Blog Archives

The Rule of Cool (or “How the Jaeger Program Happened”)

Pacific-Rim-robotINT WAR ROOM-NIGHT

(Three men cluster around a table, viewing images of the Kaiju attacks on San Francisco and elsewhere. They are the PRESIDENT, DOCTOR THINK, and GENERAL COWBOY)

PRESIDENT: Well, gentlemen, we need a response to these giant monsters. Our planes and tanks aren’t cutting it.

DOCTOR: If I may, Herr President, I believe the primary difficulty lies with the fact that our pilots are shooting the giant monsters with machine guns and flying so close to their bodies that they can be struck by the beasts.

GENERAL: What? You want ’em fly way up in the sky, like sissies? Up close – that there is how a MAN fights!

DOCTOR: If you possess a vehicle that can fly thousands of feet in the air, why would you feel the need to give the giant beast a haircut? Also, Mr. President, we should be shooting missiles at them, not bullets.

PRESIDENT: The missiles haven’t worked, Doctor Think.

DOCTOR: We could build bigger missiles. We don’t even need to put them on planes, actually. Terrestrially-based missile silos could support ordnance of sufficient dimensions to render a Kaiju of even twice this size completely…

GENERAL: Blah, blah, blah! That’s all you eggheads ever do is flap yer gums when it’s time to do something. Well, Mr. President sir, I’ve got a plan. What if we built giant goddamned robots – really big fuckers with cool-ass names like…uhhh…Danger Stan or Super Tower Piledriver!

DOCTOR: Why would we do that? We barely have such technology developed, and the expense would be…

GENERAL: Now’s not the time to penny-pinch, poindexter! We need us some big ass robots to beat down these big ass beasties in some kinda gawd-amighty throw-down. (makes jabbing motions) Pow! Whammo! Biff! Foom!

PRESIDENT: Are you suggesting that the robots will punch the monsters?

GENERAL: Fuck yes! How awesome would that be?

DOCTOR: What you are suggesting is engaging in hand-to-hand combat with giant creatures that will be both faster and better suited to such things. It is pointlessly risky and expensive, not to mention impractical.

PRESIDENT: The Doctor does have a point.

GENERAL: Listen, I got it all planned out – we just get the robots to link with our brains, right? You eggheads can figure that out, can’t you? That way the robot will move just as fast as the monster, and then it’ll be martial arts chop-socky against alien monster brawn. (makes karate chopping motion) HAI! Badass, yeah!

DOCTOR: One person’s brain will be overloaded by this. We’ll need two people at minimum to operate one body for a made-up pseudo-scientific reason I am citing right now. The challenges to finding two people suited to do this with each other will significantly decrease the numbers of robots we can field.

GENERAL: Bah! We’ll just have them fight each other with sticks. Believe me, brother, once you try and bash a guy’s face in with a stick, you’ve seen into his fucking soul, amirite? (to president) High Five!

PRESIDENT (leaving GENERAL hanging): Stick Fighting?

DOCTOR: The stick-fighting plan is irrelevant. The point is that this is the stupidest possible way to fight these creatures. You are engaging them on their own terms! They emerge from the water – do we propose to make these robots able to swim?

GENERAL: Why swim when you can walk? Look, fellas, you’re missing the *point* here. This would be AWESOME! The guys that beat down these things will be such studs they’ll be able to score in a convent! Who doesn’t want to watch a giant fucking robot wrassle himself a big-ass sea monster?

DOCTOR: I presume you would give the robots claws and teeth and such. At minimum, giving them a centauroid structure to lower their center of gravity will…

GENERAL: No, no, NO! No teeth, no claws, none of that shit. These robots need to be saleable in toy stores, and nobody wants a hero with giant fangs. I guess we can give them a sword, but all pilots should be trained not to use the sword except in dramatically appropriate moments. Punching, fellas – this is all about the punching. OOO! We could even put rockets on their elbows to…

DOCTOR: Could we give them poison spines?

GENERAL: No!

DOCTOR: Electrify the hull?

GENERAL: Then how could they wrestle? No!

DOCTOR: Could we at least make them fly?

GENERAL: That’s why we have dozens and dozens of helicopters on stand-by!

DOCTOR: You know, we could have the helicopters armed to assist…

GENERAL: Nope! Wouldn’t be fair. We want a classic throw-down, understand? Like in the movies.

DOCTOR: Surely, Herr President, you see how foolish this idea is.

PRESIDENT (scribbling in a notebook): So, General, what do you anticipate the licensing revenue would be for these things…

DOCTOR: That’s it. I’m going back to Austria, where we will never, ever see a Kaiju. Good luck, idiots. (exit)

THE END

The Trouble With Giant Robots

So, in honor of Pacific Rim (which is getting really good reviews and I may just see now), let me present this old post of mine presenting the realistic problems with having Giant Robots for real, no matter how cool they are. Anyway, enjoy or not:

Auston Habershaw

Most of the guys I know who grew up in the 80s love Voltron. To be honest, I don’t really get it. For me, the deal breaker has always been that he is made out of five robot lions and that, at the end of pretty much every episode, he destroys the robeast with the blazing sword, which always begs the question ‘why didn’t he just immediately become Voltron and draw the blazing sword? What isn’t that his go-to strategy?’ I really hate it when characters are stupid exclusively to create conflict. I don’t mind if a character is naturally stupid all the time, I just hate when anybody’s asked to hold the ‘idiot ball’ just so the opposition can make things interesting. Come to think of it, that’s a lot of what this blog is about. Maybe I should change the title…

But I digress…

There’s a bigger problem with Voltron, of course…

View original post 1,557 more words