Since the day the first Star Wars movie was released, fans have been donning bathrobes and making lightsaber noises with their mouths while swinging broom-handles around their kitchens. We all desperately want it to be real, and a large part of that desire comes from all the bitchin' technology -- the land-speeders, blaster rifles, lightsabers and force fields -- that we first saw in those movies. And it turns out, that science is no exception to fandom: They've been working 'round the clock to bring Star Wars tech to life, and they're actually succeeding ...
Everyone in the Star Wars universe communicated exclusively through the use of holograms, because apparently nobody ever needed to take a call on the toilet over in a galaxy far, far away. Now, 30 years later, we too have achieved that technology: In February of 2011, Manchester Airport launched two holograms to remind people about what is and is not permitted on a flight. Travelers were just plain not listening to the real attendants, observing the signs or reading the instructional pamphlets. So the higher-ups opted to shock passersby into attention by randomly deploying technology everybody thought was impossible, all just to ask them to throw away their nail clippers (even though you can buy them inside the goddamn gate). The holograms are actually recreations of two real-life airport employees, who also happen to work in the same area as the holograms. And that really drives home the fact that nobody truly thought this thing through:
Manchester Airport: Where "customer service" means "soulless robot ghost."
Speaking theoretically of course, what would your first instinct be upon encountering a hologram? You'd punch it in the face, right? Don't front -- you'd wave your arms right through its head while giggling like a child. We all would, and that's fine. But what about the next time you encounter that identical airline attendant? There you are, gesturing to your incredulous wife who just thinks you've been into the whiskey again when you tell her that holograms have been talking to you. So you take a riotous, carefree swing to prove to her it's not real, and BAM! You're in a black hood on the evening news with the words "Bare handed terror attack" flashing beneath you. Don't think you'll be fooled by a hologram? They're plenty convincing, by all reports: According to Julie Capper and John Walsh, the actual employees the holograms are based on, people frequently hand their passports to the holograms (who are even stationed at desks, to make them more natural) before realizing they've been duped. Now, consider that the success at Manchester Airport has been so great that other major airports in the U.K. have also begun using holograms of their employees, and it's no great leap to assume that drunken assaults are about to ... snicker ... take off in airports!
If that pissed you off, feel free to take a swing at the hologram.