I want to ask a question that involves a specific piece of technology that different sci-fi shows and movies share and how a particular aspect of the tech might work, and not necessarily as a direct comparison. I know this would generally be considered too broad, so I'd like to focus on two in particular. My question would be something like, "Does A work this way? Okay, now what about B?"

Would this be appropriate for a single entry, or should a separate question be asked for each one?

  • 2
    What is the question that you're thinking of asking?
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 17:52
  • I'm wondering about a limitation of warp speed, focusing on Star Wars and Star Trek. And no, I'm not feeding off of a recent event. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 17:58
  • 3
    @SonOfSam - Warp speed doesn't exist in Star Wars.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:33
  • @Valorum Well not "warp speed", but FTL travel in general. I'm glad you caught that. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:36
  • I'm honestly not clear what you're asking here. Items that seem superficially similar but exist within different canon universes may be completely different. Stargates in Stargate vs portals in Portal. FTL engines in Star Wars vs FTL engines in Star Trek. Powered Armour in the Culture novels vs Powered Armour in the Starship Troopers novel, etc etc etc etc.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:05
  • @Valorum I'm aware of that. That's why it wouldn't be a "vs" question. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:10
  • @amaranth "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:11
  • @Valorum Simply, I want to know how a similar concept works in two works of fiction, and am wondering if it would be better to ask in a single question (due to the similarity of subject) or in multiple. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:13
  • @amaranth Okay. I wasn't sure of the specific rules regarding multiple related questions in a single post. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:14
  • 1
    @amaranth Thanks for the clarification Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:16
  • Additionally - are you wanting to ask in-universe or out-of-universe in terms of how it works. Out of universe (ie - physics) would be off-topic and in-universe, imo, would be so different between the two properties, it wouldn't be a good question (as Null stated: gorilla vs shark). Better to separate rather than try a comparison.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


You should almost always limit questions to a single universe

(Since you've posted your question about both Star Wars and Star Trek I can explain in general terms as well as give specific reasons why questions should generally be limited to a single universe.)

The help center's guidance on tags is relevant here since each universe usually has its own tag. One of the main uses of tags is:

Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories.

This use of tags tends to break down if you ask a single question about multiple universes. For example, what if I'm an expert for one universe but not the other? That's exactly the case for me regarding the question you asked -- I'm an expert in Star Wars but not Star Trek. If I know the answer to the Star Wars side of your combined question I can't really answer your question because it would only be a half-answer. That's not a problem if you asked two separate questions, though -- I could answer the Star Wars one and let a Star Trek expert answer the Star Trek one. While there are some users who are experts in multiple universes (e.g. @Valorum, an expert in both Star Wars and Star Trek), these users are rare.

Tags are also used to

help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

What if I'm interested in one of the universes but not the other? If you post a combined question about two universes then I've got to extract the information about the universe I care about from the "noise" regarding the universe I don't.

The exception to limiting a question to a single universe is when you are asking for a comparison between two universes using objective criteria.1 For example, Which ship can go faster, the Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise? can be answered using objective criteria because each universe provides information on the ships' speed which can be converted to common units: the speed of light and a light year.2

Your question, however, asks about the capabilities/limitations of the two technologies which are fundamentally different: Star Wars' hyperdrive vs. Star Trek's warp drive. There's no benefit to combining a question about the minimum distance required by a Star Wars hyperdrive and a Star Trek warp drive because you're specifically not asking for a comparison between those minimum distances, just what those distances are.

You seem to want to combine the two questions to reduce the number of questions you have to post. But there's no limit on the number of questions you can ask, so you might as well post two. The answers to each universe are totally separate so you don't save the answerers any work by posting one question, either.

1Otherwise, the question falls into the "Gorilla vs. Shark" problem.

2Fortunately, we do not have to rely on the Star Wars definition of a parsec.

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