0890: "Etymology"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

cphite
Posts: 1371
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby cphite » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

1. Han uses the term "parsec" because Lucas didn't do enough research; but in the grand scheme of things, using a scientific term incorrectly isn't that great of a sin when you think of all the other stuff that Hollywood gets wrong. That said, all of the various rationalizations about black holes and so forth trying to make it so that Han was actually using the term correctly or deceptively are just nonsense.

2. The ship is called the Millennium Falcon because it sounds cool.

3. You can't have fire or explosions in space; and certainly not noise. However, with something the size of the Death Star, there would be more than enough air (and we can assume, oxygen) contained within it to fuel a fairly sizable ball of fire when you destroyed the thing.

4. Why wouldn't someone think to fit R2-D2 with a voice chip? I mean, even the friggin' trash cans had voice chips.

5. Han shoots first. The guy was a smuggler no matter how he redeemed himself later.

lly
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby lly » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:The "Maw" you speak of is not mentioned in the three movies therefore it doesn't exist.


You clearly have never heard of "author's notes."

twistees
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:14 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby twistees » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:03 pm UTC

"It's just like the Maltese Falcon, except that it's not Maltese."

"You mean the film with the guy from the other movie 'Casablanca'?"

"Exactly."

"I always wondered... What exactly is a casablanca?"

dmm
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby dmm » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Sometimes specialists will overload units as a shorthand. For example, in special relativity, all velocities are unitless fractions of the speed of light. It is not unbelievable to think that in space pilots' jargon a "parsec" is BOTH a unit of distance (with the actual word being translated to our word "parsec") AND a unit of time equal to the amount of time light takes to travel one "parsec." The convenience of this is obvious. If you know that Kessel is 187 parsecs away, and the MF can do the Kessel run in only 12 parsecs, that means the MF is averaging 187/12 times the speed of light. In a reality with FTL travel, people might know the distances (in "parsecs") to various trade partners, and transport companies might quote trip times in parsecs. Since days and years would vary for every planet (and sometimes might not even be defined as one might think), this would be a uniform way to advertise.

(Actually, come to think of it, every planet could also have their own standard of distance, and this convention would still work. Han says, "It's the ship that did the Kessel run in only 57 Gm." Obi-wan thinks, "Hmmm. Only 57 Gm to travel 1376 Gm? That IS fast!")

So, even though OF COURSE Lucas misused "parsec," it isn't hard to justify it. You don't need goofy black-hole riddled regions of space, or even Episodes I-III.

Getting back to the COMIC: Why wouldn't Luke know what a falcon is? He knew what a princess is. He knew how to turn on a light saber the first time he laid hands on one. He didn't bat an eye at a wookie (or any of the cantina clientel). The internet is awesome, dude. He didn't know about the Force though. The Great Imperial Firewall? But it leaked, 'cause he'd heard about the rebellion.

philip1201
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby philip1201 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

twistees wrote:What exactly is a casablanca?"


A "white house" in Spanish, but that's not important right now.

Apeiron
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:34 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Apeiron » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:14 am UTC

Cranica wrote:I always chalked this sort of thing up to http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... Convention


This should be the end of the discussion.

Chrisfs
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Chrisfs » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:17 am UTC

It all comes down to the very beginning scrolling text.
Long ago in a galaxy far away.
Star Wars in not a futuristic tale yet to happen, it's a history of things already happened. The language and the human race has spread from there to here.
So, we inherited the word 'falcon' from them and it has become to be a very quick and nimble bird.

