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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 March 11 2013, 08:21 PM   #181
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Well that's for certain, Abramstrek isn't shaking anything up, nor does it break any new ground. TOS on the other hand had a huge impact on society, especially on racial issues. Abramstrek is just pure entertainment, it doesn't provoke anyone (except hardcore trekkies), and it doesn't give you any food for thought. They could have done it, by introducing a new crew, or rebooting complete, introducing homosexual, religious and whatever issues. But they went for a film were the most controversial idea is that Uhura makes out with Spock.
Well, the film touches on bullying, being a child of two cultures, nature vs. nurture. But it doesn't smack you upside the head with any of them.
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Old March 11 2013, 08:28 PM   #182
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Well that's for certain, Abramstrek isn't shaking anything up, nor does it break any new ground. TOS on the other hand had a huge impact on society, especially on racial issues.

And it's too bad that TNG rolled that back with episodes like Code of Honor. and Zulu warriors.

or

TNG taking the easy way out and making Riker's love interest in the Outcast a female as opposed to male dominate.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:22 AM   #183
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
SalvorHardin wrote: View Post
Hmmm

Q: Having been part of the first major Star Trek reboot, how do you feel about the new J.J. Abrams films?

FRAKES: I think itís spectacular. Iím a huge J.J. fan and I think they were wise to give him the reigns. I think that what heís done is exactly what needed to be done. Iím really excited about the second one. I visited the set, actually, and itís going to be amazing.
Without being bitter, they didnít shortchange them. The visual effects are spectacular, nothing like the original. It used to be that the ships were models (mounted) on a stick, little glued-together plastic models that they would run in front of black velvet and that would be the spaceship. Times have certainly changed.

BURTON: When youíre handed the keys to Daddyís Cadillac, you better know what youíre doing. Having said that, I think J.J. did an amazing job.
Iím really looking forward to what he has to offer this time, because I think in the tradition of all Star Trek movies and certainly all of the best Star Trek movies, theyíre actually about something. Theyíre about more than just entertainment. They communicate the intrinsic value in the human journey. In Star Trek it is the best of us out there, the best aspects of who we are. Thatís hugely inspirational for a lot of people, myself included. I come honestly to Star Trek, as a fan. I watched Star Trek growing up and it had a very serious impact on the development of my own self-identity, seeing myself represented as part of the popular culture, the idea that we could eventually live in a time, and would evolve to a place, where we had resolved all these nonsensical issues that separate us.
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment...eneration.html
Just skimming over the text, but I'm not seeing anything about disquieting "things [heard] coming out of [the Abrams] camp" or citing Abrams' alleged (but as-yet-unsourced) "There should be no Star Trek except the one I make" statement. Could those have been an invention on the part of the Toronto Sun interviewer and not something Burton ever in fact said?
First, that's the Star, not the Sun. The Sun is, like its British namesake, a tabloid that revels in creating controversy - the Star is a more serious paper.

Second, I've met Rob Salem, the interviewer - and he's a fan. (We had him as a presenter at the inaugural Constellation Awards back in 2007 - I've been the stage manager for the ceremony since we started the awards.) In this photo, he's on the right. Take a close look at the T-shirt he's wearing:



He's been an entertainment reporter at the Star for as long as I can remember - he's not one who's prone to making stuff up.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:51 AM   #184
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

TorontoTrekker wrote: View Post
M'Sharak wrote: View Post
Just skimming over the text, but I'm not seeing anything about disquieting "things [heard] coming out of [the Abrams] camp" or citing Abrams' alleged (but as-yet-unsourced) "There should be no Star Trek except the one I make" statement. Could those have been an invention on the part of the Toronto Sun interviewer and not something Burton ever in fact said?
First, that's the Star, not the Sun. The Sun is, like its British namesake, a tabloid that revels in creating controversy - the Star is a more serious paper.

Second, I've met Rob Salem, the interviewer - and he's a fan. (We had him as a presenter at the inaugural Constellation Awards back in 2007 - I've been the stage manager for the ceremony since we started the awards.) In this photo, he's on the right. Take a close look at the T-shirt he's wearing:



He's been an entertainment reporter at the Star for as long as I can remember - he's not one who's prone to making stuff up.
Which was my point: I don't see those things in Salem's piece from the Star.

