Seriously, the longer I continue this blog, the harder it is to write good post titles, I swear.
Anyway, I missed the pilot of Extant, which would have told me that Halle Berry is an astronaut and managed to get pregnant on a solo mission to outer space. Also, I will assume that you’re all bright enough to know that Extant means “to exist.”
Ha, I’m just kidding. Obviously, I didn’t assume that, since I went and defined it, like, immediately.
So, episode 2 of Extant was “Extinct,” because CBS hates when I don’t mix up words all the time. Halle Berry plays an astronaut who got pregnant on a solo mission in outer space (see, I phrased it a bit differently this time, like when a news article says the bullets missed them by only inches and then two paragraphs later says they were missed by the bullets by mere inches, local newspaper). Also, Halle Berry looks AMAZING, like, girlfriend is pushing 50, but looks more like early 30s.
She’s married to Goran Visnjic, whose name I can pronounce but not spell —
— and they have a creepy android son, who I assume was actually built for the part, because that little boy is absolutely terrifyingly android-y.
Also, Camryn Manheim is in it, which is nice, and so is that guy who always plays a corrupt official and also the revenge sensei from Revenge.
Then there’s another astronaut who went into space and didn’t come back pregnant, because he’s a guy, and this show isn’t that science fiction-y, but there’s a truly creepy bit where he’s being followed around on the spaceship or space station or the Good Ship Bebop or whatever by his dead mother. She doesn’t do anything except say “Mother? No,” in this utterly affectless voice, and reach out to try to touch him, and it’s really quite terrifying.
But then he airlocks her like she’s yesterday’s Cylon model, so it’s okay.
Oh, also, he apparently faked his death and is possibly crazy now.
Except the corrupt official and the revenge sensei meet regarding the two astronauts and have a very cryptic meeting wherein the corrupt official says, “They’re coming,” and revenge sensei replies: “They’re already here.”
But seriously, folks, Extant had me intrigued almost the whole time, and was hardly ever ridiculously bad or boringly bad, and honestly, I’m not sure I couldn’t watch a show where Goran Visnjic is just so smiley and cute, dammit.
Two cocky space rogues enter a bar.
One shoots first.
But seriously, folks, please enjoy this battle between Star Wars’ Han “Han Solo” Solo and Battlestar Galactica’s Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, two of the best interstellar pilots you’re likely to run into in science fiction.
Who shall come out ahead?
Let the battle commence!
Physicality. Now there’s no arguing that Katee Sackhoff is a beautiful woman who cleans up good and has the body of an Olympic athlete, but she’s going up against a young Harrison Ford here.
A young Harrison Ford doing Han Solo cosplay. Apologies to the lovely Ms. Sackhoff, but nobody can come back from that. Winner? Han Solo.
More likely to murder a space-robot? Now if there’s one think Kara “Starbuck” Thrace hates, it’s Cylons. Which is robots, for those of you less nerdy than I. And if there’s one thing she enjoys, it’s murdering Cylons. It’s hard to blame her, since Cylons blowed up her home planet and keep bothering her about her special destiny and generally ruining her life and universe.
However, Han Solo runs around space with one of the most annoying robots ever made: C3PO, that robot with a hyphen in there somewhere that I can never remember (nor care) where it is. Not murderizing that robot takes the patience of Job. Or possibly Lot. Whichever one of those guys was more patient and also hung out with more robots. (Robots is in the Old Testament, right?) In conclusion, this one’s a tossup, folks. Winner? It’s a tie.
Has a cooler spaceship? I love me some Vipers, I do, but c’mon! The Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon! The Millennium Falcon!! Spaceships don’t get cooler than the Millennium Falcon. It is scientifically impossible. Winner? Han Solo.
Has a hotter significant other? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace enjoys playing the field, but deep down, she’s deeply in love with Lee “Apollo” Adama. Except for those times when she’s deeply in love with her husband, Samuel “I’m actually a Cylon” Anders. Han Solo’s significant other is Princess Leia, an interstellar space princess (what do you mean the “interstellar” implies the “space” bit? This is my fictional character battle, and it sounds good that way, so shut up, you!) of such magnificent hotness she had to have her breasts bound by duct tape so as to not further overexcite the males of Star Wars. On the other hand, though, have you seen Apollo and Anders? Winner? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, because of simple math: Two hot guys > one hot princess.
