24 November 2011

Obi Wan Kenobi and the Death Star

Sir Alec Guiness

 Next time you watch Star Wars*, pay close attention to the part when Ben Kenobi is turning off the power on the tractor beam in the Death Star.  Two things.  It was raised an eyebrow, even as a kid, that the labels are in English.  Yeah, it actually, says "POWER" and "TRACTOR BEAM" on one of the level indicators. 

English is truly universal
In searching for pictures, I have discovered that in the original version, the labels are in English.  In newer releases, the labels have been digitally replaced with some alien writing.  See, even as a kid, I knew something was whacky about that.  I guess they needed to communicate to the audience that "this is the POWER to the TRACTOR BEAM, that Obi Wan is turning off".

Second thing.  When he see that there are a pair of Stormtroppers at the end of the hall, he throws something to distract them.  Well, some might think that he throw a small pebble.  Most believe that he used the force to 'throw' a sound over yonder.  Me?  I like to think that Obi Wan picked his nose and flicked a crusty booger across the hall.  Something to think about.

I always wanted this playset
Back in 1978, Kenner released a Death Star playset.  It was an awesome set.  It even had an area for your Obi Wan Kenobi figure to futz with the tractor beam power.  You can see it in the top right in photo above.  The set even had area for Luke and Leia  to swing across, even a trash compactor.  Kenner really knew how to make a great toy.

*Star Wars as in Star Wars (1977).  That was what it was originally called, that is what it should be forever known as.  Do yourself a favour and watch the original version from 1977.

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