Star Wars

Stupidity: The Death Star comes equipped with a powerful tractor beam capable of capturing a ship the size and agility of the Millennium Falcon. Why don't they use it against the rebel fighters attacking them at the end of the film? Okay, Obi-Wan Kenobi turned it off earlier but I find it hard to believe that someone who has never before visited the largest, most complex space station in the Universe and who was previously unaware of its very existence can disable a fundamental security system but the people who designed, built and run the whole thing can't work out how to switch it back on. They should have no problems with this, considering the fact that Obi-Wan didn't damage it.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: Obi Wan disrupted the battle at a critical time causing much confusion. We could chalk this oversight up to "Fog of War" - that in the heat of battle it's normal for commanders to overlook obvious things and seem to act stupidly. It would also be reasonable to assume that the fighters were too close for the tractor beam emitter to target them.

This scenario would require every single person on the Death Star who was involved in the maintenance of vital defence systems not noticing that one of them had been switched off! Not ONE person noticed? Obi Wan did not disable the tractor beam during "the heat of battle." There was a considerable time lapse between his switching off the tractor beam and the climactic final battle, during which time it would have been switched back on. When the Millenium Falcon leavs the Death Star Han Solo remarks that he hopes that "old man" succeeded in disabling the tractor beam, implying that those on the Death Star would be trying to use it. Even then, they didn't notice it had been switched off? Not sabotaged, not disabled, switched off.

Good point. This was definitely stupidity on the part of the Death Star crew, but not stupid as a plot point. It does happen in combat regularly. In 1987 the USS Stark was hit by 2 Iraqi Exocet missiles after challenging a single fighter. The ships' Close-in Weapons System should have easily shot the missiles down, but the investigation showed that no-one had noticed that the system had not been turned on.

They didn't use the tractor beam when the gang was escaping in the Falcon because they WANTED them to get away. The Empire placed a tracking beacon onboard so as to be able to find the hidden Rebel Base. As to how the Falcon was snagged originally: yes, they had just exited hyperspace, but they were not relatively fast; they were preoccupied with the TIE fighter (incapable of light speed) and the small moon right up to the point they were trapped in the tractor beam (and realizing "that's no moon!"

kayelbe

Suggested correction: The Falcon was travelling towards the Death Star when it was caught in the tractor beam. The tractor beam was properly turned back on by the time it travelled to Yavin. The rebel fighters are too small and quick to be held in a tractor beam and there are so many of them so it would be near impossible to trap enough to make a difference.

As I have already pointed out, assigning technical limitations to a wholly fictional piece of technology is absurd. As to "flying towards the Death Star" - the X and Y wing fighters are shown doing just that. As for being too quick, the Millenium Falcon is decelerating from superluminal speeds when it is captured in the tractor beam. That's pretty bloody fast in anyone's books.

The key phrase here is "fictional piece of technology", there is no way to understand how it works. Any explanations is pure conjecture.

ctown28 Premium member

It's flat out stated by General Dodonna in the battle briefing that the Death Star's defenses are based around repelling attacks by capital ships, not fighters. The targeting may not be exact enough.

LorgSkyegon

Actually, claiming a fictional piece of equipment can't behave the way you think it should is somewhat silly. The previous explanation that the tractor beam's limitations were the reason for not using it during the battle makes perfect sense.

Continuity mistake: After Darth Vader kills Ben, there's a shot from the docking bay towards him. Vader's lightsaber is missing its red color. [This has been fixed in the 2004 DVD, but is still valid for VHS prints.] (01:28:20)

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[Princess Leia gets her first look at the Millenium Falcon.]
Princess Leia: You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought.

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Trivia: The Imperial officer's uniforms were patterned after the uniforms of Nazi officers to add to their "villainous" image.

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Question: There's a HUGE rumor that's been going around since Return of the Jedi came out: There's actually three more scripts (besides the prequels). Is there, in fact, a Star Wars: Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Episode IX? If so, what are they about?

Answer: While planning Star Wars, Lucas had a vague notion of doing a long series of movies inspired by old serials, then dropped that idea in favor of just one. When Star Wars became a phenomenon and sequels became feasible, Lucas revisited the idea. He thought of three trilogies along with some stand-alone "in-between" stories for a total of 12 films. By the time of The Empire Strikes Back's release, this was pared down to the 9 mainline films, going by interviews with Lucas and the cast at the time. By Return of the Jedi, Lucas had decided to end the saga there, with the option that he could revisit the first three at some later point. It's unclear if Lucas ever had any specific story ideas for the proposed sequel trilogy, and they never had any scripts. Producer Gary Kurtz suggested in an interview they would've been about Luke's twin sister (not Leia), though many fans are skeptical about just how much he would know about them. Of course since this question was asked a sequel trilogy was written and released.

TonyPH Premium member

Answer: This was long a long-standing rumour, but George Lucas always denied it. He allowed various authors to cover the history of that time period in book form - if he'd had any serious intention of doing films set in that timeframe, he wouldn't have done that. Since that time of course Disney took over the franchise and has announced new films, but entirely separate from the previous "expanded universe" of the novels, and not involving any ideas George Lucas may have had in the past.

Tailkinker Premium member

Answer: I'm not sure how old this question is but it is a sequel trilogy. Episode VII : The Force Awakens is about a scavenger and former stormtrooper teaming up the Resistance to attempt to defeat the new First Order and Kylo Ren (Ben Solo). Episode VIII : The Last Jedi is about Rey finding Luke Skywalker who is in exile hoping that he would be left alone, and he tells the story of how he tried to murder his nephew who in retaliation, turned to the dark side. Episode IX : Rise of Skywalker is about the return of Emperor Palpatine and recovering Sith Wayfinders that will lead them to Exegol and kill him, with Billy Dee Williams returning as Lando Calrissian.

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