Jump to content

ErikModi

Members
  • Content Count

    365
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Desslok in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  2. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from ZorinIchiona in Compare/Contrast Saga Edition and FFG Star Wars   
    Well, and the thing about FFG's narrative system is you can headbutt, knockdown, parry, and pin to your heart's content. . . narratively.  Give an enemy setback dice on their next roll?  You headbutted them and knocked them off balance.  Giving an ally boost dice on their next attack?  You pinned the enemy to give them that clear shot.  Enemy missed their lightsaber attack on you?  In a shower of sparks, you batted the glowing plasma aside with your vibroblade, keeping the contact brief enough it's still functional, though you'll probably want to give it a thorough servicing the first chance you get.  The Talents just let you do it as an actual combat maneuver.  
  3. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from LazerSwordsman in Darksider using light side - Narration   
    So, there's a good bit about this in the Shadows of the Empire novel.
    Darth Vader is trying to use the Dark Side to repair his damaged body, so he can breathe without his suit. He's making progress, focusing on his rage and hate and willing his lungs to inflate and absorb oxygen. And he breathes in unaided, and is so happy at his success he loses the focus on the Dark Side that was enabling it, and his effort falls apart.
    Now, this is an extreme version, since he was trying to do something very difficult (and something the Dark Side isn't all that good at, healing) but you could see using Light Side pips in a similar way. Just like a Force User drawing on the Dark Side is momentarily overcome with raw passion, a Dark Sider using the Light Side could be having a moment of simple, pure joy, feeling suddenly and unusually protective of a comrade when it's of no benefit to him. . . there's a lot of possibilities based on the character and exactly why they're a Dark Sider.
  4. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from penpenpen in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Yeah, pretty much what I was thinking.  There's a small window to hit with relativistic force, and an even smaller window to hit with really high relativistic force. Beyond that, it's either a standard ram or just being in hyperspace.
  5. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Arbitrator in Why do people hate Jedi?   
    I think a lot of Jedi hate come from something I brought up in the "Grey Jedi" thread. A lot of people like to play cool, dark, edgy characters, like Batman, and feel that having Big Blue Boyscout Superman tagging along hampers that character (nevermind that Batman and Superman are best friends in most continuites and have a deep mutual respect and admiration). Of course, part of this stems from a certain class of player who violently dislikes any restrictions on their behavior. Batman has just as inflexible a moral code as Superman, Batman just has fewer rules overall. But these kinds of players won't set any kind of inflexible moral code on their characters, whether it has so much as one single rule. Because then they aren't free to do whatever they want.
    Another part it that, yes, the Jedi Order in the Prequels was very flawed. That was the point. The whole reason the OT exists is because Luke needed to be a new kind of Jedi to defeat this new breed of Sith, and did so not by dicing them up with his lightsaber but by reaching the good Anakin Skywalker at the core of Darth Vader, letting Anakin fulfill his destiny and finally destroy the Sith. This is all but spelled out in The Last Jedi, where as long as Luke is clinging to what remains of the old Jedi Order, he's mired by their failures. Once he embraces being his own kind of Jedi on his own terms, he succeeds again. Note what he's wearing on Atch-To versus how hew appears on Crait. The wardrobe tells a story itself. So a lot of people probably start to see Jedi as doomed failure heroes, unable to do anything right, and just don't think to (or aren't interested in) engaging in the narrative of learning from the failures of the past to build a better future.
    Ironically, the next reason is rather the opposite. Jedi have long been considered invincible physical gods by Star Wars fans, unable to be challenged by anything short of another Jedi. The Prequels went out of their way to explode this myth, and even they weren't entirely successful. Especially considering the Bantam-era Legends books still exist, where the solution to every problem was for Luke to pull a brand new Force power out of his butt and pretty much literally handwave the problem away. Those familiar with these stories may be under the impression, whether the game rules support it or not, that any Jedi can solve any problem, from a squad of stormtroopers to a Death Star about to vaporize the planet, just by wiggling their fingers at it. So a Jedi makes every other character superfluous. Never mind that even the Prequels show several non-Jedi who can stand their ground with Jedi and even beat them. The main characters aren't awesome because they're Jedi, but because they're main characters.
    The truth is, you don't need to be a Jedi to be special, and being a Jedi doesn't make you special. Remember all the dead Jedi on the floor of the Geonosis arena, mowed down by battle droids that Anakin an Obi-Wan eat for breakfast. And Padme lived.
  6. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from lowfyr01 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  7. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from lowfyr01 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  8. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Raicheck in Why do people hate Jedi?   
