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Author Topic: UQM and Sci-Fi  (Read 1740 times)
Cronos
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UQM and Sci-Fi
« on: November 28, 2009, 06:38:50 pm »

So lately I've been thinking about Star Control and other science fiction in general.

If you had to describe Star Control in terms of another science fiction show, how would you go about it?

For example, would you say SC is closer to Stargate or BSG? Just an example, mind.


Personally I think Star Control comes fairly close to Farscape... or rather that Farscape comes close to Star Control if we go by age Wink. In terms of depth and richness of Aliens Farscape and Star Control have a lot in common, both being quite unafraid of pushing the boundaries of the "Human with makeup" syndrome that tends to affect most science fiction and by presenting a variety of non-humanoid aliens. Imagine if the Henson company had been in charge of the puppets for Star Control thr- **dodges thrown fruit**

Both are quite quirky with their senses of humour at times both are unafraid to have a darker edge when it comes down to it. Neither Star Control nor Farscape were afraid of tragedy in their plots and both have compelling storylines that can tug at your heartstrings when you least expect it. Come on, how many of you could deliberately kill Fwiffo?

Thematically they also both fit quite well. They're both wild and uncharted universes where technology has evolved organically. There are many extinct species whose technologies are still being used, both had a form of precursor (Eidolons in Farscape), and both have their major conflicts, the Peacekeeper War being analogous to the First War in Star Control.

That being said the two also have their differences. While the UQM storyline focused on resource gathering, diplomatic ties (and blunders) and the overall efforts against the Ur-Quan, Farscape had more of a lawlessness about it... the primary Character of John Crichton only ever wanted to get home... and wound up staying away to protect Earth in the end. In Star Control, Earth is capable of defending itself (albeit poorly without allies) whilst the Earth in Farscape is set in modern times where we're not even considered worthy of alliance material and barely worth exterminating without a clear and present MacGuffin up our sleeves.

All in all, I'd say if we ever saw a Spathi make an appearance in a bar in the Farscape universe or a Scarran rear it's ugly head in the Star Control Universe, despite the law that states Crossover type stuff is bad (mmkay?) I'd definitely feel it wouldn't be too out of place.

Anyway, my 4 AM rambling - which rivals that of the Mycons famed abilities of rambling - aside, what do you guys reckon SC and UQM come close to in the wide world of Sci-fi?
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 05:35:20 pm »

Since you talk mainly about Farscape... I'll pipe in about it as well.
In terms of depth and richness of Aliens Farscape and Star Control have a lot in common, both being quite unafraid of pushing the boundaries of the "Human with makeup" syndrome that tends to affect most science fiction and by presenting a variety of non-humanoid aliens.
Disagreed. I've watched Farscape recently, and couldn't help but notice how Farscape suffers hard from the "Human with makeup" syndrome, just like Star Trek. There are in fact only a few aliens I can remember in Farscape which escape that syndrome, and a number of those could transform into a very humanoid form.

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Both are quite quirky with their senses of humour at times both are unafraid to have a darker edge when it comes down to it. Neither Star Control nor Farscape were afraid of tragedy in their plots and both have compelling storylines that can tug at your heartstrings when you least expect it. Come on, how many of you could deliberately kill Fwiffo?
True that... though Farscape, unlike Star Control, got somewhat tedious and over-the-top in this regard as it neared its end. Of course, this didn't stop it from having some brilliant moments (the bomb and its accompanying speech at the negotiation table come to mind Grin).

