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Old January 24 2008, 01:43 AM   #236
Wingsley
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Re: The OFFICIAL new Enterprise - Let the critiques begin!

Hey Vance,

Interesting post.

I would expect that continuity in any TV franchise (especially a SciFi one, to be sure) is a difficult thing. When it comes to fandom, it isn't so much that a producer like Mr. Berman has to go out of his way to "respect" the fanbase by genuflecting to it, rather, he simply has to show some care to respect the body of already-done material as best he can by avoiding obvious contradictions and discontinuity.

Let's assume, just for a moment, that this new movie is "sold" to the audience as a canon-prequel. This would mean that if Kirk is in Starfleet academy as part of the story, then chances are the Enterprise has already been built and in-flight for a while. (It was supposedly launched 20 years before "Where No Man Has Gone Before", IIRC) So if Kirk is a cadet in the film, Enterprise is either being refit or there's a major revision in continuity there. (Actually, the Microgamma lettering on the hull is equally irritating to me. Looks so 1979. Enough with the disco era! Let's get back to block lettering!)

Now, let's assume that the movie is a re-set/re-make/re-imagining. Okay, they can take liberty with the ship's appearance because they are starting a whole new canon. That's fine, but again, what do these "new" characters stand for? Are they is space to bring barroom brawls and waterboarding to strange new worlds? And why do we need disco-era lettering on the hull? Seems a little dated, but that's just me...

Now, let's assume a third possibility. Let's assume Abrams & Co. are talking out of both sides of their mouths, and that "this will be Roddenberry's TREK" and "we're re-imagining, just a little". (I'm not assuming they would actually say something that ridiculous, but that's the way it might happen.) So we have this semi-canon TREK that doesn't respect the continuity of TOS and doesn't really make a clean break, either.

The first possibility I could understand, if it is done with respect to TOS and it is a good and engaging story.

The second possibility could also be a good thing, but only if it respects the principles that TOS brought to light (Starfleet's professionalism and devotion to exploration, the Prime Directive, Kirk's drive to be a good captain and run a good ship, etc.). If a re-make does not do this, I don't see the point. It would amount to "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

The third possibility is actually a botched cross between the first two. Either the movie is a serious canon-prequel or it's a re-make. No hybrids, please. That would bastardize TOS and the notion of a re-make.

In any event, the saucer from the image in the trailer looks too much like TMP for my tastes. Let's take down the disco glitter ball, already. Up with block lettering! It's easier to take that seriously!

And by the way... The image Ptrope linked to is stunning. If you edit the URL, you'll find images numbered from 01 to 11. If Paramount is doing a canon-prequel and they want to dress up with Big E but do it with class, that's the way to do it! I only hope the studio matches a classic script with a classy Big E. If they do, they'll succeed. If they don't, well, there's always reruns...
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