I have been watching several programs about space/stars/our solar system on Discovery Channel lately - they seem to be doing a "space theme" - and something struck a chord with me: As we all know, space is a big bugger and travelling to other places in the Universe takes a very long time (eg. Jupiter) with current technology. However in movies, ships scoot all over the Universe in seconds. Most films are set in the future eg. Battle Star Galactica or "another time & place" ie. Star Wars and so I feel we tend to take the speed craft travel at, for granted. Now there are many different ways that film-makers choose to power/propel their ships through the Universe, but do we as viewers actually notice how many kinds they use and perhaps how many contradictions there are? For example: some crew members sleep (Aliens) while the ship cruises (normally?), while in Star Trek they use Warp Drive to zip ahead at light speed and get there almost instantly, while the crew look out the window at the converging lights..... Same with Star Wars. Some use both: Fifth Element (crew flies at light speed while passengers sleep), while others like Andromeda use worm holes which seem to take an hour or two...... Some films (Lost in Space) try to show/explain the engine's function/working while others (Star Trek's Scotty) just "Canna' give ya more pooowar Capt'n!) from the warp drives?????. Even more strange, are those ships whose travel across vast distances is never explained, yet they seem to get there in a day, but then handle like pigs at low speed (Starship Troopers). Flying Saucers in many shows spin round quickly, while in Independance Day, the saucer-shaped ships just glide in left to right....... Armageddon tries to use almost-current technology with a space-shuttle launch and sling-shooting around the moon to build up speed - which is what NASA probes to Jupiter, etc do - but then the ship just flies off the asteroid later like a Cessna! George Lucas shows us some of current thinking about what may be realistic at the end of ATOC, when Count Duku's ship spreads out a silver sail and travels by sun's rays pushing it along. So what exactly is the technology that drives these ships - what is the thrust we see usually as white light out the back of these ships that suddenly propels them forward? Ion drives? Nuclear Fusion? Dark Matter? Hollywood bullcrap? I can't recall anyone actually calling any of these exhausts into question in any films. I realise that writers can make up anything they choose because nothing like it has actually been invented yet, but are we giving movie-makers too "easy a ride" by not ridiculing some of these travelling modes?