Hey, Willrow. Where you goin' with that ice cream machine in your hand?
December 29, 2016 1:01 PM   Subscribe

The bewildering array of disk formats clearly confuses consumers in the Star Wars universe. In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker, who is tech-savvy enough to be trusted to help purchase a droid and then clean it up, seems to be stumped by the disk drive on R2-D2. “You’ve got something jammed in here real good,” he says to R2-D2, as though he doesn’t know it’s a disk. If it’s a disk drive, wouldn’t it obviously be a disk, and wouldn’t he know to push a button to eject it?
From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck
[⚠️ Contains spoilers for Rogue One ⚠️]
posted by Atom Eyes (129 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wouldn't it be a hidden disk drive? Like a hidden drawer inside another drawer.
posted by jfwlucy at 1:05 PM on December 29, 2016


Listen, people: Not every hole on a droid is a drive or port that you can just walk up and stick things in. Maybe that was R2's nostril.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [27 favorites]


Why didn’t the Rebels make more copies?
Seriously, could it kill them to make one more disk? Seems a little risky to go running around with a SINGLE COPY of the plans that can save the galaxy. Isn’t anyone worried they’re going to run into a stormtrooper with a giant magnet?


I loved this article.
posted by sleeping bear at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


This fills me with hope because at least in the future OneDrive won't be around to annoy you.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


Hey, who put this tiny record into the droid's cup-holder?
posted by briank at 1:12 PM on December 29, 2016 [21 favorites]


Don't forget pen and paper, which based on Rogue One's preoccupation with putting pens in everyone's pockets is huge. Or maybe those were X-Wing tire pressure gauges, anyway, I saw the movie for the first time today and pens were everywhere.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:14 PM on December 29, 2016 [18 favorites]


Listen, people: Not every hole on a droid is a drive or port that you can just walk up and stick things in.

it's the fanartists who need to hear this one the most tbh
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on December 29, 2016 [24 favorites]


what has been seen cannot be unseen
posted by poffin boffin at 1:14 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


If the same files can be stored both on a paper-thin disk about the size of Leia’s palm, why is the Empire storing thousands of similar files on magnetic tape?

Since we are asking questions, why is it so hard for this author to believe that the magnetic tape from Scarif might have been storing more than just the Death Star files?

They needed to know the file name so they could find the right tape, but Stardust was probably just one folder, there were probably folders for Starbuck, the plans for the Emperor's espresso machine, Starlord, the codex of tactical dance choregraphy and Startup, Krennick's quirky podcast where he chronicles the success of his plucky bunch of space-engineers with a Kyber colored idea.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:17 PM on December 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


So, it looks like you're trying to build a Death Star! I can help you with that! </clippy>
posted by jferg at 1:21 PM on December 29, 2016 [27 favorites]


The only flaw in the reasoning regarding the tape drives is that the author assumes the Death Star schematics are the only thing on that drive -- or that the only files are the exact ones that are then transferred to the smaller storage format that's handed to Leia. The rebels don't need all the payroll records, shipping manifests, personal email archives, plumbing schematics for construction workers' barracks, and other miscellaneous data -- they just needed the handful of files pertaining directly to the Death Star's architecture and its fatal flaw.

[edit] On preview, jinx sparklemotion.

pens were everywhere

I noticed this, too. It was odd.
posted by me3dia at 1:23 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Okay, some of those questions show someone who has not taken a serious look at actual real life data storage. If you have a lot of data in cold storage that you don't want easily accessible, a system like Scarif would actually make sense (and in the real world, there are actual storage systems that work similarly.) As for a lack of encryption, remember that this is a heavily secured military installation with the functional equivalent of a Faraday cage around it. The drive may very well be encrypted itself, but the system decrypts it automatically because it's a secure system. (And in response to "why didn't they plan for what happened?", let's point out that the scenario of a suicide mission to extract data and get it out of the system by linking the secure communication system to Rebellion communications is a tad...improbable.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:24 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah. What the hell was with all the pens?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:24 PM on December 29, 2016


Don't forget pen and paper, which based on Rogue One's preoccupation with putting pens in everyone's pockets is huge. Or maybe those were X-Wing tire pressure gauges, anyway, I saw the movie for the first time today and pens were everywhere.

Those actually aren't pens, but another form of data storage used for transmitting orders securely.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Where are Randal and Dante when we need them?
posted by jonmc at 1:27 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Rogue One had the absolute stupidest technological obstacles. Our heroes have to learn how to use manually controlled robot arms in order to access a hardrive that a freaking sentient robot just told them the location of. Then, our heroine has to leap through a door that just opens and closes pointlessly. Finally she must climb up a ladder (faster than our villain takes an elevator) in order to jam the hard drive into the bright red "INSERT HARD DRIVE HERE" port (because naturally an intergalactic empire would only need to transmit one drive at a time). But don't forget to press the "align dish" button! Which is at the end of a catwalk!

If the entire climax of your movie depends upon fictional tech obstacles please put a slight amount of effort into writing them.

And while I'm ranting why do people keep building Death Stars instead of slapping hyperdrives on planet killing asteroids?
posted by cyphill at 1:29 PM on December 29, 2016 [40 favorites]


Code cylinders:
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_code_cylinder
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:29 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


Then, our heroine has to leap through a door that just opens and closes pointlessly.

Was Rogue One literally the first science fiction movie you've ever seen?
posted by dersins at 1:31 PM on December 29, 2016 [37 favorites]


And while I'm ranting why do people keep building Death Stars instead of slapping hyperdrives on planet killing asteroids?

Because they want instruments of terror, not war.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:32 PM on December 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Then, our heroine has to leap through a door that just opens and closes pointlessly.

