Concerning The Use of "Light Speed" In Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Don't read anything further if you haven't seen the movie. ( or don't care )
Ok, everyone calm yourself! I'm seeing a lot of discussion related to the Raddus "light speeding" through the Supremacy and the rest of the accompanying First Order fleet. All you need to do is follow this article through all its tendrils and you'll see why. Here's the clip so you can watch it again.
This changes everything!! ... Or does it?
People are up in arms because they think Vice Admiral Holdo's maneuver will change the shape of space combat in SW. They're not stopping there either as some are speculating how it affects canon. I don't think this changes anything frankly. I'll explain why. Have you ever heard of an Interdictor Class Star Destroyer? No? Well you haven't been paying attention to the Expanded Universe EU and Legends.
The EU has had Interdictor Star Destroyers ISD for a long time now. What do they do? They pull ships out of hyperspace and prevent ships from going to hyperspace. They're a constant presence in any fleet in the EU. Their main purpose was for setting traps as well as keeping other fleets from escaping the punishing turbo lasers of accompanying Star Destroyers. Why they haven't been introduced to the film series is a curiosity indeed. The movie could have easily just trapped the Rebellion ships in a gravity well which the heroes would've had to disable in order to escape.
The Raddus Has More Value as a Ship Than as a Glorified Torpedo.
The Raddus was a Mon Calamari capital ship. It's expensive to manufacture and acts as the backbone of a fleet deployment. This presents several factors which make Holdo's move risky and costly. And even though it was a huge boon for the Rebellion, it was still a huge loss for them as well. There are few situations in which you'd use a capital ship in this capacity, and it was demonstrated in the movie. If an ISD had been present, it wouldn't have been tenable at all. Apart from that though here are the other factors.
Unlike a lot of the alphabet fighters, such as the X-Wing, small craft can't survive long apart from their transport ship. The largest Mon Cal ships could carry over 200 fighters as well as troop transports, drop ships, and shuttles. Each of those represents a separate costly investment. Destroying it would likely jeopardize deployed pilots and obviously demolish anything still on board.
Holdo's move only made sense because everyone was evacuated. Normally a large Mon Cal ship would have close to 70,000 souls aboard. Deciding to sacrifice a crew that large would not only be a huge personnel loss, but a huge morale one as well.
As in chess, your big pieces help protect the little ones. The large capital ships are the baseline of attack from which other smaller ships can maneuver. Losing one is tantamount to losing a Bishop, Rook, Queen, etc. Their strategic importance is a huge factor with regards to defense, offense, and transport.
Vote No For Light Speed Weaponization
Apart from the value of the ship itself, there are other factors that would make light speed weaponization less attractive.
Risk To Neighboring Systems & Infrastructure
Uncontrolled space junk hurtling at "light speed" is dangerous if the course isn't charted properly. This could have unintended consequences on neighboring systems. I believe it was calculated that it took roughly a month to cross the galaxy in hyperspace. That means for an extended period of time there might be unintended consequences to shotgunning ship debris through hyperspace. In the early days of charting courses, many pioneers wound up spearing planets, stars, black holes, etc. The collateral damage could result in diplomatic issues if neighboring systems or infrastructure were damaged.
Just because it worked in Holdo's case doesn't mean it would work in every case. As we went over, it's rather costly to have such a large projectile you only get to use once. An investment in yet another Death Star might be more affordable. That begs the argument of using smaller craft to accomplish the same goal. The diffusion of energy would be rather substantial due to the high velocity. However, in all likelihood the capital ship's shields could withstand a number of impacts such as these before caving in. And it's likely the damage would not significantly impact the superstructure of the ship as was the case with the Raddus hitting the Supremacy.
Perhaps It Was The Hubris
The real question for me is... why were the Supremacy's and all the other SD shields down? Perhaps it was the hubris. In all likelihood the cruiser's impact on the Supremacy's shields would've rocked the ship's structure but left it intact. The shattered cruiser would've then hit all the other SD's shields as well. Puncturing the shields would've depended on the mass of the debris hitting them. But then it wouldn't have been such a spectacle of a scene.
So in short, stop this nonsense. Star Wars canon isn't broken. There are realities to what was done. That's why the scene was amazing. It was risky, it was costly, but in the end it was a last ditch effort to save what remained of the Resistance. Holdo didn't rewrite the playbook.
Feel free to discuss in comments below.