Posts Tagged ‘Hilarious Star Trek parody’

Pieces of Eight

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Well in case you haven’t noticed today is the 8th of August 2008. That’s 08/08/08! How exciting! I’m sure there are all sorts of numerological portents of doom in there but to me, it makes me realise that I can remember exactly what I was doing twenty years ago this very day.

As a precocious teenager I had used The Quill to create a text adventure for the ZX Spectrum (kids, ask your parents!). It was a four part epic that went by the hilarious title Star Wreck. Yes, if any further proof were needed that I was (and am) a massive dork I created my own Star Trek parody. My memories of it are sketchy, but i think there was a running theme about the evil of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. I can tell you, in my mind it was scathingly satirical.

The reason that I know it was twenty years ago today is that I had conquered the piss poor, sub Fergus McNeil text, and had moved onto the loading screens. In those, pre Photoshop days, it was created with an application called (I think) Art Studio, pixel by single pixel, possibly with a Kempston Quickshot 2 joystick. And I vividly remember etching the number 8/8/88 at the bottom of the screen, in one of the eight colours that was available.

Heady days indeed (and an appropriate memory considering this current, 80s inspired storyline), but I am sorry to inform you that there is no copy of this monument of game programming available for you to sample with your favourite Speccy emulator. Never fear though, I ended up recycling most of the jokes at various points for this very comic.

Share

Return of the Fanboys

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Here is a heads up to let you know that we have reposted the most viewed comic we have ever done. A dubious honour, seeing as it piggybacks on the interest in Fanboys, a movie which itself piggybacks on the popularity of Star Wars. Our pageviews went through the roof for a few days, thanks to TheForce.Net, Digg and StumbleUpon.  It was almost like being genuinely popular, although it’s a good job we didn’t let it go to our heads and rush out to buy that speedboat.

Share

Got An Intergalactic Revolution!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

With JJ ABrams’ Shatnerless Star Trek reboot hitting cinemas this summer, the eternal question is back on everyone’s lips. To whit: which is the best out of the major “Star” franchises (Trek, Wars, Gate)? Well. First of all we can disregard Stargate as I have never seen it (except for the original film, which seemed pretty cool in 1994, although that might be because we were so impoverished for space spanning adventure that James Spader versus an androgynous Pharoah was an acceptable evening’s entertainment. In retrospect it can be blamed for paving the way for  Independence Day. So not good then).

So Star Trek vs Star Wars. It’s a debate that has raged among nerds for years, and we can finally put it to bed now. The criteria we will use will be a seemingly inconsequential element of  the most misbegotten moments of each saga. From Scott Bakula helmed crapfest Star Trek: Enterprise we have the overblown, incongruously 80s style power ballad Where My Heart Will Take Me, while the acid flashback fever dream that is The Star Wars Holiday Special provides Jefferson Starship’s “futuristic” performance of Light The Sky On Fire.

Enterprise was an attempt to free the Star Trek franchise from the entrenched continuity that the previous three series had built up, being set as it was before the formation of The Federation and the adventures of Kirk and Spock. Unfortunately this resulted in episodes about making a really good chair. It was also distinct in that it forsook the traditional “spacey” orchestral theme tune (none of them a patch on the otherworldly warbling of the Original Series) and went for a (gulp!) “rock ballad”.

Gratuitously sexy vulcan, Sam Beckett and blue dude - Enterprise had it all

Where My Heart Will Take Me was sung by crossover opera star Russell Watson in full gravelly transatlantic style, and while a bit cheesy, it’s not bad if you like that kind of thing. Not surprising as it was written by uber songsmith Diane Warren, whose oeuvre includes such AOR classics as Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time, LeAnn Rimes’ Can’t Fight The Moonlight and Aerosmith’s That One From Armageddon. That drivel about “reaching any star” notwithstanding,  it’s nothing to do with Star Trek though, which is unsurprising when you find out that the song was originally written for Patch Adams, a Robin Williams (urgh) comedy drama (uurrgh) about a Doctor who treats patients’ spirits as much as their bodies (glurgaargh!!). Spizz  Energi’s Where’s Captain Kirk? would have been a better choice. As long as it was the live version with screaming in the middle.

Diane Warren’s CV also includes Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now from the movie Mannequin, performed by Starship, the 80s stadium rock incarnation of pivotal godheads of 60s psychedelia Jefferson Airplane.

In between their glory days of bashing the Nixon Administration through the medium of acid rock and their latter years, singing of the love between a man and a shop dummy, they were known as Jefferson Starship, and seemingly did a lot of songs about space. This set them up as an ideal “special musical guest” for that infamous, interminable, Star Wars Holiday Special.

Now, much has been written about this 97 minute (but feels a lot longer) toy advert slash variety show slash psychological torture, so I hardly need to get into it here, suffice to say that it has to be seen to be believed, but you’ll wish you hadn’t bothered.

They're really big on Kazhyyyk

Appearing as a pink hued hologram, the band perform the song as a distraction for the Imperial officers, who obviously like a bit of a groove to murky 70s rock during downtime. Marty Balin is singing into what I presume is intended to be a lightsaber, but it resembles a flourescent dildo. At least they make the effort, wearing swishy costumes (pitched between glam rock and male stripper), twirling drumsticks, and generally pulling shapes while their instruments (including the fantastically futuristic keyboard on a shoulder strap) emit sonic waves (or something). The song features a spoken interlude about “The Great God Kopa Khan”, and (apropos of nothing) cries of “Cigar shaped object”! I can’t be certain but I’m sure that’s not canon.

