If you're a regular reader of my blog (as millions are), you know that my all-time favorite movie is The Empire Strikes Back. In fact I rate it a little higher than the original Star Wars. Yeah, that's right. I said it.
I've watched it hundreds of times over the years, and every now and then I'll still spot something in it that I've never noticed nor thought about before. Like this.
Near the end of the film, Luke Skywalker flies to Cloud City and confronts Darth Vader in an epic lightsaber battle.
Let me emphasize that. As you can clearly see in the photo above, Luke loses his hand, and only his hand. Well, perhaps "only" isn't the right word, as the loss of a hand is a grievous injury in any galaxy, but you know what I mean. Anyway, that's his hand flying off into the void there.
Here he is a bit later, hanging upside down from a weather vane on the bottom of Cloud City. Once again we see that only his hand is missing. His forearm is visibly intact all the way down to his wrist.
Cut to the end of the film, where a medical droid gives Luke a brand new spiffy bionic hand, courtesy of the Rebel Alliance's Universal Health Care.
But wait a minute. Something's off here. Despite the fact that Luke lost his hand, his entire forearm appears to have been replaced. You can even see the various machinery controlling his fingers extending a good seven to eight inches past his wrist. Disturbing!
And lest you think maybe they just stuffed some bionic parts into Luke's flesh and blood forearm, may I remind you that at the end of the scene the robot closes the little doors on it. Pretty sure real arms don't have hinged doors in them.
So why was he missing just his hand earlier, but is now missing his entire forearm? I can think of several possiblities.
One: The mechanical ligaments and power supply wouldn't fit inside the bionic hand, so it was necessary to remove some of Luke's real arm to make room for them.
Two: The Rebels may not have had a Type 47 Caucasian Male Bionic Hand in stock. There's a war going on after all, so replacement parts are no doubt scarce and they had to make do with whatever they had in the store room-- namely a hand/forearm combo.
Three: Medical droids are a terrible idea because you ask them to replace your hand and they chop off your entire goddamned forearm, that's what they do. Thank the Maker Luke didn't ask for a circumcision!