The analysis of evidence can be a tricky thing. Some do it this way, so do it that way. However, I always utilize the same method, which is somewhat methodical and, in some instances, time consuming. First of all, you find out what the franchise-holders hold as canon/receptacles of factual data. There are the books, the movies and the episodes, when looking at both Star Trek, and Star Wars. In Star Trek, the novels are not regarded as canon, in any way, shape or form, unless it is a novelization of a movie or teleplay. The other books that Paramount considers canon include the Klingon Dictionary, the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the Star Trek Omnipedia (basically the Encyclopedia on disk), Star Trek: the Magazine, the Star Trek: the Next Generation Technical Manual and the Star Trek Deep Space 9 Technical Manual. These draw their materials, in general, from the Star Trek episodes and movies. There are no other acknowledged sources, and so, there are the sources that you utilize for Star Trek.
For Star Wars, theyíve had very little television time (such as that brilliant "life day" special, aired back in the 1970s), but 4 movies and a string of novels and some other literature. With Star Wars, their movies, single teleplay and novels are considered reliable sources of information. Theyíve also a Dark Horse Comics series, which is also licensed by Lucasfilm, and considered reliable information. The 2 role playing games are similarly considered reliable information sources; what few mistakes they may contain are minor, at best, and donít affect the continuity of the storyline, nor contradict the movies. There is much interconnection between the media. The Star Wars comics make references to the novels (such as the relationship between Luke Skywalker and his future wife, Mara Jade, who became Mara Jade-Skywalker), and the novels referring to the wedding depicted in the comic books. As long as they donít contradict the movies, theyíre considered reliable. There is also a CD called "Behind the Magic", that is regarded as canon. By some. Star Trek, for instance, has an ILM book and CD pertaining to Star Trek, and yet, they are not considered canon, at all.
Ok. Now it comes down to trying to sift through all that, and find whatís- what. Whatís considered true, and what isnít. Looking through all that data, in all sources that discuss the subject, you come to a consensus. If youíve 10 different books that discuss the subject, if 6+ out of 10 discuss the subject and say the same thing, then it is the preponderance of evidence presented there, overwhelming in favor of one thing, over the other, that presents the most accurate answer. I, however, would not stop at 6, and would consult every source I had on the subject, or subjects, at hand. If something that is presented on-screen is contradicted by literature, then, unless there is a very good reason for that, then the literature, CD or whatever, is overruled. For instance, if there was something called deceptive or fraudulent by the literature, and presents a credible claim that would not, in fact, disrupt story continuity, then itís quite possible to contradict the movie. However, Iíve yet to see the occurrence of such an instance. However, when confronted by a screenplay that contradicts a book, and the book was written by the man responsible for the project in the first place, thatís a little trickier. If at all possible, Iíd rather try averaging the results, then just immediately throw the book out. Sometimes, thatís possible, sometimes, itís not. This has happened on more than one occasion with "Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope" and itís novel. Both were written by George Lucas, but, on occasion, both have different descriptions of events, and both should be considered canon, because they were both from the same person. Usually, budgetary constraints cause these script changes, and, had they not come about, the book and movie probably wouldíve been completely in synch and in total agreement.
One of the biggest dangers, however, is bias.
There are plenty out there that are virtually incapable of true debate, because theyíre too biased, and psychologically incapable of realizing that theyíre wrong, but would adamantly refuse to admit to being wrong, because, in their eyes, they canít be. People that fall under this category are completely unreliable sources of information, as everything they say must be meticulously investigated and verified. They are not above lying, and probably do so with regularity, in order to push their own personal agenda. I can name a lot of people involved in the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate that fall under this heading, and many fall right behind them, seeing these types as their best hope for Ďvictoryí and vindication, even if it means doing it through dishonorable means. These are the individuals that commit 2 types of lies: lies of commission and lies of omission.
A lie of commission is the addition of something that was, originally, a truthful statement, and making it into a lie, even if that is a single word, or improper emphasis on a word, or words.
A lie of omission is one in which a word, or words, are deleted, thereby altering the verisimilitude of the statement, changing truth into lies.
In the Army, from which I hail, both are just as dishonorable, and the products of people that are just as low.
