mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (yeager)
There's a "25 Things About Me" meme going around Facebook. Rather than just re-post it here, I was inspired by John Scalzi's column to write "20 Memories of Sci-Fi Movies of My Youth". Agreed, it's not quite a catchy a title, but I can live with that.

1) The first SF movie I saw in the theaters was "Star Wars", when I was seven. I remember seeing the commercials and thinking, "Meh, might be okay." Yeah, underestimated that one a bit. I do not remember "Episode 4" atop the opening crawl. The John Williams soundtrack spent long hours in the following months accompanying my pretending to blast TIE fighters from a laser gun turret.

2) The next one I recall seeing in the theaters was "Starcrash". This would only have been a good movie had I been old enough to enjoy Caroline Munro's outfit. I can't remember too much about it now, which may be a good thing, but I'm tempted to find a copy and enjoy the badness from a whole new perspective.

3) "Close Encounters" confused and frightened me, especially the part where Richard Dreyfuss starts losing his sanity. I didn't understand the ending at that age, either. In fact, to this day, there's a lot of unexplained bits having to do with the aliens, which is just as well; I suspect that any explanation from Spielberg would have been far lamer than the mystery.

4) While we're on such movies, I was mildly traumatized by the laser surgery and 'cannibal' robot in "Logan's Run", and I didn't understand the whole "Carousel" thing at all. That's another movie which is probably unwise to watch before puberty, especially in a midnight showing in a darkened house.

5) "Star Trek: The Motion Picture": Wow, new Klingon ships. Whoa whoa, new Klingons! Triple whoa: I am in love with the new Enterprise model! Okay, excellent, what's going to happen for the next ninety minutes? Oh. Not much. I'm glad I never took it in to my head to get myself one of that movie's uniforms.

Fifteen more behind the cut )

So, that's a snapshot of my first 20 years of SF movie watching, and I am already remembering a bunch I left out. Maybe I'll hit this meme again if I remember anything interesting about the next bunch.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Local weather is trying to be obliging. "You don't have a light jacket right now? Okay, we'll just drop the morning temp to 45 degrees so you can wear your winter coat, does that help?"

Had a very weird dream the other night where I climbed down a narrow drainage pipe to find myself in a secret underground studio where they were filming the return of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to the cable channels. I was privileged to sit in on one of the sessions where they watch the movie and write the jokes; I started ad-libbing along, and they hired me on the spot, causing me to draw the wrath of one of the other writers for some reason. Any dream interpreters wanna take a shot at that one?

In the ongoing Stuff Reduction Plan, I did some heavy game materials archaeology yesterday. I found my copy of Amber Diceless, a fascinating take on RPG mechanics that uses no random chance at all; Star Warriors, a fast-paced, careening tactical game of Star Wars fightercraft; and Ogre, light infantry and vehicles against a robot tank the size of a small city block. I'm keeping those. (Actually, I fear the Ogre set may belong to [livejournal.com profile] rattrap.)

Going away is the stack of official Star Trek fan magazines, which will be probably be trashed; and [livejournal.com profile] raininva has dibs on the bigger stack of West End Star Wars RPG and Indiana Jones RPG books. Battletech 3025 scenario and source- books are going; Battletech 'Mech listing books are staying. I'm not sure whether I'm keeping Castle Falkenstein, or the hardcover first-edition copy of White Wolf Mage. (Starr, a onetime Vampire LARPer, may give me permission to keep that.) However, I will divest myself of the two Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG hardcovers, and the Traveller: A New Era core book. I have a lot of gaming stuff.

