Gizmodo's Take

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Gizmodo's Take

Post by 2046 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:00 am

http://gizmodo.com/who-would-win-in-an- ... 1676075613

Spoiler:
Bottom line, the sheer size of the Empire presents the most compelling threat to the Federation. But it is facing a small, tightly integrated, post-scarcity Federation possessed of ships with vastly greater tactical flexibility. The political attractions of the Federation are also not to be understated as political warfare is an area the Federation may be uniquely well positioned to capitalize on. If the Federation could survive long enough to ramp up to a war footing sheet, tactical advantages could prove more than a match for the Empire's vast numerical superiority.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:19 pm

Giggles

A most entertaining click bait.

Is it still click bait then, brother?

Mmm... not anymore.


Small NITPICK
When pressed the Federation will coalesce (as it did with the Borg). Its unified tech basis and energy economy means perfectly fluid production and great adaptability. Individual initiative and problem solving is a Trek hallmark. Similar initiative in Star Wars is shown as being a quick way to a Force-induced death. Although both world have great diversity, the Empire is deeply racist and enforces a human-first ethic, which severely restricts the full participation of most of their Empires inhabitants. Star Trek has no such barriers.
Thre Empire is "specist".

Any well seasoned debator will recognize the classical arguments and implied pieces of evidence hidden within this summary.

It's both brutally honest and dishonest. The numerous pro-Trek point are quite solid, but honestly, a thousands of years old civilization used to fly megaligthic ships across a whole galaxy should have no quibbles fighting at ranges in the thousands of kilometers with laser weapons and missiles, when you see how cheap the AI can be for even the smallest droids.

The author speaks of Trek but in reality, only has the UFP in mind. While he properly points out that the Empire has to deal with the Rebellion and maintains its order over a precarious balance, while exagerating the proportion of technological might in the hands of the Rebels (Incom), he evades the fact that the UFP has strong enemies outside of its own borders, perhaps even inside, and could easily trade to acquire better tech and relatively quickly implement it in a matter of a decade. Ferengi and others don't give a crap, they make business that's all. The Empire has no reason to rush.

In terms of economics, the Empire is also post-scarcity in many important places. Fusion energy is cheap as dirt, so from there, growing food and building stuff is incredibly easy. Add cheap droid labour and you're facing an overall impressive industrial and socio-economical might, which with its overall mass, would alone nullify any advantage the UFP would have in terms of replicators.
Which, again, are so cheap that the Empire could buy them.

If the UFP tries to buy time, they'll progressively become pressured. The technological gap will be reduced, so much that although a gap will remain in favour of the UFP in several domains, the sheer quantity will see its overall quality raised as to become a true danger to the static targets such as planets and stations, at which point greater combat range doesn't really mind if the Empire manages to drop out of hyperspace close to said targets (which hyperspace allows, and we enter the topic of hyperlanes).
Besides, again, the Ferengi don't sell junk. It's relatively easy for the Empire, which by virtue of its own size, will also have a powerful currency, to buy loads and loads of top notch Star Trek tech.
Then, it's all up to the Empire to both update a significant percentage of its assets, as well as assemble an elite attack force made of the best acquired Trek tech, elevated to a maximum Blitzkrieg potential.

Let's also not underestimate the will of many humans of the UFP to want to be part of a specist empire btw.

On the long term, the Empire could grind into the UFP.

Which means the UFP would need to go on the offensive, both military wise and ideologically wise. It's its better chance. The Federation will know that the Empire is a house of cards. While it could easily band with the Rebels and massively screw the Empire, any intel and support the UFP would get from the Rebels would rapidly allow the UFP to locate targets of primary importance and run assaults before the Empire could react, mainly becaues of the aforementionned technological gap.

But as I once said, having the UFP suddenly pop into the Wars verse would mean all the narrative would go all wizz, with Luke kicking his daddy's arse and making his way to the Emperor be completely nullified. In fact, I also said that since the Emperor would be the main target, this would massively help the Empire if Palpatine were to go down. Vader would remain, and he's far more pragmatic.

The Empire is a huge powerful but antiquited machine with a glaring weak point, while the UFP is a dense and well organized nexus of worlds which have many advantages and thus represent an impossible nut to crack at first.
The UFP would have a good chance to strike at the Empire, but would it have the courage to do so and take all necessary measures to find and kill the Emperor?
Wouldn't Darth Sidious rapidly understand what danger he faces considering the technological superiority of his new enemy?

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:39 pm

Moved to Other Websites forum.
-Mike

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by 2046 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:44 am

While I agree that a civilization having many of the traits of the Empire *should* be post-scarcity in regards to many things, that is not what we are shown. During the Clone Wars sections of Coruscant only rarely had electricity and running water. Millions of soldiers and associated war materiel bankrupted them.

While brutal Imperial efficiency may make for a superior war economy, I rather doubt all the issues disappeared. I don't believe the Empire could afford a protracted war.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:40 pm

2046 wrote:While I agree that a civilization having many of the traits of the Empire *should* be post-scarcity in regards to many things, that is not what we are shown. During the Clone Wars sections of Coruscant only rarely had electricity and running water. Millions of soldiers and associated war materiel bankrupted them.

