The Rav Laerst Breen battle cruiser .. on my kitchen counter
So here I sit in the latest Snowpocalypse to hit the southeastern United States. As my wife and I gaze through the winter wonderland that now paints our neighborhood and many other neighborhoods I can’t help but think of the icy-dwelling Breen of Star Trek.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, mainly due to being busy with friends and family and work, but now that things have effectively been shut down by the snow, I have time to post again!
So my wonderful sister-in-law gifted me with the Star Trek Attack Wing: Starter Set by Wizkids and I have just been in absolute love with this game! I mentioned previously the Star Trek Fleet Captains game (also by Wizkids) and Attack Wing complements, rather than supplants the former. Both games do a damn good job of capturing the feel of Trek while still being fun and relatively balanced. While Fleet Captains is a board game, Attack Wing is a minis game. Both games are immensely fun, and the easiest analogy to make to understand the two games is that Fleet Captains is like an entire season of a Star Trek series, while playing Attack Wing is like a single episode (complete with missions!)
I’d say more, and I will later, but my wife is calling for more together time, so I bid you all a safe and warm winter night (or day)!
Below is a link to my very first youtube video on Attack Wing, and anything, for that matter. Enjoy, and please comment either here or there!
The Rav Laerst
Posted in Life, Science Fiction
Tagged Attack Wing, Battle Cruiser, Breen, fleet captains, Ice, Rav Laerst, Snow, Star Trek, Star Trek Attack Wing, star trek ships, Star Trek: Fleet Captains, Starships, Wizkids, Youtube
The 1st refit of the NX-class.
In a prior post, many months ago, I discussed the Earth-Romulan War. In that first interstellar conflict between Earth and Romulus, humanity found itself at a decided disadvantage against a mysterious and hostile species bent on humanity’s destruction. In the various Star Trek television and movie series, this event was always just a backdrop. However, pocket books released two novels in the Romulan War series that detailed the war in depth, heavily featuring the United Earth NX-class refit. All well and good, but the recent reference book, the Federation – The First 150 years, further muddies the matter by contradicting events in the Romulan War series. Both of these sources are contradicted by the Star Trek: Legacy computer game!
All of this to say, that there are things in life that are perhaps best left as purely backdrop elements, memories not to be forgotten, but also not the focus or constantly at the forefront of people’s minds. Perhaps we’d have less conflict in our world today if people left the muddied past where it belongs, in the past, and instead focused on the here and now.
Another update to my starships page. This time we have one Borg ship and three Starfleet ships, with a little background and interesting trivia on each ship.
- Borg Transwarp Prototype: This ship only appeared once, and that was in TNG’s “Descent”. Interestingly, we technically do see the ship again later in the Voyager series, but as some bomb capable of destroying an entire solar system. That only raises the question: Why not use that against humanity since all attempts at assimilating them have failed in the past? Blow them all up if they’re too hard to assimilate, right? But hey, humanity is the star of Star Trek, it’s not like we’ve got a show called Star Trek: Borg where we have a crew of Borg running around the galaxy assimilating species … man, I would LOVE that show.
- Starfleet Akyazi-class: This ship shows up as a schematic in a book, one of those books that only the nerdiest of Star Trek nerds would find entertaining. Of what do I speak? I’m speaking of a book that informs you the fictional types of phasers some fictional ships employ and what fictional companies make them and in what year and what fictional conflicts they get into with other fictional ships. I love it!
- I’ve updated my Kelvin-class ship here. It’s the same ship used by Captain James T. Kirk’s father, George Kirk, in the 2009 Star Trek movie. Don’t be too sad though, George Kirk would pass on from this life and move on to become Thor, God of Thunder. Not too shabby.
- Starfleet Starbase-class (alternate): This last ship is really a space station, the huge one we very briefly saw in the 2009 Star Trek movie. The interesting thing about this station is that it greatly resembles a fan-made station written by that guy Gene Roddenberry didn’t like much.
Pew Pew, all your borgified missiles belongs to us!
Love it or hate it, the Re-imagined Star Trek is here to stay. Many Trek fans know, or soon will know, that the next movie featuring the cast of the Re-Imagined Star Trek will soon be here with the uber-psionic Gary Mitchell as the big bad evil guy. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I enjoyed the new Trek. I know many fans find it distasteful, what with the change to the timeline, the freakishly large Enterprise, Kirk going from cadet to captain in a few days time, not to mention the destruction of the planet Vulcan. I’ll admit, those things bother me a bit too. But that’s good. We need change and evolution in our lives if we are to grow and live. The status quo and more of the same don’t work, it always leads to stagnation and ennui in both our personal lives and in our media. Sure the changes may be unpleasant, even unpalatable, but just look at the facts: Star Trek is likely more popular now than it has ever been in its history.
