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Safety railings in the Star Wars universe

Nearly everywhere in the Star Wars universe there are bottomless pits. (I'm referring to the universe portrayed in the movies.) None of them have railings and people keep falling into them. You'd think they'd realize this is a bad design, but apparently not.

Why are there so many bottomless pits in the Star Wars universe?

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    I think this is also related to the general sci-fi genre convention that there are no fuses, so every electrical problem starts showering sparks. Jan 18 '13 at 16:29
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    @phantom42: I think the word "bottomless" is exaggerated. The question actually asks about rail-less skywalks and such (no pun intended).
    – bitmask
    Jan 18 '13 at 16:46
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    Because the Empire doesn't care about OSHA compliance?
    – Iszi
    Jan 18 '13 at 16:57
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    @APaleShadow the question is not an exact duplicate but it is close, and the answer is the same, which is the primary factor in deciding to close a question.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 19 '13 at 16:14
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    I disagree that the answer is the same. 'Why are there no safety railings' should not have the same answer as 'why are there so many bottomless pits'
    – user11295
    Jan 19 '13 at 21:43

I am going to go out on a limb and say that it's an inverse phallus metaphor.


Those bottomless pits are always where great inferiority and doubt lie. For example: when luke learns the great myth of his life, that Darth Vader is his father, he falls down Cloud City's internal mechanism of a bottomless pit.

I can think of the sinkhole city, trash pit (instead of being bottomless it endlessly shrinks), cloud city, the rancor pit, sarlacc pit, the Death Star's many bottomless pits and tunnels (Emperor's last scene and the Millennium Falcon approach). This metaphor is elastic and could pertain to any moment of loss of self confidence or challenge to it.

  • It has a bottom? Then it's not a bottomless pit. Luke hit the floor of the tunnel in Cloud City and slid down to the hole.
    – phantom42
    Jan 18 '13 at 17:14
  • its all about metaphor and myth - exactly how lucas wrote the scripts. It's not definite, it's a rough abstraction that resembles emotions and character progression. Im going for a free form answer that might solve the deeper meaning of whats going on there. I understand that this question might want a specified realistic answer.
    – underarock
    Jan 18 '13 at 17:19
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    Luke hit the bottom and slid down to the hole? I think we're onto something Freudian here. Jan 18 '13 at 17:40
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    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I don't think we need to read any metaphor into why a hole is scary: it's because holes are dangerous. If you're not sure try falling into one..
    – user11154
    Jan 18 '13 at 19:21
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    If he bridged any gap I'm pretty sure it was unintentional
    – user11154
    Jan 19 '13 at 14:42

The civilization level was such that they relied on force-fields as barriers and repulsor fields as cushions to prevent falls.

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