— It’s almost as if George Lucas is taunting us.
Despite all the bells and whistles in the new “Star Wars” Blu-ray collection, it’s still missing a few essential pieces of the puzzle. Nowhere among the 40 hours of bonus features in the box set will we find the answers to nagging issues that have perplexed Jedi and Padawan alike, for years.
But you’re not totally off the hook, George. We still need answers to certain queries. Hopefully we’ll get the answers sometime before we put on our brown robes and join the Jedi afterlife.
Why doesn’t R2 tell anyone that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker?
At the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” Bail Organa orders Capt. Antilles to have C-3PO’s memory wiped. But R2’s memory bank wasn’t erased, at least, not that we know. The fact that he claims on Tattoine to be the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi implies he remembers much more than he’s letting on.
Which means he should remember that during the events of “Episode III,” he saw his old master Anakin Skywalker turn to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader. So why wouldn’t he share that information with, oh, I don’t know … LUKE SKYWALKER?
It could have saved poor Luke and Leia a lot of grief, not to mention possibly sparing Luke from having his hand cut off in “Empire.” We love you R2, but you dropped the ball here.
Does Obi-Wan recognize Leia in the message R2-D2 plays on Tattoine?
After Obi-Wan Kenobi rescues Luke from the Sand People in “Star Wars,” he views the holographic message Princess Leia placed in R2-D2’s memory banks.
When I revisited the original film, I wrote that it seemed Kenobi recognized Princess Leia. Some people questioned how that could be, since the last time he saw her she was an infant.
One of the added benefits to the “Star Wars” prequels is that they allow us to view certain scenes in the original trilogy in different context. This scene is a perfect example.
Sure, "old Ben Kenobi" was getting up in years. He didn’t recognize R2, and that droid was his buddy Anakin’s right-hand Astromech. But I maintain that the ‘Clone Wars’ reference and the Alderaan connection jogged his memory and helped him realize who the Princess was. After all, Kenobi knew Bail Organa quite well.
However, it’s also true that Lucas most likely had no idea what the backstory to this scene would be when he wrote it in the mid-70s. So I can admit this is me using my familiarity with the prequels — and my admiration for the late Alec Guinness — to fill in the blanks.
Why doesn’t R2 fly in the original trilogy?
One of the many frustrating changes Lucas made to Star Wars canon was giving the galaxy’s greatest Astromech droid the ability to fly in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”
Why give R2 the ability to fly, and never explain why he didn’t use the thruster jets after "Episode III?" You don’t think those thrusters would have come in handy on say, Tattoine in “Star Wars,” or Dagobah in “Empire?”
No doubt, money was tight for the Rebellion, and repairing a droid's thruster jets maybe weren’t a priority, but how about a quick one-sentence explanation in “Revenge of the Sith?” Something like: "Sorry, R2. The lava on Mustafar permanently damaged your jets. You’re grounded for life."
How come Chewbacca doesn’t get a medal at the end of 'Star Wars'?
With all the changes Lucas has made to the original “Star Wars,” somehow he still couldn’t be bothered to fix the most egregious error — giving Chewbacca a medal at the end of the movie.
The Blu-ray set was the perfect opportunity to finally make amends for the unforgivable diss of Chewie. We bet fans wouldn't have minded seeing a CGI medal added around our favorite Wookiee’s neck. After all, the first officer of the Millennium Falcon should get some credit for its success, no?
And yes, in the Marvel Comics adaptation of “Star Wars,” Chewbacca did get a medal (with Leia standing on a table to do the honors). Not good enough. Neither is the reasoning that Wookiees don’t put any value on medals. That just sounds like Lucas revisionist justification.
Where are all the women in the Galactic Empire?
Ever notice that Princess Leia was just about the only woman in the original “Star Wars?”
Poor Aunt Beru barely counts because she was scorched so quickly. There were more Jedi than women on the Death Star. Did the Empire discriminate against women? Was Emperor Palpatine a Sith chauvinist?
Lucas certainly has no problem making Greedo shoot first, in order to make Han seem less ... cold blooded. Adding a few women to the scenes on Tattoine and the Death Star doesn’t seem too unreasonable, does it?