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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old January 27 2013, 06:13 AM   #31
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I think most of the folks who've expressed a positive opinion of the film in this forum have a pretty grounded view of the film and Abrams.
We're not drinking the punch.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:32 AM   #32
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
The Keeper wrote: View Post
I understand, yes, thank you. I do now see why he could never beat Spielberg because of his successful original screenplays compared to JJ's
Any reference to screenplays is notably absent in my post.
So my interpreting you're statement: "he's not going to be remembered decades from now for his films if he's not able to create memorable original hits." to mean original screenplays (IOW: "written by") was totally off the mark?

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Abrams has written a script or two, as has Lucas (I really don't know if Spielberg writes, I'm embarrassed to admit). Nonetheless, my point stands.
Appreciate the honesty. :Thumbsup: I was off base with my "J.J. could "never" beat Spielberg" statement, his career isn't over yet...

Last edited by The Keeper; January 27 2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old January 27 2013, 11:20 AM   #33
Lance
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Super 8 was proof enough to me that he's got the chops to take Spielberg on at his own game (and possibly even win at it too! ).

I do think there's a dividing line between Star Wars and Star Trek though. I think if I'm being honest I'd say Star Trek's star had really faded considerably by 2008, so Abrams probably had a lot of autonomy on that production (a lot of people were genuinely surprised at how well it turned out), whereas Star Wars' had never really disppeared from the radar. People may not have liked the prequel trilogy particularly, nor any of the fiddling-while-Rome-burns that Lucas did to the original films ("CGI Jabba"? Get outta here!), but I don't think Star Wars had the same kind of 'credibility problem' that Trek had prior to 2009. Lucas was able to relaunch SW any dozen number of ways and there would always be a cachet of interest in it... I'm not sure if Star Trek always had the same kind of goodwill behind it. So people were pleasantly surprised.

I think what I'm trying to say is that taking on Star Wars is a much higher pressure job than taking on Star Trek. There's more scope for failure in the Star Wars universe, especially if you're going to make a sequel that takes place after the classic original trilogy. If Star Trek had bombed, IMO, it would have flown under the radar a lot more.

If Star Wars gets screwed -- even if it's not his fault, but rather because of decisions made by TPTB above his head -- then it'd be a career killer.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:14 PM   #34
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

/\ Exactly. If NuWars tanks, Hollywood's little golden boy can take the Lucas bashing for a change.

On top of all the Abrams bashing, he'll have quite a busy day.
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Old January 27 2013, 06:44 PM   #35
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
OTOH, Lucas and Spielberg pretty much invented skiffy movie geekdom.
Okay, the old codger in me has to object to that statement. Believe it or not, there were science fiction movies and fans and fandom before Lucas and Spielberg.

What about George Pal and Jack Arnold and Ray Harryhausen, not to mention Starlog magazine and Forrest J. Ackerman and Famous Monsters of Filmland? I remember watching "Science Fiction Theater" on Saturday afternoons long before anybody had ever heard of Luke Skywalker or E.T. What about 2001 and Logan's Run and Quatermass and Barbarella and, heck, the entire Planet of the Apes phenomenon, which included movies, novels, comic books, toys, and fan magazines?

As I recall, I attended my first convention back in '75 or so, at least two years before Star Wars debuted.
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Old January 27 2013, 07:39 PM   #36
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Lance wrote: View Post
Super 8 was proof enough to me that he's got the chops to take Spielberg on at his own game (and possibly even win at it too! ).
Spielberg gave us Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, ET, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Schindler's List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, AI. Lincoln has 12 Oscar nominations.

He has miles to go before he's in Spielberg territory. JJ's cultish fans are legion in this subforum, but this decision will be made by a much larger jury.

