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Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

View Poll Results: Do fans want the prime timeline back?
I'm a fan and I want the Prime timeline back. 209 56.79%
I'm a fan and I don't want the Prime timeline back. 61 16.58%
I'm a fan and wouldn't mind if it came back. 39 10.60%
I don't care, just give me Trek! 53 14.40%
I don't know. 6 1.63%
Voters: 368. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 4 2013, 03:30 PM   #271
Chemahkuu
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

First of all, multi-quote.
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Old October 4 2013, 03:36 PM   #272
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Sorry, there a way to delete that second post? I've integrated the two.
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Old October 4 2013, 03:36 PM   #273
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
Well, it was "unexpected." And don't get me wrong, the ship rising out of the water is, in and of itself, a cool shot.
What makes it bad writing to me is that there is no explicable reason for it to happen except to get the cool shot. Kirk is, we are told repeatedly, a starship Captain of greatness. It could not or at least should not have failed to occur to someone fitting that description that just keeping the ship in orbit would hide it from the natives and allow it to better support Spock's operation in the volcano*. That's why the ship on the sea floor is "unexpected." There is no good reason for him to do it.

The plot requires Kirk, in other words, to act stupidly in a way that has to be lampshaded by his Chief Engineer -- so that the viewers will know not to take any of this seriously, because the writers sure didn't -- in order to get a cool shot. That it was good spectacle does not make it good writing. Having to contrive stupidity on the part of supposedly-capable characters is bad writing. Good writing would have been to find a means to the spectacle or something like it without having to resort to that kind of contrivance.
I'll have to respectfully disagree with you.

The fact that it's unexpected has nothing to do with Kirk's reasons or lack of reasons for putting the Enterprise under the water. It's simply because of the juxtopositon and contrast of a giant space ship in an environment that we haven't seen it in before.

The film only barely gets into the technicalities of the situation our heroes are in, and for me that's the way it should be. We have almost no information on why the Enterprise is hiding down there and we don't need it. Mostly because a good portion of the audience doesn't care. I get that you do, and that's cool, but pretending that it's some objective yardstick by which to measure the quality of the writing in the scene is intellectually dishonest.

BigJake wrote: View Post
(* Which, even worse for scientific illiteracy: "cold fusion" does not freeze things. And I actually have to wonder if the writers just didn't know that, or knew and just didn't care to come up with an alternate name for the device, like a "stasis bomb" or something. It's a moment of gratuitous badness that a simple copy-edit should at any rate have caught, which really does create the impression that nobody of importance on the production cared at all. I'm not one of these people who believe the filmmakers should be "respecting the fans" at every turn -- but not respecting your own craft and product is a different kettle of fish... and one of the reasons I hold it against Abrams is that I know for a fact he is, or can be, a better filmmaker than that.)
Even setting aside that things like warp drive and the transporter are laughably unscientific, you're making a huge leap here.

Going from;

The writers obviously not caring about the specific made-up futuristic technobabble reasons for a Starship being underwater or how to stop a giant volcano.

To;

The writers obviously don't care about anything.

The truth is that you seem to care about these kinds of things in the fiction you enjoy, and the people who made these films seem to not. The only thing that proves is that these movies are not to your taste.
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Old October 4 2013, 03:49 PM   #274
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Andymator wrote:
I'll have to respectfully disagree with you.
At a certain point one must agree to disagree, and that's fine. However:

We have almost no information on why the Enterprise is hiding down there and we don't need it. Mostly because a good portion of the audience doesn't care. I get that you do, and that's cool, but pretending that it's some objective yardstick by which to measure the quality of the writing in the scene is intellectually dishonest.
A situation doesn't have to be explained to have some kind of workable explicability. And if you don't have the latter, yes, what you generally have is bad writing. What's "intellectually dishonest" is trying to pretend it is "intellectually dishonest" to point that out.

Now, whether or not the audience cares about whether the writing is good is a different question. You point out very correctly that much of the audience and the filmmakers obviously just don't care, and I completely agree with that. If all one is aiming at is forgettable popcorn cinema, then cool. But the thing about shoddily-crafted blockbusters is that they're disposable and usually quickly forgotten, so the question is whether that model is really the "Future of Trek."*

If you think it is, that's fine. But I'd appreciate your not trying to tell me I'm "dishonest" for thinking otherwise.

