Low density galaxy

PSW: discuss Star Wars without "versus" arguments.

Moderator: Vympel

User avatar
Ace Pace
Hardware Lover
Posts: 8241
Joined: 2002-07-07 03:04am
Location: Wasting time instead of money
Contact:

Low density galaxy

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-12-27 08:23am

Something that I'm pretty sure hasn't been discussed in SDN before is the theory that the SW galaxy is incredibly low density in terms of systems/population. If we take a ballpark that most educated humans on earth cannot name all the countries that exist, I think it's reasonable to suppose that humans in the SW galaxy would behave in a similar fashion.

Phrases like "But, sir, the Hoth system is supposed to be devoid of human forms." or a Queens bodyguard such as Captain Panaka knowing what the Tantooine system is, despite it being a remote plant, make it clear that most educated people are expected to know many systems by heart. But even Luke and Rey seem to expect to know systems offhand, such as knowing about the Dagobah or Rey knowing offhand of the Ileenium system shows that there can't be that many.

Could it be that the SW galaxy is infact quite sparse in terms of populated systems? There are quotes leading to the opposite conclusion, such as in TPM, Qui Gon mentions that most systems have multiple planets, or in AoTC, two hundred systems seems to be a large number. But again, an archivist expected to know offhand even remote systems such as Kamino, meaning it is considered realistic to know the galactic map "by heart".

Thoughts?
Brotherhood of the Bear | HAB | Mess | SDnet archivist |

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6059
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Galvatron » 2017-12-27 08:40am

I tend to credit Jabba the Hutt as being the one who put Tatooine on the map. The planet itself would therefore be completely unknown if it wasn't for the fact that it's home to one of the most powerful gangsters in the galaxy.

And I'm not convinced that planets like Dagobah or Hoth were actually well-known before the characters had a chance to Space Google them.

User avatar
Ace Pace
Hardware Lover
Posts: 8241
Joined: 2002-07-07 03:04am
Location: Wasting time instead of money
Contact:

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-12-27 08:48am

Galvatron wrote:
2017-12-27 08:40am
I tend to credit Jabba the Hutt as being the one who put Tatooine on the map. The planet itself would therefore be completely unknown if it wasn't for the fact that it's home to one of the most powerful gangsters in the galaxy.

Possibly agreed.
And I'm not convinced that planets like Dagobah or Hoth were actually well-known before the characters had a chance to Space Google them.
In the movie, they don't get the chance to google Hoth before responding, nor the Antoat system or any of the rest.
Brotherhood of the Bear | HAB | Mess | SDnet archivist |

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9457
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2017-12-27 09:06am

In fairness, Luke didn't know where Dagobah was when first told. Presumably he had time while recovering to look it up and give Artoo the coordinates as a "just in case" thing. Rey recognising the Ileenium system is also a tad tenuous - we've no idea what BB-8 said when he told them where the base was. We also don't know that the system is or was obscure or out of the way. It may have had some great historical significance but it uninhabited now, like Yavin.

I can't recall anyone saying the Hoth system was supposed to be deserted. They're surprised by the power generator found by the probe but that's fine, as Ozzel said "There are so many uncharted settlements, it could be smugglers" - it could be anything. I think the surprise there was more that anyone lived on a frozen iceball of a planet, not that they lived on Hoth.

AOTC suggests the galaxy is not sparsely occupied, given Dooku's discussion about getting "ten thousand more systems" to join their cause - the tone suggests ten thousand is a boost but hardly a decisive advantage. The sheer number of Senate delegations seen in all the prequels also suggests a lot of worlds. And we know the Republic doesn't cover everything - Tatooine was beyond the Republic, so other worlds would have been too. We also know that not all worlds have Senators - I don't recall seeing a Wookie Senator for instance.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10522
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-12-27 09:09am

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-27 08:48am
And I'm not convinced that planets like Dagobah or Hoth were actually well-known before the characters had a chance to Space Google them.
In the movie, they don't get the chance to google Hoth before responding, nor the Antoat system or any of the rest.
You'd expect the Star Destroyer Captain and Officers to have some knowledge of the planets they were probing. That they were probing them at all suggests they didn't expect them to be inhabiting.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Ace Pace
Hardware Lover
Posts: 8241
Joined: 2002-07-07 03:04am
Location: Wasting time instead of money
Contact:

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-12-27 09:14am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2017-12-27 09:06am
I can't recall anyone saying the Hoth system was supposed to be deserted. They're surprised by the power generator found by the probe but that's fine, as Ozzel said "There are so many uncharted settlements, it could be smugglers" - it could be anything. I think the surprise there was more that anyone lived on a frozen iceball of a planet, not that they lived on Hoth.
PIETT
I think we've got something, sir.
The report is only a fragment from
a probe droid in the Hoth system,
but it's the best lead we've had.

OZZEL
(irritated)
We have thousands of probe droids
searching the galaxy. I want proof,
not leads!

PIETT
The visuals indicate life readings.

OZZEL
It could mean anything. If we
followed every lead...

PIETT
But, sir, the Hoth system is supposed
to be devoid of human forms.
Brotherhood of the Bear | HAB | Mess | SDnet archivist |

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6059
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Galvatron » 2017-12-27 09:20am

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-27 08:48am
In the movie, they don't get the chance to google Hoth before responding, nor the Antoat system or any of the rest.
Are you sure of that? Piett was working with his technician at a computer console for an unspecified amount of time before he called Ozzel's attention to the probe droid's findings. Also, Han and Leia didn't start talking about the Anoat system until after he started scanning for a safe port near their current location.

I suggest watching those scenes again.

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10503
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Vendetta » 2017-12-27 10:56am

Though from what we've seen most of the galaxy is relatively low population density.

Which is probably a consequence of extremely fast Hyperspace travel. Since people can be everywhere, they spread out everywhere.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-12-27 11:29am

Vendetta wrote:
2017-12-27 10:56am
Though from what we've seen most of the galaxy is relatively low population density.

Which is probably a consequence of extremely fast Hyperspace travel. Since people can be everywhere, they spread out everywhere.
Right; there can be many hundreds of thousands of inhabited systems, but with fairly low populations per system. That neatly explains how for example small armies are expected to be capable of conquering a whole system. You don't need a HUGE army because you simply don't have *that* many people to keep downtrodden.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9457
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2017-12-27 11:56am

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-27 09:14am
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2017-12-27 09:06am
I can't recall anyone saying the Hoth system was supposed to be deserted. They're surprised by the power generator found by the probe but that's fine, as Ozzel said "There are so many uncharted settlements, it could be smugglers" - it could be anything. I think the surprise there was more that anyone lived on a frozen iceball of a planet, not that they lived on Hoth.
PIETT
I think we've got something, sir.
The report is only a fragment from
a probe droid in the Hoth system,
but it's the best lead we've had.

OZZEL
(irritated)
We have thousands of probe droids
searching the galaxy. I want proof,
not leads!

PIETT
The visuals indicate life readings.

OZZEL
It could mean anything. If we
followed every lead...

PIETT
But, sir, the Hoth system is supposed
to be devoid of human forms.
Ok I stand corrected, but as Galvatron (I think) pointed out, Piett and his techie were looking at their consoles for a while, the records saying Hoth is uninhabited (and curiously "devoid of human forms"...when they know the Rebels have a strong non-human element, how odd) is what prompted him to say "we've got a lead."
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-12-27 12:12pm

Well... a large number of alien species in Star Wars do seem to fit a fair approximation of the human form. Two arms, two legs, single head, two eyes, that kind of thing. I mean out of universe it's obviously because they had to slap rubber prosthesis upon actors, but in universe, perhaps 'human form' is understood to encompass a broad variety of species. And humans are legendarily adaptable to pretty much any clime, so one has to assume that, single-biome planets aside (what a silly trope), they can settle pretty much anywhere especially with technological assistance.

Of course, 'life readings' could mean anything from lichen to tauntauns to wampas, so one has to assume that probe droids are geared to scan for lifeforms that *aren't* indigenous to the planet in question. So if Hoth is known to be inhospitable to 'human forms', but the probe droid detects them... there's something there.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9457
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2017-12-27 12:18pm

That's reasonable. I suppose "human form" can be used as a synonym for "humanoid."
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Bob the Gunslinger
Has not forgotten the face of his father
Posts: 4702
Joined: 2004-01-08 06:21pm
Location: Somewhere out west

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2017-12-27 12:45pm

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-27 08:23am
Something that I'm pretty sure hasn't been discussed in SDN before is the theory that the SW galaxy is incredibly low density in terms of systems/population. If we take a ballpark that most educated humans on earth cannot name all the countries that exist, I think it's reasonable to suppose that humans in the SW galaxy would behave in a similar fashion.

Phrases like "But, sir, the Hoth system is supposed to be devoid of human forms." or a Queens bodyguard such as Captain Panaka knowing what the Tantooine system is, despite it being a remote plant, make it clear that most educated people are expected to know many systems by heart. But even Luke and Rey seem to expect to know systems offhand, such as knowing about the Dagobah or Rey knowing offhand of the Ileenium system shows that there can't be that many.

