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March 20, 2013 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Inside Secrets of the Making of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and "Space Seed" - of course Benedict Cumberbatch is totally not playing Khan, a genetic superman from 1993, in the new Star Trek movie. Maybe he'll sing a song.
posted by Artw (160 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why is Kirk saying "Punch It?" That can only be said by Han Solo. No Chewbacca present=no punch it.
IT IS KNOWN.

Also, is "genetic superman" is just code for "chesty supervillain with an 80s hair", is it not?
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:16 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was hoping I09 would talk about the ear slugs. A top 5 sci-fi effects shoot if I get a say.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:45 PM on March 20, 2013


Why is Kirk saying "Punch It?" That can only be said by Han Solo. No Chewbacca present=no punch it.
IT IS KNOWN.


I totally want to see that stupid movie even though, lets face it, it's going to be bog all to do with Star Trek like the last one.
posted by Artw at 9:46 PM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is Kirk saying "Punch It?"

For the same reason he was driving a 1960s 'Vette in the first one; the director and screenwriter think it's "bitchin'" [sic]. It's a film about a bad-boy manufactured heartthrob made by middle aged guys who didn't even like Star Trek as kids. They're making the film they think teenagers will want to watch, and their memories of actually being teenagers are faint. Basically, Abrams' Trek is "The Way to Eden" updated to about 1985.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:53 PM on March 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


Oh now that's just cruel.
posted by Artw at 10:54 PM on March 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


>...of course Benedict Cumberbatch is totally not playing Khan...

How could he be when he's clearly playing Gary Mitchell?
posted by The Tensor at 11:01 PM on March 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's kind of sad to think that the last Star Trek film to have a distinctive SF plot element was Wrath of Khan, in the Genesis Device. It may have been a McGuffin for what amounts to a chase/revenge film but it was an idea. Did any of the others have an idea? Most of the others have just been oh shit somebody time traveled and changed something.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:13 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Insurrection centered around a planet with some sort of eternal youth field. It's like a discarded TNG plot, but it's there.
posted by brundlefly at 11:20 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am a cynical bastard and therefore assume all Hollywood films begin with the question of demographics. Who is our audience? What sort of flavored soda beverages do they prefer, and what are their primary anxieties? How can we most effectively sell them shoes?

So I am confused by the newer Star Trek films, even though I enjoyed the first one. This film and the last one seem to be targeted at fans of action-packed sci-fi thrillers, a la Independence Day. But Star Trek is, traditionally, incredibly boring. Furthermore, the franchise has been around forever. So the word has kind of got around that Star Trek is super boring nerd territory and those seeking 'splosions ought to look elsewhere.

It seems strange, then, that anyone would try to repackage Star Trek as a white-knuckle space adventure, instead of the boring, couch-potato interstellar cruise that it is. But people who make movies like money, so this must be working?
posted by deathpanels at 11:27 PM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Commenting too much here, but two things I like about TFA: 1) it mentions Gene Coon and Sam Peeples a lot, which I'm always glad to see. I think they've always been undercredited for their role in making ST as good as it was. (And Gene R. correspondingly overcredited, not by accident.) 2) Judging by that last photo, Nicholas Meyer was apparently Paul Simon.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:30 PM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Insurrection might not be the worst of the Star Trek movies, but it's certainly the least memorable.
posted by Artw at 11:32 PM on March 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


How could he be when he's clearly playing Gary Mitchell?

Heh. That's a really weird episode to rewatch - everything Is slightly off about it, I think it may have even been a second pilot. Also Gary Mitchell is a jerk.
posted by Artw at 11:50 PM on March 20, 2013


10 Star Trek episodes we're glad they never filmed
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was cool. Amazing how many rewrites and changes went into it.
posted by davidmsc at 11:54 PM on March 20, 2013


10 Star Trek episodes we're glad they never filmed

I dunno, none of those are even half as goofy as the one where Q forces the Enterprise crew to play Robin Hood, and that was a great episode. "I protest! I am not a merry man!"
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:29 AM on March 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


"10 Star Trek episodes we're glad they never filmed"

Actually, most of those ideas sounded like a lot of fun. One of the problems with Enterprise was that by then Berman and company had lost the ability to come up with the kind of compelling (and sometimes wonderfully goofy) gimmicks that had always made Trek such can't-miss TV. I mean, Bashir gets stuck in a James Bond story! Janeway meets Amelia Earhart, who was frozen by aliens centuries ago! Kirk and the boys beam down to a Nazi planet! Captain Proton! I'm not claiming those were the best episodes of the franchise, but it's the kind of stuff that makes for great promos, and as a regular viewer, you just have to tune in and see it. Enterprise had very little of that stuff, and one of those goofy Porthos plots could've spiced things up.

It's surprising how Nicolas Meyer sputtered out. Everybody loves Wrath of Khan, but he sort of peaked there. (Time After Time is also really good, though. If you've never seen it, Netflix that one immediately.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:30 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


And the "crew are living checkers pieces" idea sort of got made for DS9, except it's Quark playing a weird alien game. "Move Along Home", probably the worst DS9 episode (a lot of people hated the Ferengi episodes, but I liked the Ferengi, come on, that one with Iggy Pop ruled.)
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:34 AM on March 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Movies are often only as good as their villains. "Wrath" worked because Montalban was a splendid villain with a justified grudge against Kirk. His performance elevated Shatner's. yes, the Khaaaaaan scream is cheesy out of context, but in context it's among Kirk's finest moments.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:37 AM on March 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


from the 10 episodes link: "Out of Time", Star Trek: The Next Generation" is basically Angel season 3, then?
posted by flaterik at 1:28 AM on March 21, 2013


That was a great io9 article. (And their new "made for the iPad" design is actually good.) It's interesting how Roddenberry and his staff were already worldbuilding at the start of the series, and didn't want to get backed into any corners in Space Seed like saying the future has no music. If you're writing stand alone sci-fi for an anthology series it pays to make the two sides as different as possible, with the pirates all musical and passionate and the starship crew bloodless and efficient. (Thus explaining Lt. McGivers' defection.) But in Star Trek you can't break the universe that way, so they had to scale back on the metaphors and make the story more about action. There's still quite a culture clash element to it, though.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:38 AM on March 21, 2013


I am now deeply disappointed that they never filmed the proposed original series episode featuring the Enterprise being possessed by an infant space ghost while it was visiting the planet of the crocodile psychologists.

1. Uhura consoling the despondent Enterprise by singing "Rock-a-bye-baby" - and having the ship fall asleep.
2. The baby enterprise steering itself towards the sun as it coos, "pretty, pretty", forcing Kirk to electrocute its hull with high tension wire to teach it a lesson – he retorts "Once burned, twice shy."
3. The idea of a hospital planet for the criminally deranged run by a species of humanoid alligators.


It would have been a blast. It wouldn't have been the craziest episode they ever made.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:51 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


everything Is slightly off about it, I think it may have even been a second pilot

Correct, it was the first pilot with Shatner in the cast and Spock the alien combined with the emotionless character of Number One played by Majel Barrett, legendarily rejected by NBC execs. They had pretty much the same costumes as The Cage, so it looks remarkably different from the final series look. But watch that one to see Spock grin.

