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Hyperspace Early Warning System
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:04 am    Post subject: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

So, during the Star Wars Marathon this past weekend, I noticed something in RotJ.

During the lead-up to the Battle of Endor (see here, at ~0:08), a mass of small dots (presumably the Alliance Fleet) can be seen approaching a representation of the Death Star. Leia's line of "Han, hurry, the fleet will be here any moment," strongly implies that the fleet has not yet arrived. And when viewed chronologically, the fleet has not yet dropped out of hyperspace when she says this.

To me, this suggests that, despite WEG's statements otherwise, sensors do exist that can detect ships in hyperspace.

That being said, just because something exists, I don't think it should be common or particularly mobile, either. I have long been a fan of the work of one Urban Lundquist of the now-defunct Wing Commander Luna website, and this reminded me of a piece of tech he had adapted from the old Renegade Legion game, specifically, the Hyperspace Early Warning Sensor (or HEWS, for short).

His version was an immobile, ground-based station, but I'm picturing something space-based, utilizing the same "hyperspace hover tech" I picture the various HoloNet relay satellites using.

Another source of inspiration was from the Hull 721 fanfic, where the Black Prince's chief engineer / mad scientist in residence misappropriated a Hyperspace Orbiting Scanner [Author's Note: the author of the fan fic makes his scorn perfectly clear for the concept of the HOS, weaving into his fic that it had never lived up to its potential, but was still capable of detecting larger events, such as starships moving through hyperspace), and came up with a pretty ingenious method of mounting it on the ship (SPOILER: They placed inside their own hypermatter fuel tanks.), whereby the Black Prince could now detect the hyperspace bow waves of approaching ships while they were still in hyperspace.

Now, while Hull 721 is an awesome story, and the author has some great insights into potential real-tech underpinnings of the space operate setting that is Star Wars, I do think he went a little too far when it came to certain aspects (particularly, the HOS and his extensive use of micro-jumps on a tactical level long before the time of Thrawn). However, I did rather like his idea of a device that can detect the "bow waves" of ships nearby in hyperspace.

What I'm picturing is a massive (1,300-1,600 meters across) array placed in hyperspace somewhere in a polar position around the system's star (possibly two arrays on opposite sides, to provide full coverage). Due to expense, the system would only be deployed to cover important systems (like Coruscant, Kuat, Fondor, or Endor while the Death Star was being built), and would only provide a few minutes' warning, but that would be more than enough to put any defenses on alert.

I haven't quite thought out how to work the background on this, but it could either be widely know, nearly unheard of, or somewhere in between, where characters might possibly have heard of it, or the GM using it as an excuse as to why certain systems can't be attacked, or can only be approached by subterfuge and not covert infiltration.

Anyway, just wanted to get this in writing to see what people think. Thoughts?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
So, during the Star Wars Marathon this past weekend, I noticed something in RotJ.

During the lead-up to the Battle of Endor (see here, at ~0:08), a mass of small dots (presumably the Alliance Fleet) can be seen approaching a representation of the Death Star. Leia's line of "Han, hurry, the fleet will be here any moment," strongly implies that the fleet has not yet arrived. And when viewed chronologically, the fleet has not yet dropped out of hyperspace when she says this.

To me, this suggests that, despite WEG's statements otherwise, sensors do exist that can detect ships in hyperspace.

That being said, just because something exists, I don't think it should be common or particularly mobile, either. I have long been a fan of the work of one Urban Lundquist of the now-defunct Wing Commander Luna website, and this reminded me of a piece of tech he had adapted from the old Renegade Legion game, specifically, the Hyperspace Early Warning Sensor (or HEWS, for short).

His version was an immobile, ground-based station, but I'm picturing something space-based, utilizing the same "hyperspace hover tech" I picture the various HoloNet relay satellites using.
...
Anyway, just wanted to get this in writing to see what people think. Thoughts?

