Two Star Wars questions

  1. Lightsabers, they are used to deflect shots by the Jedi, but is there a limit to the ammount of power they can deflect? Could a Jedi possibly deflect a shot from a larger ‘caliber’ like an AT:ST or one of the 'Tanks" the Droid army in EP1 uses?

  2. in Episode IV, Grand Moff Tarkin, was he superior to Vader, or were they equal (Vader surely didn’t seem superior)?

IIRC, Tarkin was organizationally superior to Vader within the Empire’s political structure. Nevertheless, there was never any doubt that Vader had the physical/mental edge over anyone else on the Death Star.

Hey Leia also mentioned Tarken Holding Vader’s Leash. Sounds like no one really respected the guy does it. So was he the Emperor’s Pee-on up to Empire? Was Tarken The emperors right hand man then Vader took over? Is that why suddenly everyone feared him?

I always saw Tarkin as the military commander. Technically in charge, but always under the watchful eye of the politcal officer (Vader) who could report any inconsistencies to the emperor.

That sounds like a good answer to the second question.

As for the lightsaber question, I assume the lightsaber could block a high-calibur beam, but the force of one might still knock the Jedi back a few dozen yards. And I doubt a Jedi could deflect such a beam with any accuracy.

Of course, this might not apply to even bigger weapons, such as the Death Star’s superlaser. In that case, the width of the beam is bigger than the Jedi himself, and so he’d simply be incinerated, saber or not.

Someone more versed in the novelizations can perhaps clear this up, but my impression of Tarkin’s / Vader’s respective statuses is exactly the reverse of yours.

With all due respect to Vorae’s answer, I think it would have to do with the particular Jedi’s relationship with the Force. Don’t forget that Vader didn’t even need a lightsaber to deflect blaster shots, as demonstrated in Emipre Strikes Back.

No, clearly GM Tarkin was in charge of all activities in the Death Star.

Think of it this way…

Tarkin is a line officer, a part of the chain of command. Vader is a staff specialist and therefore NOT in chain of command. Vader can advise but the final decisions are left to Tarkin.

Which doesn’t mean that the political implications of having the Emperor’s Apprentice hanging around isn’t large. But Tarkin never seemed to have any doubts about who was in charge.

Tarkin actually held a civilian rank. However, he effectively had status equal to that of the highest-ranking fleet admirals. He attained that status by having an extremely influential policies and being the Emporer’s Right-Hand-Man, sort taking up the slack where Vader wasn’t really very skilled, like for example, applied technology and social endouvers. The Death Star project was his baby, start to finish.

Vader’s status is even less well defined. Either man could have easily summoned whole fleets to serve them at will, subject only to the discretion of the Emporer. Vader as dear to the Emporer’s blackened heart as anything, though. He was sort of like Himmler in Nazi Germany. Himmler wasn’t officially a military officer. However, Himmler, like Vader, wielded enormous influence over the government and carried out the “special projects”.

I don’t know if this constitutes “cannon,” but in the Dark Empire comic books, Luke takes down an AT-AT by deflecting its laser weapon back at it with his saber. He was dabbling in Dark Side force powers at the time, though.

:hijack: Speaking of cannon, does anyone else think the Star Wars authors (Timmothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Stackpole, etc.) have done a far better job imagining stories in the SW Galaxy than Lucas has?

A lightsaber may be wielded by a Jedi or Sith, but it is still a piece
of technolocy, still bound by the laws of physics.

The saber’s power cell has only a finite amount of charge.

The blade…upon impact with a blaster bolt or other blade…
transmits the impact stress to the emitter diode and diode housing. Enough of a blast will shatter a saber, no matter who is holding it.

Zahn yes, KJA and Stackpole, not really. But even Zahn kept the focus on a relatively small number of ships and worlds. (Of course, so did the films). I don’t think anyone’s got it quite right yet, but Zahn’s definitely closest.[/hijack]

Thanks for all the answers.

How exactly would the impact of a high calibre beam make an impact? (I admit I have never been a light in physics so help me out please)

Another thought about lightsabers, would it be possible to deflect forcelightning? or is the energy to unfocussed and would simply stream around the blade?

Unknown. One would assume that a blaster bolt wider than the lightsaber itself couldn’t be fully blocked, however.

As for dealing with the recoil, a strong Force user can “plant” himself in place to prevent from being thrown back.

Tarkin was Vader’s superior in that area of the galaxy. A Moff is a regional governor, and a Grand Moff is in charge of a large number of regions.

However, in the galaxy as a whole, Vader was superior to Tarkin.

One of my theories is that Vader was sent to act subservient to Tarkin just to keep close to him. Tarkin intended to use the Death Star against the Emperor, and Vader may have been sent to prevent that from happening.

In terms of adding to the SW galaxy, I believe a good number of them have. Stackpole hasn’t done much for the characterization or the scenery of the SW galaxy, but, in my opinion, he’s done wonders with the story. Same with Michael P. Cube-McDowell (The Black Fleet Crisis)… the tone of his books was different from the original movies, but he added so much new stuff to the universe, instead of just rehashing the same old routine.

Timothy Zahn, of course, got the atmosphere and feel of the movies the best, and really fleshed out the Empire with Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Kevin J. Anderson, however, seems to be universally hated by the Star Wars fan community.

I’m with you all the way with Zahn, but Kevin J Anderson is hated? I had no idea. No one liked the Jedi Academy Trilogy?

About blaster impact. I have no “canon” to back this up, but have heard that the blasters aren’t “lasers” in the sense of pure light, but more of a “plasma” blast, which is somewhat solid. In the movies, getting hit seemed to throw people around. And the larger blasts seemed to explode.

As for a saber blocking them, I doubt it. As pointed out, they ARE finite in power. In one of the books, luke actually hit a lava creature with it, and his blade “shattered” (the beast had skin to protect from lava). A large enough blast from a BIG gun would probably disrupt the blade and/or explode on impact and damage the Jedi.

Why would vader be “on a leash” if he was in a higher position than Tarken? No no no!

Tarken even stops Vader from choking that one guy (with his pinchy motion of death) by shouting him down. Looks to me like Vader knows his place and that is below Tarken. He never once countermands the man nor does Tarken seem the least bit intimidated by Vader.

If you consider the Movies to be cannon (and I do) then it is clear Vader is below Tarken period.
Nuff said.

My guess is that we’ll learn more about Tarkin in Episode 3. Or is he in Episode 2? I’ve kind of been avoiding any spoilers for ep.2.

Not me, nor Darksabre. Too little common-sense, too many silly plot devices\ideas. There are some other bad ones as well, around that point in the timeline.
Stackpole and Allston did the X-wing novels, which were alright, but didn’t really seem much like Star Wars to me, more like Wing Commander.

Vader seems to be the Emperor’s go-to guy, period. He doesn’t really answer to anyone else. But, at the same time, directing the operations of a giant battle station, planning a ground assult, etc., aren’t his area of expertise, so he only steps in when necessary. He just gets hands-on at specific moments when he doesn’t trust that others won’t screw things up:

  • making sure his men look extra hard for the Death Star plans on the Tantive IV

  • interrogating Leia re: the Rebel base & tracking the Millennium Falcon to Yavin

  • taking care of those pesky Rebel fighters that were attacking the Death Star

  • directing the galactic search for the Rebels (and esp. Luke)

  • storming the Hoth base (in search of Luke)

  • overseeing the setup of the trap at Cloud City

  • taking over construction of the Death Star II