Wednesday, November 4, 2015

'Revenge of the Sith' leaves many questions: A disturbance in The Force (flashback)

Until I get to re-watching "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (and reviewing it of course for this occasional series on the "Star Wars" saga), check out this flashback op-ed from February 2012 on the original online home of Cary's Comics Craze.


I wrote this op-ed was when the 3D version of “Episode I – The Phantom Menace” "didn’t do so hot" in the theaters -- only making an“underwhelming” total of $27.8 million. Without further explanation, check out these questions that linger after "Revenge of the Sith" ...!

So in the spirit of “Star Wars” coming back to the theaters, let’s journey to a time “far, far, away” — Nov. 4, 2005, to be exact, when had I revisited “Revenge of the Sith” on DVD and had these “Star Wars”-related continuity conundrums rolling around in my head.

Enjoy this “Cary’s Comics Craze” column from the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper, which is going online now for the first time (now in 2015, for the second time!). ...

Director George Lucas did a fantastic job of connecting a lot of dots that bridge “Sith” to the original trilogy. However, you may have some of the following nit-picky questions that impact the entire “Star Wars” saga that should have logical answers:
Why would Jedi Master Yoda order Obi-Wan Kenobi to take Anakin Skywalker’s/Darth Vader’s newborn son Luke to such an obvious “hiding place” as Anakin’s home planet of Tatooine for safekeeping?

Yoda’s decision doesn’t make sense given that Anakin was born a slave on Tatooine. Why wouldn’t Vader make the logical conclusion that Luke lives there with his uncle/Anakin’s stepbrother, Owen Lars?
  • Why does Vader never mention Yoda in the original trilogy? Maybe his boss, Emperor Palpatine, never confessed to failing to kill the Jedi Master during their confrontation.  
  • In the original trilogy, why does Vader assume only Kenobi trained Luke to become a Jedi Knight? 
  • Why did Yoda choose Dagobah for his self-imposed exile? Why is it such a good planet to hide the galaxy’s most prominent and powerful Jedi? 
This leads to another conundrum. Assume the five most powerful Jedi in the saga are: Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

Vader is vaguely aware of Kenobi’s presence through The Force when the Millennium Falcon arrives on the Death Star in “A New Hope.”

By “The Empire Strikes Back,” Vader and Palpatine both acknowledge Luke’s existence because they have sensed his power — across the galaxy. This begs the question: why, in the original trilogy, can’t both Palpatine and Vader sense Yoda is alive?

If that’s the case, why wouldn’t Vader be able to discern that Kenobi exiled himself on Tatooine and hunt him down?

Yoda must be powerful enough to keep his existence a mystery to his enemies and the general public. The galaxy’s gossip line might have helped too; the public may have assumed Kenobi and Yoda were murdered during The Emperor’s and Vader’s Jedi purge.
  • How does the true identity of Emperor Palpatine as a Dark Lord of the Sith remain a secret after Yoda and Palpatine trashed the vast Senate chambers in a lightsaber battle? One would assume that such news would spread quickly.

Palpatine, the master manipulator, could have used subsequent propaganda, speeches, bribes and his Dark Side power to keep his Sith identity under wraps. Or at very least, an enigma. One could argue he did the same thing before being elected Supreme Chancellor at the end of “The Phantom Menace.”

It’s more likely Yoda and Kenobi, the only two surviving Jedi Knights, were forced to keep that knowledge to themselves during their exiles. However, it seems natural — and integral to the Rebel Alliance’s efforts — for Senator Bail Organa to have shared that information early in the rebellion.
  • Why did the original Death Star take nearly 30 years to build and the second, bigger one in “Return of the Jedi,” only take three years to be mostly built? 
  • Speaking of Death Stars, how did such an expensive project — building a battle station the size of a small star — remain a secret from Galactic Republic officials? With spies on both sides of the subsequent civil war, how did Palpatine and Vader keep news about the second one being constructed from being leaked? 
  • Why does Kenobi have no memory of R2-D2 and say he doesn’t remember owning a droid in “A New Hope?” 
Organa orders Captain Antilles to do a memory wipe of C-3PO — not Artoo, at the conclusion of “Sith.”

Kenobi is with Artoo multiple times in “The Phantom Menace” and uses his own droid in his Jedi Starfighter in “Attack of the Clones.” Kenobi even takes time during a space battle at the beginning of “Sith” to chastise Anakin Skywalker for referring to R2-D2 as a sentient being.

Maybe Kenobi became daft after spending nearly two decades in hiding on Tatooine. To his credit, he does refer to Artoo as “my friend” when he first sees the droid on Tatooine in “A New Hope.”

It could be argued that the Jedi Order prohibited Jedi Knights and Masters from claiming ownership of droids, even those in their starfighters. That would make Kenobi’s statements in “A New Hope” “true … from a certain point of view,” to quote the man himself.
  • Why, in the original trilogy, does Artoo not use his ability to fly, etc. as seen in the prequel trilogy? It’s unlikely a droid technician took the time and resources during a costly civil war to eliminate the improvements Anakin Skywalker made — if they ever were discovered. 
  • Better yet, why does Darth Vader not recognize his own creation, Threepio, in the original trilogy? Vader earlier asks about the fate of his wife after a lengthy, life-saving operation in “Sith,” so he obviously remembers his own past. 
  • Have you noticed there’s a lot of forgetfulness in the “Star Wars” saga? Did you notice that Luke and Leia got their “height gene” from their mother and not their father?

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