6 Star Wars Technologies Dumber Than The New Lightsaber

12/04/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


After the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped last week, much of the internet has been consumed with a conflict over the reveal of the lightsaber, specifically the lightsaber crossguard.  Most of the argument is over the practicality of the crossguard, mostly regarding its function.

I don't have an issue with the lightsaber.  I think it looks wicked, and it's exciting to introduce another new design, but that's not why I'm writing this.  The point of this article is to show how the level of skepticism Star Wars fans are leveling at the new weapon ruins Star Wars when applied to other technology in the universe.


The Death Star
The Death Star is a battle station that is so massive that Luke originally mistakes it for a small moon.  That's big.  Without breaking out my Star Wars Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels, it is larger than—and has more firepower than—a whole fleet of Star Destroyers.

The Death Star even has a single weapon on it that can destroy a whole planet with a single shot, yet it has a thermal exhaust port that is so poorly designed that a single proton torpedo will start a chain reaction, destroying the entire station.

Yes.  This is apparently the pinnacle of engineering that has happened to this point in the galaxy, yet it has the most ignorantly overlooked flaw imaginable.  It's not like it's just disabled, or


TIE Fighters
TIE fighters, in various forms, make up 99% of the empires starfighters.  Considering the empire is so dominant, it would stand to reason that its fleets are also dominant in some way, right?

False.  TIE fighters are terribly designed.  The two large vertical solar panel wings make the limited view of the pilot even more limited.  Sure, a large chunk of the flying is done using the in flight computers and other instruments, but you see the pilots of other fighters with more open cockpits regularly utilizing their wide field of view during battle.

Between the porthole in the front of the TIE fighters, and the solar panels, the pilot is restricted to basically 45 degrees of forward vision.  It's impractical, and unrealistic.


Stormtrooper Armor
We've all seen this one.  Stormtroopers.  The brute force of the empire wears heavy and constricting armor to protect them against... nothing.  Stormtrooper armor protects against nothing.  Not even Ewok spears.  I have not seen a single Stormtrooper or Clone Trooper protected against any type of weapon because of this armor.


AT-ATs
AT-ATs are pretty powerful looking, until you realize they're basically useless.  They move incredibly slow, they have the worst turning radius in the galaxy, and their forward guns are (mostly) fixed.

Sure, they have seemingly impenetrable armor (at least as long as they stay on their feet), but they are literally defeated by tripping during the battle of Hoth.  I'm not sure how the rebels even lost that one, considering they only needed one dude, a grappling hook, and a bomb to take each one out.


Death Star II
Here's a good one.  Remember that fatal flaw with the first Death Star?  Don't worry, we're building another one.  This one has the exact same weakness.  Instead of a trench, it's a tunnel, and instead of a thermal exhaust port, it's the main reactor.

They didn't only not learn from their lesson, they made the exact same vulnerability even more prominent.  Sure, it was more difficult to get to the second Death Star, but at the end of the day, it only took a couple missiles to take the whole thing down. Don't worry, though, it's protected by the...


Endor Shield Generator 
Yes, the horrible design in the second Death Star is mitigated by this awesome shield, generated by a base station on Endor.  Meaning the Death Star is now basically immobile, assuming the construction is ever completed.  But lets forget that.  Defensively, it's nearly invulnerable, because they put a bunch of guys wearing useless armor around it to protect it.  What's that?  Put the generator behind the shield?  Nah, that doesn't make any sense.

So there you have it.  You ruined Star Wars.

I didn't write this because I think these are actual flaws with Star Wars.  Star Wars, and the technology involved, is entirely fictional.  When fans start to hold anything to this level of scrutiny, it just becomes absurd.

You want realism and practicality?  Get off the computer and go outside.  You want crazy weapons, mystical powers, and epic space battler?  Check out Star Wars, and stop trying to find ways that a fictional universe isn't practical.

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