View Full Version : SW Technology

12 January 2002, 04:46 PM
Has anyone ever noticed that well nearly everything in the SW universe seems to be quite old and that many manufactorers arent dealin out much of anything new. Ive been troubled by that ever since i saw R2-D2 and i beleive even a few R4 and R5s in Episode One. Was the economy crushed so badly that new technology isnt coming up and scientist arent getting enough funds. Ive been very troubled considering in the Essential Guide to Droids it said that a C-3PO units droid brain was the best interactive artificial brain around and its design seems to be 30 to up to 50 years old before Episode IV. I also remember the very first time i saw screenshots for episode one the first thing to bop im my mind wasthat the technology seemed to be ever "better" than the tech we say in 4-6. I wont be surprised either that if we see an X-wing in attack of the clones or episode 3. What convinced me even more was a book cover for an Episode Two Book (art of Star Wars Attack of the Clones) it seems to be stormtroopers on this cover (well just have to wait for it to come out) or atleast an very similiar early "stormtrooper." We also havent seen any military grade Capital Scale Starships in episode one did we. Though more sources say the Star Destroyer was made at about 5 years before episdoe IV (or maybe like one year i dont know). And the Jedi Starfighters which supposably can tranform from a lightly armed speedy starfighter to a around 10 laser cannoned, speedy starfighter. Did technology get lost during the Rise of the Empire or why is it that technology seems to be "more" advanced in many aspects to me. My last clue is that in the Incredidle Crosssections of Episode One and probably in the Darth Maul novels that have been written it says his ship was equiped with a Cloaking Shield. Thst technology seemed to have been lost and refound later with the TIE Phantom and with GA Thrawns campaign.
So my question is do u also see this or what do u think leave ur thoughts.

12 January 2002, 04:54 PM
Hmm...not sure how to answer this one, other than the fact that George wanted the stuff in his star wars movies to have the "lived-in" look, like it came from a real place. I am not sure if there is a story reason for any of this, rather than just whether or not it looked good/convincing on screen.

darth maim
13 January 2002, 03:29 AM
Why do the episode I technologies look better than ep 4-6?? Simple, Lucas has access to better special effects and assloads more money!! It's a bit of a running joke between my friend and myself but if you let it bother you that's just kind of silly. Why would Lucas tie himself to the limited technology he had while making the first trilogy? That would make no sense what-so-ever....

13 January 2002, 04:16 AM
Actually I think I have an example why Episodes 4-6 have that "dirty" look to them and Episode 1 came out looking so clean. Look back to the past two world wars. Before the industrial revolution and Nazis came to power in Germany it was really a bright age for most of Europe. As factories and free-trade boomed it continued to reflect prosperity. Then the Nazis came to power and created their war machine. In their quest to conquer the world they destroyed a lot of countries, built up a huge military force and stifled research other than what they deemed useful to their government. Palpatine's new order seems to follow this doctrine rather closely with the development of his superweapons. And you also have to consider that the Imperials knew there was a rebellion gathering strength and that they probably kept most of their technology advancements and manufactured products to themselves. Why should their forces use second-hand blasters or old vehicles when the top of the line model can be constructed in an Imperial controlled facility.

Don't want to start flaming due to the WW comments but that's my two cents. That and I really think Lucas meant for the Imperials = Nazis. There's just too many similarities.

13 January 2002, 04:57 AM
When you think about it, the fact that 'the best tech around' has, in fact, been around for 40 or 50 years isn't as stupid as it sounds: don't forget that the Republic has been around for 25000 years (or at least, over 1000 generations) and in that time, it can be considered that most tech has already been developed, i.e. there isn't much left to invent. On the other hand, according to EU sources, there have been cycles of growth and decline (that comic that came out recently, i can't remember what it's called), and the Ep1 era certainly looks like the end of an era of prosperity, where research and development are, if not at a standstill, at least almost non-existent, so 'revolutionary' tech will rarely appear. On the other hand, the civil war (Ep4-6) acts very much like WWII did, stimulating new and more imaginative research, hence the inventions in the EU after the Battle of Endor.

13 January 2002, 02:59 PM
Star Wars technology has been static for thousands of years. The Star Wars galaxy is not a place of scientific, linear, historical advancement, it is a mythic setting subject to cyclical time. X-Wing games, in which technology advances between missions, notwithstanding. Though design priorities and fashions fluctuate. There are almost certainly far more engineers than scientists in the SW galaxy. The beautiful Naboo designs are the norm in the Republic until its last century, when it enters a period indeed somewhat like prewar Weimar Germany.

