Orci strikes back

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Mountie1988, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Let's see. If we substitute for the word 'gay' with 'african-american' or 'female' or 'russian' ... oh yeah, I see what you mean.

    But just so the meaning is clear, we'd better set it on another starship, the USS W.A.S.P., which carries shuttlecraft called JOHN BIRCH and REDNECK and maybe even KLANSMAN, though it is hard to tell about the latter because it is usually stored in a shroud.
     
  2. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Able to do almost anything he wanted to, Abrams chose to model his version of Star Trek off of he 1960s TV series and not the 1980s one.

    If he didn't adequately capture the characters or vibe of the 1960s series, those are relevant topics for criticism. If it doesn't look or feel like the 1980s series, that was never the intent, so I'd say it's an irrelevant criticism.

    Frankly, I'm beginning to feel the talk about whether or not something is "Star Trek," or whether or not "Star Trek" is broken like there is a single "Star Trek" to talk about is silly. There isn't a "Star Trek."

    It's doesn't help when we say Abrams took "Star Trek" back to its roots, either. The only common ancestor Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation have is Roddenberry, who many have pointed out created his own way for Star Trek: The Next Generation that was not the way of Star Trek from the 1960s. As far as Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise go, they appropriated the label and owe nothing at all to Star Trek from the 1960s for their content.
     
  3. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So what you're saying is that Abrams' Trek films aren't broken because you like them? Perhaps some of us don't feel that they reached their goal of being "exciting action-adventure movies" and thus claim they're broken films because they didn't achieve their goal?
     
  4. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    There are definitely elements that they used in ID that are worthy dramatic devices ... I just found the execution to seriously suck. All of the 7 DAYS IN MAY stuff should have played better than it did, I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

    But last week I saw a little movie called PHANTOM with Ed Harris and Duchovny, and it encapsulated just about everything I'd like to see in a Trek story, even though it is a period piece about the cold war set aboard a Soviet submarine. It had a bit of interesting speculation spun off from a real event, had seriously good interaction and conflict,and only one WTF/thatwasstupid moment in the whole flick (in this century, that puts the film near the head of the class, easy.)

    In terms of whether the story was big enough to be a summer tentpole ... well, I think you've got part of the studio mindset that is self-undermining by starting with that perspective. Tell a good damn story, one the actors and b-t-s talent are thrilled to be a part of (which is part of why PHANTOM worked, it had Harris & co really jazzed), and make that the focus, instead of whether it is going to appeal to 11 year-olds (or 70 year old trekkies for that matter.)

    I don't think PHANTOM self-consciously ticked off boxes that each reinforced 'this is a submarine movie' in quite the same calculated fashion as AbramsTrek does with its projects. Sure, you've got a CRIMSON TIDE kind of faceoff between two antagonists where they are up close in each other's nostrils, but you're on a sub, where else are they going to be?

    Anyway, I recommend PHANTOM almost wholeheartedly, and can say it almost made up for seeing OBLIVION last week (which is for me a near-PROMETHEUS level failure.)
     
  5. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    I call TNG a soft reboot. Gene and Co. were building a new Star Trek with TNG. Sure it called back to the original series--more so after he passed--but it's clear early on that TNG was meant as a means overwrite TOS without completely jettisoning it if they didn't want to.

    I tend toward breaking Trek into (now) 3 "timelines"

    1st - TOS, TAS, TMP.
    2nd - TWOK, TSFS, TVH, TFF, TUC, TNG, DS9, VOY, GEN, FC, INS, NEM, Enterprise
    3rd - Enteprise (maybe), ST(09), STID

    There's some overlap in the continuity of the various "timelines", but they don't necessarily need or do mesh 100%
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is Iron Man or The Dark Knight trilogies broken because I didn't think they were all that good?
     
  7. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I'd disagree only with your assessment that DS9 doesn't owe anything to TOS in terms of content. I think the presence of an edge to DS9 goes directly to the heart of TOS and the frontier feel (even as blunted as it is due to all the magicbox tech inherited from TNG) is part of that as well. The admiralty that sent Kirk on TheEnterpriseIncident mission is definitely part & parcel with the same seen committed to darker deeds in DS9.
     
  8. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    No one has never explained to me, convincingly, why gearing the movies--especially--towards mass market appeal is a bad thing for the franchise. There seems to be a bit of elitism in the works, that the movies should be direct towards a very narrow market that has been repeatedly shown to be fickle enough as to not be a reliable source of revenue for a project (see: Enterprise, Nemesis). The franchise needs to be profitable to keep making movies and other projects--it is, after all, a product for sale. If the movies don't make the money, the won't make the movies.

    And, I've said before, be grateful that Abrams respected the source material enough to make serious films. He could have just camped it up and made silly "Ha, ha, lets laugh at the old TV show, ha, ha" type films, like what happened with the Dragnet movie from the 80s.
     
  9. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Frankly, I don't understand how TNG and DS9 even got dragged into this ongoing debate.

