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Old September 17 2013, 04:56 PM   #121
Robert Comsol
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Re: Not real Star Trek

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
But wouldn't this reasoning eliminate DS9, Voyager, and pretty much every movie except the first one? Please don't tell that The Wrath of Khan doesn't count as "real" Trek!
Very good questions! Would Roddenberry have felt the necessity to introduce comic reliefs like Quark or Neelix? Would Roddenberry have felt good about a Star Trek film whose basic premise was vengeance, retribution and battle action? (on the other hand, I for one am confident he would have liked Nick Meyer's ST VI)

There used to be a distinction between Star Wars and Star Trek and I liked it because I love both just as I love apples and oranges (however, having been an actifan back in those days collaborating in fan magazines about both universes I was always told "You can't have cake and eat it, too" ).

Anyway, I had my apple and orange pie, but the road Star Trek has taken since Roddenberry's departure tastes like apple pie most of the time and I miss the "real" orange flavor, metaphorically speaking.

An overemphasis on space battles and VFX not make Star Trek "real" as the other character with pointed ears from the other universe would have probably said.

Bob
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Old September 17 2013, 05:11 PM   #122
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Not real Star Trek

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Here's an interesting question: At what point does a popular fiction take on a life apart from its original creator?

Would Arthur Conan Doyle have approved of Watson being re-invented as a stylish Asian woman? Who knows?
There's a quote somewhere on fanlore.org, where Doyle, supposedly when asked if Watson could be made female for a stage play, replied "do whatever you want with him."
(someone's gone an updated the site and I can't find the exact quote anymore. Grrrr.)
Robert Comsol wrote:
I for one am confident he would have liked Nick Meyer's ST VI
Like STV, Roddenberry considered VI to be apocraphyl, believeing his 23rd century Starfleet officers to be beyond things like racism (this coming decades after "Balance of Terror". Roddenberry was some what of a revisionist and admitted to such in interviews)
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Old September 17 2013, 10:03 PM   #123
Robert Comsol
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Re: Not real Star Trek

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Like STV, Roddenberry considered VI to be apocraphyl, believeing his 23rd century Starfleet officers to be beyond things like racism (this coming decades after "Balance of Terror". Roddenberry was some what of a revisionist and admitted to such in interviews)
I re-checked, Roddenberry did not like the script and made the comment you were describing. Of course, as a reflection of contemporary culture, there was racism during the time of "Balance of Terror" and by 1991 most of it was gone, so maybe GR felt that this didn't reflect enough in the story and Starfleet of ST VI.

But I realize that my "Roddenberry approved" approach isn't a good one, especially regarding TMP (that's not "real" Trek either, but a nice and extensive introduction of the new girl we are going to spend the subsequent 5 movies on and with).

But since TMP is essentially a remake of "The Changeling" and since you mentioned "Balance of Terror", why is ST II not essentially a remake of this TOS episode?

I think it's fair to say that "Balance of Terror" is one of the all-time favorite TOS episodes, while "The Wrath of Khan" is one or the all-time favorite TOS movie.

However and IMHO there is a decisive difference between the two: BoT focuses on the inner conflicts of the protagonists (= "real" Star Trek) while ST II doesn't (conflict of egos and/or ideologies).

The TOS Kirk was touched by the death of a crew member, the ST II Kirk is touched by a dying crew member, and despite all the misery and death he's seen and for which he shared responsibility it comes down to that:

A bite into a fruit followed by "All right. I don't like to lose."

Bob
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Old September 17 2013, 10:17 PM   #124
Greg Cox
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Re: Not real Star Trek

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Here's an interesting question: At what point does a popular fiction take on a life apart from its original creator?

Would Arthur Conan Doyle have approved of Watson being re-invented as a stylish Asian woman? Who knows?
There's a quote somewhere on fanlore.org, where Doyle, supposedly when asked if Watson could be made female for a stage play, replied "do whatever you want with him."
(someone's gone an updated the site and I can't find the exact quote anymore. Grrrr.)
Hmm. As I heard the story, the playwright wanted to know if he could marry off Holmes at the end, to which Doyle basically replied "you can marry him or murder him for all I care."

(Doyle had profoundly mixed feelings, to say the least, about the way Holmes eclipsed his other, more "serious" work.)
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Old September 19 2013, 02:46 PM   #125
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Not real Star Trek

Huh, I guess I mixed that one up pretty badly. My apologies.
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Old September 19 2013, 02:49 PM   #126
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Not real Star Trek

This thread may be of interest to those of you who consider everything bar the J.J. Abrams movies to be "real Trek". Be sure to read it to the end
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Old September 19 2013, 08:10 PM   #127
Greg Cox
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Re: Not real Star Trek

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Huh, I guess I mixed that one up pretty badly. My apologies.
Nothing to apologize for. The gist of the anecdote is the same: that Doyle didn't exactly get bent out of shape when dramatic versions took liberties with Holmes . . . .
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Old September 19 2013, 08:37 PM   #128
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Re: Not real Star Trek

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But since TMP is essentially a remake of "The Changeling" and since you mentioned "Balance of Terror", why is ST II not essentially a remake of this TOS episode?

