CT Secrets of the Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV unveiled

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Lt. Hija, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Lt. Hija Jedi Master

    Member Since:
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    Here is my extensive in-depth study and examination of Princess Leia's starship which will eventually feature deck plans that are 100% compliant with the ANH (and Rogue One) onscreen information and a character movement throughout the ship which makes common sense without invoking too many weird rationalizations.

    It's a project I repeatedly postponed because one of the things most necessary, i.e. a perfect top view of the original VFX model (without distortions in perspective), didn't publically exist until the arrival of the new Star Wars Chronicles book (from Japan) in December 2016.
    Now, the spark to do this study came in February from my best SW friend who claimed, based on an analysis by blogger Stinson Lenz, that the Tantive IV couldn't be much longer than 90 meters or 295 feet to fit into the Devastator's main bay as seen in ANH (essentially he is correct, but didn't consider the possibility that alternately the Devastator could be much bigger instead, i.e. 2,242 meters). ;)

    So I decided to examine the exterior features of the VFX model, but as one thing led to another, the ship grew in size as did this study, which I hope or believe could qualify as the ultimate one ever done on what is admittedly my favorite Star Wars starship (with the Imperial Star Destroyer at a very close second place...).

    But as starters I decided to address a couple of 'elephants in the room', which I believe have been on the minds of fans since 1977, so here we go:


    The first spaceship of the original Star Wars Trilogy to show up on the silver screen

    On May 25, 1977, forty years ago, Star Wars (A New Hope) opened with the spectacular and visually impressive pursuit of Princess Leia’s starship, “racing home” with the “stolen [Death Star] plans” that can “restore freedom to the galaxy.” The ship audiences saw during those pivotal first scenes had obvious characteristics of a fish (i.e. a hammerhead shark), and looked like a mix between Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine from the 1954 critically acclaimed Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and a supersonic jet. It would set the basic design principle for other Alliance ships to follow, i.e. round organic design elements (with maritime sea life and submarine allusions as space is essentially a vast ocean in the SW Universe), quite in contrast with the usually harsh and clear geometric elements of Imperial vehicles. Hence Joe Johnston described the ship in his Star Wars Sketchbook as “a truly antiquated craft. Multiple fuel-burning engines, Nemo-esque [solar] fins and a hammerhead cockpit suggest an era when spaceships were commissioned and handcrafted.”

    The overall impression was that of a fish being chased by a sophisticated yacht, a notion that would again reflect in The Empire Strikes Back sequel where the captain of a Star Destroyer was looking forward to their “first catch of the day” (and ultimately suggest that the crews of the Imperial Forces, like their counterparts of the British Royal Navy of historic Earth, would rather capture ships for prize money than to simply destroy these - although that was not the fate Darth Vader intended the Tantive IV to have).

    [IMG]

    While the ship may have looked to innocent audiences as if it had been designed to look the way it did (a great testament to the work of the model makers), it was originally Han Solo’s “Corellian pirateship” (sic). That changed when it was brought to George Lucas’ attention that the design looked somewhat derivative, strongly resembling an Eagle spaceship of Moonbase Alpha (itself derivative of the Moonbase Clavius featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey) in Gerry Anderson’s TV series Space: 1999. It’s parabolic dish and original cockpit would go to the newly designed VFX model of the Millennium Falcon, the original escape pods on the top would become pods of a different kind (with the escape pods of Princess Leia’s ship now hanging on the underside of its midship section) and Princess Leia’s ship would get its iconic hammerhead to suggest a different scale (i.e. a much larger ship).

    The film set of the central corridor in Solo’s pirateship that had already been built, then became the “portside companionway aft” where Princess Leia would be hiding the Death Star plans inside Artoo-Detoo and herself until she’d be found and stunned there by Imperial stormtroopers.

    The million credits question – Where did Vader and the Stormtroopers board Princess Leia’s ship?

    The Star Destroyer Devastator chases Princess Leia’s Tantive IV and scores a decisive hit that destroys the “main solar fin” (screenplay description, dissipating waste heat from the adjacent reactor complex between the midship and the engine section). To prevent overheating and explosion of the main reactor Captain Antilles has it shut down (radio drama) which immobilizes the ship which is taken into the Devastator’s “dorsal boarding lock” (radio drama).
    There the stormtroopers invade the ship, but the VFX composition of the Tantive IV model sitting inside the Star Destroyer model’s main bay features no visual hint whatsoever how the stormtroopers and Vader got aboard.

    This either occurred on the starboard side of the Tantive IV (with the ship obscuring any boarding activity on that side) or the Stormtroopers were dropped off at some point to secure the vessel first and to prevent the Tantive IV’s crew from bringing a detonating device into the Star Destroyer.