    I think a lot of Jedi hate come from something I brought up in the "Grey Jedi" thread. A lot of people like to play cool, dark, edgy characters, like Batman, and feel that having Big Blue Boyscout Superman tagging along hampers that character (nevermind that Batman and Superman are best friends in most continuites and have a deep mutual respect and admiration). Of course, part of this stems from a certain class of player who violently dislikes any restrictions on their behavior. Batman has just as inflexible a moral code as Superman, Batman just has fewer rules overall. But these kinds of players won't set any kind of inflexible moral code on their characters, whether it has so much as one single rule. Because then they aren't free to do whatever they want.
    Another part it that, yes, the Jedi Order in the Prequels was very flawed. That was the point. The whole reason the OT exists is because Luke needed to be a new kind of Jedi to defeat this new breed of Sith, and did so not by dicing them up with his lightsaber but by reaching the good Anakin Skywalker at the core of Darth Vader, letting Anakin fulfill his destiny and finally destroy the Sith. This is all but spelled out in The Last Jedi, where as long as Luke is clinging to what remains of the old Jedi Order, he's mired by their failures. Once he embraces being his own kind of Jedi on his own terms, he succeeds again. Note what he's wearing on Atch-To versus how hew appears on Crait. The wardrobe tells a story itself. So a lot of people probably start to see Jedi as doomed failure heroes, unable to do anything right, and just don't think to (or aren't interested in) engaging in the narrative of learning from the failures of the past to build a better future.
    Ironically, the next reason is rather the opposite. Jedi have long been considered invincible physical gods by Star Wars fans, unable to be challenged by anything short of another Jedi. The Prequels went out of their way to explode this myth, and even they weren't entirely successful. Especially considering the Bantam-era Legends books still exist, where the solution to every problem was for Luke to pull a brand new Force power out of his butt and pretty much literally handwave the problem away. Those familiar with these stories may be under the impression, whether the game rules support it or not, that any Jedi can solve any problem, from a squad of stormtroopers to a Death Star about to vaporize the planet, just by wiggling their fingers at it. So a Jedi makes every other character superfluous. Never mind that even the Prequels show several non-Jedi who can stand their ground with Jedi and even beat them. The main characters aren't awesome because they're Jedi, but because they're main characters.
    The truth is, you don't need to be a Jedi to be special, and being a Jedi doesn't make you special. Remember all the dead Jedi on the floor of the Geonosis arena, mowed down by battle droids that Anakin an Obi-Wan eat for breakfast. And Padme lived.
  9. Thanks
    ErikModi reacted to penpenpen in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Great post! I've been thinking along similar lines, and the only thing I have to add is some speculation if in addition to being a short ranged maneuver, it's a fixed ranged maneuver. What a hyperdrive does is, among other things, accelerate the ship to "lightspeed" (whether this is actual c or a fraction thereof I have no idea), which seems to be needed for the ship to transfer into hyperspace. This means that not only do you need be close, but you can't be too close or you'll splatter like a rebel transport against the Devastator's hull. Too far away, and you'll jump to hyperspace before hitting and most likely pass "right through" your target. To do the maximum amount of damage, you essentially need to time it so you hit your target just a you're about to transition into hyperspace. Hera has shown us in Rebels that jumping into hyperspace may sometimes cause an energy discharge, powerful enough to damage nearby structures. So it might not just be the physical impact, but also that energy discharge, which might need to be carefully timed.
  10. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from penpenpen in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  11. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Demon4x4 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  12. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Donovan Morningfire in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  13. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from DarthHammer in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  14. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from RLogue177 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  15. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Tramp Graphics in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  16. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from Underachiever599 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    So, I wrote this up with the idea of making a YouTube video about it, but. . . well, here:
    Holdo Maneuver Explained
     
    Okay, so, I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address the common complaint about this scene from The Last Jedi.  It comes in a lot of forms and variations, but basically boils down to “if this is possible, we should have seen it before, and it breaks how warfare works in Star Wars.”  I disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly the various reasons why.
     
