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Flying R2-D2, you are doing it wrong
January 21, 2010 12:54 PM   Subscribe

"Using these values, the mass of R2 is 0.1 kg. Yes, 100 grams. How do I know I am correct? I know because Wookieepedia doesn't list R2's mass or weight. They know it is silly, so they left it off." A physicist explains why R2D2 must weigh less than styrofoam.

Flying R2, by the way, is reason #47 of Chefelf's "64 reasons to hate Episode II." If you feel like complaining about the films, the forums are a good place to do it.
posted by jbickers (83 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Flying R2. God I hate you, George Lucas.
posted by mrnutty at 1:01 PM on January 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Must have a lower density than styrofoam.



Is what you meant.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:01 PM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


midichlorians.
posted by gurple at 1:02 PM on January 21, 2010 [5 favorites]




I'm waiting for the day when George Lucas hosts Saturday Night Live....
"You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, they're just movies!! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME! I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves? You, you must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl? I didn't think so! There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't go to the movies!! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, they're just movies dammit! THEY'RE JUST MOVIES!!!"

posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to see a similar computation of the density of Jar Jar Binks. Since he is a more complex shape, with a volume that is difficult to estimate with simple geometric calculations, he would have to be ground up and poured into a measuring container to determine his volume accurately.
posted by FishBike at 1:07 PM on January 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


The best part is the end:
I know someone is going to say "hey, chill man! It is just a movie. Don't ruin it by bringing in all your physics stuff." My reply, someone has already ruined the Star Wars movies, his name is George. Just kidding, I still like Star Wars.
posted by grouse at 1:08 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know someone is going to say "hey, chill man! It is just a movie. Don't ruin it by bringing in all your physics stuff."

Actually, I was going to say anyone who has even kinda sorta maybe heard about even one scene in any of the six movies knows that the central conceit of the hexology is that things are routinely moved by people using only the power of their minds, so I'm pretty sure that physics doesn't work the same way in a galaxy far away as it does on Earth.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:12 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Repulsor field, same as in landspeeders. Takes up a lot of energy, and can't be used in space, so it's only there to assist in flying around in gravity wells, and not for very long.

Next nitpick. Bring 'em on, nerd-boy can go at this all... day... long.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:12 PM on January 21, 2010 [24 favorites]


They're just movies? Then why are more than 70,000 Australian Jedis? Census prank? I think not.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:12 PM on January 21, 2010


What? He can fly?
posted by miyabo at 1:13 PM on January 21, 2010


R2D2 can only fly if you accept Episodes I-III as Canon. Which no self-respecting Star Wars fan does.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 1:13 PM on January 21, 2010 [20 favorites]


A more relevant question might be: what is the total mass of the wattle underneath George Lucas' magnificent neckbeard? Because that wattle is by far the most splendid thing he has produced in the last twenty years.
posted by killdevil at 1:14 PM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Loved this comment:

This leads me to remember the scene at a Comic/Sci-fi convention from an older Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode .

Professor Frink: Yes, over here, n'hey, n'hey. In episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you're clearly atop a winged Arabian. Please do explain it.

Lucy Lawless: Ah, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it.

Professor Frink: I see, all right, yes, but in episode AG4 --

Lucy Lawless: Wizard.

posted by jbickers at 1:15 PM on January 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


My reply, someone has already ruined the Star Wars movies, his name is George.

Amen, brother. Jedi.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 1:16 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


R2-D2 is mostly hollow - all of his components are nanomachines located just under his shell. Inside of this hollow space, he has been filled with several carnival-sized helium balloons. Pretty sure they covered that in Empire anyway.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:16 PM on January 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


HI I'M ON METAFILTER AND I CAN OVERTHINK BLUE MILK
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:18 PM on January 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I stopped reading Chefelf's list after #1: "Those serials were terrible! Why would you want to pay homage to crap?"
posted by muckster at 1:18 PM on January 21, 2010


Slap*Happy said: Next nitpick. Bring 'em on, nerd-boy can go at this all... day... long.

Is it just like targeting wamprats in your T-16 back home?
posted by HabeasCorpus at 1:22 PM on January 21, 2010


You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!

George, you're projecting.