    But before we examine how the Tantive IV was boarded, we should look first at where that could have been done, based on the exterior features of the physical VFX model, examining the ship from bow to stern.

    Access option A: The hammerhead (or bow) section
    Basically, the hammerhead is devoid of surface features suggesting a hatch, except for the upper part on the port and starboard side. There, both sides feature a thin panel, similar in proportions to a personnel hatch, which is somewhat obscured by what appears to be a movable floodlight assembly right in front of each hatch, that can probably be either operated from the bridge as the vessel’s floodlight or manually from personnel near the open hatch.
    Apparently, Revenge of the Sith favored that option as we can clearly see that Bail Organa, looking for means to help the Jedi, comes from the port side hatch end, walks down the hallway and then turns into the hallway leading straight to cockpit of the diplomatic Alderaan Cruiser (Tantive III). However, at 148.8 meters overall ship length the hammerhead section would only be 24 meters wide, while the actual length of the ROTS film set hallway between the hatch and the corridor leading straight to the cockpit is already 19 meters. Either the hammerhead of the Tantive III is at least 38 meters wide (with the cockpit in the center) which would yield an overall length of 236 meters for “Daddy’s family van” in contrast to his daughter’s smaller “Corvette” (assuming that the Tantive III features the same proportions as the Tantive IV) or Bail’s Tantive III is a ‘British’ variation with the ‘steering wheel’ on the far right while Leia’s Tantive IV features the ‘steering wheel’ on the far left (so that the Rogue One cockpit door can match the door to the cockpit in the actual VFX model).

    [IMG]

    Access option B: The upper port side hatch just behind the midship section (see above, right)
    Inarguably, an optimal candidate is the upper port side hatch as it matches our expectations of a personnel hatch. But since we saw Vader coming from the right (before he entered the main hallway of the Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV) the main hallway would extend further towards the bow but the hallway’s L-turn wouldn’t actually lead inwards but instead outwards in the port side midship section! Interestingly, as we shall later see, that hatch matches roughly the position of the “droid labor pool” (radio drama) on the lower deck, so probably it’s connected to a suction tube (e.g. Jawa sandcrawler, Princess Amidala’s ship in The Phantom Menace) that transports astro-droids straight to the exterior hull to perform extra-vehicular activities (EVA) and maintenance, but mustn’t necessarily be limited to that.

    Access option C: The big and lower starboard hatch just behind the midship section
    That was the original Corellian pirateship’s boarding hatch with the extractable ramp, featured in the early Ralph McQuarrie paintings and built into the pirateship model. Kept for Leia’s much bigger Tantive IV the original man-size hatch had now gained in size and covered two decks. Obviously too big for just an EVA airlock, it appears to be some kind of cargo loading door.
    Although located on the starboard side (i.e. obscured by the Tantive IV’s hull), Vader would still be entering the scene coming from the right side (outside the hallway), forcing the hallway’s L-turn – again - to head further down the stern but ultimately lead outside of the ship.

    [IMG]

    Access options D, E and F will be featured as soon as possible, stay tuned
    Last edited by Lt. Hija, Apr 16, 2017
  2. Mange Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
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    Looks great! I still bet on what I suppose will be either D, E or F: At the airlock below the sensor dish (where the mounting for the model was located).
  3. Mange Jedi Master

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    Jan 11, 2003
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    I did it (on paper) and it's difficult, especially to make the branching corridors fit, but it narrowly works. There are a few issues with the angles etc. though.


    Out of curiosity: Where can I read more about the filmmakers using the ICS?

    In any case, the interiors for the Tantive IV in Rogue One doesn't fit with the ICS (and I think Brown's now outdated deckplans fits better with what we see in ANH compared with the ICS).
    Last edited by Mange, Apr 18, 2017
  4. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    https://www.wired.com/2016/11/john-knoll-rogue-one-star-wars/

    Knoll’s job also requires painful, almost microscopic scrutiny. At one point he reviews a Star Destroyer torn in half in battle—the reflections, the textures, the realism of the bent metal. The model maker is working from the book Incredible Cross-Sections of Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Vehicles and Spacecraft to make sure that what an audience sees inside the ship matches what’s known about Star Destroyers. No one wants to be the subject of a subreddit dedicated to power converters and the jerks who put them in the wrong place.

