Archive for the ‘pop culture’Category

Why there’s no backlash over the Disney Lucasfilm deal

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - AUGUST 14:  In this han...

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

When the Marvel and Muppet deals were made, fans were very vocal. However, Star Wars fans have done little more than create a new phase of Internet memes.

Star Wars fans used to be second only to Star Trek fans in their fanaticism. I saw Star Wars when I was two years old and I still remember snapshots of seeing it for the first time. The blast of the opening music with the Star Wars title. Luke with the blast shield down. X-wings.

My entire life, every time I have sat in a theater and/or smelled popcorn, I have thought of Star Wars. Going to the theater to watch a movie always makes me think of Star Wars. That is the impact that seeing it when I was two had on my – I am now 37.

1977-1984 my frame of reference for all films was centered around Star Wars. I appreciate Kevin Bacon’s work, but in my world, everything was a game of Six Degrees of Star Wars. Superman The Movie also had a huge impact on me. Like Star Wars, I still remember the opening titles, young Clark kicking the football into the stratosphere and outrunning the train, and saving the school bus. I was older when Superman came out, so I remember more of it. Do you know who did the music for Superman? John Williams. The same John Williams who made Star Wars.

Of course, after Star Wars and Superman came Indiana Jones – played by Han Solo and co-created by George Lucas.

In 1984 everything changed. I began to realize that George Lucas had handed over the baton in the race to win my imagination through film. Steven Spielberg gave me E.T., Close Encounters (a movie that I still don’t know why I love so much), Jaws and a TV series called Amazing Stories. George Lucas faded away, but Star Wars did not. Like most of my fellow fans, I craved every opportunity to get a new glimpse into the Star Wars universe. I bought books, read the fan magazine and probably spent hundreds of dollars in quarters blowing up the Death Star in the arcade.

My love of Star Wars lasted well into my college years. I played Rebel Strike and waited in line all day to see Phantom Menace.

Phantom Menace changed everything for me. I don’t think that I am alone. Sure, it was a rough movie to sit through, but I was willing to play along because the politics of the rebellion and empire matter. However, what had really changed was the world around me. Film had changed. Somehow the magic of tiny plastic models, go-motion filming and endless props carried most of the magic. Knowing that everything had been filmed in front of a green screen or modeled by a computer, completely ruined the experience.

Star Wars sold millions and millions and millions of action figures because George Lucas had not withheld any secrets about how the movie was made. When I saw that the Millenium Falcon stuck to the side of the Star Destroyer was actually a dime-sized model glued to the side of a table-sized model, it helped me imagine action figures, models and other toys in their proper scale. In other words, playing with relics and replicas from Star Wars was not much different in my mind to what an antique or art collector feels when they are in the presence of a masterpiece or significant artifact.

Recently, I was was able to see a Star Wars prop exhibit at a discovery museum in California. I spent hours taking hundreds of photos of the 1:6 scale Millenium Falcon, 1:4 scale X-wing and countless other “artifacts.”

Here’s a little gallery of those shots for you.

So, why doesn’t it break my heart to see Disney acquire Star Wars? Shouldn’t I be worried that the franchise will be Mickey-fied? Nope.

George Lucas gave Star Wars fans more campy family Disney-esque ¬†elements than Disney probably ever will. He gave us Jar Jar Binks. He gave us the crybaby Vader “Noooooooo!” He gave us the sentimental , nay sappy, new scenes and revised endings.

I am going to say what every Star Wars fan is thinking…

Thank you Disney! Thank you for saving Star Wars from George Lucas. Picking at a scab only leads to nasty scars and infections. It is best to let it heal. Sure, Disney may defile the Star Wars brand, but could it really get much worse than Jar Jar Binks, wacky sports announcing, or musical chair ghost-of-Anakin appearances at the end of Return of the Jedi?

In all honesty, the Ewoks and Salacious Crumb belong in the Disney universe alongside their Muppet cousins. Luke and Vader can play with their Lion King nephews. Princess Leia was the role model for the modern spunky princess – she blazed the trail for Tangled, Brave and she gave Belle permission to slap Gaston.

There was a time when Star Wars was more than a movie. Most fans gave up on the mythology and storytelling of Star Wars several episodes ago. Most of us will admit that we still have a special place in our hearts for Star Wars, but not for the brand or the trademark. Star Wars represents the importance of imagination and storytelling. It represents our understanding that sometimes, even though you know a magic trick is just that – a trick – it’s OK to allow yourself to be fooled in order to learn about yourself and the world around you. That is, after all, the purpose of mythology and storytelling. The storytelling manipulates the audience and the audience comes with a desire to be manipulated. If either refuses to participate, then the magic fades away.

I like to think that there’s an old satchel somewhere in the offices at Disney that’s full of magic dust that Walt used to sprinkle on stuff to make it appeal to our imaginations. Every few years, just as things are looking grim, the head of Disney pulls out the magic dust and sprinkles it on a Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast and the whole company revives and Walt’s vision is restored. I also have a conspiracy theory that Steve Jobs found that satchel and carried some of it to his offices at Apple about 20 years ago, but that’s a different article.




10 2012

Castellini on Computers 017 – Firefox 4 but no Rebecca Black


In this episode we discuss….

The wild popularity of Firefox 4

The wild unpopularity of IE 9

Netflix in Firefox 4

Flash vs. Silverlight vs. HTML5

You don’t have to be handsome to be a cowboy

What we like about Firefox 4

Nintendo 3DS discussion – is it as revolutionary as the Kinect? No.

Email answers

Farmville problems in Internet Explorer

Amazing tax advice

Fax test

Google Voice Search for Android –

it’s cool

The hassles of Android updates

Password protection on smartphones and tablets

How to get into Labs in the new Gmail interface

Everyone should know about Google Labs

We been Tweeting before Tweeting was cool

Streaming problems on MacBook in London

Keep your plug-ins updated

New coupons scanners can read barcodes on cellphone screens

Much much more

Castellini on Computers 015 – Charlie Sheen and iPad 2 Announcement


In this episode we discuss…

Charlie Sheen (just for the Google hits)

What’s easier than

How long can we go without talking about the iPad 2

Who will still be using Twitter in 2 years

Charlie Sheen deserves another mention

Twitter vs. Facebook – or does it matter?

How often should you clean out your Facebook friends?

WordPress 3.1 vs. Drupal

Answers to listener email


How much trouble should you go to just to save a few clicks

iPad 30 minutes into the show – everything you want to know about what we think of the iPad

Spyware and much more

Intro Music for this episode:

“Charlie” by Jesus du Dos from the Album Jesus du Dos

Castellini on Computers 013- Thanks a million


In this episode we discuss…

UFOs over Jerusalem
How to troubleshoot a soundcard problem
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks
The Daily – Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper
Computer guy furstrations
Much more

Music for this episode:

Pixie Hat by Happy Elf from the Album Loose Your Head.
Find out more about Happy Elf

Castellini on Computers 012 – We hung-up on Steve Jobs


In this episode of Castellini on Computers we discuss…

Verizon iPhone
Smartphone’s aren’t as popular as you might think
Does it matter if Taco Bell isn’t serving meat?
Reasons why Zagg screen protectors are awesome
Why we hate glossy glass screens
Our comments on the State of the Union address
Comcast is giving computers to the poor
Libraries suck

Visit for more updates and to subscribe to the podacast via iTunes.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work by adamc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.