Just kidding, I still like Star Wars.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:22 PM on January 21, 2010


Well, this makes perfect sense, of course, because he's an astromech droid, and you don't want to be carrying around a lot of extra mass on a spaceship if you don't need to.
posted by webmutant at 1:27 PM on January 21, 2010




I still find the flying Daleks more traumatic.
posted by Shepherd at 1:33 PM on January 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


The truth about the wattle.
posted by breath at 1:37 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Probably not very cool to make fun of someone else's physical condition like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Red Letter Media Attack of the Clones Review Trailer.

Is it wrong to say that I'm looking forward to this more than most films due out this year?
posted by panboi at 1:41 PM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


what is the total mass of the wattle underneath George Lucas' magnificent neckbeard

I totally get that the photo is named "neckbeard.jpg", but that isn't a neckbeard.
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is in a universe in which certain folks can overcome the laws of physics as we understand them by concentrating hard enough. Obviously, therefore, the laws of physics in the Star Wars universe are fundamentally different from ours. So this analysis is faulty from the beginning.
posted by cerebus19 at 1:53 PM on January 21, 2010


This is a good one, but not quite as massive as the turd my brother pointed out:

Say you're Darth Vader, and in your spare time you're searching the galaxy for your kid(s).

Would you not check the planet you grew up on? Maybe your BROTHER'S HOUSE?

"*FOOSH WHEEZ* Beru? Is Owen around? *FOOSH WHEEZ* This is Darth..look I was wondering *FOOSH WHEEZ* if you'd seen Luke..."
posted by chronkite at 2:05 PM on January 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


I still find the flying Daleks more traumatic.

But if this means that they also have a mass of ~0.1 kg, the Doctor has a lot less to worry about next series.
posted by lholladay at 2:07 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


the mass of R2 is 0.1 kg

So that's why my computer seems to get heavier when I run a bunch of regressions.

I wonder what a pseudoR2 or Breusch-Pagan statistic masses?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:09 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


targeting wamprats

Womp rats, you nerf herder.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:10 PM on January 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


I still find the flying Daleks more traumatic.

what
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:13 PM on January 21, 2010


I hate the fact they made him fly at all.

Stupid CGI artists. Don't they know we builders have to try and fit all that impossible crap inside our practical droids?

My R2, which is not CGI and does not fly, is built to R2 Builders club spec. He has a 18.25" diameter (body cylinder only, not counting width of legs, feet, etc.), stands roughly 42" tall (in 2-leg mode), and weighs approx 250 lbs. with batteries.

I shudder to imagine him flying around the room. It's hard enough to keep him from doing damage when he's rolling on firm ground.

However, one builder is now offering non-firing articulated rocket boosters to the club members.

See more of my droid here.
posted by ChrisLee at 2:15 PM on January 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Actually, the shape of the daleks always sorta lended itself to a hovering or flying creature. And the first flight was actually one of my favorite episodes of the new Who. Then the Dalkes got overused...
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 2:16 PM on January 21, 2010


Is this a laden, or an unladen, droid?
posted by pompomtom at 2:26 PM on January 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3483/3243762770_51ceedbe78.jpg

I've always defined the neckbeard primarily in terms of its functional role: it simulates a strong, manly jawline in individuals whose actual jawbone is completely buried in neck fat. The facial hair examples you've linked to, while impressive, are primarily ornamental, mere peacock feathers to the hawk pinions of the genuine neckbeard.
posted by killdevil at 2:27 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the chefelf link,
What's more is that he decided he would never do it again! Artoo rolls around through the sands of Tatooine, he gets blocked by immoveable objects on Cloud City and he stupidly falls off of Jabba's sail barge to avoid the explosion.
I don't suppose anyone considered that maybe R2 couldn't fly by the time A New Hope took place? That some irreparable damage to his thrusters had taken place somewhere in there? I mean, there are 20 years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

OTOH, it's probably just as well that I only know the films and don't follow all the Expanded Universe material, because from what I've read second-hand about the EU, some author has probably spent several chapters of a book describing in excruciating detail exactly how R2's thrusters were irreparably damaged.

Plus, I thought flying R2 was cool. In Darth & Droids flying R2 was so cool that the other players got a +1 morale boost just for watching it. Never mind that the player who plays R2 was filling in as a substitute GM.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:33 PM on January 21, 2010


My favorite part of this is that the guy who did the CG commented in a very good-natured way, and all the physics folks just ignored him and kept arguing R2 physics.
posted by kaseijin at 2:33 PM on January 21, 2010


I still find the flying Daleks more traumatic.