(* And in fairness, it may well be. The first purpose of cinema after all is making money: if that can be done by wrapping flashy action in the Trek brand, which it demonstrably can, then it's hard to see how Paramount has the incentive for anything else. But I like to see people do well, and I'd like to see the great cast of the Abrams movies -- all of whom clearly love their characters and are selling the hell out of the material they have to work with -- in something... more. And I do hope, perhaps irrationally, that it may yet happen.)
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Old October 4 2013, 03:57 PM   #275
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

See, BigJake, it's not a problem, that in your opinion it is bad writing and Junk Cinema, that's a valid viewpoint for you. Where the problem lies is the way you put forward that viewpoint, as if it's incontrovertible fact that it is indeed bad writing and junk cinema and that anyone who doesn't agree with your incontrovertible fact is wrong, especially when that viewpoint is the minority opinion. It comes off as elitism, and an attitude that 9 out of 10 people who saw the movie don't know what good writing is because they voted thumbs up for it. I believe it was you, yourself, who pointed out there is no "accepted guidelines for what is good or bad writing" and that writers have been debating it for decades (probably for Centuries, actually). It's not like Math, where there is incontrovertible facts about what is and isn't bad Math
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Old October 4 2013, 04:01 PM   #276
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post

My comments come down to "if it had been better written it would have been a better movie."
Better written by whose standards?

The only thing you've offered up is some vague "they" who have had "conversations" about what constitutes good writing.

You could destroy most movies ever made if you went over them with as fine a comb as some folks are going over Star Trek Into Darkness with.

Did I like Star Trek Into Darkness the first time I saw it? Yes. Do I think the story holds up on subsequent viewings? Yes (I've seen it seven times total). Do I think it has some flaws? Yes. I thought the transition from Harrison to Khan was awkward. I, personally, have some confusion about the torpedoes. But those two flaws don't come close to sinking the movie for me.

I'm currently reading the first book from the Star Trek: The Fall mini-series. It really isn't doing anything for me and I've posted exactly twice (in two different threads) about it without trying to insult the person who wrote it:

BillJ wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
For those who bought Star Trek: The Fall: Crimson Shadow because the paperback was on sale at Amazon, you spent too much. The eBook is now cheaper at $4.55.
Thanks for the heads up.

I was going to skip the rest of 'The Fall' based on how underwhelming the first book has been so far and having other things to read. But I figure $4.55 is too good to pass up especially since I enjoyed McCormack's last Trek novel.
BillJ wrote: View Post
Does this get any better?

I usually love George's work but I'm about seventy pages in and am really struggling to even care what's going on and the pace of the book is brutally slow.
If something is as offensive to your sensibilities as Star Trek Into Darkness seems to be, I would think that you'd find something to do with your time that would be more to your liking. The movie is in the can, there's no changing it now.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:02 PM   #277
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
A situation doesn't have to be explained to have some kind of workable explicability. And if you don't have the latter, yes, what you generally have is bad writing.
As a few people have already demonstrated with the most casual of effort, the situation easily has workable explicability.

BigJake wrote: View Post
Now, whether or not the audience cares about whether the writing is good is a different question. You point out very correctly that much of the audience and the filmmakers obviously just don't care, and I completely agree with that. If all one is aiming at is forgettable popcorn cinema, then cool. But the thing about shoddily-crafted blockbusters is that they're disposable and usually quickly forgotten, so the question is whether that model is really the "Future of Trek."
You see what you've done here?

I was very careful to craft my words so as to try and illustrate the point, and then you misrepresent what I just said.

Let me try to re-iterate for you...

- Not caring about made up futuristic technobabble nonsense.

- Not caring about good writing.

These are two completely separate things.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:04 PM   #278
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Andymator wrote: View Post
As a few people have already demonstrated with the most casual of effort, the situation easily has workable explicability.
If that's something you actually believe has happened, I think it really is best that we just leave it there.

I was very careful to craft my words so as to try and illustrate the point, and then you misrepresent what I just said.
You very carefully tried to conflate "caring about good writing" with "caring about made-up technobabble nonsense" and to pretend caring about the former was demanding that people care about the latter. If that works for you, fine, but I'm not playing along.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:05 PM   #279
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Fine by me, I believe that I've effectively made my point.

