Sternberg Museum of Natural History
Since its premiere in 1977, “Star Wars” has become a staple in many cultures.
It has connected people all over the world, making it one of the most successful franchises. Not only has it impacted our culture, but our science as well.
The connection between science fiction and actual science has not only helped people have a better understanding of science, but has given them an appreciation for it.
Sternberg outreach coordinator Ian Trevethan has found this connection to be a useful teaching tool to get people excited about science. This summer, Trevethan has been working on a project to show people the connections between “Star Wars” animals and real animals.
The project has led Trevethan to get creative. To help show off the marvelous animals of the “Star Wars” Universe, he has created a Vulptex (crystal fox), seen from “Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” and a Taun-Taun, seen in “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” The fox in the story lives on a mineralized planet.
“The minerals on this planet, the salt, basically crystalize on this animal’s fur, and you have a crystal critter,” Trevethan told Mike Koerner in a Discover Under the Dome video interview.
It took Trevethan six months of work using thousands of crystals to hand make the creature.
In June, Trevethan took his creations to Smallville Con 2019 in Hutchinson and participated in a Zoology of Star Wars panel.
His future plans for these fictional critters is to use them for his outreach programs this summer, teaching the public how to look for the correlations between them and the real animals that inspired them.
He wants people to start thinking critically, asking questions like, “How is the environment affecting the animal?” “Why did the fox get crystals on its fur?” “What helps the Taun-Taun move so quickly over the snow?”
By exercising this critical thinking skill, people can start to understand how to apply it to real animals and the environment we live in today. To see if Trevethan will be in a town near you, follow Sternberg social media or contact your local library to see if they will be hosting Ian Trevethan this summer.