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The Science of Star Wars

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the gungans-are-tough-and-stringy dept.

Star Wars Prequels 538

anonymous lion writes "National Geographic has an interesting interview with a couple of scientists on the scientific reality of Star Wars. For example, related to the cohabitation of humans and Gungans on NabooSeth Shostak states, "So maybe it's possible to share, as long as neither species has the technology to obliterate, enslave, or merely cook and eat each other.""

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Sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753679)

what about that emotion called fear,
fear of nuking the whole planet keeps everyone in line.

Question: My dog's semen is bitter. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753690)

What can I do to make it taste better?

Re:Question: My dog's semen is bitter. (0, Troll)

master_meio (834537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753725)

Become a linux zealot? They seem to have no problem with the taste.

Re:Question: My dog's semen is bitter. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12754029)

A bullet in your head and the head of every other prepubescent idiot who thinks it's KEWL to troll places like Slashdot would be a really good start.

Oh, sorry. I thought that you said, "What can I do to make the Internet better".

Cohabitation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753691)

related to the cohabitation of humans and Gungans on NabooSeth Shostak states, "So maybe it's possible to share, as long as neither species has the technology to obliterate, enslave, or merely cook and eat each other.""

Doesn't that qualify more as "The Sociology of Star Wars"?

Re:Cohabitation (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753758)

related to the cohabitation of humans and Gungans on NabooSeth Shostak states, "So maybe it's possible to share, as long as neither species has the technology to obliterate, enslave, or merely cook and eat each other."

Doesn't that qualify more as "The Sociology of Star Wars"?

Yeah, it does seem as though the authors are making the assumption that all species are going to beat the crap out of each other. I realize that competition for resources is common among many species here on earth but we all come from a common ancestor if you look far enough back. Does this need for conquest really have to be the same for all life everywhere? If one species really had a superior advantage over another, does it necessarily follow that they will try to dominate them? I think it's at least possible that some species will learn to share resources with other creatures on their planet right away.

GMD

Re:Cohabitation (3, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753931)

Well, that would be largely inevitable or highly improbable.

Survival will be the primary goal of any form of life, and survival will require consumption of resources.

Unless the resources required for two life forms is remarkably different or there is a truly symbiotic relationship, it is quite likely that the two forms of life will be fighting with each other for resources. It may not even be intentional, but survival would require a fight at least at a very abstract level (deer and zebras sharing the same grasslands). And when you introduce complex factors into the equation, you can be rest assured that there will be a need for survival as you move up the food chain.

If you do not kill, you will be killed - this is a very likely scenario, and if sentience is to evolve, it would need safe and secure surivival first and foremost.

Learning to share resources is possible in only one scenario - symbiosis. Otherwise, it is quite unlikely given the nature of life, at least as we know it.

Re:Cohabitation (3, Informative)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754003)

Yeah, it does seem as though the authors are making the assumption that all species are going to beat the crap out of each other.

I think if you just plopped down the Naboo and the Gungans in their pictured state of technological development, with all their gadgets and what-not, they could probably get along.

If we're talking about co-evolution, it seems rather unlikely, unless -- like other /.ers have said -- they consumed extremely different resources and inhabited incompatible / inaccessible areas of the planet.

Had the two races come into contact with each other somewhere earlier down the evolutionary chain, one would have competed with and severely stunded the evolutionary process of the other. That's not to say 'driven to extinction', but rather 'driven stall at a less intelligent stage of evolution'.

But the universe is a big place, and the only life and ecosystems we know are our own. So hey. Yea. It could happen. Why not?

Genocide (4, Funny)

Shihar (153932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753692)

Look, normally I am against genocide, but if I found a pile of gungans on my planet... nuke the fuckers.

Better option (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753735)

Well, that's all well and good, but massive underwater nuclear warfare has unknown (probably rather devastating) consequences on the environment as a whole. A decidedly better option is to create a briefcase-sized tactical neutron device and have carriers go inside the enclosed urban habitat to detonate.

