What Happens To Lasers When They Miss A Target In Space?

Last night, after a stellar episode of Better Call Saul, I decided not to continue watching the now muted world of professional wrestling but rather continue to read my book. I don’t know, call me weird but it’s difficult to get into Monday Night Raw when there’s no audience. It really amplifies how silly it all is and I’m already highly aware of how silly it all is. Not to mention, Saul left me with an overdose of WTF and I just wanted to focus my energy elsewhere. Seriously though, what does Rhea Seehorn need to do to get an Emmy nomination?! Kim Wexler could very well be one of the greatest characters in the entire Breaking Bad Universe. I mean this so very sincerely.

As I was saying though, I opened my book which is the Star Wars short story collection, From A Certain Point of View which tells a number of stories about background characters in A New Hope. You can also find it in the I Am Geek Quarantine What To Do List- Books if you’ll allow me a minute to shamelessly plug other columns. The book though is put together fantastically and provides a number of stories that truly enhance the viewing experience of A New Hope. I can’t wait to watch it again once I finish, which should be today if all goes according to plan (#quarantinelife). The world of Star Wars fiction can oftentimes be hit and miss but From A Certain Point of View hits all the points like Luke taking out womp rats on his T-16.

Currently, I’m reading a number of stories about the Battle of Yavin or as casual Star Wars fans know it as, the attack on the Death Star. During my reading last night I found myself puzzling over a question and it looped through my head all night like a three-year-old playing the same Kidz Bop song over and over and over and over and over again. No, it wasn’t why one of the pilots told Porkins to eject, in space, after being hit by a TIE fighter even though that has left me with a ton of questions about space within the Star Wars universe. Like, does their space have oxygen in it? Where would Porkins have gone even if he did eject? Wouldn’t he be left floating around space as the battle raged around him? Would someone have gone back to get him once everything was over? Wouldn’t he have died in the explosion of the Death Star? Wait, the Death Star exploded which means there is indeed air in space which I guess answers my question about that… THIS IS NOT THE POINT!

My actual question came when the character in an X-Wing successfully dodged fire from a TIE fighter and I started to wonder, what happens to lasers if they don’t hit anything in space?

I’m serious, what happens to them? I’m not a scientist but I would believe that these rogue laser beams would just be coursing through space waiting to hit a target. Which if you take a moment to think about is terrifying. What if you’re a family on some planet on the inner rim and you’re going on vacation. All four of you and your alien equivalent of a dog get into your spaceship, start singing songs, and break the atmosphere. You’re heading to a planet that is like a real-life version of Disney World or something heavenly like that. Right as you’re about to jump to hyperspace, which isn’t cheap mind you, BOOM! You get taken out by some rouge laser literally out of nowhere. Vacation over. Life over.

Where’s that movie? I want to watch a movie within the Star Wars Universe or any other science fiction universe that uses lasers. I want to follow them on their travels. I want to fall in love with them. I want to get excited about this vacation. And I want the floor ripped out from underneath m when they’re violently killed by a stray laser that didn’t find the mark during the Battle of Yavin. I figure it would be the equivalent of watching Remember Me with Robert Pattinson, a movie that was supposed to be about a relationship with Claire from LOST and a fractured family only to turn into an out of nowhere 9/11 commentary. I know the movie isn’t good but that ending literally comes out of left field and leaves you floored… and feeling kind of icky. Like why? I suspect that’s how you would feel after watching my space family vacation laser attack movie. Title pending.

Does anyone else want to know how many stray lasers are floating around our favorite science fiction universes? I Google’d this and Google more or less confirmed that these lasers would zoom through space waiting to find a target which basically confirms that I’m part scientist for knowing the answer. How isn’t this a Rick and Morty episode?! This seems right up their alley and I can’t think of anyone more courageous to pull the trigger on the space family vacation laser attack scene. Can you?

I have no real ending to this column, I didn’t really think that far ahead. There’s no real conclusion to this other than that laser has to hit something eventually. Sure, an asteroid field or moon makes for easy innocent answers but we’re not here for easy innocent answers. We’re here for those answers that make you think. That makes you wonder why a pilot would eject in space or where lasers go when they don’t hit their target. Mostly, I just want you to keep this in the back of your head the next time you watch a science fiction movie or story. That laser will have to make contact with something at some time. It’s a freakin laser after all.

This has been my Ted Talk.

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