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Infographic: Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror Movies Related to The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books, and I was thinking about the movie version. It struck me that many of the actors in “The Lord of the Rings” also appear in other speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy & horror) movies. Hugo Weaving plays Elrond, but he’s also Agent Smith in “The Matrix”. Christopher Lee plays Saruman, but also appears in “Star Wars” and billions of other movies. You get the idea.

Then I recalled the Six Degrees of Separation theory. So, starting from the Tolkien fan epicenter that is “The Lord of the Rings”, I plotted out how tightly connected by their actors speculative fiction movie are. Below is an infographic that shows an initial answer. I intentionally limited the scope of my inquiry. One could easily expand the network to be more inclusive.

Instructions:
1. Click on the image below to expand the infographic. If it’s still too small, use the View-Zoom In feature of your web browser.
2. Start in the center at “The Lord of the Rings” & “The Hobbit”. Move either right or left to the actor of your choice. Then keep moving horizontally right (or left) to see how these actors link to other speculative fiction movies, and so on.
For example, Karl Urban played Eomer in “The Lord of the Rings”. He was also in “Star Trek”, as was Zoe Saldana. She was in “Avatar”, as was Sam Worthington.  And Sam was in “Clash of the Titans”.

Caveats:
1. I don’t doubt that there are mistakes or omissions. There is no need to email me and remind me of my fallibility. There is no money-back guarantee. Well, since this is free, I guess I can offer a full refund if you’re not fully satisfied.
2. A single asterisk denotes that I couldn’t help myself, and included a few select TV shows. Whatcha gonna do?
3. A double asterisk denotes that I couldn’t help myself, and included a few non-speculative fiction movies. So sue me.
4. As in any network, there can be more than one path to get from one node (movie) to another. I’ve just shown single paths.
5. This infographic is in NO way represented as exhaustive, although creating it was exhausting.
6. If you enjoy it, kindly Retweet (@Nimpentoad) or otherwise share the link with friends you think would appreciate it (or send it to enemies who would not appreciate it, but who you wish to annoy).

Click on the image below to expand it.

LOTRinfographic


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Comic-Con 2013 Badge Resale Drawing #SDCC

This just in from the folks at Comic-Con.

comiccon

“Comic-Con International is pleased to announce that because of returned/cancelled badges we will once again be able to offer those badges for resale. This year we have also reduced the allotment of reserved badges for certain departments. Comic-Con has decided to add these badges to the resale for our attendees. We currently have several thousand single day badges available for resale, only 3,100 of which are Saturday badges. 4-Day badges are sold out.

Due to the very limited number of badges available and our vendor EPIC Registration being focused on coordinating onsite registration, the Comic-Con 2013 badge resale will be conducted utilizing a random drawing.

To enter the Comic-Con 2013 Resale Drawing, login to your Member ID account now and click the blue notice that says “Click Here to Enter a Drawing to be Eligible for the Comic-Con 2013 Badge Resale!”

The drawing entry period will remain open for 48 hours only, and will close June 12, 2013 at 10:59:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Late entries will not be accepted.

You must have a valid and confirmed Comic-Con Member ID to enter the drawing.
Anyone who has already registered for or purchased a 4-Day badge (with or without Preview Night) or a single day Saturday badge will not be eligible to enter the drawing.

Those selected to participate in the Comic-Con 2013 badge resale may purchase their own badges, as well as badges for one additional guest. You may purchase for any guest who has a confirmed Member ID (as of June 7, 2013) and does not have a 4-Day badge (with or without Preview Night) or a single day Saturday badge. Your guest does not need to be selected from the drawing pool to be eligible to purchase.

Comic-Con will notify everyone who is selected to participate by email on or before June 17, 2013.”


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The 25 Most Awesome Movie Weapons

Thanks to Mike Eisenberg at http://screenrant.com/top-25-movie-weapons-mikee-61274

We all know the weapons make the movie, right?

There is a long list of awesome weapons in the history of cinema, and it’s about time we narrow them down to the top 25 (in our all-knowing, unerring opinion).

