Do you think Star Trek needed a reboot?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by The Overlord, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Course correction implies agency, purpose, which takes us right back to mysticism.

    How would the universe know who was important or which ice cave they should be in? How did the universe intervene? What did it do to make sure this happened? What laws of physics were involved here?

    The Kelvin was destroyed.

    I guess the universe didn't care to stop that from happening.


    Vulcan was destroyed.

    I guess the universe didn't care to stop that from happening.


    The fleet that arrived at Vulcan was wiped out.

    I guess the universe didn't care to stop that from happening.


    And yet for some reason the universe will cheat so that Kirk gets to be captain of the Enterprise? Maybe the word isn't mysticism. Maybe it's something more like narcissism?

    Because nothing fits better with a progressive technological utopian vision of the future, than good old-fashioned fatalism?

    Life forms make up a very very small amount of the mass and history of the universe. We're specks on the cosmic river. Rivers don't care which way they flow. They only flow (via gravity) in the easiest channel downhill. In fact, that is the only "purpose" water has -- to get level.

    Coins (like rivers) don't have memories. Flip a coin twenty times - if it comes up heads 20 times, what are your odds of getting heads on the 21st flip? It's 50/50 because the universe does not remember or care about the prior coin tosses. The universe only cares that the laws have physics have been obeyed. The coin must land, that is all that matters to the coin. The river must keep moving forward and downward, that is all that matters to the river.

    Your metaphor includes both water and a channel (or river bed), but deterministic changes to a causal sequence result in a different "channel" or directing of movement. What guides the sequence are cause and effect, that's it. You seem to want to sneak in some idea that cause and effect don't matter so much as the shape that results from cause and effect, the pattern. But unless that pattern itself is part of a cause and effect process, then it makes no sense as to why the universe would be inclined to revert back to that picture or arrangement.

    Yours is an equivocal metaphor. Is the river bed itself part of the cause and effect story? If so, then changes in the cause and effect sequence in the universe results in a different riverbed (since it is part of it). But if this is the case, if we have changed the conditions that influence the flow of the river, why would it attempt to snap back to a prior arrangement? On the other hand, if this is not the case, there is no explanation as to why this river would attempt to do anything but flow downhill.
     
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  2. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is fine, of course.

    ST09 obviously streamlined things to get the seven everyone knows together (which is more an homage to the movies than TOS, which was hardly an ensemble cast).
    So, gone were "little inconveniences" like:
    -- Pike's entire original bridge crew when he was captain of the Enterprise.
    -- Dr. Piper as Chief Medical Officer, Gary Mitchell at navigation, and Kelso at the helm from when Kirk was captain in WNMHGB.
    -- As mentioned above, Yeoman Rand, who was actually as active a character as any four of the big seven in the first season of TOS.
     
  3. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

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    So were Uhura, Sulu and Chekov just extras -- like, say Hadley, Leslie, and Lemli -- or were they much more front-and-center in the series than the latter three?

    The answer is that Uhura, Sulu and Chekov were much more front-and-center on the TV series and many times integral to the plot than Hadley, Leslie, and Lemli (even though Hadley, Leslie, and Lemli actually appeared in more episodes than the other three, but that's beside the point). As someone mentioned above, the TV series also featured Christine Chapel as one of the "Big 8", but she didn't really make it into the movies, so the Big 8 from TV became the Big 7 in the movies.

    Of course Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, (and Chapel) were featured in the TV show.
     
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  4. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    All this really says is that there were background players and deep background players.

    The holy trinity is Spock, Kirk, and McCoy. We love them all, but the show is this triad. We've seen plenty of other people at the helm and the comms station.
     
  5. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And yet..the TOS crew just happened to be in the right spot at the right time in The Alternative Factor, The Immunity Syndrome, Obsession ...only a superlative Captain as Kirk would have come through as he did in Balance of Terror...etc..etc..

    You don't want mysticism? Just say the Q Continuum is working behind the scenes.
     
  6. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

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    I agree. But if the TOS movies had just Kirk, Spock, and McCoy -- with some Scotty thrown in, fans would have noticed the glaring omissions of Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov (and Chapel).
    In fact, the minor roles in TMP for Uhura, Sulu, and especially Chekov was a major point of contention regarding that film for many fans.

