Should stated units of measurement in Star Wars be ignored?

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Who is like God arbour
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Should stated units of measurement in Star Wars be ignored?

Post by Who is like God arbour » Mon May 05, 2014 2:39 pm

Question:

Not often, but from time to time, units of measurement are given in the dialogue of Star Wars. Should such units of measurement - especially those that are corresponding with units of measurement from Earth - be ignored - or maybe treated as a translation error?

Units of measurement from Earth rely either on arbitrary definitions (e.g. gram, kilogram or ton) or on circumstances found only on Earth (year, lightyear or parsec).
        • How probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of mass that is based on a prototype that has the same mass as the International Prototype of the Kilogram preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures?

          How probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of time or a unit of lentgh that is based on a orbital period of a planet moving around its star and that this orbit and period is exactly as long as that of Earth?

          Or how probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of time that has been defined as the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom at rest, and approaching the theoretical temperature of absolute zero?
Of course they have other units of measurement in Star Wars. And if we see that the units of measurement they are speaking of, are not corresponding with what they should if they were equal with their Earths complement (e.g. explosion of a rocket that is stated to be a 100 megaton rocket looks nothing like it is supposed to be), we have to assume a translation error (or a conversion error) and have to ignore the given unit of measurement.

The question now is, if this should be the standard assumption or a case to case decision.

For example: In Attack of the Clones Amidala states that Geonosis is less than a parsec away. Can we really use this statement to calculate the verlocity of their ship? Or should this be ignored?

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Re: Should stated units of measurement in Star Wars be ignor

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Mon May 05, 2014 5:40 pm

Day, hour, week, minute. Same deal. Plus they speak English.
Eventually just assume they talk some different language and as for the units, a wizard did it.

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Re: Should stated units of measurement in Star Wars be ignor

Post by Lucky » Fri May 09, 2014 3:40 pm

WILGA wrote: Question:

Not often, but from time to time, units of measurement are given in the dialogue of Star Wars. Should such units of measurement - especially those that are corresponding with units of measurement from Earth - be ignored - or maybe treated as a translation error?

Units of measurement from Earth rely either on arbitrary definitions (e.g. gram, kilogram or ton) or on circumstances found only on Earth (year, lightyear or parsec).

▪ How probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of mass that is based on a prototype that has the same mass as the International Prototype of the Kilogram preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures?

▪ How probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of time or a unit of lentgh that is based on a orbital period of a planet moving around its star and that this orbit and period is exactly as long as that of Earth?

▪ Or how probably is it that in Star Wars they have a unit of time that has been defined as the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom at rest, and approaching the theoretical temperature of absolute zero?

Of course they have other units of measurement in Star Wars. And if we see that the units of measurement they are speaking of, are not corresponding with what they should if they were equal with their Earths complement (e.g. explosion of a rocket that is stated to be a 100 megaton rocket looks nothing like it is supposed to be), we have to assume a translation error (or a conversion error) and have to ignore the given unit of measurement.

The question now is, if this should be the standard assumption or a case to case decision.

For example: In Attack of the Clones Amidala states that Geonosis is less than a parsec away. Can we really use this statement to calculate the verlocity of their ship? Or should this be ignored?
0) Why use real world measurements if you aren't using real world measurements?

1) The "Decoded" version of Dooku Captured states 6 parsecs is about 114 trillion miles, but I have seen some things that might point to a parsec being slang for a single hyper jump, and that hyperspace travel may involve only moving in straight lines.

2) I would assume a year on an Earth like planet circling a Sol like star will have a length roughly the same as Earth's year if a different number of days in a year.

3) I seem to recall someone pointing out that a klick may not mean a kilometer in Landing at point rain, but klick could actually be click, and have something to do with the settings on the binoculars/range finders the clones use.

4) I would assume a meter from an Earth sized planet would be roughly the same as an Earth meter.

5) I don't think we can assume we saw the 100 megaton missiles actually used simply because the missiles are said to be there.

6) In A New Hope Han stated they would reach Alderann at 0200. That would imply that there are only tens of hours in a day, and the real world time of 0200 is 2 A.M.

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Re: Should stated units of measurement in Star Wars be ignor

Post by 2046 » Fri May 09, 2014 7:17 pm

I would be uncomfortable ignoring units or anything else without good reason.

That said, I think I'm the short-klicks guy, because we saw short klicks in TCW more than once, I think. The TCW film novelization also uses klicks, but would seem to use it in a modern-Earth length rather than the dozens-of-meters-per-klick that seemed to be the case in TCW.

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