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TCW Episode Weapons Factory - bad tactics (Jedi general incompetence)

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Darth Valkyrus, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Darth Valkyrus

    Darth Valkyrus Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 12, 2013
    I posted this earlier over in the community forum but it got locked by a mod. I didn't even know this forum (LACWAC) existed. Sorry. I'm new here. I know, I know.


    I was rewatching some of the older TCW eps, and I realized there seems to be a major, nay, massive tactical blunder in the episode "Weapons Factory" (s2e6).

    They had already taken down the theater shield in the proceeding episode (Point Rain).

    With the shield being down, they surely should just have annihilated the droid factory with orbital bombardment? They had a bunch of Star Destroyers sitting in orbit doing nothing.

    Instead they used a frankly incompetent plan, where the whole army marched up to the front gate like they were on a parade ground - knowingly walking into a trap, and sacrificing the lives of countless men, for no reason other than to create a diversion, while a pair of half-trained Jedi apprentices infiltrated to try and blow it from the inside. That plan also went to hell, as a result of which the apprentices ended up almost dying, ultimately executing a would-be kamikaze attack, which they fortuitously survived due to the uber armor of the new droid tank.

    I think IIRC that Luminara outranked Yularen at this battle, so this whole attack plan must have been her idea, I can only imagine Yularen sitting fuming on his star destroyer, its turbolasers lying cold and silent, listening helplessly on the tactical net while the army got cut to pieces before the citadel gate.

    Thinking back to ESB, it was a major plot point that due to the theater shield on Hoth, they couldn't use orbital bombardment, necessitating the ground assault. LaPR involved a similar situation, with a theater shield nesscesitating a ground assault. But after that shield was down, the target was open to orbital gunfire, and I was like "Aha! The shield is down! Time to call it in and bring the hammer down!" But.. nope. They just didn't.

    The best explanation I can think of is that this was provided as an example of why making the Jedi into generals was a bad idea. They are great lone warriors. They are wandering knights... but they aren't necessarily good military commanders of an army. Some of them are, some of them may be brilliant strategists, but some of them are downright horrible military commanders. And I'd guess Luminara Unduli was one of the awful ones.

  2. kubricklynch

    kubricklynch Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 10, 2012
    On TCW, it seems like both sides can be complete idiots whenever it serves the plot.
    Lazy Storm Trooper likes this.
  3. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I agree that it comes off as bad tactics, but I'm not really bothered by it.

    IIRC, Star Wars has never shown an orbital bombardment in the movies or the television series, though there have been countless occasions when it would have made tactical sense. While an orbital bombardment gives me a fleet junkie hard on, and I'm sure the devastation would make for quite a spectacle, it's not a very dramatic conclusion. It's all about the drama. Take the Battle of Yavin for example, it's full of tactical stupidity, but it also oozed drama and fun and was quite possibly the greatest air/space battle ever produced.

    I don't think the episode says anything about the tactical know how of Jedi, or anyone except maybe the writers.
    Dark Lord Tarkas likes this.
  4. Darth Valkyrus

    Darth Valkyrus Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 12, 2013
    An orbital bombardment would be a kickass scene if done right. The entire episode Weapons Factory was unnescesary. Instead they should have finished up with an orbital bombardment being the last scene of Landing at Point Rain. They get the job done at long last, take out the shield generators and then call in the strike and fly off as the turbolasers rain down. Then Weapons Factory gets to be... well, something other than weapons factory. A whole new episode dealing with whatever.

    A slight variation of the orbital strike scene from I.M.P.S. The Relentless would have been a perfect ending to Landing at Point Rain. Watch the video here from about 4:00 on to see what I mean:

    Darth_Zandalor likes this.
  5. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    There are so many battles in Clone Wars that don't make any sense. I don't even try to come up with in-universe explanations...I just blame it on the writers >_>
    kubricklynch likes this.
  6. Narutakikun

    Narutakikun Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 8, 2012
    There are "so many" battles in the real world that don't make any sense, either. Someone once said that the Yankees won the War Between the States because while the South had one good General, they had three of them. Most Generals are incompetent, and they get into battles that don't make sense all the time. Even good Generals make mistakes sometimes, and let themselves get drawn into losing propositions. And let's not forget - the Jedi were made Generals out of necessity because the Republic had no standing military - they were never trained for the job and there's no reason to think they'd be particularly good at it. They're great at one-on-one combat, yes, but that's not the same skill set as being a General.

