Could we Trekkers have saved the Trek XI script? [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by DFScott, May 17, 2009.

  1. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    United States

  2. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

    Oct 4, 2001
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    The box office receipts would suggest they were right.

    Yeah, none of them are dummies, I'm sure they probably did sit down and say, "well some people won't like this at all." But it those people represent less than 10% of the core fanbase, and you bring in more than enough new fans to compensate, well, that's business.
  3. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 8, 2009
    I'm not sure what you mean by "episodic" exactly. Could you clarify?

    From my point of view, I would say the plot is weak principly because it relies on the boring and inconsistent plot device of Red Matter and a series of glaring and implausible coincidences in the pivotal sequence on Delta Vega.

    To put it another way, I think the movie succeeds in spite of its plot and not because of it.

    What is very heartening for me is the fact that the sequel should automatically have a better story since the reboot is over, the origin story is told, and time-travel from the Prime universe will presumably not be necessary.

    I can't wait to see this crew, this ship and the new pacing and effects in a better story.
  4. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 8, 2009
    They suggest the movie got a lot of things right, which I believe it did. They don't, however, suggest the film is above criticism or that it could not be improved upon.

    I think it is difficult to argue that having Nimoy in the film was an important draw for new fans. Since much of the plot is contrived in order to have his character around, I think it is quite possible that the film would have been even more successful as a straight-forward reboot with no time-travel and a more elegant plot.
  5. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    and why cant some accept that a lot of us who love this film are old line trek fas ourselves.
    really that is its primary mission.
    yeah expanding trek outward is one thing it did.
    but it mightly pleased many like myself who watched trek on nbc.:techman:

    uh did you really watch the film because you confused two different things here.

    what uhura picked up while doing normal monitoring duty (and if you have indeed watched tos and the other series you should know the federation indeed has monitoring stations ect)
    and picked up a transmission about klingon ships being destroyed.

    that she is able to tell the difference between vulcan and romulan dialect is several scenes later in orbit above vulcan.

    so is it the fault of the film or maybe just pay attention a little more.


    yeah there are few things that could be smooted out within the script but as someone who grew up reading not just science fiction but the classics a plot convience like when kirk met old spock dosnt phase me.
    read dickens sometimes .

    now if you do it all through a movie then yeah but once or twice.. shrug..
    difference between fiction and reality.
  6. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

    Dec 2, 2001
    I think the time travel/Spock Prime stuff was a burden to the film, in some respects. Was it neccessary? Should they have done a straight up unapologetic reboot? The expositional scenes explaining the alternate timeline are there for the core fanbase, let's face it. It adds nothing for the casual viewer.
  7. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

    Jul 18, 2005
    Umm... You know this has nothing to do with the script, right? :cardie:
  8. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2007
    No, no. Trekkers really couldn't. Hell, John Logan, Roberto Orci and Kurtzman all claimed to be hardcore fans and while XI was stronger than Nemesis both had a variety of issues.

    Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse would be my choice since LOST is about the only consistently compelling show on television at the moment and I definitely know they can come up with great twists, interesting stories, intriguing villians and their form when it comes to structure and plot is amazing.
  9. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 29, 2005
    Funny, the initial post mentions Kirk and Spock learning that they can damage the villian's shields by "firing" on them as though the fact that no one else figured this out is absurd.


    Since 1985 or so, no one on TNG did learn that lesson. How many countless episodes went something like this:

    "Captain, they're firing on us."
    "Warn them to stop."
    "Captain, our shields are at 15%"
    "Fire phasers at 1/4 power at their cargo holds as a really nasty warning."
    "Captain, the Ferengi have boarded our ship."
    "Well, thank goodness Picard was turned into a 10 year old in that transporter accident. I'm sure he'll figure out how to repel this invasion."
  10. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

    Oct 4, 2001
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    I'm pretty sure I heard that Damon will be working more directly on the next one.

