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Technology

    Ballistic arc 
  • Why did the long-range artillery have a ballistic arc? Ballistics are caused by the pull of gravity - they were not in orbit around a planet at the time. More importantly, why did their cannons lose power at range? Again, they're in space - there's no air friction or atmosphere to defract energy. I can understand needing fuel to stay out of range - as it wasn't so much a question of absolute speed as relative speed, with the rebel fleet simply accelerating as long as they can - but why was there a range maximum to begin with in space?
    • Two things. First, Attenuation of laser beams is a real thing. While it would be significantly less in space than inside an atmosphere, it would be there. Space is not (despite popular belief) a vacuum. It is filed with interstellar dust. Said dust is a lot less concentrated (on the level of a few thousand atoms per KM) than, well anywhere on a planet, but at ranges, it would cause some attenuation. Secondly and more importantly, at such long ranges "beam divergence" (http sls://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_divergence)starts becoming an issue. Basically, the further it travels the Electro-Magnetic "beam" becomes more and more wide and therefore delivers less energy. So in other words, the Resistance ships were at a range where losses from attenuation and beam divergence would be enough that the First Order could not have high confidence as to their destruction.
    • In addition, there is also the question of targeting. Space is really big and seeing a target and getting Ordnance onto their position are two different things. On Earth, search radars can only approximate the position of a target, to get a missile to it require more powerful Fire Control radars. So, it's likely that the First Order Sensors could not get a Fire Solution onto the Resistance Cruisers.
    • As for the Arc, the beams don't seem to be made of light, but a kind of plasma. It's possible that the shots are electromagnetically charged and are drawn to the ion charge of the shields or the metal of the ship like a lightning bolt. Also, there is some gravity acting on the ships. The ships have a gravity field produced inside of them so people can walk around on them. Shooting high may make the shots more likely to hit depending on how wide the area of effect is for the artificial gravity device.
    • And, for the arc, sometimes you just have to close your eyes and go, 'It's Star Wars physics, it doesn't always make sense'. After all, when the frigates run out of fuel and the First Order fleet starts to catch up with them, why are the frigates tumbling? If real physics were involved then they wouldn't, but it's Star Wars physics so apparently it happens.
      • Problem with all of these explanations: Out of nine theatrical films, multiple video games, numerous comics and book adaptations, and several animated series, we have never before seen laser blasts behave like this. The closest we had was the interactions of laser blasts with dovin basals during New Jedi Order.
      • Yes we have. In the 2005 Battlefront 2 game, bombs from bombers would accelerate downwards despite no presence of a planet. This was to allow the ship to fly parallel to its target, and it showed that plasma weaponry can be fired in a curved path in the star wars universe.
      • Gameplay and Story Segregation.
      • Perhaps, but it does nevertheless act as a counterexample to "we have never before seen laser blasts behave like this". Apparently we have, so they can.
      • Those are bombs. Not energy weapons. I know they're rendered as glowing orbs, but that's due to the simple graphics engine of the time. Bombs can be guided. Blaster shots cannot. We have literally never seen blaster shots guided before.
      • "Why are the frigates tumbling?" Tractor beams, perhaps? If the Resistance Fleet is going in pretty much a straight line, they'd just need to get momentum going and then they'd be able to turn off the engines to save fuel, unless they were being acted upon by an opposite force. We know Star Wars ships have tractor beam capabilities, right from ANH. Perhaps they are at an adequate distance from the Supremacy and her supporting fleet to not be in full tractor beam range, but close enough to be somewhat affected. When they run out of fuel, the tractor beam sucks the frigate in, as it is no longer offering resistance.
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    Crait has a planetary shield (except it doesn't) 
We learn that the Resistance base on Crait has Planetary shield that would protect the base from an Orbital Bombardment. There two problems with this 1) Planetary Shields are supposed to be capable to keep any non-ground vehicle from getting in or out with being severely damaged.(Recall how in The Empire Strikes Back the Rebels had to lower shield in order for their transports to try to make run through the blockade.) As mentioned under Hollywood Tactics this why the Empire didn't try to use TIE Fighter on Hoth because they couldn't get past the shield. Here however, the TIE Fighter have no problem flying around not even a mile out from the Resistance base. 2) If the Resistance did have a Planetary Shield generator, why doesn't the First Order try to destroy that shield generator and then do an orbital bombardment instead using their towed artillery piece? The film makes no effort to answer either of these questions almost as if there was shield in the script and the director adds a scene to explain it but the continues to act like the shield doesn't exist. But that can't be the case The writer and the directer ARE. THE. SAME. PERSON. I am surprised nobody brings it up as it seems so obvious.
  • Could be a different kind of planetary shield that allows landing, but not orbital bombardment (probably through something like the energy signature or speed). As for why they wouldn't destroy the generator and then bombard the planet: well, that's way more work. You're already there on the ground, so just kick their asses while you're down there.

    Tracking being new 
  • How does tracking someone through hyperspace go from "Impossible!" in one scene to Rose saying "The technology is pretty new" in the next? Is it impossible or are strides being made towards that technology? And that makes it another case of "the First Order is too well equipped considering its means". How did they get this still-developmental tech?
    • It's likely something the Republic was rocking too, especially since Rose knows about it. The thing is, almost everyone in the Rebellion is retired or a civilian, not the kind of people you expect to know much about the bleeding edge of military technology.
    • Fun fact: this was foreshadowed in Rogue One. When Jyn was reading off the list of projects in the Scarif data library, one of the projects she mentions is "hyperspace tracking". The development of the technology might have been slowed down by the loss of the Scarif archive, but it is probable that such a valuable technology was the subject of R&D in subsequent decades.
    • Remember, Rose is an engineer. It's easily possible for her to be more aware of recent technological advancements. As for why she didn't tell Resistance command, she may have just assumed the technology was purely theoretical, much like FTL travel is in Real Life.
    • Well then why didn't she tell Resistance command once it became clear that they were being tracked?
    • They knew they were being tracked; that's why they didn't try to jump until the very end as part of the distraction. Rose's revelation was that the tracking could be turned off, which would give a short window of freedom to escape. And she didn't tell anyone except Poe because it would have been shot down as a fool's errand... correctly, as it turned out.
      • "theoretical, much like FTL travel..." — the words "theoretical" and "impossible" (or even, presently believed to be impossible) do not mean the same thing... (the key root of theoretical is _theory_, as in, there is a theory - in the scientific sense of the word - behind it?...)
    • Made worse in that this is a Series Continuity Error. In The Force Awakens, ships are tracked through hyperspace repeatedly.
      • Han and Chewie are able to pinpoint the Millennium Falcon the moment that Rey flies it off of Jakku.
      • Likewise, despite the fact that Han and Chewie diverted from their planned course to go and recover the Falcon, they themselves are promptly tracked down by the Guavian Death Gang and Kanjiklub.
      • The First Order discovers the location of the Resistance base on D'Qar by tracking Snap Wexley's X-wing after he does a surveillance flyby of Starkiller Base. That was how they suddenly knew to target the planet.

    Lightspeed attack working 
  • Why did going to lightspeed even work in the first place? In Rogue One, during the climatic battle several of the republic survivors jump to lightspeed, and accidentally hit a Star destroyer just as it jumps into the system, which doesn't appear to do so much as scratch it. This seemed to imply that space vessels have some kind of protection against these lightspeed rams, which seems like a very important thing given the amount of damage something like that can do. Why was that completely absent in this movie?
    • It's a Cruiser hitting a Super-Dreadnought, intentionally. Nothing that big has ever been shown hitting anything that enormous before, and it's worth noting that the Cruiser still came off worse.
    • Holdo may have also intentionally overclocked the hyperspace drive in some way, effectively maximizing the impact, while deactivating whatever safeties would normally try to limit the full force of a collision. The ships that collide with the Star Destroyer in Rogue One weren't doing so deliberately.
    • Also, if you look at Rogue One, every ship except one (the medium transport on the right of the frame) already made the jump before the Star Destroyer jumped in. The ships that were crushed hadn't started the pseudomotion. However, that raises further questions about how much mass actually constitutes a danger in hyperspace.

     Admiral Holdo and the hyperdrive 
  • Holdo commits a Heroic Sacrifice by having her crew evacuate the ship and then she activates the ship's hyperdrive system and crash's the ship into Snoke's flagship. This doesn't make any sense because hyperdrive works by having a ship go into another dimension and then the ship exits that dimension and arrives at its destination at the other end, like a wormhole. The only way her sacrifice would work would be if the hyperdrive system was just a regular FTL drive that flies through regular space.
    • Maybe she opened a hyperspace window exactly at the position of the other ships using energy required to jump in a more destructive way. This also explains why she had to stay instead of just programming a valid course, as some level of precision and adjustments were needed.
    • As stated by Han in A New Hope, real-space objects such as planets and stars still project a presence in hyperspace (when he explains that jumping into hyperspace blindly is likely to leave you splattered against a planet or a sun). That's how Interdictor cruisers work: by generating a strong enough gravity that they simulate the presence of a planet in hyperspace, causing hyperdrives in both real-space and hyperspace to shut down as a safety. Presumably, Snoke's ship is big enough to also project a presence in hyperspace.
    • It's clearly not a straightforward ram either; rather than crashing through Snoke's ship, she pretty much cleanly cuts it in half with a very impressive and unusual looking light show.
    • The idea that the maneuver only worked due to the sheer size of Snoke's ship also could also explain how nobody on the other side was expecting it, i.e. going into hyperspace to suicide run into another ship would not normally work.
    • The fact that Holdo hit the ship several kilometers away from the center, where she was presumably aiming, tends to suggest that lightspeed ramming would probably have missed any ship that wasn't impossibly huge. One could argue that it would be more accurate at closer range, but that means getting the ship that much closer to the target's weapons systems.
    • Based on how it works, it seems more like the physical mass is shunted into another dimension to effectively turn it into energy in realspace, allowing the speedy travel but keeping just enough of the ship here to do some damage. On that logic, Holdo basically turned the ship into a blaster bolt with energy equivalent to the mass of a 3km starship.
    • There is the question of why she waited so long as the Rebels were down from almost thirty ships to only a handful as acting quicker would have saved lives.
    • It might not have been the first plan to have occurred to her. The film spends a decent amount of time examining the contrast between people fighting to stop an enemy (Poe, Finn), and people fighting to save something (Rose, Holdo). Given that Holdo is looking to save people the first few plans she might have tried out in her head could have involved placing her ship broadside between the First Order fleet and the fleeing transports so that the ship and its shields would take the turbolaser blasts from the fleet, only for her to discard those plans when she does the calculations and realises that that her ship lacks both the fuel and the shield power to have lasted long enough to provide any meaningful protection.
    • When a ship powers up its hyperdrive and makes the jump to lightspeed, they still exist in the normal realm of space for a brief period as they're "running up" to get into hyperspace. This is shown across the movies by a brief shot of the hyperspacing vessel elongating and then snapping away into hyperspace. So for that brief moment, that brief distance, a ship that's making the jump to lightspeed is the singular most dangerous thing in the entire Star Wars setting, because its full mass is being accelerated to the speed of light. Which is why you always see ships angling away from anything that could impede the jump to lightspeed. There was literally no hope for Snoke's flagship to evade or survive that hit. The fact that it held together as long as it did afterwards is suitably impressive.
    • The damage that can be done by a ship going into hyperspace was recently shown in Star Wars Rebels S04E07 "Kindred" where a ship jumping to hyperspace jumps through a hangar open on both ends. When it does, it destroys everything in the hangar, and pulls it out in the wake of the ship as well. So the idea that a ship jumping into hyperspace is dangerous during the jump definitely has merit.

     Chekov's Hyperspace Missiles 
  • All right, so Admiral Holdo's Heroic Sacrifice works beautifully. I presume that the reason it works is that her ship was just under the light-speed threshold when it struck Snoke's: had it actually gone into hyperspace, it would likely have just "skipped" past the target the same way Han Solo "skipped" past the Starkiller Base's shields back in The Force Awakens. An object striking another object at any significant fraction of the speed of light being sufficient to do massive damage on the order of a nuclear blast, except (probably) without leaving any pesky radioactive fallout in its wake, I can see how that would work.

    My problem with this, as with Han's maneuver in The Force Awakens: now that we've established an object jumping into hyperspace can do these things, isn't it about time somebody started strapping hyperdrives to missiles and firing them through hyperspace? The first movie of this trilogy established that such missiles can bypass energy shields. Now this second movie has established that they can do massive damage if you crash them into things right before they hit the light-speed threshold. Han Solo and company were hoping to return from their mission alive, and Admiral Holdo obviously wasn't able to come up with a way to set her ship on autopilot and get off of it in time to survive her maneuver, but drones and any other kind of large objects that don't need to survive such maneuvers are an innovation so obvious that I don't see why they shouldn't become the new "nukes" of the Star Wars universe.
    • The question can be answered quite simply; hyperdrives are way too expensive to be strapping onto one-time use missiles, particularly for the cash-strapped Resistance and the not-quite-as-cash-strapped First Order. That would be the equivalent of using a Saturn V to propel a tank shell; it may make for a more impressive and destructive payload, but it just isn't fiscally responsible or sustainable. In addition, the type of targeting that hyperdrives typically employ is meant to calculate trajectories at distances of light-years, not the relatively short hundred or so kilometers of your standard space battle. As was discussed in Mass Effect 2, Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space, and if your targeting is off by even the smallest amount you could wind up throwing a hyperdrive missile right into an unsuspecting planet and causing an apocalyptic amount of unintended collateral destruction.
    • As I replied when someone brought up this "prohibitive cost" counterpoint for The Force Awakens, hyperdrives can't be that expensive if even the underfunded rag-tag Rebellion and Resistance could afford to buy old ships for their fleet (and Han Solo with his money troubles could still afford to soup up the old Millennium Falcon with a fancy new hyperdrive to make it the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy" by Lando Calrissian's estimation), and if the Empire and First Order had the money and resources to build planet-killing super-weapons, no way could they not afford to throw an old decommissioned capital ship at just under the light-speed threshold at their enemies. As for targeting, it doesn't seem to me it has to be all that precise; you just have to make sure the object is close enough that the missile will hit it before it crosses the light-speed threshold so it doesn't "skip" past it (or get crushed by the target's mass shadow) in hyperspace.
    • I seriously doubt the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive was "fancy and new", since they spent virtually the entirety of Empire Strikes Back just trying to make it work once. As for the newer movies, remember that this drive was also apparently sufficiently cobbled together (or undersized, or overpowered) that a compressor "put too much stress" on it. Look at it like racing cars; some people spend over $100K for a good racing engine, and others pick up a V8 off eBay for $600 and try to hook it into a little economy hatchback.
    • I mean "fancy and new" for its time; the Millennium Falcon itself was already very obsolete by the original trilogy era, but the engine must have been significantly upgraded for it to be such a fast and maneuverable ship. Again, Han Solo had money troubles, so he must have been able to get the souped-up hyperdrive relatively inexpensively, something like that $600 V8 off of eBay. In any case, the point stands that hyperdrives can't be too prohibitively expensive to use as weapons, especially if you're buying them used and in bulk. If Leia and the Resistance need some cheap hyperdrives to strap to missiles, the junkyards of Jakku ought to have plenty.
    • Honestly, I think this might be the biggest error the writers had made in this movie that completely rocks the entire lore of the franchise. I have just a simple question for you: If you can take a hyperdrive, slap it onto a big rock and smash it into a planet at relativistic speeds from the other end of the galaxy, why would anyone bother with any other doomsday weapon? Why would anyone try to build a space-station the size of the moon to blow up planets when they could just take something like a decommissioned Acclamator class destroyer, ram it into a planet via hyperdrive, and achieve practically the same result? The mere fact that they allowed hyperdrives to be used this way undermines the very existence of the Death Star, one of the big linchpins of the entire SW universe.
    • I'm guessing the bigger the mass of the ship or object being accelerated, the more powerful and expensive the hyperdrive has to be to accelerate it. Also, proper targeting requires the target to be close enough to the missile to keep it from crossing the light-speed threshold before smashing into it, so you couldn't just fire at something from across the galaxy; you have to get it into the same general vicinity as the victim you plan to ram with it. That said, applying what we've seen hyperdrives can do in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi should be relatively simple.

      To take out one Starkiller Base without losing more than half your X-wing fleet, simply convert one of those X-wings into a drone and have it calculate a course that will bring it out of hyperspace just inside the planetary shields at a gentle angle of descent over that thermal oscillator you need to destroy. Next, have it point itself directly at the thermal oscillator and fire up the hyperdrive again. (This should only take a few seconds.) At this range, the ship might only be able to get up to one tenth of the speed of light before crashing into the thermal oscillator, but even that should be enough to produce a Hiroshima-sized explosion that will annihilate the oscillator, touching off a chain reaction that will blow the planet to kingdom come.

      Congratulations, Resistance: you're out the cost of one X-wing and maybe a droid's processing unit (to guide the drone ship to its destination), and the First Order just lost several quadrillion credits worth of super-weapon technology. Those Imperial wannabes are definitely going to have to rethink their strategy for reconquering the galaxy now, yes? (Don't celebrate too soon, though: as soon as it occurs to the First Order to do the same thing to your bases with expendable capital ships, this galaxy's going to have a nigh-apocalyptic war on a scale no one has ever seen before; it might not leave one inhabited planet intact.)
    • Well, there's two things that could stop this from happening. For a start, it's doubtful that hyperspace mass drivers could hit a planet, the planet's gravity would pull the mass out of hyperspace before it could hit (large as it is, not even Snoke's flagship would generate the kind of gravity shadow that even a small moon would which explains why the move works against the fleet), and the use of hyperspace mass drivers against fleets not actually in orbit around a planet (and therefore not protected by the planet's gravity well) would easily be countered by making sure each fleet is deployed with a Interdictor Cruiser.
    • One point a lot of these objections seem to keep missing: using hyperspace mass drivers as weapons specifically requires that they not actually reach hyperspace. The idea is that the missile is supposed to impact moments before it makes the jump, not after. If gravity wells can prevent a ship from initiating this acceleration in the first place, then those Interdictors might have some value as a defense against this kind of attack; but if they're only good for preventing the actual jump to hyperspace, they'll be no use at all against a maneuver like Holdo's just-barely-sub-light suicide run — or those hyperspace missiles.
    • It's canon that Interdictors stop a ship making the jump to hyperspace. The apparent massive increase in speed always gets canonically described as pseudomotion, suggesting that there is no increase in the speed that the ship is traveling at in real space before it makes the jump to hyperspace.
    • Not necessarily. Mass shadows created by stellar objects and Interdictor cruisers work to snatch ships out of hyperspace because ship hyperdrives are built with failsafes that preemptively cut the hyperdrive so that they don't get yanked out by the physical gravity of the object at a point where they can't escape the gravitational pull of the object under their own engine power. For these hypothetical Hyper-Death Missiles, you obviously would design a stripped-down hyperdrive that doesn't employ that safety feature. So, as stated up-thread, prohibitive cost and the fact that any miss—and even a direct hit, if you hit something so small that it doesn't destroy the Hyper-Death Missile and the thing keeps going—will cause calamitous harm against some other unsuspecting fool on the far side of the galaxy.
    • Are hyperspace engine failsafes when in hyperspace still canon though? I have to admit, I'm losing track with what is and isn't, but as far as I can tell the only canon hyperspace failsafes are those designed to stop somebody from activating the hyperdrive whilst still in a large enough gravity well, while getting pulled out of hyperspace by a large enough gravity well is an act of physics (which would explain Han's line about jumping right into a star. Given the inverse square law there's a very good chance that by the time a gravity well is strong enough to pull something out of hyperspace whatever is being pulled out is going to be deep inside the gravity well and would materialise either inside a planet, or close enough to star to be destroyed).
    • The thing is, a Cruiser hitting Snoke's ship doesn't do 'that' much damage, and we see ships hyperspace ramming Star Destroyers in Rogue One with almost no effect. Frankly, anything below the mass of a capital ship is likely to do next to nothing, it's clearly not nearly as effective as the physics would suggest.
    • The ships that ran into Vader's star destroyer in Rogue One weren't even accelerating to lightspeed when they struck - they were clearly making pre-lightspeed maneuvers. Those ships struck at normal sublight speeds, so no relativistic effects were in play.
    • You know, I'm starting to wonder if what we saw is the reason why nobody plots hyperspace jumps that short. Maybe it's the case that not only is the jump too short to fully merge the ship with hyperspace, it's also too short to allow the ship to properly reintegrate back into real space. The effect would be that during the partial entry into hyperspace every bond in the ship would break creating some truly staggering amounts of energy (E=mc^2), some of which would be expressed in real space as very excited photons, and the subsequent reintegration of the rest of the energy into real space (because it couldn't make the full dimensional shift into hyperspace) would be expressed as some very, very excited photons. This would make weaponising it incredibly difficult. For the distances involved you've got to think that turbolasers, proton torpedoes, and concussion missiles would be considerably more cost effective than a hyperspace jump over that distance using a mass equivalent to that of the cruiser.
    • Others up-thread have theorized that making hyperspace missiles would be impractical. I don't agree with that, but let's assume for a minute that hyperspace missiles ARE impractical. That still doesn't explain why hyperspace ramming isn't used in nearly every fleet engagement. Think of it this way: Admiral Holdo sacrificed herself and one single 3km Mon Calamari cruiser, and in exchange for that sacrifice she crippled one 60km Super Star Destroyer and destroyed several regular Star Destroyers. You think that a single Mon Cal cruiser could do that much damage on its own without the hyperspace ramming (just using turbolasers, proton torpedoes, etc)? This scene, while pretty to look at, killed my suspension of disbelief.
    • Um, Holdo using the cruiser to ram the FO's flagship didn't directly destroy the First Order SD fleet. It was the shock wave of the cruiser hitting the flagship that caused the destruction of the SD fleet. If the flagship hadn't been so preposterously huge then the shock wave would have been much smaller. On top of that, it isn't the amount of damage you can do with one shot that's important, it's how much it's going to cost you. And then you have to factor in just how much of a useful tactic it's going to be anyway. The Resistance is clearly short on materiel and personnel, so for them this isn't a viable tactic for fleet engagement.

      For the First Order, who might or might not have the ships to spare, this still isn't a viable tactic because once word gets around about what you are doing enemy fleets will now fly in formation further apart, only allowing a ramming manoeuvre to hit one ship at most, or deploy some form of gravity well generator tech, like an Interdictor, stopping a ship from going to hyperspace anywhere near the fleet. And that's just considerations to be made on a strategic and tactical level. Then you have to take into account logistical necessities. So, first of all:

      1) Just how many 60km SSD are there out there that need destroying? (A: There probably isn't another one. Intimidation factor aside, a 60km wide starship is useless in a standard military engagement. It can't do anything than a greater number of SD can do in its place and it's a really huge, relatively sitting still target that's going to be subject to the same TRD problems that regular SD have.)

      2) Just how much does it cost to build a 3km Mon Cal Cruiser (A: A lot. If Earth pooled all its resources we would probably still fall short of being able to build a cruiser like that, and that's even assuming we would have the technology to stop the cruiser collapsing under its own weight within its own artificial gravity, and could give the ship enough structural integrity to stop it being ripped apart under the stresses induced by its own engines.)

      3) How much does it cost in regular munitions to take down a standard SD, compared to the cost of a cruiser, or vice versa (A: Considerably less. Munitions are designed to take down enemy vessels. Cruisers are designed to carry the means to take down enemy vessels.)

      To give a real world comparison: The second-longest US Naval vessel in history will be the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier; Displacement: about 100 000 tonnes; Cost to build: $10.44bn, and that doesn't include the cost of all materiel on board, like aircraft, etc. It's not certain, because it's never happened, and for obvious reasons the various world's navies like to keep their own testing into the matter a secret, but two of the most modern supercavitating torpedoes would probably be enough to break to break the back of the carrier. But lets ramp it up a bit and say that you need ten supercavitating torpedoes to do the job; Cost: $0.04bn.

      Now let's bring in the cruiser analogue. Enter the HMAS Hobart (DDG 39); Displacent: 6,250 tonnes; Cost to build without project cost overruns: $1bn. Even if you could get the Hobart up to the speeds required to hit the carrier to do enough damage to sink it, and even if, by some miracle, the Hobart could hit it (the carrier would just sail away from the projected impact point, and the Hobart would be sunk long before the point it could reach the carrier) at what point does that make sense? You are spending $1bn, plus all the materiel on-board, plus an additional $1bn and cost of additional materiel to replace the cruiser, all to do the job that ten torpedoes costing $0.04bn would do. Oh, and you've still got the launching platform for the torpedoes, allowing you to launch even more torpedoes somewhere down the line.
    • Very nicely analyzed, but that brings us back to the original point: isn't everybody's best option, then, to start strapping hyperspace drives to their missiles (be they the smaller torpedoes of the kind Luke Skywalker used to destroy the first Death Star or concussion missiles of the sort Lando Calrissian used to destroy the second one)? Clearly, if hyperspace drives allow things to bypass shields and do massive damage, bigger is not better anymore, and Death Stars are obsolete. Hyperspace missiles are the new nuke, and proliferation should be the order of the day.

      That it took people in the Star Wars universe a while to make these innovations is realistic enough if you've studied military history; soon after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. military brass started researching and developing the hydrogen bomb and building things like MX Missiles under the doctrine that Bigger Is Better. As the decades passed, however, it gradually occurred to them that ten one-ton nukes could do much more damage than one ten-ton nuke, and so they began to develop things like cluster munitions with multiple warheads. If the Star Wars writers are going to take some practical pointers from Real Life, I think they'd better ditch those Death Stars from now on and start showing First Order fleets streamlining themselves with smaller and faster ships and spreading out to avoid being caught in huge blasts as happened to the fleet in this movie.
    • Except it doesn't solve the problem of gravity well generators. If people start using hyperspace weapons then people will deploy gravity well projectors to protect their fleets because at that point the benefits of even a faultily designed Interdictor cruiser outweigh its flaws. Rebels has established that only established hyperspace routes are safe to travel, so long-range launch of missiles can be stopped by placing gravity well generators on those routes, and short-range fleet-engagement missiles can be stopped by the fleet deploying its own gravity well projectors, and planets protect themselves anyway.
  • All this discussion about hyperspace attacks misses the fact that in the entire history of the Galaxy, only one pilot has ever been known to jump to hyperspace aboard a ship that itself is still inside a larger ship's hangar, and only one pilot has even been known to drop out of hyperspace inside a planetary atmosphere. Oh, and those are the same pilot. And he pulled those tricks off within days of each other. And he once described flying through hyperspace as not like dusting crops. Oh, and he's now dead. And he was Han Friggin' Solo, who was as reckless as anyone ever got. So, yeah, no one has done it because most engineers would think it completely impossible.
    • That explains why people haven't tried these things up to now, but not why they wouldn't think to do them again. Rey, Chewbacca, BB-8, and Finn are all still around to testify to the success of Han's maneuvers, and everybody in the Resistance and First Order who survived this movie saw how successful Holdo's maneuver was. The technicians on either side would have to be pretty incompetent if they aren't already considering ways to improve on these innovations in war tactics (such as how to do as much damage to an enemy's fleet as Holdo did without making a suicide run).
  • Consider how many hyperspace capable bombers and X-wings were destroyed in the attack on the dreadnought, there is no way it's not cost effective. Then consider that the mass of the bombs on the bomber would do less damage by exploding instead of striking the dreadnought at near light speed. The snub fighter and cruiser combo has always been a losing proposition. Why risk dozens of vulnerable and very expensive craft when guaranteeing the destruction of one. It's almost like the writers were trying to tell us the epic space battles are gone forever; they book ended an example of the failings of Star Wars' signature battles with an example of how they wanted it to go from now on.
    • Well, for a start, the attack on the dreadnaught, from a military point of view, is an abject failure for the Resistance and can't really be used as a comparison for anything (the original plan was for the Poe to distract the Dreadnought whilst the fleet finished evacuating and, once enough time has passed, for the fleet to make the jump to lightspeed leaving the First Order fleet behind, Poe decides to change the plan to the one he's been working on that's designed to take down the dreadnaught with minimal or no losses to the Republic snub-fighters. Both plans fail because of Poe, and it's only blind luck that the Dreadnaught is destroyed). To get a proper cost comparison you need to calculate the entire amount of damage that a snubfighter can output during it's projected lifespan, plus the value of all the other services that snubfighter can perform, versus that of the cost of a hyperspace mass driver.

      Then there's the matter of the bombs. The bombs aren't directly relying on mass to do damage. When people talk about mass drivers they are talking about the equivalent of somebody throwing a solid rubber ball against a wall, and effectively it's what the Resistance cruiser became when it did the hyperspace ramming move. Bombs and missiles don't impact against objects to cause damage, instead detonating explosives of some description contained in the payload in the vicinity of the target, which is kind of the equivalent of throwing a lit fire-cracker against the wall. In the real world, high yield explosives are used in equivalent situations because attempting to fire a solid mass to achieve the same energy output at impact means accelerating the mass to a small but appreciable percentage of the speed of light (it depends on the explosive, but the equivalent mass driver can end up needing to accelerate 1kg of mass to 2% of c to achieve the same energy output at impact, obviously high explosives make much more economical sense). So it doesn't matter the speed that the bombs or missiles are traveling at when they detonate, it's the explosive in the payload that's doing the damage, not the impact of the object carrying the payload. In effect, strapping hyperspace engines to either bombs or missiles is pointless, because all it would do is increase the speed that the explosive gets to the target to the point that at fleet-engagement distances missiles and bombs would massively overshoot their targets, and at longer distances (launching from one system to another) you run into the Lensman problem.

      So that leaves hyperspace mass drivers. Why aren't they suddenly going to flood the Star Wars universe? Practical issues first. How big a mass do you need? The FO flagship is impressively wide at 60km, but not nearly as impressive measured bow to stern (using a rough eyeball measurement I put the bow-stern length at about than 10km), and it's dorsal-ventral axis length at the impact point isn't that much greater than the Mon Cal Cruiser's. So a 3km cruiser, accelerated past c, produces enough energy at impact to cut through ~10km of opposing ship leaving a cut about as wide as the Mon Cal Cruiser, and releasing an energy shockwave that takes out the surrounding SD. So if you want to use hyperspace mass drivers against destroyers and cruisers you are looking at masses equivalent to a snubfighter, at the very least.

      Next question, how do you get your mass to the battlefield, and how is it going to be driven at the target? A self-propelled mass equivalent to a snubfighter would need sensors, on-board targeting and navigating systems including a navicomputer, comms systems so the mass driver can be given targeting instructions, a hyperspace engine, sublight engines, maneuvering thrusters, and fuel storage to power all the above, all just to get to the battlefield, lock on target, and make the jump to create the impact. Or, in other words, you've just built a weaponless, one-shot, snub-fighter, with all the equivalent costs near to that of a snubfighter. Or you could make the driver separate to the mass, with the mass just having hyperspace engines and fuel storage. But what is your driver going to be? You can't strap the mass to another stubfighter, you've literally just doubled the mass of the stub-fighter you want to use as a driver, and even if you are able to design a snub-fighter around that, each fighter can only carry one mass each, and the snubfighter would have all the maneuverability and acceleration problems the bombers attacking the dreadnaught have. Or you could put the mass projectiles on a cruiser, but for every mass taken on-board you lose the carrying capacity (in mass terms) for a snubfighter. With each fewer snubfighter on-board you now have one fewer fighter to fly in a fighter screen to protect the cruiser whilst it gets in position to drive the mass projectiles.

      And even if you decide that producing a hyperspace mass driver makes sense economically, there's still one glaring problem staring the designers in the face. They've just designed the most ineffectual and cost-ineffective weapon in the galaxy. A Ewok-powered pointy stick has more effectiveness. Hyperspace mass drivers can't be used for planetary bombardment purposes (the planet's gravity well would drag the mass out of hyperspace before it could hit), and hyperspace mass drivers can't be used against fleets, because at the first whiff of the development of hyperspace mass drivers every military everywhere is going to ensure that each of their fleets is equipped with already developed and well-understood gravity-well generator technology that would rip hyperspace masses out of hyperspace before they could hit the fleet.
    • All of you do realize that you have essentially described an ICBM, which we have in real life. All of the objections are a matter of design. While they would not be realistic for the Rebellion or the Resistance, the Republic or Empire could surely have the money to make these missiles. They are single-use, specialized weapons that can be carried on capital ships, much like the torpedo when it was invented in real life.
    • No. ICBM are just long-range missiles designed to carry one or more warheads to a target. The ICBM is not designed to impact with an object and in itself isn't designed to explode. It's just a payload delivery system. The damage is caused by the payload itself. The closest equivalent to an ICBM in the Star Wars universe is the proton torpedo or concussion missile. As mentioned above, strapping a hyperdrive to either of these is pointless. At fleet-engagement range the missile would:
      1) massively overshoot the target because hyperspace jumps that short can't be calculated accurately, or
      1a) even if you could get the missile to impact with the target from hyperspace the payload gets obliterated without ever detonating (to use your example of an ICBM and a nuclear warhead, if the ICBM slams into the target the payload would suffer such severe damage it wouldn't detonate, ICBM are designed to target co-ordinates in clear space and when that space is reached then trigger the payload to either detonate or be realised via a MiRV system, in which case the RV then targets clear space and detonates the payload at target), or
      2) if you manage to get over the problem of getting the targeting systems to be able to detect very low gravity-well real space objects from hyperspace in time to detonate near the target the explosion from the payload would still detonate in hyperspace and wouldn't affect the real-world object, or
      3) the missile would have to detect the object from hyperspace in time to drop out of hyperspace for the payload to then explode, making strapping a hyperspace engine to the missile pointless in the first place.
    • These objections are rather over-extending several analogies and missing the earlier point made that smashing anything into anything else at speeds just under the speed of light produces a massive release of energy to destroy both objects. Just as a meteorite's impact crater is much larger than the actual meteorite, so too would any object crashing into a ship right before it hits hyperspace blast a massive hole in it. When I say hyperspace missiles are the new nuke, I don't mean they have all the complex inner workings of a nuke, but that their impact could do a comparable amount of damage to the amount a nuclear detonation does. Any object approaching the speed of light isn't the delivery system for a payload; it is the payload! The missile in question wouldn't even have to have any explosive substance in its warhead to produce a massive explosion, just be going at near the speed of light as Holdo's ship was.
    • Or in other words, what's being talked about is a hyperspace mass driver, rather than a missile. Which gives rise to all the problems listed with hyperspace mass drivers above (not least of which is carrying that mass around. It's easy to gloss over the problem by saying load the mass projectile onto a capital ship, but it doesn't get rid of the problem. For every 1kg of mass a ship takes on requires the ship's engines to produce an additional 1N⋅M of thrust for every 1/ms^2 of acceleration or deceleration under normal operations. Or in other words, for every mass projectile equal in mass to a snub-fighter, the capital ship must now carry one less snub-fighter to maintain its thrust-to-mass profile, for every mass projectile equal in mass to an AT-AT the ship must now carry one less AT-AT, etc.). Then there's the matter of how hyperspace engines work. It doesn't matter if somehow the equivalent to a weaponless snub-fighter with no life support being rammed at an enemy is more economical in a military sense compared to having a fully-armed snub-fighter operating over a course of its projected lifetime because you still can't get hyperspace-driven mass projectiles to hit anything that's being protected by a large enough gravity well.

      And this is all before we get into the esoterics of how hyperspace travel works. For all that the canon describes hyperspace travel as travel at lightspeed and FTL, it doesn't describe these speeds occurring within real space and, even more complicatedly, the canon also describes hyperspace engines as maintaining a ship's mass/energy profile (it's mass, speed, and acceleration amongst other things) when it enters, travels through, and exits hyperspace. So from the canon's description, hyperspace engines don't appear to add any real space acceleration to a ship, instead the speed the ship is traveling at is equal to its speed in real space at the time of the jump and the ship maintains this real space speed during the length of the jump. This means that in theory hyperspace provides a way of traveling between two points in real space without having to travel along the length of curved spacetime between those two points and the flight is described as being FTL because to travel that distance in real space in that amount of time would require the ship to be traveling at FTL speeds, but hyperspace allows the ship to travel a much shorter distance at the same speed the ship was traveling at in real space (kind of like the Babylon 5 model). If all of that is true, then hyperspace mass drivers aren't going to work because the mass never reaches anything approaching light speed.
    • All right, so if the ships jumping to hyperspace don't actually reach greater actual speeds (which would be consistent with the loophole in the laws of physics that hyperdrives are exploiting, i.e. they don't actually cross those light years, they just shorten the distance between two points by "skipping" a lot of it), that would explain why things producing gravity wells such as planets and interdictors are an effective defense against hyperspace ramming. This is also consistent with how Han was able to bypass the Starkiller Base's shields: the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive basically went around the wholly three-dimensional planetary shield in the fourth dimension. Interestingly, if you're paying attention, the warp drives in Star Trek are actually indicated to work the exact same way, albeit less efficiently than those in Star Wars. (Star Trek's ships have better weapons like anti-matter warheads, but their warp drives in the 24th century take 70 years at maximum speed to cross the Milky Way, whereas Star Wars ships seem to be only a few hours' flight from anywhere in their galaxy.)

      That said, this would indicate that hyperdrive technology, like the equivalents in other shows with faster-than-light travel, is based on the ability to generate artificial gravity, since gravity uses the very same loophole (warping space itself) to have an effect on things before the light can reach them. (Classic example: if our Sun were suddenly to go nova, Earth would actually depart from its orbit several minutes before the light from the explosion reached us.) Obviously, if hyperdrives are designed to generate and focus the massive amounts of artificial gravity necessary to compress all the light years between one's point of departure and arrival, the interdictors work by using their artificial gravity generators to disrupt other artificial gravity generators, such as hyperdrives.

      Assuming the First Order has the sense to research a fix for the design flaw and start manufacturing those interdictors again, however, it strikes me that hyperdrives—or at least the technology on which they're based—could still be used as powerful gravity weapons. That gravity generators can prevent hyperdrives from initiating pseudo-motion (probably by disrupting their ability to focus the gravity) does not mean they could stop them from generating gravity altogether. That the hyperspace jumps don't produce real acceleration merely returns us to the question others have been asking as to why Holdo's suicide run worked. My new theory: notice the way Star Wars ships very suddenly elongate for just a moment as they're making the jump (as do Star Trek ships, in fact, at least from The Next Generation onward); that's probably the point at which the ship basically tears a tiny hole in the space-time continuum, and at which anything that happens to be near the ship at that time will be pummeled with concentrated gravity waves. That pummeling is what tore Snoke's ship in half, and produced a massive gravitational shock wave that trashed a lot of the surrounding destroyers as well.

      Now, considering that gravity in Real Life already causes great amounts of acceleration without yanking things into hyperspace, and that this acceleration produces massive damage to anything these accelerated objects strike within gravity wells (such as the planet itself; as mentioned, meteors produce craters much larger than themselves), it seems to me that being able to produce large amounts of gravity even if one can't focus it as the hyperdrives do would still enable the producer to achieve real acceleration up to great sub-light speeds, so long as the gravity isn't powerful enough to produce any pseudo-motion. So, the only variation on the attack plan for taking out Starkiller Base described above is that once the X-wing drone is inside the planetary shield, instead of firing up the drive again as if making a hyperspace jump, you have the X-wing drone turn on the artificial gravity generator (possibly a part of the hyperdrive and still pointed directly at the thermal oscillator you're targeting) and crank it up to, say, 50 Gs or so. The resulting sub-light-but-still-near-relativistic-speed plummet (which ironically could only occur in the presence of a sufficiently large gravity well such as a planet) still causes a massive explosion when it smashes the ship into the target faster than any natural meteor could go, and so you still have—for all intents and purposes—a super-weapon-destroying missile.
  • So this is just handwaving, there's no actual backup for this idea, but... I'm thinking that the reason that nobody uses hyperdrive kinetic weapons like Admiral Holdo did is because of the collateral damage. Watching the space scenes a while afterward, it's clear that the space surrounding the flagship has just been space-junked all to hell. The other Star Destroyers present that got blasted to smithereens kinda reinforce the idea that this was basically nuking an entire area of space. However, even if this is the equivalent of Tsar Bomba-ing a fleet, that's still a hell of a weapon to bring to a fight, and one that should have seen use before if it's that powerful.
    So - and here's where the handwavium gets added to the mix - how much collateral damage did Admiral Holdo just do? What if there's just a blast cone of relativistic debris that blasted the First Order fleet half-apart, and then kept going? As folks above have quoted, Isaac Newton's a brutal man to mess with. If that impact happened in the vicinity of lightspeed, there may now be pea-sized trans-hyperspeed projectiles scattering across a good section of the galaxy. Holdo may not have just nuked local space, she may have made hyperspace around Crait lethally unusable in a cone-shaped Zone of Death. It neatly explains why the maneuver hasn't been used in the Star Wars universe yet (it has actually, but everybody knows that it's a historically bad idea) and it explains why nobody decided to come up with it until the very last moment (you don't do this historically stupid thing unless you are truly desperate).
    And lastly, what happens afterward is a great explanation of why it still wasn't all that great an idea: it didn't stop the First Order. It took out a surprising number of Star Destroyers, and ripped the Supremacy half apart, but it didn't stop the fleet from continuing on the same trip they were already taking, just slowed them down a bit while they crapped their Post-Imperial pantsuits.
  • Ultimately, I think we'll eventually get the answer to this question in supplementary material. It's too incredible a scene and too high profile as a debate topic to go unanswered.
  • Just a thought but maybe doing this is actually a war crime? After all relativistic speeds make everything really ridiculously dangerous. Hit a planet with a moderately sized asteroid that would normally only make a minor dent going at relativistic speeds and you've just wiped out a biosphere completely. We're talking millions, possibly billions or trillions depending on the planets population, all dead in a matter of seconds. Even worse in space that debris which isn't consumed in the immediate collision will become light speed shrapnel potentially tearing up everything in its path all the way across the galaxy until it exits the rim out into deep space. For a Rebel army that's trying to be the good guys that is a very good reason not to engage in this sort of behavior.
    • Meanwhile for the empire it's ridiculously wasteful, and dangerous to shipping with that hyper accelerated shrapnel, to build a device with a very expensive high tech piece of equipment that does this once and needs to be replaced while also potentially planting the idea in the minds of every lunatic with access to a ship. Meanwhile they have the resources to build something that can accomplish the same effect every few hours indefinitely but can't be replicated in a garage by a drunken moisture farmer with a grudge. It just makes more sense not to violate this one extremely serious taboo then to open the flood gates to all sorts of mayhem that could do serious damage to their own interests in the process.
    • As for the First Order, they are a slave army that relies on kidnappings to fill the ranks. Wiping out any inhabited planet in the outer rim is a terrible idea for them. Plus given the way they reacted to having one dreadnought destroyed it seems their resources aren't quite so unlimited. If anything they're what's left over of the Empires mothballed Navy with no possibility of replacing major ships or components if something breaks. Sure they can buy more Tie fighters because those things were dime a dozen and ended up everywhere but I doubt anyone will be selling an Imperial Star Destroyer.
      • I'd even hazard a guess that Holdo's attack wiped out the majority of the First Order's forces.
  • The trouble with the part about the "light speed shrapnel" is that we've established hyperspace "pseudo-motion" isn't really the same thing as actual motion; it requires a certain ongoing expenditure of energy from a hyperdrive to maintain, and once that drive is obliterated in the explosion, the hyperspace distortions it's causing quickly smooth out and the shrapnel drops out of hyperspace. Basically, actual motion has momentum while pseudo-motion doesn't. That shrapnel isn't going to be going above light speed or even near light speed for very long, so it's not really that much of a credible long-term hazard. As for the Empire or First Order having any legal concerns about blowing up whole planets, one can see that men like Grand Moff Tarkin and Emperor Palpatine would never take any such "international" conventions seriously, even assuming there were any.

