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Author Topic: Star Trek (spoilers)
romanylass
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They apply, or don't apply, the PD when the plot makes it convenient to make that choice.
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IanO
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I really enjoyed it. I was really amazed at Chris Pine's Kirk. I know he purposely avoided emulating Kirk. But I had been on a TOS-watching marathon a month ago, getting know the originals all over again. And it struck me how every once in a while, Pine-as-Kirk would smirk, turn, smile or just capture the essense of vintage Kirk.

I think having seen William Shatner age, chew up the scenery, become and unintentional parody of himself (and then an intentional one), I had lost sight of/not realized how very charismatic and charming he was as TOS Kirk. Very (American)James Bond/Horatio Hornblower/Cowboy. He had this internal/external dichotomy that played very well against even incredibly thin stories (and manifested these inner struggles in conversations with his other halves: Spock and McCoy). Iconic is the word I am looking for.

And Chris Pine captured that, albeit in youth with a lifetime ahead of him and without the wieght responsibility that he would shoulder. In fact, I saw him shoulder it and realized that this was the youth that would become Shatner's Kirk. I was just impressed.

Spock's first make-out with Uhura was natural, I thought. She was trying to comfort him any way she could and he was emotionally compromised enough to respond. Perhaps this Spock is more accepting of his human half than TOS Spock. He certainly told the Vulcan High Counsel where they could go. Either way, I await more characterization to see where this goes.

Two negatives:

1) how does a supernova destory a galaxy exactly? I don't think that's possible. Maybe renders nearby star systems uninhabitable. But that's not destroying an entire galaxy, which sees novas and supernovas not infrequently.

2) The alternate timeline: does this erase the TOS and TNG, etc universe? I hope not. That part truly made me a bit sad, I think. But on the plus side, I wonder if Spock-prime really WILL warn them of incoming problems: like the Borg, or the Probe, etc. Might as well. Temporal prime directive has been broken. Unless those Temporal Cops from the 29th Century show up and fix everything like they did in DS9 an VOY. [Wink]

All in all, a great film. Look forward to more.

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Belle
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Saw it last night. Loved it. Urban's McCoy was my favorite surprise but we needed more Scotty!

I liked Kirk. Remember this is a different Kirk, a totally different man. This man never knew his father, and though many things will be the same, he had a totally different childhood. Obviously somethings don't change - the Kobayashi Maru (sp?) and the head turning every time a beautiful woman walks by. [Wink]

My biggest complaint is the opening scenes, with Kirk's father. It felt really cliche ("It's the only way I can keep you safe!"). I had the feeling I had seen that many times before. The only sweet thing was the look on his father's face when he heard the baby's cry. The rest of it didn't really touch me emotionally at all.

In contrast, what did get me and the only time in the movie where I felt emotional was Spock Prime's response to Kirk's query "Who are you?"

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend." [Cry]

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Chris Bridges
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There was a 4-issue Star Trek comic called "Countdown," from IDW comics, that tells the story of Nero, Spock, and the destruction of Romulus that answers a lot of the apparent plot deficiencies.

- Exactly how a supernova could threaten anything beyond its immediate scope
- Where the red stuff came from
- Why Nero is so peeved at Spock personally and the entire Vulcan race in particular (he's got reason)
- Why the Romulans look so different from other ones we've seen, bald and tattooed
- When this happens in Star Trek chronology (8 years after Star Trek: Nemesis)
- Where Spock's ship (the "Jellyfish") came from
- Where and how Nero got such a powerful ship (his own mining ship, outfitted with Borg technology)

Some of this really should have been in the movie. We needed more on Nero, exactly why he felt so betrayed and why the destruction of an entire race makes perfect sense to him.

