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Nolan
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

... huh.
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Nolan
Sat, Feb 10, 2018, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

Something I didn't see mentioned is how Kira's plot is a reflection of her plotline in "Emissary" A potential occupier has come to Bajor, and through turns of events, mistrust and arrogance, Kira must face down this force with her own limited resources. In both episodes the conflict is resolved after the wormhole opens and a Starfleet officer asks Kira to remind them not to play cards with her due to here ability to bluff.

This isn't a simple retread however, oh no. In "Emissary" Kira was facing off against the Cardassians, who for Bajor are the big bad guys, but are lets be honest, a second rate power. Here, both she and Bajor have grown to the point they're facing off against one of The Big Three Alpha Quadrent powers.

In this episode the conflict is resolved without firing a shot, whereas in "Emissary" the Cardassians did some damage to the station.

Now, while in both episodes the situation was resolved by a Starfleet officer. However in Emissary those on the Station were trying to buy time for a Fed ship to rescue them, here Kira is on her own. In Emissary the situation is resolved by the fortuitous return of Sisko. In this episode it is Kira herself that affects the outcome.

She's also way less aggressive and angry here. This plot really shows how far she and Bajor have come.
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Nolan
Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 5:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Sigh... I did have a thohght about how the use of a 'time warp' in "The Cage" could, along with the spore drive indicate that in this era Starfleet were experimenting with new propulsion methods, but I see that climate wars opened a new front here.

Remember, data can be manipulated and thrown on graphs to represent anything, question the extent and longevity of the trends being represented is the data based on recorded climate patterns which only go as far back as we thought to start recording them, or analysis of the various rock strata dating back to prehistory?

Remember also; the truth of a debate lies in following the money, of who benefits finacially most or is at risk of losing more if wrong. If a scientist is wrong, they write a paper about how the data didn't match the hypothesis and move on to a new one. They get grant money either way.

Consider Mercury, despite being closer to the Sun, is 20°F cooler than Venus, which is twice as far from the Sun, but has an atmosphere thick with greenhouse gases, of which CO2 belongs to. One could almost say that Venus has some pretty extreme weather, considering it's hot enough to melt iron.

Consider also that even if Climate Change isn't happening, the benefits of green technology built to combat it would in terms of air quality, renewable resources and power distribution across the class divides, be worth the hassle of changing the technology that shapes our lives anyway. Are you saying you WANT to live in smog choked cities? No, no one is, that'd be insane. But the only way to avoid that is with green tech.

So why argue? It all just boils down to who you'd rather give your money to. And those guys taking your money, they don't care that you think you're right, or that you won an internet argument. They only care about getting the only green that matters to them. Yours.
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Nolan
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Shannon

Yes, it was sooo gratifiying to see my whole paragraphs long, thought out and perhaps even eloquint spiel about frusterated Trek fans, finding common ground and working together to be so succinctly encapsulated, eviserated and deflated in a rapid-fire string of vulgarity-laden sentances.

Thanksss... -_-
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Nolan
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 4:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@ anthimos112, Shannon, LJ, et al;

It seems you are possibly unfamiliar with "hate-watching" and "hatedoms". Basically the act of watching or consuming a piece of media with the express purpose of ragging on it. It's been a few semesters since I took my Audience and Reception course, so you'll have to forgive me for being a bit sketchy on the details.

But hate-watching is an outgrowth of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 formula, i.e, watching something to make fun of it. A notable recent example of this would be The Room, which I'm sure you've heard of. Its entire fanbase grew solely out of people sharing and making fun of this awful movie. There is a camaraderie found in picking apart and hating on articles of entertainment and having your opinion on that article agreed upon by a group.

Just as there is when you love a show and share it and possibly enter into its fandom.

