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Neil deGrasse Tyson Fact-Checks ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Neil deGrasse Tyson Fact-Checks 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Neil deGrasse Tyson has already made it clear he doesn’t care if you’re sick of him fact-checking science fiction movies, and he’s at it again with “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens” — the correct title, lest we run afoul of fact-checkers ourselves. As always, it’s done with love, and some of his fact-checks are more like appreciations. (Did you spot the Romanesco broccoli in Ray’s meal at Maz Kanata’s?) And it’s worth pointing out that at least one of the movie’s errors is something screenwriters J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan got wrong on purpose. For decades, scientists have pointed out that when Han Solo brags in the original “Star Wars” that the Millennium Falcon did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, he’s employing a unit of distance, not speed. In the prequels, George Lucas corrected the mistake, measuring the distance between Tatooine and Geonosis as less than a parsec. But in “The Force Awakens,” the Kessel Run is back, and finishing time is still being counted in parsecs, although there’s some dispute about whether it was 12 or 14. Given “Star Wars” fans’ dislike of the prequels, sometimes it’s better to get things wrong. 

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