A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #17: Hardware Wars

This is how we fly…

outrider2When I was a kid, my mom bought me a Barbie doll. I traded it for a model aircraft carrier. I soon had a whole fleet of ships. They were manned by my collection of plastic dinosaurs.

Later, when they got me a Beatles album, I traded that for a plastic horse. Every Christmas, my dad found himself helping me glue together such maritime luminaries as the Flying Cloud, the Constitution, and the Thermopylae. I have always been fascinated with the hardware of transportation (well, okay, horses are more in the nature of user-friendly warmware) and so, when I developed what some would have said was an unhealthy interest in Science Fiction at the age of eleven, it was only natural that I should begin to salivate over spacecraft.

Alas, I allowed my son to believe those models of the Enterprise, Klingon Birds of Prey, and Romulan War Birds were his. Little did he suspect, they were really mine, all mine! (bwa-ha-ha!) More recently, my daughter has learned how to make me little origami Millennium Falcons. The foil paper ones look quite convincing when suspended from bits of fishing line.

Yes, indeed, I still love the hardware. So, when we signed the contracts for Holostar, I immediately went into research mode to find out everything I could about the hardware involved in our story.

outrider1I discovered that, yes, Our Hero has a ship of his own—the Outrider, a Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-2400. A stock YT-2400 at the beginning of her days, but you know these hot-shot scoundrelly pilot types. They’re like engineers, they love to change things. And so the Outrider is no longer “stock.” She’s a souped-up bird and, according to Our Hero, a worthy competitor for the Millennium Falcon, which is a YT-1300.

Now, Dash would no doubt argue that the Outrider’s loftier model number indicates a newer and therefore better ship. I shall express no opinion in the matter, but suffice it to say that Dash Rendar has historically viewed Han Solo and his ship as “the competition.” I am led to believe it is a friendly rivalry. Michael and I will be challenged to give Dash something to think about besides whether he can make the Kessel run in less time and distance than his worthy opponent.

By any standards, Outrider is a nifty little ship. I have schematics, of course, and artist’s renderings and notes on her construction and cargo capacity, which is 75 metric tons (not counting, I imagine, the several secret compartments that I’m sure exist).

I know, from my sources, that her original engines were replaced by three KonGar KGDefender military-grade ion engines. I will not comment on the provenance of these engines—I wouldn’t want to prejudice the reader against our protagonist. He also replaced the the original hyperdrive with a modified SoroSuub Griffyn/Y2TG hyperdrive, and installed improved sensors and countermeasures, which come in handy when he’s dodging Imperial cruisers. Again, I won’t remark on the legality of these modifications, but they do make the Outrider a “sweet ride” as we say these days.

She is also armed to the teeth, and though weaponry has never been as interesting to me as the vessel they defend, I have to admit that the Outrider’s armaments are impressive: a pair of Dymek heavy laser cannon that can be operated from the gunnery pods or from the cockpit, a pair of forward firing concussion missile launchers complete with three missiles each, and, for defense, special titanium ablative shielding, which is what gives the old girl that sleek, gun-metal gray sheen.

Yum.

But enough of this slobbering over mechanical devices—as my husband likes to remind me every time I name a piece of hardware (I type this blog on a stunning new MacBook Pro named “Castle” with a “magic mouse” named “Beckett”), “It’s just a machine.” Yeah, right.

Perhaps, next we’ll discuss something warmer and fuzzier.

Next time: Force sensitives great and small

Browse my bookshelf.

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A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #17: Hardware Wars — 5 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this one. “How to infodump the technical details of a spaceship, and make it fun and human”?

    You also now have something quirky in common with Han Solo, who was (according to one of the novels) largely building his eldest son’s model-kit TIEs and X-wings for himself.

  2. Thanks, Mac! Glad you enjoyed the blog.

    Hey, the more quirks I can have in common with Han Solo, the better! 🙂

  3. I am so glad to hear the name of the Outrider again. Ever since I first played shadows of the empire, I have been obsessed with this ship (even naming my beat up junker of a car the Outrider…though more in jest than in any belief of measuring up). With the way you seem to have a genuine passion for ships, I can’t wait to see you portray her in all her glory once again!

  4. While it doesn’t compare to the likes of the Outrider or the Falcon, may I recommend the R-41 Starchaser? Like Boltrunians, Hamadryas and Papa Kal I find myself giggling like a school whenever it pops up in new material. And with a name like that who can resist? 🙂

    And origami Millenium Falcon’s? That is truly awesome! I HAVE to learn how to do that.

  5. Origami Millenium Falcon? Did she create that on her own, or is there a book I need to acquire to learn that one? That’s enough to make me want to dust off my origami skills.