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“Star Wars” technologies now moving from make-believe to reality

“Star Wars” technologies now moving from make-believe to reality
Dreamstime

Can you believe it's been 40 years since the original "Star Wars" movie was released? It's true, May 25, 1977, to be exact.

Four decades later and Star Wars mania is still going strong. Fans of the franchise will be geeking out this weekend with the release of "The Last Jedi." Once again we get to follow the exploits of our hero Luke Skywalker into a futuristic world of technology.

But how futuristic is it these days? Technology has come a long way since the 1970s and some of it has made the leap from make-believe to reality. Let's look at a few of them.

Prosthetic limbs

Do you remember the iconic scene from "The Empire Strikes Back," where Luke Skywalker has a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader? Spoiler alert, one of Luke's hands gets cut off. Shortly after, he gets a robotic hand replacement that seems to function as well as his original hand.

Now, medical science is taking a page from the big screen. Earlier this year, two military vets who were missing limbs received state-of-the-art robotic replacements.

The "bionic" arms are dubbed "LUKE" which stands for Life Under Kinetic Evolution. It also pays homage to Luke Skywalker.

Image: Military vet Fred Downs with LUKE arm. (Source: NY Times)

Robots and droids

R2-D2 and C-3PO were the original droids that won over the hearts of Star Wars fans. Droids are found throughout the galaxy of the Star Wars universe.

Now, you can have droids of your own. The BB-8 app-enabled droid seen in the picture above can be purchased on Amazon and other retail locations.

You can control BB-8 with your gadget and see it maneuver just like in the movies.

Buy from Amazon

Hologram images

Holograms have been a huge part of the Star Wars films. Who could forget when Princess Leia embedded a hologram of herself into R2-D2? Her classic line was, "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

This technology is everywhere nowadays. We've even seen it used to bring popular musicians who've passed away back to life. Elvis, Tupac and Michael Jackson to name a few.

Military lasers

One reason I was such a huge Star Wars fan as a child was its action-packed opening scene. The filmmakers didn't mess around.

The very first thing you see in the original Star Wars movie is a battle between the Empire and the rebels. Spaceships chasing each other while firing devastating lasers. It really pulls your attention immediately.

Well, 40 years later and the U.S. military now has laser weapons. Watch the following video for a quick glimpse of it in action.

As you can see, technology has come a long way. There's an old saying, "life imitates art." That seems to be true, at least with certain technological advances.

Star Wars isn't the only future predictor, "Back to the Future" also got these things right

From hoverboards to video calling, Back to the Future was full of futuristic predictions. Click here to see 10 technologies Back to the Future actually was right about.

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