Saturday, December 26, 2015

Star Wars Spoilers: The Physics Awaken

There is so much about this universe that I don't understand. The politics don't make sense, the parenting doesn't make sense, and the physics don't make sense. Let's start with those.

If the Republic is restored and the Empire is destroyed where does the First Order come from and why isn't the Resistance part of the Republic? Wouldn't the First Order really be the Resistance and the Resistance be the military arm of the Republic? At least when the film starts, before the First Order blows up the capitol of the Republic? And would blowing up the capitol really totally take down the Republic because if so it's a pretty shitty form of galactic representation. Why would the Republic have a single-planet (or even single-system) base in a universe where there's solid proof that someone can relatively easily destroy a planet? If the Resistance really is the military arm of the Republic then having them in a different system makes sense because then you can't target both Republic and Resistance at the same time. But that's also why your senate should be spread out and not concentrated on a single planet in a universe where planet-destroying weapons have been developed. Just sayin'. But the Resistance seems to be resisting the First Order, which gets us to the problem of history. Does no one in this universe have history classes? It's pretty clear that the Empire and its Storm Troopers were a not-good thing, so once its last planet-destroying weapon was destroyed why did anyone from any planet have any dealings with people who pretty clearly were trying to bring back the Empire. It's not like the resources for all this shit are exactly common - Bespin is where the gas for blasters comes from and Lando Calrissian was in charge of mining it - why wasn't the supply to Empire supporters cut off? Is there no way to track shipping mainfests or flight paths in this universe? The background of the prequels was a trade agreement gone wrong - so shouldn't there be some kind of embargo in place against planets with strong First Order ties? I get that we're talking about an entire universe here, full of faster-than-light travel and smugglers like Han Solo but if your government can't keep tabs on people building planet-destroying weapons then it isn't really a very good government, is it? Which means it was actually clever of the Resistance to go rogue and not trust basically anyone but it also means that no one should trust anyone and you're in a constant state of war. Wooo Star Wars!

On to parenting: when the fuck are people in this universe going to start being honest with their children? And stop abandoning them on sand planets? And tell them who their fucking parents are? Because I'm pretty sure we witnessed some cousin-or-sibling potential incest situations between Rey and Ben. At least I sort of have to hope we did because otherwise I'm concerned about why every woman in this universe looks exactly like Amidala. Why did no one sit down and explain to a young Ben, before his Jedi training started, that his grandfather was a powerful man who made terrible choices that tore his life apart and he eventually repented of? I mean that's probably a heavy load of shit to dump on a child but let's be real - if that child is a magic kicking laser wizard you probably want to start them out right and get all the dark family secrets out of the way so they can avoid making similar kicking wizard mistakes. Like murdering all the other apprentices at a Jedi school. If Ben had been sat down by Mom and Pop and Uncle Luke and had the whole story of Grampy Ani explained to him he probably would have been scared shitless of the the Dark Side (but we all know that fear>hate>anger>suffering so who the fuck knows, maybe it WAS explained to him). Also It's becoming painfully clear that the path of the Jedi is utter bullshit. Isolating children from their families to train with celibate kicking wizards who attempt to stifle all emotions is not an effective method of raising people. Jedi aren't supposed to love, they aren't supposed to be afraid, they aren't supposed to feel anything but the force (and its balances and disturbances) which appears to have the side-effect of making force-sensitive people occasionally kill a bunch of kids. So yeah, it looks like the New Jedi Academy is just as poorly planned as the Old Jedi Academy and maybe it's time for Luke to put together some fucking worksheets that he can send out to the parents of force-sensitive children to practice at home instead of consolidating into an easily-killable clump of people who ignore/bottle their emotions. Anybody who makes a mistake bad enough to end with almost all of their students dead and then fucks off for a couple of decades instead of attempting to rectify that mistake shouldn't be in charge of children Just sayin'.

Physics: So is Han force-sensitive and unaware of it or is the speed of light somewhat malleable in this universe (obviously somewhat malleable because 12 parsecs/flight to Degobah/other random faster-than-light stuff that ignores relativity)? Unless Han is force-sensitive and could use that as a cheat around timing there's no way that he could aim the Falcon at a planet to get in while its shields are cycling and not mis-time it badly enough that either the ship would just dissolve as it was passing through or they'd come out of light speed at its core or something along those lines. Also Starkiller base makes no goddamned sense. They fired the weapon once, destroying the seat of the Republic but as they're gearing up to fire again and destroy the Resistance base we find out that firing the weapon uses up a whole goddamned sun. Fucking what? I mean, okay, Tatooine was a binary system, maybe Starkiller base was a binary system too but it sure as fuck wasn't a trinary system or the sky wouldn't have gone completely dark while it was charging to fire. So if they fire again does that mean they're done? No more suns to suck up so that's it, two shots? Or does the planet hang on to some of that solar power to propel itself toward a new sun to suck up? If so how much time does that take because the kind of energy you would need to move a whole goddamned planet across that amount of space is ridiculous. And if you're trying to do so faster than light it's even MORE ridiculous. And stars are FUCKING FAR. Our sun is eight light minutes away from Earth which means that it takes eight minutes for light from our closest star to get here. The closest star other than our sun is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.24 light years away which means that it would take over 4 years to get there if we were traveling at the speed of light. We're in a pretty sparse part of the milky way but even Proxima Centauri (part of a three-star cluster) is .13 light-years away from Alpha Centauri A and B so it takes weeks for light to travel between those incredibly close neighbors. And did you know that there's a specific range that a planet can occupy before it's either too close or too far from a star to support life? Starkiller base just removed itself from that range and has to find a way back into it soon or everyone on it is fucked. Everyone on it is fucked anyway because after the destruction of TWO fucking Death Stars the First Order STILL hasn't figured out that you need to decentralize and contain your power source/weapon/overload system/whatever someplace that it can't be taken down by exterior fire. These people can carve out the mantle of a planet but they still rely on surface-accessible power storage? Bullshit. Also develop a new fucking weapon. You made a Death Star only more so. Why not make a bunch of mini Death Stars that don't actually explode whole planets they just burn off the atmosphere? Seems like this would be a good solution to that whole mobility/not actually destroying suns/planets/resources issue. You don't actually need to blow up a planet to kill off all life on that planet and it seems like it would take less energy to set an atmosphere on fire or fling an asteroid at a planet than it would to make a really big explosion. Or five really big explosions. C'mon, you've got tractor beams, manipulate some gravity and have fun with physics, don't just blow stuff up and kill stars.

Anyway, nitpicky shit aside I enjoyed the movie. I liked the interplay between almost all of the characters though I think there could have been a lot more development done with Han to explain his return to smuggling as a coping mechanism. I liked everything with the new mains, though BB-8 was adorable, and wasn't too annoyed with 3PO for a change. I hope there's more Leia in later films and I hope someone explains why in the name of hot holy fuck she didn't get force training or if she did why she wasn't engaged in the training of Kylo and the other apprentices because that seems like a better use of her time than heading a Resistance that shouldn't have needed to exist in the first place. So. Looking forward to some answers and pretty happy in general. And hey, it was a hell of a lot better than the prequels!

     - Alli

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