The Quick Report

The 10 Most Glaring Plot Holes in the Star Wars Universe

Star Wars unambiguously rules. All nine of the mainline films and its numerous spin-off films and TV shows are beloved by fans for their presentation of a grimy, lived-in science fantasy world. It’s also riddled with plot holes, as series creator George Lucas was always more of a big-picture guy than a writer.

Jedi Robes

Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

The vast majority of the franchise’s many plot holes are related to the bizarre creative decisions made in the prequel films. Case in point: in the original trilogy, Obi-Wan Kenobi wears the same Tatooine desert robes as Owen Lars and Luke Skywalker.

Strangely, in the prequels, Lucas uses this outfit as a visual shorthand for Jedi, muddling what the order would look like and opening up another plot hole.

Skywalker Protection Program

Luke Skywalker
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

If Kenobi was just hiding in the sand a few miles from Anakin Skywalker’s home town, wearing the official Jedi uniform, and protecting a kid everyone was just calling “Luke Skywalker,” who was in the protection of Anakin’s own half-brother, how is it remotely possible that Vader didn’t catch wind of his long-lost son?

This entire thing grows even more ridiculous in the aftermath of the narratively nonsensical Kenobi TV series.

Vader’s Selective Memory

grayscale photo of Star Wars Darth Vader action figure
Photo by Piotr Makowski vis Unsplash

Speaking of head-scratching plot holes introduced by the prequels, how is it possible for Vader to lay eyes on R2 and Threepio in A New Hope and not realize he’s looking at two of his longtime allies from the Clone Wars?

He fought alongside them in numerous adventures and literally built Threepio himself. This is more a scathing indictment of how downright brainless The Phantom Menace is than anything, but the point stands.

Scanning for Lifeforms

grayscale photo of man in black jacket and shorts standing on escalator
Photo by Stone Hood vis Unplash

This plot hole is fully on A New Hope, though. In the opening sequence, R2 and Threepio take an escape pod to evade capture by the Empire. A technician scans the pod for lifeforms and tells his superior officer that it’s empty.

Rather than shooting it down for good measure, the officer just says to ignore it. Is ammo limited in space? Do Rebels usually send out decoy pods? It’s just a strange call when the script could have instead just had the Empire not notice the pod at all.

Not Scanning for Lifeforms

brown wooden bench near gray rock formation under white clouds and blue sky during daytime
Photo by Carol Kennedy via Unsplash

The “lifeform scan” plot hole becomes even more glaring later in the film when the Empire fails to scan the Millennium Falcon for passengers. Han and the gang hide in the smuggling compartments and ambush the Stormtroopers who investigate the ship.

However, the Empire could have used the exact same technology that let them scan the escape pods earlier to avoid this fate.

The Skywalker Family

Darth Vader
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

Obi-Wan bluntly states in A New Hope that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker were different people. The twist that they’re the same guy in Empire is cool, but it makes the dialogue and action of A New Hope downright bizarre.

That’s before you even get into Kenobi’s sudden amnesia regarding Luke’s sister. Rather than telling him that the princess they’re going to rescue is related to him, Kenobi just sends Luke out into the galaxy without so much as a warning that he’s got tons of family around.

Leia’s Mom

Padme Amidala
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

How dumb are the prequels? Well, Leia outright tells Luke in Return of the Jedi that she has distinct memories of her mother. Revenge of the Sith, on the other hand, shows Padme only holding her children for a few moments before she mysteriously dies of a “broken heart”.  

Maybe Leia has memories of Padme through the Force, you say? Well, if that’s the case, she’s a stronger seer than Luke, who also explicitly notes he has no recollection of their mom.

Yoda Trained Kenobi

Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

Speaking of things that characters state plainly in the Original Trilogy that get directly contradicted by the events of the prequels, remember when Kenobi said he was trained by Yoda? Well, George Lucas didn’t when he wrote the script for The Phantom Menace. In that movie, Kenobi is the Padawan of Qui-Gon Jin.

Liam Neeson’s Jedi is one of the few good things in that movie, but it’s still a glaring enough plot hole that Lucasfilm scrambled and retconned that Yoda trains large classes of Younglings, so, really, “he’s everyone’s mentor”.

Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

The entire plot of Attack of the Clones is just a giant plot hole. The film is functionally incoherent in ways that are difficult to articulate. What was Palpatine’s plan in this movie? He ordered a hit on Padme, which was to be carried out by Jango Fett. Fett contracted Zam Wessel to do it, though, so he wouldn’t get his hands dirty.

Despite this, he also accompanied Wessel to Coruscant, which allowed Kenobi to eventually trace him back to Kamino. And then, in another weird twist, Palpatine actually wanted Kamino to be found so the Jedi could join forces with the clone army. The script for this film, penned by Lucas and co-writer Jonathan Hales, is a shining example of how not to write a movie.

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Order 66

Commander Cody receives the order to exedcute all of the Jedi from Palpatine
Image Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney

And that brings us to the biggest, most glaring plot hole in the entirety of the franchise. The Jedi accepted the clone army at face value and never once thought to check to see if these genetically engineered soldiers (who they didn’t ask for, but simply found) were going to be loyal to them. For the plot of the prequels to work, every Jedi needs to be colossally idiotic and Palpatine needs to be so powerful that he can essentially predict the future with no margin of error.  

The host of plot holes opened up by the execution of the Jedi at the hands of the clone army is so large that the animated Clone Wars series spends most of its runtime just laying the groundwork to make Revenge of the Sith somewhat more coherent.

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