight for loyalty and professional temper (traitor guy is cool but that seems like a bad military mindset to charge in a firefight with a mace.)
- Possibly he'd shown occasional signs of hesitancy about some of the nastier aspects of his training (e.g. manhandling prisoners, gruesome battle simulations), despite his otherwise-excellent performance. Not realizing his hesitancy was due to moral misgivings rather than gut-level squeamishness, his trainers recommended him for sanitation duty in order to get any tendency to physical nausea out of his system.
- Finn was an enlisted (actually, conscripted) grunt. Essentially like an army private just out of basic training. He was not an officer or anybody of particular rank. So he was not entitled to any special privileges. It is standard military practice to make such personnel do "grunt work", as it minimizes the need for non-combatant support staff, keeps troops from being overly idle and teaches them to do as they are told, rather than thinking that they are a hot shot elite warrior caste that should be waited upon.
- The above poster that explain it was moral, not physical misgivings is a genius. It should also add that Finn was conscripted at either birth or as as toddler, so he was not enlisted, and was actually even lower on the pecking order than volunteers.
Definition of sanitation
- What exactly is "Sanitation duty", and if it is what I think it is, how is it a stormtrooper's job? Or is it a nice way of saying "murdering civilians and covering up loose ends"?
- Accuracy aside, Finn isn't that great a soldier. He probably got stuck on latrine duty for disciplinary problems (i.e.: not being fanatical enough). Plus the above reasoning (he's a low-ranking grunt who doesn't have special privileges).
- Another notable point is that Finn is basically a Child Soldier grown to adulthood. He was not conscripted as a Stormtrooper as an adult. Thus, he could easily have been working Sanitation as a teenager, or even as a child. One doubts that the First Order cares much about the ethics of using underage trainees as a menial labor pool.
- Sanitation = . Finn should have known the place inside out as sanitation, and he had probably around 20 years of experience of doing various things throughout the First Order. You never know, he may have been a particularly talented custodian. His Assignment on the Starkiller was Sanitation. For things like Killing or guarding prisoners, it'd likely be called just that. No need for secrecy of jobs when your on a supposedly top secret base that no one knows about.
- Maybe Stormtroopers act as the United States Marines do. No matter the individual marine's MOS (job code), they are riflemen first and foremost, (or trained to fight at the least) while their MOS is second priority.
Where are the other Knights of Ren?
- In Rey's vision, we've seen Kylo Ren standing in the middle of a group of individuals who dressed like him; the Knights of Ren as they're referred to in supplementary materials, so where are they? Why is Kylo Ren the only one to show up? You'd think a strategic location like Starkiller Base would require more than one Dark Jedi to be stationed there, too.
- I'd imagine they're on other military missions or bases. There's only one trained Light-Side Jedi (Luke) and he's currently Achilles in His Tent. No need to put multiple Dark Jedi at a location he's unlikely at best to strike at.
- This could be WMG (and will also be mentioned there), but out of the "Knights" of Ren seen in the flashback vision, only Kylo is shown with an ignited lightsaber. The others are holding an assortment of undefined weapons. So it's not really clear if they are a formal organization or were merely Kylo's clique. If they are Force-sensitive, they may not be very powerfully so. That would account for young, partially-trained, Kylo being their "master". Snoke could have split them up because he doesn't want a whole group of actual Dark Jedi forming a power base for Kylo and keeping them apart impedes their both individual training and Kylo from turning them into a private army.
- Most likely they are scattered across the galaxy either looking for Luke or searching for Sith artifacts.
- Snoke's Praetorian Guard maybe? The Sith lord needs protection from the new government and unlike the first order there must be a kill on sight order for the man who destroyed the new Jedi order.
Poe returning to the Resistance
- Why does Poe return to the resistance straight after the TIE fighter crash on Jakku? Finding BB-8 and stopping the First Order obtaining the map should have been his first priority.
- Do we know when he leaves? Maybe he arrived at the township just after the battle, only to be told his droid rolled of on some ancient freighter with a pair of kids. What can he do then? The mission is gone, so he may as well return to base and report in.
- Presumably BB-8 had some kind of locator that Poe would know how to lock onto. Otherwise, the idea of finding a single droid on an entire planet is ludicrous. Maybe when he recovered from the crash and tried to scan for BB-8, he found no trace of him on Jakku? Rather than leave Leia hanging, wondering what happened, Poe decided to return to base and report in. The Resistance is not the First Order after all. Leia wasn't going to punish Poe for being overwhelmed by a star destroyer worth of First Order troops. Otherwise, stuck on a Scavenger World with no backup and First Order troops and bounty hunters everywhere, Poe could have spent the rest of his life searching for BB-8 without success (and probably getting recaptured or killed).
Starkiller Base's cannon heat
- According to Hosnian System's destruction Starkiller Base's ammo consists in some kind of fire taken from a star that can incinerate planets which logically irradiates huge amounts of extreme heats, shouldn't that be hot enough to melt the snow at the planet where the base is located when shot?
- Already kind of covered, under the folder, "Burning the atmosphere."
Stormtrooper gas masks
- So, let me get this straight: The Stormtrooper helmets filter breathing air, but it is only capable of removing smoke, a minor irritant, and does nothing to prevent breathing in things that can actually incapacitate or permanently injure the troopers. How does this make any sense? If you go through the trouble of including a filter in the first place, why stick in one that only removes a minor discomfort?
- Smoke inhalation can easily be deadly, and proper gas masks might be expensive enough, and chemical weapons taboo enough, that it's not seen as necessary for the limited use it'd see. On the other hand smoke will be pretty common on plenty of battlefields.
- Proper gas masks (or just different filters for their helmets) might be available, but not standard issue. Or just not fitted into the helmet in normal use. Even soldiers that expect to be hit with gas don't wear their gas masks in the course of normal activities - they put them on when they're needed. In a relatively small, enclosed space, the poison gas might just act too fast (at least to incapacitate) for them to get the filters in place in time. Instead of explaining all that when time is running low, just saying "the helmets don't filter out gas" or whatever gets the important part across: even with their helmets on, the Stormtroopers are vulnerable to poison gas.
- A Stormtrooper's helmet only filtering out one type of irritant is a poor piece of equipment when it's possible to travel between worlds effortlessly. Varying atmospheres and air compositions would probably require battle gear to be more well-equipped for changing climates and environments than just to filter out airborne waste from burning material. All Planets Are Earth-Like is in effect in Star Wars, yes, but that's more a meta-problem with the scope of the franchise than it is hard fact.
- The standard issue Stormtrooper helmet only filtering out smoke doesn't preclude them from having more specialized helmets and filters for when they expect chemical weapons or are going to those planets. We already know that the Empire-era Stormtroopers had different sets of equipment for things like snow planets.
- Gas masks do not filter out every possible irritant that exists. Many gas masks need custom filters that can only last for so long against one type of particulate before the filter has to be replaced. Even assuming Stormtrooper helmets are capable of protecting against multiple types of chemicals and environmental hazards, there is no possible way for an average helmet to be able to filter out everything (hence the specialized Stormtrooper armor for other environments). Regardless, Finn, as a former Stormtrooper, would know what type of poison gas would be able to bypass the filters of an average soldier.
- Also, we've never seen the Rebellion or the Resistance ever use poison gas as a weapon, so it would not be too strange if the First Order figured that there was no need to make gas masks a part of the standard Stormtrooper load-out. By contrast, smoke and dust are ubiquitous in just about every infantry engagement, so filtering those out would be very useful. Also, as has already been pointed out, a filter to keep out large particulates like dust and smoke is a lot cheaper and lighter than a gas mask to stop electrically neutral nerve gases, so the latter would be a major expense that would probably not be very beneficial.
- The novelization says that they have different filters for different gases so they need to know in advance what kind of gas they'll be dealing with so they know which filter to use. Finn also says that the stormtroopers probably wouldn't expect gas on the Millennium Falcon.
Leia and Rey?
- Why is Leia hugging Rey after Starkiller Base is destroyed? This is technically the first time (that we know of) that they meet, originally only Finn wanted to even save her, Leia was focused more on stopping the Super-weapon, she basically tells Han and Finn to try looking after they set the explosives, but to remember their priorities. For what reason is she even interested in Rey at the end
- Well, Leia is Force sensitive, perhaps she recognizes a kindred spirit, and they've both lost someone important to them (Kylo noted Rey was already seeing Han as a surrogate father figure), or she, like Han, may know who Rey really is, as there are implications that Han recognizes her to a degree - Leia could probably make the same connection when she senses Rey's presence on the base. Leia's interest in planting the bombs is colored more by urgency of not letting the Starkiller fire again, she is a General and has to play the role in that regard.
- She had just been rescued from the First Order, a group which isn't exactly kind to their prisoners. Leia could well have just been of the opinion that Rey needed a hug. And Leia probably also needed a hug. Afterwards, they probably connect more on a deep personal level. But both of them have been through a lot in the previous few days is reasonable justification.
- Even so, it is odd. Poe, who is very close to Leia, leaves the scene rushing off after the injured Finn as he is being taken away by medics. He would have been the most logical person besides Chewie to be consoling her. Instead, this does come across as being a teaser that there is some further relationship between Leia and Rey, possibly as family, that has yet to be revealed.
- This scene was one of the ones I was focusing on during my second viewing of the movie (new contributor to this thread, BTW) because I wanted to see if I could tease out the implications from this thread. My interpretation ended up being split between two views:
- It was mutual. Leia didn't see Han come down the Falcon ramp and she knew the sensation she felt earlier that Han had been killed on the Starkiller Base was real. Rey was aware of their connection to one another so they shared a hug to silently acknowledge they were both thinking the same thing.
- Leia could sense in Rey the sorrow she felt after Han's death through the Force and knew they had both lost someone special. The least she could do is give her a hug to solidify that, even if Han is no longer with them, they still have one another and his memory can live on through them.
- Even so, what about poor Chewbacca? She's known him just as long as Han, and knew well how close those two were.
- Chewie wasn't actually meant to be in the scene, according to Abrams. It was an editing error.
- Does Chewie deal with grief like that? I know it sounds sexist but women comforting each other while the guy sulk in the background might be at play.
- Another part of it may have been a thank you to Rey for not killing her son, despite what he had done, though she had the opportunity to do so.
- Leia likely knows all about Rey since Han would have filled her in and her own Force sensitivity would have shown her how devastated she was over Han's death. They had similar grief so they comforted each other. Likewise Rey's Force sensitivity would have shown her Leia's pain as well.
Kylo's Force Powers
- Why does Kylo basically forget about his powers in the climax? Ok, I won't argue that he should've necessary been able to stop Chewy's blast like he did in the beginning, but he really should've been able to stop Chewy's blast like he did in the beginning. And during the forest fight he doesn't use any Force tricks at all! Why?
- He just killed his dad, give him some slack on not properly thinking through what was going on.
- Sanity Slippage most likely. Kylo becomes less rational towards the end of the movie, and killing Han did not seem to have helped with that. Indeed, since the whole motive was to solidify his tie to the Dark Side, he was probably lost in introspection at that particular moment, searching his feelings trying to ascertain whether it had worked or not. Also, he did use Force tricks in the forest, most notably employing Force Push on Rey. However, by that point he was injured, bleeding and probably not right in the head as well as being in considerable pain. He was well past the point where more elegant powers would be easily usable. Contrary to what the Sith have always claimed, extreme anger does erode their control. That is why Palpatine never noticed that the entire Battle of Endor had turned against the Empire and Vader was about to throw him off the balcony while he was torturing Luke to death with Force Lightning in Return of the Jedi.
- I'm going to assume that not blocking Chewie was him being distracted after the whole patricide thing. After that, I'm assuming Kylo was focusing everything on being combat capable after being shot with an anti-vehicle weapon.
- As people have speculated before he almost certainly had plenty of interaction with Chewie as a kid and he most likely a surrogate uncle to him. He probably figured Chewie would never have it in him to shoot him no matter what he did. He was wrong.
- OP: Killing Solo was a pivotal moment for him, a deliberate Moral Event Horizon. He didn't do it accidentally or even in a heat of moment, like Anakin with Windu or Padme - he chose to kill his father and thus embrace the Dark Side. Why would it be distracting? On the contrary - it should've instilled him with great clarity and determination, for he is finally rid of distractions and doubts, like Anakin was in "Revenge". And seriously? You're killing someone in front of their life-long friend and you don't expect them to retaliate, whatever your prior relations are? That's colossally unwise even if your'e not Force-sensitive and thus should be able to simply sense those things.
- Correction: Kylo Ren wanted killing Solo to be a pivotal moment where he embraced the Dark Side and let go of all his past attachments to the Light. But look at his reaction, and even what he says leading up to it — it didn't work. He still does have feelings for his parents, and he's regretting it even as he does it. It's an incredibly emotional act for him to do and it's hitting him with emotions he didn't expect or want. He is absolutely not going to be in a state to think rationally and consider all the possible reactions to what he did.
- This. The script states Ren is actually weakened by the murder, plus he has been shot by a powerful weapon, had to use a lot of energy to chase Rey and Finn down and is frustrated and humiliated - we already know he is somewhat insecure. He hasn't been fully trained, and the Force requires concentration to use properly. It's probably not too different from the way I can do some fancy combos on Tekken in practice mode, but haven't bothered to learn them properly enough to actually use them effectively against a button-basher.
