0890: "Etymology"

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Banksy
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Banksy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:53 pm UTC

Flambino wrote:Lots of text...

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

More on topic; I agree with the comments that have already been said, really, that falcon is the closest English word to whatever creature was originally the namesake of the falcon. Does anyone really want to watch a film where all the dialogue is in a fictional language, and you have to translate it as best you can?
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby JohnMcL7 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:54 pm UTC

Bobsama wrote:From what I remember, he was also boasting about being able to evade the Imperials; perhaps the 12-parsec run cut through Imperial space and, since he was a smuggler, he had to avoid contact with them. He took a gutsy move and had a ship fast enough to outrun the Imperials and then disappear.


No perhaps about it, Kessel was under Imperial control at the time and the smugglers were smuggling the spice from Kessel. Running closer to the black hole cluster would not only be quicker but due to the higher risk the Imperial ships would be less likely to pursue.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DougDean » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:54 pm UTC

BTW; I don't mean distance/time as a ratio; I mean distance v. time

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby grisson » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

It's common practice when translating species names from extra-galactic languages to use the word for the species that most closely fits the niche of the species name being translated. So you would expect that the 'Falcon' was named for flying beast that feeds on similar flying beasts, although its appearance might be startling and its method of flying might be rotary-winged or 3-fixed wings with some other type of propulsion rather than 2-flexible wing, muscle-based flying.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby DougDean » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:57 pm UTC

Actually, the name of the ship can't be rendered in our language; too many Tatooine gutterals

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby JohnMcL7 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

Flambino wrote:Ok, that might be it, but I thought the entire point was how close he came to this Maw thing, not how long the entire route was. Also, I still don't know what a parsec eqautes in the Star Wars universe, much less what 12 of them add up to. So you're assuming that it is indeed something like 228 trillion miles, and thus it must be the entire journey. Honestly, I'd let it go, if you'd said "in Star Wars, a parsec is based on the blah-blah and roughly equavalent to X miles" and so it'd all make sense. In fact, I would even have accepted "In Star Wars, 1 parsec is equal to 1/12th of what The Millenium Falcon can do the the Kessel Run in" however circular that is :)
(Apologies for ending that sentence with a preposition)


Measuring the route gives an indication of how close to the Maw the ship went as measuring the distance from the ship to the Maw wouldn't be practical if even possible. The shorter the route, the closer the ship will have been to the Maw. I don't think it really matters how long 12 parsecs are, all that does matter is that we know it's a measure of distance and we can assume 12 is a fairly low number for the run. Since we don't know the size of the sector, the size of the Maw, the Kessel area or the Falcon's top speed at the time the distance a parsec consists of is also meaningless.

Eitherway, I thought the entire dialogue in the cantina was about the Millenium Falcon's amazing speed, so technically Han should be boasting how he took the longest, most leisurely route yet still arrived in time. Ok, the speed would allow him to fly even closer to the black holes without getting caught by them, sure, but if you go that route (discussion-wise) a slower yet more massive ship could make the same trip in the same time by staying a little farther away... and so we're back to it really being about time taken fra A to B; i.e. that time is what matters in doing the Kessel Run and that's what you brag about. And so, you'll likely to stay safely away from the Maw if you're fast enough that you'll still make good time. Or, if you do go close and fast, then again the bottom line would be how long it took you. So Han seems to be bragging about distances when the times are what's important - which is just an odd thing to do. Like saying "I run a 4-minute mile in 2 miles" - umm... ok?


I don't really follow you at all here, the Falcon was meant to be a fast ship with powerful engines allowing it to travel closer to areas with strong gravitational pull which meant it could take a shorter route. A larger, slower ship would not be able to take such a tight route which meant it was slower not faster and therefore gave the smugglers a chance to escape as others used similar types of vessel to the Falcon. The impression given is that the ships completing this run had similar performance from their upgraded engines and also that runs were rarely smooth so the total time would be erratic but what really separated them was the distance taken hence it apparently became the standard metric.
Last edited by JohnMcL7 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby zmatt » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:18 pm UTC

The "Maw" you speak of is not mentioned in the three movies therefore it doesn't exist. That means one of three things, Solo was trying to wow them with buzz words, Solo was an idiot, or George Lucas was an idiot.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Lunar Savage » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:27 pm UTC

So, I read the official wiki explanation for the parsecs thing. Cool story, bro. I'm pretty sure that when the movie was being made he meant full well for it to be a speed thing.

