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

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Old March 12 2013, 05:46 PM   #196
KirkusOveractus
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
yousirname wrote: View Post
Again, it's simply futile to compare the movies with the TV shows. They're different stories told in a different format to a different audience.

You might as well be criticising an episode for only being an hour long or for having ad-breaks.
Revenge is not a commercial break. TMP, TVH managed to do it without revenge and they were commercially viable. It was an original story, and so was Khan at the time. This is a problem with fans' expectations.
You mention here about Khan being original as well as a tired old Ahab type story in another post. You do realize that TWOK and FC were both essentially Ahab stories, don't you?

What is it that makes Khan original? It was about someone out for revenge, wasn't it?

FC has a revenge undertone, with Picard hell-bent on destroying the Borg no matter what, even at the cost of the lives of his crew and the ship.

When I read about people who read into Star Trek as being all this glorious storytelling with intriguing morals, I have two things that come to mind:

1. "Spock's Brain", and

2. Nichelle Nichols once said, "We were going out there with high adventure. Of course it was peaceful exploration, but each week was a big adventure."
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Old March 12 2013, 05:51 PM   #197
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

KirkusOveractus wrote: View Post
1. "Spock's Brain", and

2. Nichelle Nichols once said, "We were going out there with high adventure. Of course it was peaceful exploration, but each week was a big adventure."
The TNG episode, Code of Honor makes Spocks Brain look like award winning televsiion. At least Spocks Brain wasn't blatently racist.

Oh and lest us not forget the 'high minded,' Voyager Episode, Threshold where Tom Paris and Captain Janeway mate as salamanders
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Old March 12 2013, 06:10 PM   #198
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

^Still a better love story than Twilight!
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Old March 12 2013, 06:18 PM   #199
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

KirkusOveractus wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
yousirname wrote: View Post
Again, it's simply futile to compare the movies with the TV shows. They're different stories told in a different format to a different audience.

You might as well be criticising an episode for only being an hour long or for having ad-breaks.
Revenge is not a commercial break. TMP, TVH managed to do it without revenge and they were commercially viable. It was an original story, and so was Khan at the time. This is a problem with fans' expectations.
You mention here about Khan being original as well as a tired old Ahab type story in another post. You do realize that TWOK and FC were both essentially Ahab stories, don't you?
Yes, I do. It was the first time that Star Trek had done a revenge story...ever. No one in the original series, 80 episodes, was out to get Jim Kirk because of a foul-up he had along the way. That's what makes it original.

Continuing, there's more to the story than that. We seem to forget that these movies have more than just one piece. What made Khan original was the elements of the story. For instance, exploring what makes Jim Kirk tick by showing him as a teacher. The two 5-year missions are over, now it's time to train the new recruits. The Kobiashi Maru (Japanese for merchant ships) was a way to show that Kirk "cheats death" and he's proud of that fact, even rewarded for it. Ever try to teach a child something that comes natural to you? This is real-to-life. That's one.

Two, Genesis and Khan are the results of technological advancement. Both eugenics (WW III) and and Genesis (as a bomb) are "peverted into dreadful weapon(s)." Being able to pick hair color and intelligence led to a race of Super beings. I refer you to the scene where McCoy, Spock, and Kirk all talk about Genesis. "Scientists have always been pawns of the military." This continues today. For instance, memory capacity in computers and robotics has led to drones today. In the time of this movie, it was talking about splitting the atom and turning that into a weapon, the A-Bomb and the H-Bomb.

Three, this movie talks about "life from death." Genesis creates a living, breathing planet. Spock sacrifices himself for the Enterprise crew. Kirk is constantly turning his circumstances of defeat into victory. Life from death.

Four, Kirk is seeking fulfillment whereas Spock has found it and is at peace. Kirk is brought back to life from his lack of purpose by his son, David, and losing Spock. Life from death.

"There's a man out there I haven't seen in 15 years who's trying to kill me. You show me a son that would be happy to help? My son. My life that could've been and wasn't. What am I feeling? Old. Worn out."

