NASA Mistakes Star Wars for Reality, to Launch Lightsaber Into SpaceS

Now the US space program has really jumped the shark. The Space Shuttle Discovery will carry into space Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, a prop used in Star Wars. The entire journey of this movie prop will be accompanied with crazy fanfare—from prop shop to space and back—all in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the 1977 premiere of the first Star Wars movie.

The movie prop will be given the star treatment, handed over by an actor dressed in a Chewbacca suit to Space Center officials—presumably the instigators of this shameless publicity stunt—to be carried to Houston. There the lightsaber will be met by other actors dressed as Stormtroopers, and along with an R2-D2 robot, will accompany the sacred weapon to a museum where it'll be kept until it's launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on October 23.

Here's a message for the space program: Star Wars was a work of fiction, a movie, and didn't really happen. And if it did, Luke Skywalker would wonder where this space shuttle was going with this fictional object. "Low Earth orbit? A movie prop is going aboard a space station? Really?" So now the problem-plagued space shuttle has nothing better to do than carry toy fictional props back and forth into space? And just who's paying for this? Pathetic. [Houston Business Journal]