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Lexomatic

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About Lexomatic

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  • Birthday October 10

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  1. As a trivia-oriented TFwiki-reading Geewunner I'm definitely not the right person to answer that question but IMHO it's not a problem as is, say, the position of the game Enter the Matrix vis-a-vis the latter two Matrix movies. Rather, each new version of TF adds some elements to the mythos, and then later versions pull from the pot and remix. Each time they're introduced adequately for their immediate purpose, and knowing the lore is more likely to confuse than enlighten the casual viewer. The life-creating function of Vector Sigma (G1) is rolled into the giant cube-shaped Allspark (Bayverse), then appears in Animated, becomes an icosahedron in Cyberverse, and shares that shape in WFC:S; in most of those iterations, it's either lost or specifically jettisoned into space by Optimus Prime. Galaxy Force/Cybertron creates the colony world of Velocitron, which we visit in Cyberverse and is name-checked in WFC:S. Hasbro creates the character of Windblade, who's fleshed out in an IDW four-issue mini (2014), is first animated in RID (2015), and whose function as a Cityspeaker is key in Cyberverse s3. The idea of Cybertron having an ecosystem dates to the G1 Tech Specs cards (e.g., Mirage hunting turbofoxes), and there were hints in Prime, but Cyberverse s3 is the first time we've toured it in detail. Bumblebee, Hasbro's favored son since 2007, has a different personality each time. Now, that's likely to confuse anybody who's more into characters than trivia, and is unclear which of the iterations are meant to be compatible.
  2. That looks to be a fan image, but how conjectural is it? Lessee ... there was an MSD (screencap at Memory Alpha) in the relevant episode of ST:VGR ("The Raven", 4.07), and it does show five decks with an aft shuttlebay, but most of the other details are different. The Decipher RPG identifies it as an Aerie-class surveyor with a length of 90 meters. I agree, that would be plenty of cubic for cargo and a half-dozen supernumerary passengers. It's a rather boring boxy shape, but Rios could've given it the red-stripey antithesis-of-sober-Starfleet Narn-reminiscent paint scheme seen in ST:PIC. That a ship of that size and capability can be operated for years on end by a crew of two (viz., Annika Hansen's obsessed-scientist parents) attests to Federation-built mid-24cen durability and automation. (When not being abused by cosmozoans and space anomalies every other week; Starfleet vessels need crew mainly for damage control, I guess.) Of course, we've had solo operators at least since TOS, with the Cyrano Jones and Harcourt Mudds of the universe.
  3. Have internal layout plans been published? The external layout (via high-res, well-lit images to promote the ship's addition to Star Trek Online in May) show the ship to have at least three decks and two large hatchway-like insets flanking the central fuselage, implying there's a lot of cubic apart from two-deck open space (transporter, flight deck) where most of the action is set. (During the pre-show buzz for ST:PIC, when the only promo images were of that space and fans wondered how a cargo ship could adapt to carry as many persons as shown, I speculated that it might use holodeck-like technology to create partitions as needed. Alas, nothing so interesting.) After its controlled crash on yet-another-Soong-world, did any shots establish its scale? I didn't see that ep myself; I tuned out midway through the season, and only followed the episode reviews by Trek scribe KRAD on Tor.com. FWIW, I'm still perplexed by the catamaran/mandible-like structures on each side. They're not in the right place for warp nacelles, they're too narrow for cargo or quarters ... maybe they contained large gun-like weapons, or vertical launch tubes? Which were removed before the ship was sold on the second-hand market, and the hull retained for aesthetics. Otherwise they're like the huge fins on Star Wars vehicles that have no evident aerodynamic, thermal radiator, or shield-projecting function.