    A note on terminology.  I’ll be referencing both “Legends” and “Canon” as I talk about this.  For the uninitiated, Star Wars has a long, proud history of “Expanded Universe” materials.  Books, comics, video and card and tabletop role-playing games. . . basically, any medium you can think of, Star Wars expanded into it.  When Disney bought LucasFilm and went forward with a sequel trilogy of movies, the decision was made to take that Expanded Universe material and dub it “Legends,” essentially an alternate universe of Star Wars canon, which the new Canon can draw from, modify, or ignore as new Canon works see fit.  This means that there are literally thousands of years of Star Wars history that may or may not still apply.  This is what TvTropes calls “Schrodinger’s Canon,” and you can check that out for more information if you like.  Try not to get lost.  Anyway, I’ll be referencing both Legends and the new Canon as we go forward, and I’ll try to make it clear what’s what, hopefully you can follow me.  Ready?  Here we go!
     
    So, first, the reason why we haven’t seen a hyperspace ram before is. . . because you can’t actually ram something in hyperspace.  Star Wars FTL travel is via hyperspace, which is explicitly an alternate dimension where you can travel faster than the speed of light, which you cannot do in normal, or “realspace.”  So, you can’t actually ram an object in realspace while you are in hyperspace.  Now, according to Legends, objects in realspace cast “mass shadows” in hyperspace, which you can hit, and hitting a mass shadow in hyperspace is just like hitting the object itself in realspace. . . at a zillion times the speed of light and on another plane of existence.  You get smashed into subatomic particles and radiation, and the object in realspace doesn’t even realize you were there.  Now, there is at least one Legends source I’ve heard of that claims hitting an object I hyperspace does affect the object in realspace, annihilating it, but I can’t find that particular source and nowhere else in Legends that I am familiar with has this been treated as true.
     
    Except. . . Holdo does exactly that, ram an object in realspace while in hyperspace.  Well, I don’t actually think so.  You’ve seen it plenty of times, when ships enter or exit hyperspace in Star Wars.  What Timothy Zahn calls in his Star Wars novels a “flicker of pseudomotion,” a ship transitioning between realspace and hyperspace or vice versa.  It lasts just a second before the ship is gone.  I would contend that, during that flicker of pseudomotion, owing to a quirk of Star Wars physics, a ship entering or exiting hyperspace is treated as a relativistic object in realspace, moving at a substantial percentage of the speed of light.  As this excellent Because Science video shows, relativistic objects can pack near-infinite amounts of kinetic energy, making them extremely destructive.  So, the Holdo Maneuver can be very, very effective, but only within that second while the vessel is straddling hyperspace and realspace.  It requires very precise timing to pull off, and you need to be very close to the target, which negates the main advantage of relativistic or faster-than-light ramming attempts. . . by the time you see them coming, it’s too late to do anything about it.  You’d have to be close enough that the enemy could potentially shoot you down before you engage your hyperdrive.  And as we see in The Last Jedi, the Supremacy could detect that the Raddus was about to enter hyperspace, but blew it off as a distraction. . . until they saw the Raddus had turned to point at them.  By the time Hux gave the order to “fire on that cruiser,” it was too late to stop Holdo.  Against a more prepared (or more competent?) commander, this window may not have been as large, or existed at all.  (Side note. . . I don’t think this was the first ever time a near-hyperspace collision had ever happened in Star Wars, in part because its such a big galaxy with such a long history lots of things must have happened before and will probably happen again, but because Hux loses all his **** as soon as he figures out what Holod’s up to.)
     
    So, you only have a limited window to hit your target while transitioning between realspace and hyperspace, and this requires you to be fairly close to your enemy and engage your hyperdrive at just the right moment to hit them with relativistic power.  Already, its limitation as a tactic is becoming apparent, but there’s another drawback:  accuracy.
     
