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30 Years of Star Wars Technology

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the everything-i-need-to-know-i-learned-from-star-wars dept.

Sci-Fi 146

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, Computerworld Australia checked out the exhibition of 30 years of Star Wars history at Sydney's Powerhouse museum. They also have a pictorial look at what's on display: one of the largest collections of Star Wars memorabilia combined with real-life examples of how such technology is being applied for business and social advancement."

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146 comments

30 years? No Way! (4, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26235897)

It hasn't been 30 years. That would make me 30 + ...omfg! I'm freakin old!

Thirty years of careful marketing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26235953)

...and taking candy from babies. Oh George, why did you have to ruin it all by being a whore ?

Han trolled first (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236043)

30 years, sigh. How many parsecs is that?

Re:Han trolled first (0, Redundant)

base2op (226729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236809)

30 years, sigh. How many parsecs is that?

A parsec is a unit of distance not time.

Re:Han trolled first (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236903)

30 years, sigh. How many parsecs is that?

A parsec is a unit of distance not time.

Way to not get the point, nerfherder.

Re:Han trolled first (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236811)

30 years, sigh. How many parsecs is that?

Sigh, can't believe I'm doing this, but parsecs are actually a measure of distance, not time.

You have not watched the movies, have you? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26235917)

30 years?

It says CLEARLY that it was A LONG TIME AGO.

So it is not 30 years, it is a lot more.

Plus, in that galaxy technology works the other way around: it get worse with time except for Death Stars (compare the technology in A New Hope with the one in The Phantom Menace)

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26235957)

Wrong again, it's clearly stated as "A LONG, LONG TIME AGO."

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236001)

Fail! [wikipedia.org]

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236135)

No, that's when I rememeber how that music used to make me smile. And anyway, I'm a mayfly, you insens

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237441)

No, that's when I rememeber how that music used to make me smile. And anyway, I'm a mayfly, you insens

Apparently a dictating mayfly...

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (4, Funny)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236299)

"A long time ago, yet somehow in the future..."
© Family Guy

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237085)

So what you're saying is that Star Wars took place on Earth? There have been lots of countries on Earth where after getting a new wonderful government the only technology that advances is military and much of what the people had goes to pot. My father-in-law who lived in a jungle city of Vietnam before the war there said people had cars. After the war, nobody had cars. I was there a few years ago, and a few people in Saigon had cars, but for the most part he was still correct some 30 years later.

Re:You have not watched the movies, have you? (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 5 years ago | (#26238123)

Plus, in that galaxy technology works the other way around: it get worse with time except for Death Stars (compare the technology in A New Hope with the one in The Phantom Menace)

I've interpeted that as the Empire causing a dark age of sorts, probably triggered by all the stuff that got destroyed in Episode 3. Even so, some things don't make sense, like why is the droid army in Phantom Menace so crude compared to the likes of R2D2 and C3PO?

Star wars is the greatest film ever made! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26235919)

It is so great that it is real. It is an allegory for Jesus who is our LORD, and it makes my heart sing everytime I see it with my wife and darling children. Also, everyone should have a merry Christ mass, because GOD can see that you are mostly SINFUL WHORES on this website ... no offense, but you are probably going to BURN IN HELL if you read this. So accept Jesus and enjoy Star Wars with me as a fuck your sister!!!!!! I call for the nationalization of all phytoplankton in order to reafirm the basic pillars of our ECONOMY which is controlled by spectalators who are annoying like my neighbor jim who has a dirty ass-like face. HELLO!!!!!!!!! FUN

Re:Star wars is the greatest film ever made! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26235981)

Mr Bush? Are you going to start posting in ./ now that your presidency is close to be over?

Re:Star wars is the greatest film ever made! (2, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236597)

It is an allegory for Jesus who is our LORD

Having just sort of watched "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", it would appear that you are slightly confused.

sorry to be pedantic but... (4, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26235941)

It hasn't been 30 years. It's been 31. The movie was released on 25th May 1977 in the US, and 27th October 1977 in Australia.

