The Force

Posted in video, wtf by Trevor on February 12, 2009

Jorge Luis Borges wrote a story called “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” which you can (and should) read here, in 1940. In it, he discovers a vast conspiracy in which a small group of people create a fictional world — complete with its own history, language and philosophy — and work it slowly into the mainstream via encyclopedias. Eventually, as more and more people discover Tlon and Uqbar, the fictional history begins to meld with the real, and impossible artifacts described in the encyclopedia begin to turn up in real life.

Star Wars, I’ve been noticing lately, has done the same thing. Lucas’ vastly influential space opera (whatever that means, I just like the term) has spawned an absurdly intricate “expanded universe” that abides by a certain contingent and detailed history created by a large number of authors. The Star Wars universe has its own rules of what can happen in it, its own languages, it’s own moral, political, philosophical systems. And, lately, it’s been popping up in real life.

A Wired blog points out that architect Rem Koolhaas has designed a death star for the UAE:

The design has not yet been selected (and how could it be?) but just the idea that some dude (however influential he might be) would think that a country would like to buy a death star for a building is pretty audacious.

Life Without Buildings notices that a certain Tunisian hotel looks an awful lot like a sandcrawler:

Hotel du Lac, Tunisia

Hotel du Lac, Tunisia, and a sandcrawler

Online magazine Triple Canopy has an absolutely fascinating (if kind of brainy and obtuse) study of Star Wars and Modernism, in which they compare a lot of different modern art and design to the space opera aesthetic.

Also, just because it’s awesome, check out Disney’s 1979 Star Wars rip-off (or, um, you know, “space opera”), The Black Hole:

and if you’re not planning on watching the actual movie (why would you?) peep Disney’s pseudo-religious/totally trippy vision of what happens at the event horizon


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