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VonKatzen

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28-Mar-2018
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18-Apr-2018
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Post
#1197432
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

GZK8000 said:

I do agree that Star Wars has always been rather generic in its concepts, ideas and world building (Hamill said Lucas once confessed him he took the idea of the Force from hundreds of pulp fiction stories)

Oh yeah, just look at ‘new type’ psi types, Albert Bester’s The Demolished Man, Lucas combined the psi fi and classical magic, which is what’s most unique about the Force is it’s both sorcery and psi.

and I do think that’s partially the reason why the post-RotJ films doesn’t work for me: they have tried to build an entire franchise (with some takes on morality and politics and with more complex stories) from a set of movies that were about an evil masked guy being evil, the good guy being an uncorruptable good guy, and the hot chick being a hot chick, the plot being a mere excuse to watch exciting adventures.

While I like a lot of Star Trek up to DS9 it’s the same sort of thing, it went from Horatio Hornblower IN SPAAACE using random sci fi authors to self conscious Star Trek shows with staff writers. The more you write ‘in the style of’ the less variety and originality you have.

You’re probably aware of this, but there was a 1979 paper about Star Wars (I haven’t read it yet, though) where the authors basically said the massive success of the first movie was the result of the lack of any kind of political message or philosophy there: everyone could make a different reading of the movie and insert their own narrative into the movie

This is how most popular mythology works, by necessity stories leave things out which is filled consciously or subconsciously by the audience. That’s also why you get people demonizing it, ie Harry Potter is Satanic and Batman is a fascist. People respond to the symbols and impose a meaning based on how those symbols resonate with them.

Empire certainly was more scifi-ish than the first movie,

Which is part of the reason it’s my favorite by far, the Empire is a credible menace with massive resources instead of the Apple Dumpling Gang.

even in extremely limited systems like DOS or the early 3D consoles you can make space simulators or 2D platforms.
X-Wing v. TIE Fighter is one of my favorite fighter sims, I love how all the ships have inertia except for the TIE, which makes them impossibly agile.

in a world where the concept of parallel universes would be part of Star Wars, you could have sub-franchises, each one appealing to fans of every parallel universe

One nice thing about Star Trek is that alternate timelines are Canon!

Perhaps the franchise could have taken the original path Lucas had in mind in the last weeks of Star Wars’s production: that every movie could have been unconnected from the rest, set in different eras, with only some aspects that would define them as “Star Warsy” (perhaps the presence of the Empire or the Jedi or “lazer swords”, but that’s it).

Conan pulps are a lot like that.

Sadly, Vader’s massive retcon in Empire, as fantastic as a twist and climax for that movie, set the movies in the Trilogy/Saga direction. I still don’t understand why the main franchise “needs” to be about the Skywalkers

The same thing happens in most series fiction, for marketing, simplicity and authorial one upping reasons eventually every thread is tied into a knot with the original cast at its center. In Star Trek, Star Wars and comic books it’s patently absurd how the fate of galaxies always seems to come down to the same 12 guys.

Post
#1197186
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

GZK8000 said:

If only the EU authors could write stories set in OT-only parallel universes…

Well, you can always do it yourself. The main problem is that you can’t sell it.
However: since most places/things/people are never named or explained in the OT you could easily write and sell books about the OT with the serial numbers filed off - use the script names like ‘Laser Sword’, change a couple of terms (Jedi, the Force) and don’t refer to named characters (or change their names) and there’s basically nothing in Star Wars you can’t use/base your stories off of. Most of it is pretty generic Flash Gordon/Knights and Princesses fiction, so there’s essentially no way they can prove you’re copying them if you don’t use specific trademarked names.

Darth Vader is halfway a Doctor Doom knockoff, the ‘Empire’ is the most generic and un-trademarkable word for a government in history, ‘Senate’ and ‘Republic’ likewise. There’s not a whole lot original in Star Wars, and if you ignore the toys/EU/Pre/Sequels there’s even less that can possibly be nailed down as IP infringement. In fact I am sure there are some published sci-fi novels that are ‘Star Wars with Serial Numbers Filed Off, Author’s Personal Canon Edition’.

