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Leia Hourglass

What would be considered “sci-fi” in Star Wars?

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Right off the bat you’d say teleportation and time travel but that has appeared in Legends and matter replication pseudo-exists with the food synthesizers. Based on this; I’m sure they can synthesize objects or at least make them really quickly. Im looking for something that the Star Wars denizens would consider “science fiction” and yes that term has been used in Legends. Admiral Motti speaks of the Celestials as Science fiction in the Essential Guide to Warfare and in one of the MedStar Healer books, it is referred to as a future fic. 

So canon or Legends, sci fi exists. I want to write an RPG profile of a crazy scientist who is looking to accomplish an “impossible” task. What could he be trying to do?

Immortality and Intangibility excluded. Too obvious. 

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Posted (edited)

Hmm this could get sticky because there is a huge amount of subjectivity but I could just give you my personal guidelines. I see Sci-Fi as basically just telling normal political and human stories but in a tech environment. The technology can be a big part of the story in Sci-Fi, and you can do all the exposition and highlighting of it that you want within the constraints of the attention spa of your audience. 

Star Wars is mainly Science Fantasy to me, This means that it is primarily a story that fits into one of the proto-genres: Western, Samurai, WWII, Arthurian, but also has a super far-future technological backdrop that is largely not explained nor highlighted. The characters are supposed to be the most important part of the story, but there are fantastic environmental elements that sometimes shape things. 

So for instance there is not a lot of wonder or explanation around FTL travel because to the characters it is very routine stuff. They don't get into all of the techno-babble explanations of something like Star Trek because to Star Wars characters it's really nothing special for characters who regularly travel. It would be like a flight attendant being amazed by a trip to Topeka Kansas. The wonder that the audience feels is not there for the character, so they don't need to explain things for the 4th wall. 

I would say this applies to most things in the setting, so the difficulty comes when you try to have someone like a sociologist or a scientists who is looking at the in-depth construction of the setting. You start to get into a lot of exposition which erodes the feel. The environmental stuff in the setting is there to provide weirdness. If it gets over-explained it loses that quality. 

Edit: Mea culpa. I initially read the Title with more care than your actual post. Oops sorry . 

Edited by Archlyte

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Ships that could move in any direction regardless of facing, while making no noise at all?  :ph34r:

For mad scientist work:

  • The "beam me up" thing from Star Trek.
  • The portal gun from Rick and Morty.
  • Some kind of Star Gate, where you walk from Coruscant to Corellia.

One consideration is that other than the ubiquity of space flight, the worlds are rather mundane.  Things are still fixed with a screwdriver and hammer, so maybe nanotech-auto-repair, and the threat of turning the universe into "grey goo", could still be a sci-fi thing.

 

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One thing to correct you on @Leia Hourglass, the autochefs/food synthesizers that are on board starships in Star Wars do not use Star Trek style matter replication. They’re simply automated food preparation machines. They don’t create food out of thin air, through some kind of ST style transporter technology. They require the use of actual ingredients physically placed in them. 

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3 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

One thing to correct you on @Leia Hourglass, the autochefs/food synthesizers that are on board starships in Star Wars do not use Star Trek style matter replication. They’re simply automated food preparation machines. They don’t create food out of thin air, through some kind of ST style transporter technology. They require the use of actual ingredients physically placed in them. 

Yes you are correct. Now that I remember, the “future tech” from the MedStar book described a tech like Food materializing. 

Its a great idea but it would make Star Wars a post-scarcity society. 

Also I think the “ingredients” are probably some type of gel or liquid that can be made into anything you want. 

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Based on the article, and from what I remember from the various novels, a food synthesizer used base proteins (think tofu), carbohydrates, sugars, fats, etc. to create processed foods that simulate “real” foods suitable for a variety of alien species’ nutritional needs, while an autochef takes these and automatically prepares and cooks a full meal from this food stuff and/or real ingredients. 

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4 hours ago, whafrog said:

 

  • Some kind of Star Gate, where you walk from Coruscant to Corellia.

 

A Legends comic actually had this one, a Stargatelike portal device that could take the user from one point in the galaxy to another instantly if I remember correctly. Sadly it had to be destroyed to prevent it from being used as a weapon and it was ancient technology that very few people even knew existed so from the perspective of the average Star Wars person it's probably still Sci-Fi for them.

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Sci-Fi is when a character is a part of an advanced world that the character is part of. Fantasy is when the backdrop of a setting is designed to visually express a characters journey. Episodes 1-6 are a direct expression of the character's journey as each setting embodies what the character is going through and their ongoing conflict. The former doesn't make any concessions to the character and they are very much a part of a system, while in Fantasy, the main characters are the heart of the story and that they are the driving force for change. So by extention, I imagine some groups run star wars as a fantasy, others as sci-fi where they simply have to survive the environment they have been placed within.

