So here you are, Star Wars franchise. After the release of Rogue One, the first stand-alone Star Wars movie, and its predecessor, The Force Awakens, you’re sitting pretty on a box office gate of over $3.1 billion from just those two movies alone. That’s right — you’re the unrivaled, unequaled, undisputed king of the monster franchises. As long as you keep releasing movies (and there’s no end in sight on that particular front) you’re gonna stay ahead of lesser rivals like the Avengers franchise (the entire MCU for that matter), James Bond, the X-Men, and anybody else who dares to challenge you. That means you, Transformers and The Fast and the Furious — goodbye. Sorry, Harry Potter and Middle Earth — your time is over.
But, there’s a big problem in the land of the king. It’s your actual content, Star Wars. While the universe you reside in is awesome and you usually do a great job with characters (usually, mind you), you sometimes have a notion of creating storylines that just don’t make any sense. Every single Star Wars movie ever, going all the way back to the original Episode IV: A New Hope, has been at least somewhat hamstrung by plots that are nonsensical, plot holes that keep getting larger with age, statements and actions by characters that leave you scratching your head, and just general all-around silliness that detract from the beauty and joy of the Star Wars universe. OK, OK, Star Wars galaxy, fanboys.
Never fear, though. Like a pen (OK — keyboard) wielding Jedi, I’m here to point out to you all of your mistakes and weaknesses, especially in the last “mythology” movie The Force Awakens. Cue the grand John Williams music because here are 15 reasons The Force Awakens doesn’t make any sense.
15. Maz Kanata: Visionary Or Idiot?
One of the things Star Wars does well with is the odd, little characters who help drive the story along while bringing a certain weirdness and comic relief to the table. There were a ton of them in both the original movie (remember the Jawas?) and the prequels (how about Watto?). Maz Kanata certainly fits that bill. But here’s the deal — Maz is supposed to be this “force-sensitive” person who’s not really a Jedi but is definitely way more aware than your average Wookie or bounty hunter. She’s also supposed to be able to “see” into people. Because it’s George Lucas we’re dealing with here, she even has actual goggles to drive that point home. So, OK, great, but let me ask you this, Ms. Maz. How did you miss the First Order spies hanging out in your own crib? Uh huh, that’s what I thought — your writers forgot about that little detail, didn’t they? ‘Cause that makes sense.
14. Han & Leia — Awkward!
One of the absolute bright spots of the original trilogy and something that was sorely missing in the prequel trilogy was the awesome relationship between Han and Leia. Their sometimes prickly, sometimes tender, always snappy and witty repartee helped drive the success of those movies. Then, years later, we see that Han and Leia did indeed get together and raised Kylo, after which they went totally off the deep end and ended up separating in a spasm of fury and agony. So how come when they reunite they’re just so overjoyed and apologetic to see each other? I would’ve expected some serious verbal fireworks, like the old days, only with a nastier, experiential edge — you know, like all bickering divorced couples tend to behave. It’s a total cop-out by the writing team to have them be all lovey-dovey.
13. Stormtroopers’ Genesis
We all know that the Stormtroopers, who are supposed to be the most feared group of super soldiers and badasses the galaxy has ever seen, are, in actuality, a bunch of lame idiots who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with their phasers if they were standing two feet away. They also tend to lack all initiative and basic tactical sense. I mean, these are the guys who were beaten by Ewoks with stone-age spears and rocks, am I right? So the whole idea that these guys were kidnapped as toddlers and trained for over a decade to become lean, mean fighting machines just doesn’t fly. Because they suck, in case you were wondering why I’m saying that. You can’t build up the deadliest army in the universe and then have it be — well, not so deadly. In other news, what the hell is going on in the Star Wars universe that so many kids are being abducted? I hope they have a lot of milk cartons there.
12. Finn’s Freedom Of Choice
Speaking of the entire ridiculous back story of the Stormtroopers… (Wasn’t the Jango Fett origin story good enough? It was for me.) Let’s take a look at our hero Finn, for a moment, shall we? Yes, we shall, because his very existence in the movie doesn’t make one iota of sense. First of all, let’s not forget that the Stormtroopers are raised from a very young age in very strict, Spartan-like conditions to do one thing and one thing only: be a good soldier. Quite literally. How did Finn ever decide to show free will, conscious choice and all that? Why did he break the mold? No other Stormtrooper ever in the history of the franchise has gone rogue, but Finn does on his very first mission. That’s stretching the bounds of credulity way past the snapping point, if you ask me. There’s no plausible explanation for his behavior.
