Nasa / Space

The idiotic engineer behind Star Wars' worst tech


From Something Awful comes this little gem: The Inbox Of Nardo Pace, The Empire's Worst Engineer. It's glib, gleefully irreverent take on all the innately dumb tech found in the Star Wars universe (and no, X-wing wings don't show up on the list). Turns out its all the work of one particularly incompetent engineer who, for bureaucratic reasons never made quite clear, is the project leader for the Galactic Empire's most critical or high-profile technologies and devices. For example:
Subject This darn bottomless shaft in my room From Emperor Palpatine <bigbossman@empiremail.com> Date A Long Time Ago 1:42 AM To Nardo Pace <npace@empiremail.com>

You are responsible for designing my Throne Room, yes? Do not doubt it. I can see the truth inside you. It burns with a twisted blackness that cannot be denied.

I ask you this: Why is there a chasm in my room? Was it really necessary? What purpose does it serve? Nothing useful has ever come of it. In fact, sometimes when I awake in the middle of the night and stumble in the darkness while making my way to the Imperial Restroom, I mistakenly wobble along the shaft's edge. I also bump my knee on the Imperial Coffee Table, but that is another matter.

I'm expecting very important company today, but I fully expect that you will draw up plans for a grate to cover this errant hole and have someone build it tomorrow. It is your destiny.

That's just one of a half-dozen e-mails idling in Nardo's inbox (the one from Vader gets a little profane, so be forewarned). Scan them all, as they hilariously expose the various ill conceived contraptions that riddle a galaxy far far away.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

22 comments
John.Schupp
John.Schupp

here is a reply. Your Majesty, Please forgive our mess while we are still busy FREAKIN' BUILDING THE DAMN STATION! why is there a chasm? well... because there is - don't like it? go home and wait for it to be finished. When you buy a land speeder do you go and sit in the chassis on the assembly line and bitch that the seats (which havn't been installed yet) are not comfortable enough? If so... i can't help you if not, then please continue to have patience and you may want to use the handrails we installed near the approved walk-ways or invest in some sort of parachute - just at thought. Sincerely, Nardo MCSE

npkeith
npkeith

Re: AT-ST From: Trooper 1138THX Date: A Long Time Ago 0942 AM To: Nardo Pace Nardo - Kudos on the AT-ST design. Having a scout vehicle on 2 legs makes a lot of sense. It can go places a wheeled or even tracked vehicle can't. A couple of comments though - First, why is it the armor will stop blaster fire, but when a couple of hairy midgets start swinging logs, it folds like a beer can? Also, why is it the main hatch is right over the commander's seat? Anyone with a little strength could just reach in and yank him right out of his seat. For that matter, how about a lock on that hatch? One other thing - could you beef up the stabilization and ambulation routines a little? I saw one trip over its own feet the other day. Admittedly there were a few pieces of wood rolling around, but it was a combat situation, and unstable terrain is to be expected.

sgunelius
sgunelius

The tech that tops the "worst" category has to be stormtrooper armor. Doesn't seem to protect the troopers very well, just one well-placed blaster shot and you're history. Also, according to Luke you can't see a thing in that helmet. Poor design all around...

Ironspider
Ironspider

Darth Sidious (the Emperor) uses his throne room as a training room as well. He's constantly looking for the next Apprentice so he always needs to have a place for his current apprentice to fight his up and coming one. Just look at how many he went through between Episode 1 and 3.

howard_nyc
howard_nyc

do or do not -- there is no amount of booze to wash away the taste of Vista... ...personally, I've always seen Microsoft as more Borg-ish than Sinth-ish unintentional consequence to poorly considered technical upgrades leading to an erosion of human dignity as opposed to viciously hell-bent on universal enslavement...

awf
awf

I'll read them all, but the first one makes me pause because it's clear the author either doesn't know enough about the backstory (i.e. only watching movies, not reading novelizations) because it becomes clear that this room wasn't MEANT to be a throne room. It's some kind of reactor control or monitor room, as I recall. It was CONVERTED to a throne room, although I guess the engineers still could have covered the whacking great pits And no, I'm not actually taking it that seriously. :) I know some of these odd-seeming "engineering mistakes" were for "dramatic effect" but there are SO many BETTER ways. I've always thought there SHOULD have been a grate covering, and that when the Emperor was hammering Luke, his "enthusiasm" for the task at hand could have struck something punching a hole. The upshot being that his hate made his destruction possible.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

For some bizzare reason, my company decided to block The Inbox Of Nardo Pace, The Empire?s Worst Engineer's site. Now how do I convince them that there MUST be some critical healthcare information stashed away there??

