How is/isn't Discovery Star Trek?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by seigezunt, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Simple. How humanity responds under stress and how quick they are to return to barbaric ways.

    Now, I know there will be contention that Star Trek is about optimism and about humanity becoming better and I'm all for that. So, perhaps DSC would have been better served to demonstrate that optimism and then challenge it in another season. But, that's not what we got so I work with what's there.

    For me, it is the idea that the fear drives humans and others to do irrational things. It makes us consider options that we might otherwise not engage, to behave irrationally even if we don't know why.

    As much as I know people want Star Trek to be optimistic about humanity, and perhaps see a more evolved sentiment, this is an era in which bigotry still exists, where humanity is still facing down the challenges of hostile powers. I hardly expect perfection.

    It also reminds me of this quote from "Red vs. Blue" (A Halo machinima):
     
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  2. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. I'm not willing to say that DIS isn't Trek, but it does seem like either the showrunners or a large portion of the writer's room just don't understand Trek.

    It's funny, because DIS was billed as a character-focused series, and in some ways I consider it the most plot-focused Trek to date. The entire structure of the serial arc was built up on nothing other than "How will our heroes get out of this mess? Tune in...er, come back to...CBS All Access next week to find out!" Which is something you could have gotten out of a radio serial in the early 20th century, not Peak TV, which tends to focus on detailed characterization.
     
  3. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    It is Star Trek because it has "Star Trek" in the title, it's just not Star Trek that I enjoy watching.
     
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  4. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    They put Burnham through the emotional wringer but didn't manage to wring out any actual emotions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  5. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    I've been thinking about why the silly science of Discovery bothers me so much when I'm willing to give, say, Star Trek III a pass. I concluded that Star Trek III is really about friendship and the incredible sacrifices people will make for those they love. Discovery, on the other hand, is all about plot, and it's not a very good plot.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

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    It doesn't bother me. Though I did expect them to get more right, now that we know more about the universe.
     
  7. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the central flaws of Season 1 was they got the structure backwards. The spore drive should have been the MacGuffin, with Burnham's "mutiny" the plot arc. Instead the spore drive was the plot arc, and her "mutiny" was the MacGuffin.
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's funny because I don't expect them to get any of the science right. :shrug:
     
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  9. Groppler Zorn

    Groppler Zorn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed - or at least spend longer than the first 10 minutes setting up the optimism scenario. Maybe the first half of the season could have been “traditional Star Trek” then the second half been the bloody war with the Klingons. They could have saved the side quest into the MU for season 2 - or never.

    That wasn’t demonstrated that well in s1 I don’t think - not when we compare it to “seige of ar558” and “that one with jake and Bashir on he planet with the Klingons”. It just felt sorta rushed at the end with the genocide plan and the terror hostage resolution. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they do more development of the characters in s2.

    Totally agree with this. It almost felt like s1 of TNG with how plot driven it was. But I’m also not willing to say “it’s not Trek” - because it’s trying *so hard* - so I’m willing to give it a pass and see how s2 turns out.

    Ha! Yeah that’s true. Except when she admits to Tilly that she gave her bad advice (there seemed to be genuine regret there). And when she realised the Klingons were people not monsters thanks to AshVoq. Those two moments showed some emotional growth. Whether or not she’ll retain it remains to be seen - it might be like the old Voyager reset button where any character development seemed to be irrelevant week to week.

    Star Trek III is a great character story. In many ways it’s better than the previous one. There. I said it. Don’t hate me.
     
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  10. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only, as I said, her character arc - which should have been the central element of the show, was the MacGuffin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffinhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin

    Burnham's personal arc more or less fits this thematically. A lot of table-setting takes place in the first two episodes. Thereafter, not much about her "mutiny" is really discussed. She feels remorse, believes she should be imprisoned, and people dislike her initially, but that's the "why" of it is taken for granted, until the last half of the final episode, where motivations are sort of brought up once again. Burnham's character conflicts - her cool demeanor due to her Vulcan upbringing clashing with her childhood trauma - are largely ignored, and only touched on implicitly. I can only presume this is because only Fuller really grokked what he wanted to do with the character, and everyone who came on after him was just at a loss.

    In contrast, the Spore Drive should be a MacGuffin. It's a mere plot device that allows Discovery to be a "god mode" ship - traveling through space and time and into alternate dimensions. But the show just can't give up on explicitly working the friggin spores into nearly every single fracking episode.
     
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  11. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    It's kinda funny that they made that such a major plot point when the writing treats the Klingons as one-dimensional monsters. Another case of Discovery telling rather than showing.

    It's certainly a magnificent companion piece. It works way, way better than it has any right to, considering it exists to undo the ending of II. The older I've gotten, the more I'm moved by how Kirk and co. choose to give up their careers, their ship, their entire lives on a crazy mission to save their friend. There may be no better testament to friendship put to film than Trek II and III together.
     
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  12. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    No. It portrayed them as marauders. Klingons have always been marauders.

    It did, however, show L'Rell was conflicted between love and her duty and not knowing what to do with Cornwell. And she was clearly afraid of Kol.

    Hardly the actions of a "monster."
     
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  13. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    They're as one-dimensional as the Klingons have ever been, and, remarkably, more bloodthirsty, with no real reason. They even eat humans now. Short of having them lurk under beds, I'm not sure how they could better qualify as monsters.
     
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  14. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    if you were on board a paddlewheel steamboat in the midst of an iron-age battle of triremes, it might tend to dominate the storytelling.
     
  15. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely one-dimensional. Thugs.
     
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  16. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Because they were starving. It was a last resort.
    Why does no one get that?

    It's not like it was their first choice.
     
  17. pst

    pst Commodore Commodore

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    are you sure it's that and not "cannibalism = scary/edgy" in the minds of the producers? because georgiou ate saru in the mirror universe and that was just as cheap a shock as the klingons eating georgiou in that earlier episode.
     
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  18. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm talking in-universe reasons, not production reasons.
    And I'm pretty sure in that scene they say they've run out of food or something similar.
     
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  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I don't compare it to other shows, especially not a first season compared season 5. Both unreasonable and unrealistic
    Humans have eaten humans as well, and technically aliens could regard us as nothing more than other animals. There is plenty of cultural indications of ritual cannibalism among Klingons, so not sure why eating humans is supposed to be so off putting in this context.

    And blood thirsty? Because they want to fight? Isn't that like Klingon 101?
    .
     
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  20. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I'm talking about how the showrunners chose to portray the Klingons. The ones in Discovery are closer to stereotypical sci-if B-movie monsters than ever before, even after the showrunners promised us a more nuanced take on them. The Discovery Klingons aren't much more complex than the giant ants in Them! Both are ostensibly defending their territory, and both can only be dealt with by brute force.

    Then there's L'Rell's creation of Frankenstein's monster, and the odd decision to redesign the Klingons to recall Ridley Scott's Alien, a creature defined by the fact that it won't yield to reason. That all sounds pretty monstrous to me.
     
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