  4. A banner ad led me to an intriguing eBay listing for "WJ Transform Computron Wars", an interpretation of the G1 Technobot combiner team. At $60 it's priced like a knock-off, but it's not Maketoys Quantron (2014) or the official Unite Warriors (2016), or any other design I'm familiar with -- wait, it might be an alternate deco or knockoff of "Weijiang Calculation King" (eBay listing for that, with a photo of the toys in their packaging), which has a red and white deco resembling Jetfire. The topology (which of the five figures become which limbs) isn't the conventional fusilateral quintrocombiner: Afterburner (motorcycle with canopy) - blue - left leg Nosecone (drill tank) - brown and yellow - right leg Scattershot (plane with nosecone cannon) - white - arms Strafe (plane with two nosecones) - red - torso and thighs Lightspeed (car, now with hood-mounted supercharger) - red - chest I recall the brand name Weijiang from the dealer's room at TFcon DC 2017, but I haven't seen the name on merchants like TFsource or -- oh wait, here's a listing on Robot Kingdom for G1-styled "Megathron".
  5. On Friday, mikeszekely wrote: There are definitely some design cues in Cell that resemble, as noted, the image on page 50 of The Transformers: The Ultimate Guide (2004), but I believe the notion dates to the original Floro Dery concept. There's a second movie poster (it's on the back of the collector's sticker album for the 1986 movie (39 cents, 49 in Canada), which I happen to have in a box two meters from this very PC) that shows Unicron in robot mode, in which his fingers are round and have talon-like fingernails. "Pointy fingertips" is a hybrid between "blunt square fingers" and "talons". (FWIW, the poster's composition is odd -- several of the characters are facing in random directions.)
  6. I had charitably interpreted those utterances as "planting seeds for potential future seasons" but now that the possibility is raised (by you and others), they could also be a sign of a disorganized writing process: Are there too many tertiary points distracting the narrative from the primary and secondary? The audience has a hard enough time following the development of the main beats without being distracted by self-indulgent flourishes and half-baked red herrings. My background is software, where a properly engineered project starts with a detailed "requirements list" used a blueprint for coding and QA ("menu 3 shall have a button in position 4"). I've often thought that large writing projects (especially collaborative ones) should have the same, to verify that intentions are implemented. What are the theme(s), in what chapters are they addressed, and by which characters? For Mystery X, are essential clues {1, 2, 3} in evidence? Is toyetic vehicle V licensed to L displayed prominently?
  7. Following up on Keith: The OG Yamato projects post-Yamato 2 ("The Bolar Wars" TV series, the movies, the Resurrection movie in 2009) suffered a dramatic problem of sameness ("oh look, it's another space empire attacking Earth and only Yamato's crew has the proper spirit to defeat the threat"). (Also, the movies were long and slooow, in ST:TMP fashion.) IMHO, if you're going to keep using the same cast, you need to confront them with novel challenges. There are a few plot threads raised in 2202 that could be tapped, some of which are themes visited by Leiji Matsumoto, and which have present-day relevance: Surrendering your defense to AI, automated weapons manufacture, voluntary replacement of body parts with cybernetics. (The adversaries in the two "Dark Nebula" movies, The New Voyage and Be Forever Yamato, are a cyborg species, and Alphon, the blond with a think for Yuki, expresses some regret re: the societal choice.)
  8. IMHO, the more cogent question is: Can an interstellar war make for an interesting story in a future TV series (or other medium), one with the signature elements of Macross (love story, music, fancy aircraft)? We've all seen plenty of interstellar wars -- Star Wars (mostly the Clone Wars TV series), Star Trek DS9, Babylon 5, Space Battleship Yamato, Legend of Galactic Heroes, Crest of the Stars -- but the themes they explore tend to be more political, philosophical, or pure action-oriented set piece. (The secret marriage of Anakin and Padmé isn't quite the same flavor of flirting-infatuation favored by Macross.) Frontier and Delta show conflict on an interstellar scale, but both are initiated by small cabals and the "hot" phase is resolved quickly. What we haven't seen is a prolonged war, with entire colonized star-clusters and emigrant fleets lined up on one side or another, with hostilities and attrition that require new ship construction and troop recruitment. We also haven't seen the allied Zentraedi put to use. (Heck, we've barely seen Zentraedi mecha, apart from Ranka's off-planet concert in Frontier and the Vajra-infected troops at the start of Delta. And post-Space War I-designed models like the Variable Glaug have appeared only in games.) Who would fight in such a war? The galaxy has numerous Zentraedi Main Fleets, leftover Protoculture prototype superweapons, Vajra (well, not anymore), Terran-clade polities, various sub-Protoculture races (all of them inferior to Earth's pre-ASS technology). But the galaxy's a big place -- is there another sub-Protoculture race that has achieved interstellar capability and hasn't been whomped by the Zentraedi? (Say, with fusion and antimatter but not the superdimension technologies that draw Zentraedi attention.) Or a non-Protoculture-derived race that either evolved in the past 500,000 years, or which even the Protoculture didn't know about. (The galaxy's a big place even for the Stellar Union.) Did the Vajra engage in uplift? If the aliens are utterly unconnected to Vajra or the Vajra-inspired Protoculture, would they lack the fold-wave biology that makes song an effective avenue of communication between species?
