My new pointless Star Wars theory

I’ve been cogitating on this for awhile but a Tweet by James Davis Nicoll precipitated me into revealing a key insight:

This was not the original problem that had been annoying me but it has the same solution.

The issue that had been bugging me was the inconsistent way of travelling between planets. In the films but also in The Mandalorian (less so in cartoons), characters fly in space ships between planets in two ways:

  • Using hyperspace as faster than light travel.
  • Using sub-light speed engines.

For example, in The Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon travels from the ice planet Hoth to the cloud planet Bespin without a functioning hyperdrive. There’s no shortage of examples of science fiction which just ignores the speed of light but Star Wars is unusual in having an explicit system of surpassing the speed of light but also apparently not actually needing it.

Of course, if some star systems are really close then the whole thing would be consistent. However, how could you have such densely packed solar systems? James’s question is a clue that reveals a broader answer.

The answer: the scale of Star Wars is tiny.

Everybody and every ship and every planet is actually miniscule. All the characters are just micro-organisms. All those huge weird looking monsters? Insects and bugs and stuff! They even look like scaled up creepy crawlies because that is what they are.

Now I note that there is some overlap with the notable theory that everybody in Star Wars are bees but I’m only addressing size here and not species.

Note that this also explains a lot of the weird physics in Star Wars and inconsistent technology. Everything is tiny and that means some quantum effects that just get averaged out for us giants, directly impacts the little people of Star Wars.

The theory does mean that many references to “star systems” can’t be literally true. A star can only be so small and there’s no way for a literal star to be so small as to make the proportions work. However, ‘star’ can refer to any hot, glowing thing around which cooler objects orbit.

Each ‘planet’ is a chunk of matter orbiting some hot, radioactive fragment. Some are really close and some are so far away that to get there in a reasonable time requires warp travel. Everybody on the planets is tiny and what to us would be mini-beasts terrorise the little micro-people.

Having established this, we can now answer many questions about cross-fandom comparisons. For example, could the Starship Enterprise defeat the Death Star? Yes, because the Death Star is just a few millimetres in size and the only problem Captain Kirk would have is finding it. Could Doctor Who defeat Darth Vader? No, because Darth Vader is far too small for the Doctor to find him and so the Doctor would need to make him bigger (like that one time he made a virus human size) and then Darth Vader would be regular size and quite scary.

While you are here, a reminder that Disney are still not paying Alan Dean Foster for royalties earned on books he wrote in multiple franchises. That’s not a tiny issue!

ETA: James’s more insightful take on the issue is here

21 responses to “My new pointless Star Wars theory”

  1. Ah, thank goodness that’s completely different from the tor dot com piece I wrote instead of today’s review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This theory also explains the lack of hand rails and barriers in Imperial architecture. It doesn’t matter if someone falls into a ventilation shaft, because they’ll just drift gently to the bottom.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. In my head canon, it took a few days for the Falcon to get to Bespin. I also saw the spent a few days in the “cave”. This is to explain that Luke had a lot of time to train on Dagobah.


  4. “Each ‘planet’ is a chunk of matter orbiting some hot, radioactive fragment.”

    So this is all taking place among the ruins of Krypton?

    Liked by 5 people

  5. The travel issues could be explained if time passes much more slowly for them than for us. That makes the speed of light seem much faster, so even at 10% c most stars might seem to be only a few months apart to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. See what amuses me is that in the old EU at least, pretty much all the books tended to ignore that you could get from system to system on sublight engines, even though that occurred in one of the core movies, because it was just so ridiculous and made no sense whatsoever lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think the only EU books that also suggested sublight travel between systems was possible was the Correlian trilogy, which was one of the sets of books that just went overboard with crazy fantastical concepts that were just laughable anyway (Lando almost marries a Vampire! Han’s evil Cousin tries taking over Correlia! The Correllian system is artificial created by a long gone race, and a space station within it can move or destroy stars! Seriously, it’s awful)

        Liked by 2 people

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