For better or for worse, Star Wars is everywhere. There’s the usual galaxy far away of comics, books, and video games coming out in a steady stream. And we have multiple Star Wars trilogies being announced before this current trilogy even finishes up. If that’s not enough, there are Star Wars standalone movies and TV shows on a seemingly-endless horizon. Because Star Wars is everywhere, it has more fans than ever. These are the people who obsessively consume all of this Star Wars media and then crave even more. Basically, these are the folks that casual audiences turn to when they have a question about the Sith or about the Force.
Despite the world being full of these self-appointed Jedi Masters, there’s still much to learn about Star Wars. Specifically, there is a lot about this universe that everyone gets wrong. And if you don’t understand these fundamental facts, you may not be able to understand the small mountain of Star Wars media coming at you. Fortunately, we’re here to set you straight about these common mistakes. You don’t need to find us on a remote swamp planet; just keep scrolling to check out 15 things everyone gets wrong about Star Wars!
15 STORMTROOPERS ARE BAD SHOTS
Stormtroopers are terrible shots. This is something that any given person on the street will tell you, whether they’re a Star Wars fan or not. And this has been the subject of about a million jokes among geeks ever since the first movie came out. However, everyone is actually wrong about Stormtroopers! First, the Stormtroopers back in A New Hope were deliberately missing our heroes.
Remember, Vader’s plan was to follow them back to base -- that doesn’t work unless you let them escape!
And then Rogue One made it explicit that The Force sometimes protects our heroes, causing Stormtrooper shots to miss. It’s canonical proof that most of our heroes have “plot armor” via The Force -- and even a Stormtrooper with perfect aim is no match for The Force!
14 HAN WAS A GOOD SMUGGLER
Most of the good guys in Star Wars are exemplars. That is, they are great examples of something: Leia is a strong leader, Luke is an eager warrior, and so on. Because of this trend, most people tend to think that Han was a great smuggler before getting caught up in the Rebellion. Unfortunately, he’s pretty awful at his job!
First, we know Jabba is after him because he had to dump some spice to dodge Imperials. To hear Jabba tell it, though, that’s not usual smuggler behavior. We also see Han get duped by people like Lando Calrissian and, decades later, we see he’s still terrible at managing his finances, with multiple groups hunting him down to get money back. From the smuggling itself to good instincts to financial management, Han is terrible at his job!
13 EWOKS SHOULD HAVE LOST
Return of the Jedi gets a lot of hate for being the weakest movie in the Original Trilogy. And one thing these haters love to focus on are the Ewoks. Not only are they so cute that it’s nauseating, but fans balk at the idea of primitives with sticks beating what Palpatine describes as “an entire legion of my best troops.” However, these Stormtroopers never had a chance!
First, the Ewoks knew the terrain and could naturally camouflage themselves while the Empire couldn’t.
In an uncomfortable old commentary, Lucas highlighted this by saying the Ewoks are representing the Viet Cong (who were able to often defeat technologically superior forces). We also briefly see an Ewok with a blaster, implying that they are using Imperial technology against their enemy off-screen. Throw in how vicious they are (you didn’t forget they eat human beings, right?), and the outcome was never in doubt.
12 MIDICHLORIANS MAKE NO SENSE
If people only got one word to describe what they hated about the Star Wars prequels, they’d probably say “midichlorians.” These microscopic lifeforms represented a more scientific view of The Force, and characters like Qui-Gon could measure how many someone had to gauge their Force potential. Nonetheless, many fans thought this detracted from the previous Force mysticism and basically made no sense.
However, dumb as they are, midichlorians make a lot of sense. The Jedi would never have numbered in the thousands if there wasn’t an easy way to screen Force potential. And the ability to do so was canonical before the prequels came out, with Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy of books showing Luke using a remote device to scan for Force sensitivity. Finally, high midichlorian counts help explain certain people becoming powerful in a short time (like Luke and Rey).
