Today is May the Fourth–aka Star Wars Day.
I’m a big fan–have been since I sat in that darkened theater and watched the original Star Wars in 1977. That doesn’t mean that our favorite galaxy far far away doesn’t have some major problems.
Problem #1–Plot holes
Every Star Wars film has major plot holes. Not minor ones, major ones. Does Luke learn all there is to be a Jedi during a two hour layover on Dagobah? In a great big desert, Finn never saw Poe get out of the crashed tie fighter? Why doesn’t Uncle Owen remember Threepio?
But the biggest plot hole, in my opinion, is in what was called Episode One, The Phantom Menace. Every airport in the world, and many shopping malls and merchant districts, have kiosks where you can exchange currency. I can exchange my dollars for euros if I want. The rate might not be favorable, but if I go to Europe I’m gonna need the euros. It is impossible to believe that some enterprising businessman on Tatooine didn’t have a kiosk somewhere on the planet where Gui-Gon Jinn and gang could have exchanged some republic credits for the local currency to get the parts they needed. Sure, they might have taken a bath on the transaction, but money is not their problem.
This is a novelty, but I see it is a problem. It is a real problem if you get your finger caught in a Star Wars door. Why are they so fast?
Problem #3–The Jedi
Two problems here. First, the Jedi are dimwitted.
Really, master Jedi, you didn’t know the Sith lord was Palpatine? Really? You never thought to suspect that it was the politician? More to the point, why would you let the student who so clearly troubled many of you and whose future was cloudy spend so much time with the known crooked politician?
You were supposed to be smarter than this. Way smarter.
The second problem is more–philosophical. When I watched the original Star Wars as a child, it seemed like being a Jedi and using the “Force” was the kind of thing that came from hard work, study, and an open mind. Kind of like success in general. But as we learn from the prequels, it really is more about elitism. You are either born with it, or you are not. That ruined the mystique of the Jedi and posed a philosophical problem inside the Star Wars universe. I am pretty sure I would be against the Jedi and their elitist tendencies. Their answer for just about every critique is “You have to trust me.” Or, to just kill you. They are elitists who abuse their power.
I may rant a bit here. Padme starts off strong in The Phantom Menace, and is truly one of the only bright spots. By Revenge of the Sith, however, she is reduced to cliche lines and weeping, a shrinking violet that provides no real plot progression other than the emotional turmoil for Anakin.
This is a problem for me on two fronts. First, Natalie Portman is one of the finest actors in any galaxy, and she was criminally underutilized. Why not make her character more active in the inevitable break away of Anakin Skywalker? Why not give her something to do? Why not make her more than a trophy, wielded between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
The second problem for me is the heritage of Padme. She is the forgotten voice. So much of the Star Wars vibe is the father-son relationship, but they miss a real opportunity with the legacy of Padme. Neither Luke nor Leia know of their brave mother, her courage, the work she did to save the Republic, and ultimately how Anakin betrayed her—a betrayal which led to her death. This problem can be fixed with the upcoming films, but I doubt that it will.
Problem #5–Storm/Clone/First Order Troopers
The obvious one is they can’t hit anything. But that isn’t my problem. That the bad guys never learned to aim is a common theme since the westerns of old. No, my problem is, what is the all the plastic armor for? It doesn’t protect against blasters. It doesn’t protect against Ewok rocks and sticks. It doesn’t protect against a karate chop to the throat. It doesn’t protect against a punch in the face. It doesn’t protect against being thrown into a tree. It serves no real purpose, as I can tell.
Problem #6–I can’t quite seem to get enough of it.