A Star Wars Review: There’ll Be No Escape For the Princess This Time

May 24, 2020

Even though Ben and I are producing multiple podcast episodes weekly, I don’t write a lot of blog posts these days. But today, something struck me while watching “Star Wars,” and I had to share it here.

During quarantine, I recently had the opportunity to watch the Original Trilogy with my 5-year-old and 3-year-old. This was the first viewing for both of them, and the time just felt right for this experience as we have been “sheltering in place” together for over two months.

I was so excited this morning when they asked to watch “A New Hope” again, or as they call it, “the Star Wars movie where they all meet.” It was during today’s viewing that my 5-year-old noticed something that I’ve never picked up on before, even though this was only her second time seeing the film.

Early in the movie, C-3PO mentions Princess Leia to R2-D2. This happens about 3 minutes into the film, as Threepio says, “There’ll be no escape for the princess this time.” Later in the film, however, when Luke sees Leia’s video message to Obi-Wan, he asks the droids who she is. C-3PO responds that he isn’t sure who she is (this happens about 20 minutes into the film), and this is when my daughter first pointed out the continuity error to me. I had to go back to the beginning of the film to confirm that the droids had talked about Leia, and then I rewatched the scene with Luke to listen to the dialogue more closely. I didn’t get the feeling that C-3PO was lying to protect Leia, so I don’t know how to explain this flaw other than a script error.

Unfortunately, this whole mess gets even worse later in the film. Around one hour and 10 minutes into the movie, R2-D2 finds out that Leia is on the Death Star. He says “She’s here,” and Luke asks “Who?” Threepio answers, “Princess Leia.”

“The Princess, she’s here?” Luke asks, which is followed by Han Solo asking for more details. Luke explains that these two droids belong to Leia and that she is the one in the video message.

But how does Luke know all of this? Earlier, Luke received no details about the woman in the video message, and now Luke somehow knows that she is a Princess and he believes that the droids belong to her.

I think that I missed this continuity error in the past because I’m so familiar with the story of “Star Wars.” I know who all of the characters are, and exactly where the story is going, so these lines make sense to me. My daughter, on the other hand, is seeing this for only the second time, so she immediately picked up on the discrepancy.

So, Reader, what do you make of this? Is there an easy explanation for the inconsistency? Did I just miss something? Comment below with your thoughts on this apparent mistake, and for more of my thoughts on today’s viewing, check out my Letterboxd review here: https://letterboxd.com/manderson555/film/star-wars/3/

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