Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 402

Thread: Star Trek, Star Wars and cloaking devices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    5

    Star Trek, Star Wars and cloaking devices

    As this is my first post here i hope i am not rehashing a subject already run into the ground. I just wanted to know how the romulans and klingons in star trek were able to function with cloaking devices. I mean logically if you were in a large ship traveling through space and you wanted to hide then i can see using a cloaking device. However the devices seem to work on the idea of bending light around your vessel. Understood. Now if you are bending light around you then wouldn't it follow that the light is no longer reaching you inside of the shield? Logically you wouldn't be able to see out then. A recent Star Wars novel illistrated this point (i don't remember the name of said book) as a star destroyer cloaked and was blind to the universe. so please someone tell me how the beings of the Star Trek universe can see without light ever reaching them inside of their cloaked ships?

  2. #2
    Glom's Avatar
    Glom is offline Insert awesome title here
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,354
    It has been mentioned that cloaking does disrupt main sensor capacity. ('The Way of the Warrior part II' [DS9]). I could be that not all the light is bent. Just enough to make you seem unnoticeable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171

    Balance of Terror

    Quote Originally Posted by Jediblade
    Now if you are bending light around you then wouldn't it follow that the light is no longer reaching you inside of the shield? Logically you wouldn't be able to see out then.
    The first episode of Star Trek in which cloaking devices were used was "Balance of Terror," which came at the end of Trek's first season. In this episode, while the Romulan Bird of Prey was running cloaked, it had trouble tracking the Enterprise, but wasn't totally blind. (Making active sensor sweeps would defeat the whole purpose of the cloaking device, because the other ship could just home in on the source of your sensor emissions. This was probably why the Romulan Bird of Prey couldn't "see" the Enterprise very well. However, the fact that it could track the Enterprise at all meant that at least some "passive sensors" were able to receive and analyze emissions from outside the cloaking field.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2,830
    first: Welcome to the board!!! :-)

    See, i always thougth of the Cloaking as a no emmision thing. I thought of it as instaed of bending light around it, it just does not allow anything to be reflected back. Somehow they figured out how to absorb the entire spectum or reflect it in a different direction. That way they can see and the others cant see them in return.

    Yes you would see a shadow, but in the blackness of space, that would not matter.

    Anyone?

    P.S. Rewmember we are also discussing a show that has all aliens as wrinkles on their heads or a funny accent. :-) But Star trek will always kick Star Wars butt. :P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    376
    Ok, where to start... first, g99, star trek pales in comparison to Star Wars, in that its aliens are more beleivable, and their ships dont enlongate comically when entering "warp drive" or some such nonsence. Their shipbuilders havent even thought up the idea of using fighters, and i find it unlikely that no species, of all those that they encounter, have thought this up. Anyway, enough of my badmouthing that putrid squandery of human resources.

    Jediblade, i too have read that book, and they got it pretty much right, so far as I can see. I wonder if you have read the Bounty Hunter Chronicles(this name may be incorrect, or i may be quoting the wrong book), in which Boba Fett is chasing a youth through an asteroid field. In that chapter, the youth uses a plate that films the space on one side, and plays it on the other, so anyone that looks at it sees the goings-on on the other side, making the ship "invisible" from that angle. The only problem is that this would have to be done at all angles in a fight, so a ship cirling the cloaked one would always see sides that were displaying the opposite side. i also beleive that the ship would still be giving off other receiveable signs, i.e. it only works visually.

    B.t.w. wasnt that cloaked ship you mentioned in the original post destroyed by an asteroid that it couldn't see coming?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2,830
    Quote Originally Posted by Reacher
    Ok, where to start... first, g99, star trek pales in comparison to Star Wars, in that its aliens are more beleivable, and their ships dont enlongate comically when entering "warp drive" or some such nonsence. Their shipbuilders havent even thought up the idea of using fighters, and i find it unlikely that no species, of all those that they encounter, have thought this up. Anyway, enough of my badmouthing that putrid squandery of human resources.
    Yah yah, you can boast and point out inherant truths, but can you back them up? :-)

    i know how stupid the tech in Trek is, but Star Wars has its issues too:.

