Wednesday, December 30, 2015

these little bears are nuts

I've got Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure--one of the two Ewok movies that showed up on television in the years after Return of the Jedi. Really, while I might have some comments on how bad this movie is (it's been a long while since I've seen it, and just a few minutes in, I'm thinking I'm going to hate this voiceover combined with lack of subtitles), this is really an excuse to continue with yesterday's Blog Wars.

That fact that Ewoks have no no movement to their faces is also going to be a little annoying as this thing keeps going. They don't even move their mouths to talk. Couldn't have hooked up some Chewbacca-style mask that actually moves? Cheap.

In the meantime, while Deej (Daniel Frishman) and his kids inspect the crashed spaceship--and I think I hate both Mace (Eric Walker) and Cindel (Aubree Miller)--how about an exercise in plot holes, part two?

Abamson's #21 plot hole in The Force Awakens, is that Kylo Ren can sense "where his father is in the Galaxy" and notices when he lands on Starkiller Base but then "can't detect him" later when he's "just twenty feet" away. This is not a plot hole simply because it has nothing to do with the plot. The consistency or strength or accuracy of Kylo's skills with the force is not the plot. Now, imagine a couple explanations, easily inferred: 1) Kylo could sense Han just as he landed on Starkiller Base because Han had some adrenalin pumping in his system, was maybe even afraid for his life as he crash landed right into the edge of a cliff. That might just be easier to sense than Han Solo wandering about planting explosives. 2) Kylo knew exactly where Han was later, which is why he heads "in the wrong direction" out onto that bridge. That is where he wants to sacrifice his father. You know, killing the guy is one thing, but then having to deal with stepping over his corpse is something else entirely. You avoid that by making sure he falls right into the convenient (not plot) hole in the base.

#22 "How lame is Han's attempt to convert his son?" Yeah, lameness does not equal a plot hole.

#23 "Why do Rey and Finn just stand by watching as Ren murders Han?" See, I assumed that because this is a movie, they could hear the conversation from where they were (in reality, sound doesn't quite work like that, but it's par for the course in movies), so watching Han talk to the guy who happens to be his son would be worth waiting around for, not to mention--Finn knows Kylo can deflect or stop blasters, so I'm not sure what Abramson wants them to do.

#24 Rey calls the Millennium Falcon "garbage" and it hasn't been flown in years. Yep. Not a plot hole. In fact, that Han can detect it as soon as it does fly suggests there's a reason Unkar Platt kept it grounded.

#25 "Why does Plutt [sic] offer Rey 250 times her usual pay for BB-8 and then, when she says "no," simply tells some of his heavies to just steal it?" Because he wants it. Not a plot hole.

#26 "Maz Kanata is a friend to the Resistance. So why is she hiding Luke's light saber from them?" Simple--maybe she isn't. She's got it stored away--and could immediately tell that someone was down there touching it, so it seems pretty safe. The Resistance has no use for it.

#27 "How did Kylo Ren manage to get Darth Vader's mask into his little fetish den?" First of all, the descriptor "fetish den" seems a little much. But, given Abramson's very next line is to describe the mask as "the most significant piece of memorabilia in the entire Galaxy" I'm guessing someone had it and Kylo bought it or killed them for it. I'm not sure that story would even be that interesting, and it certainly doesn't mean a hole in the plot here.

Meanwhile, Eric and the Ewoks are visiting Logray but for some reason he's all gray-striped like Teebo instead. Did the people who made this movie not have the Ewok action figures? Or is this set so long after Return of the Jedi that Logray went, well, gray... and got shorter?

#28 How does Finn find Rey's settlement? Stupid blind luck is not a plot hole.

All the Ewok villagers helped load supplies for the caravan, the narrator tells us, but there's like eight Ewoks, and then we see Logray is just up at his hut in the tree, probably smoking something. Narrator needs to learn what "all" means.

#29 Who trained Rey to fight with a staff? I don't know--somebody. Not a plot hole.

#30 Presumption again: "If Finn is such a. Good guy that he would try to save Rey the moment her saw her in distress, doesn't it further call into question just how in the world the order to kill civilians on Jakku was the first time he'd ever had qualms about doing something the First Order had asked him to do?" No, it doesn't, because that was, as he tells Rey later, his "first battle." He worked in sanitation before. Plus propaganda can go a long way to keeping a soldier thinking his side is right. But, watching his side slaughter innocent villagers--that can work quickly against his upbringing. Plus, Phasma's contention that Finn always followed orders before is her problem, not the plot's problem.

#31 Why is Poe happy to see Finn is alive? Because the guy saved him from imprisonment and likely death, and because Poe is a nice guy. Poe's personality is not a plot hole.

#32 "Kylo Ren takes his mask off pretty readily, and in pretty mixed company, for someone determined to wear super uncomfortable headgear perpetually." Well, no. 1) no reason to think it is uncomfortable, and if it is, that could be deliberate because I'm sure discomfort is a path to the dark side. 2) Kylo takes his mask off twice in the film, in front of Rey who he can tells is special, and in front of his father. Now, twice doesn't even, in mathematical terms, make a pattern. Nor is one female and one male "pretty mixed company." Nor does Kylo's personality equal a plot hole.

