The Force Awakens heralded the beginning of the end to George Lucas’s epic Star Wars saga, the first film of the final trilogy that would tell the complete story of the fate of the Skywalker family. It gave us many exciting new locations, characters, and story arcs to expand the Star Wars Universe, while peppering it with old familiar favorites. As great as it was to revisit that galaxy far, far away, new components brought with them new problems for the plot of the saga.
Star Wars has always been plagued with certain glaring plot holes; from Anakin being born via immaculate conception, to Obi-Wan telling Luke that Vader “betrayed and murdered” his father only to pass off a lie as a “point of view”, and finally Padme dying randomly at the end of Revenge of the Sith “for reasons we can’t explain”. Bad writing is often glossed over with absurd reasoning that results in plot holes and confusion. The Force Awakens suffered just as many plot holes, many of them as glaring as any audiences have come to see in the space opera. CBR has rounded up 15 Force Awakens plot holes that The Last Jedi can fix when it comes out in December.
15. REY’S UNEXPLAINABLY EPIC FORCE POWERS
For someone orphaned on a backwater planet and suddenly told The Force isn’t just a mythological concept, Rey masters aspects of it that took other Jedi entire trilogies to learn. Luke trained haphazardly with Obi-Wan (during one flight on the Millennium Falcon) , and then more earnestly with Yoda for weeks on Dagobah, before he could even wield a lightsaber well enough to fight Vader (and still got beat). He learned how to sense the thoughts and feelings of others, because he was instructed how to focus and concentrate, but he didn’t even attempt mind control until Return of the Jedi.
Rey can counteract Kylo Ren’s mind control almost immediately when she’s captured, and manipulate the mind of her Stormtrooper guard. Only Anakin Skywalker showed so much natural Force sensitivity, but even he had to be instructed how to use it (which also took several films).
14. REY’S ABILITY TO SPEAK WOOKIE
It’s a long running joke in the Star Wars Universe that it’s incredibly difficult for anyone who isn’t a Wookie to speak their language. Shyriiwook, in their native tongue, consists of a series of grunts and growls that’s hard on humanoid throats. Only protocol droids like C-3PO can understand it and, for some reason, Han Solo. When Rey understands Chewbacca without difficulty in The Force Awakens, neither he or Han seem to be surprised.
Rey grew up on Jakku, a planet similar in remoteness to Tatooine, and bartered scrap for food. It’s implied she learned how to understand it from interaction with off-worlders, but she never seemed to stick around long enough in the urban areas of Jakku to make friends or eavesdrop. The Last Jedi will need to reveal more of her background in this regard so she doesn’t just come across as magically good at everything.
13. HAN SOLO’S ABANDONMENT OF THE RESISTANCE
Han Solo’s character arc has gone from Han Solo the selfish smuggler to General Solo in the Rebel army, and eventually one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance alongside his wife, General Leia Organa Solo. After the destruction of the previous Death Star and the dissolution of the Galactic Empire, The First Order arose from its ashes and the Rebel Alliance became The Resistance. Presumably Han Solo was just as influential in The Resistance, and just as dedicated to the cause.
So what compelled him to do a character development 180 and leave all of that behind? His son, Ben Solo, was under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker and somehow betrayed his parents and fell to the Dark Side. When he defects to the First Order, it makes no sense that Han would leave The Resistance to be slaughtered and become a smuggler again.
12. LUKE LEAVING THE RESISTANCE TO BE SLAUGHTERED
Luke Skywalker was a symbol of hope for the Rebel Alliance. Since his early days as an X-Wing pilot helping Rogue Squadron blow up the first Death Star, to mastering The Force and taking the fight to the Emperor in his thrown room aboard the second, he achieved victory for the good guys on numerous occasions.
So what drives Luke Skywalker, who has dedicated his entire adult life to stopping the forces of darkness to seclude himself for years while the forces of the Resistance are slaughtered? The Empire may be no more, but the First Order has had time to become a great power in his absence, as have the Sith. In flashbacks from The Force Awakens, it’s clear that Kylo Ren had a hand in destroying his purpose for training a new generation of Jedi, but it’s incredibly atypical for a man so formerly rooted in altruistic optimism.
