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Star Wars Star Wars Discussion Thread - LET THE PAST D-! Oh, wait, nevermind

ShadowArxxy

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I always like to see that as "25000 capital ships", which allows innumerably more light vessels. The Imperial Navy could have well over a million warships at its disposal.
I think that's 25,000 Imperial Star Destroyers, i.e. that specific class alone had that many ships produced, alongside thousands of larger "Super Star Destroyers" going all the way up in size to the Executor and Eclipse class ships, and many, many more lighter classes.

Note that EU sources stated that a standard Imperial "Sector Group" consisted of 24 Imperial Star Destroyers as its core assets plus 1600 lighter warships and a total of over 2,400 ships in total, and that's just the local forces assigned to the sector Moff's command -- it doesn't count independent battlegroups like Lord Vader's "Death Squadron" or the massive fleets of larger warships that were seen at Byss in the Dark Empire series.

My personal headcanon / logic, to clearly separate that from what's actually established canon, is that those heavier forces were strategic reserves that could probably only be deployed by command of the Emperor. They only featured in the reborn Emperor arc because he was literally the only one who had the authority to activate any of them -- but unlike the supposed bulk of the NRDF, they actually are canonically seen to exist with such sizes and numbers.
 

Typhonis

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Here is an example at how badly the writers underestimate things.

What is the population of Coruscant? I have done the calcs a few times taking the population density of places like NYC, Hong Kong, and Singapore into consideration... Given those numbers, you are looking at trillions of people on Coruscant alone and that is not considering how many levels Coruscant has.
 

Sailor.X

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The real Big Elephant in the room is the Imperial Mega Projects.
The Deathstar 1
Deathstar 2
Starkiller Base ( I think if just threw up in my mouth mentioning it.

It is impossible for all 3 projects mentioned to be built in the timeframe given. Deathstar 1 realistically should have taken well over a Century, Add in 3 more Decades for Deathstar 2 and Starkiller Base should be a 500 to 600 year project. The Writers of Star Wars. George Lucas included. Have no idea how long it takes to build things on the scale of a moon and a small planet.
 

The Whispering Monk

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It is impossible for all 3 projects mentioned to be built in the timeframe given. Deathstar 1 realistically should have taken well over a Century, Add in 3 more Decades for Deathstar 2 and Starkiller Base should be a 500 to 600 year project. The Writers of Star Wars. George Lucas included. Have no idea how long it takes to build things on the scale of a moon and a small planet.
Why would it take that long?
 

Sailor.X

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Why would it take that long?
I will put it this way. Take a look at a small state in the US. Something like Rhode Island. Now build an object the size of Rhode Island in space and make it spherical. You are talking about thousands of asteroids bare minimum to mine. And then those Asteroids have to be mostly metal. Now add in the fact you must put in power conduits, Plumbing, various types of equipment for workers. And that is not even getting into fitting and finishing things that happen during building. Like some figures in the prints being wrong and need modifying. You are talking about many many decades just to get part of it built. let alone the whole station. Droids and Organic workers can only do so much in a given period of time.
 

Bear Ribs

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I will put it this way. Take a look at a small state in the US. Something like Rhode Island. Now build an object the size of Rhode Island in space and make it spherical. You are talking about thousands of asteroids bare minimum to mine. And then those Asteroids have to be mostly metal. Now add in the fact you must put in power conduits, Plumbing, various types of equipment for workers. And that is not even getting into fitting and finishing things that happen during building. Like some figures in the prints being wrong and need modifying. You are talking about many many decades just to get part of it built. let alone the whole station. Droids and Organic workers can only do so much in a given period of time.
All three were actually inflatables. That's why they were all balloon shaped, and a single hit could pop each one once the shields were down.
 

The Whispering Monk

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You're assuming a lot.

Resource extraction was definitely a massive endeavor for all of those projects. However, I don't think the Rebellion EVER found out where/what did that resource extraction for ANY of those projects. So who the heck knows?

