Posted in: Horror Hosts, Humor, MST3K, Quotes, Reviews, Star Trek

MST3K: The Movie 25th Anniversary

On April 19, 1996, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie was released into theaters riffing on the sci-fi classic “This Island Earth“. Unfortunately, it was only twenty six theaters on the opening weekend. I remember wanting to watch this movie the moment I heard the news about this special show. I don’t recall when it finally came to Utah, but I was there when it made it’s Beehive State premier at a Salt Lake City art theater. MST3K: The Movie was shown at The Tower Theater on 9th and 9th. It may have been one of the many cult midnight movies that this theater was known for showing. I went with a group of friends who were all excited to see the movie. In typical MST3K fashion, we riffed the movie in the theater. The one I remember the most was at the start when Michael Nelson was in the hamster wheel. While he was jogging, we all started singing the theme from Rocky. Da-da-daadaa Da Da da…. Gonna Fly NOW!!!!! We were constantly quoting lines from this movie at various opportunities. One of the more unique ones is when the crew sings “normal view. Normal View. Normal View! NORMAL VIEW!!!”. We were playing the Star Trek: Customizable Card Game where one of the cards was titled Mortal Q. You can guess what we sang.

mortal q. Mortal Q. Mortal Q! MORTAL Q!!!!

I remember getting excited when the movie was finally released on DVD. I called my bother (another MST3K fanatic) and let him know it was out since I didn’t know the stores had it at the time. After purchasing, watched this movie over and over again. I had only wished that the original MST3K: The Movie DVD had the original film as one of the extras. It wasn’t until Svengoolie had shown This Island Earth on The MeTV Network several years ago that I had a chance to watch the uncut version of the film. Svengoolie even mentioned the MST3K movie as one of the first introductions to this movie that a lot of people had experienced. There was 30 minutes cut from the original film for the MST3K. Because of how many times I’ve watched this movie, I’ve had some RPG homebrew ideas for the Metalutians. When I get the examples done, the Metalutians will be one of the demo aliens that I’ll be creating.

In honor of the 25th Anniversary today, I found the DVD I had watched a million times and put it into the DVD player. I took some notes while watching for this blog. I loved how the opening scene (after the Rocky run) was an escape attempt and explanation of why Mike and the bots are on the SoL. This gave movie viewers who hadn’t seen any MST3K episodes a quick guide into the setup of the show. I’ve always thought that the “bow down” scene was a little disturbing. Yea we want to show that Dr. Forrester is EEEEVVVVIIILLLL (and a bit of a dickweed) but that always seemed to bother me for some reason. The only reason I can think of is that he was never that nasty on the TV episodes. Yea he was evil, but not “kneel before Zod” evil. I wonder how many people watching the movie now will get the “John Sununu goes for a haircut” joke? I liked how they used the film breaking to give Mike and the Bots a chance to do a skit. Just breaking for a skit like they do in episodes may have confused audience members not familiar with the show. I don’t know why I never noticed that the switch activating the manipulator arms is marked “Manos” (as in Hands of Fate). Good job on that one. The names of the “invisible pilots” are Claude Rains (who played the invisible man) and Harvey the Rabbit (another invisible character). Another item that was different in the movie compared to the TV shows is the crew riffed the end credits to the movie. And I also counted, there were eight Star Trek references in the film.

Some of the lines that stood out in the film.

“Service engine soon” I wonder what that’s all about?

Science and Industry! See big men sticking screw drivers into things – turning them – AND ADJUSTING THEM!

Well believe me, Mike, I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid… and I went ahead anyway.

Now place your hands above the rail [hands suddenly attach to the rail] … they’re magnetized. And if your hands were metal, that would mean something.

Increase the Flash Gordon noise and put more science stuff around!

Are you in Europe? Do you need an adapter?

Offer void in Utah.

It was great to watch this movie again. If you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, they are currently running a Kickstarter to make more episodes. You can support them at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/makemoremst3k

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: April 19-25

Why were there no other posts this past week? Life quite literally did this to me. (Surgery in my nose)

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of April 19th through the 25th.

