It’s one of the most profound questions raised by the Star Wars saga: Why, in a universe filled with sentient droids and other dazzling technology, would everyone be weirdly okay with blue-tinted, low-fi, flickering holograms that barely work? The Star Wars films are rife with sub-par holographic technology, and not even the notoriously cranky Darth Vader seems to object.
Jason Torchinsky has been giving this matter some serious consideration, and he presents his findings to the public in a Jalopnik editorial called “Why Are All The Holograms In the Star Wars Universe So Crappy?” Torchinksy admits that, for all its wizardry in high-speed travel and planet-destroying weaponry, the Star Wars universe seems to lack some basic technology, like email, given how the characters have to rely on spaceships and droids to send basic messages. Maybe decent holograms just aren’t a priority. But is there more to it than that, maybe something rooted in actual science?
Torchinsky’s pet theory is that the culprit may be something called quantum entanglement. He clarifies for the benefit of laypeople:
Quantum entanglement is, absurdly simplified, when two or more quantum particles share a quantum state, and that state changes as a unit for all the particles, no matter how close or far they are. So, if we pretend quantum state was a color, and we had two red entangled particles, let’s say we have the means to change that quantum state to blue.
That helps explain the blue tint of Star Wars holograms, but what about the rampant quality control issues? That may be beyond even Torchinsky’s understanding, though he does offer sympathy to “the poor bastards” tasked with actually selling this unacceptable and probably very expensive technology.