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Transformers Dark of the Moon Mass Market Paperback – May 24 2011


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (May 24 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345529154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345529152
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #527,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Peter David’s novels include the fantasies Tigerheart, Sir Apropos of Nothing, The Woad to Wuin, and Knight Life, and the quirky werewolf story Howling Mad. He is famous for writing some of the most popular original Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, including Imzadi and A Rock and a Hard Place, as well as the official novels of the movies Iron Man, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk. He has written just about every famous comic book superhero, including Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and the futuristic Spider-Man 2099, and has scripted the bestselling Gunslinger Born graphic adaptation of the acclaimed Stephen King Dark Tower series. He collaborated with J. Michael Straczynski on the Babylon 5 novels and comic book series, and with Bill Mumy he created the Nickelodeon television series Space Cases. In his spare time, he writes movie screenplays, children’s books, and TV scripts.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Cybertron— The War Years

We were once a peaceful race of intelligent mechanical beings. But then came the war between the Autobots, who fought for freedom . . . and the Decepticons, who dreamed of tyranny . . .

I am Optimus Prime, and I remember my world from ages long gone and mourn for what my planet had been. I wonder whether it could ever be restored to the glory that had once permeated every inch of its glorious surface, and I am saddened to realize that the answer is very likely a resounding “no.”

Once . . .

Once the sky above had been a shimmering, cloudless blue.

Once the surface had been a vast stretch of gleaming silver composed of an array of flat metal continents that were interlocked with each other in perfect geometric shapes. Between the continents were vast valleys that served both as the homes of the population of Cybertron and as a place to take refuge should anyone be foolish enough to try to attack our small but hardy world.

We have lost the gleaming. That is our greatest loss: the loss of the gleaming.

The once-silvery world is now burnished and dark and gray, carbon-scored with countless battles that have ranged above the surface, upon it, and below it. The sky is permanently blackened through the haze of smoke that resulted from the constant explosions and battles that had ranged from one pole of Cybertron to the other.

The incessant battles have been destructive to far more than just the exterior of the world. It has suffered on every level. Once Cybertron had been teeming with life, the paragon of scientific research and development in its particular corner of the galaxy. The technological advances were beyond anything that was known for any other race. Nor had its advancements been limited to science. The arts were treasured as well. The residents of Cybertron wrote poetry . . . mostly of the great achievements by their ancestors.

We scream defiant howls of challenge in combat. We scream through the air, inflicting brutal punishment and damage and death upon each other. We scream in pain, and we scream in death.

Once we were a proud civilization. Now our very world is a victim of war, wounded and dying, and the only thing we have left to be proud of is simply surviving from one day to the next. And how much pride can we take in that when we think of all that we have lost?

I tread across the battlefield. To my immediate right runs the edge of a valley that is steeped in the shadow of death. I step carefully around random pieces of deceased brethren. It seems that every day sees the fall of another brave warrior. Will there ever come an end to it? Well, yes, obviously. It will end when all of one side or the other is dead. What would happen then? Would it be possible to rebuild and perhaps restore Cybertron to its former glory? Those very words have been asked by my devoted followers. I nod in confidence, as a Prime is expected to do, and assure those who believed in me that Cybertron can and will survive—has to survive—and it is upon them to make certain that it does so.

What else am I supposed to say? That Cybertron is doomed? Surely they could see that with their own eyes. But they need to believe in something greater than simply endeavoring to survive another round of assaults from their enemies. There has to be more to living than simply not dying. There has to be—and it is my job to make sure that it is provided even though I suspect it may be hopeless. This is no longer a world. It is simply a battlefield with pretensions of something more. Pretensions that will never be realized.

A noise rips through the air above the field, jolting me from my melancholy reverie. I see an aircraft, a large one that is moving far faster than its considerable size would have made seem possible.

I know the craft. I know what it contains and its importance to our future.

There are six Decepticon fighters howling after it.

Out of reflex, I whip my Energon sword into a defensive position. “No,” I say, and then louder, “No!” I wave my sword in a vain attempt to try to draw attention to myself. But the Decepticons are paying me no heed. They have their sights locked on to a far more formidable target.

