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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 January 20 2013, 07:48 PM   #31
YARN
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

Christopher wrote: View Post
Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Betcha they made Chekov 17 in the movie just to piss off the Wesley haters.
I think they did it because making him 13 (which he would've been if they hadn't changed his age) would've been even more Wesley-like.
There you go.

It's too bad that they went with the "Muppet Babies" approach to TOS. TOS depicted people of different ages, who graduated with different classes, and had different professional lives before they served on the Enterprise. Now, they'll have been joined at the hip since their early 20s. Why shouldn't Uhura be Captain? She's a clever kid from the same Starfleet class? Or why not genius Chekov? Why should Kirk have command?

It's too bad they chickened out on the hard reboot. We could've just started at year one. Kirk gets his new command. Spock has already been there for eleven years and has been (apparently) passed over for promotion to captain. That's enough for a little tension right there (not the breaking-reason-off-at-the-hinges-suspended-cadet-becomes-captain-in-a-day tension in the 09 film).

Either that, or you really do it Hornblower style if you want to go deeper into the past. We meet Kirk as a Jr. Officer and watch him climbing the ranks, occasionally meeting people who he would serve with later and acquiring a ring of friends (e.g., Mitchell), some of whom could be killed off before he arrives at his first command.
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Old January 21 2013, 04:27 AM   #32
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

No one "chickened out" on anything. They did it the way they thought would make the most entertaining movie, and moviegoers rewarded them by making the movie a tremendous success. That trumps trekkie complaints.
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Old January 21 2013, 05:06 AM   #33
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
No one "chickened out" on anything. They did it the way they thought would make the most entertaining movie,
Just about every major motion picture is a compromise. Compromising involves yielding certain goals, sometimes out of narrative necessity, sometimes due to external pressure (e.g., studio heads demand certain scenes be inserted or removed, audience pressure, limited shooting schedule, running out of money). Sometimes internal pressures compete with internal pressures (the beauty of a depiction vs. the needs of pacing). Sometimes external pressures compete with external pressures (the cost of a shot vs. the amount of budget available). Sometimes internal goals conflict with external realities.

It is very clear that the new team wanted to start fresh. They wanted to cut away a lot of narrative baggage.

It is also clear that they felt the need to appease the faithful, by coming up with a conceit whereby the new universe would somehow be connected with the old and where the fans could be comfortable in the knowledge that the TNG history had not been overwritten.

The compromise was the Spock time travel and branching universe. To the extent that the internal goal (start fresh) compromised to external pressure (respect the old!), the creators chickened out on their immediate goal of rebooting. The Muppet Babies Academy Kids was one impact of the narrative choice made to strike this compromise.

Their goal was not to make the most entertaining movie for them, but to create the film that would generate the most money. If I went to a studio head and told him he could invest in the most entertaining film ever made or the most profitable film ever made, ten times out of ten, he would invest in the latter. Entertainment is a mere instrumentality. There is international political pressure (such as when China tells Hollywood when to change the villain), sometimes political correctness kicks in. Sometimes the demands of actors create limitations. Yielding to these pressures does not necessarily make the most entertaining film (i.e., if such things were pushed back against, the audience would have X more utiles of entertainment from the film), but filmmakers are worried about cost and expediency, so entertainment is just one factor.

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
and moviegoers rewarded them by making the movie a tremendous success. That trumps trekkie complaints.
This is one of those dippy sentiments that one runs into a lot on the internet.

"It made money, so you don't get to say anything bad about it!"

"The masses feel differently, so your opinion matters not!"

It's so bad that one scarcely knows how to respond to it.
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Old January 21 2013, 05:22 AM   #34
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

YARN wrote: View Post
It's so bad that one scarcely knows how to respond to it.
It's a legitimate criticism. If you're pointing out a "problem" that, apparently, very few of the movie-going public were bothered by, then it's not really a problem, is it?

The fact that you don't know how to respond is, well, unsurprising.
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Old January 21 2013, 07:47 AM   #35
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

boobatuba wrote: View Post
It's a legitimate criticism. If you're pointing out a "problem" that, apparently, very few of the movie-going public were bothered by, then it's not really a problem, is it?
If the valuation of the quality of a film simply boiled down to box office receipts, then we would simply ask if a film turned a profit and how much. Film criticism would be reduced to accounting. Film discussion would reduce to public polling. By this metric, we would have to estimate Twilight as greater than every other film that it earned more money than. We would be forced to say that the Spice Girls eclipsed the Beatles in quality once they sold more records.

At most, it is defeasible position. That is, if a film is popular, then it passes a prima facie test as "not being terrible." Of course, it was never my contention that the film was terrible (indeed, I thought Trek 09 was better than most Trek films). And this brings us to another point, the argument is not only defeasible, but is coarse-grained. That is, appeal to general sentiment only offers us an "on face" test for general quality. It has nothing to do with particular criticisms (such as those claiming, as I do, that it was good overall, but this aspect could have been even better).

