Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Questionable Star Wars vol. 7

This week, we go back to Star Wars. Science fiction often becomes reality because if you can dream it, you can make it. . . like a dragon made of chocolate fondu who shoots laserbeams out his butt. Star Wars is packed with things science should be turning out for consumers.

Question: "What one technological advance would you like to see for real?"

Andrew's Answer: Lightsabers would be totally cool, but they would probably go the way of the lawn dart after hillbillies started poking each others' eyes out. :( So I'm going with something more practical. . . hyperdrive. Who the heck wouldn't want to be able to move across the galaxy in a matter of hours rather than eons?

Scott's Answer: I don't know how practical lightsabers would be in the real world - they seem a bit dangerous! - but when it comes to less fanciful things, it'd be cool to finally have holographic displays. Every now and then, I'll read about some breakthrough but an actual consumer-friendly and affordable holographic device for the home has yet to materialize.

51 comments:

shawn said...

I want my landspeeder gall-dang it.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, That would be sweet. :)

ScottDS said...

Yeah, a landspeeder would be cool but we might as well cut to the chase and do flying cars once and for all!

As an aside, this article pretty much articulates my thoughts on J.J. Abrams doing the new film.

The operative phrase:

"It all boils down to two key problems. One, the consolidation of creative visions under too few roofs, and two, the potential for a generic future of a revolutionary franchise."

tryanmax said...

I have no idea what it is, but I would like a hydrospanner. It's apparently the first thing you need to fix the Millennium Falcon, so it must be useful.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Just for the hell of it, I Googled "hydrospanner" and, per usual, the Internet doesn't disappoint. :-)

tryanmax said...

I'm gonna buy the Internet a Valentine!

PDBronco said...

So a "hydrospanner" is a sonic screwdriver without the "sonic" part...

rlaWTX said...

ok - Wookiee Wiki is hysterical!!!!

C3PO and R2D2 - of course! who doesn't want a droid???

K said...

Midi-chlorians for everybody.

LINK


Of course, there would have to be legislation to implement "Force control" and stuff.

rlaWTX said...

OT: Zero Dark Thirty was pretty good. Liked the development of the CIA chick's obsession. It was interesting having the CIA as the good guys for a change! And the impact of "enhanced interrogation" and the stopping of said method was telling - I know why libs are ticked off!

What I want now is an explanation of how much was "true" and how much was "drama"...

Tennessee Jed said...

"how cool would it be to move across the galaxy in a matter of hours rather than eons?" I guess it depends on what is out there.

"hillbillies poking their eyes out with light sabers? Have you been dating some liberal chicks or something. I am going to report you to the PC hate monger police for that little sentence and demand; yes demand your removal from Commentrama. O.K., O.K., I'll settle for sensitivity training and 48 or community service hyping green technology.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I expect it to be very generic.

AndrewPrice said...

The Wookiepedia! LOL! Nice.

tryanmax, I'm with you on the hydrospanner. I wonder if they have a hyrdohammer too?

AndrewPrice said...

PDBronco, I like the sonic screwdriver. :)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Absolutely! But they do need a lot of maintenance... they are magnets for carbon scoring.

AndrewPrice said...

K, If I may kind of quote "The Incredibles," when everybody's special, nobody's special!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I can't think of the last time the CIA was the good guy on film?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! You know it would happen. Somebody in some place like Assend, West VA would poke out an eye. They would sue the manufacturer. Congress would act... and our fun would be over. :(

BIG MO said...

Since 1980 I have wanted my own All Terrain Armored Transport. That desire only increased when driving and gainful employment introduced me to the wonderful joys of traffic jams. As ungainly as they are (hit it in the sides with something powerful enough and you’d knock it over), how cool would it be to drive an Imperial walker over everything, armed with heavy turbo lasers and scaring the crud out of everyone?

(Imagine my fan-boy joy when I bought my boys Hasbro’s 2010 AT-AT, which looks and sounds like a walker should. As silly as it seems, I can't help but press the buttons for the cannons and clanking walking sound nearly every time I pass by that fabulous toy. Drives my family nuts.)

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I love the AT-AT! I own one from the 1980s actually - sadly, it's only small and plastic and not the real thing, but it would be awesome to look outside my front window and see a real one sitting in my drive way. :)

Individualist said...