    (it's close to the end of the article)

    What deckplans are those? And where's the contradictory moment between the Royal Rebel / ICS deckplan, and Rogue One? Is there a moment where the character's running down the same central corridor leading to the hammerhead - and then the room layout's radically different in the movie when compared to said depictions?
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 18, 2017
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  5. Mange Jedi Master

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    Thanks! :)

    That was a rather fun quote! :D
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  6. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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  7. Hernalt Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    I'll add a reflection germane to BR. Someone said somewhere that the DSII over Endor would make people fly into space. {No, it would not.} It, plus seeing period footage of how fast B-17's could *stop hanging in midair, got me reflecting about a common complaint concerning the ROTJ SSD that plunges into DSII. It cannot be asserted where exactly SSD is in relation to a three body system of SSD, DSII and Endor. The convention is that it is logically orthogonal to the line of attraction between DSII and Endor, because the fleet battle took place at a location likewise orthogonal. The assistance that RO offers on alternate ways to consume the SSD plunge is in the action of the BR falling out of Raddus' ship. Raddus' ship is stationary over the shield generator. It is not in orbit. It is not 'falling and failing to hit the ground'. If the BR divests itself of the anti-gravity of its host, it falls under the force of gravitational attraction from the planet (moon, I don't care) Scarrif. The SW77 escape pod is *jettisoned from the BR but it *falls under gravity, along a geodesic in space-time that is, to the surface of Tatooine, and specifically to a *crash landing. So RO is a second eye-witness to the effects of gravity in the OT era. We can also throw in additional evidence of gravity, and more importantly the effect of gravity, with the Grievous ship that loses anti-gravity in ROTS. So. If there is no geometric Rubicon already laid down by someone with an excellent reason, it is possible to consume the plunge of the SSD into the DSII as the following. The SSD for whatever reason is on the side of the DSII opposite Endor. The DSII has operational anti-gravity. Ackbar says to concentrate fire on the SSD. The SSD sustains serious damage from a command, control and navigation perspective, but *also loses its operational anti-gravity. The SSD now immediately experiences the gravitational force exerted by Endor. (It is required that one imagine the lines of gravitational force going through, and not being interrupted by, the DSII, which nevertheless cancels/nullifies its *own gravitational response.) If Endor is an Earth mass object, and the orbital separation of DSII is XYZ miles, the gravitational acceleration at that distance will be AB.CD feet per second per second. A thing the size of SSD experiencing that acceleration will get up to speed EF.GH feet per second in the distance that separates it from DSII. These are basic and fundamental concepts that are already displayed and acknowledged in the star wars universe. No one can stamp their foot that, "no, gravity does not matter and nothing is ever consistent". Yes, it does, and yes, some things are. It is shown in SW77. It is shown in RO. It is shown in ROTS. Although I don't generally use TFA as evidence, it certainly beat the tar out of MF by the use of gravity. These elements can be assembled into a view that lends support to (full) suspended disbelief that the SSD plunged into the DSII in the manner in which it was presented.
    Last edited by Hernalt, Apr 18, 2017
  8. Mange Jedi Master

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    Wrong thread, I believe... :)
  9. Bazinga'd Porg Overlord of the WNU, CT, and Saga Forums

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    Yeah this seems out of place. Keep things focused on the thread title.
  10. Lt. Hija Jedi Master

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    Dec 8, 2015
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    Because of construction work in my house, I currently don't have the time to do the visualization, but will do so eventually. In addition to the pentagonal hub you have to consder the side corridor through which the stormtroopers went to report that the Death Star plans aren't in the computer and the space on the other side (with the Rebel round-up) that leads to a circular hatch (probably the SW version of a ST Jefferies Tube).

    I'd like to see this version, too, but because his website is defunct, that's probably rather difficult and not much use asking him about it (as a matter of fact, he specifically requested to be left out in this particular thread, so I'll honor his request

    ( @Bazinga'd - Hernalt apparently replied to a private E-mail exchange but didn't provide the context, hence the probable misunderstanding)

    But considering that Raddus ship had apparently been immobilized, didn't it look like it was in some kind of geostationary orbit? And, IMHO, the speed with which the BR distanced itself from the Profundity looked to me as if that could be the doing of the Tibanna gas (featuring properties of exotic, negative matter) in the forward midship section.


    The million credits question – Where did Vader and the Stormtroopers board Princess Leia’s ship? (CONTINUED)

    Access option D: The port side cylinder between the midship and the engine section
    While this is undoubtedly the most popular theory and belief, nurtured by depictions in the animated series Rebels, it is also the least likely access hatch of all the candidates - and definitely not an option ever considered by the model makers: ANH publicity shots of the Rebel Blockade Runner VFX model reveal the port and starboard side cylinder to be covered by a dome (before the ship’s appearance in the film), and the version actually seen in the film features no structure there that remotely resembles the shape of a larger personnel hatch. Later, for Return of the Jedi, the model makers even covered these cylinders with guns (apparently inspired by Ralph McQuarries Corellian pirateship paintings) to present a variation of the Rebel Blockade Runner (and added windows to the ridge of its midship section). Although this variation didn’t make it into the final film, it’s rather clear that the model makers didn’t consider a personnel access hatch to be there.