The aircraft being pursued is far larger than the Decepticons that are chasing it, but the attack vessels have the advantage of both number and speed. Apparently aware of that, the aircraft is determined to shake its hunters rather than try to fight it out. It dives into the canyon that is to my immediate right. Without hesitation, the six smaller vessels dive in after it.

I start running, desperate to keep the larger air- craft in sight and perhaps provide aid if it is remotely possible.

This particular valley is a maze of towers and outcroppings. The larger aircraft darts into their depths, threading the needle of obstructions as the smaller ships follow behind, fast and hard.

The common wisdom would have been for the aircraft to try to gain even more speed. Instead it slows abruptly, twisting sideways to avoid blasts from the pursuing vessels while permitting a couple of them to get closer than they had expected, faster than they were prepared for. The aircraft flips its wings quickly, first in one direction and then in the other, slapping the pursuing vessels broadside and sending them crashing into the canyon walls. They erupt in balls of flame. Flying shrapnel is hurtling in all directions, cutting through yet another vessel, riddling it with holes and destroying its ability to maneuver. It flips end over end and strikes a tower, bending around it with a screech of metal.

On flies the larger aircraft, picking up speed, diving even lower into the canyon. Two more ships go after it.

It should have been impossible for the large aircraft to accomplish what it does next. It fires its reverse thrusters, and the ship flips over 180 degrees. It is suddenly flying backward, staring directly down its barrels at the ships pursuing it. The airship fires off a few quick shots, blasting aside the two ships, sending them colliding into each other. Then it flips back, narrowly avoiding smashing headlong into an outcropping before zipping around it and going faster than ever.

It is everything I can do to keep up, to be able to see what is happening. Five of the six pursuers are gone, and I allow, just for a moment, hope to swell within me.

Then I recognize the remaining Decepticon fighter, and dread fills me once more.

It is Starscream, leader of the air command. I know all too well that once Starscream is locked upon his quarry, he will never give up. In fact, he probably could have destroyed the target at any time. To Starscream, this is more of a game than a challenge.

But it is a game that he is still going to win, and furthermore, it is a game that he is tiring of.

“Starscream! Stand and face me!” I shout.

It is impossible to determine whether Starscream hears me. If he does, he ignores me. He probably even chuckles to himself inwardly at the desperation of my plea, a desperation that I could scarcely keep out of my voice.

With the section of the canyon coming to an end, there is nowhere else for the airship to go. Now it is simply going to be a matter of speed. The airship angles straight up a split second before reaching the end of the trench, hurtling vertically toward the outer atmosphere. Starscream does not slow a whit as he goes after it.

I have never felt more helpless. My grip tightens in frustration on the Energon sword. I can only watch as the battle plays out toward what seems an inevitable conclusion.

Higher and higher speeds the airship, and suddenly it puts on a burst of speed that threatens to leave Starscream behind. There is what sounds like a howl of outrage from the Decepticon, or it might just have been the screech of the air being rent asunder. Either way, for one glorious moment, it seems that a miracle might well occur and the airship will manage to elude its pursuer.

I should have known better.

Starscream locks on and fires. A single pulse from his cannon catches the aft wing of the fleeing ship.

The result is instantaneous and catastrophic. The blast tears off a stabilizer. It sends a shudder through the airship, and seconds later the cargo door blows open. Debris spills down from it, tumbling to the dirty gray surface of Cybertron like metal rain. The airship tries to compensate but fails completely. Instead, with no control at all, the airship spirals off into the darkness of space, the distant stars gleaming at it silently.

With his job done, Starscream banks sharply away. Again it could well be my imagination, but I think I may have heard mocking laughter as Starscream departs.

The Decepticon wouldn’t even do me the simple courtesy of facing me in battle. Either he is worried that I would destroy him or, more likely, he is arrogantly convinced that he would destroy me.

