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Ask a Geek Anything 15

Good morning and welcome to Ask a Geek Anything, where we do our level best to answer anything that won’t get us mauled in Mos Eisley. Our Glorious Lea— I mean Dear Editor — is off battling at Pennsic so the staff is romping and trashing our workspace. (Shh. Don’t tell.)

This week’s question comes from the Nosy Geek who asks, “Babylon 5 or Star Trek? Star Trek or Star Wars? Marvel or DC? And, more importantly, Chocolate or Vanilla?”

starwarstrek

First up is our resident bon vivant, Joseph Capdepon who says:

In Babylon 5 you actually had competent security personnel who knew what they were doing and knew tactics and such. You also had actual military personnel as well, instead of “explorers” playing at being military. Babylon 5 also had a much more believable future instead of the Marxist utopia that Star Trek was.

Star Wars over Star Trek.

If I have to explain this to you, you are lost. Go sit in a corner and think about why you hate good, fun entertainment.

I mean come on. Lightsaber duels. Starships exploding. A battlestation that looks like a moon. Bounty hunters. Leia in a metal bikini. What does Star Trek have? A holodeck. A guy who comes from a warrior race but is one of the weakest individuals on the crew.

Would you rather watch X-Wings and Tie Fighters battle it out or the Enterprise shoot phasers at a Borg cube?

Also, original trilogy over the prequels. If one must watch the prequels, I guess it is okay, but be advised that they do not live up to the awesomeness that the original trilogy is.

Also, you can skip Episode 1 and not really miss anything. Actually just skip to the last fight at the end. Watch the Jedi take on the Sith. That is the only good part of Episode 1.

Marvel over DC.

The only good thing DC has going for it is Batman. Marvel has the better superheros, better story lines, just better everything. DC has Superman. One of the worst character ever created.

Marvel you have such wonderful creations as Wolverine, Punisher, Deadpool, Professor X, Magneto.

Also they own the movie market. Seriously, Marvel owns the movie market. Nothing DC can do will catch up with Marvel and the movies they have released.

So enjoy Batman but eh on the rest of DC.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Both! Why choose when you can have both? As Robert Heinlein said, ‘Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.’ So take big bites and choose both.

Says the deeply conflicted Declan Finn:

Some interesting questions there. Let’s do a little breakdown.

1. Babylon 5. Why? Because it had the first major 5-year storyline on television in my recollection, with great character development, impassioned speeches, and grand space opera. And while Kirk and Picard will always have a special place in my heart, Babylon 5 showed us that science fiction on American television could be more than just a problem-of-the-week issue. And, frankly, I really do blame the rise of year and series-long story arcs of this century (24, recurring arcs on NCIS, etc, etc) on Babylon 5.

Or, in the immortal words of Susan Ivanova: This isn’t some deep space franchise, this place is about something.

No, I didn’t make that up, it was a line written by Peter David.

2. Between Star Trek and Star Wars … if I HAD to pick a side, that would depend on what you counted. As a whole, Star Wars includes episodes 1, 2, and 3, as well as a whole bunch of books which just became “the latest mess the empire left behind THIS WEEK.” And as a whole, Star Trek included, well, Voyager and Enterprise. Yes, Voyager had Jeri Ryan in a skintight outfit, but I’ll see you and raise you Leia in a golden bikini.

But then there’s Jar Jar and Janeway, and, really, is that a choice? Anakin “crybaby” Skywalker versus the Jem Hadar?

Okay, on this one, screw it, I’ll call it a tie. Because the worst of Star Wars and the worst of Star Trek really make me wonder why I’m a fan of either, and if I think about it too much, I may never watch either ever again.

3. Marvel over DC.

That’s tough, because depending on where, each have strengths. On Television, I’ll put Arrow or Flash over Agents of S.T.U.P.I.D. Or S.H.I.E.L.D., or what have you. Yes, Daredevil was awesome, but I’m not going to let one season of one series give Marvel total victory in the field of TV.

As far as movies, it’s Marvel. All the way, no question. Seriously, have you LOOKED at the film trailers? When did “I need NVGs to see the film” equal serious content? I know “grim and gritty” is supposed to be a thing, but I don’t think they meant it literally – it wasn’t supposed to describe the cinematography. Also, “grim and gritty” originated as a catchphrase with ADAM WEST. It was supposed to be irony. Obviously, irony is lost on some people unless it’s a tire iron to the head.

