Star Wars Science

Is there a real chance that in the future we will swing lightsabers and fly X-Wings? Read this interesting report about the reality of Star Wars Science. You can find the complete story at msnbc.com.

EVEN AMONG science-fiction stories, the “Star Wars” movies are something of a breed apart. Instead of attempting to foretell our future in space, the tale is set “long ago, in a galaxy far away.” And the scientific marvels of that long-ago age, such as faster-than-light travel and synthetic space gravity, are employed primarily to facilitate a ripping good yarn.

For example, director George Lucas patterned the space chases and races after dogfights in World War II epics, motorcycle chases and chariot races. As a result, spaceship engines scream — even though there is no medium to transmit sound in the vacuum of space. The winged fighters bank and pirouette in space just as they would in Earth’s atmosphere. Weightless hovercraft swoop a couple of feet off the ground as if they were wheeled vehicles. And passengers aboard starships don’t have to trouble themselves over the effects of zero-gravity. “

But strangely enough, there are some things that seem, well, less unbelievable now than they did in 1977 when the first “Star Wars” movie came out, says Jeanne Cavelos, an astronomer and author who wrote “The Science of ‘Star Wars.’”

Leave a Reply