Infographic: What Are the Most Powerful Sci-Fi Weapons?

If you’re the kind of sci-fi fan who knows who played the Doctor's seventh regeneration, uses the Klingon word for “success” (qapla') in casual conversation, and has debated with friends over whether an Imperial Star Destroyer could really defeat the USS Enterprise, then this infographic from FatWallet is for you.

The chart pits the most lethal weapons in the science fiction universe against one another, helping true fans determine, once and for all, which deadly contraption is the most powerful. And unlike many long-winded speculative arguments about sci-fi, this one is grounded in real-life science.

“We worked with physicists and engineers on this infographic, which breaks down iconic weapons and their energy of devastation in joules, an energy measurement of 'work done,'” the creators over at Fat Wallet wrote. “In some cases, we drew data from source material or compared the weapons to real-life versions. In others, we attempted to calculate energy requirements for destruction shown in movies and TV shows. And in the case of reality-warping, fantastic weapons from the limits of our imagination, we drew help from theoretical physics.”

Some of these findings—for instance, the revelation that a lightsaber could easily destroy Han Solo’s blaster—aren’t surprising. However, it’s still fun to see the fictional creations pitted against one another. For more imaginary space battle fodder, check out the full diagram below.

[h/t FatWallet]

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BBC Teases New Thirteenth Doctor-Starring Doctor Who Merchandise
BBC

Though the new season of Doctor Who, featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, won’t make its BBC debut until this fall, fans of the iconic sci-fi series who find themselves at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con will get an early glimpse behind the scenes of the upcoming season. The series’ new cast and crew will gather for their first-ever panel discussion—but that’s not the only Time Lord news coming out of San Diego. The BBC will also be showing off some of the brand-new Doctor Who merchandise that will accompany the new season, including several pint-sized renditions of the first-ever female Doctor.

The official Doctor Who website just shared a sneak peek at the new Thirteenth Doctor figurines coming from their toymaker partners at Funko, Titan, and Character Options—noting that all Funko and Titan toys will be on display at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con, and available for purchase in the fall.

Titan’s offerings (below) include two 6.5-inch figures, while Funko’s merchandise (pictured above) will include a vinyl Pop! and a Thirteenth Doctor Rock Candy option:

Thirteenth Doctor 'Doctor Who' merchandise will debut at San Diego Comic-Con

Character Options’s figure will be taller—10 inches—and much more detailed, with fabric clothing and a redesigned sonic screwdriver. (Fans can preorder the figure from Forbidden Planet now.)

Thirteenth Doctor 'Doctor Who' merchandise will debut at San Diego Comic-Con

For those who prefer to wear their fandom on their sleeve, and the rest of their body, a replica of Whittaker’s already-iconic striped shirt, blue trousers, and long coat will be available at Hot Topic stores this fall.

Thirteenth Doctor 'Doctor Who' merchandise will debut at San Diego Comic-Con

[h/t: Den of Geek]

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Evening Standard/Getty Images
Stanley Kubrick Appears to Explain the Ending of 2001 in This Newly Surfaced Video
Evening Standard/Getty Images
Evening Standard/Getty Images

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is rightfully hailed as a milestone in science fiction filmmaking, but even its most ardent fans would have a tough time explaining the final scenes of the movie.

From the dizzyingly psychedelic “stargate sequence” to the strange hotel room and the appearance of the nebulous Star Baby, 2001 signs off with far more questions than answers—questions that have been discussed and dissected for 50 years. But now we might have a concrete explanation of just what was going on from Kubrick himself.

In a video posted to the Eyes On Cinema YouTube page, as discovered by io9, we see footage of filmmaker Jun’ichi Yaoi on the telephone in 1980, with someone who is purported to be Kubrick. This was all during Yaoi’s documentary on the paranormal, so a natural interview subject would have been Kubrick, who was making The Shining at the time. During the interview, though, Yaoi asks the director what exactly happens at the end of 2001, to which Kubrick gives a full explanation, as transcribed by io9:

“I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out. When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it, but I’ll try.

“The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film.

“They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate), because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what we think is their natural environment.

“Anyway, when they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made into some sort of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.”

Obviously, that’s a lot to take in, but it jibes with what Arthur C. Clarke wrote in the 2001 book, both of which were developed at the same time. In the book’s ending, astronaut Dave Bowman is very obviously on display in an artificial environment, which resembles a swanky hotel room. Only this room is furnished with dummy drawers that can’t open, ornamental books that are simply attached to shelves, and hollow televisions, much like an IKEA showroom; the zoo connection is much clearer as a result as Clarke walks readers through this strange, faux-human habitat.

As io9 points out, this Kubrick video may be a little “too good to be true,” especially since there’s no definitive visual evidence that he’s actually talking. Still, the explanation does hold weight when taken with Clarke’s writing, but after 50 years and countless essays and theories on the subject, it's doubtful that this will put an end to the discussions on one of the most complex endings in all of film.

[h/t io9]

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