The Huffington Post ran an article shortly after The Force Awakens was released, criticizing the film for an "unforgivable" amount of plot holes. This provoked some fans, including Matty Granger, who took to Facebook to debunk all of the so called inconsistencies in the movie. While there were some moments in the film that seemed a stretch of the imagination, Matty made some great points to explain how many of the plot points are actually pretty feasible and make sense. Since Matty shared this piece on January 6, his Facebook post has received over 25,000 shares.
You can read Matty Granger's debunking of Huff Post's “40 Unforgivable Plot Holes” below:
Over the last few weeks I saw this article reposted over and over both by folks in the film industry and outside of it. The reposts often carried captions from Facebook users like “Yep!” or “This is exactly my problem”. Oh shit. Did I miss something? Maybe the Huffington Post and half of Facebook saw something I didn’t. I needed to know more. So I read the article. I read it numerous times. In the end, I came to my own conclusion…
So what are these “40 Unforgivable Plot Holes” and why is the Huffington Post ass-backward in their review? I blame it partly on the click-bait era. I also think that being a contrarian dick makes people feel intelligent. But those aren’t the reasons the review is horseshit. It’s horseshit because it really seems like the reviewer didn’t watch the movie at all.
Let’s take a look at these 40 “holes” and see just how hard I can plug them.
1. To blow up the 120-km "Death Star" in Star Wars, the rebels needed detailed plans for the base and a full-scale invasion force -- as well as the supernatural targeting skills of the most powerful Force-user in the galaxy.
Yes they did. And in the Force Awakens, the hastily thrown together plan formulated by the Resistance to possibly, maybe cripple the Starkiller Base…FUCKING FAILS. Poe Dameron and his squadron have pulled out and are actually leaving the planet when they see that the target they couldn’t even dent has been damaged from the inside. They then turn around and manage one last, desperate run. I don’t want to hit this too hard on the nose, but you would’ve noticed this had you actually watched the movie.
2. The wily Han Solo loses track of his most prized possession, the Millennium Falcon, for more than a dozen years. And yet, less than a minute after Rey begins piloting the Millennium Falcon, Han looks out the window of his freighter and says, "Oh, there it is."
Try finding your car after it’s been stolen. Try finding your kid’s bike once some asshole has swiped it. Try finding your virginity even if you know exactly where you lost it. This is an entire galaxy we’re talking about here, not the backseat of a ‘93 Ford Taurus.
Admittedly, I thought it was somewhat convenient that Han happened upon the ship, but he explains later that it wasn’t luck that he found the Falcon. It was found by his freighter’s scanners which conceivably could’ve been set to keep watch for it.
Also, I don’t want to speculate, but there’s a ton about Rey’s past and the denizens of Jakku in general that’s still going to be revealed in future films. Han may have even left the damn thing in the hands of Unkar Plutt in case he needed to use it to protect Rey. We just don’t know yet.
3. Kylo Ren, a powerful Force-user, fights a light saber duel with an ex-janitor who has never held a light saber.
Actually, the “ex-janitor”, Finn got his ass handed to him. He lasted about thirty seconds against Kylo Ren. Not only that, but he ended up sliced open and left for dead. What the fuck are you talking about?
But let’s entertain this dumb-ass statement a little more. First off, Finn was a Stormtrooper assigned to sanitation, much like other Stormtroopers would’ve been assigned to various departments around the base. Nowhere in this movie is it said that Finn was a janitor. Not once. And how does he hold his own in combat against Kylo Ren for as long as he does? I’d hazard a guess that Finn was trained in the same fashion as the badass, laser-baton wielding Stormtrooper he fights at Maz Kanata’s castle. Setting up the Stormtrooper skill-set is the whole point of showing that fight. Which incidentally, is actually the first time he holds a lightsaber, not when he fights Kylo. Learn why scenes are in movies, dude. It’ll help you not make embarrassing statements like this.
4. Rey becomes nearly as effective a Force-user in a few hours as Luke Skywalker did in a few years.
Yeah. Makes you wonder why doesn’t it? Kinda feels like we’re being set up for something in the future. I wonder if we’ll ever find out about her mysterious past and her mystical connection to the Force and Luke Skywalker? If you don’t understand that this is set-up for future films, then you should have your Netflix password taken away from you.
5. Just minutes before Starkiller Base explodes, Supreme Leader Snoke tells Hux to go get Kylo Ren and take him off the planet. Unfortunately, Ren had recently (unbeknownst to Hux) run into the woods like a lunatic, leaving no information about his whereabouts. It's no problem, though, because Hux apparently has special Kylo Ren GPS.
