Photo: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis (Getty).
We don’t make a practice of going around calling people nerds willy-nilly. But when you write an entire book called The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away like author and PhD Patrick Johnson has, we’re sorry to say it, but you’re actually probably a nerd and a geek. Possibly even a Poindexter.
Nerdy Professor Figures Out When Star Wars Takes Place
But enough gentle ribbing. The real matter here is finding out when this fictional tale takes place within the confines of our universe (if it does, indeed, take place in our universe). What that basically boils down to are “[…] a few indicators to determine when in our universe’s history Star Wars could occur.” We use the term “basically” lightly, too, because even after reading the excerpt from Johnson’s book posted to WIRED, it’s still pretty difficult to make heads or tails out of.
That said, if you really dumb it down (which is the only way to keep your sanity), the universe is supposedly 13.7 billion years old, it takes galaxies a good billion years to form, and mulitcellular organisms take another 2 billion. Hence,”this means that Star Wars needs to be at least nine 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.”
So there you have it. The Star Wars universe takes place no more than 5 billion years ago. As for the droids you’re looking for, well, we can never seem to get a straight answer on that one.