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View Full Version : The Evolution of Vehicles in the Star Wars Galaxy



Tycho
03-11-2004, 04:42 AM
Think about this:


32 years before the Battle of Yavin,


Droid Fighters were widely used.

N-1's were one type of favored manned fighters, a bit on the elaborate side.

The Jedi preferred the small but hard to hit Delta-7 starfighters.

Patrol craft with small troop carrying capacity evolved with Kuat Drive Yards' Firespray class vessel.

Contracts with Sienar Fleet Systems ultimately see the rise of TIE fighters.

As the galaxy moves into an era of war, heavy bombers like Y-wings are built.

TIE vehicles include their own bombers.

Incom creates the Z-95 Headhunter, for a small superior fighter. It's deluxe version becomes the T-65 X-wing fighter.

Some company along the lines goes back towards something similar to a Delta-7 design, and the A-wing sees a lot of service.

Combining engineering from the X-wing, and incorporating the rapid mobile assault platform features of a gun station, the B-wing fighters are designed to harry capital ships with superior firepower from small fighters.

TIEs expand their firepower capabilities with the Interceptor models.


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Consular ships in early use were the popular Republic Cruisers.

Several different models of varying sizes were employed.

Private diplomatic ships like the Queen's Nubian and the Senator's transport could be more custom-made and elaborate.

The Corellian Corvette blockade runner came about as the galaxy needed a larger, faster transport, capable of carrying troops as well as supporting large weapons emplacements.

Mon Calamarian ships were adapted for combat and turned into devastating battle platforms and fighter carriers.

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Troop carrier ships began with the Republic battle cruisers.

Star Destroyers became standard later.

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This will continue, but people can comment on this now if they wish to.

JON9000
03-11-2004, 12:00 PM
I think the OT vehicles are way cooler than the PT ones so far. The only PT vehicles I am in to is the Gunship.

The OT ones just have more personality IMHO. :frus:

El Chuxter
03-11-2004, 12:51 PM
This gets especially interesting when you try to figure in EU vehicles like the Dreadnaughts and AT-PTs and Victory-Class Destroyers and s-95 Headhunters, which seem to not quite go with the flow of the films. ;)

JediTricks
03-11-2004, 08:20 PM
Gotta agree with JON9000, and I'd add that I don't really see much real evolution between the PT vehicles and the OT vehicles, except when it's forced such as on the Jedi Starfighter, Sith Infiltrator, and Acclamator-class Republic Assault Ship.

stillakid
03-11-2004, 11:21 PM
For my tastes, I found the Hailfire Droid and those Mini-Star Destroyer-like ships (at the end of AOTC) to be the most interesting and "believable" for the Star Wars universe. Other attempts, like Maul's Infiltrator and the Jedi fighter, were forced designs to "tie in with" the OT. They didn't really have unique personalities of their own the way the Hailfire and the Naboo fighters did.

Ultimately, I think that a lot of this "believability" comes more from the general atmosphere of the respective films than from any specific design element. Each of the ships from the OT fit comfortably into the very comfortable and viable environments the OT films presented to the audience. In other words, everything onscreen really felt as if it could very well exist somewhere. On the other hand, for me, the Prequels have a distinctly artificial flavor wherein I have trouble with that suspension of disbelief thing. Because a great deal of the environment looks fake, very few of the elements blend into it either. I think it would be an interesting experiment for ILM to build a few Hailfire Droid models and shoot (with film) and blend the results into something like the Hoth battle. As it stands now, "cartoons" laid into scenic "cartoon" backgrounds gives the audience very little room to manuever the imagination and concentrate on the story.

jjreason
03-12-2004, 01:11 AM
I remember hoping to see the vehicles in EpII start briding the gap between Trilogies. I didn't see that (the Slave I doesn't count - it's the same ship) right until the the Star Destroyer predecessors were pulling away full of clones. That, for me, was a very nice close for the film because it went a long way toward tying the PT in to the OT visually - something I'd been having a little trouble with until that point. The music helped quite a bit as well. :cool:

sergiurusu
03-12-2004, 03:37 AM
The same happened to the AT-TE which transformed into AT-AT

JON9000
03-12-2004, 11:22 AM
One thing I really like about OT ships is that they looked used, worn and crusty. Everything in the PT looks pristine and new. Okay, I get it. It takes place before the OT. However, in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn't that long before the OT, so I cannot see how everything degraded so far so fast. I like the used look better, every ship had more personality (although maybe McQuarrie is simply a genius compared to today's designers, although it looks like Lucas has a lot of control). :frus:

Tycho
03-12-2004, 12:54 PM
No it was (supposedly in fiction) the war that turned all the OT stuff into used-vehicles.