Please mod this down ... a little (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236013)

It hasn't been 30 years. It's been 31. The movie was released on 25th May 1977 in the US, and 27th October 1977 in Australia.

If you're going to do that, at least take off the karma-bonus.

Re:Please mod this down ... a little (4, Funny)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236047)

Well it has been 30 years since the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Great article about it here: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2008/12/star_wars_special200812 [vanityfair.com]

And a disturbing site about it here: http://www.starwarsholidayspecial.com/ [starwarsho...pecial.com]

I'll leave on my karma bonus.

Re:Please mod this down ... a little (3, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236591)

Well it has been 30 years since the Star Wars Holiday Special.

And the scars have still not healed completely.

Re:sorry to be pedantic but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236277)

It hasn't been 30 years. It's been 31. The movie was released on 25th May 1977 in the US, and 27th October 1977 in Australia.

The term isn't pedantic it's anal.

Re:sorry to be pedantic but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236383)

The term isn't pedantic it's anal.

Ah, yes. The favorite activity of Mac users.

Re:sorry to be pedantic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237347)

Suck my pedants.

Re:sorry to be pedantic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237577)

No, I think that is "oral".

Re:sorry to be pedantic but... (2, Funny)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236467)

31 years since the *movie*. But TFA is talking about the *tech*, which didn't come out until a year later, star wars being sci-fi and all...

Phasers are for sissies... (5, Informative)

fruviad (5032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26235967)

I'd rather have a sonic screwdriver any day of the week...

Re:Phasers are for sissies... (1, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236923)

I'd rather have a sonic screwdriver any day of the week...

The thing is, the "everyday tech" you see in Star Wars or Star Trek does believable things in believable ways.

The sonic screwdriver is nothing more than the all-purpose tool for the writer who has painted himself into a corner.

Re:Phasers are for sissies... (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237739)

Which is of course totally different from when spock reconfigures his tricorder to emit a tachyon pulse which according the Star Trek physics has whatever effect is required to amazingly save the day.

Re:Phasers are for sissies... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26238107)

The sonic screwdriver is nothing more than the all-purpose tool for the writer who has painted himself into a corner.

How is THE FORCE any different?

A Good Joke (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26235979)

Q: What was the only thing missing from the Million Man March?

A: Three miles of chain and an auctioneer.

Re:A Good Joke (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237525)

1 mile = 5,280 feet
3 miles = 15,840 feet
Lowest reasonable estimate estimate for the number of participants = 669,600 [wikipedia.org]
Assumed # of participants per link in your hypothetical chain (at 12 links per foot) = 3.5
Your attempt at a racist joke = Fail
Your estimated IQ based on aforementioned attempt = 1-24 [wikipedia.org]

Star Wars tech? (5, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26235997)

I happen to like Star Wars, but in my mind it was never about the tech, at all, nor was it even about space. Star Wars is almost completely story driven, IMHO.

Trek has the tech focus.

/me runs away

Re:Star Wars tech? (-1, Troll)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236075)

Star Wars is almost completely story driven, IMHO.

Er... Star Wars? Story driven? I have to disagree. Star Wars has the most laughable, forgettable, derivative story I've ever seen in a movie (the originals, anyway). Those movies were driven by special effects and cool battle scenes.

Lucas did add a plot that had some actual meat to the prequels, but even then, it still averages out with the originals' complete lack of plot, so you still can't call the finished product story-driven.

All that said, yes, Star Wars isn't tech-focused, Trek is. Except for lightsabers. If someone can make an actual lightsaber, I would sell my soul to them for one.

Re:Star Wars tech? (0)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236171)

All that said, yes, Star Wars isn't tech-focused, Trek is. Except for lightsabers. If someone can make an actual lightsaber, I would sell my soul to them for one.

Dear Sir,

With the many recent advances in infernal technology, my minions have finally managed a technological breakthrough. A laser-like energy beam of nearly infinite power can now be created and confined to a three-foot "blade". Human stupidity is the most hellish thing known to us on Earth, and so the device uses human stupidity as a power source. We anticipate that you will never deplete this source of energy due to its overabundance (and that was not easy to achieve but then you silly humans created mass media and did half our work for us). The unit is handheld and fashioned into a convenient handle with an on/off switch. In short, we have created your lightsaber.

