Time Warp to 1983!
May 19, 2005 1:21 PM   Subscribe


 
Nice find. From the "Possible physics bug in RotJ" thread:

I had the impression (from the Alliance Simulation) that it was in geosynchronus orbit about that moon. Of course one might question whether such a small body would be able to hold an atmosphere long enough to evolve Ewoks.

Yes, one might. One certainly might.
posted by billysumday at 1:27 PM on May 19, 2005


"Also, Ewoks remind me of Munchkins in Wizard of Oz. They are too cute and sweet and give me a cavity."

Heh. The passage of time has only confirmed the wisdom of this judgement. I remember giving away all of my ROTJ trading cards with Ewoks on them to a girl I liked in grade four. She was quite pleased with them, so at least some good came of the little turdwads.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:29 PM on May 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


Now, I'm no scientitian, but I always wondered, how come the death star parts didn't rain death down onto the forest moon like so much brimstone?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:36 PM on May 19, 2005


I always liked the Ewoks, and was embarrassed to admit it as a kid to my mostly-guy friends.

I am such a girl.

(also, I love this. More than twenty years later and it sounds pretty much like people talking about them today)
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:38 PM on May 19, 2005


Pollo, check this out for a scientifical discussion of related issues (i.e. what the actual result of all the alien ships crashing to Earth in Independence Day would have been).
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:44 PM on May 19, 2005


Aw hell, here's the passage I'm talking about;

Downing a fifteen-mile-diameter saucer would be a disaster. Krauss estimates it would weigh about 100 billion tons and that dropping it from a height of about a mile would release more than 10,000 times as much energy as the nuclear bomb used on Hiroshima.

However, that would be minor compared to the effects of releasing the antimatter fuel aboard the ship. The saucer would still be loaded with enough antimatter fuel to toast several cities as well as return to the mothership. The return trip would lift the saucer thousands of times higher than the one mile fall described. Hence, there would be thousands of times more energy stored in the antimatter fuel than released by a one-mile saucer fall. Breaching the antimatter's containment field would cause one gigantic explosion. Do this to saucers all over the globe and Goldblum would have to recycle an awful lot of aluminum cans to compensate.

posted by The Card Cheat at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2005


Me slow today, me not understand. Google Groups not exist in 1983.

Someone help me out -- what sort of message board, that was around in '83, did this stuff come from? Someone's private BBS?

I'm willing to accept the declared age of the posts as legit, though, because not one person seems to have referred to Luke as a 1337 4CE H4XX0r.
posted by gurple at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2005


it's usenet, gurple
posted by Kellydamnit at 2:07 PM on May 19, 2005


I always thought the Ewoks were cheesified ripoffs of H. Beam Piper's book Little Fuzzy - which was not the uncheesiest science fiction novel itself. See the cover image...
posted by expialidocious at 2:08 PM on May 19, 2005


Google bought their archive from DejaNews by the way (and I've still not really seen any improvement on what DejaNews, which is a shame really considering what google has managed to do with other corpora of data).
posted by fvw at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2005


Man, I'm such a newbie. I thought people were still sending smoke signals and flashing mirrors and whatnot until 1989, which is when I encountered my first BBS.

expialidocious, Piper's Fuzzy books were pretty kickass, when I was but a wee lad not concerned with keeping a low level of cheese in my reading diet. I'd forgotten about them -- thanks for reminding me of them!
posted by gurple at 2:15 PM on May 19, 2005


Now, I'm no scientitian, but I always wondered, how come the death star parts didn't rain death down onto the forest moon like so much brimstone?

Someone's
way ahead of you ...
posted by me & my monkey at 2:17 PM on May 19, 2005


What the heck is Star Wars and why should I care what people think about it?

And who is Ryan Seacrest?
posted by notmydesk at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2005


expialidocious, you may be on to something...
posted by Specklet at 2:20 PM on May 19, 2005


There was I time I would have entered a Star Wars cue : I'm so glad it's over. maturity has it benefits.

Long live and Prosper \/
posted by elpapacito at 2:20 PM on May 19, 2005


This stuff was really interesting.
I would love to see something like this for Empire. I was just telling my buddy today how I really wish I could remember finding out for the first time that DV is Luke's father.
posted by PhatLobley at 2:20 PM on May 19, 2005


All ewoks would have been better off if the tribe which made contact with the rebels continued with their original plan of killing and eating the commando team's leaders.
posted by Specklet at 2:25 PM on May 19, 2005


The sheer ultranerdiness of discussing Star Wars (and the accuracy of the physics of Star Wars) on Usenet way back in 1983 just makes my head spin 'round like a motorized propeller beanie.

I didn't even hear about Usenet until 1989 or 1990 or so (about the same time I heard about the internet), and even by then it was pretty well trashed.

It's weird to think that during this same time period (80-94 or so) hundreds of thousands of folks were dialing out to BBSs and running BBSs and participating in ad-hoc mail networks like FidoNet, all because simply connecting to this fabulous, existing network cost too damn much.

I remember when one of my roommates finally sprang for a private internet account about 91-92 or so. It was like 500-700 bucks a month or something totally stupid like that. And it might have just been an email address and an ultra-basic shell login. No SLIP, no PPP, no interweb, nothing. Email and maybe telnet. Of course, he later recouped some of that insane fee by offering a gateway to the net through his multiline BBS.
posted by loquacious at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2005


After seeing "Return of the Jedi" Wednesday . . . . I'm pretty sure that Episodes I, II, and [III] will be about Anakin (Darth Vader) Skywalker and how he was drawn to the Dark Side of the force (what is the offer he couldn't refuse?).

