With the quickly approaching premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes a flood of new rumors and speculation, especially as the new The Last Jedi trailer settles in everyone's minds. In this edition of This Week in Star Wars, I'm covering confirmation of one of the Star Wars theories I proposed a while back, new speculation about Rey's parents, and Mark Hamill's recent interview with The New York Times.
Warning: some spoilers for The Last Jedi may lie ahead!
One of my theories (almost) confirmed
In my recent breakdown of the newest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, I noted that Snoke utters the words, "When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special." While the trailer is intentionally structured to give you the opinion that he is speaking about Kylo Ren, I proposed that he was instead talking to Rey. Granted, I was not the only one who formulated this theory (though I did do so independently), but regardless, confirmation of this idea seems to have emerged in the form of an international trailer.
First, some background is necessary in case you are unfamiliar with foreign languages. In English, when we use the word "you" or "we," we are utilizing a gender-neutral word--that is, the words "you" and "we" may be used for either genders. However, in other languages, such words as "you" and "we" may vary depending on the gender of the person being referred to. This provides some obviously helpful information for English speakers, as it may be determined with a high degree of certainty who someone is referring to in a movie trailer as long as there are distinct male and female leads.
Now, back to the international trailer. According to Nerdist, a Chinese-speaking Redditor and Star Wars fan discovered that, in said trailer, the "you" which Snokes uses in the phrase "When I found you..." is actually feminine, meaning he is indeed referring to a girl. Here's Nerdist's full analysis of the claim:
Granted, this is not hard evidence that he is speaking to Rey, but it weighs heavily towards that fact. The only other main female character is Leia, who is an unlikely intended recipient of Snoke's message. The implications of Rey being "found" by Snoke are huge, meaning Rey might have some training in the Dark Side. How this will affect her journey of self-discovery in The Last Jedi remains to be seen.
I walk alone on a dark path under a canopy of grey clouds and starry sky, the bite of the cool fall air lingering on my red cheeks. The air is mostly still, save the light breeze snaking through the trees; yet, I feel almost a quivering in the darkness, as if it has seen that its time of supremacy has come to an end.
Suddenly, a bright orange flame bursts through the wall of gloom and grey. All at once, the darkness melts off the clouds like angels shedding their disguise. A master artist, the sun stains the fringes of the clouds with pink, purple, and orange--it blasts away the night with explosions of color. The stars suddenly fall dim, and the moon shrinks into the pale heavens, for the sun has washed away the sadness of the night with a mighty wave of her rosy dyes.
Then, all falls still once more, and the rays of the sun peek gloriously through the clouds and trees. If I listen, I can almost hear a song like a heavenly choir emanating from those orange rays, as if they are glimmering through the open gates of heaven itself. I glance up to see a small flock of blackbirds flittering around happily in the sun's radiance.
I take a deep breath of the air, which is now rid of the bitterness of night and bears a hope upon it instead.
A new day has begun.
GoogleCar-self driving by ed and eddie via VisualHunt.com, used per permissions of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 2.0.
Like it or not, driverless cars are on their way. In fact, it has been estimated, conservatively, that ten million autonomous cars will be driving around by 2020. Of course, there are conflicting predictions that effectively say, "hold your horses," but a new map recently posted online shows that more and more cities across the world are embracing the new trend.
The Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles now has a world map that allows you to see which cities are testing, will test, and are considering testing driverless cars. According to this new map, 35 cities already have autonomous vehicles on their streets or will have them in the near future--including 11 cities here in the US.
In addition to these 35 cities, 18 more cities are currently researching the implications of and barriers to implementing autonomous cars in their localities, including cities in South America and the US.
And there are barriers, to be sure. A recent survey found that financial shortages is the number one reason that more cities have not begun testing autonomous vehicles. The estimated cost of equipping an ordinary car with autonomous features is $250,000. As a matter of fact, just the LIDAR sensor used in many autonomous cars runs $85,000 today. This isn't to mention the extra dough that would be required for further research and development.
Of course, there are regulatory barriers, too. Despite the fact that 25 states now have laws governing the use of autonomous vehicles, Congress is considering legislation that would prevent local governments from creating rules for such vehicles. Even with this legislation currently in the consideration phase, cities are still confused about the jurisdiction their governments have over the industry. Other hurdles to implementation of driverless cars include lack of interest and incapable infrastructure.
In spite of the obstacles, many large companies are still bullish on the future of autonomous vehicles. Another recent study tracked almost $80 billion in business deals relating to driverless technology. Ford and General Motors have each invested more than $1 billion in their own venture into the rapidly emerging field, while SoftBank was one of many companies that invested a total of $159 million in a autonomous car start-up.
Will the next generation ever drive their own cars? Some experts say yes, and it cannot be denied that autonomous vehicles are currently few and far between. But many companies claim that driverless cars are the wave of the future, and they are definitely putting their money where their mouth is.
