Home > Entertainment > Another Way J.J. Abrams Doesn’t Understand Star Wars

Another Way J.J. Abrams Doesn’t Understand Star Wars

This is something that has sat on my mind for years, but I’m only now committing it to writing. J.J. Abrams doesn’t understand Hyperspace in Star Wars. I’m making that statement based off of a different post I read recently about how J.J. Abrams doesn’t understand Force usage. The basic premise is that in The Force Awakens it’s easy to see all of the Force users doing impossible things with the Force with a very high frequency. In every other Star Wars movie, given how training and concentration are repeatedly mentioned, as well as the sparse use of the Force, it leaves an impression that using the Force is difficult, takes limited energy, or something else that makes its use rare. But The Force Awakens turns Force users into every other super hero/wizard. I have a similar complaint, but one which is with the use of Hyperspace.
I’m writing this after having seen The Force Awakens only once, and that was four years ago (Rise of Skywalker was released a little over two months ago). I can remember that Hyperspace was used incorrectly in two instances, and those are: the Millennium Falcon going into Hyperspace from within the docking bay of another ship, and the Millennium Flacon entering real space inside the atmosphere of the Star Killer base. These uses are absolutely devastating to Star Wars.
The rules for Hyperspace aren’t spelled out in Star Wars, and that’s kind of a good thing. It’s one of the nice thing about Star Wars, not much exposition. We the audience are seeing a sliver of time in our hero’s lives. Just like how we don’t constantly describe how car engines work, it would be odd of someone to spontaneously talk about how Hyperspace works. The one line where Hyperspace limits are mentioned happens in A New Hope where after having blasted out of Mos Eisley, Han Solo explains “Without precise calculations we’d fly right through a star, or bounce to close to a Super Nova”. Other rules aren’t spelled out, but can be implied by characters actions.
Examples of those actions are: You need to get your space ship into space (out of atmosphere). You need to make calculations after making it into space. You need to be far enough away from a gravity well (ie planet) to enter Hyperspace. You exit Hyperspace a certain distance from a gravity well (it’s why there are many shots of space ships approaching a planet in real space). Exiting Hyperspace shows up on scans. If these weren’t important, many of the dramatic scenes in Star Wars wouldn’t exist. The very first scene in all of Star Wars is because the blockade runner that princess Leia was on, had to exit Hyperspace to get around Tatooine. The next scene in space, is our hero’s leaving Tatooine to go to Alderaan, but are being chased by a Star Destroyer until they can enter Hyperspace. In both instances drama ensues. These rules (implied or otherwise) are just plot devices, but so long as they’re consistent across all scenes in all movies, they are acceptable plot devices. The closest scenes in Episodes 1 – 6 which bend these rules are in Episodes 2 and 3 where the Jedi Starfighter docks with Hyperspace rings which are in orbit and immediately enters Hyperspace. But if you think of it as the rings entering Hyperspace, and not the Starfighters, it works.
By removing these limitations on Hyperspace, The Force Awakens invalidates all of the Hyperspace based dramatic moments in the previous movies. It is exciting to see our hero’s blast out of another ship in The Force Awakens (or exit Hyperspace in a forest), but only because somewhere in the back of our heads, our brains are processing how unique/impossible that is. It shouldn’t have happened – which is what makes it exciting – but doing so is a cheap phycological trick. Yes, it makes that one scene exciting, but it undoes everything else.
The way that Hyperspace is used in The Force Awakens not only invalidates many memorable Star Wars scenes, but invalidates all of Star Wars. If you can enter hyperspace from within atmosphere, from within a gravity well, without waiting for calculations from the Navicomputer, and exit deep in a gravity well, and deep in atmosphere; why have space ships at all? You’ve just created infinite range teleporters. And ignoring the fact that a human could pull out of hyperspace at just the right time, by making it even possible to exit hyperspace within an atmosphere, why have a Death Star? The Empire should have just built a bunch of Hyperspace capable missiles, launched them from wherever, and had them explode wherever. No planet (or suspected Rebel base) could possibly have defenses from unforeseeable detonations. At any moment, nuclear bombs could be covering your planet, and there wouldn’t be anything that anyone could have done to stop them.
In summary, no spaceships, no dramatic moments, no Death Star, no Rebellion. Doesn’t sound much like Star Wars does it?
Rise of Skywalker commits similar sins with the Hyper Skipping and having a mysterious route to a mysterious planet that all of a sudden, fleets of ships can get through (which still have visible stars behind them). Those aren’t as bad as sins, because they do have negative consequences or limitations (the Millennium Falcon is on fire afterwards), but still are dumb.
So just like how J.J. Abrams made Force use too easy and simple, he also made Hyperspace too convenient for the plot instead of using it to create plot.
As for The Last Jedi, I don’t feel that it broke Hyperspace rules (implied or otherwise) at all.

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