Remember, until the end of Episode II, the galaxy is not at war. It's NOT Star Wars - almost exactly Stillakid's point much of the time.

It's Pre-Star Wars. The story that's continuing is Anakin's, but not a "galactic civil war."

E1: Naboo was an isolated incident. Most military equipment of the time was not damaged, vehicles on Coruscant and other wealthy planets were new, nothing was really shot up. Most of the galaxy (as demonstrated in the Senate) could've cared less about what happened to Naboo with the Trade Federation. It's just the characters we were following, especially Padme, and almost to the same extent Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan (because it was their mission) all cared about Naboo - so hopefully the audience does. The galaxy does not. But presumably some time during the battle Naboo is damaged up, and Captain Typho appearing in the next movie with a missing eye is part of that.

E2: There's no war throughout the movie until Geonosis. Then all the new gear the Clones bring in gets damaged up and can't be totally restored, because now the galaxy is totally at war after the first shots were fired on Geonosis. Even looking at Slave-One which is totally new, vehicles start to get battered up and downgrade from here.

E3: this movie should feel more like Star Wars, because the galaxy will have been 4 years into a bloody civil war now. We know that while governments may change (the Empire comes to power) the war really won't end until Episode 6. So stuff in E3 should be pretty beaten up after constant battle.

The OT:

Y-wing fighters were not supposed to have their engine pannels showing, etc., but the nice covers with planetary defense force markings on them could not be replaced once blasted off. So ships in the OT take on a used look. The Falcon is another example. Snowspeeders, etc. Most TIEs and Destroyers and other Imperial gear looked newer though.


If you like the OT better than the PT, that is because you like what was the true concept of Star Wars.

The PT is just that: Pre-Star Wars, although with the war started now, Episode 3 could fit in to the OT really well, and only the first 2 Prequels would be so much the different.

JediTricks
03-12-2004, 05:51 PM
The same happened to the AT-TE which transformed into AT-AT
I've heard that from others, but I don't personally feel that way at all, they have very little in common I think. The AT-TE is more like a fat insect than the elephant-like AT-AT, I don't feel reminded of the AT-AT much at all by the Tactical Enforcer. Obviously that's what they were going for, but I think they missed the mark.



Remember, until the end of Episode II, the galaxy is not at war. It's NOT Star WarsYou said it! And this is another fine point to add to the growing claim that TPM shouldn't have Episode I at all, it's barely a prologue to the story told in Ep II and, as you said, "NOT Star Wars". I think Lucas lost sight of the actual Star Wars and started believing his own "it's all about Anakin" hype.

stillakid
03-12-2004, 11:53 PM
The PT is just that: Pre-Star Wars, although with the war started now, Episode 3 could fit in to the OT really well, and only the first 2 Prequels would be so much the different.

Quite honestly, I never thought of it that way before. Technically speaking, no, I and II are not part of the "Wars" part of it all. But George did set us up, via interviews, for the Machevellian political setup to the conflict. Undoubtedly others, as I did, eagerly awaited this "intelligent" precursor to the classic stories. So this inaction-film (TPM) didn't bother me too much as the political background is what we were told to expect. In fact, the action portions of TPM seem quite out of place and forced. Episode I could have been entirely about the political background with very little of the nonsense conflict, particularly at the end of the film. It was all very unnecessary. The ships (Naboo, Queen's ship, Pod Racers, etc) were all pretty and cool to look at, but the story started to revolve around them instead of them just being tools to help tell the story.