They intentionally misquote texts, relying upon the laziness of the masses not to check for themselves, and to let others do their thinking for them. They intentionally twist dialogue and text to make it say whatever they wish it to say, shamelessly, and even when caught in a lie, may not admit to being liars.
This why you have to be willing to go and
search for yourself.
As Captain Picard once said, Ďsometimes, you have to bow to the absurdí. Inevitably, when dealing with science fiction, youíll be presented with physics, chemistry and other sciences that donít conform to known precepts of chemistry and physical laws. Sometimes, it may even be incomprehensible. However, this cannot be taken into account when trying to analyze many things, due to the fact that the premise is not to determine how "real" the science is in science fiction, but how it stacks up against others, which is the focus of this website. Normally, quibbling about how Ďrealí something is (in someoneís own definition of what should and shouldnít be Ďallowedí) is merely a smokescreen for their inability to think of anything further to say to push their agenda.
Crying about "this shouldnít exist because it isnít physically possible" is one of the weakest arguments Iíve ever had to hear, and there are a lot of whiners that use it. Again, this is SCIENCE FICTION. Itís not a post doctoral thesis on physics, chemistry or any other form of science. Just because you canít explain it, doesnít invalidate what happened. People constantly try to add their own explanations into things, in order to make events fit into the box in which they confine their thinking. Thatís about as stupid as putting your head in the sand and forgetting something youíve seen, just because you donít like how it was done. Trying to apply limited, 20th-21st century scientific theory to science fiction movies that involve faster-than-light propulsion, teleportation and directed energy weaponry with exotic characteristics is, again, pure stupidity, and nothing more than an attempt at obfuscation from the facts of what the debate actually entails: comparing the technologies of Star Wars and Star Trek. Generally, anyone that states they know how something like a warp drive should "really" work is one of those liars of commission, chances are, that I alluded to, earlier, and their every word should be considered suspect. "Reality" exists for the writers to shape to their whims, and if itís too much for you, like the saying goes, Ďif you canít stand the heat, get out of the kitchení. Of, Ďif you canít run with the big dogs, stay on the porchí.
True Ďrealityí and the Ďrealityí of whatever science fiction you happen to be reading are two very separate things, and, hence, there is the expression "suspension of disbelief". If all you do is read a story or watch a movie, expressly for the purpose of picking it apart, you need a life. Michael Wong says this:
"A person's method of examining sci-fi tends to reveal a great deal about his method for examining the real world. Frankly, I don't see why anyone with an inherently rational mindset could possibly approach sci-fi analysis any other way than mine, since mine is based upon a set of methods and philosophies which are central to real-life science, and which have been demonstrated to work. For someone who has been schooled in scientific, rational methods, this mindset is second nature."
I refuse to get bogged down in trying to make either Star Wars or Star Trek something that theyíre not: realistic. While a personís method of examining evidence presented to them may say a lot about them, and how they perceive the world around them, this site is not here to ridicule how you see the world. However, if you ridicule me, well, expect more of the same in return, in the same vein it was intended when aimed in my direction. Star Wars and Star Trek have very little to do with "real-life scienceÖ", and to try to confine them, thus, shows thinking inside the box. Iím not going to do that, and I donít encourage other to do so, either. However, that doesnít mean I encourage the presentation of the most off-the-wall crap that you can find, and presenting them as evidence of anything other than the fact that youíre delusional. Also from Mr. Wong:
"Those who would advocate competing methods tend to do so out of an inherently irrational mindset (often coinciding with a background of scientific ignorance). This would be fine if they were willing to admit that their conclusions were based upon irrationality, but they never are. Instead, they tend to couch their claims in the language of science, despite refusing to apply the scientific method. The use of unscientific methods to arrive at a conclusion which is couched in scientific language is the very definition of pseudoscience, and as far as I'm concerned, it is completely unacceptable."
