The Death Star and Crystal Power

Mystic crystal revelations and the mind's true liberation:

Released on StarWars.com is an unfinished arc with critical ramifications for technological understanding of the technology of the Death Star.

1. http://www.starwars.com/video/star-wars-the-clone-wars-story-reel-a-death-on-utapau
2. http://www.starwars.com/video/star-wars-the-clone-wars-story-reel-in-search-of-the-crystal
3. http://www.starwars.com/video/star-wars-the-clone-wars-story-reel-crystal-crisis
4. http://www.starwars.com/video/star-wars-the-clone-wars-story-reel-the-big-bang

To summarize, almost all of the strange Death Star effects get explained in one quick slash of a pen putting the last touch on the word "kyber crystal".

Material disappearance (4th ep) . . . the yield question and how you get it from a fusion reactor . . . the rings and other planar effects . . . the only thing I'm not sure I saw was secondary blast, but the way the ship blew up may very well qualify.

Might even be a touch of explanation of seismic charges, what with the planar effect itself having destructive properties in this instance.

It's not the dawn of a new age, by any means, since it only confirms what I've been saying for over a decade, but it at least puts a name to the more mysterious elements.   And if the kyber crystal does its thing by yanking energy from hyperspace . . . which would still seem the most likely option . . . then I'm truly golden.

It's not the Age of Aquarius, but I'll take it.  Maybe now my old friends from SDN will let the sunshine in?

Time will tell.  They didn't seem to go for that idea even when the EU novel Death Star went my way, but one can always hope.


Rebels Begins

Just a first blush from after watching Rebels:

1.  TIE firepower is comparable to what people who actually watch Star Wars would expect.

The bolts emerge from the red dots on the front via whatever means . . . that's rather different than most SW weapons which actually feature a barrel aperture.   We'll see what that's about sometime, I trust.

2.  The new small Imperial Transport vessel is an interesting design.   From the front it looks somewhat generic, but from above or below the Imperial pedigree becomes obvious as the delta wings provide the appearance of a triangular shape for the ship.   Alas, there's no tower, however . . . would've been a nice touch to have a little cockpit action in that fashion, though as it stands, given the position of the cockpit within the forward rectangle, it appears that this is more the love-child of a Light Cruiser and a Republic Frigate.   Can't wait for a 3-D model to play with, especially to compare against the Republic Light Cruiser.

It features a small paired blaster turret that seems tougher than TIE weaponry, a big platform that drops down for egress, and somehow four TIEs can be attached on the underside.   It isn't clear if the pilots just sit there the whole time or if they're somehow supposed to be crawling in from the outside.

Edit:  After a closer look it appears there are docking tubes that hang down and are attached to the central TIE sphere, meaning egress occurs through the tube.

3.  Star Destroyers may have an upper hangar in addition to a lower hangar.

4.  The Ghost can completely elude ISD sensors, perhaps even masking its hyperspace exit.

5.  Was that a hull-breach atmosphere containment forcefield I saw?   Or was that some other existing forcefield ("shield")?

6.  I've already heard of Brian Young claiming that the Ghost turned in hyperspace, but the claim is based on insuffficient evidence.   The ship's in hyperspace, they talk about changing course, and then the ship's seen in hyperspace.  There's no turn, though the ship is slightly rotating . . . rotating has been seen before, though, in TCW.

Logically, then, the ship either continued on in its hyperspace lane until it reached the next waypoint and then took a different path, or exited hyperspace completely and turned around on the same lane, or concluded the  escape microjump they were engaged in and then went off on the new path, et cetera.

In other words, if I'm on an interstate and plot a new course on my GPS, I don't actually veer off-road at that moment, even if I speed up with a new sense of purpose.

If we get a lot more examples then there might be sufficient smoke to declare a fire, but as it stands all we have is an inflationist getting really over-excited at the thought of hyperdrive being as good as possible compared to other sci-fi FTL systems.   Frankly, I don't think hyperdrive's too bad off even if they can't change course while in mid-flight as per the entire Star Wars canon, but then I am not an extremist who's ready to ditch canon at the first sign of inflation.