Could it be that the SW galaxy is infact quite sparse in terms of populated systems? There are quotes leading to the opposite conclusion, such as in TPM, Qui Gon mentions that most systems have multiple planets, or in AoTC, two hundred systems seems to be a large number. But again, an archivist expected to know offhand even remote systems such as Kamino, meaning it is considered realistic to know the galactic map "by heart".

Thoughts?
Star Wars characters can learn to understand Wookiee and droid languages. They must have some sort of Asimovian brain-deposite education technology. Anyone who might ever need to know astrogation probably gets a complete, if no frills, map of the Galaxy downloaded into his brain.
"Gunslinger indeed. Quick draw, Bob. Quick draw." --Count Chocula

"Unquestionably, Dr. Who is MUCH lighter in tone than WH40K. But then, I could argue the entirety of WWII was much lighter in tone than WH40K." --Broomstick

"This is ridiculous. I look like the Games Workshop version of a Jedi Knight." --Harry Dresden, Changes

"Like...are we canonical?" --Aaron Dembski-Bowden to Dan Abnett

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6059
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Galvatron » 2017-12-27 12:51pm

Vendetta wrote:
2017-12-27 10:56am
Though from what we've seen most of the galaxy is relatively low population density.

Which is probably a consequence of extremely fast Hyperspace travel. Since people can be everywhere, they spread out everywhere.
I think of the Star Wars galaxy and its various "rims" like tree rings. The inner systems would therefore be home to the most densely populated worlds because they were settled shortly after the dawn of primitive FTL space travel, which may have happened eons before the Old Republic was even established.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-12-27 12:54pm

Bob the Gunslinger wrote:
2017-12-27 12:45pm
Star Wars characters can learn to understand Wookiee and droid languages. They must have some sort of Asimovian brain-deposite education technology. Anyone who might ever need to know astrogation probably gets a complete, if no frills, map of the Galaxy downloaded into his brain.
We already know they have something like this-- 'flash learning'.

That said, one has to question how widely available it is. I can see a Captain of the Royal Guard of Naboo being widely briefed on various necessary info-- IIRC Tattooine isn't very far from Naboo? and thus may be relevant in terms of knowing "local conditions"-- but why would a scavenger girl like Rey be flash-taught Wookiee or droid?

Of course, if it's very commonly available tech, on the level of say a cell phone, that might explain a few things. But then one wonders if they ever run into brain-capacity issues.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6059
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Galvatron » 2017-12-27 12:58pm

Although I'm not even sure flash learning is still canon, I thought it was only used for clones. Otherwise, why isn't everyone in Star Wars a walking encyclopedia?

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

User avatar
NecronLord
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27127
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by NecronLord » 2017-12-27 01:02pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2017-12-27 09:06am
I don't recall seeing a Wookie Senator for instance.
How do you miss them, they're seven foot? :lol:

Image
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer- Stardestroyer.net's resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12405
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-12-27 01:24pm

Galvatron wrote:
2017-12-27 12:58pm
Although I'm not even sure flash learning is still canon, I thought it was only used for clones. Otherwise, why isn't everyone in Star Wars a walking encyclopedia?

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_training
Yeah, it's a fair question. Perhaps people simply download stuff they WANT to know about, or feel will be useful, rather than the entire corpus of knowledge available? Say Unkar needed Rey to fix stuff for him, so he fed her some information on tinkering and mechanical whatnots. Rey travels around a bunch of Imperial wrecks, there's no reason she might not find military flash-learning equipment in there and use it to improve her knowledge in some areas. Star Wars tech seems fairly hard to break for the most part; seems she could just hook a battery to it and be able to turn it on.

She's probably the most egregious example. Han Solo knowing Wookiee is easily explained by him living with Chewbacca for years; Rey knowing Wookiee is harder to explain... but if she came across a language capsule in the flash-learner on some random Republic ship crashed on Jakku, what's to say she didn't shrug and give it a go? (granted they already tried to explain it another way but that works as well as anything to me)
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10503
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Vendetta » 2017-12-27 05:32pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2017-12-27 11:29am
Vendetta wrote:
2017-12-27 10:56am
Though from what we've seen most of the galaxy is relatively low population density.

Which is probably a consequence of extremely fast Hyperspace travel. Since people can be everywhere, they spread out everywhere.
Right; there can be many hundreds of thousands of inhabited systems, but with fairly low populations per system. That neatly explains how for example small armies are expected to be capable of conquering a whole system. You don't need a HUGE army because you simply don't have *that* many people to keep downtrodden.
Also, because hyperspace is so incredibly fast force concentration is very easy. Forces can be engaged in low level patrol activity anywhere in the galaxy and rally to a crisis anywhere else within hours.