However, am I the only one who just kinda assumed that a fictional sci-fi universe in a galaxy far far away simply used different wording to measure time and distance? Meaning that a parsec might have actually been a unit of time in their universe, even though it wasn't in ours? xD
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby neoliminal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:33 pm UTC

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby rabidmuskrat » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

This comic got me thinking about a scene in Thumb Wars

I have a question! Why is it that we all speak in British accents, when we're from outer space where there's no Britain?

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby IcarusFountain » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

I'm surprised that, after 2 pages, no one has brought up the etymological issue's solution through the Journal of the Whills angle. See http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Journal_of_the_Whills. Many people are referring to the "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." introduction, and interpreting that as "long ago and far away from where I am as a viewer of this movie." However, Lucas originally wrote the precursor to New Hope's story as "The Journal of the Whills," which was basically a future chronicling of historical events.

I've tried to explain this to people before, with mixed results. I'll try it here; let me know if it makes sense.

So, you and I live now, in our present state of human history. The events of Star Wars take place far in our FUTURE, not our past. Those events were recorded by a Keeper of the Whills (Wookieepedia indicates that the story of Luke Skywalker was recorded from an interview with R2-D2 100 years after the Battle of Endor) to the Journal. Now, the movies are intended to be stories from the Journal; as a viewer of the movie, you're watching a depiction of a "past" event that happens in your "future." This would be similar in concept to reading Dune novels, which deal with mankind's distant future after we've created a galactic empire.

To solve the etymological dispute, I'll draw further comparison to other science fiction novels. In Dune, Frank Herbert paid a lot of attention to detail to really make the reader feel like it was our future; references were made to things in our own past. The Atreides, for example, are described as having aquiline noses from their Greek/Roman ancestry. I don't recall if it was Dune or Foundation, but one of the series goes into interesting detail about how our original concepts of time and distance carried over as we colonized other worlds. Both discussed how modern language and religion carried forward into their respective time periods, sometimes changing, often keeping various traditions alive.

So, to summarize, Star Wars chronology:
(our past)---------(our present)---------//-------(events of Star Wars)-------(recording of events)------//------(retelling of events)
You see the retelling of events at some unknown distant future after the events took place. By happening in our future, not our past, things like our linguistic history and nuances can easily carry over.

Plus, yeah, there's the translation construct.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Cecilff2 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

The Millenium Mynock!

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Pudabudigada » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

I inferred from the 'parsec' scene that hyperdrives worked partially by shortening the distance between two points (like, if the TARDIS had a back door, walking along the outside of it to move the 1.5 odd metres, instead of going straight through, walking for miles and ending up at the same destination), and partially by just going really fast.

That would make Han's boast valid, as he would be claiming that his ship could shorten the distance more than anyone else's.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Moose Hole » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

Do you think C3PO said Millennium Falcon when he was telling the ewoks about it? Hell no, he said oo-cha-ri instead. Maybe they translated that part to English for us, I don't remember, but ewoks don't understand what mynocks are.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby djfly » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

adho wrote:
SW15243 wrote:Incidentally, a friend of mine and I were trying to reconcile this, and reasoned that so long as the Kessel Run was a course that had curves or obstacles in it, technically the boast would still work, if he was speaking of the ship's maneuverability. That is, he made the Kessel Run in the shortest possible distance, as opposed to going faster than other ships. This would kind of make sense since Obi and Luke were trying to evade capture, so you'd want something that could turn on a dime, probably.

And yes, I know it's tenuous, but it's the best we could come up with.


To an extent you're right. From wookieepedia:
The Kessel Run was one of the most heavily-used routes in the Galactic Empire. Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs". A parsec was a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance.