I'm fine with that one too. As much as I like the old-school Doctor Who, it was hard to take an enemy which could be successfully evaded by going up a flight of stairs seriously.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:37 PM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've always defined the neckbeard primarily in terms of its functional role: it simulates a strong, manly jawline in individuals whose actual jawbone is completely buried in neck fat.

I'd always understood it to be that thing that hipsters and hippies are reputed to grow because they're too lazy to actually trim their beard and create a line along the jawline or elsewhere under the chin. It's a beard growing on the neck, part of that whole "hurf durf, hippies are totally unwashed and unkempt and incapable of personal grooming which the rest of us consider requisite to function in society" bigotry against said group.

Because, you see... it's a beard. On the neck. It's not a beard defining a jawline. That would be a jawbeard, or something.
posted by hippybear at 2:40 PM on January 21, 2010


Womp rats, you nerf herder.

D'oh. Someone should take me into the back and plug me into the hyperdrive.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 2:52 PM on January 21, 2010


I still find the flying Daleks more traumatic.

Followup to my earlier comment on this: I was assuming you meant "traumatic" in the sense of "tarnishing a cherished childhood memory." If, OTOH, if you meant "traumatic" in the sense of "scaring the crap out of me," I completely agree.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:06 PM on January 21, 2010


I'm mystified how Kenny Baker could breathe in space.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:10 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is only 1 reason to hate I, II or III:
You are an old, tedious nerd.

Simples!
posted by i_cola at 3:21 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apparently, there are a LOT of reasons to hate I, and they have been laid out clearly for you to peruse at your leisure.
posted by hippybear at 3:30 PM on January 21, 2010


While I am a lover of people using physics to solve silly riddles, I think he neglected a couple of important points; first, I believe that the flying R2 scene takes place on a space station, not a planet, which means that artificial gravity was being employed. Since it is a universe where such a thing is possible, it's within reason to assume that this is something that could be variable and controllable. If R2 needed to fly, he could have turned down the gravity beneath him at which point his thrusters are purely for attitude adjustment.

Or perhaps the anti-gravity field is being produced the R2 itself, negating the need for it to be something within the station.

Or any one of a million other hand-wavy answers.

Because clearly he weighs more than 100 grams, or Yoda would have been pulling him all over the place when they were arguing over the light in Empire...
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on January 21, 2010


I believe that the flying R2 scene takes place on a space station, not a planet, which means that artificial gravity was being employed

Nope. It took place inside the foundry / robot factory on the planet Geonosis. This is the same place inhabited by those odd locust-ish creatures, and is where the big arena fight takes place at the end of Episode II.
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM on January 21, 2010



While I am a lover of people using physics to solve silly riddles, I think he neglected a couple of important points; first, I believe that the flying R2 scene takes place on a space station, not a planet, which means that artificial gravity was being employed. Since it is a universe where such a thing is possible, it's within reason to assume that this is something that could be variable and controllable. If R2 needed to fly, he could have turned down the gravity beneath him at which point his thrusters are purely for attitude adjustment.


Unfortunately, the space station scene was in Revenge of the Sith.

In Attack of the Clones he flies around the robot factory on the mystery planet like a dumb fuck for awhile.

God I hate those movies.
posted by kbanas at 3:48 PM on January 21, 2010


Because clearly he weighs more than 100 grams, or Yoda would have been pulling him all over the place when they were arguing over the light in Empire...

Unless Yoda weighs less than 100 grams...
posted by mazola at 4:00 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I never really grasped why Lucas gave R2 this amazing function (which, as said, makes no appearance in any of the original films).

If it made sense to the plot in some fashion then I could - at a stretch - get my head around it. But it just seems to be employed because it would look "cool" to see R2 flying around.

In all the other films in which it's required for R2 to shut something down, start something up or get Sky Sports up, he'll just skitter around the corner and stick his twiddly bits into that ever-so-convenient socket. Actually, let me stop there as the whole thing's starting to unravel.......

