Ryder Windham has written over fifty Star Wars books, across the spectrum from comics to junior books to hefty reference books. His latest book, the Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual, came out this week as a Haynes manual, and focuses on the saga’s favorite armored space station. Windham spoke with me about the new book, illustrated by Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas, who had worked previously with Windham on the Haynes Millennium Falcon Owner’s Technical Guide which came out in 2011. Here’s the interview with Ryder Windham about the new Death Star reference book:
With the White House responding to the petition to research and build a Death Star, the Empire has issued its own statement on the decision by the United State not to build a giant planet-destroying space station in a post on the StarWars.com blog.
Calling Earth an unimaginatively named planet, the press statement quotes both Governor Tarkin and Admiral Motti on their views for why our world has decided against building the Death Star, and smoothing over any concern about that design flaw that was cited by the White House.
The White House has given an official response to the online petition “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016″, which has over 34,000 signatures. In a response entitled “This isn’t the petition you’re looking for”, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the Office of Management and Budget, points out some of the key issues against building the not-quite-ultimate power in the universe:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
With plenty of links, Shawcross continues the response with examples of what the U.S. is doing to develop other Star Wars-esque technologies, including laser-wielding robots on other planets (Mars Rover), and fostering greater interest in STEM careers.
Probably another key consideration would be the additional security risk to prevent the Death Star plans from being stolen.
Dude, it’s Friday. Here’s something silly and filled with profanity. And Jack.
Santa Maul is delightfully elite in his tastes, but he cannot help but be charmed by this Death Star Ornament. It will add just the perfect touch of destructive whimsy to any Sithmas tree. The creator has even posted instructions if you desire to create one yourself – or for an internet-unsavvy friend.
Also interesting, for those who require their presents to stimulate even the most jaded of grown-up children, is perhaps io9′s guide to holiday lightsaber shopping.
For the budding anthropologists in the room… McSweeny’s has Yub Jub Means “Devour the Weak:” An Authoritative Study of the Ewoks From the Field. (Also noteworthy, though not Star Wars: Selections from H.P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sample Copywriter.)
- Awards: Joshua Budich’s Star Wars collection site, which I blogged about way back in 2007, has won a Webby Award and was the People’s Voice pick in the 13th Annual Webby Awards.
- Art? Poke around to find a private moment with Vader among Ian Pool’s ‘Super’ series.
- Fanmade: Ladies and gents, the Death Star grill.
- At random: “Fake Wedge” from A New Hope is IGN’s Obscure Character of the Day. (via)
- Lists: SciFiNow has five storylines for the live-action show and their ten best Star Wars moments, while Topless Robot counts down the nine greatest fan films ever made.