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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 June 13 2013, 08:28 PM   #1
Charles Phipps
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Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Controversial topic I examine on my blog today. You're welcome to agree or disagree.

http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

WHY A REBOOT WAS NECESSARY




My name is Charles Phipps, and I am a Trekkie.

This is, quite bluntly, the Platonic true form of nerd in many people's minds. My wife, lovely woman that she is, finds Star Trek to be the most embarrassing of my hobbies. She's okay with my being a Star Trek fan but I read the novels, routinely watch the old shows, and would go to the conventions if I had the extra cash.


The problem is, time marches on. I think this is the most annoying factor to Star Trek fans, and indeed, fandom in general. No one likes to acknowledge they're getting old. However, comic books have been dealing with this fundamental truth for generations. When fans get old(er), set aside "childish things" (or let them become nostalgia), a fandom has to court new(er) audiences to survive.


Buck Rogers, Tarzan, and Flash Gordon used to be the most famous mulch-generational stories there were. Unfortunately, time had a way of eroding their good will so that all three drifted out of the public consciousness. The Flash Gordon TV series on SyFy illustrated just how badly reboots can go, leaving people with a poor impression of what the franchise is all about, but letting them know it exists.


Star Trek is in no danger of disappearing, of course. It's as influential as its rival Star Wars and has shaped public consciousness to the point every science fiction program takes something from its setting. Indeed, real-life inventions like the cellphone have been influenced by Trek. However, by the time of Star Trek: Nemesis, most fans were aware the writing was on the wall.


Star Trek had become irrelevant. Worse, it had become boring.



Poor Tom Hardy. We know you can act now. We're sorry we blamed you.

Ron Moore created his Battlestar Galactica reboot which, horrible ending aside, never shied away from controversial topics. Social progressiveness has gotten to the point that we have a transgendered character causally introduced on Elementary, when the only homosexuals on Star Trek allowed were evil Mirror Universe counterparts. Which, given they were genetically identical to their alternates, meant half of DS9's cast was bisexual but never bothered to show it.


A new series was, and is, necessary to tackle the kind of subjects the show was made famous by. I believe Star Trek belongs on the small screen and, ironically, the movies are keeping that from happening. Still, this is a essay to defend the reboot as opposed to oppose it. If nothing else, JJ Abrams material has done something which has rocked my Trekkie heart to its core. Its made Star Trek cool.


The JJ Abrams reboots have put Star Trek squarely back into the public eye and earned no small amount of good will from the public in general. More than anything, though, they've introduced a whole new generation of individuals to the world created by Gene Roddenberry. While not as successful as, say, Michael Bay's Transformers--it's given Star Trek a badly needed shot in the arm (or hypospray if you will).



The fact he's not doing the Vulcan peace-sign says it all, doesn't it?


A lot of my fellow fans point out nothing I've mentioned necessitates a complete restart of the series. Why are we in a parallel reality, anyway? Why are we closing the universe on Star Trek universe-1, anyway? The Next Generation continued the universe of the original cast and crew, after a fashion. Ironically, older fans have told me TNG was originally loathed because it wasn't Star Trek: The Original Series Season 4 (or 6 if, if you count the animated series' two seasons). Gradually, though, TNG won over even hardcore fans.


I'd be remiss, of course, if I didn't mention the caveat we're all thinking: but Charles, TNG was good!


Okay, you've got me there. I could argue that the first couple of seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation were gloriously bad but they were never boring to my adolescent self. Even when Tasha Yarr was being killed by a sludge monster, I enjoyed it. JJ Abrams, likewise, is never boring but there's not much content. The words 'pure spectacle' come to mind when describing his movies compromised of almost pure action and adventure.


He's made no secret of his Star Wars influences and man, what sort of Mirror Universe are WE leaving in that the Star Wars movies are about separatism, trade-negotiations, religious dogmatism, and political corruption while Star Trek is all about the "pew pew"? A Mass Effect movie is impossible now because between JJ Abrams Trek and the Total Recall remake, there's no point.


However, the big anchor weighing down any new fans is continuity. The most successful science fiction reboot in recent memory to both fans of the old and the new is probably Doctor Who. What managed to make that palatable to new audiences? Well, in addition to any number of small changes, they started from the beginning and introduced every element from the beginning.

Would Star Trek fans be willing to sit through an explanation of what Ferengi, Klingons, Bajorans, Prophets, Organians, Q, Augments, and so on are? Perhaps they might have, but that's partially what the reboot movies are. They're cherry picking from the best of the franchise and letting us remember the good without the bad.

