Tag Archives: Trekkies

Run, Willrow Hood, Run!

1 Dec

December 1, 2010

As Groucho Marx once said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

Brilliant guy that Groucho. Also very unhappy and disappointed much of the time, but then again who isn’t? Or maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the point of that, at least as far as it concerns me, is that people take things too far. Sure, I like Star Trek. I’ve bought many of the action figures, can name most of the original episodes, and I’ve even been to a convention or two. However, I’ve never worn pointed ears, learned to speak Klingon, or memorized all the rules of Fizzbin, the game Kirk made up in episode 46, “A Piece of the Action.” It is bad enough I know all of that.

I also like Superman but can I name all the effects of the various colors of kryptonite? No I cannot. (Well, some of them…)

I have various interests, but I don’t take them too far. Do I have Dark Shadows on DVD? Yes. Do I wear a cape and fangs and claim to be a vampire like those Twilight goofs? No I don’t.

This brings me to a group that I used to think were second to Trekkies in obsessiveness but I am now rethinking, Star Wars fans.

When I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s I had every Star Wars figure. Even into the 90’s if a figure came out that I thought was cool I’d get it, and even just a few weeks ago I bought a sandtrooper figure to stick on my bookcase. Geeky? Maybe a little, but I don’t wear Clone Wars underoos and I never even saw the cartoon.

But the figures were cool, at least the original three films, but George Lucas is never finished, whether it is buying plaid shirts or expanding the Star Wars universe. And really, who can blame him, when Star Wars fans are so obsessive that they will buy anything no matter how obtuse or vaguely connected to anything even sort of Star Wars? For example, take this guy;

Sure you know him, Willrow Hood. Looks like a cool figure, right? With an Elvis-like pompadour, paunchy bulge, and pale orange jumpsuit, who wouldn’t run out and buy him? C’mon, think! He was in The Empire Strikes Back, the best Star Wars film. He was even in the pivotal escape from Bespin sequence when Leia and Lando were trying to save Han from Boba Fett, Jango Fett’s son, who was taking the carbonite- encased smuggler back to Tatooine to collect the bounty Jabba the Hutt had put on Han for dumping his load of spice – WHOA, OK, now, the point of this is to prove that I’m NOT a geek, heh heh, moving on.

Anyway, still don’t remember him? Here is the paunchy guy himself from his big scene in the film.

Didn’t see him? Don’t tell me- you blinked and missed him at the 49 second mark.

Here is his big, and only, scene again, slowed down and repeated.

Run Willrow run!


And if you still need more, here he is, ready for his closeup.

I have just given this man more attention than the film ever did.

What’s he carrying? Looks like a coffee maker to me. So I guess this guy is the barista of Bespin’s only Starbucks franchise. Your guess is as good as mine, but this is what the action figure really is according to his profile:

Willlrow Hood was a Human male miner who lived and worked on Cloud City, a floating station located above the gas giant Bespin. He worked for A’roFilter, a mining company sympathetic to the Alliance to Restore the Republic, as the head of the department responsible for dealing with the Rebel Alliance, supplying discounted Tibanna gas. Eventually, though, the Galactic Empire invaded and conquered the planet; in order to protect the Rebellion contacts Hood was responsible for, the miner took A’roFilter’s main computer’s memory core, as it contained the encrypted information on Rebel contacts. After finding the nearest disposal unit, Hood dumped the entire core, rather than risk it falling into the wrong hands; thus, Willrow Hood was able to save the Alliance‘s interests. Hood remained on Cloud City throughout the Imperial occupation, suffering imprisonment and torture but revealing nothing.

Eventually, he joined together with Tian Chyler, a former Imperial Security Bureau agent disenfranchised with the Empire who had defected, transmitting information on Cloud City‘s Imperial-run defense systems. Utilizing this information, the Alliance was able to liberate the planet from the Empire’s control. After the Rebels’ victory, Hood decided to take it easy.

Really? REALLY? Who is buying A- this story and B- this figure? Not me. this is not the sort of character to have a name, let alone a silly back story like that. If he gets a figure, a name, and a story, then so do all the guys dead on the beach in Saving Private Ryan. That’s what I’m waiting for, all 19,678 of them to get back stories.

Why won’t I join any club that would have me as a member? Willrow Hood. Who was clamoring for this figure? Who is buying it? Who needs it? This is why people hear you are a Star Wars fan automatically think you are a geek. OK, I get the point that you can’t have 18 Darth Vader’s and you need some other people around, but this guy was onscreen for two seconds carrying a coffee maker. And to make things worse, if you check around on the web, some tools have been begging for this figure for years!

