Lit Galactic Timeline Excessively Long?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Carl L., Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Carl L. Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Hey There,

    Always been a fan of the films (at least the original 3) and have recently started delving into the Expanded Universe. Although I'm enjoying this additional content, I seem to have an (admittedly nitpicky) issue regarding this imagined Galactic Historical timeline. It seems to me that the the overall span of time starting with say, the formation of the Galactic Republic until the end of the current timeline seems WAY too excessive. I just find it hard to believe for example that by the time that the original films take place, humanity's been a space-faring civilization for at least 30 thousand years. Another example: Wookiees have apparently been around for 2 MILLION YEARS! It just seems to me an extremely long amount of time where things stay relatively the same, sure different governments come and fall, but essentially nothing drastic really changes. I know at least initially (pre-hyperdrive) some of this is just due to the extreme amount of time it would take to get from star to star, but otherwise it just seems like they wanted to create this "Epic" Universe and thought that making this timeline so long adds to the "Epicness" somehow.

    I don't know, it's kind of a stupid objection to make of a SCI-FI universe. And it doesn't really detract from my enjoyment at all, I just find it kind of curious. Am I missing something, or has anybody else had these thoughts? If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with this rambling post.
  2. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    It is given by Obi-Wan in ANH when he mentioned that the Jedi Knights have been guardians of the Old Republic for more then 25000 years (1000 Generations).


    Human like beings have been here on earth for way way longer ;) and look what we did for most of that time.
  3. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Weren't the Wookiees created by the Rakata mutating banthas or something?
  4. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Is that true?

    So they really are walking carpets.
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    In cosmological terms 2 million years ain't squat!

    For all we know it takes 30 millennia to actually create a galactic civilisation because, to invoke a Steven Erikson line: "Space. It's &^%$ing big."

    Finally, what changes would you expect? If you look to the likes of Banks' Culture, there you have a civilization around for at least 10 millennia that doesn't change much because it isn't needed.
  6. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    RE: technological stagnation -- that's what dark ages are for! :p

    And it's not like the Republic was always as massive as it ended up being for its entire lifespan. The unknown regions used to be a lot, lot larger. I mean, blimey, the known galaxy in Revan's day was about half the size of the known galaxy of the Saga period.
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  7. gizkaspice Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2013
    star 2
    But during that time there were countless generations of evolution and adaptations. Unless you're something like a shark where you are highly specialized for your environment and therefore do not change that much even in millions of years, I assume some species will look very different from their ancestors or have different cultures and levels of government.

    And as mentioned, 2 million years is literally nothing in cosmological terms. Thousands of civilizations could come and go and nobody would care.
    idk sometimes it seems like some people don't seem to consider how much change could happen within a single planet, let alone on a galactic scale.
  8. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Sure but life was still pretty much the same for humans/ "proto-humans" except in the last few thousand years.

    Wookiees have done ton of stuff in that time, they have build great cities, a complex culture, highly evolved local technology, spread to the stars etc.
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  9. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    I don't think that "a thousand generations" was literally supposed to mean 25,000 years.
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  10. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    What else? A Generation is clearly 25 years. [face_dunno]
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  11. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6

    Indeed. Like Wookiees. They've successfully filled the walking carpet niche for thousands of years. Why fix what isn't broken?

    ...you ruined my line. :_|

    Hundreds of sentient species... and we both pick the same one. :p

    236 EXT. DAGOBAH-DAY
    YODA descends the ramp, surveying the unfamiliar terrain.


    You forget: everything is meant to be taken literally. :p
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Mar 22, 2014
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  12. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5

    I always figured that he just happens to not crash in the same part of the swamp as he already been to. [face_dunno]
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  13. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    [IMG]

    Okay, yeah, I always thought the same thing when I read the script, too. :p
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  14. gizkaspice Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2013
    star 2
    True, but what I meant is that I'm assuming Wookiees have been around for 2 million years without much change happening to them. During that time, are they still considered Wookiees or Wookiee-like creatures?

    And sure they did great stuff during that time, but how is their culture different say thousands of years ago to "modern" times?

    It just seems like, yes, the galactic grand of scheme of things don't change that much, but neither do the planets the species live on. Kashyyyk is a forest planet in DOTJ and it remains the same thousands of years later. Everything is relatively unchanged in SW.
    Last edited by gizkaspice, Mar 22, 2014
  15. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Well there are different looking Wookiees and they are said to have different cultures and traditions in different parts of the planet. Though no clue if there was anything "Wookiee-Like" beforehand, and if, they were as nice to them as our ancestors to their "relatives" and just ate them. [face_dunno]

    They seem to have moved more towards embracing the galaxy at large and technology between the Kotor era and the modern.