114

User avatar
Fixblor
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:20 am UTC
Location: Pencilvania

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Fixblor » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:28 am UTC

Only three episodes left before that Turtle from yesterday's comic finally realizes that "You are here" means we are all here, dude.
Star Trek is awesome.
Last edited by Count Modulus on Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:5l am UTC, edited 13 times in total.
06:23, 18 April 2011 SmackBot (talk | contribs) m (90,899 bytes) (Dated {{Dubious}} x 153. (Build p609)) (undo)

Stellazira
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:17 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Stellazira » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:19 am UTC

As with all things Star Wars, I see something in it, it bugs me, then I shrug it off because it's Star Wars. There's no point trying to make sense out of it when there's none to be had.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5487
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:07 am UTC

dmm wrote:Sometimes specialists will overload units as a shorthand. For example, in special relativity, all velocities are unitless fractions of the speed of light. It is not unbelievable to think that in space pilots' jargon a "parsec" is BOTH a unit of distance (with the actual word being translated to our word "parsec") AND a unit of time equal to the amount of time light takes to travel one "parsec." The convenience of this is obvious. If you know that Kessel is 187 parsecs away, and the MF can do the Kessel run in only 12 parsecs, that means the MF is averaging 187/12 times the speed of light. In a reality with FTL travel, people might know the distances (in "parsecs") to various trade partners, and transport companies might quote trip times in parsecs. Since days and years would vary for every planet (and sometimes might not even be defined as one might think), this would be a uniform way to advertise.


There is a much more mundane use of this already in the real world, although kind of the inverse; using units of time to measure distance. At least out here in California where everyone gets around by highway, most people I know give distances not in miles or km but in minutes or hours. My work is about 20 minutes away. My hometown is about an hour away. The edge of LA is 90 minutes away. I have no idea what those distances are in miles (much less km), but given average highway speeds, those give good approximations of distance. So saying that some train or some such will "get you to LA in half an hour" gives you an idea that said train is pretty damn fast compared to average highway speeds.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
DreadArchon
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:29 pm UTC
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DreadArchon » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:37 am UTC

What I find strangest about the parsecs discussion is that nobody ever brings up special relativity. Higher speeds give you a shorter distance in your own frame of reference, so your speed can be measured by the distance you appear to be covering, even if you're doing a straight line through empty space with no black hole nonsense.

Sure, the general public doesn't know this, but what are we saying here? That Star Wars fans aren't nerdy enough to have heard of special relativity? The whole thing is just weird.

It's like the Dr. McNinja page where the author received dozens of angry e-mails about sound in space, but not a single one about cell phones on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. :lol:

twistees
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:14 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby twistees » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:31 am UTC

philip1201 wrote:
twistees wrote:What exactly is a casablanca?"


A "white house" in Spanish, but that's not important right now.


"A white house in Spanish? Which solar system is this planet called Spanish you speak of?"

User avatar
mikekearn
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:34 am UTC
Location: El Cajon, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby mikekearn » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:00 am UTC

philip1201 wrote:A "white house" in Spanish, but that's not important right now.

That made me laugh way harder than it should have.

Apeiron wrote:
Cranica wrote:I always chalked this sort of thing up to http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... Convention

This should be the end of the discussion.

Agreed. They claim that TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, but I think that TV Tropes Will Enhance Your Life, since once I can see the tropes being used, I can let my brain stop worrying about the details and just enjoy the movie.
"I will not succumb to temptation. Unless she's cute."

This is a haiku.
It has correct number of
Syllables. I think.

Visit the orphateria.

User avatar
Nomic
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:29 pm UTC
Location: Gibbering in the corner

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Nomic » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:06 am UTC

iirc, in the original script it was indicated that Han was talking out of his ass when he made the 12 parsecs claim, so it was entirely possible that eh didn't actually know what parsec means and thought it was a measurement of time instead of distance. Of course the EU latches onto every little detail in the films and tries to make it 100% factual truth (like when Han says "don't tell me about the odds", the EU makes his entire culture have a violent hatred for statistics, or when the rebels mention that they got some information from members of some alien species, the EU makes every member of the species to be spies).

On the language thing, I always assumed it was translation convention, because most people wouldn't want to watch a film where everybody speaks a made-up language and the English dialogue is provided in subtitles. So he might actually be calling the ship "Millenium [species of raptor-like animal from his home planet]" which is just translated as "Falcon" for sake of convenience (the Eldar Falcon tank in Warhammer 40k is named that way. It's actually named after Enfaolchu, a bird from the Eldar myth, but it's translated to Falcon for the sake of convenience).