While brutal Imperial efficiency may make for a superior war economy, I rather doubt all the issues disappeared. I don't believe the Empire could afford a protracted war.
But the Republic and the Empire ought to be different in a number of ways.
For one, even before the Clone Wars, the Republic wasn't in a real position of power outside of its sphere of influence. Soon, the CIS grew and challenged it. The Empire has no such challenger, it *seems* it has swallowed ex-CIS worlds. Before the Clone Wars, Republican credits weren't enjoyed on external worlds such as Tatooine. So much that Qui-Gon Jinn couldn't even find some kind of change and go back to Watoo with the money he likes. So it's even worse than locals not accepting anything but local money while acknowledging the universal currency; no, they simply don't accept it at all. Qui-Gon Jinn had to sell stuff locally in the hopes of repairing the yatch and getting off the dust ball.
Now, with the ruling Empire, it's certainly going to be different.
A persistent Empire means a strong currency. It means much more power to buy stuff.
Which ought to allow for a saner economy than one where your currency is in such cahoots that you can't even be sure you can buy anything and therefore you must bring entire carts of cash to buy some bread loaf. That alone would easily explain the problems seen in the Clone Wars, especially since the Republic wasn't prepared for such a war and had no real good economical experience in how to deal with a war of such magnitude.
But the Empire can bank on this experience.
It's actually entirely possible that while the Republic's economy was really dead and the system bankrupt, the Empire renewed the economy globally.
Many ex-CIS worlds would probably still be paying high tithes as punishment for their crimes, while the core worlds and many pro-Republic worlds would have gotten the economical upper hand there, which would represent a significant pool of resources for the Empire to tap.
The Empire can allow sacrificing worlds through greater taxation and insufferable debt.
Also, with so many places to rebuild and network to (re)establish, the galactic economy surely bloomed overall.
Finally, even if there would be slum lands or even slum worlds, they'd only be a fraction of the Empire's population. As usual, it would be the middle class that would get massively taxed.
The US has a huge army, although the military might of all countries combined today is inferior to that of the Cold War era, you can see that having poor areas in your city doesn't stop the large country from being massively armed.

The Empire's main problem is that its ships are huge and must cost a horrible amount of cash, even for a developped world, and they're massively outclassed by the Federation's smaller ships.
However, while in hyperspace, they can't be traced nor intercepted. They can drop on top of worlds and deploy weapons fast enough before the Federation can even react, especially if a flotilla appears in numerous places.

What hyperlanes are is still up in the air atm, but both sides would have an easy time to acquire the public starmaps.
The UFP's most important worlds are no secret and quite exposed, while the Empire would be expected to hold such secret places of importants far from the eyes of everybody. The fact that it could build two Death Stars in secret is quite a solid proof here.
The Empire is much more ruthless and possesses more worlds the UFP would have to attack.
Its best ships have also achieved massively superior FTL speeds.

Even if Imperial ships would be swatted like flies by UFP ships, planetary targets would be easy to pick.
It would take a lot of doctrinal coercition but eventually the Empire would manage to convince its navy to lead alpha strikes on key worlds of the Federation.
Palpatine could play the terrorist card and literally provoke the UFP, do everything needed to have the UFP retaliate, Pearl Harbor style, on any important world (preferably not one of particular industrial or military value, say Naboo) and use this to steer public opinion in favour of an all out war.
It's so in Sidious' ways of doing things.

Now, starships moving at warp are something else entirely, since technically, even if it's FTL, they still move within real space, which leaves a trace, and if the trajectory isn't too complicated, would still give a rough idea of where a given ship is headed for.

All in all, I think the Empire has enough fat to waste to allow for a protracted war, although I'm rather convinced it would opt for the most brutal way of doing things.
The Empire can allow losing more worlds than the UFP. The Empire is so mad and over the top that losing worlds is only going to fuel the propaganda. The UFP doesn't have that luxury. Would its main worlds go down (and I don't see why the Empire wouldn't alpha strike Earth for example), many worlds would easily be tempted to negociate in favour of an enemy that would rapidly be known to have a whole galaxy at its disposal and most likely already upgrading its tech with whatever it would already be acquiring.
In fact, it could very well turn out that an unfortunate assault on the part of the UFP on the Empire would be used as a very convincing argument for many pro-Rebel worlds to side with the Empire.
The Rebels and UFP might both be more pro-xeno, but the Rebels are a secretive organization that come with limited ressources and always on the move. The UFP finding them from the beginning of the war isn't a given, even if it would be public knowledge that the Rebels exist.
The thing is, Palpatine doesn't even need to wait for the UFP to attack. He's really the kind of guy to probaby have a thousand false flag projecxts and solutions ready to use at any moment.
Let's not even consider a shift in strategy, with the Empire quickly realizing that it has to resort to smaller, versatile and FTL capable crafts. Honestly, I find it very hard to believe the Empire wouldn't realize this rather quicly, in face of the odds it faces on the naval front and considering that its best card is to surprise worlds and bludgeon them into submission.

The UFP badly needs the Rebels.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by 2046 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:32 pm

Inasmuch as the CIS departure cut into the Republic finances due to lost revenue, I concur, especially given the capitalistic leanings of the member organizations. The reabsorbing of the CIS would bring their industries under state/crony control.

Then again, the notion of the efficiency of an empire is more than a bit mythical, especially in a statist crony-socialism model as the Empire seems to be.

However, power must still be a major cost if they couldn't afford it, meaning they are not post-scarcity in regards to energy production and transmission. Same goes for plumbing insofar as running water is concerned.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Lucky » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:47 am

Mr. Oragahn wrote: but honestly, a thousands of years old civilization used to fly megaligthic ships across a whole galaxy should have no quibbles fighting at ranges in the thousands of kilometers with laser weapons and missiles, when you see how cheap the AI can be for even the smallest droids.
Except that this doesn't seem to be done in Star Wars. Just think of the Hoth asteroid field, and how much trouble everyone had navigating it. IF Star Wars commonly made use of A.I. assistance then navigating or shooting the asteroids would be a simple task that anyone could do, but instead we have no one even noticing the asteroids until it is too late.