    Sure -- Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are the triad, with Scotty thrown in just below them. But fans even as far back as TMP expected Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov, too. Those fans STILL expected those characters for the new films, so that's who they got. Like I said, leaving Chekov out of ST09 just because he would be too young would have caused a fan uproar.
     
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  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    You may be overthinking it. It was mostly just a plot contrivance to give the audience what it expected: the familiar cast of TOS, back together again. I was just pointing out that the time-stream fixing itself is a standard plot device in classic SF, dating back to Amazing and Astounding, probably. It may be a cheat, but it's one time-travel and parallel universe stories have been using for decades. Kind of like "universal translators" or aliens who conveniently speak English.

    Plus, as a rule, I don't judge STAR TREK movies on whether they adhere to some abstract, ideological agenda. Telling a good story is at least equally as important as staying true to some sort of high-falutin' "vision." We're talking fiction here, not sermons.

    And I will argue to my dying day that TOS was never "utopian." Optimistic, yes, but full of drama and tragedy and conflict as well . . .
     
  8. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    Perhaps another timeline, but not ST09 because that one wasn’t chosen from an infinite number of possibilities because it suited the needs of the plot. It is a direct copy of the prime timeline with a significant change that we have every right to believe would normally cause the opposite result to what actually happened.

    While not directed at Jackson_Roykirk necessarily, I do believe that there is a difference between an "establishing implausibility" and a continuing series of unlikely plot points that keep rubbing our noses in what the writers are up to.


    Good post. I doesn't seem like "over thinking" to question basic science in a science fiction story. Unfashionable maybe.


    Except as I mentioned previously, those things aren't supposed to contradict basic science.

    Moreover I somehow doubt most of those stories used that plot device to allow the universe to so selectively "correct itself" time and again in full view of the audience. That seems more like "abuse" than "use" to me. And lets face it, such behaviour would be ripped to shreds if people hadn't liked the movie.

    You mean like "THE 'LAWS' OF PHYSICS"?! :wtf: (:p)

    OH, I see. You're addressing those of us who are misguided enough to value the real, if subtle (in TOS), feeling that the Star Trek’s future is at least to some degree socially and morally optimistic. Well this isn't the first time you have said something like: "Telling a good story is at least equally as important as staying true to some sort of high-falutin' "vision." as though if we look hard enough we might find some sort of reasonable compromise in ST09 between those two qualities.

    I have no problem with the view that Star Trek is not "utopian." Nor do I believe that when most people use the word "utopian" to describe ST they mean a "perfect society". I think that like "reboot", it is just too convenient. So that contention is hopefully a straw-man.

    The point is that ST09 is not even optimistic (allowing minor quibbles about nuSpock's so-called character development etc), unless your view of optimism is simply: "The good guys won". Socially and morally (based on what we saw, not fan speculation) its it worse and/or no better than now, and that was probably intentional up to a point. Strange that with all the homages, we didn’t get the one about not killing (or attempting to kill) today. Sure, there was some lip-service, but "luckily" it didn't interfere with the plot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I don't remember TOS explaining the physics behind how the Guardian of Forever worked, or the Atavachron, or Janice Lester's mind-transfer device, or whatever the Kelvans used to turn the crew into paperweights. Star Trek has never really been about rigorous hard science fiction, especially if it gets in the way of an exciting space opera adventure/morality play/drama/comedy/horror story . . . .

    And, unless I missed something, the new movie still takes place in a future that basically works, where people from diverse backgrounds and worlds come together for the common good. Where people aspire to explore the cosmos as part of a United Federation of Planets. Sounds like STAR TREK to me . . . .

    As for turning "utopian" into a straw man, you may use the word in a less literal sense (which I applaud), but I've seen endless debates on this very board about whether such and such episode or movie or book is "utopian" enough, or people stating confidently that there should be no disease or conflict or personal failings or political corruption or casual sex or child abuse or whatever in the perfect utopian world of STAR TREK, which bears little resemblance to the universe depicted in TOS.

    So, yeah, I do think it's possible to get carried away with the "utopian" thing, at the expense of telling stories like "Conscience of the King" or "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" or "The Enemy Within" or "Court-Martial" or "The Ultimate Computer" that explore both the dark and light sides of the 23rd Century . . . ..
     
  10. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TOS was labeled "optimistic" only because it did show a future where somehow humankind got through it all (kids, let me tell you about the 1960s), solved a few major problems, and seemed to be able to get along well enough to cooperate for a greater good.