Spiny Norman
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:10 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:34 am UTC

jpk wrote:
That's....
That's a good point, actually.
Huh.


No, no it's not. It's a story. You tell it in a language that people can understand. Why is it any more surprising that the word "falcon" is used than that the word "Milennium" is used. Or "parsec", or "second", or "made"?

Although, using "princess" to mean an elected official, that really is a bug in the translation convention (possibly a babel fish with an illness).
cphite wrote:4. Why wouldn't someone think to fit R2-D2 with a voice chip? I mean, even the friggin' trash cans had voice chips.

Exactly! He can FLY, weld, grab things, has a cattle prod, it's the ultimate swiss army droid, but he can't talk??
mikekearn wrote:They claim that TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, but I think that TV Tropes Will Enhance Your Life, since once I can see the tropes being used, I can let my brain stop worrying about the details and just enjoy the movie.

http://xkcd.com/609/
This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is nøt å signåture.™

User avatar
mikekearn
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:34 am UTC
Location: El Cajon, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby mikekearn » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:36 am UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:
mikekearn wrote:They claim that TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, but I think that TV Tropes Will Enhance Your Life, since once I can see the tropes being used, I can let my brain stop worrying about the details and just enjoy the movie.

http://xkcd.com/609/

That used to happen to me, until I reached the point where I'd actually read almost all of the common tropes. Now half the time I just quickly scan any trope page for new, relevant information, and close it if nothing jumps out at me.
"I will not succumb to temptation. Unless she's cute."

This is a haiku.
It has correct number of
Syllables. I think.

Visit the orphateria.

Spiny Norman
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:10 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:56 am UTC

Another thing that is desperately dated: the plans for the death star are stored in R2D2's memory banks. Why not make a few copies, split up, and post them to the RebelLeaks website?

Neostar wrote:
jpk wrote:We might as well get this straight: there are only three Star Wars movies.

We might as well get this straight: If it says Star Wars and was made by George Lucas, it is and was a Star Wars movie, no matter how... questionable the plot or characters were.
In other words: If it's cannon, it MATTERS!

What about the Holiday Special?
http://xkcd.com/653/

bigjeff5 wrote:Also, in my experience, people who had never seen Star Wars before Episode 1 came out generally prefer the new movies to the old. I don't generally hear people new to the series raving about the old movies, even if they did prefer them. That should tell you something about why you like the old movies so much better - it probably has nothing to do with the quality of the story or the believability with the universe. Don't get me wrong, the Star Wars trilogy is one of my favorite series of movies of all time (particularly ROTJ, which most people like least of the three), but I recognize that it is mostly nostalgia talking. The story is an unoriginal re-hash of an old meme, and the universe, as written, is completely absurd. That doesn't mean I can't like it, but I'm also not going to screw my brain up coming up with ridiculous rationalizations that Lucas himself couldn't be bothered with.

No. No way! Don't say that! Please, tell me that this is not true. Surely, if you see all 6 episodes today for the first time (leave out the holiday special), anyone with half a brain will prefer IV-V-VI?

This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is nøt å signåture.™

philip1201
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby philip1201 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:09 pm UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:
bigjeff5 wrote:Also, in my experience, people who had never seen Star Wars before Episode 1 came out generally prefer the new movies to the old. I don't generally hear people new to the series raving about the old movies, even if they did prefer them. That should tell you something about why you like the old movies so much better - it probably has nothing to do with the quality of the story or the believability with the universe. Don't get me wrong, the Star Wars trilogy is one of my favorite series of movies of all time (particularly ROTJ, which most people like least of the three), but I recognize that it is mostly nostalgia talking. The story is an unoriginal re-hash of an old meme, and the universe, as written, is completely absurd. That doesn't mean I can't like it, but I'm also not going to screw my brain up coming up with ridiculous rationalizations that Lucas himself couldn't be bothered with.