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Raymond Arnold
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I was willing to chalk Nero's reasons up to "he's a crazy megalomaniac." I didn't really need a better reason. The only REAL problem I had with the movie was Kirk landing on the planet within a few miles of Spock and Scotty.
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Chris Bridges
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Quick Countdown recap (spoilers for the comic):

Spock is now a nationalized Romulan, still working for unification. Now publicly on Romulus, but still distrusted by the ruling class. He discovers the impending supernova and warns them, only to be ignored as a Vulcan schemer. Nero speaks up for him, and leaves his pregnant wife to go with Spock to Vulcan to enlist their aid. Vulcan also now distrusts Spock and they stall, but some Starfleet friends from TNG help out. Spock is outfitted with a ship and the red stuff (created from the stuff that Nero was mining for) and takes off, but he's too late. Nero watches Romulus blow up. He starts lashing out at Federation rescue ships, shaves his head and tattoes himself in mourning for his people, gets contacted by some Romulans with access to Borg tech, and his new badass ship goes after Spock, with the results you see.

The fact that Nero supported Spock and now feels betrayed by just about everybody adds a large amount of emotion to his character, I think. He's crazy, but you can easily see how he got there.

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Jeorge
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my biggest complaint about the movie was the constant lens flare. That really irritated me.

My second biggest complaint I can now put into words: all that stuff in Countdown should have been in the movie. Red Matter, Nero's history, Spock's role in all of this was badly explained. I really hate it when movies/tv shows put important information in other media.

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Stephan
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I don't think it was all that important to the average movie goer. The trek fans can just pick up the comics.
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Jeorge
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If it makes me feel as though things haven't been sufficiently explained, it's definitely important to me - but I may not be an average movie goer.
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Ron Lambert
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Does anyone know if there is a novelization based on the movie script? It might explain things better, bring in some info from the comics, etc.
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Javert
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I loved the nod to "Enterprise":

Scotty got sent to that outpost for losing Admiral Archer's prized beagle.

Poor Porthos. [Wink]

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katharina
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I think it's great it wasn't in the movie - it would have weighed it down.

Instead, bad guy whose wife died blames and has a grudge against Spock, Vulcan, and the Federation, in that order, uses phlobotinum to try and destroy the world.

That was all that was necessary. Leaving out the backstory is part of what made it great. This is the best-paced Star Trek movie ever made.

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Chris Bridges
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There's a novelization coming out next Tuesday, by Alan Dean Foster.

Which is interesting... didn't he ghost the first Star Trek movie novelization?

Edited to add: Nope, just checked Wikipedia. He did co-write the Star Wars novelization, though.

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Nighthawk
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quote:
I loved the nod to "Enterprise":

Scotty got sent to that outpost for losing Admiral Archer's prized beagle.

Poor Porthos.

I missed the Admiral's name and that reference... I loved that dog!!! [Frown]
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katharina
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In case it wasn't clear: I loved it. That was a ripping good movie, and I hope they make sequels in this alternative universe. I'm fine with that - it's time for a reboot, and this is perfect.

I loved TNG and read a few TOS novels, but the only bit of the orginal cast I've seen are IV (which was great), V (which blew so hard its ears popped), and VI (which was also great). So, this is perfect.

And hot dang, who knew pointy ears, a bad haircut, and waxed eyebrows could be so hot. I wanted to snog him on the transporter pad along with Uhuru. Chris Pine is also gorgeous. More movies with these men, please. That was fantastic.

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Bella Bee
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I doubt it was the same dog - aren't we about 90 years after Enterprise?
I can believe Archer's still alive (probably too annoying to die) but his pet must have been a descendant.

Which is good, as Porthos was just about the only character in that show that I didn't want to see die horribly.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Bella Bee:
I doubt it was the same dog - aren't we about 90 years after Enterprise?
I can believe Archer's still alive (probably too annoying to die) but his pet must have been a descendant.

Which is good, as Porthos was just about the only character in that show that I didn't want to see die horribly.

According to what I've read, if still alive, Archer would have been 140 and Porthos would have been 108. Within the Star Trek universe, that's just possible for it to be Archer. But no way it's the same beagle.

It's also possible that the mystery admiral is the son or grandson of Scott Bakula's character, and the owning of a beagle was just a tradition in the family.

And yes, I am over-thinking it. It's Star Trek!

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Ron Lambert
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Chris, thanks. I'll be looking for the novelization. Alan Dean Foster is a pretty good writer. I think we can count on him to add a lot of depth to the story.

