So I was doing research for another #TheLastJedi article, and I'm shocked at how awful the military strategy in the battle of Crait is, especially compared to the battle of Hoth. I didn't particularly notice how bad it was the first viewing, but the Resistance strategy is awful.
First, the idea that the mountains would protect them from an orbital bombardment from the First Order doesn't make a lot of sense (especially considering the weaponization of lightspeed). Hoth at least had an energy shield to warrant a ground invasion.
All Kylo had to do to wipe out the Resistance is evacuate a damaged Star Destroyer, point it at the base on Crait, and launch that sucker into lightspeed. Boom. Crater central, mountains be damned. No more Resistance.
Or, freakin' chip away at that mountain from orbit, create a blockade around the planet with the fleet, and prevent any back-up from arriving to help them. It would essentially be a siege scenario where the Resistance ends up starving and dying out on a barren planet.
Even if a ground invasion was necessary to wipe out the remainder of the Resistance, why are there only a handful of TIE fighters there? There are hundreds/thousands of TIEs in the fleet. At least bring a Star Destroyer into the atmosphere to grant air cover to the invasion.
Heck, bring TWO or THREE undamaged Star Destroyers into the atmosphere and triangulate around the Resistance base. Prevent any chance of escape or assault on the ground troops!
Why does Leia have her troops in a trench? There are no FO soldiers on the ground. It's all armored units. The Resistance blasters would do nothing. Why not have them entrenched behind the blast door for the inevitable breach? Why put their lives at risk needlessly?
When the ski speeders launch, Poe literally tells everyone to "keep it tight", as everyone rushes directly to the AT-ATs approaching. Um, what? Your people are in flimsy-ass speeders! You should be using their speed to your advantage, not stay grouped together!
Have the ski speeders spread out to make them harder to hit, both by air and by the AT-ATs! Try and circle around the advancing FO front, those things can't turn easily! Attack them from the rear!
When the Death Star cannon showed up, why not have Leia order kamikaze runs of the shuttles the Resistance landed in? Have R2 or 3PO fly those suckers into the cannon and destroy it before it can fire.
Also, why the hell are the FO moving the canon? The main Death Star weapon could obliterate a planet from millions of miles away. A miniature version could easily destroy a door a few miles away. Why not land it, power it up, and shoot? Why did they need to advance at all?
Furthermore, if the FO has this "mini Death Star tech", why couldn't they mount these things to their Star Destroyers and obliterate any capitol ship they run across? Why not wheel this one out during the space chase and destroy The Raddus with it? Why wait till Crait?
Honestly, as a writer, this is how I think about battle scenarios. I try to envision how I'd attack a target, then what I would do to defend a target, then how I would counter that defense, etc. You know, like most actual generals would...
And then I try to think of an intelligent way to stage the battle based on those strategies, not only so they make sense from a narrative standpoint, but also from a tactical/military standpoint.
I feel like Crait is an example of lazy writing and "forced disadvantage" for the good guys. Nothing was actually thought through or planned out. It was all based around the visuals Rian Johnson wanted & the set piece he wanted to include, not actual plot logic.
In the Battle of Hoth, there was an actual strategic reason for the Empire to do a ground assault - they had to destroy the generator powering the Rebel base's shields. And the Rebels engaged in a losing battle simply to assist in the evacuation of the base.
At Hoth, the Star Destroyers remained in orbit to try and intercept the evacuating frigates and shuttles. They had a reason not to enter the atmosphere. It was well established the base's shield would protect them from an orbital bombardment, rendering orbital strikes useless.
This is conveyed in maybe a couple lines of dialogue in Empire Strikes Back, but it justifies every action taken by the characters in the movie, both the Empire and the Rebellion. We get no such thing in #TheLastJedi. Everything just happens b/c the plot demands it.
"We need a big battle scene here! And the Resistance has to get their ass kicked so they need saving! Who cares if it doesn't make any sense? This is what the movie needs to happen!!!" --Rian Johnson
I'm now tempted to write a whole article analyzing this scene and why it's so bad, especially in comparison to other war movies and The Empire Strikes Back. Maybe even throw in some actual military strategy comparisons considering the WWII parallels.
Anyway, I'm raging about stupid stuff. But this is the effect #TheLastJedi has on me. Logic is just completely ignored at every turn in favor of set pieces. It gets really annoying. Sorry for plugging up everyone's twitter feeds. /rant

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