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VIDEO: Top 10 Things the Original Star Wars Trilogy Did Wrong

Everyone bashes the Star Wars prequels left, right, and center, but in this video, the Unusual Suspect takes a look at what the original Star Wars trilogy did wrong.

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  • Cyvaris

    I’m getting the popcorn….this is going to be amusing.
    Also, a lot of these nitpicks seems to be more “things that make no sense because Lucas cannot plan things before hand.” The Luke/Leia thing, the Obi-wan is an asshole etc.

    Furthermore, Obi-Wan did not train Luke out of fear of him falling like his father. Obi-wan basically sat back and watched to ensure Luke would not become his father. Also the “to old to train thing” is only an issue because of the Prequels. Again, it’s not an issue in the original movie UNTIL the prequels were made and screwed everything up.

    • Jason Withrow

      I agree that there’s probably not much sense in blaming Lucas for not knowing what he would later do, I do think there’s sense in following up on the premise of “What can the new Star Wars films learn from the mistakes of the old” in this regard. Disney wants a new Star Wars film a year – that seems like the easiest possible way to open up plot hole after plot hole. So maybe we can phrase that one as “Don’t contradict what’s already in these films and any films you already have out” and hope for the best.

  • Spocksbro

    Great analysis. I love the original film (I have an unremastered VHS of episode IV and I dread the day when that tape finally gives up the ghost) but everything you point out in your analysis has bothered me as well.

    A few other points –

    Speaking of Stormtrooper incompetence, I’m surprised you didn’t point out Obi-wan’s remark when he and Luke come across the destroyed sandcrawler that the blast points were “too precise” for Tusken raiders. And this incompetence must run through the entire Imperial command: When Han abruptly disappears from the Stardestroyer’s screens, no one thinks to make a quick scan of the hull?

    Reaction shots – You mention Luke’s lack of reaction to Bigg’s death. What of Leia’s lack when she see’s her entire world blown apart in a second? A few hours later, she’s trading quips with Luke and Han.

    And if you can’t bring yourself to hate Ewoks, allow me. You would have thought Lucas couldn’t have sunk any lower than Ewoks until Jar Jar.

    As to your point about female characters – Considering what Lucas did with Padme, do you truly wish he had introduced another woman?

    Oh, and kudos for injecting a dig against Clegg and the LibDems 🙂

    • Muthsarah

      “Speaking of Stormtrooper incompetence, I’m surprised you didn’t point
      out Obi-wan’s remark when he and Luke come across the destroyed
      sandcrawler that the blast points were “too precise” for Tusken raiders.
      And this incompetence must run through the entire Imperial command:
      When Han abruptly disappears from the Stardestroyer’s screens, no one
      thinks to make a quick scan of the hull?”

      As bad as the Stormtroopers were, I would imagine they could still hit the broadside of a Sandcrawler. I just wonder what that says about the Tusken Raiders.

      • DarthYan

        It was on the blindside of the sensors. The sensors wouldn’t have picked it up.

    • Cyvaris

      Here is the thing about Stormtroopers, they ARE accurate! Look back at the times we see them fight. Boarding of the Tantive IV, dead on aim, the rebels never stand a chance. Accurate destruction of the Jawas. Then we get to the Death Star and the seem to loose all their skills. But remember, Tarkin/Vader WANTED the crew of the Falcon to escape. The Stormtroopers are missing on PURPOSE but are doing so in such a convincing manner that the heroes think they are in danger. The same thing happens at Cloud City. Vader knows the Falcon cannot jump, but he still lets the heroes believe they have “won”. Jump to Return of the Jedi. During the defense of the bunker, shooting at targets in cover, the Stormtroopers hit Leia in the arm AND R2. Again, both these targets are in cover.

      Looking over this events, the Stormtroopers are actually pretty great shots. They can go toe to toe with a rebel force, fake fighting well in order to convince an enemy they are being pursued,and hit two small targets that have cover.

  • Hal_10000

    One minor quibble on your quibbles. I thought it was implied in the first film that Obi-Wan *wanted* to train Luke but that Luke’s uncle forbad it.

  • Jason Withrow

    I do understand why there has to be a hole in the Death Star – it is an exhaust port, if you closed it off it would still explode and THAT explosion would probably make more sense than a torpedo to the video game weak point. That said, I still agree with you, put a grille on the damn thing!