    It seems more likely to me that there must be some defense measures available against any kind of hyperspace missile, and that Holdo's attack only succeeded because she'd caught the First Order off their guard. The Death Stars and Starkiller Base already had some natural gravity, and all ships big and small seem to be routinely fitted with artificial gravity generators to keep people from floating around too much on them, so producing gravitational defenses against hyperspace missiles (which are basically gravitation-based weapons) probably isn't too difficult or expensive. In Holdo's case, the First Order just didn't have the time to put up their usual defenses because they needed a few minutes to fire up the gravitational disruptor fields (or whatever those defenses are called), and didn't realize what Holdo was planning to do until it was too late. Even when he realizes what she's planning, Hux doesn't call for his troops to raise the defenses, just yells "Fire on that ship!" because he knows he's only got seconds left to act while those defenses likely take at least a few minutes to activate.
  • What can kind of defense is a one that takes few minutes to activate against something that strikes in seconds? That's not a defense, that's trying to use protect yourself with wooden shield against MG 42. If we assume this was because of miscalculation or oversight, that would make the New Order so hilariously incompetent, that the battles against it start to feel more like group of actual soldiers beating up disabled children.
    • It might not literally take "minutes", but it might still take longer to activate than might be feasible against a hyperspace attack. Shields that only take, say, ten seconds to fully activate will work wonders against about 90% of all attacks the ship is likely to face, but if a hyperspace attack can be completed in five seconds or less then it's still at a disadvantage. As for what kind it is, it's simply one with limitations like any kind of technology. If they were literally unstoppable, immune from flaw and capable of resisting literally every kind of attack that anyone could possible deploy against them ever, there'd be no tension.
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     Interstellar Communication 
  • So, a big part of the plot is that the Resistance need to get in contact with the rest of their forces on the Outer Rim and can't do it because their tech isn't strong enough to signal them...Yet, Finn, Poe and Rose have no trouble contacting Maz Kaneda in wherever the heck she is? I get she might not be in the Outer Rim, but still - a) if they can contact her, they can contact others and get those people (or maybe Maz herself) to contact the Outer Rim forces, and b) how they hell did they know where Maz is anyway or how to contact her? Finn had only met her once and received zero contact info, and last time we checked her place was being attacked by the First Order and everyone was fleeing, and this was mere days before the events of this movie! Whole thing seems contrived to me.
    • It was more that they needed a safe place to set up a new base before calling for reinforcements. Something they couldn't do when being constantly hounded by the First Order fleet.
    • No, it was very explicitly stated that they couldn't contact the fleet but that the new base has the communication capabilities to do so. Which is undermined by the fact that they could contact Maz (never mind Finn and Rose being able to break away from the battle entirely now that I think about it).
    • They took the last hyper-capable transport, which was clearly not roomy enough to take much people. And maybe the plan was to send the higher-ups and/or some sort of advance team to the Crait base in that ship. Or get most of the transports down while the fighters screen, and send the shuttle off to call for help.
    • Perhaps Maz is somewhere that can be reached using relay stations, but there are no relay stations leading out to the thinly-populated outer rim. The base has a transmitter powerful enough to reach that distance without the need for relays.
    • I think it's less a function of the comm network, and more a function of Maz. She's clearly powerful and resourceful.
    • But not so powerful and resourceful that they can ask HER to get a message to their allies in the Outer Rim, apparently.
    • Um, Maz is real busy. That's one hell of a union dispute, and the last we see of Maz is her jet-packing off to avoid fire. If I was in that position I probably wouldn't be that interested in jotting down a message to pass on to somebody else. Plus, you probably don't want to be entrusting Maz of all people with the Resistance's passcodes, secure comm frequencies, and encryption keys.
    • Maz is busy at that moment with a violent union dispute. But there's no reason why they couldn't contact her a week later or whatever.
    • Well, for a start Maz isn't a member of the Resistance, nor does she seem particularly aligned with the Resistance. First and foremost she's a business woman, probably leaning towards the more shady side of things given that she's perfectly happy to deal with a known smuggler like Han. The First Order is the rising power in this part of the galaxy, so whilst she might be willing to give the Resistance a bit of information, she isn't going to cross the First Order by running messages for the Resistance. That's just bad business. Likewise, part of Maz's business dealings seems to involve information brokerage. The Resistance cell with Leia might be desperate, but that doesn't mean that they are willing to sell out whatever remaining Resistance cells might remain on the Outer Rim by giving an unaligned third party access to their secure comm frequencies, encryption codes, and identifying pass codes. Then there's the matter of the timeline. For a film that focusses around how much time the fleet doesn't have left it does a masterful job of obscuring just how much time passes during the film. But nonetheless, there are clues, and they're on Ach-To. The first seen we see on Ach-To is the same scene we see at the end of TLJ, which gives as a frame of reference, and this is occurring at the same time that the Resistance is evacuating D'Qar. The next point of reference we get is a night scene where Rey waits and then sleeps in front of Luke's door (very myffic, very Apprentice and Master). We don't know how long a planetary day is on Ach-To, but given it isn't a plot point in the film lets say that by wild coincidence it's exactly 1 day long. Given the shadows on the first scene on Ach-To, this means either about a quarter of a day has gone, or three-quarters. Split the difference, call it about half-a-day. The next night scene we get is Chewie, Porgs, and chewy Porg. So call that about a day and a half having gone by. After that, we don't know how much time has gone by, but it can't be that long, so it's reasonable to say that the film takes place over the course of about 3 days. If, as seems likely, Poe, Finn, and Rose contacted Maz towards the end of the first day, that means that by the time Maz has dealt with her problem, and the necessary clean-up, everything is already over for the Resistance cell.
      Update:I've managed to see the film for a second time. The length of time from Poe, Finn, & Rose contacting Maz to the evacuation of the cruiser? A little over 18 hours. All-in-all, from evacuation of D'qar to the evacuation off of Crait? I've got it timed to about 40 hours, or one and two thirds of a day. That is one really tightly written timeline.
    • Well, the fact that they have limited fuel, are being shot at by a massive fleet and are apparently in near-imminent danger of death is a pretty compelling reason why they might not be able to contact her a week later. They need help now, not in a week; if Maz can't help them now, then to all practical purposes she can't help them at all.

    Why doesn't the First Order have Interdictors? 
  • The Empire rolled them out in Rebels and they work perfectly. The First Order has been fighting a small evasive enemy for years. Why don't they have them available for exactly the kind of situation they were in at the beginning of the movie? Other than "the Resistance would have all died", of course.
    • According to canon Interdictors stopped being made in 0 BBY because of serious design flaws (in Rebels series 2 a manufactured error in the gravity well generators caused the Interdictor to destroy itself). They were still plentifully available to the Empire during the Empire's height, but how many remained after the Empire fell is unknown. Even if the First Order decided that Interdictors are worth the effort of bringing back into manufacture, the fact that they now have hundreds of star systems that have joined the First Order means that most of their fleet is tied up in bringing these new systems into order, and the fact that Hux's fleet can trace the Resistance Fleet through as many hyperspace jumps as they can make means that Interdictor cruisers don't need to be deployed with Hux's fleet for Hux's plan to work.

     Multiple trackers 
  • I'm so confused. The First Order tracks the Resistance through hyperspace. Somehow, no one considers that they might have planted a tracking device aboard a Resistance ship (a la how the Falcon got tracked in ANH) or that there might be a mole in the Resistance who's feeding them information. Fine, whatever. Somehow we know for a fact that the First Order is using a "tracker" device that senses Resistance capital ships at a distance, sort of like a hyperspace radar. Finn and Rose quickly conclude that there can only be one tracker. Uh, how do they know that? If the FO can build one tracker, why not two? Or ten? But no no, there's definitely only one tracker. So they take this info to Poe, and he suggests blowing up the ship with the tracker. Finn explains that this wouldn't work, because once one ship is destroyed they'll just track us using a different ship. Um...what? Didn't you just say that there is only one tracker? And now suddenly there's more than one? Which is it?? I feel like the script is running on doublethink; there needs to be one tracker (so that Finn and Rose won't need to bother boarding multiple ships), but at the same time there needs to be multiple trackers (so that we can nix Poe's idea of just bombing it...though come to think of it the Resistance was in no position to bomb anybody at that point...but they don't nix his idea by saying "We don't have any bombers left", actually they just nix it by saying that there are multiple trackers). This makes no sense.
    • I think the "maybe there's a mole" thing is why admiral Holdo was so secretive with her plan. As for a tracking device, it would still require something on the FO ships to serve as an end point so it doesn't really matter. And for the one tracker thing : Finn says that it is standard protocol to have only one active at a time, for some reason, so the plan is to disable that one and to get away before the bad guys notice and switch another one on.
    • It's quite possible that having two or more trackers active in one fleet would tamper with function of others. Think of it as two high powered radars next to each other. This would explain the Fin saying its standard protocol to have only one active at the time, but being able to easily turn on another when one goes dark and somebody notices it went dark.
    • Plus this seems to be fairly new tech that's being used in a shakedown cruise. You wouldn't want all your trackers running at once just in case something happens to them. You run one, and you keep the others in standby in case the one you're running falls foul of technical difficulties.
    • I think the point was that all FO ships had trackers, but only of them was working at a time, simply because it was enough, or indeed to prevent interference. If you destroy the currently tracking ship (already a tall order), tracking duty instantly goes to another ship. Buuut, if you manage to covertly turn the tracker off, FO won't realise it (after all, they aren't actually tracking the Resistance through Hyperspace at the moment) until the system diagnostic runs, which gives the Resistance a six minute window to make an untracked jump.
      • This is pretty much exactly what Finn says to Poe when he explains why they can't just blow up the one ship that's tracking them.

     The bombers 
  • What was with those bombers? They were slow and unmaneuverable, and thus easily taken out by TIE Fighters. Surely, the Resistance has something a bit smaller and more maneuverable like a new model of Y-Wing? Because as we saw in the film, there were A-Wings, so why not Y-Wings or better yet, the K-Wing from the old EU? I get they were trying to ratchet up the tension and provide a Shout-Out to World War II bomber crews, but in-universe, it makes little sense to use them.
    • This movie takes place about 30 years later from the original, and technology has been progressing apace. It's likely that the armor of the dreadnought was far too advanced for ordinary torpedoes to handle. The attack on Starkiller base in the previous movie would have failed miserably if they had relied on their torpedoes alone, and it's not hard to imagine that the First Order would apply the same armor tech on an asset as vital asset as a "fleet killer". With the imperial era torpedoes no longer cutting it, they needed better ordinance to crack that nut. Too bad the technological advancement of the delivery systems didn't keep pace with the payloads they were carrying.
      • Even WWII-era bombers could glide-bomb their payloads to minimize their exposure to ground fire. To say nothing of the fact that blowing up just one of the bombers will cause the entire friggen' formation to go up in flames. The Resistance Bomber was a just-plain bad design from concept.
      • So bad, in fact, that I honestly wonder how exactly were they supposed to be used if not in a suicide run and what were Leia's and Holdo's problem when Poe should've been given a medal for succeeding to get any value out of those stupid things, let alone exchange them for a frigging dreadnaught.
      • The issue is that the attack played out the way it did because Poe didn't follow orders. For all we know, Poe's superiors may have had a plan that would have had a lower risk of the Resistance losing every single one of the bombers. As for why they would use these particular bombers, consider this: When you're backed into a corner and your destruction is almost guaranteed, are you really going to ignore something that might help your side of the conflict survive just because it's not optimal? There might not have been any Y-Wings or K-Wings available that could carry enough of a payload to get the job done.
      • Which considering the Supremacy was seconds away from blowing them all up, they needed to tell him that. Withholding information was stupid both here and later on with Holdo, there is no cutting it either way. And as for there being no Y-Wing's available, why not? The Raddus is meant to be the best ship in the Resistance fleet and backed by the Republic. If they have X-Wing's (updated models no less) then why do they have no Y-Wing's or indeed anything better designed than these kamikaze bombers?
      • We don't see any Y-Wings in either this or The Force Awakens, so the simplest answer is that they're not in use or available to the Resistance.
      • But that is not the simplest answer though because the question as to why has to be ignored in order to make that work. Why would the Resistance not have Y-Wings but does have access to top of the line modern X-Wing's? Why would Y-Wing's no longer be in service but the suicidally designed, slow as molasses bombers are? This is very bad world building.
      • If I'm not mistaken, Y-Wings were already old equipment in the original series. Remember that the Resistance has a limited budget, so it's probably just easier for them to buy X-Wings — which can do most of what the Y-Wings can do anyway — rather than spending more to diversify the fleet. The bombers were probably leftovers and other old tech that they scrounged together. Just because you, in your infinite, arm-chair hindsight wisdom, think you could have written it better doesn't make it "bad world building." You know what's bad world building? A Resistance on a limited budget with very little support having everything they need.
      • Except that the Rebel Alliance before them had a modest supply of Y-wings and B-wings on an even stricter budget than the Resistance (being hunted by a galactic superpower rather than backed by one) both of which served their niche better than the bombers we see in the intro.
      • Things like the B and A wings came in Jedi, which was after the Rebellion had really started to gain enough traction to pull in more allies, after the Death Star proved that they could actually win. The Resistance isn't backed by the Republic and all its material wealth — it's backed under the table by certain elements of the Republic; a Republic whose government and fleet were blown up the week before. The Resistance is clearly not working with a huge budget.
      • A huge part of world building is respecting (or at least maintaining) a coherent connection to the established lore, and the big awkward death traps in the introduction are a huge departure from the slick fighter combat that's been a staple of the franchise since it's first inception.
      • They're what they had. Evidence shown in the films indicates they didn't have anything better. That you wanted something different doesn't make it a headscratcher.
      • It's not that I wanted something better, it's that the setting itself already had something better. Nothing like those bombers existed throughout the prequel or classic trilogies before; the bombers came out of nowhere in a universe that had exclusively used dog-fighters for that role in every conflict prior.
      • This may come as a shock, but those movies did not feature a complete and exhaustive look at every fighting machine available in an entire galaxy. It is, in fact, possible for there to have been weapons and equipment that we didn't see before. The salt skimmers, for instance, are explicitly old tech.
      • At the risk of sounding like a nerd, there is an exhaustive look at every galactic conflict. Star Wars It's a popular franchise with a thriving Extended Universe outside of the movies, and those bombers are out of place in both the Disney and Legends cannon.
      • Legends no longer applies. And the Star Wars universe in either case consists of thousands of worlds. Thousands. There's no way we've seen everything such that we can declare, "Nope, this thing definitely couldn't have existed."
      • And even the Y-Wings were never shown to be nearly as effective as the bombers here. Consider Return of the Jedi — where the best the Y-Wings can do against a Star Destroyer is disable its shields, so someone else can take out the command bridge. As opposed to the opening of TLJ, where the payload of one of these bombers obliterates something even bigger and more dangerous than that.
      • Regarding their effectiveness, disabling shields while other fighters finish the job was a tired and true method that worked with only a fraction of the resources and casualties, while gaining the same result. Since the TLJ bombers are dead meat without a fighter screen, combined arms are a necessity whichever way you slice it.
      • It's one method that worked. Dropping a crapload of bombs on them is another method that works; if Poe hadn't had them group up so close, then losing one bomber wouldn't have turned into losing all of them. The Resistance — which, again, is the "Resistance" and not "The Republic Fleet" because they're a private group, supported by only a small portion of the Republic because the Republic up to TFA does not consider the First Order a real threat — apparently doesn't just have Y-Wings for some reason. Note that they didn't bring Y-Wings with them to Starkiller base, either, and that was even more ripe for a bomber since it was a completely stationary target. There's some discussion here as to why the Y-Wings might not have been used (Ctrl+F for 'Resistance strike fleet'), starting with them being already old and obsolete in the original trilogy and that the X-Wings do everything but the ion cannon better.
      • That still doesn't explain why they don't use B-Wings the ships made to replace Y-Wings and even then there is nothing saying Korsayer who manufactured Y-Wings went bankrupt so why don't they make new and improved Y-Wings and join that bandwagon (as a side note am I the only bothered that technology in Canon is somehow less advanced than Legends around the same time peroid. I mean it was about 8 years after Endor in legends when the E-Wing first showed up.)
      • You really don't know how heavy bombers work, do you? The tactics for that type of bomber are built around flying in a close formation — called a box — so that they can provide mutual defensive fire support against enemy fighter defenses. The theory being that it allows the formation to operate without its own fighter escort (in practice, it quickly proved that the fighters were too fast and maneuverable for the flexible guns and turrets of the heavy bombers, necessitating fighter escort anyway). Additionally, level bombing with unguided munitions (like the bombs on the Resistance Bombers) is not conducive to precision bombing. Thus the tight formation was also necessary just to hit what you're frelling aiming at by sheer saturation of the target.
      • The ship they were "aiming at" was enormous and they were dropping the bombs from what looked like about 20 feet over it — literally every single bomb that was dropped hit the target directly, so no, there wasn't any concern here about whether or not they'd hit it, it was quite literally impossible to miss. The bombers that we see didn't have point defense effective enough for flying in close formation to actually provide them any benefit; in fact, all it seems to have done is give the First Order an easier time. That's exactly what happens in the film — one bomber gets hit, and shrapnel from that causes a chain reaction that takes out all but one of the others.
      • And one X-wing obliterated something even bigger and more dangerous than that in the original film. And for the same reason: Because the bombs hit one convenient weak point on the upper surface of the hull. One that would have been much easier to hit in a conventional torpedo run. And Y-wings had no problems disabling a Star Destroyer in Rogue One with a single torpedo run. A much more practical design for anti-shipping would have been an upscaled spin on the TBM Avenger carrying torpedoes the size of an X-wing, rather than a Space B-17 (level bombing is simply a bad approach for precision bombing. Tirpitz survived multiple level bombing raids despite being tied up in harbor).
      • The Death Star is not really relevant; the X-Wing didn't obliterate it with a massive payload of damage, it did so with a weakspot that was deliberately built in to be a weak spot. It's a completely different situation. In Rogue One, the Y-Wings disable it with ion cannons, which don't destroy the ship like Poe wanted, they effectively "stun" it. The bomber in TLJ was able to completely destroy in one go a massive, heavily armored target without disabling its shields first; a target that Poe seems to consider worth destroying at any cost, so apparently they're bigger and badder than most of what else is out there.

Look, the point is, they just didn't have Y-Wings. They did have these flawed, but powerful, bombers available, so they used what they had. Or rather, Poe used them, against direct orders from someone who apparently saw the flaws better and knew how bad an idea it potentially was.
  • I guess you missed the part I pointed out before that the bombers were aiming for a specific weak point, and that otherwise the bombing run would have been futile. They did not destroy the Dreadnaught with sheer firepower. They destroyed it with the equivalent of dropping a lucky bomb through the powder magazine.
  • Most of the bombers would not have hit the same place that last bomber dropped her payload, as they were flying all abreast, not in a straight line. So they couldn't have all been going for one specific weak point — and if it was a Death Star level weakness, why didn't Poe just have X-Wings go after it? He seemed to think the bombers were necessary to take it down at all. It might have been vulnerable to a mass bombing like that, but that doesn't make it a "weak point" like was on the Death Star. The whole "You need to drop the bombs now!" wasn't because there was only that one specific spot where the Dreadnaught absolutely had to be hit to do any damage so much as it was, "We're down to literally one bomber, it's over the target now, if it doesn't drop the bombs it's going to get blown up."
  • Considering Johnson has made clear he set out from the start to deconstruct everything that makes Star Wars Star Wars I'm sure that departure was intentional, no matter how illogical it looks on the screen. A real-life military, no matter how desperate it was for materiel, would ground a craft that flawed because the costs of using them outweigh any return they get out of them. And I'm not talking about obsolescence, because real militaries have certainly gone to war with outdated equipment. It's astounding those bombers even made it into production in the first place.
  • There are real life militaries that have fielded armies that had more people than available weapons, essentially telling troops to pick up the weapon of someone in front of you that dies; there are militaries that use costly, out of date things because that's all they have.
  • I think you missed my last point: It makes no sense those bombers even went into production.
  • The bombers are not inherently bad. They're flawed for the mission we see them on, but with better screening forces and if they weren't flying at arm's length and thus prone to setting each other off, there are any number of uses for them against hardened targets.

     What's going on with those Bombers? 
  • The bombers from the opening scene are confusing in both design and in narrative purpose. Why are they designed with such a large vertical profile. Evidently they wanted to carry a large payload, but their deployment mechanism requires that GRAVITY, in space, carry the bombs to their target. Why not deploy the explosives more practically, with torpedoes, from a distance? If you're going to make your bombers the size of capital ships and move three inches an hour, why not just give it some actual range? Additionally, if Leia didn't want to destroy the dreadnought, why did she scramble the bombers at all? Poe took care of the turbo lasers on his own, so it didn't seem like there was a reason to use them.
    • The bombers appeared to have artificial gravity inside of them, so the bombs actually would fall out if released. Also, there is nothing ruling out the use of magnetic technology both in the launchers and in the bombs themselves. That would allow for more of each bomb's mass to consist of explosive payload rather than engine, fuel and guidance systems. As for why the bombers were even being used when Leia seemed so contrary about it — that will likely remain a plot hole. It ultimately served no purpose other than providing a reason to abuse Poe for once again successfully blowing up something really, really big. Leia seems to have forgotten the losses the Rebel Alliance had to endure destroying both Death Stars.
    • If the bombs are accelerated via artificial gravity or a magnetic system, then there's no reason for all the bombers to position themselves "above" the dreadnought. They could just as well encircle the dreadnought and bomb it from all sides. Yet we see them gathering "above" the dreadnought, as if Space Is an Ocean and normal gravity will cause the bombs to drop "down" onto their targets. Of course physics has never really made sense in Star Wars, but this is the first time we've seen tactics that appear to revolve around imaginary gravity.
    • In Return of the Jedi, the Executor nosedives into the Death Star after its main bridge gets destroyed. (Though the EU explains this by saying that the Executor was in the middle of a maneuver at the time.)
    • Leia didn't forget about losses to take Death Stars, but the Death Stars were by several magnitudes bigger threats, which simply demanded those sacrifices to be made. Dreadnought was arguably much less valuable target to risk and sacrifice so much for it. As why Leia seems to despise the usage of the bombers and their design flaws: I believe they are meant to be bad design even in-universe. Resistance seems so be even more rag-tag and underfunded that Alliance ever was, which makes sense since it was conceived during a peace time out of Leia's paranoia, and as such, those bombers may be converted cargo shuttles or anything, simply because Y-Wings and B-Wings simply weren't available. And as such, they are used only in desperate situations and are pretty much flying coffins, which is something Leia realizes.
    • The dreadnaught was still big enough to obliterate an entire base in one shot and, apparently, could've done the same to their ships (Leia never contradicts that). How is that the very desperate situation to roll out the bombers in?
    • So my question about the bombers is why the hell are they so slow? Ok so Star Wars takes a lot of liberties with how space works but the bombers move at a fraction of the speed of the fighters around them. I mean I know they are suppose to evoke real bombers but these things don't fly through space so much as aggressively float.
    • For the same reason real-life bombers are slow: the thrust-to-weight (or in this case, thrust-to-mass) ratio cross-referenced with the vessel's structural integrity cross-referenced with inertia determine what the craft is capable of in term of acceleration and change of direction. Basically, the engines on the bomber has to provide enough thrust to be able to provide acceptable acceleration whilst the bomber is fully loaded, without the same amount of thrust damaging the ship when the bomber is empty. Then, on top of all of that, the bomber engine design also has to take into account inertia whenever the bomber wants to do anything that isn't flying in a straight line. If the bomber is moving at the same speed as, say, an X-Wing can, and attempted to turn as sharply as an X-Wing does, then the strain the bomber experiences as the directionally applied stress of the direction of inertial movement compete with the directionally applied stress of the engine thrust would tear the bomber apart. On the other hand, if the bomber was to make the turn in such a way as to avoid being torn apart then the turn circle would be so large it would make the bomber worthless in combat. Plus, Rule of Cool.
    • Rule of Cool my ass. The Y-Wing has been shown to be a perfectly serviceable bomber/fighter platform, plenty faster than that useless as fuck slow thing the Resistance fielded in that fight. I doubt Leia couldn't have found a few moth-balled ships somewhere or some that could be brought up to snuff out of a ship's graveyard if she could get her hands on current generation X-Wing fighters and A-Wings. The movie was just being stupid for the sake of drama using inadequate ships that required a larger crew.
    • Even aside from the fact that the Y-Wing is a Clone Wars era bomber (approaching 50 at the time), it's also a light fighter-bomber, that canonically carries four torpedoes. These are heavy bombers, capable of taking out Star Destroyers. The Y-Wing is equivalent to the De Havilland Mosquito, the heavy bombers to a Flying Fortress or a Lancaster. They didn't sink the Tirpitz with light bombers, they sunk it with Lancasters.
    • During Rebels we are shown that the Y-Wing is considered to be an older-class of ship that is in the process of being decommissioned, and a prototype B-Wing having been made. By the time the Battle of Yavin comes around the Y-Wing is already obsolete, and the T-65 arguably outperforms it as a missile platform during the assault on the Death Star. By the time the Battle of Endor comes around the Y-Wing is all-but-gone, having been replaced by the B-Wing. By the time of TLJ nobody's manufacturing the Y-Wing anymore, and haven't been for close on to 40 years. We know from the film that the Resistance buys it's snubfighters, and even if militaries were stupid enough to leave decommed Y-Wings lying around (which they're are not, even Rebels shows the Empire breaking these craft down so they can't be pressed back into service), they are ridiculously outdated by the more modern craft. And we don't know the speed that the new B-Wing bomber craft are flying at. For all we know, they are flying at twice the speed of the old Y-Wings, but the new X-Wings and A-Wings have six times the speed of the old equivalents, and that makes the B-Wings look slow by comparison.
    • As for why they had to bunch up and fly "over" the dreadnought, they mentioned a "Sweet Spot", so presumably the dreadnoughts have a particular weakness that could be exploited, and which required more firepower than a snub fighter could deliver while doing more than just "pecking on the surface". It seems the main problems the bombers faced in practical terms was that they flew too close together (hence the Disaster Dominoes which took out most of them), and that was probably brought about because the Resistance didn't have enough fighters to properly screen them. They were truly fortunate that it was Amateur Hour over at the First Order when they planned a major assault on a Resistance base and didn't think to launch their own fighters immediately. But really, the "why" behind the bombers was that space combat in Star Wars has always had a closer relationship to the tactics of 1942 than to those of any time anyone was ever watching the films.
      • In addition to the above, we don't really know what the armament of a dreadnaught is beyond its surface deck turbolasers and the two ventral guns. For all we know, there are more turrets on the edges and belly of the ship, so having the bombers approach from those vectors would have required Poe to clear many more targets, both making his intentions all the more obvious and wasting even more time. (Now, why he didn't have his squadron clear all the guns at once, not just him, is another matter. But considering he wasted a LOT of time destroying that last gun, Poe is clearly not the best tactician.)
    • According to the wiki, those bombers can carry just over 1,000 proton bombs with a crew of 5, whereas (at least in the old canon) a Y-Wing can carry 20 bombs with a crew of 1 or 2, it's simply a matter of not having enough pilots. The real question, however, is why they didn't use modified freighters for the job considering their bomb-bay is comparable in size to the Millennium Falcon's cargo bay, and it has less crew (1-2), more maneuverability, and a better attack profile.
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     How did Holdo jump to hyperspace without fuel? 
  • Early on, it's mentioned that the crew only has enough fuel for one hyperspace jump, but they deplete their fuel source during their retreat over the course of the movie. How, then, did Holdo manage to pull off her kamikaze attack without the fuel to jump to hyperspace?
    • Now that we know the plan the whole 'we've got this long until we run out of fuel' is a red-herring. Given that Leia and/or Holdo came up with the plan in the first place they are working off of a timer that indicates how much fuel they've got left to burn before the cruiser has to make the decoy hyperspace jump for the plan to work. The reason that so few other people knew this? To forestall the possibility that if somebody cracked under the pressure and tried to sell the fleet out to the First Order the information that the Resistance would be hiding on Crait still wouldn't be leaked.
    • Hyperspace jumps probably use a different type of fuel than regular space travel. So they had fuel for one jump and fuel for that much regular travel.
    • They weren't running until they were out of fuel entirely, they were running until they no longer had the fuel for a jump. Holdo was able to jump the cruiser because they still had just enough fuel for one jump. The idea was to jump the cruiser away and have the Imperials follow, but DJ blew that plan.
    • Although we don't have solid numbers to work with perhaps fueling a fleet of transports then jumping is less extensive then jumping the entire ship laden with transports.
    • Don't forget, she didn't need enough fuel to make a jump at that point, she only needed enough to hit the Supremacy, which was in the same system. Jumping to another system would obviously require much more.

    Why does a spaceship moving at a constant rate burn so much fuel? 
  • So I know Star Wars is a little wishy washy on the whole rules of space thing but its never been used as a plot point before. The Resistance ships not only burn fuel while moving through a vacuum but when they run out they lose speed and start to tumble. Real spacecraft only need to burn fuel to make course corrections. And don't you think they would have a practically indefinite supply on board? Nuclear powered ships can go years without needing a refuel. Don't you think they would have devised something a little more sustainable if they have FTL technology?
    • Tumbling, I can't explain away. That's a classic case of Space Is an Ocean, and I just close my eyes and whisper to myself, 'It's Star Wars physics.' As for the ships moving, the frigates apparently falling back when they run out of fuel, and burning through fuel, that can be explained, kind of, if you close your eyes and squint a little. In Battlefront II, the campaign shows Imperial Cruisers stocking up on fuel refined on Tibanna gas harvested from Bespin. It isn't a stretch to say that similar kinds of fuel need to be used in sub-light engines in the Star Wars universe, it's just isn't explained why. As for the ships moving at a constant rate? They aren't, they are moving at a constant acceleration (which is the only way to explain the frigates, which I'll get to in a sec) and a steadily increasing speed. Hux does order the FO fleet to move at maximum acceleration, and one of the deck officers points out that they can't catch up with the Resistance fleet because the Resistance fleet is lighter and faster. That only makes sense if what the deck officer is talking about is the relative thrust-to-mass ratios of the engines on the various ships in the fleet. In effect, the Resistance fleet can always accelerate faster than the FO fleet, but the reason it doesn't pull away from the FO fleet is that the Resistance plan requires carefully rationing of the fuel so they can get close enough to Crait to launch the transports, whilst leaving enough fuel for the cruise to make the decoy jump, and so they maintain an acceleration equal to the maximum that the FO fleet can achieve. It's like the old cartoon stick of dangling a carrot in front of a mule's nose. The mule always moves forward to try to eat the carrot, the carrot always stays the same distance away from the mule to constantly entice it forward, and this way you have a guarantee as to what the mule is going to do instead of having the mule stop and do something you haven't planned for. This means that when the frigates run out of fuel they maintain their current speed, but can no longer continue to accelerate, and so the FO fleet catches up with the frigates and it's only relativistic framing that makes it look like the frigates are traveling slower and falling back.
    • Yeah, this is a serious plot hole if you apply even a moment of real world science to it. They would have required one full burn to achieve maximum speed indefinitely. And it honestly took me twenty seconds to think of a solution to this from a storytelling point of view: Instead of the First Order ships firing lasers at the Resistance ships, have them use long range tractor beams to exert a constant force upon them. This also gets around the fuel problem as you could hand wave this by saying that these ships had no reason to be carrying significant quantities of the Resistance's limited fuel supplies because they were never designed to operate at full burn for half a day. And the tumbling? That's the tractor beams finally knocking them off course. It's perfect in every way apart from one: that's not what happened.
    • Well, given that it's still canon that sublight engines in Star Wars are some kind of variant of the real-world ion thruster (and it would have to be a variant, our form of ion thruster wouldn't actually work in Star Wars space vehicles), an argument can be made that the sublight engines have an extremely high maximum speed coupled with a relatively low acceleration. In that case, neither fleet would have achieved maximum speed during the amount of time that elapses during the chase, the FO fleet is running at maximum acceleration, and the Resistance fleet is matching that acceleration. That allows for a scenario that explains everything that happens during the chase, apart from the tumbling.
    • There is actually an explanation. The constant bombardment with capital ship weapons. It is likely that the fuel is used to produce energy and the ships systems draw on it, like for example the shielding. Now we start bombarding the shield for hours with strong weapons and we generate an enormous drain off energy and as the fuel is needed to produce this energy it drains the fuel rapidly.
    • Another explanation: the Resistance fleet isn't going at a constant velocity - they're continuously accelerating. So is the First Order fleet. The Resistance ships are smaller and lighter, so they can maintain a higher top acceleration than the lumbering Star Destroyers, but they're a lot shorter on fuel, so they accelerate out of effective range of the First Order's weapons and then drop to the enemy fleet's max acceleration to conserve fuel. As the support ships run out of fuel, they cease to accelerate, and the First Order catches up with them. (I still got nothing on why the Nebulon-B frigate tumbled when it ran out.) Basically, similar to the theory two up from this one, except there's no such thing as "maximum speed" (or at least their acceleration isn't anywhere near high enough for anyone to get to relativistic velocity in a few hours) so the speed relative to any nearby planets or stars just keeps going up as the chase goes on. Really, the issue is how they got from deep space to Crait in a mere few hours, and that's just Star Wars' usual Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale problem, same as the Millennium Falcon reaching Bespin without a working hyperdrive.
    • The tumbling might have been a deliberate last-ditch effort to make the depleted ship slightly harder to hit. Not something that would save the people on board, but using the last dregs of fuel to set their vessel spinning at least gave them a few seconds to say It Has Been an Honor before the First Order weapons got a solid targeting fix.

     Running out of Fuel 
  • So, it's mentioned that the Resistance has a very limited amount of fuel and that's why they can't jump to hyperspace or keep running indefinitely. But they also manage to sneak ships past the First Order at numerous points in the movie, with Finn and Rose even taking one to another planet. What exactly is stopping them from buying some fuel on Cantonica or some other world and bringing it back to the fleet?
    • That ship is way too small to carry much more than a handful of passengers, let alone enough fuel to power a three-mile long capital ship. Any transport that tried to connect and transfer it's fuel would have been intercepted by the first order fighters or cruisers before it even got close.
    • I think the bigger question is how are they running out of fuel as all ships in Star Wars use reactors. These reactors need fuel to run of course, but for a real life comparison the Nimtiz-class aircraft carrier also uses a nuclear reactor and has an unlimited range and needs to be refueled every 20-25 years so I am thinking for a ship that has been in service for less than that time, fuel shouldn't be a problem. And if fuel remains a problem, How does the First Order not have these problems despite the fact the Supremacy would be giant gas guzzler of a capital ship but only the Resistance has to worry about fuel for some reason.

     Sequel Escalation and Overpowered Starfighters 
  • Is it just me, or have the effectiveness of starfighters been turned up to 11 in the new series? In the original series, even a dedicated attack wing of fighters would have a hard time fighting an Imperial Star Destroyer, which had 60 guns and carried a full wing (72) of TIEs. However, in The Last Jedi, Poe creates a blind spot in a Dreadnought in less than a minute, and a single bomber held enough firepower to down a ship 64 times that size (4 times longer, wider, and thicker).
    • Even in the X-Wing game series, where the player routinely took out capital ships with that very tactic of shooting off the surface guns, finally blasting down the health points takes a long time and lots of missiles or laser cannon blasts.
    • For me it less the Starfighters are overpowered more the ships suddenly get bad point defense. The last movie we saw The Finalizer and Starkiller Base have have much better point defense than any other ships seen the films previously. This film on the other hand, every ship suddenly gets borderline non-existent point defense seen not just with the Dreadnought but the Raddus and Supremacy also seeing both Kylo Ren and Rey respectively get way too close to those ships than they would have if they had point defense. (recall Film A New Hope revealed a Imperial Star Destroyer could target an escape pod, scan it for lifeforms, more than likely fire and hit in one shot.)
    • Both in and out of universe a lot of time has passed so technology and expectations have changed accordingly.
  • Speaking of which, why are all of the First Order's weapons so much bigger than the Empire's? They have been running on a fraction of the Empire's infinite budget and poured most of that into Starkiller base. Why are the AT-M6s so much bigger than AT-AT's? Why are the Dreadnoughts so much bigger than Star Destroyers, which were the largest warships of their kind when they were first built, so big that they were questionably effective at anything other than fleet engagements.
    • Well after the fall of the Empire the First Order was setup by the Emperor on the down low made up of loyal and trust worthy officers he though would be best suited to handle things. Unfortunately their kids and subsequently grandkids, since most of them were pretty old already, turned out to be a bunch of idiot whiny fascists who are all heart but no brain. Despite extensive training they caught onto the idea of the Empire being glorious and perfect while ignoring the lessons on why things fell apart in the first place. After a while General Hux and his generation basically upended the old guard that was supposed to lead the First Order fueled by dreams of the old Empire they'd been taught to revere but not recognizing any of its faults. That's why they keep doing the same stupid things the Empire did without learning anything at all and why all the older officers are so irritated with Hux for being an idiot.
    • Where does it say that they've only got a fraction of the Empire's budget? The opening crawl to The Force Awakens says that they're built on the remains of the Empire, but that only means they picked up some of the Empire's old assets, and they're still a large enough force to be reckoned with that most of the galaxy is scared of them. If anything, the existence of Starkiller base should indicate they have more cash to work with than the Empire did, especially considering the scale when compared to the Death Star.
    • In regards to the size, though, that could again feed back into the movie's themes of the past and growing beyond it. What the First Order does with their weapons is just taking the Empire's stuff, and making it bigger and badder, with that being their solution to the Empire's shortcomings (and Dramatically Missing the Point as a result), while the heroes (Rey and Luke especially) are actually examining their pasts, confronting their flaws and growing in ways that don't amount to just More Dakka.
    • It's worth noting that the first order and the empire have achieved similar things but in different ways, for example, the Death Star is a complete ship the size of a small Moon while Starkiller is a heavily modified planet. So while I doubt the budget is the same for both organizations the newer one can get more done with it's coffers.
    • Also, every complaint about the Starkiller base (including mine, I admit) seems to imply that the First Order built it and all its stuff in the thirty years after "Return". That might jut be not the case. Who says the Starkiller base wasn't being in production since the dawn of the Empire or hell, that it wasn't some ancient relic the baddies found and appropriated? As for the other colossal ships, the Empire didn't have them. Maybe Snoke and whoever he represents had but were keeping them at bay until the time was right.
      • Canon sources point to the Empire having mined the planet for Kyber Crystals for the Death Star project but it was decades after Jakku before it was found again by the First Order and engineered as a weapon.

    First Order Dreadnought 
  • It seems like the Dreadnought is one of the most egregious cases of Awesome, but Impractical in the Star Wars canon. It's bigger than any other First Order ship and has two massive cannons. Both of these can only hit one target at a time and have alarmingly long reload times. That's not to mention that they seemingly have no other fleet combat weapons, and their pathetically small (for their size) TIE complement, and what I assume is the main reactor is a giant dome that, if hit, blows the whole damn thing to pieces. It's possible that I'm wrong, and that the Dreadnought is much better than we see in Last Jedi, and the Dreadnought's performance was due to tactical misuse by Hux. In either case, then how is the First Order winning the war?
    • Simple, the only other side fighting the war is the pathetically under-equipped Resistance. The stupidity of parking the Republic fleet in orbit around Hosnian Prime shows clearly here because it really was the shot from Starkiller Base that decapitated the Republic. Odds are that the First Order builds its ships big and impractical in order to look more powerful than they really are. They are trying to surpass the image of the Empire after all.
    • The Dreadnought's primary function was planetary assault, not front-line combat. Those autocannons are great for taking out ground bases (even with planetary shielding) and large cruisers, but useless otherwise. The old rebel tactic of hiding behind a ground-based shield as they did at Hoth was rendered useless.
    • They're only winning because the dealt a seemingly-crippling blow to the only nation on a comparable level to them with a superweapon. As for the Dreadnought, it seems to be a Siege weapon first and foremost. Those cannon shots utterly annihilated what was left of the Resistance base, likely far, far faster than Star Destroyers could do on their own. But siege tech tends to lean heavily on support from other forces to protect it from direct assaults.
    • K, where was it? Support from other forces, I mean. Where's the swarm of TIE-fighters ready to shoot anything that looks funny at it, medium-size gunboats, minefields, whatever? Mind you, this in no way excuses the lack of a billion point-defence guns all over the dreadnought itself, just exacerbates it. Surpass the image of Empire and all that nonsense, sure, but they're still a military. They have to have the basic grasp of fleet composition, don't they?
      • The rest of the fleet Hux brought was the support. Or would have been, if Hux and his officers were better at their jobs. As for the fighters, yeah they should have been launched earlier. Canady says as much when Hux calls him.
      • The First Order really seems to put emphasis on fanatic devotion to the cause, while the Empire's officers seemed to bank more on professionalism and experience. Compare how long it took Hux to deploy any kind of screen at all (he, or possibly Snoke, insists on having his Star Destroyers trail obediently behind his most valuable capital ships instead of having them deployed to actually protect those valuable capital ships) to how quickly the Imperials (caught completely flat-footed) were able to scramble their defenses at Scarif. Overall, the First Order's tacticians seem more interested in making grand entrances than they are in doing any solid tactical planning, hence why Poe was able to destroy the Dreadnought with such a half-cocked plan.
      • Wouldn't these be the exact same people, or at least those trained by them? FO is a direct successor to the Empire, why would its military doctrine degrade so much in just a few decades?
      • With all the key leadership dead, it's not that surprising that their successors would try to bring in different ideas and doctrines.
      • Oh boy this one is a fun one to address because there's actually a canon answer as to where those people are and why the First Order sucks so bad despite being trained by the Empires best. The original plan made by the Emperor was to select specific officers with the best skills in certain tasks and have them take a chunk of the Empire's fleet and personnel into the unknown regions to conscript, breed, and train a new army to take back the Empire (assuming that the Emperors contingency plan of destroying everything cool the Empire had so nobody else could take it failed) which was a decent plan. But then having bought into the glory of the empire and been indoctrinated into its ways the children and grandchildren those officers brought along to become the new commanders overthrew the old guard. Hux had Phasma murder his dad so he could take over part of the operation and other parts of the order fell into these inexperienced dogmatic gloryhound idiots who didn't understand the faults of the Empire. As a result the First Order is being lead by a bunch of half trained zealots who think the Empire was perfect and take any questioning of its ways as an affront, and space zombie wizard Hugh Hefner in his golden bath robe. The remaining old guard members are commanders of individual ships and all too aware of this but lacking the power or clout to do anything about it, incidentally like the Dreadnought commander who knew they should have immediately scrambled fighters.

