Filmmakers and screenwriters imagine alien worlds and human adventurers traveling beyond our solar system. But even with sophisticated special effects, there are things space movies often get wrong. Here are four of the biggest mistakes in sci-fi space movies.
Biggest Mistakes in Sci-fi Space Movies
Watching Han Solo maneuver the Millennium Falcon through a dense asteroid field while Imperial forces pursue him is thrilling. However, asteroid belts are nowhere near that dense. Asteroids are far apart from each other, making it highly unlikely that a spacecraft would engage in acrobatics to avoid collision with space rocks.
Plus, the repairs the crew of the Millennium Falcon performs after the ship gets roughed up in an asteroid belt would be more complicated than they look in the movie. Space welding is one such skill the crew would have to learn, as welding in space must account for the lack of oxygen and heat. Surely, the repairs aren’t as simple as reconnecting a few wires!
The Sound of Silence
Space is a vacuum, but the sound needs a medium through which to travel. As a result, explosions in space don’t make a sound that is audible to humans, even if there’s enough debris to transmit sound waves. This makes the boom of explosions and the zap of space weapons in sci-fi space movies all fiction and no science.
Away Team! Respond!
In Star Trek, Kirk would bark on the bridge, “Away team, respond!” any time crew members on the surface of a new world went incommunicado.
However, Kirk should have kept his patience in check, as communication between celestial bodies isn’t instantaneous. Unlike the movies, no human has yet figured out how to make radio transmissions move faster than the speed of light for interstellar communication.
Even though many sci-fi space fighter craft are shaped like fighter jets that fly in Earth’s atmosphere, there’s no scientific reason for this. After all, aerodynamics studies how to harness the natural movement of air over a craft to manipulate lift and drag. In space, there’s no air, so the aerodynamic design of sci-fi fighter jets is largely unnecessary.
While these five biggest mistakes in sci-fi space movies drive some moviegoers nuts, other fans couldn’t care less. Whether it bothers you or not, sci-fi space movies still allow you the space to sit back and enjoy a time in suspended belief.
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