Last treasure unearthed: my Wireframe Babylon Project books and GM screen. The savvy fan will find the names of [livejournal.com profile] jsciv, [livejournal.com profile] yubbie, and [livejournal.com profile] impink within; and down in the playtesting credits, a listing for some doof that goes by [livejournal.com profile] mikailborg online. Yeah, I'm keeping that one.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (speed+time)
[livejournal.com profile] meiran posted this. It's silly, it's fanservice... and it's joyously wonderful.

mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 11:51 .67 miles again this am. Working my butt off. Also, found a pic of G.Lucas wearing a "Han Shot First" shirt. tinyurl.com/5ms88t #
  • 13:30 20 min. into lunch: not a good time to find that Quiznos no longer carries my favorite sub. Prime rib cheesesteak okay, but too much onions. #
Sent subspace radio by LoudTwitter

Firepower

May. 12th, 2008 10:28 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Of course, the main reason that a Star Destroyer can blow the Enterprise to smithereens in a heartbeat is that while Trek pays lip service to power consumption realities, Star Wars doesn't even bother. It's fairly dubious that, with the given technology, a Next Gen shuttlepod could even manage orbital velocity (which they are seen to do several times in the series), but a similar-sized Star Wars vehicle is a hyperspace-capable deflector-shield-equipped combat craft. And the colossal power requirements of the Death Star are barely worth mentioning here.

Now, the high-tech of the Lucas universe is thousands of years older than that of Roddenberry's, so perhaps that's part of the explanation. But that just underscores the fact that we're comparing apples and oranges; the USS Dallas and Captain Nemo's Nautilus are both submarines, but I fear that our brilliant inventor is in for a tough time against computer-aided passive sonar and homing torpedoes.

Here be your over-analyzed geek argument of the day.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Everyone's been linking to this page, and it goes quite well with my uncontrollable urge to deeply analyze the underpinnings of the Star Wars movies. The page asks: which well-known movie character was the top field agent for the Rebellion between Episodes III and IV? It may not be who you'd think!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (foolish)
Cinemax has been running six-movie Star Wars marathons all month. We just watched Empire while waiting for [livejournal.com profile] raininva's WoW raid to start... I'm amused by the fact that Vader contributes to his own failures in this story. He's so determined to be eeeeevil, and show everyone how eeeevil he is, that he pushes Lando too far and loses Luke, Leia, and Chewie in the process. If he'd just backed off a tiny bit, he'd have made a clean sweep.

His lightsaber technique's a bit shabby near the end, too. Maybe the fact that Luke's involved is clouding his judgement. To quote Sarek: "My logic falters where my son is concerned."

I have to keep reminding myself that the Falcon's a freighter. This isn't nit-picking, I'm completely willing to believe that Lando, Han, and Chewie have done things to it that its designers would be horrified by... but watching it fly through those asteroids is like watching a Peterbilt 18-wheeler compete in FormulaOne racing. That's one heavily-modded cargo hauler!

I mentioned to Rain that the Falcon and the TARDIS have a lot in common... heavily-modified antiques capable of impossible things, but rarely completely functional. This movie also reminds me that the Star Wars universe is a lousy place to be a sentient droid. Clearly, they have pain-analogue circuitry, and feelings to boot, but nevertheless they're really physically abused and treated like crap by both heroes and villians. Do you suppose Bail Organa ordered memory wipes on any of his other troops that knew of Luke and Leia's birth?
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Eric Burns, of Websnark.com:

"I'd like to go into depth on the Jedi philosophy, on the core of Hubris that led to the Fall of the Jedi Order, on the nature of denial and of ossification, and on the ways that Qui Gon Jinn represented, thematically, a break from all that in his methodology which led step by step to the next three movies and the redemption of the Jedi in the Expanded Universe. I would. And I'd like to show how David Willis has highlighted this succinctly. I even accept that if I did so, I'd never, ever get laid again. Somehow, this thesis would cling to me like lack of hygiene and even geek grrls would pause upon seeing me, say "well, no. Not him," and move on."

Instead, he just points us to this "Shortpacked!" comic. Which is freaking hilarious.