Asteroids don't use E.C.M. or R.A.M.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The author speaks of Trek but in reality, only has the UFP in mind. While he properly points out that the Empire has to deal with the Rebellion and maintains its order over a precarious balance, while exagerating the proportion of technological might in the hands of the Rebels (Incom), he evades the fact that the UFP has strong enemies outside of its own borders, perhaps even inside, and could easily trade to acquire better tech and relatively quickly implement it in a matter of a decade. Ferengi and others don't give a crap, they make business that's all. The Empire has no reason to rush.
1) The Rebel Alliance had the top of the line fighters a generation ahead of the Empire from what we see during the O.T.

2) While the UFP may have rivals, those rivals generally realize how good they have it with the UFP, and that anyone who is actively trying to destroy the UFP is likely going to be worse. It doesn't help that the Empire is not known for using the carrot.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: In terms of economics, the Empire is also post-scarcity in many important places. Fusion energy is cheap as dirt, so from there, growing food and building stuff is incredibly easy. Add cheap droid labour and you're facing an overall impressive industrial and socio-economical might, which with its overall mass, would alone nullify any advantage the UFP would have in terms of replicators.
Which, again, are so cheap that the Empire could buy them.
And yet it seems like most planets can't fend for themselves, and struggle to provide equipment and fuel for their troops. Star Wars is not remotely a post-scarcity civilization
Mr. Oragahn wrote: If the UFP tries to buy time, they'll progressively become pressured.
Why does the UFP need to buy time? Warp might slow to maybe about 1000c without good maps, but without well mapped Hyperspace routes the Empire is even worse off and might as well be using sub-light drives in some cases.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The technological gap will be reduced, so much that although a gap will remain in favour of the UFP in several domains, the sheer quantity will see its overall quality raised as to become a true danger to the static targets such as planets and stations, at which point greater combat range doesn't really mind if the Empire manages to drop out of hyperspace close to said targets (which hyperspace allows, and we enter the topic of hyperlanes).
If the Empire's engineers and scientists had even a basic understanding of the technologies used by the Star Trek factions, they would be in use, but they aren't.

You can't effectively implement technologies you only have a barely theoretical understanding of.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Besides, again, the Ferengi don't sell junk. It's relatively easy for the Empire, which by virtue of its own size, will also have a powerful currency, to buy loads and loads of top notch Star Trek tech.
1) The Ferengi do sell defective junk to people. It's buyer beware.

2) Imperial credits are worthless to a Ferengi do to replicators, and even gold is considered of little value to them.

3) Beyond a hyper-drive there isn't anything a Star Trek faction may want.?

4) Given the Ferengi did not sell out the UFP to the Dominion, why would they do so for the Empire who is far more hostile?

5) Why would the Empire even be able to make heads or tails of Trek Tech?
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Let's also not underestimate the will of many humans of the UFP to want to be part of a specist empire btw.
1) Why would anyone from the Federation or any sane political body want to join the Empire?
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Which means the UFP would need to go on the offensive, both military wise and ideologically wise. It's its better chance. The Federation will know that the Empire is a house of cards. While it could easily band with the Rebels and massively screw the Empire, any intel and support the UFP would get from the Rebels would rapidly allow the UFP to locate targets of primary importance and run assaults before the Empire could react, mainly becaues of the aforementionned technological gap.
How will the Empire close this technological gap? They had thousands of years to research Kyber crystals, but still don't still don't understand them even after building the Death Star.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: But as I once said, having the UFP suddenly pop into the Wars verse would mean all the narrative would go all wizz, with Luke kicking his daddy's arse and making his way to the Emperor be completely nullified. In fact, I also said that since the Emperor would be the main target, this would massively help the Empire if Palpatine were to go down. Vader would remain, and he's far more pragmatic.
1) No emperor = no Empire do to no one having the emergency powers anymore.

2) Vader was never in it simply for the evils like a large number of Imperials were.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The Empire is a huge powerful but antiquited machine with a glaring weak point, while the UFP is a dense and well organized nexus of worlds which have many advantages and thus represent an impossible nut to crack at first.
The Empire was ludicrously over extended to the point where blowing up planets where the problems were peaceful protests and white collar crime carried out by known parties was seen as a viable option

Mr. Oragahn wrote: Wouldn't Darth Sidious rapidly understand what danger he faces considering the technological superiority of his new enemy?
The Emperor was known for taking stupid risks, and flying by the seat of his pants. He comes across as an adrenaline junky with delusions of grandeur.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Darth Spock » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:33 am

Mr. Oragahn wrote: Any well seasoned debator will recognize the classical arguments and implied pieces of evidence hidden within this summary.

It's both brutally honest and dishonest. The numerous pro-Trek point are quite solid, but honestly, a thousands of years old civilization used to fly megaligthic ships across a whole galaxy should have no quibbles fighting at ranges in the thousands of kilometers with laser weapons and missiles, when you see how cheap the AI can be for even the smallest droids.
^This^

Ugh, it's a shiny version of the "Star Trick is the ultimont representation of humanities potential realized, the Federation is win becuz it has teh antimatters and transporters and replicators and moar, and is invinzible to lazers and the impire doesnt even have sheilds! Beam a torpedo on there bridge! LOLTREKWINZ!" routine.

To be honest, when I very first encountered the idea of Star Wars vs Star Trek in about 2004, with the same themed mod for the Star Trek Armada PC game, my initial reaction, after a moment’s thought, was that Trek would win. Like pitting a nuclear submarine against a WW2 battleship. I didn't give it another thought for years (the mod was buggy and crashed my computer constantly too, pity). Since reexamining such a scenario more recently though, reading between the lines, and not just accepting the knee jerk reaction that Trek "looks" and "sounds" more high tech, I think that, while Trek tech may hold the overall technological advantage, it's by a much smaller margin than entries such as this purport.

