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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old January 17 2014, 03:40 PM   #31
Workbee
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Re: Even number movie rule

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
but ST III was quite appreciated in its day.
Exactly. I still have, somewhere, a few newspaper movie reviews which favored Trek III over II. Saying TWOK "pads, rather than fills, the wide screen" and that TSFS caught the flavor of the TV series more. "Leave it to Lenoard Nimoy to really understand the characters."

TSFS's fall from grace always felt like "guilt by association" because of the odd-numbered thing.
This is true. I think the lack of lasting consequences or follow up in the following films was another factor that caused TSFS to fall from favor. When TSFS first came out, it was taking our characters to a place they had never been before. The destruction of the enterprise and exile resulting from insubordination. In terms of the characters, it felt like they were really shaking up the universe, leaving the future with a mixture of hope and uncertainty.


After TVH came out (and especially after the later movies and TNG), all that uncertainty, and the events of TSFS became merely an exercise of "getting the story from point a to point b." I think this was made worse by TFF not even acknowledging the events of the last films aside from McCoy's comment "I liked him better before he died." Though this was five years after the movie, it was only one year tops that had passed for the characters.

What was a grand epic game changer had now become little more than a footnote, a speed-bump in the Enterprise crew, and future Enterprises.

The problem is that while these films were to varying degrees part of a close chronological sequence, they each really were their own film, and while maintaining some continuity of events, brought their own "feeling." This worked for the most part, but the main power of TSFS was the potential for storytelling possibilities and changes it meant for the universe and characters. That the next film didn't follow on that tone, and instead went for a more lighthearted adventure really undermined the impact of TSFS.

Don't get me wrong, I love TVH. I think it was what the franchise needed at the time. But the characters seem more like they are just a crew on an adventure most of the time, and not carrying the weight of having just trashed their careers. Or Kirk having just lost his son. Those elements, while present to some degree, are more of a background, limited to a couple lines of dialogue in the beginning, then the recap at the end (as it needed to so it could be more accessible to people that hadn't seen the previous film).
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Old January 17 2014, 05:23 PM   #32
Khan 2.0
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Re: Even number movie rule

yeah i understand what you mean about III being a radical depature from the norm and offering all kinds of possibilities for more unconventional Trek adventures.... Kirk & his crew of renegades in the BOP off the grid on the run making do with what they can salvage Blakes 7 style for a couple of movies before things get sorted out with the UFP...

a more Star Warsy approach to the trekverse , which Trek III had anyway, (a good 25 years b4 JJ)
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Old January 17 2014, 06:52 PM   #33
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Re: Even number movie rule

Workbee wrote: View Post
This is true. I think the lack of lasting consequences or follow up in the following films was another factor that caused TSFS to fall from favor. When TSFS first came out, it was taking our characters to a place they had never been before. The destruction of the enterprise and exile resulting from insubordination. In terms of the characters, it felt like they were really shaking up the universe, leaving the future with a mixture of hope and uncertainty.
[snip]
Don't get me wrong, I love TVH. I think it was what the franchise needed at the time. But the characters seem more like they are just a crew on an adventure most of the time, and not carrying the weight of having just trashed their careers. Or Kirk having just lost his son. Those elements, while present to some degree, are more of a background, limited to a couple lines of dialogue in the beginning, then the recap at the end (as it needed to so it could be more accessible to people that hadn't seen the previous film).
I think you've really hit on it, though I don't share your love for TVH. When I left SFS opening day, while I was (and remain today) annoyed by so many bits seeming like they were badly recycled from TWOK and absolutely hating the film's 'science' and absurd 'beam down to an exploding planet and THEN try to negotiate' strategy, I felt there was a whole new path for TREK to follow in sequels, one that would have been saved production dollars, streamlined storytelling and really opened things up.

I knocked out a treatment called PRIVATE ENTERPRISE almost instantly along these lines, where they do wind up in a BLAKE'S SEVEN kind of thing, operating independently (though by the end of the film, since they've stopped an interstellar war by exposing a klingon plot to put Roms and Feds at each other's throats, they get a kind of unofficial pass from Starfleet on past offenses), and they are quite happy to continue on their own, actually doing some exploring and adventuring in the BoP.

I thought them staying rogue would save a ton of money since you wouldn't have to keep showing all the extras on a starship and all the token San Francisco Earth stuff that Bennett was going to pile into act 1 on future films, that it would put that much more screen time to focus on the regulars instead of a bunch of ancillaries that have to talk to Kirk to get the Enterprise going again, and that they would be at last free of the Fed/SF dictates (which were going pretty retro by SFS, which at times makes the Federation feel like THE X-FILES of something Mr. Snowden needed to expose, given the Federation Security presence - something David Gerrold touched on in his revised WORLD OF STAR TREK), so they could make tough decisions based on ethics rather than imposed-from-outside rules.