    Lost has some of the most intricate attention to detail I've ever seen. I'd love to see him bring that to Trek.
  11. Lord Lunacy

    Lord Lunacy Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 4, 2005
    Trek was an old rotting corpse festering with the maggots of 40 some odd years of "Cannon". JJ came along with his big bucks production team and gave the old dead girl some post necrotic plastic surgery, then shocked her ass back to life with a lot of space-lightning; BAM! two weeks and 140+million dollars latter...

    That being said, now to the original, we would not have been able to save the script. The Trek community can't even agree on the size of the Enterprise, let alone try and agree on the details of a "great" script. This mindless fast paced flick is exactly what Trek needed in the iPod age.
  12. perigee

    perigee Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 29, 2008
    Don't be ridiculous - of course the Trek community agrees. Every one of the TOS crew needed valuable screen time as the character's parents, making them lunch and dispensing wisdom. All the other characters from every possible Star Trek show would have to have been in there, as ancestors of the original, teaching Kirk how to be captain.

    Khan would have to show up instead of Nero, haven woken himself up from cryogenic sleep, probably played by Ricky Martin. The Enterprise would have had to look like the original Enterprise, but there'd be a button that would morph it into all the other Enterprises at times, so it could look like everybody's "best ship." Kinda like the Chan Van.

    Carol Marcus, Yeoman Rand and Nurse Chapel would have their own ship, and they'd be like Charlies Angels, so the women could be empowered. And Pike would be black, probably Avery Brooks.

    All of Kahn's crew would be dressed up like "The Lost Boys" in "Hook," and he would be doing something troublesome, but not overly threatening to existent planets in canon. He couldn't be killed, because he'd be the bad guy in all the sequels too, so he'd just have to be like that guy with the cat in "Inspector Gadget," shake his fist and say, "Next time, Kirk..."
  13. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

    Oct 4, 2001
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Dude, you should have totally written the movie!

    Oh, but you forgot the part where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy explain the advanced Trekker virtues of peace, love, and understanding to the ignorant members of the general public who might be in the audience, before sharing a laugh and sailing away to the end credits.
  14. jenstar

    jenstar Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Jul 6, 2004
    Australia NSW
    Well Yep I'm a Trekker and I loved this movie not for the script or the plot line, for simply being an escape movie, something to chill out for 2 hours and I liked it just the way it was ....can't wait for XII.:guffaw::guffaw:

    After all its just a movie
  15. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    I sincerely believe the long-term dedicated Star Trek fans would have DOOMED this production rather than saved it.

    Trek needs to survive. Fresh blood and a not-quite-so-unyielding-dedication-to-canon is what was needed, it's what we got, and I for one couldn't be happier with the result.
  16. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 22, 2006
    There was a lot going on in the movie. Too much for two hours. Maybe a two-hour tweny-minute movie wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Not to do more, but flesh out Nero's motives just a bit and add a tad more gravitas to Spock Prime's role. Perhaps the movie an overall connective theme. But as far as handling the characters goes, overall, they did a good job except for two things that bothered me from a fan's point of view.

    1. The Spock-Uhura relationship. Where is this going? Can this be good? For this old Trek fan, it was awkward to watch. OK, this Spock is about eight years younger thant he one we meet in TOS. And, he's having emotional issues. But it's a direction I hope they veer away from in the next movie. Is Uhura going to be Spock's new confidant? Will they go deeper into the relationship? Will they break up in the next movie? How does any of that affect the dynamic of the overall character relationships. Will they become "just friends," or completely alienated? I just wonder if Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman thought it through beyond this movie.
    Part of Spock's mistique was that he was insular, alone, mysterious, isolated (no real friends on board other than Kirk and McCoy), and somewhat dark and even a bit brooding. Compare this Spock's relationship with Uhura to TOS Spock and how he wouldn't allow himself to pursue a relationship with a very willing Christine Chapel. We'll see where they take this relationship. Will this Spock need to open up to Kirk as much as the other Spock did? Will Uhura jump all over McCoy the next time he makes a smart remark at Spock's expense? Will she dislike McCoy for apparently disliking Spock?

