top of page

The Technology vs. Star Wars

What good is a Star Wars film without light saber battles between Jedi knights and Sith rivals and epic dog fights between spacecraft? When you look at the space craft such as the X-wing Fighter, Tie Fighters, Star Destroyers, as well as the Millennium Falcon, just like the Jedi’s light saber, it makes you want one. In recent years there are been aggressive scientific efforts to build an actual light saber, to no avail. Furthermore, drone variations of iconic Star Wars spacecraft flew off toy store shelves in recent years, particularly with holiday release dates of Episode VII and Rogue One. With the proper propeller placement, even a Styrofoam plate and plastic cup drone can fly. But what about these space crafts that attacked the Death Star as well as forced the Millennium Falcon into hyper drive ?

In actuality, none of them can actually fly. The only spacecraft that comes close is the X-wing Fighter. The aerodynamics of it suggest a classic jet aircraft design except it has not VSTOL configurations but in the films it lifts straight up similar to the AV-8 Harrier and Marine variations of the F-22 and J-35. Furthermore, it is void of a horizontal and vertical stabilizer which prevents it from climbing or diving. At best the X-Wing fighter at best if it became airborne, could only glide for a short time. However, in space with enough thrust it can float around but not fly as depicted in cinema. With the flaps on its wings it could perhaps bank left and right to some extent but to jettison through the skies as depicted, absolutely not. The thrust designs are way off but would allow it to fly fast but rapidly dive as gravity takes hold since it has no vertical lift or ways to keep level sustained flight. Furthermore, the X-wing configuration makes no sense as it does not aid in improving flight and produces lots of drag, but given the guns placed on its wing tips, in X-wing mode, the ordinance/projectiles can be spread over wider ranges for maximum effect.

The Tie Fighter owes everything to computer generated imagery (CGI). As it too is void VSTOL, upon ignition it would simply roll across the hanger floor. It has no lift capacity. Even in the event that it did, it would be impossible to guide and control it. Its center of gravity is way off. The vertical shaped “wings” have no aerodynamic value what so ever. As a matter of fact, they obstruct much of the pilots view, a big no-no in aerial combat. The fact that it has no banking, vertical climb, lift, yaw capabilities, once airborne in space it would be a mere spinning ball. Because of these scientific aerodynamic facts, the TIE Fighter can’t hover as seen in the latest two Star Wars installments,

The Millennium Falcon, the ship that “made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs” wouldn’t go far either. First of all, a parsec is a unit of distance not time. The rear end of the ship is one big long thrust port. But because it has no ability to bank, yaw, climb, or descend it too would simply fly violently out of control. Then there is the awesome light speed in which the Falcon. In mere seconds, the Falcon goes from regular cruise speed to 185,000 per hour (speed of light). This would cause Han Solo and Chewbacca’s chest to cave in and completely splatter. The maximum g’s that a typical fighter jet produces can cause serious damage to a pilot’s body, even death. The average pilot can only handle 5 g’s for two minutes. Han Solo and Chewbacca would be long dead once they came out of hyper drive. Therefore, what we see in Star Wars is completely unrealistic. The behemoth star destroyers are clearly aerodynamically erroneous. The sheer size of them indicates that the amount of fuel needed would probably bankrupt the Empire.

bottom of page