I like the new movie well enough, and I'm a dedicated fan since syndication days. Abrams "got" that the heart of the appeal was the characters rather than the stories. I don't like them perfectly: for all his experience he seems to avoid treating the Enterprise as a character (maybe then he wouldn't film in breweries and power stations), and while his time travel plot was as tangled as anybody else's, the whole "red matter" thing was pretty daft. Also, I still don't get why we needed that weirdly anachronistic car chase/crash opening to let us know that his Kirk is a fatherless fuckup (for continuity purposes they should have had his mom from the birth scene make an appearance). Anyhoo.

last Star Trek film to have a distinctive SF plot element

I dunno. ST:III has it all going wrong, though there isn't much they do about it (Macguffin). ST:IV, though, has the whole whalesong-as-environmental-monitor-to-aliens angle, which actually makes the time travel have a real purpose for once (rather than "escape" or "mistake" which it usually is). And for all its faults ST:V has some neat concepts ("What does God want with a starship?"), although my critique has always been that there are three distinctive potential movies mashed into one (sure, I'll blame Shatner, why not). The critical SF bits of ST:VI are more Macguffin again for a political drama/metaphor, but that's pretty par for Star Trek, so I don't see it as a valid complaint (and we get to see Kirk say "He's the impostor! Shoot HIM!" which is definitely a high point conceptually). I also really liked Sulu's coffee cup rattling, inertial damper objections aside.

What else? ST:G was another reality folded in on itself, which was fine, but the disappointment there was the rather dull action-oriented resolution. So the reality distortion wasn't really at the heart of the story or dealt with. ST:FC succeeded more in pacing and well-polished character notes ("You broke your little ships") than ideas, but it still had many good small ideas, I would say. ST:I was very much like a lengthy TNG episode, probably the last time it all felt like TOS. ST:N was cut so badly I imagine it would have made an entirely different impression if released closer to a director's cut version. And isn't this the one where they literally just ran out of money to complete the effects?

Anyway, I think these all have had enough -- maybe in some cases just enough, but still -- SF in them to work in the way old Trek was supposed to work. I think the reboot is skating a lot closer to the thin ice in that regard, but still manages because it's balanced by great performances and bravura storytelling.

In a lot of ways I wish that 21st century Trek were more like TOS redone as Firefly/Farscape character drama with long story arcs, and of course, a lot more emphasis on the SF. But I don't see that working for Paramount, at least not in a way that guarantees the investment and production values, so I'll go along with the direction that's working for them even if it's not the one I personally would like -- I know I'm an oddball and even Trek fans worldwide aren't enough to put sufficient butts in seats.

It's interesting how Roddenberry and his staff were already worldbuilding at the start of the series

Well, Roddenberry had a distinctive vision and probably the first comprehensive, well-bounded conceptual framework for any SF series -- just read the series bible. I looked at that recounting of the first-draft plot and knew what would be discarded without having to consider the actual end result.

The most fascinating thing I learned here, though, was that the two "Nooniens" in Trek were both deliberate callouts to an old friend. I suppose China was still so closed off by the end of Gene's life that they never reconnected, but is he completely lost to history now?
posted by dhartung at 4:12 AM on March 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Everybody loves Wrath of Khan, but he sort of peaked there.

Aw, c'mon, Undiscovered Country was pretty good. Christopher Freakin' Plummer as a Klingon!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:12 AM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying Meyer never did anything worthwhile again, but Khan is routinely held up as the best Trek film and a sci-fi genre classic in general, and nothing Meyer did after that is really in that league. (He certainly fared a lot better than Irvin Kershner, who went from relative obscurity to the almost universally-beloved Empire Strikes Back, and then rapidly tumbled back into obscurity, with his last directing credit being an episode of Seaquest.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:50 AM on March 21, 2013


with his last directing credit being an episode of Seaquest.

I am having trouble reconciling this with the word 'obscure'...
posted by mikelieman at 5:08 AM on March 21, 2013


"You may ask yourself how we do a science fiction show with no special effects. We do it with a lot of trickery."

glee.
posted by device55 at 5:23 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hoo Boy.

I have many, many issues with J.J. Abrams, his way of film-making in general, and his version of Star Trek in particular. I do not look forward to his latest iteration of The Big Dumb Stupid Movie Predestined To Make A Gazillion Dollars.

The man clearly has no affection or respect for the source material. Captain Kirk is not supposed to be some spiky-haired dudebro grunting the phrase 'punch it'. While Spock certainly has his snarky side, he is not an Angry Young Vulcan. The engine room of the Enterprise is not supposed to be the painfully obvious redress of an earthly building filled with earthly industrial machinery. The Enterprise itself should not look like some slapdash haphazard McMansion equivalent of prior Enterprise vehicle design elements. The transporter effect is not supposed to look like a character is surrounded by whirling strips of magic toilet paper.

Phasers fire beams, not little pew-pew bolts.

Sigh.

Joey Michaels, you are right as right can be. Deathpanels, however, you're wrong about Trek being boring...Unless you're talking about Star Trek: The Motionless Picture, of course.


I know, I know. Eponysterical.

[Metafilter: surrounded by whirling strips of magic toilet paper.]
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:48 AM on March 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


He certainly fared a lot better than Irvin Kershner, who went from relative obscurity to the almost universally-beloved Empire Strikes Back, and then rapidly tumbled back into obscurity, with his last directing credit being an episode of Seaquest

Managing to drain the Robocop sequel of all life along the way.
posted by Artw at 6:39 AM on March 21, 2013


Star Trek: The Motionless Picture

Bah, those five minute long effects shots of spaceship exteriors were in constant motion!
posted by Artw at 6:41 AM on March 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


ST:TMP is the only piece of the whole franchise that feels as if there is more to the Trek universe than alternating action set pieces, buddy movie backslappers and Wagon Train alien-of-the-week sideshows. It featured something incomprehensible, and treated it as a mythic experience.

The characters never really seemed to be in control of the situation, which is not really Trek at all, but the older I get the more I realize is actually the key metric of character. Not how well you come out on top when you are in control, but how well you cope when you are not.

With TMP you never really knew what the hell was going on or how it would end. It wasn't comfortable. It was bizarre, it was epic, it was beautiful, and it was strange.

More of that please.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:54 AM on March 21, 2013 [20 favorites]


Literally nothing in the Abrams movie made sense. Not the SF, not the characters, nothing.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:01 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Casting Zachary Quinto made pretty great sense.
posted by Artw at 7:03 AM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Karl Urban too, it's a pretty great cast really. And there's a lot about it that's visually nice, and some good jokes, and the action goes forwards in a way that at the time feels like a plot even if when you stop and look back at it there actually isn't one.
posted by Artw at 7:21 AM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


You guys are just mad he blew up Vulcan.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:24 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still wonder if this TNG episode someone told me about were a real thing or just an idea someone thought would be awesome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on March 21, 2013


KHAAAN!: Phasers fire beams, not little pew-pew bolts.

That is... not always true, even in the original series. For homework, rewatch the TOS episodes "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Balance of Terror", and write a 250-word essay on how phaser technology changes between those episodes.
posted by hanov3r at 7:56 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Defiant in DS9 is pretty zappy.

Oh, and new trailer.
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on March 21, 2013


With TMP you never really knew what the hell was going on or how it would end. It wasn't comfortable. It was bizarre, it was epic, it was beautiful, and it was strange.

Agreed. The Wrath of Khan is also memorable because it shows us Kirk at his emotional apex. Where in the original series do we ever see Kirk lose his shit the way he does in Khan? Sure, he has passionately delivered soliloquies and heroic moments in spades, but these aren't moments that challenge the character. Moral quandaries and dilemmas that demand a quick decision are softball problems for Kirk.
posted by deathpanels at 8:12 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, like many things the weapon effects were in flux towards the beginning of the series, and if I'm not mistaken the original phaser effect (which was pretty much pew pew bolts) was recycled later as a photon torpedo effect after the phasers started firing (blue) beams.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:32 AM on March 21, 2013


With TMP you never really knew what the hell was going on or how it would end.

