Dec 12 2012

Six Undeniably Cool Spaceship Designs From Science Fiction

Published by at 10:00 am under Editorials,Lists,Movies

Last Summer I saw an alien craft with my girlfriend. It was easily one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life, and I will never forget it. Also, though, I won’t really talk about it. Doing that sorta stuff just sets you up to be mocked. Instead, I will focus on something just as mock-worthy, but far more easy to swallow. I remember once, when I was a kid during the holidays, one of my relatives  asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said a space ship. I can remember all the drunk adults laughing at how “cute” that was, and I remember being so filled with rage that I could feel my little-kid face getting beet-red.

Who were they to laugh at my dreams? I wanted to fly through the solar system, blasting stray comets out of the sky in an attempt to save planets and other sentient ships. Truth is, that is still my dream.  I know it is lofty, but I do enough drugs that it is not a completely unreasonable dream to have. In retrospect, I am pretty sure the ships on this list are half the reason I ever had the dream at all. Truth be told, the ships on this list are the reason I never let that dream die. I WILL be a spaceship one day, mark my words. And the galaxy will be my b*tch. I have no idea what that means, but I have been delusional for a few days, so I am keeping it. WOOHOO, SPACESHIP TIME, YO!

The Mothership from Close Encounters

She is massive and all powerful. Rumor has it this ship inspired Oprah’s career.

It may seem odd to you for me to start a list about spaceships with a massive spaceship that only makes a minor cameo, but you need to understand, it was the scale that blew me away. I saw this movie very young, and I saw it many times as the result of being one of the few VHS cassettes we owned growing up. For me, the Mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind came to represent the passive, watchful eye of a Mother to me. And Seeing the scope of the ship as it hovers above the desert was an awe inspiring moment in film.

I know for scale, most nerds like me would go with the Star Destroyer from the intro of Star Wars, but that (undeniably awesome) scene has been talked to death at this point, and Mothership gets very little love, even though she is sweet and likes simple melodies, which no other ship on this list can claim.

Event Horizon from Event Horizon

The design for the ship was based off archaic gynecology tools. Okay, I made that up. Sorry.

If Mothership is the sweet embrace of a Mother, then the Event Horizon is the swift punch in the face from an abusive Dad. It really is the other extreme of the Mothership. A ship that feels much more patriarchal and evil in its energy. Well, that undersells it a bit. This ship is what would happen if the Overlook hotel from the Shining could fly through space. And again, some of you may fault me for putting this year, seeing as to how I seem to have a fetish for ships that just sort of sit there, floating in the sky, and not really doing much else. But honestly, a ship’s design isn’t all about exterior, people. The INSIDE of the Event Horizon was like some badass, high-tech nightmare. Gothic architecture mixed with futuristic flare. Honestly, there is very little like it in all of science fiction.

That unforgettable moment when you finally reach a spaceship’s G-spot.

To convey “cold and badass” on the outside is one thing, but to help further that with the interior design really pushes that feeling and makes it that much more believable to the audience. And for all the cool, good-guy ships that seem to permeate science fiction, it is nice to have a huge, lumbering serial killer in there, just sort of waiting for its next victims, hovering in the darkness like a hungry angler fish would, flicking its light, just so.

Slave 1 from Star Wars Series

There is a sticker on the back that says “Carbonite for LIFE!”

Picking one ship from the Star Wars universe is such a massive challenge, for a multitude of reasons. One, you know no matter which one you pick, someone is going to tell you that you suck and picked the worst one. Star Wars fans are fickle like that. Two, it is almost like trying to pick a favorite child. You sort of love them all so much that, no matter which direction you go, it’s Sophie’s Choice. Yes, I just compared picking a favorite spaceship in Star Wars to picking which one of your kids you would let die at the concentration camps. Told you in the intro I have been delusional for a few days, just ride it out. I heard I am fun when I am like this. Yet, it was the voices in my head telling me that, so take it with a grain of salt.

Anyway, Slave 1 was Boba Fett’s ship, as most of you are well aware. And even though he kinda fell into the mouth of a big hole with teeth in the desert (spare me your extended universe ‘he stayed alive down there then shot his way out” garbage. As the original writer penned it, he fell into the Sarlac pit and died the most anticlimatic death EVAR!) but still, his ship was badass to the max. I mean, what is up with that shape and how it shifts itself when it flies? Cooltastic times EXTREME! His son would later have a similar ship or something, but honestly, who cares?