11 LUKE SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO FLY
Despite his growing control of The Force, many people thought it was insane that Luke Skywalker could suddenly pilot an X-Wing. We never really see his piloting abilities earlier in the movie (though he does insist he’s “not such a bad pilot”), so how exactly can he suddenly fly a military aircraft with perfect precision? This one has a pretty simple explanation.
Remember the toy model Luke plays with while talking to C-3PO?
That’s an Incom T-16 Skyhopper, and Luke flies a real one whenever he gets a chance. The X-Wing is an Incom T-65. See where we’re going with this? Luke already knows the basics of flight because he’s extensively practiced on an earlier model. And any gaps in his knowledge are effectively covered by The Force.
10 ANAKIN WASN’T THE CHOSEN ONE
The prequel movies were dominated by a weird theory that Anakin Skywalker was “the chosen one” and that he was “destined to bring balance to The Force.” Considering that he betrays Obi-Wan and helps murder countless people, most audiences assume that Anakin was not, in fact, the Chosen One.
However, he was...though why this is depends on (fittingly) a certain point of view. Many fans like the theory that the “balance” part is literal: when the smoke cleared, there were two Sith and two Jedi left. Pretty balanced, right? There’s also the more straightforward explanation: Lucas has claimed that killing Palpatine actually brings the balance, and Vader doing so effectively fulfills the prophecy. If that doesn’t sound particularly “balanced,” keep in mind that Lucas believed the dark side was like a poison to be removed rather than a truly necessary evil.
9 THE DEATH STAR SHOULD FIRE SOONER
We all understand that Star Wars (a weird lovechild between fantasy and sci-fi) has a lot of artificial drama in it. However, many audiences get annoyed every time they watch A New Hope because of the Death Star. Why does it take so long to get in position to fire on the Rebel base? And if you’re blowing up an entire planet anyway, why do you have to get into position at all? This one has a fairly straightforward answer, though.
The Rebel base was not on Yavin, which is the large gas giant, but instead on Yavin IV.
When the Death Star arrived, Yavin IV was on the other side of the gas giant, so the bad guys had to get into position to shoot at it instead of at Yavin. Ultimately, The Force was with our heroes!
8 PHASMA IS THE FIRST FEMALE STORMTROOPER
Captain Phasma was an unexpectedly fun addition to the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, she was criminally underused and then killed like a chump in The Last Jedi. There’s a lot to love about this character, but one mistake that many fans make is to assume she is the first female Stormtrooper.
Honestly, this is an easy mistake to make. She is the first female Stormtrooper we see on-screen in a live-action movie. However, some canonical Star Wars novels (like New Dawn) mention female Stormtroopers. We also see things like a female Deathtrooper in Star Wars Rebels. Finally, if you listen closely, you’ll hear at least one female Stormtrooper talking to Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. However, none of this detracts from what makes Phasma special, and it’s still implied that female troopers are relatively rare.
7 ALDERAAN WAS NOT A MILITARY TARGET
For the most part, we see these Star Wars movies from the perspective of people like Luke and Leia. This also means that we tend to believe them when they take a side on something. The best example of this is the planet Alderaan. Audiences tend to believe Tarkin is being especially cruel because, as Leia says, the planet is not a military target. Now, while we aren’t condoning blowing up entire planets, we need to be clear: Alderaan was totally a military planet.
It served as a base of operations for people like Bail Organa and Leia to organize and fund the Rebellion.
Different tales over the years have shown how Alderaan was used to smuggle weapons to Rebels and spy on the Empire. And even Leia’s famous “Corellian Corvette” was re-christened an “Alderaan Cruiser” in recent years. Bottom line? Alderaan was definitely a military target!
6 LEIA SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO MOVE IN SPACE
The Last Jedi is a divisive movie. There are plenty of plot points and scenes that fans love to argue about. However, the most contentious one is the scene where Leia survives the vacuum of space. Fans were annoyed that Leia (who had eschewed her Jedi training) was suddenly so good in The Force and that she survived something that plainly should have killed her.
