Star War Naval Combat

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Star War Naval Combat

Post by KraytKing » 2018-09-25 09:18am

What are the best examples of naval combat in Star Wars media? Most books skirt around it or have stupid ideas, so I was looking for recommendations as to what to read. Anything particularly stand out?

Fanfiction works too. Only looking for somewhat large scale battles (not one Jedi in his starfighter).
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Esquire » 2018-09-25 10:23am

Hull No. 721 and De Imperitoribus Galacticis in our very own Completed Fiction subforum have solid takes on Star Wars naval combat, respectively small and large-scale, although both have their own formatting/stylistic quirks. Published... Honestly, not a lot springs to mind. In retrospect a lot of the Legends stuff I enjoyed wasn't as good as it seemed at the time to a much younger me.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-09-25 12:13pm

The best naval engagements I can recall off the top of my head both come from the book X-Wing: Isard's Revenge. The battle over Liinade Three between the Hegemony ISD Direption and the New Republic ISDs Moonshadow and Freedom and the Victory-class Swift Liberty were rather well-done, and later on you have the fight between Krennel's pair of ISDs, a VSD and an Interdictor Star Destroyer against the New Republics Home One, Emancipator and a host of frigates, corvettes and a pair of VSD's. Both are well-written scenes that give a good sense of larger ship battles.

I would also heartily recommend De Imperatoribus Galactus, it's one of my all-time favourite fanfics and has some truly epic combat scenes.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-09-25 10:06pm

Films: Battle of Endor, Battle of Scarif.

Books: off the top of my head, the Thrawn Trilogy has some decent ones (particularly in The Last Command).

Fanfiction: Hmm, I remember Starcrossed on this forum had some pretty spectacular ones (though its a crossover), but its been a long time.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by KraytKing » 2018-09-25 10:31pm

Alright, I've started reading De Imperatoribus Galacticis, and one note right off the bat. I hate it when authors treat gravity well projectors like they actually make new gravity wells. They did it in Tarking, and whoever wrote this fanfiction (I'll be damned if I have to spell that again) mentioned it in passing. If they could actually make gravity wells, they would be an impossibly powerful weapon and render all others obsolete. They just mak a hyperdrive think there is a gravity well, and activate the cutout.

Endor was cool, but it wasn't terribly detailed with the bigger ships. Thrawn was the best, but it suffered from serious plot armor issues and simply wasn't long enough. Scarif is great for fighters, but again, not much capital ship combat. I sort of liked StarCrossed, but it was kinda ridiculous after a point. Also, it was really hard to get a sense of scale when it's thousands of Star Trek ships versus a handful of Star Destroyers, plus a few fantastical superweapons to make sure the Federation doesn't just die. I couldn't imagine the battles.

Hull 721 was insanely hard to follow. I gave up pretty quick, also because I absolutely could not care less about the personal lives of a bunch of Imperial admirals-turned-Sith.

Edit: Also, De Impertobis or whatever keeps calling all shipyards " ______ Drive Yards." It's really throwing me off. Otherwise, a good read.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Esquire » 2018-09-25 10:42pm

Could you expand on the gravity well thing? My immediate thought is that a) gravity isn't actually that impressive when you can build hyperdrives, Death Stars, and [insert Star Wars tech]. What tactically-useful options would be available if Interdictors really did generate gravity wells which were strong enough to trigger hyperdrive failsafes, but (presumably) weaker than planetary or even large-satellite gravity?
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-09-25 10:49pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-09-25 10:31pm
Alright, I've started reading De Imperatoribus Galacticis, and one note right off the bat. I hate it when authors treat gravity well projectors like they actually make new gravity wells. They did it in Tarking, and whoever wrote this fanfiction (I'll be damned if I have to spell that again) mentioned it in passing. If they could actually make gravity wells, they would be an impossibly powerful weapon and render all others obsolete. They just mak a hyperdrive think there is a gravity well, and activate the cutout.

