I’d been seeing little bits and pieces about Elon Musk’s announcement at the International Astronautical Congress (see article/video) to put plans into hyperdrive for Mars manned missions and even colonization. With the goal of getting us blasted off in less than a decade, he stated, “I really have no other purpose than to make [human] life interplanetary,” explaining that everything else he does are simply steps that lead to that.
On the way home from school, I mentioned it to my 7-year-old son to see what he’d make of it.
Me: We're going to send people to Mars!
Kid: Can we send them to Tatooine, too!
*Force Melts my brain and heart*
— Charlie N Andy (@HowToBeADad) September 28, 2016
I’m sure he was half joking, when he asked if we could also send astronauts to Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine. But then there was the other half…
It partly came off as cautiously hopeful, like there was at least the faintest chance I might reveal to him that the Star Wars movies were actually historical reenactments or something. That maaaaaybe they could be actually be real.
We continued talking on about Mars and it was a special moment. A moment that seemed for both of us a mixture of our shared love of Star Wars mythology, an anticipation for our real and near interplanetary future, and the delight in the possibility of even greater, if far far away, futures.
“A long time ago” always begins somewhere when setting a course for the future.