"It is a far better thing I do now than I have ever done. A far better...resting place I go to now than I have ever known."
"Is that a poem?"
"No, something Spock was trying to tell me, on my birthday."
"You okay, Jim? How do you feel?"
"Young. I feel young."

Khan is out for revenge and he's destroyed by his quest. What's his response to hearing he has escaped permanent exile, defeated the plans of Admiral Kirk, and has a ship to do with as he pleases?

"He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antereas maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!"

This is the first movie that does this. And it's a very rich and textured story in terms of theme and character. There is no comparison to the other movies.

KirkusOveractus wrote: View Post
FC has a revenge undertone, with Picard hell-bent on destroying the Borg no matter what, even at the cost of the lives of his crew and the ship.
Who said I liked "First Contact?" This would be the second movie, thank you for making my point. Star Trek: Nemesis would be number 3. Star Trek 2009, and what appears to be Star Trek Into Darkness, are 4 and 5. That's 42% of the movies where revenge gets the bad guy killed. And they will keep coming if we don't like anything else.


KirkusOveractus wrote: View Post
When I read about people who read into Star Trek as being all this glorious storytelling with intriguing morals, I have two things that come to mind:

1. "Spock's Brain", and

2. Nichelle Nichols once said, "We were going out there with high adventure. Of course it was peaceful exploration, but each week was a big adventure."
We are talking about good Trek, no? Not that every single episode was a winner, I mean, look at Voyager and Enterprise. Have I yet to bring them up in a good light? So the comparison to Spock's Brain is nothing to me. Honestly, I can't talk too much about it because I haven't seen it recently. But when Star Trek is timeless, it relies on the formula I describe. For all the complaining about Insurrection, it still has a thread every week talking about the moral conundrum. That's 14 years later. And that's the bad Star Trek movie that does this. Khan is the good one. So Nichelle Nichols can have her opinion, but Patterns of Force, A Piece of the Action, City on the Edge of Forever, all these episodes dealt with some heavy material.
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Old March 12 2013, 07:01 PM   #200
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post

Yes, I do. It was the first time that Star Trek had done a revenge story...ever. No one in the original series, 80 episodes, was out to get Jim Kirk because of a foul-up he had along the way. That's what makes it original.
*cough*Court-Martial*cough*
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Old March 12 2013, 07:08 PM   #201
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Don't you think the 2009 movie has any depth? To me, I see beyond the revenge story (which I grant you has the similarities the ones in the past had).

I see a group of people coming together (Vulcans and Romulans) trying a radical, last-ditch effort to stop a world from being destroyed (Red Matter into a supernova). That attempt failed and it showed the price sometimes paid from that failure.

I see someone who was, due to a timeline being diverted from what we knew, turned into a barhopping man with no real future into being made to see that he can be better than he is ("I dare you to do better.")

There is a story there, too, beyond the revenge. It may be thought of as shallow and with not a lot of depth, but there are things there to be had beyond the revenge aspect.

To me, it tells the story of someone who could strive to be better, and he's shown that he isn't a terminal drunk in Iowa, but has it in him to be a legend.
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Old March 12 2013, 07:08 PM   #202
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

*Turnabout Intruder*
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Old March 12 2013, 07:09 PM   #203
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

The Keeper wrote: View Post
*Turnabout Intruder*
Yep.

So there's at least two episodes of the original series that dealt with revenge.

And Kirk is carrying a definite revenge vibe in The Conscience of the King, Obsession and during the Gorn ship chase in Arena.
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Old March 12 2013, 07:56 PM   #204
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Trek stories had themes, heck all stories are supposed to. But did they commonly use the story to explore the themes, or just use the theme as a vehicle for unfolding the story? There is a difference. Was TWOK just about an obsessed Khan or about the general concept of obsession? Is "Moby Dick" about an obsessed Ahab, or does it delve more deeply and obscurely into the concept of obsession?

