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Corwin
31 May 2003, 12:44 AM
I read this essay (http://www.theforce.net/swtc/holocaust.html) awhile ago and itís stayed with me...

While Iím sure many of you have seen this before, Iíd like to see a discussion about it. The argument put forth is virtually flawless. The amount of derbies, not to mention pollution, released on to the forest moon by the destruction of the second Death Star would have
annihilated the Ewoks as well as all other life on Endor.

Even with the incredible technology of the Star Wars galaxy it is hard to imaging how it would have been possible to avoid the catastrophic consequences. The only answer I can think of would have been if, knowing the potential impact of the Death Starís destruction
on Endor, the Alliance quickly moved in to erect some sort of planetary shield system. Even this seems unlikely to have worked (in fact I think it says why some where in the essay). In any case it seems to be an unavoidable reality that the Ewoks who helped the Rebels win against the Empire had their home world destroyed as thanks.

Jim Williams
31 May 2003, 05:39 AM
the subsidiary antimatter and fusion devices in the Death Star II must have created an enormous burst of gamma-rays and high-energy particles.

I quit reading after this sentence because I don't like assumptions getting turned into fact.

It's an impressive work to be sure.

Sasche
31 May 2003, 07:29 AM
I think the concept is ridiculous. Obviously Lucas was telling a story. In his story, there most likely is no holocaust.
If you pressed him with all of the "facts" from the essay, then he would simply correct his earlier "assumptions". He would move the death star II further away. Or create a "secondary shield generator" which the rebels find and activate "in time".

In short, Lucas didn't spend as much technical application to the movement and location of the 2nd Death Star. Why? IT DOESN"T MATTER TO HIS STORY! If he was wrong in his assumptions, then who cares? Only scientific minded people with a little too much time on their hands.

Jedi_Staailis
31 May 2003, 09:54 AM
I think the concept is ridiculous.
Regardless of whether you choose to use this in your games or not, the argument is accurate. Sure, it's not too fitting with the Star Wars story, but what does that matter? It's an interesting case study, and doesn't need to be rejected for presenting a scientific viewpoint. If you don't want that to be part of your vision of the SW universe (and we all have our own slighty, or even largely, different versions), it doesn't have to be.


all of the "facts" from the essay
As far as I can tell the arguments are scientifically valid. Even if you assume the Death Star was entirely clean in its reactor mechanism (an unlikely assumption at best) a significant amount of the debris from an explosion of that magnitude would impact the surface. All it takes is one large piece to completely destroy the ecology of a planet. There would likely be thousands of such pieces. Rejecting the argument on grounds that it isn't fitting with the story is a legitimate argument. Rejecting it on scientific grounds without scientific evidence isn't.

Crin Daroota
31 May 2003, 10:07 AM
All I can say is that it couldn't possibly have killed off everything on the Forest Moon, because quite simply, half of the moon would have had to be facing away from the explosion.

Besides, Jim has it right. This essay is based on way too many assumptions. I mean, it takes into account that shadows don't move during scenes, and concludes that Endor has a short rotational cycle. Umm I conclude that they were shot during the brighter part of the day so Lucas could film them.

Also, distance, space, and atmosphere (not to mention a forest canopy) would protect inhabitants from much of the explosion's nastier effects. Though it created a spectacular explosion (perhaps a little too spectacular when seen from the ground) all the effects weren't directed at the moon, only a small sliver of the spherical effects would have gone that direction. And the clincher: Some folks were down on the ground when it blew up. Anyone remember reading that Han's back gave him trouble a few years later due to gamma radiation from the Death Star's explosion? (or for that matter, from BOTH explosions of Death Stars he was around for) I don't. If it doesn't rate a bad back or intestinal troubles, I'm gonna "conclude" that it's not enough to kill off all the inhabitants of an earth-sized moon.

