Star Wars Canon: Just How Realistic Are the Single-Biome Planets?

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Star Wars Canon: Just How Realistic Are the Single-Biome Planets?

Star Wars lore drops a lot of planets on us that have but a single biome. Just how realistic are these type of worlds in space?

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Rhykker:
Star Wars Canon: Just How Realistic Are the Single-Biome Planets?

Star Wars lore drops a lot of planets on us that have but a single biome. Just how realistic are these type of worlds in space?

Read Full Article

The problem here is that you're acting under the assumption that life, planets, and even the laws of physics operate the same way they do in the real world. Since this is a universe where there exists faster than light travel so fast that one can travel from one side of the galaxy to the other in mere hours or days, an unreadable energy field that can make certain people basically wish things into existence, plasma weapons small enough to be the size of one's hand, and so forth, this is probably not the case.

BTW, the Star Wars galaxy has literally thousands of worlds that exist solely produce crops and meat, I don't think food for Coruscant would present much of a problem.

I think the whole problem only exists because they seem to give out too much information. Instead of saying "jup, this is a desert planet, or at least a few hundred km in all directions is like this" and just describing the current area in a fashionable sense, they go into details like saying the whole planet is the same as the current area or even describing the air humidity.
Same for the eco system: Just describe the eco system at the current location instead of planting an oversimplified one onto the whole planet.

Of course earth's rules do not necessarily apply to other planets. For example I think that our ecosystems would probably be a bit less diverse if our planet wasn't tilted. But they are still describing far too many variables that nobody would need to know. Who cares about how many trillion people live on Coruscant?
Just say "we have X billion citizens and nobody knows how many billions of non-citizens beyond that" instead.

immortalfrieza:

Rhykker:
Star Wars Canon: Just How Realistic Are the Single-Biome Planets?

Star Wars lore drops a lot of planets on us that have but a single biome. Just how realistic are these type of worlds in space?

Read Full Article

The problem here is that you're acting under the assumption that life, planets, and even the laws of physics operate the same way they do in the real world. Since this is a universe where there exists faster than light travel so fast that one can travel from one side of the galaxy to the other in mere hours or days, an unreadable energy field that can make certain people basically wish things into existence, plasma weapons small enough to be the size of one's hand, and so forth, this is probably not the case.

BTW, the Star Wars galaxy has literally thousands of worlds that exist solely produce crops and meat, I don't think food for Coruscant would present much of a problem.

...and then there's the traffic in and out of the place... 12,000 of the Executor would be swallowed up in the millions of freighters that are in and out of Coruscant every day. As for their home-grown crops, one has to assume test-tube meat en masse (which I've seen referenced in the EU with synthetic nerf steaks) fed with tank-grown algae (I'm envisioning tanks taking up a majority of the space in some of the larger buildings)... which also takes care of the carbon-oxygen cycle, assume the algae can be raised under a (again handwaved) heat-neutral lighting system. At that point, one can assume food imports would be superfluous to survival... rather, food commerce is there entirely for the creature comfort of the planet's inhabitants.

The energy problem has a similar handwave: they obviously don't produce energy the same way we do. Lots of math has been done (mostly to prove that an Imperial Star Destroyer is more than a match for a Borg cube), but the power output of mere ships (nevermind planetary infrastructure) in Star Wars canon is ludicrous, obviously not achieved by the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world). One can only assume that achieving that level of output would require a fuel source and energy production method far more efficient what the laws of physics could allow here. I'd say whatever Tibanna gas is (aside from the exhalations of balloon-creatures), it would be considered a miracle fuel on earth... one that produces negligible waste heat when converted to energy, considering all of their handheld plasma weaponry have metal barrels.

As for the single-biome worlds... the only ones I can think of that is specifically, canonically single-biome are Tatooine and Hoth. Dagobah being primarily a jungle world doesn't mean it doesn't have oceans and ice caps... Probably laid out like Pangaea, all of the land is equatorial, oceans cover the rest, up to the poles.
Hoth would certainly need to have a gigantic lichen-to-vertibrate ratio to get along, though.
Tatooine... it's just mostly empty. That 5.4% humidity can support very little life, and there's very little life as a result.

immortalfrieza:

The problem here is that you're acting under the assumption that life, planets, and even the laws of physics operate the same way they do in the real world.

