“Chillin’ with Chewie”: #StarWars Science, Explained

Han Solo isn’t the only one who can understand what Chewbacca says. A team of experts from Michigan Engineering, out of the University of Michigan, have recorded a series of interviews with the Wookiee about technology familiar to him and the Star Wars universe for a new show called, adorably, “Chillin’ with Chewie.”

Over five videos–subtitled in English–Chewie “talks to experts about spacecraft thrusters, light sabers, droids, carbonite and holograms,” according to a statement announcing the series.

In one episode, Alec Gallimore, an aerospace engineering professor at Michigan, says “we’re two to three decades from using advanced propulsion systems to send people to Mars,” adding that in his lab, he’s building electric propulsion systems for just such ventures into deep space. “Current ion propulsion systems have accelerations of a fraction of a G, or 0 to 60 (mph) in hours. In Star Wars, you see these fighters able to accelerate with multiple Gs, so 0 to 60 in less than a second. The big difference there is power density,” he says. “If you look at the power density we have now vs what would be needed for a TIE Fighter, the difference is about a factor of about a million.”

 

 

More information on the video series, as well as all the episodes, are available here.

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