Admiral_Atredies
31 May 2003, 10:50 AM
Interesting proposal, and it looks to be very well written, though the fact is: strange things happem. Now, I don't claim to be some astro-physisist, but I think this could be countered with some good old fashioned Star Wars pseudo-science. The explosion was of a tremendous force, probably incenerating more than half of thhe station and reducing it to extremly small peices, which would burn up on entry into Endor atmosphere. The larger peices, depending on velocity and trajectory, could either be flung out of gravitational reach of Endor, and other could be simply caught in its orbit, making sattelites around the sattelite. Of course, inevitable large chunks of metal would colide with the moon, but keep in mind that such a primitive society such as the Ewoks would have a small population, in a very small are of the moon, so direct contact with Ewok settlements is unlikely. While the large peices of the battle station probbly would have some affect on the atmosphere, it doesn't seem that the impact would be powerful enough to entirely destroy the moon and all life on it, as ndor has a lower gravity than that found here on earth. Plus, Rebel tractor beams could guide the larger and more dangerous chunks to uninhabited or oceanic parts of Endor, and crash it in tiny peices, sorta like MIR ;). Again, this is just my thinking, beacuse its pretty undramatic for a huge hunk of metal to fly down and smash the heroes while they pose for the final scene. :)

Sasche
31 May 2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Jedi_Staailis

Regardless of whether you choose to use this in your games or not, the argument is accurate.

The argument is "accurate" according to the physics and other sciences we know of here on earth. The moon of Endor was created in a Fantasy galaxy in George Lucas's mind! Hyperspace in his galaxy is considered impossible by the "accurate" physics that we know of!
So applying our science to George Lucas's fantasy world is where I see the mistake.


Sure, it's not too fitting with the Star Wars story, but what does that matter?
It matters because I, and many other people on these forums, play characters in the "Star Wars story"!

And finally, I agree that the "scientific conclusions" in the essay are valid. It kept my interest enough to read the entire thing :rolleyes:
But is this something that people should accept and change their "stories" just because the science involved makes more sense? I say no. I don't like the concept, and since none of the authors in any of the books have taken it up, I won't try myself. (I took the Wedge's Gamble bit to be purely "Empire Invented Propaganda" like all of the other features in the museum.)
So while this might be an interesting concept to talk about with friends, I would not introduce it in any sort of campaign in my SW RPGs.
If pressed by someone else, as to why it didn't occur, I would take more of the approach of Admiral_Atredies and use "Star Wars Science" to explain why the holocaust didn't occur. For every Earth-physics rule, you can easily create a Star Wars physics to counter it.

(How about a "hi-jacked" gravity well projector which pulled most of the debris away from the planet? The Rebels didn't know how it would come into play in the attack on the death star, but since the entire fleet was attacking, they brought it with them. Well, after the explosion, a quick-thinking captain saved the Forest Moon by activating his gravity well. He was able to control the larger debris and destroy them before damaging the moon!
If you don't think that is enough - than how about 10 gravity well projectors!!!)

Jedi_Staailis
31 May 2003, 11:33 AM
So applying our science to George Lucas's fantasy world is where I see the mistake.
Some level of science is unavoidable. Though we're talking about a fantasy setting, it still has rules. Those rules are very, very similar to those found in our universe. Throw some out for the sake of the story, if you wish, but science will always be part of the universe. Applying the physics we know is a perfectly valid way of trying to understand what happens on screen. You have to take it with a grain of salt, because the filmmaker doesn't have the level of physics knowledge that some people have, but you can't argue that when Luke loses his hand in ESB it won't fall.


It matters because I, and many other people on these forums, play characters in the "Star Wars story"!
So, like every other piece of the Star Wars galaxy, take it or leave it in your game! I just don't see a reason to discourage this kind of thought.


For every Earth-physics rule, you can easily create a Star Wars physics to counter it.
There certainly are a lot of Star Wars counters, and I employ them all the time in my games. However, at some point it starts getting ridiculous. :)

Corwin
31 May 2003, 12:59 PM
I have a heard time rejecting any of the concusions of this essay off-hand. However, I can think of a few potential solutions (this is what I use in my game anyway ;) )

First off is the radiation generated by the flash when the Death Star exploded. It seems likely that Star Wars medical science has treatments for exposure to radiation levels that would be leathl in the real world. Gamma rays are another problem, since these kill instantly. Since Han, Leia, and the Rebel command team had a clear view of the Death Star as it exploded and were not immediately fried from the inside out it would seem that the more deadly forms of radiation were absent. Perhaps the Death Star did not generate gamma rays. Or perhaps there is some reason why, counter-intuitively, the gamma rays would not be sent shooting out with the rest of the debris. For this reason I think the effect of radioactive pollution on Endor was minimal.