Well it's not a different universe. Just a galaxy far, far away.

Which means screw this list for saying Kamino is the most likely to exist planet. Simultaneously the coolest and most horrifying planet I could think to live on. Large bodies of water are the scariest.

This kinda doesn't work because all of these planets are alien and also are covered in aliens which could easily explain all of these facts. With Tatooine, you are assuming that there is no other way that oxygen could be replenished, or that the plants could not be the same color as the soil, or that some form of life like trillions of micro snails are eating silica, using the silicon and then releasing oxygen as a byproduct.

On Dagobah, the whole planet is covered in plants and trees or maybe they aren't plants or trees they just bear a resemblance to them, and all of them are completely alien, we have no idea how they function, they might be extremely efficient or slow growing, maybe they use a different bandwidth of light than the trees on earth, maybe they don't require the moisture they just produce it?

Perhaps Coruscant has found an extremely novel way to dissipate heat, maybe the whole planet was an iceball before they built the cities? What if the sun it orbits puts out extremely little heat, what if they transfer planetary heat-sinks to planets that are iceballs and then bring them back when they are cool again?

We can't rule out these types of planets existing because we have extremely limited sets of data of what can exist on a planet, and what an alien organism can do to an environment. We have planetary oxygen because plants produced it, but you can't just say that only plants could ever produce enough oxygen to change the composition of a planet's atmosphere. That's biased to the mechanisms we have on earth and it lacks creativity and understanding of the chemical processes that we have within our own biosphere.

This article is really unimaginative.

Is saying "this isnt real" ok here? We are talking about monsters, lightsabers etc Its not based on reality.

I'd always figured it was handwaved away as the planets have been occupied a long ass time and were probably terraformed by a previous civilisation. The Star Wars universe is filled with previous civilisations that predate even the KOTOR era by quite a way. That may be why the geography is so uniform on planets like Dagobah in George Lucas's head. Tatooine is definitely suggested used to be a normal biosphere planet that suffered a massive ecological collapse, rendering it into a uniform desert. A failed terraformation? And I thought Coruscant wasn't all city, just mostly city. It definitely has oceans mentioned in the EU, and living oceans are a fantastic heat sink. Also the tech in the Star Wars universe is powerful enough to encase entire worlds in forcefields, a mind-boggling energy requirement, you'd think their heat dispersal tech was of a similar level. For a good example of an Earth suffering from overindustrialisation look to Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy, though there it was from the huge amounts of aerobraking from a space faring humanity being dumped into the atmosphere.

The number of people criticizing this article because it's fiction and you can hand wave everything as space magic disappoints me. Well done on missing the point guys.

Shodan1980:
Tatooine is definitely suggested used to be a normal biosphere planet that suffered a massive ecological collapse, rendering it into a uniform desert. A failed terraformation?

According to KOTOR Tatooine was a normal planet but more than 20,000 years ago a tyrant species called the Rakata blasted the entire planet into basically glass, which eventually broke up and became sand. Whether that explanation makes any sense or not is another matter.

We can't really classify Dagobah as single Biome world, we only saw a few square kilometers of the planet in the movies. From orbit, the planet looked green and pretty hospitable.

"f Earth suddenly lost its sources of oxygen replenishment, it would not take long for all the oxygen in the atmosphere to be depleted"

How long is long in this context?

...

Anyway, nice article, though some of it looks like it's been borrowed from another of these.

I believe that the Coruscant heat problem was addressed in one of the X-Wing books. Massive superstorms are generated by large towers that vent the heat into the atmosphere, and the planet's operators try to focus these storms away from the populated areas, into places like the abandoned industrial sector we saw in Attack of the Clones.

It was the will of the Force, it was!

immortalfrieza:

Rhykker:
Star Wars Canon: Just How Realistic Are the Single-Biome Planets?

Star Wars lore drops a lot of planets on us that have but a single biome. Just how realistic are these type of worlds in space?

Read Full Article

The problem here is that you're acting under the assumption that life, planets, and even the laws of physics operate the same way they do in the real world. Since this is a universe where there exists faster than light travel so fast that one can travel from one side of the galaxy to the other in mere hours or days, an unreadable energy field that can make certain people basically wish things into existence, plasma weapons small enough to be the size of one's hand, and so forth, this is probably not the case.

