Tag Archives: science

Mythbusters takes on Star Wars tonight

Mythbusters-StarWars-titleThe circle is now complete! Mythbusters, the Discovery Channel show that attempts to confirm or bust urban legends and Hollywood magic by recreating the circumstances and using science to explain, is leading off their 2014 season with a special devoted to Star Wars.

The January 4 episode (Discovery at 8pm ET/PT) features hosts and former ILM special-effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, along with team members Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci, and Kari Byron as they verify the plausibility of several epic Star Wars stunts. Joined by R2-D2, Chewbacca, members of the 501st Legion and actress Sophia Bush, the two build teams will take on some of the favorite scenes, hoping to find out answers to questions posed by Star Wars fans for years:

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In the news: Will 300 sequel make a movie star of Joel ‘Uncle Owen’ Edgerton?

Rising star. Joel Edgerton has worked steadily in Hollywood since Attack of the Clones, but a big name he isn’t – yet. He’s currently in talks for a role that could change that, Vulture reports – the lead in the sequel to 300, Battle of Artemisia. (UPDATE: Vulture is now saying Edgerton is also being offered the role of Ilya in Steven Soderbergh’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. remake. )

Edgerton starred in September’s Warrior, last month’s The Thing and will play Tom Buchanan in next year’s high-profile adaption of The Great Gatsby alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.

Home entertainment sales up. A trade group reports that home entertainment spending has risen 5% in the third quarter – the first increase since 2008. Helping drive the rise are Blu-ray sales, up a whopping 58% from a year ago. I can think of one recent release that may have helped with that…

Science! NASA has awarded three scientists $100,000 to “study the ability to trap and move objects using laser light,” aka tractor beams. Evil overlord wannabes everywhere are plotting in joy. For inspiration, check out Gadget Review’s list of Star Wars tech that now exists.

Commercials. British electronics retailer Dixons is the latest business to borrow Darth Vader for an ad campaign. The spots will debut Saturday.

EUbits: Shadow Games mini-excerpts, looking at recent SW comics, and a real Crystal Star?

While a lot of talk this week has been focusing on the changes coming in the Star Wars Blu-ray release, there’s also been some news and chatter in the world of the Expanded Universe:

Shadow Games: Del Rey has posted two mini-excerpts from Shadow Games on the Star Wars Books account on Facebook. The novel, by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, comes out at the end of November.

Mini-excerpt #1 (from last week):

“Confidence,” Dash retorted, annoyed at being pulled out of his pleasant reverie. “The Outrider is twice the ship the Falcon is.” As far as he was concerned Solo’s boat was a scow compared with Dash’s heavily modified YT-2400.

Mini-excerpt #2:

“Then where am I supposed to come by these steely-eyed, laser-toting…characters?”

A smile curved Kendara Farlion’s lips and her teeth showed, white and even in her face. “I never thought I’d say this, but there are advantages to being from Mos Eisley. I know exactly where to look for that kind of character.”

Comics:

Favorite Scenes: Del Rey asked fans on Facebook to identify favorite scenes from the novels. A lot of deaths pop in: Anakin Solo, Ganner, Chewbacca (I guess fans have mellowed a bit on that) and Thrawn, as well as scenes from the X-Wing (both comedic and action scenes), Republic Commando, and Darth Bane series. Did not see any mentions of Waru or the Black Fleet Crisis, and that makes me sad.

Fact mirrors Star Wars fiction: Discovered: A real life “Crystal Star” (well, a crystallizing former star) – Formerly a white dwarf star, this planet is believed to be turning into one giant diamond. At 4,000 light-years away, it’ll take a while for this rock to be a girl’s best friend. Also, did not see any mentions of Waru, and that makes me sad again.

Star Wars in the news: Favreau, TOR, hockey, sciene, and the other George Lucas

Iron Man director Jon Favreau will be presenting George Lucas with the Gene Siskel Film Center Visionary Award for Innovation in Filmmaking this weekend… In addition to being handpicked by George for an interview. So the Chicago Tribune caught up with the younger filmmaker. (via)

  • Elephant in the room: MTV asks The Old Republic team about sex in the GFFA – or rather, in their game.

  • Sports. As a Metro Detroiter, I am so sick of the Stanley Cup brouhaha I can’t muster up anything clever for A Star Wars guide to the Stanley Cup Finals. Just please let it end tonight. (Yes, this technically should have gone in the fandom post. Sorry. The Stanley Cup, at least, is news. Trust me on that one.)
  • Important questions: How far away is Star Wars gadgetry? Well, we have the Death Star… (Okay, okay, it’s just an article on the science exhibit.)
  • No, the other one. If you’ve ever have the pleasure of Google Newsing ‘George Lucas’ on a regular basis, as I have not being doing all-too-infrequently lately, eventually you’ll run into the one who doesn’t run a media juggernaught. That other George Lucas has now been appointed the next Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska. (via)

The catchup: Links from Twitter

Here are some of the things I’ve micro-blogged over @clubjade in the past few days.

Vintage Dharma ad by Adam Campbell, AKA hotmeteor @ FlickrDesign! Mockery! Jumpsuits! Vintage Dharma Initiative ads are by Lost fan Adam Campbell and awesome. (via)

Important questions of our time. How does Star Wars end?

The blogside. Author Sarah Zettel on her love/hate relationship with Star Wars.

Bacta! Dutch scientists have created a healing goo based on the liquid that protects embryos in the womb, but they’re calling it “baby butter.” Eww.

Tips. Authors behaving badly is common sense advice from a bookseller.

Neuroscience explains the prequel backlash?

io9 today links an interesting exploration of Neuroscience and Nostalgia. Included is a bit about why the prequels sparked a wave of Lucas hate:

The reaction can be partly explained by the sense of attack on our previously fond feelings. Watching the new movie automatically calls up memories from the previous series and all the pleasant childhood playtime memories associated with it. But recalling these fond memories in the context of a negative experience begins the process of re-coding, or modifying our old memories. This is an undesirable outcome for nostalgia as it is usually such a pleasant feeling. Naturally there is some resistance and cognitive dissonance when this happens and the brain will try to avoid it like any other unpleasant experience.

So, George Lucas did rape your childhood… From a certain point of view. Ouch.

Alas, it really can’t explain why I spent the late 90′s calling for the head of Kevin J. Anderson… Or does it? We all have our demons, I suppose.

Plus I really doubt that’s clean energy

Most of The Physics of the Death Star is pretty much Greek to me (art degree!) but long story short, the amount of energy the Death Star needs just to blow stuff up:

It’s a solid week of the sun’s entire power output. Dumping it in about a single second, as required to blow up Alderaan, is a very, very impressive feat. Doubly so when you take into account the fact that the binding energy is just enough to dissociate the planet into a diffuse cloud. If you want to actually blow the thing up into pieces flying out at many times escape velocity, you need much more energy.

So how much would it take to move that thing around? Even in zero gravity? How about the lights? Interior gravity? Refreshers? Mouse-droid charging stations? On second thought… I don’t want to know. (via)