Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Desert Planet Looks Like Mars

A scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a desert backdrop that looks like the flank of Mt. Sharp on Mars.

Science-fiction movies are getting closer to reality. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, panoramic scenes on a desert planet similar to Tatooine seems to have been designed taking into account photos taken by NASA's rovers on the surface of Mars, specifically images of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater where the Mars Science Lab, Curiosity has been doing science work, allowing people on Earth to see what it's like on another planet. You can compare the scene from the movie above where there's a fallen Star Destoryer, to the actual photo of Mt. Sharp on Mars below and you will see similar visual elements. The sunset photo at the bottom was taken by the rover Spirit on another part of Mars. See how the hue of the atmosphere is similar to what's depicted in the scene.

The flank of Mt. Sharp as photographed by the rover Curiosity on Mars (color-corrected for Earthling eyes).

The artists behind the planet backdrop of Tatooine did, and are, doing a good job in depicting what could possibly be the actual look of Tatooine from the surface, taking cues from the environs of Mars. With the help of actual photos from the surface of the red planet, Tatooine becomes more real and plausible. So, what the filmmakers need to do now is find photos of planets to match the environments of the planets Dagobah, Hoth, and Endor.

An actual sunset on Mars as taken by the rover, Spirit. See how the blue hues match what's in the Star Wars scene?