Hands down, O Brother, Where Art Thou? wins my pick as the best movie of the first decade of the 21st Century.
A Coen Brothers masterpiece that took the epic legends of Homer’s Odyssey and draped them in the threadbare rags of Depression Era America, O Brother is a movie that I never tire of watching. If I happen upon it while channel surfing, I’ll stop a while as if meeting with an old friend.
Before O Brother, I didn’t really care much about George Clooney or his acting ability. After this movie, I started paying more attention to his work. It’s safe to say that because of O Brother, I looked forward to seeing him in The Men Who Stare at Goats and Up in the Air.
The music in the movie also helped set it apart – and above – every other movie during the decade. The blues, bluegrass, and deep-fried country tunes colored O Brother as much as any lens.
It dealt with racism, broken families, crime and punishment, political ambition, and the desire for stardom and celebrity. And it had one-eyed John Goodman beating the snot out of people with a tree limb.
So, as much as I enjoyed the spectacular Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have to give credit where it’s due: O Brother told an epic tale of fellowship, right down to the hunt for a lost ring, in a third of the time and with much fewer special effects or silly elf action sequences.
Top 10 moments on OtherSpace during the first decade of the 21st Century:
10) Sanctuary returns to normalspace in the year 3000
After six months (and a few centuries of relative time back home), the massive colony vessel Sanctuary returned from her dangerous voyage through Hiverspace to find the galaxy much changed in the 31st Century. Players who made the journey suddenly found themselves outsiders and refugees in the strange old universe.
9) Earth’s plasma bombing
The xenophobic madness of Gustav Eiger’s “Earth First” movement took the ironic step of setting off plasma bombs on all the continents of Earth, determined to keep the planet from falling into the clutches of aliens and outlanders.
8 ) Destruction of La Terre by Bartholomew Ritter
Power-crazed and terrified of losing control of his colony world of La Terre, Bartholomew Ritter detonated a plasma bomb chain in veins of volatile polydenum. He shattered the planet and killed himself along with all other inhabitants at the time.
7) Return of La Terre
The resurrected Hivers, seeking to redeem themselves for the wrongs they have done in the past, restore the world of La Terre and all those who dwelled upon it at the time of its destruction (save for Bartholomew Ritter himself).
6) Nall invasion of Ungstir
Believing that the planet Ungstir had been complicit in the theft of Nall cloaking technology, the Clawed Fist Fleet attacked the broken world (again).
5) OATO’s war vs. the Nall
Weary of Nall aggression with the resurgence of the Parallax and its desire to conquer the known worlds, the Orion Arm Treaty Organization worlds put their alliance to the test by launching a successful offensive against the Nall. Their homeworld crippled by enemy bombings, the surviving Nall depart beyond the multiverse nexus.
4) Bombing of Task Matrix Central
The lunatic Vollistan interrogator Volari fires coreseeker missile at Phyrrian capital, sparking hostilities against sentient organics.
3) The Phyrrian War
The warnings came early, with electronics malfunctioning and automated threshers on Quaquan going haywire. It all culminated in the slaughter of millions of Lunites who suffocated in the domed cities on Luna. After that, the Phyrrian war fleet began pummeling worlds – Waldheim and New Luna among them. Ungstir was also targeted, but Kip Caspar helped prevent that world’s destruction by hurling the twelve invading ships through space-time. He nearly lost control of his Kamir-like abilities at that point and had to be taken to Nocturn to begin training.
2) OtherFlash: Altheor’s Teeth
In an event that took us back to the foundations of Demarian history, players discovered that the beloved leader of the felinoid Demarians, Altheor, was a paranoid primadonna who unnecessarily destroyed his fleet and sparked animosity with the Nall by wrecking theirs too.
1) The multiverse rift crisis of 3008 (leading to current OS)
Kip Caspar managed to get off Nocturn with the help of Rathenhope’s crew, inhabiting the body of an aging author. During a press conference on Sivad, the old man suffered a heart attack and collapsed. Kip would have died if he remained trapped within, so he broke loose, causing a quantum singularity as he became unstuck in space-time. Sivad would become the first casualty in a crisis that would eventually spread throughout many worlds and parallel dimensions, leading to a desperate effort to send refugees back to Hiverspace in the year 2650. Several player characters ascended to become Kamir in order to ensure that their friends could safely escape.
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