11. LUKE’S BREADCRUMB TRAIL
Luke has mysteriously disappeared and Han has decided to return to a life of smuggling, leaving Leia as one of the only original leaders of the Rebel Alliance still fighting the good fight. Marriage and family problems may have contributed to Han and Leia’s friction, but Han at least makes himself locatable. Luke on the other hand, leaves a trail of breadcrumbs in the form of map pieces and clues strewn around the galaxy for someone to find.
Was there a master plan for this? Meaning at the right place, at the right time, the right person (presumably Rey) would come across the pieces and connect the dots? Is it an elaborate way to find a good Force user to bring balance to The Force? Or just an infuriatingly passive aggressive move on Luke’s part?
10. X MARKS THE SPOT
Luke has left fragments of map pieces that convey his whereabouts for someone to find, despite wanting to live like a solitudinous hermit. He no longer wants to train Jedi after the betrayal of Ben Solo, and seems convinced that the cause of the Resistance is lost. Yet he leaves these map pieces around for members of the Resistance to find, with R2 holding the map, and BB8 holding the final piece.
While members of the Resistance are finding these pieces, isn’t it just as likely that the First Order could locate them as well? Kylo Ren would love to kill his mentor, and the First Order would love to torture Luke to get information on Resistance strategies. It seems like an amateur move for a Jedi Master, especially given the precarious position it puts him and the Resistance in. You didn’t see Yoda or Obi-Wan pulling any of this.
9. R2-D2’S PERPLEXING SILENCE
So, Luke’s buggered off because he may or may not have lost his faith in The Force, or somehow feels responsible for Ben Solo’s fall to the Dark Side. He’s left map pieces all over the galaxy that when put together, tell the system that he’s in and the planet that he’s on. Members of the Resistance have spent time looking for these pieces for a while, and R2 has the map “inside his rusty innards” the entire time.
Why couldn’t the Resistance access R2’s data of the map at any point in the last decade? Did he have some sort of firewall engaged? Is it encrypted? Why hasn’t he decided to project it at any other point before? It seems to coincide with Rey’s presence, indicating that it was intended that she (or a similarly Force sensitive person) be the one to find it.
8. THE KNIGHTS OF REN
Supreme Leader Snoke commanded a dark side organization called the Knights of Ren, of which Kylo Ren was a member. We know this because of one of Giant Headed Snoke’s throwaway lines referring to Kylo Ren as a “master” of the order. Kylo Ren isn’t technically a member of the First Order hierarchy, and has a certain amount of freedom to move within it, not unlike Vader within The Empire chain of command.
So where are the other Knights of Ren? Is Kylo the only one left? Do all of the other members have names that end with “Ren”, a signifier like the Sith title of “Darth”? Rey sees the Knights of Ren in one of her visions launch an onslaught on Luke and his Jedi enclave, but it remains to be seen why a significant organization that slaughtered the last Jedi has since disappeared.
7. THE CONTRADICTORY NATURE OF KYLO REN’S FORCE SENSITIVITY
If his random temper tantrums in The Force Awakens were any indication, Kylo Ren isn’t the most composed Force user. He’s volatile, petty, and hasn’t mastered his emotions. While Dark Side users are known for letting anger and hatred flow through them, Darth Vader would never have lost his cool in front of Imperial officers. His moods aren’t the only things that are erratic; his lightsaber technique isn’t controlled, and neither is his Force sensitivity.
He’s able to detect when Han Solo first arrives on the Starkiller Base, much like Vader detected Obi-Wan on the first Death Star. However, when he’s practically 20 feet away from him, he seems to have lost the trail. Han Solo isn’t using any Force abilities to block Kylo Ren from sensing him, so why does he conveniently suck when the plot demands it?
6. REY’S FIGHTING ABILITIES
On several occasions in The Force Awakens, Rey proves her martial proficiency with a staff that she carries. She’s was abandoned on Jakku as a child, lives alone, and seems to have no friends. Yet she routinely wields her staff like she’s been training with it all her life. Did she at some point have a surrogate guardian or someone in her life that taught her this invaluable survival trait?
