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The Science of Star Wars: An…

The Science of Star Wars: An Astrophysicist's Independent Examination…

by Jeanne Cavelos

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  gilsbooks | May 20, 2011 |
This woman is obsessed with Star Wars. I mean, seriously, beyond anyone I've ever known, obsessed with Star Wars. It's not obvious right at first, although on the flyleaf it told about how the author decided to become an astronomer after watching Star Wars for the first time. But as I was reading the book, I realized this was a whole different magnitude of fandom. She has obviously watched the movies hundred of times, and read every single book in all the series, at least once. But the reali giveaway was when she referred to Jar Jar Binks as "a loveable goofball." OK, that is just not normal.

But about the book - it wasn't quite what I expected either. It takes the whole Star Wars thing so seriously, and tries to seriously account for every aspect of the movie - the planets, the lifeforms, and so on. There wasn't enough tongue in cheek for me to be able to pay attention to the science. Only recommended for real Star Wars geeks. ( )
2 vote cmbohn | Apr 21, 2010 |
I am not a huge, or even big Star Wars fan (heck, I didn't even like the first one), but I loved this book. A great concept, very well done. I could not put it down. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Jan 6, 2010 |
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Could the science fiction of Star Wars be the actual science of tomorrow?

-How close are we to creating robots that look and act like R2-D2 and C-3PO?
-Can we access a "force" with our minds to move objects and communicate telepathically with each other?
-How might spaceships like the Millennium Falcon make the exhilarating jump into hyperspace?
What kind of environment could spawn a Wookiee?
-Could a single blast from the Death Star destroy an entire planet?
-Could light sabers possibly be built, and if so, how would they work?
-Do Star Wars aliens look like "real" aliens might?
-What would living on a desert planet like Tatooine be like?
-Why does Darth Vader require an artificial respirator?

Discover the answers to these and many other fascinating questions as a noted scientist and Star Wars enthusiast explores The Science of Star Wars.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312209584, Hardcover)

Jeanne Cavelos says, "Star Wars fueled my interest in space exploration and the possibility of alien life," leading her to a career in astrophysics. While these movies have inspired her, she admits that may not have been their intention.

In creating the part science fiction/part fantasy/part myth that is Star Wars, George Lucas did not seek to create a futuristic universe that agreed perfectly with our current understanding of science.... How realistic, how possible, is this galaxy far, far away?

The answer when A New Hope first came out was "not at all." But a strange thing has happened in the years since Star Wars first came out. Science is beginning to catch up with George Lucas.

Cavelos looks at Lucas's planets, aliens, droids, technology, and Force with both rationality and affection. The droids R2-D2 and C-3P0, among others, become more interesting and almost credible after her consideration.

The element of Star Wars that is most true to science is the sense of wonder it calls forth, which has very little to do with how close it is to a possible future. Or, as Steve Grand, director of the Cyberlife Institute, said to Cavelos: "I never try to let scientific implausibility get in the way of a good story!" --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Looks at "Star Wars" in the light of the latest scientific discoveries and research, to evaluate how probable its concepts are.

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