Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

December 14, 2015

The first trailer for 2016's Star Trek Beyond has been released. I myself have nothing substantive to say about this trailer, because it tells me virtually nothing about the movie other than that it is being marketed as a generic sci-fi action-adventure. This is merely a statement on the marketing, not the movie, because I haven't seen the movie. As to the fact that Justin Lin is the director, I have no issue as of right now. Sure, he helmed some Fast & Furious movies (which is by no means a crime), but he also wrote and directed Better Luck Tomorrow. So nuance isn't out of the question.

Anyway, feel free to comment below.

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176 comments on this review

Eduardo Jencarelli
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 11:15am (UTC -5)
The trailer for Star Trek Beyond just came out.

All I can say is, 'I have a bad feeling about this'.
Brandon
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Mostly planet-bound...

Light-hearted action-adventure feel...

Third installment in the series...

Yep. They're apeing "Insurrection."
John W
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Yeah...that looks pretty terrible. Were the Beastie Boys the only recordings to survive World War III? Seems like it at this point.

I remember people scoffing at Picard's car chase bit in 'Nemesis'. That's downright dignified compared to Kirk pulling a Fonzie-jump-the-shark stunt in this. Why not just add a slide whistle ala "Man with the Golden Gun?"

In simpler language Captain, "No way am I seeing this."
Matthew
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
"All I can say is, 'I have a bad feeling about this.'"

Understatement of the year.
Jammer
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Do I need to create a new thread devoted to Star Trek Beyond? It appears that way!
Matthew
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
That's probably a good idea. People will need a place for their speculation and....well, let's be honest. People will need a receptacle for their hate.
Mitch
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Might not be a bad idea.

And on that topic, I just saw said trailer. Seems Star Trek is going from bad, to worse to just completely unbearable. The Heavy metal rock playing throughout the trailer pretty much sums it all up. And if not that, "from the director of the Fast and the Furious"?

I think after this third movie, the reboot will need a reboot.
John W
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
They got my money twice already. There won't be a third. I get the idea of not wanting to skip out on something, but if I see it and dislike it...they got my money anyway, so why should they care?

And there's been this recent push to paint the F&F movies as modern action classics...and I just don't get it. I saw the 5th and 6th ones and couldn't shake the feeling of "What am I not getting? Is there some layer of meta irony that I haven't achieved?"

I also find it amusing that Simon Pegg, who recently posited that modern SF/Fantasy was inherently childish...has written a Star Trek movie with a cycle chase scene in it. Fate it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
Dominic Jerry Nardi Jr.
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
@John W, I agree. It's incredibly hypocritical that Pegg complains about sf/fantasy/superhero movies as being superficial, yet when he's given the reigns to help write the next Star Trek film he seems headed in the same direction. Shame he didn't take his own advice and try to present viewers with better material.

RIP Star Trek: 1966-2009
Petetong
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
If I wanted to watch an action film I'd watch one with an adult rating because quite frankly I need my booms to be augmented with boobs and blood. And Star Trek is just booms and side boob and fake looking alien blood.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm way more excited for Star Wars than I am for Star Trek and that makes me feel dirty.
James
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 12:40am (UTC -5)
Why is the deflector dish and exterior bridge lighting the same color as the warp engine (Bussard collector)? It's little things like these that bug me, that indicate that artifice comes before substance in these movies. It seems that the science, even on a totally fictional level, has gone out the window or at the very least become totally unimportant.
Latex Zebra
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 2:53am (UTC -5)
I swear there is a Jem'Hadar in that trailer.
MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 2:53am (UTC -5)
Haven't seen the trailer, but from what I gather, this is more of the same that we got with ST2009 and STID.

What a shame. I quoth the Joker:

"What happened? Did your balls drop off?!"
Angel
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 6:59am (UTC -5)
Does anyone remember when Star Trek used to be about the exploration of space, the human condition and science?
John W
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 8:25am (UTC -5)
"Does anyone remember when Star Trek used to be about the exploration of space, the human condition and science?"

Heck, does anyone remember when Trek didn't make myself want to perform that do-it-yourself lobotomy? It's not like Trek hasn't stumbled badly in the past (I remember literally throwing up my arms after "Threshold" and walking away from Voyager), but this stuff is relentlessly stupid, even by modern blockbuster standards. I don't get it. I see many big budgeted movies a year that are well thought out and executed, but this...

Paramount really, REALLY wants some of that sweet MCU/Star Wars money, and they seem to be reaching further and further towards the bottom to get it. When these movies don't do 1 Billion worldwide, the response isn't to scale the budget back and concentrate on the material, it's to cheapen it further.

"I've dumbed it down as much as I can Captain! I canna dumb it down any more!"
Robert
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Let's spend the first half of the movie having the Federation completely destroyed by some powerful enemy like the Breen. That'll fulfill our action quota/darkness and whatnot.

Spock then gets a transmission from Spock Prime (off screen sadly :-( ) that tells him that in the Prime Timeline a famous Vulcan diplomat that was killed in the first movie negotiated a treaty before we got to this point.

The crew realizes that to save the galaxy they need to make the ultimate sacrifice and slingshot around the sun to go back and destroy Nero seconds after he enters their world, restoring the prime timeline and deleting their own existences.

It may not be the greatest movie ever but at least it will make the trilogy self contained and end the JJ-verse once and for all. And for that we will thank it.
Dom
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 10:17am (UTC -5)
@John W, your comment is an insult to Star Wars. Seriously though, compare the trailer for The Force Awakens with the trailer for this Trek film. The Star Wars trailer focused on *gasp* characters and story. I'm sure the new Star Wars movie has a lot of action, but I think it's telling that what stuck out for most people were the character moments and emotional reactions. In this trailer, what stuck out were the motorcycles, annoying music, and action.
Fiercebanana
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 11:31am (UTC -5)
I'm hoping that they showed all the action scenes in the movie in that trailer to try to lure star wars fans into seeing it, and that the rest of it is classic slow paced star trek goodness
Dom
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
@Fiercebanana, why are you blaming Star Wars fans for this? Star Wars fans don't want mindless action, they want great characters, a compelling story, and exciting action.
Robert
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
I don't think anybody would say Star Wars fans want anything mindless. But if we're being honest sci-fi is BY FAR the weakest part of Star Wars. And many Star Trek fans want to get back to the good old fashioned sci-fi that made Star Trek great TV.

All the way back to Khan Star Trek has tried to do Star Wars in favor of dumping what made IT unique. That's not to insult Khan either. Action and fascinating character drama can be quite compelling and is what Star Wars is really good at. But Star Wars is sci-fi in backdrop only.
John W
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

Not a bash against Star Wars at all, rather a bash at the executives/creative forces behind this movie who seem to be 'beyond' (yuk yuk) desperate to appeal to a mass audience, no matter what. And they can't seem to get to it without a massive dose of 'stupid'.

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, but never once wanted to slap my head in frustration during it. Something I can't say for this trailer.
Patrick D
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Someone had pointed this out on another message board that Star Trek is finally beginning to resemble Galaxy Quest. I concur.
Keyser Satoshi
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
It's like the current cast of Star Trek...starring in Fast and Furious 8....

Star Fast and Furious?
Genre-Buster
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
A couple of quotes pulled from the above trailer speak volumes when recontextualized...

McCoy: "Well that's just typical."

Kirk: "Okay, let's never do that again."

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Dom
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
@Robert & @John W, I certainly don't think anybody would argue Star Wars is sci-fi. Lucas has explicitly said it's not. I think the deeper issue with the new Star Trek films isn't the amount of sci-fi, but the quality of the storytelling. As Robert said, TWOK had less sci-fi and was more a navel adventure, but it was still a good film with strong characters and something to say about life. In that sense Star Wars and the older Trek movies have more in common than either do with the new Trek.

Star Trek is adaptable enough to tell many types of stories, from sci-fi, mystery, comedy, naval combat, etc. Not every Trek story has to feature new technology or alien races (some of the best episodes of the TV shows were bottle episodes). But Star Trek should always try to be smart. At it's core, it's a franchise about smart people trying to figure out problems who sometimes resort to violence, but never glorify it. It's optimistic. And it tries to engage with deeper social, philosophical, and political issues.
Yanks
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
This article should provide some needed optimism here. I know it does for me.

h ttp://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/12/15/its-a-clash-of-philosophies-in-star-t rek-beyond

....This is the opposite approach of what Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof did in Star Trek Into Darkness....

-------------------------------------------

....After that teaser hit many people were worried that Lin was going to make a brainless action movie, but after talking to him I'm confident that he's trying to make an action movie that has the true elements of Star Trek at its heart. I'll leave you with this statement, which I think truly sums up how much Lin gets Star Trek:

We want to push it further, introduce new species and have new adventures, but the core thing I love about Trek is the characters and exploring humanity and the Federation.
Dom
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks, well that sure isn't reflected in the marketing for the film!
Dom
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
I read the article and it's clear the author doesn't get the problem with the trailer. It's not that anybody expects a trailer to outline the entire plot of the movie or get into detailed social commentary. But it should give viewers an idea of what the movie is about. The trailer sets the tone. If the trailer has obnoxious, distracting music and focuses on the action, then it's not surprising people will assume it's a dumb action movie.

That said, I'm glad I read the interview with Justin Lin. What he says about how the movie addresses asymmetrical warfare is interesting. The villain is supposedly supposed to present some sort of ideological challenge to the Federation. I would want to see THAT film. But that was nowhere in the trailer. I didn't notice the thousands of little ships ramming the Enterprise because it was all so chaotic and only on screen for a second. Nothing indicated that there would be a battle of ideologies.

I'm willing to give the film a chance and chalk this up to a massive failure on the part of the marketing department. But if Lin and everybody want me to take this film seriously, I really do hope the next trailer does a better job conveying the interesting parts of the film. In other words, show me the money!
Ashton Withers
Tue, Dec 15, 2015, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Trailer #2 better win me over really well or something cause I have no high hopes whatsoever.
I will admit I'll see it no matter what. I just really want something good, fun, and original.
Yanks
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 7:06am (UTC -5)
Dom,

This is only a teaser trailer. I wouldn't expect any in-depth reveal. I don't see any error in the trailer.
Dom
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 8:16am (UTC -5)
@Yanks, like I said above, it's not that there's an "error" in the trailer so much as it's not very good fit for Star Trek or what Lin describes as the story is actually the story. The tone of the trailer seems more Fast & Furious. This teaser trailer is the first impression people have of the film so it should be designed to make people want to see it. Again, I'll point to the first Star Wars trailer, which didn't have any major reveals but did establish a certain mood and sense of wonder that seemed consistent with the franchise and the film.
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 8:44am (UTC -5)
That was... horrible. I'll try to keep an open mind for now, but that trailer is just sooooo trashy. As someone upthread noticed, compare this with the Force Awakens trailer. Both are action-heavy, but where the SW one touches on all that makes Star Wars such a pop-culture phenomenon (and I'm not even a SW fan), the Beyond trailer looks like a generic summer blockbuster garbage. My God, this looks atrocious.
John W
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 10:12am (UTC -5)
@Paul M

It's like some sort of assembly of every annoying aspect of modern blockbusters.

I'd love to take this back to a convention in '94 or so and watch the horrified looks on fan's faces.

"Is there anything we can do to stop this?"

"Well, don't stop watching Enterprise...especially in Season 4. And you won't like this, but go to see 'Nemesis' multiple times."

"I have no idea what any of that means."

"You will."
Del_Duio
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 10:19am (UTC -5)
The music is as much of a mismatch as it was the first time they used it for ST2009 so blah there.. (But hey at least they're consistent) :/

They part where Spock got beamed up and left Bones in the dust was pretty funny though. I REALLY HOPE they have the big three together as a core unit again in this. The Kirk / Spock / Bones combo has always been the best part of TOS for me and these new movies haven't really touched on it yet.
Del_Duio
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 10:23am (UTC -5)
"It's incredibly hypocritical that Pegg complains about sf/fantasy/superhero movies as being superficial, yet when he's given the reigns to help write the next Star Trek film he seems headed in the same direction. Shame he didn't take his own advice and try to present viewers with better material."