    Cloaking Technology 
  • The plan of escaping in the cloaked escape pods brings up some major questions. If the First Order has the ability to scan for cloaked ships, why don't they use it even in cases where they don't suspect their enemy is using them? Wouldn't it make sense to scan for them anyway just to be safe? Second of all, what's the point of cloaking technology if there are scans that can detect the ships that use it?
    • Perhaps DJ told them not just what to look for but how to look. If he can crack open the FO defences so easily, it makes sense he can do that with the Resistance as well, or he had some "Resistance cloaking field frequency" in his magic pouch that allowed the FO to adjust their scanners just right.

     Battering-Ram Cannon 
So 2 questions about the battering ram cannon
  • Considering the thing is only about half the size of the walkers, why aren't multiple cannons standard issue on all star destroyers and other capital ships? And why have none of the good guys ever seen one before? Were they just invented a few months before the film takes place or what?
    • It may not be useful on capital ships. That it has to be wheeled up to within line of sight means it has a very limited range, which makes it useless in space. It's useful for breaking down hardened, completely stationary targets, but the long charge time means it'd be next to useless against anything that moves.
      • I didn't mean they'd be mounted to the ships, I mean why don't they have several in the cargo bay with the walkers for when they need to do a ground attack?
      • It's just not practical enough of a weapon to have a bunch of. Alternately, maybe they did have a bunch, but Holdo's ramming destroyed the rest.

    • When Finn is about to crash into it we can already see there's a beam coming out and the heat of it is starting to wreck his ship, however it doesn't actually destroy the door until after he's been knocked out of the way. So does the cannon have to be left on to "warm up" for ~45 seconds before it can actually destroy anything? Seems like a weird design.
      • Apparently it does — which might account for why the good guys have never seen it before. This is the first time the good guys have been in a context where the battering ram cannon would be worth using against them.
      • Could be related to power requirements. The cannon was based on Death Star superlaser technology, which originally (in A New Hope) took hours to recharge, even with the DS 1's massive fusion reactor. Even accounting for technological advances such as miniaturization and the DS 2's minutes-long recharge process, it may have taken a longer time for the siege cannon's capacitors to reach full charge since it wasn't wired into a moon-sized doomsday machine. The gigantic tanks pulling it might have been partly huge battery arrays intended to provide power, but only able to do so up to a certain rate with the cables running between them and the cannon.
  • I actually have a third question: why doesn't Finn try shooting the cannon's apeture? Yes his guns start to melt eventually but he should have time to get off a few shots first.
    • Probably wouldn't have done much of anything to a weapon of that size. It'd be like firing a handgun at a cannon.
      • The one hope he'd have would be to somehow damage the focusing lens and fragment the beam. If he could pull that off, then the misaligned laser would fire against the inside of the aperture and the weapon would end up destroying itself. That said, doing so with a comparatively weak blaster cannon whose own aperture was in the process of melting down would be a tall order indeed. He would have had a better chance at catastrophic damage had his suicide run succeeded.
  • I honestly think the bigger is why are they still using towed artillery when Spaceships exist. Film./Attack Of The Clones Feature the Republic using what amount to a Turbolaser (standard armament for any capital ship in Star Wars) on legs. But apparently the First Order hired engineers too dumb to figure how to slap legs or replusorlifts onto the siege cannon. When you that kind of tech there is no excuse for having towed artillery at all.

     Where the transports from the last film? 
The Force Awakens had the Resistance using transports that had weapons shields and hyperdrives. The closest they get to appearing in this movie is the shuttle Finn and Rose use the last movie had multiple transports featured so where are they? We never get an answer for where they went but they were in the movie, Holdo's plan would have made sense.

     How exactly does cloaking work in the Star Wars universe? 
  • So I'm confused about how cloaking works. From what we see it seems to work like real life stealth planes i.e the ships can't be detected by radar and the like but are still visible. However, if this is true it doesn't seem like they would be very useful in helping the transports escape if anyone on the First Order ships happened to look out the window in the general direction they were going they would see them. And indeed no-one in the First Order learns about the transports until DJ suggests they run a de-cloaking scan, all of which implies cloaking actually does make the ships invisible. So are they really invisible in-universe and just made visible for the benefit of the audience? That would make the most sense to me.
    • Raddus was far enough from the First Order fleet pursuing her that their turbolasers were ineffective against her shields, which means there's a considerable amount of distance involved. Keep in mind the Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 340 miles — a pretty insignificant distance astronomically speaking — and although it is visible to the naked eye, it's so far away that it's just another speck of light in the night sky and you have to know where to look to spot it in the first place. The First Order fleet is a considerably greater distance from the transports. All an observer would have to go by is light off the hull, or perhaps the transports' visible engine emissions, and they would also have to be looking in the exact right spot to detect either. TL;DR: Space is big and transports are tiny.

     What's with those speeders on Crait 
  • Why are the seemingly the only vehicles in the galaxy (besides the walkers) that can't fly or at least hover? This only makes sense if they are centuries old or older, in which case how do the characters know how to pilot them?
    • They do hover, just not as well as newer speeders that are in better shape. Being designed differently from speeders seen in other movies doesn't mean they must be centuries old, it just means whoever built them took a different design approach. They may have been built with deliberately under-powered repulsors and a ski to make up for it as a fuel- or cost-saving measure. "Sure, it's not as flashy as the new XP-38, but it's much cheaper!"
    • Regarding how do the characters know how to pilot them, there's no reason to assume they use radically different control schemes from any other speeder. Just about any automobile on the road today has controls similar enough to all the others for a new driver to figure them out in a few seconds, despite big differences in manufacturing, size, and handling characteristics. Besides, in Star Wars knowing how to pilot a low-budget air-speeder like the T-16 is good enough to let you fly high-performance X-wings with no additional training.

     Laser axes 
  • As if the lightsaber-resistant mace wasn't enough, why would the First Order need those things? What purpose could they possibly serve? Even if some mental case decided they needed a dedicated execution weapon, I'm sure they'd come up with something more practical and less messy. Or was Phasma going to then grab Finn's head by the hair and show it to everyone? Or put it on a (laser) spike?
    • Pointless too as her explanation for using it is that she wants to make his death hurt - a blaster is going to hurt a heck of a lot more than a tidy decapitation will.
    • Hurt is different than pain. I think she wanted to make the death as humiliating as possible, giving them enough time to stew in their own fear and die mull over how their heads were going to be put on a (laser) spike. Secondly, The First Order (and the Imperials before them) have always been more interested in style over functionality. Infamously so. Yes, "laser axes" are impractical and virtually worthless, but it's still perfectly in character for them.


Strategic Decisions

     Assault on D'Qar 
  • So the First Order brings in a huge orbital cannon platform to destroy the Rebel's base. They see Resistance Fighters going after the point-defense guns on said Dreadnought, and a squadron of bombers massing to destroy it. The First Order has several Star Destroyers flanking this Dreadnought. Why did they just sit and do nothing? They don't fire on the fighters or the bombers at all.
    • It's been established several times that larger ships like Star Destroyers have trouble tracking smaller ships with their guns. Many misses and near misses occur before something is actually hit. With the bombers and fighters skimming the surface of the Dreadnought (or being close enough to count), every Star Destroyer fire-and-miss is a potential hit on their own ship.
    • And yet the same Star Destroyers had no trouble at all accurately picking off the Resistance Transports later in the film...
    • A lot less to lose if missed shots can't hit your own people.
    • But, unless those bombers literally warped in right in front of the dreadnaught, they'd had to travel to it all the way from the Rebels' positions, and we've seen how excruciatingly slow they are. How did the Destroyers fail to shot them down then? There's no indication they were cloaked, which, BTW, would've nicely offset their other flaws but they weren't.
    • More to the point, the First Order's Star Destroyers were previously established as carrying TIE Fighters, none of which appeared to have been launched yet by the time the bombers began their attack run (Captain Canady even complains about this). Clearly, what they have in technology and equipment, they seem to make up for in amateurish inexperience. Perhaps General Hux thought he'd just show up, demand a surrender, and the Resistance would meekly comply.
    • Those people had just blown up his superweapon. They clearly wouldn't meekly comply, and Hux had no reason to expect them to.
      • The current leadership of the First Order is actually the indoctrinated kids or grandkids of imperial officers. The original plan was they were supposed to be raised as the new officer core while the kidnapped slave kids would become storm troopers. However before the training of the new officers core was complete they started to question the old guard hand picked by the Emperor for not being aggressive enough against the "illegitimate" republic. This eventually culminated in a bunch of indoctrinated zealots who refused to acknowledge the faults of the Empire seizing control and killing most of the professionals leaving the first order in deeply inexperienced hands. The few remaining old guard officers, like the commander of the Dreadnought, know better but with space zombie wizard Hugh Hefner in his golden bathrobe backing the young ones they can't do anything to fix the problems in the command structure. Like having an inexperienced idiot like Hux who didn't think to immediately scramble the fighters in charge of operations.

     Starship chase 
  • Why didn't the First Order send any fighters against the Resistance ships after the initial sortie with Kylo Ren? He destroyed their main hangar and they had their main command ship and numerous smaller destroyers full of fighters. Not to mention that unlike Imperial TIE Fighters, theirs have missiles and were very effective against them before. Not to mention, how did they manage to hit smaller ships that were further away more accurately than a large ship that was closer?
    • I think it's a case of For the Evulz: they thought they had already won, so they decided to have some fun. Their hubris is evident the moment they decide the evacuated cruiser is not even worthy of diverting some fire to destroy it, which bites them back hard. As for the last question, the larger ships managed to keep a safe distance that also allowed for their shields to absorb the shots with little damage, but the small escape ships have no shields at all.
    • But wasn't Hux pissed off that they couldn't catch them and instead had to wait for their fuel to run out? Which is weird in itself that they didn't message other ships to intercept them. And wasn't the problem with the cannons that their cannons didn't have the range to blast the ships to pieces? If that's the problem, how could they hit the ships that got further?
    • The problem with the cannons was that they couldn't blast through shields at that distance. And as Poe says when he finds out about the evacuation, the escape pods have no shields.
    • The cannons simply lose too much power at that range to punch through a big cruiser. They can however easily punch through some transports. And as for fighters, Hux calls them back earlier because he can't 'support them'. I guess he means that fighters are really vulnerable without a capital ship giving them covering fire and a safe dock to retreat to, and unlike Poe he isn't too keen on losing his entire strike force on a risky venture.
    • You still want to make some containment. A ship as big as Snoke's has to have a few thousand TIE Fighters in it, surely the fighters could maintain a perimeter patrol to possibly catch transports trying to escape. There's really no reason *not* to do it.
    • But based on the scenes, they have about a handful of cannons firing at the ship. If the power loss is the problem and not the range, why not simply fire more? We know those Star Destroyers pack a lot of punch. I don't know how they could be vulnerable since the Resistance ships don't seem to have any AA-guns and their fighters are down. And like the guy under me points out, calling for more ships would have been more efficient than letting days pass while they are chasing the ships.
    • The fighters were pulled back, Hux specifying that they couldn't be supported at that range, because in typical large fleet engagements, fighters can operate with relative impunity against capital ships because the capital ships are busy trading blows with one another. In that standard environment, the only threat to fighters are other fighters and dedicated anti-starfighter ships, like the Lancer-class frigates of old Legends content. But in the engagement in Last Jedi, where the Resistance ships were far enough away that they could just focus shields aft and largely ignore the First Order fleet, unshielded TIE fighters that continued to harass the ships would have fallen victim to every single gun in the fleet being able to focus on them. Ironically, it was this very action that got the bridge of the Raddus destroyed: standard fleet strategy is to keep shields relatively balanced across all areas of the ship specifically to prevent that kind of decapitating shot. Imperial forces in Legends would constantly use their fighters to harass different parts of the ship to keep them from focusing shields and negating all damage; they liked to call it 'keeping them honest'.
    • Poe managed to shoot all the guns off the dreadnaught, without any support. Obviously, the imperial pilots were not as good as him, but they had numbers, and the target was much-much easier. I don't see what was stopping them from doing the same thing he did.
    • The First Order was playing cautiously because they felt they had nothing to lose by doing so. Why risk the pilots and equipment when they can win without any risk just by waiting? It's not like they had other places they needed to go.
      • Idk, maybe because by letting them be you're giving them time to come up with a plan, such as calling for reinforcements, abandoning the ship, turning it into a Hyper-Space ram etc, and because Hux had just been given a humiliating spanking by Snoke, so he should be eager to crush the rebels as quickly and brutally as possible.

    First Order jump forward 
  • Similarly, why didn't the First Order have some ships simply hyperjump forward in order to surround the Resistance ships, or have more ships jump in from another star system for the same effect?
    • Same reasons as above, overconfidence and not seeing the need to waste resources when the outcome seemed inevitable.
    • The outcome seemed inevitable...but it still took them what seems like at least a whole day if not two to destroy a handful of Resistance ships. You'd think Snoke would get more impatient or that Hux would want it done faster given the flak he got for losing the Dreadnought, not to mention they don't know that the Resistance is unable to contact the rest of their fleet or won't be receiving backup anytime soon.
    • Because it's very difficult, if not downright impossible, to jump such small distances in hyperspeed. This would mean the attack force would have to jump the minimum distance, away, and then jump back with perfect timing and precision. Too much trouble and effort when the Resistance is already cornered and it potentially makes your own formation weaker.
    • It's quite possible they would have jumped too short a distance, and come out with their backs to the rebel forces. As for the fighters, Hux doesn't know the pitiful state of the rebel fighter complement, and after losing the dreadnought he's inclined to be cautious. Hux is a competent general, but he's also extremely inexperienced and terrified of his boss.
    • Jumping to Hyperspace is meant for long distance travel, not very specific maneuvers. It's faster than light travel, one fraction of a second in Hyperspace would make them cover a distance that would take years to cover with standard travel speeds.
    • And yet every other time we see it used ships come out of HS with impeccable accuracy, even near a planet, apparently without a fear of telefragging it. Jumping just far enough to appear in front of the Resistance seems trivial in comparison.
    • Likewise, the reason they don't have ships from other systems jump in is because the bulk of the fleet is tied up dealing with the hundreds of worlds that capitulated to the First Order when the Hosnian system was destroyed.
    • But what exactly are they "dealing with"? There's no indication that anyone but the Resistance is actually putting up a fight.
    • Um, no military in the history of ever has gone, "Oh, you're surrendering to us. How nice. Do drop us a line to let us know how that's going on. Thanks muchly. Yours, your benevolent occupying force." If nothing else, the First Order will need to get its military bureaucracy in place on each planet to ensure that the take over of power is handled smoothly, and that means fleet deployments, even if it's just a single Star Destroyer to each planet.
    • Are you telling us they couldn't have spared a single ship from those crucial duties for a few hours, or swap places with one of the destroyers that was uselessly tagging after the Superiority?
    • It's a big plot point that the fleet is using a special technology to track the Rebels through hyperspace. Though it isn't described in great detail, we do know that the Rebel Fleet could jump to hyperspace within a six-minute timeframe while the disabled tracker had not yet been re-enabled, and they would be lost completely. If the ship jumped to hyperspace and, while it was in hyperspace making it's short jump, the Rebel Fleet jumped to hyperspace, it's quite possible that the First Order would lose them.
    • Nope. Apparently every ship could track them, they just only used one at a time.

    Bombarding the Base 
  • Better question than the above: When the dreadnought arrived to find the Resistance fleet in the middle of their evacuation, why did they decide to bombard the Resistance Base first? You know, the base that was on a planet. Which does. not. move. And was mostly empty by the time they arrived, anyway? Here's an idea: Obliterate Raddus and her consorts first, thus ensuring the Resistance is physically incapable of escaping, and then you're free to glass the planet at your leisure. Especially because it would eliminate the problem the First Order had later in the film of their conventional batteries not being able to punch through Raddus' shields by turning the dreadnought on her immediately (rather than wasting time on the base, then targeting the cruiser, which bought Poe's bombers time to destroy it). Considering what he did to Ozzel for his much less egregious blunder at Hoth, Vader would have Force-choked the entire First Order for a display of incompetence of this magnitude.
    • Remember the salvo from the Ion Cannon in the Empire Strikes Back that crippled that star destroyer? In the Star Wars universe, the most potent weapons need to be ground based as they most ships can't contain or power a weapon of that magnitude. Since the First Order were rushing in ASAP before the Resistance could flee, they didn't have time to properly recon the base, and so wouldn't know what threats were hidden on the surface.
      • This ignores the fact that the First Order fleet was already within range of whatever ground-based weaponry the Resistance might have had. So whether they bombarded the base first, or targeted the fleet, they were already exposed to potential ground fire.
    • There was also the possibility of the Resistance possessing a shield generator (also seen in TESB) that could be brought up at any second, forcing them into a costly ground battle which would also allow the Resistance to escape piece-mail (a-la the battle of Hoth). Taking out any ground based assets would normally cripple any fleets offensive and defensive capabilities. Unfortunately for the First Order, they gave the Resistance too much credit; the base was already vacated, and they had nothing to threaten the F.O. fleet with anyway. Yet seeing how the Dreadnought Captain was an Only Sane Man Surrounded by Idiots , it was well within his character to take nothing for granted.
      • It's almost like none of y'all have ever heard of a siege before. Once the evacuation fleet is ashes, the First Order doesn't even need to assault the planet. It's not like Empire, where Vader's priority was capturing Luke and the Rebels were just a secondary objective. All they needed to do was set up a blockage outside the range of any defenses and starve them out.
      • Also, are you telling me that with all their super-advanced technology they cannot tell if a base is abandoned or not, something that can be easily done today with mere satellite surveillance? "...and starve them out." Or, you know, just pound them with those huge cannons, until the shields exhaust. "which would also allow the Resistance to escape piece-mail" How? In TESB they only managed to escape due to the Ion Canon. I think we have already established that it's not a factor here.
      • Well yeah the series has always relied on New Rules as the Plot Demands. This is the same "super-advanced technology" that can't detect a fleet of transports coming out of their sole target because of "cloaking tech", the same technology that couldn't detect a space-ship appearing out of hyperdrive and slip through their shields, the same technology that allowed the Falcon to appear within close (firing) range, drop off something and then escape without even an acknowledgement of an enemy vessel appearing during an active ongoing engagement.
      • At least in those cases some special cloaking technology was used, or people took care to act very quickly. Flimsy excuses but still excuses. Being able to pinpoint the base on the face of the planet but not determine if it's abandoned or not hasn't even got that. Regardless, the ships that could escape at any moment were much more important targets, even if they knew they could track them.

    The Plan 
  • So if the plan was all along to use the transports to go hide on Crait and use the Raddus as a decoy, then why was most of the Resistance not informed? People including Finn began deserting because there was no plan, just inevitable-seeming death, and it led to the mutiny engineered by Poe that cost them valuable time and caused it to be exposed to the First Order. There doesn't seem any real reason why Holdo couldn't just tell them.
    • Vice Admiral Holdo was the commander of those bombers Poe got killed with his foolish behavior. She has every reason at this point in the movie to distrust if not outright hate him for getting people under her command killed in a foolhardy attack on a ship that seriously outmatched them. Combined with the possibility of a traitor since somehow the First Order is tracking them when as far as everyone knows that is physically impossible it makes sense to keep the plan for Poe at least. As for the rest of the operations staff we don't really know if she did tell them or not as the only people we see actively participating in Poe's mutiny would be other fighter pilots and people of lower rank who aren't privy to all the details normally. Holdo might well have explained it to the people directly under her or at least the replacement leaders then ordered them to keep quiet no matter what happened to try and ensure success.
    • Is it possible Holdo thought there was a mole on board, possibly as an alternate explanation for how the First Order were tracking them through hyperspace?
    • Or maybe a Vice Admiral simply felt she didn't need to explain herself a an X-Wing squad leader who had recently been demoted for recklessly getting all of their bomber crews (and a few fighter pilots) killed winning a pyrrhic victory? They are running a military, after all.
    • Poe might just be a Captain, but he's still an officer in the fleet, and probably got promoted back to wing commander by General Leia Organa. A good leader has to know their direct subordinates and be aware of what they need to do their job. Holdo should have realized that someone is willing to take a low-odds gamble if it success will mean victory and is obsessed with doing *something* is not a good person to leave alone with minimal knowledge of the plan...
    • This is where the Mildly Military nature of the Resistance combines with Poor Communication Kills. Holdo is an admiral who is dressed like she is going to a cocktail party during the middle of a major battle and is refusing to explain her plans to the officers expected to carry them out.
    • Yet only Poe got chewed over it, as if he was wrong. He wasn't wrong, he just didn't have the necessary information.
    • Actually Poe is wrong. Mildly Military or not, when things hit the fan Admirals do expect to give orders and expect them to be obeyed by Captains without having to explain what the plan is, especially when those orders are lawful. Given that Poe had already been demoted for insubordination only a matter of hours ago it's no surprise that he no longer has the trust of the Admiral, and no surprise that he's also the one being chewed out seeing as he's flatly refusing to learn the lessons that's going to keep the Resistance alive. Don't forget, he did instigate and lead mutiny, oh, and authorised an off-the-books mission not only without bothering to inform Command of what he was planning, but actively working to keep Command in the dark about what's going on and the fact that the Resistance now two people and one ship fewer than they thought they had available to them.
    • In terms of regulation, sure, there's no obligation for a flag officer to detail plans to an underling. But when that underling is growing increasingly insubordinate over not being told details, wouldn't it be a really good idea to either put them in a brig somewhere or just tell them the info to shut them up?
    • Had there been a full professional military bureaucracy, even in the days of Wooden Ships and Iron Men, Admiral Holdo would have had to answer some serious questions back in the capital (had she returned to port) on why multiple loyal, respected officers in her command had no confidence in her leadership and managed to take control of her ship and begin an authorized mission elsewhere. The outcome usually depended on who lived and returned to testify. Admirals are responsible for those in their command, that is the burden of leadership, they can lead through stick or carrot, but she did neither.
    • The problem there is that the Resistance is not a regular military. It was not even formally backed by the New Republic, hence how poorly-provisioned they were. In reality, Holdo, Ackbar and even Leia have no actual authority beyond what their followers are willing to give them. This is why Leia's call for help from the Outer Rim did not bring the cavalry to the rescue. The Resistance is an informal militia, not a government-sanctioned military with commissioned personnel. Under that kind of situation, Holdo should count herself lucky that Poe didn't just shoot her with the blaster set to kill when he thought she was sacrificing their lives on a near-suicidal escape plan. None of the orders from the Resistance leadership are "lawful" beyond the personal loyalty of their troops. Saw Gerrera probably would have killed Holdo painfully under identical circumstances. When you are running an informal paramilitary without formal sanction you kind of owe your supporters more trust and less superior attitude.
    • Well, if you make the argument that the Resistance doesn't see itself as a military (and given it's command structure, it almost certainly does) the closest parallel would then be World War II French Resistance cells. In which case there would be a clearly defined leader and people who've agreed to follow them. In that scenario then under the conditions they are in at the time it's actually Poe who's lucky not to be shot out of hand; after all paramilitary cells like that are utterly reliant on discipline to stay alive, especially when under live fire.
    • Which is the whole point. It was only because Holdo was not on the bridge with the rest of the senior officers when it was hit that anybody even knew that there even was a plan! This was not a hypothetical battle simulation, nor was it a case where the command rank officers were safely outside of the combat zone. Relying solely on chain of command to maintain strategy when your commanding officers could be killed at any moment just means that lower-ranking officers lack the necessary information to follow a strategy they have been kept in the dark about.
    • There's also the possibility Holdo was feeling a bit overwhelmed stepping into Leia's shoes and the pressure caused her to make mistakes.
    • Something else has also occurred to me. Holdo is a Vice-Admiral who has her own command staff (we see them standing with her during the attempted mutiny). She knows that she can trust her own people, and they are almost certainly in on the plan, but she can't be certain about the people under Leia (after all, from her point of view Poe did just single-handedly destroy the Resistance's last bomber squadrons and get all their crew killed, so whether he is a mole or too incompetent to be entrusted with fleet-level command decisions is immaterial, it's necessary to cut him and his staff out of the loop to stop them doing something that would reveal the transports' existence to the First Order whilst the cruiser made the decoy jump to hyperspace). Add in the fact that if Leia was also in on the plan (very likely) then Leia herself didn't let Poe in on it. As far as Holdo's concerned, that's a clear sign that Poe isn't to be given this information.
    • I agree that Vice Admiral Holdo had no reason to tell Poe what the plan is. However, after my first viewing it really seemed like like she was trying to avoid admitting that they didn't actually have a plan (maybe I'm misinterpreting and it will be more clear after a second viewing). I really feel like if she had just given him some reassurance that there was actually a plan in place and that they weren't just running blind (even if she didn't tell him what said plan was) then he would have been far less likely to mutiny.
    • Calling it a "plan" would be overly-charitable. All they were doing was making a run for a mining base with only one known entrance or exit (i.e. backing themselves into a corner). It would not have required strategic brilliance for the First Order to guess that the Resistance would head for the nearby planet that you could actually see in the space shots. The Raddus was intended to be abandoned anyway as a means of drawing fire, so it was not serving much other purpose besides being a target for the Supremacy and its support fleet and was doomed regardless. Given that we already know that Rose had been trying to keep deserters away from the escape pods, it is fairly clear that confidence in leadership was running lower than their fuel. This was not the best time for commanding officers to keep their plans to themselves.
      • Granted, the Rebellion would have been much better off if they'd averted Poor Communication Kills, but I'm willing to bet the original plan did not include "Step 3: Have a random jailbird sell us out to the First Order". Let's look at what it probably was: the Rebels use the stealthed transports to slip everyone planetside. A droid crew (or, worst case, volunteers who know it's a suicide mission) "try to escape" and the Raddus gets vaporized. The First Order has no reason to glass the nearby planet because they're too busy boasting about how they've finally destroyed the Rebels — remember, stealthed transports, as far as the FO knows no one escaped. This then gives the Rebels time to get to a base with better equipment, park Leia in front of the com system, and have her warm up the Snark Cannons. That would have given the FO a huge metaphorical black eye and given the Rebellion a boost at the same time.
    • Even worse: the so-called plan left the support ships and their crews to be picked off for target practice, left the Raddus as the only thing left to survive (dodgy at best), and their so-called base was an antiquated, poorly defended bunker with a bunch of obsolete, rusted, and salt corroded equipment to mount a pathetic Last Stand - and as we saw, they didn't last two karking minutes once the ground troops landed. Bunker doors got blown off, base invaded, and if it weren't for Luke and Rey? Game over. As hot headed as Poe was, why shouldn't he roll the dice and try to come up with something better than that?
    • Even if Holdo has her reasons for keeping quiet early on, shouldn't she speak up once there's a mutiny?? She's surrounded by mutineers and apparently nobody is coming to save her or enact the secret cloaking plan. So apparently she decided to rely on her own personal combat strength so she could beat the mutineers and fix everything, rather than just saying "We're going to cloak the transports", which would have ended the mutiny immediately. (Even Poe can see the value in the cloaking plan once he's informed.)
    • If the idea here is that Holdo is keeping secrets because she's worried about spies, there really ought to be a subplot about a spy (or a suspected spy) in the ranks. And furthermore, if she's worried about spies then the cloaking plan is worthless, because presumably the spy is gonna board one of the transports just like everyone else, and they'll radio back to Snoke and tell him what's happening. The only way this works is if Holdo thinks there's a spy and then she makes an effort to get rid of them before she reveals the cloaking plan. But we never see her make an effort.
    • Thinking about Rose in the film, it might not be spies that Holdo is worried about. It might be defectors, or deserters getting captured by the First Order and being tortured for the information.. After all, Rose alone has stopped three people from deserting, and that's just since the fleet made the hyperspace jump.
    • The more people who know the plan without needing to, the more likely the information will get into the wrong hands, one way or another. Which is why the plan would have worked if they did as commanded.
    • Another possibility is that she didn't tell anybody because it wouldn't take a genius to realize that somebody would need to stay behind with the ship, and that the somebody would be Holdo. Throw in a hot head like Po, and somebody is going to try to stop her. Better if nobody knows her plan until it's too late for anybody to stop her sacrifice.
    • Ok so suppose she did need to keep it a secret like several people have pointed out. My question is why didn't she tell everyone there was a plan?. She just kinda hints at Poe she has one but even if she feels she didn't need to explain herself to some X-wing pilot she should still reassure her crew that she has a plan that has a high probability of success but she can't explain it to them for undisclosed reasons. People are clearly freaking out if Rose is tazing people headed to the escape pod. Poe mutinies not only because he doesn't trust Holdo, but because he thinks she has no idea what she is doing. Had she demonstrated a little more authority of the situation Finn and Rose wouldn't have gone on their side quest and ruined everything.
    • Adding onto that. How come Rose doesn't know about the plan, how come the mutineers weren't informed of the plan, how come no one in on the plan took Poe aside to inform him of the plan? The Rebellion, Mildly Military or not, still works together and people are kept in the loop generally so they can properly formulate a plan. Did Holdo just not tell anyone, not even the guys who are refueling the transports? Did she tell them not to tell other people?
    • One of the things usually ignored but danced around in all this is that any organizational structure still requires dissemination of information. Vice Admiral Holdo's plan required preparation and for everyone to be ready. Even if she didn't want to provide all the information, she would still need to tell her bridge staff enough for them to tell their subordinates to get them into action. In a real world equivalent, this would be like a Navy admiral or captain knowing their ship will be engaging enemy forces in ten hours and wondering why no one is at their stations or any of the armaments are ready. Prepping all those shuttles requires the maintenance teams to fuel them and pilots to start preflight checks. They needed to collect all the intelligence and equipment they intended to take with them. The fact that Holdo didn't even issue the evacuation order as she was entering the launch bay slips into the Fridge Horror that she was going to pilot a shuttle and let everyone else die on board.
    • That's a lot to base on...no evidence. Was she actually leaving when Poe launched the mutiny, or just entering the bay to check up on things? He spent quite some time unconscious.
  • Based on everything above and the movie itself it makes perfect sense that Holdo would want to tell only ESSENTIAL personnel what the plan was. As pointed out Rose is having to stun deserters even BEFORE most of the command staff is killed. So why would any responsible leader tell people who didn't need to know the plan if there was a chance they might try to ditch? If they get captured the enemy then KNOWS the plan. Holdo doesn't know that Poe is "The POV Hero" in this narrative only that he is a hotshot who has trouble following orders. He isn't hangar crew so he isn't going to be preparing the ships. Ironically had Rose not gone off on her adventure with Finn she likely would have been informed of the plan as part of her duties. And having watched the movie a second time I'm convinced that the second time he asked about the plan she actually looked like she was considering telling Poe, but then he saw them fueling up the ships and he lost it... In her situation I would order him in the brig not just off the bridge.
    • But the chances of people deserting and getting captured would be significantly smaller if everyone knew that the plan, while not perfect, was going along swimmingly, or at least that there was a plan. Soldiers are meant to follow orders, but officers are also meant to recognize the importance of morale and the danger of mutiny or desertion if they don't keep it high. And also, Poe isn't just a hot-shot pilot: he's easily the best pilot, and probably best warrior period in the resistance, with command over one of their most important assets, their fighter squadron. He might not be the hero of this story, but not telling him is like Nick Fury telling Captain America to just sit on his ass while people die for no reason instead of just doing what a solider is supposed to do and risk his life to punch out Red Skull on the spot.
  • Wait a minute, who says Poe and the main characters were the only ones who needed to learn to trust and not try to be such hot-shots. Maybe Holdo and Poe are Not So Different, and Holdo wanted the only plan she'd ever make as the leader of the resistance to surprise everybody with it's brilliance and her valor, and she didn't trust anyone but her buddies in command to keep the plan a secret, and paid the price.
    • Except that, as noted above, Poe is the only one who gets any flak, even though he doesn't deserve any of it, and besides, Holdo was, supposedly, an admiral, not an excitable teenager. Poe, btw, didn't want to astonish anyone with his cleverness and heroism - he simply concluded, not without grounds, that his superior officer was incompetent/treacherous/insane.

    Badly Planned Evacuation 
  • Back when The Force Awakens came out a lot of people were wondering why the Resistance was standing around fixated with the battle at Starkiller Base when as many of them as possible should have been packing up and fleeing since the planet was about to be destroyed. Poe and the X-wing squadrons managed to avert that. But at the end everyone seems to be hanging around celebrating rather than preparing for the inevitable arrival of First Order star destroyers. Leia apparently even found time to change outfits more than once! Contrast this with the battle of Hoth in The Empire Strike Back where General Rieekan calls for immediate preparation to evacuate the base as soon as they realize an Imperial probe droid was on the planet. Given the lack of surface-to-space defenses the base on D'Qar appeared to have, the disastrous escape seems less a problem with Poe being a hotshot and more a case of the Resistance leadership dragging their feet about evacuating. Especially given Leia's past experience, why was this handled so badly? Things only looked worse since their planned destination was Crait, an abandoned, poorly-equipped base wherein they would literally be backed into a corner. Who the heck came up with this retreat plan?
    • We don't really know how long the attack on Starkiller base took, but now that we know that TLJ takes place immediately after TFA, there's no reason to assume that preparations to evacuate D'Qar weren't taking place in the background during the assault on Starkiller Base. The reason we don't see it is because the focus on D'Qar is on the op-centre, and that would be the last thing to be evacuated; it is, after all, the Resistance's primary intel and comms hub. As for heading for Crait, this wasn't the original plan. The Resistance jumped, fully expecting to have gotten away, after all, they are jumping to a system that doesn't see much in the way of traffic. It's only when they realise that the First Order can either track them through hyperspace do the brass come up with the plan to evacuate stealthed transports to Crait whilst the empty cruiser makes it final decoy jump.
  • Separate question that also ties into the "Running out of fuel" question above: who in their right mind plans a planetary evacuation of all facilities, equipment, personnel, etc. into a small fleet of ships in order to make a desperate escape from retaliation, and forgets to make sure the ships are fully fueled for their trip? This seems like the kind of boneheaded logistical mistake a newbie ensign would make, certainly not what you would expect from a seasoned command staff that includes Admiral Ackbar and General Organa. Keep in mind that back when these two were still relatively young leaders of the Rebellion, they were forced to make rapid evacuations of their bases all the time to stay ahead of the Empire. This is not the sort of thing they would disregard. Short story: the chase portion of the main plot of this film shouldn't even have happened, or at the very least it should not have happened for something as contrived as "we're low on fuel". Any theories out there that might explain?
    • "Forgets to," because that's the only reason that an underfunded, mostly-underground organization could be low on fuel? Why do you jump to, "They must be stupid!" as an accusation instead of, you know, them just not having the fuel?
    • Background material from The Force Awakens establishes that while the Resistance may be an underground movement, they were one of the "publicly disavowed, privately endorsed" variety. The Republic's financial and material support for the Resistance was even mentioned explicitly by General Hux as evidence of the hypocritical nature of that government's refusal to recognize the First Order as a legitimate faction. And considering that the Resistance clearly had access to modern weapons, facilities, ships, and equipment, it is hardly unfair to assume that not having fuel would be the result of poor logistics or planning rather than a crippling shortfall. The fact that such a shortfall of material is never discussed lends weight to this notion.
    • That they didn't have the fuel just plain makes more sense than that their leadership was dumb enough to "forget" to fuel up. "Forgetting" is stupid, and out of character, and nobody makes reference to that having happened, either. On the balance, that they didn't have the fuel (the evacuation comes after they mounted not one but two major offensive operations) is the most likely answer.

    What was up with that side quest? 
  • So it's very well established that the Resistance fleet is under immediate existential threat and that the most they can hope for is to outrun the First Order's long range guns for a period that is measured in hours. Finn, Poe, and Rose get in touch with Maz Kanata (somehow), and she gives them a lead on a person who can probably fix their problem with being tracked through hyperspace. Here's the question: How did anyone think that Finn and Rose would have enough time to travel to another planet - the distance to which wasn't clearly specified, unless I am mistaken - and locate a specific person based on nothing more than a description of his favored accoutrements, convince him to help their cause, then travel back to the fleet, board the single largest starship that has ever been built apart from the Death Stars, find a very specific room that is housing the tracking system, and disable it before the fleet runs out of fuel? Even if Finn knows where it is, they still have to get there, and that obviously entailed finding suitable uniforms with which to blend into the crew population (which eats up even more time). Just how much fuel did the Raddus have on board, and how long were they running on sublight engines? How much time did Finn and Rose spend just transiting from the fleet to Canto Bight and back? How long were they hanging around the casino? Between the cutaways to Rey and Luke on Ahch-To, to Poe and Holdo on the Raddus, and to Kylo and Snoke on the Supremacy, it's impossible to tell if they were gone for hours or days. I know this is partly the fault of editing, but there seems to be a noticeable lack of tension and urgency from Finn and Rose throughout most of the sequence (case in point, they have the time to watch a fantastic horse race and muse on the ugly truth beneath the glamorous veneer of the casino town).
    • And furthermore, the entire side quest ends up being pointless. In fact it was worse than pointless; it was actively harmful. If they'd just decided to stay with the fleet, they would've all escaped on the cloaked transports, and DJ never would've sold them out, and they wouldn't have lost like 80% of their people as a result. And yeah, it appears that the entire movie takes place in a day, maybe two or three days at most.
    • Yes, that was the point. If Poe had just trusted Holdo, and/or vice-versa, he wouldn't've done his maverick thing and gotten most of the Resistance killed. Also, I can forgive two overwhelmed, star-struck kids for taking a few seconds to gear down.
    • If the whole idea of the plot line is that Poe and Holdo made stupid mistakes in not trusting each other, then I would have liked to see the movie make a real point of that. Maybe have these characters go through some serious remorse about how their stupid mistake led to like 80% of the Resistance getting killed. Maybe give them a chance to redeem themselves via showing trust at a critical moment. Maybe Leia could give them a lecture about it. Maybe there could be some real character growth. I acknowledge that they set up the "Poe is too much of a hotshot" idea early on, and that does tie in with the Holdo plot line, but personally I don't think it reached the thematic conclusion that it deserved. And as for the bit about Finn and Rose, they're not exactly star-struck kids; they're soldiers on an urgent mission.
      • What you want is exposition. The film trusts you enough to realize that Poe DID grow, he DID learn, all on his own, without anyone else coming in to tell him "See, you made a mistake, but here's how to fix it." He grew into the leadership role that Leia and Holdo intended for him when he realized the futility of the skimmer attack, pulled back, and weighed other options. The fact that he realized this himself is what marks his growth into maturity; if someone else had explained things to him, it wouldn't have been as valuable a lesson. As for Holdo, and her own mistakes, she simply didn't have time to look back on them. When the Resistance transports leave the Raddus, she and Leia still believe the plan is going to work. They had NO idea Poe had blabbed about it on an open channel where DJ could hear it (and, consequently, sell it to the FO.) By the time Poe's mistake screws everything up, Holdo has no opportunity to, say, get on the radio and go "I'm sorry I didn't trust you, my not telling you the plan will not force me to take drastic actions to protect you all." She just acts, immediately. Her devotion to the people she serves is what redeems whatever mistakes she made; Poe's realization is what redeems his. The film respects the audience enough to portray both characters without the need for exposition or third-party interference.//
      • Agreed, it would have been nice to see Poe more overtly grow from his mistakes. Say if Holdo were giving her final status report over hologram to Leia on the transport, with Poe visibly uncomfortable in the background, staring at the floor, fists clenched, brows furrowed with guilt of hearing a woman approaching her impeding doom with grace and dignity. Just before the holo cuts out, he dashes over and blurts "Admiral Holdo!" <beat> "... may the force be with you." A moment of clear character growth, zero exposition, and a nice nod towards Han Solo's similar moment in ANH.
As for the Canto Bight side quest itself —as said above, the failure of the quest was the point. Heroes make mistakes, especially inexperienced ones. Finn is less than a day from being a Stormtrooper, and just got out of treatment for a lightsaber injury; Rose is a mechanic who has never seen action. Poe is a hotshot still dominated by his passions, for good and ill. The entire point is that they thought they could do better than anyone else and save the day all on their own. The quest deconstructed the infallibility of mythical protagonists and mavericks, showing that, hey, sometimes authority figures ARE right, sometimes they DO get to be authorities because they have experience and wisdom the younger generations lack, sometimes they stop you from doing something because of legitimate reasons, so maybe it's a good idea to go to them for help (or, at least, to let them know what you're doing.) The fact that the heroes' mistake led to the Resistance losing everything but the Falcon and a collection of characters that would fit in a Hasbro Action Figure carrying case, while they could have likely just had a boring trip if Poe hadn't prejudged Holdo from the instant he met her, IS the point. BUT, and this is entirely by accident of his actions, the movie also goes well out of its way to show that a) the side quest was a major transformative experience for Finn, thanks to Rose; and b) there's still "sparks" of resistance, rebellion, and of the Force reaching out to new adepts, even in places as humble as an animal stable. And that the legend of Luke Skywalker reached far and wide, giving courage to those people and undermining the FO's dominance. THAT was the good that came from the side quest, so, whatever way you look at it, it wasn't pointless.
  • Which brings us back to the original question: At best Finn & Rose had a day or two to go to Canto Bight, convince the mega-slicer to abandon the craps table for an all-but-Suicide Mission, get back to the Crait system and board the Supremacy and disable the tracker before the Raddus runs out of fuel. And, of all that, I see "convincing the mega-slicer to abandon the craps table for an all-but-Suicide Mission" to be the biggest unknown in the timeline.
    • They had less than a day. They had 18 hours. It was a desperate ploy. The movie and the characters are very clear about this. In fact, it's BECAUSE they have so little time that Poe grows increasingly anxious and restless.

