Lit Food and Resources on Ancient Coruscant

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Adrian the Cool, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

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    Coruscant became a city world by 100,000 BBY, long before the invention of hyperspace travel. How did they get their food? If the planet was entirely urbanized except for the poles and few landmarks like Manarai Mountains, there was no arable land left. They could have grown somewhere else in the system, but according to the EA and various other sources, the only habitable planets in the system are Coruscant itself, two moons (one not arable) of it and Vandor-3 (another earth-like world), some other moons are used for garbage storage (not arable, too).

    How can two planets provide enough food for hundreds of billion (minimum population for a nearly completely urbanized planet) people? Did some of the other worlds be inhabitable/arable back then?
  2. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    I always figured they went for Biodomes and lots and lots of mushrooms. Though there is of course always the possibility that they were part of an ancient and long forgotten space faring civilization.
  3. cthugha Jedi Grand Master

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    I figured that too... in a SF setting, I could totally see them having agriculture that doesn't require any sunlight, but e.g. gets its energy from thermal heat... say huge underground mushroom plants manufacturing basic food matter which then gets chemically refined into all sorts of different foodstuffs... also waste-to-food might be an option... or spaceborne agro platforms ala Silent Running...
  4. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Mushrooms are unnecessary - if you really want efficency you go straight to yeast or bacteria production of viable carbohydrates and proteins that are then processed into synthetic food stuffs. These bacteria, which are certainly artificial, expertly designed organisms, probably process chemosynthetically and therefore require no solar inputs at all.

    It is worth noting that the lower bound on the population of a 'city planet' is hard to determine. A city planet just means that all of the natural territory has been built over and urbanized, it doesn't mean people are actually living in that territory. In fact, with the presumably far less efficient industrial systems of 100,000 BBY, it is quite possible that industrial machinery needed to manage the artificial biosphere took up a great portion of the planetary surface but was largely uninhabited.
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  5. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

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    Sep 7, 2012
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    Mercy Kill mentions that much of Coruscant's food came from Vandor-3, so I'd imagine it was the same back then. Even if hauling enough food to feed a planetary population over interplantary distances doesn't really make much sense OOU.
  6. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

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    As much as I know, Earth alone could produce enough food for 12 billion people with current technology for a certain time, dropping to 8 - 10 billion later, because it would be unable to regenerate all ressources used for food production within one year.

    A city world is covered mostly in cities per definition, depending on size (varying sources, 12,240 km to 18,000 km diameter for 'scant) it requires several hundred billion people mininum to cover it with urban space, not to say create a giant structure like Galactic City. One billion people seems a bit to less to me, if we use the 12,240 km from the EA we'd get ~2400 people per kmĀ². A city in my neighbarhood, Frankfurt am Main, has such a density, but no 3 km skycrapers and buildings on the top of other artificial structures. ^^

    If we take the (unrealistic) canon number of one billion and say much is only a tenth, Vandor-3 still must be able to support food for 100 billion people on Coruscant.

    Much sense? Star Wars has a lot of planets with economies entirely based upon interstellar transport.
    Last edited by Adrian the Cool, Feb 13, 2013
  7. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    It doesn't make a particularly large amount of sense in-universe either. After all 'food' as a resource is merely a highly specialized form of energy, in a sense it is energy preserved in a form that the human (or whatever species, I guess Coruscant was dealing with Taung, and potentially some Rakata and Gree too among others) body can process. With the right combination of chemical and biotic processes you can convert energy from almost any highly concetrated form into food, though depending on how many steps are involved there would be a lot of loss in the system.

    An ecumenopolis would have all kinds of energy issues, providing for an artificial argicultural system would onl be a portion of the problem, so in many ways the real question would be where did the planet get the power.

    I would like to think that the Star Wars universe is not so absurdly recursive as to establish complex systems of interstellar food transport to majr planets for nutritional purposes. Food transport for luxury purposes, or to supplement small colonies working to establish their own power infrastructure or simply intended to be temporary make far more sense as a use for all that 'agriworld' output.
    Last edited by Mechalich, Feb 13, 2013
  8. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

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    You mean ancient Notron. :)
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  9. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

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    There are many agricultural worlds that only exist to produce food for other planets that gets shipped to them. Space travel is common withing the Star Wars universe, taking a starship to another system within the same sector is like a domestic plane flight, while a galactic travel compares to international air transit, a in-system flight (most system only have one inhabited planet) would be like taking a train into the next county... Air travel and train rides exist in the SW galaxy, too, so they must be a lot more easier, faster and cheaper than on Earth. ^^
  10. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    That's not true though. Food also provides the raw material that the body is built out of, and the chemicals it needs to act normally. You can't just plug people into a power socket and have it work as well.
  11. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

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    I've no experience with this, but I suspect plugging one's self into a power socket isn't terribly fun :p
  12. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Earth could properly feed more people if we made some concessions to adjusting eating habits. Insect, Algae and Mushroom cultivation are for example are apparently much more sustainable sources of protein then livestock.
    Whilst the main limiting factor for grain production is fresh water, which should become less of a problem with better recycling and actually the possibility of bringing external water onto the planet (mining ice comets for example).

