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Original cartoon question: Why bother stealing the Relay Star Satellite?


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There is one aspect of my childhood that I didn't have the pleasure of seeing, the original G.I.Joe cartoons (until now). I've had many of the comics, and a few of the toys (until now). I kinda had a G.I.Joe/Star Wars Universe growing up. :( I'm just telling you this so you know where I'm coming from. ;)

 

Just for the sake of fun conversation I ask this: Why did Cobra bother wasting precious resources just to capture a satellite and launch it into orbit when the U.S. was about to launch it them selves? The Baroness was there to plant a homing device on it, so why bother stealing it? G.I.Joe would later use the satellite them selves to counter attack Cobra. Other than a fun plot device, I saw no reason for it.

 

What do you think?

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There is one aspect of my childhood that I didn't have the pleasure of seeing, the original G.I.Joe cartoons (until now). I've had many of the comics, and a few of the toys (until now). I kinda had a G.I.Joe/Star Wars Universe growing up. :( I'm just telling you this so you know where I'm coming from. ;)

 

Just for the sake of fun conversation I ask this: Why did Cobra bother wasting precious resources just to capture a satellite and launch it into orbit when the U.S. was about to launch it them selves? The Baroness was there to plant a homing device on it, so why bother stealing it? G.I.Joe would later use the satellite them selves to counter attack Cobra. Other than a fun plot device, I saw no reason for it.

 

What do you think?

 

I would assume they had to reprogram it with their software.

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Never crossed my mind. What did however,are all of those Cobra Troopers it seems they left there. I mean how was Cobra planning on getting them back?

Since when does Cobra care about reclaiming the cannon fodder?

 

Think about this epilogue...

 

Destro: For our next bid at world conquest, I have this ingenious device. I call it the Weather Dominator. With it, we shall--

Cobra Commander: Never mind that! We have a bunch of troops stuck in space! How the heck are we supposed to get them back?

Destro: That is an excellent question. A rescue mission of that scale is quite an undertaking. Then there is the matter of the hazard pay.

Cobra Commander: The haz-what?

Destro: Hazard pay. It's in their contracts. I think being experimentally disassembled into component molecules and shot into space without any sort of retrieval plan pretty clearly falls under the stipulation.

Cobra Commander: My credit line won't support that! Didn't these guys sign their lives over to me or some fanatical nonsense like that?

Destro: Absolutely. But they did so for the promise of money.

Cobra Commander: So wait, I own them, but if they come back, I have to pay them. If they don't come back...

Destro: Well, technically, the pay goes to the next-of-kin... but that, technically, is you.

Cobra Commander: I see. Well, I suppose they can just walk back or something.

Destro: FROM SPACE?!?!

Cobra Commander: Yeah, sure. People do that all the time. Now tell me about this Weather Dominator while I count their--uh, my money.

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There is one aspect of my childhood that I didn't have the pleasure of seeing, the original G.I.Joe cartoons (until now). I've had many of the comics, and a few of the toys (until now). I kinda had a G.I.Joe/Star Wars Universe growing up. :( I'm just telling you this so you know where I'm coming from. ;)

 

Just for the sake of fun conversation I ask this: Why did Cobra bother wasting precious resources just to capture a satellite and launch it into orbit when the U.S. was about to launch it them selves? The Baroness was there to plant a homing device on it, so why bother stealing it? G.I.Joe would later use the satellite them selves to counter attack Cobra. Other than a fun plot device, I saw no reason for it.

 

What do you think?

 

I would assume they had to reprogram it with their software.

But if Cobra had reprogrammed it, then G.I.Joe wouldn't be able to use it. I think you are on the right track when it comes to learning the programming of the satellite ;) , but that kinda brings me back to the original question of why waste the resources? Baroness was already there as a Pentagon officer. Couldn't she just steal the blueprints, since she already knew so much about the satellite? ....and plant the homing beacon?

 

Never crossed my mind. What did however,are all of those Cobra Troopers it seems they left there. I mean how was Cobra planning on getting them back?

