Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lightsaber to Fly on Space Shuttle

Scholars, am I the only one who finds this really depressing?

I'm not even going to bring up the tacky commercialism of flying the original lightsaber prop on the shuttle. Space enthusiasts had to start getting over that type of outrage when astronauts were obliged to try both Coke and Pepsi in orbit in 1985. I bet the astronauts are really peeved about having to make room for this thing when they are allotted so little space for their own souvenirs. Case in point: Christa McAuliffe wanted to bring her son's favorite stuffed frog on board ("Fleegle") but to make him fit they had to take his stuffing out and vacuum-seal him in a plastic bag.

No, it's details like this one that depress me:
Chewbacca, the towering Wookiee best known from the film as Han Solo's co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon, will officially hand the lightsaber over to officials from Space Center Houston during a ceremony at the airport. Joining "Chewie" will be other characters from the six-part sci-fi classic, including Boba and Jango Fett and together they help push back the airplane on the tarmac.

"Together they help push back the airplane on the tarmac"? I'm sorry, what? I can't help but feel deep pity for the hard-up actors who agree to wear these costumes and carry out this "ceremony at the airport." Is there any more depressing place to carry out a weird photo-op "ceremony" than the Houston airport? With the beige tile floors and the announcements squawking overhead and the smell of jet exhaust and Cinnabons in the air?

Let's see how that went down:

Ugh. It makes me want to cry.

1 comment:

Irving Flashman said...

My first thought: this must be a clumsy but well-meant attempt to re-interest kids in the space program. But if that is the goal, it is clumsy indeed. The light-saber first appeared in a Star Wars movie 30 years ago. The "kids" who saw that film when it came out are now deep into middle age. Or maybe the goal is to re-interest those middle-aged taxpayers in space flight. Okay with me, and they don't even have to send up the light-saber. Like you, I can think of no better use for my tax dollars.