Gwen DeMarco: What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. No, I mean we shouldn't have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here?

Jason Nesmith: 'Cause it's on the television show.

Gwen DeMarco: Well forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode was badly written!
posted by cooker girl at 1:34 PM on December 29, 2016 [51 favorites]


The Empire is huge, right? Wouldn't they have the same problem the US military has now where they're still coping with tech from 30 years ago because it would be too difficult and expensive to upgrade it? That's what I always assumed, anyway.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:34 PM on December 29, 2016 [28 favorites]


Yep - there's a side scene where two stormtroopers are talking about the T-15 being decommissioned finally, and sounding rather happy about that.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:37 PM on December 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


blnkfrnk: Same RE: technical debt and being stuck with old tech. For all we know that idiotic robot disk system was licensed technology from one of Gran Moff Tarkin's private sector buddies.
posted by zerolives at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2016 [21 favorites]


nothing ruins sci fi like actual advances in technology
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


The tech is lousy but to be fair, it was a long time ago. I'm sure stuff is much more advanced in that galaxy these days.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:45 PM on December 29, 2016 [16 favorites]


Dersins: it's almost as if I expect a slight amount of WRITING to go into the most expensive science fiction series of all time instead of emptily recycling stupid tropes that were parodied 15 years ago. Shit, have the bad guy shoot the control panel! Boom, the door is malfunctioning! Thats why it's closing and opening! Dont just [insert obstacle here].
posted by cyphill at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


one could surmise that the Techno Union settled on a standardized format for data ports but got mixed up in the Separatist movement before they could achieve the same for storage media
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:48 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


wow touch crowd.

A lot of what happened in the magnetic tape room to retrieve the tape was due to K2SO mashing the outer control panel when he was dying, to lock the door that led to the retrieval room. That "pointless" opening and shutting door was probably a result of the malfunctions from that, along with the arms no longer working.

The platform to reset the antenna is set way out there because you need to be able to see the antenna moving back to a default position while you're fixing it. It's used enough times that they actually put handrails on it, as opposed to every ledge in the whole Empire.

Rennick didn't take that elevator until way later into her climbing up the ladder. He didn't realize what they were doing until he noticed that they were messing with the master switch for the communications tower down on the beach.

As for most of the complaints, NoxAeternum has a good point that this is such a secure facility that it was literally a suicide mission to get any information out. Like why would they make it easy?
posted by numaner at 1:49 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


The North Korean operating system Red Star OS, for instance, won’t open files that aren’t sanctioned by the North Korean government. And wifi capability has been removed from its motherboard.

Errm, OSes don't have motherboards...

"except that the plans in Rogue One and A New Hope are a goddamn animated dot matrix."

Well, at one view, at one zoom level. It's quite common for our own computers to hide details in data and reveal them as needed by the user.

"The incredibly large files contained on the tape can be stored on palm-sized, paper-thin disks, meaning the tapes are unnecessary."

We actually do this in our world -- I have 256GB in my pocket but Google (as recently as 2013) was using tape backups. Tape also has some of the longest field-proven longevity of any media.

I haven't seen Rogue One (probably won't, I'm not really their audience), but my take away here is that both the screenwriters and the critic could do well to study contemporary technology a bit more.

The problem of data interoperability on the scale of time and size of something like the empire is an interesting topic though. A lot of our USB thumb drives still use a Windows 95 era revision (FAT32) of a filesystem invented in the 70s (FAT).
posted by Matt Oneiros at 1:51 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


nothing ruins sci fi like actual advances in technology science.

FTFY.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:55 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, this is the same Empire whose garbage disposal system is "toss girders and gooey waste into a room with wall crushers and also a monster".

Still, the interoperability thing isn't so much of a plot hole: the Republic and the Empire, after all, are the same entity after a little corruption. Changing a whole galactic military's data standards is not easy.

The lack of encryption is just silly, though. Heck, just store your data in one of the many alien languages available.
posted by zompist at 1:59 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Dersins: it's almost as if I expect a slight amount of WRITING to go into the most expensive science fiction series of all time instead of emptily recycling stupid tropes that were parodied 15 years ago.

Except that your complaints studiously ignore the reason this facility exists - cold storage of Imperial military secrets. Making data difficult to access and transmit, requiring manual intervention at several points - that's a feature, not a bug. Remember, Krennick has to physically go to Scarif to perform the record analysis - I doubt he did that just for shits and giggles.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:02 PM on December 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


It took great restraint for me to not to lean over to my husband at the start of the climatic sequence of Rogue One and whisper "oh crap, I forgot to pack the right dongle!" So, this article gets me.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:09 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


right, keeping your Death Star plans in the Scarif Nonsense Facility is just like how we store all our really weird porn on Jaz drives with the SCSI cables kept in an entirely separate part of the house

we all do this right
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:13 PM on December 29, 2016 [22 favorites]


The lack of encryption is just silly, though.

The files probably were encrypted. But all the access was done through Imperial systems, so they were inside the security perimeter and thus the systems decrypted the files.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:14 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The data storage room is reminescent of a lot of movies with remote controlled arms retrieving things; I didn't even think twice about it. The controls used by Jynn to manipulate the robot arm is an homage to THX-1138.

Needing to physically remove something from archival storage is, as NoxAeternum points out, a feature, particularly for a secret plans facility.

The drive could have been uploaded to the dish from the control center but I distinctly recall K2SO locking them in and dying at the main terminal, which before death it destroyed. The dish tower itself had a secondary terminal, which Jynn used.

Aligning it certainly may be required, especially if the dish is normally offline and secured/anchored from winds.

