Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 8.14: Brainstorming with Brandon
The Cool Starship is not simply a means of conveyance for the characters or a vehicle for the plot (ahem!). The temptation is to have the Cool Starship be whatever ship the character or characters are on. But to qualify for this trope, the ship needs something more. More than big guns or a cool exterior. The most memorable ships like the Nostromo, Macross, Serenity, Normandy, Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon (just to name but a few) had something more.
They had character.
Or in some cases were a character to themselves. Most Cool Starships are just big enough to accommodate the crew for weeks, months or even years at time, whatever amount of time the plot requires. Their appearance mirrors the themes of the show and the characters who live in them. Josh Whedon understood this when he designed Serenity. Each space within the ship reflected the characters who worked and lived within them, from Wash’s cockpit to Kaylee’s engine room. The Millennium Falcon was Han Solo and Chewie’s flying bachelor pad/hot rod (it even had fuzzy dice), captured perfectly by the the movie Spaceballs.
So, if you are looking to buy a cool starship, check under the hood, count the light years to the gallon and make sure that it fits your story like a glove.