A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

These are troublesome times: The Galactic Republic is gone, the Jedis were exterminated due to order 66, Vader and Palpatine rules the galaxy with absolute power as an evil Empire. The Empire had built a Death Star, which was used to destroy Alderaan, but the Rebel Alliance managed to destroy it. However, this is not enough because The Empire Strikes Back and what we really need is The Return Of Jedi.

Here you are, in Tatooine. You are a podracer mechanic working for the Reborn Dragons, a podracing team that uses podracing as a way to raise funds to support the Rebel Alliance. There are three categories of podracing, according to the Engine Power Yield: the Beginners $(Y=1)$, the Moderate $(Y=2)$ and the Masters $(Y=3)$. You are still unsure about the category that you should choose to enroll for racing.

Your job is to tune a podracer in order to ensure a victory in the next race. You are new to the job, since the experienced mechanic was captured by the Galactic Empire and imprisoned. The Rebel Alliance even managed to send him messages encoded in crosswords, but this is not enough.

There are many variables in your podracer:

  • Power Recovery: You can set this as Low $(R=1)$, Moderate $(R=2)$ or High $(R=3)$.

  • Energy consumption: You can set this as Low $(E=1)$, Moderate $(E=2)$ or High $(E=3)$.

  • Levitation field strength: You can set this as Low $(L=1)$, Moderate $(L=2)$ or High $(L=3)$.

  • Engine Orbiter field strength: You can set this as Low $(O=1)$, Moderate $(O=2)$ or High $(O=3)$.

  • Hull Strength: You can set this as Low $(HS=1)$, Moderate $(HS=2)$ or High $(HS=3)$.

  • Specific Acceleration: You can set this as Low $(SA=1)$, Moderate $(SA=2)$ or High $(SA=3)$.

The best category may be deduced by minimising the quantity $x = (Y - 2)^2 + (R - 2)^2 + (E - 2)^2 + (L - 2)^2 + (O - 2)^2 + (HS - 2)^2 + (SA - 2)^2$.

You should also choose two pilots to enroll, and you have six candidates with the following attributes:

$$\begin{array}{llllll} Pilot & Skill & Fear & Reflexes & Trust/confidence & Training \\ P1 & 1 - Poor & 1 - Fearless & 1 - Slow & 3 - High & 1 - Rookie \\ P2 & 1 - Poor & 3 - Fearful & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate & 3 - Veteran \\ P3 & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate \\ P4 & 3 - Elite & 3 - Fearful & 3 - Fast & 1 - Low & 3 - Veteran \\ P5 & 1 - Poor & 3 - Fearful & 1 - Slow & 1 - Low & 1 - Rookie \\ P6 & 2 - Moderate & 2 - Moderate & 1 - Slow & 2 - Moderate & 1 - Rookie \\ \end{array}$$

Considering that each pilot attribute has the same weight (but could be either positive or negative, i.e. weight either $+1$ or $-1$), who are the two best pilots to choose? How is the pilots fear and confidence? What is the best way to tune the podracer (please, list each attribute one-by-one)? What is the best category? Post an answer answering those questions.

Please, post sensitive parts of your answer in spoilers (use lines starting with >! for those). To break lines inside spoilers, use <br> or add 2 spaces at the end of the line.


I feel like I'm missing something because the optimization seems rather straightforward.

Enter the competition with yield


and parameters



these mininimize the quantity x by making each square be 0.

For the pilot, choose

Pilots 4 and 3

because they have

the greatest and second greatest total weighted attributes, with skill, reflexes, trust/confidence, training being the natural positives, and fear being negative. Actually, even if fear is a positive, the answer is the same.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.