Friday, January 23, 2015

Things That Trouble Me About Star Wars

The Twins are getting into Star Wars, especially Twin B, and we've watched Episode IV and V together recently, as well he's been watching all the Clone Wars shows. As a kid I watched and enjoyed all the movies with a child's acceptance, but now as an adult I watch them and thought pop in my head.

1. Why are TIE fighters the primary ship of the Empire? I mean, you just went through a long painful war a decade or so back that demonstrated that cheap and plentiful (droids) are hard pressed when confronted with more capable but less numerous opponents (Clone Troopers) so why would you scale back your Imperial Fleet's main fighter with fragile and under-gunned fighters? Especially when the rebels start showing up with more powerful X-Wings that have more lasers, shields, and can travel through hyperspace? I realize that we eventually see TIE Inteceptors and Defenders (especially in games and spin off material) but in the episodes IV and V they are the only ones we see besides a brief cameo by TIE bombers.

2. Who is backing the rebels? And Why? The movies don't get into it because we can tell from moment one in episode IV that the Empire are the baddies, but as an adult I wonder at the overall goals of the rebellion and who is providing them with resources to fight the Empire.

3. Droids are enslaved. Look, they appear for all intents and purposes to be sentient, have feelings and loyalties, believe in the Creator, fear death, form bonds... yet they are treated like property in the Star Wars universe. Found a droid? Let's knock him out and sell him to a farm to work in the fields. Claims he belongs to someone else? Wipe his memory, he belongs to us now. And the salvery is so ingrained in all the biological races that they don't even see it in themselves. We love our droids, but give them free choice? Hahahahaha why would we do that?

4. The Death Star was a colossal failure, yet they decided to build a second one? The Emperor really has issues. The amount of resources could have built another fleet of Star Destroyers to hunt the rebels down with.

5. Blowing up a planet seems like overkill, why not just bomb the surface to dust? Again, Emperor Palpatine has issues.


  1. Not to mention, on the Death Star front, that if you could build a power system capable of running life support, all the systems, all of those defenses, and able to drive a laser that can destroy a whole planet... AND move the damn thing around space while being big enough to be mistaken for a moon, was that really the best design you could come up with?

    I guess we learned in Episode VI that the design of the Death Star was driven by the need for a pretty big power system inside the thing, so it is as hollow as an off-brand chocolate Easter egg... but the same movie also seemed to indicate that the original Death Star was really over built, since that half-assed shell of a thing was fully operational. Maybe the emperor did learn something about wasted resources with the second one.

  2. I think the Empire's weapons were more specifically tailored to oppress and police a civilian population than to face a seriously competitive military adversary. A large, cheap, boots-on-the-ground style army that could effectively blanket a swathe of territory would be more effective than a smaller, more expensive force in that sort of role.

    Same deal with the Death Star. It's primarily a weapon of terror and intimidation, useful for dramatic effect rather than military practicality. Not to mention serving the ego of a monomaniacal dictator.

  3. 4-6 can not be related to 1-3 with any sort of coherence. You're telling me every Jedi was killed except Obi-wan and Yoda? seriously, in the whole galaxy?

    My great hope is that Disney takes #7 and pretends 1-3 never happened. Let us banish them to the vaults where they keep Star Trek 3,4,6, and 7 and all next gen but First Contact.

    1. "You're telling me every Jedi was killed except Obi-wan and Yoda?"

      Well, that was where the Extended Universe stepped up. From "Heir to the Empire" forward, Jedi who somehow missed being killed after Order 66 went out seemed about as rare as fleas on a wookie.

  4. Wait! The minmatar were in this movie? No wonder the droids never really fielded spaceships, not enough duct tape.

  5. Anonymous9:53 pm

    Wookiepedia is your friend. Assuming you actually want answers to these questions, of course. (-;

  6. It is different watching it now with my youngest children. This is my fourth generation of Star Wars that I've gone thru, and it changes and evolves with each one. My own perspective has changed a lot over the years and decades. Honestly you've only scratched the surface and even more problems come to light when considered with the Prequels.

    I could go on and on, goodness knows I've given this all way to much thought. But one thing I will mention, as to the Death Stars I and II, as well as the Empires strange technological reliances - it is important to remember who sits at the top. A self-deluded, maniacal, almost magical being that believe himself to be without fail. He even says as much to Luke in the DS II at the end of Jedi. He sees everything of importance. And I think the Empire's faults are to be laid squarely at those nasty old feet. Why does the Empire need to make sense when anything important happens, you just fly over and deal with it. Done.

  7. I'm not convinced the Empire are the baddies even ;-)

    I mean sure it's an autocracy, but the alternative is a clearly defunct and corrupt sham democracy, mon mothma is an inch short of a Queen and the alliance is policed by a group of knights who are above the law, dogmatic in the extreme and who you can only be born into...