    And to be completely honest, Stig, one of the underlying messages I get from your article is "Abrams is the first entry since TOS itself to carry on its spirit; it's actually 'true Trek', whereas the 90's spinoffs never were."

    Why are TNG and DS9 being dragged through the mud in order to provide ammunition for either a pro- or anti-AbramsTrek position?

    And for the record, I thought Trek XI was decent - not great - and STID was quite good, and was a massive improvement over XI in addition to being one of the better Trek movies. I don't really give a rip about "Gene's vision", I believe that he was a master world-builder but not the best writer on his own show, and that his influence drove early TNG to be the mediocre-to-bad show that it was (and it's no coincidence that the vast majority of that preachy, "humans are SO GREAT" stuff can be found in the first two years). Where is the supposed connection between the opinion that the new movies are crap, and the opinion that TNG is great? I don't understand where that's even coming from.

    I certainly don't think the new movies are crap - I like em, especially STID, and feel that they capture TOS' spirit very well, but I also think TNG seasons 3-7 and the vast majority of DS9 were far better than either TOS or TNG 1-2.

    But what does that mean? One could just as easily say:

    "So what you're saying is that Abrams' Trek films are broken because you don't like them? Perhaps some of us don't feel that they failed to reach their goal of being "exciting action-adventure movies" and thus claim they're not broken films because they achieved their goal?"

    Or in other words: opinion vs. opinion. In which case, the phrase "Star Trek is broken" kind of loses its power, because such a phrase suggests, one would think, that we are discussing something a bit bigger than the opinion of one fan vs. another. "Broken" means "not working". So, the discussion would be more along the lines of, "is Star Trek successful right now." And it is. Some people don't like the current iteration, but that doesn't change that it's successful.

    Not liking the new movies is fine. Declaring that because you don't like them, Star Trek is broken/flagging/dead/dying/etc, is not fine.
     
  10. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is that your contention? You feel that STID and Trek '09 failed at being fun action-adventure pictures? I'd love to hear why.
     
  11. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Calling TNG a soft reboot may be the best way of putting it I've heard so far.

    It could be the frontier feel, too, but the feeling also could be because (to me at least) the characters seemed more engaging on the whole than the characters in TNG did. (Perhaps the biggest difference between them is the reaction to Q. As bad as Picard may have wanted to punch Q, Sisko actually did, and so would've Kirk.) I also think compared to TNG, and like TOS, the series had a bigger range of episodes: from drama like "In the Pale Moonlight" and "Far Beyond the Stars" to light larks like "Trials and Tribble-ations" and "Take Me Out to the Holosuite". I guess I'd say going for the feel wasn't deliberate, though. Maybe someone did, but I don't recall anyone saying the purpose of DS9 was to capture some of the feel of TOS.
     
  12. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Warning for trolling. Comments to PM
     
  13. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because arguments that Trek is somehow 'about' something are rooted primarily in a view of Trek that comes from post-TOS Roddenberry.

    This isn't a binary situation. I think that TNG-Trek onward bears very little resemblance to TOS on a thematic level. That doesn't mean that they are automatically bad shows, but that they are bad continuations of Star Trek. As I get older, neither show has aged particularly well to my eyes but that's only part of the point I was trying to make. TOS was an action-adventure series that featured relatable people with (then) modern sensibilities in fantastic situations. TNG and beyond tended to feature fantastic situations populated by talking props.

    Bingo.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that Paramount mandated the films be based on TOS.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the he wanted an opportunity to do a TOS movie as a condition of signing a multi-picture deal with Paramount.
     
  16. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Post TOS Roddenberry? As in, the ideas came from him, during his post-TOS Trek work? Maybe. But if you mean, the ideas came mainly from the Trek that came after TOS, and after Roddenberry, then no, not that I've seen. Granted, I haven't exactly been turning over rocks looking for the AbramsTrek Debate, but in terms of conversations about Star Trek at large, I've seen the opposite. Most of the time when I see someone talking about what Star Trek "means", i.e. trying to paint it as deep social commentary or something that goes far beyond being just an entertaining TV show, the example held up in favor of that argument is TOS. But if you DO mean the notions pushed by Roddenberry himself (and others) at the time, that TNG was going to be this enlightened social commentary exercise, then yeah, but that was, again, mostly focused on the years in which Roddenberry had more influence over TNG: seasons 1 and 2. Once they moved past that, the series settled into something much better, and much less concerned with social commentary than with being a good show, and DS9 never even went down that road in the first place. So I still don't see the connection, and that remains the reason I posted in the first place. I'd been reading this thread to pass time and was struck by the bizarre role that TNG and DS9 seem to be playing in this discussion: as fall guys in an argument about weather or not AbramsTrek is true to the spirit of TOS.

