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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 9:01PM drunkingamebar said

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Ctrl+++ ... /reads

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 9:18PM (Unverified) said

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Less than three months to go...

One thing that kinda bothers me about the extended universe of Star Wars is the sheer time frame - 20,000-10,000 years is a long freaking time. Even in our real world, we are only 2,000-4,000 years removed from the "ancient" world. I might just have to let out a laugh if we run into ruins somewhere that are 15,000 years old.

Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:05AM Spacegrass said

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@(Unverified)

There are some aspects of the Star Wars canon that I choose to ignore, and the timeline is one of them. I realize that suspension of disbelief is necessary in the setting, but the idea that technology, governments and even fashions would not noticeably change over many thousands of years is just preposterous.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 3:18AM JonBuck said

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@Spacegrass I tend to think of it as they have reached a level of technological stasis, more or less. Any additional progress is slow. Very slow. They're a fairly steady Kardeshev Level 3 Civilization. They span their Galaxy. We have examples in history of societies that changed very little over thousands of years, like Egypt.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 4:44AM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) not entirely sure where your information comes from but a quick google search will lead you to this: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0415_040415_oldestjewelry.html
evidence of humans using tools going back 75,000 years.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 6:04AM Bolongo said

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Hominids have been using simple tools far longer than that...
But that's not the issue here.

Today we are only 10-12000 years removed from the invention of agriculture, we've only had writing for 5000 years, and so on. The complexity of our knowledge and societies has so far advanced along an exponential curve.

For the SW timeline to make any sense, we have to assume that exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely: at some point in the future, technology will hit a plateau.
In fact, all science fiction quietly makes this assumption, because our imaginations are not up to the task of envisioning a future where change keeps accelerating the way it has the past century...
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 9:09AM KvanCetre said

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I believe the accepted understanding is that an evil Empire comes and creates sort of a dark age for a long time. Then a republic crushes them, advances things a bit, recreates what is lost... And eventually is crushed by an empire again. In fact, I think post ROTJ, we've already seen two empires pop up again? (I dont follow EU often, just wookiepedia)

The only major tech upgrade I can think of is the lightsaber. In the earliest days of the jedi, they used blades. Eventually, they created protosabers, or lightsabers that required an external power source. But the lightsaber has remained mostly untouched for thousands of years since..
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:23PM StampyIRL said

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@Bolongo

I wouldn't say that our technology has advanced on any sort of neat curve. There have been all sorts of major breakthroughs and regressions throughout history. War, poverty, and politics all play a major role. How many brilliant ideas would have been scrapped or hidden in the middle ages due to fear of a superstitious populace?

We live in a time where inventors are allowed to invent, and enough problems exist that they actually have something to solve. There is no guarantee that such a situation will continue indefinitely.

@KvanCetre
That's pretty much how I always saw it. Cycles of repression and freedom could see it grow in fits and starts.

And besides, the hyperdrive is a Rakata invention - the Rakata who are no longer around to invent anything else. It may be tens of thousands of years more before humans reach a level where they could actually advance such a thing.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 2:28PM khaiell said

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This millenia-without-progress syndrome is very irritating but standard in fantasy and soft SF. Like the world of JRR Tolkien locked in medieval technology for tens of thousands of years where in the real history the difference for example between the warriors of William the Conqueror and the Knightly Orders 400 years later is astounding. Even periods like Dark Ages were not without progress in areas like metallurgy and writing.

But for Tolkien even power-hungry Numenoreans were unable to invent a stupid crossbow for 10 thousand years.

Ten thousand years ago our forefathers were fighting with sharp sticks. Now we have drones and ICBMs. Sneaky Chinese hackers are conquering cyberspace and Israeli forces launch cyber-missiles against Iranian nuclear power plants.

The only setting that has some merit in throwing thousands of years around is the Warhammer 40k universe were any free research is a blasphemy and all innovation is only a re-reading of the ancient Standard Template Construct.

In the Star Wars universe the stretching of millenia is awkward. The first Death Star was being built for some 20 years since the birth of Luke and Leia. The second one was operational in a year or two. Clearly a progress. In TOR we have ships equivalent to those in the Clone Wars. Difficult to suspend your disbelief there was no progress in-between.

For my private sanity retention I imagine the events from TOR take place like just 300 years before the Phantom Menace. I don't care what the official numbers are.
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Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 4:07AM pcgneurotic said

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@Bolongo

This is one thing I like about Star Trek, in that they do meet aliens who were once corporeal beings but then evolved into pure energythought/spirit forms etc. It's a whole different sci-fi aesthetic to what Star Wars/Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers is.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 12:46AM mysecretid said

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Thanks, Larry, for putting a summary of events together.

While I like Star Wars -- and I'm a particular fan of Bioware's Old Republic era stuff -- I'm not the sort of extreme fan who keeps track of every detail of the setting's historical lore.

It was good to have a short summary version laid out like this.

While I agree with other posters that it seems odd how Star Wars' history spans tens of thousands of years, with little noticeable change in technology, society, or even fashion ... I also realize that Star Wars is ultimately fantasy, not science fiction, and that faerie tale kingdoms in literature tend not to change much over the centuries either.

Cheers!

Posted: Sep 28th 2011 1:34AM JoeH42 said

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There we go! Much better! I think I must be about the only gamer out there who never played KOTOR so I really don't have a good grasp of the background of SWTOR. This is doing a very good job of getting me up to speed and I was able to follow the timeline well enough to get a good mental picture of things. Keep up the good work ^__^

Posted: Sep 28th 2011 10:59AM (Unverified) said

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@JoeH42

Yeah, I enjoyed the read as well. I am really looking forward to Star Wars the Old Republic. Dec 20th is a long time away.
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Posted: Sep 28th 2011 1:41AM scottsummer said

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Keep it up Larry, i am very interest in the ancient Star Wars lore.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 10:26PM TheShaper said

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Very confusing the use of "BTC", I mean, every Star Wars nerd (like myself) will always think in terms of BBY and ABY.

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 10:00AM (Unverified) said

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I agree with most of you.

The same technology during the SWTOR sagas is the SAME technology in the 6 movies saga.

Just look at gaming graphics. Over the next 10 years, we will reach a precipice in graphics, just because there isnt much more they can do.


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