I really thought Star Trek needed to be freed from the whole prime directive aspect (not that this is a factor in the movies anyway), but I also thought it would free up ALL future Trek to see things from different perspectives in the universe (which may explain why I am such a huge Maquis/Eddington fan, and wish that whole part of Trek was handled in a massively different way, from the other end of the telescope so to speak.)

The fact that they went 180 degrees from what I wanted is probably a lot of what fueled my own screenwriting projecvts for over a decade, as I developed a universe that kind of BLUE VELVET'ed the TREKverse (FIREFLY but with better science and admittedly less interesting characters) in terms of showing its impracticalities and how things just couldn't work that way, with a former officer gone independent and just barely squeaking by, then things changing very much over the course of a few years, to the point ... well, you know, a universe that changes.

TREK has been just SO Starfleet-centric it drove me nuts (only really enjoy DS9 as far as followups), and I kind of think it became a kind of singularity, orbiting its own navel closer and closer with each new (?) incarnation on TV.

Now with Abrams Starfleet is again at the center of things, but a Starfleet that is just so contemporary that it might as well not even be STAR TREK.

So I guess SFS (or really TVH) is really where trek lost me in a big way, because they played it all safe instead of trying to explore strange new stories from a cast-specific perspective.
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Old January 17 2014, 10:17 PM   #34
Khan 2.0
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Re: Even number movie rule

alternative Treks 4-6 if theyd gone the Blake 7 route

Star Trek IV The Quest for Peace. After the successful resurrection of their comrade Captain Spock, the crew of the fallen Enterprise set off back to earth in their stolen Klingon ship with additional crewmembers Savvik and Maltz but are forced into exile by a dangerous secret section of Starfleet who wish to retrieve the BOP to instigate a war with the Klingon empire, leading to a fierce manhunt across the galaxy..

Star Trek V The Final Frontier. Admiral kirk and his renegade crew encounter a romulan plot to invade the Federation and must enlist the help of their enemies the klingons to avert a war that will rip the galaxy apart..

Star Trek VI The Voyage Home - the crew finally decide to face the federation. However on the way back to earth a mysterious alien probe begins to disrupt earths defences...

Last edited by Khan 2.0; January 17 2014 at 10:38 PM.
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Old January 17 2014, 10:31 PM   #35
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Re: Even number movie rule

My pet targ watched all the even ones and enjoyed them, she didn't watch any of the odd ones and didn't enjoy them. The exception proves the rule.
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Old January 17 2014, 11:36 PM   #36
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Re: Even number movie rule

I haven't seen TSFS in a couple years, so maybe this was explained and I just don't remember it, but... why did the Enterprise go to Genesis in the first place? Bones tells Kirk at the beginning of the film to the climb the steps of a Vulcan mountain, Sarek is supposed to meet Kirk and co. on Vulcan, and later on the crew is clearly surprised to find a zombie Spock walking around on Genesis. So what was the plan on Genesis? What exactly did the crew expect to find there before heading to Vulcan? Either there was an explanation I missed (which is entirely possible), or there's a hole in the plot large enough to fly the Excelsior through.
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Old January 18 2014, 12:25 AM   #37
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Re: Even number movie rule

The implication is that Spock's body needs to be recovered in order to facilitate whatever afterlife katra stuff to work, but it is not spelled out at all, probably because more words would make a deeper hole.

GRISSOM reported the tube having landed safely, so that is thin support for the idea that the body is intact.

I think the stealing the Enterprise editing may have impacted some of this too ... the sequence of events on Genesis and how they are intercut or placed around the Enterprise theft did get played with some, I'm pretty sure that 7 or 8 minutes used to have intercuts to GRISSOM and/or Genesis.
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Old January 19 2014, 08:48 AM   #38
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Re: Even number movie rule

Yep, the novelization explains it better. The film switched the discovery of the tube till earlier in the chain of events, at the last minute, and the novelization mentions that the ritual Sarek wants for Spock involves the katra being reunited with the body one more time to enable it to pass into the Hall of Ancient Thought. Not all Vulcans get this honor. Without a body, though, the katra - which Sarek assumed was in the head of Spock's best friend, Kirk - will be stuck in McCoy's head forever. Meaning that both Spock and McCoy are lost to the Enterprise forever.

IIRC, in the novelizations, Spock's will had also requested burial in space and disintegration into a sun. Saavik couldn't bear that happening to her mentor, so she reprogrammed the tube to softland on Genesis.

