Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bbjeg, Sep 6, 2013.

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Do fans want the prime timeline back?

  1. I'm a fan and I want the Prime timeline back.

    56.0%
  2. I'm a fan and I don't want the Prime timeline back.

    16.4%
  3. I'm a fan and wouldn't mind if it came back.

    11.1%
  4. I don't care, just give me Trek!

    14.6%
  5. I don't know.

    1.9%
  1. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness when I saw it. Lots of fun. Whizz bang, explosions and an exciting chase. But that is all I felt. It was fun. My complaint remains that is all it was. A exciting if irregular roller coaster ride.

    But...Star Trek has always been more than that, at least to me. I firmly believe had STID been a better film, a more dramatic film, one that engaged me emotionally, it would have made more money.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Can't argue with you there!

    I was actually rewatching ST V last night, for the first time in ages. Lord, is that a dreadful movie!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    But in what universe is one out of ten more indicative of the quality of a product than nine out of ten? Essentially, you're saying nine out of ten people are wrong because their opinion disagrees with yours.

    There is nothing about the Abramsverse films that I consider "junk" cinema. Also, it really concerns me that a product is considered "junk" because it decides to put audience enjoyment first and foremost. It reeks of elitism.

    No worries. I've been known to be out of line from time to time. :techman:

    Everyone thinks that if something was done more to their taste that it would've done better. There is no way to ever prove it.

    There are things that I would've liked to have seen in the film but I have no doubt that it would've made it a mess. One of the things I enjoy about the films are the fact that the plots are pretty straight-forward and to the point. I don't need the characters to stand around and painfully dissect the events going on around them. YMMV.
     
  4. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For me, Trek is different from franchises like Batman in that from TOS through VOY and then ENT there was at least an effort to create a universe and a timeline that was somewhat consistent instead of trying to retell the same stories in different ways, or bring us the same characters with different stories that completely ignore stories told in the past. I think this effort to be consistent helped create a "realness" to that universe over the years. They didn't always get it right, and there were of course mistakes and times when things were ignored, but there was certainly an effort at some point to create a continuous timeline. The alternate timelines and mirror universes were fun to visit, but ultimately unless they had a direct impact on the prime timeline in some way, they were nothing more than fun diversions or nice stories (or awful stories depending on your POV).

    And that's sort of how Trek '09 and STID feel for me overall. They are fun and I think it was a brilliant move on the part of the filmmakers, but they are in an alternate universe and I can't completely escape that in my mind. I understand those who feel differently on this, and for new fans it's definitely irrelevant, but to me that's the best way I can explain how I feel about it. I personally would like to get back to the prime timeline which carried on for decades, if not in film at first at least on television if that's a possibility.

    One way to do this is to have a scene with Spock Prime somehow getting back to the prime universe (or just disappearing from the alternate universe) in one of the next films (hurry, Nimoy's getting on up there in age)! Then, he can have a brief cameo in the pilot of a television series where he arrives back in the 24th century 10 to 15 years after Voyager ended, and we are introduced to the new state of affairs in the alpha quadrant, prime universe. It would be beautiful to see Nimoy setting eyes on Vulcan for the first time since seeing it destroyed in the alternate timeline. But they don't have to do it that way, they can have cameos from folks from TNG, DS9 or VOY. Or, they could pick up with shows about the ENT B or C, or those years of the prime universe, or the years between TOS and TMP. I'd be giddy to see any of that.

    I know this is subjective and it's totally cool if you disagree. But that's the explanation of my vote. :techman:
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I found nothing wrong with that element of the film. It sets up Scotty being on the Vengeance when Kirk and Khan need to board the the ship. Plus there needed to be a "voice of reason". One of Kirk's traits, as seen in TOS, is going off half cocked and he needs someone to temper that. Usually its Spock or McCoy. So I don't think that's out of character for Kirk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Exactly. Look at episodes like "Obsession" or "Conscience of the King" where Spock and/or McCoy have to tell Kirk when he's out of line or behaving irrationally. Or in "The Corbomite Maneuver," where McCoy chides Kirk for pushing that young officer too hard. Or in TMP, when people question Kirk's motives for seizing command of the Enterprise. Or even in The Final Frontier when McCoy has to rein Kirk in at one point. "You're pushing, Jim. Let your people do their jobs."