No. No way! Don't say that! Please, tell me that this is not true. Surely, if you see all 6 episodes today for the first time (leave out the holiday special), anyone with half a brain will prefer IV-V-VI?

Search your feelings, you kno- UGHRK

Anyways, people who have seen the new trilogy first and like it are entirely different people than those who would like the original trilogy. The new trilogy is primarily about the action - flashy 15 minute lightsaber battles, pod racing, droid factory mayhem, etc. The original trilogy on the other hand - the lightsaber battles are like samurai on novocaine, the x-wing dog fighting is less interesting, and infiltrating the death star is pretty much taken seriously. By the new trilogy's standards, the old trilogy sucks, because the action falls flat. By the old trilogy's standards, the new trilogy sucks, because the story falls flat. By the new trilogy's standards, Jar Jar Binks and Greedo shooting first make sense - it's about comic relief for kids and about having morally good characters, rather than people being funny and character growth.

j-beda
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:11 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby j-beda » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:16 pm UTC

Tim Harrod wrote:Ben: "Still, even a duck has to be taught to swim."

Luke: "What's a duck?"

Ben: "Never mind"

-From the novelization of Episode IV, copyright 1976.


Oh that's from the book!

I have always had a memory of some "duck out of water" type of quote from Ben on Tatoine, but couldn't find it whenever I saw the film/video/dvd - I figured it got clipped out by Lucas on one of the re-editings.

Spiny Norman
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:10 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

philip1201 wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
bigjeff5 wrote:Also, in my experience, people who had never seen Star Wars before Episode 1 came out generally prefer the new movies to the old. I don't generally hear people new to the series raving about the old movies, even if they did prefer them. That should tell you something about why you like the old movies so much better - it probably has nothing to do with the quality of the story or the believability with the universe. Don't get me wrong, the Star Wars trilogy is one of my favorite series of movies of all time (particularly ROTJ, which most people like least of the three), but I recognize that it is mostly nostalgia talking. The story is an unoriginal re-hash of an old meme, and the universe, as written, is completely absurd. That doesn't mean I can't like it, but I'm also not going to screw my brain up coming up with ridiculous rationalizations that Lucas himself couldn't be bothered with.

No. No way! Don't say that! Please, tell me that this is not true. Surely, if you see all 6 episodes today for the first time (leave out the holiday special), anyone with half a brain will prefer IV-V-VI?

Search your feelings, you kno- UGHRK

Anyways, people who have seen the new trilogy first and like it are entirely different people than those who would like the original trilogy. The new trilogy is primarily about the action - flashy 15 minute lightsaber battles, pod racing, droid factory mayhem, etc. The original trilogy on the other hand - the lightsaber battles are like samurai on novocaine, the x-wing dog fighting is less interesting, and infiltrating the death star is pretty much taken seriously. By the new trilogy's standards, the old trilogy sucks, because the action falls flat. By the old trilogy's standards, the new trilogy sucks, because the story falls flat. By the new trilogy's standards, Jar Jar Binks and Greedo shooting first make sense - it's about comic relief for kids and about having morally good characters, rather than people being funny and character growth.


And if they watch them them in the order IV-V-VI-I-II-III (still without the holiday special)? Because I'd agree that watching them from I to VI won't work and will only ruin a few surprises.

What's next? Indiana Jones IV fans scoffing at 'Raiders', 'Doom', and 'Crusade'? We're doomed!
This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is nøt å signåture.™

AlejoHausner1
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:20 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby AlejoHausner1 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

Randall, you're missing the point. You're being too literal-minded. The Star Wars films are not exact representations of what happened. They are fictionalized accounts of actual historical events. You must remember that those events occurred a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. If George Lucas were to present those events in their raw form, we would be at a total loss. We would certainly not understand the language, since so much time has passed that the language has become unintelligible to us. The historical persons, their actions, their thoughts, heck their minds themselves are probably too alien for us to comprehend.

