Category Archives: Top 10s

5 Best Capitol Ships

From Star Destroyers to Dreadnaught heavy cruisers, no fleet or task force of any galaxy-wide organization is complete without a handful of capitol ships. But not all cruisers are created equal; a Victory-class really can’t compare to a Venator-class, no matter how well equipped it is. These are the 5 most advanced capitol ships from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

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#5: Malevolence

Manufacturer: Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps/Pammant Docks
Model: Subjugator-class heavy cruiser
Class (length): heavy cruiser (4845 meters)
Affiliation: Confederacy of Independent Systems (aka Separatist Alliance)

General Grievous’s flagship possesses twin ion pulse cannons capable of blacking out entire capital ships in one shot. It has around 500 twin turbolasers to destroy the ships the ion blast disables. It’s hanger has space for an unknown amount of Vulture Droids, at least one landing shuttle, and Grievous’s starfighter, the Soulless One. The main inconvenience of the Malevolence is that it has an all-droid crew made up of mostly B1 battle droids–not the brightest warriors or commanders.

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#4: Finalizer

Manufacturer: Kuat Entralla Engineering
Model: Resurgent-class battlecruiser
Class (length): Battlecruiser (2915 meters)
Affiliation: First Order, Knights of Ren

The Finalizer is shared by Kylo Ren and General Hux. It is the most powerful destroyer in the First Order navy by far, being almost twice as long as Imperial-era warships. It had over 1500 turbolasers, multiple turrets, ion cannons, and tractor beams, complete with two full starfighter wings consisting of First Order TIE fighters, Special Forces TIEs and a hangar for transporters and Kylo’s shuttle.

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#3: Chimaera

Model: Imperial II-class star destroyer
Class (length): Star destroyer (1600 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire, later New Republic

At first glance, a 1600 meter dead-average Imperial star destroyer may not seem like much, but it was one of the finest warships in the Imperial fleet after upgrades done by its captain, Gilad Pallaeon, such as proton torpedo launchers, upgraded shields, space for six TIE fighter squadrons, and a cloaking device. After the death of Emperor Palpatine, former Chiss Ascendancy member Mitth’raw’nuruodo, or Thrawn, chose it as his flagship after he got promoted to Grand Admiral, due to the ship’s unbroken record of efficiency and thoroughness. In the years following the reorganization of the Empire, the Chimaera was the most feared and dangerous ship in the galaxy.

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#2: Executor

Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
Model: Executor-class star dreadnaught
Class (length): Star destroyer/battlecruiser (19000 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire

At 19 kilometers tip to tip, Executer-class destroyers were the largest and most powerful ships the Empire ever created, considered super star destroyers along with a few other classes. The Executer was the personal flagship of Darth Vader during most of the Galactic Civil War. Under Admiral Piett, it served as command ship in the Battle of Endor and trapped the Rebels between the new Death Star and the entire Imperial Fleet. It was destroyed after a bomber squadron rendered its forward shields useless and A-Wing pilot Arvel Crynyd flew into the unprotected bridge. Piett lost control and it smashed into the Death Star.

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#1: Ascendant Spear

Manufacturer: Sith Empire
Model: Terminus-class destroyer
Class (length): Star Destroyer (unknown; >1600 meters)
Affiliation: Sith Empire

The Ascendant Spear was considered a superweapon because of its unique and outstanding capabilities. It had a Class 0.5 hyperdrive like the Millennium Falcon’s, only over fifty times more powerful due to the size of the ship, making it the most powerful hyperdrive ever built; similar ships built thousands of years later were hardly half as fast. It possessed a megalaser, which fires a concentrated energy blast powerful enough to destroy large ships in one blast. While that’s impressive, it’s not the best part. The entire ship could be piloted through bionic implants by one individual, not as a tool to control but as an extension of the body. It is rumored that the creator, Darth Mekhis, could operate the entire ship on his own, but Darth Karrid, a powerful Sith Lord, could only operate it with a steady stream of energy from her apprentices combined with her own connection to the Force, and only for a short period of time.

