Thursday, February 25, 2010

Electric Fencing From The 50s – Sci-Fi Style!

In our last post we paid tribute to movie maker George Lucas and his use of the word ‘perimeter’ in his “Star Wars” science fiction movies. Let’s face it, if a 900 year old Jedi Knight (Yoda) uses the word then it’s got to have an intrinsic worth! We concluded that use of this kind of vocabulary possibly has a social impact contributing to why “perimeter security” remains a popular and established term. Today, however, we have made a fascinating discovery which we’d like to share with you. We decided to delve further back into the annals of science fiction movies and found that the trend of using perimeter terminology existed over 50 years ago in one the most influential science fiction movies ever made: “Forbidden Planet”.

There are several instances in the movie screenplay where the perimeter is mentioned, such as:

“Establish a standard perimeter and set up a class "A" alert by sundown.”

“This may have been a ruse to divert us from some other part of the perimeter.”

Not only that, but the perimeter protection they set up around their space ship is an electrified system! We soon see the benefits of this ‘electric fence’ when a normally invisible alien tries to breach the perimeter and is ‘lit up’ when detected so we, the audience, get to see how monstrous and scary the ‘enemy’ is. Science fiction at its chilling best!

Made in 1956, “Forbidden Planet” is a classic movie, still revered today as one of the best of its generation. It has apparently influenced just about every major film director currently in Hollywood from Steven Spielberg, to Ridley Scott, to James Cameron and, believe it or not …. George Lucas! We know this because we found this fascinating review about the Forbidden Planet Special Edition in which they mention an hour long documentary called “Watch The Skies! Science Fiction, The 1950s And Us”. In it, apparently Steven Spielberg says he believes Robbie the Robot was possibly the inspiration for George Lucas’s C3PO and the writer of the review goes on to draw other similarities with the Star Wars movies. He cites the look of the Death Star being similar to the underground laboratories in Forbidden Planet and Luke Skywalker’s Sand Speeder being similar to Robbie the Robot’s atomic car.

It’s truly fascinating how a quick investigation into a single keyword such as ‘perimeter’ has taken us on a journey of discovery through outer space to electric fencing on another planet … and back home again!

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Science Fiction Perimeter Security

Occasionally on our Perimeter Security Blog we like to take look at the more lighthearted aspects of our business and the terminology we use. Today is one such occasion ...

When people talk about perimeter security it's usually of the 'earthly' kind such as providing oil refinery perimeter protection or cellular phone mast security against theft and vandalism.

So what about perimeter security in outer space? Sounds odd? Well, it's something that our children may well have already taken onboard as being quite real thanks to science fiction movie makers like George Lucas.

In 'Attack Of The Clones' (2002) for example, there's a scene where the Jedi are outnumbered and surrounded by the forces of Count Dooku. Out of nowhere space ships appear with Yoda in the leading craft who gives the order:

"Around the survivors a perimeter create"

Another example is "Return Of The Jedi" (1983) where Admiral Akbar talks about the Death Star orbiting the Forest Moon of Endor and says:

"Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while our fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor"

You can read a whole array of quotes from these movies on the website, as follows:

Attack Of The Clones (2002) quotes

Return Of The Jedi (1983) quotes

Nice to see modern day movies using good, formal English vocabulary!

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