Star Trek Beyond

**1/2

Theatrical release: 7/22/2016
PG-13; 2 hrs. 2 min.
Written by Simon Pegg & Doug Jung
Produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci
Directed by Justin Lin

Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Idris Elba (Krall), Sofia Boutella (Jaylah), Lydia Wilson (Kalara), Joe Taslim (Manas)

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

July 27, 2016

From a storytelling perspective, Star Trek Beyond represents a deliberate attempt to take the reboot film series back to the primary roots of Star Trek. It scales back the self-mirroring franchise-metatext ambitions shown in both the previous J.J. Abrams-helmed films and delivers what might best be described as a super-sized traditional Star Trek episode amped up on current-day filmmaking and visual effects steroids.

I just kind of wish I had liked it more.

Don't get me wrong; I liked this reasonably okay, and I appreciated the screenplay's admirable focus on character interaction. But there are stretches here that feel like disappointing exercises in "been there, done that, wrote the review." Beyond is perfectly acceptable Trekkian fare, and at times even pretty good. But on the whole? Meh.

More than anything else, Beyond to me evokes the memory of Star Trek: Insurrection. That too was a serviceable but unremarkable film in the model of "just another planet-based Trek adventure." And while I like that they've tried here to make Trek breezy and light on its feet again (the tone is set in the first scene with a failed alien negotiation that devolves into amusingly goofy slapstick), they've done so with a threadbare storyline that for stretches feels like it's adrift in the wilderness and revolving around a flat villain who has weak (and unclear) motivations.

Beyond takes place halfway into the Enterprise's five-year mission exploring deep space on the final frontier. The Enterprise has become a self-sufficient family out of the necessity of its prolonged isolation, and if there's an upside to the setting, it's that deep space gives this a very different feel when compared to the previous two Earth-bound movies. It feels like we're out in the wilderness. On the downside is that being out in the middle of nowhere provides little opportunity for world-building in this universe, which felt like an asset in the previous two movies. (That point may seem counterintuitive, but if this whole thing is a one-off then we're not really contributing to the cohesive canvas. This is a self-contained episode with self-contained adversaries.)

Kirk finds that he's experiencing a crisis of self-identity. On his birthday, he observes to Bones that he's now older than his father was on the day he was born — which, as we know, was also the day his father died. Considering an announcement has already been made for a fourth film in this series that will allegedly be about Kirk meeting his father, maybe Kirk will be able to even more fully work out those issues. (Note: Always beware any early announcement purporting to discuss the idea behind a sequel that has yet to hire a director — or, for that matter, before the box-office results have even started to come in on the current outing. Announcements can always be unannounced.) Feeling so personally rudderless has pushed Kirk to the point he's considering leaving the Enterprise for an open vice admiral position. (Though his isolation begs the question of whatever happened to Carol Marcus. A point was made to show her joining the crew at the end of Into Darkness, but there's not so much as a single line mentioning her here.)

The Enterprise docks at the Federation's Yorktown starbase for resupply and shore leave. Actually, let me amend my earlier comment about world-building: The realization of Yorktown represents this film's single best visual triumph. It's a massive space city that envisions skyscrapers built at angles opposing one another on a gyroscope-like design. It's quite the sight to behold and is an example of how the availability of CGI allows the creation of anything onscreen, with imagination being the only limiting factor. Of all the space station designs I've seen in Trek (and beyond), this one surpasses them.

The crew takes some needed downtime. As Kirk ponders his crisis of identity, Spock is facing his own dilemma: His relationship with Uhura is on the rocks, in large part because news Spock has received about the passing of Ambassador Spock (more on that later) has made him question his own priorities as a Vulcan. He's considering leaving the Enterprise to return to New Vulcan. Meanwhile, Sulu is reunited with his husband and young daughter. If much has been made in the press the past couple weeks about the revelation of Sulu being gay — amounting to Trek's first (and long overdue) confirmed-on-screen gay character — the film itself appropriately treats it as the complete non-issue it is.

Shortly after the Enterprise's arrival, a lone alien in an escape pod named Kalara (Lydia Wilson) arrives at Yorktown pleading for help, saying that her ship's crew has been stranded on a nearby planet. The Enterprise is assigned to cancel shore leave and rescue them. What they instead find in orbit of the planet is a swift ambush by a massive swarm of tiny ships that quickly disables the Enterprise, which is then boarded by an alien force led by Krall (Idris Elba) who is looking for something the Enterprise has in its possession. That something is essentially a MacGuffin that drives much of the plot for the next hour.

The catastrophic assault on the Enterprise is an impressive barnburner of a sequence, ultimately leading to the ship's destruction, with the crew being evacuated and the saucer crashing to the planet's surface. In an outing that generally avoids the sorts of drawn parallels between the prime universe and this one, I'll just make the note that the second entry of each film series gave us Khan, while the third entry of each gives us the destruction of the Enterprise. Also worth noting is how the ship's demolition is played for its visceral impact much more than it's playing on our emotional attachment to it, assuming we had any. (These films have little time to be sentimental about the ship itself, and the fact we get a new Enterprise in the movie's closing scene is analogous to the way Kirk dies in Into Darkness only to be revived a few scenes later. We used to have to wait years until the next movie for payoffs to these major developments; now we need only wait minutes.)

Stranded and scattered on the planet surface, the characters must now figure out what to do. Most of the crew members, including Uhura and Sulu, have been rounded up and are now being held at Krall's compound as he plots his next move in tracking down the MacGuffin device. Kirk and Chekov return to the crashed saucer section of the ship to retrieve the MacGuffin along with Kalara, who betrayed them and must clearly not be trusted. She has in store a second betrayal that Kirk sees coming, and the resulting shootout with the aliens ends with the saucer section being flipped over.

Meanwhile, Scotty becomes allies with a resourceful alien survivor named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who has been stranded on this planet for years. She lives in the wreckage of the USS Franklin, a crashed warp-4 Starfleet derelict that went missing a century ago and that has no business being this far out in deep space. Surviving for so long by cleverly using the art of holographic illusion, Jaylah is in the tradition of plucky sidekicks who are more competent in their element than the main characters and have a funny way of saying things, a la "Montgomery Scotty." She likes listening to Public Enemy on the ship's music database. Her knowledge of Krall's base will be essential in rescuing the Enterprise crew. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding the Franklin is what gives the movie its backstory intrigue, although for a very long time that would-be intrigue feels more incidental than essential.

Probably the best thing about Beyond is its pairing of McCoy and an injured Spock and their ongoing banter — and indeed the expanded role for Bones altogether. The film pivots away from the Kirk-Spock-Uhura triad of the last two movies and back toward the Kirk-Spock-Bones triad of the classic series. While this backtracks on something that has thus far been a uniquely distinguishing characteristic of the reboot, it's nice to see Bones take center stage again. Karl Urban does a great job capturing the essence of the character while in a perpetual state of comic annoyance. (Look, for example, at the scene where Bones is forced to co-pilot a swarm ship because it's been deemed a "good idea" and he barely gets 10 seconds to offer up a protest before being beamed away.) Urban and Zachary Quinto have memorable moments alternating pithy dialogue and levity that's in the great tradition of the original characters.

On the other hand, the film's biggest disappointment has to be Krall. As a character, there's very little substance here, and what's here is the opposite of subtle. Idris Elba has been great in many roles, but Krall is not one that will distinguish him. Krall hates the Federation and wants to retrieve the MacGuffin device because it holds the key to unleashing a doomsday bioweapon that he intends to use to kill everyone on Yorktown — because it represents the Peaceful Unity of the Federation that he very much opposes.

Why? That's the nagging question for a very long time. He's opposed because Unity Is Weakness. There's something else here, but that's not to be revealed until the big twist at the end. In the meantime, as the film's adversary, he's a boring one-note heavy buried under pounds of prosthetics who trudges about the screen and growls intimidatingly. Occasionally, he uses a strange device to apparently suck the life-force out of other people and transfer it to himself. Even more so than Admiral Marcus in Into Darkness, he represents the film's failure to engage with meaningful ideas (in this case, ostensibly, xenophobia and isolation — relevant today to be sure), and simply uses his beef to drive a familiar doomsday plot.

Some of the action tries to stand out as memorable (Ex. 1: Flipping saucer sections! Ex. 2: Holographic motorcycle diversions!), but the frequent hand-to-hand combat and shootouts feel antiquated at this point. Many of the planet-bound scenes seem to revert to the tropes of Westerns, and while that's a reliable staple in the annals of Trek, little of it feels fresh or exciting. At times I felt my impatience growing. Fortunately, just as I was starting to get antsy, the action allows the crew of the Enterprise to be rescued with a clever and resourceful plan by Kirk & Co. by reviving the Franklin, and they escape the planet. The scenes of the crew problem-solving to escape their dilemma represent classic Trekkian fare. Next they must stop Krall from destroying Yorktown!

Heading back to Yorktown is in the film's favor. It at least raises the stakes — and like I previously said, the Yorktown is an impressive setting to be in — although the doomsday scenario is admittedly worn out. The crew uses vintage technobabble improv to destroy the swarm fleet (Ex. 3: An explosive wave to the tune of the Beastie Boys' Sabotage!), and then Kirk must duke it out with Krall in the Yorktown's life support hub to stop him from deploying the bioweapon (Ex. 4: A final fight in a space station's bizarre gravity well!).

The big twist is the discovery that Krall is actually a mutated Balthazar Edison, the captain of the crashed USS Franklin and an ex-MACO (see Star Trek: Enterprise season three) who was made a Starfleet captain after the military organization was disbanded (which points at the seed of his ideology that was ultimately twisted into an evil vision). Edison apparently went a little crazy as a result of the alien technology that allowed him to extend his life, coupled with his sense of abandonment from being stranded so long. This backstory at least gives Krall a little more interest, but it unfortunately does so only retroactively once the movie is nearly over. It also raises a lot of questions that don't feel adequately explained. Where did the swarm fleet come from? How did Krall come to lead the aliens who pilot it? Why does Krall need the bioweapon when he already has such a destructive swarm at his disposal? For that matter, if the movie explains where Krall's henchmen Kalara and Manas came from, I missed it. (According to Memory Alpha, they were other surviving members of the Franklin crew, but the movie does not make that clear. Giving them different alien designs doesn't exactly help.) I suspect all the necessary information is probably buried in the movie somewhere, but from a narrative clarity standpoint it's messy and feels incomplete.

Justin Lin's direction here is perfectly fine. More than anything, he comes across as a hired gun who comes in and does his job to efficiently helm an episode and mostly stays out of the way. Ultimately, he can be primarily attributed neither the strengths nor weaknesses of the film. That falls more at the feet of the screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung.

On the plus side, they've done some really admirable character work and have moved the tone back toward a traditional Trek without it ever seeming forced. All the characters feel like they've been allowed to settle in a bit and be more relaxed and reflective as themselves — the big three of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in particular. These are more refined versions of the characters than seen in the first two movies. Their relationships and interactions anchor the movie.

And Spock's reflection upon the death of Ambassador Spock honorably acknowledges the real-world passing of Leonard Nimoy. There's a really nice touch where Spock opens Ambassador Spock's personal effects and inside we see the cast photo from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It's a simple, wordless scene that says everything it needs to say — bridging the prime and reboot universes in an understated and yet consciously self-referential way.

On the minus side, we've still not gotten a reboot Trek movie that feels like it has actually tried to deal with fully formed, significant ideas. Instead, there's still the overriding sense that the audience cannot be challenged because we don't want to make things too difficult for them to consume.

As such, this film represents a reasonably entertaining balance of those priorities. It seems at this point the Trek film franchise is currently boxed in by a lack of will for higher ambitions because it views itself only as a popcorn franchise. As I've said before, that's okay (if self-limiting), because Trek serves a lot of different masters and this is just what is being served up right now in this particular medium. There will be more Trek soon (Star Trek: Discovery arrives in January), which means there will be another medium offering a different vision. That's the beauty and legacy of Star Trek when coupled with its already available library. It exists in different tones and time frames, with different visions and creative goals, delivered by different casts and crews — all at once. Sooner, later, and previously, there is a Trek to fill every need.

Previous: Star Trek Into Darkness

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301 comments on this review

Jammer
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Comments are open for "Star Trek Beyond." The previous thread for the trailer and pre-release are now posted here.
Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Hey - this was pretty good. Nice pot-boiler plot with meaningful bad-guy reveal at the end, decent character development, breathtaking landscapes, and even a touch of believable science-fiction. The seizure-inducing action sequences were kept, if not to a minimum, at least at bay, and I actually cared about what was happening.

Dang, who'd've thought?
SlackerInc
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:50am (UTC -5)
Huh, I took a look at Rotten Tomatoes and wasn't too impressed with what I saw from the critics I usually trust. But reaction here seems more positive so far. Maybe if I see a lot more of that, I'll see it in the theatre rather than just waiting to watch on Blu-ray from Netflix.
Brandon
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:56am (UTC -5)
Easily the best of the three.

The movie opens with Kirk literally throwing alien monkeys off his back. I cannot help but see this as a wink from the writers, because the movie certainly seems to have done the same. No painfully stupid plot, a smarter and calmer Kirk, and the movie just gets to breathe this time. Real character work is done here - honestly the first for these revived characters, in my opinion. A female lead who doesn't need to shed clothes to be noticed, lines and laughs that aren't horribly telegraphed, a plot that weaves nicely together, and a villain who deserved more screen time - this movie has a lot going for it.

A lot has been made of the lower ambitions the Abramsverse has been shooting for. This movie, rather than either of its predecessors, is the first one that actually benefits from those expectations. It's simple, it's fun, and it drops the desperate, arm-waving IT'S ABOUT FAMILY business in favor of showing instead of telling. The plot takes us into places where it HAS to be about the characters, and the quiet moments between them give the movie far more heft. Spock and McCoy get the best of these, and an emotional moment for Spock is brilliantly played by both, with a line or two that were genuinely moving in their simplicity.

That's part of why Beyond works - it doesn't try so hard. Simon Pegg should keep writing scripts; he knows how to build clues, the humor is unfussy and he earns a couple truly good lines. New director Justin Lin, for his part, has a great eye for both sweeping visual flair and intimate detail. This movie had a modicum of actual IMAGINATION to it. It's a nice change. None of this prevented the usual smattering of references to the original series, but even there, Beyond's callbacks were much more what you might call hardcore ("green hand in space" left me roaring). There was one such moment at the end, seen in a quiet moment by Spock, that I found deeply touching as a fan and that left me convinced of Pegg's and Lin's reverence for Trek and its lineage. It did something neither Abrams film could do - split my face in a grin.

Perhaps the true key to all this is someone finally deciding to give some dignity to James T. Kirk. One thing I really could not stand about the previous two films was how unqualified, overcaffeinated, and just plain dumb Kirk acted all the time. I could not see how anyone would trust him with the Enterprise. The writers squandered his daddy issues, and I didn't find any real substance to his moments with Spock. This time, Kirk gets to show some real brains and command chops, getting the drop on his enemies and EARNING it, respecting and harnessing his crew without the screenplay hollering about it. I can buy him as a leader now. Or at least there aren't any big stumbling blocks in the checkout aisle. This development is one film late, of course; Into Darkness's insistence on recycling the Unsure Idiot Kirk arc that didn't even work all that well in 09 was a big part of STID's implosion. But better late than never.

Yes, some of it's silly. Kirk drives a motorcycle around, Beastie Boys music becomes an actual plot point(???!!?!?!), and we still have the cliche of The Officers Do Everything that no Trek production has ever been able to shake. I would also say that the villain was wasted. Idris Elba plays Krall strongly, and he gets a chance to invest us in the film by doing some messed-up stuff to the crew. But (as the reviews have said) we don't find out his motivations until too late, and they don't quite mesh with the rest of the film once we know them. Bit of a non sequitur.

But I quibble. As I've said already, a lot of people found themselves able to swallow the bad and enjoy the previous movies because of how well they were "made". Beyond was the first film where I could do that; it cleared the threshold. I chuckled at the motorcycle instead of rolling my eyes. It's that kind of movie. (The Beastie Boys payoff shot was pretty good.)

Trek doesn't always need to be heavy sociopolitical claptrap. Sometimes it just needs to tell a decent story. Beyond is agreeably lightweight. It puts some growing characters into a tough (if somewhat standard) crisis and watches them work it out, with real teamwork, restrained sci-fi, and strong character moments along the way. And good humor. I really do think Lin and Pegg viewed Beyond as kind of a reboot-inside-a-reboot, getting the franchise back to basics, and I appreciated that. I hope they have more to them, and I'd like XIV to carry perhaps a little more thematic weight. But I'm certainly along for the ride.

Three stars.

(two and one for 09 and Into Darkness respectively, in case you cared, which you didn't)
Dom
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 8:12am (UTC -5)
@Brandon, I mostly agree with what you said. My overall opinion of the film is a bit lower (2.5 stars), but overall it was entertaining if lightweight. The film never really engaged or impressed me, but it also didn't offend or upset me, which for the JJ Verse is progress. I'd say the film works so long as you don't take it or Trek too seriously.
Tim
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:16am (UTC -5)
:D Somewhat serendipitously, I just typed out a comment about this movie on Ars Technica's Facebook post of their negative review. CTRL-V in 3, 2, 1...

Yes, this is a dumb action movie, with none of the gravitas that a cast with a multi-decade history can bring to the party. But that is what the reboots have been going for since they started out. At this point - the third movie - if you haven't accepted that bedrock fact, you just come across as a bitter old complainer.

So, then, the standard to judge these by is: Do they successfully bring a recognizably Star Trek flavour to the Dumb Action Movie, and does it taste any good?

The answer in this case is a resounding yes. Beyond beats the pants out of both Into Darkness and the first reboot. It is *fun*, with an effortless breeziness that we haven't had since the heyday of the original movies. It correctly puts its focus on the interactions between the characters, who are all impeccably cast. It gives us novel action scenes that have yet to be seen in a Star Trek movie. And underlying it all is a very Trekkian message that unity is strength and peace is worth fighting for, albeit not as well-highlighted by the script as it could be.

In thirty years time, I'll still be watching the original movies, and I'd be happy to add this entry to the list, lightweight as it is. It is the reboot finally standing on its own two feet and making good use of the materials it has. Not perfect, and not even great. But it is unquestionably *good*.
Keiren
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
This movie is proof that Into Darkness and future Star Trek films didn't need to trash all over Star Trek to be a good movie!

3/4 stars
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
@Tim
"Yes, this is a dumb action movie, with none of the gravitas that a cast with a multi-decade history can bring to the party. But that is what the reboots have been going for since they started out. At this point - the third movie - if you haven't accepted that bedrock fact, you just come across as a bitter old complainer."

I've certainly accepted that fact... which is exactly why I've completely lost interest in the rebooted franchise. And since the words "Star Trek" are taken - by the vast majority of people - to mean the reboot, I find myself less and less comfortable calling myself a trekkie.

In short: The slapping of the "Star Trek" label on these "dumb action films" (your very own words) is putting fans like me in a bind. We can no longer profess our love for Trek without being completely misunderstood.

And you know something? This is a really f***ed-up situation.

And you know something else? I do not appriecate it, when people belittle this problem by calling us "bitter old complainers". If this whole situation doesn't bother you personally - that's okay. But keep in mind that this issue *is* a big deal for some people, and that we have good reasons to feel the way we do about the matter.






Eric
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
A pedestrian action film saved by some nice Spock/Bones interplay and humor. The villain and fight sequences grew very tiresome and repetitive. The twist at the end, in which the villain turned out to be an ancient being who feels he has no purpose without conflict, reminded me of TNG's power play and Babylon 5's shadows. But that's not a problem and makes him slightly more interesting.

Over all, better than Into Darkness but not as good as the first reboot film. I think it misses some of JJ's sleek pacing, particularly during the planet scenes. If the powers that be could marry JJ's direction with a more subtly clever script, we could get a real winner of a movie.
Genre-Buster
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
@OTDP:

I too swore off of AbramsTrek after the first movie ('09), and am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I went to see STB as quickly as I did, considering how badly the first two films sucked.

Well, what can I say? I enjoyed posting in Jammer's STID thread so much that I just couldn't help myself this time around. That STB wound up actually being a good movie really did catch me off-guard. I'm kind of morbidly disappointed in fact - I have a lot less to post about than I did with Trek11 and STID.

As for the epithet "Bitter Old Complainer," wear it with pride - I do. The two Abrams directed features were f***ing awful, and STB does not redeem them. For me, it's the very definition of a stand-alone.

Of course, that's just one old complainer's opinion. See it yourself and decide.
The Doctor
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
I have to admit, I enjoyed "Star Trek: Beyond" a lot more than I expected to. It's definitely far, far better than the sad misfire that was "Into Darkness" (not a particularly high bar to clear, to be sure), and I'd argue that it's even head and shoulders above "Star Trek (2009)".

I think the biggest thing that elevates "Beyond" is that this time, the "NewTrek" universe is finally allowed to be its own thing, instead of trying to simultaneously recycle and rewrite ClassicTrek while *pretending* that it's something new. The callbacks to ClassicTrek are relatively few, and only one of which (the in-universe death of Ambassador Spock, due to the real-world death of Leonard Nimoy) was actually a significant plot element. (Or, more accurately, a character-arc element, since the plot itself would have worked without it; Quinto's Spock character is really the only one directly affected by it.)

Granted, the villain still felt a bit generic, and there are a few "fridge logic" plot holes that definitely don't hold up to close examination -- but on the whole, it works. One thing I definitely appreciated is that Kirk, Spock, etc. are actually allowed to be *competent* in this film -- which, IMO, was a major weakness of the prior installments, what with Pine's Kirk being immature, inexperienced, and overall just not qualified (and thus not believable) to be in command of a starship, and Pegg's Scotty being used as "bumbling, bewildered comic relief" as often as not. Kirk is actually credible as a starship captain in "Beyond", and while Scotty still gets a few comic moments, they're restrained enough to not undermine his character or make him look ridiculous.

(I also appreciated that Abrams' lens-flare fetish is nowhere to be found this time out. The Enterprise bridge finally looks like a place where people could actually work without blinding themselves.)
Matthew
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
I really liked it. I liked the 2009 movie and hated STID. But I thought this one was better than 2009, really fixing a lot of the pacing problems the JJ movies had.

The best thing I can say for it is that it felt more like Trek than the previous two. It really did have a “big budget episode of TOS” feel to it, just like they promised. It wasn’t very cerebral and it didn’t really explore the human condition, but the original show rarely ever did that either. For every episode like City on the Edge of Forever or A Taste of Armageddon, there were ten episodes like The Arena and Amok Time. Those are classic episodes; they just aren’t the kind of contemplative, cerebral episodes that The Next Generation would make the norm (and which I grew up watching as my first taste of Star Trek).

This movie isn’t based on The Next Generation, though, so I’m fine with them doing a fun “away mission” type movie. It captured the spirit of adventure the original show often had, while dialing back some of the pacing problems (and script issues) that JJ’s movies stumbled with.

There are issues that still bother me, but after three films, and two different writer/directors I’ve come to accept that “this is Star Trek” now and that it’s different than what I knew to be Star Trek for so many years.

full review here:

https://www.cultofwhatever.com/2016/07/star-trek-beyond-review-the-search-f or-classic-trek/
Panagiotis Karatasios
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 4:18am (UTC -5)
Don't worry "old complainers" like me!. The original timeline comes back officially in the new series Star Trek: Disocvery


io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discov ... 1784196830
Tim
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 8:15am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

The reboots have churned out three movies so far, the first of which I would rate as "acceptable", the second as "trash" and the third as "enjoyable". None of them qualify as classics of either sci-fi, space opera, or Star Trek, as the original movies managed in five out of six attempts.

But that said, the fact of the reboot's existence does not negate the many hundreds of hours of material that came prior. Why would you feel uncomfortable calling yourself a Trekkie? In a universe with six different TV shows (soon to be seven!) and now thirteen movies, there are many different interpretations of the term and all of them are going to mean different things to different people. Who gives a damn what others think?

You can totally still profess your love for Star Trek in the reboot era. The only people it's actually going to matter to are other fans of Star Trek and science fiction. And whether they are hardcore Voyagers, Niners, Booters or TOS-OR-NOTHING! types, that profession is going to lead you to a great nerdy discussion of what made your particular flavour your favourite.

I guess what I'm saying is, there are certain criticisms of the reboots that I feel are valid and relevant (for instance, Into Darkness is a failure because the story claims a seriousness it doesn't earn). But criticising them for simply being what they are - effects-driven action-adventure space movies - is not. Within that genre there is ample scope for a successfully entertaining film with a Trekkian spin, and I think Beyond finally nailed it.
Alex1939
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 9:00am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed Star Trek Beyond. There are massive plotholes revolving the Franklin and the villain.

Spoilers... (of course i guess)

Jaylah hiding in the Franklin makes no sense. The villains would know where their original ship was regardless of her cloaking it. Also, the villains must not have tried very hard to escape the planet's gravity given how easy it was for Kirk and company.

Did any of you ever think you'd see Federation starship using VHF waves rocking Beastie Boys Sabotage to destroy a fleet of a 1 million mining drones? It's still amazing to me that this exist in a Star Trek movie. Schlocky but I'll admit I enjoyed it.


