A fairly long time ago in a movie far, far more popular than anyone expected, a society was envisioned in which people swung swords made of light and robots blasted bad guys with lasers. But while Star Wars remains a fantasy film, some of its stunning technological creations might not be so distant.
Among the inventions scientists are working on as you read this: laser swords, bionic arms, military droids, hyperdrive, and private spaceships. For example, in 2018, Hacksmith Industries – run by one engineer, James Hobson – produced a plasma-based energy sword featuring a retractable blade that heated up to 4,000 degrees F (2,200 degrees C). Bionic limbs are already a reality, thanks to the rapid development of functional prosthetics. And according to reports, the U.S. government is hard at work trying to develop hyperdrive, a way of traveling through space by manipulating spacetime.
There's much more, most of which is only in the research or basic development phase, but who knows what will happen if the Force is with us.
Star Wars secrets:
- Some variation of the phrase, "I've got a bad feeling about this," is heard in all of the franchise's films.
- In 2010, George Lucas banned David Prowse, the man in the Dark Vader suit, from official Star Wars events because of Prowse's history of leaking plot information and badmouthing Lucas.
- Alec Guinness, the British actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, hated the films and found the dialogue he had to say deplorable.