Your lightsaber will be delivered to you promptly. Of course, your kind and generous offer of your eternal soul will be very much appreciated. To quote one of you humans who went by the name of Bill Hicks, normally "eternal suffering awaits those who question God's infinite love" and so most of the souls we receive are quite surprised to be here. You will have a special place in my realm because your offer was made knowingly and willfully. This is most pleasing indeed. Ha ha ha!

Sincerely,


Satan
Your New Eternal Lord and Master

P.S. Enjoy the lightsaber!

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236173)

How can you say its a forgettable story when its been re-used a multitude of times, including in Harry Potter! [divshare.com]

Re:Star Wars tech? (2, Insightful)

flosofl (626809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236371)

Star Wars (and Harry Potter) is simply a re-telling of themes found in mythic legends around the world using archetypes common to them all. Why do you think Lucas used Joseph Campbell as a sounding board for the original Star Wars series?

Re:Star Wars tech? (2, Informative)

flosofl (626809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236413)

Whoops, my bad. Lucas used Campbell's work to help create the first three. He didn't actually meet him until after Jedi was done.

Still the main point stands.

Re:Star Wars tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237077)

Star Wars (and Harry Potter) is simply a re-telling of themes found in mythic legends around the world using archetypes common to them all.

So is Shakespeare, you tool.

Find a different line of argument if you want to denigrate Star Wars / Harry Potter.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26238003)

Star Wars (and Harry Potter) is simply a re-telling of themes found in mythic legends around the world using archetypes common to them all.

So is just about every other epic written in the past 2000 years. Any writer of such stories that says otherwise is almost certainly an idiot or liar.

Re:Star Wars tech? (3, Insightful)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236549)

How can you say its a forgettable story when its been re-used a multitude of times, including in Harry Potter!

And Lord of the Rings, the Iliad, Grimms Fairy Tales, 1001 Nights, the 12 Labors of Hercules, the Bible, the Koran, etc...

Congratulations you've discovered mythology!

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237557)

And Lord of the Rings, the Iliad, Grimms Fairy Tales, 1001 Nights, the 12 Labors of Hercules, the Bible, the Koran, etc...

Congratulations you've discovered mythology!

You have obviously never read The Iliad. It has absolutely no romance, no evil empire, and no rebellion. It is about the pride and honor of one of the greatest warriors in Greek history/mythology, set during the greatest siege in Greek history.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237799)

You have obviously never read The Iliad. It has absolutely no romance, no evil empire, and no rebellion. It is about the pride and honor of one of the greatest warriors in Greek history/mythology, set during the greatest siege in Greek history.

You speak of fundamentals, I speak of myth.

Re:Star Wars tech? (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236193)

I have to agree with you here from the tech aspect. There was no real tech. A car hovered because they said it did. No explanation was given. It's on the same level as a fairy tale with fairy dust.

For that reason alone I disqualify Star Wars as sci-fi. There simply is no "sci" to it at all. Even terrible pseudo-science films like Dante's Peak and Deep Impact are miles ahead of Star Wars.

Re:Star Wars tech? (4, Interesting)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236431)

"For that reason alone I disqualify Star Wars as sci-fi. There simply is no "sci" to it at all. Even terrible pseudo-science films like Dante's Peak and Deep Impact are miles ahead of Star Wars."

So sci-fi has to have crappy pseudo-science explanations for all of the vaporware contained therein? I guess that also disqualifies a book like Neuromancer from being sci-fi, since Gibson pretty much gives the explanation of "at some point in the future people figure out how to [implant cybernetics/write Turing Test passing AI/perfect human cloning/build sustainable space colonies/develop a full-immersion global VR network/defy the normal laws of electro-magnetic physics/create devices which allow the creation of full audio-visual illusions through the use of high powered and mind controlled lasers/work around human physiological operation to devise new forms of drug use/dozens of other non-trivial technological challenges] in some way... now quit asking useless questions and read the $%#@ing book!". So much for there being anything worth reading in THAT genre.

