This weekend I got to see Revenge of the Sith in a theater. There were two scenes that struck me as particularly anachronistic -- the two that involved glass.
In one scene, a group of Jedi knights come to the chancellor's office to arrest him. In the office there is a huge floor-to-ceiling panoramic window. It is made of glass. One touch with a light saber and the entire thing completely shatters.
In another scene, on the glass bridge of General Grevious' ship, the General decides to break a window and escape. Apparently this is quite simple, and the window shatters just like normal glass does today.
We have glass all around us. Its advantage is transparency. But think about these important disadvantages:
- It is incredibly heavy
- It is fragile and easily breaks
- When it breaks, it leaves either millions of small bits (in the case of tempered glass) or it leaves lethal shards.
What we need is a transparent material that is lightweight, does not scratch easily and does not shatter. There are certain plastics that have some of these characteristics, but current plastics are not perfect. It seems likely that glass (especially in windows) will be replaced by some new material (in one of the Star Trek movies they talk about transparent aluminum), or it will be replaced in some other way. For example, high-resolution screens will simulate windows, or artificial windows will be implemented virtually through Vertebrane. People in 2050 will look back at glass in the same quaint way we look back at butter churns or wooden barrels.
[There is another thing in this movie that seemed to be particularly anachronistic -- the bed. Padme and Anakin are asleep and Anakin has a bad dream. When he wakes up we can see that they are lying in a traditional bed, complete with a headboard and sheets/blankets.
It feels like we will replace beds with something, because beds are pretty nutty. Anytime you help a friend move, you realize how nutty they are. Just try getting a king size mattress up or down a set of stairs sometime...
In all likelihood, we take up the body-free lifestyle that vite racks allow and we have no need for beds.]