Maybe the Empire has a couple spare Harvester engines that do nothing but harvest asteroid fields and leave behind processed ore/alloy/whatever. Don't even really need Harvester engines for that with SW tech.

As for production. Hell, they could have sub-contracted almost all of the Death Star's construction with modular builds. Then they just play Lego with all the pieces at the final construction site. Don't even have to tell any of the subcontractors anything except, "We need LOTS of modular showers for Space Stations. Here are the specs. Get to work." I mean, SW has lots of fabricator tech to varying degrees. Nothing says the Empire can't just 'poop' all the subcomponents out the back of a converted Star Destroyer or hundred.

I mean, the Empire supposedly built 25,000 Star Destroyers in less than 15 years. Why is engineering on the scale of the Death Stars and SK-base so rediculous?
 

Sailor.X

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You're assuming a lot.

Resource extraction was definitely a massive endeavor for all of those projects. However, I don't think the Rebellion EVER found out where/what did that resource extraction for ANY of those projects. So who the heck knows?

Maybe the Empire has a couple spare Harvester engines that do nothing but harvest asteroid fields and leave behind processed ore/alloy/whatever. Don't even really need Harvester engines for that with SW tech.

As for production. Hell, they could have sub-contracted almost all of the Death Star's construction with modular builds. Then they just play Lego with all the pieces at the final construction site. Don't even have to tell any of the subcontractors anything except, "We need LOTS of modular showers for Space Stations. Here are the specs. Get to work." I mean, SW has lots of fabricator tech to varying degrees. Nothing says the Empire can't just 'poop' all the subcomponents out the back of a converted Star Destroyer or hundred.

I mean, the Empire supposedly built 25,000 Star Destroyers in less than 15 years. Why is engineering on the scale of the Death Stars and SK-base so rediculous?
About that.....





You see the size difference. You just can't crap out a ton of material in a short period of time and build something as complex as the Deathstars or Starkiller Base.
 

Skallagrim

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Wait--

I have to go off to work in a minute, so I'll respond to some other posts later, but regarding that imagine of the Death Star sizes: that's absolutely not accurate. The Death Stars were big, but they weren't that big. From the Wook:



The West End Games roleplaying game claimed that the first Death Star had a diameter of 120 kilometers.

The fact book Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections and detailed scaling of the station in the film suggested that the Death Star actually was 160 kilometers in diameter. However, according to statements by Grant McCune, Chief Model Maker for the movie, the scale used for the Death Star in the film was 1:180,000. The Death Star model was 120 centimeters in diameter which indicates that the Death Star was intended to be 216 kilometers in diameter.

The fact book Death Star Owner's Technical Manual revised the diameter of the Death Star to 120 km. Leland Chee clarified on Twitter that this was an "un-retcon" that was based on evidence presented by the writers.



There are discrepancies regarding the size of the Death Star II, which has generated some controversy. The West End Games RPG initially claimed that the second Death Star had a diameter of 160 kilometers. The majority of Expanded Universe material since then has repeated this number, although the Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy fact book, via detailed scaling of the station in the film and statements by ILM visual effects designer Richard Edlund show that the second Death Star was actually over 200 kilometers in diameter. The Official Site's Databank updated its article in 2008 to reflect the higher number. Star Wars Insider 105 also included this size. However, the Death Star Owner's Technical Manual changed the dimension to 160 km.




For comparison: the moon has a diameter of over 3476 km.

In other words: that image is definitely fan-made, and doesn't reflect the figures given in any official source (not even the high-end size estimates, which, in any case, has been superceded by more authorative sources).
 

ShadowArxxy

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As Wookiepedia correctly states, the vast majority of official material does use the 160 km figure. However, it's extremely misleading to say that the two discrepant sources give a size of "over 200 kilometers in diameter":

  • The Richard Edlund quote in question was published in CINEFEX magazine's July 1983 issue, and his exact words were, "In Star Wars, it was really difficult to establish the scale [of the Death Star]. It was supposed to be miles in diameter, but with a full sphere it was hard to tell. The NEW one is supposed to be more like *five hundred* miles in diameter, but since we're not dealing with a sphere all the time, we'll be able to establish landmarks and get a better sense of scale. "

  • The 2004 Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy book gives the Death Star II's size as a diameter of 900 kilometers (550 miles).