Or the powerful Force user Snoke closes his eyes for two seconds and tells Hux exactly where Kylo is. Unless of course that power is reserved for first-time Force users like Leia when trying to find her brother who’s hanging from a twig on the under-side of Cloud City. Don’t make me use the Original Trilogy against you, dude. That shit’s just wrong.
6. The reason Ren was slowly bleeding to death -- instead of being dead by Rey's hand -- is that a massive a chasm had just miraculously opened up in the several feet between the two of them. Such bad timing for Rey! (Damn you, deus-ex-geology!)
I’d call it more of a “Deus-ex-unstable-planet-collapsing- after-the-stored-power-of-a-sun-started-tearing-it-apart-from-the-inside-as-laid-out-by-the-plot”, but that’s just me. And as far as the awesome symbolism of a chasm forming between two people goes, I’d probably call it ‘a little on the nose’ before I called it a plot hole, especially considering that it was one of many chasms that opened during their fight that they managed to evade.
7. Rey, who has never left her home planet since she was a child, can speak Wookie.
She also speaks droid. How did she acquire these language skills? Might it have been part of her mysterious past as well? Dude. Come on. You’re making this too easy.
8. It's okay that Poe survived a Tie Fighter crash; after all, so did Finn.
Finn was miles away, strapped into an ejector seat with a spent parachute strewn out behind him. Poe stated he woke up that night and didn’t know where he was (probably strapped to ANOTHER EJECTOR SEAT). Here’s a hint when it comes to watching movies. Use the parts you know to fill in the parts you don’t know. That’s not a writing lesson. That’s a watching lesson.
9. What is all this nonsense about the First Order only wanting to destroy the Republic because the Republic is supporting the Resistance?
Only because of the Resistance? Hux SCREAMS a Hitler-like proclamation to his men that the galaxy’s systems will fall in line with the First Order after the corrupt Republic and it’s massive fleet are destroyed. Watch the movie, dude.
10. For that matter, why is it made to seem like the entire Republic is centered in just one star system?
Let me simplify this so you can understand a little better. There’s this place in The United States called Washington DC…
11. Kylo Ren is the head of the Knights of Ren, but there are no other Knights of Ren in the movie.
Except for the six guys you see in Rey’s vision. Idiot.
12. Captain Phasma is supposed to be a big-deal character in The Force Awakens.
Why? Because she looked awesome? Because she was in the trailer? If you can’t see that this badass bitch is going to be pursuing the shit out of FN-2187 for the next two movies, then you are in dire need of a lesson on ‘set-up’.
Also, I REALLY hate to do this, but I have to. Remember the ‘big deal’ that was Boba Fett? He was the most boring character in the entire Original Trilogy. Not only did he let Darth Vader do all his work for him, he was also little more than a glorified Fed-Ex guy delivering shit to Jabba the Hutt. He’s also the badass that was accidentally killed by a BLIND GUY standing two feet away and yelling his name. Big deal? Not a chance in hell. But none of that negates the fact that we all think he looks cool as fuck on a lunchbox. Next.
13. Really? Was there no previous order Finn had ever refused to execute?
The Jakku raid was his first mission. It’s in his dialogue. “In my first battle I made a choice. I wasn’t going to kill for them”. Prior to that he was standing around the sanitation department wondering when he was going to get his next pee break. What order was he going to refuse on moral grounds in the sanitation department? It’s getting tiresome to keep saying it, but watch the movie.
14. Finn is an ex-janitor who goes AWOL from a Stormtrooper force numbering in the tens of thousands. Yet he is absolutely convinced, despite being someone of no importance whatsoever to the First Order, that he will be chased across the galaxy for having defected.
And breaking a high-value prisoner out of the brig. And stealing a Tie Fighter. And blowing up a few dozen guys. And shooting up the landing bay of a Star Destroyer. Not to mention helping return the droid the First Order is scouring the galaxy for to the Resistance. All things considered, I think he has a pretty good reason to believe what he does. Also, he’s not a janitor. Just thought I’d remind you. Again.
15. Let's be clear: Han's son joins the First Order, and Luke's attempts to train new Jedis goes horribly wrong, and both men respond to these setbacks by, well, abandoning the Resistance to be utterly slaughtered by the First Order.
