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

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bbjegglebells, 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. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that's actually just straight-up false. Character and emotion are important but have never precluded having something to say about the wider world, or engaging with big ideas. SF in general and Trek in particular are full of stories that manage both. (NuTrek not so much, wulfio is right about that, but that has nothing to do with the general rules of writing or creating. It's a specific choice.)

    While I get that you're irritated by the fallacy of being asked to choose from a Menu of Cerebral Things, basically what BillJ is trying to tell you is that disagree with him or not, Greg is a good and smart guy and you're getting needlessly personal about it.
     
  2. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah mate, it's worth watching IMO. I love all three of those, but TDKR is my favourite - gets a lot of unnecessary flak for me.
     
  3. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They come hand in hand though, was my point. A writer doesn't tend to sit at his desk in my experience and say solely 'right, my next story is going to be about overpopulation' - that kind of comes jointly with a sense of character & a personal element they want to explore.

    Like I said, the best Trek stories are certainly ones that manage both. I entirely agree there.
     
  4. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    *sigh*

    Cool. My point was made. Happy trails.
     
  5. wulfio

    wulfio Captain Captain

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    Bill, I think you have a really hard time discerning between a debate, and making assertions about personal tastes. This discussion has absolutely nothing to do with preferences, and is purely a sociological debate.

    It's about the medium, and the message.

    I reek of elitism, you reek of presumption. If you can't wrap your head around that, you're int he wrong discussion.
     
  6. wulfio

    wulfio Captain Captain

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    *sigh* indeed.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It really isn't though. But you keep telling yourself that. It's easier for you to insult the people around you and the Abrams movies than have an honest debate about them.

    But, hey, have a great time at Star Trek 3 (you'll be there) and whether it is the wulfio handle or something new, you'll be back here peddling your condescending schtick.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I wish I had written Twilight . . .or Fifty Shades of Grey! I could live with those royalties . . . :)

    But, yes, for the record, I was not asking what the word "cerebral" meant. I was asking what Trekkies mean when they say Trek ought to be more cerebral or intellectual and so on.

    Not in the sense of specific plots or plot devices, but in the sense of what they think makes a Trek movie or episode more intelligent--which is not always obvious.

    Take "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," for instance. Pretty much every article about Trek cites it as evidence of Trek's social conscience and willingness to handle controversial social issues. But I'm not sure it's really anybody's favorite episode or even seen as one of the truly good ones.

    "City on the Edge of Forever," on the other hand, is basically a tragic love story built around an ironic time-travel twist. There's no real science or politics or social allegory in it, just a heart-rending moral dilemma. And yet it's often cited as the best and most famous Trek episode ever. Is it "cerebral"? Does that matter?

    Or, moving into the modern era, what about "In the Pale Moonlight"? Many fans consider this one of the best latter-day Trek eps, because it doesn't offer any any easy answers to a thorny moral dilemma, while others dislike it because they consider it too dark and morally ambiguous for their tastes, or because they feel it doesn't gibe with Trek's idealistic, utopian "vision." Is "Moonlight" what we consider cerebral?

    This, personally, is a more interesting line of inquiry than trying to set up some sort of either/or dichotomy between "cerebral" and "popcorn" or whatever.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    How can we even frame a debate if someone won't give us an idea of what they do and don't consider "intelligent" Star Trek?
     
  10. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I like the idea of Star Trek as a lot of different things rolled up in a colorful ball.

    At its best, Star Trek is intelligent, entertaining, heroic, romantic, sad, funny, serious, action-packed, intriguing, hopeful, ....
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you look at the title of the thread it basically is JJ Abrams version - verses - Roddenberry/Berman version.

    The Roddenberry/Berman version drags around this massive back stories which some of us (me included) simply love, but other fans hold should be largely dispensed with.

    This is the question being asked with "Do fans want the prime timeline back?"

    Umm, the next movie is going to be Star Trek Thirteen.

    Star Trek Three was The Search for Spock, came out some thirty years ago.

    :)
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    One quick thing: While I appreciate everybody coming to my defense, let it be noted that I never tried to play the writer card and claim any superior expertise just because I happen to write for living. And don't worry; my ego is not so fragile that I can't endure someone questioning my "acumen"--or my vocabulary! :)

    Getting back to the point, I do think that "cerebral" or "intelligent" are broad, abstract terms that tend to mean different things to different people, who often have different expectations and priorities.

    You ask some viewers why they don't like a movie and they'll point to plot holes or bad science or a continuity glitch, as though those are the sort of crimes against intelligence that bother them. Others may simply want the heroes to make smarter decisions in a crisis. Others may worry more about what the "message" of the movie is. Or whether there's too much sex or violence or action in it. Others may insist that the movie has to address Important Social Issues or it's just fluff. These are all very different priorities . . . which tend to get lumped together sometimes, so that we end up talking past each other.

    Does "more intelligent" mean fewer plot holes or better science or something deeper and more profound? "Cerebral" is kind of a vague and abstract concept.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Star Trek III was released in 1984. Star Trek 3 is the working handle everyone uses for the upcoming 2016 film. Because it is the third Abramsverse film. :techman:
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Honestly, they stopped numbering the films after #6, which was probably a good idea. Is First Contact Star Trek #8 or TNG Movie #2? Is 2009 movie ST #12 or #1 of a new cycle?

    The correct answer is: all of the above. So there's probably not point in splitting hairs about the numbers.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It had nothing to do with coming to your defense. I just wanted to shatter wulfio's illusion that we are all country-fried rubes. :techman:
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I always thought Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Motion Picture II had a better ring to it than Star Trek: First Contact. ;)
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think I get why wulfio's finding the approach you're suggesting here a little forest-for-the-trees. I mean, I'm not sure, but I know why I'm finding it that way. The thing is there really so many possible ways to do "intelligent" stories -- where there's substantially more going on than "stop the death ray" or "something-something-Bad-Guys'-Evil-Plot" -- that trying to prescribe a shortlist of specifics is arguably not that interesting and probably even counterproductive. There is a sense in which "cerebral" or "intelligent" being a broad, abstract term isn't a defect.

    I mean, "intelligent" could after all mean anything from big philosophical ideas, to relatively complex human drama and/or character studies, to studies of human potential, to science fiction puzzles or investigative procedurals, to speculative workings-out of the possibilities and problems (social and practical) of new technologies, to allegories for contemporary political questions, to light-hearted comic romps with serious ecological undertones, to many other things besides. (Heck, it could even just be a matter of the Bad Guys' Evil Plot fitting together logically and actually making sense. ;)) Aside from the basic core elements of adventure, emotional connection, and compelling characters, stories could use a vast number of combinations of those elements. In the face of that, how interesting is it really to ask which items on a limited Menu of Cerebral Things such-and-such fan would call "intelligent"?

    It makes sense to take the stance that the only prescription of what stories you "should" be telling should be a commitment to innovation and thoughtfulness -- in any of a vast range of possible senses -- constrained by the needs of the medium (and of course the business). It also makes sense to treat as suspect a self-sealing assumption that modern audiences can only connect with very basic effects-driven action content.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    But is Generations TOS Movie 6.5 or TNG movie 0.5?

    Again, probably a good call to stop numbering them at that point!
     
  19. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    One could say the same thing about you.

    Speak for yourself. I even come with a side of my own zesty sauce.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Given that the best sequences in the movie were those involving Kirk, definitely Star Trek (TOS) part seven.

    Not that the filler with the TNG guys didn't have a few cute moments.

    :)