OBJECTIVE: Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring once per every week of 2014.
WHEN: March 22, 2014, 8:14am. (Week 12, Mar 16-22.)
WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating pizza, feeling a little sick.
Last year, I reimagined my beloved Back to the Future as a fantasy film in preparation for the hellish 52 weeks of The Fellowship of the Ring that awaited me. Welp, it’s only March and I am thoroughly burnt out on the fantasy genre, so it’s time to take things in the other direction. Like we’ve done before with Top Gun and The NeverEnding Story, let’s stuff a little science fiction into The Lord of the Rings.
Hmm, a little clunky.
Now, just like with my Back to the Future rewrite, I’ve only allotted myself the runtime of the film to change everything, so if I neglected to swap out somebody’s horse with a spaceship or straight up forgot about a character, I have to run with it. That makes it more fun, and if I spent longer than three hours on this, it might actually turn out good and I’ll have to fend off producers with baggies of cocaine and a spiked bat. So, join me, won’t you, as our story takes us across space and–ha, no, seriously, just space. This movie is complicated enough without time travel.
A LONG TIME AGO IN THE MIDDLE GALAXY:
Our story centers around the Chip. It’s a microchip that, when placed on your forehead, interfaces with your mind and enhances your violent tendencies and your natural desire for power. It prolongs the user’s life via body-repairing nanobots, and it comes with a permanently activated cloaking feature that renders the wearer completely invisible to all spectra of light. It can also be used to remotely control a series of other microchips… and anyone attached to them. These microchips were given to the leaders of various planets throughout the galaxy, under the guise of being a recreational simulator program.
But they were all of them stoked to play Grand Theft Auto 3000: Titsplosion.
Who created these microchips? Chancellor Sauron of the planet Mordor V, an evil alien with plans to rule the entire galaxy. But he didn’t count on a Rebel Alliance of humans and Rivulans, coming to take the Master Chip and restore the minds of their leaders. Capt. Isaac Dore fought bravely with his entirely non-copyrighted laser sword, but after taking a massive hit from Chancellor Sauron, the energy blade was damaged and he was left holding a useless hilt. And yet, he did not back down. He cracked Chancellor Sauron right across the skull with the hilt and the Chip broke free. Chancellor Sauron dropped dead, but his mind was uploaded to a satellite known as the Eye in orbit around Mordor V.
A “golden eye,” if you will.
Alright, seriously, can we just jump ahead to Frodo here? Capt. Isaac Dore had the Chip, then some cyborg named Gollum, then Bilbo. Boom. Jesus, that backstory. So Bilbo lived through The Hobbit in Space and now resides on Shire III. The Hobbitoids of this planet are a peaceful race; they keep to themselves, and they don’t even have a space program. And whose ship should be coming in for a landing on the continent of Hobbitron? Why, it’s Dr. Gandalf, a brilliant chemist and friend of Bilbo’s. He lands near Bilbo’s inquisitive nephew Frodo, who longs to journey through the cosmos… yeah, fuck, whatever happens in the original movie happens here until Dr. Gandalf’s all, “Uh oh, I think the Ring is evil!” I mean, the Chip. So Dr. Gandalf tells Frodo to take his botanist friend Sam to the Prancing Pulsar cantina, while he flies off to the Isengard Institute to ask his mentor Dr. Saruman what’s up with this Chip.
Stash the pipe-weed, the R.A. is coming!
Frodo and Sam run into their Hobbitoid pals Merry and Pippin, but oh no! They’re being pursued by some ugly cyborgs known colloquially as the Nozzles. They’re old human leaders that have had their chips for so long that the nanobots have resorted to replacing their organs with machinery… and not very well. They’re grotesque hunks of flesh and robotics, so they hide their true forms under large hoods. And they ride sweet hovercycles. Anyway, the Hobbitoids take a… ferry to the Prancing Pulsar (it’s just a REALLY awesome boat, okay?) and are shocked to discover that Dr. Gandalf isn’t there. Shit! Where is he? Well, it turns out that Dr. Saruman is totally pals with Chancellor Sauron! He’s using a Palantírian communications computer, and when Dr. Gandalf notices he has a chat window open with the Chancellor’s satellite, he smells trouble! They have a chemistry fight with repulsors and bombs and shit, and Dr. Saruman launches Dr. Gandalf up to a floating prison in orbit around… fuck, I never named their planet. Shit, where do wizards live? Anyway, Frodo doesn’t know that Dr. Gandalf is trapped in space jail around Wizard Planet. He’s just hangin’ out at the Prancing Pulsar, being looked over by a human Space Ranger named Lt. Cdr. Eric Orin, call sign “Strider.”
Sorry, Viggo, but I’m recasting this one.
A signal from the Chip tells Frodo to put it on, but he resists. Then he runs facefirst into a wall trying to shut Pippin up and the Chip is pressed against his forehead. The cloaking device activates and Frodo sees all sorts of Iron Man-style H.U.D. graphics, including a chat window with Chancellor Sauron from the Eye satellite. This also turns on a homing signal that the Nozzles pick up via their cybernetic implants. Eric takes the Hobbitoids and narrowly escapes an attack from the Nozzles as they fly off the planet on his ship. Meanwhile, Dr. Saruman is attempting to harness energy from a black hole for his massive genetic research facility.
I’ve secretly always hoped Isengard was just a big rocket.
Eric and the Hobbitoids land on a fueling station in orbit around the star Amun-Sol. The Nozzles track them there and Frodo is stabbed with a specialized laser sword that injects you with a radioactive isotope. Eric kicks some Nozzle ass and gets his ship the fuck out of there. He says he’s taking Frodo to Rivulan, home of the Rivulans, a race of intelligent, logical, pointy-eared master biologists that can cure anything.
