Stop charging AT-ATs (What the Rebellion should do in order to improve its anti-Empire tactics)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/19/skilled-withdrawals-guys.html


#2

Remember those armed white guys who took over the wildlife preserve? Open rebellion, total incompetence. And acquitted of all charges. The empire only wants to punish those rebellions that have a chance of success on their own terms.

When the Empire makes a movie about rebellion, you think they’re going to teach people anything useful about it? That’s hardly in the Empires best interest.


#3

Star Wars Episode VIII: Space Dunkirk


#4

It’s when both sides decide they want a decisive battle things can get really interesting, like Dien Bien Phu where both sides poured in resources and gambled everything on a win.


#5

Can we talk about the failures in strategy and governance as well? I mean, at the beginning of the last movie we learned that the Resistance has failed to maintain their monopoly on the use of force in their territory to such an extent that the Imperial rump has built not only a fleet but also a planet-sized weapon, undetected. Apparently their defense contractors have been selling major weapons systems to the other side fairly openly. And unlike the dark side, they aren’t recruiting and training new Jedis. It makes it hard to support putting these people back in control of the government…


#6

I want to know this: if you can hyperspace a medium sized frigate into a flotilla of star destroyers and wipe most of them out, why didn’t they try that before?

I’m thinking teach a droid to pilot one of those ships and aim it straight at the Death Star.


#7

I thought that during the first Star Wars*, when Solo was talking about taking the time to plot a course that didn’t drop them out of hyperspace in the middle of an asteroid. “So what you’re saying is, hyperdrive + astromech droid = armor-bypassing missile.”

* And no, not “A New Hope”. The movie is just Star Wars. Just like Raiders of the Lost Ark did not have a superfluous Indiana Jones and the…, and just like there’s no such thing as Rocky I. Plus, I’m not shuffling my mental space around to give a few mediocre prequels a pride of place. The first Star Wars had a cute episode gag, which became a cute gimmick. That’s it.


#8

just spitballing here but isn’t the AT AT just a troop transport? It’s not a front line combat unit is it? I would assume you don’t land your troop carriers in your staging area until you have control of the air which seems to me to be the reason the rebels used snow speeders and mono skies because air units that did more than skim the surface would be shot out of the sky. When the Falcon shows up suddenly we see the imperial air defense go to work.
So, if they land them at the staging area and then begin to walk towards the rebel base du jour, how are you going to flank the AT ATs and their support units? We know they can detect life forms so you can’t really hide. All you would do is split up your defenses and weaken them both.


#9

The Resistance and the Rebel Alliance before them seem to have been at a severe disadvantage in terms of fleet size. A suicide run is generally not something you consider when deciding on sound military strategies, especially when you’re talking about massive capital ships (the Resistance cruiser only looks medium-sized because of how flipping massive Snoke’s ship is; Mon Calamari cruisers are only a couple hundred meters shorter than a standard Star Destroyer). A suicide jump might succeed in wiping out a small detachment of Imperial ships if you’re lucky, but the Empire and the First Order had/seem to have the means to easily replace them, while the Alliance and the Resistance did not. The entire rebel fleet jumped into the Battle of Endor, and it was barely a match for the fleet stationed around the second Death Star as a defensive battalion. If they had lost that fight, there would have been basically nothing left.

It’s also possible that battle stations like the Death Stars and Starkiller Base are large enough to be able to shrug off such an assault, assuming you could even get a ship close enough to execute it. Remember, they were built with capital ship assaults in mind, and hyperspace jumps seem to have a relatively short range of lethality before the jumping ship disappears from normal space.

To be fair, it was the New Republic that took the approach of “don’t punch Nazis”, and that didn’t end up going so well for them. The Resistance was all over it, but not backed by the galactic government, and so didn’t have the resources it needed for intelligence and reconnaissance.


#10

Their normal and hyperspace drives are vague magic, so the scriptwriters can play games.

What if you could stick a hyperdrive on an asteroid? Come out of hyperspace over a rebel planet, destroy the hyperdrive, hit the shuttles, and let it drop.

“That’s no space station. It’s a moon!”

Do objects retain their normal space velocity? Boost a freighter to near-C, jump, and slam a target a relativistic speed.

Build a hyperdrive frame around a small black-hole. The interdictor that stops it is going to have a bad day.


#11

I’m not sure that avoiding jedi is really such a bad thing. Yes, for plot purposes they are the Designated Good Guys; but that doesn’t change the fact that “Jedi Order” is pretty much “Imagine if those CIA paranormal experiments actually worked; and also the CIA was an ancient, cultlike, paramilitary organization with a taste for indoctrinated child soldiers, with broad powers to act in whatever they deem the interests of the republic to be; subject only to the loose oversight of senators who they could be mind controlling anyway.”

That’s no way to run a nominally representative government.


#12

Agreed. It was a very spectacular moment in a film that needed more than a few spectacular moments to maintain the momentum the story required.


#13

That’s a very good point. Now that you got me thinking about it, there’s also the significant problem that a small proportion of said trainees become psychopathic mass murderers. Probably not worth the potential blowback to train more to deal with them.


#14

Someone should probably tell the CIA that.


#15

Tactics? We ain’t got no tactics! We don’t need no tactics! We don’t have to use any stinking tactics!


#16

On that theme…


#17

That’s always a big problem in any universe with FTL travel.

FTL spaceships necessarily means FTL big rocks you can throw at such astounding speed that they go backwards in time and can destroy pretty much anything.


#18

It’s even worse than that. As seen in the new “Star Tours” planet Crait sequence at Disneyland, these particular AT-ATs have exposed fuel tanks mounted to their backs, which can easily be taken out by the weaponry on a civilian Star Speeder 1000 passenger transport.


#19

I can tell you why not during the years following 2001…


#20

Movie scripts and logic usually don’t mix that well.