Here's another weird thing I noticed on watching Attack Of The Clowns - Padme and Anakin effectively steal C3PO from the Lars homestead. No wonder Owen Lars was so keen to get another protocol droid in A New Hope - he ended up buying the same one that was nicked from his dad 20 years earlier.
posted by panboi at 4:14 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


64 reasons to hate Episode IIStar Wars

FTFY
posted by DU at 4:15 PM on January 21, 2010


well obviously he is all nanomotechnomological...his interior compartments are probably all just filled with a hard vacuum, making him all buoyant like a helium balloon.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:26 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now explain how that asteroid in ESB had regular gravity and wasn't a billion degrees below zero.
posted by aaronetc at 4:29 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok. Old business. Artoo flies because he force-levitates himself. He *is* the driver of the entire "Star Wars" engine. The damn Jedi screwed up yet once again. It wasn't Annie who brought balance to the force, it was Artoo who can tap into the Force without any of that religious mumbo-jumbo.

New Business: The Phantom Edit was a lot better than The Phantom Menace, and "Star Wars: Rise of the Empire" is a lot better than the Prequel Trilogy. What Lucas really needed was an editor saying, "Nah, cut that shit, too..." Star Wars:ROTE was great -- and not just for backwards tracking all of jar-jar's line into alien gibberish -- but they also tightened the whole thing up. I think they kept 55 minute of AOTC. ( A debatable decision was to remove the whole Christopher Lee story arc -- the first time you see the Spinning Ball of Yoda Death is in the final fight in the senate chambers -- All in all, I agree with it, as it gets rid of the whole "Why's Luke got issues with Mace sticking Palpatine? He shoved his light-sabre into Count Dooku fast enough?" issue.
posted by mikelieman at 4:32 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always defined the neckbeard primarily in terms of its functional role: it simulates a strong, manly jawline in individuals whose actual jawbone is completely buried in neck fat.

That's not a neckbeard. It's called a bloatee.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:37 PM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've always defined the neckbeard primarily in terms of its functional role: it simulates a strong, manly jawline

That is the exact opposite of a neckbeard. In order to be a neckbeard, something must be:

1) a beard on
2) a neck
posted by DU at 5:00 PM on January 21, 2010


Oh, and another thing. The only REALLY good thing to come out of the whole prequel fiasco was Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 TV series), which is set after AOTC and *just before* ROTS, and was so damn good (pt2) that I actually looked forwart to ROTS.

Boy, I swore I'd never get chumped like that again.
posted by mikelieman at 5:23 PM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I must confess that when I was 11 years old and played with my (original series) Star Wars action figures, I always imagined R2D2 as having thrusters in his feet and making him fly around.

(and the open hole at the bottom of his cylinder was like a booster rocket, and every colored dot on his body shot laser beams at whatever other action figure he was fighting against...)

So yeah, it wasn't me, but I'm guessing Lucas watched kids play with Star Wars toys and realized that they wanted to see R2D2 fly.
posted by straight at 5:37 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, they're just movies!! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME! I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves? You, you must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl? I didn't think so! There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't go to the movies!! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, they're just movies dammit! THEY'RE JUST MOVIES!!!"

Ok George...give back the billions, you douche. You created it, and own the copyrights and trademarks, but you do not own our reactions to it; good or bad. So, yes we got obsessed, but you didn't have to take a racist long-eared shit on our hobby or our good memories. So keep your flying R2 and walking Jabba and Han-shot-second. We don't need you in order to be awe-inspired and fantasy-filled.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 5:51 PM on January 21, 2010


Apparently, there are a LOT of reasons to hate I

You may have learned English from a Horta, but nobody here hates you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:04 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


R2 also flies around in an episode of Clone Wars in the atmosphere of a planet.*

Also, can someone explain why R2 couldn't just have super powerful thrusters based on technology of a universe with blasters, hyperdrives, and lightsabers? This would counter the whole weight issue, no?

Lastly, I agree with DevilsAdvocate. It's 20 plus years by the time the original trilogy rolls around, and remember, R2 was an older model droid when he's doing all this flying around in II and III. Entirely feasible he's running down somewhat.

That's not to say that I agree with the notion of a flying R2, nor think the prequels didn't have some serious snafu judgments by Lucas.

*...in one of the weaker episodes of an overall pretty darn good show in my opinion.
posted by Atreides at 6:57 PM on January 21, 2010


Ok George...give back the billions, you douche. You created it, and own the copyrights and trademarks, but you do not own our reactions to it; good or bad. So, yes we got obsessed, but you didn't have to take a racist long-eared shit on our hobby or our good memories. So keep your flying R2 and walking Jabba and Han-shot-second. We don't need you in order to be awe-inspired and fantasy-filled.