Katharina, you said you "wanted to snog him on the transporter pad along with Uhuru." You wanted to snog both of them? [Smile]

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katharina
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What do you think, Barney?
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Dogbreath
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[QUOTEAccording to what I've read, if still alive, Archer would have been 140 and Porthos would have been 108. Within the Star Trek universe, that's just possible for it to be Archer. But no way it's the same beagle.

It's also possible that the mystery admiral is the son or grandson of Scott Bakula's character, and the owning of a beagle was just a tradition in the family.

And yes, I am over-thinking it. It's Star Trek! [/QB][/QUOTE]

Maybe it was just a funny line to bring up memories of Archer and his hatred of transporters? Doesn't have to be literally *that* Admiral Archer - Archer is a pretty common name.

What is the maximum human lifespan in Star Trek? It seems to be somewhere around 150-200, but most characters typically die of something other than old age before that. It seems to be a pretty natural progression of technology, though... 100 years ago, the average life expectancy was 50 years, now it's 80, might be 110 or 120 by 2100, 150 or more by 2200. (assuming the cure of certain diseases and cancers, organ replacement/regrowth, and better medicine in general)

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Lisa
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Actually, the red matter was wicked cool, because now we know what happened to the red Rambaldi spheres from Alias.
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neo-dragon
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Great movie. Loved it.

I'm curious about how this new timeline is "parallel" to the primary one though. Nero changed the past, and previous examples of this in Trek continuity have established that changing history doesn't just create a parallel world and leave the original unaltered. For instance, the borg in "First Contact" were attempted to change history by going to the past, not just make a parallel history. In DS9, Sisko went back in time and changed history so that he was in fact the historical figure Gabriel Bell. That wasn't just true of that particular timeline. The change was apparent in his own timeline when he returned. Not to mention Tasha Yar's half Romulan daughter who couldn't exist in the primary timeline if time travel just created parallel ones without changing the original.

So if you want to get technical, all Trek history after Nero's appearance in the past should now be overwritten. But the fans don't want that, so the writers call it it "parallel" and everyone is happy. [Smile]

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Jon Boy
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I wouldn't mind if they overwrote Voyager. [Wink]
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Dobbie
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Who's Archer?
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
Who's Archer?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=captain+archer
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
I wouldn't mind if they overwrote Voyager. [Wink]

*nero jumps through time*

Nero: fuuuuuuuu, we're back in time.
Crewmember: Ok should we go do that thing we were doing, with the being crazy and all that and getting revenge?
Nero: Yes! No, wait. No. No, we have to wait here for sixty years and then drop our damn mining laser on cadet Janeway.
Crewmember: Inconceivable. That would make you the goodguy.
Nero: I'm prepared to take that hit.

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Blayne Bradley
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I think it was an awesome movie and as the proper star trek fan I am I was thoroughly kicked in the gut when Vulcan and Romulas got destroyed as the Romulans were my "to root for" race.


To address somethings:

-Sulu's sword seemed perfectly fine though I havent saw TOS so I dont know if he ever had a sword, I thought he knew Karate?

-Its a mining ship in a culture thats thumbs its nose at the plebs, there's like Romans remember! Probably have a caste system of some kind, building a ship with safety in mind probably isn't very high in priority.


Now I think the only reference that may have bugged me is Cardassians, would they have known of them by now?


I was so nerded out at first look at Sylar-Spock but I quickly was like "Yeah, thats Spock" I liked McCoy, Scotty was awesome and I wish they had the Doctor from Stargate Atlantis but the guy they had for him was awesome.

Lenard Nimoy appearing was the most awesome thing ever.

Amanda dying shook me.

Chekov was awesome.

All of the subtle TOS references were awesome like with Spock shooing Kirk from the chair.

Now Enterprise gave me the impression that the Vulcans had spread out a little bit with a few colonies here and there certainly there's more then 10,000 Vulcans.


Another thing I liked and noticed is how similar the feel of the movie is to some of the books I've read, "Sarek" for example it was very nice immersion.

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Blayne Bradley
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Also, canonically Admiral Archer dies one day after the launching/commisioning of the USS Enterprise.
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Nighthawk
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So it's not *the* Porthos... it's *a* Porthos.