However, the debris from the Death Star still pose a major problem. Since itís been firmly established that some of the sections of wreckage were several kilometers in size, any one of these could have a major impact on the planet. Such an impact would effect the whole plant, not just the hemisphere where the impact occurred. Such an impact would kick thousands of pounds of dust and debris from Endorís surface in to the atmosphere. While the effects of one major chunk of debris might not have a major long-term effect on Endor, the effect of several such chunks would lead to an effective nuclear winter.

However, it seems possible to avert this. In the hours after the battle the Rebel fleet could have used tractor beams to move much of the larger wreckage out of Endorís orbit. To deal with the smaller debris which could still clog the atmosphere a gravity well projector could have been used. Still, the amount of debris released by the Death Star would be so massive that only planetary shields could truly save Endor. In my mind the Rebels used a combination of all these strategies to avert the Endor holocaust. However, there is no question in my mind that unabated life on Endor would have been annihilated by the Death Star.

Jericho_Narcas
31 May 2003, 03:02 PM
Don't forget that the Empire was fixing to use the Death Star to blow up Endor anyway.

Kanner Ra'an
1 June 2003, 07:22 AM
About the large sections of debris. We sometimes forget Endor is only a moon. Wouldn't the main planets gravity have drawn in the largest peices.

Nova Spice
1 June 2003, 09:52 AM
It essentially boils down to the fact that because the above essay is so rife of technical mumbo jumbo. Star Wars is not technical in nature and thus, the above argument can be considered....garbage. :D

Sasche
1 June 2003, 10:04 AM
In my opinion, Star Wars is frequently "mislabled" as Sci-Fi. I categorize it more as Fantasy (in a Sci-Fi setting). I think I remember a Lucas interview where he describe it more as a Fairy Tale in a Sci-Fi setting.

Jericho_Narcas
1 June 2003, 12:02 PM
Star Wars is space opera -- not really sci-fi or fantasy, but a mixture of both.

Fred Getce
3 June 2003, 06:16 AM
I always explained it as the hypermatter that the Death Star II used for its power destroyed the DS on a molecular level, literally consumed it metal, crew and all in a second; leaving only vapors. That is why you do not see ANY debris (or at least VERY large chunks of the station when it went up), just a big expanding cloud which was quickly snuffed out by the vaccuum of space.

Every ones satisfied in the group, plus as others have pointed it out it is a space opera not a Mr. Wizard show. Even shows like Space:A&B, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Andromeda, etc. bend the laws of physics of all fields to tell their stories.


It's still cool though. :)

AzmoDanakar
3 June 2003, 01:37 PM
The ecological disaster that may have unfolded hardly seems a fitting fate for a planet full of furry freedom fighters~! Besides, the Noghri already have that as a similar story background. With hundreds of thousands ( maybe even millions) of habitable worlds, we can't save them all... Maybe this would be a good springboard for an infinities type campaign in which the Ewoks become highly technical in just a few generations in response to their dying homeworld...

Silent
3 June 2003, 03:04 PM
I usually assume that the Death Star didn't have that much of an effect on Endor, simply because the Rebels used it to house their victory party after the battle: sure, the dust wouldn't have affected them for a while, and they could have used X-Wings to fry the larger of the chunks rainiing down on that particular spot, but why on earth would they want to do that? They still were in a war after all.

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
3 June 2003, 07:58 PM
I like ewoks, so I tend to ignore this article. Besides, we see no indication of this in the movies, and it obviously would be against the theme of the movies, so I like to write it off as the ramblings off a guy with too much time on his hands.

KagatoIII
6 June 2003, 05:33 PM
Reminds me of one of my favorate SW Tales Story about the Stormtrooper who survied the horrors of Endor and the only thing that gave him any comfert was that all life on Endor was wiped out when DS2 went up. The ending is priceless as someone tells him that the rebels saved it.