Those that disagree with Mr. Wong, now, are basing all their arguments upon irrationality, and could not possibly be correct. Not in his box. Though it is better to make an honest, rationally-based mistake, than reach a truth through irrational means, you canít dismiss out of hand, anybody elseís methods, unless they are clearly full of holes. Those that do not mire themselves in the here & now, unable to think outside the box and think like a science-fiction wants us to think, are to be dismissed as babbling idiots. Again, I will not be as arrogantly presumptuous as to say such a thing. If 1+1 can = 2, 46-46+2 can = 2, too. Donít like how the other answer reached the same conclusion, but through different means, thatís too bad. If theyíre both correct, theyíre both correct. Live with it and shut up. People donít see things the same way, and people donít think the same way, either. Both the shows in question are the very epitome of "ÖpseudoscienceÖ", and that cannot be changed. Any attempt to make them something theyíre not (realistic) is merely bogging the discussion down with needless window-dressing that serves no purpose in a debate like this, whatsoever.
To cries about "pseudoscience", Andrť Bormanis says:
"Star Trek fans are our core audience," says Bormanis, "and we want to keep them happy, make sure theyíre enjoying the show as much as we do. We need to be true to the rules of the universe that weíve established. I think that a big part of the success of Star Trek is the fact that it takes place in a very intricate and logically consistent, imagined universe. The most successful science fiction series, whether theyíre books, stories or television, share a very carefully thought-out, well-structured, credible world. There is a language associated with that world that helps bring you into it and makes it real to you. We have to be careful to stay true to that."
-Star Trek Communicator, "Andrť Bormanis: Checking the Science in Star Trek", pg.: 113, by Deborah Fisher. Issue #113, published Aug-Sept 1997.
"If one wishes to discuss Star Wars and Star Trek from a rational perspective, one must adopt consistent and rational policies for examining evidence. There's no better source for a good set of rules than real life, unless you're one of those people who isn't a big fan of realism (like most of the Trekkies on the "vs." newsgroups)."
Once again, Star Wars and Star Trek have virtually no footing in real life, whatsoever, and trying to put them in that box only diminishes them both. Debating this is like debating 2 Dungeons & Dragons characters. Both are fictitious, but since thatís the understanding, you donít have to constantly bring it up, and make them more realistic, for any reason. The only rationality that one need have when debating Star Trek vs. Star Wars is having an open mind to the possibility of being wrong (or even right), and to actually make sure that theyíre getting their information from credible sources, and not out of thin air, as some have. Iíve seen fans from both sides leave some really stupid posts throughout the Internet (including Mike Wongís pages), and, as Forest Gump said:
"Stupid is, as stupid does."
While I am most assuredly on the side of Star Trek, I cannot defend stupidity, and there are a lot of stupid fans out there. For instance, the Star Wars absurdist that said that they would win because: "STAR WARS RUUUULLLZZZZ". How intelligent. Or, how about the Star Trek fan that said there are something like something-hundred thousand Starfleet starships in operation, currently. Really? Iíd love to know where he got that from (a source he scrupulously avoids revealing; maybe itís Deep Throat, still alive & kicking after all these years since Watergate).
"If you look through the history of science, there have been countless times in which an observation has confounded existing scientific theories. And what was the solution? It was not to discard the entire scientific enterprise! It was not to declare that "science does not apply" and rush headlong into alternatives such as theology (well, some people actually do go that route, but they're ignorant creationists). So why should we behave any differently when we discover a contradiction between a scientific theory and a fictional observation, as opposed to a real one?"
Insulting those that disagree with your own, personal methodologies and beliefs is just as silly, if not outright stupid. Throwing insults against those that appreciate Star Trek, only shows that youíre biased, and possibly an unreliable source of information, as far as many would be concerned, too busy saying anything and everything to disprove othersí points. While this mightnít actually be the case, itís the impression thatís left on many. Also, bad-mouthing those that believe in such concepts as God, is a clear sign of being biased completely unable to rationally debate, as this is the product of a mind that is too occupied trying to slander and cast aspersions against othersí beliefs. I am a Christian, and couldnít care less what you believe, theologically, because your beliefs donít have any impact on my life; neither you nor they are that important to me. Donít believe in Jesus? Thatís your problem. Iíll thank you to refrain from indulging in such ignorance and stupidity in the future as insulting me because I happen to have a relationship with the Creator, and you donít. Just as you didnít like when that idiot that flamed you resorted to racist insults and class-warfare, I donít appreciate people that donít know me, putting me down because I have a Lord & Savior, and they donít. Additionally, Iím not here to discuss Star Wars or Star Trek as "rational" life-possibilities. Theyíre movies, that thatís the way Iíll debate them. Theyíre science fiction, at that, and I couldnít care less how the technology works, the fact is that it does.