     Hey, let's just get in the shuttles now! 
  • This sort of ties into the above about Finn's side quest being nonsensical. If the shuttles truly are good enough to get Finn and Rose to Casino World with a good chunk of time left to find their codebreaker (and they seem to think it would ALSO have been fast enough to get them back to the flagship in time), why doesn't the crew just get in the cloaked, untraceable shuttles from the start? You don't have to wait until you're near Crait if they can travel that far. In fact, waiting until you're near Crait gives Hux a better idea of where you've fled to and a better chance of finding you.
    • Maybe they were too far for the shuttles to have enough fuel to make it to Crait, but not Canto Blight?
    • Completely possible, but leads us to a rather unbelievable coincidence of the heroes just passing within shuttle distance of the one planet where the one hacker who can help them happens to be at just the right time.
      • When Finn and Rose leave the fleet, they have eighteen hours left. When they head back, they only have six. By the time they get there, the Raddus is running on fumes. Six hours in hyperspace is a LOT of distance covered —look at the time it took the Falcon to go from Tatooine in the Outer Rim to Alderaan, a Core planet. They're not coincidentally "within shuttle distance", they're barely within range.
    • Actually, don't Finn and Rose jump to hyperspace? In that case it becomes more plausible for them to reach Canto Blight but not have enough fuel to reach Crait until it's close enough.
    • We don't know how many shuttles the Resistance has available, especially after the attack on the fighter bay hanger. Plus, when you look at the size of the shuttle, it isn't really designed to hold that many people (fewer than can fit on the Falcon) which means that the Resistance is going to need a lot of shuttles to evac ~400 people.
    • But the shuttles were clearly part of the evacuation plan from the start. When the evacuation plan is underway, even without the shuttle Finn and Rose hijacked, they managed to get everyone aboard except Holdo, and even then it sounds like the could have fit her as well but needed a pilot to keep the flagship going.
    • If I remember right, they used transports, not shuttles to evacuate to Crait. The shuttle is the small craft you see on the beach at the casino world, the transports are larger, more similar in shape to the transports the old Rebel Alliance used to use.
      Update:Managed to check it when I saw the film again. The shuttle Rose and Finn use is much smaller than the transports used by the Resistance to evac from the cruiser to Crait. There also aren't any shuttles seen evacuating with the transports, which means either there aren't any more shuttles, or there isn't the fuel for them.
    • They didn't use shuttles OR transports from the start because they didn't expect to need them. When they first light-sped away from the FO, they thought they were home free; when they realized they were being tracked, the attack that eliminated the command crew and the fighter complement happened hard and fast, without giving them a chance to regroup and jump away again. By the time they reconvened, they realized they were being tracked somehow, so they studied their options: waste all their remaining fuel in one more jump, or enact Holdo's plan. Now, you'll remember that Hux's crew informs him when the Raddus is about to make a jump to hyperspace. This indicates that the energy buildup in a hyperdrive JUST before a jump is detectable by the sensors of a ship thousands of kilometers away. The FO likely detected and saw Finn and Rose's shuttle, but didn't care because they knew it was just a tiny, negligible ship that could carry maybe ten people at most, so no point wasting resources on it. But if the cloaked transports with hundreds of people on board had even TRIED to jump away, they would have given away the entire plan and the FO would have shot a good many of them out of the sky and pursued the remainder. Sure, the survivors could have plotted courses that scattered them far and wide, but then you have a handful of isolated Resistance members spread across the galaxy.

     Rose and Finn's miraculous landing 
  • Rose and Finn escape Snoke's ship via a smaller craft, and head for the Resistance base on Crait. We see Leia at the open door, and she says "They're coming. Close the door". First off, why is that door open at all? If the Resistance forces are already inside, just shut the door immediately! The FO is right on your tail, after all. Second, why is General Leia Organa personally manning this door? Shouldn't there be some other guy? And shouldn't that other guy have radar, or at least a pair of binoculars? Relying on an elderly woman to spot incoming ships with the naked eye does not seem like a good strategy. Plus she's the commanding officer, and she's standing at the most vulnerable spot in the entire base, so that's a bad strategy too. Third, how is it that the door just so happens to close at exactly the right time, so that Finn and Rose get in but no imperials manage to follow? You might think that this is all part of the plan; Finn and Rose radioed ahead and Leia has decided to close the door with perfect timing on purpose. But as soon as Finn and Rose arrive, everyone starts shooting at them, so obviously nobody knew who they were. They only managed to get in here by pure dumb luck. (Also note: Neither Rose nor Finn is an ace pilot who might be expected to pull off a stunt like this.)
    • Can't answer most of that except to say that there is a small justification that Rose and Finn got to the base earlier than the other fighters, namely because they left the base earlier (the other ships would not have headed to the planet until they had been organized and commanded to do so).
    • Leia has the Force. She can sense they're allies long before she should be able to, and/or it showed her the right time to close the door. She just forgot to tell everyone.
    • But she also fired at the shuttle.
  • Another question is why neither Finn nor Rose thought to hail the base and tell it's them and please not to shoot them. Even if they don't know the frequencies, just radio it openly, not like it would do any harm at this point.
    • They are, to be fair, being chased and shot at by enemy forces while piloting a craft that neither of them presumably has much experience in flying towards a location that both of them are trying to find pretty much by the seat of their pants. I imagine the interior of that cockpit was probably full of a lot of semi-panicked yelling and flailing throughout the journey, so they might not have fully had the wherewithal to think of sending a message ahead of their arrival.

     Lightspeed Attacks wasted 
  • Since we've seen that a jumping to hyperspace can deal massive damage, why didn't they put a little more fuel into the medical ship and other support ships and let them hyperspace-kamikaze instead of just getting shot up? They could have taken out another few Star Destroyers at least.
    • Admiral Holdo only came up with the plan since she needed to defend the remaining transport ships. Ramming the First Order's ships was never part of the plan and wouldn't happen if the First Order didn't attack the transport ships.
    • Which is weird. Ramming is the oldest naval tactic. We've seen in Rogue One that the Rebels/Resistance are still fond of it. Why wouldn't it be common and, consequently, why wouldn't everyone expect it and be prepared for it?
      • There's a difference between ramming and light speed ramming. In Rogue One, the Rebellion used ramming tactics against a disabled Star Destroyer. It's quite another thing to try ramming a ship that's firing at you. And Star Destroyers are generally portrayed as possessing very powerful weaponry, so without the lightspeed maneuver Holdo would have been shot down long before she even reached the First Order's fleet. Besides which the only reason Holdo's ramming tactic worked in the first place was Hux had already written her off. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that if it had been attempted at any point previously, the First Order would have simply concentrated their firepower on whatever ship was turning around to face them, and blown them apart before they could even complete the turn, since they'd likely have to divert some of the power from their shields to the hyperdrive anyways.

     Why not call in another ship to pinch down the Resistance? 
  • Surely the First Order can at least spare one more ship to head the Resistance off in their escape direction. And Hux can't really be that stupid to risk toying with them after the recent Dreadnought incident where he failed miserably after having them pinned initially.
    • They literally had hours of fuel left, if that. By the time another ship arrived the Resistance's fleet would've stopped anyway. Also yes Hux is really that stupid.
      • Hux is only that in this film not the last one and Snoke could have figured that out also Plus with how big the fleet is they could just split up their forces so the Resistance fleet is trapped.

     Poe demoted? 
  • As a guy who loves military stuff, Poe getting demoted really bugged me. I know he disobeyed orders and how Leia was really upset about how people dying, but I still have two issues:
  • 1. An entire First Order Dreadnaught was blown up in exchange for the loss of a handful of fighters and all Resistance bombers (even still just a handful). I don't care how much you care about other human beings, any general or military leader would recognize 'a handful of fighters and bombers' for 'a capital ship the size of an entire city' as a once-in-a-lifetime trade that they'd sacrifice everything just to have an attempt at. I'm not saying Leia should be a brutal pragmatist who'd kill 100 people to save 101, but Poe's decision just makes too much military sense to be dismissed as reckless glory-seeking. As far as I'm concerned demoting Poe after this would be like demoting whoever planned the original Death Star attack; sure, the rebels suffered a staggering 90% casualty rate (of "30 rebel ships" we only see 3 fly away) but they dealt the enemy a huge blow and allowed the war to continue.
    • It's a difference in scale. Yes, losing the Dreadnaught is a heavy hit to the First Order, but the losses the Resistance suffered were MUCH WORSE. The First Order has reserves, and even if they don't have another Dreadnaught (which there's no indication of— Poe calls it "a" Dreadnaught, not "the" Dreadnaught), Poe just threw away all the Resistance bombers, and several of their fighters, as well as putting the entire fleet at risk over what was essentially a gamble that only barely paid off. The Resistance at this point, is too small and weak to be able to afford something like this. So yes, while if they were in better shape, that would be fine, there's a difference between "destroying a Dreadnaught for a handful of fighters" and "destroying a Dreadnaught for a third of your fleet, and every bomber you have available."
    • For an example of at least one military leader who would disagree that the exchange was worthwhile, recall Gandalf chastising Denethor in Return of the King (book, not film) for sending out a tactical assault party that, even should it achieve a 10-to-1 favorable kill ratio, he may still come to regret
  • 2. Yes, I know that Poe's character is supposed to be this hotshot battle-hungry guy and how you're "Supposed to save the things you love not destroy the things you hate." (paraphrasing here), but that thematic throughline falls apart because the dreadnaught had its bombardment cannon poised to take out the rebel cruiser. It would be one thing if the evacuation was fully ready to jump but Poe kept them behind in order to rack up some bonus points, but we clearly hear the order for and see the bombardment cannon getting ready to blast away at the resistance cruiser. His demotion would make sense if Poe had destroyed the dreadnaught at the expense of the evacuation, but we clearly see that he and his bombers pretty much saved it and by extent the resistance as a whole.
    • To be fair there was a line later on about how Poe's attack got all their bombers destroyed that was delivered in a "It would be really nice to still have them maybe we could have used them in a plan" tone, but the cruiser would have been toast if the attack had been called off, and considering how they all got wiped out even after Poe had cleared all the surface cannons I doubt they would have made much of a difference later on in the movie. Seriously, these new bombers might as well be dedicated ohka-style suicide craft for all the survivability of them. And at least the ohkas in real life were faster.
    • The cruiser was ready to jump, that's why Leia told Poe to fall back so they could "get out of here" (paraphrasing). He was just supposed to buy time. Poe's insistence on following through forced the cruiser to stay behind, which is the entire reason the dreadnought could fire on them in the first place.
      • Unless the new X-Wings and other craft are inexplicably less capable than the ones available to the Rebel Alliance more than three decades ago in-universe, they should all be perfectly capable of going to hyperspace on their own. There was absolutely no reason for the fleet to wait for the fighters to return.
      • In real life, starting an engine and acceleration both have a far higher cost in fuel than coasting along; pushing your ship all the way to light-speed would probably murder your mileage. As most rebel attacks during the emperor's reign were swift hit-and-fade maneuvers, thus allowing the rebels to attack on their own terms, they were often in and out before fuel became an issue. With the resistance losing the initiative and unable to resupply, they just didn't have the resources to maintain such tactical advantages. This is actually an aversion of Hollywood Logistics, where advanced technology never needs to be refurbished or maintained.
  • It should also be noted that there is no time skip between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. That means that Poe had literally blown up the biggest superweapon ever in Star Wars (Starkiller Base) earlier that same day! To say that the man was being overworked and under-appreciated would be an epic understatement. In Return of the Jedi Han got promoted from Captain to General just because he was willing to lead a risky mission after an extended time in carbon freeze!
  • I don't know how real life militaries work exactly, but there are a few things to consider: A) It's Star Wars. It's a different setting with different rules. Their militaries don't necessarily function the same way real life ones do. Plus, Star Wars is usually Mildly Military anyway. Not to mention the Resistance is more of a militia than a military, especially after the destruction of the Republic. B) Poe may be a war hero after the Starkiller, but maybe that's the problem. Perhaps the victory went to his head and he's starting to throw his weight around. Far from being commended, maybe what he needs is to be taken down a peg or two. C) Most important of all, was the victory over the dreadnought really worth it? How many of those things does the First Order have kicking around? Quite a few I'm willing to bet. Even if the First Order technically lost more people in that fight, the Resistance lost a bigger percentage. The First Order has the advantage of We Have Reserves, the Resistance doesn't. Was it a case of acceptable losses? Probably not, not if the First Order can just bring in more dreadnoughts later.
  • Isn't part of the First Order's characterization that they can no longer afford the We Have Reserves attitude of the Empire? Seriously, they lost Starkiller Base, then the Dreadnought, and then by the end of the film they've lost Supremacy and her Resurgence-class Star Destroyer escorts. How many more ships and lives can the First Order afford to throw away by this point?
    • I think the answer to both this and half the questions on this page is that there has been a very clear stylistic change between films that has come close to being a mild but unintentional retcon. This Resistance and this First Order is not the same Resistance and First Order we had in the Force Awakens. To try and explain what I mean by that, you know how James Bond is meant to be the same guy each time even though Sean Connery and Roger Moore act nothing alike? That's what we have here. Even Mark Hamill has been quite vocal in his belief that this Luke isn't the same Luke that he used to play. I think that the First Order is now as strong if not stronger than the Empire was, which is why suddenly the Resistance has gone from celebrating to almost outright defeat in what is meant to have been days in-universe.
    • This also becomes a larger Plot Hole when compared to the original trilogy. Back then, especially in The Empire Strikes Back, the Empire was more than willing to have TIE fighters pursue the Millennium Falcon well outside of the support range of the star destroyer fleet. But here, the First Order makes some lame excuse about not being able to send out fighters beyond the immediate support of their capital ships. This is despite the spectacular success of the TIE fighter attack on the Raddus (which is why Poe was without an X-wing to fly). Since new model TIE fighters introduced in The Force Awakens, such as the TIE/sf, even had things like hyperdrives, there was no reason not to use fighters to chase down the fleeing Resistance rather than only using capital ships. Except for one reason — the need to make Holdo's plan seem even remotely viable, which it would not have been had there been TIE fighters swarming around to target the transports. Cloaked or not, they were not invisible and fighters could have taken them out visually even without breaking the cloaking. Especially since the transports lacked hyperdrive (one of Poe's objections to using them) and nearby Crait was the most obvious destination for the Resistance to abandon ship to.
  • Poe was demoted because he disobeyed a direct order from his commanding officer. It's as simple as that. Given that people under his command died and valuable equipment was lost as a result of his disobedience, he's lucky he was only demoted. Obviously he got some leniency because of his service to this point.
    • Considering the alternative was for them to all die, I feel like he should've gotten some slack.
    • He did. He was demoted instead of, say, cashiered out.

     Poe's "Wasteful" Attack on the Dreadnought 
  • Poe gets demoted, as noted above, for disobeying orders and sacrificing many of the Resistance's fighters and their entire bombing wing to destroy the First Order dreadnought...that had just obliterated the evacuated ground base in a single firing, was preparing to fire on the cruiser, and was implied to be able to destroy it in one shot. This is treated as wasteful glory-seeking, when the Resistance cause would have been better served by escaping into hyperspace before it could fire. Shortly after his demotion, however, First Order ships begin popping out of hyperspace behind the cruiser and its escorts, revealing that they were capable of tracking them. They're able to get away by surviving the bombardment long enough to accelerate to a range at which the weapons on the ships pursuing them can't penetrate their shields and do any further damage. As opposed to what would have happened if the dreadnought had popped out of hyperspace a few moments later than the star destroyers, charged up another double shot, and destroyed the cruiser before it could get out of range (the autocannons clearly pack a lot more punch than the other ships' weapons, and don't seem to have as much of a problem with range dissipation). Poe's "glory seeking" ultimately saved everyone who managed to escape. Granted, he couldn't have known it would play out like this at the time, but it seems like he would at least be owed an apology later; instead, it's never even brought up.
    • The entire space chase was just an Idiot Plot from start to finish. The First Order could have ended the whole movie right at the start had their Dreadnought fired on Raddus and her consorts first, rather than wasting time bombarding the already mostly-evacuated base. Knock out their fleet, and what's left of the Resistance isn't going anywhere, no matter what defenses they have on the planet.
    • Most likely everyone was just too busy trying to get out of that mess alive to think about how much worse it would have been if the dreadnought hadn't been destroyed.
    • You're analyzing it with the benefit of hindsight. When Leia demoted Poe, it was for disobeying a direct order to disengage, wasting not only lives and equipment but also time they could have used to gather the bombing fleet and hyperspace away (which put the fleet in range, and in danger, of not just the dreadnaught but also the Destroyers.) At this point, no one knew the FO would be able to track them through hyperspace, so, from Leia's perspective and with her available knowledge, Poe made a serious mistake. Whether his actions were vindicated later on, the demotion made sense when it was issued.
    • He didn't waste them - he expended them, like a commander does, and, taking into account their atrocious design, got a good value at that. Also, what do you mean "wasted time"? If these ships can jump to HS at any moment and from any place, then what does it matter where some of them ended up? All the surviving ones could've jumped away the moment the mission was complete. In fact, nothing was stopping Leia from commencing the jump and leaving Poe's wing to deal with the dreadnaught and then to jump away at their leisure. X-Wings are HJ-capable, aren't they?
      • Yes but if you "expend" a third of your fleet taking out one ship, be it an exceptionally powerful one or not, out of an enemy fleet with at least half a dozen more around the same size with slightly less firepower that's called wasting those resources because it could have been way better spent elsewhere. Poe achieved a Pyrrhic victory saving the Rebel fleet from a danger he put it in by refusing to disengage and rejoin the main fleet when they were ready to go giving the big scary Dreadnought time to lock onto them.
      • "because it could have been way better spent elsewhere" - Like where? No, honestly, with how much crap Leia and Holdo give Poe over those miserable deathtraps, I would very much like to know what was the original plan for them that Poe so recklessly sabotaged and that would've yielded more than taking out a unique battleship with its base- and fleet-destroying weapons and thousands of crew, including trained officers, whose importance you're so eagerly trying to downplay. "giving the Dreadnought time to lock onto them" - And this is just not true. The dreadnaught locked on target and fired before Poe refused to disengage, and back when Leia was perfectly happy with his actions. The only reason the resistance survived at all is because the dreadnought fired on the ground base instead of the ships for no reason. This also means that by the time Leia gave the disengage order, the bombers were already near the dreadnaught, and if they tried to fall back, they would have most likely just been shot down anyway, and the dreadnaught would have got time to recharge to fire on the ships.

     Why not just jump to Crait first? 
  • Where was the Resistance trying to go? Since they end up within a day's flight of Crait at sub-lightspeed, it seems plausible that was their original destination. If that's so, why didn't they drop out of hyperspace right next to it? If they weren't going to Crait, the fact that a Rebel base was within a day's flight is a pretty Contrived Coincidence.
    • Well, for one, the First Order didn't know about it, so if they went straight to Crait, the FO would follow and realize "oh, that must be a Resistance planet!" That's what the jump was for—not to get to a Resistance planet, but to lose their tail. So their original destination was Crait, they just left hyperspace far enough away that the FO wouldn't notice it, but close enough that their stealthed shuttles could make it in relatively good time while their cruiser was destroyed, seemingly taking all of them with it.
      • But they couldn't have been planning to use their stealth shuttles originally, because originally they didn't expect the FO to track them through hyperspace. So why not just travel straight to Crait in the original jump?
      • Because it's better safe than sorry. The best commanders have contingencies, backups, and cautionary measures for every plan then make, and this one was no exception.

    Commanding the bombers 
  • One thing that is very unclear from the movie is how Poe could have initially caused anyone to defy orders other than himself in the opening scene. Leia, Ackbar and presumably the other admirals were all present. How could Poe issue orders to the bombing squadron that they could not simply overrule by issuing different orders directly to the bomber crews rather than going through Poe? This seems like a very contrived plot point, intended to deliberately to create internal conflict within the Resistance without making any sense given the situation presented onscreen.
    • This is a bit worse when you consider the supplementary materials which suggest that the bombers were assigned to the Ninka (the tricked-up looking Corelian Corvette ship), which was Vice Admiral Holdo's command. Of course, her bomber crews ignoring her orders just to follow Poe to their deaths also adds some depth to her friction with him (although that in turn makes her later claim to Leia that she likes him because he's trouble itself problematic...)
    • Leia might have decided not to contradict Poe's orders because the bombers were too committed at that point and would have just been destroyed retreating without even destroying the dreadnaught. Officers know there's nothing worse for their authority than issuing an order that will not be obeyed.
    • Traditionally field commanders get a lot of leeway because they simply can't ask for permission from above for every decision due to long range communication - that includes sometimes going against letter or spirit of orders. Of course in a modern army there is nothing (in theory) to preclude direct communication to the super upper top brass, but there is a reason for ranks between "supreme top commander of everything" and "just some grunt" to exist to this day. Of course Leia could have pulled rank on every single fighter and bomber pilot, but before she could have gotten through to everybody half the plan would have come off. And half a plan is as good as no plan...

     Why does someone need to stay behind to pilot the ship? 
Why can’t they just do whatever the space ship equivalent of throwing a brick on the gas pedal is so that everyone can evacuate? Before she needed to get in a drivers seat to pull off her hyperspace stunt, Holdo is just kind of standing at the window watching the shuttles, and the ship appears to still be moving without constant input.
  • We simply don't know what command inputs the ship needed or how often in needed to be given them. It is also possible she was intending to input further manoeuvrer orders once the civilian shuttles were clear to further draw the First Order fleet away.
  • The Visual Guide said that the ship was designed to be more automated and thus require less crew to operate. Which begs the question further of how come Holdo didn't do what George Kirk attempted in Star Trek (2009)? The only reason it failed in that movie was due to the damage sustained to the Enterprise, but in the Last Jedi's case the Raddus is still pretty intact when all the shuttles are offboard. Holdo could have inputted that the ship lead the First Order on a bit before ramming. Come to think of it, I wonder why once the shuttles were being shot she didn't activate the turbolasers of the Raddus in panic and desperation to draw the FO's fire away. I assume that they are part of the modified automation anyway.
    • For the last one, they've been out of range of the turbolasers for the whole movie, which was the whole nature of the chase.
    • If the Raddus missed the Supremacy while no one was onboard, the Resistance would be down a ship and they would pick the lifeboats off just as they were already doing. With Holdo on the ship, she can fine-tune the calculations and set a new course (possibly jumping back to the Supremacy's rear to cripple her engines) if her plan failed.
    • Except that at the moment the lifeboats were leaving the plan was simply to lead the FO fleet away. Holdo obviously only came up with the ramming idea after the ruse was exposed and the boats started to get shot.

     Poe's ruse 
  • What was the original plan behind Poe's ruse, which Leia apparently was ok with? He flew in front of the dreadnaught, began to troll Hux, and... then what? How was it supposed to stop the dreadnaught from firing on the base and/or Raddus? It's not like he was actually engaging the imperials in some meaningful conversation, offering them something and giving them a reason to pause, and Hux declared loud and clear that he was going to kill them all anyway. Then Poe punches his afterburner and starts shooting down the point-defence cannons. Key, how will that stop the dreadnaught from firing on the base and/or Raddus? It's not like he's attacking the main weapon, is he? And if a bomb run wasn't a part of the original plan, why would Leia congratulate Poe on a job well done, and only start having issues after he insists on proceeding with the run? What did she think he was doing before? Was the plan "start clearing up the way for the bombers just in case?" But the bombers were so slow there's no way they'd made it in time if Cassidy let go of the Idiot Ball and fired on the Raddus first. Was there even a plan beyond "Poe, do something!"?
    • They didn't need to keep the Dreadnought from firing on the base for long, they were almost all evacuated anyway. All Poe was supposed to do was irritate the First Order commanders, evade their turbo-laser battery, and do some quick damage to slow them down on the response before returning to the Raddus to jump to hyperspace headed for somewhere safe before the Dreadnought could lock onto it and destroy it. After all at this point the First Order doesn't know how much of the Rebel force has evacuated so their priority is surface bombing, they might not even have spotted the Raddus yet and the Dreadnought clearly hadn't targeted it. The fact that his babbling worked out better then expected actually managing to stop the First Order entirely rather then just draw attention keeping part of the weapon loadout of the Dreadnought occupied was just a fun side effect. If he had followed the original plan the First Order would be walking away from this encounter with a damaged Dreadnought, a bombed out but completely empty Rebel base, an extremely annoyed Hux, and the Rebels escaped with the Raddus to who knows where with their bombing fleet intact as well as a lot of useful people still alive.
    • My read of the plan was that Poe was supposed to fly up, disable the point defense weapons on the dreadnought, then the while the dreadnought fires on the abandoned base the bombers fly in and blow it up. The remaining fighters and bombers return to the Raddus and exit the system. I think the fact that Poe hadn't disabled all the gun emplacements meant that the bombers wouldn't have ever made it near the dreadnought and since they had turned their big guns on the Raddus, they didn't think they had time to wait for BB-8 to finish fixing Poe's X-Wing. Had the mission gone to plan, the bombers would probably have still suffered heavy losses and only insofar as Poe disobeying the order to abort the mission is he at all to blame for those casualties. I think Leia, having lost her son and husband days before, was too fearful for Poe's well-being as someone close to her than she was about acceptable losses in combat and that's why she ordered him to return.

     Why do they even need DJ in the first place 
  • So once they finally get to the room with the tracker DJ's amazing codebreaking technique is... sticking Rose's medal pendant in a hole so the door short circuits and opens. Which means they didn't even need him so what's the deal? They could have at least shown him having to do some Hollywood Hacking or the like to break in
    • They didn't need him to get into that door. They needed him to get into the First Order's systems and futz around with their tracking program. They get caught before he has the chance to actually do what they needed him for.

     Where did the new ships come from? 
  • I clearly remember C-3P0 saying in The Force Awakens that those X-Wing (and the transports that don't appear in this movie) were the Resistance's entire fleet. So where did the bombers, Flying Coffins they call transports, and all the capital ships come from? And if they where there all along, why didn't they attack Starkiller Base? It is a well known fact in Star Wars that Capital Ships have far superior range to Starfighters which is why hyperspace capable Starfighters still tend to take long term trips in carriers. Plus one of the capital ships is called a bunker-buster meaning it would be perfect for the attack since that would mean it would be built to destroy hardened ground targets. The lack of Time Skip makes this worse as these ships appear out of nowhere.
    • He wasn't saying the whole fleet as in, "Literally every ship we have," he's talking about the whole attack fleet that was on that specific mission. As for why the other ships didn't go? Starkiller Base was probably the single most defended facility the First Order had, and would've had orbital defense weapons capable of shredding anything bigger or slower than an X-Wing.

Character Motivations/Decisions

     Yoda 
  • Why didn't Yoda or Obi-Wan talk to Luke during his exile, why wait until now to encourage him to do something?
    • It was mentioned that Luke had basically blocked his connection to the Force during his exile. It could be that Yoda and Obi-Wan did try to reach out to him but it was only after Luke opened up again did they manage to do so.
    • But surely they could have done it before he went to exile. As in, after his New Jedi Order got decimated.
    • We don't know how long after losing the academy it was before Luke cut himself off. It might have been immediate. Or maybe they waited to give him time to grieve, but by the time they tried to commune with him, he'd already cut himself off.
    • Yoda might have tried to talk with him, and Luke just told him to bugger off. Yoda only gets through to Luke this time because his despair has already been shaken, and therefore he was a little more willing to listen.
    • Likelihood is that he really did shut himself away from the Force quite early on. Mind, Yoda and Obi-Wan may have been his Masters, but his exile was so thorough that he didn't even feel Han - a brother to him - pass on. That moment where he placed his own hands on the meditating slab seemed to be the precise moment where he reopened his connection to the Force - allowing Yoda to finally reach him and offer some much needed guidance. Not to mention, after losing his temple to -in his own words- his own hubris, he likely couldn't bring himself to face either of his mentors.
    • Hopefully this is the answer because otherwise we have a huge plot hole here; as the one man whose absence is rather telling here is Anakin. His son was hurting for decades and he didn't bother to try intervene with any advice? You would think that Darth Vader would have an invaluable first-hand insight into the motivations and psychology of men who are Sith Lords in all but name. Didn't feel like trying to stop his grandson from doing the exact same things he did? And did he ever talk to Leia? Give her any advice? It certainly isn't said.
    • In TFA we see Kylo 'talking' to Vader's helmet looking for guidance from his grandfather stating that he was 'Hearing the call of the Light'. It's my personal theory that the Call he was hearing WAS Anakin's Force Ghost who was doing everything short of screaming to try to reach him. Kylo ignored it because it wasn't what he wanted to hear.
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin may not exist as Force Ghosts anymore. The technique doesn't seem to be meant as a permanent thing, maybe only Yoda remained as one to guide Luke a little bit more before he's gone for real.
    • The "gone for real" bit was only really from the Thrawn Trilogy, though. There's no reason to think they're not permanent when TFA seemed to imply Obi-Wan was still around as a Force Ghost too.
    • Short version: Ghost Jedi are dicks. Obi Wan Kenobi waited YEARS to appear, and he did so when Luke was about to die in the snow.
    • Considering the rather Buddhist beliefs on which the Force seems to be based, I'm thinking that these ghosts are actually the Force itself manifesting to its various users in A Form You Are Comfortable With. That's why (aside from the Doylist explanation) the only ghosts we see are those of people the Force user in question knows. Obi-Wan and Anakin were every bit as present to Luke as Yoda; in fact, Mace Windu and Qui-Gon Jinn and a great many other Jedi were there too, but the Force showed itself as Yoda because Luke was contemplating his failings as a trainer of Jedi, and Yoda was the one he'd known as his trainer. As the collective consciousness of all these Jedi, the Force has likely been hounding Kylo Ren as well, but not in the form of any visible ghosts, since he's never actually met any of them in person, including even his idolized grandfather Anakin.

      Indeed, Luke might even have figured out, by this point, that Yoda is merely a manifestation of this collective consciousness; he just finally decides to let the Force comfort him in the form of his late beloved mentor where he wasn't willing to before.
    • Something interest to note, both Sith and Jedi have a form of ghosting that lets them technically exist after physical death. But the two have very different bases in the force and as a result different connotations. Based upon the Book Of Sith, one of the expanded universe materials being sold as a physical book, Sith leave behind an imprint of their mind using the force with all their knowledge but effectively in read only mode. They react to stimuli as the original would have at the time in their life when they made the echo/imprint but don't develop further. Jedi meanwhile meld with the force which the Sith interpret as fading into the static of everyone else in the hereafter losing themselves in force. Given the Sith tend to be serious individualists, my power and my title, they look down on this giving up of self while the Jedi tend to be collectivist in mindset focusing on the bigger picture. Jedi can re-manifest but while they do retain their personalities and traits they are ultimately that person intermixed with the rest of the force. It is entirely possible they do eventually fade into the background after enough time either not actively appearing or become consumed by studying the force from the other side.

     The General and her bridge crew 
  • If Leia could sense that Kylo Ren and his wingmen were coming to kill her by attacking her vessel's bridge, why didn't she warn any of the crew to evacuate? Sure, she managed to survive by calling on her Force abilities, but it turns Admiral Ackbar's death, and those of their Resistance subordinates, into a collective Senseless Sacrifice.
    • She had, at best, about five seconds, and opening the bridge doors when the bridge was about to be breached would have depressurized the entire command deck. She might also have been using that time to concentrate herself enough to use her force powers to shield herself from the blast.
    • They have to open the bridge doors to let Leia back in after she uses the Force to get back onto the bridge. Was she using the Force to stop the ship from depressurizing, and if so, couldn't she have done the same thing to allow the rest of the crew to survive (especially if she's powerful enough to survive the vacuum of space)?
    • There's a big explosion of air when she's let back in, before the door swiftly seals again. It's likely programmed for very quick opening and closing, just enough to get in and out. And Leia's force powers likely aren't that controllable, she's a general and diplomat, not a force adept. Her survival seemed more a matter of luck and adrenaline than anything else.
    • Aside from all the above, she was specifically sensing Kylo Ren (not the wingmen), and presumably either sensed that he was not going to be able to go through with the attack, or used that link to convince him not to. Either way, she would have come out of it not sensing immediate danger. (That's all assuming the mental link went as far as letting her know exactly what Kylo was up to: she may have only sensed he was near, not necessarily that he was gunning for the bridge.)

     Completely Unnecessary Sacrifices 
  • Why did the captain of the medical ship stay on the ship to get shot down? I mean, it's not like the fuel tank running low was unexpected. And he wasn't doing anything special with the ship like a hyperspace kamikaze run or anything. He just sits there as the ship drifts uselessly into weapon range and gets shot down.
    • Maybe there wasn't room on the transports for him? If they were the medical ship, then there's probably a lot of injured on board, and that means stretchers, beds, and kolto tanks would need to be loaded with the patients.
    • I don't think that makes sense. He seriously couldn't just stand in a corridor, or sit on someone's lap, or sit cross-legged on the floor, or share someone's sickbed, or shove himself into a supply locker? There wasn't a single place where a non-obese man could stand, sit or lie on the entire shuttle? If that's true, then they've got bigger problems than the First Order to worry about, namely their hull bursting at the seams.
    • It may not seem practical, but my sister (who works in an ER in Milwaukee) claims that one of the most important commodities for a recovering person is space. Cramming critically wounded men and women into supply lockers is a good way to get them killed, and as far as we know, they had already done that to all able-bodied crewmen. Also, wounded people don't just get better on their own (well, actually they can. It's just much slower and far less likely). The resistance would also need the medical supplies to continue treating their current and future casualties, which would also consume a great deal of elbow room.
    • Drawing from the above, it's unlikely that people were the only things those transports were hauling around. Even for real-world modern armies, you need about seven to a dozen men handling logistics for every one solider who actively fights in the field. An army can't survive, let alone fight, without a buttload of supplies, so while the Resistance may try to prioritize their personnel whenever possible (such as when they abandoned the munitions in the opening sequence) they can only push that sentiment so far before they royally screw themselves over.
      • According to the visual guide, the Resistance's protocol demands that every ship be able to sustain itself apart from the others, so that they may continue fighting in the event of the rest of the fleet being cut off or destroyed. The Resistance had almost a quarter of the entirety of their supplies on that frigate; I'm amazed it even fit on two transports.
    • Because the captain goes down with the ship.
    • As for why the Frigate’s captain didn’t try a hyperspace suicide run, given how quickly the First Order ships blasted him into scrap he probably wouldn’t have had time. The only reason Holdo succeeded in her attempt was because the First Order had arrogantly written off the Raddus as a minor threat and were focusing on the transports.
      • That doesn't make sense. The whole idea of the Stern Chase was that the Resistance ships were so far away that the First Order couldn't hit them until they ran out of fuel first. So if the medical frigate had simply turned around before fuel ran short, it could have hyper-rammed the First Order ships without interference.
      • A 550M long ship can't exactly turn on a dime, even in the vacuum of space. Simply turning to face the F.O. would have given the pursuers a decent chance to get it within range and waste it before it could even line up for the charge. Again, the only reason the Raddus succeeded was because Hux idiotically dismissed it as not being a threat and was going after the transports like a dumb fish after a lure. Unfortunately for the Anodyne, the first order was giving it their undivided attention when the moment of crisis came.

     No, really. Nice job breaking it, heroes. 
  • The heroes are pretty much directly responsible for most of the tragedy the Resistance suffers over the course of this film. Poe commits a mutiny to prevent the evacuation plan, without bothering to learn first why it's actually a good idea, costing them valuable time granted, it turns out NOT to be a good idea, but for reasons they couldn't predict. Finn and Rose get a hacker who sells them out, enabling Hux to pick off the evacuating craft one by one. Holdo never tells any of them the plan, which leads Poe and Finn to take the above actions. The huge casualties the good guys suffer are directly attributable to these three characters and their actions. So why doesn't anyone treat these moves like what they are- unbelievably, recklessly, destructively stupid? Why aren't these characters on a firing line by the end?
    • My guess is that the situation for the Resistance is really that desperate they're willing to let bygones be bygones. Less than a dozen of them survived abroad the Millennium Falcon by the time the film's ended. They can't afford to lose any more member, even if it's those 'heroes' who put them into this situation in the first place, albeit unwittingly. In spite of everything, Poe is still a darn good pilot, Finn has insights about the First Order, and Rose...probably gets away with it because both of them would have vouch for her, and she's still useful as a mechanic and field soldier if need be. Despite the troubles they caused, the Resistance need those people. Poe and Finn did play their part in destroying Starkiller Base also did them both credit. Leia is also pretty much the only Resistance leader left, and she seems like the forgiving type. Poe's like a son to her, after all.
    • Also it ultimately wasn't anyone's fault but the hacker that said hacker betrayed them. He'd already saved their lives when he didn't have to so they had a good reason to trust him.
    • Well, they didn't have to involve the hacker (slicer, I guess) at all, ultimately. If I remember right, Holdo's plan probably would have worked if DJ didn't supply the First Order with the means to pinpoint the shuttles. Meaning Finn's best option was to stay put. This feeds into Holdo being a moron for not explaining better, but there you are.
    • It's just a nasty case of Poor Communication Kills, simple as that. Everyone screws up in the movie, and in their haste to fix their mess on their own only ends up making things worse. Holdo could've revealed her plan to Poe, but she doesn't want to because she doesn't trust Poe because of his reckless altitude (he's been demoted by Leia herself earlier in the film), plus the probability of a spy on board. Poe, in turn, sees Holdo's passive actions as detrimental and tries to take matter into his own hands by sending Finn and Rose to find a slicer, which in the end they don't even needed. Finn and Rose were originally going to recruit a different slicer on the recommendation of Maz Kanata, who is probably more trustworthy than DJ and could've actually be helpful in their mission. But when they got arrested and coincidentally put into the same cell as DJ, who was also a pretty good slicer, they decided that he's good enough for the job because Rose said they're running out of time before the Resistance fleet run out of fuel. A combination of bad luck and poor communication means things go From Bad to Worse.
    • In which case, Poe didn't learn the central lesson of his story arc but doesn't show remorse or ultimately redeem himself?
    • But he did learn something. In the climax, he was up to his old tricks again and try to somehow destroy the First Order's heavily guarded cannon using nothing but outdated speeders that are falling apart. As more and more speeders are getting destroyed, he finally realizes that there's no way he could win this fight, so he orders a retreat. This time, it was Finn who disobeys his order, so Poe got a taste of his own medicine. Hopefully, the next film will show Poe becoming not only an ace pilot who could improvise his ways out of a dire spot, but also a responsible leader who thinks in long-term as well.
    • OK, he orders a retreat. Then what? What was his next move going to be if Luke&Rey didn't save the day? Also, he already was thinking in long-term. They were incredibly lucky that the dreadnaught wasted its shot on the useless base instead of the ship, and that it had such long reload, but leaving it alive was a suicide. So, he destroyed it. Later he saw that his superior is either insane or criminally incompetent, so he took charge and devised a plan that could, in theory, save them. Yes, the plan was a gamble, it failed and ultimately made it worse. But originally, as far as he was aware, there was no plan at all. Why would he go along with it? In the end it turned out that the plan was "bolt down in a defenceless hole and hope that someone saves us in the few minutes it'll take our enemies to kill us". Why would he go along with that?
    • The reason the characters aren't on a firing line at the end of the movie is that the Resistance is, like, forty people large at that point. They kind of need all the help they can get, and it's not like the main characters were intentionally trying to sabotage the Resistance or are active traitors or anything. Had they had the necessary information in the first place, they probably wouldn't have gone off half-cocked like they did. Since there was arguably some culpability for what happened on both sides and they don't exactly have manpower to spare, everyone decided to just draw a line under events and move on.
    • Plus, Leia is essentially The Boss at this point, and she knows, likes and trusts these people. She knows that Poe is not a traitor and would never knowingly or willingly sabotage the Resistance, he's just impulsive, and you can be damned sure he's learned a lesson and is going to be trying to wheel in those tendencies from now on. So there's no need to institute the death penalty.

     Forgot we could call for help 
  • Was it really necessary for Finn and Rose to hijack a shuttle and warp over to Casino Night Zone? You have the means to contact Maz. Just use that to get ahold of any aid in the area. You don't even have to look for slicers to destroy the tracking beacon. Just find someone who'll offer reinforcements. Or a means of escape. Or a fueler to offer you enough reserves to outlast your pursuers. Why is it only Finn and Poe who realize that reaching for outside help is even an option? Why don't they suggest this to the Vice Admiral?
    • It shows Poe's arrogance in how he's convinced Holdo is unfit next to Leia and that they have to do this as she won't even listen. That slams him badly down the road.
    • As for reinforcements, if people weren't listening to a personal call from Leia Organa, why would they listen to some pilot and mechanic?
    • Other categories above cover how the entire mess of Poe and Holdo was a clear case of Poor Communication Kills.
    • To be entirely fair to Holdo, the entire point of sneaking on to the abandoned Rebel planet was so that they could use it as a base for calling for help; they just wanted to get rid of the massive enemy fleet right on their tail which was probably looking out for any signs of reinforcements and was ready to immediately intercept and destroy said reinforcements first. Under the circumstances the kind of reinforcements they were able to call upon were probably not going to be any better equipped to take on the Supreme Leader's personal super-death-battleship and its attending fleet at that point in time. So they sneak away, wait for the fleet to pass them by, contact outside support and regroup.
    • They also probably want to limit their communications with their potential allies as much as possible; after all, if the First Order can track them through hyperspace, who's to say they haven't tapped into their communications grid? Not much point summoning reinforcements if the First Order is listening in and preparing to instantly destroy them as soon as they arrive. So again, they trick the First Order and wait for them to disappear and then open communications.
    • Then send a ship. To whomever they hoped to reach via communications. Exactly like Finn and Rose went, except with an actual purpose instead of on a wild bantha chase. Surely a personal appeal would've held more weight to their allies than some disembodied cry for help that could always be a trap?

