To celebrate Independence Day weekend, my girlfriend and I watched all three original Star Wars movies back to back. We'd caught bits and pieces of the Prequels on TV earlier in the week, and I was surprised and thrilled to find her taking an interest in one of my strongest areas of geek trivia.
What follows is a list of the top 30 questions she asked me during our Star Wars marathon, and my unresearched answers (corrections and nitpicks are welcome).
A NEW HOPE
1. Are those real people in the Stormtrooper outfits?
Most of them - there are leftover clones as well.
2. Imperial senate?
Dummy senate. They disband it in this movie.
3. Why does the first droid blow up? Deus ex machina?
Expanded Universe would have us believe R5 blew himself up to help Artoo.
follow-up: So we should assume R5 believes in the rebellion?
I would say a) he probably just wants to help a fellow droid and.... b) maybe he does just want to help the rebellion, which stands for freedom and self-determination, and droids seem like they could hold those values too. I mean Artoo certainly does.
Unwise decisions, questions of motivations, and questionable force powers, after the jump...
4. If Threepio were given a message, would he want to deliver it too?
He would want to deliver it if he was told to, but it's not as if Artoo was PROGRAMMED to deliver it. He's doing it because he wants to help the princess. Threepio might kind of forget about the whole thing if he got a new master.
5. Why is Obi Wan her only hope?
Cause he's the only Jedi she knows about.
follow-up: How does she know who he is?
Her step-dad, Bail Organa, knew him and told her about him.
6. Why did Obi Wan put Luke on Tatooine, if that's where Darth Vader is from?
Anakin doesn't know he has children; he thought he killed Padme before she gave birth. So there is no reason he would ever go back to Tatooine, in fact he might stay away from Tatooine since it reminds him too much of his old life. Also Shmi Skywalker was part of the Lars family for some years, so Beru and Owen Lars would feel a responsibility to take care of her grandchild.
7. Why doesn't the bar ("cantina" - Ed.) allow droids? is it some kind of racism allegory?
Maybe because they don't drink?
8. Why is Obi Wan going alone to disable the tractor beam?
He knows that Vader will sense him and come looking for him.
follow-up: Why is Darth Vader just wandering around the hallway?
Maybe he's on the way to another meeting?
9. Why does Leia appear to know who Luke is talking about when he says "I'm here with Ben Kenobi?" (she only knows the name Obi Wan, I thought)
Um. She just hears Kenobi and parrots it back. It's a high stress situation.
10. Why did it take Obi Wan so long to get to the tractor beam?
He's been sneaking around corners to get there, and it's a gigantic space station - he could have traveled like a mile.
11. Why did Obi Wan let Darth Vader kill him?
He knows that luke will save the princess, and he can't beat Darth Vader. Also he can come back using the tricks he learned from Qui-Gon.
12. Why does the rebel general say "may the force be with you"? Can regular people use the force?
Everyone is bound together by the force, Jedis just can use it in a literal way. Plus Jedi's have probably been kind of canonized as saints by the rebels, since they're all dead.
13. How do we know that Darth Vader is like, the best pilot?
He was a good pilot in Episode Three, and when he was 9 he piloted pods, which humans are not supposed to be able to do.
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
14. Why don't the droids freeze in the snow?
They're made of space metal - Artoo can survive in the void of space. Also Threepio did say his joints were freezing.
BONUS COMMENT: "I bet Artoo knows everything that happened in the prequels, and is really uncomfortable right now."
15. What kind of clambake is Vader in?
It's a private re-generation chamber.
16. Don't the rebels worry about what happened to Luke when he goes to Dagobah?
He can do whatever he wants.
17. Doesn't Yoda know Artoo?
He's seen lots of droids before.
18. Can Luke understand Artoo?
When he's hooked up to a computer he can, otherwise he has to guess. Artoo may be saying "That's Yoda! He was on the Jedi Council" but Luke wouldn't know.
19. Why is Yoda acting like a drunk?
He's testing luke's patience and empathy.
20. How did Boba Fett see the Falcon float away with the trash? Why didn't he tell the Empire?
His ship, the Slave I, has great sensors - he didn't tell the Empire cause he wants the bounty.
21. Why does Vader torture Han and not ask him any questions?
So that Luke can have a vision of his friends in pain. Anakin only had future visions of his loved ones in pain, so he assumes that's how it works for Luke too (and it does).
22. How does Darth Vader keep up his lightsaber skills?
He's already got them - he was super powerful in his prime. He might train with the Emperor too, who beat Yoda in lightsaber combat.
23. Why does Luke try to contact Leia but not Han Solo?
Short answer because she's force sensitive, long answer, he's "stretching out with his feelings" to find someone he knows to get him help, and since Han is in carbonite and dead to the world, he can't sense him. and since Leia is force sensitive anyway, he can sense her very strongly and can easily communicate with her.
RETURN OF THE JEDI
24. Does Vader even care about ruling the galaxy?
Anakin always thought that he deserved a lot of power, because he was told for most of his life that he was "the chosen one." He talked with Padme about ruling everything so he could have things just like he wanted them.
25. What's Jabba's job?
He's like a mob boss - he controls the crime syndicates on Tatooine. Hutts are like gangsters of the galaxies.
26. How did Leia know how to get Han out of the carbonite?
She knows what she's doing. She could have asked Lando how to work it. There's just a little switch on the side.
27. Has Leia ever seen an ewok before? She seems not surprised to see Wicket.
These guys aren't scared by any aliens - they were just on a sail barge with tons of horrible creatures and a giant slug monster. Plus they work with aliens. They can take a little teddy bear guy in stride.
28. Is Artoo annoyed at the ewoks?
He's pretty easy going. He's just going with it.
29. Why can Leia remember Padme?
She has force memory past powers. She can remember images, even though she was but a wee baby.
30. Why does Anakin know how to come back from the dead?
That's hard; the Emperor told him that his Sith master could bring other people back from the dead, but not himself. So even if the Emperor taught Anakin how to do that, which I doubt he did, Anakin couldn't bring himself back. I think that Obi Wan and or Yoda pulled Anakin's spirit out of the force continuum, which they could do since he joined the light side at the last minute.