Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Ok, so I saw the new Star Wars flick but I'm not going to give you a review. Instead, I'm going to write about one of its characters: Jocasta Nu - the "Jedi Librarian" and tell a little cautionary tale.

You see, long long ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a Jedi Archive - which looks remarkably like the Old Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and it is in this archive where one Obi-Wan searches for the location of a distant planet for reasons explained fully in the movie.

"Having to find the location of a distant planet, he searches the Jedi Archives for its location. However, he doesn't find anything on the maps in the vicinity of where the planet should be. Jocasta aproaches him, and conducts a short reference interview. Kanobi explains what info he needs and what attempts he has made to find an answer. At this point Jocasta acts in a highly unprofessioal manner. A bit bratty, she claims that if the archive doesn't list it, it doesn't exist..."

Minor spoiler alert - Obi Wan soon learns that someone has removed the record of the planet from the archive.

Ok, here's the cautionary tale: by one simple act of destroying the record of a planet from the archive, Jedi knowledge of the planet has disappeared. It is a very simple way of cloaking a planet.

Do you remember George Orwell's 1984? Do you remember what Winston, the protagonist, does for a living? He works at the Ministry of Truth protecting the population from 'truth'. But he doesn't destroy books - he destoys the records used to find the books. And with no records available to locate the items, the books may as well be on another planet.

Star Wars II: Attack of the Cataloguers!

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