    I don't know, I see a contradiction here. Yes, there were some fairly serious thematic differences between all three shows. But you are trying to push the notion that Star Trek isn't a set of ideals or commentary, that there isn't "some sort of meaning or purpose to the wider Trek universe", and that "It's merely a setting, a backdrop that enables human stories." So even if TNG and DS9 have tonal and thematic changes from TOS, why is that bad? They took the setting and did something different with it. Why does that make them "bad Trek"? Doesn't that just make them different Trek? It would make them "bad TOS", but simply continuing TOS per se was never the aim; the aim was to expand the universe of Star Trek, not just keep TOS going. Why, then, does any follow-up to TOS need to be exactly like TOS to be good Trek?

    And "Populated by talking props" IS a value judgement about the quality of the shows themselves, as entertaining (or not entertaining) television, not simply an analysis of how they continue, or fail to continue, the thematic concepts of Star Trek specifically. You said in this latest post that your criticisms don't necessarily mean they are bad shows, but a negative assessment of TNG and DS9 as being inferior television in your opinion, on top of being "bad continuations of Star Trek", is part of your overall presentation here, and was strongly present in the article, too, which fell back on a very tired old "TOS was human and exciting, TNG was uptight and stuffy" mantra. The article was more about TOS vs. TNG and DS9 than it was about AbramsTrek.

    I guess I just don't get why those shows are somehow being painted as being wholly representative of the mindset that Star Trek is broken due to AbramsTrek not being "true" to Trek. While at the same time, the swaths of fans who are directly comparing Abrams TO TOS itself and - whether fueled by nostalgia or reasoned analysis - coming away saying that the former is a piss-poor attempt to ape the latter and could never hope to compare to it, are being ignored. Quite frankly, I've seen accusations of "it's not true Trek!" thrown at AbramsTrek from those who are ardently fans of TOS, and are comparing the new movies directly to TOS, far FAR more than I have seen similar accusations thrown from those who are ardent fans of TNG-era Trek, or comparing the new movies to TNG or DS9.

    While reading this thread, I certainly haven't agreed with everything Hober Mallow has said, but a page or so back, he did say one thing that struck me: the article seems to push the notion that "fans who don't want Abrams Trek because it's not true to Trek really just want TNG", without substantiating or supporting the idea that TNG has anything to do with the argument of whether or not Abrams Trek is true Trek. And, once again, I find the rather large emphasis the article places on pointing out what you see as the ways in which TOS is better than TNG bizarre in a piece that is ostensibly about AbramsTrek and whether or not its "broken". The article asserts an unfounded connection between TNG Trek and the anti-Abrams mindset, then proceeds as if that assertion had been proven and was generally accepted by Trek fandom at large.
     
  17. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Here's the problem when discussing "What Trek is, is...". Are we talking about "Star Trek"; a 1960s sci-fi show. Or, Star Trek; a multibillion dollar franchise. The two aren't necessarily one in the same at times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  18. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, because whether or not a franchise is broken is an opinion. Star Trek from a financial point of view obviously isn't broken (not as great as hoped for, but definitely not broken), but from a creative point of view it is to certain people.
     
  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I get the impression that the real 'Jar Jar' Abrams haters are the 24th century fans not the other way around. The people I've seen who most ardently complain about Abrams aren't the TOS fans. The TNG/DS9 fans seem to me to be far far more disappointed in the new movies. They may say complain that Spock and Uhura would never have got together but they'll list TNG as their favourite Star Trek series. Maybe we need a poll to work this out where people give honest answers.

    And why shouldn't they complain, I'd be disappointed too if I was a 24th century fan.

    I'm a big TOS fan and resent the implication from the article that somehow TNG moved on from TOS - that TOS was somehow inferior. TNG was different, and was certainly more popular at least in its initial run than TOS and all those fans can't be wrong.
     
  20. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I too get the impression that this is the case. Of course, I did no proper investigation or analysis so my observations are not empirical by any measure, but every time I ask someone online what their favourite Trek is (after a rant about the reboot movies) it's almost always TNG, if not TNG then one of the later ones.

    I think it's an educated guess that the vast majority of long-time, serious Star Trek fans would list TNG as their favourite. Nowadays not many of the longtime fans would list TOS as their favourite, it's always at least third or fourth on the list, after TNG and DS9. Some even outright say they can't watch TOS because it had too many inconsistencies and was too goofy. Bernd Schneider, noted fan from his website, Ex Astris Scientia, had once said (though sadly I can't find the link now) that TOS was one of the worst in terms on inconsistencies and he only gave it a pass because it was the first, and started the legacy of Star Trek. It's also worth noting that his favourite is TNG and dislikes the reboots as Star Trek. That's where my hunch that some fans don't like the reboot because it was less TNG comes from.

    Of course, it's nowhere provable and definitely not always true. A great many TNG fans love the reboots, and some TOS fans hate the new Trek so it's really nothing more than a hunch.

    I stand by my view that TNG and TOS are fundamentally different, even though both are very much "Star Trek" in their own way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013