Re:Better option (3, Informative)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753827)

That's still iffy. Even a neutron bomb will create a lot of heat and spread around a fair amount of un fissioned material. There's an obvious clean solution if you think about it. If you can go into space, just haul in some appropriately sized asteroids to drop on them, a la The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Re:Better option (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753865)

Yeah, but then you've got the problem of massive evaporation due to the heat the kinetic harpoons would generate upon hitting the water. And, depending upon how deep the habitat you're trying to hit is, it could be very difficult to have an object big enough and traveling fast enough to cause enough destruction of a particular habitat without also causing at least some level of environmental problems globally.

Re:Genocide (5, Funny)

SnprBoB86 (576143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753819)

Now why would you want to go and waste a perfectly good nuke on a pile of Gungans?

Instead, send Jarjar back there with a megaphone... instant mass suicide.

Re:Genocide (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753941)


Don't waste the nukes. I'd personally enjoy the slow, public execution of Jar Jar and his most irritating brethren.

Already been done before... (3, Interesting)

bencvt (686040) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753698)

...by the Bad Astromer. [badastronomy.com] Still, I can never get enough of nitpicking sessions on Hollywood science. :-)

Re:Already been done before... (3, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754021)

I don't agree with all of this, though. A lot of it is too assuming of LAWKI (Life As We Know It). And some assumptions are particularly bad - for example, in relation to Bespin:

Betts: This is the one planet I have the most trouble buying. There are, of course, examples of gas giants surrounded by moons. We have that in our own solar system. But a "band of habitable atmosphere"?

Assuming we take that to mean temperature and oxygen without there being anything noxious or dangerous, that's certainly beyond our current expectations or measurements. Making this particularly tricky, molecular oxygen that we breathe does not occur easily in a planetary environment. Almost all the oxygen on Earth comes from life.

Shostak: I don't know what Tibanna gas might be. Gas-giant planets seem to be swathed in ammonia, methane, and other vapors that, frankly, are neither rare nor particularly valuable. They are useful for cleaning the bathroom or cooking dinner, of course.


Two major possibilities spring immediately to mind.

1) Life either evolved or was seeded to the gas giant. In this case, Tibanna gas may well be a biomolecule of significance that has built up in huge quantities over the years on the gas giant. An oxygen-rich layer is quite easily explained in such a case, obviously, assuming that photosynthesis is occurring in the upper layers.

2) The gas giant has a small amount of residual brown dwarf-activity going on in the core - Dt-Dt fusion, that is. As solar wind can ionise water and split it into hydrogen and oxygen (leaving a tenuous oxygen atmosphere around at least two gas giant moons), having your own low-scale fusion in the deep core should do plenty to split up water in the planet. How quickly it would recombine, of course, is beyond me - and you couldn't have too much energy being produced, or the colony would be fried even in the outer fringes of the atmosphere. A small, old brown dwarf could possibly pull it off (an average-sized, young dwarf will be about 1000K at 1atm), although I don't have the numbers on me.

In either case, Tibanna gas could be He3. In the second situation, it's all the more likely: Dt-Dt fusion can directly produce He3, or can produce tritium which decays to He3.

Personally, I have the most trouble buying Hoth. Regularly bombarded, and yet has complex animal life? Not a sign of greenery, and yet has a dense oxygen atmosphere and animals? I have trouble with that one, unless there's some sort of massive subsurface biome there.

Fighters make sound in a vacuum. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753699)

That's all you need to know about the "science" of Star Wars.

Re:Fighters make sound in a vacuum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753792)

He said it all Mod Up (Score:?)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, @09:25PM
Explosions rising...sound in space etc.
The original Star Trek TV show was far more "scientifically" accurate.At 15 I found Star Wars unwatchable as I was a science fiction fan.
Eventually I was able to enjoy the two sequels as garbage fantasy.No science to Star Wars except the technical achievement in filming it.
Well I am definitely not a human according to /.

Re:Fighters make sound in a vacuum. (5, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753851)

"Fighters make sound in a vacuum."

