Ever since man started telling stories, there have always been epic fantasies about the struggle between good vs evil. From the mythologies of ancient civilizations rose such great stories as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad. Later stories like the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table continued this tradition of mighty heroes facing off against despicable evils.
Now in our modern age of endless movies and television shows, there are many examples of such conflicts, but only one stands out amongst the rest: George Lucas' epic space-fantasy franchise Star Wars. The first movie revolutionized the film industry when it debuted in May of 1977 with breathtaking special effects, a new timeless struggle between good and evil and, of course, the profitable practice of merchandise.
Star Wars is just as popular now as it was back in the 70s and 80s (if not more so), as the latest installment in the series, The Last Jedi, had the 5th biggest worldwide opening of all-time.
As great as this film series is, however, it does have quiet a few problems. Making a film series over the span of a few decades means there are many continuity problems. Besides that, there are just several strange and dumb storytelling choices Lucas made with the series that don't make a lot of sense.
As sacrilegious as it may seem, we're going to be taking a look at 25 of the biggest problems with Star Wars. I'm going to be focusing mainly on the films here, so don't expect a lot of Expanded Universe stuff. I'll also try not to focus too much on the prequels, as that would make this too easy.
25 Qui-Gon And Forgot All About Him
Hey, I said wasn't going to focus too much on the prequels, not that I'd ignore them completely. In The Empire Strikes Back, the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke that he must complete his training and seek "the Jedi Master who instructed me." Luke then flies to Dagobah and meets up with ancient Master Yoda.
This is very confusing for anyone who watched The Phantom Menace (especially if you're watching them all for the first time in order) as we're shown that Qui-Gon Jinn was actually Obi-Wan's master. Sure, maybe after his old master died he may have received a few pointers from Yoda, but at the end of Revenge of the Sith, we're told that Obi-Wan received more training from Qui-Gon's ghost. Why didn't Obi-Wan just ask Qui-Gon to train Luke like he did to him?
24 The "Rule of Two" Is More Of A Suggestion
In the prequels, Yoda tells us that the Sith follow a "Rule of Two," meaning that there's always just two of them, a master and an apprentice. First of, that should make things entirely too easy for the Jedi Council. Numbers should be on their side, seeing as its thousands of Jedi against just two Sith. Sure, they've got a droid army, but how many times have you actually seen a droid kill a Jedi Knight?
Second, the Sith seem to break this rule quite a few times. In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader and the Emperor are trying to bring Luke over to their side, which would make three Sith. This happens again in the Clone Wars movie and cartoon when we see that Count Dooku has his own apprentice, Asajj Ventress. The apprentice can't have an apprentice, right?
23 But Who's His Father?
When we are first introduced to little Anakin Skywalker fixing up droids on Tatooine, we notice that his mother is there, but not his father. She eventually reveals to the Jedi that Anakin was born by parthenogenesis, meaning he has no father.
Of all the stupid thing in Phantom Menace, this is easily in the top 3. I'm not sure why Lucas decided to make such a heavy-handed Jesus allegory to the kid that would one day grow up to be one of the most feared villains in movie history. Are we really expected to believe that his mom got pregnant by the Force? Honestly, I just imagine she made this story up so Anakin wouldn't be so heartbroken about his actual deadbeat dad walking out on them for some Twi'lek dancer.
22 Technology Marches Backwards
In the original Star Wars films, the Empire is shown to be a highly advanced force of destruction, employing only the latest and most effective in planet-destroying technology. If that's the case, then why do they seem less advanced than the tech they had 20 years ago?
Many would argue that this is more a problem with the advancement of special effects technology. Is it Lucas' fault that they didn't have advanced CGI back in the 70s? No, but if he's trying to make a cohesive film timeline, then he shouldn't have focused so much of the prequels' CGI on making the technology of the past look more advanced than what would come in the future. This is just another case of a director who's too much in love with CGI.
21 Darth Vader Rising
Throughout the prequel trilogy, audiences wait to see how the heroic Anakin Skywalker will turn into the fearsome Darth Vader. In Revenge of the Sith, we find out exactly what lead Anakin on his dark road, and its... pretty disappointing, actually. It starts out with Anakin having a bad dream that Padme will die in childbirth. Then the obviously evil Chancellor Palpatine tells him a probably fake story about how some guy used the dark side to live forever, and he's all in.
Instead of some terrifying monster, it is revealed to us that Darth Vader is really nothing more than an easily manipulated guy. He's really no more than the Emperor's lap dog. Just like Hannibal Rising and countless other horror movie bad guys, Darth Vader was scarier when we knew less about his origin.