- In The Last Jedi, when Kylo insists that he didn't hesitate to kill Han, Snoke even says that the act tore him apart.
- When Ren Force Pushes Rey, the arm movement he does is exactly the same as when he uses Force Stasis earlier in the Film. He may well have been attempting to use that more advanced power, but either because of his wound or distracted by his father's death, mostly likely both, he didn't have the focus or the energy to do it properly, turning it into a standard Force Push. Once Rey had recovered, Ren doesn't try to do anything to incapacitate her again, even though he clearly wants to capture/train her, because by that point he was struggling to do a basic Force Pull and was probably worried that if he tried and failed, it would give Rey an opening to attack.
- As part of his 'Jedi killing lessons' HK-47 actually recommends emotionally compromising a Force user to render him more vulnerable to a conventionally equipped attacker. He mentioned a good way to do that is to focus him on concern for those he cares about.
- That conversation with HK was in regards to killing Jedi who see using emotion as potential dangerous. Ren is a Dark Jedi/Sith wannabe who feeds off his emotions. Making a Dark Force user emotionally compromised would probably only make them more dangerous, and possible unhinged but that's a topic for a different discussion.
- Darksiders may be fueled by emotion, but it still has to be controlled emotion. Hatred or desire to dominate an opponent for instance. At that moment however Ren is still focused on Han, his failure to protect Starkiller Base, and his desire to salvage the situation and please his master. He's panicked, doubting in himself and wracked with guilt, which are not emotions that lend themselves to using the force effectively.
What would have happened if the MF crashed into the planet?
- Them going into lightspeed right at the planet was to get through the planet's shields. What would have happened if they hadn't got the timing right? I remember in the Legends canon, at least some of the later literature indicated that crashing into the planet was like an FTL missile, and would likely scatter the planet into tiny bits of debris. I take it that's no longer the case? Because if it was the case, it seems to me that as callous as it may sound, they'd have been better off doing that than rescuing Rey or Kylo/Ben.
- It's probably not canon, given how that basically destroys the rationale for super-weapons, if a single ship full of fanatics can do as much damage to a planet, why would the Empire/First Order even bother?
- Or, for that matter, a ship entirely operated by droids? It would make Earth-Shattering Kabooms comparatively cheap and easy to achieve using any old clunker of a ship and some expendable droids to fly it.
- Even if it's not canon, and you cannot turn a ship into a nuke, what about loading a ship with nukes, slipping it past the shields this way and then detonating them? It doesn't even matter if it crashes or not, you just have to detonate the bombs before it does.
- I'm not sure how big an explosion you would actually get (nukes don't exist in SW) and you would also need a very good pilot in order to not just crash straight into the shields or the planet with enough force to paste yourself across the area (and again being SW, and this never brought up as a legitimate tactic, likely causing no more damage than you would in a straightforward ramming procedure).
- Nukes exist in Legends. In Issue 15 of the Knights of the Old Republic comics, nuclear bombs are used on Serroco by the Mandalorians.
- Actually, in Legends continuity, you can't hit a planet in hyperspace. You can hit its mass shadow. The planet isn't in hyperspace, but its mass generates a shadow in hyperspace, like it does in real-space (gravity.) Hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting an object in real-space. . . at a zillion times the speed of light. An early episode of The Clone Wars shows a ship (the Malevolence, if memory serves) being sabotaged to take advantage of exactly this. . . it enters hyperspace while heading straight at a planet, and there's a rather spectacular kaboom. . . and the planet didn't even notice.
- The article regarding that on Wookiepedia suggests that at least some authors retconned/ignored that. And I'll admit, the Malevolence scene looks like it hit the planet conventionally.
No hyperspace missiles?
- In relation to the question above, since it's now established that those planetary shields can't block out things like the Millennium Falcon while it's going at hyper-speed (probably because hyperspace is basically another space dimension, allowing the ship to go around the three-dimensional shield in the fourth dimension), the obvious next innovation in warfare is fitting out conventional anti-ballistic missiles (nuclear-tipped or not) with hyperspace engines and then steering them into important targets such as a Death Star's thermal exhaust port or the Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator. Is Han Solo the only guy to think of bypassing shields this way, and only now? Otherwise, one has to wonder why the Resistance didn't already have some hyperspace missiles to fire at the Starkiller Base's weak spot; those sure would have saved their precious X-Wing fleet an awful lot of casualties.
- Any number of possibilities:
- Han is using a smuggler's trick that no sane or rational person would even consider trying to pull off. And as we see, even Han himself, who has decades of flying experience with the Falcon, very nearly crashed in the process. To assume any random X-wing pilot or computer AI could do it is asking a lot. So other people may know of the trick, but they're not desperate or insane enough to try it (remember, Han is the same guy who earlier in the film gambled on being able to jump to hyperspace from inside another ship, with no idea whether it would actually work or not).
- As we saw in the film, Poe had to take his X-wing inside the Star Killer to strike the oscillator. Even if the Resistance did have hyperspace missiles that can breach the shields in this manner, they don't have the accuracy to strike such a target.
- There's also the cost consideration. How much money would it require to outfit such long-range ordinance, particularly in large enough numbers to constitute a viable threat. The Resistance is as cash-strapped as the Rebellion, relying on outdated technology (their T-70 X-wings are several generations behind the Republic's T-85s) provided as hand-me-downs or at a deep discount.
- Responding to each of those points:
- Han's hardly the only crazy or desperate character we've ever seen in the Star Wars franchise, and missiles are on a one-way trip to their target and don't have a pilot on board, removing the problem of anyone's needing to survive the trip.
- As we also saw in the film, Poe was able to get inside the oscillator and blow everything sky-high because Han had just opened a new hole in it with his explosives; also, before that, Poe and his squadron were engaged in bombing runs trying to blast their way in. Sure, one hyperspace missile might not destroy the oscillator, but two might: one emerging directly from hyperspace and blasting a massive hole in the oscillator's outer shell, and then a second one to fly in through that breach and detonate inside it, blasting everything to kingdom come.
- Cost considerations? Fitting out conventional missiles with hyperspace engines would tend to be cheaper than buying X-wings (even older models) and training their pilots. Since, as mentioned, missiles don't have pilots on board, building them can't cost much more than building any kind of conventional star ship, and the engine doesn't have to be military-grade; Han's Millennium Falcon is basically just a souped-up and weaponized cargo freighter. The hyperspace engines themselves can't be very expensive, and could probably be easily salvaged from any old hunk of junk being decommissioned and disassembled for parts in a junkyard. Seriously, if building this kind of improvised-from-salvaged-parts weapon were to occur to anyone first, it would almost certainly be Leia's cash-strapped Resistance and its likewise cash-strapped predecessor the Rebel Alliance.
- Any number of possibilities:
- Other than dramatic impact, what is the logical reason for sending Rey to seek out Luke once they have the map? The entire reason he has gone into hiding was that Kylo, and possibly several other apprentices, went bad and seemingly slaughtered those who did not join them in turning to the Dark Side. Unless one accepts the fan theory that Rey is Luke's daughter, it would seem like sending another would-be Padawan to him would just be rubbing salt in an open wound. In contrast, if Leia had gone herself, or even sent somebody like Poe, to argue that Luke is needed for himself and not just as a trainer of potential Jedi, then that would be a less emotionally-charged way of handling it. Luke fought as Rebel for years before becoming a Jedi Knight. His skills as a pilot and a leader were as important to the Rebel Alliance as his potential in the Force. With the First Order now on the offensive, General Leia and the Resistance can use every capable fighter that they can get. Appealing to him from that angle would seem more likely to snap him out of his Heroic BSoD than sending him a living reminder of what went wrong the last time he was in the middle of things.
- I thought the same thing, considering that Leia wanting to find Luke was the reason for the movie's plot in the first place.
- Maybe Leia wanted to convey that Luke is remembered as a hero to the populace rather than a failure, and sent Rey as an example of someone who looks up to him and wants to learn from him.
- Considering the saber was basically begging for her to take it, it's likely a sign that things are really really bad and Luke will have to do something about it rather than keep hiding. Hence why the first thing she does is show him the saber before even saying a word, as if to basically say "The Force/your father's spirit guided me here, you can't ignore the situation anymore."
- Not to mention, with the Republic capital destroyed, Leia suddenly has much more to worry about, such as helping keep the Republic together. She can't afford to go off into an unexplored sector of the galaxy for who knows how long. Plus, if the WMG that Rey is Luke's daughter is true, then Leia probably thought it was better for Rey and Luke to be reunited.
- It is highly unlikely that somebody as strong in the Force as Luke failed to notice the destruction of the Hosnian System. So he does not need any "signs" of how bad things are getting. Ignorance is not the issue. The issue is that Luke believes that this is at least partly his fault because of Kylo Ren going bad. So sending yet another potential Jedi apprentice to him would almost seem like a sick joke. Poe could at least appeal to Luke as a fellow fighter pilot and emphasize that he is needed for something other than just training possible-future Dark Jedi. Luke seems anything but pleased to see Rey or that lightsaber — reminders of his failures. One would think that somebody with Leia's diplomatic background would try a more tactful approach to luring him out of seclusion, rather than sending somebody that positively screams: "Here's another one! Try not to f___ it up this time!"
- I felt that the difference is that unlike Kylo Ren, who was basically dropped off to Luke by his parents to handle his growing Vader obsession (seeing how it kinda implies Leia and Han agreed that their son has too much Vader in him that they felt that this is Luke's thing rather than really talk to Ben about it like they should have done as parents), Rey came willingly on her own to the point she didn't let Chewie and R2 follow her (they are Luke's friends after all) to make her point of why she's here. Nobody forced the issue on Luke by bringing Rey there, it's Rey's choice. The fact she has Anakin's lightsaber happens to seal the deal that there is more to her than a mere force user that seeks training.
- Kylo Ren was quite serious about learning to use the Force too, and he was a living extension of the family legacy. That does not mean it turned out well. Plus, as others have noted, that particular lightsaber has negative associations (e.g. the massacre of the old Jedi Order) as well as positive ones. Luke lost it when he found out the truth about Darth Vader, and did not seem happy to see it again. In many ways, the Falcon was a freighter delivering a load of emotional baggage to Luke in this case! Just because Rey is there by choice does not mean that she is not a reminder of what went wrong the last time, or what might go wrong again.
- It is strongly implied in the movie that while Leia isn't a Jedi, she is sensitive to the Force: she senses Han's death from light years away, and when she first meets Rey at the end of the movie, she appears to know what Rey has witnessed even though they don't exchange a word. Since Rey is drawn to Anakin's lightsaber, it would appear that (whether or not she's Luke kid) she was chosen by the Force. Maz certainly seems to think so, and she probably told Leia what happened with Rey and the saber. Based on Maz's story and her own Force reading, it seems likely that Leia figures out Rey is The Chosen One, destined to fight Kylo, Snoke and the First Order, just like Luke was destined to fight his father and the Empire. And if Leia can sense this, so can Luke, so sending Rey to him makes perfect sense.
- To be fair, it was well established since the original trilogy that Leia is force sensitive. And I assumed Rey went out of choice rather than being "sent".
- I assume Rey volunteered to go after Luke after accepting that she has the Force in her, because she wants to learn from the best.
- Nobody knows better than Luke that the whole Chosen One thing just leads to long-term problems that somebody else down the road will have to clean up at a later date, and probably after much bloodshed. Anakin was the Chosen One after all, and he just brought two decades worth of Empire, which in turn spawned the First Order that now threatens the galaxy! Practically-speaking, one would start to wonder which side of the Force is really promoting the whole Chosen One idea. Luke probably ponders that constantly given the circumstances.
- Rey is basically the perfect new Jedi they need at the moment. She was raised humbly, is still a sweetheart despite her harsh life, only recently learned of her power and know nothing of the Jedi beyond vague stories, and the circumstances of her finding the saber and Luke are so strung together it's as if the Force itself guided her to him. And she just got a direct look at what the Jedi are supposed to fight against with Kylo and the First Order. She's the complete opposite of Ben who was raised with the mentality that he was gonna be a badass Jedi probably since he was a kid and knew all about Vader, and even to Anakin, who was trained as Jedi only knowing that he was the vague chosen one and was destined for greatness but never really saw Darth Maul or any serious trouble for years. Rey thinks she's no one, there's no way she'd turn to the dark, or at least not like they did. She's the one that could get Luke out of his funk. Quite frankly they don't need Luke as a pilot, they already have guys like Poe and his squad who are just as good. They need Luke the Jedi and they need him to get Rey up to speed. If he won't do that, he might as well stay there and Rey will have to train herself, but sending their Ray of hope to him was the best way to get him to do something. Leia herself couldn't do that, he could have returned to her at any time and didn't, Poe couldn't do it either, they might bond as pilots but Luke would say they were in good hands with him and send him back. Rey was a calculated risk. They can't slowly edge him back in, they had to basically tell him straight and see what happened.
- I got the impression that more than anything else, Rey was desperately begging Luke to take the lightsaber and the responsibility it represents away from her. Basically, here, this is yours, take it, I don't want it.