Since when does Cobra care about reclaiming the cannon fodder?

 

Think about this epilogue...

 

Destro: For our next bid at world conquest, I have this ingenious device. I call it the Weather Dominator. With it, we shall--

Cobra Commander: Never mind that! We have a bunch of troops stuck in space! How the heck are we supposed to get them back?

Destro: That is an excellent question. A rescue mission of that scale is quite an undertaking. Then there is the matter of the hazard pay.

Cobra Commander: The haz-what?

Destro: Hazard pay. It's in their contracts. I think being experimentally disassembled into component molecules and shot into space without any sort of retrieval plan pretty clearly falls under the stipulation.

Cobra Commander: My credit line won't support that! Didn't these guys sign their lives over to me or some fanatical nonsense like that?

Destro: Absolutely. But they did so for the promise of money.

Cobra Commander: So wait, I own them, but if they come back, I have to pay them. If they don't come back...

Destro: Well, technically, the pay goes to the next-of-kin... but that, technically, is you.

Cobra Commander: I see. Well, I suppose they can just walk back or something.

Destro: FROM SPACE?!?!

Cobra Commander: Yeah, sure. People do that all the time. Now tell me about this Weather Dominator while I count their--uh, my money.

That's funny as hell. I completely forgot about the Shock-Troopers. @lol@ I guess they all fell to Earth, burning up in the stratosphere yelling "COBRA!!" @loll@

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But if Cobra had reprogrammed it, then G.I.Joe wouldn't be able to use it. I think you are on the right track when it comes to learning the programming of the satellite ;) , but that kinda brings me back to the original question of why waste the resources? Baroness was already there as a Pentagon officer. Couldn't she just steal the blueprints, since she already knew so much about the satellite? ....and plant the homing beacon?

 

Well, the homing beacon was just a way for Cobra to send their troops, so if they werent going to steal it, she didn't need to do that.

 

Honestly, you're right. It was a superfluous plot-point. Don't even try to understand Cobra's plans in "Pyramid of Darkness".

 

When Cobra stops a shuttle launch by throwing a net over the shuttle, logic has been slain, pissed on, and burned.

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Never crossed my mind. What did however,are all of those Cobra Troopers it seems they left there. I mean how was Cobra planning on getting them back?

Since when does Cobra care about reclaiming the cannon fodder?

 

Think about this epilogue...

 

Destro: For our next bid at world conquest, I have this ingenious device. I call it the Weather Dominator. With it, we shall--

Cobra Commander: Never mind that! We have a bunch of troops stuck in space! How the heck are we supposed to get them back?

Destro: That is an excellent question. A rescue mission of that scale is quite an undertaking. Then there is the matter of the hazard pay.

Cobra Commander: The haz-what?

Destro: Hazard pay. It's in their contracts. I think being experimentally disassembled into component molecules and shot into space without any sort of retrieval plan pretty clearly falls under the stipulation.

Cobra Commander: My credit line won't support that! Didn't these guys sign their lives over to me or some fanatical nonsense like that?

Destro: Absolutely. But they did so for the promise of money.

Cobra Commander: So wait, I own them, but if they come back, I have to pay them. If they don't come back...

Destro: Well, technically, the pay goes to the next-of-kin... but that, technically, is you.

Cobra Commander: I see. Well, I suppose they can just walk back or something.

Destro: FROM SPACE?!?!

Cobra Commander: Yeah, sure. People do that all the time. Now tell me about this Weather Dominator while I count their--uh, my money.

 

Then what's the point to them giving everyone parachutes? Would save a lot of money on those every time a FANG gets shot down.

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Never crossed my mind. What did however,are all of those Cobra Troopers it seems they left there. I mean how was Cobra planning on getting them back?

Since when does Cobra care about reclaiming the cannon fodder?

 

Think about this epilogue...

 

Destro: For our next bid at world conquest, I have this ingenious device. I call it the Weather Dominator. With it, we shall--

Cobra Commander: Never mind that! We have a bunch of troops stuck in space! How the heck are we supposed to get them back?