And neither did Roddenberry, because they started filming with a half-completed script and wrote the other half while in production. What I've read of the "making of" that film sounds like a complete nightmare.

The opening of the movie, from the Klingons to the outer space station to the transporter accident, scared the living daylights out of 7-year-old me. I had nightmares about the transporter accident for AGES. And then I read the novelization, and that just made the nightmares worse.
posted by rednikki at 8:37 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where in the original series do we ever see Kirk lose his shit the way he does in Khan? Sure, he has passionately delivered soliloquies and heroic moments in spades, but these aren't moments that challenge the character. Moral quandaries and dilemmas that demand a quick decision are softball problems for Kirk.

Hell, whatever anyone says about STIII, the moment Kirk is told that David is dead, the way he stumbles back and misses his chair... that's good shit. After having watched all of TOS and the subsequent movies recently, I can say I'm sold on the idea that Shatner's a better actor than people give him credit for. They forget how much of the "over"-acting was de rigeur for TV at the time and how much of it is the classically-trained Shakespearean underneath.
posted by grubi at 8:39 AM on March 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Incubus is worth it for Shatner overacting the hell out of Esperanto* while everyone else sounds like a language tape.

* it may actually come out as gibberish. Who knows? Crazy moon language!
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Wrath of Khan is also memorable because it shows us Kirk at his emotional apex. Where in the original series do we ever see Kirk lose his shit the way he does in Khan?

Exactly. No-one ever fucked with Kirk's mind like Khan did. I love the whole "KHAAAAN!" scene. It's probably the only time we see Kirk truly lost for words. Which just doesn't happen to Kirk.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:47 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love the whole "KHAAAAN!" scene. It's probably the only time we see Kirk truly lost for words.

But...isn't he just acting there? I mean, he already had the whole plan with the Enterprise hiding out in his back pocket the entire time, and he's pretty cool right afterward. He just wanted to sell it.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:54 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, fine. Phasers.

The two episodes cited by hanov3r were the third and ninth episodes produced, respectively. The first season's continuity was loose and spotty, at best. Take the term 'Star Fleet', for example. At first, it was 'Command Base' or 'Space Central' or 'Space Fleet Command' before they finally settled on 'Star Fleet', first used in the fifteenth episode produced, Court Martial.

The point being, the tropes of Star Trek were established over a period of time, not all at once. This explains the appearance of the phasers. Over time, the producers tried different effects, until they settled on beams. Also, the color of the beams fluctuated as well. As best as I can recall, they could be blue or red, although I'm pretty sure they were a yellowish orange in The Doomsday Machine, which was the thirty-fifth episode. The colors have been explained away (not canonically, afaik) as displaying the particular setting of the phaser beam, blue for stun, red for kill/disrupt, and so forth. That's fine for the electric shaver and pistol hand phasers, I guess, but it kinda falls apart when you're talking about ship-mounted ones. Maybe we should just take Trek continuity (or any continuity, for that matter) with a grain of quadrotriticale.

Be that as it may, J.J. Abrams still got it wrongity wrong wrong.

[on preview, I see a Steely-Eyed Missile Man has beaten me to the punch. Eponysterical?]
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:04 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, yeah, the Starfleet thing is another good example of the fluid nature of the show's background stuff, at least in the beginning. Personally I rather liked the "United Earth Space Probe Agency" (but then I would, wouldn't I).
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:08 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hell, whatever anyone says about STIII, the moment Kirk is told that David is dead, the way he stumbles back and misses his chair... that's good shit.

I've read that that was actually an accident - as in, it was William Shatner actually being a little fuzzy about where the chair actually was - and Leonard Nimoy was the one who realized "damn, that looks good, keep going and we'll leave that in!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also:

Also, the color of the beams fluctuated as well. As best as I can recall, they could be blue or red, although I'm pretty sure they were a yellowish orange in The Doomsday Machine, which was the thirty-fifth episode. The colors have been explained away (not canonically, afaik) as displaying the particular setting of the phaser beam, blue for stun, red for kill/disrupt, and so forth. That's fine for the electric shaver and pistol hand phasers, I guess, but it kinda falls apart when you're talking about ship-mounted ones.

I'm sorry, but this is kind of making me think that if we keep this thread going, we all run the risk of starting to like Comic Book Guy.

(No offense intended and not singling anyone out - I think it's more that we are all actually like that and ST threads just draw it out of us on display. This was just an especially good example of how I imagine we'll all be talking in here before long.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on March 21, 2013


Oh, and new trailer.

So I guess Abrams decided to double down on the ridiculous lens flares.
posted by straight at 9:16 AM on March 21, 2013


The new Hawaii Five-0 did a Wrath of Khan-style update of an episode of the original show, with Ed Asner playing the same role he played in the original 36 years earlier.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2013


Okay, fine. Phasers.

You could also complain that the Abrams starships have recognizable computers instead of a single voice-operated machine. GETTING IT WRONG!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:20 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


And on the famous yell, yes, Kirk has an ace up his sleeve, but he has just witnessed two deaths (a Regula One scientist and Captain Terrell) first-hand, and the grievous injury of his old shipmate Chekov, not to mention the needless slaughter of all the other scientists back on the Regula One space station. And hey, don't forget all the ongoing mid-life crisis ennui. A raging bellow of frustration and wrath, ha-ha, seems quite in keeping with the character and the situation.

And hey EmpressCallipygos, I was just about to say how good it feels to come out of the closet and wave my freak flag on a thread like this. The squares and dudebro types (like J.J. Abrams, ahem) can call me Comic Book Guy all they want. Fuck 'em.
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:28 AM on March 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


That is very true, re: the yell.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:29 AM on March 21, 2013


And hey EmpressCallipygos, I was just about to say how good it feels to come out of the closet and wave my freak flag on a thread like this. The squares and dudebro types (like J.J. Abrams, ahem) can call me Comic Book Guy all they want. Fuck 'em.

Oh, no, I still wasn't clear - I was celebrating that we were all gonna be doing that before long.

...And besides, I think Picard's declaration about the number of lights on the ceiling trump's Kirk's cry any day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lacks a certain zing. Although I admit "there are four lights!!!!!" would make a great username.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:36 AM on March 21, 2013


Aaaaw, "100 Reasons Why Kirk Is Better Than Picard" was one of the first things I ever got from the Internet.

My friends, we've come home.
posted by Molesome at 9:37 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, actually...
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on March 21, 2013


If there is one thing that TNG has over TOS, it is the fact that everybody in the cast of TNG clearly likes everybody else in the cast, as well. The original show, eh, not so much. Shatner, I'm looking right at you and your inflated ego. And your toupee.
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:44 AM on March 21, 2013


Oh, and new trailer.

I guess they used "Into Darkness" because "Star Trek: Zero Dark Thirty" was too obvious.

Also, another bra and panties shot in this one, this time with a blonde whom I want to be Dr Elizabeth Dehner but who probably isn't. But what I want to know is why in a future which includes antigravity devices they still have bras?
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:46 AM on March 21, 2013


That's fine for the electric shaver and pistol hand phasers, I guess, but it kinda falls apart when you're talking about ship-mounted ones.

To bring EmpressCallipygos' prophecy to fulfillment: What color was the phaser flash when Kirk had the Enterprise stun the people on the gangster planet from orbit? I ask mostly in jest, but I'm always amazed at and oddly engaged by how far down the rabbit hole of continuity and in-universe explanations some fan discussions can go.
posted by audi alteram partem at 9:52 AM on March 21, 2013


Star Trek Colon Into Darkness is going to be a Star Trek movie for people who don't like or care about Star Trek, made by people who don't like or care about Star Trek (with the possible exception of Karl Urban and Simon Pegg).