20 Some Reunion
Watching the Original Trilogy after watching the Prequels can be pretty interesting. You get to see how all your favorite characters from the prequels look and act after 20 years. Sometime after Luke runs into the sand people in the first Star Wars movie, we see old Obi-Wan Kenobi. Having Obi-Wan and R2-D2 reunite after all these years should lead to a cool exchange between the two characters.
Instead, Obi-Wan says, "I don't recall owning a droid" and dismisses the droid. Sure, he didn't own R2, but he definitely knew him. He spent three whole movies with him! After escaping Stormtroopers and the harrowing dangers of Tatooine, R2 must've been pretty steamed that his old "friend" forgot all about him. Wait, he forgot R2 and Qui-Gon? Did Obi-Wan have Alzheimer's or something?
19 Droid Torture
When C-3PO and R2-D2 end up in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, they walk through what appears to be some sort of droid torture chamber. We see one droid get flipped around with burning irons placed on its feet. Another one gets electrocuted until its leg comes off. All the droids are screaming in pain.
Its kinda disturbing given the movie's kid-friendly tone, but also really weird. Why would Jabba torture droids? If he wanted to get information from them, he could just download their hard drives or something. What's more ridiculous, though, is the notion that these droids feel pain. As loveable as they are, they're still just machines. Were they programmed to feel pain? If so, why? At best, this is a stupid oversight by the filmmakers. At worst, its evidence of a disturbing secret in the Star Wars universe.
18 We Just Had This Lying Around
Later in Return of the Jedi, Leia runs into one of the Ewoks on Endor after getting separated from the rest of the rebel forces. After stealing some Scout Troopers' sweet hover bikes for a joy ride, the Ewok takes her to meet the rest of his tribe. When next we see her, she's changed outfits to a lovely green princess cut dress and a new hairstyle. This brings up some questions.
Why do the Ewoks have a human-sized dress, and why do they immediately give it to Leia?
Since the dress obviously can't fit any of the Ewoks, the only explanation I can come up with is that it belonged to a previous female humanoid captive. As for why they dress her up, I can only assume that it's part of the ritual in which her friends were about to be sacrificed. It's dark, but there's no other explanation.
17 Any Landing You Walk Away From...
In the long-awaited revival of the series, The Force Awakens, we're introduced to some pretty cool characters early on: Resistance fighter pilot Poe Dameron and defected Stormtrooper Finn. Shortly after they join forces, though, they crash land on Jakku. Finn manages to escape, but it seems Poe did not survive. Finn resolves to complete his friend's mission to recover the map to Luke from BB-8 and return it to the Resistance.
Several scenes later, Finn makes it to the Resistance base and finds Poe, still alive. Its cool to see this handsome devil is still alive and all, but how did he survive? He never gives an explanation. And how was he able to make it back to the Resistance base? And why didn't he try to find Finn or BB-8 before he left the planet. Poe's got some 'splaining to do!
16 Leading From The Front Lines
At the end of last year's Rogue One, we see that Leia's ship from the beginning of the first Star Wars film was actually above Scarif, which is how she was able to receive the plans of the Death Star in the first place. This does a nice job of wrapping the two films together and gives some greater dramatic weight to the action in A New Hope, but it doesn't explain why Leia was at that dangerous battle in the first place.
She's not a military leader (not yet, at least), so it's not like she was giving orders to the rebel soldiers. Letting the Princess of Alderaan show up to one of the deadliest space battles of the war before she even proves herself to be battle ready seems like a very unnecessary risk.
15 That's Xenophobic
Being set in space, there are plenty of aliens to be found throughout the Star Wars films. Most of them are relegated to side characters, though, like sidekick Chewbacca and mentor Yoda. That's to be expected, as its easier for movie going audiences to relate to human characters than whatever Greedo is supposed to be.
That being said, it seems that the inspiration for certain aliens (particularly those from the prequels) might be based on stereotypes. The voices of certain characters sound like exaggerated accents of foreigners, with Jar Jar Binks being a caricature of Jamaican accents and the Trade Federation aliens sounding a little too Japanese. The portrayal of the greedy slave-owning Watto is especially troubling, as many feel that he is an anti-Semitic caricature of Jewish stereotypes. Maybe Lucas shouldn't be in charge of creature design.
14 Some Hero's Welcome
Adding on to Star Wars' general mistreatment of their non-human characters is the sad tale of Chewbacca. He's a loveable bear-like creature, loyal to his best friend Han Solo and the rest of the Rebellion's heroes. He was there in the Death Star, risking his life to save the Princess and destroy the space station same as Han and Luke. So how come he didn't get a medal?
