For almost 40 years, the Star Wars films have opened the eyes and minds of millions. We are just waiting for technology to advance to where we can race friends in our very own Podracer, wield lightsabers, and hope to be lucky enough to possess the power of the Force. In fact, the science behind Star Wars is not all that far-fetched.

Read on to see how you and your children can learn a bit of science from these immensely popular films and discover the truth behind the fiction:

Darth Vader’s Breathing

After his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar, Darth Vader’s breathing was never the same because of the volcanic atmosphere. In an issue of AnesthesiologyRonni R. Plovsing, MD and Ronan M. G. Berg, MD break down a case study of Darth Vader’s breathing to understand how complex his condition is. They mention that Vader’s breathing pattern is at about 13–16 breaths per minute during rest and normal everyday activities and that his respiratory frequency increases to 25 breaths per minute when he is stressed.

“Darth Vader may be considered an example of acute and chronic respiratory failure following severe burns and thermal lung injury . . . The treatment with a whole-body armored suit containing a mobile life support system immediately upon arrival to hospital is evidently maintained over a period of 22 years . . . We thus propose that Darth Vader’s chronic respiratory failure involves both obstructive and restrictive elements due to chronic alveolar inflammation, fibrosis, and perhaps thoracic deformities, so that he requires continuous oxygen supplementation as well as positive airway pressures to support his breathing and prevent airway collapse.”

Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber

Kyle Hill explains how Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is a clever design thanks to the help from an ancient sword modification.

TIE Fighters

Is NASA already ahead of the game in bringing Star Wars tech to the future?

Prosthetic Limbs

Watch and learn how dismemberment in science fiction has helped advance the way we view prosthetic limbs today.

Tyson Knows Best

Recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson shared his experience with the science fact behind Star Wars The Force Awakens.

Well, not all of them were scientific.

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