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mrvander

BBY and ABY why oh why?

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FFG, you dropped the ball here and lost a golden opportunity! Of what do I speak? Only one of my biggest pet peeves of the Star Wars publishing world - using BBY and ABY as the pivotal moment from which to define time in the Star Wars galaxy.

 

Of course, I'm a bit tongue-in-cheek here. I'm not "mad" at FFG nor do I lose sleep, I just thought this would be an interesting topic to write about. Why does the Star Wars publishing world insist on using the Battle of Yavin as its pivotal moment to define the years? It's a frame of reference for us, the audience in real-world Earth in order to place events according to the most famous moment in Star Wars Episode IV, in 1977 when we saw Luke blow up the Death Star. It's not, I repeat, not the most pivotal moment in the Star Wars galaxy.

 

Think about it, why would the entire galaxy at large define it's units of years by one particular battle? Do we in the western world define our years by the number of years since the Normandy beach landing? BNB and ANB? While it was certainly a pivotal battle, did the Battle of Yavin change anything? Not really - all it did was announce the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a serious threat to the Empire.

 

No, I believe West End Games and Timothy Zahn had it right. The system of counting years would be reestablished by Emperor Palpatine, the megalomaniac that he is. At the time he would have declared himself Emperor and declared the New Order, he would have "reset" the clock: Imperial year #1.

 

WEG and Zahn of course, wrote their fiction before the prequels so they had the Battle of Yavin at about year 35 as opposed to year 19, but that's another debate and one I also agree with the ways of old. I believe the Empire to be as powerful as it is would be older than 19 years. The Empire declared, Vader was "born" and Luke was born all in the same pivotal year is kinda silly to me, but I guess that part all depends on your personal preference of canon. Yet I think most can agree that the in-galaxy system of timekeeping would have been reset by Palpatine, and counted up from there. It would not be reset by reference to one battle in a larger civil war.

 

This is my pet peeve with Star Wars publishing and FFG should stop referring to BBY and ABY, come on, it's not too late - make it make sense!

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I don't really think anyone intends that people *within* the Star Wars universe refer to time by "BBY" or "ABY".

 

I think it's just a conventional way for us outside of that system to understand time, rather than establish some specific system they use within the universe.

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In fact, Pablo Hidalgo through an official Lucasfilm website attempted to address this disparity in Star Wars publishing and created an event called the "Great ReSynchronization" since the prequels came along. Here is a paragraph I wrote on my private website for my players to understand the timeline:

 

Notes on the Chronology:
A thousand years before the Battle of Yavin, the Republic and the Jedi were brought to it's knees by the Sith. This is the point in time that the Republic Measures and Standards Bureau reset the calendar to year zero to mark the Battle of Ruusan. The Ruusan Reformation was much more than a simple change of the dating system, however.

At the Seventh  Battle of Ruusan, the Sith destroyed themselves taking many of their Jedi foes with them. It was a major turning point in galactic history. The Sith were defeated save one, Darth Bane. To guard against the Sith self-destructing or losing sight of their "ideals" again, Bane took only one apprentice, starting a one-master, one-apprentice tradition to prevent the Sith from destroying themselves again. Bane's reformed Sith Order went into hiding, though they were soon discovered by the Jedi and believed to be destroyed. They survived, of course.

The war had its effects on the Jedi and the Republic itself. The Republic had to be built again from the ground up, albeit the system of government did not change drastically. The Jedi Order, however, underwent a significant adjustment. In symbolic measures, largely to convince the Republic that they would not become a conquering army, the Jedi abandoned their battle armor, renounced all military ranks (such as 'Lord'), disbanded their armies and placed themselves under the supervision of the Supreme Chancellor and the Judicial Department. In order to lessen the chance of a Sith resurgence, the Order began molding children from birth. In addition, the training of padawans was centralized on Coruscant, to remove the danger of unsupervised students delving into forbidden Sith knowledge.

This is supported by Palpatine's comments that he "...will not let this Republic that has stood for a thousand years..." and Sio Bibble's comment that there had been no "full-scale" war since the formation of the Republic. Suggesting that Pre-Ruusan is considered ancient history. Therefore, the chronology will assume the Pre-Ruusan government is The Old Republic and the galactic government rebuilt since Ruusan is known as The Republic, at least up until the creation of the Empire. Furthermore, during the time of the Empire, both "Republic" periods of time are commonly known as "The Old Republic".