Yeah, and an orchestra lead by John Williams follows everybody around. I can't believe how unrealistic incidental music makes a movie. Oh, and don't get me started on looping of dialog!! Those guys shouldn't be futzing around with the sound like that, it's not realistic! I'm a purist that demands that scifi movies be like somebody is carrying around a small camcorder around documenting everything so it's as real as possible! MOD ME UP!!

Re:Fighters make sound in a vacuum. (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754008)

I love how people bring that up instead of, say, the Force as an example of how unrealistic Star Wars is.

Sound in a vacuum? Simple way to explain it away - shipboard computers would construct audio cues so you can hear where ships are, where weaponsfire is coming from, etc.

The Force, though? Eh. Fantasy. Bash that.

Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (4, Funny)

TrentL (761772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753702)

Something I never understood: in the first movie, the Death Star blows up Alderaan. Then at the end, the Death Star is moving in on Yavin. How did the Death Star get to the Yazin system? Are we to assume that it can movie around at light speed?

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753727)

I think the more important question is: can anything move at the speed of light (besides light, obviously)? This has strong connections with time travel, among other things.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (3, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753734)

Are we to assume that it can movie around at light speed?

Assume nothing. It's all but spelled out in the movie. "Move the station", "hey, where'd that come from?" and all the rest.

Practically speaking, what use is a planet-destroying weapon that can't move between planets to destroy?

Yes, it's a really really really big spaceship. (0)

localroger (258128) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753736)

TSIA.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753738)

Yes, it can. It has the same FTL capabilties as th rest of the fleet.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (5, Funny)

cocoamix (560647) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753756)

Since it had no visible engines and no solar sails, we can only surmise that they launched it from a giant baseball-pitching machine.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (5, Funny)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753760)

My favorite part was when they arrive at the rebel base and somebody says "Leia, thank God you're alive. When Alderan was destroyed, we feared the worst."
No, everythings fine, just a couple of billion people incinerated.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (2, Informative)

MixmastaKooz (621146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753774)

Yes it did! From what I read, it did have a hyperdrive, but was on the slow end of the sprectrum (although going faster than light can't be considered slow...unless we're talking Ludicrous Speed!) as hyperdrives go in the SW universe. If I remember the first novelation correctly, it took the Death Star a while to get to Yavin but not too long for the Rebels to evacuate. But the added time allowed the Alliance to analyze the Death Star and mount an effective attack.

If you watch Ep. IV, you do get the hint that the Death Star is moving during certain shots, but since it was in space (and due to a limited budget, I bet)there were not many landmarks to measure relative speed.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

Sir_Jeff (836043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753972)

i'm sure everyone buckled in before the jump to LS

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753805)

Well they prognosticate in the article that to have a government spread throughout a galaxy they'd have to have faster than light speed travel. I don't know where that leaves the Death Star in terms of speed, but if you believe them, then it has the possibility of having light speed travel or even faster. So with suspension of disbelief, you have to think that they aren't held by our current galactic contraints.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753815)

Are we to assume that it can movie around at light speed?

I think the entire movie movies around at light speed.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

Mr. Maestro (876173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753836)

in fact, why didn't the death star just blow up the planet between it and Yavin instead of wasting time goimg around?

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753913)

That planet between the Death Star and what you call "Yavin" is in actuality, Yavin. The rebel base was located on a moon of Yavin.

The reason they couldn't blow it up is because Yavin is an enormous gas giant.

What I want to know is why the empire didn't have multiple death stars moving around simultaneously.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (2, Informative)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753914)

I don't know.

Perhaps it takes a couple of hours to recharge/calibrate its hypermatter reactor before it can fire off a second shot.

Maybe this is why the second Death Star is deemed "More powerful than the first". A faster recharge rate allowing what we see in ROTJ, where two large Rebel cruisers are destroyed by the superlaser within minutes of each other.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

driftingwalrus (203255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753969)

According to what I've read, the first death star required 24 hours to recharge prior to firing.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754020)

Blowing up a gas giant with a laser would presumably be less effective than blowing up a moon.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (5, Funny)

hehman (448117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753980)

No, don't be silly. They built the Death Star in orbit around Alderaan.