April 19
“You Federation types are all alike. You talk about tolerance and understanding but you only practice it towards people who remind you of yourselves.” Quark- The Jem’Hadar, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

April 20
Happy Birthday to George Takei. @GeorgeTakei https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/George_Takei #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

“You’ll find that more happens on the bridge of a starship than just carrying out orders and observing regulations. There is a sense of loyalty to the men and women you serve with, a sense of family.” Sulu- Flashback, Stardate: 50126.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

April 21
“You might as well ask a Vulcan to forgo logic or a Klingon to be nonviolent. I cannot change, and I don’t want to…” Kamala- The Perfect Mate, Stardate: 45761.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 22
“You did the right thing.” Tucker “It seems the longer we’re out here, the more I have to keep saying that to myself.” Archer- Damage, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

April 23
“I wonder how Humanity managed to survive.” Spock “We overcame our instinct for violence.” Kirk- Spectre of the Gun, Stardate: 4385.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 24
Happy Birthday to Jack Quaid. @JackQuaid92 https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jack_Quaid #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet

“We all joined Starfleet to dive headfirst into the unknown. We’re explorers; of course we don’t always know what’s going on.” Boimler- Veritas, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet

April 25
“You’ve done well. A great starship – on the far reaches of the galaxy. It’s everything you’d hoped.” Jenice Manheim “Nothing works just as you hoped.” Picard- We’ll Always Have Paris, Stardate: 41697.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: April 12-18

Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of April 12th through the 18th.

April 12
“We cannot regain honor by acting dishonorably.” Worf- Redemption, Stardate: 44995.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 13
“All this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense!” Weyoun “You believe that the Founders are gods, don’t you?” Damar “That’s different.” Weyoun “In what way?” Damar “The Founders are gods.” Weyoun- Tears of the Prophets #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

April 14
“I won’t ask the crew to risk their lives because of my obligation.” Janeway “‘My obligation.’ That’s where you’re wrong. Voyager may be alone out here, but you’re not. Let us help you.” Chakotay- The Omega Directive, Stardate: 51781.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

April 15
Michael Ansara born on this date in 1922. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Michael_Ansara #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

“Only a fool fights in a burning house.” Kang- Day of the Dove, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 16
“How can a chemical substance provide an escape?” Wesley Crusher “It doesn’t. But it makes you think it does.” Yar- Symbiosis, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 17
“I command here. My followers are strong and faithful and obedient. That’s why we take what is ours wherever we go.” Gorgon “You take from those who do not know you.” Spock “And we know you.” Kirk- And The Children Shall Lead, Stardate: 5029.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 18
“Transporter technology is very new. I’m sure Humans were equally frightened when the automobile was introduced… or the airplane.” Dr. Phlox- Vanishing Point, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Star Trek, Star Wars, Website

Feedback on catalogs and ships

So I’ve been getting feedback from people who have visited my blog. Thank you. This tells me that others are reading some of the stuff I’ve been posting here. I had several people send me thank you notes for putting together the Character Creation Challenge. I’ve noticed that a few new challenges have started in April displaying the works of different homebrew stats. Unfortunately my April was booked up with some personal issues that prevented me from trying to participate. However seeing creativity inspires creativity so keep it up.

Shane Bradley asked about the ships in my Master Book that I talked about in Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II. I am still planning to scan the other starships in there that I made when I put the book together back in the 90’s. At this time I just plan to make them into PDFs from the original printouts. Once that is done, then I may consider other tweaking of them. As an example, Shane sent me one of the ships I had presented in Excel format. I’ve linked it here. Thanks Shane.

Mark from from the Xon Gaming website (now hosted by a friend, click on “resources” link at the top) was impressed with the FASA catalogs that I had posted previously. He sent me a better scan of the 1983-2 catalog. It’s a direct scan, not pictures of the pages so it may be easier to read.

This next catalog is the FASA 1986 catalog that someone scanned and sent to me. It is only showing the Star Trek material in the book. However I don’t recall who sent it to me. I’ve looked back through all of my emails and message board posts and I can’t find the person who sent this to me. So sorry, buzz me again and I’ll credit you in a future feedback post. Here is the catalog to share.

