The Sci-Fried Eggs are broadcasting again this week from Studio B at Bathurst Manor. The Eggs start by discussing DeathSwitch.com. Then Doc and Chuck talk about some video game stories that are better than blockbuster movies. Chuck brings you some Suicide Squad news. The Eggs give you an X-Con warmup interview with Bob Camp and Michael Rooker. And while they had some time off, Doc and Chuck did some catching up on Listener Letters!
Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 106, Segment 1
Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 106, Segment 2
Video Game Stories That Are Better Than Blockbuster Movies
Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 106, Segment 3
Suicide Squad News
Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 106, Segment 4
X-Con Warmup: Bob Camp and Michael Rooker Interview
Sci-Fried Eggs: Episode 106, Segment 5
Listener Letters #4
This debate has gone on long enough. Which is better? Who would win if they got into a fight? Star Trek or Star Wars? Well, like the great cases of Brown v. The Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, I’m going to follow in the footsteps of my hero William Rehnquist and give a fair and balanced look to end the debate once and for all of which is better, Star Trek or Star Wars.
In order to properly evaluate this, I’m breaking this down into several categories. Whoever wins the category will get a point and whoever has the most points at the end wins. So I guess this actually kind of follows in the footsteps of one of my other heroes, Peter Sagal, which makes this even more awesome.
Let’s start with manpower. And let’s look at who the big players are in the manpower area. In the Star Trek world, there’s the Klingons, the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Dominion, even the Maquis. Basically a lot of warrior races. In Star Wars, the biggest kid on the block is the Empire. Everyone else in the Star Wars universe is small potatoes. “But Doc, what about the Rebels?” What about the Rebels? Let’s be honest, the Rebels were more lucky than they were good at their job. And Star Trek folks, don’t even mention the Federation. They shouldn’t even bother showing up to this fight. They can sit bench with the Rebels unless we need someone to hit a two-meter target or go back in time, grab a pair of humpback whales, bring them forward in time and hope the hell they tell a probe what to go do with itself.
So if we take this in the direction of an every-race-for-themselves open space battle, then I’m pretty sure the Borg win this one hands down. They assimilate. That’s it. And they add technological and cultural distinctiveness to their own. So if they assimilate clones, yeah, it’s not looking too good. Or even worse, if they assimilated a Jedi or a Sith Lord! Can you imagine that?! Sure, I know what Star Wars fans are saying, “But, Doc, the Jedi and Sith derive their powers from a rooted belief system, not from technology or cultural cues.” That’s great, but when we are talking about assimilating technology, they only have to assimilate one Jedi or Sith and now you’ve got a bunch of Borg drones wandering around with lightsabers. If that doesn’t scare the ever-living crap out of you then you didn’t fully understood that last statement.
So while the Federation and the Rebels are warming the bench, let’s address the cute and fuzzy races as well. Tribbles or Ewoks? Sure the Ewoks have rudimentary weapons that can take down mildly-armored tanks on chicken legs.
Okay, hold on, I have to vent on something real quick. Seriously, did no one in the Empire learn anything from the battle on Hoth? Armored things precariously balanced on wobbly metal legs can clearly be easily tripped up. Anyone who’s seen Robocop defeat ED-209 knows that. If putting tanks on metal legs was a good idea, don’t you think some army in history would have done it by now? I mean, the Nazis built all kinds of ill-manner of super weapons and no one was crazy enough to even put a tank on legs into production. Seriously, Empire, take some notes from the Jawas and put all that armored assault technology on some tank tracks already!
