Chatting with the Stars

10-Aug-07 11:35 AM by
Filed under Celebrities, Star Trek, Star Wars; 2 comments.

Audio interviews with two spacefaring luminaries have recently become available.

The first (courtesy TrekToday.com) is Garrett Wang on the James Madison show (iTunes). It's not the best interview: it starts off a bit slowly, the reception occasionally drops, and at one point, Mr. Wang puts the host on hold while he takes another call. But there are some fun stories as he reminisces about playing Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager and the interplay he had with other Star Trek and UPN actors. Tune in to the James Madison podcast tomorrow for a similar interview with Robert Picardo, who played that show's holographic Doctor.

The other interview (courtesy TheForce.net) is a brief one with Anthony Daniels, aka C-3PO, wherein he talks about science, Star Wars, and scouting. His message on the importance of science in the present and future of society is spot-on and would be right at home in Scientific American or Point of Inquiry.

To Serve and Protect

01-Jul-07 12:49 PM by
Filed under Films, Television; 6 comments.

Speaking of top films lists, Entertainment Weekly has published, in preparation for Transformers: The Movie, "our 10 favorite mechanical men (and fembots) in movie history". The list honors good guys such as the Iron Giant (a hero after my own Superman-inspired heart, and the subject of scrutiny in the film studies course I taught), Data, and R2-D2 and C-3PO (who I'd never consciously realized to be an Odd Couple) — but also appropriately celebrates the persistent destruction wrought by darker cyborgs, Robocop and the Terminator (the latter described as "an all-purpose golem").

These two futuristic deathbringers represent possibly my favorite action films ever: the original Robocop film and the second Terminator. The former is a haunting tale of a man robbed of his family, his memory, even his emotions — everything but his career. He uses that sole connection to give his life purpose and, eventually, his audience a TV series that I actually enjoyed. The latter is a villain sent from the future to alter the past… but for better, or for worse? Plot twists, character dynamics (especially the humanity of the Terminator and lack of same in Sarah Connor), and awesome action sequences make this a film that's more than meets the eye.

Too bad these two robotic icons never encountered each other… or did they?!