Refuting the Huffington Post’s alleged plot holes
So Star Wars Episode VII came out last month and it's taken the world by storm, and is on the path to being the top grossing movie in history. Obviously, one cannot reach that level of success without acquiring a few enemies — or haters as the kids are calling it these days. Those who feed off of it by attacking its success. The Huffington post released this list of “unforgivable plot holes” that all have quite simple explanations, and here they are.
*Major Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers ahead*
1. Destroying Star Killer base was too easy when compared to the Death Star operation.
They start off weak. What they refer to as a “janitor with no special skills, a few run-of-the-mill handheld explosives, a couple not very difficult X-wing blaster strikes, and some moxie” can be better said as: someone who knew his way around the place, an exceptional pilot who could fly through the base’s shields, a bag full of explosives, and an air strike. Honestly when compared to A New Hope’s hole in one, this is quite believable.
2. Han Solo found the Millennium Falcon after years of searching through the galaxy.
The ship was activated; they found it on their scanners. Besides, they had leads. Han and Chewie weren’t just travelling randomly through the galaxy hoping to find it. Not to mention the fact that it still took them 30 years or so to find the Falcon.
3. Kylo Ren sucked in the last fight.
Kylo Ren had just been shot by a weapon that every other time sent enemies flying dead. He was clearly so injured that he had to punch himself to remain conscious, and was having so much difficulty using the force that he couldn't even force pull a lightsaber from the snow.
4. Rey is strong with the force.
We don't know her full story yet; that doesn't make it a logical inconsistency.
5. Hux finds Ren in the woods.
This is a universe that has lightsabers, is it that unreasonable that he could have a radar?
6. A rift in the ground saves Ren from being killed by Rey.
I’ll blame this one on the force, protecting Rey from herself so as too help her resist the dark side.
7. Rey speaks wookie.
It has been explained that Rey learned wookie from offworlders on Jakku. It is not inconceivable that someone who lives in a desert with nothing better to do would dedicate herself to learning languages.
8. No one is surprised when Poe returns.
This one isn't even reasonable. There’s no reason anyone other than Finn would’ve been surprised about Poe’s return, and an explanation was provided to him.
9. What is the Resistance resisting, and why didn’t Maz’s planet get blown up?
Again, simply because one has failed to understand the plot does not make it a plot hole. The First Order is the result of empirical remnants returning stronger than ever. The resistance was created to fight (resist) the first order. They didn't destroy Maz’s planet because it wasn’t a resistance base, it was just where the droid they wanted was.
10. Why is all of the New Republic in one solar system?
This is a new republic, it surely hasn't had the time to expand that much. Even so, this is the Republic capital.
11. Kylo Ren is the only Knight of Ren in the movie.
That’s dumb. You see them in a vision, but even if you didn’t, that would not make it a plot hole. You didn't see what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, but that doesn't make the plot inconsistent.
12. Captain Phasma
First off, to state that the Stormtroopers in this movie hit less targets than in previous ones is just erroneous. Then there’s her quick surrender when she was clearly outnumbered, and surely did not actually believe these three intruders posed a threat so big that she should die for it. Also, Captain Phasma being overhyped is not an issue with the script. As for Finn: his defection happened the first time he was ever deployed in combat. Ask any soldier: training is very different from real combat. (PS: “Incomprehensible”; you keep using that word but I don't believe you know what it means.
13. “Really? Was there no previous order Finn had ever refused to execute?”
14. Finn is convinced the First Order will bother coming after him.
Well you can’t blame him for being paranoid after being raised by the First Order. Besides, he did steal a tie fighter and break out a high value prisoner. Not to mention he was spotted with the droid who carried the map to Luke Skywalker.
15. Luke and Han abandon the Resistance; Leia isn’t that mad.
Let’s be clear: your son/nephew going evil and killing all his friends is kind of a big deal. The fact that they required some time to deal with the pain is more than understandable. Especially since Han has a history of abandoning ‘the big fight’ and Jedis have been known to isolate themselves after large failures.
