The Science of Star Wars: The Scientific Facts Behind the Force, Space Travel, and More!

The Science of Star Wars: The Scientific Facts Behind the Force, Space Travel, and More!

by Mark Brake, Jon Chase


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Star Wars takes place in a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but the science used by Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and the rest are rooted in the technology and physics we have here on earth. What is possible and what is not?

Capturing the imagination and hearts of crowds worldwide, Star Wars is a fantastic feat of science fiction and fantasy. The Science of Star Wars addresses 50 topics that span the movies’ universe such as battle technology, alien life, space travel, etc. You’ll find fascinating explorations of the physics of Star Wars, its plausibility, and more. The perfect Star Wars gift for fans of the saga, this book addresses many unanswered, burning questions, including:

  • How long before we get a Star Wars speeder off the ground?
  • What exactly is the Force?
  • How could Kylo Ren stop a blaster shot in mid-air?
  • How could we live on a gas giant like Bespin, or a desert planet like Tatooine?
  • Nature versus nurture: How does it play out in the making of Jedi?
  • How much would it cost to build the Death Star?
  • And much more!

We marvel at the variety of creatures and technology and the mystery behind the force. But how much of the Star Wars world is rooted in reality? Could we see some of the extraordinary inventions materialize in our world? This uncomplicated, entertaining read makes it easy to understand how advanced physics concepts, such as wormholes and Einstein’s theory of relativity, apply to the Star Wars universe.

The Science of Star Wars explains to non-technical readers how physics and fantasy might merge to allow for the possibility of interstellar travel; communication with foreign but intelligent lifeforms; human-like robots; alien planets fit for human life; weapons and spacecraft such as laser guns, light sabers, and the Millennium Falcon; and Force-like psychokinetic powers.

In the 21st Century, we’re on the edge of developing much of the technology from “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”... These fantasies aren’t as impossible as you might think! Written for every fan of George Lucas’s films, you don’t need to be a Jedi or an astrophysicist at NASA to appreciate all of Mark Brake and Jon Chase’s fun and informative analysis of this classic series in The Science of Star Wars. Prepare your mind to make the jump to light speed and find out about the facts behind one of our favorite modern epics!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944686284
Publisher: Racehorse
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 166,148
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mark Brake developed the world’s first science and science fiction degree in 1999. He also launched the world’s first astrobiology degree in 2005. He’s communicated science through film, television, print, and radio on five continents, including for NASA, Seattle’s Science Fiction Museum, the BBC, the Royal Institution, and Sky Movies. He was one of the founding members of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute Science Communication Group. He has written more than a dozen books, including Alien Life Imagined for Cambridge University Press in 2012. Mark also tours Europe with Science of Doctor Who, Science of Star Wars, and Science of Superheroes road shows.

Jon Chase is a freelance science communicator with an honors degree in aerospace engineering, and a master’s degree in communicating science. After producing a science rap video for NASA about astrobiology in 2008, the Guardian identified him as “the next big thing” in education. Jon has worked with the BBC, the Open University, the Science Museum, the Royal Society, and the Royal Institution. He tours Europe with Science of Doctor Who, Science of Star Wars, and Science of Superheroes shows.

Table of Contents

Introduction Mark Brake 1

Part I Space Travel

How Has Star Wars Influenced Space Culture and Space Travel? 5

Could Spacers Travel to Other Galaxies in the Star Wars Universe? 11

How Much Would It Cost to Build a Death Star? 16

The Human Future Is In Space: Is This the Greatest of All Star Wars Messages? 21

Einstein's E-mc2 and Star Wars: What Are the Challenges of Lightspeed Travel? 26

Is the Death Star a Good Design for a Space Station? 29

What Makes the Millennium Falcon Such a Prized Ship? 35

What Are the Chances of Navigating Safely Through an Asteroid Field? 40

How Likely Are the Interstellar Commutes in Star Wars? 45

Why Do Star Wars Ships Make Banked Turns in the Vacuum of Space During Battles? 50

Part II Space

Would the Death of the Death Star Spell the End of Endor? 56

What Does the Star Wars Galaxy Tell Us About Our Own Milky Way? 61

Did Star Wars Predict the Existence of Exoplanets? 66

What Do Star Wars Exomoons Mean for Life in Our Galaxy? 71

Could Starkiller Base Drain the Energy From a Star, as in The Force Awakens? 76

Which Exoplanets Are Like Star Wars Worlds? 81

The Link Between Hoth and Mars: Why Might Humans Make Like Exogorths? 86

Could Life Arise on a Desert Planet Like Tatooine? 91

How Long Ago and How Far Away? 97

How Could We Live on a Gas Giant Like Bespin? 103

Part III Aliens

Would an Exogorth Really Evolve on an Asteroid? 110

How Could Rey Survive on the Desert Planet of Jakku? 115

Does The Force Awakens Pass the Test for an Alien Head Count? 120

How Come Many Planets in Star Wars Have Breathable Atmospheres? 125

Would DNA Be the Replicator in the Star Wars Galaxy? 131

Darwinian Dynamics: How Do Theories of Evolution Apply in the Star Wars Universe? 136

How Are There Humans in the Star Wars Galaxy? 141

Could We Ever Become Jedi? 146

Why Are Wookiees So Much Hairier Than Humans? 151

How Does Watto Manage to Stay Aloft with Those Funny Little Wings? 156

Part IV Tech

How Long Before We Get a Star Wars Speeder Off the Ground? 162

Struggling with Stormtrooper Uniforms in Battle: Is That Why They're Such Terrible Shots? 167

How Could Droids Like BB-8 Help Us Explore Mars? 172

Is the Empire Watching You? 177

Could a Single Blast from the Death Star Destroy the Earth? 182

Will Future Megacities Look Like the Ecumenopolis of Coruscant? 188

How Long Before We Build Intelligent Machines Like C-3PO? 193

What Are the Possible Future Sources for a Tractor Beam? 199

Could You Really Dodge or Deflect a Blaster Bolt? 204

How Long Will It Be Before Smartphones Send Holographic Messages? 209

Part V Bio-Tech

Can You Really Survive Being Frozen in Carbonite? 215

The Age of C-3PO: How Will Earth Deal with the Droid Army? 220

When Will a Clone Army Be Built on Earth? 226

What Exactly Is the Force? 231

Does the Lightsaber Really Cut It? 236

What Would It Be Like to Control the Force? 241

How Could Kylo Ren Stop a Blaster Shot in Mid-Air? 246

Is Darth Vader Technology Possible? 251

Is Jedi Mind Control a Possibility? 256

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