animated short treks coming spring 2019

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by pst, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Completely off-topic, but I have to disagree hard with that:
    I'm absolutely happy that Insurrection ignored the Dominion War. (as did VOY). Because quite honestly - I don't give a rat's ass about the Dominion War. I like the Dominion as antagonists. But they fumbled the entire arc and turned it into WWII in Spaaaaace! And that is as generic as it gets.

    And besides - I wasn't watching DS9 at the time. And neither was the majority of Trek fans, and especially not public mainstream audiences. Tying up your big blockbuster movie to an obscure storyline on a telvision show only a miniscule part of your intended audience watches would be bad.

    The reason Insurrection wasn't as successfull as First Contact was purely it's own fault - that it was just not as engaging a story for a big genre SF movie. The Son'a and Ba'ku simply didn't carry an entire movie. But IMO the movie could have turned out great if if focused more on the insurrection-part of it's plot. It shouldn't have been sidetracked to serve as bonus material for a tv-show. It just needed it's own plot sorted out better.

    With all of this I have to completely agree!
    Everything you say is true. I think the only things where I differ in opinion is the connection to the Hobus supernova:

    Because, once again, like with Insurrection, I think tying your entirely new property, that should firmly stand on it's own, and in the best case even attract audiences that are only loosely familiar with TNG from it's heydas - tying that story up to such an unimportant background-event - the dark point in the backstory of a character from the future, a future that never happened in the realm of the movie it was told in - to make this one-note event, that never really was tought out in the movie (again: "a supernove threatening to destryo the galaxy!) - to make THIS a central part of your story. That's just stupid.

    That's like having the big blockbuster TNG-movie be a tiny side-mission in the grander scheme of a war fought by a television Captain at the same time. That's just asking for trouble.

    A new Picard show should put it's focus on Picard - whatever he's doing, or whatever occupies his mind personally. It should NOT be used to retroactively explain or make references to previous material!

    It was a bad choice to have DIS first season revolve entirely around already familiar concepts from TOS (klingons + MU). It would be an even bigger mistake to have the first Picard season revolve around solving continuity issues created by a 10 year old reboot movie!
     
  2. Jadeb

    Jadeb Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have no objection to them using the destruction of Romulus as a catalyst. There's a right way and a wrong way to do it, I think. The first season of Discovery doesn't give me a lot of hope they will do it the right way, but the show was clearly made under difficult circumstance, so I will cross my fingers that they've learned their lessons.
     
  3. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    As I see it, this is one of those situations where the established timeline really hurt the writers. Basically there was - concurrent with Insurrection - a big quadrant-spanning war. They couldn't easily introduce a second existential threat to Earth/the Federation because then people would ask why it wasn't even mentioned in DS9. They couldn't have another time travel story again - because they just did that. They couldn't be transported to somewhere far away in space because Voyager was doing that. So they had a choice between trying to integrate the story in some way with what DS9 was doing, or to have the crew off doing something relatively small bore and uninspiring. They chose the latter, which was a mistake.

    I think there are lots of ways they could have done an interesting movie which took place during the Dominion War which didn't require fans to have intimate knowledge of the war. I also think it would be a nice change of pace, considering Trek has never done a "war movie" to date.

    I'm sorry, I don't understand your point here. DS9 was explicitly tied to minor plot points already established in TNG - notably the Cardassian occupation of Bejor. VOY was explicitly tied to minor plot points established in TNG as well - the formation of the Maquis.

    No one is going to turn on the show and then immediately be turned off because they remember the Romulans, but don't remember Romulus blowing up.

    Clearly the supernova will not be the "central element" of the series, if for no other reason than it happened 12 years ago in show terms. The Alpha/Beta quadrant will still be living with the aftermath however, which could make for interesting political drama - even if it's merely backdrop.
     
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  4. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    As I've noted in the past too, the most successful Trek properties have often been those built on plots of fanwank.

    TMP had a plot which was derivative of a TOS episode, but it was fundamentally a "new adventure." It was considered a failure. TWOK, in contrast, was a fanwanky sequel to a popular TOS episode. Lots of people who saw it in the theater probably had no idea who Khan was. It didn't matter, it was a hit, and worked because it was a well written movie.

    First Contact is probably the most fanwanky movie in all of Trek's pantheon. We not only get to see the Borg again - and explicit references to the trauma Picard suffered in BoBW - we also get a secondary plot which is basically the origin story of the Federation, complete with a fleshing out/reimagining of Zephram Cochrane, who up until that point was just a minor character from a mediocre TOS episode. You can't get more fanwanky than that. Yet it was the best out of all of the TNG movies.
     
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  5. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    I'm going to blame these problems on the writers of DS9 though, NOT on the writers of the TNG movies. A movie simply is the bigger event that needs to attract more casual viewers.

