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Tyralak

Episode II Incredible Cross Sections - How were the numbers derived?

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Like warp strafing, opposing fanatics have a fit over this book. But I feel if you can't find a flaw in the method, you kinda have to accept it. Math is math and physics is physics.

But, also like warp strafing, too much time is spent worshiping firepower. It is a very important factor, but not the only one. Comparing opposing forces by firepower alone is like comparing boxers based on bench press alone.

Truly, few ships could stand toe to toe against Imperial ships, they pack too much wallop. Have to use different methods, ala Rocky 3.

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While Math is Math, you can always question the original interpretation of the data that led to the Calcs...

For example, many people use TESB's asteroid destruction scenes to evaluate a minimum firepower for ISDs...

Problem here is, scaling of asteroids can be all over the place, and also the self-destroying nature of these asteroids is oft ignored to boost results...

While the Math may be flawless, the premiss can be questioned...

For example, nowhere in any movies do we see Acclamator guns, so why are they in the movie, and more importantly, how did he derive their firepower?

Where does the Kiloton per gun for the Jedi fighter come from?

Nothing this powerful is ever seen in the movie...

This, I think, is the issue most people have with the calcs...

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I believe most of that is addressed in the video.

But to specify, in order:

The scale of the asteroids in one scene IS difficult to nail down, but in other scenes, it is more straightforward.

I'm not sure what you mean about self-destroying asteroids. Please elaborate.

The firepower for the Acclamator is discussed at length in the video. I know of one debater who does not hear well, so in case that was you (I'm terrible with names), I'll elaborate. The power generation of the ship must be at a certain level to achieve the acceleration rates observed for ships in general in Star Wars. A certain relation can be made according to perceived speed vs each other. The ship has a particular mass and particular acceleration indicating a certain power level. Figure in a certain inefficiency. This is a plausible maximum reactor power. This is a warship, so it should be able to direct a high percentage of its total power to weapons. It's job is to wage war, after all. Given the calculations, I think Curtis only devoted a mere 10% power to heavy weapons, and divided that by the twelve turrets on the model. To assign a warship's heavy weapons only 10% of the ship's power is more than fair.

The firepower of Kenobi's star fighter is approximately half that of Slave1, which we did see vaporizing easily scaled asteroids in the film. To assign a star fighter half the firepower of a bounty hunter's ship is, again, very fair.

Of course guns that powerful were seen in the movies. Slave1, Xwings strafing the Death Star, Naboo fighters taking out the dish, Awings taking out the globe, etc. and let's not forget a destroyer blowing a 1200 meter warship in half with one quick shot.

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To elaborate, since the question was related to starfighter firepower, recall the X-Wings strafing the turbolaser tower? It is the size of a large building/small skyscraper. In my clipped file, which may be missing a few frames, I count some 17 shots made by the two starfighters. All but one showed shield effects. The very last blaster shot actually impacted the tower and destroyed the whole thing. It is actually hard to see that last shot on film, maybe due to the bright shield effects, which included lightning.:) But you can see it emerging from the fighter on the right.

Anyway, once the shields were down, one shot from one Xwing cannon destroyed the building-sized tower. Beam weapons would have much less lateral effect than a bomb releasing similar energy. All lateral damage is done from the violence of vaporization at the point of impact. So, it follows that an Xwing could take out a hotel or other large building with one shot, and being a beam weapon, this does translate to terajoules/kilotons.

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I'm not the one with bad hearing, that would be Enigma... :)

Concerning the asteroid scaling, which example, from TESB, seems straightforward?

 

Their self-exploding nature refers to when the asteroids impact each other at very low velocity in the Hoth asteroid chase in TESB, and explode in a fiery fashion...

Since they could not be massive enoughm since they did not have sufficient speeds to explain this through simple calcs, then we have to consider some sort of exotic property which throws their destruction calcs out the window...

 

While calculating their power generation based on their acceleration feats seems plausible, we don't know if they performed micro-jumps or not in certain scenes, and more importantly, while total reactor power may be right, where does this "10% of total power can be channeled through weapons" come from?

Who says it's even 1%?

You can't assume such high transfer just because you want it, or because you feel "it's a warship, so it's fair"...

You have to derive it from obsevable facts...

You have to think of how much power you say is going through power conduits and so on...

You think we could channel 10% of the space shuttle's thrust into energy for something else?

No, the energy used for propelling the shuttle in space is generated and used only for that specific purpose...

Why should we assume all the systems on an ISD could take that kind of energy?

 

The firepower of Kenobi's star fighter is approximately half that of Slave1, which we did see vaporizing easily scaled asteroids in the film.