If I recall correctly multiple ships that could receive DID receive. Then they were all disabled by Vader's incoming fleet. With the Rebel ships captured the transmissions retrieved by those ships were secured (the fighters jumped out as Rebel fighters all had hyperspace capability, unlike TIE fighters, but they had no way to receive the data).

In a heroic moment, the main frigate techs, realizing they were done for, downloaded the plans onto a standard data medium and just barely managed to get it onto the Tantive IV, which then escaped into hyperspace to retrieve Kenobi before heading for the base in the Yavin system -- only to not make it because Vader.

R2D2 has proven to be a highly customized droid during its extremely long lifepsan. Having a secret card slot is of no surprise to me.

As to the different formats -- who says they are formats? Have you seen the numerous ways a USB drive can look? As to resolution, one can have a 4K video but it does not mean it is displaying on a 4K display. The Yavin base may have not had the best displays installed and so you get dots where the Emperor would get 1,000 dots.

Finally, because it's a movie.
posted by linux at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


Nothing ruins sci-fi like its fans.

I like the fact that the empire blew up its central archives in an attempt to kill some dinguses. Want to know why shit looks cobbled together in Star Wars? It's because grand moff temper tantrum lasered the schematics for everything. Nobody knows how shit works anymore and there's no Chilton manual for your J-wing so you're pretty much on your own.
posted by boo_radley at 2:21 PM on December 29, 2016 [51 favorites]


The data storage facility was clearly designed so that there is the requisite terrifying bottomless chasm for our heroes to deal with.
posted by stargell at 2:22 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Yavin base may have not had the best displays installed and so you get dots where the Emperor would get 1,000 dots.

UNLIMITED DPI!!!
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:22 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't they have the same problem the US military has now where they're still coping with tech from 30 years ago because it would be too difficult and expensive to upgrade it?

Not to mention some standards that seem to stick (the data port example) and others that don't (the map-orb-thingie), with no particular organization, it seems, to bring them into a harmonious whole. It's actually really realistic if you consider that somewhere in the Republic/Empire someone is probably making a bunch of money on adapters, dongles, and converters.

I used to get fired up about airlock design in scifi where the two options seem to be a) everyone agrees on a single type of airlock (examples abound - this seems to be the popular one), or b) you literally punch a hole in the side of the ship (Vader's entrance in Star Wars, the assault on the Cylon Homeworld/Basestar in BSG, and Star Trek Beyond, where opponents actually ram a whole ship inside another ship in order to gain access), virtually assuring accidental explosive decompression, killing friend and foe alike. There are a ton of other options, and only Star Trek reliably showed a range of entrance/exit options (transporter, airlock, shuttle bay) frequently.
posted by eclectist at 2:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen Rogue One (probably won't, I'm not really their audience), but my take away here is that both the screenwriters and the critic could do well to study contemporary technology a bit more.

Gary Whitta, at least, used to write for PC Gamer and is still current on tech. He's not exactly a luddite.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 2:28 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gwen DeMarco: What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway.

The shorthand Mrs. Example and I have for this kind of situation, which is blatantly lifted from The Emperor's New Groove, is "Why do we even have that X?".

It was duly (but quietly) employed when we saw that door.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:30 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I loved that progress bars were a big part of the suspense at the end of the movie. The 1977 Star Wars audience wouldn't even have known what they were!

And as far as Scarif goes, maybe the designer intentionally made it odd, insecure and difficult to use because he felt guilty working for the Empire. Maybe he had a daughter he was thinking of. Maybe the Empire's entire infrastructure was riddled with secretly weakened technologies because it hired too many guilt-ridden parents of young children. I mean, look at the stormtroopers' rifles, for chrissakes.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:33 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


Turns John Knoll, the other writer, co-developed Photoshop and invented *cough* lens-flare software after working at ILM. So I think it's safe to say that at the very least, these decisions aren't being made out of ignorance.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 2:34 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


And now we can all understand why they needed a protocol droid. R2D2 was basically a shuffling pile of cables and dongles, but they had C3PO for higher-level interoperability.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:41 PM on December 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


You could also have just put the archive underground to make it less vulnerable to aerial attack. And you still could have the robot arms and the scary chasm!
posted by stargell at 2:41 PM on December 29, 2016


there's no Chilton manual for your J-wing so you're pretty much on your own.

Luckily, there is a Haynes Manual for your Death Star.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 2:41 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, look at the stormtroopers' rifles, for chrissakes.

From Rogue One, I learned that storm troopers' armor not only does not protect them from lasers and blasters, it doesn't protect them from big sticks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Huh, on closer examination, the piece in question is by Sarah Jeong who I'd generally expect to know current tech history fairly well. Weird.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 2:44 PM on December 29, 2016


Also why aren't Tie Fighters called H-Wings
posted by boo_radley at 2:46 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Because they're named after their Twin Ion Engine propulsion system.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:48 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


My own theory is that the empire is just an enormous art collective, and that everyone is a performance artist.
posted by maxwelton at 2:50 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Foci for Analysis: "This fills me with hope because at least in the future OneDrive won't be around to annoy you."

StarWars is set in the past.

NoxAeternum: "Okay, some of those questions show someone who has not taken a serious look at actual real life data storage. If you have a lot of data in cold storage that you don't want easily accessible, a system like Scarif would actually make sense (and in the real world, there are actual storage systems that work similarly.)"

