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Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars City Doomed By Sand Dunes 166

An anonymous reader writes "The buildings and set of the fictional city Mos Espa are set to be swallowed by migrating sand dunes in the Tunisian desert. From the article: 'Ralph Lorenz, from Johns Hopkins University, US, together with Jason Barnes, from the University of Idaho, and Nabil Gasmi, of the University of Sousse, Tunisia, visited the Mos Espa site in 2009, and noted that part of a nearby set used in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope had already been overrun. Using satellite images of the site, they were able to determine the speed of dune movement, which is approaching the buildings once inhabited by such luminaries as Anakin, his slave owner Watto, and rival podracer Sebulba.'"
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Star Wars City Doomed By Sand Dunes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:08PM (#44346969)

    Archaeologists will study these homes, and come up with all sorts of explanations for their features or lack thereof.

    • More likely they'll come to the conclusion that someone was playing silly buggers, due to the lack of non-structural detritus, middens, or other forms of human leavings.
    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:29PM (#44347339) Journal
      I wonder about future historians and archeologists.TThere are now more web pages than people. Several 24/7 news channels document everything in excruciating detail. Will people in the future wonder about anything that happened in the 21st century, or will they merely need to decide which stories are interesting enough to tell in history books?

      With the technologies Facebook is developing and knowledge graphs being pioneered for Google Now, will historians of the future even need to compile narratives, or will Google 3000 interpret the database and narrate the story in real time when you query it? "Siri, tell me about my great-great-great-grandfather."
      • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:41PM (#44347385)
        Yeah, the latter is more likely. In the far future, the start of the information age will be considering the effective start of history. Knowledge of events prior to the 21st century will be considered semi-mythical, due to the fact that they weren't recorded at the time and all we have are essentially second hand accounts recorded in files with timestamps from the 21st or late 20th century at the very earliest. They'll (correctly) consider any "historical" texts of time before that as the theories and opinions on history given by later scholars, whereas from the 21st century forward they'll have actual historical records, rather than speculation.
        • So the writers of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, for example, were theorising and speculating, were they?

          • by jbolden ( 176878 )

            We know they were frequently giving us biased versions of events. Details are missing that go against their case. We know this because when we can check the records with other medieval sources that's what we find. For many of the translations we can't tell what stuff is being added by scribes and what is in the original, we know it happens by comparing the Chronicles with themselves. We know for a fact some of the dates are wrong. We know some of the places are wrong. There were a lot of errors in mov

            • Because that is totally different from news reporting today...

              • by jbolden ( 176878 )

                Yes that is different. Journalists today are very careful of noting what the source said vs. what they think. The use of quotation marks and the standards for them are a huge, huge improvement in history / journalism. Our understanding of translation is better and when documents are translated originals are carefully retained. I can't tell you what of our news reports survives 1000 years from now, so it isn't a fair comparison but today's journalism vs. what survived from then. No question ours is bett

                • In fairness, I do agree with you that it is very different and since different news sources exist, it should be easier to see what the views of the day were, but other things still apply. For example while quotes may be accurate, they can quote or not quote who they like. With or current level of perspective we can fairly easily pick this out, but the entire point of news media has become to present views in a certain light and without the perspective of the times it may be very hard to sort out these bia

          • So the writers of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, for example, were theorising and speculating, were they?

            Compare and contrast having your comment, this entire discussion, and the original article on file versus having something like "In the twelfth year after the Gleaming Towers fell, Simon of Slashdot spoke out in doubt against the Chronicle of Saxon."

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 22, 2013 @03:02AM (#44348131)

          That's outright bullshit and I can't see how it got modded up with anything besides funny.

          It's going to be the complete opposite. There's going to be a gap in history of things lost due to unreadable formats and hardware failures where the data isn't even there to read, and that's not even counting things like DRM and data in the cloud that just gets deleted when the company fucks up or closes. The loss is can already be experienced daily, and it can pretty much only get worse.

          • by jbolden ( 176878 )

            Paper records were frequently lost too. Losing 3% of the data per year for a century leaves: 6% behind. 6% of what we produce now is far more than was produced a century ago.

