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Old 02-07-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
Rtas Vadum
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Prosthetics?

I'm sure we have all seen things in movies where a character has a prosthetic limb(this is a Star Wars forum, after all), for various reasons. While it is rather obvious how you explain how they lost it, the more complex part is describing the technology that goes into the replacement. Which gets even more complex if you go into ocular replacements.

I'd imagine that there are various ways to say the prosthesis works, from electrical impulses sent into the muscle, or a far more advanced bio-mechanical method.

Basically, I'd like to know the best way to describe this that can explain how it works(both the ocular and limb replacements), but still doesn't get too technical.

Of course, I know that its likely the tech in the KOTOR-era doesn't look like it does in the OT(biased on Bao-Dur), but who says it couldn't become a sort of "lost-technology" at some point after the KOTOR era if it would be possible to make it the prosthesis similar to the existing arm.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:50 AM   #2
vanir
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Prosthetics and certain other technologies (teleporters) seem to be the main kinds left a little lacking in the Star Wars galaxy, as compared to starship, vehicle and weapons technologies which are quite futuristic. Essentially prosthetics seem to generally replicate biomechanical function using perfectly grafted mechanical technologies rather than biometric replacement parts such as regrown stem cell technologies. This probably draws from the canon being created in the 1970's before many leaps in stem cell research, a product of advances in genetics. Darth Vader had cyborged mechanical prosthetics rather than regrown limbs and organs using stem cell technologies way back when.

In this sense, this is probably the only area of the Star Wars galaxy which really gets down and gritty as far as atmosphere goes. Prosthetics are almost an afterthought to priorities in technological research, it's a bit dark when you think about it. All this effort is expended on developing massive warships, superlasers and arcane weaponry like lightsabres, where mysticism and science join hands but when it comes to dealing with mortal wounds in combat there's almost a step back by combining droid technologies with medicine to create cyborgs rather than perpetually living aristocrats made possible by genetic advances in medicine.

Essentially the theme of prosthetics in Star Wars is to mimic human biometric function with droid limbs or life support systems. An occular replacement would function like an android's visual sensor, ostensibly tuned to the human visible spectrum and designed to look like the real thing, but machinma underneath some cosmetic skinning. It is quite expensive. One would expect that certain individuals like hardened bounty hunters might pay extra for such a prosthetic to feature enhanced spectrum analysis so that it functions like a telescopic sensor array that might be attached to a rifle, and increase their skills with blaster weapons. Due to the limitations of the Star Wars galaxy technologies however, it is highly likely that such a custom prosthetic would no longer look like a mundane eye ball, but might glow red and appear as a cyborged prosthetic.

Similarly with a limb, if one had only human limitations incorporated it could be skinned and dressed to look just like the real thing, so long as it is not damaged to reveal the machinma beneath. But if enhanced for additional, superhuman strength the sheer size of the servos involved would make the limb seem too bulky and weird to be skinned like a normal human arm, so again would be a cyborged-looking, bare hyperalloy limb with powerful, bulky motors where the tendons on a skeleton should be.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rtas Vadum View Post
I'm sure we have all seen things in movies where a character has a prosthetic limb(this is a Star Wars forum, after all), for various reasons. While it is rather obvious how you explain how they lost it, the more complex part is describing the technology that goes into the replacement. Which gets even more complex if you go into ocular replacements.
Most of the explanation is unecessary, since prosthetics now are readily defined. In the Movie The Fugitive, Kimble uses the hospital data base to discover who could have had the prosthetics of the 'one armed man'.

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Originally Posted by Rtas Vadum View Post
I'd imagine that there are various ways to say the prosthesis works, from electrical impulses sent into the muscle, or a far more advanced bio-mechanical method.
Actually if you read the book version of the 6 Million Dollar Man, they describe it well. Another book is the Honor Harrington book series, specificall Ashes of Honor, where the main character is adjusting to both a prosthetic arm and an eye.


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Basically, I'd like to know the best way to describe this that can explain how it works(both the ocular and limb replacements), but still doesn't get too technical.
Use the books above



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Originally Posted by Rtas Vadum View Post
Of course, I know that its likely the tech in the KOTOR-era doesn't look like it does in the OT(biased on Bao-Dur), but who says it couldn't become a sort of "lost-technology" at some point after the KOTOR era if it would be possible to make it the prosthesis similar to the existing arm.
The technology would not be lost that readily. Medical science is often driven by military action. The science of prosthetics took a major jump after WWI, then WWII, and even more recently. I would have expected it to be closer to the Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell without the full body cyberization.


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Old 03-08-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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The technology would not be lost that readily. Medical science is often driven by military action. The science of prosthetics took a major jump after WWI, then WWII, and even more recently. I would have expected it to be closer to the Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell without the full body cyberization.
Yeah, that does make sense. My reason for doing that was merely to make it fit in with the Canon of the franchise, though obviously it doesn't matter very much. Although, I'd suppose that Bao-Dur, for whatever reason, wouldn't have went with a Military Issue replacement, unlike the character I'm working on.

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Old 03-14-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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Yeah, that does make sense. My reason for doing that was merely to make it fit in with the Canon of the franchise, though obviously it doesn't matter very much. Although, I'd suppose that Bao-Dur, for whatever reason, wouldn't have went with a Military Issue replacement, unlike the character I'm working on.
I think what it is with Bao-Dur is tha being an engineer of sorts, he just added the bells and whistles he wanted. Having a built in way to adjust shields as he did shows such a thing. Most people who have ended up with prostheses don't have that edge.


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