6 Baffling Flaws in Famous Sci-Fi Technology

#3. The Batwing

The Batwing is unlike anything to be found in Christian Bale's arsenal; a modified stealth jet complete with Gatling guns, missiles and a price tag that had to be somewhere north of $2 billion back in 1989. Because Batman won't hold a pistol, but he's apparently fine with missiles and vehicle-mounted mini-guns.


That's roughly a third of Bruce Wayne's net worth.

The Flaw:

Sadly, this piece of colon-evacuating awesome had two insanely glaring flaws, the first of which being its astoundingly useless targeting system. Sure, it manages to blast the crap out of some parade floats that are easily a city block wide apiece, but the damn thing can't manage to hit a man-sized target under literally ideal conditions.


Apparently those precision aiming red circles have a 10 foot margin of error.

If you watched the video linked in the above caption, you'll notice the Wright Brothers could have killed the Joker in that situation using their prototype airplane and a musket. Which brings us to the second flaw: The Batwing's armor was apparently constructed out of paper mache. It gets brought down by a gag pistol the Joker kept in his pants in the off-chance that he might need it for some spur-of-the-moment prop comedy.

Its barrel is so long that it probably slowed the bullet down to 15mph, yet it still manages to destroy the single raddest piece of Bat-technology in Wayne Manor. With one single shot.


We'll take Christian Bale's ridiculous, gravelly voice over this shit any day of the week.

#2. The Technodrome

In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe, the Technodrome is a futuristic doom base/horror tank from another world built by a gigantic brain with arms and a tripod.

It was able to withstand any environment--from the vacuums of space to the depths of the ocean--and came equipped with a robot army, deflector shields, interdimensional teleportation and even a time machine.


It also made a totally badass toy.

The Flaw:

Despite boasting some of the most terrifying technology our dimension had ever encountered, the Technodrome suffered from perhaps the most baffling design flaw in the history of fictional technology: It did not have a working power source. None. It was like a car without a gas tank or a Death Star that had to be powered by windmill.


Or a brain with no body.

We know this, because the Technodrome spent most of the entire 10-season run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stranded underground, trapped in Dimension X, encased in the Earth's core, frozen in ice or sitting at the bottom of the sea, always waiting for a recharge that simply never came.

Since the Technodrome could have potentially ruled the universe if given enough juice, the plot for the entire series boiled down to "the Technodrome needs a jump." Krang tried rigging it to Niagara Falls, sent the most brainless mutants on Earth to obtain power crystals, and even broke out some stationary bikes--the "Pedal Power Generator"--for Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady to ride for a boost.

Hell, we feel bad for criticizing the Death Star's power source now. At least Darth Vader didn't spend the entire trilogy trying to get the damned thing to start.

After so many failed attempts to get the damn thing running, it was revealed in the last episode of the cartoon that the Technodrome was simply abandoned, cast aside to die like a Ford Expedition. Really, the logic of the whole show kind of falls apart when viewed from adulthood.


The toys are still awesome though.

#1. Sentient Computers

Let's start with the HAL 9000. We'll go straight to the source:

"The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error."


"Also, humble."

The Flaw:

Well, in addition to cheating at chess...

...the HAL 9000 suffered from one hell of a emotional flaw that the good people at IBM have yet to own up to.

Let's recap: HAL tells the crew that a part on the ship is about to malfunction, but when they check it out everything seems fine. He suggests that they reinstall the part and wait for it to fail, but seeing as how suggestions like that are usually made with tons of alcohol and end in a trip to the emergency room, the crew questions HAL's logic and agree to switch him off if his idea doesn't work.

HAL "overhears" this exchange by way of lip reading and decides to kill the entire crew by casting one into space and freezing the rest in their sleep.

Now, we're obviously not complaining that they designed HAL to be murderous--we realize that was a bug, not a feature. But why give him a personality at all? What good did it do? Especially when it's the personality of a sociopath with an easily bruised ego (sort of like a murderous Kanye West). Nobody floating in space should have to depend on a neurotic killer douche for survival.


"Honestly? I'm starting to miss Windows Vista."

Which brings us to the Knight Industries Two Thousand, or KITT.

This car boasted enough high-tech equipment to commit a war crime with. It came with alpha circuit, an indestructible molecular bonded shell, a wristwatch communicator, a front mounted scanner, a microwave jammer, tear gas launcher, flame thrower, lasers and a supercomputer AI voiced by Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.

Our question: How many hours of AI programming did it take to turn KITT into a total dick? KITT and its driver spent half of the episodes bickering like an old married couple. There is one scene where KITT locks Michael out of the car, until Michael successfully debates him on the merits of their mission. Another time he allows Michael to literally fall asleep at the wheel after an argument and then advises Michael to lie to the police by pretending that he is deaf.

Imagine owning a cell phone, a laptop or a freaking car that was even just a fraction as condescending as KITT. It's played for laughs in the show, but only because we never got to see the inevitable situation where KITT's mistrust of its own driver finally gets the driver killed.

That's right, we're saying it right now: The only difference between KITT and HAL 9000 is the show didn't run long enough for KITT to finally go over the edge.


It would have spared everyone a lot of pain.

For a real-life comparison, check out 5 Real Historical Death Stars (Complete With Baffling Flaws). Or find out just what went wrong over at Cyberdyne, in A Series of Emails From Cyberdyne's New Tech Guy.

Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Know way too much about a random topic? Create a topic page and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!

And stop by Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to discover ancient videos of Y-chromosomal Adam and Eve totally doing it.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here

1,090 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!