Still... poor beagle.

quote:
-Sulu's sword seemed perfectly fine though I havent saw TOS so I dont know if he ever had a sword, I thought he knew Karate?
In TOS, he does some bare chested fencing with a rapier.

I don't recall whether he knew karate or not. I'd like to think so, because otherwise Romulans would have so kicked TOS Sulu's ass...


There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there?

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Bella Bee
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quote:
That wasn't just true of that particular timeline. The change was apparent in his own timeline when he returned.
But hang on. As Terry Pratchett would say, itís all about the different legs of the trousers of time.
Itís the old grandfather paradox issue - if the events of the film all happened in the same leg of the trouser, or Ďuniverseí, old Spock would have cancelled out his own existence as the events of the film destroy the possibility of old Spock living the life he has led.

If you go back in time in the same universe and kill your grandfather, you cannot be born - therefore you cannot kill your grandfather.
The many universes theory suggests that every action or choice creates a universe where that action takes place, and also a universe where it does not, and others where it pans out differently.

With this theory when you leave your universe, it carries on without you. Nothing about the past changes. The future from this point is different, because you are not in it.
Time travel creates a new universe, just as deciding whether to have pancakes or eggs or neither for breakfast creates different universes where one or other is true.

This means that when you travel in time, you can go to a universe where you have not yet been born. If you have a change of heart and do not kill your grandfather, you can still be born into this universe and supposing original you survives until this point, there will be two of you.
The other you in this universe will not necessarily travel back in time, as you can persuade them not to.
If you do decide to kill Granddad, you will continue to exist, because you were born in a different universe where he never died. But in the universe you are now living in, your grandmother marries someone else and you are never born. So there is only one of you.

If you then travel to the future, you leave this universe again and it carries on without you. But you can only arrive in a future universe reflecting the events which you caused to unfold in the past. So if you killed Granddad, you still havenít been born and you look just like the photo of the guy who killed him.
If you donít kill Granddad, you still wonít end up in a universe with more than one other copy of you (unless you also clone yourself) because you have left the past.

You canít ever travel back to your original universe again - so Sisko does not return to his original universe, but to a new one created on the basis that he is Gabriel Bell.
In the future universe Sisko Ďreturnsí to, Gabriel Bell has always looked like Ben Sisko.

Got a headache yet? [Big Grin]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there?

Time passed before kirk's sedative wore off. McCoy was even wearing different clothes.

That said, canonically, Vulcan isn't (wasn't) that far away from Earth in terms of warp travel times.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
-Sulu's sword seemed perfectly fine though I havent saw TOS so I dont know if he ever had a sword, I thought he knew Karate?

Nope, fencing, Errol Flynn style. From the second episode, the same make-people-go-crazy virus that later struck the Enterprise D.

The story I heard somewhere was that the writers were going to make Sulu be all samurai-like, but the actor didn't associate with that stuff at all. He'd grown up with Errol Flynn movies, that's what he identified with. So they changed it so he starts a fencing fight with Kirk instead.

But what John Cho did on the platform wasn't fencing.

quote:
Chekov was awesome.
His accent was a little much. And the idea that a person could figure out how to lock on to falling bodies better than a computer is ridiculous. Besides, this is Star Trek. People jog, they really don't full out run.

quote:
Now Enterprise gave me the impression that the Vulcans had spread out a little bit with a few colonies here and there certainly there's more then 10,000 Vulcans.
You'd think so, but I think you might be able to argue that Star Trek describes humans as being unusually interested in exploration for its own sake, and not for conquering, and this might make them unique, or at least quite different from the Vulcans. It could be that Vulcans weren't all that interested in being far from home. They want to stay close to their heritage, their institutions, and aren't interested in doing new things, living in new ways. It's not like you are going to find new rules of logic out there. Self-improvement comes from inside, there's little to find in zipping off to new places to find it.

I bet they had the opposite of a population problem. They might not have been able to spare colonists.