Nearly a millenium after Ruusan, the Republic Measures & Standards Bureau reset the calendar once again. Called the Great ReSynchronization. There was no significant event, it's just an arbitary date chosen by the Bureau to recalibrate the disparate dating systems used by the Galactic Republic.

Thirteen years later, at the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the debate over which zero-point system was still unsettled - Link to Holonet News Article dated 13:2:28. Throughout the Clone Wars and into the Empire, the Great ReSynchronization seems to have become the defacto standard. Therefore, the Great ReSynchronization has been chosen to be the zero-point by which this chronology is built.

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Therefore the in-galaxy timeline would look like this for a "standard" Edge of the Empire game to reference events we the audience are all familiar with:

 

Year 3
* The Battle of Naboo.
* Palpatine is elected Supreme Chancellor.

Year 13
*The Battle of Geonosis starts the Clone Wars.
*Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is granted emergency powers.

Year 16
*The Battle of Coruscant
*The Battle of Kashyyyk
*Palpatine declares himself Emperor and The Empire is born.
*Anakin Skywalker "dies" & Darth Vader is "born".

Year 35
*The Battle of Yavin.

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Do we in the western world define our years by the number of years since the Normandy beach landing? 

 

Um.. yes, We do. The current year is 2013 AD.

That's "After Death". The opposite of it is BC (like dinosaurs were around 231 million BC) which is "Before Christ".

 

It seems like you did some research, but not enough (for Star Wars... but not real life at all):

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Standard_Calendar

"Throughout time, however, historians have used numerous galaxy changing events as epoch to mark new calendar eras"

 

Now, slightly to your credit, it does seem that the wookieepedia has been edited semi-recently; as I distinctly remember that the previous era -which you did find specific reference to, go you- it explained that the galaxy switched to the year of the Battle of Yavin specifically because it was 1000 years exactly after the Ruusan Reformation, so it made bookkeeping all the more easier than if they changed the date after the Emperor's Death, which was 1004 years after the Ruusan Reformation.

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Do we in the western world define our years by the number of years since the Normandy beach landing? 

 

Um.. yes, We do. The current year is 2013 AD.

That's "After Death". The opposite of it is BC (like dinosaurs were around 231 million BC) which is "Before Christ".

 

It seems like you did some research, but not enough (for Star Wars... but not real life at all):

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Standard_Calendar

"Throughout time, however, historians have used numerous galaxy changing events as epoch to mark new calendar eras"

 

Now, slightly to your credit, it does seem that the wookieepedia has been edited semi-recently; as I distinctly remember that the previous era -which you did find specific reference to, go you- it explained that the galaxy switched to the year of the Battle of Yavin specifically because it was 1000 years exactly after the Ruusan Reformation, so it made bookkeeping all the more easier than if they changed the date after the Emperor's Death, which was 1004 years after the Ruusan Reformation.

 

 

Umm, no. The answer is no, we don't number our years since the Normandy Beach landing. Also AD is not After Death by the way. It means "In the Year of Our Lord" (Anno Domini) which is actually based on his conception or birth, NOT his death which happened roughly 33 years later. You may want to read up yourself a bit. :P

 

Even if it was "after death" as so many wrongly believe, that's not a single battle in a war is it? It's a significant event to those who had the power to write history (the Catholic church) that took hold over most of known civilization at the time. The Battle of Yavin by comparison does not hold that same relevance. You're on the right track though with the Ruusan reformations, read my second post above....

Edited by mrvander

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I will also refute some of my own musings... Pablo Hidalgo's Holonet article attributes the resynchronization to Measures & Standards Bureau and NOT to Palpatine's decree (as Timothy Zahn attributes), but he does bring clarity to all the WEG stuff published at the time.

 

Personally, I feel Hidalgo's solution is a bit cumbersome and I like saying Palpatine would resynchronize (it just makes more sense) and since WEG is no more, we can just ignore those years in all that published material now and set our own resynch - this is what I wished FFG had done.

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No offense, but duh. :) I know what AD and BC are. And that's not a single battle is it? It's a significant event to those who had the power to write history (the Catholic church) that took hold over most of known civilization at the time. The Battle of Yavin by comparison does not hold that same relevance. You're on the right track though, read my second post here....