8+1 Best Supercars of 2017

Sports cars aren’t enough. The Z06 Stingray is losing it’s flashiness. Rich people want more. So automakers around the world invented the hypercar: the ultimate road legal track car–engineered for performance, whatever the cost.

I’m skipping the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow/Lightening concept because it’s not road legal, and the LaFerrari FXX K and McLaren P1 GTR because they are track cars, not road cars.

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9: Lamborghini Veneno and Veneno Roadster

The Veneno, named after a fighting bull like all the other Lambos, is a heavily upgraded Adventador with little room for error. It costs 4.5 million USD.

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8: Bugatti Veyron

While it no longer holds the world record for the fastest car ever, 254 mph (409 km/h) was no mean feat in 2013. It cost more or less $1.5 million. Nontheless, the 4044 pound heavyweight is ready for an upgrade, and the Chiron might not be enough.

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4: McLaren P1

McLaren’s ultimate series tops the charts in almost every way. The P1 GTR is the brand’s number one racing machine, and its road version does not disappoint. It’s price tag is “only” $1.4 million, which is better than many others on this list.

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6: Hennessey Venom F5

Hennessey seems to be trying to beat it’s own record set by the Venom GT. The F5 is estimated to hit 290 mph–a new world record by far. Bugatti’s reign is long over, and the Chiron won’t make a difference. Hennessey plans to keep this monster exclusive by limiting it’s number and increasing it’s price, but the numbers are unknown.

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5: Koenigsegg Regera

The newest upgrade from the Agera looks sleek and sporty, but that’s not all. Koenigsegg is confident to shred the road-legal top speed record by over 20 mph, clocking in at over 290.

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4: Bugatti Chiron

The brand’s newest upgrade from the Veyron came a long way, but was it wasn’t long enough to retake the world record speed from Hennessey. It costs a jaw-dropping 2.65 million USD, and certainly delivers some good performance. It’s not bad for a heavyweight monster car.

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3: LaFerrari

The LaFerrari (not Ferrari LaFerrari; just LaFerrari) came around in 2013 and still is the brands most exclusive supercar. It’s the continuation of the F40 line–F40, F50, Enzo Ferrari, FXX-K, and LaFerrari. Enzo would be proud.

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2: Lamborghini Centerario

A Lambo is an unlikely contender for second place, but this one earned it. The company wanted something special for a tribute to it’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, and they did it. The Centenario finds the perfect balance sporty and stylish that is hard to find in today’s supercar lineup. Only 20 will be made, costing $1.9 million.

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1: Hennessey Venom GT

This car really deserves to be in the top spot. In 2014, the Venom GT set the record for the fastest-two seater ever made at 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h). It’s convertible counterpart clocked in at 265 mph, making it the fastest convertible to date. Only 29 were made, costing “only” 1.2 million USD each.

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0: Koenigsegg One:1

There isn’t supposed to be a zero in a top ten list. But the One:1 has to get a place, and first was already taken. This car has precisely one to one horsepower to kilogram of curb weight ratio, a feat previously considered impossible. The legendary ratio has finally been achieved by an out-of-the-way brand only seen in car shows and video games, when even Ferrari failed to get it done. It’s time to up your game, supercar companies.

5 Interesting Details in Star Wars Movies

These are five geeky details that will make question  everything you thought you knew about Star Wars, and make you stop and think next time you see the movies.

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#5: The hallway

You can’t deny it. Rey is standing in the same hallway as Luke was, though it got some major upgrades. The hallway in the third picture is slightly different but still bears resemblance. Whether it has any significance is unknown, but it is worth keeping an eye out.

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#4: Maz’s history

You probably already spotted the Mandalorian logo on the banner in the top center, and Boba Fett’s symbol next to it. But other flags have strange and unexplained logos on them. Suns, fighters, and what looks like a sketch of a distorted ear can be seen on some, and others are hidden from view. Some fans suggest that the castle was a Jedi Temple, which would explain why Rey got a Force vision so easily there. Others think it was another non-Force using society Maz was a part of, their logo being displayed directly above the Mando skull in blue. Hopefully The Last Jedi will explain.