Most impressive, nerd-in-1983.
posted by brain_drain at 2:52 PM on May 19, 2005 [4 favorites]


Google did extend the usenet archives from 1995 (dejanews' horizon) to 1980 or whatever.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:56 PM on May 19, 2005


I don't know where I read it, but I heard that the Ewoks were supposed to be Wookies, but for some reason they changed 'em. Also, they just switched the syllables in the names.
posted by ScotchLynx at 2:58 PM on May 19, 2005


Ewoks are more teddy-bear like than actual bear-like, and are thus more marketable as toys.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:03 PM on May 19, 2005


Wow, the old-school geek-cred of addresses like ...!duke!mcnc!msdc!gatech!spaf is just overpowering. (Though it really should have a something-vax or two in there somewhere for maximum points.)
posted by Zonker at 4:14 PM on May 19, 2005


Oops, meant to link that to this post.
posted by Zonker at 4:15 PM on May 19, 2005


Man, I really want to write a paper with a section titled Orbital considerations. Biology sux.
posted by metaculpa at 4:40 PM on May 19, 2005


I did not just do that. The word is sucks, I swear.
posted by metaculpa at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2005


Specklet and gurple... I was geeky enough in 1983 to have not only read Piper but also cared that Lucas may have ripped him off, but not quite enough to be on Usenet (I was on geek hiatus between the Apple II and Netscape). Otherwise, that poster could have been me.
posted by expialidocious at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2005


I have always thought that Piper's Fuzzy should be made into a movie. It's like - a cutesiepie effects flick that midway through turn into a courtroom drama - what's not to love?

That could, of course, be the reason why Hollywood has yet to hand me millions of dollars in indescretianary income.
posted by Sparx at 6:12 PM on May 19, 2005


I heard the Wookie costumes were too expensive.
posted by mecran01 at 7:53 PM on May 19, 2005


PhatLobley: I would love to see something like this for Empire. I was just telling my buddy today how I really wish I could remember finding out for the first time that DV is Luke's father.

Perhaps it was something like this:

Coming out of the movie...
Homer: Wow, what an ending! Who would have thought Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father!

Crowd: [waiting in line to see the movie] Oh, thank you, Mister Blow-the-picture-for-me.
posted by papakwanz at 7:56 PM on May 19, 2005


metaculpa - molecular orbital considerations (of enzyme/protein X interaction w/ Y)?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:37 PM on May 19, 2005


Wow, the old-school geek-cred of addresses like...

Zonker: Do you know who you linked to?

papakwanz: I was standing in line near the front for the second showing, and some asshole walking out of the first yelled "Darth Vader is Luke's father!" to the whole line.

Fortunately, the fourth-reel twist is not as important to the film as the character development in the screenplay thanks to Leigh Brackett, and the film stands repeated viewing well. And obviously, the structure of the series means that we have three movies where people know how it all turns out, and they still made billions.

Google did extend the usenet archives from 1995 (dejanews' horizon) to 1980 or whatever.

Only with the devoted assistance of Henry Spencer.
posted by dhartung at 9:36 PM on May 19, 2005


Fabulous find.
Nerds: not working when they should have been since 1983
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:40 AM on May 20, 2005


It's nice to see that the SPOILER! warning has been around for so long. Although in the context of "Darth Vader's Body (Spoiler)" it did give me a chuckle. =)
posted by idontlikewords at 7:16 AM on May 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


...youse guys haven't heard of the usenet?

There were tons of discussions on who would win in the Empire VS the Federation. Tons.
Sheesh. Geekkids today.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:14 PM on May 20, 2005


PhatLobley : I really wish I could remember finding out for the first time that DV is Luke's father.

As I recall, it wasn't entirely clear that this was the case. To many it seemed a ploy on the part of DV until confirmed by OWK in ROTJ.
posted by originalname37 at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2005


mecran01: "I heard the Wookie costumes were too expensive."

That was just part of it. Standing at seven foot three, Peter Mayhew is a rarity among interested actors. There was an attempt to use wookies in a television holiday special back in 1978 and the result was generally not appreciated. If you put even someone six foot tall in a wookie outfit, they look stupid. Back in 1983, it was more feasible to make costumes half the size of Chewie's, put Little People in them, and reverse the syllables (wook-ee to ee-wok). I'm not saying more believable. I'm saying more feasible, based on the resources available to Lucas at the time.

I haven't seen the new movie yet. I'm assuming there's wookies in it this time around, because with advances in digital art and other resources now at Lucas' disposal, he wouldn't be able to resist the temptation. However, I bet their appearance is relatively brief.

Regarding remembering finding out for the first time that DV was Luke's dad, I recall not taking the news well. I think I yelled "no!" at the screen obnoxiously loud, pissing off some guy behind me. Up until that moment I was totally with the franchise, but that was the beginning of the end of my obsession. I felt it a trite plot device at the time, and was equally disappointed when Ben affirmed it in ROTJ. The whole point of these prequels is really to explain HOW Darth was Luke's father. I honestly don't think Lucas planned that initially when he made the first movie.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:56 AM on May 23, 2005


There was an attempt to use wookies in a television holiday special back in 1978 and the result was generally not appreciated.

yes, but not because of the poor costumes. Honestly, when I saw it the costumes were the last thing on my mind.
More because of the half hour sequences with nothing but wookie grunts, plotlines only a schizophrenic could follow, and celebrity guest stars seemingly chosen from a hat. Honestly, they could have been wearing paper bags for all the sense it made.


The wookies in the new one, while not given the camera time they were in the original, do get a fair spot. And Mayhew's in it.
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:51 AM on May 23, 2005


Apparently, the whole gang is in this holiday special and, based on what I've seen here, I absolutely have to see it.
posted by originalname37 at 12:22 PM on May 23, 2005


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