Tag Archives: innovation

Technological Advancement and Star Wars

Lately we’ve been reading a lot of Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader books with the Geek Toddler. She loves them, and they’re great. We’ll probably talk more about them at some point. But there’s one page in particular that made me just stop and think.

Haha, common parent statement, right? And in this case it’s also totally true.

We get to see plenty of big space ship battles in Star Wars Episodes I-III. Lots of different ship types. Which, we know from seeing things like the Rebel Fleet in the later movies, sure, there are lots of different ship types in the Star Wars universe.

However, like the Death Star, the Star Destroyer is a product of the Empire. A product of an authoritarian war machine that only really exists for maybe 20-30 years? Wait, there’s a timeline, hold on…

Okay, so 23 years is how long the Empire is around? And 19 years between episodes III and IV (and Rogue One). In that time they develop and build Star Destroyers and a Death Star. Wow! Both the R&D and the actual manufacture there is impressive, even with the full might of an intergalactic state behind it.

As seen in Rogue One, so major coercion was needed, and I liked the point that was made about how they would develop the weapon sooner or later – just sooner with the help of a genius. That’s still a really tight window, and even if some of that development started before the Senate fell (might have I don’t know), that’s still a whole lot.

But Star Wars lore goes a whole lot further back than that. For one thing, there’s the whole Old Republic, a long time ago even from the standpoint of the films. I imagine there are books and other media in this era, but mainly there have been video games – so the most time-intensive and immersive form of media.

And there’s so much about the society of Star Wars that seems the same between the Old Republic and the movies. The droids, the crime, the relevant races, the Jedi…

I have always been a bit amused by this lack of change, but had not fully thought about how, once the Empire began, there was a massive surge in new technology. Even the Clones seemed like something that had been researched for a long while before finally coming together just in time to have some Clone Wars.

I suppose that the Old Republic is also missing from that canon timeline, sadly. So maybe this isn’t really a problem from a canon standpoint. But it’s sad to set history like that aside as well. What do you think?

Doing New Things with Virtual Reality

Virtual reality isn’t a new idea by any means, and is a staple of science fiction and especially of cyberpunk. So maybe at least it’s an idea decades old… The thought seems to go towards just replicating life, and maybe doing something you otherwise couldn’t. It moves into deeper science fiction when people start living their lives vicariously through their virtual reality selves.

But now that we’re starting to really have some virtual reality available – and the fascinating idea of the simple setups that just hold up your smart phone for the picture – I think that the true idea generating and innovation has begun.

At least, that’s the feeling I had watching Good Mythical Morning this morning, as Rhett and Link used virtual reality to confront Link’s fears and see about them not being as bad as his mind thinks. It gets sillier when Link then uses it to basically go all horror-movie on Rhett… and then gets cute when they use it to interact with Rhett’s dog. But rather than just tell you, here’s the video:

The confronting the fears element, in particular, feels like a really interesting and potentially amazing use of the technology. Well, the second bit seems like it will be the plot of a horror movie before too long. And the last bit is probably just something that’s going to happen.

But this also reminded me of some stories we’ve been hearing about virtual being used – and effective – in physical therapy (like in this story: http://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/how-virtual-reality-will-change-physical-therapy-forever.html). And that’s cool. It’s also interesting in comparison to the science fiction: in the stories, we move towards virtual reality and our physical bodies get worse. But this is a case of using the virtual reality to make our bodies better.

What else do you think we’ll be able to do with virtual reality here soon? Let me know in the comments below!