16. Every single soldier died on Starkiller base.
The film gives no indication of all the soldiers being on Starkiller base. Not to mention the amount that could very well have evacuated. When the Death Star blew up did you assume every soldier died there too?
17. Why does Hux gather his entire army just for a speech?
Again, there is no reason to assume that was his entire army. That wouldn’t even be an unbelievable army for a war here on earth; why would we assume that those are all the soldiers they have in this galactic conflict?
18. Why did Luke leave and why did he leave a map?
Yet another case of confusing mystery with narrative inconsistency. There are quite a few things we still don’t know. We haven’t even heard Luke talk. Yet it makes sense that Luke, after failing to force the rebirth of the Jedi, decided to trust the force to bring him an apprentice when the time was right.
19. How come no one in the Resistance accesses R2D2’s data drives to find Luke?
Surely R2, who has proven time and time again to be an exceptional droid, is able to keep the data hidden. Luke trusted him enough to send him back. Especially since, as 3PO mentions, they aren’t even sure that R2 would be of any help, and hence wouldn’t even allocate that many resources into hacking this ancient droid’s systems.
20. Why does no one other than Chewie and “a random girl” visit Luke?
Because that’s what Luke wanted! Luke went into exile, the last thing he wants is to be visited by the entire Resistance armada. Yes, Leia could have gone with Rey, but she’s kind of an important figure, and after a big victory I’m sure she had a lot of work to do. Not to mention that she can definitely sense Rey’s connection to the force.
21. Ren senses Han on the planet, but can't find him in the chamber.
“That’s not how the force works!” It’s not a GPS tracker; but more a faint feeling of someone’s presence. The same thing happens to Vader in A New Hope when Obi-Wan lands on the Death Star. He knew Han was in that chamber, just not exactly where.
22. Han and Ben Solo scene is lame.
Lame? Maybe. Human? Definitely. Plot hole? Come on. Parents always see the best in their children. I know quite some parents with just the worst offspring, who constantly praise them. Regardless, it really isn’t that ludicrous. We saw that he was clearly divided between the dark and the light side.
23. Why do Rey and Finn just stand by watching as Ren murders Han?
By the time they arrived, the Solos had already began talking. It was a big echoey chamber, and the conversation wasn’t that cryptic. It would not take much to understand what was happening. And they wouldn’t have just walked in and started shooting right away. Han was clearly doing something; they would’ve waited till he seemed to be in danger.
24. The Millennium Falcon is junk that hasn’t flown in years but flies perfectly.
That is the millennium falcon! It’s the whole point! It’s a tricked out version of a crappy ship. And why would Plutt ever fly it? That’s ridiculous. Lastly, these numbers are all wrong: there are two tie fighters, not twenty, and there’s no reason to assume Plutt has had it for dozens of years. Even if Han had lost it immediately after the battle of Endor, the ship passed through quite a few hands before it got to Plutt. Maybe make sure you get you’re facts straight before you try and point out inconsistencies in others’ works.
25. Why does Unkar Plutt bother trying to buy the droid when he could just take it?
Because it’s easier.
26. Why didn’t Maz give Luke’s saber to the Resistance?
We don’t even know how she got the saber, much less why. Perhaps she was instructed to keep it. Perhaps through her knowledge of the force she assumed this is how things would turn out. Besides, without a Jedi there really is not much need the resistance would have for a lightsaber.
27. Ren gets Vader’s helmet; Rey doesn’t sell hers; and Teeto releases BB8.
There are so many ways he could’ve acquired the helmet. Last we saw it, it was being cremated. Perhaps they just left it there. Maybe they buried it. It really isn’t that unbelievable. As for Rey’s helmet: if ship parts barely get her the food she needs, what makes you think that a helmet would be so valuable? And BB8 was only so valuable because of what he carried. There’s no reason why Teeto would know about that.
