1. Alien world pirates have taken over a missing exploratory lander. Never know where those pesky pirates will strike next.

  2. I mostly took it under the view given as Ian Osmond’s 2nd option, that the rover itself has gone rogue. But that leaves somewhat unanswered, who is saying the caption, and to whom, and in what relation to the scene shown?

    Late realization: Ah, we’re seeing a view thru binoculars. So the dialog is spoken by the observer who has just spotted the rover thru the scopes.

  3. Yeah, the idiosyncratic format used by Carpe Diem is mostly responsible for the uncertainty about the speaker. Along with: the speaker is not pictured in the scene.

    For instance in today’s entry https://www.comicskingdom.com/carpe-diem/2021-06-09 (sorry I can’t seem to get a direct image link) we still have the whole top half of the panel occupied by the dialog, but they do make a sort of gesture compromising with conventional speech bubbles, by having a wiggly pointer going down to the guy talking.

  4. Thanks, Andréa.
    I don’t know if this is official, but it has been my impression they have been saying things like “a rover” parallel to “a lander” – along with using a named one like “the rover Opportunity”. But that doesn’t stop us from feeling like Rover could be a name! — Just as it is for many terrestrial dogs.

    Ah, here ya go: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/mars-rovers/en/

  5. Do the rovers have numbers? Is “unit 21” a thing?? like Mitch, I thought they all had names…

  6. If this is a rover on Mars or some planet other than Earth, it must be far into the future because the person is observing through binoculars and therefore is on the planet as well. In the future, there could be dozens of rovers running around and at that point using a numbering system makes sense. Today they are named.

    However, there is no indication that is a rover on another planet. Just “Unit 21.” The reddish hue could be an indication of Mars, but that could also just be night lighting. I suspect it is intended to be Mars, though. I don’t think it affects the joke so trying to figure out which planet that is pretty pointless.

    I see the unit as having been “pirated.” That implies an external entity rather than the unit itself going rogue.

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