Advancing Star Wars Fighter Combat?

  • Thread starter Flyboy
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Star wars
In summary, while the technology in the Star Wars universe has not progressed much over the years, the combat style does still hold up well.
  • #1
Flyboy
249
308
I've seen many people describe Star Wars fighter combat as "WWII in space", and I really think that's a good description of it. But technology in the Star Wars universe seems to have... well, stagnated there. Even after honestly thousands of years, not much has changed on the front of starfighters aside from some miniaturization of components and improving the power output of weapons and shields.

So, what would happen if you were to advance the state of the art in starfighter tech to the degree that stuff changed from WWII to, say, the peak of the Cold War? How would things change? Or is the technologies present the limiting factor enforcing that style of combat?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
In Star Wars big spaceships are behaving like boats (even to the degree they "sink" when they break apart) and smaller ships behaves like aircrafts. As far as I am concerned if there is any detail in SW spaceflight and combat that can be said to be not entirely physical wrong, then that must be pure luck. Compare this with space combat as portrait in The Expanse where most of it seems physical plausible.

So all this just to say that I think its hard to bring any sensible arguments to such a discussion when the story world employs such fantasy physics in the first place.
 
  • Like
Likes Hornbein, Rive, BillTre and 1 other person
  • #3
Flyboy said:
So, what would happen if you were to advance the state of the art in starfighter tech to the degree that stuff changed from WWII to, say, the peak of the Cold War? How would things change?
A little more modern than the Cold War, but effective cloaking technology across the EM spectrum would be a pretty clear advantage, IMO. And you don't have to un-cloak to fire weapons (like is often stated in Sci-Fi settings), at least you don't have to un-cloak with respect to your target (like when an F35 stealth fighter opens a bottom compartment to launch an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile).

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...rriage-of-six-aim-120-missiles-is-progressing
1689803904853.png
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre
  • #4
In real life, boats travel through a denser medium and aircraft through a less sense medium. That obviously is not he case for space.

It's best to just enjoy the stories for what they are.
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre and Borg
  • #5
Weapon are becoming longer ranged and multi-directional; I am unsure what a dogfight would even look like today.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Flyboy said:
But technology in the Star Wars universe seems to have... well, stagnated there. Even after honestly thousands of years, not much has changed on the front of starfighters
It is a big issue with the (extended) SW universe that honestly, it is spanning through too long periods of time. It is a tedious task to always keep the story and technology within the easy-to-digest range (what is, more or less the 'WWII in space') and still finding those pals (on guard duty, or on some back streets) bragging about the advancing technology...

There are a few novels where they tried to display some actual development, but ... well, it did not made it any better. It made it just awkward.
 
  • #7
Flyboy said:
But technology in the Star Wars universe seems to have... well, stagnated there.
Real history has many periods of technological stagnation. So the Star Wars universe being in one could be explained in several ways. They could be in some sort of cultural or philosophical dead end where they think they know everything and no further discovery is possible. Powerful business cartels might discourage innovation because they want to maintain market dominance and prevent disruptive ideas from giving anyone an edge. Or all the "affordable" experiments have been done and no one wants to spend octillions of dollars on what the next supercollider would have to be to see anything new.

Once Vader starts blowing up planets, a technological decline seems likely. People don't want to risk their own capital on new infrastructure when such destructive leadership is around. The way for a planet to survive in that era is to be boring and lack potential, thus escaping notice of the emperor.

Vanadium 50 said:
It's best to just enjoy the stories for what they are.
Yes. It is fun, and perhaps useful to use movies as a springboard to think about real-world issues of science, economics, and culture. But it is unreasonable to expect the original media to keep up with millions of imaginative fans and their contradictory dreams.
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre
  • #8
Flyboy said:
I've seen many people describe Star Wars fighter combat as "WWII in space", and I really think that's a good description of it.
A little sidenote, if you don't mind:

This quote made me vaguely remember something I've read or heard: that the space combat style in Star Wars is what it is partly due to George Lucas's interest in World War II movies. I looked on the net and found an article here:

The Real Aerial Battles That Inspired Star Wars (Smithsonian Magazine)
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes BillTre and berkeman
  • #9
ITSM a scattershot of 100 megaton hydrogen bombs would be more effective than piddly laser beams
 
  • #10
I figure any combat would be fully automated. Quite likely it would be over before you realized it had even begun. Having human aboard is a real weakness so serious craft would be 100% robot.
And this stuff with the captain ordering "Fire" is 16th century as far as I'm concerned.

Not much drama in this, yes?
 
  • Like
Likes Filip Larsen
  • #11
The Star Wars universe is a paradoxical universe when it comes to technology. They have blasters, deflector shields, huge spaceships that travel FTL, and advanced AI in the form of droids, yet they have little-to-no guided weapons, the few examples of drone technology is woefully bad (trade federation's droid army/navy), and they apparently still use manually operated weapons batteries on their capital ships. So it's hard to say what would happen if they decided to move starfighter technology forward even just a little bit. It might be like modern day or cold-war era aerial combat, or it could involve crazy high-gee maneuvers by automated fighters armed primarily with blaster technology that can easily shoot down missiles, requiring similar fighters to counter them. Or something else entirely.
 

Similar threads

  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
3
Replies
84
Views
7K
  • General Discussion
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Thermodynamics
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Earth Sciences
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • General Discussion
Replies
1
Views
8K
Back
Top