J.J. Abrams enters The Twilight Zone

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by HaplessCrewman, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    He's very cocky. He's just played Khan and everyone on Regula I and is enjoying it.
     
  2. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    That's EXACTLY your Kirk, you just don't want to admit it because you guys have a hard on about ST09.

    It's like you haven't even seen the Genesis Cave scene. Kirk is extremely cocky, munching on an apple, looking around to see how impressed people are with his story, exaggeratedly flipping out his communicator and saying "well, alllllllright!."

    Let also not forget that Kirk was allowing his companions to think that they were stranded there when he knew they would be beaming up shortly. Why? He wasn't obeying coded communications protocols then. Obviously the real world reason was to keep it secret from the audience, but that doesn't change the in-universe implication.

    Then there's also the fact that Kirk (and Spock) keep rubbing Saavik's nose in the fact that she's a by-the-book stick in the mud, which is particularly egregious considering if they had just listened to her earlier and raised shields the Reliant wouldn't have gotten the drop on the Enterprise in the first place.

    I love TWoK, it's my favorite Trek movie, but Kirk was totally full of himself and showing off in parts, so to say that kind of behavior is "not your Kirk" and was made up for nuKirk is just baffling to me.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    It's hard to keep up with lunacy, but I'll try.

    "Make it possible". So, a "possible" way to win is to program the simulation so the Klingon ships drop their shields? Would that work? Yes. Could it work? yes again. The only one reading into originalKirk's narration is you.:rolleyes:
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, totally. He's really enjoying that apple, too. He's the only one who wanted to eat, the only one who wasn't really worried. Survival is the first order of business, my ass. He probably wanted to bounce off the walls.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :techman:
     
  6. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Meyer killed Spock in the first few minutes of the movie to troll the fans.

    "The end of life by death." Is that supposed to be profound?

    In Abram's movie we see how Kirk "punks the teacher". TWOK just tells us that he "punk[ed] the teacher"
     
  7. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    NOw that we've thoroughly dissected TWOK and ST09 and Kirk's actions and the consequences... this would be a good time to return to the topic originally asked:

    Not to be evasive myself, but I would have to see how Abrams handles Star Wars and Twilight Zone first, before deciding if I'd want him to take the center seat of another franchise. For all we know, working on those two exhausting film franchises might burn him out for a time.
     
  8. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was definitely Abrams. I remember a TV Guide interview at the time. It was a homage to Serling and the TZ that he wrote himself and even hired an old TZ director (Lamount Johnson) to helm the episode.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ Interesting. Well, he certainly did a good job on that. I doubt if this new project will be that retro, but he is at least capable of channeling the Serling vibe.
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen Felicity or Alias, but the above is otherwise Abrams' artistically successful filmography. Odds of him doing anything well are not favorable.

    Fringe in particular, being modeled on X-Files, was capable of supporting case of the week stories. The standalone cases in X-Files were the most gloriously successful, and in the end, the serialized story was a dead weight. But in Fringe, one some of the few occasions they could actually come up with a decent standalone story, they truncated it, hastily resolving ten minutes before the credits, so they could shoehorn some more serial in!

    The best episodes of Twilight Zone are still repeated. Nobody needs simple pastiche for anything but a nostalgia kick. One aspect of Twilight Zone, the fables exemplifying moral values, sometimes very explicitly, in particular is one for which Abrams overall shows an ineradicable hostility.
     
  11. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That makes no sense. We never got to see how Prime Kirk actually performed the test.

    Really, the analogy here is an arcade videogame. You can apply a cheat that makes your guy invulnerable, OR you can remove the cheap-shots that those games throw in to prevent you from getting through on one quarter. If you do the former, you can play the game without even thinking. If you do the latter, then you still have the be the best there is at playing it to get to the ending. My feeling is Kirk did the LATTER, and that's why he got a commendation. He still earned his stripes based on his sense of what the test was supposed to represent.

    It doesn't matter that officers are supposed to lose. If Starfleet is interested in competent officers, it is going to be impressed by prime Kirk's legitimate performance on the altered test. His intention wasn't to cheat. His intention was to fix what he felt was a rigged test so that he could EARN his stripes fair and square. Two different things. If anything, this showed that he was more about principle than blindly following the rules.

    Again, Kirk made it possible to win, not a cakewalk. It could have been the equivalent of changing one parameter that slowed things down enough to allow for the latency of human reaction-time. Anyone who has played a lot of videogames knows that they must be carefully tuned to the limits of human physical hand/eye coordination. You want the difficulty hard enough to seem impossible to the novice, but not so hard that it is physically impossible to beat. The best games of all time fall under that category of requiring exceptional skill, but are not completely unbeatable.

    The existential question posed by this is that in life, there ARE no win scenarios, and that even a seasoned officer like Kirk could face them. The sin of hacking the simulation was not against Starfleet, but against himself, because he held onto the idea that he could somehow escape death every time. Rhetorically he knew the moral of the test, since he schooled Saavik about it, but he had never experienced a situation he couldn't somehow weasel himself out of (like in the Corbomite Maneuver). This is the foreshadowing that sets things up. The audience is asked to accept that maybe Khan represents the no-win scenario and that no innovative thinking on Kirk's part will be enough to save them, which is in effect true, hence Spock makes the ultimate act of sacrifice, leading to his poignant line "I never took the Kobayashi test until now. What do you think of my solution?" This is the thematic bedrock of the entire picture and JJ merely used it as a form of mild comic relief and pseudo-fan-service.

    In his mind, he feels like he's reciting Trek gospel, but it's a real mis-read of the character, because he just doesn't get Trek.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  12. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When UPN did The New Twilight Zone, I felt they relied too much on the shock endings and then started doing a twist-on-a-twist ending. Don't get me wrong, the twist ending was a major hallmark of The Twilight Zone. But the show was often about people getting another chance and we didn't see a lot of that on the show. Somehow I think a lot of producers today would disregard that theme. But it was important to Serling.
     
  13. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very nicely put. I bolded the part explaining how this little side trip relates to the thread topic.

    I would only add, first, that we don't see what the original Kirk did, but what he says he did is exactly as described above. You have to make the case that Kirk was unreliably describing, otherwise it is just imagination to think the original Kirk did what the new one did.

    Second, the thematic material in Wrath of Khan is indeed there. There isn't any in the Abrams' movies. The second one at least tries but is hopelessly confused.

    Third, Kirk's withholding in the genesis cave is indeed grandstanding, but a little ego-stroking after getting your ass kicked isn't the same at all. New Kirk just likes to flip people off.

    Fourth, considering the Kobayashi Maru test is one that can be retaken, it is pretty obvious that standard notions of cheating simply have no applicability from the start. Extraordinary notions of cheating need their own justification. This whole thing was blown out of proportion by people who just couldn't accept that a comparison of this relatively minor detail was not in their favor.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    JJ could do a great version of either 'The Obsolete Man' or 'Time Enough at Last'
     
  15. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    mos6507 and stj, as you can see from my earlier post, here:
    ... it is time to return to the original topic. I can understand how in a pitched battle it can be difficult to give up a sidebar topic. However, a few days is more than enough. Please direct your discussion to the original subject matter of JJ Abrams and his potential for taking over other franchises.

    If you or anyone else have any further questions or comments regarding this, take them to PM.