Saga Technology in PT more advanced than technology in OT?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by darklordoftech, Jun 3, 2013.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    It would make perfect sense for Imperial tech to be super-advanced and for Rebel tech to be beaten and dated
  2. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Like a lot of things in space operas, they fall apart when taken too literally. My take on it is that it's another visual trick in the Saga, as others have stated, the OT is a Galaxy in decline due to tyranny.
    Darth Raiden and darklordoftech like this.
  3. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    It would be cool with someone made a video comparing OT tech and PT tech.
  4. FARK2005 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    For the most part the technology in the PT is far more advanced than what we see in the OT, an example is Vader's targeting computer compared to Jango Fett's:
    [IMG][IMG]

    Though when it comes to prosthetics the technology has taken a big step forward from the PT to the OT:
    [IMG] [IMG]

    So it's back and forth with technology in GFFA.
    kainee and darklordoftech like this.
  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Apart from the real-world explanation that sixteen years of cinematic technological advances separate the OT & PT, the environments and technology on display in the OT are very different to that of the PT. In the OT, all we see are the furthest outreaches of the galaxy, and the starships and bases are smack bang in the middle of a war.
    The Alliance have to use whatever beaten up old starfighters and equipment are available to them while on the run, and the Empire has devolved into a largely functional aesthetic.

    Tech-wise, there's not really all that much inconsistency, they did a pretty good job of not going too over the top in the PT just because they could. There's no Minority Report-style holographic touchscreens, for example. The sort of scenes that would have been impossible to do credibly during the making of the OT - such as the podrace, the chase through Coruscant or the Geonosis arena fight - weren't a part of the story.

    The real inconsistency is in the visual effects themselves, which was somewhat inevitable (and which the relentless tweaks to the OT have attempted to 'correct'). However, back when the OT was being made, the filmmakers were well aware of the technological limitations, hence why Had Abbadon/Imperial Center/Coruscant never appeared until its brief appearance in the SE of ROTJ, despite it cropping up in earlier drafts of SW & ROTJ.
    It could have been very interesting to see how they might have portrayed The Duel if a once-intended standalone prequel film had been made in the 1980s. It would still have occurred on the lip of an active volcano, but most likely not in the midst of the planet-wide inferno we saw in ROTS. You could see it being a combination of location shooting in a barren environment like Iceland or Scotland, with a studio shoot & VFX for the volcano itself. Mordor, rather than Hell.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jun 23, 2013
    lbr789, kainee, darth ladnar and 2 others like this.
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    This. "shiny"=/=better.
  7. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    This is making me wonder what sort of technology will appear in the ST.
  8. Sur-Gon Jinn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    any "explanation" (sorry to say) is of the simple fact that the PT was shot so many years after the OT. Any "reasons" for this "in universe" is just people coming up with excuses to circumvent the difference in filming/digital technologies available at the time of each filming.

    that's really all it is....GL doesn't even bother explaining it. It's kinda like the Klingon head ridges thing with regards to the original series vs the movies....tech/budget at the time. Same exact thing here. Though at least in ST they tried to give it a legitimate reason (even if it was dumb in and of itself.)
    kainee likes this.
  9. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    The special effects are certainly better, but I think GL tried to show that the technology had improved in some ways from the PT to the OT. The chicken-walkers are smaller, less armored versions of the scout walkers in TESB and ROTJ. The huge AT-AT walkers in TESB are bigger and more advanced-looking than their lower-to-the-ground counterparts. Small ships in the PT need an external ring hyperdrive. They don't in the OT. The Imperial destroyers are larger and more powerful. The Death Star is clearly a technological marvel that was never equaled in the PT. Luke's prosthetic appears superior to Anakin's. There are examples of better technology in the PT in certain instances, digital displays, missiles, blaster-versions of gatling guns, rolling destroyer droids with shields, vulture droids, but I think GL did a good job of keeping that type of stuff in check while still giving us tech that seemed fresh and cool to us in PT. With the special effects available to him at the time of the PT, he certainly could've made the technology in the PT seem like it was from a far advanced alien race like you see at the very end of Spielberg's AI. So, I think it works well. Some things seem a little more advanced in the PT, other things seem a little more advanced in the OT. For me, there's not a huge discrepancy either way (well except for the digital displays vs. the atari graphics in ANH).
  10. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Technology in the OT is utilitarian while PT technology is straight out of an apple-store.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    That is a very good point.
  12. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    And yet, Darth Vader's targeting computer manages to actually hit something. [face_plain]

