Living in Los Angeles, 30-minutes away from Disneyland, and an hour away from the Disney Company Studios, it’s really easy to jump into the cyber and sidewalk cyclone that is the Disney PR machine behind “The Force Awakens.” This year I hope to debut Star Wars costume with an appropriate twist, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the actual movie. The fashion is a yes, but the science is a no for a variety of reasons.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognize there are problems. Any golfer who’s been in sand trap hell already knows that smooth spherical surfaces don’t do well in sand, particularly going up hill. I don’t golf, but I’ve walked through sand dunes. Over the last few weeks as I tried to figure out how one would make a BB-8 inspired ring (the best one I’ve seen is a spinner ring by Paul Michael Design on Etsy for $999), I know that a magnet would help keep the head attached to the body and a smooth surface would help the spin of the body, but only the Force could help a smooth sphere overcome the constant slip-sliding away in the sand. One would also need the Force to prevent sudden impacts from sending the seemingly floating head piece off like an overly ornate hockey puck. From others, I’ve learned that (Sphero) BB-8’s worst enemy are cats.
Then there’s that choice of weaponry. When Finn decides to use the lightsaber, I couldn’t help but think: “Finn has brought a lightsaber to a blaster fight. Why is he still alive?” In my mind, I’m seeing Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. One can argue that in that galaxy, far, far away, target practice isn’t high on the list of training skills for the Empire. My husband remembers how the Stormtroopers couldn’t hit Chewbacca while chasing our heroes in a hallway. I laughingly argue that all that hair masks a very thin body.
Choice of weaponry and practical training are more good sense than science, but when I finally saw Kylo Ren, I thought, “Son of Severus Snape.” (RIP Alan Rickman) Han Solo might want a paternity test.
My husband and I also argued about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. I wondered why does Kylo Ren still have thumbs and in close combat if his nose wouldn’t be endangered by every swish. My husband says that style goes back to European swords and cross guards where one would use 1.5 hand fighting, but you can’t actually handle Kylo Ren’s sword the same since you can’t touch Kylo Ren’s lightsaber’s cross guards because you’d lose a finger or your whole hand in the process. Elsewhere, on Facebook, the debate rages. One person commented that with real cross guards, the metal isn’t sharpened to kill. Some, like me conclude that while cross guards might prevent that Jedi Knight occupational hazard of limbs being cut off during a fight, now Kylo Ren can cut off his own arms.
And then I hear Edna Mode screaming in my brain: “No capes! ” I imagine Kylo Ren’s cape would be shredded by his lightsaber. When I dressed up for the Star Wars screening, my Kylo Ren was in a black duster coat (and I do own capes because Edna Mode didn’t dress gothic romance heroines).
When it comes to science fiction, husband, a real scientist, goes total science geek. While he had appreciated the science behind “Interstellar” and “The Martian,” my husband commented that the following aspect of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has his fellow scientists laughing:
So the starkiller base is supposed work by sucking the power of a star and shooting at one or more planets.
It appears that there is only one point that the energy from the star is sucked in. Which means that the planet must stop/slow itself to charge up. Doing that would throw everything on the surface off the planet. For example if the earth stopped things at the equator would fly off at over 1000 mph.
In sucking the star’s energy, its trail of solar plasma is pulled in. When that plume hits the planet’s atmosphere it would spread across the planet’s surface and consume planet in fire.
Assuming that didn’t happen, the heat from the solar plume as it entered the storage conduit would incinerate the trees and vaporize the snow for miles around.
Assuming that didn’t happen you have to find a way to store the mass of a star. Consider the mass of our sun is 333000 times the mass of the earth.
When firing at planets in another star system it would take years for the beam to hit them.
So if you have a device that could eat a sun why not just consume the star of the planets you want to destroy
Also when it first fired destroy five planets, which star did it consume, someone would have noticed that a star disappeared.
Lastly if it blew up with the stored power of a star, it would have exploded like a supernova.
As we both come from earthquake country, the deus ex machina earth splitting was more side-splitting for us. Yes, my husband is still bothered that there is sound in space. He is Star Trek over Star Wars, and we both believe that Han Solo shot first, but my husband has been convinced to try a new Star Wars costume I’m making. What the people behind Star Wars know even without Edna Mode and what Star Trek has failed to grasp is that we all want to look cool and that costumes can make the mania.