Why was John Knoll at a NASA press conference? Because the space agency has discovered a real-life Tatooine: A planet that orbits two stars at once. The New York Times writes:
The official name of the new planet is Kepler 16b, but astronomers are already referring to it informally as Tatooine, after the home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker in the George Lucas “Star Wars” movies, which also had two suns. Indeed, a representative from Mr. Lucas’s production company, Lucasfilm, expected to participate in a news conference at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory in California, Kepler’s home office.
So, not a moon. Or a space station. I’m so relieved.
Not so fast… Michael Koehler wants to build a life-size, working AT-AT. His project quickly got (l)ink from Cnet and the New York Daily News. A mention on Attack of the Show certainly didn’t hurt his cause… But it looks like it’s not exactly kosher with Lucasfilm. At least Koehler can solace in techies saying the feat is not impossible.
Paint it black? Plants on worlds with double stars – like Tatooine – would probably evolve plants that would look black to us, says National Geographic.
Blast-offs and could-have-beens. Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz writes in The Guardian’s film blog talks about the devotion the film inspired. Elsewhere on the site, Danny Leigh wonders what if Star Wars never existed?
A sandcrawler for Singpore. Remember the sandcrawler building that Lucasfilm was planning for their folks in Singapore? They announced details of the project last week.
Science, defense division. The U.S. Navy has made a significant leap forward in testing offensive lasers. A “solid-state, high-energy laser beam” successfully disabled a small vessel off the coast of California. There’s video!
The noted collector found and photographed several Star Wars shooting locations in Tunisia, including the cliffs in the scene above. He even nabbed a sunset shot. (via)
Gizmodo spotted these Intelligent Monitoring Towers recently installed in Buenos Aires. Their intention is to measure air and noise quality, but is it really that far a jump to consider them collecting moisture on Tatooine? Or at least hanging out in the general vicinity?