When I heard about Elon Musk and SpaceX launching a Tesla roadster “driven” by an astronaut dummy into outer space, I was torn between finding it awesome and inane. On one hand, Starman has a “DON’T PANIC!” sign on the dashboard, which is a complete nerdgasm for me. On the other hand, Starman could potentially become a “biothreat” to Mars one day, which is certainly a downer. But in the end, it took me right back to the opening scene of the film “Heavy Metal,” and there is very little that’s more badass than that! The launch of Starman certainly seemed like something of which Commander Schwartz would approve.
Posts Tagged ‘lego’
That Walking Astro Grappler (#6882) just cracks me up every time I look at it. It captures that Classic LEGO Space aesthetic that toes the line between goofy and cool. It’s actually a cleverly designed set. The upright cockpit is unique and the swiveling walking mechanism is a lot of fun. I want to do more with the Walking Astro Grappler in the comic at some point, but decided it would be a fun cameo here.
YOU MUST BREAKDANCE!
And now you know what happened to the Star Hawk I.
The Ash and Carrie minifigures are of course not official LEGO products, but their quality surpassed what I expected. I bought them at a toy show, but you can usually find them on eBay, as well.
Although “N-POP Girl” appears in this comic, I ASSURE you this is not a lost scene from The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
And yes, it’s someone we know who happens to look a bit like her…
Unitron excited me when it came out because it was reminiscent of Classic Space, but it was a bizarrely short-lived series in the LEGO canon. There were only four sets released over two years, and one of them was the massive Monorail Transport Base! There was also Space Station Zenon, the Crater Cruiser (seen here) and the Star Hawk II (Why II? There wasn’t a Star Hawk I.) I only ever had the Crater Cruiser, but always wanted the sleek Star Hawk II. It seems to now be a rare and somewhat pricey set, but I might have to finally cave. (Merry Christmas to me…) Here’s a secret. You can add the parts list for a LEGO set to your want list on Bricklink, then use the “Easy Buy” feature to find all the parts in various Bricklink stores. Often, this will end up being cheaper than purchasing an intact set.
I believe the Crater Cruiser (#1787) from the short-lived Unitron series was the first LEGO set I purchased with my own money. Back then, I mixed all my parts together instead of keeping them by set like I do now. While this was better for creativity when building, it makes it harder to rebuild the original sets for use in the comic. Therefore, when I decided to include Unitron in the comic several years ago, I dug out the parts for the flying module of the Crater Cruiser and never got around to rebuilding the land vehicle. The Unitron pilot in the flying module became Ralph Gunbar and fit well into storylines, but it always bothered me that I never showed the rest of the vehicle. While recently visiting my Dad’s house, I FINALLY dug out the rest of the parts from my old storage bins and completed the Crater Cruiser. I couldn’t wait to put this sleek set in a comic, but realized I needed to explain who Gunbar’s (never-before-seen) partner was. Now you know.
During the comic’s long hiatus, Star Wars returned and broke my heart.
Don’t get me wrong, what Disney and J.J. Abrams accomplished with “The Force Awakens” was a major achievement. They managed to produce a Star Wars movie that captured the fun and spirit of the Original Trilogy, and created a new set of characters that we actually cared about and couldn’t wait to see more of in future films. I thought the movie had a few flaws, such as a puzzling, almost carbon-copy of the finale of “A New Hope,” but I could live with those.
What I couldn’t live with was *SPOILERS* the death of Han Solo and the way in which it happened. That moment just sucked the wind out of the theater for me. And I had already spent the whole film dreading it would happen, since I knew of Harrison Ford’s unfulfilled desire to kill Han in “Return of the Jedi,” and the fact that a shocked man about my age had wandered forlornly out of the showing before mine saying he was still “processing” what he had seen. I was pretty sure I knew what that meant.
I think if Han had heroically sacrificed himself and the Falcon to destroy Starkiller Base after the Resistance attack failed, I would have been pretty satisfied with that. But the way it did happen… the moment he walked onto that bridge, you knew he was doomed. I appreciate that he was willing to risk everything to try and save his son, but the way he attempted it was so suicidal, not really in-character for Han. It was telegraphed, by-the-numbers and – yes, I get that he had to die that way to further Kylo’s story – but I just hated it. To make it worse, could Leia (God bless Carrie Fisher.) have poured on the guilt trip on Han any thicker? “You HAVE to save our son.” This is one of those cases where I feel like J.J. Abrams lacks a little something in his storytelling pertaining to characters and satisfying resolution. Worst of all is that we’ll NEVER see the onscreen reunion of Han, Luke and Leia.
But anyway, Han was dead and I had to live with it. The hero of my youth, my favorite Star Wars character, was Obi-Wan-Kenobied. It bothered me enough that I couldn’t even watch “The Force Awakens” again until a couple of months ago. It took me that long to process Han’s fate. It doesn’t bother me as much now – I’ve moved onto the acceptance stage, I guess – and I enjoyed the film a lot more than I did the first time.
However, I still needed some catharsis, and this comic was my way to do it. If your feelings about Han Solo’s end are anything like mine, I hope this gave you a smile, too.
Anyway, “The Last Jedi” is out THIS WEEK, and I know I can’t wait!
At this stage in the game, I try to resist the urge to keep introducing new characters. I already have so many with ongoing storylines and I’d like to wrap a few up some day. But when I put the silly N-POP Girl head on a Blacktron II body, I just had to do something with the character. I also realized that the only named Blacktron II characters were The Commodore and Lt. Verwaand, and I could use at least one more to match the three main Blacktron I characters. So I introduced Ensign Marrón, a potentially ruthless yet bubbly corporate go-getter. I think Marrón will fit easily into some stories I already have planned.
The Lost Ship of the Desert is one of my favorite urban legends. To quote Wikipedia:
The Lost Ship of the Desert is the subject of legends about various historical maritime vessels having supposedly become stranded and subsequently lost in the deserts of the American Southwest, most commonly in California’s Colorado Desert. Since the period following the American Civil War, stories about Spanish treasure galleons buried beneath the desert sands north of the Gulf of California have emerged as popular legends in American folklore… The Galleon, according to old timers, is now under the waters of the modern Salton Sea.
It’s such a striking image, isn’t it?
I had a plan to get my cat to participate in photographing last week’s comic, “Autumn Getaway,” by bribing her with treats to jump up on the table and mess with Schwartz. However, the moment I set Schwartz’s house on the table, she jumped and, without any bribes, immediately played the role I had envisioned for her in my head – terrorizing poor Schwartz. I guess I know my cat well!
When shooting this week’s comic, I placed my television flat on its back with a Star Wars movie on pause in order to capture the spaceship scenes. Soon after, this happened:
Cats + LEGOs are always a challenge!