The scaling work referred to is the Star Wars Technical Commentaries by Curtis Saxton, which has no official status but is based on pretty straightforward logical analysis of the movie visuals. The basis for Saxton's argument for a ~900 km DS2, which is what the fan image posted shows, is that ROTJ's visuals consistently show the Sanctuary Moon of Endor to be 11.5 times the diameter of the orbiting DS2. There is no canonical size figure for the Endor moon, but Saxon argues that it should be presumed Earth-sized due to having natural gravity which appears to be Earth level.

----

In my opinion, Saxton's logic isn't as solid as he would wish simply because the size of the Endor moon is a purely out-of-character assumption.

My opinion is also that we all know that all of West End RPG stats were pulled out of thin air by a publisher operating on a shoestring budget for what was at the time not a big money franchise; technical accuracy was not a factor at all. The Englund quote and the explicit figure from Inside the Worlds are equally official and more logically credible, and the argument that Death Star Owner's Technical Manual overrides Inside the Worlds because it's a later publication is undermined by the fact that the Owner's Manual is an out-of-character joke publication.

But it's all pretty fancrufty.
 

Sailor.X

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As Wookiepedia correctly states, the vast majority of official material does use the 160 km figure. However, it's extremely misleading to say that the two discrepant sources give a size of "over 200 kilometers in diameter":

  • The Richard Edlund quote in question was published in CINEFEX magazine's July 1983 issue, and his exact words were, "In Star Wars, it was really difficult to establish the scale [of the Death Star]. It was supposed to be miles in diameter, but with a full sphere it was hard to tell. The NEW one is supposed to be more like *five hundred* miles in diameter, but since we're not dealing with a sphere all the time, we'll be able to establish landmarks and get a better sense of scale. "

  • The 2004 Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy book gives the Death Star II's size as a diameter of 900 kilometers (550 miles).

The scaling work referred to is the Star Wars Technical Commentaries by Curtis Saxton, which has no official status but is based on pretty straightforward logical analysis of the movie visuals. The basis for Saxton's argument for a ~900 km DS2, which is what the fan image posted shows, is that ROTJ's visuals consistently show the Sanctuary Moon of Endor to be 11.5 times the diameter of the orbiting DS2. There is no canonical size figure for the Endor moon, but Saxon argues that it should be presumed Earth-sized due to having natural gravity which appears to be Earth level.

----

In my opinion, Saxton's logic isn't as solid as he would wish simply because the size of the Endor moon is a purely out-of-character assumption.

My opinion is also that we all know that all of West End RPG stats were pulled out of thin air by a publisher operating on a shoestring budget for what was at the time not a big money franchise; technical accuracy was not a factor at all. The Englund quote and the explicit figure from Inside the Worlds are equally official and more logically credible, and the argument that Death Star Owner's Technical Manual overrides Inside the Worlds because it's a later publication is undermined by the fact that the Owner's Manual is an out-of-character joke publication.

But it's all pretty fancrufty.
The fact that Endor's Forest Moon has Earth type gravity and a Earth type Atmosphere pressure pretty much means it is near Earth Size. We know of smaller moons in Star Wars that are around the size or our moon and none of them have Earth type gravity or atmosphere. So I would lean more into Saxton being right.
 

Bear Ribs

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The assumption that the hologram is perfectly to scale is also pretty out there. The Death Star needs to be in geosynchronous orbit in order for the shield generator on the surface to continuously protect it. Assuming Endor is Earth-Sized, it would need to be about 36,000km from the planet. Note that earth is 12,000KM and change, so the Death Star would need to be about three times the diameter of Endor away. This pretty clearly isn't the case if we're scaling off Endor or the Death Star in the hologram, so that can't reasonably be to scale.


