I just caught the end of the first Star Wars movie( dubbed A New Hope) on Spike TV. I’ve never liked that title. When I originally saw the film in theaters, It was Star Wars. No episode IV. No A New Hope.

The point of this post is that I noticed a giant plot hole for the first time. Understand, I’ve seen this movie God knows how many times. I never caught this hole in the plot(big enough to drove a Mack truck through as the old saying goes) before My only excuse is it has been a number of years since I last saw this film and, though I have seen it a lot, I WAS much younger then.

The plot hole is this. In the climatic sequence, the rebel fighters are attacking the Death Star, desperately trying to destroy it before the rebel base was in range of the “super” weapon. During this sequence, the movie cuts back and forth between the space battle and scene on the Death Star bridge, where a computer voice intones, “Eight minutes until rebel base is in range, five  minutes until in range, three minutes,”etc, etc.

My question now is what was the command staff waiting for? Once it was declared they were in range, they were ordered to fire when ready. Just in the nick of time, Luke delivered the killing blow, destroying the Death Star, and saving the day.

But…. This super weapon had destroyed Leia’s home planet, Alderaan, earlier in the movie. They were in range as soon as they fell in orbit. Destroy the planet, destroy the rebel base and kill off Leia and all the leaders of the Alliance. Rebellion over.

Of course that would have screwed up the drama of the climactic battle scene. I don’t know how I missed it all the other times I have seen this movie. No excuses. And I probably missed discussions of this somewhere down the line, but I don’t remember ever hearing a hue and cry about this “giant” hole in the plot.

Go ahead, call me an old stick in the mud. Jut shut up and enjoy the movie.