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KungFuFerret

SPOILERS: Rogue One didn't "Fix a plot hole", there was no plot hole to fix

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So yeah, spoilers about Rogue One.   You've been warned.

 

 

Ok so, I was listening to the O66 Podcast about R1 recently, and it dawned on me, after they talked about how it was a brilliant move by R1 to "fix a glaring plothole that fans have been bitching about for decades". 

 

At first I was like "yeah, that's right, it does tidy that up"  and then I actually thought about it.

 

"No, there is no freaking plot hole.  People build massive things that they think are perfect, and later find they've got a massive design flaw in them, that they only learn about after the thing sinks or blows up."

 

Remember the Titanic anyone?  The Unsinkable Ship?  Spoilers but, it sunk on it's first voyage.  Sunk in such a spectacular way too, and they didn't bother with enough ships for all the crew, so massive deaths.  Oops, yeah...probably should've considered that a bit more in the design stage.

 

The Hindenburg.  Hey yeah!  Let's make a massive blimp and fill it with a highly volatile and flammable gas!  I'm sure NOTHING could go wrong that might cause the entire thing to.....burst into flames, killing everyone on board in a horrific inferno, caught on film for the world to see...a testament to bad design....oops.

 

 

Hey yeah!  This Death Star is the "Ultimate Power in the Galaxy!", there is no way that we need to worry about something as petty as an exhaust port, that might be vulnerable to a snub fighter!  Like that will ever happen!   Oops.

 

 

I dunno I just, seems like a pretty typical, and familiar pattern in human design if you ask me.  

 

As to Return of the Jedi, well, the thing wasn't completed.   The external shell was clearly unfinished, allowing plenty of avenues of entry.  The Emperor didn't care about that, he just made sure the guns were working properly, the rest of it?  Pssh, who cares?!  My plan is fool proof!  They will walk into my trap!  Everything is as I have foreseen it!  Hahahahaahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......You think anyone was going to second guess the Emperor?  With Vader there?  Heck no!   They were like "Oh my god please don't kill me for passing gas in a way that upset you!  Just build the thing like they said!  I don't care about design flaws!  Do you have ANY idea what the officer attrition rate is in this military?!?!   Well I DO!!  And I'm not going to get choked out via vid screen by telling Vader what your concerns are!  Just do what they say or I'll shoot you myself!   :D

 

 

So yeah, there is no plothole that needed patching, fans are just too anal and nitpicky about everything, and had nothing better to do for 30 years than to try and pick apart every frame of those films and try and find flaws.

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I never viewed the issue from the perspective that there couldn't be a design flaw on a planet sized spaceship. I viewed it more from if the Rebels could go over the plans for a fairly brief amount of time and find such a critical failure, why didn't the Empire find it in years of construction and testing?  Someone monekying with the plans and installing/hiding the flaw makes more sense.

Edited by 2P51

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The Hindenburg.  Hey yeah!  Let's make a massive blimp and fill it with a highly volatile and flammable gas!  I'm sure NOTHING could go wrong that might cause the entire thing to.....burst into flames, killing everyone on board in a horrific inferno, caught on film for the world to see...a testament to bad design....oops.

Side-track here, but the real problem with the Hindenburg wasn’t the Hydrogen gas — that was pretty well contained. The real problem was the Aluminized skin, which turned out to be very flammable. That skin done that way would have been deadly, even if they had been using Helium instead of Hydrogen.

In later years, they created a pyrophoric device called a “Therm-IT grenade” that used a formulation that was not too far from the Aluminized substance that they painted the Hindenburg with. Such a Therm-IT grenade can still be found today in military arsenals, and can burn through pretty much anything, including several feet of concrete.

So, yeah — if you basically paint a huge gas bag with components similar to those you might use in solid rocket fuel or an incendiary device, then you can expect to have bad things when the skin of that gas bag gets lit on fire.

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Nerd note™: Thermite saw its first commercial use in the late 1890s, about 40 years before the Hindenburg incident. The paint fuel theory has some merit, but fails when compared to news reel evidence that shows the fire starting on the inside of the zeppelin. While the paint has similar ingredients to thermite, the evidence still points to the hydrogen fuel source.