From weapons the size of a moon to a gun no larger than your pinkie, there’s plenty of variety on the list. But we couldn’t add them all – a couple just missed the cut. The Bear Jew’s baseball bat from Inglourious Basterds, the prawn electric Tesla arc splattering gun from District 9 and the intense .50-caliber, M82 sniper rifle in Smokin’ Aces should be considered honorable mentions.

The actual rankings are based on the capability of the weapon itself. Some sit lower on the list because they would be near useless without the specific user. A few at the top of the list may have been destroyed, but it makes them no less powerful or worthy of the their rank.

Sick Stick – Minority Report

W01The sick stick is an impressive piece of weaponry. It is not lethal, but instills fear in any potential victim. Typically seen in the hands of Precrime officers, it is used in conjunction with the “halo” to subdue those suspected of a future crime. It is only used once in Minority Report, but maybe that’s for the best.

Much like a taser, the baton-shaped stick instantly causes its victims to projectile vomit. Thanks to John Anderton’s (Tom Cruise) quick reflexes, we got to see it in action during an intense chase scene.

Point-of-View-Gun – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

w02The point-of-view gun makes up for its lack of explosive power with pure drama. It packs a punch, but more of an existential one. Once it is fired, anyone in its path will uncontrollably reveal their thoughts to the shooter. According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the gun was created by the “Intergalactic Consortium of Angry Housewives” in an attempt to control the endings to marital arguments.

Although the weapon cannot be found in the novel on which the film is based, it was a pleasant addition to the movie. And in the hands of the beautiful Zooey Deschanel, any weapon belongs on this list.

De-Evolution Gun – Super Mario Brothers

W03Thankfully, when King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) tried to use the De-Evolution gun on Mario (Bob Hoskins), everybody’s favorite plumber used Luigi’s (John Leguizamo) mushroom to block the shot. Unfortunately for Anthony Scapelli, the gun worked moments earlier. When Koopa fired the weapon, missing a diving Mario, it struck Scapelli, turning him into a chimpanzee in a matter of seconds.

The gun is truly unlike any of other weapons on the list. While it doesn’t kill, its ability to turn the toughest human into a goofy chimpanzee is quite enough to fear.

Little Friend (M-16 w. grenade launcher) – Scarface

w04One of the most quoted scenes in movie history has its fame thanks to the customized grenade launcher belonging to Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface. During his last stand, Montana fends off a handful of assassins from atop his staircase using bullets and grenades. It truly is a piece of incredible machinery, even out of Montana’s lethal hands.

While the weapon is powerful enough to kill dozens of people, it has limited magazine capacity. Moreover, it may have been Montana’s wild nature, but the accuracy is pitiful. With a few minor tweaks, it could jump up a few spots.

Bullwhip – Indiana Jones Quadrilogy

W05Most of the weapons you will find on this list have some kind of firing mechanism, but lack the iconic status of Indiana Jones’ bullwhip. It is a tough task to take an item primarily used for dominatrix bedroom activity and make it one of the most recognizable movie weapons ever. That is precisely what Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford accomplished over the span of three (OK, four) movies.

The bullwhip has saved countless lives, swung Indiana Jones over deadly pits, snagged guns from enemy hands, strangled a handful of foes and even gave the hero a chin scar as a teenager. It has been through quite the journey, and to my knowledge, has never been replaced.

Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

w06This is no joke. Dr. Evil was on to something in the Austin Powers films when he asked for “sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.” Unaware of his own budget at first, he was given sea bass with laser beams attached to their heads. But eventually he got his way.

Dr. Evil’s loving son, Scott Evil, worked hard to win the heart of his father over Mini-Me. All it took was a retro-fitted laser atop a small shark, but unfortunately for movie fans, it was only used once. Still, that laser has deadly accuracy, at least on henchmen.

Telephoto Rifle (20mm Bushmaster cannon) – The Jackal

w07Arms dealer Ian Lamont (Jack Black) gave The Jackal exactly what we wanted. The long-range gun is controlled by cell phone or computer and may be aimed using a joystick. The rounds are made from depleted uranium, adding even more menace to the already lethal weapon. Even without The Jackal behind the trigger, it would be on this list.