28. How does Finn find Rey’s settlement?
For real? He walked. What else was he going to do? Lie down and die?
29. Where did Rey learn how to fight?
We know marginally nothing about Rey’s origin. It’s not fair to assume no one taught her. She’s a lonely, attractive female in a poor desert village. Surely she would need to know how to protect herself.
30. If Finn was so nice that he saved Rey, why did he not question the Order earlier?
He fled from the first order the first time he was deployed! He could not possibly have challenged them earlier. Besides, Finn aiding Rey was not so much about him being a good guy, it was more about him never having had personal contact with a female before.
31. Why was Poe so happy to see Finn? Why did he even trust him?
Finn saved his life after he had been tortured, they shared a near death experience, and then Finn brought BB8 to the Resistance. If anything it’s surprising that Poe didn’t propose.
32. Kylo Ren removes his helmet.
Kylo Ren is an overly dramatic, emo teenager: plot hole, characterization; potatoe, potahto.
33. Why does Kylo Ren leave just one Stormtrooper guarding Rey?
Because she’s just a scavenger girl from Jakku who is tied down by metal restraints. Not to mention that when he left her alone it is because he was panicking over what had just happened. He wasn’t really in the sanest state of mind.
34. How do the Rathtars get lose?
Rey reset the fuses to try and close the doors separating Han from the gangs. Accidentally she reset the wrong fuses and opened the cages. How is this a real question? Did you not watch the movie?
35. Why do the Rathtars kill everyone but Finn?
They don’t. I’ve seen this scene four times. There are two instances where they simply throw people away. There are even more where we just see them hold people. It makes sense too. Think about it: there’s only so much you can eat until you’ve had enough.
36. Why are all Stormtroopers humans?
Yeah, I always thought it was weird that there weren’t any Jewish Nazi soldiers, too; major plot hole. Oh wait- no. The evil guys are just racist.
37. How is the force “a total shock” to Rey?
It’s not. She’s definitely heard of it before, she just didn’t believe it because it unbelievable. Also, not “basically everyone in the Galaxy knows the Force is not a myth.” Not that many people have actually had first hand experience with the Force. There is no reason why Rey should believe in it.
38. Is supreme leader Snoke a giant? If not, he’s pathetic. Even the Emperor didn’t do that.
The Emperor did do that! I’m starting to feel like you’ve never actually seen a Star Wars movie.
39. Why would they build another planet destroyer?
If they can build a bigger gun, why wouldn’t they? Their only incompetence came in letting it be destroyed, not constructing it. They took measures to protect it. They made it so that it could destroy many planets at once so as to more quickly eradicate any rising threats. Measuring the risk versus the reward, I would give the "go ahead" as well.
40. Is there any other franchise that would be allowed to recycle so many plot points?
I must comment one last time on how much of a stretch a lot of these were, and that even if the movie was just a recycled version of A New Hope, it wouldn’t make it a plot hole. That said, there are in fact a lot of similarities between those that have come before, but that is what makes the movies Star Wars. The themes that permeate all the episodes are what connect them. While it is easy point out likenesses, the movie itself is not just a clone; nor is it a soulless use of the Star Wars license, as it would’ve been had it differed as much as you suggest. There was no better way to introduce the new trilogy.
After all of this I must point out something minor that did bother me a little, but which the author did not pay enough attention to notice. At the end when Chewie and Rey return to the Resistance, Chewie and Leia walk right past each other so that Rey and Leia can have their moment, despite the fact that these are the two people who would be the most affected by Han’s death. It’s minor, and I only noticed it after watching it a few times, but it is a plot hole. Just thought I’d throw that in there.
Other than that, and a few seconds too many in the final scene, the Force Awakens was virtually flawless. It was an exceptional cinematic experience, and the best movie in the Star Wars franchise – but that’s a discussion for another time.