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Neil deGrasse Tyson is a man who has spent a large chunk of his career connecting science with pop culture as a means to reach people everywhere. Some science fiction franchises have fared better than others under his discerning eye. The Star Wars universe has earned some flack from the Cosmos host for not being scientifically feasible over the years, but this weekend during the 2018 Cosmos: Possible Worlds panel at Comic-Con, the scientist explained that while Star Wars has gotten a lot wrong over the years, he feels that it is high time he gives Star Wars Episode IV a little bit of credit for getting one science concept right. Per Tyson:
In the Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope the first of the series it was, Luke comes out and he sees a double sunset. That is the only scientifically accurate thing in all of Star Wars. No, in all seriousness more than half the stars you see in the night sky are double and multiple star systems and no one had thought to put a planet around any of them. So, the fact this was portrayed in Star Wars, I'll just give a shout-out to that exercise in bringing the rest of the star family into the storytelling that unfolded.
A few years ago, Neil deGrasse Tyson shared a bunch of the things Star Wars has gotten wrong over time, which includes stuff like the way BB-8 is shaped and how that wouldn't work the way the movies show or the fact parsecs have nothing to do with time, making the famous line about the Kessel run totally moot. Star Wars isn't the only movie franchise or property Neil deGrasse Tyson has turned his critical eye toward over the time, but it is one of the most popular franchises and his scrutiny of the Disney and Lucasfilm property has garnered attention. So, although he has some issues with the ways Star Wars plays with science, he is more than willing to give credit where credit is due, in this case on Tatooine.
And in this particular circumstance, the 1977 Star Wars flick really got it right, even down to smaller details. As the famous scientist elaborated:
And by the way -- and this is inside baseball here --you can't have a stable orbit if the stars are too far apart because your orbital allegiance would get challenged, depending on where you are. Those two stars were close enough together so that this planet's orbit would orbit them both and see gravitationally only one object, thereby keeping a stable orbit. So, they even got that right.
If you'd like to check out Neil deGrasse Tyson setting his sights on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or even Titanic, we have you covered. For more insights on science and humanity, tune in for Cosmos: Possible Worlds when it airs on Fox and National Geographic in the spring of 2019. And be sure to avoid quoting Han Solo's famous "under 12 parsecs" line if you are ever within Tyson's hearing.