One of many scenes in The Last Jedi that had fans arguing was when General Ematt (Andrew Jack, our guest on Episode 4 of Making Tracks) reached down, lifted a pinch of Crait and tasted it. Some fans decried the moment, but geophysicist Mika McKinnon defended the moment for its accuracy.
“Evaporites are soft (scratch with your fingernail), but the easiest way to ID between halite vs sylvite is salty vs sour. IDing sand vs clay is the cutoff between gritty or not. Fossils stick to your tongue. You don’t NEED to lick rocks; it’s just faster & easier. I don’t lick every wild rock I meet, and licking lab samples is just gross. But if you’re out doing field rock ID, you already know enough to keep your tongue away from arsenopyrite & don’t waste your time nibbling granite. Not all geoscientists lick rocks. I’m geophysics — 95% of my rock ID is recreational, & it’s been at least a year since I last licked a rock. But it’s not an inherently ridiculous concept worthy of mockery.”
Mika then went on to address the specific scene where Ematt licks the salt, and two Resistance fighters (one of them played by our Making Tracks Episode 1 and Episode 2 guest Gareth Edwards) noted how it tasted like salt.
Q: But what about that salt-licking scene in Last Jedi? Surely that was ridiculous!
A: No. That was plausible bordering on geo fan service.
And it’s tactically important to know what rocks encompass you unless you’re a fan of dumb ways to die. pic.twitter.com/aaayanVa3h
— Mika McKinnon (@mikamckinnon) August 16, 2018
Good to know that while Twitter can be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, there are plenty of people out there willing and able to teach us a few things here and there.