Whether they are cranking out Trek in the movies, in novels, in comic books, it’s all good to me, and I hope for you.
So without further ado, I present to you the Starfleet Constitution-class (alternate) Enterprise from the 2009 movie!
Ok, yeah, so they’re not quite kissing in this pic. But they do. Eventually. Compelled, actually. But they do.
There’s a lot to admire about the little sci-fi series that started it all. The Original Series with Shatner as Kirk, Nimoy as Spock, etc. featured some real jaw-droppers if not outright firsts in not just science fiction, but television history:
- First interracial kiss – Kirk and Uhura, way before Spock and Uhura did it in the latest incarnation of Star Trek. Now, in the episode that featured this kiss, Kirk and Uhura were basically forced by god-like beings to do it against their will, but hey, it was still pretty ground breaking for its time.
- A Russian as a good guy – Yep, Chekov, loveable faux Beetles haircut and all. At the height of the Cold War with the Russians in the 1960s, Star Trek actually dared to show a Russian as part of the “good guys!” The closest analogy I can think of at the moment would be like showing a member of Al Qaeda as a card-carrying aficionado of the “good guy club” today.
- An Asian that speaks English, and well – Good old Sulu, they actually showed an Asian person in some role other than that of some stereotypical kow-towing Charlie Chan manner. Kudos to Trek for that.
- An Alien that was … well, sympathetic – Yes, as strange as it may sound now with our multitude of sci-fi t.v. shows featuring good guy aliens, the network execs in charge of Star Trek back in the 60s were awfully wary of Mr. Spock. I mean, he’s got pointed ears, like some devil. Perhaps even THE devil!
- I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t recall at the moment what other notable feats Star Trek: TOS achieved.
In honor of all that TOS goodness, here are some more starships, enjoy!
- Starfleet Detroyat-class: Fan-made starship, and cool to boot.
- Starfleet Pyotr Velikiy-class: Featured in the Vanguard novel series I’m half-reading at the moment (half-reading because I am also reading Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind; awesome book by the way!)
- Starfleet Federation-class: This is another fan-made starship with a rather interesting, if convoluted, backstory. As near as I can figure it out, back when Trek was in that dead zone of having been cancelled from the airwaves but not yet having made it into the cinema screen, some guy named Franz Joseph got the thumbs up from Gene Roddenberry to publish a book with all new starship designs. After Trek picked up some Hollywood steam, Gene basically gave Joseph the boot and for all intents and purposes told Joseph to take his new ship designs and shove a photon torpedo up them. Oh well.
In the last season (4) of Star Trek: Enterprise, we get a little taste of what’s to come when the Romulans start using drone starships to attack Earth and its allies. One of the lines from the episodes dealing with the drone starship went something like this:
“If they’re behind these attacks, we have to find some way to stop them, or next time, they might come back with a thousand of those ships.”
The Romulans are portrayed as quite devious and are using the drone attacks to prevent any alliances being formed among the neighboring species (Humans, Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans) in the region. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been killed by the drone attacks.
The United States of course uses drones now. We’ve used them to kill thousands of people in our War on Terror. Is it safe to make a comparison between the two? I’m not entirely sure. On the one hand they have killed quite a few terrorists, but have also killed civilians. We’ve also used the drones to strike into the sovereign territory of an ally, with the justification that there are terrorists hiding in their land. The rationale for the Romulans’ attack is completely different from the U.S. rationale, or is it? Are both powers not using the drone attacks to destabilize the region and make sure the enemy powers don’t unite against them? What do you all think?
Something just hinted at in The Original Series, peaked at in the Enterprise series, but fully fleshed out for the first time in novels. It tells the tale of humanity eagerly seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before, only to be brutally attacked by a faceless enemy. Don’t worry though, unlike most other sci fi stories of this nature, it won’t lead to humanity compromising its highest principles to win, or humanity being crushed under an alien heel and thrown down into abject subjugation. But, the beauty of the novels (sadly just two) is that at times humanity is tempted to do so, but in the end chooses not to, and still triumphs. That rocks.
The journey is often more worthwhile then the conclusion, so we get to discover the specifics of the War we’ve never been told before. I don’t want to spoil it too much for anyone of you that wants to read the novels, but there’s a lot of homage paid to the television series (ENT and TOS), but it’s not beholden to it, insofar as the nitty gritty details are concerned. This strategy of the novels really sells it, and makes it a worthwhile read because you don’t have to have watched any of the television series or movies to enjoy the books. Simultaneously, if you are a big Trek fan, this book will be equally enjoyable, if not more so for you.
So here are some of the starships you’ll see in those novels: