In order to better “connect with the people”, the White House set up an area on whitehouse.gov where the common man can enter petitions, or suggestions to be implemented by the President. Realizing that this was the Internet, and all sorts of dumb things would likely get entered in there, they made a minimum number of signatures required before the White House would actually examine a petition and respond to it. Not realizing this was the Internet, they set the threshold at 25,000 signatures in 30 days, something that is almost laughably easy to achieve (note that they’ve since raised the bar to 100,000).
Logically, this new petition system quickly lead to a brilliant suggestion: the government should begin construction on a Star Wars-style Death Star.
The petition makes some good points, and is appealing to many different segments of the community:
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.
What’s not to like?
Not surprisingly, this petition quickly reached the required number of signatures, triggering an official response from the White House (and changes to the way the petition system works).
Although I support the creation of the Death Star (and signed the petition), in the government’s defense, they make some pretty good points as well:
Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
The response is great, and filled with Star Wars references, however, I think that you have to read between the lines a little bit. My takeaway is that the government IS ALREADY working on a Death Star, though they can’t come right out and say it. They reference the “giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth” and the laser-wielding Mars rover. Message received Mr. Shawcross. ::wink wink:: Message received.
Finally, some words of wisdom from the White House:
Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
If you like Star Wars (and if you read this blog, it’s a fairly good guess that you do, but there are a few of you in particular I’m thinking of), then you should go check out the web series Space Janitors.
This is a show that examines life on the “other side” of the Imperial Death Star, the low level flunkies and janitors who are just trying to eke out a living while keeping the Death Star plumbing flowing. It’s kind of like a cross between that scene in Clerks where they discuss the poor contractors who got blown up on the incomplete Death Star in Jedi, and the Eddie Izzard Death Star canteen skit.
Most of the episodes are hilarious, but if you’re looking for a good intro episode, I’d start with Laser sword:
Full disclosure, I didn’t think Episode 1 was all that awful. I think people had very, very high expectations and the movie couldn’t possibly live up to them.
That being said, it wasn’t that amazing either. There was certainly something…missing. I couldn’t say exactly what, until I watched this quick (12 minute) video. This guy totally nails it. It’s kind of surprising how little he would actually change, and how much better it would make the movie. I don’t know if it is because the movie was approached more from a merchandising point of view than from a purely storytelling point of view, if this guy just has more of a feel for story than Lucas does, or if hindsight is just 20/20.
Link via somebody, on Facebook I think, but I couldn’t find it anymore.
What do all these movies have in common: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Ray, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Chronicles of Narnia : Prince Caspian, and Willow?
Besides the fact that they are awesome, they all star one amazing actor by the name of Warwick Davis.
It would be almost impossible to have not seen Mr. Davis in some movie. Aside from the fact that he works almost continuously (1992 was the last year he didn’t have something come out, and the only year since Star Wars Episode VI in 1983 that he didn’t have anything), but he’s also been in some of the biggest movies of all time.
Of course, his big role was arguably the most famous little person movie of all time, Willow,
but for my money, his finest performances were in some movies near and dear to my heart, Leprechaun 1 – 6.
This is, of course, not to mention some rolls in movies you probably saw but didn’t recognize him in, such as a member of the goblin corps in Labyrinth, or Marvin the Robot in the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
Maybe it is because I am a big fan, but I always recognize him instantly, even in makeup. I’ve learned that, for some reason, no one else seems to recognize him. For example, I don’t know how anybody could have watched the Harry Potter series without recognizing the same actor played Flitwick and Griphook:
Because he is a little person, he is not known as a hugely successful actor, but his resume matches any but the absolute biggest movie stars (I mean biggest figuratively, not literally). I was so happy to see him get some big on-screen moments as Griphook, and I thought he was fantastic. Hopefully casting directors will (continue to) take note.
Isn’t it about time for a Willow sequel?
If you recall, I blogged previously about a Harry Potter-style wand that can change the channel. I must be a sucker for any kind of wand related merchandise, because I can’t seem to get over it.
Check out this voice activated wand flashlight. Say “Lumos” to turn the light on and “Nox” to turn it off. Tell me that’s not cool??
Also, there is a Harry Potter dueling wand game, which is sort of like laser tag. I don’t think this is as cool as the spell-activated flashlight, but they have more styles!
If you prefer something a little more practical (or useful at work), ThinkGeek has non-Harry Potter related merchandise, such as Rebel Leader headphones, for that perfect Star Wars look:
Or some awesome medieval weapon pushpins:
I never get tired of looking at their stuff, and I look forward to getting the catalog the way you look forward to getting a magazine you subscribe to!