Saturday, September 29, 2007

What's the Point?

Today... with the Brain From Planet X having *1* more performance, there's an article in the New York Times that mentions it. (Says the first half is funny, second half too long.)

New York Times article on the festival.

Indeed, I think all the plays the author mentions in this article only have 1 performance left... while plays that are coming up... such as The Last Starfighter, aren't mentioned at all. (Well, of course they can't be as they hadn't been seen, but still...mention that they're about to open or something!)

Apparently there was much drama at the opening night of the Last Starfighter, doubtless of a technical basis behind the scenes, but the guy wasn't explicit...members of the audience seemed to like it, according to posts I've seen...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Last Starfighter/Brain From Planet X

I'll be putting up a page in the Theatre section of The Thunder Child, providing links to all the press that these two shows received, in their appearances not only at the New York Theater Festival but also in other venues where they were produced. (Both shows have been produced before, and indeed, have cast albums available from )

But, since I don't have time to assemble everything today, I'll just start out with the latest Playbill article for The Last Starfighter.

Playbill: The Last Starfighter

If you're in New York and are a fan of SF, go see these shows!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Women and Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, Debate on Women’s Right to Drive

This is a must-read article for people living in the USA. Any woman living in a Muslim country - whether that country is secular or ruled by their priests - is in danger of having her freedoms stripped away, her identity as a human being as equal as the next human being stripped away...on the whim of the ruling class...

Don't let it happen here...and let's help the women there. Don't know how to do that yet, but I'll be researching NOW and other women's rights organizations to see what is being done.

The Last Starfighter musical now in New York

The Last Starfighter - info on the show, dates and times: Sept 28 - Oct 7

The Brain From Planet X - info on the show - dates and times. Only two days left, Sept 28 and Sept 30

Is science fiction musical theater dead? If we're to go by the reception of the New York Musical Theater Festival production, The Brain From Planet X, it might be. But there's one more sci fi musical to be seen, The Last Starfighter, which starts tomorrow.

There are 30 productions being put on during this three week Festival, only two of them with a science fiction theme. If I were in New York I'd go see both of them - although I don't care for the type of humor apparently on display in Brain and I didn't particularly like the movie version of The Last Starfighter!

I've been keeping track of the evolution of The Brain From Planet X, because its producer/director/co-writer/lyricist has a blog where he's been detailing this every step of the way, from gathering the money to put the show on, to casting it, to rehearsing, to actually doing the show. It's a fascinating insight into how these things are done, and i must say the level of ineptitude displayed - NOT by the Brain people but by the Festival people, is really shocking. I could think this guy was exaggerating, except I've been reading reviews of the other shows and they comment on show start timess delayed because of sound problems, and mikes not working during preformances - which is what happened to the Brain... and I just don't understand it. I know quality is going down in practically every profession...but the theatre too? [Well, better the theatre than the construction industry, but the quality of work in the construction industry is in the toilet, too. But that's a rant for another day.]

Anyway, the Brain had its opening night, and apparently a critic from the New York Times was there. But, I've yet to see a review from the Times. I have seen some other reviews, which praise the actors but criticize the book and music. [So I found it kind of amusing that when the guy referenced above tried to "shill" his show [his words] on a site called TalkinBroadway, he referenced that the show had gotten mediocre reviews, but that was when the kinks were still being worked out, and now they were solved. Ignoring the fact that the reviews had praised the actors and had not mentioned the technical problems...only criticizing the things that the technical difficulties had had nothing to do with - the book and the music!]

So, I'm surfing the web trying to find comments from audience members who actually saw the show. There are threads for the Festival on TalkinBroadway and at Broadway World...and no one at TalkinBroadway mentions the show at all, but they do mention other Festival shows, and it took the longest time for somebody on BroadwayWorld to talk about the show - and they referenced the humor that I know I wouldn't like...

Upshot of all the above is...The Brain From Planet X does not appear to even be a blip on the radar at the Festival. It had first been staged in Los Angeles, with different actors, and had been "invited" to do the Festival (but they still had to pay to put it on, the Festival just provides the space.)

Anyway, an education into the world of the theatre.

