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The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Explore the physics behind the world of Star Wars, with engaging topics and accessible information that shows how we’re closer than ever before to creating technology from the galaxy far, far away—perfect for every Star Wars fan!

Ever wish you could have your very own lightsaber like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi? Or that you could fly through space at the speed of ligh
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Adams Media
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Manuel Antão
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Lightsabre vs. Lightsaber: "The Physics of Star Wars" by Patrick Johnson

“How can BB-8 move around while keeping its head on top?”

In “The Physics of Star Wars” by Patrick Johnson

In the “The Physics of Superheroes” book review I gave out a suggestion on how to build a lightsabre physics-wise. Let's face it; even if they found a way to make actual lightsabres, would they be highly useless or not? What could you do with a lightsabre other
Neil R. Coulter
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a fun book for a Star Wars fan. Its main point is more about the question of whether certain things from the Star Wars films are possible in the real universe, and less about explaining the real-world scientific details of how things work. Though I am not at all a scientist, I am curious enough about science that I would have liked a bit more detail about the real-world science that Patrick Johnson mentions throughout the book.

The main topics are: space; planetary science; planet-based t
J.C. Ahmed
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The Physics of Stars Wars is a fun book that takes a topic from Stars Wars and then compares it to real life. It covers a wide range of topics in the sciences and technology, and would probably be more appropriately titled as The Science of Stars Wars. Recommended for both Stars Wars and science buffs.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fun book and is a great basic textbook for physics. Honestly, if they’d tried to teach science to me like this I’d likely have done a LOT better in those classes. Worth a read!
Ken Hammond
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars, sci-fi, science
didn't understand all the science but what I did I found intriguing and curious.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Yes, I am a total nerd, but I found this book to be a lot of fun. It covers a wide range of scientific topics in relation to Star Wars, and touches on everything from planetary science to transport to weaponry to droids. The author is obviously writing as a Star Wars fan first and a physicist second, because instead of making fun of the holes in the science of Star Wars, the book is more about exploring science as it connects to Star Wars concepts, and seeing how close we could get to making it ...more
Chuy Ruiz
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars, science
I was happy to learn that this kind of book even exists. It so cool to me that a scientist/physicist loves star wars and takes the time to compare the star wars tech to our own. I really enjoyed it :)
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I was pretty excited to read this book, but I have to say that I was rather disappointed. There is a lot of good information on a large number of topics, but I feel that each one only touches on the subject and doesn't offer too much substance. I thought it would be cool to see how some of this technology might be possible in the future, but they don't go quite so deep on that for many of the subjects.
As far as readability, for those that are not physics or science majors like myself, it is qui
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Fun and quick read that's not super deep.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the unbelievable privilege of having the author of this book as my physics professor at Georgetown University. I never dreamed that I could actually make it through a full year of calculus-based physics, but with Dr. Johnson at the helm, learning physics was a joy, even for someone like me who was TERRIFIED of physics going into it!

This book reads just like Dr. Johnson is in real life: down to earth, very relatable, extremely funny, and able to make physics interesting for any student (or
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
As readers/viewers, we generally, (willingly) participate in the literary element of "suspension of disbelief" when we read fiction and watch films. According to Wikipedia, suspension of disbelief is a "...willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe something surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment... coined in 1817 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge..." If one rwad.this book with that in mind, this book would be pointless...and a little soul crushing for Star W ...more
Jaime K
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

When: PT, RO, OT, TFA
Where: Mustafar, Bespin, Coruscant, Tatooine, Kamino, Hoth, Naboo, Geonosis...
Characters: All
Short intro background: [What is being addressed and questions to be answered]
Backstory: [Within Star Wars]
The physics of Star Wars: [How things work in that ‘verse]
The physics of Real Life: [How things work in-’verse]

Something I love with this book is the format. Granted, I’m listening to the audiobook (which is not the best choice), but the layout of how the content is pro
Scott Martin
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
(Audiobook) This book would be the written script if a bunch of college students, physical majors and/or PhD candidates, were kicking back a few beers (or some other adult-type beverages), watching a few Star Wars (yes, even Phantom Menace), seeing the action and then getting into a discussion of "could that actually happen in our galaxy?" This work dives into all the possibilities, from trying to determine exactly when "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" happens, all the way to determi ...more
Hypable Books
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fandom
Read our full review on Hypable!

The Physics of Star Wars is a great read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of living in a galaxy far, far away. What’s that? You didn’t think that was possible? Well, it may be time to think again.

Star Wars is definitely more fantasy than sci-fi, but with technology advancing at such a rapid rate in the world today, things that we once thought to be inconceivable are ebbing closer to reality. The more we learn about both Earth and Space, the less fantastical some elem
A good read for Star Wars & Science fans.
The author does a very good job of explaining the context (in Star Wars, for example Light Sabers, Hyperdrives, Binary stars, The Force etc.), then tries to come up with a scientific context (of how things are working in the movie or novels or the script), after which he provides current scientific context (debunking or upholding the things shown in the movie).

My favorite: Light Saber - we don't know whether they are actually light or plasma swords. If li
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Science fun in the Galaxy Far, Far Away!

To be honest, I didn't *finish* this (ran of out of time on my loan), but it's a very nicely done SCIENCE book that *uses* Star Wars as a launching point for all kinds of articles.

There's two ways to do this - the "buzzkill" way that essentially debunks the errors and inaccuracy of the stories. Maybe satisfying for someone with an axe to grind, but not that enjoyable.

This book does it the other way - "we see x, y, and z in Star Wars... how could that happe
Max Lapin
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
How could a lightsaber work in real life? Or what is the true power of a Death Star or a Starkiller Base? Indeed, this is a look taken with a grain of physics. You would like it, cause written by a fan for fans.
James Biser
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book is a fun, educational read where Dr. Johnson talks about different ideas about the science behind the fanciful creations of George Lucas. It is a fun read full of good science. I recommend it to everyone.
Doug Murphy
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Disappointed at how superficial this read.
Scott Loughridge
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pretty interesting read, its like the show "The Big Bang Theory" if they only talked about Star Wars.
Roberto Chavez
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
After reading this book, I get the feeling that lots of people want Star Wars to be true. This book tries to bring those people back to reality.
Kai Aida
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was ok, but it wasn't really my style of stories. I did like how it showed what happened behind the scenes and brought to life.
Sarah Olson
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! The concepts were explained a way in which everyone could understand! Overall, it was a great read!
Sarah McGuiggan
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
It's pretty cute, but you have to be a fan of Star Wars and really interested in physics to be able to finish it.
Abby Mycroft
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Rima Hasanah
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A must read for self-proclaimed Star Wars fans out there.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for those who like to solve complex equations and problems. You dive into a world of science testing the reality of everyone’s favorite saga.
Zoe Barnett
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A must read for stars wars with interests in science
Darren Lillian
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting

This scientific evaluation of the physics of Star Wars can be appreciate by both laymen and those with a science background.
No star rating because I quickly realized this book was not what I hoped it would be, although there can be no doubt that is my fault and not the fault of the author.

I love physics in a gauzy, metaphorical way: this notion of forces and how they interact with each other, the push and pull of our lives reflected in the universe as a whole, how something can have so many rules and yet still be unknowable, the endless search for it all, the possibilities it creates, the grand passions it excites. B
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