Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bad military strategy rampant in Star Wars movie series

George Lucas' Star Wars series -- at least the original holy trinity -- is seen by many as extolling the virtues of Joseph Campbell's power of the heroic myth. The series has other highlights as well, I've personally written how Lucas channeled classic archetypes of organizational theory in the films, as an example.

One thing Lucas has never been up on, however, was military strategy. Examples: in The Phantom Menace, a giant invasion force lands far from Naboo's capital, giving opponents time to organize guerilla warfare. The Empire never launches more than a squadron of TIE Fighters against the Rebels attacking the Death Star (right), despite some sources saying the battlestation had more than 7,000 on board. And don't get me started on the poor aim of Stormtroopers!

I've always thought the worst example of Imperial poor battle planning was when Vader kills an Imperial admiral in The Empire Strikes Back because he dropped the fleet out of hyperspace close to Hoth, hoping to surprise the Rebels. Any good tactical commander would've gone for the surprise.

But no, 34 years later I have finally discovered the worst example of strategic military planning in the movies. This scene, from late in the original movie, stood out to me when I saw it on cable last week.

From the shooting script (and preserved in the movie, despite all Lucas' modifications):


Han, removes his gloves and smiling, is at the controls of the
ship. Chewie moves into the aft section to check the damage.
Leia is seated near Han.

HAN: Not a bad bit of rescuing, huh? You know, sometimes I even amaze myself.

LEIA: That doesn't sound too hard. Besides, they let us go. It's the
only explanation for the ease of our escape.

HAN: call that easy?

LEIA: They're tracking us!

HAN: Not this ship, sister.

Frustrated, Leia shakes her head.

OK, so if Leia knew the Empire was tracking the Millennium Falcon, and the location of the Rebel Base was such a secret that Leia was unwilling to reveal it to the point where it got her home planet destroyed ... then why the fuck did she have the Falcon go straight to the Rebel base?????

C'mon George, you're killing me!

1 comment:

Moné Peterson said...

This article...

...brings up that point and a few others. Even as a kid, the whole "putting the force field station for your Death Star on Endor" never made sense to me.