Corwin
7 June 2003, 05:15 AM
Iíve never heard that story. Was this EU or a fanfic of some kind? If it was official material it could be the silver bullet continuity-fix that makes this nasty little problem go away.

While I donít like it any more then you, I canít accept that, baring Rebel intervention, life on Endor would have been wiped out. I know Star Wars is more fantasy then sci-fi, but I can only suspend my disbelief so far. When I see chunks of Death Star that would logically be kilometers wide shooting out every which way in low orbit, I know that is going to cause problems.

People on this thread who said things like Ďone of those chunks wonít do that much damage, even if it is a mile wideí, or Ďthe X-Wings could have blasted the debrisí didnít read the whole essay. Geologists believe that it took one mentor only a few miles wide to cause an extinction level event here on earth. Endor would have suffered several such hits.

As to shooting the debris up, Iíll let the essay speak to that


Maybe the rebels, being environmentally conscious, attempt to blow up these fragments before they can hit the moon? Fine. You're still left with the same amount of material falling from the sky. You can have it either in big chunks (which make huge impacts) or as a rain of fallout dust. Either way the upper atmosphere will eventually be clogged with either fallout dust or impact dust, resulting in one huge nuclear winter effect.

The fact is that saving Endor would take action beyond just shooting the wreckage in to smaller pieces. As the essay points out several times vaporized matter is still matter, just much smaller, the atomized metal will float in to the atmosphere and clog it producing a nuclear winter. Still, I feel that with the technology available in the Star Wars galaxy the Rebels were able to step in and save Endor from the worst of the disaster.

Hmmmm... I think I smell a fanfic coming on ;)

Sasche
7 June 2003, 05:46 AM
I don't feel that I am "suspending belief" at all when I disagree with the essay.
I disagree with the quote that says that shooting debris still leaves dust of an equal mass. That may be true using "earth physics". But how many of you have actually witness what an X-wing Blaster bolt does to debris? Hmm? The only evidenceis what is in the movies and books. As far as I know, none of them delve into the finer aspects of how finely the wreckage of a Blaster Bolt is left.
I choose to believe that a Starship could easily have their weapons configured to actually destroy material, beyond dust even. Maybe longer "burns" for the blasters or whatever. This wouldn't be good for combat techniques (therefore, we never have actually witnessed it - not good for stories!). But, these longer "burns" would be able to cause fission in the target debris, releasing the matter to 100% energy!

There - an easy explanation for why little or no debris falls to the planet!

Darth Fury
7 June 2003, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Crin Daroota
All I can say is that it couldn't possibly have killed off everything on the Forest Moon, because quite simply, half of the moon would have had to be facing away from the explosion.

Besides, Jim has it right. This essay is based on way too many assumptions. I mean, it takes into account that shadows don't move during scenes, and concludes that Endor has a short rotational cycle. Umm I conclude that they were shot during the brighter part of the day so Lucas could film them.

Also, distance, space, and atmosphere (not to mention a forest canopy) would protect inhabitants from much of the explosion's nastier effects. Though it created a spectacular explosion (perhaps a little too spectacular when seen from the ground) all the effects weren't directed at the moon, only a small sliver of the spherical effects would have gone that direction. And the clincher: Some folks were down on the ground when it blew up. Anyone remember reading that Han's back gave him trouble a few years later due to gamma radiation from the Death Star's explosion? (or for that matter, from BOTH explosions of Death Stars he was around for) I don't. If it doesn't rate a bad back or intestinal troubles, I'm gonna "conclude" that it's not enough to kill off all the inhabitants of an earth-sized moon.

