J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Problems

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Khan 2.0, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I do think there is a fundamental divide, usually not acknowledged, between TOS and TNG fans. Actually, I would say the divide is between the TNG hardcore and everyone else, as the later Berman series in various ways turned their backs on the utopian "evolved sensibility" of TNG.

    TOS was not afraid to use action to spice up the story, DS9 famously embraced moral ambiguity, and ENT tried to combine the two (I haven't seen enough of VOY to make a judgement). Fans of these are more likely to enjoy the Nu movies than are fans to whom Trek represents righteous pacifism and legalistic ethics debates.

    (Sorry, I may have been carried away by the lure of fancy words there.)
     
  2. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    It wasn't what Kirk did on Nibiru, it's how he did it. No Kirk we know would've let those people die. However, Kirk's plan in STID was reckless and foolhardy, disguised by bravery and hubris. He bragged to Pike about having never lost a crewman, not knowing that was almost certainly due to luck and not his skill as a commander or leader. His ego was leading him to disaster, a disaster that almost happened when he ran into Marcus and Khan.

    Further, I'm not sure of a specific example of TOS Kirk "fudging" a captain's log, at least not so blatantly and flippantly. I think Kirk Prime would've saved the people without them knowing it, and in the logic of the TOS prime directive. After all, the only time the PD is quoted (that I remember) in TOS is in "Bread and Circuses" where Spock says, "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet." Plus, no references to space or more advanced civilizations. The key there is no interference in the social development of the people. It says nothing about having to stand around and watch them die if you can save them within the parameters of the directive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  3. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Maybe I'll have to watch the movie again, as my memory of Spock's arc (such as it was) is fuzzy. I don't think his arc was about loyalty*, it was about learning to accept his feelings. He is "blocked" due to the trauma of losing Vulcan, and somehow the loss of Kirk un-blocks him.


    * I think Spock's tattling on Kirk was light comedy, in terms of Spock's POV. Like Data (another Pinnochio character), he is humorously naive and has to learn things humans take for granted. So he has learned that he is expected to lie for his friend, but it's not a key emotional moment for him, and his basic loyalty is never in question.
     
  4. Paradise City

    Paradise City Commodore Commodore

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Pine is a very convincing Kirk. Urban is adequate. Quinto is excellent. What wound me up the most is the cadet to Captain in a couple days in that first film. That's an unnecessary whopper and that kind of sloppy writing antics resolving such key character would've annoyed me watching any other movie in any other genre unless it was comedy. The dislike of it wasn't really rooted in Trek precedent -- except for the portrayal of Scott who reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo. And unlike Doohan, Pegg's Scottish accent seemed like a sketch in a satirical show, Pegg previously being familiar to me as a TV comedy actor. Scott being pulled around in a tube and having a 'sidekick' and all that malarky....yuk.

    The second film, I just didn't like BC's Khan compared to Montalban. I thought the writing shoved an English Khan in there and just didn't smooth that character out.

    I wouldn't have liked Scott in the JJ film if I was first introduced to that character. So my dislike of the first JJ film isn't dependent on Trek precedence. My dislike of the 2nd film was amplified by my very, very fond memory of Montabaln's Khan but I didn't just like how the writers used BC's Khan even if they used a different name and otherwise kept how the character was portrayed.

    My dislike of JJ's films wasn't dependent on Trek precedence. It certainly influenced my dislike, yes, but wasn't dependent on it. And I'm someone who was introduced to Trek via TNG and the TOS films.
     
  5. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I think Spock was experiencing survivor's guilt at the beginning of the movie. I remember one reviewer writing that Spock saying he chose to deal with loss by not feeling was a way many Jews said they dealt with the horrors of the Holocaust. Part of his story arc was rediscovering the value of his own life and that he could not hide or repress his feelings for the people around him. At least that's how I saw it.

    Spock was always loyal.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I think Spock knocking the shit out of Khan does tie into his arc about his place in the universe. Khan's whole "you can't break a rule much less break bone" was a direct slam of Vulcan's pacifist ways.
     
  7. Hela

    Hela Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    In the opening, I always thought Pike came across as pissed that Krik didn't take responsibility for his actions, as opposed to just being annoyed about the rule-breaking call. Even when Pike tells him his specific actions (not the general decision to save the Nuburians) were what was particularly stupid and reckless, Kirk tries to duck out of agreeing by just saying it's always worked out for him.

    That's why it's kind of a big deal later when (a) he tells Marcus that he should be punished for not killing Khan, (b) when he apologises to the crew for getting them all killed, and (c) when he walks headlong into certain death to try and fix the consequences of his mistakes.
     
  8. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Ok, that can be the arc then, but it doesn't really work for me. He just snaps & tries to punch Khan a lot. How uplifting.
     