Best parts were all the scenes with the Yorktown, and the time lapse at the end with the Enterprise-A being constructed. I also thought the scenes where the crew was split up, Kirk/Checkov, Scotty/Jaylah, Bones/Spock were all pretty good.
John W
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
If you told myself, back in December, when that first trailer appeared, that 1) Not only would I go see 'Beyond', but 2) I'd enjoy the heck out of it as well? Insanity! Pure Insanity!! I'd probably yell back.

But here we are.

This was the first time I felt like I was actually watching alternate yet recognizable versions of the crew, rather than generic space action people with superficial Trek elements grafted on. I never really cared for the look and feel of the Enterprise, but the attack sequence was so brutal, and the efforts of Kirk & crew so resolute in the face of overwhelming odds, that this ship and crew finally clicked for me. I had the biggest grin plastered to my face watching NCC-1701-A being constructed at the end.

I never understood the love for the 2009 entry, and the less said about 'Into Darkness' the better, but WOW did 'Beyond' win myself over.

Paul M.
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
I posted this in the Trailer thread a few days ago, but since this is the new and shiny "let's discuss Star Trek Beyond" thread, let me repost my thoughts here.

---

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 the entire ensemble 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 very 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 am acute 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.
Chrome
Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 9:23am (UTC -5)
I'm a bit surprised by this film, after watching Into Darkness, I thought the bar had been set low for future Star Trek films.

But what an engaging film! Like others have mentioned, I love the away mission type feel which really screams Star Trek in my mind. The pairings are great too, especially Spock and Bones, though Scotty and Jaylah had some memorable scenes as well.

The whole film feels a little dark and distorted, as if you're dealing with the concept of scary space can be. I think the point is driven home by the story's villain, Krall, who literally lost himself in space. His tragic story juxtaposed with Kirk's story, really codifies why Kirk is in Starfleet and why he should always be a Captain.

And of course the special effects were great. I thought the "Sabotage" song was corny (I mean didn't they just use this song in ST 2009? Can't Paramount license any other Beastie Boys songs?). The song's accompanying explosions were terrific eye candy nonetheless!

Speaking of eye candy, Jaylah was pretty fun to watch. I definitely think they're trying to give us Star Wars type fights with Jaylah's mirror-image skills and martial arts combat techniques. It looked like something we'd see in a video game where characters had Force Powers, but it was welcome here as well.

So with all this great stuff around, it's hard to walk away unhappy. My only (minor) qualms are the disjointed nature of the narrative and that Sulu didn't get more time to shine.

So I'm giving this a high 3, maybe even a 3.5 stars.
Yanks
Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 11:31am (UTC -5)
I'm going to wait till I see the movie again before I review/comment on it.

But, and I'm sure there will be tons of folks that will be angry at me for saying this, this film missed JJ. All the elements for a GREAT film are in the script, but it could have been displayed to us better.

I'm not killing the movie, but it the first thing I thought of watching it.
Lord Garth
Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
I went ahead saw "Star Trek Beyond" on Saturday. The reviews made me not want to wait. There's no question about it. This is the best of the three rebooted films. By a long shot. I don't mind seeing it in the theater again.

If you're looking for '60s, '80s, or '90s Trek, you're not going to find it BUT this movie knows what it is and it does it a LOT better than the other two. And it's nice to have an original story.

The camera work is the best I've seen in any of the films. Reboot or not. The action isn't mind-numbing, I actually care about what happens during it, and they put a lot into the characters.

They could've done more with Krall, but the villains are never going to be the reboot's strong suit. He's *okay*.

There's also a nod to the fact it's the 50th Anniversary. I'm not going to say what it is but you'll know it when you see it and it also worked as a good character beat.
The movie isn't dramatic but it's fun and it does what it wants to do very effectively.
Jeff
Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Overall, I thought this was the best of the three reboot films. I felt that it did a swarm attack much better than seen in the VOY episode "The Swarm." I thought the nods to ENTERPRISE (the Franklin crew uniforms and the basic design of the Franklin itself) were nice to a much maligned series.

I felt the characters were better developed and better presented. I loved nods to TOS. One thing I was surprised at in terms of marketing for BEYOND is that there appears to be zero acknowledgement that this is TREK's 50th anniversary.

I thought Jaylah stole the show and I really hope she is brought back for the next film. I would love to see her take over as navigator now that it has been confirmed the role of Chekov will not be recast.

Overall, I enjoyed this more than I expected to. As so many have said before, no...this version of TREK is not TREK in the purest sense, but it is TREK as created for a mass audience.

I misted up seeing the photo of the original cast. I love how each cast member got to recite part of the "Space, the final frontier..." speech. And I loved seeing the creation of the Enterprise-A ending with it warping through space. I wish something similar had been done at the end of NEMESIS. Seeing the Enterprise-E on blocks as it were was not the final image of the Enterprise-E as I wanted to see it. I feel BEYOND, on purpose or not, corrected some of this "mistakes" as I see them.
Del_Duio
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 9:53am (UTC -5)
I just saw this last night. Most of these comments are going to be a bunch of random thoughts as it's all still so new:

I liked it personally however I can see a lot of people not liking it or thinking it was even as good as the last two reboot films (my wife being one of them). I think this movie, for me, also seemed to begin like it was right in the middle of something right away that could lose non-Trek fans. I can totally see many people getting lost as to what's happening, which you couldn't really say about the other two movies prior.

The whole feel of the movie is very different than the last two. Completely. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Chris Pine is playing Kirk as if he is indeed a much older and wiser man and I think that was a good move. They gave Bones, Scotty, and Uhura a lot more screen time and this was great to see. Also that new girl (the white one w/ the black face paint, I don't remember her name) did a great job and if she accepts the offer to join Starfleet we might even see her in the next movie, possibly even filling Checkov's station.

The pacing of the movie seemed more on par with the TV show, and everything wasn't a mile a minute which was good. But when the action scenes come, holy shit are they intense! The destruction of the Enterprise was gut-wrenching to watch, even though I knew it was coming a mile away. To me this was worse to watch than when the ENT-D crashed in Generations. They took that poor thing apart in a terrible and believable way but that's to good direction to elicit that kind of emotion from me IMO.

I liked how Spock changed his mind about sticking with the Enterprise after seeing that old photo of the Prime crew (damn, that was AWESOME to have in this by the way.) Karl Urban's Bones is a highlight, and Scotty was voicing a lot of true Trek values which has been sorely lacking in the other reboots. The Franklin was GREAT!! Damn, I wanted them to just keep it and fly around in that thing for the next movie! The Yorktown is spectacular, perhaps the most visually impressive thing we've ever seen in a Trek movie so far.

And what could have potentially been the cheesiest moment in all of Trek- Playing that 'frequency' over the VHF waves to disrupt the ships- turned out to be incredibly awesome! Even the motorcycle scene that was so reviled in the first trailer made a lot of sense and was great.

I'll definitely have to see this again, probably as soon as Friday or Saturday. I need some time to soak it in as there was a lot going on. If they made it a bit more cohesive I think it would have been better, but I also think we finally got another real Trek movie again instead of an action movie disguised as Trek.
Lord Nyax
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:01am (UTC -5)
I loved this movie. It felt closest to original Trek then the other two reboots.

And for the record, I loved Into Darkness. I think pigeon are too hard on it *ducks*
Lord Nyax
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:02am (UTC -5)
*people not pigeon
Del_Duio
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
I just like how you have both pigeon and ducks in the same sentence!
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
@Genre-Buster

"As for the epithet "Bitter Old Complainer," wear it with pride - I do. The two Abrams directed features were f***ing awful, and STB does not redeem them. For me, it's the very definition of a stand-alone."

Yeah. It really does seem that STB is a decent movie on its own. But since it *is* a stand-alone, I'm in no rush to see it. And there's also the matter of principle, that I'm not going to reward Paramount after the way they butchered Star Trek in the previous two films.

In short: I'll probably wait till it gets to TV before watching it.
Genre-Buster
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
No indeed - wait as long as you like, and by all means, see it only if it pleases you to do so.

But honestly, I think it will...
Yanks
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Question for the masses.

I've seen this and it seemed "dark" on the screen. I saw BvS in the same theater and it was also hard to make out visually.

Has anyone else noticed this? Trying to figure out if it's my theater or not. I haven't seen in in 3D or IMAX.

Thanks
Del_Duio
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Yanks,

I only saw it the once so far but I think the only parts that seemed dark to me were in appropriate spots (first early example would be with Kirk and Bones talking about his birthday, sharing the drink).

It wasn't like how most of Generations seemed to me, which had very poor lightning for basically every scene on the ENT-D.
Macca
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Another great 3 star addition of Abrams Trek designed for a broader movie-going audience. As I said with regards to Into Darkness, this film series will bring some to discover the various TV series - the purest version of Trek. This has to be a win for the longevity of the franchise as a whole. Again, I dare to suggest that Gene would have been onboard with this reboot given that he was a producer and not a religious leader.

I have two small complaints about Beyond. Firstly, I think they need to tone the alien crew members down slightly. They are a bit too 'Jim Henson' for me. Secondly, why did Ambassador Spock's lock box have to say "Property of Ambassador Spock"? Another example of the film makers assuming the audience is stupid.
Dom
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
@Macca, Gene might have been on board with Beyond, but definitely not STID. He had huge problems with the militarization of Starfleet in the Nicholas Meyer films, and allegedly wanted to stop Undiscovered Country from being released. He could definitely be a bit precious about Trek.
Jammer
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted!
Lord Garth
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
3 for "Into Darkness" and 2.5 for "Beyond". Who could've predicted a combination like that?

But anyway, I'm glad they built the Enterprise-A in the same movie. It would've been a surprise to absolutely _no one_ to see it in the next one, so it made sense to get what we all knew was coming out of the way and over with.
Greg M
Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
I'm very happy I didn't need to wait three years for the Beyond review. Thanks Jammer.

I don't agree with your star ratings but I enjoy your reviews. I thought Beyond was a 3 Star film and Into Darkness was a 2.
Paul M.
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 2:48am (UTC -5)
It's raining reviews, hallelujah, it's raining reviews! Well done Jammer! I'm surprised, though, to see that you liked STID better than Beyond.

That said, it is true that for all it strengths (and weaknesses), the reboot movies are merely shallowish popcorn stuff. When you think about it, how did that happen? Why did execs at Paramount feel the need to turn the franchise that gave us TOS, TNG, and DS9 into your garden-variety summer blockbuster fare? It really makes no sense, especially when you take into account two simple facts:

(1) their ploy obviously didn't work because reboot Trek failed to break $500M mark with all three movies which is far below what they were hoping for and barely justifies huge budgets;

(2) there are cerebral idea-driven non-blockbusters out there that raked in big cash nevertheless, the market that Trek more naturally belongs in. Interstellar is perhaps the best known example, but there are others, like Gravity, Martian, etc. I believe Paramount seriously miscalculated with their business decisions. Frankly, it's a bit disheartening to see them not getting what their No1 50-year-old property is really about.
Yanks
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 7:23am (UTC -5)
Wow!! Jammer!! Nice to see you are all over STB!

I will echo many of your points (although I won't express them as well :-) )

Scratching my head as to how this can be rated worst than STiD.

But to each his own as we've seen repeatedly here.

Great review!

Del_Duio, thanks!
Dom
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 8:02am (UTC -5)
I pretty much agree with everything Jammer said. I liked Beyond, even if it felt a bit underwhelming. That said, I certainly found it better than "Into Darkness". It's a middling film, but it feels like Star Trek, whereas "Into Darkness" goes against the values of Trek and makes a mockery of the characters.

As for Carol Marcus, that's not the only plot point dropped from "Into Darkness." There was also the threat of war with the Klingons. I think Pegg and Lin rightly decided to completely ignore "Into Darkness" and treat "Beyond" as a sequel to the 2009 film.
LW
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Star Trek Movie Ranking:

1) Star Trek: Into Darkness
2) Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country
3) Star Trek: First Contact
4: Star Trek: 2009
5) Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
6) Star Trek: The Voyage Home
7) Star Trek: Beyond
8) Star Trek: Insurrection
9) Star Trek: The Search For Spock
10) Star Trek: Generation
11) Star Trek: The Final Frontier
12) Star Trek: The Motion Picture
13) Star Trek: Nemesis

LW
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:42am (UTC -5)
Star Trek: Beyond main problem is not continuing on from the story that was set up during Star Trek: Into Darkness which gave the franchise so many storytelling opportunities from the conspiracy at the heart of the federation to an intergalactic war between the federation and the klingons
Del_Duio
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:41am (UTC -5)
"Secondly, why did Ambassador Spock's lock box have to say "Property of Ambassador Spock"? Another example of the film makers assuming the audience is stupid. "

Macca, it's the same reason why anytime anybody in a TV show or movie operates some critical computer program the font is always size 72, front and center.

Some examples:

"UNLOCKING DETENTION CELL FOR BAD GUY"
"MISSILE OF BIG BOOM BOOM ARMED"
"UPLOAD OF NEFARIOUS PLAN COMPLETE"

Lord Garth
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
I don't care if "Beyond" didn't address or follow-up anything in "Into Darkness".

To me, "Beyond" is the real sequel to 2009. "Into Darkness" happened but, like with TMP, you can skip directly from TOS to TWOK with no loss of information. It's 15 years later, so of course Kirk would be an Admiral and everyone would be at a different point in life. Plenty of time to redesign the Enterprise too. Natural passage of time.

Same with "Beyond". If you treat it as a direct sequel to 2009, then of course they'd be on a five-year mission. It's expected. The ship looks a little different? There was a minor refit in-between. Sounds good.

I like how the five-year mission was cut short after three years, paralleling what happened when NBC cancelled TOS.

As far as the Klingons, they're out there. They're not our friends. Normal TOS status quo. The threat of war? That was always the case.
Adam
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
This was the most enjoyable of the 3 films. The scene where the Enterprise is destroyed was the best, however, I found myself tuning out during a lot of the movie. I'm not sure what it is about the reboots - maybe the way they are shot - but these films just don't feel like Star Trek anymore.
Cody
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 12:01am (UTC -5)
Another enjoyable review, thanks Jammer. I personally enjoyed this one more than the other two. I found its stripped down nature and focus on character refreshing. And while I can't deny any of the plot holes, contrivances, or underwritten roles you mentioned, for whatever reason, those elements in Into Darkness just bugged me more.

Might not be my Star Trek, but just like the other two, it looks nice and is a whole hell of a lotta fun. :-)

Looking forward to Discovery!!
captain bangbang
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 1:46am (UTC -5)
I have to say I really enjoyed this film. To me it's a whole lot more like Trek is supposed to be than the other two as it relies (and does so successfully) on character building. I really feel for Kirk's lack of passion for his chosen career, the feeling that perhaps you made the wrong choice, that what you do isn't for you. As for Krall, he was a bit one dimensional as a villain. As to your input that the other two aliens must have come from nowhere, during Edison's last log he reports that there are only 2 crewman left so those must be his henchman. And he also mentions drones, so I'm pretty sure his army is just a bunch of robots. Albeit robots who take damage when punched in the face by Uhura.
The only issue I feel I can take with the movie is the use of the alien ensign. When Kirk recruited her, I figured she'd somehow end being a more important part of the plot, which excited me because it gave a redshirt (yes her shirt was blue) a chance to do some real damage and not die. I was disappointed to learn that she was just hiding the McGuffin in her head fingers and promptly died from it as proof of the weapon's power. I feel like they had the chance to show that the crew of the Enterprise (no the bridge officers) really is as professional and capable as Kirk tells them they are at the start of the mission and really do that band together as a crew thing. There was some opportunity to show the true spirit of the Federation as an ideal and they squandered it.
But hey, we all know this movie is the best of the three for one reason- they got rid of those damn lens flares.
LiveLetLive
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 7:27am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,
And you know something else? I do not appriecate it, when people belittle this problem by calling us "bitter old complainers". If this whole situation doesn't bother you personally - that's okay. But keep in mind that this issue *is* a big deal for some people, and that we have good reasons to feel the way we do about the matter.
LiveLetLive
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 7:40am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

RE: "And you know something else? I do not appriecate it, when people belittle this problem by calling us "bitter old complainers". If this whole situation doesn't bother you personally - that's okay. But keep in mind that this issue *is* a big deal for some people, and that we have good reasons to feel the way we do about the matter."

I respect your opinion, and your beliefs. My opinion is that the judging standard of "Do these movies successfully bring a recognizably Star Trek flavour to the Dumb Action Movie, and does it taste any good?" is a perfectly appropriate one. After all, people who grew up on action movies like Gunga Din and The Adventures of Robin Hood might very well find movies that were loved by a newer generation (The French Connection, Bullitt, Dirty Harry) to be overedited, overwrought and overheated.

Respectfully, your language suggests that if someone is indeed not bothered personally, that there is something wrong with that person, or that person is not a "true" fan. Maybe that was not your intent in making this statement, but (in my opinion) it comes off that way. Certainly, you can "rage, rage, against the dying of the light," but doing so does not prove (or disprove) your Trek bona fides. Others may feel more like Damar - they may feel that Gul Rusot's Cardassia is indeed not coming back, and that, maybe, that isn't a 100% bad think. The Trek Universe is a pretty big place - big enough to make room for people who both agree with you and for those who dissent from you.


Dom
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 8:21am (UTC -5)
@LiveLetLive, if I could speak for @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I think you missed his point. Fans of the reboot films have been attacking anybody who dares criticizes them, calling them "haters" and "old whiners." They harass people who write negative reviews of the films. There's been a big push by prominent fans, websites, podcasts, etc to enforce the message that "at least we're getting Star Trek, so stop complaining." All OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is saying is that some Trek fans can't accept these films, and to not criticize them for coming to that conclusion. So, in short, you're both saying to respect other people's opinions and don't attack them for their opinions.
Chrome
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
I'm with Lord Garth about seeing the Enterprise being rebuilt. I mean the admiral did mention to Kirk they were working on a ship like his earlier in the movie, so as soon as I saw the Enterprise got destroyed I'd figured they'd get the next ship being constructed. Nothing convoluted, no dues ex machinas, move along people. :)
I'm Brian! And so is my wife...
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Very interesting. Seems many here agree that this was probably the best of the three Abrams/Lin ST movies. Well, I just watched it with the kids this afternoon at the matinee. I have to say, I am in complete agreement. Definitely better than ST 2009 and Into Darkness, especially the latter. It was much better than I had anticipated. The pace felt different (it slowed down when it needed to I think), and it seemed to have better character development (well, at least with Spock, Bones, and to a lesser extend Kirk). Definitely had a different feel for me. I agree with Jammer, though, that it might've been nice to have the revelation that Krall was Captain Edison a lot sooner. Krall just wasn't that interesting a villain UNTIL that revelation, which, as Jammer notes, came too late in the movie.

Overall, I would've given it 3 out of 4 stars, compared to 2/4 for STID and 2.5/4 for ST 2009.

Thanks for the review Jammer!
I'm Brian! And so is my wife...
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
...oh yeah, a couple more things. I too enjoyed seeing Spock taking the picture of the original cast out of Spock-prime's memento box that he had been given. Nice touch, I thought. And, shortly thereafter, seeing the Enterprise-A quickly being built, followed by the "Space, the final frontier..." speech for the close. (And it did occur to me: Star Trek III Search for Spock saw the destruction of the original Enterprise; couldn't help but notice that this third installment of the Abrams/Lin Star Trek also saw her destruction).
matthew martin
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
Haha, this is hilarious.

Really likes Into Darkness, doesn't like Beyond.

Lol I don't even..
Panagiotis Karatasios
Sat, Jul 30, 2016, 3:52am (UTC -5)
@Dom
I absolutely agree with you.For me the solution to the problem is simple: stop making star trek films. Star trek never worked on cinema, it was created as tv show (and ,eventually, a tv franchise ) and it was on tv that it allways excelled (i only liked three of the movies while i found the others just watchable or even worst). And now with Discovery placed on the original timeline the franchise will find itself with an even bigger problem: a movie franchise in one timeline and a tv franchise in the other. Schizofrenia!
Ofcourse i know that it will not happen because Paramount makes money with the movies and wants to continue making money. And the division of the fans not only will continue but it will become even bigger.Sad.
Andy G
Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
I thought it was fun with some nice character moments, but I've seen this all before. The swarm was a ripoff of Voyager and the captain gone bad is cliche. If you want to see it done better watch TNG's "The Wounded" or "The Pegasus." 2.5 stars for Spock/McCoy, Yorktown, and original series feel.
John TY
Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 4:36am (UTC -5)
Awful. Just awful.

Haven't we seen all this before but in versions where we might've cared?

The only times I wasn't bored was when I was cringing.

"Free tip: If you take a drink of something alcoholic every time Pegg calls Jaylah 'lassie,' you will die. That’s not a joke, it will kill you. Don’t do it." - Forbes
TS
Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 12:32am (UTC -5)
I quite enjoyed this one for the most part.

I feel like it is probably better than the so-so rehash of Into Darkness, even though we are given the lesser villain of Krall... who pales in comparison to Cumberbatch's Khan or even Bana's Nero.

There are some nitpicks, which you did mostly address in your review, like how the film lacks the sleek direction and pacing that came with the previous two JJ entries. Justin Lin does an admirable job, but fails to bring anything that truly feels like a unique or interesting touch to the proceedings.

I was fine with the lack of explanation for some of Krall's cronies, because I assumed it was his former crew members after the twist. No big deal, not everything has to be spelled out for the audience.

I really appreciated the return to the Kirk-Spock-Bones trio, which feels much more like the true spirit of TOS. That said, it felt like Uhura and Sulu were mostly given little to do compared to the previous films. It would've been nice to see Sulu taking advantage of his fencing skills again or Uhura utilizing her linguistic abilities, but oh well.

I'd probably say this was a 3 star film for me. Not quite as enjoyable or memorable as the '09 reboot, but an improvement from Darkness. Good stuff.
Jason R
Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 8:10am (UTC -5)
To those calling it a "dumb action movie" I'm going to suggest that "dumb" in this context means "silly".

I take no issue with silly stories. The Avengers movie was a silly story. Dr. Seus's Cat in the Hat is a silly classic. Speed was a silly but good action movie.

Beyond isn't silly or Dumb - it's STUPID. There is a difference.

I could enjoy an action shoot em' up Trek Story, even a silly one. I did like First Contact, which was that. I don't enjoy stupid, insulting stories. Beyond is a soulless, stupid abortion of a Trek movie. Easily the worst Trek movie ever made, or at least in a tie with Nemesis.

And by the way, everything was so dark I couldn't tell what I was seeing half the time. Maybe a problem with the 3d projection.
Yanks
Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
My Star Trek movie rankings after seeing Star Trek Beyond:

TWoK
FC
TUC
Star Trek
STB
TVH
TSfS
TMP
STID
GEN
INS
NEM
TFF
Yanks
Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
My Star Trek Beyond Review. I think I've subliminally trying to emulate William B :-)

Well, I’ve seen it twice in the theaters now and I have to say I really enjoyed it the first time and enjoyed it even more the second time!

I really appreciated the effort here. I know Simon Pegg and Doug Jong were very rushed to produce this script and that very easily could have resulted in only a “pew-pew” story with cheap fan-boy trek crap thrown in there like we got in STiD. We didn’t get that. It was obvious to me they did their research and this Star Trek fan appreciates the careful attention to detail. I especially appreciate the ‘Enterprise’ references. Thank you Simon! I didn’t leave the theater feeling like I had just got gut-punched as I did after watching STiD.

Lots of characters moments in this one and while the reasoning behind Krall’s going nuts isn’t presented to us very well – I think the reason itself is a valid one and that makes our villain not as “weak” as most critics seem to proclaim. He’s a soldier (M.A.C.O) that was probably put in a position (CO of a Star Ship) that he wasn’t really suited for (just think how many millions of folks throughout all the wars have been put in the same situation). It makes sense that after the Romulan War they would be in need of Star Ship Captains. Then Star Fleet and the Federation forgot him …. stranded him and his crew. Missing in Action (MIA) soldiers, sailors and airmen immediately came to mind for me. I can’t imagine being in that situation and most certainly would be VERY ANGRY at my government for forgetting me. Let alone letting that stew for 100 years or so.

It’s my understanding that about 27 minutes or so was cut from this movie before its release. A more detailed background for Krall and Jayla was in there. (among some other stuff probably) I guess we can thank “final cutters” (whoever that is) for the missing backstory for both these characters.

So…. I loved the opening scene. :D Kirk offering the movie’s mcguffin to an alien species. (Did we ever get their name?) I know there were probably some that saw it coming, but I wasn’t one of them. Pretty funny Kirk tearing his shirt and all.
Some didn’t like Kirk’s monologue, they say it sounds like Kirk was whining. One reason I wanted to see it again before reviewing was I wanted to keep an eye out for some complaints I’ve read after my first look. I didn’t get the feel he was whining, just the realization that a LONG voyage in space has its hardships, even with all the technology they have. This is an angle we never really got from the TV series. I like that they addressed in in the movie. From one that’s been on my share of deployments in the Navy, I can appreciate the content and tone. It does get monotonous. Kirk thinks it’s time for the crew to stretch their legs and the Yorktown is close so…

Kirk come off as MUCH more reserved and mature now.