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Yes, the fire did start inside, however, the hydrogen was contained inside several separate gas bladders/ ballons/ cells.  Hydrogen combusts very, very rapidly and quickly turns into its 2 byproducts CO2 and water vapor, neither of which is combustible for the fire to continue, it needs some sort of fuel.  In this case, the fireball caught the doped fabric on fire, which burned much hotter and longer than the gas alone would.  The fire, caught additional bags on fire and so on.

 

This is a very similar situation to the WTC on 9/11 where the jet fuel caused the beams to fail.

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Nerd note™: Thermite saw its first commercial use in the late 1890s, about 40 years before the Hindenburg incident. The paint fuel theory has some merit, but fails when compared to news reel evidence that shows the fire starting on the inside of the zeppelin. While the paint has similar ingredients to thermite, the evidence still points to the hydrogen fuel source.

When Mythbusters did the Hindenburg, they found that they needed both to get something similar to the footage of the Hindenburg. Neither the highly flammable paint alone or the Hydrogen alone gave quite the same effect.

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The Empire in it's arrogance believes it's own propaganda - 'Leave? In our moment of triumph. I think you over estimate their chances!' That's why the rebellion always (usually?) achieved it's aims.

 

Who cares about plot holes? TBH you watch Vader at the end of R1 and I was thinking 'That's how Vader should have entered the Tantitve IV'  but,,, it was 1977 and ANH is Lucas' baby.. so that's the end result... sorry the Digital messed around/f***ed up edition (95 or 97?) is the end baby complete with Greedo missing at point blank range (rolled a Despair :lol: )

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When people turn films into portals to another universe, they're going to judge them in unfair ways.

This particular "complaint" is more of a cynical one-liner you'd hear from a comedian or even one of the cast members in a jaded moment.

As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

I dunno. Some "fans" can get a liiiittle too deterministic.

Edited by wilsch

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As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

 

Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

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When people turn films into portals to another universe, they're going to judge them in unfair ways.

This particular "complaint" is more of a cynical one-liner you'd hear from a comedian or even one of the cast members in a jaded moment.

As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

I dunno. Some "fans" can get a liiiittle too deterministic.

 

We also don't know how long the rebels had the plans. What's the hyperdrive rating on the Death Star, vs that of the Falcon? Rebel techs were specifically looking for a weakness, any little. tiny. thing. they could exploit.

 

The Empire tends to be arrogant, and maybe they saw the possibility of the exhaust port being a weakness but dismissed it. "Impossible shot", massive amounts of defenses, (likely) thousands or tens of thousands of TIE fighters, "What good are fighters going to be against THIS", that kind of thing.

 

Little engineering problems, deficiencies, etc, get overlooked far too often. Even without arrogance on the part of the designers or users.

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When people turn films into portals to another universe, they're going to judge them in unfair ways.

This particular "complaint" is more of a cynical one-liner you'd hear from a comedian or even one of the cast members in a jaded moment.

As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

I dunno. Some "fans" can get a liiiittle too deterministic.

 

We also don't know how long the rebels had the plans. What's the hyperdrive rating on the Death Star, vs that of the Falcon? Rebel techs were specifically looking for a weakness, any little. tiny. thing. they could exploit.

 

The Empire tends to be arrogant, and maybe they saw the possibility of the exhaust port being a weakness but dismissed it. "Impossible shot", massive amounts of defenses, (likely) thousands or tens of thousands of TIE fighters, "What good are fighters going to be against THIS", that kind of thing.

 

Little engineering problems, deficiencies, etc, get overlooked far too often. Even without arrogance on the part of the designers or users.

 

Agreed. General Dodonna clearly says that the Empire didn't consider starfighters a threat, given how they set up their defenses. It's also possible that since TIEs don't have proton torpedoes the Empire underestimated the danger of a little starfighter, worrying only about the laser cannons shots, which were coutnered by the armoring. 

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The Hindenburg.  Hey yeah!  Let's make a massive blimp and fill it with a highly volatile and flammable gas!  I'm sure NOTHING could go wrong that might cause the entire thing to.....burst into flames, killing everyone on board in a horrific inferno, caught on film for the world to see...a testament to bad design....oops.