Hence Lucas has to cast those historical events into a form that is accessible to humans, and in particular to North American humans. Other historians like James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and Gene Roddenberry also face similar problems, since they have to translate events in the future into forms that we in the present can understand.

rpgamer
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:54 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby rpgamer » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

philip1201 wrote:Anyways, people who have seen the new trilogy first and like it are entirely different people than those who would like the original trilogy. The new trilogy is primarily about the action - flashy 15 minute lightsaber battles, pod racing, droid factory mayhem, etc. The original trilogy on the other hand - the lightsaber battles are like samurai on novocaine, the x-wing dog fighting is less interesting, and infiltrating the death star is pretty much taken seriously. By the new trilogy's standards, the old trilogy sucks, because the action falls flat. By the old trilogy's standards, the new trilogy sucks, because the story falls flat. By the new trilogy's standards, Jar Jar Binks and Greedo shooting first make sense - it's about comic relief for kids and about having morally good characters, rather than people being funny and character growth.

The acting in all of them is bad enough to negate any of their good points, for me.
All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.

Hekateras
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Hekateras » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

Farabor wrote:You may be missing the point here...

Sure, there may be falcon-equivalents in the Star Wars Galaxy that the ship is named for....but how likely is LUKE to know what one is? I mean, he comes from a freaking desert planet!

I certainly don't know the names of all the weird species that are on my own freaking planet, let alone somewhere out there in the galaxy...I think its perfectly reasonable to have Luke have no clue what a falcon is, as I'm sure there's no Tattoine equivalent.


In that case, my issue is about the plausibility of an entire desert planet that can support life.

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby bmonk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

DreadArchon wrote:What I find strangest about the parsecs discussion is that nobody ever brings up special relativity. Higher speeds give you a shorter distance in your own frame of reference, so your speed can be measured by the distance you appear to be covering, even if you're doing a straight line through empty space with no black hole nonsense.

Sure, the general public doesn't know this, but what are we saying here? That Star Wars fans aren't nerdy enough to have heard of special relativity? The whole thing is just weird.

It's like the Dr. McNinja page where the author received dozens of angry e-mails about sound in space, but not a single one about cell phones on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. :lol:

This is a good point actually--and it shows that the Star Wars fans may be nerds, but they haven't experienced much FTL travel, or even seriously fast travel, to think in terms of Special Relativity effects.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

not baby Newt
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby not baby Newt » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

DreadArchon wrote:What I find strangest about the parsecs discussion is that nobody ever brings up special relativity. Higher speeds give you a shorter distance in your own frame of reference, so your speed can be measured by the distance you appear to be covering, even if you're doing a straight line through empty space with no black hole nonsense.

I haven't asked a phycisist to calculate the effect of special relativity at 14c, but I expect I'd get funny looks.

Sure, the general public doesn't know this, but what are we saying here? That Star Wars fans aren't nerdy enough to have heard of special relativity? The whole thing is just weird.

Could be they've heard of it, but dont think it applies. It's hard to say for sure but they dont seem to move all that fast, except when they do the faster than light thing. Iirc percieved distance approaches zero as you get close to light speed, above that all bets are off.

MrConor
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:19 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby MrConor » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
That's....
That's a good point, actually.
Huh.


No, no it's not. It's a story. You tell it in a language that people can understand. Why is it any more surprising that the word "falcon" is used than that the word "Milennium" is used. Or "parsec", or "second", or "made"?



On the Translation Convention:

Image

vs.

Image

This is what one might call 'damned if you do, damned if you don't.'

"...We could have told you that our character paused to strap on his quonglishes before setting out on a walk of seven vorks along the main gleebish of his native znoob, and everything would have seemed ever so much more thoroughly alien. But it also would have been ever so much more difficult to make sense out of what we were saying, and that did not seem useful."
— Excerpt of the "To the Reader" letter at the very start of Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's Nightfall, Spectro Publishing's extended edition.

