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Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:53am (UTC -6)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@ Yanks

I love the way where you just skip over my first two paragraphs and go straight for the hyperbole. Your addressing only my silly way of blowing off some steam -- because I admit, watching that trailer actually makes me angry, probably a lot more than it should -- conveniently allows you to bypass my actual concern, and retain your own (I would argue) misguided optimism expressed earlier in the thread. Seriously, it's like you didn't even notice the abrupt change in tone. The shift to elevated in-universe references alone should have tipped you off. My God, I didn't think I would have to throw up "sarc" tags.

Since you apparently missed the thrust of my earlier comment, let me try again. Star Trek sometimes does action, but Star Trek is not an action franchise. Further, its attempts at grand-scale action setpieces (e.g., the buggy chase scene in "Nemesis", or the Scimitar-corridor shootout from the same movie) often come across both as underwhelming action and as inferior Star Trek. But even the deeply flawed "Nemesis" was hobbled in its attempts to Try Something a Bit Different by still trying to hold to the general tone of the universe. I see no evidence of any such hobbling in this trailer. The most logical conclusion is that Abrams and Co. are perfectly happy letting the tonal drift from the last movie proceed -- making another Star Trek flick that most hard-core Star Trek fans will barely recognize as such, in an attempt to put general-audience butts in seats for a "sci-fi" action-fest.

Could the end product be more like Star Trek than the trailer is letting on? Yes. But after the terrible time I had at ST:iD, I'm not prepared to hand out benefit of the doubt. And I'm not keen on the thought of shelling out thirteen bucks for an IMAX ticket to watch "Star Trek: The Fast and the Pointiest." Looking at the trailer, you have to concede the possibility that it's headed in that direction. Really big stunts, way too much CGI destruction, one-liners to make you groan (or me, anyway) -- based on the evidence before us, my case is stronger than yours.
But you're too busy policing my last comment to see that. It's almost as if...as if you're trying to distract our attention away from the movie...until it's TOO LATE...

That's it, isn't it?! Clearly, you're in on the conspiracy! What part of J.J.'s vast Empire do you work for? Tell us right now, you gorram nerf herder, or I'll shove you in the nearest trash compactor. Or maybe it won't go that far...you see, contrary to rumor, there IS such a thing as a Vulcan death grip.

(Did you see it now, or do I have to pull out the "sarc" tags?)
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

Hello Everyone!

I'm sort of okay with this episode. A two-star that I kinda like but have a little disappointment in. Heh, I suppose that could be the definition of two-star. :)

I mostly liked the concept. It is an intriguing thought that if Klingons are not taught to be warriors, they might be fine being farmers. Not that they had a farm we could see, just a little hobby garden. But even in a warrior society, Someone has to be the scientist or farmer...

Upon first watching the original, and my recent viewing, I'm struck that Ba'el could argue for their peaceful community, when the only ones with the weapons are the Romulans. Yes, they have peace, but it is the peace of the sword. There are no Klingon guards, only Romulan. Perhaps since she grew up with it, and is part Romulan, these things seem natural to her. Yes they can leave the compound, but there is no doubt they have to return. Hmm... if they seem to be the only ones on the planet, why keep them all in a compound? The whole planet could/would be a prison, and they could all be a part of a fledgling agrarian society. But somehow I doubt many of the Romulans were tending the garden anyway. That was for the Klingons to take care of. Life in the compound seems like it would have been deadly dull.

And I kept thinking of K'Ehleyr while Worf was being a jerk to Ba'el. It just seemed... off... for him to be so (originally) disgusted by her lineage.

I'm thinking that when things started to go sideways, Tokath would have put Worf in one of the cells that must certainly still remain, since this was originally a prison. Killing Worf might make him a martyr, but the Klingons may have understood him being under lock-and-key. And I doubt he would have let anyone leave, even with their word they wouldn't tell anyone about the camp. Klingons seem to get loose lips when they've been drinking...

Now about Worf. The comments above by Troy about the Buddhist echoes my thoughts. Worf learned about Klingon society from the outside, and has an idealized version of it in his head. He knows how their honor should work, knows the stories, knows how they should strive to live. But there is a difference between theory and reality. Klingons should be above politics, be all-for-one, but reality is they have plenty. Worf always seems ready for battle, even at party events or in 10-Forward, but reality is they let their guard down a bit when off-duty (as shown in the mess hall when Riker served aboard one of their ships). And it was told that Klingons don't drink with their enemies, but reality is that if they are fighting each other, they do drink with them at neutral locations. These are compromises that are made with their beliefs. They know about their codes, but realize there are grey areas, and they are used to living with them. Worf, on the other hand, believes everything should be set in stone, because that is how he was self-taught. I think Worf starts to lose faith with Klingon society in general, because they don't live up to his expectaions. We see more of that a few episodes in the future.

Have a Great Day Everyone... RT
John TY
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 3:14am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

It kinda makes any victories the good-guys had in the original trilogy a bit pointless doesn't it... Empire's back; Death Star's back; Luke has trained new Jedi but they're all dead (except for his nephew who's gone bad); You can learn to use the force, and a light-sabre, in about 5 minutes (all these theories about Rey's repressed memory are ridiculous - as Jason R was saying - there needs to be some indication from her, or those around her, that she is MASSIVELY exceeding her known abilities); Han is a smuggler again and he and Leia's relationship didn't really add up to much; Sith lords can use the force to read minds now - why didn't Vadar just "mind-meld" the Rebel Base info out of Leia's head in ANH? (I guess this is an issue with ROTJ as well when Vadar discovers he has a daughter by reading Luke's thoughts/emotions) If this is some Knights-of-Ren ability then some reference to that effect might have been handy. And as an aside, all this talk of getting-rid-of/minimising CGI only to have the main villain and a yoda-wannabe needlessly animated.

I think this is my problem with Abrams reboots: He has so much respect for the franchise but close to zero respect for the people that worked on it before him.

Then again, Star Wars is purely a corporate vessel now and he probably has to wear Disney's directives. At least when you get a Lucas-type running the show you know you're gonna see what they want and not what they've been told to show you.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Did anyone else notice Riker flipping off the camera when he was explaining the feromantel drive? I might usually not read too much into that, but given the nature of this one scene, I assumed it was a deliberate part of the joke.

That was one of the funniest scenes in Star Trek, and I am definitely slaving my bilateral kelilactirals into the primary heisenfram terminal from now on.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 9:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Lessons learned:

1. It's totally OK to perform your own mass social experiments without asking anyone involved if they want to be a part of it, as long as you eventually get them to drink the Kool Aid.

2. O'Brien can do things with a rock in water that folks living with no technology for 10 years couldn't even possibly dream of.

Thanks, writers.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

@BZ I believe the episode before this is OBriens first coffee order.

@Elliott Your reviews have been consistently entertaining. Any plans to continue? :)
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 5:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

Upon first viewing, I was a bit lost when Picard was a blue-shirt. I figured after he stopped the fight, he would still have knowledge of Q and how he had been the captain of a ship. It took me a bit to realize he went on with his life with no knowledge of his alternate (captain) self. But I didn't understand why, when we see him in the blue-shirt version, he didn't remember anything about his life or how he got there. He didn't even know what his rank and duties were.

Perhaps changing his risk-taking, taking the safer course, would not have led him to captain a starship, but I cannot believe for a moment he would end up as a junior lieutenant at the same time he was a captain in the other version of his life. He would still have at least some of his passions, and if he was taking a different course towards being a blue-shirt, I believe he would go all-in. Even if he was a very passive man after avoiding the fight, he'd have had to screw up pretty badly to only get one promotion before he was 63. I figure whatever his job was, he would do it very well.

Or maybe he'd just go into archaeology. :)

Have a Great Day... RT
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

* 5 were 2.5 stars

...Phone keyboards *grumbles*
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Now that I have a bit of down time, I went back and did my own mini-statistical analysis of Fuller's episodes, based off Jammer's ratings. Granted the star ratings don't always tell you the full story but it's a good overview (granted it should be taken with a grain of salt since VOY went off the air in 2000 and Fuller has had 15 years to improve his craft) to see where things stand.