Destro: That is an excellent question. A rescue mission of that scale is quite an undertaking. Then there is the matter of the hazard pay.

Cobra Commander: The haz-what?

Destro: Hazard pay. It's in their contracts. I think being experimentally disassembled into component molecules and shot into space without any sort of retrieval plan pretty clearly falls under the stipulation.

Cobra Commander: My credit line won't support that! Didn't these guys sign their lives over to me or some fanatical nonsense like that?

Destro: Absolutely. But they did so for the promise of money.

Cobra Commander: So wait, I own them, but if they come back, I have to pay them. If they don't come back...

Destro: Well, technically, the pay goes to the next-of-kin... but that, technically, is you.

Cobra Commander: I see. Well, I suppose they can just walk back or something.

Destro: FROM SPACE?!?!

Cobra Commander: Yeah, sure. People do that all the time. Now tell me about this Weather Dominator while I count their--uh, my money.

 

Then what's the point to them giving everyone parachutes? Would save a lot of money on those every time a FANG gets shot down.

@lol@ Maybe the Shock-Troopers were equipped with armor to survive an upper atmosphere free fall. After that they had chutes, just like Halo jumpers. If they were trained.

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Then what's the point to them giving everyone parachutes? Would save a lot of money on those every time a FANG gets shot down.

That's part of the hazard pay plan. The guys on the satellite had parachutes too. ;)

 

Seriously though, the idea that if you're a soldier, you might get shot at, and if you're a pilot, you might get shot down... that's pretty much part and parcel of the job description. What I have CC and Destro discussing are the ridiculous things they make the troops do that are far and above what even the most irrationally loyal soldier should be willing to submit themselves to.

 

...and why am I clarifying this as though it's actually part of the canon and not the half-brained joke that it is? @loll@

 

The terrible part is that it actually makes a modicum of sense, but still... I blame sleep dep.

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Nothing like a bunch of men trying to analyze the plot strategies of a cartoon that was nothing more than a glorified commercial for 80's toys. ;) @smilepunch@

 

Seriously though...when I watch the old 'toons, I try not to be nit-picky about the plots. I've done it in the past, and find it just ruins the experience. If I sit down for a GI Joe cartoon, I usually go into it knowing most of the plot is gonna be BS, and just watch with my sense of realism put on hold.

 

On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

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Nothing like a bunch of men trying to analyze the plot strategies of a cartoon that was nothing more than a glorified commercial for 80's toys. ;) @smilepunch@

 

Seriously though...when I watch the old 'toons, I try not to be nit-picky about the plots. I've done it in the past, and find it just ruins the experience. If I sit down for a GI Joe cartoon, I usually go into it knowing most of the plot is gonna be BS, and just watch with my sense of realism put on hold.

 

On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

 

@loll@ Busted. I will always have the nostalgic feel for the 80's cartoons. I just like to pick on them every once an a while. Now I admit (as I did before) I've only seen a few G.I.Joe cartoons when they originally aired, but being a Transformer fan made watching the old Joe flicks as familiar as having milk and cookies just before bed. Great stuff, but where DID Cobra put the Eiffel Tower when they stole it? :blink:

 

As far as He-Man, watching half-naked muscle men bear hugging each other from behind is not what I call entertaining. @lol@

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Nothing like a bunch of men trying to analyze the plot strategies of a cartoon that was nothing more than a glorified commercial for 80's toys. ;) @smilepunch@

This is actually one of the major things I'm working on for the various term papers and thesis I have to write for my MA.

 

The general idea goes that many of the children who grew up on toy-based programming during the 80s now have kids that are into the same stuff, and/or are STILL fans of the property. Whether you were a fan of it or not, the fact of the matter is that Transformers, a live-action movie based on a 20+ year old toyline, was the #3 movie of 2007. Many of the same concepts and even the same characters that were a part of the properties then are still a part of them now. Plain and simple, it's really easy to sell parents and collectors on Optimus Prime and Snake Eyes and R2-D2.

