Alderaan: Details


For introductory, cursory remarks about the planet Alderaan, refer to the general commentary about the planets of the STAR WARS films.

Alderaan's Shield

The superlaser beam strikes the planet and a bright glow spreads away from the point of contact and expands to cover the entire globe within a few frames of the movie. Let's consider several possible explanations for the nature of this time-varying glow.

The visible beam/shield interaction is presently simplest and most self-consistent explanation. This commentary proceeds by adopting that conclusion.

In this case the destruction of Alderaan is a valuable demonstration of some aspects of shield physics. In the interval between frames 2 and 3, the extent of the glow has increased (approximately) from ¼ to ½ of the planetary diameter. If the movie has the standard 24/s frame rate, then the characteristic speed for the diffusion of an energy surge in the Alderaan planetary shield is approximately 0.25c. This is an interesting measurement in shield physics. Do other shields handle incident beams with a comparable diffusion speed? Is this speed a characteristic of the propagation or fluxes of the energy quanta that carry the invisible field effect that we call a "ray shield"?

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Seven frames from the beginning of the destruction of Alderaan, starting from the incidence of the Death Star's superlaser beam, proceeding through the spread of a shield interaction and leading to the first eruptions of escaping mass.


Special thanks are due to, in alphabetic order:


Planets: Alderaan.
STAR WARS Technical Commentaries.
Curtis Saxton home page.
Online since 26 September 2004.
Last updated 26 September 2004.

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