Aside from this article, have you ever failed horribly? I don’t mean something trivial. I mean something like…I don’t know…being responsible for turning your nephew into a mass murderer. How about being the shitty father that completely failed his mass murderering son? I imagine those type of things could leave a psychological scar or two. To make it worse, that’s just what we currently know. We have no idea of the full scope of what happened to these men yet.
16. By the end of the movie, the impression is left that every single First Order soldier is dead besides Supreme Leader Snoke, General Hux, and Kylo Ren.
It is? Where is Snoke broadcasting his Hologram from? Could there not be more First Order there? Legions of them even? I mean, A New Hope left no impression that there was anyone left after the Death Star took it in the chute but there was most certainly a hell of a lot more of them out there.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the First Order HAS been obliterated along with the Republic. How badass is it that the coming films could be centred on these small groups of individuals as other forces of both good and evil, rise up in the Galaxy? Get your head out of your ass and realize how much this could open up from a storytelling point of view.
17. Why does General Hux need to gather all of his troops just to tell them he's about to press a button and destroy the entire Republic?
Aside from the fact that the answer to this is actually in the question itself, did you not listen to Hux’ speech? The dude announces to his zealot legion that the weapon THEY BUILT TOGETHER is about to fire for the FIRST TIME and wipe out the ENTIRE REPUBLIC. He basically blows everyone there for taking part in this glorious moment. He’s rallying his men around a common cause.
Again, let me simplify this.
You know when you go to your shitty office party and the boss you’ve never spoken to stands up and toasts all the attendees for the great year, then talks about how next year is going to be even better because of all your hard work and then concludes his speech with a shitty slide-show of the company’s accomplishments? It’s that, but with a giant planet-smashing super laser.
18. How pissy is it of Luke to (a) abandon the Resistance, and then (b) leave an obnoxiously coy trail of bread-crumbs to sort of (but not really) help people find him (at some unspecified time)?
We don’t know why Luke abandoned the Resistance. Perhaps his presence would be a danger to them. Remember when he said he was ‘endangering the mission’ to Endor? Same thing. Or maybe he’s a shattered man. Maybe he’s wounded. Maybe he is using the force to allow himself to be found by the right person at the right time. Maybe there’s a whole pile of shit we don’t know yet. There isn’t even a trail of breadcrumbs. There’s a missing piece of map that has clearly been hidden away deliberately. This isn’t a plot hole. If anything it leaves some very compelling questions.
19. Why wasn't the Resistance able to access R2D2's data archives at any point over the course of the many years Luke was gone?
I’m not an expert in droid memory systems, but when the most powerful Jedi in the Galaxy tells his fiercely loyal droid to code and hide something, I’m pretty sure it gets coded, broken up and hidden in places that programmers can’t find. Then again, maybe the Huffington Post dude knows something about droid memory systems that I don’t.
20. When the Resistance finally figures out where Luke is, after looking for him for many years, why do they send only Chewbacca and a random girl who Leia just met to collect him?
Let’s just get this straight for a second. It’s not said aloud in the movie, but it’s pretty obvious that Han, Leia and very probably Luke know exactly who Rey is. There’s a connection there. A mysterious one. One that we are now DYING to uncover. Sometimes when you write a movie, there are things that happen between scenes that never see the page. Was there a message from Luke in R2? Possibly. Had Leia been left with instructions for what to do if Rey ever showed up? Possibly. Again, this is all for the sequels and the eventual reveal of who Rey is.
21. Kylo Ren has such a Force-enabled sense of where his father is in the Galaxy that when his father lands on Starkiller Base, Ren immediately exclaims to himself, "Solo!" Yet a few minutes later, when Ren is just twenty feet from Solo, he can't detect him -- and actually starts searching for him in the wrong direction.
Hold on a second. If you were watching the movie, you’d have seen that Kylo Ren marches into that giant room with eight Stormtroopers, looks around with the force and says, “Find them”. He knows good and goddamn well that Solo is in there and like a good villain, he leads Han onto that bridge to trap him out in the open, alone and defenseless. If you can’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you.
22. How lame is Han's attempt to convert his son?
What? By talking like a dad? By offering him anything he needed, including his life, in one of the most awesome, double-edged scenes of the entire series? Yeah. Pretty lame.
23. Why do Rey and Finn just stand by watching as Ren murders Han?
You mean like the way Luke watched Ben Kenobi get sliced in half from just a few feet away, let alone several hundred? No idea.