 

But this all means that the properties aren't going anywhere, and that they should get more attention. In the field of film review and media studies, most cartoons that are either based on or gave birth to toylines are scoffed at simply because of the merchandise. My argument is that the merchandise is WHY many of these things are remembered 20 years later, and it's why they'll be around 20 years from now, so academia needs to start taking a serious look at these things. Let's look at the 'standard plots' and see how they densely-packed most of them actually are, and how the simple ones can be improved. Let's look at the ethnic and racial portrayals and see if they are flattering or just stereotypical. Let's look at how these things have influenced the culture, and how the culture has influenced them. And so on.

 

On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

Although I think you're undercutting He-Man a bit, I have indeed found that GI Joe and Transformers were among the most complicated among properties that are most popular today. Interestingly enough, that's the conclusion that a LOT of studies have reached, but these same studies are often so focused on things like counting acts of violence (without any context) in something that advertises itself as an ACTION cartoon that they note, then disregard, results that show advanced language levels, strong plots, and numerous unique characters. For a good example, one study done on Transformers in the 80s found an average of 15 male characters and 1 female in the episodes they reviewed. They then go on to talk about gender disparity, showing no comprehension that SIXTEEN characters in a 22-minute show is something that adult programming doesn't even attempt- Not only that, but kids were/are actually able to tell all of them apart!

 

That's the sort of thing I'm dealing with, really- credit where credit is due. Instead of ignoring something that's becoming more and more appealing and acceptable as all-ages entertainment, or writing it off as fluff, scholars should be spending more time focusing on what makes things like Transformers and GI Joe increasingly appealing and acceptable.

 

But I'm a weird guy who finds entertainment more entertaining if I over-analyze it... :)

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But this all means that the properties aren't going anywhere, and that they should get more attention. In the field of film review and media studies, most cartoons that are either based on or gave birth to toylines are scoffed at simply because of the merchandise. My argument is that the merchandise is WHY many of these things are remembered 20 years later, and it's why they'll be around 20 years from now, so academia needs to start taking a serious look at these things. Let's look at the 'standard plots' and see how they densely-packed most of them actually are, and how the simple ones can be improved. Let's look at the ethnic and racial portrayals and see if they are flattering or just stereotypical. Let's look at how these things have influenced the culture, and how the culture has influenced them. And so on.

 

This has been a trend throughout pop culture history. Star Wars was borne out of George Lucas' love of movie serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, and those properties came from folks that loved H. G. Wells etc.

 

When I work on a toy property-based cartoon, I'm very conscious of tying the stories into the toys in as many ways as possible. If something can spell out a play pattern for a kid, can spark the imagination a bit more....I try to get it in there ( and fairly often it gets put in).

Its small stuff really, but I realized that when I was a little kid that "small stuff" was what I ended up remembering most--and I've learned that quite a few of my peers feel the same way.

 

Unfortunately, most cartoons patronize children and talk down to them--which is partly the politicized nature of cartoons. It really depends on the material though, as you do not want to have a nail-biting time with Arthur or Dora the Explorer, but you do want thrills with Batman and Spiderman. At the same time, making material TOO sophisticated or adult just goes over the heads of kids who really just want fairly simple story concepts for entertainment.

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Unfortunately, most cartoons patronize children and talk down to them--which is partly the politicized nature of cartoons. It really depends on the material though, as you do not want to have a nail-biting time with Arthur or Dora the Explorer, but you do want thrills with Batman and Spiderman. At the same time, making material TOO sophisticated or adult just goes over the heads of kids who really just want fairly simple story concepts for entertainment.

See: The TMNT movie of last year. I liked it, but a wafer-thin plot combined with some ridiculously complex character moments, not to mention the very clear avoidance of laying out any sort of backstory, just left me going "So who was this made for? The 20-somethings? The teens? The kids?"