            • Yes, the Library at Alexandria burned to the ground. But there are dozens upon dozens of tomes buried under the ground that have survived for thousands of years.

              I guarantee that none of the information stored only in a digital medium will survive in a thousand years, much less two or three thousand.

              • by jbolden ( 176878 )

                I'm not so sure. We have no idea what archival for the 21st century in the year 2400 looks like.

          • I think we are going to see the same thing happen with electronic records that happened with paper records in the past. The things that survive will be the things that people take an active effort to preserve. In the past that meant if the books and records were valuable enough that they took care in storing them and made additional copies. In the future it will be the things that are valuable enough that people keep moving it to ever newer data storage formats. Things like DRM, proprietary formats etc just

          • If you can find it, James Gleick's essay "The Digital Attac: Are We Becoming Amnesiacs? Or Pack Rats?" (collected in "What Just Happened") engages with this dilemma.

          • We've already bitten the bullet [wikipedia.org] for early TV show loss because nobody pointed a camera at the broadcast video to capture it, or erased early video tapes after they were finally invented because they needed to reuse those expensive things (hey, it was just a stupid little throwaway play performance, gosh! What the hell would people in the time of flying cars want with it?)

          • Time out. Rampant cynicism alert.

            There's going to be a gap in history of things lost due to unreadable formats and hardware failures where the data isn't even there to read, and that's not even counting things like DRM and data in the cloud that just gets deleted when the company fucks up or closes.

            You're summing up, what, thousands of media formats, from CDROM to tweets to servers, and saying it's all, across the board going to evaporate? Ridiculous. Some will be lost yes, but we don't need to carve every facebook status in granite for historians to have ample data. DRM? I suppose that will be a barrier for historical purposes, but I'd suggest "paper rotting or burning in a fire or being stolen" is a much bigger hurdle that historians and archeologists have overc

          • We'll also have fully documented, with evidence, 20 competing accounts of every historical event.

        • I suspect you are right. Mass data aggregation wasn't done. We know a great deal about what important people thought, but we don't have much information about how common their views are. So we what we have are just editorials and we make guesses as to how much to weigh those editorials and what facts ban be derived from them. Our historians are very skilled at that since this technique still exists in parallel with mass aggregation of data. But 500 years from now when people have good statistical data

        • Most of what we have today will be lost, or intentionally deleted by people in the future who won't give a damn about your cute dog photos or sexts or comments on slashdot and most of our literature. Frankly, that's what most of it deserves.

          But they will probably keep permanent records of whatever it is from our era they find to be interesting,

        • by Agripa ( 139780 )

          Pre-information-age history compresses to a point when viewed from far enough away. Alexander the Great, Washington, and Nimitz were contemporaries.

      • I'm somehow certain that you won't get an exemption for such petty things like archaeology from the ban on breaking DRM. So... good luck finding a device that can play that content back.

    • by xstonedogx ( 814876 ) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Monday July 22, 2013 @01:57AM (#44347849)

      Or it will lead them to discover Episode I and they will finally understand why the Second Dark Ages occurred.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:11AM (#44347925) Journal
      Based on the movement of the dune, it looks like it will pass over and within decades the city will be uncovered again.
      • "The barchan will probably continue on its journey past the city site, which in due course will re-emerge from the sand, but it is anticipated that it will not remain unscathed." Another interesting tidbit: "persons ~ 1.6 m tall atop the dune (~ 35 pixels) act as a scale bar to estimate the dune height (135 pixels) as ~ 6.5 m high". That's a lot of sand.
      • The first thing that came to mind when I read this story was the following quote from "2010: The Year We Make Contact" by Arthur C. Clarke:

        So it went on, case after case. Very few of the contactees were actually lying or insane; most of them sincerely believed their own stories, and retained that belief even under hypnosis. And some were just victims of practical jokes or improbable accidents - like the unlucky amateur archaeologists who found the props that a celebrated science-fiction moviemaker had aband

      • From TFA:

        "....The barchan will probably continue on its journey past the city site, which in due course will re-emerge from the sand, but it is anticipated that it will not remain unscathed...."


