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Science Fiction Thursday: 'Star Wars' Digital Release, Alien Life, Paul Feig's 'Other Space'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 9, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 9, 2015 |

Did you know that Disney likes money? They’re releasing all six three Star Wars films this Friday digitally on iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, Playstation Store and Verizon Fios, half of which I assume are just made up names. Which is fantastic news if you want to pay for a fourth different iteration of the films you already have on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray. The best part is that the films won’t even take up any room on your shelves. And they said that the apogee of capitalism would be selling shit in a tube. Such lack of vision when you can sell people a few billion invisible zeros and ones that are already sitting on some piece of plastic in their house.

No word yet on whether these are the original versions in which Han shot first, which means that they’re not. But there are a bunch of digital extras that I don’t care about.

(source: Blastr)

In the real world, NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday that we’re totally going to find alien life in the next couple of decades. Says the Chief:

“I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years. We know where to look. We know how to look. In most cases we have the technology, and we’re on a path to implementing it. And so I think we’re definitely on the road.”

At first I rolled my eyes. Why 20? Why not 2? Why not 200? What makes you think that we’re going to magically detect some radio signals or whatever in that time. Then I thought, ah, maybe since our space program is all but dead anyway, the Chief has just taken to making fantastic claims to see if anyone is listening. But then I read further and saw that she was talking in the context of having found water throughout the solar system, and that she anticipated finding microbial life in one of those frozen puddles.

And that would be a fantastic discovery, don’t get me wrong. But … it seems like to the dreamers of science fiction it would be the ultimate excitement followed by the cold blast of reality. Microbes on Mars would be of enormous scientific importance, and yet somehow be all the more anticlimactic. We’re not alone! There’s invisible slime under an icecap, and I still have to go to work.


Finally, a trailer for a new science fiction web show (on Yahoo, home of the season of Community I totally forgot was happening) from Paul Feig called Other Space. It’s sort of a super low budget attempt at Red Dwarf style comedy, starring mostly recognizable actors from cell phone commercials. And I cannot for the life of me decide if I love it or hate it. Probably both.

(more info here)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.