 

 

You're on the right track, but you fall short again. In the case of Star Wars, it is the Rebels that make the new Galactic Republic; therefore, like the Catholic church; they got to decide what instance to reference; and as I said, they chose the Battle of Yavin as opposed to the Battle of Edor because it lined of better with the previous calendar everyone was using.

It's really about propaganda; if you want the masses to convert, you have to make it simple (so I'm sure that in some what-if's Palpy would have try changing the calendar for when he blew up Alderaan for some reason).

 

Now as to your pet peeve about FFG not using the year of reference; I can understand you not liking the fact they aren't using the Ruusan Reformation dates; but the general public in real life likely don't know about it; and the setting of the books specifically say that the game is set After the Battle of Yavin (though I'm sure many groups are playing slightly before; I know my group is playing in 4BBY). So really, while FFG could have made a footnote that in universe time refers to the Ruusan Reformation; that's all it would be, a footnote.

Edited by Digiblade

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You're on the right track, but you fall short again. In the case of Star Wars, it is the Rebels that make the new Galactic Republic; therefore, like the Catholic church; they got to decide what instance to reference; and as I said, they chose the Battle of Yavin as opposed to the Battle of Edor because it lined of better with the previous calendar everyone was using.

It's really about propaganda; if you want the masses to convert, you have to make it simple (so I'm sure that in some what-if's Palpy would have try changing the calendar for when he blew up Alderaan for some reason).

 

Now as to your pet peeve about FFG not using the year of reference; I can understand you not liking the fact they aren't using the Ruusan Reformation dates; but the general public in real life likely don't know about it; and the setting of the books specifically say that the game is set After the Battle of Yavin (though I'm sure many groups are playing slightly before; I know my group is playing in 4BBY). So really, while FFG could have made a footnote that in universe time refers to the Ruusan Reformation; that's all it would be, a footnote.

 

 

You still miss the points mentioned above. You're stuck on Ruusan and that's not at all what galactic dating is set to. :)

 

And why would the Alliance reset the dates? They aren't as megalomaniac as an Empire. Why would they disrupt what is already in place and keeps the galaxy running? No, changing the dating system mere decades after a resynchronization makes zero sense.

 

Even if we ignore the great resynch, why would the alliance reset a millennial old dating system? Wouldn't happen.

Edited by mrvander

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Nope, BBY and ABY are simply silly - does Star Trek use some silly arbitrary date specially for the audience? No, it's consistent inside the universe and its fans understand the dates in reference to that and the fiction's events.

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Nope, BBY and ABY are simply silly - does Star Trek use some silly arbitrary date specially for the audience? No, it's consistent inside the universe and its fans understand the dates in reference to that and the fiction's events.

 

BBY and ABY are fine units of measure for a system to let the people outside the game world know when things happened. No one in the universe seems to ever refer to a year or date anyways, at least not in any source I've seen. So, time is pretty nebulous to begin with, so something had to be used as a point of reference. No reason to put year 0 25,000+ years in the past at the founding of the Republic or some other date that only hardcore fans would recognize.

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Nope, BBY and ABY are simply silly - does Star Trek use some silly arbitrary date specially for the audience? No, it's consistent inside the universe and its fans understand the dates in reference to that and the fiction's events.

 

BBY and ABY are fine units of measure for a system to let the people outside the game world know when things happened. No one in the universe seems to ever refer to a year or date anyways, at least not in any source I've seen. So, time is pretty nebulous to begin with, so something had to be used as a point of reference. No reason to put year 0 25,000+ years in the past at the founding of the Republic or some other date that only hardcore fans would recognize.

 

 

Why not? Every single other sci-fi and fantasy franchise does it. Are we Star Wars fans too simple or stupid to follow?

 

And the thing is, it's already been done - officially even.

Edited by mrvander

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Do we in the western world define our years by the number of years since the Normandy beach landing? 

 

Um.. yes, We do. The current year is 2013 AD.

That's "After Death". The opposite of it is BC (like dinosaurs were around 231 million BC) which is "Before Christ".

 

It seems like you did some research, but not enough (for Star Wars... but not real life at all):

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Standard_Calendar

"Throughout time, however, historians have used numerous galaxy changing events as epoch to mark new calendar eras"

 

Now, slightly to your credit, it does seem that the wookieepedia has been edited semi-recently; as I distinctly remember that the previous era -which you did find specific reference to, go you- it explained that the galaxy switched to the year of the Battle of Yavin specifically because it was 1000 years exactly after the Ruusan Reformation, so it made bookkeeping all the more easier than if they changed the date after the Emperor's Death, which was 1004 years after the Ruusan Reformation.

