new alderaan

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Reality Shows of the Empire: “New Alderaan’s Next Top Ruler” Contestants are either royals who lost their kingdoms in the war or who are shown to have some sort of royal tie or DNA. They’re split into teams and each night they have to perform royal duties, such as making decrees and satisfying their “constituents” (really, paid actors and D-List celebrities) while under the unerring eye of Chewbacca and a couple of protocol droids.

Chewie has a smart and profane mouth and he will often send back a law that he considers half-baked or even raw. When the teams falter, Chewie shuts down the pretend kingdom and dissatisfied constituents often leave without having their tax petitions read or with scallops that were cooked all the way through. The team that loses has to nominate someone to be disinherited from the kingdom, and Chewie’s catchphrase as he sends them off is some Shriyiwook version of “We are not amused. Get out.” 

Finn and Rey are the smart players who arouse the jealousy and admiration of their teams, and always are able to complete their royal duties even if the rest of the team lets them down. They’re the last two standing and Chewie has the bright idea to make them co-rulers, which is fine by them, since while everyone else was bitching about each other in the Confessional, they were boning every chance they got. 

Imperial Astrophysics 101 (or The Death Star: The Weapon that Just Kept Destroying Stuff)

I was in the shower today, soaping up my hair, when I had a sudden thunderstruck of a horrible realization. The Death Star’s destruction wouldn’t have stopped with Alderaan’s obliteration–in fact, the Death Star’s single blast, which reduced a planet to ash and rubble in mere seconds, would have had a devastating impact that lasted for thousands of years. And I don’t just mean impact as in “there isn’t a planet anymore.”

It all boils down to a very crucial law of physics: the Law of Conservation of Energy. Basically, energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Thus, when the Death Star fired its laser blast of doom which destroyed the planet of Alderaan, all of the energy from the laser would have had to go somewhere. A not insignificant portion of it probably went into thermal energy, etc. (sorry, I’m running off of basic high school physics and an intro to astronomy class here), but there would still be a massive amount unaccounted for. So where would it have gone?

Well, as we see in A New Hope, the Death Star didn’t so much disintegrate the planet as it did explode it. Which yes, means some of Alderaan is certainly particles and atoms. But that also means that there are large chunks of planet still intact–which, again, we get to actually see in ANH. 

So where did all that leftover energy go? Into the massive debris field that was just created.

And that, my friends, is problematic.

Any moon that orbited Alderaan? Well, if it didn’t go in the Death Star’s blast, you can almost guarantee that it’s gone now. Debris of that mass, moving at that kind of velocity, would absolutely destroy any small satellite orbiting a planet.

Any neighboring rock-based planets in the system? Well, they probably wouldn’t be destroyed, but you can bet that all of them would be radically and devastatingly altered. If there was any semblance of life or ecosystem on any other planet in the system? Think KT Asteroid extinction level events. As in the thing that wiped out the dinosaurs. Imagine multiple of them. Within days, weeks, or months of each other. And even if there wasn’t any life or ecosystem on nearby planets, you can sure bet that the topography of the nearby planets is going to be radically changed. For instance, we suspect that the Hellas Basin on Mars (which is ~5,000km across–that’s a little over 3,100 miles for my fellow Americans–which, for comparison, is a little bit more than the distance from the east to west coast of the USA) and the corresponding Tharsis Bulge on the opposite side of the planet (which is ~10km–a little over 6 miles–high) was likely formed by a meteor impact. Think about that happening to Alderaan’s next-door neighbors. But not just once, or even twice, but probably half a dozen times or more.

It wouldn’t just be the nearby planets that would be affected, though. Even if none of the debris made it that far out into the solar system, an entire planet was just destroyed. That is certainly going to mess with the gravity field in the system. Planets (as a generalized group) are the second largest gravity producers in a solar system (the first being the sun/star). Thus you wouldn’t have any planets flying off their orbits or anything, but given that one of the key gravitational factors was just very instantaneously eliminated from the gravitational balance, you can be certain that orbits are about to go weird. And that doesn’t even just go for the other planets and their moons, but also comets and asteroids, which tend to hang out in nice large belts and/or fields.