    Stuff like that can still easily be rationalized, though. You just have to assume that the Fetts custom-made their ship with a fancy-looking interface, while Vader was piloting a ship with an interface that was easy to mass-produce.
    kainee and Darth_Pevra like this.
  13. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    As a pilot and flight engineer, I'd prefer Vader's display. It's clean, simple, uncluttered, much easier to read in a highly distracting environment like space combat.
    kainee and Count Yubnub like this.
  14. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    This always struck me as a very important consideration in design. As far as I can tell, even current-generation military weaponry uses a lot of lo-fi looking graphics, presumably because they're easy to understand and won't break down as easily. I had a lot of problems with Elysium, but interface design was not one of them. The brain-machine interface looks like a VCR options menu, and that's how I would do such things if I were making movies or such.

    Blade Runner did a Coruscant-like cityscape before ROTJ even came out, and a lot of Mustafar in III was done with models, I think. After writing that, I'm not exactly sure why it was relevant, except to say that it could be done with 1980s film tech, and would be/would have been very interesting to see.

    And I know we've had discussions on Mark Hamill's accounts of things, but I think at one point he said that after the whole duel (which I think at that point was Ben, Darth, and Annikin), the Emperor arrives and Ben runs off into the forest, never to be seen again. Regardless of the accuracy of that bit, I feel like it probably influenced my personal mental imagery.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Aug 28, 2013
  15. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    PT tech is more advanced in style. It makes a broad statement about life, art, and architecture under tyranny versus a free republic. To expand on what D. Pevra said, it's utilitarianism vs beauty.

    This theme spans the whole series, from the very concept of cloned armies, to the controls on starships.
  16. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    I remember when I was little, a friend of mine pointed this out to me and I didn't have an answer for him, but after a few years of mulling it over, I came to this conclusion: the reason PT seems more technologically advanced than the OT is because of the difference in settings. The PT follows the story of the Jedi traveling around in the galaxy doing Jedi/political business. We see more urban developed worlds like Coruscant, Naboo, Utapau, and Kamino that are planets with major metropolitan areas. We don't get this in the OT, except for Cloud City, which matches what we see in the PT. In the OT, we follow the stories of a band of Rebels on the run from the evil Galactic Empire. They're constantly visiting remote outer rim planets like Tatooine, Endor, Yavin IV, Dagobah, and Hoth that are barely developed, if they are developed at all. Cloud City is the closest we come to an urban environment, and we have to keep in mind that it IS a mining colony, after all. It's not going to have the latest tech like Coruscant or Naboo will.
    Last edited by Dinos4Ever, Sep 8, 2013
  17. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    There are three problems with this reasoning.
    1) While we may not see Naboo or Coruscant, we do see the empire and quite a lot of it. We see the inside the DS and other places so why do they not have this advanced tech if it is around?
    2) There are several instaces of more advanced weapons tech in the PT. Like for ex, rapidfire hand held weapons, missiles and portable shields.
    This is stuff the empire would want to use so why don't they have it?
    3) It makes sense that the stuff the rebels have is used and beat up and they are using old stuff. But then they would be using the stuff in the PT, except it looks older and more used, while the empire has newer and more advanced stuff.

    Design changes I have no problem with, design never stands still and the empire is going for big and intimidating ships.
    But in many areas the PT tech is superiour in function as well.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
  18. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    It's already been pointed out, but inside the DS & onboard Star Destroyers there's no indication that the technology is any less advanced, merely that it's less flashy. Emphasis on functionality, none on aesthetics, befitting a technocratic dictatorship in a time of war.

    Correct, this is an inconsistency, particularly considering that the Republic/Empire defeated the Separatists, and there's no reason they wouldn't have taken all their advanced weaponry and developments on board for themselves.