If we cannot assume that the laws of physics operate the same way in the Star Wars universe as they do in our universe, then there is simply no discussion to be had. The conversation basically ends once someone says "anything goes."

Well, I'd point out that we're not considering actual "terraforming" technology and such having been used. Star Wars is a universe that has gone through many different cycles with empires rising, falling, and being forgotten. Like the old "Traveller" RPG universe, or Star Trek, it's possible a lot of the wonkier worlds with single biomes wound up getting that way because they were engineered from the start to be that way by some ancient race with advanced technology. For example lichen on Hoth might have a much higher rate of regrowth than an earth equivalent, being designed to support a specific echo-system, with the creatures that feed on it being populous enough to prevent it from simply growing over everything. Likewise some of the stranger wildlife like the Wampa might have been gene engineered, when you get into the Expanded Universe in particular (video games, books, etc...) you have plenty of groups in the "present" of the stories doing odd genetic experiments, view that in the context of dozens or hundreds of
cyclical empires and it explains the proliferation of some really wonky stuff. Trek tried to stay slightly more rooted in "reality" despite it's failures, even they eventually just flat out said "there was an ancient race that engineered the stuff we don't want to worry about, like why all these alien races can interbreed and look very similar", they discovered this in a TNG episode with Picard and that female Archaeologist he was romantically involved with for a bit (Vosh or something like that), basically Humans, Klingons, Romulans, etc.. are all fundamentally the same species with a common genetic heritage coming from the same source despite the differences, most of the Trek races were pretty much seeded and left to evolve a bit differently.

City planets are probably the easiest to justify without needing to go into "magical technology" involved in food replication and the like. Simply put a planet that urbanizes to that point is probably a major center of trade and culture and as such probably has all of it's food and resources brought in from other worlds, which becomes increasingly viable the bigger a hub it happens to be. We see some cities on Earth functioning largely this way, and when you look at a highly developed galaxy where Space Travel is fairly commonplace and you have planets specializing within a galactic community to produce very specific things (as opposed to finding ways to do a bit of everything) it becomes increasingly viable. A lot of it comes down to how developed a given spacefaring universe is, and how jaded it's become as far as space travel is concerned.

Interestingly Issac Asimov pointed towards this happening, and also it's failure. His "Foundation" series starts with a massive galactic empire ruled from a planet called "Trantor" which is about to collapse under it's own weight, in part because of over specialization and a carefully balanced galactic community that is ready to collapse in on itself if too many internal rifts form due to everyone being dependent on everyone else to some extent. The series deals less with personal heroics, than the sweeping nature of events. The whole point of "The Empire" was that a guy who developed sociology to a whole new level called "Psycho History" (which also leads to the development of psionics as an off shoot of psychology... )saw it's collapse coming. The series involves how this guy called Hari Seldon sets up a small, self-sufficient planet as a sort of safeguard to rebuild humanity and preserve technology, an academic institute producing encyclopedias if I remember called "The Foundation". This humble world survives the collapse and moves on to try and rebuild from the long night because it's self sufficient, where other worlds literally starve to death or otherwise die out when cut off from the support of others. Even Trantor (a planet sized city like Coruscant) eventually falls, and when you visit it in the later foundation era you find it's been stripped over the millennia of all of ruins and building materials. The only remaining inhabitants being a group of psychics (who insist they are not psionic but simply highly advanced psychologists... despite being able to basically mind control on a planetary level) who were a safety on The Foundation called ummm "The Second Foundation". :)

The point is that I could see it happening, and the idea has been covered in a lot of places. The problem with argueing scientific validity is that we're limited by our current understanding, and not looking at how multiple factors might come together on things like this. You don't even really need "The Force" or Midichlorians or whatever since right now we've already been talking about terraforming and ecological engineering, even creating entire habitats inside of biodomes. According to some sources we already have the technology to make Mars livable, granted it would take like 10,000 years, but we could allegedly do it. Looking at it from that perspective an interstellar empire deciding it really wants say a forest planet that rapidly grows trees specifically so it can harvest timber for planets with a
high demand isn't that unlikely. You start considering things like botanists creating an environment where say genetically modified trees can sprout up at incredible rates to replace the fallen and you could easily see how something like "Endor" might occur (over looking what they said about a varied eco-system) especially if say the creating empire fell and left it behind on it's own, just sitting there with it's self sustaining eco-system for a billion years where it might eventually develop teddy bear people on it's own from some other life form seeded there that evolved.