Star Trek's series typically present the crème de la crème of the Federation, disciplined rocket scientists aboard state of the art military vessels. Star Wars generally has us following back world civilians, guerrillas, politicians, warrior monks and front line troopers. It's more like taking a story set on a 1960's, or even a 1980's nuclear submarine, where the environment is cutting edge, and advanced technology and weaponry is commonly referred to. Then we compare it to a story following a modern day soldier in his barracks, where nobody talks about advanced technology, we never see any nuclear weapons in use, and it would be easy to miss the implications of the smart phone in his pocket, or the satellite positioning and other electronics in his "crude" gasoline powered vehicle. Without previous knowledge of these environments, an observer of such "fictional" environments could easily conclude that the former scenario represented a far more technologically advanced society and military.

Both franchises are rife with extremely weak technological displays, and while such an interpretation as the one linked is not blatantly dishonest, it still represents a form of cherry picking. All the reasonable points against Star Wars are subject to doubt due to the author’s sugar coating of Star Trek's weaknesses. While a great deal of solid evidence points to extremely powerful weapons in Trek, we are still forced to assume that this is what is used in normal combat, since the best examples are either based on dialogue, or are against the environment. Much of the combat looks, well, a lot like Star Wars.

Here is a fun source of data, in the DS9 episode "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" we see Jem'Hadar attack ships using their beams in utilitarian fashion to blast apart bodies of frozen volatiles in a Kuiper Belt (yep, big chunks of ice). Boring, but it's not a bad showing, and it doesn't necessarily represent the upper limit of these weapons. But then, after they spot their quarry, they fire shorter, but presumably more intense weaponized variants of their beams, with the intention of crippling its shields and destroying the target. A missed shot strikes one of the big ice boulders and we get... a small shower of ice chips. Honestly, what am I supposed to do with that? Throw it on the pile and average it out? Throw it out because it’s silly and inconvenient? Throw it to the Star Wars camp and start goose stepping to the Imperial March? Things like this complicate an "easy" Trek supremacy.

As for Star Wars being an interstellar society, yet lacking such basic military technology as the Federation clearly possesses, it is based solely on very literal interpretations of visual effects in the films. In Star Wars, if a technology exists and is used, it typically doesn't come with a detailed introduction in the dialogue, they simply take the gizmo and use it. However, the canon novelizations of the 6 movies do provide more detailed descriptions of certain things, in such a way as Star Trek often benefits from. Such descriptions clearly indicate that their turbo "lasers" would easily be considered WMD's by contemporary standards, even that sub-light drives can propel craft at substantial fractions of C. Unless we just jump to the conclusion that this massive, ancient, interstellar society is just too stupid to evolve its combat beyond the tactics appropriate to 19th and early 20th century Earth, other factors must be in play.

The only major tactical consideration remaining would be that of sensor tech. The whole argument smells of a common, post 1990's perception of what "modern" warfare is. Specifically, the idea that modern warfare is where you push a button, and then watch as the screen shows the advanced, guided ordinance fly straight into the unsuspecting target. Sure, if your enemy is equipped with inferior weapon, sensor, and communication technology. When two determined combatants are equipped with equal quality weapon systems, and appropriate counter measures, I think it's safe to say that combat once again becomes a grueling, chaotic hell. The argument here flatly assumes that Star Wars is automatically inferior to Star Trek. Let's look at the attack on Hoth for a moment. The rebels recognized that the heavy meteor activity in the sector would make detecting Imperial ships difficult, and Vader was pissed at Ozzel for not slipping up on the rebels instead of dropping into real space so close to the system, no doubt lighting up the rebels scopes with obvious ISD signatures. So, are Star Wars sensors just that terrible, or are their jamming/counter measure abilities just that good, such that the Empire can reduce the sensor profile of a mile long ISD to no more than that of a common asteroid? Granted, the exact power and sophistication of the Empire's sensor and jamming abilities are unknown, and a solid clue in the ever expanding canon could shift the status quo either way, but until that time, it is very much debatable.

On the topic of sensor and weapon range, I might point out that making such a claim about this giving the Federation a distinct advantage is something of a double edged sword. If everything the author claimed is true, and the Federation extensively uses sophisticated long range sensors to facilitate their combat, and if the Empire does indeed employ massive broad spectrum jamming technology, and, in turn has long resigned themselves to being forced to fight at visual range, such a turn of events would actually hinder the Federation, who would be forced to fight the Empire's way, with weaponry designed for long range strikes. Such a scenario would turn the advantage firmly back to the Empire. Granted, I do not believe the Federation would find themselves in such a vulnerable position, namely, because evidence repeatedly indicates that visual data is of key importance to the informed operation of Star Trek vessels. Of course, this view drags the Federation's long range capabilities back quite a way. While Trek ships don’t literally look out the window, extensive use is made of the view screen, even during combat. Additionally, as the author did such a good job of pointing out that Federation ships are considered quite stealthy, the existence of cloaking devices, which specifically render a ship invisible in the visible spectrum, and the fact that they are considered a major tactical system on military vessels, should speak volumes.