    It presented a better world, but never a utopia.

    And, while Earth may even seem like a paradise full of comfort and no worries for its 23rd century inhabitants, I have a feeling Cumberbatch is about blow that myth to bits and show how naive and complacent that attitude really is. (If the destruction of Vulcan and probably being just minutes from Earth's own destruction didn't destroy that myth, already.)
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek was good when they were writing a better world than ours. When someone decided that it should be "utopian," it sucked - period, full stop. :p
     
  12. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    I would agree except that in all of your examples we are lead to believe that however magical such things appear to us, they are either based on the technology or natural abilities of the characters in question. In ST09 we are expected to believe either in a string of extremely unlikely events or that the very universe is selectively helping he writers out. Well, there was that suggestion about Q for which we see no support in the movie.

    I have never said ST09 isn't superficially similar to Star Trek. It's when we get down to what actually happens in the movie the problems start.

    I try not to use it at all, but thankyou. :)

    Well, no doubt like yourself, I'm not too concerned with the views of people who have clearly never seen TOS. :lol:

    Without reviewing those eps, I can't recall the pertinent details (and the devil is usually in the details as many manage to forget when claiming that if, for example, if you've seen one bar fight, you've seen them all). But I would say that I am not talking about shades of grey or difficault situations. I'm happy if someone recognises there is a problem and does what they can to ameliorate it. Nor of course should Starfleet seem to be the one sweeping things under the carpet when there isn't even a good reason to do so.


    Correct.

    I'm assuming that that part of your post was not intended to have a bearing on what I am talking about? :)
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. And the people who lived there were still flesh-and-blood human beings with all the strengths and frailities and irrational emotions that entails. Not enlightened role models who have evolved beyond primitive human imperfections.

    Don't get me wrong. The fact that TREK takes place in a future that largely works, as opposed to some post-apocalyptic wasteland or soul-crushing dystopia, is one of the main things that distinguishes it from a lot of media SF: Planet of the Apes, The Invaders, Logan's Run, Terminator, Road Warrior, etc. That's a big part of its appeal.

    But, remember, we never actually saw any sort of "utopian" Earth back on TOS. What we actually saw--what the show was really about--was wild and woolly and occasionally thought-provoking adventures out on the rugged final frontier, light-years away from whatever advanced society produced Kirk and McCoy and Sulu and the rest . . . . Earth's progress was mostly just implied, and was never the whole point of the show.

    (I admit to being biased here. As an editor, I have seen even good writers go astray when they start putting their "message" ahead of the story. Don't get me started on that romance novel I edited years ago in which the boy and girl kept lecturing each other on the importance of saving the environment--even during the love scenes! Clearly, it traumatized me for life--and made me very leery of folks who think that a "message" or "vision" takes precedence over telling a good story with memorable characters.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  14. UFO

    UFO Captain Captain

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    :techman:

    You don't like TNG? I do but, fair enough.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, you know, sometimes people just post what they think.

    Peculiar, that.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Just to avoid confusion, that quote was Franklin speaking, not me.
     
  17. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

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    I liked TNG quite a bit, but their notions of the utopian society that was Earth in the 24th century felt a bit creepy to me. I can't quite put my finger on why exactly it felt sometimes seemed creepy to me, but it's like I almost expected that society to be something akin to The Village from The Prisoner.

    I guess it may be because we never really did see the day-to-day life of TNG's utopian society that it almost felt fake to me, like it was a façade.

    Anyway...Be seeing you.
     
  18. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Always struck me as funny that TOS was supposed to be utopian in values and show the best of humanity when McCoy is such a racist arsehole to Spock all the time.

    And everybody's just cool with it :lol:. Imagine if he walked on to the bridge and talked that way to Uhura or Sulu about their race.

    I prefer TNG's approach in that humanity have progressed further in ridding themself of prejudice and conflict. It makes for stranger viewing and better escapism.
     
  19. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure if TOS ever touted their world as a utopian society (at least not during the TV run). They said they had overcame a lot of social ills that plagued the Earth in the past, but they never said they had no problems "period".

    We people in the 21st century would also say we are much more civilized than, say, 300 years ago, and have overcome many social injustices over the past few centuries. However, we would never claim that our society is totally enlightened.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Spock gave as good as he got. He always got a few "glad I'm not human" cracks in there.