Archive for vehicles

Prequel Appreciation: Favorite Ship

Posted in Opinion, Questions with tags , , , on 7 August 2015 by Megan

Day 7 of the Prequel Appreciation Week.

Now, I was simultaneously surprised and yet not surprised to discover that this meant romantic. I still don’t like fangirls, I detest “feels,” and even if The X-Files is what gave us the concept, I really do not like or approve of “shipping.” There actually is a prequel-era relationship I “headcanon,” which I believe is the correct “shipping” terminology, but I’ve already done a post on it. See here for my detailed rave about Shmi-Gon.

But since I don’t believe in romance in any other capacity, we’re going to abandon the challenge-writer’s intention here and move on to far more interesting territory. If you want romance shipping, go read about Shmi-Gon. Because this post . . . this post is about the J-type 327 Nubian royal starship.

Naboo_Royal_Starship

I love this ship. I have been in love with it since the first time I ever saw it, the first time I turned to that page in the Episode I Visual Dictionary and learned all the minute trivia about it.

One of the undeniable highlights of the PT is its glittering design. Things are softer, more organic, more colorful, and filled with light. This ship looks like it congealed out of mercury, and remains surely one of the most beautiful starships in scifi. I used to imagine having one called The Seven Sins, because how prosaic is it the Naboo didn’t name their royal starship? They did polish it by hand, though.

NabooRoyalStarshipTatooine

The first I saw of the ship was in the Visual Dictionary I carried around with me for months in 1999, until it fell apart. I also eventually picked up the Complete Cross Sections and memorized the ship’s schematics in that.

Spaceships have rarely terribly interested me; they remind me of that “science” part of science fiction that I find boring and frustrating. But this elegant bit of quicksilver had my mind at once. It’s exactly what I could see myself traveling in if I lived then. Aerodynamic, sleek, beautiful, yes, it’s very flashy, but at the same time, it’s extremely practical.

I love everything about it, and it’s only one of the many reasons Episode I is such an awesome movie. So there!

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Favorite Ship

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , , on 13 February 2014 by Megan

I always shipped Qui-Gon and Shmi . . . oh! That’s not what you mean. Sorry! You mean spaceship — or starship, as they call them. You don’t hear much about my bounty hunter love, I guess, I spend most of my time admiring Imperials or talking about the straightforward goodies. But I have a deep affection for the bounty hunters, especially Boba Fett, and today I’m going to use this as an opportunity to talk about my first favorite vessel in the Star Wars universe.

First view of the ship

First view of the ship

Yes, unlike most kids who saw Star Wars, I did not instantly love the Falcon. No, the first vessel to stir my heart belonged to Han Solo’s archnemesis, Boba Fett. The first time you see Slave I, it’s hiding among the blasted garbage from the Imperial fleet; somehow Boba Fett knows his prey well enough to realize Han Solo did not jump to hyperspace but instead was hiding somewhere on the ships themselves, waiting for them to depart before showing himself. And the design of the ship is instantly striking.

Firespray Class (E2)

Firespray Class (E2)

That’s worth clicking up the full size, by the way, though the cutaway from the Trilogy Cross-Sections really lets you see how the bounty hunter lives. Fett’s ship is a Firespray-31 class patrol and attack craft. Obviously, he’s heavily modified it the way he heavily modified his armor, and although both armor and ship are admittedly antique (the Mandalorians being an ancient race and the ship and armor being passed down from his father), it’s clear that they are both in excellent shape and remain deadly. This masterful engineering is clearly the product of the Kuat Driveyards, my personal favorite of all the shipbuilding experts in the galaxy.

From the front

From the front

In fact, the Slave I is very rare even for a Firespray, as she is one of six prototypes and really the only survivor of those. Fett’s armor and his ship are linked together, and he is able to communicate with both. In The Mandalorian Armor, it is revealed that his ship was waiting in orbit around Tatooine while he was in Jabba’s palace; it is also revealed that the bounty hunter has decoy ships that look just like his vessel (possibly the motivation behind the “I” following the name).

The Slave I at rest

The Slave I at rest

Although the cockpit is able to right-orient within the vessel, the Firespray ship rests “on its back” when landed and rotates vertical while in flight. It is an extremely compact and powerful vessel with hidden weapons compartments, powerfully armored hull, and great speed and maneuverability. The name is as intimidating as its master, its semi-legendary status adds to the mystique and fear that Boba Fett is able to call up.