thaluikhain:
"f Earth suddenly lost its sources of oxygen replenishment, it would not take long for all the oxygen in the atmosphere to be depleted"

How long is long in this context?

firstly, the oxygen/carbon cycle is exactly that, it's not an input output relationship there are checks and balances in nature that prevent things like this occurring namely that if the CO2 in the atmosphere suddenly rose, plants, plankton, and other photosynthesising organisms would go into an extremely active state and suddenly use up allot of CO2 resulting in a rubber banding effect that slows carbon user's growth, emits oxygen and then slows down..

however, let's remove ALL the oxygen recycling and producing from the equation.

the atmosphere weighs roughly 6 quadrillion tons*
if approximately 20% of that is oxygen ( allowing a wide margin for error )

Tons of oxygen:

6,000,000,000,000,000 / 5 = 1,200,000,000,000,000

Earth area:

790,854,451,200,000,000,000,000 square inches.

Sea:

70% of the planet area, replenishes 80% of our oxygen.

Rainforest:

6% of the planet area, replenishes 20% of our oxygen.
replenishment/inch:
*1 100 ft tree = 6,000 pounds of oxygen/year
rather vague, but assuming 18" model tree has a leafy diameter of 4m
so, 790,854,451,200,000,000,000,000 x6% = 47451267072000000000000 square inches of rainforest.
let's make that more useful.

take one tree, assuming 4m diameter, area = pi x r^2
gives: 12.566370614359173x100 ( cm2 ) 1256.6370614359173
cm / inches = 0.393700787
1256.6370614359173 x 0.393700787 = 494.7390000606879910769151 Sq inches.

let's solve for the number of trees in the world, shall we? :D

6% of the world's area, 47451267072000000000000 / 1 tree, 494.7390000606879910769151

95,911,717,220,957,536,319.398561066025714566371175 total trees. ( ok, not 'really, really' but it's kinda fun. )

Rounding up, I have my reasons.

96,000,000,000,000,000,000 trees x 6000 Lb oxygen /year

Trees give us : 576,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lb/o2/yr
/2000 ( tons )
288,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons/yr.

assuming the factoids about the rainforests and sea plankton are true, we know this is 20% of the earth's total oxygen production, so solving for the rest is simple ( 20%x5=100% )
288,000,000,000,000,000,000 x 5 = 1,440,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons

which leads us to a rather disturbing fact, that at any moment in time we only have:
6,000,000,000,000,000 tons of oxygen, but use 1,440,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons of oxygen per year, meaning we recycle it EXTEREMLY fast.
1,440,000,000,000,000,000,000 / 6,000,000,000,000,000 = 240000 times per year, 666.6666666666666667 times per day
( in fact, think about how often you breathe.. every living thing is doing this? and it actually makes sense.... )
it must, overall be in perfect balance or we would spiral out of control one way or the other quite rapidly.

<[ALL OF THE ABOVE]>
Assuming that the carbon cycle is entirely stable, ( that production and usage are exactly equal ) and the figures i pulled from google searches are correct, ( and these are large assumptions!! )
crazy? perhaps.. true? well that's what the math says... 'shrug'

so, in conclusion:
we would be dead in no time flat if the oxygen cycle shut down overnight.

for the lols: 1440 minutes/day /600 ( oxygen swaps/day rate ) = 2.4 minuites.
bizarrely, that's about how long it would take to suffocate yourself in a plastic bag.

all tons are us 'short tons' = 2000lb.
* tree Source:
http://chemistry.about.com/b/2011/04/26/how-much-oxygen-does-one-tree-produce.htm

* oxygen Source:
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/global-warming/TQ7TLPU9UQRJE5AVC

Who knew that the planets from a series of movies where people fly through space at the speed of light could be so unrealistic, right guys?

Vivi22:
The number of people criticizing this article because it's fiction and you can hand wave everything as space magic disappoints me. Well done on missing the point guys.

Well, yeah. That is, after all, the reason why every planet in the star wars universe and many other universes as well has one single biome.
Although i wouldn't call it "Space magic" but rather "earth lazyness". Lucas didn't make up varied planets with many climate zones and in one of which a part of the story takes place. He made up a desert planet because he wanted to have a desert.
Possible explanations came after the story and mostly from other people, who where better at making up explanations then Lucas is.

