Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Tom, May 2, 2019.
I have to rewatch Into Darkness at some point.
If it's broke keep doing it as long as it is running, right?
For me it makes Trek more "real" and not just some "Utopian" fantasy. The best stories are when the ideals people are striving for are challenged or even questioned. There are allot of things said that sound good on paper or in a conference but don't work out quite the way as expected in the world.
The S31 show for me is a chance to expand the Trek world beyond the mostly standard ship/crew concept its been mostly. I also would watch a Enterprise/Pike show too.
Yeah, this one or the other thing is rather tiresome. Don't like S31? Well, for starters, go yell at Ira Steven Behr, as well as whomever had Kirk and Spock, and Picard and Worf and Crusher run black ops essentially.
Oh, and feel free to not watch the show. That's OK too
Section 31 is as "real" as a kid in a bedsheet jumping out of the bushes shouting " Boo!"
No. That's what you did for Halloween in fourth grade.
Ah, yes, the show about FTL travel, transporters, humanoid aliens that can interbreed with humans, and omnipotent aliens has finally become unrealistic...
Why does Trek need to be more "real"? Why can't it be a utopian fantasy?
That doesn't appeal to me, and certainly wasn't TOS' appeal to me. That's why TNG never worked for me. It strained believability.
As always, YMMV.
Exactly. I don't get the desire to make Star Trek more "real", which is just used as another term here for making it darker. Seemingly some people think a positive future is less "real" than a bad one. Because seemingly the assumption is that mankind will never learn out of its past mistakes and will always be the same like today. I have no idea what the real future will be like, but I surely hope humans as a whole will improve and stop doing a lot of shit they are doing today.
The clear majority of all TV series play in the "real world". A lot of them are also dramas. So there is really no lack of choice when it comes to watching real humans having real problems facing real challenges. Or how about documentaries and the news? It doesn't get more real than that.
The appeal of science fiction and fantasy series are that they are actually not real. Things are happening in them which will never happen in reality. Hardly any show humankind as a whole in a better light than they are in reality though. So people have a lot of choices when it comes to darker science fiction and fantasy series, too. But there should be a place for lighter science fiction, too. Science fiction which dares to dream and doesn't follow the "dark and depressive" trend. It is rare enough already, so I just find it stupid to root for a darker Star Trek. Star Trek portraying a positive future is close to being a unique selling point. Getting rid of that is nonsense.
This is not my point at all. There is a difference between "utopian" and "optimistic." Having elements that are more realistic is not less optimistic. It means there are still challenges to overcome.
That is not Star Trek's root concept though. The very idea is that it is humanity's future, warts and all. TOS exemplifies this, with treatises about human nature being dark but changeable. Humanity is not perfect and TOS never pretended that it did.
ETA: Let me be clear-I completely believe humans can become better. What bothers me is the idea of a show that just says "Humans got better" and never shows the process of how, or that that process can be challenged by more negative human aspects.
I want to see both sides and how humans can actually grow. Show me, don't just tell me.
Ghost in the machine. People will get "better" but nothing eliminates the beast within.
TOS is my favorite series and they don't have nonsense like Section 31 at the core of the Federation, which totally undermines the message of a positive future. Beckerjr argued that its inclusion makes Star Trek more "real", but I agree with BillJ there. Not everything needs to be dark. And there is no optimism left when the Federation is rotten at its core. When the message is that it can only exist because Section 31 agents secretly go around and murdering everyone who might be a threat. That makes the Federation look worse than a lot of current existing countries.
When it comes to your second paragraph, I was contrasting series playing in the "real world" like NCIS, House, Grey's Anatomy with science fiction and fantasy series. And of course the main appeal of science fiction and fantasy series are everything which makes them not real. The aliens, the spaceships, the dragons, the dwarves, the elves, the magicians, the wizards, the mutants, the superheroes, the robots, the AIs, the parallel worlds, the future setting, the stargates, other planets, vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, time travel and so on and so forth. Take everything which doesn't exist in reality away from Star Trek and there would hardly be anything left of it.