    I don't expected Kelvin-Star Trek 4 (should it ever happen) to integreate itself into the plot points made in Discovery. In the same way, I think having the ultimate war for human (and Federation) survival play out over many years on a minor spin-off show was a mistake. They simply amped the stake to the point it couldn't be taken seriously anymore, and that any other Trek incarnation at the same time had to ignore it, otherwise they would all have had to subordinate themselves to a tv-show only few people were watching.

    Imagine of the MARVEL movies were made to serve plot points from Agents of SHIELD, instead of the other way 'round? DS9 would have feared much better would the Dominion war have been a war, instead of the war. Then the other shows could have had mentioned it, while still doing their own stuff. But "the ultimate war for human survival" simply does not work as a background event for another movie, it would overshadow everything. Thus they had to ignore it.

    The thing is, these "minor plot points" were both heavily re-introduced right at the beginning of each series. But, more importantly - they were either pciked up because the idea worked so well (Cardassian occupation), or were specifically designed for the otherr series (the Maquis).

    In any case, the original events were well-thought out, logical developments that happened. And the Maquis still fell flat on VOY!

    The Hobus supernova OTOH - "a supernova to threaten the galaxy" - was specifically created to not be cared about. It has to reaction on the actual plot of ST09 - it was simply a gimmick to give future-Nero a future-dark-backstory. They could have made future-Spock personally kill Nero's family, and Nero would have had the same (undeserved) revenge-fit against young-Spock. But then people would have asked why future-Spock would do something like that. So they went out of their way to make it the most vanilla reason for a revenge possible - exactly enough to properly madden Nero. But at the same time an (unexplained) natural desaster Spock wasn't really responsible for. Thus moving the MAIN plot of the movie - Nero wanting revenge for an event that hasn't actually happened forward, and motive all our hero characters to band together.

    No, but they would need to introduce the element of Romulus blowing up as if nobody had ever seen it before - re-introducing it from scratch. Explainig it from scratch, and explaining all the resluts and consequences from scratch. Because people - even the ones that watched ST09 - simply don't remember it and it was never properly explained.

    Again: I think all that CAN work. It's just a massive burden the writers (who have not yet proven themselves after one season of DIS) put upon themselves - and a burden that is completely unnecessary. Much like how DIS still has to fight with the consequences of it being a prequel - and thus having BIG difficulties in integrating it's entire style and premise (the spore drive) into the main universe - this is just asking for a ball being dropped by the writers.

    And not even for a in-universe reason. There is no benefit in having the most dramatic mass death in the entire Trek history be a tiny background event. All of this is only there to protect the ego of Kurtzman, and cement his now-discontinued reboot into the prime universe. To make is stamp "permanent" on the series, which is awfully close to what Fuller intended, and where they are now very much hurt by it.
     
  6. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    I agree that the worst flaws in DS9 stemmed from the series being "peak epic" in terms of Trek - likely in an fruitless quest to boost ratings. Which is ironic, because they had a better handle on small-bore character growth and development than any other Trek series. The Dominion War was not the worst offender though - the Pah Wraiths were. The show itself (through the "Jack Pack") made explicit that the Federation woudl rise again after a Dominion victory - albeit at incredible cost. I blame the studio for the stakes raising more than the writers however.

    You are right that the decision to destroy Romulus wasn't thought through. I don't see why that matters though. It's not like the Romulan Star Empire was ever really integral to the show.

    Absolutely nothing has been established other than Romulus (and presumably Remus) blowing up. They'd be approaching everything with a totally clean sheet of paper. You really don't need to have more than a single line about the situation if you don't want to be. And considering how it would change the geopolitics of the quadrant, it would likely come up in casual conversation among admirals in a way which wouldn't scream "infodump."
     
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  7. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Completely agreed on all parts!

    Yeah, I try to keep an open mind about all that.
    Having an overly, politically volatile situation on all levels might actually be a prett good starting point for a character that is mostly known for good speeches and always doing the right thing. Hell, if it works out perfectly, it can turn out to be actually amazing, making sure all what Picard stands for - the morals and ethics - are not good-weather attitudes, but even in dark times, the right thing to do.

    But really, I would be much, much more confident it the last stuff the same creators did wasn't "Into Darkness" and that god-awful war arc from season 1 Discovery. At this point, I absolutely have zero faith in them doing complex and complicated political issues and getting them right.

    Who knows? If season 2 of DIS actually is the improvement over season 1 the trailers and early reviews indicate, I might become much, much more optimistic about the whole endeavour.

    But even then, I think there lays a massive misunderstanding about what Star Trek even is at it's core: The absolute focus on minutia, the self-references, and the pre-occupation with it's own lore. That's not good. FANS love episodes that delve deeper into the lore - because they were always so rare in the first place.