We get to see the most beautiful, most scientifically accurate, presentation of a star ship traveling at warp I’ve ever seen. Just majestic! This is right up there with the black hole depiction in ‘Interstellar”! I wish we could have seen more of it.

Kirk and Bones meet and have a few drinks, speaking of birthdays. Kirk’s father and his. Nice little nod to previous trek movies with Bones and Kirk speaking of “old-age” etc. Also, their toast to “good eyes and a full head of hair” was also nice. (see STiD, this is how a little homage is done)

How about the Yorktown! Is that a sight to see or not!! Beautiful! Just loved it and from a distance it does look like a snow globe :D I’d have to say it’s the most bad ass detailed space station I can remember in SCI-FI, let alone Trek. Just fantastic!

Uhura and Spock break up!!!!! WAAAAAAHOOOOO!!!

We then see Kirk speaking with Commodore Paris (distant relation to Tom?) play by Shohreh Aghdashloo. I think she has a great screen presence (and unique voice). I love her in ‘The Expanse’ as well. I do have a problem with the whole “Vice Admiral” thing. You are promoted; you don’t apply for a promotion. Vice Admiral isn’t a position, it’s a rank) That, and if Kirk accepts, he would be a few ranks senior to her! (if the Commodore position is equal to that of the US Navy and it may not be as we never see her in a uniform). Good lord, he made Captain at light-speed, but this is nuts! But that said, it does play an important part here as we now know that Kirk is seriously considering leaving the Enterprise. It’s not like Trek hasn’t fubar’d ranks before.

While on Yorktown we see Sulu meet up with his husband and daughter. I took sides with Mr. Takei and thought this change was a bad choice and not needed nor desired, but I have to say - it was done perfectly. They showed the relationship and didn’t make a big deal out of it as they shouldn’t have. John Cho didn’t change a bit and still rocked as Sulu. Nicely done.

Then of course we get two elderly Vulcan’s meeting up with Spock and informing him that Spock(prime) has passed away. A choked up moment for me but for more than the obvious reason. I actually felt for our new Spock. Just how the hell would I feel knowing that an older version of me, that I met, had passed away? … a legendary one at that? Pretty tough one I think.

Enter our helpless victim needing assistance. We all could see where this was going (at least that was my initial impression). I like the new take on the Universal Translator” when Kalara was asking for help. Pretty cool. Of course Enterprise is going to help her, but at least this time we didn’t hear “The only ship in the quadrant”!!! :D This time it was the flag ship had the most sophisticated sensor array. Thank you! :D I also LOVED the reasoning that Commodore Paris gave to Kirk for her selection. I’m paraphrasing here, but she indicated it wasn’t just the technological superiority that affected her decision, she was choosing the Enterprise because Kirk was there. (she says “you”). More on this later.

Off to save Kalara’s stranded crew. More frellin amazing visuals as the Enterprise navigates the densest asteroid gathering in history albeit inside a nebula. :D Then our heroes are confronted with something they’ve never seen before. Kirk asks “what is it?” and before you know it the swarms of things are attacking Enterprise. I personally think a few of these scenes were too dark and I really wish they would put away that frakin shaky camera… it makes it so hard to follow the action. It’s already “fast and furious” enough Justin, the additional shaky cam was NOT necessary. The battle ensues, 1701 is getting the crap kicked out of it! … to the point of the nacelles falling off!! Krall and his goons board Enterprise and we then find out that our McGuffin is the prize. Scotty’s hurrying to restore impulse power, and Kirk, listening to his crew, realizes the only way anyone has a change is to separate the saucer. (nod to 1701-D?) This of course is a new capability of our Constitution Class. Not sure how I feel about that. Kirk and Krall brawl, so pretty cool “pew-pew” going on everywhere, then Krall orders his swarm to “break their neck” … the visually epic stuff just doesn’t stop as the swarm gracefully detaches the upper and lower halves of the ship. Man, I’ll tell you what, good ole Enterprise certainly took a beating… and was still ticking! Uhura (I think) determine what Krall is searching for and informs Kirk. Kirk is off to hide our mcguffin. Uhura finishes necessary manual technobabble thing turning and button pushing and sauce separation begins. Once again - visually fantastic. Heroic effort by Captain and crew are unsuccessful and Kirk give the order to abandon ship… the crew is ejecting in the escape pods and being swept up by the swarm. The bad guys want the crew members, not just the Abronath. Kirk give the order to Sulu to abandon ship and makes his way to the bridge (not really sure how :D) where he orders the remaining bridge officers “take the Kelvin pods” (obviously a nod ST2009). It was a pretty powerful scene when Kirk was standing on the bridge of his crashing ship as well as the view from Kirk’s pod after it ejects from the saucer section.

These Kelvin pods are pretty nifty… they change the uniform of all the officers that use them :D Not sure I like the “away” uniforms, but they aren’t all that bad.

Our crew ends up be split up into very interesting pairs. Bones & Spock, Kirk & Chekov, Scotty & Jayla and Uhura & Sulu. Great decision by the writers here. I think the best part of this movie is all the character moments we get because of this and how all of them work together. The entire ensemble is involved, but just Kirk and Spock as we primarily saw in the last 2 movies.

Kirk & Chekov: Great pair here. They make their way back to what’s left of Enterprise with Kalara in tow. Kirk by this point has figured out she was part of the plan all along. She tells Kirk she was just trying to save her crew and he doesn’t kill her. Once on Enterprise, Kirk find out that Kalara is really working for Krall, Chekov gets some power working in order to find the crew, the bad guys come and they have to leave. They end up getting stuck in one of Jayla’s traps while trying to find the crew.

Spock & Bones: They crash land on the planet and Spock is impaled. Some lovely banter is exchanged and Bones patches him up (barely). They proceed on foot to find the crew. They have to rest and Spock reveals to Bones that he intends to leave Enterprise and concentrate his efforts on rebuilding the Vulcan race on New Vulcan. Bones has some great lines, one of which refers to Spock choosing to make Vulcan babies instead of remaining with Uhura :D Bones is also very understanding when Spock tells him that Spock (prime) has passed. Spock actually laughs at one of Bones’ remarks. These two play off each other very well. Carl Urban’s McCoy is still the best casting of the lot. It’s eerie at times how well he channels DeForest Kelley.

Uhura & Sulu: They are captured with the crew and as a result interact with Krall. They escape to a point and find out that Krall has been listening to everything the Federation has been doing along with the Enterprise. They get captured again and learn that Krall uses this ancient technology to suck the lives out of people to replenish him and that’s why he needs captured ship’s crew members. (pretty freaky) They also learn that Krall intends to attack the Yorktown.

Scotty & Jayla: Scotty crashes his torpedo (not a pod) on the surface and meets our guest character Jayla. Love this character and I thought Sofia Boutella’s performance was noteworthy. I didn’t know her from Adam before this movie. We see Jayla’s neat techo-hologram-replication-gadget thingy work it’s wonders and she kicks some alien bad guys butt. They need each other’s help and agree to go to her “home” where Scotty can help her fix things. It just so happens that her home is an abandoned Federation Starship, the USS Franklin (NX-326; a tribute to Nimoy’s birthday (March 26th)) I will say that I thought Scotty’s humor was a tad overdone/forced in this movie… just a little too much. Not bad, but it did catch my eye a couple times. They get some things working, get Kirk and Checkov out of her trap, locate Spock and Bones and beam them back to the Franklin. We learn that Jayla is quite resourceful and smart aside from great to look at and a good fighter.

They figure out how to locate the crew. The amulet Spock gave Uhura contains an element that is unique to old Vulcan and Spock gives the required info to Chekov so they can now find them with the Franklin’s scanners. They figure out they can beam them out 20 at a time with some of Scotty’s magic so they need a plan/diversion. The plan is set and Kirk gets to use the conveniently included motorcycle (homage to Nemesis?) I am now thinking this is going to be pretty bad, but it doesn’t really turn out that way. Kirk uses the motorcycle and Jayla’s holo-gadget thingy and it was is done pretty well. They beam aboard all the crew and we see the Kirk/Jayla beam out we saw in the trailers. It’s orchestrated very well and works IMO.

While all this is going on, Krall has acquired the Abronath from Kirk’s hiding place and after we see it’s gruesome power he’s is off to kill everyone on the Yorktown. He boards his ship and summons the “swarm”. Pretty darn cool visual. Made me think of “Pitch Black”. Kirk and crew prepare to launch the beat up and old Franklin and Uhura figures out that Krall is the Franklin’s Commanding Officer Captain Edison. The Franklin was “built in space” so they need to build up some inertia to fly her out of the atmosphere (I guess, still haven’t really figured that one out) and we get a pretty intense scene and the Franklin is up-up and away heading to the Yorktown.

Krall intercepted and changed Uhura’s effort to warn the Yorktown so all the space ship are heading to the wrong point in space so it’s up to our heroes to save the day and all the lives onboard the Yorktown. (I wouldn’t have it any other way :D) Our crew figures out that a VHF signal will disrupt the swarm and of course - enter the Beasty Boys. At this point I’m ready for a huge let down. I just am not confident this will come off well and bracing myself for the worst. But I have to say I found myself smiling and enjoying the Franklin flying around to ‘Sabotage’. Not bad, I was surprisingly pleased with how it all worked together. Fantastic visuals here as well. It’s also funny that the Beasty Boys is now considered “classical music” :D

The swarm is defeated, but Krall and two other ships have breached the Yorktown. Kirk and company figure out Krall’s plan and are off to thwart him. Again, some incredible visuals here as the Franklin navigates the interior of the Yorktown and stops the invading ships. Quite exciting and enjoyable experience watching it all unfold. Kirk battles Krall in zero G, Krall is eventually stopped and killed by the vacuum of space and his own bio-weapon.

Our heroes have saved the day… and it took all of them to pull it off – the strength of the movie I think.

Kirk once again is conversing with Commodore Paris. She of course thanks him and Kirk says “it wasn’t just me, never was”. Kirk turns down the ADM position to stay with his crew and the Enterprise. Loved it, Kirk is now James T. Kirk as I know/remember him. Huge moment in the movie for me. So glad to see this maturation.

Then we see Spock going through some things he had received form the older Vulcan’s earlier in the movie. He opens a case and included is a picture of the old Enterprise crew. Man, I lost it. …. both times … Spock then realizes his place is on Enterprise.

Of course, Bones throws a birthday party for Kirk which came across as heartfelt and nice. Kirk get Jayla a spot in Star Fleet Academy which I thought was great… knowing that JJ thinks they shouldn’t recast Chekov, I would more than welcome Jalya as an addition to the crew on Enterprise. (if the time works out)

Then we see a rapid construction of the 1701-A and whith dreams of future adventures with this set of heroes. I couldn’t be happier. I believe, I’ll need to slow down the vid on the BLU-RAY when I get it, but I believe the “ample nacelles” on 1701-A are not quite so ample. More in line with the original design.

Could I have written a scathing review of this movie? Certainly. It is not without fault, but I truly do think that Pegg, Dung and Linn had their hearts in the right place and gave us a pretty damn good Star Trek movie for our 50th year celebration. I feel relieved. I left the theater wanting more from these guys, I can’t say the same when I left the theater after STiD. I’ll grade this an “A” (9 out of 10), and put this one just a smooch below ST09 in my rankings. Which in case you are keeping track, puts 2 of the 3 new movies in my top 5 ranking all the trek movies.

3.5 stars here. Loved it.
Paul M.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 3:48am (UTC -5)
Box office results don't look promising, I'm sad to say. I don't think it's the fault of the movie itself because it has solid reviews across the board. It may well be due to a lot of goodwill being spent after insipid STID and the disastrously bad (and almost non-existent) promo campaign.

I honestly think that what a lot of us hardcore fans have been talking about for years now has turned out to be true: in trying to retool Trek into a mainstream summer blockbuster fare, the reboot movies effectively shot themselves -- and the franchise -- in the foot.

Star Trek has been around for 50 years now. It spans countless TV shows, movies, and other forms of entertainment. It has become a pop-culture phenomenon not because it was glitzy, shiny, explody, and oh-so-one-liney. It built its legacy on a perfect blend of smart social commentary, political relevancy, and fun adventure with iconic characters. Paramount, in its shortsighted pursuit of quarterly revenues, thought that they could botox and transplant the franchise into the 21st century by turning Trek into yet another forgettable series of hyped events that would be forgotten 5 minutes after the audience left the cinemas.

It worked. You got three movies with solid yet nothing to write home about returns on investment. Was it worth squandering 50 years of painstakingly built legacy because you wanted to compete with Marvel?
Yanks
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Paul M.,

I don't know you can say the summer blockbuster thing because ST09 was a hit. Everyone flooded to the theaters to see STiD because ST09 was so good. I've also read that "late summer" movies don't fare as well.

I agree, it's sad. STB is a pretty darn good movie. Fun, character driven, emotional at times, and a tasteful homage trek's past.

I also don't believe the new movies in any way have hurt trek at all. We DO have a new series coming in January, primarily because of the success and popularity of these movies.
Paul M.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 7:09am (UTC -5)
Yanks,

Reboot Trek was nowhere near the hit the studio wanted. Paramount hoped for a franchise that could compete with the big boys out there and that means box office results that approach 1 billion dollars. None of the movies managed to hit even half that number. For the budget that was allocated (approaching 200 million), that's barely breaking even.

In pursuit of their vaunted $1B, execs mandated nuTrek had to go big as hell, have enormous action set pieces, and in any and all ways appeal to casual movie going audiences (just read some of the interviews Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman gave). Now, that's all well and good. I don't want to sound snobby and derisive towards those audiences, but the fact is they didn't really succeed. The powers that be tried their darnedest to "manistreamise" Trek and they still don't have the $$$ to show for it in return.

When you add very good results that non-standard SF movies managed to achieve, the picture, in my eyes at least, becomes clear: Trek wasn't, isn't, and never will be blockbuster material. Forcing it into that slot only serves to divest it from what made it tick in the first place. Let's be honest, Trek hasn't lasted for 50 years because it aped every new kind on the block. If it wants to endure and retain at least a portion of the cultural impact it once had, Trek need to forge its own way. Silly high-budget blockbusters with lotsa boom ain't gonna be it.
Jammer
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 9:20am (UTC -5)
The classic argument to make here is Less Is More. Maybe they just need to scale back the budgets and the expectations and let Trek be Trek instead of a summer blockbuster. How about a $100M or $120M budget instead of $180M or $200M? You can still make plenty of movie with that, and maybe it would be a bit more modest and maybe the profit margins would be where they need to be and the fans would be happier. Win-win.
Chrome
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:09am (UTC -5)
I think Yanks has a point though, even if Paramount's not hitting its dream goals, not one of these films has flopped and there is a fourth in the works. The upcoming TV series also speaks to the notion that Star Trek has successfully rebooted from its Star Trek: Nemesis days.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:13am (UTC -5)
The problem, as I see it, is the same problem permeating every part of Hollywood, which is risk-aversion and the lack the good scripts. To make a successful film (artistically and commercially) on a lower budget would require a quality script, and these currently either don't exist or don't make it past the executive's desk. The lower the budget, the more the film leans on the script. Even the greatest of summer blockbusters had great scripts, however the accepted 'wisdom' of today is that you can get away without one if you shove in enough excitement and explosions. I don't think that wisdom has been shown to be accurate, but shaking it loose will definitely require someone to produce a quality story and a quality writer.
Paul M.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Exactly what I think, Jammer. Scale back the big bang blockbuster mentality and focus more on storytelling, characters, ideas, exploration. That's what Trek is famous for anyway. Does anyone really think of action and mayhem first when asked about Trek?
Chrome
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:57am (UTC -5)
@Paul M.

But what's wrong with opening up the viewing demographic a bit? My wife would ordinarily NEVER watch Star Trek, but she will watch the latest films with me because they have a certain panache non-fans can also appreciate. The problem with going back to old Trek too much is you make the films chock-full of arcane knowledge that puts casual viewers to sleep. That type of thing is definitely better suited to a TV series.
Jammer
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 11:58am (UTC -5)
I think you can do both. You can scale back a little to keep the budget in line with the likely audience turnout while also still making it an event film. First Contact is probably a good example. Only you could probably do more with less with the technology of today.

Trek films have always tried to find the balance between broader action movie and Star Trek ideas. With the reboot they went in the direction of more ambitious production and simpler scripts. But now the box office may force going a bit in the other direction, assuming they don't just double down on what they've been doing now for three movies. But who knows; I'm hardly a movie studio or box office analyst.
Dom
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome, then why bother to even call it Star Trek? As Jammer said, the ideal movie would balance action and Trek ideas. But if the movie goes too far in the action direction, then the Star Trek label becomes meaningless. The whole point of a franchise brand name like "Star Trek" is to identify a movie/TV show as meeting a certain level of quality. I think I speak for many Trek fans when I say I "Star Trek" means more to me than simply the names of the characters and the designs of the uniforms. When I see the "Star Trek" label, I expect a story that combines intellectually interesting storytelling with fun action/adventure. Classic Trek didn't always meet my expectations, but it usually tried.

@Paul M. hit it right on the head. These new movies aren't bombs, but certainly aren't competing with the big boys at the box office. Adjusting for inflation and population growth, the domestic box office returns aren't much higher than the better TOS Trek films. The idea that they singlehandedly resurrected Star Trek is a bit far-fetched. Looking at Google Trends, search interest in "Star Trek" has been consistently pretty low compared to other franchises like "Star Wars" or even "Hunger Games."

https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=star%20trek,star%20war s,Hunger%20Games

Many Trek fans have wanted a new TV show for a long time even before the movies, and many people I know are excited for Discovery despite the new movies. I also wonder how the JJ fans will respond to Discovery if it's more like classic Trek. The people I know who are fans of the Trek movies haven't really gotten into the shows. I just don't know how much cross-appeal there is between classic Trek and nuTrek. I'm sure there's some, but it'll be interesting to see just how much.
Paul M.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Chrome,

Nothing is wrong with opening up the viewing demographic. I simply argue that going the blockbuster route is not the way to do it. Box office results seem to support my position. There are other ways to draw in fresh blood that have nothing to do with summer blockbuster mentality: just look at the success of some of the "alternative" SF movies lately, like Interstellar, Martian, Gravity, etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Trek should go in that particular direction, but there is definitely room out there for Trek to, if you'd pardon the pun, go boldly where no movie has gone before and not just churn out Hollywood action set pieces scraped over a thin story.
Paul M.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
ETA: The point of any franchise is to build brand loyalty and condition the audiences to expect a certain level of quality, storytelling approach, theme, atmosphere, etc. Star Wars: TFA is such a huge success not only because the movie works on its own -- it does -- but also because it builds upon and utilizes recognizable Star Wars spirit and cinematic language. It embraces its past and isn't afraid to use it to drive the franchise forward. The same can be said of other long-lived movie series, James Bond for example.

The main problem with Trek as I see it, and it's a problem that goes way back to later years of the Berman era, is that Trek has an identity crisis. It doesn't know what it is, what it wants to say, and what tools to use in order to say it. Jammer called it "serving multiple masters". Frankly, it's pretty evident. You know what you're in for when you watch Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica or Firefly. Love it or hate it, these movies/shows are recognizably their own thing. Scripts, cinematography, costumes, music, acting, you name it, everything is in the service of drawing you into a richly crafted world with a singular vision. Star Trek? I don't know about the rest of you, but I have no clue what Trek is about these days (and decades).

Final disclaimer: I'm not putting all this on poor JJ's shoulders. The rot set in a long time prior to him ever jumping on board. He should even be commended for perfecting and polishing what Paramount execs long wanted Trek to be.
Robert
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
It's worth pointing out that comic books are in essence more niche and "geekier" in a lot of ways that Star Trek and we have Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor and Ant Man as blockbusters now. Oh, and we're getting Doctor Strange soon.

I've given some hate to nuTrek before, but Marvel went from being for a small comic book audience to literally the biggest franchise ever and owned by Disney. We're pulling out C-listers and making them into blockbuster movie stars. Iron Man is making Superman and Batman look like B-listers. Iron Man!

Is it possible that JJ just really missed with nuTrek? I mean.... it didn't go mainstream enough to rival the big boys, it wasn't beloved by the fans (even the ones that like it aren't in love with it like we love our TOS or TNG).

Is it a failure as a way to generate revenue for a studio? A flop? Of course not. But did it do what it wanted? I think not.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
@ Robert,

"I've given some hate to nuTrek before, but Marvel went from being for a small comic book audience to literally the biggest franchise ever and owned by Disney. We're pulling out C-listers and making them into blockbuster movie stars. Iron Man is making Superman and Batman look like B-listers. Iron Man!"

This is why the distinction I make isn't between action and cerebral, but between smart and stupid. Movies are getting more stupid across the board, and that is parallel with but separate from the fact that they have more action. Jason R above said something along these lines. Star Trek was always smart, even when it was stupid. The reason some Trek episodes annoy viewers is because they try to be smart and fail miserably. But at least they try. Trek can't be dumb and still be Trek.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
@ Paul

"Box office results don't look promising, I'm sad to say. I don't think it's the fault of the movie itself because it has solid reviews across the board. It may well be due to a lot of goodwill being spent after insipid STID and the disastrously bad (and almost non-existent) promo campaign".

That's partially true.

Solid reviews from mainstream critics doesn't prove anything on their own (Into Darkness also got positive reviews, and it was terrible). But it is obvious that "Beyond" is a far better film than the previous two. It is even - *gasp* - half-way worthy of the words "Star Trek" which appears in the film title.

The problem is that - in the past few years - Paramount worked overtime to alienate their hard core fans. Being a fan of a production is an emotional thing, and these guys simply pushed all the wrong buttons.

First, they turned Trek into a summer pop-corn movie franchise. Then they did that cringe-worthy stunt of "KHAAAAAN: The Rip-off". And for the icing on the cake, just a few weeks before "Beyond" premiered, they decided to wage war on all major fan production by threatening legal action against those dedicated fans who single-handedly kept the original Trek legacy alive.

So yes, many fans are angry at them for more than one reason. And guess what? When you alienate a large percentage of your decades-long loyal fans, you lose sales. Real deep, this realization, eh?

William B
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks, I'm proud if you were channelling me at all :)

I'm not a huge expert on the MCU, but basically I think a lot of the reason it's been so successful with audiences (and fans) is that I think there is a real respect for the material, geeky and silly as it is, at the script level. The particular success of Iron Man had a lot to do with Robert Downey Jr., but also about finding a way to translate the geeky fun with some edges of social commentary that the big, goofy, sometimes smart Marvel comics universe has, and then that model has mostly been taken on. There are still big conflicts, and the fall-out between, say, Edgar Wright and the studio suggests to me that the MCU's success has something of a shelf life; the fact of it becoming an actually successful franchise means a little more latitude in some ways in comparison to the yoke that was no doubt around the Trek reboot, but I also think that its moneymaker status will probably make deviations from the basic formula rarer and rarer. Since Wright and Pegg go way back with the Cornetto trilogy, the comparison is probably valid. I suspect that Pegg cared about Star Trek but also was trying to fit in with the studio's limitations as well as the baggage from the first two movies. I don't want to slam Orci and Kurtzman too much for what was probably in great part studio problems, but still, it feels a bit like this is another job along the same lines as Transformers for them, of taking a franchise which has a fanbase and finding a way to make a blockbuster-format thing out of it. I know absolutely nothing about Transformers except that most of the people I know who were "fans" of the original material disliked the film. I know a lot about Trek, by contrast, and have a pretty long laundry list of complaints about Star Trek 2009, the most fundamental part of which being that this is a narrative whose sole purpose is to justify its own existence, a mishmash of misguided nostalgia and loud, unjustified action scenes.

Anyway I agree that the issue is a question of doing "dumb" in a smart way, rather than in a stupid way. Wrath of Khan wasn't dumb exactly, but it was much more action-heavy than the cerebral ST:TMP, and was something of a franchise *tonal* reboot by Nick Meyer. Many of the criticisms of the Abrams-era Trek movies apply to WOK but WOK nonetheless has a focused script and some real meaning behind it while also remaking Trek into something more of a naval epic about old soldiers than the idea-exploration that it had been before. Nemesis was basically created using something like the Meyer model -- bring in a successful screenwriter (John Logan) from outside the franchise to hopefully pump fresh blood into it -- but Logan mostly failed at the script and Stuart Baird's direction was very, very bad. With John Logan, I dunno -- I don't think he's actually a very good original writer, and his strengths seem largely to be in adaptation or in pulling together different threads for a biopic, more organizational than generative; I think he *might* have been able to write a good Trek script from a genuinely good story, which Nemesis didn't have.

As for this film, well, I haven't seen it yet. I am glad that some people liked it! I will watch it at some point. Simon Pegg does seem to have some talent, though I'm not sure how much of what works in his collaborations with Edgar Wright were more because of Wright. In any case, I suspect he's a good soldier in this case, and there are some big limitations on what this movie could actually do given what the first two movies already did.
Chrome
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 9:41am (UTC -5)
@William B

The problem with a Marvel comparison with Iron Man is that Marvel already had a successful X-men movie franchise prior (which itself had a successful game franchise prior).

I would also say that Marvel is more genuinely geared towards a mainstream audience than Star Trek ever intended. Marvel stories take place in the present world, with the same problems we face, but with the added element of superheroes. Trek takes place in a distant future, on distant planets, interacting species that are inherently unfamiliar. So Wright and Pegg had a much bigger challenge than the screenwriters for Marvel ever did.

