Star Wars has finally solved one of its oldest plot holes involving the Death Star and the Battle of Yavin, but in doing so has spawned other continuity errors.
The Death Star’s world-destroying capabilities were the Empire’s ultimate deterrent for keeping their rule in the galaxy. In the chronological sense, the creation of the space station dates all the way back to the Clone Wars when Separatist warlords developed plans for a new weapon. Count Dooku got hold of these plans during the events of Episode II – The Attack of the Clones and gave them to Darth Sidious.
You’d think that for a weapon that’s taken years and vast quantities of resources to make, the Empire would guard the Death Star better. While Rogue One fixed one of the biggest plot holes in the fictional world of Star Wars by showing how Galen Erso put a weakness in the original Death Star, some fans have always wondered why the Imperial forces didn’t guard the station by bringing in some reinforcements during the Battle of Yavin, like say, a few Star Destroyers to fight off the incoming X-Wing and Y-Wing fighters.
Well, according to this week’s Star Wars #3 by Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz, the Empire did bring a fleet as backup, but we just didn’t see it in the movie.
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As seen above, in this issue of the comic series, a Tarkin loyalist named Commander Zahra explains why her Star Destroyer – called the Tarkin’s Will – is in poor condition. These capital ships were present in the battle, and it seems that many of them were seriously damaged when the Death Star exploded. Some were still operational, though, which explains how Darth Vader survived the battle after his fighter was knocked off into deep space.
Of course, while this new comic explains one of the longest-standing plot holes in the saga, it creates two new errors in its place. For one thing, why did we not see these reinforcements even in a single frame in A New Hope? And if the Empire was still present in the Yavin system, why didn’t they press the attack? Or why did the Rebels not immediately evacuate the base? As fans might recall, they instead celebrated this victory and held an award ceremony for Han and Luke.
Ultimately, this isn’t the first continuity problem in the story of Star Wars, nor will it be the last, so at the end of the day, fans shouldn’t get too worked up with these insignificant details.