Top 11 Problems With the Original Star Wars Trilogy

JJ Abrams and Michael Arndt are working on Episode VII, which is to be filmed in Scotland. There’s two other stand-alone movies in the works and the Disney takeover of Star Wars seems to be fully operational. But let’s revisit some of the not-so-great stuff about the original trilogy, before the fanboys defecate all over the un-released sequels:

1. Palpatine’s motivation does not seem to exist. Napoleon, Alexander, Mussolini, all real life dictators have some kind of goal or interest. Palpatine is just evil and power, Force-twisting his mustache, cackling at his own badness.

2. Ben Kenobi hides on the planet of his nemesis’ birth, keeps his last name, develops a reputation as a ‘wizard,’ and continues dressing as a Jedi (see #3). Sherlock Holmes, master of disguise, he is not.

3. Jedi robes. Look at Owen Lars. Look at Ben Kenobi. Look at farmboy Luke Skywalker. Look at Jawas, for the Maker’s sake. All Tatooine Desert dwellers wear desert robes, right? Except they used Kenobi’s desert dweller disguise as the actual Jedi robes/uniform in all the other movies! Are the Jedi all moisture farmers? Why don’t they have more civilized outfits like Luke did in Episode VI? The world-building suddenly seems really thin, doesn’t it?

4. Luke’s fall to the dark side. I’ve blogged about this before. It just doesn’t make sense.

5. Female fighter pilots. Episode VI was supposed to have them, but they got cut. Every kid in the 1980s wondered why there were no women flying spaceships. If Leia could operate a speeder bike, why couldn’t some of her sisters fly a ship?

6. Metal lightsabers. Jedi are into life force and nature and stuff, but they use the most industrial, ugly contraptions for their primary weapon and trademark symbol. This didn’t occur to me until I saw a Star Wars Clone Wars episode where the Wookiee youngling Gunchi constructs a wooden lightsaber that is actually quite beautiful. Now a Jedi with a lightsaber reminds me of a Druid with a crowbar. Again, the world-building is really thin here.

7. Sith rule of two. What happens if the two Sith on Bothawui find out about another two Sith chapter on Mandalore? Awkward.

8. C-3PO. Annoying, completely useless, serves no purpose. He’s worse than Jar Jar in story terms (other than needless Ewok worship). He’s simply a foil for R2 and an irritant to Han and Chewie.

9. Star Destroyers colliding. How dumb are the bridge crews of both ships? Did the emperor find the dumbest people in the galaxy with British accents to run the Imperial Navy? Yeesh.

10. TIE fighters. Yes, TIE fighters. What purpose do those panels serve? Solar panels? Are they satellites running tiny flight computers? No, they are starfighters. They are simply a ball cockpit with some guns and engines. Which makes little sense. What if the solar panels are just big armor plates? That would be much better. But they’re not.

11. Space slug. How stupid are our heroes to fly into something’s stomach? How implausible is it that a space slug that size lives in vacuum and sustains itself in an asteroid belt? At least the aliens in the cantina had something to justify their existence. The space slug seems like it came out of a bad 1950s sci fi flick. It would have been better for the Falcon to land on the underside of an asteroid and hide.

Still, I love those movies. They transcend their problems.

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