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Old January 19 2008, 06:18 PM   #113
Cary L. Brown
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: The OFFICIAL new Enterprise - Let the critiques begin!

Harry said:
Starship Polaris said:
One of the greatest failings of post-Roddenberry Trek was simply that the producers were too conservative and respectful of the style and limitations of previous Trek.
Amen. Except for the initial set-up of the 24th century (TNG), the darker setting of DS9 and outraguous fun of ENT Season 4, the format has barely changed. IMO, especially VOY and ENT had no real distinct 'spirit', and you can easily swap storylines between any of those seasons and no-one would notice. Not to mention that the Delta Quadrant and the Delphic Expanse had absolutely zero to do with the Star Trek universe we know.
Hard not to agree... but this is oversimplified.

The problem, IMHO, is that there was a totally NEW tone set in the early stages of TNG... that essentially divorced the new shows from the original show. It was "updated" but the "updates" weren't necessarily IMPROVEMENTS (TOS still feels far more "real" to me than TNG ever did).

Everything that followed on used TNG as a pattern, and (with the exception of one episode of DS9 and one two-parter in ENT) largely disregarded TOS.

So we've had three seasons of TOS, a few cartoons, and some books. And everything else has been, effectively, unrelated to TOS except in name.

To go back to the TOS-era (and I'm including the period before the series in that), you had two choices.

(1) Try to update what we've seen there to make it better... but keep everything that can be kept,

or

(2) toss out a lot of things that weren't flawed OR overused, and toss out other things that were flawed but with minor tweaking could have been made to work, and make something that's unrelated to ANY of what's come before (but still pretends to be "the same thing")

We don't know how much of which approach has been used, and where each may have been applied. But in the case of the ship, that's really the choice, and if this is the ship as it's going to be seen in the movie (most likely the case)... then they've chosen option #2.

Which, IMHO, is a serious mistake.

Why, you ask? Is it because I think that vast crowds will storm angrily out of the theater over this? OF COURSE NOT. DO I think that "Trekkies" will storm out of the theater over this? OF COURSE NOT.

But it will create dissonance with the audience, who already KNOW what the Mona Lisa looks like, and don't buy for an instance that this new painting, however nicely done it may be, is the same painting.

It WILL harm the movie. And it will cause UNNECESSARY strife among "fandom" as you have the two extremist groups:

(1) The "TOS is holy religion" group, who believe that the only possible approach that would be acceptable would have been to pull the original miniature from the Smithsonian... and to have cloned Shatner, Nimoy, and the gang.

and

(2) The smug, self-righteous "all you other fans are stooopid, I'm better than you" brigade who'll take HUGE pleasure in belittling anyone not so "kewl" as they are. They may or may not REALLY like the revised design... but they'll just SWIM in the sheer joy of watching other people NOT liking it and will do everything in their power to make those other folks as unhappy as humanly possible.

If we got a ship that was like the original... not an all-new design that has a few things in common with the original... that particular little within-fandom conflict would be entirely moot. The audiences wouldn't either love it or just not care... NOBODY except for a few really extreme members of group #2 would have been unhappy about it...

But now we're facing another Jihad within fandom. Totally unnecessary... but pretty much inevitable if things go this way.
And that's why I'm looking forward to this movie. I'm totally ready for some new approaches. I mean.. the original series is still there to enjoy, and so is all the rest. So just give this movie some room for change. I'm completely open-minded at this point, since they seem to be going for an actual new setting and style, as opposed to just some new visuals (as ENT did).
I don't think ANYONE except for a few of the most extreme members of group #1 would disagree with that. In MY case, I just wanted to see a high-resolution version of the original ship, on a big screen, as part of that.

I CANNOT force myself to suspend my disbelief that, for instance, Gabe's design is "the same ship." And Gabe's design seems to be closer to the original than what we're seeing so far.

(My tone has changed a bit since I saw the trailer on-screen. I LOVE the trailer... except for the fact that it's a totally different ship that's impersonating the Enterprise I've known so well for 40+ years. I LIKE the new ship... and if it weren't pretending to be the Enterprise, I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. But it's NOT the Enterprise. The shapes are too different throughout... that's my Engineer's mind at work there.)
But anyway.. on to the ship . Firstly, I must say they have never filmed any Star Trek ship so dramatically as this. It's huge, it's real, it's made out of steel and sweat! I think that, artistically, that is on a completely different level than wether or not is has aztec panels. At this point in time, I can't say I can be bothered by any of the details. But I think they've hit the right spirit, and I'm eagerly awaiting more.
All the things you mention, above, I agree with very much. It does look REAL. Now, you could have taken this new ship design and made it look as cheesy, as "plastic" as anything we've ever seen on-screen in any show (trek or not).

OR...

You could have taken the original design and given it this same treatment... you could accomplish the same "weight" and the same "reality" without replacing key components.

Visualize, if you will... the exact same scene, with the "bussard guts" and the cranes and so forth.. the same welding stuff, the same metallic feel to the hull,the same hints of interiors... but with the SHAPE being the same shape as the original.

Would it have lost any of the impact? Or might it actually have GAINED some?
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