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View Full Version : The history of superlasers



Kayle Skolaris
8 March 2000, 06:27 PM
I've read in many places that the planet-cracking ability of the superlaser is nothing new in SW. Indeed, it is apparently a very old technology which was simply put to its most devastating use in the Death Stars. I have a friend who even runs a campaign where the Eibon Scimitar, flagship of Xim the Despot, mounted the very first mobile superlaser platform. How far back do all of you feel the history of the superlaser goes?

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BGKnight44
8 March 2000, 06:35 PM
WOW!!!
Xim the despot!!!
Things are starting to form in my head.
hehe
Hmm...well i think the technology is possible, all it is is a bigger energy weapon with a lot of power behind it. So i imagine they could go back pretty far.

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Pel
9 March 2000, 07:58 PM
Xim running around with a superlaser?!? Well, I guess it could happen, but the thing would have to be really huge (not to mention the ship needed to carry it), slow, and would handle like a dead bantha. Considering that in Dark Empire timeframe, the Eclipse/Sovereign ships were about 14 km long (ballpark figure - don't feel like digging for the DE sourcebook now http://www.terrandesigns.com/mainubb/ubb/smilies/smile.gif ), then any ship from Xim's timeframe would have to be at least 2 or 3 times as big.

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Pel Morba.

Kayle Skolaris
10 March 2000, 12:35 PM
The platform my friend has lugging the thing around is ~53 kilometers long and the recharge time on that puppy is hellacious. Don't plan on shooting at anything more than once a week with it. By the way, the Eclipse and Sovereigns are 17.5 and 15 kilometers long respectively.

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Kayle Skolaris
31 August 2004, 06:01 PM
My gods, I just ran across this old thread and had to bump it. Funny how George Lucas went and proved my guess right!

Darth_Cassed
1 September 2004, 04:52 AM
Well look at it this way:

Superlasers are probably an ancient alien technology. A few planets in the Corellia system, including Corellia itself, have giant arrays of Repulsorlifts under their surface. This indicates these planets were moved here by them. The Centerpoint station was built by the same ancient race.

As far as I'm concerned superlasers were here way before the current inhabitants ever were.

Grell
1 September 2004, 05:52 AM
Hey! Fun thread. I love those Corporate Sector books, I imagine Xim does seem like the sort to invest in a super-laser!

Would you think a super-laser has to be mobile? Could a planet utilizing a series of satellites to concentrate the beams have a super-laser? The Death Star looked to have many smaller lasers that form into a large, planet-killer laser. I'm wondering if the first super-lasers could have been ground based, though of course this would be used for defensive purposes and not quite as useful as something like a Death Star.

Sarge
1 September 2004, 12:00 PM
Grell, you just gave me a laugh.

Picture it: a planetary based superlaser. What's it going to target? Other planets are too far away, so all it's good for is shooting at invading fleets. Now imagine that the fleet has a supermirror... See where this is going?

Grell
1 September 2004, 12:46 PM
Hm....I see your point. :)

You really only need one good shot at the invading fleet though!

Hey, wait. Now that you mention it, all anyone really needs is a big super-mirror! Why the heck didn't the Rebels think of that.

Vanger Chevane
1 September 2004, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Grell
Hm....I see your point. :)

You really only need one good shot at the invading fleet though!

Hey, wait. Now that you mention it, all anyone really needs is a big super-mirror! Why the heck didn't the Rebels think of that.
And <i>where</i> do you plan to acquire one within a day to one week?

Not to mention the capital expenditure on a single-use item that would bout bankrupt the Rebellion?

Rogue Janson
1 September 2004, 03:10 PM
And where do you plan to acquire one within a day to one week?
All you need is a vain female Star Dragon and her make-up kit.

JediJester
1 September 2004, 06:30 PM
I'd always thought that superlasers weren't anything new, it was just that the DS had the first one that could blow up a planet with relative ease. But then, my idea of a superlaser was any energy weapon that could demolish whole cities with a single blast (such as those used by the aliens in Independence day).