Yep, I worked at a place where our deep cold storage was only available via courier (and was actually deep being stored in a converted mine).
posted by Mitheral at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


For everyone defending the movie, how do you explain the rediculous random podiums and consoles at the end? They have to go to the master power switch or whatever, which is conveniently located sort of near the base of the tower, but far away enough that it's still sort of in the middle of nowhere. Then at the top, they've got the only hard drive slot in the place on one podium and the separate antenna alignment station on the end of a rediculous catwalk, nearby but not too nearby. All of these are outdoors for some reason. None of it makes any sense.
posted by zachlipton at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Low-bid contracting. Makes perfect sense to me.
posted by bonehead at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2016 [10 favorites]


Master power switch connecting all the landing pads could be like one of those power boxes on a street corner: they're there because the main power lines are under them.

Quite possibly when aligning a dish you want to be close to it but not under it so you can monitor its movement, just in case the alignment malfunctions or a physical impediment blocks movement. That would explain having the alignment console jutting out from under the dish but still on the same platform as the secondary control console for using the dish.

How'd I do?
posted by linux at 2:59 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


when you're pointing a satellite dish at a space cruiser in geostationary orbit, you need to be able to eyeball it to get the aim just right

"just a skosh to the left, TK-421...there, perfect."
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:01 PM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


I haven't seen the movie, but I work with a large telecom company and they are running thirty year old machines that won't turn back on if their power is interrupted. I have seen multi-million dollar projects get weird, poorly thought out additions thrown in at the last moment that make no one happy. These sound like the most believable parts of the movie.
posted by Naib at 3:01 PM on December 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


StarWars is set in the past.

This is meaningless, however, without knowing how old their galactic civilization is compared to our earthly one. One would assume they started banging the rocks together much, much longer ago than 125,000 space years or whatever.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:01 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


we store all our really weird porn on Jaz drives

Actually, “jaz drive” is by definition the name of any disk used for storing porn, by analogy with “jazz mags”.
posted by acb at 3:03 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Because they're named after their Twin Ion Engine propulsion system.

Wasn't that invented retroactively, to get around the fact that Lucas' kids named the fighter after the fact that it resembles a bowtie?
posted by acb at 3:04 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


If it’s a disk drive, wouldn’t it obviously be a disk, and wouldn’t he know to push a button to eject it?

What if, like Firefly, technology isn't evenly distributed in the Star Wars Universe and that particular storage format hasn't made it to electronics section of the the Tatooine Savers Toshi Station yet.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:16 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Was I the only one who thought the tape robot was a Space Quest reference?
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:17 PM on December 29, 2016


For everyone defending the movie, how do you explain the rediculous random podiums and consoles at the end?

Speaking only for myself, I don't bother. I literally give no shits whatsoever if there are things like unrealistic podia and consoles in movies or TV shows, especially those set in worlds very different from our own.

My feeling is that if I'm going to let random, unimportant shit like that interfere with my enjoyment of something, then I'll never actually enjoy anything.

So I ignore it and enjoy. It's like flagging it and moving on, except without the flagging it.
posted by dersins at 3:21 PM on December 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


From Rogue One, I learned that storm troopers' armor not only does not protect them from lasers and blasters, it doesn't protect them from big sticks.

Commander, bending over stretcher: "What happened to you, soldier? What did that Rebel scum do to you?"

Stormtrooper: "The rebels, sir...they had (cough)...sticks." **dies**
posted by emjaybee at 3:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Was I the only one who thought the tape robot was a Space Quest reference?

I thought it was a "future video game level" reference.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:26 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


I mean, seriously, of course the technical and industrial design is preposterous--the whole fucking thing--like, literally everything about the Star Wars universe--is preposterous.

Why are we "well actually"-ing it to death? It's still awesome, so who fucking cares?
posted by dersins at 3:29 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


We have - in our one, single lab - data from observatories around the world in these formats:

- Stacks of hot-swap hard disk trays, starting at maybe 300 MBs?
- Stacks of naked hard drives that were plugged in manually into an external IDE cable to read, ranging in size from a magnificent 3 GBs to the 6 TB ones I ordered from Amazon a few months ago.
- Ancient DVDs sent to us with data - from STScI?
- CD-ROMs with some data release I think from Sloan.
- DAT tapes, 5 GB each, with some of my PhD thesis observations on the VLBA.
- DLT tapes (yeah I know T stands for tape) with data from Parkes.
- Exabyte Mammoth tapes with data from Arecibo.
- Exabyte tapes from the VLA and GBT. If you used an Exabyte in the Exabyte Mammoth drive by accident, it would require a drive cleaning.
- Actual honest-to-God 8-track data tapes, I don't know from where.
- A Synology server with 16 TB of storage for network transfers, that became insufficient about a month after I set it up when we started dumping VLA data at 1TB/hr. (We got 90 hours of observation time on this one project.)

We have no drives any longer that can read Exabytes, Mammoths, DLTs, DATs, or obviously 8-tracks, so I don't even know why we're hanging on to them. And this is just data acquired from telescopes in the last - I don't know, 25? years.

I found their archive utterly believable in its glorious stupidity, especially if we allow for the possibility of sabotage by disgruntled designers.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:32 PM on December 29, 2016 [36 favorites]


it doesn't protect them from big sticks

Well no the armor is to reduce their peripheral vision and mobility
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:32 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Indestructible Death Star"
Mixed media (reproduction)
Collaboration. Catalog # 524 j 98-2-44kl


Artist's Statement: Death Star captures the tawdriness of all sapient entities
and the physical constructs they hold dear. It is a manufactured object,
grandly named, but a construct which only brings destruction and death.
The conundrum this works presents--that even as each planetary murder is the
most epic event the planet's inhabitants will (briefly) experience,
the cosmos itself will not even notice--suggests the central conceits of
all "sapient" creatures are laughable and, indeed, sapience itself is impossible.

Curator's Note: Much critical argument about this piece centers on the
destruction of the artwork via a laughably obvious design error, with scholars
evenly divided: one school of thought argues the destruction underlines the artist's
intentions and makes this an extremely profound and important work
(see Think, issue 72,283); another argues that the destruction of the work
negated the artist's (in their view) grandiose statement,
underlining how important "true" sapience is as a fundamental
building block of the cosmos (see Woke!, issue 422).

Issues of Think, Woke! and over [012,047] other philosophical journals are available in our media center,
located on the sixth planet in this system. Materials are available in all [0672] official Empire data formats.

posted by maxwelton at 3:43 PM on December 29, 2016 [30 favorites]


Much critical argument about this piece centers on the
destruction of the artwork via a laughably obvious design error,


Someone hasn't seen Rogue One :P

*SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE*
The exhaust port is necessary, and is not the design flaw. The main engineer of the energy system deliberately included a flaw in the core that would set off a chain reaction to destroy it, using the exhaust port as a way to let a proton torpedo in. This is because of his enormous guilt in helping create the superweapon.

This a big reason why people, myself included, think that Rogue One makes ANH a better movie. It addresses a silly plot-device and ties it up with a good, reasonable explanation.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 3:49 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Just goes to show, always encrypt your off-world backups.
posted by nickggully at 3:53 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Those weren't pens, they were cigars, Midchlorian Pocky, and licorice. Duh.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:54 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


From Rogue One, I learned that storm troopers' armor not only does not protect them from lasers and blasters, it doesn't protect them from big sticks.

To be fair, we learned that in Return of the Jedi.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


The controls used by Jynn to manipulate the robot arm is an homage to THX-1138

Ah. See, after the homages to Spaceballs (planet-wide force field, dead officer's hand for ID) I figured this was their Sleeper bit and figured figured Cassian would end up dangling from the tape while Jyn tries to operate the controls.
posted by condour75 at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dersins: Because to some of us it wasn't awesome. It was cleanly packaged pointless violence marketed to kids(!) entirely devoid of character, emotion, story or logic. Not everyone has to like what you like. Not everyone has to enjoy things in the same way as you. Some people like to nitpick things.

And personally, When you have a movie that depends entirely on made up tech obstacles with the exact same problems we've seen in fifty million other movies, I want it to at least be cool or mysterious or visually interesting. If someone is told they need to align a dish, I think it's boring to have them just run away, smack a button and run back. If there's going to be no banter or interesting dialogue to distract me then I'm going to find it annoying when someone beats up storm troopers with sticks or when a main character randomly commits suicide despite it conflicting with what little (very very little) we know about his character. If I don't have characters to care about, or a plot or visuals to pay attention to then I'm going to pick nits.

Our heroes getting locked in a room with a garbage eating alien? That's something I haven't seen a million times. And look! There's visual tension involving a threat we can't fully see! And dialogue that isn't just "Go here, do this"! And jokes which evolve from the character's personalities! Our characters invading a cold storage system? Well I've seen that in at least four movies just this year. Tom Cruise alone has done it probably 6 times (each time in a more interesting way than Rogue One, btw).

Enjoy what you enjoy, but don't sit in a nitpick thread and yell at us for picking.
posted by cyphill at 3:56 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]




Sarah Jeong is a treasure.
posted by latkes at 4:05 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The data storage facility was clearly designed so that there is the requisite terrifying bottomless chasm for our heroes to deal with.

I could not stop wondering if there is actually some facility where giant abyssal shafts are used as security features, they way they always seem to be in SF and action movies. Talk about an air gap.

Paper can, if properly maintained, be legible in several thousand years, which is more than we can be sure about for most digital formats.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:09 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Seriously, tapes.

100TB+ tapes are pretty clearly visible on the tech horizon. They'll be around in data centres for a fair while yet.

(I am paid money to look after a multi-petabyte scientific data archive. Most of it is on tape.)
posted by Urtylug at 4:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


This a big reason why people, myself included, think that Rogue One makes ANH a better movie. It addresses a silly plot-device and ties it up with a good, reasonable explanation.

So does that mean we should all look forward to a Star Wars movie that takes place right before RoTJ and explains exactly what was Luke's master plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba?
posted by peeedro at 4:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


This thread:

"Why is this person ruining a perfectly fun movie by analyzing it so much? And anyway, clearly the y-chip dongle adapter would have been made possible by the imperial zippity zap zorp as evidenced by minute 52:4 in the video game version of Episode 70!"
posted by latkes at 4:14 PM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


So does that mean we should all look forward to a Star Wars movie that takes place right before RoTJ and explains exactly what was Luke's master plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba?

somebody missed the thread on the Shadows of the Empire cross-platform expanded universe multimedia experience!
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:30 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


So does that mean we should all look forward to a Star Wars movie that takes place right before RoTJ and explains exactly what was Luke's master plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba?

The plan is pretty clear from the actual movie, though. There's a plan A, a plan B in case that doesn't work, and a last-ditch plan C.

Plan A: Leia (disguised as a bounty hunter) will use the same Chewie-as-fake-prisoner gambit that got her out of her cell on the Death Star, to break Han Solo out.

Plan B: In case that doesn't work, the backup plan is that Luke will Jedi-mind-trick Jabba into letting Han Solo out.

If all that goes to hell, plan C is that R2 has Luke's lightsaber hidden away and will get it to him at a crucial moment so he can fuck shit up.

It's no dumber (or any more needlessly complicated) than every dumb movie plan ever.
posted by dersins at 4:37 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I remember a bit better now: K2SO wasn't at the main control panel. Jynn and Cassian were, but when the arm jammed and they jumped out to get it, they got trapped because Krennic showed up. I don't recall how they knew the dish has a secondary terminal -- I guess I'll go watch the movie again. Been wanting to, anyway.

