Reckless undocking

After logging in to her station, Ibanez shares a bit of flirty dialog with mushroom-quaffed Zander Barcalow, and Captain Deladier says, “All right, Ibanez. Take her out.” Ibanez grasps the yoke, pulls back, and the ship begins to pull back from the docking station while still attached by two massive cables. Daladier and Barcalow keep silent but watch as the cables grow dangerously taut. At the last minute Ibanez flips a toggle switch on her panel from 0 to 1 and the cables release.

StarshipT-undocking08

StarshipT-undocking16

There’s a lot of wrong in just this sequence. I mean, I get narratively what’s happening here: Check her out, she’s a badass maverick (we’re meant to think). But, come on…

  1. Where is the wisdom of letting a Pilot Trainee take the helm on her first time ever aboard a vessel? OK. Sorry. This is an interface blog. Ignore that one.
  2. The 1 and 0 symbols are International Electrotechnical Commission 60417 standards for on and off, respectively. How is the cable’s detachment caused by something turning on? If it was magnetic, shouldn’t you turn the magnetism off to release the cables?
  3. Why use the symbols for ON and OFF for an infrequent, specific task? Shouldn’t this be reserved for a kill switch or power to the station or something major? Or shouldn’t it bear a label reading “Power Cable Magnets” or something to make it more intelligible?
  4. Why is there no safety mechanism for this switch? A cover? A two-person rule? A timed activation? It’s fairly consequential. The countersink doesn’t feel like it’s enough.
  5. Where is the warning klaxon to alert everyone to this potentially disastrous situation?
  6. Why isn’t she dishonorably discharged the moment she started to maneuver the ship while it was still attached to the dock? Oh, shit. Sorry. Interfaces. Right. Interfaces.

5 thoughts on “Reckless undocking

  1. Re: docking cables – triue this is all shoddy interfacing sequences, that said: perhaps the tech includes dependant relationships for control – the switch flipped on releases the docking cables because the autonomy of the ship has been declared.

    • Help a brother out, Adam. Are you referencing a standard operating procedure for ship undocking?

  2. In the future where touchscreen tech is rampant, as already established in this film, why would this operation be a giant physical switch at all? Wouldn’t it actually be on-screen somewhere, probably with a verbal authorization or something as a safety mechanism?

  3. Nice to know I am not the only person who thinks that Ibanez is a bloody danger to herself and her crew. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Report Card: Starship Troopers | Sci-fi interfaces

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