Another reader sent me some Star Wars SAGA RPG books that he didn’t want on his shelves any more. This will give me a chance to review the system and see how it differs from the earlier D20 Star Wars books.

I am continuing to search through my past collections for items to post. I was also reading the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and it inspired me for a possible homebrew to write up.

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: April 5-11

Tuvok points
All right, all right. I’ll stick with Star Trek GIFs.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of April 5th through the 11th.

April 5
“People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.” Picard- The Neutral Zone, Stardate: 41986.0 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 6
“It would be illogical to assume that all conditions remain stable.” Spock- The Enterprise Incident, Stardate: 5027.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 7
“Root beer? This is the end of Ferengi civilization.” Quark- Facets, Stardate: 48876.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

April 8
“In the old days astronauts rode rockets with millions of liters of hydrogen burning under their seats.” Tucker- Silent Enemy, Date: September 1, 2151 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

April 9
“I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself.” Samuel Clemens- Time’s Arrow, Part II, Stardate: 46001.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 10
“So it seemed to me, I had a choice to either come up here and say, “I told you so” or to do something constructive to help out in my own humble manner.” Neelix- The Cloud, Stardate: 48546.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

April 11
“I am not programmed to respond in that area.” Norman- I Mudd, Stardate: 4513.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: March 29-April 4

Obi Wan Good Job
OK, got to make sure I get the right image for this week’s Star Trek quotes. Oh smeg, wrong universe.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of March 29th through April 4th.

March 29th
Happy Birthday to Marina Sirtis. @Marina_Sirtis https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Marina_Sirtis #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekENT #StarTrekPicard #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet

“Feelings aren’t positive and negative. They simply exist. It’s what we do with those feelings that becomes good or bad.” Troi- Descent, Stardate: 46982.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

March 30th
“Straight and steady, Mr. Mayweather. Let’s see what’s in there.” Archer- The Expanse, Date: April 24th, 2153 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

March 31st
“We have an old expression, Kurros. ‘Don’t call us; we’ll call you.'” Janeway- Think Tank, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

April 1st
Grace Lee Whitney born on this date in 1930. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Grace_Lee_Whitney #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

“You have to live with people, Charlie. You’re not alone anymore.” Rand- Charlie X, Stardate: 1533.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 2nd
“I hate cats.” Riker “I love cats. You know, you just gotta know how to handle them.” Dr. Crusher- Timescape, Stardate: 46944.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

April 3rd
“Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure.” Kirk- The Alternative Factor, Stardate: 3087.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

April 4th
Happy Birthday to Casey Biggs. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Casey_Biggs #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“I wouldn’t trust a Cardassian that didn’t enjoy a glass of kanar every once in a while.” Damar- Shadows and Symbols, Stardate: 52152.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Collecting, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

FASA Catalogs from my collection

FASA Catalogs

As I’ve been cataloging and organizing my collection, I noticed something. I kept all of the FASA catalogs that I had come across in my attempts to collect all of the Star Trek The Role Playing Game. These free catalogs came with the game itself, or were found at gaming stores in an attempt to generate future sales. Some of these catalogs had information on products that FASA planned to release, but never did for one reason or another.

Because some of these items are starting to get hammered, I decided to scan them into PDF files and then put them away where they would be protected. It is possible that there may be more of these windows into the past still lurking in a box somewhere. If I happen to find any un-scanned catalogs, I will scan them and post them here for all to enjoy (or use in historical research). I’m missing any catalogs from 1984 and 1986.

