Princess Leia is Nearly Two Years Older Than Luke Skywalker

A group of British university students have declared that in the Star Wars universe, Leia is  1.75 years older than Luke by the end of the original trilogy, despite the fact that they are twins, born on the same day. The reason involves Einstein’s theory of relativity. And math.  

Students at the University of Leicester made their calculations based on the twins’ journeys to Cloud City. Leia travels from the neighbouring system of Anoat and arrives at Cloud City in around 6.72 hours, while Luke travels from the much more distant planet Dagobah, which takes around one week.

Additionally, as Leia travels in the Millennium Falcon, a much larger ship with more powerful engines than Luke’s X-Wing Starfighter, the students assumed that it reaches a higher speed.

Leia’s journey yields a time dilation of 62.6 days; however Luke experiences a time dilation of 700.8 days.

The students concluded that Luke is therefore 1.75 years younger than Leia, possibly rendering them the first twins ever to have more than a year between their ages.

Oh, there’s more, which you can read in the original research paper (downloadable here) or in shorter form at the Telegraph. There are, of course, arguments in the comments, about George Lucas’ lack of familiarity with astrophysics and the the difference between hyperspace drive vs. warp drive vs. jump drive, as everyone tries to out-geek each other. The first thing I thought of was that Leia, being a princess and a Senator from Alderaan before it was destroyed, probably traveled through the cosmos a lot while Luke was growing up as a moisture farmer, which probably skewed their ages way before they met.  


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While the Falcon has more powerful engines, it is also much more massive than the X-wing. I wonder if the influence of mass on top achievable speed is greater than the influence of 'power' of the engines.
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