All through the X-Wing Series, we hear that Space Is Cold whenever there's a magnetic containment field up. Supposedly the mag-con field holds in atmosphere but can't stop heat. Then it occurred to me that all of the viewpoint characters are pilots. They can fly spectacularly, but most of them don't even know that there is no extruder valve on an X-wing! The heat loss could be from the mag-con field itself, and they explain it to themselves and each other differently. Similarly, Solo mentions Explosive Decompression, but in this series he's a smuggler who became a General! He just knows people die when out in space unprotected. The Medstar Duology seems to confirm this; a malfunctioning mag-con field chills the area it's covering. —Joysweeper
Besides which, space IS cold, just not very efficient at cooling things down. Considering that starfighter hangers are typically referred to as "chilly" when the bay doors are open, it's not exactly a huge stretch of real physics, especially when the bay doors would only be opened while facing away from any sources of light (and by extension, heat).
Magcon fields, as the name implies, use giant electromagnets to project the fields. Giant electromagnets are generally accompanied by giant cooling systems to accompany them, to make the workings more efficient.
By Isard's Revenge Ysanne Isard is no longer affiliated with the legitimate Empire of Thrawn and Pellaeon. She claims it is by her choice but evidence in The Bacta War (where an Imperial warlord only very reluctantly loans her ship — and then lectures her when it is destroyed) implies she has a acquired a reputation as a General Failure and it may actually be the Empire that wants nothing to do with her.
This may also have to do with an unusually strong case of Jurisdiction Friction. Think about who's in charge of other parts of the Empire: Captain Pellaeon, Admiral Daala, Admiral Teradoc, Warlord Zsinj... all military officers, many of them career military men with long pedigrees and long careers, who were all uncomfortable to be taking orders from an Intelligence agent to begin with (her habits didn't help).
In The Courtship of Princess Leia, Warlord Zsinj is said to be a "compulsive liar". While he does engage in some deception in the Wraith Squadron trilogy, there's always a purpose behind it (Obfuscating Stupidity if nothing else), and he rarely does so when no advantage would be gained (a true compulsive liar would not have such restraint). But if you look back to the Gambit Pileup in The Krytos Trap, where his claim to destroying Rogue Squadron turned out to be false (but, as the reader learns, not a lie), combined with Wraith Squadron's encounters, it's easy to see how he came by that reputation.
You'd initially think that, given the careful suppression of all other evidence for the existence of Isard's Lusankya prison facility, that the mind control victims started endlessly repeating "Lusankya" after they were triggered would be a pretty big security problem. But if you think about it, Isard is in her own way an extraordinarily egotistical person. Combined with the terror value of creating an aura of mystery around the place, she probably couldn't resist the opportunity to "claim" her mind controlled agents that way.
Yeah, I think Isard's security concerns were mainly with ensuring that no one knew where or what Lusankya was. I think she'd love the idea that the public face of the prison would be broken zombies repeating its name obsessively after doing something heinous. Plus, it works; no one until the end of The Krytos Trap had any idea that it was really a Super Star Destroyer buried beneath the surface of Coruscant, not even Tycho who'd actually been imprisoned there before.
In Wedge's Gamble, the assault force against Coruscant consists of maybe a half-dozen capital vessels and a larger, but still small, fleet of gunships, transports, and fighters. The defense force is smaller still. Why are the units involved so small? (For comparison, in Solo Command the climactic battles involve 10-20 capital vessels per side, whereas in Iron Fist at least a dozen major capital ships are defending Coruscant.) In Isard's case it was deliberate, since she wanted the "Rebels" to have the planet — but the New Republic may have been playing a con themselves by sending a very large force running up to some nearby, critical system to draw away Imperial defense assets, a tactic they had used in the previous book. Sure, Isard might see through it, but since she wants them to win, it's no trouble to play along (and she does want to keep other Imperial possessions).
Imperial Center had several ships in position to protect it, but the crux of it's defense was the dual-layered forcefield surrounding the planet. Concentrating enough firepower to take down one section of the forcefield was considered suicidal, as you would be vulnerable to attack from the defensive ships and orbital stations. Taking out an entire layer was considered impossible. Taking down both layer simultaneously was beyond the pale, and never even considered as a possibility. The Rebels didn't consider the light starship count too suspicious because of the defense platforms and the forcefields
In Solo Command, there is a part where Han Solo's fleet rushes to the aid of a world in Imperial space when Warlord Zsinj's forces attack it. They successfully repel Zsinj's attack, but before they leave the system, an Imperial admiral contacts them and wants a meeting, where he proposes an Enemy Mine against Zsinj. The timing of his contact may not just be due to the New Republic fleet being within easy distance of his space. He's just seen a nominal enemy defend one of his worlds against attack and then leave in peace, this could have prompted him to realize "They're willing to protect an Imperial world to stop Warlord Zsinj. I might be able to work with these people."