Lance wrote: View Post
I do think there's a dividing line between Star Wars and Star Trek though. I think if I'm being honest I'd say Star Trek's star had really faded considerably by 2008, so Abrams probably had a lot of autonomy on that production (a lot of people were genuinely surprised at how well it turned out), whereas Star Wars' had never really disppeared from the radar. People may not have liked the prequel trilogy particularly, nor any of the fiddling-while-Rome-burns that Lucas did to the original films ("CGI Jabba"? Get outta here!), but I don't think Star Wars had the same kind of 'credibility problem' that Trek had prior to 2009. Lucas was able to relaunch SW any dozen number of ways and there would always be a cachet of interest in it... I'm not sure if Star Trek always had the same kind of goodwill behind it. So people were pleasantly surprised.

I think what I'm trying to say is that taking on Star Wars is a much higher pressure job than taking on Star Trek. There's more scope for failure in the Star Wars universe, especially if you're going to make a sequel that takes place after the classic original trilogy. If Star Trek had bombed, IMO, it would have flown under the radar a lot more.

If Star Wars gets screwed -- even if it's not his fault, but rather because of decisions made by TPTB above his head -- then it'd be a career killer.
I agree that he has his work cut out for him, which is why I think he should hand off Trek.

If Star Trek III is a dud, no one of any real consequence will care. If the next Star Wars film is a flop, it will be more than just fandom that responds with torches and pitchforks. Indeed, if he hands off Star Trek III and III turns out to be a dud, people will say, "Well, it's not his fault, he was busy on Star Wars."

I find it amusing that you're already making excuses; "Abrams had autonomy on Trek" and then conjecturing that the TPTB might tank his career with Star Wars by depriving him of that autonomy. Disney took a mountain of cash and said "Shut up and take my money!" He took it. Now he has to wear the pants.

JJ isn't my first choice for Star Wars, but he's in my top 5. Let's stop with the prophylactic apologia and see if he delivers the goods. I am hoping for something good - I mean I don't like the idea of a new SW film, but if you had to make one, JJ is the type of guy you want helming it, especially since Spielberg has announced that there is no way he'd ever direct one (and unlike JJ, you can believe him on this score).
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Old January 27 2013, 10:52 PM   #37
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

I dunno know, but here's a thought. Lucas was an unknown up and coming director when he pitched Star Wars. He pitched it to many studios before 20th agreed to do it.

You'd think that Lucas would remember what that felt like and search the film schools looking for a really talented guy/gal like him, who just needs a chance and not go with an A lister like JJ ???

I dunno know, just a thought.
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Old January 28 2013, 12:26 AM   #38
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Anji wrote: View Post
I dunno know, but here's a thought. Lucas was an unknown up and coming director when he pitched Star Wars. He pitched it to many studios before 20th agreed to do it.
Um, he had already directed American Graffiti, which was a huge hit at the time.

So he wasn't exactly an unknown newbie.
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Old January 28 2013, 12:53 AM   #39
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

The Keeper wrote: View Post
So my interpreting you're statement: "he's not going to be remembered decades from now for his films if he's not able to create memorable original hits." to mean original screenplays (IOW: "written by") was totally off the mark?
Yes. Spielberg is an example of a director who has never been noted as the writer of his films. Lucas has done both. Cameron is another guy who creates original hits which he both writes and directs. OTOH, Ridley Scott didn't write Alien or Blade Runner.

What they do all have in common is having produced and directed original movies (though not exclusively) throughout their careers - not having written them.
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Old January 28 2013, 12:53 AM   #40
Lance
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Anji wrote: View Post
I dunno know, but here's a thought. Lucas was an unknown up and coming director when he pitched Star Wars. He pitched it to many studios before 20th agreed to do it.You'd think that Lucas would remember what that felt like and search the film schools looking for a really talented guy/gal like him, who just needs a chance and not go with an A lister like JJ ???
Even if Lucas were inclined towards this train of thought -- and who knows, he might very well be -- it isn't him who wears the pants anymore. The decision making process has probably shifted upstairs to the House Of Mouse.
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Old January 28 2013, 01:33 AM   #41
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
OTOH, Lucas and Spielberg pretty much invented skiffy movie geekdom.
Okay, the old codger in me has to object to that statement. Believe it or not, there were science fiction movies and fans and fandom before Lucas and Spielberg.

