Two weeks after being defenestrated from Oculus VR, the company he founded, Palmer Luckey just posted this public Facebook update depicting Ben Kenobi about to say, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." It was his very first Facebook post since posting his September 2016 apology about secretly supporting a pro-Trump meme group, so I was curious if the Kenobi post meant Palmer was in the news lately.
Turns out yes, because Mother Jones just posted this report:
Luckey hasn't given up on Trump. On January 4, Trump's official inauguration committee received a $100,000 donation from a limited liability company named Wings of Time. The inauguration committee filings list an office tower in Los Angeles as the address for Wings of Time, but there is no individual's name associated with the organization. California corporation records show a different address in the city of Long Beach for Wings of Time. That address matches the one used by Luckey on various occasions for different business projects... Luckey's six-figure donation is equal to other tech moguls and Trump fixtures such as investor Peter Thiel, who also gave $100,000 to the inauguration effort.
This directly contradicts Luckey's September Facebook statement, in which he said:
The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views... I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well...I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America.
While the Facebook statements are contradictory, it's worth noting Luckey's vision for VR is very much consistent with Trump's vision for America, in which (as Alex Baldwin put it recently), the people either work in Goldman Sachs, or in coal mines:
Someone in the audience asked Palmer Luckey a rather odd but revealing question: Why did he and his chief technology officer, video game pioneer John Carmack, often speak of a “moral imperative” to bring virtual reality to the masses?
"This is one of those crazy man topics," Luckey answered, “but it comes down to this: Everyone wants to have a happy life, but it's going to be impossible to give everyone everything they want."
Instead, he went on, developers can now create virtual versions of real experiences that are only enjoyed by the planet’s privileged few, which they can then bestow to the destitute of the world. “It's easy for us to say, living in the great state of California, that VR is not as good as the real world,” Luckey went on, “but a lot of people in the world don't have as good an experience in real life as we do here.”
In fact, as Luckey suggests to me in a follow-up conversation, it may be people from developing nations who’ll be among the first to embrace virtual reality. While the technology must become extremely compelling to attract well-off Californians away from their enviable real lives, he argues, “[i]f you’re talking about Chinese workers or people who are living in Africa, I think the threshold is a lot lower… it could be a lot of the early adopters are the people who have a greater incentive to escape the real world.”
And here I thought the Ben Kenobi post was him hinting he was about to announce a new VR startup. (And maybe it's still possible he is.)