The Battle of Britain

Re:  "The Alderaan Planetary Shield Falsehood"

[Editor's note: this page claims that the Alderaan planetary shield (which is the only way to explain why the "superlaser glow" shoots all the way around the planet at a substantial fraction of c before any material is hurled away from the impact point) cannot possibly exist because planetary shields are only mentioned in Lucasfilm-sanctioned "fanboy novels" and therefore don't count; in other words, as usual, he uses his "Canon Policy" as an excuse to accuse others of being liars]

Wrong, on multiple counts.

1.  LucasFilm canon policy is clear and explicit.  The EU is not part of canon reality.  Wong's continuing failure to accept this, though amusing, has absolutely nothing to do with my page, though it's his favorite red herring.  Why?  See #2:

2.  Warsies like Wong claim the original edition of Star Wars as a canon demonstration of a planetary shield, and gloss over the differences with the Special Editions  . . . but the original editions of the films are canon no more, as Lucas has replaced them.  (Wong also doesn't accept that, which is just another bit of silliness.)   Therefore, to determine whether or not the canon shows planetary shields, we must look to the Special Edition.  

3.  The "superlaser glow" does not shoot all the way around the planet . . . unless he's talking about the band which, in the debate, he simultaneously denied the existence of while also managing to measure its velocity!

4.  A shield is not the only explanation.  Indeed, it is the worst possible one.  First, there is no other shield type (with the one possible exception of droideka shields vs. their own bolts) which operates in the "radiate the energy around the shield" way a la Trek shields.  That includes the shields of Imperial and Rebel spacecraft, earlier vessels such as Trade Federation ships and Naboo fighters, and even the tiny Gungan theatre shields which Wong attempted to use as proof of shield overlap capability in Imperial-tech planetary shields.  (Note, though, that the aforementioned droideka shields were not seen to overlap.)

Anderson here contends that the Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope disproves the existence of a planetary shield around the planet, however this is not true. An analysis of Anderson's own screen-shots, provided for this very page, clearly demonstrates that energy in the form of light moved in a curving line. This is observable. 

Absurd.  Light only moves in a curving line around gravity sources.  What he means to say is that he believes there is white light coming from Alderaan, due to radiation of energy from the Death Star's (green) superlaser striking what he believes to be a shield.  (The droideka shields had the good manners to radiate the same spectrum as the impacting bolts.)

This is Wong's response, parrotted by Ossus, to the fact that the green, shield-ish glow was removed from the Special Edition. 

What Wong chose to ignore in addition to that removal was the concept of light diffraction.   Anyone who's ever driven in fog knows about it first-hand . . . you can plainly see the beams of your headlights out in front of you.  The effect is made even more plain if one has a laser pointer outside in fog or dust, or in a smoky room . . . lasers are invisible in vacuum, and in clear air are still extremely difficult to see. 

Atmospheric diffraction of light is what causes twilight, that period of time in mornings or evenings when the sun is not visible, yet the sky is aglow.  On a world without atmosphere, such as on our moon, there is no twilight . . . either the sun is up and illuminating a particular spot directly, or it isn't.  

Astronauts know all about diffraction, first-hand . . . hence shots like this one, taken before a "sunrise" as observed aboard a shuttle:

(You can actually see the different layers of Earth's atmosphere in the shot above . . . note the cloud-tops in the reddish-looking troposphere bumping up against the almost white stratosphere.)

Examine the picture of Alderaan immediately after the Death Star superlaser strikes something, creating a flash of light. Light can be seen to have moved over the horizon of the planet, as shown by the now visible area beyond the previous terminator of the planet. 

And it is that very same terminator which terminates their argument.  Alderaan had an atmosphere more conducive to diffraction than that of Earth, and this is visible before the superlaser hits.  On the left of the picture below, you can see Earth from 75,000 kilometers, as taken by the Clementine space probe.  On the right, you see Alderaan, from something less than 77,000 kilometers (the range at which the superlaser was fired).  