- She seems to be over that by the end of the film. I don't think she'd have the dramatic moment where she took up the saber and fought off Ren, embracing the Force as she did so, if she was just gonna go back to being scared of her destiny afterwards.
- It could very well be a gesture of "take this thing and show me how to use it"; it must be frustrating as well as frightening that so far her only real chance to learn how to channel the Force has been through Kylo Ren. She might consciously or unconsciously be trying to assess what kind of person Luke is and what his being a Jedi means, since already him and his achievements are mired in legend.
- The Novel all but says she's going there for training, complete with a final conversation between Rey and Leia where Leia says it's similar to when her son left and Rey promises she'll never fall to the dark like him.
- It could be a sign of trust from Leia to Luke. Telling him that she doesn't blame him for Kylo, and that she trusts him to do the right thing. Luke was also likely taking a page out of Ben and Yoda's playbook. . . when the apprentice is ready, they'll find the master. He hasn't been hiding, afraid and ashamed of what's happened. . . he's waiting until the time is right, until the Force guides the apprentice he needs to him. Just as Ben and Yoda were waiting for the Force to guide Luke to them.
- Luke's been in isolation for quite a while and there's no telling if he'll leave now. Sending Rey sends the message 'if you won't help at least train her so she can help'.
- Consider the following fact: Luke left a map to where he was going. It stands to reason that he wanted to be found by the right person when the time was right. Now consider where he left the two pieces of the map: one with R2-D2, and one with an old friend of Leia on Jakku. Why on Jakku, of all places? If Luke wanted to be found by the right person, it stands to reason that he left part of the map on Jakku because the right person was on Jakku. Notice as well R2 finally reactivates at the end when Rey arrives at the Resistance base for the first time, almost as if hearing her voice or otherwise detecting her was the signal R2 had been instructed to wait for. In other words, there is a strong circumstantial case to be made that Luke left the map specifically for Rey to find when the time was right. And even if that turns out not to be true, it is still very possible that Leia and the rest of the Resistance concluded that it was true.
- The part about R2 has been Jossed by Word of God: Artoo woke up because BB-8 told him that he was here with the rest of the map, it just took Artoo time to find it and come back to full power. However I agree it's a strange coincidence that both Lor San Tekka and Rey were on Jakku.
- I figure Rey was sent because Leia still had to run the Resistance and what better ship to send for Luke than the Millennium Falcon? She had Chewie and Artoo there to vouch for her as well. The bit about her needing to be trained in the Force is another good reason to send her.
- And yet, for all the talk of Rey not turning to the dark side, there's her brief moment after she defeats Kylo Ren...
Why didn't Kylo Ren kill Poe when he had the chance?
- Kylo Ren's only use for him was to determine where the map was. Once he got it, why wouldn't he just kill Poe and take out the Resistance's best pilot? Leaving him alive seems careless.
- Since Kylo Ren wasn't expecting Poe to escape, he probably wanted to try to get more information out of him later. Being at least in command of an X-Wing squadron, Poe probably had quite a bit of information in his head that the First Order would find very useful. Killing him would deny them that information. Having him imprisoned already denies the Resistance its best pilot.
- From the look of things, Kylo's Mind Probe/Mind Rape thing is strenuous for him as well as the victim. He probably cannot pull a complete memory dump from the subject and then sift through it at his leisure. Instead it works best if he is probing for specific information. So, as noted above, there were likely many interrogation sessions in Poe's future. But in the short-term Kylo wanted the map more than anything else and trying to wrest all the secrets of the Resistance from Poe in a marathon mind probe was not something he wanted to get bogged down in.
- There is also the possibility of using Poe as a hostage, considering he's a very high ranking or at least very important member of the Resistance.
Leave a guard with the Force sensitive
- Why did Kylo bother leaving a guard with someone like Rey? She not only resisted his mind probe, but pushed her way into his head. If he assumed she had no training or experience, she almost certainly picked up the basics from his head. So why leave someone in the room to manipulate when just monitoring her from a camera would make escape impossible?
- Simply put, Kylo Ren isn't all that smart. Especially when he's angry. He just got his signature technique reversed on him by a novice, his first (quite reasonable) thought was to run and tell his master. Any secondary (also very reasonable) thoughts about force proofing a cell were forgotten about in his eagerness. To be fair they are in the middle of their base, and he likely hasn't had a great deal of experience in dealing with force users.
- "Middle of their base" being the key words here. Rey is alone, surrounded by enemies, in a First Order base, on a First Order planet protected by forcefields. As far Kylo is concerned, even if she escaped her cell, there's no way she would get that far away. So Kylo got careless, because he couldn't even imagine the Resistance being able to infiltrate Starkiller Base.
- Also Kylo may have written the incident off as a fluke. Heck, he may even recognize her strength in the Force but figures she's not aware of it herself and her resistance was instinctual, not cognizant, and thus doesn't expect she'll figure out how to channel it in the brief time he leaves the room.
- Kylo simply underestimated her. He's clearly shocked that she managed to resist him, but at the same time as far as he's concerned she's a savage from a desert planet without any training or encouraging of her abilities whatsoever. He just didn't expect her to start figuring out what she could do or being as good at it as quickly as she ended up being.
- An extension of that question could be: why not assign an interrogation droid to her instead? They used one on Poe after all. As an added bonus, the Jedi Mind Trick wouldn't work on a droid. Are Knights of Ren just gallant towards women?
- It's possible that some twisted form of gallantry or chivalry was at play. Ren certainly treated Rey differently than he had treated Poe.
- I don't think there was that much time between the mind probe and her escape. He leaves to presumably talk to his master ASAP and comes back right after. He didn't have time to set up a security camera or go find a droid. He likely flagged the first trooper he saw told him to watch her and then left and came straight back, thinking "There is no way in hell this girl who just found out she's force sensitive will work out how to use it to escape in under 10 minutes." and based on his raging reaction afterwards he's mentally kicking himself for thinking that. So yeah it was a dumb and arrogant move but that's Kylo Ren in a nutshell and he himself clearly thinks the same after it happens.
- It could have also been that he delegated. So he leaves the room, orders the first stormtrooper he sees to guard the prisoner, and stalks off to go talk to Snoke. He meant "stand outside this door so she can't mind trick you but you'll see if she tries to leave," but JB-007 interpreted it as "stand inside the room so you can keep a direct eye on her in case she tries anything funny."
- Rather humorously, Kylo, after talking to Snoke, is seen stalking his way back to the interrogation chamber in his helmet but without his hood thing. When he reaches the interrogation room, he has his hood on. Either this is a continuity error or he unintentionally widened Rey's window for testing her abilities because he went to get his hood so he could look cool and intimidating in front of her again.
- You can also throw in the possibility that Kylo Ren may not understand the Force all that well. He uses it as a tool and a weapon but doesn't have a strong bond with it. It's very possible that the Force itself guided Rey to use the Mind Trick and Kylo Ren simply didn't anticipate it because he didn't think it was possible for the Force to impart knowledge by itself.
- The Jedi Mind Trick is a fairly high level power. Ren literally had no reason to think that Rey would be able to figure out something so complex on her own.
- Who says it was Ren's call? He's not the scary Supreme Commander Vader was, he's shown to be outranked by other First Order officers. Procedure may dictate a guard be present with a prisoner, and if Ren has a problem with it, he can take it up with the General.
- Is he outranked by officers? I got the impression he was vaguely equal to General Hux in a similar way to Vader and Tarkin, with Ren outside of the main command structure but being important by virtue of his relationship to Snoke, and Hux being (almost) at the top of the real command structure, but potentially more expendable (and less individually useful).
- Ren has yet to think of her as either an opponent or a threat at that point. He treated Poe as an experienced Resistance member, was prepared for a fight to get the information he wanted and for appropriate security in the meantime. To Ren Rey's just some pretty, dumb, backwater hick who got messed up in this by accident. He tries to talk, then intimidate the secret out of her. He even tries to turn on the charm. When none of that works, he decides to cut to the chase and just pluck the candy out of the baby's grasp with his Force powers�and gets a nasty shock. Off-balance, embarrassed, and angry at having his greatest fear thrown in his face at the same time that she unexpectedly thwarts his "simple" move, he gets out of there and runs to Snoke for advice, without stopping to re-evaluate her as a prisoner.
Luke's silence in the final scene
- Is it just me, or was there some seriously intense reading going on in the final scene? Luke is a very powerful force sensitive and could not have been oblivious to what had just happened, considering its been years since the destruction of Alderaan and he has likely fine tuned his Force powers to a prodigious level, there is NO WAY IN HELL he has no idea what's going on in the galaxy. Plus, the way he looks at Rey is like 'here we go again' So what gives? Why the silence? I get that he might not be entirely pleased at the thought of a new Padawan but seriously? At the least it had to have been unnerving for Rey, given her expression.
- I thought he was just surprised that he was even found, though you're right in that he should have seen it coming as soon as she landed.
- It's for the benefit of us the viewers. The lack of dialogue in that final scene adds a little bit more gravitas to the situation and also makes us want to come back for the sequel and find out what's going on.
- It's possible that he was just stunned into silence at seeing his father's old lightsaber again. Given various rumors about whom Rey may or not be related to, he could also recognize her and that's what stunned him.
- He probably knew she was coming, but when he turned and saw her and his father's lightsaber, that's when it finally hit him. He's probably realizing that things really have gone down the crapper if they went this far to find him, and what with the events that transpired with Kylo in the backstory and in this movie, he's probably in a huge Heroic BSoD with a spicing of It's All My Fault on top. Basically, he's wondering if he's even fit to be a Jedi at all if he managed to cock up the galaxy this badly. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Star Wars VIII has him refusing to teach Rey out of fear of history repeating itself, and Rey being just another Kylo Ren in the making.
- It is ambiguous if Rey is returning the lightsaber and asking for training, or if Kylo's offer of being an apprentice got through to her just like the force interrogation technique and she is about to pull a Bastilla Shan out of nowhere. But the sequel will show this is not the case, as they sort of hang out with no confrontation and nothing significant happens. But Luke has to make sure. He senses the darkness within her, and though she insists she only came to view the splendor of the coasts of Ireland, he knows she will inevitably be totally neutral and nothing bad will happen.
- My theory is that Luke was specifically waiting for the Force to guide the right apprentice to him, as Obi-Wan and Yoda waited for the Force to bring Luke to them. When the apprentice is ready, they will find the Master. Luke probably knew it was coming (as said, he's probably on par with Anakin's potential, with the benefit of a lot of years of self-training and no total cyborg body replacement), but no matter how much he sensed the time approaching, when it actually arrives he's still not ready for it. Seeing Rey, seeing Anakin's lightsaber, knowing what's happened and what's about to happen, he's just not sure if he has it in him to pass on the Jedi legacy. And he's probably thinking about Obi-Wan and Yoda, if this is what they felt when that brash, naive farm boy showed up on their doorsteps asking to be handed the power of the Force, and if the memory of Anakin and his betrayal weighed as heavily on them as the memory of Ben weighs on Luke. He may also be giving Rey his version of "The Yoda test." He can't really pull off Yoda's innocent bumbler act, but he wants to see what this girl is made of, so he's just going to let her make the first move.
- The Last Jedi does explain Luke's silence at the ending: he absolutely did not want to be found and teach another apprentice. Luke didn't even know Rey was coming because he intentionally cut himself off from the Force, disillusioned by the teachings of the Jedi.
- Furthermore, The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Luke knew Rey was a Palpatine, possibly since before he'd met her in person, which could've factored into his surprise. Of all people, he probably wasn't expecting the granddaughter of his old enemy to have come to seek him out.
Why did Captain Phasma lower the shields for Han and Finn?
- It seems to me that if she was truly dedicated to the First Order, she would have accepted death at their hands rather than help them out in any way. Either that or she should have at least put up some sort of a fight, even outnumbered 3 to 1.
- She seemed fairly confident that her troops would storm the block and kill them, and the Order doesn't seem to have the same "you are expendable" mindset as the Empire.
- Just me, but I had half-expected her to pretend to lower the shields while actually sending a distress call.
- For a similar reason to why Tarkin didn't evacuate when he was told that the Rebel's attack on the Death Star had a chance of succeeding. He believed it too improbable and didn't want to lose face by fleeing. Phasma likewise believed that Starkiller Base was too hardened for Resistance fighters to destroy, and she didn't want to sacrifice herself just to prevent what she believed would be a futile attack.
- The Star Wars novel Phasma goes on to explain why she lowered the shields. Turns out that she's really a Dirty Coward who's not all that loyal to the First Order, and is more than willing to throw others under the bus to save her own skin.
So what happened to Coruscant?
- In the movie, it's established that the New Republic choose Hosnian Prime to be the location of the new capital, so what happens to Coruscant? The whole planet is one gigantic city and it's basically the center of the galactic society for who knows how long. Even if Hosnian Prime is as densely populated as Coruscant, it seems unlikely that they could just change capital planets without throwing the whole galaxy into chaos in the process.
- It's explained in other media: As part of its attempt to distance itself from the Empire, the New Republic rotates its capital world rather than keeping the governmental seat on one planet.
- Although one can wonder what the economic impact on Coruscant was, given that it was a One-Product Planet (capital), as well as how fierce the political infighting would be over which planet got to be the next in line as the rotating capital. After all, the Old Republic Senate was easily gridlocked on many issues. Maybe Hux had some basis for his description of the New Republic as chaotic?
