Let's roll some dice, watch some movies, or generally just geek out. New posts at 6:30 pm ET but only if I have something to say. Menu at the top. email@example.com on Mastodon and @gsllc on Twitter.
Yeah, you read that right. Captain Kirk and William Shatner were both born on March 22. Shatner was born in 1931, and Kirk will be born in 2233. This may be out of place considering that I’m writing this post on May 7, 2022, and who knows what will happen to my captain (or me) between now and then, but I wish them both well . . .
My favorite episode of Star Trek, any series, is Balance of Terror from the original series. It has absolutely everything that a Star Trek episode should have, and it, along with my favorite Star Trek movie, the Wrath of Khan, inspired the best episode of Strange New Worlds to date, Memento Mori. For some reason, Balance of Terror keeps coming up in my social media streams. Several people keep saying something that prompts me to volunteer this information.
But this post isn’t about Star Trek.
I set my mind to rewatch the episode but kept procrastinating. Yesterday, I was watching the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I love both of those movies. It occurred to me that none of the X-Wings, Tie-Fighters, etc. had any aft-firing weaponry. That would have been quite useful when being chased during the attacks on either Death Star. The Millennium Falcon sort of did, but only if there was at least one other person on the ship available to mad that blaster. (If I’m wrong, I’m sure Kessel Junkie will correct me.)
But wait! This post is about Star Trek!
This led me to finally re-watch Balance of Terror (re-watching Memento Mori will follow soon) in which I thought there was some background chatter stating that the aft-firing torpedoes are ready. (Note: I may have been mistaken, but there were mentions to aft-firing weapons in the background charter of several episodes, most clearly at 17:02 of Arena.) It also led to a cascade of thoughts regarding the hubbub about violating canon. I love the FASA Star Trek RPG, and it annoyed me that the Constitution Class starships didn’t have aft-firing weaponry. In fact, they made a big deal out of it. It was a glaring weakness in most Federation ships, and a big deal when some did. But it’s not all about an RPG. Star Trek the Motion Picture also suggested that the Klingon ship (also captained by Mark Lenard) having an aft-firing torpedo was a big deal. He thought it would surprise his enemy.
And then there are those star dates that were completely made up, and the fact that the Romulan ship in Balance of Terror wasn’t capable of warp travel (22:10) yet traveled in interstellar space. In the two episodes I mentioned, there was an inconsistency. In Arena, Kirk comments that diamonds are “perhaps the hardest substance known in the universe” (30:10), and Spock confirms this by stating, “diamonds, the hardest known substance” (41:32), yet Spock points out only four episodes earlier in Balance of Terror that “cast rodinium . . . is the hardest substance known to our science” (21:26). Canon is shit. That’s unfortunate in most (not all) cases, but it’s true. You can’t rely on it. However, one theory says that there’s no such thing as a canon violation because Star Trek First Contact rebooted the franchise, rendering “canon” a nonsense concept.
I love to see Strange New Worlds show aft-firing phasers, see everyone lose their shit for the canon violation, and then lay into them for their ignorance. If everyone now realizes that the Enterprise has aft-firing weapons, that’s fine too. It gives us one more reason to say Star Trek ships are better than Star Wars ships.
Just roll with it and be happy when stories are well-written.
Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I share a tweet that reminded me of something else. (Image of the tweet appears at the end in case it’s ever deleted. ) To my knowledge, this tweet had nothing to do with RPGs. It was just a ridiculous design made for the sake of ridiculousness.
That said, it instantly triggered an image in my head. Is this the FASA Star Trek RPG equivalent of 3rd Edition D&D‘s roving mauler?
Well, my post for this evening was accidentally scheduled for 6:30 am ET, so it went out before I got out of bed. No worries. I’m just throwing this one in as a follow up to provide proof of eating my first tacos in at least 17 years. That’s right. A patent issuing on the day I last had a taco has already expired.
But you need proof, so here it is.
When I saw the menu, the tacos were loaded with beef, so I didn’t think to order extra beef. What I got was rather light on the details. As a result, I had to eat some more when I got home.
But don’t worry (why would you even care?). The fact that these are from Taco BHell doesn’t guarantee that I’ll wait another 17 or so years before eating them again. Cheese will. Also, there’s one annoying thing about eating tacos that I had long forgotten: Take one bite, and the shell collapses. I had to shove them into my face, or everything would have fallen into my lap as I was eating. That’s a buzzkill because to me a taco isn’t a taco without crunch. If you eat soft tacos, there’s something wrong with you. Just eat a burrito or enchilada. There’s nothing wrong with that, but those aren’t tacos. Nothing with a soft shell is.
I’ll still probably eat tacos before today’s patents expire, just not from Taco BHell.
And no, they’re not authentic Mexican food. Who cares, Francis?
Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s about a recent conversation. Strangely, a coworker asked me just this past week whether I enjoyed the Genesis concert from 11/18/2021. I told him . . . yeah.
I was raised Catholic, but I’m, let’s just say, unaffiliated at the moment. Still, if there were any reason for me to engage in holiday traditions, it would be Christmas. In fact, people like me have influenced United States Supreme Court precedent on the Establishment Clause, but that’s a story for another day.
Patrick Stewart likes to talk about Star Trek as the modern human’s mythology, and I guess that applies to me. So, here’s my means to celebrate Christmas. Sort of. It’s all the memes that hit my stream this year, some of which are new to me. This is my mythology.
Humans apparently still celebrate Christmas in 2364, as evidenced by their viewing of Christmas movies.
But seriously . . .
Worf I get, but Gowron? I had no idea that Klingons celebrated Christmas.
However, one point I’ve pondered recently is the scene on the Enterprise where Sybok divulges the inner trauma (so he thinks) of Spock and McCoy. Kirk, of course, refuses to play along but there are a couple of things wrapped up in this scene that seem especially…