I disagree with you completely. True at the time of the explosion roughly 1/2(maybe even more like 1/3) of the forest-moon was facing towards the :ds2: and the rest was not in a direct line of site with the :ds2: but the moon does rotate on an axis (just like our planet does ;) )and it also orbits the planet of Endor (similar to the way our moon orbits our planet) increasing the possibility of exposure to irradiated materials by possiblely traveling through a even larger part of the debris cloud than a stationary object would. Not only does the path of the orbit increase the chance of exposure but the gravity of both Endor and the forest-moon increases the amount of debris the moon would come in contact with(large objects in space attract smaller ones).
This discussion got me thinking back to the most recent shuttle disaster and how big the debris corridor was in that case( I don't recall off-hand the exact size but I'm thinking it was about 100 mi wide and stretched from New Mexico to Alabama several 100 miles to say the least) and the shuttle isn't even 1/100 th the size of the:ds2:!! Using this as an example, I would guess that a very large portion of the planet would be affected. At a minimum I would say that 45% would be directly adn adversly affected up to even as much as 80% of surface area could be contaminated.
As far as your theory on the forest canopy acting as protection from the debris, I seriously doubt it. Any debris that was large enough to survive re-entry would have been super-heated and most likely would have started the canopy on fire only adding to the devastation. Also recall that NASA warned that the debris from the shuttle contained chemical and radioactive contaminants that were said to be extremly fatal/harmful if they came into contact with living tissue( now this may have been a line of bs NASA gave out to get 'trophy hunters' away from debris but I think there was at least some truth to it.) assuming similar contaminants could be found on :ds2: debris it would have a devastating affect on the eco-sphere of the forest-moon of Endor.
Now certanly not all life would be destroyed immediatly but it would drastically change the evolutionary course of the planet. All life on the planet may not end but it would definately be changed as we know it.

Darth Fury
7 June 2003, 02:32 PM
Also it does sadden me to think that the Ewoks are destroyed on a galactic scale, because then what would my pc's use for target prtactice!! :? :jawa: :raised: :jawa: :D :P

dgswensen
7 June 2003, 02:53 PM
I think the author just couldn't stand the idea of cute Ewoks in a Star Wars movie so dreamed up this idea to kill them to make the Star Wars universe more "dark" to his taste. There's nothing wrong with that, I just think all the "facts" in this article are put in there to shore up this basic concept.

In my humble opinion, to argue about whether or not the giant planet-destroying space station ending all life on the forest moon full of warrior teddy bears is scientifically valid... is a pretty silly debate to be having.

If Jar Jar doesn't die in Episode III, I can guarantee there will be much fan fiction written scripting his gruesome death too.

Sasche
7 June 2003, 03:34 PM
Actually I have already seen many pictures/cartoons/stories describing very gruesome deaths for Jar Jar. And I have enjoyed them immensely.

I also blame the "cute cuddely teddy bears" for damaging what could have been a movie as good as ESB.
This was backed up 10 times over when I heard the rumor that Lucas initally was going to have the 2nd DS being constructed using wookiee slaves. And instead of Ewoks, it was going to be a huge army of wookiees! It was the "difficulty" of finding that many large actors and creating that many costumes of wookiee quality that made Lucas switch to "cute, cuddily teddy bears."

However, with all of the animosity I have towards ewoks, I am not so shallow as to invent a story of their extermination using "scientific proof".


but the moon does rotate on an axis (just like our planet does)
Actually, our moon doesn't rotate. The gravity of the earth has stopped the rotation of the moon, causing the same surface of the moon to face the earth at all times. When NASA orbited the moon, that was the first time that anyone has ever seen the opposite "side" of the moon.


but the gravity of both Endor and the forest-moon increases the amount of debris the moon would come in contact with(large objects in space attract smaller ones).
If the gravity of Endor came into play, wouldn't it (being larger than the moon) pull more on the debris and cause it to fall into the gas giant, therby protecting the forest moon?
If I wanted to "sound officially scientific" I could invent some legitimately sounding numbers which could mathematically "prove" that the gravity of the Gas Giant would pull more on the debris than the dinky forest moon.

But, alas, I don't have as much free time on my hands as the creator of the essay, so I won't be able to fabricate as scientifically sounding an argument. :(

Corwin
7 June 2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by dgswensen
I think the author just couldn't stand the idea of cute Ewoks in a Star Wars movie so dreamed up this idea to kill them to make the Star Wars universe more "dark" to his taste

You might want to try reading though the whole essay before making assumptions like that...


I always imagined that the site of Vader's pyre would become a place of gentle things; a Light Force Nexus analogous to the Dark Nexus on Dagobah. But I've done calculations and I now accept the inevitability of the bleaker reality.