    He Frankfurt has a huge subway network and that one half kilometer or something tower. ;)

    You mean Trade worlds like Brentaal?
  13. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    The overwhelming majority of what we are doing via the consumption of food is metabolic processing. Yes eating is also the method of intake of carbon, nitrogen, and a variety of trace elements (though the later can mostly be handled via properly configured supplements), but the amount of matter making up the human body is trivial in comparison to the amount of food we consume. Besides, ultimately the atoms are endlessly recycled. The point of the energy argument is that the calculation is dependent on the power required to churn out massive quantities of Matrix-style nutrient paste, not only actually farming anything in any method resembling traditional Earth-baed agricultural production.

    This is simply untrue. Space travel is common, yes, but the economics of space travel are not equivalent to modern air travel, passenger or cargo. Space travel is generally quite expensive, especially at any real speed - because the smaller vessels capable of achieving it can carry relatively little. Star Wars has a roughly 19th century social setup, and space travel approximates the predominate analogous form of shipping: travel by sea. That was certainly common, but it was not a good way to transport low-value foodstuffs vast distances (and indeed the current globalized system of agricultural commerce functions only because of serious transport subsidies that reduce shipping costs, a major market distortion). Coruscant does not need vast and constant food imports: Thrawn blockaded the planet for over 2 weeks, and there were no supply issues. Borrsk even suggested that the New Republic could allow the capitol to be blockaded indefinitely.

    Regardless, it is foolish to compare the economics of the Star Wars galaxy to 21st century Earth. The situations are very different. Yes there are numerous agriworlds that produce and export foodstuffs. Some of this is for luxury purposes. The majority is likely to be shipped at a premium to those locations were the capital costs to setup a propefood production and recycling system outweigh local capital. As a result the inflated price of exported foodstuffs is one of the many ways the Core (with its surplus) controls the Rim - by purchasing vast quantities of raw materials for foodstuffs via a deliberately distorted exchange.

    Star Wars, after all, does not have a free market, the galactic economy is brutally oligarchical, only the actors are planets, not individual people.
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  14. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

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    Nov 25, 2007
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    This one has bothered me too, but for different reasons. I could buy their technology is sufficiently advanced to comfortable sustain a city planet in the pre-hyperspace era, with just the vast resources of the Coruscant system to rely upon.

    However, I think its rather stupid that the Coruscanti are confined to their system pretty much till the Rakata show up 70,000 years later. I would think if they had a city planet that they would try and colonize some other worlds outside of the Coruscant system, even if they didn't have FTL yet. If it were up to me I would have early humans develop a dimensional drive a lot earlier in their history, and along with that, give earlier dates for when the first generational sleeper ships were sent out. Maybe change the dates on the founding of some of the Core Worlds, or make up new planets, and throw in the Azure Imperium in there for good measure:) I think it would make for a more sensible timeline, and make for some potentially interesting stories involving early human empires within a few hundred, maybe a thousand light years of Coruscant.

    Also considering Coruscant's population has probably increased over time, and since it is portrayed as being largely deserted in future era's, there's probably only a few hundred people living there in 100,000 BBY;), couldn't resist
  15. jSarek VIP

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    I think I always assumed that Coruscant's land surface was urbanized before the hyperdrive, but that it didn't lose its oceans until afterward, and that pre-Republic Coruscanti relied heavily on aquaculture.
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  16. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    The Taung at least must have had some space tech, as they managed to emigrate the world before 100000 BBY, also we have the little tidbit from TOR that the Gree apparently helped in building the original city planet.
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  17. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Feb 2, 2010
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    I think that this, in particular, should be done, and rather desperately.

    We know the Csilla, for example, was settled by sleeper ship. We also now know, do to the scale on the Atlas maps, that Csilla is ~35,000 light years from Coruscant and the Core. So any sleeper ship departing that region to reach the general vicinity of Csilla took 35,000 years minimum (light speed being the upper bound on sleeper ship progress) to get there. Since settlers arrived on Csilla in 27500 BBY, they must have launched earlier than 60000 BBY if they came from the Core. If they changed colonization events together and didn't proceed the whole way in one go, as seems likely, they would have had to launch even earlier.
  18. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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  19. Manisphere Force Ghost

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    But...It's people!!!
  20. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    Fair enough.