- Generally, besides being the traditional seat of government, Coruscant's main export is simply human resources, with a population of trillions. Also, even though it's not the actual capital, Coruscant can still serve governmental functions, such as bureaucracy. For example, the Social Security Agency, one of the largest federal institutions in the United States, isn't actually headquartered in Washington DC.
- According to the Wookiepedia, Coruscant ended up seceding from the New Republic and aligned with the First Order. They were part of a planet faction called the Centrists who valued a stronger executive authority and even liked the older Galactic Empire.
How did Poe take out so many TIE Fighters?
- He blows up like six in one swoopy-doopy maneuver, and they're all kind of sitting still waiting for it. Just doesn't mesh very well with him being surprised by how fast they are earlier. Considering that the spaceship fights in Star Wars are based off WWII-era dogfighting, and taking out five other planes in your entire career warranted "Flying Ace" status for a real-life pilot... it seems kind of cartoonish.
- Remember Poe is an extraordinary pilot who was willing to really push what a TIE can do. Most run of the mill TIE pilots are going to be careful and not go too fast in an atmosphere or bank and turn too hard. If someone of Poe's capabilities was flying then they wouldn't have been shot down so easily.
- Knowledge of angles and superb situational awareness. A good pilot knows what's happening around him, where potential targets are, and where they're going at all times (good SA is critical: the vast majority of pilots shot down in a dogfight never knew the guy who got him was there). If Poe is able to read the trajectories and velocities of the fighters he's engaged with, he can predict where they'll end up at a given moment, and can adjust his own maneuvers to put his guns on target by the time he gets there. Especially in the case of atmospheric combat, where ships are far more limited in the sorts of maneuvers they're capable of, and vectors are much more fixed. What we see him do in the film is chaining this together � helped by a healthy bit of luck in positioning � in sequence to jump among multiple targets. It's all well within the capabilities of any skilled combat pilot, especially with the technical capabilities of an X-wing fighter (targeting suite, avionics, advanced sensors, and a highly-effective weapons package).
- Considering that this is Star Wars, it's not entirely impossible that Poe is Force-sensitive and that, much like Anakin and Luke before they became Jedi, he instinctively channels it into his piloting despite his lack of Jedi training. Indeed, the lack of training could have possibly resulted in him very narrowly focusing his talent into this one area. The other Resistance pilots all clearly defer to him, and acknowledge that he is the Ace Pilot among Ace Pilots.
- It isn't explicitly cannon, but I've always thought that Force Sensitivity probably exists on a spectrum. One thing that Force Sensitive people seem to have in common is unconsciously tapping into the Force to improve their perception and reflexes. If true, it is entirely possible that Ace Pilots like Poe or Wedge are minority Force Sensitive, not enough to ever be trained or really register on the radar of someone who is trained, but still enough to enhance their piloting skills. It is never discussed, but given that Jedi/Sith are shown to have naturally different power levels it stands to reason that it is possible to be Force Sensitive, but not enough to ever be trained.
- Seeing how the EU's best pilots are usually killing machines pulling crazy maneuvers (with Wedge being the best of them), I wasn't too surprised with Poe's skills if he's considered the best in the Resistance.
- Not canon. I know people like the books and stuff, but you may as well be referencing fan-fiction at this point.
- More like apocryphal canon. The old EU may not be fully canon anymore, but until we know exactly how and where the new continuity will differ the old stuff makes a useful basis for educated guesses.
- Well surely it is confirmed? We know that you test the power of a force user by doing that Midichlorian test and that Anakin's was was the highest level ever found. It would make sense that there is some sort of base line to become a Jedi and there are loads of people out there that wouldn't get the required level although still with a real, but limited, connection to the force.
- What was the first thing that was ever stated about the Force?: It is in all life. Considering that in the old canon, exceptionally skilled people were subconsciously Force users (and there's nothing in the new canon that disputes than in any way, considering that Anakin was already an Ace Pilot when he was NINE!), it stands to reason that Poe may have a higher potential in the Force than many others, but still falls short of being on the level of a Jedi.
- The good example would be Maz Kanata. After 1,000+ years (older than Yoda!) you would think that she would have Jedi Master level powers if her potential were that great. While she definitely has a strong connection to the Force, and exhibits some degree of clairvoyance, she is not bouncing around swinging a lightsaber or telekinetically throwing stuff. Presumably she is an example of a person who is below the baseline for developing that kind of power, but she has used the Force in a more subtle way throughout her life.
Obi-Wan, is that you?
- During my second viewing, I noticed after the whole nightmare sequence where Rey touched Anakin's lightsaber and weird shit just happened, I heard a voice saying "These are your first steps". Now, am I just high out of my mind or did that sound like Obi-Wan Kenobi talking directly to Rey? And if so, how could he possibly reach out to her, and are there any possible implications to it?
- In Rey's vision, you can heard what is implied to be Obi-Wan's voice (both old, Alec Guinness's version and young, Ewan Mc Gregor's version) and Yoda's voice. Although there isn't any solid evidence yet, there is a theory on WMG page guessing that maybe Rey could be related to Obi-Wan Kenobi himself. Of course, it's just a guess and the voices heard don't really mean anything significant, but yeah, that was Obi-Wan's voice, no doubt.
- Yeah you heard right. They even digitally edited old Alec Guinness dialogue to make him say Rey's name. Best guess is they're just calling her out to accept her destiny as the next hero, like how they supported Luke. Luke can't do it cause he's not dead yet.
Kylo Ren's Lightsaber
- Upon watching the movie again, I couldn't help but notice that there was a difference between Kylo Ren's lightsaber and the lightsabers of the past, Like Anakin's blue lightsaber or the Darth Vader lightsaber. It almost looks like its more unstable and the energy isn't as well contained. Whereas Anakin's lightsaber is a solid blue blade, Ren's is ... well its more clearly seen as energy if that makes sense. Do you think its deliberate on Ren's part, or is it the result of a faulty design?
- Ren's saber has a cracked crystal, which is why it appears that way. That's also why it needs the crossguard (the two energy protrusions coming out of the hilt are exhaust caused by the instability of the crystal within).
- There's also a metaphorical reason for the difference, showing just how emotionally unstable Ren is compared to other Jedi like Luke and Rey.
Luke's mechanical hand
- When you see Luke at the very end, his mechanical hand appears in exposed "skeletal" form like Anakin's mechanical hand in the prequels, rather than the flesh and blood-looking replacement he gets at the end of Empire. What happened? Did the faux skin get worn out or something?
- It's probably safe to assume that the skin wore off. 30 years of isolation on a primitive planet is probably enough to destroy synthetic skin.
- He's actually only been hermiting since he lost Ben to the Dark Side. The supplemental material puts that at about 15 years, though, which still could be enough time to wear out. And since there's no one around to see it but him, why bother to replace it?
- Either that or Luke just felt he didn't need the synthetic skin anymore to hide the prosthetic.
- Or he removed it on purpose to serve as a permanent reminder of how close to the Dark Side he came. The flesh is also missing in the flashback.
- Or maybe Luke never actually gave a damn what his hand looked like, and only had the thing covered by synthetic flesh in the first place so he could appear more anonymous on espionage missions for the Rebellion. Once the Empire was toast, he quit hiding his prosthesis, because vanity isn't befitting a Jedi.
Just knock him out
- Why does Kylo Ren decide to duel Finn instead of just Force-smacking him at tree like he did Rey? Even if he thought Finn wouldn't be able to put up much of a fight, Ren is wounded and tired and the planet around them is collapsing. Why waste your time and energy? Knock him out, take lightsaber, grab Rey and have some Fighter pick you up. Granted, Ren likely wasn't in his most rationale state of mind but even this goes only so far.
- Something tells me that Ren sees Finn as a personal issue, probably blaming the latter for his sudden drop in competence. Once Finn helped Poe escaped, nothing went well for Ren at this point, and Finn is somehow related to these strings of events (the escape of Jakku, Han's return, etc). The fact that a mere trooper, a traitor no less, managed to screw everything up for Ren has to earn a sort of grudge. Finn then refusing to hand Ren's grandfather's lightsaber probably was the last straw at this point.
- Personal grudge or not, Finn and Rey were Resistance members, and were both dangerous (especially Rey). In Kylo's extremely messed up state, he sought to take care of the problem himself, thinking that "Those two are MINE" and also wanting to get his grandfather's lightsaber. Really, I just think that Ren is (possibly) secretly jealous that Han "loved them more" than him.
- My guess is Kylo Ren wasn't thinking clearly at that time because he's too exhausted and emotional. If we go by the screenplay, Kylo was extremely stressed over the whole killing Han Solo ordeal. Add to that, he had to catch up with Finn and Rey and somehow ended up ahead of them even though they both had a head start, which couldn't be possible if he hadn't use Force Speed, despite being heavily injured himself. Combined with all of that, that one last Force Push he uses on Rey might be the only Force power he could muster right then, and he thought he could just easily curb stomp Finn with only his lightsaber skills (possibly even with a single stroke), never expecting that Finn would put up a decent fight and last as long as he did. Also, he could've use the Force during his fight with Rey, too, but instead opts to duel lightsabers with her instead. Maybe he really was too exhausted to even use basic Force powers and rely on brute strength instead, which proves to be his downfall.
- He probably was exhausted. When he was trying to Force Pull Anakin's lightsaber, he was clearly having trouble, when earlier in the film, he easily Force Pulled an officer directly to him in a split second.
- Furthermore, if Finn is Force-sensitive, Kylo Ren is almost certainly aware of it. He might feel an obligation to killing this traitor/fetal Jedi/friend of his father's (and beloved of Rey's) in an up-close-and-personal way as part of his M.O. as a Jedi killer.
- He didn't seem to have the stamina to use it more than once since after that he doesn't use the Force in the rest of the fight beyond trying and failing to grab the saber. In that case he'd take out Rey, the one he knew was the biggest threat to him first. He didn't even hit her that hard, despite Finn's theatrics over her since she came to a minute later.
- Ren is insecure in the extreme. When Finn refused to hand over Anakin's lightsaber, that insecure part of Ren's mind may have felt that he needed to prove he deserved to have it. Darth Vader's spirit providing one final test for Ren to prove his worthiness to carry on Vader's cause, because clearly killing Han didn't do it.
Why an entire system?
- What was First Order's necessity to blow an entire system when the New Republic was only concentrated in one planet? Leaving no survivors in the political-centre planet would have been enough, which potentially means they possibly blew neutral planets for no reason.
- Why blow up any planets? The First Order, like the Empire before it, thrives on huge, dramatic gestures, not on simple and efficient pragmatism.
- If I remember correctly, the system of the New Republic is that the government is rotational between planets. Take out every head at once, and none will re-emerge.
- From what I saw, Starkiller did not take out the entire system, just Hosnian Prime and its moons.
- Raw hatred. They knew where the Republic lived and hit them as hard as they possibly could to make it clear their days are numbered. It's actually quite terrifying (that much disregard for life simply because of ideological difference).
- While Hosnian Prime is the center of government, the remaining planets may also serve important functions, such as hosting part of the Republic fleet. Destroying them ensures that even if a provisional government is rapidly assembled, they will have fewer resources to counterattack.
Map in Pieces
- Why did Luke leave behind two different pieces of a map, one with R2D2 and one with Lor San Tekka, when he went into exile? Why not just tell his sister where he was going? If he didn't want people to find him, he wouldn't need to leave a map at all, and if he did want people to be able to find him, simply entrusting Leia with his location would have been much simpler. Instead, he hides a portion of a map with Tekka on Jakku, forcing Leia to send Poe to find it, resulting in a complicated chain of events that gets Poe tortured and Han killed. Is there something about Luke's motivations that I missed watching the film? Or is there an explanation somewhere in the background material?
- You're making a lot of assumptions that are erroneous or unsupported. Like that Luke set things up like that deliberately, or that he wanted to be found. It makes more sense when you realize it wasn't a map to Luke, it was a map to the temple that Luke was at — remember, that's why Luke left, to find that temple. So what most likely happened is, Luke just left. Vanished, looking for this temple. He finds a piece of the map that he needs, and goes. Then, much later, while looking for Luke, Tekka finds this same portion of the map, alerts Leia, and she sends Poe to retrieve it. R2's portion of the map isn't a clue Luke deliberately left, it's just the rest of the map of the galaxy that gives BB-8's portion context. Kylo Ren even says the First Order, using the Empire's old records, could use BB-8's portion of the map the same way.
- Alternatively he wanted people to find him but wanted it to be hard, practically to the point where they'd need the Force to guide them to him, so he gets a Force approved chosen one the galaxy needs that worked for it sent his way and not another Ben. And it worked. He got Rey.
- You are correct in assuming this is explained in supplemental materials. It's in the novelization and scenes that were cut from the movie. The map isn't a map to Luke himself. Everyone actually knows where Luke went: The first Jedi temple. The problem is that nobody knows where that is because the Emperor deleted that data from all official records as part of his Jedi purge. That's why R2 and the First Order's maps have that hole in them, it's presumably listed as 'uncharted space'. The old man at the beginning, Lor San Teka, is a member of a Force cult that reveres the Jedi and has kept the old knowledge hidden away from the Empire so that it would not be forgotten. The plot of the movie is set off when the fact that he might have the missing map data becomes known. The reason his map is incomplete is so that it basically appears to be useless corrupted data unless you already know what it's supposed to be.