I wish the guy doing The Last Starfighter would have a blog as well, but he doesn't. But I'm sure he's having the same kind of technical problems as the Brain guy. Apparently they rehearse in one location, and only get to see the theater they'll actually be performing in... on the day that that is to occur! No wonder sound problems are a given. Again, the Festival people are to blame for that, not the show itself.

So...the tickets are only $20, as compared to $50 or more for regular productions...and at only $20, why not go out and see these shows?

I hope to have better news to report on the reception of The Last Starfighter. It'll be interesting to see if it gets any reviews!

The theme of this entry is to wonder whether an SF musical is viable in New York. However, it must be remembered that the Festival allows these shows NO advertising budget... so if people aren't a fan of theatre/musical theatre to begin with..chances are they will never even learn about these shows...

If advertising were available...who knows?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Women's college basketball discussed on PTI!

Discussion of women's sports is not a thing you normally see on any major sports station, be it radio or TV, so I was pleased to see this:

Pardon the interuption link

The PTI folks discssing Pat Summitt's cancellation of The Game. The rivalry game between UConn and Tenn that had been going on for 9 years at least.

I'm a fan of Pat Summitt's, but I was a bigger fan before she did this. Not so much because she cancelled The Game... but because she won't say why! Thus leaving it out there for people to gossip and spread rumors....Oh, he must have done something terrible, when more than likely it's just because she "hates Geno's guts" (he is sarcastic) and doesn't want to play him any more.

If that's the case, just say so. But to leave everyone hanging, and free to gossip and speculate... not good.

American Apartheid?

Now that my Seattle Mariners are out of the race, I've begun to look at the other teams, whom I hope will kick Yankees butt!

And I've settled on the Red Sox.

The Red Sox have a rookie outfielder named Jacoby Ellsbury, who played during September when Manny Ramirez was out with an injury. Since I've got MLB.TV and watch the games on my computer, I've been able to see those games.

The first game with Ellsbury that I saw, just a week or so ago, the announcers of course mentioned his Navajo heritage, and that he was the first Indian of Navajo descent in the major leagues. So, without even knowing anything else about him, I automatically wanted him to do well.

Then I actually saw him play - the way he covers the field with abaondon, is willing to sacrifice his body (i.e. running over a few chairs) in order to catch a ball, etc. and I became a fan of his as a baseball player, as well.

And put together a biography and a newstracker page. You can find the biography here.

Jacoby Ellsbury bio

But in doing this research I found some troubling and depressing things.

Now, I'm from Minnesota which has a couple of Indian reservations, and money pours into those reservations from casinos... and apparently the only money-making thing that Indians can do on the worthless land that makes up these reservations is casinos. [why else were they moved to them in the 1800s, eh? You think if the land was good for anything they'd've been allowed to have it?] As the old joke was, "White folk took away the land, and now the Indians are getting it back a nickel at a time."

But I digress.

The point is Jacoby, who is only half Navajo - his mother married a white man - was brought up IN American society, not segregated away in a reservation. And that's why he's succeeding.

According to one article I read, Billy Mills calls reservations American apartheid - and indeed there is a book out, published in 1997, with that title ...about the white man's practice of segregating the Indian away from the whites. [Now there's issues there that I can think of...but I haven't read the book and I expect it's too depressing for me to want to read, but...]

But , for whatever reason the Indians were sent to reservations then, it's still going on today, and that's what's troubling. The Indian Nations are sovereign countries, and I'd have not word one to say about them if these reservations were prosperous [and the top people are, thanks to that casino money], their people well-educated and well-employed, with school drop-outs and alcoholism not a major problem.

But the opposite, unfortunately, seems to be the case. The average Native American, of any tribe, seems to be set up for failure from the get go... which is *not* the same as the blacks and latinos in ghettos and the barrios, because there the children grow up integrated into American society - and should they get a good education and a good job they could get out of those poor areas and into better ones with no "culture shock" except the one we all go through when we can live a life of luxury! But Indians are raised differently on reservations... they can't get out.

Okay, that's an observation from just a couple of days quick research, but that seems to be the case. Whether the fault lies within the Tribal Leadership, or the American government's propensity to turn thriving, active people into welfare recipients and then make sure they stay that way, I'm not sure.

