You know more than a little about Star Wars. You wouldn't have ended up here otherwise. You've come to know it as a tale of good, evil, and destiny in a "galaxy far, far away", told against the backdrop of a rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and against the backdrop of a galactic war of secession which was itself largely a ruse concocted by the forces of evil to destroy the Jedi. You've heard folks over and over again talk about "the galaxy" . . . Han boasting he'd been from one side of it to the other, the Jedi being guardians of peace and justice throughout it, the Empire being spread throughout it in a vain effort to engage the Rebellion, et cetera. Maybe you've even caught wind of the multiple references to the fact that the Republic and Empire constitute but portions of the galaxy.
What if I now told you that you were wrong all along, and that in fact Star Wars spans multiple galaxies?
You'd demand some serious evidence, wouldn't you?
Well, Brian Young of SciFights.Net has made the claim that you and I were all wrong all along . . . that instead the Galactic Republic and Empire managed to control its entire local group of galaxies . . . but has neglected to provide serious evidence. It constitutes one of the topics of his recent "Hyperspace Speed" videos here.
First, as a baseline, let's consider the instances of "galaxy" and "galactic" just in a couple of the film scripts:
I. The Phantom Menace
1. "TITLE CARD : A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
2. "Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlaying star systems is in dispute."
3. "While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict....."
4. "PADME : I can't believe there is still slavery in the galaxy. The Republic's anti-slavery laws...
SHMI : The Republic doesn't exist out here...we must survive on our own."
5. "JIRA : I'll miss you, Annie.. there isn't a kinder boy in the galaxy. You be careful..."
6. "The two galactic warriors, Sith and Jedi, are bashing each other with incredible blows. They move in a continual cloud of dust, smashing everything around them."
7. "The spacecraft flies over the endless cityscape of Coruscant, the capital of the galaxy."
8. "The sleek Naboo spacecraft lands on the platform high above the street level of the galactic capital."
There are also two references to the "Galactic Senate", bringing us to 10 examples.
II. Attack of the Clones
1. There is unrest in the Galactic Senate. Several hundred solar systems under the leadership of the rebel leader . . .
2. This separatist movement has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy.
3. A small GROUP OF DIGNITARIES waits to welcome the Senator. One of the members of the group os a well dressed JAR JAR BINKS, a member of the Galactic Representative Commission, and DORME, Senator Amidala's handmaiden.
4. Master Jedi, our records are very thorough. they cover eighty percent of the galaxy. If I can't tell you where it came from, nobody can.
5. I'm glad you chose to serve. I feel things are going to happen in our generation that will change the galaxy in profound ways.
6. They have to come halfway across the galaxy. Look, Geonosis is less than a parsec away.
7. Don't you give me orders, Annie! I'm a Senator of the Galactic Republic.
Put simply, had it been the desire for Lucas and company to actually portray a civilization which spanned multiple galaxies, they could have been much more clear about it. Instead, it's pretty much totally opaque. Usages in the other films and scripts, The Clone Wars, and the assorted film novelizations all play out about the same way.
That said, there are three instances of the term "intergalactic" in all six scripts (four if you count a reference to the "Intergalactic Bank Clan"). From AotC we have:
"EXT. CORUSCANT, SPACEPORT FREIGHTER DOCKS, TRANSPORT BUS - DAYFrom RotS:
A small bus speeds toward the massive freighter docks of Coruscant's Industrial area. The spaceport is bustling with activity. Transports of various sizes moves supplies and passengers as giant floating cranes lift cargo out of starships. The bus stops before a huge intergalactic freighter starship. It parks in the shadows of an overhang."
186 INT. CORUSCANT-PADME'S APARTMENT-AFTERNOONAnd finally, from RotJ, with the operative phrase more or less copied in the novelization thereof:
A DC0052 Intergalactic Speeder pulls up to the veranda landing of Padme's apartment.
"Threepio leans forward and the slobbering villain mumbles something to him. As Threepio steps up to a comlink, Jabba raises his arm and the motley array of intergalactic pirates fall silent."Is that enough for us to declare that the Star Wars civilization spans galaxies? I don't think so. An "intergalactic freighter" and "intergalactic pirates" may seem somewhat tantalizing, but given that they run rather contrary to the great mass of other evidence they must be understood, not as "intergalactic" in the sense of "international", but simply as referring to being "among the galaxy", a common and defined usage of the term "intergalactic" which Brian ignores.