    1. George Lucas
    2. All aliens have the same tech level. At least Trek does not do this
    3. The force? Oh come on you complain about the elongating of a ftl drive and you don't complain about the force?
    4. The do have fighters, altought they are more frigates. The Defiant from DS9 (shudder..) is a example.
    5. In trek they don't build huge ships with a porthole and a sign above it saying "shoot here to destroy me".
    6. You guys have Jar-Jar and ewoks. We have trivvles. No contest

    ----
    hahaha...Just kidding. Seriously i like both of them equally. I am nowhere near a hard lined trekkie and i have never been to any convention. I just love the show. The Star wars movies were good. Well except the latest two trash flicks.

    But i could not resists making a Starwars vs. Trek joke. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    867
    All aliens have the same tech level on Star Wars because a very high percentage of the galaxy was colonized and united under one government or another. They did not have a prime directive holding them back so tech gets shared and disseminated

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by g99
    i know how stupid the tech in Trek is, but Star Wars has its issues too:

    2. All aliens have the same tech level. At least Trek does not do this
    Actually, Trek does do this. And in many ways, Trek is worse about it.

    As frenat just pointed out whilst I was typing this, in the Star Wars universe, all the alien species are part of one big happy galactic civilization -- so it's not at all surprising that they should have roughly the same technology as one another. It would be as though every alien species in Star Trek was a member of the Federation.

    In Star Trek, however, most alien species are supposed to have their own cultures/empires that are completely separate from the Federation. We should expect a lot more variance in the technology level between the various space-faring alien species. Yet, with few exceptions, they all have warp drive, they all have shields, they all have weaponry roughly equal to Federation ship's phasers in power, they all have subspace communications, and they all have transporters.

    This was particularly onerous in Star Trek: Voyager. The Voyager was supposed to be in the Delta Quadrant, which had never ever had any contact with the Federation (or the Klingons or the Romulans or any of the other races/empires in the Alpha Quadrant). Yet, the very first alien species they meet has warp drive, shields, weaponry on par with Federation ship's weaponry, and subspace communications. They even respond to hails using the same subspace frequency and modulation protocols that the Voyager does! And yet, we in the audience are supposed to be impressed with how "different" and "backward" their technology is, simply because they lack transporters?! Pah. Pah, I say! PAH!!

    3. The force? Oh come on you complain about the elongating of a ftl drive and you don't complain about the force?
    Don't forget, Star Trek has Vulcan and Betazoid telepathy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by tracer
    3. The force? Oh come on you complain about the elongating of a ftl drive and you don't complain about the force?
    Don't forget, Star Trek has Vulcan and Betazoid telepathy.
    I am a major Trek/Wars fan, and I can get a bit anal about these things. However, in Star Trek Telepathy, while not terribly understood IS a proven, reproducable phenomenon, unlike our world. In Star Wars, The Force is a mystical power field, much like telepathy in our world. The Force is revered much like a religion, not a scientific reality. And, while no on in Star Wars questions the existance of The Force, many Force users have different beliefs on where/how their powers came to be. However, I am a firm believer in Science Fiction and have no problem accepting both since they are part of the everso more important . . . PLOT![/b]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Skarr
    The Force is revered much like a religion, not a scientific reality. And, while no on in Star Wars questions the existance of The Force,
    Oh no?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    76
    Okay, okay. There are always going to be skeptics. After all, we're here!

    *Waves hand*
    You will forget you ever saw that web page. All of you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    867
    I will forget I ever saw that webpage. All of me.




