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Old June 14 2013, 10:10 PM   #166
beamMe
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

stj wrote: View Post
The amount of thought expended on this is extraordinary. In The Wrath of Khan, the Kobayashi Maru scenario was a foreshadowing of the plot and a metaphorical announcement of the true no-win scenario, the inevitable end of life by death. Kirk can be expected to think the test is as unfair as death. In the Abrams movies, it's not really about anything except "Badass punks the teacher!" No amount of twaddle or even bizarre-world indignation is going to make one Kirk's action the equivalent of the other.
Meyer killed Spock in the first few minutes of the movie to troll the fans.

"The end of life by death." Is that supposed to be profound?

In Abram's movie we see how Kirk "punks the teacher". TWOK just tells us that he "punk[ed] the teacher"
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Old June 14 2013, 11:03 PM   #167
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

NOw that we've thoroughly dissected TWOK and ST09 and Kirk's actions and the consequences... this would be a good time to return to the topic originally asked:

HaplessCrewman wrote: View Post
Now that J.J. Abrams has taken control of Rod Serling's last un-produced screenplay, what classic sci-fi franchise would you like J.J. to set his eyes on next?

Star Trek (done.)

Star Wars (done.)

The Twilight Zone (being adapted)

The Six Million Dollar Man (pending?)

The Outer Limits (maybe?)

The Prisoner (on the horizon?)

http://entertainment.time.com/2013/0...th-j-j-abrams/
Not to be evasive myself, but I would have to see how Abrams handles Star Wars and Twilight Zone first, before deciding if I'd want him to take the center seat of another franchise. For all we know, working on those two exhausting film franchises might burn him out for a time.
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Old June 15 2013, 04:29 AM   #168
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I like the Stargate series, but I disagree about SGU. There was too much of the nuBSG-style dumbing down. Making the characters retarded so they can be all kewl and dark, the using of each other's bodies for sex, the forced conflicts-- they even managed to make General O'Neill boring. Every time I watched it, I got the impression that the producers were saying, "Why are you making us do this shit? Please let us go back to telling good, solid stories again."

I did see that TZ homage on Felicity and I remember liking it. But did Abrams actually do that, or was it the people he hired? As I said, his TV stuff is generally decent because of the people he hires. Although come to think of it, nuTrek was bad mostly because of the people he hired-- it was directed competently, but the script was Asylum-level nonsense.
It was definitely Abrams. I remember a TV Guide interview at the time. It was a homage to Serling and the TZ that he wrote himself and even hired an old TZ director (Lamount Johnson) to helm the episode.
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Old June 15 2013, 10:05 AM   #169
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

^^ Interesting. Well, he certainly did a good job on that. I doubt if this new project will be that retro, but he is at least capable of channeling the Serling vibe.
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Old June 15 2013, 01:45 PM   #170
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

stj wrote: View Post
Regarding Henry and Forever Young were pretty decent. And the Fringe theme is dandy.
I haven't seen Felicity or Alias, but the above is otherwise Abrams' artistically successful filmography. Odds of him doing anything well are not favorable.

Fringe in particular, being modeled on X-Files, was capable of supporting case of the week stories. The standalone cases in X-Files were the most gloriously successful, and in the end, the serialized story was a dead weight. But in Fringe, one some of the few occasions they could actually come up with a decent standalone story, they truncated it, hastily resolving ten minutes before the credits, so they could shoehorn some more serial in!

The best episodes of Twilight Zone are still repeated. Nobody needs simple pastiche for anything but a nostalgia kick. One aspect of Twilight Zone, the fables exemplifying moral values, sometimes very explicitly, in particular is one for which Abrams overall shows an ineradicable hostility.
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Old June 15 2013, 02:04 PM   #171
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

Sindatur wrote: View Post
There is no degrees in cheating or hacking and changing the program. If you do it you're just as guilty as anyone else who does it. If there is honor in PrimeKirk's actions, there was honor in NuKirk's. If there is dishonor in NuKirk's actions, there is dishonor in PrimeKirk's.

These gyrations to make it seem like there are degrees to cheating in order to make PrimeKirk look good and NuKirk look like an insult to the character Kirk are going to hurt someone's neck.
That makes no sense. We never got to see how Prime Kirk actually performed the test.

Really, the analogy here is an arcade videogame. You can apply a cheat that makes your guy invulnerable, OR you can remove the cheap-shots that those games throw in to prevent you from getting through on one quarter. If you do the former, you can play the game without even thinking. If you do the latter, then you still have the be the best there is at playing it to get to the ending. My feeling is Kirk did the LATTER, and that's why he got a commendation. He still earned his stripes based on his sense of what the test was supposed to represent.

It doesn't matter that officers are supposed to lose. If Starfleet is interested in competent officers, it is going to be impressed by prime Kirk's legitimate performance on the altered test. His intention wasn't to cheat. His intention was to fix what he felt was a rigged test so that he could EARN his stripes fair and square. Two different things. If anything, this showed that he was more about principle than blindly following the rules.

Again, Kirk made it possible to win, not a cakewalk. It could have been the equivalent of changing one parameter that slowed things down enough to allow for the latency of human reaction-time. Anyone who has played a lot of videogames knows that they must be carefully tuned to the limits of human physical hand/eye coordination. You want the difficulty hard enough to seem impossible to the novice, but not so hard that it is physically impossible to beat. The best games of all time fall under that category of requiring exceptional skill, but are not completely unbeatable.