Dominic, that's being a bit hard on Pegg IMO. I'm willing to bet he had zero to do with putting this trailer together. And as far as being critical of him taking it in the wrong direction, remember guys it's only 90 seconds of the movie we're seeing here.

Let's pass the final judgement on it after it comes out, hey?
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
John W

It indeed feels like it was assembled from "every annoying aspect of modern blockbusters". Though, to be honest, both previous nuTrek movies -- especially Into Darkness -- also felt like preposterous MTV/Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay "extravaganzas" that consist of nothing but loud chaotic set pieces chugging along on a thousands-times-seen Hollywood assembly line.

To turn Trek, with its iconic, recognisable humanistic themes, sensibilities, and social commentary into yet another middling blockbuster fare... how the mighty have fallen.
Dom
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
@Del_Duio, fair enough, I'll wait to judge the movie until it comes out. Perhaps the marketing department really went into left field with this trailer. I'm willing to at least go see the movie, but if it's as bad as it looks from this trailer then Pegg deserves to be called out.
Jammer
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
What, actually waiting until the movie is out rather than declaring the franchise dead based on a teaser trailer? What fun would that be?
Dom
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer, if this were the first movie in the reboot, I'd be a bit more forgiving. But we now have a track record with the first two movies by which to judge the reboot series, as well as this trailer. It's like the old saying goes: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Fool me thrice... nah, I got nothing.
Andy's Friend
Wed, Dec 16, 2015, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
^ "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I was never fooled twice. Didn't see "Into Darkness", am not going to see this.
TS
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 1:39am (UTC -5)
Star Trek or not, it's not a great trailer. It's sloppily edited and poorly executed.

It also is a bummer to see that the Enterprise gets devastated in every one of these reboot movies. I mean, come on writers...

I have seen plenty of good trailers for bad movies and bad trailers for movies that were actually good. I sincerely hope this turns out to be the latter.
Bond. James Bond.
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Awful. Just awful. Shatner can rest easy now. Final Frontier will soon no longer be the most hated Trek flick (though Into Darkness may have already taken that honour).

The last line of this trailer pretty much sums up how I feel about the Abramsverse.
John W
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Justin Lin commented on the teaser:

"Yeah, and I don’t know if that’s the case here. When I saw the teaser, I’m like, aw shit. You really have to put the motorcycle in there? So I get it, I get it, I get it."

Well here's he thing Justin, you didn't have to put the motorcycle in there. It's lowest common denominator pandering of the worst kind.

On Beastie Boys (again)

"It’s in the DNA of this canon. It was in the ’09 Trek, and we went through different iterations of the teaser and I wanted to make sure whatever here is using all the elements from the film. It’s been a part of this Kirk’s journey and so I felt it was very organic, and it will ultimately be in the finished film."

So the decision is to double down on one of the more annoying aspects from the first one? Ugh.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
"It’s in the DNA of this canon. It was in the ’09 Trek, and we went through different iterations of the teaser and I wanted to make sure whatever here is using all the elements from the film."

If I'm reading this right, the guys behind the movie really tried to include in the trailer "all the elements from the film". So. The elements most deserving and representative of the movie are Beastie Boys, fistfights, motorcycles, and lost of explosions.

I mean, think about this statement. When the top people behind Trek think of their "new canon", the first thing on their minds, and most worthy of representing their work and the franchise, is *that* garbage. That's what Trek is to them? That's what 50 years of Star Trek stands for?

When you go out and ask random somewhat pop-culture-knowledgeable people what they associate Star Wars with, they'd probably reply with some combination of "lightsabers, Jedi, Darth Vader, droids, smugglers/bounty hunters, cool spaceships, adventure, etc..." When you ask those same people about Trek, do you think they'd answer "80s music, motorcycles chases, and guys leaping off ledges"?

The studio is trying to completely re-brand Star Trek, pure and simple. in the immortal words of JJ Abrams, it's probably "too philosophical" and highbrow.

FlyingSquirrel
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
A few points here:

1) I'd probably be more content with the Abramsverse if they'd simply done a clean reboot rather than forcing it into the established canon through time-travel shenanigans that end up wiping out something like 80% of the history. They could have just presented it as a different take on Star Trek rather than asking us to believe that this is the same universe with the same characters.

2) If the movie turns out well, it won't be the first time that Star Trek has been promoted in a way that makes it look dumber than it actually is. Remember the Voyager episode "Tsunkatse"? It wasn't a classic, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared when I saw it promoted as, if I recall correctly, "WWF's Smackdown Hero vs. Voyager's Battlestar Babe." So maybe this is just bad or deliberately simplistic promotion.

3) All that said, I'm going to sound a little like Jammer and point out that there's no reason Star Trek *has* to keep going and going and going. If the worst that could be said of Star Trek is that after over 500 television episodes and 10 movies, there wasn't much new ground left to chart, is that really such a bad thing? Hopefully this movie will get back to some of the more philosophical angles that we've seen from Star Trek in the past (Kirk's speech at the end of Into Darkness did give me some optimism on that front). But if it doesn't, and if no one in charge has any interest in doing that, then why not just leave the Trek franchise alone? If I want to see wham-whizz-bang action-driven sci-fi (which I do sometimes enjoy even if it's not my favorite), there's plenty of that already out there.
Yanks
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
FlyingSquirrel,

Agree about Tsunkatse. Well above average episode with a horrible trailer.

I hold a lot of hope for this movie.

Here's hoping that's it's better than the Voyager episode "The Swarm". Don't know how the trailer was for that one :-)
NCC-1701-Z
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
Ugh, this trailer is terrible!!! Call it an unpleasant surprise, since Simon Pegg sounded serious about taking the Abrams movies back to Trek's roots. I certainly hope it's not indicative of what the movie will actually be like; there are many good movies out there which had horrible trailers, and vice versa. (For the record, even George Takei was critical of the trailer!) I guess the only way to know if the movie is any good is to watch the actual movie...

The Into Darkness trailers were very well made by comparison (although slightly spoilery) - just contrast those with this (regardless of your opinion of the actual movie).
Paul M.
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Haha, I love how both the director and the screenwriter try to distance themselves from the trailer in some ways. Lin (director) cringed a bit when he saw the motorcycle bit and now Pegg (co-screenwriter and Scotty) admits he "doesn't love the trailer" because there's "a lot more to the film".

Well, at least we can be sure the next trailer is going to be better.
Bond. James Bond.
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 6:24am (UTC -5)
I've never said this about a Trek film before, but I hope this flick flops. And I mean badly. Insurrection badly. End of film franchise badly. Make them go back to the drawing board about whatever they're planning for the new series badly.

Badly enough that they just scrap the vision of Trek they've been running with. Badly enough that they finally realise that Star Trek, even at its best, has never really worked as cinema. There are simply too many concessions you have to make in storytelling. It belongs on TV. The alternate timeline origins of the Abramsverse gave them an easy way to reset and make things right. Have Kirk & Co. sacrifice themselves, the Universe and their timeline for the greater good.

Yes, I hope this film fails badly. Just not badly enough that it kills Trek altogether. ;)
Robert
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Star Trek worked on cinema, at it's best, not when it was trying to be great sci-fi (ST1), explore the mysteries of the universe (ST5) or be a feature length ST episodes (Generations and Insurrection).

Star Trek worked best in cinema when you gave people another 1.5-2 hours with the characters they loved in a good story, often that explores the human condition.

I doubt we'll ever see a Star Trek movie that's as good as Star Trek at it's best (TOS: City On The Edge Of Forever, TNG: Inner Light, DS9: The Visitor or VOY: Blink of an Eye). You'll never get the quiet but powerful thing that Trek does so well that has something to say about our time (TOS: Balance of Power, TNG: Measure of a Man, DS9: Duet, VOY: Meld).

The problem with the very PREMISE of the reboot is that it assumes Star Trek fans are somehow like comic book fans and that Kirk/Spock are somehow like our Batman, Superman and Spiderman. That Shatner/Nimoy playing those characters wasn't half the point to begin with.

I'm sorry, I love Wrath of Khan, but throw different guys into the movie with the same script and better effects and who cares. We've watched THAT Spock and THAT Kirk go on 70+ adventures together by the time that Kirk's voice cracks on the word "human" it's a gut punch that you can't replicate in the less than 8 hours we're ever going to spend with these guys.

I like ST09, I watched it in the theater and I didn't want my money back. If it were on TV I might even leave it on. But I'll never buy it. I'll won't seek out to watch it the number of times I have the other ones.

Bond is right, and it's interesting that he make the point given I started this with the idea of how other people playing Kirk/Spock is "wrong" somehow. It's not wrong in that it's offensive or bothersome to me, it's wrong in that this is not my family and that's why I love ST2, 3, 4, 6 and 8. Because those movies were good enough and that was my family.
William B
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Unpopular opinion: Star Trek: TMP is Star Trek cinema at (or near) its best. It's not my favourite but it's hugely underrated (and it *could* be). (I also respect Generations more than most.)

I haven't watched the trailer (or Into Darkness) and I'm not sure if I'm going to see this movie. Still, I respect Simon Pegg and I believe him that this trailer doesn't represent what he intends with the script. Whether it translates to a good movie is hard to know.
Dom
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
What I still don't get is that in a world where hard sci-fi films like Interstellar make more money than STID, why is Paramount so scared of letting Trek be hard sci-fi? Why not try to appeal to the Interstellar market?

@Bond, I'm willing to wait until the movie comes out, but if it's dumb as it looks I agree that I hope it flops. I think the absolute worst case scenario would be for the film to make just enough money to go limping on. Paramount needs something to shake it out of its complacency.
petulant
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
It isn't a star trek film, the last star trek film was nemesis 13 years ago and the last good star trek film was first contact 19 years ago and the last great star trek film was the undiscovered country, 24 bloody years ago
William B
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
I liked Interstellar, but I don't think it's hard sci-fi. SPOILER I feel like anything that implies love is a quantifiable force is automatically disqualified from hard SF -- which is not a criticism of the movie, just a genre statement that it crosses into the usual fantasy-mythic soft-SF stuff, despite paying more attention to some space science than other works.
Dom
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
@William, yes, technically true, but on the grand genre spectrum, when talking about sci-fi set in space, I'd still put it pretty close to the "hard" end of the spectrum. I can't think of any recent sci-fi movie set in space aside from Gravity that was closer to hard sci-fi. Point is there seems to be a market for more serious sci-fi out there that Trek should tap.
Robert
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
@petulant - Agree strongly enough to make me feel sad.

Random question. Am I the only one that enjoyed Nemesis? I mean... it was a bad movie and a terrible last hurrah for that crew but I still found I couldn't bring myself to hate it. Not sure why.
James
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
It's clear they do not want a Star Trek movie or hard sci-fi. Take a look at this quote from Simon Pegg:

"They had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y."

Yes, "too Star Trek-y". How is that possible for a Star Trek movie? Well, the studios already know that the revenue is generally lower for the harder sci-fi Trek pictures. Behind the reboots, STIV and First Contact had the highest revenues - the most normal, human, and least sci-fi stories. That's the model they will be working on, as well as including a bunch of action from the already profitable reboots, despite the fact that Nemesis is the lowest grossing and previously tried to bump up the action without success.
Dom
Fri, Dec 18, 2015, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
@Robert, I agree with you about Nemesis. I appreciate that it really tried to engage with classic Trek questions about individuality and nurture vs. nature. Unfortunately a lot of the character moments got left on the cutting room floor, but they are in deleted scenes on the blu-ray. I think the writers at least had some good ideas for a two-part TNG episode. The biggest problems I have are the directing and some of the shoehorned scenes, like Picard in the dune buggy. Then again, the nuTrek films make Picard in the dune buggy look downright dignified.

@James, True, but I'm still a bit puzzled as to why Interstellar and Gravity can make so much money as "hard sci-fi" but Trek can't. TMP wasn't a critical success not because it was hard sci-fi but because it was long and boring. Star Trek IV was very much Trek-ish and sci-fi-ish and that did very well (going back in time to save whales is about as sci-fi as you can get, even if it's not about traveling in space). I really think that maybe Trek just has too much of a geeky reputation, so any hard sci-fi in Trek is seen as too geeky, but Christoper Nolan can get away with it.
Brandon
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 12:17am (UTC -5)
@Dom, Interstellar and Gravity made what they did because of the pedigrees of their directors and the lead actors.
Paul M.
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 3:20am (UTC -5)
@Brandon: Well, maybe that's something to think about when talking about the future of Trek. I feel posters above have the right idea. There have been several rather unusual SF movies these last few years that did great at the box office despite not being your typical Hollywood summer blockbusters. There's obviously a hunger out there for something different, more low-key, intimate even, but still paired with a budget and great production values to draw in wider audiences. It's not a binary world: either Michael Bay or indie movies. There's much space in between those two poles for a good movie to find a sweet spot.

Unfortunately, I'd say it's quite clear (and we have studio top dogs confirming it) that the execs decided that the way forward for Trek is to turn it into a typical summer action franchise. Simon Pegg indicated as much and Chris Pine said this recently: "I can definitively say [Star Trek: Beyond] has the most action out of any one we’ve done so far. People who like summer blockbusters and like shit blowing up will like this."

To be frank, I'm baffled by this executive decision. I refuse to believe that Star Trek would be incapable to drawing in audiences without reaching for the lowest common denominator.

To cap this largish post off: I watched Force Awakens yesterday (I already said upthread that I'm not a diehard fan of Star Wars). And man, what a difference. *That* is how you respect an iconic franchise and iconic characters. Story, characters, themes, atmosphere, production design, sentiments, EVERYTHING was true to the spirit of Star Wars. Although it most definitely is a huge blockbuster (as the originals were), it has soul and it exudes the confidence of something that knows what it wants to be and how to get there. It IS Star Wars, whatever one may this of that particular franchise.

Star Trek, now... I can't help but think of it as Mickey Rourke desparately getting plastic surgery and botox injection in the hopes to stay hip and relevant in the company of all these new hot shots. It's embarassing franky. Instead of embracing its strengths and playing to what Trek is, these guys are turning Trek into a sad overblown shadow of its former self. More's the pity.
Dom
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 8:53am (UTC -5)
@Brandon, then hire better directors and actors! It's not like the studio can't change them for the next film. Heck, why not invite a Christopher Nolan to work on Trek?

@Paul, I didn't see that quote from Chris Pine. That's even more troubling than the trailer. Who ever though the phrase "blowing shit up" would be used to describe a Trek movie?
JackBauer
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
This trailer makes this movie look like absolute and complete trash. I will not be seeing this in the theatres. Im sure ill be able to download it for free within a few days and even then well see if I waste my time with it.
Calvin
Mon, Dec 21, 2015, 11:08am (UTC -5)
"To cap this largish post off: I watched Force Awakens yesterday (I already said upthread that I'm not a diehard fan of Star Wars). And man, what a difference. *That* is how you respect an iconic franchise and iconic characters. Story, characters, themes, atmosphere, production design, sentiments, EVERYTHING was true to the spirit of Star Wars. Although it most definitely is a huge blockbuster (as the originals were), it has soul and it exudes the confidence of something that knows what it wants to be and how to get there. It IS Star Wars, whatever one may this of that particular franchise."

I agree 100% with this assessment of Star Wars. Whats weird is the guy who respected the Star Wars franchise so much is the same guy who destroyed the Star Trek franchise. I dont really get it.
Paul M.
Mon, Dec 21, 2015, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
@Calvin: "I agree 100% with this assessment of Star Wars. Whats weird is the guy who respected the Star Wars franchise so much is the same guy who destroyed the Star Trek franchise. I dont really get it."

I think it's down to an executive decision by Paramount top guys. Star Wars has always been a cash cow and a hugely popular franchise. All Abrams had to do was to stay true to the originals and reassure the audience that he won't commit the same sins the prequels did, and he was good to go. One might even say he went overboard a bit and stayed *too* true to the originals, seeing as how close Force Awakens hews to A New Hope.

On the other hand, after the failures of Nemesis and Enterprise, I think it's evident that the studio lost faith that Trek could bring in big bucks on its traditional field. Hence, they opted to go blockbuster, which isn't a natural fit for Star Trek. Repercussions of that decision we can all see for ourselves.

My problem with Abrams Trek isn't even primarily that he turned the movies into summer blockbusters as I'm not a priori against blockbusters if done right. My main problem is the lack of discernible direction for the franchise and the overall feel of "sum not being greater than parts". Take Wrath of Khan for instance. It's not only the script and the direction that make that movie so good, it's everything else too: sets, new uniforms, soundtrack, lighting, cinematography, absolutely everything is in service of the larger goal, namely producing a great naval adventure with beloved characters (and making the movie about aging was a masterstroke of wedding the plot to character themes).

With Abramsverse, I'm not sure what I'm watching. One minute it's a loud blockbuster, the other it's a strange overwrought homage to older movies, the third I'm wincing at breweries posing as machine rooms, the fourth I'm wondering if I'm looking at the bridge or a supermodern exhibition hall/cell phone store, the fifth there's silly sitcom humor barely rooted in the character dynamics. I just don't get the feeling that all these disparate parts amount to something more. The movies -- the first two, that is -- are just set pieces piled on top of each other without any narrative glue to hold them together.
Lord Garth
Mon, Dec 21, 2015, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
It seems like a "Star Trek Into Darkness" review is going to be timely again. If only for the purposes of: here's what came out immediately before "Star Trek Beyond", so let's take a look back!
William B
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 9:13am (UTC -5)
I mean, Abrams made Trek/09 and especially (from what I understand) Into Darkness so that they relentlessly aped elements of "The Wrath of Khan." He made "The Force Awakens" so that it relentlessly aped elements of "A New Hope." TFA was much more effective because Abrams obviously is more of a Star Wars fan, because they got Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan, and because it's a smaller canon (not counting the expanded canon). But I think it has many of the same flaws as Abrams' Trek films -- a major focus on homage as one of the primary purposes. Optimistically, this is part of the text (lots of characters can be characterized as different kinds of fanboys/girls, eager to repeat the OT in the hero/villain roles) in a way that is more natural than Trek/09.
Dom
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
@William, I also think that TFA is more self-aware in the way it apes the Original Trilogy and takes a certain joy in those references. The film doesn't seem to expect you to think that Starkiller base is a brilliantly original twist. It does enough work with the characters and humor to make the film work in my opinion.

The big problem with the JJ Treks, especially STID, is that they come across with the pretense of originality when they're clearly not. There was nothing clever about the reuse of Khan in STID. It was done simply because the writers thought there was fan pressure to include Khan (which there wasn't), not because he was central to the story.
Calvin
Wed, Dec 23, 2015, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
"With Abramsverse, I'm not sure what I'm watching. One minute it's a loud blockbuster, the other it's a strange overwrought homage to older movies, the third I'm wincing at breweries posing as machine rooms, the fourth I'm wondering if I'm looking at the bridge or a supermodern exhibition hall/cell phone store, the fifth there's silly sitcom humor barely rooted in the character dynamics. I just don't get the feeling that all these disparate parts amount to something more. The movies -- the first two, that is -- are just set pieces piled on top of each other without any narrative glue to hold them together."

As im reading this im thinking im reading a review of the PRequel Star Wars trilogy hahaha.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 5:03am (UTC -5)
Calvin, Star Wars prequels, pretty bad as they may be, *did* have a story and clear narrative drive. They were about Anakin's fall to the Dark Side and the formation of the Empire.

Star Trek prequels, on the other hand, I have no clue what they're about.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 5:04am (UTC -5)
Ahhhh, didn't mean "Star Trek prequels" in my previous post. I should have said "Abrams movies".
Jason R.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 8:20am (UTC -5)
J.J. Abrams is history's greatest monster.
Jason R.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 8:28am (UTC -5)
"TFA was much more effective because Abrams obviously is more of a Star Wars fan"

You should all be giving thanks to whatever God you believe in that Star Trek is already starting to circle the drain, or at least the the thing that Abrams created to look like Star Trek.

That 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for The Force Awakens is the death knell of that franchise.

At least when the wreckage of Beyond is cleared, like with Batman and Robin, Superman Returns and others before, perhaps the soil will be fertile for a new awakening.

Star Wars, by contrast, is in for a long winter from which it may never emerge. J.J. gave the fans a crap fan fiction plot superimposed on the mangled carcass of New Hope, and they love him for it.
Dom
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 8:46am (UTC -5)
@Jason, I actually enjoyed TFA quite a bit despite its flaws. But I totally get your point. I am a bit worried that the rabidly positive fanboy response claiming that TFA is perfect is going to drown out any criticism, meaning that future Star Wars storytellers won't learn from the mistakes. I think it'll be healthy for Trek if Beyond bombs (if it really is as bad as the trainer suggests). Everybody has to learn from their mistakes and it's better to do that sooner than later.
Dougie
Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Here's where having a living creator makes a difference.

Gene Roddenberry always kept Star Trek aligned as does George Lucas. Were Lucas to no longer be involved, within 15 years we would see similar fragmentation.
Dom
Fri, Dec 25, 2015, 9:39am (UTC -5)
@Dougie, well, Lucas IS no longer involved. And remember when Roddenberry had tight control of Seasons 1 & 2 of TNG? Not Trek's finest hour.

I don't think the original creator needs to be involved, but it's good to have SOMEBODY who has a stake in the franchise and a vision. I think Star Wars does have Kathleen Kennedy, as well as the Lucasfilm Story Group, keeping a watchful eye out. Paramount doesn't really seem to have anybody who plays that caretaker role.
Dan
Sat, Dec 26, 2015, 4:10am (UTC -5)
A trailer is not the movie, of course.

Having said that...this trailer is marketing the movie as Star Trek: Guardians of the Galaxy, and that sucks.
Brandon
Sat, Dec 26, 2015, 11:52pm (UTC -5)
*starts pounding table*

STAR WARS REVIEW!

STAR WARS REVIEW!

STAR WARS REVIEW!
Dom
Sun, Dec 27, 2015, 9:05am (UTC -5)
@Brandon, Star Wars review? Jammer hasn't even gotten to the Into Darkness review yet!
Paul M.
Sun, Dec 27, 2015, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Meh, personally I want Jammer to review Babylon 5. Alas, that is not to be.
James
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Me too Paul. But I think he'll always be a DS9 man and it would be too hard for him to admit B5 is the better show :)
Paul M.
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 4:23am (UTC -5)
Is it better though? I honestly don't know. I enjoy Babylon 5 quite a bit, but it is a flawed show. It's unfortunate how Season 5 cancellation drama negatively impacted both that season and Season 4 too.
James
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 4:42am (UTC -5)
I'd say they are very close in quality. DS9 is no doubt of higher production quality. But everything that Jammer raves about in DS9 - the arcs, politics, relationships, the gravitas, are extremely well done in B5. The consistency is problematic but the excellent politics and gripping drama just slightly tips it over DS9 for me. Also, DS9 has never left me in tears but Sleeping in Light never fails to do so, among other episodes.
Paul M.
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 6:23am (UTC -5)
You know, I'm one of those weird people who loves to savour stuff as long as possible and doesn't want to see them over. I've seen almost every episode of B5 2 or 3 times, but I have never watched Sleeping in Light; I don't want it to end, and I have heard such praise of that episode. (Which reminds me, I haven't seen the end of Fringe, one of my absolute favourite shows of all time. I should really change my silly ways!)