One we establish that at least one part of the hologram isn't to scale, there's no reason to assume everything else must be. Making the Death Star 3 pixels wide and on the other side of the room would have been useless for the purposes of giving a military briefing.
 
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ShadowArxxy

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The assumption that the hologram is perfectly to scale is also pretty out there.
It’s not out there when the actual distance shots of Endor and the DS2 are consistently the same scale as the holos.

The Death Star needs to be in geosynchronous orbit in order for the shield generator on the surface to continuously protect it.
I would argue that it is you who are making the “pretty out there” assumption. There is no reason to believe that the Death Star must be in a natural orbit as opposed to a pseudo-orbit assisted by its drive system. Especially since the visible size of the Death Star in the Endor sky completely rules out a distant geostationary orbit.
 

Bear Ribs

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It’s not out there when the actual distance shots of Endor and the DS2 are consistently the same scale as the holos.


I would argue that it is you who are making the “pretty out there” assumption. There is no reason to believe that the Death Star must be in a natural orbit as opposed to a pseudo-orbit assisted by its drive system. Especially since the visible size of the Death Star in the Endor sky completely rules out a distant geostationary orbit.
That's not an assumption, that's canon.

At the feathered edge of the galaxy, the Death Star floated in stationary orbit above the green moon Endor — a moon whose mother planet had long since died of unknown cataclysm and disappeared into unknown realms - Return of the Jedi novelization

The problem with trying to scale off actual screenshots there is that at no point do we ever get a view where the Death Star is not vastly closer to the camera than Endor. Field of view and perspective will thoroughly ruin any such estimate unless we can be sure the two objects are the same distance away, and they never are.
 

Lord Sovereign

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At the risk of pulling a copout, part of the reason why most sci-fi doesn't do realistic scale is because it'd be boring to watch. There gets to the point where the destructive scale it becomes a case of MAD and "press button to kill everybody. Even Warhammer has to stretch things to be interesting.
Not really. A lot of sci-fi settings do really interesting space battles based off realistic scale. Warships in Legends of the Galactic Heroes exchanging fire is a work of art to behold.
 

Skallagrim

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In any event, we have the canonical answer. I cited the Wook, which cites Leland Chee settling the matter. You know, the guy hired by George Lucas to be the "holocron keeper" and issue definitive statements on questions of this nature? We can all argue that what's seen on the screen isn't in line with what's officially declared to be canonical, but as has been noted: what's seen on screen in SW is often not realistic (or even physically possible) anyway.

It's the same as with the length of the Executor, where various sources gave different figures, and some observers deduced yet different figures from their own analysis of what was shown on screen... but in the end, George Lucas just said how long it was, and that's basically the end of the debate. What he says is canonical, the rest is pure fanon. (Granted, it's not unheard-of for fanon to be better or more sensible than what Lucas insists is true, but that doesn't change the matter. Saying "it's really this size because I think that's more sensible" is akin to saying "my opinion is more true than canon".)


Regarding "space realism" in general:

Not really. A lot of sci-fi settings do really interesting space battles based off realistic scale. Warships in Legends of the Galactic Heroes exchanging fire is a work of art to behold.
True that it can be done, and done well. Completely different beast, but The Expanse also managed this to spectacular effect.

Generally spaking, though, soft sci-fi (and SW is the very softest of soft, basically Space Fantasy) tends to just be totally unrealistic in countless ways. X-Wings fly like airplanes because that's how Lucas liked it, and screw the fact that Space Doesn't Work Like That, George.



Anyway, another thread of conversation that I still had an in-progress response for:

Is it possible that with all of these different sects of Jedi with varying extremes of beliefs, in-fighting start to occur? Like the more zealous groups start viewing the other less rigged groups as heretics? The light side crusaders for example accuse the secs that allow Dathomirian witches/Nightsisters (even the books couldn't seem to make up their minds as to whether these were different factions or not) of allowing themselves to be corrupted by the darkside and letting it's agents freely walk among them The Celibate monks give their whole "Attachment leads to fear" spill against those that openly celebrate attachments. ect ect...?

