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Weaponizing hyperspace


58 replies to this topic

#1
El Chalupacabra

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Last night I saw TLJ for the 3rd (and final time in the theater).  Now I am not sure why it took until now before something bothered me, but it probably is because the scene itself is actually a pretty damn good one:  when Holdo uses the rebel cruiser to ram Snoke's flag ship by making a jump to hyperspace.  What bothered me is the fact that this movie now officially weaponizes hyperspace jumps.  If this is now possible, what is to stop the rebels from mounting non-stop kamikaze missions on the First Order?  Have a Star destroyer you need to take out? Send 5 xwings in hyperspace and take out its bridge.  The First Order is building another Starkiller Base?  Easy, send a fleet of Rebel Cruisers to crash into it via hyperspace.  Hell, Poe could have saved a lot of lives and resources had he commanded the bombers loaded to the brim with mines and bombs to hyperspace into all of the First Order ships, as the rest of the fleet escaped!  Better yet, why not have completely automated ship sized hyperspace missiles packed with mega explosives that are sent by both sides that can take out entire planets, or even solar systems?

 

This, to me, opens a can of worms that I am not sure can be undone, and I would compare this to JJ's Star Trek Into Darkness that introduced the ability to transport from one planet to another, rendering star ship travel obsolete and pointless.  Now, I know this may be thinking about this idea too much, but that is what we do, isn't it?  How does weaponizing hyperspace in Star Wars make you feel?  Do you support it? If so, how do you defend the premise when asked why this isn't a standard practice? If you are against this concept, how do you put the genie back into the bottle, so to speak?



#2
The Choc

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I'd say because in general the Rebellion/Resistance are not fanatics who will sacrifice themselves in that way. Hell even at the end of the movie Rose prevents Finn from going kamikaze. Holdo already knew she was going to die when she stayed behind on the ship. This was a desperate time and required something desperate and crazy. 


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#3
Mara Jade Skywalker

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The thing is, it only works if you have a big enough ship jumping to hyperspace. If you sent X-wings against a Star Destroyer, they'd go splat against its shields. So I don't think it's something that could be truly weaponized. You'd need an excess number of big ships and pilots willing to commit suicide without knowing if the plan will actually work. Even though Holdo's plan worked, the Supremacy still wasn't completely destroyed. It's weapons could have still been active. 

 

https://twitter.com/...719074635841536

 

It's similar to the A-wing smashing into the Executor's bridge in Return of the Jedi. It's not enough to take out the SSD, but it's enough to damage it so it crashes into the Death Star. 



#4
The Choc

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Also, the Resistance cannot in general afford to trade a ship for a ship. They can't win a war of attrition. The Resistance using a cruiser to take out a Star Destroyer is a win for the First Order because the First Order can afford to lose ships while the Resistance can't. 


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#5
captainbleh

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I wrote this in the main TLJ thread - link

 

I can see the issues with it, but I'm not that bothered by it. If it never happens again (and I hope it doesn't), I'll just put it alongside all of the other suspensions of logic in SW (and movies in general) that allow the good guys to win.

 

Although it was spectacular, sometimes I wish they had come up with a plot that allowed the Resistance to use the First Order's hyperspace tracking ability plus its over-confidence against them instead.

 

Holdo could have made a jump to a location that had a high probability of death on exit, hoping that an unhinged First Order would impulsively follow her with disastrous consequences.



#6
The Choc

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The moment is great, you have all three storylines coming to some sort of head. Rey and Kylo are fighting over the saber, Finn and Rose are about to be executed, the evacuated Resistance ships are being picked off one by one and then BAM!!!



#7
pavonis

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How precise are hyperspace maneuvers, anyway? Was Holdo taking a last ditch effort that had a low probability of working, or is that kind of hyperspace ramming always going to work?

Of course we are asking about this in the context of a universe with technology to destroy whole planets and they still have to put living beings on their ships. Why isnt every ship equipped with a droid brain, allowing it to operate independently?

And of course in Star Trek, the idea of transporting across light years was established long before STID. It didnt remove the need for starships.

#8
Poe Dameron

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I've never liked it.  The new Star Wars has a habit of creating overpowered small weapons that make you ask why no one else did this before, or in this case, why they didn't do that with all the ships in the fleet?  Ion torpedoes in Rogue One being another example as were the ridiculously powerful bombers at the beginning of The Last Jedi where apparently one payload can easily blow up a ship they call a fleet killer.  The only similar weapon in the original trilogy was the ion cannon in The Empire Strikes Back, but that was a limited ground-based weapon.  It somewhat made sense that it was more powerful than conventional fleet weapons.