    Why didn't Luke just show up in person? 
  • Even if he had been killed by the walkers or by Kylo, he would have immediately become a force ghost and everything else would have gone down exactly the way it did.
    • A Force Ghost doesn't look like a living person. Kylo would immediately notice his uncle is dead (and he probably knows enough about Force Ghosts to be unfazed by Luke becoming one) and then move on to kill the rest of the Resistance. Luke just had no way to fight and win, so he used his smarts to buy time for the escape. He seems to be weaker in the Force than Kylo, and he apparently knew his nephew well enough to know he'd focus all his firepower on Luke. He knew there was no way to win, so he decided to buy time instead, in a way that would make him literally seem invincible.
  • Rey and Chewie took the Falcon while he was still too despairing to intervene, and his X-Wing had been underwater for twenty years, which can't have been good for it. (Also Artoo was on the Falcon, so even if the X-Wing had still been spaceworthy, if it got into trouble en route there'd have been no one to fix it.) The only way he could have got off-planet was via the Force.
  • Even if his X-Wing was in perfect condition, he doesn't have their location or a tracking beacon like Rey has. Even if he had their location he probably couldn't have made it in time. Easiest way was to use his link with Leia and just flow through the force.
  • I gave it some thought, and I think it's because if he actually shows up, and loses to Kylo Ren, Kylo would gain significant glory and power for having personally defeated the symbol of hope that the rebels have. We've also seen that in the Star Wars world, Jedi and Sith often complete their training by achieving certain accomplishments, such as how Luke was considered a Master after he successfully defeats Vader and refuses Sidious' offer. Luke would also heavily humiliate Kylo Ren in front of his men by tricking Kylo to waste significant firepower, resources and time just to attack an illusion.
  • So why not at least fly a lot closer? Maybe at close range he could have done the astral projection trick, and lived to tell the tale, instead of, y'know, doing it from the other side of the galaxy.
    • The possibility of his X-wing not being in the condition to fly him closer still stands. Also, since Ahch-To is apparently strong with the Force and he'd been cut off from it for so long, he might have needed to be on it so he'd have the strength to send the projection at all.
  • Luke meant it when he said nothing would get him off Atch-To; while Rey and Artoo awoke why he became a Jedi and Yoda helping him understand that failure is a teacher, he also carries enough guilt that he can't physically be Luke Skywalker, "''a legend'" again. As Rey noted later, there was peace and content in Luke passing on. The victory wasn't fighting Kylo Ren; the victory was establishing the message to both sides that there was hope and a new beginning of the Jedi religion once more.

     If Luke just wanted to vanish from the galaxy and never be found, why go to that planet? 
  • He claims he went to the most difficult place to find, but that's far from true. If Luke could find it, others would be capable of finding as well. And any place that has a Jedi Temple of any sort, let alone the original Jedi Temple, is exactly the sort of place people will look for when seeking the last of the Jedi. If he truly wanted to just disappear, he could've picked a random uninhabited planet and found a cave on it to live in. Or for that matter just leave the galaxy entirely, and just allow himself to die in the middle of empty space. Instead he goes to a place important enough for there to exist a map leading to it.
    The idea that Luke's sole intention was to just disappear reeks of a poorly-thought-out retcon during the script rewrites, since Ahch-To is such a terrible choice for that purpose.
    • It was still a very remote location with seemingly no space traffic coming or going from it. In a galaxy filled with bounty hunters, the best place to lay low would be a low-tech planet with no visitors. Much the same as Yoda chose Dagobah. Even the First Order, who had the old Imperial star charts, did not know where exactly it was. Luke seemed to be suffering from severe depression. He even sunk his X-wing rather than keep it flight-ready in case he needed to leave.
      • The point remains that the best place to hide is the place people wouldn't even think to look for you. If Luke's only priority was hiding then he by all rights should've done the same thing as Yoda did with Dagobah: pick a completely uninhabited planet with no previous connection to the Jedi or himself. Instead Luke goes to a planet that might be difficult to find, but certainly not impossible and proceeds to set up camp in apparently the only population center on the entire planet. Meaning that if and when anybody does find Ahch-To, that inherently means they've also found Luke. Normally a planet is such a huge place that simply finding it doesn't mean you've found a person who lives on it, but when 99% of the planet is underwater and the person you're looking for is human, you can instantly narrow it down before even leaving orbit to that one archipelago that has buildings on it. Another reason why Ahch-To is such a terrible place to hide.
      • Also, I recall that the original Empire in the original "Empire Strikes Back" solved the "we don't know where our enemy is" problem with an elegant method of "send a buttload of droids to every planet and look for them". I don't see why this Empire couldn't have done the same - they clearly don't lack resources.
      • The Empire was looking for an army. That is slightly harder to hide than one person.
      • And the FO was looking for a huge temple complex. That's even harder to hide than a concealed military base.
      • "Huge temple complex" is perhaps overstating what's on Ahch-To a little here. From the outside, it's basically some ramshackle stone huts and an old tree, it's not exactly the Vatican or anything. The temple itself seems to be built into the natural rock formations without any exterior changes. Anyone who didn't already know what it was might just think it was a primitive village and overlook it.
      • Considering that it took bucketloads of time and effort for anyone to actually find Luke in the first place, it clearly wasn't a particularly terrible place to hide. It's not like the location of Ahch-To is common knowledge in the galaxy, it's clearly been lost to the mists of time. While no hiding place is 100% unfindable, he clearly didn't do too badly under the circumstances. Also, Luke himself says it; he didn't go there to hide, he went there to die. He feels that the Jedi Order has outlived its usefulness, and symbolically where better for it to end than where it begin? Honestly, he's clearly so beaten down and depressed in the movie that he probably honestly doesn't care if the First Order eventually find him and come knocking.
    • Luke tells Rey that he went there to die, but was that his original motivation? Perhaps he originally wanted to see if he could find answers to what he did wrong in losing Ben Solo, but when he found the temple and read the sacred Jedi texts he found they didn't help him. Then he decided that the Jedi were only making things worse, that they should end and that he would stay there until he did too. So what he told Rey was true from a certain point of view.

    R2-D 2 and his map 
  • So given how Luke didn't want to be discovered to the point that he has shut himself off from the Force and resents Rey being anywhere near him, why did he leave R2-D2 a map in The Force Awakens that led to his planet?
    • R2-D2 didn't have the map. R2-D2 had all the rest of the Galactic Map that the Imperials had collated, but the piece that lead to the First Jedi Temple was missing from his star charts (the missing piece is the McGuffin of TFA and itself could only be made sense of when slotted into the rest of the Imperial's star charts).
    • Or maybe Luke did not intend to die on that planet at first, and really did intend to go there to find the Jedi texts and learn more. He spent at least a few years in exile, more than enough time to change his mind.
    • Luke had to find the First Jedi Temple somehow. If you know where he went, but don't know where that is, the map isn't necessarily to him, it's to where he went.

     Luke using the blue lightsaber 
  • When Luke shows up at the end, isn't it kind of risky to be creating an illusion of the blue lightsaber? Sure, Luke may not know it had just been destroyed, but he did know it was in Rey's possession last. So if he uses it, isn't it more likely that Kylo will figure out he's just an illusion and will abandon him to go after the Resistance? Why not use the green one? Or even no lightsaber at all, given how he never actually crosses blades with Kylo. You could argue the ruse was already up when Luke wasn't affected by the walkers firing at him, but even when he appears at the base, he had the blue blade with him.
    • Well, by the time he pulls it out, he's already gotten what he wanted: Kylo enraged and wasting time on him. Kylo doesn't think straight when he's pissed off, so maybe Luke figured he'd either recognize the family saber and get even angrier, or that he wouldn't and would just assume Luke had made another one.
    • None of his appearance matches the actual Luke - his haircut fits his Jedi school time, the time Kylo would have last seen him (contemplating whether or not to murder him), his black-and-white robes somewhat resemble his Rot J outfit. The whole appearance can have two explanations in my opinion: Either it's designed to enrage Kylo as much as possible or it shows Luke at the moment he was most sure of himself as a Jedi.
    • Star Wars Explained offers another explanation. To summarize his theory, in addition to riling Kylo up, Luke's projection was also intended to inspire hope in the resistance. In order to achieve the maximum effect, he projected himself as what he perceived to be his most heroic form. He didn't use the green lightsaber because he used it in his most shameful moment, contemplating killing his own nephew, so he used the only other lightsaber he was known to use. Admittedly, this was the same lightsaber that Anakin used to kill children, but Luke might not know about that or if he does, he wasn't the one to do it, so he doesn't feel the same shame.
    • I figured he might have intended it to be Obi-Wan's lightsaber. Kylo presumably knows the story of Anakin and Obi-Wan, and so its would have been really symbolic in regard to both Vader/Obi-Wan duels.
      • The hilt is Anakin's design, however. Ironically, it was the green lightsaber that had the same design as Obi-Wan's.

     Rose didn't think things through 
  • So Rose didn't want Finn to sacrifice himself to save the Resistance, fine. What doesn't make sense is that in order to stop Finn from dying, she rammed her speeder into his, which almost killed him and wounded her enough that she needed immediate medical attention to say nothing of the two of them being in the middle of a field with the First Order approaching and no vehicles to escape in. So her actions seem hypocritical and pointless. Also, while it is nice that she didn't want Finn sacrificing himself, he could have ensured their safety long enough for them to escape. She had no way of knowing if Luke Skywalker would hold off the First Order or if they could find a way to escape. Finn's actions could have been their only chance of surviving.
    • Love isn't always rational. Either she rams him and he may die, or she doesn't and he definitely will die. Her idea was that that they couldn't just keep throwing themselves at the enemy. That got Paige killed and accomplished basically nothing in the long run. They were just lurching from conflict to conflict slowly bleeding manpower.
      • Or, in other words, fighting a war. A loosing war, sure, but you never know for sure. Tides turn. They accomplished the destruction of an enemy capital ship, likely very expensive and hardly expendable one. How can you call it "nothing"? How were they supposed to win otherwise?
    • Even so, the logical outcome of her ramming plan would be that she and Poe wind up on foot, and then they both get killed by the First Order AT-ATs long before they can reach the base. (It's like half a mile away.) And also the battering ram cannon blasts through the front door and all the Resistance fighters get killed. If she saved Finn because she wanted to try some other plan that involved saving the Resistance, or even just saving Finn in a more permanent way, that would make more sense. Instead she just goes it without a plan. IT's quite irrational, as you say.
    • The situation does look pretty hopeless, so she likely did it out of pure emotion and at least saving him from sacrificing himself in the moment. Anyone of them flying that close at that moment with those shoddy ships likely had low odds of making it back at that point anyway.
    • But she was practically betraying the Resistance and condemning all their comrades to death! Even if her "rescue" hadn't been pointless, that's still a reprehensible act. And the explanation she gives Finn... I could understand if Finn was indeed making a choice between attacking the enemy, perhaps needlessly, and saving his friends, but at the moment those were one and the same! What was it about?
    • Realistically, at that moment they were probably dead either way. Seriously, does anyone honestly think Finn remotely stood a chance to make any meaningful dent in the Mini Death Star Battering Ram Thing? It fired seconds after he was knocked out of its path, would have punched through him like tissue paper, and even if he had somehow managed to stop it chances are it would only have delayed the inevitable. So, based on the information Rose has at that moment, either Rose dies watching Finn pointlessly throw his life away for no reason whatsoever or she dies trying to save the life of someone she has come to care deeply for.
      • Finn's attempted sacrifice may not have been in vain; Death Star technology has proven to be as unstable as it is powerful; it's implied (and all but spelled out in the case of Star Killer base) that destroying the weak spot in each super-weapon destabilizes the energy already stored within, releasing the power to destroy a planet within said weapon. All Finn had to do was knock a single lens, focuser, or other vital component out of whack and the cannon would essentially blow itself up.
      • The cannon's target was more than several miles away. Even being a handful of degrees off-target at that range would have made a difference. Also, as frail as they appear, those speeders should easily weigh 40 tons apiece (about the same as an 18 wheeler) and pushing a speed of around a hundred MPH. As small as they were in comparison to the cannon, that's not an insignificant impact.
      • 40 tons? Overall, they appear to be about the same size as a WWII fighter plane, if not smaller. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, famous in its time for being huge for a fighter plane, weighs 12,000lbs, or about 6 tons, fully loaded. The somewhat smaller Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was about 8,000lbs, or 4 tons. A four-engined heavy bomber, such as the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, clocked in at 65,000 pounds, or about 32 tons, fully loaded with fuel and bombs.

     Rose trusts Finn 
  • When Rose first meets Finn, she regards him as a hero. Then a minute later she realizes that he's trying to run away, so she tazes him, calls him a coward, and hauls him off to the brig. Then Finn mentions the idea of hyperspace tracking, they talk for maybe two minutes, and suddenly she trusts him so much that not only is she supporting him, but she follows him along on a dangerous mission in violation of Holdo's orders. That's some serious whiplash, and it doesn't make any sense. If she's willing to capture deserters, she should also be willing to tell her superiors about the plan and obey their orders.
    • Note she isn't willing to go along with the plan until she realizes how low on options they are. She's not in the most rational of states either given she is still grieving.
    • It's also how the conversation plays out: he explains he was leaving to protect Rey, because if the First Order can track the ship, they can find out where Rey is, and Kylo Ren wants Rey alive. Then when he mentions the tracking through hyperspace, they start talking alternatives. From what Rose knows, Finn's reason to leave was selfish for the Resistance, but selfish in that he wanted to protect someone he cared about deeply. Finn at that point isn't scared to die; he's scared to lose another loved one. Rose can understand that, having just lost her sister. She trusts for the casino plan to work, because Finn has a reason to want the plan to work: to save Rey. As they go through the mission, she sees that he is more than that, and he makes it clear he wants to help everyone.
    • Rose also doesn't realise that the situation is worse than she thinks. Note how she starts paying a lot more attention to him when he points out that the First Order can somehow track them through hyperspace, which makes his claims that he's trying to get away to protect someone else — which might initially seem like the lame excuses of a Dirty Coward otherwise — start to sound a lot more credible.

    Rose ramming 
  • On a related note: If Rose could speed on over to Finn fast enough to crash into his speeder, why didn't she just crash into the cannon herself?
    • Because that leads to the same problem, just with a different person dead. Assuming she even thought that through enough.
    • Also because it would have done nothing to alter Finn's course—he still might have crashed into the cannon, either because he's too close to stop the speeder or because he's even angrier now with Rose dead.
    • Better question is how she managed to get that angle. Finn is traveling a straight line between himself and the weapon. Rose had turned and returned to the base, saw Finn didn't, took a curved line and then still managed to catch Finn while covering more distance and being under enemy fire.

    Finn and Rose parking 
  • Was there a reason given why Finn and Rose parked their ship in the wrong place? It's a spaceship - obviously it will be spotted, so there's no use in hiding it, and what was wrong with landing it in the spaceport or something? Don't tell me they didn't have any money to pay for it - how they were going to recruit their master-hacker then?
    • They did not have time to waste on inspection and paperwork with immigration, I guess. They probably underestimated how soon their ship would be found.
      • They were told they had landed their ship in an illegal area shortly after landing. They were busted before they even entered the buildings. Not moving the ship is a sign of either extreme stupidity or a ridiculous level of arrogance. Neither reflects well on the two.
      • Also, "inspection, immigration"? It's a gambling den. As far as everyone was aware, they're just a couple seeking to relax and waste their year's savings, just as everybody else were. If there was a place with lax (or at least easily laxable) entry procedures, that would be it.
    • They're inexperienced (and perhaps a bit overconfident), they're under stress, they're trying to keep under the radar, they don't have any kind of papers or clearances that officials at a port might demand to see before allowing them to dock, they don't look like the casino's typical clientele, and they're kind of on a ticking clock. Stupid, perhaps, but it's not egregiously so under the circumstances. You're judging them as someone looking at them from the outside with the benefit of seeing all aspects of what's going on and the luxury of not being in the actual situation having to actually work under the same stresses the characters are having to deal with.
    • As for the money, they're friends of Maz, who the master-codebreaker apparently is as well. They were likely planning on appealing to his existing friendship with Maz, her sympathies with the Resistance and his own possible better nature as well.
  • "they don't look like the casino's typical clientele". You're right, they don't. So much so, in fact, that it begs the question how were they even admitted in? Actually, that would've been a much more believable explanation for their arrest, fitting with the whole "den of corrupt rich assholes" theme: they're denied entrance, sneak in otherwise but are caught.
    • Casinos tend to always be looking for more suckers to get money from. They don't care if the suckers are rich or poor or whatever, so long as they can get money from them. They don't want to keep people out, they want to keep people in. A lot of casino design (no windows or clocks visible, free drinks, etc.) is done to exactly that end.

     Finn and Rose's romance 
  • Rose rams Finn in order to save him from his own suicide run, and afterwards they kiss. Wait, what? Did these two fall in love at some point? Because as far as I could tell, they've known each other for maybe one day, and they spent that whole time running around on this secret mission.
    • She hero worshiped him, they share a romantic ride at night on an alien planet, and she probably thought she was about to die and wanted to go out in a romantic way.
    • The hero worship was quickly undercut by his attempted desertion; she actually tased him and hauled him of to the brig! The "romantic ride" had little time for romance, since they were fleeing for their lives and the safety of the whole Resistance was at stake. The best explanation here is that she figured she was going to die soon anyway so she figured "Why not?".
      • The hero-worship very likely came back when she saw him willing to die to give the Resistance a fighting chance. His character made a giant leap from "This is a doomed fleet so I'm deserting it so I can stop my friend from coming back to it" to "We're down to a dozen people but I'm still going to ram this ship down that giant cannon so they can escape." If audiences are meant to see how this formerly cowardly, looking-out-for-myself ex-Stormtrooper became willing to die for the cause, then Rose was meant to see it too.
    • It isn't really a romance (yet); Rose kissed Finn, they didn't kiss each other, and afterwards Finn looked very confused.
    • Finn just defected from the First Order and got mixed up in the Resistance. Rose just lost her sister. Both are in a rather intense life-or-death situation. Poorly-considered affairs under circumstances such as this are not unheard of.
    • She's attracted to him from the start, is in a situation where she thinks she's about to die, and gives him a little peck on the lips. This isn't exactly a sudden romance-of-the-ages here.

     Put Poe in the brig 
  • Poe shows up on the bridge (again), learns that they're fueling the transports, and then loudly accuses Holdo of both cowardice and treason. Holdo orders him off the bridge...but why doesn't she have him thrown in the brig? This guy is clearly on the verge of mutiny. Surely the normal procedure here is to have the guy locked up for insubordination. Instead she lets him wander around freely, which gives him all the time he needs to stage an actual mutiny. What an Idiot!.
    • Despite her superior attitude, Holdo had to be aware that this was a no-win situation. Poe is the man who blew up Starkiller Base after all. Leia could get away with disciplining him. But for Holdo to throw him in the brig would have likely have only resulted in his friends and supporters mutinying anyway. At this point the number of Resistance personnel was low as it was, even including attempted deserters that were already in the brig.
    • A better question is why she didn't tell him right then and there what the real plan was. Up to that point, she had the excuse that he was being insubordinate and had gotten a bunch of his own team killed. There however, he had flat-out said that her plan was crazy and doomed to fail, and the her response of a worried look and awkward silence only made it seem like he was right, which in turn led to several officers siding with him and relieving her of command, putting her actual plan in danger! Whatever (arguably flimsy) justifications she may have had up to that point for keeping her plan secret, the fact that she continued to do so even after Poe was doing all that is just plain stupid.
    • This is covered above, but it's when Holdo shares the plan that the First Order finds it out, so even after the mutiny, her decision can come off as justified to not let just anyone know because of how easily the wrong people get it. That’s on top of Poe having no obligation to know in the chain of command. Her awkward silence might be interpreted in different ways and maybe she could have at least said something reassuring at that moment, but maybe she did get the feeling that Poe was stoking a mutiny against her at that moment and underestimated how insubordinate he would be.
    • Wait, is that how it happened? I seem to remember that Poe finds out about transports (just by seeing the refueling status on a screen), but doesn't find out about the cloaking devices. Then he radios Finn and tells him about the transports. DJ independently figures out that the transports probably have cloaks. Finn and Rose continue their mission, it fails, and then Holdo tells Poe about the cloaking devices. Right? Because if Poe had known earlier that the transports had cloaking devices, then he would have radioed Finn and told him to abandon the mission, because there'd be no point in disabling the tracker if they're going to escape with cloaks regardless. So if Holdo had just told Poe about the cloaks in the first place, this wouldn't have happened. And if Holdo hadn't let Poe onto the bridge and let him see the partial plan, this wouldn't have happened. And if Holdo had let him onto the bridge but then thrown him in the brig (and taken away his radio) after his outburst, this wouldn't have happened. There's no scenario I can think of that lets Holdo off the hook. Sure you can blame Poe and Finn for being impulsive, but you can't deny that Holdo could've handled this a lot better.

     Why does Snoke care so much about Luke? 
  • If we're to believe Snoke is telling Rey the truth, it seems that his plan was simply to use her to find Luke and then kill her. He doesn't seem to be interested in trying to turn her to the Dark Side or anything. But this begs the question, why does Snoke care so much about Luke, to the point of making Large Ham speeches about bombing entire Ahch-To to oblivion just to make sure he's dead? At this point it would seem evident that Luke doesn't care about the Resistance and is intent on dying on his island; from Rey's mind Snoke can read that even Han's death and Leia's pleas for help didn't change his mind. (At this point neither Rey nor Snoke knows that he's decided to help the Resistance after all.) And Snoke displays such aptitude in Force that even Luke would have a hard time defeating him, especially if he has Kylo Ren at his side. So why does Snoke pull such a risky scheme that could potentially alienate Kylo and make him turn against Snoke (which is indeed what happens) just so he could reach a guy who has given up the Force, who poses little threat to him, and who isn't even interested in fighting him?
    • Remember, Rey (and perhaps Leia) are the only ones who really know that Luke has given up. As far as everyone else knows, he’s still out there plotting some big Jedi plan to strike back against the First Order. So by killing Luke, Snoke hoped it would severely demoralize the Resistance and see how futile their efforts were. Also recall that Luke is still seen as a living legend by many. I’m sure even Snoke knows this. The fact that Luke doesn’t want to fight anymore wouldn’t even bother him — it’d just make things easier for Snoke to blow him and his planet into oblivion. Killing Luke would be a symbolic gesture, his way of saying, “Look, I managed to kill your so-called ‘living legend’. If he couldn’t beat me, what hope could you possibly have?”
    • To the above, indeed Snoke had no idea Luke had given up. He outright expresses surprise at Luke's "wisdom" once he gets that knowledge from Rey. Course the symbolic meaning of killing Luke and ending the Jedi by his own hand remains a motivation for him. Also, Snoke did have some desire to turn Rey to the Dark Side, it's only after meeting her that he determines she has the "heart of a true Jedi" and thus won't turn.
    • Snoke also utterly fears Luke Skywalker. He knows that the Force will always balance itself, and he says himself that, "Darkness rises — and light to meet it" originally believing it to mean that Skywalker was the one destined to become stronger, then meeting Rey and realising that she is the one the Light has called to counter him and Ben. Killing Rey solves the immediate problem, but what if the Force decides to rebalance itself through Luke. Even if it doesn't and chooses another unknown, just because Luke hasn't taken any apparent action now, doesn't mean that he won't change his mind, after all, Rey did witness that Luke had reopened himself to the Force both when he called the aerial to him in the staff fight against Rey and again in a much more subtle way when he uses the Force to break his fall when Rey swings the lightsaber at him. Snoke can't take the chance that now that Luke is once more accessible by the Force the Force won't do something to get him back in the fight (and, of course, it does by sending Yoda to give him a much need kick in the cassocks).

     Snoke and the Great Bipolar Disorder 
  • In The Force Awakens, Snoke is calm and collected throughout the entire runtime (the only time he raises his voice is to shout at Hux, and that was only a mild rebuke). He's so low-key that even the destruction of Starkiller Base fails to phase him. Come The Last Jedi, and when Hux loses a single ship, Snoke loses his composure entirely and smacks the guy around as if he were a rag doll. Keep in mind that these two events happened only minutes apart, so there's no way for Snoke to experience any Character Development. Just to make things more confusing, he does nothing more than shout at Hux and throw him around the room — hardly the way a dignified villain such as Snoke should act. If anything, that will weaken his hold over his officersnote 
    • One was the destruction of a weapon that had already fulfilled its purpose (and seemingly only had two shots until it exhausted its power source) which was destroyed by crazy off the wall tactics and inside knowledge. The other was 100% incompetence. As for not killing him or getting rid of him; well it really depends on how much the FO has in terms of replacements. If Hux is the highest-ranking military leader they have then Snoke probably doesn't have a lot of options for replacement or at least not ones he can so easily manipulate.
    • The movie goes out of its way to portray Hux as an idiot. Am I seriously supposed to believe that Snoke can't find one officer in his entire military who could be a better leader than Hux? Or, failing that, take control of it himself? He certainly wasn't too busy to join the party with his own flagship.
    • Indeed. An organisation like the FO should be crawling with eager and ambitious officers eager to prove themselves, especially with the Supreme Leader himself watching. And yet Snoke keeps Hux in charge because... "he's a mad dog whose anger can be easily directed". So that mad dog spends the next few hours playing it incredibly safely instead of crushing the Resistance immediately with brute force and zero regards for casualties. What sense does that make?
  • One could say the same for General Hux. TFA Hux (apart from that Large Ham Hitler-speech) was mostly a sinister, calm, cool and competent military commander whereas TLA Hux is a shrieking, mincing, incompetent Large Ham Butt-Monkey dork.
    • Snoke has other plans (Kylo Ren, finding Luke, Rey, Force Bond, ECT.) He doesn't have time to find a replacement and doing so is small compared to everything else.

     Kylo's Split From The Jedi Order 
  • So by Luke's account, Kylo recruited five of his fellow Jedi trainees and butchered the rest. Had he and the other five been planning a schism in advance, or did he offer them a "join me or I'll chop your arms and legs off" deal on the spot? If it was the former, how did Luke not catch on?
    • Well, both Luke & Leia believe that Snoke had begun tempting Ben long before that night and this movie establishes that Snoke was capable of doing somewhat casually a feat that proved fatal to Luke - projecting Force telepathy across interstellar distances. Safe to assume, until demonstrated otherwise, that Snoke was visiting the young Jedi from afar and Ben was the only one who couldn't hide it.
    • If Ben had sowing seeds for a schism over time, Luke not catching it may well have simply been his own hubris - something Luke admits to. Once he agreed to take Ben in, it seems to be implied that put a lot of focus on the boy and believed in his own legend so much that he didn't catch it until it was too late: not unlike the fallen Jedi Order he had been trying to model himself after.
    • It certainly is confusing that they would have this tidbit included if we're supposed to feel sorry for Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Granted, Luke was controlled by fear for a moment and this isn't good in a master/mentor trying to help you. But, the fact that Ben seems to have cultivated a following with like-minded individuals ready to fall with him, and Luke sensing all the darkness and the screams of likely potential victims in Ben, leads to the implication that Ben was likely to fall one way or another regardless of Luke's actions that night or his prior attempts at helping Ben reform. The sense that Ben was always going to listen to his darker impulses makes it harder to sympathise with him and believe that Luke's knee-jerk reaction to kill him was somewhat justified to spare billions of people's lives.
    • It's also possible turning them wasn't pre-meditated, but another consequence of Luke's Moment of Weakness. If Kylo told them about Luke trying to murder him in his sleep (from his perspective), some of the students might have joined him on the spot out of shock, fear, and horror. It would also make Luke's failure that much harsher.
    • It's likely a nasty fight like that got everyone's attention, and there was mass confusion. We have thirteen students. Five of the students sided with Ben. Seven sided with Luke. It's possible that Ben and his loyalists suspected Luke was going to betray them, and caught the seven who sided with Luke off guard as they had no reason to suspect that Luke would pull a damn Jedi Covenant stunt or that their fellow students would turn on them. Ben's loyalists knew that the axe was going to fall, and were a lot more prepared for when things did go off the rails.
    • That does still leave the question of when and where they all got matching black leather outfits and masks without anyone suspecting anything amiss.
    • Snoke is capable of forging Force Bond between two people, one of whom he hasn't even seen. Kylo may have been the one Luke drew lightsaber on, but others already affected by Snoke's corruption may have perceived same thing, just illusionary.

     Kylo's betrayal of Snoke 
  • Snoke muses that he can sense that Kylo is about to kill his "true enemy", and then he kills Snoke. So I guess Snoke is his true enemy, then. But why? When Vader turned against Palpatine, it's because Palpatine was murdering Luke right in front of him, so the love he had for his son overrode the loyalty he felt toward his master. But Kylo's motivation is much weaker, if it's even there at all. I guess he's upset because Snoke insulted him earlier in the film? Or maybe he cares about Rey, and he's unwilling to kill her? They try to play up that latter angle, since Kylo asks Rey to join him a moment later. But Kylo and Rey have had maybe six conversations at this point, they're not related by blood, and they don't have much in common other than the fact that they're both powerful force users. I don't see why Kylo would care about her very much. And if his unwillingness to kill her is what motivates him to turn, let's note that it takes maybe ten minutes before he decides that he does want to kill her. (This in contrast to Vader, who had no intention of killing his son, and did everything he could to have him captured alive.)
    • Kylo's motto through this movie is that holding onto the past is the "true enemy" that must be destroyed or killed, and he's come to regard Snoke as part of that, and as such he has to be killed so Kylo can continue to realize the destiny he is seeking for himself. Snoke's treatment of him may have been a catalyst, but his action was already part of his belief system about the past holding him back. As for his flip flopping attitudes toward Rey, he had come to see her as a kindred spirit thanks to Snoke's mental manipulations, and really seemed to want his vision of her turning to the dark side to come true (the fact that he knew Snoke had manipulated his mind didn't remove the feelings he was experiencing). Becoming then willing to kill her when she refuses to turn is pretty in character though given his unstable nature and tendency to see Murder Is the Best Solution toward so many situations. And likewise by refusing to turn and abandon her past, Rey became something holding him back, and Kylo's philosophy is to kill what holds him back.
    • To Kylo, Snoke was another manipulative tutor, forcing him down a path that didn't fit the destiny Ben saw for himself. He wanted to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Rey wasn't a part of his past, but of his present, and he felt similar feelings of inner conflict in her. However they arrived at the same conclusion - that you decide who you are going to be, and your own destiny - from opposite paths which coloured their approaches; Ben had a legacy and a "destiny" that he didn't want and weighed on him, while Rey desperately wanted a legacy to explain who she was and what she needed to do. Once Rey decided their approaches to the same problem of creating your own identity were too different, she changed in Kylo's eyes into a reminder of the past to be done away with.
    • It was the Rule of Two playing its natural course. Kylo Ren already saw a potential apprentice in Rey back in the Force Awakens and was disillusioned with Snoke when his patricide did not bring him the promised peace of mind. Without Rey he could not kill Snoke, but with her he saw an opportunity to be the master instead of the servant, to achieve what Vader never could, yo "finish what he started" if you would. Furthermore Rey and Ren can relate to each other loneliness and disappointment in their respective fathers both biological and "adoptive".
    • Also note that Kylo isn't exactly an emotionally mature individual; he's called a "child" multiple times (by Snoke and Luke) and reacts like a kid throwing a tantrum when he's angry. Mission to capture the droid failed? Lash out and destroy the console. Reprimanded by Snoke? Lash out and destroy his helmet. And so on. His reaction to Rey leaving is essentially the same thing—didn't get what he wanted, lash out. In lieu of actually having anything to destroy (the room's falling apart, and as much as he hates Hux he doesn't seem to make a habit of killing his subordinates), that lashing takes the form of declaring he'll kill her. So it's likely he genuinely wanted to save her so We Can Rule Together, got upset when she refused, and overreacted in typical Kylo fashion—the last time he sees her he's a lot calmer and just stares with this kind of regret on his face, not the hate or anger you'd expect if that statement had been heartfelt.
    • A key theme through out the sequel trilogy so far is also that Kylo Ren talks a big game about how pure in the dark side he is, how he's cutting himself off from his past entirely, etc., but isn't quite as certain about his confident declarations in practice as he is in rhetoric, and when the disconnect becomes too much he lashes out in anger. He has some kind of connection with Rey and reaches out to him. Rey rejects him. He lashes out and decides to kill her. It fits a pattern we've seen throughout the movies so far.
    • Master is any Sith apprentice's truest enemy. Snoke may not have seen himself and Kylo as Sith, but a guy who up until recently tried to follow in the footsteps on of one of the most iconic Sith in the galaxy sure is as Sith as it gets.
  • What precisely did Snoke foresee? (And similarly, what precisely did Emperor Palpatine foresee in Return of the Jedi when he talks about having foreseen what was happening?) Clearly, they hadn't foreseen what would actually happen, even though what happened fit the prophesies' Exact Words. Normally, one would foresee the events, then use words to describe them.
    • He has to care more about her than the guy that abused him and openly gloat about violating his mind. Plus he gets an empire by doing that.
  • "Master is any Sith apprentice's truest enemy". That is so true that I have an opposite problem from the OP. Namely, how could Snoke not expect a betrayal from Kylo and how could sensing the "true enemy" vibe not alarm him? Not only should any significantly powerful Sith be Properly Paranoid by default, but Rey barely classifies as Kylo's enemy, let alone the "true one"! The entirety of their mutual grudges by that point amounted to him killing a guy she barely knew and her besting him in a meaningless fight, which both seemed to have pretty much got over. She'd never thwarted his plans in any significant way, and even their allegiance to opposing factions didn't seem to affect their personal relations that much, and after learning the truth about the circumstances of his fall, Rey was clearly sympathetic to him. Snoke could expect Kylo to obey his order, but there's no reason Kylo would've been eager to do so. I guess, if you squint really hard, you could say that she was the enemy in the sense that she was trying to sway him from the Dark Side, but that's really contrived and besides, she'd failed in that, meaning that Kylo would rather regard her as a potential convertee at best and a nuisance at worst.
    • You mean a villain was short-sighted, overconfident and thought he knew everything when he didn't? What a shocker.
    • Well, kinda, yes. Because short-sightedness or overconfidence are not, or at least should not be a get-out-of-jail-free cards for any dumb decision a character makes. Weaknesses should be at least somewhat consistent with their character. Not to shy from the obvious comparison, when Palpatine was caught of guard by Vader, the latter was performing a Heroic Sacrifice out of fatherly attachment. Concepts that should be utterly alien to the Emperor, so it's understandable that he wouldn't expect it. Hell, take the grand twist of the prequels (yes, I'm doing that too). Clones were just as serene and obedient as ever when they received Order 66, so the Jedi couldn't sense a change in their disposition and were caught off guard - and it was deliberately designed that way by Palpatine. More or less makes sense. Now compare this scene. Snoke has trained Kylo in the way of the Dark Side, the way of treachery. It was a relationship built upon the premise of constantly expecting betrayal from each other. And then Kylo tricked him by loudly broadcasting "I'm going to kill you" right into his head? What was is that Snoke "didn't know"? This is no more believable than if Snoke just fell down a manhole because he was too arrogant to look where he was going.

     Rey not killing Kylo 
  • Why doesn't Rey kill Kylo after she comes to after their fight? He refused her offer for redemption, and it's clear that he'll continue to be a threat to the Resistance and the galaxy, as long as he's allowed to live. Neither is there any indication of Rey being too Lawful Stupid (or brainwashed by the Jedi) to finish an unconscious enemy. So what gives?
    • She's not that cold blooded, apparently, and getting the hell out of there took priority. You don't have to be "brainwashed" to not want to murder an unconscious, defenseless person. Plus, what's she going to kill him with? Her lightsaber's broken, they almost certainly would've taken her blaster, and Kylo Ren's lightsaber was knocked across the room earlier. She and Kylo were knocked out at the same time by the same thing, so she probably didn't think she had the time to go looking for a weapon before he woke up. The other option is to strangle him, and if Kylo wakes up in the middle of that — extremely likely — he's going to overpower her, easily. So what most likely happened is, she just got up, marveled that she was somehow still alive, grabbed the pieces of Anakin's saber and GTFO before either Kylo woke up or guards arrived.
    • They've just killed a dozen armed guards. Floor should be littered with weapons. And the guy murdered his own father in cold blood (and also, you know, tons of other people). Executing him would've been justice, not murder.
    • Because most people with halfway functioning moral compasses would probably have some issues and difficulties with cold-bloodedly murdering a defenceless, unconscious person just to save them some possible problems down the line. That's the kind of thing Kylo Ren himself would probably do, and the whole point of the movie is that for all their similarities ultimately Rey is a better person than Kylo's, and part of what makes her a better person is not ruthlessly murdering her enemies when they can't fight back. Besides which, just because he's rejected her offers of redemption once doesn't mean he can't still be redeemed later. After all, Luke Skywalker never gave up hope that Darth Vader for all his sins could one day redeem himself, so why should Rey give up on Kylo? What kind of hero would she be if she did?
    • And remember also that the moral dilemma faced by Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi was whether or not to strike down Darth Vader at a point when he was defeated and incapable of fighting back... and he refuses to do so, because that would be murdering someone in anger and would corrupt him. The movies clearly take the moral position that killing a defenceless person = bad, no matter what the person has done previously.
    • In fact, if we've reached the point where we're trying to seriously ask the question "why didn't the hero of a Star Wars movie cold-bloodedly murder the villain when they were powerless and incapable of fighting back?" as if it were a Headscratcher, then frankly I suspect we've reached the point where we're just being a little bit petty and looking for things to complain about.

    Luke's half-baked distraction 
  • So, Luke shows up to distract Kylo and give the others time to escape. Except, how was it going to work in his mind? Escape only became an option once, a) foxes showed them the way out, and b) Rey arrived and cleared up the exit, neither of which had he anything to do with, as far as we saw (and if you want to say that he directed those foxes through Force or something, what was stopping him from doing that before a ton more people got killed?). And why didn't he tell Poe the plan (I'm sensing a pattern here...)? Yes, I know, Poe had to "learn a lesson", but all their lives were at stake, and Luke couldn't have known how things would turn out, could he? On the contrary, after he seemingly survived that blast, the logical thing for the rebels to assume would've been that he's invincible and is going to kill/scare all the imperials away know, so they should sit tight and wait for him to do so and come back, or indeed help him. This was the absolutely worst moment to start fulfilling his Trickster Mentor quota and giving out SecretTestOfCharacters!
    • Luke trusted in The Force at that point that things would work out. He would have known as well as the others that Chewy and Rey were nearby, and you're seeing a Luke with faith again.
    • Right. He got into this entire mess by acting irrationally, so sure, acting irrationally again is going to fix it. Also, trust in the Force is fine but isn't the core tenant of any informed belief that it's ok to hope for help from the Higher Powers, but one shouldn't rely solely on them? Wasn't there an educational episode about a Light Side Master refusing an offer from a Sith to jump of a roof just to test if the Force would arrest his fall, because that's not how the Force works?

    Why is it so important for Rey who her parents are? 
  • During The Force Awakens, Maz forces Rey to confront the reality that the people she is waiting for are never coming back and that the family she wants is not found in her past, but in her future. It's an emotional moment that brings Rey to tears, since waiting for her family to come back for her has been a driving motivator for her. But thanks to Maz that is now resolved. So why is so much importance put on Rey trying to find out who her parents are and why is so much emphasis put on Kylo Ren revealing that her parents were nobodies who sold her for booze money? Even if Rey still wants to find her family, she never expressed any desire for, or believe in them to be important people. They seemed perfectly fine with the idea that her parents were just normal people the whole time.
    • Most deep-seeded psychological issues are not solved in a single conversation.
      • True, but wanting for her parents to be important people, to the point that them being random nobodies is presented as an unwelcome revelation, has never been established as being a deep-seated psychological issue with Rey. Just that she was waiting for them to return to her.
      • Sure it has. It's the classic Changeling Fantasy. Just because she didn't say it doesn't mean she doesn't want her parents to have been important — for there to have been some important reason for them to ditch her. I'd venture to say that most children want to believe their parents are important, and "they sold you for drinking money" is obviously going to be unwelcome to hear. Nobody wants to hear that their parents — the people who are supposed to love and cherish and take care of them — literally sold them for a few drinks. That really should go without saying.

        Picture this. You're Rey. You've been waiting for your parents for a decade and a half. To cope with abandonment, you're basically in denial, telling yourself of course they'll come back, they just had very important business to do in the meantime. They didn't abandon you, they hid you, to keep you safe from their enemies! Yeah, they must be rebels or something!

        And then you not only are drawn to the most (in)famous lightsaber in the galaxy, but find out you have the Force! You must be related to the Skywalkers or some Jedi or something from all that! You were right! Your parents were important! Maybe even Jedi! And you're going to meet the Legendary Luke Skywalker! Maybe he's even your dad!

        But then no. Turns out you were lying to yourself this whole time. Your parents were nobody, they didn't care about you, except for what kind of price they'd get for selling you.

        You really, seriously think that's not going to be unwelcome news?
      • But that's the thing: She doesn't say it. She doesn't even allude to it. Everything you said makes perfect sense for her to feel, but the character itself never expresses any of it on screen. As far as I can remember, not a single line of dialogue is actually dedicated to Rey wondering who her parents were and wishing that they abandoned her over something important.
      • Most normal people do not abandon their children to a lifetime of slavery in a desolate wasteland. Therefore, since Rey's parents did abandon her to a lifetime of slavery in a desolate wasteland, Rey essentially has two possible options to consider why her parents might have done this rather out-of-the-ordinary thing: (A) they simply didn't care about her; or (B) her parents did care about her but had Vital, Important, Universe-Shattering Reasons for abandoning her. It surely shouldn't be a reason why an abandoned child might find it more comforting to believe in option B even if option A is probably more likely, since no one likes the idea that their parents simply don't care about them. The fact that the filmmakers left this mostly implicit rather than spelling it out for us is simply them trusting that the audience is sufficiently capable of understanding this.
      • Or maybe it's just lazy writing. Rey expressing this believe in her parents being important, would've made for a perfect way to explore her character a bit and could've easily been integrated into her dialogue with Han or Maz. Why they didn't do that, when it is so important to her, is beyond me.
      • They didn't do it because it's obvious, and it's blatant That Makes Me Feel Angry, shoddy writing if you have to have characters spell out what they're feeling and why all the time. That you couldn't figure out what everyone else seems to think is obvious doesn't make it lazy writing.

