Pixel Scroll 9/9 The Scrolls Must Roll

(1) Blastr reports the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum needs photos or film of the original Enterprise model to assist them in replicating what the Enterprise looked like during and after the cult-classic episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” That apparently was the last time the model was altered while the series was in production.

The National Air and Space Museum is opening its hailing frequencies and asking fans for help. They need original pics or footage of their original Enterprise model — which has already gone through eight different restorations ever since it was built in 1964, by the way — so that they can restore it to all its August 1967 glory. Yep, it’s that specific.

Star Trek fans made first contact with the ship in 1972, when a model was featured at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., during Space Week (a 10-day gathering of space-related activities). Then, in 1974 through 1975, the ship was put on display in the Smithsonian’s Arts & Industries Building in Washington, D.C., while the National Air and Space Museum’s new home base was being built on Independence Avenue.

(2) And while we’re discussing Classic Trek, should anyone ever ask you how Roddenberry came up with “Sulu” as the character’s name, George Takei explains:

In an interview with the website Big Think, he revealed that his character is based on the Philippine Sulu Sea. According to him, show creator Gene Roddenberry wanted a generic Asian name for the helmsman. He thought that most Asian last names were country-specific, like Tanaka, Wong, and Kim. In 1966, Asia was dealing with issues like warfare, colonization, and rebellion, and Roddenberry didn’t want to reference any of that.

(3) A few days ago I posted about the new BB-8 robot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now someone has dissected a BB-8 with photos and commentary worthy of a medical examiner. You sicko!

(4) And on Force Friday, that glorious excuse to sell toys from the new Star Wars franchise, the rarest collectible was a mis-packaged Kylo Ren action figure – found on the shelves in Glendale, John King Tarpinian’s home town. And specialized collectors are always on the lookout for funny/funky slipups like this.

That’s when eagle-eyed shoppers might have spotted Kylo Ren—the helmeted, crossguard lightsaber-wielding new villain played by Adam Driver in The Force Awakens—being sold as lady storm trooper Captain Phasma after an apparent packaging error placed the new Star Wars villain in the wrong box that got shipped out for the massive retail push.

Misprinted, misshapen, and mis-packaged memorabilia occupy a niche spot in the world of collectibles, particularly in the long history of the Star Wars franchise. And while packaging errors are known to occur “more often than people think,” according to Toy & Comic Heaven’s James Gallo, it’s the production errors and discontinued design variants that yield more highly prized value to collectors….

There’s the infamously naughty 1977 Topps C-3PO #207 trading card, in which the Force appears to be very strong in C-3PO’s chrome junk, an aberration that Topps quickly corrected in subsequent printings. A bizarre yellow-hued discoloration on Kenner’s 1997-era Luke vs. Wampa set made the “incontinent” Hoth beast a curious find for Star Wars collectors. “Yak Face” (never distributed in the U.S.), “Vinyl Cape Jawa (later reconfigured with a cloth cape), “Rocket Firing Boba Fett” (cancelled on the eve of production for fear of a choking hazard) and versions of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi bearing telescoping lightsaber accessories have reportedly sold to hardcore collectors over the years for thousands of dollars.

(5) Amazon says The Man in the High Castle: Season 1 will be available November 20, 2015. The first episode was teased in January. This trailer debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con.

(6) For a limited Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is offering guests the rare opportunity to see the new Batmobile from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before the movie debuts in March. Here’s a video of Batman’s new set of wheels.

(7) “Alien Nuclear Wars Might Be Visible From Earth” writes Ross Andersen in The Atlantic.

A team of astronomers recently tried to determine whether Trinity’s light might be cosmic in a different sense. The Trinity test involved only one explosion. But if there were many more explosions, involving many more nuclear weapons, it might generate enough heat and light to be seen from nearby stars, or from the deeper reaches of our galaxy—so long as someone out there was looking….

I asked Jill Tarter what she thought of the paper. Tarter is the former director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and the inspiration for Ellie Arroway, the heroine of Carl Sagan’s Contact, played by Jodie Foster in the film adaptation. Tarter told me the paper was “getting a bit of buzz” in the SETI community. But she also urged caution. “The problem is the signatures are detectable for cosmically insignificant amounts of time,” she said. Distant stars burn for billions of years, sending a constant stream of light toward Earth, but the flash from a nuclear war may last only a few days. To catch its light, you have to have impeccable timing.

(8) There’s a tad too much science fictional truth here for this cartoon to make a successful motivational poster. “Shoot for the Moon” on The Oatmeal.

(9) Let’s not forget one other award given last weekend at Dragon Con. Larry Correia and “Brando TorgersOn” were the first to win the “super prestigious LaMancha award.” Says Correia —

The fact that the gnome is tilting at that windmill with a nazi tank is just one of the added touches that make the LaMancha so prestigious.  It is crafted out of the finest southern bass wood and delicately hand carved with a poignant message.