Which means he wants me to live. He wants me to be saddled with the awareness of what had just happened and my helplessness at preventing it. He wants it to eat at me, to make me dwell as long as possible upon the catastrophe that had just befallen the Autobots.

Disappointment hangs heavily upon me. I am all too aware of the importance of that ship that had been blasted away into space. It represents a horrific loss not only to the Autobots but to Cybertron itself.

I am not one to give up, ever. Yet three words go through my mind, three words that I dare not utter lest one of the other Autobots hear me and fall into despair to hear their Prime speak so.

And those three words are: we are lost.

Earth—1961

i

Doctor Aaron Brooks had come to a conclusion: He was wasting his life.

How in the world he had wound up in the Mojave Desert, staring at a bunch of screens that were in turn linked to row after row of radio telescopes, looking for . . .

Nothing. He was looking for nothing.

He glanced around the room at others who were just like him. Half a dozen scientists who had gone into various fields, such as astronomy or theoretical physics. All of them had once been young students, looking forward to careers of accomplishment and exploration.

And one by one, they had wound up here.

If they were anything like Brooks—and he knew they were—they had joined up with the same ambition to do something remarkable: to be the very first to find a signal from outer space that was a sign of intelligent life elsewhere. There was little doubt that it would be the greatest moment in humankind’s history since the invention of the wheel.

Yet as year rolled into year, Brooks had monitored magnetic beats from pulsars or the background radiation left over from the big bang itself, searching for one signal out of a billion. He had felt the enthusiasm he initially had for the project slowly, steadily being sucked out of him. The most depressing thing was watching the same realization creeping over the other scientists in the control room.

Ah, the control room: crammed with the latest technology, lined with screens and instrumentation that could chart everything and anything that came within the considerable range of the telescope array. Once it had seemed vibrant and alive to him. Now it just seemed sterile. It was where dreams of close encounters went to die.

He was going off shift soon. The setting sun was casting its red glow across the desert, and soon Aaron Brooks would witness yet another day of disappointing emptiness come to an end. Just one more, the latest dropped on the stack of—

That was when the center lit up.

A Klaxon sounded, so deafening that Brooks leaped straight up out of his chair, mashing his knee on the underside of the console. He grabbed his earphones and shoved them hard against the sides of his head. He needed to hear the signals for himself, even as a message scrolled across the lit screens with as much dispassion as if it were listing stock market prices:

ufo detected. collision course

Aaron Brooks was the team leader, his predecessor having dropped dead two months earlier (of boredom, some had morosely joked). Even though everyone knew what to do, even though they all had trained for a situation just like this one, still every eye turned to Brooks. They seemed to be seeking confirmation from him—or perhaps they were hoping that he would shake his head, laugh, punch a button that would shut down the alarms, and inform them that it was a false positive or a test or even just a sick joke to shatter the ennui. They would all yell at him if that last one were the case and then would mutter that they knew the whole time he was just messing around and they hadn’t been fooled, not for one second.

Every one of these men, wearing the unofficial uniform of black slacks, white short-sleeved shirt, and thin necktie, was a professional. None of them was going to outwardly panic. There would be no throwing of papers into the air, no screaming of, Oh, my God, we’re all going to die! No one was going to soil himself or vomit up the tacos he’d brought in for lunch. Nevertheless, Brooks said firmly, “Stay on task, people. We have a job to do.” Even though it may well be that no one is going to be alive to know whether or not we did it. “Station One, confirm contact.”

“Confirmed,” Ralph Simmons said from Station One, and rattled off what his sensor apparatus was telling him.

Methodically, Brooks went from one man to the next until all six weighed in with identical readings. Then Brooks turned to Kelly—tall, bookish, the seismolo- gist who knew this stuff cold and could come up with conclusions without having to run numbers through computers—and simply uttered two words: “How bad?”

“If it hits us? Very. Bad,” Kelly said with his typical understatement, adding the second word as if it were an afterthought.

Brooks turned to Newman, the expert when it came to tracking collision courses. “Is it going to?” Brooks had looked at the same numbers as everyone else, but there were still variables: too many plus or minuses within the margin for error to be certain. Newman was the only one who might have a lock on it.

