Thursday, September 27, 2007

Elegant Weapon

Several of you have brought this story to my attention, this business of NASA stowing a prop Luke Skywalker lightsaber on board Discovery for next month's launch. The news copy leads us to believe that the lightsaber will be jettisoned from the orbiter, which strikes me as a typical government-type decision; if you're going to have a collectible, you keep it in the original packaging. You don't expose it to potential eBay value-lowering heat differentials of four hundred degrees and an utter vacuum. And why Luke's lightsaber? If we're going to subject anything from the Star Wars universe to disintegration upon contact with the upper atmosphere, let it be JarJar Binks.

But then I watched the attendant raw video with the above-linked version of the story, and I learned that the prop will instead twirl on-orbit with the International Space Station before its return to Lucasfilm, and possibly subjected to microgravity behavior experiments, such as discovering whether simply holding a Skywalker's lightsaber in space causes a person to instantly whine and make out with immediate family members.

Me, I'm learning from the lightsaber launch already. Behold what I have gathered from the unedited video of the prop delivery to the Oakland Airport:

1) You can put a non-Ewan McGregor person in a Jedi costume, but it makes him not a Jedi. It makes him a church softball league umpire in an extra-large brown hoodie.

2) X-wing pilots tend to lose a bit of their mystique when they pick their wedgies upon alighting from a prom limo. There is in the original trilogy an X-wing pilot named Wedge, true, but I really, really hope we just haven't learned why.

3) A prop lightsaber in a glass box borne by a guy in a Chewbacca suit is majestic right up to the point when Chewbacca trots past the information kiosk, the unclaimed rolly bag pile, and the john.

4) I am thinking lightsabers are on the TSA's Prohibited Items List, and I would have paid large amounts of money to see the X-wing guy wanded.

props (the uncarried by Chewbacca kind) go to Tony The SuperReader at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

9 comments:

Chelsea said...

MB,
Thank you for making me laugh just when I need it!

Starnarcosis said...

This was a pretty smart move on NASA's part, actually, reminding all the SW geeks that there is a real space program going on around here.

And this is a prime example of why I like your writing, MB : "You can put a non-Ewan McGregor person in a Jedi costume, but it makes him not a Jedi. It makes him a church softball league umpire in an extra-large brown hoodie."

Cbell said...

Wow. That was newsworthy.

red pill junkie said...

If we're going to subject anything from the Star Wars universe to disintegration upon contact with the upper atmosphere, let it be JarJar Binks.

Missa agrees!

And while we're at it, why not throwing GEORGE LUCAS too? To prevent he messes up MORE with the saga in the future... :-)

Dan-the-Soldier/Brother-in-Law said...

Don't be hating on Star Wars. Granted, Jar Jar Binks was one of the worst characters ever. But if you ever want to read some good Star Wars books, look up Timothy Zahn and Michael A. Stackpole.

MB said...

You think I'm... hating on Star Wars? Wow, you have a LOT to learn about me.

Monica said...

I can just see it! George Lucas moves into the horror genre.

Opening scene: lightsaber spins free in space, tumbling end over end surrounded by nothing but stars. But wait! Something is speeding toward it from a galaxy far far away. What is it? What could it be?

OH THE HORROR! It's Luke's severed hand from The Empire Strikes Back!

It's back, and this time it's personal.

Dan-the-Soldier\Brother-in-Law said...

Well, not necessarily you MB, but I resent the term "SW geeks" from starnarcosis. I prefer SW fan.

But to me, your article has a general anti-Star Wars sentiment. At the very least, you don't seem to enjoy it much. Maybe I'm just getting it mixed up with your disdain for NASA.

MB said...

No disdain for SW here, and certainly none for NASA-- not sure where you got that.

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