    [IMG]

    Nevertheless, virtually everyone I’m aware of with a serious interest in the internal layout of the ship always thought or believed (myself included) that the hallway corridor with the bulkhead door blasted by the stormtroopers started at the port side cylinder, thus rationalizing the L-turn at the opposite end of the bulkhead door as a ‘soft’ square angle that would lead to and somewhat run parallel to the central axis of the ship.

    Unfortunately, there is one major problem here which is obviously due to the fact, that no one ever took the actual film set blueprint (not available until 2013) to see whether the ANH hallway film set would even fit in there. The result is brutally clear: It doesn’t. Even at 148.8 meters overall length, the hallway seen in ANH would not start to make the L-turn until it has reached the starboard cylinder, i.e. the L-turn would most assuredly lead out of the ship! (the width between starboard and port side reactor cylinder is 30.5 meters, the actual film set is 19.7 meters long before the L-turn starts).

    So this is cannot be the location Vader and the stormtroopers entered the ship, unless the Tantive IV is much longer than 148.8 meters (but again something the model makers did not intend, as we shall soon read).

    Access option E: A hatch located at the stern in between the middle propulsion engines
    Apparently, this is a new proposal brought forward by Gareth Edwards and/or John Knoll in Rogue One, unorthodox at first sight but rather appealing the more I think about it: In the film we see Vader just standing outside the ship’s hallway killing other Rebel crew members as the hatch door slams shut, followed by the crewman “G.E.” pulling a mechanical lever that makes the clamps of Admiral Raddus’ Profundity release this *cough* Corellian Corvette, which goes into a freefall dive (as its Tibanna gas ‘pushes’ against the mass of the Profundity), and next we see Vader standing on the mechanism (that used to extract or retract the gangway that’s missing now) looking at the stern of the escaping Alliance ship. Unless the Dark Lord performed a Jedi Sith jump from one part of the bay to another, I don’t think there is any plausible rationalization other than that the Corellian Corvette, still docked to the Profundity’s gangway, took parts of that with it when the clamps released the Blockade Runner - TBPH I would have rather liked to see that - i.e. ‘cool’ Vader standing in the gangway, totally unimpressed and unconcerned as the gangway around him disintegrates - than him butchering Rebels that were no equal match for him.

    [IMG]

    Now, is that the answer to the million credits question a lot of us have been asking during the previous decades? Perhaps from the RO filmmakers’ point of view, but there are some details that don’t match up: Apparently inspired by the Alderaan Cruiser film set from ROTS, the RO film set features the same ‘bulky’ storage boxes as the set from ROTS and vertical bulkhead doors (though only for the access hatch, whose exterior door is a horizontally parting sliding door) and (MOST unfortunately) the same tiny cockpit, which is still incompatible with the one revealed by the VFX model (and requires - again - a partition wall inside the cockpit to somehow rationalize the obvious discrepancy).

    ANH’s production designer John Barry’s solution for the missing bulkhead doors was inarguably the cleverer one: The bulkhead doors always stick out on the side of the doorframe you don’t see in the film… (that man was a genius, having examined the original Yavin IV war room set and how it was used to represent various corners of the inner temple of the Great Temple, I’ll never get tired of expressing my admiration for one of ANH’s greatest unsung contributors who sadly and unexpectedly passed away during the making of TESB).

    But while ROTS production designer Gavin Bouquet tried to faithfully recreate the original Tantive IV set (based on images but not the original blueprints), the RO designers added a bulkhead door frame to the film set (leading to the cockpit of the Tantive IV in RO) which hadn’t been there in ANH (i.e. opposite to the right bulkhead frame close to the hatch where the stormtroopers barged into the hallway, there was just a wall). Add to this that the RO hallway is noticeably shorter than the one built for ANH. Where director Gareth Edwards pulled the release lever (suggested in RO to be the corner of the “L-turn”), there was the hallway access corridor to the pentagonal hub on the original film set but not the end of the hallway, yet!

    To cut a long story (or a film set) short: The hallway featured in RO adds another access to the interior of Princess Leia’s ship (and a different hallway), but can’t possibly be the hallway featured in ANH because it a) features a new bulkhead door frame that didn’t exist in ANH’s main hallway and b) is definitely shorter than the original film set (good news is that we don’t have to imagine a gangway contraption, unnecessarily consuming space in the Devastator’s main/stern hangar bay).

    Access option F: Vader and his Stormtroopers didn’t enter through a hatch but cut an aperture into the hull that suited their boarding purposes best
    The first scenes of Aliens showed how Ripley’s salvage crew simply cut the hatch of the Narcissus lifeboat open by means of a strong laser cutter, and there is no reason to assume that the Galactic Empire doesn’t have that kind of technology, too. Figuratively speaking, how do you kill a hammerhead shark (or any animal)? By slicing its throat just below the hammerhead, and IMHO and after extensive research I think that’s the metaphor that may finally answer this million credits question (and suggested by the author of the original ANH novelization, writing about a “smoldering cavity blasted through the hull of the fighter”).


