Les’ Science Fiction Vehicle/Spacecraft Hall of Fame #9: Starbug

Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to continue my Science Fiction Vehicles/Spacecraft Hall of fame. One of the great things about science fiction is the fantastic ways they show how to get from point A to point B, whether it’s across town or across the Galaxy. I will induct a new craft at a time, give its origins, abilities, first appearances and why I think it’s amazing.


Today, I’m selecting:


Starbug(“Red Dwarf”(1989-Present)


In the 22nd Century, the Jupiter Mining Company has a fleet of large mining craft, of which, “Red Dwarf” is one of them.  Over 6 miles long, the mamoth ship has a crew of thousands, an AI computer with an IQ of 6,000, the technology to bring dead officers back to life as holograms and several small EVA craft.  Starbug is a workhorse in the fleet.


Craft Abilities

Starbug is a green 3 segmented craft with Cockpit, Midsegment and Engine Room connected and 4 leggy stanchions for landings.  All in all, it resembles an insect from outside.  Using 2 main thruster engines and several attitude jets, Starbug is fast and highly maneuverable.  It’s also one helluva tough ship crashing in nearly every episode…but still operational afterwards.  Also, even though it’s generally used as an EVA ship, it is equipped with enough survival tech to be a lifeboat for many years(as the crew discovered in Series 6 and 7 when Lister(Craig Charles) misplaces Red Dwarf, and they have to live in it.  It can operate in space, atmosphere and underwater.

First Appearance

Starbug first appeared in the Series 3 opener “Backwards”(1989)


In it, Series 4000 Mechanoid Kryten(Robert Llewelyn) is taking a pilot’s exam given by Rimmer(Chris Barrie) when they’re sucked through a timehole in space and land on an alternate reality Earth where time runs backwards.  Lister and the cat(Danny John Jules) go after them in Starbug 2 and after mistaking the world for Belgium, find out about the time deal and locate their fellow “Dwarfers.”  Initially, they don’t want to go back having gotten used to living in reverse, but they get fired from their jobs before(after) a barroom brawl that Lister ends(starts) and they change their minds.


Why I think it’s amazing

Starbug is such a fun spaceship the way it’s constructed and the way it flies.  Hits the door on the way out?  No Problem! It just spins a bit and then keeps flying.  Lands in an ocean of molten lava?  It shoots back out and continues on its way.  The only other ship I can think of that crashed and recovered as much as Starbug is the Alphan Eagle spacecraft in “Space 1999.”  The ship served the Dwarfers well and that counts a lot for me.


Did you see this show?  Did you like this ship?  I’d love to hear your opinions, my friends.  Peace.



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