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Old 18th September 2017, 08:02 AM   #41
Blue Mountain
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Long, complicated story shortened and over-simplified because the days before CGI you had to use motion controlled models which were a lot more limited in how they could be shot.
I'll say perhaps on that. Yes, the movie is now more than 30 years old, and we've been spoiled by the amazing leaps in special effects since then. But I suspect if they really wanted to, the special effects people could have pulled off the scenario I just described. To a limited degree Star Wars managed to do so.

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Because it looked more awesome.
^
Very much this. It was actually really neat seeing the Enterprise slowly rise up behind the Reliant.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:06 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Very much this. It was actually really neat seeing the Enterprise slowly rise up behind the Reliant.
I suspect that, had they had the ability to easily do this at the time, they would've done it so the Enterprise approached from the bottom as you described. But it wouldn't have looked as cool or satisfying.

And that's the thing about having limits to what you can do: it makes you more creative. I think there's no question that Jaws is a better movie for all the trouble they had with the mechanical shark.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:10 AM   #43
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I generally 'suspend disbelief' quite happily, but some things are too much.

Superman I just can't handle because of the loony physics, but I'll set aside the idea that a conventionally-powered ship like The Nostromo has no business finding an undiscovered planet within our solar system (either that or the crew were surviving in those pods for thousands of years )

So, yeah, unrealistic asteroid fields can be fun
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:11 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's because they are. Before CGI they couldn't make true voids for filming; besides air explosions look more impressive (hell, look at the last TIE fighted the Falcon shoots down as it escapes the Death Star in the first movie and tell me it wasn't impressive (if entirely over-the-top).)

But yeah, I'd like to see more realistic explosions in sci-fi. They're pretty impressive in real life, too.
It wasn't impressive .. no need to thank me. No really. It took me long years to get over how Starwars just don't care. I wouldn't even call it space opera, as it clearly does not happen in a space.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:14 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
It wasn't impressive .. no need to thank me. No really. It took me long years to get over how Starwars just don't care. I wouldn't even call it space opera, as it clearly does not happen in a space.
Yeah, those idiots trying to tell good stories should just stick to sublight speeds. After all, FTL travel is impossible, so if they try to cheat and make it a reality, they just don't care.

Or, perhaps, there's a balance between realism and narrative. Star Wars is space fantasy. There are *********** space wizards in that universe. The whole thing is supposed to be fast and fun and awesome, and sometimes that means bending or breaking the rules of _our_ reality. Other works are more realistic, but it's a spectrum. No sense in complaining about the stuff that's just made to be cool. I prefer to complain about the stuff that would be even better if made realistically, or that was made the way it was because the authors just didn't know.

And how was that TIE explosion not impressive? It exploded, like, two times in a row, which is just one explosion short of the Nostromo!
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:17 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Superman I just can't handle because of the loony physics, but I'll set aside the idea that a conventionally-powered ship like The Nostromo has no business finding an undiscovered planet within our solar system (either that or the crew were surviving in those pods for thousands of years )
What are you talking about? The Nostromo has faster-than-light technology, and the planet in the first movie was not in our system at all.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:23 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Long, complicated story shortened and over-simplified because the days before CGI you had to use motion controlled models which were a lot more limited in how they could be shot.

While true, the phaser beams and torpedoes were added effects, and could go at any angle, and, as discussed, they are quite capable of shooting close to straight up if not fully straight up.

However, drama is the reason they did it the way they did it. So the viewer can get a cathartic sense of "Oh, you fool, Khan!" when the Enterprise rises up like, I don't know, Rambo from underwater.


I'll toss in my two cents for torpedoes that have no guidance systems and always just miss and never seem to curve. Trek only has one example of a guided missile I can recall, and that was the custom "tailpipe" follower in The Undiscovered Country.

Of course, as with games, ships need to survive more than a few hits for drama, and you can't just have a quantum nuke blow up everything within half a light year. This means "shields" are currently the dominant war tech, which seems to be the exact opposite of the current state of warfare. Forgetting nukes and MOABs, you've got stuff that can punch through 30 feet of reinforced concrete and then explode. The amount of already-extant tech they have to flat-out ignore to give giant robots and monsters and Godzilla and aliens and tripods a shot is just mind numbing.