DrZiro
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:51 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DrZiro » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:30 pm UTC

The drawings of their hair are actually really good. One of these days he'll be moving up to eyes.

User avatar
DreadArchon
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:29 pm UTC
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DreadArchon » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:21 am UTC

not baby Newt wrote:I haven't asked a phycisist to calculate the effect of special relativity at 14c, but I expect I'd get funny looks.


Just because you can push the boundaries and hard limits doesn't mean the whole subject goes out the window. "Go faster, get spacetime geometry changes" could quite probably apply as a general principle even if we have misunderstandings about what happens when you reach the extremes of the theoretical limits.

RogueCynic
Posts: 410
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:38 am UTC

cphite wrote:1. Han uses the term "parsec" because Lucas didn't do enough research; but in the grand scheme of things, using a scientific term incorrectly isn't that great of a sin when you think of all the other stuff that Hollywood gets wrong. That said, all of the various rationalizations about black holes and so forth trying to make it so that Han was actually using the term correctly or deceptively are just nonsense.

2. The ship is called the Millennium Falcon because it sounds cool.

3. You can't have fire or explosions in space; and certainly not noise. However, with something the size of the Death Star, there would be more than enough air (and we can assume, oxygen) contained within it to fuel a fairly sizable ball of fire when you destroyed the thing.

4. Why wouldn't someone think to fit R2-D2 with a voice chip? I mean, even the friggin' trash cans had voice chips.

5. Han shoots first. The guy was a smuggler no matter how he redeemed himself later.


1. It is quite possible Han was using the term properly in his universe. I know of a word in two different languages and two different root languages with very similar pronunciations and two very different meanings.

2. I'll give you that one.

3. Refer to my earlier post.

4.He was a repair droid. Repair 2 Droid 2. What's he going to say, "I'm on my break."?

5. I believe the scene was edited in the re-release to change the order of who shot first.
I am Lord Titanius Englesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood.
See 1 Kings 7:23 for pi.
If you put a prune in a juicer, what would you get?

Brian-M
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:31 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Brian-M » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:18 am UTC

Whenever I see movies about humans in space I always assume that it's set in the distant future. After all, there's plenty of archaeological and paleontological evidence that we originated on this world, and we haven't traveled to other star systems yet, so logically the story must be set in the distant future, even if the the events of the story are past events from the viewpoint of the storyteller.

So there's no reason why Luke wouldn't know what a falcon was, assuming that he picked up a history book at some point. After all, I know about Dodo birds, Tasmanian Tigers, Passenger Pigeons and Pterodactyls, even though I've never seen one and never will.

(Of course, IcarusFountain beat me to this point, but I've been itching to say this for a while now, but didn't bother logging in before.)

Also, there's no reason why Parsec couldn't just be short for Light-Parsec (the amount of time it takes light to transverse one parsec), even though it's unlikely that's what George Lucas was actually thinking of when he wrote the script.

(But dmm beat me to that point too. That's what I get for procrastinating.)

cphite wrote:4. Why wouldn't someone think to fit R2-D2 with a voice chip? I mean, even the friggin' trash cans had voice chips.

That point always annoyed me too. It especially annoyed me that everyone in the movie acts like they understand what he's saying without needing translation. What possible reason could the average person have for learning to understand astro-navigation service-droid language?

cphite wrote:5. Han shoots first. The guy was a smuggler no matter how he redeemed himself later.

I agree. It also makes no sense for a professional bounty-hunter to shoot his victim from point-blank range and somehow miss.

Another point that bugs me is that if Jedi can affect matter from a distance, why do they need to fight each-other with light-sabers? Couldn't they just use the force to crush the other Jedi's brain-stem? Instant victory!

And in the prequel trilogy, I don't see why they consider the prophecy about Anikin bringing balance to the force a good thing. After all, there's hundreds of Jedi on the Light side, but only two Sith on the dark side. The obvious way to bring the force back into balance is to kill all but two of the Jedi, which is exactly what happened. Prophecy fulfilled.