Endor was cool, but it wasn't terribly detailed with the bigger ships. Thrawn was the best, but it suffered from serious plot armor issues and simply wasn't long enough. Scarif is great for fighters, but again, not much capital ship combat. I sort of liked StarCrossed, but it was kinda ridiculous after a point. Also, it was really hard to get a sense of scale when it's thousands of Star Trek ships versus a handful of Star Destroyers, plus a few fantastical superweapons to make sure the Federation doesn't just die. I couldn't imagine the battles.

Hull 721 was insanely hard to follow. I gave up pretty quick, also because I absolutely could not care less about the personal lives of a bunch of Imperial admirals-turned-Sith.

Edit: Also, De Impertobis or whatever keeps calling all shipyards " ______ Drive Yards." It's really throwing me off. Otherwise, a good read.
The tendency to focus on fighters over capital ship action in Star Wars is a major gripe of mine. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always found big ships cooler than fighters. My favorite scene in the Battle of Coruscant (and one of my favorite in RotS) is that few seconds where the Invisible Hand is in a broadside duel with a Venator. I wish there was more of that.

Without (hopefully) getting into yet another argument on the overall merits of the film, one of the things TLJ did that I like is have an extended battle scene where the majority of the action is aboard and between capital ships, with very little fighter action. That's something I've been waiting for in Star Wars for a long time.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by PhoenixKnig » 2018-09-25 10:57pm

NJO invincible book
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Esquire » 2018-09-25 11:21pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-09-25 10:49pm
Without (hopefully) getting into yet another argument on the overall merits of the film, one of the things TLJ did that I like is have an extended battle scene where the majority of the action is aboard and between capital ships, with very little fighter action. That's something I've been waiting for in Star Wars for a long time.
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Personally, I thought the starship bits of TLJ were by turns offensively minimalist [fuel suddenly being a thing for, I think, literally the first time ever; that idiotic bit with the Space B-17s], offensively maximalist [the Supremacy is 49 biggameters wide!], and offensively silly [arcing turbolaser rounds; again that idiotic bit with the Space B-17s, etc.].

With that said, I absolutely get the impulse and was very exited on exactly these grounds before the sequel trilogy started doing sequel trilogy stuff. It's a profound loss that [Disney et. al.] steered in the 'remake the OT, but weirder and in some ways worse' direction rather than the one indicated by the slightly more expansive vision of the prequels.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-09-25 11:32pm

Eh, its certainly not how I would have filmed a cap ship battle, but at least its something.

Although I would say that Scariff is the best since Endor, even with the preponderance of fighter combat.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Esquire » 2018-09-25 11:36pm

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I agree. It was fun to watch and at least didn't make a different amount of sense than anything else Star Wars-y and filmed.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-09-25 11:39pm

Esquire wrote:
2018-09-25 11:36pm
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I agree. It was fun to watch and at least didn't make a different amount of sense than anything else Star Wars-y and filmed.
Well, mostly for me its last five minutes or so (though the effects were good through the whole sequence, and it was nice seeing the old Imperial and Rebel ships in action again).

Incidentally, while its not cap ship action, I regard the Vader scene from the end of Rogue One as probably one of the five best scenes/moments in the entire Star Wars saga.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Esquire » 2018-09-25 11:49pm

Again concur; that was some solid filmmaking.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-09-26 03:33am

PhoenixKnig wrote:
2018-09-25 10:57pm
NJO invincible book
Invincible was Legacy of the Force not NJO.

From the NJO: Star By Star and Destiny's Way had significant fleet battles iirc.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by PhoenixKnig » 2018-09-26 03:50am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-09-26 03:33am
PhoenixKnig wrote:
2018-09-25 10:57pm
NJO invincible book
Invincible was Legacy of the Force not NJO.

