Novel References

A New Hope


Two metres tall. Bipedal. Flowing black robes trailing from the figure and a face forever masked by a functional if bizarre black metal breath screen — a Dark Lord of the Sith was an awesome, threatening shape as it strode through the corridors of the rebel ship.

Fear followed the footsteps of all the Dark Lords. The cloud of evil which clung tight about this particular one was intense enough to cause hardened Imperial troops to back away, menacing enough to set them muttering nervously among themselves.

Lord Vader enters. The existence of other Sith lords is implied, though it is unclear whether this is reference to the historical succession of Dark Lords or to the continuing Sith culture and Vader's Sith followers.


There were any number of extraordinary features unique to Tatooine's surface. Outstanding among them were the mysterious mists which rose regularly from the ground at points where desert sands washed up against unyielding cliffs and mesas.

Fog in a steaming desert seemed as out of place as cactus on a glacier, but it existed nonetheless. Meteorologists and geologistsargued its origin among themselves, muttering hard-to-believe theories about water suspended in sandstone veins beneath the sand and incomprehensible chemical reactions which made water rise when the ground cooled, then fall underground again with the double sunrise. It was all very backward and very real.

Unusual mists of the Tatooine desert. This must be the basis of the ecosystems of this planet; without water, there could be no major lifeforms near the surface. Little natural vegetation has been seen in the movies, only scarce shrubs in the shadowy bottom of a valley in the Jundland Wastes.


Soon, for the first time, those sands would blossom with food plants. This former wasteland would see an eruption of green.

Indicative of the activities of moisture farmers, or at least the aspirations of the Lars household. It seems that they intend to gather enough moisture to make plant life grow outdoors.


It consisted primarily of a short, thick handgrip with a couple of small switches set into the handgrip. Above this small post was a circular metal disk barely larger in diameter than his spread palm. A number of unfamiliar, jewellike components were built into both handle and disk, including what looked like the smallest power cell Luke had ever seen. The reverse side of the disk was polished to a mirror brightness. But it was the power cell that puzzled Luke the most. Whatever the thing was, it required a great deal of energy, according to the rating form of the cell.

Despite the claim that it had belonged to his father, the gizmo looked newly manufactured. Kenobi had obviously kept it carefully. Only a number of minute scratches on the handgrip hinted at previous usage.

Luke examines his father's lightsabre.


Solo and Chewbacca encounter Jabba the Hutt at Docking Bay 94.


He turned from studying his own instruments long enough to jab a massive finger at the tracking screen.
Solo gave it a quick glance, then turned irritably to his own panel. "I know, I know ... looks like two, maybe three destroyers. Somebody sure dislikes our passengers. Sure picked a hot one this time. Try to hold them off somehow until I can finish the programming for the supralight jump. Angle the deflectors for maximum shielding."
Rear scanners showed the baleful lemon eye of Tatooine shrinking rapidly behind them. It wasn't rapid enough to eliminate the three points of light that indicated the presence of the pursuing Imperial warships.

The warships pursuing the Millenium Falcon from Tatooine are referred to as destroyers.

Visual shrinkage of Tatooine to a receding disk implies that the Millenium Falcon has travelled out at least several planetary diameters at this point in the pre-jump preparation.


"They're going to try to box us up before we can jump. Five ships ... What did you two do to attract that kind of company?"
"Can't you outrun them?" Luke asked sarcastically, ignoring the pilot's question. "I thought you said this thing was fast."
"Watch your mouth, kid, or you'll find yourself floating home. There's too many of them for one thing. But, we'll be safe enough once we've made the jump into hyperspace." He grinned knowingly. "Can't nobody track another ship accurately at supralight speeds. Plus, I know a few tricks that ought to lose any persistent stick-tights. I wish I'd known you boys were so popular."

Solo explains the conditions of their pursuit and the difficulty of tracking ships through hyperspace.


"We're still within the gravitational influence of Tatooine," came the cool response. "It will be a few minutes yet before the navigation computer can compensate and effect an accurate jump. I could override its decision, but the hyperdrive would likely shred itself. That would give me a nice hold full of scrap metal in addition to you four."

Solo refers to the difficulty of making accurate and safe hyperspace jumps while in proximity to a planet or other body with significant gravity well.


"Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops, boy. Ever tried calculating a hyperspace jump?" Luke had to shake his head. "It's no mean trick. Be nice if we rushed it and passed right through a star or some other friendly spatial phenom like a black hole. That would end our trip real quick."

Hyperspace navigation is imperilled by the possibility of colliding with obstacles. The fact that objects in hyperspace and realspace interact demonstrates that hyperspace is not disconnected and apart from the real universe. Rather, it is simply an aspect of ordinary space-time as experienced by objects which move in a tachyonic (faster than light) fashion.


Admiral Motti entered the quiet conference room, his face streaked by the linear lights lining the walls. His gaze went to the spot where Governor Tarkin stood before the curved viewscreen, and he bowed slightly. Despite the evidence of the small green gem of a world entered in the screen, he formally announced, "We have entered the Alderaan system. We await your order."
A voice announced over a hidden speaker that they had approached within antigrav range of Alderaan — aproximately six planetary diameters. That was enough to accomplish what all of Vader's infernal devices had failed to.

