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Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for

Tape?

the colossal tape library on which the Death Star plans reside

I know it's a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but tape hasn't been seen in SF films for 40 years. Do they have the old banks of big IBM tape drives twitching their reels?

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Re: Tape?

It's an advance on those old punched space-cards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tape?

It was decided to install the Analyzer in four of our heaviest ships, so that each of the main fleets could be equipped with one. At this stage, the trouble began - though we did not know it until later.

The Analyzer contained just short of a million vacuum tubes and needed a team of five hundred technicians to maintain and operate it. It was quite impossible to accommodate the extra staff aboard a battleship, so each of the four units had to be accompanied by a converted liner to carry the technicians not on duty. Installation was also a very slow and tedious business, but by gigantic efforts it was completed in six months.

Then, to our dismay, we were confronted by another crisis. Nearly five thousand highly skilled men had been selected to serve the Analyzers and had been given an intensive course at the Technical Training Schools. At the end of seven months, 10 percent of them had had nervous breakdowns and only 40 per cent had qualified.

(Superiority - by Arthur C. Clarke)

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Headmaster

Re: Tape?

"punched space-cards"

Shouldn't that be "space-punched space-cards"?

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Re: Tape?

The Analyzer contained just short of a million vacuum tubes

It is fascinating how even Clarke failed to foresee the advances in electronics and digital technology. In "Earthlight" (1955), on an observatory set on the Moon sometime in the 2100's, they still make astronomical photographs the old way, chemically, and one character actually observes this is one area where electronics will never take over... The transistor had already been invented in 1947, which was before "Superiority" was written (1951).

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Re: Tape?

Don't knock the vacuum tubes...

Make them at the micro scale and they work just fine in a helium environment... or vacuume.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/introducing-the-vacuum-transistor-a-device-made-of-nothing

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Re: Tape?

"Then, to our dismay, we were confronted by another crisis. Nearly five thousand highly skilled men had been selected to serve the Analyzers and had been given an intensive course at the Technical Training Schools. At the end of seven months, 10 percent of them had had nervous breakdowns and only 40 per cent had qualified the course, 90 percent of them left to become freelance contractors."

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Mushroom

Re: Tape?

"Then, to our dismay, we were confronted by another crisis. Nearly five thousand highly skilled men had been selected to serve the Analyzers and had been given an intensive course at the Technical Training Schools. At the end of seven months, 10 percent of them had had nervous breakdowns and only 40 per cent had qualified the course, All of them had been replaced by lower paid H1B imports."

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Re: Tape?

"It is fascinating how even Clarke failed to foresee the advances in electronics and digital technology....The transistor had already been invented in 1947"

That's why it's called Science Fiction and not Future History. And even the best make mistakes :-)

I suppose it's possible he was aware of the results of an EMP and/or particle radiation on the new solid state electronics and that valves were more robust and the story was on the Moon....although it's unforgivable that he didn't foresee the recently invented transistor being scaled down such that 100's of 1000's on a tiny piece of silicon would supplant the chemical camera!

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Re: Tape?

That's why it's called Science Fiction and not Future History. And even the best make mistakes :-)

Sure, but in the case of Clarke, he is (or used to be) lauded as a visionary, and in some of his non-fiction writings (some passages in "The Lost Worlds of 2001" come to mind) he even congratulates himself on getting predictions right - so pointing out things he did not get is fair game, more so than in the case of other science fiction writers. (Said in a good-natured way: I am actually a Clarke fan, and as a teenager read almost every story by him I could lay my hands on...)

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Looking forward to seeing that now

Sounds like it has just the right ingredients for me to shut down my frontal lobes and just bask in entertainment.

A nice change from the Lucas prequels !

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Trollface

Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

To be fair, with the Lucas prequels you still had to shut your frontal lobes down, it was just the entertainment that was missing

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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

Some battle scenes resemble those from Apocalypse Now, such is the level of squalor, noise, chaos and carnage.

This is the film for me. I like my moral messages to be down to earth: 'Never go anywhere near a war zone, for any reason'.

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Trollface

Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

"A nice change from the Lucas prequels !"

What Lucas prequels?!?!

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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

" 'Never go anywhere near a war zone, for any reason'."

Another saying, slightly less well known, is not to go up against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!!! Ahahaha-haha, ahahaha...urk..

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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

"What Lucas prequels?!?!"

It's hard to pin them down, they keep changing so much.

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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

This is the film for me. I like my moral messages to be down to earth: 'Never go anywhere near a war zone, for any reason'.

I think in Apocalypse Now, the message also was "War can be pretty exhilarating at times, just don't be a civvie" or maybe even "You could have won this if you had sold your soul to War God". The play was written by John Milius who was not exactly anti-war even though he took Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", exposing colonialism as source to evidently expose muscular (and morally corrupt) interventionism.

Jimbo's summoned data shoggoth says:

Milius had no desire to direct the film himself and felt that Lucas was the right person for the job. Lucas worked with Milius for four years developing the film, alongside his work on other films, including his script for Star Wars. He approached Apocalypse Now as a black comedy

Dodged a bullet here.

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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

What Lucas prequels?!?!

I think these are similarly mythical to the Matrix sequels.

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Pint

Sounds awsome and Dark

just how i like my Sci-Fi

is this the star wars Wrath of Khan moment?

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Anonymous Coward

May the H1B with you.

It's a retrospective piece, as the opening scene depicts a half ass offworlder being trained by a master in the swamps of Florida to take the masters place. If he doesn't work out, there is another (and another, and another, and another, and...)