But yes, I think I agree with you that B5 is better than DS9 in that sweeping political-personal epic drama thing. The way it's so meticulously and carefully constructed from the very first episode is very rewarding in the long run. Hell of a cheesefest occasionally though :)
Petetong
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 10:35am (UTC -5)
I love watching Babylon 5 as a teenager and thought I would get a lot out of rewatching the series now that I'm all grown up so I borrowed the DVDs from the library. I watched about 5 episodes and although I recognized the quality of the writing and to some extent the acting, I could not overcome the production values, particularly the lighting and colours of the sets. There was some internet talk of J Michael Straczynski producing a reboot which I find very exciting! There is obviously an void of intergalactic political / space adventure drama TV series these days.
Dom
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 10:47am (UTC -5)
I really wish B5 were revised or at least given the sort of HD treatment TNG has been getting. I admit I like DS9 much better, but B5 doesn't deserves to get lost in the annals off TV history, as it seems likely to be. Unfortunately, for many modern viewers, the effects and low quality video are big barriers to watching the show. It definitely looks dated in a way that I don't think DS9 really does yet.
Paul M.
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, B5 production values are pretty low and the sets are too often cardboard-looking. It's just the way it is.

Petetong, if you want some political space adventure drama, Syfy's new series, The Expanse, seems to fit that niche quite nicely. It's getting solid reviews thus far.
Brandon
Tue, Dec 29, 2015, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

If Jammer's anything like me (and he might well not be), he's probably holding back on the STID review because he hasn't seen it recently. Once he sees something, he'll get words in his head and start writing them down.

Much more interested in his Star Wars review anyway. Star Trek Into Dumbassery can wait.
Locke
Tue, Dec 29, 2015, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
There's just something about the essence of B5 that is special, that sets it apart. There's a real poetry in the dialogue and a beauty in the themes that always makes me feel enriched as well as entertained. When you can do that, even the cheapest sets have the charm of something timeless.
dlpb
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 1:39am (UTC -5)
If you are abandoning a show because of its lower budget, then you really aren't the person the show was even aimed at. Star Trek tng is exceedingly dated now also, but B5's writing puts Trek's (and others) to shame in so many areas. Why are people so utterly obsessed with visuals? That doesn't make a story good or make a show good to watch unless you are shallow.
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Locke, I agree that J. Michael Straczynski has a knack for vivid and memorable dialogue. It can be quite operatic with all its positive and negative connotations. True, it can sometimes feel overwrought and pretentious (especially in the first season), but on the upside it can also be lyrical and very smart. Essentially, B5 is supposed to be a grand saga and the spoken word -- dialogues and monologues as written and performed by characters -- reflect that in being somewhat "larger than life", often engaging in some hardcore "philosophical waxing". The show should also be noted for its approach to atmosphere and themes, as JMS tried hard to convey a lot through the use of imagery, symbolism, light and shadow, etc.

I'd say that people get out of B5 as much as they are willing to put into it.
Del_Duio
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Honestly, I found the production values of ENT to be very off-putting. Especially the CGI ships which just didn't look real to me.

I know TNG in its heyday had what, a $1 million budget per episode was that right? There's no way ENT had the same thing. Either that or they totally mismanaged how they spent it.
Dom
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 11:09am (UTC -5)
@dlpb, I watched B5 last year for the first time and enjoyed it, but I can't deny that the visuals really haven't aged well and often took me out of the experience. Sure, visuals aren't the only part of a TV show, but they are important. It is a TV show after all, not a novel. It's entirely fair I think to consider the visual aspect of a teleVISION show.

I'm with Paul M on JMS' writing. Sometimes it soars, sometimes it feels overwrought. TNG and DS9's writing was generally more workmanlike, usually getting the job done, but seldom with poetry. B5's writing was often beautiful, but at times also off-putting. I think unfortunately the actors didn't help. Aside from G'Kar and Londo, the actors weren't the greatest.
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
Del_Duio, if I remember correctly, TNG had a budget of 2 million dollars per episode. That would make it over 50 mil a season -- seems like a pretty huge budget back in the day. I think B5 had under one million, maybe 800,000, not sure.

Dom, Babylon's dialogues and monologues, when done right, were fantastic. I'll quote two of my favourites, because why not, they're awesome as far as I am concerned.

Emperor Turhan's speech to Captain Sheridan: "So much has been lost: so much pain, so much blood--and for what? I wonder. The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away moment by moment in that vast terrible in-between. But there is still time to seize that one, last, fragile moment. To choose something better. To make a difference, as you say. And I intend to do just that."

G'Kar's monologue that closes Season 2: "There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain."

JMS's penchant for lyrical speeches really shines through here. He has been known to go over the top on occasion however but, hey, no one's perfect.
Dom
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
@Paul M, definitely agree with those examples. JMS could do epic and grand like no other writer in sci-fi. That said, a few examples aside (DS9), that's not really the tone Trek takes. Trek writing tends to be more lighthearted and comical, and that's where B5 didn't always work for me. Truthfully, I'd actually be really excited about a remastering of B5, HD quality, improving those old CG effects, etc. And at least put the show on Netflix and Amazon where people can actually watch it!
Calvin
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
In my opinion B5 is the greatest show of all time. It is hands down, the most complete series ever created. It certainly helped that the guy who created it, wrote 50 or so episodes in a row so most of it all made sense. I remember that series finale and it was powerful, I cant think of any show that had anything that good.
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Dom, I'd like to see B5 remastered and redone as well, but consider: if TNG remastering project with much, much broader appeal and fan base fared pretty poorly (so poorly we'll never see DS9, sad to say), I fear there's no chance in hell anyone's gonna take risks with a much more niche show.

Also, since B5, as opposed to TNG, was almost exclusively CGI, it'd probably be significantly more expensive.
Paul M.
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Calvin, the level of planning that went into B5 is staggering. JMS always said it's basically a novel for TV. The only thing I can think of that compares to it is HBO's Game of Thrones, based as it is on a series of novels.
Locke
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
It's funny that people have stopped talking about the Star Trek Beyond trailer and started just talking about B5. Totally understandable. XD Anyway, one of my favorite ever talks is between Sheridan and the techno-mage about the nature of magic:

"When I was 12, I used to sit in my dad's garden the air full of the smell of orange blossoms watching the sky, dreaming of faraway places. Back then, I think I believed in just about everything, but now, I don't know. I do think there are some things we don't understand. If we went back in time 1000 years and tried to explain this place to people they could only accept it in terms of magic."

"Then perhaps it is magic. The magic of the human heart. Focused and made manifest by technology. Every day you here create greater miracles than the burning bush."

"But God was there first and he didn't need solar batteries and a fusion reactor to do it."

"Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is within that ambiguity that my brothers and I exist. We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ. And we know many things."

"Such as?"

"The true secrets. The important things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever. Seven words to make them go without pain. How to say goodbye to a friend who is dying. How to be poor. How to be rich. How to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you."

Just as you guys said, lyrical speeches. B5 at its best really has a poetry and a view of the universe I just love.
James
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
I think the B5 discussion simply highlights what we've been missing in nu-Trek. Ever since Voyager I've been craving less special effects and more imagination from the writers.

The best Trek episodes were often low key, low budget affairs - The Inner Light, Duet, The Visitor. The use of Kosh's encounter suit in B5 probably cost no more than $100 to make, but created a mystery in the mind of the viewer which no amount of make-up or special effect money could create.

What Star Trek needs now more than anything is imaginative writing. Does anyone have faith that Beyond is going to give us that, based on the trailer?
dlpb
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
@Calvin

Spot on. I totally agree. Babylon 5 is what a sci-fi should be. Plot holes are not flying at you every second, the writing is intelligent and tries not to contradict science (note one episode where Garibaldi explains that you can't just tell a computer to search for faces - unlike most shows "zoom enhance scan"), and it has dozens of themes and messages (order v chaos being the main theme of the war). It delivered a complete and adult story - much more believable than any other sci-fi I've seen - and did it on a shoe-string budget. Babylon 5 was also more mature. There are a few episodes in season 1 alone where good intentions lead to bad outcomes, and where despite all best efforts, the good guys do not save the day (I note especially the DS9 episode [which plagiarizes B5], where there is a station-wide virus. In the DS9 episode, the doc saves the day. In B5, an entire race is wiped out. B5 was never scared of having a true arc and making gritty storylines).

Today, it's all about special effects, cheap gimmicks, and action - which is all the new Star Wars film is about also (while beating you over the head with bad writing). But, who cares, right? We got 3D! We got CGI! We got action. Awesome. Except, not really. These stories will not stand the test of time. Babylon 5 will. Babylon 5 will... endure ;)
Dom
Wed, Dec 30, 2015, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
@Paul M, you're right, the short-term economics are against a B5 HD, but I've got to think it makes sense over the longer term. The TNG blurays were about more than the discs. They made TNG available in HD quality so it would look good on current TVs. Even if the later blu rays didn't sell as well as hoped, the HD version of TNG is now on Netflix, Amazon, etc, where it's hopefully getting a new lease on life (and Netflix claims Trek is one of the most watched shows). It's not hard to imagine TNG will be watched 20+ years from now because the HD remasters mean the visuals don't turn new viewers off from the show.

That's not the case with B5 right now unfortunately. Aside from a few hardcore fans, the show seems destined to fade into obscurity within a generation or so. That would also mean no revenue stream from B5 or merchandising. I don't know the numbers or how much it would cost, but I'd like to think spending a few million to make the show look acceptable on an HD TV would pay off over the long run. Probably wouldn't I know...

@James, Trek I think is in many ways the victim of its own success. TOS, TNG, and DS9 explored so many ideas in such a short time that it kind of dried the well. Sci-fi shows that do well like BSG seem to do so by breaking out of the Trek mold. Most shows nowadays are more about character development than Big Ideas or imaginative writing. Can Trek do something new while still being Trek? I'd like to think so, but it's a tough balancing act.
Locke
Thu, Dec 31, 2015, 12:32am (UTC -5)
@Dom This is really true; many shows made post-DS9/Voyager (starting while Enterprise was still running) made a conscious effort to break out of the 'Trek mould'. Sci-fi TV in the 2000s was all about getting away from genre tropes and moving closer to 'normal drama'. BSG is the first main example; from the very start it was set up to make sci-fi more real, less clean, more bulky and gritty and full of everyday items and sets. It's funny but true that in a way, the new Star Trek movies are the product of an era of sci-fi programming that began in part to get away from shows like Star Trek. It's almost the one thing you can't remake in that scenario. It's trying to live in a world where it has to follow trends that by definition set it apart from the franchise it's trying to be. That's a big part of why it doesn't really work.
Paul M.
Thu, Dec 31, 2015, 4:20am (UTC -5)
True, James, true. Maybe it's also my jaded aged self showing, but as time passes the less time I have, and want to have, for bullshitting. This Trek simply doesn't do it for me anymore. When I compare it with stuff I enjoy -- everything from BSG, Fringe, Black Sails, Game of Thrones to Breaking Bad, Mr. Robot, Penny Dreadful (a masterpiece!), and countless other things -- I can't help but feel how hopelessly hollow and meanigless Trek has become. Shakespeare and Faulkner come to mind: "Sound and Fury, signifying nothing."
Petetong
Sun, Jan 3, 2016, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Thank you Paul M. for your suggestion that I watch The Expanse. I watched the first four episodes this weekend. I like the look of the show and the world they have set up. I'm actually of the view that when Star Trek rebooted they should have set up a universe with more tangible technology similar to what is depicted in The Expanse, but I recognize that's a controversial viewpoint.