User avatar
Bob the Gunslinger
Has not forgotten the face of his father
Posts: 4702
Joined: 2004-01-08 06:21pm
Location: Somewhere out west

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2017-12-27 10:56pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2017-12-27 12:54pm
Bob the Gunslinger wrote:
2017-12-27 12:45pm
Star Wars characters can learn to understand Wookiee and droid languages. They must have some sort of Asimovian brain-deposite education technology. Anyone who might ever need to know astrogation probably gets a complete, if no frills, map of the Galaxy downloaded into his brain.
We already know they have something like this-- 'flash learning'.

That said, one has to question how widely available it is. I can see a Captain of the Royal Guard of Naboo being widely briefed on various necessary info-- IIRC Tattooine isn't very far from Naboo? and thus may be relevant in terms of knowing "local conditions"-- but why would a scavenger girl like Rey be flash-taught Wookiee or droid?

Of course, if it's very commonly available tech, on the level of say a cell phone, that might explain a few things. But then one wonders if they ever run into brain-capacity issues.
Maybe she found a working unit in one of those crashed Star Destroyers? Or her parents went into such debt downloading the best education for their little girl that they ended up broke, swamped, turning ricks for enough booze to drown their misery for just one more minute, and so on down the Jakku Desert Rabbit Hole.
"Gunslinger indeed. Quick draw, Bob. Quick draw." --Count Chocula

"Unquestionably, Dr. Who is MUCH lighter in tone than WH40K. But then, I could argue the entirety of WWII was much lighter in tone than WH40K." --Broomstick

"This is ridiculous. I look like the Games Workshop version of a Jedi Knight." --Harry Dresden, Changes

"Like...are we canonical?" --Aaron Dembski-Bowden to Dan Abnett

User avatar
SpottedKitty
Jedi Knight
Posts: 894
Joined: 2014-08-22 08:24pm
Location: UK

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by SpottedKitty » 2017-12-27 11:33pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2017-12-27 11:29am
Right; there can be many hundreds of thousands of inhabited systems, but with fairly low populations per system. That neatly explains how for example small armies are expected to be capable of conquering a whole system. You don't need a HUGE army because you simply don't have *that* many people to keep downtrodden.
That would fit in neatly with Tatooine (judging by what we've seen onscreen) being an average world, and Coruscant being not just unique, but densely populated enough to match a significant chunk of the rest of the galaxy.

I wonder how common a place like Dagobah (habitable but uninhabited) might be — maybe enough to skew the statistics?
“Despite rumor, Death isn't cruel — merely terribly, terribly good at his job.”
Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

User avatar
GuppyShark
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2588
Joined: 2005-03-13 06:52am
Location: South Australia

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by GuppyShark » 2017-12-28 01:57am

"Let me just hook this doodad from a crashed spaceship into my brain, what could go wrong"?

User avatar
Bob the Gunslinger
Has not forgotten the face of his father
Posts: 4702
Joined: 2004-01-08 06:21pm
Location: Somewhere out west

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2017-12-28 11:50am

GuppyShark wrote:
2017-12-28 01:57am
"Let me just hook this doodad from a crashed spaceship into my brain, what could go wrong"?
Not even in the top ten of stupid decisions in the new Star Wars trilogy.
"Gunslinger indeed. Quick draw, Bob. Quick draw." --Count Chocula

"Unquestionably, Dr. Who is MUCH lighter in tone than WH40K. But then, I could argue the entirety of WWII was much lighter in tone than WH40K." --Broomstick

"This is ridiculous. I look like the Games Workshop version of a Jedi Knight." --Harry Dresden, Changes

"Like...are we canonical?" --Aaron Dembski-Bowden to Dan Abnett

SAAA
Redshirt
Posts: 12
Joined: 2015-09-09 01:25pm

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by SAAA » 2017-12-28 12:16pm

Galvatron wrote:
2017-12-27 12:58pm
Although I'm not even sure flash learning is still canon, I thought it was only used for clones. Otherwise, why isn't everyone in Star Wars a walking encyclopedia?

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_training
Well... don't you agree Finn is a wonderful tech/locations walking encyclopedia of the First Order? :lol:

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6059
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Low density galaxy

Post by Galvatron » 2017-12-28 06:15pm

Actually, Finn is the most likely candidate to have received "flash training" since he was groomed to be a First Order stormtrooper since childhood.

Post Reply