• Obama's Death Star Response is Best Star Wars Tribute in History

      Sometimes, you just have to use a little Force. When a petition calling on the Obama Administration to begin building a Death Star by 2016 blasted past the 25,000 signatures necessary for an official response late last year, the White House could have gone any number of ways. It wasn't required to reply in a timely fashion; it could have stuck the whole thing in a drawer. The petition was obviously frivolous; it could have just said thanks, but no thanks.



      But the President, a known sci-fi geek who once flashed a Vulcan salute with a Lieutenant from the Starship Enterprise, evidently opted for a third direction. The response would be written promptly, in full, with as many lovingly-chosen Star Wars references as possible pressed into the service of soaring scientific rhetoric.

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      Comments 9 Comments
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Yeah, that pretty much is the greatest White House Star Wars reference of all time, kicks the crap out of Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative to put expensive space-based weapons into orbit (Lucas complained bitterly about the use of his brand's name for that use, IIRC). Anyway, here's the letter and it's outstanding: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/res...-youre-looking
        It's also informative, I had no idea NASA had a program named "C3PO", and it links to the Voyager spacecraft which my grandfather worked on. And a link to a picture of Obi-Bama using a Hasbro basic lightsaber to fence. And it cites that the Force is with us at the end, swank!
      1. indyjones1981's Avatar
        indyjones1981 -
        Hi JT,

        The official name of President Reagan's 1980's idea was called SDI which stands for Strategic Defense Initiative. It was the media that called it Star Wars. President Reagan and the US Gov't did not call it Star Wars they always referred it by its given name SDI. That was a funny answer by the Obama White House for sure.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Quote Originally Posted by indyjones1981 View Post
        Hi JT,

        The official name of President Reagan's 1980's idea was called SDI which stands for Strategic Defense Initiative. It was the media that called it Star Wars. President Reagan and the US Gov't did not call it Star Wars they always referred it by its given name SDI. That was a funny answer by the Obama White House for sure.
        Apparently the media only spread it from Senator Ted Kennedy's speech being the first place, but I did know that Reagan didn't call it that, I just couldn't think of anything that tied Star Wars to the White House before this. Lucas did complain about the use though, I believe.
      1. indyjones1981's Avatar
        indyjones1981 -
        Hi JT,

        Lucas was miffed that SDI was called Star Wars. Reagan wanted to visit the Skywalker Ranch/ILM in 1986 or so but Lucas denied the request. Some think it was because the whole SDI/Star Wars issue. Also do you know if and when the Endor AT-AT is coming out? I never saw it at TOY R US in the US in the 4th quarter in 2012 but I did score a Falcon in Vintage packaging for half price.
        Europe Toys R US did get the Endor AT-AT.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        I hadn't remembered that Reagan was turned down for a visit by Lucas, that's pretty wild stuff to turn down a sitting president.

        I posted a more detailed response on the Endor AT-AT in the other thread you posted, but right now I don't think there's a known street date, it didn't get a US release when it was supposed to, we'll hopefully learn more next month at Toy Fair.
      1. indyjones1981's Avatar
        indyjones1981 -
        Hi JT,

        Reagan may have finally received a tour after his Presidential term was finished but can not confirm that. For a President to come and visit a business can be a pain for the host business because of all the security preperation and visits by the Secret Service. Lucas may have thought it might be too disruptive. Which is possible and understandable. Thanks.
      1. bigbarada's Avatar
        bigbarada -
        Not really an Obama fan, but this is a pretty cool story. I guess I could make some snide remark about how his administration probably has more important things that they could be spending their time on, but I can let that slide.

        I do remember SDI and I was always under the assumption that "Star Wars" was the nickname chosen by it's designers. Interesting to hear that it was just a media nickname that took on a life of its own.

        Personally, I always thought SDI was pretty awesome and I never understood the outcry against it.

        Wasn't Reagan's use of the term "evil empire" to describe the USSR the first use of a Star Wars reference in world politics?
      1. indyjones1981's Avatar
        indyjones1981 -
        bigbarada yes you have a good memory. Reagan's use of the term "evil empire". Was made around 1983.

        JT your thoughts.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Quote Originally Posted by indyjones1981 View Post
        Hi JT,

        Reagan may have finally received a tour after his Presidential term was finished but can not confirm that. For a President to come and visit a business can be a pain for the host business because of all the security preperation and visits by the Secret Service. Lucas may have thought it might be too disruptive. Which is possible and understandable. Thanks.
        Ah, perhaps Lucas didn't want to show political favoritism then if he did give a tour to Reagan.

        I remember when Reagan would come to the LA area, often to visit his ranch north of the valley I think, and he'd land at Santa Monica airport and shut that part of the city down hard.

        Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
        Not really an Obama fan, but this is a pretty cool story. I guess I could make some snide remark about how his administration probably has more important things that they could be spending their time on, but I can let that slide.

        I do remember SDI and I was always under the assumption that "Star Wars" was the nickname chosen by it's designers. Interesting to hear that it was just a media nickname that took on a life of its own.

        Personally, I always thought SDI was pretty awesome and I never understood the outcry against it.

        Wasn't Reagan's use of the term "evil empire" to describe the USSR the first use of a Star Wars reference in world politics?
        Outreach is important, there's no way any one administration can tackle all the nation's woes one at a time, growing the government "brand" by addressing a small vocal minority is not a waste of time. There will always be more important things for an administration to do.

        I think it's more interesting to learn that it's Ted Kennedy who came up with it.

        Reagan's "evil empire" came around ROTJ's release in '83 back when the concept of the Star Wars empire was a really big deal, so there was definitely a sense of connection to the concept. But it's entirely likely that Reagan wasn't intentionally tapping into the zeitgeist when using that term, as it fit with his point quite even without the Star Wars aspect. I don't believe there's ever been an official claim to the show intentionally connection with the ideas, but again, this would be about the media or the public inference over implied ideas.
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