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

The Emperor will loose his evil power if he doesn't have a constant imminent death threat.

Bill Ward
Bill Ward

Subject: TIE Fighter Trouble Operational Reports From: Pilot 08318J9 Date: A Long Time Ago 12:42 PM To: Nardo Pace The following Trouble Operational Report has been entered into the TIE Fighter TOR Database. Please act on it as soon as possible. Short Description: Loud Whine from TIE Fighter during combat operation Long Description: During Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E), a loud whine has been detected coming from the TIE fighters. This whine, likened to a shrill screech, has caused injuries to many of the pilots of the craft, principly, by causing nerve damage to the inner ear cannal. As Pilots are expensive to train, and cannot continue to be used as pilots if they become deafened, it is desired that the engineers in charge of the current TIE baseline 1.06 be asked to complete an in service upgrade modification to include sound dampining material in the TIE fighter. This would also help in not announcing our pilots attacks to Rebel scum from the whine, as well as letting our pilots actually hear the rear proximity sensor alarm when large Correlean Cargo Freighters come abaft the fighter during tricky trench warfare flying.

enfield_john
enfield_john

While they are pitiful cannon fodder in the movies, Stormtroopers are a lot tougher to kill in most of the Star Wars books I've read. In the books, the white parts of the armor reflect the blaster bolts so they have to very carefully aim for the joints in it. Even then, it usually takes more than one shot to bring them down. Also, the troopers are engaged in more hand to hand and crowd suppression action against people without blasters in the books where the armor protects them from being struck more than what you see in the films. The books by authors like Timothy Zhan and Kevin J. Anderson are more realistic (and frankly better written) than the movies. The same is true in some of the Star Wars video games. In the Star Wars: Dark Forces series, it takes at least three or four shots with the basic blaster pistol or rifle to take down a Stormtrooper. You have to find a pretty powerful weapon (which are harder to find and have fewer ammo clips lying around) to take out a trooper in one shot. The Stormtroopers are pretty tough in The Force Unleashed too, especially in later levels. I think they made the Stormtroopers so pitiful in the movies so that our heroes could get from point A to point B faster without having to fight any protracted battles.

ParkersTark
ParkersTark

Don't forget their stripped down rides. TIE fighters were built without shields or hyperdrives. Basically a stormtrooper duct taped to an engine. But then, I'm sure they had to cut costs someplace to pay for that floating bucket in space, the one where a single torpedo can explode it...

gil_gosseyn
gil_gosseyn

It's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer who are Sith Dark Lords.

Ozzylogic
Ozzylogic

We've got 1 ISP in the whole country, and they've blocked the site! I hate Monopoly...

rinseout
rinseout

same for me... "Adult Content"

dmoisan
dmoisan

The Death Star II's reactor follows in the fine tradition of starship and space station reactors everywhere in several ways: 1) It's shaped like an hourglass. 2) It goes boom when you shoot it. It was obvious in ROTJ that the reactor was in vacuum when the Falcon and Wedge were flying to it. But in the emperor's temporary throne room, nominally the reactor monitoring room, we see Vader throw Palpatine over the edge. In atmosphere. It's such a long drop to the core that it would take minutes for him to hit bottom. And why does the reactor "flare up"? You cannot tell me the engineers monitoring it don't notice the power fluctuations? And if a frail human body can do that to the reactor, it would have popped long ago during commissioning! My other favorite point, is how the superlaser passes through atmosphere inside the Death Star on its way to be focused outside. Um, atmosphere is not the best thing for a laser; think sealed tunnels like the LHC. Still, you gotta love the potential for practical jokes. Think people lighting cigarettes in the beam or unzipping their trousers to see what "happens". I've long thought that more than a few workmen were lost when working in the laser channel and somehow not getting the notice when the laser is fired up.