- If the Emperor knew where the temple was, I wonder why he didn't simply destroy it.
- Why is D'Qar's Resistance base's spaceport on the outdoors and not indoor like the former Rebel bases in Yavin and Hoth? Wouldn't that be too risky and easy to spot for possible First Order's attacks?
- Well the real world answer is they actually build an airfield set complete with life size Millennium Falcon and X-Wings and couldn't build that inside. Really though, they probably just weren't hiding. The First Order knew exactly where they were, they just weren't able to attack until their doom laser was ready. Unlike the Empire the First Order doesn't have massive fleets that can blockade and level a planet. Most of their forces were on Starkiller base, which can't move and they only seem to have a handful of destroyers.
- Also, Leia has experience from the evacuations of Yavin IV and Hoth. In case of a surprise attack, underground hangars won't really provide much protection from planetary bombardment. But they will delay the launch of those ships. In the event of an attack, Leia is relying on her pilots to get airborne quickly. That whole base had a very temporary feel to it, which was typical of Rebel Alliance sites. Since the Resistance is not openly supported by the New Republic, they cannot rely on the assumption that Republic capital ships would come to defend the installation if there was an attack.
- The Hoth base had a deflector shield that could protect the base from orbital/aerial attack, it's likely that the Resistance base had something similar.
Leaving R2-D 2 behind, and the deal with the different map pieces
- Luke and R2-D2 has been inseparable for years ever since they first met on Tatooine all those years ago. He even took him to Dagobah with him when going to train with Yoda (though to be fair his X-Wing needs R2 to manage the systems), so why he suddenly decides to leave him behind when going into exile? Even Revan took T3-M4 with him when going into the Unknown Regions to confront the True Sith. Granted, an extra droid would be a liability when you're on the run from the First Order, but if his purpose is just to only find the first Jedi Temple and avoid being detected by the First Order, then R2 won't really be in any danger that he and Luke couldn't handle. The only real explanation could be that maybe he did really take R2 with him, but after finding the location of the temple, he sends R2 back to Leia with the map on his X-Wing then programs him to automatically shuts into low power mode. This, however, doesn't explain why R2 only possesses the map of the galaxy at large, and only Lor San Tekka has the missing piece that contains the real location that Luke resided. How did Lor San Tekka got a hold of that map piece anyways???
- You're making a LOT of assumptions about Luke's motivations. Perhaps he was so traumatized he wanted to cut off all contact from his previous life, including R2. Maybe he didn't leave behind a complete map with R2. Maybe R2 just pieced everything together from the data he had available. Remember, R2 is a VERY old droid and has hacked into countless sensitive data networks. Finally, Lor San Tekka was an explorer who traveled all over the galaxy, and was quite adept at tracking down artifacts.
- As mentioned above in "Map in Peices," the map isn't to Luke specifically, it's to the place Luke went: The First Jedi Temple. Han says that "the people who knew (Luke) best think he went in search of the First Jedi Temple." So they know that's where he is, they just don't know where that is. Lor San Tekka found a piece of a map highlighting the location of the Temple, but without an context for where exactly that was in the galaxy. R2 was apparently compiling all the charts of the galaxy he could get his manipulators on to reconstruct as much of the context part of the map as possible, and when the part with the Temple's final location is fitted in, they now know where the place Luke went is. Plus, as we see in Rey's vision, Luke apparently left R2 behind someplace (looks suspiciously like Mustafar if you ask me), probably with orders to return to Leia and get ready for when Luke would need to be found. Luke's intent isn't to hide out forever, he's waiting for the Force to bring the right apprentice to him. When that apprentice is ready, R2 will need to tell her where to go and how to get there.
Starkiller Base Size
- From the hologram the base looks about 8-10 times the diameter of the Death Star, however that would mean it's only about 1600 miles across which is pretty small for a planet (smaller than Mars in fact) so why doesn't it have low gravity or anything like that?
- Likely being rectified by artificial gravity technology, which seems pretty widespread considering how nobody floats around in the Death Stars or Star Destroyers. If real-world physics are assumed, it would also be necessary when the weapon is "charging" by consuming stellar plasma, as this would radically increase the planet's mass and gravity would get stronger, requiring reverse compensation.
"I need a weapon!"
- Finn brings a blaster rifle into Maz's place, which Han allows him to keep when he abandons the group. He's seen wearing it as he's helping those two spacers load their ship, when the First Order attacks. Yet he loses it in the few seconds it takes to run back to Maz. So where does it go?
- He most likely lost it offscreen during the confusion of the attack. At that point TIE fighters and stormtroopers were swarming the area, giving him quite a lot to worry about.
Starkiller Base Air Defense
- In what seems to be a recurring problem for the Empire/First Order, there doesn't seem to be enough Tie Fighters defending Starkiller Base. Observe:
- The First Order seems to have learned the lesson of both Death Stars in that the weak point is well armored from fighter airstrikes and there is good ground anti-air defense.
- Hux orders Starkiller base itself to launch everything, and the Resistance Fighters are outnumbered, but not heavily.
- It is possible that those are all the fighters available to Starkiller Base itself, although that seems unlikely given the size of the planet and there are several at least shown still on their pads when the base starts exploding, since it seems to be sparsely populated compared to the Death Stars.
- Another issue is that there are at least a dozen Star Destroyers silhouetted against the base in most of the space shots, if they'd launched all their Tie Fighters the Resistance should have been outnumbered dozens to one.
- Generally, in air battles, it gets to a point where having numerical superiority over your opponent can actually become a detriment rather than an advantage. In a close dogfight, the more aircraft there are, the most chaotic and congested things become, and the side with the greater numbers has to worry more about accidental friendly fire while the side with the smaller number doesn't. In addition, there's the chance their ground defenses could accidentally hit them as well. Finally, Starkiller Base is MASSIVE, and therefore requires a large number of fighters to fully protect it. The First Order was most likely holding back most of its fighters in case the current attack was merely a diversion.
- That makes sense, especially for the early battle near the Ocillator. However, during the couple shots when the battle had drifted more into the upper atmosphere there doesn't seem to be as many TIE fighters present and it would have made sense to see a couple Star Destroyers moving in to support the TIE fighters or corral the Resistance.
- There's not much the Star Destroyers can do from orbit since they would essentially be shooting at their own base. Plus by the time the Resistance forces were escaping, the Oscillator had been destroyed and the planet was literally falling apart. Any available ships had either gotten out of dodge or were more focused on evacuating the base
- Also note that the defenses WERE adequate. The Resistance's attack was failing thanks to the combination of heavy armor, static defense guns and TIE Fighters and the X-Wings were nearly wiped out. Han, Chewie and Finn managed to blow a hole in the side, which Poe exploited, but that was a failure of internal security, not space defenses.
Jumping into Atmosphere
- The Expanded Universe has made it clear that gravity wells inhibit hyperdrives. This is the whole point of the Interdictor Cruisers, which create artificial gravity wells to pull ships out of hyperspace and/or prevent ships from escaping into hyperspace. So how did Solo's plan to bypass the shields on Starkiller Base work? The planet's gravity should have pulled the Falcon out of hyperspace before it even reached the outer boundaries of the shield.
- Because the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, and the new canon says it is possible to exit hyperspace within a planetary atmosphere.
- The Interdictors (still in canon as of Tarkin) mimic the effect of the planet, the Falcon jumps back into real space just before the planet but just behind the shield. This is not a sane or safe thing to do, and it is only the combo of experience, luck (lets call it The Force, there is no such thing as luck) and Han's ego that lets them pull it off. The margin of error is so small that nobody would normally attempt it, and that it might as well be non-existent for all practical purposes. The planet would still pull the Falcon out of hyperspace, then immediately spread their atoms thinly across its surface on impact if Han had got it wrong, just as an Interdictor field would pull a ship out of hyperspace; only without the ten trillion tonne ball of rock to smack into.
- Mentioned earlier in another question about this, but it's possible that this trick is only possible on Starkiller Base, because the First Order literally gutted the planet to build their superweapon, decreasing its overall mass, and thus its gravity well and mass shadow. A normal planet might have shields so close to (or within) their gravity well that there is no "safe space" between the two for hyperspace travel, while Starkiller Base's reduced mass alters that equation enough to provide a slim, nearly suicidal window for Han and his improbable piloting skills to make the trick work.
- Any reason as to why Snoke's theme is so similar to Palpatine's Teachings from Ep.III? Is John Williams recycling music or are they trying to make subtle hints that Snoke is Plagueis?
- John Williams does recycle music sometimes, its one of the reason why a John Williams film score is often fairly recognizable. It could have some significance as a plot point, or it could just be a deliberate callback to a similar idea, namely a more philosophical evil.
- John Williams is known to recycle the music of other composers. For example, the melody of the Imperial March (aka the Darth Vader theme) is lifted straight from Chopin's funeral march, while the Jaws theme comes from Dvořák's 9th symphony. So it's not unthinkable he would recycle his own themes as well.
- Heck, even his own themes from different movies can sound similar. You ever try humming the Star Wars theme and Superman theme back to back?
Did Starkiller Base's explosion really create a new star?
- Starkiller Base's size is approximately about the size of a planet, bigger than the Death Stars (which are moon-sized stations) but when it exploded, all the energy from other stars gathered within it was released, eventually forming a new star in its place. But aren't stars usually bigger than planets? The energy released from stars harvested by Starkiller Base should be able to form a larger star than what we've seen in the movie, or at least exploded into a supernova or something like that, with all that energy stored up inside it.
- Not necessarily. Starkiller base was definitely holding mass sufficient to achieve fusion, and indeed that mass came from an actual star. The issue at hand has to do with mass, not size. Generally-speaking, you need 13 times the mass of Jupiter to achieve basic fusion and get a brown dwarf star. Red dwarfs, orange dwarfs and yellow dwarfs need even more mass. Under normal star formation scenarios, where mass is accrued over long periods of time by gravitation, and the mass rarely gets compacted that tightly. However, Starkiller Base was doing that artificially. That much mass concentrated into that small of an area would generate a tremendous amount of gravity. But since most of the mass was siphoned off of the surface of the star, it would have consisted primarily of hydrogen, which will freely enter the fusion cycle under that kind of gravitational pressure. Thus it ignited. It might inflate in size over the long term. But that will require an increase in radiation pressure sufficient to overcome its gravity. There definitely were not conditions in place for it to become a supernova. For starters it is at the beginning of its fusion cycle, nor does it have enough mass to experience stellar collapse.
- I put it down to Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
Putting BB- 8 in risk
- How could Poe put BB-8 in his X-Wing to battle at Starkiller Base while it had such important information as Luke's location? What if he got killed in battle? Wouldn't that be too much risk for such information? Also don't forget that the First Order was pursuing it so it makes it even a worse idea.
- By that point in the movie, the map was in the map projector at the Resistance Base. The fact that, at the end, BB-8 has to get the storage device back from the projector before he can project the missing portion of the map also would indicate that the map and information is not stored or copied into BB-8's memory. Therefore, there would be no danger of taking the droid into battle and enemy territory since the droid no longer has the sensitive information.
- Exactly. Same reason why R2 was in the battle above the Death Star even though he'd been carrying the stolen Death Star plans for most of the film.
Captain Phasma's Armor
- While her armor does indeed look cool, is there any actual military benefit to it. Having silvery armor in a sea of white stormtrooper armor, would make her stick out quite a bit, and snipers love to go after officers especially. So why take the risk?
- Uniform inspection and impressiveness mainly. In real life, you wouldn't have stormtroopers wearing bright white armor on a desert of forest planet. Mostly likely it was the officer's dress uniform for the Stormtrooper Corp, and when a real life war or battle happened she'd go into something more subtle.
- Plus, according to behind-the-scenes works, it's been said that Phasma's armor is actually made from the hull of one of Palpatine's old ships. Since Palpatine originally came from Naboo, we can assume it was one of the same types of silver ships Padmé used throughout the Prequels. So even if her different look makes her an extra target, Phasma's armor is as strong as the hull of a spaceship. She can probably take more punishment that a regular Stormtrooper.
- Stormtroopers have only rarely worn camo, and then mostly in the EU (the exception being the clone troopers sent to Kashyyyk, and even that camo wasn't very concealing). The Empire and First Order thrive on intimidation and fear, and people aren't afraid of what they can't see. The legions of white-armored stormtroopers are intimidating enough, but that one stormtrooper, a full head-and-shoulders taller than the others and wider than a door, wrapped in bright shiny chrome? Yeah, she's the one you really don't want to mess with. Plus, with face-concealing helmets and no visible rank insignia anywhere on their armor, you have to have some way to let the other stormtroopers know which ones they should be saluting. It might make her a target for a particularly ambitious attacker in battle, but it also lets everyone else know that taking her out isn't going to be as easy as you think.