    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      My thought was more along the lines of "great, when they're swallowed up, can we finally stop giving a shit about Star Wars?"

      Unfortunately, I think it'll still be milked and unimaginative dolts will still be jacking off to the franchise in a thousand years, when these are unearthed.

  • by KernelMuncher ( 989766 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:12PM (#44346993)
    if only the sand could swallow up those horrible prequels as well . . .
    • here! here! Some things deserve to be buried and forgotten.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't you mean "Hear, hear!"?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, he was calling his dog. The dog ran away a few weeks ago and he is obviously hoping that the dog still reads slashdot every now and then.

          • by Seumas ( 6865 )

            Depends what sex the dog is. Everyone knows bitches don't read slashdot.

            (I shall now retire to my underground bunker where I can hide from the incoming for the above statement).

    • Episode 3 almost made up for the other two (the key word being almost). That said, I watched EPIII again a few days ago after not having seen it for awhile. The reason for Anakin/Vader's fall has always seemed really petty to me. I guess after 20+ years of build-up I expected something more compelling than Anakin's fear of losing Padme because of a few nightmares.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The only part of Episode 3 that I enjoyed was seeing Anakin scream in pain as he burned.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The problem was Anakin was petty. Instead of taking this innocent boy and tormenting the hell out of him, they just made him a whiny baby who, by the way, was stronger in the force than anyone else (thanks to magical pixie dust, but I digress).

        If I would have written it and been required to keep the basic storyline, I'd at least have him KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOW he was the killer in the dreams.

        But really, by the end of the second movie, we should have already seen a lot of Darth coming out of him. Not just hints th

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:23AM (#44347987) Journal

      Bad StarWars is like bad pizza; it's better than no pizza and I still finish it.

      • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @04:52AM (#44348493)

        More like all Star Wars is like a bad long-term relationship. Everyone else knows you should get out and experience more things in life. Better things. Far more amazing and creative and imaginative things. Unfortunately, you've invested so much time in it that it is all you know and you stick around taking the whacks and insults rather than venturing out.

      • Bad StarWars is like bad pizza; it's better than no pizza and I still finish it.

        It must suck to be starving. Personally, if I met a pizza as bad as the prequels, I'd drive it back to the store and start complaining. I could not finish Episode III. For my money, that was by far the worst of the movies. I had the same feeling for the entire half of that movie that I watched that I had when Legolas went shield-surfing.

      • But can you keep it down after you finish it?

    • Is there a Kickstarter or something where we might donate money to help accelerate the process? Hell, I'll take a bucket and a spade and throw sand myself if it will help.

    • At least the dunes are helping erase a part of the prequels. Or are they preserving it for posterity? Perhaps when the dunes shift again in the distant future and the site gets rediscovered, it'll serve to teach film makers of that time how not to fuck up a billion-(trillion- by then)dollar franchise.

  • by MatthiasF ( 1853064 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:17PM (#44347015)
    From the series of photos and shape of the dune, it seems like the set itself altered the wind pattern and caused the very same dune that is going to engulf it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Dunes are always crescent shaped like that.
  • by thorbsd ( 2737135 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:18PM (#44347023)
    Why was the set left in the desert? Was the film crew asked to leave it, or could they just be bothered to spend money removing their trash when they were finished shooting?
    • Previous sets have been left there as well. What good is the set now in the digital age?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're from Hollywood, they'll leave their trash all over. Dirt bags.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why was the set left in the desert? Was the film crew asked to leave it, or could they just be bothered to spend money removing their trash when they were finished shooting?

      Because it is a tourist attraction and brings money to the area.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Barf: Chief... I can't... I can't go any further. I can't go any further.
    Lonestar: Just one more dune to go.
    Barf: That's what you said three dunes ago. I got no more left. Oh, waiter... cheque please.
    [collapses, dropping Dot]
    Lonestar: Must go on... MUST GO ON! Must go on...
    Lonestar: Who am I kidding?
    [Drops Vespa, collapses]

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:23PM (#44347047) Journal
    It seems a new hope was duned from the beginning. I thought everything looked a little grainier from Episode IV onward. Hope they can clear things up in the future.
  • I've was reading a thread last week were some bloke said about how when his dog died, he buried it wearing a paid of swimming googles and a towel wrapped around the dogs neck like a cape. He then went to his shed and got a whole pile of assorted metal pieces and welded them together in a few different collections of strange shapes and parts. Then he buried them around his dog.

