How is it that Hoth, like Tatooine, had a breathable atmosphere? Like Tatooine, it didn’t appear to have any plant life. Regardless, an ecosystem cannot possibly survive if it consists only of heterotrophs (animals, fungi, etc.); there must be autotrophs (plants, algae, certain bacteria) that can directly harvest energy to make food. Plants harvest solar energy; some bacteria can harvest geothermal energy. The point is this: an ecosystem depends absolutely on autotrophs harvesting energy and using it to make the food that everything else in the ecosystem depends upon.
So where were the autotrophs on Hoth (and Tatooine) that would not only provide the food for everything else in the ecosystem, but the very air they breathe?
Han said of Hoth: “There isn’t enough life on this ice cube to fill a space cruiser.” So what were the wampas eating? They were clearly endotherms, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to function in sub-freezing temperatures, and they were definitely carnivores. But endotherms (warm-blooded animals) require a lot
of food to keep their body temperatures up, especially in cold climates. So where the heck were the herds of prey animals that the wampas must have been dining on? (For an ecosystem of endothermic animals, the prey must outweigh the predators by something like 100 to 1 or more – usually more like 1,000 to 1 – else the predators will gobble up all the prey, and then starve.) And what the heck were the prey animals
eating, since Hoth didn’t seem to have any plant life?
Bespin, where Lando oversaw Cloud City, also
had a breathable atmosphere, oddly enough. That seems highly unlikely, given that as a gas giant, it surely had no plant life. Also, it’s unlikely that a gas giant would be orbiting close-enough to its parent star for its upper atmosphere to be warm-enough for humans to feel comfortable. (Again, there’s that pesky problem of the planet evaporating over time.) But then, Bespin clearly wasn’t made of the same stuff that Jupiter and Saturn are, or it wouldn’t have so much free oxygen in its atmosphere.
Han, Leia, and Chewbacca spent some time hiding in a cave on an asteroid, waiting for the Imperials to go away. Leia saw something strange, so they went outside to check it out, wearing breath masks but not space suits
. Suddenly, mynocks attacked! Oh no! Wait a minute.
How come this asteroid had an atmosphere about as dense as the Earth’s? The asteroid was not nearly
big enough to have a gravitational field strong-enough for it to hang onto an atmosphere that dense. (Come to think of it, that asteroid had a lot
of gravity for a rocky body that was only a few hundred miles in diameter at most. When Han shot that mynock, it fell at exactly
the rate such a thing would have fallen in Earth’s gravity. That asteroid had a lot
more gravity than it should have!) Han, Chewie, and Leia should have died of explosive decompression within moments of stepping out of the Millennium Falcon
, breath-masks or not. Okay, they were actually inside a giant space slug – maybe that
(somehow) explains the atmosphere. In that case, shouldn’t they have been more suspicious? You’d think that Han, at least, would have known that asteroids don’t have dense atmospheres.
What did that giant space slug live on anyway? You can’t possibly
convince me that spacecraft happen by every few days with tasty morsels inside! If the ecologies of Tatooine and Hoth made no sense, the ecology of this asteroid field made even less
! What did that slug eat? How did it breathe? Where did it come from? (For that matter, where did the mynocks