Star Wars Plot Holes That Still Confuse Fans

Not only must you have been living under a rock to not have heard of Star Wars, you would have to have been living under a rock since 1977. Ever since "A New Hope" exploded into cinemas that year, what started off as a single sci-fi adventure movie has become a veritable pop-cultural dynasty that has expanded into prequels, sequels, spinoffs, TV shows, comic books, novels, video games, and infinite merchandise. Even though series creator George Lucas has had little to do with the franchise since selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the Star Wars brand has shown no signs of slowing down its expansion into new stories.

However, because of how sprawling the Star Wars mythology is and how many creators have been involved with its ever-growing story, numerous plot holes have been a constant source of viewer bewilderment for decades now. That doesn't take away from how entertaining the series is, but we still can't help but wonder how some of these lapses in logic made it to the big and small screens. With that, let's take a look at some of the biggest Star Wars plot holes that still confuse fans.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has forgotten who R2-D2 is.

In "A New Hope," Luke Skywalker discovers the holographic message (via R2-D2) of Princess Leia pleading to Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. The only Kenobi that Luke knows is Old Ben Kenobi, a hermit who lives out in the desert, so he takes R2-D2 and C-3PO out to meet him. However, they're ambushed by Tusken Raiders, only to be rescued by Ben himself who just happens to be on one of his daily desert strolls. Luke tells Ben (now going by Obi-Wan, more on that later) that R2-D2 has been looking for his former master. Obi-Wan, however, says that he doesn't remember ever owning a droid.

As anyone who's seen the original Star Wars trilogy knows, Obi-Wan has a nasty habit of withholding important information from Luke for reasons that aren't quite clear. This is one of several instances of that, as the prequel trilogy shows Obi-Wan going on numerous adventures with R2-D2 for YEARS. Maybe Obi-Wan just felt that wasn't the best time to reveal his history with the droid, but it still would've been nice to see him show some kind of affection to a war buddy he hadn't seen in forever. Ditto for 3-PO.

Luke Skywalker keeps forgetting he has the Force.

Luke shows some early affinity for the force in "A New Hope," like performing a blind lightsaber exercise under Obi-Wan Kenobi's tutelage, or when he fires his Death Star-destroying proton torpedoes to win the final battle. His Jedi skills improve even more after further training with Yoda on Dagobah. By the time of "Return of the Jedi," Luke has become quite seasoned with the Force ... except during certain key moments when his mastery of the force could've really helped. For example, during his battle with the rancor at Jabba the Hutt's palace, he physically throws a rock at a control panel to kill the beast with the massive gate, when he could've just used his mind for that. Wasn't levitating rocks while doing a handstand part of his training with Yoda?

There are plenty of other examples of Luke's convenient amnesia sprinkled throughout "Return of the Jedi," but you'd think that in a fight against a giant carnivorous alien he would've instantly resorted to some Jedi guile instead of using his hands like one of us Force-less losers.

Poe Dameron survived the crash on Jakku somehow.

After Finn has a change of heart about his commitment to the First Order, he frees Resistance pilot Poe Dameron from captivity and together they commandeer a TIE fighter to escape. However, they're shot down by a First Order Star Destroyer and are forced to make a crash landing on Jakku. When Finn goes to inspect the wreckage, all he finds is Poe's jacket, and that's apparently enough for him to assume that Poe is dead. It's later revealed that Poe survived, with his explanation simply being that he was thrown from the TIE fighter when they landed on Jakku. Finn asks no more questions, as Poe has suddenly become useful for the plot.

We're all for keeping Oscar Isaac around for as long as possible in a film, as he's a terrific actor and welcome addition to the Star Wars franchise, but surely writers Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt could've found a more creative way to take Poe out of the story for a bit, right?

Obi-Wan Kenobi's terrible hiding place for Luke.

At the end of "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," Yoda and Obi-Wan conclude that the newly-born Luke and Leia Skywalker must be separated and hidden where the Sith cannot find them. Leia is given to Bail Organa and his family on Alderaan, while Luke is sent to live with Owen and Beru Lars (his step-uncle/aunt, respectively) on Tatooine. Obi-Wan then heads out to the desert to live the rest of his life as a hermit and watch over Luke.

Ok, if you're trying to prevent an evil space dictator from finding his son, it's probably best not to hide him on said dictator's home planet with said dictator's family. Why didn't it occur to Obi-Wan that Darth Vader may return to his home planet to take care of some diplomatic business? Or to take some stuff out of storage? Maybe Obi-Wan was counting on Vader having killed his previous life as Anakin Skywalker enough to not need to revisit his childhood home, but that's a pretty big "IF."

Darth Vader doesn't sense Leia is his daughter.

In "Return of the Jedi," Luke has a heart-to-heart with the Force spirit of Obi-Wan on Dagobah about his destiny. When Luke presses him on what Yoda meant about there being "another," Obi-Wan tells Luke that he has a sister who remains safe in anonymity. Luke's Jedi instincts inform him that his sister is Leia, which Obi-Wan confirms. Yet Darth Vader — whose Jedi instincts are presumably stronger than Luke's — spent considerable time torturing and interrogating Leia in "A New Hope" but somehow didn't realize that was his daughter. What the hell?

The real reason for this discrepancy could very well be that George Lucas simply hadn't figured out the entire Skywalker family tree when he conceived the first "Star Wars," and that he was still figuring things out with each installment. There doesn't seem to be an in-story reason for the discrepancy ... maybe being on the dark side of the Force clouds one's ability to detect familial connections?

How did Darth Sidious survive the Death Star?

"Return of the Jedi" features the climactic battle between Luke Skywalker and his father, Darth Vader on the second Death Star as Darth Sidious watches on. Luke bests his father in combat and even slices off his hand the way Vader did to him in "The Empire Strikes Back." Then Luke refuses to give in to the dark side of the Force by killing Vader, prompting Sidious to electrify Luke in retaliation. Vader, seeing Sidious' betrayal of him and his son's decision to spare his life, picks up Sidious and throws him into the reactor shaft to his seeming death. Because cheating death is one of the primary perks of being on the dark side of the Force, Sidious returns years later in "The Rise of Skywalker," and explains his resurrection as simply being the result of "unnatural" means.

While Sidious's resurrection is explained in more detail in the "Rise of Skywalker" novelization, this should've been given more attention in the films. It's pretty clear that his return wasn't fully realized when work on the new sequel trilogy began, which makes his recent appearance feel forced and devoid of any real story logic. Fan service can be done in a way that works within the plot's rules, but this just came off as cheap and lazy.

Princess Leia remembers her dead mom.

"Return of the Jedi" features a scene on Endor in which Luke reveals the complicated Skywalker family tree to Leia (more on that later), but first broaches the subject by asking Leia if she remembers her mother. Leia states that while her mother died when she was very young, she remembers her as being "very beautiful, kind, but sad." Luke then responds that he has no memory of his mother and that he never knew her.

It turns out that, in the grand scheme of things, Luke not remembering his mother makes perfect sense, but Leia remembering her mother (even if they're mostly "images" and "feelings") doesn't. As revealed at the end of "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," Luke and Leia's mother, Padmé Amidala, died while giving birth to them. This could be potentially explained away by the Force-sensitive nature that runs in the Skywalker family, with Leia absorbing some vague impressions of Padme from those who knew her ... or something. She could also be remembering her adoptive mother Queen Breha Organa. Still, this is still a pretty big oversight, especially considering George Lucas wrote the scripts for both films.

