Could we Trekkers have saved the Trek XI script? [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by DFScott, May 17, 2009.

  1. dkehler

    dkehler Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think a couple more rewrites would have possibly improved the storyline while keeping the better parts (the characterizations, action and special effects).

    As much as I hate agreeing with Dennis, I think he's right that at least Orci probably realized many of the problems that especially Star Trek fans would have with the film, but they made some choices that I would not have made and what's done is done.

    I just hope that the next movie doesn't force me to suspend my disbelief quite as much as this one did.
     
  2. Messianni

    Messianni Commodore Commodore

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    Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are dyed-in-the-wool Trekkies.

    Difference being they were on a team that included people who'd never experienced Trek, or very little, so it provided for a good balance between the two points of view. One would stop the other from doing something that would probably piss off a great deal of Trek fans and likewise one party would stop the other from doing something that would put off the general audience.

    I like the new production team aka "Supreme Court". With Lindelof working with Kurtzman and Orci on the sequel script, I'm sure a few of these issues with plot and pacing will be addressed nicely. :bolian:
     
  3. Yeah sorry I don't think the script needed any "saving". Much less from "Trekkers" here. :lol: A few tweaks would be nice, but as it is it was a great movie.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Another big difference is that Orci and Lindelof have the professional skills, judgment and experience doing this kind of work not to let their fandom push them off-kilter.

    Saying that they are Trekkies in response to Elton's point that fans shouldn't be participating in making the movie is somewhat akin to responding to someone who doesn't think the average football fan should be an NFL coach by pointing out that John Madden is a football fan, too.
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Your problem here is that you seem to think that people who enjoy the movie and have no complaints with it should be eager to engage in discussions based on the premise that there is this-or-that major flaw in the movie, and since we don't agree there's no reason that should be the case.
     
  6. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Also, saying that anyone who is critical of the movie will be ridiculed is a fast way to setup a persecution complex.

    J.
     
  7. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Keeping in mind that the movie was filmed during the writers' strike, which prevented Orci and Kurtzman from doing revisions during filming, this is what I would do to improve the film.

    -Slow down the dramatic cutting during the action sequences and allow the audience to get a better sense of what's going on.
    -Retain the scene with Kirk's stepdad that goes before the car chase, since it helps humanize Kirk.
    -Don't have Uhura strip when she walks in on Kirk and Gaila making out; considering the fact that she heard him breathing, she should've kept her clothes on to screw with Kirk.
    -Don't make Kirk's cheating on the Kobayashi Maru so obvious. Having the Klingons' cloaks (or one of them at least) malfunction a bit and Kirk just spamming all weapons at them (while eating the apple) works far better.
    -Let Kirk get a commendation for beating the test, then have Spock (a Lieutenant Commander this time, to make the end work a bit better) go to the head of the Academy with proof that Kirk cheated, only to get lectured about how life and combat don't have rules. This would make Spock antagonistic towards Kirk for breaking the rules and not only getting away with it, but being praised for it.
    -Have the head of the Academy declare that Kirk's class has graduated before they leave; Kirk and McCoy are both assigned to the Enterprise instead of McCoy sneaking Kirk aboard.
    -Get rid of the ice monsters and have Kirk seek shelter from an ice storm, which happens to be Spock Prime's cave.
    -Have Romulus be destroyed by something other than a supernova, but still requires turning something into a black hole to stop.
    -When Nero and Pike talk, have Nero mention that he already dealt with the problem that destroys Romulus in the future.
    -Have Kirk send off a message to Earth after he takes command of the Enterprise, warning them that Nero is coming and that they should evacuate.
    -When the Enterprise shows up at the end to save the Jellyfish, let the Enterprise and Narada duke it out a little more, with the Enterprise taking some hits but staying together
    -During the destruction of the Narada at the end, have Nero give the "I've waited for this day my entire life... this day of reckoning" line from the 3rd trailer as a bookend for the character.
    -Have a time skip of a few years between the Enterprise returning to Earth after the battle with the Narada and Kirk getting command of the Enterprise, with Spock Prime showing up to see Kirk off before going to the Vulcan colony.
     
  8. urbandk

    urbandk Commodore Commodore

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    The answer to the OP's question is NO, because it's great the way it is.

    -UDK
     
  9. amaninspired

    amaninspired Cadet Newbie

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    As you might have guessed, we're not going to agree on this point! Any such comment is a matter of opinion, but I couldn't get around the gaping plot holes in The Dark Knight. I wasn't alone; Mark Kermode being one critic who agreed with my take on the film.

    Having said that, Kermode was very complimentary about the new Trek film. My problem is that certain blockbusters, and I think that history will place both The Dark Knight and Star Trek in this category, are of their time. They will not age gracefully.

    Whilst Batman Begins and Casino Royale transcended their own era by adopting and adapting the slightly more considered style of the classic action or thriller blockbuster for the modern age, I can't say that Star Trek does the same. It doesn't even adapt early Star Trek for the modern age.

    I will watch the film again at some stage and my views may soften, but no-one can suggest that this was a real character film and Trek, at both its best and worst, has always been more about characters and relationships than action.

    Everything was too convenient. Spock being riled by Kirk within seconds of his return to the Enterprise. Spock ejecting Kirk from the Enterprise in the first place, which was a completely illogical thing for anyone to do! They lost an escape pod and presumably had to drop out of warp to eject it.

