While the Star Wars franchise is often rated as “science fiction,” but, it usually puts more focus on the ‘Wars’ than the ‘Star.’ Although, they have always held stories paramount compared to the scientific accuracy with each episode, a scientist has claimed that The Last Jedi features one of the most scientifically true instances of the entire Star Wars saga, when Vice Admiral Holdo’s ship spears through a First Order ship without making any noise.
Georgetown University physicist and writer of the book The Physics of Star Wars, Patrick Johnson spoke to Smithsonian.com, and he stated that since the galactic spaces don’t have any atmosphere, there would not be any medium for sound to travel, despite it being the sound of such a huge explosion.
“Sound requires a medium to move from one place to another,” Johnson explained. “And in space, there’s mostly nothing. So it doesn’t have a medium to move through, and it can’t propagate. Therefore, as the catchphrase for Alien was: ‘In space, no one can hear you scream.’”
Right from the time, it debuted in 1977; the Star Wars has been defying scientific logic by first showing the loud bang of Death Star blowing up. Thus, when Holdo wrecked the First Order’s fleet, a section of the audiences was shocked to hear no sound and considered it to be a glitch. It led to movie theaters showing warnings to the viewers so that they understood that the silence was deliberate.
The Smithsonian also highlighted the fact that air is vital to creating the fascinating fireworks associated with an explosion. Johnson detailed that there is likely to be ample amount of oxygen in each spaceship to create such a huge flame.
“I would imagine that, due to the vacuum of space, once that first bomb blows a hole in the side of the ship, you would get a rush of oxygen coming out, and then a flame jet that would peter out pretty quickly,” Johnson talked about the bombing sequence of the Dreadnaught Star Destroyer at the start of the movie. “This is just me speculating.”
Trusting his scientific acumen and Star Wars, one would feel that Johnson would be greatly disturbed by the errors. However, the author said that his love for the movies helps him ignore that part. “I’m okay with having a spectacular explosion in movies,” Johnson noted, “because that makes for a more dramatic scene.”
Johnson further said, “Ultimately, they’re trying to make an entertaining piece of culture, rather than a 100-percent-accurate scientific document.”
You can check out Holdo’s act of heroism in The Last Jedi, currently playing in theaters.