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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Rate Star Trek Into Darkness.
Outstanding 5 31.25%
Above Average 4 25.00%
Average 6 37.50%
Below Average 1 6.25%
Poor 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 29 2013, 12:43 PM   #31
Enterpriserules
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

[QUOTE=Tosk;8169289]
BillJ wrote: View Post
Enterpriserules wrote: View Post
I don't know. The more dialogue you present, the more gotcha moments that are there for the OCD crowd to tear apart.
You're presupposing that they couldn't write more dialogue without it being worthy of criticism. If they keep it tight (by which I mean well-executed, not breakneck) then there is no problem. Write good dialogue and people will enjoy it. And Orci/Kurtz are certainly capable of good dialogue. It's their plotting that is the weak spot.

Personally I'd rather a well-written movie that breathes a little more, but I understand that's not the way you usually make a blockbuster these days.
You presented that quote as mine, but it is not mine, I was quoting someone else. I was arguing that the dialoge that Foster added, really added to the plot and to the characters because the scenes breathed more. So I'm hoping for that in the next film, because this adaptation makes this an even better and more coherent film. Movies can be more than 2 hours these days, we can handle it, so 10 more minutes of dialogue and plotting is ok with me if it adds to the story like Foster has done here.
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Old May 29 2013, 01:19 PM   #32
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Hopefully whoever they bring in to direct the next film will also be an accomplished screenwriter with a good sense of plot to complement K&O's skill for dialogue (although it isn't yet known whether K&O will even be involved -- they've got a lot of other stuff going on these days).
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Old May 29 2013, 01:34 PM   #33
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Christopher wrote: View Post
Hopefully whoever they bring in to direct the next film will also be an accomplished screenwriter with a good sense of plot to complement K&O's skill for dialogue (although it isn't yet known whether K&O will even be involved -- they've got a lot of other stuff going on these days).
Do we know how much involvement J.J. had with the story or script for either of the first two? He didn't receive story or screenplay credit, though admittedly that could be simply out of generosity rather than a reflection of the work he did/didn't do.

Honestly, I'd almost think it should be the other way around - it'd be easier for a director to punch up weak dialogue on the set, but if the story's not strong then by the time they're involved it's too late.
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Old May 29 2013, 01:35 PM   #34
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Christopher wrote: View Post
Hopefully whoever they bring in to direct the next film will also be an accomplished screenwriter with a good sense of plot to complement K&O's skill for dialogue (although it isn't yet known whether K&O will even be involved -- they've got a lot of other stuff going on these days).
They do! I am hoping that the main creative team will be back so that the film will not be too far off what has been established. Hopefully they won't be afraid to have things be a bit slower.

Star Trek III was the most contemplative and downbeat of the original cast films, and we say that in a good way. Given the marketplace these days, could a third Star Trek film from the Bad Robot team in any way resemble The Search for Spock?

ORCI: I hope that, in a certain way, we've earned the right to get a little bit crazy and maybe go more sci-fi? I’m going to flip this interview on you. What do you think?

We wouldn't mind a little less action, a little more character development. We’re not sure they need to beam down to Risa for a whole movie, but maybe even just a few minutes of them relaxing, like in that wonderfully cheesy campfire scene in Star Trek V, would be welcome…

ORCI: I agree with you completely. You brought up, jokingly, the campfire scene in Star Trek V. I love that scene. I love it. I feel like that’s pure Star Trek. Again, let the best idea win and we may not be around and it’s going to be a competition, but maybe we earned the right to do some sci-fi in this third movie and sort of have earned the right to do whatever Star Trek needs to be. We’ve done these two cool, big, action Star Trek movies. Are we allowed to do more than that now? I’d like to think so. You’re from StarTrek.com. You know that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is panned by some people and yet, hell man, V’ger going off and becoming sentient is awesome. It’s such a trippy thing.
I like the sound of something more contemplative and Sci-fi with the new film. I guess let the speculation begin!
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Old May 29 2013, 01:45 PM   #35
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

ATimson wrote: View Post
Do we know how much involvement J.J. had with the story or script for either of the first two? He didn't receive story or screenplay credit, though admittedly that could be simply out of generosity rather than a reflection of the work he did/didn't do.
Well, in Hollywood movies, the director is always the ultimate arbiter of script content, with the writers' job being to give the directors what they ask for -- which is why so many movies credited to talented screenwriters end up being incoherent messes, because a lot of directors are more interested in the visuals, acting, effects, and every aspect of filmmaking except plot and dialogue. And which is why it's a good thing that more and more film directors these days are coming from the ranks of TV writers/showrunners like Abrams and Whedon. And I assume Abrams's relationship with his ST staff is the same as his executive-producer relationship with the showrunners of Bad Robot's various TV series -- he supervises the process and has input into every decision -- but with the added layer of control that comes with being the director.