RayJeff
RayJeff

You know I read this topic last night and all I could do was laugh. I really need the laugh. I went to sleep on it and I thought about something to add. Episode 6: The Return of The Jedi. The scene when the Millienium Falcoon is flying through the Death Star. You know the part when the communications dish is knocked off. COME ON NOW!!!! If the Flacon is made so flat and it's very easily going through the small trenchs, then how come the one thing that's standing upright gets destroyed?!?!?!?!?!? Who was the idiot that design that??? Where was the shielding?? Man....how can Han Solo (and now Lando Clarissian) had sleiding for the Flacon up until that point and then all of a sudden, no sheilding?? Can someone bring the Enterprise-D & E aroubd????!!!!

ley1963
ley1963

Subject: Need Some Advice From: 2nd Lt. Miles Starlight Date: A Long Time Ago 3:74 PM To: Nardo Pace npace@empiremail.com Hey that was a killer party last time I was on leave. That black market Dantooin Ale was great, too bad they don?t make it anymore?..actually they don?t make much of anything anymore come to think of it??anyway. I need some advice. I was offered the position of Admiral on a Star Destroyer this morning, and I am not sure I sure take it. I know I graduated with distinction from the academy,?.OK I just barely graduated, but I am not sure why I am up for this promotion. Apparently a lot of people above me passed on this job for some reason. I mean, I am a 2nd Lieutenant on some distant planet, and they?re offering me Admiral of a Star Destroyer. Something just does not sit right about this promotion. Honestly, I would do anything to get off of this god forsaken planet Tatooine, but this offer really baffles me. I have another offer of managing the Hyperdrive on something called the Deathstar, but this pays much better, and the Admiral uniform would impress the ladies (as if I would actually see a woman somewhere in the empire). Apparently I would be working closely with somebody named Darth Vader, but how bad could he be?really. I know you are really connected there in upper management of the empire, and your advice would be a mean a lot to me. Let me know job you think I should take. p.s. Thanks for reprogramming the empire shipping protocol, the SPF 100 sunscreen that was ?mistakenly? shipped has really come in handy protecting me from both these suns. Your Pal Mi

npkeith
npkeith

From: Trooper 1138THX Date: A Long Time Ago 0828 AM To: Nardo Pace What's with all the different droids? I understand that everyone has different tastes, but even the R2 units all look different. There's another model that looks just like a fast-food joint's trashcan, on legs. I saw a protocol droid that was fricken GOLD PLATED the other day! This is a military operation, how about a little dignity? One other thing - there's these little shoebox sized things rolling all over the place, getting underfoot. I can't figure out what the hell they do, and to top it all, they are little wusses - some troopers were escorting a Wookie to holding (it was shackled mind you) and it growled at one of those little droids. Thats all - growled. The droid almost dropped a pile of bolts on the floor and ran off screaming. Like I said, what a wuss.

GSG
GSG

Subjet: Rebel Base From: Darth Vader To: The guy that hits the button I know that we have this really cool death star that can blow up planets, but instead of blowing up the planet, and then blowing up the moon where the rebel base is located, I've got this great idea! Let's ever-so-slowly orbit around the planet until the moon comes into view, giving those rebels time to mount a defense before we blow them up. We have too many clones anyway, and need to weed a few of them out.

footlessRabbit
footlessRabbit

Subject: Rear tower sensors. From: Admiral Piett Date: A long time ago 13:42 PM To: Nardo Pace It has come to my attention that the rear tower sensors are significantly under powered. Or, in some cases, completely ineffective. As one of my lieutenants pointed out - "One could hide a frieghter on the back of the tower and we wouldn't know it." I want this remedied immediately or you'll be scrubbing heater units on Hoth. In addition to the above, can we get the collision detection system extended out farther than 15 meters from the hull. I suggest 400 meters. You might also consider adding the collision detection system to helm/navigation system. The alarm is also a moot device. During a collision, we won't need the alarm to indicate we are colliding. Resolve these issues or consider purchasing warm gear.

ostrich67
ostrich67

Clearly a TV studio control room.

dmoisan
dmoisan

Truth. Grass Valley supplied control consoles to the Empire.

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