24. Rey says that the Millennium Falcon is "garbage" and hasn't been flown in many, many years. Indeed, it's such junk, in her view, that she won't even board it when she's about to be ripped to pieces by twenty Tie Fighters. Then she gets on board and it basically flies perfectly.
First off, it was two TIE Fighters not twenty. But let’s look at this a little more closely. There’s clearly evidence that Han knows who Rey is. There’s also evidence that he knows who Unkar Plutt is. We also know that Rey is left on Jakku in the care of…Unkar Plutt. We also know that Luke knows who she is. From all this we could surmise that at some point in the past there was conspiracy to hide Rey on Jakku that possibly included Han, Leia, Luke and Unkar Plutt. There is a lot more to that ship being there than we know.
If you really want to say that Falcon starts on the first turn of the key and flies perfectly, you must not have been watching when thing crashed and smashed its way into the air, stalled out, had its belly gun lock up, malfunctioned to a point where it was in danger of spewing poison gas or the fact that Rey had to yank parts out of it with alarms blaring all over the place just to keep the hyperdrive from overloading. Yeah. Ran like a champ.
25. Why does Plutt offer Rey 250 times her usual pay for BB-8 and then, when she says "no," simply tell some of his heavies to just steal it?
We don’t know Unkar Plutt’s connection yet. I assure you there is one. A big one. He has likely been given the task to keep her on the planet at all costs, yet make sure she’s able to survive. When he sees her with the droid, he sees the threat and must act. His first move is to give her more food than she has ever had. When that fails, he resorts to sending in the goons. We are not done with Unkar Plutt.
26. Maz Kanata is a friend to the Resistance. So why is she hiding Luke's light saber from them?
We don’t know why she has it. She too may have been instructed to hold onto it. As she puts it, it’s a ‘good question for another time’. Don’t lose your marbles over it quite yet.
27. How did Kylo Ren manage to get Darth Vader's mask into his little fetish den?
It doesn’t matter. I can think of a million ways it fell into his possession, as I’m sure anyone could. The answer will probably end up being in a comic book about some Stormtrooper on Endor. Quit being so picky. Make something up in your head if it’s bothering you that much because it really doesn’t matter.
28. How does Finn find Rey's settlement?
He happened upon it. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going. Watch some westerns. People have been happening upon plot points in the desert since “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.
29. Who trained Rey to fight with a staff as effectively as she does, given that (a) she is an orphan with no friends or family, and (b) she has never been in a battle, but is, rather, merely a scrap-metal scavenger?
Dude. Wander down to the poorest part of whatever town you’re in and pick a fight with a mangy little mutt of a guy. The smaller the better. Once you’re out of the hospital, you’ll realize that people who are forced to survive in the harshest environments don’t train to fight. They learn the hard way and they get really, really good at it.
30. If Finn is such a good guy that he would try to save Rey the moment he saw she was in distress?
Actually, he ran right over to her, but by the time he got there, she had handed the thugs their asses. What movie were you watching? Nice phrasing on the question, by the way.
31. Given that all Poe knows about Finn is that he's a First Order defector, why does he seem happy to see Finn just seconds after (and perhaps as) BB-8 tells him Finn is alive?
I don’t know. Maybe Finn saved his life and completed his mission for him? I’d be sorta stoked to see the guy too.
32. Kylo Ren takes his mask off pretty readily, and in pretty mixed company, for someone determined to wear super uncomfortable headgear perpetually.
He takes it off twice. Once to show Rey he doesn’t need the mask to scare her and once to show his face to his father as he fights against the call to the light. This is the dumbest-fuck comment of all these dumb-fuck comments.
33. Why does Kylo Ren assign just a single Stormtrooper to guard Rey, the most valuable prisoner in the history of the First Order?
I can’t imagine that an eighteen-year-old girl bolted to a chair would need much more than one badass Stormtrooper who, under his armour is built like Daniel Craig, to keep a bead on her. Why is this a plot hole?
34. How do the Rathtars on Han's freighter get loose?
Rey in an attempt to throw some fuses to close the doors between Han and the two gangs, hits the wrong fuse and instead opens the Rathar cages. She even has dialogue about it. WATCH THE FUCKING MOVIE!
35. Why do the Rathtars immediately kill every human they encounter -- except Finn, who is randomly dragged off just long enough to be rescued?
A Rathar dragged off another guy just before Finn was dragged away. I guess you were too busy not watching the movie to notice.