Hoth was a bit of a lucky hit because it is possible for a planet to become this iceball. Have a planet like the earth not come out of an ice age and you'll have something like hoth. Glaciers all over with some mountains sticking out, kinda like greenland's center or antarctica.
That planet would be rather stable because most of the liquid water is frozen, so there is little if any
precipitation.
The rebel base would be near the equator where the system's sun would be able to get temperatures up to near habitable level.

An Iceplanet with nothing but ice is possible, you'd have zones around the equator where you'd have a bit less ice and the polar regions would be places too cold for anything but the whole planet would look like a uniform iceball.

Maybe "Hoth" is on it's way out of the "habitable planets club" because it's probable that whatever had the climate turn the planet into this much of an iceball doesn't stop there and the planet will freeze further until we see rainfall of liquid gases. I think that is somewhat improbable, a star which allowed for development of life on that planet once upon a time would be putting out enough energy to keep the planet stable, even if most of the star's light is reflected back into space.
Hoth would be easy to terraform as well, just get some greenhouse effect going by injecting the atmosphere with methane or carbon dioxide to have it hold on to the warmth supplied by the sun a little bit better.

Tatooine is a bit different but still somewhat probable. Have something get rid of most of the liquid water and the wind will turn fertile soil into dust quickly. That climate could be fairly stable as well.

Endor and dagobah however would be bullshit if they where to be single biomes.
Living biospheres don't do uniform.

While single biome planets are probably very unlikely to exist due to evolutionary processes on those very planets, I don't quite follow your rationale here.
You're trying to fit all of those (fictional) alien worlds in an Earthlike picture, while theoretical life on those planets might have evolved along very different paths.

No one ever saw the lichen on Hoth, and there is no reason to assume that they'd grow at the same rate as lichen on Earth. The same goes for the metabolism of its other creatures.
Similarly, it's not because we can't really imagine there being a process to create oxygen in a dry environment on Tatooine, that there couldn't exist one. You could think about chemical processes or some kind of single-cell organism. Life is one of the things that you can trust to find a way imo.

Perhaps the most reasonable explanation is the one for Coruscant. But as you say, you're dealing with a theoretical civilization that has conquered millions of worlds, has the ability to travel faster than light and construct things the size of artificial moons. It's pretty dang safe to assume they can do whatever the heck they want with a planet's environment.

SonOfVoorhees:
Is saying "this isnt real" ok here?

No, it's not. The point is to engage in some fun speculation about how realistic the fiction actually is. Merely saying "But it's fiction" utterly misses the point.

Rhykker:
snip

Interesting article. Not sure I really agree with your conclusion for Hoth though. The only problem was that lichen on Earth doesn't grow quite fast enough. While it doesn't make sense for this sort of speculation to just handwave everything by saying different rules apply, neither does it make sense to assume that everything must be absolutely identical to Earth. If you just assume that lichen on Hoth grows a little bit faster than on Earth, there's no problem at all with it being realistic.

rofltehcat:
I think the whole problem only exists because they seem to give out too much information. Instead of saying "jup, this is a desert planet, or at least a few hundred km in all directions is like this" and just describing the current area in a fashionable sense, they go into details like saying the whole planet is the same as the current area or even describing the air humidity.

This is one reason the films are generally better than all the silly expanded universe stuff. In the films, Luke happened to land in a swamp, but there was no suggestion that that was all the planet consisted of. Tatooine was implied to be fairly arid, but we have deserts next to rivers and seas on Earth so it wasn't necessary to assume it was all sand everywhere. It's only when people come in later and insist on everything being a single biome that the problems start popping up.

loc978:
The energy problem has a similar handwave: they obviously don't produce energy the same way we do. Lots of math has been done (mostly to prove that an Imperial Star Destroyer is more than a match for a Borg cube), but the power output of mere ships (nevermind planetary infrastructure) in Star Wars canon is ludicrous, obviously not achieved by the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world). One can only assume that achieving that level of output would require a fuel source and energy production method far more efficient what the laws of physics could allow here. I'd say whatever Tibanna gas is (aside from the exhalations of balloon-creatures), it would be considered a miracle fuel on earth... one that produces negligible waste heat when converted to energy, considering all of their handheld plasma weaponry have metal barrels.

