Please do not punch the actor who plays Joffrey on Game of Thrones in the face

In this week's "Postal Apocalypse," we discover the Earth actually needs the sun to stick around, whether punching a kid in the face could pssibly be a compliment, and whether Carrie Fisher returning to Star Wars is a good thing or not (Hint: The answer's "not"). Don't forget to send your questions, thoughts, rants and manifestos to postman@io9.com! And now, on with your letters!

A Shot in the Dark

Eric W.:
Dear Postapocaman,
I realize that a fake postman from after the end of society may not be the most qualified to answer this question, but since Neil DeGrasse Tyson won't return my calls after 'the incident' you seem like the next best option (I never claimed to exercise good judgment).
I'm wondering if, in a Syfy movie kind of way, the sun were to suddenly just poof out of existence, what would we notice first from our perspective on earth?
It would take roughly eight minutes from the time of the disappearance for the last light of the now vanished sun to reach us on the surface of the planet. However, without the mass of that body acting as a gravitational anchor, the planet seems like it should immediately start spinning off like a stone fired from a sling. I'm wondering which effect we would notice first.
The followup question, I suppose, would be how long life could be maintained on the presumably rapidly cooling/dying planet before we turned into a cold, dark hunk of rock drifting through interstellar space.
In any event, I think the only sane-ish thing to do now is to immediately clone Liam Neeson and keep copies of him cryogenically frozen, to be thawed out in the future in the event our sun is ever Taken.

We'd definitely notice the lights going out first. As you said, that would take eight minutes. We wouldn't really feel the Earth flying out of orbit, because it wouldn't be exactly like the Earth would be fired out of a slingshot — it would keep moving at exactly the same speed, just in a straight path instead of circling the sun.

Without the sun to provide energy, we would, however, be catapulted into the mother of all ice ages, which would probably kill most everything even before the plants had the chance to die from lack of sunlight and the animals starved to death from lack of plants. The question is whether any part humanity could get its shit together in time to burrow deep enough into the earth to find a comfortable geothermal temperature — and set up some kind of underground hydroponic farm to provide oxygen and feed itself. Which is a long shot at best.

Please do not punch the actor who plays Joffrey on Game of Thrones in the faceS

I actually thought even this would be a moot point, because eventually the planet would pass through the asteroid belt and get pummeled enough that all out caves would collapse on us, but I guess if the sun disappeared those would go flying off too. So yeah. Whoever pulls off the best and quickest Dr. Strangelove would live, in caves, and would eventually evolve into Gollum. So I would say your Liam Neeson plan is pretty much just as valid.

Hassle-Joff

Brent K.:
So I was rewatching Game of Thrones season 2 again and I came to realize something: I hate Joffrey so much that if I saw the actor walking down the street, I would punch him. I would literally punch an innocent kid in the face because I hate Joffrey so very, very much.

Here's my question: Would this be considered a compliment? Because in a way I'm technically praising his performance, right?

Please do not punch the actor who plays Joffrey on Game of Thrones in the faceS

In a way, yes. However, I'm pretty sure Jack Gleeson would be more focused on the "being punched in the face" part than the "I must be doing my job really well!" part. My advice would be is to stay away from streets Jack Gleeson might be on.

But you're right, he is fantastic. Everybody loathes Joffrey, and a large part of that is because Gleeson is killing it. Maisie Williams as Arya gets all the press, it seems, and she certainly deserves it, but we should recognize Gleeson's ability to be a completely unlikable bastard whom everybody loves to hate.

Also, by all accounts, Jack Gleeson is a super-nice, sweet kid. He's planning on a career in academia after Game of Thrones is over. He doesn't even like to curse. And here's a gif of him wearing a shirt about Latin grammar. It's about the most adorably nerdy thing I've ever seen.

Droid Dickishness

Greg H.:
Got snowed in and watched all Star Wars movies with kids.
So R2D2 didn't have its memory wiped and knew everything the whole time, what a fucking asshole!

Dude, that's just the beginning of Artoo's terrifying reign of droid dickishness. Yes, he knew the whole Skywalker family deal, and tells no one — and this includes on Tatooine, when he lets C-3PO wander off when a very simple explanation would have kept him from needlessly heading the wrong way through the desert. But he also had a ton of gadgets he simply refused to use to help the Rebellion. He jumped into the Dagobah swamp, on purpose, solely so Luke would have to clean him. And in Revenge of the Sith, he covers his fellow robots and oil and sets them on fire — which is gruesome. I mean yes, they were Battledroids, but that was an exceptionally cruel way for Artoo to murder his own people, so to speak.