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Dogbreath
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quote:

There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there? [/QB]

It orbits 40 Eridani A, 16 light years from Earth. Right next door, relatively speaking.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Bella Bee:
[QUOTE]

Got a headache yet? [Big Grin]

Please! I've been well versed in the popular theories of time travel dynamics since I was a kid. I've always been a sci-fi geek. [Razz]

I get what you're saying, but I still think it's a bit iffy. Star Trek has always worked on the premise that history can be overwritten by way of time travel. Isn't there even a branch of Starfleet dedicated to protecting the timeline from such events? The Temporal Prime Directive and all that?

I'm not trying to criticize or anything. I think this movie is pretty awesome, and I'm not keen on decades of continuity getting flushed down the toilet. So if they want to say that this time, unlike other instances, time travel didn't change history, but just made an alternate one then I'm willing to let it slide.

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I was so nerded out at first look at Sylar-Spock but I quickly was like "Yeah, thats Spock" I liked McCoy, Scotty was awesome and I wish they had the Doctor from Stargate Atlantis but the guy they had for him was awesome.

They did. Just not as a doctor. [Smile]
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:

There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there?

It orbits 40 Eridani A, 16 light years from Earth. Right next door, relatively speaking. [/QB]
I thought it was Epsilon Eridani. Did they change that?
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Also, canonically Admiral Archer dies one day after the launching/commisioning of the USS Enterprise.

No such person. The first captain of the Enterprise was Robert April.
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:

There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there?

It orbits 40 Eridani A, 16 light years from Earth. Right next door, relatively speaking.

I thought it was Epsilon Eridani. Did they change that? [/QB]
Actually that would be Reach.

ETA [Razz]

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Also, canonically Admiral Archer dies one day after the launching/commisioning of the USS Enterprise.

No such person. The first captain of the Enterprise was Robert April.
That threw me a bit, Pike's comments about this being the maiden voiyage. So the events of The Cage never happen in this new timeline?

[ May 11, 2009, 04:35 AM: Message edited by: Stephan ]

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Also, canonically Admiral Archer dies one day after the launching/commisioning of the USS Enterprise.

No such person. The first captain of the Enterprise was Robert April.
I see your one of those people who handwaved Enterprise out of existence.

According to paramount anything on screen is canon no matter what we the fans think of the matter.

For the record I loved Enterprise.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:

There is one thing that got my attention... How far is Vulcan from Earth anyway? Didn't it seem like it's right next door and it took mere minutes to get there?

It orbits 40 Eridani A, 16 light years from Earth. Right next door, relatively speaking.

I thought it was Epsilon Eridani. Did they change that?

Actually that would be Reach.

ETA [Razz] [/QB]

WIN!!!
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Tstorm
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Just saw it. I'll need to sleep on it before rendering a final judgment, but this is the perfect spot to sound off on a few points.

I thought the characters were well done. Of all the parts of Star Trek, I don't feel this was the hardest to 'get right', though.

The action was more than adequate. Special effects were quite good, IMHO. The worst part, in this category, was the shaky camera effect, which was overused.

The plot? Oh, where to begin. The entire idea of restarting the Star Trek Original Series timeline boggles my mind. I'm content with the Star Trek I've already got; I'll have to consider, hard, whether I want to invest any more time entertaining myself with a new timeline. Maybe, when they make the sequel to this movie, I'll just read all the spoiler threads on Hatrack and call it a night...

I don't doubt that this movie will settle in as one of the year's blockbusters and it will remain quite popular.

<-- Die-hard Trekkie. Giving it 5 out of 10 Tribbles. Or whatever.

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Blayne Bradley
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the problem with our current timeline is that its over, finished gone. The rating for Enterprise wasn't enough and Nemesis didn't do as well as people hoped. Paramount is NOT going to continue the current franchise they don;t feel it is financially feasible.
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Raymond Arnold
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I don't see what the big deal is with "investing" in a new timeline. The movies will either be enjoyable, or they won't be. If your enjoyment of those movies is contingent on having all kinds of background plot in your head... well, I dunno what to say to that.

(To be fair, I DO understand why having all that background knowledge adds to enjoyment, but there's nothing fundamentally different to me about starting out a completely different series or starting out a reboot of an old one.)

