The evolution of warfare and combat

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by GrandAdmiralJello, Feb 2, 2003.

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  1. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

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    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    In the Prequels war seems to revolve around large school ground battles with space battles taking secondary importance begin them.

    Consider the Battle of Naboo, where the space battle was undertaken for the sole purpose of supporting the ground battle.

    The Battle of Geonosis featured zero space combat in the movie, and any space combat scenes in the novel barely earned a single mention.

    When the Empire gains ascendancy, space battles become the primary mode of battle.

    Understandably, Yavin was a space battle.

    Hoth featured zero infantry combat on the part of the Empire, and most Rebel troops were manning artillery turrets. It was mostly aerial v.s. armor.

    When we get to the Battle of Endor, it's the complete opposite of Naboo. The ground skirmish supports the space battle.

    How did the relative peace in the Republic contribute to this? Was it easier to bring up an army that create a navy? How does the Empire's omnipresence factor into this?

    Discuss.

  2. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]Well, it seems to me that the battles were just isoloated battles. Some battles happen in space, some happen on the ground. All happen for different reasons. I'm not sure there's any "evolution" of battles.

    Besides maybe the use of Rockets. Why they even used Rockets in the PT is beyond me. I can't see why in 20 years, they have decided rockets were finally obsolete. The Star Wars Galaxy is so technologically advanced, why did they stick with the use of rockets through the PT?[/color]
  3. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    When you refer to "rockets" what kind of "rockets" do you mean? Because I believe a proton torpedo is a form of rocket and so they are still using "rockets" twenty years later.
  4. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]In the ground war of AOTC. Those rockets. [/color]
  5. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    You'll have to clarify because I haven't seen AOTC since it was released and don't remember much of anything except the Imperial March.
  6. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Apr 1, 2000
    star 5
    Merlin: Rockets, missles, and torpedoes are still necessary, despite the primary usage and destructive superiority of laser fire. Laser fire is still somewhat random, whereas a torpedo can be controlled for target-specific destruction. So, despite the fact that rockets and missles are technical throw-backs when compared to laser blasts, they are still effective.

    As for the issue of creating an army instead of a navy, I feel they created both at once with the introduction of the Clone Troopers. Transporting those troops called for immense ships capable of carrying thousands of troops. But, those ships would also need a great number of support personel to care for the ship, as well as defend it. Thus the Imperial Navy was born. Considering the combat-specific training of the Clone Troopers, I would guess that non-Clones would be used for such a task, giving birth to the quasi-caste system of Stormtroopers and Naval Officers.

    As for the change over from ground battles to space battles, the Rebels lacked the military might of the Empire. Ground battles would be completely ineffective for them, as well as disastrous. Account for the fact that they were an underground organization sneaking about for cover while covertly gathering recruits and materiel, and you could see why starfighter warfare would be more prevalent in the Classic Trilogy. A small band could just do more damage with spacecraft with fewer people.
  7. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]haha, ok. well, I can't really clarify more than they used Rockets that seemed pretty old fashioned in the Clone battle of AOTC.[/color]
  8. dArTh_wenley Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2001
    star 5

    Consider the Battle of Naboo, where the space battle was undertaken for the sole purpose of supporting the ground battle.

    The type of battle depends on the different factors. First, you had Padme's small band attack the Theed Palace. The Grand Gungan army was then used to create a distraction for the Millions of Battle Droids located at the Palace so Padme and Co could meet with as little resistance as possible. Then of course, as you mentioned, we had the fighters attacking the Federation Control ship and hoping to aide the ground battle.

    Once we have our head around that, one can see how it was necessary to have the main ground battle and not a space battle. Besides, the Gungans and the Naboo had a limited ammount of ships. Sure, they could sink all their resources in attacking the Federation Control ship and hoping to knock off the battle droids. And if they failed (which it probably would have if Anakin hadn't randomly flown in there), they would be stuffed.

    The Battle of Geonosis featured zero space combat in the movie, and any space combat scenes in the novel barely earned a single mention.

    True, but again, it depends on the factors leading up to the battle. Jedi were about to die, Battle Droids pouring into the arena every second, what else does one do but make the Clones attack on the ground?! ;)

    When the Empire gains ascendancy, space battles become the primary mode of battle.

    Because THIS time, the places that were attacked were located IN space. Thus making it a space battle. :p

    So basically, I believe, as Merlin said that there is no "evolution". It all depends on what the particular reason is for battling.
  9. Darth_AYBABTU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 6

    And then you have the ground battle on Hoth, where the Empire inexplicably deployed troops into a theater that easily could have been slagged by orbital bombardment. Go figure.

    From a strategic perspective, I think wenley is on the right track. But why were so many of the Empire's assets located in space?

    During the Empire's rise to power, I would suspect that a good many battles took place as the Empire moved against planets and systems that were slow to capitulate. In the PT, we see the first of these efforts, as "the bad guys" move to conquer Naboo, and then begin assembling their ground forces on Geonosis. These forces, obviously would be used against other planets in a similar fashion. Maybe we'll see a glimpse of how clonetroopers/stormtroopers subdue plantes in Episode 3.

    But once in place, there was little strategic justification for maintaining ground-based assets. Here on Earth, our frame of reference, land is all-important. Supply lines run across land and sea. Aircraft require suitable land for takeoff and landing. Roads, bridges, and rail are important. Land-based resources -- food, forest, oil -- are necessary for a culture, or even an army, to flourish.

