5 Spaceships I’d Want To Pilot

If you’ve read my past posts, you know that I am not a big fan of flying.  In fact, I often say that if God had intended me to fly, I would have the most awesome set of wings.

That being said, there is still something about spaceships that capture my imagination.  While you cannot get me into the sky, I would love to fly through the stars.

The following is a list of ships that I would love to take me to the heavens.  Like most of my lists, it has the usual criteria (I had to have seen it in a movie/TV show, etc.)

1) The U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek)

This is probably the only ship that is not a small crew or single occupant spacecraft.  Thus, this is not about flying the Enterprise, but commanding it.  We have all imagined ourselves as Captain James T. Kirk, or Jean-Luc Picard for those who were fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

For me, it really did not matter which Enterprise I was captain of.  Well, almost.  I was not a fan of Star Trek: Enterprise.  But then, I usually had problems with anything that tried to wedge itself into an established continuity.  Shows (and movies) like that have an uphill battle in trying to establish themselves while not contradicting established continuity.  Any new  Trek series should have gone (boldly) forward, not back.

But that’s just my opinion.

Anyway, being the captain of the Enterprise, while seemingly daunting, is still a big thrill.  It is probably why I have played many of the Star Trek simulator games that have come out.

2) X-Wing Fighter (Star Wars)

From the first moment I saw Star Wars, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker flying an X-Wing against the Death Star.  Sure there was the Millennium Falcon throughout the original trilogy, but that was big and bulky, no matter how it did the Kessel Run.  But that was a freighter, not a combat vessel.  And yes, the snow speeders in Empire Strikes Back were cool, but as near as I could tell, they were not spaceships.

The X-Wing Fighter could go anywhere.  They were the main ships of the Rebel combat fleet.  And out of all the ships that have been featured the movies, you had the best chance of survival if you were in an X-Wing fighter.

This is especially so if your name was Luke or Wedge.

3) The Gunstar (the Last Starfighter)

The Gunstar is a bit of an unusual choice for this list.  The Last Starfighter was a successful movie, and it has developed a bit of a cult following.  It was a simple movie about a young man who went on to grander things.  Granted, those grander things were being the pilot/gunner of a Gunstar for the Star League.  And that young man was nothing more than a teen from a trailer park who was a whiz at a video game.

So, in other words, it could have been about any one of us.

The Gunstar itself was an impressive ship.  All of the guns and missiles were controlled by the starfighter, and the ship was capable of facing off against an entire fleet.  The particular Gunstar in this movie also featured a few special features which also helped make sure that our hero would survive.

It should be noted that The Last Starfighter, while not the first movie to feature computer graphics, it is the first to use computer graphics to represent real world objects (the Gunstar, the Ko-Dan Armada), something that is commonplace now.

4) The Colonial Viper (Battlestar: Galactica)

Now, I have to be specific here.  The vipers I am referring to are the ones featured in the original television series, not the ones from the new series.  The original series is the one that I grew up with… for its short television lifetime.  Yes, the old series had corny story lines, was a bit dated, and reused footage… A LOT!  But, there was a certain innocence to the series that is what endeared it to the fans that watched it, remembered it, and rewatched it through reruns.

I have nothing against the new series… well, almost nothing.  The new series was incredibly complex, far more complex than anything the original series ever tried to tackle.  I liked the concept of the sleeper Cylons, and the moral ambiguity of Baltar that was not in the original series (Baltar was just evil there).  But, as I watched it, or tried to, I sometimes for some of the moral gray areas that the humans found themselves in a bit too much.  In fact, I knew that I needed to stop watching once I started to root for the Cylons.

5) Serenity (Firefly and Serenity)

Serenity is a small freighter much like the Millennium Falcon.  But, what makes Serenity stand out is its crew.  The crew is such a mishmash of great characters living in a universe that is quite interesting in its own right.

Like other shows on this list, Firefly came and went too fast on television.  Much of that was the network’s fault, which decided to air what was essentially the third episode of the series as the pilot.  You could probably get away with doing that for some series, but not anything that would come out of the mind of Joss Whedon.  A lot was lost when they did that, and even I had a problem falling into line with the series because of that.  It was only when I saw it in order on the Sci-Fi Channel (as it was still known at that time) that I got a better understanding of the intricate character play of the series.  That made me a fan, and made me wish I was part of that crew, even it it meant I was probably going to be shot (as what happened to many of the characters on the show).

Naturally, this newly minted fan just had to see Serenity when it hit the big screen.  And I loved it, even if they… well, I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it.  Which you should… right after watching the series, available on DVD.

Honorable Mention: The Space Shuttle

This real world spaceship has captured the imagination of sci-fi fans and Hollywood for quite some times.  This was our real world connection to the space fantasy that we wanted to live.  If being the first reusable spacecraft did not make it a celebrity, Hollywood certainly helped out.

The Space Shuttle has been featured in a number of movies.  Most of these movies played fairly close to the reality that was the space shuttle.  It was a shuttle that sent a bunch of kids onto the ultimate field trip in Space Camp.  And it was on a shuttle that Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner flew into orbit to fix the deteriorating orbit of a Russian satellite in Space Cowboys.  And, the shuttle was preferred vehicle to enter orbit for both James Bond in Moonraker and Harry Stamper’s mining crew in Armageddon.

One of the best shuttle stories, though, comes not from Hollywood, but from comics.  Orbiter by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran tells the story of the return of the space shuttle Venture to Earth.  This may not seem all that strange except that the Venture disappeared ten years before.  A team of specialists are assembled to unravel the mystery of the Venture.  If you get the chance, definitely pick it up at your local book store.

About chyrondave

Avid comic reader, amateur writer, music fan, and someone with opinions, lots of opinions.

Posted on August 19, 2013, in Lists, Media, Movies, Personal, Television, The Fives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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