Though this argument does makes sense when reading only the one phrase, as far as I can recall, the conversation was Hans Solo bragging about the SPEED of the Millennium Falcon...
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Neostar » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
SW15243 wrote:I watched all 6 Star Wars movies with some friends on Friday night / well into Saturday morning.
Could Randall secretly be one of the people in my Creative Writing class?!

No. No he could not.



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!

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Sprocket » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:00 pm UTC

I always assumed they weren't really humans, they never said they were humans until fucking Phantom Menace, and nothing in those movies counts as cannon.

However there are a million idiotic details one could grab like this ever in any fantasy movie or tv show. How are we able to tell their tale in Earth English at all?
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Ephemeron » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:03 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:I just discovered what Hell is like, if it exists:

It's watching a film with Randall.

I wouldn't wish that even to Randall himself.

I think Randall would enjoy that.

Two Randall clones watch A New Hope, Death Star blows up.
Randall 1: Well, there's no way that that explosion could happen in space.
Randall 2: Fire needs oxygen to burn, and a shock wave needs a medium to carry it.
Randall 1: Oh me yarm, I was just thinking that. Randall, get out of my head!
Randall 2: No Randall, get out of MY head!
Both Randalls: HAHAHAHA!

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Lizard » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

Now that i think: if Galactic Basic uses Aurebesh, why do the droids have English abbreviations?
There's no droid called ReshToo, nor HerfKrill-FortySeven. There must be a logical reason for that. Lingual convenience?

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:As opposed to the "Millenium Banta"? The Banta was the giant thing that Luke fought at Jaba's house, right? Maybe the Millenium Womp Rat. Wait, what's a rat?

Luke fought a Rancor at Jabba's palace. A bantha is a huge furry thing with horns, looks like a cross between a wooly mammoth and a mountain goat. Womp rats are vermin that aren't much bigger than 2 meters.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Glass Fractal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

djfly wrote:
adho wrote:
SW15243 wrote:Incidentally, a friend of mine and I were trying to reconcile this, and reasoned that so long as the Kessel Run was a course that had curves or obstacles in it, technically the boast would still work, if he was speaking of the ship's maneuverability. That is, he made the Kessel Run in the shortest possible distance, as opposed to going faster than other ships. This would kind of make sense since Obi and Luke were trying to evade capture, so you'd want something that could turn on a dime, probably.

And yes, I know it's tenuous, but it's the best we could come up with.


To an extent you're right. From wookieepedia:
The Kessel Run was one of the most heavily-used routes in the Galactic Empire. Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs". A parsec was a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance.


Though this argument does makes sense when reading only the one phrase, as far as I can recall, the conversation was Hans Solo bragging about the SPEED of the Millennium Falcon...


Yep, that's the big problem with the Maw explanation. It proves the ship is manuverable not fast which is what the conversation (and thus the issue) is about. Paraphrased:
H: You're looking for passage to Alderan?
O: Only on a fast ship.
H: Fast? It's the Millenium Falcon!
O: Should I have heard of it?
H: It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. I've outrun Imperial starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships now. She's fast enough for you old man.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby bmonk » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:32 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.


My own problem with the Star Wars universe is the assumption that each planet has only one climate type: desert, jungle or ice, and so on. And, if Tatooine has non-desert areas, or even areas with semi-desert fauna--why not a flying predator? And such a predator of suitable size would be translatable as a "falcon".


It's also interesting that "parsec" is related to time and the Earth-Sun system, somewhat indirectly. We have 360 degrees of 60 minutes or 3600 seconds each because of the Babylonians and the number of days in a year. One Parsec is the distance that gives a parallax of one arcsecond when viewed from an orbit of two Astronomical Units in diameter, so it too is closely connected to the Earth.

Banksy wrote:More on topic; I agree with the comments that have already been said, really, that falcon is the closest English word to whatever creature was originally the namesake of the falcon. Does anyone really want to watch a film where all the dialogue is in a fictional language, and you have to translate it as best you can?
Well actually yeah that'd be awesome xD But sacrifices must be made


And, even if such a movie were made, wouldn't there be English subtitles anyway? And that would rather defeat the purpose of the fictional language. No--I'd use the Dune system: occasional words of great content in the "original" language (as we do with certain words here on Earth, like angst or ennui) and most simply translated. We might (in theory) have lost some of the overtones, but apart from learning Galactic Common and whatever other languages (Ewoki) were in use, what else can we do?