Seriously, have you never just taken it for granted that certain technology "just works"? the car flies because that's something cars can do... the characters don't care how, in fact they barely care that it does at all; it's just a car, and their main concern is using it to get from point A to point B. I for one have absolutely no interest in sitting through a BS explanation every time something not currently possible happens on screen, but I would LOVE to just get on with the fucking movie.

Re:Star Wars tech? (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237413)

Seriously, have you never just taken it for granted that certain technology "just works"? the car flies because that's something cars can do... the characters don't care how, in fact they barely care that it does at all; it's just a car, and their main concern is using it to get from point A to point B. I for one have absolutely no interest in sitting through a BS explanation every time something not currently possible happens on screen, but I would LOVE to just get on with the fucking movie.

It's not necessarily that it's explained (though that is often an element) but that it is necessary. The science in Star Wars in unnecessary and irrelevant. That's why it isn't a "science" fiction movie. It is fantasy because it has things in it we don't have, and it gives no reason, explanation, and if they weren't there, the movie would have been exactly the same. The lines could have been nearly identical and the action similar if it had been set in the 1800s in the Caribbean. Replace "sci-fi" words like "lightsaber" with "saber" and "blaster" with "gun" and "droid" with "slave" and it's all good. The "force" could be voodoo or some "hokey religion" and you have the same movie. If it was a "sci-fi" movie, changing the time/tech would have changed the fundamentals of the movie. Try changing iRobot ro work with slaves rather than robots. It wouldn't work.

So sci-fi has to have crappy pseudo-science explanations for all of the vaporware contained therein?

No, it has to have the vaporware be involved somehow in the story, and that story is about how tech makes us more or less human. Sci-fi was started to explore the future techs and how they could affect us personally and us as a race. Anything that doesn't do that is fantasy (even if in the future with high-tech vaporware). Of course, now sci-fi is taken by people like you to mean anything that contains any gadget that doesn't exist. By that definition, CSI is sci-fi, as well as so many other trash TV shows. Since most wouldn't put CSI into sci-fi, I can only assume your definition is wrong (but liberally applied when all other genre descriptions other than "fantasy" are exhausted and it has some claim to science, tech, or the future).

But, of course, there are cases where something is debatable. The Time Machine could be sci-fi or not. Aside from the obvious time machine, there is nothing in it that would be unusual to someone from the 1700s. It makes a much better story about the industrialization of the world leading to a form of socialism of the weak with limited resources, and the strong preying on the weak for personal gain. There are a lot of things in there that are more comments about the industrialization of the world as it was happeneing when written, as opposed to any piece of tech (other than the tech was a necessary plot device). So does that make it sci-fi because there was one piece of vaperware and some of it happened in the future? Or is it an allegory about the path of industrialization? Or would it qualify as sci-fi because it is an allegory about current tech (even though that tech never makes a direct appearance in the work)?

Nah, we'll just go with yours. If it has things that haven't been invented yet (or ever will be) then we'll call it sci-fi because that's easier than actually thinking about it.

Re:Star Wars tech? (4, Informative)

Rick Bentley (988595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236707)

... I disqualify Star Wars as sci-fi.

Right, and I disqualify the Pope as a Catholic. Next I disqualify Obama as President Elect. Then I disqualify Earth as a planet and Claudia Schiffer as hot.

Dude, for an entire generation Star Wars has defined Sci-Fi. Transporters on Star Trek were no better explained than hover-craft in Star Wars. Ray guns in War of the Worlds were no better explained than Light Sabers.

Besides, before George Lucas was abducted by aliends and replaced with a replicant, he made the two best movies in the world (Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars, in order of greatness). In all good humor I hereby accuse you of blasphemy and disqualify you as a geek.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236867)

The fact that most people don't understand the difference between science fiction and fantasy is irrelevant - the fact remains that there *is* a difference. Here's a hint - it's about the plot, not the props. Fantasy can have lasers, and science fiction can have science that's sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic.