The only problem with the gun is its accuracy. The first time it is used by The Jackal, we get a sense of the work it needs. Of course, what is a few inches when the results are so explosive? But it drops a few spots because of this glaring flaw. If The Jackal had his way, Lamont would have lost more than his arm during the initial test shot.

Oddjob’s Hat – Goldfinger

w08Although I’m not convinced Oddjob’s hat is a bowler hat, it is deadly nonetheless. A metal razor lines the rim of his hat and can cut through a stone sculpture. Tilly Masterson saw her demise at the tip of Oddjob’s hat in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Ironically enough, the hat was also the cause of Oddjob’s own death. But not through the expected method. Instead, he threw the hat at James Bond (Sean Connery) and missed. It became lodged in a wall of metal bars and when Oddjob tried to pry it free, Bond electrocuted the villain.

Chain Mace – Kill Bill Vol. 1

w09Quentin Tarantino has been influenced by many works, yet his style adds flair to the already dramatic moments of past cinema. Although the fight scene in Kill Bill between The Bride and Gogo Yubari is exciting and intense, it is drawn from a few existing sources. Most notably, a similar scene is found in “Musashi,” a novel by Eiji Yoshikawa.

Regardless of influence, the weapon is deadly and unpredictable. In the hands of the sinister Gogo Yubari, it is even more lethal. The ball and chain has many options. It is used to choke, slice and strike The Bride.

Although the weapon is her bread and butter, it also indirectly helped The Bride kill Gogo. With all the fancy moves Gogo used to wind up with her chain mace, it didn’t do its job. It may have taken lives in the past, but on screen the chain mace takes none.

VX Gas – The Rock

w10To be honest, nothing I can say about the VX gas rocket used by General Hummel (Ed Harris) in The Rock would do it justice. So I’m going to leave you with two quotes from the illustrious Stanley Goodspeed (Nic Cage) to get my point across as to why this belongs on the list:

“Look, I’m just a biochemist. Most of the time, I work in a little glass jar and lead a very uneventful life. I drive a Volvo, a beige one. But what I’m dealing with here is one of the most deadly substances the earth has ever known, so what say you cut me some friggin’ slack!?”

“If the rocket renders it aerosol, it could take out an entire city of people… It’s a cholinesterase inhibitor. Stops the brain from sending nerve messages down the spinal cord within thirty seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation and you’ll know. A twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system…Your muscles freeze, you can’t breathe, you spasm so hard you break your own back and spit your guts out. But that’s after your skin melts off.”

Golden Gun – The Man with the Golden Gun

w11In The Man With The Golden Gun, James Bond’s main foe is arguably not human. While Francisco Scaramanga is a scary man, the gun he uses truly makes him venomous. In the film, his golden gun fires a customized 23-carat bullet. The gun can also be broken down and disguised as various items like a pen and cuff-link, amongst others.

The golden gun has had its fair share of kills. In the hands of Scaramanga it has murdered political celebrities, gangsters, Gibson (a scientist in the film), Hai-Fat (his boss) and agent 002 Bill Fairbanks.

Chuck Norris’ Entire Body – Every thing he’s ever done

w12Let’s face it. No body part is more revered in the action genre than Chuck Norris’ fist. Not even Bruce Lee’s legs have as much pull as the clenched hands of Norris. Thanks to Sidekicks, a film many wish to forget, I have a lasting memory of the iconic Chuck Norris. But his abilities are only superseded by his reputation.

It is truly impressive how many henchmen and bumbling assassins have been knocked unconscious at the mercy of his fists. The rest of his body does come into play during fight scenes, but Chuck Norris’ fists have taken the most fame, even crossing over into Family Guy parody. That is the stuff of legend.

Explosive Nose Charge – Mission: Impossible III

w13When we are first introduced to the explosive nose charge in Mission: Impossible III it is without warning. On a helicopter to safety, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) attempts to save his damsel in distress (Keri Russell), but she dies seconds before he can help her. A charge, planted inside her nose, created a micro-burst that essentially imploded her brain. The result was a disgusting mess of internal debris.