Clearly, Michael Wong is an individual that is completely unable to think outside the box in some instances, and completely outside the box, in others. However, in the cases where he is unable to, it seems that if anyone thinks outside his box, theyíre wrong, theyíre liars, theyíre "Federation cultists", theyíre stupid. Anything but even potentially correct, and any option but his being incorrect, as you will see everywhere in this site. However, this may all be a front, as he, himself, once said that maturity has nothing to do with this debate, and indicates that it has very little place here. This debate is our Ďplaylandí, so letís play. Itís just that if it is a front, it is a front of a character with an inability to see any point of view, any angle aside from the one, narrow-minded view that supports his own argument. Reading some of his flame letters, itís difficult to determine, but he doesnít seem quite that restricted in his thinking, at times, which leads me to believe heís playing his Ďcharacterí (the Imperial officer). However, as far as Iím concerned, trying to apply a narrow-minded vision of what science is and isnít, does nothing but drag the debates down. Our scientific ideals and ideals only apply in a very limited fashion, here in these worlds, and we canít change that, unless we write it, ourselves.
To me, the most annoying person is the one that tries to apply special effects to reality. Though visuals are a major part of what drives a story, especially a science fiction, one would have to be a fool to believe that special effects crews are out to teach reality or physics. Special effects, generally, exist to make shots look pretty and to make people "oooh" and "ahhh". Iím sure that if you took a poll across America of many special effects technicians, and writers and directors, you could find a significant amount of them that donít know that lasers are normally invisible to the naked eye, and only show when diffusing through some medium like airborne dust particles. They make things up out of their imaginations, when they donít have any idea of how something should look, and they make things look like other things, when they think they have found something that gives them a good idea of how something should look. Thatís the bottom line. Special effects are just that: special effects. They are not reality, nor do they always accurately reflect reality. The person that cries "foul" because something doesnít look like itís supposed to, in their minds, is, what we call an idiot, and there are too many villages out there, right now, that are missing theirs. This all goes back to the saying "suspension of disbelief". If youíre going to suspend disbelief for one thing, then you have to do it for everything, otherwise youíre picking and choosing, and creating an intentional bias. The biased have no real objectivity in debates, because they canít see past their own egos and noses. This is science fiction. Treat is as such, or leave it alone. If you consider one special effect Ďrealí for the sake of observation and argument, then you must consider the rest all the same way, or else just forget the whole thing. As I mentioned, earlier, you are nothing but the viewer. The writer dictates what is and isnít. No matter how mad it makes you, no matter how much you may disagree with what the story says, or how itís said, thatís tough crap. Either sit back and shut up, or just go away and shut up. "Reality", in this instance, is determined by someone else. Not you. Go with their flow, or go away.
The underlying premise of the site is that at some undetermined time after the events being depicted in Star Trek: Voyagerís series finale episode, "Endgame", and during the comparable Ďpresent dayí in the Star Wars universe, during which the galaxy is losing their battle against the invading Yuuzhan Vong, Section 31 is planning an invasion of the Star Wars galaxy. The Empire is naught but a shell of itís former self, and is unlikely ever to be anything prominent, ever again. However, if, by some miracle the Galactic Empire were to return to itís former "glory" (the wish dream of the writer Michael Wong, of www.stardestroyer.net) I really doní t think it would make much difference, if any. The things in dispute, here, are things like intelligence, technologies, etc. The Empire suddenly becoming big, again, wouldnít really change anything. Furthermore, I have a very extensive Star Trek collection on videotape. Most episodes, I have. Very few did I miss. Therefore, when I made my sight as a Ďrebuttalí to www.stardestroyer.net, I did it by reviewing everything that was brought into question by Wong. Many aspects of it did not fit, and so I explained it in my own words. When I used a book as reference, I refer to page numbers, as often as possible, and when I refer to web-based data, I provide the address, if possible. I research everything I say, so I wonít have to make embarrassing admissions and counterattacks like this one, when found to have misquoted on the USS Defiant having a shield problem:
"Since I haven't seen that episode in years, I don't recall it all that well, and I'm months (perhaps years) away from starting my DS9 canon database, I can't really contradict you on this one. It's possible that I incorrectly recalled sensor failure as shield failure."