        I mean, did you grasp that Ren was angry when he pointed and bellowed, "Blow that piece of junk out of the sky!" or did you need a line of dialog from him saying, "That ship belonged to my father, who I hate, and I killed him, and seeing it again is making me angry!"?
      • Any more blatant that characters repeatedly spelling out that Kylo Ren "feels conflicted"?
      • Yes. Because A. the nature of denial is different than feeling conflicted. Rey isn't going to admit she's in denial about it because she's in denial. "Not saying how you really feel" is what denial is. And B. other characters calling Kylo Ren conflicted is not the same as Rey declaring about herself how she feels.
      • It's not about Rey admitting that she's in denial about her parents. It's about her expressing any amount of wishes, dreams or hopes about them. Having her talking to Luke/Finn/Han/Chewbacca/anyone about how she always dreamed about her parents coming to whisk her away to a life of adventure among the stars. Or something like that. One of those quiet moments of characters talking and showing some personality, that they used to have in the original trilogy.
      • If she says "I hope my parents are like this," that is admitting they might not be. She is, again, in denial. That means she's trying to convince herself that her parents are important and will be back for her eventually. And part of that is "assuming" it to be true, not "hoping" or "dreaming" that it's true. How she feels about her parents is obvious; she doesn't need to go into exposition about it.
    • It doesn't have to be said because those things are obvious. Of course she wonders who her parents were. What person in her position wouldn't? And of course she hopes she was dropped off over something important — she's going to rationalize and deny, which she is absolutely, obviously doing. That's the whole point of being in denial — you don't say what you're really feeling because you're denying those feelings. If she tells herself her parents will be back for her soon, they just stepped out to do something very important for 15 years, maybe she'll believe it. That's how denial works. These things go without saying and should be obvious just from the nature of her situation without needing to have her vocalize it. Show, Don't Tell, dude.
      • A Show Don't Tell approach still needs to be integrated into the story itself. Expecting the audience to piece this all together after the fact in order to make sense of things is just lazy writing. All it took was one line of dialogue from Rey to show us that she believes in her parents being important people who left her for important reasons. Her just saying "You're wrong!" when Kylo tells her that her parents were nobodies, would've done the job.
      • It was integrated into the story. It doesn't need to be "pieced together after the fact," because again it should be completely obvious how Rey feels from how she acts. Explaining everything in dialog was one of the major scripting problems with the prequel trilogy, and it's a good thing that this trilogy doesn't rely on awkward, hackneyed lines like, "You're breaking my heart!" or "It is clear that this contest will not be decided through knowledge of the Force, but through skill with a lightsaber," or "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!" That is "lazy writing." Letting your characters actions show what they're doing and feeling is the opposite of that. Your failure to pick up on what was obvious to the rest of us doesn't make it lazy writing.
    • Also worth noting that the conversation in The Force Awakens discussed above ends with Rey responding to Maz's urge for her to leave the past and walk into the future by rejecting Luke's lightsaber by yelling "I'm never touching that thing again! I don't want any part of this!" and running away. Contrary to what the OP suggests, this is a pretty clear sign that this particular issue of Rey's has in fact not been resolved.
  • Here's a problem I have with this interpretation. Would Rey even have a concept of a loving family to long for? If her parents were some scum willing to sell their own daughter into slavery, I guess they hadn't been Parents of the Year even before that and that their neighbourhood probably wasn't brimming with exemplary families either. It'd be one thing if they'd abandoned her as a toddler and she'd grown up never knowing them, while seeing normal families around her, wondering why can't she have that and inventing a comforting answer, but in her flashback she looks... what, six-seven? That seems quite enough to build up resentment, isn't it?
    • Four-five, official material confirms she's nineteen and has been on Jakku for about fifteen years. It's also possible she deluded herself into remembering their life was happy (your brain can trick you with false memories) or just doesn't remember life before being abandoned.
    • They probably weren't Parents of the Year by any means, but just because they were neglectful and uncaring doesn't necessarily mean they were actively abusive. It's pretty apparent that they didn't care enough about her to not put her above their own interests when the crunch moment arrived, but while she was with them they might have treated her well enough for her to convince herself that they did care for her. They might have been assholes, but not complete monsters, so to speak.
    • Depending on how WMG we want to get with it, they might even have genuinely cared for their daughter and regretted doing what they did, on some level at least. Assuming that they actually were alcoholics or addicts, they might have been in thrall to their addiction and not strong or selfless enough to put their daughter before their own addiction. Addicts can still love their children. Which shouldn't be seen as a defence their actions by any means, since selling your kid into slavery just to feed your addiction is still a scummy thing to do no matter how much you regret it, but just that we don't really know enough about Rey's family pre-abandonment to really be able to know one way or another.

     Rose electrocuting deserters and the nature of the Resistance in general 
  • The Resistance may have military ranks and a military command structure, but it isn't actually a military. It's a volunteer force made up of men and women who signed up to protect their homes and families. So two things strike me here: 1) Does she have authorization to electrocute and imprison these volunteers trying to flee for their lives and 2) just how voluntary is this voluntary army if she does and why is no one stopping her if she doesn't? And I would like to remind everyone that this decision gets all but a small cargo hold full of them killed by the end of the film. This is very similar to the Holdo problem of her expecting everyone to blindly follow her orders without question, because people who have signed up to fight an authoritarian government presumably just love being expected to take because I told you so orders. It has to be wondered whether rumors of the Resistance being this unyielding is part of their recruitment problem.
    • Rose says she has stationed there to catch deserters, and there's absolutely nothing In-Universe to indicate she's lying, so yes, she did have authorization. You also can't pin the entire Resistance story-line going south because Rose caught deserters—it's Poe and Holdo who were making the major decisions there, she was doing her job.
      • She is a technician. Why would they ever put a technician, armed with but a tazer, in a position that might involve overpowering desperate and armed people? If they wanted the pods guarded, why not guard them properly? Actually, why weren't they properly guarded anyway?
      • The Resistance is a small group that's not only understaffed, but it's just lost a crapload of people taking out Starkiller base. Probably, Rose is there because she has no other duties and there's nobody else available to do the job. Or her technician job is near enough to the pods that she got deputized into it.
      • There were four hundreds people on that ship, and none of the soldiers were doing anything. You cannot tell me they couldn't have found anyone better for guard duty than a pudgy technician girl, who, by the way, should have her hands full to the brim with maintaining the shields or watching over the engines or something.
      • Sure I can, unless you have a duty roster handy and you can tell me that all of them have such free time. Just because you think it's a dumb plot point does not allow you to reject any and all explanation.
      • What I have is common sense. And it tells me that in a situation with no immediate fighting but with a heavy stress on ship's defence and propulsion systems there's no way a technician would be less occupied than a couple of grunts. And also that it's absurd to assign a tazer-wielding technician to a duty that involves overpowering deserters who are, by default, desperate and, most likely, armed.
      • I'm seeing less "common sense" and more armchair quarterbacking, assumptions and sarcasm. That does not an argument make. You asked a question? You got several plausible answers.
    • As for the nature of the Resistance, there's also nothing to indicate Holdo's style of leadership is the norm—in fact, it's implied to be the opposite when Leia is in charge, because everyone is so uneasy at Holdo's style.
    • I'd also point out that there's a difference between volunteers wanting to leave, and volunteers wanting to leave during a battle. They're being chased by First Order ships, if people abandon their posts (repairing the ship, medical, operating guns, etc), then that puts more people in danger than if they'd left after the mission was over.
      • A. There was no battle - they were fleeing. B. Holdo was planning on continuing the flight alone. You cannot tell me a few people leaving would've made any kind of difference. In fact, Holdo would want as many people off the ship as possible, so that if the planetside evacuation goes awry, at least some would escape.
      • A. They're getting shot at, that's a battle. B. The point is also to keep the Resistance functioning. Having mass desertions defeats the whole purpose. Allowing your people to desert without stopping them is tantamount to admitting defeat and giving up — not just on the battle, but on your cause.
      • So is every crook being pursuit by the police - are they in a battle as well? There was no mission, no battle plan, no goal - just escape with their lives. Next, if it's organised, it's not desertion - it's scrambling, a tactics an underground organisation should be closely familiar with. While keeping your people an a seemingly doomed vessel is bound to decimate morale. Who knows, they might even start plotting a coup if they get desperate enough! Also, see above. If Holdo cared so much about preventing desertion, she would've posted proper guards at the pods. Actually, she would've posted them there simply if she was half-competent, since it's a crucial part of the ship you certainly wouldn't want sabotaged.
      • A) From the crooks' perspective, yeah, being pursued and shot at by the cops kinda sorta is a battle. Not one that's going to make it into the history books, maybe, but kind of a battle nonetheless. And if your criminal buddies try and ditch you to face the music alone, you're probably not going to be too thrilled with them either, for what it's worth. B) "Organised scrambling" does not equal "letting people steal escape pods whenever they want". The latter is the exact opposite of 'organised'; it's chaos. Also, note that Holdo and the higher-ups actually try an attempt at "organised scrambling" later in the movie. They were simply waiting for what they thought was the best moment. C) There is a guard posted at the escape pods; Rose is guarding the pods. Under the rather desperate circumstances where manpower is clearly stretched, however, "guard" is likely stretched to mean "person who is given a gun and told to guard the pods".
    • An army retreating is not remotely analogous to crooks running from the police; the situations are completely alien to one another aside from the absurdly broad "guys running away from other guys" premise. You might as well be comparing it to a running back being chased by a linebacker. The "escape" is organized — it's the capital ships getting to an old base. An organized retreat is absolutely not the "every man for themselves, get the hell out of here" scramble like you appear to be proposing. Ditching the ships — you know, the giant capital ships that likely take months and billions of credits to build — would be, again, as good as a surrender.
      • But they were ditching the ships. All the auxiliaries had been picked off during the chase, and, according to Holdo's plan, the flagship was supposed to lead the FO away for a while until it runs out of fuel and is destroyed. That's. It. They were planning to reach the base by shuttles and then call for someone to come and pick them up, provided, of course, that the FO doesn't think to check the planet just in case or intercept the signal, and that none of the receivers sell them out. Please explain how, in practical terms, is it any better than if they began to clandestinely trickle the personnel off the ship along the way. Not putting all the eggs in one basket, you know, and also not making people feel like they're doomed, which is bound to decimate morale. Who knows, they might even start plotting a coup if they get desperate enough!
      • Yes. They had a plan to ditch the ships as a way to draw out the First Order and convince the First Order that they were falling apart, so that when they ditched the final ship, the First Order would think that they'd been defeated for good and back off to do whatever else it has in mind. You know what happens with your "trickle" option? People start worrying about who's being sent off first — they start worrying that if the officers go first, the others will be sacrificed. And if it's the lower-ranks that get sent first, they worry that they're being sacrificed to test the First Order's response. And if the First Order does manage to find out and pick them off as they trickle out, then hey, that means the whole thing's screwed, everyone panics, and they've lost. Or someone from the "trickle" gets captured, interrogated, gives up the secret of where the Resistance are going, and the whole thing's lost. Bottom line? There was a plan. A plan that doesn't work alongside, "Let people desert at their leisure." Just because you don't like the plan and think you can Monday-morning quarterback up something fool-proof doesn't mean there's a problem with the movie.
    • Getting back to the main question, there is something I wanted to note here: Finn IS NOT part of the Resistance at this point. His whole arc throughout the film is him deciding in his own way whether he wants to join officially or not. Finn is NOT a deserter because he is not a member, surely he is the one person on the ship who has more right than anyone to leave? And what I find truly funny is that there really was nothing stopping him from just smashing this woman half his size about the head and stealing the ship once they went off on their mission together so not quite sure why she was so trusting.
      • "Finn is not a member" is just semantics. He's on the team, he helped hand them their biggest major victory, and he's allied with their cause. They're not in a position of "anyone who wants to leave can leave." If Finn leaves, others will desert. It's a slippery slope.
    • This question smacks a little of Ron the Death Eater-ing, combined with blatantly and disingenuously skewing an obvious point to try and twist it into a headscratcher. The Resistance is a "volunteer" force in the sense that they don't forcibly conscript unwilling people to act as cannon fodder for them. They give people the choice to sign up to fight for them, and if people don't want to, they're willing to accept that they have a right not to. However, as with any volunteer military force, there is also a clear expectation that if you are going to volunteer to join up, you are making a commitment to stay for as long as required or necessary, you have an at-least basic understanding of the risks involved, and are going in with the expectation that you don't just get to cut and run the second that things become inconvenient or dangerous. Put simply, if you're on that ship, you volunteered to be there under the knowledge that there was a good chance that you might end up in a situation where the enemy would be shooting at you, and with the understanding that you wouldn't be allowed to just steal an escape pod and run away if you ended up not liking this fact. To compare: the United States Military is currently a largely volunteer force. The recruitment sergeants will try and convince people to sign up. If someone doesn't want to sign up, they won't make them. But if someone does want to, they will be told that they're making a commitment they can't just walk away from whenever they want.
    • Not to mention that Rose in particular had good reason to be opposed to deserters considering that her sister just died for the Resistance, something she explicitly says to Finn.
    • That's all well and good. It doesn't change the fact Finn is not a member of The Resistance. Aside from his two friends and a hero worshiper, most people, or at least a significant portion of the remaining brass, don't consider "Storm Trooper" to be either. But, due to the circumstances that got Finn where he is, The Resistance does have credible reasons to keep him under thumb. He deserted to save one of their aces, they owe him, he can go. They save him while fighting off a First Order invasion. They are even, he can still go. He comes to them with information on the wonder weapon threatening The Resistance and all that they stand for, on the chance it will help save his friend. Mutually beneficial relationship there, Finn is in no way obligated to take part in the scouting and dismantling of the wonder weapon himself but chooses to do so anyway. The Resistance should be greatful. During the anti wonder weapon operations Finn is overpowered and cut open. Nonetheless he goes above an beyond the call of duty. All things considered, The Resistance owes him. Also, the friend he happen to save is now entrusted with a special Resistance mission, which reinforces that debt. The Resistance somehow nurses him back to health and moves his paralyzed body out of harm's way while they are at it, saving his life twice over. They could have easily dropped him off anywhere(okay, not really but Finn wasn't awake to know that) or just deemed him an acceptable loss due to lack of medical supplies, lack of time, lack of space or lack of available personnel. From The Resistance's point of view, they can argue Finn now owes them, despite never officially joining, and has one more debt to pay before he can leave. Successfully allowing their fleet to escape probably would have been that debt, but as you know, that failed. This also wouldn't have been as funny as watching Finn get tasered, nor as heart rending as listening to Rose talk about her sister's death, so the writer decided to take an emotional approach. Still, it should be noted neither Finn's self declaration to be rebel scum nor Finn's attack on the bunker buster make him an official Resistance member. He's still acting out of his own self interest. He hates the First Order very much, and while he wants to passively put them out of his life through fleeing, he will rush to risk and even give his life if an opportunity to hurt them is before him. In this sense Rose knocking Finn off course can be read as denying Finn a chance to pay his debt and opt out of any future Resistance operations, but the writer already committed to an emotional route, so we get love.
    • Three points: 1) What does it take to officially join the Resistance? We don't really know. Finn might have formally joined off screen after he volunteered to disable the shields on Starkiller base in the last movie. Certainly they treat him like he's a member after that. 2) Can you desert without consequences? Yes the Resistance are an all-volunteer force. So are all the current US armed forces, but once you join you can't desert without getting into real trouble. When you join the Resistance you agree to follow orders, accepting the possibility that you may get in trouble if you don't obey orders. 3) Why is Rose on duty to zap people trying to desert instead of doing, you know, technician stuff? Well I like to think her CO gave her what he thought would be a nice quiet alternate duty that would give her time to think after she just lost her sister in the attack on the dreadnought.

     When did Finn learn how to fly a ship again? 
  • Seriously, it's a major plot point in TFA that Finn is not a pilot. He directly states this to Poe when he frees him and again to Rey on-board the Falcon. And yet in this film he can fly a shuttle through hyperspace and one of those salt skimmers just fine. And bear in mind, not only have mere days passed since the start of TFA to the end of TLJ, he spent a good part of that unconscious in a bacta suit.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Rose the one who flies the shuttle? At least, I remember seeing her in the pilot seat when DJ demands her necklace. As for the salt skimmer...maybe it's simple enough that an amateur can fly? Rose doesn't seem to have a problem with it either.

     Was DJ the real master codebreaker all along 
  • This is something I've never got: was DJ the person Maz was referring to all along? Or was the guy in the casino the real codebreaker and there just happened to be another master codebreaker in the same place and in the very cell Finn and Rose would get put into? I assume the first one, if only because the second one just seems like an epic bit of Contrived Coincidence.
    • Maz specifically says they'll know the codebreaker by the lapel rose. They see him in the casino. So yeah, it's the second one - a massive shameless coincidence.

    Rose and war profiteers 
  • At Canto Bight, Rose says she hates war profiteers. Later we find out that both the First Order and the Resistance feed them by buying weapons but we never see her reaction to that information. How does she reconcile her hatred of war profiteers with her participation in a war that benefits them?
    • Because the alternative is not fighting the First Order, and she's driven to fight the First Order.


Star Wars Universe / Canon Consistency

     Was I supposed to know who Vice Admiral Holdo is? 
  • The way characters react to her when she's first introduced implies that she has quite a history and an impressive one at that (i.e. someone says something alone the lines of "You're the Vice Admiral Holdo?" and mentions a battle that I forgot that name of), yet as far as I can tell she's a new character. I can perhaps understand this as a case of Remember the New Guy?; the idea of a new character being portrayed as someone who was really always there is not alien to me, but it seems weird to introduce a new character and then kill her off in a story that's primarily about the last hurrahs of the original trio and the continuing adventures of the characters introduced in The Force Awakens. Maybe she is a new character, but Star Wars Legends is so vast it's entirely possible she's this huge figure in this or that novel series that's just flown over my head; I've been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid and I didn't know who Thrawn was until a year ago. The idea that she's a Legends character getting her canon debut also made me remind her of Thrawn; a famous and skilled tactician who's pragmatic who uses unorthodox (but ultimately amazingly successful) tactics.
    • I do not think you're supposed to know her. In fact, when they're announcing who is now in command there is a small pause, and the camera lingers briefly on Poe. The implication, I felt, was that he would be in command. The way the character is set up and how she is portrayed, shows that she is meant to be disliked. She brushes off Poe, comes across as cold, and refuses to share her plan with him. This is all done to make sure the audience sides with Poe against her. It's even somewhat hinted at that she may actually be actively betraying the rebellion.
    • Speaking of how the audience is meant to distrust her, this also led to my confusion over who she was meant to be. The way she's introduced makes it clear she's well known in the Resistance but frustratingly we're not given much about her. If their intent was to make us be surprised at what she eventually does, they certainly worked. The way's she's portrayed definitely gives off a President Alma Coin vibe to me i.e. a female leader whose competence is marred by the nagging obviousness that she knows more than she's letting on combined with the very real possibility of turning out to be another bad guy.
    • She is a character from the new Expanded Universe, being introduced in Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Disney is taking a very multimedia-centric approach to the franchise, with tie-in books, comics, and an animated series all playing into the new canon. Which, to be honest, isn't too different from what being a Star Wars fan was like over the last 20 years or so with the large library of books and other media in the Legends continuity. Could you explain why so many fans love Wedge so much given that the character had probably fifteen lines and five scenes in the entire film franchise not counting the books?
    • Wedge was kind of the opposite of Holdo in my opinion. He was there from the beginning, in A New Hope, as a bit character. He slowly got more and more prominence as the story progressed, and the EU was probably a big part of that, but even in the films his progression is fairly logical -going from a random pilot who happened to survive an important battle, to Luke's second-in-command on Hoth, to one of the squad leaders during the Battle of Endor. By contrast, Holdo comes out of nowhere. She's introduced as being a major figure in the Resistance as well as Leia's closest friend for decades despite the audience never having heard of her before. The fact that she had an appearance in the new EU prior to this film doesn't really change that, as she's still being retconned into the story. It just means that TLJ wasn't her first appearance.
    • An important note on the EU: the majority of fans, particularity the older fans, are only interested in the films not the books, comics, magazines etc. and Disney knows this, but are trying to push other sources as a way of making money. I am not condemning nor condoning the practice, and George Lucas was hardly innocent either, but any hand wave that starts with she was in X book is meaningless to millions of people. There is also the widespread belief - most noticeable if you ever go to a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter forum talking about film plot holes that are explained in the book - that films should stand on their own without supplemental material particularly in an age where the cinema is becoming grossly expensive for what it is. So again, the excuse she was in X book or this was explained in X book just ends up starting a flame war.
    • In fairness, it's been thirty-odd years in-story since the end of the original trilogy and this one. That's plenty of time for our main characters to meet some new people, and for others to rise to prominence whom we might not be familiar with. In a meta-sense, the reason she's a new character instead of someone we're familiar with is precisely because we're unfamiliar with her, and so will not be able to fully ascertain her motives. If, say, Admiral Ackbar was the person in charge throughout, the conflict with Poe would be different because the audience already has some familiarity with Ackbar and, knowing that he's unlikely to be a coward or traitor, will assume from the start that he probably has some secret plan that we're not privy to. With Holdo, because we don't know as much about her we don't know whether she's got a secret plan, or is a Dirty Coward who's freezing up or panicking, or is a traitor who's selling out the Resistance, or so on.

     Okay... so, who is Snoke? 
  • It was a pretty ballsy move to kill him off, and to elevate Kylo to the Big Bad role, in true Sith way, but seriously, who was that guy? Why did he looked like he looked? Where did he got his powers? Where did he get the loyalty of Imperial remnant and authority over it? I think we actually deserve answers on this one.
    • We'll find out more about him later, either in Rebels, a book, or some other source. Ultimately the decision was framed as 'this is Kylo Ren's story, and who Snoke was isn't really important to that', which I kinda agree with.
    • The fact that it's common knowledge in-universe just makes it maddening. We haven't even gotten solid word on whether he's a Sith or something new (what little we hear of his philosophy suggests he's not), but the characters have known about him for decades.
    • One could argue that Snoke having no defined backstory is another expression of this film's running "don't get bogged down in the past" theme. If it truly doesn't matter whether Rey's parents were junk-scavenging nobodies, or whether Finn used to be a Storm Trooper who'd only worked sanitation, then it doesn't really matter who Snoke was before he became Supreme Leader, either. Indeed, his tacky golden bathrobe may be subtly symbolic of him being a jumped-up nobody also, with an ex-nobody's kitschy notion of what looks "regal".
    • Did anyone notice that Snoke was channeling a lot of Emperor Palpatine in this movie? The guy practically quote-mined half of his lines from Return of the Jedi.
    • Some people have speculated that he's a clone of Palpatine. (And maybe something went wrong with the cloning process, which would explain why he looks all weird.) But the Doylist answer is that nearly everything in the sequel trilogy is a rehash of the original trilogy.
    • We did not know who the emperor was in the OT either. We did not even know his name. Ultimately Snoke only matters to this story as the one who corrupted Ben same as Sidious with Vader. We will probably have a book about him in a year or three.
    • The notion of being forced to buy a book to make this character make sense is just terrible writing. A film should always stand on its own merits. I'm reminded of Revenge of the Sith where we weren't actually told on screen what they wanted revenge for.
    • Actually, it's easy to figure out what Revenge in the title means. Sith and Jedi don't really like each other. Sith have been considered extinct for a thousand years by the Jedi. And it doesn't take much to put the two to two together. However, Snoke is a really bad case of doing All There in the Manual.
    • The character makes plenty of sense on his own, just like the Emperor described above. This simply is not Snoke's story it is Rey and Kylo's. We will learn more about Snoke in episode IX, if and only if, those revelations have a bearing on the story. Star Wars is a "galactic fairy tale" and fairy tale villains seldom have a backstory.
    • That relies on the claim that Snoke doesn't make sense without knowing his backstory, but he makes plenty of sense without his backstory. Ultimately what the movie is saying is that this isn't Snoke's story and he isn’t the most important thing here.
    • There are several WMGs about Snoke. That he's a clone of Palpatine, that he's Moff Tarkin, that he's the first Jedi, that he's Jar Jar Binks... with the lack of information, any of them can be true. And, ultimately, it does not matter.
    • The idea that "it doesn't matter who Snoke is" is rather annoying, and the comparisons of him to Palpatine miss the point. The OT was made back in the 70s and 80s, on a much lower budget, and each movie was shorter; Lucas also had at least written a backstory for Palpatine out and had some idea of who he was. As it happens, even the very first movie A New Hope gave us more information about Palpatine than either TFA or TLJ gave us about Snoke, establishing that there was an intergalactic Republic that he took over relatively recently and turned into an Empire, turning on the Jedi in the process and converting one of their best to his side. That works for the first three movies of a fresh-out-of-the-over trilogy; it works far less well for the 7th and 8th movies in a 40 year old franchise, even disregarding the mountain of backstory that non-movie sources had filled in over time.
    • What do you mean, "Who is Snoke?" He's the Supreme Leader. Just as the Emperor was The Emperor. We didn't need a prequel trilogy to figure out who the Emperor was, he was Vader's master. Snoke is (was) Ren's master, and the one who corrupted him to the Dark Side. It's all in the first film. Don't look too deep into this stuff, it's not that complicated.
    • He's clearly another Skywalker, given that he gets his hand cut off.From A Certain Point Of View 
    • To me, the the difference between Sidious and Snoke is the former was part of the overall picture when we entered this universe In Medias Res while the latter is a significant contributor to the Sequel Reset of TFA, if not its mastermind. Ben's parents basically blame Snoke for their son's Face–Heel Turn and even Luke (who considers himself to be the catalyst of said FHT) cites Snoke's influence on Ben as the justification for his own Moment of Weakness.

      There's also the fact that, in the prequels, when Darth Maul is on a rampage, the Council immediately (and rightly) center on The Sith, and don't consider any other dark side factions, effectively believing that the Sith are the only one. While I would be with Luke on calling that out as Hubris, one would think that we'd get some information about this "new" Dark-Side faction. The only thing that we can be sure of is that Snoke is not a Sith; or a Light-Sider of any stripe.

      The key question here is "What went so wrong in the Galaxy Far Far Away after Sidious was slain?" "Who is Snoke?" is just a piece of that, albeit a Supremacy-sized one.
    • The thing with Snoke is that he is apparently responsible for the whole Happy Ending Override that happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens - at least a little exposition on how he did that would have been appreciated.
    • When you get down to it, Snoke is really just Palpatine Mark II. That's pretty much all we need to know about him. He's not — in this one person's humble opinion at least — hugely interesting in and of himself, he's just a fairly generic all-powerful Big Bad. Chances are, if we were to get his backstory, it wouldn't be incredibly different in substance to Palpatine's own rise to power. Where he came from, how he founded the First Order, how he insinuated himself with Kylo, etc. are just details more than anything else. The fact that he ends up being taken out fairly easily and replaced with a rather more complex, conflicted and inexperienced Big Bad relatively easily is probably the most interesting thing about him.
  • What I keep thinking when hearing detractors and fans wrangle with each other over this question is "Does it occur to anybody that we've still got another whole movie to go in this trilogy, and that maybe we'll hear more about Snoke there?" I tend to think the same thing about those other Knights of Ren we didn't see in this movie; well, the writers have to leave some mysteries to be resolved in the sequel, don't they? A lot of people are talking about Snoke and the Knights of Ren as if not answering questions about them in this movie means those questions will never be answered ever!

    If anything, Return of the Jedi taught us that if there's something the fans are really dying to know, the writers will address it. After Vader's big shocking reveal to Luke, a fair number of fans even then were asking "Can we really be sure Vader isn't lying?" (Even James Earl Jones said in an interview that he thought Vader had to be lying when he first saw that line in his script.) There was also the question of how and why it had occurred to Luke to reach out to Leia with the Force when he needed to be rescued. Hence the scenes in Return of the Jedi in which Yoda and Obi-Wan confirm that yes, Vader was telling the truth about being Luke's father and yes, Luke instinctively sensed Leia was Force-sensitive and reached out to her because she's his twin sister.

    In short, if you really want to know who Snoke is, take a chill pill and go demand an answer from the writers. Especially considering they've probably got an eye on trying to Win Back the Crowd after so many fans got frustrated with questions like these being left unanswered in this movie, they'll surely work something into the next movie to address any reasonable request, such as "Tell us who Snoke is, already! Everyone's dying to know!"

     Where was R2-D2? 
  • I might be misremembering the film, but it looked like R2 showed up in that one scene with Luke on the Falcon and then...vanished. Did he show up again or did he do anything?
    • Pretty sure he was on the Falcon the whole time.
    • He probably just "lives" on the Falcon nowadays. He doesn't seem to be in very good repair and seems to spend most of his time shut down, anyway.
    • R2-D2, as heartbreaking as it may for us fans to say, is obsolete. The BB units are capable of doing essentially everything the R2 units can but better. He's in disrepair not just because he is old, but because next to no one makes spare parts for him anymore. He lives on the Falcon because the Falcon is just as old as he is and thus he is still able to make himself useful. Here is a short Youtube video explaining this in slightly further detail.
    • So R2 is out of date, but C-3PO, who was built from other scrapped protocol droids on Tatooine, meaning his design is probably older, is still up to date enough HE can get parts?
    • I'd imagine that protocol droids like C-3PO probably wouldn't change as much or as drastically over the years as mechanical droids like R2-D2, since they wouldn't necessarily have to deal with changing technological and mechanical requirements and would basically just keep doing the same tasks in the same ways. As such, if droids like C-3PO are more common and more consistent, then it would be easier to find compatible parts for C-3PO than it would for R2-D2.
    • As far as I can tell, R2-D2's timeline is; He's with his Master when Luke's Academy gets trashed by Ren and Co; His master then goes missing (he claims to be searching for the First Jedi Temple, but never comes back) so Artoo goes into low power mode either waiting for his Master to return, or in grief; Artoo then hears that somebody has a way of finding Luke so powers back up to give access to the Imperial star charts that he lifted from the Death Star to help Rey and Chewbacca find where to fly the Falcon; He goes with Rey and Chewbacca on the Falcon to find his Master; His Master, at first, doesn't want to see him (assuming Luke even knows that R2 is on-board the Falcon); Luke then bumps into Artoo after sneaking on-board the Falcon; Artoo realises that Luke no longer needs him, and he's got a new set of owners to adopt that need him around so they don't die prematurely (Rey and Chewbacca), problem is there isn't really anywhere for him to plug into on the Falcon because of Han's No Droids Are Interfacing With My Ship policy so at the end of the film, he's got nothing to do.
  • R2 is clearly shown at the end of he film boosting the signal on Rey's beacon so that the Falcon can track the Resistance survivors while they make their way through the underground caves. That's how Rey knows where to put the Falcon down to get the survivors in the first place. Between that and the cheap move with the Leia hologram, once more R2-D2 saves the galaxy.
  • He also briefly appears when Rey leaves the Falcon to board Snoke's ship.

     What happened to C- 3 PO's red arm? 
  • It seems he starts this movie without the red arm, despite the fact that there's no timeskip between VII and VIII
    • Is there no timeskip? The fact that the First Order seems to have taken over most of the Galaxy seems to imply there was some timeskip. Maybe the Rey scene at the end of the previous movie was supposed to happen a while later than everything else.
    • It is a bit puzzling. There's a part of me imagining that whilst the rest of the base is busy with the evacuation, Threepio sat there with a spray can of metallic gold paint that he's found and a buffing cloth.
  • He had a gold arm at the end of The Force Awakens. Maybe he changed it while Rey was preparing to go to Luke's planet.
    • He was so excited about Luke coming back, he wanted to make sure that Luke recognized him.
  • He probably had gold paint or plating put on it.

     The nameless Master Codebreaker 
  • Finn and Rose spend most of the movie on a side quest to recruit a "Master Codebreaker". Why the heck does this guy remain entirely nameless throughout the film? Maz clearly knows the guy. She knows him well enough to pinpoint which casino he'll be visiting and what sort of decoration he'll wear. She's even got enough time (in the middle of a firefight) to describe him as being "a poet with a blaster". So why doesn't she ever mention his name? Like, what the heck are we supposed to do if we get to Space Vegas and we can't find the guy, either because he took the night off or because he's wearing something different today? Wouldn't it be nice to know the guy's name, so you can try to look him up in the Space Phone Book or whatever? I noticed that they were dancing around any mention of the name during the film, so I thought "Oh ok, it's gonna be revealed that he's actually someone we already know." Like maybe they meet the "Master Codebreaker" and it turns out that he's Lando or whatever. But that didn't happen. Instead, it appears that the writers just couldn't be bothered to name the guy. What's up with that?
    • He is probably a highly wanted criminal and as a master slicer could easily have a dozen fake identities to use. Maybe the flower is a code meaning "I'm looking for a job" that only a select few in the criminal world would know about?
    • Also, from real-life standpoint: It is possible that when the scene with Maz was shot, there was still possibility for some cameo (most likely Lando) to happen and they left it ambiguous to either not spoil the surprise, or to leave him unknown character.

     Yoda channeling Thor 
  • So Force Ghosts can manipulate the weather and throw lightning bolts? Could they always do that, or have they evolved the ability somehow? Can't help thinking that this could have come in handy about a hundred times by now.
    • I'd honestly assume that it's as simple as this being less a Force Ghost-thing, and more a Yoda-thing. Yoda being as powerful and in-tune with the Force as he was, it really wouldn't surprise me that he specifically can do things other Force Ghosts can't. Not to mention, they're on a sacred Jedi territory that is deeply Force connected; the area they're in likely is able to respond to Force powers in special ways.
    • Lightning is basically created by friction in the air that charges the cloud. A Jedi could possibly use their telekinetic power to do just that to charge a cloud and create lightning. A Jedi could possibly do more than just lift rocks. Like how in X-Men The Last Stand, Jean Grey was using her telekinetic abilities to disintegrate people. Why can't a Jedi do that?
    • Dude... strike them down, and they become more powerful than you can imagine.
    • If that's the case, then what's going to stop Luke from coming back as a Ghost and bringing down electric vengeance on Kylo and the First Order?
    • Exactly the same reasons that stops them frying things with UNLIMITED POWER! whilst still alive. Harming others with lightning is the Dark Side. Burning down a dead and empty tree, not so much. I would imagine merging with the Light side of the Force would actually make it impossible to channel the Dark Side.
    • Yoda manipulated the weather. Probably not so useful without clouds or indoors.
    • Or without an atmosphere.
    • It could also be that such things are only possible at places so in tune with the Force as the site of first Jedi temple. Although it does raise the question why didn't Luke become one with Force first, and then projected his image to Krait without any effort.
      • Because most people would rather not die if it can be avoided. I'm not sure Luke knew he was going to die, even if he was prepared to accept that possibility.
    • It seems that Yoda couldn't appear to Luke until he opened himself to the Force again. So Yoda couldn't just appear on Snoke's ship and zorch him or Kylo Ren, because Snoke isn't open to the light side in a way that would allow Yoda to appear to him.
    • But he appears when Luke is about to burn down what is, as far as he knows, the last remnants of the Jedi legacy. How could that be the moment when he finally opens himself to the Force and not detaches from it completely?

     Luke's Exile 
  • I still don't get it. Why was Luke in exile? I mean yeah, he made a mistake, Kylo turned to the dark side, and he blames himself for that. Ok, fine. But even if he's 100% convinced that he must never train another Jedi, why can't he stay personally involved in the Resistance? Why doesn't he try to track down Kylo Ren in order to fix his great mistake (either by killing him or by converting him back to the Light Side of the Force)? And even if he never wants to face Kylo again, why does he abandon his sister and his best friend (Han)? Rey explains that Leia is in mortal danger, and that Han is already dead. If Luke had been more involved, he might've been able to save Han from Kylo! And he's got Chewy and R2 there to back up the story, in case he doesn't want to take Rey's word for it. One thing we know about Luke is that he's dedicated to Han and Leia; in ESB he's really insistent on helping them, even when Obi-wan and Yoda tell him to stay away. So now he finds out that Han is dead and Leia is in danger, and he decides to just sit around and do nothing? It doesn't make sense. And then, why does he end his exile and get involved again? Because Yoda shows up and says some stuff about how dusty old books aren't super important, and also that students tend to surpass their teachers. That's it? That's what changes his mind? Why does that persuade him, when Rey's report didn't move him at all?
    • One he probably had some kind of depression. Two when that happened the FO did not exist as a military superpower with dreams of conquest. At least not openly, so Luke had no reason to fear the rebirth of the Empire. He probably thought that anything he would do to rectify the situation would only make it worse. Then he cut himself from the force and could not feel the growing despair and darkness in the galaxy. So Rey + Yoda + feeling again what the general mood is especially sensing his sister again sprang him back into action.
    • That answers why he went into exile in the first place and why he didn't immediately return once the FO got going, but it doesn't explain why he still wants to remain exiled even after Rey and Chewie show up personally and deliver the news. I feel like he ought to jump straight into the fight once he knows that Han is dead and Leia is in danger. His stubbornness just strikes me as a contrived problem.
    • To the above, Luke had come to reject the idea that he in particular and the Jedi in general were that consequential to maintaining light and hope in the galaxy. He tells Rey the idea is "pure vanity," and he sees the belief as the cause of more problems than solutions (i.e. he blames the Jedi for Darth Sidious' rise to power, and his belief in his own legendary status as the cause of Kylo's fall). As such he believes that getting involved again, even to help his sister, will only cause more problems. Ultimately he realizes its his own self-loathing and clinging to the past clouding his judgment, as Yoda explains in his statements about how important it is for Luke to pass on knowledge of his failures as well as his triumphs. And of course shutting himself off from the Force for years likely didn't help him either.
    • It should also be noted that Luke isn't being stubborn. He has PTSD and PTSD sucks beyond the telling of it. It's only a wonder that he got over it so quickly after talking to Yoda, but I guess the Force really is a powerful ally.
    • It still doesn't justify not making an effort to persuade his nephew to come back, whom he is partly responsible for turning to the dark side, or at least clear up the misunderstanding. Plus he'd been through worse, parent figures getting gruesomely murdered, getting his hand chopped off, father turned out to be a notorious war criminal, his sister unknowingly made out with him etc.
    • His sister unknowingly made out with him etc. It always baffles me just how squicked out people are that Luke and Leia shared a single kiss back when they had absolutely no idea that they were related. They didn't even reach second base. If I was them, and had suffered every horrible thing they had, it wouldn't even blip my radar, and I would handle it exactly how they were treating it in Return of the Jedi: Shrugged my shoulders, not thought about it again, and then swiftly moved on with my life.
      • Yes, with everything that happened to Luke during the Galactic Civil War still didn't faze him, he should be hardened enough to not get too affected by Ben's incident and at least try reconciling with Kylo instead of running off and hiding in shame and blaming the Jedi Order's ideals for being flawed for the entire time.
    • From what I understood, Luke is devastated by his moment of weakness, and blames his own status of legend (and his perceived arrogance) for it. In other words, he believes that the reason he failed, and the turning of Ben Solo to be because of the blind faith, and the incredible burden that comes with being the one people turn to to save the day. By exiling himself, Luke is trying to say and prove to the galaxy that:
      • Jedi are not needed. To think that only a Jedi can save the day, that only a Jedi can understand the force, and by himself is foolish. Anyone can save the galaxy, or rather, it is the combined effort of everyone which can save the galaxy. That is why he cut himself off from the force and is content to let the Jedi go extinct.
      • He, Luke Skywalker, is not needed. You do not need to be from a bloodline, you do not need to wield a "laser sword", you do not need the Force or anything to make a difference. The film's Aesop seems to be "anyone can be a hero, regardless of the past, if he wishes to be", but at this point, Luke's view seems more to be heroes are only found in myths, not one person can be all powerful champion of the light and good, not even him, the one they claim is sooooooo powerful.
    • There's an old saying about a piece of straw and a camel's back that seems relevant here. Is it truly so hard to believe that what happened with Kylo might have just been the last piece of trauma and pain that Luke could stand before breaking entirely? Even heroes have their limits.
    • ^Especially if we take into account that "what happened with Kylo" was him murdering half a dozen people for whom Luke was a mentor. That's more like a ton of bricks than a straw.
    • Luke may also have feared giving in to the Dark Side himself if he jumped back into the fray. Just sensing the darkness in Ben was enough to tempt Luke to do the unthinkable; he perhaps feared becoming the scourge of the galaxy, even worse than Kylo OR Vader.
    • I mean it must be hard to work with your sister knowing you thought about killing her son so he just sit this one out.
    • Well... pretty much everything he cared about that wasn't his sister, her husband, and one of their friends had been destroyed. Then when he went looking for answers he found the original Jedi texts which made him realize how far the old Order had drifted from the core beliefs and how hypocritical they'd gotten. Confronted with the duality and balance of light and dark that didn't included completely exiling the dark as the old Jedi order had taught Luke had a mental freaking breakdown. The guilty and pain, anger and helplessness, and ultimately feeling like he was nothing but a problem for the galaxy Luke left figuring the world would be better off without him accidentally bringing yet more Sith into existence. As part of this he cut himself off from the force so that he wouldn't have to deal with any more force crap that could make him feel hurt.