The author smartly chose Voyager era Trek, as it is the latest in the chain of technological progression, and where the Federation was gearing up for the Dominion War, while avoiding the consequences of the conflict. While I don't buy that the Empire could simply strut in and effortlessly take on the Federation, Post TNG era Trek isn't as secure as the author claims. I also think it's safe to say that the season 7 TNG Enterprise could shred Season 1 TNG Enterprise several times over. My impression is, if you were to drop the Empire with the Death Star in 2364 Star Trek, the Federation would be the Empire's oyster.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Darth Spock » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:46 am

Eek!onomics time!
2046 wrote:Inasmuch as the CIS departure cut into the Republic finances due to lost revenue, I concur, especially given the capitalistic leanings of the member organizations. The reabsorbing of the CIS would bring their industries under state/crony control.

Then again, the notion of the efficiency of an empire is more than a bit mythical, especially in a statist crony-socialism model as the Empire seems to be.

However, power must still be a major cost if they couldn't afford it, meaning they are not post-scarcity in regards to energy production and transmission. Same goes for plumbing insofar as running water is concerned.
I had to freshen my memory on the exact definition of "post-scarcity." To that end, neither the Republic nor Empire probably would probably fit the full on sci-fi definition of "post-scarcity." Still, the Republic had pretty much all of everything it needed up until the point where the war and Palpatine’s machinations disrupted the complex interstellar flow of goods through the galaxy. Considering how highly specialized entire planets are often portrayed in Star Wars, it stands to reason the that the Trade Federation, which is repeatedly linked with strong Separatists ties, and yet seems to represent the single largest shipping organization, could have a hand in distribution difficulties. Shifting loyalties of former suppliers, and legitimate losses from production sources and cargo shipments being destroyed during military engagements would also be a factor. In short, they weren't running out until the centuries old economic system was completely turned on its head. I'd say too, that distribution was probably one of the biggest weak points more so than production. Aside from the money shortages cutting in to a number of services, the lack of water and power on Coruscant is quite odd. Unless they've killed the local water supply and have to import it (which is makes no real sense), the loss is probably linked to the power shortage, no power to the purification centers or pumping stations. All of this is on the heels of the CIS sabotage of a major power plant on Coruscant. Given how quickly the senate and its big wigs had power back, I'm guessing the "important" people were given priority access to uninterrupted power while everyone else is forced to make sacrifices until the primary regional generator is replaced.
Lucky wrote:The Empire was ludicrously over extended to the point where blowing up planets where the problems were peaceful protests and white collar crime carried out by known parties was seen as a viable option
Palpatine is evil, to put it simply. He orchestrated events to start a large war so as to give him a private, centralized army, not the combined forces of numerous sovereign member world militias, or the Jedi "police" force, who would normally serve as the Republic's defense, not that there was much to defend from, aside from pirates or an internal threat, which is what he used. He then kept the war going long enough to break the Republic's back and eradicate the Jedi, leaving a weakened galaxy with the bulk of its military under his direct control before disbanding the CIS droid forces. He then used the rebellion to justify continued military development until the Death Star could be completed, at which point he would have the ultimate weapon of terror to threaten would be dissenters with. A massive fleet can be fought, or compromised by ambitious admirals or Sith apprentices. The Death Star would (in theory) be impossible for smaller planetary governments to combat, especially with most of their private military power stripped and integrated into the Empire. Any group acts up, and their sympathizers, their family, friends, homes and entire cultures will be space dust.

The Federation better fits the sci-fi "post-scarcity" model, but they still do a lot of things the "old fashioned way," rather than relying on replicators exclusively, which is probably for the best. However it goes to show that production and distribution is still a factor in the Federation, though replicators and the like provide enhanced industrial versatility, emergency back up, and simplified resource management aboard space facilities. They are far from household appliances though.

After all this, I do agree that the Empire charging in to the Federation would be folly. I can just see the Empire trying to drag its heavy ass across the Federation while maintaining secure supply lines. I don't believe they are strapped for supplies, but they still need to move them regularly. Federation vessels are more self-sufficient, nowhere near as dependent on supply lines as Star Wars ships. Star Trek X: Nemesis gives a freebie to a foreign invader, clearly indicating easy access to detailed star charts of Federation space, and the vast number of colonies and even under defended member worlds could fall prey to lightning hyperspace strikes, enabling the Empire to employ a terror campaign. Remember many "members" have just attained warp capability, and even mature worlds like Betazed often seem to rely on Starfleet for defense, not bothering to maintain the latest defenses. Of course, assuming a scenario similar to the Dominion invasion, where the Imperial point of entry is a wormhole, a callous, but effective response would be to mass a fleet to plug it up. Self-replicating mines come to mind. Without supplies from home, and likely incompatible resources in the Trek galaxy, it would only be a matter of time before the whole fleet is stuck floating, dead in space, and then its simply a matter of mopping things up.
Mr. Oragahn wrote:The thing is, Palpatine doesn't even need to wait for the UFP to attack. He's really the kind of guy to probaby have a thousand false flag projecxts and solutions ready to use at any moment.
Mr. Oragahn wrote:The author speaks of Trek but in reality, only has the UFP in mind.
Lucky wrote:Why would anyone from the Federation or any sane political body want to join the Empire?
Actually, the Empire vs. the Federation is the most common scenario, and fun, it's certainly my favorite, but this strikes me as a far more likely scenario. Palpatine being, well, Palpatine, who is actually Sidious the insidious, I can just see him establishing trade relations, cultural integration, and demonstrations of the magical wonder of hyperspace travel (the slowest and oldest around, of course.) The predominately human Federation would be a preferable base for the specist Empire. Furthermore, the Federation, for all its "tolerance" of other species, the clear dominance of humans in Starfleet, and that Azetbur would say that "The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, indicates the Federation wouldn't be immune to favoring being allies with a "human" organization, especially with the promise of gaining access to a distant galaxy. While the Dominion Changelings had a huge infiltration advantage, Palpatine's guile shouldn't be underestimated. He would no doubt quickly work to supply and inflame the Maquis, and any other rogue groups he could find. The Klingons seem always to be on the verge of civil war, the Romulans love a good conspiracy, and the Cardassians just need some encouragement to renew hostilities. I imagine he would try to duplicate the success he saw in the SW prequels. War after war would break out in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, while the Federations fleets are slowly whittled down, all while their new friends from another galaxy offer support, slowly digging their hooks in deeper and deeper.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:12 am