    What were we talking about again? Where am I?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    497
    It seems like cloaking devices would have to bend a lot more than visible light- they go completely invisible to all sensors, which means they must avoid radar and all that other stuff as well. And I'm pretty sure it is a bending of the light; you always see stars behind the ship as it shimmers away, and there's no shadow right before one uncloaks. As far as I can see, if there's no way to see in, there's no way to see out.
    Of course, that doesn't stop Klingons from sitting at the bridge of their U-boat -- I mean, "Bird of Prey", and launching torpedoes at the Enterprise. Maybe that periscope really does have a purpose...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2,830
    Quote Originally Posted by tracer
    Quote Originally Posted by g99
    i know how stupid the tech in Trek is, but Star Wars has its issues too:

    2. All aliens have the same tech level. At least Trek does not do this
    Actually, Trek does do this. And in many ways, Trek is worse about it.

    As frenat just pointed out whilst I was typing this, in the Star Wars universe, all the alien species are part of one big happy galactic civilization -- so it's not at all surprising that they should have roughly the same technology as one another. It would be as though every alien species in Star Trek was a member of the Federation.

    In Star Trek, however, most alien species are supposed to have their own cultures/empires that are completely separate from the Federation. We should expect a lot more variance in the technology level between the various space-faring alien species. Yet, with few exceptions, they all have warp drive, they all have shields, they all have weaponry roughly equal to Federation ship's phasers in power, they all have subspace communications, and they all have transporters.

    This was particularly onerous in Star Trek: Voyager. The Voyager was supposed to be in the Delta Quadrant, which had never ever had any contact with the Federation (or the Klingons or the Romulans or any of the other races/empires in the Alpha Quadrant). Yet, the very first alien species they meet has warp drive, shields, weaponry on par with Federation ship's weaponry, and subspace communications. They even respond to hails using the same subspace frequency and modulation protocols that the Voyager does! And yet, we in the audience are supposed to be impressed with how "different" and "backward" their technology is, simply because they lack transporters?! Pah. Pah, I say! PAH!!

    3. The force? Oh come on you complain about the elongating of a ftl drive and you don't complain about the force?
    Don't forget, Star Trek has Vulcan and Betazoid telepathy.
    Touche! :-)

    I agree with Voyager. But what would happen if Star Wars had a weekly T.V. show (disreguarding the saturday morning Cartoons)?

    We have talked about this before. In trek they ran out of original ideas into the first season of TNG and the end of TOS. So they rehasghed the same scripts and alines of the original series. I tottaly agree with you that the aliens themselves are much more accurate in Star Wars (barring the feasibility of a galactic civ. How do you administer a subject a thousand light years away? By the time you send a mnessage to them, they will be long dead.)

    But the ships in Star Trek are alot more like what we would find in the future. Advanced weaponds, and technology. Sure the transporters would never be feasible ever, but the rest of the technology is feasible.

    The Star Wars ships are relatively weak. Most act less like spaceships and large battleships and more like jets. Remember the whole banking in turns thing?

    -----------
    On another note i think we are hijacking the subject. We probobly should start a new thread.

    So how would you bend not only light waves, but every wave from all specturms around your ship?.

    One thing i do not understand from Star Trek is why can't you fire when cloaked? If it is a power issue than have passive systems like mines or a rocket. Open up a tube, let go a mine or rocket and send it towards the target. The no fire rule makes no sense to me.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by g99
    I tottaly agree with you that the aliens themselves are much more accurate in Star Wars (barring the feasibility of a galactic civ. How do you administer a subject a thousand light years away? By the time you send a mnessage to them, they will be long dead.)
    Ah, but in the Star Wars universe, their space ships can cross nearly 500 light-years in a week, and transgalactic communications are instantaneous.