From the NJO: Star By Star and Destiny's Way had significant fleet battles iirc.
Sorry thanks, book was the Shockwave Star Destroyer temporarily introduced
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by PhoenixKnig » 2018-09-26 03:50am

PhoenixKnig wrote:
2018-09-26 03:50am
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-09-26 03:33am
PhoenixKnig wrote:
2018-09-25 10:57pm
NJO invincible book
Invincible was Legacy of the Force not NJO.

From the NJO: Star By Star and Destiny's Way had significant fleet battles iirc.
Sorry thanks, book was the Shockwave Star Destroyer temporarily introduced
I do know that it's from NJO
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Marko Dash » 2018-09-26 05:59am

Various bits in 'rebel dream'-'rebel stand' were pretty good, the Lusankya got to do some orbital bombardment before getting an awesome send off.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by KraytKing » 2018-09-26 09:11am

I mostly agree with Esquire on TLJ. As for gravity wells, imagine if you could suddenly project a massive amount of gravity in the middle of an enemy ship. It'll probably collapse, especially in the old canon where Star Destroyers couldn't enter planetary atmospheres due to gravity. Or what if you put it in the middle of a squadron of fighters? Devastating, given the high speeds and close formations followed in Star Wars.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Jub » 2018-09-27 05:48am

KraytKing wrote:
2018-09-26 09:11am
I mostly agree with Esquire on TLJ. As for gravity wells, imagine if you could suddenly project a massive amount of gravity in the middle of an enemy ship. It'll probably collapse, especially in the old canon where Star Destroyers couldn't enter planetary atmospheres due to gravity. Or what if you put it in the middle of a squadron of fighters? Devastating, given the high speeds and close formations followed in Star Wars.
Gravity, unless it's just crushing shouldn't do that much to a Star Wars vessel. Why mainly because they're incredibly strong and resistant to sustained hundreds to thousands of G acceleration figures. One would imagine that between inertial dampeners and artificial gravity they could handle even many hundreds of earth masses being thrown at them.

This is assuming that gravity or at least the projection that a gravity well generator creates, propagates through shields. I'd assume it would, or at least that some measurable amount does for the hyperdrive safeties to trip but I don't know that it's ever come up.

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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-09-27 06:30am

The idea that an interdictor could generate enough gravity to crush an enemy ship, but not crush itself in the process makes no sense to me.

Meanwhile the gravity of the entire planet earth can be overcome by a butterfly.

Reality is it doesn't make a lot of sense for hyperspace to be that badly affected by gravity on a local basis, but not for weapons reasons, and old canon when Marina was writing this stuff was never super consistent about things. The mass shadow idea might actually involve some kind of unknown particle or wave linked to mass in Star Wars, but which does not exist in real life. As in it might be a property of hyperspace existing in the first place, the force and whatever. She just went with what was the normal interpretation in the fandom at the time, which was that Interdictors do just generate actual gravity.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Jub » 2018-09-27 08:47am

My thought on mass shadows and hyperspace, as well as the need to calculate jumps to avoid hitting massive objects like stars is that gravity has a greater effect in hyperspace. This might be due to the fact that distances seem to be compressed in hyperspace or could just be spacetime bending differently in hyperspace in such a way that gravity has far greater effects. This makes it so hyperlanes and extensive mapping make more sense; if you stray from the known path you're likely to fall down some random gravity well and possibly into a blackhole/star/whatever.

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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by KraytKing » 2018-09-27 09:34am

Gravity itself isn't the problem in hyperspace. Usually, gravity is accompanied by mass, and mass is what causes problems. So an Interdictor makes the hyperdrive think there is gravity, and thus mass, which activates the emergency cutout. This same cutout activates when a hyperdrive detects actual mass, like a star or a planet. With stars, it usually doesn't matter. Pre-Interdictor and gravity well generators, and in the private sector (pirates), the standard method is to actually tow mass into a hyperlane and wait for someone to get pulled out. Obviously, this has limited utility in combat situations.

I was thinking that gravity in the middle of a ship might be worse than gravity somewhere else. There are only so many angles an engineer can optimize for, and I doubt that the middle is one of them. Even if the hull survives, I imagine there would be chaos as the central decks collapse.