 

I saw many fragmented asteroids, none of them scaling to anything close to derive a KT for Slave-1's guns...

The "sonic mine" was a funky effect weapons, so deriving pure Firepower from that is sketchy at best as well...

And again, how did he calc power for guns on an Acclamator, when no Acclamator in movies or TCW were ever seen with guns?

 

Naboo fighters taking out the dish

 

I've rewatched the scene a couple of times and the dish seemed to still be there...

Unless it's not the main one you mean?

 

let's not forget a destroyer blowing a 1200 meter warship in half with one quick shot

 

A ship that had been pounded on like crazy before, and the destruction did not come from its main weapons, but from a Sphat-T in its hangar...

And who says it didn't hit the main power generator of the ship?

 

To elaborate, since the question was related to starfighter firepower, recall the X-Wings strafing the turbolaser tower? It is the size of a large building/small skyscraper. In my clipped file, which may be missing a few frames, I count some 17 shots made by the two starfighters. All but one showed shield effects. The very last blaster shot actually impacted the tower and destroyed the whole thing. It is actually hard to see that last shot on film, maybe due to the bright shield effects, which included lightning.
:)
But you can see it emerging from the fighter on the right.

Anyway, once the shields were down, one shot from one Xwing cannon destroyed the building-sized tower. Beam weapons would have much less lateral effect than a bomb releasing similar energy. All lateral damage is done from the violence of vaporization at the point of impact. So, it follows that an Xwing could take out a hotel or other large building with one shot, and being a beam weapon, this does translate to terajoules/kilotons.

 

And the X-wing, firing at a Turbolaser tower, could have just as easily blown up the power generator at tha location...

Notice how previous shots did not display this kind of effects?

What, did Luke just suddenly boost his weapons's power before that final shot?

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I haven't experimented with the quote system, so I'll just go in order again.

The scene when they are chasing the Falcon out of the asteroid field. The scene where Jango is chasing Obi.

It is strange the asteroids flashed like that. But they are obviously rocks. But it isn't particularly relevant to the ics figures, because it did not involve heavy weapons. Also, knocking the Falcon around with a presumably massless beam requires so much energy. These are all from small weapons, not heavy ones.

Micro jumps? You are just making shit up. So they made hyper jumps up to orbit so they could, you know, make a hyper jump? I am taking you seriously, please return the courtesy.

The percentage is easily fair, and even conservative. Some kind of number had to be reached. I really can't fathom how anyone could complain about only 10% of a warships power being allocated to heavy weapons. Anything less is quite simply ridiculous. The percentage is arbitrary, but could have as easily been 80 or 90%. But he chose 10%. The "observable facts" are rather limited. What specific examples would you suggest, since you attempt to discount them all as reliable evidence in this very message? If there are no reliable scenes to look at, we are left with accepting the numbers in the book. Which scenes do you suggest from which to gather relevant data?

Watch the Fett asteroid scene frame by frame. Asteroids abound. I may do a video on it eventually. Some were fragmented, many were vaporized. All those red flashes are vaporized asteroids. Some say they can't see them, but they are as plain as day to me. And it begs the question, if we see shots fired, we see thousands of asteroids, we see red flashes, are we really to assume the flashes are NOT asteroids? Then what are they? Shield effects look different.

The Acclamator's firepower is discussed at length in the video. The guns are in fact hard to distinguish in the video. But he had access to the actual models.

The dish does appear later in the video, but it must be a different one. At least 2, but maybe 3 fighters flew through its position, indicating it was destroyed.

How are we to know the ship sustained heavy damage before?

If the shot hit the main reactor, it would probably explode.

It is possible the fighters could have hit the power generator, causing the explosion, but then you would have to retract the bit about the starships main reactor, mentioned immediately above. The other shots did not because they hit the shields, as I mentioned previously.

It is irrelevant if he boosted the power, because I'm assuming the weapons were at full power anyway. In fact, I see no reason to assume weapons would not normally be at full power, unless a capture is ordered onscreen, in whatever show we are discussing. But I digress.

All in all, it seems more like you are trying to promote an "uncertainty" point of view. I'd normally agree if I thought things were not well considered or too arbitrary. But I don't. Logic has to be a factor. Are we really to make up things like micro jumps to discredit what is plainly seen onscreen? That seems a bit dishonest. Are we really to assume a true warship can only direct .000001% of its power to it weapons? It's purpose in life is to blow things up. That seems a bit illogical and dishonest too.

I'm not calling YOU dishonest, but the method would be. If you can't see the logic in the methods used, I'm sorry I didn't explain it well enough in the video. I'll try to do better. But it seems perfectly logical to me, and I'm going to use them.