Anyways, I'm loving the production values of The Expanse and the world itself is pretty interesting but I'm not yet attached to the characters. I like the navigator, the medic and the Martian captain but [spoiler alert] they die.
Paul M.
Sun, Jan 3, 2016, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Glad to be of help. I watched only the pilot so far and am looking forward to see the rest.
Locke
Sun, Jan 3, 2016, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
I also want to thank Paul M. for that suggestion. I'd never heard of The Exapanse and I'm always looking for space opera TV shows(there are so few of them these days), so I too watched it after seeing that comment and I'm with Petertong. I like the production values and the world. Not certain about the characters yet. At this moment I think because the show is still in its sort of information-dump phase that the characters are a little underwritten. It could do with more room to breath and flesh them out beyond the archetypes. But it has a lot of potential to sink into all of that stuff later once it finishes the setup and finds its long-term rhythm. I'm enjoying it, waiting for episode 5. =) Thanks for mentioning it!
Petetong
Sun, Jan 3, 2016, 10:15pm (UTC -5)
I'll just add one more comment about The Expanse: I love how dangerous space travel is in the show. Characters are in danger from running out of air, there are bone density issues and at some point an air filtration system breaks. I find this type of peril much more entertaining than the kind of peril that Star Trek crews find themselves in (e.g. a sentient holodeck program takes over the ship; an anomaly in the space-time continuum).
Paul M.
Mon, Jan 4, 2016, 4:25am (UTC -5)
But what about an anomaly in the spacetime continuum that decreases bone density or sentient holodeck programs that shut down oxygen supply? ;)
Dom
Mon, Jan 4, 2016, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Anybody watch Killjoys or Dark Matter on SyFy? They're supposed to be space opera TV shows. I watched the first episodes and wasn't drawn in (see a bit generic) but I'd be curious if anybody else has a more informed opinion after watching more episodes.
Del_Duio
Mon, Jan 4, 2016, 7:29am (UTC -5)
@Dom

I watched the first season of Dark Matter about 3 or 4 months ago. Though at first I thought it seemed pretty generic also, it does get better IMO. Also though a likable character, it's impossible not to view their android woman as a poor man's Data knockoff.

I'm not sure when the 2nd season starts but it did get renewed. Too bad the same couldn't have been true for Firefly!!
Jason R.
Tue, Jan 5, 2016, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
@dlpb

Totally agree about Babylon 5. It's what great scifi was meant to be. While Strazynski's directing was at times ham fisted and stilted, some of the effects poor (even for the time), and some of the acting weak, it was a show that was about ideas, about story. And it's a story that took its premise seriously, including many aliens like the Vorlon and Pakmarra that defied the wrinkled forehead cliche. It studiously avoided plot resolutions by technobabble and at least attempted to respect the "science" in SF. It also was aided by some stellar acting, particularly by Andreas Katsulas and Peter Jurasik, who carried the series and to this day, delivered the most memorable performances in all of SF.

By contrast, Rodenberry's cowardly sacharrine vision left us with a boring, sanitized future - a humanity free from the sins of war, greed, hatred, yet somehow the same as our present American selves in almost every other respect - an impossible contradiction. Rodenberry's original vision as exemplified in STNG was basically fatuous wish fulfillment, with humanity as the Mary Sue protagonist. It was false and it never made any sense.

B5, by contrast, didn't shy away from humanity or the challenge of showing how people could both become better (and worse) in a new future. B5 never cheated like Trek did.

Indeed, B5's influence may very well have been what inspired DS9 to break out of the tired mold of its Trek predecessors. I think it's no co-incidence that DS9, arguably the greatest of the Trek series, also happened to have had its run parallel and in competition with Babylon 5. I would be surprised if some of the storytelling choices made in DS9 were not at least partly influenced by B5.
Patrick D
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 12:44am (UTC -5)
^^
Without shows like Star Trek (and The Twilight Zone), there would be no B5 period. Strazynski's even said so.
Dom
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 1:07am (UTC -5)
@Jason R, Star Trek is utopian, but I don't see how that's cowardly. It follows in a long line of utopian, rational humanist sci-fi, including Asimov. At the risk of oversimplifying, Trek is about ideals and ideas, and B5 is about politics and people. In a lot of ways, it's like the difference between JRR Tolkien and GRR Martin. Tolkien wanted to tell a medieval fantasy epic, Martin wants to write about the history of a medieval fantasy land.
Jason R.
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 6:45am (UTC -5)
@Dom:

To be fair, I should have clarified that my critique of Rodenberry's vision was mostly aimed at the STNG breed of shows, not as much at the original series. TOS was groundbreaking in its own way, introducing new ideas and new concepts never seen before, and even managing some social commentary that would have been controversial for its time. I cut TOS alot more slack for that reason, because it innovated in so many ways, and because in the context of the cold war and the threat of nuclear armageddon, an optimistic view of the future was itself amazing.

But by STNG, the original vision had grown stale, its flaws become ever more apparent. Don't get me wrong, I loved STNG, mostly for the characters it introduced, and the strength of those performances. But STNG's vision of the future rang false to me. This is one where money was gone (an idea introduced first explicitly in STNG I believe) yet where families could own vinyards passed through the generations; where war was eradicated, yet starships filled with military officers carried weapons that could level cities; where computers could construct elaborate VR fantasies, yet people still played poker around a green card table; where androids with superhuman strength and the power of millions of supercomputers still had to type out commands on a keyboard and where fantastically complex AIs were relegated to dispensing tea from a food dispenser. It wasn't just a failure of special effects or set design: it was a failure of vision.

The central conceit of STNG was not merely that man could be better, that greed and war could be eliminated, but that it could be done without changing ourselves, our way of life, our belief systems or the way we did anything. It was transposing 20th century people with 20th century values and just wishing away their flaws. The reason it's cowardly is because it sells people a lie: that the future can be just like the present, with everything exactly as we like it and all of us exactly the same, but with cooler toys and no war or poverty.

I note that B5 was also utopian in its own way. At the end of the Shadow War, there were hints that mankind really could be better. The Episode Deconstruction of Falling Stars even gives us a glimpse of what humanity might be like in a million years. Whatever mankind has become by that point, it's alien and not at all like what we are today (a bit like what happens in Childhood's End). But B5's thesis is that the future doesn't just happen on its own - you have to build it, brick by brick. In Star Trek, humanity is already at the end of history, whereas in B5 it's just started. That to me is a much richer and more interesting concept to explore.
Robert
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 8:06am (UTC -5)
@Jason - It didn't bother me much, but there was a dissonance there that rang false. Many things about Starfleet/The Federation from the TNG era just didn't make sense under a closer lens. And why were holodeck programs all based on stuff that is popular NOW for the most part.

Ambo-jitsu or whatever it was called might have been stupid, but at least I appreciate they tried to make a futuristic martial arts. Spoiler alert! People will invent things in the next 400 years. We likely won't still be hung up on Sherlock Holmes.

The only one of these that didn't bother me much was Vic Fontaine. Sorry, but 2/3 of his big episodes are so awesome I don't care that it's improbably that 24th century people would care about big bang and 60s Vegas.
Dom
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 9:16am (UTC -5)
@James, I don't disagree that the world building in Star Trek has always been a bit haphazard. But I don't agree that TNG shows humanity changing "it could be done without changing ourselves." I think humanity has changed. The biggest change of course is that religion is no longer a primary factor in people's lives. People have became more rational. I think the big disconnect is that we never see that change in humanity. That's where it does ring hollow. You get the impression that it magically happened after first contact, rather than through hard work and education.

In fact, I'd argue it's B5 that depicts a humanity that hadn't changed much from the 20th century. Human religion is still thriving, you still have class divisions, and you have a lot of references to 20th century pop culture that probably would have been forgotten by then (Daffy Duck, anybody?). In that way, B5 is definitely a more realistic vision of the future. But it's hard for me to see any difference between the humans in B5 and 20th century humans.

I think with TNG it also depends on your frame of reference for some of those things. For example, yes, war was eradicated ON EARTH, but obviously not with other races. It's like the difference between eradicating war in Europe - which has largely happened during the latter half of the 20th century - and eradicating war in the entire world. Europeans still have armies because they have external enemies.

Again, I never got the impression that Roddenberry put a lot of thought into the world-building. His vision was more to present a vague, optimistic ideal than to plot out humanity's future.
Jason R.
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 10:40am (UTC -5)
@Dom

I don't dispute that B5 had its share of anachronism. That wasn't really my main beef with STNG, that the characters obsessed over 20th century cultural pursuits or anything like that. The issue is that the story wanted us to believe that people in the future had eliminated war, poverty, disease, even money(!), which are fundamental changes to society, yet essentially presented people exactly as they are today. That's what the real anachronism was - not that characters in the 24th century would care about a lounge singer from the 1950's, but that you could have a society allegedly devoid of money, where a man owns a restaurant and appears to have waiters and waitresses serving customers food. A society where war has allegedly been abolished, but that nurtures an overtly militaristic organization like Starfleet! This is the underlying falsehood of the STNG trek.

By contrast, B5 never presumed that the people of its time had somehow conquered the intractable sins of humanity in just a couple centuries. Sure, mankind was united under a global government, rendering war among humans (mostly) a thing of the past. But greed, violence, poverty, were very much alive. So if the people of B5 were much like the people today, that was forgivable, because B5 did not posit a fundamentally changed nature to humanity and did not presume to wash humanity of its sins.

Even so, B5 did attempt to address major cultural changes in ways that Trek never came close to doing. For instance, the "mind wipe" and "death of personality" in the criminal justice system as an alternative to capital punishment. Or the effect of alien civilization on earth religions through groups like the Foundationists, the Techno Mages and that weird cult in Grey 17. These were all fascinating bits of speculation worthy of true science fiction. We saw nothing approaching this in Trek. The only thing that came close was the law against eugenics, which was touched on only once in all of Trek, in the context of Dr. Bashir. There was also an episode of Voyager that hinted at this area where Torrez wanted to genetically modify her unborn baby - but even in that episode, the issue never really scratched the surface, treating it as a medical and personal issue and skating around the underlying ethical / legal problems.

Babylon 5 was not always ambitious (it did fail to deal adequately with AI for instance), but its reach never exceeded its grasp.
Dom
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
@James, I agree generally with that, but as I said I think TNG's brand of utopianism is pretty common in sci-fi, especially before the 1990s. If you look at Asimov or Clarke, there are plenty of stories where humanity overcomes war, poverty, etc, without any fundamental change in human nature. It's technological determinism, the idea that tech can solve all of these problems. I think that strain of classic sci-fi places too much faith in the power of tech to cure all ills, but we do have examples in the real world of tech solving problems without fundamental changes to human nature (poverty today is nothing like what it used to be - just travel to any developing country to see the difference).

I've heard it said that Trek was about 20 years behind its time as a piece of sci-fi, and that's probably right.
Jason R
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

It's interesting that you reference Asimov and Clarke, because my recollection was that both dealt with human societies with quite a bit of nuance. In Asimov's Foundation books, for instance, war has most certainly not been eliminated - indeed the central premise of the story is that absent intervention, mankind is doomed to a long dark age of violence and chaos. That's hardly the sanitized utopia of the STNG humanity.

In Clarke's case, I'll confess the only book I recall with any specificity was Childhood's End, a story that I consider to be almost antithetical to Trek in many ways - one where mankind is simply incapable of serious star travel, where evolution occurs to people on a biological and spiritual level, sidestepping technological progress entirely.
Dom
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
@Jason, I might not give Star Trek an A for world building and how they dealt with humanity, but I'd certainly rate both much, much higher than Asimov or Clarke. I actually teach politics for a living and sometimes reference Foundation as an example of bad world building in political sci-fi.

Foundation's depiction of War doesn't seem that different from Trek's, except that in Trek the enemies are usually aliens whereas in Foundation they're other regimes. To me that's not all that big a difference. It's just saying that a certain group of people has reached a point politically where war within the group is no longer acceptable. Again, even in our own world we've seen that in the EU over a very short span of time (think of the Federation as the galactic EU if that helps - they've achieved "utopian" levels of peace and prosperity compared to post-war Europe).

I admit I've only read the first Foundation book, but the thing about Foundation that frustrates me is that all the political leaders are depicted as complete dunces without any sense of strategy or foresight. Meanwhile, everybody at the Foundation, as well as Hari Seldon, is depicted as incredibly foresighted and able to predict future political events using a fancy computer algorithm. It's always the triumph of the rational humanists over the aggressive pirates/warlords/etc, just like Trek.

I think Trek suffers from this a bit too. Especially in TOS, ENT, and VOY, the crew would go to a planet, fight a bit, outwit a local warlord or the Klingons or Romulans (who always come across as incompetent or imbecilic), then self-righteously proclaim that their rational and peaceful values are superior. Those moments of Trek do come across as very much in the vein of Asimov. I thought TNG moved away from that a bit, as did DS9, but B5 definitely makes a much cleaner break than either.

