The currently running arc of Schlock Mercenary features a huge starship (later reconfigured as a city) christened Jumpstar Prime.

Characters in the comic tend to have very strong reactions to that name -- a few love it to pieces, most react to hearing it with something like deep-but-resigned disgust.

To me it just sounds like a small meaningless word salad.

Is it a pun on something the reader is expected to recognize?
To clarify: I'm trying to understand why every human character who hears the name "Jumpstar Prime" reacts so strongly against it.


It's mentioned here that the original name suggested was "Jumpstart Primer". Schlock, however, wrote it as "JUMPStAR PRiWe!" and removed two letters which renamed the starship to "Jumpstar Prime".

In my opinion, it may have started out as a pun as the following terms are typically defined as:

  • Jumpstart - Restart the engine of a vehicle by means of jump leads or by the sudden release of the clutch while the vehicle is moving.
  • Primer - Normally a form of storage such as a cap or cylinder containing a compound which responds to friction or an electrical impulse and ignites the charge in a cartridge or explosive.

Therefore, my understanding of the pun is that this starship was named so because it could provide a jumpstart to starships with engine problems :)

  • Described as being "too on the nose" e.g. clumsily direct. – Valorum Jul 22 '15 at 23:22
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    That doesn't really explain why every human character who hears the name "Jumpstar Prime" seems to find it a singularly terrible name -- much more terrible than it seems any other random name with the terminal letters stripped off would rate. – Henning Makholm Jul 23 '15 at 0:15
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    Umm.. No... The "Jumpstart" and "Primer" referred to the fact that they were going to be using the power from the ship's large Annie Plants to start creating PTU materials, which are required to create more Annie Plants as well as celestial mega-structures. So they were using this ship to jumpstart and prime their PTU production capabilities. – Michael Richardson Jul 21 '16 at 18:59

I think the general idea is that the title is extremely childish or edgy. It's like naming your ship 'POWER FORCE MAXIMUM' or something like that, when everyone else is naming theirs Beta Sigma Negative, CL-2330, or Courier First Class.

  • When I first read this, it came across to me as a very "Anime" style name. Chinook really liked the name and her current avatar also seems very "Anime". – Michael Richardson Jul 21 '16 at 19:38

Maybe it's a math joke; jump, star, prime. Prime as in derivative? Something about integrals, maybe.

Could be * as in footnote. In HTML, an anchor to a different location on a page is sometimes called a jump.

Bit of a stretch.

There's clearly a joke here that we're not getting. Ship names are usually puns or at least jokes.


Speculation, but it's the only thing I can come up with: in 6502 assembly, JMP * apparently translates to "transfer execution to the address of the instruction currently executing', i.e. the JMP itself, meaning it's an very tight infinite loop functionally equivalent to "halt and catch fire". I don't know where "prime" came from, unless it's just to "sound cool".

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