I kind of hate to bring up semantics, but when the other side engages in the semantics gamesmanship of forgetting a perfectly valid definition of a term, meaning it's a part of why they're wrong, what are ya gonna do?
More to the point, here, "intergalactic" can be defined in the same way as "international", where "inter-" refers to "between two or more of (the thing in the last part of the word)". However, "inter-" need not mean "between". It can also mean other things, which is why "intergalactic" is also defined as "of, relating to, or occurring in outer space" rather than just "situated in or relating to the spaces between galaxies".
"Inter-" is defined as "between, among, or within" here (bolding mine), or here as " ( ); ( )." "Intergalactic" as merely meaning "outer space" would most likely simply refer to "within or among the or in the midst of the galaxy".
(Incidentally, the word "Enterprise" has its roots in "inter-" and "prendere" (to take), making an enterprise probably originally refer to something taken together, a group activity.
Also incidentally . . . nowadays, as networking causes us to need to distinguish certain things more strictly, "inter-" as referring to the outside (specifically in the sense of the hopping of a boundary) is becoming the more commonplace usage compared to the somewhat contrary meaning of "within", a fact that often requires explanation to newbies when confronted with the term "intranet". However, that's something of a modern development, intramural sports notwithstanding. I, for one, find this quite satisfactory and proper, since the "within" meaning, however common, is indeed potentially confusing.)Of course, this argument would be familiar to Brian and quite acceptable were it not for the fact that he likes things in Star Wars when they "make it a better comparison to Trek", in his own words. After all, he's made no claims of multiple galaxy control or visitation for Star Trek, despite a greater number of separate examples of "intergalactic", to wit:
In the 23rd Century, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" references "intergalactic treaty" regarding extraditions with the planet Cheron which the ship soon visits. And, in Star Trek III the Klingon Ambassador claims the creation of the Genesis Device renders the Federation a band of "intergalactic criminals". In the 24th Century, "Booby Trap" features Geordi inquiring of the computer whether a Starfleet engineer ever debated at the "intergalactic caucases". "The Forsaken" has someone referencing Odo's tracking of "intergalactic malefactors".. "Behind the Lines" features Kira describing the Female Changeling as an "intergalactic warlord". "Endgame" features a character referring to Janeway not getting the crew home at all costs, instead working on her "intergalactic good will mission".
Of course, you understand and I understand that these references are merely to the "among the galaxy"/ "outer space" meaning of the term, much like Kirk's "to avoid interspace war" in "Balance of Terror".
Further, if pushed, we would probably seek to take a look at who's doing the talking when examining the Federation's intergalactic credentials. To be sure, having Kirk, the Klingon Ambassador, Geordi, and "The Forsaken" having a Federation ambassador (of sorts) using the term might seem to strengthen the case, were we to be daft enough to try to argue it. That's a pretty decent pedigree.
Brian's claims have no such pedigree. He's stuck with the name "InterGalactic Banking Clan" which I already addressed in the Addenda section of this post about the true span of the Empire and Republic. There are also two references in The Clone Wars, one seemingly involving a droid cut off (i.e. in half) before completing the aforementioned name, and a young, not especially bright guy on a backwater planet who refers to the Clone Wars as the "intergalactic war". There's not even a politician or military officer in that mix at all. Oh, and he was also excited by the name of the DC0052 Intergalactic Speeder we referenced earlier, which is strange since I don't think we've ever seen a speeder leave the atmosphere of a planet.
Young's lynchpin, he believes, is Obi-Wan pointing on a screen in Attack of the Clones to a point that Brian interprets to be outside the galaxy. This is, to my way of thinking, a truly hideous maneuver on his part. I say that not because this comes from the movie and script that also gives us the fact that 20% of the galaxy seems to be unknown to the Republic (see the last link) . . . that's just an extra. No, I say that because that very same pointing scene then features a zoom-in to well within the perimeter of the galaxy. This was covered a decade ago or more on ST-v-SW.Net. And yet, this is quite absent from Young's video . . . presumably he felt the audience didn't need to be troubled with it.
