Professor Aims to Explain STAR WARS with Physics and Says The Story Took Place 4.7 Billion Years Ago


I love Star Wars. I grew up on the original trilogy, loved the prequels when they came out (now it’s a little hard to watch Episodes I and II), and have loved the new movies. Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel are some of my favorite video games. All this love of Star Wars and I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about when it took place. Why would I? After all, I am repeatedly informed of when: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

This response was not good enough for Georgetown University assistant professor Patrick Johnson. He used science to figure out that the Star Wars films took place about 4.7 billion years ago. Now of course, that is assuming that it happens in the same universe as us. An excerpt from his book, The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away, was posted on Wired and explains:

The best theories that we have indicate that our universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Assuming the Star Wars galaxy is in our universe, we need a few indicators to determine when in our universe’s history Star Wars could occur.

After some more details, he follows:

Altogether, this means that Star Wars needs to be at least 9 billion years after the big bang. This leaves plenty of years before the current time (about 4.7 billion to be precise), so it could still count as “a long time ago,” but it is certainly closer to now than to the big bang.

In addition to how long ago the events took place, Johnson’s book goes on to talk about the physics of Star Wars including the Force! If you’ll excuse me, I need to brush up on my science and rearrange my Christmas list to include this book.

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