So according to Jammer:

-Fuller has written 22 episodes total (I'm counting "Flesh and Blood" as one ep). Of those, 4 were 1.5 or less (18.18%), 2 were 2 stars (9.09%), 3 were 2.5 stars (22.72%), 5 were 3 stars (22.72%), 3 were 3.5 stars (13.64%) and 3 were 4 stars (13.64%).
-That means that 11/22 of his eps are considered "recommended" by Jammer. Not too shabby in my book.
-Yes, Fuller wrote the awful "Spirit Folk" and "Fury", but he also wrote (or had a part in writing) four episodes I consider Voyager Classics - "Living Witness", "Drone", "One Small Step' and "Flesh and Blood". I can forgive him one or two bad days.

Doesn't really tell us much though; we'll just have to wait and see what's on our screen in 2017. I imagine this is the point where news starts to trickle out a little at a time. My predictions: We'll get full casting/writers info in March-May, filming will start in June and go till August/September, and we'll get the first trailer in August/September.
Paul M.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I suppose that's just it, Chrome: since Tomalak is pretty much the only recurring Romulan, he became the "cool" Romulan. But is he? I mean really, what do we know about the guy? What makes him tick? What does he stand for? What defines his character? What do you imagine he does when he's not on screen? I speak only for myself, but I'm clueless on all these questions. That, in my opinion, is not an interesting character. Sloyan's Romulan from this very episode left a much, much bigger impression on me than Katsulas ever did over however many episodes he appeared in.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 3:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

I always like watching this episode. Even though the ending just sort of works itself out a little blandly, overall it was very enjoyable.

Now for my silly comments. :)

I believel this episode showed how they must have MiracleGrow for hair. If I'm not mistaken (and I might be), Worf's hair is suddenly down his back for the first time. And Troi's hair was probably cut when they gave her the Romulan makeover, but when she is in sickbay at the end, she has her full head of hair again. It must have been regrown.

So I figure, if Captain Picard really wanted a full head of hair, he could have it any time he wanted. In 5 minutes, he'd be heading to the barber for a trim. :D

Regards... RT
Jason R.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 2:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

"@Peter G
One minor flaw with your Order 66 theory. This was a republic so even if the Jedi were considered traitors they would have deserved a trial, not to be executed off hand. This would be true even if the Republic was under martial law. You also ignore the fact that the Jedi now had evidence that Palpatine had committed treason; they went to arrest him, not execute him (unless you believe the serial liar/deceiver Palpatine)."

Adam, what evidence did the Jedi have that Palpatine committed treason? None that I can think of. They knew he was a Sith Lord, but as Peter noted, it's unlikely there was a law against a Sith being chancellor.

Further, if they didn't have the right to arrest him, did Palpatine have the right to resist that arrest? They drew their swords against him first, didn't they? And it was Mace who attempted to execute Palpatine at the end against Anakin's protestations that Palpatine was entitled to trial.

No, Peter is correct. The Jedi had no evidence that Palpatine had committed a crime, thus their attempted arrest of him (by force) was illegal, as was certainly their attempts to kill him without trial.

Where it gets fuzzy is in the Order 66 scene and Palpatine's summary execution of the Jedi still out on the battlefield. Of course we don't know much of the laws of the Republic, but Palpatine could make a reasonable case that they were all part of an organized conspiracy to kill him.

Even today our government executes people all the time in distant lands and battlefields through drone strikes and special forces purely by virtue of those people being members in a criminal organization such as ISIL or Al Qaeda. In this case, Palpatine would have made a similar case.

Now slaughtering Jedi children at the temple... well I guess Palpatine might have had some trouble explaining that. But then again, when U.S. drones fire their hellfire missiles at terrorists, sometimes children die too. So even then you can see how it could be spun by Palpatine...
Diamond Dave
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 1:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Revulsion

I haven't said this much since the early series of TNG, but this was an excellent premise that suffered from fairly poor delivery. The concept of a disturbed hologram, and the Doctor's reaction to that, could have been really interesting. But instead we got a low budget slasher with some scenery chewing to boot.

The Seven/Harry story on the other hand was light but well-handled. There is a very dry wit developing here that is welcome - and her frankness in the face of Harry's bumbling made for a hilariously uncomfortable scene.