The Death Star has arrived at Alderaan, and reaches a distance of six planetary diameters. At this distance repulsorlift thrust against the planet's gravity well is more efficient than other forms of propulsion. Admiral Motti, correctly named, enters the Overbridge and speaks to Tarkin.


"This station is the final link in the new-forged Imperial chain which will bind the million systems of the Galactic Empire together once and for all. Your petty Alliance will no longer be of any concern to us."

Grand Moff Tarkin verbally indicates an order of magnitude estimate of the number of inhabited systems with full membership of the Empire: a number of millions rather than thousands or billions. Since the galaxy has something like two hundred billion stars, this gives an indication of the abundance of uninhabited and dependent systems compared to the inhabited systems.


Despite his advances and intricate technological methods of annihilation, the actions of mankind remained unnoticeable to an uncaring, unimaginably vast universe. If Vader's grandest plans ever came to pass, all that would change.

He was well aware that despite all their intelligence and drive, the vastness and wonder were lost on the two men who continued to chatter monkeylike behind him. Tarkin and Motti were talented and ambitious, but they saw things only on the scale of human pettiness. It was a pity, Vader thought, that they did not possess the scope to match their abilities.

Still, neither man was a Dark Lord. As such, little more could be expected of them. These two were useful now, and dangerous, but someday they, like Alderaan, would have to be swept aside. For now he could not afford to ignore them. And while he would have preferred the company of equals, he had to admit reluctantly that at this point, he had no equals.

Lord Vader contemplates the universe; the Sith regard the order of nature as theirs to command.

Vader has no equals; in power the Emperor is his superior but possibly lacks the subtlety of the Jedi and Sith traditions. Other Sith and Dark Jedi at the time of A New Hope are inferior to Vader.


"The defense systems on Alderaan, despite the Senator's protestations to the contrary, were as strong as any in the Empire. I should conclude that our demonstration was as impressive as it was thorough."

Lord Vader refers to the defences of Alderaan, which presumably means global deflector and ray shielding. That it is as good as any in the Empire implies that the Alderaan shielding compares well with that of Coruscant (described in X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble and elsewhere). It is implicit that such screens either confound or protract efforts at planetary subjugation or depopulation when no Death Star is available.


The huge gas-giant was patterned with pastel high-altitude cloud formations. Here and there the softly lambent atmosphere was molded by cyclonic storms composed of six-hundred-kilometre-per-hour winds which boiled rolling gases up from the Yavinesque troposphere. It was a world of lingering beauty and quick death for any who might try to penetrate to its comparatively small core of frozen liquids.

Several of the giant planet's moons, however, were planet-sized themselves, and of these, three could support humanoid life. Particularly inviting was the satellite designated by the system's dicoverers as number four. It shone like an emerald in Yavin's necklace of moons, rich with plant and animal life. But it was not listed among theose worlds supporting human settlement. Yavin was located too far from the settled regions of the galaxy.

location: Yavin, Yavin IV.


The jungles of Yavin IV, the Massassi relics and the rebel base are described.


Luke had seen the shattered remains of Alderaan and knew that for those in the incredible battle station the entire moon would represent simply another abstract problem in mass-energy conversion.

Implies that annihilation reactions are involved in the use of the Death Star's prime weapon. Considering the amount of energy required to disrupt a planet, such a compact and efficient power source seems necessary.


TARKIN: You see, Vader? Our third parties, whom we'll threaten, are the entire population of her home planet.

VADER: Alderaan is one of the foremost of the inner systems. The Emperor should be consulted.

TARKIN: Do not think to challenge me! You're not confronting Tagge or Motti now! The Emperor has placed me in charge of this affair with a free hand, and the decision is mine! And you will have your information that much sooner.

S Fascinating indication of the relationship between Palpatine, Vader and Palpatine, and a hint of Alderaan's location and status.

A New Hope: Radio Drama



ANTILLES: Now, I want you both to listen to this programming tape.

Sound: Switch being thrown, followed by burst of high-speed signals.

Sound: The signals cease.

ANTILLES: this is voice override, actuating code Epsilon Actual.

THREEPIO: We confirm that, Captain. We are both awaiting your instructions.


ANTILLES: You're aware of the identity of the person standing next to me?

THREEPIO: Certainly, sir. She's the Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, representative to the Imperial Senate.

ANTILLES: This is a command/control instruction: Both of you will restrict and protect all references to Leia Organa's identity and presence inboard this vessel. She is designated a command/control voice.

THREEPIO: Yes, sir.


LEIA: Will that suffice?

ANTILLES: Your Highness, this interpreter droid is a bit eccentric, but he's dependable.

LEIA: Will they resist interrogation probing?

ANTILLES: They'll do whatever you tell them to do, without fail. This includes lying and self-destructing.

C-3PO and R2-D2 receive the programming that causes them both to evade discussion of Princess Leia, for instance when they meet Luke on Tatooine. Threepio is sometimes forced to engage in some tricky, evasive circumlocution. It seems that this order has the unintended long-term effect of compelling the droids to keep a tight confidence regarding the Princess' real family identity (if they know of the adoption). For many years, the droids appear to avoid acknowledging their connection to previous generations of Skywalkers, even though at least C-3PO retains memories of his earlier time on Tatooine.

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Last updated 28 November 1998.
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