Fights overwhelming odds and comes out on top? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is constantly fighting overwhelming odds and coming out on top, except for that time she died, which was really sad. But then she came back! Which was kind of weird. And then she disappeared when they got to earth, because everyone was dreaming her all along. (Ha, no, seriously, I have no idea what was up with that. That part sucked.) Han Solo also fights overwhelming odds and comes out on top, except for that time he got frozen in carbonite, which was really sad, but makes for a cool Lego set. Also, he got rescued and then got to hook up with a hot princess. Winner? Han Solo.
Tries to have Gaeta executed for no reason other than sheer meanness? Luckily for Alessandro Juliani, he wasn’t old enough to be in the Star Wars movies, because he’d have probably shown up for two seconds and died. That seems to be a thing for him lately. Unfortunately for Felix Gaeta, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is the queen of grudge-holding and is none too smart, so doesn’t realize that he was actually their mole on the inside and nearly gets my boy Gaeta thrown out an airlock, through sheer stubborn assholery. In case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t forgiven her for that and, no, I never will. Winner? Go to hell, Kara. You’re a Gaeta-attempted-murdering jerk.
Has a cooler weapon? Han Solo has a laser gun. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace has a regular gun. Also, their spaceships can shoot, I don’t know, also lasers? Winner? The guy with the laser gun always wins. Han Solo.
Has a cooler boss? Han Solo is subordinate to no man. Hell, even when he joins the resistance, he becomes a general, like, instantaneously. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, however, works for Cmdr. William Adama, a man so awesome he’s even better than Darth Vader. Winner? Kara “Starbuck” Thrace.
Either doomed or saved humanity? At various points in the Battlestar Galactica (re-imagined) saga, it is claimed that Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is either humanity’s savior or its doom. And then she dies. But she comes back, like Jesus! Except imagine Jesus is a bit of a jerk and a drunk. Also a lady. (Oh, crap, I just accidentally encouraged someone to re-imagine the life story of Jesus Christ, didn’t I?)
And then they find Earth and humanity is either doomed or saved! Han Solo helps battle the evil empire, with the help of his friends the rebels, and thus saves humanity! (Or possibly dooms it, because how are all those people going to get healthcare without the government to help them, evil dictatorship or no?) Winner? Nobody!
Has a better sidekick? You’d think a guy with a name like Solo wouldn’t have a sidekick, because he’d feel compelled to live up to the solitary implications of his last name. Also, George Lucas is none too subtle at naming characters, so you’d doubly expect him to not have a sidekick. But you’d be wrong, because a sidekick he does possess! One of the most awesome sidekicks in the history of sidekickery: Chewbacca the Wookiee. I never know how many vowels that has, I swear. Does Kara “Starbuck” Thrace have a sidekick? No. No, she does not. Probably because everybody’s mad at her for trying to kill Gaeta. Winner? Han Solo.
Overall winner? In a sound trouncing, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace loses this battle against Han “Young Harrison Ford” Solo.
At work, we recently got a new printer/copier/fax machine. As I was admiring the futuristic-ness of its design, the technician overheard me.
“It’s a Cylon printer,” he said.
“Quick, destroy it before it enslaves us all!” I replied.
“What are you two on about?” said my coworkers.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a fictional character battle, and I blame several things, most especially my job, because I am blaming my job for everything that sucks right now, including natural disasters. Somehow the fault of my job, yes.
But now I have a spare moment, and of course, I’m thinking about robots. (Because when I’m not thinking about robots, I’m thinking about ninja. And when I’m not thinking about ninja, it’s zombies. And when it’s not them, it’s Takeshi Kaneshiro. And when it’s not Takeshi Kaneshiro, it’s thinking about cajoling my artists friends into drawing Elijah Snow as portrayed by Takeshi Kaneshiro.)
And, of course, one of the best robots ever is Futurama’s Bender.
Another kind of robot is the Cylon Centurion, which, while not as hot as the Tricia Helfer model or the model that married Starbuck, still has its redeeming qualities.
Let’s see what those are, shall we?
Let the battle commence!
Physicality. Bender is a robot. The Cylon Centurion is a robot. While I’m sure they’re both well-designed pieces of technology, neither of them is really as sexy as a 1968 Mustang. Winner? Eh, Bender?