Newman wasn’t looking at him. He was running the numbers. He wasn’t inputting anything or even writing anything down; he was just staring.

Then, slowly, he turned and leveled his gaze on Brooks.

“Too close to call,” he said.

Dead silence.

“Nobody breathe,” Aaron Brooks said in what he realized might well be the last order he ever gave.

ii

(The object—or, as half a dozen men would now describe it, the contact—hurtles through space, as it has for uncounted years. It is a dead thing, frozen and dark. All this time, all this way, it has managed to avoid falling into the grip of the gravity field of any astronomical body. Despite the vastness of space, this has not been as easy a feat as one might think. If it had endeavored to accomplish this by design, such a task would have been formidable. Since it has transpired by luck, it is nothing short of miraculous. It seems to be a compelling argument for the notion that there is some unknowable, unseen being who is guiding matters along—although whether it is because of some grand master plan for the betterment of the universe or just perverse personal amusement, it would be impossible to say.)

(Whatever the reason, though, luck has obviously run out for the object; a collision is imminent. And the target appears to be a blue/green sphere dead ahead, the third sphere in orbit around the Type G2V star hanging a mere 93 million miles away . . . a vast distance under most circumstances but a mere stone’s throw in astronomical terms. Moving at 33,000 miles per hour, when the object hits—depending upon where that should occur—the results will be catastrophic. If it hits the water, tidal waves or an underground seismic event will certainly result. If it strikes land, then the outcome will be a crater the size of several cities and perhaps another seismic event, possibly enough to split or sink a continent. Or it might not even reach ground. It could well superheat in the atmosphere to in excess of 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit and explode with a ferocity two hundred times greater than an atomic bomb. This had happened before, ripping apart eight hundred square miles of Russian forest, leaving 80 million trees flattened in a radial pattern.)

(Except this object might well detonate above a major city, leveling hundreds—even thousands—of skyscrapers and snuffing out the lives of millions of people. There are only so many times that a single planet can escape cosmic catastrophe.)

(Closer it comes to the blue/green sphere, and faster, and yes, it is going to be a city, a city that a group of scientists in the Mojave are powerless to warn because it’s going to take too long and an evacuation would require hours, perhaps a full day, and they have only minutes left. All they would have time for is to pray to the deity that has seemingly abandoned them to a random and capricious fate.)

(And then a small, silver-gray mass of rock—that doesn’t have anything on its plate except affecting the tides and serving as inspiration for both romantic poets and suckers for werewolf legends—puts itself between the blue/green sphere and the intruder. With no atmo- sphere in which the intruder can superheat, with no population to die, it has nothing to lose. It is an undead soldier throwing itself upon a grenade to save the troops.)

(Mission accomplished.)

(A journey that began oh so long ago is brought to an abrupt and terminal halt.)

iii

“Lunar impact!” Aaron Brooks shouted. He didn’t bother to poll the other men but instead simply called out, “Confirmations?”

“We have impact!” “Lunar impact, confirmed!” “Way to go, baby!” The shouts were coming quickly, overlapping one another, laced with cries of relieved laughter and all the tension that they had managed to keep bottled up in the face of an impending crisis. They were clapping one another on the back, congratulating one another as if they themselves had somehow managed to move the moon directly into the intruder’s path.

Brooks sagged into his chair, his chest heaving, putting his hand to his head and realizing that his hair was now drenched in sweat. As he waited for his pulse to return to something approximating normal, Newman walked straight over to him, all business. Brooks wasn’t surprised at Newman’s detachment. The man lived and breathed numbers and had ice water in his veins. To him, the object striking the moon was an interesting outcome to a mathematical exercise in trajectory and nothing more.

“It’s not a meteor,” he said with certainty.

Forcing himself to take a slow breath and then exhale just as slowly, Brooks said, “So when the computer’s saying UFO, it really means . . .”

“Yeah,” Newman said. “The telemetry leaves no question. Whatever that thing is that hit the moon, it’s not a meteor or a fragment from a comet or anything that’s understood by anyone, except maybe those lunatics out at Area 51. We have a genuine unidentified flying object.”