    The supply lines in a GFFA run through space. By the time of the OT, the Empire rules the galaxy. They garrison troops planetside, but they supply those troops via interstellar travel. He who has interstellar superiority rules the day. So the battles against the Empire by the time of the OT were really about establishing that superiority. The Empire had it, and the Rebellion challenged them. ROTJ showed us how the Rebellion established its superiority -- it defeated the Death Star and the Executor. Though we didn't see troops move against the thousands of worlds all over the galaxy where Emperial troops were garrisoned, we were meant to believe that they would ultimately fall. After all, the Rebellion had interstellar superiority, and the Empire's command and control apparatus was destroyed.

    That's a simplistic way of looking at it, but Star Wars ain't rocket science. It's meant to be simplistic. It's made up of archetypes. It's about Good versus Evil. Young and old can understand it. Sure, the victory in ROTJ couldn't have realistic ended the rule of the Empire across the galaxy, but we're supposed to think it did (EU notwithstanding).

    Well, I'm not too articulate tonight, but I hope someone here at least sees what I'm talking about, and hopefully someone can elaborate on this idea and make it sound like a really do know what I'm talking about. Good luck!

    AYBABTU?

  10. Ternian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2000
    star 4
    I think the battles rage during the Clone Wars will be so quick, that a ground assault is virtually non-existent.

    The Cruiers must track down and follow the Core ships. A battle will then errupt and whoever wins will begin landing troops and claim that System as part of Confederacy/Empire.

    As for rockets, I never really thought about them. I guess that because they Techno Union had its hand in the making of both the Republic and Confederate battle tanks/ships, that there would be similar technology used.

    The Commerce Guilds on the other hand surely wouldn't have had an army near the size of the Trade Federation's. Shu Mai was still very wary of separating from the Republic.
  11. Darth_Dagsy Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    Because THIS time, the places that were attacked were located IN space. Thus making it a space battle

    Wenley hit the nail on the head.

    In the PT, it was planets that were being attacked. Naboo, Geonosis. That necessitates the main fight to be on the planet.

    In the OT, the main fighting revolved around the Death Stars. The Rebels had to destroy the Death Stars, or all would be lost. Hence their firepower always had to be in space, aimed at the DS.

    It isnt an evolution of combat styles, as much as simply the location of the target.
  12. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]Plus, we only see a small sample of the battles fought in either trilogy, only the battles that really contribute to the main storyline. I'm sure there were plenty of space and ground battles that we just don't get to see.[/color]
  13. NiktosRule Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
    star 4
    Wenley does bring up a great point. In the OT they were battling against the Death Stars for the most part making space battles the big thing. The rebellion was trying to destroy the Death Stars so ground battles would not be so common.
  14. __clairvoyant__ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Maybe it could be the fact that Lucasarts was trying to create something different, rather than maybe just making a space battle with Z-95 and Jedi Starfighters for the PT.This would have created a dissatisfaction for the audience, I think.
    A ground battle could be full of new ideas; look at AOTC; the battle of Geonosis.Many new designs showed themselves to please the fans.(And also to sell more merchandise :)
  15. Frank_Booth Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 1
    Darth AYBABTU, the Empire couldn't bombard the planet in ESB, the Rebel energy shield, remember?

    And whoever said Empire didn't deploy infantry in that battle is wrong. Unlike in AOTC, the Imperial Army actually used somewhat credible tactics.

    The semi-invulnerable AT-AT's disable and demoralize the rebel defences from stand-off range, after which the snow troopers storm the base and secure it. Simpe and effective.
  16. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    The Empire, a galactic-wide power, MUST have a fleet.

    A large and well-trained army stuck on Corellia isn't going to do you any good when the trouble is taking place in the Outer Rim, unless you have the neccessary transport to get it there.

    Once you have the ships to move your troops around, and ships to supply them with replacements, spare parts, etc. you are going to need warships to protect these vulnerable, important vessels from the enemy. Data says the ISD's were also capable of carrying troops and starfighters...perhaps having the warships carry the invasion force (Hoth) made vulnerable transports uneccessary.

    In the PT era, there was no Galaxy-wide military until AOTC. Instead, military power was probably regional and defensive in nature, like that of the Naboo (the Trade Fed being an exception.) so a large fleet of powerful, long-range warships was not needed at that time.

    -Tim
  17. Frank_Booth Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 1
    Come to think of it, perhaps there WAS a method to some of Lucas' directorial madness at the bar brawl of Geonosis...

    I hadn't considered, that the Clones were really fighting their first battle, led by untested (in large scale combat) commanders. That still doesn't excuse the slap-dash clumsiness exhibited by the CIS forces and the lack of a real "flow" and "sequence" in the battle.
  18. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    Besides maybe the use of Rockets. Why they even used Rockets in the PT is beyond me. I can't see why in 20 years, they have decided rockets were finally obsolete. The Star Wars Galaxy is so technologically advanced, why did they stick with the use of rockets through the PT? >>

    Because most SW beam-weapons would not have been effective as projectile artillery. Beam-weapons don't seem affected by gravity and therefore are limited to direct (line-of-sight) fire.

    -Tim
  19. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    The Naboo ground battle was reminiscent of the tactics in favor prior to the American Revolution. You take two sizable groups, march them out into a nice open field, line them up and start shooting at each other.

    Geonosis was more of an impromptu battle than anything else. The Separatists were using the world to construct their army when they were rudely interrupted by the Jedi and a few thousand clonetroopers.


    When you get to military theory, the purpose of ground troops is to occupy territory. You can slag a city from orbit, but it isn't really yours until you put soldiers on the ground.

    By the time we reach the OT, ground battles are a thing of the past because the Rebellion has no territory. The Empire occupies everything. All the Alliance is is a guerilla force constantly on the move from hiding place to hiding place. They hold no real territory.

    The only real ground battle of the OT (Hoth) isn't really much of a battle. The Rebels aren't marching out to defend their base from the Empire. They're simply delaying the advance of the Empire's troops long enough for everyone to evacuate.
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