Jar Jar Binks' HUGE promotion

Jar Jar Binks is a member of the Gungans, a race of amphibious creatures that mostly reside underwater on the planet Naboo. Ostracized from his own people for his incessant clumsiness and massive ineptitude, Jar Jar ends up palling around Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace." Somehow, he manages to regain the trust of his people and is immediately promoted to the position of general when the Gungans join forces with Queen Padmé Amidala's army against the approaching droid army. Despite having considerably smaller appearances in the two following sequels, Jar Jar continues advancing his political career, eventually rising to become a delegate to the Galactic Senate.

Jar Jar Binks has been a source of ire for fans ever since he first tumbled onto screens in 1999, and continues to be the butt of jokes today, so there's little need here to continue the hatred of him. Still, why would such a klutzy fool be promoted so much in the realm of government? Sure, he's got a big heart and fought bravely (yet clumsily) in numerous battles, but that can't be enough to make him qualified to serve as such a high-ranking civil servant, can it? Whatever. Gungan politics is weird.

Obi-Wan Kenobi's REAL Jedi master.

In "The Empire Strikes Back," Obi-Wan directs Luke Skywalker to go to the Dagobah system to develop his skills with the Force under Yoda, who Obi-Wan states instructed him in the ways of the Jedi. However, in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace," Qui-Gon Jinn is shown to be the one who trains Obi-Wan, and it's even stated in that film that a practicing Jedi can only have one master. What gives?

Obi-Wan has been shown to be pretty squirrelly when it comes to the truth, and this is yet another example of that. Maybe he lied about his relationship with Yoda to encourage Luke to train under him, but Luke already trusts Obi-Wan so there'd be no reason for the deception. Or maybe Obi-Wan did train under Yoda initially, but Yoda transferred him over to Qui-Gon, then implemented the "one master" rule afterward. The most likely reason for this discrepancy is that George Lucas didn't quite flesh out the rules of Jedi Knighthood when he first conceived them.

The Empire's inconsistent scanning capabilities.

At the start of "A New Hope," Darth Vader's forces invade a Rebel Alliance ship to retrieve the Death Star plans in their possession. Luckily, Princess Leia manages to hide the plans in R2-D2, who evades the Galactic Empire in an escape pod along with C-3P0. Empire officers notice the escape pod carrying the droids, but don't detect any lifeforms and assume it was simply a malfunction. Later in the film, we see Luke, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO infiltrate the Death Star by hiding in the Millennium Falcon's hull. The Imperial soldiers read the ship's log which specifies that there are no lifeforms aboard, which is good enough for the soldiers.

Why is the Empire able to scan a tiny escape pod (rapidly moving away from them, no less) for life forms, yet they completely ignore their scanning technology when there's a much larger ship THAT'S INSIDE THEIR VERY OWN DEATH STAR? Seriously, Han could've just left a note on the control console that read "nobody's home" and that would've been enough to convince the Imperial soldiers not to employ their lifeform-scanning devices.

Why did Obi-Wan only change his first name?

The end of "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" sees Obi-Wan hand a baby Luke Skywalker to his new family on Tatooine, vowing to live in the desert nearby to watch over him. He kept his word for years afterward, living as "Ben" Kenobi, and only resurfacing when Luke approaches him with the message from Princess Leia pleading for Obi-Wan Kenobi's help. "Ben" reveals that he is the Obi-Wan that Leia is asking for, saying that it's been years since he went by his old name.

This is yet another instance of Obi-Wan withholding important information for no real reason. He never gives any explanation for why he went as "Ben" Kenobi for so long. Presumably, this was to evade the attention of the Sith, but why only change his first name and not his last? Surely there are enough Imperial soldiers patrolling the galaxy for anyone who's even familiar with the name "Kenobi," right? It's not like we needed a scene of Obi-Wan going down to the county registrar's office to fill out the appropriate paperwork for an official name change; just have him going around saying, "Hi, I'm Rix Madell" or something.

Rey's quick Jedi mastery.