We may be nearing a time where missiles (and lasers) now step up to take dominance as a defensive weapon against other missiles and artillery, instead of being unchallenged as an offensive weapon. That could alter stories as well by no longer needing to introduce magic shields.


Now it isn't literature, but if you toss in games into the problem, space games tend to implement not space flight simulation, but air flight simulation, with banking and whatnot. Except for Eve Online, which is a submarine simulation.
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Old 18th September 2017, 08:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
I'll toss in my two cents for torpedoes that have no guidance systems and always just miss and never seem to curve. Trek only has one example of this I can recall, and that was the custom "tailpipe" follower in The Undiscovered Country.
I think torpedoes have guidance, but it only works when the scripts wants it to.
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Old 18th September 2017, 11:53 AM   #49
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Torpedoes MUST have guidance to not require precise turning the ship to fire at all, since they come out of fixed torpedo tubes. The existence of guidance is also explicitly stated in at least one episode.

But, be that as it may, phasers could fire almost perpendicular to the ship very early in TOS. E.g.:



So basically, yeah, they already knew they can fire at Khan's ship without coming back in the same plane. I suspect it was more of a rule of cool thing all along.

Edit: More realistically, though, if your life depended on it and your life really depended on it, coming back into the same 2d plane is probably the last thing you'd want to do. Especially since there seems to be no real advantage to being behind him. In fact now you're just lined up with his backwards firing phaser banks AND with his aft torpedo tubes.
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Old 18th September 2017, 12:31 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
However, drama is the reason they did it the way they did it. So the viewer can get a cathartic sense of "Oh, you fool, Khan!" when the Enterprise rises up like, I don't know, Rambo from underwater.
Slightly off topic (but related)

I first saw Wrath of Khan in the theatre on its original release. There was that scene where Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban of course) is looking for the Enterprise and can't find her. It was dead quiet in the theatre, and suddenly she appears on the main screen. Kahn exclaims "There she is!!" and some wag in the audience yelled out, in a squeaky voice... "The plane, The plane !!". The audience laughter drowned out the next few seconds of dialogue.
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Old 18th September 2017, 01:19 PM   #51
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Re: Rogue planets not freezing due to internal warmth...

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@Segnosaur
I dread to even think of the tectonics that would dissipate that kind of energy. Let's just say you woudn't have to ask if the earth moved for her

More likely you'd have a Venus scenario, where periodically (and quite more often than Venus) the whole crust melts into magma.
I never claimed that internal warmth would be enough to keep a planet from freezing in reality... only that it would be a way to hand-wave away any concerns about the planet freezing.

Yes, if someone is a professional astronomer or geologist they could probably pick apart my idea quite easily. Most people don't have that type of background, and would be satisfied with a "planet has enough internal warmth" argument to suspend disbelief.
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Old 18th September 2017, 02:09 PM   #52
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I suppose you could indeed. Though wouldn't it be easier to just put an ancient base on it that has all the heating and whatnot? You can still have ghosts, guardian animals, alien diseases, psychoactive pollen, or whatever you need there just as well. Plus, you don't need to film on location, so it's cheaper.

But yeah, I suppose you're right. SOME kind of handwaving or even a quick lampshade should indeed beat it feeling wrong if you even paid attention in school or, really, read any news lately (you know, about the temperatures at the poles.)

Edit: Hell, you could even take the "neutrinos are heating the planet" dumbassery from 2012. Just postulate some strange stuff on the planet and there you go, neutrinos are heating it. Makes it more mysterious too, and might even serve as a mcguffin or phlebotinum or whatnot for the episode's plot. Just don't have a spaceship with crew that includes an astrophysicist or two just take it for granted that they're in a tropical jungle without a sun. Is all I'm saying.
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Old 18th September 2017, 03:28 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I suppose you could indeed. Though wouldn't it be easier to just put an ancient base on it that has all the heating and whatnot? You can still have ghosts, guardian animals, alien diseases, psychoactive pollen, or whatever you need there just as well. Plus, you don't need to film on location, so it's cheaper.

