Friday, December 25, 2015

Plot Hole in Star Wars The Force Awakens

The main driver of much of the plot in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is the fact that multiple people want the map data that is carried by BB-8. Although it makes perfect sense that Poe put the map into BB-8's compartment and told the droid to get away from Kylo Ren's attack, I think there were many problems with the map tracking after that.

Several times throughout Act 1 and Act 2 of the movie, characters, especially those in the First Order, make major decisions based on getting BB-8 because the droid has the map data. But why would they assume with pretty much complete certainty that BB-8 still has the map? BB-8 could have either given the map up freely or had it forcibly removed (we see that the droid can be captured very easily). The map could have been passed on from BB-8 at several different points while still on Jakku, it could have been passed along in space around the time that Han Solo and Chewie arrive, it could have gone in any different number of directions from Maz Kanata's planet, and so forth.

True, Kylo Ren lets BB-8 go when he thinks he can get the info from Rey, who has seen the map. But even then, they're thinking that BB-8 still has the map, they just don't need it anymore. (And later, Kylo Ren sort of gets admonished for not going straight after the droid.)

Related problems are that the First Order could have accidently incinerated BB-8 and the map when they attacked on Jakku, and since the Resistance seems to have spies in quite a lot of places (and definitely at Maz Kanata's), it actually would have been much smarter for them to have BB-8 pass the map on to someone else who had not already been identified and tracked by the First Order. (For example, they could have sent off a few ships in different directions from Maz Kanata's, with only one having the map, but the First Order would have to pursue all of them.)

Here are my full discussions about The Force Awakens with Jason Book. The first video focuses a bit more on positive aspects of the film, while the second video delves into a series of criticisms.


  1. Perhaps BB8 won't give it up to just anyone.
    Think R2D2 w the death star plans in Episode 4.
    Also Rey and Fin don't know anyone. Han and Chewie are estranged from the Resistance (it somehow being different from the Rebellion?) They might not be trusting of just anyone that presents themselves as on the side of General Leia.

    1. But how does the First Order know all of that stuff? The First Order does not know that BB-8 won't give it up (and actually we don't know that either, explicitly, it's just a possible explanation) and the First Order doesn't know that Rey and Finn didn't have other people on Jakku or in space or at Kanata's.

      And even if BB-8 was under orders not to give it up until getting to the Resistance base, how does the First Order know that someone didn't cut BB-8 open and take it forcibly?

      And how did the First Order know that they wouldn't inadvertently destroy it when they blasted the village in Jakku?

      I don't think the problem was the same in A New Hope. The Empire was tracking R2-D2 before he met up with anyone at all, and they checked (and then slaughtered) the Jawas because they realized the info could have been compromised. Same with Owen and Beru.