    Holdo is pretty clearly aiming for dead-center on the Supremacy.  But she hits it. . . here.  Fully halfway between the centerline and the tip of the starboard wing.  The Supremacy is 60 kilometers wide (the largest ship ever in Star Wars Canon that isn’t a Death Star), which means that if she was aiming for dead-center, she missed her target by a full 15 kilometers.  The next biggest ship in Star Wars Canon, Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer Executor, is only 19 kilometers long.  If Holdo had been trying to ram that dead-center from the side, that 15km margin of error is the difference between hitting it and missing completely.  And again, that’s the largest Star Wars ship known to exist outside of the Supremacy and the Death Stars.  So assuming this 15km margin of error is normal, this tactic is basically completely useless against anything that isn’t ridiculously big.  Granted, that does make scenes like this (Rebel fleet in Return of the Jedi jumping to hyperspace in tight formation) seem incredibly reckless, but maybe their navicomputers are linked in such a way so that if hyperdrives are off by about 15km per jump, the whole fleet is off by the same 15km.  Slave circuits are a thing in Legends, just saying.
     
    That’s two strikes now against this being a viable, common tactic. . . proximity and accuracy.  But there’s also damage to consider.
     
    Look at what the ram actually does to the Supremacy.  That’s not superweapon levels of damage.  The ship itself is still functional, all the major characters on board survive, and enough minor characters and redshirts survive that the First Order can launch a full-scale ground assault on the base on Crait not long after.  It’s bit nebulous exactly how long it takes for the ground assault to get going, but I don’t think it was much over half an hour, if that long.  Sure, the Supremacy’s support fleet gets destroyed by the relativistic shrapnel, but the Supremacy itself is largely intact, and may even be repairable (expanded material goes back and forth on this, as far as I’m aware).  And the Raddus is three kilometers long, bigger than anything the Rebellion had available in the Original Trilogy.  Twice as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Using something closer to OT-size ships, the damage would be much less, especially to something far more massive than the Supremacy, like a Death Star.
     
    Now, this amazing Because Science video shows that, were the Raddus traveling at something like 99.99% the speed of light, it would have annihilated the Supremacy and its support fleet in a massive nuclear fission explosion.  But that’s not what we see happen in the film, so it’s likely the Raddus wasn’t “travelling” that fast, maybe more like seventy or sixty percent the speed of light.  I don’t know, somebody way, way smarter than me would have to crunch the numbers.  I love science, but I don’t speak its language.  Anyway, there’s probably a point during that “flicker of pseudomotion” where hit those really high relativistic speeds, but precisely timing, within the span of that one second, where that point will be and where you need to be to hit your target with that force, is beyond the abilities of everything except, I’d venture, specially programmed flight computers and droids.  Because it’s just not a problem most computers and droids would be expected to address.  So, damage and precision, two more strikes.
     
    Finally, we come to the main problem I foresee with this:  gravity wells.  Remember when I talked about mass shadows in hyperspace, and how hitting one would be devastating?  Well, because of that, hyperdrives in Legends have safeties that cause them to cut out if the ship is within a gravity well, precisely to try and prevent ships from hitting mass shadows in hyperspace.  In a gravity well in realspace?  Can’t flip on your hyperdrive, you might crash right into what’s causing the gravity well.  In hyperspace and hit a gravity well?  The hyperdrive cuts out, dropping you into realspace, hopefully before you crash into the thing that made the gravity well (either in hyperspace or realspace).  These safeties aren’t perfect.  In the Thrawn Trilogy, Talon Karrde tells a story involving a ship he once served on having a near-miss with a mass shadow that killed several of the crew, blew out the main hyperdrive, and severely damaged the ship, forcing them to limp home on the backup hyperdrive.  But they do tend to save you from the worst. . . potentially.
     
    “Now wait a **** minute!” I hear you cry.  “That may work in Legends, but obviously not in the new Canon, since Han made a landing approach at lightspeed and Rogue One shows a ship jumping to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well!”  Well, I think I can explain both of those.
     