As for this semantic nonsense argument about "stupid" and "dumb" movies, instead of making those sort of broad generalizations, why don't commenters actually say what is stupid *in this movie*. I don't see how anything in this film was as groanworthy as "Assimilate this!" from First Contact. So before saying something is stupid, please take off your rose-tinted glasses and give some specifics.
Del_Duio
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 10:41am (UTC -5)
These new movies should just be what they should've been all along: Good Trek movies (Beyond is one of them, to me).

Don't try to compete with Marvel because:

#1) You won't be able to
#2) You'll water down your franchise in the process

Just look at poor D.C. You had what- 2 good Superman movies from the 70s, the Nolan Batman trilogy, the Batman with Michael Keaton & Jack Nicholson. I can't remember too many others off the top of my head. I think Marvel's put out more good movies in 2 years than D.C's been able to do in 30!

Dom
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 11:32am (UTC -5)
@Chrome, "I would also say that Marvel is more genuinely geared towards a mainstream audience than Star Trek ever intended. Marvel stories take place in the present world, with the same problems we face, but with the added element of superheroes. Trek takes place in a distant future, on distant planets, interacting species that are inherently unfamiliar."

I agree, this is really an underappreciated aspect to the problem Paramount faces in making Trek mainstream. Another issue is that pop culture is globalized today in a way that it was during the 1960s or even the 1990s. Back then, the primary audience for a blockbuster movie was the West, USA & Europe (as well as Japan). The older Trek movies made the overwhelming majority of their money from the US market. Nowadays, most big movies make most of their money overseas, and much of that comes from non-Western countries, especially China.

This poses some unique challenges for Trek. Unlike Marvel or Star Wars, which are more universal, Trek is embedded in a very specific philosophical and ethical framework that has its roots in Western civilization. At the risk of overgeneralizing, Trek is a product of the Enlightenment, is unabashedly secular, and has a liberal/progressive political slant. Those aren't necessarily the values of the rest of the world, so it's not clear how Trek can engage a more diverse audience and retain its core. How do the show's themes about individualism come across in more communitarian or tribal societies, like East Africa? How does the secularism (and at times even disdain for religion) come across in conservative Muslim or Catholic countries?

Moreover, it's difficult to provide social commentary to such different audiences, because the social or political issues that concern one audience might be irrelevant to another. For example, in the US gay rights is a big deal. In most other countries, it simply isn't and the idea of legalizing gay marriage is seen as pretty extreme. The US (and parts of Western Europe) are now pessimistic about the future, but life has never been better for people in China and Subsaharan Africa. So whose concerns do you address?

Unfortunately, I think the approach Paramount took was to make Trek a least-common denominator franchise. It decided that explosions and action were universal, while Trek's intellectual discourse wasn't. Like @Paul M. said, I think Paramount corrected course a bit too much; after all, films like The Martian and Interstellar earned more than Trek at the box office and are thoughtful sci-fi stories. However, I think it's also important to confront the fact that Trek might be fighting an uphill battle in the globalized pop culture marketplace.
William B
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome, I tend to count the X-Mens and Spider-Mans as different from the post-Iron Man MCU, because different studios, relative consistency in tone. The 2000-7 films seem equivalent to say the pre-reboot Trek films in the rough analogy. You are right that there are some internal advantages to the MCU in terms of audiences.

Anyway, as for the dumb vs stupid thing, I really compared WoK and Nemesis as two movies with similar aims as semi-philosophical action works, and didn't bring up First Contact or Beyond which I haven't even seen. I suppose I could start articulating why the dumb elements of WoK don't hurt that film for me the way the elements of Nemesis hurt said film but I didn't think there was enough controversy to get into it.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
It's funny, really.

One of the main strong points of Star Trek was always the theme of cosmopolitan universality. There's no other sci fi franchise which is better adaptable to the international market.

Paramount should have taken this opportunity to polish Trek's core values and make them truely universal. And quite frankly, given the current state of affairs in the Unites States, I think that the international audience will be far more receptive to a Trekkian message than the domestic one.

Sure, going this route will pretty much cut you off in places like Africa or the Muslim world, but a quick look at boxofficemojo shows that the income of Trek films in these places is negligible anyway.

BTW The fact that the rest of the world is more optimistic than the US didn't stop Paramount from creating two very dark films. From the attacks on San Francisco in STID to the Vulcan genocide in ST2009 to the mind-boggling fact that nobody (in-universe) seemed to care about these tragic events of apocalyptic proportions. How do these things make Trek any easier to swallow for an international audience?
Robert
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
I'm not so sure the rest of the world is more receptive to cosmopolitan universality. Xenophobic nationalism is pretty much on the rise across the western world from Trump to Brexit to LePen and more it's not good out there. Darkness and fear is what people are buying right now, and they are buying it in droves.
Jason R.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome

"Instead of making those sort of broad generalizations, why don't commenters actually say what is stupid *in this movie"

The villain is a Starfleet officer who crashes his ship on an alien planet and finds a fountain of youth and an army of a kajillion mining drones. Instead of using them to, I don't know, GO HOME, he instead goes batshit insane, embarks on a 100 year quest to find some alien mcguffin which which Kirk randomly finds. Then after some elaborate plot to lure the enterprise in he finally gets his mcguffin, which turns out to be some black goop that seems less deadly than modern chemical weapons and plainly nowhere near as deadly as his gigantic fleet of a kajillion drones that are so vast they can obliterate a starship and even a starbase in minutes (he needed the goop why again?)

Then he takes his fleet and his army which must number in the billions to pilot all those drones (why does he have an army? Did he pull them out of his ass?) to attack the starbase so he can deploy his bioweapon McGuffin (which is just some lame box that releases some goop that I guess can kill alot of people, but almost certainly not as many as his BILLION DRONES!!!!!) and then Kirk et al. talk about using a signal to disrupt the drones' computer synchronization which incolves broadcasting some Beastie Boys music over radio which just makes all the drones BLOW UP (I guess when you disrupt their computers they explode) which predictably leads to a fist fight with Kirk in an airlock settling the issue (naturally)

I could go on and on with this idiocy (how come villain can't find alien girl's hideout when it's, you know, HIS OWN SHIP!!) but why bother? Here are my adjectives: stupid, lazy, sloppy, offensive.

Let me say that it didn't have to be this way. A fifth grader could have filled these plot holes and made the story at least make sense without even sacrificing anything? Why didn't they do this? They just don't give a shit, that is why. Story to these guys is inconsequential - just a bunch of filler to string together action set pieces.

Apologists keep saying "buuuuuttt it's just a dumb action movie it's not supposed to be taken seriously) which is the eternal refrain with this garbage. As I stated, lots of silly or "dumb" action flicks can be fun and enjoyable without being *stoooooopid*.
Peter G.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
To be fair, I'm not sure Trek was ever about cosmopolitan universality, exactly. Cosmopolitan - yes, sure, since it involves different species working out their differences. But universality would seem to imply that some set of morals permeate all these races, and Trek actually takes some pains to show that the Federation is about - if anything - respecting local values and instead trying to find how different peoples can still work together. The UFP was clearly modelled after the UN, for instance, right down to the similarity between their respective flags. The UN isn't, and never has been, about universality in the sense of seeing how all the nations are really similar in some ways. On the contrary, it's more of a forum for the differences to get a voice. We see a good sample of this in TOS in "Journey to Babel", where there is little sense of harmonious respect between the member races, and more of a sense of suspicious agreement to work together for common cause.

In this sense I would say that "cosmopolitan diversity" would be a more appropriate term (IDIC), and I don't see a premise like that being rejected by most young people around the world. "Universality" carries the sense of homogeneity, and to be fair TNG at times ran the risk of making us feel that the Federation consisted of a bunch of worlds who all shared the same values and thought the same things. Certain episodes, such as "A Matter of Honor", show how this isn't really so (the Benzites have a very different social value system), but overall Trek seems to say that cooperation is hard and that respecting the beliefs of each species requires accepting their differences rather than trying to assimilate them.

Who in the hells would reject a premise like that? It's hardly even utopian; more like, realistic. The utopian aspect of Trek is strictly to do with the technology and life on *Earth*, specifically, rather than the entire Federation.

So yeah, I don't think Trek ever had to sacrifice its message to reach a mass audience. Changing the tone or level of action in the films is one thing, and as William B pointed out this marks the difference between TMP and WoK. But both are still super-smart scripts, regardless of the pacing and amount of explosions. What the reboot franchise has done is lose the message from each of them: In TMP it's that even scary, very different beings can be communicated with if we try to understand them, and WoK is that comparing who is superior to whom is a dead-end street in inter-species relations; again, a pure Trek motif. But discussion, learning, and acceptance seem to be themes lacking in the reboots, which tend instead to be resolved through sheer force and therefore carry no moral message whatever. Even Undiscovered Country, which ended in a battle, still resolved on a note of peace and the need to understand our former enemies. What were we supposed to learn at the end of ST or STID?
David Ryan
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Funny. I would have swapped Jammer's rating for this and Into Darkness in a heartbeat. Beyond has its storytelling gaps (and pacing issues), but it was a solid attempt at an original script (rather than the Wrath of Khan knock-off that Into Darkness was) and for me a more cohesive film than Into Darkness. There was more character development than the first two reboot films combined (a number of characters actually started to resemble fully fleshed out people, for one thing, and the Spock-Bones sniping and teamwork was very welcome in particular. Plus it was nice to see the Enterprise era acknowledged, if only briefly. Krall was a letdown, no question (there was masses of backstory for the taking there, but all for naught), and the whole question of 'why is he doing this?' never really got a convincing answer - aside from, perhaps, alien tech and isolation-induced insanity. Then again, Into Darkness had some sizeable flaws as well - Khan changing height and ethnicity, "magic blood", Admiral Marcus generally being one-dimensional, the Carol Marcus underwear scene, the Kirk death scene with zero consequences, a pretty weak explanation for how Federation tech was now surpassing the 24th century to build something like the Vengeance...and so on. Out of the two, Beyond left me happier overall when I left the cinema. Perhaps Into Darkness suffers because of Wrath of Khan. But for me, Star Trek Into Darkness would get 2.5 stars and Star Trek Beyond 3 stars (with the 2009 Star Trek getting 3 to 3.5, depending on how generous I'm feeling on a given day).
Dom
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G., I agree with you about the values of Trek. But I don't think even "cosmopolitan diversity" is universally accepted around the world. As I argued above, Americans and Western Europeans accept some forms of diversity that many other countries don't. We've accepted (for the most part) separation of church, but one doesn't have to go to Iran to find examples of countries where the majority religion oppresses minorities (Myanmar, Indonesia, etc). Likewise, the west is still unique in its acceptance of homosexuality (some 77 countries treat homosexual acts as a crime).

I'm interested to see how Discovery balances all this. Will the show focus on issues that are "hot" in the US, or try for more universal? I'm hoping the writers find a way to tell socially relevant stories that are engaging even if viewers don't catch the social or political commentary.
Peter G.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
@ Dom,

Agreed that the values I laid out aren't universally accepted by everyone worldwide, but I think a lot of young people do believe in something like that, even if they have to keep it to themselves. Taking Iran, since you brought it up, I've heard that Tehran is a rather cosmopolitan city with more modern values than we'd think given what we always hear on the news. We have to remember that they are living there under an autocratic system that is not representative of what many people there actually think. Ditto with Iraq, where all most people want is just to be left alone to work and live their lives. The extremist BS is a relative few of them, most notably those enforcing the power structure (which is always a minority in any country).

Even 'closed' societies like China and Japan welcome foreign content and product, even though that are quite intent on maintaining their culture and insisting on the inferiority of other cultures. And that's fine; that's exactly what the Federation is built on. Exchanging what people want to exchange while laying off other peoples' culture is what the UFP is about as far as I'm concerned. The whole notion of the dominance of Western values and westernizing foreign countries is pretty much anathema to Trek as far as I'm concerned, notwithstanding certain TOS episodes which specifically seemed to equate the Federation with the USA, which many fans in any case seem to recognize was a mistake for them to write.
Yanks
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Wow, lot's to catch up on :-)

Paul M.,

"Star Wars: TFA is such a huge success not only because the movie works on its own -- it does -- but also because it builds upon and utilizes recognizable Star Wars spirit and cinematic language"

No, TFA is such a huge success because everyone on Earth and their children has seen SW. It's fun... it has something for every age group and your brain never needs to engage, it never has. All they cared about was seeing it again. TFA is NOT a good movie, it's almost a carbon copy of the first one. JJ did a better job with ST09. Better action, better score, better directing. But the base audience for ST is much smaller than SW. For Paramount to even hint at ST doing as well is nothing but naive.

I'm all for smaller budget "Christmas release" ST movies, but 2 & 3/4' of these three were pretty damn good. ST09 had the worst villain in cinematic history and I didn't care. STiD even with Khan (which I didn't want) was great until the ending, and I think STB is proof that you CAN the balance the best of both worlds. It's about as balanced a popcorn/Trek movie as you can get. I think it's ratings would be much better had they not cut 27 minutes out if it. The biggest gig it gets is that the Krall motive was weak. That was cut.

Star Trek needs the additional eyes to succeed on TV. This isn't the 60's (3 channels) or the 80's (1 SCI-show on the air). There is competition out the wazoo and trek needed these movies to at least seem relevant to the new comers we need.

You can say "there isn't real trek" in these movies and I would agree, but they never were going to be like the other TOS and TNG movies. They benefited from having their series before the movie. The new movies had none of that. On a purely "trek" level you really can't compare the new with the old. I think they did about as well as one could expect.

I am just epically pumped we have a new series to look forward to. Just praying that enough new folks like it that we get to have it for many years.









Dom
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G., you're definitely right that there's a lot of variation within countries. People who live in cities tend to be more cosmopolitan/liberal, as do youth. But I also think it's important to recognize just how rooted in Western philosophical ideas and social discourse Trek has traditionally been. We praise Trek for in the past dealing with issues like racism, the Cold War, abortion, etc, i.e. issues on the minds of cosmopolitan Americans during the 60s and later the 90s. Trek hasn't dealt much with religion (except to condemn it), poverty (magically cured by replicators), corruption, and many other issues that are top issues for people outside the US.

I'm certainly not saying that smart Trek can't appeal to cosmopolitan types around the world, but it'll be tricky. For example, if the new Trek show runs an episode about LGBTQ rights (as I'm sure it will), will that turn off audiences in Muslim countries? Maybe it would open more minds and have a positive effect. I don't know. It's certainly not a challenge Marvel has to face.
Yanks
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 3:01pm (UTC -5)

I don't think the swarm ships are manned. I also think they were controlled by Krall's ship.
Peter G.
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 12:06am (UTC -5)
@ Dom,

"But I also think it's important to recognize just how rooted in Western philosophical ideas and social discourse Trek has traditionally been. We praise Trek for in the past dealing with issues like racism, the Cold War, abortion, etc, i.e. issues on the minds of cosmopolitan Americans during the 60s and later the 90s."

Good points. Since I wasn't alive in the 60's, I wonder, though, how rooted in actual culture Gene's ideas were at the time. Sure, there was the peace movement and the brotherly love movement, but Trek wasn't really about those. There were also isolationist movements about non-interference from time to time in the 20's century, but again Trek isn't isolationist. Its notion of non-interference is very specific, and seems very specifically to condemn using 3rd world countries as pawns in a global game as the U.S. and USSR were doing. I expect this was the original inspiration for the Prime Directive, and the way Gene outlined it I'm not at all sure this was a sentiment already buzzing around. Heck, there are posters on this site right now who think the Prime Directive is an evil idea, so it's certainly not such a gimme as all that. Add to that Gene's pushing for tolerance towards other peoples and colors and you get revolutionary thinking, not standard cosmopolitan thinking. Of course, translate that to today and you'd probably have to put something pretty risque on TV to be as pushing-the-envelope as TOS was. I want to say 'polyamorous relationships', but they already did that in ENT with Phlox (offscreen, mind you). What's next...bestiality with intelligent animals? Who knows.

Regarding your comment about LGBTQ rights, tbh I sincerely hope they don't do that. Trek should be pushing the frontier of things we never thought were possible; it should not be a mouthpiece for a political/social movement that is currently already trendy. Some users here curiously insist that Trek blatantly pushes [choose 1] liberal/conservative values, and that it's little more than propaganda. I find these claims amusing since both sides are saying it, but it would make me sad if one of them eventually turned out to be true. Trek is about how to get disagreeing people to work together; not to preach about what every person should believe.
Paul M.
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 2:15am (UTC -5)
Yanks, we do not disagree on the roots of TFA's success. Sure, you believe it's a bad movie, I think it's pretty good. But as you said: "TFA is such a huge success because everyone on Earth and their children has seen SW". Yeah, you are right. The point is everyone on Earth has seen SW precisely because those franchises don't have an identity crisis. As I noted in my earlier post, you go to cinemas to watch SW, you know what you're in for. And part of TFA's success is most definitely its respect for earlier installments in the way movie is put together, e.g. cinematic language, themes, aesthetics, atmosphere, characters, etc. The second trilogy stumbled a bit (though I don't think it's nearly as bad as some people believe), but it did retain a sense of belonging to the same fictional universe. When you factor in all the other SW stuff like novels, games..., Lucas Arts has been a good custodian of the franchise.

Star Trek, on the other hand, doesn't know what it is. Tell me: what links Voyager, Enterprise, Insurrection, Nemesis, and AbramsTrek? Except for bad plotting (and in the case of BermanTrek bland-o-beige production), not much.
Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 9:09am (UTC -5)
This is an interesting discussion. Let me try to frame it. We all seem to agree that the "soul" of Trek is IDIC, right? But we don't seem to have a consensus on what IDIC really means to the soul of Trek.

I get a lot of feeling here that if you take away that soul and add explosions what you are left with is a hollowed out shell. I feel like we kind of all agree there. Trek, at it's very best, is exploring the human condition alongside some really cool sci-fi concept. Trek movies at their worst have no cool sci-fi concepts and are largely ignoring the human condition to bring us popcorn flicks that aren't even having the mass appeal the studio wants.

But lots of things explore the human condition... so does IDIC make Star Trek special? And if so, what is it?

Peter G. says "Trek should be pushing the frontier of things we never thought were possible; it should not be a mouthpiece for a political/social movement that is currently already trendy" in response to a theoretical LGBT rights episode. Well... I sort of agree (in that we don't need issues episodes at all, especially heavy handed ones) but isn't a gay character IDIC? How is it not. Just having one in the main cast would be pushing the frontier of things we never thought possible. The same way that Whoopi felt when she called her mother in to say there was a black lady on the bridge.

Peter also says "Even 'closed' societies like China and Japan welcome foreign content and product, even though that are quite intent on maintaining their culture and insisting on the inferiority of other cultures. And that's fine; that's exactly what the Federation is built on." Is that IDIC though? Appreciation for other cultures content and product while looking down on their society?

And lastly Peter says "The whole notion of the dominance of Western values and westernizing foreign countries is pretty much anathema to Trek as far as I'm concerned." Here I'm more inclined to agree. IDIC doesn't have to be about spreading ideals. In fact, we've touched on that where some characters (Quark and Eddington) strike out at the Federation for claiming to be high minded but really what they want is to assimilate cultures that are too alien. Eddington compares Sisko to the Borg and Quark throws his racism in his face regarding having his boy be friends with a Ferengi.

So Peter, I ask you... if you don't want Trek to have a gay person, because that's a mouthpiece for liberal social issues... how can you say "Trek is about how to get disagreeing people to work together; not to preach about what every person should believe." Nobody is saying every viewer has to agree with how gay people live... but isn't being able to watch one go on adventures every week the spirit of what you're saying? If one cannot tolerate the existence of a gay character in their program... that sort of misses the point right?

I actually agree with a lot of what you say and struggle with it. I don't have all the answers, but I really like the discussion. And this is actually a great example.

Does IDIC imply that you should "accept IDIC", "appreciate IDIC", "learn from IDIC", "tolerate IDIC"? Trek seems to think we shouldn't interfere... but is exposure interference. Tripp certainly screws up in the congenitor, IMHO. But is Keiko screwing up in "In the Hands of the Prophets"? Is teaching Kira right when she says that teaching Bajoran children "pure science, taught without a spiritual context, is a philosophy"??

Exposure, in it's own way IS interference. So where does that leave us? I don't want heavy handed message episodes that are mouthpieces for liberal pet things either. They nearly always come out like garbage anyway (see "Force of Nature"). But I am really, really big on exposure. I would like a gay person on the bridge. If you truly want to embrace IDIC you have to be willing to be with people who are actually different and be ok with that I think.
Chrome
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 9:52am (UTC -5)
@Jason R

For one thing, Krall was looking for any edge over the Federation and the device was just a lead he had. It sounds like he was already monitoring Starfleet transmissions, so it's not far-fetched that he'd hear when a powerful weapon was going through Starfleet hands.

And the swarm alone wasn't enough. The movie showed us that. Krall needed the extra push of the weapon to succeed in his goal, and being an experienced Starfleet MO taught him what kind of resistance he should expect at the Yorktown. As for why he became leader of the swarm, it's not hard to imagine. He was on the planet long enough and made friends. He was already a military leader so maybe the swarm was using his expertise as much as he was using their muscle.

Granted Krall isn't the strongest part of the story, yet the film sets up the antagonist as more than just Krall but more so as Kirk's feelings of angst exploring space beyond what his father had done. As Commodore Paris puts it, it's easy to get lost out there. Krall represented someone who was lost, and Kirk was wrestling with him as well his own fears of being lost in travel.
Peter G.
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 10:34am (UTC -5)
@ Robert,

"Is that IDIC though? Appreciation for other cultures content and product while looking down on their society?"

Yes! It means accepting all sorts of cultures, even those that think they're superior to yours. Now you might argue that accepting them is *you* following IDIC while their view makes them less a believer in IDIC, but as they say variety is the spice of life and so I think the principle of IDIC isn't that everyone necessarily accept that principle wholesale but rather that that principle is observed at the very least by the party involved in making the alliances. It's a way of describing the nature of the alliance itself, rather than the particulars of the beliefs of each member race. That's why you don't see IDIC being sported by individual races in Trek even though its principle permeates the Federation as a whole. Only the Vulcans appear to blatantly subscribe to it as a culture, and even *they* have a superior attitude about their culture and values. So yeah, I don't think valuing other cultures as being as 'good' as one's own is required to adhere to the principle. If anything, it's good to retain a certain pride for one's culture so that the mix is more varied, even if that also entails some frowning on other cultures.

"Nobody is saying every viewer has to agree with how gay people live... but isn't being able to watch one go on adventures every week the spirit of what you're saying? If one cannot tolerate the existence of a gay character in their program... that sort of misses the point right?"

Yes, having a gay person on the ship would be a Trek thing to do. But having an episode or a theme be *about* the fact that he's gay would not. Gene, at any rate, was very clear that in the future people from Earth don't judge others for their skin color, sex, race, etc. Just as they don't condemn, they also don't go out of their way to bring attention to it either. "Good on you for being openly gay!" isn't something you'd hear, and likewise the show itself shouldn't make such a statement. Uhura was noteworthy as a black woman on the bridge, but even more noteworthy is that no one on the show ever comments on this; she's just there. So I would be for a gay character, but against a gay 'message'.

"Does IDIC imply that you should "accept IDIC", "appreciate IDIC", "learn from IDIC", "tolerate IDIC"? Trek seems to think we shouldn't interfere... but is exposure interference. "

I think it means you give people the option without pressuring them. Exposure to pre-warp races and perhaps those in severe desperation would be bad because those races would accept anything you told them in order to receive help and upgrades. For the Bajorans I do agree it skirts on the edge of the issue since they were, in fact, desperate, but on the other hand it seems that the Federation was waiting for them to solve their own problems before stepping in. Again, since I see IDIC as the setup of *how* the alliance is organized and operated, it's up to each member race to get out of it whatever they want; as much or as little. The important thing is to give them access, and then let them decide for themselves under no constraint. Free choice, I think, is the key to it, and that includes choosing to keep your own culture and to look down on other ones. As long as the terms of membership are kept I think the peaceful co-existence is far more important a milestone than is having everyone agree with your viewpoint.



Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 11:29am (UTC -5)
"Now you might argue that accepting them is *you* following IDIC while their view makes them less a believer in IDIC"

That's more what I meant, yes. Would a society like that be following IDIC, and if not... might Star Trek not resonate for them. Obviously us being able to work with them despite that IS IDIC for sure.

"So yeah, I don't think valuing other cultures as being as 'good' as one's own is required to adhere to the principle. "

100% agree... which is why Quark tests Sisko's beliefs so well... because Sisko walking the walk that the Federation talks means he needs to be able to deal with Ferengi even if he finds their culture appalling. My favorite example of THIS kind of IDIC EVER is when Jake/Nog double date, it goes HORRIBLE and they are still friends after. That sort of thing really does show the soul of Trek if there is such a thing.

"Uhura was noteworthy as a black woman on the bridge, but even more noteworthy is that no one on the show ever comments on this; she's just there. So I would be for a gay character, but against a gay 'message'."

100% agree. You are right. It made it 1000 times more powerful that she was just "there" and that nobody found it remarkable (except Lincoln :P)

"Free choice, I think, is the key to it, and that includes choosing to keep your own culture and to look down on other ones."