What about George Pal and Jack Arnold and Ray Harryhausen, not to mention Starlog magazine and Forrest J. Ackerman and Famous Monsters of Filmland? I remember watching "Science Fiction Theater" on Saturday afternoons long before anybody had ever heard of Luke Skywalker or E.T. What about 2001 and Logan's Run and Quatermass and Barbarella and, heck, the entire Planet of the Apes phenomenon, which included movies, novels, comic books, toys, and fan magazines?

As I recall, I attended my first convention back in '75 or so, at least two years before Star Wars debuted.
Yeah, and there were, what - twelve of us in the United States?

Maybe I should have said they created the skiffy geek demographic as something the studios cared about. Through the fifties and sixties we got mainly low-budget, though very imaginative, movies with the occasional ambitious film by a director who commanded some attention. 2001 exists because Kubrick wanted to do it, not because the studio believed that there were millions of fantasy-loving kids out here waiting to make them rich. Charlton Heston's attachment to Planet Of The Apes throughout its early development lent it studio cachet as well.

BTW, despite the success of the first Planet Of The Apes film nothing about the response to it caused 20th to take special notice - they planned and budgeted the sequels on the long-standing premise that the first film in such a series would be the most successful. The rule of thumb was that each film would make about sixty percent of the box office of its predecessor. A self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps, but the invention of the modern sf-fantasy "franchise" that now dominates the industry would wait on The Empire Strikes Back.

The really interesting anomaly during that era was Forbidden Planet. For some reason MGM made a big-budget investment in a purely sf film produced and directed by no one of note and starring B-movie actors.

After Star Wars - and cemented by E.T. - the studios increasingly became effects-laden fantasy factories. Publishers also became a lot more interested in tie-in merchandising after the novelization of Star Wars sold something like five million copies in six months for Ballantine/Del Rey (and of course, the Star Fleet Technical Manual). Glossy oversized trade paperbacks documenting the making of movies like Alien became frequent. Gulf & Western took the Star Trek license back from Bantam, brought it in house and in the decade following ST:TMP the Pocketbook paperback division of their publishing arm started to generate Star Trek novels on a regular schedule to feed a steadily growing demand.

Star Trek conventions existed at first because a group of New York trek fans who worked with sf conventions like LunaCon got tired of being a bit unwelcome at the kind of cons that had existed for several decades. SF conventions in those days were mainly about prose writing and writers - the whole TV/movie track was an afterthought at most of them. I remember watching friends who'd been involved with the sf subculture for many years (all older than me, of course) watch with dismay in the late 1970s as more and more fans of visual media began to crowd the cons, spurred on by the explosion of movie and TV productions that followed Star Wars.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; January 28 2013 at 01:49 AM.
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Old January 28 2013, 01:53 AM   #42
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Oh, scifi movies definitely hit the A-List after Star Wars and Close Encounters, but I always like to remind people that, you know, movies and fandom existed before 1977. (This is, I admit, something of a hobby-horse of mine.) And I seem to recall there being more than twelve hardcore fans just in Seattle back in the day!

Plus, the studios occasionally dabbled in A-list "prestige" science fiction pictures beyond Forbidden Planet. I'm thinking films like 2001, The Andromeda Strain, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Silent Running, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green, and maybe even Logan's Run.

Although, of course, these were wildly outnumbered by drive-in B-movie stuff like The Land That Time Forgot and The Green Slime.