Metafiler: Colon Into Darkness
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:55 AM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Audi, it was green.

Come on, with my name, you think I wouldn't know?
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:56 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Kessel Run.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on March 21, 2013


Star Trek Colon Into Darkness is going to be a Star Trek movie for people who don't like or care about Star Trek, made by people who don't like or care about Star Trek (with the possible exception of Karl Urban and Simon Pegg).

Your statement says a whole lot more about you than it does about the people who enjoyed the movie, dude.

(I grew up on TNG, and re-runs of TOS, watching with my dad, who is enough of a fan that he can identify the TOS episodes in the first 30 seconds of the opening shots, if not less. I loved the movie. He loved the movie. I know an inordinate number of TOS and TNG fans who loved the movie.)

It's okay to not like things,...
posted by FritoKAL at 10:08 AM on March 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Although I admit "there are four lights!!!!!" would make a great username.

Nononono, it's more like: "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


George_Spiggott: ... a blonde whom I want to be Dr Elizabeth Dehner but who probably isn't.

It's not. Already known to be Dr. Carol Marcus.

But, oh, Sally Kellerman. *sigh*
posted by hanov3r at 10:11 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Karl Urban does the best DeForest Kelley impersonation ever.

Nononono, it's more like: "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!"

Even better username!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why the name Noonien? Gene Roddenberry had a Chinese friend in the 1940s, named Noonien Wang, whom he'd lost touch with. He hoped that one day this episode would air in China, and Wang would see "Noonien" and Roddenberry's name, and get in touch. Roddenberry was still trying to reach his friend in the late 1980s, which is why Data's creator is Noonien Soong.

I'll be damned. I've been wondering for years about all of the Nooniens in ST.
posted by COBRA! at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


But shouldn't it really be more like Nu Nien? And that just makes it sound Vietnamese... This may require more investigation :)

It reminds me of this awe-inspiring account from Simon Winchester.
posted by Chuckles at 10:34 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally, I'm hoping that Benedict Cumberbatch's character ends up being the guy from the Nazi planet episode.
posted by ckape at 11:04 AM on March 21, 2013


I've read that that was actually an accident - as in, it was William Shatner actually being a little fuzzy about where the chair actually was - and Leonard Nimoy was the one who realized "damn, that looks good, keep going and we'll leave that in!"

Which is why it works! A real person, hearing that same news, might lose their footing a bit and expect to fall back into a chair, misjudge it entirely, and simply drop to the floor, but not care., because, dude: your child's been murdered in a tactical attempt to get something out of you. Shatner's fucking awesome.
posted by grubi at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If there is one thing that TNG has over TOS, it is the fact that everybody in the cast of TNG clearly likes everybody else in the cast, as well. The original show, eh, not so much. Shatner, I'm looking right at you and your inflated ego. And your toupee.

He has been working to make amends. A few years ago, Nichelle Nichols told him that much of the main cast had problems with him, going waaaay back. When he asked why, she told him a story of how he would chew scenery, step on others' lines, and, a few times, try to talk writers out of letting other characters say certain lines. He hadn't realized what a dick he had been and has been attempting to make up for it with each of them since.

Or so I have heard.
posted by grubi at 11:08 AM on March 21, 2013


Didn't mean to impugn Trek fans who like the J.J. Abrams version, FritoKAL. I painted with too broad a brush. My apologies.

HOWEVER, it rankles me to no end that there are people who think the Abrams version is somehow superior to what has come before. Um, no.

Star Trek has had plenty of low points: most of the third season of the original show, The Shatner-directed fifth film, the first season or two of TNG, most of the runs of Voyager and Enterprise (oh christ the theme song on that one alone!), and the last TNG film, Star Trek: Nemesis.

So yeah, I can see an argument in favor of Abrams's expensive, lens-flare enhanced products being more entertaining to watch than the things I've listed here. His spaceships all look shiny and new, his cast is young and handsome (in that generic, grown-in-a-vat sort of way), and even I will give him credit for casting aside the cumbersome technobabble of TNG.

Abrams also cast aside (in my opinion) the things that made Star Trek what it was: a sense of giddy optimism, a feeling of warmth and chemistry between the characters, and the occasional attempt to say (however clumsily or heavy-handedly) Something Profound.

TL;DR--J.J. Abrams makes profitable popcorn movies to be sure, but they are examples of Star Trek in name only.
posted by KHAAAN! at 11:13 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Star Trek Colon Into Darkness is going to be a Star Trek movie for people who don't like or care about Star Trek, made by people who don't like or care about Star Trek (with the possible exception of Karl Urban and Simon Pegg).

Which is funny since I like and care about Star Trek, and so did my friend (more so on the liking and caring than me, she's more hardcore), and we both greatly enjoyed it. In short, what fritoKAL said above.

Also, another bra and panties shot in this one, this time with a blonde whom I want to be Dr Elizabeth Dehner but who probably isn't. But what I want to know is why in a future which includes antigravity devices they still have bras?

Women have anti-gravity devices surgically implanted in their chests in the future?

Star Trek II: The Omega System, script by Jack B. Sowards
The "Omega System" is a Federation weapon of mass destruction, which Khan gets control over.


Is this possibly where Galaxy Quest got the name for the Omega 13?

Meyer took all of these drafts and ideas and combined them into a script which he called Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country -- but Paramount execs rejected that name because they didn't get it, says Tenuto. So they went with Vengeance of Khan -- except that Lucasfilm requested they change that title because it was too similar to their upcoming Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi. Hence the "Wrath" title, which Meyer thought sounded weird.

Well. Who knew Lucas had a positive impact?
posted by Atreides at 11:16 AM on March 21, 2013


I have many Trek fan friends who like the new Star Trek movie on its merits as a fun sci-fi action flick but also don't thinking it's really all that 'Star Trek,' for what it's worth.
posted by Zalzidrax at 11:34 AM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you haven't seen The Captains, every Trek fan should. William Shatner interviews each of the other actors who played a lead Captain. I would have liked more Avery Brooks, though. Brooks is the captain actor I'd most like to hear from, but he has the least interest in talking about it.

Anyhow, when Shatner is interviewing Pine, Shatner suggests they arm wrestle to determine who is the greatest Kirk.

In the first round, they both strive mightily. Pine wins, proving the value of youth and strength.

In the second round, Shatner totally cheats. He wins, proving the value of experience and treachery.

In the third round, they are about to start, when the film cuts to a different scene and no mention of the arm wrestling is ever made again. Thus, it is proven that being the person who controls the editing process is the best of all.

(There are also some great scences where Shatner walks up to people at Star Trek conventions and just stands there until people notice him. The double takes people make are epic.)
posted by BeeDo at 11:34 AM on March 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


Abrams also cast aside (in my opinion) the things that made Star Trek what it was: a sense of giddy optimism, a feeling of warmth and chemistry between the characters, and the occasional attempt to say (however clumsily or heavy-handedly) Something Profound.

I got more warmth and chemistry between the characters in reboot!Trek than I did in half of the TOS episodes. Bones and Kirk are clearly friends. Uhura and Spock are clearly in love. Spock LOVES HIS MOMMY and don't you forget it.

And god, the idea that a near-orphaned abuse survivor (Kirk) can take on such an intense and epic career is HUGELY optimistic. Spock giving a big ol "Live Long and Prosper" to the racism of the Vulcan council - totally profound. Carrying on after disaster, the message that blindly following The Rules and Orders isn't always a great idea, the idea that sometimes you have to take risks? Good god I got more out of that movie than the last 3 non-Abrams Trek movies I watched.

