The Star Trek Orion Women

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The Orions are a fictional extraterrestrial humanoid species in the American science fiction franchise Star Trek, making their first appearance in the initial pilot for Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Cage”. Susan Oliver portrayed the first Orion seen on screen, when her human character Vina was transformed into one, although it was Majel Barrett who underwent the original makeup test. The footage was subsequently used in the two-part episode “The Menagerie”. Yvonne Craig, who was considered for the role of Vina, later played an Orion in “Whom Gods Destroy”.

Yvonne Craig

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Orion women have also been seen in the films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Females of the species have become known as Orion slave girls, who have become popular among fans as costumes. These slave girls have been received negatively by critics, who have suggested that they are too sexual and that the in-universe reactions to them expresses a lack of sexual diversity among Star Trek characters.

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Male Orions made their first appearance in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Pirates of Orion” but did not appear in live action until the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Borderland”, which also featured female Orions.

The male Orions look pretty badass.

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Chewbacca’s Family Reunion

Chewbacca, a 200-year-old Wookiee. Wookiees are a species of intelligent bipeds from the planet Kashyyyk in the Star Warsuniverse.  Standing at 8 feet tall, Chewbacca is covered with long hair, and wears only a bandolier. His weapon of choice is the Wookiee bowcaster (a crossbow-shaped directed-energy weapon).

Chewbacca’s family had the chance to come together as their paths were crossing for the first time in decades. The most convenient location was Crawford, Texas, as the Wookiee family members would all be travelling within close range of that Texas town. Many members of the family arrived in Crawford on various ships from the far reaches of the galaxy. The family reunion was a great success. 

Reunion Photos

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Portrait of a group of cousins

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Chewie enjoying beverages with Hans Solo’s great-great granddaughter.

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Painted portrait of Chewie, the wife and kids, and cat.

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Chewie with some family elders.

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Cousin Hoolacca arrives at the Crawford spaceport. The late great Carrie Fisher.

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Chewing the fat with his step-brother Leroy the Sasquatch.

Chewie throwing out the first pitch at a Crawford Rattlers baseball game.

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Douglas Rain, Voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dies at 90

Douglas Rain, voice of the computer HAL 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, died on Sunday morning. He was 90 years old.

Born in Canada, Rain started on the stage and was known in both the Canadian and British theater communities for his roles in William Shakespeare’s classics like Othello and Twelfth Night. But Rain is best known in the sci-fi community as the voice of HAL—a cold, monotone voice that immediately evokes fear in anyone who hears it.

Even if you’ve never seen Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1967 movie, you know the famous exchange between the astronaut David Bowman and HAL. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL,” Dr. Bowman says. “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that,” the HAL computer replies.

From NBC News:

Rain was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and trained at the Old Vic Theatre in London. In 1972, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a Drama for his performance as William Cecil in “Vivat! Vivat Regina!” on Broadway.

In 1953, he became a member of the first repertory cast of the Stratford Festival and performed in 32 seasons with the company.

According to Vincent Lobrutto’s 1997 study “Stanley Kubrick: A Biography,” Rain was initially contracted to narrate “2001″ after Kubrick heard his narration of the short documentary “Universe,” which was released by the National Film Board of Canada in 1960.

“Today we lost Douglas Rain, a member of our founding company and a hugely esteemed presence on our stages for 32 seasons. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” the Stratford Festival in Ontario tweeted yesterday.

RIP Douglas Rain. You gave life to a character that will live on for generations to come; a character that served as a warning to those of us living in “the future.” Sadly, we didn’t listen. Or, if we did listen, we just didn’t care. Because HAL is now becoming real. The HAL of today just goes by a different name: Sometimes Siri, sometimes Alexa. And for those with a truly dark sense of humor, just HAL.