In its latest video, PBS Digital Studios’ delightfully titled series It’s Okay To Be Smart examines the scientific reality of sci-fi space battles. With the help of “Obi Wan Newton,” host Joe Hanson spends the six-minute video examining Newtonian physics and explaining why space battles—like those seen in Star Wars—are actually quite unrealistic. Maneuvering in a vacuum, weaponry limitations, and the vastness of space are all examined through a scientific lens (and largely found wanting). But far from condemning these sci-fi battles for their inaccuracy, Hanson offers some pop culture analysis as well: For the most part, sci-fi is a genre that comments on the present day through a fantastical lens. As such, the accuracy of the science often comes second to the social commentary.

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