But I guess my point is that is wasn't that TPM and AOTC were "not Star Wars" in the way Tycho describes. I expected and welcomed that sort of thing. I'll just stick to my guns and say that I haven't cared much for the Prequels because they were just poorly conceived and executed. The hardware is okay for the most part and cool some of the time (and they make great toys! :D ), but the stories just don't work.

jjreason
03-13-2004, 12:56 AM
You said it! And this is another fine point to add to the growing claim that TPM shouldn't have Episode I at all, it's barely a prologue to the story told in Ep II and, as you said, "NOT Star Wars". I think Lucas lost sight of the actual Star Wars and started believing his own "it's all about Anakin" hype.

"Star Wars" to me describes only the setting. The story has always been about the Skywalker family, and the restoration of balance to the force.

mabudonicus
03-13-2004, 10:31 AM
another sort of annoying point, vehicles-wise, is how much of the stuff in the OT looks like it is 20 or 30 years old, and made of steel (not even stainless) where the PT stuff looks like it's made of fiberglas.... I dunno, I'd just imagine that, logically, the PT would've been better off having bettre maintained versions of the OT stuff... the obvious "de-evolution" from composite-lookin materials and super aero-dynamic designs doesn't really make much sense...
also, while I DO love the weather-beaten look of the OT vehicles, it makes another complication- I mean, repulsorlift technology isn't a problem, still, but the rebels lost the technological secrets represented by Turtle Wax or Tremclad??? I dunno, just seems a bit goofy...
Good thing the laws of aerodynamics were also lessened beween PT and OT..... whoever "discovered" that musta made a mint

Kidhuman
03-13-2004, 12:25 PM
Mabs, look at it from this point. In the PT the Fiberglass look evolved into the steel look in the OT. No de-evolution, but an evolution to a better ship. The stronger the Hulls of the ship, the more damage they can do for longer periods of time. The Emperor just started using better materials.

stillakid
03-14-2004, 09:56 AM
"Star Wars" to me describes only the setting. The story has always been about the Skywalker family, and the restoration of balance to the force.


Not to digress, but no it wasn't. Originally the story was about the conflict as a whole. Only with the Prequels has George decided to try to make it all about the Skywalkers.

But anyhow, the vehicles are all kinda cool anyway. :D

The 'Xir
03-14-2004, 01:54 PM
A couple points to keep in mind which some of you have touched on:

1) These veichles are from very localized areas, and are only shown in regards to the planet systems the story revolves around! Common veichles on Courscant are never seen again because we never see Courscant again in the OT!

2) We have to assume that the Trade Federation will be destroyed in war or dismantled by Palpatine in EpIII, and why we don't see droid fighters in OT.

3) As somone mentioned veichles will get overhauled AND beat up due to the conflicts in the war torn universe. We have to assume that there are civil uprisings all throughout the Universe, and each systems veichles would recieve a more industrial/mass-manufactured/cookie cutter look as normally happens during wartime.

4) The transition from the Republic into an Empire obviously has a great impact on what is produced, Palpatine/Empire would have complete control over the design and look of what is produced or atleast what new building contracts would be awarded, and/or Palpatine and his higher-archy would rape and pilage weak systems of their resources and assets and keep what they like and scrap what they don't to float away with the rest of the garbage! ;)

5) Speaking of scraps, by the time of ANH that's exactly what the rebellion has done, they have beg borrowed and possibly even stolen all that they can in order to even come close to gathering a formidable stance against the Empire. Sypathetic systems probably have sold some lines to the rebellion cheap, and maybe why we prodominantly see Ship models like the X-ings and Y-wings, and etc. However, who knows what other scrapped together ships like The Millenium Falcon and Shuttle Tydirium are part of the rebels arsenel! :cool:

The 'Xir
03-14-2004, 02:14 PM
Not to digress, but no it wasn't. Originally the story was about the conflict as a whole. Only with the Prequels has George decided to try to make it all about the Skywalkers.