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@Blotto

"is this the star wars Wrath of Khan moment?"

No, that was The Empire Strikes Back. Though I agree that it sounds like Rogue One might be just my cup of tea.

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Re: @Blotto

You'll love this. IMO as good as The Empire Strikes Back.

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Re: @Blotto

"IMO as good as The Empire Strikes Back."

High praise indeed!

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How imaginative, yet another death star. You'd think given the Empire's shit luck with them that they might try something else, perhaps a giant catapult or enormous water bombs.

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Anonymous Coward

This a Star Wars based story designed to fit in betwixt Episode III and Episode IV. This is NOT Episode VIII.

I'm IN!!1! Been viewing all the trailers and other goodies this week. Am running a proper Episode IV thru Episode VII viewing each night up to the US theatrical release.

Plus a great article in the December Wired with John Knoll, Mr. Photoshop, and lead graphics guy at ILM now. The visuals are going to be top notch! Come ON! A daytime spaceship battle?! That's lighting taken to the extreme. Why do you think it's so easy to pull off battle visuals in the dark dark space regions? Because it's dark and you don't have to mess with lighting much. Except for explosions and such. This is going to look really good, and the story seems like a nice offshoot from our beloved SciFi franchise.

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It is not "yet another death star". This is the death star Luke blows. It is the same one that we first saw back in the 1980's. This move is a prequel to Episode IV and answers the question how did they learn about that exhaust port and what designer would make a mistake like that.

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"that we first saw back in the 1980's"

Ahem, 1970s...

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>This is the death star Luke blows. It is the same one that we first saw back in the 1980's.

I know because I was in the queueing in 1977 for it and when we got the front we the house full sign was plonked right in front of us. We had to wait for the next showing but at least we were first in and had our breath taken away.

I think they have been rather lazy and unadventurous not to advance to the story but going for the safe option again to reuse old material, I'll give full judgement after I've seen it and I sure hope I won't be as cheated as I was by J J Abrams rehashing a New Hope.

Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels that would really excite me all over again just like 1977.

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Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Oh God, yes please!!!

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

>Oh God, yes please!!!

The one top of my list to see filmed is Greg Bear's Eon, done well it could be a modern day 2001 classic. A great novel and highly recommended to those who have not read it.

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So much this http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/11/sci_fi_poll/

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

While the Culture novels might make fantastic source material for many hours/days/weeks of film, I suspect any such productions would suffer from the same problem as films made from Tolkien's work - I know in my imagination *precisely* what everything looks like, but everyone else has it wrong! FFS they filmed most of the stuff in New Zealand, but it happened in the woods just up the hill, over there.

There is so much detail to be absorbed, and personal interpretation to be applied, that a film by a 3rd party really will quash the enduring enjoyment. I've watched The Force Awakens a number of times, and I consider it bland and forgettable. I've read a number of Alistair Reynolds' works once and each is firmly imprinted on my mind.

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Mushroom

I can sympathise

A mate of mine stopped to chat to a friend in the cinema queue causing more people to get in at the queue before us.

Result - Stuck at the near front (gazing at the posters for Salon Kitty helped pass the time) & missed the next episode (No videos in those days) of Doctor Who.

A week later it snowed & his younger brother had the Odeon cinema pretty much all to himself.

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"These aren't the Death Stars you'e looking for..."

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Iain Banks!!!

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

This is my worry as well, as much as there are some great books, once put on film it would be someone elses vision.

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MJI
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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Iain M Banks

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

I really want them to make Diamond Dogs. That would be both an excellent self contained sci-fi-horror film and also works as an introduction to that whole universe and some of the recurring characters.

If they handled the reveal at the end properly it'd knock the stuffing out of people.

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MJI
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Re: Alistair Reynolds

A very good writer, answers readers, some very clever ideas.

And some horror, especially with the captured pilot in a cylinder.

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Iain M. Banks.

His contemporary fiction was written under the name Iain Banks, and his Sci-Fi under the name Iain M. Banks!

And with a swish of his cape, Captain Pedant slinks back into the shadows, ready to strike again where least wanted!

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Damn it, Captain Pedant! I told you, NO CAPES!

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Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Iain Banks!!!

Iain M Banks...

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JLV
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Thumb Up

Re: Now if someone were to film Ian Banks culture novels

Use of Weapons FTW!

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You do realise that this film depicts a stage in the building of the Death Star seen in A New Hope? This is not another Death Star.

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MGJ

Robes?

It was The Incredibles that had a section on the dangers of capes, no?

Edna Mode was quite strongly opposed to them, and they [spoiler] led to the destruction of a certain baddie.

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TRT
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Re: Robes?

They can't have disappeared. No character that central to the plot has a cloak...

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Re: Robes?

No capes!!!

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Alien

Re: Robes?

So cloaks serve the same role in Star Wars that red shirts serve in Star Trek?

And if they really wanted to be topical about passwords, there should be a geeky, sycophantic admin with dreams of moving up the Imperial career ladder, and his password should be "D4Rth AdmiNistrator" (And he should wear a cloak for no reason at all, other than hero worship.)

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Re: Robes?

Ooo, ooo, my new password! aDarth'trator I'll get respect! Thank you!

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Re: Robes?

Ooo, ooo, my new password! aDarth'trator I'll get respect! Thank you!

I'm guessing that password will soon be on the fore of the brute force password attacks:

"User is an admin?"

"Check."

"User is a Star Was fan?"

"Aren't they all?"

"Try aDarth'trator then."

"And... we're in...."

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