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How big is your Empire?


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#1 ErikB

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:22 AM

Since it appears the EU and the prequels are being thrown under a well deserved bus, maybe we can revisit the size of the Star Wars playground.

I always kinda got the impression that things in the movies were a bit smaller than they tend to be in some of the WEG stuff. Does it seem the Empire has 25,000 Star Destroyers, for instance? Or there being only a few million clones works a lot better if there are not millions of worlds in the Republic.

On the other hand, the Empire do tool around in moon sized battle stations and can blow up planets just to make a point.

So what seems like a good number of total worlds in the Republic/Empire to people?

I think 'a few thousand' would suit me quite well. Enough to get lost in, but not perhaps enough feel like too many.


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#2 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

I tend to work from the Star Wars Encyclopedia for my background knowledge - in a way, sticking to canon, though there's so much more detail in that book than any other source I've come across (outside of wookieepedia) that it's a valid source.


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#3 Andrew Tatro

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

A few million clones barely makes sense on one planet, let alone a galaxy. For scale, the United States alone had over sixteen million servicemen from all branches during World War Two.

As far as the total number of worlds in the Empire, that really depends on the time frame. Obviously around the time of the Battle of Yavin the Empire had more planets than it did immediately after taking power. And honestly, the real number we should be looking at isn't the number of planets, but the number of inhabited planets. Given that figure, let's take a look at our own galaxy as comparison, which has roughly seventeen billion planet with a rocky terrain according to the Kepler data revealed back in January.

So, giving this a thought, I'd say that the number of inhabited planets in the Empire (including Outer Rim colonies and tributary states) at the time of the Battle of Yavin is still at least in the millions, if not the tens of millions.



#4 ErikB

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:39 AM

>>>>>>I tend to work from the Star Wars Encyclopedia for my background knowledge<<<<<<

Oh aye, but for want of a better term that is all 'EU Crap', and more on point for this, the Essential Atlas tells me there are a billion inhabited worlds in the GFFA, and 50 million of them are significant enough to send representation to the senate.

And to me, the civilisation presented in the movies, but also elsewhere, just doesn't feel to me like it is a grouping of fifty million worlds.

If nothing else, if fifty million worlds had a throwdown, I'd kinda expect the space battles to be bigger. If  each planet only sent one ship you'd have fleets of tens of millions of ships battling it out. And the senate room is big, but it isn't THAT big. And stuff like that. You can say 'the rebel fleet' without asking which one. 


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#5 Kallabecca

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:00 PM

Per Canon, Couscant is an entire beureacracy planet. Just one big city (ala Trantor from Isaac Asimov). The senate has some 12,000 representatives. So, that means somewhere on the order of 1.2 Million worlds (since most senators represent more than a single planet or star system).



#6 Yoshiyahu

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:09 PM

The Senate isn't the best example of how big the Republic/Empire is, however, because there are multiple cases of a single senator representing multiple worlds, with only the largest and most powerful worlds having their own senator. (This was a major point of contention between Kashyyyk and Trandosha, as both planets were represented in the Senate as a single system with a Wookiee senator.)

As far as the number of clones are concerned, it's heavily implied that a significant portion of the Republic military during "Clone Wars"  was comprised of natural-born beings. The use of a clone army was a defining characteristic of the war, but they were hardly the only combatants, and they certainly weren't the only military personnel.

Consider the given number of 16,000,000 military personnel in active service to the United States during World War Two. How many of those were actual combat troops, and how many were simply support? Even in today's modern military, well over 90% of the personnel are support personnel who will never see combat.

The clones weren't conscripts, and they weren't working in supply or finance. This was a group of elite units who were bred and raised for the sole purpose of being elite soldiers. It stands to reason that their numbers within the Republic military are going to be proportionally small.


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#7 ErikB

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

Like I say, I don't think there is anything actually in the movies to imply the Empire is anything like that big.

I remember thinking when I first got the West End Games Star Wars Sourcebook that saying the empire ruled a 'thousand thousand' worlds seemed too many.

And given that I think Disney is likely to care about 'canon' even less that George Lucas did, I think it might be better to talk about how things feel to people.

So my question really is this - if you imagine you had only seen the movies, how many planets would you guesstimate there were in the Empire?

I will also entertain arguments as to why you like any random number you want to make up. 


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#8 MarthWMaster

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

The post-Jedi EU may be an endangered species at this point, but who said anything about the prequels being overwritten?



#9 ErikB

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:03 AM

Maybe not overwritten, but I think it is entirely possible that going forward they may get mentioned about as much as midichlorians and the christmas special.


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#10 Sturn

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:24 AM

Kallabecca said:

 

Per Canon, Couscant is an entire beureacracy planet. Just one big city (ala Trantor from Isaac Asimov). The senate has some 12,000 representatives. So, that means somewhere on the order of 1.2 Million worlds (since most senators represent more than a single planet or star system).

 

 

I can concede the 12,000 Senators since I really don't know. There was a huge chamber of them in the prequels on Coruscant. What I can't concede is the ratio of planets to Senator you jumped to - 100 planets per the average Senator. I'm not an EU expert at all, so I have to go by what I see in the movies. What we see in the movies is a ratio of 1 Senator to 1 Planet (Alderaan, Naboo). While you could easily speculate that other Senators rule over several planets, it's a huge leap from what we see (1 per) to an AVERAGE of 100 per.



#11 Tashiro31

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

ErikB said:

Maybe not overwritten, but I think it is entirely possible that going forward they may get mentioned about as much as midichlorians and the christmas special.

