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Old 12-20-2017, 09:19 AM
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Default "Star Wars" galaxy (link)

Hello All,

According to "Star Wars," all of the events depicted in the movies occurred "A Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"--a galaxy whose name was apparently never mentioned (although according to *this* https://scifi.stackexchange.com/que...xy-far-far-away source, a race called the Nagai referred to it as "Skyriver"), and:

Be that as it may, a real galaxy has been found which might plausibly be construed to be that cinematic island universe. A "twin" of our own galaxy, which like the Milky Way is a giant barred spiral with two satellite galaxies (see: http://www.newscientist.com/article...ght-years-away/ ), has been found 180 million light-years away...
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by blackshire
Hello All,

According to "Star Wars," all of the events depicted in the movies occurred "A Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"--.....a real galaxy has been found .... 180 million light-years away...

What does "far, far away" really mean? On a galactic scale, 180 million light-years is just a bit outside of the Local Supercluster. Maybe a trip across town might be "far away," but "far, far away?" I'm a little dubious of this claim.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by astronwolf
but "far, far away?" I'm a little dubious of this claim.

You are kidding, right? Blackshire was just having fun introducing the article about Korean astronomers finding a near twin to our own galaxy.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tbzep
You are kidding, right? Blackshire was just having fun introducing the article about Korean astronomers finding a near twin to our own galaxy.
Yep--that's all I was doing. To us (if not to galaxies, in comparison with their diameters), 180 light-years is indeed "far, far away." Ditto for "A long time ago"; if that was the galaxy, and we could "hear" radio evidence of that cinematic conflict today, that would mean that those events occurred 180 million years ago, about three times farther back in time than the demise of the dinosaurs here on Earth. Some quasars (what were, as we see them today as they were then, very bright, young galaxies) are *billions* ("sagans" :-) ) of light years away... Also:

Actually, George Lucas was wise to ^not^ be specific about *which* galaxy or era (as referenced to Earth) the events of the movies occurred in, just in case, say, that galaxy was later found to be hostile to life because of higher radiation there. The star orbited by Vulcan in the "Star Trek" series and movies was identified as 40 Eridani (it's actually a triple star system), but so far, no habitable exoplanets have been found there (see: http://www.space.com/33653-is-plane...-trek-real.html )--they should have maintained Gene Roddenberry's silence regarding which stars are the home suns of which races.
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by blackshire
Yep--that's all I was doing.

I concede that "far, far away" could be 180 million light years away. I'll just have to be content with speculating that Lucas didn't exhaust just how much he wanted to emphasize just how far away that galaxy was. Lucas could have said, "...in a galaxy really, really, super-far away..." or something like that. No, merely "far, far away," sufficed, but apparently "Far away" wasn't quite far away enough. Note though, that Lucas did not say, "...in a galaxy far, far away that resembles the Milky Way..." There is no reason that the Star Wars galaxy would have to be anything like the Milky Way galaxy in form and size.

Then there is the "long ago" part.
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
I concede that "far, far away" could be 180 million light years away. I'll just have to be content with speculating that Lucas didn't exhaust just how much he wanted to emphasize just how far away that galaxy was. Lucas could have said, "...in a galaxy really, really, super-far away..." or something like that. No, merely "far, far away," sufficed, but apparently "Far away" wasn't quite far away enough. Note though, that Lucas did not say, "...in a galaxy far, far away that resembles the Milky Way..." There is no reason that the Star Wars galaxy would have to be anything like the Milky Way galaxy in form and size.