I agree with everything you've said... but it still makes me wonder about Trek in other countries. How do you reconcile that with a country that believes in heavy censorship. China might not allow certain episodes based on what they have to say....

I think a few episodes of TNG were even censored in the UK back in the day. I wonder if we can make a show with real Trek values that survives in some of those other countries. Hell in some countries just the depiction of women comfortable with their sexuality might be offensive.
William B
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -5)
I think that "discussion, learning and acceptance" that Peter G. lists seems to be a key element that marks the films pre-reboot. The best that can be said about ST2009, I think, is that there is some sort of attempted arc wherein Kirk and Spock learn to put aside their differences and their disparate styles; in this case, Nero is a villain important to generate the plot, but he is not where the core emotional dynamics lie. This is not itself a bad thing. Khan is really, really important to WoK, but he's important both as villain and also as foil/contrast; that he cannot be reasoned with is important because the ending allows us to compare/contrast Khan, Spock and Kirk -- Khan and Spock both essentially make self-sacrifices at the end for their respective causes, but in Khan's case he does it deliberately, knowing on some level that it is meaningless to anything but his own obsession, whereas Spock does it out of a broader sense of community. Nero's reaction to the loss of his home planet really strongly suggests that there should be Spock/Nero parallels, and, well, certainly we see Old Spock react with equanimity, but there was an attitude in the film that (young) Spock, like Kirk, only has the faintest inclination to extend any sympathy toward someone he considers his enemy (in Nero), and without having any other target for Spock's post-apocalyptic trauma I'm not sure how Nero's example provides illumination.

ST:FC was mentioned earlier and I will say, yes, of course Worf saying "Assimilate this" is a dumb crowdpleasing line, and I won't try hard to make distinctions between dumb and stupid. I do think it is in character, mostly -- it's the same kind of pithy, short Worf line as "Nice house. Good tea" or "You cannot loosen a man's tongue with root beer." While STFC is not as strong a film as WOK, for the most part it does have Picard, Data, Lilly and Cochrane go through arcs and learn something (and Riker has something of a mini-story where he has to learn *how* to talk to Cochrane), and while the Borg Queen is maybe a questionable choice for making a Borg story, having an avatar for Picard to personally confront says a lot about dealing with problems directly rather than repressing and then letting them out in anger (as Picard was doing). I'm actually not claiming that these traits are absent from STID or STB because I haven't seen them yet. There are outlines of this type of thing in ST2009, as I said, but at least from my experience seeing it seven years ago, they didn't add to much.
Chrome
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
I don't mean to come off as blunt since you all are having a good conversation about the Star Trek vision, but it seems to me it's as simple as the Captain's Oath:

"To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."

Everything else; social issues, learning,and acceptance are all auxiliary functions of the Oath. All the films, (even Nemesis and TVH) more or less carry out the goals of the Captain's Oath.
Yanks
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Interesting conversation guys.

Something just dawned on me... we pretty much all think "IDIC" is the very heart & soul of Star Trek...

Why is that? It's a "Vulcan" shoot off from the 'Philosophy of Nome', right?

So trek is just Vulcan?

Humans don't contribute to the heart and soul of trek?

Food for thought anyway.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
"I'm not so sure the rest of the world is more receptive to cosmopolitan universality. Xenophobic nationalism is pretty much on the rise across the western world from Trump to Brexit to LePen and more it's not good out there. Darkness and fear is what people are buying right now, and they are buying it in droves."

Oh, I definitely agree that it isn't good out there.

But I don't think the rest of the western world is significantly worse than the USA in this respect.

Besides, since when did Star Trek care about such things? Did you forget that TOS had an African (NON-American) woman and a f***-ing commie officer on the bridge of the NCC-1701? It was bold. It was brave. And it certainly didn't stop people - either Americans or otherwise - from watching the show or buying tickets to see the films.

If anything, the fact that the world is becoming more paranoid is an excellent reason for Star Trek to relay its message louder and clearer. TOS - with all its cheesiness - transformed the lives of millions of people. TNG and the other series - ditto. The paranoid world of today needs MORE of this stuff and not less.

You know what they should have done? Put an Arab officer on the bridge of the Enterprise. That's the 2010's analogue of the 1960's Chekov, and they really should have done that.

Actually, if it were up to me (and I realize this isn't realistic for Roddenbery's secular show), I would have put a practicing Muslim on the bridge, along with members of other religions (including atheists). Now THAT would have grabbed people's attention, eh?

(and as I write this, I realize that Paramount doesn't give a s**t about either canon consistency or the late Roddenbery's wishes anyway. If they could put Kirk on a motorcycle listening to the Beastie Boys, explode Vulcan and depict a terrorist attack on San Francisco, they could have also made half the officers religious if they really wanted to).
Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks - Humans are the heart of IDIC though, NOT Vulcans. It's because the Vulcans lacked the ability to act in that capacity. This is of course the one thing that Enterprise did so right that it literally hurts that the series took so long to see that THAT was what it should be.

T'Pol and Trip holding hands over the IDIC medallion was such a special moment for a lot of things, but it... in many ways is the heart of Star Trek. The Vulcans saw something in Humans that they needed. That's why they stayed.

The Vulcans are the Superego, the logic. They invented IDIC, but they lacked the emotional logic to see it through. The Andorian are in a lot of ways the Id. They are the emotion and passion of the original Federation races. And of course Humans are the Ego. The thing that reconciles and brought them all together (in many ways reminiscent of the Kirk/Spock/Bones trio on a larger scale).

The Humans aren't the ones that invented IDIC (you needed the logic/intelligence for that), they are the ones that IMPLEMENTED it. That's where the humans come in to the soul of Star Trek. I very much see the soul of Star Trek as human implementation of Vulcan enlightened philosophy. And when Enterprise was about THAT it was damned good. The bringing together of the 2 enemies together in an arc that started all the way back in episode 6 was the best part of Enterprise.
Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
"Everything else; social issues, learning,and acceptance are all auxiliary functions of the Oath. All the films, (even Nemesis and TVH) more or less carry out the goals of the Captain's Oath."

I don't disagree that the GOAL of Star Trek is "let's see what's out there". But that's not the heart of Star Trek.

At it's core Star Trek should be a melding of the Captain's Oath, IDIC and an exploration of the human condition.
Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
"If anything, the fact that the world is becoming more paranoid is an excellent reason for Star Trek to relay its message louder and clearer. TOS - with all its cheesiness - transformed the lives of millions of people. TNG and the other series - ditto. The paranoid world of today needs MORE of this stuff and not less. "

I wasn't going to respond because I have nothing to add, but it's worth saying I agree 100% here.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
"Something just dawned on me... we pretty much all think "IDIC" is the very heart & soul of Star Trek...

Why is that? It's a "Vulcan" shoot off from the 'Philosophy of Nome', right?

So trek is just Vulcan?

Humans don't contribute to the heart and soul of trek?"

Of-course they do.

Star Trek is also about"exploring" and "going where no one has gone before" - two concepts which are anything but Vulcan. The whole idea of risking your life just because your have to know what's out there, is pretty much unique to humans. Niether the Vulcans nor the other founding members of the Federation have this quirk (I've never seen Shran or any Tellarite eager to explore anything), yet it is also an integral part of the heart and soul of trek.

Also, Star Trek is pretty strong on the emotional front with themes of hope and love and so forth. Again, very un-Vulcan.

I'll even argue that IDIC itself isn't a solely Vulcan concept. It's more of a concept that humans and Vulcans share... which is why the creation of the Federation was possible.
Chrome
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
@Robert

Well it's more of a Mission Statement than a goal. As for IDIC, it's sometimes there and sometimes it's not. Take Star Trek Generations, for example. No new cultures or groups had to work together, the only real diversity that movie had was Picard's ideals juxtaposed with Kirk's ideals. It's not even clear that either Picard or Kirk learned anything from eachother. aside from the discovering that the Nexus is bollocks together.
Peter G.
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"Take Star Trek Generations, for example. No new cultures or groups had to work together, the only real diversity that movie had was Picard's ideals juxtaposed with Kirk's ideals. It's not even clear that either Picard or Kirk learned anything from eachother. aside from the discovering that the Nexus is bollocks together."

I guess I could make the case that the nexus symbolized the ability to have anything you want all the time with no regard for the outside world, and as such is a comment on the fact that what makes the Federation great *isn't* the fact that it can provide basically unlimited food and goods. If you look at the nexus as basically being a hyper-replicator, where all of your wants and desires are fulfilled, the danger therein is to sit on your laurels and ignore the greater universe. I guess you could see it as a disclaimer about the purpose of Trek being about exploration rather than about technology making the future great again.

But then again I'd prefer to say this is just a crap movie. Once a film has failed on a story level there's not much point in trying to mine it for deeper philosophy. Likewise I wouldn't bother trying to examine Nemesis in detail. Insurrection should have been interesting except the story got botched and even the cast knew it.
Robert
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
The goal is explore, IDIC is just the way. It's present even when it's not explicit.

Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations

Even when an episode isn't about that it's present in a black woman or a blind man or Vulcan or a Klingon or an Arab being best friends with an Irishman or a half-human/half Klingon chief engineer. It's there. It's always there.
Chrome
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
@Robert

I get what IDIC is conceptually, I just doubt it overrides the Captain's Oath in terms of series importance. IDIC is more prevalent in Treks like DS9, where people of all kinds flock together at the space station. TOS episodes, on the other hand, deal more with exploration and puzzle-solving than they do with tolerance. Moreover, you can read IDIC into anything. But doing so makes it hard to really distinguish Trek from say, Marvel's Avengers, as your only qualifications are disparate backgrounds working together towards a common goal.
Voldo
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
With respect to everyone here, it is the utter shrillness of people like Jason R. that accounts for why we can't have nice things. He was asked a perfectly fair question-what about the movie is stupid-and went on what I am going to call something, at he end of which, resulted in a giant pool of drool on the floor. Apparently, by definition, the fiction part of "science fiction," is synonymous with stupidity. By the way, Jason, the way that Luke fell down the chute in Bespin in TESB was SO implausible that the movie is horrible, wouldn't you say? Tell me about it!

There is a difference between arguing and shouting, and most of the people here seem to understand that difference - even if no one wants to cop to a certain confirmation bias re: STID and STB. Most people who go to the movies are willing to suspend a certain amount of disbelief so that they can permit themselves the simple life pleasure of being entertained - but it's nice to know that those who know better are on the case!
Peter G.
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
@ Voldo,

Your use of ad hominem to communicate that you don't like an opposing view is noted, so I'll just address this one point:

"most of the people here seem to understand that difference - even if no one wants to cop to a certain confirmation bias re: STID and STB."

If that's what you think then you need to look in the mirror to find the bias. I went into ST2009 and STID dying to love them. I wanted nothing else. Finding out instead that they were weaker products than Trek deserves gave me no pleasure. You may want to pause for a moment before assuming you know the inner thoughts of people you've never met.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Aug 6, 2016, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Why would any Star Trek fan WANT to hate the NuTrek films?

More Trek is usually a good thing, and the idea of actually rebooting the franchise with new actors to play Kirk and Co was brilliant.

Besides, I don't "hate" them. ST2009 is actually a pretty good film. It just isn't a good Star Trek film, and it pains me to see how easily Paramount threw a 40 year old legacy out the window.

As for STID - yeah, that was an awful film by any standard. But I has no reason to expect it to be awful, so you can't blame confirmation bias there.

And STB seems to be an improvement (at least in the Trek Spirit department) but as I've already stated earlier: For me, it was too little, too late.



TS
Sat, Aug 6, 2016, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Hm.

I'm baffled by the STID hatred around these parts... while it is arguably the "worst" one of the new films, it still had some genuinely good/fun scenes. The hate seems extreme.

Also, fans who are choosing not to see STB in theaters are strange to me. You are voting with your dollar and you are telling Paramount that you do NOT want to see MORE Star Trek. It's kind of like shooting yourself in the foot, really. STB is worth the trip.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 2:38am (UTC -5)
"Also, fans who are choosing not to see STB in theaters are strange to me. You are voting with your dollar and you are telling Paramount that you do NOT want to see MORE Star Trek."

If these last three films are representitive of what "Star Trek" means these days, then you are absolutely right. I don't want to see any more of that. I'm sorry, but the fact that I'm a Trek fan does *not* mean that I'll happily gobble up anything which has the Star Trek label. And I'm voting with my dollars and telling Paramount that this fan has had enough.

Besides, it would be awkward. What does an old nerdboy like me have in common with the crowd that watches Trek films these days? Being a Trekkie is - among other things - being part of a community. And after hearing "you're a loser and a complainer who doesn't know how to have fun" a few hundred times, I've decided that this NuTrek community isn't something I want to be a part of.
TS
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 6:03am (UTC -5)
"If these last three films are representitive of what "Star Trek" means these days, then you are absolutely right. I don't want to see any more of that. I'm sorry, but the fact that I'm a Trek fan does *not* mean that I'll happily gobble up anything which has the Star Trek label. And I'm voting with my dollars and telling Paramount that this fan has had enough."

Sure, that makes sense to me, but you literally just said that you didn't hate these movies and that ST2009 and STB had some value to you. Now you've suddenly had enough of these new films and you want them gone? That was a quick turn. Just saying, your reply goes against much of what you said in your previous post.

That said, the New Trek films are (for the most part) fun movies and I certainly agree that they're still not very Star Trek at this point, but Beyond (only the third movie in a potential long series) has shown a noticeable improvement in that area. And there's no reason to think that they won't keep improving on that if they were to continue forward... considering all the crap that comes out in theaters these days, I'm not sure why people would *actively* go out of their way to vote "no" to something like New Trek of all things. Shrug.
Dougie
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Worst of the trilogy so far. Star Trek is about story telling, and I can't really make out much of a story here, other than there are a lot of people in the franchise to Thank.

As my friend said who attended with me last night: "It's good to get out on occasion."

This is after spending $25 on the movie, and $28 on popcorn and pop.
Dougie
Sun, Aug 7, 2016, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Jammer said: How about a $100M or $120M budget instead of $180M or $200M? You can still make plenty of movie with that, and maybe it would be a bit more modest and maybe the profit margins would be where they need to be and the fans would be happier. Win-win.


Win-Win could also include spending the remaining $60-80M on ... a script.


I'm a huge Pegg fan from the Hot Fuzz days, but that doesn't mean he should write these things. This was terrible. I'm not sure I could stomach a weekly series shot in this framework.
Yanks
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Robert,

"T'Pol and Trip holding hands over the IDIC medallion was such a special moment for a lot of things, but it... in many ways is the heart of Star Trek. The Vulcans saw something in Humans that they needed. That's why they stayed."

I agree. One of if not my favorite Star Trek moment. I'm a blubbering sap every time I watch it.

Interesting take. Is this position supported by canon? I mean other than an educated observation from an astute trek fan?
Jeff
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer. Great review. I don't know if anyone else has pointed this out, but the cast photo seen at the end is actually from ST V. You can tell by the gray in Uhura's hair and the lack of gray in Kirk's.

It's an extremely nitpicky thing to point out, I realize, but I honestly couldn't fight the urge to mention it. My apologies.
Jason R
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
The only way we are going to get good Star Trek movies is to vote with our wallets. I can hold out for a good one - if it takes 20 years and a franchise in the wilderness, so be it.

Incidentally, I gather Beyond's box office haul has fallen off a cliff. For all the vaunted need to expand Trek's appeal to a mainstream audience, it appears to be a failure, or at best a disappointment.

@Voldo

If Luke falling implausibly down a chute on Bespin is the best example of stupidity you could think of in the Star Wars trilogy (a trivial action sequence of no significance to the story) then I rest my case. If you can't tell the difference between Revenge of the Fallen level idiocy and some of the niggling action contrivances of Star Wars, I can't help you.
Dougie
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Jason R.,
There were about 20-30 people at the 8:10pm showing on a Saturday night. Unclear how many screens, maybe 2, but Suicide Squad was showing on 5.

It's a dud. A series of Fast and Furious action sequences knitted together with useless dialogue.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Well, at least STB - unlike its two predecessors - has a Trekkian storyline.

This is probably due to the fact that it was written by an actual Trekkie. Simon Pegg's story is a labor of love, and it shows. It's really unfortunate that it just wasn't a well-written story.

From what people have said here, STB seems to be like a piece of medicore fanfiction thar was turned into a film with a budget of $200M. In a way, that's exactly what STB is.

(and we remember the way TPTB declared war on fan films just a few weeks ago, the above paragraph really becomes an instance of delicious irony)














RandomThoughts
Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone

Heh, I liked the opening sequence. And no, not every race thinks like we do and will take anything and everything out of context.

Kirk... Hmm... I suppose feeling maudlin when passing the age of his father (and knowing how heroically he died) might make him take pause and give him a mid-life crisis. But my thought at the theater was that they are 3 years into a 5 year journey, and he doesn't feel he is doing something important, so how boring were those 3 years? He must have saved someone, somewhere, and been in a few tough scrapes, but they make it sound like a rather boring affair. That is what I took from it anyway. And he doesn't feel like he is accomplishing anything, so he decides to become a Vice-Admiral/chair-bound paper-pusher? That will be better? Naaah...

Seeing the Enterprise ripped to shreds was painful, but I did sort of like that they had the power on, turned back to the nebula... and didn't make it. I've gotten used to the ST ships always making it in the nick of time, and figured this would be no different.

I did get the feeling they were out on the edge of known space, and they were popping to a semi-local space station before heading back out. I pictured a lonely little outpost like K-7, or Deep Space 9. Then they headed toward a planetoid in space. Yes, it looked really neat (really! I loved the visuals), but my thought of them near the great unknown simply vanished. If the station was indeed near the edge, how and why would they build such a monstrosity out there? How would they get anyone to want to go there? It looked like millions could be there, and there were folks everywhere, a great hub of activity. But activity for what? If that is what they put out near, well, nothing, then what do they have closer to Earth, Dyson Spheres? It just seemed so out of place, like Lewis and Clark (North American Explorers) stumbling around in the wilderness, fishing from Lake Michigan to keep from starving, then heading to a fully functioning Chicago for supplies. I know we all have to suspend disbelief for a while, but wrapping my mind around that station popped my personal little bubble.

I sort of figured the little ships weren't manned, but felt some of them had to be. Did he have minions, or robots? And if they were bipedal robots, why couldn't they take a punch better?

Jaylah was good. As soon as Kirk told her he got her into Starfleet Academy, I immediately thought she might be a replacement for Chekov, even though the tragic events had not happened yet when it was filmed.

Some of the acting portrayals were good enough that I really began to think of them as Kirk, Spock, McCoy, instead of having to 'work' at believing it was them. I still had to remember he was Chekov, or she was Uhura. Sometimes Scotty works for me, sometimes not.

No matter how hard she had been working, it was difficult for me to believe the Franklin was in good enough shape to do more than host a comic convention. Captain Edison and the remaining crew would have known where she was, and if the Enterprise crew could figure out how to get her going again, I believe the Franklin crew would be able to as well, because they would be intimately familiar with her. The Enterprise crew didn't being a century of advances with them when got into the ship (more knowledge, but I think that would only go so far), so they must have been the only ones to notice the handy cliff, to give them the momentum they needed to get into space.

Anyway, I've got to go for now. Thanks for listening. Liked it, 2 1/2 stars from me.

Enjoy the day... RT
Chrome
Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 9:32am (UTC -5)
@OmicronTheta

"From what people have said here, STB seems to be like a piece of medicore fanfiction thar was turned into a film with a budget of $200M. In a way, that's exactly what STB is."

At least half the commenters here liked the film. You could at least try watching it before giving it such a harsh appraisal. Who knows, you may not agree with the people here who don't like it.
Jason R
Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 11:14am (UTC -5)
As an aside, every drone that we saw the inside of appeared to be manned. So if they were automated, we were never given evidence of that, apart from the logical absurdity of this nutcase villain having a ready army of about 1 trillion men to fly the swarm.

But that's #1,010 on my list of problems with this idiot plot. Small potatoes.
Yanks
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 6:28am (UTC -5)
Jason R,

I believe that the ones we saw this inside of were control ships manned by Krall and his minions.

I'll have to look closer during my next re-watch.
Jason R.
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 6:59am (UTC -5)
Yanks that's a plausible explanation. But then with most idiot plots you can fabricate explanations to fill in whatever holes you like, particularly in a scifi universe.

My issue with this kind of writing is not that I can't fathom some kind of rational way to explain what I am seeing if I try really hard. Heck, you can do this with any story, right down to, say, Super Mario Bros 2.

The people who wrote this didn't just create a stupid story - they seem to have contempt for storytelling. I don't think they give a rat's ass about story. It's just a means to an end for them. Some guys in a boardroom probably brainstormed some cool "stuff" they wanted in their Star Trek movie. (How about a big swarm of drones? Ya! And they'll be so many they blot out the sun! Wow! Awesome! Where did they come from? Who made them? Who gives a shit - we can figure that plot crap out later - get the art guys working on it)

Everything from the drones to the space station to the Beastie Boys deus ex machina seemed like "stuff" someone came up with because it would look cool for the trailers or whatever and then someone slapped together a rudimentary plot post facto. I find this kind of movie making offensive.
Del_Duio
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 7:14am (UTC -5)
I gotta' say, I'm really surprised at how many of you guys hate this movie. I thought for sure it's a huge step in the right direction and leaps over Into Darkness.
Chrome
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 10:42am (UTC -5)
I'm surprised and curious too, are those that dislike that movie fans of Voyager and Enterprise, by chance? Would you say this movie rates worse than the majority of episodes produced for those Treks?

What about the TNG movies? Personally, I think Generations was okay, First Contact was good, and the rest are best forgotten. STB probably ranks above Generations in any top 10 list I'd make.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 11:46am (UTC -5)
I'm actually surprised too, even though I'm no NuTrek fan. I'm especially curious about those who like STID more than STB (Jammer being one of them, BTW).

The plot logic of STB surely can't be *that" bad, can it? Surely it can't be any worse than the transporter-over-light-years nonsense of STID? And regarding storytelling techniques: Surely nothing in STB is as bad as killing your main character for dramatic impact (KHAAAAN and all) just to revive him 5 minutes later?

And the "Beastie Boys" destruction wave actually sounds like a fun and campy thing in a good way. The kind of stuff TOS was famous for.

The problem is that the Abramverse isn't really well-equipped to tell logical stories that respect any sort of continuity. It's basically a "do whatever you want and make up the rules as you go" universe. I think STB did pretty well, considering this starting point.

As for Voyager and Enterprise: I've never understood the people who hated these shows. The worst that can be said about these two shows is that they often gave us a 37th season TNG episode instead of living up to the potential of their own premise (Enterprise as a prequel, Voyager as "Maquis and Starfleet people need to work together to get back home"). But the episodes themselves were usually quite good (and certainly far more coherent than any Abramsverse storyline to date)

Jason R.
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
"The plot logic of STB surely can't be *that" bad, can it? Surely it can't be any worse than the transporter-over-light-years nonsense of STID? "

It can and it is. The only thing that I can think of that equals STB levels of idiocy would be in ST2009 Spock marooning Kirk on Hoth ice planet (what the F?!) Kirk randomly stumbling into Spock (of all the gin joints...) who happens to be marooned within walking distance of a starfleet base which he never thought to go to previously.

And while I did not hate all of Voyager, most of it was pretty terrible, albeit for slightly different reasons than Beyond.

Cannot speak much to Enterprise as I only saw a few episodes.
Jammer
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi -- and all who find my reaction to STID versus STB inexplicable, here's my explanation.

I liked STID more than STB because I found it more involving overall from beginning to end, with issues and individual scenes that were more interesting to me. (Those issues stem from: Just what can happen when military zeal goes too far in the name of defense or a cold war?) Now, my biggest problem with the movie was that STID didn't take its ideas to a fully explored conclusion and at the end of the day it chickened out in favor of generic action/adventure. But I also found those action/adventure scenes to be more entertaining overall than the ones in STB. Kirk's battle with Marcus and teaming with Khan was more engaging than the far-too-familiar planet-bound scenes in STB where we had to rescue an imprisoned group of people (the Enterprise crew); I found my patience actually being strained by some of the action scenes and shootouts on the planet. And Krall was a much weaker villain than Khan 2.0.

And believe it or not, I like the alternate-universe examination of the reboot characters in STID. Even, yes, the engineering scene. I understand if you (and apparently the vast majority of Trek fans) hate it, but what can I say -- it worked for me. I found it to be a self-conscious acknowledgement that there is a fourth wall, and that they were messing with it. And still I felt something for Kirk and Spock in that scene.

So there's my reason for why STID edges out STB. It's not a blowout. I didn't love STID and didn't hate STB. They are probably pretty close overall. One gets a just-barely recommendation, and the other misses one. At the end of the day, I have to keep score somehow. That's what the score ended up being.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 3:41am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

"It can and it is. The only thing that I can think of that equals STB levels of idiocy would be in ST2009 Spock marooning Kirk on Hoth ice planet (what the F?!) Kirk randomly stumbling into Spock (of all the gin joints...) who happens to be marooned within walking distance of a starfleet base which he never thought to go to previously."