Not what you asked, but the tone of the campaign is as much part of whether it's Sci-Fi or pure Fantasy with a futuristic dressing.

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22 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

One thing to correct you on @Leia Hourglass, the autochefs/food synthesizers that are on board starships in Star Wars do not use Star Trek style matter replication. They’re simply automated food preparation machines. They don’t create food out of thin air, through some kind of ST style transporter technology. They require the use of actual ingredients physically placed in them. 

That reminds me of the kitchen scene from The Ice Pirates where there are droid hands mounted on the wall that are helping someone cook.  They are mixing and doing whatever else is needed.

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8 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

That reminds me of the kitchen scene from The Ice Pirates where there are droid hands mounted on the wall that are helping someone cook.  They are mixing and doing whatever else is needed.

A very underrated movie. Both awful and good at the same time. lol

Now I have to have some feared tiny space creature dart across the PC'd dinner table...😈😂

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Science fiction could be just different science as well.  Maybe they are looking a warp drive instead of hyperspace.  

In fact, Star Trek could exist in Star Wars as science fiction, just using an entire series of alternate, but similar technologies.  

Also, it could just represent expected increases in technology, predicting faster travel, bigger hard drives, more powerful weapons.  

If you are looking for a specific sci-fi technology to research, how about the technomancers from Babylon 5?  Using swarms of mentally controlled nano-bots to create "magical" effects.  Hmm, maybe that is what the midichlorians really are?

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On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 2:11 PM, Leia Hourglass said:

 What could he be trying to do?

Even though teleportation and time travel (barely) appear in Legends, they are likely rare enough that almost all of the galaxy's inhabitants would consider them to be science fiction.  On a similar note, any of the Imperial black projects would likely be fair game (starfighter-size cloaking, or a portable version of most of their superweapons) because only a handful of people would know of their existence - "No ship that small has a cloaking device!"

Enhanced super-soldiers (Space Marines, Halo's Spartans, and the like) aren't really seen in Star Wars; the Genesis Device from The Wrath of Khan and flash-learning like in The Matrix are options, as is pretty much any sci-fi weapon that isn't a blaster or missile.

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I love Star Wars, but it's not Sci Fi.  It's Science Fantasy.  Science fiction at least makes an attempt to explain how things work, or come up with some pseudo science theories.  Star Wars barely gives it a glance.  

It's space magic.

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9 minutes ago, Split Light said:

I love Star Wars, but it's not Sci Fi.  It's Science Fantasy.  Science fiction at least makes an attempt to explain how things work, or come up with some pseudo science theories.  Star Wars barely gives it a glance.  

It's space magic.

True.  It's very much the setting where they increasingly try to explain the Force "magic" like it's science but treat the science (e.g., hyperdrive, et al) like magic 

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1 hour ago, Split Light said:

I love Star Wars, but it's not Sci Fi.  It's Science Fantasy.  Science fiction at least makes an attempt to explain how things work, or come up with some pseudo science theories.  Star Wars barely gives it a glance.  

It's space magic.

Ehhh. I agree somewhat but a lot of the time, scientific concepts are mentioned; just rarely are they explored in detail. 

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15 hours ago, Leia Hourglass said:

Ehhh. I agree somewhat but a lot of the time, scientific concepts are mentioned; just rarely are they explored in detail. 

And that's actually by design

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Consider cloning, for the average person before the clone wars this may have been science fiction. 

The death star would have been science fiction also. One space station able to blow up planets, yeah pull the other one.

 

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46 minutes ago, MrTInce said:

Consider cloning, for the average person before the clone wars this may have been science fiction. 

The death star would have been science fiction also. One space station able to blow up planets, yeah pull the other one.

Han's reaction in ANH is good gauge on the plausibility of the Empire having a planet-killer weapon.  And in some Legends material (believe it was WEG splats) it was mentioned that a lot of folks thought the whole "Death Star" thing was a propaganda hoax by the Rebellion in order to drum up support.

Not sure about cloning, as it's possible there was medical-based cloning (growing replacement limbs and organs), though it was probably so expensive that cybernetic replacements were simply a more viable option for the majority of the populace.  Then again, there's also bacta, which is a miracle healing agent that can mend injuries (apart from lost body parts) in hours or days as opposed to weeks or months, if ever.

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Who says it's a current genre in the GFFA? Someone saying something sounds like it came out of a Greek epic, a pulp novel, or an 80s action movie doesn't really imply any of those is being made anymore. There could be throwbacks that intentionally ignore what we know now to evoke the spirit of the outdated genre ("retro future"), preserved historical works or works taken from "primitive" cultures.

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