    (coming up next:
    How did Vader and the Stormtroopers board Princess Leia’s ship?)
    Last edited by Lt. Hija, Apr 21, 2017
  11. Nibelung Jedi Padawan

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    Question regarding the photos of the proto-Falcon/Blockade Runner model: what's the source for that photograph of the model with the original Falcon cockpit?
    Last edited by Nibelung, Apr 23, 2017
  12. Mange Jedi Master

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    The pentagonal hub can be seen in Rogue One (right behind Captain Antilles when he hands Princess Leia the datacard). I contend that the plain door that can be seen behind the stormtroopers as they walk in the side corridor just before reporting to Vader is the outer door to the bridge. The side corridor leading to the pentagonal hub seems to be missing from Rogue One which is probably an error made by the set designer.
    I don't see how Tibanna gas factors in as there is no such use of it in the canon. It's an unknown quantity and only obfuscates the discussion.

    You can go just as far when it comes to sets vs models: They're most often not built to the same scale and the best you can try to do is to rationalize it as good as possible. I think the cylinder - despite its outward appearance and the apparent issue with having the corridors fit - is one of the strongest contenders.

    Absolutely not, I can not see that this is an option to consider. It flies in the face of everything we know about how SW ships are designed. Furthermore, Captain Antilles called for the airlock to be secured. Said airlock is the entry point to the ship. There would also be a need for a long access tube or similar aperture, something we don't see in the movie.

    The third episode of the third season of The Clone Wars, Supply Lines, included the Tantive IV (unfortunately its appearance was based on the modifications made for ROTJ with the windows along the upper ridge and with gun emplacements on the cylinders) where it showed an alternative way to board the ship: Through a passenger elevator that extends downward opposite the Com-Scan antenna (see the eighth concept art image, it was seen in the movie as well): SW.com

    A fairly strong contender. However, I really don't think we should take the novelization quite so literally. The Alliance soldiers took up position by the same door some had entered earlier.

    Looking forward to your conclusions...
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  13. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    Changes to the Tantive shouldn't be too surprising, since the Falcon underwent many changes between ANH and ESB. (Wider and longer cockpit, relocating nav computer)
  14. Hernalt Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 4
    I. Analysis of interior of BR by Robert Brown
    http://www.synicon.info/SW/br/tantive-inside.htm
    Sourced with bad link from http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/CR90_corvette/Legends

    II.
    What is the source for this statement? What year was an assignment made that Tibanna gas existed, and that it was used as an indispensable functional component of the original pirate ship?

    III. I’ve only seen RO three times. I recall that the jammed door led onto a corridor lateral to the path of the disk, and the last man on the unfortunate side had trouble getting anyone’s attention as they were running past. If my recollection is correct, this would be evidence against a gangway from the stern. However, the film itself doesn’t make it easy to avoid the idea that the path was linear.
    [IMG]
    The idea that there is a hatch on the stern between two engines can gain some support from the observed fact that the BR drops out of Raddus’ ship head first, and therefore tail last, and the next shot has Vader looking down directly, not down to one side. He was proverbially "this close" to the last known position and heading of the disk that got away, and that ought to stand for something. A gangway could have physically attached the BR to Raddus’ ship. The strength of cantilever materials in GFFA is seen at least in the Emperor’s landing platform of ROTS. Let that gangway be of strong cantilever material, but not strong enough to hold the BR in place once it had opted out of Raddus anti-gravity, and you get BR falling headfirst, falling tail last, being held up by the works of the gangway, the gangway ultimately tearing out, and Vader surrounded by some wreckage. Except, is that wreckage. And except, the shot where we'd see it in this CGI wonderland where nothing is impossible does not explicitly or remotely show bits and pieces of such an event.

    I recall the impression of wreckage but that may have been the intended feeling or tonality conveyed by the shape and color of otherwise functional machinery. One can back out talk of wreckage by entertaining that the gangway is entirely telescoped from inside the stern of BR. That allows the un-wreckage of machinery in the final shot, it retains the linear path of least confusion from Vader to plans, it retains the skin of the teeth proximity of Vader to plans. It also allows that the G.E. hand operation is for the gangway connection itself, and nothing directly to do with the ship’s orientation, unless there are physical safety interlocks. But it is at cross-purposes with the shot where the last man to the door cannot get someone’s attention.

