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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 November 18 2013, 03:27 PM   #586
JarodRussell
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Racist remarks are always meant to be funny, and those who do not just skim over it are at fault.

Just replace anything Kirk and McCoy direct at Spock with real world phrases and you realize what a bunch of intolerant racists these characters are. It's the basic problem when you bring characters and their interactions from the 60s into these times. Green-blooded hobgoblin? Pointy ears? Are you out of your Vulcan mind?

[Made-up quotes containing racial/ethnic slurs redacted. Any point which needed making could have been made just as effectively without these. - M']

Last edited by M'Sharak; November 23 2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: unnecessary ethnic slurs
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Old November 18 2013, 03:30 PM   #587
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

I don't think it was meant to be funny, just another sign of Kirk still maturing.
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Old November 18 2013, 05:48 PM   #588
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

I do see the point (no pun intended - honestly!) some are making here about the 'slurs' against Spock. Sometimes TOS skirted this, and they even sometimes crossed the line in the show. They even crossed the line in the TOS movies ("You green-blooded, inhuman...", "If you turn your Vulcan nose up..." etc.). But they have taken it to a higher, more insidious level I guess you could say in the Abrams movies.

I am thinking as BillJ said, it's meant to show Kirk, Spock and McCoy are still a maturing and discovering their relationship with one another. Also, these aren't the 'squeaky clean' characters we know from TOS. The Narada not only changed Kirk's path, but the entire Federation and Starfleet's path as well. These are different people with altered lives working together before they would have in the Prime Universe.

Now, if the next Trek backtracks and rehashes this again, then there's a problem.
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Old November 19 2013, 03:29 AM   #589
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
But Star Trek is full of such "Comic book" ideas. If it was an occasional anomaly, there could be a case, but its not. Science that works like magic is the norm, not the exception.
TOS was pulp science fiction. Seriously. Kirk was fighting lizard men, Greek gods, multi-color brains and Nazis.
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
BigJake wrote: View Post

I'd say they're Star Trek done as comic book movies (with a fair amount of Star Wars under the chassis -- themes of destiny, culminating medal scenes, STID even gives us a Millennium Falcon-style shuttle chase on the surface of Kronos). Trek always had its share of pulp, but the gestalt of nuTrek is more purely pulp than it's ever been.

Pure pulp can of course be plenty entertaining... which is why even the worst Star Wars has always made money. It only irritates me to the extent it does in the context of Trek because whatever heights Trek climbed or depths it sank to in days of yore, it was a vessel for a more diverse kind of storytelling than that. I think that's the core difference some people feel between nuTrek and its predecessors. Certainly it's the core difference for me.
Thing is... Roddenberry admittedly lifted plenty from pulp science fiction magazines of the 50' and early-60's.

I wonder if some of the divide over the Abrams films could simply come down to folks who like serious drama played straight vs. folks who like to have a fun time with bigger than life heroes?
Good point. TOS is pretty much an anthology series that uses that same cast and characters from episode to episode. It has a very pulp-magazine feel to it. Versus latter day, TNG and beyond, series where Trek began to take itself much more seriously as a dramatic series.

BillJ wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
But Star Trek is full of such "Comic book" ideas. If it was an occasional anomaly, there could be a case, but its not. Science that works like magic is the norm, not the exception.
TOS was pulp science fiction. Seriously. Kirk was fighting lizard men, Greek gods, multi-color brains and Nazis.
Kirk as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. The White Hat cowboy riding in to save the town.
THIS. And most serious sci-fi writers and fans considered Star Trek to be drivel-Sam J.Lundwall said that it had 'weak plots' compared to the literary sci-fi he showed in his book Science fiction: An Illustrated History. Some of them probably still do.
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Old November 19 2013, 03:45 AM   #590
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
THIS.
Is exactly what I'm talking about. Star Trek contained plenty of sci-fi pulp, obviously... but if it was purely that it would never have distinguished itself from Lost in Space or Buck Rogers.

That it did so requires accounting for, and the accounting is relatively easy: alongside the SF pulp, it also had scope for other things. That's how episodes like "Balance of Terror" or "City at the Edge of Forever" became possible.

And most serious sci-fi writers and fans considered Star Trek to be drivel
Most "serious" sci-fi writers and fans consider all televised SF to be drivel by comparison, and they were largely right. Even Babylon 5 is baby steps toward where literary SF is at.

But that has nothing to do with the fact that Star Trek successfully elevated itself above its televised peers by broadening its horizons. An achievement you apparently feel the need to shit on because nuTrek just commits to the pulp.