In science fiction, science is part of the plot, not merely a prop. In "Star Wars", one could just as easily replace the light sabers with metal swords, the space ships with seagoing ships, the speeders with wheeled vehicles, etc. without changing the plot one bit. The same story has been told countless times - the fact that this particular telling of it is in space does not qualify it as science fiction.

"Flowers for Algernon", on the other hand, is science fiction - despite the complete absence of laser guns and space ships. The basis of its plot is a scientific advance - a cure for developmental disorders. It makes no attempt to explain the cure; it simply assumes that such a cure exists, and examines its effects on both the patient and those around him.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237145)

There was no real tech. A car hovered because they said it did. No explanation was given.

Well, of course, no reason is given.

Luke was exiled to a world that hasn't stumbled over a new idea - or a new machine - in over 5,000 years.

That is the story point you need to get across.

You do it by showing his clapped-out car. You don't do it by talking about his clapped-out car.

Exposition is dull. Exposition take time. You only have ninety minutes or so to tell your story.

Re:Star Wars tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237829)

Do the scientific principles necessary to the Star Wars story actually exist? No. They are fictitious. Hence the term "science fiction".

Re:Star Wars tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236571)

Why the hell is this in a science museum? There isn't enough real science for them that they have to have exhibits of sci-fi? Great way to pass off entertainment as education.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Aramgutang (620327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237429)

Why the hell is this in a science museum? There isn't enough real science for them that they have to have exhibits of sci-fi? Great way to pass off entertainment as education.

Actually, this is a big improvement over the last major exhibition the museum hosted, which was on the life of Princess Diana (see link [powerhousemuseum.com]).

The museum's location within Sydney, despite being near the city centre, is such that it's really difficult to attract foot traffic from wandering tourists, so almost all visitors are people that actually set out with the intention of visiting the museum. This unfortunately means that these "big name" temporary exhibits are really needed to bring in visitors, even if their subject matter strays from the theme of the museum.

For such temporary exhibitions, the museum charges A$20 (for Diana) or A$24 (for Star Wars) on top of the A$10 admission price, but it's really a way for the museum to raise its profile and bring in more people, rather than actually make money. Apparently for the Diana exhibition, the ticket revenue wasn't even enough to cover the full cost of hosting the exhibit.

Re:Star Wars tech? (4, Funny)

ethicalBob (1023525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236739)

I happen to like Star Wars, but in my mind it was never about the tech, at all, nor was it even about space. Star Wars is almost completely story driven, IMHO.

See, I always thought it was Lucas' excellently written dialog...

(ducks and cowers from swinging lightsabers)...

Re:Star Wars tech? (3, Interesting)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236941)

I have to agree with you there. Star Wars is a good tale, but the designers of Star Trek really thought long and hard about what future technology would be like and then came up with plots for how humans (and other species which are really just caricatures for human traits) would use and deal with that technology. This is what drew me to TNG in the first place. The technology was almost as much as part of the story as the characters were. That is *real* science fiction. Other types of drama where the technology takes a distant back seat (like Star Wars and Firefly, excellent though they are) should really occupy a somewhat different genre.

The other day, I came across my old copy of the Star Trek Technical Manual [wikipedia.org]. I fondly remembered flipping through it as a teenager memorizing the (*almost* entirely fictional) technical details of the 1701-D's innards. And then it dawned on me that much of the technology detailed in the book has already come to fruition just in the last 20 years. Our computer systems are not very different than the ones depicted in the 24th century: large touchscreen LCDs are not yet mainstream, but smaller versions are already very popular in handheld devices (our equivalent to tricorders, PADDs). The Internet combined with powerful personal computers rivals the Starfleet mainframe computer systems in almost every regard. Worldwide communications are generally easy and cheap. Computers are getting astonishingly good at recognising human speech, although it will be awhile longer before they can interpret arbitrary questions.

I'm intensely curious to see what the next 20 years will bring.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237245)

... designers of Star Trek really thought long and hard about what future technology would be like ...