The Stellar Strife, where the remnants of a feudal republic attempt to revive the vision of a free society against the galaxy spanning empire that has replaced them and ignite a civil war.

Rebels can’t be TM’d, you can say ‘alliance of rebels’ or ‘insurrection movement’ instead of Rebel Alliance and there’s no way to prove you’re using Star Wars as a basis, etc.

Star Wars is much easier than Star Trek to create analogues of, because almost all the terms, storylines and characters in it are super-generic stuff that’s been recycled a million times. In fact (while I do like Star Wars) it’s more of an example of an especially well done knock off of Flash Gordon and medieval romances than anything particularly innovative. It’s just that most people know Star Wars much better than the source material it cribs from. In terms of unique, original, innovative and plain weird stories there is a lot of stuff published in the 20s-40s as sci-fi and sword & planet fiction that’s quite a bit less generic and predictable than Star Wars as a story line or terminological mine. In fact part of the reason Star Wars probably does so well is because its terms, plots and memes are super generic and thus easy for people to identify with. Cordwainer Smith requires quite a bit more mental effort and obscurantist tastes than ‘old knight teaches Chosen One how to defeat the Evil Wizard, Rescue the Princess and fight the Black Knight with the help of a Charming Rogue.’

And what could possibly be more generic a religious/magical term than ‘The Force’, or (for the black magic version) ‘the Dark Side’? It sounds like someone took a real science fiction story and replaced every single specific name for institutions, technology, and places and replaced it with the most generic possible term for that general class of things. Most real religious orders, magical systems, fighting aristocracies, etc. have very specific names and pretty detailed histories and beliefs, throw out all the specifics like that and you end up with something very much like Star Wars.

Instead of the Hospitaller warrior monks being named Supremus Ordo Militaris Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodius et Melitensis they’re just called ‘The Knights’.

In fact this happens in real life, so you can also infer that the ‘Empire’ and ‘the Knights’ and ‘the Rebel Alliance’ actually do have specific names reflecting their origin and orientation, but are simply called these things as shorthand (especially by their enemies and outsiders). So if you actually invent specific names, motives and origins for these institutions and practices you have gone further than Lucas (or most of the EU) in actually making them realistic/versimilitudinous.

The biggest downside is that you can’t automatically sell things to kids and nerds by slapping the STAR WARS brand on it, but if your objective were to write good Star Wars stories instead of making money for Disney there’s basically nothing stopping you.

Post
#1197070
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

Tyrphanax said:

This is a cool thread. I’ve always considered doing what you’ve done, so it’s neat to see how you’re going about it. I like the purist approach, I honestly hadn’t thought of that. Very interesting!

I have a couple of reasons for taking this tack, one because I wanted to stick as close to GURPS as possible without having to create custom rules for everything (which would be necessary if I went with the Expanded Universe or even the Pre/Sequel/Canon Novel universe); the other is that I wanted a chance to go in directions with the technology and society that would be genuinely novel to people familiar with the product line of ‘Star Wars’ and perhaps closer to the source material (old sci-fi and Flash Gordon type stuff) than the self-consciously Star Wars products were.

I do something similar with Star Trek and the Prime Directive RPG, taking the original series and animated series as the gospel (or at least a reasonably accurate report someone gave on actual events), while ignoring all the later shows and most of the movies/books/technical manuals. The result is something that’s a lot different from the Trek Expanded Universe and any of the RPG-verses, but also recognizably a version of the Original Series world.

Post
#1196743
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

Mocata said:
Oooo that’s a dangerous conflict of interests 😛

The problem isn’t just the conflict of interest, but internal conflicts. Stormtroopers are described as accurate, the Empire is supposed to actually be powerful and dangerous, the Imperial Navy is supposed to be fearsome. Yet apparently neither their foot soldiers or starships can hit jack crap at nearly point blank range against targets moving in a straight line!