- Really? All that ridiculous chrome says to me is "shoot me". Its not even intimidating. Stormtroopers in the original trilogy sometime wore paudrons (a good example is shown in Episode IV when the stormtroopers/sandtroopers attack the Falcon) to tell ranks apart. There's also the possibility that, like in the game Star Wars: Republic Commando the troopers' HU Ds show who is who, including their rank. On a different note, in an actual battle you NEVER want to tell the enemy who the officers are, especially not in a blatant way. This includes not saluting while in a combat zone. There's no logical reason for Captain Phasma's armor. There's not even a good reason for her rank. Captain? Are you joking? If its an army rank, that would indicate that she's in charge of a few hundred men at most. If its a naval rank she's in charge of one ship, which might have a few thousand people, but its still one ship. What's the point of her standing out like that when her rank indicates that she should be a very minor officer?
- In The Last Jedi, Phasma takes several direct hits from a blaster and doesn't even budge or even seem to notice, unlike the other stormtroopers that fall over and die after hits from the same weapon.
So, yes, there is a practical use for the shiny armor.
Communicating with BB- 8
- Is there any reason why droids like BB-8 wouldn't have a voice box or whatever they call in Star Wars, so they communicate like C3PO? I can't believe everybody understands those noises they make. Is it a money issue? Do talking droids cost a lot more?
- Because that's just how it is. It maybe useful for a wide variety of species who don't have the same auditory/vocal spectrums, but we were never really given a reason in all the movies, and then it brings up the point of why not having language selectors like we have for software.
- Also, being an Omniglot appears to be a cultural norm in the Star Wars galaxy. Bilingual conversations are quite common, with each speaker using their native language. Those who work with astromech droids probably get used to understanding binary beeps.
- Astromechs like Artoo and BB-8 are designed to work more with machinery than people, and Binary is a more efficient form of communication between machines (in the Saga Edition RPG, there's special rules for droids and computers speaking to each other in Binary to communicate large amounts of data in a very short time frame. Organics can't take advantage of that, even if they speak Binary, because their brains just can't process raw data as quickly as a droid or computer). It's largely assumed that if such a droid needs to communicate with an organic, they'll be near something capable of translating for them, either a protocol droid like C-3PO or Luke's X-Wing's flight computer. With the non-standard operating protocols of the Rebel Alliance, and later the Resistance, it becomes more par for the course for people like Luke and Poe to eventually pick up enough Binary to get by when they have to talk to their droid without a translator nearby. And people in Star Wars seem to learn more languages than people on Earth (I don't think we've met a character yet, aside from Finn, who doesn't understand at least two other languages besides Basic).
Finn skipping class?
- So if Finn was trained at the same time with traitor guy (and apparently had good grades) why is he bad at melee? I mean if the empire give lightsaber-proof baton he must know a bit about fighting lightsaber wielding people but he does worse than Rey who just used to fight with a staff by herself (and admittedly force-enhanced reflex)? And this is not just he can't swing the sword his footing is bad for any weapon too.
- The baton is described in support materials as being a riot control weapon. Which makes perfect sense, since there were no Jedi around and thus it would be extremely wasteful to equip Stormtroopers with weapons that could withstand lightsabers just for the heck of it. It is probably electromagnetically-charged so that a human-sized Stormtrooper could use it effectively against much larger aliens. But it would be a very different weapon to handle than a lightsaber. The grip is not the same, it has a solid shaft rather than an energy blade and by extension has weight and momentum when swung — unlike a lightsaber. Finn had never used a lightsaber before, and had probably never even seen one. So he was in melee wielding an unfamiliar weapon up against somebody using a weapon they were trained to use. Even the proper stance for fighting with a weightless weapon was not likely to be something he would know about.
- His boss is swinging a lightsaber, First Order has records of how lightsaber can ruin dictatorship and the mission he was on was find the Jedi who made an order of them before and they like using lightsabers. Unless Kylo killed all the Jedi when he was 8 there is no reason Stormtrooper's academy considered lightsaber sparring obsolete when he they were training Finn. This is not New Hope where the Jedi are gone madmen devoted to an ancient religion they are a known threat who had been weakened but not completely destroyed like 3 years ago and they are still actively hunted. Stormtroopers should be equipped with anti lightsaber material and learned about the weapon because Jedi were around when they were being trained.
- Kylo Ren is not his "boss" per se. In an organization as large as the First Order, Kylo is more of a distant celebrity than somebody all the grunts get to work with on a daily basis. Also, Kylo's lightsaber style has been noted by many as being a sloppy imitation of Darth Vader's, rather than a clean performance of one of the forms of old. He relies mostly on his powers to enhance his strength and reflexes as-needed rather than on good form. On Jakku (probably the one time Finn had been in action with him), Kylo only used his lightsaber to kill an unarmed civilian. Even when defending himself against a blaster shot from Poe he used the Force to freeze the shot rather than deflecting it with his lightsaber. Finally, the Knights of Ren had apparently wiped out Luke's Jedi students upwards of a decade earlier and Luke had gone into seclusion. There is no indication that there had ever been a revitalized Order of fully-trained Jedi, and Kylo was in fact one the students himself at the time! So the number of trained lightsaber users that a Stormtrooper would be expected to encounter, even before Luke went into hiding, was so small that it is doubtful they even showed the trooper cadets training videos about how to fight them, much less practiced for it.
- So Kylo was like 12 when he killed everyone? And Rey showed how untrained Jedi can still be a bunch of trouble and with a lightsaber rather quickly, and Luke before too. Thinking that no Jedi would be around to fight with lightsaber is ridiculous when their empire was destroyed for the exact reason and because it has been enforced that a strong enough force user can become an expert at lightsaber, this is becoming a redundant cycle of one side faking annihilation making the other side complacent before attacking them and declaring victory because no way the survivor could be a problem because the other side is not as smart as them and so on. No one think about training soldiers against the weapon they know for sure the enemy has and abuse.
- Actually, Kylo Ren is supposed to be about 30 years old, having been born not long after the Battle of Endor. Of the new main characters, only Poe, born about two years before it, is older. The massacre apparently happened while he was in his late-teens. As for the rest, just look at the original trilogy. How many times does Luke use a lightsaber against Stormtroopers throughout the course of all three films? Once! In Return of the Jedi he used it to kill a Stormtrooper on a speeder bike on Endor. There were no witnesses! Obi-Wan did not use a lightsaber against any Imperial except for Darth Vader in the original trilogy! You have to go back to the prequels and the Rebels eras to see anyone use a lightsaber openly against regular Imperial forces. Otherwise, even the final confrontation with the Emperor and Vader in Jedi was entirely private. Palpatine even dismissed his personal bodyguards before they got into it. This is why not only Rey, but also Finn (a Stormtrooper), are more than a bit awed by Han telling them that past events they consider near-mythical really happened. We also see that Finn, whose grunt work assignment was sanitation, rather than construction or maintenance, was totally unfamiliar with the tools used to repair a ship. He also needed coaching from Poe, a Resistance pilot, on how to use the weapons on a TIE fighter! It would appear that First Order Stormtrooper training is very specific with regards to expected duties and does not include much cross-training. So lightsabers, at that point pretty much used by one person, who works for the First Order, would be extremely exotic weapons. Maz even has to point out to Finn that it's a weapon when he casts about looking for one during the attack on her castle!
- And that's what is stupid apparently Finn can't even tell what a lightsaber is despite records of it being used, Kylo slicing furnitures and possibly footage and story about how Vader obliterated people with it in the new canon. I never seen a flintlock being used live doesn't mean I don't know it's a weapon.
- I mean, what is the planning you're expecting here? "We need to have Stormtroopers prepared to fight Jedi." "Okay, are they a big problem? Are there a lot of them?" "Well, there's one." "Oh, is he planning to attack? Has he been attacking us?" "Actually, he's in hiding and nobody seems able to find him, even his friends and family." "So you want us to devote time and funds to train all of our millions of Stormtroopers to specifically fight one guy who, by all accounts, is simply not going to be present on any conceivable battlefield unless we also devote time and resources to find him, then go and pick a fight with him? That is an incredible waste of time."
- And bam, your general is left half dead in the snow and your key weapon exploded because of how idiotic that resource management is. Even worse since Last Jedi has more troops who are trained in melee combat, especially against Jedi, running around. But training basic defense to troopers was too much of waste let's have them kill your abusive father or be janitor instead.
- Note that there's nothing unremarkable about the idea that a stormtrooper doesn't know how to operate a fighter's weapon systems, and it doesn't have to have anything to do with lack of cross-training. How many even highly-skilled and extensively trained special forces troops these days could hop into a combat helicopter or a fighter and know how to arm and operate the weapon systems?
Kylo Ren's haircolor
- How does a dark-brown haired woman and a light-brown haired man give birth to a son with jet-black hair? Is he dyeing it?
- Genetics have resulted in far more unexpected hair colors in real life. That isn't a particularly improbable result.
- During the interrogation of Rey scene, Kylo's hair looks to be dark brown, though a shade or two darker than Leia's. But that doesn't mean much, both of my own parents have black hair and my hair is dark brown while my brother's is light brown. It doesn't really matter much.
- Contrast Anakin and Padme with Luke and Leia! They don't even vaguely resemble each other in height, features or hair! Maybe being a virgin birth conceived by the midichlorians left some truly bizarre genes in Anakin's bloodline?
- For all we know, Luke was given a bit of phenotypic recoloring before he was placed with the Lars household. The twins were supposed to be in hiding, after all. Making Luke appear blond while Leia stayed brown-haired could have been a superficial means of making them look less like relatives.
- Genetics are just weird sometimes. My mom and sisters all have brown hair and brown eyes, while I have red hair and hazel green eyes. Could have been another grandparent or distant relative.
- Sort of? Recessive traits can hang along for awhile before popping out in future generations, but dominant traits need to be passed or they are lost. Higher melanin, in this case darker hair, tends to be carried by dominant alleles in humans, so to light haired humans giving birth to a dark haired one can be strange. What might make it plausible is that there are multiple melanin alleles. As long as we're still in the "brown" range and haven't reached jet black that could just mean different dominant browns in the parents mixed together for a relatively darker haired child who can go on to have more lighter haired children with a suitable partner.
- That or Kyle O'Ren's a mutant. Mutations are rarely benign or isolated. It could be the that in addition to messing up his phenotype his nervous system also took a much less superficial hit, partially accounting for his psychopathy.
- Or the humans in the galaxy far, far away have a much broader genetic palette to draw upon for hair color. With breeding populations on so many planets, each one subject to local environmental conditions, founder effects, and genetic drift, there's bound to be a lot more diversity in alleles than one puny Earth's six habitable continents can foster. In which case, recessive alleles for black hair are entirely plausible.
- Given the Derelict Graveyard that exists on Jakku, which is basically littered not only with the wrecks of Imperial Star Destroyers, but also a capsized Super Star Destroyer, why is there a settlement sitting out in the open when the wreckage of ships that literally have more interior volume than most Real Life major cities and would provide enough space and raw materials to build truly massive settlements? The local climate is hot and the sun is harsh. Even in Niima Outpost they cover things with tarps and tents to provide some small measure of shade. Some of the wrecked ships even have large enough openings to serve as hangar bays for visiting ships (because they were hangar bays originally). This gets even more perplexing when one considers that Jakku is a Scavenger World and most of the locals earn their livings crawling around inside these hulks all day searching for trade-worthy parts anyway! Why not just live inside them too?
- Hard to maintain, still far from food point unless you can make a greenhouse and as you said most people spend their time scavenging. Think they are gonna care if it's someone's home? They just know valuables are there and there is a bunch of entries that can't all be watched.
- Also, these are ships that were shot to hell in high orbit then crashed into a planet. Structural integrity is probably all but nonexistent. Getting into the ships like Rey does is probably ridiculously dangerous, she only does it because she's desperate and good enough to pull it off, while others stay more on the outside, picking whatever they can off the hulls. Living inside one of those would be like living inside a ticking time-bomb deathtrap, and that's assuming nothing really dangerous, like reactors or coolant tanks or whatever, aren't on the verge of breaching and flooding the ship with radiation/blowing it to atoms/poisoning everyone/dissolving everyone. Add to that, unless you can get the environmental systems working to some degree again, you're just living in a giant windowless metal box in the desert, i.e a massive solar-powered oven. By noon, all the citizens would be medium-rare.
- In addition to the above, remember that Rey lives in an old AT-AT. She's probably not the only person to take up residence in one of the smaller wrecks that are less likely to have hazardous materials inside. And supporting the idea that people living in the smaller wrecks have to worry about other scavengers raiding their homes is the fact that Rey felt the need to booby-trap the area surrounding hers.
- Jakku is a desert wasteland. In a desert, you build your settlements where the water is, not where the shelter is. Vaporators are expensive and can only do so much. Niima Outpost is probably situated on top of the only decent aquifer for hundreds of miles.
Not Blowing Up Falcon
- The Tie-Fighters blow up the first ship Rey and Fin were going to steal, so the heroes run to the second nearest ship, and the Tie-Fighters just completely ignore it... why, exactly? Garbage or not, it's still a ship that their quarry was clearly intending to use for their escape, so what gives? And if they were shooting at it (I think they were), then the hell do you miss a sitting spaceship, when you've just killed another one a few seconds ago?
- The Ties are making strafing runs. That means when they hit something, they go past it and have to circle around again. They got to the Falcon before the Ties could turn around and hit it. They didn't "ignore" it, they just hadn't gotten to it yet.