(This concludes our trip down SciFi Memory Lane.)
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Old January 28 2013, 02:16 AM   #43
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

As far as I knew in those days three people in the world were watching Star Trek and we all sat at the same lunch table.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Plus, the studios occasionally dabbled in A-list "prestige" science fiction pictures beyond Forbidden Planet. I'm thinking films like 2001, The Andromeda Strain, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Silent Running, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Soylent Green, and maybe even Logan's Run.
Yeah, they "dabbled," as you say - but if you look at most of those projects they had some mainstream or conventional points of interest. They didn't get made because anyone thought that there was an under served science fiction audience out here. Forbidden Planet, as I said, was a movie that seemed to have no raison d'etre whatever other than to make an expensive science fiction film for its own sake; that's why it stands out as remarkable.

The Andromeda Strain was based on and leveraged a best-selling thriller by Michael Crichton. No Ace Double stocked back in the sf paperback section; everyone knew what that movie was before the cameras rolled. Most reviewers never used the term "science fiction" for the novel and it wasn't packaged or marketed as genre sf, somewhat to the annoyance of some folks in the sf community (a common complaint throughout the Seventies among skiffy writers and fans would be authors who were "clearly writing sf" but eschewed the sobriquet of "science fiction writer" and the category itself. Kurt Vonnegut was the Devil himself to these guys).

2001 - A-list director driving the project. What do Soylent Green, The Omega Man and Planet Of The Apes have in common? A certain A-lister fascinated with this stuff who made them marketable to a presumably mainstream audience (by contrast Walter Pidgeon was the most well-known actor in Forbidden Planet and his glory days were behind him; he was actually doing television at the time, that undiscovered country from whose bourn no actor returned).

Fahrenheit 451
- low budget European film. The Illustrated Man - sadly, a bomb.

The most interesting movie in that list to me, in this context, is Logan's Run. In 1975 the one media-savvy, movie-obsessed guy in the U of MD. Science Fiction Society was telling us that the industry thinking was that science fiction was, finally, going to be the Next Big Thing and that a movie coming out next year, Logan's Run, was the horse they were betting on. It would be the break-out hit that would launch the surge.

The wrong movie and a year early. Still, someone out there was on to something at last.
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Old January 28 2013, 02:33 AM   #44
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

Oh, I think we're mostly on the same page here. I guess it depends on what you meant by "skiffy movie geekdom."

Speaking of novelizations, what you said about the Star Wars paperback is all true, but I can't resist pointing out that movie novelizations date back to the silent days. There were novelizations of The Thief of Baghdad (1924), The Jazz Singer, King Kong, etcetera, and, prior to Star Wars, all sorts of B-movie stuff like Phase IV and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. I'm not sure any of them ever hit the bestseller list, but they must have been making money since publishers have been printing them since forever. (As I recall, the novelization of The Omen was also something of a publishing phenomenon, about a year before Star Wars.)

And then, of course, there was Asimov's novelization of Fantastic Voyage. (Hmm. I probably should have mentioned Fantastic Voyage when I was reeling off all those A-list scifi flicks before.)

I liked your line about the lunch table, btw. Sounds about right. I met my oldest friend because she spotted me reading a Doc Savage paperback in junior high. "Ohmigod, you know about Doc Savage?"
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Old January 28 2013, 03:34 AM   #45
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Re: Abrams: Star Wars AND Star Trek

I didn't encounter a "she" with any connection or interest in sf until I was in college. She was gorgeous, really friendly - and dating the aforementioned too-cool film guy in the SF Society.

Yeah, I read novelizations of movies before Star Wars (never actually read that one); what I remember was that it was breaking sales records for a paperback at the time - knocked Passages off the number one spot on the racks for the first time in about a hundred years.

Unless I'm mistaken, the Star Wars novelization was actually published by Ballantine a year or so before the movie opened - with a cover composed of several of Ralph McQuarrie's early character drawings of R2-D2, etc. Of course the sales didn't take off until the summer of 1977.

EDIT:

I looked around and here's the cover for the original publication of the novelization in 1976:


http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__...velization.jpg

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