And, as a resident girl, I have to declare I think the ship is pretty. I like the class (Firespray sounds cool), I like where it comes from (KDY FTW), and I like the owner (Boba Fett is the man). It’s predominantly green and brown, which is a great color combination, and it’s got snazzy mods. So  there you have it. Slave I is my favorite ship.

In conclusion, here’s a bit from the folks at Robot Chicken talking about Fett’s own opinion of his ride.

Favorite Object/Prop

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 20 June 2013 by Megan

Okay, let’s take this a slightly different direction. You think props and Star Wars and of course you think lightsabers. But what I want to talk about is my favorite thing in the entire franchise:

The Super Star Destroyer Executor

The Super Star Destroyer Executor

Look, it is an object, and it is way more my favorite than lightsabers are. I mean, just look at it, all the grandeur of the Empire summed up in one sleek ship. An almost unique ship, in fact, as there were not a lot of other Super Star Destroyers made, and this one cost the Empire AurebeshSans-Serif credit1,143,350,000. Manufactured by the Kuat Driveyards, one of my favorite places ever, the ship was 19,000 meters long, or about ten miles. To give that a little local  perspective, if the ship were landed in Champaign County, Ohio, the ship would reach from the town center of Urbana to West Liberty on the county line.

Proportions in perspective

Proportions in perspective

So it’s a really grand ship is what I’m saying. You  can’t deny that it’s really beautiful. At four times the size of an Imperial-class destroyer, the Executor could in fact dock an entire Star Destroyer if necessary. It had many times the armaments as well: 5,000+ turbolaser batteries and ion cannons, 250 heavy concussion missile batteries, and 40 tractor beam projectors. It carried 144 TIE fighters; 200 combat and support ships; 3 prefabricated garrison bases; several hundred armored walkers, speeder bikes, and ground vehicles; and 50,000 heavy concussion missiles. It could run with a skeleton crew of 50,000, but its usual compliment was more like 279,000, 1500 gunners, and 10,000 droids. It could carry 250,000 metric tons of cargo, and supplies for six years.

Significantly larger than an Imperial-class destroyer

Significantly larger than an Imperial-class destroyer

Now, there is some confusion over the name of this spectacular ship. In fact I was pretty confused myself for a long time. It’s often thought that Executor is pronounced “ex-ih-cute-r,” as in someone who cuts off people’s heads for a living; in fact an early toy of the ship said this was so and it was in fact considered too dark. However, after I realized that a person who cuts off heads for a living is in fact an executioner, the actual name of the ship made much more sense: “ex-yeh-cute-r.” That is, the guy who gets things done for the Emperor. Much more sensible.

In all its sleek glory

In all its sleek glory

And I know it wouldn’t have counted as “saddest moment” anyway when that question came up, but I’m always so heartbroken when the Executor goes down. And Ackbar is so  self-satisfied with the whole thing. Ugh.

These guys are people too.

These guys are people too. And now they’re all dead.

Anyway, in conclusion on this post that took me way too long and I’m sorry about that, I love this ship and am not a bit sorry for being upset when it goes down or for considering it an object/prop. And now I shall give you my favorite shot of the command station behind the bridge of the crown jewel of the Imperial Fleet.

The command station

The command station

ASCII Art

Posted in Fun with tags , , , on 9 September 2011 by Megan

It is a well-known fact that geeks and ASCII Art go together like French fries in a Wendy’s Frosty. Which is why for today’s Fun Friday, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite examples from this site I found while I was kicking around at work looking for ASCII Art for unrelated purposes. I’m not going to post a ton of it because I’m at work and need to be getting back to it ;) But enjoy what I do post, and if you want to see more, check it out (here) (which is also where you can get full credit for the pieces I’m displaying here).

               _________________      ____         __________
    .       /    ______   _____| . /      \      |    ___    |     .     .
             \    \    |   |       /   /\   \     |   |___>   |
           .  \    \   |   |      /   /__\   \  . |         _/             .
 .     ________>    |  |   | .   /            \   |   |\    \_______    .
      |            /   |   |    /    ______    \  |   | \           |
      |___________/    |___|   /____/      \____\ |___|  \__________|    .
  .     ____    __  . _____   ____      .  __________   .  _________
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        \    \/    \/    /  /      \      |    ___    |  /    ______|  .
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   .      \            /  /   /__\   \    |         _/.   \    \
           \    /\    /  /            \   |   |\    \______>    |   .
            \  /  \  /  /    ______    \  |   | \              /          .
 .       .   \/    \/  /____/      \____\ |___|  \____________/  LS
                               .

