Sunday, January 29, 2006

How Not To Run A Galaxy

Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Fucks Up

Did you ever think about this? In the original Star Wars, right in the beginning, Darth Vader captures Princess Leia and accuses her of transporting secret stolen plans of the Death Star to the hidden rebel base (which, in fact, is exactly what she was doing). It's a given that said plans, properly analyzed, could reveal an Achilles heel that could expose said Death Star, and by extension the entire Galactic Empire, to attack (which, in fact, is exactly what happens).

So Vader then lets Leia be rescued by Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (yeah, yeah, and Chewbacca too), taking an awful risk that they'll all hightail it to said hidden rebel base and he'll follow them there via the super duper homing beacon surreptiously planted on the Millenium Falcon (which, in fact, is exactly what happens).

So here's the thing: Why did the Empire follow them in the same Death Star that they still had secret stolen plans for, thereby bringing it in range of the hidden rebel base and giving the rebel scum a golden opportunity to actually use said stolen plans and blow up said Death Star by exploiting said Achilles heel (which, in fact, is exactly what happens)? I mean, aside from the fact that chasing a spaceship that did the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs with a moon-sized space station is something like chasing a bitchin' Camaro with a Winnebago (and I'm not even going to get into how something like a Death Star moves through the frictionless void of space), wasn't it pretty boneheaded to park your new planet-destroying ultimate power in the universe next to the one place in said universe where the rag tag insurgecy had the chance, albeit a one-in-a-million shot, to make it go kablooey? Couldn't they have hung back, put another coat of paint on the Death Star, and sent in some ground troops first? But no, they just had to use the Death Star. It's just like the military to want to use the shiny new hardware, whether it makes sense or not. (And then, they built it again, with the same weakness, but that's a story for another time.)

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