What the heck does “The Rise of Skywalker” even mean? Some people hate trailers because they spoil the plot. For me, it’s more like an appetizer to get me ready for the show. Of course, in this case I’m talking about Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Since you know I’m a huge geek for both Star Wars and physics, I have to do some type of analysis on this trailer. That’s just what I do. How about a look at Rey’s backflip over a low-flying TIE fighter?

My weapon of choice in this post will be video analysis (using Tracker Video Analysis). The idea is to look at the x- and y-position (in units of pixels) of an object in each frame of the video. With this, I can get position and time data to do whatever analysis I want.

For Rey jumping over (I assume she makes it) a TIE fighter, I’m just going to look at her vertical motion. Once she leaves the ground, it would just be normal physics projectile motion with a vertical acceleration equal to the local gravitational field for that planet. These kinds of analysis come up quite often—and there are three things you could consider.

The vertical acceleration. On Earth, this is -9.8 m/s2.
The distance scale. How many pixels of video in one meter of distance?
The time scale. What is the length of time for each frame?

If you know two of these three things, you can find the third. Here you can see there is a problem. I’m pretty sure I can get a distance scale by using the height of Rey (or the size of the TIE fighter). But what about the other two? It seems I should stay away from the time scale. The trailer shows her acrobatic leap in slow motion (apparently for effect). But since it’s in slow motion, the viewed frame rate (what the user sees) is different than the “real” rate. Yes, I know Star Wars is not real.

Click below to read the full article.