How close is Star Wars tech to reality? Part 3

1977 was a memorable year. The first all-in-one home computer was demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple Computers is founded, snow falls in Miami for the only time in recorded history, the space shuttle has its first test flight and Elvis Presley performs his final concert before dying later that year. All of that pales in comparison to what happened on May 25 when George Lucas took the world to a place a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. The movie Star Wars changed the world. Since that day its fans have marveled at the technology used and have wondered, could it one day be a reality here? Yes, it can and we are getting closer to that day.

Check out the two previous sections: Part 1 and Part 2

Moisture Farming

Being on the desert planet of Tatooine water is scarce which has led to moisture farming as a way to survive. Imagine if the deserts of the world could become livable or viably produce resources in great communities founded in the Sahara, the Sonoran, the Atacama, or Australia’s Gibson Desert. It is not impossible, in fact this technology is reality. An Australian man has developed technology called Airdrop. With inspiration from a beetle that was capable of surviving in Africa’s Namib Desert a technology was developed to suck moisture from the air and run it through pipes to cool it creating condensation that is fed directly to the root system of plants. The best part is no droid is required to operate them so C-3PO will not be needed.

The Jetpack

Besides the speeder another means of transportation in the Star Wars universe was the jetpack that bounty hunter Boba Fett wore. You’ve got to admit, it just made him cooler (if that was possible). George Lucas was not the first to feature a jet pack in a movie, James Bond used one in Thunderball in 1965 so this was hardly a new concept. In fact its first appearance was in the 1920s and was a popular part of science fiction from the 1950s on. A primitive model had been developed in 1919 by a Russian scientist. Yet even today the jetpack is still something we all dream about owning. It would make our commute easier certainly. Those dreams could be more than that soon. Jetpack Aviation is testing a working model developed in 2016 so stay tuned.

Magnetic Levitation

The scene in the Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo is encased in carbonite is one of the most iconic scenes of the franchise. While no one (or anything for that matter) is going to be frozen in this manner the means of transporting something like this is feasible, at least in theory. Certainly the frozen Solo was no light-weight package and yet as Boba Fett and company moved around Cloud City they moved the package with ease thanks to what is probably magnetic levitation. It looked cool on screen that’s for sure. Magnetic levitation is real and is being used in the real world with maglev transportation systems in China, Japan and South Korea.

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