Now, there is not just one reason for a hatedom to develop, that of making fun of legitimately bad film/shows that "deserve" it, but also from fans of a media franchise who feel so attached to it, who feel a deep connection to this article of pop culture that they feel they must hold it up to a certain standard, based on their personal experiences with it and whether or not any additions reach them on that personal level. And they continue to watch out of optimisim and hope that the show will manage in some way to live up to those standards they hold it against.

I believe this is the type of hatedom you are most likely enountering here. Those who hold Star Trek up as an ideal, and don't feel that ideal is being met. Who don't feel as connected to this new addition as in days gone by. And that frusterates them. So instead they forge that connection with other like-minded fans, and in that way they enjoy the show. Not for the show itself, but for the connection it gives them to other fans.

There is no "right way" to watch and enjoy a show, and perhaps those who don't like it should try and refrain from making complaints that insinuate insults towards fans that do. But to grow angry at them for finding whatever enjoyment out of the show they can, for not seeing the hope behind their critical comments is to ignore and potentially attack THEIR personal journey, just as you surely must've felt wading through countless nitpicks.

As I said in my comment above, one of the things I think this episode presented was a look at how those of different ideologies interact and relate to each other. So are you, like Burnham and Lorca, going to argue and fight with those who constantly critique the show because you don't see eye to eye, or are you going to do what Georgiou and Burnham did and find some common ground and work together to get through the rest of the season? ;-)

Are we team Star Trek, or aren't we? Because that's the key, we all love and feel a connection to Trek, regardless of the different personal ways we're drawn to it. And that its touched so many in a myriad of different ways is why it's great. And I think we can all agree on that.
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Nolan
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 2:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Okay, I gotta weigh in here... My opinions on Discovery are... mixed. It is NOT the show I wanted. There are far too many franchise inconsistencies here. (Changing the Klingon look from what they should be solely so there could be a manchurian agent storyline with a "surprise" twist to match TV of the day is SO lazy) Not caring about fitting technical advancement in relation to other series just to be 'futuristic' also rankles. (Maybe WW3 would've pushed back holo-communications tech somehow, maybe it really set us back technologically. Nope) My only hope for the solution of those inconsistancies is for it to be revealed that we are, in fact in an alternate Universe. The dang spore drive does that now.

That said, I will argue against cries of "too much action, not enough thinking." While yes, Discovery isn't AS cerebral as other Trek, it's not devoid of it, I don't think. It's used the MU to discuss; identity, how our environment shapes us, what it means to be faced by those with different ideologies than you (fight [Burnham/Lorca], or find common ground [Burnham/MU!Georgiou]) and you know, semi-shoe-horned in Climate Change asides. It also had a healthy dose of classic Trek problem solving, regardless of treknobabble.

It also had copious amounts of mindless action. As does EVERY TREK. There's a reason Kirk is known for ripping his shirt. The bugger gets into fights CONSTANTLY. Haha. I mean, he kicked Khan's ass the first time they met. He tried to beat the s#@% outta Spock when the guy was hopped up on space spores. As he and a roomful of Prime characters did so to MU Spock when they landed up in the Mirror universe. In the PILOT episode Pike fought with a random alien in a space castle before impaling him with a, um pike.

Point is, action, fighting et cetera have always been a part of Trek. What matters is how much it's backed up by characterization or issues of morality, ethics or plain ole introspection. DS9 the "war" show had a few episodes whose main draw was a space battle, but there was enough going on around it either in the background or in other episodes that it got away with them. Compare this to '09 which had hardly anything deep backing up that action romp. Discovery isn't near as that bad in how it skews the violence/cerebral balance as that movie.