I'll also confirm for myself that I remember correctly that the transmission was a wide beam sent out so that any ship nearby could receive, and that several rebel capital ships did receive but were disabled before they could jump out.

Still, ya gotta hand it to the rebels. Their ship just got disabled and stormtroopers are rushing in, and in all that chaos you have a small counselor ship with jump capability ready to go so if you can just have the ship's systems transfer the transmission buffer over to a terminal and start writing it on a data module (oh, crap, do we have any spare data modules, someone go find a spare data module!) and then have it all just boil down to a transfer progress bar... I found that to be very dramatic; that and of course the pursuit of said data module by Darth Vader, who proceeds to finally show us just how many people he can kill just standing there, yawning/breathing.

It would be a pretty interesting Star Wars story, beginning with when a young Captain Antilles receives two droids that he memory wipes all the way through to joining the Battle of Scarif and finally, meeting his end. Yeah, I would definitely watch Tantive IV: A Star Wars Story.
posted by linux at 4:43 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yep - there's a side scene where two stormtroopers are talking about the T-15 being decommissioned finally, and sounding rather happy about that.

I think that is an homage to the two chatty guards gossiping about the new VT-16. They say it's, uh, quite a thing to see.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:29 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


A very intelligent futurist friend of mine just wrote a good blog post about technology in the Star Wars universe. It's called Rogue One: The Weird Ferocity of Nostalgia.

A quote:

There aren’t any networks. Nobody hacks anything or checks anything online. Coding doesn’t appear to be a thing....There are no cameras or microphones. Nobody records, films, photographs, or surveils anyone else. When a hologram recording (in all ways a film strip) plays, nobody makes a copy. The one person who watched it simply remembers the gist, without bothering to shoot someone a copy or even write it down. In fact, there aren’t any media, either entertainment or news. You might expect a galaxy-spanning empire fighting an insurgency to have a serious propaganda effort under way. Instead it’s a semiliterate, nearly text-free realm.
posted by tunewell at 6:32 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


In fact, there aren’t any media, either entertainment or news.

I beg to differ.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:11 PM on December 29, 2016


There's media in the Holiday special! It's terrible. Maybe that's why people avoid it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:11 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not that archives seem to help the Empire very much, as they never really seem to learn from their mistakes: See, for example, the second Death Star, which still manages to have the exact same vulnerability.

Er, how so? The first one (intentionally, we've retconned) had a thermal exhaust port that led to the main reactor. The second one was still under construction, and the Millennium Falcon flew in and directly blew up the reactor.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


There aren’t any networks.

This is the logical end point if it turns out secure computing is impossible.
posted by maxwelton at 9:03 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


Lots of people seem to assume that technology has to develop along a straight line, where if you have D you must also have the less advanced A, B and C.

I don't have any trouble believing that they could have an alternative stream of technological development where they don't have any semiconductors but do have some alternative form of computing, maybe some kind of massively parallel neural network. That gives them strong AI but makes it hard to serialize/deserialize data in and out.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:11 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


There aren’t any networks. Nobody hacks anything or checks anything online.

This objection makes no sense. The concept of hyperdrive means that the only fast and reliable way to communicate between planets is via starship. A network only connects, say, the US and the UK because there is a physical set of cables running between the countries. There is no such connection between, let's say, Coruscant and Tattooine. Instead there is the gulf of light-years of space.

Except for some scenes in the prequels, most Star Wars movies are explicitly taking place in backwater planets. When we see high-tech planets like Coruscant or Bespin, they are clearly meant to have computer networks within the individual planet. Likewise, the military installations and vessels that we see have networks, like the one R2-D2 taps into to stop the trash compactor in Episode 4. But there is no method of instant interplanetary communication from any planet to Coruscant, nor should there be. The Rebellion happens in the distant and poorly surveilled planets for exactly that reason.

The whole "Internet" mode of thought makes no sense in a civilization strung out between star systems. The network is a massive physical thing, and the fact that it's set up to be 95% invisible gives people illusions about that reality.
posted by graymouser at 9:11 PM on December 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


In fact, there aren’t any media, either entertainment or news.

One of the RPG gaming supplements described the galaxy's pop music scene during the original SW movie period. What I remember is a band called The Emperor's New Clothes, which did such dark intense pro-Empire metal music that it became popular with some Rebels, who believed they secretly had to be Rebels themselves because nobody could put that music out and honestly mean it. This I thought was clever.

The music that Jabba's band is playing, FYI, is called (deep sigh) jizz. The musicians are called jizz-wailers.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:22 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


How has no one mentioned the best part of the article: DEATH_STAR_final_final__FINAL.dwg.doc.gif.pdf
posted by AFABulous at 9:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [16 favorites]


In reading this thread I realized I have no recollection of why they had to throw the master switch on the landing pad, other than they had surplus characters they wanted to kill off.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:27 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some mumbo jumbo about using the base power to convert the signal from imperial radio in the shuttle to rebel radio, I thought? Or to punch through the shield so the rebels knew what to expect? Something like that, anyway.
posted by Kyol at 9:34 PM on December 29, 2016


NoxAeternum: "let's point out that the scenario of a suicide mission to extract data and get it out of the system by linking the secure communication system to Rebellion communications is a tad...improbable."

On the one hand, I think you overestimate their chances.

On the other hand, never tell me the odds.
posted by RobotHero at 9:40 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


But there is no method of instant interplanetary communication from any planet to Coruscant, nor should there be.

Hologram communications, though! They're definitely FTL communications between star systems and they're everywhere.

