In this continuing series, DVD Critics Corner looks at some really big things featured in some of cinema’s greatest movies. Your opinion of what is big will differ of course, but this isn’t about you. This is my thing. Can you let me have this please?
Part One – Huge Spaceships from Huge Movies!
A wise old Jedi Master once said “Size matters not.”
Poppycock. You heard me Yoda. Poppycock.
Face it, if you want humans to tremble at your feet, you don’t dispatch one itty bitty TIE fighter to hover menacingly over Washington D.C. And if you’re travelling halfway across the universe on a mission of peace, one of those compact Day the Earth Stood Still flying saucers might get better gas mileage, but they’re kinda boring to look at and I hear the headroom sucks.
When it comes to spacecrafts, you either go big or you go back to your weirdly named home planet.
Let’s take a look at some big spaceships from some big sci-fi movies.
As Seen In: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Key Features: Tons of space, window shattering sound system.
The Skinny: Those little alien guys from Steven Spielberg’s classic film really knew how to travel in style! This ginormous ship is a wonder to behold, but be sure to keep your sunblock and shades nearby because this ship is brighter than an M.I.T. valedictorian. And keep your distance from the occupants of this Mothership, because they like to kidnap humans and take them for really long rides.
As Seen In: Independence Day (1996)
Key Features: Superior defense shields, frickin laser beams, no firewall.
The Skinny: While the happy aliens from Close Encounters came bearing gifts, the hugely pissed off aliens from Independence Day come bearing Armageddon in the form of a 15 mile wide ship with a death ray guaranteed to erase all of those unsightly blemishes from your skin and the skin of everyone else in your city. And state. Fortunately for the human race, these big skulled buggers didn’t count on two things; Jeff Goldblum’s amazing hacking skills and a flying Fresh Prince.
As Seen In: Spaceballs (1987)
Key Features: Ludicrous speed capabilities, Shopping Mall, Zoo.
The Skinny: Taking over 90 seconds to enter the frame at the beginning of the movie, Spaceball One is big. Seriously big. Perhaps President Skroob (Mel Brooks) and Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) are trying to overcompensate for something? I really can’t say, but I for one am happy with the size of the ship that God gave me. Spaceball One’s greatest feature is its ability to transform into a robot maid, which marked the first time a giant transforming robot made an audience laugh. Then 20 years later, Michael Bay unleashed Transformers on the world, and we laughed even harder.
As Seen In: Star Trek-The Motion Picture (1979)
Key Features: Twelfth-power energy shields, plasma discharge weapons, really big memory card.
The Skinny: Do you like your spaceships big and brainy? Well then have I got a craft for you! When it comes to big, V’Ger wrote the book. In fact, if V’Ger was a book, it would be a 32 volume set of the Encyclopedia Britanica sandwiched between a large print Websters Dictionary and a copy of the United States Tax Code. V-Ger is essentially a giant hard drive, storing tons of info on its quest to return to earth and report back to “the creator.” And when V’Ger finds out the creator is William Shatner, it freaks out and explodes. That’s probably what will happen to me if I ever meet Shatner. He’s freakin’ awesome.
As Seen In: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983)
Key Features: 5,000 turboblasters, room for 38,000 ground troops, meditation chambers for chillaxin’.
The Skinny: Boo-yah! When it comes to hugeness, nobody tops the Galactic Empire. The Executor was the flagship of the Imperial Navy, and Darth Vader spared no expense in making sure his personal Star Destroyer was loaded with every factory option in the book. You want turbo blasters? It’s got em. You want ion cannons? It’s got em. You want a powerful deflector shield that protects the bridge from being destroyed by a dinky little rebel fighter? Um, I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you on that. Regardless of it’s design flaws, The Executor is one bad-ass bucket. If I was going to enslave a galaxy, it would be my choice of ride hands down. Never try to enslave a galaxy in a 1984 Datsun 210. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know.