 

I've also been annoyed that they jettisoned the perfectly workable hyperspace rules of the EU.  Yeah, I know, EU, but those rules prevented issues like this, expanded the tactical options available for the series, and even plugged up a big plot hole from A New Hope.  Basically, a ship traveling through hyperspace could be pulled back into normal space via a gravity well.  And ships in hyperspace didn't physically interact with ones in normal space.  So, in A New Hope, the Death Star had to contend with Yavin's gas giant gravity well and couldn't jump in close to Yavin IV's orbit.

 

This allowed for interdictor cruisers, which projected gravity wells, keeping ships from fleeing.  Now, wouldn't that have been helpful in explaining why the First Order couldn't just jump in ahead of the fleet?  They would have had to taken down their means for holding the Resistance in place.  So, neither side would be able to use hyperspace.  Add in the Resistance putting up a jamming field and for why First Order reinforcements couldn't be called in and switch Finn's mission to disabling the gravity well and you suddenly have a perfectly plausible explanation for the currently implausible stalemate.

 

Check it out, I just solved one of the movie's biggest flaws by not flushing the EU down the toilet.

 

But all that got ignored during The Force Awakens with Han's plan for getting inside the shield of Starkiller Base.  The whole gravity well limitation was eliminated.  Speaking of which:

 

 

 

If you sent X-wings against a Star Destroyer, they'd go splat against its shields.

 

That's a bad explanation in light of Han's technobabble:

 

Han:

Their shields have a fractional refresh rate. Keeps anything traveling slower than light speed from getting through.

 

So, according to Han, shields can be penetrated just by going into hyperspace.  X-Wings don't go splat until they hit their target.

 

In any case, the greatest weapons in Star Wars should be rocks with hyperdrives attached to them.


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#9
El Chalupacabra

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How precise are hyperspace maneuvers, anyway? Was Holdo taking a last ditch effort that had a low probability of working, or is that kind of hyperspace ramming always going to work?

Of course we are asking about this in the context of a universe with technology to destroy whole planets and they still have to put living beings on their ships. Why isnt every ship equipped with a droid brain, allowing it to operate independently?

And of course in Star Trek, the idea of transporting across light years was established long before STID. It didnt remove the need for starships.

 

Well I don't think in Holdo's case accuracy would have been much of an issue, considering the close proximity of the ships.  Who is to say the Resistance cruiser didn't have a droid brain doing the calculations, anyway?  IF an old ship like the Falcon has a navi-computer, surely a newer capital ship also has one, and that is better to boot.

 

As for the trasnporter but, not to belabor it, but yes it existed in TOS, even, but it was not Federation Tech.  My point with STID in particular, was that it crossed a line that Star Trek shouldn't have gone.  There are certain conventions with franchises that we accept, and don't accept.  Interplanetary transporters are a little too Stargate for Star Trek, for example.  If you accept it, fine.  But there are a lot of fans, including myself that were bothered by it.  

 

 

 

I'd say because in general the Rebellion/Resistance are not fanatics who will sacrifice themselves in that way. Hell even at the end of the movie Rose prevents Finn from going kamikaze. Holdo already knew she was going to die when she stayed behind on the ship. This was a desperate time and required something desperate and crazy. 

That is as good an answer as any. And good point on Finn and Rose.  But what if they had kamikaze attacked the dreadnought with the bombers?  Would have saved a lot of time and effort and lives. 

 

 

The thing is, it only works if you have a big enough ship jumping to hyperspace. If you sent X-wings against a Star Destroyer, they'd go splat against its shields. So I don't think it's something that could be truly weaponized. You'd need an excess number of big ships and pilots willing to commit suicide without knowing if the plan will actually work. Even though Holdo's plan worked, the Supremacy still wasn't completely destroyed. It's weapons could have still been active. 

 

https://twitter.com/...719074635841536

 

It's similar to the A-wing smashing into the Executor's bridge in Return of the Jedi. It's not enough to take out the SSD, but it's enough to damage it so it crashes into the Death Star. 

OK, I buy that explanation.  You have to have a ship of significant mass to take out a capital ship.  Perhaps of nearly equal size to overcome shielding.  But if a squadron of xwings coordinated a jump at the bridge of a Star Destroyer, going at FTL ( maybe Pavonis can answer that....I am thinking F=M*A), I would think that may overcome shielding, and perhaps do enough damage to a Star Destroyer to disable it, and take it out of the battle. 

 

 

Also, the Resistance cannot in general afford to trade a ship for a ship. They can't win a war of attrition. The Resistance using a cruiser to take out a Star Destroyer is a win for the First Order because the First Order can afford to lose ships while the Resistance can't. 

Another good point...if Mara is correct that a ship must be of nearly equal size to take out the other with a hyperspace jump, then clearly the Resistance/Rebels cannot compete.  But what about the First Order doing it to them?  They seem to have unlimited resources by comparison.  



