Battle of Britain

What follows below is the version of the page as it existed on January 6, 2003.  I have created these back-ups for the sake of historical accuracy, since my site and its pages will continue to evolve long after StarDestroyer.Net's attempted "attack on [my] credibility" is forgotten.


The X-Wing Fallacy


This one is rich.

There is a scene in ANH when Luke fires his weapons at the surface of the Death Star. An explosion results, and Luke's X-Wing is "a little cooked".

Some pro-Wars debaters attempt to claim that Luke's X-Wing must have vaporized hull material, since armor is not flammable. Therefore, they say, the explosion and resulting expanding gases must mean that about a cubic meter's worth of hull material was vaporized.

However, nowhere is it stated that Luke vaporized hull material, and to claim that secondary explosions are impossible is absolutely crazy. Nowhere else in the entire canon do we see explosions of this magnitude from fighter weapons impacting against hulls, not even other fighter hulls, which by the logic used in this example should be instantly and rapidly vaporized by the slightest touch. Obviously, Luke's shots caused an explosion, but an explosion of what? We aren't sure what he was shooting at, so he could have hit the Imperial equivalent of a fuel storage pod, a turbolaser cannon, or any number of things that would be likely to cause a secondary explosion.

Naturally, with such foolish assumptions, they come up with foolish numbers, claiming 600 GW for a single X-Wing cannon, and claiming that X-Wings are therefore more powerful in *seconds* than the entire United States. I guess the X-Wings are hiding the giant fusion reactor and enormous fuel stores necessary for such a thing.


Update:

Though Warsies attempted to deny the above concept, it is nevertheless supported by the canon novel. ANH, Chapter XII:

Bolts flew from the tiny vessel's weapons. One started a huge fire on the dim surface below, which would burn until the crew of the station could shut off the flow of air to the damaged section.
Luke's glee turned to terror as he realized he couldn't swerve his craft in time to avoid passing through the fireball of unknown composition. "Pull out, Luke, pull out!" Biggs was screaming at him. But despite commands to shift course, the automatic pressors wouldn't allow the necessary centrifugal force. His fighter plunged into the expanding balls of superheated gases.
Then he was through and clear, on the other side. A rapid check of his controls enabled him to relax. Passage through the intense heat had been insufficient to damage anything vital, though all four wings bore streaks of black, carbonized testimony to the nearness of his escape.
Hell-flowers bloomed outside his ship as he swung it up and around in a sharp curve. "You all right, Luke?" came Biggs's concerned query.
"I got a little toasted, but I'm okay."

The novel also refers to the targets of opportunity being aimed for and the explosions of those targets, contrary to the claims of some that the entire battlestation was covered in impregnable armor, and that the fighters were simply shooting at armor for the sheer pleasure of it. Indeed, simple fighter-scale weapons were blowing holes through the armor, as per the second paragraph of the following:

Energy bolts and sun-bright beams continued to create a chromatic maze in the space above the station as the rebel fighters crisscrossed back and forth over its surface, firing at whatever looked like a decent target. Two of the tiny craft concentrated on a power terminal. It blew up, throwing lightning-sized electric arcs from the station's innards.
Inside, troopers, mechanicals, and equipment were blown in all directions by subsidiary explosions as the effects of the blast traveled back down various conduits and cables. Where the explosion had hulled the station, escaping atmosphere sucked helpless soldiers and 'droids out into a bottomless black tomb.


Some humor from the non-canon:

The Episode II Incredible Cross Sections book throws another absurdity onto the fighter firepower flames, claiming one kiloton fighter weapons. That, boys and girls, is approximately 1/15th of Hiroshima! Funny, I never saw Hiroshima level events in any of the space battles, and I certainly didn't see anything even remotely like Hiroshima on Hoth, Endor, or Geonosis.

Of course, this is the same ICS that claims 200 gigaton weapons for the prequel-era combat vessels such as the proto-ISD Acclamator, without realizing the inherent absurdity. See, some claim that Star Wars fighters can't actually do anything of value to a Star Wars capital ship unless the shields are down, and that the shields can't be brought down by fighters.

However, such claims are patently absurd. There is no point to fighters, unless they can be employed against the ships before ship-to-ship combat ensues . . . especially if there's such a wide gulf between fighter firepower and ship firepower.

Further, if ships are vulnerable to fighter weapons, then it is unlikely that shipboard weapons are going to be dozens of orders of magnitude more powerful, as is claimed now. For instance, the E2ICS claims of 200 gigatons for Acclamator weapons work out to 836,800,000,000 gigajoules . . . almost 14 billion times stronger than the high-end Warsie-made fighter firepower figures mentioned above. The ICS does bump up that firepower number a bit, so that starship weapons are made a mere 200,000,000 times stronger . . . and yet, we're supposed to accept starship damage by fighters???

Riiight.


Special thanks to "Razor" for the discussions regarding to the non-canon points.


Back to ST-SW intro.