    Anyhow, in general, the "bomb everything" approach is far less effective than people think it is. If that really worked reliably, America would have won in Vietnam and Iraq - both places where it had massive aerial superiority - but it didn't. That's the Tarkin approach, and it obviously has its limits.
  7. GGrievous

    GGrievous Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 6, 2005
    you don't say
  8. Garrett Atkins

    Garrett Atkins Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 11, 2013
    Welcome to TCW.
  9. MRCynical

    MRCynical Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 7, 2008
    That. I think they may have been inspired somewhat by the old 'purchase system' in several European armies, but for which the British army was most famous. Officers purchased their commissions, and their promotions, so their rank depended on how rich they were rather than actual military competence (they could only purchase up to Lieutenant Colonel IIRC). Some of them were great, and quite a lot of them were halfwits who knew nothing about tactics.
    Darth Valkyrus likes this.
  10. Narutakikun

    Narutakikun Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 8, 2012

    Again, it's not unrealistic to portray Generals being incompetent. Really good Generals who really know what they're doing are the exception, not the rule. Tarkin wasn't completely wrong when he wanted to remove the Jedi from the leadership of the Grand Army of the Republic. They had no training or preparation for the role - they were just the closest thing available when the Republic needed people to do that in a hurry.
  11. KenobiSkywalker

    KenobiSkywalker Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 3, 2012
    There's plenty of incompetence in the movies too.
    The Shadow Emperor and Seerow like this.
  12. Narutakikun

    Narutakikun Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 8, 2012
    Yeah, we'd need Plinkett's Star Trek Next Gen movie guy to go over all of them. And not just in the prequels, either. The recent Wired piece on the Battle of Hoth is a good example. There are others.

    Why didn't the Empire employ an independent "red team" to go over the Death Star plans and find any vulnerabilities? If some half-trained Rebels could find that exhaust port in a few days of looking, surely a team of Imperial engineers with all the resources of the Empire at their disposal could find it.

    Why didn't Tarkin have a few Star Destroyers as escorts for the Death Star? They could have stopped the Rebel fighters before they ever got near the thing. It's not like the Empire doesn't have 'em.

    Why didn't the Empire level and clear every tree for a mile or two around the shield generator for DSII on Endor? Is the Empire really all that environmentally conscious? Then build, you know, some fortifications and stuff. That would help cut down on that whole "beings who want to throw spears at us coming out of hiding in the trees" thing.

    Why does the Empire seem to hate using air support? They had none at Hoth, they had none for their ground forces at Endor... why the hell not? This isn't an outlandish idea - the French even had a squadron of fighters stationed at Dien Bien Phu itself. Even a few rusty old Clone Wars-surplus LAAT/i gunships stationed on Endor would have done a whole lot to save that shield generator.

    Speaking of LAAT/i gunships, whose bright idea was it to bring Walkers into a densely-packed old-growth redwood forest instead of using air mobility? There's a reason the Americans in Vietnam didn't use a lot of tanks (except for base defense), but did use a lot of helicopters. Trying to drag big lumbering armor through any kind of dense forest or jungle is impractical enough - trying to have ones that use legs stumble around in it is plain lunacy. Walkers work fine on flat, solid, open ground like Hoth. They don't work everywhere.

    Using the DSII's main laser to destroy the Rebel fleet at Endor was a terrible plan. Talk about using a chainsaw to cut butter! With its long "reload" times, the DSII could only take out one rebel ship every few minutes, leaving the rebels plenty of time to come up with something, and they did. Beside, if your intent is to wipe out the Rebel fleet entirely, then what does the grandiose symbolic gesture of using the DSII's main cannon to destroy them really mean? If your plan works, there won't be any Rebels left to tell the tale, and no Rebellion to cower into submission with it. The roles of the Imperial assets should have been reversed: the fleet should have been assigned to destroy the Rebel ships, and the DSII should have had the job of taking out any stragglers who were starting to get away.

    There are more, I'm sure, but the MIT siege has gotten my attention.
    kubricklynch and KenobiSkywalker like this.
  13. Original Oatmeal

    Original Oatmeal Jedi Padawan star 1

    Jan 22, 2013
    They should spend more time helping the audience understand that the tactics do make sense under each individual circumstances. The writers are part of the problem but then also the animation and how the scenes are pieced together and edited.
  14. Order66

    Order66 Jedi Master star 1

    Nov 7, 2004
    If the plan was bad in that a diversion force assaulted the front gate while a commando team infiltrated from a flank, then shouldn't we be talking about strategy, not tactics?