I know itís a long read, but I can tell from a lot of the comments here that many of you didnít read the essay all the way through.

Also, the term ďvarpoizedĒ is used in Star Wars to describe the effect of energy weapons on solid matter. The word vaporized implicitly implies that the matter is turned to vapor. So again, shooting the derbies in to smaller wreckage wouldnít work.

Sasche
7 June 2003, 04:55 PM
I know itís a long read, but I can tell from a lot of the comments here that many of you didnít read the essay all the way through.
I did read it all the way through, but I'm afraid I don't understand what you are implying by this comment. Care to expand upon it? Are you specifically specifing Darth Vader's grave site?


Also, the term ďvarpoizedĒ is used in Star Wars to describe the effect of energy weapons on solid matter. The word vaporized implicitly implies that the matter is turned to vapor. So again, shooting the derbies in to smaller wreckage wouldnít work.
Well, I'm afraid I don't understand this either. It sounds like you are using this as an exmaple of how they couldn't have saved the moon from the debris. But all you are doing is defining a word :Vapoize
If I could pointedly point out to you how the Rebels were able to Vaporize the debris, I would.
Are you saying that the Rebels can't Vaporize the debris? Why not? Just because it is unlikely to be possible on earth doesn't mean that these things can't be done in the Star Wars Galaxy.

kind of impressively impressive how you can make a word sound more important by using an adverb to describe it which is derived from the actual word! :P

Darth Fury
7 June 2003, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by Sasche

Actually, our moon doesn't rotate. The gravity of the earth has stopped the rotation of the moon, causing the same surface of the moon to face the earth at all times. When NASA orbited the moon, that was the first time that anyone has ever seen the opposite "side" of the moon.
OK your right but my point was that the forest-moon of Endor does rotate on an axis because if it didn't it wouldn't have gravity or an atmosphere. So thank you for the correction and further solidifying my point.



If the gravity of Endor came into play, wouldn't it (being larger than the moon) pull more on the debris and cause it to fall into the gas giant, therby protecting the forest moon?


My point here was that the planets larger gravity would pull more debris into the orbital path of the moon. Again I thank you for the thechnical observations and making my point more clear to everyone.

Jedi_Staailis
7 June 2003, 10:30 PM
Actually, Sasche and Darth Fury, both of your arguments are inaccurate.


Actually, our moon doesn't rotate. The gravity of the earth has stopped the rotation of the moon, causing the same surface of the moon to face the earth at all times.
The moon does rotate. It just rotates as a speed that keeps one of its two hemispheres facing the earth during its rotation.


OK your right but my point was that the forest-moon of Endor does rotate on an axis because if it didn't it wouldn't have gravity or an atmosphere
The fact that a planetary body rotates has nothing to do with with atmosphere, and it most assuredly has nothing to do with gravity. All matter experiences gravitational attraction.

I think dgswensen is on the right line of thought on this issue. The author probably doesn't like Ewoks. But the author has taken the opportunity to apply science to a situation, which can be beneficial in an of itself (if only for his and our better understanding of science). As for the Star Wars, it's whatever we make of it. So far, no confirmed sources have come either way, so that's left in the gray area for each Star Wars fan to decide for him or herself.

Darth Fury
8 June 2003, 06:29 AM
Well Staailis I disagree with you. Gravity is the cause of both the rotation of the earth and the moon as well as the reason the earth has an atmosphere. So to say that the two have nothing to do with each other is just as incorrect as my statement that rotation causes gravity.

Jedi_Staailis
8 June 2003, 09:20 AM
Gravity is the cause of [...] the rotation of the earth
Could you clarify the mechanism of this? I'm suspicious, but I won't dismiss it out of hand. :)


as well as the reason the earth has an atmosphere
I apologize for my other post being unclear. Gravity is definitely a reason the earth has an atmosphere. I meant that rotation isn't necessary for a body to have an atmosphere.