What really bugs me is that Seldon apparently plugs a bit of data into a machine and can predict when, where, and how events will occur far into the future, even down to the minute. I've done statistical forecasts and that's just not how they work (even assuming an infinitely large computer and unlimited data, there's always uncertainty in the estimates). It's this depiction of a future where machines and technology can solve any and all human problems. The Robot stories sometimes have that sense as well, where with Robots there are few problems in the world.

I thought Childhood's End was a horrible mess. It's not about spiritual or biological evolution. The book skips over how people that part, about how people achieve utopia on Earth, it just says that magically the devil aliens help them get to that point (not unlike Trek in First Contact). I actually would have been much more interested to read how and why people changed after first contact. Then *SPOILERS* children just magically jump to some next plane of existence because... I don't know but that's certainly not evolution. There's really no explanation for what happens to those people. It's certainly not because the children worked hard at overcoming the darker parts of human nature. It's just magic.

At the end of the day, it sounds like you're just not a fan of utopian sci-fi, which is perfectly fine. I don't take the TNG world building too seriously. To me, it's more about creating an atmosphere and a sense of optimism than a detailed vision of the future.
Jason R
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

Unfortunately, it's been years since I have looked at any of Asimov's stories, so I'm sadly working on older memories. But if I may make an observation: I don't think Asimov's works went out of their way to emphasize the superior values of man the way that STNG did. I just think Asimov was focused on other areas.

Incidentally, I'd recommend that you have a look at some of the other books in the Foundation series. My recollection is that the first book was quite dry and stilted. I recall that the later books do get quite a bit better. The Foundation's system is not quite as simple as it initially appears in the first book, and one memorable antagonist in particular comes quite close to simply derailing it.

In terms of Childhood's End, I would have to re-read the book to decide if I agree with you. Regardless, I do stand by my opinion that Childhood's End can be seen really as an anti Trek. I recall one scene in that book where the Overlords discuss space travel and note that human beings would be simply unsuited for it and would never be capable of traversing the stars. Rather a stark contrast to Roddenberry's vision that technology could allow us to reach limitless heights.
Dom
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
@James, I feel just the opposite re Asimov and Trek. I feel like Asimov, especially in the Robot stories and Foundation, goes out of his way to emphasize the utopian benefits of technology. Granted not so much a focus on the "superior values of man" but those superior rational humanist values are often at play. With Trek, I've always felt like the setting is just context for glorified morality plays. At least in TNG, the "superior values of man" I read as aspirational, the way we might read a morality tale or fables. I don't take it literally so much as allegorically.

Trek definitely does preach Enlightenment and Western values, but again I don't see that as inherently bad. It's definitely better when, as happens in DS9, those values are challenged and not just shown to dominate other cultures, as happened so often in TOS. Some of those old TOS episodes where the Enterprise brings Western values to the unenlightened natives are a bit painful to watch.

I have the next two Foundation books on my Kindle but just haven't made it a priority to read them. I've heard about the Mule, but it sounds like a pseudo-scientific way to fix the problem rather than a thoughtful social scientific approach (having a person who happens to fall outside the ability of psychohistory to predict).

I guess re Childhood's End, there are a lot of things that have an anti-Trek aspect to them in that sense, many stories that depict technology as something ominous or limited. Kim Stanley Robinson's recent book Aurora had that vibe (I won't spoil it here). There's a huge dystopian literature out there as well predicting the end of the world if technology advances. So I guess I don't really see Childhood's End's saying humanity is united for space travel and then transforming all the children into magical fairies as any sort of thoughtful commentary on human evolution. I don't even know what Childhood's End is trying to say come to think of it.

At the end of the day, I agree that if you want to see a more verisimilitudeness depiction of humankind in a future with space travel and interacting with different alien races, that's B5. B5 definitely played around a bit more with how those developments might impact humanity. Trek is more a celebration of the "best" of humankind's instincts and values, sometimes without acknowledging the worst.
Yanks
Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
Childhoods End is a classic science fiction story. You need only know it happened. The show did say that "it" was forced upon humanity.

Could it be that the children and the end of humanity is the price that was paid? Isn't that what everyone fears? (especially in the 50's)

What makes CE so good is the ending. The devil bubba's were instructed by someone else. It's up to the viewer to decide what analogy appies.
Dom
Thu, Jan 7, 2016, 9:53am (UTC -5)
@Yanks, Not to get into a long discussion about CE, but I thought CE was passable until the ending, which is when it became intolerable to me. The ending was a sort of "lucifer ex machina," something bad happening just because the plot dictates. It relied too much on magical transformations of people rather than anything grounded in science. For a sci-fi story, that just came across as too convenient a plot development.
Chrome
Thu, Jan 7, 2016, 10:12am (UTC -5)
@Dom

Not to go off on an Asimov tangent (but until we get more ST: Beyond material why not?), but you should look into the next Foundation books. I highly recommend reading Foundation's Edge, if only for the fact that it covers a lot of the mule story and plunges that galaxy into a different kind of crisis with a very unique, and perhaps humanitarian, even Trek-like ending? Well if you read it, you can decide that for yourself.
Dom
Thu, Jan 7, 2016, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome, one day perhaps. Like I said, I was pretty unimpressed by the first one and the Mule concept doesn't excite me either. I have the books, it's just a matter of time. Good to hear you think it gets better.
Paul M.
Fri, Jan 8, 2016, 5:06am (UTC -5)
It's worth noting that there is a prequel of sorts, Prelude to Foundation, that was written decades after the original trilogy. Was it this book you read, or Foundation from 1951?
Dom
Fri, Jan 8, 2016, 7:23am (UTC -5)
@Paul, Foundation, the 1951 book, original several short stories.
Chrome
Fri, Jan 8, 2016, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, which are direct sequels to the original Foundation trilogy from the 1950s, were written 30 years later.

The prequels were written last, although they do serve to tie all Asimov's stories together (Robot, Empire, Foundation).

The newer Foundation books, while missing their historical significance, definitely have a modern feel to them, both in language and attitude. I'm not trying to knock the original trilogy, but it does feel quaint at times.

I can't help but throw this out, Dom, but there is a character with your handle in the later Foundation novels.
michael
Sat, Jan 9, 2016, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Let me see if I got it. There is almost no starship in Star Trek. But there is a motorcycle. And I'm suppose to look forward to this because...?
James T Kirk
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 2:24am (UTC -5)
I think it looks great and can't wait to go and see it. Can't believe all you guys saying it looks terrible.

Call yourself Star Trek fans? Shame on you all!!!
Paul M.
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 3:23am (UTC -5)
Yes, because to be a Star Trek fan obviously means being in love with motorcycles and cheap sitcom humour.
Del_Duio
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 11:49am (UTC -5)
"Call yourself Star Trek fans? Shame on you all!!!"

Oh yeah man, I sure am. I watched Profit and Lace TWICE which should tell you something lol.

But the way they chose to do this trailer.. it's just terrible. Now that doesn't mean the movie will be terrible and I really hope it'll be great (better than STID at least) but having the whole thing be backed by the Beastie Boys was a horrible decision on somebody's part.
Robert
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
"Oh yeah man, I sure am. I watched Profit and Lace TWICE which should tell you something lol."

Me too! Once when it was on TV the first time and once when I was showing my wife the series for the first time and she wouldn't let me skip it.

When my kids come of age I'll probably have to manage a third viewing :-(
Petet
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Profit and Lace is so incredibly offensive. For a series that was so good at discussing racism, racial relations and religion I'm shocked that the show runners were so tone deaf on gender issues. AND... I really hope that the new series can figure out a way to depict alien planets as being more than four or five actors with prosthetic lumps on their heads staying in the same 2 or 3 rooms with odd looking doors.
Dom
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Profit and Lace is a bad episode, no doubt there. I think it didn't have to be though. One of the problems was the writers wrote it as a comedy but the actors wanted to take it as a serious morality tale. It's one of those rare instances I can think of in Trek where the writers and actors were in really serious disagreement as to what the episode was about and how to play it. I think that's part of the reason why it fails so badly.
Dom
Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
10 Things That Star Trek Got Right (That Have Never Been Copied) (according to io9):

io9.gizmodo.com/10-things-that-star-trek-got-right-that-have-never-bee-1752 983440

Not sure I agree with all of thee, but #3 is key for me. Trek is about a world where the heroes' limits are often self-imposed. Captains have to follow rules, which is why they don't always "win." It's not about getting bigger guns or superpowers, but trying to work within a system. I still can't think of many other sci-fi shows that have taken institutions quite as seriously.
Brian
Sat, Jan 23, 2016, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
[Unfortunately] All of this has happened before. And now after viewing this trailer I am forced to conclude that [unfortunately] all of this will/is happen(ing) again.

And now I'm going to take a line from D'Anna and say "I'm getting off this merygoround" and am not going to watch this in the theaters or even rent it on DVD but wait until it arrives on Netflix before I try to stomache it (assuming it doesn't get rave reviewing- from reviewers that matter... say, like Jammer. 😀
Demosthenes
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Haven't read the whole thread, so I don't know if anyone else has commented on this -- but I found the trailer's announcement of the title to be very revealing. Coming on the heels of a trailer that displays the pieces for a very standard sci-fi action-adventure, with nothing more than a Star Trek veneer...note that the word that comes up first is "BEYOND," followed a couple of seconds later by a much smaller "Star Trek" up top.

I mean, yes, the title of the movie is "Star Trek: Beyond." But the order in which the title parts pop up could be read very unsubtly as "Beyond Star Trek." I look at the way that title is presented, and the size of the fonts in both parts, and I think the clear message is that this is no longer Star Trek -- if the creators could drop those two words, doesn't it look like they would be happy to do so? Having already dispensed with canon, they are now no longer going to even try preserving the tone and mood of the universe.

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. This is why Paramount should never have let that piece of Bantha poodoo have access to the franchise's conn in the first place. And now they're trying to shut down Axanar, while giving this...thing...the imprimatur of the real McCoy? (As opposed to Karl Urban's fake McCoy.) Can we rescue Star Trek from its own frakkin' owners?!
Yanks
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 10:24am (UTC -5)
"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.
Robert
Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 11:23am (UTC -5)
@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.
Demosthenes
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:53am (UTC -5)
@ 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?)
Yanks
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -5)
@ Demosthenes
Thu, Feb 11, 2016, 8:53am (UTC -6)

@ 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.

*** My bad. I was scratching my head reading that because I've enjoyed reading many of your posts in the past. I believe we've even conversed a couple times.

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.

*** This always boils down to the same thing for me. Star Trek is made for and best shown on TV, not in the movie theaters. Sometimes it graces us with a movie that can make money and still be recognized as Trek, but mostly the "bad Star Trek movies" are the ones that most tried being relevant to the source material. ST2009 was a VERY good movie because it did what everyone expected it to do - brought together our heroes. STID has some great politically relevant story lines, but busted (for me) because they didn't keep our characters in character and couldn't get there head out of past ST movies. We all wanted something new, not rehashed flip-flopped old trek. STID could quite honestly have been the best ST movie yet.

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...

*** If I had seen the trailer and not listened to Pegg and Lynn afterwards I would agree. I'm more optimistic now than I was at the end of STID for sure. We'll see... it's gonna be an action movie for sure, we'll see how much trek gets sprinkled in this time. We don't want a 'Nemesis' now do we? I'll leave the real trek to the next series coming in January.

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?)

*** LOL!! That just made my day (y)
Demosthenes
Fri, Feb 19, 2016, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
"This always boils down to the same thing for me. Star Trek is made for and best shown on TV, not in the movie theaters...mostly the 'bad Star Trek movies' are the ones that most tried being relevant to the source material."

The first part there is definitely true. As for the second...hmm. I really think that's more true of the Next Gen movies than the originals. Let's not forget that probably the best movie of all of them, II, not only sprang directly from the canon but explicitly grappled with its mostly positive tone, by stating baldly that things just weren't always going to be like they once were...everyone gets older, and even the important people in your life won't be spared pain and death.