My God, when will these guys discover women?

On the other hand, the actor who plays him probably never expected to be getting action figure money all these years later, so good for him, whoever he is, because no one seems to know who he was. Oh the irony.

Your Quatloos Can Help Save the Economy

23 Nov

November 23, 2010

I have long said that the economy, while bad, is not as bad as people think. Sure people are hurting, but let’s put this in a historical perspective. During the Great Depression people stood in line for apples. Today people stand in line for Apple iPads.  

The Modern Depression

As long as people still have disposable income to gobble up whatever electronic gee-gaw Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck put out, and flat screen TV’s are all the rage this Christmas, I think we’re OK.

The brings me to the newest waste of your disposable income, a manual for repairing your starship. From England, where they sound smarter because of the accent, but look dumber because of the teeth:

Yeah, that’s the ticket. The perfect item for the Trekkie on your list, a book not even noted author William “Tekwar” Shatner would bother with, but one the guy with the stained Picard t-shirt must have.

Let’s be clear. If you spend your money on this, you give up your right to complain about your bills, high taxes, or to get a loan from the bank. Clearly, you have no clue how to manage your money. If this book sells in big numbers, I’ll have faith in the strength of the economy, but no faith in the book buying public whatsoever.

(Of course, it is riddled with inaccuracies. The manual claims that on the Mark IV Jeffries Tube, the ion access is on the right and can be unbolted with standard Antares pincers. That is wrong. They are on the left and require Vulcan-metric pincers. I hope somebody got fired for that screw up.)

However, the real issue here is the blurring of the lines of fantasy and reality and economics. I am not against Star Trek, nor am I against Trekkies (and please no “we are called Trekkers” emails, please) or the buying of whatever you please. But this is too much. It is ridiculous. Who needs “a step-by-step approach to stripping the ship down to its essentials and reassembling it”?  You CAN’T strip it down and reassemble it! It DOESN’T EXIST! Put away your tool kits, tools. It is MADE UP.

Making things worse, this is published by a company that publishes manuals for things that actually exist and you can actually fix, like cars. Someone is going to turn up at NASA and demand to buy his own starship, mark my words. And he’ll be wearing a Worf t-shirt and demanding the manual translated into Klingon, mark those words too.

According to one of the authors, who is going to be laughing hysterically all the way to the bank, “It’s something I think people have wanted for a long time, a proper history that puts the Enterprises into context with one another and gives you the story of how they evolved, with each ship building on the last.”

Who? Who has wanted this for a long time? Bring me that person so I can scold him.

I want this book to come with a sticker on the cover, a disclaimer:

“I believe in fairies too, and by purchasing this book I give up the rights to grumble or complain about paying my bills ever again. I am doing my part to jump start the economy by wasting money on this book and even if I have to eat cheap sandwiches from 7-11 all week because I cannot afford food I will still be happy with this stupid book. And Kirk can totally take Picard in a fight.”

The Trekkie Bible?

But who am I to talk? Here are actual comments from the book’s Amazon page, which by the way, claims you will “find out exactly what powered these ships, how they were armed and what it took to operate them.” GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!

(BTW, I have a grammar issue- should it be “what it took to operate them,” past tense, since the Enterprise is from the 1960’s? “What it takes to operate them,” present tense, as the movies are still being aired and produced? “What it will take to operate them,” future tense, since these ships are supposedly in the future? My God, I just can’t care.)

From a 1 star review:

What a great idea. A Haynes Manual for Star Trek. If you have ever seen a Haynes manual, you know what to expect from this book—wrong!
This book is simply embarrassing. Coming from Haynes, one would expect technical details. Instead, it is just a piece of garbage intended to milk those die hard trek fans who will buy anything trek.
No, I wouldn’t expect details! IT ISN’T REAL! THERE ARE NO TECHNICAL DETAILS, unless you want to know how much glue they used to hold the little television model together.
From a 2 star review:
I’m not impressed- this is a “Hack book, made to make money off the fans” rather than an actual book of what would be expected in real life.

“Real life?” Seriously? The “real life” of a fictional spaceship from the future? Really?

From a 4 star review:
This book isn’t like Haynes manuals for real-life vehicles, with tear-downs and rebuilds, written for D.I.Y. mechanics. This is more of a novelty item, (probably intended as such).

You think?????

Anyway, go out and support the economy by buying this book. You may not be able to afford steak for dinner, but you will know how to repair the squeak in the Enterprise’s warp drive. But remember, bring Earth currency. Federation credits, Triskelion quatloos, and gold-pressed latinum bars are not legal tender on this planet, no matter what the editor of your fanzine may say.

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