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TitusVorenus's Avatar

06.03.2012 , 10:00 PM | #7
The esoteric example is that we should consider the Star Wars universe as indeed just that: a separate universe within the larger context of the multiverse, governed by a different set of the Laws of Physics than our own.

Various examples of these differing laws include (but are not limited to--these are just off the top of my head):

--Sound in space (at least as we understand sound; there actually is "sound" in space in our Universe, but in the form of electromagnetic waves which requires instruments to "hear")

Sound in the sense that we normally contemplate it exists as a function of wave vibrations of molecules as interpreted by our ear. This is why sound requires a medium of transmission (such as the gases in our air, or water) as opposed to light (which consists of wave-particle photons, and is very different), and is why we cannot "hear" in space; though any given location in space is never a perfect vacuum, it contains so few particles that there is nothing upon which the sound wave can propagate.

That's in OUR Universe. Clearly things are different in the Star Wars universe, and there are two possibilities: either "sound" is a fundamentally different construct, or the space of the Star Wars universe is filled with a substance once believed to exist in our Universe: aether. Aether is best conceived of as simply a non-descript "something" which fills empty space. The aether explanation is probably the answer, because it resolves other issues as well, such as....

--Friction/Resistance in space

As cool as it is to watch, the space combat in Star Wars is not really what actual space combat would likely resemble. The differences are many, but the key point here is that space in Star Wars is literally manifest itself, and the maneuvers by starfighters resemble atmospheric combat maneuvers.

The biggest thing here is that in Star Wars, starships slow down as engine power is reduced, and weapons systems have a finite range. This is precisely what we expect and what happens on Earth--but the reason it happens is because in an atmosphere, any object passing through it will inevitably collide with and be slowed by the molecules in the air until eventually coming to a halt; we are familiar with these concepts as "friction" or "resistance". Unless energy is continually applied, anything must eventually come to a stop, from a bullet fired from a gun to a car that runs out of gasoline.

But as space in our Universe is effectively a vacuum, this does not apply. Once set in motion, objects can, and will, simply keep going... and going... and going... and going.... Theoretically, if you fired a bullet in space, it would never stop (although in practice it would almost inevitably be sucked into a gravitational field, or fly into a moon, or--after a period of time literally unimaginable--run into enough scattered atoms and radiate enough gravitational waves to slow and stop, but for our purposes these possibilities are meaningless); in fact, I'm pretty sure one of the Mass Effect games points this out, saying that you better be damn sure of your aim because you may end up hitting something on the other side of the galaxy. "Slowing down" does not and will not simply "happen" unless you actively produce a force in the opposite direction of the motion; in fact, one of the major obstacles to the future of interstellar space travel is that not only do you have to get a given spacecraft up to incredibly high speeds, but about halfway on your journey you must begin to reverse thrust and slow down, or else you'll simply zip right by your destination.

Star Wars does not behave in this way. Weapons have limited ranges (quite limited, when you actually look at them), and spacecraft maneuver as if they were behaving in an atmosphere--which, if there is an aether, they in a sense are. This would help explain, incidentally, the point of an X-Wing's x-wings (et cetera): aerodynamic surfaces by definition require an aerodynamic environment in which to function, otherwise they'd serve no purpose.

--The Death Star (and specifically, its superlaser) could not exist

Some years ago, some very clever and very bored people looked at the math underlying the known details about the Death Star and its superlaser and determined that it was not actually possible for it to be capable of producing enough energy capable of vaporization of a planet. Even if the reactor produced its energy in the form of matter-antimatter annihilation (the most energetic interactions possible in our Universe), it would still not have enough power. The conclusion was simply that in the Star Wars universe, there must exist some sort of exotic energy-producing reaction which does not exist in our Universe.

Speaking of lasers....

--The lasers in Star Wars are not actually lasers

Weaponized lasers do in fact exist today in our Universe--but they operate along the lines of creating a powerful beam which produces a large amount of heat and melts its way through its target. There is no physical impact of anything, because the particles of light, photons, have no mass.

"Lasers" in Star Wars are, as we can readily observe, quite different. They are discharged in "bolts" of a definite shape--presumably concentrated, powerful bursts of energy--and have a physical impact on their target, which means they must have mass. These "lasers" must therefore be based on something other than photons--best guess is probably some form of plasma of high-energy particles. This, along with the presumed presence of an aether, also explains why the "lasers" can be readily seen, as actual lasers cannot be seen unless the photons are hitting something (such as dust).

I could go on, but I know that none of you care, so I'll sum up by saying that the Laws of the Star Wars universe are clearly different from our own--and that includes how gravity functions.
The Former Dalexeo Cobja of Starsider
Vorenus Faustus--Vanguard, Helm of Graush
Sygnus Faustus--Scoundrel, Helm of Graush
Vorbeck--Sniper, Ven Zallow