Top 5 Romances/Couples/Relationships in Sci-Fi!

About a week ago, I was asked by my friend Andrea (who runs things over at deflectordish.com) to come up with a top 5 list of sci-fi romances. I had some questions for her and decided to come up with just really memorable relationships in sci-fi, whether they be romantic or not. Although most are. Anyway, you can find Andrea’s list that she has provided on her site here! Be sure to check it out.

Here is mine:

5. Rose and Ten: These two perhaps never were romantic on screen. But man did they love one another. Their love was so strong that Rose tried to come back through the time rift to find the Doctor. But their love started the way all love stories start…an alien who looks like a human comes to Earth in a blue police box that is bigger on the inside and whisks a girl away and shows her the world. Rose is the skeptical girl who wants to believe there is so much out there, but has been let down so many times that she just no longer believes it. It is almost like Aladdin or something. Jasmine (Rose is not a princess, but forgive that) is jaded and along comes this dude who can fly her around the world.,.instant love. We get to know this alien, known as the Doctor, more and more and then one day, poof, he dies. But then, he comes back and is different and is hansom and funny and quirky and vengeful and all these things and Rose just falls for him. Now, that is nothing new. A lot of companions fall for the Doctor. But what makes this so special is that the Doctor fell for Rose! The problem is, when he finally realized his feelings, he was just a little too late and…well, she was gone. And the Doctor, as tragic as he is, had to move on and keep living without her.

Memorable moments: riding around on that scooter in the pink skirt, that last scene where he almost gets to say “I love you”

4. Wash and Zoe (Firefly): These two are far more silly. A perfect example of the Olive theory…two completely opposite people complimenting one another perfectly. Zoe is a battle hardened soldier, a veteran of the war, and a no non-sense type of officer. Her husband, Wash, is a clowning, laid back pilot who got the job mostly because no one else was available at the time. But he did have a long list of references. The two grew to love one another and were eventually married. They were the ‘classic’ love on the ship Serenity in Joss Whedon’s show Firefly. The two of them were brilliant together and fun to watch. The episode Wash question’s Zoe’s love for him over that of her Captain’s is still one of the best episodes that show had to offer. Zoe, of course, chose Wash in the end.

Memorable moments: the scene they first meet, Wash’s tragic death

3. Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft): These two! With a love this complicated, and quite frankly, truly epic, how were they ever going to miss the list? A love that spans years and planets with bloodshed and war, somehow these two met up and fell in love. But that, my friends is just the start. Kerrigan was a ghost, a special forces agent who would go into hostile territory to scout and, if need be, nuke a planet. Raynor was a rebel, someone who was content minding his own. But then the war happened. And the Terran (human) race had to band together under the rule of Arcturus Mengsk. Mengsk betrayed Kerrigan, leaving her to die in a swarm of Zerg, an evil alien race. Joke was on him however, as his betrayal forced Raynor to leave the Terran dominion to find Kerrigan, who was now a human/zerg hybrid. Following with me so far?

Kerrigan goes on a rampage of revenge, doing all she can to destroy her enemies, chief among them, Mengsk. Her rage burns so hot that she basically kills off any rivals to her own army and then starts unleashing war on anyone in her way. Raynor tries to get through to her, and eventually, does find her. The thing is, despite the way she looks and the things she has done, Raynor still loves her. He loves her with all his heart and Kerrigan even loves him back. Which makes the last scene of the most recent game so heart breaking. Kerrigan finally, with the help of Raynor, gets her revenge on Mengsk. And just when you think Raynor and Kerrigan can finally settle down with one another, he looks at her and he knows she has to go. They can’t be together. At least not now, not the way the world is now. And he knows he has to let her go. And they both know they have to keep fighting so they CAN be together. A whole race of the universe will have to be wiped out first so these two can finally be with one another. That, my friends, is literally Epic.

Memorable scene: Kerrigan being overran, Raynor finding Kerrigan, Raynor letting her go.

(Nerdy tie in: The voice of Kerrigan is that of Tricia Helfer who plays Caprica 6 on Battlestar Galactica. Caprica 6 is on Andrea’s list making her the only person to have two different characters on our lists.)

2. Han Solo and Princess Leia (Star Wars): You know the only thing I have to bring up is this simple but powerful exchange:

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Wow. Be still my heart. Han the hansome rouge and Leia the warrior princess…these two had no business being together at all. But fate, or random events and choices, however you look at the world, brought them together. And, well, the rest is history. We all know this story, so just watch this and know that I am right on this one:

Memorable scenes: “Who’s scruffy looking?”, “Hold me.”

1. Admiral William Adama and President Laura Roslin: The slowest building relationship out of all of these, these two had to wait and wait and wait until they could not only admit their feelings, but until they would ALLOW themselves to feel these feelings. Adama was in charge of the safety of the fleet and every human left in existence  The President was in charge of making sure the human way of life was some what preserved and that we didn’t fall victim to killing ourselves. Those two tasks, given the fact that humans were continuously being chased down by robots trying to kill them, seemed like they would take up about 100% of your waking hours. But as there was starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel, these two relaxed a little bit and started to grow into one another. They even talked about finally finding Earth and building a small cabin together where they could live out their days. When Roslin was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, it was Adama who came down to read to her. And it was Adama who waited for her in a raptor by himself with no guarantee she would ever show up. These two were so damn heart warming and heart wrenching. Two people that started off as adversaries jockeying for control of the last remaining humans, figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of one another, then starting to grow together and finally starting to love one another. It was a beautiful thing to watch unfold on screen. Finally, as Roslin passes away, we see Adama content in life and start work on his cabin he promised her. Ugh, my heart.

Memorable moments: These two dancing at colonial day, Adama waiting in the raptor, Adama introducing Roslin to a thunderous applause.

Remember, your trip through space relationships is not done yet! Punch it over to the deflector dish to see more love among the stars!

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Top 5 Fictional Characters That Could Make Awesome Presidents!

With the election coming up, I figured it would be a fun exorcise to throw out some fictitious candidates from all over different mediums and see who you guys think would make a good president. Here are 5 candidates to mull over:

1. Tyrion Lannister – He might be a little person, but this guy has wit and brain power. He comes from a wealthy, famous family. He is able to handle money and could probably solve the debt crisis among other things. He might not be the best public speaker or handler of people, but he is exceptional in budgeting as well as military strategy. He is also not above asking for help and deferring to other, more knowledgeable, people. His running mate would be Bronn, who would serve as VP and be involved in the formation of a military.

Tyrion and Bronn

2. Tony Soprano – Now you might think that Tony Soprano would fail as a president because of his track record, but this guy can run an organization. He understands management practices and how to maintain and nurture connections. He ultimately just wants to do good business and put his family in the best possible position to succeed. Perhaps his background is a little shady, but he always seems to make the right choices…at least for his organization…which in this case would be the USA. Silvio Dante would be his running mate, who can keep Tony’s anger in check and also provide wise, outside the box council and take care of anyone that doesn’t agree with the new regime.

Tony and Silvio

3. Splinter – Sure he was born in Japan, but it was on a military base (or at least I am going to assume so for this argument). Splinter is wise, caring, calm and a wonderful father figure, which is just what this country needs. He would be an immediate calming influence in the political world, someone who doesn’t jump to conclusions and can hear out both sides of an argument before passing judgement. If he raised 4 mutant teenagers in the sewers of New York City, how hard could dealing with some old men sniveling over a gun law be for Splinter? Donatello would run beside his sensei and be a problem solver and spearhead a revolution in the way we view and use technology.

Donatello and Splinter

4. Gandalf – This dude has literally seen it all before. A war hero, he comes highly recommended for the job. He has declined being a leader many times, citing that he doesn’t want the spotlight, but this time he was finally talked into taking control. A man who is wise but still powerful, Gandalf would lead peace talks all over the world, and other countries will listen. He is also going to seek out all possible race relations, including those with elves and dwarves. But anyone that tries to spread darkness in the world, look out. Gandalf will end it swiftly and violently. Aragorn would be his VP. Many of you might think Aragorn would be the better figure head, but Aragorn is content with being with his family and helping behind the scenes instead of up on the podium.

Aragorn and Gandalf

5. Jack Shepard – A medical mind and natural leader, this candidate is looking to further our sciences. When he speaks, people tend to listen. He is an attractive man but tends to shy away from that to put the betterment of the group ahead of personal satisfaction. He does his best with the information presented to him and makes informed choices. He surrounds himself with experts that he has spirited debates with, but also listens to. Perhaps a little stubborn at times, but also quick to apologize. Schooling is important to him and kids will be educated far better than they are now. There will be medical advances taking place as well as other sciences. John Locke, some would say Jack’s polar opposite, will help bring balance to Jack’s campaign and hopefully win the faith based vote for him. It remains to be seen if Jack and John can coexist.

Shephard and Locke

Other candidates to consider:

Andy Dufrane/Red – Help organize our budgets as well as cut down on the imprisoned.

Greg House/Cuddy – Truly objective look at the issues in the oval office and someone that would never cater to a political party.

President Roselyn/Admiral Adama – They steered the last remaining humans to safety from the evil Cylons. I don’t see why they couldn’t do it again.

Professor Charles Xavier/Beast – Think of what they could do for human/mutant relations!

Palpatine/Darth Vader – Sure they failed to stop some terrorists from blowing up a huge building with small, flying ships that ended thousands of lives…but hey, they deserve a second chance right? Oh…wait…

So what do you think? Who would you vote for? Any other candidates you want to throw into the mix?

Top 5 Board Games to Play!

Today’s topic is the top 5 board games! Board games have certainly advanced with age. I remember playing Sorry with my father and he would make the same jokes every damn time. Now I play much more advanced board games, but the concepts are still the same. An activity with friends or family that provides healthy competition as well as a ton of fun.

Today’s guest lister is Adam Boucher. He is a friend of mine that went to UW-Oshkosh but I never met him until I moved out to California. He is a fellow gamer. While we don’t play card based games, the two of us tend to battle in board games. I consider him a most worthy adversary and he has opened my eyes to new games and new strategies. I love playing against him. Adam also has his own web page, you can visit it here: http://urbancharlie.wordpress.com

Here is Adam’s top 5 list of his favorite board games:

5. Last Night on Earth – It has scenarios, encourages co-operative play and creative thinking, and expansions. Despite some people saying the rules are broken, my fellow players and I have always had fun with it.

Last Night on Earth

4. Bootleggers –  Head- to-head play with collusion and deal making encouraged, historical setting, easy to set up and play. Simple rules and simple execution.

Bootleggers

3. Battlestar Galactica – Playing includes team strategy and deductive reasoning, plus a lot of accusing and finger pointing. Also, I like the setting.

Battlestar Galactica

2. Arkham Horror – I like AH for a lot of the same reasons as  LNoE. Just a different flavor. The biggest difference between the two is that all players are on the same side.

1. Heroscape – This game is pretty open ended. You can play teams, or head-to-head. You can draft an army or prebuild one. It has built in scenarios or you can make your own. You can make your own maps. It’s out of print, but with the right amount of cash or creativity, new adventures are always right around the corner. Plus, I have sentimental reasons for this one. I can’t look at the the blue container it’s stored in and not think of my good friend, Tom, who I don’t get to see often enough, and I miss him all the time.

Heroscape

Here are my top 5 Board games (since Adam did his in descending order, I will do mine that way as well):

5. StarCraft – You might be thinking, “Why play a board game that is based off a computer game and you could just play the computer game easier?”…Well, the answer is simple: StarCraft could be modeled after anything really, because the game itself is sound. It is a lot of fun, the mechanics of placing orders and moving troops and building are all awesome. It tends to get a tad clunky with fighting, but most of the time it works out just fine. The games tend to be a little longer, but once you get the hang of the turn structure, the games can fly.

4. Small World – This is a really fun and really silly game. You basically take fantasy races like Hobbits, Trolls, elves, Giants, or skeletons (to name a few) and you conquer places on a map to collect gold. But the map itself is super small, so you are always stepping on the toes of other players. It gets crowded quickly and people tend to hold grudges. The game moves super-fast and can be played in about 30 minutes.

Smallworld

3. Battlestar Galactica – My favorite game where everyone starts on the same team, and then peoples alliances, motives and views of one another shift, often times quickly and harshly. In this game, everyone starts out on the same team, and then cards are drawn at random and all of a sudden, there are secret Cylons amongst you. Working in secret, the Cylons try to sabatoge the human players before the humans find out who they are. It becomes a race against time, resources and each other as everyone is a suspect and tempers tend to flare. A truly brilliant board game.

2. Sorry – Sentimental reasons, this was the game of choice in the Leinenkugel household. It is easier than Monopoly, shorter than Risk and easily playable by a kid over a game like Scrabble. For some reason my father really liked this game and I can still see him drawing a card and studying the words on it. Then he would carefully count out the number of squares in front of his pawn with his finger before going back, getting the pawn and bouncing one of my tokens back to the start. He would then look up, smile with that know-it-all grin as if he planned everything and would say, “Sorry”. He was so proud of himself in those moments.

1. Game of Thrones – Set on the continent of Westros, This game is my favorite because of how it is set up. It is a game that has almost zero luck factor. Almost everything that happens can be controlled one way or the other. Every choice that you need to make will affect the outcome of the turn, and then the game. This means that when you win or lose it was because of choices you and the other players playing made. It has all the strategy of Risk, the secretiveness of Battlestar, the suspense of StarCraft and the politics of, well, the politics seem to be unmatched in any other game I have played thus far. Also, the game itself really isn’t that hard to pick up once you start playing.

Game of Thrones

My honorable mention would have to be Star Wars Epic Duels. It is a super fun, fast moving game set in the Star Wars universe.

There are two lists for top 5 board games! What is your list? Leave it down below and feel free to discuss ours lists!