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What's more annoying, X-wings or Vipers?


Wallace
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What do you find more annoying in sci-fi: when they just totally ignore the laws of physics, like in Star Wars when the X-wings just fly about like planes, always pointing the nose forwards and turning like they are in atmosphere, or when they try and make it realistic, like in new Battlestar Galactica, where the Vipers have RCS and can spin around away from their direction of travel to shoot behind them etc, but then later you will see them cock it up and have them banking through turns like planes.

It's kind of disappointing when they make an effort to be more realistic, but ultimately **** it up, but I still prefer that to when they just ignore it altogether.

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Fighter movement in Star Wars was originally based on WWII wing camera footage. At least I know that there was a rough cut that used WWII footage in place of where effects shots would be because the effects shots weren't done yet. But IIRC Lucas WANTED them to move in a manner that was familiar to people, just as he wanted sound for weapons and explosions.

I've always assumed BSG went the opposite route but for the same reasons - it was the aesthetic they wanted. The ones I find most annoying are the ones that achieve NEITHER of the styles very well, where they seem not to be thinking at all about what it is their ships are actually doing on screen and why, they just need to have ship A move from one side to the other and then blow something up and don't much care about the style in which it does that.

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Yep. It is not the vehicles themselves, it is all about general combat feeling that the producer wanted you to get. Star Wars is a WW2 story, on a sci-fi canvas. New BG went the fan way - guess too many nerds complained about the physics, and as the series (movies) is much less a one-man creation, rather just a show, concessions were made.

That said, I think both are reasonably epic : ) And you forget Star Trek recent movies, where physics are somewhere in between atmospheric and Newtoian-in-vacuum. Also something to ponder.

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Getting heated up over “lack of realism†in SF movies, that’s more annoying. :)

Practically any movie is full of BS and unrealistic portrayals of practically anything in daily life. Sure, you can pick one particular type of behavior (in this case zero-gravity physics in a vacuum environment) but why stop there?

It's better to just enjoy the production. The only way to not get confronted with any violation of real-world behavior is to not watch it. Getting upset over certain things in a genre that has the word FICTION in it just seems... meh.

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I'm sure I read somewhere that George Lucas was inspired by the film " 633 Squadron " when it came to the combat scenes.

Don't forget The Dam Busters. Some of the trench run dialog was taken straight from that movie.

The Dam Busters:

Gibson: "How many guns do you think there are, Trevor?"

Trevor-Roper: "I'd say there are about ten guns - some in the field, and some in the tower."

Star Wars:

Gold Leader: "How many guns do you think Gold Five?"

Gold Five: "I'd say 20 guns. Some on the surface, some on the tower."

Edited by razark
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Don't forget The Dam Busters.

It's a good job he didn't use the name of Guy Gibson's dog then :D

( You may not know what that is, the word is edited out of the film nowadays - let's just say that it's a racial epithet which belongs back in the 1940's - if it belongs anywhere at all :D )

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It's a good job he didn't use the name of Guy Gibson's dog then

I heard that it's being changed to "Digger" in the remake.

Personally, I think it would have been fine not to change it, it was the dog's name, not something some script writer came up with. But I can understand changing it. It's a movie, not a documentary.

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It's amazing that with so much good input Lucas made one of the worst sci-fi films ever. Don't even start me talking about the annoying homosexual robot...

I suppose the best thing I can say about it is that it wasn't as bad as Star Trek...

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I can understand why Lucas went with the atmo-style X-wing, but knowing what I know about physics, it just bugs me to see anything fly like that in space. Plus, watching the Vipers flip around speaks to the skill those pilots have over Star Wars pilots.

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It's amazing that with so much good input Lucas made one of the worst sci-fi films ever. Don't even start me talking about the annoying homosexual robot...

I suppose the best thing I can say about it is that it wasn't as bad as Star Trek...

Well, sorry but talking like this won't make you cool, just to make sure. Criticizing is not done like this. You may be annoyed from the movie but people put hundreds of hours making all those movies and there is so much effort in those movies, no need to mention millions that appreciated.

If one day you are going to shoot a movie that obeys the physics laws and has at lease same quality scenario as Star Wars, tell me so I can watch it ;)

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Well, sorry but talking like this won't make you cool, just to make sure.

I don't really care if anyone thinks I'm cool. Especially as most KSP fans seem to be about 14 year old Emo kids ;)

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I don't really care if anyone thinks I'm cool. Especially as most KSP fans seem to be about 14 year old Emo kids ;)

Excellent, because all mods are angry hate filled banning machines, ready to strike at the smallest insult on the forums and issue 1 year bans fun!

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I don't get why people are so dead set on realism in Science Fiction, it's kinda of a self-defeating purpose. When I watch a Sci-fi movie, I pay attention to the setting, passing judgement based on the rules that universe gives, and set my expectations accordingly. As long it does not contradict its own rules, I'm fine with it. I know enough about orbital mechanics to appreciate when they do get some things right, but not so hellbent on realism that it sucks the fun out of watching things that do not match KSP level of accuracy.