11. Luke’s Lightsaber
Way back when, at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker lost not only a hand but also a lightsaber. It wasn’t just any ordinary lightsaber either but the legendary lightsaber of his father, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker/Sith Lord Darth Vader. Good thing old Ben kept it around for twenty years so that Luke could drop it into the swirling, endless abyss of the atmosphere of Bespin. Sorry Luke, but you just lost your only keepsake from your evil warlord Dad. Right? Well, apparently — wrong. In a storyline that makes zero sense whatsoever to anyone, it turns out Maz Kanata has had the lightsaber for years and never told anyone, including the resistance she’s supposed to be helping. Sorry, but I’m just not buying it — that thing should have disappeared forever based on the last time we saw it.
10. Rey Speaks Wookie?
If you’re any kind of Star Wars nerd, then you’ll know why the statement above doesn’t seem to make any kind of sense. If you’re not a Star Wars nerd, then honestly, what the hell are you doing here? I would have thought the title of this piece would have been enough to turn you away. Well, I guess beggars can’t be choosers — maybe you’ll learn something along the way, newbie. Moving on… Everybody knows that nobody, and I mean nobody, speaks Wookie. It’s basically one of the longest running gags in the entire history of the franchise. It’s actually one of the few really funny things in the Star Wars canon. Do you ever recall Han actually speaking Wookie to Chewie? Umm, no. Because he can’t. But little Rey, a total street-urchin (well “desert urchin”), homeless, orphaned vagabond on a nowhere planet speaks Wookie just fine, thank you very much! How? Why??? We’ve just begun, and my head already hurts.
9. Starkiller Base: Where Everyone Knows Your Name
You remember the Death Star, right? The original ultimate evil superweapon? The “nobody is gonna f**k with us now” destroyer of planets? The existence of the Death Star and how to get rid of it was basically the biggest plotline, as opposed to character arc, in the very first movie of the franchise. So you probably also remember that pretty much the entire second act consisted of various main characters running around the Death Star looking for each other, the bad guys, or a way out. “Why did they do that, Geer?” you ask. Because the Death Star was freakin’ HUGE, that’s why! It was like the size of Delaware or Liechtenstein or Sir Alec Guinness’s ego (zing!). So how come in The Force Awakens, Starkiller Base, which is the size of planet Earth or George Lucas’s checking account, is like the easiest place in the universe for everybody to run into each other right away right when they arrive? Han. Finn. Phasma. Rey. Kylo. The whole gang just bumps into their “buddies” without even looking. WTF? If I were dumped into basically a new country and told to find someone, it would take me weeks! Especially since I hear the cell service there is really spotty.
8. Poe Dameron: Unbreakable
Either Poe Dameron is hiding something or he’s like a Terminator and cannot be destroyed because his reappearance in the movie after crashing makes no sense whatsoever. Seriously — have you ever seen anyone survive a crash in a Tie-fighter before? No, you haven’t. You know why? Because Tie-fighters are the Star Wars universe answer to the Prius. They’re made out of cheap plastic and Velcro and fall apart if you just look at ‘em wrong. But Poe doesn’t seem to be fazed by that. He just magically reappears when the plot calls for him to do so like he was only in a minor fender-bender. This guy was dead, people. Here’s the thing that really makes no sense, though. None of the other characters care at all about his explanation as to how he’s still among the living. They’re all like “Whatever, son. Are you ready to fly?” It’s weird and unsettling.
7. Hello Millennium Falcon
It could make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. It saved Han, Leia, and Luke countless times. It showed up at the most opportune time in the climactic scene of Episode IV: A New Hope. It even had an encore appearance in Return of the Jedi with Lando at the wheel and took out the second Death Star. Yeah, the Millennium Falcon is truly one of the stars of the entire franchise. So it’s no wonder that the old lady makes a pretty big appearance in The Force Awakens. What is a surprise, however, and one that makes absolutely no sense to anyone, is how the ship shows up. Let’s get this straight. Han and Chewie have been searching for her for years, including around Jakku, and never found her, even though the ship is equipped with a homing beacon. Then as soon as Rey and Finn power her up and fly off Jakku, Han and Chewie just happen to be waiting in orbit and immediately are all like “Hey, that’s our ship.” What?! No. Han calls it a “coincidence. I call bullsh*t.”
6. R2D2: Surprise!
He was one of the most pleasant surprises of the original trilogy — a miniature, exceptionally cute robot, who also just happened to have the secret to life, the universe, and everything. Well, at least the secret to the Death Star. He was probably, in his first iteration, simply considered a comic-relief driven plot device. But he became oh so much more than that. Seeing this, George Lucas fleshed out the story of R2D2 immensely in the prequel trilogy, which ended up being one of the highlights of that entire fiasco. Fast forward 20 years to The Force Awakens, and surprise! R2D2 is still around! However, this time he’s basically hiding out being all sad about Luke’s disappearance and only happens to “perk” up at just the right moment in the film to reveal to Rey and the others Luke’s hiding place. What?! If R2 is so upset about missing Luke, why on earth (or the galaxy) did he not just go find him? This is beyond weird — it basically breaks the first rule of fiction: the suspension of disbelief.