But I hope Jacoby Ellsbury can be a standard bearer for all Native Americans - get an education, get a job you like and be happy, and be proud of your roots. And, while it's not necessary to "get off the reservation,".... lose the reservation mentality. Whatever the tragedies of the past, it's now the 21st century and time to move into the future and integrate with the rest of the country.

And moreso than that, he must be a standard bearer to Majority America - that when people are not held down by prejudice, either overt or covert, they can all reach the heights.

That's a lot to put on one man's shoulders. I hope he can do it. I hope they can do it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I disliked Stardust (2007) - the wrong story told

I went to see Stardust yesterday. My reviewer had seen it a few weeks ago, and indeed, her favorable review appears here:

Stardust review by Kristie Groves

I'd also read about the movie on a feminism in science fictin blog, which took issue with the typical stereotypes - the men in the story are going after a kingdom, the women - i.e. Michelle Pfeiffer - just want to be young again... [I had intended to share the link of that blog here as something well worth reading at anytime, but I can't find the link though I thought it had it bookmarked and I don't have time to search for it right now!]

Anyway, for me, the movie was spoiled from the get-go, for a reason that I haven't seen anyone else complain about (not that I've read more than two pieces on it, but still...)

The opening of the movie is a prologue of something that had occurred 18 years before. A young man sneaks through "the Wall" into a magic kingdom, where he meets a woman who is enslaved to a witch. He tries to free her by cutting the silver chain that binds her to the witch's caravan (the witch being absent), but it reforms. The woman will be free only when the witch is dead.

But, she draws the young man into the caravan, they have sex, and nine months later, a baby is delivered through the wall to the young man -- who has returned to his own world -- who raises it. And it is that baby grown to manhood, who is the hero of the story.

And I'm thinking to myself...what the hell? Why was the young woman left a slave to the witch? Why didn't the man do a leetle bit more to try to rescue her - like killing the witch, etc. Why is she left a slave for 18 more years???

Of course she has to be, because it's the boy's desire to see his mother which helps draw him into that world... but still...I was just enraged from the beginning and I never did un-enraged.

As a whole the movie is... all right. An annoying love story, with the hero taught a lesson. I love the Lightning Catching balloon and the Robert DeNiro interlude, Michelle Pfeiffer was certainly having fun and made a good and powerful villainess... but yes, the stereotypes about women were in full force.

And yet... my young reviewer saw nothing of that.... only us middle-aged women do... scary, that!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Women Behind the Men

Another article of interest:

The Women Behind the Men
Daisy Bates had to march with the wives.

When the nation observes the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock school desegregation on Monday, there will undoubtedly be a great deal said about Bates, who was head of the city’s N.A.A.C.P. chapter. She helped recruit nine black teenagers and escorted them through irate mobs of white adults and into their first classes. As a result, she and her husband, Lucius, lost their business. She was jailed, threatened and the Ku Klux Klan burned an 8-foot cross on her lawn.

Bates was invited, of course, to the famous March on Washington in 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Rosa Parks was invited, too, and Pauli Murray, the lawyer and feminist who had staged the first sit-in at a Washington restaurant during World War II.

When they got there, they were all assigned to walk with the wives of the male civil rights leaders, far away from the cameras. “Not a single woman was invited to make one of the major speeches or be part of the delegation of leaders who went to the White House. The omission was deliberate,” Murray said later.

See link for complete article

Gerda Taro - first female war photographer

Okay, not SF, but I find it interesting.

A Wartime Photographer in Her Own Light
Sometime in the spring of 1936, the lovers and photographers André Friedmann and Gerta Pohorylle changed their names and, in the process, the history of photography. To distinguish themselves from other Jewish émigrés in Paris at the time, Mr. Friedmann, a Hungarian Jew, took the name Robert Capa; Ms. Pohorylle, also Jewish and born in Poland, became Gerda Taro. Working at times as “Capa,” an imaginary American photographer, they began documenting the Spanish Civil War, capturing the ruined towns and devastated civilians and soldiers on the Republican side.