So what's my point? Well I guess it's not to decry mindless action scenes in Trek. They've been there since the beginning (Kirk v Finney, real thinker of a fisticuff fight there). Rather look to see what the balance is while recognizing how the TV landscape has changed through each Trek incarnation to skew the balance more to one end of the spectrum than the other. (One of the reasons I think SF Debris song choice for his Discovery reviews is so very apt, it is a sign of the times)

As for this ep, I liked it for the most part. Excited for the potential for having an Alien as the main Captain. And Discovery's brig has the potential to be a wacky sit-com, A female Klingon, in love with a human looking Klingon with a human identity crisis, (Discovery's driving theme it seems) and a disgraced Mirror universe emperor, all living in the same space. What could go wrong!? "Come and knock on my door..."
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Nolan
Tue, Dec 5, 2017, 4:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Re: The f-bombs. I too found them unnecessary and somewhat awkward, yet I can't exactly say it's not Star Trek. Picard said 'shit" in French a couple times in early TNG. And let's not forget how the producers on TOS had to fight for Kirk's "Let's get the hell out of here." In City on the Edge of Forever. Always pushing the envelope.

Now I'm curious how cursing fits into the "enlightened" Trek future. It is considered "lowbrow" and yet at least mild cursing has been in all series. Yet it's good for dramatic punches.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 1:22am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

@Slackerink, I'm not sure if it was her, but one of the Orion women was played by the actress who played Ziyal 1st, I think (there were 3), Gul Dukat's daughter on DS9.
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Nolan
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 2:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I'm really happy to be Canadian right now (always) as Discovery airs on actual TV here. Even though I still have to PVR it cause university life.
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Nolan
Tue, Jul 4, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

At this point in time, pre-Discovery and including the Animated Series, with the reboot movies tacked on at the end, going chronologically this episode is halfway through all Star Trek on film. So at least it has that going for it. For now.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 2:09am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

I should confess though to a certain level of hypocrisy in my last comment, as some months ago I did rip into someone on this very site for having a different read of an episode, and different opinions in general, and made some insinuations about the commenter personally. And then I never participated in the following debate. I was going through some other frusterating things at the time, and a button got pushed, and I believe some of that frusteration got vented towards that commenter.

As such, if that person is still around and reading comments, I would like to say that, despite disagreeing on some fundamental issues, I was still out of line and am offering my apologies to you. Even if it is months later and we've all moved on.
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Nolan
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 1:56am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

@dave johnson

You know, I'm a communications student, and am in a class examining audience and reception, and one thing that came up was the idea of "hate watching" something.

Essentially, it's watching something you hate, and getting enjoyment from poking holes in it. Now, to regular fans of something, such as Star Trek, to see this is confusing, and can maybe sometimes feel like you may be personally attacked for liking this thing that someone enjoys ripping to shreds. But to better understand this, one need not look further than the Phantom Menace. Yes, there are those who enjoy the movie, but I would hazard to guess that many more watch it to point out just how and where in it's narrative, characterization and runtime that movie failed, if for nothing else to make jokes at it's expense. And not to get political, but to merely give a recent example, it's no doubt a factor in the interest in American politics, talk shows tapping into that "hate watch" mentality that anti-Trump fans have in regards to his Presidency.

Regardless of that political example and my hypothisizing about it (seriously, I've seen how heated that stuff can get and want to avoid interjecting into it) though and instead focusing soley on pop culture, hate watching something is just another way to consume mass media, and strange as it may seem to those that like the thing being torn apart, it is just as legitamate way to consume pop culture as any other, as it is very much so an individual thing, unique to each viewer.

That said, I totally get the initial defensiveness to it though, like, "hey, stop ragging on this thing I like." I just try to view that stuff instead as what it is, a differing perspective and read growing out of different experiences, circumstances, and dispositions, which in turn, helps me to expand my understanding of the world and the people on it, so I can be more understanding of others.
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Nolan
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

@Ross Carlson

That's really fascinating, and definatly something I wouldn't have thought about.

There is one point I think I can argue, though. It might be just as ridiculous as the episode's problems are for you though. Namely, I think at this point it's been established that Picard suffered from some future!disease that gave him a very sensitive ear. In Innsurrection for example, he hears a misalignment in the engines from the bridge, amazing Geordie. Couse that was partly due to what was happening in rhe movie, but the way Picard reacts, it's not an uncommon occurance.
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Nolan
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 12:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

@David

There's really nothing special, the actors are just standimg still. It's called a tableau. It's taught fairly early in acting class, though it can be difficult in some aspects, such as not looking like you're breathing.