But Star Wars would actually be cooler with no FTL communication. It kind of hangs together better that way, like your take on a lack of FTL communications providing an opening for rebellion. I like that.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Never underestimate the bandwidth in a blockade runner filled with backup tapes.
posted by Sphinx at 9:54 PM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


zompist: "Well, this is the same Empire whose garbage disposal system is "toss girders and gooey waste into a room with wall crushers and also a monster".

Still, the interoperability thing isn't so much of a plot hole: the Republic and the Empire, after all, are the same entity after a little corruption. Changing a whole galactic military's data standards is not easy.

The lack of encryption is just silly, though. Heck, just store your data in one of the many alien languages available.
"

I figure the monster was basically a space water rat.

As far as the tape archive goes, it is the same problem as film hacking. Data retrieval is boring to look at. Either you get giant claws moving tapes (or Unix systems, like "I KNOW THIS!") or you have a bored audience.

Might as well complain about them not verifying the integrity of the copied file after transfer.
posted by Samizdata at 10:00 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is why building the climax of your space WWII film around data retrieval is a dumb idea.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:06 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


graymouser: "A network only connects, say, the US and the UK because there is a physical set of cables running between the countries."

Store and forward messaging networks (via dialup ad hoc connections and sometimes physical transport of storage media) had significant penetration while the Internet was still an academic toy. It's not hard to posit a series of message drones zipping back and forth in hyperspace to keep such a network working.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


tunewell: "A very intelligent futurist friend of mine just wrote a good blog post about technology in the Star Wars universe. It's called Rogue One: The Weird Ferocity of Nostalgia.

A quote:

There aren’t any networks. Nobody hacks anything or checks anything online. Coding doesn’t appear to be a thing....There are no cameras or microphones. Nobody records, films, photographs, or surveils anyone else. When a hologram recording (in all ways a film strip) plays, nobody makes a copy. The one person who watched it simply remembers the gist, without bothering to shoot someone a copy or even write it down. In fact, there aren’t any media, either entertainment or news. You might expect a galaxy-spanning empire fighting an insurgency to have a serious propaganda effort under way. Instead it’s a semiliterate, nearly text-free realm.
"

Yeah, not entirely. He needs to look a little deeper into the Star Wars universe into a little thing called slicers.
posted by Samizdata at 10:11 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think this guy has seen the original movies the requisite 100+ times. The Death Stars did not have the same vulnerabilities. Unless of course having a power generator is considered a "design flaw". Also, I think having an Executor class Star Destroyer driven into the hull is a difficult scenario to simulate, and certainly not within the sphere of the Emperor's patience. In any event, the Emperor cared little about the Death Star, beyond bait for the Skywalker twins. Ultimate power was using the Skywalkers, the most powerful dynasty of Force users the Galaxy had ever seen, to usher in a glorious rebirth of the Sith.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:13 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


jason_steakums: "But there is no method of instant interplanetary communication from any planet to Coruscant, nor should there be.

Hologram communications, though! They're definitely FTL communications between star systems and they're everywhere.

But Star Wars would actually be cooler with no FTL communication. It kind of hangs together better that way, like your take on a lack of FTL communications providing an opening for rebellion. I like that.
"

Or just a network of relay buoys each with a smallish FTL array. Still gives you the plot hook of being able to cut off comms before your Imperial raid, while allowing a small, fast, brave courier ship to run a gauntlet of attackers so he can get to the next system over which should still have a functional buoy. That is, assuming there is available bandwidth/comm time (and there's your scary timer countdown suspense builder too!)
posted by Samizdata at 10:16 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Store and forward messaging networks (via dialup ad hoc connections and sometimes physical transport of storage media) had significant penetration while the Internet was still an academic toy. It's not hard to posit a series of message drones zipping back and forth in hyperspace to keep such a network working.

Vint Cerf, once again, FTW!

RFC 4838 Delay-Tolerant Networking Architecture April 2007
1. Introduction

This document describes an architecture for delay and disruption-
tolerant interoperable networking (DTN). The architecture embraces
the concepts of occasionally-connected networks that may suffer from
frequent partitions and that may be comprised of more than one
divergent set of protocols or protocol families. The basis for this
architecture lies with that of the Interplanetary Internet, which
focused primarily on the issue of deep space communication in high-
delay environments. We expect the DTN architecture described here to
be utilized in various operational environments, including those
subject to disruption and disconnection and those with high-delay;
the case of deep space is one specialized example of these, and is
being pursued as a specialization of this architecture (See [IPN01]
and [SB03] for more details).
posted by mikelieman at 10:47 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


( SMTP & NNTP FTW! )
posted by mikelieman at 10:48 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


mikelieman: "( SMTP & NNTP FTW! )"

The Empire would never allow an unregulated channel like NNTP to exist.
posted by Samizdata at 11:40 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


FTLNNTP sees censorship as damage and routes around it.
posted by Mitheral at 11:51 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


> StarWars is set in the past.