4. Vanilla. Chocolate is sticky and gets everywhere.

. Oh, you meant to eat? Still vanilla. Chocolate never tasted right to me.

The eminently-sensible Amanda Fuesting replies:

Babylon 5 or Star Trek?

I have never had the pleasure watching all of Babylon 5, so I’m going to have to go with Star Trek by default. The important question here is Kirk or Picard, and I am going to have to vote for Kirk. I am mildly concerned about how many offspring he probably left across the universe. I may change my mind when I finally get through all of Babylon 5 though.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

I am going to have to vote for Star Wars, but if I ever have children they won’t be allowed to watch Star Wars until they are old enough to understand why Jar Jar Binks should have been shot at the first possible opportunity. I also firmly believe that Episodes 1-3 are an abomination and should have never been made at all, or at least not made by Lucas. The original Star Wars movies are just awesome. Lightsabers alone would seal the deal; but there are epic space battles, space princesses with guns, and Han Solo.

Marvel or DC?

Marvel all the way. Their movies are way better, they don’t even pretend that all of the comics are consistent, and the heroes just kick more butt. I wanted to be Storm growing up. I had a serious crush on Gambit too (I love a Cajun accent). They have Dare Devil, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and the Hulk. That’s not even all of the good ones. DC has Batman, who never actually solves any problems at all because he won’t kill the bad guys.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate. This is obvious. In fact, the only thing better than chocolate is coffee, and the two are even better when paired together in sinful matrimony.

majel

I’ll weigh in because I can’t resist. First, why pick? Majel Barrett was in both!

If I had to, Babylon 5 Seasons 1-4 over Star Trek. (JMS was a bit burnt out by Season 5 and it showed.) Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, & 6 over Star Trek. Star Trek (any series) over Episodes 1, 2, & 3. (I owe the inventor of Jar Jar Binks for developing The Most Annoying Character in the Universe — yes, even more annoying than Elmo. Why? Because when my son discovered Jar Jar during his kindergarten years, he thought it would be the best thing in the world to grab an iPad and show me videos of Jar Jar. For hours. Over several months.

I can’t say anything that comes to mind when I think about that as this is supposed to be a family publication.

Marvel or DC? DC made me smile before I was about 10. The earnestness of the old Superman is something we all can use. After that point, Marvel. Why? Because they wrote characters. Don’t hold me to that rating too tightly. Marvel got weird on things and I just don’t enjoy convoluted soap operas.

Chocolate or vanilla. Really? You have to ask?! I agree with Amanda, both mixed together!

Ok, if I have to pick one, it would be chocolate. It is, after all, the food of the gods. Really. Go look up its botanical name, theobroma cacao.

Before I go, though, I have to add an answer from my ever-elegant and succinct friend, Alain, who says, “Worf. Your answer is Worf. He is the vanilla Klingon, the chocolate Starfleet officer, who served on a Babylon 5-like station to fight a star war against an evil empire. The only answer you need is Worf.”

Aaaand, that’s a wrap for today, folks! Have a great weekend and remember, if you need to know, you can Ask a Geek Anything in the comments below. In fact, please do! We need your questions to keep this show going.

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6 comments on “Ask a Geek Anything 15

  1. The limits are too constricting. How about considering StarGate?
    Gals — a young Richard Dean Anderson
    Guys – Amanda Tapping.

    Seriously, ten seasons, 2 spinoff series, full length movies And at the end they flay a freaking city from one GALAXY to another!

    Yes, they had some annoying characters, but sometimes those annoying characteristics became saving points. Think: whiny Rodney grousing over every inconvenience, then death and destruction threatens – and he says the day.
    Or snarky John “screw the man” Shephard who matures amazing once he becomes the man.

    And the tech: Extremely ancient, but decipherable by smart and focussed geniuses such as Samantha Carter (Tapping) and Daniel Jackson. Helped with nonchalant comments by the ever inscrutable Teal’c.

    What’s not to love?

    And then there’s Amanda Tapping ….

    Liked by 3 people

    • sorry for the typos. Pain + pain meds makes for a confusing scrambel]]amfnjs, zzzzzzz

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    • They can’t have Stargate because it would win hands down. It’s unfair. Like doing “Batman or Marvel.”

