If they had any bells...

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by TheWelshPirate, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Don't think that Earth wasn't in danger. Khan had himself a weapon of mass destruction that could destroy an entire planet. No world in the Federation was safe, not even Earth.
    According to an interview at startrek.com re-posted at our own TrekToday, they didn't, but producer Damon Lindelof did.

    From TrekToday:
    “[Damon Lindelof] argued for Khan from the beginning and I argued against it,” said Orci.
    http://www.trektoday.com/content/2013/05/orci-why-this-certain-villain/

    Orci and Kurtzman compromised with Lindelof; they initially wrote the story without Khan and then found a way to insert him in later.
     
  2. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No direct threat was made to Earth at any point in the story. Earth along with numberless other planets was of course in potential danger if the Genesis technology got into the open, but that's not at all the same thing.

    The simple fact is, you do not need to threaten Earth either to establish a baddie or to justify a budget. I remember Lindelof making this excuse at one point; I suspect he was parroting some network exec, but if he wasn't then it's proof positive he was every bit the hack people think he was, because it just isn't true at all.
     
  3. The Baby Stig

    The Baby Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Behind the wheel.
    Khan was always on their minds, since the original ending concept for Trek '09 was a shot of the Botany Bay.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It really is the same thing. The subtext was that Khan was a threat to everyone with a weapon of mass destruction at his disposal, including Earth, and that he had to be stopped before he used it. Otherwise, it would be irrelevant if had it.
    It certainly worked for the last two movies.
    That's a matter of personal opinion, but I do think that if you really want to import a major sense of danger to a large audience, it works better if Earth is threatened than with Planet X (they did that with Insurrection, and we know how that went).
    Actually, a shot of the Botany Bay was intended to be solely an Easter Egg and nothing more, but it was aborted because they realized it might truly force them to do an actual Khan story for Star Trek XII if they used it.

    Khan was always an option (just like other stuff in Trek lore still are), but the only one who really wanted Khan in Star Trek XII from the start was Lindelof. Being that Lindelof was pretty much their boss, Orci and Kurtzman went along with it.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Lindelof is their boss? I thought in the Bad Robot hierarchy Orci was second to Abrams with Kurtzman and Lindelof somewhere further down the food chain?
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, not really. A plot including a threat to "everything including Earth" and a plot built around "we must stop so-and-so before he reaches Earth" are not the same plots. Those are different plots, they're different ideas, the resonance and immediacy of the threat to Earth involved is not the same.

    It made money, but there were any number of other movies released in the same environment that didn't revolve around any such premise and yet made more money. Some of which were arguably also better films.

    I wasn't aware that Lindelof was "bossing" Orci and Kurtzman either. Where are you getting this?
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Orci tends to get a lot of attention from fans, but he's really further down the food chain than Lindelof is.
     
  8. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it's a good thing we dodged that bullet. :rolleyes:
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still don't see how that's the case? Lindelof isn't listed as an executive producer or anything, he's credited the same way Orci and Kurtzman are. I've never heard any hint or indication that he was anything more than a co-writer. Where are you getting this?
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, really.
    I really have to disagree with that. If a baddie got his hands on a doomsday machine, what make him dangerous to audiences is that no one is safe and that he has to be stopped before he uses it.
    Some would argue they weren't. Some would argue that all they had going for them were special effects and nothing more. Still, many of them also carried the idea that Human characters were in danger, but all this is really going off-topic when the issue here are Star Trek films and the point still stands in regards to that.
    All you have to do is look at the producer credits for both Star Treks XI and XII and which names come first, but also the interview that Orci gave over at startrek.com (part of it covered by our own TrekToday--I already quoted it and gave the link in an earlier post) in which Orci admitted that originally using Khan in Star Trek XII was not his idea but Lindelof's and that he initially argued against it.
    He actually isn't. He's listed ahead/above them in the credits.
    The production credits, of course. And Lindelof is more than a co-writer, as he's served as a producer or executive producer on a dozen TV shows and movies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  11. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    Funny thing is, as much as people despise it, Star Trek: Insurrection is all about doing just that (they encounter the Ba'ku, after all!) But people hated it as 'just another episode of the TV show, but on the big screen.'
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Repetition won't make it true, dude.

    Which is not a "threat to Earth" plot. The danger as you've just pointed out is to everyone, not to Earth specifically. When Lindelof talked about how you'd better be saving Earth, that is not what he meant.

