Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-06-2019, 03:02 AM   #11
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Wolf View Post
Except that, plainly, both Tatooine and Hoth have free oxygen. Same for Coruscant, which is supposed to be entirely covered by city according to The Lore.

The only reasonable conclusion is that these aren't actually single-biome planets, but rather worlds where the growing bits are smaller than on Earth.
I would be very careful about using post-1800 science to conclude anything about the Star Wars universe. Can you think of anything in the 3 or 9 core films which is there because someone used principles of natural philosophy which Lucretius or Albertus Magnus would not have recognized? So they have 'lasers' which work like guns, and 'spaceships' which move like birds and fall to the earth when they lose their motive force.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 09:31 AM   #12
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I would be very careful about using post-1800 science to conclude anything about the Star Wars universe.
At least if we're talking about oxygen 1800 may be too early a date. I don't think it was clearly recognized until James Lovelock's work in the 1970s or so that it was explicitly recognized that oxygen atmospheres are chemically unstable and have to be constantly replenished by photosynthetic energy capture. Science fiction in the 1940s and 1950s seems just to treat "oxygen atmosphere" as an option on a list.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 10:10 AM   #13
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Wasn't Luke a moisture farmer? That would mean that if there's enough water vapor to actively gather, it had to have been coming from somewhere.
Numerous but small salt seas wouldn't change the desert planet status even in a more realistic setting, IMO.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 12:27 PM   #14
Agemegos
 
Agemegos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

I doubt that the writers put any more thought into where the moisture on Tatooine came from than they did into where the oxygen came from. Star Wars is just not the kind of work from which it is sensible to ask that much detail in the background and attention to science.
__________________
© copyright Brett Evill
FLAT BLACK discussion group at tekeli.li
On-line texts at flatblack.wikidot.com
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 01:32 PM   #15
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
I doubt that the writers put any more thought into where the moisture on Tatooine came from than they did into where the oxygen came from. Star Wars is just not the kind of work from which it is sensible to ask that much detail in the background and attention to science.
Remember the classic example of Trantor, capital of Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire. We are told that it had an enormous population, maybe up around a trillion, that it was all one huge city, and that food was shipped in from many surrounding solar systems in vast fleets. Of course this was all a reference to ancient Rome importing wheat from the Nile Valley and Sicily! But Rome was in the same atmosphere as the rest of the Earth and benefited from gaseous diffusion to make up its oxygen deficit. I remember reading one satiric short piece that envisioned the huge air fleets carrying oxygen to Trantor. . . .

And this was from a Ph.D. in biochemistry! Really back in the day everyone, not just handwavy movie makers, took oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres for granted. I think it was the discovery of how hostile Mars and Venus were during the 1960s that started people like Lovelock thinking things through.

(There was a storyline in Swamp Thing that contrasted the benevolent Green with the malignant Gray of fungi. And the first thought I had was, "Yes, when photosynthetic organisms evolved they started flooding the atmosphere with a toxic gas that exterminated most of the biosphere that existed then!" But of course now we've evolved to depend on it.)
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 02:06 PM   #16
Anders
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Remember the classic example of Trantor, capital of Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire. We are told that it had an enormous population, maybe up around a trillion, that it was all one huge city, and that food was shipped in from many surrounding solar systems in vast fleets. Of course this was all a reference to ancient Rome importing wheat from the Nile Valley and Sicily! But Rome was in the same atmosphere as the rest of the Earth and benefited from gaseous diffusion to make up its oxygen deficit. I remember reading one satiric short piece that envisioned the huge air fleets carrying oxygen to Trantor. . . .
David Morgan-Mar has a number of comics about the improbability of Coruscant, which is based on Trantor. Thermodynamics predict that the planet would turn into a fireball very quickly.
__________________
ďHe who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.Ē
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 03:43 PM   #17
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
At least if we're talking about oxygen 1800 may be too early a date. I don't think it was clearly recognized until James Lovelock's work in the 1970s or so that it was explicitly recognized that oxygen atmospheres are chemically unstable and have to be constantly replenished by photosynthetic energy capture. Science fiction in the 1940s and 1950s seems just to treat "oxygen atmosphere" as an option on a list.
Fair enough. And Han Solo does mention "light speed" which suggests that George Lucas was aware of relativity in a series which is based around faster than light travel (fans have decided that "light speed" is a translation for a technical term related to hyperdrive).

Probably its reasonable to assume the worldview of a high-school graduate in the 1940s, although if Lucas had felt inspired he might well have had human-alien hybrids (in Edgar Rice Burroughs but not 1890s biology). So blasters and turbolasers are not so different than the heat rays in "Red Nails" (1936) and work like guns in a WW II film. Its a mix of the cool things in pulp magazines, WW II films, and Akira Kurosawa.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 06:36 PM   #18
cptbutton
 
cptbutton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I remember reading one satiric short piece that envisioned the huge air fleets carrying oxygen to Trantor. . . .
There is a bit on this in Harry Harrison's Bill, The Galactic Hero.
cptbutton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 08:30 PM   #19
Agemegos
 
Agemegos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Remember the classic example of Trantor, capital of Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire. We are told that it had an enormous population, maybe up around a trillion, that it was all one huge city, and that food was shipped in from many surrounding solar systems in vast fleets.



And this was from a Ph.D. in biochemistry!
Right! The oxygen and moisture in the air on Tatooine and Hoth (and Arrakis), and the urbanisation of Coruscant (and Trantor) are impossibilities but they are not errors. They are genre conventions, no better to be "corrected" than FTL travel.

Quote:
Really back in the day everyone, not just handwavy movie makers, took oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres for granted.
And they thus created a genre and its conventions. It's a fun genre. Crushing its conventions with the conventions of a different genre is not the sport for me. (Just don't try to convince me that Star Trek and Traveller are hard science fiction.)
__________________
© copyright Brett Evill
FLAT BLACK discussion group at tekeli.li
On-line texts at flatblack.wikidot.com
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2019, 11:47 PM   #20
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Why canít these things be done in Star Wars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
Right! The oxygen and moisture in the air on Tatooine and Hoth (and Arrakis), and the urbanisation of Coruscant (and Trantor) are impossibilities but they are not errors. They are genre conventions, no better to be "corrected" than FTL travel.
I don't think that Frank Herbert thought of it as a convention, and I'm fairly sure that Isaac Asimov and John W. Campbell did not. I think the hard science of the era had not figured out the harsh realities of planetary atmospheric chemistry fully, and what they did know had not gotten as far as the Astounding stable of writers, not even the ones with a scientific education. It's like E.E. Smith giving us planets with chlorine atmospheres, which goes flat against the cosmic abundance of the elements. Of course for writers who do them now they're a genre convention.

Certainly past writers have often disregarded scientific issues, though. I've read a passage from one of H.G. Wells's letters where he discussed handwaving the issue of "how does he see?" to write The Invisible Man.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
science fiction, science!, star wars, technology, technology level

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.