Lucky wrote:
Mr. Oragahn wrote: but honestly, a thousands of years old civilization used to fly megaligthic ships across a whole galaxy should have no quibbles fighting at ranges in the thousands of kilometers with laser weapons and missiles, when you see how cheap the AI can be for even the smallest droids.
Except that this doesn't seem to be done in Star Wars. Just think of the Hoth asteroid field, and how much trouble everyone had navigating it. IF Star Wars commonly made use of A.I. assistance then navigating or shooting the asteroids would be a simple task that anyone could do, but instead we have no one even noticing the asteroids until it is too late.

Asteroids don't use E.C.M. or R.A.M.
Basic radars can detect asteroids, especially at close range.
The case of an asteroid hitting an ISD would most likely be well explained by said asteroid having been largely masked until whatever masked it moved out of the way.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The author speaks of Trek but in reality, only has the UFP in mind. While he properly points out that the Empire has to deal with the Rebellion and maintains its order over a precarious balance, while exagerating the proportion of technological might in the hands of the Rebels (Incom), he evades the fact that the UFP has strong enemies outside of its own borders, perhaps even inside, and could easily trade to acquire better tech and relatively quickly implement it in a matter of a decade. Ferengi and others don't give a crap, they make business that's all. The Empire has no reason to rush.
1) The Rebel Alliance had the top of the line fighters a generation ahead of the Empire from what we see during the O.T.
Where do we get this confirmation?
The Empire took on where the Republic left and ARC fighters didn't appear out fashioned.
It seems the Empire made a choice in phasing out a given type of starfighter for another kind.
Still, the Empire had its main contractor developping TIE variants which were meant to offer more versatility. Notably crafts with shields, hyperdrives, more weapons and longer operation ranges.
2) While the UFP may have rivals, those rivals generally realize how good they have it with the UFP, and that anyone who is actively trying to destroy the UFP is likely going to be worse. It doesn't help that the Empire is not known for using the carrot.
The Klingons didn't think that way until peace treaties, much later.
Romulans, Cardassians, Dominion and other groups I might forget, they didn't seem to have a problem with being plain hostile.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: In terms of economics, the Empire is also post-scarcity in many important places. Fusion energy is cheap as dirt, so from there, growing food and building stuff is incredibly easy. Add cheap droid labour and you're facing an overall impressive industrial and socio-economical might, which with its overall mass, would alone nullify any advantage the UFP would have in terms of replicators.
Which, again, are so cheap that the Empire could buy them.
And yet it seems like most planets can't fend for themselves, and struggle to provide equipment and fuel for their troops. Star Wars is not remotely a post-scarcity civilization
Is it what the new show demonstrates? Because from the movies alone, there's not such a thing to infer. In fact, the Empire is so vast that it can allow itself to count crappy worlds alongside medium and well developped ones.

One could project Earth and assume that its distribution of wealth and technology is similar to that of the Empire.
It wouldn't be a big deal.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: If the UFP tries to buy time, they'll progressively become pressured.
Why does the UFP need to buy time? Warp might slow to maybe about 1000c without good maps, but without well mapped Hyperspace routes the Empire is even worse off and might as well be using sub-light drives in some cases.
Both sides have to solve problems in the mapping. The pressure is due to all the factors I listed in my post.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The technological gap will be reduced, so much that although a gap will remain in favour of the UFP in several domains, the sheer quantity will see its overall quality raised as to become a true danger to the static targets such as planets and stations, at which point greater combat range doesn't really mind if the Empire manages to drop out of hyperspace close to said targets (which hyperspace allows, and we enter the topic of hyperlanes).
If the Empire's engineers and scientists had even a basic understanding of the technologies used by the Star Trek factions, they would be in use, but they aren't.
You can't effectively implement technologies you only have a barely theoretical understanding of.
When we're dealing with an Empire which knows its chorus about plasma weapons and beams and all sorts of advanced bits of technology and, I think, even a handful of secret projects involving fancier bits of tech, the Empire can count on a certain capacity to retroengineer some tech.
For instance, how long did it take the UFP to discover and implement its first phaser banks?
Not much long. If anything, based on ENT, a small crew of men did it.
The idea that the Empire wouldn't count geniuses and couldn't use its vast resources to find people to reproduce the same kind of evolution, if given a couple hints (like a piece of tech to study) is quite absurd.
Worst of all, the Empire doesn't need to have state of the art tech, just a base start to fill the gap. That would easily happen by acquiring the details of a tech that would be outdated. The idea that a 50 years old piece of phaser wouldn't be explained on some interstellar wiki within the UFP is hardly believable.

And to top it all, this does not include Trek scientists working for the Empire, from non-affiliated ones to enemies of the UFP finding an opportunity here. Or even scientists who, within the UFP's confines, felt they didn't have enough liberties to... experiment. That's the advantage presented by a more ruthless empire.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Besides, again, the Ferengi don't sell junk. It's relatively easy for the Empire, which by virtue of its own size, will also have a powerful currency, to buy loads and loads of top notch Star Trek tech.
1) The Ferengi do sell defective junk to people. It's buyer beware.

2) Imperial credits are worthless to a Ferengi do to replicators, and even gold is considered of little value to them.

