Movie physics - Luke and the Tauntaun

Luke riding a Tauntaun (C) Julia Gingras

Luke riding a Tauntaun (C) Julia Gingras

Movie physics taken serious

Usually movies are critisised for the way they treat physics. Specifically because of the liberties they take or how they outright ignore laws of nature. I want to approach this from a different angle. In this series we take what happens in movies serious and look at the consequences that has if the usual laws of nature apply.

With this premise this article is in contrast to this one. The author explains why Luke Skywalker will die even though Han Solo stuffs Luke into the Tauntaun. However, it uses some faulty assumptions - the mass of the tauntaun is completly neglected for instance. Another article simplifies too much and estimates how long it takes until the Tauntaun is frozen. Even the Mythbusters have tackled this problem, however they work with higher temperatures and without wind.

We will try to answer the following question:

Which properties must the Tauntaun have for Luke to survive until Han has managed to build a shelter?

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