But yeah, I suppose you're right. SOME kind of handwaving or even a quick lampshade should indeed beat it feeling wrong if you even paid attention in school or, really, read any news lately (you know, about the temperatures at the poles.)

Edit: Hell, you could even take the "neutrinos are heating the planet" dumbassery from 2012. Just postulate some strange stuff on the planet and there you go, neutrinos are heating it. Makes it more mysterious too, and might even serve as a mcguffin or phlebotinum or whatnot for the episode's plot. Just don't have a spaceship with crew that includes an astrophysicist or two just take it for granted that they're in a tropical jungle without a sun. Is all I'm saying.
Without checking I can't think of any ST episodes where there is a "Rogue Planet" which has a normal biosphere without that being accounted for in the story. The two ST "Rogue Planet" stories that immediately come to mind for me are

"For the World is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky" where the planet turns out to be a generational ark with a huge alien power source, and where the biosphere is inside a shell built around the planet, and

"The Squire of Gothos", again the planet had an enormous alien power source but in this case, the person in charge (who turned out to be a man-child) used the hugely advanced technology to create any environment he chose.
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Old 18th September 2017, 04:27 PM   #54
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Err, for example, Star Trek: Enterprise, Episode: Rogue Planet? Granted, it IS Enterprise, but their full-blooded Vulcan science officer wasn't (quite literally) getting high on paint yet.

Edit: IMDB says something about heat "bubbling" from under the planet, but I don't recall it being given much dialogue in the actual episode. In any case no explanation given for the abundant plant life. I mean, sure, "life" could be possible, since it's a broad word covering everything from the simplest RNA strands that can replicate to sentient space stuff, but what's with the plants? If the energy is coming from the ground, what evolutionary purpose do those leaves serve?
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Old 18th September 2017, 05:06 PM   #55
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Oh I can get over 'Hollywood scifi' easily .. I almost like it .. but it took some time. As a kid I was reading hard core scifi only. There wasn't any soft core. When I first saw Star wars, I was just puzzled.
Imagine you go to see movie about Formula one. Shows up, the cars in the movie do not use petrol engines. They use pedals to propel themselves. Fastest they go is 50km/h. The pedals have to be changed during the race, which is used in cool slow-mo shots of organized crews changing them in seconds. The plot of the movie is about two pilots competing hardly for the title. The other guy manages somehow tinker with second set of the pedals, so the hero gets in trouble in the second half of the race. He overcomes it anyway and wins. The movie is good. Good guy is played by Steve McQueen. Music is epic. Also the chick is hot.
Now people asks: how did you like this Formula one movie ? You will just say: WTF are you talking about ? It was nowhere near Formula one movie. Formula one cars move way faster than that ! The sound is different. The problems are different. And people will say you are nitpicker and you can't have fun with a movie.
Well you can have .. as long as you know it's not rly Formula one movie .. but 'Formula one' movie ..
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:02 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Slightly off topic (but related)

I first saw Wrath of Khan in the theatre on its original release. There was that scene where Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban of course) is looking for the Enterprise and can't find her. It was dead quiet in the theatre, and suddenly she appears on the main screen. Kahn exclaims "There she is!!" and some wag in the audience yelled out, in a squeaky voice... "The plane, The plane !!". The audience laughter drowned out the next few seconds of dialogue.
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:29 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
However, drama is the reason they did it the way they did it. So the viewer can get a cathartic sense of "Oh, you fool, Khan!" when the Enterprise rises up like, I don't know, Rambo from underwater.
The moment that it was done for is part of the problem. It was no better to show Kirk's ship rising behind Khan's than to swing the camera down to Kirk's ship moving up toward it, or to show torpedoes hitting Khan's ship from below before we even see the ship they came from.