That's actually a quote from Shatner, not Lucas, referencing Star Trek.
posted by Atreides at 7:00 PM on January 21, 2010




Now explain how that asteroid in ESB had regular gravity and wasn't a billion degrees below zero.

As to temperature, they were actually in the worm. And the Falcon must have had some sort of gravity thingy so maybe it extended out from the ship for a certainZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
posted by Trochanter at 7:33 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, can someone explain why R2 couldn't just have super powerful thrusters

It's not the power of the thrusters that's at issue, at least not directly. The basic argument is that R2 is flying at constant velocity, so there's no net force. However, the thrusters are firing at an angle, so they're exerting a force with both a horizontal and a vertical component. The only thing opposing the horizontal, forward component of the force is air resistance, which is based on R2's shape, size, the density of the air, but not R2's mass, so we can estimate the air resistance can be estimated without knowing R2's mass. The horizontal component of the force from the thrusters must balance the air resistance, so the angle of the thrusters plus basic trigonometry gives us the vertical component of the thrust, which must balance R2's weight. (This is probably not what Lucas was thinking of when he wrote about "bringing balance to the Force," heh.)

One possible explanation that I haven't seen yet would be that R2 might be flying against a strong air current, which would make his air speed and thus the air resistance much greater than it would appear based on his ground speed. However, there doesn't seem to be any other evidence of a strong air current in that scene—no big industrial fans, none of the other characters seem to be experiencing a strong wind, etc.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:55 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I must be incredibly old if people thought that was Lucas and didn't get the Shatner SNL reference.

*sigh*

A perfectly good joke and I went and cocked it up.
posted by zarq at 9:46 PM on January 21, 2010


hippybear : Nope. It took place inside the foundry / robot factory on the planet Geonosis.

Really? I could have sworn... anyhow, I'll take your word for it, I can't see myself sitting through it again to confirm or deny.

The thing is, I don't, at a core level, oppose the idea of a flying R2 (an obviously useful function in an astromech), and they could have done it in a way that would have been cheer-worthy and kept mostly in-canon; all they would have needed to do was have a moment where R2 was well and truly screwed, he deploys the heretofore unseen thrusters, gets almost to safety only to have them fail at an inopportune moment and send him plummeting to his doom. Fortunately, at the very last second, he collides with something and ricochet to safety, squealing all the way.

The droids were always beat up, that was part of their charm. And the idea that R2 might have had other functions that worked at one point and then broke wouldn't have irritated fans nearly as much as functions that appear and are suddenly way over-used only to never come back again.
posted by quin at 10:15 PM on January 21, 2010


I, for one, look forward to exciting new components and increased mobility for my robot friends.
posted by mazola at 10:35 PM on January 21, 2010


Wait...so R2D2 is a witch?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:29 AM on January 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love the original trilogy and was bored silly by the prequels, by why do many fans contend the prequels aren't canon? I mean, they're not fanfics, right? Lucas did make them. I wish that wasn't the case, but it's always made me wonder where the "not canon" argument comes from (as much as my powers of denial support the notion).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:03 AM on January 22, 2010


Unless Yoda weighs less than 100 grams...

That would explain that ridiculous fight scene that still makes me want to smash things GRAR why did they make Yoda leap about like a flea on crack.
posted by winna at 5:08 AM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, DevilsAdvocate. You explained it a little better than the website.

I love the original trilogy and was bored silly by the prequels, by why do many fans contend the prequels aren't canon? I mean, they're not fanfics, right? Lucas did make them. I wish that wasn't the case, but it's always made me wonder where the "not canon" argument comes from (as much as my powers of denial support the notion).

It comes purely from the horror and anger of the fans at some of changes / rectonned stuff that Lucas did in the prequels. If it's not Jar Jar Binks, then it's midiclorians, etc..etc. Personally, I can live with Binks, as idiotic a creation that he is, but the midiclorians allowed Lucas to take something mystical and philosophical, and render it a matter of science.

Then you had more of the nuts and bolts aspect of the prequels, which was simply Lucas exerting too much of his vision. This went from his scriptwriting / directing, which resulted in stilted language and poor acting (looking at you Hayden Christensen), to a burning need to inject juvenile elements intended to please the five and seven year olds in the audience (this began to manifest in ROTJ - incidentally the time he worked on that movie was also around the time that he adopted his first kid). So it's not surprising that some fans who hold the franchise very dear to want to ignore the existence of the Prequel trilogy.