    I'm not a fan of Jedi-cum-generals, but if there were a repository for military training in the universe, wouldn't it reside with an organization like the Jedi? If the Jedi Temple was simply a cloister, of course, their generals would be "incompetent". And realistically, the Jedi would have to come to the battlefield with some competence if their troops were to follow them whole-heartedly.

    The idea of Jedi as competent military leaders is kind of a chicken or the egg thing. If they're not a military, then logically they should be put in military leadership positions. Then again, if they weren't competent, then they wouldn't have been put in that position.Because it's a film, we can argue just about anything because no one is constrained by historical facts. It's all made up. Kind of like using the Iliad to find historical military facts. There are facts, but you have to make your case and not assume everything is historical fact or simply a story.

    Historically, leaders (politically or military) have to be judged individually according to historical context. Great decisions can be made by relatively untested leaders. Kennedy made Kruschev flinch. Lincoln went to war when most of his commanders said he shouldn't. Then again, you had Varus who marched his legions into the Teutoberg Forest and Sparticus who defeated established legions on the frontiers.
  15. Subtext Mining

    Subtext Mining Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 27, 2016
    A featurette on the Geonosian droid factory trilogy with music from Kevin Kiner's score.
    MrDarth0 likes this.
  16. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2007
    There was a huge dust storm moving towards the factory, which made targeting it from orbit impossible. So the Jedi had no choice but to infiltrate it and destroy it.

    There, that was an easy explanation.

    As for Endor, remember that the Emperor was in charge. He wanted a suitably dramatic stage for Luke to be turned on. The trap on the ground, the slow, precise demolition of the Rebel fleet.

    It's all part of Palpatine's plan to destroy the Rebels slowly and turn Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side, providing Darth Sidious with the perfect apprentice he wanted twenty-three years ago. Endor was, in a sense, a rerun for Palpatine. Only this time there would be no Obi-Wan to dice up his perfect apprentice.
  17. Darth Valkyrus

    Darth Valkyrus Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 12, 2013
    Wow, holy thread necromancy Batman. I forgot about this thread.

    That said, I think my observation about Geonosis still stands. I can see though how some of the dumb stuff at Endor can be explained by way of Palpatine's ulterior motive for the whole setup. To him, crushing the rebellion wasn't even the main event at Endor. Turning Luke was, and everything would be arranged to make that most likely to happen.

    It still leaves the issue of his "best troops" getting punked by the Ewoks though. That's just... embarassing.
  18. MrDarth0

    MrDarth0 Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 3, 2015

    Well, Ewoks are a bunch of carnivorous vicious predators that enjoy human meat. Don't get fooled by the cuddly appearance.

    Not to mention they outnumbered the Imperials at least 5 to 1 (probably way more than that) and Han also shot his share of stormtroopers during the battle.

    Plus there were still the Rebel commandos running around as well, you can actually see them in few shots during the battle, and from the fact that Ewoks had those catapults and all those log traps ready, I think it is safe to assume that they were planning to attack the Imperials in that exact spot for a long time. They were probably just waiting for the right moment to do so and the capture of Han's team provided them with perfect distraction to completely surround the Imperials. They're also native to the planet and know the area better than the Imperials, not to mention stormtrooper armour isn't exactly the best camouflage for forest combat.

    But even with all these advantages, they were actually still losing the battle if you watch the movie carefully. Ewoks only start winning the battle after Chewie commandeers one of the AT-STs and starts blowing up the other walkers and stormtroopers. With Chewie's support, the Ewoks got a huge moral boost, while the Imperials are running confused. Without Chewie capturing the AT-ST, Han would also not be able to pretend he's an Imperial officer, and Rebels would not be able to blow up the shield, therefore the Rebel fleet would have been decimated. Vader and Palpatine would still die, but then Luke would end up alone on the second Death Star with hundreds of thousands of Imperials surrounding him and he would probably end up captured or killed.

    Which would be a very interesting what if scenario, as with Palpatine and Vader dead, the Empire would disintegrate into civil war for control, but because the Alliance would have been destroyed at Endor, there would be no one to take the Empire's place and to create the New Republic. Therefore the GFFA would be plunged into a never ending anarchy and war.

    So to summarize, if it weren't for Chewie, everybody would die :)
    Darth Valkyrus likes this.
  19. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2007

    Wouldn't Rax just deploy the Contingency at that point, since Palpatine was dead? If he does, the Empire crumbles to dust and the entire Galaxy devolves into endless anarchy.