Sunday, May 15, 2005

Looking at Star Wars from today's Perspective

With Episode 3 about to come out, I decided to re-watch the existing library of Star Wars films to get myself "Mentally Prepared." I was absolutely amazed at the number of anachronisms in the original Star Wars movie, and wrote them up in Watching Star Wars 28 years later.

I am not talking about the obvious things like "space ships make no noise in a vacuum." People have been talking about stuff like that for decades. What I am talking about are things that would be absolutely impossible in a society this advanced -- things that will be impossible even in our own society in just 20 or 30 years. Things like human soldiers wearing cotton cargo pants with matching shirts into battle, or the fact that the princess has to insert physical media into R2-D2:

Click here to read the article.

The needle is the most surprising one to me, but aging is a close second.
Star Wars is often considered "Fantasy" rather than "Science Fiction." There are a lot of science holes. Most fiction like this requires a willing suspension of disbelief. In fact, Marvel comics has a "No Prize" for people who come up with passable explainations for "errors" in their comics.

C-3PO is shuffling along...
Billions of robots throughout the galaxy. Maybe they build robots to fulfill specific functions and don't waste resources by giving them extra functions. This argument can be used against any "why can't don't they have..." compaint. Also, remember that C-3PO was built by a 9 year old boy.

R2-D2 is just impossible...
R2 is a box of automated tools made to fit in a specialize socket on a ship. Some of those tools can act as repulsorlifts to get him up stairs.

And the two robots are TALKING to each other.
Wireless communication, with any amount of encryption, may be considered insecure. Also jamming technology seems to be pretty frequent so having a audio channel makes a lot of sense. Besides, wireless communication is pretty boring in a movie made for entertainment.

Human soldiers???? ...
Yes. Droids go AWOL and kill lots of friendlies sometimes. See IG-88. The people of Star Wars have found that giving too much autonomy to driods is dangerous. Using central control has its weaknesses too as shown in Episode 1 when Anakin destroyed the Trade Federation control ship.

And look at the clothes these soldiers are wearing...
How do you know that is cotton? Maybe it is blaster resistant armor.

The most obvious problem with Darth is the fact that he is wearing a cape.
Vader created his costume to inspire fear. I imagine the cape is part of that effect.

would people still inhabit their bodies?
The Force is tied to life. In a robot body, Vader's use of the Force would be severely restricted. He has to keep as much as his original body as possible.

The princess is... pushing buttons!
Extra security precautions perhaps?

she is putting a disk or some other memory card
Any how much information is on that disk? A station wagon full of DVD's has can transmit an incredible amount of information across the country. Is it too hard to believe that data storage continues to outstrip network bandwidth? Perhaps the Galactic datanet is under complete control of the Empire. A disk may be harder to track than a transmission.

Would you send groups of human beings to look in the nooks and crannies?
If you were on a rebel ship would you set up jammers and decoys to foil life detectors?

so he walks up to one of the available escape pods, pushes another button
Escape pods should be manual. Would you like the enemy ship to hack into your computers and jettison all of your escape pods before they attack?

And on and on...

Remember: "It's only a movie."

Remind me never to go to a movie with you.

first time visit to your blog
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