If you're going to throw basic dynamics out the window for a dramatic moment, you should at least make sure the dramatic moment in question actually needs that.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:07 PM   #58
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Watching a science show tonight that mentioned Kepler 452B and it reminded me of another typical sci fi error: not accounting for gravity differences on different planets. Occasionally someone will note that people can bounce around on asteroids or moons but it would seem every inhabited or visited planet is magically Earth sized when humans visit.
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:02 PM   #59
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I've seen several sci-fi movies that depict an alien landscape with two or more huge moons in the sky that appear to be quite close to each other. I admit it does look pretty nice.
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Old 19th September 2017, 12:25 AM   #60
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Moons of planets located inside the Roche limit would be broken up by the tidal stress induced by the parent planet.
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Old 19th September 2017, 12:30 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
That part never bothered me. When a submarine officer of the deck gives out that order the main engine throttles are merely closed. The ship continues to coast while the shaft rotates; the sub slows though. If he wanted to slow down faster he would order the shaft stopped with steam, or a more likely, a backing bell.

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The difference is that in space you need not have the engines on at all. Once going at a certain speed the captain can turn off the engines and the ship will keep going without slowing down.

Ships are highly unlikely to come close enough to be more than a spot without a very good telescope. Remember from earth no telescope can see any of the landing craft that exist on the moon.
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Old 19th September 2017, 01:08 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
What are you talking about? The Nostromo has faster-than-light technology, and the planet in the first movie was not in our system at all.
Well I'll be damned. Yep. I don't recall this in the film but perhaps it was clear in the book.

Did the small vessel in which Ripley escaped also have ftl tech?

But it still leaves weird plot glitches, such as how did The Nostromo pick up signals from that planet while it was zipping along ftl? Can you change course and head for a different target while travelling ftl?

I don't mind such things when they're just a mechanism to get a good story going, I should add.
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Old 19th September 2017, 01:12 AM   #63
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Alien races that have one single monolithic culture despite emerging on planets just as big as ours.
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Old 19th September 2017, 01:50 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Well I'll be damned. Yep. I don't recall this in the film but perhaps it was clear in the book.
It was pretty clear in the movie, trust me.

Quote:
Did the small vessel in which Ripley escaped also have ftl tech?
No. That's why it took 57 years for it to be found.

Quote:
But it still leaves weird plot glitches, such as how did The Nostromo pick up signals from that planet while it was zipping along ftl? Can you change course and head for a different target while travelling ftl?
How is that a plot glitch? Isn't that just a matter of in-world tech?
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Old 19th September 2017, 02:35 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Alien races that have one single monolithic culture despite emerging on planets just as big as ours.
Or the fact that there are so many of them. Many of them at about the same technology level as us.
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Old 19th September 2017, 02:44 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Alien races that have one single monolithic culture despite emerging on planets just as big as ours.
Conversely, planets whose entire population appears to inhabit a single village.

There's a standard sci-fi trope, too, that the initial landing site on a new planet turns out to be perfectly representative of the climate and geography of the entire planet. It's very nicely subverted in Stargate SG-1 when Carter and O'Neill find themselves trapped on what they think is an ice world, but turns out to be Antarctica.

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Old 19th September 2017, 04:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Alien races that have one single monolithic culture despite emerging on planets just as big as ours.
They also all sport the same hairstyle.
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Old 19th September 2017, 04:20 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
They also all sport the same hairstyle.
And taste in body piercings.

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Old 19th September 2017, 05:08 AM   #69
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I hope someone, who is someone, who writes satire is reading this thread. They would have a wealth of ideas for satire.
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Old 19th September 2017, 06:17 AM   #70
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I dunno, I don't get too picky on movie mistakes, unless someone tries to claim they're based in reality.

Of course, it depends on what the mistake is. I'm more than willing to suspend disbelief for a good story. I'm not willing to have it hung, dismembered, burned, and the ashes mixed with salt to kill the ground it stands on (re: Signs).
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:44 AM   #71
crescent
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
How is that a plot glitch? Isn't that just a matter of in-world tech?
I think a lot of people discount the value of in-world tech in science fiction. I get annoyed sometimes with basic science fails such as the behavior and characteristics of black holes and relativity mentioned early in the thread. But a great many of the criticisms from later in the thread are easily handwaved away by tech.