Honestly, I'd almost think it should be the other way around - it'd be easier for a director to punch up weak dialogue on the set, but if the story's not strong then by the time they're involved it's too late.
But as I said, in films the director is always the ultimate guiding force behind the writing process, whatever the credits say. The story is shaped to the director's specifications from the word go. So having a director who's also a writer would be the best chance of getting a solid, coherent script.
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Old May 29 2013, 03:07 PM   #36
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Christopher wrote: View Post
So having a director who's also a writer would be the best chance of getting a solid, coherent script.
Except that there is no guarantee there either...there are some writer/directors who are absolutely terrible writers. (Paul W.S. Anderson and Mark Steven Johnson spring to mind.)
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Old May 29 2013, 03:47 PM   #37
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

^Which is why I said "chance" instead of "certainty."
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Old May 30 2013, 04:28 AM   #38
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

But surely having a good writer and a good director would give you just as much chance? Most of the "best" movies of all time were written and directed by separate people.

Not that I have any illusions about what the near-future of Trek is on the big screen. More of the same.
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Old May 30 2013, 02:10 PM   #39
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Tosk wrote: View Post
But surely having a good writer and a good director would give you just as much chance? Most of the "best" movies of all time were written and directed by separate people.
Again: In Hollywood movies, regardless of what the credits say, the director always makes the ultimate decisions about what's in the script. Usually the director is guiding the scriptwriting process, making the decisions about story and character, or at least approving or rejecting the screenwriters' ideas. So you can never truly say that the director is "separate" from the scripting process. Often the director is the only constant in the process while various screenwriters and script doctors, mostly uncredited, come and go and work on various drafts whose fragments are eventually stitched together Frankenstein-style into something the director is satisfied with.

You can take a script by the most brilliant writer around, give it to a director who doesn't value the written word, and see it turned into a piece of incoherent hackery. For example, compare Joss Whedon's original script for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie with the disaster its director turned it into. Writers in the Hollywood feature film industry have zero power to protect the integrity of their scripts unless they're also producing and/or directing them. That's why I don't trust directors who aren't also writers to make well-plotted movies.
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Old May 30 2013, 03:15 PM   #40
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

By coincidence, I observed a possible example of this last night. I was rewatching the old "Doctor Phibes" movies with Vincent Price. Both films are (stylishly) directed by Robert Fuest, but Fuest had a hand in writing the script for the second movie as well--and, based on these films at least, he seems to have been a much better director than a screenwriter.

Both films are directed with a certain flair and visual imagination, but the script for the second movie is a choppy, clunky affair. The dialogue is notably less sharp and packed with endless expository monologues where the characters laboriously explain the plot to each other. Granted, the sequel was allegedly a rushed, somewhat troubled production that suffered from a heavy degree of studio interference and friction among the cast--but the two movies do seem to illustrate that letting the director handle the writing as well is not always a good idea.

Meanwhile, yes, I have seen scripts that have been worked on by at least twelve different writers . . . .
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Old May 31 2013, 07:40 AM   #41
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

And yet another thread devolves into:

"Bad Robot/Abrams/JJ/Orci/Kurtzman SUCK!


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Old May 31 2013, 02:58 PM   #42
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

newtontomato539 wrote: View Post
And yet another thread devolves into:

"Bad Robot/Abrams/JJ/Orci/Kurtzman SUCK!


Umm, are you referring to some other thread? Because I see nothing of that sort in this thread. I think that Abrams and his collaborators have produced two movies that are reasonably entertaining and have good characterization but have some significant plot holes and credibility problems -- just like most Trek movies, and most movies in general, have plot and credibility problems. I think the movies were good but imperfect, and it's natural enough to hope that whoever directs the next movie will be able to both retain the good qualities and improve on the weaknesses -- which is pretty much what anyone would want from any sequel. Beyond that, the discussion in the thread is mainly about how the novelization fleshes out the story and fills in some of the gaps. So I don't see where you're getting the impression that anyone here is simply bashing the filmmakers.
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Old May 31 2013, 03:53 PM   #43
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

Christopher wrote: View Post
newtontomato539 wrote: View Post
And yet another thread devolves into:

"Bad Robot/Abrams/JJ/Orci/Kurtzman SUCK!


Umm, are you referring to some other thread? Because I see nothing of that sort in this thread. I think that Abrams and his collaborators have produced two movies that are reasonably entertaining and have good characterization but have some significant plot holes and credibility problems -- just like most Trek movies, and most movies in general, have plot and credibility problems. I think the movies were good but imperfect, and it's natural enough to hope that whoever directs the next movie will be able to both retain the good qualities and improve on the weaknesses -- which is pretty much what anyone would want from any sequel. Beyond that, the discussion in the thread is mainly about how the novelization fleshes out the story and fills in some of the gaps. So I don't see where you're getting the impression that anyone here is simply bashing the filmmakers.
Back on the topic, I think that this is where this novelization helps this movie. Foster adds a lot to each scene just by letting the characters talk to each other more, expanding and explaining the plot more. Doing this simple thing really made this story even better. So, letting each scene breathe a bit could really benefit the next movie. I'm not advocating making it longer for longer sake, but giving each scene the right screen time so that the plot and characterization come across clearly. Foster does this very well in his novelization!
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Old May 31 2013, 09:02 PM   #44
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

I noticed no additional scenes in the novelization that were not in the movie. But I did notice that one scene from the movie was not included in the novelization—maybe because it was added at the last minute or something—the brief scene when Kirk awakes in his bed with two cat-like aliens. And I guess it is too bad the scene wasn’t in the novelization because many people have been debating over whether these women were Caitians (like M’Ress on TAS) or a completely new race to cannon, which the novelization could have helped with.