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Anyway, my 4 AM rambling - which rivals that of the Mycons famed abilities of rambling - aside, what do you guys reckon SC and UQM come close to in the wide world of Sci-fi?
For starters, theft Tongue
There are a lot of games and sci-fi shows that clearly draw inspiration or even outright steal ideas, races etc. from each other.
That said, I'm playing Mass Effect now and boy, do they steal from Star Control! From SCn3 blatantly, from SC2 a bit less so (but not to the point of it tainting enjoyment). Of course, SC2 stole a lot too (as FF & PR3 readily admit), but it's more tongue-in-cheek and in a humorous way... and as a nod to the sci-fi classics of its time.
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OrzBrain
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 06:36:08 pm »

UQM reminds me a lot of Larry Niven's known space series. And not just because Spathi resemble Puppeteers and they both have a slaver empire.
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Dabir
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 09:03:30 pm »

Gotta love those cruel Spathi slavemasters.
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Alvarin
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 10:13:55 pm »

The red glow around Epsilon Gruis prime shimmers and fades. Fearsome giant ship emerges from below, soon followed by thousands of it's kind. A message transmitted on all frequencies - "Nothing will frighten us any more. Never again!"


« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 04:51:20 am by Alvarin » Logged
OrzBrain
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2010, 12:21:38 am »

Very funny.  Grin I meant the Dnyarri, which closely resemble Niven's Slaver Empire.
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 07:16:57 am »

The Babylon 5 series most closely resembles Star Control, in many ways. Some things they have in common:

-There is a doctrinal conflict between an ancient green race that prefers order and an ancient black race that favors destruction which embroils the entire galaxy. An Alliance is formed to repulse them both. (not joking!)
-They both have "precursors" or "first ones", race/(s) that left the galaxy way long ago.
-They use hyperspace.
-Ships don't have (or emphasize) shields
-Weapons and technology are relatively low-tech, but mysterious & ancient technology also exists.
-There are a wide variety of aliens of different forms, including different atmospheres. Fewer aliens than star trek/star wars, but more exotic ones.
-Telepaths
-Ancient, evolved race of great wisdom (chenjesu/minbari) which lead the fight against the even more ancient enemy.
-Humans are a late-coming, low-tech species that somehow got powerful really quickly, partly by acquiring technology from other races.
-Something strongly resembling the Arilou exists and abducts people for unknown reasons

No hot blue humanoids in B5, however...  and a damned oversight, too.
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 10:08:33 am »

I have just finished watching the entire series of B5 yesterday (two month marathon) and wanted to post the exactly same thing!
Additional points -
B5 seventh movie has "QuantumSpace" that is even faster than Hyperspace.
The Narn fill the Shofixty role at the starbases in SC2 and B5.
Centaury republic parallel the Yehat in the fluctuating loyalties and more.
*Difficult relations between the two mentioned above races.
Humans go around and solve other race's internal problems, but that is common practice in Sci-fi.

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Steve-O
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Re: UQM and Sci-Fi
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 05:52:57 pm »

I'd never really thought of the SC universe as being very close to any other Sci-Fi, and that's one of the things I liked about it.  I admit, having read this thread, that there are some startling parallels between it and B5, many of which never dawned on me before, so I guess I'd have to go with that answer.  There are some tongue-in-cheek resemblances to other sci-fi shows, such as the design of Earth cruisers, but that sort of satirical similarity doesn't really count IMHO.

Farscape does get a nod for trying to avoid the "human with plastic foreheads" syndrome, in my opinion.  They didn't succeed as well as some might have liked, but they certainly tried harder than any other Sci-Fi TV show that I can think of.  I'm surprised, even in this age of CGI prolifery, that this syndrome is still so pervasive.  I suppose directors and writers still fall prey to the fickle masses who are unwilling to think outside the box on that note (alternatively, the fickle male masses who want to see green boobs more than they want to see a realistic depiction of alien evolution.)

The idea of a precursor race who seeded life in our galaxy (or at least left behind some awesome ruins) is actually not as uncommon as one might think.  Star Trek did it in one TNG episode (The Chase, I think?) B5, Stargate, Homeworld, StarCraft, Mass Effect and many others have used that basic idea as well.  All the examples I can think of come after StarCon 2, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are as many examples from sci-fi sources that predate it.
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