What actually is a parsec? What does .5 past lightspeed mean? How much would it cost to build and maintain a Death Star? Is it possible to build a lightsaber?

The answer to these questions, and more, were on offer at The Cheltenham Science Festival over the weekend.

Award winning Science Communication Trainer, Consultant & Lecturer, Karl Byrne brought ‘The Science of Star Wars’ to town for an engaging, informative and entertaining hour of Star Wars trivia, memes and applications to our and other known galaxies.

It takes a person much more intelligent than this writer (Karl, for instance) to explain the ins and outs of a parsec. I won’t insult his presentation by trying to pass on the information second hand!

And yes, a lightsaber may well be possible in the not too distant future, but not to strike against another lightsaber! The result would likely be the instant vapourisation of everything in the immediate vicinity… Food for thought.

Oh, finally, a Death Star to call your own would set you back around $852,000,000,000,000,000, roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP. That’s without the daily running costs and sourcing of enough energy to destroy an entire planet.

My only criticism of this fantastically interesting show was that an hour was not nearly enough time to delve further into the burning questions so many of us have obsessed over for so long. I managed to grab a quick chat with Karl – an original trilogy aficionado – post-event before he was whisked away for radio interviews.

This is a must-see event for any Star Wars obsessive, or those wishing to integrate themselves a little more into a galaxy far, far away. Catch it if you can.