User avatar
mikekearn
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:34 am UTC
Location: El Cajon, CA, USA
Contact:

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby mikekearn » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Brian-M wrote:Another point that bugs me is that if Jedi can affect matter from a distance, why do they need to fight each-other with light-sabers? Couldn't they just use the force to crush the other Jedi's brain-stem? Instant victory!

And in the prequel trilogy, I don't see why they consider the prophecy about Anikin bringing balance to the force a good thing. After all, there's hundreds of Jedi on the Light side, but only two Sith on the dark side. The obvious way to bring the force back into balance is to kill all but two of the Jedi, which is exactly what happened. Prophecy fulfilled.

I don't recall if either is explained in the films, but the books talk about how being Force-sensitive (as all Jedi are) offers you both some protection against the Force being used on you, as well as a limited sense of precognition. Meaning, if someone tried to force choke your brain, you'd be able to either prevent it, or retaliate in the same fashion before you are killed. Hence, Force battles are indecisive unless one side greatly overpowers the other, so they fight with lightsabers instead.

Also, I made that same joke about bringing balance to the force, but it was Yoda talking about how the Dark Side was gaining power and the Light Side being powerless to stop it. It's true, Anakin-as-Vader killed hundreds of Jedi, but in the end, he also helped to bring down Palpatine, arguably the most powerful Sith Lord anyone had seen in living memory at the time, helping to bring down the Empire entirely.
"I will not succumb to temptation. Unless she's cute."

This is a haiku.
It has correct number of
Syllables. I think.

Visit the orphateria.

bcoblentz
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:28 am UTC
Location: Davis, CA

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby bcoblentz » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:36 am UTC

To quote William Shatner, my favorite Star Wars cast member: "Get a life."

EvilRoy Slade
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:48 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby EvilRoy Slade » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

According to the RPG (West End) the official Imperial language is something called "Basic" and generally only non-humans who lack the ability to vocalize it properly (wookies) do not speak it but usually can still understand it. That at least justifies everyone in the movie speaking roughly the same language, although not necessarily english.

Other options are vocoders or vocabulators like the one Leia used in VI during Han's rescue at Jabba's palace.

scarletmanuka
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:29 am UTC
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby scarletmanuka » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

Farabor wrote:Sure, there may be falcon-equivalents in the Star Wars Galaxy that the ship is named for....but how likely is LUKE to know what one is? I mean, he comes from a freaking desert planet!

Perhaps Millennium Vulture didn't sound as good?

Banksy wrote:A parsec is actually defined as the distance that subtends a parallax angle of one arcsecond, so it's a fairly standard distance measurement.

You forgot the part about "at the radius of the Earth's orbit". That would make it slightly less standard for other planets.

bcoblentz wrote:William Shatner
Star Wars

Nicely played.

philip1201
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby philip1201 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:40 pm UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
Banksy wrote:A parsec is actually defined as the distance that subtends a parallax angle of one arcsecond, so it's a fairly standard distance measurement.

You forgot the part about "at the radius of the Earth's orbit". That would make it slightly less standard for other planets.


You forget that for the sake of convenience, Coruscant is basically Earth when it comes to all planetary standards of measurement, including the radius of the orbit. The definition of a Parsec would also be defined with respect to Coruscant, just like the "galactic standard year" is just 290,090,248,154,487,616 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between two sublevels of the groundstate of a cesium-133 atom.

Jeff S
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Jeff S » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

I've got another explanation for the whole "12 Parsecs" statement.

The idea comes from a simple question - how does "Hyperspace" work? I mean, we're talking about Faster Than Light drives. All issues of normal space 'distance', perhaps don't apply the same way. So, for example, perhaps a hyperspace engine works by creating a space bubble, or wormhole, which brings a distant point relatively close to your starting point. The length of the wormhole can notionally be measured in normal units, and the better your engine in, the shorter the relative length of that wormhole is. So, The MilF's ("Mil"lennium "F"alcon, hehe) hyperdrive creates very short tunnels, which is far more important for 'speed' than the thrust of the vector engines. So, for a hyperspace jump, measuring the relative length of the wormhole is the best way to describe the ship's speed.