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#3: Voices of the past

Rey’s vision might have been the most interesting and mysterious scene in The Force Awakens. There are a lot of things to dissect in a very short period of time, but what stands out the most is the voices that can be heard in the background. It doesn’t take a lot to hear Obi-Wan’s voice saying “Rey, these are your first steps.” But if you listen carefully, you can hear Luke screaming as Vader cuts his arm off, Yoda lecturing him on Dagobah, and Vader’s mechanical breathing. Some even claim to hear the Emperor’s voice, but that might be a little far-fetched.

 

#2: The Skeleton Effect

That sounds creepy, and it is. In Return of the Jedi, you might have noticed some strange reflections in Vader’s helmet right after he dumped the Emperor into a bottomless pit. If you look closely or just pause video, you’ll see that the reflections clearly outline a skull. If that wasn’t weird enough, you can see the same thing in Windu’s face as he’s being burned by the Emperor, and that can’t be a reflection. What it is and how lightening creates it remains a mystery.

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#1: Foreshadowing of Anakin’s fall

The “Squid Lake” bubble writhes and swirls during the performance, but as Palpatine tells the uplifting story of the murder of Darth Plagueis, something more sinister begins to appear–the top of Vader’s helmet. As he continues, you may even hear Vader’s breathing for a second or two. Later, as Anakin kills Dooku, the same distorted breathing can be heard clearly.

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The Best Ralph Mcquarrie Star Wars Concept Art

Ralph McQuarrie was hired by George Lucas to create concept art for Star Wars. He is responsible for the look and feel of A New Hope, but his influence didn’t stop there. The Force Awakens used many of the pieces left over from the original trilogy, and even the prequels, though Doug Chang was hired for The Phantom Menace.

Here are the 12 best pieces of Ralph McQuarrie concept art:

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12: Ewok village (I’m making these names up. McQuarrie didn’t name them).

Apparently this…monster…inspired Yoda’s look. It’s hard to tell whether the ewoks are small or the monster is big, but it’s cool either way.

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11: Imperial Walkers

This is not the first drawing McQuarrie made of ATAT walkers, and probably not the most iconic either, but it really captures the feel of the walkers. The unused creature is a bonus. The rocks to the right are in a shadow–maybe there is a cave. It would make sense to run into a cave where the walkers can’t follow.

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10: Original Millennium Falcon

The cockpit was the only part used in the film. The design may have inspired the Tantive IV.

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9: Cloud City

Despite what they did to it in the movie, this picture makes it seem like a architectural wonder and a really expensive high-security capitol building. Maybe it would be if Vader and his sadistic thugs hadn’t holed up there.

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8: Millennium Falcon 2

this is the version McQuarrie made after Lucas told him what he liked and didn’t like about the old one. It really captures the feel of the scene where it’s introduced.

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7: Snowspeeder

This was before the harpoon idea, apparently. The AT-AT looks even more menacing now that there is nothing else in sight.

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6: Luke vs. Vader, version 2

This is easily the most iconic Star Wars scene. It’s also a pretty convincing futuristic alien cityscape given that it was made in the ’70s. And it’s just as dizzying as it was in the movie.

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5: Mos Eisley Cantina

C-3PO and a short version of R2 (inspiration for Chopper?) can be seen at the far left, along with a Tatooine sandtrooper. In the center, what would later become Han Solo is facing an idea for Greedo with Nightcrawler’s triangle shaped* tail, holding Padme’s gun. There is also a creepy owl sitting at a table.*

*   /\ Illuminati confirmed. Whoever they are, McQuarrie knows something.

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4: C-3PO

It’s hard to imagine that 3PO was ever this graceful, or that R2 walked instead of rolling (look at the footprints. They’re not continuous). But apparently Tatooine has two moons as well as two suns.

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3: Mos Eisley Lookout

This drawing inspired the landspeeder, C-3pO, Zam Wessel’s sniper rifle, the dual sunset scene and the Mos Eisley spaceport, while setting an empty, desolate scene with seemingly little of interest. It makes a good desktop wallpaper on a computer.

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2: X-wing vs TIE fighter

In one picture, McQuarrie invented the two most iconic starfighters and the Death Star trench run. The design for the original X-wings were slightly altered because of the limited budget for the film, but The Force Awakens incorporated it for the new T-70 X-wing.

