5

When NASA sends astronauts to space, they have to wear uncomfortable suits. Why aren't the humans in Star Wars spacecraft doing the same thing? What technology do they have on board that remove this need?

  • 1
    May I ask what is wrong with the question to get 2 negative votes? Please explain so that I can improve my question in future. – user486818 Dec 30 '15 at 8:53
  • 6
    I wasn't one of the down-voters, but my guess is that they felt the answer to this question is too obvious. Because this is a science fiction site, many of the users here have seen/read a lot of sci-fi, and they're used to knowing the conventions of sci-fi space travel without having to think about it. The new Star Wars film is so popular that at least some of the audience will be quite new to sci-fi, so I think the question is okay. :) – Renegade Princess Dec 30 '15 at 9:12
  • @ Renegade Princess, thanks. I thought it was a logical question to ask. – user486818 Dec 30 '15 at 9:13
  • Who says they're humans? – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 3 '16 at 19:05
17

Real-world astronauts wear bulky space suits to protect themselves from extreme cold, radiation, and a lack of breathable atmosphere.

They only wear the suits if they are planning to enter such an environment (such as going outside their space station, or walking on the moon) or if they're about to do something dangerous where they are facing a higher risk of being exposed to such an environment (such as taking off or landing their spacecraft).

On board the International Space Station they do not wear the bulky space suits while going about their day-to-day activities.

Star Wars is similar. Most people on space ships do not wear protective suits, because the ship itself provides the air, warmth and protection they need.

Unlike our current real-world spacecraft, ships in Star Wars usually provide artificial gravity as well.

  • 6
    ...except for that time Han, Leia, and Chewie walked outside the Millennium Falcon while landed inside a big cavern on an asteroid. They did have breathers, but it doesn't seem possible there's enough pressure to keep your blood from boiling. – Scott Whitlock Dec 30 '15 at 17:27
  • 1
    The giant slug generated his own internal atmosphere. Yeah, that's it! – BBlake Dec 30 '15 at 18:20
  • 2
    @ScottWhitlock the hand-wavy explanation for this is that the creature they're inside is providing both warmth and pressure as part of its internal environment. There are also mynocks (those flying lamprey things) alive and well in there. Not exactly "realistic", but Star Wars doesn't aim for that. Star Wars is definitely an atmosphere over explanation kind of work. (Pun intended. :D) – Renegade Princess Dec 30 '15 at 18:21
  • 4
    Except the giant slug had its mouth open (apparently) the whole time, or at least while flying in and out. Seems pretty open-to-space to me. It's a galaxy far, far away, so maybe their galaxy has an atmosphere. :) – Scott Whitlock Dec 30 '15 at 22:05
  • 2
    @ScottWhitlock Your blood doesn't actually boil in space. Your skin provides enough pressure to prevent that. They'd still have been damn cold standing in what's essentially open vacuum though. – sevvack May 21 '16 at 16:14
3

In the case of the X-Wing pilots, for a spacesuit to do any good it would have to survive the explosive destruction of your ship intact and then be able to keep you alive until you were rescued. The odds of this are probably pretty low. On the other hand a bulky pressure suit would probably reduce your piloting ability, making it more likely that you would be destroyed. So probably a net loss.

At one point in the Battle of Yavin one of the pilots shouts to another "Eject! Eject!", suggesting that X-Wings have some kind of ejector seat capability that can keep the pilot alive in space. Maybe the entire sealed cockpit is ejected, or perhaps a force field maintains enough atmospheric pressure, or perhaps some clever mechanism envelopes the pilot in a sealed bubble as part of the ejection sequence; we never find out.

-2

If you look closely, you can actually see several characters in the Mos Eiesly cantina wearing space suits, not to mention BoShek, and Bossk from Empire Strikes back.

  • 2
    Mos Eisely is a cantina on a planet. It is not in space. What has it got to do with why characters don't need to wear space suits in space? – Paul L May 20 '16 at 19:02
  • @PaulL If people sometimes wear spacesuits in spaceports, then they presumably wear them in space sometimes. I suppose that's what this answer is saying. – Molag Bal May 20 '16 at 19:05
  • 1
    @anaranjada: Maybe. An alternate explanation is that the atmospheric conditions on Tatooine are poisonous or otherwise dangerous to the beings in the "spacesuits", so they need those suits to survive in the local environment. – GreenMatt May 20 '16 at 19:16
  • 2
    @anaranjada maybe, except the question wasn't "Does anyone wear Spacesuits in Star Wars?", it was "Why aren't they wearing space suits?". Pointing out that a couple people might doesn't at all address the question as to how those who aren't are able not to. – Paul L May 20 '16 at 19:28
  • 2
    Are they space suits, or some sort of armor or other suit that just happens to look, or maybe even act like a space suit? The armor the clones wore doubled as environmental/space suits as well. But that wasn't their primary purpose. – Ellesedil May 20 '16 at 19:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.