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andi330
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I really enjoyed it. It's a good reimagining of the original series. And while there were some things in it (like the Kirk finding old Spock finding Scotty thing) that were somewhat annoying, the reality is that Star Trek, going way back to the original, did stuff like that. I will continue to watch the new series (a sequel was greenlit in March) because I think that they will be fun to see. I do hope that they decide to continue in this whole new direction though. If they just rewrite a bunch of stuff that already happened, I'll drop them. I can watch the original shows and movies at home.
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Tstorm
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quote:
Paramount is NOT going to continue the current franchise they don;t feel it is financially feasible.
Well, I think most people know that Paramount's focus is purely on profit, when it comes to the Star Trek franchise. It would be foolish to argue otherwise.

quote:
I don't see what the big deal is with "investing" in a new timeline.
What other storylines have you enjoyed in your life? Which of those have been taken and completely rewritten?
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Nighthawk
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Star Trek breaks multiple box office records
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
What other storylines have you enjoyed in your life? Which of those have been taken and completely rewritten?
I'm not sure what you're implication is supposed to be. Most stories I've seen/read/experienced are rehashes/revisions/reimaginings of earlier stories. I'm not old enough to have seen something that I appreciated as an adult rewritten yet, although plenty of childhood gems from the 80s are in the process of being refurbished and "adultified" so I can enjoy them again today. And I'm fine with that. I like it when hollywood takes risks with actual new ideas but I don't blame them for milking old ideas for nostalgia value, as long as they're enjoyable.

Currently, my favorite TV series ever is Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which rewrites over T3 the same way this movie rewrites over TOS. I'm mildly annoyed that Terminator Salvation is going to be a different continuity than the TV show, but I expect it to be a good movie anyways. (This is actually my only minor beef with the Star Trek movie, that it uses essentially the same plot device as the Terminator show to allow it to circumvent old continuity and tell new stories. But both productions would have been started at about the same time, so this isn't an issue of anyone copying anyone else.)

I dunno. I'm just used to seeing the same story told by multiple people for multiple reasons for multiple audiences. It doesn't bother me at all.

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Tstorm
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quote:
I'm not sure what you're implication is supposed to be.
No implication, just an unconsciously-expressed desire to find out more about your views, here. Obviously, I don't know your tastes in movies or your interest in the original Star Trek series. You answered the question, but I'm sorry if you feel implicated against. [Smile]

quote:
I dunno. I'm just used to seeing the same story told by multiple people for multiple reasons for multiple audiences. It doesn't bother me at all.
I'm thinking that you have the right approach. I'll be a grumpy old man with regards to Hollywood, if I don't start learning to expect this.

###

While I don't normally read movie reviews on a regular basis, I found Roger Ebert's diagnosis of the Star Trek movie fairly accurate:

The Franchise on the Edge of Forever (rogerebert.suntimes.com)

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Tarrsk
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My verdict after stewing it over for a few hours: Good, but not great.

I'm a long-time Trek fan, but I don't mind the "alternate universe" thing one bit. If they wanted to restart the franchise using the TOS characters, they needed to find some way to disregard the bloated mess that Star Trek's canon has become (and I'm speaking here as a hardcore fan of DS9). If they don't, you end up with "Enterprise." [Razz]

In fact, I would've been fine with a straight-up reboot that ignored canon entirely once the basic characters were established. Seeing Nimoy back in character was a lovely treat, but his presence over-complicated the story in (IMO) an unnecessary way. I'm loathe to use the word "shoehorning" for something as purely wonderful as getting to see the original Spock one last time, but it did feel that way at times.

But that's sort of a running problem throughout the movie - the plotting is just plain bad. And I don't mean the bad science (although there is plenty of that), I mean in terms of storytelling mechanics. Telling rather than showing. Towering leaps in (il)logic. Plot holes you could drive a Warbird through. And some of the craziest coincidences I've ever seen anyone attempt to pass off as story progression - Kirk randomly running into both OldSpock and Scotty, the exact two people he needed to meet in order to move the plot forward, being the most egregious. The black hole-generating goo was another in a long line of ludicrous hand-wavey Treknobabble. Several of the action sequences could've been cut from the movie in their entirety without affecting the story one bit. The ice monster, in particular, felt like a cut scene from the Star Wars prequels, while Scotty's Wild Ride through the pipes in Engineering felt like a level from the admittedly-nonexistent video game adaptation.

