Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Star Wars Technical Flaw That Isn't

I'm not a huge fan of any of the star industries, which includes Trek and Wars and People magazine, but I check them out now and again just to try to find something the goggle-eyed fans have missed. Being an outsider, I might see things in a different way. I think I found something.

I think I have a doozy, and it has to do with Star Wars.

It's at least in the first movie, which somehow is subtitled Episode IV. (I have no answer for that.) (Neither have I seen any of the other movies, to see if this is also in one or more of them.)

Fans point out a technical flaw. They say that the flying fighters and space machines with engines can't make sound, because this is in the vacuum of space, where there can't be sound.

However, I have a wonderful answer to that, courtesy of a little tour I got with a pilot of an American air-breathing fighter plane. I extrapolated a concept I saw in the cockpit of an aircraft that is rightfully called a Warthog. I'm sure I could have seen this idea is in many others.

Anyway, flying in space is especially deadly, considering the amazing velocities at which things move. Even marble-size objects can have a five-figure closing speed and more, and can therefore destroy whatever they hit in a blink.

When one is flying fighter craft in the vacuum of space, one therefore needs as many sensory clues as possible to gain advantage in the fight and avoid damage.

Visible information through cockpit windows is a given. So is a variety of onboard sensors that transmit location of surrounding craft and objects to a screen or heads-up display.

One more thing, which is my answer to the so-called flaw: These craft are also equipped with surround-sound equipment to produce artificially-generated engine sounds from all quadrants. These sounds provide additional information to the pilot as to type and location and approach of potentially-threatening craft and objects. It's as if the pilot was outside of and free of the aircraft and could hear exactly what was around and what it all was doing.

Naturally, it's a skilled pilot who decides from moment to moment what sensory information is the most vital, be it directly-visual, display icons, warning lights, feedback from the controls, or artificial auditory clues.

The fact that theater viewing of this movie included 3D sound should have tipped off the audience that there are many ways to be environmentally aware, and the setting of space may not present every way that could prove useful. The technology outfitted in the craft would make up for that, giving every pilot every possible bit of vital information possible, in every way useful to a pilot's full compliment of physical senses.

Zoom! Roar! It's sound, but not from space. It's what it could be, if space transmitted sound.

Not a flaw.

Now can I be a Star Wars fan?