Monthly Archives: July 2012

Update and reorganization

 

I’ve updated my starships page so that the 60+ ships and stations I’ve statted out are organized by political affiliation as well as the century in which they were first produced.

Enjoy!

A new home & a new station

My wife and I just moved into our new house yesterday, and I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that 90 degree heat + steep driveways + stairways + heavy furniture & boxes = More sweat in 4 hours of moving than an entire weekend of hiking in Grayson Highlands Virginia state park near White Top.

I can now better understand, just barely, some of the difficulty faced by Bajoran laborers under Cardassian rule. So below you will find a space station used by the Cardassians for something other than forcing Bajorans to process ore.

 

The Krenim, Masters of Time

A.K.A. The Jerk dad from That 70s Show.

The Krenim were featured in two Voyager episodes titled, “Year of Hell”. In particular, the shows focused on Annorax (see picture above), and his centuries long quest to restore his wife to life. As it turns out, Annorax has spent two centuries manipulating time, wiping out entire civilizations and species, all in an attempt to restore his wife to life (he accidentally wiped her out of existence before). I won’t spoil how it ends for you, though you can probably guess. Still, it’s an interesting dilemma many of us have faced in our lives. How many times have we wished we could go back in time and erase some mistake we have made, or how many times have we thought back, “What if I had chosen the other path?” While I don’t advocate a complete disregard of paths we may have chosen, I think it’s important to remember that all our experiences (both good and bad) have helped shape who we are now, and that by focusing on the here and now, on the present moment, we can make our lives better. Too often we, like Annorax, are stuck in the past, or are too caught up in what might happen in the future. In times like that, we end up not enjoying the life we have now, in this moment. All we have is the now, and we should live that present moment, for it will never come again.

Below is just one kind of starship used by the Krenim:

The Kazon, the Klingons of the Delta Quadrant

Nog, as a Kazon that looks like a Klingon.

I’ve grown to enjoy a lot of Star Trek: Voyager in the years since it aired its last episode. One thing I have not grown to love is the Kazon, or Neelix. Before I digress too much in a discussion of anthropomorphic porcupines and their mindless cheerfulness, let’s look at the Kazon. Every species in Star Trek serves as a foil for some aspect of humanity, whether it be the honor-bound Klingons, the cunning Cardassians, or deceptive Romulans. Unlike those three well-documented species, the Kazon just don’t seem to capture my attention. Perhaps they needed more airtime on Voyager to be further fleshed out (though I know many Trek fans that would say they received too much air time), or perhaps they needed to be unique.

That’s the problem though, they aren’t unique, in my mind they’ve always come off as cheap knockoffs, the Delta Quadrant’s Klingons, who do what Klingons do, except not as well. Perhaps it’s not entirely the fault of the Kazons themselves, and perhaps it’s the whole Voyager series. Let me clarify. What I mean is that the very premise of Star Trek: Voyager is one that runs contrary to the spirit of Star Trek. To me, Star Trek is all about humanity journeying out to the stars, stepping away from our cradle Earth and discovering new life while simultaneously discovering more about ourselves in the process, and thus learning and improving ourselves through contact with those diverse cultures. Voyager seems to have this completely in the reverse, it’s a starship far away from home and spends the entire 7 seasons of its episodic run finding a way home. It’s a knockoff of Lost in Space, Star Trek’s version of Lost in Space, doing what Lost in Space did, except not as well because Voyager gets unlost by actually finding Earth. Ah well, there was always the Doctor.

Here are some Kazon ships for you to blow up in your game:

The Romulans

The “Vertical” Warbird. Image originally from http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/.

Similar to the Klingons, the Romulans are another Star Trek threat species that has changed from its original portrayal. In the days of the Original Series they were honorable warriors willing to fight to the death … but by the time of the Next Generation, they were still willing to fight to the death, but they would spy on you, sabotage your stuff, try and misdirect your righteous anger at another species, then fight to the death.

Today’s starship is an interesting one, as it was the original design by Andrew Probert to be a vertically-oriented starship, something in complete contravention to all other Star Trek ships and their mostly horizontal orientation. I’m not saying it’s pretty, in fact, to me it looks rather odd and vaguely headache-inducing. It is different though. Perhaps the Romulans decided to intentionally create a ship that would induce headaches in humans?Without further ado, you can find the ship below, as well as on my starships page.

Cardassians and Police States

The Cardassians are another somewhat tragic object lesson in Star Trek. Prior to expanding out into space, the Cardassian people were renowned for their art and sophisticated culture. Through mismanagement of their own planet, their resources dwindled to almost nothing and they were forced to look beyond their planet for the resources they needed. Ironically, they ended up subjugating another artistic culture, the Bajorans, for their resources. Still, for decades after they were resource poor and looked on enviously at the neighboring Federation and Klingons, to the point that wars were fought with both powers. This of course led to even more resource depletion in an already resource poor political state. By this point in time Cardassian culture was very clearly no longer focused on the arts, they had morphed into a police state where enemies of the state were considered guilty before their trial even began.

In a final bid for power, the Cardassians joined the biggest police state known in the galaxy, the Dominion. Through the course of the Dominion War between the Dominion and the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, the Cardassians would come to taste what it was like to live in a police state (with the Jem’Hadar as the policemen) and not be the one in charge. Inevitably, the Cardassians rebelled, but tragically this would result in over 800 million Cardassians dead at the conclusion of the Dominion War.

It’s an interesting object lesson for us, the people of Earth, for we now fight over the limited resources of our own world, with equally tragic results.

So here are some starships for the Cardassians and some of their allies and foes:

Drugs, Violence, and the Jem’Hadar

That white tube in his neck pumps drugs directly into his system.

Star Trek is full of warrior races in opposition to the Federation. We’ve got the ubiquitous Klingons, plus the Andorians, Nausicaans, Kazon, etc. A relatively recent addition to that menagerie of hostile warrior peoples is the Jem’Hadar. There are a few things that set them apart from all others, one is that they were genetically modified to be the “perfect” warrior, unquestioning, skilled, cold-blooded killers. Second, they are born addicted to a drug called ketracel-white, without daily use of which they will die.

As with many other incidences of Star Trek, even the Jem’Hadar are an analogy for our lives. Our recent wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a similar, if not so blatant problem. But why stop at our warriors in our examination? How many people do we know that have a de facto drug store in their medicine cabinets to treat their conditions? Medication for a heart condition, hypertension, diabetes, etc.? Are these not medications without which these people would die? Are they not controlled, in a way, through their continued reliance on these drugs? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but perhaps in asking them we can eventually solve the problems they pose. Having had numerous discussions on these issues with my wife, she firmly believes that our reliance on artificial foods and sedentary lifestyles are major contributing factors for many of the ailments that plague us now. She says we have thrown our lives out of balance as a result, and that by seeking to balance our lives through a healthy diet and exercise are key to ridding us of many of these problems.

As someone who used to be 45 pounds overweight with frightening bouts of unexplained chest pains until I changed my diet and started regularly exercising, I tend to agree.

Below  are some ships crewed by Star Trek’s addicted warriors: