Star Wars Saga Plot Holes You Haven’t Noticed

Star Wars

Their power over pop culture is undeniable – even people who never go to the movies know what ‘may the force be with you’ means.

Until 1999, the Star Wars saga seemed unassailable. Looking back, the acting was ropey, the script infantile and the plotting messy, but it wasn’t until the advent of Jar Jar Binks and the midichlorians that we started talking about George Lucas raping our childhoods.

What’s now obvious despite all the wikis, blogs, fiction, games, toys and the metaverse-spanning brand Star Wars is today is that until Disney laid down an established canon to serve as the backbone of Star Wars movies from now until the end of time, Lucas was very much making it all up as he went along.

We all fell in love with Leia just like Luke did, after all – had Lucas known about the whole sister thing from the beginning, would he have made her so desirable?

Here’s just a random sample of Star Wars plot holes, but they’re so big you could fly a Corellian class star destroyer through them.

Vader’s Folly
The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

As instructed by Obi-Wan’s ghost, Luke goes to Dagobah with Artoo after the battle of Hoth while Han, Leia, Chewbacca and Threepio make a break for the rebel staging area near Sullust, stopping off at Bespin for hyperdrive repairs.

Meanwhile, when The Emperor tells Vader the Empire has a new enemy in Luke Skywalker, Vader promises to make the boy join the dark side or die. So why does he get such a bug up his thruster to capture the Millennium Falcon? He has no reason to think Luke is on board, and even when he sees the Falcon escape from Hoth he has no idea Luke is a threat (or whether he’d fled with his friends or not).

Who can say ‘padding the midsection with action sequences and romance while Luke gets his Jedi training?’

Leave the Frog at Home
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, 1999

After rescuing Jar Jar Binks, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan follow the most hated character in the history of cinema to his underwater home, where Presidential amphibian Boss Nass gives them an undersea transport to reach the capital of Naboo.

About to leave (which might have saved the movie), Qui-Gon turns back, suggesting to Boss Nass that as Jar Jar owes them his life, they take him along. As he says to Obi-Wan, ‘this Gungan may be of help’.

So why, when they’re piercing the watery core of the planet (questionable geophysics aside) and the bongo sub loses power, does Qui-Gon tell Jar Jar not to worry because the force will guide them? What did they need the stalk-eyed, Uncle Tom-talking abomination for, apart from disemboweling 25 years of credibility?

Leia’s Amnesia
Return of the Jedi, 1983

Just before he leaves the group on Endor to confront Vader for the last time, Luke tells Leia his family secrets. When he asks about her mother she remembers her as beautiful, kind and sad.

If her adoptive mother (Republic Senator Bail Organa’s wife) was sad, it had nothing to do with the plot. And if Leia’s talking about Padme, that’s one perceptive baby if she sensed her mother’s sadness in the five minutes before she died from a nasty case of losing the will to live.

Obi-Wan’s ‘Point of View’
Star Wars, 1977

His father wanted Luke to have his old lightsaber when he was old enough, claims Obi-Wan in A New Hope, but his uncle wouldn’t allow it. First of all, Anakin Skywalker had no idea what happened to his children – he didn’t even know he had two of them. And even if he did, why would a newly minted Sith lord want either of them to have his old lightsaber?

His Uncle not allowing it is the only plausible aspect. Of everyone on Tatooine, only Owen and Beru Lars and the exiled Ben Kenobi know what a pivotal part Luke could play in the rebellion if his identity got out.

Kenobi’s line is exhibit A in the case that Lucas hadn’t even conceived of Vader being Luke’s father by the time he was writing The Empire Strikes Back.

The Jedi Short-sightedness
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, 1999

‘Hard to see, the dark side is,’ is the only flimsy explanation offered in The Phantom Menace (by Yoda) that could possibly explain this. For starters, it’s never made clear just why it’s hard to see, but come on –the entire Jedi order and Council couldn’t see a Sith lord right under their noses?

Not only that, Palpatine rises through the ranks of local politics and hijacks the entire government before they even know who he is? The Jedi might be able to levitate stuff, but their detective skills need work.

Robots and Despots
The entire saga

A throwaway line – when Senator Organa tells Captain Antilles to have Threepio’s memory wiped at the end of Revenge of the Sith – fails to paper over the huge cracks in the history shared by Threepio, Artoo and Vader.

Anakin Skywalker practically grew up around his best mechanical friends – he even built one of them when he was an annoying kid. Sure, when he’s a Sith Lord running the Empire in the original trilogy he doesn’t have much do to with them, but don’t you think someone might have told Threepio in the 23 years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that the asthmatic madman running the galaxy was the little boy who created him?

When Threepio tells the story of the rebel alliance to the ewoks in Return of the Jedi, he doesn’t even emit a soft sigh and a quiet ‘he was my father too, you know’.

Obi Wan’s Senility
The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

‘That boy is our last hope’, Obi-Wan’s ghost tells Yoda as Luke rushes off to save his friend at Bespin.

‘No,’ Yoda says, ‘there is another.’ He’s obviously referring to Luke’s sister, but hang on – Obi-Wan knows about Leia just as well as Yoda, and that she has midichlorians up the wazoo like Luke does. Does he just think girls should stay home and play with Bantha dolls?

Lucas’ Shortcut
Return of the Jedi, 1983

The granddaddy of all Star Wars plot holes. While training with Yoda on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke gets a nasty feeling his friends are in trouble. Yoda tells him he’s not ready to run off on heroic missions, he has to finish his training. Luke promises to return, goes anyway, fights Vader, learns the horrible truth about his paternity and loses a hand in the bargain.

After the plan to rescue Han from Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, Luke returns to Dagobah to keep his promise to Yoda. And what’s the first thing his pint-sized teacher says? No more training does Luke require, he just has to face Vader.

Instead of tucking his sickly mentor carefully into his deathbed, why doesn’t Luke exclaim ‘you told me I wasn’t ready last time and had to train more before I face Vader. Now you’re telling me I don’t need to train anymore, I just have to face Vader? WTF man?!?’