Side-track here, but the real problem with the Hindenburg wasn’t the Hydrogen gas — that was pretty well contained. The real problem was the Aluminized skin, which turned out to be very flammable. That skin done that way would have been deadly, even if they had been using Helium instead of Hydrogen.

In later years, they created a pyrophoric device called a “Therm-IT grenade” that used a formulation that was not too far from the Aluminized substance that they painted the Hindenburg with. Such a Therm-IT grenade can still be found today in military arsenals, and can burn through pretty much anything, including several feet of concrete.

So, yeah — if you basically paint a huge gas bag with components similar to those you might use in solid rocket fuel or an incendiary device, then you can expect to have bad things when the skin of that gas bag gets lit on fire.

 

 

My point still stands, that it was a major, catastrophic design flaw, that nobody considered until after the thing went ***'s up.  :P   

 

 

 

 

 

When people turn films into portals to another universe, they're going to judge them in unfair ways.

This particular "complaint" is more of a cynical one-liner you'd hear from a comedian or even one of the cast members in a jaded moment.

As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

I dunno. Some "fans" can get a liiiittle too deterministic.

 

We also don't know how long the rebels had the plans. What's the hyperdrive rating on the Death Star, vs that of the Falcon? Rebel techs were specifically looking for a weakness, any little. tiny. thing. they could exploit.

 

The Empire tends to be arrogant, and maybe they saw the possibility of the exhaust port being a weakness but dismissed it. "Impossible shot", massive amounts of defenses, (likely) thousands or tens of thousands of TIE fighters, "What good are fighters going to be against THIS", that kind of thing.

 

Little engineering problems, deficiencies, etc, get overlooked far too often. Even without arrogance on the part of the designers or users.

 

Agreed. General Dodonna clearly says that the Empire didn't consider starfighters a threat, given how they set up their defenses. It's also possible that since TIEs don't have proton torpedoes the Empire underestimated the danger of a little starfighter, worrying only about the laser cannons shots, which were coutnered by the armoring. 

 

 

Oh yes, the Empire is DEFINITELY arrogant.  Remember in New Hope, when that officer went up to Tarkin, and said flat out "We've analyzed their attack strategy sir, and there IS a danger, shall I have your ship standing by?"    And Tarkin basically just scoffs at the idea that they might be a threat.  "Evacuate?!  At our moment of TRIUMPH!?  I think you overestimate their chances!"   So it's not like they didn't spot the problem once it was brought to their attention, but the brass just didn't give a crap and told them that the power of their egos would see them to victory!  :D

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As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

 

Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

 

 

They had the plans for the Titanic for a long time too, and nobody spotted it.  Because of several things.  

 

1. Nobody was likely looking for exactly that problem.

2. They were looking for that type of problem, but just didn't see that one amidst a plethora of other problems they spotted and had fixed.

3. The plans had been sitting there, unobserved for a long time, because the station was done, nobody needed to look at the design specs anymore, because the thing was complete.  

 

And it's not like every single worker on the Death Star would have been looking at the plans every day of construction.  Given how real world construction teams generally work, where a handful of people will consult the schematics, and then pass that information down to their underlings to do specific tasks.  They don't see the whole thing, they are just doing their one part.  So if the handful of people who were looking at the plans, never spotted the problem, or just never thought it would be one, considering the incredibly unlikely scenario of a single pilot fighter, making it through all of the other defenses, and firing a 1-million shot down a tube, they just didn't bother trying to fix it.  It would delay construction, hike up costs, possibly alter other parts of the construction that had already been done, etc.   Or the guy just didn't feel like messing with it, and incompetency and apathy won the day for the Rebellion.  It's not like that isn't a common thing in armed forces.

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It's never been a plot hole in my eyes either, very implausible, bot not a plot hole.  A plot hole is when there is no explanation for something.  Having Jyn's father install and hide the flaw adds to the lore well I think and makes the notion of single piece of fighter ordinance being able to destroy a moon sized spacecraft more plausible I think.

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Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

Haha, no -- that's the "complaint."