Wants to kill all humans? Oh man, does Bender want to kill all humans. (Who doesn’t, really, though?) In fact, his mantra is “kill all humans,” which is coincidentally quite similar to his pickup line: “Hey, baby, wanna kill all humans?” On the other hand, the Cylons brought about the end of (most of) humanity, leaving us only with the whiny (yet hot!) Lee “Apollo” Adama and the stupid (yet hot!) Karl “Helo” Agathon.
And a few other people, but I’m tired of trying how to remember the spelling of their names, so Madame President, Gaeta and Admiral Adama it is. Boy, those Cylons sure killed a lot of humans. Winner? The Cylon Centurion, because it makes things happen. (Things being, of course, mass genocide.)
Is more evil? As previously mentioned, the Cylons sure killed a lot of humans. But Bender is evil. There’s no getting around it. He even went to Robot Hell, which actually seems like a kind of fun hell to visit, but I imagine the constant singing would get grating after an eternity.
Also, in the episode with Bender’s “evil twin,” it turns out that Bender was the evil twin, so, yeah. Winner? Bender.
Lives long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away? And doesn’t even have to hang out with lame robots like C-3PO? (Dammit, where does that hyphen go? Too lazy to google! Must! Press! On!) Well, Bender lives in the future, or else the show would be called Pastarama, although maybe not that, because then it would be about ravioli.
According to Battlestar Galactica mythology, we are all descended from the adorable offspring of two of the hottest characters on the show: Helo and Athena. Which means that the show was set in the past, and also in a galaxy far, far away. (It means that because all the characters traveled to earth from a galaxy far, far away.) Winner? Cylon Centurion.
To make things fair, lives in the future? Bender is a robot that lives in the future! Thank God for the future! Where’s my damn hoverboard? Winner? Bender.
Has better friends? Bender’s best friend is Philip J. Fry, time traveler. OK, I call him that, but he actually only travels through time on occasion, and usually with the rest of his spaceship crew, but he was born in the 20th century and this is my blog, so time traveler it is.
Bender also spends variable amounts of time with the ass-kicking cyclops Leela (voiced by the equally ass-kicking Katey Sagal), the lobster-esque Dr. Zoidberg, Amy the really, really, really rich intern, and Professor Farnsworth. Oh, and Hermes, the Jamaican bureaucrat. Those people (beings?) are awesome, and I would like to spend time with all of them, except for Dr. Zoidberg, because I hate crustaceans. They are so gross. Does a Cylon Centurion even have friends? I mean, maybe they hang out with the various Model 6s and 8s, playing cards and trying on lipstick, but I just don’t see it. Winner? Bender.
Has a better theme song? The Cylon Centurion lives on a show where all the music is composed by my hero, Bear McCreary (who is currently slumming on The Cape, Bear, I’m so sorry, hopefully television will create another show worthy of your talents someday!). But Bender is on a show with the Futurama theme song. Don’t make me choose. (Note: I realize that, actually, I am making me choose, but I still blame my job for that.) Winner? I’m sorry, I kind of thought I would pick the Futurama theme because it’s just so catchy and all, but I can’t betray the awesome Bear McCreary! It’s a tie.
Makes time with beautiful robot ladies? Bender is always hooking up with the robot ladies, or man-ladies or lady-men, whatever. Also, during his brief time as a transsexual, he dated star of screen and stage (probably not stage, actually, but it sounded good) Calculon.
However, the Cylon Centurion gets to hang out with lady robots who look like Grace Park, Tricia Helfer and Lucy Lawless. Even if it’s completely platonic, have you seen those ladies? Winner? Cylon Centurion.
Best name? Bender’s name is Bender Bending Rodriguez. The Cylon Centurion is probably called Cylon Centurion, which isn’t really so much a name as a description. Winner? Bender.
Overall winner? Bender, but he wouldn’t have won if he’d gone up against Sam Anders, because a pretty man beats a funny robot every time in my book, hands down.
When fabulous poet/wit Dorothy Parker feared her husband Alan Campbell was having a homosexual affair, she was quoted as saying: “I can compete with the girls, you know, but not with the boys.”
She had a point.
Thus, for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of 10 things that I can’t compete with:
1. Ziyi Zhang. Put me up against the talented Chinese actress and, for some reason, I always come up lacking.
2. The boys. Again, Ms. Parker had a point here. It’s hard to compete against the boys when the boys have bits that the girls don’t.
3. Your body pillow girlfriend/wife. There are many things body pillows can do that I can’t, and one of those things includes tolerating someone who would marry a body pillow.