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Let me clarify. I'll retract the bit about weapons. There are certainly power settings. What I meant was I need a pretty good reason to assume someone is holding back in combat. You don't shoot at something with starship weapons with the intention to cause no damage. That us what I meant. :)

I type slowly and sometimes it doesn't come out right.

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Ok, I think we should specify (starting from my side) what exmaples we are talking about, because I am getting lost... :)

The micro-jump example, I'm talking about the Endore fleet example, when they go around the moon...

There are certainly events which cannot be denied, even if they do bring up questions:

Dooku's flight from Geonosis does indeed show great accel in short time, though the question it brings forth is: How come we do not see the ship accelerate to great speeds when leaving, and how come it doesn't seem to go very fast when in space?

Did Dooku accelerate and then decelerate incredibly fast, and if so, what for?

 

Han's ship being rocked:

First, the angle of the shot, elevated and from the rear when the Falcon was plain flat in front of an ISD suggests HTLs, not small guns...

Second, in ANH, the Falcon's shields threatened to collapse after 30 or so shots from Ties, shots who, according to the ICS, are in the KT range...

How come then, in TESB, does Han's shields resist a GT shot if only 30 Kt took it out in ANH?

A sudden boost in Shield power?

Then why the hell were they running from Ties in the asteroids?

Why even worry about Ties in RotJ?

 

As for the Jango Fett chase, not all asteroids were fully vaporized, many were only fragmented (asteroids smaller than Obi-wan's fighter), and the Slave 1 was indeed firing its bigger guns...

And as you said, since he wanted to kill Obi-Wan, his guns would have been dialed close to max power...

 

As for the invisible Acclamator guns, I can't even see them on my HD 42" screen, even when pausing the image...

Is it possible the model he had access to was never used?

I remember reading that he had had access to unfinished shots, and the movie was still many months in preproduction when he completed his work...

 

The percentage is easily fair, and even conservative. Some kind of number had to be reached. I really can't fathom how anyone could complain about only 10% of a warships power being allocated to heavy weapons. Anything less is quite simply ridiculous. The percentage is arbitrary, but could have as easily been 80 or 90%. But he chose 10%.

 

In this case, we'll have to disagree and leave it at that, because what is logical to you is not necessarily so to me...

The number is arbitrary, as you say, and it could have, indeed, been less than 1%...

Again, power allocated to propulsion may not neccessarily be allocated to guns...

 

It's purpose in life is to blow things up. That seems a bit illogical and dishonest too.

 

Are you saying that, at 2MT per shot, for example, it wouldn't be able to blow things up? ;)

 

As for the power settings, I too agree that the Imperial weapons most likely have variable settings, as in ST...

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In the preceding shot in the film, the Falcon was below the center line of the destroyer. The heavy turrets cannot track that low. It had to be small guns.

True, not all asteroids were vaporized by Jango's guns, but an awful lot were, and that can only be done with a certain level of firepower.

If you don't think it is fair to place the firepower of a -warship- a full order of magnitude below the power of the sublight engines, when the man was in a position to say whatever he wanted, I suggest you should consider whether you are looking at these things objectively.

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Weird, I can't spot the guns either. You'll have to ask Curtis. Maybe they pop out from behind a panel or something.

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Okay P, I ripped the DVD and just took a closer look. The guns are present, but hard to see due to the distance. These ships are half a mile long, so they are miles away. I'll either send some pics or do a screencast when I get home from the birthing class :/

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Okay P, here you go: http://www.scifights.net/acclamatorguns.mov

Large file to keep the resolution up. At DVD resolution, the guns are hard to see. There is a pretty good view on one, a decent view on another, and a smudge on a third.

I used some of your comments in my newest Q&A session. They are typical of what is said in debate forums, so don't think I'm picking on you! I'm not that kind of guy. They were just good examples to use.

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You think we could channel 10% of the space shuttle's thrust into energy for something else?

No, the energy used for propelling the shuttle in space is generated and used only for that specific purpose...

Why should we assume all the systems on an ISD could take that kind of energy?

 

I was thinking about this and I feel there is a flaw in the logic. While it is true that the energy released by the space shuttle's ascent cannot be used for any other purpose, it does say something about the magnitude of forces that a civilization can wield. The space shuttle has the power to lift both itself into outer space and to carry with it a bomb that packs an explosive force that would be within the same ball park as the power consumed lifting the shuttle and bomb into space. According to wikipedia, the space shuttle is capable of carrying a payload of just over 24,000 kilograms to low earth orbit or just under 4,000 kilograms to geostationary transfer orbit (whatever that means.) A Tomahawk cruise missile masses 1,600 kg (again, according to the appropriate Wiki page.) Without doing the conversion, I believe that the so called Mother of All Bombs (a 17 ton monster bunker buster) would also fit, mass wise or at least be close enough for our purposes here.

