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The Science of Star Wars




Chapter 1
Planetary Environments

    Are planets as common as they seem in Star Wars? How likely are Earth-type planets? Could a planet have two suns, as Tatooine does? What conditions are necessary for a planet to develop its own life forms, as we see on Hoth, Tatooine, and many others? What are conditions really like within an asteroid field, and what are the chances of successfully navigating one? How likely is it that humans could live comfortably on so many different planets? How could Naboo have developed its unique structure? Is alien life likely on a moon, such as the Ewok moon of Endor, or the moon of Yavin? Could a planet be entirely desert, like Tatooine? And if so, could life form there?

Chapter 2
    What might alien life be like? How likely are we to find humanoid aliens? How about intelligent aliens? How likely are the various aliens we meet in Star Wars? Why might Jar Jar Binks have those crazy eyes? Why might Wookiees be bipeds? What is life like for a Hutt? Could giant slugs live inside asteroids? Can Ewoks really climb trees? How might Scurriers, Dewbacks, Rontos, and Banthas survive on the desert planet of Tatooine? Might a Sarlacc really take a thousand years to digest its prey? Why do Jawas' eyes glow? What dangers does desert life pose for humans?

Chapter 3
    Are droids shaped like R2-D2 and C-3PO the most practical types of robots for humans to build? What would be the best design for a battle droid, or for legged tanks like the Walkers? Could we someday build robots as intelligent as Artoo and Threepio? Can we make robots that see, hear, and speak, like Star Wars droids? Can we create robots that have their own emotions, and why would we want to? Can robots detect our emotions? Can robots express emotions? Why do Artoo and Threepio constantly argue? Why can't Han and Threepio get along? Can we create bionic limbs like Vader's and Luke's? What injuries might require Vader to use a breathing aid?

Chapter 4
Space Ships and Weapons
    Could Star Wars ships be traveling around the galaxy at near the speed of light? How fast can ships go using propulsion, and what is the most efficient fuel? Could Han Solo get around the light-speed limit by traveling through a wormhole, warping space, or traveling through hidden dimensions? What is hyperspace? Could the vacuum of space itself provide energy for space travel? Could Star Wars ships accelerate rapidly without crushing their passengers? How might ships create artificial gravity? How might antigravitational vehicles like speeders and STAPPs operate? Is there any way to explain Han's boast about the Kessel Run? How do blasters and other laser weapons in the movies work? Could we build light sabers?

Chapter 5
The Force
    Is there any way to incorporate "the Force" into our current scientific understanding of the universe? Could the Force be carried by particles that pervade space? Could these particles provide energy to levitate objects? How could Jedi affect such particles just by thinking about it? Could there be an unknown force that has the effects of the Force? Could the Force allow Jedi to see the future, or to see events at great distances? Can the Force be explained with quantum theory? Can the mind control events on the quantum level? How might Jedi influence "the weak minded"? Do humans have any psychic abilities? What evidence have scientists found of telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis?

(available only in the trade paperback edition)
    How does the introduction of midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace affect our understanding of the Force? Could microscopic life forms exist within every living cell in every species? What might the midi-chlorians be like? Could they connect Jedi to the Force? Could high concentrations of midi-chlorians be inherited? Could the midi-chlorians have caused Anakin's fatherless birth?

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Except where noted, Content © 1999 - 2019 Jeanne Cavelos
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Updated June 5, 2003
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