Star Wars, which celebrates its 30th anniversary May 25, gave the IT industry more than a collective hobby and heroes. Many of the technologies introduced in the original 1977 film and its two sequels are now everyday technologies.
2Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – Aerial Spy Droids = Predator Drones
The spy droid that crashes near the Rebel base at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back foreshadows the U.S. military’s Predator drones that now fly above battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq.
3Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – Stun Guns = Tazers
The stun gun used on Leia in Star Wars has a real-world equivalent in nonlethal weapons currently being tested–Tasers, sound-wave guns, microwave guns. No handheld blasters yet, though …
4Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – Handheld Communicators = Cell Phones
Who imagined when we first saw C-3POs handheld communicator that every preteen would one day possess similar technology?
5Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – R2-D2’s Probe = USB Devices and Thumb Drives
R2-D2s hacking arm that seemed to fit into every data outlet on the Death Star later came to be in the form of USB devices and thumb drives.
6Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – Holograms = Videoconferencing
Darth Vader kept in constant personal contact with the Emperor through his hologram, and now your boss can do the same with videoconferencing.
7Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – R2-D2’s Network Hacking Skills = Security Breaches
R2-D2s seemed to be able to break into any computer network anywhere in the galaxy any time he needed to rescue someone from imminent termination. Unfortunately this same skill set now resides with malicious hackers.
8Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – Skywalkers’ Bionic Arms = Prosthetic Limbs
Luke and Anakin’s bionic hand prostheses are coming close to reality.
9Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – R2-D2 = Robots
Robots are now nearly as robust and complex as R2-D2.
10Star Wars’ IT Legacy 30 Years Later – The Shouldas, Couldas and Wouldas
In 1977, many were certain that the next 30 years would bring us flying cars and personal aircraft, space travel (to other planets), and laser rifles and blasters, but alas, that was a long time ago.