Rumors of (Star) Wars

I’ve been pretty negative about the new Star Wars movie, reminding everyone within earshot that, while we all admit that the prequels were pretty awful, we should also recall that the original trilogy was no great shakes either, other than being remembered through the same haze of nostalgia that makes us think fondly of The Lord of the Rings trilogy until, being daft enough to attempt a re-read, we find ourselves in a scene in which, as the fellowship travels through a forest, we are presented with five pages consisting of descriptions of each individual leaf.

Thus, while if the film is exceptionally well-received, I might at some point go see it to find out what all the fuss is about (that is, for the sole reason that anyone with a scintilla of intelligence or taste would read The DaVinci Code), the very last thing I ever considered was attending its opening. But I must admit that I am beginning to rethink this. Why? Because against the expense, the lines, and the near-certainly of having to sit through endless light-saber duels has to be weighed the absolute guarantee of not encountering Erick Erickson.

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50 thoughts on “Rumors of (Star) Wars

      • You could pretty trivially have the emergency exits lock from the outside (and theater owners might even want to do that, if they have a significant problem with people sneaking in), but that would probably be detrimental if you were dealing with more than one person and might cause other issues in other kinds of emergencies. Anything remotely effective is probably going to require a good bit of money from the theater, plus oversight on the part of the government (meaning money).

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        • I’m pretty sure they already do that, to prevent people from sneaking in. Presumably he propped it open as he left. I’m surprised there wasn’t an alarm. I accidentally walked out of a store’s emergency exit when I was a kid, and there was a very loud alarm.

          Edit: More on theater emergency exits. As I suspected, the police believe he propped it open.

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          • Reasons I can think of for not having emergency doors at a theater alarmed in the sense of loud horns going off and the lights coming on:

            It seems like an invitation for pranks. Sit near the emergency exit, than half-way through the movie open the door and run like hell away into the dark outside. A particularly nasty prank, since if people panic someone’s likely to get trampled.

            If triggered by accident, it will probably take several minutes to shut down. If I were at the performance, I’d demand a refund — expensive if lots of people do it. This alone would seem to dictate that theater operators use “silent” alarms that simply turn on a light on a console somewhere, and an employee comes around to investigate quietly later — maybe even after the movie ends.

            Many theaters use the “emergency” exits as normal exits at the end of the movie. Adding complexity to the alarm system so that it is automatically disabled several times per day adds to the ways it can fail when you need it. Getting the timing right on that will be tricky given contemporary exit patterns: some patrons bolt as soon as the credits start to roll, some wait until the credits are done. (Marvel Films may be breaking people of the habit of leaving early with their little “Easter egg” vignettes embedded in the middle of the credits.)

            While possibly (probably?) effective against a deranged individual like the Aurora, CO theater shooting, much less so against even two organized better-armed terrorists. On a cell-phone signal, the person in the theater opens the door and the alarm goes off; within seconds, while the patrons are still figuring out what they should do, the outside person has stepped in and thrown the IED into the crowd.

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  1. Thing about fear is, you can’t reason with it. The amygdala acts on its own and listens to no one else. Frequently causes improvident decisions, when it becomes active at inappropriate times. So it’s best not to overstimulate it all the time, but Erickson is long past that point, methinks.

    Now, I’m unlikely to see the movie that first weekend too. But my amygdala has got nothing to do with that: this is simply a preference to avoid dense crowds.

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  2. Burt Likko: Yet no one suggests cowering in fear of the highways.

    Who besides yourself made any mention of cowering in fear? No one that I can see, so it would seem you are creating your own strawman. Sure there are risks in everything we do, the solution is to recognize those risks and attempt to migrate them.

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  3. I don’t want to live in a country where there are metal detectors in theaters, not that I think they’d do much good. It’s just “security theater” like at the airport. If someone’s willing to trade their life for the death of another, there’s not much you can do to prevent it and keep any semblance of a free society.

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    • Damon,
      This is freakin’ easy for you to say, because you’ve never had someone stupidly grab a knife and try to stab you. Metal Detectors aren’t for seriously dangerous people, they’re for the dopes that “bring a gun/knife” wherever they go, unless specified otherwise.

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    • I will actually be in Mexico (Morelia to be exact) when The Force Awakens is released, so it will be fun to see how that country deals with the crowds and hypothetical terrorist problems. Something tells me ISIS threats will not be an issue in the area.

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