Episode 14: Blockbuster Science

Darth Vader with Stormtroopers

Darth Vader with Storm Troopers. Photograph copyright Lucasfilm Ltd.

Is science on the silver screen any less real than science in the lab? A crew from CHF attempts to answer this question with a visit to a new Star Wars exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. In a commentary on how cartoons shape our ideas about emerging science and technology, Jody Roberts suggests that accuracy is not really the point when science makes its way into popular culture. Element of the Week: Krypton.

Show Clock

00:00     Opening Credits
00:32     Introduction
00:50     Element of the Week: Krypton
02:28     Commentary: Cartoons as Science?
06:15     Exhibit Review: Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination
11:10     Quote: Lex Luthor
11:30     Closing Credits

Resources and References

To see the exhibit: Star Wars touring schedule.
On G. I. Joe: An incredibly thorough fan site and this clip from YouTube.
On Spiderman: this clip from YouTube.
Everything you ever wanted to know about kryptonite: “Kryptonite” Wikipedia entry


Special thanks to Jody Roberts for researching the show, to Jennifer Landry for reviewing the exhibit, and to Tori Indivero for organizing the trip to the Franklin Institute.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music and sound clips sampled from the films and cartoons under review.

Photo credit: © Lucasfilm Ltd. These and other costumes from the Star Wars saga can be seen in the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit.


Posted In: Society

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