And speaking of asteroid fields, let’s go back to the remains of Alderaan. Give it a few (hundred? thousand?) years, and you’re going to have a nice asteroid belt smack dab in the middle of the Goldilocks Zone (aka habitable zone) of the star system. That’s…not really good. That will probably basically ensure that nothing else is ever going to be able to sustain life in the system again, due to meteor strikes on any body that could try.

Though, fun side note, there actually might be a few pieces of Alderaan big enough that they would be able to generate enough gravity to begin to accrete. (Basically that means attract other pieces of rock and smush it together to form a larger body.) Now, I doubt it would ever have enough mass to form a full planet again–but you might be able to get a dwarf planet, which is defined as being unable to clear its orbit. (New Old Alderaan maybe?)

Anyway. My point is, the Alderaan system would have suffered for years (like, thousands of years) to come due to the Death Star. And you know what? I bet the Empire knew that. I bet that was meant to be part of the true power of the Death Star. Because what’s even worse than being able to destroy a planet? Being able to destroy a planet and then, when anyone returns to the site of the horrible crime in the next…oh, few thousand years, seeing even more devastation, more ruin, and being reminded again of the power and might of the Empire which, even after all these years, is reaching forward and punishing the land for its inhabitants’ crimes.

There is no more life. There is no more hope of life. There is fire, and ice, and planets and their moons moving and shifting in their orbits. There are explosions–new volcanoes, new canyons, new mountains, new plateaus–and the constant, grinding crush of where there once had been vibrancy and light and a thriving peoples.

And I don’t know about you, but I find that absolutely terrifying.

I want to talk for a moment about how much I adore this panel from Empire’s End. Here is Leia and Threepio conducting normal business and having their conversations, and Jaina and Jacen entertaining themselves with a little bird/bat creature - what do you want to guess that’s Jacen’s doing? - and Anakin’s there on the sofa, and Leia’s watching him - and the entire thing is both very maternal and also very Leia as her own person.

So frequently throughout the comics and the EU it seems like writers don’t know how to allow her to be both. In Dark Empire II there’s this whole ‘Leia’s protective motherly instincts war with her need to help the New Republic, and as is always the case with Leia, the New Republic wins out!’ thing, and I literally eye-rolled. As I did the idea that the twins have been on New Alderaan for nearly two years and Leia has only seen them a couple of times.

This panel is a breath of fresh air. It’s a glimpse of what it might look like to be a mother, and also still keep your non-mother interests that so far feels all too rare for Leia.

(Plus, I just like the art style of Empire’s End way, way more than I like the Dark Empire comics art.)

Lord Delacour, Prince Of New Alderaan, Visit Dantooine

After Master’s Caronte Lecture , there was a small informal conversation between  Lord Delacour I Prince Of New Alderaan and Master Thot. 

During this pleasent event, Lady Golds'Hark and Master Thot , both Consulars congratulated New Alderaan for their return to the Galatic Senate of the Republic. 

Also , there was shown a mild concern about attacks against New Alderaan, and Master Thot reinforced that they could commlink Dantooine any moment they found necessary , once there was an agreement to patrol New Alderaan. 

Master Thot also sugested that they could ask for GAR help, which the Prince didn’t accept promptly , despite recognizing they are good as well, once by Master Thot’s words, theyve proved GAR is loyal to the Republic many times. 

Lord Delacour I Prince Of New Alderaan also expressed his concerns about some council matters which was noted and promised by Master Thot he would talk to Dantooine Senator about as well the diplomats.

After this breath meeting, Master Thot and Lady Golds'Hark  congratulated New Alderaan again before leaving. 

-The Eye of Beholder ORG Contributor -