With autonomous cars possessing the ability to reduce accidents by up to 90%, I can only hope that more pins get added to that map in the near future.
Listen, my friend, for I know you are weary. Life has come like when summer meets fall--when the winds swirl, the rains come and sweep everything away. It's almost as if the Earth itself has swallowed you into a dark shadow. You claw at the dirt, but your grip falters; you jump, but your foot cannot find a ledge; you scream, but your cries echo in the void with no reply. The only noise is a little whisper in the wind that tells you that you will never escape.
I understand you. I, too, know the feeling of fear gnawing on my heart, of doubt serenading my ears like a siren on the tempest-tossed sea. Hope seems like a train at the end of a tunnel: you hear its sound, you see the light, only to see it turn away in another direction.
Friend, take a breath. Let the fall air caress your skin. Watch the swaying of the trees, the rising and setting of the sun. Recall the goodness of days past, the light in the midst of the blackest night. For I tell you now that none of this goes on without the knowledge of the Lord; no, not one second passes unless He breathes upon it. He is like a castle on the edge of the sea--the waves may beat upon it with all their might, but they cannot bring down such a great fortress.
Your boat is sinking, but have you forgotten your refuge is on the shore? Go, for there is sunlight and beauty in the safety of that castle. Let the warmth of the sun surround you like the arms of a loving Father. Breathe in the clear, pure air.
Do not go back to the despair of the sea. For there, in the safety of that unshakeable fortress, the best is yet to come.
Digital Life by Skley via VisualHunt.com, used per permissions of Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License 2.0.
Our computers have come leaps and bounds since the early 80s when the first truly personal computers were introduced. In fact, just over ten years ago, our computers were 60 times slower than the processors our computers come stocked with today. Nonetheless, there's still one limitation looming ahead as humanity demands faster processing.
As you may know, our current processors receive and transmit information using electrons, and as speedy as these subatomic particles are, they can only go so fast. Not only that, but they're subject to other natural phenomena including resistance and interference that further complicate the task of making an electron-based processor faster.
To overcome this problem, scientists are trying to figure out ways to use light-based processors instead of electron-based ones--and they just made a major breakthrough. At the University of Sydney, researchers have discovered a method to store data transmitted by photons (you can think of those as "light molecules," in a sense) as sound waves.
Why sound waves, and why does that matter? Well, the reason light-based computers have been impossible to build so far is that light travels at almost 300 million meters per second. With our computer chips as is, we'll never be able to process information that fast. However, slowing this information down to the speed of sound makes it much more manageable, increasing the time the information is on the chip from about 3 nanoseconds to 10.
Welcome to the first edition of my newest blog series, Cool Tech for Your Life! In case you missed my announcement last week, this new series will deal with cool tech that actually is or will be on the market for consumers. It's a perfect fit with my Real Life Sci-Fi blog category--and I think you're really going to enjoy it. (I'm excited, anyway :D).
For this inaugural Cool Tech for Your Life blog post, I'll be discussing these awesome new earbuds from Google called "Pixel Buds" (pictured above). These Bluetooth headphones, designed for Google's newest phone, are packed with features.
First off, these headphones will largely be independent from your phone. Aside from the fact that they're wireless, there's also a touchpad on the right earbud that allows for easy navigation. Tapping it pauses/plays whatever tunes you're jamming out to, while swiping adjusts the volume. Of course, we're accustomed to these features in earbuds, but I think the touchpad is a really neat way to incorporate navigation without having to fiddle with a rocker positioned somewhere on the wire. Despite all this wireless-ness (is that a word?), Google says you'll get five hours of juice out of the earbuds' battery.
Second, arguably the coolest feature of the earbuds is their ability to translate languages in real-time. No, it's not just a science fiction dream anymore--the Pixel Buds will actually allow you to communicate with anyone who speaks one of over 40 languages included at launch (provided they also have a pair). Check out this demo of the earbuds' translation capability (demo begins around 1:11):
Pretty cool, right? The Pixel Buds will also be integrated with Google Assistant, which will allow you to essentially access all of the features of Assistant without having to take out your phone.
The Buds aren't quite available yet, but when they release, they'll cost $159. You'll be able to choose from black, grey, and blue options. Of course, to fully utilize all the features included in the product, you'll need a Google Pixel smartphone; however, many of the features will still be accessible with many Android smartphones.
If you're looking to purchase the Pixel Buds (when they release) or to see the system requirements for them, check out this page. I just washed my own earbuds in the washing machine the other day, so I might be joining you soon!
Football is not my cup of tea, but bundle anything with a new Star Wars trailer and I'll join in.
I, like many of you, had my eyes glued to the television during halftime of last night's Vikings vs. Bears game, consumed with anticipation for the premiere of the new The Last Jedi trailer.
It did not disappoint. The trailer is emotional, powerful, wonderful (get me a thesaurus, I need more words!) awesome. And I'm doing an in-depth analysis of both the trailer and the new poster right here to fulfill your nerding out needs. Let us begin.