    2. I started an entire thread about the final destruction of Nero, and I won't rehash it here. Suffice it to say the simplest solution to what I believe was wrong with the scene would've been to have Kirk and Spock reverse their lines. The way it was didn't work for me at all. The other way would've been more acceptable and a bit more within each character.
  17. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 8, 2009

    As I digest the film, this is my growing impression. The inclusion of Spock Prime was an unnecessary and futile concession to the notion of continuity.

    Oddly enough, its effect on the plot has a tendency to enrage the very canon-sensitive individuals that the device was designed to placate.

    A better choice would probably have been to simply realize that those people were going to be enraged no matter what, and to just say "to hell with continuity" and reboot.

    The main effect of this would have been to streamline the plot and eliminate Spock Prime. I think it is hard to imagine either of these changes would have had a negative impact on the film's appeal or box office success.
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    I liked Spock Prime. It's a better movie because he's in it. :)
  19. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 7, 2001
    System L-374
    You proceed from a false assumption, DFScott... that the script needs saving.

    QFT. :techman:
  20. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Aug 10, 2001
    Great post, as always, DFScott, and no arguments with any of your points. My own suggestions for what to do with/about the script would be pointless, not because of any issues with the film's 'canonicity' (I don't care, frankly, as long as it's a well-crafted, interesting story that is true to the concept, the characters, and itself), but because I'm of the school that believes if you have to contrive your story through implausibility in order to achieve your desired 'beats,' and the story won't work otherwise, then you should be telling a different story altogether. And it doesn't take a Trekker to tell a good story called "Star Trek" - it only takes a good storyteller, and let a Trekker find the ways to fit it into the Trek universe; this was essentially what the Genes did with the scripts they received for TOS, and overall, they had a pretty good average - a few clunkers, a few plotholes the size of starships, but over 79 hours, they clearly created something strong enough and self-consistent enough that we would still be passionately discussing it 40 years later. I don't honestly see that being the case with the new film.

    From the start, the Red McGuffin was a weak point - even if it could be adequately explained without brain-numbing technobabble, its effects are so radically inconsistent with intuition that every influence it has on the story just creates more problems. Is it so powerful that it can swallow a supernova - not just the star, but its energized mass approaching light speeds and large enough to destroy a planetary system - or is it so specific that it can ingest only a single planet without destroying the entire system? Does it create a black hole based solely on the gravity of its surroundings (an oft-seen excuse on this board) - it's unlikely that the mass of Vulcan had sufficient gravity to implode itself, or it would've done so without the Red McGuffin. Is it a bread spread, a meat, a vegetable, or a furniture cleaner? Or is it all of the above? Is it, in fact, Spacom?

    Did Nero coming back in time somehow affect Spock's parents' choice to have a child much later in life? Or McCoy to join Starfleet much later in life, or perhaps be born much later than before? In that same vein, there are certain things that are understandable about how the timeline might change given the circumstances of Nero's journey into the past, and I can buy that maybe those might include the famous crew coming together at one time, but I just can't buy that characters as chronologically diverse as Kirk and McCoy would be classmates at the academy, and somehow in the classes after those which Chekov and Sulu attended. And all of this feeds into the incredibly unlikely scenario of Kirk leapfrogging each and every experienced officer on board Enterprise to become its captain. I really liked Pike, but that put a real chink in his armor, showing him to be just as irresponsible as Kirk in some ways, despite being portrayed as the wise mentor who could somehow temper Kirk's extremes and forge him into an officer. On the whole, in fact, whether it's a civilian organization or not, Starfleet seems to have almost no discipline, given Kirk's history and Spock's indiscretions, as well as Uhura's flouting of common sense - doesn't she have duties, or is she simply Spock's beard? How does either of them justify the make-out scene on the transporter when the situation seemed to call for everyone to be at their posts and doing their jobs? At the very least, their tearful farewell should've been in their favorite turbolift, even if Kirk were there, too, but not on the pad when time is supposedly of the essence. It made the story even more like 90210 than it already was with the CW-inspired cast.

