Is it just me, or is Star Trek going the wrong way?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by LunaticBurnout, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's my think-show me humanity becoming better. That is where TNG lost me completely. They already assumed they were better and could look down on past humanity with no measure of compassion or awareness of what may have possibly driven their ancestors. It was pure contempt.

    I have a firm belief that humanity can grown, can change and can become better. I believe that more with all of the work I do, and not because of a show tells me so. I'm not cynical about humanity. What I am is not willing to simply buy in to utopian stories without the how. Show me how, show me what humanity does to become better rather than assume it will all happen. Show me the struggles, show me the values, show me what makes it worth. Show me it can be challenged and endure.
     
  2. Focus Abbey

    Focus Abbey Commander Red Shirt

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    Doesn't that sound familiar? If we're trying to think of actual issues at the edge of society and ethics that Star Trek could take a risk by exploring now, this hits the nail on the head.
     
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  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's a bit insulting, to be honest.

    "Cynicism" is not at all the issue or driver here. Every good inspirational story in the history of storytelling is about a protagonist or a group or characters overcoming adversity to achieve a greater goal.

    I fully believe that humanity can get better, and unlike many, I fully believe we have made amazing strides in our history already that prove that we have this capability. But those strides are drenched in the blood, sweat and tears of sacrifice, colossal change, cultural and societal uphevals, etc. We don't get better because it's the right thing to do. That would be wonderful....but people and societies don't work that way.

    On both the personal level and the broad society level, change happens due to challenge and struggle.

    As a viewer, I don't care at all to have a wonderful, perfect, harmonious future handed to me on a silver platter. I'm more interested in the struggles that humanity had to (and has to- present tense) go through to achieve those things...and to maintain those things. I'm more interested in real human beings who still have all the same inherent weaknesses and failings that are hard-wired into us and watching them achieve / overcome IN SPITE of those shortcomings. I have no interest in seeing the shortcomings eliminated via humanity's "evolved sensibilites" that happened somewhere off camera. "Yay, look at everything we can become" is about where it ends if we want storytelling in that mode. Sorry, not my jam.

    To me, having the virtuous and noble people living in the perfectly utopian society is not inspirational at all. It's dull, unrealistic, unimaginative, and yes.....child-like in its simplicity. It's one of the reasons TOS, DS9 and DSC appeal to me far more than TNG and VOY. The magic and the inspirational value exists in watching real, relatable people and societies battle to better themselves. Sometimes even failing (oh the horror...I know....but it happens from time to time). But ultimately picking themselves back up and doing the right thing even in the face of all those challenges and barriers.

    And, frankly, that's the "positive future" I've always appreciated in the versions of Trek that resonate strongly with me. Kirk's "We're not going to kill....today" is, for me, far more important, realistic and impactful than Picard droning on about how money and hunger and prejudice don't exist any longer because we have some replicators, an FTL drive and an "evolved sensibility." It's shallow and unimpactful.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  4. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There is so much here that I agree with here but Kirk's line is always my go to. It isn't a matter of humanity just deciding to be better-that would be awesome if so. It's the freedom to make a choice to become better but also the opportunity to fail. And maybe that is too realistic for some but that's my understanding of humanity.

    It would be nice and lovely to play in a world of pure imagination and evolved sensibility. But it doesn't inspire me.

    Mileage will vary.
     
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  5. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I agree the times they look down on past humans (I'm thinking mostly of The Neutral Zone) was horrible writing, indicative of anything but a "better humanity", and so very contrary to what we learn of Picards love of history, including ancient literature and philosophy, and some archeology. For the "show me them getting better": we have some of that in Enterprise (though often not well handled) and even a little in TOS, but to really get into it you'd need a show set shortly after WWIII/First Contact. For me, I have no problem with the idea that this is set 300 years after that and a better life is our starting point.

    That is one of my favourite Kirk moments, but I like Picards description of the future (which I agree can get droning but I've never found remotely shallow) as well. It's just the future in which I'd like to live.
     
  6. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there is no place current humans when they look down on them. That's better with no indication that its possible.
     
  7. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sorry, maybe I'm being obtuse, but I'm not sure what you're saying here. "there is no place current humans when they look down on them"?
     
  8. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Let me take a step back. When people use Star Trek as a vision of humanity's future and then the humans in that future look down on past humanity it basically says "You're not welcome. You cannot achieve what we have achieved." It's like the Operative in the film "Serenity." He's out there making a better world for the Alliance but he himself is not welcome there. So, current humanity is to obtain to "utopia" of Star Trek but we're too savage to get there.
     
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  9. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Like 1987, for example. Younger fans who started with TNG don't remember that some fans of the original series were really not happy with TNG. It was literally called The Next Generation, and some old fans felt left behind. The new shows are The Next Next Generation. This has all happened before and it will all happen again.

    For me, The Mandalorian is the epitome of there's no there there. There are stories where nothing happens, stories where the previous week's story is recycled, and stories where we're supposed to be excited about characters from some cartoon I've never seen. I'm a casual fan at best. So The Mandalorian doesn't grab me the way it grabs friends of mine who are as into Star Wars as I am into Star Trek or Doctor Who. As far as I'm concerned, the whole series so far could be boiled down to one or two movies without losing anything important. Obviously, others differ.
     
  10. Izzy Moonbow

    Izzy Moonbow Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. I was 4 when my mom introduced me to Star Trek. I was 7 when TNG premiered, and I was excited. It was this whole new adventure, and I couldn't wait. I still have fond memories when, years later, I'd sneak into the kitchen way past my bedtime, drag out the portable black and white TV, and watch TNG with my ear next to the speaker because you couldn't turn it up lest you alert mom and dad you weren't sleeping.

    I still have a very warm place in my heart for TNG, even as a staunch Niner, and I will always love TOS for being the one that ignited my love of Star Trek. I sincerely hope there are kids who get up at night and sneak away where they can watch Star Trek: Discovery, or Picard, or Lower Decks, and get that same adventure feel all over again.
     
  11. Danja

    Danja Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is one reason I like Picard -- almost everyone on the show is flawed (Seven has her issues, Raffi is a drug addict, Rios has PTSD, etc.).

    It's not TNG. It's not just a bunch of holier-than-Thou good people running around doing good things.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  12. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, but they are still good people at heart, and despite their flaws, they still manage to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and act in the interest of the greater good.

    PIC is all about broken people healing and learning to work together and pull themselves back together. I think that's a nice contrast to what TNG was.
     
  13. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I don't think I would have valued Picard less if I had a better sense of the TNG characters as being able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. There were times it got close but that was after the characters felt already perfect and capable
     
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  14. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or out and out horror? Space should on occasion be incomprehensible and scary.
    How about MORE optimistic that we've ever seen be for?
     
  15. Danja

    Danja Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Any Chakotay fans out there? Any one who thinks he merits a statue?



    *** cue crickets chirping ***
     
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  16. Groot

    Groot Boomer American Premium Member

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    I remember the premiere of TOS when I was in middle school very well, and the growth of fandom throughout the 1970s, which is why I always find pronouncements about the similarity of now and earlier eras a bit of a giggle.
     
  17. Bornin1980something

    Bornin1980something Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Why? Do you find then and now more similar, or more different?
     
  18. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Making a statue of Chakotay would be kind of redundant, wouldn't it?
     
  19. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    Hard about. One hundred eighty degrees. Engage.

    [​IMG]

    There, that should put Star Trek back on the right course. ;)
     
  20. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a roundabout way of doing it.
     
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