As for how they got to Yavin, it was conveniently the next planet out in the same solar system. Questionable planning by rebels, putting their secret base in the same system as the Death Star.

The rest of the galaxy, of course, was kept in line by knowing that they were at risk of being blown up in a few hundred thousand years if they didn't behave.

Re:Can the Death Star travel at lightspeed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12754025)

It had 123 hyperdrive engines working together.

http://www.starwars.com/databank/location/deathsta r/?id=eu/ [starwars.com]

ha ha, yeah right (0)

nickgrieve (87668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753706)

We can't even get on with others that have diffent skin and cultures than us, let alone genes...

Re:ha ha, yeah right (5, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753748)

We can't even get on with others that have diffent skin and cultures than us, let alone genes...
Lets say the republic is 10,000 years old (as is alluded to in the movies). Thats mean they've had 10,000 years to turn Us and them to just Us. Culture shares a large part in that, The europeans went from backward thridworld area continually warring with itself to a fairly unified entity in less then 1000 years. It's not hard to imagine, given 10,000 years the various races of the republic would start identifying themselves as a hetrogenous whole rather then a group of distinct peoples.

Wookie Sandwiches (1)

kshotswell (873805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753709)

Wookie Sandwiches!!! That Rocks

Re:Wookie Sandwiches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753847)

Wookie Sandwiches!!! That Rocks


"That's Hairy" you mean?

Pizza The Hut (2, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753714)

As long as my neighbour isn't Pizza the Hut, then I'm fine.

Papa the John? (1)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753845)

You prefer Papa the John?

Re:Papa the John? (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753934)

As long as he gives great helmet.

The sad part is (3, Funny)

MikeDawg (721537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753720)

The sad part of this is, that my dad and I once had this conversation a couple of years back (related to the original 3 Star Wars). He always kept nit-picking at them, explaining to me that Luke should have two shadows (if I remember correctly Tattooine had 2 suns, I could be wrong). I guess thats what I get for having a physics teacher for a father.

Re:The sad part is (1)

MixmastaKooz (621146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753823)

If you look at the shots, the suns were, from Luke's point of view, close together (one was smaller to denote that it was quite a bit of distance away from the other), and I would think that the duel shadow would be almost nonexistant because the brighther light source drowned out the shadow caused by the weaker sun--although it did produce some awfully hot days on ol' Tatooine. It's so dry there, you have to farm for moisture!

Re:The sad part is (1)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753837)

The suns were always pretty close, and obviously pretty far away. I'd say he'd have two overlapping shadows that would have just looked like one slightly blurry shadow. And on a planet of sand, I can't imagine I could distinguish between a sharp shadow and a blurry shadow anyway.
-N

Re:The sad part is (1)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754031)

The suns were always pretty close, and obviously pretty far away.

Yeah, if they were closer everything on the planet would have been incinerated. Come on, our sun is pretty far away too!

But don't go assuming that they are some kind of static system where they are laid out in a straight line. There ain't no gravitational physics I know of that would allow two suns that are at different distances from a planet to, nonetheless, remain in the same relative positions as viewed from the surface of a planet. You want to explain that one?

wtfhatta? (5, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753722)

did i miss something.. i ... i though starwars was about making money..

Star Wars?! (1)

Mikey Rowan (890208) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753726)

This is nearly as irrelevant as that ten page report about caffeine. So much for real geography :/ RIP NGS

Clueless (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753742)

> So maybe it's possible to share, as long as neither species has the
> technology to obliterate, enslave, or merely cook and eat each other.

What a crock. Forget the tech and look to morals and clue for the answer. How many countries on THIS planet have the tech to "obliterate, enslave or cook" most of the rest of the population? Obviously it isn't a techological limit. And besides, those Gungans appeared to have a fair bit of tech themselves.