More to come . . . 

A Trek Sound and a Rebels Yell

The Rebels premiere features the Wilhelm, which is right and proper.

There was also another noise that caught my ear when I first heard it while watching the Extended Preview clip.

If you go to http://trekcore.com/audio/ and find Computer Beep 10, you'll note that it's the same sound (minus a slight modification) as the sound of Kanan releasing his cargo crates while on the road out of town.

In the Rebels preview, it's at 5:59 or so.   While the preview's sound design seemed like it was probably complete, I figured I'd wait till the premiere to confirm that it was indeed in there, and it is.

Nothing wrong with that sort of thing, mind you . . . everyone snatches from Trek's sci-fi sound libraries (I think I've heard both Trek and Wars use one another's weapons sounds from time to time, for instance).   Nevertheless, it amused me to have caught it.


STrek-v-SWars.Net Forum Saves

Turns out, I saved over 75 pages from the STrek-v-SWars forum, and here they are.

I may post some more in-depth thread reviews here later, but for now I've got some quickie-notes on the threads.

With apologies, I only saved what I was interested in, meaning they were probably threads I was involved in anyway.  Sorry for all the 'me' in them.  But, there's assorted canon stuff, some superlaser/Alderaan action (which happens to be the thread that Wayback indexed about 75 times), and the old Star Wars ship scale discussions. 

STrek-v-SWars.Net's forums sort of occupied a sweet spot that the StarfleetJedi.Net forums had for a long while, too.  See, ASVS and SDN weren't really good places for discussion or exploration of ideas, and Spacebattles was similarly afflicted (not to mention being too broad in scope).   The STrek forums had folks from both sides, and while there was still a lot of animosity, there was at least an opportunity to flesh out concepts in public forums without it necessarily turning into a flame war.  Not that there weren't some flames, but still.

SFJ is still the premiere spot for community research and such, but with opposing voices preferring to isolate themselves in proverbial echo chambers (and make up false claims of how bad SFJ is to excuse the isolation), there's not a lot of difference of opinion.  The adversarial system has certain advantages at times . . . I daresay some of my best recent work was in a thread on ASVS.org where it was me and two hardcore inflationists talking past one another.   I enjoyed myself, if nothing else.


STrek-v-SWars.Net Forums, Pt. 2

So I had the below post ready to go but shortly before hitting "Publish" some neuron finally sparked in my increasingly-senile brain.  I actually saved a few threads from STrek-v-SWars.Net, including the scaling thread.  

I'd completely forgotten that, even within the past year or so when such information would've been very useful whilst chatting with someone.  Sucks to be senile.

So, I'll go ahead and share the below, but I'm also going to go back and post the threads I have in the Obsidian Order section.   I'll try to edit the page numbers and such so the threads "work".  

In the meantime, enjoy:


Continuing from the last post  . . .

13.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164514/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4754&amp

Someone suggests Leia subconsciously used latent force energy deflection powers to deal with the shoulder shot, noting that it is better than the claim that the wall behind her was hit.   That latter claim was the primary argument of the opposition for quite awhile . . . I recall someone claiming on Spacebattles once that since sparks were involved, it must have been a hit against metal.   I went through several scenes from RotJ showing sparks resulting from hits against wood and other non-metallic objects.   I should go find that again.

Also, there was a specific thread on Force-user energy deflection:  http://web.archive.org/web/20050826072115/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4876&amp

14.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164634/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4810&amp

Subspace weaponry thread, interesting thought.

15.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164720/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4816&amp

Not to tease you here, but I just wanted to complain that with the end of Geocities in 2009, this pic-heavy post is pic-less, which is a shame because I wanted to see if his claims of asteroid destruction were as weird as Brian Young's current claims . . . not to mention to see the context of two inflationary types going at it with each other over how much inflation to engage in.