  16. #16
    Glom's Avatar
    Glom is offline Insert awesome title here
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    11,354
    Star Trek has the Defiant, the apex of all that is supremely gorgeous. 8)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,253
    g99 wrote: I agree with Voyager. But what would happen if Star Wars had a weekly T.V. show (disreguarding the saturday morning Cartoons)?
    I think the answer to that question lies in the ongoing books that have been written. Timothy Zahn's trilogy was great - a nice extension of the original movies, but somewhere about the 3rd or 4th trilogy written to take place after Return of the Jedi I suddenly got bored with them. It just became too much of the same old story. How many times can you go from being in charge of a galactic republic to being in mortal danger of losing everything before it becomes time to hand the reigns of power back over to the sith for safekeeping?

    Didn't Zahn use cloaking devices in his trilogy? (just trying to keep it on topic).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    5
    actually in reply to earlier comments not every civilization and race in star wars is at the same tech level. Look at the Ewoks. and if you read the star wars books you see that while the Wookies do have access to the higher tech levels they till don't use most of it. I am surer there are other examples as there are examples of civilizations with totally higher tech. And unlike Trek civilizations from other portions of space have a different tech (visa-vi the Vong and there organic tech in the New Jedi Order Series of books).

    And i don't remember for sure but i think they did do something with cloaking devices in the Zahn series.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,253
    I remember now ... Thrawn put cloaked asteroids in orbit around Coruscant in the final book of the trilogy. Of course one has to wonder how many of those things you would actually need in order to have a real serious threat to incoming/outgoing ships.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,311
    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    I remember now ... Thrawn put cloaked asteroids in orbit around Coruscant in the final book of the trilogy. Of course one has to wonder how many of those things you would actually need in order to have a real serious threat to incoming/outgoing ships.
    Quite a few for serious threats to the ships, but not that many if you just want to dispupt shipping: who's gonna want to fly if there's a reasponable chance of getting hit? Also don't need al that many--no one can confirm the numbers (they are cloaked) of asteroids so you just creat the perception of danger....

    The Vong are porbable the most alien of the Star Wars Critters--the rest have been homogenized to some degree through the Galactic Empire. I'm sure reality will be much stranger to us than any Science Fiction story...

    As for the feasibilty of cloaking devices: depends on how it's done. It can be argued that stealth technology is a "crude" (from a Science Fiction perspective) form of cloaking from specific wavelengths and obsevation meathods. Anything more advanced...I don't know....

    edit (added for Astromony content/question): Could we use cloaking technology (if can be developed) "backwards" to creat really big "cheap" telescopes for different wavelengths? How could we do this, some sort of magnetic feild/other force feild?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    5
    the problem of reverse engineering to create new telescopes is that we would have to first engineer the device to begin with. also i thought of something else. if you have the sheild and it can fool sensors would you not expect then that it would produce a certain amount of internal radiation? how safe would it really be to use it?

    also most propulsion units we see in the main examples (Star Wars/Trek) produce their own light sources. wouldn't you still see them even if in a distorted way?

    as for the shield that projects the opposite view that would be an effective version allowing you to see out and function assuming that you could solve the problem of 360 degree angular coverage. So effective but not necessarily feasible.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by Jediblade
    the problem of reverse engineering to create new telescopes is that we would have to first engineer the device to begin with.
    :: nitpick ::

    The term "reverse engineering" refers to taking an existing piece of technology built by somebody else, and taking it apart and figuring out how it works without access to the various design specs. It does not refer to the process of taking an existing piece of technology that we already know how to build and figuring out a way to make it work "in reverse," e.g. figuring out a way to make an air conditioner operate as a heat pump.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    5
    true but as we don't yet have it ourselves then how can you say we would be using technology we already have. I do suppose in the case of creating it we would make the telescopes as the tech was discovered and invented. Or perhaps as with some rare modern tech (a.k.a. the SR-71 blackbird) a person of some genius creates it without the in-between discoveries then yes we would have to "reverse engineer" our own technology to learn all the things in between. And in case you are wondering no, we can't even come close to reproducing the SR-71.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by Jediblade
    And in case you are wondering no, we can't even come close to reproducing the SR-71.
    Huh? What makes you say that? True, nobody's working on a modern plane that can fly above 100,000 feet altitude at a speed in excess of mach 3, but that's because there's no real market for one right now. The SR-71 was horrendously expensive to operate, from what I recall.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,311
    Quote Originally Posted by tracer
    Quote Originally Posted by Jediblade
    And in case you are wondering no, we can't even come close to reproducing the SR-71.
    Huh? What makes you say that? True, nobody's working on a modern plane that can fly above 100,000 feet altitude at a speed in excess of mach 3, but that's because there's no real market for one right now. The SR-71 was horrendously expensive to operate, from what I recall.
    As well as too specialized to do anything else. On the ground, it leaked like a seive, had to refuel as soon as it took off....

