— SPOILERS lie ahead for The Last Jedi —
As tremendously well-made as The Last Jedi is, the latest Star Wars film does feature a few plot holes. Not that they take away from the overall experience in any significant way. For all intents and purposes, The Last Jedi is pretty fantastic. In the eyes of reviewers, anyway. Many critics are actually calling it the franchise’s best entry since The Empire Strikes Back debuted way back in 1980. But while the movie’s box office take reflects the critical consensus, the fans are far more divided.
The Last Jedi is currently sporting the lowest Rotten Tomatoes audience rating in the franchise’s history. (That’s right, even lower than the prequels.) A sizable chunk of the fanbase doesn’t just dislike the film — they outright hate it. A fan petition to have Rian Johnson’s film stricken from Star Wars canon has even popped up. Many of TLJ’s detractors were quick to point to the number of plot holes they felt it contained. As we attempted to pick through the film in search of those supposed plot holes, however, we found that many of the most talked about controversies weren’t all they were cracked up to be.
For instance, more than a few fans pointed to the bombing in the film’s opening battle as a plot hole. How can that happen without gravity? This was actually explained in Pablo Hidalgo’s The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, which you can check out here. (Also, there is gravity in space. Just, you know, not that much.) Other folks couldn’t understand how Kylo didn’t realize that he was facing a Force projection of Luke in their final act showdown. Well, Force senses aren’t always crystal clear (see: the demise of Snoke). Also, Kylo Ren was as caught up in the heat of the moment as the rest of us. How many fans honestly picked up on the fact that Luke wasn’t leaving behind footprints? Still others weren’t thrilled about the First Order’s sudden ability to track in hyperspace. (We’ll just leave this right here.) In short, many of the film’s perceived plot holes are either explainable or not actually plot holes at all. The few we came up with are certainly up for debate, so feel free to take to the comments and argue for or against our take on The Last Jedi’s 5 Biggest Plot Holes.
5. That damn map
Kicking things off is a bothersome storytelling device that actually originated in The Force Awakens. Simply put, the map that ultimately leads Rey to find Luke Skywalker shouldn’t exist.
So why does this plot hole fall on The Last Jedi? Because the only rational explanation for the map’s existence (Luke left it behind in case of an emergency) is disproven in TLJ. There’s no explanation for its existence in the previous film, and any hope that Luke created it himself is slowly but surely buried by the Jedi Master’s own words on Ahch-To. “How did you find me?” “You think that I came to the most unfindable place in the galaxy for no reason at all?” “I came to this island to die.”
This really doesn’t sound like a guy that left a map behind so that he could be found one day. And with that, the new trilogy’s biggest head-scratcher is solidified as an inexplicable plot device.
4. How is this a need-to-know situation?
Admittedly, this one toes the line between a poor character decision and an outright plot hole. We’re talking of course about Admiral Holdo’s decision to keep Poe Dameron in the dark regarding her plan to escape the First Order fleet.
Right out of the gate, Holdo, who’s taken over for the incapacitated Leia, is unimpressed by Poe. (She’s just witnessed his in-battle decision that ultimately decimated the Rebel fleet, so he’s not exactly on a hot streak.) Holdo is dismissive of Poe’s efforts to involve himself in her plans, believing him to be too impulsive to be of any real use. Perhaps she was worried about the plan being leaked to the First Order. Maybe she really didn’t trust Poe. Perhaps she simply didn’t feel like dealing with him when he inevitably disagreed with her. Regardless of her rationale, she elects to play things close to the vest, believing this to be a need-to-know gameplan.
Except he did need to know. After the bridge explosion that killed Admiral Ackbar (RIP) and nearly took out Leia, the Resistance is short on leadership. Poe is a Rebel hero, not to mention the fact that he’s far and away their best pilot. It would probably be wise to get him prepped to fly some folks to safety. Instead, Holdo chooses to leave him out of the loop, so Poe sets in motion a plan that ends up getting hundreds more Rebels killed. Whoops.
Again, some may simply view this as flawed character decision making. Looking at the big picture, however, it really just seems like an excuse to get Finn and Rose back into the mix.
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