16.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164728/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4826&amp

Interesting post about Imperial and Mon Cal design philosophies and implied differences.   It relies on the EU but may be useful anyway, and remains interesting.   Contrast the stand-and-fight thought (facing the enemy) with the broadside idea shown in RotS.  They're not contrary, mind you, but complementary.

17.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050825192319/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4904&amp

Oy vey.  The Federation = communist yarn again.   Fortunately, it appears that my old post-scarcity argument has been discussed and written about by others since (not saying they got it from me, mind you . . . just that it was the logical idea), so maybe this silly idea is on its way toward fading.

18.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513163547/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4906&amp

The tantalizing last page of a discussion of the "Masks" phaser event.  I don't see the calc, though.  Oh well.

19.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513163854/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4957&amp

Supposedly one of the EU novels had a Star Destroyer parked between twelve blue giant stars.   I never heard of this, which is strange because even if something was terribly wrong with the example the inflationists would've commonly glommed on to it anyway.

20.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513163926/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4965&amp

A piece of conversation about Garak's failed plan to use the Defiant's weapons to reduce the Founder homeworld to a smoking cinder.

21.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164240/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4974&amp

An unusual thread in which some pro-Wars guy I don't even know talks about how I'm a thoughtful and civil debater, while complimenting the STrek-v-SWars forum generally.  Y'know, I'm so used to people saying horrid things about me, not to mention being all too aware (and having much too good recall) of occasions where I didn't live up to my own high standards, I daresay I don't always give myself enough credit.

On the other hand, I also know I've lost a lot of my capacity for patience over the years, so maybe my self-assessment is just right.

Speaking of me, where the hell am I?   I've only seen myself in one thread so far.

22.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164353/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4983&amp

Ah, speak of the devil.   This appears to be the genesis post of the page about Vaporizing a Small Town.

23. http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164518/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4999&amp

A little blurb on aircraft versus tanks.   I want a tank with engage-able antigravs on it.  Best of both worlds, baby.

But really, if your shields are basically a super-wall, and your opponents are firing weapons capable of causing huge craters just from hitting the shield, a ground vehicle will be annoying because you'll always be climbing out of craters.

That's what inflationists never seem to think about in regards to the Hoth battle.  They want nuclear yields all the time, but none of the snow ever melts, and the AT-AT hull never even gets so much as warm so near as can be observed.  Even Luke's crash site didn't just boil away from under him . . . and the Imperials stepped on it, so they evidently didn't expect a problem either.

24. http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164600/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=5009&amp

Ah, here I am again.  I don't know which, but it appears Wayne Poe had gone to a lot of trouble to try to counter one of my "Incomplete" pages, which sounds very much like the way Brian Young recently tried to do the same thing.   Also, there's discussion of Poe having been banned from STrek-v-SWars.Net.   I didn't remember that.

25.  http://web.archive.org/web/20050513164711/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=5037&amp

And, boom.  Here's one of the pages of the "Scaling of Imperial Destroyers" thread.   Looks to be page 8.

Since I've skipped ahead, I know there are at least one or two more pages available, too.  Can't wait to read that.


STrek-v-SWars.Net Forums, Pt. 1

So far as I know, nobody's found this before.

It is possible to sorta kinda peruse the old forums from the looooong-defunct STrek-v-SWars.Net site (the one inspired by ST-v-SW.Net) via Wayback Machine kung-fu.  You'll find among StarfleetJedi.Net forum denizens that the STrek-v-SWars forums are looked back upon quite fondly and even with reverence for being a place where topical discussions and great research-laden posts occurred.  By that time, after all, SDN was basically a haven of angry groupthink where no open discussion could occur, Spacebattles was, well, Spacebattles (and similar to SDN inasmuch as no open discussion on Trek vs. Wars given the moderating staff), and of course alt.startrek.vs.starwars was not worth the bother of Usenet access.

Indeed, many early posts at SFJ featured laments about lost info from STrek . . . some posts were basically attempts to reconstruct the old data.   

