Of course, the main reason that a Star Destroyer can blow the Enterprise to smithereens in a heartbeat is that while Trek pays lip service to power consumption realities, Star Wars doesn’t even bother. It’s fairly dubious that, with the given technology, a Next Gen shuttlepod could even manage orbital velocity (which they are seen to do several times in the series), but a similar-sized Star Wars vehicle is a hyperspace-capable deflector-shield-equipped combat craft. And the colossal power requirements of the Death Star are barely worth mentioning here.

Now, the high-tech of the Lucas universe is thousands of years older than that of Roddenberry’s, so perhaps that’s part of the explanation. But that just underscores the fact that we’re comparing apples and oranges; the USS Dallas and Captain Nemo’s Nautilus are both submarines, but I fear that our brilliant inventor is in for a tough time against computer-aided passive sonar and homing torpedoes.

Here be your over-analyzed geek argument of the day.

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  • anterus says:

    Never mind he’d never even SEE the Dallas, unless he looks out a porthole and notices. Bloody things are QUIET, and their crews are good at what they do.

    Then there’s the issue of the fact that we can do silly things with our subs like launch Marines and SEALs underwater to wreak havoc, in addition to the torps. Can you imagine what a SEAL team would do to the crew of the Nautilus?

  • epawtows says:

    How much damage would an electrified hull do to a SEAL?

  • anterus says:

    How many dead fish would you have if you electrified your hull in seawater?

  • rattrap says:

    I don’t know, the Seaview made a lot of calamari…

  • madwriter says:

    On the other hand, think what a mad genius who built a nuclear sub in the 19th century could do if unleashed with modern Naval tech . . .

  • jdunson says:

    Over the top power demands have been a staple of space opera from the very beginning. Remember that in Lensman, earlier ships are rated in pounds-per-hour of total conversion, which can be compared in round numbers to half that of antimatter consumption in other settings… but by later on, the ships were rated in tons-per-second (and beyond), a factor of x120,000 increase in a comparatively short time.

    This doesn’t seem so unusual when you look at the context. The 1917 Spad S.VII had a 112 kW engine; the 1944 P-51D had a 1,030 kW engine; the 1964 F-4 Phantom II had two engines adding up to something around 27,310 kW. The S.VII was armed with a single 7.7mm gun, the P-51D with six 12.7mm guns, and the gun on the F-4 was a 20mm, with four short and four medium range missiles, plus additional weapons up to and including nuclear weapons. Extrapolating those sorts of power and armament curves forward even a few decades, let alone a few centuries or millenniums, does tend to lead to pretty large numbers.

  • Mikhail says:

    I’ve had that fanfic dream more than once. In anything like real life, I don’t know if Nemo could wrap his head around it. But assuming he could, the wonders we might see…

    The story I sometimes want to write is, if we assume that steampunk technology becomes widely spread in Victorian times, what would the early 21st century look like? But like much of my writing, I have a setting, but no character drama. 🙁

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