A lot of this comes down to plain movie tropes and ‘the future blows’, i.e. in Perfect Dark where every single personal weapon has less power, ammunition capacity, accuracy and range than real world weapons from WW2. Star Trek has this problem from time to time, especially the Next Generation: a hand phaser is supposed to be able to vaporize an office building in one shot, and yet Star Fleet officers who are supposedly the best of the best can’t hit some dude 25’ away with a recoiless beam weapon that continuously fires when the button is held down. Not even Data, the android superman! If these scenes were done in a realistic way it would be like something out of Terminator, with Data stunning 12 guys in 12 seconds and nobody even finding it remarkable. Indeed, Terminator 1/2 are some of the only science fiction movies where weapons, vehicles and killer robots are not routinely inferior to real world people - and the reason is obvious, because if future tech is portrayed realistically then computers would run everything, every ship would be hit by every shot and blow up in one hit. This is pretty accurate to modern technology - the only reason Air Force fighter-bombers don’t get blown out of the sky more often is because they’re fighting people with no air force and no large scale anti-air defense. Missiles generally don’t miss their targets (at least the good ones), they can turn faster than any human-piloted vehicle could ever hope to, and one shot is MORE than enough to instantly incinerate any realistic air vehicle (and generally tanks, too!) Realistic military and automation technology tends to render people irrelevant (or at least resigned to strategic and not operational roles), and such technology would not only be implied but actually necessary to operate a vehicle moving and fighting as fast as science fiction craft are supposed to be. I’m a big fan of hard science fiction, but it’s certainly a whole different reality than space operas and ‘lasers and feelings’ fiction.

If weapons and militaries were shown to be realistically competent (or even realistically incompetent!) James Bond would have died in the 60s under a hail of 7.65x39 bullets.

So you basically have to either conclude that Obi Wan is an idiot with no judgment and the Rebellion sucks utterly because the Empire are a bunch of clowns, or the characters are extremely lucky and/or contrived circumstances assist them.

Post
#1196492
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

Mocata said:

Stormtrooper helmets can’t even withstand a blow from a rock being dropped on them, never mind actual hand to hand weapons.

A lot of this can be put up to ‘Plot Induced Stupidity’, though that would tend to counteract my intention to use ‘on screen’ stuff as evidence. But I would prefer to think that Imperial Stormtroopers really are accurate, than that they’re just a bunch of nitwits who can’t shoot as well as me with a pistol when using a recoiless beam weapon that does light speed. A random peasant who had never used a firearm in his life ought to do better than they do, shooting at a man-sized target running in a straight line away within 40’ in a freaking hallway (Han, in ESB).

Some sources (I think including EU) have rationalized this with Ewoks having nigh superhuman strength and the trees on Endor being made of some superdense high carbon matter. Otherwise (by on-screen analysis) a .357 magnum could destroy an Imperial walker in one shot which - in context - is less believable than some cooked-up story.

A lot of these problems are not special to Star Wars and just reflect the source material and genre - such as Flash Gordon - where some dude for some reason doesn’t get wasted by hundreds of thousands of armored vehicles with death rays. One may presume that if Star Wars had attempted to be ‘realistic’, rather than plot-based, in its combat that the Death Star would have incinerated the entire Rebel Fleet in seconds and millions of TIEs would have swarmed out, destroying the Rebel fighters by suicide runs if nothing else. That’s certainly what’s implied by the West End Games treatment of Imperial resources and equipment, which tends to err on the side of believability rather more than the films. Likewise, whenever Luke and Han, et. al. get away from the Stormtroopers it’s because they’re being allowed to, rather than reflecting an incompetence on the part of the Empire that’s stunning even for a bureaucratic government corps.

Post
#1196398
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

Frank your Majesty said:

Maybe Stormtrooper armour protects against weapons that are typically used by revolting civilians, like melee weapons or light blasters. The blasters used by the Empire and the Rebels might be high-powered military weapons.

This would make it a lot like the kevlar that cops wear. It will stop a pistol pretty reliably, but a close range .308 round will pop right through it and out your back and through the other side of the armor.

