#3. Tarkin Parks The Death Star, Waits to Shoot The Moon
Meanwhile, when the Empire does arrive to bring the hammer down on the Rebellion, Tarkin stops the Death Star on the other side of Yavin, the gas planet the Rebel moon is orbiting. There he waits for the moon itself to pop into view.
It's like interstellar whack-a-mole with a huge, population-melting laser, and it gives the rebellion time to mount their counter-attack.Why It Was a Bad Call:
First, we already know the Death Star is perfectly capable of destroying a planet. That's all it does. Second, if you're trying to destroy a moon, you know what's really effective? Blasting the tits off of the planet that it orbits, which will send it careening off into space like Gary Busey on a motorcycle. So why wait?
Anybody not killed by flaming debris from the planet-slaughtering explosion will quickly freeze to death or suffocate in the sudden lack of atmosphere, and any ships that manage to escape would be vaporized by the Death Star. This is a fantastic plan and it would've brought the house down like Whitesnake.
Seeing as how no one in the Star Wars universe ever succumbs to making sense, Tarkin instead elects to throw the parking brake on the Death Star and just wait for the moon to come to him, which would've been a good idea if A) the Rebels didn't already know he was coming, and B) space was a jungle and the Death Star was Rambo.
This decision ultimately results in his death, the destruction of the Death Star and a massive Imperial Job Fair due to the sudden loss of about 500,000 employees.
"We feel it's only fair to tell you that you may be exploded by lasers."
#2. The Empire Outsources Their Most Important Project to the Worst Location Possible
After not even putting so much as a pair of mittens on the first Death Star, the Empire makes the perfectly reasonable decision to encase the new model in a formidable defensive shield, the power core of which is nestled in a wooded glen many thousands of miles away, for absolutely no reason.Why It Was a Bad Call:
OK, we get that this was presumably a temporary measure while the Death Star was under construction. But one would think getting the on-board shields running would be higher on the "to do" list, since the whole operation is vulnerable without them. Couldn't one of the Death Star's barbershops or a newsstands have been delayed until this was taken care of, especially when the whole grand plan involved tricking the rebels into attacking.
Instead the crucial shield generator is stashed behind one locked door on a moon full of hostile natives, inside a small building that seems like it could have been pretty easily bombed from orbit by the rebels (and the shield generator's shields didn't protect the generator itself, obviously).
It didn't help that to support the absolutely vital shield generator protecting their superweapon, the Empire decides against building anything that resembles, say, infrastructure or a road, instead asking their crack troops to weave through a maze of redwoods at 200 miles per hour on the backs of oversized divining rods. It's like outfitting loggers in the Pacific Northwest with Kawasaki Ninjas.
#1. The Empire Doesn't Fire on an Escape Pod That Might Have Death Star Plans Inside
It's one of the first scenes most of us ever saw in the franchise, and boy does it set the tone for all the bad decisions to come.
Seeing as how he chases down the Blockade Runner and dispatches a violent boarding party to commandeer the ship for the Empire, Darth Vader seems pretty fucking confident that the stolen Death Star plans are somewhere inside. He even forgoes his normal practice of choking people with his mind to choke a dude for real.
"Yeah, I've been working out, no big deal."
When an escape pod is launched from the ship and goes rocketing past Vader's Star Destroyer (a pod we know contains C-3PO and R2-D2), the Commander on board lets it slide because there aren't any life forms on board.Why It Was a Bad Call:
Stolen parcels of data do not register as life forms.
Forget about the droids for a moment; assuming Vader has seen at least one episode of Miami Vice, you would think he'd be aware that the first thing people do during a raid is dump the evidence, be it flushing cocaine down a toilet or tossing sensitive information into an escape pod and kicking it the fuck into space (knowing it could be recovered later when it crash lands on the planet below).
OK, so maybe the Empire figured if that was the plan, at worst they could go down and retrieve the files themselves from the pod. But then we have the droid problem.
The shiny, gay problem
Saying the pod has no life forms is an utterly meaningless statement in a universe where sentient droids are as common as cell phones are on Earth. It'd be like declaring that a criminal couldn't possibly contact his accomplice because you didn't see him put any letters in his mailbox.
So why were there not standing orders to obliterate or intercept anything that launched out of the captured ship? Hell, with the technology they had in that galaxy, the pod itself could have been programmed with a thinking brain, with its own agenda to transport the plans and fuck the Empire.
This baffling error in judgment brings the two droids to Luke, who takes them to Obi-Wan, who teaches Luke to be a Jedi and leads him to Yoda, who trains Luke to be a master, which gives him the power to defeat Darth Vader and bring him back to the Light Side of the Force, which leads to the death of the Emperor and the fall of the Empire.
Hopefully somebody lost their job over that one.
For more baffling decisions, check tou The 5 Most Needlessly Complex Terror Plots in Film History.
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