Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is on the top of box offices worldwide and enjoying the critical and fan praise that Disney had hoped for. The film has grossed an astounding $238 million in a mere three days in the United States alone, proving that Star Wars is still a juggernaut franchise.
The fact remains that while fans love science-fiction, it is still vastly a work of fiction. Recently, famed astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to ‘critique’ the questionable science behind the latest Star Wars installment.
Who dares speak ill of Star Wars during this marvelous era of rebirth? Neil deGrasse Tyson is no slouch, his credentials in the scientific community are well established. Tyson boasts a PhD in astrophysics, a degree he earned from Columbia University after having earned his Bachelor of Arts in physics from Harvard University. His research lead to improvements in the Hubble telescope and the eventual discovery of dark energy.
Tyson has too many professional credentials to list, but you may know him from his more recent forays into television. He has made appearances on major mainstream shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and BBC Horizons and he hosted the History Channel series The Universe, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on the National Geographic Channel and more recently his talk show, Star Talk, on the National Geographic Channel.
The winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics began to tweet his “disillusionment” with the science of Star Wars as follows:
Never shy about throwing in an opinion in the midst of criticism, Tyson showed his support for BB-8:
The reality behind the TIE fighters was also called into question:
He also gave his insight into the reality of stars in the Star Wars galaxy:
The infamous 12 Parsecs run is even called into question:
Unashamed of inanity, #TheForceAwakens repeats the Millennium Falcon boast of completing the Kessel Run in "under 12 parsecs"— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 21, 2015
( A Parsec is an obscure unit of distance in Astrophysics, equal to 3.26 Light Years. Neither has anything to do with time. )— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 21, 2015
Never one to leave humor out of science, Tyson also offered this insight:
Of course Tyson is just having some fun here, and we do respect him greatly. He’s not doubt aware that fans of television of film are ready to suspend disbelief and overlook details of the real world in lieu of a great and fanciful story. For example, the scientific feasibility of a film like Jurassic World (the previous opening weekend box office record holder) holds just enough credibility to enjoy a nice mixture of real-world possibility and fiction…just enough to make us believe.
This isn’t the first time that Tyson has lent his expert analysis to the world of fiction and film. He recently provided his insight into how Batman could defeat Superman, in anticipation of the upcoming battles in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Neil deGrasse Tyson
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