It could also be that part of the function of the armor is (like military armor) to protect from shrapnel and explosions but not direct fire. Perhaps also a pressure seal and protection against environmental toxins - the armor looks unsealed when Luke and Han are wearing it but it’s also not fitted to them (Luke is apparently too small to be a Stormtrooper anyway) and they may have just put it on incorrectly. We never see any Stormtroopers suffocating or getting gassed so there’s no way to tell.

And while I’m taking a few things from deleted scenes and the script what I am mainly looking for is ‘actually shown or said by someone believable’, rather than ‘what could reasonably be inferred/what Lucas wanted us to think’ (I don’t think Lucas gave most of this a lot of thought, even if he pretends he had all 12 movies mapped out when he was 8 years old).

As for hyperdrive speed, even if we take it literally that ‘upon entering lightspeed the MF could be to the other side of the galaxy’ this doesn’t tell us much. Galaxies vary wildly in size and density. A couple of nearby galaxies, the satellites of Andromeda, are tiny compared to the Milky Way. Heck, the Star Wars galaxy could be so tiny that light can cross it in a few hours and Hyperdrive is literally just light speed! Or the galaxy could be a giant like one of those super-galaxies, and hyperdrive is insanely, unbelievably fast - though if that were true it’d be hard to credit that anyone could ever find anything over any amount of time. Heck, it’s hard to believe anyone could find anyone hiding even in a very small galaxy, but Star Wars is not especially concerned with realism in stellar dimensions (nor is most science fiction, or they’d realize that most of what they show as ‘galactic empires’ could comfortably fit inside the Sol system - the sun alone would easily fit every stellar object, space ship and planet we have any scale for that was shown in the movies; Despite EU lore X-Wings look like they pull about 1G at best, so there’s not much to say the Death Star is all that big, as they crossed a distance as large as the Death Star itself within a few minutes to arrive at the Death Star. On the other hand the moon seems to have 1G itself, but it could just be very dense and not large at all - or maybe the Force monkeys with physics so much that all bets are off).

Post
#1191747
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

Here’s two questions I had:

  1. is the battle station in “Return of the Jedi” ever actually referred to as the ‘Death Star’? I know it’s obviously modeled on the first one, but just the same two ships of the same class can have different names.

  2. Does the ‘A-Wing’ aka A-Fighter in Return of the Jedi ever jump to/from hyperspace on screen?

Post
#1190482
Topic
Diamond-Hard Science Fiction?
Time

This question is basically asking for ‘the opposite of Star Wars’. I do like Star Wars (especially Empire) but I also like really technical, unromantic fiction with obscure premises that aren’t cribbed from mythology and Joseph Campbell templates. I actually enjoy stuff that basically violates all the ‘canon’ rules of how you’re ‘supposed’ to write a story, because I think the ideas are interesting in and of themselves whether or not they conform to apeling archetypes and tropes.

I’ve read a fair amount of science fiction, including the ‘hard’ stuff but with a couple of exceptions I have seen almost none of it that really sticks close to the laws of physics and principles of engineering. Most of the ‘hard sci fi’ just violates different rules of physics, getting into more esoteric (and possibly more unlikely) stuff instead of the usual mass/energy violations.

The stuff that does steer close to physics/engineering/biology tends to be very much not ‘action oriented’, stuff like Hal Clement’s Half-Life which is basically a novel about the Center for Disease Control encountering weird oil and almost getting killed for their trouble. Part of this is probably because any human involved in realistic space combat would die pretty quickly, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions of science fiction novels that deal with space warfare in a plausible way instead of “WW2…in Spaaaaace”?

I am often tempted to think that, given the distances and costs involved and the alternative uses for resources, that ‘Spaaaace’ will basically never happen except for near-Earth orbit and maybe some Lunar stuff. I would not be surprised if in the year 2400 we have superhuman cyborgs with AI minds, fusion reactors and everyone still lives on Terra.