    Well there are a few that do undergo radical changes like the Ubese or the Hutts. Or stuff like constantly changing government forms on Corellia etc.

    Depends on the planets. I mean in DOTJ Tatooine was green and pleasant, well not as much later ;). The Hutts layed waste to a whole sector now called the Ash Worlds and those worlds are still radiated wastelands 25000 years later. Alderaan happens etc. Stuff does change, but as you said the galaxy is just to large for it to make a major impact.
  16. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 6
    I've always thought the GFFA timeline was excessively brief.

    Most of the known spacefaring races in the galaxy gained intersteller capabilities within the same 100,000 year timespan, with little or no recorded history before that... out of the ~13 billion years of the galaxy's existence? That strains credulity. Thankfully, the presence of artifacts like Centerpoint and the Pelgrin Oracle suggests a much deeper history to the galaxy, on the order of millions or billions of years.

    My take is that this a historical bias: the writers of the GFFA history as we know it are primarily concerned with the history of humans in the galaxy.
  17. Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2004
    star 4
    Well, I would gather that there were whole menageries of nonhumanoid species before then, but most are long extinct and their records missing/untranslatable. I mean, how much of substance do we know about Earth civilization before 5 or so millennia ago?

    We do know that the Columi were spacefaring as early as 2 million BBY, but they were disappointed with what they found--barbarians and empty planets--and basically retreated back to their home system.

    There's also Devilworlds' "Force demons" which were supposed to exist before any other life in the galaxy--although if there was no life to produce the Force, they must have been made from pure energy or something else.
    Last edited by Valin__Kenobi, Mar 22, 2014
  18. gizkaspice Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2013
    star 2
    Exactly---but where are these different cultures and traditions? how come they are never explored? I think we absolutely need more cultures within a species.

    But doesn't that describe almost all species in SW? That they moved towards embracing the galaxy (except some that refused to leave their home planet). What motivated Wookiees to explore space besides general curiosity?

    That's because Rakata decided to BBQ Tatooine for the lulz. In fact, a lot of what they did impacted the galaxy in some way, which is also true with the other ancient races like the Hutts. It seems like the major changes happening in the SW galaxy happened thousands of years ago and then humans just take over from there. Why aren't there other major species besides humans making an impact on the galaxy other than an obvious bias towards humans?
  19. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    They had a rather unpleasant encounter with Trandoshans and the Czerka Corp which decided to enslave them and try robbing them of their homeworld (which after a stockholder vote by Czerka was renamed Edean). Revan helped them kick out Czerka and the Wookiees later decided to embrace the galaxy at large to prevent something like it from happening again.

    Some do, others stay isolated on purpose, it varies like so many things.


    Because the Humans dominated Republic crushed or annexed most alien space empires with only the Hutts, which had hyperdrives far before the Core Wolders did and clearly also have a vicious streak on par with humanity, ;) still sticking around.
  20. gizkaspice Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2013
    star 2
    I'd like to have the Hutts pair up with other major species and declare war on humanity in the GFFA :p Now that would be an interesting change in galactic history.
  21. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5

    It essentially happened here, though the humans started it. ;)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pius_Dea_Crusades
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  22. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    It probably wasn't meant to mean exactly 25,000 years, right down to the month. But it's not at all unreasonable to conclude from that line that galactic civilization has been around for roughly that period of time. "Generation" has a meaning. "A thousand generations" isn't an idiomatic phrase, it's a purposeful estimate of time.
  23. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    37,00+ years of material?
    Challenge accepted :D
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  24. Darth Xalfrea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2013
    star 3
    When we really get down to it, the entire timeline of Star Wars encompassing every single little thing is actually pretty short. The only reason it looks big is because of all that miscellaneous info that discusses developments of alien species, colonization of planets, etc. But when we actually get to story bits, it's not that long at all.

    And to make things even better, it's not as if the entire timeline is contrived, like somehow the Skywalkers have had an influence on events during the time of the Rakata. Compare that with, say, the Castlevania timeline and how it's incredibly convenient that a Belmont one way or another has an influence on each entry.
  25. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Fixed. Oops. [face_blush]