 

 

Umm, no. The answer is no, we don't number our years since the Normandy Beach landing. Also AD is not After Death by the way. It means "In the Year of Our Lord" (Anno Domini) which is actually based on his conception or birth, NOT his death which happened roughly 33 years later. You may want to read up yourself a bit. :P

If AD marks the year of his conception, then it isn't 2013AD, but somewhere between 2017 - 2025AD since evidence suggests that if such a person as Jesus was born, he was born somewhere between 12 - 4BC with a time of year closer to summer than early winter.

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And just to add fuel to the fire, I don't buy the "oh, it's only used for us fans to reference." Uh-uh. I'm sure there's in-universe references to it and even Wookiepedia references it as if it's in-universe. Someone with more time and EU knowledge than I can probably find it (I don't care for about 90% of the EU.)

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Do we in the western world define our years by the number of years since the Normandy beach landing? 

 

Um.. yes, We do. The current year is 2013 AD.

That's "After Death". The opposite of it is BC (like dinosaurs were around 231 million BC) which is "Before Christ".

 

It seems like you did some research, but not enough (for Star Wars... but not real life at all):

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Standard_Calendar

"Throughout time, however, historians have used numerous galaxy changing events as epoch to mark new calendar eras"

 

Now, slightly to your credit, it does seem that the wookieepedia has been edited semi-recently; as I distinctly remember that the previous era -which you did find specific reference to, go you- it explained that the galaxy switched to the year of the Battle of Yavin specifically because it was 1000 years exactly after the Ruusan Reformation, so it made bookkeeping all the more easier than if they changed the date after the Emperor's Death, which was 1004 years after the Ruusan Reformation.

 

 

Umm, no. The answer is no, we don't number our years since the Normandy Beach landing. Also AD is not After Death by the way. It means "In the Year of Our Lord" (Anno Domini) which is actually based on his conception or birth, NOT his death which happened roughly 33 years later. You may want to read up yourself a bit. :P

If AD marks the year of his conception, then it isn't 2013AD, but somewhere between 2017 - 2025AD since evidence suggests that if such a person as Jesus was born, he was born somewhere between 12 - 4BC with a time of year closer to summer than early winter.

 

 

Right, but there was not the access back then to the science, both archeological and historicity we have access to today - but we didn't go and reset our calendars to some battle, no matter how pivotal, did we?

Edited by mrvander

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I admit that this is a pet peeve of mine, too. They've gone through the trouble of specifying how the calendar is laid out (a little oddly, but at least it's consistent), but they never allow for anyone to answer the question "What year is it?"

 

The closest canon reference I've found for 'current' times is in the novel Millennium Falcon. There are a couple references to the titular ship being a " '75 model", but they never say the entire year, just the '75 at the end. (It's a bit like referring to a '75 Ford Falcon, in that everyone understands it means 1975.) It's great for verisimilitude, letting the characters speak casually about the year, but it would have been nice for someone to have a reason to list the full year somewhere.

 

As for the Emperor demanding a calendar reset, I agree that he seems the sort to do that. It would probably coincide with his declaration, rather than any particular battle. There are probably lots of people in the Outer Rim and fringe worlds that still use the pre-Imperial dates, which would likely be from the Old Republic. Those numbers would be so large as to be unwieldy — the "current year" of the Battle of Yavin would be 25,053 — so most people probably just referred to the last two or three digits. (So the Falcon might have been built in 24,975; much easier to just say '75 and let people figure out you meant last century.)

 

The Empire's formation would thus have been in 25,034. The Battle of Yavin in 25,053, and the Battle of Endor in 25,057.

 

They never made an official statement about this, but this is the closest answer I can come up with. Heck, there are numerous systems that are functionally unchanged between the Old Republic era and the Empire — 4,000 years, and Tatooine is still a little-known backwater? Why not have people still use the original numbering?

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but the battle of Stalingrad was a lot more important than Normandy though....

and the Industrial revolution...
and a hundred other events

 

but anyways, otherwise the date would be something like 25,000+ for the formation of the republic

in universe if i understand correctly do keep taking new dates for reference, for example the Ruusan Reformation, the Great Galactic War.  There may have been a before new order/after new order, but the destruction of the death star would have marked a significant change in the galaxy, enough that due to that particular event significant changes began to occur on a galactic scale. 