So that’s another question: have you encountered any science fiction which has conservative treatments of space travel and colonization is there? Given the size and suitability of Earth (not to mention its existing development) as opposed to anywhere else we could plausibly go it seems entirely likely that human beings (or their nano-swarm vomiting cyborg heirs) would still choose to stay right here on the third planet from Sol even if they have diamandoid plastics and X-ray laser guns. Yet almost all science fiction assumes that high-tech = space travel, which really doesn’t follow at all since space (beyond Earth-related infrastructure) is almost the worst possible place to invest your money. I mean, how many mineral resources exist on the moon if you’re not looking for slightly radioactive glass dust?

Post
#1189418
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

TV’s Frink said:

GURPS?

I just learned something new today, but only on the most superficial level possible.

Generic Universal Role-Playing System. It’s a fairly realistic-leaning RPG made for use with multiple setting/genres. Though that’s not very important, I’m just trying to pin down what’s actually in the movies as background.

Post
#1189411
Topic
What's Actually in the Movies? (for a GURPS RPG)
Time

I recently became interested in doing a take on Star Wars in the GURPS 4th edition role-playing system. I have pretty much all the books, so I can make lightsabers, Jedi fighting styles, Star Destroyers and even give statistics for the imperial capital if I like. There is an already existing GURPS Star Wars project that is a fairly comprehensive treatment of the Expanded Universe (and maybe the Prequel/Sequel-verse). Though I have read some of the EU books and most of the Essential Guides I wanted to do something different (and less tedious and time consuming). I wanted to stat things up using normal GURPS rules (for Ultra-Tech, Spaceships and Psi) without referring to any content, explanations, or backgrounds that isn’t explicitly in the original trilogy. This is both because it’s far less material to have to sift through and model, because it gives me more leeway when designing things, and also because the Joseph Campbell meets Flash Gordon meets WW2 movie theme is just a lot different in tone than the EU/Game/Prequel/Sequel stuff. When I found this website I figured it would be a good way to figure out just what is - and what isn’t - actually in the original trilogy.

Here is a list that compiles a combination of things I thought of and things I came across reading threads in other forums regarding similar topics:

Technology - Spaceships

  • Small Spaceships capable of planetary landing
  • Big spaceships capable of planetary landing & takeoff (Hoth)
  • Large battleships (‘Star Destroyers’) (How big is a Star Destroyer without reference to EU-lore?)
  • Huge battleships (the Executor, 'Star Dreadnought) (As Star Destroyer - how big is this thing?)
  • The Death Star (How big is it?)
  • ‘Blaster’ type ship weapons
  • Missiles of some sort (are they ever named in the films?)
  • Shields
  • Tractor Beams
  • Hyperdrive (requires calculations, no real indication of how fast this is since we don’t have any scale of the Empire or distance between where the crews travel - except that it’s called ‘Galactic’)
  • Space fighters of the Empire (are these called TIE anywhere in the films?)
  • Smaller (but still large) spacecraft (Leia’s ship - is it ever named?)
  • The Millenium Falcon
  • Rebel big ships in VI
  • X-Wings
  • Various Rebel Fighters/Small Ships (never named or explained in the films)
  • Bounty Hunter’s spaceship in VI
  • Emperor’s shuttle in VI
  • Imperial ‘bulk cruisers’ mentioned, inferior to ‘Correlian’ ones?
  • Cloaking devices aren’t unheard of, but small ships don’t have them
  • Ships aren’t that common?

Planetside Vehicles

  • Landspeeders
  • Chicken-legged armored vehicles with blasters
  • The four-legged walkers with blasters (‘Imperial Walkers’ in the films)
  • Flying speeder things on Hoth that the rebels use, have blasters and cables
  • Hovering skiff thing on Tatooine that Jabba has

Big Guns & Defenses

  • Those defensive cannons on Hoth
  • Some kind of shield over the rebel base on Hoth

Personal Weapons Technology

  • ‘Blasters’ - semiautomatic energy guns of some kind, including some gun Leia has (presumably a blaster), the rifles the Stormtroopers carry, the big pistol Han Solo has, Greedo’s gun, presumably the MG42 looking thing the Stormtroopers were getting ready to blast Han with when they were taking off in the Millenium Falcon
  • Lightsabers - seem to cut basically whatever, but can be stopped by tough materials. Not actually used much except Vader v. Obi/Luke fights - swords with an armor divisor
  • Axes
  • Thermal Grenades
  • Spear thingies Palpatine’s guards have
  • Bounty Hunter’s gun in VI
  • SAW-type blasters used by the rebels during the Battle of Hoth
  • Miscellaneous guns and melee weapons see in IV and VI but never used or explained