Okay, venting over. Thanks. I needed that. Now where was I? Oh, yes, that’s right, Tribbles or Ewoks. Let’s break this down. The Ewoks live on Endor, a forest moon. From what we learn in Original Star Trek Episode #44: The Trouble with Tribbles, Dr. McCoy explains how the Tribbles eat too much and reproduce way too fast. They are “basically born pregnant” as Dr. McCoy describes it. We also learned from Mr. Scott in the episode that the Tribbles worked their way into closed compartments and started eating parts of the ships systems. That means dropping just one Tribble onto a forest moon would be like dropping a match into a barrel of gasoline-soaked dynamite. Also according to the episode, Spock points out that Tribbles produce a new generation every 12 hours. That means in just 3 days there would be a over 1.7 million Tribbles running around. Now you’ve got the Ewoks that survive off of the forest, right? That means these hungry Tribbles would eat them out of house and home in no time. The Ewoks would literally starve to death or just be buried in Tribbles. Sure, 1.7 million Tribbles on one planet doesn’t seem like a lot. But imagine this, in just 6 days, there would be over 34.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a T) Tribbles on Endor. To give you an idea of how many that is, New York City has about 8.5 million people in the Five Boroughs. That means that every single person in New York City would get over 4 million 58 thousand Tribbles. Shanghi, China, which is the most populated city on Earth with just over 24 million people, each person would get over 1.4 million Tribbles. The popular of the planet Earth is just over 7 billion, so that means everyone on Earth would get almost 5 thousand Tribbles each after just 6 days. So yeah, good freakin’ luck, Ewoks.
Manpower: Star Trek – 1, Star Wars – 0
Now a military power is only as strong as the fleet they command. And before we go any further, the difference between phaser and lasers and photon and proton torpedoes is nothing (Well, a little thing called worry-over-copyright-infringement if you want to get technical). So when it comes down to weapons and defenses, all the big players who are in the starting line-up are on a pretty level playing field. That means when we talk about fleets and military combat, the real discussion comes down to mobilization of forces.
The Empire wins this one hands down against anyone except the Borg (which we’ll get to in a minute). The Empire is comparable to the American and Japanese Fleets in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Nothing in the Star Trek universe even remotely resembles an aircraft carrier. Star Destroyers are exactly that. They are big space aircraft carriers with tons of TIE Fighters and Bombers and Interceptors and whatever other TIE things they have. Federation, Romulan, Klingon, Ferengi, Andorian, Tholian, Cardassian, even the Dominion, none of them have anything close to being able to compete with that kind of firepower and maneuverability. Even the Federation’s run-n-gun ship, the Defiant, couldn’t deal with so many targets at once. And no one has any kind of massive fleet to deal with that kind of Imperial onslaught. Any Star Trek fleet that would show up would get carved up by the death of a thousand TIE fighter lasers.
I know what you’re saying Star Trek folks, and I hear you loud and clear. And you are right, the Rebels did pull a Billy Mitchell (if you don’t know who he is, look it up). The Defiant might get lucky, but that’s about it. And there’s still a lot of targets to deal with on a Star Destroyer with a full compliment of TIE whatevers.
Really the only race in Star Trek that can compete ship-to-ship is the Borg. The Borg cubes at Wolf 359 were reported to measure about 3 kilometers across. Star Destroyers measure 1600 meters, or right at a mile. So one Borg cube is over twice as long as a single Star Destroyer. In the Battle of Wolf 359, a single Borg cube destroyed 39 of the 40 Federation ships at the battle. In the Star Trek: Voyager Episode Endgame, Seven of Nine tells Janeway that the transwarp hub nebula contained 47 Borg vessels. And in the Star Trek: Voyager Episode Hope and Fear, the dude from Species 116 talks about hundreds of Borg cubes surrounding his homeworld before its destruction. Not to mention the fact that Commander Shelby pointed out that a Borg cube could remain operative even if 78% of the cube was inoperable. Then there are transporters, so not only would the Empire be trying to attack this Cube while they are getting carved up, but there are Borg beaming onto the ship and assimilating people too! Actually, a Borg Cube going up against a couple of Star Destroyers would be a battle I’d love to see.