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          .'_____`. /\
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          |_  #  _| ||
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       |  `'|  |`'  |  /
       |    |  |    |\/   Boba Fett
                ________
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        | |    [[_]| |     `| |        ~    _(   )   )
        |_|    `| ||_|      |_|          ~ (    ) ) ))
        [_]     | |[_]      [_]          (_       _))
       /___\    [ ] __\    /___\           (( \   ) )
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                                             (  #  )
||                          ||
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||=__ =|='  |-()-|  '=|= __=||
||/  ''-.:   \/\/   :.-''  \||
||        \   ""   /        ||
||         `.____.'         ||
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     _                          _
    | |                        | |
    | |   P I                  | |
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    | |      F I G H T E R     | |
    | |                        | |
    | |                        | |
    | b____ ,;;;;;;;;;;;;'_____d |
    | p---- ;;'';;'';;''' -----q |
    | |     '   ;;  ;;         | |
    | |         ;;  ;;         | |  - Joan Stark
    | |         ;;  ;;         | |
    | |         ;'  ;'         | |
    |_|                        |_|
|
|    __________________
|   /                  \
|  | I'm not coming out |
|   \_______   ________/
|          /  /
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|         /
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keith lawler

In case you didn’t get it, that’s a “Shy Fighter.” There are many more pun TIEs on the main page!

                 _....._
             .-""|     |""-.
           .'    |     |    '.
     ,-----|     |     |     |     Imperial Walkers
   _/  =   |     |     |     |     (AT-AT)
   |_______|_____|     |_____|
     ='      |  |'-...-'|  |
             |  |       |  |
            /|  |      /|  |   _ ,--.
           ( |  |     ( |  |  /_|____|
            \|  |      \|  |     || ||
             |  |       |  |     ll ll
             |  |\      |  |\
             /  \ `.    /  \ `.
            |____|-'   |____|-'SSt

How obvious is it that I really like AT-ATs? I should do a post about them soon and about how I can’t abide the pronunciation “at-at,” which makes you sound like you’re giving directions with a stutter. Anyway, back to work. Check out more artwork! Maybe post some of your favorites ;)

Skyhopper

Posted in Questions with tags , , on 6 April 2011 by Megan

“What is a Skyhopper and how long had Luke flown one?” — Outcast

Luke and Skyhopper

Young Luke and a model skyhopper

Essentially, the skyhopper is a high-speed flight training vehicle that may or may not be outfitted with a weapon system. The one common on Tatooine, which Luke refers to, is the T-16 Skyhopper from Incom. It’s a two-person sport vehicle that is both fast (with speeds up to 745.6 MPH) and highly maneuverable. It has a standard DCJ-45 antigrav generator for lift and a single ion engine for forward propulsion. Its operational ceiling is higher than most other similar crafts, and therefore can reach altitudes of 170+ miles without losing cabin pressure. It’s a light, easy-to-steer craft that is controlled on a gyro system. Not only can it turn on a credit, it can climb vertically on demand. Even more advantageously for Luke, the cockpit controls are set up very similar to those in an X-wing fighter. Fuel slugs, standard, provide power for the craft, and its computer is compatible with most astro droids.

Luke, for most of his youth, constructed model ships including those of the T-16. While there is no suggestion of how long he had been flying one, one can assume it had been some four or five years, given his age and skill. Apart from the model in A New Hope, you can also see T-16s in the Return of the Jedi (special edition) celebration scene–it flies over Mos Eisely. Also, there is one in the background of the homestead scene in Attack of the Clones.

My source was Shane Johnson’s Star Wars Technical Journal. More information in the Star Wars databank.

Death Star

Posted in Questions with tags , , , , , on 5 April 2011 by Megan

hey, I thought you may be able to help cause I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere, what is the propulsion system on the death star? any other relevent specs would also be awesome. — Eric

The Death Star I

The Death Star I

The Death Star (Make: MK1 deep-space mobile battle station) has a diameter of 99.4 miles and 84 levels of 4,684 ft. each. Levels are divided into 357 sublevels of 13.1 ft. high. It houses about a million individuals and thousands of armed vessels. This includes a crew of 342,953 (285,675 operational craft, 57,278 gunmen, and 843,342 passengers, which I think includes officers, Stormtroopers, and admiralty).