    For Rogue One. . . I’d long maintained that the hyperdrive safeties would be built-in and hardwired, so they couldn’t be bypassed without deactivating the hyperdrive itself.  This is because I’ve run many Star Wars role-playing games, and my players are exactly the kind of psychotic morons who’d turn those safeties off and then have the nerve to act surprised when one bad astrogation roll results in the whole campaign being smashed into a cloud of quarks.  “Rocks fall, everyone dies” Star Wars style.  However, in the new Canon, this may not be the case.  The safeties might well be able to be bypassed or turned off, allowing Cassian’s U-Wing to hyperspace while within Jedha’s gravity well.  Why would he do this?  Well, as shown in the film, being able to jump to hyperspace when you really shouldn’t be able to can be very helpful, letting you escape from otherwise-certain doom.  Now, I’m talking more “hot Imperial pursuit” than “planet-destroying superlaser,” but same difference.  Also, there are Interdictor cruisers.  In Legends, a very popular Imperial ship that projected gravity wells to stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or yank them out if they were on a known course.  They’ve been ported to the new Canon by appearing in an episode of Rebels, but they also exist from a more important source:
     
    “We’re not going to attack?”  “The Emperor has something special planned for them.  We’re only to keep them from escaping.”
     
    In Return of the Jedi, when the Rebellion assaults the second Death Star, the Imperial Starfleet emerges from behind the moon of Endor to catch them in a pincer, preventing their escape and leaving them to be picked off by the unexpectedly-operational Death Star.  The only way this is possible is if the Imperials have some means to prevent the Rebel fleet from just jumping back into hyperspace.  Yes, Admiral Ackbar starts to order a retreat and Lando talks him out of it, but the Empire couldn’t just sit back and hope the Rebels would be nice enough to decide to stick around once it became clear that—
     
    “IT’S A TRAP!”
     
    Yeah, that.  The Empire must have had some means to keep the Rebel Fleet from escape at Endor, and Interdictor Cruisers, or something like them, is that explanation.  So, Cassian might have disabled his hyperdrive safeties not only to make unexpected escapes, but so he could thumb his nose at some of the Empire’s most expensive toys.  And, let’s be honest.  Doesn’t this guy seem just unhinged enough to cut away his safety net because he thinks it’s slowing him down?  Sorry, Cassian, I love you bro, but. . . that’s a really dumb move.  Please don’t shoot me.
     
    As for Starkiller Base. . . Han seems to take the dangers of hyperspace travel much more seriously than Cassian.  Too seriously, as this excellent Because Science video points out.  (But, it doesn’t talk about planets, moons, asteroids, black holes, etc., just stars. . . ah, whatever.  The Star Wars galaxy is apparently more full of mass shadows than anything we know of in our observable universe, just like their asteroid fields are nothing like asteroid fields we’re familiar with.  Just roll with it.)  Anyway, it seems highly unlikely Han would disable his hyperdrive safeties, so how does he make his landing approach at lightspeed?  Well, the planet Starkiller Base was on was gutted for that gigantic superweapon.  Gravity is a function of mass, and the planet’s mass had been substantially reduced, resulting in a smaller gravity well.  I posit that Han’s maneuver was probably only possible on Starkiller Base, since the reduced planet mass meant there was enough space between the shield and the gravity well for limited hyperspace travel.  He came out well below that, but. . . that flicker of pseudomotion goes both ways.
     