The trouble is that none of this helps. It doesn't matter how you produce your energy or how efficiently you use it, it all ends up as heat. Always. That's just thermodynamics. A very efficient blaster might not heat up the weapon much when fired, but what do you think happens to all the energy in the plasma bolt after it's hit something?

A similar problem applies to heat dissipation. The only way a planet can lose heat is by radiation, and that depends on the temperature of the planet. Unless you just handwave everything and say a wizard advanced technology did it, there's simply no way to get rid of heat without being hot. The "solution" Soviet Heavy mentions is meaningless - venting heat to the atmosphere doesn't mean anything when the problem is that the atmosphere is too hot. You could perhaps come up with some sort of giant heat sinks reaching out into space to do the job, but then you hit the problem related to rofltehcat's point - they already give us very detailed information about how everything works, and planet-sized heat sinks are not mentioned at all.

the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world)

Wait, you think wind turbines and photovoltaic cells produce electricity by boiling water?

First of all, in fantasy, there's no point discussing what's plausible. Star Wars is Fantasy, not sci-fi.

Second, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all basically single-biome planets to the same extent as Star Wars planets. Moons Io, Europa and Titan all appear to be remarkably uniform on their surfaces too. So it seems that Earth remains the oddity with its multitude of life-driven biomes.

Less excuse for the humans waking around with no protection, but as far as alien life is concerned, they probably evolved differently to survive in those environments. Who's to say all aliens must breath oxygen?

Kahani:

the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world)

Wait, you think wind turbines and photovoltaic cells produce electricity by boiling water?

Hehe chuckled at that one. But to be fair I think he was referring to more legit ways of producing energy. Meaning coal, gas, nuclear (both fission and fusion)... That kind of thing. And yes yes wind turbines and solar energy are "legit" ways of producing energy bla bla bla go green power (not the point).

OT: interesting article. I try not to think to much about these kinds of things when watching the movies. Kind of stops me from enjoying them but still. cudos.

Kahani:

loc978:
The energy problem has a similar handwave: they obviously don't produce energy the same way we do. Lots of math has been done (mostly to prove that an Imperial Star Destroyer is more than a match for a Borg cube), but the power output of mere ships (nevermind planetary infrastructure) in Star Wars canon is ludicrous, obviously not achieved by the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world). One can only assume that achieving that level of output would require a fuel source and energy production method far more efficient what the laws of physics could allow here. I'd say whatever Tibanna gas is (aside from the exhalations of balloon-creatures), it would be considered a miracle fuel on earth... one that produces negligible waste heat when converted to energy, considering all of their handheld plasma weaponry have metal barrels.

The trouble is that none of this helps. It doesn't matter how you produce your energy or how efficiently you use it, it all ends up as heat. Always. That's just thermodynamics. A very efficient blaster might not heat up the weapon much when fired, but what do you think happens to all the energy in the plasma bolt after it's hit something?

A similar problem applies to heat dissipation. The only way a planet can lose heat is by radiation, and that depends on the temperature of the planet. Unless you just handwave everything and say a wizard advanced technology did it, there's simply no way to get rid of heat without being hot. The "solution" Soviet Heavy mentions is meaningless - venting heat to the atmosphere doesn't mean anything when the problem is that the atmosphere is too hot. You could perhaps come up with some sort of giant heat sinks reaching out into space to do the job, but then you hit the problem related to rofltehcat's point - they already give us very detailed information about how everything works, and planet-sized heat sinks are not mentioned at all.

the mere boiling of water (which is how everything in human history all the way up to a theoretical fusion powerplant operates in the real world)

Wait, you think wind turbines and photovoltaic cells produce electricity by boiling water?

So I forgot a couple of extremely low-output methods... and one or two high-output ones (internal combustion engines and hydroelectric power), but I was thinking more of nuclear reactors and such. Relatively high-tech infrastructure. In hindsight, it was a stupid statement.