     Spreading Luke's Legend of Hope 
  • Just how did the Tales and Legends of Luke's Finest Hour reach the fearful citizens of The Galaxy when the (two dozen at best) Resistance Heroes were too busy fleeing to have even witnessed it...Which leaves the ONLY eyewitnesses being the First Order Military, to whom it would be in their best interest to not spread the legend of Luke Skywalker to inspire further Hope in the populace (and therefore disorder and rebellion). Yet, the finale CLEARLY shows even slave children, who would have NO access to the Holonet or Mass-Media in general, telling vivid re-enactments (with dolls) of Luke's Last Stand against Kylo-Ren before the AT-AT walkers, that they would not be privy to unless an adult gave them an eyewitness account. So just how did The Legend of Luke Skywalker's Final Valiant Stand spread to the People of The Galaxy without word of mouth? Especially in an oppressive regime that would surely restrict access of the Holonet and Televised media for Civilians?
    • There are three possibilities:
      1. The story is told by the Force sensitive boy. He saw a vision.
      2. The story being told is Luke surviving against the command blaster power of several AT-ATs. An event that was witnessed by the Resistance.
      3. The story is filled in. Luke came, he died, they survived. The details don't matter.
      4. 4th possibility: Rey "saw" everything, either through the Force, or by Luke sending her the vision. It's Rey who spreads the story of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's last stand. We also don't know how long passes between the end of the battle of Crait and the end of the film. We know the Force Sensitive has a Resistance ring, it's entirely possible he's now a Resistance contact and has heard the story being passed on through a now growing Resistance.
    • And all of that assumes that the First Order has taken over the galaxy. The Last Jedi doesn't do a lot of world building, and ends maybe a week or two, in-universe, after Force Awakens started. It's unlikely that the First Order has the bureaucracy in place to actually control much of the New Republic's former(?) territory.
    • The First Order itself is really big, and there's bound to be people there who just see supporting it as a job, without buying into the ideology (specially now that they seem to have taken back control of most of the Galaxy, going back to being the de facto government). These people could very well spread the story as they saw it, one man survived an entire army being focused on him, without knowing the details (like the fact he wasn't really there).
    • On top of that, the battle on Crait should be the full affirmation of Kylo Ren's power, both as a military leader and as a Force user, but ends up a complete disaster for his reputation. Given that most probably a lot of people within the First Order, beginning from Hux, don't like Ren and the way he's just become the new Supreme Leader, you can bet that they wouldn't really object on at least the rumors about Ren losing his shit in front of Skywalker and being humiliated spread around.
  • Perhaps it was propaganda from the First Order itself, trying to twist the events so that it seems that Kylo Ren had the final victory over Luke Skywalker. But it backfired. The populace would focus on the part that the last Jedi master made a glorious Last Stand against the full military strength of the First Order, alone and armed with nothing but a lightsaber... and even if he lost (correction: specially if he lost) that is the stuff of legend, and Legend Fades to Myth.
    • Also worth remembering to begin with that Luke Skywalker is already a mythic figure in the galaxy by this point due to his actions in the Original Trilogy. You don't need a lot of specific detail about what happened, and you don't need a lot of people to do it. You just need someone to tell a few people that the Resistance were about to be destroyed once and for all but then Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi, basically The Saviour Of The Entire Galaxy, showed up, said a few inspiring words and then walked off to stare down an entire army with only a laser sword for company. That's a story that's gonna spread itself and get much bigger in the telling. And not just by the Resistance either; there's not a single First Order grunt present at that battle who isn't going to be spreading the story of how they just witnessed Luke Skywalker's Last Stand, higher-ups be damned.
    • Just wanna add — "vivid reenactment"? It's a ten-second scene where the kid telling the story is doing so in a different, un-subtitled language. How in the world does that translate to a "vivid" anything? You're making it sound like the kid was giving some kind of detailed, blow-for-blow, line-for-line recreation, when we have no idea what the kid said aside from the words "Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master."
    • Let it also be noted that the First Order are also likely to be in at least some small amount of disunity after the events of the movie. They didn't come through unscathed; their Supreme Leader is dead, their new replacement Supreme Leader is clearly a bit out of his depth, and while it's subtle there are the clear signs of a power struggle in the making (seriously, next time you watch the film check out the look General Hux gives Kylo Ren when the First Order are searching the abandoned rebel base; it is not the look of a man who is going to be cheerfully serving his new boss without undermining and plotting against him at every possible opportunity he can get away with). Even if the First Order would like nothing more than to stop the story of Luke Skywalker's heroic act from spreading hope and resistance to the rest of the galaxy, they don't exactly have the rigidly iron grasp on the situation they'd like either, and I'm pretty sure there is at least one faction that is quite happy for the story to spread so long as it makes Kylo Ren look like an absolute moron who can't tie his shoelaces together.
    • It's worth noting that BEN is now the new leader of FO. Judging from what we've seen of Ben, he seems like the person to order his men to spread the tale of his defeat of Luke, and vastly misjudges what people get out of it.

     Why do things fade to myth so fast in the Star Wars universe? 
  • This is sort of a meta-observation/complaint I've always had, but I felt it could be addressed here as a head scratcher because this movie made me think of it again. You see, I'm actually totally on board with Luke Skywalker being a case of Legend Fades to Myth. A character rejecting their old selves has always been compelling for me, and overall I'm not inherently against the idea of this Old Man Logan/Dark Knight Returns version of Luke Skywalker. However, what bothers me is how fast everything seems to fade. As far as I can tell from Wookieepedia TLJ takes place 34 ABY (in other words, 34 years after the climax of A New Hope), which in my opinion is just not long enough for me to accept. I understand why things go obscure or are even forgotten altogether. From what I've seen the Star Wars don't seem super huge on historical education (there are entire planets of people who don't seem to know nor would need to know such things), and of course Luke Skywalker's story in particular has not one but two oppressive governments possibly suppressing it; the Empire preventing people from hearing about his original heroics in the first place, and the First Order make sure they don't spread or are forgotten. This is of course on top of him being reclusive, general wartime and post-war chaos and restructuring, and firsthand witnesses or chroniclers themselves fading into obscurity or dying off.All of these help me swallow the pill, but nothing can change the fact that any middle-aged to senior person living in Star Wars right now was alive (and would have been old enough to remember) who Luke was and what he did. Sure, under oppressive rule the legend of Luke could only spread and be maintained through word of mouth, but that'd hardly be a problem considering anyone's grandparents (or possibly even parents, depending on when they had kids) would know about it.Consider that date again: 34 ABY. 34 years. Vietnam ended 43 years ago; imagine if we talked about General Westmoreland or Richard Nixon like they were Merlin or King Arthur when there could be an actual still-alive veteran just down the street. I bring up the whole thing about parents and grandparents because the character who originally made me feel weird about all this was Han Solo. In the original trilogy (0 ABY for A New Hope) Han talks about the Jedi the way I might talk about samurai or medieval knights, as figures of history from centuries ago. Let's do some math here; Han Solo is in his late twenties or early thirties in the original trilogy. The Phantom Menace takes place 32 years before a New Hope and the Jedi don't die off until Revenge of the Sith (19 BBY) and if anything would have been known by the whole galaxy at the time due to their highly prominent role in a galaxy-spanning war. So in the span of 19 years something that was known to countless billions of sentient beings is now dismissed as a fairy tale by someone who was probably 9-13 at the time i.e. old enough to remember it personally. And even if Han for whatever reason didn't remember anything about the Jedi himself, it is a mathematical certainty that his parents, grandparents, or even possible older siblings (or whoever he grew up with) would have, to say nothing of pretty much every older person he'd ever work with in his career as a smuggler. Has every mob boss and spice dealer Han's ever talked to had this same historical amnesia? Heck, even the bounty hunter who goes after Han would remember the Jedi on account of his father being killed by one. I can forgive continuity errors and plot holes and acknowledge that the reason they're there is just because things from the prequels like the Clone Wars weren't fleshed out (and weren't meant to be) in the context of the original trilogy. I can also accept that pretty much any prequel is going to introduce errors (i.e. Where was Prequel Character during Original Movie? Why didn't Original Character talk about this enormous event in Prequel?), but this has bothered me for years. You really have no idea how ridiculous it is for something to fade in less than two decades. You've already heard my example about Vietnam but now imagine if the Bush presidency, something which pretty much everyone in their thirties will have memories of, was held right now in the same regard as the long-ago prologue to the Lord of the Rings.
    • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale. Also, the Jedi are essentially Buddhist magician warriors in a universe that otherwise operates according to rules of science. Frankly, it'd be weird if they weren't regarded as mythic on some level to begin with.
    • Not that much faster that in our world. Plenty of occurrences from, say, WWII have already grown over with myths, propaganda, errors, forgotten details... What one country holds true and may even back it up, other country may consider a myth/propaganda. And that's just one planet, where evidence is generally not so far away. And this is a legend of a space wizard in a galaxy. You can basically hear the discussion in some bar on Corellia "Ye know, mate, I think this story about farm boy beating the Emperor and Vader with a magic sword is chickenshit. I mean, what are the odds of that ever happening?" "Never tell me the odds..."
    • What exactly "faded into myth" between ANH and TLJ? Rey refers to Luke as a "legend", but I thought it was clear that she meant "legend" in the sense of "a really awesome guy", as opposed to "a character from an ancient presumably-fictional story". (Compare: "Michael Jordan was an amazing basketball player. That guy is a legend".) So no, I don't think anyone developed amnesia about who Luke was or what he did. Nor does anyone in the Sequel Trilogy dismiss the very concept of Jedi. Yes, things were weirder in ANH, where Han dismisses the very idea of the force (and an imperial officer shares that opinion, before Vader chokes him). But although ANH is hard to explain, TLJ is much easier.
      • Rey's exact words when she first heard about Luke were "Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth." In fairness though, she does live on an out of the way backwater planet where news may not spread as quickly.
    • There is only one library in the known universe and it was held by the Jedi. Then it burned. Seriously in twenty or so years they were able to make a clear universal force with midichlorian bacteria empowering people to ancient religion, even with heavy censorship you have to fry private computers of a bunch of place for that.

     What exactly killed Luke Skywalker? 
  • Was it the strain of projecting an image across the Galaxy? Was it a consequence of finally reopening himself to the force? Was it because he had made made peace with his previous failures? Was it because the lightsaber had an effect on his real body when it went through his projected one? The movie doesn't really make this clear.
    • Yes.
    • The way I see it, he didn't so much get "killed" as just give up his life to the Force. This was something he learned how to do from Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda: when Kenobi saw that Luke & company needed a distraction to help them make an escape in A New Hope, he pulled his final vanishing act just as Darth Vader made the final slash to cut him in half, leaving Vader scratching his head over Kenobi's now-empty robes. When Yoda felt his death throes approaching in Return of the Jedi, he likewise checked out early, sparing himself the final pains of death. At the end, now weary of life and convinced Rey was fit to carry on his legacy, Luke decided to expend the last of his energy taunting Kylo Ren and keeping him busy while the remaining Resistance fighters made their escape, and then go join his predecessors in the afterlife while maybe spending some time haunting his wayward nephew alongside Han Solo. If the way Luke trolled Rey during her training is any indication, Kylo Ren is in for a world of torment from his uncle in this life even before he finds out what the Sith afterlife is like.
    • "You're not doing this. The effort would kill you." - Kylo Ren, when his mind is first linked to Rey's (or words to this effect). Luke later projects an even stronger Force presence across a similarly great distance and fades into oneness with the Force immediately afterward. I don't know how the movie could have made it much clearer without simply reiterating what it had already told us.
    • Well, the odd bit there is that Snoke actually sets up the telepathic link and he doesn't die as a result. So if Snoke can do things like that without dying, why can't Luke?
    • Maybe these are two similar but different powers? Snoke set up a link between two people that had already been into each other's brains, were maybe only visible to force-sensitive people and could only see each other; Luke created two different physical illusions visible by everyone including an army, one of which could be picked up and held and he had to be able to perceive his environment. Also maybe Snoke still "used" some of their power for that, like he just set it up and afterwards it was a collective unconscious effort on both of them?
    • I think Kylo mistook the Force Bond for Astral Projection initially, and that's what he meant by saying it would kill her. Setting up a Force Bond probably isn't dangerous at all.
    • Luke is also an old man at this point (if we go by his actor's age, he's in his mid-to-late sixties at youngest). Any combination of the above would probably have been too much for his body to take.
      • The age of Luke Skywalker is one of the most solidly established facts in Star Wars since Episode III was released. Luke was born in 19 BBY and The Last Jedi is set in 34 ABY. So he's not in his sixties yet, only in his fifties... That said, he is portrayed by an older actor...
      • To be entirely fair, this particular fact sounds like it's only "solidly established" in the "supplementary details that you only know if you've read the manual from cover to cover, which many people probably haven't" sense. You kind of need to know what 'BBY' and 'ABY' are, for a start.
      • Well we *literally* get to see the birth of Luke and Leia Skywalker in Episode III. And it is well known that Episode IV and III are 19 years apart.
      • A fair counterpoint (although I'm obviously not remembering the specific lines of dialogue that establish ages and dates in the films).
    • According to the Jedi Way, one of the IRL books being sold in conjunction with the movies which is considered canon, the force has two parts to it that are interlinked but have different properties. The Living force is what dwells in all people and lets Jedi do most of what they do. Manipulating minds, small scale levitation, and enhanced feats of acrobatics all fall within the Living force. Meanwhile the Cosmic force is what handles much of the bigger stuff like wells of force energy on specific planets and where living creatures go after they die. Luke tapped into the Cosmic force, using its incredible power, to pull off a really big maneuver pouring in a lot of his own life energy into it. When he finally ended the illusion so much of him was in the Cosmic force the rest got pulled along with it joining with the Cosmic force not unlike other force ghosts.
    • A great explanation that would have been even more awesome if it was in the movie.

     Are humans the only species still left in the galaxy? 
  • The main characters of this movie as well as the last one are almost entirely human. Where're all the non-humans or human variants like Chiss? There are maybe three or four non-humans in the entire resistance. (Only one or two have even a speaking line aside from Admiral Ackbar) Chewie barely does a thing. Admiral Ackbar is killed offscreen. Any of the "new" characters are human. Star Wars is a very diverse galaxy, why's every single important character human? Did the First Order commit genocide (much more thoroughly than the Empire did) and all the other non-humans on places like Jakku and Totally-Not-Nar-Shaddaa not mind?
    • Whether it's justified or not this is not a new thing. That is the "human" characters (plus some droids) have always made up the vast majority of the important Star Wars characters in the main live action movies, with the blatantly alien races being largely minor or background characters or villains (Jar Jar was comedy relief and only all that important in one movie, making Yoda and Chewie among the few obvious aliens with large recurring roles). This is compounded in The Last Jedi due to how most of the movie takes place in limited locations (a small island, a single large ship, a deserted base) and introduces only a couple of new remotely important characters. One justification could be that the Republic and thus the Rebellion was largely human (supplementary materials state that a large number of planets refused to become part of the new Republic), and with most of the galaxy having surrendered to the First Order the remnants of the Rebellion are still largely human. If nothing else we see on the trip to that high-class planet of war profiteers that there are still plenty of non human species around.
    • All the non-humanoid aliens were sent to a special mission. It was a trap.
    • Actually what makes the lack of Aliens even more non-sensical is that the Empire discriminated against many non-human species, leading them to support the rebellion at least indirectly. In some unique cases, such as the Mon Calamari and the Ithorians, the entire races joined the rebellion. Thus if anything the majority of those in the resistance should be aliens from a lore standpoint. Most main characters being human is understandable since it would be difficult to portray emotions on an alien, however, this wouldn't matter for background characters.
    • Because humans are cheaper that puppets, Serkis Folk or prosthetics.

    Allies in the Outer Rim 
  • Who were the allies that Leia allegedly had in the Outer Rim and how were they supposed to help against the First Order? The film makes a point to emphasize that the Resistance is so small and poorly-funded that they do not even have enough fuel to top off the tanks on their only capital ship. If they had allies that were capable of even considering an engagement with a fleet of First Order star destroyers then why were they so under-equipped in the first place?
    • The most obvious allies would be Kashyyyk (Chewie's home world), Tatooine (Luke's homeworld), Naboo (with whom Luke and Leia would have likely re-connected with in the intervening years after the Civil War) and Corellia (Han's Home world).
    • A potential wild-card can be Kamino, which would make Kylo-Ren's remark of "Maybe the Supreme Leader should field an army of obedient clones" in The Force Awakens all the more deliciously ironic.
    • Probably worlds that secretly founded them or whose government supported them but were unwilling to start an open war.
    • And assuming Billy Dee Williams is still game? Bespin, ruled by one King Lando Calrissian, is also an Outer Rims World. He is among the wealthiest and best funded of The Rebel Alliance, and since he personally loved the Rebel Heroes like family, would more than likely do his part in The New War if he could. ("For Leia.")
    • You've also got the Hutts , who I imagine have learned not to mess with Leia.
    • Excellent point! Even back in the Civil War the Hutts were wealthy, powerful and well-armed enough that The Empire Itself hesitated to interfere with Tatooine or Hutt Space politics, and adopted a "live and let live" policy when it came to Hutt Controlled Worlds. Imagine the sheer manpower (not to mention firepower and monetary power) that can come to bear if Nal-Hutta (the Hutt Home world) can be made to sign the treaty of Resistance.
    • And then again.... sigh... since someone will bring it up eventually, the Ewoks of Endor do worship C 3 PO as their God, so they would join the good fight without even being asked. And jokes aside, these are the same brave warriors whose ferocity and cunning helped to topple the last tyrannical regime.
    • This is not so much ally as an Invaluable Outer Rim World that the Resistance would be stupid not to use. The Battle Droid Factories that lie dormant on Geonosis after The Clone Wars. Once re-commissioned, these factories would be a goldmine of literally un-limited (and completely loyal and obedient) troops that will turn the tide (not to mention an additional poetic-irony of a Heroic-Army of Droids fighting Evil Troopers). The Geonosians have been all but wiped out to a single young queen after the Clone Wars when their race outlived Palpatine's immediate use, and therefore she and her few remaining children would naturally have a huge bone to pick with remaining legacies of The Empire like The First Order, and happily join Leia's cause. And when there are NO warriors in this current era of Obi Wan Kenobi or Mace Windu's caliber, even a single droideka/destroyer droid will decimate'' entire First Order Battalions of Stormtroopers.
    • Coruscant itself has a massive defensive fleet that could be mobilized. In the old stories, it held off an entire imperial assault under Thrawn.
      • Coruscant 1. Was a Core World and 2. the Capital of the Republic; most of its military assets would have been moved with the Government. For more on that, see "Where's the Republic?"
    • Considering the rebel alliance did not use those I will guess that either they had no Ragnarök Proofing or the Empire did the smart thing for once and blasted the Separatist factories to oblivion.
    • I can't remember if Mandalore is an Outer Rim world but joining an out-numbered and out-gunned war against a technological superpower? This is the kind of odds they live for.
    • This is the perfect way to bring an aging Boba Fett (now LORD of the Mandalorians) back into the current Star Wars universe, which will tie up as neat as a ribbon to his highly anticipated stand-alone film. :)
    • Lets face it, if there's anyone leading the Mandalorians in the new canon, it's going to be Sabine Wren.
    • And let's not forget that we know the names of a score of worlds in the Million-system Republic. Look at the size of the Senate Hall in the prequels. There are trillions of people in the galaxy, many of which would fight and die after the First Order unleashed a planet-killer.
  • Where is Hera Syndulla? She lives to fight for the republic and if Leia puts out a distress call she would respond to it, no matter what. And Hera brings the Ghost crew in tow. They would all join in. I mean, even if they couldn't get to Crait in time, The rebellion getting a response from them once they are on the Falcon makes sense. And Forces of Destiny shows Hera survives Episode 6.
    • The Ghost Crew also includes two force users, a Lasat, a Mandalore with VERY high respect among her people, a defected Empire agent, POSSIBLY a pirate who likes them, and Hera herself who is one of the best pilots in Star Wars history. They should at least have responded.
    • It's a very long time since Rebels. Hera's appearance in Rogue One was a little bit of a spoiler as it was, and that was only a year or so in the future. Hera would be 64 years old by Last Jedi, and likely in sunny retirement. Zeb would be 78! Given the direction of Sabine Wren's arc she might well be Queen of Mandalore, and not in the position to act hastily when there's a planet destroying superweapon in play.
    • Plus potentially a billion other worlds we've never heard of because, well, this is a galaxy we're talking about.

     Only one business? 
  • Ignoring the Anvilicious Anti-Capitalist point behind the speech, How is war the only business that get you rich enough to go to Canto Bight? This is acting like the Star Wars Universe is always stuck in a Forever War which it isn't. The galaxy was in a relative peace for 1,000 years before the Clone Wars and realistically there are other ways to get that rice without resorting to War for Fun and Profit. After all the MegaCorps that formed the Separatist didn't get rich solely on war. The Trade Federation was an intergalactic shipping company that did plenty of legitimate business before the events of The Phantom Menace. The InterGalatic Banking Clan minted currency, the Techno Union built factories for other manufacturers note  etc. Other companies like Corellian Engineering Corpation, Industrial Automation, and Cybot Galactica made it to the top of their respective fields with just sales for the every non-military market out there. However, I honestly think the idea proposed in the film's Russian dub where Finn said "ore" instead of "war" is one of the best. After all think about it. In any science fiction setting like Star Wars, the richest people are going to be the ones with mining interests. It doesn't matter what they are mining be it Unobtainium, basic minerals like iron, or fuel, all of those are needed to keep the galaxy running. Mining one of these would make you rich enough to have own an entire planet all of those and you could easily make it to the top of the Fiction500. Look at the Commerce Guild who another separatist founder incidentally. They didn't a war to get to the position they were at. In short I would have to say war is not one the business to get you super-rich in Star Wars as other alternatives exist particularly mining.
    • I think it's pretty obvious with more than ten seconds of thought that he was not literally saying that war was, completely literally, the single, only business that anyone at the casino had ever been involved in. As you point out, the very idea is completely and utterly absurd, and I think it's safe to assume that the writers were not so utterly ignorant as one would have to be to try and make that point.
    • It is entirely possible that Canto Bight was just a high-class version of Jabba's palace. The galaxy is, well, a galaxy after all and there is no shortage of planets with fabulous environments. Wealthy beings who make their money in more legitimate businesses probably have their own preferred resort destinations. The clientele at Canto Bight seems to favor shady types. Finn and Rose were there looking for a master-codebreaker after all! Like Jabba's palace, Canto Bight was probably packed with criminals. The difference being that they were rich criminals, as opposed to the low-lifes that clustered around Jabba.

     Where's the Republic? 
  • In the Force Awakens, the First Order effectively declared war on the Republic by nuking their capital system. In the crawl for Last Jedi, it says they've been "Decimated", except: It's been, at most, a few weeks since Force Awakens opening scenes, Starkiller Base was destroyed after it's first firing, and there's been no mention of the Republic on screen since then. The Republic has to have a military still out there, otherwise it wouldn't have taken a superweapon to destroy the Republic's capital, but Leia's efforts for reinforcements are all about trying to contact the comparatively poor Outer Rim for help, and not all the planets that the First Order's declared war on? Something's screwy here.
    • Various tie-in novels showcase that the Republic has basically gotten way too complacent. The reason Leia had to start the Resistance in the first place was the Republic leadership refusing to treat the First Order as anything but a minor rag-tag collection of former Imperials rather than the huge force they truly were. The entire Republic fleet was around the Hosnian System and thus wiped out by the attack so there are no reinforcements coming.
    • Not to beat a dead horse about the world building, but they probably should've shown that in the actual freakin' film if there was a fleet there getting obliterated. But yeah, that explains some of it.
    • Rewatch the scene of the destruction closely and there are clearly numerous ships around the planets that go up in fire with them.
    • Even if we didn't know the fleet was destroyed, we know several of their planets were totally destroyed. Imagine if ISIS nuked Washington DC, New York, and several other major US cities in the same day. Even if you've got troops in ISIS territory who could deliver a counterstrike, the resultant panic is probably enough that you're in no condition to send in reinforcements.note 
    • Also, remember, that Starkiller Base didn't blow up one planet but a system. The entire Senate was taken out along with almost their entire fleet and various support worlds. Right now, there is no leadership to the Republic and frankly, the terror at what the First Order is capable of is leaving them cowed. It's likely what worlds remain are more interested in protecting themselves than joining a seemingly suicidal battle against a force so strong.
    • One system shouldn't mean much to a GALACTIC republic. I mean, if you blow up Washington DC, is the entire USA completely and instantly crippled? Is the entire army housed right next door to the Senate? It simply doesn't make sense.
    • There should still be some fleet vessels out there. And while that might all be true, you still need to put it in the bloody film. Force Awakens didn't show any fleets getting destroyed, and the Last Jedi's only mention of the Republic is in the title crawl.
    • It's also possible that the destruction of Starkiller Base is not known throughout the galaxy yet. Even if with some awkward Hand Wave in extra Canon material, it's been established that SB's shots traveled through hyperspace, which would also make tracing their source extremely difficult. Even if some signs of a planet being destroyed were eventually picked up on some system, they even may think it's been the First Order again. Basically, right now the people of galaxy may be terrified by a weapon that can strike you basically anywhere... that just isn't there anymore.
    • OP here, and yeah, that makes sense. It's part of the limited time frame of the Sequel Trilogy so far, just not many people have had time to stop and catch their breath.
    • The Visual Guide books have filled in some blanks. First of all, the New Republic was never as large as the Old Republic as, after so much war and tyranny, many worlds preferred to work on their own rather than join a new government. Second, it states that immediately after the Republic capital was destroyed, hundreds of planets surrendered to the First Order before word of Starkiller Base being wiped out was revealed. So the Republic was already in a weaker state and now made worse.
    • There's also the fact that any one from the Republic still alive would have no idea where they are. The Resistance spends the entire movie near an uncharted planet and only gets means of communication at the very end. If anyone managed to gather enough troops to actually do something against the First Order they probably wrote the Resistance off as MIA and went to do their own thing.
    • It was quite openly revealed in dialogue that the Republic's fleet were destroyed during the destruction of their capital. Hux even frames that as the primary objective, with destroying the Republic's government a bonus.
    • It makes no sense for the entire military capability of the New Republic to be confined to their capital system. The galaxy is too big for that.
    • I really do not accept the Republic is complacent as an acceptable answer when it has only been thirty years since the Emperor fell and suddenly we have this force coming along that is using all of the same symbols, methods and icons. This would be like if in 1970 Germany started to build up its army again (complete with brownshirts and SS uniforms) and then started to harass Poland. There are still enough people in the world who remember the first time round to sit up and take notice.
    • Also, plenty of EU materials state that the New republic encouraged member worlds to spend their money on local defense forces, rather than funding a massive Republic military. Shouldn't this mean that the tens of thousands of member worlds collectively possess a huge amount of military assets? Whatever people's opinion of Leia was after word about Darth Vader being her father got out, you would expect that the destruction of the Hosnian System would turn public opinion in the Resistance's favor literally overnight. Especially since Leia had telemetry from the X-wings that attacked Starkiller Base to prove that it was destroyed.

     Lack of familiarity in the Resistance 
  • To all appearances the Resistance is a lot smaller than the old Rebel Alliance. So why does it seem like Poe and Holdo barely know each other? He's their wing commander and she's an admiral. It's not like this is a vast military like those of the Empire or the First Order. The Resistance base at D'Qar was tiny. Unless she spends most of her time off working the social circuit (possible given her unprofessional hair and clothing choices) on other worlds one would expect her to have known Poe almost as well as Leia. Likewise, what is with this obsession with military hierarchy? That is also a big difference from the Rebel Alliance, where the lowest grunts were frequently exposed to the top brass. Given that the Resistance seems to be floundering, whereas the Alliance won the Galactic Civil War, you would kind of expect Leia, formerly a high-ranking leader in the Alliance, to aim for similar camaraderie rather than creating a miniature version of the dysfunctional and status-obsessed Republic. Which was already acknowledged as being broken, thus necessitating the Resistance to begin with.
    • The Resistance might be less formal than the Order or Empire, but it's still a military, and thus it needs to be organized and have a chain of command. Not everyone is going to know everyone else.
    • Missing the point. The Resistance is very small. Small enough for an officer to know every single fighter pilot personally! They do not have a true fleet or numerous installations. The entire Resistance couldn't crew a single star destroyer. They are pretty much an Suspiciously Small Army for a galactic-scale conflict. Just remember that they lost more than half of their fighters in TFA alone.
    • I don't think it's that small. It looked to me like there were hundreds of people on the rebel ships, even after their losses in the opening battle. How many transport vessels were they sending to Crait? A dozen? Probably more? Even if we assume that there were only about fifty people on each ship, that's still 600 or so people. Poe wouldn't be expected to know everyone personally. Admiral Holdo is admittedly different, since as you point out, she's an admiral and he's a commander. However, Holdo clearly isn't the highest up in the Resistance hierarchy, she's just the highest ranking officer they had left after Admiral Ackbar and anybody else who knew what they were doing perished. And because of their mother/adopted son dynamic, Poe is consistently shown reporting directly to Leia, bypassing the need for him to go through any other officers, even though they outrank him. He might know the admirals from strategy meetings and the like, but Poe seems like the kind of guy to just say "Where am I pointing my squadron?" and be done with it. He's very passionate about his piloting, but seems to have little contact with the politics/administration of the Resistance, so he might not be involved in a lot of the conferences Leia would have with other higher-ups. And the Resistance has more than one admiral — surely they would each have different duties to oversee (as you pointed out for Holdo, maybe recruiting?) and overseeing the X-Wings was probably never Holdo's job. (She's conspicuously absent from the decision-making about the attack on Starkiller base, which basically boiled down to 'send in the X-Wings'.) So Poe at least knows who Admiral Holdo is, he just might not have a reason to know her well. As for the obsession with military hierarchy, I don't know that it's strictly an obsession — Leia clearly makes friends outside her station, and Poe can hang out with a First Order defector who showed up out of nowhere and still seems to have no defined position in the Resistance. I got the idea that Admiral Holdo herself just had a more "military" attitude than the rest of them, probably because she came from a "real" military before she joined the Resistance.
    • If Holdo were from a "real" military beforehand then she would have known the importance of presenting a professional image to those under her command (i.e. wearing a uniform, not a cocktail dress). Also, hundreds of people is not a large number. Many schools and most large corporations have more people milling around than that. Often a lot more! Indeed, the problem with introducing Holdo, rather than using one of the existing admirals like Ackbar or Statura is that she was not in TFA and thus sort of just comes out of nowhere, struts in wearing her gown and starts snubbing all the lowly personnel she deems beneath her. This is very weird in an organization this small. It also sends a conflicting message of military discipline (expecting orders to be followed without question) despite the absence of military protocol (admirals out of uniform during battle situations).
    • Hundreds of people is not a large number to be an army facing the First Order, but it's a large enough number that I wouldn't expect every person to know each other, which was what I was focusing on. I was also being conservative in my estimates, as I think there were probably more like a hundred or more people on each transport before most of them got blown up, although that's still small. I do concede that the Resistance appears smaller than would probably be viable vs. the FO, and that they are indeed ridiculously small now if they can all fit on the Millennium Falcon (although it is an old smuggling ship with more space than it might look like). But most of my argument is in regards to how Poe and Holdo wouldn't necessarily have a lot of contact if she never oversaw the X-Wings and he doesn't generally worry about dealing with anyone outside of General Leia. It also occurred to me that his close relationship with Leia might be the reason Poe has a bit of chip on his shoulder. When they talk about someone taking over for Leia while she's recovering, Poe actually thinks he might be next in line, even though he doesn't really possess the leadership and administrative skills to do Leia's job. But he's best friends with the boss and Leia makes no secret of how important he is to her — why wouldn't he think it would be his job to take over? Also I remembered that Holdo isn't actually an admiral — she's a vice-admiral, which would be lower than Ackbar or other existing admirals. Leia clearly trusts her, but her lower rank may give Poe even less reason to come in contact with her given his unique position in the Resistance (a commander, but one with the ear of the general). I earlier commented that he's probably not going to be involved in a lot of higher-ups' meetings, but even if he were to attend/drop by any of said meetings, they might be the highest of the higher-ups' meetings, and Holdo might not have been present at them. This gives Poe even less reason to trust her, since in his eyes she's some random lower-ranked leader he wouldn't even see as part of Leia's inner circle. He clearly goes into the situation suspicious and with no small amount of resentment that she's suddenly in charge. You make a good point about her outfit, but just because it doesn't look professional to us doesn't necessarily mean it's not "professional" in the Star Wars universe. Queen Amidala wore all kinds of wacky stuff and General Leia, a general who is the very top officer of the Resistance wears dresses and styles her hair. I think the Resistance is more lax when it comes to outfits and such, so Holdo wouldn't worry so much about dress code, but they do have structure, so she would worry about her orders being questioned or not taken seriously. The Resistance is not a perfect military, and Holdo certainly doesn't handle the situation perfectly (it might have been nice for Leia to have a line about Holdo's own mistakes, but Leia was asleep during them and didn't really have the opportunity to hear Poe's side of things before Holdo went to her death), but I don't think Holdo's behavior and dress style is necessarily conflicting in this universe — hell, it seems like the good guys of Star Wars get more respect from their subordinates if they're dressed nicely. Introducing Holdo as a new character is a narrative choice with its own hiccups, but I think it works in order to create the situation the film was after. The audience already knows and loves Poe, so we're supposed to be annoyed when some new character pops up and snubs him, which also keeps us in the dark as to her motives, because if it had been Ackbar running things we would have sat back and trusted him no problem. And meta stuff aside, this sort of thing is why the First Order targeted the bridge that Leia was on in the first place — like any military with halfway decent tactics, they killed the top brass so that the subordinates would hopefully be left floundering. And they kind of were.
  • The Resistance might not be big so much as it was expansive, with cells operating in disparate parts of the Galaxy against the First Order. Supplementary fluff claims that the starships in Leia's fleet had been recalled to D'Qar to assist with the evacuation, so presumably Vice Admiral Holdo, aboard Ninka, had never been in the same place as Poe up to this point. They were part of the same organization, and knew each other by reputation, but had never met in person.
    • High turnover rate, why bother knowing that guy's name when his head is gonna go boom tomorrow?

     How is Leia this far behind Luke, Anakin and Kylo? 
  • Seriously, why are her Force powers so undeveloped? Return of the Jedi ends with the Skywalker siblings standing side-by-side underneath the gaze of Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan - three of the greatest Jedi who ever lived. I always thought that the implication was that that the Jedi had now returned and that Leia would go on to train with Luke in the ways of the Force and make her own lightsaber etc and then go on to form a new generation of Jedi. Now true, we learn that Luke kind of went on to do this, but she clearly wasn't involved in any meaningful way. Why all of this scramble to find Luke Skywalker when you have a Skywalker right there? Why can't she train Rey? As far as I can tell from on-screen evidence, she has a bit of telekinesis, a bit of telepathy, and can see Force Ghosts. When compared to what her brother, father, and son is capable of, that is incredibly lame.
    • It's because she became involved in politics (founding the New Republic, preparing for the threat of the First Order, that kind of thing) rather than pursuing any Jedi training. If I remember right, her official political career was brought to an end by a political opponent revealing who her father was. It's also wildly unlikely that the New Republic would have welcomed having Leia's help if they discovered that she was a Force user, especially a Jedi; let's face it, you don't want to be in the position of constantly worrying that your or somebody else's decisions are constantly being swayed by somebody else's use of the old Jedi Mind Trick.
    • Leia far exceeds Luke, Anakin and (especially) Kylo in political and military matters. This is not an accident. She was an Imperial Senator and (according to George Lucas) had the equivalent of a doctorate at age 19! The Force has just never been the central focus of her life what with the Rebellion, the New Republic and the Resistance. She is still capable of some amazing feats due to her great potential, but it is less focused than with the members of her family who have made the Force the central aspect of their lives.

     Where does the First Order get its funding? 
  • It's explicitly stated that selling weapons to the First Order is extremely lucrative. Yet this is a faction that has been relegated to the unknown regions for most of its existence (I'm assuming it's called the "unknown" regions rather than the "remote" regions because it wasn't worth colonizing, otherwise it would have been a part of the Old Republic long before Palpatine took over). As those who are amoral enough to trade with a brutal military Junta probably wouldn't gift weapons through charity, where does the First Order get the cold, hard cash or the resources to trade while regulated to an undeveloped, comparatively worthless region of space?
    • You're asking how immoral Force users can make money? What you can't make with the Jedi mind trick you steal through choking them on the other side of a screen until they give you their account details. And they may even not need to do that if they have even a few rich allies. Ask yourself this: how did the relatively unknown Senator Palpatine gain the services of the Trade Federation to build his army? Charisma and promises of even more wealth and power once you win are powerful motivators.
    • One logical possibility is that when the remnants of the Empire fled to the unknown regions they took a great deal of valuable technology and resources with them. Further, from what I recall according to side materials, for a long time their efforts to rebuild their military strength relied heavily on most of the galaxy not knowing they were doing it, so they worked instead through criminals, smugglers, etc. The New Republic being far smaller than the old one and thus having less influence would have made all this rebuilding easier too due to their own lack of resources to monitor the galaxy (even back at the height of its power the Republic's influence only spread so far, as evidenced by how some planets ignored their laws against slavery and such).
    • There is no reason to assume the Unknown Regions are worthless. A galaxy is stupidly huge and the Galactic civilization is not done exploring either the Core (in [[literature/Heir To The Jedi]] they go to an unexplored moon in the Core) or the various Rims. They may be thousands or millions of uninhabited planets full of valuable minerals all over the galaxy.
    • See, I have to take issue with that. Yes galaxies are stupidly huge, but 1) They have the tech in the Star Wars universe to travel to all points of it anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the engine and 2) They have had this tech for thousands of years. Compare and contrast to Star Trek where warp drive is only 300 years old and is very slow in relative terms, taking 75 years to cross from one side to the other assuming ideal conditions. The only reason why there would be vast chunks of unexplored space at this point is plot convenience.
    • Getting to the planets may be relatively easy, but developing and building the infrastructure on them would still require a huge investment. Also, In many first world nations on earth, the population is either stabilizing or even decreasing. Seeing as the average Star Wars citizen has even more advanced technology (even on backwaters like Tatooine) the galactic population may not be expanding all that much (if at all), further decreasing the drive for colonization.
    • War profiteers and whatever the empire had as an aristocracy likely the first to jump in the First Order train. There is no space Argentina to run to because the galaxy is on the small size so they have to stand together and try to hold their own.
  • On Canto, Rose explains to Finn that The First Order basically seized and strip-mined her home world of all valuable resources to fund the purchase of their weapons, and it's implied that they bought those weapons from the people gambling at Canto when she says "only one business makes you this wealthy". The First Order makes money just like every other business in the galaxy, but they get to skip the start-up costs by using lethal force or extortion.

     Where are the First Order civilians? 
  • According to the tooth-to-tail ratio, you need many times more productive civilians than soldiers to sustain your army. Even modern armies like the U.S.A. need about ten people in logistics for every one solider on the field. This is especially egregious in light of Rose's account where the F.O. used a civilian workforce as target practice the moment their weapons are made. Where is the infrastructure and the population centers the First Order would need to keep their bloated war-machine supplied and maintained?
    • Why use civilians when you have robots? A slave force that doesn't eat, drink, sleep, breathe, or get distracted by love. You could build a thousand factories on the surface of a far-flung, uninhabitable asteroid and be good to go. As for normal population centres, they are everywhere. We just don't see them as they are completely irrelevant to the plot.

     When did the First Order get so big/Republic get so small? 
  • In the last film, as far as I can recall, the First Order was basically just remnants of Empire wannabes. The Republic didn't bother dealing with them because, well, they weren't a big concern, and only sent Leia and a little bit of support (the Resistance). Then, ONE system out of an entire GALACTIC REPUBLIC gets wiped out, and suddenly there's only like 50 ships left in the entire galaxy to fight the Order? Who simultaneously has taken over basically the whole galaxy even after their biggest and most expensive asset was blown up a few days ago?
    • The Last Jedi happened at most few days after the destruction of the Hosnian System and the Starkiller Base. It's very possible that the remaining military of the Republic is in disarray since they basically just lost their leaders.
    • Furthermore, with how many the people in the Centrist party that secretly supported the First Order, there's also possibility of some of the remaining military of the Republic to defect to the First Order.
    • Then the fact that with only having few days, it's also possible that many worlds don't know that Starkiller Base has been destroyed and just chose to surrender rather than being destroyed.
    • Its my understanding that the New Republic never got very big compared to what it was before. Many planets refused to join it and simply governed themselves, so basically when the Hosnian System got wiped out so did the Republic.
    • It's nice you have that understanding, but NONE of that information has been in the movies. The original trilogy (hell, not even the crap prequels) required us to find supplemental material (where exactly is it, anyway?) to figure out what all is going on. The matter of the near complete lack of any Republic capital ships has been bugging me since The Force Awakens. Even the ragtag Rebellion had multiple capital ships. And what the hell is with Leia's group being called "The Resistance" when they won? It seems to me the new team just desperately wanted to write "Rebellion vs. Empire" stories like the OT and just decided to skip the parts that could lead to that plausibly happening.
    • The original movies didn't need supplementary material? Holy crap is that not the case. What exactly the Empire and Republic even were was NEVER made clear, nor what the clone wars, Darth Vader, the Emperor, or even the Jedi actually were beyond the most sparse of details. It's one of the reasons why Star Wars HAS so much supplementary material in the first place. And as for the prequels, if anything the number of plot holes and unexplained details supported even more.
    • It was more so that they didn't "need" supplementary material in the sense that you can watch, say, the original trilogy without having read any supplementary material whatsoever and still perfectly understand what is happening. Sure, there's lots of Noodle Incidents and assumed backstory, and the supplementary material fleshes that out, but you can watch and understand the movies perfectly well without any of it. You can watch the original trilogy perfectly well without, say, knowing who the Emperor was before he became the Emperor. As evidenced by the millions of people who have watched, understood and enjoyed the Star Wars movies while simultaneously not giving a single shit about any of the supplementary stuff or even the prequels.
    • Remember this was a plot point in the prequels as well: the Republic couldn't stop the Separatists because it had no actual army (until the cover was pulled back on the Clones anyway). Now, the New Republic DID have a military but it was so damn tiny (because of their fear of appearing to be a rebranded Empire) it was wiped out by Starkiller Base because nobody expected ANOTHER Death Star. Local planetary/system defence forces can still fight, but they're not organised to do anything more than that and now the Republic's leadership is gone, there's nobody left who can rally them into a coherent fighting force in the literal days between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
    • Ok I think you underestimate how one star system just gone install the fear of god in everyone else wearing the colors of the Republic. This is not blowing up the White House, this is destroying whole state in one move from the moon. What really guarantees they don't have another strike like this in store? What makes you think you can win after this? No wars by our standards even really match just what happened, nuclear bombs are less destructive than that.

