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Androids, Aerodynamics, and Avoiding the Dark Side: edX Courses for Star Wars fans

It’s safe to say that the team at edX HQ has its fair share of Star Wars fans. This film franchise has everything: an epic hero-story that spans galaxies, family angst that spans generations, a mystical force that transcends good and evil, and perhaps most importantly: robots, rockets, aliens, and lasers. Here are 11 courses we invite our fellow Star Wars nerds to try:

Reads: "A long tim ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

#1 & 2: Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets & Astrophysics Cosmology 

How can you be a true Star Wars nerd without a sense of the vastness and variation within our universe? Learn about the planets that exist in galaxies far, far away in Astrophysics: Exploring Exoplanets & Astrophysics Cosmology by ANUx.

X-wings incoming on the water

#3: Introduction To Real Time Systems 

X-wing missions don’t just materialize overnight out of intergalactic stardust – every spacecraft and mission takes strategy and design. Study the orbital dynamics, space mechanics, maneuvering, propulsion, and on-board systems that had to have been designed for them in Introduction To Real Time Systems, taught by Philip Laplante, who has worked on the inertial measurement unit for the space shuttle.

C-3PO saying to R2-D@ "Don't say things like that!"

#4: Electronic Interfaces

It took a a lot of code to get C-3PO to be that uptight. Start learning to build your own fussy yet well-intentioned robot with UC Berkeley’s Electronic Interfaces course.

R2D2 screaming and running full speed into a wall

#5 & 6 : Autonomous Mobile Robots & From Goddard to Apollo: The History Of Rockets Part 1 

If it’s droid courses you’re looking for, start learning the history of rocket development  From Goddard to Apollo: The History of Rockets, Part 1. Also learn about the engineering that makes R2-D2 not only mobile, but also able to interpret and respond to his environment in Autonomous Mobile Robots from the experts at ETH Zurich. 

Han Solo and Chewbacca go into hypderdrive

#7 & 8: Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics & Introduction To Aeronautical Engineering

“I don’t know. Fly casual.” Han and Chewie are perhaps most well known for their close calls and narrow escapes. Learn how they maneuvered, decreased drag and optimized lift with MIT’s Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics or Introduction To Aeronautical Engineering .

Palpatine at the dais.

#9: Framing: How Politicians Debate

“So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.” Political posturing sadly doesn’t come with a dramatic score written by John Williams to clue listeners in to the subcontext. Learn to better interpret and create influential messages, discussions and debates in Framing: How Politicians Debate from TU Delft.

Text reads "Let the hate flow through you."

#10: Science of Happiness

“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” – On the contrary, we prefer Yoda’s perspective: “Luminous beings are we.” Strengthen your mind and learn to manage anger, fear and aggression in UC Berkeley’s Science of Happiness course.

Obi Won with Luke Skywalker

#11: Introduction to Programming in Scratch

Luke Skywalker was lucky to have mentors ready to train him when his Jedi aptitude became apparent. Bring out the brilliance in a young person in your life: get them into modern-day training early with Scratch, MIT’s fun-for-all ages programming language.

There you have it: our top eleven MOOCs for Star Wars fans who want to take their fandom beyond the big screen.

Learn the ways of the Force. Enroll in your Star Wars course today.

Yoda shaking head

Much to learn, you still have.

Have an even better suggestion for a Star Wars-related course? Let us know on Twitter!

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