Carl Sagan Gives a Scientific Critique of ‘Star Wars’ While on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in 1978

While appearing on a 1978 episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, legendary astrophysicist Carl Sagan gave an informed, scientific critique of the new futuristic film now known as Star Wars IV: A New Hope. While Sagan stated that enjoyed the film, he did bring up concerns about how beings in outer space would both look and act differently than humans due to their different environments.

My sense of [the film] is that sort of the 11 year old in me loved them but they could have made a better effort to do things right… ‘Star Wars’ starts out saying it’s on some other galaxy, and then you see there are some people. In scene one there’s a problem because human beings are the result of a unique evolutionary sequence based upon so many individually unlikely random events on the Earth. …and I thought it was a large amount of human chauvinism

Sagan also felt that Chewbacca was treated unfairly in the film.

I felt very bad that at the end the Wookiee didn’t get a medal. All the people got medals and the Wookie who had been in there fighting all the time yet he didn’t get any medal. I thought that was an example of anti-Wookiee discrimination.

via Born in Space

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.