Overall though - "This could get tedious" indeed. 2 stars.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

This two-parter really makes me wish that TNG had embraced arc-based storytelling. In today's science-fiction series, Picard's torture and Jellico's command would span at least half a season (and they woudld have found a less-contrived way to get Picard in Gul Madred's clutches. Maybe ambush him while he's on vacation?)

It would have been fun, I think, to watch Jellico clash with Riker and the rest of the crew. Moreover, I think it would have been REALLY interesting to see if Data flourished or foundered as First Officer under the demanding Captain Jellico. Among other things, I wish TNG had featured more episodes where we could see Data commanding the Enterprise.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Plot summary: DS9's inept crew tried to dispose of biological weapons without launching them into the sun or just dematerializing them with a transporter. Contrived hijinx ensue.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Wait? He wrote SPIRIT FOLK?

Ok, he's dead to me.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: The Forsaken

Damn it, I keep forgetting to add my counters.

WTF HAIR - 4 (+2)
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 12:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: The Forsaken

Lwaxana Troi - simultaneously the worst and best parts of "The Forsaken".

The episode starts out with her straight-up physically assaulting Quark for a crime he didn't commit. Just to be clear here - of the three characters in that scene (Troi, Quark and Odo) the only one actually committing a crime is Troi. When it turns out that Quark is actually totally innocent, does Odo arrest Troi? No, of course not. Does he reprimand her? No, of course not. Does he even give her a slap on the wrist or a disapproving glance?! No, of course not! She doesn't even apologize to Quark! Jesus! But, then, I guess the writers want us to hate Quark so.... fuck it, I suppose? Yeah, just openly harm those you don't like - wonderful message there! Quark is easily the best character thus far and yet the writers seem determined to treat him like shit.

Thankfully, Troi is then allowed to take part in the only redeeming feature of the episode - her scenes with Odo in the turbolift. While staying true to her talkative, annoying character, they also allow her to be a compassionate, understanding and sympathetic person. Nicely done. We also get a nice look into Odo's background and character as well.

The rest of the episode is agonizingly dull. The "pup" story-line is devoid of any drama, tension, suspense or excitement. The less said about it the better. The Bashir/ambassadors story-line is equally banal. However, it does make me think of an interesting theory....

Maybe the writers were trying to say that the 24th century Federation is too sure of itself. Member worlds are so used to being comfortable that they're not even taking diplomacy seriously anymore. So all the ambassadors care about is whether they get fancy quarters or not, instead of actually learning about Bajor or the Wormhole. Do they even realize how important the station could potentially be? From their viewpoint, does Bajor even matter? It's a situation that raises a few warnings about where the Federation might be headed.

Of course, that's all bullshit and I'm not actually willing to give the writers that much credit. What it really is is the standard Trek cliche of ambassadors acting like jerks, nothing more.

Aside from Troi essentially being allowed to do the equivalent of kicking Quark in the groin there isn't anything particularly bad about "The Forsaken". And aside from the scenes (a few touching) in the turbolift, there's nothing particularly good about it either.

Lord Garth
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 12:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I was already thinking about doing someone similar to that anyway, except using my own personal ratings, but this exercise is basically the same thing, so I'll bit the bullet.

Pulling up another tab, to look for Jammer's ratings, and plugging in the numbers...

"The Darkness and the Light" - 3
"Empok Nor" - 2

"The Raven" - 2.5
"Mortal Coil" - 3
"Retrospect" - 3
"Living Witness" - 4
"Drone" - 4
"Gravity" - 2.5 (one of my favorites, so I disagree with this)
"Bride of Chaotica!" - 2
"Course: Oblivion" - 1.5
"Juggernaut" - 2.5
"Relativity" - 3
"Barge of the Dead" - 4
"Alice" - 2.5
"One Small Step" - 3.5
"Spirit Folk" - 1
"Fury" - 1.5
"The Haunting of Deck Twelve" - 1.5 (sounds way too harsh)
"Flesh and Blood" - 3.5 (not so sure about that... )
"Workforce, Part I and II" - 3.5 for Part I, 3 for Part II
"Friendship One" - 2.5

"Flesh and Blood" and "Workforce" count twice as two-part/two-hour episodes.


