CT Luke Skywalker - Fighter Pilot

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by DRush76, Feb 20, 2014.

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  1. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    It takes more to be a competent military pilot than being able to hit womp rats with the Force. But if you want to toss logic to the wind and accept the story as it its, fine. I won't.
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  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Sure, it takes a bit more. But, at the time, they probably figured that exceptionally skilled civilian pilots, would be "good enough to make up the numbers" given how desperate the situation was.

    If they lost, then, as Vader put it "This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi. It will soon see the end of the Rebellion".
  3. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    The thing with the Falcon at this stage is that it is not a small one man fighter, so the best it could do is provide cover fire which is what it does in the end. If there wasn't any available X-Wings and Y-Wings, then that's what the Falcon would do. At Endor was a different matter since the whole fleet was taken in and there was no trench to worry about.

    Luke was already a good pilot to begin with, thanks to his time using a T-16 Skyhopper and his connection to the Force. And in the end, it took someone with the Force as his ally hitting the exhaust port, when skilled pilots with targeting computers couldn't do it, to save the day.
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  4. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2

    Yeah, because accepting that a 10 year old, who's never piloted or even seen a starfighter, would accidentally pilot a vacant one, happen to find a child-sized helmet, join the fight against the Federation Control Ship, accidentally fly into the ship, without being killed mind you, blast through the ship, disable not only the sensors but also the ship's engines and destroy the ship and then safely land the starfighter does not require tossing all logic to the wind. I've heard of suspension of disbelief… but jeez… [face_laugh]
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 24, 2014
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  5. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Luke in ANH is so much more believable than Anakin in TPM.
  6. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    Oh, don't get me wrong. I like that scene in TPM where Anakin destroys the ship. But it's harder for me to buy that a 10 year old would do all that and not get killed.
  7. Beezer Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    Yes they're volunteers, but it is still a military outfit. They still have a chain of command, officers, enlisted, etc.

    I stand by my statement: The notion that a military organization would run out of pilots before running out of aircraft is ridiculous. But I can admit that bit of an unrealistic scenario without impacting my enjoyment of the movie.
  8. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    War tends to whittle away at the number of fully trained pilots fast.

    Which is why, sometimes, the training ends up being cut to the bare minimum - and eventually they start "scraping the barrel".
  9. Beezer Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 5, 2013
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    No foolin'. But it whittles away at the number of flight-worthy craft even faster. Kinda funny how losing a pilot and losing an aircraft often goes hand-in-hand, huh? Trust me, the aircraft is much more difficult to replace.

    Never in the history of warfare has any country faced a situation where they faced a shortage of pilots relative to the amount of aircraft. It is the stuff that exists purely in Hollywood so the protagonist can come out of nowhere and save the day.
    Last edited by Beezer, Feb 24, 2014
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  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Battle of Britain?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Britain

    Fighter Command was never short of pilots, but the problem of finding sufficient numbers of fully trained fighter pilots became acute by mid-August 1940.[79] With aircraft production running at 300 each week, only 200 pilots were trained in the same period. In addition, more pilots were allocated to squadrons than there were aircraft, as this allowed squadrons to maintain operational strength despite casualties and still provide for pilot leave.[80] Another factor was that only about 30% of the 9,000 pilots were assigned to operational squadrons; 20% of the pilots were involved in conducting pilot training, and a further 20% were undergoing further instruction, like those offered in Canada and in Southern Rhodesia to the Commonwealth trainees, although already qualified. The rest were assigned to staff positions, since RAF policy dictated that only pilots could make many staff and operational command decisions, even in engineering matters. At the height of fighting, and despite Churchill's insistence, only 30 pilots were released to the front line from administrative duties.[81][nb 17]

    For these reasons, and the permanent loss of 435 pilots during Battle of France alone[18] with many more wounded, and others lost in Norway, the RAF had fewer experienced pilots at the start of the battle, and it was the lack of trained pilots in the fighting squadrons, rather than the lack of aircraft, that became the greatest concern for Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, Commander of Fighter Command. Drawing from regular RAF forces and the Auxiliary Air Force and the Volunteer Reserve, the British could muster some 1,103 fighter pilots on 1 July. Replacement pilots, with little flight training and often no gunnery training, suffered high casualty rates.[60]
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  11. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    We're not talking about a country. We're talking about a single base belonging to a spread-out guerrilla force that just engaged in a major military offensive. I can accept that off-screen circumstances immediately prior to the Death Star attack left them with a temporary shortage of pilots. The problem is the Empire doesn't care if the shortage is temporary.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Feb 25, 2014
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  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

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  13. Darthbane2007 Force Ghost

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    Oct 31, 2007
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    I just took it as:

    The Rebel Alliance had very few pilots at Yavin, and maybe Luke told them of his experience fling the T-16 back on Tatooine...
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  14. Beezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    There is absolutely nothing in that Wikipedia entry that supports your claim. What part of the very first sentence "Fighter command was never short of pilots" do you not understand? Obviously if a lot of experienced fighter pilots are killed, the remaining ones won't be as good, but they weren't quite to the point of taking 18 year olds with 0 flight experience in grade to defend against the Luftwaffe. Furthermore, you seem completely unaware that pilots from over a dozen countries were assigned to the RAF for the Battle of Britain, with Poland being the most represented.

    There is a reason why military strategy involves bombing airfields. You never hear them say "let's ignore the planes and bomb the barracks instead".

    This will be my final post on the matter. But fact remains that never in the history of warfare has any country faced a situation where they faced a shortage of pilots relative to the amount of aircraft. It is the stuff that exists purely in Hollywood so the protagonist can come out of nowhere and save the day. I can say this without it diminishing my enjoyment of Star Wars one bit.
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  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
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    Not really. Especially considering that there are other ships wherein pilots can be killed in. Take the Tantive IV, for instance, you don't think there weren't pilots beyond the main crew that were killed? What if the hyperdrive on a ship that was bringing more pilots like Biggs was, conked out like the Falcon's did? Or worse, got blitzed by a Star Destroyer?


    Well, duh, though bombing the barricks and the planes would be a good idea.
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  16. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    If the X-wing books are any indication, many Rebels have both piloting and ground fighting experience. Rebels who die in battle aren't always in the cockpit of a fighter. Add to that the fact that the Yavin 4 base wasn't the only Rebel base (Mon Mothma, Ackbar and other Rebel leaders weren't there) it's not too difficult to believe the Rebels were short of pilots at the base.
  17. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    the problem of finding sufficient numbers of fully trained fighter pilots became acute by mid-August 1940. With aircraft production running at 300 each week, only 200 pilots were trained in the same period.

    Yes- it's not as bad as in Hollywood - but it does illustrate the same problem, scaled down.
  18. Sarge Chosen One

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    Oct 4, 1998
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    Every history I've ever read about the Battle of Britain emphasizes the pilot shortage. They were transferring pilots out of patrol planes, training schools, bombers, and transports. They formed squadrons of French, Czechoslovakians, and Poles who couldn't speak English and threw them into the air. Many of the young Spitfire pilots could barely land their planes safely, let alone dogfight with veteran Luftwaffe aces.
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  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    And in Roald Dahl's Going Solo autobiography, it's emphasised that the situation was even worse elsewhere, like in the Greece campaign.
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  20. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
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    The old guard remembered the Jedi and knew that Jedi made excellent pilots. Someone must have told the military commanders that "this guy has a lightsaber so he must be..... "Can it be?...a Jedi!?"

    Also, who was going to say no to someone so closely aligned with rebel leadership (Princess Leia).
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  21. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    Huh? :confused:
  22. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    The novelization specifically says that Blue Leader remembers Anakin Skywalker as a great pilot.
  23. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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  24. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Red Leader in the deleted scene says the same thing (although the name 'Anakin' isn't mentioned in either), but given that the line about Luke's father was omitted in the restored version of the scene for the SE (it's included in the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray), it's pretty safe to say that no one was taking any sort of Jedi heritage into account.

    Apparently TCW came up with some clumsy explanation for this thoroughly redundant line that wasn't even included in any finished cut of the film - but despite not really caring about 'canon', as far as I'm concerned, that little part simply isn't. Too messy.
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  25. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2014
    star 1
    The novelization also specifically says that joining the attack was his award. It's page 150 in the Del Rey omnibus edition that came out in 1987.
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