See, now you got me genuinely curious. I suddenly feel an almost unresistable urge to go see STB, just to see first-hand whether it really is as dumb as you say it is.

Almost.

(I'll just wait until it's on TV, and *then* I'll see whether it is really as dumb as you say it is. :-))
Dougie
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 9:00am (UTC -5)
If you haven't seen it, see it before commenting on actual content. It's okay to pre screen and pre comment on what you think the production could be, but you need to see it. See the execution. Then come here and tell us what you think. But unless you come back and say "I was wrong", I will know you are unable to admit your failings.

I actually agree with Jammer. At least Into Darkness had a story. I also agree there was a deeper side to explore that was not done. STB is simply terrible from concept to execution. I would request a refund were that possible. I wasted an evening.

But it was good to get out.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 11:32am (UTC -5)
@Dougie

"If you haven't seen it, see it before commenting on actual content. It's okay to pre screen and pre comment on what you think the production could be, but you need to see it. See the execution. Then come here and tell us what you think. But unless you come back and say "I was wrong", I will know you are unable to admit your failings."

What if I actually like the film after watching it? Would you believe me, or will you see it as proof that I'm "unable to admit my failings"? Seems like the latter, from the way you phrased your statement.

But really, this entire argument is ridiculous. For one thing, its not like I'm some grand defender of STB. Personally I would have preferred STB to be complete disaster, because having a half-decent film set in the Abramsverse after the previous two flops (which I *did* see) raises some questions which I really rather not face right now.

So you want me to admit I was wrong? Well, the easiest thing for me to do at this point is to say "yes, I was wrong. Thank God for that. NuTrek Sucks" and leave it at that.

But I'm not going to take that easy way out, because I'm trying to be fair. I don't want to bash a film just because it is convenient for me to do so.

So why to I even bother to speak about a film I haven't seen which is set in an Abramsverse I don't particularly care for? Because many people who have a similar opinion to my own about NuTrek in general, said they liked STB far better than the previous two installments. They've also explained *why* the liked it better, which gave me some grounds to form my own opinion about the film.

Could my views regarding STB change after actually watching it? Sure.

Could it be that my first thought after watching it would be "Oh, what a big fool I've made of myself on Jammer's STB review page"? Yeah, it's possible.

But should I force myself to actually go to the theatre and see the film, just to earn the rights to speak about it here? I don't think so. Especially when I'm just trying to give the film a chance.

Anyway, I suggest we continue this discussion in a few years, after I actually see the film in question. :-)


Peter G.
Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
You know what? Seeing STB may be necessary if one wants to offer informed criticism about its particulars, but isn't necessary if one wants to comment on its place in Trek history. Because let's face it - the trailors told us all we need to know. I didn't care for - but didn't hate - ST2009, but I outright hated STID for similar reasons to what others have stated (including Jammer). I was therefore already predisposed to not want to see STB, which is really saying something. Just prior to seeing the trailors I had been on the verge of reconsidering depending on what I saw, due to what I'd heard about Pegg doing the scripting. But what I saw wasn't pretty. It looked like they were going full Leroy Jenkins and turning Trek into Transformers. Now, the people who make trailors are notorious for inaccurately depicting the content. Ebert even pointed out that they tend to make trailors of the film they wish had been made, rather than the one that was actually made. But in this case I chose to believe the trailors, and based on feedback I've heard they were, indeed, accurate regarding the tone and content of STB. So no, I don't need to see it to be able to discuss where Trek has come at this point.

But you need to know where I've been as a Trek fan. On the coattails of STV:TFF, which I really, really didn't like, Trek VI came out, and there was no question of whether I'd see it or not. I didn't even think about whether it would be good, or just like the last one, or anything like that. When the Excelsior appeared on the screen my face turned into a smile that hurt when I realized they were bringing back a ship that had been a nemesis in a previous film but still a super-cool design. That's the kind of Trek fan I was/am. Little things like that will win me over, even before I know the story. I smiled zero times during STID, and not for lack of wanting to. Somehow, some way, the in-universe references in STID didn't please me; the way they were written in seemed more smarmy to me than cool. You'd think, being a DS9 fan, I'd have gotten a kick out of the Section 31 reference, but I didn't even care for that given the context in which it appeared. It was all just kind of bland and tossed in like a droopy salad.

Let's just say I'm not up for more of that, and even though STB has a different writer and director than STID I somehow feel like it will be more of the same. And this doesn't even get into Pegg's own comments about how Paramount rejected his initial script, telling him it was too Star Trekky and to make it more generic. You can't make this stuff up. They instructed him to produce a generic action flick into which he could then basically insert the Trek characters as an afterthought. I had already felt that ST2009 was going in that general direction to some extent, but Paramount has made it clear that the journey away from being Trekky was to be completed here. How can anyone wonder why many fans are pissed off? But again, this doesn't mean it's a useless action flick; it just means it isn't particularly a Star Trek one.

Thanks but no thanks. I'm not into enduring a film that is a proxy middle finger from Paramount to a franchise I've supported my entire life, and I'm not into punishing myself just so I can say with authority why I didn't like it. I waited for Netflix to watch STID; This one I don't think I'll ever see. And to repeat - this is from a guy who already got his money's worth in STVI just seeing a single starship on the screen 30 seconds in.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 8:33am (UTC -5)
What Peter just said is exactly what I'm trying to say for years.

It's amazing how Paramount succeeded in doing the impossible: Getting people like us to stop caring about new Trek films.

Whether STB is good or awful, the simple fact remains that I felt no urge to see it. Sure, there's also the "vote with my wallet" thing and some larger issues involved in my decision not to go. But none of this changes the most important fact: On the most basic gut-level instinct, I was simply not interested.

And you know something? It feels really wierd, not to want to go and see a new Trek film when it comes out. What a surreal, bizzare situation.

Dougie
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
As I'll reiterate, see it before commenting ***on actual content.***. I certainly didn't name any names. Whomever retorted feels my burn, but there were no specific accusations directed anywhere.

That said, Jammer needs to upgrade the site to include:
- rating by individual posters. Same star system. Then, summarized star rating of posters who rated next to Jammer's rating, presented as a community rating.

- flag indicating if poster has seen the content. Then there are 2 community ratings, by those seeing the content, and those pre-cogging the content.

All on the honor system of course, because, in reality, none of it matters except for some internet fun.

Jammer, I know a developer who will do the work for free. Hit me up at my email address. Site needs a solid face-lift in general and it would be a great project. Remember: people need a way to edit or delete a comment, one or the other.
Genre-Buster
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
I vote no for the "click and rate" feature. If you want to know the general attitude the posters on this site have toward any given movie or episode, then READ THEIR POSTS. I personally don't like it when my opinion becomes statistized; leave that to Rotten Tomatoes. JammersReviews.com is as popular as it is because of its message boards, not its ability to analyze data.

On another note, I just saw STB for the second time, and flawed though it is, it was a truckload of fun (maybe even more fun the second time) and I continue to advocate it as a valid Star Trek experience. That said, I'm certainly not going to tell OTDG or Peter G. that they HAVE to see it. Their lives will be no poorer for having missed it at the theaters, and they do have a valid point. The pressures to make Trek an action vehicle AND NOTHING ELSE have not diminished in the least, and there is no indication that the next installment will be worth a flying f*** for as long as those pressures remain. Trek'11 and STID certainly were not, so at this point, I would have to call STB an anomaly.

But yes, I recommend it. It's the first time I've revisited a Trek film in the theaters since the 1980s.
Dougie
Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 2:01am (UTC -5)
Again, my comment was general, but personalized by some. Can't help that.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 2:27am (UTC -5)
"I certainly didn't name any names. Whomever retorted feels my burn, but there were no specific accusations directed anywhere."

Maybe I should change my name to Voldemort? Or perhaps, Rumpelstiltskin? I remember B&B trying that "we didn't say the name!" trick in the Ferengi and Borg episodes on Enterprise, and it didn't work too well for them either...

Now, how about actually addressing the points I've raised instead of repeating the same one-line mantras over and over?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 2:37am (UTC -5)
As for editing/deleting posts:

I vote no, because people tend to abuse this feature way too much. Especially when the discussions get a bit heated (which they do, on occasion).

I really hate it when people attack you and/or mock you, and then edit their posts pertending nothing ever happened. I despise it even more, when such people think they're doing their victim a favor by deleting those posts.

So definitely no. It's nice and refreshing to have this one place where people are actually held accountable to what they write.

TS
Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 2:59am (UTC -5)
Sad to see that this movie took 22 days to finally cross $200 million worldwide. I certainly thought Beyond was better than a lot of films these days that make 4-5x that amount (ex. PoTC films and Transformers).

Guess we'll see what this performance means for the potential 4th one that they already announced and the franchise in general.

I would very much like to see more Trek, and I feel like there is more to see from this particular crew, but these results make me wonder what exactly they're going to do from here on out.
Del_Duio
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 9:36am (UTC -5)
@ Dougie:

Those are fine ideas, but Jammer doesn't *need* to do any of them. His site is pretty popular and great as it is.

As for editing a post, oftentimes someone will call somebody else a slimy P'Tagh and there'll be a retort. If the guy could edit his insult post he other one would make no sense anymore.
Yanks
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Just saw it for the 3rd time in theaters.

Just a fine Star Trek movie.

My 13 yr old enjoyed it immensely, laughing throughout.

My theater was about 3/4 full which surprised me.

Can't wait for the BLU-RAY.
Qualls
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
I don't have much to say that hasn't been said, other than that I liked it more than Into Darkness and slightly better than '09. I think most on here rate the reboots approximately similarly.

I thought this film did the best job of replicating the feel of the original series while going a slightly different direction, which was a pleasant surprise. I'd give it 3 stars out of 4.
Dougie
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Well I've located the troll(s) and the sign clearly states No Feeding.

Everything is opinion. What more would we say? You like it you hate it, but as I say, you can really only comment if you've seen it. So I've got nothing else on this topic.

As to allowing edits or deletes, it's actually a common courtesy of any commercial site. By commercial site, I mean one making profit on advertising revenue generated via page views.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Aug 16, 2016, 8:31am (UTC -5)
"Well I've located the troll(s) and the sign clearly states No Feeding."

Ad hominem again. *sigh*

I guess that's the end of THAT discussion, heh?

"As to allowing edits or deletes, it's actually a common courtesy of any commercial site."

So? Just because something is "common" doesn't make it a good idea.
Genre-Buster
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Dougie:
No-one is trolling, and to level that accusation at anyone here is kind of insulting, so knock it off.

OTDP:
I really do sympathize with your basic argument, but considering the fact that you have posted more on this thread than just about anyone else, Dougie does have a point. Maybe you should go ahead and see STB in the theater. You can still do the whole "vote with your dollars" thing by purchasing a ticket to see Jason Bourne or The Secret Life of Pets or whatever and then sneak into the STB theater - that's how I saw STID the first time.

Just a thought...
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Aug 17, 2016, 1:38am (UTC -5)
@Genre-Buster

While it is true that I've posted on this thread a lot, it is also true that 90% of what I've written here had to do with the general discussions about Trek that were going here.

Are people now forbiddened from participating in general Trek discussions just because they haven't seen a specific film?

At any rate, it seems that a growing portion of my posts here are a result of me being dragged into silly arguments such as this one. I appreciate that you're being respectful about it (unlike someone we know) but it is still kinda pointless. Things like this have nothing to do with either Trek or the new film, and I'm willing to bet that other people are finding this whole thing more and more annoying by the day.

So let us get back to talking about Star Trek, which is the purpose of these discussion, shall we?
Corey
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 8:52am (UTC -5)
Tolerance, co-operation, unity and brotherhood, all engedered via an irrational, black terrorist madman!

What junk this film is.

It's like watching a "multiethnic" and so "superior" West and the UN gang up on brown people because "lol, they so crazy".
Chrome
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
Eh, Corey I think you're throwing out a double standard by saying that. I mean Khan was an irrational pasty white terrorist madman. Does that somehow make things better? Race was never brought up for villains in either movie, so I think trying to implant some sort of racial pro-west bias into this film is a bridge too far.
Genre-Buster
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
I don't know - if you go back to Space Seed, Khan was clearly a Native-American stereotype. Trek has always been a champion of equal-opportunity racism, and STB takes it to new heights with Krall, who could apparently change species based on whoever he last drained.

But yes, Corey's post is almost dorkishly ludicrous. They could have done a lot better than Idris Elba if they wanted some kind of stand-in for the black race to play their latest arch-villain and make everybody say "lol, they so crazy". The guy's a Brit, ffs.

Zero stars, Corey. Try again.
Peter G.
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
"I don't know - if you go back to Space Seed, Khan was clearly a Native-American stereotype. Trek has always been a champion of equal-opportunity racism, and STB takes it to new heights with Krall, who could apparently change species based on whoever he last drained. "

Got to call this out. Stereotypes are recognizable types that play on things we will easily identify. Based on this if you think Khan was a stereotype it would follow that you easily identified his 'type', which you say is "clearly" Native-American. Which is really amazing, since it's a character with a mixed Mongolian/Indian name, with Sikh/Indian type ritual movements, played by a Mexican actor. Yep, definitely a disgusting Native-American stereotype, and TOS "definitely" played up that "racist" angle in Space Seed. Elementary, dear Genre-Buster.
William B
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
I was wondering if Genre-Buster was making some kind of joke on North Americans calling indigenous people Indians given the potentially Indian (South Asian) lineage of Khan Noonien Singh.
Genre-Buster
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 1:58am (UTC -5)
It's been a while since I saw Space Seed - Googled it just now. From the production stills I can see that Montalban was given a couple of vaguely Eastern Indian type costumes - the tunics in particular - but he doesn't look even vaguely Sikh or Mongolian, and certainly not Mexican. Nope: His shirtless open vest, his bronze makeup, his black pony tail, it's all straight out of a John Wayne movie - all that's lacking are the feathered headdress and warpaint. Fine, give him an Asian name, but the Space-Seed-Khan's costume, hair and makeup are all pretty impossible to mistake.

And yes, I do believe that Space Seed owes its Khan design to a tinge of racism - vague racism perhaps, but racism nevertheless. Why else would Nick Meyer and co. change Montaban's look so dramatically for TWoK? The "stranded on a planet" thing only goes so far - the desert conditions on Ceti Alpha 5 would have made his skin even darker wouldn't they? And notice how Abrams completely scrubbed the race thing for his Cumberbatch incarnation. Meyer and Abrams know the rules of political correctness, and rule number one is to stay away from cultural stereotypes, especially when you're making a villain.

G-Rod was in many ways a revolutionary TV producer - arguably the great grandaddy of political correctness itself, but 1960s television was a wholly different beast. By today's standards TOS is embarrassingly simplistic - an improvement on its era but still very much a product of it, riddled with stereotypes that would never go over nowadays.

In fact, you need look no further than Corey's post for evidence of how acute the race issue is. Idris Elba is the first non-pasty-white Trek movie villain to come along since... well... Ricardo Montalban, and look how offended Corey got...
Del_Duio
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 7:30am (UTC -5)
Trek is supposed to be beyond racism, too bad not all of its fans are.
Peter G.
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Well, William, I guess that settles that :)
Robert
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 10:33am (UTC -5)
@Yanks - "Interesting take. Is this position supported by canon? I mean other than an educated observation from an astute trek fan?"

It's just my educated guess. I may be imbuing that scene with more meaning that it had, but to me that friendship between two races that seed for the entire Federation.

I've always seen the relationship as symbiotic. We needed each other. Just like Kirk/Spock needed each other.

Genre-Buster
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Memory is a weird thing - I first watched Space Seed well over forty years ago, and as a child, I assumed Khan to be "Indian," as in Native American, or my rather misguided west-Texas suburban understanding of Native culture based on the other stuff I was watching at the time - Gunsmoke, Bonanza, the Lone Ranger, John Wayne movies, etc. Having just now revisited the episode, I can see that Khan was indeed intended to be an East Indian warrior type - pretty much exclusively. American Indian analogy retracted, and apologies if I offended anyone.

But Space Seed is nevertheless a pretty offensive episode on a number of levels - particularly when it comes to women. Uhura is shut down by Kirk before she can get two sentences out at the beginning of the episode, and Khan's seduction of McGivers' is insultingly instantaneous. And I still maintain that Khan's barbarism is coupled with his race in a very troubling mixture that the franchise has gone to great lengths not to repeat since. In the final analysis, the argument made in the episode against eugenics does win the day, but it certainly could have been done without the dark-face makeup.

But we digress. The topic here is STB and racism, and I have to say, the decision to make a non-caucasian the movie's villain strikes me more and more as an extremely risky move. In the previous films they always made a point of casting a white dude, even when he was a Klingon: Christoper Lloyd in 3, Christopher Plummer in 6.

Now in my opinion, Idris Elba worked just fine as STB's bad guy, but Corey's post has me wondering: Does that make me racist? It's actually kind of a serious question. After all, Kirk & co. do defeat Krall's fleet by playing the Beastie Boys - i.e. white guy music.
Chrome
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
@Genre-Buster

Do you think it's racist to enjoy a black actor's performance? Should black actors who enjoy playing villains be denied parts because of some sort of PC agenda by Paramount? I don't see how that' would be respectful to black performers or the Star Trek audience in general. As Trek fans. we should be comfortable with diverse ethnicities performing a *diversity of roles*.

Also, this has been touched on, but the villain in this movie doesn't portray any sort of racial identity. He plays an alien villain, one who you can't even recognize the actor's (former) race of until the end of the movie.
Peter G.
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
@ Genre-Buster,

I do think there are examples in Trek of the writers not living up to the Trek ideal, so on that score I don't think your general point is off-base. If you were going to go after a Native-American stereotype in particular I'm surprised you didn't slam Voyager's portrayal of Chakotay, which in my opinion actually is a racist stereotype by which the character ended up being mostly defined. Once they wore out the stereotype 'spirit journey' nonsense they had nothing else to say and he became a prop on set.

I wouldn't put too much thought into what STB was 'trying' to say about racism; likely it was nothing. I haven't seen it and so must hold my tongue, but I highly doubt they would have been any subliminal motive to make black people the bad guy in a feature where they introduced a gay character just for the hell of it.

Another angle for 'isms' you might go after in Trek is the Ferengi/Jewish angle, which I think at times is quite apparent even though they never push the comparison. Many fans dislike the portrayal of the Ferengi in Trek, and I think for quite valid reasons.

TOS, however, really does strike me as being the flagship (so to speak) of inclusion and acceptance. Even the stereotype characters on that series (Scotty, O'Reilly, Chekhov, etc.) are all portrayed in an entirely positive light, where their distinctiveness is a cause for celebration rather than suspicion. Modern "ists" would call the introduction of any stereotype racist, but back in the 60's that was a non-concern since the main issue was whether people were accepted and treated like human beings. The issue of thinking of Scottish people as being 'different' in some sense from Irish people was a non-issue then, and frankly I wish it was a non-issue now as well. Pretending everyone is the same strikes me as ironically nearly as racist as recognizing differences and shunning them.
Corey
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
"In fact, you need look no further than Corey's post for evidence of how acute the race issue is. Idris Elba is the first non-pasty-white Trek movie villain to come along since... well... Ricardo Montalban, and look how offended Corey got..."

It's offensive because of the message, not the villain's race. This is a film about multiracial, democratic, unity, co-operating loving people who destroy strawmen terrorists by using massive amounts of violence (when we do it, it's okay, kids!), made for a global audience who are indoctrinated day in, day out, to kowtow to multiracial, democratic, unity, co-operating loving (co-operation for the rich, of course; the unity of workers/labur is crushed everywhere) nations who do nothing but crush human beings (usually brown/black ones, but now increasingly first world white ones) in the name of democracy, peace, unity and other nice sounding Western values.

Everyone who watches this film takes away from it the same thing they take from watching an hour of CNN: Federation/UN/USA killed some people today, but its okay because they embodied bad values.

Good Trek and good SF challenges all this junk.
Genre-Buster
Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Peter G: Yeah, It's all well and good to show us a proud native with groovy ethnic tattoo, and I have to say it got off to a great start: a federation defector who joined a rebel group and has to work with the very ones he rebelled against in order to get home. Boy, they could have really taken that places, but no, the Chakotay story arc was a real cop-out. You've got to give them credit for trying, though. Native Americans underwent something close to genocide a century-and-a-half ago, and the recovery has been slow and bitter. To show a future where they've reclaimed their dignity is all well and good, but we never got a hint of the struggle they went through to get there. The problem is also synecdoche - CHakotay was somehow expected to represent an entire ethnic demographic, and it just didn't work, and Beltran's cardboard performance can only be partially at fault.

Corey: It might be a little harsh for you to throw the United Nations into the mix, but I see your point. I think the problem goes back to Paramount's requirement that Trek be primarily an action vehicle. I shamefully admit that I liked the film primarily because it managed to stay engaging and even Trekkish at times while working within the appalling parameters that Paramount demanded. The Yorktown space station was the real standout in this regard, not just the spectacular art design, but its very purpose: to supply the Federation with an outpost without violating anyone else's territory. This had me genuinely rooting for it not to be destroyed - a refreshing experience in the contemporary action movie genre, unfortunately.
Corey
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 6:06am (UTC -5)
"Native Americans underwent something close to genocide a century-and-a-half ago"

A bit off topic: we hear often of the slaughter of the North American Indians, but the wiping out of indigenous South American Indians was shocking as well. I was reading Charles Darwin's accounts of the period, when General Juan de Rosas initiated policies to purge the continent. It's sick stuff, systematic and on a massive scale.


"CHakotay was somehow expected to represent an entire ethnic demographic, and it just didn't work, and Beltran's cardboard performance can only be partially at fault."

I would say they didn't even try to make it work. Voyager just didn't really use its crew and their personalities well. A better series would have had the Federation and Marquis at odds, learning to work together, and then have Chakotay and Janeway have an extended romantic relationship. Instead they went the episodic, reset-button route.

Fenne
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 6:18am (UTC -5)
I don't have that much to say about the movie, good or bad. I think it's the most Trekian of the three. It reminds me the least, I guess, that this is not the original timeline (apart from Spock mourning Spock), which means it feels less forced. STID would have been okay without the Tribble Magic Blood and the horrendous ripoff of a death scene. I wonder how that movie would have been without the death scene in particular. All sorts of things went wrong in my brain when I saw that.
Chrome
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 11:38am (UTC -5)
"Everyone who watches this film takes away from it the same thing they take from watching an hour of CNN: Federation/UN/USA killed some people today, but its okay because they embodied bad values. "

In the Federation/Kirk's defense, he's shown trying to reason with Krall for several minutes in the film before resorting to violence. But Krall's methods are clearly the more violent of the two. And yes, sometimes you need to act violent to stop violent people. That's just self-defense.

As for the broad pro-West or whatever message you're throwing into this film, I say, well it's a film made in the West; you have to expect it to support Western values to *some* extent. Nevertheless, I think the director's INTENDED vision was trying to support global ideals of teamwork (I mean, the director's a Taiwanese migrant, for Pete's sake).
FlyingSquirrel
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Finally got around to seeing this last night. It's probably my favorite of the three Abramsverse movies, though still not at the top of my list for Trek in general. As somebody who really grew up on TNG and saw (I think) every episode of DS9 and most of Voyager, I suppose I have a little trouble accepting this much "sound and fury" from Star Trek. Not even just the higher action quota, but the visual design and how "busy" the screen is in some of the outer space shots. I guess this is inevitable with long-running sci-fi franchises that don't always move "forward" in the timeline, but I had a similar reaction to the Star Wars prequels - the design and detail is much more impressive in Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith than in A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi, even though the prequels were supposed to be taking place at an earlier time. Trek is now in a similar situation - the tech in these movies looks more impressive than what Starfleet is supposedly using 70 or 80 years later. (Enterprise, for all its faults, avoided this problem - the NX-01 didn't look like it could or should outclass the NCC-1701s.)
FlyingSquirrel
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Anyway, if I have one lingering problem with this movie, it's that at times it still feels more like a generic sci-fi action movie than a Star Trek movie per se. An example is the scene where they tip the Franklin off the cliff in order to gain enough velocity to take off. Someone (Chekov, maybe?) asks Sulu if the distance is long enough for this to work, and his response is something like "We're about to find out."

Now, OK, the Franklin is old and damaged, but IIRC, it was functioning well enough that some sort of "distance until impact" indicator was visible. In which case, unless gravity has somehow started working differently, they should pretty much know whether the distance to the bottom allowed for enough acceleration - the only "wild cards" would be any air resistance or slowdowns due to impacts against the cliffsides while they're falling. Admittedly, *I* don't know exactly how to calculate the exact effects of these wild cards on the Franklin's acceleration, but Sulu ought to know how to do that. (Heck, Data probably would have done it in his head in about two seconds.) And I don't think that the intention here was to portray Sulu or anybody else as dumb - rather, I imagine they just took the standard formula of "our heroes attempt some death-defying stunt to save the day" from plenty of other action movies and plugged it in.

But a Starfleet crew doesn't really fit the bill of the action heroes who improvise and scrap their way out of tough situations. They're supposed to be trained professionals with a strong science background who wouldn't just be guessing at whether something like that is going to work. If they had even just taken a second to establish that there was some reason they couldn't be sure (uncertainty about the rock formations and possible instructions, maybe), it probably wouldn't bother me. (And in fact, it didn't bother me until I thought about it later.) But they shouldn't give Sulu a generic line like "We're about to find out." Even something as simple as "We should have enough room to accelerate, but if we hit a ridge on the way down, all bets are off" would have been preferable.
E2
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Well said, FlyingSquirrel.