3) Beyond a hyper-drive there isn't anything a Star Trek faction may want.?

4) Given the Ferengi did not sell out the UFP to the Dominion, why would they do so for the Empire who is far more hostile?

5) Why would the Empire even be able to make heads or tails of Trek Tech?
1. To what clients? Would they dare do that against a galactic empire?
2. No they aren't because the Ferengi, like any ultra capitalist faction, are going to see mass potential in establishing trade within the Empire, and there, using the imperial currency will prove very, very valuable to acquire immense amounts of goods. The Ferengi will accept what allows trade.
3. The Empire isn't here to sell but to acquire.
4.a. The Empire doesn't look far more hostile than the Dominion to me. If anything, the war waged by the Empire would be one of pragmatism, with the Empire not accepting any competition and to solve Palpatine's insecurities.
4.b. I'd also like absolute evidence of the claim that the Ferengi didn't sell to the Dominion at all, and any reasons to explain this.
4.c. Finally, there's lot to gain by trading with the Empire's worlds. I'm not even counting native resources which don't exist in Trekverse.
5. See points made in the paragraphs above.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Let's also not underestimate the will of many humans of the UFP to want to be part of a specist empire btw.
1) Why would anyone from the Federation or any sane political body want to join the Empire?
Power and/or a lack of trust in aliens?
You only see the nice part of the UFP, which itself remains spectacularly human-centric despite its pretense on being open to many xenospecies.
Human nature is what it is, you can't erase that.
The vision of a human empire dominating an entire galaxy can be very inspiring.
If anything, you just need some humans who had rather displeasing experiences with foreign species to get set.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Which means the UFP would need to go on the offensive, both military wise and ideologically wise. It's its better chance. The Federation will know that the Empire is a house of cards. While it could easily band with the Rebels and massively screw the Empire, any intel and support the UFP would get from the Rebels would rapidly allow the UFP to locate targets of primary importance and run assaults before the Empire could react, mainly becaues of the aforementionned technological gap.
How will the Empire close this technological gap? They had thousands of years to research Kyber crystals, but still don't still don't understand them even after building the Death Star.
The Empire isn't thousands of years old. What's your point?
Mr. Oragahn wrote: But as I once said, having the UFP suddenly pop into the Wars verse would mean all the narrative would go all wizz, with Luke kicking his daddy's arse and making his way to the Emperor be completely nullified. In fact, I also said that since the Emperor would be the main target, this would massively help the Empire if Palpatine were to go down. Vader would remain, and he's far more pragmatic.
1) No emperor = no Empire do to no one having the emergency powers anymore.

2) Vader was never in it simply for the evils like a large number of Imperials were.
1. Vader can fill the role. Emperor is only a status. The Empire collapsed because as odd as it was, its structure was struck in its very heart and both Sith fell at once.
2. It's a non argument. You're even admiting that there would also be a large number of Imperials not in "for the evils". Vader, as Anakin, believed in order, strong order that is. He hated the Hutt who were outlaws, operating on the fringes of the Republic, and who are ultimately responsible of his shitty life and his mother's death. He hated the traitors from the CIS who, from his point of view, started the war and ultimately had him take absolute measures to get things done. He also hated Jedi for the wimps they were and their incapacity to use force and power when needed. In other words, Vader has ZERO reason not to take all measures necessary to unite the galaxy against the UFP the moment the war is declared. Being "in for the evils" is rather irrelevant at that point.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: The Empire is a huge powerful but antiquited machine with a glaring weak point, while the UFP is a dense and well organized nexus of worlds which have many advantages and thus represent an impossible nut to crack at first.
The Empire was ludicrously over extended to the point where blowing up planets where the problems were peaceful protests and white collar crime carried out by known parties was seen as a viable option
What event are you talking about in particular? If you think of Alderaan, the very weapon that destroyed this planet was the result of a construction project started decades before, when the Empire was nascent.
So the use of the Death Star is pretty much the logical conclusion of putting to good use that fearsome piece of technology, not the results of some overstretch whatsoever.
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Wouldn't Darth Sidious rapidly understand what danger he faces considering the technological superiority of his new enemy?
The Emperor was known for taking stupid risks, and flying by the seat of his pants. He comes across as an adrenaline junky with delusions of grandeur.
Please provide proof of the underlined section.
His whole ascension is well structured and thought out. He pretty much single handedly organized the whole Clone Wars that engulged an entire galaxy.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:22 am

Darth Spock wrote:
Mr. Oragahn wrote: Any well seasoned debator will recognize the classical arguments and implied pieces of evidence hidden within this summary.

It's both brutally honest and dishonest. The numerous pro-Trek point are quite solid, but honestly, a thousands of years old civilization used to fly megaligthic ships across a whole galaxy should have no quibbles fighting at ranges in the thousands of kilometers with laser weapons and missiles, when you see how cheap the AI can be for even the smallest droids.
^This^

[SNIP]
Didn't Luke's X-Wing spot lifeforms on Dagobah while he still was in space, approaching the planet?
It should be rather good enough to provide accurate reading abilities for advanced weapons.

Trek might have "better eyes" because of their heavy use of subspace. Essentially I think Trek ships open subspace tunnels from the ship to the surface of a planet, which is like creating a super shortcut that allows the sensors on a ship to zoom onto a target on the surface of a planet.

I don't know what Star Wars features in general in terms of sensors, it seems rather classical.
Trek is superior here, without a doubt, but that wouldn't explain SW's lack of long range scanning.

