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The Sci-Fi Expendables: We Recruit The Ultimate Team Of SF Badasses

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Sly Stallone and damn near every other aging action star on the planet took to the big screen again this past weekend in The Expendables 3. We can take that franchise or leave it, but we do have to admit we love the concept of uniting a team of utter badasses from assorted franchises we know and love (or love to hate). So let’s eject Stallone, Statham, and the rest and instead assemble the ultimate Sci-Fi Expendables team, the first and only people you need to call if you need some dirty deeds done right (but not dirt cheap). The GFR team put our heads together to figure out who should make the team, and after some arguing, a lot of swearing, and one really undignified slap-fight, we came up with 16 candidates…the same number of folks on the Expendables 3 poster. Here’s who made the cut.

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When you first met Sarah Connor, she was a meek, mild-mannered waitress just sort of floating aimlessly through her life. Encounters with a vicious, single-minded cyborg from the future, sent back to hunt you down so your son is never born, have a way of changing that. Over the course of the first two movies in the Terminator movies, Sarah transforms into a serious action star, teaching herself all manner of combat and survival skills, actively seeking out any and all knowledge that might help her in her one-woman war against Cyberdyne Systems and a future ruled by human-hunting machines. Basically, she’s a perfect addition to your team of mercs, and will always be working to improve her already ample skill set and add to the team.

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Star Trek Author Perfectly Shuts Down A Homophobic Reader

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Star TrekWhen you write, especially in a public forum, you open yourself up to all kinds of criticism. Some is legitimate, still more is knee jerk reaction, and then there are the people who just want to yell at you and be dicks. (Internet comments sections can be great places for writers and websites to interact with readers and open an honest dialogue, but they can also be the basest cesspool of humanity, like the guy who told a friend he hoped he died in a car crash because a video on his website wouldn’t play, or the feminist-leaning site having a problem with anonymous rape gifs.) Sometimes writers yell back, but sometimes they also deliver the perfect, well thought out replies, like the case of Star Trek writer David Mack who responded to a distressed homophobic reader.

Mack is the author of a number of Trek novels across a variety of incarnations of the show. In his most recent book, the Deep Space Nine adventure Harbinger, there is a lesbian relationship between and Klingon spy and a Vulcan. Encountering such a connection enraged one reader so much that he took it upon himself to write to Mack the following message:

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Check Out This Tractor Beam Made Of Water

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tractor beamIf Star Trek has taught us anything, it’s that beaming things up is totally awesome. I wouldn’t mind beaming over another cup of coffee as I sit here right now, and that’s just for starters. Small strides have been made in the creation of real tractor beams (we’re talking microscopic). But here’s a new and interesting twist on this futuristic bit of technology: create it with water.

This is another one of those discoveries that shouldn’t work and has baffled, albeit happily, the scientists working on it. Professors Michael Shats and Horst Punzmann of the Australian National University figured out that wave generators, which you may have seen in swimming pools and smaller wave pools, can move objects floating in the water. But here’s where it gets weird: wave pools can move those objects against the waves.

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Unused John Alvin Poster Art For Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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Star TrekIf you’ve noticed that there’s been a ton of unused poster art for various classic movies floating around lately, it has a lot to do with the impending release of The Art of John Alvin, the legendary artist responsible for creating the iconic posters for the likes of Blade Runner, Gremlins, and Predator, among many others. The book doesn’t come out until August 26, but there’s even more to gawk at between now and then, including these two unused posters from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

The 1991 film follows the crew of the Enterprise in a race against time after the Klingon moon Praxis explodes (Star Trek, as a franchise, is rather fond of blowing up entire planets), and they find themselves embroiled in a deep, militaristic conspiracy. The Undiscovered Country is also notable because it features Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) as the captain of his own Federation vessel, the USS Excelsior, something Takei talks about as an important moment in his personal and professional in the documentary To Be Takei.

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Star Trek: Prelude To Axanar Short Film Warps Onto The Interwebs

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There have been a lot of Star Trek fan films over the years, of varying styles and quality. Productions like the Star Trek Continues and Star Trek: Phase II webseries have combined fannish enthusiasm and even actual Star Trek veterans to tell continuing adventures of the Enterprise crew. But Star Trek: Axanar may be the most ambitious fan project yet. The goal is to create an original independent Star Trek feature film, one which boasts production values that can compete with some smaller Hollywood films. The first step was to create Prelude to Axanar, a 20-minute short film that serves as a proof of concept and stepping stone to the planned full-length feature film. Prelude to Axanar is now finished and online, and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty damned impressive. You can watch the full 20-minute film on the Axanar Kickstarter page (it’s not embeddable, sadly), and you can check out a trailer for Prelude up top.

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Comic(s) Relief: Star Trek/Planet Of The Apes Crossover Is A Thing That’s Happening

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ApesWhile the Star Trek universe has kept to itself on the movie and TV screens, things have gotten a bit more crazy when it comes to the comic books. I remember reading a Star Trek/X-Men crossover series back in the ’90s that was just…odd. More recently, the Assimilation2 mini-series saw the Next Generation crew teaming up with the Matt Smith-era Doctor to foil the plots of a nefarious Borg/Cybermen scheme. And back in 2011 things got really freaking weird during IDW’s Infestation crossover event, which roped the original Enterprise crew into an adventure with the Ghostbusters, the Transformers, and G.I. Joe. (I didn’t say it was a good adventure…) Well, things are about to get surreal once again, because IDW Publishing and Boom! Studios have just announced that the Original Series crew will be dealing with some damn dirty apes in an upcoming comics mini-series entitled Star Trek: Planet of the Apes – The Primate Directive.

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