Lightsabers... pfaw

I'd want a good blaster at my side

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, What are you? Uncivilized? Blasters are random, so say Obi Wan.

Actually, blasters seem pretty cool to me too.

BIG MO said...

Andrew - I still have mine from 1980 as well. It looks tiny next to the 2010 version, kind of like a beagle next to a German shepherd.

AndrewPrice said...

Really?! I'm intrigued. I didn't know there was a 2010 version. I may need to look into this. :D

rlaWTX said...

my brother had the "original" version of the AT-AT (80s). It was pretty big, I thought (12-18 inches?). Now they're bigger?

But, yeah, I want a real one. Heck, even the 2 legged ones are cool!!!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Those would be cool too. You could step right over traffic. And you could stick your head out the window and scream "Fear my commuter powers!" :)

I looked online and the new ones (2010) are 24 inches tall and 28 inches long. Cooooool!

Commander Max said...

Tech from Star Wars?

Star Wars tech is all over the place, it's both advanced and not advanced.
It's weapons are all very poor in design and operation. You can't look strait ahead in an x-wing(poor visibility, just like a tie), AT-AT's are laughable. You cannot make a single mistake with a light sabre, ever. Not even drop it on the floor.
The tech from Star Wars is purely for entertainment value. It shows the guys that did it didn't have a clue(or cared) about how this stuff would really work. But then that's Hollywood. The sad part is if SW tech was based on reality, it would be far more interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, LOL! You really are an engineer aren't you? It's still fun to watch! :)

What are some of the more realistic tech-shows you can think of?

Anonymous said...

Shawn got it right with the very first answer, I'd love a land speeder, just think about how many womp rats I could bulls-eye!

I thought I'd be original and pick something else, then BIG MO got my second choice with the AT-AT and then Individualist picked my third with the blaster..

While a Hyper-drive would be cool, I do think it would be out of my budget range and I doubt I'd have the skills to use it.

So I'll settle for Boba Fett's jetpack.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You could always buy used! Come on down to the lot, see our wide selection of Corellian Freighters! All marked down... everything must go! Only one prior owner! :)

The jetpack would be pretty cool too, but as transport goes, I think the landspeeder is just too cool to pass up!

ScottDS said...

Max -

In the case of Star Wars, I agree that most of the sci-tech stuff was an afterthought, but as far as Hollywood in general, I'd say some filmmakers are at least trying to get things right.

I'll point to this article interviewing various science advisors on recent films. Some have more luck than others. :-)

K said...

Andrew:when everybody's special, nobody's special!

Maybe, but using the force to get my morning tea without having to get out of a nice warm bed strikes me as pretty special. Also, the speed limit on the highways could be raised to 150mph while being accident free.

AndrewPrice said...

K, :D

Yeah, that would be awesome. A remote control for life!

Commander Max said...

Andrew, STTOS is on top, they put a great deal of thought into the show. The man that stands out is Matt Jefferies. When getting below the surface of the Big E, he asked all the right questions.
Andrew Probert continued with similar thinking. But sadly his take on how the Refit would look was shot down.
It's hard to think of other shows, 2001 was trying it's best to keep the hardware in line.
Another was Ghost in a Shell.
It's a real shame for most sci-fi comes from a fictional basis. Which is a real shame for reality would make a better show.

Scott there really isn't much that is on, I think a lot of these guys get either stars in their eyes, or the money is good., Both Tron and Battleship were very poor movies(I'm sorry I saw both of them). Technologically neither made much sense, a server made back in the eighties still running without any issues? Yea, power failure? I do have hardware that is that ancient and still running. But they are specialty computing devices.
Battleship? Yea, all I kept thinking they couldn't get that ship anywhere near that operational in a year much less a few hours.
Considering the ship's history, I don't think there would be any powder on board.

I can look past a lot of mistakes if a story is compelling, and is well crafted(stable camera). But as of late I've only seen a handful of films I would even call watchable. They are films guys gush over, most would be watchable with the help of the guys from MST3K.

One thing I have say about SW, I really hate the look of the ships. What moron would place any hardware on the outside of a fighter? That's right, we all know who approved it.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I'd only buy a second hand Corellian Freighter if I got a wookie sidekick/co-pilot thrown in with the deal.

