kayelbe

10th Aug 2016

Star Wars (1977)

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.

Jason Hoffman

2nd Jul 2004

Star Wars (1977)

Corrected entry: In the bar on Tattooine (where Luke and Obi-Wan meet Han Solo), you see lots of aliens at the bar. Look carefully in the background of these shots, and you'll see a NASA astronaut in full space walk gear (helmet etc) walking across the back of the shot, complete with American flag on his arm. It's quite obvious once you know where to look.

Correction: I recently watched the scene and can see what looks a bit like the astronaut you're describing. However, while the helmet is similar, the costume is not a spacewalk suit, and is partially orange. This is more likely to be a generic alien than an easter egg.

Correction: There's no supporting evidence for this entry. I've watched the Cantina scene many times and no US astronaut is ever visible in the background. There are no stills from this scene on Google, Bing, or Ask that show the supposed astronaut.

Correction: Internet searches only bring up images of a character that looks somewhat like a mid-60s test pilot/astronaut. It's however, basically Bossk's costume with a "space helmet."

kayelbe

5th Dec 2002

Space Camp (1986)

Other mistake: Max takes Jinx and puts him in his locker at Space Camp. Wouldn't NASA notice if a $27 million robot went missing?

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Suggested correction: I'm sure someone noticed, but the impression is given that a) Jinx is pretty self-automated and b) is considered to be a "bust" of a project (hence the name "jinx"). Most people likely just thought jinx was just wandering around somewhere being annoying to someone else.

kayelbe

27th Aug 2001

Aliens (1986)

Corrected entry: This isn't a mistake, but a funny little thing: When you look closely to Drake's an Vasquez' Auto-cannons, you can clearly see, that these are modified German machine guns, produced by Heckler & Koch. In some shots, when firing, you can also see the ammo-belts hanging out of the guns (e.g. when Drake is firing his last rounds, just before he drops the gun). These machineguns are also carried by some Stormtroopers in "Star Wars" - almost unmodified.

Correction: The auto-cannons are actually German World War II era MG-42s, according to the special edition DVD.

Correction: The Stormtrooper E-11 Blaster was in reality the Sterling smg, manufactured in the UK.

The original poster was referring to the Star Wars rifle "DLT-19", which is in reality the older brother of the MG-42, an MG-34. Other blaster rifles in the films are based on the MG-42 as well (Dengar's, for example).

kayelbe

Character mistake: After Highway defeats Swede, the marine says "Sir, I'll wait outside for the M.P.s to come." In the military, after basic training, non-commissioned officers are referred to by their rank, not 'sir'.

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Suggested correction: Gunny Highway was a 30+ year veteran, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. As such, while not official policy, it's a courtesy to render the highest honors to a MoH recepient. That and the fact he just got whupped by the Gunny, I think a 'sir' isn't out of the question.

kayelbe

8th Feb 2018

A Few Good Men (1992)

Corrected entry: One of Kaffee's lines of questioning to Jessup centres around the lack of a phone call from Santiago upon learning he was being transferred. "Upon hearing the news that he was finally getting his transfer, Santiago was so excited that do you know how many people he called? Zero. No-one. Not one call to his parents saying he was coming home. Not one call to a friend saying 'Can you pick me up at the airport?'" The trouble is, Santiago was requesting a transfer, not a discharge. Had the transfer in fact been granted, he would have been going to some other USMC posting, which could be practically anywhere in the world.

Correction: True, he was requesting a Transfer, officially known as a "Permanent Change of Station" (PCS). With PCS moves, the serviceman is usually granted as much as 30 days of Leave (vacation). Santiago may have chosen to go home for a period of time before reporting to his new duty station.

kayelbe

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