There's actually a game called moving statues where a group of people can't move while another roams through the crowd. If they see you move, you're out. It's really fun to sneak up on the guy while their back is turned only for them to freak out when they turn back around. Basically Weeping Angels, minus the time displacement, if you get that reference.
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Nolan
Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 1:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

@Trek fan

It should be mentioned that the Klingon arc of Season 4 was the result of some executive meddling, who felt the show, while adequate in the ratings , could do better. So they went with the popular aliens, the Klingons to buoy the ratings, as well as bring bace a TNG character.

I look forward to reading your posts as you continue your journey through the rest of this series.
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Nolan
Fri, Dec 30, 2016, 1:52am (UTC -6)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

@Peremensoe

Great, now I'm imagining a burnt to a crisp Anakin laying on that slab whilst Palpatine parades a number of models past him, showing off all the colour options of his suit.

-Palpatine: "Perhaps you'd like a crimson red, great power colour, plus it'll hid a bloodstains you may get on it while carrying out the work of the Empire."
-Anakin: "Augh, I'm in agony here! Everything burns!"
-P: "And here for that summer chic, we have a yellow and orange colour option, great for those beach parties!"
-A: "I hate the sand."
-P: "Fine. Well just go for black. Sheesh, you try to bring some colour back into a guy's life. Nope, guess we'll just go with black for the dark lord. How original. At least Maul had some sick red tattoos. And he didn't whine nearly so much when HE go robot limbs.
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Nolan
Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This is not a Star Wars movie.

Nor was it really trying to be.

It's a war film set in the Star Wars universe. Look at the sheer scope of WWII films, all have different tones, because every story and aspect that came out of that war were tonally different. Dog fighting over the British Isles, POW camps, sneak attacks and covert operations, last ditch stands against the enemy, scorched earth retreats, how the people at home felt sending family members off to war while making munitions. The labour camps. Trying to apply a universal tone to all those events does a disservice to the stories and experiences people went through. And that was just a World War.

Now yes, WWII happened and was horrendous for many people, and Star Wars is a media franchise focused on making money, but in terms of story, I think it's the right call for Star Wars to tap into the different tones and stories that are concievably available for a GALACTIC war. The Star Wars episodes, are still the Star Wars fans have known for decades, and messing with what was established by those movies IN those movies I feel is much riskier. But as far as the "A Star Wars Story" banner, I feel they have a license to experiment and explore different aspects and tones of this universe as they're not tied as much into the Skywalker legacy and destiny.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@Peter G.

In this edition of "If I had an edit button" I would have used it to make my comment in response to. David Pirtle , I'd fix the spelling mistakes caused no doubt by writing this at 3 AM on my phone and I'd definitely throw the word "potentially" between "it's" and "rife" in the passage you quoted.

Thing is, I actually enjoy this episode, yet I've seen enough people put off by the depictions of the genetically enhanced individuals and their relation to mental illness that I cannot deny the existance of the offence for some. As you say, that viewpoint is just as valid.

Furthermore, I'm not sure one can deny that the genetically enhanced characters are meant to stand in for or at leadt draw parallels to those with mental illness, nor that this is what the episode was trying to, in part, discuss. Yes there is the genetic enhancement angle, but it's not entirely dissimilar to the sci-fi dressings of TNG's 'The Outcast'. Or of TOS's 'Let That be Your Last Battlefield'. Given Trek's penchant for dressing up contrmporary issues in sci-fi trappings in order to tslk about taboo issues and the like, it's hard for me not to imagine that's not something they were attempting to do here, at least, again, in part.