I'd say the jet pack would have to be the closest thing from the Star Wars universe that we have now days. So hopefully they will be available at reasonable prices before I get to old to enjoy it.

Scott.

Dave Olson said...

The Star Wars universe would be a pretty grim place to live. No, really. Think about it: All the work is done by droids and Geonosians. So with no manual labor being done, the only jobs left for organic beings would be in the service industries. But even those are getting replaced by droids: Translation, spaceship repair, even waiting tables in space diners. Innovation will stagnate, boredom will set in, and the galactic economy will eventually collapse.

Having said that, I'd love a landspeeder. Otherwise I'll take any spare Death Stars you may have laying around. But I'll be sure to put some plywood or something over the thermal exhaust ports.

tryanmax said...

K, after reading the article you posted, I am now convinced that midi-chlorians were directly inspired by mitochondria. The article does make them more bearable, though, so thanks for that.

ScottDS said...

Max -

Re: Star Wars ship design, I can't completely disagree. The thing that always bothered me was the location of the Emperor's throne room in Jedi - a room on top of a tall spire sticking out of the Death Star? It's the equivalent of an ant sitting on top of a toothpick sticking out of a grapefruit!

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Everyone's taken the good ones so I'll take the 3-D killer holographic chess set.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, One that comes to mind for me is Babylon 5. For the most part, they seemed to keep the science realistic.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Sorry... Wookie not included.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, That's a good point. They don't really show a lot of jobs, do they?

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, That would be a cool chess set.

Commander Max said...

Andrew, I forgot all about B5. Talk about out of sight out of mind.
There was a group of guys at NASA that would watch the show. What I don't know is whether or not they did on our time.

Scott, your right. If you think about a whole lot of things in that universe do not make sense. How about the Trade Federation off loading droids facing the enemy. When I first saw that movie that really stood out. Hey Jar Jar, shoot now?(that would have been funny).

Then there is the idea of a small fighter wiping out the death star. You mean big ships do not have fighters/bombers? You just assume they do not have any? Do Imperial ships have them, don't they go on maneuvers? Wouldn't that have made a better scene if it did look like the Empire knew what it was doing. Much less risking the life of one of your top personal.

Here is one to top it, your last battle station was destroyed by small fighters launching photon torpedoes down a shaft. So you leave a shaft open so they can fly in? Since the thing was incomplete, wouldn't it have been easier to go to the areas that were still under construction? It wouldn't be as far to fly in?
But then what moron would build something like that out in the sticks. Wouldn't it make more sense to build it in the same place they build Star Destroyers. Since it would be much better defended.

One thing that was just as bad as the midiclorian thing. Stormtroopers are now clones? So much for the whole idea behind SW being some Vietnam protest. There is no fear of getting drafted into the Imperial navy. The death star is built out of the way, the Emperor makes himself a sitting duck, and his top henchman is a wimp(and not quite stable). You allow all sort of dubious activities. So what is this idea of maintaining terror or the Empire is doomed?

Those movies are too easy to tear apart.
Hey Andrew, there is an idea fop a future post.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, The Empire is indeed not smart. I can see where they just overlooked the shaft in the first film and didn't think it was a problem. BUT in Jedi how could they not put a few steel girders in the middle of that shaft... put up a wall somewhere along the path.

On B5, yeah, that show seems all but forgotten, which is kind of sad.

Commander Max said...

One of the best sci-fi series ever made.
All these people want to do is go on about, action, lens-flares, and shaky cams.

It's obvious the Empire always goes with the low bidder.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Which film?

Commander Max said...

I was referring to B5 as one of the very best in sci-fi.

While knocking some of the latest offerings.

AndrewPrice said...

Ok, I wasn't sure. You're right. B5 was great on many levels, especially when it came to the science in science fiction. Today's series seem to be soaps mainly.

Commander Max said...

Yea, it seems to go between dull drama and dull action.

I hope things change at some point. When I was over in Hollywood one of guys mentioned people were really hungry for something new. Hopefully that will happen, they really need to get out of the made for moron(maybe rebooted) action movies.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I hope so. I would love to see something new.

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