How Realistic is Star Wars?

Granted that the Star Wars universe is in a galaxy far, far away, just how realistic are the technological advances from that world?

According to the article “May the 4th be with you: 7 Wild ‘Star Wars’ Technologies Scientists Are Building Right Now” by Brandon Specktor, they may be more realistic than you think. The seven technologies Mr. Specktor investigates are:

Battle Droids — Weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles are already a frightening reality, but humanoid robots, like Atlas from Boston Dynamics (, are on the verge of being perfected. They aren’t ready for combat yet, but the possibility is very real.

Laser Swords — Although combat-ready lightsabers are still far away, creative inventors — like those on the YouTube channel Hacksmith — have developed some impressive laser swords. There are power limitations with these models, but the achievement is still very impressive.

Bionic Arms — Functional prosthetic arms are now a reality. If you know someone who could use one, check out the Hero Arm from Open Bionics.

Universal Translators — Although C3PO isn’t yet available, Google Translate can handle about 100 languages, which should be sufficient for our world.

Landspeeders — This world’s version, the hovercraft, has been around since the late 1950s, according to the U.K.’s Hovercraft Museum. Currently, several companies are working on real hovering motorcycles, including the U.K.-based Malloy Aeronautics and the U.S.-based Aerofex, although both are still in the prototype phase.

Commercial Spaceships — For this one, simply contact Jeff Bezos ( or Elon Musk (

Warp Drive — Called hyperspace in Star Wars, “warp drive” would require distorting the shape of space-time to pass from one part of the universe to another. In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre published a paper showing how warp drive could be physically possible, by using equal amounts of positive and negative energy to simultaneously compress the space in front of a spaceship while expanding the space behind it. The stumbling block is negative energy (and hence warp drive) remains purely theoretical. Nevertheless, the U.S. government has been researching the idea, according to recently released documents, so who knows?

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