Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Star Wars is Dieselpunk, and Here's Why.

So after finding out someone close to me hasn't seen Star Wars (I know, right?), I had the urge to go back and watch the Original Trilogy. While watching I began to notice that the films have a distinct "Dieselpunk" style. Probably due to the films drawing inspiration from Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

Now for those of you asking... What is Dieselpunk?

We are all familiar with Steampunk, is a post-modern design aesthetic based around the Victorian Era technology. Steam Engines, Tesla Coils, Giant Airships, Ornithopters, Gears, Aether, and Alchemy. Basically the Victorian idea of the future(i.e. H.G. Wells and Jules Verne's writing). Steampunk

focuses on themes of the day, such as Imperialism, Exploration, and Industrialization.

Many of us are also familiar with Cyberpunk. A dystopian look at the future, embodying the idea of "Low-life, High Tech". Created in the 1980's when personal computers were coming into their own, and the punk rock movement was in full swing. Themes of cyberpunk usually are, Mega-Corporations, A super connected world, and Cyber-space.


Now Dieselpunk... One of my favorite of the "Punk" genres. It is often seen as the the go
between atwixt Steampunk and Cyberpunk. Dieselpunk is to the 1910's-1940's, what Steampunk is to the Victorian Era. Dieselpunk usually centers around Pulp Style Adventuring, a la Indiana Jones, warfare, and discovery of forgotten knowledge. Based on the aesthetic of the Interwar Period, Jazz is the popular form of music, the economy is booming, and the bad guys are usually jack-booted, goose-stepping fascists.

Now onto Star Wars.

Yeah... Because Giant Robotic Camels... Completely Practical!
Awesome But Impractical: Dieselpunk is about big things! Big Buildings, Big Ships, Big Weapons, Big Cities, Big Money, Big Women, Big Fun! Star Wars has several examples of these. Coruscant, a planet that's one giant city. Star Destroyers, giant battleship-esc starcraft. AT-ATs, towering walkers. And probably the most notable, the Death Star. A moon-sized space station with enough power to destroy a planet.

Evil Fascists: The Imperial Uniforms have a distinct Nazi feel to them.

Dirt and Grime Everywhere!: George Lucas said he wanted the sets to feel "lived in". Thus the gritty and dirty look of Star Wars. I saw a picture somewhere on the interwebs stating, "Dieselpunk, Because steam wasn't gritty enough".

Hive of Scum and Villainy:  Okay, So I took the line from Star Wars...But seriosuly there is always a place where the hero is surrounded by gangsters, and criminals. Singapore in the Temple of Doom/ Mos Eisley on Tatooine!

Weaponry: The blasters of Star Wars are so Dieselpunk, I can't even! Basis for the props were actual firearms (duh...)! The C95 Mauser was the basis for the DL-44. The Stormtrooper Blaster Rifle was nothing more than an MG34. The Heavy Blaster Rifle carried by Stormtroopers was a Lewis Gun with some modifications! Don't believe me? Check it out on IMFDB here!

Boilerplate Starships: I really don't have much to say... Just look at them!

Space Combat = WWII Dogfight: The animatic for the Death Star Battle in ANH, was cut together from WWII Aerial combat footage... and the film replicated it almost shot for shot...
Death Star Battle
WWII Aerial Combat

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rubi: Revisited First 800 Words

     Rubi Rascke woke up to the startling vibrato of an operatic soprano; her emerald eyes popped open.She ran her fingers through her inky black hair; a red streak framed her face.
open. She sat up and stretched, yawning loudly she looked around her. She threw back the sheets. A swallow was tattooed on her left hip. A spiral of branches dotted with thorns, and toped with roses wrapped around her right leg and up to her hip. A series of lines mimicking the design of a motherboard circuit crisscrossed her right shoulder and a line of Cyrillic characters were placed vertically on her left forearm, translated the message read, "The sin our fathers sinned was that they did not trust liberty wholly”.
     For a second she didn’t know where she was, but as her mind began to clear she remembered the previous night. She swung her legs over the bed and began to feel around the floor for her clothes. She found her underwear and her acid washed jeans, but she couldn’t find her shirt. What the fuck, she thought. She stumbled to the door control and hit the open button.  The door slid open She could smell food cooking and she was hit by the full force of the music, she recognized it as Richard Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung”. Danielle and her fucking classical music, thought Rubi.
     “Jesus Christ…” she mumbled. She found her way to the InfoScreen and turned the music down.
     “Hey! I was listening to that!” came a voice from behind her. She turned around. A young woman with cropped brunette hair stood in the doorway that opened into the kitchen. She wore the standard issue camouflage pants of the Planetary Colonial Defense Force, which were unbuttoned and hung low around her hips, and a Kindstod, band shirt. Rubi recognized the shirt immediately.
     “ What are you doing with my shirt?” she grumbled.
     “Why did you turn off my music?” asked Danielle.
     “Don’t change the subject!” hissed Rubi. Danielle rolled her golden eyes.
     “I like it,” commented Danielle, “And I thought that wearing the shirt of the person that slept with you, is like planting a flag.” Rubi couldn’t disagree with her, Danielle did look good in the shirt. Despite her current state of dress, Danielle usually leaned more towards the feminine side of things; pretty make-up, dresses and heels were her style. Rubi often teased her about how she was only marine that liked to be pretty.
     “That’s for, like… the first couple of times you fuck someone!” stated Rubi, “Not after you’ve been dating them for almost a year and a half!” Danielle slid up to Rubi and wrapped her arms around her. Danielle was much shorter than Rubi and her face pressed against Rubi’s breasts. 
     “You like it, don’t lie baǒ-beì!” exclaimed Danielle, looking up into Rubi’s eyes. Rubi grinned and kissed her. 
     “You do look really cute,” complimented Rubi. 
     “Xièxiè!” grinned Danielle, “Come on, I have breakfast cooking.” Rubi allowed herself to be lead into the kitchen. The smell of bacon and scrambled eggs filled her nose. 
     “How did you get this?” marveled Rubi. Meat was expensive, due to its extensive manufacturing process.
     “The perks of being a marine! The government wants us to be healthy and protein just doesn’t cut it,” grinned Danielle as she slid the bacon and eggs onto a plate, and handed it to Rubi. Rubi rarely got to taste real meat and she savored the bacon as it melted in her mouth.
     “Ooohh…” purred Rubi, “It’s soooooo good!” Danielle simply smiled and served herself. The ate in relative silence and when they were finished they each dropped the plates into the dishwasher.
     “What time is it?” asked Rubi. Danielle looked up as if the time was displayed on the ceiling tiles.
     “Six-ish, abouts?” she guessed. 
     “Oh shit! I’m going to be late!” shouted Rubi, “Gimme my shirt!” Danielle pulled the shirt over her head and tossed it to Rubi. Rubi caught it, but before she could pull it on she became distracted by Danielle’s toned body. She wasn’t wearing a bra, and her breasts were perky and smooth.

     “Rubi! You don’t have time to admire the scenery!” scolded Danielle. This brought her back to meat-space. She pulled the shirt over her head and skidded back into the bed room. She found her holster and pistol and tucked it into her waist band and hurriedly ran her belt through the loops. She skittered back into the living room and began to pull on her boots; hopping around on one foot. She pulled on her leather jacket whose lapels were studded with badges and pins, and slung her messenger bag over her shoulder. She gave Danielle a quick kiss before pulling her respirator over her mouth and nose and sprinting out the door. Once in the elevator she pulled her earbuds out of her pocket, hurriedly untangling them she put them in her ears and chose a playlist from her mobile terminal.