Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Phase-Conjugate Mirrors and Mutually Incoherent Beam Couplers ...

Unless you're a Star Wars fan, in which case you're satisfied with watching hordes of people in plastic armor cut down by silly arcade-game laser bolts. Of course, this was "A Long Time Ago", before they figured out that lasers are horribly inefficient weapons in an atmospheric environment. And it was "In a Galaxy Far, Far Away" - too far away to ship them some decent Steyr AUG assault rifles.

Lasers work much better in a vacuum, of course. Unfortunately there is no vacuum in the Star Wars galaxy. Their space is full of some kind of gas, otherwise the Death Star would have expired silently instead of going KER-BLAMMO. So their space weapons suck, too, which is why they have to get so close to shoot at each other.

If the science is something problematic, the politics of Star Wars is even more arcane. For an explanation, one must turn to the drug-soaked and clap-ridden European intelligentsia:

AP CANNES, France- Cannes audiences made blunt comparisons between "Revenge of the Sith" - the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and the rise of an emperor through warmongering - to President Bush's war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.

If they have French film festivals in the Star Wars galaxy, it might account for that galaxy's saturation of flatulent gas, which conducts sound waves and allows the wings on an "X-wing" starfighter to function.

AP INEXPLICABLE FLOATING CITY, Planet of the Gerbils - Imperial film critic Ennui Cheese-eater made blunt comparisons between "Fahrenheit 911" and the administration's mishandling of the Death Star disaster, including recent revelations about Darth Vader's ties to the royal family of Alderaan ....

And in news elsewhere:

AP MINAS TIRITH, Gondor - Addressing protesters at a "No Blood for Jewelry" rally, Grima Wormtongue made blunt comparisons between the Terri Schiavo case and Gandalf's recent efforts to prevent Denethor from easing the suffering of his son Faramir, who has been in a persistent vegetative state since Page 168. "A clear cut case of the abuse of power," Wormtongue said. "Do we really want that neocon wizard poking around in everybody's bedroom?"

AP EMERALD CITY, Oz - Accepting a T.E. Wogglebug Award for Documentary Filmmaking, Michael Moore made blunt comparisons between "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" and Glinda the Good's recent attempt to meddle in the war between the Skeezers and the Flatheads ...