How is it that Tetran Cowell, Former Child Star, was able to learn how to pilot a TIE fighter well enough to not only mimic Baron Fel's fighting ability, but fool Wedge Antilles?
Probably the same tech that was allowing droid pilots.
Word of God: He and the rest of the bogus 181st were enjoying the benefits of computerized coordination from the Iron Fist (and, in an earlier scene, from the Reprisal see Chapter 13), and this computer help allowed him to impersonate Fel well enough to fool even pilots who'd flown against him previously. (Remember that most pilots who'd flown against Fel previously were dead, so the survivors tended to be pilots who'd seen him from a distance or had their starfighters crippled early in an engagement. Most pilots' knowledge of Fel's flying technique comes from reviewing recordings, which isn't the same as facing him in person.) Cowall was also an excellent pilot, which helped the deception. Additionally, he won some matches through reputation; people would seize up at the thought of facing Fel and become easier prey. However, it's to be noted that until Solo Command, no one who'd previously flown against the real Fel flew against Cowall, so they couldn't put his real lethality to the test.
And once they were finally going up against each other, he didn't fool Wedge for long before Wedge put him down hard.
Who's to say that Cowell didn't join the Navy when he grew up and was a decent TIE pilot in his own right? A decent pilot, coupled with the aid from Iron Fist's computer, would have made him a truly fierce opponent.
Why hasn't magnetic containment field technology ever been applied to the bridge view ports of capital ships? On at least two occasions, the windows get blown out and it's a scramble to evacuate the bridge before the automatic door closes off and leaves the crew in vacuum. Magcon fields are simple enough to be part of pilot life support gear, and can be scaled up to keep atmosphere in an open hangar bay so it should be easy. It wouldn't protect the bridge against further battle damage, but it would keep the atmosphere in long enough for a quick, orderly evacuation of the bridge without further losses due to impatient blast doors.
The emitters for a magcon field would likely be destroyed by whatever was powerful enough to take out the window in the first place, i.e. a kamikaze A-Wing. The better question is why, with all the scanning and imaging technology available, they still rely on eyesight aboard capital ships, leaving such a vulnerable weakspot in the first place.
I don't think we've ever seen them actually rely on eyesight—the bridge having a view outside the ship may be strictly traditional, or for emergency use if and when the ship's scanners are down/blinded and you need to avoid hitting other ships.
If they were relying on eyesight, they would have more eyes watching the windows! Not just a few senior officers who spend more time talking to each other... Actually, maybe the real reason for the crew pits is so the bridge crew can't get distracted by the view outside!
Tycho in the comics had a very different personality compared to how he is in the books. In the comics he's a wisecracking hothead who gets fired up and attacks people for claiming someone from a pacifist world must be themselves a pacifist. In the books he's very sober and accepting and seems basically incapable of getting angry, even in very frustrating situations.
Could be his experience on the Lusankya. He didn't get brainwashed into being Isard's agent, but her attempts and the general experience may have left him changed. Similarly Myn Donos was noted to be a typical Corellian pilot - egotistical, basically - and had enough aptitude for command to be Talon Leader. Upon disastrously losing Talon Squadron he became withdrawn, even as he started to recover, and never seemed to look for promotion again.
This possibility is discussed earlier in the series, after Lusankya first lifts off and reveals its true nature. Another possible explanation is also brought up: that Palpatine simply killed all the billions of witnesses. If that were the case, it would mean the construction of Lusankya had a death toll on par with the destruction of Alderaan.
Palpatine also could have had it assembled underground but then he'd have had to kill the workers. Oh so many ways to be evil.
Lusankya was built in space: in fact, one of two identical ships built simultaneously, one at the Fondor shipyards, the other at the Kuat shipyards. They were both named Executor, but once the Fondor ship was completed and entered service, the Kuat ship was renamed Lusankya, brought to Coruscant, and hidden under the cityscape.
At the end of Isard's Revenge, Iella corners Isard, who claims she knows too many secrets to be put on trial. Iella says just killing Isard is too fast, and that she'll have a quick private trial followed by life imprisonment on the Lusankya, with simple droids to tend her, forgotten by everyone. Calm in the face of death, the horror of life entombed gets Isard to freak out. Iella shoots Isard in the gut and Isard loses consciousness. Later, a place on the Lusankya where "living creatures aren't allowed to go" is mentioned, and Iella coughs and says it's a bio-containment facility, that there's a cell there so secure that any breach gets it vented into space, so nothing will get out of it alive. Whether Isard was patched up and interned there and possibly only died in the New Jedi Order when Lusankya was destroyed is never said.
The New Republic executes people sometimes, often people who've done less evil than Isard. Long term solitary confinement is defined as torture. The Essential Guide To Warfare had Isard's imprisonment as a general rumor, publicly denied by officials, but one says in private that "the idea does offer a certain poetic justice."