The device is unbelievably fast in its action. Once triggered, it is a matter a milliseconds before death overcomes its victims. Once implanted in the nose of Hunt, it took a defibrillator to counteract the charge. It is difficult to describe just how intense the moments before death can be for a victim of this weapon.

Wrist Laser – Iron Man 2

w13For anybody who saw Iron Man 2 in theaters, one of the most unforgettable scenes involved a weapon that desperately belongs on this list. When Screen Rant king Vic Holtreman told me to wait on this list until I saw Iron Man 2, my anticipation grew every day. In the film, you may recall Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) promoted his new line of weapons with which to equip War Machine. The last was the “Ex-Wife.” Naturally, I presumed this would be the epic weapon.

Boy, was I wrong. The “Ex-Wife” proved to be yet another Hammer dud, but Iron Man’s laser was quite the opposite. Out of nowhere, Iron Man warned War Machine to duck, before priming the ultimate handheld weapon. He began a sort of 360-spin move, but not before initiating a deadly laser beam from each wrist. It instantly decapitated the swarm of enemies around the heroic duo. The same eerie silence overcame audiences as when the Joker’s truck flipped in The Dark Knight.

Bow and Arrow – Robin Hood

w14The bow and arrow is not an illustrious weapon. Following a handheld laser with some wood and string doesn’t exactly win over the ladies. But Robin Hood’s weapon of choice has stood the test of time. The legend of Robin Hood is impossible to imagine without his bow and arrow.

A simple weapon, the bow and arrow needs little introduction or explanation. In the hands of many it is weak and powerless. Yet, with Robin Hood behind it, a bow and arrow can become a cultural staple. He hardly ever misses, and if he does, it may have been on purpose. This is the epitome of a weapon only as good as its shooter, and its shooter is darn good.

.44 Magnum – Dirty Harry

w15The .44 magnum pistol isn’t an overwhelming piece, but it packs a punch. And in the hands of Harry Callahan it doesn’t even need to have a bullet left in the chamber to scare a criminal. Dirty Harry is another film in which the most heavily quoted line is about a weapon.

“I know what you’re thinking — ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But, being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

The Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver is still popular today thanks to Dirty Harry and the film even led to a spike in sales during its theatrical release. Now you tell me that’s not an influential weapon.

Noisy Cricket – Men in Black

w16Not every weapon has to look like much, as long as its bite is big, loud and deadly. When Agent J (Will Smith) takes the puny little Noisy Cricket from Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), he is understandably upset. Only when he fires the pinkie-sized gun does he understand its power.

The weapon not only takes a chunk out of its target, but propels the shooter back dozens of feet. It is quite the weapon, but not necessarily put to its best use in Men in Black.

Rail Gun – Eraser

w17The U.S. Navy has clocked the speed of a railgun at seven times the speed of sound. Of course, you didn’t need to know that to believe it belongs on this list.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has held quite a few guns in his acting career, but few are as intimidating as his pair of railguns in Eraser. Even cooler than the explosive results of firing a railgun in Eraser is the plasma trail it leaves behind.

The swirly, blue trail is eye-popping and adds an extra level of awesome to the weapon. And don’t forget the night-vision scope on the side of the gun, which even uses X-ray technology to see through walls.

Jericho Missile – Iron Man

w18The Jericho Missile was created in respect to “how daddy did it,” and it has worked out pretty well so far. Although we only see it fire once, the missile is unforgettable. Did I mention it comes with a free Stark Industries bar/cooler?

Not only does the missile break into 16 individual missiles while in flight, but even Tony Stark guarantees “the bad guys won’t even want to come out of their caves.” The shockwave alone could do some damage, but the missile itself will blow a hole in the side of any mountain. Unfortunately, it is such a commodity, villains like The Ten Rings have been looking to unleash it on innocent civilians.

Sting – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

w19(Note from  Henry: Here I beg to differ. If we are going to represent Lord of the Rings, then I’d submit Orcrist or Narsil or Grond)

If you are wondering how close an Orc may be to your home, it would be wise to get your hands on Sting. Luckily for its holder, the sword glows blue when Orcs are near. But it isn’t the ability of the sword that puts it so high on this list. Instead, it is the mental strength it gives its owner, Frodo, while in his possession. Of course, throughout his journey, Frodo experiences many events that help his confidence grow. But the sword was a major boost for the once fearful Hobbit.

