The Star Wars universe - especially in the original trilogy - is a pretty awesome place: one full of Jedi Knights, epic space battles and straightforwardly evil villains to oppose. And, of course, Wookiees. There's one major problem with it, though - courtesy of Mr. George Lucas, Esq:
It couldn't be more full of plot holes if it tried.
Fortunately, though, Star Wars also has the sort of awesomely devoted fan-base that any other franchise would kill for - and wouldn't you know it, an awful lot of those plot holes have already been solved by them. We've already taken a detailed look at just who killed Luke's uncle Owen and aunt Beru right here (hint: It was not who you'd think), but we thought we should take a look at some of the other huge holes - and their awesome fan theory solutions.
You're welcome, George.
Whoever Designed the Death Star Had a Death Wish
The Plot Hole:
Somebody (or, realistically, an entire design team) thought it would be a great idea to add in a small - yet incredibly straightforward - means for destroying the super-powerful space-weapon they were tasked with designing. Rather than, y'know, slapping a force field on top of it.
Oh, and they did this twice.
Tempting as it is to blame human error - or simple plot contrivance - there's a far more satisfying solution out there: money.
Put simply, the Empire was broke, and the whole point of the Death Star was as to provide a way of policing the galaxy without having to actually pay for...y'know, police.
And if you're cutting costs on your immense, planet-destroying weapon? Corners are going to get cut, too.
then again, it could also have a lot to do with the reasoning behind why...
No-one on the Death Star Thinks Droids are Capable of Espionage
The Plot Hole:
Remember way back at the beginning of A New Hope, where a guy scans the escape pod C-3PO and R2-D2 are on, and lets it go because there aren't any life signs aboard?
Yeah, in a universe where there are intelligent, walking, talking robots wandering about everywhere - that's not such a good call.
Again, that highly trained Imperial naval officer could just have been having a bad day at work. Or, he might just have been in on the greatest conspiracy the Star Wars universe has ever known.
Namely, that the whole 'Death Star being destroyed' thing was an inside job - imagined by the Emperor to increase support for an Empire under threat from a more ideologically appealing rebellion.
In which case, that guy mysteriously letting the droids go? He was totally just giving them a head start.
That, though, probably doesn't quite cover just why...
Stormtroopers are Terrible at Shooting Things
The Plot Hole:
Y'know those highly trained elite soldiers the Empire employs to take on all their most important tasks? Well, it turns out they're such bad shots, they couldn't hit a barn door. From inside the barn.
This one's less a fan theory, in fairness, than pure, unadulterated science.
Studies have suggested that only around 20% of soldiers actually fire their weapons during combat - with the rest so inherently reluctant to do so that they instead choose to just...pretend to.
Here's the thing, though - there's a way of combating where you dehumanize the enemy enough that they no longer seem worthy of empathy, and presto - your soldiers are a whole lot more likely to actually fire. A distant, uniformed menace works pretty well, for instance.
So, when the Stormtroopers are firing on these guys?
When the innocent-looking farm-boy, adorable princess, and roguishly good-looking smuggler run by, though?
Not so much.
That's all very sensible and psychological, though - what about a major character who's just downright irresponsible?
Yoda Is the Worst Teacher in the Galaxy
The Plot Hole:
That's right - the Star Wars universe's most iconic moulder of young minds...is kind of terrible at his job. Aside from the fact that Anakin Skywalker going to the dark side is partly his responsibility in the first place, he doesn't really do right by Luke the way you would expect. That whole training sequence with the two of them on Dagobah? That takes a couple of days. Maybe a week, tops.
Is that really enough time to train a grown adult to be a Jedi?
Well, no, and Yoda would probably be the first to point that out - after all, he wanted Luke to stay on and study with him further.
As it turns out, though, he might have done a whole lot more in those few days than we saw - since he may well have been operating on a whole different plane of existence. Why's that?
Because, by the logic of one fan theory, Yoda's a ghost.
Which would mean he could totally be excused for kind of sucking as a teacher - and that most of Luke's training will have taken place in his head, meaning two days could easily have been the equivalent to years of training. Which would also explain how the kind of dopey farmboy becomes a badass, Zen Jedi within a week.
Either that or Dagobah has some seriously mellowing mushrooms growing in its swamps.
Darth Vader Is a Seriously Useless Force User
The Plot Hole:
Darth Vader spends most of the first movie hanging out near Luke and Leia - but takes forever to notice that a) his son is nearby, and b) he's a super-powerful Jedi warrior. Which, compared to his inability to sense Leia's latent force abilities while standing in the same room as her, is probably still him bringing his A game.
So, in fairness, a lot of this has to do with the fact that George Lucas was clearly making a lot of the Star Wars story up as he went along - so the revelations that Darth Vader, Luke, and Leia were all related were what you might call...unplanned.
But that won't do for an in-universe answer - so instead, let's take a look at some detailed Jedi lore:
Just kidding - it's ridiculously simple. Just like trying to find Waldo, super-powerful space-ninja-magicians can only see their long-lost force-sensitive relatives when they're actually looking for them.
Otherwise, any time you were around force-users, your life would be exactly like this guy's:
Which, admittedly, could explain why...
Darth Vader is Just...So...Bad...at His Job
The Plot Hole:
Darth Vader - Sith Lord, Imperial Badass, and All-around Iconic Dude - is absolutely terrible at his job. If he's not letting droids escape, he's failing to instruct his minions to just shut down the Millennium Falcon's engines rather than the hyperdrive, or doing a seriously half-assed job of defending one single solitary exhaust port. And don't even get me started on the fact that he's a freakin' Sith Lord, but can't force-catch his own son when he jumps off a ledge.
Darth Vader wasn't a screw up - he was sabotaging everything himself - because he knew about Luke the whole time. Because, of course he did. His son was 'cunningly' hidden on his home planet, with his own step-brother, and his real last name. He's half machine, not half stupid.
So, when he lets him escape the Death Star?
He's really saying, "I love you, Son."
When he fails to shoot him during the Death Star assault?
He's really saying, "C'mere, boy - lemme give ya a hug."
When he asks him to join him, but then lets him escape again?
He's really saying, "Join me - or don't. Be your own man, son."
And when he finally redeems himself, and saves Luke's life?
He's really saying, "I got this, kiddo."
Everything else was just him maintaining his cover - and, presumably choking some people for fun...
Now...let's see if J.J. Abrams slips any of that into [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158)...
What do you guys think? Best Star Wars plot hole explanation?