Giant green lasers, endlessly boosting starships, fantastically visual explosions…just how strong is the F=m*a with science fiction space battles? Not very accurate, they are.
Joe Hanson of PBS‘s It’s Okay To Be Smart is back with a new video dissecting the science of space battles. As you might expect, the dogfights of Star Wars and other sci-fi staples take a bit of liberty with inertia, lasers, and explosions. Watch below:
What’s really interesting to me is the point about Star Wars being influenced by early films of aerial dogfighting. And by being perhaps the biggest sci-fi series of all time, the films therefore determined the style of all the space battle scenes to follow it. Audiences wanted the action and drama of Star Wars-style battles, not Newton-accurate drifting around firing invisible lasers. It stands to reason that if another, more accurate depiction of space battling made it as big as Star Wars, the whole landscape of what the space opera looked like today would be radically different, from Battlestar Galactica to Mass Effect.
Oh, and I don’t care if it’s accurate, I do NOT want to see “Stormtrooper Hot Pockets” cooked by intense neutron bombardment. Gross.