  9. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Which is ironic, given Doohan's accent was basically made up.
    Pegg's wife is Scottish, and I vaguely recall his father-in-law also helped him with the accent. There is actually a huge variety of regional accents in Britain, most of which would sound very strange to someone used to the relative homogeneity of speech in Hollywood movies.
     
  10. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Spock going to town on Khan was not completely out of character for the situation, either. He blew up in a blind rage on the school boy and Kirk in ST09. Sulu isn't the only one McCoy doesn't want to ever piss off.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Is he suppose to talk to Khan?
     
  12. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    When Uhura is the one who resolves the situation after Spock throws a hissy fit & basically fails to do anything effective, I wouldn't call that a grand bit of character development.

    Frankly, I don't really care for this Spock and his crazy rage problems. And his arc here basically ends with him flying into yet another crazy rage.
     
  13. ancient

    ancient Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Sorry, maybe I wasn't really clear there. I saw Spock & Kirk as basically mirroring each other - so Spock would learn about doing things more like Kirk - bending the rules for the sake of loyalty. Which he doesn't. I don't think Spock learned anything in this movie, except maybe giving in to hate and punching a guy a lot will make you feel real good.
     
  14. Hela

    Hela Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I think we're ultimately meant to see Spock's reaction as a bad thing- it's why he had to be stopped, remember? The only reason he reacted like he did was because he'd been repressing everything until it damn-near literally exploded out of him, and that reaction nearly resulted in him permanently killing Kirk.

    The 'moral' to the story was about '...the darkness looking back at you' after all. In TWOK, Khan killed all his friends on his little quest (and was willing to endanger them in Space Seed). In STID, Kirk and Spock nearly did the same. It's just unlike Joachim, Spock was willing to listen to Uhura.
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Precisely so. The idea that Spock's arc ended with punching Khan is narratively false. Spock's arc is about balancing his emotions. He is afraid to embrace them after the loss of Vulcan, knowing that it is a pain he cannot deal with. Then, that pain is shoved violently back in to his face by the loss of Kirk, a friend he just realized was his friend (never know what you have until its gone).

    With Spock, it's about healthy expression, and not allowing the darkness to consume you. The same with Kirk not following orders and killing Khan and violating the law.

    Might not be the best resolution, but it presented a side of Spock that is rarely explored, so again, interesting to me.

    As for Kirk's decision on Nibiru, I read it, as others have stated, that he is cocky and willing to break the rules because he sees fit to do so. There is no acceptance of responsibility or the possibility that someone might have to die. Kirk's sacrifice is him learning that reality.
     
  16. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    Certainly doesn't apply to me, at least. I grew up with 90s Trek. I watched the TOS films over and over as a kid, but didn't get into TOS itself until a few years ago. Love the nuTOS movies, heh.

    But yeah, maybe there's some truth to that overall.
     
  17. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    So he was "compromised" - again. :)
    I hope that in Beyond we discover that he is practicing meditation, in order to live with his volatile emotions.
     
  18. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I'm reminded of what Spock Prime said to McCoy in TWOK when the doctor went on a rant about Genesis: You must learn to govern your passions. They will be your undoing.

    Then again: THE WOMEN!
     
  19. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    That's the problem... "Kirk's story arc" shouldn't have included doing exactly what Spock did in TWoK. What they could have done to give a nod to that iconic scene, was something like have Spock do everything he did, but Kirk used anti-radiation meds and wore a suit and was OK. Then Spock can stay in character instead of loosing control and blaming Khan for everything.

    Got the point across... it wasn't meant to be a critique of ST09, just making a point about the "story".

    Obviously many where. Your comment is nothing more than argumentative.

    I agree. I actually accepted Cumby's Khan, probably because I didn't have a choice, but if you look at most of the story problems in STID, they all are there as a result of Khan being in the movie and the writer infatuation with TWoK.

    You aren't comparing Spock's linking with pure logic coupled with his recent quest to achieve Kolinar in TMP with loosing emotional control, throwing tantrums, running down and beating Khan to an inch of his death in ID are you?

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. Personally I shut down when I watched the reversal in the theater. I would argue that that "arc" is WAY to quick in the new timeline. Spocks yelling of Khan was more comical to me that moving.

    It makes sense. They could have brought Cold Station 12 into the story etc...

    I didn't mean is as a hit on the new team, my cut is that JJ bring lots of energy and ability to the directed/producing part of the pie. I hope we don't see a huge drop off in that department when we watch 'Beyond'.

    Again, I don't begrudge anyone for their opinion. Like I said, I was really enjoying the ride until the writers forgot who Spock is. But that's just me.

    I too wish Pike was still alive.

    It really stood out to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  20. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    Re: J.J. Abrams: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Had 'Fundamental Story Prob

    I thought he had to be stopped because they needed Khan's blood. Not sure if Uhura would've stopped him otherwise.