Gerda Taro Mr. Capa went on to become one of the world’s greatest war photographers. But Ms. Taro, seen by many as the first woman known to photograph a battle from the front lines and to die covering a war, survived in the public eye mostly for her romance with Mr. Capa.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Books, Books, Books everywhere

Here are the books that *I* am personally trying to read and review. I don't count the many books that my two reviewers have outstanding...

Hispanic-American Scientists, by Walter Olesky. Not a new book, 1998 copyright. But I do retro-reviews and there's a chapter in this book on astronaut Ellen Ochoa, as well as Adriana Ocamo - planetary geologist, snd physicist Luis Alvarez among others.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, by Warren Buckland. New book on Spielberg. Academic rather than "popular" writing.

Storms of Vengeance, Book 1 of the Lorrada Stone, by John Beachem.

Hal Spacejock, by Simon Haynes. A book from Austrakia that Simon was good enough to send me for review. "Better thn Red Dwarf" is the blurb on the cover.

The Electric Church, by Jeff Somers.

Swords and Sorcery: How to Draw Fantastic Fantasy Adventure Comics, by Bryan Buagh.

Fast, Cheap and Under Control, by John Gaspard. A book about independent movies and how they're made. Only a couple of mentions of science fiction movies, but I think it's worth reviewing.

Musical Science Fiction Theater in New York right now

Here's the link to a Broadway page that has a clip of an interview with the creator of The Last Starfighter musical, now playing on Broadway as part of the New York Theater Festival. Only has a run of a couple of weeks.

There's also a musical called The Brain From Planet X, which opened yesterday and will also run for a couple of weeks.

Tickets to the festival only cost $20, for good seats in a small theater, rather than Broadway's traditional $50 for nosebleed seats at the back of the auditorium.

So check 'em out!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Journalistic ethics

On my desktop newsfeed today, from CNN, was this headline:

Bush: MoveOn's Petraeus 'disgusting'

This headline puzzled me, as I thought Petraeus was on Bush's side, and did not "belong" to MoveOn...and why would Bush think Petraeus was disgusting...had Petraeus "betrayed" Bush and gone over to MoveOn???

So I clicked on the link, and was brought to CNN's article, where the headline said: Bush: ad on Petraeus 'disgusting'

That little word, that key little word, "ad" had been left out of the desktop headline - the headline that everyone would see - not just those who took the time to look further.

Now, somebody with not a lot of time, looks at that headline but doesn't bother to read it, is only going to see that "Bush thinks Petraeus is disgusting" and that's going to prejudice their minds against either Petraeus, Bush or both.

Now, was this a legitimate oversight on somebody's part, or was it done deliberately?

I must say that I am pretty much in despair about the political climate in the good ol' US, anyway. I've always maintained that all politicians - Republican or Democrat - are crooks, and that's pretty much being proved day after day. From the Republicans who say they stand for family values and then turn around and have gay sex with people in bathroom Democrats who take campaign contributions from felons... they're all the same.

(And as an aside, I have no problem with gays getting married, for example, - there's so much hatred in this world that if two people want to commit to each other formally, more power to them! And I'd hope that their marriage is more successful than the majority of straight marriages.)

If you study the history of journalism, it's really rather sad, as the myth about journalistic ethics, journalistic fairness is pretty much stripped away from the get go. And it's only getting worse... you can't really trust any newspaper - paper or online... to tell you the truth about anything. Each one has its own agenda, it's own political party it supports, and its reporting style is biased in that direction.

And I don't think people realize this. Otherwise it wouldn't still be going on, surely! Surely people, if they'd cared, would have revolted before now and said, "Hey, stop with the biased reporting already. Fair and balanced, that's what we want."

Another example, something that always gets my knickers in a twist, is when the news media reports poll results. "A majority of Americans say they want to impeach So and So." or "Americans think So and So is the sexist person on earth." Then you go to the small print at the very bottom of the article, and this "majority" or these "Americans" turn out to be a grand total of 1,000 people that the media talked to.

What the media will tell you is that the opinions of one person can be extrapolated to be the opinions of 1,000, but that's not really the case. I think it's more accurate to say that 1,000 people read that "A majority of Americans think that So and So should be impeached," and believe the headline and decide that that's what they'll think, too. Subtle difference.