Specifically, A New Hope takes place in May 1943, it's just that "Thirty-five years ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." tested poorly.
posted by qntm at 4:47 AM on December 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Why is DEATH_STAR_final_final__FINAL.dwg.doc.gif.pdf so big?

p deece file nomenclature gag imo
posted by Sebmojo at 5:05 AM on December 30, 2016


mikelieman : Starship Executor's fidonet node ID was 1:1138/421
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:14 AM on December 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


mikelieman : Starship Executor's fidonet node ID was 1:1138/42

Oh,shit! That takes me back to the days of dial up
"The number of people who utilize online services and electronic bulletin-board systems grows each year. "
posted by mikelieman at 7:00 AM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Macaguffin file format ensures a method of conveyance which is always visually clear to the audience.
posted by device55 at 7:50 AM on December 30, 2016


Despite the articles gushing over the standardization of data ports, in Empire even the most technologically savvy character in the Star Wars universe, R2D2, accidentally plugs into a power socket instead of a data port. That suggests that even the data port standard has significant and obscure variants, and even the best tech can't tell the difference in an emergency situation.
posted by Blackanvil at 8:43 AM on December 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, that was clearly the handiwork of a disillusioned imperial electrician, who decided he would be most useful to the resistance by staying behind and miswiring power to the data ports.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:52 AM on December 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Despite the articles gushing over the standardization of data ports, in Empire even the most technologically savvy character in the Star Wars universe, R2D2, accidentally plugs into a power socket instead of a data port.

omg it's usb-c
posted by speicus at 11:19 AM on December 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


R2D2 is easily the most promiscuous character in the SW universe, going around sticking his plug into sockets basically everywhere he goes.
posted by hippybear at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


omg it's usb-c

The Empire under the rule of Darth Cook left many nostalgic for the days of Darth Jobs when droids and podracers had a wider variety of interface ports.
posted by peeedro at 12:08 PM on December 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


In fact, there aren’t any media, either entertainment or news.
On Coruscant (Ep II), Kenobi and Anakin visit a club with dozens of screens showing numerous sporting events. People are apparently wagering.

I'm guessing there is something akin to media.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:34 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


nothing ruins sci fi like actual advances in technology

I know, right? My reaction to being introduced to Episode IV was (after "this is awesome," which we can take for granted that I said) along the lines of "I can do all those transitions in PowerPoint."
posted by dialMforMara at 5:10 PM on December 30, 2016


This is why building the climax of your space WWII film around data retrieval is a dumb idea.

I didn't read it as a WWII movie. I saw the part on Jeddah as an Iraq War movie, and the part on Scarif as a Vietnam movie with a heist in the middle. The Empire is a different occupying force in Rogue One.
posted by dialMforMara at 5:29 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or just a network of relay buoys each with a smallish FTL array.

The Stardrive setting for Alternity does this--it has both FTL buoys and information traders who carry messages through hyperspace on hard drives, then upload them to the planetary Internet at their destination. If you're interested in the setting but don't want to shell out for game books, Diane Duane wrote a trilogy promoting the series at the end of the 90s. The first one is really good.
posted by dialMforMara at 5:34 PM on December 30, 2016


Stephen R. Donaldson's The Gap series has FTL communication being done by FTL drone. Beam message to drone buoy, physical ship takes it to destination system, beams down transmission, etc.

As far as physical media goes, what's the thing about the comparative bandwidth of a station wagon loaded with tape drives?
posted by hippybear at 5:50 PM on December 30, 2016


I know, right? My reaction to being introduced to Episode IV was (after "this is awesome," which we can take for granted that I said) along the lines of "I can do all those transitions in PowerPoint."

The 20-year-old of the house is a tough customer for iconic genre movies that move too slow for her (anything predating the first Harry Potter flick, really) so I was surprised when a couple of years ago she sat through The Terminator, a movie that was released more than a decade before she was. She did mention however that the ball-lightning time travel effects were something she learned how to do in the fifth grade.

(When I was in the fifth grade, I don't think I had ever been in the same room as a computer.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:55 PM on December 30, 2016


When The Terminator was made, those ball lightning time travel effects were done live in-camera in various ways, not a computer to be found.
posted by hippybear at 7:04 PM on December 30, 2016


So does that mean we should all look forward to a Star Wars movie that takes place right before RoTJ and explains exactly what was Luke's master plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba?

I had a horrifying realization that everything did go exactly according to Luke's plan. The real question is what he told everyone else the plan was.
posted by ckape at 1:19 PM on January 13


Sorry, it took me a long time to work up the energy to tackle this, on account of just how totally wrong it is:

First off, Luke's tech-savvy is never really established. He only points out R2-D2 because of C-3PO's recommendation. And anyway, there's no reason to expect that the plans are actually in a drive rather than just some random cubbyhole. R2 never actually accesses the plans being carried, even when they are on the Death Star.

Interoperability between Rebel and Imperial systems is nonsense, because the Rebels are operating within the Empire. An Empire that inherited a bewildering patchwork from the loose Republic that preceded it.

The 2nd Death Star does not have the exact same vulnerability as the first. Maybe they're still using the same reactor design (reasonable, given the much shorter construction timeline on the 2nd Death Star), but it is now shielded, and the exhaust port has been replaced by tiny vents spread across the surface, which is why it must be destroyed while still under construction.

I am still not convinced that is a tape drive in Rogue One (sure, there are two circle segments on the bottom of the drive, but they are overlapping, which doesn't really work for spools), but even if it is tape, long-term storage is a perfectly reasonable place to see tape in use.

And I don't even know what to say to the complaint that a portable media format is smaller than an Enterprise-grade (yeah, I said it) long-term storage format. And of course there's no guarantee that the file they wanted was the only file on that tape.

I also don't know why he's complaining that the plans for a battlestation the size of a small moon are bigger than a quick communication.

The reason you need to get the plans up to the terminal on the roof is because the facility is on lockdown due to an ongoing rebel incursion. I'm sure during normal operation it is much easier.

And clearly the plans Dooku gets in Ep II are either incomplete or garbage, since if those plans worked they wouldn't have had to kidnap Jyn's dad to begin with.

(Of course, the real reason the storage in Rogue One resembles the 1970s is because they are trying to match it with a movie made in the 1970s which in-universe takes place a few days later, but I suppose that's a boring answer).
posted by ckape at 3:50 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


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