Edit: I guess you've changed your mind then? Let's continue...

BigJake wrote: View Post
You very carefully tried to conflate "caring about good writing" with "caring about made-up technobabble nonsense" and to pretend caring about the former was demanding that people care about the latter. If that works for you, fine, but I'm not playing along.
That is literally the opposite of what I did. I'm trying to demonstrate that the problem you're having with the writing of that particular scene is a matter of taste, and is not an objective metric of good or bad writing.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:08 PM   #280
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
A situation doesn't have to be explained to have some kind of workable explicability. And if you don't have the latter, yes, what you generally have is bad writing.
But you do get an explanation: Kirk is immature. It's right there in the film when Pike relieves him of command.

"Natives who have barely invented the wheel see a starship rising up out of their ocean!"

Do we need Kirk to explicitly explain why he hid the Enterprise down there? We know it's a bad idea from a technology standpoint as Scott is complaining about it, we know the entire situation is dangerous from the bridge dialogue and we know that it shouldn't have happened from Pike's dialogue.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:11 PM   #281
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Nothing against the shot, but there was no valid reason, and that makes it bad writing.

Even if you only connect cool images with a script, you can give every cool shot a valid reason.

Put the shot in the last act, for example. The Enterprise is chased by the Vengeance, and there seems to be no escape. So Kirk, being the unconventionally out of the box bad ass he is, comes up with the idea of hiding the ship for repairs where Marcus/Khan will never think about looking for them: on a planet, under water.

When the repairs are done, and Vengeance is in range, rise out of the waters for a surprise attack.

Not only is there a reason now, it also makes the scene important.


That works at least for me because the whole subplot in the first act was pointless imo. Kirk breaks the Prime Directive, gets demoted and five minutes of screentime later gets promoted again. You can cut the whole sequence out without changing a thing about the story.



Similar annoyance that would have been extremely easy to get rid of was the way they incorporated old Spock into the Trek 2009 script. He was just sitting there in a cave waiting for coincidence to happen. That could have been easily rewritten to remove all the contrivances while keeping the same pacing.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:17 PM   #282
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Where the problem lies is the way you put forward that viewpoint, as if it's incontrovertible fact that it is indeed bad writing and junk cinema and that anyone who doesn't agree with your incontrovertible fact is wrong
If I think there is a strong case for something, I don't mind saying so. Not that I particularly care whether it's "the minority opinion" or not, but what I'm pointing out is not that the majority of people are wrong to have been entertained by STID (though there are some details that bugged me, I was reasonably so for the time I was in the theatre). It's that the majority of its defenders should recognize that the terms in which they're typically defending it (don't overthink it, I don't care about the details etc.) should tell them that they enjoyed it as junk cinema.

Which, as I explained at some length, is not wrong in itself, it's perfectly okay to enjoy junk cinema and we all have our fixes in that regard. If some such fixes don't last as long for some of us as others, that's okay too. The problem comes when you start demanding that everybody else regard your junk fix as caviar and denouncing them as crazy or dishonest or "elitist" for not doing so. So I do think a bit more realism and forthrightness about what the appeal of these films are is in order.

I believe it was you, yourself, who pointed out there is no "accepted guidelines for what is good or bad writing" and that writers have been debating it for decades
What I said is that there are "rough" standards for good writing which have been chewed over for decades. (Things like "your plot points should be explicable," for instance.) Meaning it is not a simple example of stamping one's feet and declaring that what one says is right, you have to be able to actually make a case. That writing isn't math doesn't mean it has no standards of quality at all that aren't purely personal.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:22 PM   #283
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
So I do think a bit more realism and forthrightness about what the appeal of these films are is in order.
So now you're going to tell us what the appeal of these films are to us?

You can't be serious?
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Old October 4 2013, 04:23 PM   #284
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Also: IMO, @JarodRussell has it exactly right.
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Old October 4 2013, 04:27 PM   #285
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Re: Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

BigJake wrote: View Post
Also: IMO, @JarodRussell has it exactly right.
Well, you and JarodRussell are more than welcome to get together and write a big-time summer tent pole movie and see if you can get it produced.

Get back to me when that happens. Remember, I'm 42 and don't have too many more decades left.
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