    But I think the new creators simply start from a faulty premise. The "worlbuilding" in Star Trek is primarily NOT the Federation/quadrant/policits of common races - it's the main ship (or station). And the adventures the characters on these vessel have thats what the main focus of the show should be. Star Trek is absolutely the wrong place for "epic"storytelling à la "Lord of the Rings" or even "Star Wars". Star Trek is a sandbox - a setting - for unique SF adventures. The "Utopia" society is not the focus of the show - it's a backdrop, to make sure the future is viewed optimistic, and exploration and progression seen as a good thing, worthy of being persued on it's own. And that our heros come from a peaceful place and intend to explore the universe, purely out of curiosity, not because they "have to" because otherwise the world would end...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  8. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Okay, I get that you do not like the current creative team, but you have to admit, the destruction of Romulus could open up some interesting storytelling possibilities, as I and others have outlined. Could it fall on its face? Sure, so could anything if it is not done well. I do not see how the destruction of Romulus would cause the fall of the Federation, but it would cause social problems across the Alpha Quadrant, which is different sort of problem. Rogue Romulans are not going to conquer the Federation, but they could cause problems and a refugee crisis would an interesting challenge for Picard

    I also think the stakes would be personal because of Picard's melding with Sarek and Spock, I think because that Picard would have an emotional investment in peace with the Romulans and wanting to help them in their time of need. He knows what peace with the Romulans would have meant to Spock. Its personal for Picard due to a sense of compassion and friendship, not due to revenge or anger, he would have a personal drive to save the remaining Romulans who want peace.
     
  9. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They were never going to ignore the supernova, even if Kurtzman wasn't involved.
     
  10. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    To be fair, I absolutely think a well-versed writer could turn A LOT of interesting thoughts and ideas out of that!

    And to be honest: Kurtzman is MUCH less likely than his former writing partner Bob Orci to turn a fictional migration crisis into a plattform to insert his weird conspiracy theories and facebook-memes into (this time about migrants, instead of Into Darkness truther-shit).

    But yeah, at the same time, to treat this topic appropriate, it would need nuance. Something the current writing team has absolutely never demonstrated. I mean, they can be pretty good at colorfull, fast and bright adventures. But that's absolutely the wrong writing skills if you wanna' tackle such deep social themes. I don't want to watch Michael Bay doing a Holocaust-movie, and I cringed at the MAGA-references on DIS. Really, it's not so much the Romulus-supernova itself, as much as the track record of the people involved handling (and dropping) similar themes...

    Really, I don't know. "Romulans" is IMO as impersonal for Picard as it gets. He has a much closer, personal relationship to all other recurring species: The Borg, the Klingons, the Cardassians, Q - hell, he was more personally involved in one episode with the "Sheliak", than through a multitude of episodes with the Romulans, with whom he was always suuuper professional and appropriate.

    I just think it's a weird focus to make for a Picard show. Again: It could work! As muc as I would have preferred something completely original - a new species, alien entity, character or whatever - this would have needed to be completely introduced from scratch as well.

    So if they properly RE-introduce the Romulan supernova - this time better thought out, and with a more reasonable backstory - that can really work.

    At the same time, I still see plenty of pitfalls - as this is EXACTLY the type of storyline these particular writers have proven time and again they can't do. I just don't understand why they don't focus more on stuff they actually have a proven track record on.
     
  11. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    1. There was just a quote this week from Kurtzman making it clear he's not the showrunner for the Picard show. He's the "Berman" for that show, not the "Piller." Of course we don't know who the showrunner is. Hopefully it's Chabon. Might be Duff or Beyer. FSM help us if it's Goldsman.

    2. If you don't trust the current writing team with complicated political issues, what do you trust them with that would work on a Picard show?

    3. I agree with you that - fundamentally - Trek is more about the premise than the lore, and that canon fanatics can't see the forest for the trees. That said, a Picard series isn't the right place for a "back to basics" Trek show. Picard is a big character in Trek history. He needs a big story (in either scope or personal importance), not just to be the vehicle for a story that could be told with any protagonist.
     
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  12. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Frankly, I do not think the supernova itself is that important, I care about its aftermath, not the event itself, that's just a plot device to me.

    I think Picard was professional with Romulans because he would meet with a Romulan commander doing typical villain stuff and Picard would foil them, they didn't do anything to warrant his enmity. This is different though, it's a humanitarian crisis, Picard not having an emotional response to that would make him seem like a robot. Its personal for Picard because of the meld with a Spock and the fact that he would feel like its duty to help these people, he did emotionally involve protecting the Ba'ku, why would he be dispassionate in the face of a massive tragic disaster, that would have killed billions and left millions more homeless? The situation would be more emotionally involving then Picard's past dealings with the Romulans.