    Finally, there is Nero's blindness to his newfound capability to save Romulus, to go from lost survivor to the savior of his race. From his unlikely 25-year absence from the universal stage, leading up to his pinpoint-accurate capture of Spock, Nero was in a position to change the universe, and change it he did, but how he did it makes no sense whatsoever. Okay, he witnessed the destruction of his species; okay, he somehow blames Spock for it. The first problem is that in order to get the necessary background to his story, you must read the Countdown comic, although this is something that only Trek fans will likely do or even know about, and Trek fans are the stated non-target audience - what about the millions that Abrams & Crew were tasked to drive to the party? So after their unlikely survival via time travel through a black hole, Nero also somehow has the knowledge that Spock also survived, and where, exactly, he will re-emerge with the Red McGuffin, which, according to the comic, Nero not only knew about but championed in the face of resistance from the Romulan Senate as the means to save their race. Yet knowing he has over a century before the catastrophe, and knowing he has the means to prevent it, he'd rather waste the Red McGuffin on destroying the Federation one planet at a time, increasing the risks to himself and his ship, rather than simply enlisting Spock's aid in preventing the catastrophe with plenty of time for drinks afterward; he could have even done it without Spock's willing assistance. Many fans claim that, well, Nero was mad from grief so he wasn't thinking clearly - and apparently so were all of his crew - and yet they were thinking clearly enough to stay off the radar for a quarter century while they waited for Spock's train to arrive! How many games of Minesweeper did they get to play in that time to get their minds off their supposed grief? Maybe even, in Nero's defense, he intended to save Romulus in the end, after he had gotten the Red McGuffin and destroyed the Empire's 'enemies,' but that was not only not addressed, his entire reason for existence was conveniently papered over as anything other than simply a reason to be pissed at the universe and the Federation. And Spock. And puppies. The puppies, most of all - esp. Archer's beagle, no doubt. Hah! He probably would've chosen to spare Scotty's life just for that had he known. (And while we're at it, if the Red McGuffin results in ships traveling through time to specifically-calculable destinations, is it actually destroying the spatial artifacts, such as supernovae and planets, or are they, too, actually being shifted through time to other locations?)

    Nero's blindness and rage, unfortunately, prevented him from being a real antagonist and made him simply another cardboard villain - evidence even the numerous professional reviewers who cite him as the film's weakest link, a two-dimensional caricature, only one mustachio away from being a mustachio-twirling Snidely Warplash. In a good story, the villain is the thing that makes the hero a hero - if Nero had to be insane, then the sanity of Kirk's response should've been what defined him. Instead, the 'hero of the Federation' that we should all come to know and love was defined, ultimately, as a trickster who only wants to cover his ass as he tries to get some ass; had he seriously intended to offer assistance to Nero, he wouldn't have so easily decided to fire all guns at a foe who was already trapped in a vortex from which he couldn't escape! Kirk literally took to shooting a fish in a barrel - and we're supposed to admire him as a result?

    It's not just the gaping holes in the plot - it's the gaping holes in the souls of the characters. Rather than making them human by contrasting their heroism with their flaws, they were more like their Original Series mirror universe counterparts, who succeeded mostly through opportunism, deceit and not a little luck. J.J. turned Star Trek into a cynical, me-first, winning-is-everything turnabout of the values that made it such an influence on our culture and even our dreams.

    And to top it off, the lens flares were a pain in the ass. And I'm one of the few who thought that Karl Urban's McCoy was almost unwatchable for his slapstick delivery of each and every clich├ęd line; why the hell couldn't they have just cast Gary Sinise?

    (Sorry this, too, is just too long to read, The Wormhole :D)