    I did like the Star Trek IV reference where old Spock explains to Scotty that he hasn't invented the transporter technology yet, but it was all too convenient. The characters simply slotted into the story, without the story fitting how one might imagine the characters (either in their original or re-imagined versions) would behave.

    Independence Day had generally positive reviews and made wads of cash. Thirteen years later, it's generally acknowledged as being disposable entertainment that was of its time and, with hindsight, a pretty mediocre film. I fear that this is the fate awaiting Star Trek 2009.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  10. Messianni

    Messianni Commodore Commodore

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    Fair enough, but it still invalidates the point of, "Trekkies should never ever ever be allowed to make a Trek film". You're right, though, that these people are professionals. Much more than can be said for the armchair "screenwriters" around here.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wait a sec...DFScott? Are the D.F. Scott who wrote for Computer Shopper, etc., back in the late 80s?
     
  12. DFScott

    DFScott Captain Captain

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    Yes, indeed, I cannot lie...D. F. Scott was my pseudonym back then. I go by my given name now, Scott M. Fulton, III, but I was originally published by that name. In response to Anticitizen's question, yes, guilty as charged for the last 25 years.

    DF "Naysayer" Scott
     
  13. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It shows. To this voracious reader, anyhow.
     
  14. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    Just saw the film a second time, and I'll repeat what others have said - this film doesn't need saving. Its a rousing adventure and fine introduction to Star Trek for a new generation. If it did need saving, though, Trek fans are the last people I would want touching it. First, we don't have the perspective necessary, and second, well to be blunt, most of us just don't have the talent.

    I've seen my share of fan fiction over the years, and I'm sorry to say most of it is execrable. Too many Trekkers write stories that rely on obscure - logical, but still obscure - technobabble, or fifteen minute scenes where the characters debate some moral dilemma, or leaden dialogue that unintentionally parodies the worst tendencies of later-era Trek shows.

    Funny, after a quater century watching Star Trek, I've come to a realization. Most of us obsess over minutia at one time or another, but only when a movie or show rubs us the wrong way. The truth is, Star Trek, regardless of the incarnation, is rife with unlikely coincidences, inconsistencies, and illogical choices. When it happened in TOS and DS9, I excused them, because I liked the shows. When it happened in VOY, I tore them a new one, repeatedly - and in retrospect, unfairly. But why? What was the defining factor? I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, it always comes back to the characters, and how they make me feel. If I respond to them - to their personalities, to the dialogue written for them and the actors playing them, I'm willing to let the rest slide.

    Sure, if it were up to me, I'd make their world as airtight and believable as possible. Yaeh, there are a few nitpicks in STXI I would have corrected, if I had veto power over the writers and producers - a line change here, a different planet name there. But in the whole, they did what they had to do, they made the characters real and fresh and human, and I cared about them. More importantly, all those other people out there - who don't care about Delta Vega or red matter or why Spock was in that particular cave - they cared about them too. That's the storyteller's first and only real job, and JJ knocked it out of the park.

    But still, Orci and Kurtzman, if you're reading this, I am totally available to give advice on the next one. ;)
     
  15. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Save it? It's damn near perfect.

    ::adore:: STXI ::adore::
     
  16. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, BTW, thanks for posting the Bad Astronomy link! I love reading that guy's stuff.

    In fact, I'm going to call the seminal event the "Superdupernova" from now on.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  17. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And, paradoxically enough, encourage the sort of ridicule that they don't want to receive.
     
  18. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The film had a weak plot. Fortunately, we don't need to be professional screenwriters to perceive that this is so. There is actually remarkably little disagreement on the point anyway, the most common counter-arguments being "It does not matter" or "Trek has had weak plots in the past."

    I'm also pretty confident that the writers and producers knew that the plot of the movie was contrived and full of holes, but decided to go with it anyway on a cost/benefit type of analysis. Chiefly, they must have decided that having Nimoy's Spock around was worth the time-travel contortions required to bring him into the story.

    Ironically, one motivation for this was probably to please longtime fans, some of whom seem to be among those most displeased with the contorted plot. Whatever. They thought it was worth it. That's what we have.

    I can think of a few ways to smooth over some of the glaring coincidences surrounding the Delta Vega sequences, but I confess I am at a loss when it comes to thinking of a more elegant way to bring Spock Prime back in time. This was going to be contrived if it was going to be done at all.

    For me the lingering question is whether having Nimoy around was worth it. I think a straight-forward reboot might have made for an even better movie, and I think it would probably have been just as successful, if not moreso, since I don't think Nimoy's presence has been a major factor in the film's success at the box office. Such a movie would almost certainly have had a simpler, more satisfying plot.
     
  19. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The script was completed and accepted months before the strike - if the producers had felt that plot, structural or any other major changes were desirable they would have completed those in plenty of time. Those are the very sorts of changes you make every effort to avoid during shooting.

    What might have been done and could not be done during shooting because of the strike were minor on-set changes to dialogue - Abrams supposedly thought of "a great line" one day and could not use it. We're not even talking about adding in some kind of expository lumps intended to paper over plot issues, mind you.
     
  20. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The movie had an episodic plot, not the "strongest" kind but not in and of itself objectionable.
     

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