Now, we won’t argue that this scene didn’t look goofy as hell. However, it’s perfectly plausible. As director Rian Johnson himself explained, this is instinctual on her part -- her mind and body are activating powers within her (with that super-powerful Skywalker blood) to keep her from dying. And the physics of what she is doing are trivial: in a weightless vacuum, it wouldn’t take much effort to push herself back to the ship. This is downright trivial for someone aided by The Force.
5 REN SHOULD HAVE BEATEN REY
You know something is a big fan debate when it gets mentioned in the next movie! That’s what happens when Snoke called Kylo Ren out for losing his first fight with Rey. Snoke basically echoed skeptical audience members who wondered how a trained Force warrior could lose a fight with someone who has barely used the Force and never even picked up a lightsaber before. However, these fans are actually being pretty unfair to Kylo Ren.
Remember, it’s a big plot point that he has been wounded by Chewbacca’s bowcaster and is bleeding out, so he’s already starting with a severe handicap.
And he’s also very interested in capturing her alive, while Rey at the time just wants to kill him. So, a healthy and angry person going full blast against a dying guy who is bleeding out and holding back? Not really a fair fight!
4 THE “LESS THAN 12 PARSECS” LINE IS A MISTAKE
The Star Wars line that has lived in infamy for over four decades is Han Solo’s boast about the Millennium Falcon’s speed. He tells Luke and Obi-Wan that it’s “the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” Because a parsec measures distance and not time, most people have assumed this line was just a mistake on the part of George Lucas.
However, it’s not a mistake, and there are multiple reasons. The first (supported by the original script) is that Han is offering the kind of silly boast he would usually offer to dumb locals (hence the look Obi-Wan gives him). The second (which we may see in the Solo movie) is an explanation that his famous Kessel Run involved getting too close to some black holes, and their distortion allowed him to finish the run in less distance than anyone else.
3 ALL STORMTROOPERS ARE CLONES
Some of these mistakes people make are basically fair mistakes. Take someone who has “only” seen the Star Wars movies and not dived into the mountain of books and comics, and there are plenty of incorrect facts that they take for granted. One of those ideas is that Stormtroopers are clones. After all, we see the creation of a Clone army. And we see that years later, the Empire is relying on an army of guys in a variation of this armor. Aren’t these clones, too?
Actually, no -- the original clones died or got too old, and the Emperor chose to rely on regular humans.
He conscripted Stormtroopers when he had to, but most volunteered -- to most of the galaxy, Palpatine is a good guy, and this was like joining the Army!
2 YODA DESTROYED THE ANCIENT JEDI TEXTS
Unless you have some very sharp eyes, there is one big mistake you’ve been making about The Last Jedi. We see Yoda return as a blue ghost and summon some lightning to burn down the tree where Luke Skywalker has been hiding the ancient Jedi texts. Luke believes the texts are lost, and so do we, as Yoda says there is nothing in those books that Rey doesn’t already have.
Well, it turns out prankster Yoda was being very literal. At the end of the movie, you can see that Rey actually took the books with her in the Millennium Falcon when she went to go confront Kylo Ren. So, not only are the ancient Jedi texts safe, but Rey will likely be using them to grow in her knowledge and skill between movies!
1 VADER’S BODY SHOULD HAVE DISAPPEARED
Some of these are things that have bugged fans for decades. For instance, fans have always been annoyed that Darth Vader didn’t disappear. We see Obi-Wan and Yoda disappear, so why does Darth Vader leave behind a big old body for Luke to burn on Endor?
As much as we hate to admit it, the prequels answer this pretty definitively.
Jedi do not naturally disappear when they die: we see that Qui-Gon also leaves behind a body, and plenty of fallen Jedi in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith do not disappear when they die. Instead, this is one of the tricks that Qui-Gon learns in the afterlife, and he shares it with both Yoda and Obi-Wan. Hence, they are able to become one with The Force in a way that others cannot.