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  • Anhad Syan

The Scientific Feasibility of Star Wars

Star Wars is undoubtedly among the biggest and most loved cinema and television franchises ever. What started out in 1977 as a relatively lower-budget science fiction film quickly spiraled into a global pop culture phenomenon. It propelled the science fiction boom of the 80s and transformed its production studio 20th Century Fox from a nearly bankrupt company into a thriving media conglomerate. It also played a prominent role in the evolution of CGI in films.

Like any science fiction movie, Star Wars incorporates many imaginative elements such as hyperspace and the Force and objects such as lightsabers and blasters. Although the franchise is set in a galaxy far, far away, the characters are similar to people like you and me in many ways. This brings us to the question, could Star Wars concepts be possible in our world?

Let’s look at a few things from the Star Wars world to find out. The most iconic weapon in all of cinema – is the lightsaber. These devices project a beam of light that can supposedly cut through almost anything, except the beam of another lightsaber. As much as we would love for a real lightsaber to exist, it just isn’t possible. The closest thing we have to a lightsaber beam is plasma, however, a plasma beam as big as a lightsaber would require an enormous amount of power. That being said, the heat produced would instantly vaporize the hands of the person holding the hilt.

In Star Wars, hyperspace is a parallel dimension that can only be reached by traveling faster than the speed of light. A hyperdrive engine is required to accomplish this. Unlike plasma beams in the case of lightsabers, currently, no engine in the world can accelerate a ship the way a hyperdrive is supposed to. While the reality of a hyperdrive is not now tangible, NASA has been researching ways to make it a reality!

As great as this franchise is, we now know why Star Wars is not especially renowned for being scientifically accurate. It’s only science fiction, after all.

Lightsaber duel


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