Suddenly the body exists after all, and so begins the mission to retrieve Spock's body.
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Old January 19 2014, 07:18 PM   #39
Hober Mallow
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Re: Even number movie rule

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Yep, the novelization explains it better.
But was that simply the author trying to make sense of a story which made no sense, or was this actually what was supposed to have been represented in the film?
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Old January 19 2014, 08:13 PM   #40
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Re: Even number movie rule

There was another factor informing Kirk's decision--Spock himself indicated that Kirk needed to go back and get the body from Genesis, via McCoy. Kirk may have been making a leap of faith based on that.
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Old January 20 2014, 05:34 AM   #41
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Re: Even number movie rule

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Yep, the novelization explains it better.
But was that simply the author trying to make sense of a story which made no sense, or was this actually what was supposed to have been represented in the film?
Both.

The switching of the discovery of the soft-landed casket onscreen, to much earlier in the film, was supposed to come after Sarek had berated Kirk for not bringing Spock's body home. Some of the dialogue (by Chekov?) was chopped up to create new sentences, IIRC.

Vonda McIntyre added details to her novelization, such as how the Hall of Ancient Thought worked, the contents of Spock's will, where Amanda was at such an important Vulcan ceremony, etc.
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Old January 20 2014, 05:35 AM   #42
Hober Mallow
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Re: Even number movie rule

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
There was another factor informing Kirk's decision--Spock himself indicated that Kirk needed to go back and get the body from Genesis, via McCoy. Kirk may have been making a leap of faith based on that.
Well, Spock -- or, rather, McCoy talking with Spock's voice -- asked why Kirk left him on Genesis, but then McCoy tells Kirk to climb the steps of Mount Saleya(sp?) if it's "not too late."

I stand by my assertion that movie makes no sense. Although, as I said, I haven't seen the film in a while. I may have to rewatch it to see if I'm missing something, but it seems to me the movie is just a mess.

EDIT: Oops, sorry Therin, I replied before I read your post. Just curious: what did McIntyre have Amanda doing?
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Old January 21 2014, 10:38 PM   #43
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Re: Even number movie rule

trevanian wrote: View Post
I thought them staying rogue would save a ton of money since you wouldn't have to keep showing all the extras on a starship and all the token San Francisco Earth stuff that Bennett was going to pile into act 1 on future films, that it would put that much more screen time to focus on the regulars instead of a bunch of ancillaries that have to talk to Kirk to get the Enterprise going again, and that they would be at last free of the Fed/SF dictates ...{snip}... so they could make tough decisions based on ethics rather than imposed-from-outside rules.
This is something I wish we could have seen as well. I think that had the post-TMP movies gone the direction of telemovies as originally planned, this would have been a very likely direction. Maybe after TWOK a series of films or miniseries would have been commissioned, with a new installment every 6-12 months. TWOK already set up some new characters to fill the void if either Nimoy or Shatner chose not to return (A real possibility given the limited budget available for telemovies). But once casting issues were ironed out, some story arcs could have been planned out ant implemented.

The problem with the feature films are they became more of an exhibition for the original cast than organically generated stories for the ship, crew and mission. The need to satisfy not only the fans pent up demand for more, but to varying degrees, each actor's demands and expectations for each character, caused the films to be created in a way to give a big 2-hour *kaboom* of adventure and character stuff ever 2-3 years. With competing egos and interests every film. Really, that we got any kind of story arc between TWOK-TSFS-TVH is extremely fortuitous. But the tone was all over the place, and as someone upthread mentioned, in order to make TSFS "work" for their purposes, they had to break it in editing so the sequence of events no longer made sense. Potential stories or plot threads that needed more than 2 hours to properly develop or go somewhere never had a in the films. But with telemovies, they could have taken some time to explore some of these better.


In some ways, this is not all that dissimilar from the fate of the Original Star Wars trilogy. At different times in the past, Lucas had talked about there being 9 movies and 12 movies. When Star Wars (ep 4) was first made, it was hoped to be moderately successful, but no one imagined it would become the smash success it did. Lucas's plan was to do a series of low to moderate budget films, and likely had rough ideas to do a series of several more. With Star Wars the success that it was, Lucas shifted gears and went for more high-budget blockbusters. From what I read, this was done in part to generate needed capital to launch his other film-production entities like ILM and Skywalker Sound. As such, films like ESB, and later ROTJ, became so massive and personally exhausting, that plot threads that at one time might have developed over several installments were instead quickly wrapped up in ROTJ. However much one accepts Lucas's claim that he had stories for all nine films written out, many of the threads seem to get wrapped up hastily in ROTJ, and don't quite match up to the creative vision at the time ANH or ESB were being made.
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Old January 23 2014, 12:29 PM   #44
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Re: Even number movie rule

Star Trek 3 was a good movie, and I wonder why people tend to ignore it's existence whenever they mention about the odd number movies being bad.
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Old January 25 2014, 04:36 AM   #45
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Re: Even number movie rule

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
what did McIntyre have Amanda doing?
She was undergoing Vulcan training of some kind, IIRC, something not usually undertaken by humans - and it was not appropriate that she attend a Fal Tor Pan ceremony at that time. It's been ages since I read it.
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