You'd still see shades of that falling into zealotry and decedents from the prequels, but I don't think it'd be a retread.
But what is the threat?
Internal turmoil is certainly possible. The enemy, here, however, is Space Sparta -- and too much internal division would really screw the galaxy over.

So one might either make the enemy a more expeditionary force (strong, but limited in numbers) or prevent the galaxy from being too divided.

Either way, the bottom line would be "how do we find a way to productively work together, without sacrificing the freedom and individuality that we value". (After all, going full Unionism Or Bust! would also be a response to invasion, but that would just turn you into what you're fighting: a hegemonic, monolithic power that values enforced unity over freedom and pluralism.)

As so often, it all comes down to a question of balance between extremes.
 

ShadowArxxy

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In any event, we have the canonical answer. I cited the Wook, which cites Leland Chee settling the matter. You know, the guy hired by George Lucas to be the "holocron keeper" and issue definitive statements on questions of this nature?
First, a statement by Leland Chee is on the same level as a statement by Richard Edlund -- both are Lucasfilm employees speaking based on their personal behind-the-scenes knowledge, but neither is strictly canonical as in material with the formal imprimatur of being published Star Wars content. Inside the Worlds of the Star Wars Trilogy, on the other hand, actually is published canon material.

Second, the statement by Leland Chee isn't as definitive as you're implying. It was on his personal Twitter (and is now unverifiable as said Twitter is defunct), and what he supposedly said was, "The book creators lobbied relentlessly and after careful deliberation we decided to reinstate the old stats. Call it an unretcon." Since we no longer have the actual Twitter, it's not even clear if he was talking about DS1 or both Death Stars; the book in question is mostly about the first Death Star, but does contain a few references to the second.


That's not an assumption, that's canon.

At the feathered edge of the galaxy, the Death Star floated in stationary orbit above the green moon Endor — a moon whose mother planet had long since died of unknown cataclysm and disappeared into unknown realms - Return of the Jedi novelization
What's canon there is "stationary orbit", not "natural geostationary orbit at such and such an altitude". You know what's also canon?

"Death Star II spanned more than 160 kilometers in diameter, compared to its predecessor’s 120, and was equipped with 15,000 heavy turbolasers, 15,000 standard turbolasers, 7,500 laser cannons, and 5,000 ion cannons. It undoubtedly earned its space battle station label. While being built, it was held stationary in space above Endor by a repulsorlift field, created from the shield generator situated on the forest moon."

- Exploring the Locations of Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II: Death Star II

As I previously pointed out, the problem with "canon is canon!" is that both the 160 km and 900 km figures for the Death Star II are explicitly published canon.
 
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Bear Ribs

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What's canon there is "stationary orbit", not "natural geostationary orbit at such and such an altitude".
There's literally a scientific definition of Stationary Orbit. As it turns out, it literally means a natural geostationary orbit at such and such an altitude. You might as well argue that they have a different meaning for the word "Kilometer."

You know what's also canon?

"Death Star II spanned more than 160 kilometers in diameter, compared to its predecessor’s 120, and was equipped with 15,000 heavy turbolasers, 15,000 standard turbolasers, 7,500 laser cannons, and 5,000 ion cannons. It undoubtedly earned its space battle station label. While being built, it was held stationary in space above Endor by a repulsorlift field, created from the shield generator situated on the forest moon."

- Exploring the Locations of Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II: Death Star II

As I previously pointed out, the problem with "canon is canon!" is that both the 160 km and 900 km figures for the Death Star II are explicitly published canon.
What you're quoting was never canon at all. Star Wars, pre-Disney, had a strict canon hierarchy that allowed on to escape the silly contradiction games you're playing. At the top was the movies, Clone Wars, and their novelizations, then came "official" other books, comics, and at the bottom games. So the novelization would completely override anything from Star Wars Battlefront, much less a manual from it, if there was a contradiction.

A technical manual based on a game would be the lowest of the low and now with Disney throwing out the EU wholesale, not even that.
 
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