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1: Starkiller vs Vader

This is one of the first drawings McQuarrie made for Star Wars. It’s also one of the most famous, as it inspired Darth Vader’s look and invented the lightsaber.

Based on the pictures above, can you tell which one of these is from Ralph McQuarrie?

The answer will be in next week’s post.

Comment if you think you know!

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Top 10 Bounty Hunters

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 1.51.06 PM.pngFrom ex-jedi to droids–yes, droids–bounty hunters are one of the most awesome parts of Star Wars. The Clone Wars did a good job of bringing them to center-stage, and Rebels brought back many favourites.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.53.45 PM10: Zam Wessel: Darth Sidious ordered Count Dooku to assassinate Padme. Dooku hired Jango Fett, Jango in hired Zam Wessel, Zam made a droid do the job. The droid dumped two toxic worms in the window to kill Padme. Obviously that failed, but Zam is still a pretty cool bounty hunter–and a shapeshifter.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.47.32 PM9: Aurra Sing: Aurra Sing was supposed to be a Jedi padawan, but her training wasn’t going well. Apparently, she had an argument with her master and decided she had had enough of Jedi. She defected from the Order, and became a bounty hunter. She was a natural-born leader, succeeding in commanding the team of bounty hunters after Sugi, and worked for young Boba Fett in his quest for revenge on the Jedi.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.56.43 PM8: Asajj Ventress: Ventress was a dark side acolyte, but the Rule of Two prevented her from becoming a true Sith. After a skirmish with a former ally Savage Oppress, she defected from the Seperatists to become a bounty hunter. Using her twin bent-hilted lightsabers and force powers, she became one of the most successful bounty hunters of the late Clone Wars.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.00.19 PM7: Bossk: If there is one thing we can’t forgive a villain for, it’s hunting wookiees, and that’s exactly what Bossk does in his spare time. The reptilian has been seen in the Clone Wars hunting wookiees and working for Boba, in The Empire Strikes Back hunting Han Solo for Vader, and even in Rebels! “Given the size of your mortar gun, and the way you don’t mince words, it’s my impression that you’re a professional bounty hunter.”―Ezra Bridger.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.01.45 PM6: Dengar: Dengar was a bounty hunter who used sheer firepower to eliminate his enemies. He thought very highly of himself, which was only partially justified by his nearly unbroken track record. He used a combination of mini-grenades, his blaster rifle, and deadly skill to take down almost any foe. In Twin Engines of Destruction, Dengar and Boba Fett worked together to track down a fake who stole Boba’s identity.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.59.27 PM5: IG-88: though not the only one, IG-88 is one of the very few droids who “escaped their programming” and became bounty hunters. He is no doubt one of the greatest bounty hunters ever; his chief rival for capturing Solo was Boba Fett. He is a modified IG-86 sentinel droid made from–uhh, recycled Mos Eisley Cantina parts left over from filming. Really, google it. Nonetheless, he’s pretty dang awesome.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.05.50 PM4: Embo: There’s nothing bland about Embo: a bowcaster, a pet anooba called Marrok, an undecodable language, and downright colorful appearance. Not to mention the hat that doubles as a shield and triples as a snowboard. Though a quiet individual, he is completely ruthless when it comes to capturing his bounty. During the Clone Wars, his skills were second only to Cad Bane. <<You’re outmanned, laserblade.>>