FASA CATALOG 1983-1

This catalog came with the 1st edition of FASA’s Star Trek The Role Playing Game boxed set. I’m not certain if they had any catalogs before this one. It was printed on regular paper and stapled in the middle. There were eight pages in total (counting the cover and the order form on the back). The Star Trek RPG was prominently displayed on the first two pages. It listed the basic game boxed set and the 15mm deck plans for the USS Enterprise and the Klingon D-7. It also contained working titles for upcoming supplements and adventures. “Merchants and other Characters” would have been a sourcebook for civilians and traders in the Star Trek universe. This is probably the precursor to the released Trader Captains and Merchant Princes. I would have loved to see RPG details on other civilians such as ambassadors, law enforcement, researchers and more. Another book had the working title of “Klingon/Romulan Characters”. This obviously turned into the separate Klingon and Romulan sourcebooks that later became available. The adventures scheduled for release was “The Vanished”, “Old Soldiers Never Die” and “Witness for the Defense” which were all published. “A Chance for Peace” would have been an adventure about the Gorns sitting down at the negotiation table with the Federation with the possibility of Klingon sabotage. There was an adventure with the Gorns that was eventually released called “Demand of Honor”, but the plot was different. But in “Demand of Honor” it talked about the agreement reached at the Clanhaven Conference. I wonder if this was the name of the conference from “A Chance for Peace”? Another adventure that never saw print was “Forward into the Past”. This dealt with some cultural observers on a planet that was technologically at the Medieval Period on Earth and they end up facing real dragons and magic. I wonder how this one would have developed. The last unprinted adventure listed was “Spores of Hatred”. It was a follow up to the TOS episode, “Patterns of Force“. A new humane government on Ekos needs help with an underground Nazi movement attempting to detonate a nuclear device. This would have been an interesting read.

There were also entries for FASA’s Traveller publications. I’ve never had a chance to play Traveller so I don’t know how these books (or planned books) turned out. “Behind Enemy Lines” was a World War II RPG that caught my attention as a WWII history buff. There was even a supplement for “The Guns of Navarone“. I wonder how the system played out. Another game that was scheduled for release was “Combots”. I wonder if this was a precursor to FASA’s Battletech game? Grav-Ball was futuristic combat sporting event that may have been inspired by “Rollerball“.

FASA CATALOG 1983-2

I don’t own this catalog, but a friend of mine send me this PDF copy of it. Again Star Trek The Role Playing Game is displayed on the cover showing scenes from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan“. This time the first five pages is dedicated to the ST RPG. It has product numbers and prices for “The Vanished”, “Witness for the Defense” and “Denial of Destiny”. The previous adventures mentioned above are also listed. The “Romulan Character Generation Set” is listed under Coming Attractions. A gaming magazine called “The Captain’s Log” was scheduled to start in 1984. I believe this turned into the “Stardate Magazine”. There were also Star Trek character and starship miniatures listed in the catalog.

Other games listed included “Deathworld” based off of the works of Harry Harrison. “Combots” now includes miniatures and no longer shares a page with “Grav-Ball”. Behind Enemy has two whole pages and lists several supplements and adventures that may or may not have seen the light of day. The last two pages were dedicated to FASA’s Traveller products.

FASA CATALOG 1983 STAR TREK TRI-FOLD

This was a free flyer printed in the tri-fold format displaying the products that FASA had released so far. It was in color and displayed a beautiful display of boxed sets, books and miniatures. On the back was a cover of the Star Trek II Starship Combat Simulator.

FASA CATALOG 1985

This was a very narrow, but thick, catalog that I believe was included with the 2nd edition of the Star Trek The Role Playing Game boxed set or the Doctor Who boxed set (perhaps both). It had a beautiful painted cover that came from the ST RPG boxed set. It had entries for “The Masters of the Universe” RPG. I remember watching the cartoon, however I never had any of the toys. Luckily a friend had them for me to play with. The Doctor Who RPG is listed with a single page. Next came “Battledroids” which was the first name for “Battletech”. Then “Combots” is listed. On the next page was the “Battlestar Galactica A Game of Starfighter Combat”. I was excited when I saw this, but dissapointed that no BSG role playing game was ever developed.

With the Star Trek RPG still being the crown jewel for FASA there were several pages advertising the boxed sets, books and miniatures. It looked liked they planned to have the 2nd edition of the Ship Construction Manual be released in two separate books (Warship Design Handbook with 32 pages and Astronautics Handbook containing 48 pages). I’m really glad that this was released as a single book, but I wonder if there were any differences between the two products other than the two-book design? Another book that was listed but never released was “The Gorn and Minor Races” (Stock# 2304, ISBN# 0-931787-44-0). As a collector of starship stats, I would have LOVED to see this book (or the notes for it). The catalog also listed the Star Trek mini-games that FASA had produced.