Oh, and I've stumbled upon a site with more remixes of the Doctor Who theme than any sane soul would ever need.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Today it is my unbirthday! Following Lewis Carroll, [livejournal.com profile] raininva and I have decided that having two birthdays a year is funner. Hers is in November, but she picked today for mine. We are going to a Comedy Club tonight and she gave me a very nice clothing accessory Tuesday night as a present.

Last night I managed 90 minutes on World of Warcraft. I am totally a geek because I'm enjoying smelting and engineering more than I am killing stuff. I made level 10 with my gnome mage, and moved to another page of my map for the first time (but then moved back, as I have lots of unfinished quests where I was). I also replaced a dead headlight and re-aligned one that I installed improperly a few months ago. I like my little Hyundai, but it's not great design when I have to pull the battery to get to one of the headlight lamps.

I woke up to 70 degree temperatures and sun, which makes it hard to be grumpy even when I do have to get up before 10am. I really needed the quiet night last night; my social life has been cranked up to 11 lately, which is nice, but a little overwhelming. The 1.5 hours of video-gaming was a present to myself. Lord knows when I'll finally finish Halo 1, Jedi Knight II, Elite Force II, NOLF, BloodRayne, Tron 2.0, ./Hack, Robotech: Battlecry, Red Faction II... okay I'm going to stop working out this list because it is depressing me :)

Congrats to [livejournal.com profile] yubbie & [livejournal.com profile] colleenk, and [livejournal.com profile] nius & [livejournal.com profile] rainbowsaber, on their new housing developments! (Ouch. That was unintentional, I swear.)

Since everything's all Star Warsy right now, here's a pair of websites you should visit:

Pink Five: two of the funniest fan films I've seen, easily up there with Troops as fan classics. The third film should be out soon, and they posted a production blog which includes the lead actress' reaction to meeting a fan dressed as her! I want a Pink Harvest t-shirt or button or something.

A lot of people have heard of this one, but Darth Vader's blog has the distinction of not only being funny, but damn well written. The entry about Qui-Gon actually sent chills though me with its ineffable appropriateness. I found myself nodding, and saying to myself, "Wow... that makes sense." And the blog even has an RSS feed.

Okay, back to working.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Uggggh...

Brain is not working this morning. I am slow and stupid. Caffeine not helping. I just pray I get through the morning without embarassing myself too much.

I don't know what the problem is, I ate well yesterday and got 6 hours of sleep last night (okay, interrupted once or twice by the cat, but I thought I was used to that by now).

Failed to dodge a spoiler yesterday for "Revenge of the Sith", and it's disappointing. From all I hear, the movie's going to be quite good, but I'm disappointed that they chose to include this one little detail.

Last week's Enterprise, however, was all style, no substance, and yet it rocked. You don't need things to make sense when you're having this much fun. The last 6 minutes especially... oooh, nerdgasm. The 8-year-old fan in me was royally entertained. Can't wait to see tonight's; at least the show's going out fighting.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (mecha)
While thinking of sf/fantasy movies & TV today, it occurred to me that they're all more 'fun' if the fate of humanity hinges on the outcome. That's hard to do in episodic TV, of course, but Babylon 5 managed it, Deep Space Nine managed it, and Enterprise picked that up by its third season.

It's in all the fan favorites; The Original Series and The Next Generation didn't do it often, but when they did ("City On The Edge Of Forever", "Yesterday's Enterprise", "Best of Both Worlds') It was memorable. The best Trek movies did this: Khan had to be prevented from getting the Genesis Device; the Whale Probe had to be silenced; the Borg had to be prevented from disrupting First Contact).

Of course, the original Star Wars trilogy let us know practically from the opening crawl that 'humanity' (i.e., the Rebellion and a pair of leftover Jedi) was gambling everything on Anakin's twins; and in The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship knew that if they screwed this up, Middle-Earth was lost. Indeed, in SDF-Macross, the heroes almost blew it, and vast populations of human beings didn't live to see the end of the series.