- Why? They aren't aeroplanes, they clearly can hover. And regardless, so much time passed between the first ship blowing up and Falcon taking off that they could make all the turns in their lives.
- Hovering in place is not a wise move when the people you're strafing might shoot back at you.
- Ties can hover, but at the speed they were traveling they would need to brake pretty hard to slow themselves down and then turn around backwards. It's their momentum demanding they strafe and return instead of floating in place.
- They may not have thought it was functional, either. Or that it was so marginal by the time the Rey and Finn got it running they could have disabled it so stormtroopers could board and capture.
- Unlikely that they'd be able to discern so much from so far away at such speeds, but whatever. So why don't they disable it?
- They try. You can see a near-miss blast at the Falcon just as Rey and Finn are boarding it, so they tried shooting at it, missed, and the ship was in the air and moving before they could swing around for another pass.
- The Falcon is draped with a bunch of old tarps and probably has four or five inches of windblown sand all over its upper side. The TIE pilots may not even have realized it was a ship, and not some rickety old hunk of equipment Finn and Rey were using for cover, until it actually started taking off.
Piloting without a droid?
- When the Resistance arrived to Takodana which droid was in Poe's X-Wing? (Since BB-8 was with Han and Finn) Or was he piloting without a droid at all? If that's the case isn't that too risky for any X-Wing pilot who always needs a droid on board?
- There were other unnamed astromech droids at the Resistance base. According to supplementary materials, the T-70 X-wings have an adaptable socket that can accept more than one type of astromech droid, unlike the T-65's from the original trilogy which required an R2-type. Poe probably made do with whatever was available. But he was very happy to have BB-8 back.
- Just looked over the scene where Poe and Finn reunite at the Resistance base. Look carefully as Poe is climbing down from the from his X-Wing and you can see a large, black astro droid in the socket. As said by the previous person, the black droid was likely a temporary replacement.
Why didn't the Republic Fleet at least TRY to fly away when they saw the beam coming?
- When the Starkiller beam approaches Hosnian Prime, why didn't the Republic fleet fly away from it? From what we saw the beam didn't hit until at least 15 seconds after it was visible. Considering that warships need to have very fast reaction times, that should be enough time to at least start moving. If you watch the scene closely the capital ships don't even move at all, they just sit there while doom races toward them. Shouldn't they also have emergency hyperspace coordinates programmed in that they can jump to immediately?
- You really do not know how warships work if you think 15 seconds is enough time to alert everyone, get everything up and running and get out of the way. Nothing on a military scale can react to anywhere near that kind of speed unless you're already at battle stations and on full alert, and even then, it's extremely unrealistic to think an entire fleet is going to react instantly.
- I just assumed that there would be people at the controls who could start the ships moving. And also the emergency hyperspace coordinates, but then again the New Republic in this movie is not known for having good tactics and foresight.
- A home fleet of warships isn't going to instantly react to a distant light in the sky with, "Everyone, warp away immediately!" Their reaction is going to be much the same as the people on the ground, i.e., "What the hell is that?" They don't know this weapon exists and they don't know to expect it's coming. The only reason they'd react with that kind of speed with that specific action is if they knew what it was already.
- People have to observe, then report, then it goes up the chain to the officers in command, who have to try and work out the best course of action, then they give orders and that goes back down the chain, and then even if they throw the "engines full blast" switch momentum has to be built up... Even if everyone is really on the ball and moving as quick as possible, that is still going to take longer than the few seconds we saw. As for making the jump to hyperspace, well that ain't like dusting crops, without precise calculations they could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that'd end their trip real quick, wouldn't it?"
- The reaction of the people on the ground was terror. Even if they didn't know what it was, they knew it couldn't be anything good. I just imagined that the pilots would see the light approaching and hit the throttle as fast as they could. Better to be alive and get fired then to sit in the way of a giant mysterious beam of energy. As for hyperspace, by "emergency coordinates," I mean ones that are pre-calculated and ready to go in case of an emergency, hence the name. But you guys are right that flying away would take longer than I thought it would.
- Who says some ships didn't escape? The movie only showed us a few getting blown up, some probably did escape for the above reasons, it's just that most didn't for the same above reasons.
- The purpose of a home fleet of warships is not to ensure its own safety. It's to defend the planet it's around. In any sort of crisis they'd reasonably be expecting, their job is to not run away. The idea that they had some sort of pre-calculated coordinates to run away to at the first sign of trouble just does not fit what a home fleet of warships is for. It's like suggesting that the Secret Service plans to ditch the President and run for cover when someone starts shooting.
Does the Republic still exist?
- Did the New Republic survive the loss of their capitol? When Hux said "Today is the end of the Republic," was that only because they were destroying the capitol, or because they planned to keep shooting important planets until it collapsed? I imagine part of the threat of Starkiller Base was that it would destroy not just the Resistance HQ but more planets in the Republic if it wasn't stopped, (Han said "the Galaxy is counting on us!") but this was never clarified. The New Republic moves the capitol anyway every several years, and there are politicians in the resistance and probably elsewhere in the Republic who could take power and set up an election for a new Chancellor and more senators, so maybe theres still hope for it. Having Leia become the new leader of the Republic seems like something that might happen in episode 8. However it seems just as likely that the writers just killed of the Republic completely. I really hope that's not the case, as destroying the New Republic after just a few decades was one of my biggest problems with the Old EU/Legends. Does the novelization shed any light on this?
- The big issue is that the New Republic (trying very hard to prove that they were not the Empire) had much of their fleet parked in orbit around the worlds of the Hosnian System. This bit of strategic idiocy allowed the First Order to not just wipe out the Senate, but the core of the Republic's military at the same time. Obviously, the untold thousands of systems that make up the Republic still exist. But they might be militarily fragmented unless Leia can pull them together.
- I doubt Republic died, since all we currently know about it is that they basically didn't do anything about anything that was wrong in the galaxy and if they would just kill it off, what was the point of even creating it? If the Old EU New Republic survived (as Galactic Alliance) through Yuuzhan Vong war with trillions dead, this can't be the end of it.
- Supplementary material also reveals that the Republic has a rotating capital, so they can move operations to a new planet.
- The Last Jedi establishes the New Republic has essentially collapsed and the First Order is trying to consolidate military domination in the Core Worlds. The Resistance is even referred to as the Rebellion at times since the FO is now the primary state. Leia has hopes that they can still rally the military forces of the Outer Rim planets to reestablish the Republic.
- The Republic is dead! All hail The First Order, and their ridiculously wasteful gun planet they don't have anymore! The First Order should have been hunted down and executed by several dozen vengeful parties. Said parties would have then drove the galaxy into a frenzied schism, at best, as they decided who rules what now.
- Right, because it's easy to "hunt down and execute" a massive army with access to military hardware. If it was that easy there wouldn't be a movie. You're acting like everyone is instantly going to know that Starkiller Base is destroyed, instantly know for certain that the First Order has nothing else like it, and will all instantly and immediately work to take down this organization that just wiped out the Republic's government in one shot. People do not work like that.
Maz Kanata and Luke's lightsaber
- How did Maz Kanata know that the lightsaber she had belonged to Luke? Luke only used it at his battle with Darth Vader, at that time he was only known as a rebel pilot and not as a Jedi, Leia couldn't tell her because she and Maz don't know each other, and his battle with Vader was not witnessed by anyone so there's no way others could know it was his lightsaber.
- Luke carried it with him in addition to his sidearm during the Rebellion, and he can be clearly seen wearing it with his flight suit at Hoth, so clearly he wasn't disguising its presence. Anyone at Echo Base could have seen it, anyone writing a "Definitive Biography of Luke Skywalker" could have found record of it, and almost certainly anyone who remembered Anakin Skywalker could put two and two together.
- Also, Maz is some kind of force sensitive. It's quite likely that a weapon that's been used for so long, across two generations of the same powerful Jedi bloodline, would have something "rubbed off" from its wielders. Note how touching the thing sends Rey into a vision.
- The lightsaber is blue. As in the one that Vader "disarmed" Luke of at Cloud City? The floating city above the gas giant, IIRC? How in the name of the Force did anyone retrieve that specific lightsaber from the gas giant? was Maz a pirate who happen to be flying underneath that specific part of Cloud City at that specific time because The Force? Did she turn Luke's Lost Hand into a snack? The mysteries are endless...
- Bespin has a number of native aerial lifeforms, some of which may have commercial value if harvested. It's possible, and even likely, that some kind of cloud-fishing industry exists there in addition to tibanna gas mining. Could be that the saber wound up as bycatch in someone's net.
- First Order special forces TIE fighters and TIE pilots have red stripes or flashes to denote their superiority, right? So what's the story with SF TIE pilots using standard (non-striped, one-seated) First Order variants when chasing the Falcon? Even with the damage done to the Finalizer's hangar, you'd assume they'd have a few SF TI Es left and use them for such an important sortie.
What exactly was R2-D 2 waiting for?
- R2 doesn't come to life until the battle with Starkiller is over. What happened there that initiated his awakening? And why didn't he do it sooner?
- Word of God says that R2 heard BB-8 asking about the map earlier in the film and that it just took him that long to recover the larger map from his memory banks.
- Why'd they even need R2 to be awake? He's a machine, not an organic being. Just take him apart, hook up his memory banks to a computer, and extract the files manually. Did the writers flunk computer class or something?
- Why would they take him apart? They don't even know he has universe-wide map data on him and even if they did they will see that he doesn't have the position of Luke it's BB-8 who has it and eighth of the whole space. It's like asking them why can't they just read the script and know where Luke is.
- Even if they didn't know about the map, R2 was Luke's droid, and has been pretty much everywhere with him. Maybe there'd be a recorded message or something containing information on his whereabouts.
Bringing the map to the Resistance Base
- Who's the brain-dead schutta came up with the idea of bringing the map of the system where Luke Skywalker is hiding back to the Resistance base? Considering the Resistance is a fairly small group that's barely able to hold its own against the First Order, which will almost certainly be doing everything in its power to track whoever had the map, bringing the map back to HQ is pretty much the equivalent of unironically saying "Kill me, I'm here!". I know that Leia wants to find Luke very badly, but why couldn't she have just had Poe find the map to the star system, cross-reference it with any map of the galaxy to figure out which system it is, and then go straight there to find Luke?
- Because the planet Ahch-To was in uncharted space, and thus the map fragment would not correspond to just any standard galactic map. It is not made clear to the audience that Poe was not supposed to continue on to seek out Luke had the map been complete. Leia did not know that it was not. They ultimately brought the map back to D'Qar because they had to take it by force and at that point the First Order had switched to open warfare, making time a bit of a factor.
The Falcon has TWO turrets!
- When Rey and Finn board the Falcon, why does she send him to the ventral gun, instead of the dorsal, where he could start shooting while the ship was still on the ground?
- Rey already knows the Falcon is "garbage" even before they steal it, so she's probably sneaked a peek at the old freighter on the sly. But because it's draped with tarps and is out in plain view, making it difficult to board and snoop around the interior, she may never have had the chance to examine any part of it but its belly. Rey sends Finn to the ventral turret because she knows that one exists and hasn't been gutted for parts.
- When the Falcon is fleeing through the Star Destroyer graveyard and Finn's turret is hit, why doesn't Rey tell him to get to the other one?
- Maybe the dorsal turret was gutted, or was otherwise non-functional.
- The simplest explanation for both is that these are young and relatively inexperienced individuals in a high pressure scenario without a lot of time to think. Finn went down because down is quicker to get to than up, yes up would have been smarter but he was reacting to a very urgent situation and went for the quickest option. After it locks up Rey is busy solo-flying a ship designed for two people to fly and she is flying it like a speeder bike in atmosphere rather than using the full sky, she doesn't have time to think of everything. For Finn it is that the gun still fires, it is just locked in one position. So he just doesn't think, in the heat of combat when he is being flung around, to abandon it. Besides with the time taken to switch positions while being flung around a lot, staying put and asking Rey to point the ship in the same direction of the gun is probably smarter than taking the time out and risking getting hurt while climbing small ladders as the ship jinks around.
Han Solo brandishes BB- 8
- Is there any reason why Solo took BB-8 with him when confronting the pirates instead of hiding it with Rey and Finn? No only was it colossally stupid to show a wanted droid to pirates, but why did he take it with him?
- In the save vein, why did they feel the need to drag the droid with them to the cantina, when it was just asking for someone to inform the First Order, which, what a shock, is exactly what happened.
- Because Han doesn't trust these two kids (from his point of view) with guarding something so valuable, and in fairness he did not know that the First Order had an actual bounty out on BB-8 until Bala-Tik said so. Most people in the galaxy otherwise treat droids as little different than furniture and ignore them. Later, on Takodana, knowing that BB-8 was a hot commodity, Han probably preferred bringing him into Maz's castle. He takes it for granted that she knows how to get BB-8 to the Resistance, and her turf was likely safer than leaving BB-8 minimally guarded in the parked Falcon.
- Uhm, guarding it from whom? He dragged it towards literally the only people present who could present a danger to it or wish to steal it. "he did not know..." - I'm not going to rewatch the movie just for that, but didn't the heroes tell him about what the droid carries and that the Order was after it? If they did, you don't need to be a genius to predict the bounty (Also, if they put the bounty, wouldn't they need to broadcast it somehow?). "leaving BB-8 minimally guarded" - again, guarded against whom? Nobody would even know it's there, because obviously they would have to land in secret, since the Order knew which ship the droid left on.
