Monday, 29 November 2010

Would You Buy A Second-Hand X-Wing From This Man?

Over at Robert Hoffman published a list of 100 greatest cinematic spaceships which has been troubling the blogosphere for a few days. I took the io9 challenge and tried to predict the top 10. Suffice it to say I was not at all surprised by the number 1 entry, and in addition, I correctly predicted that Discovery, Enterprise the Close Encounters mothership and of course Serenity would make the top ten. It was inevitable that Star Wars and Star Trek would be prominent in this list - and I applaud Hoffman's attempt to stop them from dominating altogether.

The nostalgia is strong with this one: E.T.'s spaceship and the X-Wing (both just missing out on the top 10) but also further down the list were Max from Flight of the Navigator, the unexpected yellow spaceship from Life Of Brian, and a certain Interstellar Circus Tent. Recent films with iconic spaceships such as District 9 also get a mention.

Not iconic enough?

I was, however, surprised to see that the Nostromo and Sulaco only clocked in at 36 and 44, and there are also some interesting omissions: although it's only had two cinema outings plus one TV movie appearance, surely the TARDIS ranks somewhere in the top 100. Also I thought the Martian Flying Machines (complete with string) deserved more of a place than many of the entrants, as did Jane Fonda's inexplicably carpeted interstellar RV from Barbarella. Possibly the Flying Machines were excluded on a technicality as they were aircraft rather than spacecraft.


PillowNaut said...

Awesome List! Good way to kill an hour, LOL... but hmm... I don't know if "The Machine" from Contact really counts... and I'm sorry, but that Flight of the Navigator ship deserves to be WAY higher. Certainly no cartoon designs should have beaten it, given how interesting those special effects were for the time. Interesting that the only "real" ships from the Apollo program clocked in at #21.

At least Serenity was close to being the right place, but should have cracked the Top 5 :)

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Hey Pillownaut! Agree about Flight of the Navigator and Serenity. Disagree about Contact - one of the more unusual spaceships, certainly...

Good point about real spaceships. There aren't enough films featuring the Apollo hardware, although I'm looking forward to Apollo 18 which is in production now. Oh yeah. They missed Capricorn One, didn't they?

Secondly, some Space Shuttles do make the grade, at least the fictional Moonrakers and the asteroid-chasers from Armageddon. Do they count as real ships? The shuttles in Moonraker have lasers and carry marines in the cargo hold - not realistic, at least that's the NASA line and I'm sure you're sticking to it, right? My post about the Space Shuttle in films is here.

No mention of Soyuz or Mir, both featured in documentary Out Of The Present, or the spaceship at the start of Meteor which looks like Skylab.

PillowNaut said...

Yah the Space Shuttles and Burans should definitely be represented before we resort to the wackiness of a giant Eddie Murphy :p But nothing from Armageddon counts as real, LOL... oh man, that movie was so painful to watch, the science was SO off in every way... (Bruce Willis should stick to being a cop)

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Absolutely. And has Michael Bay ever seen gravity?