CorporalCaptain, if you're seeing this? This is what I'm talking about, right here. I'm not talking about having one's own perspective or admitting TOS had flaws. I'm talking about actively falsifying the record to avoid admitting that TOS might have done anything at all that nuTrek didn't do, in perceived and supposed (and unnecessary) defense of NuTrek. Do you see why some might find it annoying?
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Old November 19 2013, 05:03 AM   #591
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

BigJake wrote: View Post
Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
THIS.
Is exactly what I'm talking about. Star Trek contained plenty of sci-fi pulp, obviously... but if it was purely that it would never have distinguished itself from Lost in Space or Buck Rogers.

That it did so requires accounting for, and the accounting is relatively easy: alongside the SF pulp, it also had scope for other things. That's how episodes like "Balance of Terror" or "City at the Edge of Forever" became possible.

And most serious sci-fi writers and fans considered Star Trek to be drivel
Most "serious" sci-fi writers and fans consider all televised SF to be drivel by comparison, and they were largely right. Even Babylon 5 is baby steps toward where literary SF is at.

But that has nothing to do with the fact that Star Trek successfully elevated itself above its televised peers by broadening its horizons. An achievement you feel the need to shit on because nuTrek just commits to the pulp.

CorporalCaptain, if you're seeing this? This is what I'm talking about, right here. I'm not talking about having one's own perspective or admitting TOS had flaws. I'm talking about actively falsifying the record in perceived and supposed (and unnecessary) defense of NuTrek. Do you see why some might find it annoying?
I'm a little too spent today to make anything other than a rambling reply.

In STID, I think that nuTrek went beyond "mere pulp", in its War on Terror allegory. Being critical of its times via allegory is one of the supposed hallmarks of TOS, and STID embraced that.

An offhand statement about what "most serious sci-fi writers and fans" thought about anything cannot be taken seriously. Certainly there were those who went on record about what they thought of TOS, but how can we know what most thought?!?

TOS was a pastiche; it drew on many different sources and was executed in many different styles. It was a lot of things, and that's one of the great things about it. It even had "real" science fiction authors contribute "real" science fiction stories (I'm thinking of City and Amok Time, though I'd accept Shore Leave in this capacity as well). TOS was therefore not purely pulp.

However, "real" science fiction, particularly American science fiction written in the space age, arose from pulp. Many "real" science fiction authors, including prominent ones, began their careers submitting to pulp magazines. And, Astounding Science Fiction, now called Analog, was a pulp magazine with high, "real" standards. So, the distinction between pulpy sci-fi and real science fiction, was and is often just a matter of degrees.

And, what TOS delivered varied often wildly from episode to episode. Any idea that there were no predominately pulpy episodes in TOS is surely dispelled by watching episodes such as The Return of the Archons and The Omega Glory. And guess who gets story credit for those? That's right, the Great Bird himself.

On the subject of Captain Kirk as a superhero: Kirk can engage in hand-to-hand combat with a dinosaur on some space rock, get his shirt ripped, and still be able to make a cannon out of the raw materials around him, plus fire it effectively, winning the lives of his crew. Phaser on overload? No problem! He'll have the deck cleared and find it himself. And, he can talk a godlike robot into blowing itself up. There's really not much he can't do. And the ladies.... He appeals to the same desires for wish fulfillment as does Buck Rogers. Kirk is an idealized role model for good behavior to save the day, and in that sense he is a superhero.

So, how did TOS manage to rise above LiS? My theory: by being smarter. That means taking advantage of the limitless opportunities available to tell a variety of engaging and meaningful stories. It also means not being silly and not simply targeting children. Being smart about what it's doing is along an entirely different axis from "pulpiness".
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Old November 19 2013, 06:43 AM   #592
Nerys Myk
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Comparing Star Trek to Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers is a step too far, IMO. That's like saying Gunsmoke is Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy. Star Trek was trying to lift SF on TV up from the "kiddie fare" of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers by telling adult stories. Shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel did the same thing for Westerns years earlier. Like wise, equating the new Trek films with Gordon and Rogers isn't fair either. The characters and stories are much more complex than that. Nero and Khan are not the one dimensional, mustache twirling, Mwahahaha villains in the mold of Ming the Merciless.
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Old November 19 2013, 07:02 AM   #593
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Comparing Star Trek to Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers is a step too far, IMO. That's like saying Gunsmoke is Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy. Star Trek was trying to lift SF on TV up from the "kiddie fare" of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers by telling adult stories. Shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel did the same thing for Westerns years earlier. Like wise, equating the new Trek films with Gordon and Rogers isn't fair either. The characters and stories are much more complex than that. Nero and Khan are not the one dimensional, mustache twirling, Mwahahaha villains in the mold of Ming the Merciless.
TOS tried, but didn't always pull it off. From a nut and bolts, technical achievement, production standpoint, it succeeds. But Kirk was clearly cut from the same cloth as those older serial style, larger than life, heroes--like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Even story wise you have stuff that'd be right at home in the early days of motion picture sci-fi.
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Old November 19 2013, 07:08 AM   #594
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