While Burton's comments in the other interviews are more generally positive (despite his apparently being misinformed or unclear about how this or that story detail is supposed to have affected TNG's place in it all,) the allusion to "things coming out of Abrams' camp" and the "bullshit" remarks aimed at J.J. appear only in the Sun interview. Even if it's not invention, one might wonder: why there and in none of the other interviews? If Burton did say those things, what was it at that time which really set him off?
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Old March 12 2013, 11:28 AM   #185
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
If Burton did say those things, what was it at that time which really set him off?
I agree. It's very puzzling. To make matters worse, he linked to the TrekWeb.com article on his Twitter stating something like "It's hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes" only to impress a few dozen of his brown-nosing followers who blindly agreed with him without even really knowing what they were talking about either. If he linked to a TrekWeb article, then SURELY he's read the talk back section there too in which nearly everyone called him out on HIS bullshit (but then I have no idea if there's someone else doing all that on his behalf or if he's really active on the net himself.)

Personally, I think Burton would owe Abrams a huge apology for stating something in public that is obviously a complete falsehood and VERY unfair to his team when they have tripped over themselves in interviews talking about honoring what has come before, Roddenberry's "Vision" and all that jazz.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Well that's for certain, Abramstrek isn't shaking anything up, nor does it break any new ground. TOS on the other hand had a huge impact on society, especially on racial issues.
Yes, the low rated series that got cancelled and only became popular *after* civil rights movements really did the job. Everyone remembers when Uhura decided to sit in the front of the shuttle, right?

Abramstrek is just pure entertainment, it doesn't provoke anyone (except hardcore trekkies),
That's ALL of Star Trek. Quit pretending otherwise.

and it doesn't give you any food for thought.
Honestly. If an adult needs Star Trek to tell them things like "War is bad" or "Now, now, be kind to people" then that person has REALLY been living under a rock. The "messages" that Star Trek supposedly conveyed were, while nice, also easily conveyed in episodes of "Sesame Street" or "The Golden Girls." Honestly, they aren't at all "groundbreaking."
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Old March 12 2013, 01:44 PM   #186
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Devon wrote: View Post
The "messages" that Star Trek supposedly conveyed were, while nice, also easily conveyed in episodes of "Sesame Street" or "The Golden Girls." Honestly, they aren't at all "groundbreaking."
Yea, yea but they quote Shakespeare in many of the films and series so that makes Trek, "smart."
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Old March 12 2013, 02:29 PM   #187
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Devon wrote: View Post
The "messages" that Star Trek supposedly conveyed were, while nice, also easily conveyed in episodes of "Sesame Street" or "The Golden Girls." Honestly, they aren't at all "groundbreaking."
Yea, yea but they quote Shakespeare in many of the films and series so that makes Trek, "smart."
This makes me want to boycott the new movie. Seriously. Star Trek is ordinary science fiction without moral dilemmas, social commentary, and the imagination of what we would find in the universe. Quoting Shakespeare doesn't make them smart, that is true. Chang is not in any way articulate in the final battle scene. He is just picking out famous lines and it's almost comical. He, is articulate in the trial scene.

However, take an episode of TNG like "First Contact." Where old traditions are changed by what we find in the universe. This is as old as Galileo, even older. It's setting is the future and dramatized with a message about a potential problem in society--the battle between the old and the new.

DS9's enemy was oppressed. That is the cause of the existential threat of the Dominion. Without torturing the changelings they would never dismiss the solids so easily and they wouldn't be xenophobes. "Violence breeds violence."

Alien of the week stories, if not done properly, were annoying, even though they conveyed a message--it was thinly veiled. They could seem like Sesame Street.

Those that had messages that transcend time and speak to the human condition can be applied to every generation, stay relevant. That's what fiction can be. That's what makes Star Trek, and a host of other shows, timeless. The messages were more than "save the whales" or "save the planet." It was a complex lesson, at least it was from good Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and most of the Original Series.