Star Wars has always used its design as an integral part of the storytelling. Ralph McQuarrie and Doug Chiang were/are heavily directed by Lucas in this regard. To quote from Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections*: "Formerly a glorious government of free peoples uniting a vast galaxy in harmony and liberty, the Republic has fallen on harder times and has begun cutting back its expenses. As its sky-scraping architecture becomes barren and soulless, so too do its spaceships begin to bear the mark of the factory more than the artist-engineer. Harsh lines and mechanical design distinguish the Republic Cruiser, while many vessels on Coruscant, like the air taxi, still exhibit the older sense of style."

Cloaking technology is extremely rare, but constant in all eras, based on movie dialogue.

*which George Lucas may have directly read and approved: he certainly did its companion Visual Dictionary

13 January 2002, 04:17 PM
Well when you look at the movies I think it is consistent between the era's. It's just that most of the tech you see in Eps IV-VI is in the hands of the rebellion. The ships are all old & battered and jury rigged together. The Empire's technology, while not looking spiffing is still new & clean. Cloud city was pretty bright & Star Treky with the exception of the Carbon Freeze chamber, but that was a working area. Then most of the tech you see in TPM is from Royal Naboo. The Royal fleet is going to be spiffing. As are the rather rich Trade Federations fleet.

GM Dave
13 January 2002, 11:14 PM
Cloaking technology is mentioned for the "first" time in Episode 5. "No ship that small has a cloaking device" or something like that. I like to think that the Imperial fleet at Endor were using their cloaking devices, since they seem to appear out of nowhere when the Rebels arrive.

One Mon Cal crewman says: "Sir we have enemy ships in sector seven." (Or something very close to that.)

Then Akbar says: "It's a trap!"

I think the very next scene is of a dozen Star Destroyers. I say they were cloaked. :raised:

So-Var Leet
14 January 2002, 05:33 AM
I think it was because in hyperspace you can't use your sensors. So when they came out of hyperspace and saw a dozen star destoryers and an SSD waiting for them, it wasn't all that hard to piece together the fact that it was a trap.

My take on this technology thing is the same as the history from BattleTech, if anyone's played it.

There are these galaxy-wide wars in which a lot of technology, science centers, factories, etc are destoryed. As more and more things get destroyed they loose more and more of the technology. Hence why the 'Mechs in 3025, when the galaxy was divided, are much worse off then the ones from 2750, when the Star League ruled.

Now, coming back to Star Wars: If you say that the "galaxy-wide wars" are the Clone Wars, then it all makes sense. A lot of technology could have been destroyed and forgotten in that period of time.

.... and now the scientists are going to have to reinvent the wheel. :mad: *sigh*

FlipDog 2000
14 January 2002, 06:11 AM
The imperial fleet wasn't cloaked. In the books and even the movie, the entire bulk of the Imperial Navy was waiting for the rebels on the opposite side of the moon. Otherwise, the Strike team of Han, Leia, Chewy (fly casual), Luke, 3P0 and R2 would have made an encrypted transmission back to the rebel fleet that a trap was waiting.
It just so happened that Piett was quite smart in his tactics at that time and kept the fleet hidden until just the right moment.

As for the nastyness of 4-6...one word: war.

14 January 2002, 06:34 PM
The time of the Old Repulic the S.O.T.A. curve is in one of its longest stretches. Where most the tech has been developed and it takes generations (plured) for further advancement in any one field of study.

Plus from what I understand the tech actually steps backwards once the Emperor seals his grip. He holds technological advancement back from most companies (except Imperial). He also places several laws into effect that more or less leaves T.E.D. to the Empire alone.

So with the S.O.T.A. curve in its stretch and the Emperor controling T.E.D. technological advancement seems nearly impossible!!!!!!!

Kayle Skolaris
14 January 2002, 07:02 PM
My take on it is this... Think about where this "dirtiness" is found in the Original Trilogy.

1) A drug smuggler's ship.

2) A piss-ant two-bantha armpit of a world so remote that notorious interstellar crimelords can live openly there without fear of arrest or persecution. Even Luke, who'd lived there all his life, was well aware of exactly how far out on the ass-end of space he was.

3) Two guerilla rebel bases also located somewhere near the center of the ass-crack of space. Specifically, Yavin IV and Hoth.

4) What amounted to an interstellar oil refinery drifting along in the winds of a gas giant (I don't care how pretty Lando's clothes were or how nice he tried to make the place look, it was still nothing more than a natural resources mining station out in the Star Wars equivalent of BFE).

5) A moon so remote that there are THREE indigenous species (going by the much-reviled Ewok Movies) living on it that NO ONE KNEW ABOUT!!! Not only that, there's a significant number of off-world pirates stranded there as well!

6) Bounty Hunters. Enough said.

