Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Questionable Star Wars vol. 6

The Millennium Falcon is the definition of a “cool ride.” But not everyone can win one in a card game. So maybe you should look at getting something else the next time you’re in the market for a spaceship.

Question: "Other than the Millennium Falcon, what is the coolest ship in the series?"

Scott's Answer: I suppose X-wing is a cop-out answer so I will say the star destroyers (another cop-out answer!). In terms of physics, their shape serves no real purpose but, in terms of design, they're great. The first shot of the first film tells you everything you need to know about what's going on and the overall shape and dimensions of the star destroyer play a part in that.

Andrew's Answer: For comfort and ride, nothing beats a star destroyer, but man, I love the tie fighters. The way they scream through space, proving that in space, people can hear you scream! They are just all kinds of awesome, especially Vader's model with the bent wings. What a fantastic spaceship!

40 comments:

K said...

I'd prefer a fully armed and operational Death Star as a ride. It may not be pretty, or maneuverable, but when you arrive at your destination, the local system government will kow tow to your smallest wish - or else.

Of course, when I "pimp my death star" there would be some custom changes. Basic black is okay, but to get really stylish perhaps a giant white "punisher" type skull graphic would be cool - and intimidating. That and a few alterations to the thermal exhaust ports.

Anonymous said...

Reading the answers I was surprised that neither Scott or Andrew mentioned the Death Star as that jumped to mind first thing. But K was thinking the same thing and even remembered to cover the little design flaws in the Death Star.

The Death Star doesn't look cool in the sense that the Millennium Falcon or an X Wing does, but they can destroy planets and it would be pretty cool to fly from system to system in it.

If you take the Death Star off the board then I would pick a Super Star Destroyer, it's like a Star Destroyer but its super!

Oh and I'd pick an X Wing over a Tie Fighter any day, Tie Fighters have no shields and no hyperdrive. They are death traps, that's not cool.

Scott.

shawn said...

Going to have to choose- the TIE interceptor, best known for it's use in Return of the Jedi during the space battle above Endor.

If we were to allow the games to come into effect- the TIE defender, what a monster.

Anthony said...

They aren't spaceships, but the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi were incredibly cool.

I'm sure I'd have the time of my life in the five seconds before I slammed into a tree at 300 MPH.

ScottDS said...

K -

Truth be told, it never occurred to me to mention the Death Star. I guess I don't think of it as a spaceship and I'm used to Star Trek where everything has a technical explanation... whereas in Star Wars, the Death Star just moves. No explanation - they just do it.

I'd sell advertising on the surface - you could see the ads from a parsec away and how else could one pay for its construction? :-)

ScottDS said...

Anon -

I almost said Super Star Destroyer; I don't know why I didn't. I think when I watch the movies, my first thought is, "How long is that damn ship?!" Besides, in Jedi, it's taken out by one A-wing!

And I agree re: the X-wings.

ScottDS said...

shawn -

Good choices! I had to look them up to remember what they looked like. :-)

ScottDS said...

Anthony -

I almost mentioned the speeder bikes until I realized that, if I were riding one, I'd probably be dead in two seconds. :-)

tryanmax said...

Honestly, the first thing that came to mind was the N-1 Starfighter from Episode 1. (Is it hypocritical of me that I want my aliens and droids to be practical, but I don't mind my starships being CGI?)

I also thought of Slave I, Bobba Fett's ship, for it's unusual configuration.

And I wouldn't mind being seen in the Naboo Royal Starship.

Tennessee Jed said...

seems to me that the special effects used on the little land cruiser that Luke first road in the beginning of Star Wars had a terrific "wow" factor considering it was only the late '70's. It was way cooler than anything being done in Vegas magic acts.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

That is a good looking ship. I've always tried to stress the technical work done on the prequels. Not just visual effects but design. Those guys definitely earned their paychecks!

No, it's not hypocritical, though many of the ships in the prequels were models. I think they still managed to use more models in the prequels than in the originals, not just for ships but sets, too.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

I imagine it did have that "Wow" factor. And it was very low-tech - they would gel the lens, or simply use a mirror for shots when the vehicle wasn't moving.

I thought Lucas cleaning it up was one of the better changes in the Special Editions. (It's less of a blob on the screen.)

AndrewPrice said...

K, "Pimp my death star." LOL!

You need the chrome package for all of the exhaust trenches. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, it's like a Star Destroyer but its super! LOL!

Yeah, the tie fighters are kind of death traps, but they're still kind of cool. Maybe you can get shields and hyperdrive after-markets?

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Those are cool. I used to have the trading cards and those were some of the best looking images.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Those speeder bikes were awesome, but I totally agree -- you will die... fast. Maybe if you lived in a desert they would work, but not on Endore... seriously.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The Death Star never occurred to me either. But I like the choice.

You're going to sell ad space! You've ruined Star Wars for me now. :(

You know, on the super star destroyer, you'll never find parking for that thing... just sayin'.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The Naboo ship is nice, but it has engine/electrical problems... probably British made.

Have you noticed, by the way, that the ships in Ep. 1 all look like 1950s cars?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I totally agree. That landspeeder had me thinking for years about how cool it was. :) And you are right, the effects on that were amazing -- so much better than any effect in the prequels or anything Lucas added to the original films.

annoyedelephants said...

Going full nerd on you:

Favorite Overall / Original Trilogy: TIE Interceptor
Huge upgrade in the TIE Fighter that gave us a faster, sleeker fighter that looked like Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 back in ANH, but so much sleeker and, presumably, better armed. This fighter is followed closely by the B-Wing (a unique design that was wicked powerful and fast) and the generic Imperial Star Destroyer (our first real vision of a truly capital class starship).