In addition to the physical and mental advantages to Sting, it holds legendary status in the real world and Middle Earth. Fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise have been awestruck by the glowing sword since its first moment on screen. In Middle Earth it is handed off like royalty, rather than a mere antique.

Zorg ZF-1 – The Fifth Element

w20(Note from Henry: This is also my personal favorite. The gun with everything but the kitchen sink. The Fifth Element is a fun movie, but it is worth watching just for the ZF-1 alone!)

My personal favorite is also the super-villain Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg’s (Gary Oldman) favorite as well. The enhanced weapon is fitted with almost everything imaginable. While it doesn’t hold the legendary status of other weapons on this list, it deserves its place near the top. Imagine all the special features added to James Bond cars in one handheld device. That’s the essence of the Zorg ZF-1.

The ZF-1 holds a rocket launcher, poison arrow launcher, machine gun with replay capability, net launcher, flamethrower and freeze ray. Pretty handy for a light-weight gun wouldn’t you say?

Chainsaw – American Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead

w21The chainsaw is a basic weapon by itself. In the hands of legendary villains and sinister men it is something else entirely. For example, take three of its most iconic users: Ash Williams, Patrick Bateman and Leatherface. The chainsaw can bring humor to the most sadistic moments, while the simple whirring sound can instill fear in the toughest of heroes.

The chainsaw has severed possessed hands, impaled runaway prostitutes and sliced through innocent teenagers over its illustrious history. But the chainsaw is deserving of the #3 spot because of its epic status and basic structure.

Hattori Hanzo Sword – Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2

w22“I am finished doing what I swore an oath to God 28 years ago to never do again. I’ve created something that kills people. And in that purpose, I was a success. I’ve done this because, philosophically, I am sympathetic to your aim. I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest sword. If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut.”

Hattori Hanzo’s reputation for sword-making is one of the most legendary in film history. Of course, he was speaking figuratively when he claimed the sword would cut God, but honestly, I wouldn’t doubt it. Hanzo’s swords are priceless, unless you are in El Paso, where you can get one for $250.

The core of Kill Bill is a brilliant story, but it is pushed beyond brilliance by the iconic nature of the Hanzo sword. The samurai sword killed countless henchmen and took the lives of much of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. In a glorious death, The Bride sliced the top of O-Ren Ishii’s head clean off. The sword can cut through a human head as easily as it can a baseball. In addition, it makes a nice mirror.

Lightsaber – Star Wars Saga

w24The lightsaber has been the most beloved handheld weapon since it was first seen on screen in 1977′s Star Wars. Anybody who disagrees can head over to YouTube and find hundreds of homemade lightsaber fight scenes as proof. But those who possess a lightsaber in the Star Wars mythology are far more gifted than any YouTube sensation. Obi-Wan Kenobi explained it to the world in simple terms:

“This was the formal weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. More skill than simple sight was required for its use. An elegant weapon. It was a symbol as well. Anyone can use a blaster or a fusion cutter—but to use a lightsaber well was a mark of someone a cut above the ordinary.”

Lightsabers are an intriguing weapon. Sometimes they penetrate like a regular knife, other times they slice a victim in two halves. Either way, if you get struck by a lightsaber, I hope you’ve got a spare limb hanging around. It’s favorite body part to destroy? Hands. And it comes in various colors in case you’ve got a favorite, like Forest Green.

Death Star – Star Wars Saga

w25“That’s no moon. That’s a space station.”

Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) controlled the Death Star, which is hands-down the most intimidating weapon in history. Also known as the “ultimate weapon,” the Death Star is a floating space station the size of a moon. It has the capability to destroy an entire planet in the span of a few seconds.

Of course, both Death Stars seen in the Star Wars films were destroyed, but it does not take away from the epic status of the weapon. Though one downfall (apart from that one pesky and obvious design flaw) would be the lack of maneuverability. The Death Star is relatively slow. Unlike handheld weapons like the lightsaber, it requires a massive tactical team to fire even a single shot.