  9. I'm in concurrence with the above that "2199" was an interesting update of the 1974 original, but that "2202" went overboard. Some thoughts, grouped approximately: First, the over-designed mecha (CGI has led to bad habits); second, the numeric scale; third, the physical scale. If your heroes are just slightly outnumbered or outmassed (ten-to-one, not million-to-one), the comparison is easier to depict visually. There were certain signature visuals of "Yamato 2" that couldn't be replicated at the enlarged scale. "They've turned the moon into a burning ball of fire!" Soft-landing Comet City outside Tokyo to accept Earth's surrender. (According to the setting materials, the asteroid-hemisphere is 15 km wide and 6 km deep -- which doesn't actually fit in the Pacific basin near Japan, but whatever.) There are points where the characterization is too subtle -- three of the characters are actually Zordar-iterations: Current-Zordar, original-Zordar with the four-eye headset, and next-Zordar sent to supervise Dessler. Making Teresa a superdimensional goddess (as in "Farewell to Yamato", the movie) rather than a woman with uncontained psychic powers (as in "Yamato 2", the TV series) made the character unrelatable. (Kinda like Jean Grey of the X-Men, but surely that's not a comparison that would worry Japanese writers overmuch?) So far as writing goes: If your antagonists are motivated by an interesting philosophy, you can't dribble it over a dozen episodes -- the audience will forget the clues. Moreover, ideally it should be "show" not "tell" but there are some philosophies that can only be demonstrated by spoken debate. The "character declaims his philosophy" happens a lot in anime -- it might originally been inspired by kabuki. If the goal is to elicit an epiphany ("oh, so that's their motivation -- I'm simultaneously sympathetic yet appalled") that's really tricky. Now, there were good points. A motivation for the White Comet Empire (cloned soldiers for yet another Aquarian child-race, whose leader-caste rebels at the idea, then leaves and finds a leftover superweapon) is more effective than the unexplored-space-barbarians of the original. (But Zordar's "love was personally painful, so I'll destroy all the sub-Aquarian races that feel it" was simplistic.) The flashback that revealed the story of the Dessler family was equally welcome, in giving Abelt a motivation other than cackling-despot.
  10. The name's Kazutaka MIYATAKE (Wikipedia, ANN, forbes.com) -- b. 1949, a founding member of Studio Nue, designer of the Macross. Designs from this series are regularly posted by Yamato superfan Tim Eldred to the "Our Star Blazers.com/Cosmo DNA" Facebook community page. The PS2 games are detailed on the Cosmo DNA fansite. Not a lot of images of the ships, though, if you wanted to compare Miyatake's busy designs to the limitations of low-poly tex-mapped models.