Thatís precisely what he did, but as opposed to merely apologizing, or attempting to say he actually was wrong, or even retracting the false statements on his website, all he did was move into a counterattack for being exposed as being either mistaken or fraudulent. I quote:
"However, it doesn't matter; even if you're completely right on this one, it was just one of many examples, and the underlying point still stands. This incident may not falsify your claim as clearly as the other examples do, but it doesn't falsify mine either, and it still raises serious questions about your theory. The atmospheric gas velocity of 10,000 km/h is less than 3 km/s, which is extremely low in terms of astronomical phenomena (solar wind particles move far more quickly, as do starships and sci-fi directed-energy weapons). Why would a 3 km/s wind be a threat to a shielded warship which can supposedly shrug off megaton-yield weaponry, particularly when it has a relatively small aerodynamic cross-section? Let's do the math, shall we? If we use your method and assume a 150 metre long, 50 metre tall ellipse, a 3 km/s wind would hit the ship with less than 0.05 megatons of kinetic energy per hour (and that's a huge overestimate for its actual energy handling, since it wouldn't have to deal with 100% of this energy unless it makes the wind stop dead rather than simply diverting it around the ship; the real figure would be at least an order of magnitude lower). Again, not a problem for my theory, but it's still a problem for yours."
Again, if you look at the episode, there was no shield problem, and the cross winds did not present the Defiant with any shield problem; just a navigational problem, which was partially corrected by altering the configuration of the shields, themselves. Now while, yes, this is nothing but a debate over movies and television episodes, I refuse to manufacture evidence, just to make a Ďpointí.
One thing I leave to the pinheads is quibbling over bullcrap.
While the movies and television seriesí are greatly supplemented by seemingly endless examples of literature, ranging from the famous Star Trek technical manuals to the popular novels of Star Wars, anyone with a lick of sense knows that, while they can be contradicted by the television episodes/movies, just because they may seem to be contradicted, doesnít necessarily mean that that is actually what happened. For example:
The Federation appears to have used mortars and grenades in its past. In "Arena" we saw a TOS-era Federation officer named Captain Kirk, launching a "photon grenade" from a mortar. His first officer claimed that it was dangerous even at a range of 1 kilometer, but when the grenade was actually launched and detonated we saw no damage in their vicinity whatsoever (no flying debris, no mushroom cloud, no shockwave, no fireball, no seismic disruptions, no heating or disruption of the rocks and dirt in their area, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blahÖSpock was concerned that Kirk would damage his eyesight by looking at the flash, because they hunched down behind some rocks and were perfectly safe. Blah, blah, blah, blah."
That is nothing more than a lot of double-talk. The special effects and the novels are not always in synch. Common sense says: which costs more? A novel, or a special effect of an entire city exploding? In Star Trek: the Next Generation, the handout given to potential writers stated that theyíd (Paramount) appreciate it if warp speed scenes were minimized, due to cost. Then, thereís the hazard of bad writing. In Star Wars Episode II: "Attack of the Clones", Jango Fett attacks Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi by firing a missile at him. The missile literally strikes the ground and explodes right at his feet, and yet it isnít even enough to singe his robe. When the young clone Boba Fett fires Slave-1ís weaponry at Obi-Wan Kenobi, at point-blank range, he fires blast after blast at Kenobiís feet, and the result is more of the same: a little puff of fire, Obi-Wan falls, etc. However, heís fine.
Detractors should remember this, when attempting to fault-find with such things as phaser performance in Star Trek episodes, just as Star Trek-side detractors of Star Wars need to keep their mouths shut, if they canít find a better angle than that.
Those that lie work diligently to twist facts to say what they want them to really say (like a few of the more argumentative Star Wars advocates have a propensity for). Hence, when you argue and counter, always try to present your proof, as much and as often as possible. Many are on a mission to prove themselves right, no matter the what the cost, especially if they can make all others look wrong. We have an old saying in the US Army Military Police Corps:
"In God we trust; all others we investigate."
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