Nothing against your concept, but I don't think that part of the film supports it. If they are to scale with the Death Star, the apparent mass of ships on that screen is moving way too slow to be ships in hyperspace. The ships would be way off screen until the tiniest fraction of a second before they came out of hyperspace. They would literally appear on the screen

Also, the mass of ships is too big to be the Rebel Fleet. It more than likely represents the Imperial fleet. Something I noticed is that there seems to be a running clock so Leia is watching the seconds because she knows when the fleet should come out of hyperspace. Leia may have even done something at that console to make that display pop up.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

Nothing against your concept, but I don't think that part of the film supports it. If they are to scale with the Death Star, the apparent mass of ships on that screen is moving way too slow to be ships in hyperspace. The ships would be way off screen until the tiniest fraction of a second before they came out of hyperspace. They would literally appear on the screen

Also, the mass of ships is too big to be the Rebel Fleet. It more than likely represents the Imperial fleet. Something I noticed is that there seems to be a running clock so Leia is watching the seconds because she knows when the fleet should come out of hyperspace. Leia may have even done something at that console to make that display pop up.


Yea, my view of that snipped of a clip, was her seeing the imperial fleet.. Not the rebel fleet in hyperspace, just before they came out.

Otherwise, why have we not seen something similar in any of the other films.. you'd have thought Coruscant would have had it, and maybe starkiller base..
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a long shot, but could this be a continuity error? Showing the approach of the Rebel Fleet at high sublight after exiting the hyperspace?

Has anyone attempted to decipher this bright word displayed at the top of the screen (over the fleet)?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
If they are to scale with the Death Star, the apparent mass of ships on that screen is moving way too slow to be ships in hyperspace. The ships would be way off screen until the tiniest fraction of a second before they came out of hyperspace. They would literally appear on the screen.

The simple explanation there would be that the display on the screen is not to scale. That would hardly be the first time that a graphics display in the SWU was an approximation, and not an exact representation. Take the display table at Yavin Base during the Battle of Yavin as just one example.

Quote:
Also, the mass of ships is too big to be the Rebel Fleet. It more than likely represents the Imperial fleet.

There are multiple discrepancies as to the actual size of the Rebel Fleet. Based on the number of ships seen during the prelude to the battle, they had 3-4 Mon Cal Cruiser, not nearly enough to go in against a few dozen star destroyers after losing at least two to the Death Star. Even if one does take those scenes at face value, how many smaller ships (Corellian Corvettes and GR75's in particular) are seen scattered around in the fleet?

And I don't see why it would be the Imperial Fleet; why would they spring the trap and close on the Death Star before there was anything in the trap?

Quote:
Something I noticed is that there seems to be a running clock so Leia is watching the seconds because she knows when the fleet should come out of hyperspace. Leia may have even done something at that console to make that display pop up.

Projected estimate of the detected sensor contacts' distance to the cut-out point when their hyperdrives will automatically kick them into realspace, perhaps? Without having access to the exact course the Rebels plotted, any timer countdown would be an educated guess.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Yea, my view of that snipped of a clip, was her seeing the imperial fleet.. Not the rebel fleet in hyperspace, just before they came out.

But why would the Imperial Fleet already be closing on the Death Star if the Rebel Fleet hadn't arrived yet? They're supposed to be in hiding, waiting to pin the Rebel Fleet against Endor and the Death Star, so why move to trap something that isn't in the trap yet?

Quote:
Otherwise, why have we not seen something similar in any of the other films.. you'd have thought Coruscant would have had it, and maybe starkiller base..

All kinds of reasons. The theory here is that it just provides a minute or so of warning that something is coming. In the case of Coruscant in RotS, having a minute's warning that a massive enemy battle fleet is about to attack isn't the same as actually being able to do something to prevent it. In the case of Starkiller Base, they likely didn't consider a small, one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd've had a tighter defense.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
It's a long shot, but could this be a continuity error? Showing the approach of the Rebel Fleet at high sublight after exiting the hyperspace?

I've used that argument myself elsewhere, but why ascribe it to a continuity error when it could become a useful tool in a GM's bag of tricks?

Quote:
Has anyone attempted to decipher this bright word displayed at the top of the screen (over the fleet)?

No idea, but Star Wars was always more about what people said the words meant. If it just said "Proximity Alert" in Aurabesh, that was communicated clearly enough by Leia telling us the Fleet would be here "at any moment."
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Hyperspace Early Warning System Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
garhkal wrote:
Yea, my view of that snipped of a clip, was her seeing the imperial fleet.. Not the rebel fleet in hyperspace, just before they came out.

But why would the Imperial Fleet already be closing on the Death Star if the Rebel Fleet hadn't arrived yet? They're supposed to be in hiding, waiting to pin the Rebel Fleet against Endor and the Death Star, so why move to trap something that isn't in the trap yet?


