Friday 20 February 2004This is more than 19 years old. Be careful.

We watched Sleeper the other night, Woody Allen’s 1973 comedy about a man who wakes up 200 years in the future. I enjoyed its goofy humor, of course, but also noticed two new things about it.

One: the Domesticon robot in Sleeper bore a striking resemblance to C3PO from Star Wars, made four years later:

Woody Allen as a Domesticon robot

Both have the same mincing shuffle, the same mild British-inflected voice, the same arms-at-the-ready stance. Was George Lucas influenced by the earlier movie, or are both parodying some earlier source?

Two: In the scene where Allen is explaining the ancient artifacts from his time, he’s given a Playboy centerfold, and says, “I’ll take this for further study and give you a complete report later”. You see only a brief glimpse of the model’s head, but it is unmistakably Lenna, the woman made famous as a standard test image for computer scientists:

Standard Lena picture

For more on Lenna’s history, see Complete Story of Lenna.


Ned, you give me a link to the Complete Story of Jenna, but in your previous post Rosa Parks is without linkage?

For shame...for shame.....

Your social consience,

I don't know about C3PO's mannerisms, but his look was definitely inspired by the robot from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis".

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