#10
Filthy Jawa

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I like where your head's at, but I have a feeling that if you get into some description or explanation of gravity wells as a major plot point in a Star Wars movie, half the audience will [homersimpson]Bor-ing![/homersimpson] and complain that Star Wars went all Trekky.

#11
Poe Dameron

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I like where your head's at, but I have a feeling that if you get into some description or explanation of gravity wells as a major plot point in a Star Wars movie, half the audience will [homersimpson]Bor-ing![/homersimpson] and complain that Star Wars went all Trekky.

The technobabble scenes are already there because of the hyperspace tracking stuff.  We've got three of them.  The first on the bridge when they're first about to go to hyperspace but decide they can't.  The second between Finn and Rose when they have their epiphany.  The third when they're discussing the plan to disable the tracker with Poe.

 

Switching out the dialogue to an interdictor cruiser preventing them from fleeing to hyperspace would take up zero movie time that isn't already being used.



#12
Poe Dameron

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But if a squadron of xwings coordinated a jump at the bridge of a Star Destroyer, going at FTL ( maybe Pavonis can answer that....I am thinking F=M*A), I would think that may overcome shielding, and perhaps do enough damage to a Star Destroyer to disable it, and take it out of the battle.

 

If I'm not mistaken, anything going the speed of light would have infinite mass.  So a pebble would be the same as a planet.  But, whatever.


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#13
El Chalupacabra

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But if a squadron of xwings coordinated a jump at the bridge of a Star Destroyer, going at FTL ( maybe Pavonis can answer that....I am thinking F=M*A), I would think that may overcome shielding, and perhaps do enough damage to a Star Destroyer to disable it, and take it out of the battle.

 

If I'm not mistaken, anything going the speed of light would have infinite mass.  So a pebble would be the same as a planet.  But, whatever.

 

That is what I was getting at, but I am not an expert by any means.  That is Pav's territory for sure!



#14
Poe Dameron

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Hey, I'm still getting my head around Kylo Ren stopping light in the last movie.



#15
Mara Jade Skywalker

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It's all fake.

#16
Tank

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Hey, I'm still getting my head around Kylo Ren stopping a light in the last movie.

Honestly-- of all the force tricks in all the saga, this is the only one that I really didn't like.



#17
Filthy Jawa

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Who said it was light?
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#18
Robin

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I thought blaster bolts were less bolts as in like lightning bolts not being a physical thing, but rather a super heated bullet thingy and the laser effect pew pew is in part just our ability to perceive something moving that fast... similar to how we see jet fighter rounds in real life.

As for the Holdo-Moment, I dont think there is anything wrong with it accept that it was Holdo and not Leia. Having Leia do it removes all the why dont the rebels just do this all the time because its a gawd damn force using super bitch saving the day. Plus its her final stand and a display of what is right to her douchenozzle of a neo-Nazi son whos right there struggling with morals. But if it had to stay a tech solution then really anyone else we should have cared about may have been better than Holdo, heck... itd even make more sense and have more weight than Holdo if it was Poes moment, that is if you truly couldnt pull the trigger on Leia. Poes entire arc is super-heroic risks being used when they arent necessary, and in fact endanger everyone else. This as his moment is an absolute lesson learned, plus it is totally in line with his personality. And its happening to a big three character.

That said, adding science to Star Wars is missing the point of Star Wars. I feel it is a far worse crime than when Star Trek had problems being because of technobabble (thats fine) and then solved purely by technobabble (that is giant unwashed ass) instead of being about the humanity of an issue.

Afterthought: About the hyper-tracking... that is suck, all complete suck. Technobabble suck. You want a plot moment about tracking then involve a spy or a bounty hunter like an Imperial Jelly Fish droid or what Bob Fett did in ESB. Have a character betray someone, explore a different belief system, whatever. Maybe that would have given something for Poe or Finn to actually be up against instead of spinning heels for a third of the film.

Heck it can be big, little whatever, just have it mean something to the moment, to a character. The Imperial Jelly Fish is neat, its a thing a moment to go pew pew at and sets off the booms. Fine, no worries, that type of thing is necessary at times. Remember though it was ignored except by Vader, which sets off his emotional connection thing to Luke. Later Fett then made a smart play, out smarting another smart play, its cat vs mouse and has reality to it. But the moment you decide to just say they could be tracked because new tech... puke, all total puke. It is even worse when it feels like a planned technobabble deus ex because of the line in Rogue One. Star Wars isnt about tech, it just has tech in it.

Afterthought afterthought: Deus Exes are necessary, dont get me wrong, but there are good ones and then there is we could track them because we made new technology. Thats simply a writer going we wrote that this technology was so awesome and so this new technology is even awesomer because it can thwart that awesome technology. If I cared about that **** Id throw an iPhone at my PlayStation to see what survived.