 

It wasn't a matter of having 'something for everyone', but rather not seeming to know how to DO that, and having it look like a mishmash as a result.

 

I watched a few eps of GI Joe Extreme not too long ago and had the same feeling. It was like they had a guy write the script as a hardcore military/political action-thriller, then they passed it to another guy who writes funny-animal direct-to-DVD movies and said "do something with this." It was just all over the place. Didn't help that only half the voices were any good... Not the best work I've seen from any of the actors involved.

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I watched a few eps of GI Joe Extreme not too long ago and had the same feeling. It was like they had a guy write the script as a hardcore military/political action-thriller, then they passed it to another guy who writes funny-animal direct-to-DVD movies and said "do something with this." It was just all over the place. Didn't help that only half the voices were any good... Not the best work I've seen from any of the actors involved.

 

Sometimes, that is pretty much what happens!

 

A lot of it is due to second guessing the networks, who are often the ones that make the judgement calls that dumb down the stuff. There is no common ground in how the shows are evaluated, and no set criteria.

How its done changes every time the "standards and practises" or heads of Childrens Programming chairs are filled with a new butt--which is surprisingly often. You'll get someone with experience overseeing preschool cartoons like Arthur or Bob The Builder all of a sudden being handed Batman or Spiderman stuff......and the resulting teeth-gnashing that show creators have in dealing with these people are the stuff of legends.

The happy medium is finding the level where the stuff is intelligent, but not patronizing, and yet fulfils the requirements of a decent dramatic story.

The reason why lot of the material does NOT do that is the creators of said material play it SO safe that they know its (the material and themselves) not going to get hassled. So they deliberately write the material to be tamer than it could (or should) be. Remember, if these folks are working freelance--and quite a few are--if a story takes 2 weeks to write for $5000, then having that story bounce around being re-written for approvals for 4 weeks means that writer just got paid a LOT less for more work. That is the nature of that beast.

 

Every once in a while though, a show and talent comes along where people actually give a spit. Then you get people willing and able to fight for some creative integrity and produce a show that actually has some smarts behind it. When they pull it off, magic can happen on screen--but its not that often.

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On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

 

Good God! Are they ever! Despite the fact that I am know much more aware of plot holes, continuity errors, animateion mistakes, etc etc. TF and Joe stand up as being reasonably watchable.

 

Recently I watch the original mini-movie for Tigercats on youtube.....

 

Just.....

 

Brutal.......

 

And when I was a kid I f'n loved Tigercats.

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On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

 

Good God! Are they ever! Despite the fact that I am know much more aware of plot holes, continuity errors, animateion mistakes, etc etc. TF and Joe stand up as being reasonably watchable.

 

Recently I watch the original mini-movie for Tigercats on youtube.....

 

Just.....

 

Brutal.......

 

And when I was a kid I f'n loved Tigercats.

 

 

Tigercats?

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On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

 

Good God! Are they ever! Despite the fact that I am know much more aware of plot holes, continuity errors, animateion mistakes, etc etc. TF and Joe stand up as being reasonably watchable.

 

Recently I watch the original mini-movie for Tigercats on youtube.....

 

Just.....

 

Brutal.......

 

And when I was a kid I f'n loved Tigercats.

 

 

Tigercats?

 

@loll@ Sorry..... Thundercats. I'm an idiot.

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On a side note, I find GI Joe and Transformers were probably some of the better cartoons to come out of the 80's as far as plot goes. Have any of you tried to watch any of the old MOTU cartoons lately? Now those are HORRIBLE IMO. @lol@

 

Good God! Are they ever! Despite the fact that I am know much more aware of plot holes, continuity errors, animateion mistakes, etc etc. TF and Joe stand up as being reasonably watchable.

 

Recently I watch the original mini-movie for Tigercats on youtube.....

 

Just.....

 

Brutal.......

 

And when I was a kid I f'n loved Tigercats.

 

 

Tigercats?

 

Sounds like a cross-over of the Thundercats and Tigersharks. Now that would have been cool.

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