“So you’re saying there may be an alien corpse lying on the far side of the moon right now.”

“Or several alien corpses. Or maybe . . .” His voice trailed off.

“Or maybe what?”

“Or maybe alien weapons.”

“You,” Brooks said immediately, “read too much of that sci-fi crap.” But even as he said it aloud, the truth of Newman’s speculation burrowed into his imagination and promptly began to eat away at what little peace of mind he had left.

At that moment, Brooks’s aide, an attractive young British woman—Carla Spencer—came running up to him and pointed at a blinking red line. “Mr. Webb’s ready to take your call now,” she said breathlessly. “They kept trying to put me off, and I told them they would bloody well speak to you now if they cared about the future of their bleeding planet.”

Brooks couldn’t help himself; he laughed. Spencer, normally brimming with British reserve, chuckled in response as she realized how she’d come across. Brooks felt as if he were truly seeing her for the first time. He had always been a single-minded workaholic, and there was nothing that focused someone on matters other than work more than a narrowly averted catastrophe. He reached for his receiver, but just before he pushed the button to connect it, he said, “You wanna go out for a drink after work?”

“Desperately,” she said.

He nodded, then put the phone to his ear and, just before he started talking, decided that perhaps boredom was underrated after all.

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By Chris on Feb. 2 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, so it wouldn't be practical to eat popcorn and read a book at the same time (all the grease), but I thought of popcorn a lot while reading this Transformers tie-in. Like David's Spider-man 2, it was entertainment! The alternative space history, the conspiracy --- this had to be more thoughtful than the previous two instalments and much appreciated. Excepting Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron, I mixed up the robots a lot, but it didn't matter. I had just finished the book when Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" came on the TV - what a song that would have been to close the movie! And to end the review with more interesting timing, the first two Transformers movies are airing this weekend! Maybe I can get the robots sorted out now!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
entertaining Transformer thriller June 13 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The global civil war on Cybertron hits a pivotal moment when Deception Air Commander Starscream shoots down a key Autobot vessel with Optimus Prime inside that was carrying a special weapon that would tilt the fight to their side Optimus Prime knows his side just lost while the ship begins drifting through space.

In the 1960s, the Soviet Union and the United States engage in a race to the moon. Most earthlings assume it is a macho Cold War competition, but in fact it is a retrieval mission to bring back the Ark artifact space vessel found on the dark side of the moon. None of the astronauts are aware inside is a dormant sentient Autobot.

In DC, Sam seeks employment but having saved the world twice, he seeks meaningful work in a city of mirrors. His live-in girlfriend Carly works for art and car collector Dylan Gould. Also residing with the couple are Wheelie and Brains. However, the human will soon learn to watch out for what you wish for as the Decepticons though weakened after two encounters with Prime and Sam plot their next assault.

Although there is plenty of action and humor (a Peter David trademark) to follow, the movie that this novelization is tied to has not been released. The story line is fast-paced from the onset, but also uses a clever tie to the moon landings. Well written, Peter David who has successfully written novelizations of movie adaptations of comic book heroes like Spiderman (as well as other stuff like the Hulk comic book) provides an entertaining Transformer thriller that fans of the saga will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
To come into one's Prime May 25 2011
By Amy Roth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to think that when I started this novel I had some idea of what was going to happen, but I found myself like the autobots completely 'sideswiped' by this novel, by the actions of a select few that cause the whole dynamic of this epic war to shift into something far beyond just right and wrong. This is a classic G1 story line ripped from the past and retold in stellar detail. The science fiction is written in such a way that one could believe it and for what it's worth, you want hope beyond your heart that what's happening isn't really what's going on.

As you read this, it's clear something greater is at stake here, this isn't so much about the robots, but it's about Mankind, and their struggle to save their own. Yes the Transformers help them, but like the humans the transformers lose their own too. There are five autobot deaths written in this book, and for the sake of my review I won't spoil those for you, but the ache I felt after reading this, and though in the end the earth is saved, I was left feeling as heartbroken and sorrowfull as Prime himself, who truely becomes at the end of the novel the Prime we've been wanting to see, but have not in the Michael Bay Franchise.

