Even though Star Wars has probably done more to create misconceptions about space and space travel than any other media, NASA knows what’s popular. So they’ve teamed with Lucsasfilm to create a message celebrating May 4th’s Star Wars Day fan celebration. From actual space. The one where you can’t hear explosions.

The video features only R2-D2 in a heroic role, saving the International Space Station from Empire sabotage on a tip from Bothan spies. It’s a reference obscure enough to make the fanboys squee a bit. It also features NASA flight engineer Rick Mastracchio and the really horrible/cool pun that inspired the day in the first place.

And as far as I can tell it’s pure of the taint of now-defunct Expanded Universe, although I’m never quite sure how Star Wars stuff that takes place in the present day is supposed to fit. Time travel?

Snark aside, it’s really nice to see NASA teaming up with pop culture like this. Anything to interest more people in real science and space travel.

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