The mistake is two-fold. One, appealing to a weak inductive argument as it if were strong (i.e., conversation stopping proof). Two, it fails to recognize that the face test is to coarse grained to offer a challenge to particularized criticisms.

boobatuba wrote: View Post
The fact that you don't know how to respond is, well, unsurprising.
Personal sniping? Disappointing.

I didn't say that I personally didn't know how to respond, but rather that a person "one" (anyone would) scarcely know how to respond (i.e., they know how to respond, but the position is so mistaken, that you have to really back track to 101 aesthetics and logic to point out what's wrong with it).
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Old January 21 2013, 09:15 AM   #36
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

YARN wrote: View Post

I didn't say that I personally didn't know how to respond, but<snip>
Of course you did. Sure, it was worded in such a way as to facilitate the sort of side-step you were attempting, but the implication was clear enough.

If there is anything of the original topic (character ages) which yet remains to be explored, perhaps you ought to return to that now, and leave off with the "clever" games.
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Old January 21 2013, 11:24 AM   #37
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

Uhura's bi-lingual ability was established in the first episode, "The Man Trap", when she spoke both Swahili and English. We learn in "The Changeling" that she has an aptitude for mathematics. And, in the sixth movie, that she was chairing a seminar at the Academy, thus implying that she was a highly-respected individual by other communication officers.

As for her age, we learn in ST III that she is a "...twenty-year space..." veteran. She is first seen in 2266 as a lieutenant on the Enterprise. It's conceivable that she graduated the Academy in 2265, completed a tour of duty, and was assigned to the Enterprise.

There is confusion on the age of Captain Pike. In the "Menagerie", he is described as having roughly the same age as Captain Kirk.
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Old January 21 2013, 11:25 AM   #38
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

YARN wrote: View Post
It is very clear that the new team wanted to start fresh. They wanted to cut away a lot of narrative baggage.
According to Abrams and co on the DVD extras, Spock going back in time was plan A. They didn't have to repect the old, but they chose to.
It is also clear that they felt the need to appease the faithful, by coming up with a conceit whereby the new universe would somehow be connected with the old and where the fans could be comfortable in the knowledge that the TNG history had not been overwritten.
The branching history thing appears to have been a late addition to the story. In the early script at IMSDB, Spock deliberately goes back in time by opening a second black hole (not knowing exactly how far into the past he would be deposited), to have another chance to save Romulus.
The idea that the original timeline continues exists only in an easter egg-like reference during Spock's schooling, where one of the students answers is "Anything that can happen, does happen, is equal parallel realities."
The compromise was the Spock time travel and branching universe. To the extent that the internal goal (start fresh) compromised to external pressure (respect the old!), the creators chickened out on their immediate goal of rebooting. The Muppet Babies Academy Kids was one impact of the narrative choice made to strike this compromise.
Remember The Motion Picture, where an Enterprise refit was used as the excuse to change everything? It's a handwave, which while sort-of explaining why the ship now looks a big-budget design from 1979, absolutely fails to explain anything else, like why the Klingons were essentially replaced with a completely different species or why Vulcan, which we'd previously been told "has no moon", had a very busy sky indeed.

It's the same thing in nuTrek. A handwave which covers most of the changes - the rest are up to the viewers' willing suspension of disbelief. As far as I'm concerned, one line from Chekov in "Who Mourns For Adonais?" is NOT a deal breaker, any more than any of the other rewrites in Trek history. Fun to pick holes in, yes (see videos in my sig), but they certianly don't ruin my enjoyment of the product.
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Old January 21 2013, 11:25 AM   #39
YARN
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
YARN wrote: View Post

I didn't say that I personally didn't know how to respond, but<snip>
Of course you did. Sure, it was worded in such a way as to facilitate the sort of side-step you were attempting, but the implication was clear enough.
If that were true, I would've been unable to provide the reductio that appears before that statement.

Also, one should note the use of the word "scarcely." If you are reading hyper-literally (unable or unwilling to recognize the use of that trope known as hyperbole), even the literal meaning of "scarcely" does NOT indicate "that which is impossible," but rather "that which is achieved with great effort or by a small margin." In short, it does not mean that one is without answer, but that one is almost unaware of how to reply.

