Star Wars: The Disney Era


I think they miss one important point - you’re sacrificing a ship.

Consider what you need for the Holdo maneuver - You need one ship of roughly equivalent size of your target. What the film shows, it’s massive damage, but it’s not that amount of weight smashing into another thing of similar weight at relativistic speeds kind of damage.

We simply don’t know the history beyond a certain point, so let’s ignore that for now.

But, from what we do know, we have three periods - The Clone Wars era, The Empire Era, and the New Republic era.

In the first, you have two armies of equivalent size, who are unlikely to see the need of such a maneuver - They had a lot of big ships, but in both cases, they were served better by having combat-ready capital ships, than sacrificing one ship to gain very little. And both forces had such huge numbers that the loss of one ship on either side was a relatively minor problem - so sacrificing your own ships to kill an exactly equal number of enemy ships didn’t really gain you anything, until you’d sacrificed such a large amount of ships that it just crippled both forces.
(The other factor - there were hundreds of thousands of battles in the clone wars, and we only know a handful. So it might have still happened.)

The Empire era, the Rebels couldn’t afford it. They had few enough ships as it was, they couldn’t sacrifice one of their few ships to potentially take out just one of the empire’s enormous amount of ships. The Empire likely wouldn’t see the point in bothering - why sacrifice one large, very expensive capital ship to take out just one Rebel ship, when you could just send two or three ships to destroy the Rebel ships without taking measures that were so cost-inefficient for the result - The junk ship idea doesn’t work out, because they’re already using every ship they can get their hands on already.

And in the New Republic era, it’s pretty similar. While the first order seems big and impressive on film, according to the books, they’re a much smaller force, with whatever ships they can salvage from the fallen Empire, or build in secret in the outer rim. Even Starkiller base represented 30 years worth of almost all the resources they could gather being poured, constantly, into the weapon. The Republic, they don’t take direct action against the first order generally, but if the did, they could use the same strategy as the empire - send two ships, instead of losing one. The Resistance, largely similar to the rebels, they simply can’t afford the loss, compared to the gain - except on the rare occasion that the gains are high enough and the situation desperate enough to justify it.


You don’t need to sacrifice ships. You can just have large chunks of steel with hyperdrives attached to them. You can launch them from anywhere, even a planet’s surface. You can also lift them in space and then launch them. If you can aim precisely enough you can even smash them through an enemy planet.

I assume if you smashed them into a shield, like the shield around Death Star 2, it wouldn’t get you anywhere.


Except, the problem is, you need mass to make a kill. They don’t have to be the same size, but they have to be real fucking big - Holdo’s ship, according to Wookiepedia, was about 3.5k long, 700 meters wide, and 450 deep, and it still only managed to break Snoke’s ship in half, not completely destroy it. As I said, we’re not seeing damage as expected by a relativistic impact, we’re just seeing very large objects hitting each other very quick. Too small, you don’t make a kill. So, capital ship, or capital ship equivalent mass of materiel with a hyperdrive, realspace engines(gotta aim it before the jump, after all), reactor, basic sensors and navigation systems, either way, it’s a lot of work, expense and resources that they either can’t afford, or are better served spending elsewhere. Take your pick.

Nope. Chances were, if you tried to take off in a mass shadow, you’d either blow up, or simply disintegrate in hyperspace trying to make the jump.

Lifting into space would be further resources you’d need to spend. Every time we’ve seen something of that scale being built, it’s built in space - so we can assume the cost of lifting it is going to be big enough that even for ships with a lifespan, it’s better to build them in space, let alone a disposable missile.

That’s the one use I can actually see. Ships are one thing, but the amount of damage you could do to a planet? No installation would be safe, so a big enough facility, or city, or an important enough war would justify the use of such a high-cost tactic.

Fuck knows, really, but I assume so too. But I don’t imagine they’re that common as to provide much of an impediment - In canon, we’ve only seen them four times - Deathstars, plus Scarif and Starkiller base.
In legends, we’ve seen them maybe a dozen times, fifteen at most - so I don’t think they’re that common, or at least common enough to be an issue.

That said, it also might not be an issue - remember, TFA, Han jumps the falcon basically right through the Starkiller base shield. It was explicitly made out to be a nearly impossible maneuver, because you’d mash into the planet and die. But don’t need to worry about dying or crashing, if there’s nobody on board to die, and the whole point is to crash.


Even with the value of a ship argument, it still comes down to the idea that this maneuver is on the table. If it is on the table, then every ship’s goal when they’re in a dire situation should be to ram. The A-wing in Return of the Jedi that struck the shield generators on the Executor should have also hit his hyperspace jump if he had the time. Every capital ship should be setting up so that if they’re going to lose a fight you’re going to take damage equally. Then you end up in a weird ramming cold war. Think you’re going to lose? Ram them while you still can.