La Mancha Award

La Mancha Award

(10) “We Watched That (So You Didn’t Have To): John Cusack and Jackie Chan’s VOD Historical Action Epic, ‘Dragon Blade’” by Shea Serrano on Grantland —

I sit here before you a man, a man who has watched Jackie Chan in any number of films — in a near countless number of films. There was one where he played a man who operated a fast food van and had to become a hero. There was one where he played a man in South Africa with amnesia who had to become a hero. There was one where he teamed up with a white man to become a hero and also one where he teamed up with a black man to become a hero, not once, not twice, but thrice. And now I have seen him wear a very thick wig and a poet’s goatee and a very generous amount of makeup and sing about racial harmony and total peace and then make a deathmobile out of shields and spears and then become a hero. I sit here before you a man, a man who has seen Dragon Blade.

(11) Your reality may vary!

(12) An especially good installment of SF Signal’s Mind Meld, curated by Paul Weimer, calls on participants to discuss the best deaths in science fiction and fantasyT. Frohock, Richard Shealy (sffcopyediting.com) , John Hornor Jacobs, Ramona Wheeler, Richard Parks, Alasdair Stuart, Martha Wells, Tina Connolly, Susan Jane Bigelow, Christian Klaver, Joe Sherry, and Gillian Polack.

(13) While researching today’s scroll I found a few more things I needed to report about Sasquan. Such as – the silly PA announcements.

And photos of the Other Awards winners including David Aronovitz.

Then, someone recorded Filthy Pierre playing the Superman theme on his Melodica.

And finally, whatever the opposite of comic relief is –


(14) Just how scientifically accurate is The Martian? This short video on Yahoo! lets Andy Weir, Matt Damon and others make their case.

(15) Sometimes a battle between a giant space jaybird and the Enterprise is just a battle between a giant space jaybird and the Enterprise.

[Thanks to Susan de Guardiola, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark, Will R., Colin Kuskie, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

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357 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/9 The Scrolls Must Roll

  1. Late, and no one will see this so I guess I needn’t be embarrassed.

    Star Trek Movies: I loved The Motionless Picture: Where Nomad Had Gone Before. It had been so long since I’d seen my beloveds, and what I wanted was to spend some leisurely time in their presence. The long, slow, gratuitous tour around the new Enterprise was a joy to me. The original cast, being there together, was a balm. The fact that almost nothing happened, and that absolutely nothing new happened, was not a problem. I was there for the nostalgia.

    I hated hated hated the second Abrams movie for very similar reasons. I’m not much for reboots, but one of the things a reboot gives you is the opportunity to see the very beginnings, to watch those relationships and characters from the very beginning, to see how they became the people we learned to love. This second Khan movie simply assumed all those relationships, relationships which simply cannot yet exist because the characters have not known each other that long. The trust, the give and take, the joy in each other’s company is casually assumed, and it made me very angry. Abrams was presuming on my relationship with characters who didn’t even exist, yet. The mirroring of the emotional Kirk/Spock scene absolutely infuriated me. How, how, how can these people be this close to each other when they don’t even know each other? He created emotional resonance by stealing from me. I felt violated and used.

    Um, this is probably an idiosyncratic reaction. But I am very, very unlikely to see the Star Wars reboot. I am still furious with Abrams.

  2. Lydy Nickerson, I agree. While a Starfleet officer might very well be willing to die for his comrades, the emotional resonance of dying for those particular comrades should not have been there; they barely knew each other.

    And don’t get me started on the gratuitous female-nudity shot.

  3. OK – I loved the second Star Trek reboot movie, but only because in my mind it’s not “Wrath of Khan” but the AU version of “Space Seed.” That’s the ONLY way I could make it work…and there are sequences that I have to roll my eyes at…

  4. @ Lori: You are allowed to like that movie. You are wrong to do so, but in my mighty magnanimousness, I permit you to do so.

    I’m weird about movies. I’ve hated every Steven Spielberg movie I’ve ever seen, with the exception of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I have, by no means, watched his entire oeuvre, because I already know I hate him and all his works. Given a choice between a cheap, sentimental heart-string yank and an authentic emotion, he chooses the cheap shot every time. He’s very good at them, but I walk out of the theatre feeling as if I’d been taken from, rather than been given to.

  5. Lydy Nickerson, I like most Spielberg movies, but I do know what you mean. I had exactly that reaction with E.T. I was sobbing like a baby and deeply resenting it. I knew he was pulling my emotional strings and I Did Not Want.

    I walked out of the movie seriously pissed off, not just feeling manipulated but knowing it. Yes, I understand a really good movie will emotionally manipulate you… that’s what makes a really good movie, in fact…. but E.T. was so hamhanded that it felt like abuse.

  6. Cassy B. – EXACTLY how I felt about ET. I felt bitter and cheated, not to mention cheap and used. I want to walk out of a film with something more than what I walked in with. Not necessarily a lot more. I mean, what I walked out of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” was the joyful image of a McMansion being blown to smithereens. It’s not much, but it was enough. Spielberg always makes me feel like he took something from me.

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