Poor Ewoks. They kind of got the short end of the stick.

After the Empire sets up shop on their forest moon, installing a shield generator for the second Death Star on its surface, it's only a matter of time before the galactic civil war erupts in their backyard.

Erupt it does, with the Rebels even convincing the Ewoks to join them in their fight against the Empire. Though the Rebels are victorious and the second Death Star is eventually destroyed, it doesn't look like that treetop dance party at the end of Return of the Jedi would have really happened if Star Wars took place in the real world.

What would have happened instead? Global extinction, according to one physicist from Purdue University. Writing for Tech Insider, scientist Dave Minton goes on to explain how the destruction of the Death Star may have saved the galaxy, but at the cost of Endor and its moons.

"More or less what happens after the destruction is that the entire mass of the Death Star simply falls onto the location of the shield generator," Minton says.

This is because, Minton concludes, based on the size of the structure and the "relatively gentle explosion" featured in the film, that almost none of the Death Star would have been vaporized. That, in turn, leads to Endor's gravity essentially sucking in the majority of the debris floating around in space.

Whoops. Turns out that all of the Death Star debris raining down on the home of the Ewoks would have had some pretty terrible and immediate effects.

According to Minton, the crater caused by the fragments of the Death Star would be four times larger than the Chixculub crater in Mexico, the crater of the asteroid that is said to have wiped out the dinosaurs. The impact of objects of that size would completely destroy the surface of the moon, flash-heating every body of water on Endor into steam and lighting the entire forest-covered moon on fire.

So, yeah, all the Ewoks probably die. Or that would be the case if George Lucas had paid any attention to physics or science in his Star Wars films, which he didn't. So, the Rebels and the Ewoks celebrate the destruction of the Death Star and a new era of peace and prosperity by dancing under the Death Star-free stars, no global extinction required. Consider it movie magic.

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