Chewie tends to get the shaft quite a bit, even in the recent movies. After he loses his best friend in The Force Awakens, who is it that Leia gives a comforting hug? Rey, the girl who just barely met Han a couple hours ago, instead of the guy who spent most of his adult life side-by-side with. Though the Empire is the one dressed as space Nazis, there seems to be some human supremacist attitudes in the Rebellion as well.
13 The Fastest Jedi Alive
The Phantom Menace is widely accepted to be the worst of the Star Wars films, as well as one of the worst science-fiction movies of all time. I could go on about how annoying Jar Jar was and how stupid midi-chlorians are, but everyone talks about that. Instead I'm going to talk about something that was actually pretty cool but never came back again.
At the beginning of the film when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are trying to escape from some droids, they zoom straight down the hall like they're the Flash. The Jedi can use super speed, and for some reason, they never use it again. It never comes up in the prequels. They never even use it again in the same movie. How many battles would've been improved had the Jedi used their super speed?
12 Like Father, Like Son
A common problem many fans have with the prequels is the portrayal of Anakin Skywalker. Whether its the fault of Hayden Christensen's wooden acting or George Lucas's inept writing, many people found Anakin to be a whiny, annoying and immature teenager and hated the fact that they were stuck with him as the hero for three movies.
What a lot of fans don't remember, though, is that Luke Skywalker was just as whiny when he first showed up. When we first see him, he's whining about picking up some power converters and how its not fair that he has to work on his uncle's farm. He also makes his fair share of stupid mistakes, like ignoring the advice of the last living Jedi and walking into a trap. It's not until Return of the Jedi that he finally becomes a worthy hero.
11 I'm Just Having An Off Day
People were a bit divided about Darth Vader's cameo in Rogue One. Some fans thought he would have bigger role, some were bothered by James Earl Jones' much older sounding voice, and some people didn't appreciate his cute joke to Krennic. Despite that, everyone agrees that his final scene where he cuts through a room of helpless rebels made it all worth it, and we finally see just how terrifying Darth Vader really is.
That being said, it does make his next fight against Obi-Wan strange by comparison. In Rogue One, we see him flipping his lightsaber around like an expert. The next day, though, he's just tapping his lightsaber against Obi-Wan, slowly circling him. Maybe that fight against the rebels wore out his gears and servos.
10 It's Just A Flesh Wound
The first Star Wars movie includes many now iconic scenes that introduced several common aspects of the series. One of those is lightsabers, the preferred weapon of the Jedi. During the cantina scene, we see the weapon used for the first time when some criminals draw their blasters on poor Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to the rescue and slices off the alien's arm.
It was pretty cool, but there's one thing that many fans of the more recent movies might notice. That guy's wound bleeds, a lot. In the prequels and newer films, however, whenever someone's limbs get cut off, there's not a drop of blood to be seen. Lucas explained that the lightsabers are so hot, that they instantly cauterize the wound. Weird that didn't happen to the cantina guy.
9 Keeping It In The Family
The first Star Wars had a pretty simple plot. A farm boy gets the help of an old wizard and some roguish allies, infiltrates a heavily armed enemy fortress, and rescues a beautiful princess from the clutches of a dark lord. Standard hero's quest type stuff, and people kept expecting a romance to blossom between the young hero Luke and Princess Leia. She even gave him a full-on kiss to the mouth in The Empire Strikes Back.
Then in Return of the Jedi, Luke learns that Leia is actually his sister. Well, that's kinda awkward. Better let her know. Then Leia admits that she (somehow) knew he was her brother the whole time. Even when she was kissing him full on the mouth. If Lucas really did plan out the original trilogy from the beginning, he's got some explaining to do.
8 Cool Background Character, Lame Bounty Hunter
When Boba Fett was first introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special (no really, that's his first appearance), he looked like a pretty cool bounty hunter. Admittedly, his costume has a really cool design, but the truth is, that's all he's got. Boba Fett is quite easily the most overrated character in Star Wars, if not all fiction.
I'll admit he is a competent tracker, as he was the only bounty hunter clever enough to find the Millennium Falcon. But that's the only thing he does. He's terrible when it comes to combat, as not only was he unable to shoot Luke, he gets taken out by a blind man. It wasn't until the Expanded Universe books, comics, and video games retconned him into somehow escaping the sarlacc that he became the ultimate guy everyone thinks he is.
7 Forgot I Could Do That
Despite being a simple astromech droid, R2-D2 can do some pretty amazing things. He can carry data files, project holograms, hack into Imperial computers, repair spaceships and much more. He's got so many functions, in fact, that it seems he may have forgotten a few of them.