    IV. Here’s another entertainment - imagine that the BR can decide where and when it divests itself of Raddus’ anti-gravity. Say it divests first at the bow and then divests progressively back to the stern. That would give the behavior seen. You could have G.E. detaching the gangway, which retracts automatically, straining within some tolerance, even after the bow has started to drop. Then the ship gets up under its own power, and it is off in a linear direction, no longer falling.

    The jammed door with its lateral corridor has to be explained, as it was a nail-biting non-throw-away shot. It is not easy to square it with a gangway.
    Last edited by Hernalt, Apr 24, 2017
  15. Lt. Hija Jedi Master

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    Dec 8, 2015
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    It's from a magazine I don't know the details about. A friend forwarded me the image link, it had a magazine-typical text annotation highlighting the paper figure (for scale) that's standing on the forward solar fin just in front of the upper gun emplacement. It's genuine, the new Star Wars Chronicles (2916) features two images from the model shop with another angle, also revealing the landing gear and the paper figure (standing on the ground near the Falcon cockpit).

    You can see one of the pentagonal hub's gas cylinders behind Antilles in RO, too. Thus the access to RO bridge would appear to be on one of the sides not seen in this screencap:

    [IMG]

    From The Art of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), page # 117 ("Bespin"):

    "Bespin's wondrous Cloud City is one of he galaxy's major trading ports. It floats above the planet and rests upon a shaft which leads to a huge proessing generator. Cloud City citizens are an industrious people whose advanced technology enables them to export the rare anti-gravitational tibanna gas."

    That's George Lucas Canon and ultimately the explanation how Cloud City can float in the sky and why Bespin's cloud cars look like double blimps. Here we have the same (unfortunate) story as with this erroneous "5 mile length" figure for an SSD. Just because it got overlooked by Raymond Velasco in his Guide to the Star Wars Universe it wasn't featured in the West End Games materials, either (These folks didn't do any research, they just copied Velasco's work). Lucasfilm's Dr. David West Reynolds "re-discovered" tibanna gas original properties in his 1998 Star Wars - The Visual Dictionary on page # 22 ("rare anti-gravitational tibanna gas").
    IMHO, the introduction of an exotic substance with properties of negative matter for ESB also retroactively changed what made Luke's landspeeder permanently float in the air above ground (originally just a "magnetic field").
    In the particular case of the Corellian Corvette the stress on the landing gear (front and aft) must be considerate, but the use of tibanna gas for load relief would be of enormous help, add to this that you don't need it as hyperdrive coolant (that was WEG's conjectural rationalization for tibanna gas) when the vehicle is parked. ;)

    @Hernalt
    There is no official confirmation that the forward former landing gear bays were filled with tibanna gas. However, these were originally designed to be part of the forward gear landing system which was ultimately relocated to the keel of the midship body. So in rationalizing tibanna gas to be there, the former landing gear bays are still part of the landing gear system.

    Apparently I have to do this visualization how the main hallway would look inside a 150 m Tantive IV as seeing is believing. I'm too well aware of the Hollywood problem that sets (especially those of Sci-Fi vehicles) are almost always bigger than the exterior allows. However, as we shall see, the Tantive IV is the proverbial exception of the rule (and one of the reasons I invested so much time in this ship).

    I know, I know. It is a very unorthodox concept (I didn't come up with that, I'm merely an observer [face_peace]). And you are right, we don't see the gangway tube being taken with that Corellian Corvette, but we do see sparks in the solid part of the gangway (from where the stormtroopers emerge behind Vader) which IMHO indicate a rupture of some kind.

    The link you provided is very general but from what you described the bottom cylinder features a passenger elevator (with an extendable boarding ramp same as the original Corellian pirateship) that was featured in this Corellian Corvette schematic sheet (Iron Lord posted earlier)? I think that's a cool and suitable idea, but not necessarily the point where Vader and stormtroopers boarded the Tantive IV.

    I concur that the ANH novelization shouldn't be taken quite so literally (because the stormtroopers come from above through the deck ceiling) but other than what's incompatible with the actual film, it's still George Lucas Canon. But again, the RO hallway can't possibly be the same as the one seen in ANH because it's a) much shorter and b) features a bulkhead door frame that didn't exist there in the ANH hallway.
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  16. Nibelung Jedi Padawan

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    Apr 18, 2017
    star 2
    I think I've seen that particular scan before. I've been trying for ages to track its source down with no luck. Thanks for your help, though.

