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Watch Chewie Interview a Rocket Scientist About Advanced Propulsion Systems

Certain aspects of the Star Wars universe (FTL travel, force magic) are clearly impossible. But some technologies, like extremely high-powered thrusters and even lightsabers, may one day be feasible.

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This month, the University of Michigan released “Chillin’ with Chewie,” a 5-video series in which everyone’s favorite Wookie warrior interviews a range of experts about all sort of fabled Star Wars technologies to learn whether they are scientifically plausible and how soon we can expect to have them. The Wookie’s inability to speak human languages notwithstanding, his interviews are surprisingly informative.

My personal favorite is this video on propulsion systems—I had no idea a TIE fighters’ thrusters are a million times more powerful than anything we’ve ever developed—but you can check out the entire series here.

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DISCUSSION

senecaty
Seneca the Younger(er)

Certain aspects of the Star Wars universe (FTL travel, force magic) are clearly impossible.

Sloppy opener from a normally pro-science writer. Skepticism is properly in the purview of scientists, absolutism is not.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” - Lord Kelvin (yes, THAT Kelvin), 1895, eight years before the Wright brothers’ flight.

“There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” - Einstein, 1934.

“Stones cannot fall from the sky, because there are no stones in the sky!” - Antoine Lavoisier, Académie des sciences, 18th century