Open Channel

Eric J.:
Do you sometimes hate it when a channel you watched as child changes as you get older?

Sometimes. I mean, I've watched G4 go from being about videogames to about Olivia Munn eating hot dogs to the Esquire channel, and when I say "watched", I mean "I watched the channel when it would genuinely about videogames, and then stopped when they stopped running Cinematech." I remember the days when Comedy Central was the Comedy Channel, and I was crushed when the change happened because of my youthful infatuation with their super-cheap shows like The Higgins Boys and Gruber (although thank god Mystery Science Theater 3000 stuck around).

But really, I think nowadays most channels have generally changed for the better. FX used to show crap, now they have some of the best shows on TV. AMC used to show classic movies; now they show any kind of movie, many of them crappy, but they also have some great shows. Honestly, I'd say we're in a golden age of television, and if G4 becoming the Esquire Channel is the price we have to pay, then it's a pretty small price.

Although I'm still crushed Zero Hour was canceled.

Dimensional Analysis

Matt F.
Hi Rob,
I have a question for you. Why is it that nobody has made a "modernized" take on old school RPG's ? Specifically 2D RPG's like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy six and Earthbound (Mother 2) with more modern storytelling and game play mechanics? It would be great to play an old school RPG of this vein with a plot that is as thick as something like Mass Effect and shares some of the game mechanics.
Is it just that there isn't a market for it? With all the recent highly successful Kickstarter games like Project Enternity, Shadowrun and Wasteland there seems to be a demand for new games done in a classic style yet searching the same site yields little in the way of classic 2D RPG's.
The only recent game I can recall that has done this was Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3.
So I hand this question over to you. Why is there no love for new 2D RPG's ?

I assume it's because 2-D graphics require a ton of work for very little payoff. You create a 3-D model, you can manipulate it easily to do just about anything for your game. With 2-D sprites, you have to have someone draw every single frame and make them all look natural together. You may have noticed that it took quite a while for those Penny Arcade game episodes to come out. I'm with you, though. And honestly, I'd imagine we'll see a classic 16bit-style RPG on Kickstarter any day now. Everything has a Kickstarter nowadays.

Get with the Programming

John K.
If the apocalypse happens due to the machines taking over. What tactics do you propose Humanity uses to defeat the machines?

Well, obviously, gauss grenades and EMPs are our best bet — knock out their electronics and shut those fuckers down. But the robots will be expecting this tactic, so even if they don't plan for it at first, I'm guessing they'll figure something out to render them useless pretty quickly.

So our next tactic is to pull the ol' "logic bomb" routine, as popularized by Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek series, because he did it all the time. Basically, you just need to confuse a robot with an unsolvable problem and then its head explodes. We remaining humans will need to run around shouting, "How does a bumblebee fly? If there are an infinite number of points between any two objects, how does anyone get anywhere? What's the last digit of pi?"

Then, when the robots discover ear plug technology, we just bow down and accept our new metal overlords.

Gone Fisherin'

Jennifer D.
Now that Carrie Fisher has signed on for Star Wars Episode VII, is there any chance Luke and Han aren't going to be in it?

Please do not punch the actor who plays Joffrey on Game of Thrones in the faceS

None whatsoever. There's absolutely no chance Leia is the one character from the original trilogy who appears in the sequel; it's going to be a package deal, and Mark Hamill will sign on, and Disney will throw money at Harrison Ford until he agrees to at least cameo, although he seems pretty okay with the idea now, probably because he's going senile.

I'd like to state once again for the record I think this is a terrible idea. We are going to see old Luke, old Han and old Leia on screen and its just going to make everybody feel sad to see their childhood heroes ravaged by the grim march of time.

And think about this — these guys are old enough that their kids, Jacen and Jaina, would be in their ‘30s or ‘40s, meaning if we want youthful protagonists in these sequels, we're going to have to focus on Han and Leia's grandkids. There is no way Han, Luke and Leia can have an adventure with their goddamned grandkids and it be anything other than tremendously depressing.

I'd say "I have a bad feeling about this," except I'm pretty sure, Luke, Han and Leia are going to say it 18 times each and every Star Wars sequel they appear in.

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