    Kirk is a passionate, impulsive guy. He needs a "voice of reason" sometimes, in either timeline.
     
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Also, it's easy to criticize something you didn't like, but I notice the lack of suggesting a specific alternative.

    And frankly, I liked the part where after Scotty's resigned he addresses Kirk by his first name and begs him not to fire the torpedoes.

    I fail to see the whining here.
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    @BillJ: I may have gone from posting too little information to too much. To sum up my loooong post above, "junk cinema" has nothing to do with who likes or doesn't like the film; my point is that even many of those who like the film are essentially defending it (although they don't think of it this way) in terms of its being junk cinema (this being what I diagnose many don't-overthink-it-just-enjoy-the-ride defenses to be).

    The reason I harshed on you for trying to bring up statistics is that -- beyond recognizing the pattern in many people, both pro- and con- the films -- I really cannot quantify it and do not claim to. I just recognize it as a commonplace thing that I myself have done and that also characterizes a very common tack in apologetics for the Abrams films. It really has nothing to do with 10 percent of this or 90 percent of that, I should really have just left your Rotten Tomatoes numbers alone as that just further confused things.

    Oh, I've got a very specific alternative. Put me in charge of the writing staff. :p

    Unfortunately, Abrams didn't seem to warm to that idea. He keeps avoiding me and changing his cell number. I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding...
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's a pretty key threshold between "pushes too hard at his job" and "acts unprofessionally." It was common for people to have to tell Kirk "you're pushing too hard" [cue "that's what she said" joke]. It was not common for people to have to tell him to not put unknown explosives on his ship or to not dive it into the bottom of oceans. It's at that point -- I take to be Faranci's argument, and I think he's correct -- that Scotty is explaining bad writing in the guise of character dynamic.

    (This ties into my point about "junk cinema," incidentally: the pattern of defending a questionable writing decision in either Abrams film by comparing it to superficially similar writing decisions in prior film or television that really aren't comparable at all. Rose-tinted analogy, I think one might call it. Also something I've caught myself doing when I was on the other side of conversations like this one.)
     
  10. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Last time I checked, there was never any evidence presented that Starfleet vessels weren't capable of going underwater. While Scotty wasn't happy about it there's nothing to suggest it was inherently risky.

    As for the unknown explosives, it's made pretty damn obvious that Kirk isn't considering the situation clearly, and short of Spock's death (and we saw how Kirk handled that), I'm not sure we've seen him at quite this point before.
     
  11. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IMO it is really not the sort of thing you should require "evidence" for -- whether or not it's possible to sneak it through holes in the canon, it's a bad writing decision. There is no reason not to have the spaceship hiding in space except to get Zoe Saldana in a wetsuit (which if one was really that intent on it could be achieved in other ways). YMMV.
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why is it a bad writing decision? Explain that.

    I hope you realize that Greg Cox is a professional writer and editor who writes the various Star Trek characters (including James Kirk) on a regular basis and by most accounts does pretty good job with them.

    Kirk was always doing things that placed his ship and crew in danger. His obsessions with Kodos and the cloud creature resulted in deaths and near deaths of crew members. He also had a bad habit of letting people on board who should have been in the brig rather than given free run of the ship. The former is of course more conducive to drama and excitement. Kirk is also a character who's no stranger to "unprofessional" behavior. His open disdain for bureaucrats and habit of ignoring or disobeying orders is legendary.

    "Junk Cinema" and "Intellectual Cinema" have a very buzzwordy sound to them. Cool phrases to toss into a conversation but meaningless. As is "Rose tinted analogy".
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  13. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On account of a spaceship has all of space to hide in, wherein it would not be visible to the natives except as a point of light, et voila: no contrived Prime Directive problem.

    Do I seem Insufficiently Awed? For the record, I have nothing but respect for all working writers and yes, I recognized Greg's name and no, I do not evaluate people's arguments based on their credentials and I hope you don't either.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'll need more than that.

    You being awed or not awed isn't the point. It's just that Greg is a guy who writes Kirk and does it quite well, so when he talks about who Kirk is as a character I think he has some insight.
     
  15. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With greatest respect, I'll need a good reason for you to need more.