    Though, frankly, that sounds like such a miserable existence that I can't see people standing for it for long.

    I am going to have to disagree again. Sure, we see small freighters a lot, because the focus in on adventure in Star Wars stories and because the fall of the mega-corporations in the Clone Wars seriously disrupted the galactic economy, but massive bulk transports like the Trade Federation battleship freighter do exist as well. As a matter of fact, the Essential Guide to Droids establishes that many core worlds have fleets of massive freighters controlled by droids, because the routes they travel are so routine and safe no pilot is actually needed. Some of these are dedicated purely to the transportation of scrap metal and garbage to designated junk planets.

    Actually, the implications of junkyard planets alone are staggering - if it is economically viable to load spaceships full of useless trash and transport it through hyperspace to throw away, then surely the transportation of food is at least as viable. Similarly, the Star Wars galaxy apparently has an extensive tourist industry - not only were Mon Cal ships converted luxury liners, and more than one planet is noted to have a tourist based economy, but some of the articles in Holonet Newsfeed establish that taking vacations to other planets is something average, blue collar families do, not just the super rich of the galaxy.

    Additionally, while many Star Wars transports are small, they are also relatively cheap. 2,000 credits is apparently a rip off for a used, out of date speeder, yet in the same movie Luke said he could buy his own ship for 10,000 credits. In short, small space vessels are barely more expensive than the SW equivalent of cars, which, in turn, appear to be very common except on planets with extensive public transportation.

    Furthermore, I think it is worth noting that we don't have several references to planets starving when cut off from interstellar trade. In TPM, Naboo was mentioned to be suffering from shortages because of the TF blockade, even though it has a small population and extensive agriculture and aquaculture. In TCW, supply shortages ravage Mandalore simply do to their neutrality and the disruptions of the war, even without any kind of active blockade. In SWTOR, the Mandaloring blockade led to starvation induced riots on Coursicant, and the Republic was on the verge of surrendering when the blockade was broken. Later, the Sith deliberately started going after agriworlds such as Uphrades: a planet who supplied half of Coursicant's food and it was said that "any damage to Uphrades could cripple the Republic."

    Finally, I would like to point out the area of the Southern Fujian Province of China around Quanzhou was totally reliant on rice imported by ship by the 13th century, if not earlier, so bulk transportation of food is not that new a phenomena.
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  21. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

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    Nov 25, 2007
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    Yeah I concur, the 70,000 years of Coruscanti isolation is an issue needs to be fixed. I thought the same thing about Seoul 5 as well, but after visiting wookieepedia it looks as if it is now Rakatan colony.

    I also thought the same thing with respect to the Taungs. I would of assumed that the Taung and Humans/Zhell of 100,000 BBY were pretty equivalent in terms of technology, including having early forms of space travel available to their civilizations. Maybe give them technology somewhere between present day Earth and what we see in the Dawn of the Jedi series. I would love to see a book covering the war for control of the Coruscant system between the Taung and Zhell. However, I must say I was disappointed in the EGTW where it looks as if the Taungs are fighting the Zhell with spears alone. Though in my mind, I like to regulate depictions of where Star Wars melee combat is the primary form of warfare in earlier era's, as a form of artistic license for events set in the distant past.:)

    Didn't know that about the Gree, pretty cool. I was very close to playing SWTOR again just to learn more about the Gree.
  22. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

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    Sep 3, 2012
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    Maybe some of the other planets in the Coruscant system were inhabited and arable before the invention of hyperspace travel, but become devastated later, say by the Rakata after being driven off the planet(s) or in the Alsakan Conflicts.
  23. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    I wouldn't underestimate the production potential of Coruscant just because it's an "ecumenopolis." So it's fully developed -- that doesn't stop there from being fields atop some of the developments, or greenhouses, or "underground" farming in artificial environments, or the keeping of various types of livestock, or from building giant greenhouse space stations in orbit, without going into anything as extreme as yeast-farming. We're not guaranteed that Coruscant's population would have been as high way back then as it is now -- it's had a lot of time to build higher and expand its population. There may have been some tightness around the edges of the supply, but just because the planet was wholly developed doesn't mean it was incapable of considerable agricultural production.
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  24. Gamiel Force Ghost

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  25. johnthejedi24 Force Ghost

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