What I fear, and why I think this new cynicism is so dangerous, is Star Trek becoming like James Bond. He says "shaken, not stirred," Bond, James Bond," show us the guy trying to kill Bond, and then we watch James Bond escape. The end. I just described every James Bond movie.

What's Star Trek's potential formula? Khan-like villain threatens the earth, Federation, or Enterprise, maybe all three, and then our heroes rescue them. The villain wants revenge for something. It doesn't matter what. And that's it. Explosions get bigger and that's all the fans care about. In 10 years, the movies are dated and people stop watching them. I can't tell you the last time I watched a Roger Moore James Bond movie.

So laugh cynically and dismiss Star Trek as Aesop's Fables, and we will never have another original concept in Star Trek. They will just keep doing the same thing over and over again until we get tired of it. Star Trek tried to see things in the future--technology, social structures, the universe--and it sparked the imagination while making me think about psychology, sociology, science, logic, and literature. It was an introduction to those things as a kid, and it was more entertaining as I got older and had more experience. It hasn't aged, in my opinion. Just the graphics.
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Old March 12 2013, 02:48 PM   #188
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Again, it's simply futile to compare the movies with the TV shows. They're different stories told in a different format to a different audience.

You might as well be criticising an episode for only being an hour long or for having ad-breaks.
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Old March 12 2013, 02:55 PM   #189
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
Again, it's simply futile to compare the movies with the TV shows. They're different stories told in a different format to a different audience.

You might as well be criticising an episode for only being an hour long or for having ad-breaks.
Revenge is not a commercial break. TMP, TVH managed to do it without revenge and they were commercially viable. It was an original story, and so was Khan at the time. This is a problem with fans' expectations.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:00 PM   #190
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
So laugh cynically and dismiss Star Trek as Aesop's Fables, and we will never have another original concept in Star Trek. They will just keep doing the same thing over and over again until we get tired of it. Star Trek tried to see things in the future--technology, social structures, the universe--and it sparked the imagination while making me think about psychology, sociology, science, logic, and literature. It was an introduction to those things as a kid, and it was more entertaining as I got older and had more experience. It hasn't aged, in my opinion. Just the graphics.
Any of the original ideas in Trek IMO are overshadowed by the acute failures that were ST Nemesis, Insurrection, Generations, and ST V The Final Frontier.

I'll take Abrams Trek over any of the aforementioned anyday.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:18 PM   #191
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
Revenge is not a commercial break. TMP, TVH managed to do it without revenge and they were commercially viable. It was an original story, and so was Khan at the time. This is a problem with fans' expectations.
TMP made money but was enough of a commercial disappointment that TWOK's budget was lower. I'm not sure you can actually say strictly that TVH did it 'without revenge'; it does have the BDO that threatens all life on Earth etc. That it comes down to an absence of whalesong doesn't change that it's a mortal threat to Earth which prompts the action, part of the formula you mention fearing.

So there's kind of a fractal thing, even though we're dealing with a small sample size. One third of the TOS movies have a mortal threat to Earth prompting the action. To be honest I don't recall if Soren's actions in Generations are a threat to Earth specifically, but let's assume not. So including STID, of the latter six, again one third will have been about a massive threat to Earth (Nero intends at some point to destroy Earth but I think that might have been prompted by Kirk's actions, not sure).

TVH is my favourite of the movies and I think it's worth examining here as you hold it up as an example of the kind of movie you'd like to see and praise its "moral value". But as far as I can see, it doesn't really match the picture you're painting of what a 'good' Trek movie should be. The moral framing is entirely incidental and utterly simplistic - in terms of the actual story, the whales are nothing more than a McGuffin. There's no moral conflict in the story, no exploration of any themes about why whales are hunted, no reflection on the unemployment etc caused by the dismantling of the whaling industry or anything of that nature at all. There's literally just the assumption "Hunting whales is bad" which the movie knows the audience will be sympathetic to, and once that's out of the way we get on with the hi-jinks. It really doesn't seem anything like the kind of consensus-challenging, morally complex fare you seem to want Trek to be.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:37 PM   #192
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
Revenge is not a commercial break. TMP, TVH managed to do it without revenge and they were commercially viable. It was an original story, and so was Khan at the time. This is a problem with fans' expectations.
TMP made money but was enough of a commercial disappointment that TWOK's budget was lower. I'm not sure you can actually say strictly that TVH did it 'without revenge'; it does have the BDO that threatens all life on Earth etc. That it comes down to an absence of whalesong doesn't change that it's a mortal threat to Earth which prompts the action, part of the formula you mention fearing.

