A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

Yesterday’s post segues nicely into today’s. I am planning to give a talk in a few weeks at a company with which I share research interests. The title of the talk, which aims to provide a glimpse into the possible future of augmented reality, won’t be all that surprising to some of you who have been following this blog: “Beyond Princess Leia in a Beam of Light”.

My host and I both loved this title, but there was discussion among her colleagues about whether some of the younger people at the company would get it. I wasn’t all that worried. After all, some things are forever. Princess Leia in that beam of light is iconic, like Shakespeare, Bach, Sinatra, Marilyn. The Beatles. Right?

Well, this evening I found myself in front of a room of very smart and savvy master’s students, mostly in their early to mid twenties. A perfect opportunity to reassure myself that all was fine. I asked them whether the phrase “Princess Leia in a Beam of Light” raised any associations.

One student, very tentatively, said that he thought so, but he couldn’t be sure. None of the others had any idea what I was talking about.

Just to double check, I then asked them how many had seen “Star Wars”. Most raised their hands. I realize only now that when those students think of “Star Wars”, they might be thinking of something very different — something, perhaps, with Jar Jar Binks.


3 thoughts on “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”

  1. It’s interesting assuming the uncountable references to Star Wars in American pop culture (at least from an European point of view). I’m a master student in my mid-twenties, it’s part of -my- our childhood 🙂

  2. I saw the original Star Wars movies when they came out (and several times since). However, the title of your talk did not at all make me think of the holographic image of Princess Leia. Instead, I thought it referred to examining the notion of “Princess Leia” in a critical light (perhaps the idea of princesses, or the role of women in movies like Star Wars, etc etc etc).

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