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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 Return of the Jedi: Miscellaneous Stuff


Miscellaneous Stuff:
When Vader first arrived on the Death Star, its commander complained that his men were already overworked, and couldn’t complete the station on the schedule Vader demanded. Vader insisted that they should increase their efforts nonetheless, as the Emperor was coming – but offered to provide no additional workers. Was this wise? If the workers were already pushed to the limit, demanding that they “redouble their efforts” would probably do little more than increase the rates of accidents and errors. If it was so important to complete the Death Star on this schedule, bringing in more workers would have been a really good idea!

Why was it that apparently every droid in the Star Wars universe spoke its own language (many of them apparently uninterpretable by humans), thus making translator droids like C-3PO necessary? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for most droids to speak Intergalactic Standard, just as most people did? Translator droids would still be useful, but standardization of droid languages sounds like it would be an awfully good idea.

In Jabba’s palace, we saw a droid being tortured by placing red-hot metal on its feet – and it screamed in response! Why on Earth would anyone put pain receptors in a droid and program it to scream when they’re activated?

How did Jabba move? He had no legs, after all. I imagine he was supposed to move like a large snake, but he was definitely not built for it. Small snakes typically move by folding their bodies into “S” shapes and using the folds to push against surface obstacles (or water, if they’re swimming). This is called lateral undulation, and it works well for small snakes, but not so well for big ones. Big snakes like pythons can use lateral undulation to push off against really sturdy supports (like trees), but they generally have to use rectilinear motion when such sturdy structures aren’t available. Rectilinear motion involves the use of large scales called scutes on snakes’ bellies, to which muscles are attached. Snakes can move these scutes forward individually and anchor them on surface irregularities, and so drag their bodies forward. This is a very slow form of movement at best, and it doesn’t work at all on smooth surfaces.

So, Jabba’s body was too short, squat, and heavy for him to be able to use lateral undulation effectively, and try as I might, I could see no evidence that he had scutes for rectilinear motion. How did he move?

Why did Jabba find human(oid) females attractive? This makes about as much sense as a human male looking at a slug and thinking “Sexay!” Was Jabba considered some sort of sexual pervert among Hutts, given his unhealthy attraction to humanoid females? Why didn’t he find himself a nice 800-pound, legless Hutt girl? What would he possibly find attractive about a human female who weighed next to nothing, had all that repulsive hair, and had those excess limbs? Maybe the point of making Leia wear the bikini was to humiliate her and thus break her pride, but it was nonetheless clear that Jabba found her appealing – why?

Why did the Rancor drop Luke when he jammed a bone in its mouth? It got rid of the bone by clamping down until it broke, so the Rancor didn't need that hand free to clear its mouth.

Leia strangled Jabba – in only a few seconds’ time? I call “No Way!” If Jabba was a tidal breather like terrestrial mammals, he’d have had a considerable reserve of air in his lungs at the moment Leia threw the chain around his neck, even if he’d been unfortunate enough to have exhaled at exactly that moment. If his respiratory system was a flow-through system like that of terrestrial birds, he’d probably have had even greater oxygen reserves in his system. Either way, an animal that size should have had several minutes’ worth of oxygen in its system. Leia might have been strong, but it hardly seems likely that she was strong enough to crush Jabba’s trachea through all that protective blubber, and that she could have kept up the necessary pressure for several minutes as he was trying to pull the chain off his neck.

Perhaps Leia was cutting off blood flow to Jabba’s brain by stopping flow in his equivalents of the carotid arteries, instead of shutting off air flow. If Jabba’s anatomy was anything like that of terrestrial animals though, that would be an even harder task than shutting off his air flow – it would be a faster way to render him unconscious, though.

Say, what was that rope attached to that Luke and Leia swung on from Jabba’s sail barge to Lando’s skiff? By my calculations, it must have been anchored more or less directly between the two vehicles. I don’t recall seeing a tree or tower there.

“So, what I told you was true – from a certain point of view.” What a cop-out! Admit it, Ben! You lied to Luke!

Luke’s compassion for Vader was laudable, I suppose, but why would he allow himself to be captured, thus betting his life on the slim chance that he could turn Vader away from the Dark Side? If he had taken Leia’s advice and run away, he might have served a very useful purpose and distracted Vader from the coming Rebel assault. Allowing himself to be captured served no real purpose, and could be regarded as not just foolish but immoral. He had a duty to help train Leia in the ways of the Force (who else was going to do it, if not him?) and to restore the Jedi! For that reason alone, he should not have gone on the mission at all, much less let himself be captured.

The Emperor referred to the Forest Moon as the “Sanctuary Moon.” Was the moon designated a wildlife sanctuary? That’s quite interesting, since I’d not have thought the Empire would be so environmentally conscious. Maybe it was designated so during the time of the Old Republic, and the Emperor simply hadn’t gotten around to finding something better for it (other than a conveniently out-of-the way place for constructing the new Death Star, that is). It is a big galaxy, after all, and Palpatine couldn’t be expected to micromanage every little administrative detail. The fact that C-3PO spoke Ewokese (wasn’t that convenient?) implies that the Sanctuary Moon had been surveyed at some point in the past. It’s curious that anybody bothered to program such an obscure language as Ewokese into a protocol droid though.

Why did Imperial speeder bikes and walkers explode when they hit something or something hit them? This seems like a serious design flaw!

Granted, the surviving Imperials would have been demoralized by the loss of the command ship Executor and the Death Star with Vader and the Emperor aboard at the Battle of Endor, but they still had a large fleet available that greatly outclassed the Rebel fleet. Did the surviving Imperials turn and run after the Death Star’s destruction? Maybe so, but they certainly could have wiped out the Rebel fleet had they chosen to do so. All of the “Original Trilogy” Star Wars movies portrayed Imperial officers as highly motivated and seemingly sure of the rightness of their cause. It seems that the surviving Imperial commanders would therefore likely be inclined to avenge their leaders’ deaths and annihilate the surviving Rebel ships. Why not try to salvage a partial victory, after all?

At the end of the movie, we saw celebrations on Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo, and even Coruscant. This seems odd, given that nothing in the previous movies had suggested that the average citizen of the galaxy found Imperial rule to be terribly loathsome. Surely, the Emperor maintained an extensive propaganda network and kept tight control over the Imperial news services. As such, you’d think most Imperial citizens, at least in the Core Worlds, would have been inclined to regard the Rebels as little better than terrorists. You’d think most Imperial citizens would have found the thought of the political chaos that would inevitably follow the deaths of Vader and the Emperor to be rather unsettling. In any event, it seems highly unlikely that there would be dancing in the streets of Coruscant in response to the Rebel victory at Endor.

Despite the psychological impact of the loss of Vader and the Emperor, to the Imperial Fleet, the Battle of Endor would have been only a minor tactical defeat at worst. The Imperial Navy would still be a vast and powerful force that would surely remain loyal to the regional governors appointed by the Emperor. If the Emperor had no clear line of succession, then it seems that by far the most likely outcome of the Battle of Endor would be an eruption of civil war as local warlords began to vie with one another for the chance to take the Emperor’s place.

No matter how you look at it, the Battle of Endor would be only a small (but important) step on the Rebels' road to victory.
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