 

I don't think you've established a clear distinction.

 

It isnt a plot hole when it happens repeatedly in real life. Like say the Titanic, the Challenger, the Columbia, the 747 and DC-10, the 737, the 767, and the Ford Pinto. Those are all just engineering failures that I can think of off the top of my head, and all but the 767 killed people. In several of those cases the failure was well known but still the people involved werent going to 'evacuate in their moment of triumph'. Blindness to the errors in your own assumptions kills people frequently. So, not a plot hole

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Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

Haha, no -- that's the "complaint."

I don't think you've established a clear distinction.

It isnt a plot hole when it happens repeatedly in real life. Like say the Titanic, the Challenger, the Columbia, the 747 and DC-10, the 737, the 767, and the Ford Pinto. Those are all just engineering failures that I can think of off the top of my head, and all but the 767 killed people. In several of those cases the failure was well known but still the people involved werent going to 'evacuate in their moment of triumph'. Blindness to the errors in your own assumptions kills people frequently. So, not a plot hole

To be fair, when it happens in real life, we spend decades studying it to figure out how it happened. And we make movies about it. Some of those movies go so far as to romanticize those events.

Rogue One certainly fits this tradition. Here we are, 40 years later, presenting a movie about a disaster's root cause and, at least as far as I can tell, there were definitely some burgeoning romantic feelings developing between Jyn and Cassian.

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As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

 

Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

Whose to say that the general rank and file that designed and built the thing didn't discover the weak point?

 

Given the Empire is all about "the means justify the ends!" and being extremely focused on the end goal, it's not surprising that something of that scale could have a major weakness simply be 'buried' in documentation so that the higher-ups remained completely unaware of it.  Sadly, that exact sort of thing happens all the time in both the private and military sector, with critical flaws 'hidden away' so that the client has no idea what they've acquired has such flaws.  Given that failure in the Empire tends to have lethal repercussions, I wouldn't be surprised if some middle management datapad-pusher had simply buried the details about the thermal exhaust port weakness in order to save his own neck.  Or that it was figured there'd be TIE fighters running regular patrols that if someone did try to exploit that weakness, said TIEs would intercept them.  After all, Vader nearly accomplished just that with his own personal squadron; imagine how things might have turned out had the orders gone out to scramble multiple TIE squadrons to deal with the Rebel fighters.

 

With something the size of a moon, and being the Empire's crown jewel of its "rule by fear" approach, as well as a general disdain for the rag-tag Rebellion (Tarkin's response of "you overestimate their chances!" anyone?), it'd be more unbelievable if the Death Star didn't have any sort of design flaws.  That and General Dodanna's own remark of how the Empire didn't consider snub-fighters to be much of a threat.

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I like to pretend that the exhaust port not actually pushing out gas was another tweak that Erso added. It being supplemented with false readings on diagnostics. How did the rebellion pick up on that? Not sure. Maybe Erso installed a scanner in the port hole that, upon detecting foreign objects, stops expelling gas.

 

shrug, I don't care.

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As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

 

Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

 

 

They had the plans for the Titanic for a long time too, and nobody spotted it.  Because of several things.  

 

1. Nobody was likely looking for exactly that problem.

2. They were looking for that type of problem, but just didn't see that one amidst a plethora of other problems they spotted and had fixed.

3. The plans had been sitting there, unobserved for a long time, because the station was done, nobody needed to look at the design specs anymore, because the thing was complete.  

 

And it's not like every single worker on the Death Star would have been looking at the plans every day of construction.  Given how real world construction teams generally work, where a handful of people will consult the schematics, and then pass that information down to their underlings to do specific tasks.  They don't see the whole thing, they are just doing their one part.  So if the handful of people who were looking at the plans, never spotted the problem, or just never thought it would be one, considering the incredibly unlikely scenario of a single pilot fighter, making it through all of the other defenses, and firing a 1-million shot down a tube, they just didn't bother trying to fix it.  It would delay construction, hike up costs, possibly alter other parts of the construction that had already been done, etc.   Or the guy just didn't feel like messing with it, and incompetency and apathy won the day for the Rebellion.  It's not like that isn't a common thing in armed forces.

