The Force Power of Ashoka Using Physics

Rhett Allain
7 min readApr 21
Image: Disney Plus. Forces on Ashoka and an Inquisitor

I’m really quite excited about the upcoming Ashoka series on Disney Plus. Oh, you haven’t seen the trailer? Well, here it is.

Since I can’t yet watch the show, I am left with one reasonable alternative — physics calculations. Yes, I’m going to use the trailer to estimate Ashoka’s power. In physics, we define power as the rate of change of energy.

So, if I can calculate both a change in energy for something along with a change in time — I can get the power. It will be fun.

Slowing a Fall

In this first scene, Ashoka cuts through the floor of some place (no idea where) and falls to a level below. But wait! Does she actually fall or does she use the force (should The Force be capitalized?). Here’s what it looks like.

Image: Disney Plus

Just looking at it, it seems too slow for falling. OK, a quick disclaimer. I have no idea about the gravitational fields on the surfaces of all these planets. However, since the show is filmed in an Earth-based studio I’m going to assume that g = 9.8 Newtons per kilogram. Really, I don’t have another option.

But is she falling or moving down with style (stolen from Buzz Lightyear). Let’s find out. I’m going to use video analysis to get the position as a function of time. In case you want to know — Tracker Video Analysis is my favorite tool for this (plus it’s free).

The basic idea is to set a distance scale for the video and then mark the location of an object in each frame (assuming the video plays in “real time”). For the scale, I’m going to use the height of Rosario Dawson (she plays Ashoka) to approximate the standing height of Ashoka as about 1.6 meters. After that, it’s just a matter of marking the bottom of the falling floor to get the following position-time plot.

Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.