I’m very happy to see a review for 'Beyond' up so quickly.

I was, however, a bit perplexed to see that Jammer rated it below 'Into Darkness.'

I have a theory that may explain it, though:
If it had been a stand-alone film, or a new reboot, it would have been fine, but as it is the third of the series, and they worked hard to tie it to the previous films (the Beastie Boys song in the trailer and the film's climax are ample evidence of that,) it runs into problems.

It's possible that Jammer placed it below the earlier, 2009 & 2011 movies because of ways it fails to live up to the precedents established by the J.J. Abrams directed films.

For example, in 'Beyond' when the Enterprise is being attacked by Krall's swarm and getting torn apart, there is a moment when you realize even Scotty's not going to be able to fix this, the ship is doomed; your next thought, of course, is 'not to worry, we have transwarp personal transporters that can beam a person from Earth to Chronos instantaneously and fit in a duffel bag- they'll all be back on Yorktown or Earth (or Ceti Alpha V!) in no time.' So, in the context of the preceding films, it is wildly disappointing to see them all in generic escape pods, and being immediately captured.

This leads to the next conundrum- why didn't they resurrect any or all of the crew Krall drained? Kirk had been killed in the 2011 outing by a massive dose of radiation; physically what that means is that a huge number of fast moving large particles (such as neutrons) pass through you and break molecular bonds- a great many of your cells come apart; your organs fail (this is what kills you) and slough off, it's a horrible, but well understood way to die. But we already know that the blood of genetically engineered 'supermen' from the '90s, or Khan's at least, can save you. It can undo all of the tissue damage, the cell damage, and the DNA damage caused. And they've had this to study and reproduce for at least the last 3 years- so it's safe to assume it would be carried in reasonable quantities on every starship, every outpost, and in every Starfleet first aid kit.

Failing to utilize these rather obvious options would mean, at the very least, that Scotty, McCoy and Spock all somehow forgot the technologies they themselves invented/discovered. This would make them less believable as explorers than the crew of the Sir Ridley Scott's Prometheus!

So the crux of this argument would be: People who were able to put the other reboot films out of their minds while watching 'Beyond' tended to like it better; People who honestly liked or had invested themselves in them would have a harder time enjoying the latest movie.
Chrome
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
"when the Enterprise is being attacked by Krall's swarm and getting torn apart, there is a moment when you realize even Scotty's not going to be able to fix this, the ship is doomed; your next thought, of course, is 'not to worry, we have transwarp personal transporters that can beam a person from Earth to Chronos instantaneously and fit in a duffel bag- they'll all be back on Yorktown or Earth (or Ceti Alpha V!) in no time.' So, in the context of the preceding films, it is wildly disappointing to see them all in generic escape pods, and being immediately captured. "

I'm sorry, I don't usually call comments out like this, but you're missing a big part of the movie by saying this. The Enterprise was on a rescue mission to the planet Altamid which was blocked by a nebula so dense it blocks communications to Starfleet. So if they can't even get a com signal out of the nebula, how would you expect them to attempt long range transport? This doesn't even get into to the fact that the ship was already severely damaged and it's transporters were probably offline.
Corey
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
"In the Federation/Kirk's defense, he's shown trying to reason with Krall for several minutes in the film before resorting to violence. But Krall's methods are clearly the more violent of the two. And yes, sometimes you need to act violent to stop violent people. That's just self-defense."

The villain's still a giant "they hate us cos of our freedoms" strawman.

Chrome
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
"The villain's still a giant "they hate us cos of our freedoms" strawman. "

He hates the Federation for becoming soft and non-militant. Oh, and for abandoning him (thus abandoning the militaristic ideals he fought for). I don't recall any part of the movie where talked about freedom. He talked about how "unity" was the Federation's weakness.
Peter G.
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"The Enterprise was on a rescue mission to the planet Altamid which was blocked by a nebula so dense it blocks communications to Starfleet. So if they can't even get a com signal out of the nebula, how would you expect them to attempt long range transport? This doesn't even get into to the fact that the ship was already severely damaged and it's transporters were probably offline."

You know you're in trouble when you have to resort to armchair technobabble to explain why obvious solutions to problems weren't used in a feature film :)

This kind of argument, while plausible, reminds me of the Harry-can't-get-a-lock-Kim syndrome from Voyager. What to do when obvious tools would render an ill-thought-out problem easy to solve? Just say they don't work. Easiest thing ever! That's one the reasons why the Trek series through DS9 were very hesitant to introduce new tech that could change the balance of power; because with too many tech options you can't write stories anymore. Voyager jumped the shark there and gave the crew access to insane technology, but knew they couldn't actually make it part of the series so in each instance it was "used up" all in one shot and then forgotten, with the exception of the mobile emitter. Don't even get me started on debriefing Seven about Borg technology, since there was never a coherent understanding of what she could realistically know or remember from the collective.

The Trek films have tended to remain balanced in terms of tech, and even STVI was made quite a big deal about introducing the new tech of firing while cloaked (even though it was never heard from again). The TNG films didn't do anything crazy on this score, other than the tepid suggestion that a Borg cube can be destroyed simply by knowing the "weak spot". But the JJ-verse films threw the baby out with the bathwater and basically turned the tech of the universe into Dr. Who, where if you can imagine doing it, they can come with a way to do it. Under those conditions you can't create continuity or story limitations anymore and it becomes a free-for-all. This is actually the main difference between science fiction and fantasy. In sci-fi the authors explore the possibilities of what science can do, based on what we now know and projecting forwards. Fantasy disposes of legit prediction and just wants an imaginary experience based on some arbitrary conditions. On these grounds I'd call the reboots Trek films fantasy-fiction.
Chrome
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

It's not technobabble, the movie went to great lengths to show that passing the nebula was not something easy to do and that not all ships could do it. Even if a ship *could* pass through the nebula it's not realistic to expect that it's long-range functions would work through the nebula. In fact, The Franklin became "lost" partially because of the dangerous and isolating nature of the nebula.
Genre-Buster
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Chrome: Wow. Big gaping plot-hole just occurred to me: How were Kirk and company able to get back to the Yorktown station and blast the Beasties in a ship so woefully unequipped to pass a nebula?

This is the big perennial problem with Abrams' Trek - really Abrams' Everything. STB is perhaps the least afflicted of the three reboot films, but it's still damned sloppy.
Chrome
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
@Genre-Buster

Not a plothole. The Enterprise was able chart a safe path through the nebula. Kirk downloaded that information from the wreckage of his ship and used it to guide the Franklin out. This safe path was mentioned and even bragged about by Kirk towards the end of the film.
Fenne
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Referring to my previous post: clearly my brain hasn't exactly been working on all thrusters since the death scene in STID. It wasn't Tribble Magic Blood, but Kahn Magic Blood.
FlyingSquirrel
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
I'm not sure that the conflict between Kirk and Krall is that close of a parallel to any RL conflicts, aside from the general idea of whether peaceful cooperation among different species and political units is possible. My problem was more that Krall's motivation was awfully thin.

It seems likely that Starfleet didn't purposely "abandon" the Franklin - rather, they just didn't know what had happened to it and didn't have the resources or the capacity to track it down. It reminded me a bit of Voyager making a complete hash of Kes's character by having her seek "revenge" against the crew for something that she shouldn't have held them responsible for in the first place, at least not if she'd been thinking rationally and consistently with her established characterization. You can surmise that Krall had simply lost his mind after a while (same with Kes too, I suppose), but "it doesn't really make sense because the character is insane" is pretty weak when it comes to explaining a villain's motivation.

It was also unclear to me what exactly Krall's endgame was. Did he simply want to kill as many Federation citizens as possible? Did he think that all this destruction and death would somehow revitalize the Federation and/or humanity by forcing them to find strength through conflict and adversity? The female alien who had staged the whole thing to lure them there said that Krall wanted to "save them from themselves," but this was never really explained - I'm not sure if she was making this up, if she thought it was true but Krall had lied to her, if Krall told her this and really meant it, or what.
Mombao
Sat, Aug 27, 2016, 4:19am (UTC -5)
An absolute pile of crap. Apart from the last five minutes.
W Smith
Mon, Aug 29, 2016, 4:54am (UTC -5)
Good to see Jammer back, but disagree with the movie assessments. STID was the worst of all Trek movies, even V and Nemesis at least felt like Trek STID was just cringe-worthy on so many levels: whitecasting Khan, ill-thought and executed homage, no exploration, huge plot holes, emo Spock and the silly romance, etc.). Beyond was good, but not great. Krall as the villain was lacking with a ridiculous motivation and back story. But at least the characters rang true, except for Spock who still feels off. Oh well... Trek is best on TV anyway so I look forward to what they bring in Discovery.
Jasonr R.
Tue, Aug 30, 2016, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
"But the JJ-verse films threw the baby out with the bathwater and basically turned the tech of the universe into Dr. Who, where if you can imagine doing it, they can come with a way to do it. Under those conditions you can't create continuity or story limitations anymore and it becomes a free-for-all."

Apart from so many gaping plot holes you really hit the nail on the head when it comes to reasons I dislike the Abrams films.

For previous Star Treks going back to the original the technology was a lovingly crafted part of the universe, something that was given alot of thought, even when it was relied on as a crutch or a stopgap (like the original transporter). Like the languages in the Lord of the Rings books it was an important part of the universe building and generally writers respected its continuity. Even Voyager, which monkeyed around far too much with that continuity, at least attempted to maintain some consistency.

For the Abrams films it's more than just abandoning the pretenses of scifi and delving into fantasy. It's clear that the writers don't even care about the tech or have any interest in it as anything but an immediate means to an end for a specific episode's plot resolution. How do we get from point A to point B? Whatever, a wizard did it. Who cares? Not the writers. Even Voyager at least attempted to give their technobabble solutions a consistent feel.

In the Jem Hadar the destruction of the Odyssey was impactful to the viewer not just because it was another Enterprise look alike being destroyed but because we knew how powerful the Galaxy class ships were and to see the Jem Hadar just wreck one in a matter of minutes was shocking. It spoke to the incredible ruthlessness and power of the Dominion that they could just ignore the Odyssey's shields, bypass its defences and obliterate a huge ship of its power with a couple of fighters! Because the writers took the time to establish the technology and define our expectations, they could really wow us when something really big and bad came on the scene, like the Borg in Q Who.

The destruction of the Enterprise in Beyond is comparatively a non event for the viewer. The Enterprise is nothing. Its technology is just some vague plot devices that are whatever the story requires them to be for each movie. If it gets wrecked? Who cares? They'll have another faceless one built in time for the next movie. It'll be really "advanced"? Sure - whatever that means. Maybe it will be able to blow up starsystems with its phasers and warp across the galaxy in one movie - right before it gets wrecked by the alien of the week in the next.

You know what the Enterprise has become in Abrams' universe? One of Voyager's shuttles.
Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 3:58am (UTC -5)
This is the first movie in the reboot series that I feel I can recommend to anyone.

The first one just set up the reboot. It had a few backreferences, mostly for the benefit of old fans, and that felt just right. It didn't have a lot of meat, but enough of it that sitting out the film wasn't a chore.

STID was a mess. The less said about that, the better. If I wanted to see Wrath of Khan, I'll just pop in a DVD, thankyouverymuch.

I was in serious doubt about watching the third movie of this series -- but then I heard that JJ Abrams didn't direct. And that got me sold. After all, I haven't seen much of Abrams' work, but what I've seen all boils down to the same:

"Let's take a successful storyverse, and redo it, and add a lot of backreferences, wink wink".

Star Trek 2009 - check
Star Trek Into Darkness - check
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - check (that's just a simple remake of "A New Hope" - except the farmboy is now a farmgirl. Whatever).

There's a pattern here.

I'm sure it's loads of fun to make a movie in "homage" to whatever you loved growing up, and to be nostalgic about that, but you know what JJ? When I go to watch a new movie, I *don't* want to be nostalgic about old ones. If I want to do that, I'll just watch the damn old movie instead, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I enjoyed Beyond way more than what I had been expecting. The visuals around Yorktown were stunning; I'm usually wary of Hollywood overdoing it on the CGI, but here it actually *works*. The plot got a little slow after the gratuitous destruction of Enterprise (which I could have done without, but ah well), and there were a few other minor issues, but overall I think the movie works, and that it managed to keep me entertained.

With that in mind, I don't agree with Jammer rating this less than STID. Ah well, we all have our opinion, I suppose.
PS Wallace
Sun, Sep 4, 2016, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
I finally saw this film today; I have to condemn it, and in part I condemn it because I believe it to be a deliberate attack on those of us who believe in military service. This has been a trend with the JJVerse, and I have had it. One can believe in duty, honor, country, and still not want to be a Prussian sticking babies on bayonets as one goes marching through another invaded hamlet. This seems to be an idea foreign to Hollywood, and to those currently involved in Star Trek.

Let's just get this straight, so we all understand the stupidity involved in this plot--since the Trek canon timeline holds until the Kelvin incident, we can presume the following to be true for the Kelvin Universe as well: Earth was attacked by a Xindi weapon (an unknown species), barely escaped being annihilated by a super weapon from same; then fights a very bloody conflict with this race which (as we learn in "Balance of Terror") was never actually seen, and which no one knows anything about, and which race is hunkered down behind a neutral zone, activities unknown, after a treaty was signed (negotiated by subspace). It doesn't take a paranoid to think they might be back again one day (since I presume no one in the Federation is quite sure why they went to war in the first place).

This is also a universe with a Klingon Empire, with "Empire" meaning conquering planets (which Marcus verifies in Into Darkness). In the series Enterprise, Sovol said the galaxy was more dangerous than when Vulcans first started out. Pre-Federation Vulcans had a military, Pre-Federation Andorians had one. Perhaps the Tellarites did too. Presumably these guys had reasons for that besides fighting each other. But at any rate, at some point, I'm just going to have to say this to Simon Pegg--sir, you are a fool to think that the first thing the Federation is going to do after being formed, like the day after the end of the biggest war that part of the galaxy had seen in "modern times", is do away with anything military related--not because the Federation is trying to avoid being militaristic, but because I am fairly sure that the people of the Federation, some of whose planets have been nearly wiped out (and one of which, in the JJVerse, was later, Vulcan) can probably figure out what Hollywood apparently can't, which is that people without swords can still die upon them. And that not wanting to die on them is not evil. Unless you are some Progressive trying to invent a future world, now, and in doing so, and not understanding humanity, you get a lot of us killed with your tomfoolery.

I was the watch officer for my squadron on 9/11. We watched the entire thing on TV. Then we got ready to answer the call, because you know what aircraft carrier was on patrol off the coast of New York City the next morning, and which airwing? Mine. Because we were "the closest starship." I am heartedly sick and tired of the JJVerse trying to make anything more than "Coast Guard in space" into some dark militaristic scandal of Star Fleet (Into Darkness did this too). Why does the Enterprise have the dang weapons in the first place then? For big fireworks on whatever day is "Founding Day"? No. You can't have it both ways, Paramount. The Enterprise is armed the way a warship is armed, not a survey vessel or a Coast Guard cutter. Stop demeaning the military by pretending there can be no such thing as a Starfleet that has a warfighting mission as one of its functions. A great deal of historical exploration has been done by navies (British, French, American)., especially in the polar regions and Pacific; it is the American navy that often responds to humanitarian crises; and in time of war the Coast Guard becomes part of the Navy. A service can be many things.

I don't know if Simon Pegg ever read the Illiad, but I would advise him to take a look at it again, because when he and his kind think "military", it is quite clear they see Achilles, whereas I see Hector. The warlike man so un-warlike that his own child does not recognize him in his helmet--and yet ready to fight to defend.

As far as the rest of the film--I thought, up until the point where they took off in the Franklin, that it was going to be one of the best Treks ever. After that, the movie fell apart-like the clock timer was on, and no matter what they had to finish the movie in the next twenty minutes. The entire thing with Krall as Edison was shoehorned in, in a fashion that was too pat and too murky, the question of how the Franklin gets there gets unresolved, the deep richness that could be mined about the Franklin crew gets unexplored (do they cannibalize some of their crewmates to live longer? Do some resist? What happens in that sort of "Lord of the Flies" situation?) The destruction of the swarm seemed pro-forma and too quick, and Edison's motivation still unexplained other than I guess Pegg had another target in mind, a bank shot for the future.

Final plot hole--so, Jayla's great hiding of the Franklin--don't you think the people who arrived on a ship would notice it is missing? "Everybody remember where we parked." Or not.

Eduardo
Mon, Sep 5, 2016, 11:43am (UTC -5)
That cast photo is actually from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. You can tell by Uhura's hair and the fact that Sulu is in it.
Yanks
Wed, Sep 7, 2016, 8:40am (UTC -5)
@ PS Wallace
Sun, Sep 4, 2016, 2:00pm (UTC -5)

"Final plot hole--so, Jayla's great hiding of the Franklin--don't you think the people who arrived on a ship would notice it is missing? "Everybody remember where we parked." Or not."

True, for sure.

As to the rest, I think your a little tough on the "non-military" ora. I think they were portraying Ellison from MACO to Star Ship Captain. That IS a big difference. I'm with you that Star Fleet just going all "explorer" isn't realistic. Hell, the 1701 is a Constitution class heavy Cruiser (WWII navy ship class). While exploration was always the focus, defense was also a built in capability and mission.
Dean Dent
Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Paramount/CBS stumbled with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and Star Trek Beyond was the biggest casualty.
STB is the best of the "Abramverse/ Kelvin" movies. Feeling as close to Classic Trek character interplay than the previous two movies, while feeling like it could've made a grand TOS episode.
Unfortunately after the bad taste that Into Darkness left in fans mouth, a mind numbing first teaser, under the radar promotion as well as a crowded release date, the powers that be set it up for failure.
Yanks
Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek Beyond - Worldwide: $318,080,627 (BoxOfficeMojo)
TS
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Grateful to see this film's recent improvement at the box office... China loves Star Trek! Still, it makes you wonder... will they make the 4th movie the "final" one? How long do they hope to continue with the reboot series?
Chrome
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 9:40am (UTC -5)
@TS

Yes, a fourth ST film was announced in June. I know this film isn't getting stellar numbers compared to the last one, but it's still quite profitable for Paramount. Oh, and let's not forget that the original movie franchise had some stinkers like "Search for Spock" and still went on to make 3 more after, (7 more if you count TNG).
Robert
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 11:14am (UTC -5)
"Yes, a fourth ST film was announced in June. I know this film isn't getting stellar numbers compared to the last one, but it's still quite profitable for Paramount. Oh, and let's not forget that the original movie franchise had some stinkers like "Search for Spock" and still went on to make 3 more after, (7 more if you count TNG). "

People dislike "Search for Spock"? I guess the whole even/odd thing, but that was always the only odd one I liked.

And yes, it's very profitable for Paramount. I doubt very much the JJ verse will be beloved and watched for generations, but it's certainly filling pockets.
Peter G.
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 11:52am (UTC -5)
You guys take numbers out of context too easily. Here's a quote from Wikipedia on Beyond's budget:

"As of September 14, 2016, Star Trek Beyond has grossed $156.8 million in North America and $163.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $319.9 million, against a budget of $185 million (minus promotion and advertising costs).[3] It had a global opening of $89.2 million and an IMAX opening of $11.6 million on 571 IMAX screens.[56] In order for the film to break even, it will have to earn at least $350 million worldwide."

It has not even broken even yet, and therefore by all accounts has been a failure. I don't even know why they'd make a fourth one at this rate.
Chrome
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

There's still lots of numbers left to add to the total, such as Latin America (which opens tomorrow) and merchandise sales (blu-rays). They're definitely going to turn at least a small profit at this rate.

@Robert

I wouldn't say Search for Spock was terrible (And neither is Beyond, for that matter). But if you compare it to WoK, TVH, or TUD, it doesn't really stand out.
Peter G.
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

It's not a commercial disaster (i.e. losing money) but to these people failing to make a lot of money is a commercial failure. Breaking even is not a mission accomplished for the investors. Given the trend of revenue for these reboot films a fourth one will rate to do even worse unless they get their act together and make a quality film.
Yanks
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
"In order for the film to break even, it will have to earn at least $350 million worldwide."

I still do not understand this.... 185 mill to make the movie, and how much on advertising? Seems a large spike to 350 million.

Not doubting anything you say, but I just don't understand.

The 4th is "green lighted", seems to me if this was so god-awful bad there is no way they would have done that.
Chrome
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
I wonder if Paramount will actually go back and look at what made "The Voyage Home", "The Undiscovered Country" and "First Contact" so popular, even among non-Trek fans, and try to work that into the next film.

But Discovery could raise enthusiasm for the fourth film too, we'll see.
Robert
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks - Even if it DOES need another $30 million to "break even" are we really assuming it will sell no DVDs/Blu-Rays?

Although I am shocked with those numbers that we're going for round 4. The box office numbers are really anemic. Even Warcraft made more than that.

Nobody is going to cry about $320 million and say the film shouldn't have been made, but I'm surprised investors are confident enough in those numbers to have another go at it.
Paul M.
Thu, Sep 15, 2016, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks: "I still do not understand this.... 185 mill to make the movie, and how much on advertising? Seems a large spike to 350 million."

You need to factor in the cut that goes to theaters and distributors. Only a portion of the total box office income goes to the production company that financed the movie. So yeah, it's pretty much expected that a movie has to earn double or more its budget to turn profitable. Of course, in the long run there are also DVD/Blu-ray sales, TV rights, etc.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Sep 16, 2016, 5:12am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome

"There's still lots of numbers left to add to the total, such as Latin America (which opens tomorrow) and merchandise sales (blu-rays). They're definitely going to turn at least a small profit at this rate."

Probably.

But it's still a pretty crappy ROI for 185 million dollars.

You know what's the funny thing is? They would have probably made much more profit (and taking a far lesser financial risk) by sticking to the old Star Trek principles instead of trying to convert Trek into a BlockBuster format.

And I'm not even counting the long-term consequences of diluting the brand. As Robert said: "I doubt very much the JJ verse will be beloved and watched for generations".

Compare this with films like TWOK and TVH that are still being watched by millions of Trekkies after 30+ years, and you'll begin to see the problem.

@Robert

"Although I am shocked with those numbers that we're going for round 4"

Me too. It is obvious that NuTrek IV is going to be a financial disaster. They've milked the whole "hey look! Trek for cool kids!" thing dry already.

Paramount should be grateful that they haven't yet lost money on this experiement, and should quit while they're ahead.

SlimSpady
Fri, Sep 16, 2016, 8:44am (UTC -5)
"I was the watch officer for my squadron on 9/11. We watched the entire thing on TV. Then we got ready to answer the call, because you know what aircraft carrier was on patrol off the coast of New York City the next morning, and which airwing? "

Different circumstances. The Federation didn't arm and bash around the Xindi and Klingons before skirmishes with them. The US arms the Saudis and jacks around in the Mid East.

ie - the US being more Treky utopian would be less in need of a military.
Yanks
Fri, Sep 16, 2016, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Robert,

Unless those investors are trekkies :-)
karatasiospa
Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 4:49am (UTC -5)
Well i watched it. Defintely the best of the reboot films but jammer is right. The character of Krall lacked any depth mostly because the interesting issues that he raised (can life exist without conflict? ) were only superficially touched. They had an oportunity here but they didn't take it. I suppose this is the central problem of the reboot: even when the try to raise a serious theme the popcorn sensibility of the reboot universe allways takes the front seat.
Lee
Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
> There's a really nice touch where Spock opens Ambassador Spock's personal effects and inside we see the cast photo from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

When I saw that, I couldn't help but think "oh yeah Star Trek 6, that movie was much better than this one."
III
Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
"Star Trek Beyond represents a deliberate attempt to take the reboot film series back to the primary roots of Star Trek"

The primary roots of a Star Trek film would have had the film being more about the crew using their skills and wits to solve a problem rather than getting into another fist fight and space battle with a boring main villain.

I could care less if the Enterprise ship is destroyed, unlike the TOS Enterprise ship, we grew attached to it, it's destruction in STIII had more meaning to it. It was done to stop the Klingons and to save Spock's life. Here, it's destruction is pointless, it's just, lets blow it up because it will look really cool... did reboot Kirk care if the ship was destroyed? No, he rather ride around in some dumb bike...

Spock and Uhura breakup... good, they shouldn't have been a "thing" in the first place. The fact that Spock sees his race being far more important than Uhura doesn't say a whole lot of his commitment to her. But that should have been resolved at the end of the 2009 film when reboot Spock said that his place is on the Enterprise. The fact that he needed to be re-told or influenced again that he should stay, is a sorry attempt at character development. Growing as a character should not being told that you should, having it spelled out for you (looking at a picture... really????).
Outsider65
Wed, Oct 5, 2016, 12:12am (UTC -5)
All I can say is I liked this one better than the first two reboot films. A focus on characters helped me forgive a lot of things, because at the end of the day, I enjoy Star Trek for its characters and their interactions probably more than for its premise.