 

 

The Titanic had 2 problems

1. Bad quality steel that was brittle in a cold environment,

2. Not enough lifeboats.

 

The Titanic was actually well designed its just the steel which was really poor quality shattered in the temperatures of the cold water when they hit the ice burg ripping along the side. The lack of life boats was all on the company. (Even still a lot more people could have been saved if not for the panic.)

 

Erso didn't create the exhaust port. He just made it so that the reactor would explode if something hit it creating a chain reaction that would destroy the death star. Basically he turned it into a giant bomb just waiting for someone to ignite it. He probably did help with the nonexistent fighter defenses which made sense as the thing is moon sized armored battle station even proton torpedoes wouldn't inflict damage on it. The exhaust port should have been designed to channel the reactor's heat and energy to keep the station from exploding if the reactor went critical it should have quite a few of them all over the station each one a direct path to the reactor.

Edited by Decorus

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The Titanic had more problems than just two.

The ship had been built in compartments, so that if one compartment was breeched, the ship could remain floating. But the compartments had no “roof” to them, and they didn’t design the ship to be able to handle as many breeched compartments as were caused. When the water overflowed one breeched compartment, it could just flow right into the next compartment, even if it wasn’t already breeched.

The class system also played a heavy role, in that the lifeboats were really meant just for the first class passengers, and if anyone else managed to get in, then they got lucky.

When the lifeboats were being launched, many could not be lowered because of the angle that the ship was listing. Many that were launched were damaged or destroyed due to being crushed up against the ship as it was heaving and rolling.

IIRC, they didn’t have enough life vests for everyone.

Of course, the water was deathly cold.

Lots of SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) lessons were learned from the Titanic. I’ve been on several cruises, and each time they go through the full SOLAS drill.

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As for the plot device, it made sense pre-Erso. If someone gets technical specs of anything, let alone something as complex as a moon-sized installation, they'll find a weak point.

 

Yet the Empire had those plans for much longer and never found that weak point... That's the hole.

 

 

They had the plans for the Titanic for a long time too, and nobody spotted it.  Because of several things.  

 

1. Nobody was likely looking for exactly that problem.

2. They were looking for that type of problem, but just didn't see that one amidst a plethora of other problems they spotted and had fixed.

3. The plans had been sitting there, unobserved for a long time, because the station was done, nobody needed to look at the design specs anymore, because the thing was complete.  

 

And it's not like every single worker on the Death Star would have been looking at the plans every day of construction.  Given how real world construction teams generally work, where a handful of people will consult the schematics, and then pass that information down to their underlings to do specific tasks.  They don't see the whole thing, they are just doing their one part.  So if the handful of people who were looking at the plans, never spotted the problem, or just never thought it would be one, considering the incredibly unlikely scenario of a single pilot fighter, making it through all of the other defenses, and firing a 1-million shot down a tube, they just didn't bother trying to fix it.  It would delay construction, hike up costs, possibly alter other parts of the construction that had already been done, etc.   Or the guy just didn't feel like messing with it, and incompetency and apathy won the day for the Rebellion.  It's not like that isn't a common thing in armed forces.

 

 

The Titanic had 2 problems

1. Bad quality steel that was brittle in a cold environment,

2. Not enough lifeboats.

 

The Titanic was actually well designed its just the steel which was really poor quality shattered in the temperatures of the cold water when they hit the ice burg ripping along the side. The lack of life boats was all on the company. (Even still a lot more people could have been saved if not for the panic.)

 

Erso didn't create the exhaust port. He just made it so that the reactor would explode if something hit it creating a chain reaction that would destroy the death star. Basically he turned it into a giant bomb just waiting for someone to ignite it. He probably did help with the nonexistent fighter defenses which made sense as the thing is moon sized armored battle station even proton torpedoes wouldn't inflict damage on it. The exhaust port should have been designed to channel the reactor's heat and energy to keep the station from exploding if the reactor went critical it should have quite a few of them all over the station each one a direct path to the reactor.

 

And it hit a piece of ice that displaced a million tons of seawater....

 

Pretty sure if the Death Star ran into another planet it would herald its 'death'...

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