Monday, December 29, 2014

Voyage to the Stars Blogathon

John at Hitchcock's World continues to challenge me in ways I didn't think possible with his blogathons. This one was inspired by the recent release of Instellar with a little assistance from yours truly and my own Back to School Blogathon. The task at hand is to put know what? Let John explain...

You have been hired by NASA/the Russian space program/Canadian Space Agency/European Space Agency/Multi-million dollar corporation to organize the first manned mission into interstellar space. You are therefore entrusted to assemble the finest men and women you can find for the job.

Cool. I can do this.

Before I get started though, there are some actual rules to follow...

Assembling Your Team

The first thing you need to do is find a team of brave men and women capable of carrying out your expedition. Keep in mind that the ship you will be using is a tight space and you need to conserve supplies: fuel, water, food, oxygen, and other essential items for the trip. This means that you can only assign one person to each of the essential roles.

The catch is that other parties (i.e. anyone else who is participating in this blogathon) are also trying to put together their own missions. You've got to put together the best crew that you can, and if you know who you want you will want to recruit them before somebody else does. In assembling your team, make sure you address the following positions:
  • Engineer
  • Medic
  • Mission Commander
  • Mission Controller*
  • Navigator
  • Pilot
  • Science Officer
* Because they are not actually on the spaceship, you can have more than one mission controller. They also do not necessarily have to be an astronaut in their own right, but due to the nature of their job they should have sufficient technical or mechanical knowledge to comprehend how your spaceship works.

There are actually more rules. Just head over to John's site to get the full rundown. By the way, there are a still a couple days left before the deadline. Feel free to put together your own team. As for mine, here it is...

Mission Commander
Cpt. James Tiberius Kirk
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
How is this even up for debate? Who better lead such a team? Setting aside the fact that he'll be the life of any party our crew manages time for, he is the man who has dedicated his life to precisely these types of voyages. After all, our mission is one he's really familiar with: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. You know what, though? That version of him is a little long in the tooth. Completely disregarding the rules, I'm using the TV version of the Captain...

Now, that's more like it!

Akima Kunimoto
Titan A.E. (2000)
Akima has plenty of experience piloting spacecrafts. She has even salvaged a wrecked ship and used it for space travel right in the middle of a mission. I think she can handle whatever we throw at her. Hey, no one said she couldn't be animated.

Sunshine (2007)
Trey is a guy who willfully volunteered for a suicide mission into the sun to save Earth. While on that mission...let's just say the guy understands the meaning of sacrifice. If you can get that in a highly skilled individual, why not take it?

Event Horizon (1997)
Peters was the medic on a ship built to test "gravity drive," basically generating an artificial black hole and using that to bridge two points in spacetime. That's as sciency as its going to get from me. My head is already hurting. Anyhoo, Peters knows her stuff and is prepared for extreme conditions.

Montgomery Scott, aka Scotty
Star Trek (2009)
I'm not exactly cheating, but I am fudging the rules just a bit. That said, there's no one I would rather have than Scotty. If he can keep that behemoth known as The Enterprise afloat, I've no doubt he can handle our little vessel. Some how, some way, no matter, he can always get us more power, even if it means putting his life on the line to do so.

Science Officer
Daniel Luxembourg
Europa Report (2013)
More than being a genius, which this job pretty much requires, Luxembourg has his priorities in the right place. As much as he loves discovering new and exciting things, he has already demonstrated he will not put science above his fellow astronauts. That's an important quality to have when working with a crew that is sure to encounter some dangerous situations.

Mission Controller
Stacker Pentecost
Pacific Rim (2013)
He's not experienced in space travel. He doesn't have to be. He'll be here on Earth, running the show. That is something he has plenty of experience doing. He knows when to stroke your ego and when to break you down. He also makes sure he understands the objective. What more could you ask for?

This is the part where I'm supposed to give you some info on where we're trying to go and what we're trying to do, but I'm not that smart. That's what I hired these guys for.

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  1. That is a pretty good crew. What you did with Scotty was technically permitted by the rules, as I did specify that different versions of characters could be used and the Kirk you used was basically from a whole other canon. Now if you'd chosen Kirk from the same movie, that would be breaking the rules. Of course the only reason I enforced the rules against using two characters from the same film was simply to encourage variety and make sure that one person didn't get an unfair monopoly over a particular movie.

    One thing I can say about this blogathon is I've certainly learned a few things, like why Cast-A-Thons generally stop after the initial list. I thought I was being clever when I decided to give people a chance to do something with their list, and I'd intended it to be challenging but I think I may have been a bit TOO successful in that area. I'm certainly not planning to include the status report in any cast-a-thons I'm planning to run in the near future.

    These cast-a-thons can be fun. I've had a lot of ideas for some of them and actually I've been developing one idea for a Summer Blockbuster one (I'm looking at starting it in April). Thanks a lot for participating.

    1. Thanks for hosting. This was a lot of fun to put together, but yeah, the whole status report thing was a bit much. Still, I'm looking forward to whatever you cook up in the future.

  2. Oh, if you're in a mission in space. You can never go wrong with Captain Kirk. Original only. And never say to Mr. William Shatner that Han Solo is cooler than Captain Kirk.