 

You just made this old nerf herder smile 8)

 

As far as the size of the Empire (I am assuming you mean the size of the galaxy as a whole) I would break down like this. Billions of stars/star systems, millions of planets/planetoids/moons, hundred of thousands of inhabitable planets/moons, tens of thousand inabitable planet/moons with a space faing culture. Now of these tens of thousands of worlds I would assume based on previously published maps of the galaxy that the great majority of them lie within the Empire's zone of influence (lets call it 70% percent) we can than attribute 10% of those tens of thousands to the Corporate Sector and the remaining 20% to the unkown region (again this is going off the picture of the galatic map I kinda sorta remember)

 

 



#12 mouthymerc

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:46 AM

My Empire is as big as the plot needs.

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#13 copperbell

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:17 AM

I always assumed those senators seen in the movie represented maybe hundreds if not thosuands of worlds per senator podium alone not counting the reference in A New Hope that these systems would be overseen by Imperial Administrators suggesting the time between the end of revenge of the sith and the start of A New Hope they had established enough forces and means to supervise the inner core with patrols of the Outer Rim being the more obvious problem.

I never understood how the Republic didn't have a standing military when even Naboo had a sort of Royal Flight Squadron, but then alot of the Phantom Menace made no sense but as far as worlds are concerned maybe what Palpatine really needed was to secure his control and replace those around him and in charge of those sectors' military or governmental forces with those loyal to him specifically and I thought that number of clones was just counting the first batch and not the total number of clones produced by the start of revenge of the sith let alone whats left afterwards if you take that comment about securing fresh clone templates.



#14 Jegergryte

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:52 AM

mouthymerc said:

My Empire is as big as the plot needs.

+1 The Empire is omnipresent when I need it to be, and all but non-existant when it should be. Currently, its pretty big, but not an immediate threat to the players… yet.


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#15 GMSam

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:10 AM

Maybe its better left undefined and to the imagination. Only Sith deal in absolutes. (Just kidding, no harm ment).



#16 ErikB

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Tashiro31 said:

As far as the size of the Empire (I am assuming you mean the size of the galaxy as a whole)

I don't think they need to be the same thing. I don't remember anyone in the movies actually saying the Star Wars civilisation covers the whole galaxy.

--

But yes, as an unreconstructed sci-fi fan, my first urge upon seeing a space navy is to start working up its order of battle, and this is an urge to be resisted, much of the time.

I can't actually think of a time when the number of planets controlled by the Empire has ever actually mattered in a game.

Still, I wouldn't have said it was millions.

And Freedom in the Galaxy, the 1979 Star Wars knockoff boardgame has said galaxy consist of about 24 systems.

Now that may be because that is as many as even old boardgamers thought they could track, but I think if before I had read the Star Wars Sourcebook someone had told me the Empire consisted of 24 systems I would have thought it was a little low, but not as out as there being a million or more.

 


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#17 Sturn

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

ErikB said:

And Freedom in the Galaxy, the 1979 Star Wars knockoff boardgame has said galaxy consist of about 24 systems.

I don't think I'm going to use a boardgame that isn't even set in the Star Wars universe as a source for information on number of systems.

I would agree with the above posters that you probably shouldn't try to quantify the size of the Empire. For the PCs, there will always be another planet to visit they've never yet heard of. That's all that is really needed.

If asked how big, I might respond the Empire is vast, but there are still countless unexplored planets and systems.


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#18 Inquisitor Tremayne

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:18 PM

I use the map found in this:

Star Wars Essential Atlas

I do not own the physical book but my impression is this notes every planet ever mentioned in the Star Wars canon and maps it.  If you wanted to get real detailed (a n a l) you could cross-reference and read all their histories on Wookiepedia (if not detailed in the book) and note which planets at one time had an Imperial presence.

I've always had the impression that membership in the Empire was at the will of the Emperor.  A system may not be part of the Empire but the Empire sure as heck would/could invade and "have a presence" there thus making it part of the Empire (as far as Sidious would be concerned).  The point of the Empire is that it is too big to stop or fight.  If the Empire took interest in a planet there was little to stop them and nearly all resistance would be crushed, with the obvious exceptions of Mon Calamari and others.



#19 Cilionelle

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:38 PM

The Essential Atlas is great.  I only just got a copy, but it lists a whole slew of planets and systems.  Many of them are undocumented (cross-reference with Wookieepedia for the win…) and thus make ripe ground for RPGing.  But the population of the galaxy is apparently in the order of quadrillions, with a number of different sections, Core, Inner Rim, Mid-Rim, Outer Rim, Hutt Space, etc.  I don't think it would be odd to expect the Empire to be huge, especially when its predecessor had been around for some 4,000 years…


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#20 ErikB

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Sturn said:

I don't think I'm going to use a boardgame that isn't even set in the Star Wars universe as a source for information on number of systems.

 

Oh aye, it has no significance other than that, in 1979 and hence before much exposure to Star Wars fluff or even The Empire Strikes Back, when someone wanted to duplicate the feel of Star Wars they made up an Empire of 24 systems.

And like I say, I don't think the Essential Atlas and related material tally with the movies. When the Empire searches for the Rebel Base on Hoth did they really go through millions of systems to find it? And if they had dispatched that many Probe Droids, why did they bring so few ship to make the assault?


If you want a picture of the Empire, imagine a jackboot stamping on a beings face - forever.




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