As for my last paragraph, I only said that because I don't want others who might've had their viewpoint shaped by discrimination and so might have a viseral reaction to episodes like these that affect their feelings, to think that I thought my own viewpoint carried more weight than their personal experiences just because I THOUGHT about it for a few hours, oppesed to a potential life time of being put down upon. I bring it up to foster discussion, not to devalue anyone's personal feelings is all I wanted to make clear.
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Nolan
Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 1:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

@ David

It's interesting. I've been reading another review site that calls out Star Trek's offensive analogies, and it's just got me thinking how the views toward this franchise has changed in the new contexts provided by the passage of time.

Take this episode for example, today, it's rife with offensive portrayals of mental illness. As if presenting what an outsider thinjs mental illness looks like, then discussing it. Problem is, in the 90's this is what the 'common' idea of mental illness was. Of course, if this episode were about mental illnesses perception, then maybe it wouldn't use offensive stock depictions. Instead thus episode seems to be focused on how the mentally ill have a place in society and should have a role in it.

Of course these don't excuse it today, but it does reinforce this growing idea that Star Trek as a whole isn't made for minorities or people experiencing the issues it brings up. The Original series had to use analogy to get around the network, as did TNG, and at the time it was clever, but today, in the more open environment, I'm beginning to think these messages were aimed at straight white men.

The point is to get the dominant power structure to look at all these issues and say "hey, that's not cool, look what this type of behaviour is doing to people. Look were we as a species could be." and because its gotta get past the network and reach that specufic audience, not to mention being largely (though not completely) written by members of that audience, that outside the issues portrayal ends up being used.

For example with this episode; "Here's a bunch of mentally ill people, you recognize this, this is a common depiction of mental illness, you've seen this in the popular media, but look how marginalized they are." if course, since popular opinion of mental illness/race/gender have changed, partly due to the influence of Trek, so many of these depictions become offensive and trite.

So much of Trek has been about opening such topics for discussion, but since those discussions have now happened, and society has (hopefully) grown more open and accepting, Trek now looks outdated in it's messages.

Moving forward, Trek has not only got to talk to the already established white male power structures, but to the recently empowered minorities who are looking for validation of their identities that past Trek could not provide as consistantly due to the culture it was made in.

Course, I'm also a so-called "normal" (I'm really not) straight white man, so I fully acknowledge my percpective is skewed and biased itself, and I have no real standing to discuss these details in any specific detail. And I apologize if this view offends anyone, it's just been percolating a while and I thought I'd share it and see what others thought.
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Nolan
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

@Maniac

This episode IS terrible, but part of the reason I like Helo is that he's really the only one who manages to stay idealistic throughout the series. Even when he killed those Cylons in lock up, he had pure intentions. Now you can argue about whether he was right or not, but it's beside the point. Every other character slips into darkness and makes some morally questionable decisions for the sake of the survival of the greater good, and feels fine and justified for doing so. Helo on the otherhand, makes sure the greater good deserves that survival, and he seems to regret any decisions that draws him away from that ideal.

I'd argue his idealism in the face of such overwhelming moral greyness and cynicism makes him a pretty facinating character. And frankly, one the series needed to maintain some balance.
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Nolan
Tue, Dec 6, 2016, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

Can I still hold a place in my heart for this episode, purely because it has one of my most favorite absurd line readings from Frakes, as Jammer pointed out. It always makes me chuckle. Probably cause it's so out of character for one, how it reveals the overdramatic, sensational, almost soap opera view the of the world of the viewpoint character has, as well as how they view Agbar.

Well, like they say, everyone is the hero of their own story.
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Nolan
Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Just thought I'd give a signal boost for a youtube series that a channel I follow is putting out. It's caled "Babylon Deep Space 59". Basically two self-proclaimed geeks sit down and discuss one episode each of these series after watching them. The catch is, both of them have only seen one of those shows, while the other hasn't. So they get to discuss the merits of each episode and compair and contrast with both a first time, and experienced eye view.

