Physicist Claims 'Star Wars' Took Place as Recent as 4.7 Billion Years Ago

All Star Wars fans know that the events of the series unfold "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," but given the age and size of the known universe, this information is all relative. Unhappy with that ambiguity, Georgetown University assistant professor Patrick Johnson pieced clues together that narrows down the timeframe slightly, claiming that the events couldn't have taken place more than 4.7 billion years ago.

“The best theories that we have indicate that our universe is about 13.7 billion years old,” Johnson shared in his book The Physics of Star Wars: The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away. “Assuming the Star Wars galaxy is in our universe, we need a few indicators to determine when in our universe’s history Star Wars could occur.”

An excerpt from the book posted to Wired continued, "The first galaxies were formed around a billion years after the big bang, so that cuts out a billion years. The films depict many star systems with mature planets and intelligent life. It took the solar system about 500 million years to form, and it formed 4.6 billion years ago, so it’s reasonable to assume that Star Wars is about 5 billion years after the formation of the first galaxy."

"Altogether, this means that Star Wars needs to be at least 9 billion years after the big bang," Johnson notes. "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."

The author admitted that, although the timeframe of the films can somewhat be narrowed down, the location of the events is nearly impossible, considering the various types of planets seen in the saga could exist virtually anywhere in the universe.

In the 40 years since the original film's debut, science reality has gotten closer and closer to science fiction. Elements of the saga that seemed impossible have inspired scientists to make those predictions realities.

Many pieces of technology in the saga exceed the realm of possibility, but Lucasfilm recently created a functional lightsaber. Well, not technically a real lightsaber, but they crafted a saber-like apparatus that reached temperatures similar to what an actual lightsaber could create in an impressive display of physics and ingenuity.

[H/T Wired]