Category:SFJ on weapons

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The gold standard of accuracy is hitting a [[womp rat]]. Indications are that while a Star Wars fighter can hit a womp rat with proton torpedoes occasionally, a photon torpedo is accurate enough to nail a given womp rat from high orbit.
 
The gold standard of accuracy is hitting a [[womp rat]]. Indications are that while a Star Wars fighter can hit a womp rat with proton torpedoes occasionally, a photon torpedo is accurate enough to nail a given womp rat from high orbit.
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==Problems to ponder==
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There are a few interesting problems that crop up in analyzing fictional weapons portrayed on television or the movie theater.
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===Speed and scale===
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The speed photon torpedoes come out of the tube has little to do with how fast they have to be to strike targets 40, 50, 90, or 300 thousand kilometres away in a couple seconds; the speed turbolaser bolts fly at is slow enough to make even orbital bombardment seem fairly iffy. Even the ion cannon bolts seem a bit slow, considering the ability to peg orbital targets. This is a basic problem of depiction. If the weapon truly moves at a significant fraction of lightspeed, there would be little or nothing to see; a blur in a single frame and it's over. If it doesn't move that fast, it would be completely ineffectual against an opponent who did have fast weapons.
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===Yields===
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A truly high yield weapon should produce dramatic effects on inert objects... and very specific effects planetside. We rarely see those in either franchise. Dramatic effects are either absent or displayed in a distorted and unrealistic fashion, such as the enormous - but small - bloom in "[[Skin of Evil]]".
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===General physics violations===
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There are plain old physics violations from time to time, which we should ignore. For example, hand phasers bowl targets over on some settings, yet have absolutely no recoil for the user. When a "laser" bolt, moving far slower than light, strikes a metal hull in ROTS, there's a big orange fireball as of a gasoline explosion; we should not assume that the hull armor contained a combination of pressurized air and fuel.
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A gram of antimatter doesn't release any more than 180 terajoules when reacted with matter - being nowhere near enough to rip off the atmosphere of an Earthlike planet, as seen in TOS once. A torpedo or grenade or missile may generate an explosive effect that simply doesn't behave as an explosive effect should.
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===Consistency problems===
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Fiction is usually inconsistent. A weapon that behaves in one fashion in one movie or episode may behave differently in another, either in range, appearance, or effect. For these reasons, we're going to have to take everything we see and hear about ST and SW weapons with a grain of salt; the above conclusions are reasonable, but not the only possible set of conclusions that could be made.
  
 
[[Category:SFJ overviews]]
 
[[Category:SFJ overviews]]

Latest revision as of 04:11, 20 July 2010

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