(Don't get me wrong, I loved me some TOS movies 2-4 and really dug TNG: First Contact but Reboot!Trek is the first Trek movie where I actually got emotionally invested in it)
posted by FritoKAL at 11:39 AM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


The man clearly has no affection or respect for the source material.

Yeah, one of the main plot points of Star Trek '09 is how Kirk has to goad Spock to provoke an emotional reaction in him. There were several times in TOS that Kirk was required to act like a jackass for whatever reason; say what you will of Shatner's acting, but Shatner's Kirk-acting-like-a-jackass was immediately distinguishable from the usual portrayal. Pine's Kirk-acting-like-a-jackass differed so minimally from everyday-fratboy-Kirk that you would need finely-calibrated instruments and a dedicated workgroup at CERN to measure the difference.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


what I want to know is why in a future which includes antigravity devices they still have bras?

Women have anti-gravity devices surgically implanted in their chests in the future?


1. You think they wouldn't?

2. With Trek-level tech, you wouldn't need surgery, the device could just be in a necklace or a belt or something.

3. "But they wouldn't need bras anymore" is waaaaay down on the list of inconsistencies in what should exist or be possible with Trek tech.

4. Dudes totally wear suspenders that aren't actually needed to hold up their pants.

5. EmpressCallipygos was worried about overthinking phasers. Ha!
posted by straight at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, one of the main plot points of Star Trek '09 is how Kirk has to goad Spock to provoke an emotional reaction in him. There were several times in TOS that Kirk was required to act like a jackass for whatever reason; say what you will of Shatner's acting, but Shatner's Kirk-acting-like-a-jackass was immediately distinguishable from the usual portrayal. Pine's Kirk-acting-like-a-jackass differed so minimally from everyday-fratboy-Kirk that you would need finely-calibrated instruments and a dedicated workgroup at CERN to measure the difference.

Except that TOS Kirk knows Spock already and is friends with him. Could you tell when your long-time friends were acting like fake-jackasses instead of real jackasses? Reboot!Kirk barely knows Spock, does NOT like him, and Spock's already been responsible for Kirk almost failing out of school. Of course he's going to be a much more realistic jackass than TOS!Kirk, he has much much more motivation to be actually-a-jerk.
posted by FritoKAL at 11:44 AM on March 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Even with antigravity wossnames to hold your boobs up, you might still want a bra to control your boobular inertia. Having unconstrained breasts in free-fall while the rest of you isn't seems like it could get uncomfortable fast.

Next on the agenda: wang enhancement options in the Federation, and why they're terrible compared to what you can get done on your local GSV.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:47 AM on March 21, 2013


The man clearly has no affection or respect for the source material.

Hmmm. The "Original Source Material" (i.e. TOS) is actually wonderfully self-contradictory and contains just about every possible different type of sci-fi imaginable. We tend to wrap it up in a misty glow that is partially based on cherry-picking its best and most thought-provoking episodes and partially based on later reinventions and extensions of the world in the movies and other series. But almost everything that Abrams is being excoriated for here can be found in TOS. There are plenty of episodes that are little more than "see Kirk seduce sexy alien woman! Thrill as our heroes defeat the Monster of the Week! Gasp as the Enterprise seems Doomed to Destruction and then is Saved by the mumblemumblemumble!"
posted by yoink at 11:56 AM on March 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Look, I get "lack of realism" is a silly complaint here, but in the reboot, Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

And the entire movie was like that, glossy, arbitrary and self-referential. At no point did it feel like a real world these people actually inhabit.
posted by spaltavian at 12:13 PM on March 21, 2013


I would think that if you wanted to have big sloppy tits then you could have them, and if you didn't want them, then you could not have them. Or any other part of one's anatomy. And making those changes would not take a long time or be a big deal at all. So devising lots of special support garments to handle non-optimal configurations of body parts in any given situation seems kind of the long way around the problem. That's just my take on it.

I seem to recall Phil Foglio having yet another take on it in the first issue of XXXenophile.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:16 PM on March 21, 2013


Oh, and new trailer.

Also, another bra and panties shot in this one
Another day, another Star Trek trailer that stays vague on Benedict Cumberbatch‘s character. What it does have, however, is a lady standing around in her underwear for no apparent reason, right in the middle of the late-trailer-explosion/reaction-face montage. Apparently, this was included based on the assumption that folks on the internet would choose that frame to examine closely and at high resolution, because a url was hidden in it that linked to a previously unreleased poster, implicitly rewarding a fanbase for ogling a female character. So, that’s gross.
posted by homunculus at 12:17 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You have got to be kidding me.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:18 PM on March 21, 2013


There are plenty of episodes that are little more than "see Kirk seduce sexy alien woman! Thrill as our heroes defeat the Monster of the Week! Gasp as the Enterprise seems Doomed to Destruction and then is Saved by the mumblemumblemumble!"

I'd postulate that more than any of those, most of TOS is Our Heroes vs the Godlike Being.
posted by grubi at 12:51 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"100 Reasons Why Kirk Is Better Than Picard"

Got a link? more links of everything! I love this thread. love. love. love.

link! link! link!
posted by MoxieProxy at 12:56 PM on March 21, 2013


Look, I get "lack of realism" is a silly complaint here, but in the reboot, Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

That was one of my favorite parts of the movie, the whole, "Because of wacky hijinks, coincidences and misunderstandings, watch how this janitor becomes President of the United States" vibe. It was like a silver-age comic book: "JIMMY OLSON...CHAIRMAN OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE?!?"

I'd postulate that more than any of those, most of TOS is Our Heroes vs the Godlike Being.

Which is just the laziest plot device ever. You don't have to think of how the villain can create a credible problem for a Starfleet Starship, and because the villain is so far beyond Starfleet tech, the solution doesn't have to arise in any interesting way from the established abilities of the Enterprise and it's crew -- you just win because of some arbitrary plot point that could work just as well in an episode of Doctor Who.
posted by straight at 12:58 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Except that TOS Kirk knows Spock already and is friends with him. Could you tell when your long-time friends were acting like fake-jackasses instead of real jackasses? Reboot!Kirk barely knows Spock, does NOT like him, and Spock's already been responsible for Kirk almost failing out of school. Of course he's going to be a much more realistic jackass than TOS!Kirk, he has much much more motivation to be actually-a-jerk.

You know, I had been trying to put my finger on what is so off-putting about the Trek 2.0 and why a movie I would probably otherwise have liked seemed so off to me.

And I think it just hit me. Star Trek is set in a universe full of people, places, and things. And the best minds in Hollywood could only give us the same 7 characters ONLY NOW MOAR XTREEEME!

There was a lot to criticize about the original star trek movies. But, at least they were.... original.

posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:02 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the entire movie was like that, glossy, arbitrary and self-referential. At no point did it feel like a real world these people actually inhabit.

Precisely. Let's empty out the Academy for this vaguely defined emergency! Because I guess we must've had all these ships sitting around with no one to crew them but still they are ready to go on (more or less) a moment's notice! And it's critical that they all be deployed NOW, because...stuff. And that's just one of the way too many Ridiculous Things That Make No Sense in Trek 09.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:04 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, I get "lack of realism" is a silly complaint here, but in the reboot, Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

That bothered me, too, but if we're being honest every incarnation of StarFleet has had some pretty fucked-up HR policies.
posted by COBRA! at 1:05 PM on March 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


That bothered me, too, but if we're being honest every incarnation of StarFleet has had some pretty fucked-up HR policies.

For example, the requirement that you must be utterly incompetent and/or evil to become an admiral. That's the REAL reason Kirk got busted back down to captain.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:31 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, I get "lack of realism" is a silly complaint here, but in the reboot, Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

First, he'd been at the academy already 3 years, and if he's taking the Kobayashi Maru, he's already on the career track to be a bridge officer.

Second, thanks to the disaster at Vulcan, a fair number of bridge officers were wiped out, creating many openings.

Third, he's James T. Freakin' Kirk, man. If we have learned anything, he IS THE IMPOSSIBLE.

Srsly, how many times has Kirk gotten away with or pulled something off that borders on incredible. The promotion falls right in line with the heroic mythos of Captain Kirk.
posted by Atreides at 2:21 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


KHAAAN!: "If there is one thing that TNG has over TOS, it is the fact that everybody in the cast of TNG clearly likes everybody else in the cast, as well. The original show, eh, not so much. Shatner, I'm looking right at you and your inflated ego. And your toupee."

That probably has something to do with why I couldn't never get into TNG, just the general bland cheerfulness of it.
posted by octothorpe at 2:29 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


That probably has something to do with why I couldn't never get into TNG, just the general bland cheerfulness of it.

Oh come on, who doesn't imagine the bridge of a starship to look like the lounge in a Ramada Inn circa 1985?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:42 PM on March 21, 2013


That probably has something to do with why I couldn't never get into TNG, just the general bland cheerfulness of it.

That, and the fact that Future Is Upholstered.
posted by grubi at 2:42 PM on March 21, 2013


...the general bland cheerfulness of it.

Though I think there were fewer TNG endings where the crew has a good chuckle shortly after surviving a situation that claimed the lives of one or more redshirts.

Personally, I like both TOS and TNG. The Kirk vs. Picard question never made much sense to me, as they each bring different qualities to their work as captain in the best tradition of Federation diversity. I found the Abrams movie engaging enough, but it didn't, for me, evoke the quality of "Trek-ness" I find in TOS & TNG.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:43 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Abrams isn't just signing the back of his pay-cheque and handing it to April Webster he should be jailed. Perhaps 90% to her and the rest to Lens Flares R Us.
Without the incredible casting his films would be souless, empty Spielberg pastiches.

Or you know, Cloverfield.
posted by fullerine at 3:36 PM on March 21, 2013


Not sure if it's canon or not, but I remember reading in something somewhere along the line that young Kirk was the brash, incredibly talented but incredibly undisciplined frat boy that Abrams' film makes him out to be. Remember, we see Kirk in Abrams' movie at an earlier point in his career than we ever did in the original series. Not to defend the movie too much. I mean, I liked it and I thought it portrayed the characters pretty faithfully, at least as a glimpse of what they would become, but there were obvious problems, not the least which is the Beastie Boys blaring from the 1960s sports car. That's like a preteen kid today blaring some Mozart from his horse and buggy.
posted by dave78981 at 4:09 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Star Trek is, traditionally, incredibly boring.

Bite your tongue!
posted by Twang at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2013


Star Trek is, traditionally, incredibly boring.

Shaka, when the walls fell!
posted by yoink at 4:57 PM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Star Trek is, traditionally, incredibly boring.

*Sets phaser to kill*
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:09 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm favoriting this thread until my ass falls off.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:10 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Star Trek is, traditionally, incredibly boring.

FAULTY
FAULTY
MUST STERILIZE
IMPERFECTIONS

STERILIZE
posted by KHAAAN! at 5:25 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Easy now, NOMAD.
posted by Artw at 5:44 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember reading in something somewhere along the line that young Kirk was the brash

I dunno, the characterization I remember (don't recall the episode; both my memory and Google are failing me) is as a "walking stack of books".
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 5:59 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

That didn't bother me so much. If you can accept the fact that he wrestled command of a starship away from an experienced first officer, defeated space thugs from the future, while being grossly outgunned, thus saving the entire planet earth in the process, why is a promotion to captain out of the question?

It's not like it was "Congratulations on winning the Kobayashi Maru, here's your starship".

I'm OK with the rebooTrek. Star Trek is a long running franchise that has had many interpretations, sometimes during the same episode.
posted by device55 at 6:24 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


LOL I remember when Nick Meyer was the unpaid movie critic in the local university newspaper.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:27 PM on March 21, 2013


What color was the phaser flash when Kirk had the Enterprise stun the people on the gangster planet from orbit?

Gregor: So, what color is the boathouse at Hereford?
Sam: How the fuck should I know?

If you haven't seen The Captains, every Trek fan should. William Shatner interviews each of the other actors who played a lead Captain.

Oh, absolutely, it's great stuff. There's a slightly off-putting defensive tone at times, in relation to his recognition that some people hate him, but my takeaway was how interesting it was that none of the actors was all that much like their characters -- they're all theatre people and slightly bonkers creatives. Avery Brooks was fantastically weird, Stewart squirrelly philosophical, Mulgrew in some ways the most sophisticated and serious, Bakula pensive and funny (well, more like Sam Beckett than Jonathan Archer, anyway), and Pine relaxed and a lot more thoughtful about acting than you expect. Netflix.

the general bland cheerfulness of it.

Well, the overall tone was definitely Kennedyesque optimism about the future, there's no question. I do think Roddenberry was too tight on some of his principles, e.g. about all Starfleet officers being ethical and good at all times, and rarely having serious interpersonal conflicts.

Kirk went from Cadet to Captain of the flagship in, what, a week?

Yeah, but this is a sort of common Gary Stu trope, found in all of the different series to some extent. Yeah, it's great to think of our heroes as the best and the brightest, but do they always need to be the Guinness Book of World Records best and brightest of all time EVAR? You could almost say that Abrams was quoting/exaggerating with this one.

don't recall the episode

Gary Mitchell, WNMHGB. They were at the Academy together. MA notes various references to influential professors, reading assignments, and life experiences that point to an intellectually curious young man, but we also get the Kobayashi Maru reprogramming as canon ('the only cadet in Academy history to beat the "no-win" scenario' -- Gary Stu again). But he also hesitated when weapons officer of the Farragut, contributing to the loss of the captain and 200 crew. The opposite of brash, then, if you will.

The TOS bible (1967 ed.) states A shorthand
sketch of him might be "A space-age Captain Horatio Hornblower",
constantly on trial with himself, a strong, complex personality.


And the best minds in Hollywood could only give us the same 7 characters ONLY NOW MOAR XTREEEME!

Well, they've got to be the same 7 characters. I don't think they're MOAR XTREEME, though, just more wholly movie characters rather than expanded TV characters. I'm sure you realize the demands of serial drama are entirely different, and it's somewhat miraculous (especially given Hollywood output of late) that they made the leap without scuttling the whole ship, franchise-wise. The same sorts of tensions have arisen during the making of the Tolkien movies.

Let's empty out the Academy for this vaguely defined emergency! Because I guess we must've had all these ships sitting around with no one to crew them but still they are ready to go on (more or less) a moment's notice! And it's critical that they all be deployed NOW, because...stuff.

Well, I might remind you that just in the 20th century both Germany and Japan drafted young teenagers into the armed forces as their own adult cadres were destroyed. Anyway I'm not a fan of unnecessary exposition. The characters we're watching are fairly minor cogs in the war machine and aren't sitting at the war council table. They get their orders, they jump, right?
posted by dhartung at 6:33 PM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Reboot!Trek

That's spelled ReBoot!
posted by mikelieman at 6:34 PM on March 21, 2013


Kirk's tenacity in this class earned him the nickname "a stack of books with legs", and Mitchell later recalled how other cadets warned him to watch out for Lieutenant Kirk, since in his class, you were forced to "think or sink."