If this is what the movie has in store for us this will be a BLOCKBUSTER, it will be shock and awe, and it will change the way some of the hardcore fans, like myself, look at Optimus Prime.

Til all are one; we are here, we are home.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best Movie-Adaptation Ever Made May 25 2011
By T. Beil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Since Amy posted such a perfect review before me, I will keep this short (primarily because I agree with everything she said). This novel is for true Transformers fans. It pays homage to generation 1 in so many ways, from a small group of Autobots defending Earth from a seemingly endless group of Decepticons, to even the way Optimus Prime develops into the iconic character we remember from the cartoon over 25 years ago. I do not believe movie-adaptation novels are usually worth reading, but Peter David did a fantastic job of recreating the film experience for readers. In fact, I would go on to say that the film has some pretty big shoes to fill; but, if it is even half as good as the book, it will be one of the best movies ever produced. If you seek an engaging storyline, dedication to the Transformers lore, and action sequences that will make go back and re-read what just happened, this is the book for you. However, do not be fooled by appearances... Just as Amy said before, this book shocks you with sorrowful moments, and fan-favorite Transformer deaths.
Very good Feb. 24 2014
By Victor Orozco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Much like the movie its beginning is supremely weak, but picks up half way. Interesting that instead of Alan Dean Foster who did the previous two novelization as well as two other tie-ins. But I applaud the move, Peter David adapts the story better than Foster. I really liked the premise of the whole movie involving the Apollo mission and liked how both movie and film had it as a celebration of the human race in the accomplishment. I didn't like that this movie was built around Sam being unsatisfied after what he did in the past Transformers films. Most likely created so as to have Shia LeBeouf find a satisfactory end to his three-picture deal. I have to admit that on screen Carly appears much better than how she is on paper. The actress certainly does a good job. I find it interesting that the book mentions Mikaela in only a few sentences. Making the rift between Michael Bay and Megan Fox that bad.

As for the book itself I like the depth of the characters improved with not just the humans but with the Autobots and Decepticons. The font in the book itself is stylized with parenthesis for the Decepticons and bold for the Autobots. You really felt more for Optimus reading his feelings over the betrayal he suffered. I also found it interesting that two reviled characters from the previous movie incurred really tragic death scenes. I really loved those two and felt for them when they died. But I'm sure plenty of cynical jerks would have enjoyed it. Little differences are spread out that make it different. For example when the five pillars are found they are actually put under a safeguard that would have destroyed them if any attempt to break in to the safe they were kept. Many things which I really enjoyed better than what was done in the film. Though at the very end scenes I preferred the movie. Still a very good book. B+.
Dark of the Moon? Huh? June 28 2013
By Joseph Sheppard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Am I missing something or is this another blatant example of scientific illiteracy in our once great country? Folks, the Moon does not rotate on an axis with respect to Earth. That is, its has one side that is always facing away from us and one side always facing us (not counting relatively small librations). When we have a new Moon (dark side facing us), it is still the side we see during a full Moon. Apollo 11 landed in the Sea of Tranquility, on that side that always faces us. So, I don't know how Aldrin and Armstrong would have had a communications "blackout" as depicted in the film, although Collins would have as he went behind the Moon. There is no permanently "dark" side of the Moon (sorry, Pink Floyd), as, for instance, the side always facing away from us would be fully lit during a new Moon. So when the film says that the autobot spacecraft crash landed on the "dark" side of the Moon, what are they talking about? If they are referring to the side of the Moon always facing away from us, then there is no way that Apollo 11 would be anywhere near it. I believe whoever was responsible for this story had no idea of the above facts and probably could not clearly explain what causes the lunar phases.

I love sci-fi and special effects, but I wish such basic information was accurate. This is worse than Han Solo referring to "parsecs" as a unit of time, rather than a unit of distance.


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