This may have been part of the problem with the new Star Wars trilogy, and the first two seasons of Enterprise. There was just no urgency in what the characters did, since we knew, in broad strokes at least, what the eventual outcome was going to be. You can make up for that with compelling character drama, but we didn't get that either. (I know that Enterprise had a "Temporal Cold War" going on, but it was dull as dirt. We didn't care until the Xindi zapped Earth.) Voyager eventually became character-driven and somewhat interesting, but might have had far better legs in the beginning if it had tried the Space Battleship Yamato / B5: Crusade formula and had to deal with an urgent need to get home ASAP - whether or not their technology was initially up to it.

Perhaps that's something the writers of Trek Series 6 should think about. (I don't doubt there will be a Series 6, next year or 10 years from now.) Make us worried, maybe not from the first episode but before too long. Make us feel like the leads are fighting not just for themselves, but for us or our kids. Give us an investment.

I bet we fans will eat it up.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (magical)
Why couldn't Watto take Republic credits? They'd have to be a pretty solid currency at that time. For that matter, why couldn't Qui-Gon find someone who'd change his Republic credits over to Tatooine ones for a fixer's fee? "Wretched hives" always have someone who can do this.

Message to the Wachowskis: I saw some of Revolutions the other day, and I'm sorry, but your movies make a lot more sense if Morpheus. Oracle, and Architect were supplying Neo with inaccurate / incomplete information, and Zion / the tunnels were simply another layer of the Matrix. This explains too much to be dismissed, no matter what you tried to sell us in movie three. Maybe what you told us "was true, from a certain point of view."

I remain amazed at the Tolkien fans who feel that Peter Jackson did a poor job with LOTR. He pulled off a movie-making miracle, coherently filming a epic that the original author considered unfilmable, and in the process winning the hearts of both the general public and the Academy with a fantasy film. Sure, lots of us would have made a few different choices, but I don't care to hear anyone say he's a hack until they personally can produce something better.

Over the weekend, a friend made some excellent conjectures on who Harry Potter's "Half-Blood Prince" might be. At least two of them could lead to very interesting storylines; the trick will be to not have it spoiled before I can read the actual book.

Rain got her PSP yesterday. I'll say the first thing everyone else does - "Nice Screen!" She's enjoying a couple of the games, too. With the default settings I found on the web, 30 minutes of video are ~200 MB more or less of a memory card, so at ~$100 for a 1 GB card, it's clear we won't be carrying around a fistful of pre-loaded feature-length movies.

I might head to the Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight. We'll see.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Yoda is clearly a much better teacher of the Jedi way than Obi-Wan Kenobi. One month with Luke, and Yoda had him ready to take out Darth Vader with a match-and-a-rematch; Obi-Wan had Anakin for, what, 7 or 8 years and never quite managed to teach him that "The vengeful destruction of entire communities is *bad*, dude."

-----

Spaceship engines I have invented (or helped invent):

The Noodle Drive - powered by the reaction between pasta and antipasto

The Arel Drive - twisting space by the efforts of anime fans and Nihonjin exchange students trying to get each other's consonants right

The Warped Drive - converting the libido of freshman college students to energy (still theoretical only, every piece of experimental equipment has melted or gotten icky)

Yes, most of these inventions did involve sleep deprivation.

Yub Nub!

Sep. 29th, 2004 05:29 pm
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Y'know, the fan commentary on the release of DVD Star Wars is just further proof to me that I'm abnormal: I have never found the Ewoks annoying. I always thought their victory was a metaphor for the fact that the Empire's arrogance and brutality were in fact its biggest weakness. Or, in the Princess' words, "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Jar-Jar, on the other hand, I'll give you.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
KayLee is spending less time under my bed, and more time perched on the living room windowsill, or sitting at the sliding glass backyard door looking out. She still prefers to be curled tight against me when she can manage it. In fact, she loves it when I'm lying on my bed with my knees up, typing on my work laptop; she then slides under my raised knees and goes to sleep, effectively immobilizing me.

