39

If there is no gravity in space.

How can they use gravity to throw bombs into the Dreadnought in the first scene on the movie?

  • 19
    There is gravity in space...it might be really weak but there's gravity everywhere... – Paulie_D Dec 15 '17 at 21:38
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    Why the thumbs down?, I think is a legit question. – Alessandro Sanfilippo Dec 15 '17 at 21:51
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    @AlessandroSanfilippo - Good questions get random downvotes. It's not something you should worry about unless they start coming in multiples of more than one. – Valorum Dec 17 '17 at 9:38
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    Any clues on how Rose's sister survived with nothing between her and open space? – Allball103 Dec 19 '17 at 15:11
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    They fall using the phenomenon known as the plot hole which has less gravity than a black hole but more attractive force than zero gravity. ;) – KorvinStarmast Dec 25 '17 at 14:22
42

A recent tweet from the head of the Star Wars Story Group, Pablo Hidalgo would suggest that (artificial) gravity plays its part in getting the bombs out of the magazine.

There's gravity on the bomber. We saw a person fall and a remote control fall. That's really all you need to get the bombs to fall out the bottom and then keep falling.

The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary indicates however that the bombs are repulsed from the rack by electro-magnetism (like a rail gun) and then drawn to their metal target by magnetic attraction.

Bombs don't technically "drop" in microgravity, but are impelled from their racks by sequenced electromagnetic plates in the clip. The bombs are then drawn magnetically to their unfortunate targets.

We can square this circle by imagining that the lowest bombs (which only fall a few metres in gravity) are given an additional boost by the magnets, in order to get them moving fast enough that the topmost bombs (which fall 20+ meters) don't end up ploughing into them.

enter image description here

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    Aw. I was figuring they used the dreadnought's own artificial gravity field. Would have served 'em right for breaking the laws of physics. :-) – Harry Johnston Dec 17 '17 at 5:15
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    While that answer is appreciated, and up voted, that's not good science fiction in its implementation on screen: bombs should have been seen to accelerate if that was the force at work. (Yeah, one can spend all day rolling one's eyes at the "science" in the SF of Star Wars). – KorvinStarmast Dec 25 '17 at 14:24
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    Though not addressed by The Visual Dictionary, another point would be that the ships in space are not in orbit and not in free fall. A 2.9-kilometer long Resurgent-class Star Destroyer that appears to be 1-degree wide to a viewer on the surface would be at an altitude of about 166 kilometers and subject to ~.95g. If you release a bomb above it, the bomb will fall. – jeffronicus Dec 26 '17 at 1:42
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    Some people wondered how the bombs tell apart their target and the bomber than launched them - well, the target will pretty much always be made out of metal, while the bombers themselves are made from paper. – Petersaber Jan 1 '18 at 10:48
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    @KorvinStarmast "not good science fiction in its implementation on screen" can describe that whole movie pretty well... – Harabeck Sep 10 '18 at 21:56
18

It looked like they used inertia. The bomber has gravity inside it (which was a minor plot point, with the pilot falling and then knocking the remote down). They hit the release and whatever gravity it uses pulls the bombs out. Since there's no air in space, the bombs simply continue on their trajectory until they hit something.

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    A good guess, but unfortunately wrong. – Valorum Dec 16 '17 at 22:57
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    @JdeBP There was a force field to keep the air in. They're pretty far outside the atmosphere of the planet – Machavity Dec 19 '17 at 15:19
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    @JdeBP I don't get what you're saying. Yes, the bombs are inside air inside the ship. They're also within gravity. Once the bombs leave the bay, they're no longer inside air... – Machavity Dec 19 '17 at 15:42
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    @JdeBP - the Star Wars universe makes regular use of forcefields that can hold air in, but allow objects to pass through -- every time a ship opens a hangar door to space to let spacecraft in/out, there are people in the hangar that are apparently breathing at normal air pressure yet the ship makes its way through the forcefield unimpeded. – Johnny Dec 21 '17 at 21:18
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    @vsz - When you have gas-impermeable forcefields, airlocks are unnecessary. – Valorum Dec 25 '17 at 16:33
1

As well as having some kind of artificial gravity on the bomber, there were other sources of gravity-like forces.

The battle was over a planet, but it's not clear if the ships were in orbit of it. They could have been falling towards it.

The First Order dreadnaught also had artificial gravity inside, and it's not clear how far outside that extends. Certainly Poe Dameron didn't seem to be experiencing zero gravity effects inside his ship from what we could see, although it too may have had a gravity generator of some kind.

protected by Community Oct 28 '18 at 16:31

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