PSA: Please stop calling things “plot holes” when they’re f@#$%ing not.

the-last-jedi-landscape-poster

Hi. I liked The Last Jedi.

If you did not like The Last Jedi, that’s cool. It’s got its issues. There’s issues with pacing and scenes that don’t need as much screentime, and I’m undecided about the character of Rose and that, uh, thing she does to Finn which made him angry. I’m not gonna stand here and tell you it’s a flawless movie impervious to any and all criticism.

But it’s impervious to some of the criticisms lobbed at it.

 

There are legitimate arguments to be made about the failures of The Last Jedi, and then there is the pseudo-intellectual nonsense encouraged by profesional nitpicks like Cinemasins and the Plinkett reviews. These lines of thinking make no logical sense as criticism, and those who believe them often attempt to intellectualize the nonsense by ascribing what they see as a fancy literary term: Plot hole.

A number of “plot holes” I have seen people claim The Last Jedi has include:

Why didn’t the Resistance or First Order think of kamikaze attacks before?

Poe’s rogue mission failed so it had no purpose in the plot!

Bombs wouldn’t fall out of ships because there’s no gravity in space!

How did the codebreaker know the shuttles were fleeing to Crait?

How did Poe figure out how to kill a Dreadnought?

A plot hole, as defined by TV Tropes is this:

Plot Holes are those gaps in a story where things happen without a logical reason.

And the different kinds of plot holes are:

  • Characters suddenly having knowledge that was never passed to them, or vice versa; characters not knowing something they knew last week, or something that anyone in their position must know.
  • An event does not logically follow from what has gone before.
  • An event occurring that other events in the work simply do not allow.

So plot holes are a problem in the internal logic of the story.

Physics/science inconsistencies are not plot holes. Or else Alderaan exploding with sound despite no sound existing in space is a plot hole.

A hanging plot thread is not a plot hole. Regardless, Poe’s rogue mission failing is critical to the story The Last Jedi is telling. It’s not a hanging thread as people seem to think, it’s the whole point of the movie that Poe fails.

Holdo ramming her ship into Snoke’s is the logical conclusion to her arc given the situation she was in. The internal logic of the story flows perfectly. Asking why no one did it before is as unproductive as asking why no one thought to trip an AT-AT before Hoth.

After I saw the movie, I thought the Codebreaker knowing the shuttles had escaped to Crait was a plot hole. It fulfills the first bullet point, with the “hole” in the story’s logic being that he had no way of knowing that plan was happening. J.A. Prentice then reminded me that the codebreaker heard the conversation between Finn and Poe where Poe relayed Holdo’s escape plan, and that’s how he figured it out.

Poe knowing how to kill a Dreadnought may seem to fall under that first bullet point, but it was never established that he did not know. On the contrary, it’s safe to say a veteran pilot and Resistance soldier would know the weaknesses and strengths of the opponent’s fleet. Again, plot holes are about the story’s internal logic. Fighter pilot + war veteran probably equals knowledge on the enemy’s biggest ships. I mean, how the hell did the Rebels in IV get the plans to the Death Star? That was never explained! Plot hole! Plot hole! Give us a god-awful snoozefest movie to explain, we’re too dumb to understand!

 

 

 

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