The Star Wars movies have had several plot holes over the years, but many of them were secretly fixed in other stories. Whether a plot hole was always part of a Star Wars movie or was created by another story, the franchise has skillfully retconned a majority of the films’ continuity errors. Most Star Wars plot holes are answered through reference guides, novels, comics, and sometimes the TV shows, which have several seasons to tell their own stories while expanding on the movies. This may not satisfy viewers who only care about the films, but it’s perfect for those wanting to expand their knowledge of the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars has always been unique when it comes to continuity, with countless fans eager for errors to be rectified and a legion of storytellers ready to make it happen. A long-running movie franchise is bound to have plot holes, but it’s remarkable that the timeline is constantly being updated and retconned to make it more cohesive. Having these plot holes answered can make the movies more enjoyable by clearing up confusion, or at least serve as a gateway to other great Star Wars stories. 10 of the biggest Star Wars movie plot holes demonstrate how the franchise’s continuity errors are constantly being fixed.
10 Why The New Republic Was Destroyed So Easily
One of the sequel trilogy’s first plot holes was how the First Order destroyed the New Republic so easily. The New Republic had been the galaxy’s governing body for 30 years by then, so its defeat should have taken more than destroying one system. The Star Wars books set between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens explained that the New Republic chose to demilitarize because they wanted to avoid repeating the Empire’s mistakes. While this was a noble mindset for Mon Mothma to have, it also made the New Republic vulnerable, allowing the First Order to take control of the major systems in a few weeks.
9 “Somehow Palpatine Returned.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that Palpatine was alive, but didn’t explain how he cheated death in Return of the Jedi. The movie novelization explained that he transferred his spirit into a clone body at the last minute, the same way he survived in the Star Wars Legends continuity. Other Star Wars books and comics have offered additional clarity on Palpatine’s plans, including the 2020 Darth Vader comic series by Greg Pak revealing that he was constructing his fleet of Star Destroyers long before Return of the Jedi. The Star Wars TV shows’ heavy focus on cloning could imply that the franchise will continue explaining Palpatine’s return.
8 The Plot Of The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace suffered from a confusing political plot that made it unclear why the Trade Federation allied with Darth Sidious. The Legends novel Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno explained this backstory in detail, and its key points are still canon thanks to Star Wars: Timelines. The Republic Senate wanted to tax the free trade zones to raise money for aiding underprivileged systems, but this would have hurt the Trade Federation’s profits, so Palpatine manipulated them into blockading Naboo to send the senate a message. They couldn’t have known that the Sith Lord himself had orchestrated everything to benefit his rise to power.
7 How The Empire Tracked Leia’s Ship To Tatooine
The first Star Wars movie began with the Empire chasing Leia’s ship, but it was never clear how they tracked her to Tatooine in the first place. The rest of the original trilogy showed characters using lightspeed to escape the Empire, but the Star Wars anthology From a Certain Point of View cleared up this plot hole. The short story “Raymus” by Gary Whitta revealed that the Tantive IV‘s hyperdrive had been damaged on a previous mission, meaning it left an unusual wake in hyperspace that the Empire could track. This fixes A New Hope‘s plot hole and foreshadows hyperspace tracking in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
6 How Leia Remembered Her Mother
Leia claimed to remember her mother, but Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith created a plot hole by having Padmé die immediately after her children were born. The Star Wars books and comics have offered a few explanations, including the comic series Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson. While visiting Naboo, Leia walked past a glass painting of Queen Amidala and had a vision of her turning to face her, but she dismissed it as an illusion. This ability to sense an object’s history is similar to other Force-sensitive characters, so this may have created what Leia thought were memories of her mother.
5 Why Rey Fought As Well As Kylo Ren
Rey’s natural abilities were a point of debate in the sequel trilogy, especially when she fought the Praetorian Guards with Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Ben Solo had years of Jedi training that would let him fight multiple opponents, but Rey had only had her lightsaber for a few days. The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition novelization elaborated on the mental link the two shared, with Rey having gained some of Kylo’s abilities when she looked into his mind. This would certainly explain her rage at certain points in the fight, using similar moves that Kylo Ren did when he got angry in their duel at Starkiller Base.
4 How Yoda Knew About The Sith Rule Of Two
When Mace Windu stated that Qui-Gon Jinn’s killer was a Sith, Yoda replied that “always two there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” It’s strange how the Jedi knew the Rule of Two if the Sith went into hiding after its creation. The Star Wars Book clarified that the Jedi found out about Darth Bane’s new philosophy and wrongly believed it died with him, not knowing that Darth Zannah passed on his teachings in secret. Star Wars Rebels also showed that the Sith Temple on Malachor required two Sith to get past the security, implying that a master/apprentice relationship was always part of Sith culture.
3 Why Nobody Freed Anakin’s Mother
Anakin Skywalker promised that he would return to free his mother, but it always seemed that neither he nor anyone else ever did. However, a few Star Wars books and comics showed this wasn’t the case, such as the Padmé trilogy by E.K. Johnston. Padmé did try to have Anakin’s mother freed after The Phantom Menace, but by then she had already been sold. Still, Padmé did manage to free a number of slaves, including Anakin’s friends Kitster Banai and Wald. Anakin eventually learned about this after he became Darth Vader, discovering a colony that Padmé had set up for the former Tatooine slaves.
2 How Galen Erso Sabotaged The Death Star
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revealed that Galen Erso was responsible for the Death Star’s fatal design flaw, but the movie didn’t provide any additional specifics. The novelization by Alexander Freed, however, offered several details on how Galen sabotaged the project. As the weapon’s primary architect, Galen altered the reactor to overload with radiation every time the weapon was used, killing people on the Death Star in the process. He got away with this because the Imperials were on a strict deadline, and because the core was so unstable, this made it easier for a well placed shot to destroy the station.
1 The Holdo Maneuver
No Star Wars plot hole has been more hotly debated than The Last Jedi‘s Holdo Maneuver, with some viewers claiming it ruined space battles entirely. The only explanation that The Rise of Skywalker gave for why the move wasn’t used again was claiming that it was “one in a million,” but a few reference guides offered a more detailed response. The Raddus has an incredibly powerful, experimental deflector shield, and Poe Dameron had already put in the coordinates during his mutiny. This makes clear that the move was unlikely to be replicated, fixing one of the biggest Star Wars movie plot holes.