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Star Wars Weapons

STAR WARS IN THE ROCKET CITY INSIDE THE SCIENCE OF EPISODE O0000 0 Levitating vehicles WEAPONS THE LIGHTSABER Anakin Skywalker's hovering podracer in Episode l- like his son's landspeeder in Episode IV - supposedly works via a "gravitational-repulsion" device. The lightsaber is the iconic weapon of the Jedi. Other than harnessing the power of the Force, how do researchers who work with today's energy-based weapons think this elegant, bright, cutting-edge sword might work? Helicopters and Vertical-Takeoff-or-Landing aircraft EPISODE I: verica can hover, but only with the aid of noisy jets or props to direct thrust downward. The Phantom Menace Engineers have created high-speed trains that will levitate over specially constructed tracks using the repulsing power of similarly charged magnets. But the possibility of vehicles that float a few feet off the ground on any terrain, with no track, seems unlikely. In "The Science of Star Wars," Dr. Miguel Alcubierre, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Pottsdam, Germany, suggests the scientific principle at work here may be the same that might drive a faster-than-light spaceship: warping space. "If you can distort the geometry of space, you can create antigravity," Alcubierre says. Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescu- ing young Queen Amidala from the impending in- vasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obl-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master discover 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker, a young slave unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrilling Podrace and with it his freedom as he leaves his home to be trained as a Jedi. The heroes return to Naboo where Anakin and the queen face massive invasion forces while the two Jedi contend with a deadly foe named Darth Maul. Only then do they realize the Invasion is merely the first step in a sinister scheme by the re-emergent forces of darkness known as the Sith. To infinity and beyond De Young doesn't think the lightsaber's blade is actually light. Once this force - or device - is discovered, controlling it will be a delicate task. Luke's speeder is delicately balanced with his weight, for example. But when he suddenly hops out of it, why doesn't it zoom to the sky, like a helium balloon released by a child? Gerald Wilson, who for years has led and developed Directed Energy programs for the Army at Redstone Arsenal, and is currently in the Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office, doesn't want to hazard a guess about what the lightsaber's "blade" is composed of, or what determines its length. "When they're dueling with lightsabers and they 'clang' them into each other, even in the theater I go 'Oh, gosh!" If they were actually "light' sabers they would just pass right through each other Directed by: George Lucas Released: May 19, 1999 First weekend gross: 564.8 million Discovering this technology will be a task for some future physicist. Total domestic gross: $431.1 million Total worldwide gross: $924.3 million Anakin's speeder in Episode I is pushed along at astonishing speeds by twin jet engines. But what causes it to hover in midair? Academy Awards: Nominated in three categories: Sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. Did not win. "The whole notion of a laser, unless it's absorbed or reflected or something like that, it goes on forever," Wilson said. The good: The podrace. 'Nuff said. "Within our understanding. our technology base, there's nothing that sug8gests that you could have something that's terminated in a given length." Dave De Young, director of Energy Programs in Boeing's Directed Energy Systems group - the people who make the company's laser weapons - says, "Unless it somehow projected some kind of little mirror out there at the end, and so you're creating some little laser cavity or something." The bad and the ugly: Jar Jar. Poop and fart jokes. which, not surprisingly, always seem to swirl around Jar Jar. Queen Amidala's hair- an unfortunate quirk she'll hand down to her daughter. Yet another celebratory ending. ABOUT 3 FEET Light saber Laser "A bad feeling about this": Obi-Wan to Qui-Gon, at the very start of the movie. Limbs chopped off: None. This is the only Star Wars movie in which no arms are amputated . unless you count the very end, when Obi-Wan hacks the evil Darth Maul in half at the waist. Tool of the Jedi Power cell housing Crystal chamber Power source Hand grip Magnetic stabilizer Jedi in training are taught how to build their own Whatever they are, they aren't running on flashlight batteries. weapons by hand. Therefore, each lightsaber looks different and is customized to suit each Jedi. This is the lightsaber young Anakin Skywalker builds and uses after he "They run them a really long time." DeYoung says. "And that's emitting a whole lot of power to make the kind of effects they're doing, cutting people and stuff - that takes a lot of power to do that kind of thing. With today's battery technology, there's no way you could lift that." Great quote: Graphics, research by Charles Apple/Special to The Times Interviews, research by Kenneth Kesner/The Huntsville Times "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to Sources: "The Science of Star Wars"by Jeanne Cavelos: "Star Wars Where Science Meets Imagination" by National Geographic and the Boston Museum of Science: "Star Wars: The Complete Visual Diction- ary"by David West Reynolds and James Luceno; StarWars.com; Inter- net Movie Data Base; www.the-numbers.com: Lucasfilm Ltd. turns to the dark side of the Force, becoming Darth Vader. anger. Anger leads to hate, Hate leads to suffering." Power indicator Activator switch Blade power adjuster - Yoda Images: Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Star Wars Weapons

shared by maggie on Mar 23
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The Star Wars galaxy is full of colorful characters, imaginative worlds and amazing vehicles. It is also full of out-of-this-world weapons. The most iconic weapon in the franchise is the lightsaber wh...

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Lucasfilm

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Entertainment
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