    And yes, the original idea was the stormtroopers entered the ship by crossing through the vacuum of space and cutting into the hull. This is described in more detail in the 1975 second and third drafts; it's also the reason why Ralph McQuarrie designed an armored spacesuit for Vader (later reimagined as a means of life-support) rather than using a simple robes-and-cowl combination like George suggested.
  17. Beskad Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2017

    To me, the best part of this is that Stormtroopers (and even Vader, it would seem) are again able to be in vacuum for at least a short amount of time. It wouldn't appear that a field is active to hold the atmosphere in, so one can assume that the Profundity's atmo has vented out with the emergency launch of the Tantive IV.
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  18. Darth__Lobot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2015
    star 4


    It's pretty common in SW for ships to go through the "docking field" (or whatever it is) while people are still in the hanger walking around... so I don't think they need to vent atmosphere to allow something to leave the docking bay. This happens in many different SW films (TFA, ROTJ, ANH, TPM off the top of my head)
  19. Beskad Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Right, but there's usually (actually, its docking bay i can think of) a glow around the edge and/or open bay aperture that suggests the field is working. Here, we do not see that.
    When I mentioned the atmo venting, I meant it would seemed to have happened due to the emergency departure of the BR breaking the gantry/umbilical. Bulkheads behind the Sith and the TKs probably localized the leak but if the gantry/umbilical were meant to be the means of entry/exit from a docked craft, they might be no need to keep an atmosphere in the docking bay anyway.
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  20. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2014
    star 3
    @Darth__Lobot & @Beskad

    That is cool when Vader is standing there above the planet, his cape blowing in the wind, as the stolen plans blast away. I just watched the Vader and Blockade Runner sequence again. Not sure what this adds to anything, but I don't think the Profundity is actually in space at the end of the movie but in the high atmosphere. As Vader's shuttle flies to Raddus's Flagship you can fires burning and plums of smoke rising up from from the ship. There is also smoke rising in the docking bay behind Vader and around the Stormtroopers, so there is atmosphere in there. Looks like it's the thrust from the Tantive's engines that is blowing Vader's cape and not the vacuum of space.

    Also the gravity of Scarif could explain the way the Tantive falls out of the docking bay nose first.
    Last edited by Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid, Apr 26, 2017
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  21. Darth__Lobot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2015
    star 4

    That's actually a reasonable explanation - if the air is venting after emergency departure or whatever
  22. Hernalt Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 4
    This is from http://boards.theforce.net/threads/vehicles-tech-in-rogue-one.50040702/page-28:
    What specifics do not quite work for you? I've now done a lot of frame by frame on the escape scene.
  23. Mange Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    Indeed. As I mentioned, it seems as if the stormtroopers (on the extreme left in the picture above) who reported that the plans weren't in the main computer entered the pentagonal hub through the short access corridor (that can't be seen in Rogue One) opposite the bridge.


    Interesting, but I can't see how that's George Lucas Canon (which is, or was, always subject to change). That someone wrote it as a concept doesn't make it canon. But that's outside the scope of this discussion.

    I find it the most interesting ship in SW canon. :) It was the first ship we saw and it's somehow a very beautiful and detailed ship (which isn't surprising because of its origins as the Pirate Ship).

    Could be...

    No, I wasn't suggesting that. I was merely pointing out that it's something one should consider. It makes the side dome unlikelier as a point of entry.

    After having watched R1 and ANH back to back, I concur: The two corridors are not the same for the points you mention: It's clearly much shorter and there's a bulkhead to the right (from the POV of the airlock).

    In fact, I noticed something else: Apparently, only a single corridor was built for R1 as the entry corridor and the bridge corridor are the same: Heck, the lever Edwards used can be seen on the wall when the camera tracks the soldiers running away from the camera. It's clearly not intended to be the same corridor, otherwise the soldiers would be running out into space through the open airlock. It did strike me as somewhat cheap though. George Lucas also did the same trick for ANH of course, but it wasn't quite as clear (and he had more set built).

    EDIT: On the ship as it's portrayed in Rebels (the blue variation of the CR-90 has this as well), there's something looking like an access point (a yellow "door") amidships: Gathering Forces Concept Art, Fire Across the Galaxy Concept Art
    Last edited by Mange, Apr 27, 2017
  24. Mange Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    What were your conclusions? I thought the clamps holding the ship were the same ones as were in front of Vader as he watched the ship go, but on closer inspection they weren't the same.
  25. Hernalt Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 4
    Ok, starting with docking clamps... The closeup of the corvette's spine and docking grip attachment points, and the long shot showing the full length of the corvette, are not mutually inconsistent. In the closeup the rear two clamps release at the same time. In the subsequent long shot the forward two pairs open up to the widest extent. The rearmost pair (behind the communication dish) opens up to the least extent. To hold both shots true, the rearmost opened at the same time as the middle, but opened up less far. One ought to conclude then that the foremost clamp also opened at the exact same time. This means there is no explanatory recourse to how the clamps worked when trying to explain why the corvette falls out hammerhead first. All the clamps were released at the same time.