The novelization mentions engagements between capships at ranges of 100 km, which wouldn't even suffice if starships were meant to be able to run bombardment operations against planets, which would require ranges of several hundreds of kilometers!
Sure, planets move on predictable paths, but SW starships hardly move like graceful dancers, remain rather large and turbolasers can shoot very fast projectiles.
I wouldn't be surprised that a TL bolt could cross about 25~50 km within a second.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:29 am

Darth Spock wrote:Of course, assuming a scenario similar to the Dominion invasion, where the Imperial point of entry is a wormhole, a callous, but effective response would be to mass a fleet to plug it up. Self-replicating mines come to mind. Without supplies from home, and likely incompatible resources in the Trek galaxy, it would only be a matter of time before the whole fleet is stuck floating, dead in space, and then its simply a matter of mopping things up.
Assuming they'd squeeze the Death Star through...
Intestinal congestion in the wormhole...
PUSH, MAXIMUM THRUST!!!!!
It won't move sir! We're stuck!
Screw that, flush time!
Mr. Oragahn wrote:The thing is, Palpatine doesn't even need to wait for the UFP to attack. He's really the kind of guy to probaby have a thousand false flag projecxts and solutions ready to use at any moment.
Mr. Oragahn wrote:The author speaks of Trek but in reality, only has the UFP in mind.
Lucky wrote:Why would anyone from the Federation or any sane political body want to join the Empire?
Actually, the Empire vs. the Federation is the most common scenario, and fun, it's certainly my favorite, but this strikes me as a far more likely scenario. Palpatine being, well, Palpatine, who is actually Sidious the insidious, I can just see him establishing trade relations, cultural integration, and demonstrations of the magical wonder of hyperspace travel (the slowest and oldest around, of course.) The predominately human Federation would be a preferable base for the specist Empire. Furthermore, the Federation, for all its "tolerance" of other species, the clear dominance of humans in Starfleet, and that Azetbur would say that "The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club" in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, indicates the Federation wouldn't be immune to favoring being allies with a "human" organization, especially with the promise of gaining access to a distant galaxy. While the Dominion Changelings had a huge infiltration advantage, Palpatine's guile shouldn't be underestimated. He would no doubt quickly work to supply and inflame the Maquis, and any other rogue groups he could find. The Klingons seem always to be on the verge of civil war, the Romulans love a good conspiracy, and the Cardassians just need some encouragement to renew hostilities. I imagine he would try to duplicate the success he saw in the SW prequels. War after war would break out in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, while the Federations fleets are slowly whittled down, all while their new friends from another galaxy offer support, slowly digging their hooks in deeper and deeper.
Okay, pretty much what I typed before reading your second reply.
Lucky's free to chose between you and me here.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Darth Spock » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:22 am

Mr. Oragahn wrote: Assuming they'd squeeze the Death Star through...
Intestinal congestion in the wormhole...
PUSH, MAXIMUM THRUST!!!!!
It won't move sir! We're stuck!
Screw that, flush time!
Only one man can save us now.

Mr. Oragahn wrote: Okay, pretty much what I typed before reading your second reply.
Lucky's free to chose between you and me here.
Whoops! Poor Lucky, I swear this isn't a tag team!

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by 2046 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:01 pm

I will be in this thread piecemeal due to the walls of text and some limited time lately.

(I have no room to talk about walls of text, so don't take it badly.)
Star Trek's series typically present the crème de la crème of the Federation, disciplined rocket scientists aboard state of the art military vessels. Star Wars generally has us following back world civilians, guerrillas, politicians, warrior monks and front line troopers. It's more like taking a story set on a 1960's, or even a 1980's nuclear submarine, where the environment is cutting edge, and advanced technology and weaponry is commonly referred to. Then we compare it to a story following a modern day soldier in his barracks, where nobody talks about advanced technology, we never see any nuclear weapons in use, and it would be easy to miss the implications of the smart phone in his pocket, or the satellite positioning and other electronics in his "crude" gasoline powered vehicle. Without previous knowledge of these environments, an observer of such "fictional" environments could easily conclude that the former scenario represented a far more technologically advanced society and military.
This is an interesting point, DS, except we have also seen TCW, which is basically like NCIS or something inasmuch as having a well-funded more-or-less military group of jetsetting specialists with all manner of fancy toys at their disposal, with the bonus that they are also leaders of a war effort.

In that sense, by your argument, Star Wars has it better than Trek, some would argue.

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Re: Gizmodo's Take

Post by Darth Spock » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:23 am

2046 wrote:I will be in this thread piecemeal due to the walls of text and some limited time lately.

(I have no room to talk about walls of text, so don't take it badly.)
Not at all, my problem with walls of text usually stem from laziness, your reason is better. Besides, I've been to st-v-sw.net, plenty of thorough analysis there! I could poke around there and argue with myself if I were so inclined. ;)

2046 wrote:This is an interesting point, DS, except we have also seen TCW, which is basically like NCIS or something inasmuch as having a well-funded more-or-less military group of jetsetting specialists with all manner of fancy toys at their disposal, with the bonus that they are also leaders of a war effort.

In that sense, by your argument, Star Wars has it better than Trek, some would argue.
True enough, and it perfectly fits what I've observed about sci-fi franchises: the longer they live, they weirder and weaker they tend to get. Still, the more NCIS type episodes tended to give us stuff like cell phones with DNA scanners, little bots that perform major, on the fly body alterations, exotic chemicals that alter certain alien's bodies to enable them to survive contact with deadly ray shields, wearable holographic disguises, long abandoned warehouses still stocked with fancy nanodroids that can turn a guy into a stealthy bomb, and holographic programs that can generate accurate, full scale, immersive recreations of complex disasters based on security recordings.

Yikes, another chunk of excessive text there. But yeah, those NCIS style episodes kind of felt like episodes of Voyager on acid....

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