Now the few times we saw how the Beautiful People lived, what did we see? Beautiful places to live! Now granted we only got short glimpses of these places and only incredibly briefly at the end of RotJ:SE, but they still looked like the same sort of cities on Coruscant. Aside from those brief glimpses, we saw the Imperial War Machine which was ANYTHING but dirty looking! Sure, they had a nasty-looking garbage pit, but aren't most garbage pits nasty-looking? Their ships were nice and clean and polished! More functional-looking than, for instance, Naboo Fighters, but in any military form should FOLLOW function, not the reverse.

So all in all, I really haven't seen much that makes me think that TPM looks out of place... I really think we've all been infected a bit too much with the EU material. Unconsciously we expect Lucas' vision to follow that of the EU writers when ultimately it should be the other way around.

FlipDog 2000
15 January 2002, 07:21 AM
Wow...you have an answer for everything...

Kayle Skolaris
15 January 2002, 07:35 AM
Nah, I just like to pretend I do! :D

15 January 2002, 08:34 AM
You have to keep in mind the perspective that we had in the original trilogy...rebels fighting a large, well-equipped government. These Rebels obviously had to steal or salvage technology, and when it broke, more often than not, it was jury rigged to the nth degree. My point is, the Rebels couldn't afford to spend time polishing their weapons.

As for the 'cycle of technology', that is obviously accurate, the free enterprise system is inherently cyclic. And since the Republic had been around for millenia, technology would begin progressing more slowly as there were less and less revolutionary technologies to invent. Soon, everything would be evolutionary development instead of revolutionary.

I agree with your idea of Imperials = Nazis, but the Emperor is cooler than Hitler.

SaeSee Tiin
15 January 2002, 08:57 AM
I've got to agree with Kayle's assessment, for the most part. Also, I think at the beginning of the new plastic slipcover trilogy:SE, Lucas addresses this very issue at the beginning of the tape, when giving a sneak peak and discussing EPII (just 4 more months!) and the look of Owen and Beru's home.

-SaeSee Tiin

15 January 2002, 09:16 AM
Lucas has said that he is addressing the different look in the two trillogies by making the films parallel eachother.

E1 parallels E4 - Two bright and colorful movies about hope and the good guys winning the battle, but not the war.

E2 p E5 - Two dark movies with alot of passion and the bad guys kicking tail

E3 p E6 - We can't really see a parallel yet . . . because we all think E3 is the Jedi purges, so it can't really parallel a winning movie like E6 . . . but we just have to keep saying 'In George We Trust'

Also, GL has said that he is going to make these next two movies a bit 'dirtier' on purpose, so that the series flows perfectly on kind of a wavy line. On a scale of dirtiness, E1 to E4 will flow slowly down from a high to the 1977 grainy, dirty low, and then back up into E6's clearer 80's looks.

But really . . . does it matter that much!? We all obviously love this movie series alot . . . some of us admitting that even if MIB2, STX, Spiderman, The Bourne Identity, and E2 all came out that same weekend . . . most of us here would still see E2 first . . . then prolly see some of the others (after seeing E2 a second time of course!!).

So it shouldn't really matter too much to all of us . . . most of us aren't critics (and even if I was hired to be - I wouldn't describe myself as a critic, just a paid fan!) so we shouldn't be too critical about something that even if it was worse than any of the others we have now, we'd all prolly still see it more than once and buy it on VHS and/or DVD.

15 January 2002, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by VixenofVenus
E3 p E6 - We can't really see a parallel yet . . . because we all think E3 is the Jedi purges, so it can't really parallel a winning movie like E6 . . . but we just have to keep saying 'In George We Trust'

Ahh, it can be a parallel to a winning movie like E6, as long as you broaden your definition of what 'winning' is. Perhaps E3 is the big winning, end-all and beat-all, but for the Empire not the good guys. We watch E6 to make us feel good, but maybe E3 is what Palpatine watches to recharge his batteries.

15 January 2002, 09:57 PM
That's kind of an interesting idea: 1-4 exactly, 2-5 exactly, and 3-6 oppositly (reversely?).

And Vixen, you're right, I would.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
16 January 2002, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by Andrw
I also remember the very first time i saw screenshots for episode one the first thing to bop im my mind wasthat the technology seemed to be ever "better" than the tech we say in 4-6.

I wouldn't say that the technology is that vastly superior from the E1 era to the classic era. Lets look at the factions involved:

The Rebellion - second hand equipment held together by spacers tape and a little bit of the force. Of course it's going to look old and primitive.

The Empire: Mass produced equipment stamped out of a mold. It's going to be functional, bland and efficient. Flat gray equipment doesn't necessarily mean primitive

Naboo technology: Handcrafted and elegant. Each ship is a work of art and will probably look more sophisticated than what the rest of the galaxy has to offer.

The other examples of equipment - what we see on Tattooine and Bespin for instance - are no less or more sophisticated than what we see in E1.

