Oh man. /Film started my day with this 10-minute documentary from Larry Cuba about how he made the computer graphics for Star Wars, specifically, the Death Star assault video Dodonna plays for the Rebel pilots, and it is so, so awesome. Cuba is obviously so proud when he says he’s moving his Death Star model in real time, and he should be, since back in 1976 that probably needed 400 computers glued together and the blood sacrifice of a white calf. Anyways, it’s fun for Star Wars fans and a neat look back for computer nerds alike.
And it reminds me of something — when the Star Wars special editions were about to come out in ’97, I was certain that Lucas was going to redo those computer effects, like from the Rebel briefing and on the Millennium Falcon’s display during the TIE Fighter dogfight. Dead certain, because if anything dated the Star Wars movies (besides Hamill’s hair) it was the computer effects. Compared to some of the shit that went in the special editions, these would be pretty easy changes to make, don’t you think? And they wouldn’t be nearly as obtrusive. And I don’t think fans would mind that update — I know I wouldn’t. I’m still baffled as to why Lucas didn’t bother to change ’em.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.