And why would ONLY one instance for barely a second, show something so 'useful', and never-ever, show it again??
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because there wasn’t a need in the plot to show it? B-Wings only showed up in RotJ at the Battle of Endor, but that doesn’t mean that was the only time they were used. Screen time is not an accurate galactic-level demographic measurement; if it were, 1/3 of the planets in the galaxy would have major Rebel bases on them, and 1/2 would have a Death Star (and 1/6th would’ve been blown up).*

*Sample Size = Classic Trilogy.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Darklighter79 wrote:
It's a long shot, but could this be a continuity error? Showing the approach of the Rebel Fleet at high sublight after exiting the hyperspace?

I've used that argument myself elsewhere, but why ascribe it to a continuity error when it could become a useful tool in a GM's bag of tricks?

Yeah, we were talking about interpreting it in-universe, but it certainly is possible it is a continuity error. What is even more likely is that the graphic was originally meant to represent the Rebel fleet after is came out of lightspeed, and but in the editing room Lucas thought it played better before. Lucas does that.

For example, in the Battle of Yavin Red Leader tells Luke that he just lost his "starboard engine" even though we never saw his X-Wing get hit. And then after that, Vader shoots Red Leader's X-Wing in one of his starboard engines, and that's when he started going down and crashed into the Death Star. Obviously, the effects shot was originally designed to be shown before he says that, and Lucas thought it played better with the dialogue before getting shot and just used what he had to work with.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Darklighter79 wrote:
Has anyone attempted to decipher this bright word displayed at the top of the screen (over the fleet)?

No idea, but Star Wars was always more about what people said the words meant. If it just said "Proximity Alert" in Aurabesh, that was communicated clearly enough by Leia telling us the Fleet would be here "at any moment."

Aurabesh didn't exist back then. They just used a bunch of made-up symbols that looked like it might be an alien script with no alphabet key. Then later one someone made close approximations of the symbols and keyed them to our alphabet. Using it to try to "decode" RotJ would only result in gibberish. So it should mean whatever you want it to mean.
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

Yeah, we were talking about interpreting it in-universe, but it certainly is possible it is a continuity error. What is even more likely is that the graphic was originally meant to represent the Rebel fleet after is came out of lightspeed, and but in the editing room Lucas thought it played better before. Lucas does that.


I thought about it because of the Imperial plan: block the rebel fleet between DS and ISDs. The fleet on the display screen was not blocking anything and it was on a clear approach to DS.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Yeah, we were talking about interpreting it in-universe, but it certainly is possible it is a continuity error. What is even more likely is that the graphic was originally meant to represent the Rebel fleet after is came out of lightspeed, and but in the editing room Lucas thought it played better before. Lucas does that.

True, and I am cognizant of the fact that I have taken either side of the argument as befitted what I wanted to do with the specific instance in question. In this case, I agree it could very likely be a continuity error, but since the potential error supports an idea that I rather like (and one whose primary - only, arguably - purpose is a GM tool to restrict some of a PC group’s wilder ideas), I think I won’t question it too deeply.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok we have sensors.

How about using these, basically "another senor" this one detects gravitational anomalies in hyperspace, rules...idk not much differnt than regular sensors, this way the crew "does" something while in hyperspace.

Also a 1D should be minimum as a passive sensor that is not rolled, it is sucess or not.

This to emulate smaller ships with less sensor and dedicated sensor capacity, like fighters and small freighters, (1D for all sizes)
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The goal here is not a common sensor type, but rather a specialized, effectively immobile sensor that is designed to cover an entire star system, providing advance warning of incoming attacks or of attempted covert intrusion. If I write up a stat at all, its main use will be to limit PC group options when they attempt to infiltrate or operate on certain star systems. I’m okay with rare sensor systems that are rare, massive and/or experimental being able to detect ships in hyperspace, but I don’t want them accessible to just anyone.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh....I see.

I was thinking an early collition warning while in hyper space.

Hmm so detecting ships in hyperspace.....

I would assume most such systems would be placed aloneg the most common hyper space routes.

It could be as easy as a hyper sensitive and fast acting transponder "beep" thing, once a beep is registerd "they know the ship is comming"
this will naturally give those in hyperspace more vulnerable than perphaps it seems they are.

Could the technology if described to track through hyperspace be something to work out of.

I would assum that before a ship enters or exits hyperspace there is some form of "gravity anomaly" in a lack of better words, could the creation of such "exit/entry" be something to detect?
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