18: Can you identify these movie and TV stars?

Not actors. Stars.

While watching The Mandalorian, I felt like the background stars on that show were somehow different than other space shows. Were the stars sharper? Brighter? Maybe there were more of them?

That got me thinking about the starfields in movies and TV. How different do starfields in different fictional space universes look from each other? Do they have their own personality? Surely I’d recognize the stars from Star Trek: The Next Generation anywhere, wouldn’t I?

I decided to make a little test. I’ve pulled some starfield stills from various TV shows and movies. Can you tell them apart?

A few things to know:

  • I tried to pick images where the camera is still, so the stars are points rather than lines.

  • I tried to pick images where no space ships, planets, nebulas, or other space stuff were visible. Just stars. In a couple instances I did digitally remove a small ship from the image.

  • I’ve kept everything in roughly the original aspect ratio, which should give you some hints.

The choices are, in alphabetical order:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Movie)

  2. Battlestar Galactica | Original (TV)

  3. Battlestar Galactica | New (TV)

  4. Buck Rogers (TV)

  5. The Expanse (TV)

  6. Futurama (TV)

  7. The Mandalorian (TV)

  8. Star Trek: The Original Series (TV)

  9. Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV)

  10. Star Wars IV: A New Hope (Movie)

And here are the starfields, in no particular order. Click/tap to enlarge:

A:

B:

C:

D:

E:

F:

G:

H:

I:

J:

The answers: A. Buck Rogers (TV); B: Futurama (TV); C: Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV); D: Star Wars IV: A New Hope (Movie); E: The Expanse (TV); F: The Mandalorian (TV); G: Battlestar Galactica | Original (TV); H: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Movie); I: Star Trek: The Original Series (TV); J: Battlestar Galactica | New (TV)

So how’d you do?

Recommendation: PaperKarma

At the end of the year, you probably got yourself on a bunch of new junk mail lists. I’m talking about snail mail: catalogs from companies you bought gifts from, newsletters from charities you made donations to, that sort of thing. If they haven’t started coming yet, they will soon.

For years now, I’ve been using an app called PaperKarma to unsubscribe from physical spam. When you get unwanted mail, you just take a picture of the return address or logo before you toss it in recycling, and PaperKarma gets you taken off their mailing list. It’s fast and easy, like a real-world unsubscribe button.

I get close to zero junk mail anymore, which makes PaperKarma an odd sort of product in that the better it works, the less you need it.

And while we’re talking about junk mail, you should also get yourself off the mailing lists of credit card companies that send you credit offers by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com, a joint venture of the major credit reporting companies. So that’s a bonus tip for people who read newsletters to the end.

I wrote this newsletter over the weekend. How’s the week going so far? Better than last week, I hope? Is America still standing?

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

David