My last clue is that in the Incredidle Crosssections of Episode One and probably in the Darth Maul novels that have been written it says his ship was equiped with a Cloaking Shield. Thst technology seemed to have been lost and refound later with the TIE Phantom and with GA Thrawns campaign.

That's the thing - are cloaking devices as rare as everyone makes them out to be? I'd even wager that they are more common that everyone thinks. Lets look at the only canon example of cloak technology - "No ship that small has a cloaking device!"

Captain Needa doesn't say 'where did the ship go?' or started assuming some sort of other countermeasures. No - he jumps right to conclusion that a ship that small cannot provide the power output to make a cloking device function. The target vanishes, so he immediately concludes (and dismisses) a cloaking device.

This says to me that cloaks are more common than we are lead to believe. I submit that the technology is not lost - just that the EU authors are wrong in their assumptions.

Durian Keldrona
16 January 2002, 02:10 PM
the Starships of the Galaxy has a great explanation of why cloaking devices are rare.

there are 2 different kinds

1 can be made small but uses gems only found on one planet and are no longer available.

2 uses a more common gem but is large and causes a double blind effect.

Kayle Skolaris
16 January 2002, 05:34 PM
Starships of the Galaxy apparently gives the patented "EUBS" answer... They slavishly adhere to questionable and silly EU material.

According to EU material, pretty much every piece of technology in the universe uses some gem or jewel or crystal. Let's see, what do we have so far... Blasters, lightsabres, cloaking devices, lasers and turbolasers by extension of blasters... Why is it so flippin' hard to make SENSE with some of this stuff? Is this some deranged attempt to compete with Star Trek's dilithium crystals? It's ludicrous!

Eh, I'll quit ranting now... I'm disgusted with the whole lot of it.

Donovan Morningfire
16 January 2002, 05:57 PM
Well Kayle, if you don't like EU stuff, don't buy it. If you don't like the fact that both RPGs have the vast majority of their stuff grounded in EU, don't buy the books. If you don't like the fact that Lucas is paying some attention to EU, don't watch his movies. If you don't like the fact that gamers as a part of their nature need at least some small variance in the stats and names for things, then maybe you're in the wrong hobby. And having looked at your stats on stuff, you seem to buy into the whole EU bit of having different names for similar things.

As to the topic at hand, I don't have too much of a problem with the tech in Ep4 to 6 looking more primitive than what we've seen in Ep1. The only beef I have is that the instrument console on Anakin's podracer, made from junk parts, has a better viewscreen than the Empire's top-of-the-line TIE Fighters, much less any other ship that had some kind of viewscreen (like the targeting computers in Ep4 starfighters). But that's just a result of making a movie with technology lightyears ahead of what was available back then.

16 January 2002, 06:39 PM
Kayle, the reason that they use crystals in SW more than seems necessary is that they are able, provided that they are aligned correctly, to focus and/or redirect light.

And when I say aligned correctly, I mean at the molecular level.

FlipDog 2000
17 January 2002, 07:14 AM
I would have to agree with Tony here. The Empire was made to look like the unstoppable, destructive force that would rule the galaxy. But the Rebellion was just a couple ships held together with duct tape...you have to analyze the background. People took a lot more pride in their work before the Empire, and all of their money wasn't going to the war effort.

Donovan Morningfire
17 January 2002, 07:23 AM
And that is why the Rebel Alliance won the day. It wasn't Luke, it wasn't Han, it wasn't the Ewoks, heck it wasn't even Wedge. The Rebel Alliance had in their possession the single most powerful force in the galaxy ...


17 January 2002, 08:25 AM
I know what it is the Parellel between EP.3 and EP.6 there is a triumph in 3 Luke and Leia are alive and THEY are a hope for the galaxy and a chance for people to survive.
A triumph in the force they finish the mission in 6 thus there is triumph.:D

17 January 2002, 03:27 PM
FlipDog, I think you are correct. Aircraft and ships built for the contemporary military are usually a lot less nice looking than a private jet or a cruise liner.

I also seem to remember that the Naboo took great pride in their small navy and therefore would purchase nice fighters. Besides, the spend far more time doing airshows than actually fighting.

When you have to build over 10,000 star destroyers, odds are looks aren't on the top of your list.

FlipDog 2000
18 January 2002, 05:45 AM
Very true, and if you realize that in Ep. 6 when the alliance gets help from the Mon Calamari that we never got to see the inside of their ship except the docking bay and the bridge. There would be some great technology, mainly because the Mon-Cal Star Crusiers were originally luxury cruise liners and some of the best building in the galaxy.

P.S. You ever notice how Home One looks vaguely like a Soviet Typhoon-Class, Nuclear Sub?

And Star Destroyers look like cheese...:rolleyes: :D

And another P.S. -- Glad to see that we all agree on the galaxy's most powerful weapon...:) B)