Jakku is a harsh, unforgiving planet, and its inhabitants seem to subscribe to a “dog eat dog” mentality. It’s more likely she’d be sold into indentured servitude than taken in and offered shelter and companionship. The Last Jedi needs to explain how she came by her skills beyond just making audiences assume that her fighting abilities come directly from The Force.
5. THE FIRST ORDER ALWAYS COMING IN SECOND
When the first Death Star failed, the Empire decided it would improve upon it’s original design with a second one. It didn’t take decades to come up with like the first one because presumably they just duplicated the original and tweaked a few features (like where exactly to fire the torpedoes that would blow it up). In a blazing moment of clarity The First Order, thinking itself a great improvement over the Empire, decides to not build a planet sized, maneuverable space station but instead take over a planet and embed a giant laser.
Will the First Order get less inept in The Last Jedi? As if building an orbit locked planet killer wasn’t bad enough, the majority of its ranks in the system are gathered to witness its destructive power, effectively putting them all in one place to get destroyed by the Resistance.
4. THE FORCE IS A MYTH
By the time of the events in The Force Awakens, it’s been twenty years since the Galactic Civil War, and forty since Revenge of the Sith when the great genocide of the Jedi began. Rey has spent her life on Jakku which, while remote, is visited by off-worlders and space travelers alike, and yet she believes everything to do with The Force and the Jedi to be a myth.
While it’s true, Luke didn’t know much about these concepts growing up on Tatooine, but he helped usher in a new era for the Jedi, and began to train the next generation of their ranks. He proved to the citizens of the galaxy that The Force was still just as strong as it had always been. Yet for some reason Rey, who knows nothing about it, is able to wield it after learning about some of its basic components in passing.
3. REY’S LAST COMMANDMENT
When Rey was unceremoniously dumped on Jakku, she was told to never leave it. Who told her is a mystery, as Rey has no memory of this person, not even their faces. The reason anyone would abandon a young child on a remote world and leave her with those parting words has to be important. Was she being hunted by the First Order? The Knights of Ren?
If it was her parents, they wouldn’t have left her alone, much less in the care of Unklar Plutt. They would have left her to someone trustworthy, such as when Luke was given to the Lars or Leia to the Organas. When Luke asks Leia if she remembers her mother, she says she remembers images of a woman who was “beautiful but sad”. Yet Rey has no memory of either the people who left her, or anyone that was important in her life.
2. INFERIOR STORMTROOPER TECHNOLOGY
It’s been a long running joke with Star Wars fans that Stormtroopers couldn’t hit the broadside of a Star Destroyer if their somewhat disposable lives depended on it. It’s a wonder anyone runs away from them when they whip out their blasters because at practically point blank range they never seem to hit anyone or anything that they’re aiming at. The ineptitude of Stormtroopers isn’t confined to a particular division; Sandtroopers, Snowtroopers, their marksmanship (or lack thereof) all the same.
The First Order’s answer to the trouble with Stormtroopers? Batons. Tasers. Flamethrowers. Because maybe the answer does lie with giving them non-automatic weaponry. Except when it doesn’t, and they’re just as ineffective. Why is fire based weaponry even used by the technologically advanced First Order anyway?
1. FINN’S ELITE LIGHTSABER SKILLS
Finn is an ex janitor turned stormtrooper who used to mop the halls of Star Destroyers before he was given his first military assignment. He’s not really cut out to murder innocent people and enforce the First Order’s doctrine, so he defects. The First Order would have given him some amount of martial training as it does everyone that’s either drafted or enlisted, but even Stormtroopers on board with genocide aren’t that great at it as is proven with their inability to hit their targets.
Yet somehow, when Finn gets a hold of Luke’s lightsaber, he’s able to take the fight to Kylo Ren outside the Starkiller Base. Kylo Ren may be a little uncoordinated due to anger issues, but he was mentored by a real Jedi in the use of a lightsaber, so how is Finn able to fight him and not immediately get mowed down?
What do you hope gets cleared up when The Last Jedi comes out? Let us know in the comments!
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