War has a way of spurring innovation. It also serves to supplement a glaring lack of creative material for the film industry. Sometimes, however, what’s portrayed in fantasy or futuristic films inspires useful tools the military might use to augment its capabilities.
It would — ahem — behoove the Pentagon to consider researching, building, or acquiring some of these incredible pieces of movie technology.
1. Lightsabers — “Star Wars”
Is there a person alive who has seen any of the nine “Star Wars” movies or its countless spin-offs and hasn’t wanted to battle things out with a beam of light? Gunfire, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, is “so uncivilized.”
2. Sticky gloves — “Mission Impossible”
Caught in a sticky situation? Consider these adhesive gloves that render the wearer capable of scaling walls. We can only imagine the Saturday night barracks shenanigans that would ensue, however, if these were standard issue.
3. Troop transporting time machine — “Tomorrow War”
Are you experiencing a recruiting crisis? This time portal will allow you farm troops from the past to fight the wars of today.
4. Magic healing cream — “The Hunger Games”
Ibuprofen and clean socks are great, but this instant healing cream is next level. Just think, no more painful boot blisters.
5. The Neuralyzer — “Men in Black”
The military uses for a memory-scrubbing beam of light cannot be understated. Forget entire battles, erase weapons tests gone awry. Or, perhaps a more noble use would be to erase traumatic events entirely.
6. Omega 13 — “Galaxy Quest”
A device that gives one the ability to travel back 13 seconds in time could prove surprisingly useful for the military. While it may not seem like extensive time, consider the conflicts that could have been changed in an instant. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, for example.
7. Transporter — “Star Trek”
Teleportation could be a real boon for recruiting. Troops wouldn’t need to PCS or deploy. The Pentagon, meanwhile, could stop investing in barracks. Everyone could simply sleep at home or have Scotty beam them up to their duty station or combat theater, as needed.
8. DNA Guns — “Judge Dredd”
It’s possible that using a firearm that only works when the DNA-coded user pulls the trigger would make weapons checks more efficient. However, signing DNA over to the Pentagon would be certain to rattles some cages.
9. Rehydrator — “Back to the Future Part II”
Forget MREs. With the Rehydrator, you can serve real food to troops in real time. Just pop in your dehydrated rations, et voilà! A perfect meal that you don’t have to eat cold out of a plastic packet. Imagine all the combat pizza parties.
10. Securefoam — “Demolition Man”
Vehicle and aircraft mishaps resulting in crew casualties can become a thing of the past with this safety foam. It works like an airbag, but rather than pushing the force of the accident onto a passenger, the foam expands and encases them in a safe, secure, soft pocket, preventing injuries.
11. Invisibility Cloak — “Harry Potter”
Whether it’s a cloak like the one in “Harry Potter” or similar technology deployed by the creatures in “Predator,” it’s hard to deny how useful invisibility would be for troops.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.