Published: 05 January 2017
Galen Erso, from Rogue One
. (Image © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved)
Structural engineering is centre stage in the latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One. (Spoiler alert!)
Search TV and films for mentions of structural engineering, and you tend to come up with rather slim pickings.
There are a few honourable exceptions: Stanley Tucci’s character in movie Margin Call
muses on the bridge he built over the Ohio River, and the time it has saved for local people; the character of Michael Scofield in TV series Prison Break
is a structural engineer who uses his unique skills to plot a daring prison escape. Generally though, examples are few and far between.
Happily 2016’s big Christmas film, Rogue One
, bucks this unfortunate trend.
This may be the first action blockbuster ever to have “structural engineering” mentioned by a character, let alone play a central role in the plot - the rebels’ mission is to steal the structural engineering plans to the Death Star, which hide a crucial weakness. That, in turn, must make Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Galen Erso, the first ever structural engineer hero in movie science fiction.
(Image © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved)
How many young people might have Googled “structural engineering” after watching the film? Who knows, a blockbuster like Rogue One
might spark the interest of a whole new generation of young engineers. Well done the writers for creating a structural engineer hero – and here’s hoping we see many more in the future.
Are we missing any other structural engineers in TV and film? Let us know below.