And also:

Looking back from the perspective of years, Kirk described himself as "positively grim" during that era [at Starfleet Academy],

Alternate universe, Thor's his dad, blah blah blah, but PineKirk is nothing at all like what BackstoryKirk is supposed to be like.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Obsessive captain chasing the elusive white ship through the nebula. "From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." Surprised and deflated Herman Melville does not come up in the article at all.
posted by relish at 7:52 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The change in Uhura's character is weird and inexplicable, or at least unexplained. Everybody else is more or less the same sort of person they were in the original; if anything an exaggeration thereof. But Nu-hura is completely different. She seems like the kind of character you'd get if you entered "gifted and ambitious female cadet" into some screenwriting software with everything set to default. The original Uhura was possibly the most complex character on the show (barring the occasional shitty writing that got through). Gentle by choice, capable of immense courage and initiative when called upon. Maybe the Nutrek writers simply don't know how to write for a character like that. Gentleness isn't really a thing in modern adventure films.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:21 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I might remind you that just in the 20th century both Germany and Japan drafted young teenagers into the armed forces as their own adult cadres were destroyed.

Which happened over the course of years, and no one in Trek had been destroyed by anything yet (until the mining vessel from the unimaginably advanced 25 whole years in the future crushed the entire Starfleet).
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:25 PM on March 21, 2013


What makes you think it was from 25 years in the future?

If it's from the original timeline, it would have to be from around the end of TNG, after Spock did his thing with the Romulans. So 75-100 years later.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:48 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always hate religion discussions.
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


What makes you think it was from 25 years in the future?

I...don't know. I thought that was the time frame they mentioned, but come to think of it I guess that must have been the lapse between their emergence in the past and their encounter with Kirk et al. What were they doing all that time, anyway?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:13 PM on March 21, 2013


There's huge great scenes which were dropped and appear only in spin off comics that explain that... So the movie could have been less like a random sequence of events but they simply didn't think that was a priority versus keeping action rolling.
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw TMP at the pictures on its release.

IT BLEW MY TINY MIND.

If I were old enough to know that drugs were good, or those odd jump suits were so awful, I might have had a different opinion.

It holds up well, especially given how Hollywood was moving between For Serious movies and Star Wars style fun flicks.
posted by Mezentian at 6:10 AM on March 22, 2013


What it does have, however, is a lady standing around in her underwear for no apparent reason,

I'll bet that reason involves decontamination gel.
posted by Mezentian at 6:18 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which happened over the course of years, and no one in Trek had been destroyed by anything yet (until the mining vessel from the unimaginably advanced 25 whole years in the future crushed the entire Starfleet).

At least from the plot summary online, the main fleet of the Federation was too far away to respond. Thus, they only had a few ships available, and probably those were not with complete crews due to their apparent stationing at earth. The cadets were then seeded across the available ships.

And yah, remember in the original timeline, young Kirk had a father. Wasn't the Corvette he was driving his step-father's? ISSUES.
posted by Atreides at 7:09 AM on March 22, 2013


I guess I'll also bring up how I think Nero's motivations make no sense, since it hasn't been mentioned yet. Home planet destroyed, irrationally blames the (apparently) one person actually trying to help, gets sent back in time, and instead of recognizing the second chance to set things right...decides to go on a murderous rampage. Well done.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:14 AM on March 22, 2013


At least from the plot summary online, the main fleet of the Federation was too far away to respond. Thus, they only had a few ships available, and probably those were not with complete crews due to their apparent stationing at earth. The cadets were then seeded across the available ships.

Even supposing this makes sense (and actually is probably the only thing that's really in keeping with TOS, since the Enterprise was seemingly always the "only available ship" in whatever sector they were in), it would have been nice to have mentioned this with more than the single phrase (not even sentence!), "With our primary fleet engaged in the Laurentian system," uttered by the admiral in charge of the administrative hearing (according to the trancript I just looked up) approximately two seconds after receiving a hand-delivered note re: a distress call. Now that's decisive action.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:18 AM on March 22, 2013


I guess I'll also bring up how I think Nero's motivations make no sense, since it hasn't been mentioned yet. Home planet destroyed, irrationally blames the (apparently) one person actually trying to help, gets sent back in time, and instead of recognizing the second chance to set things right...decides to go on a murderous rampage. Well done.

Some of this is in some spin-off cosmic but not deemed worthy of explanation in the movie because, again, apparently nobody cares about things like that.
posted by Artw at 7:22 AM on March 22, 2013


What were they doing all that time, anyway?

In the movie as presented, they were dicking around waiting for Spock to show up. In unused versions of the movie w/ deleted scenes, they were prisoners of the Klingons.

I guess I'll also bring up how I think Nero's motivations make no sense, since it hasn't been mentioned yet.

They make enough sense to me: Nero watched Romulus get blowed up and he is unwell, and he blames the person who fucked up the saving. Lord knows Bana plays him as crazy (Hi Christopher, I'm Nero...) and even does a good job of it. Nero is the same sort of dipshit that shoots up schools or blows up federal buildings.

It's certainly not an optimal course of action towards a goal of saving Romulus. At the same time, shooting up a school is not an optimal course of action towards fixing the problems in your life, and blowing up a federal building is not an optimal course of action towards saving liberty, and shooting up your former place of employment is not an optimal course of action towards seeking long-term employment, but people pursue those courses of action nonetheless.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:09 AM on March 22, 2013


Can we rag on the fact that while shooting in a brewery saves money over building sets, so would shooting a lot of other places that make a completely WTF substitute for a starship interior? Like an abandoned elementary school, a gravel pit or a disused Moscow Metro station? Actually the last would probably be pretty awesome. And definitely relatively awesome.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:23 AM on March 22, 2013


and shooting up your former place of employment is not an optimal course of action towards seeking long-term employment, but people pursue those courses of action nonetheless.

Except Nero actually had a direct way of saving his planet. You know, he time traveled to before the planet's destruction. Instead of doing something like giving his people a head's up, he takes out a vendetta against people a century removed. He's shown as unhinged, but not exactly crazy. But even if he was, that doesn't explain how horrifyingly nonsensical the plot is.
posted by spaltavian at 8:30 AM on March 22, 2013


Can we rag on the fact that while shooting in a brewery saves money over building sets, so would shooting a lot of other places that make a completely WTF substitute for a starship interior?

Alla the Doctor Who fans, who are patiently waiting for Journey To The Heart of the TARDIS are now nodding out heads remembering The Invasion Of Time.

Except those of us who have read the novelisation of The Edge Of Destruction. We are all weeping.
posted by Mezentian at 8:35 AM on March 22, 2013


Nero is the same sort of dipshit that shoots up schools or blows up federal buildings.

He's with it enough to captain a spaceship and lay long-term plans. Gotta wonder if throughout any of their 25 years of following this guy any of the other crew were like, "You know what, this maybe isn't the best plan ever." He's a little wild, but at no point does he give off the total crazy vibes except for the scene where he's all "IT HAS HAPPENED, I SAW IT HAPPEN" which just comes off like, man, you guys are just talking right past each other. Pike could have and should have been all, "Dude, we should work together to stop it from happening again," but no.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:45 AM on March 22, 2013


Except Nero actually had a direct way of saving his planet.

And people laid off from the post office have direct ways of seeking employment with a much higher probability of success than "Murder everyone at the post office."

He's with it enough to captain a spaceship and lay long-term plans.