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Really who gives a ****. Its always been this way and they are following how it was set up by George and his gang and most likely part of the licensing. If you don't like it come up with your own crazy system and use that.

Maybe ADP, after death palpatine

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If AD marks the year of his conception, then it isn't 2013AD, but somewhere between 2017 - 2025AD since evidence suggests that if such a person as Jesus was born, he was born somewhere between 12 - 4BC with a time of year closer to summer than early winter.

 

Where do you get conception? Where? AD = After Death.

Yes, BC = Before Christ, thus before he was born. (side note, conception also is not the same as being born).

Yes, this does mean there missing years. Jesus Christ was 33 years old when he died on the cross. Not 17-25 years old....plus 9 months. No, the western calendar does not reflect this. Why? Because it's the Catholic church, they don't pay attention to reason. (Can you spot the atheist here, kids? If you guessed me, you were right! Yay!)

 

 

And just to add fuel to the fire, I don't buy the "oh, it's only used for us fans to reference." Uh-uh. I'm sure there's in-universe references to it and even Wookiepedia references it as if it's in-universe. Someone with more time and EU knowledge than I can probably find it (I don't care for about 90% of the EU.)

 

Then you're just being unreasonable; because that's the reason. Lucas set that as the reference because that's when the first movie came out. Your problem is with him, not FFG, Zahn or even Disney who now own the rights.

 

If you REALLY want a link, I'm going to send you back to the same Wookieepedia article I posted before, but I'll even cut down on the reading you have to do:

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Standard_Calendar#Behind_the_scenes

I'll even copy/paste the first paragraph for the really lazy people:

 

"BBY/ABY is sometimes known as BSW4/ASW4, which means "before/after Star Wars Episode IV". The BSW4/ASW4 notation was used in the timeline of the second edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe and The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons eschewed any acronyms altogether and listed dates as YEARS, with 0 YEARS being the events depicted in Star Wars Episode IV. The firstEssential Guide to use the BBY/ABY notation was The Essential Chronology. This practice was continued in The Essential Guide to Alien Species and beyond."

 

 

At this point, it's now like you are arguing that evolution is made up because "if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?".

You're not listening to the truths that you're being told, when you've been told a few times it's because it's based on the movie A New Hope.

 

/thread

Edited by Digiblade

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If AD marks the year of his conception, then it isn't 2013AD, but somewhere between 2017 - 2025AD since evidence suggests that if such a person as Jesus was born, he was born somewhere between 12 - 4BC with a time of year closer to summer than early winter.

 

Where do you get conception? Where? AD = After Death.

Yes, BC = Before Christ, thus before he was born. (side note, conception also is not the same as being born).

Yes, this does mean there missing years. Jesus Christ was 33 years old when he died on the cross. Not 17-25 years old....plus 9 months. No, the western calendar does not reflect this. Why? Because it's the Catholic church, they don't pay attention to reason. (Can you spot the atheist here, kids? If you guessed me, you were right! Yay!)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini

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If AD marks the year of his conception, then it isn't 2013AD, but somewhere between 2017 - 2025AD since evidence suggests that if such a person as Jesus was born, he was born somewhere between 12 - 4BC with a time of year closer to summer than early winter.

 

Where do you get conception? Where? AD = After Death.

Yes, BC = Before Christ, thus before he was born. (side note, conception also is not the same as being born).

Yes, this does mean there missing years. Jesus Christ was 33 years old when he died on the cross. Not 17-25 years old....plus 9 months. No, the western calendar does not reflect this. Why? Because it's the Catholic church, they don't pay attention to reason. (Can you spot the atheist here, kids? If you guessed me, you were right! Yay!)

 

I think you stripped out one layer of quoting that you shouldn't have. I didn't start with that designation, I was replying to the other poster who used that definition.

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To be fair, using BBY/ABY to mark years in the Star Wars universe is, in fact, an in-universe conceit, adopted by the New Republic government. This has been part of Star Wars canon for quite a long time, and has nothing to do with FFG.

 

Now, to be equally fair, the "canonization" in-universe of the Battle of Yavin as the "fixture point" for the Galactic Standard Calendar didn't happen until 25 ABY anyway.  So if you want to let people know what year it is, in-world, 0 ABY is, in fact, Year 35 under the Great ReSynchronization adopted by the Old Republic.

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