Why Scientist Carl Sagan Was Not A Huge Fan Of The Star Wars Movies

Star Wars

Generally speaking, most people love the Star Wars film franchise. That's not to say that the movies are by any means perfect. Even back in the 1970s, there were those who saw some issues with the original film. In a recently unearthed clip, Professor of Astronomy Carl Sagan spoke about his problems with Star Wars. As you might guess, his primary issues were based on the fact that the film didn't do a great deal to make itself realistic when it came to its depictions of space and other galaxies. Most importantly, it made a pretty generous assumption regarding the sorts of life forms that we might find on other planets. According to Sagan...

My sense of them is that sort of the 11-year-old in me loved them, but they could have made a better effort to do things right. A lot of different aspects of things. Star Wars starts out saying its on some other galaxy, then there's people. Starting in Scene 1 there's a problem, because human beings are a result of a unique evolutionary sequence based upon so many individual, unlikely events on Earth.

While Carl Sagan admits that other life forms that were not human were in the film, the fact that anything human was there is a red flag from an evolutionary standpoint, because the odds that humans would ever evolve anyplace else are actually incredibly high. He also points out during his interview on The Tonight Show, that the humans are in charge of the galaxy. Sagan refers to this as "human chauvinism" and clearly, he's not a fan.

Not all of Carl Sagen's criticisms of Star Wars are entirely science based. He actually voices an issue back in 1978 that would continue to be a point of contention for Star Wars fans for decades to come. He's upset that Chewbacca didn't get a medal from the Rebel Alliance after destroying the Death Star. He chalks this up to some sort of galactic anti-Wookie sentiment that must exist for some reason.

It's far from shocking that Carl Sagan walked into movies with a mindset to be critical of the way space is depicted in film. The Carl Sagan of today is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and he basically does exactly the same thing. You can follow him on Twitter and any time a movie that takes place in space comes out you can be sure that he'll see it, and tell you what the movie did wrong, though he will also be sure to inform us of what it did right as well.

We don't expect Star Wars movies to become any more realistic going forward, though we will say that since the first film, the have begun to slowly deal with one of Carl Sagan's complaints, as there have been a few more people seen who aren't white. We'll have plenty of chances to see how Star Wars evolves as the franchise is planning films for the foreseeable future. Check out the full schedule here.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.