    • Quinton McLargeHuge

      Even with a grille though, could one torpedo destroy it and the next one go in? I mean Luke shot two torpedoes at it and both went in…

      And even with a grille, the first guy to try to destroy the Death Star, his torpedoes didn’t go in, they just impacted on the surface which could easily destroy any defense system.

      • Jason Withrow

        That’s a good point! But you’re also right in the second paragraph. That would have happened… and so there’s no reason for it to not have happened. You could edit the grille into the film while changing nothing else and the Empire would look just an grille’s-width less stupid than they do in the current cuts.

        • The_Stig

          The Empire’s all about intimidation. That’s the purpose of the Death Star. Yes, it had the power to destroy planets, but it was the threat of that power to destroy planets that was the true weapon. Like Tarkin said “Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station”. That’s why Star Destroyers look the way they do, that’s why TIE Fighters attack in swarms. They want people so scared and intimidated at the sheer power of Imperial might that they wouldn’t dare stand up to the invincible Empire. So the exhaust port was a design flaw, big deal. The station was so heavily defended, the target was so small and the way to access that target was so specific I doubt they even considered it a vulnerable point. Besides, even if the Empire was aware of the exhaust port I bet the bean counters would have thought it cost too much to fix and with the task of having to rule the whole damn galaxy AND deal with a war, the Imperial budget was presumably spread thin enough already (and considering that according to the EU the construction of the thing was a bureaucratic and fiscal nightmare), not to mention the time it would take to fix that design flaw on a project overseen by an Emperor AND a Sith Lord who aren’t renowned for their patience considering it took 20 years to complete, and the legendary arrogance of the Grand Moff in command of said space station. Tarkin would have never agreed with taking the Death Star back into drydock to fix one measly little exhaust port. I doubt he’d even entertain the notion that the Death Star -had- a weakness. They were counting on crushing the Rebellion before they found that weakness–any weakness. That’s why they were so hell-bent on recovering the stolen schematics. The small chance of the Rebels finding a vulnerability to exploit was one they couldn’t afford to take.

          That was a lot longer than it deserved to be.

  • Muthsarah

    First-off, you’re a bad, bad man for having us listen to that dance number ten friggin’ times!

    Number 7 subsection 3: You don’t need a reason to dislike someone. You especially don’t have to explain that reason to them. It seemed clear to me that pig-nosed guy was either trying to start a fight, or just trying to scare Luke for the lulz. Scum and villainy and all that. Or, since it’s a cantina, maybe he was just drunk.

    Number 6: Really shouldn’t be a problem. In the first movie, Luke probably thought she looked pretty. And she did. Probably the first noble he’s ever seen too; in classical literature, farmboys and other commoners were usually agog with princesses. In the second movie, it’s clear she only kisses Luke because Han’s there. There’s no conflict here, they simply didn’t know.

    Number 5: Ben Kenobi leaving Luke on Tatooine is not a flaw in the Original Trilogy, but in Episode III. Might as well say the Original Trilogy is dumb because of that whole “I don’t like sand bit”. Anakin said that, and he was in Episodes IV-VI, after all. All that Episode IV establishes (and thus, all it should be held accountable for) is that Luke lives with his uncle and aunt, and Kenobi is the crazy old man down the street who Luke is supposed to stay away from. Having Vader’s son being on Tatooine is a bit of a problem, yes. Kenobi also could have wanted to keep Leia’s identity secret because Luke, the Death Star plans, and escape were his priorities, not Leia (he didn’t know she was captured, and wasn’t in any way responsible for her), and he didn’t want Luke being distracted by that in any way. Not telling him about Vader is a bigger problem, yes, but it still ultimately ties in with how he doesn’t want Luke letting his judgement be sidetracked by family stuff. Luke was quite susceptible to suggestion where his family was concerned, as you point out in the Episode VI duel, just as Vader was susceptible when he turned on the Emperor. It’s a big deal, even for the Jedi. His explanation in Episode VI was total BS, though. Something about this belongs on this list, yes, but it’s not all as bad as you make it out to be. Not bad enough that it doesn’t deserve to be defended, at least.

    The rest I agree on without reservations. Every joke landed, BTW. Nice.

  • jjramsey

    I’d say that the problem of Leia & Luke being siblings and the problem of Ben Kenobi not telling Luke that Vader was his father are facets of the same larger problem. I highly doubt that Lucas had planned in advance that Vader was going to be Luke’s father. He was just the Big Bad, and one of the bad things he had done was to kill Luke’s father. When Lucas retconned Vader to be Luke’s dad for the sake of drama, he had to plug the plot hole introduced by Kenobi’s earlier dialogue, hence the “from a certain point of view” bit. I also doubt that Luke and Leia were originally meant to be brother and sister. My guess is that was another retcon to break up the apparent love triangle between Han, Luke, and Leia.

    • ComradeFrana

      “He was just the Big Bad,”

      I’d even say that Tarkin was the Big Bad and Vader was just his Dragon.

      • The_Stig

        The Emperor was really the big bad overall. I would say Vader was definitely The Dragon of the Original Trilogy. The upside of being a Dragon is that while you aren’t the guy running the show, despite your second banana status you tend to be VASTLY more popular with the audience than your boss because you’re generally a lot cooler, so even if the movie sucks, a lot of the time most people will walk away thinking you were the best thing about the film.

  • Lucithana

    I wanted to like this, I really did. These films are utterly overrated and had more than their share of flaws, but not only did you miss some you managed to pick on some of the things that weren’t actually flaws. Such as Boba Fett’s death. He’s only cool because he makes an awesome action figure. You say his death didn’t respect how awesome he was, but he didn’t actually DO anything. Also, the Dark Side isn’t “You get angry, you become evil” it’s a slow path where you slowly let emotion control you completely, not occasionally getting angry. And.. a storm trooper being mind controlled by a jedi is a reason they suck? And.. you actually badmouthed a trooper for going after someone who got his attention? Seriously, it seems like you barely tried on this list. You did mention some of the problems, but missed out on others. I really wanted to see someone bringing up that the original trilogy were alright movies that everyone loves because they saw them as kids.

    • Muthsarah

      Boba Fett tracked Han to Bespin. In fact, he deduced Han’s destination so well, and was able to inform Vader so well ahead-of-time that Vader (or some other Imperial agent) reached Bespin before even Han himself. He was clever enough to not overlook what the Empire and the other bounty hunters missed, Han’s ship hiding against the Star Destroyer, but also professional enough to let his employer know about it rather than try to apprehend Han all by himself. And Vader apparently respected Fett enough to let him get away, without “altering the deal” like he did with Lando. Granted, what does he care about Han, but Vader’s still quite a bastard in these films, so what would stop him? Lando probably wouldn’t have double-crossed Vader had he not turned on him, so why would Vader have betrayed Lando and not Fett? Maybe he legitimately respects the latter.

      Given Fett’s inclusion in the (hopefully non-canon) Holiday special, Lucas already had some other ideas about him; they probably just weren’t fleshed out in Empire or Jedi because there was a lot of other stuff. Maybe Lucas intended to explore that backstory some other time. Either way, he was intended to be special. Throw in the outfit that was so popular, and you have a fan-favorite character. He did things, not much, but still some important things plot-wise. But if you also think about why he did what he did, and what others were doing around him, he seems more capable than his plot-relevant actions would immediately suggest. There’s more to him than what’s on the surface.

      Though Jedi wasted it and the prequels screwed it up so badly that, yeah, it really does seem dumb to have ever found Boba Fett cool. But if you disregard the prequels, he’s still pretty cool.

      • Lucithana

        Fair points. I might have missed them because I never really had much interest in Fett personally. Though I will argue there wasn’t much point in altering the deal, I will say that it is a positive note in Fett’s favor that Vader didn’t do it just to avoid paying him. Of course it can also be seen as a positive point in Vader’s favor that he wasn’t stupid enough to piss off an obviously useful asset like some fictional dark lords. Oh, and sadly at least when Lucas was in control, the Holiday Special is cannon as far as I know. Though to be fair I think it might be true the only reason for that is declaring it non-cannon would mean acknowledging it again which he seems VERY committed to not doing.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Fun list. I didn’t agree with all of it, but I thought you raised some excellent points. And yeah, the Ewoks were pure ass.

  • Guest

    I think there’s an easy explanation for Yoda telling Luke that even
    dipping a toe in the Dark Side (as he did in the throne room) means
    it’ll dominate him forever: Yoda doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Yoda’s
    old, sure, and he’s an experienced Jedi Master, but the prequels do
    their best to show that Jedi Order as naive, distant from humanity/the
    real world, and dogmatic. That’s why they tell Anakin that emotion is
    evil, because they’re so far removed from reality that they can’t even
    imagine any possibility beyond making Jedi robots (telling that they
    take children from their families at such a young age: they’re so far up
    their own asses that they view family as something to tear away from
    their trainees).

    So Yoda tells Luke the same
    drivel he was told, and which Anakin was told: screw up once, just once,
    and you’re done. Dark Side for life, yo. Better luck next time. So
    Anakin screws up (exacerbated by a Jedi order that tells him love is
    evil, that lets his mother rot in slavery) and figures he might as well
    go all in on this Sith thing. really get in on the ground floor. Luke
    rejects that. Yeah, he lost his temper. maybe he even picked the Dark
    Side up for a second and toyed with it. But he knows that good and evil
    are choices, and he chooses the light. So the old Jedi end with Kenobi,
    and the new more human Jedi begin with Luke. A Jedi order that
    understands that you may fall, but you can pick yourself back up again.

    • JD

      Yoda dabbled in the dark side in the novels as well. at least its implied.

      • The_Stig

        And Mace Windu was the only known master of a lightsaber form known as Vapaad, which involves dipping into the dark side during combat. Anger does not by itself lead to the Dark Side. Embracing anger does. Luke is able to turn away from the dark side in ROTJ because he saw what he was going to become and chose to reject it. Luke was trying to prove that Yoda (and the long held dogma that once evil, always evil) was wrong and by redeeming his father (as well as rejecting his own path to evil) he proved it.

  • freddy

    I think there’s an easy explanation for Yoda telling Luke that even dipping a toe in the Dark Side (as he did in the throne room) means it’ll dominate him forever: Yoda doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Yoda’s old, sure, and he’s an experienced Jedi Master, but the prequels do their best to show that Jedi Order as naive, distant from humanity/the real world, and dogmatic. That’s why they tell Anakin that emotion is evil, because they’re so far removed from reality that they can’t even imagine any possibility beyond making Jedi robots (telling that they take children from their families at such a young age: they’re so far up their own asses that they view family as something to tear away from their trainees).

    So Yoda tells Luke the same drivel he was told, and which Anakin was told: screw up once, just once,
    and you’re done. Dark Side for life, yo. Better luck next time. So Anakin screws up (exacerbated by a Jedi order that tells him love is evil, that lets his mother rot in slavery) and figures he might as well go all in on this Sith thing. You know, really get in on the ground floor. Luke rejects that. Yeah, he lost his temper. maybe he even picked the Dark Side up for a second and toyed with it. But he knows that good and evil
    are choices, and he chooses the light. So the old Jedi end with Kenobi, and the new more human Jedi begin with Luke. A Jedi order that understands that you may fall, but you can pick yourself back up again.

    • Were you referring to the many novels? According to those, after the events of RotJ, Luke’s revamped Jedi Order is less strict about Jedi in relationships and also more forgiving of Jedi screw-ups. In fact, there are some times when Luke is accused of too much leniency.

  • Hitchmeister

    I don’t know if it belongs under the incompetence of the Stormtroopers or the prevarications of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but you should have included Obi-Wan’s line about the attack on the sandcrawler having to be Imperial Stormtroopers because they are the only ones with firing patterns that Precise. Followed by them missing everything they shoot at for the rest of the three movies. (Leia’s shoulder notwithstanding. That was just a closer than average miss.)

  • msgundam2

    Boba Fett didn’t die. Look it up.

    • Muthsarah

      I can think of worse things than bringing Fett back for the new movies. Like bringing Han and Leia back, when it’s obvious it’ll just be for a pointless cameo and/or unnecessary plot contrivance, as the story can’t and won’t be about them. Basically, exactly what Abrams did with Spock. EXACTLY.

      I’m hoping he shows up in Episode 8. Yes, 8. Not 7. Not 9. Only 8. He’s too big to just drop into the first one (he’d be distracting) and too small to be around for the last one (they’d just off him unsatisfactorily like in Jedi), since he won’t be the big bad. But having him show up in 8, being a major villain in that movie and giving him a nice fight, especially if he isn’t foreshadowed at all in 7, that would be nice.

  • Jockerlee77

    great review

  • Lola

    I’ve looked up & down the entire internet but have been unable to find out who’s the voice actor for Joh Yowza — the singing bearbeetlepig who sounds like Tom Waits.

    • $36060516

      What is your anticipated upside of finding out?

      • Lola

        If it is indeed Waits, I will cancel my plans to propose to him in a heartbeat. I am a relentless seeker of truth.

      • GRAY 6

        Look at that! I’ve a Disqus account now (or rather dug up my old one). Ain’t technology something?