The ranks of the resurgent Empire continue to swell. What say you, citizen? Are you ready to join the Empire? Are you ready to fight for the glory of Coruscant? If you are, then join now. Fight for your people. Fight for your Emperor!
Decades after the disastrous Battle of Endor, our saviour finally arose from the ashes of the Empire. He bore the noble bloodline of Vader and the dark power of the Sith. It was under his leadership that the Empire was reborn. It is under his leadership that we shall accomplish the unprecedented: the conquest of a new galaxy. A galaxy bereft of strong leadership. The galaxy of Star Trek!
Young cadet, it is time for you to prove your mettle. It is time for you to bring civilization to the uncivilized, backward savages who live in this "Federation". Let the slaughter begin!
An Imperial task force recently encountered a strange, alien starship while engaging Rebel insurgents in the Outer Rim. This starship was determined to have entered our galaxy by travelling through a wormhole which links our galaxy to another galaxy. We have not yet determined precisely where this other galaxy is, but our cartographers assure us that it is "far, far away".
This galaxy is inhabited by a variety of species, with names like "Klingon", "Romulan", "Borg", "Tholian", "Cardassian", and many others. However, we are most intrigued by a small organization called "The United Federation of Planets" because its dominant species is human. Ordinarily, this revelation would be shocking enough, but we have also discovered that one of them, named George Lucas, was somehow able to produce astonishingly accurate video depictions of our civilization.
Experts are still baffled at how this man could have somehow perceived our galaxy in sufficient detail to produce such records. A source of even greater concern is the fact that these distant humans appear to be DNA compatible with us! After we subjugate the planet, we intend to perform extensive research to discover how this could have happened. In the meantime, we must put aside these mysteries and concentrate on the immediate question: what is the Federation's capacity to wage war, relative to our own?
That is the question which this document is designed to answer.
This website has two goals:
Discuss the question: if we "suspend disbelief" and pretend that the canon events of Star Wars and Star Trek really happened as depicted in the films and television shows, then how could we apply the principles and methods of science to determine what those events tell us about the military strength of the Federation vs the Empire?
Provide an introduction to certain scientific principles. More importantly, apply those principles to the above question, in a manner which is hopefully educational and fun.
The underlying premise of the site is that at some undetermined time after the events being depicted in the post-ROTJ novels, the Empire has returned to power. This premise is described a little more fully in the site fanfic.
About suspension of disbelief and "Canon": I believe in adhering to strict rules about how Star Wars and Star Trek should be interpreted, and those rules are based on the methods used to study real life science or history. There are those who dislike this approach, and they argue that I'm taking the fun out of it by insisting on a set of rules. But I think the opposite: I think they're taking the fun out of it, by making up the rules as they go along and in so doing, attempting to guarantee victory rather than playing a fair game. Games are not fair or fun when your opponent keeps changing the rules on you.
About science: this site's explanations of real-life science were conscientiously researched (unlike some sites which engage in a lot of wildly optimistic "if ... then" pseudoscience scenarios). I have no illusions about warp drives, phasers, light sabres, or Death Stars being realistic, but I still believe there is some value to the intellectual exercise of asking what such technologies might be like if they were real.
About the presentation: The tone of this document may be biased due to the fact that much of it is supposedly written by an imaginary Imperial officer, but the facts and scientific principles being brought to bear were analyzed in a genuine attempt to be as accurate as possible. Do not confuse its quasi-facetious style with a lackadaisical attitude toward factual accuracy.
About accuracy: these calculations are nowhere near as reliable as the sort of calculations that one would perform in real-life scientific or engineering work. Our observations are generally of a rather preliminary and imprecise nature, and we can't perform experiments to test hypotheses. Therefore, all calculations on this website should be treated as "back of envelope" calculations, and while individual calculations may employ greater precision, the resulting conclusions should be treated only as order-of-magnitude estimates. For example, if the figures show that one weapon is 50% more powerful than another, that should not be treated as conclusive evidence of superiority because the difference is too small. But if they show that it is a hundred times more powerful, then that would be fairly conclusive.
More background information:
Abbreviations: Common Star Wars and Star Trek abbreviations.
Canon: What do I mean when I say "canon events"?
Site FAQ: Frequently asked questions about this website.
Sources: Star Wars and Star Trek resources used for this website.
Tech stuff: This site was born on August 1, 1998. It was written mostly using Netscape Composer on a dual-boot linux/winblows machine, although I am increasingly relying on the HTML editing software in Sun's StarOffice suite. Further editing was done with kedit, vi, cooledit, or whatever else was handy at the time. Images were captured with a Snappy 3.0, AcerScan 610S SCSI scanner, and PowerDVD, depending on whether I needed screenshots, scans, or DVD captures. Image manipulation was performed with gimp and psp.
For Best Viewing: This site has been verified to display properly on current versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape/Mozilla, Konqueror (from KDE 2.1.1), and Opera (although the IE 5.50 "upgrade" introduces at least one known CSS glitch). It also works with minor glitches on StarOffice, Mosaic, and even Lynx. This site is best viewed at 800x600 or above.
About the author: My name is Michael Wong, I'm married with two children, and I am a mechanical engineer with a bachelor's degree in applied science from the University of Waterloo. Visit my home page!
Star Wars® is a registered trademark of LucasFilm Ltd. Star Trek® is a registered trademark of Paramount. This site is not associated with LucasFilm or Paramount in any way. It is not the intent of this site to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of either LucasFilm or Paramount.
Although the site has some facetious overtones, it is still nonetheless an academic discussion of Star Wars, Star Trek, and real science. It is intended to entertain but also to educate and to encourage scholarly debate. Furthermore, no income of any kind is derived from the operation of this website. Therefore, this site's use of Star Wars and Star Trek images and information qualifies as "fair use", or "fair dealing", under the provisions of international copyright law.