 

Either one would release forces close to the space shuttle engines. The space shuttle rides what could otherwise be described as a controlled, slow motion explosion into orbit. The warheads of conventional missiles are really not all that dissimilar to how the space shuttle engines work. You ignite a volatile substance, powerful force is the result. When force is used very carefully and spread out over time, you push a space shuttle into orbit. When all the volatile substance(s) are consumed instantaneously, you get a force that causes destruction and carnage.

 

Of course, if the space shuttle carried a nuclear warhead into orbit, it would actually be capable of unleashing destructive forces that vastly exceed the forces used by the shuttle to get up to space.

 

So, if anything, using engine performance as a guide would be very, very, very conservative if you were trying to get a ballpark figure for what kinds of destructive forces a civilization could wield.

 

So while the space shuttle can't choose to use its engine power for propulsion or destruction, that doesn't mean that, properly outfitted, the space shuttle couldn't wield destructive power similar to its propulsion, even vastly beyond its propulsion.

 

If I'm not mistaken, Brian, Curtis Saxton, Wong and others' prime assumption is that, as was said earlier, whatever the mechanism, physics is physics and math is math and while the manner in which ships move about is up for debate, that a certain amount of energy is required or at least controlled is not.

 

The game series Mass Effect for example, has as its central premise that its civilizations can use mass lightening technology to reduce the amount of work required to get a certain result. Yet the end result is that they are still able to wield forces capable of accelerating their ships and projectiles to fractions of light speed, even though their power output isn't up to the task. Just because they get kiloton mass drivers and space ships that can zip around at percentages of light at bargain basement prices in terms of energy, the fact remains they still get kiloton mass drivers and relativistic space ships. Judge them by their reactor outputs do you? As well you should not, for Element Zero is their ally and a powerful one it is. :p

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You brought up an idea that's been rattling around in my head for the past few weeks, but I was thinking of it in a slightly different direction. Why are we to assume that reactor power is related to weapons at all? Especially since we don't have a clear explanation of what Turbolasers ARE and HOW they function. Are they strictly a DET weapon? Or do they have an NDF component? Turbolaser bolts actually seem to behave more like Hellbore rounds than standard beam weapons.

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You brought up an idea that's been rattling around in my head for the past few weeks, but I was thinking of it in a slightly different direction. Why are we to assume that reactor power is related to weapons at all? Especially since we don't have a clear explanation of what Turbolasers ARE and HOW they function. Are they strictly a DET weapon? Or do they have an NDF component? Turbolaser bolts actually seem to behave more like Hellbore rounds than standard beam weapons.

 

I've often wondered that myself. Artistically, I think we are meant to assume that turbolasers are in fact some sort of beam weapon, even though they act like no energy weapon we have the physics for except for one based on plasma (which are troublesome for long range fighting without a lot of hand waving technology) with the main problem that they are visible even though they aren't traveling through any sort of medium. On the other hand, if they're not energy weapons, then we have to explain why they absolutely, positively had to use torpedoes to penetrate the ray shielding of the exhaust port of the first Death Star instead of the Rebel fighters just firing their guns into it. Its kind of a major plot point of the movie.

 

It sure would be simpler if turbolasers were rocket propelled munitions of some sort but again, there's the problems of explaining ray shielding and also that turbolasers start doing damage before the visible portion actually makes contact in some shots.

 

I'm very curious about engines. Dooku makes orbit in under a minute without any visible reaction or a sonic boom. The Acclamators and Venators go into orbit without frying the planet they're on. Whatever forces are work propelling these ships, the big giant thrusters seem to be only a very small part of the story. Work is still being done from an energy stand point, but who knows exactly what is making these ships go.

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The physics are certainly beyond our understanding. Turbolasers, like phasers, are not lasers or anything else we can directly study today. But their effects are definitely thermal. The most logical method to determine energy levels is to use what we DO know. It is a directed energy weapon of some kind or other. Vader did order "no disintegrations." But we never see any onscreen, and opposing Trekkers loudly point that out. I actually thought about this a lot yesterday, and came up with interesting ideas for a video. A lot of it has to do with the grate.

The space shuttle is a crude spaceship, and it's turbo lasers are indeed not very powerful. As you said, it rides a controlled explosion into space, and indeed has no reactor. Imperial ships have reactors that power efficient ion engines, so the comparison is a weak one.