    Pretty much the same as points #1 & #2, except that the 'rebels' don't exist in the PT - not sure what this last point of yours means.
  19. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    All those things are expen$ive. Stormtrooper armor and E-11 blaster rifles are mass produced for cheap, just like TIE fighters. By relying on quantity of weapons rather than quality, the Empire ensures very few individuals can become dangerously powerful. Personally, I think the Imperial Guards had all the nice equipment with all the bells and whistles, but we never got to see it because the plot didn't have any action for them (and the SFX budget wasn't there). Sure, it's a retcon, but it works for me.
    Last edited by Sarge, Sep 9, 2013
    Kenobi098 likes this.
  20. Kenobi098 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2013
    star 1
    Lucas went for a used future look in the OT. He could have done the same thing if he wanted in the PT and kept the tech more consistant looking but he instead went for an art Noveu look. As Darth Nub, Sarge and Pevra have stated the difference is explained by Lucas in the prequels bonus extra features that the Empire was focus on Utilitarianism and cost. Except for things like Vaders Fighter and the Death Stars the Empire uses tech that is easy to mass produce and easy to train there troops on. It is the same reason the US military has moved to Semi auto sniper Rifles based on the AR-10 design from the early 60's, The new sniper rifles share almost 90% parts commonality with the M16 and m4 that American soldiers and Marines have been using since Vietnam. The prospective snipers are very comfortable with the weapon and already now the basics of cleaning and maintain the weapon because they have been trained since the basic training. The empire is using the same mentality.

    In the prequels we see more of an emphasis on style. Take the Naboo starfighters. They are much sleeker looking then Ties or X-wings because they are basically a boutique item. The Naboo fighters are made by a much smaller company that is not worried about mass producing the design as it is only for one customer who has a limited requirements for the amount of units they need. Now the Incom and Sienar designs are made for large military forces so the designs had to concentrate on function over form. By the time of the OT the company that made the Naboo fighters would have most likely have been swallowed up by one of the bigger companies that produce the Ties(Sienar) or the X-wings(Incom) or even more likely knocked out of the business of military ships. Note how in the OT we see one ship that isn't military, bounty hunter, and smuggler in origin The Tantive IV. I am sure wealthy civilians in the empire own ships closer in style to Padme's ships from the Prequels.
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  21. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    But a lot of what I mentioned are stuff used by the seps forces and they mass-produce too. They build loads and loads of droids, we even see the assembly line. And yet they use rapid fire weapons, missiles, portable shields.
    And these guys are greedy bankers and merchants, they, if any would worry about cost.
    From memory, the clone trooper weapons also could fire very rapidly and they too were mass-produced.

    Second, in the OT, the Empire has one major enemy, the rebels, so if they have advanced tech, they have no reason not to use it against them.
    Also, in ANH, one imperial officer remarks, "The rebel alliance is too WELL EQUIPED, they are more dangerous than you realize."
    Sure sounds like the rebels are not far behind the empire equipment wise, excepting the DS of course.

    To Darth_Nub

    Compare displays and screens inside the DS with the TF ship in TPM. The displays in the DS are often black and white or very monochrome.
    The graphics is very crude and has less resolution. Take the plans for the DS and compare it with the plans we see in AotC.
    The displays on the TF ships are more advanced, they have touch screens and much larger view screens. I think I even saw some see through screens in the PT.
    Hologram tech also seems more advanced in the PT, holograms rotate, they can be projected anywhere.

    Changes in design style should not mean to make the screens less good.

    Or compare with Rots and Griev ship, they have force fields they can drop seemingly anywhere to contain intruders. That tech did not seem to exist on the DS.
    Also don't forget, the republic has been at war for three years in RotS.

    My point was that designs changes are totally fine and even expected. Design never stand still. The empire has a very consistent design style and with a clear purpose. The ships are big and intimidating because the empire wants to rule through force and fear. They say "We are not nice people, do as we say or we'll blow you to bits."
    However, to me, the function seems more crude and less advanced for the empire and that makes less sense.
    The PT tech is 20 years old in the OT, so it would be old hat by that stage, but displays, screens, consoles, controls seem less advanced, not to mention some weapons.

    To Kenobi098.
    What about the emperor himself? He came to the DS2 in the same type of shuttle that Vader used and that the rebels stole.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  22. Kenobi098 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2013
    star 1
    I am sure the Emperors shuttle had the best shields and weapons available, Heads of state in our world tend to travel in vehicles were defense and protection are more important than style that is why they use black colored cars with armor plating instead of a bright red Ferrari. Plus, he was supposed to be travelling in Secret to the Death Star, he purposely leaked the info to the Rebels, He knew that to keep of the appearance of it being a secret in case the rebels had any agents in the fleet.
  23. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    The Death Star is a military battle station, not a Coruscanti senetorial suite. Ever see military barracks? They're not exactly the 4 Seasons. It's designed to be the ultimate display of Imperial power in the galaxy, and effectively replace a figurehead Senate with pure military dictatorship.
    It's not that the Empire doesn't have it so much as we don't see a time where such technology could be effectively used. They're no longer facing hordes of heavily armored battle droids, but an underwhelming band of Rebels taking pot shots, hoping to come across something important.
    Antique weaponry can be VERY expensive, and even moreso when you're buying off the black markets.
  24. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Well take military barracks, they still have rec rooms with a TV and such things. Now if the military wants to buy some TV's what do you think they'll buy? Normal flat screens TV's or the big, thick TV-sets from the late 70's? Or for music, do they have CD players or gramophones from the 30's?
    If they want to watch some films, do they have DVD or VHS?