4. Cylons. Cylons look like Tricia Helfer and Grace Park. I don’t so much.
5. Your awesome CIA girlfriend. In every category, I come up short when compared to your awesome CIA girlfriend.
6. That anime character you have a crush on. It’s true. I don’t have perky anime boobs, and I’m not charmingly clumsy, so when I fall, I don’t land with my lacy panties slightly exposed, I end up scraping most of the skin off my face and bleeding all over.
7. Dorothy Parker. She was witty, she wrote great poetry and short stories, and she could hold her liquor waaaaaay better than I can. She could also come up with witty retorts on the spot, and I just can’t do that.
8. Your ex, Julia. I just can’t wear a full-body leather suit with that panache. I wish I could, but I can’t.
9. Lady superheroes. I was just going to say “superheroes,” but I specifically mean the ones who keep their superhero costumes up with a bit of spirit gum and luck.
10. Your 1985 Crown Victoria. I can’t compete with a car like that. I won’t even try.
That’s right, folks. Today, we’ll find out which of these two is the whiniest whiner couldn’t-live-up-to-Daddy’s-awesomeness poor-poor-me of the two space operas. Lee “Captain Apollo” Adama or Luke “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” Skywalker.
This will be a tough one.
Let the whining … commence!
Physicality. Sometimes, when I go to my (internal) happy place, what greets me there is an image of Lee Adama’s chest. It’s a well-sculpted, nicely defined chest. I think he had other body parts too, but I can’t be certain. Luke Skywalker? Ummm, I’m sorry, I’m too busy thinking about Apollo’s chest. Winner? Apollo’s chest.
Ass-kickingest sidekick/friend? Apollo’s bff was his occasional frak-buddy, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. I love me some Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (la-la-la, her last scene didn’t happen, la-la-la, my eyes are closed and my fingers are in my ears, la-la-la!) and her cigar-smokin’, hotshot-flyin’ ways. Luke Skywalker’s bff, however, was someone called Han Solo, also known as the hottest man in science fiction ever except for Indiana Jones, and really, it’s just a matter of do you prefer space operas or adventures in your preference. Winner? Luke.
Just how cool were the robots Apollo/Skywalker hung with? Well, Luke was saddled with C-3PO (um, is there a hyphen there? Too lazy to research! Pressing valiantly on!), whom history has decided was the first gay robot ever chronicled, and not the fun kind of gay like takes you out dancing and calls you girlfriend, and R2-D2, who was basically an oversized Swiss army knife. Apollo gots to hang out with all sorts of hot cylons, plus the centurions. Winner? Apollo.
Never had to wear a fat suit? Luke, you lucky bastard, you didn’t have to face the first part of Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. Apollo, you looked like an utter wanker. Where did your chest go, sir? Where did your chest go? Winner? Skywalker.
Biggest daddy issues? Oh, God, why did I even go there? First Luke thinks his dad was a good Jedi who died. Then he learns out his dad is a bad Jedi who is trying to kill him. Then he learns his dad was Hayden Christensen. You’d think that would be enough to earn him the crown here, but noooooooo. Apollo could never live up to the supra-awesome that was his father, Admiral Frakkin’ Adama, and you had better believe it, because Apollo’s a weiner and Adama is a demi-god. From episode to episode, he alternated between trying to get Daddy’s approval to trying to piss Daddy off, and occasionally he took his shirt off, which made everything OK. The winner? This? Is a big fat tie, because, seriously, stop whining about your dads, you two. Gods.
Made out with his sister? A lot of people called Apollo and Starbuck the wonder twins, but they weren’t actually related, whereas Leia and Luke were real twins for reals, and ewwwwwwww. Winner? If you can win this category, it would be Luke “Incest is best” Skywalker.
Saved humanity? Ehhhhh, Apollo convinced everyone in the BSG universe to give up technology when they finally found earth, so it’s more like he doomed humanity, really. Oh, sure, it was to prevent more cylons from being made, but did he take notice of how hot they were? Stupid Apollo. Skywalker tossed the evil emperor to his doom. Winner? Luke Skywalker.
Overall winner? Luke Skywalker. Look, he may have whined a bit, but in the end, he did harness the powers of The Force. Apollo? Not so much. Even his dad couldn’t stand being around him anymore. I mean, did you see how fast he took off when Roslin was dying? See you in hell, Apollo, am I right?