Alderaan's atmosphere renders the world a hazy bluish marble (even on the cloudtops), compared to the crystal clarity with which one can see Earth's surface, clouds, and so on.  And, if you look closely at Alderaan, you can see that the haze extends even beyond the terminator.   This is made more apparent in the brightened pic below:


You can see this even more clearly in the first frames of the superlaser hit:

Note how, especially in the second (middle) image, you can see the clouds illuminated on the lower right, beyond the former terminator.  

Wong and Ossus would have you believe that the illumination of the clouds is actually the energy of the superlaser beam being repulsed . . . that, somehow, this shield of theirs was kind enough to radiate a blinding glow in keeping with the local weather patterns below the shield, instead of simply doing its radiating outward from the impact point.

Naturally, that concept is absurdly desperate.  

What we actually do see is the superlaser impact against the surface of the world, with the blinding flash radiating outward, diffracted by the air and clouds.  And, as you can see, the clouds are not instantly burned off by the superlaser's passage through the clouds.   This demands that the maximum DET content of the beam be no more than about 23.5 gigatons (9.8324e19J, a figure derived from the vaporization of a column of water the size of the beam . . . clouds would actually require far less energy to be burned off).   This is not enough, by far, to destroy a planet.  To destroy an Earth-like world in the Alderaan fashion, one would need just under 1e38 more joules.

Gee, with the beam not carrying the required energy directly, one might think it must be coming from somewhere else . . . but nahh, that sounds too much like the Superlaser Effect, and Rabid Warsies like Wong or his lapdog Ossus won't stand for that.

Additionally, the Alderaan shield fully explains the characteristics of the planetís destruction, except for the mysterious equatorial rings, when combined with DET theory.

A moronic lie.  Neither DET nor DET + shield can explain anything, unless one proceeds by ignoring almost everything about the canon.   They ignore the rings, they ignore the band, they ignore the secondary blast, and they ignore every other example of the superlaser being fired or of a ring explosion.  

And yet, somehow, they continue to profess the belief that their ad hoc Alderaan theory, one that doesn't even bother to subscribe to the facts, is superior.  And then they wonder why I'm curious to know what they're smoking. 

 This lends credence to the theory that a shield exists, because it becomes useful in explaining other observed phenomena.

No, the invisible magic shield produces far more questions than it answers, and it doesn't even answer the questions it was designed to.

Below, Wong has crafted a table in which he tries to defend his website claim that there isn't much difference between the original Star Wars scene and the Special Edition scene.  My remarks appear within new table rows:


[Editor's note: classic-edition Alderaan blast, showing how the seething, roiling energy has conducted around Alderaan, covering more than 10,000 km in about 1/10 second. Note that no debris is flying away from the impact point yet, hence the obvious conclusion that it is conducting around a shield rather than moving destructively through the bulk of the planet itself]
I agree with Wong's assessment regarding the above shot, overall.  The green, planet-sized blob spreading in a 'finger' form cannot reasonably be explained as anything other than a shield impact, and it even looks like what one would expect a proper shield to look like when trying to resist a beam hit.  


[Editor's note: Special-Edition Alderaan blast, roughly same timeframe. For some reason, RSA feels that this version "removes from canon what used to be support for the Alderaan shield". Oddly enough, the same effects (enormously fast conduction around planet, no debris being thrown away from the points of impact) are still visible, so one must wonder what has been "removed". In fact, if anything it's cleaner, and it's even more obvious that the incredibly rapid conduction of energy around the planet is not matched by any explosion of debris from the impact point]


As you can imagine, I disagree a bit more with Wong this time.  First, I find his "roughly same timeframe" claim absurdly dishonest.  It isn't like Wong didn't have the same ability to count frames, or even pay attention to the location of and length of the trailing end of the superlaser.  The proper comparison shot appears to the left.  (Note that the planet is blowing itself to bits quite well in the proper pic, and even displays one of the rings he tries so hard to ignore . . . little wonder he preferred to avoid using the correct shot.)

Wong then tries to claim that, even in his improper version above, that the same effects are seen, to the point that he even goes so far as to claim that there is no explosion taking place!  Funny, am I the only one who sees the orangy-white area in his pic above?  If you aren't sure, just compare it to this pic of one frame prior, where there's no orange to speak of:

It would seem we have another example of Wong trying to get away with BS under the belief that "no one can seriously dent it".

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