Some would argue the lightsaber is more memorable than the Death Star, but a ligthsaber is no match for the Empire’s ultimate weapon. Nor are any of the others on the extensive list above. So, pick your favorite weapon and let the debate begin.

Final note from Henry:

This is a terrific list. Honorable mentions might also include the bucket of water from “The Wizard of Oz”, the minigun from “Terminator II” and “Predator”, explosive shuriken thrown by Selene the vampire in “Underworld”, Gandalf or Saruman’s wizard staff from “The Lord of the Rings”, the (frickin’) invisible flying submarine from “The Avengers”, Thor’s hammer from (wait for it) “Thor”, and the ghost-capturing gun from “Ghostbusters.”


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The Ultimate Spaceship Face-off, courtesy of Slate

A highly speculative search for the fastest ship in science fiction, by Chris Kirk from Slate at http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/map_of_the_week/2013/05/star_trek_enterprise_vs_star_wars_millennium_falcon_which_ship_is_fastest.html

The aptly named Chris Kirk, clearly has too much time on his hands with this clever graphical demonstration of the relative speeds of space ships from science fiction franchises. Well played, sir.

Star Trek is all about interstellar travel. It’s right there in the title. “Warp 6!” or “Warp 9!” captains bark, sometimes following with a pedantic “point four” and punctuating with a “do it!” or “punch it!” or “engage!”  The numbers give the impression of a well-defined system of speed, but that’s misleading, and in this regard Star Trek is a good example of a recurring theme in popular science fiction: the obfuscation of distance and speed. When characters need to get from Point A to Point B with a speed that seems to defy existing rules, science fiction invents wormholes or slipstreams or other anomalies or allows captains to “risk” the ship by pushing it to a speed at which “she can’t take much more of this!” Or, worse, writers simply ignore the rules and leave it to fans, struggling to make sci-fi as real as possible, to explain away the inconsistencies for themselves in so many forums and wiki discussion pages.

It’s a little odd that a genre about science, the field of precision, can be so imprecise. The truth is that spaceships almost always fly at the speed of the plot. But, for those who refuse to accept that, this is a definitive guide to ship speeds, based on highly scientific computer simulations and highly unscientific speculation.

spacetravel

Enterprise: Nerds at Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki, have already arrived at a sprawling explanation that employs multiple warp scales associated with different eras of Star Trek’s fictitious history. The short version: As determined by a writers’ guide for the original series, the Enterprise of the original series, going at maximum, slightly unsafe warp, can reach Alpha Centauri in about three days. Although this conflicts with the apparently short trip the ship takes from Earth to Vulcan in Star Trek (2009), we’ll defer to the original series on this one. Later ships are faster, but even Voyager, one of the fastest Federation ships in the Star Trek universe, expected to take several decades to cross the galaxy and return home.

Millennium Falcon:  When Luke and Obi Wan first meet Han Solo in Mos Eisely, the first thing the smuggler does is brag about his ship. “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?” Han asks. That’s when A New Hope makes its infamous technical blunder. “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs,” Han says. A parsec is, of course, a unit of distance, not time. Unfortunately, even the elaborate explanation of later material offers no more clues about the Millennium Falcon’s actual speed than the original flub. “She’ll make point five past light speed,” Han will later brag, but what does that mean? It certainly doesn’t mean 1.5 times the speed of light speed, because it would still take the ship several years to move between stars.

The Skywalker gang travels from Tatooine to where Alderaan is supposed to be in a matter of hours at the most, and the two planets, if this star chart is to be believed, are half a galaxy apart—though that wouldn’t jibe with a Star Wars role-playing book that suggests it would take several months to cross the galaxy. Crossover comics notwithstanding, the characters never make voyages to other galaxies, though this is apparently due to a disturbance at the edge of the galaxy. And a question I posed to the Star Wars subreddit yielded mixed answers.

Here’s my conclusion: In the films, the characters travel among Tatooine, Alderaan, Yavin, Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin, Naboo, Coruscant, Mustafar, and Geonosis, and never does it seem as if months or even weeks have passed. Every time a Star Wars character travels, it appears no more than the Star Wars equivalent of a short road trip, so we’ll conclude, assuming Han can get the hyperspace engine working, that the Millennium Falcon could reach the galactic center in mere minutes.