Another starship combat game that FASA released was “The Last Starfighter Combat Game.” The last game rounded up the 13 page catalog.

FASA CATALOG WINTER 1987/88

It is possible that there was earlier catalogs for the seasons in 1987. This side-printed catalog featured “Battletech” on the cover as the new crown jewel. I believe that FASA realized that they could produce more Battletech products since they didn’t have to wait for approval from Paramount. More products hitting the market faster meant more profit.

The starship/ground combat game “Renegade Legion” was listed on the first two pages. “Battletech” then followed with six pages of products. Next was the listing of the Star Trek RPG line which was listed in six pages. However there was not any listing of products planned, just those that had already been released. I think that FASA realized they needed to only list items that they had officially released. We then see a page of Doctor Who RPG books and miniatures and a page dedicated to a series of games based off of the James Clavell novels. The back cover is a beautiful painting of The Golden Medusa for Renegade Legion Interceptor.

FASA CATALOG 1989-90

This booklet sized catalog contained a cover dedicated to the new RPG by FASA called “Shadowrun”. It was cyberpunk with fantasy races such as elves and dwarves. It sounded interesting, but the gamers in my group were playing the Cyberpunk RPG so I never had a chance to try this one. Shadowrun made up the first two pages of the catalog. Next was fourteen pages of just “Battletech” material. You could tell that this was definitely a money maker for FASA. Six pages of “Renegade Legion” followed.

We finally reached the Star Trek RPG section with six pages and the back cover. The Star Trek: The Next Generation First Year Sourcebook is listed. I understand that a sourcebook for year two and three was worked on, but never released (again I’d love to see the draft sent to Paramount). The listing of products that we already know about follow with one exception. The Star Trek: The Next Generation USS Enterprise Blueprints is listed with Stock #2103. From what I’ve read on other sites, a lot of work had gone into these blueprints. The product never saw the light of day as the license was pulled before it was released. I feel bad for the person who put the energy into this product. As a Treknologist, I’d love to see these works someday.

CONCLUSION:

I hope you got as much enjoyment going through these catalogs as I have. Again I’m looking for the releases that I am missing. Most of the time these catalogs were tossed out after the year was completed. But it gave a look into the products that were released as well as what could have been. Some of them I would have love to have seen.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: March 22-28

Scotty suprized
Scotty didn’t like the aquarium.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of March 22nd through the 28th.

March 22nd
Happy Birthday to William Shatner. @WilliamShatner https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/William_Shatner #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

“Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.” Kirk- Star Trek Generations, Stardate: 48650.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

March 23rd
“My love is a fever, longing still for that which longer nurseth the disease, in faith I do not love thee with mine eyes for they in thee a thousand errors see; but ’tis my heart.” Picard- Menage a Troi, Stardate: 43930.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

March 24th
Happy Birthday to Tig Notaro. @TigNotaro https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tig_Notaro #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

“Helpless is a shitty feeling, but it is not forever, and it doesn’t make you any less capable.” Reno- Far From Home, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

March 25th
Happy Birthday to Robert O’Reilly. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Robert_O%27Reilly #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“Do you tremble and quake with fear at the approach of combat hoping to talk your way out of a fight, like a human?” Gowron- Redemption, Stardate: 44995.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

March 26th
Leonard Nimoy born on this date in 1931. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Leonard_Nimoy #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“Without followers, evil cannot spread.” Spock- And The Children Shall Lead, Stardate: 5029.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

March 27th
“Whatever happened to the survival of the fittest? Whatever happened to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Whatever happened to pure, unadultered greed?” Quark- The Dogs of War, Stardate: 52861.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

March 28th
“Joe?” Paris “I decided I couldn’t get married without a name.” The Doctor “It took you thirty-three years to come up with Joe?!” Paris- Endgame, Stardate: 54973.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Collecting, Comic Books, My Creations, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Organizing the collection: Marking storage boxes

So one of my goals in the new house is to get everything out of the “temporary” cardboard boxes and sorted into permanent storage, on display or purged. I’ve got a lot of comics, blueprints, magazines, books and other resource materials that I’ve been trying to find places for. I want to store them safely, but keep them where I can access them when needed. For way too long I had stuff packed up in a “temporary” box stored in a location where I could not get it easily. Sure I had my collection listed in Google Docs so I could access it from my phone (this life hack has prevented me from buying stuff I find on sale when I already own a copy) but if I can’t use or enjoy it, why keep it? My latest trick has been this.