    So, what does this have to do with near-hyperspace rams and Death Stars?  Well, the Death Stars are massive, and I mean that technically.  They’re huge hunks of metal and have a lot of mass, and thus they would have their own gravity wells.  Probably not one full Earth gee, but noticeable, and quite likely enough to trip the safeties on hyperdrives near them.  By the very nature of their gigantic design, they may be proof against this attack.  Even if they aren’t, in the Battle of Yavin all the Rebellion had left after Scariff was a few snubfighters to throw against the Death Star.  Given the limited amount of damage the Raddus was able to do to the Supremacy, and the probably inaccuracy of near-hyperspace ramming in general, those tiny ships wouldn’t have done sufficient damage accurately enough to cripple or destroy the Death Star.  And in the Battle of Endor, where the Rebellion had larger ships available, there are the Interdictors to consider.  In addition to preventing the Rebels from escaping along their incoming hyperspace lane, they may have been close enough to keep the Rebel ships from entering hyperspace at all.  Even if not, the damage and inaccuracy problems remain.  And a near-hyperspace ram on the second Death Star really only would have been an option while the Death Star’s shield was up. . . once the shield was down, they could go with the original plan of flying inside and attacking the main reactor directly.  Remember what Han said about Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens:  “Their shields have a fractional refresh rate, stops anything slower than lightspeed.”  If the second Death Star’s shield didn’t have that fractional refresh rate, it would have blocked even lightspeed ramming attempts, and I’d go so far as to say even if it did have a refresh rate, it would still block near-lightspeed ramming attempts (since you’re still slower than light, even if not by much).
     
    So. . . the Holdo Maneuver.  Extremely tricky to pull off, unlikely to succeed in a wide variety of situations, and probably not going to pack the bang to make it worth it if you do manage it.  Pretty good reasons why it’s not a standard tactic, huh?
     
    Look, I know I’m assuming a lot of facts not in evidence.  This is not necessarily how everything works in the new Canon.  I might be wrong about most or all of these assumptions.  And I’ll be the first to admit that the filmmakers probably weren’t thinking any of this through with this level of detail and just said “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?”  But these facts stand:  near-hyperspace ramming is possible in Star Wars, it happened in The Last Jedi.  It wasn’t used in any other Star Wars media before, so there have to be reasons why not.  I just went looking for some, and found a bunch.  Personally, I love it when filmmakers leave some things for the audience to figure out, it engages us and lets us feel more connected to this universe.  Being thought-provoking doesn’t have to mean only making you think about philosophy and the nature of good and evil and big, fundamental moral questions. . . it can also be about just making you think about how this universe works, about what rules are in place to allow the cool things we see on screen to occur in this fictional world.
     
    So, have I changed your mind about the Holdo Maneuver?  If so, feel free to tell me how.  If not, and you still have a beef with it that goes beyond “it’s stupid and the movie still sucks,” bring it up in the comments.  Maybe I’ll do another video to address those.  Maybe you’ll convince me that it really is stupid.
     