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 12.45.33 PM3: Jango Fett: Having several million clones is not the only thing that makes Jango awesome. Extreme bounty hunting is really his thing; he knows that his clones will be for the Republic and that it was a Separatist who hired him, so he was willing to start a galaxy-wide war, as long as he gets payed. Besides, a guy who fights his own clones in his spare time has to be in the top three.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.16.48 PM2: Cad Bane: Bane is one of the most notorious bounty hunters ever, going to massive lengths to achieve his goal. Breaking out of a Republic prison, kidnapping force-sensitive children pretending to be a jedi, infiltrating the Jedi Temple to steal a holocron, and holding the entire Senate as hostages are just a few highlights from his eventful career. Plus, he also has a genuinely evil droid, Todo 360. “I’ll take on any job…for the right price.” – Cad Bane.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.19.23 PM1: Boba Fett: clone, bounty hunter, son of a mercenary, and Mandalorian. Boba was raised as a bounty hunter by a bounty hunter to become a bounty hunter. Capturing Han Solo and bringing him to Bespin was only one out of many jobs he completed. While he was young, he and a gang of other bounty hunters tracked down and nearly killed Mace Windu, the Jedi who killed his father. In Twin Engines of Desruction, he and Dengar tracked down and killed a fake pretending to be Boba. In addition, he’s the only person in the galaxy who dares to question Darth Vader.

Dengar: “So, did Cass Yllek get boogled out by your sarlacc scars? Those things’l probably never go away. No wonder you never show your face.”

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Bonus: 4-LOM was originally a protocol droid, but somehow “escaped his programming” to become a bounty hunter. He modified himself to work like an insect. He also busts the myth that IG-88 is the only droid bounty hunter.

Not mentioned, but still pretty cool: Seripas (little dude in the big bad suit), Greedo (did not shoot first), 4-LOM (protocol droid gone bad), Onyo Wren (Sabine’s sister).

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Top 7 Clone Troopers

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 11.12.27 AMMandalorian warriors, soldiers of the Republic: these are the best clone troopers from the Clone Wars, ranked. Sorry, no Republic Commandos!

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 10.14.12 PM7: Thorn: A shocktrooper commander who fought and died on the planet Scipio, Thorn is a force to reckoned with. When the Seperatists launched an invasion, Thorn’s battalion fought to the last man. Thorn was the last one standing, using his blaster carbine at close-quarters like a club, but was surrounded and gunned down by a squad of B2s. “For the Republic!”- his last words.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 10.11.30 AM6: Gregor: Gregor was a clone commando who crashed on a remote planet called Abafar not long after the Battle of Geonosis, and suffered from amnesia. He remained there, unaware that he was a clone, until a Republic ship crashed on the planet. He sacrificed himself for the safety of the envoy. We assumed he died there…until he showed up in Star Wars Rebels!

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 10.10.30 AM5: Ninety-Nine: CT-99 is more than just a defect. He supplied the 501st Legion with weapons at the Battle of Kamino, where he lost his life. Ninety-Nine proves that you don’t have to be perfect to be a hero. Echo even gave him a clone army graduation medal. “He really was one of us”- Rex.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 10.13.28 PM4: Fives: CT-5555 “Fives” was best known for uncovering the problem of a fellow trooper’s (Tup’s)  malfunctioning biochip that caused Tup to execute a jedi long before Order 66. Besides that, Fives also fought on Umbara next to Rex and the 501sts and helped in the execution of Pong Krell, a jedi turned to the dark side. He and Echo were promoted to ARC after the battle of Kamino, another battle where Fives was a major player.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 3.50.01 PM3: Wolffe: the commander of Wolfpack, a famous division of the 104th battalion, Commander Wolffe served under Jedi General Plo Koon. From Kavado to the Malevolence, Wolffe has seen it all. He lost his right eye to Asajj Ventress’s lightsaber on Kholm. (He later installed a cybernetic implant.)  Personally, every time he takes off his helmet, I’m surprised at how young he is.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 3.47.30 PM2: Cody: A seasoned veteran affiliated with the 7th Sky Corps and the 212th Attack Battalion, Clone Commander Cody is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s most trusted ally. Even after having served under him for years, (“Come on, general, have I ever let you down?”), Cody mercilessly executes Order 66, attempting to kill Obi-Wan with an AT-TE walker’s laser cannon.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 3.45.32 PM1: Rex: When someone says “clone trooper,” Rex is probably the first to come to mind. Serving under both Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, he commanded the feared 501st Legion, and led the attack on the Jedi Temple next to Darth Vader. Rex fought in the battles of Bothawui, Felucia, Saleucami, Umbara and Kamino, just to name a few, and showed up in Star Wars Rebels.

What did you think? Did I miss anyone? Tell me in the comments. Until next time, “Vode An!”