I think it's fair to say that "Balance of Terror" is one of the all-time favorite TOS episodes, while "The Wrath of Khan" is one or the all-time favorite TOS movie.

However and IMHO there is a decisive difference between the two: BoT focuses on the inner conflicts of the protagonists (= "real" Star Trek) while ST II doesn't (conflict of egos and/or ideologies).

The TOS Kirk was touched by the death of a crew member, the ST II Kirk is touched by a dying crew member, and despite all the misery and death he's seen and for which he shared responsibility it comes down to that:

A bite into a fruit followed by "All right. I don't like to lose."

Bob
Boy, can't disagree more strenuously. TWOK is not a remake of BoT because they are wholly separate entities. This isn't a case of replacing "biological units" and "sterilize imperfections" with "carbon units" and "patterned for data storage" like CHANGELING and TMP (and yeah, I'm shortchanging TMP in some big ways there, but they should have given JM Lucas screen credit, it was that close at times.)

As for the inner conflict, TWOK has it in spades, with Kirk's genuine mid-life crisis heightened by all sorts of new issues arising from the past, which puts the focus even more critically on whether he did good with those previous calls re: David and Khan.

Cosmetically and structurally, TWOK has got the WTF aspects that can bring it down, I grant that, like the idiocy of not raising the shields just to satisfy a necessary plot point (and if you want to be picky, Kirk's casual destruction of the ceti eel w/o even a peep from McCoy about needing it for study), but as far as delivering
the real deal from TOS, it does it. It tramples some stuff that went before (never faced death?) but it does so with the end purpose of enriching character, not destroying it (wish the same can be said for the Kirk of TUC.)

As for your summation about the apple, all I can say is that I agree with it completely: but only with respect to the Abrams film's total misfire with including that and the MARU scenario in so inept a fashion. In TWOK, it works as a summation of the character and as a point of departure pointing for where the character could have and possibly should have gone in sequels.
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Old September 19 2013, 11:30 PM   #129
Opus
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Re: Not real Star Trek

It has been said:

At this point I have given up hope of ever again seeing a Star Trek movie that does not offend me—one with a good plot, decent characterization, science that is not obtrusively horrible, etc. I have only one heartfelt plea left for you: Please, please, do not completely destroy the essence, the very soul, of Star Trek. Leave out the campiness, the bad taste, the repetitive plagiarism, the gimmicks, but mose especially leave out the excessive, genocidal, meaningless violence. Remember that there are more intelligent, inventive ways to deal with the "villains" of your movies than always blowing them up. Thank you.
You'd think it was written by a fan about Abrams and STiD.

It was not.

It was written by a fan back in 1983 to Harve Bennett about TWOK. Interstat, Issue 70: 1983

TWOK was a success when it was released in '82, but it was hardly overwhelmingly beloved by fandom. Sure, much of fandom loved TWOK. But there was a very loud and vocal minority who spent much time and energy denouncing TWOK, its creators and the fans who dared to call it 'real Star Trek':

I agree with [Ruth B] (I#62) when she says that everything that appears on the screen is "fact". Sure, there were a lot of glaring mistakes in ST II, I'll be the first to admit it, but the episodes had their faults too, some even worse than ST II's. Do we consign these to an alternate universe too, or label them as non-Trek? If we start doing that, then there must be some basis for judgment, and who would be the one to make that decision? Where would Trek begin and non-Trek end? Is AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD or WHOM GODS DESTROY (two frequently criticized episodes) non-Trek? I feel ST:TWOK was superior to either of these two and yet the movie is called non-Trek. What does that make the episodes? I'm sorry, but I can't agree with the theory of what's Trek and what isn't, based on flaws and mistakes (which are inevitable). I guess my question is, if ST:TWOK wasn't Trek, what was it?
Fans wrestled with whether or not TWOK was canon and if it should be considered an alternate universe. At least we KNOW STiD is an alternate universe.

But it is good to know what is being said now by some in the fandom was also being said then and, ultimately, the cooler heads prevailed:

Thank you so much for putting into words what has been on my mind since the release of TWOK. I feel that
 fandom is more than spoiled. We are blind? blind to what STAR TREK really is. As Harlan Ellison once pointed out, we have taken a form of entertainment, a TV show, and made it more important than it was ever intended to be. We have raised it to the level or perfection. Each one of us has put so much of ourselves into our view of the STAR TREK universe that anything that does not agree with the view is immediately dismissed as bad Trek. Poor Gene Roddenberry, in producing ST:TMP he had to feed the needs of thousands of fans who had been dreaming and fantasizing their own individual STAR TREK universes for ten years. There was no way he could have pleased us all. Harve Bennett was in no better a position than Roddenberry. Bad press plagued him from the start. Now that TWOK is out some fans are upset because it did not live up to their own interpretations of STAR TREK. They accuse it of being a cheap movie made with no other purpose than to make a quick buck. Yes, TWOK was made to make money, so was ST:TMP, and so was the original STAR TREK series. We must keep in mind that that is all STAR TREK is, a form of entertainment, is long as we keep this in mind, and stop making more out of it than it really is, we will enjoy TWOK and the movies that will follow it.... I have been so disappointed at the back-biting and the narrow-mindedness of most fans I see in INTERSTAT. Fandom as a whole seems to have lost the fun and the friendliness I enjoyed so much when I was active in it five years ago. It seems to have lost the qualities that it loves so much in the series. If we cannot be open-minded to one another, how can we expect a future seen in STAR TREK? How can we criticize TWOK for its lack of ideology, when we are so cruel to each other? I am thankful to you for allowing me to express my opinion. INTERSTAT is a very important zine for just that reason.
Here's the link. Read it. All of it - the good and the bad.

