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#a18 :: Dewey, Drone 2

March 2, 2008

0302081.jpgI fell in love with Drones 1, and 2 and 3 as a geeky 11-year-old science-fiction junkie.

Weaned on Lost in Space, search Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Thunderbirds, I also grew up as a faculty brat on a college campus awash in Earth Shoes, granola and hippie-earth-love.

When Silent Running came out, I tumbled …

Bruce Dern plays the last caring environmentalist on the last star freighter carrying the last species of Terran plants and animals away from the smog-killed planet Earth.

When his commanders order him to blow up the biospheres and bring the ship home, the only ones he can trust are these brilliantly designed bipedal robots.

He programs them to tend the forest domes, then jettisons the domes and commits suicide by nuclear bomb. Joan Baez sings. Roll credits.

Corny? Fuck yes, so what: Choked up, staggered and thorougly hooked, I set off on a quest to learn everything I could about the Drones.

They were created by the great Ron Cobb, who brought us the Nostromo, the flying DeLorean, Deep Core and most of the weirder creatures in the Mos Eisley cantina.

And I remember vividly a now-lost Esquire magazine profile on the double-amputee actors who climbed into Cobb’s meticulously engineered costumes and brought them to life – walking around on their hands, hoeing mulch with their tool-claws and hissing through their vents.

I’ve searched in vain for a good model kit: After turning up only obscenely overpriced Japanese resin kits and the build log for one robot nut’s stunningly good full-sized repros, I had to settle for downloading a free papercraft version.

It took me about 4 hours to print, cut out, crease and glue together this magnificent little toy. If I can find the time to build the rest, I’ll be able to reunite him with his cardboard brothers.

Filed under: Art, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

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