That doesn't mean that science fiction and fantasy series can't have drama. As I wrote before many of them are darker than Star Trek and don't portray humankind as a whole as better than humans are in reality. But Star Trek have done it in the past including TOS and they should continue to do it. I guess you just have a problem with the word "utopian" or just read way more into it than me. I just define it as a positive future people really wish might come true. DIS wasn't portraying such a future for me at all. And a Section 31 series would just pick one of the worst aspect of it and make it into a series.
DIS showed humans who are capable of mistakes and growth. I'll take that. And I prefer the term "optimistic" to "utopian." "Utopian" for me implies perfection. The idea of perfect humanity strains my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.
Agree to disagree. I do not see that as the message at all. I'll agree with Beckerjr.
Realism doesn't automatically mean "dark." And if the optimism of Star Trek cannot endure any sort of darker facet of human nature then I don't find it appealing. YMMV and clearly does.
Star Trek is set in the far away future. "Humans got better" in the time before the series. So I don't have a problem with not showing the process.
I don't mind if characters are put in situations though where not losing their morals are hard. But they should prevail in the end and don't succumb all the time to their darkest instincts. There could also be challenges where both possible choices are bad and there is no good solution. You can have some drama without making your characters grey or outright dark.
The main problem with Section 31 is really for me that there is no "Humans got better" premise at all. What does it say about humans who are fine with a government organization going around murdering people? Playing judge, jury and executioner? And them hiring genocidal Georgiou is not speaking for any kinds of morals, too. In DIS Section 31 is not even a secret anymore.
Again, mileage will vary. I find it highly unbelievable that humans just got better and never have dark impulses again.
I don't agree. I don't think S31 is not the base premise of the Federation or of humanity.
That's about the size of it. It's even laid bare in "The Enemy Within". But that, of course, will be conveniently ignored by people just to keep this arguing going.
Discovery shows that S31 people exists, but so do non-S31 people.
During Trek's long run we've seen the Federation determined to establish a treaty port on a non-Federation planet, heard of the Federation standing to the side as the strong defeated the weak.
Why is S31 considered so outside what came before?
I think it is how organized it is, which somehow indicates that the whole of the Federation is rotten. That's my only guess.
Apparently it is preferred that our heroes engage in the unsavory parts of the Federation, such as spying, invading, destruction of culture and genocide. That's all fine.
1) TOS didn't need Section 31 because its characters were not the Utopian mannequins of the 24th century. Starfleet (via Kirk and Spock) DID run "Black Ops" (see TOS S3 - "The Enterprise Incident"); or made decisions that benefited the Federation at the possible expense of primitive cultures identity and beliefs (see TOS S2 - "Friday's Child".)
2) The Utopians of TNG were often hypocrites; and while they CLAIMED to be tolerant of differing beliefs and societies; if a society didn't meet Federation standards it was either denied membership; or 'guided' (read: Made to accent the norms of 24th century Human society and culture) to the 'proper' way before being allowed to join
(Picard often being the worst offender wrt the above -- Just see how well he respected centuries of Klingon tradition and culture every time he dressed Worf down because Worf FOLLOWED said traditions - and the Klingons were fine with it; while Picard stood there in shocked disbelief at what Worf did, and further believed, and made it clear that Worf the Klingon should only follow what Humans of the Federation think is 'right'.)
This was never the case in TOS as it had member planets that still practiced slavery, executions, torture, etc. The 23rd Century Federation DIDN'T make societal judgments regarding member worlds; all it required was that if the Federation Council asked a world for something it had that would assist another member world in a time of crisis, said world would provide it (See TOS S3 - "The Cloud Minders").
Now, were there times Kirk and Co. made a judgement of a world society and decided to affect change? Yes. But usually that only happened when said society was demanding the death/imprisonment of a main character without just cause; or said society was threatening Kirk's entire Ship/crew and they wouldn't just let Kirk and Co. leave.
But in the end, no, I don't think the existence of Section 31 in Star Trek destroys GR's vision of a positive/better/optimistic future. It just shows that in a dangerous Galaxy, not everything is just a simple question of Black/White or Right/Wrong. There is still that shade of grey.
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