Also, the line in the movie [spoken by Sulu in a voice-over where his mouth does not appear on screen] about the unarmed civilian ship being from the “Mudd Incident” is missing from the novelization. I can see how that was also because of it being a last-minute addition to link up with Countdown to Darkness. The novelization does nothing to help us understand the references to the ship being “K’normian”, as referenced in other lines in the movie and novelization.

The novelization did not explain or really reference the fact that Praxis was in pieces. In fact, the novelization seemed to indicate that Praxis was fine and that there were just tons of other moons around Qo’noS.

I didn’t like all the extra details about the area of Qo’noS were Harrison went to hide and why it was deserted. But I must admit that this was mostly just because I didn’t like the “medical plague” excuse that was used. I would much preferred if they had stated that that region of Qo’noS had to be evacuated because of radiation or poisoning caused by debris from the explosion of Praxis. That would have been more compelling to me.

I generally liked the added dialog and extended scenes that the novelization added to the movie. But there were a few places where I didn’t like it, or I felt the movie actually did it better:

The scene where Kirk and Spock discuss the plan for Kirk to take Khan over to the Vengeance. In the movie this plays out pretty well, with Kirk saying “I don’t know what I should do; I only know what I can do.” I feel the movie portrayed Kirk in the scene with just the right amount of desperation and inspired leadership. In the novelization the conversation is a little longer and more fully—too fully—portrays Kirk as being absolutely clueless, which I don’t think works for his character. I think it’s better to let the audience continue to think that he just has a brilliant plan, versus a crazy one.

The scene on the bridge of the Vengeance when Admiral Marcus is trying to convince Kirk that Section 31 is right and that Marcus needs to be in charge when the Klingons attack. The extended version of this conversation between Marcus and Kirk spends a lot of time with Marcus’s incorrect “logic trains” about how the Klingons will react. Marcus is trying to “blow smoke” and Kirk easily sees through it in the novelization. I felt it was better to just cut those parts out like the movie did, so that Admiral Marcus doesn’t seem like an idiot who is obviously wrong. The movie version helps the audience believe that Marcus may actually know what he’s talking about. And that ambiguity is much more interested. [Of course, the movie then totally forgets about that very interesting ambiguity seconds later when Marcus is killed and the plot goes back to less–interesting Khan focus.]

There was an extended scene in the novelization where McCoy explains to Kirk exactly how he made “fake” bodies to go inside the torpedoes. This explained how even though Khan did purposely scan the torpedoes to ensure his crew was in them—which he did in the novelization [a big improvement over the movie]—the scans showed the crew was there even though they weren’t. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the fact that the explanation existed in the novelization, but I felt it took way too much time to explain. Remember, this scene is happening as the Enterprise is falling to Earth. I don’t think there was much time to jibber-jabber. I think it would have been better if McCoy just thought about all the stuff he had done—so that we readers had the info—but didn’t take the full time to explain it all to Kirk at the time.

Last edited by datalogan; May 31 2013 at 09:29 PM.
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Old May 31 2013, 09:45 PM   #45
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Re: ALT: Star Trek Into Darkness by A. D. Foster Review Thread (Spoile

datalogan wrote: View Post
Also, the line in the movie [spoken by Sulu in a voice-over where his mouth does not appear on screen] about the unarmed civilian ship being from the “Mudd Incident” is missing from the novelization. I can see how that was also because of it being a last-minute addition to link up with Countdown to Darkness.
I doubt that very much. The comics were seeded with bits of foreshadowing for the movie, not the other way around. Given how many continuity errors there are in the comics, I really doubt that the filmmakers are paying that much attention to them at all. And there's absolutely no reason in the comic why that Bajoran woman was called Mudd; it's totally random unless it was done to tie into the already-scripted line in the movie.


The novelization does nothing to help us understand the references to the ship being “K’normian”, as referenced in other lines in the movie and novelization.
What's to understand? K'normians were one of the background races from ST:TMP. Beyond that, it's just a name, an indication that this was a civilian ship that wouldn't be associated with Starfleet and thus made sense to use for a covert mission.



The scene where Kirk and Spock discuss the plan for Kirk to take Khan over to the Vengeance. In the movie this plays out pretty well, with Kirk saying “I don’t know what I should do; I only know what I can do.”
I thought he said that to McCoy.



There was an extended scene in the novelization where McCoy explains to Kirk exactly how he made “fake” bodies to go inside the torpedoes. This explained how even though Khan did purposely scan the torpedoes to ensure his crew was in them—which he did in the novelization [a big improvement over the movie]—the scans showed the crew was there even though they weren’t.
But didn't the movie make it clear that the torpedoes were shielded against scans? That's why they had to open one up to discover what was inside. So how could Khan have scanned them?
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