I'm talking about this kind of effect:

I don't remember this happening in any movies, but can't easily find scenes online where spacecraft are taking off.

In A New Hope:

It looks like there's no jet blast, but maybe the ship is already too far away?

In Rogue One:

When they are on the very rainy planet, and Jyn is sneaking up onto the platform, things start going crazy and a ship takes off. Jyn is blown back from the force of the take off and hanging on the ledge. However, I feel like this is the only instance of this happening in the movies.

I'm sure there must be more examples throughout the originals and especially prequels. Does anyone know?

  • No. They use repulsors for VTOL. – Valorum Dec 21 '16 at 18:16
  • In Rogue One (minor spoilers ahead), the shuttle for Director Krennic, when escaping Eadu, clearly blasts the people on the platform away when it takes off at full throttle so close to them. – TylerH Dec 22 '16 at 3:56
  • @TylerH Yeah and the exhaust pipe has a blue light that probably means poor Jyn Erso has to see a doctor double quick to fix a nasty case of radiation poisoning (if she still has skin, that is). But I said this somewhere earlier. – David Tonhofer Jan 7 at 1:20

Mostly not

We know that many ships in the Star Wars universe use repulsors for vertical flight.

Ordinary ships use them to hover:

A low, throbbing whine from above directed our eyes to the sky, where we saw the black flying-toast ship descend on its repulsors and hover perhaps four meters above the center of the lagoon, water rippling underneath it.

Heir to the Jedi

As does Tarkin’s ship, the Carrion Spike.

Bright-side Coruscant air-traffic control directed the Carrion Spike to the Imperial Palace, and there into a courtyard landing field that was large enough to accommodate Victory- and Venator-class Star Destroyers. As repulsors eased the ship down through the busy skyways and into the court, Tarkin realized that the Emperor’s current residence had once been the headquarters for the Jedi—though practically all that remained of the Order’s elegant Temple complex was its copse of five skyscraping spires, now the pinnacle of a sprawling amalgam of blockish edifaces with sloping façades.


They also use them for vertical takeoff:

He ascended the boarding ramp and walked aft, settling into a seat in the main cabin, the Theta-class shuttle’s only passenger. High overhead, the Liberator’s hangar doors parted down the middle and retracted, and the shuttle rose off its skids on repulsorlift power, dropped its wings, and sped toward its rendezvous point, a pod-shaped support carrier named the Goliath, which had recently arrived from deepdock at Ord Mantell. Tarkin had a port-side glimpse of bleak Nam Chorios as the shuttle angled away from the Star Destroyer, the system’s sun providing barely enough light to illuminate the planet let alone warm it to human standards.


As seen on speeders, repulsor containers, and so forth, repulsors don’t produce much, if any, wind. So ships that employ this technology wouldn’t produce a jet engine blast.

However, ships do have engines, which are used for non-vertical atmospheric flight and space flight. So if a ship is not taking off vertically, or just wants to build up some speed, it certainly can produce a blast.

For example, in Rogue One, Jyn was definitely knocked back by the engine.

Raindrops sprayed against her and a harsh gust of warm air dropped her to her knees again. As the shuttle lifted off the platform, its engine backwash built until Jyn was sliding back toward the platform’s edge. She prostrated herself, clawed at the slick metal with her fingertips, and only the shuttle’s final ascension saved her from the fate of the stormtrooper she’d killed earlier.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In the case of the video in the question, although the Falcon does not appear to be using its engines for its initial takeoff (probably employing repulsor lift), there appears to be some sort of ignition in the rear (accompanied by a roaring noise) once it’s gained a bit of altitude.

Falcon takes off from Mos Eisley, rear exhaust flaring bright blue

It is this, presumably, that blows down the gang in The Force Awakens, too, as mentioned here:

  • I like your examples , and especially like the video from the TFA as another example of this. Is there anything from the EU or a reference or visual dictionary that directly addresses the repulsion vs jet vs hyperspace differences? – spacetyper Dec 22 '16 at 1:07

Millennium Falcon blasted the mercenaries during its takeoff in The Force Awakens:

As pointed out by Ixrec, the circumstances for this particular takeoff were unique - a straight-to-hyperspeed takeoff. Thus, feats such as this are not easily seen in other films.

  • 2
    This TFA clip is a jump directly to hyperspace, so maybe that has something to do with it. The shuttle in R1 that OP refers to was also in a hurry to get away from the Rebels' attack, so maybe this is something that only happens if the ship accelerates more quickly than a typical launch. – Ixrec Dec 21 '16 at 18:51
  • @Ixrec - quite probably. I only posted what came to my mind at the moment. – Gallifreyan Dec 21 '16 at 19:03
  • There's also an example of this in Rogue One. – Shufflepants Dec 21 '16 at 20:25
  • @Shufflepants - haven't seen the film yet. – Gallifreyan Dec 21 '16 at 20:53
  • 1
    @DavidTonhofer: Yeah, especially since the TIE fighter is explicitly Twin Ion Engines. Ion engines. That's essentially a beam of heavy particles accelerated to 99% light speed for relativistic mass so your spaceship can generate thrust by using a lot of energy and very little mass. That cannot be good for anyone standing behind it. – Zan Lynx Dec 22 '16 at 3:54

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