Then there is the "long ago" part.
I thank you, but there's nothing to concede here, because how such introductions sound--and the imagery they connote--are more important than hard factual accuracy, because those things make them memorable and heart-stirring, as in poetry. Also:

Robert Heinlein suggested the very thing that George Lucas did regarding the galaxy and the era--"In science fiction stories, don't give too many details." I can see how the practice of doing the opposite (giving too much detail) can--at least partly--"spoil" such stories. In one of the later "Star Wars" movies (Lucas might not have been involved with it, or at least not as closely as with his earliest films in the franchise), the Force was explained in scientific terms, which many film critics and fans weren't pleased with, because it took away some of the mystery, magic, and wonder of the Force. In addition:

You're quite right regarding the recently-discovered "twin" of the Milky Way, as there is no hint in the "Star Wars" films about what type of galaxy the stories occur (occurred, from our temporal vantage point) in. A large spiral galaxy--or a barred spiral galaxy, like ours (I had long wished that we lived in one, after seeing pictures of them; they look majestic to me, and sure enough, a few years ago it was discovered that our galaxy *does* have a central bar [see: http://www.google.com/search?source...1.0.uAlSfowJrkk ])--just "looks and feels right" as an appropriately grand setting for such an epic interstellar saga, and:

A small galaxy, like a dwarf elliptical or an irregular galaxy, just wouldn't do, and while the largest galaxies of all are giant ellipticals, they have little or no structure or internal variations (such as dust lanes), and they are extremely bright, which--aesthetically--doesn't seem quite right for stories that involve both moral darkness and light. Physically as well, the skies in elliptical galaxies (of all sizes) might look quite alien to human eyes, like how they would appear from a planet near the heart of a globular cluster in our own galaxy. With virtually no dust to absorb starlight, one could see clear across an elliptical galaxy, so that the skies of planets inside them would be crammed with stars and would likely be abnormally (to us) bright, perhaps even to the point that "night" would have little meaning.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:49 PM
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Are you folks forgetting that the light from the stars we see today is from far, far away and hundreds or thousands of years away in the past.

We see the light from the stars of the past.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dlazarus6660
Are you folks forgetting that the light from the stars we see today is from far, far away and hundreds or thousands of years away in the past.

We see the light from the stars of the past.
Already covered in Reply #4 above; I've looked back millions of years at the Andromeda and Sombrero galaxies. On the night when Comet Hyakutake was closest to Earth, I viewed it from Everglades National Park. From there I also saw our nearest stellar neighbors, the Alpha Centauri system, low above the horizon (the very faint Proxima Centauri was quite invisible, of course; the visible light came from Alpha Centauri A and B), and I wondered if at that moment someone might be looking back at me across those 4.3 light-years.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by blackshire
(snip)

Robert Heinlein suggested the very thing that George Lucas did regarding the galaxy and the era--"In science fiction stories, don't give too many details." I can see how the practice of doing the opposite (giving too much detail) can--at least partly--"spoil" such stories. In one of the later "Star Wars" movies (Lucas might not have been involved with it, or at least not as closely as with his earliest films in the franchise), the Force was explained in scientific terms, which many film critics and fans weren't pleased with, because it took away some of the mystery, magic, and wonder of the Force. In addition:

(Snip).


Yeah, that would be the prequels. I remember back in 1977 when we went and saw the original "Star Wars"... I was about 6 or so. I remember my parents, particularly my Dad and Grandpa, having an interesting discussion about the "Force" and how it related to God, religion, and the Bible... I found it interesting that George Lucas had populated his galaxy with so many "familiar faces"... For instance, Chewbacca is basically a "Bigfoot" or sasquatch. Most of the denizens of the famous original "Mos Eisley Cantina" scene were creatures you'd read about in fairy tales or other stories, old fables, legends, UFO stories, etc. There were giant grey aliens, a horned "devil", giant rat creature, a yeti-looking creature, "Amazon" looking women, etc. Sorta like such things might have "inspired" our own stories or legends.

Similarly, the "Force" was also similar to many human legends... basically the "Things you will see-- other places, old friends long gone", mind reading, and the "Force suggestion" is basically ESP when you think about it. Using the Force to move objects is basically telekinesis, etc. I remember the old folk's discussion recognized the references I just made, and then moved into postulating how much of such abilities or talents displayed in our own world are "gifts from God" or the nature of them...