Yeah. Obviously if you can blow someone up with guns, then that is the way to go. They lose 1, you lose 0. But if it looks like you are going to lose 1 and your hyperdrive still works, may as well make turn a loss of 1 into a net loss of 0.

The thing is, what will the galaxy/universe be like with so many objects flying around in hyperspace? Will it reach a critical point like the space junk around Earth? Faster than light objects just randomly appearing and smashing into shit.


He was already spinning out of control and crashing, I think we can safely assume not.

I mean, you can also still just run. Running is an option. And if your hyperdrive is functional enough to make a jump, then it would make more sense to run away than not. Take a zero loss instead of a one loss. And if you can make a jump, and a jump precise enough to pull off the maneuver, then chances are you can escape, even if it’s in a random direction. Remember, the hyperspace tracking was a brand spanking new tech in the latest film, so not a factor before that.

Funnily enough, that did come up - well, not quite like that, but close - in legends. There were ships that vanished into hyperspace for various reasons, and occasionally would re-appear, like the Katana Fleet, or the Queen of Ranroon. There were also cases where parts were damaged, and ships came out in completely the wrong places, or even times - like the chappy who accidentally ended up 200 years in the future(From 200-ish BBY, to the same time Palpatine held the vote to create the clone army officially, by a malfunction causing a jump through space AND time), or the Jedi master who accidentally went from 5000-ish BBY to 45 ABY(Different failure - the device that prefented hyperspace time and real time getting out of sync failed, so good old fashioned frame-of-reference time travel.)

(Someone call Jason, I’ve been preparing for half my life for the star wars question of the week.)


None of this precludes strapping hyperdrives to fuckhueg asteroids that are othwrwise just laying around, which then become really badass mines. A capital ship, big as it is, is still mostly full of habitable volume, so just gas with thun walls and suppprt structures. Not a single mass of iron.

An asteroid 2km long and roughly potato shaped going into hyperspace is probably a gun barrel nothing wants to look down.


Of course, it’s possible that this is considered a war crime (e.g., it is in Babylon 5), which is why it isn’t used more often. Of course, nothing rules out it being used by less scrupulous forces in Star Wars (again, in Babylon 5, the Centauri didn’t care that it was a war crime and used it against their rivals, the Narn).

So that may explain why the Republic/Rebels/Resistance didn’t use it, it doesn’t explain why the Empire/First Order don’t, unless hyperdrives are so expensive that it’s not worth strapping them to giant space rocks relative to just building giant ass turbolasers.


I think that’s the more likely explanation. After all, in terms of ship parts, what you’d need is pretty much the entire power and propulsive system from a ship - the Reactor, the hyperdrive, the navigational systems, the thrusters, fuel storage, cooling, etc They’re also not the easiest parts to manufacture, there’s only a handful of companies that make them, at least that we’re aware of. And you can’t skimp - you need capital ship sized gear, this isn’t some tiny little jobby from Incom that you bolt on an orbit-hopper.

Now, all that shit can’t be cheap. After all, even on ships of today, after the Hull, the engines and assorted systems are some of the most expensive parts on a ship, and considering the relatively increased complexity of the systems involved, I can’t imagine it would be any different in the star wars universe.



This is beautiful.



Who were Han’s parents?

Now I want them to make a Young Bail Organa movie.
And young Mon Mothma.
And young Tarkin.


Amidala, Princess of the Tundra


Decent read that does a better job than I could hope to do in expressing why I enjoyed the score to this film. The whole gang is here. TFA set up a bunch of character themes, mix them in with original trilogy themes, and you’ve got a LOT to play with as a composer. Even the friggin’ trench run theme get used.

This is the sort of situation where you need a master composer. Anyone can cut and paste a character’s theme during the moments they are on screen. Instead, John Williams weaved them together with genius. The end result isn’t a score that’s as outright listenable as the original trilogy, but I strongly feel it worked in service of the actual movie. Definitely improved the film.


On the topic of grey jedi, I am 100% down with it. I don’t see it as pandering to the “both sides are valid” whiners. There’s some good shit brewing with the Rey/Finn/Poe/Kylo common thread of “we are all children of war, born into fucked up shit because our parents’ generation focused on establishing extreme positions.” When you look at the self-balancing nature of things, one extreme is guaranteed to be met by the other, so stop taking extreme positions. I look forward to Rey leading the grey, and sapping the First Order of their strength as the polar opposing force.


This is a thing and it is good.




First teaser for the Solo movie premieres Monday morning.