‘Star Wars’ technology… today

Happy Star Wars Day! It is hard to deny that the “Star Wars” movie franchise changed the way we imagined the future. The technology showcased “in a galaxy far, far away” may seem merely science fiction, but we have made significant technological advances since the world was introduced to “Star Wars” on May 25, 1977. To celebrate this year’s Star Wars Day, we wanted to highlight some of the technologies imagined in the “Star Wars” universe and how that seemingly Space-Age technology has evolved into modern day reality.

The technologies we are going to showcase are not theoretical. They exist … whether as proofs of concept, upcoming releases or actively deployed into the world.

Space travel

At the time the first “Star Wars” movie was released, civilization had achieved space travel. In 1961, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was the first human in space and less than a month later, Alan Shepard Jr. was the first American in space.

Since then, space exploration has moved from a single government agency to the private sector. These autonomous, self-landing rockets from SpaceX look to be straight from “Star Wars,” but they are real and are a vital part of SpaceX’s mission to get civilization to Mars.

Droids

Those may not be the droids you’re looking for, but these robots from Ghost Robotics are what the Air Force was looking for to enhance the security patrolling operations at Tyndall Air Force base.

Holographic Presence

If you’re going to communicate across the far reaches of the galaxy, why not do it with some style? Having a holographic presence anywhere in the universe may seem light years away, but we are closer to this reality than you may realize.

Microsoft recently unveiled Mesh, “a new mixed-reality platform powered by Azure that allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences on many kinds of devices.”

Speeder Bikes

Speeding through the forest on a contraption hovering a few feet above the ground may seem outlandish. However, advancements in the drone industry have demonstrated this could be a reality in the next few years. In fact, “Making good on a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now gifted Dubai Police its first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has begun training officers to fly it.”

Lightsaber

Yes, you read that right. A functional prototype of “the weapon of a Jedi Knight” and “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age” has been built. Hacksmith Industries built a retractable, 4000-degree plasma-based lightsaber.

May the Fourth be with you!

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