...and Khan is with it enough enough to rule a substantial portion of the Earth, preserve his people through unimaginable hardship, steal a starship, and so on. But given the opportunity to go rule a planet somewhere or a very real shot at using Genesis and his superior intellect to establish himself as God-Emperor over some nontrivial number of star systems, he instead chooses to go haring off after the guy he's pissed off at and gets him and his company killed.

And Khan is probably way smarter than Nero, who is the future version of a randomly-selected coal-mine foreman.

I certainly don't mean to imply that there isn't a lot of dumb shit in 2009Trek (though I'm willing to forgive it for being entertaining). Just that Nero's motivations and choices aren't really among them; he's a blend of Ahab, McVeigh, and the stereotypical gone-postal shooter.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Except Nero actually had a direct way of saving his planet. You know, he time traveled to before the planet's destruction.

To be fair, it's not like he picked that time or chose to time-travel in the first place. AS for why he didn't warn his people, maybe he tried, and why would they believe a dude like THAT?
posted by grubi at 9:34 AM on March 22, 2013


I certainly don't mean to imply that there isn't a lot of dumb shit in 2009Trek (though I'm willing to forgive it for being entertaining). Just that Nero's motivations and choices aren't really among them; he's a blend of Ahab, McVeigh, and the stereotypical gone-postal shooter.

Plus, there's the fact that all of this is made up.
posted by grubi at 9:36 AM on March 22, 2013


You'd think they'd at least be interested in his fleet-destroying mining vessel, though.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:36 AM on March 22, 2013


Re: Khan, he had a right to be pissed, though. The Federation probably should have kept better tabs on him and his people instead of just haring off and not looking back. His crew were True Believers and they still tried to talk him out of his vendetta. Nero's crew? Nope, total drones.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:38 AM on March 22, 2013


Khan was nutso. HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED!
posted by grubi at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Plus, there's the fact that all of this is made up.

I tried that on my English Exam:

Briefly describe Ahab's motivations for hunting the whale.

HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY MOTIVATIONS BECAUSE HE'S A MADE UP FICTIONAL CHARACTER WHO DOESN'T REALLY EXIST!

For some reason I did not get get an A+ for this completely true response.
posted by straight at 10:48 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why do we have to make a list about which captain is better? It's much more fun to like them all.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:16 PM on March 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do we have to make a list about which captain is better? It's much more fun to like them all.

If we all agree, then we can't feel superior to the person who is OBVIOUSLY WRONG.

Ahem.

Regarding Nero, he's working from horrific pain. The agonizing realization that his family is dead, his home is gone, and all he wants to do is make Spock feel that exact same plan. He can't do it in the time period he's in because his little ol' mining vessel would get its rear handed to itself on a platter by the space battleships of the era; thus he has to go back in time to when he has the advantage. Yet, he needs to find Spock so he knows that Spock will be cognizant in real time to the very same destruction and shall I say, pain.

Thus, when he doesn't have Spock immediately upon his return, Nero must wait it out, a wait fueled with one vengeful agenda. This guy isn't spending his time re-considering his life choices, it's a daily doubling down on what he no longer has with no thought to altering the future timeline. If anything, his mania and desire for revenge likely grew over the period of years that he waited for Spock to appear.
posted by Atreides at 12:24 PM on March 22, 2013


Why do we have to make a list about which captain is better? It's much more fun to like them all.

I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on March 22, 2013


The only problem with that characterization, Atreides, is that we don't really see any of that towering, seething rage (except for one little outburst). Also, again, where is his crew in all this? Are they all consumed with such overmastering wrath?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:43 PM on March 22, 2013


Well, it's fair to say that it's likely the crew share in the anguish and probably have enjoyed 25 years of Spock / Vulcan will suffer pep talks on a daily basis. Different than Khan's crew, they don't see a future for themselves, so less motivation to alter the plan of vengeance.

As for Nero, the way he casually disposes of the captain of the first starship he runs into indicated he's more of a keep the vicious killer side under the surface type.
posted by Atreides at 2:24 PM on March 22, 2013


Maybe, but that's a lot of hand waving to wade through to get to something that sounds a bit like "because he's a cartoon villain" - I think I had that from the facial tattoos.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on March 22, 2013


I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities.

She has all the good qualities, in rotation. Consistency is the hobgoblin etc.
posted by thecaddy at 4:28 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Artw: "I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities."

I will forever be a huge fan of her scolding but supportive motherbestfriend relationship with Seven, and the constant behind-the-scenes sex she was probably having with Chakotay.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:59 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wasn't she banging a goddawful oirish stereotype on the holodeck?
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on March 22, 2013


She was only keeping up appearances.

Oh god, how awful was that late-game "Seven suddenly wants a sexual relationship!" storyline? DO NOT WANT.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:09 PM on March 22, 2013


As a reaction to a studio directive that some cheesecake be acted for ratings reasons Seven is actually managed to be a pretty great character most of the time.
posted by Artw at 6:16 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Artw: "I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities."

Well, Star Fleet made her an Admiral, so they agreed.
And she did get Voyager back home in just seven years.

Somehow.
posted by Mezentian at 1:33 AM on March 23, 2013


"I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities."

Janeway was awesome. Sort of like Katherine Hepburn in space.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:43 AM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Of course someone named Hitler would love Janeway.

It makes sense.

(Also, Ursula hated the Little Mermaid, and I think I could metaphor that if I tried.)
posted by Mezentian at 6:22 AM on March 23, 2013


"I'm sure Janeway must have SOME good qualities."

Janeway was awesome. Sort of like Katherine Hepburn in space.


I'm sure that was the concept, but most of the time they just wrote her as if she had a gigantic stick up her butt.
posted by Artw at 7:00 AM on March 23, 2013


Artw: "As a reaction to a studio directive that some cheesecake be acted for ratings reasons Seven is actually managed to be a pretty great character most of the time."

Pretty much every time some disaster occurred aboard ship I was hoping for most of the crew to be wiped out and for the rest of the series to just be Janeway, Seven, the Doctor, and Naomi Wildman, perhaps with the top half of Neelix welded to a deckplate in the galley so they wouldn't starve.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:42 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


They had great disasters on that that show, but mashed the reset button super hard afterwards.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


We forgot Shatner's birthday.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2013


Well I hope someone feels bad now.
posted by Atreides at 6:49 PM on March 23, 2013


"Of course someone named Hitler would love Janeway.

It makes sense."


Not really. What are you getting at? Why would my liking that character have anything to do with the fact that I share the same last name as a genocidal dictator? Are you suggesting that Janeway is a fascist in some way? Because, no.

"(Also, Ursula hated the Little Mermaid, and I think I could metaphor that if I tried.)"

OK. I have the feeling you're trying to insult me, maybe, but it's more like you're playing some weird, private game of pop culture Mad Libs.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:54 AM on March 24, 2013


I'm sure that was the concept, but most of the time they just wrote her as if she had a gigantic stick up her butt.

So, exactly like Picard?
posted by Chuckles at 5:27 AM on March 27, 2013


OK. I have the feeling you're trying to insult me, maybe, but it's more like you're playing some weird, private game of pop culture Mad Libs.

My good chum, wasn't Ursula the big bad in The Little Mermaid?

I'm not going to lie: when I saw this it was in VHS and we also got out an R-rated film and, well, we were in high school so there was booze and probably drugs, so it has been some time, so I might have grabbed the wring character name.

But, no, no insult. I was just tangeting.

As many deleted comments as I seem to have, they are never about other users.
posted by Mezentian at 10:56 AM on March 28, 2013


Star Trek’s Uhura And Spock Were Supposed To Hook Up Years Ago, Then William Shatner Pulled Rank
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM on April 20, 2013


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