Star Wars Rogue one used conventional tape drives to store data.

Rogue One tape drive. This contained the death star plans.
Rogue One tape drive. This contained the death star plans.

The recent Rogue One Star Wars movie had a nice scene where the Death Star plans where stored on a hard drive and this was stolen and the data was uploaded by a satellite dish to the ships in space. The disk that stored the plans looks just like a conventional tape drive, this is pretty cool. Apparently they have had space travel for 25,000 years, they would take it for granted by now. But they still use standard tape drives to store massive amounts of data. This would have taken a while to read, even though the data would not be too big, it is just a huge 3D model of the interior and exterior of the Death Star 1. But tape drives are very slow to read data. But I guess with modern drives approaching 500MB/s, this is less of an issue. Why would a super futuristic space-faring civilization use old tape drives to store data, instead of modern flash storage? Although, in A New Hope, an imperial officer refers to the stolen information as “data tapes.”, this makes the movie canonical in the timeline.

Tiny data card that stored the plans.
Tiny data card that stored the plans.

I guess if it is not broken, do not fix it. The same tiny data disk that Lei is handed at the end of the movie is the same one that is jammed into R2D2 in A New Hope. But it is very strange that they used giant tape drives to store data, when in the prequel movies, Obi Wan used a tiny glowing marble to store a map of the entire Galaxy in 3D. It is inconceivable that older technology in Star Wars would be far ahead of the tech that was around by the time of the Rogue One movie timeline. But the prequel movies like the Phantom Menace were not as good, with Playstation like CGI that has aged very badly. I know that tape drives are still used, and can store a huge amount of data, but it is jarring to see them in such a futuristic setting. Although it is another galaxy and their technology is quite different from ours. The film was incredible though, the view of the planet from the space ships above the shield was amazing.

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