Storage envelope on a comic long box
Storage envelope on a comic long box

One of the things that has bugged me about the comic long boxes (available from your local favorite comic shop) is not knowing which box contained which comics. While I was looking at the stack of long boxes it hit me. I should find some transparent envelopes that I can slip an index card or two inside that contains a list of the contents. I did a quick search on Amazon and discovered the YESSART 5×7 Small Plastic Envelopes. They were big enough to hold the index cards and transparent enough that I could find the box I was looking for at a quick glance. The envelope flap is sealed with Velcro to keep the index cards inside. The above photo shows how they could fit on the side of a comic long box, the photo below shows how it would fit on a magazine short box.

Storage envelope in use on a magazine short box.
Storage envelope in use on a magazine short box.

I found a box of 1/2 inch Glue Dots that allowed me to secure the envelopes to the storage box. These dots are double sided and would stick to both the cardboard and the plastic. I decided to use four dots in each corner in order to make sure that the envelope stayed on securely. This way if I decided to re-use the box for a different collection, all I had to do was switch out the index cards.

The bad thing about going through the collection to get it documented and organized is coming across things I haven’t seen in a few years. Some of the Homebrewed Starship game stats that I’ve posted before have come from some of these blueprints that I’ve been collecting over the years. As I was going through them, I had to take a look at a few of them in detail again because of my love of Treknology and schematics. A few of them tripped ideas on how I could homebrew them for different systems. In a way that is one of the many reasons I am trying to get everything organized so I can let my creativity fly and put it on display on this site.

I love it when the creative energy starts flowing.

Posted in: Comic Books, Cosplay, Dungeons and Dragons, Fan Club, Movies, Rant, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Sports, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate

A rant on True Fans and Gatekeeping

So I got involved in a discussion on a Stargate fandom page online. The topic was the much debated Stargate Universe series. Some people stated that they liked it, others (including myself) stated that we didn’t like it. The conversation was going pretty well until someone posted the following “You are not a true fan of Stargate unless you’ve watched all of Stargate Universe.” Now this was a statement that I really had to respond to as I’ve heard this “True Fan” comment before and it bugs me a lot. Rant Mode On: I think this meme said it best.

True fan meme

As most of you know (or have probably guessed), I’m a fan of a large number of science fiction and fantasy franchises. And there are some shows that I have not found entertaining. I could never get into the Buffy and Angel series no matter how hard I tried. It seemed like every time I sat down to give The X-Files a chance while it was first airing, it turned out to be the episode of the season with the most blood. There are other series, movies, comics and books that I just couldn’t get into. Some I will talk about in future blog posts.

Even in my favorite franchises, there are stinkers. I’ve only seen the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise once. And I only plan to watch it once again (to mine it for quotes and trivia questions) before I avoid it at all costs afterwards. If someone would have had the misfortune of having that episode be their first introduction to the Star Trek universe, I could understand why they may not like Enterprise or even Star Trek itself. They get to decide what they are fans of, not me nor anyone else.

Using the term “True Fan” is a form of Gatekeeping. Gatekeeping, in the fandom/hobby sense, is allowing only those the “true fans” deem worthy to join them in the fandom. They may use this to keep fans of a certain series in a franchise out of their club/social media group/etc. (i.e. “You can’t be a true Star Trek fan if you like Star Trek: Discovery), or they may use this to keep certain players out of their games (i.e. “You can’t play in our Battletech game with papers figures, you have to only play with painted figs). A note on this last one. A sanctioned tournament for a miniature or card game requiring certain items to use in the tournament is a method of marketing and sales, not gatekeeping. And one I see in cosplay groups is, your cosplay isn’t worthy of inclusion. Really? With how much time, energy and effort goes into cosplay you are going to get upset because it’s not “screen accurate”? Someone who puts their heart into their fandom doesn’t deserve to get it crushed.

