Star Wars vs. Star Trek: hyperdrive, take 2

One quick follow-on to my previous post on how the Star Wars hyperdrive really should make the Star Wars universe much different than it is.

In addition to the economic, political, and social effects noted in my last post, there is the issue of the broader universe itself. We all know that Star Wars takes place “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” … and the action really is confined within that far away galaxy. But should it be? If we assume that the average spacing between galaxies is ~30 times their average diameter, and if we assume the time to travel across the galaxy in hyperdrive is 2 days, then the Star Wars hyperdrive technology should be able to propel us to a neighboring galaxy in just two months.

It took Columbus 3 months to sail from Spain to the New World in the late 15th Century. Even though that was a rather long travel time, the radical differences in technology levels between the New and Old worlds meant that Europeans had a big effect on New World societies from the get go.

We would assume that, since the Star Wars galaxy is teeming with life forms, other galaxies would be similarly-endowed. And given the large number of galaxies in the universe, we’d also assume a broad distribution of technology levels among them, with all the disruption that entails. So where are all the other galaxies in the Star Wars universe? Just another way in which the modesty of Star Trek’s Warp Drive rescues that universe from such complications.


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This is a group blog. JSC5 currently writes from the US. JSC7 writes from behind the Great Firewall of China.

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