I recently wrote up a bit regarding the Hyperspace ram, after seeing someone ask about official explanations as to why this tactic wasn't used before or after The Last Jedi, and figured I'd dump it here, as I think it paints a compelling point that, no, we won't see this become a regular occurrence in the setting.
here's what the novel states.
Under ordinary operations, the presence of a sizable object along the route between the Raddus's realspace position and its entry point into hyperspace would have caused the cruisers fail safes to cut in and shut down the hyperdrive
ie most ship crews, in the interests of not dying, are not going to have those turned off.
When the heavy cruiser plowed into the Supremacy's broad flying wing, the force of the impact was at least three orders of magnitude greater than anything the Raddus's inertial dampeners were rated to handle. The protective field they generated failed immediately, but the heavy cruiser's augmented experimental shields remained intact for a moment longer before the unimaginable force of the impact converted the Raddus into a column of plasma that consumed itself
So their experimental shields played a role, implying it was a one of a kind design and critical for this stunt to actually work.
However, the Raddus had also accelerated to nearly the speed of light at the point of that catastrophic impact--and the column of plasma it became was hotter than a sun and intensely magnetized. This plasma was then hurled into hyperspace along a tunnel opened by the null quantum-field generator--a tunnel that collapsed as quickly as it had been opened.
Very precise timing is needed. Hit the speed of light, and you've just jumped into hyperspace. Too close, and you don't turn your ship into that column of super hot plasma.
So there you have it.
- People, in the interest of not dying in stupid ways, don't generally turn off the failsafes
- The Raddus was noted as being exceptionally large, and was sporting experimental shield tech, which may be lost forever now
- It requires precise timing and for a target to be in a formation that would make it worth while
Also followed up with some further unofficial thoughts on the matter.
First, the organizations operating such large cruisers like the Raddus are not generally in the business of throwing away such hugely expensive craft like this. And after this point of the conflict, the Resistance is unlikely to have access to such massive ships, and even less likely to have that experimental shield technology.
And having been subjected to such an attack, the First Order will take precautions for future attempts.
- No more lazy fleet formations
- Battle tactic changes that prioritizes destroying any ships that may be attempting a Hyperspace ram
- Deploy gravity wells to disrupt Hyperspace jumps as a defensive measure. Empire had the technology, no reason for the First Order not to have it as well (since Hyperspace tracking was teased in Rogue One, this makes it almost assured that they have gravity well tech)
With the technical mumbo jumbo out of the way, and a, what I feel, is a reasonable explanation of why this tactic won't become widely used, can we just agree that the scene in question looked and sounded incredible? It was such an intense moment, and in the theatre I saw it in, I swear you could hear a pin drop, like everyone was holding their breath. It actually prompted some theatres to put out signs hinting at that scene and asking for people to be respectful and not ruin the moment.
Super cool, and can't wait to see what Rise of Skywalker holds for us.
The Kobold gonna kobold.