In the real world, everything man-made, from iPods to chairs to kitchen utensils, has been designed. Someone conceived it, tried different approaches, tested it, then finally produced it. When something is poorly designed we notice it, either because it’s not attractive or because it doesn’t work well. We don’t seem to have the same standards for things in movies however, because most people haven’t caught on to the ludicrous design choices made in the Star Wars universe. John Scalzi has noticed though, and he’s put together a list of the most egregious errors. For example, here’s his take on R2-D2:
Sure, he’s cute, but the flaws in his design are obvious the first time he approaches anything but the shallowest of stairs. Also: He has jets, a periscope, a taser and oil canisters to make enforcer droids fall about in slapsticky fashion — and no voice synthesizer. Imagine that design conversation: “Yes, we can afford slapstick oil and tasers, but we’ll never get a 30-cent voice chip past accounting. That’s just madness.”
The list is hilarious and spot-on. I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before people take this concept and start applying a critical design eye to other sci-fi movies.