Search the Site

Star Wars Game Theory

In the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV), Luke Skywalker pleads with Han Solo to help the Rebel Alliance battle the Empire, but Han refuses and a disgusted Luke storms off. Chewbacca, being a student of game theory, lays out the payoff bimatrix to Han in their “conversation”:


Han understands that the Rebels have a dominant strategy of fighting. Knowing that, although he has no dominant strategy, and being the self-centered person he has already shown himself to be, Han realizes he is better off choosing to aid the Rebels and fight. (Fight, Fight) is a Nash equilibrium and also a Pareto optimum. I wonder how many other Star Wars games there are.
(Hat tip: J.S.)