Status Report: The Gadgets of Science Fiction

Either sci-fi film directors in the past were strangely prophetic, or the entire field of science is really just made up of geeks trying to recreate “Star Trek,” but for some reason there is quite a selection of gadgets available ripped straight from science fiction. From smartphones, to bluetooth headsets, to good old fashioned space ships, the amount of technology available that was once reserved for fictional far off worlds is quite impressive.

Yet for all of the progress made in the field of science fiction to science fact, there are a few notable items that are still not quite widely available as of yet. Tired of waiting (I blame this insta-result technology fueled world we live in) I’ve decided to check back in with some of the greatest sci-fi inventions of all time, and see where real life is in producing their equivalent.

Virtual Chess Board

In The Movies – The virtual chess board has made appearances here and there, but its spotlight moment has to be in “Star Wars” when R2-D2 played Chewbacca in a game. The game may not have exactly been chess, but it did show us two things. That chess would be much cooler if the pieces were homicidal holograms, and that you always let the wookie win.

In Real Life – While video games have been giving us virtual chess matches for years, we’re surprisingly behind as a society on recreating the physical experience. In fact, I had a tough time finding anything that comes close to the “Star Wars version” we are all familiar with, as that picture up there is just an LED set of chess pieces designed to give off the illusion (fooled ya). While several companies are investigating the potential for hologram technology (not to mention that Tupac thing), this is one seemingly simple (in comparison to some of the other items on this list) sci-fi invention that is lagging behind.

Laser Guns

In The Movies – There are too many incidents of laser guns in the movies to keep up with. From “Star Trek” to “Star Wars,” almost every science fiction work that feature shoot outs features lasers. Why? Well not only are they flashy, cool, and look better for the camera, but they’re really flashy, pretty damn cool, and look great on the camera.

In Real Life – Not surprisingly, while we are lagging on the recreation of  a holographic chess board experience, we’re well ahead of schedule on deadly laser projectiles. The army has several deadly prototypes available, but I’m more impressed by what’s being done on the civilian level. Particularly by the team down at

And to think respected scientists have been wasting their laser research time on medicine.

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Instead of Luke’s Lightsaber, here’s this

Picture 9

I wanted to put together a post today about the recently announced Blu-ray set of all six Star Wars films. The set includes never before seen footage, an exciting clip of which was shown at the Star Wars Celebration event. The clip showed Luke in a cave, creating his green lightsaber. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm has been crazy about removing it from YouTube and the like, so in it’s stead, I give you this – one of the funniest Star Wars spoofs I’ve ever seen. Thank you, Robot Chicken.

Sorry, folks. Adult Swim disables embeds.


Star Wars Periphs Coming to Wii This Fall

Tired of that painted cardboard tube you’ve been sliding over your Wiimote? Wish you could play homerun derby as Anakin? This fall you can ditch the cardboard and intimidate your fellow batters with…these plastic Star Wars peripherals.

We’re talking about the lightsaber/blaster you see pictured at right, the newest official peripherals to be licensed by LucasArts and Nintendo. The lightsaber comes in colors for Anakin or Yoda, while the blaster comes with some super nifty customizable stickers. YAY! Nothing like throwing stickers on your laser rifle from the future. Who’s a badass? You are, my friend. You are.

The rifle is built just like other rifles for the Wii, with a holster for both the Wiimote and the nunchuk, giving you double triggers and the necessary movement controls. Did I mention the stickers?

No word yet on pricing, and no one’s mentioned whether the lightsabers actually light up (and kill your Wiimote batteries), but I’d guess yes on the lighting and $25 on the price. Someone please make a hilarious video with these.


Star Wars Bookends – May the force hold up your books

Star Wars BookendsI can’t really say if this truly counts as a gadget or not, but I really don’t care. And I can’t really say that I’m the biggest Star Wars fan out there, but I do love the movies. So when someone like me runs across something like this, I have to share it with the world.

The Star Wars Shop has listed these truly amazing “Star Wars Trash Compactor Bookends” for pre-order. Here’s what the Star Wars Shop describes them as:

“One thing’s for sure. We’re all gonna be a lot thinner!” – Han Solo.

The valiant rescue of Princess Leia takes a turn for the worse when our heroes evade on-rushing stormtroopers by jumping down a garbage shoot. The situation turns grim when the dianoga shows up and the garbage compactor’s walls begin to close in! Cast in high quality poly-stone and hand painted to exacting standards. Each is numbered and comes complete with matching certificate of authenticity.

This limited edition measures 6 inches deep, 12 inches Wide and 7.5 inches high, and are well suited for DVD?s, books and graphic novels, and more. The modular aspect also allows the consumer to display them in a number of ways.

At $190 I don’t think I’ll be getting myself one. However, this would be a great gift for the purest Star Wars fanboys in your life. Buy them for someone else, I might.

Star Wars Bookends 2

Via: OhGizmo!