63 stars divided by 23 episodes (Memory Alpha counts "Flesh and Blood" once I believe, I'm counting it twice) provides a star average of...

2.739 stars.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

@Chrome, Jason R: I loved Tomalak as well and was very disappointed that this was his last true appearance. For the role he was given, he played it very well. Katsulas did play the Vissian Captain on the ENT episode "Cogenitor" though. Sadly, he passed away in 2006.

It would have been nice to have him or Sela in Star Trek Nemesis in place of the one-off Romulan Commander Donatra.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:28am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Looking up Fuller's record, I'm hopeful. According to Memory Alpha, in 2009 he said in an interview he wanted a new series based on "old style" Trek. To quote him: "I loved Voyager and Deep Space Nine, but they seem to have lost the '60s fun and I would love to take it back to its origin."

Going back to Memory Alpha, Fuller's record includes:

"The Darkness and the Light"
"Empok Nor"

"The Raven"
"Mortal Coil"
"Living Witness"
"Bride of Chaotica!"
"Course: Oblivion"
"Barge of the Dead"
"One Small Step"
"Spirit Folk"
"The Haunting of Deck Twelve"
"Flesh and Blood"
"Workforce, Part I and II"
"Friendship One"

Someone else can compile an average of the Jammers ratings for this eps; I'm not going to do it. ;)
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@Yanks - 100% agree. SW/ST fans are rivals in many settings, but I always felt that was more in a good fun (my Dad can beat up your Dad, Batman could beat up Spiderman, the Enterprise could beat the Millennium Falcon) kind of thing than anything else. This is not like Marvel vs DC where the average person doesn't have time to read 4 billion comics and most prefer one brand to another. The honest truth is that I don't really know too many Star Trek fans that haven't seen most of Star Wars. Sure, most of us know which we prefer, I'm 100% a Trekker, but I've still seen all 7 SW movies.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:21am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Patrick D, James, and others: I'm in full agreement with you on Trek's need for an optimistic, humanistic outlook; as much as I enjoyed nuBSG, I feel that if Star Trek took that path it would be a death sentence for the show in the long run. I think that's one of the reasons why people left Enterprise; it cleaved a bit *too* close to contemporary issues at the time, especially in S3 (even for me, speaking as someone who thought highly of ENT S3 as a whole). There's nothing wrong with commentary on contemporary issues, of course (after all, it was such a big component of TOS/TNG), but there's a fine line between insightful commentary versus paralleling current events *too* closely and being about as subtle as a brick clanging to the floor.

That's probably the reason why I became such a big Doctor Who fan; for the most part IMO it was able to recapture the optimistic sense of anything-can-happen adventure that Trek used to have but lost sometime in the middle of DS9. Anyone looking for a show with a mostly optimistic outlook, I strongly recommend giving the 2005 version of Doctor Who a try, at least to tide you over till 2017. I find it to be the closest thing to TOS/TNG currently on the market as far as official TV shows are concerned (not counting the fan series New Voyages and Star Trek Continues which are also very, very good and well worth checking out too). If Bryan Fuller uses Doctor Who as a model for the new Trek series I will be very happy indeed.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

"I am seriously considering the notion that self-proclaimed Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams might just be on a three-movie mission to severely damage (and, if possible, destroy) his love's most prominent rival brand."

I've read lots of "WTF" posts on this site and have most certainly written a few myself, but this one just takes the cake.

Good lord...

A couple things... what you insinuate is so far beyond considering it's almost funny. Also, folks need to realize Star Trek and Star Wars are NOT rivals. (despite what all the fan-boys think) Star Trek has Star Wars to thank for being on the big screen. They are apples & oranges and actually complement each other. The universe is definitely big enough for the two of them.
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 9:53am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

I think Tomalak's actor plays a good Cold War villain, to say the least. His more memorable episode is "The Enemy". Though it was nice to have him back in "All Good Things..."

I can't think of a more memorable Romulan, to be honest. I suppose Nero from the Abrams' Trek movie, but that's more likely because the movie is newer, not because Nero was a stellar Romulan.
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