That's the dark side of this discussion, I think. A lot of fans don't want Star Trek to change and you either evolve or die. As fans, we've suffered through some horrendously bad movies, but Abrams' Trek challenges us with brainless popcorn fair. Nothing says "grumpy fan" than complaining about everyone liking your series. Do I want more from our films? Yes, but I'm content with the pew-pew until something meatier comes along.


Besides, there's nothing preventing the old series from being appreciated. They're DVD and Netflix, waiting to be experienced again whenever you want. Nothing JJ Abrams will do can take that joy away.


Live long and prosper folks.
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Old June 13 2013, 08:37 PM   #2
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Good point about the treatment of homosexuality on DS9.
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Old June 13 2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Good point about the treatment of homosexuality on DS9.
Garak being bisexual would surprise no one, including his actor.

In my headcanon, there's a perfectly viable "lost episode" where Kira has a (female) lover from the resistance where no one reacts in the slightest manner different from it being an episode about a male one.
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Old June 13 2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I don't see an issue with Star Trek being a spectacle and loved the first two season of The Next Generation more than anything else with Rick Berman's name on it.

And I loved Skin of Evil.

I watch Star Trek to be entertained and Star Trek Into Darkness does entertain me. It's probably the most entertaining new Trek since The Undiscovered Country.
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Old June 13 2013, 08:58 PM   #5
Charles Phipps
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

And I loved Skin of Evil.
To make a digression, "it's new for somebody" is an important thing for fans to remember. As silly as that episode was, it was shocking for me at the time because I didn't realize you could kill characters like that and it left me badly shaken as a child. Which was a good thing.

I watch Star Trek to be entertained and Star Trek Into Darkness does entertain me. It's probably the most entertaining new Trek since The Undiscovered Country.
I think ST:ID was an improvement message wise over the original reboot film and could have dialed it back JUST A LITTLE. Still, I was never bored in my seat and that's impressive given my natural fidgety nature.
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Old June 13 2013, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I think a reboot was necessary. Old Trek was good, but I think it drug out because there was not enough battles in it. I realize that is not what Trek is all about, but sometimes I think you just have to get in with the times. I personally don't think Roddenberry would argue with these newest films to the franchise. I always thought the alternate universes were cool... they could create so many different stories with this concept.
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Old June 13 2013, 09:10 PM   #7
Charles Phipps
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I love Roddenberry but he wasn't perfect and even original Trek was improved by his fellow writers, Bill Shatner's suggestions, and even the writers on occasion. In any case, I think the movies aren't PERFECT but they've breathed life into the franchise and got people to start thinking about Star Trek in new ways.

Then again, I'm just waiting for the Klingon War we've been denied since when they were first introduced.

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Old June 13 2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Good point about the treatment of homosexuality on DS9.
Garak being bisexual would surprise no one, including his actor.

In my headcanon, there's a perfectly viable "lost episode" where Kira has a (female) lover from the resistance where no one reacts in the slightest manner different from it being an episode about a male one.
None of this has anything to do with what was actually portrayed in the series; the OP got it right.
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Old June 13 2013, 09:18 PM   #9
Charles Phipps
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Yeah, my point was ST was already starting to lag behind during it's 'heyday' because it had become acceptable family-friendly material. A gay person on the crew during the 90s would have been massively important.

Now? It wouldn't mean much et all.
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Old June 13 2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I definitely think that a reboot was a good idea. The biggest problem with old-trek was that it had become too formulaic, riddled with technobabble and cliched. With JJ-trek, we got a show that is exciting and fun again and feels fresh.
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Old June 13 2013, 09:27 PM   #11
Jon1701
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Personally, I would have done a full on reboot. No messing about.

None of this alternate universe stuff. I mean, it virtually is a full reboot - they just won't say it out loud.
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Old June 13 2013, 10:31 PM   #12
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I would have preferred a total reboot also.
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Old June 13 2013, 11:27 PM   #13
Charles Phipps
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

I think it was appropriate for Star Trek. There's no real difference to the setting as a result other than Leonard Nimoy's presence.
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Old June 14 2013, 04:22 AM   #14
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Good point about the treatment of homosexuality on DS9.
Garak being bisexual would surprise no one, including his actor.

In my headcanon, there's a perfectly viable "lost episode" where Kira has a (female) lover from the resistance where no one reacts in the slightest manner different from it being an episode about a male one.
None of this has anything to do with what was actually portrayed in the series; the OP got it right.
Um... Charles Phipps IS the OP. Maybe you should back off on your knee-jerk negativity.
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Old June 14 2013, 04:37 AM   #15
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Re: Why a reboot was necessary (IMHO)

DaleC76 wrote: View Post
I would have preferred a total reboot also.
Yep, clean break. Clean slate.
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