Yeah, you can see the evidence by reading the raw scripts they produced, which are littered with references to ... (tech). The scriptwriters would literally write the word "tech" in parentheses to indicate the places where their science writers (who had NO INFLUENCE on the actual PLOT) should insert some technical-sounding jargon.

Re:Star Wars tech? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237523)

Yeah, you can see the evidence by reading the raw scripts they produced, which are littered with references to ... (tech). The scriptwriters would literally write the word "tech" in parentheses to indicate the places where their science writers (who had NO INFLUENCE on the actual PLOT) should insert some technical-sounding jargon.

I'm not saying they didn't make up a fair bit of dialogue as they went along. And I likewise wouldn't expect that their story writers grasped every pseudo-scientific theory upon which the technology supposedly worked. But the fact remains that Star Trek (in its good years) went into far greater detail about the technology than any other work of science fiction I've come across. That kind of dedication to an idealized dream of the future is admirable, even if some choose to deride it.

Re:Star Wars tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237685)

... designers of Star Trek really thought long and hard about what future technology would be like ...

Yeah, you can see the evidence by reading the raw scripts they produced, which are littered with references to ... (tech). The scriptwriters would literally write the word "tech" in parentheses to indicate the places where their science writers (who had NO INFLUENCE on the actual PLOT) should insert some technical-sounding jargon.

So the technobabble was handled by people who know science, and the story by creative, yet computer illiterate writers. And this is a problem... why?

At least Star Trek didn't feel the need to invent some pseudo-religion with mysterious forces, millions of people being silenced, inside a volcano filled with H-bombs... wait I forgot who I was criticizing again...

Re:Star Wars tech? (2, Insightful)

silentben (1119141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236989)

This response is directed to the entire sub-thread, not just the post - it IS true that Star Wars opted to steer clear of explaining its sci-fi tech where Star Trek revolved around the tech itself. But I have to completely disagree about Star Wars not being sci-fi.

If Jules Verne wrote a book about a version of the 20th century where carriages were propelled without horses, but failed to explain some sort of combustion engine as being the driving force, would that have made his work less sci-fi? Much of good science fiction literature relies not on the explanation and believability of the science, but of the fiction. In The Time Machine my H.G. Wells, it was not explained exactly HOW the time machine traversed time, but that is surely science fiction.

What makes Star Wars great science fiction is that the technology used integrates smoothly with the worlds in which the story it set - the hover car on Tattouine fit in place mach as a normal car fits in on Earth, the technologies presented blended with the settings in which they existed and didn't seem forced or in need of explanation. By the 'science fiction equals explained science' definition, would Battlestar Galactica be science fiction?

As for the story - yes, Star Wars was story-driven (at least the originals). Sure a lot of the fundamental story ideas were borrowed from other source, that fact doesn't negate a story being present. But in truth there are very few works of fiction that are truly original - the fundamentals are fairly constant and reused in pretty much every story ever. What makes Star Wars work is the relatability of the story - the course of events made enough sense and the characters actions and reactions were those we could see ourselves or people we knew doing in such circumstances (something that Star Trek occasionally could have used a little more of).

not the most impressive article... (5, Insightful)

tpjunkie (911544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236009)

"The exhibition starts with the juxtaposition of the Millennium Falcon, which can travel between galaxies effortlessly,... "

Ok, one would assume that being in "a galaxy far far away" would mean that the story took place within that galaxy, although they never specifically said this, it is a logical assumption that the author seems to have missed.

"Another is dubbed "dataless" and uses nuclear fusion as the fuel. It is a concept that dates back to the 1970s and one originally from the Interplanetary Society."

Here they somehow seemed to have confused "Daedalus" [wikipedia.org] in an impressive homophone that had never even occurred to me before seeing that.

thats as far as I got before closing the tab in disgust

Re:not the most impressive article... (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236543)

The great thing about being a technology journalist is that since journalists don't know anything about technology, and techies don't know anything about journalism, one doesn't have to have any skill in either to get the job!