Sorry Stilla, but no actually the overall story is about the Skywalkers and mainly about the rise fall and redemption of Anakin. Lucas has pointed this out many times and said he put his "backstory" on the shelf when he broke his original story up into parts, and wanted to concentrate on Lukes story for his first movie. Although he has also said when he began writting Lukes' story, it was so big that only then did he decide to break that into parts as well. Not that he actually had all three written, but once ANH became a hit at the box office only then did he decide to go in and flesh out the guidelines he had started for episoides V and VI. Now with the prequels, he has finally gone back and fleshed out his guidelines and notes about Anakins story. Did he originally envision characters like Qui-Gon and how Anakins story started out at the age of 9? I highly doubt it, but how Anakin entered the Jedi order and grew within their ranks, sure of course he did!

stillakid
03-14-2004, 03:47 PM
Sorry Stilla, but no actually the overall story is about the Skywalkers and mainly about the rise fall and redemption of Anakin. Lucas has pointed this out many times and said he put his "backstory" on the shelf when he broke his original story up into parts, and wanted to concentrate on Lukes story for his first movie. Although he has also said when he began writting Lukes' story, it was so big that only then did he decide to break that into parts as well. Not that he actually had all three written, but once ANH became a hit at the box office only then did he decide to go in and flesh out the guidelines he had started for episoides V and VI. Now with the prequels, he has finally gone back and fleshed out his guidelines and notes about Anakins story. Did he originally envision characters like Qui-Gon and how Anakins story started out at the age of 9? I highly doubt it, but how Anakin entered the Jedi order and grew within their ranks, sure of course he did!


I believe we're interpreting the same information differently. :)

JediTricks
03-14-2004, 05:36 PM
Let me ask this, if the Rebellion and company are borrowing vehicles and tech from anywhere they can, why hadn't they scavenged old Naboo Fighters, Jedi Delta-7 Aethersprites, old junked Trade Federation battleships or MTTs or Landing Crafts or AATs or Droid Fighters, stolen old discarded AT-TEs and Republic Gunships, Hailfire Droids, Geonosian Fighters, etc..? If we are to believe the OT-era Rebels are taking whatever they can get, then wouldn't they have some of that stuff? You can only do so much with it, basically use it in backwaters areas, scrap it, or sell it off, yet what the Rebels are using has nothing in common with that stuff. They have Snowspeeders and Y-wings, frigates and transports, plenty of old junk but none of it really looking like it comes from the same universe as much of the stuff mentioned above.


oh, and I forgot, a case can be made for the Republic Cruiser and the Rebel Blockade Runner being very similar, but the Rep Cruiser was partially designed for ANH anyway.

Kidhuman
03-14-2004, 05:57 PM
JT, what we dont see is the 18 or so year period between movies. Technology could have changed, ships could have changed. Who is to say that the Rebels didnt use this stuff, but it all got destroyed? Alot can happen in twenty years. Just take a look at all the different models of cars in the last 20 years. We now have an SUV, mini-van and so on, to which 20 years ago we didnt.(around 20 years)

JediTricks
03-14-2004, 09:02 PM
Actually, last night I drove by several minivans that were around 20 years old, we were looking for minivans that looked like cars from GTA3 and came across a few Fords and Toyotas. When rebels on our planet get tanks and armorments, it's not the newest product, it's usually stuff that's surplus or old and cheap. Look at the AK-47, a weapon popularly used by rebel factions (and pretty much everybody else) around this planet - it hasn't changed much in 40+ years. The only reason our fighter jets look different from WW2 till now is because of a technology evolution, both in propulsion and aerodynamics, but the SW universe clearly didn't go through a major technological evolution in the span of 32 years between TPM and ANH, the TPM ships actually perform BETTER than their ANH counterparts in many ways. The F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle are visually the same fighter jets they were 30+ years ago, both still in service and are expected to be so throughout the decade, but do other jets look radically different from those 2? Not really, no more so than they did 20 years ago. And those are vehicles on the advanced team's side, mostly "the other side" such as our SW Rebellion would buy the stuff like old Russian surplus MiGs such as the 21 (the enemy plane most seen in the Vietnam war) and 23 - heck, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea fly MiG-29s, a jet which is somewhat the equivelant to the F-15 and the F/A-18 Hornet. And all of these look remarkably SIMILAR rather than DIFFERENT, with the MiG-21 looking the most different in the group having an air-inlet nose rather than an aerodynamic pointed nose, and the 50-year-old MiG-21 is possibly the most-flown jet fighter in war ever, as well as being the most-manufactured.