You're certainly correct about heat dissipation, though. Unless they use the planet itself as a heatsink somehow (space doesn't work as a heatsink, no matter for heat to move into), which of course isn't mentioned (and would assume a volcanically inactive planet with an artificially maintained atmosphere). Again, handwave assumptions. Star Wars is full of those. If we try to apply the laws of physics as we know them... shields don't work, none of their tech works due to the heat problem, hyperspace isn't a thing (Star Trek can join 'em with warp), repulsorlifts aren't a thing (so no hover-vehicles, colonised gas giants, et cetera), inertial dampeners go the same way as repulsorlifts, so no artificial gravity or comfortable acceleration to escape velocity...

My point is, picking just one aspect of a sci-fi property and applying the laws of physics is ignoring the milieu of the thing. Pointless. Not even fictional properties exist in cultural vacuum.

I sometimes feel this sort of stuff is partially Stark Trek's fault. Star Trek has always competed with Star Wars in nerd fandom, so because Star Trek is actually 'science fiction' rather than 'science fantasy' while there's still some silly parts there they generally try to explain their stuff with science. A point which I'm sure Star Trek nerds were always happy to let their rivals know about, so rather than just letting it be what it is Star Wars nerds have gone ahead and tried 'science-ify' Star Wars lore.

Keith K:

Second, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all basically single-biome planets to the same extent as Star Wars planets. Moons Io, Europa and Titan all appear to be remarkably uniform on their surfaces too.

Yeah, they are. They are also absolutely uninhabitable, whereas Tatooine and Hoth are, while unpleasant, capable of supporting life somehow. Obviously, what this article is doing is demonstrating that, were these single-biome planets to exist IRL, they would be incapable of supporting life.

OT: My god, do people on the Escapist have some sort of allergy for speculative fiction? Yeah, we know it's not real, and we know the EU has bullshit explanations for everything, but isn't applying imagination and understanding of physical processes to something you enjoy more entertaining than just saying "a wizard (or Lucas) did it"?

For the record, I found this article fascinating, especially that one of the most plausible worlds was one from the hated prequels.

I always thought that Hoth had seasons similar to how the seasons are near the poles of Earth. Likewise, I always thought that Tatooine, Ryloth, and other such desert planets were predominantly desert, but not solely desert. Either way, I would have thought that the binary system would have factored into the desert planet analysis.

lol, science!

Eclipse Dragon:
Less excuse for the humans waking around with no protection, but as far as alien life is concerned, they probably evolved differently to survive in those environments. Who's to say all aliens must breath oxygen?

Nothing. Heck, oxygen started out as a waste product here on Earth, an incredibly toxic and dangerous chemical polluting the environment. There's a whole chain of chemical processes that take place in the body to safely transport and process it in such a way as not to destroy your cells. It's nature's equivalent of using nuclear power.

Great artice, really enjoyed it, and it coincides nicely with a Star Wars marathon I'm having at the moment (original trilogy only!)

Also, mother of God, some people get their knickers in a twist way to much over fictional things in these forums.

immortalfrieza:

The problem here is that you're acting under the assumption that life, planets, and even the laws of physics operate the same way they do in the real world. Since this is a universe where there exists faster than light travel so fast that one can travel from one side of the galaxy to the other in mere hours or days, an unreadable energy field that can make certain people basically wish things into existence, plasma weapons small enough to be the size of one's hand, and so forth, this is probably not the case.

BTW, the Star Wars galaxy has literally thousands of worlds that exist solely produce crops and meat, I don't think food for Coruscant would present much of a problem.

The problem here is that you're assuming the point of the article was to justify the biome planets according to Star Wars' internal consistencies, as opposed to testing it against what is currently understood about astronomy and biology. "How realistic are single biome planets" is a bit of a giveaway.

debtcollector:
Yeah, they are. They are also absolutely uninhabitable...

Well... I think the jury is still out on that. We don't have a very solid definition of 'habitable'.

Keith K:

debtcollector:
Yeah, they are. They are also absolutely uninhabitable...

Well... I think the jury is still out on that. We don't have a very solid definition of 'habitable'.

Obviously they meant for humans, I'm sure without a doubt that a human would die if they were to go onto Venus unprotected.

Was this something people cared about after watching Star Wars? Out of everything else we could be talking about... or have we exhausted every other Star Wars related topic? Can't we just say that they used space magic or something? I mean, they have tech and knowledge froms dozens of alien species and we care about random rocks in space?

Off-topic: I'm really concerned with these slideshow/ click bait articles on The Escapist recently. Why has this started?

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