Anyway, the forum main page looked like this:

And if you scroll down on this page to the URLs that have "viewtopic" in them, you can find some goodies:

I will thus comment on things I find interesting as I go, and please excuse the lack of good formatting or deep thoughts.   I'm considering this sort of like live-blogging but with a tape delay or something.   Also, with apologies to fanfic fans, I'm not big on those and while I keep bumping into them, I am not listing them here.  So if you had one and lost it there, sorry . . . gotta go look yourself.   Anyway:

"well, if there is one thing that warsies and trekkies can agree on, it is that both universes can kick the s*** out of Babylon 5."  - "Col. Crackpot" 

That made me giggle.

Alyeska's scaling of Utopia Planitia shipyard starbases.  I remember hearing about this but didn't realize it was heavily based on Star Trek non-canon stuff . . . a pity.   In any case, it was referenced at least once here:  http://www.starfleetjedi.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22&start=45

Alyeska notes having missed VOY and ENT, which struck me funny reading it in 2014.  For the briefest instant I was all like "what a butthole, claiming to be a Trekspert", but then I realized I have no idea how much I'd seen at the time, either.  I know I missed out on DS9 and Voyager, save for some of the major episodes, until very late in the game, though I couldn't tell you exactly when.   I think (pulling this from my butt) that I'd seen them all by the time Enterprise came on in like 2001 or so, but I can't guarantee that.

You kids these days have no idea how spoiled you are . . . you just pull it up in Netflix or watch episodes on StarTrek.com or some strange website that is streaming them on-demand or even catch them on Youtube or download the torrents in like six minutes.   Not to go all old-man, but in my day you either bought the VHS sets or you downloaded hideously crappy .avi files that were so poorly compressed compared to what you have now that you could barely make anything out ,and the files were so huge . . . often like 70 whole entire megabytes . . . that it took ages to pull them down.

Point being, a "what have you seen" thread was a valid thing at the time.   Now, one would almost be justified in responding with something like "what are you waiting for, go watch and get back to me, slacker".

This is the announcement where they declare the main pages off-limits to attack.   I haven't exactly done this with my main site pages, but since I've got someone rolling in literally a dozen years late trying to hit them with all he's got (and still not doing a good job), I understand the impetus.   Of course, these guys' pages were like a year old at the time, but of the team one guy was content and the other more into the coding side, so it was sort of a messy arrangement in that regard.

As for hitting old pages, there's a certain intellectual shame that some have and others don't.  Ten years ago it might've been worthwhile to smack around the SDN main site pages directly, for instance, but now I'd feel like an ass.   Some of the pages are just begging for it, yeah, but some of them are also like 15 years old.  Sure, in the modern era, low-life good-for-nothing thugs sometimes go after retirees, but that's because they're low-life good-for-nothing thugs. 

It's best to just present a different point of view and roll on.   

Cpl. Kendall makes a good point here about how the devil Voyager's crew knew anything about the Romulan guy from the "Eye of the Needle" episode.

Oh, there I am.   I was wondering where I was.  Took several, several pages to find myself, which is odd because I had the second highest user post count in the thread.   But, then, that's how I roll . . . extensive engagement, but only in select threads I find interesting.

Inside baseball stuff, but perhaps this might explain some of the archive.org difficulty with the site?   Just guessing.

8.  There's a damnably large number of "the topic does not exist" pages.   I'm guessing it was spam and such, but dammit.

Huzzah, something meaty.   BHMM (I liked that guy, where'd he go?) does an analysis of the number and types of Federation Starbases.  Vympel the Pimple (I never liked that little zit) trolls him, as was his custom.  I haven't read through this one all the way . . . I'll save that for later, since it has depth and deserves deeper consideration.

The above is a primitive wannabe version of 359's amazeballs SFJ thread documenting warp speeds here:  http://www.starfleetjedi.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6329

My god.  Is leetspeak even a thing now?

