25

At the end of movie:

Finn decides to drive into the battering cannon to destroy it. He is driving only forward and somehow Rose was able to hit him. How is that possible? She turned away for a moment so she has a longer way to go.

I assume:

  • Finn and Rose has the same v[m/s] which is constant
  • Rose has bigger s[m]
  • pattern for time for v=const -> t=s/v

Verdict: She can't hit him. Or maybe she was faster?

Am I missing something?

  • 28
    You're forgetting the power of plot! – Edlothiad Dec 20 '17 at 8:43
  • 8
    Or maybe power of love :D – Daniel Dec 20 '17 at 9:31
  • 3
    Nit picking: It wasn't really an "accident", was it? – Daniel Jour Dec 20 '17 at 11:38
  • 12
    Why are you assuming that two different ships in two different states of disrepair have the same acceleration and top speed? – Valorum Dec 20 '17 at 12:21
  • 6
    (Han Solo voice) Never tell me the physics! – Paul Dec 20 '17 at 12:48
71

His vehicle was slowed by the (pressure of the) cannon's beam. You see his ship buckling under the pressure and slowing.

enter image description here

Based on a quick eyeball assessment of his speed, from the point seen below it should have only taken him about five seconds to reach the cannon, yet he's still more than a hundred yards away eight seconds later when Rose hits him.

enter image description here


It's also worth noting a couple of other facts;

  • His speeder already looked trashed when he sets off. In the brief time we see hers, it seems in better condition.

  • Literally the first thing Finn did was slam his ship into the ground at a hundred mph. That can't be good for it.

  • She's a Resistance Engineer by trade. Getting top performance out of ailing equipment is her entire raison d'être.

  • 2
    By the way, there is a concept called radiation pressure to describe why stars do not collapse onto themselves. I don't like to use detailed scientific analysis to describe a universe in which our laws of physics might not be working, but here it fits well. – C.Koca Dec 20 '17 at 11:10
  • 8
    Finn probably really suck at piloting. He is just a janitor Stormtrooper. – Nelson Dec 20 '17 at 11:52
  • 1
    Last bullet is a very good point. They even emphasize it in the movie by showing her telling him how to put his little glidey-gear thing down. Stands to reason she'd know a lot more about how to get the utmost speed out of the things than he did. – T.E.D. Dec 20 '17 at 19:55
  • 1
    There are many points in the movie (and most movies) where an establishing shot shows a character mere seconds away from a destination, but it takes much longer in screen-time for them to arrive. That's not a particularly good way to measure finn's speed. – Knetic Dec 21 '17 at 19:34
  • @Knetic - Sure, but he was really far away. And they'd only just established his position and speed. – Valorum Dec 21 '17 at 19:39
5

The movie doesn't say anything about this, but in Battlefront 2, those speeders have adjustable speeds. The range is also pretty dramatic, you can go both very slow and very fast.

We also see Finn's speeder start to fall apart while the beam is beginning to activate (the metal guns melt and "fray"). It's not hard to imagine that it lost some power and speed as that was happening.

So perhaps while Finn's speeder was slowing due to the damage, Rose was able to accelerate to her top speed and catch up to him before he hit the battering cannon.

  • 11
    Which begs another question: how was the metal melting and Finn didn't even get burned? – algiogia Dec 20 '17 at 9:44
  • 2
    @algiogia - Shielding – Valorum Dec 20 '17 at 19:58
  • 1
    @algiogia - film-wise, it's because it makes for a dramatic scene that looks ok if you don't think about it too much:) in the film, FInn is visibly sweating, but he's in the ship (and behind the windshield, etc) so there is a rationale for him not melting. – MikeTheTall Dec 21 '17 at 17:17

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