For lack of another term, let's call it Rip Van Winkle Syndrome. It is a potential problem for the pioneers of interstellar travel: given the vast distances between stars, a voyage at even a large fraction of light speed could take thousands of years. So the intrepid first wave of colonists, as soon as they have the technology to do so, set out for a new planet in one of two ways. The first way is in a huge multi-generation ship with its own self-contained ecosystem, where the original voyagers know they will never live to see their ultimate destination. In this case it will be their great-great-great-great-great-etc. grandchildren that settle the new planet. The second way is for the colonists to go into some kind of suspended animation, hibernating the years and light-years away, to be awakened when they arrive.
Either way, the colonists are in for a shock whenever they get there. While the original party spends a few millennia crawling through the void, technological advancement marches on back on Earth. Faster-than-light drives or wormhole technology is mastered. A new, much faster, ship embarks to the same planet, arriving well before the original one. The unfortunate pioneering party arrives on a planet where a far-advanced civilization has been thriving for untold generations. These poor anachronisms would feel as out of place as a Neanderthal being suddenly transported to the 21st century.
All of which is an unnecessarily long-winded way of setting up this vignette: an average classic spaceman, in hibernation for 25 years or so, awakens in a time when his culture is obsolete and forgotten. No more friendly smiling faces clad in suits of bright cheery primary colors -- no, he has come to a grim and terrifying time in the Lego space universe. A time in which something called "Star Wars" has taken over and mercilessly expunged all other space themes...
Oh man I just remembered. KHAN!!!! In the original Star Trek episode "Space Seed" (had to look it up), the Enterprise finds Khan's ship the "sleeper ship SS Botany Bay" (everyone on board in suspended animation) that had left earth in the 1990s.
Wow. No one knows what their talking about. They just think it's funny. But as a matter of fact, It is, but in school we just read Rip Van Winkle. The basic storyline is that Rip wakes up 20 years later. Nothing special. Ta-Ta.
Ah yes, the fate of all of those courageous spacemen, brutally slaughtered by Star Wars. They went to space in peace, to explore and expand man's knowledge and thus were powerless to defend as they were wiped from almost all but memory. I was to miss their era of peace and knowledge, when sci-fi vehicles didn't necessarily need weapons. Nice statis chamber anyways.
Absolutely brilliant Shannon!
your highly informative (if slightly longwinded) explanation as to the creation of this vignette is eloquently perfect but the ending with the scenes of the poor, confused and dishevelled spaceman at the mercy of the dastardly stormtroopers is hilarious!
Fantastic work, very enjoyable! ;)