Re:not the most impressive article... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237349)

since journalists don't know anything about technology, and techies don't know anything about journalism, one doesn't have to have any skill in either to get the job!

Ah, you've read Roland Piquepaille's technology trends too?

Re:not the most impressive article... (4, Funny)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236757)

"The exhibition starts with the juxtaposition of the Millennium Falcon, which can travel between galaxies effortlessly,... "

Effortlessly??!!? Did these pinheads ever see The Empire Strikes Back? Half the film's storyline was spent just trying to get the damn ship to jump into hyperspace.

that would be nothing (1)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236033)

with real-life examples of how such technology is being applied for business and social advancement

that would be nothing then. hate to break it to the jed-dork's but guys, it ain't real.

Spell check please (2)

sithkhan (536425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236041)

They misspelled tauntaun for one of the captions ... D;

Re:Spell check please (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236071)

I hope they didn't spell it "taunting", as in the cardinal happy fun ball no-no. And before anyone asks: no, of course I didn't frikking read it.

Most ridiculous understatement ever (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236081)

The exhibition starts with the juxtaposition of the Millennium Falcon, which can travel between galaxies effortlessly, and our own forms of space travel.

"We are not quite there yet," Connell said. "We can send things out, but people have been thinking about interstellar travel for a long time."

Does this guy know anything about science?

I wonder if there's a new DVD (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236151)

Usually media stories about Star Wars means that George Lucas has decided his pension pot needs a little top up and another remaster of the only successful movies he's made are on the cards. There are so many different versions now it's hard to see any new remastering swindles to pull.

Perhaps an Ewoks sequel (or prequel...we know he's fond of those), or maybe a "who shot first" DVD, with the option to play ANH and have a different cut of the cantina scene edited in. Since the Star Wars franchise are all about making money, my guess is that a "who shot first" DVD would be sold as 2 DVDs, with a new 5 minute documentary interview with George Lucas on why this new remaster is worth buying to sit alongside the multiple copies you already have. Part 1 of the interview (the first 2.5 minutes will be on DVD 1, the second part will be on DVD 2....like Pokemon....."gotta buy 'em all").

Maybe it's a remastered Special Edition with Hayden Chritsiansen removed from Vader's funeral pire scene in ROTJ. It could be a new scene added to the end of ROTJ where Jar Jar is accidentally shot and killed by celebratory laserfire......to please the crowds who have given him his pension pot, despite being fucked over and over again.

Re:I wonder if there's a new DVD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236251)

There is a new two box set DVD release in slim boxes, I continue to buy every version that comes out and feel not at all "fucked over" because I collect them. The only people who are fucked over is those who feel obligated to buy them and then endlessly bitch that "George is a money grubbing bastard and takes all my money!"

Please...take some responsibility for your own purchasing you tools.

Re:I wonder if there's a new DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236309)

I'm just amused because Lucas swore up and down for years that the original versions would never be re-released, that his Special Editions were now definitive, the way it was meant to be. Then a couple years ago, the original theater versions were released on DVD.

I've still got the THX digitally remastered VHS tapes, pre-1997. They were the best version around for a looong time ;-)

Lately I've seen a full comparison of each edition, and came away convinced that there's still a "best version" yet to be released. I'll wait for that. And for Blu-Ray prices to come down to earth.

Exhibit's Been Around for a While (2, Informative)

darthservo (942083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236179)

The "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit [wikipedia.org] has been going on for quite some time (three years now). It was in Portland two years ago where I got some pics of the same exhibit [flickr.com].

Business and Social Advancement (1)

Bezultek (1109675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236197)

I agree that the Stormtrooper's appearance probably influenced the Asimo's appearance.

I wouldn't credit the advancement in Prosthetics or Bionics to Star Wars - more the 6 million dollar man and the original Battlestar Galactica.

And until the Cinnamon Bun Hairstyle and Metal Bikini become fashionable, I'm not buying the Business and Social Advancement.

Re:Business and Social Advancement (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237063)

And until the Cinnamon Bun Hairstyle and Metal Bikini become fashionable, I'm not buying the Business and Social Advancement.

