Science of Star Wars: Armor

One of the best parts of Star Wars are the outfits. In particular, the various types of Armor we’ve seen on bounty hunters and troopers.  There’s a lot of real-life science behind some of what we’ve seen in the Star Wars Saga that’s worth taking a look at.

Protects in a fire fight

It’s clear that Storm Trooper Armor isn’t blaster proof given how many we’ve seen shot down.  But what good is armor if it doesn’t protect against various types of other dangerous weapons or explosions (including their own special way of blasting through doors).

Though blasters still don’t exist, but body armor for projectile weapons is quite common.  An interesting case study is Dragon Skin was a body armor innovation from last decade.

Given how many storm troopers we’ve seen go down from blaster fire, I’m sure they’d love to get something as durable as Dragon Skin.


Vacuum Capable

One of the less offensive additions to the especial edition of Episode IV has been the insertion of Storm Troopers outside of the Death Star observing the entrance of the Millennium Falcon.  There’s something special to these troopers as it shows the versatility of the storm trooper armor – add an air supply and you can go walk outside in space.

NASA and other space agencies with human space-flight experience have been developing specially designed space suits for decades.  Though probably not blaster proof, these suits are capable of handling the harsh environments of space.  They are designed to keep the astronaut safe during extra-vehicular activities.  In short, they are designed to provide breathable air (ya know… to live), temperature protection (they’re designed to withstand temperatures of -250F to +250F), and protection from the impact of small debris.



Cool & Intimidating

Copyright Lucasfilm

Let’s face it, the armor in Star Wars is just plain cool. Sure, they provide some type of function. But it’s also clear that intimidation is also part of their function.

In our modern world, visual intimidation is always part of the battle equation.  The last thing you ever want to see coming into your home is a US Navy Seal.  They’re armor is quite intimidating to see and they’re not to be trifled with.