Meanwhile, because this movie has too many damn meanwhiles, Dr. Saruman is using black hole energy to speed up the aging process on his genetically engineered O.R.C. High. Oh, let me explain the bullshit I wrote down. O.R.C.s are Rivulans that are infected with the Ornery Rivulan Contagion, and Dr. Saruman has found a way to modify this disease in order to create savage but obedient high-functioning O.R.C.s (designated O.R.C. High). Woo, that was fun to type out. Meanwhile meanwhile, Eric Orin pilots his ship into the Athelas asteroid belt, looking for a mineral that will slow Frodo’s radiation poisoning. While there, he’s spotted by a Rivulan named Arwen. Her ship is way faster, so they dock and hand Frodo over to Arwen, who takes off for Rivulan. But uh-oh, the Nozzles’ ship is in hot pursuit! Luckily, Arwen tricks them into flying through the Aqua-Horse Nebula, which fucks with their particular kind of propulsion system and leaves them stranded in space.
Frodo wakes up on Rivulan and Dr. Gandalf is by his bedside. He tells the story of how he escaped from Dr. Saruman’s space jail. He modified the intercom in his cell to send out a distress signal to any passing ships. Thankfully, an Eagle-class cargo ship picked it up and crashed through the wall of the jail, allowing Dr. Gandalf to make a dramatic escape to Rivulan. We meet Dr. Elrond, the Rivulan that cured Frodo, and learn that he was around when Capt. Isaac Dore killed Chancellor Sauron. Note: Rivulans have exceptionally long lives thanks to their advanced medical procedures, but human semen counteracts these effects, so Arwen is mortal now because her and Eric Orin are bumping uglies. Yeah. You’re welcome.
Shoulda wrapped it.
Alright, so the Chip can’t be destroyed. It’s made of an adamantium-unobtanium alloy casing and also self-repairs any internal damages instantly. The only way to fry its insides is with a chemical known as montdoomium, which is only found on Mordor V. “One does not simply land on Mordor V,” proclaims Adm. Barry Mears. (Have you figured out by now that I’m just winging the military ranks?) Mordor V is super dangerous, so they form a special team: The Corps of the Chip. It consists of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Dr. Gandalf, Lt. Cdr. Eric Orin, Adm. Barry Mears, a short Dwarfian from the red dwarf star system of Moria named Gimli (he’s pretty much a Ferengi with a bat’leth), and a Rivulan named Legolas who wields a laser bowcaster. So, Frodo gets a laser sword with an O.R.C. detector installed in it and they set out to destroy the Chip.
(At some point, they encounter a bunch of fucking space crows, but I haven’t thought of a better name for them.)
Gimli suggests it’ll be faster if they warp through the Moria system, but the warp engines on Eric’s ship can’t handle the [never came up with any technobabble] coming from the star, so they pass through the Caradhras Cloud. Dr. Saruman uses a tractor beam to redirect a comet at them, so they panic and try to warp through the Moria system. It fucks with their engines and they crash land on Moria Prime, near the base of a mining operation that’s run by Gimli’s cousin. They need an element named…. dwarfium… to fix their ship, and there’s some in the base, but first they have to get through the security computer.
“Enter the passcode, friend.”
Frodo’s all, “Hey, maybe the passcode is the word ‘friend’ in binary,” and it totally is, so they run away from a big Moria monster and… look, everything that happens in the fantasy version still happens here, okay? Goblins, a troll, a big demon; they’re just all aliens now. Dr. Gandalf makes a MacGyver contraption that sends the fire monster down a pit, but he falls in too. Sad.
“Toss me a paper clip, you fools!”
So they get the dwarfium and set a course for Lothloria VI, home of a Rivulan colony where they can rest. They meet Dr. Galadriel, a Rivulan scientist with a mind-reading device and a portal that can see alternate timelines. She sees the Chip and wants it very much. She punches in coordinates for the universe where she owns the Chip and sees that she will become a powerfully evil mad scientist, so OH NO, don’t do that. She sends Frodo and friends away with a plot coupon, but it’s not going to pay off since I don’t care about writing sci-fi versions of the LOTR sequels.
Alright, so they bring their ship into orbit around Amon X, but suddenly realize they’re caught in the tractor beam of a massive O.R.C. High battleship. Barry Mears is all, “Oh no, fuck this noise, gimme the Chip, Frodo,” and tries to take it from him. Eric’s ship is pulled inside the battleship, and without any options left, the whole Corps busts out of the hatch swinging. Barry goes down. Gimli, Legolas, and Eric just straight up go on an O.R.C. murder spree throughout the entire battleship. Merry and Pippin distract some O.R.C.s and shut down the tractor beam, but they get captured; they’re taken away on a smaller, faster ship. Frodo decides he has to go to Mordor V alone, so he takes Eric’s ship and exits the docking bay… only to see Sam, pressed against a porthole window, crying that he’s coming with him. Frodo can’t hear him and tries to put him out of his mind, but Sam, in a moment of desperately emotional stupidity… ejects himself into space.
Awww, Sam, you lovable idiot! Frodo swings the ship around and picks up Sam. Meanwhile, after killing everybody on board and seeing that his ship is gone, Eric decides that the O.R.C. battleship belongs to him now, so he, Gimli, and Legolas take off to rescue Merry and Pippin (after launching Barry into space, Spock-style). Frodo and Sam begin to descend upon Mordor V, and Enya sings a song about stars.
May it be profitable.
Hmm. No, I still don’t think I’d watch that.
ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE IMPROVED THE MOVIE:
I take it back, this story could have used some time travel.