    My reason for asking about using cloaking technology for telescopes: They manipulate electromagnetic radiation so accuratley that higly sensitive sensors can't see them or anomolies. With that sort of accuracy, great numbers of photons can be gathered and sharply focused with more accuacy (possibly) and and less loss that a physical mirror.

    Do we have the knowledge of how to even begin this sort of large scale manipulization?

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by darkhunter
    Quote Originally Posted by dgruss23
    I remember now ... Thrawn put cloaked asteroids in orbit around Coruscant in the final book of the trilogy. Of course one has to wonder how many of those things you would actually need in order to have a real serious threat to incoming/outgoing ships.
    Quite a few for serious threats to the ships, but not that many if you just want to dispupt shipping: who's gonna want to fly if there's a reasponable chance of getting hit? Also don't need al that many--no one can confirm the numbers (they are cloaked) of asteroids so you just creat the perception of danger....
    Wasn't it that they needed to keep the planetary shields up to stop the asteroids from hitting the planet, but to let ships out they would have to let down the shields... but if they did that down come the asteroids?

    Anyway, to throw another sci-fi into the discussion, doesn't the Predator from Predator have a laser/sensor device that protrudes from his cloaking device, therefore sacrificing a small part of invisibility for the ability to see where he's going?
    A starship cloaking device would work in a similar way, I think - a tiny antenna or camera of some kind that is not covered by the cloaking field and therefore can gather info, while being small enough to be either undetectable or dismissed as just a piece of space debris.
    Although presumably at some point the electrical signal from the sensor would intersect with the cloaking field and possibly be blocked...

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    497
    That reminds me of the invisibility powerup in Quake. It reduces you to a pair of floating eyeballs.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    585
    Good reason to prefer the ST universe over the SW universe on moral grounds... :P

    here and here and here and finally here

    Fun reading that will make you think a lot more about the intrinsic messages and world views burried in different sci-fi stories.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,253
    Thanks for the links Rich! Interesting reading. Now I find myself hoping that Lucas will do something in episode III that is in line with what is suggested in these articles (obi wan and Anakin plot against both Yoda and Palpatine). Probably too much to hope for - on the other hand - maybe that's why its taking so long to complete the last movie.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    585
    Yeah, Brin is kind of fun with his little hints and suggestions. That would be a cool twist to the story. Though I think Brin has Lucas pegged in that he won't be able to see the deep flaws in the alternate morality he has created well enough (or even be able to see them as flawed morality, for that matter) to even feel the need to go in the direction Brin suggests.

    Anyway, none of that really has anything to do with the plausability and physics of cloaking devices, but I can't resist throwing fuel on any ST/SW debate. 8)

Similar Threads

  1. Are Star Wars & Star Trek like Elvis & The Beatles?
    By Buttercup in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 2011-Dec-22, 07:52 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2008-Nov-12, 03:46 AM
  3. Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars
    By Gemini in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2006-Apr-26, 08:00 PM
  4. The future of Star Trek/Star Wars
    By banquo's_bumble_puppy in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 2005-Apr-27, 01:49 PM
  5. Star Trek, Star Wars, or Stargate
    By darkdev in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 2004-Apr-27, 08:38 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •