Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Cubits."


I'm honestly surprised TV Tropes didn't have a page for "space casino," since we're taking inspiration from several here. Star Trek had more than a couple, especially Deep Space Nine and Quark's, which featured the roulette-like dabo. I don't think we've seen a casino proper in Star Wars movies--yet!--but Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of sabacc: Lando was described as a professional gambler in several novels, so you know he visited a few; pity I don't think his Black series figure has come out yet. And the old Marvel comics featured the Wheel, a roulette-wheel shaped space station, where Han and Chewie lost their shirts (figuratively) and ended up in gladiatorial games.

When Pool rattles off the severe consequences of losing, "hocking body parts" was a subtle piece of world-building from early issues of Micronauts. When he killed the royal couple of Homeworld and took over, Baron Karza set up a brutally efficient pyramid scheme of organ transplantation with his Body Banks. While the rich elite could afford to buy new organs, the poor had three choices: gamble for life credits, possibly crapping out and losing limb and life. Join the Dog Soldiers, serve as Baron Karza's stormtroopers, and get the occasional replacement as needed. Or die, and probably get harvested anyway. If I recall correctly, his regime lasted a thousand years. Which always seemed terrifyingly plausible to me...

Slightly less plausible: the casino from the pilot episode of the original Battlestar: Galactica, "Saga of a Star World." Early on in their flight from the Cylons, the Galactica and its "ragtag, fugitive fleet" visit the planet Carillon, which has both supplies and a casino, neither of which they expected to find. The native Ovions had been using the casino to lure humans into becoming food for their larvae. Gross. You can probably find an Ovion action figure on eBay, but that was their only appearance on the show. I'm almost positive there were casinos in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV show--the too on the nose "Vegas in Space." I wonder if any sets or props were re-used there.

Also, I know Babylon 5 had casinos as well, as well as Penn and Teller guest-starring in an episode! A not-very-good episode, but still. Lastly, I hadda ask Dale why the space casino was so prevalent, and he pointed out a lot of these shows feature military types, in particular pilots, who spend as much of their downtime unwinding as possible. He also noted gambling was probably one of the, ahem, less unsavory activities that they might get up to; so we'll leave it at that! And hey, it's our eleventh anniversary! Man, I'm lucky it fell on Wednesday, and I didn't have to knock out another strip...looking back, I think I counted it as the 23rd last year, and that's what I thought it was, of the top of my head, until I looked!

4 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

You did? Damn I must be out of it to not remember that conversation. Hope I was helpful, ha ha.
I gotta say that bit with the robot roulette wheel was funny as shit, well shit all of it really. But where did you get that little guy from? what line is he?
Hey, when else is a guy like Titus going to get to show up right? Best possible explanation for missing an arm yet. I know my still is and probably always will. Maybe.
And that dog-fighting scenario with Howard the Duck VS The Impossible Man is has gotta be straight outta James Gunn's wet dream.
Goddamn you gotta follow up on that. PLEASE!!!! Ha ha

Dale Bagwell said...

Happy 11th Anniversary btw. You're about the only one of out circle still faithfully plugging away. Congrats buddy.

SallyP said...

You know... Wade makes some very good points. Oh, and happy anniversary!

googum said...

Thanks guys!

The robots are straight outta eBay, but they're old school Transformers. Maybe small-t transformers; they weren't Autobots or Decepticons; but they're nice metal and functional! The slot machine transforms too, I wanted some set dressing for this one.

It may be the worst thing in the world when Pool is right about something; since everyone is probably "Whatever, nutball."