    Thanks for watching, thank you for your time and attention.
  17. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from Underachiever599 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  18. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Nytwyng in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  19. Like
    ErikModi reacted to Donovan Morningfire in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Interestingly, there's a number of films that were panned by fans and critics alike at their release (on top of bombing at the box office) that these days are very fondly looked back upon.  Beloved cult classics such as The Princess Bride, Clue, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Heathers, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Iron Giant, just to name a few.  Heck, even the prequels got savaged upon their release, but in the span of two decades they're now seen in a much more favorable light.
    Given that TLJ's only real crime was shaking up and subverting a great many expectations (especially in light of how by-the-numbers the plot of TFA was), I agree that in the future it'll be hailed as a masterpiece and Rian Johnson given the same degree of admiration that Irvin Kershner is given for ESB.  There will of course be those that pan and/or dislike TLJ, just as there are those that still pan and/or dislike ESB for a variety of reasons, but no film can hope to please everybody.
  20. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from Donovan Morningfire in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  21. Like
    ErikModi got a reaction from RLogue177 in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    Her lightsaber.  Anakin/Luke's lightsaber was destroyed at the end of TLJ. She retrieved the pieces and apparently repaired it, but it's hers now.
    From what I've heard, Abrams liked Johnson's "Rey is no one" twist, and it was pretty much what he'd intended initially anyway, so I don't think they're going to retcon that out. My fear is that it's Ben Solo's redemption arc, which he absolutely does not deserve, or in-universe, want. But there might be another Skywalker who might finally "Rise," and continuing on from TLJ's theme of failure and learning from it, pass on some of his own hard-learned lessons. . . 
    I honestly don't think they'll be retconning much, if anything, from TLJ. I've said it before, but ESB got a lot of the same reception when it was released, and it wasn't until years later, when the whole trilogy could be watched backwards and forwards, that it got its status as the best Star Wars film ever made. And TLJ has a lot of the same "problems" that made Empire so divisive when it came out. . . a tonal shift, big revelations, straight-up telling the audience that a lot of what you thought you knew was wrong, or at least terribly incomplete. . . and I have to be honest, a lot of the hate TLJ gets is just really, really petty.  "They didn't validate my Snoke theory!  They didn't make a Rey a Skywalker/Kenobi/Palpatine!  Phasma didn't get to be a badass and kill everyone!  Luke wasn't the same starry-eyed, naieve farmboy who left Tattooine 40 years ago!"  Star Wars may, in part, belong to us, its fans, but we do not create it.  We leave that in the hands of professional filmmakers, and they are not beholden to give us what we say we want, their job is to tell the best story they can the best that they can.  Once people get over knee-jerk "that's not how I would have done it" and accept that, I think TLJ will be seen as a much better film than a lot of people give it credit for.  And already, the "love it/hate it" narrative is decaying, with more people falling into "it's mostly good but has some flaws" or "I didn't care for it, except X, Y, and Z."
    But yeah, I have loved pretty much all the new Star Wars films we've gotten, so I am definitely excited for this.
  22. Haha
    ErikModi reacted to Donovan Morningfire in Star Wars IX Teaser... Don't screw this up Disney.   
    I'm in.
    Granted, I'm one of those apparently mental cases who genuinely enjoyed The Last Jedi and never bought into the "Disney murdered my childhood!" bollox, so I'm not exactly a hard sell when it comes to new Star Wars movies.
    Curious as to the meaning of the title, but sincerely hoping that Abrams doesn't retroactively turn Rey into a long lost Skywalker descendant.  Perhaps she decides to adopt the name for herself, not unlike claiming a title?
    Does seem that we're getting Luke as a Force ghost and perhaps posthumous mentor.
    And it was cool to see Billy Dee Williams chuckling it up at the helm of the Falcon.  And of course, the laugh at the end...
  23. Thanks
    ErikModi reacted to Archlyte in Why do people hate Jedi?   
    I am grateful you wrote this. So good. 
  24. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from Archlyte in Why do people hate Jedi?   
    How Jedi are portrayed in tabletop RPGs (and somewhat, video games) tends to reflect how the fans think of them.
    Back in d6, when we only had the Original Trilogy, we knew Jedi could do some normally-impossible stuff, like Luke making the shot to destroy the Death Star, Vader Force-choking someone when he wasn't even in the same room, and Yoda lifting a submerged X-Wing. So d6 was fairly downplayed, with Force-Users being powerful but not obnoxiously so. . . and by the time they got obnoxious, the normal characters would be sporting 19d Blaster skills, so it evened out.
    Then Legends happened, and Force Users could cast Light by vibrating air molecules, among other such ridiculousness. Star Wars Galaxies came out, making Jedi an "Alpha Class," simply more powerful than other professions, partly to balance the ridiculous difficulty in unlocking the Jedi profession (itself justified because the game was set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, so there shouldn't have even been Jedi running around anyway).