Personal Armor

  • Stormtrooper armor (seems useless, at least against direct hits from the weapons the heroes carry)
  • Red armor the emperor’s guards are wearing (never tested)
  • Vader’s armor (either his armor or his powers or both stopped a short-range hit from Han’s big pistol)
  • Vests that rebel pilots are wearing in V/VI (never really tested)
  • Bounty Hunter’s outfit in VI (maybe durable, the fight with him in the desert was pretty short)

Androids and Cyborgs

  • R2D2, C3P0, C3P0 knock-off, droid that catches fire up in IV, trash can droid, little black box robot on wheels, bounty hunter robot in V
  • Darth Vader is cybernetic. it was somewhat implied that Vader’s cybernetics were voluntary.
  • Cyborg with weird head appliance on Cloud City
  • Luke’s robot hand in VI
  • Imperial Probe Droid
  • Torture Robot used on Leia in IV
  • Anti-droid prejudice exists.
  • Droids can be tortured.
  • Restraint bolts are a common method of controlling droids.
  • C3PO introduces himself as “Human-Cyborg Relations”. Cyborgs are common? Why do they need a droid to relate to humans?

Other Technology

  • Cameras (on Death Star)
  • Hologram communication (Emperor to Vader)
  • Hologram recording (R2D2) and display (IV)
  • Stormtrooper communicator link thingies in IV
  • Freeze people in carbonite (potentially non-lethal)

Imperial Politics

  • Empire had a senate (was dissolved), The Senate was important enough that some of the Imperial officers think doing away with it is risky. The Imperial senate was considered the last vestige of the Republic
  • Empire has an Emperor. No explanation of how or why he’s the Emperor, or how old the empire is, or if he’s the first emperor or one in a series, or what came before the empire, whether the empire is a revolutionary government (i.e. overthrew the previous state which ruled Tatooine and other parts of the Galaxy) or an expansionist one (which conquered them). This really just isn’t gone into at all.
  • Tarkin is apparently important (Governor - ‘Grand Moff’ in credits may be a feudal title unrelated to his position in the Empire)
  • Some other imperial officers on the Death Star and various imperial ships (ranks? Grand Moff, Captain, Admiral)
  • Deleted Tatooine scene has Biggs talking about the Empire nationalizing commerce, so it’s apparently somewhere between interventionist and communist in its economic policies.
  • regional governors
  • The Empire has been tightening its control recently, and that has driven more worlds to the Rebel Alliance.
  • The (imperial) Academy appears to be a Galaxy-wide institution - it’s a way for young folks from remote planets to get into the galaxy at large.
  • Actual Imperial authority seems pretty remote, at least on the sort of worlds where the movies are mostly set. Maybe they’ve got their hands full clamping down on the important worlds?
  • Corellia seems to be a shipbuilding center for the Imperial fleet.
  • There are at least 6 million forms of communication in the Empire.
  • Regarding Vader’s role, its interesting to note that in the first film it seems Vader has no military authority in and of himself. He’s Tarkin’s servant, and thus can call on the Moff to back his actions, but he’s otherwise without a legitimate place in the command structure, enough so that the actual senior officer’s of the Death Star are openly dismissive of him. However, by the second film Vader is personally in command of his own fleet and answers only to the emperor. The implication is that between the first and second film there was a big shake-up in the upper echelons of the Empire, and Vader shrewdly (and probably ruthlessly) used the opportunity to seize a great deal of power for himself. Head of the Secret Police.
  • The Old Republic was apparently semi-feudal (akin to the Roman), whereas the Empire is bureaucratic-technical (as is the Rebel Alliance.
  • Feudal titles (Princess, Lord, Knight) and Republican ones (Senator) but these don’t seem to carry much weight anymore?

