May the 4th Be With You!

  1. How does the movie or television show use solar power?
  2. How cost-effective is the use of solar power?
  3. How realistic is the use of solar now or in the future?


The Empire and First Order are villainous regimes in Star Wars that are trying to annihilate the rebels that oppose them and take complete control of the galaxy. They have a strange obsession with destroying planets but they get a bad rap. Their TIE fighter ships are powered by solar (yes, this is verified by Star Wars cannon).

TIE fighter solar panels

They have solar panels on both sides of their wings–even Darth Vader’s ship features this design.

1) How does the movie use solar power? Solar Panels can be found on TIE fighters and alternate versions such as Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced One.

2) How cost-effective is the use of solar? Solar panels have a higher collection rate in space, so as long as the tie fighter is relatively close to a sun it can generate power. The Empire has thousands and thousands of tie fighter ships and their use of solar power saves them a lot of money. Unfortunately, the main issue with The Empire and First Order’s use of solar power is that they don’t use more of it. The cost to operate the death star each day is estimated to be 6.2 Octillion. That’s $6,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. It’s easier to justify that cost when you know the solar panels are offsetting the heavy power bill attached. To their credit, I wouldn’t invest in solar power if you can’t stop a group of teenagers and a jedi-in-training from blowing up your death star, twice.

3) How realistic is the use of solar now or in the future? We aren’t going to have TIE fighters any time soon but we are already implementing solar power in space. Satellites have large solar panels to power them. In the future we may see more solar panels in space that collect energy and send it down to earth. It could also be a major part of space travel in the future.


The Walking Dead tells the story of Rick Grimes, a sheriff deputy, and his struggle to keep his family and friends alive during a zombie apocalypse. 5 seasons into the television show, Rick and his group are recruited to join a community named Alexandria. It’s surrounded by large walls (to keep undead and enemies out), has clean water, and has large solar panels that provide electricity to the homes.

Alexandria solar panels

Instead of fighting for their lives, they find themselves baking cookies and adjusting to a better life.

1) How does the television show use solar power? Alexandria has large solar panels on the ground that generate power for the neighborhood.


Carol makes cookies with solar power

2) How cost-effective is the use of solar? This is currently one of the best uses of solar power in movies or television. While the rest of the world is living without electricity, Alexandria’s residents can kick back and enjoy a comfortable life . Whatever investment they put into this community, the returns were far beyond expectations.


3) How realistic is the use of solar now or in the future? Solar power is intended to work in the real world almost exactly the way it works for Alexandria. If you purchase solar, you gain independence from electric companies and can save money immediately and in the long term.


The Ninja Turtles were extremely popular in the 90’s. Nothing is better than mutant turtle brothers that are trained in martial arts, love pizza, kick butt, and have fun doing it. In 2014, Paramount Pictures brought the turtles back to the big screen and used CGI turtles that look super scary.

Turtles love solar power
Ninja Turtle Solar Powered Car

1) How does the movie use solar power? In the latest movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, one of the turtle’s car features solar panels.

2) How cost- effective is the use of solar? If you live underground, let’s say in a sewer, and only drive your car at night then a solar powered car might not be a great idea. I don’t know what kind of solar panels Donatello put on that car but it must be pretty effective because it probably doesn’t see the sun too often. This also begs the question, how do ninja turtles afford all their gadgets and pizza?

3) How realistic is the use of solar now or in the future? Today, it would be a rare sight to view a car with solar panels on it. That kind of technology is still under development. Solar charging stations for electric cars are the best way to charge a car using solar power.

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