stillakid
03-14-2004, 11:13 PM
I think JT is making a good point. This is a galaxy at war. While a good deal of the Rebel support could possibly include generous funding from wealthy benefactors (like Alderaan), it is unlikely that the Rebellion would be able to get away with ordering the newest model of "X" type fighter. The Empire would certainly have it's eyes on all the major manufacturers and would definitely have noticed if, say, Ford was suddenly churning out a new model which was being used by insurgents to attack them. Suffice it to say that a rebellion on the run wouldn't have the suppliers to furnish the type of equipment we see in the OT. The Prequels should be chock full of all the ships we see in the OT so that by the time the Rebellion gets organized enough in Episode IV, the equipment is made up of cast-offs. Imagine Rebel agents scouring the galaxy looking for X-Wings up on blocks in somebody's back yard. That kind of thing.

The 'Xir
03-15-2004, 12:29 AM
Umm, I think alot of your questions I answered in my last post, but once again there are a ton of systems with a ton of planets throughout the SW universe, and alot of them proabaly have there own weapons and technology! I don't except any of the correlations JT made with life here on Earth, because your comparing apples and oranges, you're comparing change on one planet over 20 years, as oppossed to change throughout a universe of planets over 20 years and that is a BIG difference! I think if the rebels came to our planet, they'd probably pass on all of our technology, and I'm sure they're planets in the SW universe that the rebels have pass over just the same!
Stilla I never said the X or Y class WAS ordered, but that it's possible a sympathetic planet or system may have sold a line like the X or Y class to them cheap. As we have seen there are a lot of backwater planets that don't have strict Republic or Imperical jurisdictions, so a meeting between officials of a shipyard and the rebels isn't impossible. Besides, when In the movies(and not EU) was it said that the X-wings were the latest thing to roll off the showroom floor? Newer than the Y-wings? Yes! But, the latest? Ummm... no!
I think it's obvious that early on the rebels are portrayed as a rag tag underground albeit well organized resistance to the Empire! I think alot of what they have, has been scrounged and refined. Because it's an expansive universe, I think that in their travels if the rebels come across something good or better than what they've already had or what has come before they'll take it! Although, it could also come down to what they can afford, even an old but sleek styled Naboo fighter I think would command a hefty price! With each new victory the rebels gain support and probably draw out benefactors that were unwilling or fearful to lend support to their 'cause and why you see them gain newer looking and sleeker/faster ships by the time of RotJ. And the biggest thing to take into consideration is...we haven't seen Episode III yet!!! ;)

stillakid
03-15-2004, 08:49 AM
As we have seen there are a lot of backwater planets that don't have strict Republic or Imperical jurisdictions,

Really? When did this happen? Let's list them:

1. Tatooine
2. Moon over Yavin
3. Hoth
4. Dagobah
5. Bespin
6. Moon over Endor

And all outfitted and capable of designing and manufacturing, uh, er...um... :ermm:

JediTricks
03-15-2004, 05:46 PM
On this planet, many countries have many different schools of thought when it comes to defensive and offensive weaponry, but with all those different countries and styles, most still buy or copy their planes from either the US, Russia, or both. For over 50 years and all sorts of conflicts, from minor border skirmishes to major multi-nation battles, they still look remarkably similar to each other because they're getting this technology from the main core powers in the region. This is the same with the Star Wars universe, it's been said so even about the prequels - for example, while Naboo designes their own fighters, much of the parts and major designs come from major manufacturers in the Galactic core, the Queen's Royal Starship is Nubian J-type-327 cruiser not because the Naboo build them for others, but because its systems are universal on any J-type-327 craft, specifically from the planet Nubia. So if the Galactic Core planets control the majority of spacecraft and fighter technology, how is that really different from the way we do it on Earth?

The Rebellion doesn't generally have exotic craft even though they are scavenging much of what they use, the most exotic stuff they have comes near the end of their saga when the Mon Calamari bring some of their large converted spaceliners into play. The Empire clearly has their own designs, but all seem to fall within that certain imperial look even though the TIE Fighters, Imp Shuttles, and Star Destroyers have nothing in common with each other. Heck, Han's Corellian YT-1300 freighter is lightyears different from Fett's antiquated Kuat Firespray-class vessel, yet they seem very much like items from the same universe.