Gatekeeping by “true fans” makes the base of participants smaller and could kill our fandoms. You never know what was someone’s introduction to the fandom or hobby. While I was manning the USS Ticonderoga recruiting booth during the opening weekend of Star Trek: Into Darkness, a new fan came up to me and stated that the previous Star Trek film had inspired him so much that he went and watched all of the original Star Trek television series. He was now a fan of the franchise itself and was checking out the other shows. Had he been talking to a “true fan”, he could have been discouraged by the belittlement and not checked out the rest of the universe that awaited him.

It’s not just geeky movies and hobbies that his plagued by this. I’ve seen this same “true fan” mentality in sports fandom. “You can’t be a true fan of the (insert team name here) unless you can name a player from their 2009 championship run.” As our Dwight meme says above: “False!”

Now when someone asks a question like “Is the new Superman & Lois television series any good?” I usually respond somewhere along the line of “I’ve enjoyed it.” If I found that I haven’t been a fan of a series, I state that it is something I haven’t enjoyed. If someone says they enjoyed a series that I have not, then I’m glad. Not everyone has to enjoy what I enjoy. I request the same respect in return. The “I’ve enjoyed it” answer is also how I avoid the bait posts where someone is trying to start an opportunity to troll fans of a series.

So to recap, if you were to say to me “I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of the anime Cowboy Bebop and enjoyed it, am I a fan?” my answer would be yes. If you asked if you wanted to cosplay as a gender-bended Robin Hood and his band of thieves in the Sherwood Forest, would I consider you a fan? My answer would still be yes. “I really like Real Salt Lake because they are a local team.” I’d say welcome to the fandom. Would I shun you if you only wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition? No, I would not and I even might ask if there is an opening in your game. You get to decide if you are a fan of something, not these “true fans.” Enjoy what you want to enjoy and don’t let anyone tear you down for it.

Now to get back to the Stargate Universe discussion. I really enjoyed the original Stargate movie ever since I first saw it on opening weekend. It took me a while to get a chance to sit down and watch Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, but I enjoyed them both to the point where I call myself a fan. Because I had enjoyed both of these series so much, I took the opportunity to get season one, disk one DVD of Stargate Universe from Netflix (this should tell you how long ago this was) and my wife and I watched the first five episodes. There was one good episode in that first set (it was about time travel). I liked the nerdy kid who’s name I can’t remember. I really wanted to follow Samantha Carter in command of the USS Hamond and see her adventures. And I thought the concept of being trapped on a living spaceship not under your control sounded interesting. But I found the writing in SGU horrendous. The acting really wasn’t up to snuff despite some good names on the acting list. The use of the tech to switch bodies to go back to Earth and spy on your ex-wife was dumb. It was dark, dreary and depressing and was practically a soap opera. Talking into the floating camera things was too much like how reality TV show contestants would react to a camera between dramatic takes (a major turn off). And the scene where some woman is talking to her floating camera making a message for her husband, and then forgets to turn it off while she cheats on him with another member of the crew really made me roll my eyes. I think I realized this show wasn’t for me when the lead scientist and the lead military guy was fighting in the fifth episode and I turned to my wife and said “I don’t even care who wins this fight.”

Now if you are a fan of Stargate Universe. Good for you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Some of the SGU fans in the discussion stated that it got better in season two and encouraged me to sit down and give the series another try. I could see myself doing this once I’ve gotten all of my other catch-up and new watching completed. I’m really enjoying Superman & Lois and I watch it every week. WandaVision was another series I had to keep up on. I need to finish my first watch through of Farscape (yea I missed it when it first aired) and someday I’ll watch all of the episodes of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. There are a ton of shows in my streaming lists and interests that I want to watch. And that doesn’t even count the number of books and comics I want to read or games I want to play. Bottom line is that SGU is really down on the priority list. So yes I’d give it another try if my list has been completed, but that will not be for a very very long time.

I think I’ve said enough to end this rant. If you are still reading, thank you. Just remember, you decide what you are a fan of, not other people and not those who gatekeep with the term “true fans”.

Tally Ho