Plot holes matter, and no amount of the inevitable fanboy frustration that greets this kind of article can change that. You see, it’s very simple: every brush stroke made by an artist makes a difference to the final painting – every mark is a decision in the story of the image, and it is the same for films. Every single thing we see on film, from hairstyles to camera angles to the way the light hits a particular vase in the background has been meticulously chosen by the film-makers – there are very few creative accidents. And yet as soon as a plot hole appears, too many people are too willing to shrug and simple say it doesn’t matter – someone dropped the ball somewhere, but it makes no difference.
Of course it makes a difference, and for some fans the presence of too many major plot holes can make a break the reputation of a particular film-maker. Whole online communities react in disgust and anger and threaten to topple the world off its axis because M16′s entire plan in Casino Royale relies on James Bond pulling a last minute straight flush out of the bag to beat the villain’s already extremely impressive full house.
But then conversely, sometimes it seems that plot holes don’t actually matter as much as we might have initially suspected: great films can feature gaping holes and cracks right through them that we are willing to simply ignore in the interest of entertainment. Perhaps those venomous fanboys were right – perhaps we should all just stop using our brains and enjoy the pretty pictures on screen without analysing the stories.
Or perhaps not – these plot holes still count, and we still talk about them. It’s just that their respective films are so good in every other department that we can accept the problems as an exception to the overall quality. They didn’t go away, they just didn’t quite have the same derailing effect at the time; but had we been looking hard enough, or analysing cynically enough, these plot holes could well have compromised our enjoyment of the films. Sometimes, it seems, we’re just more tolerant of mistakes than at other times.
So we’re not talking plot holes from awful sci-fis that are terrible anyway, or the mistakes made by Michael Bay, whose films are also terrible anyway. Just Class A movies all the way, and ones that were not spoiled despite these glaring mistakes that you probably missed…
10. Star Wars: Episodes IV-VI
- The Hole: Stormtrooper Armour Is Basically Pointless
Since the world has gone crazy in the past couple of days for new Star Wars news in the wake of Disney’s big money acquisition of Lucasfilm, what better place to start this list than a look back at a gaping plot hole that should have made more of a difference to fans of the original trilogy. Considering how notoriously irate they got at every problem with the Prequel trilogy, it’s surprising that fans didn’t make more of a deal of the fact that the heavy-duty looking armour worn by the Empire’s army of Stormtroopers might as well have been made of cheap, chafing plastic.
We marvelled at the films, heralding George Lucas’ creation as the best sci-fi opera ever brought to screen, ignoring the fact that the armour left the troopers exposed to every level of weaponry from blaster fire to Ewok-thrown rocks. So what exactly was the point in wearing it? Were those military uniforms merely an expression of fashion? Were the troopers playing dress-up simply to make Darth Vader feel better about being the only one who had to wear a galactic gimp-suit? Either way, it seems like a monumental waste of Imperial resources to clothe an entire army in outfits unfit for service – but then who cares when there’s bigger fish to fry like Jar-Jar Binks.
This article was first posted on November 2, 2012