How a Rock and a Hyperdrive Could Defeat the Empire and the First Order
STAR WARS SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!
It's never a good idea to go to a science fiction film and look for scientific inaccuracies. That being said, a lot of things from episode VIII a lot of things left a bitter taste in my mouth, but I'm here to talk about one scientific inaccuracy which leaves a Death Star sized hole in the story’s plot for all movies.
The one scene I am referring to occurs near the middle of the film when a large resistance ship, called the Raddus, aims itself at Snoke’s ship, called the Supremacy, and rams into it at light speed. This results in the ship being torn in two and a large explosion. Now everywhere I look people say the ships in star wars move through hyperspace, which is skipping dimension to dimension, but multiple times in the movie the term light speed is used. It's even used in the original trilogy by Han Solo. Also, if they were going through dimensions where they cannot interact with the mass of other things as the canon claims, in theory, the ship would not have hit the other ship. The point being is that I always shut my mind off to the idea of a collision at such speeds in order to enjoy the movies, but this changes all of that. Now, knowing that a ship can collide with another with such energy, it basically invalidates all the efforts of the rebels and the empire in the original trilogy.
A shot of the scene where the Supremacy is struck by the Raddus.
Let's assume that that the ships are going slower than the speed of light, even 95% (284,802,835 m/s). Also, let’s assume that an object does not gain mass as it approaches the speed of light which would make our energy value greater than it already is. Given the estimate for the mass of an X-wing is around 5500 kg, the kinetic energy of one traveling at this speed is 2.2306E+20 J. The energy of the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs was estimated to be about 1E+23 J. While that is on a different magnitude, it would only take a 25,000 kg object to have the same amount of energy. To put that in perspective, that is about 10 of the 2,300,000 limestone blocks which make up the Great Pyramid. So in this sense, a Death Star was never needed. Just strap a engine onto a random large asteroid and hurl it at a planet. No master death star plans, no single point to be used to blow it up., just a rock with a thruster on it. And as for the rebels, they could have done the same thing with the Death Star and lost many less lives. So there's the little rant I have about that scene, which while cool, puts a bigger hole in the plot than it did in that destroyer.
I’m just going to get back to work and pretend that milk scene never happened…
As always, thanks for reading - ThePeculiarParticle