Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Uses Science to Choose Between the Millennium Falcon and the Enterprise

Monday, 30 November 2015 - 3:48PM
Science of Sci-Fi
Space
Monday, 30 November 2015 - 3:48PM
Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Uses Science to Choose Between the Millennium Falcon and the Enterprise

Neil deGrasse Tyson is known for his strong opinions about the science of popular culture, sometimes to the chagrin of fans. But love him or hate him, he knows his stuff, and now, in a new video for National Geographic, he's taken on the ultimate fan question: Star Trek vs Star Wars, or more specifically, the Enterprise versus the Millennium Falcon:

Opening quote
"Oh, that's easy. Oh my gosh. The Enterprise. There's no question!"
Closing quote




Sorry, Star Wars fans, the Trekkies have it. But before you get too riled up, Tyson predictably has plenty of "real" science to back his answer:

Opening quote
"The Enterprise has the benefit of being real, in the sense that there are real scientists and real engineers on staff, on the ship, monitoring its engines, its warp drive, its photon torpedoes, and so it's fake real, as opposed to the Millennium Falcon, which is just fake."
Closing quote

Tyson also claimed that the Enterprise was groundbreaking because it was the first to depict astronauts actually living on a space station, rather than being transported from place to place. As a result, he credits Star Trek for encouraging space exploration and the notion of a multiplanetary existence for the human race:

Opening quote
"The Enterprise- and I've thought long and hard about this, and I think what I'm about to say is correct- it is the first-ever spaceship represented in storytelling that was not designed to go from one place to another. It was only designed to explore... That was revolutionary, in terms of what we would think space would and should be about."
Closing quote

Of course, when the fan asked him to resolve the Enterprise versus Millennium Falcon question, she probably didn't mean which was more scientifically accurate, but which would win in a fight. Luckily, Tyson has answered this question as well:

Opening quote
"In a battle, the Enterprise would just wipe its ass with the Millennium Falcon."
Closing quote


And then he wonders if he can say that on National Geographic. Probably not, but it's too late now. 

Via Time.

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