Pxtl wrote:I had the same problem with Han saying "I'l see you in Hell" in the second film. The only apparent religion in Star Wars is the Force, and there doesn't seem to be any concept of Hell in that.


OTOH, at one point a character tells Darth Vader that he follows "an ancient religion"--which seems to imply that other religions also exist, even if they are not taken too seriously in the secularized and urbanized Empire, and many or all religions have some sense of an afterlife, which may approximate or substitute for Hell. Such as Avernus or Hades (Rome and Greece).
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

Ephemeron wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:I just discovered what Hell is like, if it exists:

It's watching a film with Randall.

I wouldn't wish that even to Randall himself.

I think Randall would enjoy that.

Two Randall clones watch A New Hope, Death Star blows up.
Randall 1: Well, there's no way that that explosion could happen in space.
Randall 2: Fire needs oxygen to burn, and a shock wave needs a medium to carry it.
Randall 1: Gee Willikers, I was just thinking that. Randall, get out of my head!
Randall 2: No Randall, get out of MY head!
Both Randalls: HAHAHAHA!


Just being pedantic here: you can absolutely have a shockwave in space. It's one of the main features of a supernova. It is primarily composed of the exploding material, rather than a free wave through an existing medium, but it's still a shock wave.

Personally, I can ignore the various scientific fallacies in a work, as long as they are presented as actual differences in reality, rather than just idiotic Hollywood understanding of science (like The Core). It's terribly stupid characters that get me.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Gamer_2k4 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

Captain Red wrote:Obiwan has that "wow, do people actually fall for that?" smirk at it


Oh wow, he totally does. Nice catch. :)

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby bmonk » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Just being pedantic here: you can absolutely have a shockwave in space. It's one of the main features of a supernova. It is primarily composed of the exploding material, rather than a free wave through an existing medium, but it's still a shock wave.

Personally, I can ignore the various scientific fallacies in a work, as long as they are presented as actual differences in reality, rather than just idiotic Hollywood understanding of science (like The Core). It's terribly stupid characters that get me.


The shockwave doesn't really bother me--it's the sound of the explosion (usually heard as soon as the explosion is seen) plus the rather odd "horizontal" circular ring that seems so popular these days. Especially as it seems to go at a different speed than the rest of the explosion, being ahead of the fireball.
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.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby grisson » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

Intergalactic translation is an inexact dance at best.
--g

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

It's always bugged me that aliens seem to speak English in sci-fi movies...
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Atkey » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

To balance out the thread a bit I just wanted to say I actually kind of liked Episodes I through III.

Wait hear me out!

Ok, so as individual films, they weren't great I'll give you, but the only film of the original trilogy that was actually great was episode 5. The other two were merely good in comparison. When you take the overall plot of the prequels, there is something pretty epic in there. The way Palpatine maneuvered his way into control of the entire senate, the way the seperatists were used throughout as a means of acquiring more power for the republic, it's a pretty amazing grand plan. It was just punctuated with some poor writing and bad decisions on the part of the director.

It certainly beats the story arc of the original films - build death star, gets blown up. Nothing much happens for a while. Build second death star, gets blown up. Galaxy celebrates.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby bigjeff5 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

As a few posters have pointed out, all these rationalizations are giving George Lucas far, far too much credit.

There are some true masters of sci-fi who use the translation convention to good effect. For them, you will find consistency. Lucas showed no such consistency.

The way TC works is, you give things that are functionally or visibly very similar to what your target audience knows a name that your target audience knows. If you are giving a funky name to something, it is only because it is very important to distinguish it. In this way, a jumpy, quick game animal would simply be called a deer. A large furry creature with sharp claws and an unfriendly temperament would simply be called a bear. A common personal transportation vehicle would simply be called a car. You might point out the major, distinct differences between your world's dear or car, like spines growing out the deer's back or the car floating instead of rolling, but then you refer to them as a deer or a car. The only time you mention them again is when it makes a difference - like the differing physics between a car with wheels and a car that floats.

