Star Wars gives us what might be cinema's most memorable gallery of heroes, villains, scum and villainy, but they're not necessarily the brightest sparks.
For the epic sweep of George Lucas' vision to unfold in the way it did, many of its characters needed to make some very questionable decisions. Plenty of these bad choices were under pressure or duress, but plenty more of them allow no excuses for their brand of intergalactic boneheadedness.
Had the Imperial officers under Vader destroyed the escape pods launched from the Tantive IV, for instance, Leia's droids would have been vaporised and the Death Star plans would never have reached Rebel hands. That's perhaps Star Wars' most celebrated bout of idiocy, but it's far from the only one. In particular, Star Wars' characters often forget the very abilities that make them so special, or simply prove incapable of doing their jobs.
Some of Star Wars' errors could have completely changed the galaxy's fate had they benefited from just a little more thought. Others are just weird or amusing. All of them make you wonder if there's something strange in the galactic water supply.
Ben Counter is a fantasy and science fiction writer, gaming enthusiast, wrestling fan and miniature painting guru. He was raised on Warhammer, Star Wars and 1980s cartoons that, in retrospect, were't that good. Whoever you are, he is nerdier than you.