View Full Version : Star Wars - Episode II

2002-Jul-05, 08:27 PM
I went to see Star Wars episode II. Visually, a gorgeous movie. Magnificent scenarios (The capital of the Jedi republic makes New York look like a province burg).

The problem is with the way they treat reality. In the initial scene we see spaceships in ďorbitĒ of an Earth-like planet. They zigzag, move back and forth, like butterflies around a flower, in complete disregard with orbital mechanics, gravity, momentum, etc. They fly at will, to any direction they want to. Nothing of the disciplined straight orbital flight of our todayís spaceships. The massive planet bellow is just a mere detail. Of course they have energy sources beyond imagination, as well as a perfect way to withstand G-forces.

In another scene, a spaceship comes at relativistic speed, from the background, approaching a planet, just to decelerate to, say, 10 km/sec, in less than 1 second. And they reenter the atmosphere directly, without a stand-by orbit, and without a lesser hint of heating. Maybe one day weíll have spaceships like that.

The space ships move as though gravity did not exist. Their flight suggests anti-gravitational propulsion.

Obi-Wan-Kenobi has got a fancy personal spaceship. The problem is that it is not clear where they store the propellant in such a small vehicle. He crossed half the galaxy in one of the scenes. And, of course, it has wings. And it squeals at breaking!

The transmission of messages occurs instantly, Newtonian-style. A Hollywood version of Asimovís hyperspace. Donít talk about Einstein to those guys. The good professor must be hated by the kids at LucasFilm. Light goes so slow!!

There are other major blunders in the film, and I donít have patience (and memory) enough to describe all of them. See by yourself. Itís worthwhile. Itís a great movie.

But how I wanted to see all the talent and technique of George Lucas dedicated to a real depiction of space. Imagine to use the Industrial Light and Magic Co. to produce educational material for the young. How dramatically it would change our perception of the universe. Instead, they cooperate to broadcast an erroneous view of space and physics. Ok, I admit itís only entertainment. Reality donít make bucks.

But how I wishedÖ

Paul Unwin
2002-Jul-05, 09:11 PM
On 2002-07-05 16:27, Argos wrote:
But how I wanted to see all the talent and technique of George Lucas dedicated to a real depiction of space. Imagine to use the Industrial Light and Magic Co. to produce educational material for the young.

Have faith. One day we might actually see a movie that doesn't have to dumb down space travel. 2001 has already shown us that it's possible to make an entertaining movie with full physics in effect. I hope somebody has the courage to script a space battle in which the lasers are invisible, the combatants aren't within a few meters of each other, relativistic effects come into play. One hope is that someone will make movie versions of some Larry Niven books.

2002-Jul-10, 12:08 PM
Want to see some incredibly awesome AND real depictions of space and space travel? Just stroll down to your local IMAX and see Space Station 3-D. Saw it last night. Absolutely incredible. Some scenes were so stunning it actually brought tears to my eyes, and I ain't no sissy boy, mind you! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

2002-Jul-10, 12:34 PM
In those movies, inertia and gravity only then come into play, when it adds to the drama.
Those spaceships always move around in hillarious ways without any effect on the passengers. These are just thrown around when you need it for drama, e.g. in a battle when the ship is hit.

BTW, how many scenes with seatbelts involved can you remember from such movies?


2002-Jul-11, 06:26 PM
Putting seatbelts on ships would make too much sense. How came they can make artificial gravity that can take the gravitational cnageg and inertial vchanges of acceleration, but can't compensate for a laser blast?

It would not be so much fun to see a bunch of poeple sitting there on a perfectly still set and hear them saying "we were it, oh no, we are going to die!" You need action, and you need to know they are being hit (ex. The exploding panels on Star Trek).