How's that sound?

User avatar
DreadArchon
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:29 pm UTC
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DreadArchon » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

Jeff S wrote:I've got another explanation for the whole "12 Parsecs" statement.

The idea comes from a simple question - how does "Hyperspace" work? I mean, we're talking about Faster Than Light drives. All issues of normal space 'distance', perhaps don't apply the same way. So, for example, perhaps a hyperspace engine works by creating a space bubble, or wormhole, which brings a distant point relatively close to your starting point. The length of the wormhole can notionally be measured in normal units, and the better your engine in, the shorter the relative length of that wormhole is. So, The MilF's ("Mil"lennium "F"alcon, hehe) hyperdrive creates very short tunnels, which is far more important for 'speed' than the thrust of the vector engines. So, for a hyperspace jump, measuring the relative length of the wormhole is the best way to describe the ship's speed.

How's that sound?


That's basically how normal space works when you go fast in real life. That's not, however, how wormholes work. :lol:

PhilZombie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:30 am UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby PhilZombie » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:12 am UTC

Interesting. I wrote a little piece about this particular issue recently at: http://www.typetrigger.com/philosophical_zombie/see%20you%20in%20hell

I love Star Wars. Far more than is healthy, to be honest. But it always bothered me a bit when, in The Empire Strikes Back, Han growls to anonymous rebel officer, "Then I'll see you in hell!" as he heads out into blizzard conditions to search for a missing-presumed-dead Luke Skywalker.

What exactly is this "hell" he's referring to? Star Wars takes place in "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", which is movie shorthand for saying it's an alternate reality. And this reality has the Force, not fundamentalist Christian theology, and the only afterlife that apparently exists is for the handful of Jedi that have learned to become freaky holo-ghosts who can appear when needed, to guide, reassure or provide plot exposition. Nothing to indicate eternal torture in a lake of fire for those who haven't accepted Jesus.

You could argue that this is simply an issue of translation. Since they'd obviously not be speaking English (from England, which doesn't exist), this is simply a convenient translation of whatever their generic "get fucked" phrase might happen to be, for our benefit.

I'm going to be a pedantic prick and argue differently. The key thing here is "alternate reality". In the Star Wars universe, Earth, Christianity, and our laws of nature simply don't exist. So they could quite plausibly be speaking "English" (but called something different, obviously.) Therefore, the stuff they say has to make sense within the framework of reality that we see. Which, clearly, a reference to some place called "hell" does not. It jarringly breaks one's willing suspension of disbelief (in this immersive alternate reality) momentarily, so it counts as a writing mistake in my book.

Did I mention I was quite the Star Wars nerd?

mooncow
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:12 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby mooncow » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:26 am UTC

Noid.EXE wrote:
toluene wrote:Wait wait WAIT. "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs."

Wait wait WAIT. A parsec is a unit of distance, not time. What gives, Mr. Munroe?


I remember watching it with him, and when we reached the
part where Han Solo brags that the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in "less than
twelve parsecs," he made an exasperated sound. I asked him what was wrong, and he
explained that a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. I said, "Dad, it's just a movie." He said,
"Yes, but they can afford to get the science right." And I thought, yes. He's absolutely right.


-- Nick Sagan, Memories of my Dad


What's interesting here is the assumption that it is "the movie" that has made a mistake. *People* make mistakes all the time, especially when they are trying to use highfalutin language to impress. Why not suppose that, if it was a mistake, it was Han Solo who made the mistake?

Technical Ben
Posts: 2986
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:38 am UTC

Yep. That basically. You can imagine Luke and Ben going "great, this is the guy we have as a pilot!?"
It's all physics and stamp collecting.
It's not a particle or a wave. It's just an exchange.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acunning40 and 110 guests