3.25.2012

Things I liked and didn't like about Star Trek: Enterprise

 In no particular order, because I don't want to spend a week trying to order them.

Likes
  • The way they acted around the transporter. The Enterprise was equipped with one, but due to the fact that it was brand new, it was rarely used. I like the weariness, it would have been absurd to have them just use it as easily as characters in the other Trek series.
  • The setting. I know a lot of Trekkies abhorred the idea of a show taking place before The Original Series and I was one of them. I got over it though. The concept of chronicling the pre-Federation days of the Trekverse and how the Federation eventually formed was interesting.
  • The aliens. It was nice to see recurring appearances by races like the Andorians and Tellarites. It was always odd that despite them being two of the founding members of the Federation, you only saw the Tellarites once (The Journey to Babel) and the Andorians like three times (The Journey to Babel, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The Offspring) prior to Enterprise.
  • Their in-universe explanation for the two different types of Klingons. Talk about solving the second biggest mystery of Star Trek (the biggest being how Kirk managed to avoid getting space herpes from all the alien chicks he banged). If you've never watched Enterprise, the explanation was that the Klingons were experimenting with the DNA from augmented humans created by Arik Soong, the direct descendant of Noonian Soong, the creator of Data, Lor, and B4. Their goal was just to improve their species, but things got out of control and the smooth-foreheaded Klingons seen in TOS were the result.

3.17.2012

Should Admiral Adama have sacrificed the Galactica?

One of the more exciting moments of Ronald D. Moore's reimagined Battlestar Galactica series was the Battle of New Caprica as seen in Exodus Part II during the third season. I wouldn't be able to do the battle justice, so read about it here. I remember a debate that went on after that episode aired on a forum I used to frequent about whether or not Adama should have sacrificed the Galactica and preserved the Pegasus, the former's sister ship commanded by his son, Lee (Apollo). For the sake of anyone who has never seen the series, here's what the Galactica and Pegasus look like.

3.15.2012

The Earth-Romulan War

This post brought to you by this comment by Spacerguy on my previous post about Masao Okazaki's Starfleet Museum:
The Romulan War Wing at the Starfleet Museum is a fascinating read.
He's referring Okazaki's version of the war between Earth and the Romulan Star Empire, which in my opinion is way better than the version Star Trek: Enterprise gave us. In the case of the latter, it went counter to what we knew of the war as per Spock in "Balance of Terror": namely that the war was fought between Earth and the Romulans using lasers and primitive atomic weapons. In Enterprise, the ships certainly did not have lasers and nukes and Spock never mentioned the Romulans employing remotely controlled drone ships with the capability to disguise itself as other ships. A pretty useful ability that they evidently never used beyond that war. Odd isn't it?

Okazaki went a different route, describing a war fought between powers who were still weak and not terribly advance - none of the parties involved possess anti-matter reactors, instead relying on fusion reactors to power their ships and warp drives for the early part of the war.

All in all, his take on the Earth-Romulan War is worth reading and his gorgeous ships worth taking a gander at.

3.13.2012

Websites worth visiting: The Starfleet Museum

Starfleet Museum Logo by Masao Okazaki.
I discovered this gem a number of years ago, back during my internet forum days. Created by Masao Okazaki, the Museum charts the both the history of Earth Starfleet and the early years of the Federation's Starfleet. Going through it, you'll notice that a lot of it doesn't quite segue with established Trek history and that's okay, because it's wholly intentional. Okazaki wanted to do his own history and honestly, I think it's better than what we got with Star Trek: Enterprise.

3.06.2012

My favorite armor from the Halo series: Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor

I'm a Halo fan, have been since the original. This extends to the novels, one of which - Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund - introduced me to this bad boy right here, the Semi-Powered Infiltration or SPI armor. It differs from the MJOLNIR armor worn by Master Chief and other Spartans in the games and novels in that it isn't as heavy and lacks features of the former. It doesn't have shields, no built-in capability to carry an AI. It is, however, mass producible, unlike the MJOLNIR-series, and has a pretty sweet camouflage system.

3.03.2012

Sad news, RIP Ralph McQuarrie

Damn, this sucks hard vacuum. Ralph McQuarrie, who did the concept art for the original Star Wars trilogy died today at the age of 82. He also did concept art for other movies and the original Battlestar Galactica. Hit the jump to check out two pieces of his artwork for the movies.

3.02.2012

PlanetSide: A Last Stand

Saw this interesting story on Rock, Paper, Shotgun about a final stand writer Quintin Smith took part in the PlanetSide, back in 2003. PlanetSide is a MMOFPS run by Sony Online Entertainment where you could play a soldier for one of three factions: Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, and Vanu Ascendancy.

Back in 2003, a bug struck and somehow locked players for the Terran Republic out of their own sanctuary, a base each faction has that is unconquerable. This also prevented players from logging in. Well, humans being human in this sort of situation (re: dicks), the other two factions decided to bum rush the Republic's territory to try and do something that is technically supposed to be impossible: take out a faction. With dwindling numbers and no hope for reinforcements, a small number of Terran Republic soldiers decided to make a valiant last stand. What happens? Read and find out.

3.01.2012

RX-79 Ez8 Gundam

Gundam Wiki.
The Gundam Ez8 appeared in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam: 8th MS Team, which followed a regular, non-newtype (uber pilots) military unit as it fought against Zeon forces on Earth. The Ez8 was originally a RGM-79, a variant of the RX-79 Gundam used by Amuro Ray, but aimed at being mass producible. However, the Federation opted to go with the less expensive GM mobile suit and diverted their resources away from the RGMs.  This proved to be a problem when Shiro Amada wrecked his Gundam in battle and so engineers were forced to rebuild it using leftover spare parts from the original Gundam. The result was the above.

The Ez8 is one of my favorite Gundams and mobile suits in general. It doesn't look ridiculous like later Gundams (I'm looking at you, SEED) and has a more rugged, realistic appearance. Unfortunately, the Ez8 was destroyed in the final episode of 8th MS Team. A real shame.

So who wants to see a video of the U.S. Navy test firing a railgun?


Talk about nerd boners. I love the motto for this project: Velocitas Eradico - Speed Destroys. Hopefully, they'll never have to be used in aggression. Fortunately, railguns do have non-military applications, such as launching objects into space, which is a cheaper alternative than using rockets.

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