Another issue I had was with the villain. Nero was well-played by Bana, and has one of the funniest moments in the movie ("Hello, Christopher! I'm Nero."), but the character is appallingly underwritten. Yes, I know there's a comic that explains his backstory in some detail, but if you want an audience to react emotionally to backstory, you had better work it into your movie somehow. "It's too complicated" is no excuse - either find a way to explain it simply and coherently, or rewrite the damn thing so it doesn't require 30 pages of exposition to understand. Khan's origin is no less complex than Nero's, but we're given enough explanation (and Khan is given enough screentime) in Star Trek II that his motivations are crystal clear, even if you've never seen "Space Seed."

So that's a lot of stuff I felt didn't work in the movie. And yet, I think overall it was very much a success. So what did work?

Well, they nailed the single most important factor: the main characters were spot-on. Although Abrams et al apparently can't plot their way out of a paper bag, they can write some darn good dialogue. They were ably assisted by the talented cast, who thoroughly embody their characters without aping their predecessors. Most importantly of all, the "core trio" crackled with energy and showed striking chemistry from the moment they began sharing screentime. I can't wait to see the Kirk/Spock/Bones relationship developed further in the inevitable sequels.

The supporting players were generally great as well. Chekov and Scotty were both entertaining without being annoying, although they'll need to take care not to Wesley Crusherize Chekov in the sequels. Saldana's Uhura is a much more assertive and interesting character than the original. I have a feeling she's not going to settle for endless repetitions of "Hailing frequencies open," and good for her!

Although he got off a few good one-liners, Harold's Sulu made less of an impression. I mean, he was fine, he just didn't "fit" quite as well as the others. I admit some of this may be just me - it somehow doesn't seem like Sulu to me without Takei's voice. I can't really imagine this new guy snapping, "Fly her apart then!"

The special effects were, for the most part, fantastic. I still think the new Enterprise design looks remarkably silly - it's great until you get to the engineering section, and then the whole thing kind of devolves into Steve Jobs's worst nightmare. But the space battle sequences were very effective, particularly the opening with Kirk's father. I especially liked how the sound abruptly cut out whenever the camera began following crewmembers in space, starting with the hull breach in that opening battle sequence.

The hand-to-hand combat fared less well, mostly due to some questionable directorial decisions. Sulu's "Wesley from Angel did it first" sword was silly enough. But falling prey to the Star Warsian giant chasms of doom in fight scenes aboard the Romulan ship? Oy.

Final thoughts: Star Trek 90210 was witty, well-acted, and (to borrow Scotty's phrasing) ex-CIT-ing, but whoever came up the plot should... ah... probably be replaced. I'll have to see it again to be sure, but right now I'd rank it after Star Treks II, IV, VI, and First Contact - in other words, in the upper-middle of the Quality Continuum (TM). The most important thing in my mind right now is that, for the first time in a long, long time, I'm excited to see the next adventure of the Starship Enterprise. If they can maintain what worked, and tweak the stuff that didn't, we should be in for quite a ride in those inevitable (but not in a bad way!) sequels.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention - I hated the score. The main theme was insipid at best, which wouldn't have been such a big deal except that the composer apparently couldn't be bothered to write any other melodic ideas. He repeats that one crappy theme for every single moment in the movie. Action sequence? Brassy rendition of the theme. Sexy sequence? Slinky rendition of the theme. Sad sequence? Solemn, string-led version of the theme!

That's something you can get away with if your main theme is as good as the one in "The Dark Knight," but when it's a generic bit of "Adventure... in SPAAAAAACE!!!" fanfare, all you're doing is making my hackles rise during what should be emotional or exciting moments. Bad, Composer. Very bad!

[ May 11, 2009, 12:58 AM: Message edited by: Tarrsk ]

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