Has anyone looked into the way luck helps the good guys in Star Wars?

Original Poster
Joined: Mar 2004
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In Star Wars (1977), here are some examples of good luck-

-R2 and C3PO (and the plans) make it down to the desert planet using the escape pod only because a soldier on the enemy ship decides NOT to fire on the pod- "eh, no life forms on board, let it go."

-When Owen goes to buy droids from the Jawa, the first one he picks is not R2. But luckily the droid he picks first is defective and blows up as they work on a deal, so now R2 gets to come along.

-Luke cleaning R2 accidentally triggers the recording to play.

-Luke isn't home when the stormtroopers come to shoot up his farm.

I just watched The Phantom Menace with my kids over the weekend and there is lots of luck at play in this movie as well. Mostly beneficial dumb luck thanks to Jar Jar.

-Jar Jar gets half a droid holding a gun stuck to his leg, and as he kicks around trying to get untangled, he shoots quite a few enemy robots.

-Jar Jar accidentally unleashes a cart full of those energy balls, and of course they fly out and take out a bunch of bad guys.

-When he is sitting in yellow ship Anakin somehow gets it to start up and fly, and finds the FIRE button just in time to take out the three strong droids that are holding the good guys up.

-Later Anakin is still in the yellow ship, but is sitting inside the main battleship of the bad guys. He accidentally fires, hits the main reactor, and blows up the whole damn ship.

Seems like there are countless examples scattered throughout the movies. This had to be intentional, right? Is that the way the good side of the force works? Little helpful nudges now and then?




Oct 9, 2017 2:46 PM
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But wouldn't that make a compelling villain: someone challenging the Force through the power of simple, clueless, doo-dah luck!

Disney would have the Star Wars/Marvel crossover they're obviously starving for: Rey v Longshot: Dawn of WTF Disney????
Oct 9, 2017 3:56 PM
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Most of you have probably seen this already, but all the "dumb crap that Jar Jar pulls that winds up helping" has lead to the fan theory that he is actually highly trained in The Force

http://https://www.buzzfeed.com/isaacfitzgerald/darth-jar-jar?utm_term=.cfbnqPRJW#.uo6j8Pe7E
Oct 9, 2017 4:15 PM
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The "older code" moment in Return of the Jedi is another example.
Like R2D2 and C3PO's escape pod scene, I guess it wouldn't have been a satisfying escape if there was no close call.
Oct 9, 2017 5:00 PM
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A lot of fiction depends on luck, especially action-oriented fare.

You put your hero in jeopardy, that's fun. But now you have to get your hero out of jeopardy. What do you do?

1. Make your hero so skilled or powerful that they overcome every obstacle without need of luck. But if they were in control the whole time, then they were never really in jeopardy, which deflates tension.

2. Have fate lend a hand. Establish the presence of some guardian angel. Same problem as #1.

3. Kill your hero. Works for Redshirts and legitimate sons of Ned Stark, but if your protagonist is central to the plot you can't just kill him/her off.

4. Let them survive, in part, by chance. This is why people are drawn to casinos, and horse races, and that moment when they move in for a first kiss.

There needs must be a great deal of chance at play in our fictional universes. But, there is a wakeful part of our mind which realizes that each story has a writer and that chance events are actual part of some master plan of a hidden agency (in this sense literature NEVER escapes the problem of fatalism). If we are roused from the narrative spell then we start marking false-chance occurrences that were necessary to preserve the forward motion of the plot and they start feeling like "cheats", like every random occurrence is just a momentary frustration (a retarding device) or a mini-Deus Ex Machina (an advancing device). AND THEY ARE.

The question is not whether chance should play a role, or even a crucial role in fiction, but HOW it should do so. There is only one master rule. The chance should not? enter into the action in a way that tears the fabric of the collective dream the audience is participating in.

1. Chances should, for the most part, be typical/representative. The unlikely a chance occurrence is to our eyes, the less likely we will accept it as organic.

2. Chances should not all lay out in one direction, as in a day dream. Chance should work for and against our heroes.

3. Be careful about stringing multiple unlikely events together in a row. Rube-Goldberg machines are fun, but generally implausible. If you are setting up a disaster of some kind, they are great (and verisimilar - see the Seconds from Disaster series). Overall, it is wise to be careful, as a general rule to make the presence of chance carrying the plot forward conspicuous.

4. Chance occurrences should generally be fitting. Our hero should get out of a pinch by chance, but defeat the big bad without a crutch. We want chance to feel right. We want villains and heroes to meet with earned fates.

NOTE: None of this is absolute. Comedic farces often depend on multiple implausible chance occurrences to propel the plot forward to the delight of the audience.











Oct 9, 2017 7:22 PM
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Someone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.
Oct 9, 2017 7:42 PM
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Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.