    To me exploring Picard's duty and compassion is more interesting than bringing back the Borg again, so either Picard wants revenge on them again or Picard treats them dispassionately and they become villains of the week, I think First Contact is a good way to wrap up the Picard/Borg conflict, I am not sure what else needs to said about Picard and the Borg at this point.

    It being personal doesn't just mean Picard wanting revenge on someone, it can be personal due to tragedy and compassion, why not make that the personal drive, rather then revenge again. I bet Picard would get pretty angry at someone trying to harm or exploit these refugees though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  13. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Picard Show isn't sharing all the same writers are DSC, they have new people on-board as well.
     
  14. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed! Crossing fingers for Chabon. God help us all if Goldsman. No idea or opinion about Duff or Beyer.

    Ideally, a Picard show would be written by people that know how to write epic speeches. That can be "action"-writers: I think in Captain America: The Winter Soldier Cap had some epic speeches about freedom, liberty vs. security and all that. That was a tightly focused script!

    I don't expect that same level of political allegory from the current writing team. Again: "Make the Emprie great again". What I think they might be good at would be character focused stuff: I think all the personal character-intaraction in most Kurtzman-scripts, as well as in DIS (when it wasn't speeches - they really sucked at those), they always felt very real, life-like. Like actual people, charming, exchanging opinions, but at the same time being very human. I think the main appeal of the Kelvin-Trek movies is simply watching the characters bicker with each other.

    I think that should work on a Picard show. Yes, it would be way less stiff than on TNG. But that can be a good thing. Also, they can be good at doing personal stakes. Whatever hit nuSpock, nuKirk, Burnham - the challenges always felt appropriate for the character to handle.

    I think, ideally, a Picard show might bear some resemblence to the future-part of "All good things". A little bit faster, a bit more personal, a bit better produced. But overall following the journey of Picard, going back to action, maybe assembling his old, or a completely new team. And then go out to solve a personal challenge. No grander politics involved, or only as a background setting (like the Klingon conflict in "All good things").

    I try not to expcet that, because what we will get will almost certainly be different from that. But off-the-top-of-my-head, that's a direction I would trust the writers with.

    Indeed agreed again. But I think even (especially!) a Picard series should to a certain degree go "back to basic": In this case, get Picard back in the chair of a starship to do a thing. Of course, what's different is Picards journey to that place - he's no Captain anymore. So that from whatever place he comes, whatever his character changed into - that's the meat of the story. But IMO it should revolve around doing "a" or "one last" mission for Picard.
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    You do realize Patrick Stewart himself has input on and veto authority over the story of this series, right?
     
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  16. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Look, I looove Patrick Stewart. But the original reason why he agreed to do Star Trek (TNG) back then at all was because he wanted to punch robots in the face and bed green women.

    Boy was he not amused when he realized what TNG actually turned out to be! And the moment he actually received some creative control - in the movies - is the point we got "action-Picard", all bare-chested, swinging around the engine rooms on cables in a sweaty tank-top, breaking the Borg queens' neck and delivering one-liners.

    Really, Patrick Stewarts opinions on Star Trek are ridiculously entertaining, and behind the scenes he is one of the most funny and meta guys at all. It's just funny to realize - at the core of his heart, Picard always rather wanted to be Kirk than Picard!

    So yeah. Stewart is probably one of the most singular defining actors of Star Trek as a whole. But at the same time, one of Hollywoods universal' truths still holds true: What an actor likes to do is not always the best thing for the character to do. I empathize with Stewart immensely: If I were to act in 'Star Trek', I also would much rather do the fun action stuff than delivering speeches on the bridge. But as a viewer, that's not exactly what I want from Picard the character.
     
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  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Patrick Stewart had no creative input on First Contact. Only on Insurrection and Nemesis.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    This is also why I like TOS.
     
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  19. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Not officially. But he (and Brent Spiner) are the main stars, of course he had more influence than during the tv-days. (Or "Generations" for that matter)

    Note: I have not really a problem with "Action-Picard". In fact, I kinda' like it. I just wish he wasn't replacing "Speeches-Picard", as so much as ammending him. "Insurrection" is not a great film. But I think it handled Picard pretty perfectly: Speechy when he has the chance. Tough "do-it-myself"-guy after negotiations have failed. Contrast to "Nemesis" with "I'll-break-the-prime-directive-for-a-dune-buggy-chase-killling-people-because-I-got-bored-at-my-dayjob"-Picard. That was bad.

    So yeah, it all really comes down to the writing and plotting, weather it makes sense or not. Long-winded-speeches-Picard can be shit when the story is shit. Action-Picard could be great when the story is great. And vice versa. Wholely depending on the writing. As always.
     
  20. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    Again though, it is widely known that the director was someone who didn't understand Star Trek, didn't like Star Trek, and left tons of footage (mostly "character moments") on the cutting room floor. So I dunno if we can blame Stewart for how he came across in that movie.
     
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