     God in Star Wars? 
  • There's a couple of times in the movie where members of the Resistance said 'Godspeed', one being the doomed Medical Frigate captain and another being Holdo herself. So do characters in Star Wars, at least those who are human, have somewhat familiar religion to our real world? I mean, there are characters using 'hell' in those movies as well after all. Han Solo did it in the OT, and Poe said it here as well.
    • I choose to believe that "God" is simply the highest setting on their speedometers. But seriously, the religious references have never been adequately explained.
    • Several cultures have had various gods in the old EU (typically revealed to either be the Force under a different name, a powerful Force-user, or occasionally left unexplained). Most of Star Wars has been secular in an Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions way except for the Force (which is of course a very solid and provable religion), but just because most people are non-religious doesn't mean everyone is.
    • Even if we just look at the films, both Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace made references to the concept of gods and religions. The Ewoks worshiped C-3P0 as a god and he was quick to tell the others that pretending to be a deity was against protocol. Meanwhile, Jar Jar Binks often exclaimed "ye gods" and "by the gods", which implies the Gungans have at least one pantheistic religion.
    • Godspeed is just a figure of speech. It's a fancy way of saying "good luck". An atheist can tell someone "godspeed" and be 100% sincere even though he/she does not literally believe in a god. It's the equivalent of a person saying "Go to Hell" even if they believe there is no Hell to go to.
    • However, there must be a "God" and "Hell", conceptually speaking, for those phrases to exist. Even if they are not believed in by the speaker. Therefore, there is likely an idea of "God" or gods in the SW universe, though that does not necessarily mean a widespread belief or religion.
    • Going by the history of our own world, cultures that have had some form of god in their history, be that a person, spirit, sacred animal, or object, outweigh the ones that don't by 95% easily. Atheism being a serious, widespread alternative to theism has only really been true since the 20th century. And if you ever study anthropology, you'll find this to be true even in completely isolated societies largely cut off from the wider population. The reasons for this are varied and fraught with controversy, but suffice to say that for this not to be mirrored on at least one major planet in the Star Wars universe given just how similar these humans are to us in every other way is unlikely.
    • As for "Go to Hell", belief in an unpleasant afterlife is a fairly plausible outgrowth of the universal human (and presumably alien) belief that dying, y'know, kinda sucks. Many Real Life cultures have independently arrived at the concept of an afterlife that's either retributive or just drab, because an actual state of oblivion is very hard to conceptualize, and a benign afterlife that's not a reward for the best of us runs counter to our fundamental distaste for death.
    • Bearing in mind that the whole Star Wars franchise seems to have a vaguely Eastern worldview to it (just with more laser swords and other flashy effects), one can indeed expect that all of these concepts are widespread, albeit in a rather different way from the Western versions of those concepts familiar to those of us in the Americas and Europe. The Gungans (Jar Jar Binks' people) seem to be a bit like the Hindus with their polytheism, while the Force and the Jedi and Sith all seem to be following certain Buddhist concepts in which the self is a mere illusion and spirits are merely temporarily partitioned manifestations of a greater universal consciousness. That people believe there are gods, but tend to focus more on heroes' stories in their personal mythologies (as with the stable children on Canto Bight at the end of this movie) is a distinctly Jainist line of thought.

      For God and gods, one can easily see how a few Force-ghosts and the Force itself could be taken for deities; for Heaven, one may note the Jedi afterlife is something like a Buddhist's idea of Nirvana. As for Hell, the Sith afterlife is probably something like that, though we haven't (so far) seen any of them manifest as Force-ghosts to tell us about it. Note that in the cyclical thinking of Eastern religion and philosophy, Hell is more a purgatory than a perpetual punishment: the Hindus believe in a number of tortures one endures in various Hells in order to purge bad karma before being reincarnated, while certain strains of Buddhism teach that the life-and-death cycle of reincarnation itself is the Hell to which we are condemned for our evils and from which we are to seek escape through enlightenment. In view of these beliefs, it's likely that the Sith are perpetually doomed to keep being sent back to this world in some form or other to suffer until they purge their Dark Side tendencies (i.e. mend their evil ways), while the Jedi are free from the cares of this world and content to stay at one with the Force and only occasionally appear as ghosts to their descendants and successors to help guide them to attaining the same enlightenment and escape. That's why we don't see a lot of Anakin or Obi-wan or Yoda anymore, and Luke will probably only continue to appear to Rey and Kylo Ren a few more times before going off to join his mentors (and his sister Leia) in the blissful enlightenment of being at one with the Force.
  • To hack this entry with Ockham's razor (to tiny little bits) - Translation Convention. "Godspeed" is just a customary wish of good luck and probably used here to convey whatever the people of the galaxy far, far away say to each other when going on a quest. Not very consistent, as translations go, but there you have it.

     Rey translating for Chewbacca 
  • Why did Rey tell Luke what Chewbacca was saying? She barely knows Chewie and might never have even seen a Wookiee before, yet suddenly she knows what he says? Why does Luke NOT know what Chewie is saying when they have known each other for decades!?
    • Rey being able to understand BB8 was hand waved as her being able to understand a wide variety of languages due to her upbringing on Jakku putting her in contact with many different alien races. Presumably, she also picked up Wookiee somewhere along the way. Now, whether that's a sufficient explanation or not is debatable, but ultimately, it's just because Rey being able to understand Chewie is more convenient for the story than Luke being able to understand Chewie. Luke's story is basically over at this point, while Rey presumably has many adventures to come, so she needs to be able to talk to Chewie, especially if he's going to be her copilot.
    • Rey showed an ability to understand the Wookiee language in Force Awakens. As for her translating for Luke, she just might not know whether or not Luke can understand him, and is just being nice.
    • Rey could have easily asked Chewbacca all about what he knows about Luke on the way to find him, and therefore would know that Luke can't understand Shriwook.

    Language barriers 
  • So Rey tells Chewie to deliver a message to Finn if he sees him before she does. But The Force Awakens established that Finn can't understand Chewie. Finn was knocked out at the end of that movie, and when he woke up in this one, Chewie was another planet away. There's no possible way he could have picked up Shyriiwook in that time frame. How were they supposed to communicate?
    • Chewie clearly understands Basic, even if he can't pronounce it. Maybe he could just write it down?
    • That's what protocol droids are for. Threepio understands Chewbacca just fine. Watch the scene in ANH where Han is saying goodbye to Luke on Yavin 4 - Threepio and Chewie are having a conversation in the background, although heaven knows what about!

     Page-Turners 
  • Paper generally doesn't exist in Star Wars. I can accept that the Jedi texts were an exception and perhaps Yoda had even been around books at one point in his long life, but it baffles me that Yoda would use the expression "page-turners." There shouldn't be an idiom like that, and even if there is, Yoda shouldn't expect Luke to casually know it.
    • Luke had been on the island for years and knew about the books. So he would have at least had some understanding that such things were used in ancient times before the Jedi had computerized archives. As idioms go, "page-turner" is not hard to recognize the context of when speaking of a physical object that one must turn the pages in order to read. Especially since it is implied that Luke himself did not manage to get through all the books. Although another interesting question would be if such old documents would be written in a language that most modern people could read. Godspeed!
  • Even in the Information Age in Real Life, hardcopy is still quite popular, and has some widely recognized advantages over digital storage. So it's entirely plausible that paper and books exist in a Galaxy Far Far Away, even if it's not very widely used. That's aside from the fact that idiomatic usage incorporates references to things no longer in common usage, such as modern military forces making references to "the tip of the spear" despite spears obviously having long since fallen out of favor with most militaries. That said, even a modern person probably has a good idea of how scrolls or clay tablets work (ironically, a clay tablet might be more familiar to a modern user than a scroll would, given the popularity of tablet computers and smartphones).
  • Translation convention? Yoda called them "data sliders" in Basic.
  • You don't need paper to have books with pages. Fabric or parchment are perfectly good for that purpose in a pinch.

    Poe and Maz 
  • How does Poe know Maz? When he talks with her, he sounds as though he's familiar with her and he was the one who thought of having her break the codes. He wasn't with Finn, Rey, and Han went they met her on Takodana. Not to mention at the time Finn thought Poe was dead and didn't meet back up with him until they were on D'Qar.
    • In the Poe Dameron comic books, Poe is pretty much Leia's go-to errand boy for just about everything from recovering sensitive information to finding more fuel for their ships. Maz is an extremely well-connected smuggler who is sympathetic to the Resistance and seems to know Han and Leia personally. Maybe Leia had introduced Poe to Maz as a potential supplier of resources for the Resistance?

     Maz can break First Order codes?? 
  • Finn, Poe and Rose decide to break into Snoke's ship so they can disable the tracker. But they can't get onboard unless they crack some imperial codes. They immediately decide to call Maz. Wait, what? Was Maz ever established as a master codebreaker? Was there a scene in TFA that I'm forgetting? And dang, if they know someone who can sneak onboard a star destroyer, why have they never previously asked her to share this information? This is important stuff, man! Once you know how to sneak onboard enemy ships, you can seen in commando teams with bombs or whatever. And yeah, when they call her she happens to be busy, but if they'd just called previously she probably would have had more free time! Or they could've recruited that other "Master Codebreaker" guy earlier, or whatever. Why didn't they?
    • They probably figured that anyone who could do that would be too expensive for them. They were never rolling in cash and have never been that desperate before.
    • Maz doesn't need to be a master codebreaker. Finn already knows, from personal experience, that Maz is somebody who Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy, and it's not like they have a ton of other people they can call to ask for information about somebody who's going to be a criminal. And, as it happens, Maz really does know a guy who can help them.
    • Yeah, but they didn't contact Maz in hopes that she would point them to some other guy. They contacted Maz in hopes that she could crack the codes personally. This is confirmed by Maz's first words in the movie: "Could I do it? Yes of course I could. But could I do it right now? No. I'm rather busy." She goes on to explain about the "union dispute", and recommends someone else simply because she's too busy. So the writers are going with the premise that Maz is a master codebreaker, even though this has never been previously established. It feels like they were just looking for an excuse to include Maz.
    • Poe knows about Maz's skills. Rose and Finn don't.
    • To be fair, the only reason we never learn that Maz is a master codebreaker in The Force Awakens because it never comes up, because no one needs any codes broken in that movie.

    Kylo's helmet 
  • How did Kylo Ren have his helmet at the beginning of the movie? In The Force Awakens, he took it off before killing Han and left it behind on the bridge when he went to follow Rey and Finn, so it should have destroyed when Starkiller Base blew up.
    • Maybe Kylo made another one just like the former.
  • Another thing; That helmet was not just a thing Kylo wore to emulate Darth Vader. It was part of the Knights of Ren uniform. It seems Snoke, Star Wars fans and even the writers forget this. That helmet would be valid even if it wasn't a "Vader Fanboy" thingy.
    • Where is it established that the all the Knights of Ren wear that helmet? So far we haven't seen any of them besides Kylo.
    • Assuming that they are the other Jedi apprentices that helped Kylo destroy Luke's academy, then we have already seen them in flashback.
    • ...Luke, Kylo, and Artoo were literally the only ones we saw in that flashback. If you're talking about Rey's vision in Force Awakens, then they are wearing helmets, but they're different from Kylo's. It's very unlikely they're part of a uniform, in that case. As for why Kylo has a new helmet here, if he's so dead-set on hiding his face and identity, it makes sense he'd have multiple copies or could quickly get another.
    • The "uniforms" of a loose group of people do not need to be identical. Notice that Kylo himself idolizes Darth Vader but opted for a different helmet design than his grandfather's. Kylo may have felt that Rule of Cool required helmets, but didn't want the Knights of Ren to be like identical stormtroopers.
    • Worth noting that (a) we know almost nothing about the Knights of Ren, who they are, what they want and how they were formed, and (b) they're (possibly) named after Kylo Ren. Assuming that Kylo named them and designed their uniform, then it is hardly mutually exclusive that (a) the helmet is part of the uniform and (b) Kylo designed it out of his fanboyism towards Vader, with some added "this looks cool" flourishes.

     When did "no name" become "know name"? 
  • Rey should have no idea that the man in black with the crossguard lightsaber is called Kylo Ren. She knows he is Ben Solo, but I can't recall anybody speaking his Dark Side name in her presence before she says it herself, so how does she initiate a plea to Luke while mentioning his name? Did she learn in in some offscreen downtime, or through the Force? If I'm remembering correctly and she never hears the name on screen, it's a minor plot hole. Or do Force users always know the other person's name, and Luke only asked Rey because he cut himself off?
    • Kylo Ren is a pretty big player in the First Order. It's hardly unlikely that she's heard his name spoken in some context and, through various interactions with other characters, managed to put two and two together.
    • It's possible someone in the Resistance told her his name.

     Force-sensitive kid in the end 
  • Why is it treated as a big deal that some kid has latent force powers? I think it was established that force users do emerge all around the galaxy, and always have, wasn't it? Moreover, why is it shown as a hopeful moment, if the Empire is in full control again, so Kylo is far more likely to get to this kid, and other potential Force users, first, to kill or convert as he sees fit?
    • It's a big deal because he's clearly being inspired by Luke. He's far more likely to go to the Rebellion than to let himself be grabbed by the First Order. And just because they're "in charge" does not mean they have anything like the infrastructure that the old Jedi Council had to find force-sensitives.
    • Because that kid is also probably not the only one. If some lowly stablehand can use the Force, then anyone can.
    • Why? Nobody made such assumption back when a lowly scrapshop assistant was found to be sensitive. Not the only one - I agree, but so what? As for the sensitive-finding infrastructure, since Palpatine apparently had a goal of exterminating all the Jedi, I think he would need one in place, .
    • The First Order is not the Empire. Palpatine's resources are not the First Order's resources, as Palpatine's infrastructure was based in Coruscant, while the First Order was out on the edge of Republic territory up to now. The First Order doesn't have the kind of control over the galaxy that Palpatine does. That's why Leia's resistance was fighting them in TFA instead of the Republic — the First Order was seen as some meager imperial remnant.

     Force Bond 
  • Snoke was the one responsible for setting up the force bond between Rey and Kylo Ren, so when he died, how is the two still have that bond by the end of the movie? Is it a permanent thing? Or it's just a side effect of the growing affection between Rey and Ben?
    • It's possible Snoke was lying about creating the bond and they accidentally did it themselves in The Force Awakens. Claiming he did could very well be an attempt to demoralize them, since he directly mocks Rey for thinking Kylo would stand with her because of the bond. Not to mention, I'm not sure when he could have forged the link since this film was the first time he came into Rey's presence.
    • Snoke's claim seemed to be more that he manipulated/magnified the bond and made them see what he wanted them to see (i.e. the visions of them turning each other to light/dark), and Rey and Kylo having already been in each other's minds is probably what enabled him to do so.
    • What you're thinking of is No Ontological Inertia - it would seem that it's averted here.
    • I assumed that he simply did some Force-nudging to plant the seeds, and then the bond grew naturally between two such powerful Force-sensitives. Maybe he monitored it and helped it along, but it's not a spell — it's a connection due to a natural force, just like how Luke and Leia, Leia and Kylo, etc. can contact each other. I don't see any reason why it would end with Snoke's death, although considering Rey's opinion of Kylo at the moment, if he tries to contact her again through the bond (and probably will), she might find a way to shut him out, like Luke purposely cutting himself off from the Force.

     Couldn't Kylo Ren just use his Force Bond with Rey to figure out her location? 
  • So a major twist in the film is that Snoke was deliberately creating a Force Bond between Kylo Ren and Rey in hopes of manipulating Rey to try to bring Ben back to the light and come to save him, at which time Ben would bring Rey to Snoke so he could mind-probe her for Luke's location. Okay, that makes sense, but couldn't Kylo Ren just figure out Rey's location from their shared visions instead? It seems like they both can see each other through their visions. If so, then Kylo could've easily figure out where Rey is, and therefore, Luke's location, because it's the only logical location where Rey would be.
    • It might be easy to miss but early in the visions Kylo Ren states he can't actually see any of Rey's surroundings, he's only able to see her and thus he can't figure out where she is.
    • Not to mention Ahch-To isn't particular distinctive looking, and is extremely remote.
    • Even if it was it would not give him the coordinates of the planet on the galactic map.
    • Darth Vader could have done that. Between ANH and TESB, he tracked Luke across the galaxies just by using the Force (and without the advantage of this kind of link). But, alas, Kylo Ren is not Vader.
    • No, that's not what happened; the Empire had sent out thousands of probes to hunt the Rebellion, and one just happened to find them on Hoth. When it was destroyed, Vader came to investigate, and then he sensed Luke. The entire reason he captures Luke's friends on Cloud City is because he doesn't know where to find him and is using them as bait.
    • There's a whole shedload of extended universe material explaining the steps Vader went to in order to find Luke and confirm he was his son. It's likely not canon anymore, but the original intent is there.
    • ...No, it's just plain not canon. That's the whole point of Legends, it's not canon anymore, and the films still show that Vader couldn't track Luke through the Force.
    • The very first film established that Vader couldn't even use the Force to find the Death Star plans, which spent the film variously being in close proximity to his daughter, his old Jedi Master, his former personal astrometch droid, the protocol droid that he personally built, and his son. Not to mention being in close proximity to him for an extended portion of the plot when all of the aforementioned characters were on the Death Star. Clearly Vader's abilities of divination have limits.

     Snoke's GPS 
  • Ok, so Snoke reveals that he's been facilitating/boosting Rey and Kylo Ren's mental connections throughout the film. I have just a couple of questions about this:
    • 1) How did Snoke find Rey to make or use the connection? Could he just sense her Force signature out in the galaxy, now that her powers are awakened? This at least seems possible, since Rey is still a neophyte and has no experience shielding herself from detection, and Force users have many times been shown detecting when other Force users are nearby (though Snoke's ability to do this exceeds prior users by orders of magnitude). However, this leads me to my next question:
    • 2) If he is powerful enough to detect and manipulate Rey into having visions *from across the galaxy*, or at the very least pick up on Rey and Ren's already-extant connection, why doesn't Snoke use that connection to track her to Skywalker's planet? We know that Snoke badly wants to know where Luke Skywalker is, so he can finish him and the last of the Jedi off. If Snoke can accomplish the non-trivial task of finding one person in the galaxy and fiddle with their Force bond, pinpointing or at least narrowing where she is from there would seemingly be child's play.
      • Just because you know someone's email address doesn't mean that you know anything about their location. Likewise, just because Snoke can set up a Force Bond with Rey doesn't mean that he knows anything about Rey's location. Apparently this particular force power just doesn't work that way.
    • Force Bonds are well established in the Legends canon, and seem to work exactly as described here as well. He could have set up the force bond as soon as Kylo told Snoke about Rey, or when he got back after being chopped up. They likely already had some sort of connection that he just had to amplify, Rey and Kylo had after all already had a mental duel through the force. As for using it to track down Skywalker... well, that would involve Kylo knowing about the force bond, which would spoil Snoke's big plan. Being an Orcus on His Throne type, he was likely hoping Skywalker would come to him, with enough encouragement.
      • Sure, but his throne moves: he could take his enormous flagship to Skywalker's planet any time he felt like it and blast him. While I guess you could say that Snoke was just being cagey about Skywalker setting a possible trap, that seems a lot more in character for him in the last movie (where he stayed firmly in the shadows) versus this one (where he arrogantly flaunts his power, both personally and militarily).
      • It's not that simple to locate someone's exact location through a Force Bond, especially when the person doing the locating is Kylo Ren (who's powerful, but no master). Plus it would almost certainly tip off both her and Luke, and then they could simply leave before Snoke even got there. Far better to fool Rey into thinking Kylo could be redeemed, and then hopefully get both Luke and Rey to come to in this misguided assumption that they were in control and had the advantage. And frankly, this is why Snoke is so smug and arrogant in this movie, as far as he's concerned things are going pretty damn well for him (despite the incompetence of his minions).
      • Also, he's a Star Wars bad guy; as if he's going to want to pass up the opportunity to defeat the Last Jedi in person rather than just blowing him up from orbit.

     Finn's recovery 
  • Notice Luke Skywalker still has his prosthetic limb? Why wouldn't he? It's only been forty years right? Medical science clearly isn't that advanced compared to the overall technology level of the galaxy, an overall technology level that hasn't changed much. Now as complex as a hand is, it's not as important to functionality as the spine. Theoretically, a light saber cut hand can be reattached if it doesn't fall down chasm but a light saber rent spine should be done, no questions asked. That's what we see with Finn. By rights, he should be dead when combined with exposure. It would be a sad but fitting end to the storm trooper taken by his family who refused to bend to his captors and used his last breath swinging at the figure head of them he helped bring low, even managing to land grazing blow before going down. Even with his unlikely survival, with most of his spine fried Finn should be paralyzed. This is a bitter but fitting continuation of his story, a mook faced The Dragon and the dragon wrecked him for life. At the risk of repeating Saw Guerrera, this would also allow Finn to get cybernetic implants in his skeletal and nervous systems, which would allow him to avenge himself or something. Even if he stays paralyzed, he could still have some Hidden Depths that allow him to contribute to the plot. But instead we see Finn running around just fine, severely reducing the impact of his defeat at Kyle O'Ren's hand. Killing, even permanently maiming a sympathetic character audiences have become invested gives a villain credibility. Yeah, Kyle killed his father too, but Han didn't fight back. While Finn isn't a great warrior, he would have been something for Kyle. But narrative criticism aside, how exactly is Finn still walking? He shouldn't need to be rebuilt to the extent Grievous or Vader were, but some kind of artificial reconstruction would be necessary according to what we have seen.
    • Simple: Kylo didn't cut his spine. He gave him a shallow cut across his back that didn't sever his spine. Same as Rey gives Kylo a shallow cut across the face that doesn't lop off half of Kylo's head.

Other

[[folder: "They Can Track Us Through Hyperspace"]]

  • So...how and why does Leia know that they can do this? I mean, I guess we can attribute it to her Jedi intuition, but that doesn't really serve her anywhere else, and everybody just agrees with her. It feels very contrived.
    • Considering the First Order fleet tracked their position perfectly the moment they dropped out of hyperspace, this really wasn't a difficult conclusion to make.
    • The specific conclusion was that they could trace their hyperspace signature. There were other possibilities that weren't discussed, such as a ship being bugged (as in A New Hope), or Snoke or Kylo sensing Leia through the Force, or there being a traitor...The problem is not that it isn't a sound theory, but that it's treated as fact without any real proof.
    • Nobody really gave much talk to the method. The important point is that they obviously were managing it somehow; the details of how were immaterial. Besides, Holdo was acting as if they might have a spy on deck anyway.
    • Honestly, the way they kept putting focus on the locator beacons that Leia and Rey were wearing, I thought they were tracking that.
    • And I thought they were tracking Finn somehow.
    • Being followed after a hyperspace jump seems to have been fairly unprecedented. Snoke and Kylo have been hunting the Resistance for years, so the possibility that one or the other was sensing Leia may have been discounted long ago, on the basis that they'd have found her long before now if they could.
    • Except that they had already managed to do exactly that in The Force Awakens. Hux already pulled this trick once before when the First Order was able to detect Snap's X-wing reconnaissance run around Starkiller Base and track him all the way back to D'Qar. This implied that the First Order had such a capability even before the larger ships came into play.
    • Heck, they've been tracking ships ever since A New Hope. The empire put a tracking device onboard the Falcon, which allowed them to find the rebel base on Yavin IV.
    • Well, that last is specifically with a tracker attached to the ship. The implication here was that they were tracking all of the ships without anything of their own attached to them.
    • Ruling out a spy and/or beacon seems relatively plausible: it's fairly likely that at least one or more vessels in the fleet has sensory equipment to detect transmission (equipment that a small smuggling vessel would likely not have)
    • Also Leia's behavior is correct even if she *did* suspect a spy. Per Infernal Affairs, if you suspect a mole in your midst you should never let on that their cover has been blown, but rather make a public display of having been successfully misdirected meanwhile running a covert segmented misinformation campaign in order to isolate the culprit
  • Fridge Brilliance: with the amount of stunts the Falcon and other Rebel ships pulled, it would make sense the Imperial Remnant (oops, First Order) would grow tired of the stunt and figure out a workaround. As for how they did it? A tracker on Finn is a possibility (they probably would have contingencies for their grunts deserting). A second possibility is the mundane spy on the ship. A third possibility is "Kylo Ren" tracking Leia via the Force, which ties into one of the arguments made by Kreia that family has such a powerful influence it's a Force Bond by default.

     Rey on the Falcon 
  • This seems similar to the end of TFA where Rey hugged Leia despite never actually meeting her before; here, Rey flees Kylo Ren by stealing Snoke's personal cruiser...and next time we see her, she's suddenly on the Millennium Falcon. What gives?
    • Rey didn't escape on a personal ship, it was an escape pod. Plus, before she turned herself in, she specifically told Chewie to wait for her signal to come pick her up. It's clear that Chewie did in fact pick up up and Rey transferred to the Falcon offscreen.
    • Hux told Kylo that Rey took Snoke's ship. Maybe she ditched it to get back on the Falcon in case the First Order could track it.

     Secrets and Sellouts 
  • Holdo's plan was so secret that few of the other crew knew about it. Especially not Finn & Rose, who left on their special mission well before the secret was revealed, under the assumption that the only way for the Resistance to survive was to enable a hyperspace jump. After they're captured, DJ somehow clues in the First Order to look for the transports. How did he know?
    • His stolen vessel had the same stealth tech. He clued them in on it and it paid off.
    • More to the point, DJ was right there when Poe hotheadedly radioed Finn and Rose to update them on the secret plan. This also completely justifies Holdo keeping the plan from Poe in the first place.
    • Still doesn't quite add up, though... At the point Poe talked to the others, he still thought that Holdo was just going to jump ship and leave the rest of them to die, and that he had stopped her plot. There's a pretty big leap of logic/intuition/con artistry/whatever from a stolen high-roller's cloaked ship and a failed desertion to the huge payoff he received. Or maybe it was all just a gamble and he got lucky.
    • DJ shows us (well, Rose and Finn but you get the point) that the previous owner of the ship he stole was selling weapons to both the First Order and Resistance via information he gets from the ship's computers. He could also have found information that the Resistance was bulk buying stealth technology that's too small to fit in a frigate, too large to fit in a fighter, but just right to fit in a transport.
    • I don't think it ultimately matters whether DJ knew about the stealth tech or not. He knew the plan was to send people out in transports, and it's established that the transports were "stealthy" but not undetectable. The Raddus was to keep going to keep attention on itself and prevent the First Order from ever suspecting that any transports had launched in the first place. All DJ had to say was "Hey guys, they're sending everybody out on transports" and Hux could say "Well, I don't see anything, but yeah, start scanning. Oh hey, there they are, sweet."

    FO sparing Finn 
  • Why don't FO blast Finn after Rose rams into him, and how the hell did he manage to return to base (correct me if he didn't) across a huge open field in plain view of the enemy force?
    • At that point, Kylo Ren had ordered all of his forces to concentrate fire on Luke, so perhaps those who noticed decided to ignore him due to fear of what the Kylo Ren would do if they disobeyed him. He said fire at Luke, but he didn't say to resume targeting the rebel scum. Given his temper and habit of throwing Hux around, the rest of the FO may reconsider shooting old targets, unbelievable as that seems. Or nobody at all noticed Finn and Rose because all attention was on Luke. "OMG the guns did nothing to him! And the Supreme Leader is now gonna fight him!" He's that interesting a sight.
    • Yes, sure, but all that excitement lasted for a couple minutes at best. Are you telling me it was enough for Finn, who was most likely wounded and dragging an unconscious person, to get back to the base on foot? The skimmers could only (barely) carry one person, so I don't think anyone could give them a lift.
    • They might not have 'spared' him as much as 'not noticed or paid attention to him'. They see two ships crash into each other, logically assume that the pilots have been killed in the crash, and proceed under that assumption without bothering to confirm it. Plus, they're gonna wipe out the base and kill everyone anyway, it's not like there's any urgency to kill any survivors from two junked out relics which have crashed.
    • No, there's not, but still, the timing doesn't add up. Finn and Rose crash right in front of the cannon, several hundred meters from the base at the very least, and two minutes later he's already inside.

    Finn getting Rose back to the Crait hangar 
  • So Finn was able to pull Rose from her wrecked speeder, strap her to some debris, and slowly drag her all the way back to the hanger ... and the First Order just let him get away with that? None of the walkers thought to shoot at the downed Resistance pilots, or just a serious case of Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy?
    • Everybody was looking at the ultimate showdown of final destiny between Luke and Kylo Ren, I guess. I know I would.
    • Kylo Ren commanded all weapons focus on Luke. After that failed, he commanded everybody stand down. Nobody was willing to risk Kylo Ren's wrath just to pick off a couple of survivors who - for all they know - could be just grunts.
    • If they were even noticed, why waste the ammo? The only place they can run to is the massive bunker that, so far as anyone is aware, has only one entrance and exit, which the massed forces of the First Order are steadily marching towards. You're gonna kill everyone anyway, letting a couple of injured junker pilots have a brief Hope Spot isn't going to hurt you.

     No Really, What The Hell Was Up With That Cave 
  • When she goes in we just see a bunch of illusory duplicates and then... nothing and it's never brought up again
    • Luke basically says its a focus point/nexus for the dark side of the Force the same way the Jedi temple above is deeply connected to the light side of the Force, or at least he implies as much when Rey first senses it and Luke remarks matter-of-factly that for powerful light to exist in a place there must also be a powerful darkness.
    • As for why she saw duplicates of herself, it seemed to be symbolism like the cave where Luke fought a Vader illusion that had his face. Rey wanted to see her parents, but they are dead and so the cave showed nothing but herself, because she is alone. Or alternatively/additionally it was symbolically showing her that she was the one with the answer about her parents (as Rey later admits she knew the truth but refused to accept it).
    • If you think about it, the cave is basically saying "you won't get any answers here," which almost immediately drives Rey into leaving to try to turn Kylo Ren - which is the best chance in the movie for the Dark Side to get Rey to turn or be killed. The Dark Side was showing her nothing but herself in order to sow despair and get her to go where its servants had a chance to work on her.
      • It always came across as weird that characters (as well as some viewers) see the cave as offering a truly honest answer when it's full of the dark side, which has always been established as corruptive. At best it makes Rey's honest feelings of loneliness, and fear she is no one, a truth Froma Certain Pointof View, to do dishonest work in sliding her into a place she could fall to the dark side from. Palpatine used Anakin's love to corrupt him in the right circumstances too and got Anakin into the right viewpoint to set up the fall - honest feelings, dishonest work. Luke even notes that she went right to the dark because it offered an answer, but it's never said to be the right one. It's basically what Kylo Ren does later (whether he is actually right is notably still up for debate); gives her a painful answer designed to break her when she's vulnerable.
      • Just because it's the dark side doesn't mean it's not capable of honesty — especially if, as argued even here, a painful truth is going to be more devastating for someone than any number of lies. Undoubtedly, that truth would be presented in a way best designed to hurt and break Rey (its still the dark side), but that doesn't make it not true. And it's also not like the light side is the side of pure, unfiltered honesty which can be unquestionably trusted, as I'm sure Luke Skywalker would point out when it comes to the subject of Obi-Wan, Yoda and the identity of his father.
  • Another question: How is a woman who's lived her entire life on a desert planet know how to swim?
    • Babies instinctively know how to swim due to the amniotic environment they just spent nine months in, and while that skill fades if it isn't kept up, the basics are still in our subconscious. Therefore, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that Rey was just floundering until she touched land and operating on pure fight-or-flight (plus, the water wasn't terribly deep and she landed relatively close to the shore).

     Swimming 
  • When Rey finds the Dark Side nexus on the island, she falls off a cliff and swims a short distance. How exactly did a person that has lived on a desert planet for her entire life know how to swim?
    • Already answered in one of the above headscratchers so I'm just copying the answer here: Babies instinctively know how to swim due to the amniotic environment they just spent nine months in, and while that skill fades if it isn't kept up, the basics are still in our subconscious. Therefore, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that Rey was just floundering until she touched land and operating on pure fight-or-flight (plus, the water wasn't terribly deep and she landed relatively close to the shore).
    • I don't think babies do much swimming in the amniotic environment, given that there's nowhere to swim to and anyway they're tethered by the umbilical cord. Spending time in a watery environment doesn't automatically teach you how to move around effectively. (There's also the fact that infants plainly don't know how to swim, as several tragic incidents can attest...). The best I can say is that maybe someone on Jakku has a pool.
    • Lifeguard here. Babies definitely DO NOT have any instinctive swimming ability. At best they MIGHT have an instinctive "stop breathing" ability.
    • She only swam ten feet and yet came out of the water gasping like she had just competed in the water Olympics. I think she didn't swim so much as flail towards shore.
    • Indeed, it should be remembered that in real life people who can't swim don't necessarily just sink to the bottom. They tend to flail around at the surface for a bit and may move some distance while flailing (hence why people who try to rescue them risk getting dragged down).
    • The fact that Jakku has a breathable atmosphere and at least some wildlife (the metal-eating pseudobirds) suggests it's not totally devoid of water. There's probably an oasis or large vaporator-stocked cistern at the village where she traded in her scavenged junk, with an adjoining bathhouse that people can pay to use. When she was still a child, the trader who'd bought her from her parents probably covered her entry fee at times when she got too grubby to stand downwind of, and she seized the opportunity to take a nice dip in the bathhouse's tiny pool.

     How did DJ know about the escape plan? 
  • After being captured, DJ buys his freedom and a large reward by telling the First Order about the Rebels' plan to escape in cloaked ships. But how did DJ know about the plan? Finn and Rose didn't tell him, they didn't know about it. DJ wasn't any part of the Resistance. How could he sell out a plan there's no reason for him to know about?
    • He used the same trick to get them onto the flagship. He took a gamble that that's what the Resistance was doing and it paid off.
    • I think the idea is that he overheard that radio conversation where Poe tells Finn about the transport ships. IIRC he didn't tell Finn about the cloaking devices (because he himself didn't know about them), but apparently DJ figured that out on his own.
    • When Poe finds out about the transports, but before learning about their real purpose, he IMMEDIATELY gets on the comms with Rose and Finn while the latter are flying through hyperspace to reconnect with the fleets. He blurts out the transport plan loudly and carelessly, without even acknowledging whether R&F had the codebreaker with them or even if said codebreaker could be trusted to hear that information. The camera even lingers meaningfully on DJ while this conversation is going on.

     Kylo's statement about Rey's parents 
  • Why does everyone take Kylo Ren's statement about Rey's parents being "nobodies" as the absolute truth? The man is a Sith Lord (or a "Knight of Ren" or a "Dark Jedi", or whatever you wanna call him), who specialize in manipulation and deception. The statement was made during a time when Kylo was tempting Rey to join the Dark Side. And the previous movie dropped several hints about Rey's parents having significance in the larger scheme of things. All of this points towards Kylo lying to Rey to win her over, yet for some reason everyone assumes he told the truth.
    • The short answer: Villains Never Lie.
    • And you would be right, he could be lying. BUT, as I pointed out on another example, the evidence for there being a script change between The Force Awakens and this film is everywhere, especially if you listen to Mark Hamill's scathing criticism of this Luke Skywalker. Its hard to believe he would have come back if this was the brief he was given before he signed the contract. My personal opinion is that it boils down to two things: Change of director, and the negative fan response to Rey, because like it or not, the amount of people who have accused her of being a Mary Sue are gigantic. Famous parents, can fly the Millennium Falcon as good as Han and Chewie, wins a lightsaber fight against a Sith Lord without any training, learns to use her Force powers far quicker than Luke ever did, makes friends with the Resistance without effort etc. Changing her heritage from Skywalker/Solo/other great figure to nobody has watered down a lot of the criticism.
    • About the script changes: Daisy Ridley's confirmed that JJ Abrams always intended Rey's parents to be nobodies, he just didn't force Johnson to adhere to it (but he chose to anyway). So this being because of a script change isn't possible.
    • Now, as for why people don't think Kylo is lying: he doesn't say Rey's parents are nobodies. She does. What Kylo actually does is offer his two cents on why they left her. The way the series presents and intends it, Rey always knew the truth, hence her line about him having a father who loved him (she knows she doesn't), the mirror sequence showing only herself (because she knows the answer), and Maz's line about Rey already knowing her parents are never coming back in The Force Awakens. She just pretended otherwise to cope. Secondly, Rian Johnson confirms he's neither lying to nor manipulating her. Thirdly, while Kylo's Dark, he's absolutely terrible at manipulation (and again, according to Word of God, hasn't engaged in it).
    • Kylo probably doesn't know exactly who Rey's parents were or what happened to them any more than Rey does, but he's offering what is a plausible and likely narrative about who they were and what happened to them in order to underscore what Rey herself deep down knows — her parents weren't special, they abandoned her, they aren't coming back and, ultimately, she doesn't need them.
    • Also, on a more meta level, Rey's parents' being just some random people fits with the general theme of The Last Jedi, which is to take the cliched tropes of Star Wars (and heroic fantasy in general) and subvert them so that Reality Ensues. Poe acts like a Military Maverick, but instead of managing to save the day by breaking the rules, he screws everything up. DJ is seemingly a Lovable Rogue, like Han Solo was in the original trilogy, but in the end he doesn't turn out to be Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and instead he sells out the heroes. Luke is shown to be extremely disillusioned with the Warrior Monk philosophy of the Jedis, which was the moral backbone of the previous' movies, but now it's implied to be only one of many alternative ways of approaching the Force. So with all those subversions, it's quite fitting that The Last Jedi also discards the ages-old tropes of Lost Orphaned Royalty and Changeling Fantasy (which were used in the original trilogy with Luke), and instead shows with Rey that you can become a hero regardless of how prestigious your bloodline is.

    DJ in prison 
  • Why do these people keep putting inmates into cells without searching them first? This is the second time now (first was in Rogue One) when criminals are allowed to keep things that let them escape! At least in RO it was some backwater terrorists, but here it's a regular police force on a rich and advanced world!
  • Also, whose bright idea was it to put male and female prisoners in the same cell? There're good reasons this isn't done in real life.
    • The rich inhabitants of the area are established as corrupt. They probably just don't give a crap if anything happens between prisoners.
  • If DJ could escape so easily, why didn't he do that before?
    • It looks like he was sleeping before Finn and Rose got in. Since he can get out any time he wants he might as well take a good nap before having to outrun some angry guards, no?
      • Or, from some of his behavior, maybe he was drunk/high/whatever and was sleeping it off first.
    • According to the Visual Dictionary, he intentionally got himself arrested for a petty crime because the cell is the only place he can get some sleep without being pestered by the police.
      • So, the second best code-breaker in the galaxy cannot find decent employment in the den full of fat cat arm dealers? Did he also have crippling parental issues like Rey did?
      • Maybe he can't get work because he's a backstabber who'll turn on you when he gets into trouble.
      • His motto and moniker is "Live Free, Don't Join"....He's not a guy who wants an honest job or live "in society". He doesn't do bosses, rules, laws, etc. He prefers living the life of an outsider. A regular job wouldn't be his "bag"!
    • The one-shot DJ: Most Wanted comic also explains why he was in jail. His crime this time around involved a complicated caper involving competing casinos, some gangs, a car-chase and an alter-ego of his called "Denel Strench" (which was messed with by a droid DJ annoyed earlier).
      • ....which leads to another question about that comic; DJ actually had an apartment of his own (a droid he annoyed earlier broke-in and hacked into DJ's 'Denel Strench' Alter-Ego program) so why does he need to get arrested every night in order to sleep? Also; Considering that people need sleep every night, wouldn't he have the longest rap-sheet in the galaxy? On the same token, wouldn't a chronically-arrested person just get tossed into a more serious prison-sentence, instead?

     What's with the stormtrooper parade? 
  • The hangar Rose and Finn are brought into to witness DJ getting his 30 pieces of silver and then almost get executed features hundreds of stormtroopers standing at attention arranged into neat squares and blocks. Now this is clearly meant to mirror similar scenes in the Original Trilogy, however there it was a welcoming ceremony for the arrival of the Emperor. Surely they wouldn't throw a military parade as a send-off to DJ, much less for the two rebel scum that are about to be beheaded. So why all that pomp and circumstance? What's the occasion?
    • I think it's less about two rebels and more about Finn specifically. He resisted brainwashing and turned traitor; that's something that might inspire other Stormtroopers. Parading him like this before executing him would be a way of saying "see, this is what happens when you turn on the First Order".

     "It's salt" 
  • So why does the guy taste the ground in the first place other than to let the audience know it's salt? Does he do this on every planet he visits?
    • He can probably smell the salts in the air and was trying to work out where the scent came from. Not like there is a great many candidates as to the source.
    • Plus the stark blood-red footprints everyone left probably clued him in that it's NOT sand or dirt.
    • Basically yeah, he’s trying to figure out what this white thing is as his eyes and scent of smell is telling him that it’s certainly not snow, sand, mud, or dirt.

     Luke knowing about the events of the Prequel Trilogy 
  • While Rey is trying to convince Luke to teach her the ways of the Force, Luke talks about how the old Jedi Order was flawed. He goes on to talk about how the Jedi's arrogance allowed Darth Sidious to rise to power. While it's great that he understands the mistakes of the old Order, how could Luke possibly have known any of this? How did he know Palpatine's Sith name or that the old Jedi Order fell because they got complacent? It's not like there were history books documenting the truth, given the Empire destroyed any knowledge about the Order. Luke couldn't have learned about this from any other Jedi given that they are all dead. Additionally, throughout the Original Trilogy, Palpatine was always referred to as "the Emperor". He was never referred to as "Darth Sidious" prior to the Prequel Trilogy. So when did Luke discover Palpatine's Sith monikor? While I understand that it was supposed to be a Continuity Nod, it seems almost impossible that Luke would know any of this.
    • From Luke's own experience he knew Palpatine was a Sith lord; it would also be common knowledge that Emperor Palpatine started as Senator Palpatine, and Luke's bright enough to know that he didn't suddenly become a Sith Lord overnight; ergo, he can conclude that Palpatine, a Sith lord, was hiding under the Jedi's noses for decades. Hell, speaking to them in the same room about finding the Sith lord behind everything. It's not a huge leap of logic to conclude that the Jedi had missed him because they became complacent based on what Luke knows or could have found out from public information.

      Alternately, when the empire fell, maybe Rebels raided Palpatine's office on Naboo and/or Coruscant and found his journals or something.
    • Luke probably found out the same way he found out he had a twin sister - from ghost Obi-Wan. I imagine that he consulted Obi-Wan and Yoda quite a bit while trying to set up his new Jedi training facility, and they knew all about what had happened.
    • It's also possible that Yoda may have alluded to some of what happened during his training on Dagobah (not anything specific but perhaps cautioned Luke about the dangers of complancency and the existence of a Sith Lord named "Sidious") and then Luke pieced together the rest of the story after the war was over, using what he had learned about Vader and Palpatine's relationship from his battle above Endor. It's also within reason that he may have consulted with Anakin through the Force directly while forming the new Jedi Order, learning from him on what to change going forward (besides Dooku, Anakin was one of their harshest critics, after all).


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