    Good. Then you should be quite content to let Greg's insights and arguments stand on their own merit. If he doesn't feel the need to brandish his credentials at me, IMO there is no reason you should.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I respectfully disagree. "Junk Cinema" describes something specific: cinema that prioritizes spectacle over other considerations and expects the viewer to come along for the ride while excusing other inadequacies. I think it's actually a pretty relevant descriptor of plenty of cinema today, and -- although I do think there is such a thing as bad and good Junk Cinema -- it is not something I am using to describe Unmitigated Cinematic Eeeevil. ("Intellectual Cinema" is your own look-out. I have nowhere used or endorsed any such term.)

    I hardly think "Rose-Tinted Analogy" is meaningless either, the earlier part of your addition to your post being another example of why. Kirk bucking the bureaucracy to Get Things Done and Kirk being deliberately written to do stupid things in order to get a shot of the Enterprise rising magnificently from the sea are not analogous tropes. Whether or not you care for my neologism doesn't change whether that's a flawed argument to make.
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because I asked. (and asked politely :) )

    I was just wondering if you were aware Greg had a professional "relationship" with the character of Kirk. His insights into the character come from that (as well as being a fan). When discussing the character of James Kirk, who he is and what he does, the insights of a writer who works with the character on a regular basis has merit based on that.

    You used a similar phrase in a couple of posts. Pretty sure it included a word derived from intellect and a synonym for movie.

    I knew you'd call me out on that. :lol: I might be a masochist.

    Rose tinted usually implies viewing something through the haze of nostalgia and making the past seem better. That doesn't really happen when folks try to compare New trek to Old. It's more of blinders off type of comparison. So I don't think the phrase works.

    Kirk bucked bureaucracy because the bureaucrats on the show tended to be jerks/antagonists. Of course in the case of Baris, he was right and Kirk was wrong. Though neither had an idea of the direction of the threat. I didn't draw a parallel between Kirk's attitude toward bureaucrats and the ship in the ocean, so yeah they aren't the same trope. Not sure what trope the ship in the ocean is. Is object out of place a trope?
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, okay, I'm willing to make allowances for idiosyncracies about the difference between "asked politely" and "peremptorily demanded"... but perhaps you can tell me what's lacking in my response that you require to be filled in?

    Then be reassured. I am and have been aware ABOUT GREG, and we can now move on.

    [EDIT: Just to be absolutely clear: I've worked for coming up on twenty years in the arts and spent most of those working with professional writers from all ends of the publishing spectrum. I respect and admire anyone who makes a living at writing -- Q knows it isn't easy -- but you are not going to impress me with the "ooooh he's a professional writer" business no matter how many times you repeat it. You should probably stop.]

    I'm pretty sure this is wrong; at any rate I'm not recollecting it. If you can point me to the post in question?

    [EDIT: Perhaps you think that I was saying this by claiming that Trek could be "intelligent"? If so, I did say that, but I also explained very clearly what bar "intelligent" was clearing for me. That has nothing to do with it being "Intellectual," which is a whole different category.]

    "Rose-tinted" as I'm using it simply means casting something in a favourable light that it has not earned. I'm not aware of the "haze of nostalgia" sub-definition and it may not surprise you to learn that the "blinders off type of comparison" does not convince me on its face. Although I completely understand that this is what many people think they are engaging in. Again... I've been there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  19. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    Fair enough.

    Well, I was emotionally involved as well as entertained by WOK and by TVH, a bit less so by TUC. Consider also other science fiction/adventure films that both thrilled and moved--Aliens for example, or The Empire Strikes Back. Look further back and you can find the Czech film Ikaris or the 1950s classic Forbidden Planet. Or the Soviet film Planet of Storms.

    I would argue that "roller coaster" movies are fun and all, but when you combine the thrills with a story in which we the audience really care about what happens, the result tends to end up more popular. Methinks STID had a lot of the elements to achieve that, but didn't really pursue it. We could have done with couple of fewer explosions (and a lot fewer lens flares--those were DAMN distracting) and more rising tension, emerging from the characters and the fact we've invested emotionally in them (them, not previous versions of the same character). LOTR did it. Even the last few James Bond films managed it.
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    David.Blue, you sultry minx, stop fallin' in love with me. :)