    (Arguably the more diffuse threat is actually a much better engine for the Galactic-scale storytelling that Trek supposedly is. That in fact is part of why people are getting sick of the "threat to Earth" trope... though let the record reflect that I was sick of it back in the days of The Voyage Home, before it was cool. :bolian:)

    :rommie: That's not just moving goalposts, that's moving the stadium!

    No, the point doesn't still stand. If it's possible to make more profitable and successful action movies than Abrams did without using the "we're saving Earth" trope -- which it manifestly is, since this in fact happened -- the argument that you need the "we're saving Earth" trope in Trek movies for them to be profitable and successful is likely false. (You can of course still make money doing it, as Abrams in fact did. That doesn't mean you need it.)

    I wasn't aware that this mattered. I know that there's a Guild hierarchy in opening credits for the order of importance of positions -- and order-of-billing is a big deal for actors according to bankability and size of role and so on -- but does that also apply to the names of the screenwriters and/or the also-producers? (EDIT: Some further research shows that yes, it matters a great deal... but I still can't find any firm indication that the names are listed in order of seniority.)

    Surely that could simply mean that Lindelof persuaded him in the long run, right? It doesn't necessarily mean he did it because Lindelof ordered it. (And Lindelof wasn't the only writer on the film with prior producer credits, Orci had plenty of his own.)
     
  13. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Captain Captain

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    Most people I know hated it for it's pretentious new age back-to-nature nonsense and the JC Penny catalogue of fashion going on. Not because it felt like a tv episode... Though it honestly does feel pretty cheap in places. (Left over blue screen on the collector, etc). It has dated the worst of the TNG films. The CGI effects look quite awful. Also, it tried to combine light-hearted romp with serious-moral dilemma and that doesn't exactly go hand-in-hand.

    I'm with SFDebris on Insurrection. I think if they had made a story about the TNG crew having a "family argument" over the Baku and their planet it would have been more compelling. Using the larger canvas of Star Trek at the time to it's fullest potential (The Dominion War, etc)



    I don't really care who is to blame for it, it's been too long since Star Trek did some legit Star Trekking. The Niburu scene was a good start, and shows that it can work, and it can likely work as your "A" plot if you execute it with the same vigor and energy you execute any other story. Make it visually interesting, morally and humanly compelling, and write for the characters. :)
     
  14. thumbtack

    thumbtack Commodore Commodore

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    A Mrs. Maynard G. Pench of Topeka, KS contacted M'Sharak and demanded all references to testicles be removed from the forum.
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    For the sake of brevity, I'll just say I don't agree with you at all. But I do stand by what has been said about Lindelof having more pull on these movies.
     
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Fair enough, but I'm genuinely curious about that question of the credits. I really don't know much about how that part of things works except that it seems to cause constant angst in the fan-film forums...
     
  17. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    If it did this, people would be bored shitless (and as King Daniel said, Star Trek 'is not being maintained by Paramount and CBS Studios as a charity for nerds'.) It has to make money, and it has to make money with a plot that works for the big screen. Like it or not, this one did; you and a tone of other commenter here at the BBS still don't understand that after it's all been explained to you.

    Also, as others have said, Star Trek has had this kind of plotline in the original series for most of the shows-you're just assuming the other thing because of the influence of TNG. Let's not forget, Star Trek is an action-adventure franchise, not really a hard sci-fi one (although for my part, I wouldn't mind seeing a movie based on the novel The Galactic Whirlpool or something similar.)
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    However one might feel about the Nibiru sequence from STiD, I doubt "bored shitless" is a common reaction. Can you be specific about why wacky explorer-adventures like that should bore audiences shitless?

    Or take an example from the same year. Were audiences "bored shitless" by Gravity? It was an SF film that featured no villains, no threat to Earth, no pew-pew or martial arts sequences. Yet it set a global box office record and won near-universal audience and critical acclaim. Can you see how that fact makes it problematic for you to claim that it's impossible to make a movie about space exploration without boring the audience?
     
  19. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Captain Captain

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    No. The argument that these films must only be action fodder does not hold water. They must not, in fact, or they will fall behind the changing trend. With each new science fiction film that is coming out and doing very well with intelligent human-centric premises the tides are changing. The audience wants more than just spectacle destruction.

    The Star Trek formula has always done more than that. To say otherwise is to deny the vast diversity in the original three seasons of the show. The series tapped every genre, and sub genre possible over those three seasons.


    Actually, I started with the original films and TV series. I watch Star Trek regularly. It's been my favorite of the bunch since I was five years old.