Indeed it does demonstrate the power levels a society can wield, and how much power a star destroyer can wield. As the same reactor probably powers all the major systems on the ship, allotting a certain percent to firepower seems perfectly logical to me. As I said in the video, do we assume all E-d's phasers combined are 20x less powerful than the impulse engines? No, that would be crazy. But it is okay to say that is too high for Imperial ships? That is not only illogical, but downright ridiculous and unfair.

Should we assume the Death Star main reactor does NOT power the main weapon? In that case, it must have its own very small reactor, too small to see on the diagram or in the ics pictures. If a reactor that small can generate that kind of power, no one in scifi has a chance. Or do we stick to logic and be fair to everyone? :)

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Again, sorry if that sounds short. It took 30 minutes to type that. Another reason to do video. :)

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"They've shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure!"

Did Leia's ship continue to fire?

 

And don't claim they were surrendering, because there was a firefight in the hallways...

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No one has mentioned the Separatists loading their guns with cartridges. But that is different technology. Recall the matter bouncing off Gungan shields. In that ics book we see cartridges as well. Those guns had a firing arc too, unlike turbolasers.

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IIRC Invisible Hand had much less power than Venators, but I'm not home now to check. If so, it would have to use different technology like missiles or other self contained ammo to compete, like these cartridges. Turbolasers vs those, clones vs droids, bubble shields vs deflectors, etc. it is a galaxy full of technology. The side that won directed the technology that direction, hence Imperial technology is more like Republic tech than Separatist.

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Do note that loss of power would render powered cannons like rail guns or mass drivers inoperable too but the point remains totally valid. I would likewise find it difficult to believe that a reactor the size of a major city if not a small moon in its own right wouldn't be involved in the Death Star's ability to pop planets like balloons.

Speaking of Star Trek, are there any measurable Trek acceleration examples in the pipeline? The only figure I know of is that an overload of the Constitution class impulse reactors will result in an explosion just shy of 100 mt. Obviously this is akin to the space shuttle lighting up all its fuel at once but it's a starting point. If only we knew the delta V of a Constitution class starship ;-)

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Good points again. :) You guys are pretty sharp on this board.

I know of two examples in Star Trek. Voyager was on the ground in an episode and had to bug out. It took 7 minutes of screen time to make orbit and warp away. They lost altitude due to damage twice, but the first time was after 4 minutes, still in atmo.

The other is when the BoP warps out of Earth atmo in ST4. The warping out and making orbit was some time, like a couple minutes. The whole "whales weep not" scene was between them.

But in Star Trek it is different. We know they use mass lightening technology, etc. In Star Trek, they don't have enough power to do the things they do, but they come up with incredibly clever ways to do it. Getting the job done is the most important to me, but having clever ways vs having the power each has advantages and disadvantages, and those contrasts are what intrigue me.

If we were to compare phasers and blasters, for instance, phasers do damage much greater than their energy injection would allow. But they aren't direct energy transfer weapons. They can disintegrate a Human body with something like a megawatt. Blasters leave a smoking skeleton, so similar damage, but all through thermal effects. Phasers therefore can do slightly more damage with much less energy, and can fire on wide beam affecting several unprotected targets all at once, but blasters would be much better at blasting through armor or personal shields, like droidekas, etc., overloading said shields with energy transfer. Each has an advantage, different methods. Soft targets, hard targets.

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@scvn2812: Your shuttle example is flawed, because if the shuttle were to indeed bring a bomb with it in space, then the bomb is not part of the shuttle's power generation capabilities, it doesn't depend on it...

If the shuttle was able to turn its thrust power into a direct weapon, then it would be comparable...

 

The Acclamators and Venators go into orbit without frying the planet they're on. Whatever forces are work propelling these ships, the big giant thrusters seem to be only a very small part of the story. Work is still being done from an energy stand point, but who knows exactly what is making these ships go.

 

That's also true, using real world calcs while ignoring that using that much energy would effect its environment is not correct, IMO...

The same for ST, as well...

When the Klingon ship lands in San Francisco, it doesn't fry the park where it is landing, and since we know ST knows anti-gravity (as the sleds we see in ST: TMP show us), then we can assume anti-gravity at work here...

Same goes for SW...

They have artificial gravity in their ships, and have repulsor tech that resembles anti-grav, so who's to say it isn't used when ships leave planetary orbits?

 

@Brian: ST's mass lightening technology, IIRC, has never been mentioned operating normally in STL in any show or movie, so canonically, it is only present when the Warp Engines are used, so any STL acceleration has to be calced using the normal ship masses...

 

And I've looked at the video, and I do admit there is a high possibility what you're pointing to could be guns...

Edited by Praeothmin

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