I think it would be fairer to say that the "bad Star Trek movies" are the ones that tried feeling like two-part episodes. I (that's "one," not "me") literally was a padded episode swiped from the Phase II series vaults, V felt like a double-length discarded script from TOS Season 3 ("It takes too much money to shoot God in blue light! Let's do that minimalist Western thing instead!"), and the other three Next Gen movies all felt like TNG two-parters that had been chucked because they weren't intelligent enough. ("Nobody's gonna believe that Picard only asks for Kirk because Guinan won't go with him! Rewrite it all NOW. And you...fountain of youth in space?! PLEASE.")

But II, III, IV, VI, and ST:FC are undeniably cinematic while still being as true to the spirit of Trek as they can be. And notably, the action in those movies is actually pretty good (if somewhat slight, especially by modern standards), because it's motivated mostly by character goals and dynamics than by plot needs or 'splosion fever. In those three movies, you've got a great old-school space battle, a hijacking sequence, TWO ships being blown to hell, a tense chase sequence through an aircraft carrier, and a comic chase scene through a hospital. Good stuff, all.

For all its storytelling faults, ST09 definitely came down more with the better group of movies. And for all its technical virtues, ST:iD was definitely in the worse group.

* * * * * * * * * *

"If I had seen the trailer and not listened to Pegg and Lynn afterwards I would agree. I'm more optimistic now than I was at the end of STID for sure...I'll leave the real trek to the next series coming in January."

We'll see, I guess. Simon Pegg's name doesn't carry as much cachet with me as it used to. (Wasn't a big fan of The World's End...didn't stick the landing I wanted for the Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy.) And I'm not convinced that the makers really have learned their lesson, in part because the damned thing made enough money worldwide that there may not have been a financial lesson to learn -- which is the only kind Hollywood understands.

As for that other part, isn't the new series going to be set in the AbramsTrek reality? Seriously asking -- I've tried to avoid as much news about it as possible, because I'm currently engaged in a rewatch of the whole run of stuff, including TAS. (It's taking a while. Life stuff doesn't always mix well with six series and a dozen films.) If it is, again, that leaves me worried. But considering I haven't even seen a lick on it yet, I concede my worries may be overblown.
Paul M.
Sat, Feb 20, 2016, 2:18am (UTC -5)
Demosthenes: "As for that other part, isn't the new series going to be set in the AbramsTrek reality?"

We have no solid info on the new show. However, for some strange corporate reason, TV rights and movie rights aren't owned by the same company: CBS owns TV Trek while Paramount owns movie Trek. Unless the two companies come to some kind of a deal, my guess is that CBS can't use Abramsverse for the show. On the other hand, CBS probably doesn't want to alienate/confuse people who liked the movies; that smart thing to do would be to throw them some kind of bone.

In short: I have no clue where and when the new show will be set, but I do believe it will be some kind of clean slate and try not to be overly burdened with existing canon. After all, the only way to bring in some fresh blood is to chart new territory and not get bogged down in endless historical/canon minutia.
Ben
Fri, Mar 25, 2016, 5:33am (UTC -5)
Oh guys you are so lovable. All your speculations and whatever. Will Simon Pegg bring it back to its roots, what does the new director want, will JJ with the third movie bring it back to something that can be called star trek, why is the trailer just full of action and quips ? I'll tell you why

Star Wars 7: 2 Billion
Transformers 4: 1.1 Billion
Avanegers + Age of Ultron: 3 Billion
Fast and Furious 6,5: 1.5 Billion (and Lin made almost 200 millions more with every new fast and furious movie)

Star Trek (2009): 385 Million
Star Trek: Into Darkness: 467 Million
most succesful of the older ones
Star Trek 1: (adjusted) 450 Million
Star Trek 4: (adjusted) 288 Million

So Into Darknes made already more than the most succesfull Star Trek film (and the first one wasn't that trekky and the next one Star Trek 4 only made 288 millions)

And the numbers up there are alll that matter. JJ makes movies that make alot of money and he make more money with every new film in the franchise and it is the same with Lin. Both Avengers movies made more than ALL the old Star Trek movies combined. And I guarantee you, the guys at Paramount think how can we make a billion dollars with Star Trek. That is Paramounts prime directive. And that is the reason why the trailer appeals to guys who watch fast&furious, Star Wars and Avengers and that is why the director says that the movie is totally not like the trailer and that is also the reason why they say that Simon Pegg is one of the writers (because this time it has to be done right). So that you guys go see it. What you don't see is: It is capitalism and capitalism is the great cultural equalizer or standardizer and now finally Star Trek is on the menu. It is far more accessible, even enjoyable. It is just not Star Trek anymore. These movies will never be like classic Star Trek. I put my hopes on the new show.






Patrick D
Fri, Mar 25, 2016, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
@Ben

You're right: money talks. And in a way that's what makes the original Star Trek films so commendable. They could have gone full Star Wars and Indiana Jones back in the day and what have you back in the day...but they didn't. For the most part they stuck to their roots and we got 6 memorable TOS movies (and at least 1 memorable TNG film). That demonstrates some artistic integrity on Trek's part.
I'll put it like this: do think Abrams or Lin would ever put out anything as gentle and sublime like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?

I remember all the fanfare for the 25th Anniversary of Trek. Now the public doesn't care about the 50th despite these high grossing films. Coincidence?
NCC-1701-Z
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 1:52am (UTC -5)
@Patrick D: "I remember all the fanfare for the 25th Anniversary of Trek. Now the public doesn't care about the 50th despite these high grossing films. Coincidence?"

When you also take into account that we haven't heard anything major from the ST Beyond marketing crew since this trailer, and also the massive fanfare for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013, it speaks volumes.

I sincerely hope ST Beyond turns out to be more than what's being represented in the trailer, but note the like/dislike proportion: nearly 30% dislikes as of now. Most trailers easily get around 90-95% likes on Youtube.

Maybe it's just one bad trailer, but I think more and more people are starting to view the reboot films as being basically mindless action - it's the old "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me three times..."

As far as excitement for Trek, here's hoping the 2017 TV series turns things around so we can start showing our Whovian cousins across the pond what's up.
Del_Duio
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 10:36am (UTC -5)
"I remember all the fanfare for the 25th Anniversary of Trek. Now the public doesn't care about the 50th despite these high grossing films. Coincidence?"

You don't know how right you are. For example, a couple years ago there was an awesome 2 day convention in Boston. It was GREAT and I had a lot of fun. I guessed they would skip the next year, which was true, and be back in full force for Trek's 50th and I was going to take my daughter who's never been to one before.

Well I kept checking and checking Creation's website and never saw them add a date, so I e-mailed their customer service just to ask if there was even going to be one in the area. She said sadly there's not one planned for the Boston area. What the hell! I remember a time when you had one ever year around here, it was awesome! I mean it's not Bumfuck Egypt for Chrissakes, this is a giant city with a lot of Trek fans in it!

How dissappointing :(

At least I'll have these to remember the one from a couple years back but MY GOD this sucks. I thought for sure it'd be a full (or nearly full) TNG line up, many DS9ers, Koeing and Shatner, etc.

(These are stored in my Steam page's artwork:)

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=663750702
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=663748089
William B
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Maybe everyone's saving the big celebration for what should really be Star Trek Month: January 2017 (17/01).
Jammer
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
The year is still young. Trek's 50th is not technically until fall, so there may be time for fanfare yet.
Matthew Thomas
Sat, May 21, 2016, 9:38am (UTC -5)
New Star Trek Beyond trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvq3y8BhZ2s
Chrome
Sat, May 21, 2016, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Looks hundreds of times better than the teaser. Some of the alien designs, like the vampire-like pale skin aliens seem intriguing.

Others look kind of lame, like whatever the little green eyed guys boarding the ship were. I'm guessing they're short lived.

The lizard guy who we see close up looks like a Jem Haddar soldier. Curious!
Matthew Thomas
Sat, May 21, 2016, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Is it really though? How much of this trailer being better is just the super dramatic Batman v. Superman meets Inception trailer music?

I like how there looks to be a couple scenes where characters are just sitting and talking. And if that one shot was the Enterprise's warp field as it flies through space, that's an awesome visual.

But, Jesus, we're three movies in and Kirk is still moping over his daddy issues and finding himself? Are they just going to keep retreading this character arc until NuKirk becomes a not-terrible captain?
E2
Thu, May 26, 2016, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Well, this newer trailer does look better. But it still seems much closer to Bay's Transformer movies than anything identifiable as Trek.
I'm excited to see Idris Elba, I've liked him in pretty much everything (except Prometheus, though that was clearly not his fault,) but, I remember feeling the same way about Eric Bana and Benedict Cumberbatch. Just as with the main cast, having great talent in front of the camera cannot make-up for a poor script. First and foremost, the story you're trying to tell has to be worth telling. Will they have a passable plot this time? From the trailer, I have no idea. We know they did major last-minute rewrites, usually a very bad sign, and with the previous two efforts being so muddled, it becomes harder to remain optimistic.
At this point, "The Force Awakens" has the Fantasy-Space-Explosions/Nostalgia genre covered pretty well- This movie doesn't appear to be trying to do anything the Star Wars one didn't.
Will I see 'Beyond'? I have seen every Trek film so far in the theater- recent ones on opening night. But the last two movies have really made me feel pretty foolish for doing so. Of course I will see this; eventually. I suspect I'll wait until we've had a least a week or two of reviews, and if they are, well, like 2009 or "Into Darkness", I'll catch it on DVD at some point down the road.
Perhaps with this installment I'll finally be "Beyond" Star Trek. (At least Paramount's current concept of it.) I hope my predictions are off-base, and Pegg & Lin have put together something worthy of the name. If not, well there is always CBS's upcoming attempt on TV/Internet Streaming...
Yanks
Thu, May 26, 2016, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Well, this trailer has my interest peaked for sure.

Can't wait. It appears we have an original story that isn't going to rip-off TWoK!! :-)

Nice to see what appears to be an NX Class at the end. I'm guessing that is the Franklin.
nooffenseintended
Sat, May 28, 2016, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
On Dxember 14, Jammer asked if he needed to create a new comment thread for "Star Trek Beyond." To which Matthew (December 14, 2015 at 1:51 PM) replied to the effect of, "that. I ght not be a bad idea. People are going to need a receptacle for their hate."

@Jammer, think about how many comments that have been made on Trek #11, Trek # 12, Star Trek Beyond, The Force Awakens, and the comments that will be made about the new Trek series premiering in January. There's so much hate for all of the above that not even Ambassador Alkar in TNG's "Man of the People" could find enough receptacles to contain it.

Things have reached the point where the trolls ( who are promptly and mercilessly upbraided) are the ones saying the GOOD things about these movies. Movie critic Pauline Kael made an interesting remake about the 1968 film "Petulia." She criticized that movie's director, Richard Lester, for using San Francisco (to her, one of the most beautiful places in the U.S.) as the setting for a showcase of ugly American behavior. She mused that if the director, who was British, had to go to such lengths to speciifcally portray the best America had to offer as evidence that America was culturally sick (which, to her, was like framing what a cop viewed as an obviously guilty suspect with crooked evidence), then what was it that the director REALLY hated? Her conclusion was that he hated not America but rather the idea of being "unhip," and that if his movie didn't gratuitously attack America, it would have committed the sin of being too ""square." When people who claim to love Star Trek or Star Wars attack the best that these franchises have to offer (click on a review of a great episode, scroll down a bit, and voila - instant hate!), what is it that those people really hate? The idea that they might give the impression that they actually are mortal enough to be entertained by something?

Now, the way comments sections work, not everyone can flood those sections at once with their comments. Whomever clicks "submit" first, gets to the head of the line. To eceryone else waiting in line who didn't like what I just said, well, I guess you'll just have to hate until it's your turn!
Matthew
Sun, May 29, 2016, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
@nooffenseintended

I'm not sure I follow your analogy all the way. I do see the irony in Star Trek fans having more hate for the franchise, at least in it's current incarnation, than non-fans. But that in and of itself is unremarkable, lots of Star Wars fans were in a similar position in the mid 00's.

But are you saying that the hate for NuTrek coming from fans is a result of trying to be hip or avoid being unhip? As though there is elitist cache in hating on NuTrek.