"The Force Awakens" introduced us to Rey as the sequel trilogy's primary protagonist. At the beginning of the film, she's an orphaned scavenger with nothing seemingly special about her, but it's not long before she's drawn into the battle between the Resistance and the First Order. Throughout the rest of the film, she displays an inherent talent for the Force, including using a Jedi mind trick to convince a stormtrooper to free her while in the First Order's clutches and being able to handle her own in a lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren.

Rey is not unlike Luke Skywalker in "A New Hope," in that she has some natural affinity for the Force and must go on a quest to fully realize her potential. However, "A New Hope" at least showed Luke training to use the Force under Obi-Wan Kenobi's tutelage, and his struggle to master the Force is part of what made Luke such a great character. Rey, on the other hand, demonstrates some advanced Jedi skills without any training or practice and loses some necessary character development in the process. There's nothing wrong with giving her some unique gift, but at least have her struggle with it and earn her mastery over it. (To be fair, a "Darth Vader" comic sort of provided an explanation for how Rey could have such talent with the Force.)

Obi-Wan and Yoda didn't tell Luke about Darth Vader.

In "A New Hope," Obi-Wan tells Luke that he fought alongside his father who was killed by Darth Vader, once an apprentice of his that was corrupted by the dark side of the Force. "The Empire Strikes Back" features Luke training under Yoda in the ways of the Jedi so that he'll be prepared to take on Darth Vader, only to discover in his battle with him that he's his father. Luke heads back to Dagobah in "Return of the Jedi," where both Yoda and Obi-Wan (in his Force ghost form) confirm that they knew about Luke's relation to Darth Vader.

We give Obi-Wan a lot of crap for withholding pertinent information for no real reason, but it turns out that Yoda was an accomplice in his dynasty of lies. Before Luke landed on Dagobah for the first time, did Obi-Wan convene with Yoda to say, "Look, I sent a young hothead to your swamp to train. He's the son of Darth Vader, but don't tell him ... he's got to find out in the most devastating way possible." Obi-Wan told Luke that Vader killed his father "from a certain point of view." Well, Obi, from reality's "point of view," you straight up lied.

Leia always knew that Luke was her brother???

When Leia tries to convince Han to stay with the Rebel Alliance on Hoth, Han arrogantly declares that she really wants him to stay because she has feelings for him. To prove him wrong, Leia marches toward Luke and gives him a big ol' smooch on the lips, much to Han's annoyance and Luke's satisfaction. This must've been a particularly rewarding experience for Luke, as he clearly had a crush on the princess, calling her beautiful in "A New Hope." What started off as a seemingly innocent romance got a lot more uncomfortable in "Return of the Jedi" when Luke not only learns that Leia is his sister but that she's somehow always known he was her brother.

We can't blame Leia for wanting to put Han in his place for his smugness, but surely there were other ways to do so besides incest? George Lucas has never given a clear explanation for why he had Luke and Leia kiss, only to reveal in the next film that they were siblings. Like many of the other plot holes on this list, it's most likely that Lucas hadn't fully planned out the overarching story before working on each installment.

Lightsabers cauterize wounds ... most of the time.

Not too much has been explained about how lightsabers work in the "Star Wars" universe, at least not in the films. One of the few consistencies, though, is that because of their extreme heat, they instantly cauterize any wound they inflict. There was no blood splatter when Luke got his hand sliced off by Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back," nor was there any gore when Darth Maul was bisected by Obi-Wan Kenobi in "The Phantom Menace" or when Supreme Leader Snoke was wedged into multiple pieces in "The Last Jedi." However, there was definitely plenty of red stuff when Ponda Baba picked a fight with Luke at Mos Eisley, only for Obi-Wan to step in and slash his arm off.

It makes sense for lightsabers to cauterize wounds, not only because they're made of pure energy but because the Star Wars films have always been intended for wide audiences, making graphic violence feel out of place. However, it is funny that the one time a lightsaber doesn't sear a wound shut there's a closeup of a bloody dismembered arm on the ground.