Interstat, Issues 61-70: 1982 - 83

What has happened before is simply happening again...
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Old September 20 2013, 03:15 AM   #130
Greg Cox
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Re: Not real Star Trek

^ Wow. The more things change . . . .
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Old September 20 2013, 03:22 AM   #131
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Re: Not real Star Trek

That was hilarious!
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Old September 20 2013, 01:39 PM   #132
Robert Comsol
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Re: Not real Star Trek

@ Opus

Many thanks for sharing this with us. As the chief editor of the Naval Communications Chronicle fanzine back in those days I can confirm that we did have exactly the same kind of discussion for a long time.

One member especially took Dr. McCoy's posture and debated endlessly the ramifications of the Genesis Device and the excessive amount of violence in the film. I met him at a convention and he was really an okay guy. What I admired was his character strength to speak out what most others, IMO, didn't want to hear but most definitely had to hear.

But sorry, than doesn't make the others feeling okay with what transpired on screen automatically "cooler" or "open-minded". Maybe one side had simply unrealistic expectations what a good Star Trek movie should be about while the other had no expectations and is okay with anything as long as the label "Star Trek" is attached to the product, regardless of good or bad content.

I tend to regard both TMP and TWOK to be extreme opposites and "real" Star Trek is somewhere in between (regarding TMP some deleted scenes would have helped immensely to move it closer to the middle, IMO).

Of course, "real" Star Trek is not only about inner conflict of the protagonists, but it's one of those defining elements that make TOS still watchable and enjoyable up to this day.
Kirk's second-guessing his actions, considering possibilities he screwed up, made a right turn where he should have made a left one etc. made him a believable and interesting character, one who is eager to learn, doesn't have delusions of grandure, admits to faults and listens to his real friends who don't tell him what he wants to hear but what he needs to hear (because real friends mean good and that's what they are for).

Which brings me to

trevanian wrote: View Post
As for the inner conflict, TWOK has it in spades, with Kirk's genuine mid-life crisis heightened by all sorts of new issues arising from the past, which puts the focus even more critically on whether he did good with those previous calls re: David and Khan.
Kirk's mid-life crisis is close to a pity party about getting old. No reflections on what he learned or didn't learn during his career. He never was a father but this theme isn't properly featured in the film because there is too much fighting going on and by the time we really get to this we have run out of screen time.

The focus may be that he is now confronted with having a son and an old adversary and both are trying to kill him. But again there's not a big deal of self-reflection, especially regarding Khan and what Kirk did (or did not do) to prevent this kind of lethal confrontation.

Indeed, big Hollywood (!) feature films may not be the proper vehicles to showcase interesting inner conflicts of the protagonists and I'd say the target audience of TWOK was the summertime moviegoers of 1982.

Kirk's "KHAN!!!" may have worked seeing the film for the first time (to convey the feeling that he is buried alive and has no way out) but we then learn that he had a Plan B all along and his Khan yelling was really just an act to mislead Khan (and the audience).

And what is it with this last "I feel young" line?!? Admittedly Kirk had survived, but Peter Preston, Captain Terell and Spock (...) hadn't been that lucky.
Of course, "flexing his muscles" and defeating his old adversary might have been exciting, but is this all this line was about?

I enjoy watching TWOK for its fast paced action, the VFX (which still hold up) and the thrilling cat-and-mouse game him and Khan play.
But given the choice whether to keep TWOK or "Balance of Terror" I'd choose the TOS episode.

This had plenty of inner conflicts of the protagonists making it still worthwhile to rewatch and that Kirk didn't "feel young" at the end of the episode, unable to explain the Angela Martine character why it had to be her fiancee dying on their wedding day and no other member of his crew.

IMHO, this was "real" Star Trek with a credible amount of compassion, which is painfully absent in TWOK. YMMV.

Bob
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Old September 20 2013, 03:22 PM   #133
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Re: Not real Star Trek

For the most part TAS is pretty much just the forth season of TOS, to me. But there are some things, like personal shields that allow people to move around in a ship with no atmosphere bother me.
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Old September 21 2013, 03:21 PM   #134
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Re: Not real Star Trek

Maurice wrote: View Post
It's all fake.
Leave it to someone to derail a conversation with fact.
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