    Star Trek has numerous stories dealing with the unknown, with characters grappling with their own internal struggles that go beyond the need to fulfill an action quota. Trying to understand a mystery or moral quandary go to the heart of many of the best original series episodes. Devil in the Dark, City on the Edge of Forever, Mirror Mirror, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Amok Time, and so on. It was not all down to violent action all the time.

    Now, let me extend an olive branch. I am fully aware that many, if not most, of the original series episodes as they were originally conceived and produced would not work for a full film. Episodes like A Piece of the Action or The Trouble with Tribbles are way too off the wall to ever work for the big screen (though you could maybe involve similar concepts for the opening teaser in the next film.)

    I just don't agree with the notion that the general audience is too stupid, or impatient, to enjoy something other than phaser barrages and explosions. There's a place for everything, and i'm not against action. I'm just against the notion that it's the only kind of story Star Trek can do, big screen or small.

    Much like the problem that the community at large seems to have with the duality of "science" and "fiction" I think we also have a problem with "action" and "adventure." The adventure portion is being lost. We're stuck to home port and we can't seem to get away from Earth. There's a lot of interesting things going on in the universe, lot's of stories to tell. It's all down to how you tell those stories. People don't care whether it's action or not. They just want to be told a good story that entertains them.

    Exactly. There are other examples of science fiction films that have come out or are coming out which put their emphasis on human elements and exploring things in ways that only science fiction can. They do not put the emphasis on action or, at the very least, the kind of "action" on display that is typical of block busters.
     
  20. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Re: If they had any balls...

    This recent movie wasn't mindless action; it has a plot that spoke to today, a hell of a lot more than just Kirk & Co. exploring a planet as in Insurrection, but dealing with real consequences stemming from bad behavior by a rouge section of the UFP. That relates to a lot more people than just old-guard Trekkers/sci-fi fans like you (and it's those people whose bums fill the seats of movie theaters, and are in the majority of the movie going population.) Maybe they could do a movie similar to Gravity next time, but for what? And, what if it doesn't work? What if the being like Gravity doesn't jibe with the Star Trek aesthetic?*

    *(BTW, have you check out most of the current Star Trek novels out recently? Many of them seem to have the same kind of plot seen in Into Darkness, especially the multi-series about the Borg invasion.)

    So have I (in reruns, from when I was five years old, in the early to mid '70s).

    Star Trek has numerous stories dealing with the unknown, with characters grappling with their own internal struggles that go beyond the need to fulfill an action quota. Trying to understand a mystery or moral quandary go to the heart of many of the best original series episodes. Devil in the Dark, City on the Edge of Forever, Mirror Mirror, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Amok Time, and so on. It was not all down to violent action all the time.

    Now, let me extend an olive branch. I am fully aware that many, if not most, of the original series episodes as they were originally conceived and produced would not work for a full film. Episodes like A Piece of the Action or The Trouble with Tribbles are way too off the wall to ever work for the big screen (though you could maybe involve similar concepts for the opening teaser in the next film.)

    I just don't agree with the notion that the general audience is too stupid, or impatient, to enjoy something other than phaser barrages and explosions. There's a place for everything, and i'm not against action. I'm just against the notion that it's the only kind of story Star Trek can do, big screen or small.

    Much like the problem that the community at large seems to have with the duality of "science" and "fiction" I think we also have a problem with "action" and "adventure." The adventure portion is being lost. We're stuck to home port and we can't seem to get away from Earth. There's a lot of interesting things going on in the universe, lot's of stories to tell. It's all down to how you tell those stories. People don't care whether it's action or not. They just want to be told a good story that entertains them.[/quote]

    I wasn't aware that Kirk & Spock (Scott too) didn't wrestle with moral quandaries over what to do with Khan/Harrison in the movie, or how best to proceed with stopping him. I saw a moral about getting revenge presented quite well on screen, and I'm sure that millions others not so blinkered by dogma of how Star Trek's supposed to be saw that as well. Bottom line, they were told a good story that entertained them-you weren't. You'll just have to deal with that.

    I could care less about Gravity or anything else similar to it, since as somebody else here said, Star Trek isn't really that kind of sci-fi to begin with (TMP's attempt at 2001 meets Star Trek pleased nobody and got blasted to bits critically, and only made its millions hand over fist with the help of an Oscar for SFX.) I guess that it has to be said again:

    What he said, plus more: Star Trek was an action-adventure franchise from the first pilot onward. To ignore that is to ignore reality for fantasy.

    With regards to Gravity, it seems to me to be a new version of two movies about being marooned in space, mostly Marooned and Countdown and not as original as the people putting down STID by way of praising it want it to be. (Not that there's anything wrong with Gravity being like those two films.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014