5. “The Knights Of Ren”
So in articles like this, I’m supposed to flesh out my point and make sure you guys all know what I’m talking about for each entry. I’m finding that tough to do with this one, to tell you the truth. Why, you ask? Well, because the whole premise is just so absurd. Kylo Ren is supposed to be the leader of “the Knights of Ren.” OK… that’s fine, except, there don’t appear to be any other Knights of Ren running around. Supreme Leader Snoke, who is as annoying as he is ugly, refers to Kylo as the “master” of this mysterious organization. Yet the only one we ever see is Kylo, and he sure as sh*t doesn’t have any friends — unless the “Knights of Ren” is code for all of his Warcraft buddies online. Now that would make sense.
4. Hello, Episode IV: A New Hope
Here’s a thing that to me doesn’t make any sense at all. I get that it probably made sense to George Lucas because why mess with a good thing? But to us fans, it was kind of a bummer to see how much of the first movie he stole (excuse me, “recycled”) to get this one off the ground. For starters, there’s your main protagonist, who just happens to be a troubled teen living in a desert wasteland who’s also a good mechanic and Force-powerful. Anyone remember “the Force is strong with this one?” Yeah, I did too — just because Rey is a girl doesn’t mean she isn’t Luke Version II. Add in a Starkiller Base instead of a Death Star, a helmeted baddie dressed all in black wielding a funky lightsaber, and, of course, just to make it all so familiar, a band playing in Maz’s bar. I understand wanting to acknowledge the past and create story arcs that tie different generations together, but c’mon, guys — you could’ve done so much better than this. Not everything needs to be exactly the same to make it work.
3. Kylo Ren’s Anger
So, seriously, what is up with good old Kylo? He has a serious hatred going on for his Dad (that would be Han for all two of you who went to see the Point Break remake instead of this one), but that hatred seems, shall we say, a bit excessive. I mean, Han definitely doesn’t seem like the best father-type material ever, but he also doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who used to wear wife-beaters around the house, drink too much Jack, and put out cigarettes on the kids. I mean, at worst, he was an absentee father, not an evil abusive bastard. So where does Kylo get off vowing to destroy whole worlds and races because his Daddy wouldn’t play catch in the backyard? Like so much else here, it just doesn’t make sense. Han’s behavior is way, way too “normal” to reconcile with Kylo Ren’s motivations, which are way, way too intense. Why does this guy become the new Darth Vader instead of a mopey goth-teen who hides in his bedroom playing Warcraft and listening to emo?
2. Rey = Jackie Chan Jr.
Rey spends her life living in the outback of a backward planet scavenging for fallen debris and other crap. She’s fiercely independent and trades what she finds for just enough to get by — mostly water. She has no friends, no family, no life. She’s never known anything else and rarely interacts with anybody else except on the very rare occasions when she goes to “town.” Yet… and this is such a big “yet” it’s hard to even write, she’s apparently a Kung Fu master along the lines of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan. Where and how did she ever learn how to use a quarterstaff the way she does? There is literally nobody on that planet who could have taught her. Even if she learned how to fight to defend herself, she wouldn’t have learned the black-belt moves she shows off. It’s just a really “off” look to her character that doesn’t add up.
1. Rey: Super-Force Ninja-Assassin Master Sergeant Jedi Knight Templar
This is just too much for me to bear, actually. It totally upset me when I saw the movie for the first time in the theaters (and I was, by far, not the only one who was po’d up), and it still upsets me every time I watch The Force Awakens again. Rey’s Force “abilities” throw everything that George Lucas put into the very existence of the Force and the nature of Jedi/Sith Lords into doubt. I mean, seriously? How in the world is Rey basically able to master the Force and become a more powerful wielder of it than anyone has ever seen? Let’s remember for a moment, if you will, that she’s a freakin’ orphan from a backwater planet who had never even heard of the Force (which is weird in and of itself, but I digress), and then suddenly, she’s this amazing Master Jedi Machine. It. Just. Doesn’t. Make. Sense. Especially when one considers that in the first movie, Luke had Ben/Obi-Wan to mentor him and in the prequels, every single Jedi out there, including Obi-Wan and Anakin, was a Padawan (“student apprentice”) to a Jedi. So Rey, being this awesome is too weird for words.