Star Wars: Geophysicist Shuts Down Critics of 'The Last Jedi' Salt-Licking Scene

Critics of The Last Jedi regularly latch onto the same moments from the film that they didn't enjoy and point to them ad nauseam as "proof" of the film's shortcomings, with one of these moments being when a Resistance soldier on Crait tastes the earth and mentions that it tastes like salt. While this might seem like bizarre behavior for the uninformed, a geophysicist pointed out just how often researchers rely on their taste buds to identify minerals in the field.

Mika McKinnon, whose Twitter bio reads, "Field geophysicist, disaster researcher, scifi science consultant, science writer," attempted to clarify why someone in the field might use tastebuds to identify a mineral.

"Evaporites are soft (scratch with your fingernail), but the easiest way to ID between halite vs sylvite is salty vs sour. IDing sand vs clay is the cutoff between gritty or not. Fossils stick to your tongue. You don’t NEED to lick rocks; it’s just faster & easier," McKinnon noted. "I don’t lick every wild rock I meet, and licking lab samples is just gross. But if you’re out doing field rock ID, you already know enough to keep your tongue away from arsenopyrite & don’t waste your time nibbling granite. Not all geoscientists lick rocks. I’m geophysics — 95% of my rock ID is recreational, & it’s been at least a year since I last licked a rock. But it’s not an inherently ridiculous concept worthy of mockery."

While the behavior can understandably look bizarre to an outsider, McKinnon noted just how helpful this technique could be. She then addressed the scene in question in The Last Jedi which caught flack from the film's critics.

The Last Jedi trolls then came out in full force in an attempt to tell McKinnon how she clearly wasn't an expert at the thing she made a living from doing, leading her to post even more tweets about the subject and how it directly related to the film, a thread you can read here.

Sadly, few Twitter users are familiar with the Force who have also been exposed to the lack of gravity and have demonstrated their will to survive the dangers of deep space, so we'll have to suffer through Leia Organa being mocked for using the same abilities Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker have used to leap superhuman distances to travel through zero-gravity to safety for a while longer.

The next film in the series, Star Wars: Episode IX, lands in theaters in December of 2019.

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[H/T Twitter, mikamckinnon]