Oct 9, 2017 7:54 PM
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Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.
Oct 9, 2017 9:32 PM
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Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?



Oct 9, 2017 9:44 PM
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Puffin Nubbins
Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?




I guess we did.

I've never really dug deep into the Star Wars EU but I find its sheer existence quite notable i.e. that the fans have such a bottomless appetite for new stories, to explore every nook and cranny of this world.
Oct 9, 2017 9:49 PM
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MaxRennThe "older code" moment in Return of the Jedi is another example.

Well, not really. Vader senses Luke on that shuttle, but gives them a pass anyway, because he wants to catch him on Endor. They didn't really get away with it.
Oct 9, 2017 9:51 PM
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Oxnard Montalvo
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Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?




I guess we did.

I've never really dug deep into the Star Wars EU but I find its sheer existence quite notable i.e. that the fans have such a bottomless appetite for new stories, to explore every nook and cranny of this world.

Oct 10, 2017 12:54 AM
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Death Proof
Oxnard Montalvo
Puffin Nubbins
Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?




I guess we did.

I've never really dug deep into the Star Wars EU but I find its sheer existence quite notable i.e. that the fans have such a bottomless appetite for new stories, to explore every nook and cranny of this world.


Yeah, a shitty chapter in an anthology no one read which spent a bazillion weeks on the New York Times NOT-Best-Seller list.
Ya' got me.
Oct 10, 2017 1:33 AM
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Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Qui-Gon's force ghost did it.
Seriously, I had read that bit about R5-D4, but I forget where. Kind of a neat way to solve the luck issue. But I still like the thought of some angry asshole Liam Neeson ghost roaming Tatooine fucking up everyone's electronics.
Oct 10, 2017 10:30 AM
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Puffin Nubbins
Death Proof
Oxnard Montalvo
Puffin Nubbins
Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?




I guess we did.

I've never really dug deep into the Star Wars EU but I find its sheer existence quite notable i.e. that the fans have such a bottomless appetite for new stories, to explore every nook and cranny of this world.


Yeah, a shitty chapter in an anthology no one read which spent a bazillion weeks on the New York Times NOT-Best-Seller list.
Ya' got me.

Yep, keep getting angry. Let the butthurt flow.
Oct 10, 2017 3:29 PM
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I like the idea of R5 exploding as a way for the force to unite Luke with the droids, but the theory that he's a force sensitive droid that willingly chose to explode sounds dumb enough to be an idea George Lucas came up with thirty years after the fact.

The beauty of the whole force angle is that any coincidence in Star Wars can be chocked up to fate.
Oct 10, 2017 4:35 PM
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Death Proof
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Death Proof
Oxnard Montalvo
Puffin Nubbins
Death Proof
Puffin Nubbins
Death ProofSomeone wrote a comic about R5-D4 (the red R2 unit who blows his top) where they say that he had some measure of Force use and knew that to balance the Force that R2-D2 and C3P0 had to stay together so he blew up his own motivator.

It's not canon but I like that. And he's my favorite droid anyway.

Well, that's the worst, most needless explanation I've ever heard.

Jawas are junk collectors. The red droid was just a junk droid.


Shut the fuck up, junkie.

Scintillating conversation as always, Death Proof.

Seriously though, did we really need a backstory for R5-D4's blown motivator?




I guess we did.

I've never really dug deep into the Star Wars EU but I find its sheer existence quite notable i.e. that the fans have such a bottomless appetite for new stories, to explore every nook and cranny of this world.


Yeah, a shitty chapter in an anthology no one read which spent a bazillion weeks on the New York Times NOT-Best-Seller list.
Ya' got me.

Yep, keep getting angry. Let the butthurt flow.

The GIF actually made me laugh.
Oct 10, 2017 6:49 PM
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11718
Spencie Returns

The beauty of the whole force angle is that any coincidence in Star Wars can be chocked up to fate.

That is a beauty that robs us of tension, leaves us with a theodicy, and invites the most needless and ridiculous of "explanations." Case and point, the mystery of R5's blown motivator.
Oct 10, 2017 6:51 PM
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What about bad luck? One of Vader's droids locating Luke & the Hoth rebels. Darth Vader surviving the Death Star battle 1.0. Luke & Leia's mother dying at birth. Alderaan being destroyed. Millennium Falcon never quite functioning at 100%.
Oct 10, 2017 7:34 PM
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Spencie Returns

The beauty of the whole force angle is that any coincidence in Star Wars can be chocked up to fate.

That is a beauty that robs us of tension, leaves us with a theodicy, and invites the most needless and ridiculous of "explanations." Case and point, the mystery of R5's blown motivator.

I didn't say it couldn't be abused. Do you just disregard the entire fantasy genre?
Oct 10, 2017 7:59 PM
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