TARDIS: “All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was,” the Eleventh Doctor says in a trailer for Series 5. In the 797 episodes of all the series, the TARDIS is seen at times instantly rematerializing in new galaxies or universes or times, usually accompanied with its signature noise. At others, it hurtles through space or chases down cars. We’re going to stick with its fastest mode of travel and assume it can travel to any place and any time, virtually instantaneously.

Planet Express Ship: The Planet Express Ship’s dark matter drive, which pulls the universe around it at 200 percent fuel efficiency, allows it to routinely make trips to other galaxies, such as the Galaxy of Terror, as well as, on one “morning off,” the edge of the universe. Its regular intergalactic flights make it easily one of the speediest ships in science fiction.

Heart of Gold: The Heart of Gold runs on the infinite improbability drive, which, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is “a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances in a mere nothingth of a second.” The only caveat: “you’re never sure where you’ll end up or even what species you’ll be when you get there.”

Jupiter 2: The ship of the lost Robinson family was to reach Alpha Centauri in 5.5 years, according to the aired pilot.

Serenity: Travel in the Verse is strictly interplanetary. A production manual suggested Malcolm Reynolds’ Firefly-class ship takes 16 days to travel one astronomical unit, or the distance between the Earth and the sun, although whether this is canonical is debatable. Material tied to the Serenity Role Playing Game suggests the planets of the Verse are arrayed among four very close stars that span, if this “Complete and Official Map of the Verse” is to be believed, a couple of hundred AU. Even with Wash at the helm, Kaylee in the engine room, and Malcolm spouting Chinese curses the whole way, Serenitywould need a few decades to travel to another star system.

Battlestar GalacticaGalactica travels through space skipping from one location to another in instant jumps of a few light-years. The maximum range of each jump is obscure, but seems to be about 16 “Colonial light-years,” which I’m going to equate to light-years over the objections of possibly hundreds of nerds. The duration of the cool-down period is similarly elusive, but it’s “brief,” so let’s say five minutes. That’s about 4,600 light-years in a day, which means, excluding any structural damage to the ship, Galactica can travel to center of the galaxy in about six days doing one jump after another, with Cylons on their heels the whole way.

Voyager 1: The real-world space probe, launched in 1977, is traveling away from the sun at 38,600 miles per hour. That’s about 0.00005 light-years per year. If the probe were heading in the direction of Alpha Centauri, it would take several thousand years to arrive.


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Gallery: Heroines of Fantasy for Intl. Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve prepared a montage of heroines from fantasy literature & movies.

galadrielg
WISDOM: Elf Queen Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings
“I pass the test. I will diminish, and remain Galadriel.”

selene
NOT AFRAID OF HEIGHTS: Selene from Underworld

eowyn
COURAGE: Eowyn from Lord of the Rings
“I am no man!”

icequeen
RESOLVE: The Ice Queen from Narnia
Sometimes, you’ve got to be a bitch to get what you want.

leeloo
STRENGTH: Leeloo from The Fifth Element
“Multipass”

targaryen
DEVOTION: Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones
“I am the mother of dragons!”

ripley
LOYALTY: Ripley from Aliens
“Get away from her, you bitch!”


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Classic Quotes from The Fifth Element

Here are some great quotes from the movie The Fifth Element. Have your Multi Pass ready!

