Reminder: If Star Wars really happened “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” then – in theory – we could see it in the night sky right now.
The Star Wars franchise is more fantasy than science fiction, and makes no apologies for it. Sound and fire exist in space (and make the same sound as they do in an atmosphere). Systems in the “outer rim” experience time the same as “core worlds.” Every alien race seems to breathe the same air, eat the same food, and survive on planets with the same pressure and gravity – which is fortunate, as every planet seems to have the same biospheric make-up (even snow and desert planets).
Most importantly (as far as the subject heading goes) however, the speed of light does exist (at least nominally). After all, that’s why ships need hyperdrive.
So that being the case, let’s assume the Star Wars galaxy exists in our reality, and is indeed in a galaxy not too close to us. The nearest galaxy clusters are 25,000 and 1,000,000 lightyears from us, and the Triangulum galaxy is, give or take, 3,000,000 lightyears away. That means someone looking at the faint glow of the Triangulum galaxy is actually viewing light that originated three million years ago.
That’s right, when you look at the night sky, you are looking back in time.
So in theory, when you look up at the night sky you are looking at far, far away galaxies as they existed long, long ago.
And on one of them, BB-8 just made a new friend.
Kevin Garcia is a professional educator and freelance writer whose work has appeared in Marvel Comics, the Associated Press, and on various blogs. He manages Monomythic.com, where this post originated on Dec. 23, 2015. Follow the blog at www.facebook.com/monomythic/!