“But, Doc, what about the Death Star?” Oh, you mean that big planet-sized space station that literally moves at the speed of a planet. Borg got warp and transwarp. The Death Star is boned. All summed up, the Empire has the advantage over anyone except the Borg. The Borg are here to party. So since the Empire is the winner except with the Borg, I’m going to give both sides a point.
Strength of Fleet: Star Trek – 1, Star Wars – 1
Leadership is important in any space campaign. And there are lots of great leaders on both sides. But what makes a leader really great is not how nice or fair that leader is, but it’s about achieving results. The Emperor, Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin…Star Wars is full of people who get things done. Sure they choke kill a lot of people along the way, but you gotta break some necks to make an omelet. That makes the Empires efficiency rating just as high as its on-the-job fatality rating. And then there are good leaders on the Rebel side as well. And then you’ve got the Jedi as leaders too. Star Wars has a pretty fair lineup in the leadership department.
Star Trek does pretty good as well, without as much ruthlessness. Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer…they all get things done by following the rules when they need to and forgetting the rules when necessary. And it says a lot more about your leadership style if you are efficient and well-liked.
So I think leadership is a draw. We could get into the particulars of each leader, but really each individual style has its good and bad qualities, so everyone gets a point here.
Leadership: Star Trek – 1, Star Wars – 1
Any science fiction series is only as good as the hot babes it has in it. And I know Princess Leia in that metal bikini that they stole from Valerian and Laureline (don’t believe me, just type “Valerian and Laureline Metal Bikini” into Google images and let the George Lucas thievery begin) was the mainstay for a lot of young boys in their formative years of puberty. But aside from Princess Leia, Padme Amidala, and Jabba’s three dancers (looking at you, fiery redhead), then you’ve got to go to the cartoons and extended universe to find other women. Sure there is Ahsoka Tano (if you’re into jailbait), Mara Jade (if you’re into middle-aged girls), Aurra Sing (if you’re into criminals), Shaak Ti (if you’re into weird hair), and Asajj Ventress (if you’re into Sinead O’Conner). But that’s not a lot of options.
Star Trek on the other hand is ripe with beautiful women who are ready to get down and party. There’s Seven of Nine, Jadzia Dax (and Ezri too), Tonia Barrows, Robin Lefler, Tasha Yar (and her sister Ishara), Dr. Helen Noel, Marta, Droxine, Kelinda, Kara, Ro Laren, B’elanna Torres, Kes, Beverly Crusher, Deanna Troi, Lt. Saavik, Android Andrea, Edith Keeler, Kamala, Lt. Valeris, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, Leeta, Vash, Dr. Carol Marcus, Gannett Brooks, Bronwyn Gail Robinson, Amanda Cole, Martha Landon, Teresa Ross, Dr. Leah Brahms, Neras, Drusilla, Brenna Odell, Nona, Maras, Dr. Selar (Suzie Plakson), Tarah (also Suzie Plakson), K’Ehleyr (Suzie Plakson again), The Female Q (just any character of Suzie Plakson’s), Janice Rand, Shahna, Tora Ziyal, Eris, D’Nesh, Seska, Sela, Vina, Gilora Rejal, Deirdre Watley, Natima Lang, Grilka, Gul Ocett, Kilana, Uhura’s Orion Starfleet Academy roommate Gaila, and that three-boobed cat woman from Star Trek V. And that’s just to name a few off the top of my head. There’s tons more. Literally every episode has a hot babe in it somewhere. Star Trek seriously mops the floor with Star Wars in the female category.
Female to Male Ratio: Star Trek – 57+, Star Wars – 8.
Well, that puts Star Trek at 60+ and Star Wars at 10. Looks like we’re pretty much done here. I think William Rehnquist and Peter Sagal would be proud.
I’ve been hearing a lot of people go on and on about how great a movie The Departed is. And I always ask these loud and obnoxious people if they have seen the movie Robocop. Most of them say no. And I proceed to tell them how Robocop is a much better movie than The Departed. Usually about 12 to 16 seconds into my dissertation about the awesomeness of Robocop, someone starts to argue back, a punch gets thrown, and then a full-on fight breaks out. And because I’m tired of dodging punches from half-drunk women and their husbands, I’m going to just explain why Robocop is a better movie than The Departed and just print some slips of paper with the link on it to hand out.