In the prequel films we get to see R2, through contrived coincidence, tag along on Anakin and Obi-Wan's adventures. He does all the same things that are mentioned above, as well as some new things we never saw before, like flying around on little rocket boosters. R2 uses this a few times to navigate past various obstacles such as stairs. He even combined them with some oil in once case for a deadly trap. I realize R2 may have had some of his memory wiped after the prequels, but how do you forget something that comes installed in you?
6 Knights Vs. Troopers
During the prequels we get to see the Jedi during their glory days. There's thousands of them throughout the galaxy, maintaining peace and order. There's even a Jedi Council headed by some of the most powerful and wisest Jedi Masters, including Yoda and Mace Windu. Most of the time, the Trade Federation's battle droids didn't stand a chance against these warriors.
Once Order 66 was executed, though, it seems those years of training and honed skills completely disappeared, as even the most basic clone troopers were able to off the greatest of Jedi Masters with ease. I could understand a few of the Jedi being caught off guard, but it seems nearly all of them are killed off in one fell swoop. Either this is the result of dumb storytelling, or the Jedi were far weaker than we all thought.
5 Like Wearing Nothing At All
It's commonly accepted by fans that stormtroopers are nothing more than cannon fodder for the heroes to blast through. They can never shoot anyone or anything of importance, and they die in one hit. But has anyone ever stopped to ask why they wear that armor? Sure, its a military uniform and incredibly iconic, but it doesn't do anything to protect them.
Armor, by definition, is designed to protect it's wearer from harm. Stormtrooper armor, however, does nothing to stop laser blasts from killing the troopers. Its even incapable of stopping pointy sticks and rocks. Even worse, the helmets tend to impair stromtrooper's vision, which probably accounts for why they can't shoot the broad side of a barn. If the Empire's got the budget for planet-destroying space stations, why can't they spend some cash on giving their troopers actual body armor?
4 Very Strong Memory
In Return of the Jedi, right before Luke drops the bomb of a revelation that he and Leia are siblings, he asks her if she remembers anything about her mother. Though she was very young when she last saw her, Leia tells Luke that she remembers her mother had a very kind and caring face. Its a nice, heartwarming moment, especially since Luke finally gets to hear about the mother he never had.
There's just one problem. In Revenge of the Sith, its revealed that Padme died right after childbirth. This causes some continuity problems, as not only is sight still developing right after birth, but people don't remember what they saw or did during their infancy. Either the Force somehow gave Leia superior memory, or that was a nanny she was describing to Luke.
3 Lost The Battle, Not The War
Return of the Jedi may not be the most fondly remembered Star Wars movie, but it did finally show the Rebellion defeating the corrupt Empire. The second Death Star was destroyed, the Emperor chucked into the reactor and Darth Vader returned the light side of the Force. Now the heroes can kick back and enjoy their well-earned victory.
Except they didn't actually win the war. The Galactic Empire has space stations, fleets, and military bases across most of the populated star systems. The Rebellion is still very heavily outnumbered. And sure, the Emperor was killed off, but empires have lines of succession. In fact, without the old sorcerer's ways, the Empire might even become less evil. Instead, the movie makes us believe that the Empire just fell apart all across the galaxy (made even more blatant in the Special Edition ending).
2 It Worked The First Time
Fans like to give George Lucas a lot of crap over the prequels for being so crappy, with one of the many complaints being that he just recycles things that worked in the first movie. From awkwardly shoving R2-D2 and C-3PO into Anakin's origin story to throwing in a very similar run against another evil space station, it seemed that Lucas was running out of good ideas for a Star Wars movie.
As a matter of fact, Lucas had already run out of ideas before he even finished the original trilogy. It seems there's no greater threat than planet-destroying space stations, so we get another Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Lucas plays this off in behind-the-scenes videos by saying the movies are supposed to "rhyme, like poetry." Its a good thing other people wrote and directed The Empire Strikes Back, otherwise this poem would be too repetitive.
1 It's Just A Kids Movie
Star Wars is a grand space fantasy epic about good vs. evil. They are some of the greatest science-fiction adventure movies ever made, and overall, they're just a whole lot of fun. Some fans, though, seem to take them a little too seriously, analyzing every detail like some ancient text or furiously debating theories and criticisms against the films online. As great as theses movies are, though, at the end of the day they're still just kid's movies.
Sometimes the movies do get a bit serious. The Empire Strikes Back, admittedly, nearly takes the series to science-fiction drama territory. But then ROTJ, the prequels and the Ewok movies take the series straight back to kid's stuff. And that's alright. The series might not reach the highbrow musings of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, but it doesn't need to. Star Wars is the greatest kid's movie of all time.
Any other problems with Star Wars fans hate to admit? Post them in the comments, then wait for the hate to flow.