- Rewatch the movie. Han noted outright that the First Order knew to look for the Falcon at that point and Bala-Tik had mentioned the bounty just before they escaped. So, if the First Order is now looking for the Falcon because they know BB-8 is aboard, it would be extremely stupid to just leave him on a ship that was now the prime target of hostile search. Han specifically said that they needed to get BB-8 (along with Rey and Finn) onto a different ship before sending them on to the Resistance. That was the point of seeking help from Maz.
Starkiller Base's weather
- During the shooting to Hosnian System the weather in Starkiller Base was cloudy, but from outside there wasn't a single cloud covering the cannon nor the trench, how is that possible?
- Scale. When viewed from space, only the largest and densest cloud systems on Earth are highly visible, and mainly if the terrain below them is of strongly contrasting color. Starkiller Base is mostly snow-covered and white anyway. Also, the trench containing the weapon is probably surrounded by all kinds of deflector shielding. Otherwise such a gigantic feature on the surface would do all kinds of crazy things to air flow on the planet. It would also be necessary to prevent the beam from burning off the planet's atmosphere whenever it was fired.
Ben Solo or Ben Organa?
- Simple enough: is Kylo Ren actually Ben Solo or Ben Organa? Wookieepedia currently has it that his birth name is Ben Solo, but is it ever said that Han and Leia ever actually got married? If they didn't, could he therefore be Ben Organa since he was technically born out of wedlock?
- In the "Incredible Cross-Sections" book, it's stated that they got married.
- Why is it assumed that long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, children default to receiving the names of their fathers? Especially when the mother's surname is that of a royal house? Leia is married to Han, but she still uses the Organa surname and not Solo, or even Organa-Solo like in the Legends continuity. Unless maybe surname follows gender?
- Who said Ben received Han's surname by default? I believe, it's entirely plausible that parents can choose which surname to give to their child. Han and Leia could've just agreed that it would be Solo for whatever reason. Maybe they liked the sound of it better.
- Luke Skywalker, who was born in wedlock, has his father's surname, even though his father was a nobody slave while his mother was a queen and senator. However, Leia did not retain Anakin's name, and was given her adoptive parents' name instead. In Luke's case it may have been as simple as Owen Lars deciding to let Luke have Shmi's last name. Shmi having been someone he knew well and cared about, unlike Anakin. This problem was introduced by the prequels, where Luke was given to the Lars's the day after he was born. The older, never canonized, backstory was that Luke and Leia were children when they were adopted. Hence the story positioning "Uncle" Owen and "Aunt" Beru, both of whom it was later revealed had only met Anakin on one (less than happy) occasion.
- In subsequent works, he is referred to repeatedly as Ben Solo.
Maz Kanata's "boyfriend"
- Why on earth did Maz refer to Chewie as her boyfriend? She didn't literally mean that she and Chewie were dating/dated, right? Talk about an unlikely couple...
- Possibly Maz has a crush on Chewie or some more strong reason, like Chewie may have divorced from Mala.
- That there is what we here on Earth call a joke. People tell them, on occasion, with the intent of being funny, but they are not intended to be literal truth.
- I felt like it just means they're good friends and she likes him, and she probably flirts with him a little (like, "there's my big strong Wookiee, you look handsomer every time I see you!", cheek-kissing, that kind of thing), but they're not in fact a couple. It's a bit of a joke but also seriously they're BF Fs anyway, Chewie is a very chill dude and it's no wonder she's disappointed he wasn't there.
New Tie Fighter
- Does this ship make any sense? A gunner is seated behind the pilot pointing the opposite direction. Fin is required to shoot forward weapons while moving backward. If he is looking at a screen, the feel of every turn of the ship will be backward to his forward view...ship veers left, he sees that on his viewer but he feels a turn to the right. And where is his screen? He wasn't wearing the helmet. Why would you mount a turret gun between those two panels?
- Much of the space combat in Star Wars is based on the WWII-style Old-School Dogfight. Rear-facing turrets in WWII aircraft, even in single engine attack aircraft, weren't all that uncommon and helped to keep fighters off the plane's tail. Assuming TIE fighters are still unshielded deathtraps like in the OT, the extra defensive capability would be a big help.
- Except it's a forward facing turret, and I don't think we ever see a rear facing one.
- This diagram says it's a 360 degree rotating turret, though it would be something more like 90 degrees to the front and rear due to the signature TIE solar panels.
- The Snow Speeders in Empire Strikes Back work the same way, with the gunner facing towards the rear. Wookiepedia says the gunner fires the forward lasers as well as the tail gun and that the pilot can take over weapons control from the gunner. In the movie Luke can't fire his harpoon gun and never fires his forward lasers again after his gunner dies, but the lasers had already proven ineffective against the walkers anyway.
Why did Kylo bring Poe back to his command ship?
- After capturing Poe on Jakku, Kylo takes him back to his command ship...for what exactly? To torture him into revealing where the map is? Why would he need to take him back to his command ship for that? Couldn't he just torture him into revealing where the map is immediately? Poe was caught in the act. Obviously the map couldn't have gotten very far. So why waste time bringing him back to the ship instead of immediately interrogating him on scene? Furthermore, rather than murder all the civilians, he could have used them as leverage to make Poe talk. Just threaten to kill them one by one until he says where the map is. Bottom line is there seems to be absolutely no reason to bring him to the ship. He has everything he needs to interrogate Poe, his force powers and civilians he can use for bargaining power, right there. Since Kylo knows the map is still on the planet, taking Poe off it and back to the ship was a massive waste of time.
- Because that's what you do with captives. You bring them back to a secure location so you can interrogate them, record what you find, and keep them locked away. There is every reason to bring an enemy captive to your own secure holding facility, to do otherwise would be practically inviting them to escape.
- But in this case, it doesn't make sense. Kylo wants to find the map. He knows it's on the planet and can't be far from his current location. So it's a critical waste of time to bring him all the way back to the ship instead of simply using his force powers to torture Poe for the information he needs right there. Like I said, he could have also used the civilians for leverage as well. Bringing him back to the ship didn't give Kylo any advantages, it just made it easier for whoever had the map to get away.
- He kills the civilians immediately, so they're not leverage anymore. He had Stormtroopers to do the on-the-ground search. Poe is an enemy combatant and Kylo's effectively on Poe's home turf (or at least, Kylo is certainly not on his own), and you do not interrogate an enemy out in the open, on your enemy's land if you have the option to take him to your own, which has things like cells and restraints and recording devices and, most importantly, is up in space far away from anywhere your enemy might be able to get help.
Using force powers in that way means Kylo has to concentrate on it and thus let his guard down, and you do not let your guard down in the middle of an enemy encampment when you have your own home base a quick ride away. For all Kylo knows, if he lets his guard down to focus his force powers on interrogating Poe out in the open, Poe has another ally with a scoped rifle who's going to shoot him in the head — exactly like Poe tried to do the second it looked like Kylo Ren's attention was on anyone specific.
- If he was worried about getting sniped out in the open, Kylo could have simply taken Poe into his landing shuttle and done the interrogation there. It just seems to me like taking him all the way back to the ship is too big of a time waste when he knows that the map can't be too far away and going back to orbit will enable whoever has it to escape.
- Again: There are stormtroopers left down there to search. It's not Kylo Ren's job to personally sift through the desert to find this guy; his talents and abilities are better used interrogating what amounts to one of the Resistance's highest-level guys. There are a number of reasons to secure him as quickly as possible that have nothing to do with the map.
- It doesn't matter who is doing the search. The point is it would really help if they knew what they were looking for. Poe knows this, so getting him to give up that information as quickly as possible should have been a priority.
- Because that's what you do with captives. You bring them back to a secure location so you can interrogate them, record what you find, and keep them locked away. There is every reason to bring an enemy captive to your own secure holding facility, to do otherwise would be practically inviting them to escape.
Starkiller Base Climate
- As if it wasn't ridiculous enough that the first order made a superweapon out of a planet which is its own can of worms (where does the core go for instance), it happens to be an ice planet. But we in the shot where it is draining the sun (and yet not rotating), that it is the first planet in its system. This would be impossible in real life as being that close to the sun would render it too hot live on let alone be an ice planet. Even worse The system has to have multiple stars other It Only Works Once.
- Why does the planet closest to the star in a system have to be hot? Can't the first planet around a star be orbiting far enough out to make the planet habitable, but cold?
- For that matter, why assume the whole planet is frozen just because there's some snow on the ground? The planet isn't Hoth-like; it's got a thriving population of trees. It's probably just winter. Even a planet that's close to its sun can have a winter, so long as its axial tilt provides for one.
Luke Skywalker being thought a myth
- I's sorry, but this whole deal makes absolutely no sense. Considering he was instrumental in defeating the Empire a mere 30 or so years ago, you would think everyone would see him as some kind of savior and he would probably even have his own holiday (consider that Jesus lived ~2000 years ago and scholars aren't even certain he was a real person, yet almost the entire human race has at least heard of him and he has multiple holidays spanning multiple religions). Not to mention most of his friends (including his own sister) are still around. Does most of the galaxy just assume he is some kind of hoax they are playing on them or what?
- You're misunderstanding a lot here. Nobody's doubting that Luke Skywalker, the historical figure, existed, blew up the Death Star and helped the Rebellion end the war. What they're doubting or disbelieving is that he's a messianic warrior wizard destined by the Force to end the war. Repeat after me: The vast majority of people in-universe did not see the movies and do not know every intimate detail of what happened.
- Im well aware of that. However, her exact words are "I thought he was a myth", which to me sounds like she puts him in the same category as Thor and the Easter bunny. That could just be a bad choice of words on her (or, more accurately, the writers') part.
- Because people, when they speak, are always 100% completely accurate in what they mean? Even if that's what she said, the point still holds — the galaxy is not a place where everybody gets accurate information about things that were seen and experienced by a small minority of people. Things in the real world get twisted and misinterpreted and there are people today who believe in things that are provably false, just because they never bothered to check. I don't see any reason to believe the Galaxy Far, Far Away should be any different. For someone like Rey, living in the boonies, she's never seen Luke, never saw evidence of his feats, and probably thinks it all sounds so far fetched someone must have made it up.
- Luke's role in the final conflict isn't that big of one anyway. Han, Leia, and Lando did the heavy lifting of destroying the second Death Star, and Luke pretty much...disappeared from the story as far as the public was concerned (Rey has no problem recognizing the name "Han Solo" as a war hero). I'm sure Luke told his friends of his final confrontation with Vader and the Emperor, but was the story made any more public? He holds a Viking Funeral for his father entirely alone - not even Leia is there. It's quite possible, since few can use Force, that people stopped believing the Force was real and that the Jedi had the powers legend ascribed to them. Luke's exploits therefore became a myth in a very short time.
- I don't think we've ever seen newspapers or TV stations or anything like that in the Star Wars movies. Presumably, everything Rey knows about Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion comes from word-of-mouth, with everyone telling the tale adding their own embellishments and having their own take on how it all went down.
- There is the HoloNet, which is the Galactic news network, but it's probably not available on a backwater planet like Jakku.
- On a planet like Jakku, all the personalities of the Rebellion are probably half mythical anyway. It's one thing to know that a popular uprising overthrew the Empire; the notion that some untrained farmboy not only destroyed the Death Star single-handed, but was also personally responsible for defeating the Emperor... that's mythology.
How long does it take to train Jedi?
- The timeline of the film, and the sequels in general, makes no sense. Kylo Ren wasn't even born until after the Battle of Endor and regardless of his actual age when he turned on Luke, it is pretty clear that he was already an adult when he did so. That means that Luke had nearly two decades to train others before Kylo went off the rails. So why were there no other fully-trained Jedi Knights? Was Luke trying to be so orthodox to the ways of the Old Republic Jedi Order that he was only training young children? In the old Legends EU he had his first new Jedi within a single decade of Endor. What gives?
- Maybe there was a lot of work to do in setting up the New Republic, fighting the remnants of the Empire, etc. before Luke felt he could take the time to establish a new Jedi school.
- Also, the other two films establish that he did spend some considerable time in training another apprentice: Leia. It's possible he didn't feel confident enough in his capacity to teach any new recruits until after he'd had some practice with his own sister.
- In A New Hope, Leia has acquired the plans to the Empire's superweapon and hidden them inside R2-D2, who brings them to the Rebel base where General Dodonna displays them on a screen while explaining their battle strategy. In The Force Awakens, however, BB-8 is not carrying the plans to the First Order's superweapon. Not only that, but the existence of said superweapon was a complete secret until it destroyed the Hosnian system. How is the Resistance familiar enough with it to have a holographic model of it when they can't possibly have seen what it looks like in the few hours since it destroyed a system several lightyears away? And why, when Finn points to a section on the schematic, does an oscillator appear as he described? Not only would the Resistance need to have that information beforehand to display said oscillator, let alone display it in the section to which Finn is referring, but who pulled it up on the projector when Finn gestured to it? Not only that, but their plan relies on Finn knowing the base like the back of his hand. But clearly, they already have a layout of the base, unless their holographic power point works telepathically and pulled the schematic right out of Finn's brain.