I have a working phone now. This is a major load off my mind, and a great savings to my cell phone bill.

I hear that they finally did fix Ben and Vader's lightsaber blades in the hangar bay fight of A New Hope. I'm going to end up doing what [livejournal.com profile] raininva wants to do with Dune: import all the versions into Final Cut Pro, and recut the thing myself. In an unrelated note, I hear that BitTorrent files of the old Original Edition laserdiscs are very hot right now for some reason.

Ben and Vader's: sounds like a light-side / dark-side ice cream.

Yeah, think I better have some lunch before my blood sugar drops any farther.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cheesed)
Hard to say whether this is a forgery or not, but this web page claimes to have a revised clip of the last scene in Return of the Jedi. Yes, Sebastian Shaw's face has been replaced with Hayden Christiansen's.

*sigh*
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Well, I'm actually feeling a bit accomplished these days. This weekend, I shook the rust from my joints and did some serious database programming, teaching it how to build (static) webpages for manual upload. Today, I forced our server (which recently graduated from peer-to-peer file sharer to real server) to take an OS upgrade that it supposedly can't, getting better networking and filesystem performance from it.

You had to 'force' it? )

Has anyone ever noticed that when a Jedi fights a lightsaber-wielding villain, things usually don't go well for the Jedi?
Ep.4 - Obi-Wan vs. Vader, ends with Obi-Wan dead.
Ep.5 - Luke vs. Vader, ends with everyone calling Luke 'lefty.'
Ep.6 - Luke vs. Vader, ends with Luke almost succumbing to the dark side, then lying on the floor sucking Sidious' energy bolts.
Ep.1 - Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan vs. Maul, ends with Qui-Gon dead and Obi-Wan having to train Anakin. (Yeah, that all works out well.)
Ep.2 - Obi-Wan & Anakin & Yoda vs. Dooku, ends with 'lefty' Anakin, injured Obi-Wan, defeated Yoda, and Dooku flying off in his ship cackling, pausing only briefly to skywrite "Surrender Dorothy" on his way out.

Okay, I exaggerate a bit, but if I were a Jedi, and saw the other guy light up a laser blade, I'd be pretty depressed about how things were going.
mikailborg: Chris drew this picture of my first Starfleet character for a newsletter cover, years ago. (kriet)
This train of thought began as I watched Adobe Photoshop go through a complicated scripting sequence without any assistance from me... I began thinking of Rick Deckard's wonderful photo-processing "Esper" machine. (Yes, I want one.)

So, I'm thinking about Blade Runner and the fact that, in an unscientific poll of science-fiction fans, I'm one of the few viewers who prefer the theatrical release to the director's cut. (Voiceover, less uncertain ending, and all).

I'm not going to debate the merits of the two versions here, though it has occurred to me that it is the theatrical release that made Blade Runner one of the classics of SF film (and made it possible to produce a director's cut release, before DVDs made such releases common).

However, the discussion of the versions made me think about how we revise things in our heads. I watched hours of the old Robotech series last weekend, but used the remote to skip over the dull, boring, or actually painful parts. (Yes, I'm referring to Minmei.) The Internet produced the "Phantom Edit" version of Star Wars Episode I - in many opinions, a superior film. Douglas Adams himself wrote multiple variants of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - all official, and all contradictory.

Then, while looking up information on Apple's "Final Cut Pro", I found this web page that compares such revisions to the Bible itself, where the Gospels contradict each other and concentrate on the parts that the individual writers found interesting. And I realized that people have been arguing about this for nearly two thousand years.

So, the next time I go to a con and find an earnest discussion of how Enterprise has re-written the established history of the Star Trek universe, I'll be less likely to jump in with both feet. If we've been revising our most sacred texts to personal taste for this long, Kirk and Picard don't have much of a chance. *grin*

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