My own opinion is that every family has its relatives that aren't especially liked. In addition, while there may be moments in the prequels which failed to meet expectations, there are moments that I felt like pure Star Wars.
posted by Atreides at 5:20 AM on January 22, 2010


While I've seen all three prequels I was never under the illusion that they'd be anything other than awful, and therefore I wasn't disappointed. This is because the whole series jumped the shark for me at the end of what is currently being called ep 6, when the Ewoks were introduced. WTF? Having seen the wonderfully horrid Christmas Special I knew that was supposed to be Chewbacca's people, but Lucas had obviously opted to go with something more marketable as plush toys. After that the only joy in more Star Wars was observing how very badly George Lucas could manage to fuck up something that had started out so wonderful.
posted by localroger at 5:29 AM on January 22, 2010


Marisa: DisContinuity. The phenomenon is not limited to Star Wars fans: see Star Trek V, Terminator 3 (although I personally liked that one), Alien3, ...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:50 AM on January 22, 2010


From The Daily Show conversation in Burhanistan's link:

Jon Stewart: My son's favorite movie is The Phantom Menace and I've explained to him NO! No! It's not! It's A New Hope!
posted by edbles at 11:48 AM on January 22, 2010


it's always made me wonder where the "not canon" argument comes from

I don't know that anyone's making an argument that they're officially not canon (I'm not even sure what a statement like that could mean - in fiction, the question of whether a particular work is canon only matters when making or considering a subsequent work, so the question would be something like "Is Episode 3 canon for the new Star Wars TV show?"). They're just saying, "I hate these movies and refuse to acknowledge them as part of the real Star Wars story."
posted by straight at 12:43 PM on January 22, 2010


Mr. Physicist probably has some mathematical explanation about why 7 Zark 7 shouldn't be able to fly either, and yet he does!

I would imagine 7 Zark 7 and R2D2 to be similar in size and weight. If 7 Zark 7 can fly via flapping his cape -- and where did that come from? he was wearing a lettervest on the way down from the elevator tube -- jet assist should be no problem..
posted by mazola at 2:11 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Say you're Darth Vader, and in your spare time you're searching the galaxy for your kid(s).

Would you not check the planet you grew up on? Maybe your BROTHER'S HOUSE?


This always used to bother me too, especially since Obi Wan Kenobi's entire disguise consisted of changing his FIRST name to Ben. Apparently, the Kenobi isn't the problem...

Anyway, I do remember the Emperor telling Ani/Darth that he actually had killed Padme, so as far as he knew she never did give birth to the twins, right? So maybe he never looked for them at all, which would explain why he was such a dipshit he didn't consider his stepbrother's place.

Though you would think he would have sensed something the first time he met Leia, before blowing up her planet and stuff.
posted by misha at 4:59 PM on January 22, 2010


That's actually a quote from Shatner, not Lucas, referencing Star Trek.

Ahh...ok. I may have known this in the past and didn't remember. Either way, I thought it was not something that Lucas actually said; I thought it was a "here's what Lucas *would* say" kind of thing.

However, I'd still like to say that to Lucas :) Maybe Shatner too!
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 7:28 PM on January 22, 2010


Anyway, I do remember the Emperor telling Ani/Darth that he actually had killed Padme, so as far as he knew she never did give birth to the twins, right? So maybe he never looked for them at all, which would explain why he was such a dipshit he didn't consider his stepbrother's place.

I think this is a good explanation. Even after Vader discovered Luke, he didn't realize about Leia until the duel on the Death Star in ROTJ.
posted by Atreides at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2010


Even after Vader discovered Luke, he didn't realize about Leia until the duel on the Death Star in ROTJ.

And remember, Vader doesn't even have a hink about Luke and his Force abilities until Luke starts pinpoint blasting stormtroopers on the Death Star right after Kenobi's death, and doesn't even have a person to attach those Force abilities to until the first Battle Of The Death Star when he's pursuing Luke down the trench. It's in the time between ANH and ESB that Vader becomes obsessed with locating the young Skywalker. Remember, the probe droids being launched at the beginning of Episode V, one of which lands on Hoth, are searching for Luke.

Have I mentioned that the Star Wars films are a sickness with me?
posted by hippybear at 9:14 AM on January 23, 2010


Hink? Really? That should be "hint".
posted by hippybear at 9:50 AM on January 23, 2010


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