Video Throughput: The Empire Strikes Back

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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5 Responses

  1. Michael Cain says:

    Is the flat tire on the cart holding the neutral particle beam accelerator a subtle dig?

    Given the acceleration rates for the vessels — look at those turns! — and the amount of normal mass that could be stored in a TIE fighter’s volume, what’s the estimate for the power required? Gigawatts? Terawatts? Petawatts? Does a sane person want to be anywhere in the vicinity of a source for that? (I admit to certain prejudices. I’m not entirely sure I want to stand next to, for gasoline station values of next to, the electric currents charging a 150 kWh battery in five minutes.)

    Given FTL, causality violations clearly don’t matter. Presumably conservation of energy and momentum also fail. All sorts of psychic sh*t is suddenly allowable. An interesting question is building a self-consistent form of magic, and why early wizards didn’t accidentally destroy the universe.

    Balanced. Audio. Levels.

    Well done, I enjoyed it greatly :^)Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    This is a great way to focus on things that I, at least, have never thought about.

    I would have assumed that the Tauntauns had been moved to Hoth.
    I would have assumed that the asteroid hungry worm had been nothing more than a sci-fi trope.
    I would have assumed that Cloud City was a fanciful way to set up a dinner party.

    I suppose that, now, I could assume that Tauntauns had families in caves (much like kittens would). Though I still have no idea what they eat.
    I now assume that the worm was part of a planet that had been death starred and was now saying “WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT” between attempts to eat stuff like the millennium falcon.
    I will still think that Cloud City was something fanciful. Surely there was a better planet within a tank of gas.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

      Though I still have no idea what they eat.

      Exactly. A very large animal with a high metabolism. What sort of metabolism? Where’s the rest of the food chain to support that? It’s a problem for all ice worlds, as opposed to temperate worlds with partial glaciation where life can adapt to some of the conditions.

      Star Trek TOS did an episode with a creature with a silicone-based metabolism that could live in conditions fatal to humans. The most interesting part of that one was that its mind was similar enough that Spock could mind meld with it. “Whoa,” I thought at the time, “Lots of implications about the nature of mind there.” Of course, they did nothing with that.Report

      • Should have added that Poul Anderson did a Flandry story with an entire ecology based on a 50/50 water/methanol blend that had evolved as a world cooled. That would have been quite comfortable on Hoth, given access to the crust for other elements. But there were adapted plants, small animals, etc — an entire ecosystem. OTOH, a Tauntaun based on 50/50 water/methanol would not have been able to tolerate the conditions inside the rebel base.

        And of course pine beetle larva throughout much of the West synthesize glycerol so that they can survive well below freezing temperatures. A good portion of habitat damage from climate change here is that we no longer get sufficiently long sufficiently cold snaps in the mountains to kill the beetle larva.Report

  3. Kazzy says:

    Love this series… thanks so much! I quickly checked your archives and didn’t see a breakdown of “The Martian.” Have you done one for that? I love the book and enjoy the movie… would be curious to see a breakdown of the science there. Thanks!Report