Continuity Problems

Todd Seavey has a fun article on that terrible problem that plagues nearly all of our favorite extensive fictional universes: continuity.

It begins to look as if the only surefire way to keep all the movies consistent is to have Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2, Uncle Owen, and Aunt Beru all suffer amnesia at the end of Episode III—but given the ease of reprogramming robots and altering human memories with the help of Jedi mind tricks, this scenario is not out of the question...

The TV show Dallas famously erased an entire season by claiming it had all been a dream (though they neglected to make changes in the spin-off show Knot’s Landing, on which characters briefly mourned for a Dallas character killed off during the erased “dream season”). The British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who, judging by the official series chronology book, A History of the Universe, has taken a more relaxed approach to continuity matters, making no effort to reconcile contradictions...

I'm tempted to point to continuity problems in the stories justifying the invasion of Iraq, but that'd just be cynical.

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I know I laughed when they

I know I laughed when they said "...and wipe the protocol droid's memory."

The whole R2-D2 thing can be resolved if you realize that he's the only one who knows what's going on the whole time. He manipulates everyone and everything to his (evil? benign?) ends. Just watch the first three movies again, realizing that while Luke and Han blunder about, R2 knows exactly what's happening. How many times does he save our heros? His cunning machinations become clear -- but to what end? What end, I ask you?

Is he an even more masterfully devious Sith Lord in hiding? Is he another creation of these mysterious midichlorians as a tool of the Force? Why can only the Chosen One and his children understand his beeps and whistles? Or is he something greater - a mute Lucasian deity - subtly pushing the hapless heros and villains to their destiny through his handy 'deus ex machina' skills? The galaxy may never know.