A Major Plot Hole Became a 'Star Wars' Conspiracy Theory
We all know that the Star Wars saga is full of technical plot holes, from the way that sound exists in the vacuum of space to how Han Solo's face was way different for a few years in his early 20s. One relatively well-known attempt by science to derail our enjoyment of Luke Skywalker's adventures is the so-called "Endor Holocaust" theory, which posits that the Ewoks' victory party following the defeat of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi would realistically be somewhat marred by flaming chunks of debris falling from the sky.
The science on this reportedly checks out. According to physicists, the destruction of the Death Star would have sent giant hunks of metal careening through space "six times quicker than humanity's fastest spacecraft," eventually hitting the forest moon and killing the Ewoks in the ensuing "global firestorm."
Of course, ending the movie with a tribe of Teddy Ruxpins burning to death was never an option, but weirdly, the expanded Star Wars universe has adopted these physicists' concerns into the mythos as … a crazy conspiracy theory. Yeah, this completely legitimate observation basically became an act of political propaganda in that galaxy far, far away. In the novel X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble, everyone's second-favorite pilot tours an Imperial museum on Coruscant and discovers a taxidermied Ewok. Not only did the Empire imply that the Rebels' Death Star attack caused their extinction, the evil museum curators took "great pains to make them seem helpless and even more cute than they were in real life."
And in the Star Wars Tales anthology comic series, the story "Apocalypse Endor" features a retired Stormtrooper who tells a bunch of barflies that "thirty billion tons of metal" crashed onto the surface, turning Endor into a hellscape -- a claim that is immediately disputed.
While all of these stories were eventually booted from the Star Wars canon, in 2016, the folks at Lucasfilm addressed the issue on Twitter, explaining that the Rebels simply used "shields and tractor beams" to prevent an "armageddon on Endor."
And if you can't trust a corporate social media post about a more than three-decade-old movie, what can you trust?
Top Image: Dark Horse Comics