So there's kind of a fractal thing, even though we're dealing with a small sample size. One third of the TOS movies have a mortal threat to Earth prompting the action. To be honest I don't recall if Soren's actions in Generations are a threat to Earth specifically, but let's assume not. So including STID, of the latter six, again one third will have been about a massive threat to Earth (Nero intends at some point to destroy Earth but I think that might have been prompted by Kirk's actions, not sure).

TVH is my favourite of the movies and I think it's worth examining here as you hold it up as an example of the kind of movie you'd like to see and praise its "moral value". But as far as I can see, it doesn't really match the picture you're painting of what a 'good' Trek movie should be. The moral framing is entirely incidental and utterly simplistic - in terms of the actual story, the whales are nothing more than a McGuffin. There's no moral conflict in the story, no exploration of any themes about why whales are hunted, no reflection on the unemployment etc caused by the dismantling of the whaling industry or anything of that nature at all. There's literally just the assumption "Hunting whales is bad" which the movie knows the audience will be sympathetic to, and once that's out of the way we get on with the hi-jinks. It really doesn't seem anything like the kind of consensus-challenging, morally complex fare you seem to want Trek to be.
Nero wants to destroy all the Federation worlds. All three--the Enterprise, Federation, and Earth are in peril in 2009. The drill is lowered into San Francisco bay and turned on.

No, Khan is rich in theme. TVH is not. I was making one point about commercial viability, not about what's a good picture. My point is that it can be a different life form that threatens earth, not some hell-bent politician or megalomaniac. And in that way only, TVH is original. We never spent any time with the probe. Earth was about to be destroyed, and we didn't know how to communicate with it. We learned what it was doing and came up with a solution. You're seeing the hi-jinks, I'm not referring to that. I don't particularly like the TVH.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:42 PM   #193
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

DarthTom wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
So laugh cynically and dismiss Star Trek as Aesop's Fables, and we will never have another original concept in Star Trek. They will just keep doing the same thing over and over again until we get tired of it. Star Trek tried to see things in the future--technology, social structures, the universe--and it sparked the imagination while making me think about psychology, sociology, science, logic, and literature. It was an introduction to those things as a kid, and it was more entertaining as I got older and had more experience. It hasn't aged, in my opinion. Just the graphics.
Any of the original ideas in Trek IMO are overshadowed by the acute failures that were ST Nemesis, Insurrection, Generations, and ST V The Final Frontier.

I'll take Abrams Trek over any of the aforementioned anyday.
I'd take all of those movies over Abrams Trek any day of the week. I get more out of them then the tired Ahab story with parential influences as a theme.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:45 PM   #194
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
Nero wants to destroy all the Federation worlds. All three--the Enterprise, Federation, and Earth are in peril in 2009. The drill is lowered into San Francisco bay and turned on.
I'll take your word for it that that's his original plan rather than a reaction to Kirk's interference.

No, Khan is rich in theme. TVH is not. I was making one point about commercial viability, not about what's a good picture. My point is that it can be a different life form that threatens earth, not some hell-bent politician or megalomaniac. And in that way only, TVH is original. We never spent any time with the probe. Earth was about to be destroyed, and we didn't know how to communicate with it. We learned what it was doing and came up with a solution. You're seeing the hi-jinks, I'm not referring to that. I don't particularly like the TVH.
With the exception of successfully communicating with it, that's more or less TMP though, isn't it?

And what I'm saying is that it's the hi-jinks that made TVH the commercial success it was, not the paper-thin Threat To All Life On Earth that prompts them.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:54 PM   #195
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
And what I'm saying is that it's the hi-jinks that made TVH the commercial success it was, not the paper-thin Threat To All Life On Earth that prompts them.
And those hi-jinks ended up sinking The Final Frontier because that's what Paramount thought audiences wanted out of Trek films.
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