Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chainclaw's Top Ten Sci-Fi Spaceships!

Another top ten? My god, when will it stop? NEVER! Ahem. Anyway, taking a break from just Star Trek alone, I decided to think on other things I enjoy. You know what really gets my brain going at full tilt in a good sci-fi movie? Sure...characters, yeah, yeah, the plot, of course....but in all honesty though one thing hooks me. Cool ass spaceships. I've always been something of a tech head when it comes to science fiction, and a well designed star ship just gets my imagination running wild. There's many great concepts, and of course books feature great descriptions, however, a movie, video game, or television show really shows those designs come to life. So delving into shows/movies of the past and present, I decided to bring to you the spacecraft that just never failed to make me think "What really is possible in our future?".

Without futhur ado, Chainclaw's Top Ten Sci-Fi Spaceships.

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10.Star Fury- Ok, I'm not a poser, I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan. However, the few times I saw the show, these menacing looking star fighters made an impression. With vectored thrust pods on each of four wings, these thing could LITERALLY spin on a dime in the weightlessness of space. They also push form and function, while being mean looking ships, they are small, and compact, kinda hard to hit. A squadron of these looked scary, and they definitely packed enough firepower to give anyone who came across them a bad day. To be fair, as stated, I haven't watched a lot of Babylon 5, so I didn't see these guys in action much. The fact that they were cool enough to leave an impression though, warrants being number ten.

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9.Vic Viper- O.k. silly name, I admit. If you're not sure where this ship is from, remember a game called "Gradius" in the arcades and NES of your youth? There we go. The ship did indeed have a name. The Vic Viper is a sleek, very stylized ship, but the cool look isn't the main reason it's on the list. First of all, one of the reason I love shmups is because when you're a kid, you imagine it's YOU flying the ship, saving the galaxy. The other reason, well, is if you have to pretend you're the last hope for mankind, this is the ship you want. The Vic Viper had a dazzling array of weapons and options to power it up. Heck one option was CALLED "Option", an energy sphere that mimicked your main weapon, shadowing a bit behind your last maneuver, and depending on which sequel you could get up to three of these bad boys. Cool right? The thing is though, while you could pretend you were the pilot, there was no real back story, no awesome tales of the Viper Pilot, saving the day. That lack of history or development lowers the cool factor.

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8.UD-L4 Cheyenne- Not familiar with the name I imagine, but the image know this ship. More commonly known as "The Aliens Dropship" the Cheyenne had a wicked design, and that nice bit of realism to keep your suspension of disbelief up in the film. Unlike the Vic Viper where history is a bit of a negative, the Cheyenne, due it's realistic setting, is enhanced by no back story. The ships look pretty well used, and despite not using the ammo compliment onscreen, they have a very obvious amount of firepower. That's the difference, I want to see this ship in action, not just dropping the Colonial Marine's off and flying back. That mystery is why this ship ranks higher than the previous entry.

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7.The Havoc- Remember the Hirogen write up? Similar outlook. This ship (from the video game series Star Wars:StarFighter/Jedi Starfighter) just looks mean and powerful. When you play, you wanna play using the Havoc, it's fast, has great weapons, and even has a backstory to it as it's a prototype design. There's not a lot to go with here, but I like this ship, and my list and all....

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6.Millennium Falcon- Ok, one of the most popular sci-fi ships in cinema, so if you don't know this, you need a bigger rock to live under. This is a prime example of an inanimate object having it's own character. Piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca, the ship seemed to have a mind of it's own though. Breaking down, yet usually delivering in a pinch, it's reputation as "the fastest ship in the galaxy", the Falcon just had that great mythos for an old ship. Let's not even forget the design. Weird, assymetrical, but it worked. The biggest thing about the Falcon is in every movie in the original trilogy, it played a huge part. Weather getting Luke to the princess, to helping Han and Leia escape Hoth, to delivering the final shot to the new Death Star, it's safe to say the Falcon was as much a "castmember" as the living, breathing, actors.

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5.Slave-1- To me, this is one of the most menacing ships ever designed for a movie. The look, the smooth lines, odd flying profile.... it's just a perfect vehicle for a villain. Slave-1 has a pretty long history too, being seemingly handed down in the Fett family, at the very least to Boba. Like the Falcon, it had character, like I said it looks mean, and in AoTC it showed that meanstreak, this things loaded with all types of standard, and exotic weaponry. I won't dismiss my bias, this was one of my favorite ships as a kid, and seeing it be awesome in the prequels was one of few highlights in those films. Oh, and, um Boba Fett hauls around prisoner's from his bounty's in it, that increase it's evil factor?

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4.U.S.S. Reliant- I know, I know, Star Trek again? I can't help it, this is a great ship design. A standard Federation ship, Khan hijacks it, and uses it to damn near destroy the Enterprise. Sure, Khan is sneaky and doesn't just go head to head with the flagship of the Federation, but facts cannot be ignored, this little ship put a buttkicking on a much larger, more powerful ship. The Reliant also, I think, has a place in my childhood as it was the first full on new design for a Federation ship. For so many years it was the Enterprise, and thats it, even in ToS any new ship shows up? Enterprise design. It was cool, and new, and the fact it gets spun around and used by a villain? Classic way to make a design memorable.

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3.The Gunstar- Man, The Last Starfighter. That takes me back. Back to when you could have a kids movie featuring a good guy's ship with "Gun" in it's name. This old gem is just a badass. Big, heavy, powerful looking, it just fits the bill it's given as "The Last Starfighter". If this is the last hope to save the galaxy... I'm ok with that. Let's not forget the "Death Blossom" last resort attack. The damn thing spins like a gyroscope, firing off blasts in every direction. Good enough to give the Kodan Armada a really bad day. It's a little nostalgic sure, but this is a ship I always had a soft spot for.

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2.U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-A - Wow, another Star Trek ship? Shocking! Ok, hear me out. Besides the Millennium Falcon, this is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most well known design for a space ship, and the early movies gave us a more detailed, cooler look of the ToS design. One thing I give this ship, is the poor girl goes through hell in the first three movies. Wonky warp malfunction in the first flick, Khan shoots it up in the second, and Kirk sadly self destructs it in the third. Then, we get an awesome rebirth of the classic ship at the end of the fourth movie. Much like the Falcon, the Enterprise is just as much a character in the Star Trek films as the actual actors. Hold on though, how is it not number one?

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1.The SDF-1(Super Dimensional Fortress Macross)- Robotech, one of the first anime series I watched as a kid. Macross was brought over to America, and I realized what the term "ridiculously powerful" meant. The SDF-1 is not only a starship, but a city, and again, as usual, the last hope for humanity. A wrecked Zentradi ship that was reversed engineered for human operators, the SDF-1 is possibly(nevermind, it is) the most powerful ship on this list. From the Pinpoint Barrier defense system, the Daedelus Maneuver(which smashes a freaking naval vessel through the hull of an enemy ship, and unloading the weaponry of all robots on-board inside the enemy craft), to the legendary Reflex Cannons... the SDF-1 is not a ship to take lightly. Not to mention this ship, as mentioned before, has an entire compliment of massive transforming and non transforming robots, as well as being a freaking robot itself. The SDF-1 is overkill in the most delicious, awesomest way.

There you go. Feel free to disagree...however, you have to admit, if these ten ships were coming at you in space...You'd be scared.

Thanks for reading!

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