Jalopnik compares Star Wars, US military tech–then and now

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The Millennium Falcon takes on TIE fighters in the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Millennium Falcon takes on TIE fighters in the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm)

star wars millennium falconIf you’ve been anywhere near the Internet this weekend, you’ve probably seen the first trailer for the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Fans applauded the return of the legendary Millennium Falcon and the debut of an updated X-wing starfighter, and how their appearance hews closer to the utilitarian, beat-to-hell look of the original movies and not the shiny, spiffy look of the much-derided prequels.

Jalopnik’s military-focused blog, Foxtrot Alpha, took things one step further this weekend by outlining how the advancement — or lack thereof — of weapons platforms in the Star Wars universe mirrors our own. Said Foxtrot Alpha:

Like the X-wing and the Millennium Falcon, our F-15s and B-1s are still flying, they just have been refined, adapted and upgraded over the years, as have their pilots’ life support equipment. […] Thus the older, proven and updated airframes continue to do the USAF’s heavy lifting, and it looks like the X-wings and Millennium Falcon do the same for the now liberated rebel forces. […]

In some ways, watching this new trailer and comparing what 37 years looks like from a technological standpoint, both in fiction and reality, brings us back down to planet earth. Like the Star Wars universe, we really haven’t come as far as we may fancy ourselves to have in so many years. Yes the technology and weaponry has evolved, but it has not mutated as drastically as we may like to think.

Also on the Star Wars front, the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe examines the ways the movies’ lingo and ideas have creeped into the military’s culture. And while we’re at it, take another look at the trailer below. You know you want to.

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