Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not Much Room For Engineering

Forty Five years ago, back in the 60s, when Gene Rodenberry got Star Trek on TV, the Enterprise had a whole engineering deck, and there were massive light speed engines on Federation starships, Romulan & Klingon war birds, anything that was capable of going fast (light speed / hyper speed / etc... faster than Einsteinian  Relativity says you can).

Then, 11 years later, George Lucas gets his first Star Wars movie released, and engineering space, engines, "stuff that makes things work" are reduced down, to literally, "the margins" of the concept vehicles.  Sure, a Y-Wing fighter has some substantially massive engines on it, but Y-wings sucked and got blown up easily.  The heroes and main villains few the X-wings, Tie Fighters, and Millennium Falcon (cross section, pictured to the left here).  Engines are an after-thought on the Falcon and on Tie Fighters.  X-wings have small engines behind the cockpit, and Tie Fighters appear to be solar powered?  Whatever.  It just goes to show how over time, Hollywood's and the public's perception has evolved to not see real world, practical, useful engineering as sexy, alluring, or even worth-mentioning most of the time.  Never mind the useless dribble of confusing time and distance in the same nonsensical sentence:  ""...the Millennium Falcon…It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs."  (and yes, I disregard the extremely geeky wookiepedia that tries to justify this nonsense. Get out of your parents' basements, boys  It's like trying to explain how Moses parted the Red Sea, or how Joseph Smith read from Golden Tablets).

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