He gave some things new names, probably because they sounded cool. He used the names of creatures that could not possibly in that world (as has been mentioned, Star Wars was set before man's time in a very distant galaxy - it ain't got no falcon's son).

Lucas is not a particularly good story-teller. He took a common story and draped a different universe on top of it, and didn't spend a whole lot of time filling it out. What made Star Wars successful were the innovations he dared to use behind the camera (seriously, action movies sucked before Lucas and Star Wars), not the "spectacular" story.

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.

A good sci-fi writer doesn't need rationalizations from his fans, he gets it right the first time. The Expanded Universe ran into this problem directly, and had to create corners in the round holes Lucas made so their square pegs would fit. Then, of course, Lucas went and screwed them over when he created the prequels, so now the whole thing is a mess that doesn't make any sense.

Clear evidence of brilliance at work, right?

And from the context of the conversation parsecs were clearly being used as a measure of time, not distance. I hadn't heard of them before Star Wars, and I thought they were a measure of time. Also, a fast ship is going to have more routes available to it through a cluster of black holes than a slow ship - its momentum will allow it to escape gravity better, allowing it to move closer to the black holes than a slow ship. Since a fast run is also going to be a short run, why use parsecs unless you have no idea what a parsec is? Because it sounds cool, that's why, and your audience probably knows less about parsecs than you do anyway.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby JohnMcL7 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Yep, that's the big problem with the Maw explanation. It proves the ship is manuverable not fast which is what the conversation (and thus the issue) is about.


This is where it gets a bit dodgier, the short kessel run is supposed to show that the ship's navcomputer would have to be fast to find and follow that route over the standard path. While there are no black holes on the way to Alderaan, the threat of Imperial trouble would mean a ship that could take a non-standard route and change at short notice would be a big advantage, such as a ship that had completed a difficult run near a black hole cluster.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby jc » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

Eutychus wrote:
americablanco wrote:This sort of reminds me of a Johnny Quest episode (of the newer series that was most recently on Cartoon Network) where there was an earpiece device (actually, two) that was used between one of the regular female characters and another who did not speak or umderstand English. The device did instant translation (no delay or anything)....


Sounds like the Babel fish to me.
...
/professional translator and interpreter dreading the arrival of an actual Babel fish


Well, I'd guess that you don't have much to worry about. One of the things that have become clear during the decades that machine translation would be available "in two or three years" is that accurate translation between human languages can't be a completely "mechanical" operation. It requires a good understanding of the cultures of the source and target language. It's difficult to find a sentence of more that 2 or 3 words in any human language that isn't both incomplete and ambiguous, and whose meaning depends highly on context. And usually, the ambiguities can't be accurately translated to the target language at all, because it's rare that two human languages contain a pair of words with exactly the same meaning(s).

This is the origin of most of the humor that inevitable comes out of any computer translation project. Once a new translator gets even a small population of users, you inevitably find them collecting hilarious examples of the mistranslations that they've seen. Very often, the translations "aren't even incorrect"; they are just based on the wrong choice of the many possible translations of a few words.

This is a failure of amateur human translators, too. A good place to see the problems is http://engrish.com/, which posts a daily example of bizarre English produced by people, mostly in Asia, but occasionally other parts of the world. Failblog.org also has an "Engrish" section that does the same thing. If you know much of the source languages, you can often figure out how the translator went wrong, and it's usually by looking a word up in a Whatever-to-English dictionary, seeing a long list of possible translations, and picking one. Of course, these were rarely the work of professional translators. But they are often the work of online translation sites.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby jc » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Flambino wrote:
Snownuki wrote:
Flambino wrote:I suppose a Star War parsec must be a helluva lot smaller than the 19 trillion miles we use. Otherwise 12 parsecs is an, well, astronomically large distance.