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
If there is anything of the original topic (character ages) which yet remains to be explored, perhaps you ought to return to that now, and leave off with the "clever" games.
I got my answer and (bonus!) a structural diagnosis for why Chekov is a whiz-kid. My thanks to those who had the stardates and to Timo and Christopher for pointing out the structural ramifications of putting everyone in the same Starfleet class (i.e., Kirk has to be a little younger, Chekov has to be a little older, but even then he is noticeably younger than the rest of the crew, hence the need to make him a whiz-kid).
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Old January 21 2013, 11:27 AM   #40
F. King Daniel
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

throwback wrote: View Post
There is confusion on the age of Captain Pike. In the "Menagerie", he is described as having roughly the same age as Captain Kirk.
Which had to me a mistake, because counting backwards from the dates given would mean Pike became captain of the Enterprise age 9
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Old January 21 2013, 02:36 PM   #41
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

I always took that line as incomplete, as in, "roughly your age…when he took command of the Enterprise". Even as a ten-year-old or so when I first saw the episode, that made the most sense.
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Old January 21 2013, 06:12 PM   #42
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

Chekov was simply retconned from 13 to 17. That's all. It's the new normal. Or not, I guess.

Enraged "Star Trek" fans protest in front of Paramount Studios gate after finding out four years were added to the age of Chekov in Abrams' hit "Star Trek" movie. "Runied the experience for me," sobs one fan. Shouts of, "You raped our childhoods," could be heard from other fans. Some held placards that said, "17 = 13 in Abramsverse," "Who Mourns for Chekov?" and "Four Less Years!"

When asked to comment about the protesters, Abrams said, "Pedantic geeks, every one of them. I've had it. Scew 'em, I'm going to go direct the new 'Star Wars' movie."
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Old January 21 2013, 06:31 PM   #43
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

Heck, it's not like ST hasn't had chronology problems before. Remember how "The Squire of Gothos" required TOS to take place in the 28th century? (Trelane was 900 light-years from Earth, and due to lightspeed time lag was only caught up with early 19th-century events like Napoleon's reign and Hamilton's assassination. Plus the music he played on the harpsichord was 19th-century.) Then there's Molly O'Brien somehow being 3 years old barely a year after her birth, a classic case of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. Then there are TNG: "Rascals," "Tapestry," and "The Chase" all assuming that Picard's Academy career would've been about 30 years earlier when it was really more like 40.
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Old January 21 2013, 06:53 PM   #44
YARN
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

Franklin wrote: View Post
Chekov was simply retconned from 13 to 17. That's all. It's the new normal. Or not, I guess.

Enraged "Star Trek" fans protest in front of Paramount Studios gate after finding out four years were added to the age of Chekov in Abrams' hit "Star Trek" movie. "Runied the experience for me," sobs one fan. Shouts of, "You raped our childhoods," could be heard from other fans. Some held placards that said, "17 = 13 in Abramsverse," "Who Mourns for Chekov?" and "Four Less Years!"

When asked to comment about the protesters, Abrams said, "Pedantic geeks, every one of them. I've had it. Scew 'em, I'm going to go direct the new 'Star Wars' movie."
An amusing caricature, but no one here said that age discrepancies ruined Star Trek.

The discussion here has primarily been about whether there IS an age discrepancy, not whether it is good or bad. There was considerable debate on this point (indicating that those saying "No" have a vested interest in the discussion).

When the opposition was presented with the facts, they retreated from the ground of the factual to offer a familiar sort of jurisdictional objection - "Irrelevant!," "It does not matter," "Who cares?," "Only a movie!"

And who is enraged? The grumpy nu-orthodox led by brother Dennis are the ones who entered this thread looking to squelch heretical questions. If the question matters so little, why bother?
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Old January 21 2013, 08:03 PM   #45
M'Sharak
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Re: Crew age and nu-Trek

YARN wrote: View Post
Franklin wrote: View Post
Chekov was simply retconned from 13 to 17. That's all. It's the new normal. Or not, I guess.

Enraged "Star Trek" fans protest in front of Paramount Studios gate after finding out four years were added to the age of Chekov in Abrams' hit "Star Trek" movie. "Runied the experience for me," sobs one fan. Shouts of, "You raped our childhoods," could be heard from other fans. Some held placards that said, "17 = 13 in Abramsverse," "Who Mourns for Chekov?" and "Four Less Years!"

When asked to comment about the protesters, Abrams said, "Pedantic geeks, every one of them. I've had it. Scew 'em, I'm going to go direct the new 'Star Wars' movie."
An amusing caricature, but no one here said that age discrepancies ruined Star Trek.

The discussion here has primarily been about whether there IS an age discrepancy, not whether it is good or bad. There was considerable debate on this point (indicating that those saying "No" have a vested interest in the discussion).

When the opposition was presented with the facts, they retreated from the ground of the factual to offer a familiar sort of jurisdictional objection - "Irrelevant!," "It does not matter," "Who cares?," "Only a movie!"

And who is enraged? The grumpy nu-orthodox led by brother Dennis are the ones who entered this thread looking to squelch heretical questions. If the question matters so little, why bother?
You've been asked on at least one occasion before to refrain from doing that. Warning for trolling; comments to PM.
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