 . . . holy crap.   And why does this make me think of the weird guy JasonB on all the forums now who types like language isn't his first language?

Alderaan shield fight!  w00t!    

Oh crap, now I'm infected, too.

Wait, why are there two different ones?   And anyway, dammit that the other pages don't work.

And here's #3.  What the crap?   Either this has to do with the repagination thing several points above, or else seeing Alderaan Shield Nerdfight #6237 broke the Wayback Machine crawler.

12C et al.  

Maybe Wayback has decided my IP doesn't need to see any more today?:  http://web.archive.org/web/20050821112146/http://www.strek-v-swars.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4698&amp

That's probably a good idea.

So ends Part 1.   

I'm still hoping to find the old Star Wars scaling stuff, but I'm worried that almost all the rest of the threads are going to be the same freaky repeat of the Alderaan shield argument first page.


Star Wars vs. Star Trek Dance

Obviously, this is an approach to the debate I had never considered*.

(* Probably because, unlike using logic and occasionally being a jackass, I have no skills in that area.)

The Star Trek Spinblast

I've been meaning to do a proper survey of this little detail for years.  Alas, this is not such a survey, but I wanted to publish something on it anyway.

I mentioned it to Mike Okuda on Twitter back in 2012 regarding the claim of "more realistic" flamey explosions in space that they were adding to TNG in the remaster, in the hopes that they'd work to preserve the original effects.

(Ugh . . . lemme just interject here to say:  People, flaming space explosions are not more realistic.  They're pretty, in their own way ... even pretty awesome-looking at times:

But it is just weird to think that there's enough air for big orange flame.  A small hull breach with fire shooting out into the vacuum, dissipating rapidly?  Sure, go for it.  But a ship blowing up into a liquid fire that maintains its shape is just goofy.  Even in an atmosphere, fire in zero-g doesn't act like that.   I complained more about this here . . . and newer pic references for that post are here.)

Past space explosions were much more realistic, inasmuch as being shown as rapidly dissipating clouds of vapor and particles.   ILM has invariably excelled at blowing up Oberth Class ships in a most beautiful way, be it in Star Trek III or the first regular episode of TNG.  Here's the Grissom going up:

The above explosion is good, very good.  (So good, in fact, that they reused it for the destruction of the Enterprise-D stardrive section in Generations.)  While the thumbnail might make it difficult to see the Grissom, it was fantastic on the big screen.

But in the TNG era, the special effects of explosions of space objects including starships were generally somewhat smaller, framed for smaller screens . . . that means the ships were bigger (and thus visible) in the initial blast, and the cloud comparatively smaller.  With the ship so visible, then, they needed a way to disappear the model effectively.  Simply having some of it vanish wouldn't do.  So, the solution they apparently came up with was to spin the exploding ship.  I call this the spinblast.

 From a production standpoint, this served to make the model seem to disappear without just having it fade as might happen in a transporter effect, and it meant they could use explosion effects that weren't configured just so in order to hide the disappearing ship parts.

From a tech analysis standpoint, thought, it also means the explosions were profoundly energetic.   The acceleration involved in achieving super-quick rotation of a vessel or station massing hundreds of thousands of tonnes in the space of a frame or three is no mean feat.

Here are a few smaller vessel examples.  First, from "The Defector"[TNG3].  The first explosion frame is just overlaid effects, but the second explosion frame shows the ship rotated something like 60 to 75 degrees from its prior orientation, and the ship disappears:

The below two examples are from "The Die is Cast"[DSN3] . . . the sequence shows two Jem'Hadar bugs squashed by the Defiant.  Both show a violent, sudden rotation upon their destruction, measuring three and two frames, respectively, before they're invisible:

Given that the vessels are already basically blowing up at these points, it would be peculiar to conclude that the spin alone was sufficient to disassemble them.  However, it would be fair to say that there is undoubtedly some high-velocity debris being slung from the vessels.  And, in the case of the first bug above, we can observe that the port and starboard nacelles were still attached to the central thorax at the time of spinning.