In Star Wars, for example, books in the universe explain that the ships make no sound in space. The sound in the movies comes from the computers within each ship that detect the other ships and generate the sounds. A unique sound for each kind of ship coming from speakers surrounding the cockpit - this allows the pilot to have better situational awareness. I know it sounds silly, but it is also an easy way to explain away one of the more basically apparent science mistakes in that series.

I get most annoyed with movies that are presented as hard SF, which then make a whole lot of science errors - the 2013 film Gravity, for example, or Interstellar which is kind of hard science-fictiony with its presentation of the black hole and mention of time-dilation effects, but then takes a whole of liberties with said time dilation. That can be forgiven (in my opinion) due to the use of an actual great big pipe organ for the soundtrack (No Time for Caution, film version - listen to it loud!). The nitrogen-based crop blight in Interstellar also seemed unbelievable, as did the baseball field and low-density housing in the O'Neill cylinder near the end (they had to evacuate everyone on the entire planet, but they had room for baseball fields and suburban type houses?)

The amount of energy used by the transporters in Star Trek always bothered me, so I made up my own fan theory about that. In my theory, they work at the element, not nuclear, level. They destructively scan things, then beam the information somewhere, then reassemble it from elements already in the target environment. This explains the preference for beaming to or from transporter pads, as those are equipped to make sure that all uncommon trace elements are provided and available. The idea of converting all the mass to energy and then reconverting that much energy back into mass always seemed a bit hinky to me.

Last edited by crescent; 19th September 2017 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:50 AM   #72
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I just chalk sound in space up to rule of cool. If you try to explain something, it kind of takes the fun away.
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Old 19th September 2017, 07:57 AM   #73
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Giant fleets of spacecraft maneuvering in "orbit", closer than any seagoing naval fleet would crowd together, so as to present easy clustered targets and be unable to maneuver effectively. One of the stupidest examples was in Starship Troopers.

Spacegoing fleets that disembark ground troops who then run around in a disorganized mob, rather than in any kind of tactical order. One of the stupidest examples was in Starship Troopers.
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:00 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
The amount of energy used by the transporters in Star Trek always bothered me, so I made up my own fan theory about that. In my theory, they work at the element, not nuclear, level. They destructively scan things, then beam the information somewhere, then reassemble it from elements already in the target environment. This explains the preference for beaming to or from transporter pads, as those are equipped to make sure that all uncommon trace elements are provided and available. The idea of converting all the mass to energy and then reconverting that much energy back into mass always seemed a bit hinky to me.
But what about when they beamed things in or out of the vacuum of space?
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:16 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
But what about when they beamed things in or out of the vacuum of space?
Then I close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears and yell "Naananannnaananna I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!"

That just seems to be the most logical response, sometimes.
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Old 19th September 2017, 08:23 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Then I close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears and yell "Naananannnaananna I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!"
And in space, that's perfectly true.

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Old 19th September 2017, 10:00 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by sts60 View Post
Giant fleets of spacecraft maneuvering in "orbit", closer than any seagoing naval fleet would crowd together, so as to present easy clustered targets and be unable to maneuver effectively. One of the stupidest examples was in Starship Troopers.

Spacegoing fleets that disembark ground troops who then run around in a disorganized mob, rather than in any kind of tactical order. One of the stupidest examples was in Starship Troopers.
Yeah, that movie was a disappointment.
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:20 AM   #78
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:52 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
... The amount of energy used by the transporters in Star Trek always bothered me, so I made up my own fan theory about that. In my theory, they work at the element, not nuclear, level. They destructively scan things, then beam the information somewhere, then reassemble it from elements already in the target environment. This explains the preference for beaming to or from transporter pads, as those are equipped to make sure that all uncommon trace elements are provided and available. The idea of converting all the mass to energy and then reconverting that much energy back into mass always seemed a bit hinky to me.
Interesting. What would stop people using the technology to make clones instead of destroying the thing they scanned?
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:55 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Interesting. What would stop people using the technology to make clones instead of destroying the thing they scanned?
Riker got cloned. By accident. (Interference)
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