Edited by WhiteWeasel
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I don't get why people are so dead set on realism in Science Fiction, it's kinda of a self-defeating purpose. When I watch a Sci-fi movie, I pay attention to the setting, passing judgement based on the rules that universe gives, and set my expectations accordingly. As long it does not contradict its own rules, I'm fine with it. I know enough about orbital mechanics to appreciate when they do get some things right, but not so hellbent on realism that it sucks the fun out of watching things that do not match KSP level of accuracy.

Yeah, sci-fi exists on a continuum. At one end you have fluff like Star Wars and Star Trek that are all fi and sod all sci, and at the other you get hard sci fi. The latter doesn't make it onto the screen much, it's mostly a literary genre.

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I was wondering what if the ships had some sort of maneuvering technology that whe arent aware of...

like a microwarpdrive that not only increases speed but also maneuverablity

or a sistem that lets them "dig in" the darkmatter/subspace/whatever else floats your boat,giving them plane like capabilities?

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For the record, the retroactive explanation for the "atmospheric" maneuvering depicted by the starfighters in Star Wars:

The earliest starfighters were outgrowths of atmospheric fighter craft, and, indeed, flew using aerodynamic lift rather than repulsorlift technology while in atmosphere. Since they were expected to be able to fight effectively in an atmosphere, where they used aerodynamic lift, that meant that the pilots would have to learn to fight while flying them like the jet fighters we see in our universe. Now, air combat is a VERY stressful thing. You're in a tight cockpit, pulling many Gs, under information overload as you try to keep track of where you are, where the enemy is, where the ground is, and how each is moving relative to the others, plus watch for unexpected threats (like, say, a surface-to-air missile being fired at you), all while your heart is racing, you've almost got more adrenaline than blood in your veins, and the other guy is trying VERY hard to kill you. In that sort of situation, the way you control your fighter has to be completely instinctive. You can't be thinking about *how* you perform the maneuver, you need to just think the maneuver and have your hands and feet automatically make the moves to carry it out. (You get something similar with driving a car in poor conditions... or even walking. If you try to manually command every single move that needs to be done, you'll end up failing completely, which is why it takes babies and spinal injury victims months to learn how to walk.) What's more, with the far higher relative velocities possible in space combat, that happens even *faster* and you can't take the time to think about how to do it.

So instead of having two separate sets of controls and/or control logic, the designers set up a control logic for these early exoatmospheric fighters (they were primarily atmospheric fighters with a basic space combat capability) that would allow the use of a single set of controls, and have the vehicle fly in exactly the same way in space as it does in the atmosphere, for human factors engineering. There is a manual override that allows the pilot to make (at least) uninhibited three-axis rotational maneuvers (possibly translation, too, though that's never been clarified), but by default, it remains in "aerodynamic flight emulation" mode simply to help the pilot not have to think about how he's going to maneuver. As later starfighters came along, including repulsorlift craft that didn't use aerodynamic lift at all, the deliberate decision was made to retain that same control logic to avoid having to completely retrain all existing starfighter pilots to a different set of control laws. (This is the same reason that, for example, helicopters are generally flown from the RIGHT-hand seat--the earliest helicopter pilots learned to fly from the left seat, but when they started training new pilots, they stayed in the left seat to retain the familiar viewpoint. As a result, pilots after them all learned to fly in the right-hand seat, and thus a standard was set that sticks to this day.)

So yeah, the starfighters *can* maneuver like real spacecraft, but the designers set them up not to do so by default, initially to simplify the pilot's combat workload, but later, due to the same sheer inertia that results in MIL-STDs living forever. (Cue the likely-apochryphal story about the standard railroad gauge being derived from a Roman military standard for chariot axles...)

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That explanation doesn't hold together. In combat, a bad habit only lasts until you meet somebody who doesn't have that habit, then he kills you, and everybody else drops that bad habit instantly or dies. In other words, pilots who kept flying as if they were in atmo would be sitting ducks for pilots who knew how to use their ships in space, and nobody would train or allow their pilots to follow those bad habits.

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With Star Wars, it's supposed to look like that. It's science fantasy, and there isn't anything wrong with that. BSG, on the other hand, is supposed to be a realistic depiction of what an interstellar society might look like, science and all. Thus, the Vipers and other ships that can turn on a dime and hit their targets with ease don't fit.

Then again, I might be biased. :)

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With Star Wars, it's supposed to look like that. It's science fantasy, and there isn't anything wrong with that. BSG, on the other hand, is supposed to be a realistic depiction of what an interstellar society might look like, science and all. Thus, the Vipers and other ships that can turn on a dime and hit their targets with ease don't fit.

Then again, I might be biased. :)

You might be? C'mon, you are a Jedi Master :D Jokes aside, I totally agree with you about Star Wars and BSG

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