It’s another giant dark starship beating up the Enterprise!
I watched the latest Star Trek movie with a group of like-minded Star Trek fans. We all agreed it was a fast-paced action-packed movie with lots of homages made to the original series fans, and very entertaining to watch. That being said, there seems to be so much conflict between original fans and new fans. The former consider the new trek to be a Star Wars flick with the serial numbers filed off and replaced with Star Trek names and places. The latter consider the new trek to be a breath of much-needed fresh air for an otherwise now-stale and nearly dead franchise. I am not sure exactly where I fall, probably a little bit of both.
If I had to, I’d say either way you look at it, it’s a good thing for Star Trek. The new movies have generated more interest in Star Trek , and that’s always a good thing for keeping the franchise going. Despite this, some fans have some serious issues with the size of the new Enterprise. Fans of the “old” trek say the new Enterprise can’t be more than 300+ meters in length, while fans of the “new” trek say its as it was stated in various abodes on the interwebz, 700+ meters in length. All sorts of evidence is cited, from art designer quotes to meticulous pixel by pixel examinations. As far as enjoying the movies, does it really matter?
Again, I am not sure which is quite right, not without some definitive tech manual popping up from an official source saying, “The Enterprise is X meters long.” So without further ado, I give you this revised and updated version of the USS Kelvin, large and in charge! Stay tuned in the next few weeks as I will also be statting out the large and in-charge USS Vengeance from the latest Trek film!
Starfleet Kelvin-class large
A male tinker gnome
I don’t often post about fantasy, particularly Dragonlance’s tinker gnomes, but several observations/encounters prompted this post. In the Dragonlance world, tinker gnomes are unlike the gnomes of other fantasy series because they are neither interested or capable in wielding magic. The sole focus of every tinker gnome is to tinker with gadgets, with technology. In fact, tinkers are so obsessed with technology that they will find a technological solution to a problem even when there is a much more logical and efficient non-technological solution. e.g. A tinker gnome will build a mechanical steam-powered machine to take sensor readings of the ambient light levels outside coupled to a facts machine that will then write out its findings and have said finding mechanically delivered to the machine’s operator … or you could just look out a window and see how much light there is.
Let me preface by saying that I love smartphones. The touchscreens, the convenience, the digital power, it’s all quite intoxicating. There comes a point though, when even love crosses over into unhealthy obsession. My wife and I have encountered various instances of this kind of obsession. Incident example one: A man walking his dog is so busy looking at his smartphone that he almost collides with my wife on a wide sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon. Incident example two: A woman is so busy looking at her smartphone she collides (at under 10 mph) with a car at the stoplight she is sitting at. Incident example three: many people sitting around a table in a restaurant waiting for their food and instead of talking to their table-mates are instead messing with their smartphones (tweeting about their food?).
We have become Tinker Gnomes!
The Timeship Aeon.
One of the more recurring themes in science fiction, particularly Star Trek, is that of time travel. In the distant future of this futuristic series, the human-created Federation Starfleet has evolved into something more. Instead of just exploring space with its Starfleet, the Federation now explores time as well as space with its Timefleet.
I love work, but with all the various pushes and pulls of life, I find like I’m sure many of you find, that there is just not enough time in the day to do ALL the things we want, or even need. I find myself craving more time to do everything! I find myself planning ahead, sometimes obsessively, so that I can maximize my time. How glorious would that be to use a timeship (like the Starfleet Epoch-class) to extend your day, and do a month’s worth of work in just 24 hours? Heck, why stop there, perhaps do a year’s worth of work in 1 hour! Or a lifetime in 1 second?
There I think is the danger in delving too deep thoughts of the future (ironic eh?) Occasional excursions are grand, frequent excursions just take away too much of the little time we do have in the here and now. Sometimes we just need to live in the here and now and do what we can. As my wise wife always says, “Live in the moment.”
The Hutet-class Battleship
The Cardassian Hutet-class starship was a powerful battleship designed by the Cardassians around the time of the Dominion War. The Cardassians were a resource-poor polity that was ever-expanding its empire to remedy that lack of resources. Ironically, this expansion meant a further drain on their empire’s resources, thus fueling further expansion.
How many times have we seen the same vicious cycle at work here on Earth? Resource scarcity begets war begets resource scarcity begets war. Perhaps the only way to truly reduce or eliminate this vicious cycle here on Earth is to expand out into space and acquire resources from other worlds in our own solar system. The cynic in me, though, would only surmise that we would just expand our wars into space. The optimist in me, however, would hope that we could spin the exploration of space as a conquest requiring the unity of all humanity to succeed.
Nestor was a character in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Throughout both books he was simultaneously praised and scorned for his hospitality and counseling, but overall was viewed as a good and wise counselor, irregardless of the success of those that followed his advice. Too often, nowadays, it seems that we are too focused on immediate results. Even when following sound advice, we lack the patience to see things through when this advice does not bear immediate fruit.
Imagine, then, a dark evening just after a rain shower. We require light. Instead of viewing sound advice as a light switch to be flipped on to produce immediate results, we should look at it as a match being struck and set to a candle wick. A breeze may unexpectedly come along and extinguish the match before we can light the candle, or even an errant leftover raindrop may splash upon our match, but that does not mean the striking of the match was ill-advised.
Here then is the Starfleet Nestor-class, for whom I’ve concocted a storyline as being the first Starfleet ship to feature ship’s counselors as part of the regular crew complement. May their advice bear fruit (in time)!
Over the last month I have really gotten into playing the board game, Star Trek: Fleet Captains, especially with the introduction of the Romulan expansion. For those of you that are into board games and into Star Trek, this game truly captures the feel of Star Trek more than any other game I’ve played.
My wife and I love playing board games, it’s a wonderful way to spend time with one another as well as to indulge a bit of our creativity and problem-solving abilities. With Star Trek she always plays the Federation and (up until the Romulan expansion), I’ve always played the Klingons. The Federation, for those not in the know, is a peaceful organization dedicated to scientific and social progress, while the Klingons are an aggressive warrior species bent on galactic conquest.
I have discovered that in trying to play the Klingons as written in Trek lore, aggressive and expansionistic, I invariably lose 3/4 of the time against my pacifistic, science-focused Federation-playing wife. I’ve found that more often than not, when I do win at the board game, it’s usually because I have undertaken missions that do not rely on combat for success, but instead involve non-violent methods. That is why this board game successfully captures the feel of Trek; it shows us that violent conflict is not the best route to victory, and that’s a lesson that would do our world so much good if we all took that a bit more to heart when we interact with the people we share it with.
So below I have created some additional ships for the board game, enjoy!
New Ship Cards v2
The Refit Polaris
Starships are like jobs, they both can involve a variety of activities or be limited to just one activity, they can both be dynamic and interesting or boring and staid, and in the end, they both will come to a conclusion. My sister recently lost her job, and we actually sat down in our local hobby shop to play a game of Star Trek Fleet Captains while discussing her thoughts on her ex-job. In many ways she is now in that point in her life that Kirk and crew were in after the original Enterprise concluded its first five-year mission. Now what? Where do I go from here? What do I do? What my sister may not realize yet, is that though she is in that limbo-like portion of her life, the best is yet to come. Kirk refocused his life after the original Enterprise and went on to achieve greatness, and I have faith that my sister will do exactly the same, achieve greatness in her own life and career.
So here’s to refitting our starships to suit us!
P.S. Here’s the Starfleet Polaris-class refit.
Posted in Life, Science Fiction
Tagged Enterprise, Federation, Five Year Mission, fleet captains, Kirk, local hobby shop, Original Enterprise, Polaris, Refit, Star Trek, Starships