Warning: the following post may contain spoilers about The Last Jedi. If you wish to see the movie without any prior knowledge, do not read on.
That gorgeous poster
I'm in love with this poster, guys. It captures so much of the emotion and suspense that all us Star Wars fans are feeling at this point, and it's a perfect tribute to Carrie Fisher, setting her front and center. The red color scheme that has sent Star Wars fans into a tizzy has been carried over to this poster in an absolutely stunning manner. While, aside from the sheer beauty of this masterpiece, nothing seems to really stand out, there are a couple of things I did notice.
First, it might be difficult to see, but underneath the Star Wars logo, we see an array of those sweet new AT-M6 model walkers ready to meet the oncoming Resistance craft. However, to the left and right of these, I realized that there are actually some of the original, or perhaps variant, AT-AT models used by the Empire. You can see that these are not equipped with the "simian-like" front feet of the AT-M6s. What does this imply? Perhaps it could indicate a budget shortage on the part of the First Order (I mean, I think Starkiller Base probably cost more than a few credits), if they were, in fact, recycling the old Imperial models. However, the trailer appears to possibly show the Order actively manufacturing these (more on that later).
Second, I noticed that Rey has a rather large gash on her arm that is not present in the trailer. It is a somewhat minor thing, but it still begs the question: where does she get it? It could be from her scuffle with Snoke that is briefly shown in the trailer, or perhaps during her time on Luke's island. It remains to be seen.
Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying your Saturday!
I just wanted to take just a minute to update you on my newest blog series that will begin next Saturday! It's called "Cool Tech for Your Life." In this series, I'll be digging up one cool piece of consumer tech every week for you to enjoy--from cell phone accessories to smart devices to you name it!
It's part of my continuing effort to bring content to you, my readers, that you actually want to read. Since I already write about futuristic tech many times on Mondays, I thought this would be a great way to discuss futuristic tech that's actually on the market today or will be on the market soon.
This series will be replacing my "4 Awesome Products" series. As much of a success as it was and as much as I enjoyed finding geeky stuffs, I will be bringing it to an end as of today. Don't worry, though, I'm positive you'll enjoy this series just as much (if not more)!
That's all for this post. Thank you for your continuing support & enjoy the rest of your weekend!
For a moment, just a moment, I wonder how much time I've wasted.
How many times have I looked at my phone instead of talked with my parents? How many times have I chosen my own enjoyment over quality time with my siblings? Will I remember my family's voices when I'm apart from them? Have I really looked into their eyes and seen their color, their vibrancy? What more have I taken for granted?
Friends, if there is one thing I have learned, it is this: what we have now is not guaranteed to us. One thought terrifies me far more than the darkest fears the world may conjure--have I wasted my life? Have I truly valued what I have in this moment?
This is my desire: in my old age, the voices of my family shall not have faded from my ears. The memories of the time I spent with them has not ceased to warm my heart, and the love that their kind eyes staring into mine imparts will not have departed from my soul. "For," as I hope I shall declare, "I did not waste my life on the worthless things, the things that are here for only a little while and turn to dust. When we are all together behind those pearly gates, I will know their voices when they call to me; I will remember their embraces; I will recognize their laughs and their smiles. For I did not waste my life on the things that wrench the joys of life out of our fingers and leave them on the earth when we depart."
I pause. I set my phone, my music, and my distractions aside, and I take in the moment.
Of all the things I know I will regret when I am old, that will not be one of them.
Next time I say I'm crazy about Star Wars, you guys should believe me.
My initial plan for my recent senior trip was to spend a few days in London, England and then travel over to Dublin, Ireland for a few days. Of course, that was before I found out that Skellig Michael (a.k.a., the filming location for "Luke's Island," as it is known, for Star Wars: Episode VII and VIII) is in Ireland.
To be clear, Skellig Michael is nowhere close to Dublin. In fact, it's roughly 240 miles from the capital city. But, being the Star Wars superfan that I am, I had to go.
The fact that the island is located 240 miles from Dublin aside, getting to it from London is a rather difficult process. The closest city of notable size is Killarney (a town of about 14,000 that is absolutely lovely in its own right). Killarney has its own small airport, but getting to it requires a layover in Cork anyway; as such, my family and I decided to fly into Cork and take a train to Killarney. If you're as crazy as I am and actually decide to do this, I recommend taking this route as it affords you stunning views of the Irish countryside, which is every bit as beautiful as you are made to imagine.
On the train from Cork to Killarney
From Killarney, it's about an hour and a half drive to Portmagee (we did a day tour that took us here), a quaint seaside town of about 2,000. The influence of Star Wars is clear here, especially in The Bridge Bar, where Mark Hamill himself stopped in while filming the movies to grab a pint.
A challenge set up by The Bridge Bar in honor of Mark Hamill's visit
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!