How Neo got his juice: Do you know your sci-fi energy?

Nike/AP
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Imagining worlds without oil sounds like the easy work of daydreams.

But the future is a complicated place, even when we're making it up. Even the most outrageous fantasies – from inter-galactic, cross-species space flights to time travel – must also be plausible. This is something every movie maker knows, or learns the hard way -- from fans.

Popular series have always inspired "fan fiction," in which story buffs spin new tales about their favorite characters. Today, there are Internet forums and unofficial web shrines where fans discuss the finer points of sci fi. The worlds fans love may not exist, but they are experts in them anyway. They know what powers a lightsaber, where the USS Enterprise gets its fuel, or how The Matrix “really” works.

Even fantasy worlds have rules, and the best fans know them. Do you?

1. How does WALL-E recharge his batteries in order to compact trash?

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a small propeller on his head to capture wind energy

 

a solar cell

 

the garbage itself

 
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