Was there any attempt to create sympathy for Khan? Was there an attempt to validate his obsession? Were we ever thinking we could've become like him in the same situation? Is he a tragic figure? Should we feel that perhaps his obsession and need for vengeance were justified? Bring these ideas up in the movie, and now one is being thought provoking. Otherwise, it's "Khan's really pissed off and he's going crazy trying to kill Kirk." That can drive a story, and it's a theme, but it's shallow.

To be sure, in an action-adventure format, Trek at least tried to have themes within good stories with varying degrees of success. TOS certainly wasn't "Lost in Space". But a good episode of "Gunsmoke" was just as good thematically as a good episdoe of TOS did.

To be sure, ST09 isn't "GI Joe", but its themes were just there, they weren't used to start a debate about nature-nurture or the effects of fate. They just helped move the story. And that's OK. No one wants to think about or debate the sides of deep issues with a box of popcorn in one hand and Raisinettes in the other.
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Old March 12 2013, 09:09 PM   #205
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

BillJ wrote: View Post
The Keeper wrote: View Post
*Turnabout Intruder*
Yep.

So there's at least two episodes of the original series that dealt with revenge.

And Kirk is carrying a definite revenge vibe in The Conscience of the King, Obsession and during the Gorn ship chase in Arena.
Plus, though misplaced, the actions of Kang in Day Of The Dove were motivated by revenge for events he blamed Kirk for causing.
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Old March 12 2013, 09:24 PM   #206
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

BillJ wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post

Yes, I do. It was the first time that Star Trek had done a revenge story...ever. No one in the original series, 80 episodes, was out to get Jim Kirk because of a foul-up he had along the way. That's what makes it original.
*cough*Court-Martial*cough*
BillJ wrote: View Post
The Keeper wrote: View Post
*Turnabout Intruder*
Yep.

So there's at least two episodes of the original series that dealt with revenge.

And Kirk is carrying a definite revenge vibe in The Conscience of the King, Obsession and during the Gorn ship chase in Arena.
The Keeper wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
The Keeper wrote: View Post
*Turnabout Intruder*
Yep.

So there's at least two episodes of the original series that dealt with revenge.

And Kirk is carrying a definite revenge vibe in The Conscience of the King, Obsession and during the Gorn ship chase in Arena.
Plus, though misplaced, the actions of Kang in Day Of The Dove were motivated by revenge for events he blamed Kirk for causing.
The Keeper wrote: View Post
*Turnabout Intruder*
Okay, you're right. I still stand by the rest of the post.
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Old March 12 2013, 09:57 PM   #207
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

KirkusOveractus wrote: View Post
Don't you think the 2009 movie has any depth? To me, I see beyond the revenge story (which I grant you has the similarities the ones in the past had).

I see a group of people coming together (Vulcans and Romulans) trying a radical, last-ditch effort to stop a world from being destroyed (Red Matter into a supernova). That attempt failed and it showed the price sometimes paid from that failure.

I see someone who was, due to a timeline being diverted from what we knew, turned into a barhopping man with no real future into being made to see that he can be better than he is ("I dare you to do better.")

There is a story there, too, beyond the revenge. It may be thought of as shallow and with not a lot of depth, but there are things there to be had beyond the revenge aspect.

To me, it tells the story of someone who could strive to be better, and he's shown that he isn't a terminal drunk in Iowa, but has it in him to be a legend.
I see a character, in Kirk, who has never had to say "Sir" or follow a rule a day in his life. That's dangerous and if someone tried to do that in real life, they would end up dead.

I see a character in Spock who is told that he shouldn't try and control his anger and he uses that anger as he's blowing up the Narada, taking Kirk aside when he offers a branch to Nero, etc.

I see a character in Uhura, while stronger than in the Original Series, still manages to be defined by Spock, not making her a strong woman. Every time Spock goes to get out of the Captain's chair, she's running to the turbolift. Kirk's mother is stronger than that.

