The Internet is an infinite playground filled with imagination, joy, and childish assholes screaming at each other. The freedom of online discussion has elevated nerd arguments into an art form. But, just like modern art, there are still too many psychopaths flinging shit and screaming under the assumption that it's all as important as real thought.
"THIS IS A POST-DECONSTRUCTIONIST MASTERPIECE OF HOW FLUTTERSHY IS THE SEXIEST PONY!"
Two people arguing over which is the coolest Doctor aren't losers, because they're both doing something they enjoy. They have all the advantages of football fandom with far more source material, a much wider variety of pitches, and the entertaining advantage that their hobby doesn't continually cripple people.
Ridley Scott recently answered Blade Runner's eternal question of whether Deckard is a replicant. And if you don't want to know the answer, then whatever you do, don't remember that he thinks he's a human in a sci-fi movie entirely and only about how replicants can pass as human. And as Cracked's nerdiest nerd -- I not only understand questions like "How did Pacific Rim's Kaidonovskys survive?" but have strong feelings about them and provide multiple answers -- I've found five more eternal nerd questions with definite answers.
5Star Destroyer vs Enterprise
With the ridicuzillions of stars in the universe you'd think there would be enough to both trek to and war over, but no. Star Destroyer versus Enterprise has been the iconic nerd battle since we looked at the Enterprise's wonderful mission to find new life beyond the stars and asked, "Yeah, but how good are you at blowing shit up?"
Excellent at blowing shit up, pretty terrible at password choice.
The Star Destroyer redefined science-fiction cinema. Its first appearance taught us that far above the sky there is the awesomeness of space, and far above that there's an even cooler and larger spaceship.
Looming so hard, gravity is too scared to crash it.
The Enterprise is the image of advanced technology, humanity's best using its most advanced knowledge to learn even more. The Star Destroyer is the embodiment of irresistible bureaucracy: only an empire could afford to build something so insanely huge, and it's unstoppable despite being staffed with people so eminently replaceable that murdering the captain is how you add exclamation points to internal memos.
The resulting battle isn't just an action scene, it's an ideological debate. People have spent decades working out every possible angle of the conflict, from military tactics to technological interactions to raw energy outputs painstakingly extracted from freeze-frames of the source material.
Easy Answer: Enterprise
If your enemy has transporter technology and you don't, winning isn't one of your options. You get to choose between surrendering, exploding, or choking in space. Darth Vader can asphyxiate someone by raising his arm. Transporter Chief O'Brien can do the same thing by raising a few fingers and beaming them into space.
"You spent how long training to choke people from a foot away?"
The Star Wars universe has never even heard of transporter technology, and so wouldn't have any defense against it. The Enterprise doesn't even need to beam photon torpedoes onto the Destroyer -- just remove any one of the million things the Destroyer needs to prevent itself from exploding and you're done. The movies established that Imperial technology is shorter-lived than Stormtrooper armor with a red undershirt.
Narratively, things are even worse for the Empire. The answer is in the "the" (and the italics reserved for proper craft names): the Enterprise is a named hero, while Star Destroyers are nameless minions. Not one in the movies has a title or a victory. Named hero versus minion only ever goes one way.
(Consolation prize: the Star Destroyer hasn't been in nearly as many terrible movies.)
4Sega vs Nintendo
In the '80s, Sega versus Nintendo was the Sharks versus the Jets, but on school playgrounds, and with even less convincing physical violence.
Todd Wright/Blend Images/Getty Images
But similarly based on making lots of noise.
We loved them no matter how cruelly or often they killed us every night. This was back when liking video games was less socially acceptable than stealing panties, which at least demonstrated physical ability, interest in sex, and several possible career skills. But instead of getting together to discuss games, Genesis and SNES kids would mock each other's almost identical passions. It's the purest example of capitalism fueling conflict among minorities who really should have been working together against wider social problems.
Easy Answer: Nintendo
Sega would go on to release more failed machines than a Skynet factory, and they were even less popular with the end users. The Sega CD, 32X, Saturn: they couldn't have eliminated childish joy faster if they'd released a cerebral bore trying to get your credit card number.
Pros: looked a bit like Knight Rider. Cons: everything else.
I was a Nintendo fanboy, and I used to say that Nintendo could release a console that only they made games for and still succeed. I wasn't expecting them to actually test the theory, but with the Wii they've done exactly that. And made zillions of dollars. They're making so much money from so few intellectual properties, they threw the best one away just to show that they could. To say nothing of their terminal ignorance of F-Zero.
As kids we couldn't even dream of Mario and Sonic on the same console. Now we have Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on the Wii.
Our powers combine! To make something even worse than watching luge!
That's not just Sonic working with Mario -- that's Sonic crashing on Mario's couch because he's got nowhere else to go.