Starbug from Red Dwarf

Now that is a ship you can hang out and share a pint with.

This one may rile some feathers, but it will also bring some Red Dwarf fans out to support me, so I will gladly take the risk.

While some may not think of the Starbug as particularly “badass”, you have to note the originality of the design, which is why I placed it on the list. While most science fiction spaceships pride themselves on looking sleek and futuristic and fast, Spacebug has always struck me as the spaceship I would most likely own. I mean, if you guys think writers actually make money, you have some real disinformation about the field. I would naturally assume if I ever had space bucks, which we all know is what you call money while you are in space, realistically, I wouldn’t have a lot. And you know a used Spacebug would be just within my range, which I am more than happy with.

Also, just by mentioning it here, I hope Red Dwarf finds some more love, because that show was awesome, and doing funny sci fi is just something Brits do marvelously.





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15 responses so far

  • http://blackowl.blogspot.com Dan

    Cygnus from “The Black Hole.” Whatever flaws that film had, the ship and robot designs were visually stunning.

  • Kevin

    Serenity…from Firely?

  • Caleb K

    The Prometheus was a pretty sweet looking ship too.

  • Gary

    Space Cruiser Yamato..the ship is based on the Battleship Yamato it is not a Aircraft Carrier.

  • http://remycarreiro.com/ Remy Carreiro

    @Dan, good call!
    @ Kevin, Serenity is mentioned, read harder!
    @Caleb, I am one of the six people who liked Prometheus (gasp) so I agree with you on that point.
    @ Gary, looked like an aircraft carrier to me, sorry. Mine eyeballs are sometimes off in their assessments.

  • Jim

    You’re just gonna leave us hanging with no details on a story about seeing a UFO? Tsk tsk.

    Anyway, I’d go with Alex’s ship from Last Starfighter and the Thunder Road from Explorers. The latter is just awesome in its homemade clunkiness.

  • trashcanman

    Yamato wasn’t based on the battleship of the same name; it was the exact same battleship dug up and refurbished for space travel to inspire the people of Earth with an “invincible” ship that was originally sunk the first time it left port…. I’d have gone with the Titanic. How could you leave out the flying saucer from Plan 9? You suuuuuuuck. Also, fellow commenters, let us now mock this Remy Carreiro character’s close encounter of the troll kind where he claims to have seen an alien craft irl and then acts like he doesn’t want to talk about it as if he didn’t just bring it up himself completely unprompted. I keed, I keed. Sammy Hagar has stories about aliens too and if it’s cool with him, it’s cool with me.

  • mark

    SDF-1 from robotech/macross, that bitch was a double aircraft carrier that turned into a robot….drool (pun intended, hope you got it)

  • Matt UK

    Good to see Starbug and Red Dwarf getting some love here.

    I do think Moya from Farscape should have made the list too though.

  • http://remycarreiro.com/ Remy Carreiro

    @Trashcanman,
    You have become my proverbial anchor. Where once, we stood on opposite sides of the fence, we now share one side. I, for one, am quite grateful for that side. You never fail to make me laugh, and at the same time, point out how much I suck, which, oddly enough, I have actually started to learn from.
    In most cases, you are pretty spot on, TBH.
    I actually didn’t want to bring up the craft we saw (kind of clear to see I added that at the end of the article), but brought it up to subconsciously prove to myself my girlfriend doesn’t read my articles, or else she would have said something. Next week’s article. All The Celebrities I Intend To Have Sex With Behind My Girlfriend’s Back. I have a feeling it wont be well received, but it will be undoubtedly cathartic for me.

  • Andrew L.

    No love for the Hitchhiker’s Heart of Gold? That ship has the best propulsion system ever!

  • Matt

    Starship UK from ‘The Beast Below’ – it’s built on a Star Whale for heavens sakes… (Doctor Who S05 Ep 02)

  • Amy

    Only because I am a huge Red Dwarf fan and only because your articles rock, you said Spacebug twice instead of Starbug. I am disappoint. That ship has been through some shit, yet it couldn’t even defend itself. How they lasted so many episodes on it while “looking for Red Dwarf” was beyond me lol

  • Chris H.

    The day you are mocked for believing in something as undeniable as alien life existing is a sad day indeed. Isn’t it narcissistic to think we are the ONLY ones in the whole universe?

  • http://littlespaceship.jimdo.com littlespaceship

    Thank you for this article, i love this ships also!

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