Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by los2188, Feb 24, 2013.
Yes. Star Trek's biggest mistake in the last 30 years was not using the Dominion in ST movies. It would have kept the STNG movies going for at least one more film and all would have made profit.
What is more valuable to the Federation: Ketracel White production or Metaphasic radiation?
By the former, I mean not actually using it (because the UFP wouldn't actually have need to use it) but they would want to control it
The general public didn't need to know exactly what the Dominion was on TV, only that the condition of war existed already, and the story would have been self-contained but on a larger canvas. I feel the interest of the three-tiered enemy, it's ships and tech and greater inherent gravity in-universe would be apparent.
I'm far from convinced that this could work. The Stargate made-for-TV features are just as bad as the Babylon 5 ones, despite having a well-conceived mythos full of powerful characters and concepts. Just adding a feature budget for better sets and effects did nothing for them - because the hook in all this "mythos" business was that it was built piece by piece, episode by episode, in a great arc that obviously was not preplanned or even particularly well thought out, but was all the more consistent and innovative for it. Every revelation in a new episode was calculated to outdo the previous one, to throw a curveball, or to tingle a nerve tuned to an already familiar character or concept not seen for a long time.
None of this would be possible in a feature film, which has to offer it all in a nice package. There's nothing epic about such packages; epics call for worlds that the audience sees for the very first time in the feature at hand (regardless of whether these are all-new fiction or an interpretation of historical fact or preexisting mythology).
If Trek needed a war movie, the war should have been introduced in the movie. With a long and epic backstory, of course - but one never actually offered to the audience before this.
I mean, has a "conclusion" movie worked, like, ever?
Look at notable war movies and tv series' of our era. Here is a sample; War Horse, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, The Longest Day, Band of Brothers and the Pacific. How many of them go in to specific detail about why each conflict was started and how many of them show a resolution to the overall war between nations in their depictions? Not many and yet the audiences are never lost and each movie reaches financial and critical acclaim.
For something like Star Trek a padded, hand holding opening like what LOTR Fellowship of the Ring did. Spending the first 10 minutes laying down the foundation of what the conflict was about with narration and depiction could've worked. When the bulk of your target audience (general not the fans) isn't familiar with the material (i.e haven't read the LOTR books, or watch DS9). An opening showing the audience what is going on between the Fed and the Dom could've worked. You really only need to paint a picture of the Dom as the antagonist since the Fed and Ent-E crew is already known as the protagonists. Similar to other war films, TNG vs Dominion film doesnt have to end with the resolution of the entire war. It can just be an adventure drama that climaxes with a grand battle like most war films.
Don't think I've seen anyone claim that it's just about stakes. They were both crappy movies, they were just crappy in different ways.
You have to admit though. A lot of the scenes with the ENT crew defending the Ba'ku do look pathetic and unworthy of film. Worf's purple laser bazooka, the jumping stuntmen, Data jumping and rolling action movie style to shoot at a tag drone, Doctor Crusher using a phaser rifle, Ba'ku being all hippy white people and falling over and such while they run. Especially the little kids. GAh there is more but gah that movie kills me with these scenes. NEM's take no prisoners action was much better suited for a film with stakes, NEM just doesn't feel as big as it could've been.
I think the difference between NEM and INS was that NEM at least had the right ingredients. It failed in the execution of the story in a lot of ways, but even on its budget, it feels big and cinematic, worthy of a movie.
INS didn't even have the right ingredients for success. It was too obviously made to be a contrast to FC-light, fluffy, and insubstantial where FC was dark and ambitious, and INS also had a poorly thought out premise that just couldn't have been made to work.
Hmm. For me, INS has generally been one of the better thought out plots in Star Trek. It confuses a lot of people because nothing is what it seems at first.
First, there are disguises and camouflages - invisible invaders walking among the unsuspecting. Then, there are hidden truths about the nature and identity of the victims, some revealed at this stage, some not. Then, further disguises and camouflages - invisible ships under water. Then, major revelations about the nature and identity of the villains. The proper response of a hero to the events depends on what he knows; what's proper in Act 1 turns out to have been dead wrong in Act 3 and so forth. Everybody is being played for sucker right down to the second-to-last act where the villains finally get a taste of their own medicine.
"Layers" is different from "depth", but it tends to be more interesting, and perhaps more lasting.
Not to say that a TNG movie couldn't have done a "layered" plot on the Dominion War, of course. But no good war movie ever featured a clever plot that dictates the outcome of the war - that's downright cartoony. Good war movies may instead use wars as backdrops for clever plots that dictate major turns in the lives of the interesting characters, after which the war either goes on or ends all on its own.
There is that guy on youtube who speaks like Garfield that tears First Contact to shreds because Picard seems to go Rambo against the Borg whereas he was cool-headed and measured in dealing with them on TNG. And FC is the best regarded TNG movie.
My point is that TNG was meant to strike a different tone vs. DS9. TNG was the last Trek that was meant to embody Gene's pacifist vision, and it was allowed to be kind of protected and set aside from the darker, more cynical tone of DS9.
It doesn't mean Picard shouldn't have been allowed to fight, but Picard embodied a symbol of restraint and negotiation. He should not have been seen leading war strategy ala Patton or MacArthur. Leave that to the admiralty.
I wish that INS had been a Dominion War movie. As others have pointed out, doing something like the Battle of Betazed could've been a side story that had personal consequences for the TNG cast, in addition to perhaps bringing back Majel Barrett. As for the casual fans not knowing what the Dominion War is, that could've been done with a quick overview at the beginning of the film, or an action sequence or some dialogue. I mean, the Clone Wars cartoon does it every week in about a minute or so. Further, I was just checking out the opening of the DS9 pilot and it had some text at the beginning. This could've been done for a Dominion War film.
I thought the Son'a weren't bad villains at all, with cool ships, and a nice super weapon, but it would've been great to see the Jem'Hadar up on the big screen. F. Murray Abraham's character could've worked just as easily as a Vorta or Cardassian. Heck they might have even had a reason to bring back Madred to also make it personal again for Picard. Also some big battles with Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Starfleet, and Dominion ships. I thought it was a missed opportunity.
Further, if that INS had been a hit it might have funneled new fans into watching the rest of the story on DS9, upping their ratings.
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