Darth Fury
8 June 2003, 01:21 PM
As to my understanding of it the Orbit of the earth is caused by its attraction to the sun, or the suns attraction to the earth, or both most likely ;) and the earth is held in orbit by its attraction to all the other bodies in space/milkyway. It's thses conflicting attractions that cause the earth to rotate. This works similarly for the relationship between the earth and the moon. Whch is also why the earth and the moon rotate in opposite directions. At least thats my understanding of what I found on the subject in the Encarta encyclopedia ;) :D

Jedi_Staailis
8 June 2003, 01:29 PM
Orbit of the earth is caused by its attraction to the sun
*Laughs* This time it was me misunderstanding you. I thought you meant the rotation of the earth on its axis, rather than the rotation of the earth around the sun (which is indeed caused by gravitational attraction between the earth and the sun). I think we're on the same page now. :)

Darth Fury
8 June 2003, 01:49 PM
I guess I'm talking about both the orbital rotation and the rotation on the axis. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

Rogue Janson
8 June 2003, 03:08 PM
Ahh, the Star Wars technical commentaries...

The first thing I'd say is that I don't think there's any point trying to argue with the site in its own terms. The 'Dr.' in Dr. Curtis Saxton refers to the fact that the guy has a doctorate in astrophysics.
The fact he wrote an essay on the wiping out of the Ewoks shows he's a doctor of astrophysics with too much time on his hands.

Now I like the tech commentaries and have found them very useful on many points, but I only use them as far as I feel like. The problem I have with the site's method is that it assumes it is possible to relate star wars phenonema to 'real world' ones, that mechanisms are essentially explainable with contemporary physics and don't have features that would seem fantastical and unlikely to a current scientist, and also that events in the films illustrate general rules and not exceptions.

The other point about the site is that it's valid only up to the point that it conflicts with the Star Wars mythos or pathos. I would say anyone who has a strong feeling for the pathos of Star Wars will have trouble believing that the Sanctuary moon could have been devastated by the destruction of the Death Star. It's just not something you imagine happening. Maybe there were problems, maybe it could have devastated the moon and the Rebels saved it, but it just couldn't happen. End of story.

Franksta
10 June 2003, 07:21 PM
the argument that the Ewoks were wiped out logicaly makes sense, but Lucas is a storyteller and i don't think he's interested in the hardcore realism of the effects on blowing up the DSII.

Sirch Akoras
21 June 2003, 06:48 PM
How about this?

The death star was only half completed. Anyone notice how (at least to my memory) the half that WASN'T complete was facing the moon? The other half would be blown AWAY from the reactor in the center, thus going to the actual planet of Endor. Thus, you save the ewoks and don't have to do ANYTHING technical to explain it.

Also, some will note that the second half was somewhat completed, enough so that there could still be very large chunks. The atmosphere of the planet would reduce the size of the chunks, and the Rebels were smart enough (and caring enough) to go and at least reduce the largest pieces. So forget the ewoks dying, alright?

(And sorry if this was posted already, I don't have time to read 3 pages :D)

Darth Fury
21 June 2003, 07:01 PM
Whatever! For those of us still loyal to the Empire or who hate Ewoks 'All the Ewoks died' works just fine!

LoneStranger2298
9 July 2003, 10:49 AM
Actually I had read that the Rebel fleet was doing everything it could to intercept the larger chunks of debris before they could cause problems. Also as far as any radiation from the Death Star goes, atmospheres are usually good shields against some of the really hard radiation that bombards planets. And finally as far as the particulate matter that would have gotten through the atmosphere and the like, planets gain small bits of debris on a regular basis, I doubt it would kill of life as that moon knows it

Corwin
18 July 2003, 06:11 PM
Well, yes it would. As has already been stated some thing the size of a moon detonating in low orbit is going to have nasty consequences. You can intercept the biggist pieces with tractors (shooting wonít work because the vapor will clog the atmosphere) but you canít block it all. The only way is with a planetary shield.

I was talking with my GM about this and he pointed out some thing very interesting that no one hereís brought up, and was neglected completely by the essay. While the Rebels blew up one part of the shield system set up to protect the Death Star, this system would by necessity be far larger then just the station the Endor team destroyed. In fact, chances are the only function of this station was projecting a shield to the Death Star, and in fact taking it down had no effect on the planetary shield system. Following this, Endor was in fact under full planetary shielding when the 2nd Death Star was destroyed.