I think Kirk was more conflicted and complex than Flash or Buck. Especially early Season One Kirk, he was more prone to brooding and suffering. I can't see Buck or Flash in a story like COTEOF or Balance of Terror.
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Old November 19 2013, 07:18 AM   #595
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I think Kirk was more conflicted and complex than Flash or Buck. Especially early Season One Kirk, he was more prone to brooding and suffering. I can't see Buck or Flash in a story like COTEOF or Balance of Terror.
Simply cause we expect a certain style from those franchises; they wrote what their audiences bought.

TOS approached it a bit more seriously, but it's pulp-roots are there. They just polished it and took the risk by going outside of the expectations of the time by going for the serious stuff along with the silly and over the top.
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Old November 19 2013, 01:33 PM   #596
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
I think Kirk was more conflicted and complex than Flash or Buck. Especially early Season One Kirk, he was more prone to brooding and suffering. I can't see Buck or Flash in a story like COTEOF or Balance of Terror.
Simply cause we expect a certain style from those franchises; they wrote what their audiences bought.

TOS approached it a bit more seriously, but it's pulp-roots are there. They just polished it and took the risk by going outside of the expectations of the time by going for the serious stuff along with the silly and over the top.

AAAAhhhh Flash Gordon. One of my all time favourite scifi series. I was such a die hard Flash ad Dale shipper as a kid.

George Lucas even said Princess Leia was inspired by Dale Aldren.

Kirk and Flash were very similar. They were both heartthrobs, jorks and the standard all american hero and girls loved them.

I guess Spock was like Dr Zackov excepts with Spock girls love him as well and want him.
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Old November 19 2013, 02:05 PM   #597
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Comparing Star Trek to Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers is a step too far, IMO. That's like saying Gunsmoke is Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy. Star Trek was trying to lift SF on TV up from the "kiddie fare" of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers by telling adult stories. Shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel did the same thing for Westerns years earlier. Like wise, equating the new Trek films with Gordon and Rogers isn't fair either. The characters and stories are much more complex than that. Nero and Khan are not the one dimensional, mustache twirling, Mwahahaha villains in the mold of Ming the Merciless.
Fair enough. I wasn't trying to reduce Kirk (or Star Trek) to the likes of Buck or Flash. As far as specifically comparing Kirk with kiddie fare space adventurers, all I said was that Kirk's larger-than-life qualities give him the same appeal as Buck and Flash. I do believe that TOS Kirk had all the essential qualities of a superhero, but I don't mean to imply that he's one or even two dimensional.

Khan is clearly multidimensional, but I'm not sure about Nero. We aren't shown any side of Nero other than him seeking vengeance on Spock.
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Old November 21 2013, 02:42 AM   #598
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
An offhand statement about what "most serious sci-fi writers and fans" thought about anything cannot be taken seriously. Certainly there were those who went on record about what they thought of TOS, but how can we know what most thought?!?
Lundwall's calling Star Trek crap due to his roots in more left-leaning sci-fi than what was published in Analog and in the USA generally (think what Michael Moorcock and other are writing back in the 1960's, mostly 'the New Wave' that wanted to broaden sci-fi a lot beyond just space.

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Old November 22 2013, 11:54 PM   #599
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Yep. Khan and nuKhan are identical in every way. How could I possibly have missed that they're twins? Obviously I failed to notice that they're of the same ethnic background! Of course a caucasian guy with an accent that reminds me of Alan Rickman is really somebody who was born in India!
Yeah, he looks nothing like that other white actor.
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Old November 23 2013, 12:20 AM   #600
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Re: Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof should not Return.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Racist remarks are always meant to be funny, and those who do not just skim over it are at fault.

Just replace anything Kirk and McCoy direct at Spock with real world phrases and you realize what a bunch of intolerant racists these characters are. It's the basic problem when you bring characters and their interactions from the 60s into these times. Green-blooded hobgoblin? Pointy ears? Are you out of your Vulcan mind?

[Made-up quotes containing racial/ethnic slurs redacted. Any point which needed making could have been made just as effectively without these. - M']
Very good points. I've thought the same thing too, that McCoy is being racist, it's just easier to overlook because it's a made up prejudice, against Vulcans. Replacing the anti-Vulcan slurs with real life racism and it does give you pause to realize how this should be sounding to people around them. Kirk even comes off kind of bad for tolerating that on his bridge. I sure as heck wouldn't have allowed that if I had any authority.
It's just another example of how Trek was a product of it's time.
I like McCoy, a lot, but it's tricky to try and justify his racist name calling.
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