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The Best And Worst Dads In Science Fiction

JorElKentGiven how much of an impact our fathers have on our lives — even if only by their absence — it’s no surprise that daddy issues extend all the way to the final frontier. So, we decided to take a closer look at some of science fiction’s most memorable dads, and the ways their teachings and legacies shaped their children.

As the bar against all others will be measured, we decided on a duo that represent both sides of the old “nature vs. nurture” debate: the Kryptonian Jor-El and the Kansasan Jonathan Kent. Jor-El gave Kal-El the genetic potential to do great things, and his final acts were to ensure his son’s survival even as his planet died. On the other hand, Jonathan Kent (along with Martha, of course) helped shape Clark into a true hero worthy of the name Superman. So, with Jor-El and Jonathan serving as two sides of our paternal ideal, here are our picks…

AdamaWilliam Adama in Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica’s William Adama (Edward James Olmos) is a definite believer in tough love. This isn’t a man prone to expressing his feelings and emotions; it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them, it’s just that he’s not entirely comfortable showing them off to those around him. You get that way when you’ve seen as many battles as he has, and watched many people die under your command. Though they have a relationship that can be quite contentious at times, the fact that Bill cares for his son Lee (Jamie Bamber) is never in question, and he never abandons him when the going gets tough.

In addition to being an actual, biological father, Adama also serves as a kind of father figure for the last remnants of humanity aboard the Galactica and the other ships in the armada. You can tell how he feels for them how much it pains him when something bad happens to one of the vessels under his protection.

If He Was Our Dad: Adama is the kind of father that you can certainly respect and be proud of. He has integrity, he’s a man of his word, and he has the courage to stand behind his convictions. That said, you can’t help but wish he was a little bit more open and available, both emotionally and from a practical standpoint.

Ideal Father’s Day Gift: Adama is the kind of guy who would appreciate a firm handshake, a stiff drink, and maybe a cigar. After that, he could always use a new model ship to build in his nonexistent down time.

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This Is The Best Way You Can Possibly Celebrate Your Love Of Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar-Galactica-Movie-UniversalIf you’re fond of live action role playing, are a fan of Battlestar Galactica, have some money burning a hole in your pocket, and have a passport, this might be something you want to check out. The German government is apparently setting up a massive BSG-themed LARPing session on a decommissioned naval destroyer. Just a heads up, this is based on Ronald D. Moore’s modern incarnation of the show, so you’ll want to leave your gold-plated helmets back at home.

On February 4, the German destroyer, redubbed Hesperios, a freighter that picks up and escape pod and finds itself embroiled in the human/Cylon war. The event, called Projekt Exodus, is a five-day-long extravaganza with room for 80 participants. If this is the kind of thing you’re into, I can imagine worse ways to spend a few days.

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Battlestar Galactica’s Iconic Viper Starfighters Could Have Looked Like This

VipersWhile Glen A. Larson’s original Battlestar Galactica may seem a little cheesy when viewed through cynical 21st-century eyes, it still had a helluva lot going for it. That incredible theme composed by Larson and Stu Phillips. There was the effects work by John Dykstra. And there was a foundation built by, among others, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. With a per-episode budget of a then-unthinkable $1 million or more, Battlestar Galactica hoped to right the wave of excitement kicked up by Star Wars, and so Larson and company had the canny idea to hire McQuarrie to help imagine what the world of BSG would look like. He helped create the look of the ragtag fleet and the Viper starfighters that defended it, but they almost looked very different.

Below is a McQuarrie image showing the Viper BSG fans know and love, a design that was changed very little when it came time for Ronald D. Moore to reboot the series for The Sci-Fi Channel a few years back. It’s sleek shape is perfectly suited for those unforgettable sequences where the Vipers rocket down the Galactica’s launch tubes.

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Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At The Age Of 77

LarsonSad news today as word has spread that TV veteran Glen A. Larson has passed away at the age of 77. GFR fans will likely know him best as the creator of the original Battlestar Galactica, but even if you didn’t recognize the name, you almost certainly know his work. In addition to giving us BSG, Larson’s long resume included shows such as Knight Rider, Magnum, P.I., The Fall Guy, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The sheer volume of entertainment this guy contributed to my childhood is staggering, and I’ll always have fond memories of the BSG/Buck Rogers block that I thought was the greatest thing since Cylon-sliced bread back in the day. Larson passed away Friday night of esophageal cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. On behalf of both GFR and myself personally, I’ll be raising a cup in his honor.

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How Big Is That Comet We Just Landed On? Here Are Some Sci-Fi Comparisons

Comet 67PYesterday humanity made history by successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever, thus bringing the scenario from Armageddon one step closer to becoming a reality. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which has been going on for the better part of a decade now, approached Comet 67P and unleashed its Philae lander, which touched down and started transmitting information back to Earth. It’s a momentous occasion for the species, and this ball of rock and ice hurtling through space is now the seventh heavenly body we’ve touched. We know this is a big form flying around out there, but it all sounds so abstract and can be hard to visualize. Fortunately for us, some folks out there have taken it upon themselves to put Comet 67P into a context we, as science fiction fans, can wrap our heads around.

Over at Nerdist, they took dimensions of the comet and compared it to the specs of various elements of popular science fiction, which, again, gives those of us familiar with such things a new way to think about this that makes sense to our pop culture addled brains. For instance, if you ask yourself, well, how does this compare to a Galaxy Class Starship from Star Trek? This handy image shows you just how it compares. It’s also much bigger than Deep Space 9, but is roughly equivalent to both the Borg Cube and a Federation Space Dock. So now you can picture just how big this thing is.

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Battlestar Galactica Swaps Music With Top Gun, And The Results Are Badass

One of the many things Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica reboot had going for it was Bear McCreary’s amazing score. It was by turns sweeping, epic, emotional, and evocative of the sense of mystery and wonder the show often explored. It felt like exactly the right music for the show, even before “All Along the Watchtower” entered the equation. But how would the tale of the ragtag human fleet’s search for a planet called Earth play out with very different musical accompaniment? Say, that of the classic 1986 Tom Cruise flick Top Gun. Like this:

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