Mithrandir
1 September 2004, 09:21 PM
The idea of the superlaser has to be around from at least the EP II time frame. Notice the little lasers on all the Clone Trooper ships use exactly the same style - a number of beams all focusing on a single point to generate a single beam. All you have to do then is scale the thing up a bit to get super lasers.

Sithspawn
2 September 2004, 02:50 AM
In my RPG SWU, part of my groups unofficial story behind the Death Star is that the Super Laser was based on a modified asteroid mining laser taken from a peaceful race, then turned into an evil weapon.

kaeroth
2 September 2004, 04:09 PM
"Would you think a super-laser has to be mobile? Could a planet utilizing a series of satellites to concentrate the beams have a super-laser? The Death Star looked to have many smaller lasers that form into a large, planet-killer laser. I'm wondering if the first super-lasers could have been ground based, though of course this would be used for defensive purposes and not quite as useful as something like a Death Star."
-said Grell

Does anyone remember the episode of Starblazers (or, for you hardcore anime purists, Spaceship Yamato Does Something or Other) where there was the base that had a big ol' cannon that shot up into space, and then the bad guys angled the beam using a bunch of satellites in orbit? Incidentally, that was also the episode where we learned what's-his-name also had arms and legs that were explosive cybernetics, but that's beside the point. I don't think it would be such an insane idea. and the whole mirror defense idea would be, i think, rather unpracticable, if that's a word. Either you'd have to be carrying Sarge's supermirror, which would either get all smashed up form space dust, not be perfect, and wind up being useless against a mirror, or it'd have to have some sort of deflector shields, which'd also distort the reflectivity and also render it useless; or the ships themselves would have to be mirror-shiny, and you'd still either have to keep 'em from getting broken by space dust (how much bad luck do you get when you break a capital ship-sized mirror) or deal with the deflector shield diffusing the mirror's reflectivity. the Rebs wouldn't've had to run from Hoth if they ahd a gun even an eighth as powerful as the DS instead of the Planetary Defender Ion.

Fingon
2 September 2004, 04:27 PM
When we started talking about planet based superlasers, I immedietly thought of the stellar coverters from MOII.

I don't think it would be *hard* to make a superlaser, just getting enough power to fire it and the force to move it (if you wanted to).

Kayle Skolaris
2 September 2004, 05:11 PM
With all due respect to Sarge and his supermirror idea, it wouldn't work. The superlaser isn't a true laser. When light beams intersect, they don't spontaneously combine and change direction as with the superlaser. Therefore, a superlaser beam would not react with a mirror in the same manner that a true laser would.

All that aside, though, it's not impossible that ground-based superlaser artillery could be used in a defensive fashion. If a repulsorlift cradle for something the size of the Lusankya can be built in near-total secrecy, surely a much larger and more mobile one could be constructed openly.

Fingon
2 September 2004, 05:16 PM
I've always considered star wasrs 'lasers' and blasters and particle weapons, which would explain their speed and interaction with objects (ie. lightsabers) and eachother.


But about deflecting the Superlaser, there's always your hand-dandy Puff the Greater Krayt Dragon! (http://holonet.swrpgnetwork.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15852) ...

:rolleyes:

Cabwi Desco
19 September 2004, 05:38 PM
hmm well a planetary superlaser would onyl be usefull if it were the same class as the DSII that could target ships. otherwise it would be useless except against moons or orbital stations.

someone mentioned the rebel alliance not giving up that much expensive equipment? do have any idea what the planetary defender Ion Cannon cost the alliance? it was some gross astronomical figure. now heres my idea. mount a planetary Ion cannon on a capital ship. get its power from the main drive and and take away most of the cooling systems! its space after all.

Dread Pirate Roberts
7 October 2004, 08:49 PM
Hey there. I haven't posted in a while but this thread is too interesting to pass up. In Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology , there is a Planetary Turbolaser. The thing looks around the size of a superlaser though. It's got an X-wing for scale which could easily fit inside the barrel. Heck you could probably fit two or three in. My point is that if they have these things, then someone has probably figured out how to juice it up and make it about the power of a superlaser.