Re:Clueless (1)

DarthMAD (805372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753770)

I agree- its ridiculuous to state that one species would naturally resort to genocide against the other given the proper technology; if anything, such a thing would occur before the advent of most of what we would consider technology- one species could eliminate the other as a matter of natural selection early on in that species' history. But in this case, the Gungans and Naboo lived in completely separate domains- i.e. the sea and the land. Also, the people of Naboo (Nabooans? Nabooites?) were supposed to be pacifists who just happened to have well-armed starfighters at their disposal.

Re:Clueless (1)

01000011011101000111 (868998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753844)

Owning starfighters when you're pacifists is a good thing... there is a fine line between "Hey, I'm a good guy, I'm not going to attack anyone" and "Hey mr space-pirate/hut mafia, please come and buttfsck my planet"...

Re:Clueless (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753858)

> Also, the people of Naboo were supposed to be pacifists who just
> happened to have well-armed starfighters at their disposal.

Only kind of pacifists that survive long. If you would have peace, know war. Heck, even the 'peaceloving' French have a carrier battle group rusting away at harbor.

Re:Clueless (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753860)

Nabinos!

(Ok. I just made that up)

Re:Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753986)

Also, the people of Naboo (Nabooans? Nabooites?) were supposed to...

I vote Nubians.

And so: ...what's a Nubian?

Bitch, you almost made me laugh.

The scientific breakthrough of our times (4, Insightful)

Shoggoth of Maul (674988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753754)

The secret's out, people. Now everyone knows that Star Wars is not actually "hard" science fiction!

At least they didn't do a study or anything. [slashdot.org]

And next up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753762)

Wired is going to do a feature on the Programming Logic behind the Matrix

No Continuity in their Argument (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753766)

They begin the article with the admittance that this is a galaxy far different from our own, with faster than light travel, etc, then they keep comparing it to our own galaxy. Just because in our universe we may not play nicely with another civilization, doesn't mean that they can't cohabitate peacefully. We are talking about a galaxy that is built on the force, which creates it's own balance amongst its inhabitants. So while there are races that are war hungry, you'd have to believe that most people fall in the middle which means living with each other without constant war. So I don't think this article holds much water.

Re:No Continuity in their Argument (2, Insightful)

illtron (722358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753911)

Yeah, it seems like their assumption is that if one race can kill the others, they will. I don't think that should be taken as a given.

It does happen in the Star Wars galaxy. The Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk shares its system with Trandosha, home of the reptilian Trandoshans. Trandoshans make a hobby out of killing Wookiees and wearing their fur.

So it can go either way, but to take it as a given that one species will kill the other one for the hell of it is kind of dumb... ...but not nearly as dumb as I'm starting to sound with these Star Wars posts.

Re:No Continuity in their Argument (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753958)

but not nearly as dumb as I'm starting to sound with these Star Wars posts.

I have to agree, but I try not to think about the fact that I'm taking a fake universe this serious. Luckily I'm here at /. , a place where they wont remind me (since most of them are doing the same).

requires some creative use of math, I think (1)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753784)

I think it may require some creative use of math in order to scientifically explain Star Wars phenomena...

derivative = used to explain aliens in TPM that conveniantly conform to racist stereotypes from Earth.

l = new constant used to explain how, as time increases, Han goes from shooting first, then second, then at the same time as an enemy. l standing for lameness, of course.

continuity = Leia remembers mother?

eccentricity = What was going on Lucas's head with regards to Midichlorians

hyperbola = NoooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

etc.

Re:requires some creative use of math, I think (1)

viva_fourier (232973) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753882)

So does:

parabola = OOOOOOOOOoooooooo.........ooooooooOOOOOOO

?

it isn't so much the science as the plot holes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753786)

So Obi and Qui Gon find Anakin infested with force bacteria. Qui Gon says he's make a good Jedi. Yoda says hell no he's to freaking old. The kid is what? four.
Well, spoiler coming, turns out that wasn't the best idea. As Yoda predicted he went to the dark, a bunch Jedis got it in scenes reminiscent of the original Godfather.
Somehow Obi makes it. Hooks up with Luke eighteen years later and says, basically, screw it four years old may be too old to be a Jedi but eighteen is no problem. No freakin way a half assed jedi could get turned to the dark side and make things even efffin worse. I'll train Luke.