Now, we need to consider a few things. I'll work up the math later, but I just want to put the proverbial bug in your ear, here.

See, that first bug is pretty obviously hit in the nose area, so it isn't like the ship spun laterally because of a hit to an outer area (from our perspective) like a nacelle.  Instead, the rotation was caused by something else.  Perhaps the ship's forward weapon emplacement blew sideways, or perhaps the ship's drive systems malfunctioned spectacularly, or perhaps the vessel's mass-lightening field failed in a particular fashion, et cetera.

(Bear in mind, however, that when a space station such as the one from "A Matter of Perspective" blew, it had a spinblast as well . . . stations are not generally thought of as running with mass-lightening fields, so that is probably an invalid idea.)

Whatever causes the rotation, the simple fact is that in the case of the first bug the only obvious sources would be internal/external explosion with a lateral bent (like a car's radiator blowing out to one side), or engine malfunction.   In the case of a Jem'Hadar bug, this involves a very significant bit of energy.  Recall that at 95 meters long, a battlebug is in the range of 30,000 to 120,000 tonnes, or thereabouts.   Even the smaller figure would require a remarkable amount of energy to cause it to snap around at such brisk clip.

Of course, the argument could be made that mass lightening would ease the load, there, but this presumes an explosion of mass-lightened ship parts could affect the mass-lightened ship differently . . . or in other words, it assumes the explosion energy is not lightened, for some reason.

Whatever the case, it's an interesting effect.  Keep an eye out for it in non-CGI TNG-era episodes and you'll see it quite a bit.


Weblog Address

The blog is back to its proper home (sorta), accessible via weblog.st-v-sw.net . . . it's not FTP publishing (tears up a bit), but it'll do.


A New Dawn Note

I'm just guessing, but I'd imagine I found something that's going to cause a debate or two.

See, we've already had canon statements from "Blade Squadron" of how even at the time of Endor, it was rare for someone to have seen a Star Destroyer.  And even in A New Dawn, first of the novels of the new canon and set at least ten years earlier, a Star Destroyer is thought to be a new sight to an important Imperial mining system.

This brings us to the following scene from Chapter 17.  Hera is checking up on a potentially interesting person that might be worth recruiting when she discovers he's a loony.
“The conspiracy?”
“The thorilide triangle,” Skelly said, astonished that she hadn’t heard about it. He moved across the room to the other side, with his wall of corporate shame. “The mining firms are corrupt. They’re tied up -- ownership, boards of directors -- with the shipwrights that have sold the Empire on one construction project after another. Oh, it’s all being done in secret, but you can’t keep everything secret. A billion Star Destroyers isn’t enough. They’re building Super Star Destroyers, and Super Super Star Destroyers, and who knows what else!”
“I see,” Hera said, gingerly taking a step backward. “And how do you know all this?”
“The HoloNet!”
“Oh,” Hera said. “The HoloNet.”
“It’s all one big web, and it goes on forever,” Skelly said, eyes fixing on the far wall. He stepped over to it and began fumbling with notes. “Did you know it was the moneyed interests that started the Clone Wars? There was a battle droid manufacturer that had too much inventory --” 

Hera bugs out soon thereafter.

But, we do have the loony guy put "billion" and "Star Destroyers" in the same sentence, and I can just imagine folks in certain quarters declaring this as a valid ship count, perhaps also including Super Super Star Destroyers in their fleet list.  They may even start scratching out what we know of the start of the Clone Wars and instead point toward "moneyed interests".

As for me, I'm not sure if he was just picking a wild number out of the air to make a point, or if he really believed there were a billion Star Destroyers because nobody can lie on the HoloNet, or if Palpatine had publicly ordered a billion-ship navy solely to cover up the Death Star's construction.

Given a million-system Empire, that would be 1000 ships each . . .   and yet Endor was (see Insider 149 p. 56) "the largest flotilla of Star Destroyers ever assembled".

But, I can imagine that won't stop some people.