A Bit of Science Behind The Most Famous Sci-Fi Movies

The recent premiere of the short trailer for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"; has managed to break records: in only three days it has been reproduced more than 23 million times. Picture copyright: (c) 2019 ILM and Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Sci-fi movies have endowed our imagination with incredible experiences; experiences that, although possible, are still impossible to witness nowadays. This incredible and exiting experiences are referenced, for example, in Steven Spielberg’s classic; Jurassic Park (1993), a movie that has let us explore modern-day genetic engineering, and the growing capabilities in “resurrection biology”; or The Day After Tomorrow (2004) in were we can previsualize the upcoming extreme climate changes, and our mess consequences in our planet (Maynard A., 2018).

This capacity of the sci-fi movies for providing our minds of non-existent experiences have antecedents, a specific background; a scientific one, that let our imagination and our future predictions be coherent with the things that we already know. So, in different words, Marvel Studios needed to understand how the kinetic energy works for letting Infinity War’s Thanos pull a moon (yes, a moon) out of orbit and throw at Iron Man.

In the same way, the producers of the Stars Wars saga, must to understand robotics and physiology topics for making Skywalker’s remarkably advanced robotic arm, and Anakin’s iconic respiratory ailment.

“Ronan Berg and Ronni Plovsing, physicians at Denmark’s University Hospital Rigshospitalet, theorized that the scene-by-scene breakdown of Vader’s breathing habits, attributes Vader’s pulmonary problems to breathing in the hot gas and volcanic particles on Mustafar, where he lost a climactic duel to Obi Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. The scalding gases left his lungs chronically inflamed, with tissue thickened and stiffened by scarring.” (Greshko M., 2015)

“My first choice of treatment would be lung transplantation,” Berg said.

Photo by Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon - © 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

In Interstellar (2014) we are able to see the massive blackhole “Gargantua”. We do not know if it’s in galaxy of this same universe or, on the contrary, it is in an alternative universe. Both cases are scientifically possible. This alternative universe possibility allow us to introduce the plausible existence of wormholes. They could communicate two places in the same universe or two different universes. We do not know if the multiverse exists. One of the things that is not evident in the film is that it is a black hole with really monstrous characteristics. It has a mass of 100 million times the mass of the Sun. It is a cosmic beast in all senses (Riveiro, 2018).

These examples, and the ones that remain for mentioning, create diverse and utopian worlds that open up our imagination for possibilities that fortunately, remember us daily the importance of dreaming.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” -Walt Disney.

Written by: Andres Felipe Pinzon Pulecio

Andres Felipe Pinzon Pulecio is volunteering for Voyager Space Outreach to write blog posts on Space/STEM oriented topics.

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