Well, the entire world is (unsurprisingly) buzzing about Star Wars nowadays. So I figured I’d get in on the action as well.
Now, before you panic and flee, don’t worry. I will not spoil The Force Awakens. In fact, I will not even discuss it at this time. Partly because spoiling it is a dick move. Partly because I’ve not actually seen it yet.
Instead, I’d like to go over a few things about Star Wars in general that don’t add up to me. Not only the prequels, but the original trilogy as well.
After all, let’s not kid ourselves and believe that the original trilogy was flawless. I’m not saying it was bad or anything, but it wasn’t perfect.
And if people can complain about the prequels, and go on and on for hours about how they are crimes against cinema, then surely I can make an article nitpicking the original trilogy.
So let’s begin.
First off, I have to wonder about C-3PO. Now, I’m not going into some dicussion about whether or not he’s a gay stereotype. It’s not very interesting, and I don’t think I am qualified to make a judgement call on that.
No, my issue with him is simply that he’s prone to panic.
This might not seem like such a strange thing, but consider this: He’s a robot. His personality is not real. He was programmed on purpose to be pessimistic and neurotic. So here’s my question:
Why the fuck would you do that!? Why would you ever program a robot to be prone to panic? What possible use is a diplomatic robot that will lose its shit at the drop of a hat?!
There was a reason Asimov wrote Daneel Olivaw as calm and collected even in stressful situations! Because designing a robot to not only being able to recognise fear in others, but also being able to experience it is completely pointless!
I guess that’s one good thing about The Phantom Menace, since we’re shown that Anakin built C-3PO, so it’s understandable he’d make some mistakes apart from limited mobility…
But that brings me neatly to another issue I have with the original trilogy. That being that their technology is incredibly uneven!
Think about it. They have constructed robots with artificial intelligence, mastered interstellar travel, sophisticated energy weaponry capable of blowing up planets…
And yet, they haven’t figured out automated weapons technology. In the prequels, they got around that in a backwards fashion, by making robots to man the cannons…. Because that makes much more sense than making the cannons capable of aiming and firing on their own…
But in the original trilogy, they don’t even have that! They didn’t even bother to make it semi-automated by way of droids.
Because clearly, the best solution for when you’re being attacked by TIE fighters, and need a defense, is not to have some sort of on board automated weapons tracking, but instead rely on human reflexes and hope that your status as a main character will see you through…
This, of course, is just the appetizer to the big issue I have.
See, appearantly, in this galaxy, where people fly between solar systems on a whim and have mastered technology allowing the creation of lightsabers… NOBODY HAS FIGURED OUT THE CONCEPT OF A SENSOR!
You know, that device that goes “Beep” when there’s stuff around you, like rogue asteroids, other ships, comets, supernovas, black holes and all the other things you’re likely to run into while cruising the infinite majesty of the universe.
The Enterprise had sensors. All the ships in Stargate had sensors. The Doctors TARDiS has sensors. I think even the Serenity from Firefly had sensors, and that ship was a pile of junk held together by duct tape, bad welding and prayers!
The ships in Star Wars, however, rely on a slightly more analogue method of LOOKING OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW! You know, the things almost none of the ships have more than a handful of?! What kind of idiots live in this galaxy?!
Actually, I’m a bit unfair. They have sensors SOMETIMES. They’re just mostly used for trying to aim at enemy ships.
Which of course does not change the fact that they are morons. Either they’re morons for not inventing a more effective sensor for their ships, or they’re idiots for having sensors, but never think of using them. Let’s give the characters the benefit of doubt and say they just don’t have sensors.
It’s a good thing then, that this lack of sensors never comes back to bite them in the ass.
Oh wait, that’s right, IT HAPPENS ALL THE FUCKING TIME!
In A New Hope, the reason they got caught by the Death Star tractor beam was because they had to get so close to figure out “Hey, that isn’t a moon!”. Something any other Sci-Fi show could have figured out by doing a basic sensor sweep. True, they got Leia out, but that was not part of the plan, and Obi Wan died in the process.
In The Empire Strikes Back, they’ve evaded capture by the Empire and make their way to Bespin. Now, in any other Sci-Fi, they’d check if they were followed by anyone. But no, here they just go on their merry way, and wouldn’t you know it? They were followed by Boba Fett, probably the most overrated character in Science Fiction!
Oh, and before you say something about his ship being immune to sensors. He’s driving one of the most distinct looking ships in the galaxy. He’d better have a Klingon cloaking device on that thing if you want me to believe it’s invisible to sensors.
Now, you might say that these are extreme circumstances. Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I’m just being silly. I mean, it’s not like sensors would be necessary in any other way.
That is, of course, unless you consider that you actually have to rely on sensors for survival. I don’t mean just to inform you of imminent dangers like asteroid belts or solar flares. I mean that without sensors, you are pretty much doomed to getting lost in space.
If you don’t see the reasoning, here’s an experiment. Walk to Moscow while wearing a blindfold. Except here, Moscow is moving in a random direction at about 5000 miles per hour, and you’re walking through a forest where people try to mug you, stones are flying through the air and trees explode for no reason.
In Sci-Fi, sensors are on par with life support when it comes to how important it is!
See, sensors are a vital part of a navigational system, since they serve to give you information about your surroundings and by extension where you are. Without sensors, you can’t plot a course for jumps through hyperspace and you can’t navigate trajectories or distances, meaning that you’re likely to crash or blow yourself up whenever you try to land on a planet, even IF you manage to find one.
I’d say this is equivalent to flying blind, except that would mean you’re relying on instruments alone. This is like trying to fly an airplane where you didn’t install instruments to begin with, because you’ve decided instead to rely on dumb luck!
Oh, and to finish off, I believe George Lucas likened selling the rights to Star Wars as “Selling his child to white slavers”.
To which I’d like to say this, Mr. Lucas…
Disney has a century long pedigree of beloved movies for all ages with the most recent being, among others, Tangled, Frozen and Inside Out. Meanwhile, your legacy lately is Jar-Jar Binks.
This is not like selling your child to slavers. This is like having your child taken into protective custody because you’re an abusive father.