Because that seems ludicrous on it's on its face. When was Star Trek ever hip, or even hip to hate on (like a Michael Bay or M. Night film)? And particularly now that it's been remade using the highly marketable Star Wars template, there's absolutely no cache in being "that guy" in the room arguing for more "boring" Star Trek.

It just so happens that this fansite is a place where a good number of "that guys" come from time to time. (And for the record, I got a lot more positive about the new series after they brought Bryan Fuller on.)
nooffenseintended
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
@Matthew, I think what I am saying with respect to NuTrek is that there are many people who are watching these movies who are enjoying them simply because those people find them entertaining. There is nothing wrong with that. Yes, I do think people - some fans - are afraid that if they admit to having been entertained by something, these people feel they will be called out as "unhip." Read The Onion's review of 2009's Star Trek if you don't get where I'm coming from (the headline was, "Trekkers blast new movie as....fun, entertaining..."

Today, anyway, it IS uncool to cop to enjoying something that was made for a mass audience. Would Avatar and Titanic have anywhere near the level of hatred that they do were they not so wildly successful? Some Star Trek fans saw the movie series as their "property," and the last two movies made money precisely because the filmmakers didn't care. Wanting to entertain a mass audience and doing a decent job of it is not a crime.

"That guy," to me, is the type that claims to be a Trek fan but actually hates Trek REGARDLESS of how it is presented - as NuTrek or not. That type has been cast aside by the marketplace which is probably why the type has become more and more bitter and venomous.

Bottom line: the 2009 Trek movie got a score of 81/100 on Metacritic. A cadre of fans hated it far more than many people who review movies for a living. The movie made half a billion dollars. Certain fans - by definition - will dislike a movie that got that kind of praise and that kind of money. How can it possibly be good if it is entertaining for a mass audience? Some fans have grudgingly stand that they enjoy the last two Trek movies but have added, "but,.... They're not Star Trek." Says who? And more to the point, something's being "Star Trek" isn't a guarantee of quality. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is "Star Trek." Care to sit through it again? The best "Treks" we remember actually did dare to entertain a mass audience - that was not the only purpose of those films - but trying to entertain, instead of worrying of charges that you didn't flyspeck every syllable of every word of every line for continuity errors - is fine. If you think a movie is bad, argue why it is bad ON ITS OWN MERITS. Don't say "It's Not Star Trek" and think by doing so, you have started, finished and won the debate.

I am in agreement with you over being excited about the new series. Bryan Fuller and... Nicholas Meyer. Meyer described Star Trek as "middlebrow" escape entertainment on his DVD commentary for TWOK. In other words, the movie worked well because Meyer was not cowed by "serious" fandom. Fans who watched the DVD and heard his comments probably hate him now.
Robert
Sun, May 29, 2016, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
@nooffenseintended - I'll cop to enjoying Trek '09 (though not Into Darkness). My biggest worry though is their success. It's lost something from MY Trek. They changed the formula on my favorite drink and it's selling better. That's terrifying!
E2
Tue, May 31, 2016, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
@nooffenseintended


I'll admit to having enjoyed both '09 and '11. Nothing wrong with some high-dollar fantasy space explosions!


But I can remember what made me care about Trek in the first place. Sure, I showed up initially for the space explosions. I became attached because of the underlying optimism of the original series, and TNG, and DS9, Voyager and Enterprise as well. (What I don't remember is anytime when admitting to actually liking the original show made you cool- you were better off admitting you played D&D or liked ballet...)


The idea that you could use low-budget camp sci-fi to inspire people- to suggest that all people could work together for a future that would be measurably better than today's realities, while enjoying shirt-tearing fist fights and phaser-gun action- That's what made the show worthy of note. That is why so many people still care so much.


It isn't that the last two films have been bad (although there are certainly arguments to be made!) But that they have consciously chosen to jettison what made Roddenberry's universe special.


Can you squeeze such ‘middle-brow’ stuff into a two hour movie? Meyers & Nimoy sure did. Should you, in 2016? I don’t know. I like having something between the 2001:ASO, Interstellar and the Star Wars, Transformers style films.


Sure, there is plenty of hate & vitriol to go around (Hey- this is the internet!) But I feel what you’re seeing (at least on Jammer’s pages) are merely disappointment for potential wasted, or the mourning of the loss of an old friend.

Matthew
Wed, Jun 1, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
@nooffenseintended

Ok, a lot here, I will go point by point then.

1. Sure, some fans probably are enjoying this more than they are admitting, but a great many, like me, are sincere in not liking NuTrek. The Onion thing is funny, and true in a few ways, but also meant for comedy. All the people in it are straw men.

2. Titanic and Avatar don't have fandoms the way Star Trek the franchise does, those films are broad and hate for them is broad (e.g. some people hate Titanic for being popular, some people hate the dialogue, some people just hate that Celine Dion song).

3. Entertaining a mass audience and pleasing Star Trek fans are not mutually exclusive goals. Star Treks II and IV, at a minimum, are proof of that. It's a question of how that's done.

4.Metacritic scores are meaningless. Perceptions of a film's quality can change over time, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. For example, attitudes towards Man of Steel have only gotten worse.

5. It's not a stretch to say that NuTrek isn't Star Trek. The framework for the first film was very obviously taken from Star Wars. The second film was trying to be The Dark Knight. Just because something is branded as Star Trek, doesn't mean it is. Branding is the most superficial part of a media property. Toss out the names and visuals and look at the way the story and themes are presented in Classic Trek vs. NuTrek, they are simply not the same thing.

6. Yes bad episodes and movies exist, even really dumb ones, but they don't outweigh the good, an argument I wouldn't make of NuTrek.

7. As to liking or hating something on the merits, well that's true and it isn't. Is it really unreasonable to judge a film branded as Star Trek, a well established franchise, on both its merits as a film and its merits as compared to the rest of the franchise? I don't think its wrong to expect Star Trek to be Star Trek, and not to be Star Wars. And these aren't mutually exclusive either. I can find a ton of things in NuTrek that aren't Trek-like, but I can also point out a ton of things wrong with them just as films.

8. Never knew that about Meyer. I can kind of see my way to seeing what he means. In comparison to TMP, WoK is middlebrow. But it's been 34 years since WoK, and we're all so used to seeing dreck like Transformers make money. So maybe Meyer's middlebrow is is now highbrow.
MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
www.cnn.com/2016/06/19/entertainment/actor-anton-yelchin-killed/index.html

This is bad news indeed. Anton Yelchin has been killed in an accident.

How terrible.
Yanks
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
So sad. What a talented guy.
E2
Thu, Jun 23, 2016, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Anton's passing is terrible news. The cast was the best part of these films...


Also current bad news, it looks like CBS/Paramount have become serious about killing off all fan films:

www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-fan-film-guidelines-announced

Depressing week.

Matthew Thomas
Mon, Jun 27, 2016, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Another trailer.

Now with even more pop music that will date the movie in 10-15 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep3A-yJ3P3Y
Yanks
Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 9:47am (UTC -5)
I like it!! I'm officially stoked...
E2
Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 10:28am (UTC -5)
More mini-trailers are out!

Pre-reviews are starting to trickle out, most seeming positive!








(Possible spoiler)







The Beastie Boys song from the first trailer (and the 2009 movie) IS actually in the film- and is climax-resolution plot point?


James117
Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
I don't care what the critics say, it looks like another bland action movie with "Star Trek" slapped on it based on the first two trailers. Ergo, I'm not going to see it, especially after getting let down horribly by Into Darkness the last time.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." - Scotty, TOS "Friday's Child"
E2
Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Lots of reviews out now- the worst seem to be 'meh' and many are mostly positive.



I think I will do what I should have done with the last film-


I'll wait to read what Jammer has to say before I consider buying a ticket.
Paul M.
Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Just watched Beyond. It's definitely better than the horror that was Into Darkness, that's for sure. I'm pretty split on where I stand regarding this movie. On one hand, it has all the silly and been-there-done-that tropes of a Hollywood blockbuster that really need to die a fiery death. Endless explosions and fistfights? Check. Shaky cam and chaotic "spatial awareness is for dummies" editing? Check. Uninspiring main plot? Check. Overwrought humor and one-liners galore? Check.

I'd be lying, though, if I said that the movie didn't appeal to me in quite a few ways. For one, character work was leagues better than in the previous two reboot movies. The main trio had some strong material to work with, dealing with the themes of passage of time, getting older, finding your purpose in life, as well as loyalty to your ideals, your friends, and crewmates. I wish Beyond had dug a bit deeper in its thematic exploration instead of reverting to the tried-and-true well of "livening up" the proceedings with regular action sequences, but what we got was actually quite nice.

Beyond is the first Trek movie in a long time that tries and succeeds in giving all its stars a solid chunk of screentime and things to do, for which I give it big thumbs up. Yes, Kirk, Spock, and Bones are at the center of the whole thing, as it should be, but the rest of the gang are definitely in there, contributing in their own ways. Sulu, Checkov, Scotty, Uhura, they all get their 15 minutes of fame. Trek movies usually struggle with this, so I am grateful to see Beyond getting it right this time.

Another thing deserving of praise is Beyond's unapologetic dedication to Trekian ideals, and not in name only (cue: ST:ID). These characters aren't afraid to get all geeky on the audience in loudly proclaiming what humans could and should be Jean-Luc Picard would be quite proud at some of the speechifying, and this I mean in the most affectionate of ways.

Visually the movie can be quite impressive (when the director and editor remember to swallow their daily doses of ADHD meds so that the scenes can breathe a bit), especially the enormous Yorktown space station, the embodiment of Federation strength through unity ideals. Honestly, I think Yorktown may be the best piece of space engineering I've ever seen in Star Trek. It's stunning to behold.

Finally, let me say that ST:B is heavy on the nostalgia/tribute factor, something I think old time fans are really going to enjoy. Fear not, this isn't ST:ID with its over-the-top Aping and Copying Syndrome. Star Trek Beyond is tasteful and organic in how it approaches this stuff, from cool shout-outs to Xindi and Romulan Wars as the motivation for the (otherwise sadly underwritten) villain Krall to a wonderful scene where Spock looks at the photo of the Prime Crew circa Star Trek VI and remembers What Is Best in Life (Conan may disagree). I admit I was close to tears just seeing the original crew in that context.

Reading all this once more before I post it, I realise that my review perhaps sounds more positive than I initially intended. Beyond does have serious plotting problems and suffers from a serious case of Overblown Blockbusteritis Hollywoodii. Still, its heart and soul are in the right place. For the first time since the reboot, I actually believe this incarnation of Trek may have something to tell us.

PS: When Jammer opens up a dedicated thread to the movie, maybe put this post over there? Thanks!
Yanks
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 9:51am (UTC -5)
I saw it last night but won't post my review/comments yet because I believe Jammer stated he didn't want them here.

But yeah Paul M., I shed a tear as well.

To everyone, if you don't go see it because of a trailer, you're missing a pretty damn good movie.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
This is one of the worst SF movies I have seen since Prometheus, and that's not a comparison I make often, or lightly.

The story was utter drek. It was utterly incomprehensible. Essentially, it's like somebody came up with the concept for a bunch of action sequences and then created a half-baked "story" to go around them.

Into Darkness had its issues, but the writing in Beyond is infinitely worse. There may have been things in ID that I didn't like but Beyond goes, well, Beyond. You thought that nothing would be stupider than Khan's magic blood plot device? You thought wrong.
Yanks
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
I don't agree at all Jason. I think it could have been directed better. Sorry you feel that way.
N
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Just got back from seeing it. In summary: good shlock. I was gonna write what I thought in more detail but basically I completely agree with Paul M. I much preferred it to the previous two films, which just didn't feel like Trek in terms of the spirit, values, anything... this one did. The action is seriously impressive and unlike anything ever seen in a Trek film before, yet dominates too much - the film is too action-heavy and a little shallow (the plot doesn't bear any serious scrutiny), but still has plenty of quiet moments and gives the characters far more room to breathe than the past two films. It's an actioner with heart that could use a little more brain. 7/10 (or ***)

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