Popular Science

The physics keeping Star Wars' Cloud City afloat

And why it has a limited lifespan in the sky.
physics book cover

Copyright © 2017 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster

The following is excerpted from The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Patrick Johnson.

“Lando conned somebody out of it.”—Han Solo (Episode V)

WHEN Episode V, immediately after the escape from Hoth

WHERE Bespin, Cloud City

CHARACTERS Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Lobot, Boba Fett

PHYSICS CONCEPTS Air resistance, orbits

SHORT INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND

Cities of the future as depicted in science fiction are often floating in space (think the Jetsons). This may have to do with concerns that at some point life on Earth may not be viable. In the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science4 min read
Credit Card Stolen Or Lost? Here's What To Do.
Your credit card information is vulnerable. Depositphotos It’s become a sad reality of the modern world: Someday, your credit card information will fall into the wrong hands. Maybe hackers will compromise the number in a large data breach like the re
Popular Science4 min read
The Best New Cameras And Photography Gear From Photo Plus 2018
Photo Plus Expo is underway in New York City. Jeanette D. Moses The Photo Plus Expo kicked off yesterday morning in New York City with three days of talks, workshops, portfolio reviews, and, of course, new cameras and accessories. Although a lot of t
Popular Science4 min read
Black Widow Spiders Could Teach Nanomaterial Experts A Thing Or Two
Black widows spin some of the strongest strands of all the spiders, so researchers zapped its silk fluid with an electron beam to see what it was made of. Depositphotos It appears that spiders beat us to the age of nanomaterials by about 300 million