Fake science I can live with, clear jedi incompetence is a bit harder.

Re:it isn't so much the science as the plot holes (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753917)

Well during the time of Anakin, there were many Jedi and a fairly peaceful galaxy. During the time of Luke there were only 2 Jedi and a massive oppression. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So Luke was a chance that needed to be taken if they were to have any real hope of overthrowing the empire.

(ps: I never saw the correlation between the Godfather and the Jedi massacre, but now that you mention it, I totally see it. Pretty cool.)

Re:it isn't so much the science as the plot holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753977)

well one supposes Obi could've started training Luke at 6 mos for example, he knew where he was. Just bad continuity.

Re:it isn't so much the science as the plot holes (1)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754009)

I think you are right that the age was a problem.

But I think it was a bigger problem that Yoda "much fear in him saw". And this was because of his experiences with getting drawn away and eventually losing his mother.

So, if Luke was older, but harmonious then maybe...

My god. I'm debating how things work in George Lucas fantasy universe.

Technological developement (5, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753787)

Human civilization is approx. 4000 years old. In that time we have pretty much closed the technology gap of the vairous tribes of humanity. We can all forge metal, we can all make things move via petroleum based products, we can kill each other with projectiles ect...

In 10,000 the technology gap of a community of star systems that communicate with each other woudl also close. So it's not such a huge issue. Technology doesn't have to spread directly, even the rumor of something being possible can send other cultures into a frenzy to find out how. The stories marco polo brought back from china were more useful then the inventions and products he brought back. It sent europe into a frenzy into trying to mimic these items.

In the proccess of trying to mimic these products they derived their own innovations and advanced further. Over 10,000 this would equilize the technologies of the various intelligent life forms. As for the robots, perhaps innovation in robot designed leveled off long ago and even 100 year old droid are useful. Or AI requires some rare material that is now in short supply so even old droids must be maintained.

Re:Technological developement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753887)

Actually, human civilization is more like 5000-6000 years old.

Re:Technological developement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753924)

Actually, human civilization is more like 5000-6000 years old.

That's a conservative estimate. There are some who suggest that evidence indicates clusters of civilizitation may have realistically existed as far back as 9000 years ago. It is possible it may have existed even earlier, but there is not much evidence before this point.

Cognitive gaps are more signficant (4, Interesting)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754034)

I agree with king-manic that technological gulfs, while huge, could be reduced significantly through interstellar trade. What is more signficant -- and I never see mentioned in these types of discussions -- are the huge gulfs in intelligence and mental abilities. There are going to be species out there that are vastly more intelligent or have incredible memories. In the movies and TV shows, all aliens have pretty much the same brainpower. That's just unrealistic.

Consider the following scenario: a race of technologically advanced reptiles are being attacked by intelligent insects from another world. The insects are more intelligent than the reptiles and have the same level of technological development. The reptiles are fucked unless they can get some help. They approach a world called Earth that contains intelligent bipedial mammals named humans. These mammals show promise but are relatively young and do not have sophisticated technology. They also are highly unpredictable and warlike. Knowing the risks, the reptiles make an offer: if the humans agree to enter the war by serving as tactical officers onboard their warships, the reptiles will provide the humans with advances in medicine, communications, power generation, and warp drive. Humans, eager for a chance to obtain technologies necessary to solve problems on their planet, leap at the chance. The highly-logical insects are used to the methodical, logical battleplans of the reptiles and are baffled by the unconventional tactics of the humans. They are quickly and easily defeated. Fearing they have created a monster, the reptiles quickly sever ties with the humans but not before they have transfered a signficant amount of technological know-how. Within a few decades, humans become a threat to the very reptiles who kick-started their space exploration.

