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Hannah Palmquist

Science Critique paper

Jonathan Barnes
I chose Star Wars to critique because I know it pretty much like the back of my hand. I have seen
Star Wars so many times I lost count. I grew up with brothers so I am pretty nerdy in the Star Wars
department. I am going to start with the spaceship wars in outer space. Star Wars has a huge mistake
when it comes to the ships fighting in space. In many scenes you see the ships explode with fire and fall
down in, to the depths below. To start there is no oxygen in mid space. All the ships dramatically
explode while fighting. Fire requires oxygen, therefore no fire. Fire can be in space but not the way we
are used too. Another element that must be there is gravity for the fire to happen. People say oh you
cant have fire in space, there is no oxygen. I know I just said that but there is a way for fire to be in
space just not the way we see it on earth. While there is no oxygen the ships cannot explode the way
they do in the movies. In the scenes they out rightly explode. In space the fire surrounds the item it is
burning. Since there is no gravity in space the flame doesnt flicker like a flame. Matter of fact when I
said it surrounds the item being burned, It covers the item as a whole like a globe. From the globe effect
it burns evenly, all the way around. The fire on earth burns differently because the earth has gravity. So
the flame uses the oxygen in the air. As it burns it heats the air around. The heated air rises and the
heavier unburned cold air particles replenish the fuel. This cycle does not happen in space for the reason
of no gravity and there you have it. Now to move onto when the ships fall from being hit in space war.
When an object is hit in space it falls right? No. point of view number one. Let us say there is not one
thing that can push or pull an object in space. Nothing that ends up messing with it. If that object were
to get hit or blown up from something, it would not fall. It would actually float or in another way to put
it, stay in place. Example not completely still but it would float along its merrily way. That is saying there
is nothing to mess with it. We all know that space is extremely active, constantly, so that would never
happen. There is always something messing with gravity or force. Point of view two. Newtons Law says
that there is always friction or force to stop objects. If I were to throw a baseball in space, it would keep
going. Never stopping until another objects gravity pulled or pushed it, or it ran into a planet or anything
for that matter. If that baseball were flying through space and came near a planet, the planet would
alter the course and it would then be moving another direction. I recently found a third problem. When
the ships blow up from the inside, all the pieces that come off fall with the ship. That would not happen.
We already got the force of gravity explained, now to use that concept but in another way. Instead of
falling like the movies show, they would be thrown into a direction and keep going. Here is how it is
different. Let us say that when the ship gets blown up in the back the all of the front would start flying
forward and keep on going. If it got blown up in the middle, all the pieces would fly in different
directions kind of like a ball, the pieces all around would keep going just the same. All sorts of pieces
going in different directions. If it were to be blown up in the front, the back would get blown back
behind it and keep going backward until it gets stopped. Then next thing on the list is light speed.
Objects of any sort when sped up get heavier, gaining weight so to speak. When something is thrown
up, dropped or thrown vertically it increases speed. For Example, tossing a ball up it decreases speed but
as it falls it increases speed. It is due to gravity, if there were no gravity it would only go up and never
comeback. When thrown vertically the gravity straightens the ball out, therefore increases. Well in light

speed there is gravitational pull everywhere and when your accelerating it pulls on the objects mass, so
it makes it heavier. In the Star Wars case, the ship is going forward. It is already impossible to go as fast
as light, but at the insane speed it goes you would die. All that force and momentum would crush you
like a bug. No possible way to survive it. In reality the Millennium Falcon wouldve been smashed in
seconds. Last thing I noticed was that Boba Fett and Han Solo seem to narrowly dodge asteroids and
very quickly. Well there is a major flaw in those scenes, of course. Andy Howell an astrophysicist said,
realistically that whole scene would be more like trying to walkthrough an empty parking lot without
getting hit by a car. If asteroids were still at that stage the galaxy would still not even exist yet. That is
when the planets have not yet formed. They form as if they were giant snowballs. All the rocks would hit
each other, material building on each other and eventually planets would form. Back to the parked car,
In reality asteroids are pretty far apart, so no sophisticated swerving involved. They would be miles
apart from each other and would be nowhere near running into each other. Those are just some pretty
obvious ones I found but there are probably plenty.

1. Hill, A. (2016, February 4). Star Wars FAQ: Why did Han Solo say he made The Kessel Run in 12
Parsecs? Retrieved July 22, 2016, from
2. Flame Extinguishment Experiment - 2. (2016, February 14). Retrieved July 22, 2016, from
3. Elert, G. (2015, January 11). Falling Bodies. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from
4. Mckelvey, C. (2015, January 11). Astronomers explain whats wrong (and right) in Star Wars
science. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from
5. News, D. (2013, November 11). How fire burns in space. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from