Then of course along came the prequels, and for SOME STUPID REASON they felt the need to "explain" the Force as resulting from "midichlorians", some sort of microscopic life forms that live inside our cells, and who give us knowledge of the Force (presumably, the ability to sense or access the power of the Force). This basically flew in the face of previous explanations given in the films, like how Ben explained the Force to Luke in the original Star Wars-- "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power-- it's an ENERGY FIELD CREATED BY *ALL* LIVING THINGS... it SURROUNDS us, it PENETRATES us, it BINDS THE GALAXY TOGETHER (presumably in a figurative sense, since gravity binds the galaxy together in a literal sense-- "binding the galaxy together" I took to mean that it allows someone sensitive to the Force to sense the feelings or circumstances of others, other times, or other places, through the energy of the Force, and to exert influence on reality using the power of the Force... sorta similar to what we call "quantum entanglement" today...

Reducing it to a bunch of nonsense about "midichlorians" basically reduced it to an "infection" or whatever...

Later! OL J R
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Yeah, that would be the prequels. I remember back in 1977 when we went and saw the original "Star Wars"... I was about 6 or so. I remember my parents, particularly my Dad and Grandpa, having an interesting discussion about the "Force" and how it related to God, religion, and the Bible... I found it interesting that George Lucas had populated his galaxy with so many "familiar faces"... For instance, Chewbacca is basically a "Bigfoot" or sasquatch. Most of the denizens of the famous original "Mos Eisley Cantina" scene were creatures you'd read about in fairy tales or other stories, old fables, legends, UFO stories, etc. There were giant grey aliens, a horned "devil", giant rat creature, a yeti-looking creature, "Amazon" looking women, etc. Sorta like such things might have "inspired" our own stories or legends.

Similarly, the "Force" was also similar to many human legends... basically the "Things you will see-- other places, old friends long gone", mind reading, and the "Force suggestion" is basically ESP when you think about it. Using the Force to move objects is basically telekinesis, etc. I remember the old folk's discussion recognized the references I just made, and then moved into postulating how much of such abilities or talents displayed in our own world are "gifts from God" or the nature of them...

Then of course along came the prequels, and for SOME STUPID REASON they felt the need to "explain" the Force as resulting from "midichlorians", some sort of microscopic life forms that live inside our cells, and who give us knowledge of the Force (presumably, the ability to sense or access the power of the Force). This basically flew in the face of previous explanations given in the films, like how Ben explained the Force to Luke in the original Star Wars-- "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power-- it's an ENERGY FIELD CREATED BY *ALL* LIVING THINGS... it SURROUNDS us, it PENETRATES us, it BINDS THE GALAXY TOGETHER (presumably in a figurative sense, since gravity binds the galaxy together in a literal sense-- "binding the galaxy together" I took to mean that it allows someone sensitive to the Force to sense the feelings or circumstances of others, other times, or other places, through the energy of the Force, and to exert influence on reality using the power of the Force... sorta similar to what we call "quantum entanglement" today...

Reducing it to a bunch of nonsense about "midichlorians" basically reduced it to an "infection" or whatever...

Later! OL J R
While C. S. Lewis spoke of Christianity being spread like a good infection (that could even be carried by those who didn't have it themselves, as was his own experience--people who weren't Christians themselves helped him become one), he made it clear that he was using the concept of a good infection only as an analogy, unlike what the producers of the Star Wars prequels did. (It is actually possible to catch a good infection; people who make miso, a fermented soybeans [or soybeans and rice] food, almost never catch colds, flu, or other infections, because their bodies are already infected [inoculated] with the beneficial microbes from the miso.)

George Lucas has said that he included the Force in the Star Wars movies to encourage young people to think about larger spiritual matters, as well as the ramifications of good and evil. He deliberately made the Force something with no formal rites of worship surrounding it, to avoid sectarian squabbles and to keep attention focused on the large, overarching issues which affect everyone. I hadn't known that he has pondered the subject so deeply or for so long, as this interview (see: http://content.time.com/time/magazi...23298-2,00.html ) shows.
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