Tag Archives: science fiction

A for Ackbar, A A for Ackbar

A bunch of genius students at the University of Mississippi started a campaign to install Admiral Ackbar as the new mascot of the school. Making the leap that since they are the Ole Miss Rebels, why not be represented by the commander of the Rebel Alliance. I’ve never been more inspired to organize before. Lucasfilm has since put a cork in the idea, but it’s response is terrific.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’

I’m amazed at how far ahead of my time I am. Like twelve hours ahead. Last night, I was watching season 2 of the wonderful History Channel series, The Universe. (Watching instantly off of Netflix on my brand spankin’ new 42 inch plasma is one life’s greatest pleasures.) In the eighth episode entitled Space Travel, Michio Kaku, only my favorite theoretical physicist and one of the most influential popularizes of science since Mr. Sagan himself, clearly states the reason why we are stuck in LEO. Why we haven’t gone back to Luna in nearly 40 years and why Mars is still science fiction.

“There’s a dirty four letter word. That is, ‘cost’. It costs about $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit. It would cost about 20 million dollars for you to take a weekend trip up to the space station. It would cost about a half billion for you to go to the Moon. And for you to go to Mars would probably cost tens of billions of dollars.”

This is nothing new. Dr. Kaku is not saying anything we didn’t know before. But watching The Universe last night got me thinking. Ehhh, that’s not that much. $500 million to get back to the Moon? I got this.

I have an idea! The room lit up with the eco-friendly florecsent light bulb now hovering above my head. Let’s crowdsource it. Sure it’s a lot for the government. They can’t go spending billions of dollars all willy nilly just because I think it’s cool and important. Though they really should. C’mon government.

I’m over-simplifying, but here’s what we’re gonna do. Have the government come up with a budget for getting back to the Moon. Then we’ll take pledges from rich dreamers, SF nerds, and really smart people. You don’t have to give me 2 million dollars. Just pledge it. If we reach our goal, then you give me 2 million dollars. Simple right. I walk into NASA with slicked back hair and a briefcase handcuffed to my wrist with $500 million in it and we go to the Moon. Cutting edge thinking!

This morning, 12 hours later, I happened upon the msnbc homepage and right there in the middle of the page is a link to a story called Billionaires Wanted for Starship Plan. They want to send multi-generational ships on a one-way journey to the stars. A little bit more ambitious than what I had in mind, but it’s the same idea. Get rich people to pay for it. The super wealthy are always concerned with legacy. This is definitely one way for your legacy to live on.

Scene 315

So a couple of months back I wrote about this really neat project created by developer Casey Pugh called Star Wars Uncut.

Here’s the basic gist: Star Wars: A New Hope has been split into 15 second segments and posted on the internet. Fans were to “claim” scenes and re-create them any way you like, as long as it was creative. Once all scenes had been re-done, the highest rated ones as voted on by fans would be put back together and walla! Star Wars.

I really liked the concept- make a collaborative fan film with hundreds of other people. The website was cleverly put together and intuitively organized. In the end, it was just about having fun.

My friend Bryan and I decided we wanted to take part, so we claimed scene 315. Luke, Han, and Chewie have just sprung Leia from her holding cell and they’ve jumped down the garbage shoot to escape. We got my other friend Khendra to play Leia and shot it in my bathtub. I thought rubber duckies would make a good visual so I bought a bunch of them to fill out the tub. (Wish I bought more.)

The project is now over and our scene was selected to be in the final cut of the film. Which is totally exciting. (You can watch the entire movie, clip by clip, here) I’m fully aware that it’s because Khendra looks great in a bikini and had nothing to do with the rubber duckies. I can’t wait to attend the NY screening. It should be quite ridiculous. Every 15 seconds a different group of people will be cheering for their scene. They’re working out a few legal loose ends, but I hear George digs the concept.

Here’s my favorite part though. Casey Pugh, the brains behind this whole operation, just won a Creative Arts Emmy for the entire concept! Kudos to him for a great idea and his tireless work and for allowing me to contribute to an Emmy winning project. Naturally, I’ve been going around claiming to be an Emmy winner myself. Why not? Good times.

Here’s scene 315. And if you’re compelled to, go the SW Uncut site and “like” our scene. Oh and here’s a NY Times article about it.