  11. Hmm. Given the relative volume of discussion for LOW vs PIC, isn't it time for this show to get its own thread? As I speculated, the promotional poster a week ago did not depict the ship in all its detail. OTOH, we now can see hull-features that exist but in the wrong places. The ship's name and registration are on the dorsal aft arc of the saucer (0:07, 0:09), not forward. None of the clips are angled to reveal if there's a registration on the ventral surface. There are red and green lights on the saucer (0:13, 0:25) and nacelles (0:25, 1:35), but they're not in positions to make them useful formation lights. There are no visible shuttlebay doors on the aft rim of the saucer (0:12), although the MSD cutaway (1:02) shows a shuttlebay. There are still no RCS clusters (at 0:12 there's a yellow stripe wrapping around the rim, but that's decorative). There are cutouts in both the saucer-nacelle pylons (0:12, 1:32, 1:35) and nacelle-deflector pylons (0:28, 1:35). Following TAS's precedent of "aliens are easier in animation": Andorian (0:27, 1:53), Bajoran (0:57), Bolian (1:46), Caitian (0:30, 1:08), , green girl (Orion/Rigellian?) (0:27, 0:29, 1:00, etc.), alien Hulk (1:09), purple head-fin webbed-finger fish-people (1:33), olive-green slit-nostril tusk-people (1:46), spotted purple trumpet-eared pig-person (1:50), Vulcan (1:53) 0:32 - That's ... really not how the major blood vessels to the heart are arranged. Must be a non-human humanoid with convenient spare vasculature. 0:44 - Klingon facility with blue daytime skies, yay! 0:55 - I suppose Borg combat is a reasonable part of ongoing physical certifications. Is that a dedicated training compartment with android training dummies, or a holodeck sim of a training compartment?
  12. Given the premise of the show, that's probably intentional - the U.S.S. Cerritos is a second-line ship performing follow-up tasks, not a glamorous explorer-type like the Galaxy class (or thrust into an explorer role, like the Intrepid-class U.S.S. Voyager). But there are also clues that this poster image is unrepresentative of the final product: It's missing some prominent features for the design-era (formation beacons, RCS clusters on the rim, the ship's dang registration number -- no reason to omit those from a cel-shaded CG model) and it's got others that look like mistakes (the flat ventral surface of the saucer, the four indented arcs in exactly the spots you'd expect outdented phaser strips). The pod with the navigational deflector dish is oddly placed, yes (it's a secondary hull, but I wouldn't call it an engineering hull -- the key impulse and warp components are presumably in the saucer), but access isn't insurmountable: long turboshafts along the warp nacelles, or transporter hard-links, or a maintenance shuttlepod. Given the rear-echelon role (of the entire class?), "convenient access during all circumstances, including at-warp and during combat" could've been a low priority in the design.
  13. Ooh. As a fan of classic (i.e., <1990) authors (Asimov, Clarke, Niven, etc.) color me interested. Asimov's traditionally difficult to adapt to moving pictures because his novels are talky and idea-based: when there's action, it happens elsewhere. Visualizing Foundation has some of the same challenges of Dune: What does a far-future interstellar human empire that's super-rich but not super-tech (as our computer- and genetic-driven era reckons things) look like? "I, Robot" (Will Smith) is a pretty good adaptation of a bunch of themes from Asimov's "Robot" stories. "Bicentennial Man" (Robin Williams) is okay, but I had no inclination to re-watch it because the title character's decision to adopt mortality is even more schmaltzy on-screen than on-page (hmm, come to think of it, that theme recurs at the end of Star Trek: Picard).
  14. Operated by Space Adventures, the "ZERO-G Experience(R)" of 15 parabolic maneuvers aboard G-Force One(tm), a modified B727-200, is $5,400 plus tax, as seen here; here's the city-by-city schedule on the east and west coasts. So among expensive vehicular adventures (cars, submarines, earthmovers, submarines, etc.) this is up at the top. (Whenever I entertain a fantasy of winning the lottery, there's the "few hundred dollars experience", the "several million in a space capsule" experience, and then it takes some effort to find a price in the middle.)
  15. "Sky Combat Ace" is an aviation-thrill operator in Las Vegas and nearby cities. One of the three models they fly is the aerobatic Extra 330LC, which is a prop plane capable of +/- 10 G ... although you're not obligated to push its envelope per their FAQ, "Will I get airsick?" (FWIW, that aircraft-specs page drives me batty. Parallel tables, but with different specs, one in metric and the other imperial; and their third model, the Citabria, isn't even listed.) (Since Vegas will soon be tentatively re-opening, but the news coverage has focused on hotels and restaurants, out of curiousity I spent some time checking the pandemic-hygiene policies for the various thrill-companies that have supercars, earth-movers, observation wheels, helicopters, parabolic 727s and hot-air balloons, and SCA came up.)
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