Popular Science

The physics keeping Star Wars' Cloud City afloat

And why it has a limited lifespan in the sky.
physics book cover

Copyright © 2017 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster

The following is excerpted from The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Patrick Johnson.

“Lando conned somebody out of it.”—Han Solo (Episode V)

WHEN Episode V, immediately after the escape from Hoth

WHERE Bespin, Cloud City

CHARACTERS Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Lobot, Boba Fett

PHYSICS CONCEPTS Air resistance, orbits


Cities of the future as depicted in science fiction are often floating in space (think the Jetsons). This may have to do with concerns that at some point life on Earth may not be viable. In the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science4 min readFood & Wine
Gear Up And Cook The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner
Even for the most confident cooks, Thanksgiving dinner is a massive undertaking. The sheer scale and scope of this holiday’s menu are so over-the-top that it’s tempting to drop serious cash on products that promise to make the whole process a breeze.
Popular Science2 min readFood & Wine
The Best Food Containers For Leftovers And Meal Prep
In glass, plastic and durable materials, a set of food storage containers will keep your kitchen/fridge organized and sane.
Popular Science4 min read
Motorola’s $1,500 Folding-screen RAZR Is Perfectly Ridiculous
Breaking down Motorola's outlandish new phone and the rest of the week's biggest tech stories.