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The Masked Man Reviews the Star Wars Movies
The Masked Man Reviews the Star Wars Movies
The Lone Ranger
Published by The Lone Ranger
01-07-2007
Default The Empire Strikes Back; Miscellaneous Stuff


Miscellaneous Stuff:
After Luke “disarmed” the wampa on Hoth, he ran from the cave into the freezing cold, without any shelter or communication devices. Worse, night was falling. Granted, Luke probably wasn’t thinking very clearly at this point, but wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense to have gone back into the cave? Maybe he wouldn’t have wanted to stay there, given the possibility that there were more wampas around, but it definitely would have been a good idea to go back and retrieve his survival and communications gear!

Han’s taun-taun died awfully fast, didn’t it? It went from looking pretty-much fine to falling over and dying within seconds. That’s not how endotherms succumb to hypothermia.

C-3PO claimed that the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field were 3,720 to 1. He was either a lousy statistician or a liar, because this statement makes no real sense.

There are a number of ways to calculate probabilities. One possibility is that C-3PO was referring to a database of studies regarding ships attempting to navigate asteroid fields. If, on average, only 1 out of 3,720 ships managed the feat, then 3PO’s claim would make some sense, but it would still be an almost completely useless “fact.” It would be useless information because it didn’t take into account such vitally-important factors as the density of the asteroid field, the size of the ship in question, the maneuverability of the ship in question, the strength of its shields, or the skill of its pilot. In short, 3PO’s quoted odds were utterly useless!

Look at it this way: suppose I want to know the odds that it will rain tomorrow. One way would be to get a database from the past 100 years or so for my location, count the total number of days it has rained during that time, and divide by the total number of days. Doing so, I might calculate a 10% probability that it will rain tomorrow. That would be a stupid way to do it, but it would give me some numbers with which to impress gullible friends.

Why is this a stupid way to calculate the probability of rain? Because I know very well that rain is more likely to fall at certain times of the year than others. A better way to calculate the odds of rain would be to see how many times out of the last century it has rained on the day of the year I’m interested in. That’s better, but still not very good.

Rain falls only under certain conditions. So, the best way to figure out the likelihood that it will rain tomorrow would be to look at the relevant conditions. What is the barometric pressure? Is it rising or falling? Do satellite images show any cloud masses moving in my direction? Doing it this way, I could much more accurately predict the probability that it will rain tomorrow than by utilizing either of the other methods.

C-3PO seems to have employed the first method when calculating the probability of successfully navigating an asteroid field. That is, he picked the stupid (and uninformative) method. His estimate was proven to be so much B.S. by the fact that a dozen or so stardestroyers entered the asteroid field, and all of them came out again (with one possible exception). If the odds of one ship doing it were only 1 in 3,720, the odds of 10 doing it were less than 1 in 500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (!).

So, C-3PO was full of it.

By the way, I know that Han was supposed to be a great pilot, but are we really supposed to believe that a freighter was faster and more maneuverable than state-of-the-art fighter craft?

Luke didn’t come across as too bright, did he? He landed on this strange planet called “Dagobah,” with instructions to find some guy named “Yoda.” He had a whole planet to search! Did he know what this Yoda looked like? No. Did he know whether this Yoda might be anywhere within a 1,000-mile radius? No. So what did he do the first time he encountered a local? He told him to bugger off! Granted, Luke hadn’t had the best day, but didn’t it occur to him that it might be a good idea to ask this strange frog-like creature if he had heard of somebody named “Yoda” before telling him to get lost?

Luke really seemed remarkably slow on the uptake sometimes. Even after this strange green guy started talking about how powerful a Jedi his (Luke’s) father had been, Luke still didn’t catch on that this was Yoda until Ben clued him in!

By the way, mastering the Force is apparently child’s play compared to the intricacies of basic grammar.

Why did Han need C-3PO to interpret what the Millennium Falcon’s computer was saying? Wouldn’t it have made sense to have long-ago programmed the ship’s computer to speak in whatever language he does? You know – for those times when the ship breaks down (which seems to happen quite frequently) and you don’t happen to have an interpreter droid on board.

Vader’s management style leaves something to be desired, it seems. Sure, he inspired fear, but one imagines that he didn’t inspire much loyalty. Perhaps Admiral Ozzel really was incompetent and therefore “deserved” to die, and perhaps Captain Needa was incompetent too. After all, Vader didn’t kill Piett; Luke and the Falcon ultimately escaped Vader’s clutches, but not because of anything Piett did wrong. Vader didn’t so much as give Piett a dirty look after the Falcon’s escape. So, Vader was apparently capable of recognizing competence. Still, how much initiative and imagination would your officers show if they were constantly worried that one slip-up would get them killed?

Granted, space is vast, but was it really standard Imperial procedure to dump garbage just before going into hyperspace? Wouldn’t this mean that heavily-used shipping lanes would have dangerous amounts of garbage floating about that a ship might collide with? A starship is necessarily a self-contained system – would it be that much trouble to hang on to your garbage ‘til you could drop it off at a recycling center or jettison it into a sun?

The light saber duel: suffice it to say that while it looked pretty cool onscreen, any remotely competent swordsman would have taken out Luke or Vader in 10 seconds flat. Those big, sweeping moves might look impressive, but they’d get you killed against an actual opponent. Real swordplay is much faster and more precise. (Also, you probably noticed that though Yoda claimed a Jedi uses the Force for defense, never for attack, it was Luke, not Vader, who attacked.)

Come to think of it . . .
A New Hope: Vader vs. Kenobi – Kenobi attacked Vader.
The Empire Strikes Back: Vader vs. Luke – Luke attacked Vader.
The Return of the Jedi: Vader vs. Luke – Luke attacked the Emperor.
Hmm.

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