Gadgets & Gear from far far away

SW History mag cover2


Throughout the Star Wars universe very cool gadgets and tech has been introduced to us from a galaxy, far, far away. Let’s take a look at some of these gizmos.

Droids — From small cargo – carrying units on wheels, scuttling about the Death Star like boxy Roombas, to language enabled, walking droids like C-3PO, droids invite the audience to contemplate human nature. One day will droids be around to help us mare humans?

Bacta Tank – It looked like it hurt when the scene came on in Episode V when a Wampa swiped Luke across the face. But the treatment he undergoes to heal from the scrape is disarmingly appealing, never more so than in our current era of spas and high-end fitness regimens. Promotion from the time of the movie’s release in 1980 referred to the cylindrical tank as a “rejuvenation chamber” but it has later come to be known as a “bacta tank.

Filled with a liquid healing agent, the tank requires the patient to wear a breathing mask but the effect is of floating in space.

Lightsabers – If there is any one gadget that fans love and want to imitate, it’s the lightsaber, which has evolved noticeably since its basic beginnings in the first movie. Episode VII The Force Awakens introduced the red crossguard used by Kylo Ren. Episode I The Phantom Menace, the double-bladed saber wielded by Darth Maul was the craze (fans would love to see it again) And who knows what the creative team has in store for the next two installments.

Even in its most essential form, a lightsaber has an undeniable cool factor. While all sorts of plastic knockoffs are sold, there are versions that are getting closer and closer to the “real thing” of a plasma-blade.

Landspeeders—Long before hovercrafts were even a thought of, Luke Skywalker sped across the Tatooind edsert on his landspeeder. The tradition survived in later episodes, notably in the famous speeder race in Episode I The Phantom Menace. Achieving the effect of speeders hovering over the desert kept the crew at ILM plenty busy. In the days before green screens though, made it easier to more seamlessly pull off the illusion, they relied on wheels, mirrors and camera tricks. Hovering vehicles has been something we’ve been trying to achieve since the 60’s.

Holograms – As Alexa, Google Home and other voice activated features start to meld with FaceTime and other video platforms, society should soon land where Star Wars already was decades ago. Early in the first movie, the hologram of Princess Leia has her deliver the iconic plea, “Help me Obi-wan…you’re my only hope” to Jedi Master meetings across the galaxy to beam into the same room, concept of holograms always has a certain appeal.

When scientists earlier this year announced they had invented a nano-material device that could bring holographic technology to smartphones, they did not disguise their source of inspiration. “As a child, I learned about the concept of holographic imaging from the Star Wars movies,” said lead researcher Lei Wang from the Australian National University. “It’s really cool to be working on an invention that uses the principals of holography depicted in those movies.”

Each of these gadgets have concepts or have begun developed in our world today, all which started from pure imagination from the sci-fi world. There’s even a lot more super cool tech coming our way that is inspired from other sci-fi movies, the hoverboard from “Back to the Future,” the Holo-duck from “Star Trek” is also in develops,  but until then we’ll have to make do with VR.


(excerpts from “The Complete History of Star Wars” mag)