#33 Kylo assigns one Stormtrooper to guard "the most valuable prisoner in the history of the First Order." 1) presumptuous there, thinking Rey is the "most valuable" prisoner ever. You don't know who they've had as prisoners. They could have found Corran Horn or Kyle Katarn or Kyp Durron or Dorsk 81 or Mara Jade or any of the other Jedi that may have been removed from the story by Disney but certainly still lived a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 2) And, considering a whole lot of people have complained about Rey figuring out how to use to the Force to make that Stormtrooper let her go, I'm guessing there was no reason for Kylo to suspect she could manage it. All she did in front of him is resist his mind reading and read what was probably a surface thought out of his head. Plus, even if this was a stupid decision, that's on Kylo, not the plot.

#34 "How did the Rathtars on Han's freight get loose?" Seriously, did you watch the movie? Rey resets fuses to lock the doors and trap the two gangs, but releases the rathtars instead, even says, "wrong fuses."

#35 "Why do Rathtars immediately kill every human they encounter--except Finn...?" They don't. In fact, you can see one of the rathtars dragging like three guys right before Rey pops her head up out of the floor. In fact, the only time we actually see one eat anyone is when Han deliberately throws a guy at its mouth.

#36 Why are Stormtroopers humanoid? Abramson's logic is if they are not all clones, why not more varied races. Except even without most of the EU canon, the Empire (and presumably the First Order) is a rather racist organization. It doesn't count for canon anymore, but the big deal about Thrawn in Timothy Zahn's novels was that he was the only non-human to every reach the rank of Grand Admiral. I don't know if the Han Solo story that established that he saved Chewbacca from slavery under the empire is still canon--that might actually be a detail in one of the film novelizations; I don't remember--but yeah, Wookiees were just one non-human race enslaved by the Empire. [note: apparently, they do not]

Plus, a nitpick: Abramson mentions Watto's race as an option for Stormtroopers. I actually just recently watched the Clone Wars episode--which is still canon--that showed Watto's race was officially neutral during the Clone Wars. I'm guessing they kept that up, Switzerland-style during this war also.

By the way, Ewok dude just used plot-convenient magic to stop a giant spider. That ain't a plot hole either, even if it came out of nowhere.

#37 "If basically everyone in the Galaxy knows the Force is not a myth--" I'll stop you right there, Abramson. Not every Stormtrooper has seen Kylo Ren use the Force. And even if they all had, I'm pretty sure that is a minuscule percentage of the population of the entire galaxy. And, the people in the Resistance could think Luke is important as a Rebel hero whether or not they believe in the Force. And, Jakku is in the Outer Rim. In-story we have seen Han Solo, well-traveled smuggler say,

I've flown from one side of the galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff. But I've never seen anything to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. 'Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

By the time of Order 66, I'm not sure there were that many Jedi out there anymore. They were probably already pretty mythic throughout most of the galaxy. Then they were (almost) all killed. And, just a couple decades later, Han says that. Gotta trust Han on this one.

#38 "Is Supreme Leader Snoke actually a giant?" If Abramson really believes this is a plot hole, even by his simplistic definition of "logical inconsistency," something is seriously wrong with his head. Nothing in the plot hinges on the size of Snoke. Snoke could be two inches... No, I'm guessing the galaxy that was held together by the Old Republic for thousands of years went metric. Snoke could be two centimeters tall and there would still be absolutely no plot hole to be found in your inability to know how tall he is. Abramson's "plot hole" here seems to actually be that we haven't seen a humanoid that size in Star Wars before. As I'm watching Caravan of Courage right now, I gotta say, the Gorax is pretty damn big. In fact--

New "fan theory":

#39 "Why would the First Order spend untold quadrillions of [insert unit of money here] to build the Starkiller Base, when a similar concept and design plan had twice before been destroyed with minimal difficulty by the rebels?" 1) The F-35 cost the US Air Force $1.5 trillion. An individual F-35 fighter costs $148 million. Yet it can't Win in a dogfight against decades old fighters. Governments and militaries spend money. It's kind of a thing. 2) If your pistol doesn't work, but you've got materials to build a cannon, the latter, larger weapon would still be a good idea. If we count the EU, Starkiller Base isn't even the biggest superweapon that galaxy has ever seen; the Centerpoint Station World Puller involved multiple planets for its engines. 3) Abramson assumed previously that the army we see on Starkiller Base was the entirety of the First Order's military. For a galaxy-wide threat, the First Order really needs a big gun if they've only got several thousand soldiers. Plus, the First Order is not the Empire (and the Resistance is not the Rebel Alliance). The Empire tried again after the first time, so why shouldn't the First Order do the same? The arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union--in reality, mind you--suggests bigger and badder weapons is the way things go.

#40 "Is there any other film franchise in the history of cinema that would be permitted, by its fans and by critics, to recycle so many plot points?"1) this does not even relate to the plot, so cannot be a plot hole. 2) Have you heard of James Bond?

I'll get to his 20 More Plot Holes tomorrow.

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