Tag Archives: Star Trek

R2-D2’s Star Trek Cameo Revealed

r2d2 in star trek

As you probably know by now, the George Lucas-owned effects company ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) likes to insert R2-D2 into the background of some of the films they create visual effects for. Earlier this year we posted a photo of our favorite little droid’s cameo appearance in the climatic scene of Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen. With JJ Abrams’ Star Trek hitting DVD/Blu-ray this week, Gizmodo has found the hidden cameo appearance of our favorite little droid from a galaxy far, far away.

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Star Trek Online To Feature Multiple Starship Bridges

According to Yahoo, Star Trek Online will launch with roughly twenty bridges, with many of them pulled from Star Trek’s most famous ships.

"We didn’t want to have interiors at launch," said executive producer Craig Zinkievich.

"We thought it was just a little bit too much. We really wanted to make sure we delivered a really deep experience, but your bridge not being in the game, it really felt like a hole in the game, and it was just something that we had to put in."

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We Just Played Star Trek Online

Staff over at Gamespot just played through another session of Star Trek Online and give starship combat and on-foot missions another whirl.

If space is the final frontier, then Star Trek Online may be that opportunity to boldly go where no nerd has gone before. The online game from Champions Online and City of Heroes creator Cryptic Studios will let you play as an officer with either the Federation or the Klingon Defense Force, and it will let your virtual space cadet pilot a starship, and also lead an away team on foot.

Our tour of duty this time around was a different, and definitely not the first mission in the game, but still mostly self-contained task that required us to respond to a distress call in a distant sector. From the in-game "astrometrics" star map, which abstracts the humongous distances between star systems in space, we charted our course and hit full impulse power, carefully avoiding any encounters with enemy starship squadrons that appeared on our map.

Once we arrived, we found the space station under attack by Orion pirates, who appeared in small, varied squadrons. Though there will be several different ship classes for your character to control in the game, there will also be different classes of enemy ships, including larger cruisers and carriers and much-smaller, faster fighters. Depending on what sort of ship you’re using (and the ships of any teammates you’ve brought with you), you’ll likely want to focus your fire on specific targets. Taking out any fighters first seems like it’s usually a sound plan, since these ships are faster and nimbler than any capital ship, and go down quite easy. Unfortunately, cruisers and some other enemy ships will compensate for their slower speeds with additional tricks, including heavier shields and their own heavy-hitting photon torpedoes, as well as painful space mines, which certain enemies can drop in abundance.

Getting caught in a minefield, while being strafed by enemy fighters zipping past you and having larger warships dump photon torpedoes on your head seems like a much more intense experience than what we’d seen in our previous, easier tutorial missions, but even though there’s definitely a lot more going on, Star Trek Online’s space combat still isn’t a hectic game of clicking wildly. Combat is still paced like a naval battle–larger ships take time to come about and each of your ship’s four shields (fore, aft, starboard, port) are usually pretty good at holding out long enough for you to either divert energy to the chewed-up shield area, or activate an engineering special ability if you have an engineering officer that can instantly repair your shields to full.

Actually conquering your enemies in a space battle really seems to be a matter of careful timing, and lining up your shots just right–kind of like what you’d expect from a system inspired by the traditional broadside-based combat of the Age of Sail. Most of the time, you’ll be at the helm of a ship equipped with both phasers (the laser-like beam weapons that deliver continuous bursts of damage while in play) and hard-hitting photon torpedoes which aren’t very effective against shields but deal huge amounts of damage to an exposed hull. And as it happens, if you have a good science officer onboard, you may have the ability to fire a special tachyon beam that will cut through a shield like a hot knife through butter. So, bringing down an enemy capital ship is all about keeping your foes within firing range while tearing up your target’s shields, dropping them with tachyon fire when available and following up with a well-timed torpedo salvo that will hit home after you’ve dropped your enemies’ shields, but before those shields have had a chance to regenerate. However, you still can’t afford to keep your enemies too close, since, aside from abilities like the aforementioned mines, destroyed enemy ships still go up in a fiery explosion that deals heavy damage to any nearby ships or targets. This explosion can be even more dangerous in the middle of a minefield if nearby mines sustain enough damage to go off themselves.

After fighting off the first wave of pirates, we zipped about the quadrant picking up clusters of dilithium crystals floating in space to help repair the space station by simply flying within range and pressing the "F" key to "interact" with it (to collect it, in this case), similar to Champions Online. After dropping off the crystals at the station, we hightailed it to another quadrant where various strange anomalies had been sighted. While these particular anomalies were tied to the second leg of our quest–specifically, we were tasked with approaching each one, then scanning it–other anomalies can exist elsewhere in the universe and occasionally yield treasure caches of minerals and other objects if you take the time to explore and find these hidden goodies. Unfortunately, each anomaly was guarded by Klingon forces, who, as it happened, were laying siege to another space station embedded in an asteroid.

We beamed aboard the station itself in an away team consisting of ourselves, a Cryptic staffer, and three computer-controlled officers, and like with our last session, our characters set to be a much higher character level than our foes (to make sure we didn’t keep dying). Star Trek Online’s hand-to-hand combat remains a pretty dynamic experience that, as we’ve explained in our previous coverage, gives you access to two different weapon loadouts, each with three different combat skills that recharge fairly quickly. Our character was equipped with a hand phaser with one loadout and a phaser sniper rifle with another, and by using the powerful sniper shot ability on our rifle, we were able to take down those dirty Klingons at a distance while our teammates rushed in and used melee attacks. This particular mission was fairly straightforward and required us to simply clear out a few Klingon details guarding the control room, then to take the control room and guard it from a few waves of Klingon invaders looking to take back the station, though they didn’t last long against our powered-up party of the Federation’s finest.

That ended our latest session of the game, but left us intrigued to try out more combat, particularly with some of the higher-end starships which will have more options to mount additional weapons and more crew slots to access officer abilities. Star Trek Online seems like it will offer a colorful and highly authentic Star Trek experience in a streamlined, accessible package. The game will launch in early 2010.

Star Trek Online Bridges the Gap

The Star Trek Online Website points the way to an Associated Press Story on how the ability to visit the bridge will be part of Star Trek Online. This apparently was a late addition to the game, as for some reason this was not part of the original design, an oversight reminiscent of Star Wars Galaxies launching without space flight. There version of the bridge sounds a bit like a pub: "Your bridge will be a social area where you and your friends can meet to talk about plans for your future missions, or reminisce about the heroic deeds you’ve already completed. We hope you’ll enjoy it as soon as you begin playing Star Trek Online in February."

J.J. Abrams in Talks for ‘Micronauts’ Movie

Lost creator and Star Trek helmer J.J. Abrams is in discussions to produce and perhaps direct a film based on the Japanese toyline Micronauts. Created in 1974 by Takara, the Microman figures were imported to the U.S. from 1976-1980 by Mego and marketed as Micronauts. In 2002 Palisades marketing revived the Micronauts toy line, which had also inspired comic book series from Marvel (in the 1970s and 1980s), Image (2002), and Devil’s Due (2004).

According to The Wall St. Journal, Hasbro has acquired screen rights to the Micronauts and is involved in discussions with Abrams about the Micronauts property. The success of the Transformers movies and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has added a new word to the Hollywood lexicon. A property like Micronauts is now viewed as being highly “toyetic,” the term that Hollywood uses to describe films that have both the potential to sell licensed toys and to sell tickets due to the popularity of the toy involved.