    On to the other clamps. The Vader shot, in stark distinction, has a clamp system that reaches forward into the hangar, has four talons on each, and has several points of articulation. These are obviously not the docking clamps, already seen, that are attached to the spine, like ribs, that runs across the top of the hangar. If one looks closely at the last frames that close in on Vader's head, one might be tempted to wonder if the two cylindrical systems suspending from the top of the frame are the very same rear most clamp systems that were already seen to have been attached to the spine.

    But geometrically this cannot be. The shot showing the corvette falling places a constraint on how far back the rearmost clamp is. (It's as far back as immediately behind the sensor dish.) The spine itself which supports these three clamps does not extend back to the rearmost 'serving tray' plate that is attached to the hangar ceiling. (It does attach to the forward 'serving tray' plate that is attached to the ceiling over the hammerhead.)

    The consequence of this is that one cannot place Vader's position as right below or near the overhead spine. And, because the rearmost 'serving tray' plate is clearly visible as the corvette falls out, and exhibits zero evidence of the retracting (Vader) clamps, one cannot place Vader on top of that 'serving tray' plate. For Vader to have a place in the corvette context shots, Vader and his immediate environment of the precipice and grips would have to be beneath the 'serving tray' plate, and behind the corvette's 11-engine array.

    But taking Vader in his full context makes that difficult to believe.

    Vader's full context is that he is standing on a precipice, flanked by horizontal docking clamps, and standing in front of a large brightly lit, red-striped hangar wall with a not-brightly-lit, trapezoidal, door-less corridor, that is flush with the wall, quite a distance behind him. One cannot fit that system of appearances behind the 11-engine array in the falling shot. Most specifically, there is a fixing reference point common to both sets of Vader and corvette shots, and that is the balcony platforms that are attached to the inside of the starboard side hangar, at about the level of the lowest or middle tier of engines when the corvette is docked. In Vader's final shot, where the corvette slips away behind the lower limb of the Profundity, these two starboard balconies are at a level higher than Vader's head, and, they are quite far ahead of where he presently is, and therefore, perforce, he is presently quite far back from wherever the corvette's engines ended, let alone where a hypothetical gangway met the hull *between engines.

    If we assume that there have been no movements of gangways or gantries or telescoping bridges (which have been demonstrated in SW77), then the Vader shots and the corvette shots suffer discontinuity. Maybe there were scene changes, or reshoots, or a misunderstanding between set designers, set CGI artists, vehicle CGI artists, and final CGI compositors. I wonder if the dramatic Vader shots were a reshoot that re-oriented, re-defined, re-sculpted, how it was that the flight of the disk to and into the rebel ship was originally to be interpreted.

    If we tolerate a massive moving infrastructure of gangways and platforms at the rear of that hangar, a tedious and odious micronarrative can propose that: 1. The gangway (that went the whole way up between corvette engine nacelles) retracted the *entire way back into that large red-striped rear hangar wall (and the double doors belong to the corvette, which presents its own tedious issues*). 2. A previously unseen wide platform now advanced, which has the distinctive mechanical precipice Vader stands on, and the distinctive docking claws on each side. 3. This level is at or slightly below the floor level of the retracted gangway / corridor. (You have to carefully check whether or not you believe that Vader and his troopers are standing at the floor level of that corridor, for, the floor is not actually show and the camera angle is up. One must opine that it is not an illusion, for, it is not actually demonstrated.) Evidence for the movement of massive sliding walls, doors or floors can be taken from PT Venators. Evidence that massive amounts of metal can move unintuitively faster than sight in GFFA can be seen in the fast vertical doors of SW77 DSI, ESB Cloud City, TPM Theed.

    How this relates to the interior layout of the BR. One ought to be able to stand upon a self-consistent body of evidence in order to make a strong claim that this or that is a thing, from which one then reaches or steps out to a new and different conclusion. As it is, the four shots that present no alternative to a stern entrance do not agree among themselves about how that stern entrance is effected. It remains a distinct, pungent possibility that responsible parties' primary conceits were to duplicate the *interior of the SW77, as a stunt, and not necessarily to demonstrate, to any minimum standard of comprehensibility, how it was that a person got from the outside *to that inside set so conscientiously duplicated. I.e., the evidence in RO does not demonstrate to me that Gareth Edwards cares if we know how one gets to his nostalgia-inducing interior set. Nostalgia was the primary driving factor, not knowledge in general.

    * Engine impingement. If the corvette exterior door is between two middle engines and beneath a top tier engine, then the horizontally opening doors impinge the workings of the two side engines, and the vertical door impinges the working of the engine above. Evidence that engine impingement can be tolerated in GFFA to some degree comes from the design of the X-Wing. The rear X-Wing landing gear impinges the lower engines, but we collectively hallucinate that that is no matter.
    Last edited by Hernalt, Apr 27, 2017