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Old May 19 2009, 03:48 AM   #61
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Re: Could we Trekkers have saved the Trek XI script? [SPOILERS]

Good to see you again, Ptrope my friend. As I predicted, we're of like mind on this topic. To be frightfully honest, I've never laid eyes on these "graphic novel" prequels, and if what you're saying is correct -- that I was expected to read these comics before entering the theater in order for me to make sense of the plot -- then that's pretty appalling. They should've passed out the comics to the audience in little shrink-wrapped packages, like 3D glasses.

But I think I'm done bashing this poor movie, and it's time that I did some of what I said I was going to do in the lead-in.

Assume for the sake of argument that we were signed under NDA, and we were given advance copies of the script to Trek XI. What we see in the script is, for the sake of this exercise, equal to what we now see in the film. We're given an opportunity to advise for a "script treatment," where our objective is to take the same basic story (we cannot change it fundamentally), but advise how it can be improved for the sake of continuity -- just to make the script a better script. And we want to sacrifice as few elements as possible, partly because we've been through a time machine and we've seen into the future and we know this script will become a popular film the way it is already.

And to tell you the truth, I'm reading this script, and I'm coming up to the opening title, and it's actually pretty strong. If at all possible, I want to keep everything about the opening act -- Capt. Robau, Mr. G. Kirk, and our introduction to Nero.

But it would be a mistake to try to fix the script the way you close a Ziploc bag, from one side to the other. Instead, you have to rework this like reassembling an onion -- replace the biggest layer first, and work smaller. The biggest problem with this script is that the series of events that leads our characters to be imperiled, that causes our nemesis to be evil, and that triggers the alternate timeline and sequence of events, is implausible.

We can't procrastinate; we have to solve the big problem first.

* However the science ends up working out, we should still have a cataclysmic event that sends Nero 25 years or so into the past, and into the meeting with the Kelvin where George Kirk meets his fate. It sets up one of the strongest character situations of the film (which could be made stronger), where we evaluate the kind of person James Kirk is without the influence of his father.

* But the 25-year span between Nero's arrival in our new timeline and Old Spock's doesn't make sense if we explain it away by saying nothing happened. The only realistic alternative is that something happens, but the amount of time we spend explaining what happened is time spent away from our main characters -- so it's better that we learn what really happened through implication.

> So how about if Nero's existence in our timeline has changed the state of affairs between Romulus and the Federation, and we learn this because our characters are clearly in more of a state of war? Or at least perpetually vigilant readiness, a very, very not-so-cold cold war? Nero has built up a following with his old-found countrymen -- after all, he has a really cool ship from a century and a half in the future. He's helped make Romulus stronger than it should have been, preparing it for the coming calamity which threatens to destroy its home star system, and perhaps to avert it by fortifying itself for the threat he says is coming from the wormhole. When Old Spock arrives, there's a whole armada there, led by the Narada, and that explains why and how he could surrender without much of a fight.

Starfleet Intelligence has been monitoring and preparing this event (and here's where we build the intrigue), but it's thrown for a loop when Old Spock sends a cryptic distress call. Maybe it's Uhura who intercepts it. Perhaps that's how we send the Enterprise to investigate, how we get Capt. Pike and his crew into the action, and maybe we can come up with a respectable device for getting Mr. Kirk on board as well.

I'll stop here for now. What do you think, folks, is this workable? Or does this have some holes I'm not seeing yet?

DF "Attention All Starfleet Vessels, This Is Ambassador Sp...Sp...Spackle. Yea, That's the Ticket. Ambassador Spackle of...Lesser Outer Vulcan." Scott
a.k.a. Scott M. Fulton, III
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