Now I’ve never seen The Departed. But I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it and I’ve got the general gist of it. And I can tell you that Robocop is a way better movie. I mean, let’s face it, no matter what the storyline of The Departed is, a man getting turned into a bullet-proof, badass, law-enforcement machine is way more awesome. Not to mention Robocop is directed by Paul Verhoeven, the same guy who brought you Starship Troopers (need I really list anymore), Total Recall (the original one with Mars in it, not the crappy remake), Basic Instinct (again, need I list more), Hollow Man (with Kevin Bacon and that hot babysitter from Adventures in Babysitting who also played Marty McFly’s girlfriend in BTTF2), and Showgirls (with Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell)! I’m not even sure who directed The Departed. But I can guarantee you whoever it was, they don’t have that freaking impressive list of directorial credits. But the superior director of Robocop is just one nail in the coffin of The Departed.
If I could eloquently describe Robocop in two sentences, it would probably be these two sentences from a many-page posting which I only read the first six paragraphs of before I found two back-to-back suitably eloquent sentences about the film:
“Robocop is perfectly ‘postmodern’ — a panic film suffused with a sense of crisis precipitated by our rapid entrance into the brave new world of simulation, media, and high-technology. Stylistically, Robocop could also be identified as postmodern in its pastiche nature which implodes and combines numerous film genres (romance, sci-fi, detective, horror, revenge, the western, etc.).”
You know what that says to me?! That’s right! This film has everything! It’s a perfect film (well at least from 1987 until 1997 when Starship Troopers came out). I seriously doubt The Departed has been so well lauded by someone on the Internet. And even if it has, I’m sure it’s by someone who hasn’t seen Robocop.
But a stellar on-line review and an amazing director aren’t the only things that make Robocop nineteen times (rough estimate, probably a little low now that I think about it) the movie that The Departed is. There’s an all-star cast: Peter Weller (because Peter Weller), Kurtwood Smith (and any movie with Red Foreman is a great movie), Nancy Allen (super hot), Ronnie (freakin’) Cox, and Dan O’Herlihy (as Daniel O’Herlihy). Literally a star-studded cast! Even stunt woman Donna Keegan is in the film! She’s the lady who did all the stunts for Kate Capshaw in Temple of Doom! And who does The Departed have in it? I’m not even sure because I haven’t even seen the film. But I know it can’t compare to the amazing cast of Robocop.
On top of that, there is cool shoot outs. There’s police cars crashing. There’s dinosaurs (seriously, watch the movie). There’s T.J. Lazer! It’s like if the middle 41 minutes of Tombstone, the last 38 minutes of The Blues Brothers, and the last half of Jurassic Park drank too much Tron and made some bad decision and had a kid. And that kid was a law-enforcement cyborg! That’s how awesome this movie is. I don’t even know what The Departed is a mix of (because, again, I haven’t seen it), but from my vague understanding it’s like if Beverly Hills Cop 3 was in an abusive relationship with Fever Pitch and Fever Pitch had a scandalous affair with Married to the Mob.
I could go on for hours about all the awesome stuff in Robocop that I’m sure The Departed doesn’t have (the ED-209 and lots of Police Turbo Cruisers come to mind), but I think I’ve done a great job of proving my point. I assume it’s pretty clear that The Departed isn’t even in the same league as Robocop. And if you don’t agree, then maybe you should seriously watch Robocop again and give it a second chance before you start a bar fight over a movie you like that I’ve just heard a lot about but never seen.
“Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”
“Remember something, ladies, especially those of you who complain about men. The problem is not men. The problem is your pick, selection, or taste in men. Do you see the difference? Choose better men and you will have better experiences with men.”
“There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”