Technology gaps are easily solved. Huge gaps in cognitive function are what make long-duration star wars unlikely.

GMD

Re:Technological developement (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754037)

As for the robots, perhaps innovation in robot designed leveled off long ago and even 100 year old droid are useful. Or AI requires some rare material that is now in short supply so even old droids must be maintained.

A better (and possibly even more plausible) idea is that since droids are sentient beings, destroying one is closer to murder than scrapping (e.g.) an inanimate microwave oven. Destroying them for no good reason might be frowned upon or outright illegal. The droids could also be given enough self-determination to handle their own maintenance, and so never end up in a state where they're useless.

How a scientist would describe "the Force" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753789)

Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

Check out the The Force Skeptics Page [netcom.com] :

The Jedi Knights are known for their supposed ability to perform "miracles." They can influence others' thoughts with a wave of their hand, use a slender light saber to deflect blaster bolts with their eyes closed, jump great heights in full gravity, move objects without touching them, see into the future, and do many other things that normal people can't. Or so they claim. They attribute these "powers" to an energy field they call the Force.

More Science Than Fiction (2, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753793)

The "Star Wars" Worlds: More Science Than Fiction?
I'll buy that. After all, fiction usually has a plot and characters - maybe even some dialogue.

But it already happend! (5, Funny)

espergreen (849246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753795)

In a galaxy far, far away a long time ago.

You can't argue with history. noobs

when a species becomes advanced enough... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753798)

... they get past the faulty idea of conflict, just as we today know that if the president of the or leader of any other country was taken out it wouldn't make much difference to the gears and bearing organization really running the show.

We know today there are things we did hundreds and even thousands of years ago that we have found better deceptive ways of dealing with instead of in brute force conflict. like duping teh Aerican public about WMD in iraq...

Anyways we are still babies in comparison to any civilization advanced enough to travel here and probably not skilled at all in comparison to techniques in deception and leaving no proof of visitation.

war does not contribute to the survival of conscious being needed to continue expanding what all exist in existance..

gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753810)

that story was gay. star wars is gay. where's my pills?

C3PO (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753821)

In the future there will be homosexual robots

Re:C3PO (4, Funny)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753903)

In the future there will be homosexual robots

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Science of Star Wars? (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753822)

That article should not have been named the Science of Star Wars. I should have been named the climate and science of the worlds of star wars.

Wait a second! (4, Funny)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753834)

Are they trying to imply that Star Wars wasn't real?

I suppose they didn't really have light sabers, either?

What next, Darth Vader's voice was dubbed?

I'd better lie down a while.

Reality? (1)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753835)

How is moving from more advanced concepts to more basic ones a realistic view of society? They've reverted to hand-to-hand combat. Using those stupid light sticks is nothing more than glorified sword fighting. Perhaps if their technology becomes even greater, their fighting will regress even further and they'll use Super Dentures to bight each other. Lame.

Re:Reality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753884)

They're Jedi Knights.
All knights use swords....and stuff

I disagree. (1)

Adam Avangelist (808947) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753838)

So maybe it's possible to share, as long as neither species has the technology to obliterate, enslave, or merely cook and eat each other.

Speaking in response to a fictional situation. The Naboo may have a completely different culture than the humans of Earth. Cultures also vary differently on Earth in violence, for example compare the modern USA to the modern UK. They may completely and utterly shun unprevoked violence. I believe the human inhabitants of Naboo did not even have a standing army.

Putting science to good use. (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753842)

Finally science being put to good use. No more of that looking for cures for cancer or finding new cleaner energy sources.

A pity (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753859)

He's only viewing the Star Wars universe from an evolutionary perspective.

I was hoping for a more scientific foundation, but it's easy for some people to confuse the two I suppose.

Mod parent flamebait (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12754026)

*yawn* I'm not even going to bother with the real science.

Cool article, but a few issues. (5, Insightful)

illtron (722358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753873)

They make a few good points, but they're missing some of the Star Wars facts. A few that come to mind:

1. Yoda knew Luke was coming. It wasn't coincidence that he lost control of his fighter and landed in Yoda's back yard. That was the Force. They mention that it might be the case, but aren't sure. Well, it is.