36. Why are all Stormtroopers human?
I only saw FN-2187 out of uniform so I can’t assume that all of them are. I don’t know what version you saw where they all take their helmets off, but I must’ve missed it. If you really want to get into old school Star Wars lore, the Emperor was actually a cosmic racist and only wanted humans in his ranks.
37. If basically everyone in the Galaxy knows the Force is not a myth -- for instance, every single Stormtrooper in the First Order, who has seen Kylo Ren use it or heard tell of him using it; every single person in the Resistance, who knows the Resistance is looking for Luke Skywalker; every single person in the Republic, which was first established in part by the heroism of the Jedis -- how is the existence of the Force a total shock to Rey?
What the fuck are you talking about? The second she hears the name Luke Skywalker she lights up like a Christmas tree. All Han does is confirm that the stories that have trickled down to this completely uneducated girl, who lives alone on a planet inhabited by thirty people, are absolutely true.
38. Is Supreme Leader Snoke actually a giant?
Seriously? Is this really a question? Is this what you asked the first time you saw the thirty foot tall Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back? Let me fill you in on something. There was this little movie called The Wizard of Oz. The great and powerful, thirty-foot-tall Wizard was actually a little tiny man behind a curtain. Do you think that these bad guys might all be drawing from the same archetype? Don’t be so stupid.
39. Why would the First Order spend untold quadrillions of [insert unit of money here] to build the Starkiller Base, when a similar concept and design plan had twice before been destroyed with minimal difficulty by the rebels?
Because they’re arrogant little shits trying to do better than their predecessors. They probably sat around going “You know, that Death Star was a great idea, but man it had some flaws. You know what we should do? Put that giant, fucking gun in a planet that you can’ t blow up with a couple torpedoes.” Expanding upon the ideas of the past. Remember the cold war? When the bombs just kept getting bigger and bigger and we had enough nukes to obliterate the planet a hundred times over? It’s the same thing.
40. Is there any other film franchise in the history of cinema that would be permitted, by its fans and by critics, to recycle so many plot points?
There are most certainly many, many structural familiarities between this film and the films of the original trilogy. I’m not going to argue with that. Quite the contrary actually. This mirroring of Episode IV has been done on purpose. I’d like to offer you an education through one of the most brilliant essays ever written on the structure of Star Wars and the circular imagery inherent in the first six films. The Star Wars Ring Theory.
Last year I spoke to the author of the essay, a helluva gent named Mike Klimo. We discussed ring composition and I asked that if his theory is correct, how should it affect the storyline of Episode 7. His answer, without hesitation, was that Episode 7 would be a direct reflection of Episode 4. And he was absolutely correct. Sadly, it appears that this brilliant, classical writing technique has been dismissed by The Huffington Post’s online reviewer as little more than an old, recycled plot.
As some of you may be able to see, the ‘plot holes’ outlined in the Huffington Post‘s article are not plot holes at all. They’re simply things to which the reviewer willingly turned a blind eye due to the fact that he went in with a prepossessed notion of what he was going to write. His notion was so strong in fact, that he was able to completely overlook clear and obvious parts of the movie in order to back up the ‘facts’ of his dumb-shit, preconceived article.
That’s not journalism. It’s internet horseshit.
We are very close to reaching the end of social media’s usefulness. Anyone with a keyboard can write anything they want with little to no training or skill. More often than not, the articles don’t even need to be true or have any sort of back up research and sadly all it takes is a bold, contrarian statement to convince people who aren’t interested in doing research for themselves that something wildly incorrect is truth. This extends from simple movie reviews to horrifying humanitarian crises. Actual news has become a rare commodity and we are little more than targets for advertising and electoral votes. We are being fed stupid disinformation and tricked into thinking we have knowledge that we don’t actually have.
We have willingly grown stupid.
In the end, I had to look up who the twenty-something, hate-filled, millennial troll who wrote the Huffington Post article actually was. I imagined some smug, little bearded shit with horn-rimmed glasses and that typical douchebag air of millennial entitlement. At least then I could chalk it up to youth. However, what I found made this all the more disturbing. He isn’t a millennial at all.
The forty year old writer, Seth Abramson, is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and a graduate of Harvard Law School. What a shame. I guess when you’re hired to write click-bait articles for horseshit news-sites, your education comes after your pay-check and you do what you’re paid to do.
Nice work Seth.
Wake me up when the war against fun is over.
You can view Matty Granger's original post here. What did you think of the so called plot holes in the movie? Do you agree with Matty's points? Leave us a comment below.