Afterthought the third:

What about a small exhaust port! I know. I know. But the moment isnt really hey its a small exhaust port lets shoot it. The moment is Luke believing he could be a hero, that he could do this, its his leap of faith moment, its the resolution to his personal arc in that film. Its not really about the tech.

Disclaimer: Its my birthday, excuse my stream of thought ranting... it could be drink induced or holy **** Im ****ing forty years old and talking about the viability of science stuff in Star Wars.
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#19
El Chalupacabra

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If blaster bolts are made of plasma (which is considered a type of  or a subset of gas, which has mass), and not just simple lasers, maybe that is how they were stopped in mid-air by Kylo?  



#20
Poe Dameron

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If blaster bolts are made of plasma (which is considered a type of  or a subset of gas, which has mass), and not just simple lasers, maybe that is how they were stopped in mid-air by Kylo?  

The problem with that is that when Kylo Ren released it, it resumed its path to startle Finn.  If it had mass and Kylo Ren had just stopped it, then it would remained stopped after he released it (or would have dissipated or whatever).  Newton's First Law and all that.  The only way that works if if Kylo Ren had added force to send it on its way again.


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#21
Dark Wader

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The only way that works if if Kylo Ren had added force to send it on its way again.

 

Well from what we've seen of Kylo it wouldn't surprise me that much if it was the case. 



#22
Filthy Jawa

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Newton hadn't been born yet, ergo your argument is invalid.

#23
pavonis

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Han:

Their shields have a fractional refresh rate. Keeps anything traveling slower than light speed from getting through.

 

So, according to Han, shields can be penetrated just by going into hyperspace.  X-Wings don't go splat until they hit their target.

 

In any case, the greatest weapons in Star Wars should be rocks with hyperdrives attached to them.

Starkiller Base's shields had a fractional refresh rate (whatever that is), allowing Han's  trick to work. It can't be true for all shields, else why would Han need to specify "their shields"? 

 

Attaching hyperdrives to rocks, though - sure, why not? 

 

 

 

Well I don't think in Holdo's case accuracy would have been much of an issue, considering the close proximity of the ships.  Who is to say the Resistance cruiser didn't have a droid brain doing the calculations, anyway?  IF an old ship like the Falcon has a navi-computer, surely a newer capital ship also has one, and that is better to boot.

...maybe Pavonis can answer that....I am thinking F=M*A), I would think that may overcome shielding, and perhaps do enough damage to a Star Destroyer to disable it, and take it out of the battle. 

 

...  But what about the First Order doing it to them?  They seem to have unlimited resources by comparison.  

 

Well, if droid brains are installed on every ship, why is a crew needed? All those life-support systems could be replaced with weapons, and those soft, squishy organics with impossibly slow reflexes are just hampering the ships' abilities to fight effectively.  :)

 

Newton's second law does not hold at relativistic speeds, so I can't tell you how many X-wings at hyperspeed you would need to destroy a Star Destroyer. Assuming Star Destroyers don't have shields with "fractional refresh rates", it may be that no ships can ever trick their way through the shields. 

 

As for the First Order, well, they already outgun the Resistance. You don't need to use desperate measures when you're already winning. Maybe they will try attaching some hyperdrives to small asteroids, though.

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, anything going the speed of light would have infinite mass.  So a pebble would be the same as a planet.  But, whatever.

 

You're mistaken. Nothing with mass can ever reach the speed of light. Suffice it to say, a pebble at lightspeed is absolutely not the same as a planet. 



#24
Poe Dameron

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You're mistaken. Nothing with mass can ever reach the speed of light.

Yes, I'm aware of that.  We're talking about whether an X-Wing would go splat on shields at the speed of light while a bigger ship would get through though.

 

Suffice it to say, a pebble at lightspeed is absolutely not the same as a planet.

 

Am I wrong about mass approaching infinity as it approaches the speed of light?  So, even if impossible, why wouldn't a pebble and planet going the speed of light both have infinite mass and have equal (infinite) force?



#25
pavonis

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If the ship has "fractional refresh rate" shields, then sure the X-wings will get through and go splat on the hull instead, maybe taking out the shield generators, or the bridge. If the shields are not "fractional refresh rate" type, then they'll go splat on the shields.  :shrug:  

 

You're wrong about the mass and infinity - nothing has infinite mass, ever, under any conditions. Better to refer to momentum instead of mass, which will increase without limit as the object approaches (but it still won't be infinite).  A pebble moving at the same relativistic speed as a planet will still have very different momenta. But do we really want to get into a discussion of relativistic physics here?

 

Hyperdrive-equipped asteroids in Episode IX - where's the petition?





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