    In the future when the dune moves and this city is uncovered, hopefully we could really screw with some archaeologists head!
  • Dune (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Evil Atheist ( 2484676 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:26PM (#44347067) Homepage
    That's no dune.
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:26PM (#44347071)
    They weren't required to restore the dunes to their native state after the shoot?
    • Re:What??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by siride ( 974284 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @10:37PM (#44347141)

      Which native state would that be? They're always moving, reshaping and disappearing.

    • Re:What??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:56PM (#44347439)

      Hollywood has left a lot of its garbage lying around over the years. Something I stumbled on this morning was a YouTube video of a guy visiting the site where they filmed the train/bus crash & derailment scene from the 1993 version of The Fugitive. The locomotives and remains of the bus were just shoved off to the side and have been left sitting there for 20 years.



      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        they're just waiting that the film turns technically profitable! then they'll clean it up.

  • The sarlacc is just below that sand waiting for prey fool enough to dig in those ruins.
  • Can they put the original reels for the prequels to die with the set

  • by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:15PM (#44347297) Journal

    The sandworms are back!

    Oh wait, wrong story.

    Maybe they should have put the Dune set there instead. ;-)

  • The Sarlacc always wins in the end.

  • by madmarcel ( 610409 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @11:59PM (#44347455)

    They need one of these...

    http://imgur.com/gallery/7s0ALeF [imgur.com]

  • by ildon ( 413912 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @12:36AM (#44347579)

    Everyone knows Mos Eisley is where it's at.

  • ...that Dune is better than Star Wars?

    I can totally see that as long as we're talking about books, not films. There are some many parallels. Both started great. Eventually sequels turned both to crap. Course Dune has no good sequel. Both are messiah stories. Both have deserts. Both have magical powers inside people. Holy shit. Dune IS Star Wars!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It sounds like you've never read the Dune books. God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune were much better than the first book.

      If you meant the books by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, then yes, those were horrible.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...that Dune is better than Star Wars?

      While it is true that Dune is better than Star Wars, this dune swallowing a set doesn't mean anything.

      I can totally see that as long as we're talking about books, not films.

      If we talk about films, you do realize we have to talk about the prequels, right? I don't like Lynch's version of Dune at all, but it's definitely better than The Phantom Menace. And we should really include the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and Children of Dune. FHD is a little rough around the edges, but it's good. CoD is fantastic. Both at LEAST as good as Jedi, maybe as good as New Hop

    • The original is one of the worst movies ever to be made...it was even terrible when it was made. Voice based powers? Illdefine "spice"? Inner monologue voiceovers? Ugh awful

  • poised to bury a famous Star Wars film set

    It's a set from EP1 .. I think the author meant to say 'infamous Star Wars film set'. It may not be dead and buried, but 1 out 2 aint bad.

    • Why all the hate for episode one? It literally sets up the entire trilogy! The senate alone makes it worth watching. I guess since something doesn't get shot or explode constantly?
      I went back and watched the originals and had (until now) never notice how little substance there is...episode one also didn't have Hayden Christiansen

      • A sheet of letter-sized paper simply stating the events of Episode 1 would've set up the trilogy too, that doesn't mean it would be entertaining. It probably would've involved less monologues about trade embargoes though.

  • Meh... So what... Maybe people need to re-learn how to let go.
    Let it go.

  • Disney (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:25AM (#44347999) Journal

    Disney's freaking out: "Quick, buy the Dune franchise!"

  • by ukemike ( 956477 ) on Monday July 22, 2013 @02:46AM (#44348077) Homepage
    Mos Espa? That must be from episode 1. God wants to forget the prequels too!
  • These remind me of Gliders [wikipedia.org]. I wonder if we can make a self replicating spaceship with these dunes if we had a few bulldozers.

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