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Old September 29 2013, 05:44 AM   #128
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Re: State of Trek according to Entertainment Weekly

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
It been a long held rule that promotional material is not canon.
This seems to be news to virtually every canon Trek publication and source, Memory Alpha included, all of which state landing ability as a special trait of Intrepid- and Nova-class ships. I suppose there will be a reason they don't count either?

Nevertheless I'll give you this much: I overstated in saying that starships could not enter atmosphere, as they can for brief periods of time, and I'll give you that the "explicit" references I alleged in canon are on the whole more implicit... probably because nobody foresaw having to actually explain why starships couldn't hang out on the bottom of oceans.

None of that, however, remotely begins to rescue the undersea sequence. And I daresay I still find your treatment of "canon" rather selective.

You won't like this, but blog entries with quotes from a scientist aren't canon either.
I'm not expecting the opinion of science to be "canon." Just for it to be relevant to something that actually aspires to be science fiction. My contention is that the Abramsverse Trek does not so aspire, because it's effectively interchangeable popcorn cinema and not science fiction. And if you don't find the opinions of scientists on scientific subjects relevant, then I'm sorry to say that it's hard to take stuff like this:

This scientist argument rests on Trek's ships being built with 21st Century technology. No futuristic metals, no shields, no structural integrity fields, no anti grav tech...
... all that seriously. It's precisely the kind of over-convenient and undercooked technobabble he was warning you about, and he's correct that it's a big part of what weighed down and eventually did in TNG-era Trek.

There are actually multiple even worse problems with that opening sequence, like the idea of "freezing" a volcano with a "cold-fusion" bomb. I do not think "cold-fusion" means what the writers think it means...

Basically, when you find yourself having to explain away severe problems like this, you are in the position of defending Bad Writing. If you enjoyed the film despite this, that's your business, it's not my function to lecture you about what you should and shouldn't like. But people should not be trying to say -- as was my initial point -- that these are just the gripes of a few over-obsessive fanboys, because they aren't. Whether you're able to squint past them or not, things like this really are just major, major script flaws, and you don't have to be an obsessive fanboy to see that.

In the interests of leavening this with a little positivity, I'll give Abrams this much: he at least understood that it might be a good idea if Trek films did have action and tried to be visually thrilling. Not everything Trek Used To Do was nearer-my-God-to-thee, and it was particularly problematic that the weight of established style and sentimentality eventually strangled pre-Abrams-Trek's ability to perceive what thrilling action could look like even when it tried. A kick in the pants and a stylistic shake-up was overdue.

It's just a shame from my standpoint that he jettisoned intelligence and coherency in favour of that criterion. It lost him a lot of credibility that he didn't have to lose, and I've seen that Abrams is capable of doing thrilling action, intelligence and character development all in the same frame. That he chose not to do so with his Star Trek efforts seems like a waste of a great opportunity and an amazing cast, but hey, that's me.
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