This is the only theory Iíve seen that accounts for the lack of any appreciable effect on Endor from the Death Starís destruction. You canít argue with the science of it, all attempts Iíve seen on this thread show a profound misunderstanding of the principles involved (or just that the poster didnít read the whole essay). For those whoíve postulated that real-world science has no place in Star Wars, Iím sorry, but the fact is science is intrinsically part of the Star Wars galaxy. Even the Force is grounded in science, and I donít care if you donít like that fact, itís cannon.

Still we can take comfort in the fact the all the Ewoks lived long after the battle of Endor. Unless of course you donít like Ewoks, in which case you may have preferred that the Endor holocaust happened.

Sirch Akoras
31 July 2003, 03:01 PM
Hard Explosion: The remains of the Death Star II are blasted in all directions with so much force that the lack of orbital equilibrium doesn't matter. Then a large fraction of the fragments (no less than 15.4% of the station's mass) will strike Endor at high speed, and the rest will fly out into deep space. This is because the moon covers roughly a sixth of the sky as seen from the Death Star II construction site. At the battle station's altitude, it was visible from 13.9% of the surface of the moon; this is the area vulnerable to direct high-velocity impacts.

This is quoted from the guide.

Note the picture here: http://devan1.tripod.com/Pics/DEATHSTAR.JPG
(Sorry, Tripod is a bad host, but copy and paste the URL and it should work).

That picture shows that mcuh of the surface of the DS2 was facing away from the planet, and none of it was on a direct impact course (when assumed that the debris was thrown at a speed of 80km/s as quoted on the site, qualifying as a hard explosion) with the ground below. Remember how atmospheres work, to some extent, as shields- if something attempts to enter it the wrong way, it will bounce off. Most of the completed surface that was actually aiming toward the planet (the rest would go to open space or to the actual planet of Endor) which is a very small percentage would be sent toward the moon at such an angle that it would bounce off.

Some of it may get the right angle, then comes two other factors: the proposed shields mentioned above and the Rebel fleet ready to assist.

But, as Corwin said, its up to you whether they lived or not.

Wampa Jedi
1 August 2003, 06:08 AM
I read the article.

First the radiation- His assumption is based our technology, the more advanced the power supply the nastier the waste it releases. We don't know what kind of power it would take to power startship much less a laser capable of destroying a planet, it has to be cheap and its got to be safe otherwise there wouldn't be as many startships out there.
If cars were powered by nuclear reactors there sure would be a lot less on the road. If 2 cars hit and exploded, it wouldn't be a nuclear explosion, but just a "normal" one, it would spread radiaactive material everwhere in the area making it unihabitable. Then some terrorists get their hands on one of these nuclear cars and blow in the middle of a huge city, thousands could die and more would be sick. The city would practicly have to be abandoned.

Also one of the main purposes of an atmosphere is to stop radiation. The Earth is bombarded with Gamma Radiation every second of everyday. We are still here.

As for debrii, 1000 TONS of debri hits the earth each year, I don't see our sky brown or a nuclear winter forming. And for large chucks being broken into small chuncks falling into the atomoshpere, well take a big chunk and throw into a pool, see the huge splash, also see how long it takes to melt. Now take the same size block of ice and pulverize it into snowflake type pieces, throw that whole mess into the pool. Was the splash a little smaller. How long did it take for the smaller peices to melt, probably gone already.

Sure pieces could have struck Endor, sure there could be craters, there could also be parts of Endor that you can't go to yet, but I don't think its a wasteland. There would also be a ring of metal bits around Endor, but with shields ships could probably navigate threw it easily enough.

Plus I think the Rebels would have stayed on Endor as long as they could have. It would serve there interests to keep the moon habitable. I mean people salvage wrecks all the time. What kind of stuff could they have gotten from the wreckage of the Death Star?

Plus all the arguments stating Endor was destroyed have to do with this assumption "Well they never said Endor was inhaboted still."
That could easily be turned around "They have never said Endor was destroyed."

There is my opinion :hansolo: