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Jul 17
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How much Force power can Yoda output?

physicsphysics:

Ignoring - of course - the prequels.

There’s a great SMBC comic exploring the geopolitical consequences of having Superman turn a crank to provide an unlimited source of energy. We could imagine Yoda using the Force to run a similar generator. But how much power could he really supply?

Yoda’s greatest display of raw power in the original trilogy came when he lifted Luke’s X-Wing from the swamp. As far as physically moving objects around goes, this was easily the biggest expenditure of energy through the Force we saw from anyone in the trilogy.

The energy it takes to lift an object to height h is equal to the object’s mass times the force of gravity times the height it’s lifted. The X-Wing scene lets us use this to put a lower limit on Yoda’s peak power output.

First we need to know how heavy the ship was. The X-Wing’s mass has never been canonically established, but its length has—16 meters. An F-22 is 19 meters long and weighs 19,700 lbs, so scaling down from this gives an estimate for the X-Wing of about 12,000 lbs (5 metric tons).

mx=mf22(1619)^35300kg

Next, we need to know how fast it was rising. I went over footage of the sc ene and timed the X-Wing’s rate of ascent as it was emerging from the water.

The front landing strut rises out of the water in about three and a half seconds, and I estimated the strut to be 1.4 meters long (based on a scene in A New Hope where a crew member squeezes past it), which tells us the X-Wing was rising at 0.39 m/s.

Lastly, we need to know the strength of gravity on Dagobah. Here, I figure I’m stuck, because while sci-fi fans are obsessive, it’s not like there’s gonna be a catalog of minor geophysical characteristics for every planet visited in Star Wars. Right?

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[xkcd - what if?]

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