    Around now the Prequels happened, but it took awhile for it's "Jedi aren't physical gods" message to sink in. The d20 Star Wars RPGs at the time were all over the place, trying to remain balanced while allowing the insanity of Legends. Probably the last gasp of this view of Jedi was The Force Unleashed, which fully admitted it was going beyond what the Force was capable of in the films for the sake of being deliriously awesome.
    Finally, we have FFG, which is embracing the idea that Force Users aren't better or more inherently powerful or worthy than anyone else. The Force can do impossible things, but not for free, and writing "Jedi" on your character sheet does not mean "I win."
  25. Thanks
    ErikModi got a reaction from Archlyte in Playing as a Grey Jedi   
    Exactly this.  "Grey" Jedi is not a thing in Star Wars, it's been repeatedly proven.
    Mechanically, being "Grey" is an attempt to access cool, evil Force Powers and not get smacked down by the evil stick.  Pretty much every single Star Wars tabletop RPG has some variant of the "when you fall to the Dark Side, your character irrevocably becomes an NPC" rule.  There have been rules for playing Dark Side games, but the default assumption is that the characters will be the heroes, and at least trying to be good.  Mechanically, "Grey" is trying to work around the system so you can do evil things or use evil powers and not get your character sheet taken away from you by the GM.
    From a character standpoint, the people who tend to want "Grey" Jedi are the same kinds of people who think Superman is a boring, lame stick-in-the-mud who is no fun, while Batman is the coolest of the cool for being willing to do almost anything to win (or that The Punisher is even cooler because he just shoots dead everyone who pisses him off).  They're too cynical to engage with the old-fashioned, idealistic morality Jedi are supposed to aspire to, and want to play a darker and edgier anti-hero with a lightsaber and force powers.  They think people who do engage with that utterly selfless sense of bringing hope and light into the galaxy are hopelessly naive, foolish, and stupid for refusing see the "reality" of the world.
    The above are strictly my opinions, based on what I have encountered from previous discussions and instances of these ideas, dating all the way back to the d6 iteration of Star Wars Roleplaying.  I am not stating unequivocally that everyone falls into these categories or that these are the only reasons for wanting a "Grey" Jedi.  Rather, in my experience, at least one of these two holds true for those I have seen advancing the "Grey Jedi" cause, though I am open to the possibility of this not being the case one of these days.
    Now, you can still play a conflicted anti-hero while engaging with the morality system (of whatever version of Star Wars you're playing), you don't need special rules to give you permission.  You do need to be aware of what the rules are and how they're being enforced, and play the character in such a way that you toe the line closer than everyone else while not quite crossing over it.  The Superman, Batman, and Punisher examples were very carefully chosen. . . all those characters (at least, when their stories are at their most compelling) have codes of conduct that inform their behavior, lines they will not cross, and should they be forced to cross one of those lines, have hugely dramatic moments of character growth.  Batman pushes the lines farther than Superman, and The Punisher pushes them almost to breaking, but all three remain heroes because of those lines they will not cross.  Same applies in roleplay.  A technical pacifist character is willing to do more than an actual pacifist character, and a character with no qualms about using violence goes father than either of them.  But it doesn't make any of them automatically more or less moral than the other.
    As for the lack of a mechanical benefit for being "in the middle," I'd like to talk about The Potentium.  It really got going in the New Jedi Order novels as part of that series' ruminations on the nature of the Jedi and the Force itself.  It seemed as though we were on the verge of a great revelation about the very nature of the Force itself. . . then papa Lucas stepped in and said "this idea is baloney," and he would know.  There is a Dark Side of the Force, and much like the Force itself, it seems to have a will and desire to corrupt the powerful to its service.  Obeying its call and dedicating yourself completely to its service nets you power. . . at a price.  On the opposite end, achieving true balance and understanding within the Force, not just its Dark Side, leads you to enlightenment (the Light Side Paragon end of the spectrum).  Being in the middle is just being undecided.  "Balance" in the Force isn't equal amounts good and evil, equal amounts Dark and Light, or even the concept of "neutrality," not hinging toward one side or the other.  The Force itself is balance.  Death and destruction lead to new life.  The Dark Side is the imbalance, the twisting, the perversion of the natural into the unnatural.  "Powerful Light, powerful Dark," is part of this balance, but only a small part, and here's the thing:  balance between Light and Dark isn't being a little bit of both.  Doing something good than turning around and doing something bad doesn't equally strengthen or weaken the Light and the Dark each, all it does it pull you one way, then the other, leaving you still in the middle.  The Dark is greedy, it wants you all to itself and for you to serve it completely.  The Light is balance itself, so claiming to be the balance between Light and Dark is like claiming to be the tightrope on which God walks.  A rather arrogant belief.
    Now, there's nothing to say a character can't believe these things, but they are not how the Force works in-universe.  Just like a character in a High Fantasy game can believe there's no such thing as gods, and all the Cleric's fancy spells are just like all of a Wizard's fancy spells.  In-universe, that character is demonstrably wrong, as the gods are baked into just about every setting at a fundamental level and unequivocally exist, but a character who believes otherwise can be very interesting.  But they don't get a bonus on their saving throw versus Divine Smite because of it.
×
×
  • Create New...