      Seriously– it’s Urban Scifi starring MacGyver!

      And a lovely variety of male eyecandy. General Harmond is the only one I can think of that wasn’t rather attractive to a teen girl.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excuse me. Farscape. John Crichton and Aeryn Sun.

    (I liked Andromeda, too, up until the fifth season, but I don’t think it could win in this context. Although who doesn’t like Hercules in Space?)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Amanda Fuesting:

    You really need to see all of B-5, including the movies. (you can skip Crusade though).

    Star Trek set the bar for TV SF, no questions there, but Babylon 5 raised it.

    Sincerely, a ST and B-5 fan.

    ps, Sorry, guys, Star Gate doesn’t reach the bar, especially after they killed Daniel only to bring him back a year later. What is this, Dallas in Space?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Babylon 5 had to rush to combine Seasons 4 & 5 into Season 4, because they weren’t renewed, then got reprieved / renewed for Season 5 after the damage was done, and most of the stuff for Season 5 was expanded postscript. Hell, the last episode of Season 5 was actually the last episode filmed during Season 4, and replaced in season 4 after the renewal. Still superior to ST & SW.
    Star Trek’s Federation from the TOS would have tried, convicted and executed the characters from TNG for crimes against sentient life for what was done in the name of “The Prime Directive” in that series (though, episodes like “The Inner Light” brought me to tears). DS9 was a pale imitation of B5, but had more heart than TNG, and Voyager was like Stevie Wonder playing darts, in terms of hits and misses. Most of the people that complained about “Enterprise” did so because it wasn’t the Marxist utopia of TNG. The retcons to TOS were minor, compared to TNG’s. Frankly, I prefer Shatner’s Star Trek novels with two of the Voyager/Enterprise writers over the official version of Star Trek post-Generations.
    Star Wars suffers the same problem as Trek. Episodes 1-3 were awful, most of the novels/comics after the Solo kids hit puberty were worse. I still think that Disney should have kept most of the stuff from the pre-Thrawn area as at least semi-canon.

    Marvel vs. DC depends on medium and era. Too much of the judging is in the “What have you done for me lately?” mindset.
    If you ignore TV & movies, the two were at their best in the mid to late 80s. Marvel had hard-hitting down pat, while DC had supernatural and comedy covered – though there were exceptions. The Legion of Superheroes & New Titans of the 80s were every bit as good as anything Marvel had – the CN people who thought Teen Titans GO was a good idea need to be fed into a wood chipper. And remember that V for Vendetta, Watchmen and The Dark Knight were products of that era, even if their politics were skewed by their writers’ beliefs they were still good reads.
    Both went downhill hard in the 90s, Marvel first, then DC when they felt they had to ape Marvel. The only “Good” thing from either since were the series where Marvel had characters breaking the 4th wall. Marvel wins the 60s, DC the 70s, both based on the work that Jack Kirby did for each.
    For TV & movies: You can’t trash DC for the Superfriends without admitting that Spiderman’s 80s show was just as bad, if not worse. 90s Batman & X-men cartoons were equally good. Wonder Woman & the Hulk were relatively equal for 70s-80s fare, as long as you discount the awful Hulk sequels. You think the Batman live-action TV series was bad, look at the attempts at animated FF and other series and movies by marvel from the period. The only thing going for Marvel in the 60s & 70s was the oft-parodied “Spiderman” theme song. For every good item in the 80s, 90s and the movies before Iron Man, like the first two Superman movies and X-Men movies, you had Superman III & IV, and X-Men III, the first Hulk movie and Dolf Lundgren as The Punisher. Even the two Spiderman trilogies have caused fights among friends over which one sucked and which one was good. What the clone saga did to poor Gwen actually made me GLAD they wrote her out of Toby’s version.

    So for me, the comics are a draw, DC wins TV adaptations, and Marvel wins the movie race. Which would give Marvel the edge from exploitation of their properties alone, as DC just shot itself in the foot with that atrocious NOT-Superman movie, the New 52 reboot, etc. Of course, Marvel is now in the process of trying to self-eviscerate to keep up with DC with a reboot – makes me glad I stopped buying comics 8 years ago.

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