Welcome everyone. I’m Christopher DeFilippis and this is DeFlip Side.
And after 64 rounds of mechanized mayhem orchestrated over a month of game play, a victor has emerged in the Robopocalypse.
I’m proud to welcome R2-D2 into the winner’s circle of DeFlip Side’s 2017 Sci-Fi Madness competition.
The lovable droid joins previous Sci-Fi Madness titleholders Farscape, which won best television series in 2013, Star Wars, which won best film franchise in 2014, Mr. Spock, who won best movie hero in the 2015, and 2016’s Temporal Tempest champ, Dr. Sam Beckett.
Artoo’s road to gizmodic glory ultimately led to a winner-take-all showdown against fellow Star Wars juggernaut and long-time frenemy Darth Vader. But the power of the Dark Side was of no avail, as the droid bested Vader with 57-percent of the vote.
And that was the closest R2 ever came to losing. He was an astromech monster throughout the competition, dominating in the Automaton Division against the likes of Optimus Prime, BB-8, Bender and K-2SO. When he came up against K.I.T.T. in the final four, his victory was a foregone conclusion.
The Sith Lord’s path to second place was equally easy. Contenders in the Cyborg Division didn’t stand a youngling’s chance on Coruscant as Vader handily force-choked foes like the T-800, Rocket Raccoon, Seven of Nine, RoboCop and ultimately, Data.
Unlike Sci-Fi Madness melees past, Data was the only Star Trek competitor this year who even came close to winning. The positronic powerhouse dominated the Androids Division. But fellow Trek alums like Nomad, V’Ger and Lore all wound up as twisted piles of circuitry on the Robopocalypse scrap heap. And my favorite 2017 competitor – Brainless Spock – didn’t even make it out of the first round!
Spock was in the Drones Divison, which also featured 2017’s true Sci-Fi Madness dark horse – Voltron. I honesty threw Voltron into the Drones division on a whim to fill out the last bracket. I never suspected and he’d defeat relative giants like Ultron and Wall-E!
So I naturally thought Voltron would give K.I.T.T. a run for his swooshy hood light thingie. But alas, a robot made of trucks (that’s what Voltron is, right? A robot made of trucks?) — apparently a robot made of trucks is no match for an 80s Trans Am made of the perfect blend of fiberglass and awesome.
But in the end, the sleek Knight Industries Two Thousand stalled out against the stumpy Star Wars icon.
And let’s take a moment to lament the Robopocalypse battles that I desperately wanted to see – but which never happened. In a perfect world, Data would have teched the tech against Lore, and Battlestar Galactica’s Six would have gone toe to toe with Voyager’s Seven.
But all resistance surely would have proved futile in the end, and we’d be right where we are now, inaugurating R2-D2 into the Sci-Fi Madness hall of champions. The force was with you always, you little bucket of bolts.
And thus ends the Robopocalypse – a Sci-Fi Madness battle years in the making. So where do we go from here? I’m kicking around a few ideas for next year’s competition. How does best villain grab you? Or maybe the most horrific horror icon?
You’ll just have to tune in in 2018, for the next thrilling installment of DeFlip Side’s Sci-Fi Madness!