The Death Star Architect Explains Why the Exhaust Port Makes Absolute Sense

October 28, 2016 – Following the failed Bay of Pigs (Cuba) invasion, President John F. Kennedy told a reporter: “Victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.”

Some say this popular saying can be traced back to Italian diplomat Count Galezzo Ciano (Mussolini’s son-in-law), who may have in turn been quoting a local proverb when he said: “La victoria trova cento padri, a nessuno vuole riconoscere l’insuccesso.” (Translation: “Victory has 100 fathers. No one wants to recognize failure.”)

Others trace the popular expression to Tacitus, a senator and historian of the ancient Roman Empire. In 98 CE/AD he reportedly said, “Inquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi indicant, aduersa uni imputantur.” (Rough translation: “This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.”)

And so it has been with the first Death Star. Ever since Luke Skywalker obliterated the ultimate fighting machine, numerous critics have complained that the Death Star’s architect(s) should have known better. Why was the exhaust port so vulnerable to a seemingly foreseeable attack?

Thankfully, YouTube creator Dorkly has come up with an amusing and thought-provoking rebuttal to the naysayers. See if you don’t agree:

This might also be a good time to point out the misuse of the expression “plot hole”. How many times have you read a comment where the critic complains that a hard-to-believe occurrence (such as the Death Star’s explosion) is a “plot hole”?

A plot hole (also spelled “plothole”) or plot error is defined as “a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.” (Wikipedia)

What the critic seems to be saying is that he finds the development of the story, at certain points, to be unbelievable. Or that the climax (Death Star explosion) or plot resolution (almost all the main characters survive and go on to celebrate) are too convenient and not believable.

But that is the nature of fiction, isn’t it? It’s all make-believe. The writer has created a fictional story in a magical universe. And even though the critic may disagree with certain points of the story because that’s not how he or she would write it, the so-called flaws are not logical inconsistencies or “plot holes”.

The fact that an orphan from a desert planet with limited training in the ways of the Force can defeat a far superior adversary (we’re looking at you, Luke and Rey) is not a plot hole. The odds may seem impossible, and the plot resolution a bit contrived and rushed, but they are not plot holes.

We willingly enter the Star Wars universe because we want to be entertained. We want to suspend our beliefs and seek an escape from the every-day rationalities of our vanilla lives.

So forget about the thermal exhaust port, the laws of physics and probabilities, and simply enjoy the ride.


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