Favorite (Prequel Trilogy): Vulture Droid Fighter
The prequels didn't have a lot going for me in terms of starship design. I always felt that most of the Naboo ships were too pretty to be functional and the Jedi starfighters just weren't interesting. About the only thing that did work were the Droid starfighters that bore some fleeting resemblance to the TIE fighter. This would be followed fairly closely by the well-designed V-Wing Nimbus fighters used by the Republic.

Favorite Overall, including Expanded Universe: Z-95 Headhunter
I really wish we'd seen some of these in the prequels (which the Z-95 pre-dates in the timeline), but sadly no. It's a great fighter, tho, blending the best of the X-wing with the sleekness of the Imperial models. Me likey. Me wantee.

rlaWTX said...

Is an AT-AT a ship? I like the little 2-legged ones too...

OK - flying stuff: the A-wing
(and since I looked up stuff just so I could be different, I gotta say that the Nebulon-B frigate is pretty dang cool looking!)

ScottDS said...

annoyed -

I'm not familiar with the Expanded Universe but, as I mentioned above to shawn above re: the TIE interceptor, good call!

Re: the ship design in the prequels, I think the artists were inspired by classic cars. Look at a car today versus a car from the 50s. Cars back then had all sorts of "pretty" accoutrements that didn't necessarily improve performance.

ScottDS said...

rla -

I personally wouldn't call the AT-AT a ship but for the purposes of this discussion, why not? :-)

I've always liked the frigate design even though it just seems overly "busy." The model makers would "kitbash" these ships together - in other words, they'd use parts from pre-existing model kits.

BIG MO said...

For ships of the line, nothing beats the Empire’s star destroyers. (Although, in the expanded universe, it’s said that a star destroyer is “180,000 design flaws waiting to go wrong” or something like that.) The capital ships of the Republic, Separatists and Rebels just don’t measure up. But other than the X-wing and Slave 1, my favorite fighters/ships are all in the prequels:

The ARC-170 – briefly seen during the opening battle of episode III, these three-man heavy fighters feature a rarity in the SW universe: a manned, rearward defensive blaster position. Plus, they just look totally cool.

The clone gunship (I forget the technical designation) – It’s an inspired craft based on the concept (but not the look) of the U.S. Huey chopper for rapid trooper insertions and extractions. They can actually run out of ammo -- gasp again! The F/X folks also made a heavy transport version for bringing the AT-TE walkers directly to a battlefield.

The Jedi starfighters – I like these nimble little craft, particularly because the F/X folks designed them to be short-range craft requiring external hyperdrive rings to jump between systems. Very nice touch. Plus, in the 2003 animated Clone Wars miniseries Anakin created a hot-rod version of the episode II fighter, with heavier armaments, faster drives and nimbler controls. (I lucked upon a toy version of this fighter for my boys last Christmas.)

Finally, Slave 1 – Drool, drool. First seen in Empire merely flown by Boba Fett, Slave 1 is “fully armed and operational” (heh) in AotC in the two fights between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan.

AndrewPrice said...

annoyedelephants, That is indeed full nerd! I am impressed. :)

ScottDS said...

BIG MO -

I want to like Slave 1 more than I do. I like the change in orientation but I just can't get into the design of the ship itself. I have no idea what inspired it (a radar dish, I think) but it's like I can see the hand of the designer when I see the ship.

I also like the ARC-170 - a reasonable "retro-extrapolation" of some of the ships we saw in the original trilogy.

"180,000 design flaws waiting to go wrong..." Ha!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I thought the AT-ATs were great too. Yeah, the frigate was pretty cool looking too. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think they are based on 1950s cars. Notice the color schemes for example, and notice that the Nebo cruiser is made of chrome -- the add-on of choice for 1950s cars.

AndrewPrice said...

Big MO, I see that you've given them some thought. :)

Individualist said...

Andrew

I like the fishlike whale design of the Mon Calamari Star cruisers only because they had the best bridge chair ever

Starship

Biut there is way too much fanboyism out ther even for me. When you have to speak of the better arc of fire over the Mon Calamari's cruisers compared to the star destroyer.... oh well

tryanmax said...

Now that I've seen it, I do remember the frigate and thinking it was pretty cool. I don't know what the official story behind it is, but upon seeing it, I imagined it as something that was built onto as needed over many, many years and voyages.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I can't believe they're called the Calamari. LOL! I do like their bridge chairs though.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Kind of like a rag tag fugitive fleet fleeing the Cylon menace?

tryanmax said...

Andrew, that brings up something interesting. People always want to compare Star Wars to Star Trek and ask stupid questions like who would win in a fight between Luke and Kirk.

I always remind them that no such thing could ever happen, since Trek occurs in the 23rd c. in our own galaxy and Wars occurred "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." But BSG on the other hand could possibly intersect with the Star Wars universe, as it also happened long before our history began and their journey ostensibly started in a distant galaxy. Hmm...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Ug. You can't compare fantasy shows because they aren't based on the same realities. But if you want a clear winner... the Death Star. Nobody else claims to have the power to destroy an entire planet.

tryanmax said...

Ahem.

(But this doesn't count.)

AndrewPrice said...

Suhweeet. I forgot about that little baby. :)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

I'd put spinners on the Death Star...

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, That would be awesome. :) And maybe some fuzzy dice hanging from the bottom!

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Or it need hydraulics so the top half can jump from the bottom half! :D

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