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Over the course of a couple short years, Neil deGrasse Tyson has gone from an astrophysicist that was known widely in science geek circles to pretty much a household name. He's done this not only through his hit podcast (now late night TV show) StarTalk Live, but also by being a tenacious fact checker for Hollywood films depicting scientific concepts. Gravity, Interstellar and even Titanic have all drawn the attention and the scientific knowledge of Tyson, and now a filmmaker is actually seeking that guidance out before filming has begun. Either Chris Weitz is a bold man, or a damned fool.
Taking to his official Twitter feed, Weitz – the writer of such films as About A Boy and Disney's recent Cinderella remake – has asked for the following advice from everyone's favorite personal astrophysicist:
While Neil deGrasse Tyson is very outspoken when it comes to science in the movies, this has to be the first time we've ever heard of a writer contacting Tyson for his direct input into the script phase. The most we've ever seen is Tyson's involvement in the anniversary re-release of Titanic, as James Cameron invited him to correct the star field for historical accuracy. This is kind of cool, because if Chris Weitz is asking for astronomical advice for his Star Wars Anthology spinoff, this means that Rogue One could have all sorts of awesome science-intensive sequences.
Everything from the behavior of ships during climactic space battle sequences, to the possibility of a scene where the first Rogues need to navigate towards an Imperial site by using a star map, could all be very good scenarios that could not only heighten the reality of Rogue One, but also help the film stand up to the eventual CinemaSins inquisition it shall receive. Also, we can't help but feel like Neil deGrasse Tyson, for all of the hard work he will possibly be providing to the Rogue One team, will at least be offered a cameo of some sort in the finished product.
Unfortunately, we need to bring ourselves back to reality before we get too ahead of ourselves. The sad reality is that, so far, it doesn't look like Tyson has not accepted Chris Weitz's Twitter offer to act as a scientific consultant on Rogue One. Now this shouldn't be seen as a slight, as there's a good chance that Neil deGrasse Tyson is busy with StarTalk Live, as well as his duties as director of the Rose Planetarium at the Museum Of Natural History. Or maybe he just dropped the screenwriter a DM? Still, we could imagine this is the type of gig that Tyson would jump at, should he have the time. That is, if his allegiances to Star Trek aren't so great that they would prevent him from helping the opposition.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One takes formation on December 16, 2016.