Anyway, end of rant. I've got to go read some books.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Doctor Who: Sword of Orion

Another Paul McGann Doctor Who serial, also 2 episodes aired every day:

Doctor Who: Sword of Orion
Sword of Orion: The Doctor and Charley set off to the Garazone System bazaar, but instead discover a deadly enemy on a derelict star destroyer. Episode 1 of 4.

Doctor Who: Sword of Orion
Sword of Orion: To prove that he and Charley are innocent of murder and get the TARDIS back, the Doctor must face the deadly Cybermen. Episode 2 of 4.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Paul McGann's Doctor Who returns to BBC 7

Thursday - 2 episodes of Storm Warning
Friday - final 2 episodes of Storm Warning

The actor who played Roj Blake in Blake's 7, Gareth Thomas, has a guest-starring role.

Doctor Who: Storm Warning
It's 1930, and the airship R101's first flight. Who is the odd passenger in cabin 43? And why is a sixties police box on board? Episode 1 of 4.

Doctor Who: Storm Warning
The R101 is under attack, the storm is breaking, and the passenger in cabin 43 needs to see the Doctor. Episode 2 of 4.

Doctor Who: Storm Warning
While the Doctor makes a journey into the spaceship interior, Rathbone prepares to carry out his mission. Paul McGann stars. Episode 3 of 4.

Doctor Who: Storm Warning
The Doctor and Charley help the R101 crew escape from the aliens, only to run into more problems closer to home. Episode 4 of 4.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Looney Tunes Golden Collection

Disc 1 photo essay continued

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 1

Disc 1 Photo Essay: Bugs Bunny cartoons

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shada on BBC Radio 7

Shada is the famous Tom Baker Doctor Who serial that went unfinished because of a BBC strike. It has been redone for radio. Lalla Ward reprises her role as Romana, and Paul McGann does the Doctor. It's quite good, although of course I longed to hear Tom Baker in the role.

Anyway, first time I heard it, last year, it was 30 minutes once a day. This time around, they're playing two episodes a day, so you can hear the whole thing in just 3 days.

Also on offer, on Tuesday, is:

The Cabaret of Dr Caligari
The Homeless Who Ate London: London is in crisis as a people-eating Blob is let loose on the rampage. With Sylvester McCoy and John Woodvine.

The Cabaret of Dr. Caligari is an actual horror even though this might be interesting, I ain't gonna listen to it. (And of course Sylvester McCoy played a Doctor, but that's not enough to make me want to listen...I can take tongue-in-cheek horror, but I kind of think this is serious...)

My rant of the day

If there's one thing that annoys me more than anything else, when it comes to reading is books that don't have indexes. How can a non-fiction book not have an index??? It is an affront before god and man, if I may paraphrase William Daniel's John Adams.

I've got a handful of non-fiction books in front of me, most of which I do not have time to read. I'm trying to do research on specific topics -- All I'm interested in is certain portions of the books, therefore. They may or may not even talk about the period of time/people I'm interested in... but since they don't have indexes I can't find out in a mere 30 seconds, I'm forced to read each book.

Annoys me no end.

Some time ago I started putting together indexes of non-fiction books, for my own use. I'm going to revive that practice and put these indexes on my website (Ghost Guns Virginia) for everyone's use. So at least future researchers won't have to go through this!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tough days...

I was sick all day yesterday, and am not feeling too well today, so I'm behind on my reading and reviewing.

In addition to several fiction books I've got, I'm expecting reviews from my reviewers, and I today got Into the Unknoown, the fantastic life of Nigel Kneale (creator of Quatermass).

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is there nothing original on TV these days??

I've been watching football most of the day...and I keep seeing ads for a show called which a guy (why is it women never get to be the heroines of these kinds of tv shows?) travels back in time to fix other people's problems.

My that sounds kind of familiar. Kind of like Quantum Leap, eh? Except instead of being in someone else's body he just knows what's going to happen and saves the day. Kind of a combination of Quantum Leap and... was it called Front Page, where a newspaper delivered every day tells a guy what he has to do to fix other people's problems.

I wouldn't mind it so much if they'd give a woman a chance to do these heroic things - but the closest we ever got to that was Touched By an Angel - a copy of Michael Landon's show...

