On Monday evening’s Conan, the host asked his guest, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, about the recent deGrasse Tyson/Star Wars fan brouhaha that has erupted on the internet. DeGrasse Tyson has commented on many aspects of the movie, ranging from the battle prowess of Star Wars‘ Millennium Falcon stacked up against that of Star Trek‘s Enterprise, BB-8’s off-road traction capabilities, and how bizarre kissing is, especially when considered from the viewpoint of aliens. The scientist’s tweets on kissing earning him an article by GQ titled “Nerd Ruins Kissing.”
The first thing Conan host Conan O’Brien asked Neil deGrasse Tyson about was his tweet with regard to how aliens might view humans kissing.
Space aliens would surely think it odd that one way humans express affection is the simultaneous exchange of saliva.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 5, 2016
DeGrasse Tyson responded that what he tweeted is not a “debatable point” and explained that, as a scientist, he is always trying to take fresh perspectives on “who and what we are.”
Conan responded that he felt that deGrasse’s Tyson’s tweet conveyed a “fair statement,” and the astrophysicist concurred. The article with GQ was then pointed out, and a shot featuring the “Nerd Ruins Kissing” title was shown, to laughter, cheers, and applause from the audience.
“I’ve been click-baited a lot lately,” deGrasse Tyson said with dead-faced matter-of-factness. He then expressed frustration that the title implies that people were somehow not aware that they are exchanging saliva when they are kissing, and he became exasperated.
“Of course that’s what you’re doing,” the popular scientist said, briefly scrunching up his face and waving his arms.
Conan described deGrasse Tyson’s exasperation as a “freak out,” causing the astrophysicist, and the audience, to burst into laughter.
The host then turned to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s comments about how the Star Trek Enterprise could “wipe its a**” with the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, which were included in a National Geographic video uploaded to YouTube in November.
Conan spoke about how deGrasse Tyson’s views, and perhaps candor, on the battle capabilities of the Millennium Falcon caused some Star Wars Fans to become “very upset.”
“Star Wars fans are prickly,” deGrases Tyson stated. He expressed frustration, first stating that it is difficult to say anything “bad,” and then correcting himself and saying that is difficult to say anything “correct” to Star Wars fans without incurring their wrath.
Neil deGrasse Tyson then pointed that he doesn’t just “jump in” and force his views on fictional spacecraft on fans. He pointed to the fact that people come to him and ask him his opinion. Having been asked who would win in a battle between the Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon, deGrasse Tyson considered the question carefully. To him, it was “quite simple,” and he expressed his view to a vigorous round of applause and cheers from audience members.
“It would just swat it out of the way,” he said, while waving his hand back and forth in the air, as if swatting at an insect.
Conan then challenged DeGrasse Tyson and asked him to defend his position asking why the Enterprise would win.
“Because it’s a larger ship?” Conan asked.
Appearing somewhat flustered, as if what he’s being asked is obvious, he lists reasons, such as the Enterprise’s photon torpedoes and deflector shields.
“Star Wars fans not happy at all; furious!” the host stated.
“Not happy,” the guest responded, “And so, I find that odd.” DeGrasse Tyson then questioned whether he should continue to comment on Stars Wars, and films in general, in the future. He said that he worried because he feels that people seem to be “deeply upset” when he makes comments, that while being accurate, are perceived as being negative.
DeGrasse Tyson then discussed how fans “lost their minds” over his tweet with regard to BB-8’s off-road traction.
“This is just physics! Don’t shoot the messenger,” deGrasse Tyson says while Conan can be heard laughing along with the audience in the background.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson says next time he'll think twice before insulting the Millennium Falcon.— Sharon Pinnelli (@langmanthea) January 13, 2016
@granitetide Same!! Gotta have all the deets on the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive motivator so I can dunk on Neil deGrasse Tyson— Jim (@letshugbro) December 26, 2015
I agree with him (how do you not agree with Dr. Tyson). That said, the Millennium Falcon is way cooler. https://t.co/w5yrYZWmjg— Gail Kristin Upp (@GailUpp) December 19, 2015
A Cinematic Hypothesis: The more Film Festivals that a movie wins, the fewer guns, chase scenes, & explosions it contains.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 12, 2016
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]