So even if Brian ignores the zoom-in, or if he is simply cherry-picking which part of a self-contradictory scene that he prefers (a not-uncommon maneuver on his part, despite the proverbial lady protesting too much), then he's still left to explain the 80%-of-the-galaxy figure that is still contrary to his claim.
And, if that's not all, Brian at least sort of acknowledges that The Clone Wars episode "Rookies" clearly places the Richi system (and with it, logically, Kamino nearby) within the Outer Rim.
""In The Clone Wars episode "Rookies", at 1:49, uh, one of the clones says "the most boring post in the Outer Rim" and uh then a sergeant or whatever says "if they get past this station they could surprise attack Kamino." Um, and, uh, the outpost is established to be in the "Richi system". Now, it was established in Attack of the Clones that Kamino is actually a halo system around the Richi Maze which is a satellite galaxy. But, uh, they're talking here about the Outer Rim, so in any event, it's at least in the Outer Rim, probably extragalactic. But, uh, in this instance, let's treat it as Outer Rim, uh, because that's what they said."In other words, Brian has three pieces of evidence . . . two from Attack of the Clones about which he makes the grand claim, and the entire plot of "Rookies" . . . which quite obviously run counter to his argument that Obi-Wan's finger is extragalactic. But instead of acknowledging that something might have been amiss there, he simply ignores it and soldiers on, only considering Richi to be within the galaxy "in this instance" and no doubt patting himself on the back for being so kind to his so-called "fanatic" opponents or something. In every other statement he pretends that the Republic and Empire are demonstrated to be multi-galactic entities.
Put frankly, such extremist inflationism is very off-putting to me, and would be even without Brian's strange attacks in my direction. Brian knows very well how to talk like a reasonable person when discussing, in general, how to deal with evidence and fact, but operationally he's actually worse than some of the worst inflationists from a decade ago. As far as I'm concerned, his treatment of the topic is so laughable . . . as well as his treatment of the speed examples from the rest of the video in which he declares offscreen time invalid for analysis purposes (!?what?!) . . . that he should have his geek/nerd credentials, if any, suspended.
I've often joked about making a parody site entitled GalaxyClassStarship.Net in which I try to inflate Star Trek. Were I to create such a thing, it would, I am realizing, look an awful lot like Brian's efforts to inflate Star Wars . . . specifically, the Star Trek V trip to the center of the galaxy would not be an ignored outlier like it is at ST-v-SW.Net, but the standard . . . and of course, I would ignore offscreen time. Similarly, the Federation would be intergalactic (in the "between" sense) despite logic and reason to the contrary.
Oh, and of course, just as with Obi-Wan's finger, I'd hammer the point that Professor Galen's finger is the end-all be-all of fact in regards to warp velocities.
As DITL notes, the course his finger plots accounts for about three quarters of the radius of the galaxy. Assuming a 100,000 light-year Milky Way, that puts warp drive cruising speed somewhere in the range of 37,500 light-years in "a matter of weeks". Assuming three weeks (I'd assume two in order to be a proper Trek inflationist but I just can't bring myself to do so), that's about 1786 light-years per day, or 652,000c. But of course, as seen in the episode, it was done by the Enterprise-D in a hurry in "a few days", meaning (assuming five days just to be nice to the "fanatic" anti-inflationists) that we're looking at 7500 light-years per day, or over 2.7 million times lightspeed. Were I without shame I could easily drive that up further, since (a) it'd need to be a round trip and (b) Picard could've been accounting for investigation time, meaning travel time was even smaller. Even with what we stopped at, though, that's enough to get to another galaxy in a year . . . which, compared to Star Trek V, must obviously have meant they were in some heavy traffic or something.
Of course, I don't actually believe those figures, and neither should you. I'd love to be able to credit Brian Young with not being the sort to go to such inflationist lengths in the direction of Star Wars, but I can't . . .much as he doesn't argue the Federation has sway in multiple galaxies, I don't recall Brian Young ever even bringing up Galen's finger. Only Obi-Wan's matters to him . . . which, alas, shouldn't surprise a soul.