POC: Nicholas Eftimiades. Science Fiction Intelligence Files
China Announces New Nine Million Dash Line
(Beijing, 22 July 2016) Today China declared its “indisputable sovereignty” over the planet Mars and revealed its nine million dashed line clearly showing China’s sovereignty over the planet. At a press conference, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the following quote:
“The planet Mars was first detected by Chinese scholars thousands of years ago; well before the Greeks. This fact is not in dispute. Because this is not documented in the Western word is inconsequential. Mars is also Red, showing it clearly belongs to our beloved Socialist System with Chinese Characteristics. Any attempt to dispute this fact is just another example of foreign hegemonic behavior and attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs. We urge the United States and other nations to correct their behavior and beg forgiveness from the Chinese people.”
There can be no refuting this, claimed the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it pushed back against continued U.S. and Russian exploratory landings on the heavenly body. “The peaceful Chinese people have tolerated foreign incursions on our Martian soil for far too long. Foreign entities should correct their inappropriate behavior.” Minister Yi also noted that along with the U.S.; the Indian Space Research Organization has put a reconnaissance satellite around Mars for military purposes.
U.S. Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week called the Mars sovereignty issue “a leading diplomatic priority.” Chinese Foreign Minister Yi subsequently called her comments “virtually an attack on China” and said U.S. intransigence “can only make matters worse and more difficult to solve.”
“China has indisputable sovereignty of the South Sea and China has sufficient historical and legal backing” to underpin its claims, Geng Yansheng, a Ministry of Defense spokesman, told reporters at a military compound outside Beijing today. It opposes efforts to “internationalize” the issue and will resolve differences through “friendly negotiation,” he said.
The Chinese government considers the entire Planet of Mars and any empty space up to it as its own, dismissing claims from the United States and other countries, and is building an space-going fleet to project power beyond its earthly borders. China told the NASA, the European Space Agency, and RosCosmos, to halt exploration anywhere in China’s sovereign territory which extends from Beijing to and around the Red Planet, according to U.S. government agencies.
Yi said at length that the issue should be discussed when all nations recognize China’s irrefutable claims. “The United States is attempting to coerce nations into blowing out of proportion the Mars sovereignty issue,” the state-run China Daily said in a July 20 editorial. “This is a irresponsible and dangerous move. It will jeopardize the status quo on Earth and in space; one that is built upon peaceful coexistence.”
This series of articles examines the multiple facets of espionage and its role in determining the outcomes of the most significant military engagements in recorded history.
The Battle of Endor took place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The events leading up to this epic confrontation illustrate the significant impact of intelligence in determining the outcome of space based military conflicts.
The poorly equipped Alliance to Restore the Republic (aka Rebel Alliance) was an insurgent campaign attempting to overthrow the autocratic ruling Galactic Empire. The rebellion effort included numerous star systems over multiple galactic sectors. The two opposing forces executed intelligence functions at strategic, operational, and tactical levels.
The conflict at Endor was the most important engagement of the Galactic Civil War. It precipitated the decline of the Empire with the deaths of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Darth Vader, and several senior Imperial officers. It also resulted in the destruction of the second and upgraded Death Star, a significant capital investment and warfighting capability for the Empire.
Endor was a catastrophic intelligence failure for the Rebel Alliance at strategic and operational levels. Rebel intelligence had superior basic military and tactical intelligence. Much better proficiency was demonstrated and greater success achieved employing intelligence at tactical levels. The Galactic Empire was able to execute a strategic deception campaign and extraordinary Operations Security (OPSEC).
The planet of Endor was a gas giant located in the Endor system of the Outer Rim Territories’ Moddell sector. It was orbited by a forested moon of the same name. Plans for the battle began after the Rebels learned that the Empire was building a new Death Star above the forest moon of Endor. The Rebel intelligence believed: 1. that the station was protected by a powerful deflector shield projected from a base on the moon; and 2. the station’s weapons were not yet ready for service. The Rebels also learned from the Emperor’s data-pad, stolen in the Battle of Korriban, that the Emperor was personally supervising the Station’s final stage of construction.
In fact, the status of the Death Star weapons systems, the role of Palpatine in overseeing construction, and the disposition of Imperial forces in the area of operations were a strategic deception campaign. The Emperor himself directed the campaign to provide the Rebels with information on the construction site, the location of the planet-side shield generator, and misinformation on the station’s operational status.
The most notable aspects of this strategic deception campaign were the Empire’s strong OPSEC and the Rebel Alliance’s poor intelligence analysis. At a minimum, the Empire’s OPSEC successes included the following:
- Hiding movement of their Imperial Flagship Executor to the Death Star Area of Operations
- Hiding deployment of other strategic fleet assets such as Darth Vader’s personal fleet, Death Squadron
- Reinforcing Death Squadron strength to over thirty Star Destroyers
- The existence of the Death Star at Endor
Operational status of Death Star’s weapon systems
- Deployment of the 501st Storm Trooper legion to the Moon of Endor
- Imperial invasion fleets on the borders of the Calamari sector and Mon Mothma’s homeworld of Chandrila.
Rebel Alliance Intelligence collection assets should have detected at least some of these indicators. If in fact these indicators were detected, Rebel intelligence analysts should have been able to correlate and analyze that data and detect either the Empire’s trap or the threat in Calamari sector. So there was either a major failure in collection, analysis, or both. Whatever the actual lacking, the Rebel Alliances’ failed intelligence almost cost them the war.
The Rebel Alliance made its own attempt at strategic deception by launch an attack on Imperial forces near the planet of Sullust. This strike was intended to lure Imperial ships away from Endor. Emperor Palpatine said to Darth Vader that he was aware of the Rebel fleet movement but considered it inconsequential as his plan was to crush the rebellion at Endor. This statement implies the following about Imperial intelligence capabilities:
- The Alliance knew enough about the Empire’s collection capability to know it would detect its fleet movements near Sullust.
- Imperial forces had sufficient intelligence collection to determine Rebel fleet movements near Sullest (as both Vader and the Emperor were aware of them).
- The Empire had determined Alliance had plans to attack Endor.
Palpatine found the Rebel’s fleet movements irrelevant because he had devised a strategy to maintain the majority of the fleet close to Endor. There, the fleet would provide security and support for the second Death Star instead of engaging the Rebel Fleet, a strategy not revealed until the commencement of the battle above Endor’s forest moon.
What the Empire gained in Strategic Deception, Intelligence, and OPSEC they lost in counterintelligence and Information Assurance. Although the Imperials successfully led the Rebels into a trap, they were unaware that the Death Star was actually controlled by the bounty hunter droid IG-88A. In the early stages of construction the last IG-88 series droid prepared to launch a revolution. The Artificial Intelligence transferred its consciousness into a duplicate of the Death Star’s computer core. When the Empire installed the core, IG-88A controlled the Death Star. Had the Rebels not destroyed the station, the end result would have been as bad if not worse for the Galactic Empire.
Operating on false intelligence the Alliance planned its two-pronged attack. A commando team, led by General Han Solo would land on the moon in a stolen Imperial shuttle and disabled the base’s deflector shield projector. The Alliance Fleet, led by Admiral Gial Ackbar and aided by Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon, would destroy the battle station.
Prior to the battle, Rebel Alliance Chancellor Mon Motha briefed pilots and ground assault crews on the details of the Endor operation. The Alliance learned that the space station was orbiting the forest moon. Details included technical schematics of the station infrastructure indicating the most probable location of the primary target, the Station’s ‘power grid”. The technical information was limited in that it did not provide exact location requiring the Rebel fighters use sensors to detect the power source.
As part of her presentation Mon Motha noted that the space station data came from Bothan spies and that ”many Bothans died to bring us this information”. It is poor OPSEC for Mon Motha to identify the the specific source of the intelligence reporting as Bothan spies. Doing so jeopardizes Bothan spies currently operating against the Empire. Had the Empire had a recruited asset or technical surveillance in the briefing room they would have known the exact plans and timing of the Rebel attack. In addition, the Empire would have likely begun investigations and counter espionage efforts against Bothans with access to the Empire’s military plans, intentions, and especially capabilities. This would be done in an effort to identify any additional Bothan spies.
The Empire might have even taken action against the entire Bothan population. Imperial military leaders have taken extreme retaliatory measures against entire population groups. In addition, measures against population groups suspected of espionage are common in history. On the planet Earth (Milky Way, Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha) during the Second Punic War the Romans learned that the City of Carthage was debriefing traveling merchants to gather intelligence. They responded by slaughtering thousands of Carthaginian traders, merchants, and sailors over a few days. Similarly, at the start of a major conflict, a country called the United States imprisoned a racially different segment of its citizens for fear they would be used by their country of heritage for espionage or sabotage.
Neither the Empire nor Alliance appeared to have any knowledge of the indigenous occupants (Ewoks) of the forest moon. Local area knowledge is a critical component of Preparation of the Battle Space. This proved to be a tactical advantage for the Rebels and a critical failure for the Empire. After allying with the Rebels, the Ewoks provided safe “tree” houses, food, and combat support to the Rebel assault team. Most importantly, they provided critical tactical intelligence identifying a secret entrance to the shield generator facility.
The Alliance Fleet exited from hyperspace and moved to attack the apparently un-shielded Death Star. General Lando Calrissian noted that the ship’s sensors were not detecting the shield or its residue left after deactivation. This fact meant that the Empire was jamming the Alliance attack force. This information provided by the ship’s sensors has three intelligence implications:
- The shield was still active.
- The Empire knew Alliance sensor frequencies as jamming is only possible if the Empire had knowledge of the frequencies. (Alternatively, the Empire could have been jamming on all frequencies but this is unlikely given the impact on their own communications and General Calrissian’s reaction upon discovery)
- The Empire expected the alliance attack.
During the space battle Admiral Ackbar ordered a concentrated assault on the Imperial flagship Executor. Several fighter squadrons began to target the Executor’s main sensors. Indicating the Rebel Alliance had basic military intelligence on Imperial ship identification and capabilities. The targeted assault on the Executor’s sensors, turbo lasers, and Command Bridge led to disabling the ship. Caught in the Death Star’s gravity well the Executor was destroyed and the Station severely damaged.
In the course of the battle, the Alliance engaged the battle cruiser Pride of Tarlandia, a communications ship that was jamming (hampering) Rebel communications, and providing communications support to the Death Squadron. Alliance tactical sensor arrays (Signals Intelligence, i.e. SIGINT) detected the emanations and destroyed the ship’s communications and jamming capabilities.
Throughout the battle, similar targeting of Imperial ships’ sensors, shields, and weapon systems indicate the Alliance had comprehensive intelligence on military capabilities.
The Rebel fighters, led Wedge Antilles and General Calrissian penetrated into the Station’s superstructure and attacked the Death Star’s main reactor chamber. Antilles destroyed the reactor core’s power regulator while Calrissian targeted the core itself. Death Star personnel had situational awareness of these actions and responded by flooding the area with electronic interference to hinder the Rebel’s progress and directing Advanced Tie Interceptors to eliminate the Rebel threat. Ultimately, both acts proved unsuccessful.
The Galactic Empire showed outstanding use of Strategic intelligence, deception, and OPSEC; but poor counterintelligence and Information Assurance. In contrast, the Rebel Alliance shows poor OPSEC but strong basic military intelligence and tactical intelligence (situational awareness) in the local battle space.
- Star Wars: Episode III The Return of the Jedi
- Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange (Why was the Death Star’s shield generator on Endor?)
- Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange Why didn’t the Rebels jump to hyperspace to escape at the Battle of Endor?
- Endor Planet Wookipeedia http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Endor_%28planet%29
- Bothans Star Wars Wookipeedia http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bothan
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: The Essential Atlas
*NOTE: This analysis does not include applications of The Force which were unverifiable at time of publication. However, it should be noted both sides claimed extensive knowledge and insights as a result of its use.
The Battle of Yavin took place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The events leading up to this epic confrontation illustrate the significant impact of intelligence in determining the outcome of space based military conflicts.
The poorly equipped Alliance to Restore the Republic (aka Rebel Alliance) was an insurgent campaign attempting to overthrow the autocratic ruling Galactic Empire. The rebellion effort included numerous star systems over multiple galactic sectors. The two opposing forces executed intelligence functions at strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Much better proficiency was demonstrated and greater success achieved employing intelligence at tactical levels.
Prior to the Yavin campaign the Rebel Alliance “Striking from a hidden base” won its first major military battle against the Empire. During that battle rebel spies managed to steal the death star plans. (Opening Credits, Star Wars: A New Hope). These two data points: Striking from a Hidden Base, and during the battle rebel spies stole the death star plans, provide keen insight into Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire’s relative intelligence and Operations Security (OPSEC) capabilities.
The Rebel Alliance struck from a hidden base. This fact means that the Empire did not have required intelligence to identify the location of those Rebel military forces. This lack of military intelligence can be attributed to poor collection/analysis on the part of the Empire, good OPSEC or strategic deception on the part of the Rebel Alliance, or some combination of these factors. Whichever the case, it does not appear that the Empire’s intelligence effort was capable enough to penetrate Rebel denial and deception operations to determine enemy unit location, size, plans or intentions.
Spies stole the Death Star technical plans during the Rebel Alliance attack. The initial credits and several references during the course of the film “Star Wars A New Hope” credit the theft to spies, not soldiers. The fact that spies acted under cover of an attack suggests that they knew what they were looking for or at least where to find important information within the Empires computer system. They also knew how to get access to that system to retrieve the plans. This fact implies that spies were in place prior to the attack in position(s) with sufficient cover and access to obtain the Death Star data. The Rebel Alliance therefore, had the Living Being Intelligence (LIVBINT – Note this can not be Human Intelligence because no humans are involved) capability to penetrate the Galactic Empire. In contrast, the Empire did not have the security or counter intelligence capabilities in place to detect or otherwise thwart the Rebel LIVBINT collection effort.
Darth Vader leads a Star Destroyer in an attack against the CR90 corvette Tantive IV. This ship is carrying Princess Leia Organa of the Royal House of Alderaan. Darth Vader demands to know where as the plans for the Empire’s Death Star while choking the ship’s captain, Captain Antilles. He states that the Tantive IV intercepted a transmission which containing the Death Star plans. Moments later, Vader also states “several rebel transmissions were beamed aboard this ship from rebel spies…”. The evidence suggests that the Galactic Empire has the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) capability to know that several transmissions were transmitted and intercepted by a specific ship. Further, the Empire knows the content of these transmissions. This appears to be a fairly robust SIGINT capability.
While still on the Tantive IV, an officer informs Lord Vader that the plans are not in the ship’s main computer. Assuming the Empire’s personnel were reasonably competent, this knowledge implies the Empire has the forensic intelligence capability to search the ship’s main computer system for files that could be hidden or erased. Vader then directs the commander to “tear this ship apart until you find those plans and bring the passengers to me. I want them alive”. The Empire will continue the search by ‘tearing the ship apart’, meaning to extensively search the ship. The fact that Vader demands to the see crew members implies that they will be interrogated for intelligence information. Further evidence to support this contention comes moments later when Vader instructs an officer to send a distress signal and then to inform the Imperial Senate that all aboard were killed. Keeping rebel forces alive while reporting then dead implies they are being kept alive for a reason.
Also on board the ship Vader also states “I have traced the rebel spies to her (meaning Princess Leia) and now she is my only link to their secret base.” The location of the secret Rebel base emerges as a new – and more important — Intelligence Objective in addition to the Death Star plans. The Empire’s intelligence collection apparatus is pretty limited if this is the only source of that information. Is there no tracking of food, weapons suppliers, fuel, etc.? Are there no LIVBINT penetrations of the Rebel Forces, supporting governments, or their supply chain?
Conversely, is the Rebellion’s intelligence apparatus and Operations Security (OPSEC) so good that they operate with relative impunity? It would appear so. The ability to maintain a hidden base as well as the theft of the Death Star plans would appear to indicate strong intelligence and OPSEC capabilities. Yet, there are still some gaps in the Rebels strategic intelligence as they are unaware that the Empire posses a significant SIGINT capability able to intercept transmissions to Princess Leia’s ship.
Other indications of the Galactic Empire’s intelligence capabilities (and limitations) are seen on the planet of Tatoonie. First, Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke (son of Darth Vader) live on this planet and are never detected by the Empire. They are two primary threats to the Empire and still they are not detected. Both have been there for several years so obviously, the Empire lacks a pervasive intelligence collection capability. Didn’t anyone in the local stormtrooper detachment ever debrief the local merchants, Jawas or interrogate the Sand People for tactical intelligence to provide situational awareness? Obi Wan seems to know Mos Eisley’s reputation “wretched hive of scum and villainy” as well as what bars to go to for the best trader pilots. This knowledge indicates he is not a stranger to the area so it’s hard to imagine he would not, at some point, be known to people in the area.
The Mos Eisley Space Port is on Tatoonie. There, Stormtroopers are searching for two droids indicating the Empire is conducting a systematic search to recover the stolen Death Star plans. A local spy discovers the droids and tracks them, Obi Wan and Luke from the bar area. The spy (he, she, it?) reports that information via a portable communications device. Moments later Stormtroopers arrive on the scene and the spy directs them to docking bay 94 and Hans Solo’s ship. The fact that a spy is in place in Mos Eisley and relays tactical information to immediate response forces indicates the Empire has some ‘on the ground’ LIVBINT collection capabilities. This is particularly interesting and would tend to indicate the Empire’s uneven performance levels of intelligence capabilities in remote areas.
The rescue of Princess Leia on board the Death Star provides additional insight into the Empire’s intelligence apparatus. The droid R2D2 is immediately able to plug in and access the Death Star’s computer system. There appear to be no security protocols such as user identification and authentication. R2D2 accesses information reports and controls some of the ship’s functions such as the garbage mashers. There also appears to be very little ‘need to know’ doctrine incorporated into this military capability. In only one case — the detention level – is R2D2 denied information as it is restricted.
The final applications of intelligence capabilities of the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance are seen in the actual battle of Yavin. The Rebel forces have exploited the Death Star plans to determine a course of action.
The Empire identifies the Rebel base on Yavin IV, a moon of the planet Yavin. This is accomplished by installing a tracking device on Hans Solo’s ship, the Millennium Falcon. This is evidence that the Empire has some intelligence tagging, tracking, and locating capability. Princess Leia is aware of this fact and yet goes to the Rebel secret base anyway. Given the rebel’s normally good OPSEC this appears to be a poor course of action.
After arriving in the Yavin system, the Empire forces calculate the exact moment that the Death Star will clear the planet and be within firing range of the moon. Similarly, the Rebels know the exact same information even as their fighters and bombers are just being launched. They must, therefore, have some technical collection capabilities within the planetary system to provide space situational awareness.
As the two military forces engage both sides report the strength of the opposing forces. In addition, multiple references are made to the locations of enemy forces. The Rebel command base notifies its forces that it has identified new signals entering into the area and that Tie Fighters are inbound. This action supports the contention that the Rebellion maintains a capable tactical SIGINT intercept capability. In addition, during the course of the battle operating forces (or Command it is unclear) report the numbers of gun turrets on the Death Star surface (20) and in the trench (10).
The Galactic Empire also provides tactical intelligence to its operating forces. During the engagement, they note the number and type of attacking forces as well as their relative locations. It is, in fact this information that compels Darth Vader to command two pilots to accompany him to attack a group of rebel fighters. Lastly, an officer speaks to Governor and Death Star commander Grand Moff Takin noting they have analyzed the Rebel’s attack strategy and that there is a threat. This analysis implies the Empire has collected, collated, and analyzed multi-source information in an on-going battle and has assessed it against the ship’s vulnerabilities. This is outstanding intelligence work given the combat circumstances. It suggests a professional, well trained, and disciplined work force.
The Galactic Empire had several failures in intelligence at the strategic level. Effectiveness of LIVBINT appears inconsistent across different operating environments. In contrast, the Rebel Alliance shows greater proficiency in strategic intelligence. Both sides appear to have equal capabilities in intelligence collection and exploitation in tactical applications. Traveling to Yavin IV while knowingly being tracked degraded Rebel OPSEC and could have led to the destruction of the Rebel Alliance.
Source: Star Wars: A New Hope
True SciFi fans must complete at least half of the “bucket list”. Of course, this list is in addition to standard reading and watching the expected movies and shows: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Star Wars series, Blade Runner, Star Trek films and TOS series, Babylon Five, Firefly, etc. Did I miss anything? Let me know your scifi bucket list.
Live long and prosper.
- Attend ComicCon in San Diego, or more importantly, DragonCon in Atlanta, GA (hosted over Labor Day)
- Attend any SciFi fan convention in costume
- Date a scifi chick (or guy if you are a female)
- Pull an all-nighter watching Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection.
- Play Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for at least three months
- Have a collection of SciFI action figures or model spaceships. Whether it’s books, films, games, toys, action figures, being a collector even briefly — is a requirement (you get points for collecting vintage figures, mint condition)
- Read at least one of each scifi books of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke. Most importantly you must read ALL five books of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy. Some say there are only four books but I include “Mostly Harmless” by Douglas Adams.
- Play scifi Board or card game. While not technically scifi, Game of Thrones, Descent, Magic The Gathering, and D&D, all qualify.
- Science Fiction Museum, located in Seattle, is the world’s premier museum devoted to science fiction. It covers science fiction literature and films. The museum also hosts a Science Fiction Hall of Fame dedicated to writers, artists, and filmmakers.
- American UFO Sci-Fi Museum in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The global UFO movement appears to be particularly popular in Wisconsin (And I thought it was Roswell). The museum features a recreation of the famous Alien Autopsy in Nevada’s infamous Area 51 and an exhibit on the supposed 1947 alien crash in Roswell, New Mexico. You can also learn about alien abductions, crop circles, and the like.
- The Doctor Who Experience Cardiff Bay, UK. An exciting interactive experience helping the Doctor, armed with his Sonic Screwdriver, to escape from his foes, fly the TARDIS and come face-to-face with some of the scariest monsters seen on screen. Features filmed sequences with Matt Smith and full of special effects. This multi-sensory experience is fun for the family and fans alike.
- The Time Machine Museum of Science Fiction, Bromyard, Herefordshire, United Kingdom. Note this is NOT the “Dr. Who Experience” that ran for so long in London. That experience is now in Cardiff (Wales) where they film the show. There is not much of a web site (not many pictures) so I can’t comment on what type of experience you get at this museum. But the museum has displays on Dr. Who, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, and Gerry Anderson’s full size puppets, dioramas and memorabilia from Thunderbirds and Stingray.
- London Film Museum Near London’s famous “eye” on the South Bank features exhibits on sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. It is called the “Movieum” and finding the unassuming entrance is a bit of a challenge. Among the exhibits are Planet of the Apes, and of course Harry Potter.
- The San Diego Air & Space Museum has a the “Science of Aliens” exhibition. The exhibition is more science than science fiction but has some classic science fiction film displays and props.
- International UFO Museum and Research Center In July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, during a severe thunderstorm. And ever since people have believed in UFOs. This museum’s exhibits include information on the Roswell Incident, crop circles, UFO sightings, Area 51, ancient astronauts and abductions. The exhibits are designed not to convince anyone to believe one way or another about their subjects.
- The Alien Zone store is probably a “must see” when visiting Roswell New Mexico. It’s got everything from alien tee shirts to shot glasses.
- Star Trek: The Exhibition is an interactive, museum-style collection of Star Trek artifacts and information. It opened in Orlando, Florida. the largest collection of authentic Star Trek artifacts and information ever put on public display. The array of must-see exhibits, spread across 10,000 square feet, includes sets, props, costumes, etc., culled from the five live-action Trek series, plus 10 films, including Star Trek (2009). More specifically, Star Trek lovers can see the life-sized ship model of the scorpion from Star Trek Nemesis, a Borg head, communicators, ship models, a Trek timeline and more, including… Kirk’s chair. Complaints that you can’t take pictures.
- Jordan’s new Star Trek themed Red Sea Astrarium will feature four hotels, Star Trek-themed attractions, and state of the art ‘space-flight adventure’ simulator ride. King Abdullah II of Jordan (who appeared on Star Trek Voyager) is sure boldly going in my book.
- The great robot battle. This is more current robotics technology but it looks like something strait out of a scifi movie. MegaBots Inc., an American robotics company, challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries to an epic duel. MegaBots wants to put its Mk. II giant fighting robot against Suidobashi’s Kuratas in a death match. (And when I say giant robots, I mean like 20 feet high.) The Japanese robotics company accepted the challenge, with one caveat: The duel will include not only giant robots shooting guns, but also melee combat as part of the competition. Stay tuned for this epic battle in 2016.
- Have lunch in Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant. This show (* It is a show!) is sensory overload as bikini-clad women fight mock battles using enormous robots. Robot Restaurant looks like something straight out of Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, with neon lights, video screens and mirrors. It is more of a costume/dance show than “robot” spectacle. “Robots” are mostly remote controlled platforms that carry the dancers.
- And finally…….Meet William Shatner. Whether at a convention, on the street, etc. Every true Scifi fan must meet Shatner at least once in their lifetime. Such an iconic figure is unmatched in SciFi circles so you should meet him just once. (By now it should be very clear I’m a Star Trek fan.)