A show called Chuck...Saving the World at $11 An Hour might be kind of cute. From the ads it looks like we've got a karate chopping female secret agent, and a male geek with the brains and, I think, a photographic memory, who saves the day for her on a regular basis.

I don't have a lot of time to watch TV these days...indeed I cringe to think how much time I've wasted watching football today, and will undoubtedly waste on subsequent Sundays...but hey, it's football.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle (88) has died.

Author Madeleine L'Engle dies at 88
By CARA RUBINSKY, Associated Press Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. - Author Madeleine L'Engle, whose novel "A Wrinkle in Time" has been enjoyed by generations of schoolchildren and adults since the 1960s, has died, her publicist said Friday. She was 88.

L'Engle died Thursday at a nursing home in Litchfield of natural causes, according to Jennifer Doerr, publicity manager for publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


She was the author of A Wrinkle in Time, one of my favorite books as a child, and indeed I still read it occasionally today. I didn't really like the rest of her books..although it's been a long time since I tried to read them... but
A Wrinkle in Time is a classic. And you need to read this and NOT mess with the bad TV adaption they did a few years ago. Why do the nimnuls who do TV and movie adaptions always try to "improve" what doesnt' need to be improved????

Isaac Asimov's prediction...

Many years ago, Asimov wrote an essay in which he predicted that one day, half the population would be entertaining the other half. Well, that day is here, now.

There's all sorts of videos on Youtube, MySpace and Google now, of people doing really, really stupid things which they think are clever (I'm not talking about the cute videos of animals doing funny things, but the disgusting videos of people getting drunk and vomiting, etc. etc.)

But what's got me a bit upset this morning is the fact that, on the ABC News website, there is a video of some woman being questioned about the death of her daughter, whom she had left strapped in a car seat for 7 hours last month while she was at her work as a principle in some school. Videos of grieving parents outside their home shouldn't be shown, but videos of people being interrogated in police stations certainly shouldn't be shown! Whatever happened to people's privacy?

As for moms or dads who leave their babies strapped into cars on hot days... don't people ever learn???? Not a summer goes by where this doesn't happen at least once! Since people are too stupid to look after their own kids, time for the government to step in and make it mandatory that cars put in some kind of alarm system that will ping very loudly if there's a weight in a car seat when the car door is closed, and there's no corresponding weight in the driver's seat.

I joke - I don't think the goverment should get involved. But perhaps baby seat manufacturers could do something along those lines...

And don't even get me started on the cop who left his police dog in a hot car for 11 hour. I hope he's sentenced to have to stay in a police car in the same conditions for 11 hours (wearing a fur suit, not allowed to pee) and see how he likes it.

Well, sorry for the off-topic rant, but people are getting to me today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Killer Asteroid Traced in Space

Killer Asteroid Traced in Space
Richard Ingham, AFP, Discovery News
Sept. 5, 2007 — The extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago can be traced to a collision between two monster rocks in the asteroid belt nearly 100 million years earlier, scientists report on Wednesday.

The smash drove a giant sliver of rock into Earth's path, eventually causing the climate-changing impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs and enabled the rise of mammals — including, eventually, us.

Other asteroid fragments smashed into the Moon, Venus and Mars, pocking their faces with mighty craters, the researchers believe.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Luke Skywalker's light sabre will go to the space station

News Bytes of the Week—Lightsaber to fly on shuttle
from Science News
a photo-op plucked straight from nerd heaven, a phalanx of Stormtroopers converged this week on Houston's William P. Hobby Airport to escort a NASA official carrying the lightsaber prop wielded by actor Mark Hamill in the 1983 movie Star Wars. The event was hatched to drum up press for the geek icon's scheduled flight to and from the International Space Station on board the shuttle Discovery in October, in celebration of the movie's 30-year anniversary, according to news reports. Chewbacca the Wookie jumped through hyperspace to California, where he handed the Jedi weapon to Roger Bornstein, director of marketing for NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, who then rendezvoused with representatives of the Dark Side in Texas. No word on whether space traitor Lando Calrissian was involved in the transaction. (NASA shuttle to launch Luke's lightsaber |