The existential question posed by this is that in life, there ARE no win scenarios, and that even a seasoned officer like Kirk could face them. The sin of hacking the simulation was not against Starfleet, but against himself, because he held onto the idea that he could somehow escape death every time. Rhetorically he knew the moral of the test, since he schooled Saavik about it, but he had never experienced a situation he couldn't somehow weasel himself out of (like in the Corbomite Maneuver). This is the foreshadowing that sets things up. The audience is asked to accept that maybe Khan represents the no-win scenario and that no innovative thinking on Kirk's part will be enough to save them, which is in effect true, hence Spock makes the ultimate act of sacrifice, leading to his poignant line "I never took the Kobayashi test until now. What do you think of my solution?" This is the thematic bedrock of the entire picture and JJ merely used it as a form of mild comic relief and pseudo-fan-service.

In his mind, he feels like he's reciting Trek gospel, but it's a real mis-read of the character, because he just doesn't get Trek.
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Old June 15 2013, 02:05 PM   #172
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

When UPN did The New Twilight Zone, I felt they relied too much on the shock endings and then started doing a twist-on-a-twist ending. Don't get me wrong, the twist ending was a major hallmark of The Twilight Zone. But the show was often about people getting another chance and we didn't see a lot of that on the show. Somehow I think a lot of producers today would disregard that theme. But it was important to Serling.
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Old June 15 2013, 02:40 PM   #173
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

mos6507 wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
There is no degrees in cheating or hacking and changing the program. If you do it you're just as guilty as anyone else who does it. If there is honor in PrimeKirk's actions, there was honor in NuKirk's. If there is dishonor in NuKirk's actions, there is dishonor in PrimeKirk's.

These gyrations to make it seem like there are degrees to cheating in order to make PrimeKirk look good and NuKirk look like an insult to the character Kirk are going to hurt someone's neck.
That makes no sense. We never got to see how Prime Kirk actually performed the test.

Really, the analogy here is an arcade videogame. You can apply a cheat that makes your guy invulnerable, OR you can remove the cheap-shots that those games throw in to prevent you from getting through on one quarter. If you do the former, you can play the game without even thinking. If you do the latter, then you still have the be the best there is at playing it to get to the ending. My feeling is Kirk did the LATTER, and that's why he got a commendation. He still earned his stripes based on his sense of what the test was supposed to represent.

It doesn't matter that officers are supposed to lose. If Starfleet is interested in competent officers, it is going to be impressed by prime Kirk's legitimate performance on the altered test. His intention wasn't to cheat. His intention was to fix what he felt was a rigged test so that he could EARN his stripes fair and square. Two different things. If anything, this showed that he was more about principle than blindly following the rules.

Again, Kirk made it possible to win, not a cakewalk. It could have been the equivalent of changing one parameter that slowed things down enough to allow for the latency of human reaction-time. Anyone who has played a lot of videogames knows that they must be carefully tuned to the limits of human physical hand/eye coordination. You want the difficulty hard enough to seem impossible to the novice, but not so hard that it is physically impossible to beat. The best games of all time fall under that category of requiring exceptional skill, but are not completely unbeatable.

The existential question posed by this is that in life, there ARE no win scenarios, and that even a seasoned officer like Kirk could face them. The sin of hacking the simulation was not against Starfleet, but against himself, because he held onto the idea that he could somehow escape death every time. Rhetorically he knew the moral of the test, since he schooled Saavik about it, but he had never experienced a situation he couldn't somehow weasel himself out of (like in the Corbomite Maneuver). This is the foreshadowing that sets things up. The audience is asked to accept that maybe Khan represents the no-win scenario and that no innovative thinking on Kirk's part will be enough to save them, which is in effect true, hence Spock makes the ultimate act of sacrifice, leading to his poignant line "I never took the Kobayashi test until now. What do you think of my solution?" This is the thematic bedrock of the entire picture and JJ merely used it as a form of mild comic relief and pseudo-fan-service.

In his mind, he feels like he's reciting Trek gospel, but it's a real mis-read of the character, because he just doesn't get Trek.
Very nicely put. I bolded the part explaining how this little side trip relates to the thread topic.

I would only add, first, that we don't see what the original Kirk did, but what he says he did is exactly as described above. You have to make the case that Kirk was unreliably describing, otherwise it is just imagination to think the original Kirk did what the new one did.

Second, the thematic material in Wrath of Khan is indeed there. There isn't any in the Abrams' movies. The second one at least tries but is hopelessly confused.

Third, Kirk's withholding in the genesis cave is indeed grandstanding, but a little ego-stroking after getting your ass kicked isn't the same at all. New Kirk just likes to flip people off.

Fourth, considering the Kobayashi Maru test is one that can be retaken, it is pretty obvious that standard notions of cheating simply have no applicability from the start. Extraordinary notions of cheating need their own justification. This whole thing was blown out of proportion by people who just couldn't accept that a comparison of this relatively minor detail was not in their favor.
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Old June 15 2013, 04:41 PM   #174
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

JJ could do a great version of either 'The Obsolete Man' or 'Time Enough at Last'
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Old June 17 2013, 03:20 AM   #175
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Re: J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

mos6507 and stj, as you can see from my earlier post, here:
Neroon wrote: View Post
NOw that we've thoroughly dissected TWOK and ST09 and Kirk's actions and the consequences... this would be a good time to return to the topic originally asked:
... it is time to return to the original topic. I can understand how in a pitched battle it can be difficult to give up a sidebar topic. However, a few days is more than enough. Please direct your discussion to the original subject matter of JJ Abrams and his potential for taking over other franchises.

If you or anyone else have any further questions or comments regarding this, take them to PM.
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