As I said before, I think it would be worse for fighter squadrons.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Jub » 2018-09-27 09:43am

KraytKing wrote:
2018-09-27 09:34am
Gravity itself isn't the problem in hyperspace. Usually, gravity is accompanied by mass, and mass is what causes problems. So an Interdictor makes the hyperdrive think there is gravity, and thus mass, which activates the emergency cutout. This same cutout activates when a hyperdrive detects actual mass, like a star or a planet. With stars, it usually doesn't matter. Pre-Interdictor and gravity well generators, and in the private sector (pirates), the standard method is to actually tow mass into a hyperlane and wait for someone to get pulled out. Obviously, this has limited utility in combat situations.
All objects with mass have gravity thus it would be more correct to say that all mass is accompanied by gravity. This means that, under normal circumstances, both are equally problematic, at least in quantities a hyperdrive can detect and which automated safties are designed to account for.
I was thinking that gravity in the middle of a ship might be worse than gravity somewhere else. There are only so many angles an engineer can optimize for, and I doubt that the middle is one of them. Even if the hull survives, I imagine there would be chaos as the central decks collapse.
That wouldn't make any sense. Sure you'd usually accelerate and decelerate along your main axis of thrust and to lesser extents along your axes of rotation but you still need the ability to dampen inertia from things like weapons hits, ramming, off-axis acceleration and any number of other scenarios. One of which would be gravity wells being projected within your ship, at least if such a thing were to be possible.

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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by KraytKing » 2018-09-27 09:58am

Jub wrote:
2018-09-27 09:43am
KraytKing wrote:
2018-09-27 09:34am
Gravity itself isn't the problem in hyperspace. Usually, gravity is accompanied by mass, and mass is what causes problems. So an Interdictor makes the hyperdrive think there is gravity, and thus mass, which activates the emergency cutout. This same cutout activates when a hyperdrive detects actual mass, like a star or a planet. With stars, it usually doesn't matter. Pre-Interdictor and gravity well generators, and in the private sector (pirates), the standard method is to actually tow mass into a hyperlane and wait for someone to get pulled out. Obviously, this has limited utility in combat situations.
All objects with mass have gravity thus it would be more correct to say that all mass is accompanied by gravity. This means that, under normal circumstances, both are equally problematic, at least in quantities a hyperdrive can detect and which automated safeties are designed to account for.
Yes, yes. Sorry, my humor was a bit too dry. I think we agree. Just pointing out that it isn't the gravity that kills ships.
I was thinking that gravity in the middle of a ship might be worse than gravity somewhere else. There are only so many angles an engineer can optimize for, and I doubt that the middle is one of them. Even if the hull survives, I imagine there would be chaos as the central decks collapse.
That wouldn't make any sense. Sure you'd usually accelerate and decelerate along your main axis of thrust and to lesser extents along your axes of rotation but you still need the ability to dampen inertia from things like weapons hits, ramming, off-axis acceleration and any number of other scenarios. One of which would be gravity wells being projected within your ship, at least if such a thing were to be possible.
Okay, I'll concede that point.

EDIT: Though, gravity well projection is a new thing. As in, invented since the Clone Wars. Not all ships are going to be designed with them in mind for a while. Given the time required to design and construct cruisers, it could be quite a while before this changes, especially for the Rebellion, which operates largely on converted old ships.
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Re: Star War Naval Combat

Post by Jub » 2018-09-27 11:25am

KraytKing wrote:
2018-09-27 09:58am
Though, gravity well projection is a new thing. As in, invented since the Clone Wars. Not all ships are going to be designed with them in mind for a while. Given the time required to design and construct cruisers, it could be quite a while before this changes, especially for the Rebellion, which operates largely on converted old ships.
I'd still bank on ships being able to use their inertial dampeners and artificial gravity generators to counter this effect. Though it'll be an open question until we see somebody write this scenario into a novel and/or movie.

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