FifthElement
[demonstrating a weapon]
Zorg: Voila! The ZF-1.
[the weapon opens, and Zorg picks it up]
Zorg: It’s light. Handle’s adjustable for easy carrying, good for righties and lefties. Breaks down into four parts, undetectable by x-ray, ideal for quick, discreet interventions. A word on firepower. Titanium recharger, three thousand round clip with bursts of three to three hundred, and with the Replay button – another Zorg invention – it’s even easier.
—–
Zorg: A case with four stones in it! Not one or two or three but four! Four stones! What the hell am I supposed to do with an empty case?
Mangalore Aknot: We are warriors, not merchants.
Zorg: But you can still count. Look it’s easy. Look at my fingers, four stones, four crates, zero stones, zero crates! Pack everything up we’re outta here.
Mangalore Aknot: [Mangalores hoist their guns with a roar] We risked our lives! I think a little compensation is in order.
Zorg: Oh, so you are merchants after all. Leave them one crate for the cause.
—–
Leeloo: Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass.
Korben Dallas: Yeah.
Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass.
Korben Dallas: Yeah, multipass, she knows it’s a multipass. Leeloo Dallas. This is my wife.
Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass.
Korben Dallas: We’re newlyweds. Just met. You know how it is. We bumped into each other, sparks happen…
Leeloo: Mul-ti-pass.
Korben Dallas: Yes, she knows it’s a multipass. Anyway, we’re in love.
—–
Mr. Kim: You got a message.
Korben Dallas: Yeah
Mr. Kim: You’re not gonna open it? It might be important.
Korben Dallas: Yeah, like the last two I got were important. The first one was from my wife, telling me she was leaving. The second was from my lawyer, telling me he was leaving… with my wife.
Mr. Kim: Ah, that’s bad luck. Grandfather say it not rain everyday. This is good news, guaranteed. I bet your lunch.
Korben Dallas: Okay, you’re on.
Mr. Kim: Come on…
[Reads]
Mr. Kim: You are fired. Oh.
Korben Dallas: Well, at least I won lunch.
Mr. Kim: Good philosophy, see good in bad, I like.
—–
Korben Dallas: What’s your name?
Leeloo: Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat.
Korben Dallas: Good. That… that whole thing’s your name, huh? Do you have, uh… a shorter name?
Leeloo: Leeloo.
—–
Zorg: I hate warriors, too narrow-minded. I’ll tell you what I do like though: a killer, a dyed-in-the-wool killer. Cold blooded, clean, methodical and thorough. Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, would’ve immediately asked about the little red button on the bottom of the gun.
[Scene shifts to Aknot, who is staring in confusion at the little red button. He shrugs and pushes it]
Zorg: [Casually smokes a cigarette as the room with the Mangalores blows up] Bring me the priest.
—–
[the President is talking with Korben’s mother on the phone]
President Lindberg: Mrs. Dallas, this is the President. On behalf of the federation, I would like to thank you…
Korben’s Mother: Oh, please. That doesn’t even sound like him! The President’s an idiot, you don’t sound like an idiot. If you don’t wanna talk to your mother, just avoid me like usual, huh? I’ll just throw myself in traffic. I’ll just Saran Wrap myself to the bed and pretend my child is suffocating me…
—–
Korben Dallas: How many are in there?
Fog: I-I-I-don’t…
Korben Dallas: Let’s count.
[looks around the corner and counts the Mangalors in the room; draws back quickly]
Korben Dallas: Seven on the left, five on the right.
[turns the corner again and fires six shots in rapid succession]
Korben Dallas: Four on the right, two on the left.
—–
Zorg: Where are the stones?
Priest Vito Cornelius: I don’t know. And even if I did know, I wouldn’t tell someone like you.
Zorg: Why? What’s wrong with me?
Priest Vito Cornelius: I try to serve life. And you seem to want to destroy it.
Zorg: Oh, Father. You’re so wrong. Let me explain.
[Puts and empty water glass on his desk]
Zorg: Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos. Now take this empty glass. Here it is: peaceful, serene, boring. But if it is destroyed
[Pushes the glass off the table. It shatter on the floor, and several small machines come out to clean it up]
Zorg: Look at all these little things! So busy now! Notice how each one is useful. A lovely ballet ensues, so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people, who will be able to feed their children tonight, so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain of life. You see, father, by causing a little destruction, I am in fact encouraging life. In reality, you and I are in the same business.
—–
Priest Vito Cornelius: [discussing the Dark Planet] Imagine for a moment that this thing is not anything that can be identified because it prefers not to be. Wherever there is life, it brings death, because it is evil, absolute evil.
President Lindberg: One more reason to shoot first.
Priest Vito Cornelius: Evil begets evil, Mr. President. Shooting will only make it stronger.