Star Wars has become the largest generational film franchise, with sets of films bringing in audiences since the late '70s with the original trilogy starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. Fans have watched as these films grew into a sprawling universe filled with novels, comics, animated cartoons, and further reaching feature films over the last four decades. Many of the original trilogy fans have passed their love for the series down generation to generation.
Yet, as with any massive following, there are bound to be moments where plot holes are discovered. And often, at the time we glance over them just as inconsistencies in the filming/editing process or holes in the story that we're willing to overlook because of the rest of the film. But now after 40 years, we have found some answers to the burning plot hole questions that we've had through all the films.
Some of these burning questions are answered through the films themselves, while others come from novels and comics. Be mindful of the Force and proceed to learn the secrets hidden in the Star Wars universe.
Stormtroopers miss every time.
Yet, if you think back to the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi is inspecting the damaged Jawa Sandcrawler, he tells Luke that it must have been the Empire because "only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise." If they're so precise, how could they miss every single time when up against Luke and Han?
Well, there are two explanations for this plot hole. The first being that Darth Vader was planning on the heroes escaping, in order to track them down to the hidden rebel base. If the stormtroopers had killed everyone, then there would be nobody left to track.
The second explanation comes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when Chirrut Imwe explains that the Force protects those possessing a connection with the Force, which in turn makes the stormtrooper blasts miss.
Luke is hiding in plain sight... on Vader's home planet.
From the moment that we learned that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker from Tatooine, many fans have wondered why he never sought out Luke sooner than he did. Especially when you consider that at no point did anyone (Obi-Wan nor Luke's aunt) make any attempt to hide Luke's true identity as a Skywalker.
Many fans assumed that looking on his home planet, where his only family was, would be the first place Vader would have looked. Except with this plot hole, the devil is in the details since Vader honestly had no reason to believe that he had children. At the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine tells Vader that he had killed Padme before she could give birth. To further this belief, Padme was made to still look pregnant during her funeral.
To further seal the deal, on Tatooine many families grow by purchasing slaves. A new child in Owen and Beru's home could easily have been written off as a slave of Beru's own child rather than Vader's child.
Rey understands droid and Wookiee.
We all know that Rey grew up similarly to Luke, in the sense that they both grew up on on remote desert planets. Yet, Rey grew up an orphan scavenger with a terrible alien as her only father figure. Her upbringing made many fans question how Rey could be educated enough to understand BB-8's droidspeak and Chewbacca's Shyriiwook (yes, that's what it is called).
Although Rey is seen as a sort of prodigy who can fly and repair the Millenium Falcon as well as wield a lightsaber with no formal training, many fans were still stumped as to how she could excel at so much while living on such an isolated junk planet.
The explanation for this can be found in the book Rey's Survival Guide, where it is revealed that she spent much of her free time at home learning languages: "I practice alien languages and droidspeak so I can talk to people in Niima." In the same book, Rey encounters numerous Wookiee traders who tell stories about Chewbacca and his reckless human first mate, Han Solo. This means that Shyriiwook was likely one of the first languages she learned.
Why the Death Star Was So Poorly Constructed
Through Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we see how the Empire came about designing and building the Death Star. Galen Erso played a huge role in the development of the Empire's greatest weapon, even though it was against his own will. He did it in order to hopefully keep his family, and most importantly his beloved daughter Jyn; but ultimately he knew what it would mean for the future of the galaxy if the Empire had such an incredible weapon.
While working with the Empire, Galen designed the exhaust port weakness into the Death Star, and in doing so answered why it was so easy for the Rebellion to blow it up. Yet, even this answer caused some fans to question why Galen wasn't exactly helpful in getting the information out to the rebellion.
Rogue One's director, Gareth Edwards, spoke with Radio Times and explained why Galen was so cryptic about the Death Star's weakness.
"[Galen] was worried his message would be intercepted and somebody would hear where the flaw was and fix it... His goal was simply to let them know it was possible. He couldn't just tell them it was the exhaust ports!"
Edwards continued to explain that Saw Gerrara never saw the entire message as the Death Star attack on Jedha cut it short.
"What happens in the rest of that message is obviously cut off, but what I feel it is probably saying is that they had to organize to meet so Galen could tell them how to do it. I think that ideally he wanted to just give the idea that they needed a conversation about it securely."
Luke's training with Yoda was incredibly short.
Even though it feels as though only a day or two has passed during the trip to Cloud City on Bespin, it actually was a much longer trip than the movie made it seem. When you take into account the fact that the Falcon was being powered by the backup hyperdrive, the trip to Bespin took closer to a few weeks instead of a few days.
Irvin Kershner voiced his own regret at not establishing that passage of time better, but this explains how Luke could absorb as much Jedi training as he did while on Dagobah. When you combine that with the new knowledge that a Jedi learns more from failure, it would make sense that Yoda had learned a lot about the Force since his failures led to the destruction of the Jedi in the first place. It's likely that Luke was the beneficiary of Yoda's improved understanding of the Force itself.
How can Finn be so good with a lightsaber in his first battle?
In Episode VII: The Force Awakens—the first film in the sequel trilogy—we find both Rey and Finn wielding a lightsaber against Kylo Ren on the imploding Starkiller Base. With Kylo being Luke's student as well as a Skywalker by blood, it seemed hard to fathom that both Rey and Finn could hold their own against the trained Sith.
To many fans, this seemed an unlikely outcome to their clash in the woods, at least until Snoke revealed a hidden truth about the Force itself in Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Snoke explains to Kylo Ren that the Force itself seeks balance in the universe, so as he grows stronger in the dark side so also will Rey grow stronger in the light.
This balance likely affected Finn as well when Rey was unable to face Kylo, which allowed Finn to wield a lightsaber as easily as he did. Yet, there's another explanation that comes from the Star Wars comics, particularly #12, which shows Han, Leia, and Chewbacca each use a lightsaber (two for Chewy) to get out while attempting to rescue Luke from a deadly gladiator arena. So it seems that regardless of who holds the lightsaber, it's possible for them to give a good fight no matter how connected they are to the Force.
Why does C-3PO have a red arm, and nobody seems to notice?
Okay, so this may not really be a plot hole, and is essentially more of a burning question that many fans had leading up to Episode VII: The Force Awakens. When the merchandise started popping up, many fans noticed the apparent difference in C-3PO's mechanical features since the end of the original trilogy—the red arm.
The reality of C-3PO's red arm is far sadder than many fans were expecting, as it was revealed in the one-shot comic "C3PO: The Phantom Limb" where there was an android rescue mission launched to save a captured Admiral Ackbar. While trying to rescue the beloved admiral, all the droids except for C-3PO are destroyed in a brutal battle. C-3PO lost an arm in the battle, and chose to salvage the replacement arm from the droid who died to save him, as a tribute to his comrade.