Nah; astronomically a parsec is a rather tiny distance. After all, there's only one star within a parsec of Earth, and you have to go 1.3 parsecs to reach the next-closest. All the other stars in the universe are more distant.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby RogueCynic » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:41 pm UTC

I remember watching one of the many shows proving and disproving the science of Star Wars and thinking, "So what. It was a good movie.". As to the etymology, I say, "So what. It was a good movie, and Belgium to anyone who thinks otherwise.". The parsecs flub was explained in one of them. Either a parsec is a unit of time in the Star Wars galaxy, or Han Solo misused it to confuse his prospective passengers into thinking the ship was faster than it really was.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Faranya » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:17 pm UTC

Neostar wrote:
jpk wrote:
SW15243 wrote:I watched all 6 Star Wars movies with some friends on Friday night / well into Saturday morning.
Could Randall secretly be one of the people in my Creative Writing class?!

No. No he could not.



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!


None of the movies were that great. Star Wars only got its good name because it got in early. If you released the same film now, without any preconceived notions, it would be treated as an adequate return on the cost of a movie ticket, not a fantastic classic.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:26 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:Just being pedantic here: you can absolutely have a shockwave in space. It's one of the main features of a supernova. It is primarily composed of the exploding material, rather than a free wave through an existing medium, but it's still a shock wave.

Personally, I can ignore the various scientific fallacies in a work, as long as they are presented as actual differences in reality, rather than just idiotic Hollywood understanding of science (like The Core). It's terribly stupid characters that get me.


The shockwave doesn't really bother me--it's the sound of the explosion (usually heard as soon as the explosion is seen) plus the rather odd "horizontal" circular ring that seems so popular these days. Especially as it seems to go at a different speed than the rest of the explosion, being ahead of the fireball.


Well, if the Death Star was rotating, that would help make the shock wave more disc-like. It would have to be spinning rather fast, though, compared to the explosion itself.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby dcnblues » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:50 pm 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


I made the same exasperated sound when I saw it, age 13. And it's not 'what gives Mr. Munroe,' it's 'what gives Mr. Lucas?'

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby dcnblues » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:00 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:...Personally, I can ignore the various scientific fallacies in a work, as long as they are presented as actual differences in reality, rather than just idiotic Hollywood understanding of science (like The Core). It's terribly stupid characters that get me.


It still bugs me. If Einstein in right "A long time ago in a Galaxy far far away" is redundant. That's always bugged me too. Big movies get lots of things wrong, and I always imagine it's the directors overriding their special-effects talent to do something that ruins the illusion for me. The SpiderMan movies frequently have the offscreen attachment point for spidey's webs MOVING, and I'm always distracted wondering what helicopter he shot a webline onto.

Superman Returns had Superman rip the wing off a 747 without moving the fuselage. The Ang Lee Hulk had super fast helicopters that could fly backwards at high speed. Etc, etc, etc.

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby EnigmaMTC » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

SW15243 wrote:
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

Incidentally, a friend of mine and I were trying to reconcile this, and reasoned that so long as the Kessel Run was a course that had curves or obstacles in it, technically the boast would still work, if he was speaking of the ship's maneuverability. That is, he made the Kessel Run in the shortest possible distance, as opposed to going faster than other ships. This would kind of make sense since Obi and Luke were trying to evade capture, so you'd want something that could turn on a dime, probably.

And yes, I know it's tenuous, but it's the best we could come up with.


that was my initial idea, but it seems that even though the makers of the movie got it incorrect, the fans will do just about anything to justify the mistake. :D

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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby Andrusi » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

I'm bothered far more by people discussing what information is "cannon" than by any of the multitude of scientific idiocies in Star Wars. The Phantom Menace might be canon, but it isn't cannon, though it could stand to have one fired at it.
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Re: 0890: Etymology

Postby rcox1 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

I really wanted this to be a Hans shot first comic. The word falcon, like the word millennium, like the fact that all the locations and people were not even thinly disguised copies of peoples and places on earth, were all things that made Star Wars the one-and-only movie interesting and accesible. Talking about it is boring. What was fun is that It had a hover car and any good sci fi should have a hover car, but not make such a big deal about that is turns into a nascar documentary. It was a fun silly movie with some interesting photography and some funny dialogue. Let us get over ourselves.


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