It was built around a hypermatter reactor. “A fusion reactor of incredible proportions, fed by stellar fuel bottles lining its periphery, produced the raw energy demanded by the Death Star’s superlaser and propulsion systems. Much of the station’s interior volume was filled by the machinery necessary to sustain such a fusion core, with sublight propulsion systems and defense field generators lining the outer equatorial regions. Realspace propulsion was handled by an external array of powerful ion engines, which converted the raw fusion energy of the station’s core into thrust and pressed the stations great mass into any motion dictated by the Death Star’s huge navicomputer banks. . . . The Death Star’s hyperspace motivator units were comprised of linked banks of field generators such as those found aboard Imperial Star Destroyers. One hundred twenty-three individual hyperspace generators, tied into a single navigational matrix, were necessary to carry the Death Star beyond the speed of light. The intense power generated within the battle station, combined with its great mass, gave it both magnetic and artificial gravitational fields equal to those of a natural body many times its size.”

Its actual specs are this–it has a Class 4 hyperdrive. Engines: SFS-CR27200 hyperdrive reactor powering 123 Isu-Sim SSPO6 hyperdrive generators. 2 Sepma 30-5 sublight engines. Armaments: 1 superlaser (range: 29,241,719 mi); 5,000 Taim and Bak D6 turbolaser batteries; 2,500 Borstel MS-1 ion cannons; 768 Phylon tractor-beam emplacements; 11,000 combat vehicles (probably including AT-ATs, AT-STs, and TIEs of a variety of makes). Its maximum speed is 1.2c.*, and its fuel is compressed stellar hydrogen.

Its manufacturer was the Imperial Department of Military Research and Sienar Fleet Systems. The designers were varied–the concept came from Rath Sienar but was stolen by Grand Moff Tarkin. Further development took place by Geonosian Hive Engineers, and it was finalized by Bevel Lemelesk. It was built in three different locations–Geonosis, the black hole cluster called Maw Installation, and was completed with slave labor in orbit around the penal colony Despayre (which then became the first planet the space station destroyed).

So, there you have it! My sources were The Complete Cross-Sections, The Complete Locations, and The Technical Journal. MTFBWY!

* Johnson does not define the unit “c” anywhere in The Technical Journal, and it is not referenced anywhere in any other material.

Errant Venture

Posted in Questions with tags , , , on 4 April 2011 by Megan

In Michael Stackpole’s “I, Jedi” it is said that the father of Mirax (Boomer) has a Imperial Star destroyer painted red. Michael does not to my knowledge mention where Boomer who is not an Imperial character got his Star Destroyer. Do you know if any other author mentions where Boomer found/stole/received this unusual gift? — Scribe

The Errant Venture in scarlet glory

The Errant Venture in scarlet glory

The Errant Venture, Booster Terrik’s Imperial-Class Star Destroyer, first appears in The Bacta War by Michael A. Stackpole, book 4 in the X-Wing Series. Other canonical books that the ship is mentioned in are X-Wing: Isard’s Revenge (Stackpole), Specter of the Past (Zahn), Vision of the Future (Zahn), and Star Wars: Union (Stackpole).

Originally the ship was Virulence and it was naturally in Imperial service. Under the command of Joak Drysso during the Battle of Endor, it was present at the destruction of the Executor and the defeat of the Imperial forces. Drysso joined forces with Ysanne Isard, who later promoted him to command her battleship and left the Virulence under the command of Lakwii Varrscha. During the eponymous Bacta War, Booster captured the Star Destroyer, took command, and put his own people on board; later he was able to turn the tide of the fight to Republic victory with the Star Destroyer. Afterward, despite the reservations of New Republic command, he kept the ship. The deal secured by Corran Horn and Airen Cracken was that the Destroyer could remain in Booster’s control after it was stripped of most of its weaponry (these were sold, earning Booster 18 million credits). Renaming it the Errant Venture, Booster had it painted red and transformed it into a base of operations and kind of mobile bazaar with its own reputation.

There’s your answer! Be sure to ask any more you come up with. May the Force be with you!