    Buying or getting the standard equipment isn't expensive because that stuff is mass-produced so it is cheap. What will be more expensive is looking around for stuff 20-30 years old and buying that instead.

    Also, I said, the screens and displays on the DS are less advanced than those we see in the PT and it makes little sense for the military to install sub standard equipment. Using black and white screens instead of color doesn't make much sense from a function perspective and design wise it makes little sense either. The empire puts the military first so why not use the common available stuff instead of going out of their way to make inferior versions instead?


    Really? My country has not been at war for over 200 years but the army has moved beyond muskets and cavalry. They have modern weapons, airplanes and tanks. If a country has machine guns but aren't at war for some time, why would they scrap all their machine guns and go back to rifles and pistols?
    Rapid fire weapons and missiles were around and mass produced in the PT. Why not keep using it?
    Also, the Empire is all about military might, the plan was all along to do away with the senate and rule by force and fear. So keeping advanced weapon tech around makes plenty of sense.
    And again, in ANH an imperial officer says quite clearly that the rebels are a dangerous threat.
    So they have zero reason not to use their best stuff against the rebels.

    [/QUOTE]

    Weapons that are 20 years old are hardly what I would call antiques.
    Unless the rebels have their own shipyards, which is unlikely. They would use what ever they can get their hands on. And thus, old and obsolete fighters from say Naboo would fit that bill. So the rebels would have the stuff from the PT as that, by this stage, is 20-30 years old, while the empire can build new stuff.
    And again, ANH says the rebel alliance is WELL EQUIPED. So they are not far behind the empire.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  25. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    Hmm, I currently can't recall the screens on the DS, but I DO remember the ones on the Star Destroyers in ESB. They were fuzzy and the color wasn't the best, but I believe this can be equated. Lets take the situation from above. I am the Emperor, and I must make a decision. I just nearly bankrupted the Galaxy in a giant war, and have also deregulated the banks, which means they can charge whatever interest they wish on whatever loan I might need to take out to buy all the new flat screen TV's for my new Imperial Navy. I have the choice between three different brands of TV's. They're all mass produced and have all the same flaws that come from a mass produced assembly line. One of the brands if very nice. It's picture is sharp, clear, and the entire product is top of the line. Unfortunately, this TV is also more expensive than the other two. Buying all of these TV's would require me to take out a lone, and I may not be able to pay back the interest. This is the TV you'd have the Emperor pick out, if I understand your reasoning. The next TV is moderately priced, and I would not have to take out a lone to purchase a stock of them. They don't have near the clarity as the expensive brand, and the color is a little faded. They would do adequately, and would still allow commanders to interact with each other across an ISD. The third brand is total poodoo. It's monchrome, has 50's style fuzz, and only gets the cooking channel. It's an automatic no on this TV brand. So between the expensive,top of the line TV and the moderately priced, and adequate TV that gets the job done, which do you think you should pick?

    Yes, but if your police force is having trouble with some gangs, do you call in the Army? I'm not saying that the Empire didn't have it, they just didn't see it necessary to waste the ammo on the Rebel Alliance. Yes, that one Imperial officer did say that he thought the Rebels were dangerous, but if you notice, the other officers, including Tarkin, are quick to brush it off and consider them nothing more than a nuisance that will be dealt with in time. Even in the final moments, when Tarkin is told that Rebels are exploiting a weakness, Tarkin still does nothing.

    Nubian fighters are expensive. The starships the Rebels are using are noted to require constant maintenance, and it's probably not in the Rebellion's budget to have to be buying the kind of parts that a Nubian starfighter requires to stay operating, so they buy large quantities of less expensive fighters like Y-Wings and X-Wings. On the flip side, also as you stated above, the Empire is buying huge quantities of mass produced products. When you mass produce a product, quality is sacrificed in face of quantity.
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn