'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': The Very Real Science Behind 'The Force'

Although we can't move objects with "The Force," we exert influence on objects we can't touch on a daily basis. Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

The latest Star Wars installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was released in the U.S. on Friday, and audiences are gathering to watch Rey become further attuned with "The Force" under the guidance of Luke Skywalker. We know the film is fiction, but we also wonder whether there's any scientific truth underpinning the action. In fact, there's more than you might think.

According to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope, the force is an energy field created by living creatures that "surrounds us and penetrates us," keeping the galaxy together. In reality, the four known fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force—do in fact keep our world, and ultimately our galaxy and universe, together and functioning.

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Right now, there is no way to move objects with only the power of our minds, or at least not in quite the same way as "The Force" allows. Still, this idea does find some basis in the theory of quantum entanglement in physics. According to Live Science, in simplest terms, quantum entanglement involves the invisible linking of two particles. Here, when one moves, the other does as well, despite being separated by distance. In theory, this could be similar to the Jedi's ability to move objects with only a slight hand gesture.

However, wish as we may, according to Brian Greene, a professor of physics at Columbia University who specializes in theoretical physics, quantum entanglement doesn't exactly fit the bill of "The Force."

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"In quantum entanglement, there is a thread of attachment between distant particles, but it's not one that we can control," Green told Newsweek. "When you are fighting stormtroopers you kind of want control."

Just because quantum entanglement isn't "The Force" doesn't mean that the concepts in Star Wars are completely unrealistic. We already control things from a distance on a daily basis, not unlike Obi Wan, Luke and Rey.

"We're living in a world right now where we exert all sorts of influences at a distance," said Greene, explaining how the click of a button can operate a security system nearly 200 miles away, and talking on the phone causes your eardrum to vibrate despite the voice not being physically next to you. "The notion of being able to exert influence at a distance without touching anything is something we obviously do all the time."

So although we may not ever be able to control the universe with the agility of a Jedi master, we do this on a smaller level on a near-daily basis. In that sense, "The Force" actually is with you—all the time.