2. There's very little or no liquid water on Tatooine, which they say. But they neglect the fact that this is obvious. Uncle Owen runs a moisture farm, which collects water vapor through a series of vaporators spread across the desert. They grow crops underground in tunnels.

3. Chemists correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the molecular weight determine where oxygen might occur in an atmosphere? If Tibanna, a gas used in heavy blasters in the Star Wars galaxy, weighs more than oxygen, isn't it very possible that there would be oxygen above it? Maybe it's something that's common in the upper atmosphere (we see mining pods floating around), but is breathable in its natural form, sort of like how nitrogen makes up a good part of our breathable atmosphere?

4. They totally copped out on Coruscant. They worry too much about the location. I'd figure that all this intense development on Coruscant might have started long before anybody decided it would be the seat of galactic government. Sure they risk a lot by being there, but you don't want to make the trash on the other side of the outer rim fly all the way across the galaxy, do you? Location, location, location!

5. I don't think Hoth is right in the asteroid field. The Falcon had to fly for a while before they got to it, and eventually (it seems conceivable that the trip took weeks) made it to Bespin. Even at sublight speeds, space vessels in the Star Wars galaxy have got to be pretty fast. All kinds of junk from space makes its way to Earth's atmosphere every day, and it hasn't stopped us from developing civilization. I don't see why the occasional small meteorite would stop animals from living on Hoth.

It seems that for a couple of scientific types, those guys didn't really ask enough of the right questions. That's all I've got.

Re:Cool article, but a few issues. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753960)

The biggest problem with Coruscant is illustrated in this comic strip:

http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/cgi-bin/comic.pl? comic=386 [irregularwebcomic.net]

Hmmm.... must be Tuesday..... (1)

Knight2K (102749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753876)

Somebody is getting interviewed about the science of Star Wars. Again.

500 y ears (2, Interesting)

BRUTICUS (325520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753881)

500 years ago we thought the earth was flat, today we think its a scientific impossibility to travel at the speed of light. 500 years from now we'll probably be wondering if its possible to leap over to the neighbouring universe.

Star Wars sucks, and has since the 70s (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753896)

Star Trek sucks too, perhaps even harder.

Just throwin' that out there.

linux is the suxxors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12753900)

fuck off

what science? (1)

frakir (760204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753940)

It is spooky enough for me when I see a sci-fi movie where you can hear shots fired in space.

And people manually driving fighter ships or aiming guns at other ships (double you tee eff they have no computers?). And old robots cracking codes in seconds in order to open some door. And tiny planes size of cessna refuelling some chemical and able to land/takeoff on a planet. And ubiquity of oxygen. And some 'force shields' around ships and abundance of them around compounds.

SW and science/common sense don't compute for me. Didn't they mean sociology of cultures presented in the movies?

Wrong. (2, Interesting)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753957)

The scientists interviewed make a couple of points I think have little grounding in fact. One is confusing "advanced" with "evolved". A longer period of time to evolve does not imply greater intelligence. All creatures are equally well "evolved".

The other is stating that an advanced civilization would shun planets for artificial habitats. For an astronomer, he seems unfamiliar with the fact that the universe is largely cold, empty space with nasty hazards and such. Why would a race automaticly want to go live in space?

Also a TV Special (2, Informative)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753963)


There was also a National Geographic 'Science of Star Wars' TV special on (I think) Discovery HD. It was basically a 3-hour infomercial with no useful information, at least not for anyone who makes any reasonable effort to keep current in tech.

Humans??? (2, Interesting)

KevlarTheSleepinator (827583) | more than 9 years ago | (#12753984)

what i never understood was the scientific reasoning behind how a "long time ago" in a "galaxy far far away" a species identical to humans (so much to be called by the same name IIRC) evolved and is technologically superior by probably a few centuries to a millenium to us. Anyone have any ideas?
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