Rebel Alliance

  • Lady in the big meeting over the Death Star plans in IV (is she named?)
  • Mon Mothma named in VI credits, but never mentioned in the movie
  • Other people in the meeting, also people in V and VI rebel base (are any ever given name or rank?), rebel pilots (some are ‘leader’ of a squad but no rank otherwise given)
  • Leia seems important

Commerce

  • Mined Spice from Kessel is valuable (and smuggled)
  • Almost everyone on both sides is a human
  • Cut scene of Biggs complaining about the Empire nationalizing commerce

Places

  • Alderan (blown to bits)
  • Tatooine
  • Cloud City: Cloud City, as grand as it seems, isn’t considered a big place by galactic standards.
  • Hoth
  • Rebel base on Yucatan Pyramid Planet (ever given a name in the movies?)
  • Dagobah (system?) Swamp planet with Yoda
  • Dantooine (too far away to be useful as a demonstration, but close enough that scouts can get there reasonably quickly)

Force Powers

  • Dark Side named - There is no “light side” of the Force, just the Force and the Dark Side.
  • Vague stuff about the Force being some kind of energy that binds the Universe
  • In script Vader is referred to as a ‘Dark Lord of the Sith’, which is never mentioned or explained in any of the movies as far as I remember
  • Push/throw/lift stuff is a pretty common technique
  • Befuddle the minds of/evade notice from dumbasses
  • Improve your sword-fighting and piloting/space shooting abilities
  • Block blaster bolts? (Vader in V)
  • Fly/Jump (Vader & Luke)
  • Choke people, even via telecom
  • Shoot lightning (only the Emperor does this)
  • See into the future or something (Yoda does this, the Emperor too?)
  • Turn into a force ghost when you die (Vader, Obi-Wan, Yoda); This is a sufficiently rare thing that Obi-wan figured Darth Vader would either be unaware of it, or at least unaware of Kenobi’s abilities in that state.
  • Jedis: Obi-Wan, Yoda, no one else ever mentioned as far as I can tell. No information given on them at all. The Jedi had an apprenticeship system of teaching that is apparently helped by withdrawing from the world (see Dagobah and the evil cave thing) but Jedi were involved in the world- Kenobi was a general, Anakin was a pilot. As a result there is no evidence that any but the Jedi Masters were monastic, becoming a Jedi didn’t mean you had to give up the world until you became like Yoda on Dagobah or Obi-Wan on Tatooine. Also the Jedi were Knights. Darth Vader is widely thought to be the last practitioner of the Jedi “religion.”
  • No mention of the Sith at all (except in script, unexplained), or any order of Dark Side users. Vader works for the Emperor, the Emperor is the Emperor, they both have Dark Side powers. Vader used to maybe be a Jedi (never explicitly said IIRC) but there’s no explanation for who the Emperor is or why he has powers/where he got them.
  • Imperial officer refers to Vader’s powers as ‘sorcery’ and ‘dead religion’
  • Some locations are stronger in the Force than others.
  • Luke doesn’t seem to have ever heard of the Force before his talk with Obi-Wan. Others had heard of it, but even experienced and well-travelled people often don’t believe in it and haven’t ever seen enough obvious ‘powers’ to take anyone talking about it seriously.
  • “The Lightsaber is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. A relic of a more civilized age.” Upper class? Everyone looks concerned when Obiwan whips out the lightsaber, but not Jedi concerned. Just like he’s a tough customer and wondering what his next move is. Again, implies lightsabers are not the exclusive tool of Jedi.
  • “Jedi are all but extinct.” Implies some still live out in the galaxy… out of the reach of the Empire.
  • Jedi were trained young
  • Vader hunted Jedi?
    History
  • Republic Lasted for a 1,000 generations
  • Republic fought Clone Wars
  • Obi-Wan was a general in the clone wars and worked with/fought with/knew Leia’s adoptive father Bail Organna. Anakin fought in the Clone Wars
  • Cut scene reveals Anakin Skywalker is a famous hotshot pilot