Psychedelic siren Grace Slick is nowhere to be seen in the preformance. She had actually been fired from the band earlier in the year for drunkenly goading German audiences by shouting “who won the war?” while she should have been singing Somebody To Love for the 30,000th time. Nice one Grace. At least she was spared the embarrassment of appearing in the one part of the Star Wars franchise that is deemed too bad to ever get an official release.

Even though I have a grudging affection for Where My Heart Will Take Me, the prize has to go to Light The Sky On Fire, just because it’s so mental. So that’s that settled then. Next week we sort out which is the one true religion.

Share

Have your Kirk and eat it

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Star Trek, in its original incarnation at least, is routinely regarded as kitschy, campy fun – a technicolour romp with overwrought acting, smooching hot alien floozies and shaking cameras and staggering about to denote being hit by photon torpedoes. It’s easy to laugh, albeit often with affection,  at the recurring themes: men in red shirts being disintegrated, repeated visits to the planet of Vasquez Rocks, and Captain Kirk shagging everything in the known universe.

However, when you were a kid (and most of us were pretty young when we first experienced the adventures of Kirk and Spock, seeing as it’s been in reruns for the last 93 years) Star Trek was never campy. When you were too young to understand limited special effects budgets, hand me down sci fi tropes and the concept of William Shatner’s ego, Star Trek was weird, thrilling and scary. 

Just another normal day on board The Enterprise

Like The Avengers‘ off kilter surrealist edge proved impossible to update convincingly for a big budget 90s remake you could never recapture the claustrophobic psychedelia of the original Star Trek now. The movies, and the subsequent TV series featured a more realistic aesthetic, and plots that relied more on action or political and philosophical issues, than mind bending Lewis Carroll  influenced fantasies.

I’ve never spoken Klingon or dressed as a Star Fleet Officer and referred to myself as “Lieutenant Commander”, but on the other hand, I spent one summer holiday watching The Wrath of Khan every single day, I know the difference between Bajorans and The Breen, and have seen nearly every episode of TNG and DS9. And I refer to them as TNG and DS9!  I also once turned down a night of sex in order to watch Star Trek themed night on BBC2 (they showed the premier of Voyager – definitely not worth it), so I suppose to most civilians I am indeed a Trekkie.

Planet of The Vasquez Rocks on Futurama

So I was initially uncertain of the prospect of a reboot. Someone other than William “The Hamosaurus” Shatner playing Kirk? Unthinkable! Surely they should just have the balls to create a new set of characters for young, sexy Academy based adventures if they must. But against all expectations the new movie, which cleverly both prequelises and sequelises the existing franchise (using the time honoured device of a temporal anomaly), is great. I won’t bother reviewing it here as many more have done it far more incisively than I can. Suffise to say, while it continues the realistic look of the previous movies but broadens the scope enough to live up to current movie standards (which the last couple of entries in the sequence most certainly didn’t – I caught some of Nemesis on TV last night and it looked like a cheap night out at a cybergoth club), both the spirit of adventure and the essence of the original crew is captured wonderfully. And having Leonard Nimoy in there for us old purists doesn’t hurt either.

Share

The Ascent of Fan

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

So I finally saw Fanboys thanks to a competition that ran on The ForceCast. I think I read about this movie back in the 90s on Ain’t It Cool News, and it has taken this long to (barely) get a release, a wait of almost Chinese Democracyesque proportions. There’s still no sign of it getting an official release in the UK but those of us who remember the early days of DVD and hung onto our multi region players have at least got the option to get hold of the US DVD.

While it’s a relief to finally get to see the movie that people have been talking about for so long, it only appeared in a handful of American cinemas, and the DVD release has been pretty low key. Coupled with a rather negative critical response, it seems that relatively few people will see it , and that’s a shame as, while it’s far from perfect, it has a massive untapped potential audience that is bound to take it to their hearts.

3263827

The film is a story of a group of friends in 1998 who decide to travel across country to break into Skywalker Ranch, so that they can get to see the unreleased Star Wars Episode I before one of them pegs it. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the fact that this idea occurred to me many times in the run up to the release of what was surely the most anticipated movie of all time.

At this point, of course, a million AICN Talkbackers will routinely pipe up that when those guys eventually see it they’ll wish they hadn’t bothered. But Fanboys is about the journey, and the characters’ relationships more than the eventual outcome. Along the way there are a few slightly undercooked comedic episodes, some evidence of the studio’s interference, and some fairly unnecessary stunt casting, but the thing that carries the movie along is the terrific chemistry between the central cast. Adding to this is the attention to detail, making it feel like these guys are real friends and real fans. Weirdly, it feels like it actually was made in the late 90s (a side effect of its low budget), and it’s interesting to compare it to 1998’s Free Enterprise, a story about Star Trek fans told with more sophistication, but less charm.

Definitely recommended viewing for fans of Star Wars. And Rush.

Share