Episodes can run a little long, but being mostly talking they can easily be played in the background. They're only on 'The Passenger' and "War Prayer" from Seasons 1, but viewership isn't as high as they like, given all the other series they've got going on.

The channel is called Geekvolution, it's pretty low-key, but with plenty of enthusiasm.
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Nolan
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Peter G.

Hmm good point. The problem you raise is partly my fault and partly the movie's. I framed my arguement in a slightly technological deterministic way, and so to, I think, did the film.

Obviously it's not that Warp Drive that brought about evolved sensibilites, but rather that it made possible the contact with other forms of life. Which then humanity evidentally chose to take as an oppertunity to see past themselves, both individually, or as a species. Humanity could have easily chosen to react with fear at this. Indeed, this is what the ENT two-parter shows, the results of that other choice.

Both I, and the film placed too much emphasis on the advent of warp drive and it's importance, while not paying enough attention to the other factors that went in to those enlightened sensibilities. That's not to say that there isn't any evidence of those factors in the film; Picard notes WWIII was caused by fighting over depleting resources and land, which travel to new worlds would render moot. Why fight when there are others who may be willing to lend a hand?
Why fight over culture and ideology of a single planet when suddenly there are millions of other differing ones out there?

Warp Drive didn't *cause* any of these changes in humanity, but it made possible the most important momonet in the film, that of Cochrane choosing to reachout in friendship to the Vulcans, rather than shooting them down with a shotgun. However, after 2 hours of hearing about Warp Drive, it's hard for that moment to not be overshadowed.

Unfortunatly for the movie, just due to its structure as a time travel movie we don't get to find out what would've influenced Cochrane in that moment when he didn't have people from the future whispering in his ear.

But regardless, Picard did state that these were just first steps. And surely, by the time "Enterprise" rolled around we can see that Warp Drive hadn't changed humanity's sensibilities all that much. I do think had it not wasted so much time, been written better and understood how important a time in which it was set, "Enterprise" would've show that evolution. Certainly I think by the time it ended it was just beginning to realize it's potential.

In anycase, while I do think it's made very easy by the film to read that technological deterministic cause for the Trekkian ideal, I do think there is enough there to see the importance of our own agency in these events. Cochrane *chooses* to accept the Vulcans, Picard, ultimately *chooses* to blow up his ship and let his vedetta go, and neither of those acts are influenced by warp drive, or technology.

And that's not even getting into the parallels of the Borg's view of technology and humanity's, or how the Borg assimilate cultures versus Humanity reaching out to find it's own place in the many cultures of the universe. I dunno, I think there's a lot of meat to pick off the bone of that 'action flick'.

As far as ST:ID, I haven't seen it since it was in theatres, or since I started working toward my communication degree. But I distinctly recall it rubbing me the wrong way. Something definitly felt off about it to me, but I don't think I can comment on it until I see it again.
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Nolan
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Robert et al.

Regarding First Contact it's message and plots; while you can decide which of the plots you prefer, don't forget how related they are. Picard's whole "better humanity" ideal springs from Cochrane's feat of warp drive. Troi herself pronounces all the advancements our species would make in light of this accomplishment and realizing we aren't alone out there.

Moore and Braga have said that FC was about the threat to the birth of Star Trek, and part of ST's conception was the idea of the betterment of humanity, and we can see this by how the Borg threaten that ideal for Picard.

By contrasting the two plots, one about our first step into that Trekkian ideal in the shadow of a horrific war. and the other a vengeful man struggling to uphold that ideal when pushed to extremes, we can see a commentary the writers are attempting to make. I.e, that the Trekkian ideal of humanity is not easily gained, and just as easily, something that must be fought to personally maintain, yet doing so would ultimatly not benefit just yourself, but others as well.

That and a lot of things going ker-splodie.
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Nolan
Mon, Nov 21, 2016, 6:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

@Steve

...He's been accused of wearing a toupée...
=P
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