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That Blasted Samophlange

The spice controls the... nevermind.

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I was thinking about spice, specifically how it is a catch all slang term for a number narcotics, and how I feel that use of spice is a lost opportunity.

While drug running is fine and all, I'm not sure when spice became a drug in star wars. I have heard that Lucas was infuenced by Dune. I am seriously thinking if making spice to be less narcotic and more in line with actual spices - the value, if you go by old trading practices (and even current costs) of spices such as saffron could still garner a necessity if smuggling. The cost per kilogram of saffron can get up to $18,000 dollars.

It is a luxury item mostly, but with prices like that today, the cost in manpower to harvest, conpanies like the old East India Trading company having spice be a true spice works just as well.

Luke said his father was a navigator on a spice frigate - which, to me, lends a sort of legitimate trade, rather than a drug running operator. I can't think of any good reason the Lars' would tell Luke his father was a drug lord minion.

The idea of Hutts running the spice trade gives a legitimacy to the hutt empire and skavery practices, as well as kessel in my eyes.

What does everyone think about spice being less narcotic and more exotic and expensive flavouring (with possible medicinal use)?

Also does anyone know where the first use of spice as a narcitic was? Is it old EU novel of WEG druk?

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This is the way I always felt while I was growing up, as well. I remember having he vague idea that spice was either heavily regulated or illegal, but not that it was necessarily a drug. C-3PO mentioned "the spice mines of Kessel," so clearly it was Imperial controlled. And then Han Solo mentioned how he runs from the Imperials almost in the same breath that he said he made "the Kessel run." To me, that shows that spice has always been implied to be an illicit substance. Even if it's a narcotic, there could still be legitimate spice dealings in the Empire. Think about opiates in the 19th century.

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One of my favorite TCW episodes involves Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka teaming up with a group of bounty hunters to protect a farming village. Ahsoka called them "healing herbs." Obi-Wan identified the plants as nysillin and stated it was, "one of the most valuable crops in the galaxy." Most interestingly, the Netflix episode summary refers to it as a spice farm.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bounty_Hunters_(episode)

 

I could imagine that "spice" could generically refer to any sort of drug whether it's primary intent in use is recreational or medicinal.

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What does everyone think about spice being less narcotic and more exotic and expensive flavouring (with possible medicinal use)?

 

I never really saw it as open to interpretation. Spice Mines of Kessel refers to heavily regulated narcotics under control of the Empire. Spice = Narcotics.

 

If you wanted to say Spice = something like Saffron, I'd say it's doable but you have to modify the lore a bit. If it took like three years to get from one end of the galaxy to the other, then people would be looking for special commodities. A person from Tatooine might want to buy sugar from Earth, or water of all things...

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Spice is definitely a catch-all term for anything we (in the US) would commonly call drugs today.  That being said there are varying degrees of legality associated with the product.   In a universe that has legal slavery there is certainly the possibility for legal narcotics.  With any commodity there will be individuals that want to circumvent the  authorities in order to make a bigger product.  Think of the Firefly episode where they haul cattle.

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I was thinking about spice, specifically how it is a catch all slang term for a number narcotics, and how I feel that use of spice is a lost opportunity.

While drug running is fine and all, I'm not sure when spice became a drug in star wars. I have heard that Lucas was infuenced by Dune. I am seriously thinking if making spice to be less narcotic and more in line with actual spices - the value, if you go by old trading practices (and even current costs) of spices such as saffron could still garner a necessity if smuggling. The cost per kilogram of saffron can get up to $18,000 dollars.

It is a luxury item mostly, but with prices like that today, the cost in manpower to harvest, conpanies like the old East India Trading company having spice be a true spice works just as well.

Luke said his father was a navigator on a spice frigate - which, to me, lends a sort of legitimate trade, rather than a drug running operator. I can't think of any good reason the Lars' would tell Luke his father was a drug lord minion.

The idea of Hutts running the spice trade gives a legitimacy to the hutt empire and skavery practices, as well as kessel in my eyes.

What does everyone think about spice being less narcotic and more exotic and expensive flavouring (with possible medicinal use)?

Also does anyone know where the first use of spice as a narcitic was? Is it old EU novel of WEG druk?

I think of spice as simply a regulated commodity.  We produce all manner of narcotics legally and then control their distribution.  Spice smuggling would simply imply bypassing those controls to make unregulated derivatives, as well as, more powerful versions, and I'm sure skip the associated taxes along with it.  So there is legal regulated spice trade as well as smuggling in my mind.

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Almost anything that can be used a recreational mind altering substance has uses uses that aren't egregiously stupid.

 

Opiates are powerful drugs that have some very useful properties, or you can make heroin with it. Heroin has almost no useful properties except maybe some Darwinian ones. Marijuana with the THC removed really can be the panacea the stoners claim. You'd be better off taking it as a pill, because smoking anything is just dumb. Alcohol in moderate amounts is good for the cardiovascular system, but if you use enough to get drunk you've gone way too far.

 

The point (other than mocking morons) is that the difference between medicine and drug is usually one of intent. A spice freighter may well be a legit means of moving medicine.

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In the "official" Star Wars lore spice was a very general term for mind altering drugs. There were types of spice that were used as legitimate medicines, Ryll is an example of this, but even glitterstim was used as "a medicinal substance" by the Republic. So when Luke was told his father was a pilot on a spice freighter it would have meant "legitimate spice". I see no reason to remove this kind of spice from Star Wars. OTOH, it is true that rare seasonings for food and even exotic foods would have value so it is quite reasonable to have trade in such items.

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In the "official" Star Wars lore spice was a very general term for mind altering drugs. There were types of spice that were used as legitimate medicines, Ryll is an example of this, but even glitterstim was used as "a medicinal substance" by the Republic. So when Luke was told his father was a pilot on a spice freighter it would have meant "legitimate spice". I see no reason to remove this kind of spice from Star Wars. OTOH, it is true that rare seasonings for food and even exotic foods would have value so it is quite reasonable to have trade in such items.

 

Our GM tries to convince us that Ryll is a legitimate medicine.  Our response is usually, "Sure.  It gets you so smashed that you don't mind having your leg sawn off."  :D

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