We can dream, we can dream...

30 Backward Years Of Marketing Technology (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236199)

...is more like it. What a regression in taste, quality and importance over 30 years. Let's hope GL passes peacefully before he makes another BurgerKing/Kenner/Hasbro inspired prequel/sequel.

It's not sci-fi (2, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236281)

But rather fantasy-fiction.

There isn't much science in those film.

Re:It's not sci-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236341)

Fiction about Science in particular is typically very strange and boring.

A story all about Newton's laws and them being proven incorrect? It sounds more like a research paper.

Re:It's not sci-fi (2, Informative)

fartrader (323244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236693)

The whole genre of "Hard Science Fiction" rabidly disagrees with your sentiment. Try reading some more.

Re:It's not sci-fi (2, Funny)

fartrader (323244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236681)

I disagree, frankly I think we'll all be using watches that measure time using parsecs in the near future - driven by linux of course.

Re:It's not sci-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237887)

I disagree, frankly I think we'll all be using watches that measure time using parsecs in the near future - driven by linux of course.

Assuming Wikipedia is correct, and the Earth orbits the sun at about 107,218 km/h on average we're getting about 32,831 years to the parsec.

Note that this ignores distance traveled due to Earth's rotation as that varies based on the observer's distance from the equator. This also ignores the movement of our solar system around the galaxy, as well as the movement of the galaxy through the universe, as there is no sane way to measure these yet.

Disappointing (4, Funny)

Capmaster (843277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236291)

All I read was "30 years and still no lightsabers".

Re:Disappointing (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236425)

That's because it's meant to be an elegant weapon for a time more civilized than ours.

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237713)

If it is such a civilized time, why do they need weapons?

These aren't......... (2, Funny)

wa2flq (313837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236725)

Stormtrooper: Let me see your Technology.
Obi-Wan: : [with a small wave of his hand] You don't need to see his Technology.
Stormtrooper: : We don't need to see his Technology.
Obi-Wan: : These aren't the Technologies you're looking for.
Stormtrooper: : These aren't the Technologies we're looking for.
Obi-Wan: : He can go about his business.
Stormtrooper: : You can go about your business.
Obi-Wan: : Move along.
Stormtrooper: : Move along... move along.
Stormtrooper2: : Hey, let's go check out the new Subspace Communicators at the Apple Store in Mos Eisley.

I always love watching these (2, Insightful)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236749)

When they have specials like this on the the Discovery Channel.

Of course, every answer that they always come up with is always "Plasma!"

Lightsabers, PLASMA!

Open Docking Bay Doors, PLASMA!

The Force, PLASMA!

Jar Jar's ability to annoy, PLASMA!

Everything is plasma...

Re:I always love watching these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237991)

It's a subliminal message telling you to buy a new TV.

Brings back memories... (4, Interesting)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26236859)

My former brother in-law used to work at Industrial Light and Magic, I toured their studio three times in the early 80s.

Saw the original Falcon there, the walkers, planet setups for space shots, line of cannibalized model parts that were used for shots where fighters and other craft were near larger craft (like the Start Destroyers).

Last time I was there, they were filming Star Trek III, got to see the Enterprise in front of the blue screen after it had taken damage. And, they also had a miniature forest scene setup for the flying bicycle scene(s) in ET. The model and monster shop was also astounding, seeing the different molds, tools, partially completed and complete models and monsters.

I even saw the baby dragons from the movie Dragonslayer, which were designed and operated by my former brother in-law for that movie.

If we've had 30 years of Star Wars Technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26236875)

...I want my light saber already!

Amarok plays Imperial March (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26237091)

OMG, Amarok had become self aware. I was reading this and it started playing the Imperial March!

Jar-Jar (4, Funny)

bobv-pillars-net (97943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26237283)

I just wanted to point out that there are two kinds of Star Wars fans:

  1. Those who secretly despise Jar-Jar Binks, and
  2. Those who openly despise Jar-Jar Binks.

Q: What if I actually like Jar-Jar?

A: Then you're obviously one of the first kind.

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