I don't see anything that speaks to the human condition unless you believe there is some mystical force at play--destiny--and I don't think that's more than the stuff of fairy tales. This is a movie and in order to make these characters seem like the ones we left behind, they had to do a story about destiny. Or they would never be able to explain it away.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:06 PM   #208
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
TVH is my favourite of the movies and I think it's worth examining here as you hold it up as an example of the kind of movie you'd like to see and praise its "moral value". But as far as I can see, it doesn't really match the picture you're painting of what a 'good' Trek movie should be.
"Moral value" is not all that Trek should be. There is more going on than that. Trek IV operated on multiple levels. By that point Trek had built up a history, and pop culture in the 80s was reevaluating the hippie days. It takes about 20 years for society to really digest things and whether certain things were a passing fad or deserved a second look. That's why Trek was particularly important in the 80s, as with it came a sort of second-wind to 60s ideals in the otherwise right-leaning Reagan era.

So Trek IV was very much an exploration of what relevance the 60s counter-culture had in the Reagan era, and the fact that it was a comedy was tipping its hat to the idea that wide-eyed idealism was not popular then. "Save the whales" had become a catch-phrase. THAT is why the plot revolves around the whales. The crew of the Enterprise were supposed to be from the future, but they were actually ambassadors of 60s counter-culture. Gene's utopian vision of a world without the need for money clashing with the need to pay bus fare.

There's no way to judge the movie without understanding the era in which it was created. The same is true of Trek VI although the well it pulls from is more varied.

A similar thing was going on, but less successful, in Superman Returns. It was meant to be a thought experiment about whether the world needs or is capable of believing in boy-scout style heroes in a cynical post-911 world. That's why it is so closely tied to the Donnerverse, because that represented an earlier, more innocent concept of the superhero vs. your Batman Begins style.

Trek IV never singificantly altered the Trek vision to suit the era. However, it had to acknowledge that it was operating within a new cultural era. JJ Trek goes about it the other way, remaking Trek to be more fashionable to society as it is now, which is one that wants a thrill-ride and doesn't really want to think.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:22 PM   #209
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Franklin wrote: View Post
No one wants to think about or debate the sides of deep issues with a box of popcorn in one hand and Raisinettes in the other.
Well, think of the highest grossing movie of all time. AVATAR. That movie raises a debate about man's relation to nature. One can argue that people went into that movie just for the 3D spectacle, but James Cameron didn't seem to feel that raising issues was incongruent with box-office.

Lord of the Rings has deep issues as well, not that dissimilar to Avatar in some respects, and that cleaned up at the box office.

Then you have the Matrix movies, which at time, was thought-provoking, when they weren't otherwise beating you over the head with car chases.

Alan Moore says that the role of the storyteller is not to give people what they want, but to give them what they need. It's a very pretentious way of looking at things, but it's true. The difference between a popcorn movie that you forget within minutes of leaving the theater (and I would classify Trek 09 as that) and a movie that sticks with you is the issues that it raises. You may not be consciously looking for that when you enter a movie, but when you look back on the movie and judge whether it was good or not, it's really those issues that stick with you that make the difference.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:24 PM   #210
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post

I see a character, in Kirk, who has never had to say "Sir" or follow a rule a day in his life. That's dangerous and if someone tried to do that in real life, they would end up dead.

I see a character in Spock who is told that he shouldn't try and control his anger and he uses that anger as he's blowing up the Narada, taking Kirk aside when he offers a branch to Nero, etc.

I see a character in Uhura, while stronger than in the Original Series, still manages to be defined by Spock, not making her a strong woman. Every time Spock goes to get out of the Captain's chair, she's running to the turbolift. Kirk's mother is stronger than that.

I don't see anything that speaks to the human condition unless you believe there is some mystical force at play--destiny--and I don't think that's more than the stuff of fairy tales. This is a movie and in order to make these characters seem like the ones we left behind, they had to do a story about destiny. Or they would never be able to explain it away.
Believe it or not, I actually agree with you for the most part.

But I always knew that the first film was going to be a bit off kilter because of the things they were trying to accomplish coupled with a writers strike that kept them from making changes on the fly. I'm hoping the Into Darkness script got the polish that the first one didn't.

But I did find Star Trek 2009 a fast-paced, entertaining movie which was the most important thing to me.
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