#MovieFailMondays: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (or, How Movies Can Teach You About Logical Fallacies and Help You Ace the LSAT)

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blog-episodeVEach week, we analyze a movie that illustrates a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who said Netflix can’t help you study? 🎥📖

I say without hyperbole that The Empire Strikes Back is the single greatest film of all time. Both here and in a galaxy far, far away (though there it won a Space Oscar for best documentary instead of the Saturn Award for Best Sci-Fi film).

It has everything. Romance. Intrigue. Betrayal. Boba Fett. And a plot twist that almost defines plot twists.

It also continues the trend of Force-users constantly committing logical fallacies. If only an LSAT instructor was taught the ways of the Force, the trilogy would have played out much differently…

Let’s get a list going:

1. Equating fallacy

Yoda tells Luke that he should either do, or do not. There is no try. Well, if you try and fail, you “did not”, but you still tried. These two aren’t mutually exclusive. However, Yoda did avoid another fallacy – he is correct that you can only do or do not. There’s no middle ground between those extremes.

2. Exclusivity fallacy

Obi-Wan and Yoda are placing all their eggs in one basket, despite the fact they both recognize “there is another.” If you’re relying on a Force-user to overthrow Vader and the Emperor, maybe get started on training that “other”. Especially since Yoda has strong reservations about Luke.

3. Strength issues abound in Jedi training!

Size matters not? If that’s the case, Yoda, you should be able to move a planet as easily as a lightsaber. While I’m sure size matters less than Luke thinks, it still has to matter a little. A Jedi never uses the Force for attack? I’m sure we can find a few examples throughout history.

So, in short, don’t be an LSAT Jedi. An LSAT Jedi would most likely not do well on the LSAT, though I suppose they’d be great litigators. “This is not the defendant you’re looking for…” 📝


matt-shinnersMatt Shinners is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York City. After receiving a science degree from Boston College, Matt scored a 180 on his LSAT and enrolled in Harvard Law School. There’s nothing that makes him happier than seeing his students receive the scores they want to get into the schools of their choice.Check out Matt’s upcoming LSAT courses here!

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