A lot of the people commenting here have some very varied and thoughtful discussions, some of which surprise me with their depth. You've got an interesting dynamic here and a good crowd.
Trent
Fri, Oct 14, 2016, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
A focus on character? There are no characters in this film. Just 1D cardboard cutouts bouncing from soap-opera situations to sitcom level, non-sequitor spewing, ironic, sarcastic jokey scenes.
ben
Sat, Oct 22, 2016, 5:26am (UTC -5)
I ilked the first maybe 20 minutes which gave me a little sense of wonder and excitment and some bits between Spock and Bones were good too. It is style over substance. A pretty mediocre action movie.
Star Trek: the fast and the furious.

And reading through the comments and how people say that they liked it because it wasn't as bad as the others to that I can only say: Hunger makes the best cook.
People just ignore that the movie made no sense. Jammer and some other pointed that out. They have succesfully dumbed down the audience. Nobody minds anymore that this movie had no big ideas and that the story is a big plothole. And yeah they talk about unity but the Federation isn't about unity it is about community and how acceptance and individuality strengthens that community. In Star Trek the word unity means probably more to Romulans or the Cardassians.
But I would give it 2.5 stars too which may sound surprising but yeah I have accepted it, it is dumb and I don't consider it to be Star Trek and judging it on its own it is a sometimes enjoyable action movie with some nice jokes. And I'm sure that I will have forgotten in a year or two what this movie is about. I more or less have forgotten the 2009 movie (Vulcan was destroyed, a fight on something in high alltitude and Spock flying around in an egg, that is all I remember), Into Darkness is already fading (Only things I remember here are Benedict Cumberbatch, the horrible KHAAAAAAN scene, the other horrible scene with carol marcus aka look ! A blond woman in her underwear, the evil admiral, people in torpedos and superblood). And I have already forgotten the motivation of two jj movie villains.
Mads Leonard Holvik
Sat, Nov 5, 2016, 3:32am (UTC -5)
I did not like this movie. There is way too much pointless action, the camera moves too fast and the shots are too short. Made me feel like the director thinks I am a complete idiot.
In between the action there is dialogue and scenes put there just to score melodramatic points.
This movie is so bad, and on top of it all, the 3D version takes focus further away from the film that begs to be let out somewhere in there.
Yanks
Sat, Nov 5, 2016, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
Just saw this for the 4th time. This time at home on my TV.

Still invokes emotion. Still a fun ride.

Love ALL the extras on the BLU-RAY as well.
SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 10:42am (UTC -5)
I tend to mostly agree with this review, except to sort of add ten percent to everything (everything positive, that is). I liked it fairly well, certainly more than STID but less than Trek '09. (I do find it strange that you, or anyone, would like STID better than this one.) It's about on a par with the best TNG movie, "First Contact".

But was Sulu's being gay really confirmed on screen? If so, it sailed over my head. I would not have known except for mentions in the media.

I definitely agree that doomsday scenarios are played out. Are they afraid to just do a movie in which only the crew of the Enterprise is at risk?

Some observations and questions I wrote down while watching:

--Why are there trains in a space station that also has transporter bays?
--Ambassador Spock is dead at 33? What did they base his age on?
--The escape pod made an airtight dock with the enemy fighter when they crashed? Really?
--I hope the lady with the crab legs on her head gets court-martialed for giving up that weapon just to (presumably temporarily) save Sulu.
Nolan
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

Regarding most of your points, (keep in mind I've only seen Beyond once)

Sulu being gay, he DID run up to a little girl standing with a man, picked her up and walked off arm in arm with the guy, ostensibly his family while Kirk's narration talked about crew meeting up with family, I believe.

Trains and Transporters- several possible reasons, namely that Transporter pads probably have limited capacity and so the trains are to alleviate wait times. They could also be there for those who hate transporters or would be harmed by transporters. And most important, rule of cool, which are these movies modus operandi.

Ambassador Spock's death. Obviously he's not 33. This Spock is, but because Ambassador Spock travelled back in time 150 years or so, the year simply marks his date of death, not his age at the time. And it's not like they would've put the year he WOULD have died on in there. Spock probably never told anyone his age.

Not entirely remembering this point, so can't discuss it.

As for the lady with the crab legs... It's pretty hard to court martial a dead person. Krull DID vaporize her after she gave him the thing after all.
JLPsquared
Wed, Jan 4, 2017, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@Nolan,

I do not agree that the gay Sulu is obvious. Both my mom and brother do not "follow" star trek news, and after they saw the movie they thought the guy with Sulus daugher was his brother or something. They had no idea it was his lover until I told them.
JLPsquared
Wed, Jan 4, 2017, 11:00am (UTC -5)
As for the movie, I found it absolutely boring. The Enterprise destruction was cool, but that is about the 20th enterprise destruction we have seen on screen so not particularly clever.

Now, Into Darkness is a flawed movie, no doubt, however, it is seriously fun on re-watch. whenever it is on TV I stop to watch it. I do not see see myself ever stopping to watch this again. There is just nothing fun and memorable.

another thing, it is one of the ugliest looking movies I have seen in a while. Lens flares suck, but JJ had an eye for how things looked on screen and I always find myself loving the look of his movies, but this one seemed soooo boring, brown, and bland. And what is the deal with Pines' haircut? YUCK.
N
Sun, Jan 8, 2017, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
The Sulu gay moment, while subtle, is as obvious as it needs to be unless you're blind to gayness and assume everyone in movies (and real life) is heterosexual. Why would you watch that scene and perform the quite strenuous mental leap of thinking "oh, it must be his brother or a friend or something" unless your brain needs to consciously swerve/edit out the most obvious explanation in order to preserve your "everyone is heterosexual" worldview?

Short of having Sulu out himself in dialog, even if they'd made it much less subtle, it'd still have gone over people's heads. The vast majority of Americans used to think Liberace was straight - not because he passed as straight (he was incredibly effeminate and flamboyant), but because homosexuality was something unthinkable that simply wasn't in their mental grammar, and because their environmentally conditioned worldview was that everyone was heterosexual.

Changing tack: the scene is not just important as a correction to the omissions of Berman-era Trek, but also idealistic in more than one way, as unfortunately here on 21st-century Earth, the vast majority of gay men aren't interested in raising a family or even necessarily having stable relationships. To me as a gay guy continually disspirited by other gay guys and gay culture in general, to the point I've completely removed myself from it, I think it was really important that they showed Sulu in a stable loving relationship and rearing a child. That's a role model for gay men right there.
Yanks
Tue, Jan 10, 2017, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
"The vast majority of Americans used to think Liberace was straight"

.... noone thought he was straight. They may not have made their thoughts public, but there never was a question...
Sean
Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
When a movie starts out with two minutes of logo scenes you know it's probably time to end the franchise. Against my better judgement I finally rented this movie - and I didn't outright hate it like I thought I would. I want to note that I seem to be noticing a disturbing trend in hollywood franchise blockbuster films - as long they promote the next film to be better than the current one it forces us to go see the current one whether we want to or not. I picked up on this finally a few months ago with Batman VS Superman. And you know what? I don't really need to see any of them - haha - jokes on you Hollywood.
Vii
Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
I went to see a midnight screening of this the day it came out and... blah, was not impressed in the least, but after having been thoroughly let down by 'Into Darkness,' was not particularly surprised.

After the brilliance of 'Star Trek (2009)', I was hoping that the momentum would carry on into the sequels and that the incredibly strong first movie would be a sign of even better things to come, but nope. It's a terrific shame as these films had so much potential. The casting was right on the money, especially for Spock, Scotty and McCoy. The first one was spectacular but after that everything went downhill. 'Into Darkness' was a rehash of 'Wrath of Khan,' and this one, the only good things about this one were the highly entertaining Spock/McCoy dynamic, the nice jacket Chris Pine wore at the reception in the last scene, and the ending theme, which was from TOS anyway. I can never resist it when someone says, 'These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilization, to boldly go where no man has gone before.'
Isostatic
Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 8:00am (UTC -5)
What refreshing comments. Beyond was the highlight of a terrible year for me, with world events from Brexit to Trump, and movies from BvS to ID4-2, having some optimism for the future was needed.

Like many, the travesty of into-darkness meant that I didn't see beyond on opening day, I almost didn't watch it at all. As it happened I did watch it at the cinema, and then as it was great, I watched it again.

Sadly the box office reflects how bad STID was. Sure STID did well in the box office, but people went to watch it based on 09, which was pretty good. They didn't see Beyond because of "fool me once".

Definitely top 3 of trek movies, along with voyage home and first contact, probably just ahead of generations, insurrection and search for Spock. Top marks and then some to Simon Pegg.
Daniel Bolger
Fri, May 12, 2017, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
First and foremost, I'm a huge star trek fan and of science fiction overall. I saw this film when it came out on the cinema last summer. I've watched it several times since then on DVD and still am of the opinion that it's generally underwhelming and rather pedestrian. I recall getting fidgety when I first saw it. I think it's mostly the unfocused and episodic feel to the pacing. The humour between kirk, Spock, and McCoy is welcome and overall funny with the 'family crew' implications for such a long voyage. I felt it isn't as exciting or cerebral as into darkness, which I'd say is the best of the current 'new treks'. As an aside, I thought idris Elba's villain of the piece character was generally irrelevant and as clichéd as it was unremarkable. An interesting enough twist at the end but not very good compared to the recent star wars films; particularly rogue one.
Davidw
Wed, May 17, 2017, 12:50am (UTC -5)
I don't see what people see in this movie.

Character development? What character developed? There was no character development. There were character *moments*, which is nice. But the character moments had nothing to do with the plot and story. There is nothing in the characters of movie that made decisions that drove the plot.

For example, the movie hinted that Sulu was gay. But why? The movie did not deal with issues about gays, about how gays are oppressed. Remember X-Men? They dealt with the issue far better - and hardly at all.

You can go down the list. Current Spock sees a picture of the now deceased Spock and decides to leave his girl friend and become an ambassador, fulfilling the elder Spock's ambitions. But the movie did not address these issues, did not deal with it, and did not tell us why Spock changes his mind.

Same with Kirk. Kirk is burnt out - like he was in the Cage and Star Trek II, and - am I forgetting other episodes and movies? And, for some reason, after extended chase scenes and quips changes his mind. Why?

Any other character arcs in this movie? What about the villain? He actually had a nice little story. But it was at nearly the end of the movie!

If you think about it, what was this movie really about? It was lots of action scenes. It was blowing up the Enterprise. It had that cool looking planet from Elysium. It was flipping the saucer section over. Phaser and hand fights. There was a cool chick that sounded like the girl from the Fifth Element. More fight scenes. More Quips. A motorcycle chase scene with bad CGI. And two people leaping toward each other while simultaneously being beamed up.

That is what this movie was about. That is what it spent it's time, energy and money on. Those few character moments? Afterthoughts. All exposition. Asides. Melodrama.

I am sort of glad it lost money. Perhaps it will make them re-think what they are doing.
Davidw
Wed, May 17, 2017, 1:06am (UTC -5)
"For every episode like City on the Edge of Forever or A Taste of Armageddon, there were ten episodes like The Arena and Amok Time."

But we want the movies to be of the best of Star Trek. They have years to work on them and develop them. We should except character development, themes, stories and plots that drive the action.

But even in Arena, they have Kirk forgiving the Gorn - and it is that forgiveness that the Melatrons think that the human race might have a decent future. In other words, back then, you actually had to go through the motions of having some message or theme.

Amok Time was a great character study, and really explored Vulcan culture.

Even in some the worse of the TOS (but unfortunately, not all), there is usually some theme about how mankind must do better and strive and struggle to achieve peace and prosperity.
Yanks
Wed, May 17, 2017, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Davidw,

"For example, the movie hinted that Sulu was gay. But why? The movie did not deal with issues about gays, about how gays are oppressed. Remember X-Men? They dealt with the issue far better - and hardly at all."

What's to deal with? Obviously they aren't oppressed in the 23rd century. The writers made in known. That's all the needed to do.

"You can go down the list. Current Spock sees a picture of the now deceased Spock and decides to leave his girl friend and become an ambassador, fulfilling the elder Spock's ambitions. But the movie did not address these issues, did not deal with it, and did not tell us why Spock changes his mind."

If you don't understand why Spock changed his mind, you really need to watch the movie again. It's doesn't have to be thrown in your face to be apparant.

"Same with Kirk. Kirk is burnt out - like he was in the Cage and Star Trek II, and - am I forgetting other episodes and movies? And, for some reason, after extended chase scenes and quips changes his mind. Why?"

Kirk was in 'The Cage'? ... he wasn't "burnt out", he was tired of the monotany. Again, watch the movie for what it says without trying to be a critic. Kirk simply, as a result of events in the movie, decided his place was on Enterprise with his crew.
Jason R.
Wed, May 17, 2017, 8:00am (UTC -5)
"Sadly the box office reflects how bad STID was. Sure STID did well in the box office, but people went to watch it based on 09, which was pretty good. They didn't see Beyond because of "fool me once".

Definitely top 3 of trek movies, along with voyage home and first contact, probably just ahead of generations, insurrection and search for Spock. Top marks and then some to Simon Pegg"

The bad movie apologist ever searches for external reasons to explain why said bad movie did poorly. To quote a much better scifi movie, the truth points to itself.

Beyond didn't do poorly because STID was a bad movie. It did poorly because it was a hollow, stupid film that represented the final lobodomization of Trek that started with ST2009.

If one asks what the difference between Beyond and some of the lesser Trek cinematic outings was - let me quote Captain Louvois: does it [nu Trek] have a soul? The answer is clear. Trek's failures are still remembered, sometimes even fondly, by the fans. Beyond will be utterly forgotten, as will all of Abrams' contemptible movies.

I for one am grateful for Beyond. Better to press the pillow over the face of Abrams Trek now, to extinguish it so that the soil can rest and recuperate - and maybe be fertile for new growth one day.
Chrome
Wed, May 17, 2017, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Some folks are talking as if there isn't already a fourth movie in the works with many of the same people involved.
Jason R.
Wed, May 17, 2017, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
Chrome nothing would please me more than for them to make another Abrams Trek movie. It can be the Batman and Robin to Beyond's Batman Forever. Tabula rasa.
Chrome
Wed, May 17, 2017, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
I don't know, "Batman and Robin" was relatively even more profitable than Beyond, so if the next ST film is as financially successful as B&R, you won't get your wish.
Peter G.
Wed, May 17, 2017, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Chrome,

However well or poorly B&R did, it seems clear that it collapsed the Batman franchise and left a void to be filled by a higher quality product later with the Nolan series. That is what Jason is hoping for. Whether Abrams Trek in fact collapses in this way can be left only to hope.
Chrome
Wed, May 17, 2017, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
I get it. It's just not a good analogy. B&R was financially successful while critically panned while Beyond was critically successful but only somewhat profitable.

In any case, we agree it's a little premature to guess what the fourth movie will bring, which makes Jason's statements sound grossly uninformed.
methane
Sun, May 28, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
I haven't hated the previous 2 movies, but bad parts have mostly cancelled out the parts I've enjoyed, leaving me pretty 'meh' on the whole reboot series. I've watched each of Abrams' movies exactly once. Assuming I don't die early, I will probably watch them again...in 10 or 15 years or so (after I've undoubtedly re-watched TNG again & DS9 maybe twice....heck, I'll probably even re-watch Voyager before getting around to my 2nd viewing of those movies).

Which helps explain why it took me so long too watch Beyond. It's been on Epix (which I have) for a while now, yet I felt no urgency to watch it before the TV network year ended last week.

Before I offer my critique on this movie, I feel like I should also talk about my opinions on action movies in general: I don't hate them, but I certainly am not an unabashed fan of them. I enjoy the latter Fast & the Furious movies (not so much the earlier ones), while being pretty much 'meh' on the 1st & 3rd Iron Man movies, and I felt the 2nd Iron Man was an outright bad movie.

I think this is partly because the further you go away from reality (and towards science fiction or fantasy), the less effective stunts or CGI-work are by themselves. You can skimp on character work and go straight to a dazzling action scene if it involves something reasonably familiar (like cars driving fast), and the scene can be appreciated for the experience itself. However, the more disconnected the action is from our daily experience, the more good setup & character work are necessary, both to make the scenes believable & to keep the stakes understandable.

Note to producers: better character scenes makes your audience more engaged in the action scenes!

That said, this movie starts out fairly well...although isn't this the 2nd straight movie that begins with the crew failing their away mission? Anyway, it works well enough, up until the Enterprise come out of the nebula. Then, ACTION!!!! I'm not going to say it the action wasn't well done. But with, what, 4 hours of total screen-time in just over 2 movies devoted to this crew & ship before this point (and much of that 4 hours devoted to ACTION!!!!!), I had a hard time caring about what was going on. It wasn't poorly done as far as action scenes go (the direction was fine, as was the writers' ability to give all the different characters something to do), but there hasn't been the character work done in this series to make me care about anything that happened until everyone was on the planet & we could start see our characters as characters again. Despite the technical merits of these scenes, I was bored & waiting for it to get over with. The fact that the characters essentially had no control over their fate for this entire sequence didn't help to keep me involved.

The best part of the movie was on the planet. Our characters had time to have personalities. The action wasn't groundbreaking, but I enjoyed it. The humor had a high success rate. I don't think Quinto did as well with Spock this time around, but that's a hard role to play. All the characters had stuff to do, although the prisoners (Sulu & Uhura), obviously had less space to shine.

I could nitpick sections of the planet section, but there's really only 2 parts that I want to call out: the motorcycle appearance & the Public Enemy song. I was immersed in the movie, but those sections yanked me out of the "future" & reminded me again that I was watching a movie whose producers are trying to carefully appeal to a generic audience. To be fair, the song didn't appear for long, and the annoyance at the motorcycle mostly went away once there were numerous holograms riding around in circles. Still, change the motorcycle to an obviously alien vehicle & the rap song to alien music ("Andorian New Wave"), and you could have had just as much fun without yanking your audience out of the movie.

When we get off-planet again, it becomes a bit more uneven. Once more music yanked me out of the movie (and I was a teenager when "Sabotage" came out, so I guess I'm the target for the music choice). Our characters were obviously less helpless for this action sequence, which helps. I did start to think of plot holes at this point (why didn't he use drone ships to fly home 100 years ago?..). The fight between Kirk & the villain in the air-ducts was imaginative & worked well for the "required physical confrontation between head hero & head villain at end of move"*.


A few other quick comments:

-the villain's backstory intrigues me (and Elba of course does fine with what he's given), but I agree that it's very much underwritten. For those who've seen the DVD/Blue-ray: are there any deleted scenes fleshing out this story?

-Sulu being gay was another thing that took me out of the movie. If it was a new character shown as gay (like our new alien girl) I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but changing the sexuality of a character we'd all understood as straight for 50 years caused a disconnect. It also, unintentionally I'm sure, brings up a troubling implication: does the fact that George Takei is gay means that any character he played must be gay? Of course not...but going out of the way to retcon the sexuality of a character he played after he came out does seem to imply that.

-It's nice to get more "alien" aliens in Star Trek, but give them a little bit of personality between the jokes, please.

Overall, I guess I'd give this movie a rating just under passing (1.75 if 2 is passing). If they had subtracted a little generic action (especially the sequences following the exit from the nebula until they get to the planet) & added more character and story this would have easily been a passing grade. Subtract even more action for character bits and this could have been a very good movie.

I will say that unlike the last 2 movies, the parts I disliked in this movie bored me, rather than annoying me or making me angry (blowing up Vulcan for not much payoff...transporters that go across the galaxy!). That's somewhat offset by the fact that I don't think the good parts of this movie hit the peaks of the last 2 movies (though it's obviously been awhile since I've watched them).

I'll also say that I enjoyed this movie more than 4 of the Star Wars movies released after "Return of the Jedi" (I haven't seen Rogue One yet).


I would definitely be interested in what this writing team could do with less of an ALL ACTION All THE TIME! mandate from the producers.




*somehow Wrath of Kahn works very well without a physical confrontation. Yet nearly every Star Trek movie since then has one.
damyen
Mon, May 29, 2017, 9:41am (UTC -5)
I finally rewatched this movie on dvd (got from a friend) and I can honestly see why it is the least successful of the 3: this movie is fun, but nothing special. It really lacks JJ's touch and the more fresh approach of its predecessors.

This franchise sadly became another example of how nostalgia can be counterproductive and make a reboot doomed if not correctly balanced. For instance, pivoting away from the more contemporary, better mass appeal, Kirk/Uhura/Spock trio, that was realistically established in the first movies, to bring back the old trio with McCoy, was a bad move. Sure, making 3 white men and bromance ~the most important thing might be ressuring and pleasing to the nostalgic fanboys, but it might backfire with a general audience that may, inevitably, find that move sexist (moreso because Saldana arguably is the only A list actor of the main cast, so it would be wise to keep her as the third lead). To the majority of fans of these movies, the new dynamics are the canon now so seeing this one ignore them to the extent they did might be frustrating and separate this movie too much from the first ones.
I'm all for giving McCoy more screentime (as long as it isn't forced), but the new trio worked and I think that instead of ignoring it and sidelining Uhura, they should have made it a quartet, and therefore better balance the new with the old.
I have a feeling that even breaking Spock/Uhura up (an important dynamic established since the first movie, that was loved and embraced by new and old fans) might have made the movie feel like it was 'pandering to haters' all the more, not to mention further sideling Uhura to make bromance the only thing that matters.
Speaking of which, it was funny to read all the guys in this page who convinced themselves that they are 'over'. It's obvious from start to the end that they were just on a break and they got back together in the end. If they make more movies, fans of that relationship might see more of it.
damyen
Mon, May 29, 2017, 9:58am (UTC -5)
It looks like in the official comics Spock and Uhura are not only together still, but they took a sabbatical on new vulcan while the new enterprise gets completed. It seems most of the people understood they were only on a break and got back together (which is a good move IMO), so I, honestly, don't get why the denial amongs some fanboys here. Maybe you guys fell asleep in the scene where she calls him 'old romantic' after he said he had work to do, but he joined her at the party because being with her is more pleasing to him. You can't do more subtle explicit with Spock than that! It is also very funny that McCoy notices them together and eyes her 'tracking device necklace', totally judging Spock who seems to silently plead him to not tell her.
Jason R.
Mon, May 29, 2017, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Damyen I am not sure who these "fans" you speak of are. Fans are presumably the people who loved Star Trek and its spinoffs for 20, 30, 40+ years. The Abrams movies are already a spent force. These movies are already being forgotten.

The new Uhura was likely sidelined because she was a mediocre character who added nothing to the story. They attempted to insert her in as some kind of key character but they clearly forgot to program her with a personality, or indeed give her anything to do other than be Spock's trumped up love interest. Blaming the old "bromance" as you call it, for the failure of the latest film is laughable.
damyen
Mon, May 29, 2017, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Jason R., you are entitled to your opinion, but so are the many fans and critics , and novels and comic writers, who liked the first two movies more, and who love Uhura and the new dynamic. Her being sidelined was one of the most criticized things in this movie, and rightfully so because we aren't in the 60s anymore and you can't expect people to be still so compliant to hollywood erasing women and minorities. The people who are fans of these movies are no less fans than you, and they don't deserve less respect, especially when it's their support and money that made the first movies successful. Of course those are going to want a sequel to follow up and continue the story they liked; I would be surprised of the contrary, to be honest. Water is wet.
You wouldn't even get Beyond if it were for the whining fan boys who hated these movies because they aren't 'their trek', and I find it bizarre that you are suggesting that being an old fan means that the creative team owes you something, and you are more important than the old and new trek fans that like the reboot and made it more successful than any trek movie in years.

Not to say that old fans should get ignored (though again a lot of them like the reboot snywat), but were the old fans who hated the first movies, and loved liked Beyond for the nostalgia, an influential majority, the last movie would have been the most successful. It is not.

"indeed give her anything to do other than be Spock's trumped up love interest."

this seemingly childish need to bash and sideline the female character in order to make the guys more important speaks volumes about why our fandom has such a bad reputation. I bet you are in the same group of the "fans" who hate Discovery because it's too "politically correct". You guys totally missed the point of star trek.
So what? She still gets more character than McCoy. I'm going to put myself at your same level, since you insist making it a competion, and say: at least Uhura shows her skills and helps saving the day, and she still is an inspiring character for women and poc. The gumpy doctor is another straight white male secondary character whose screentime and only purpose in the movie is entirely dependent on being 'the best friend of main guy", and a sort of third wheel in the kirk/spock bromance - particularly when the narrative seems to erase his friendship with Kirk at convenience to pretend that Spock is Kirk's only friend. As I don't see anyone complaining about Mccoy getting screentime only through Kirk/Spock, and this somehow accepted fanon that he has no purpose in the story outside of his relatioships, your attempt to belittle Uhura for getting more screentime thank to her own dynamics with Kirk and Spock seems pointless.


Jason R.
Mon, May 29, 2017, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Damyen I am not criticizing NuTrek for casting a black woman in the lead; I am criticizing them for casting a boring mediocre actress and giving her nothing interesting to do. I would suggest she was not chosen for her acting abilities - so who is the sexist here?

And I am not saying I am a better fan than new fans; I am saying the people who watched the movies won't be fans shortly because they'll abandon the new movies rather quickly and forget them even sooner. Box office returns seem to bear that out. These new films will be forgotten within a few years.
Chrome
Mon, May 29, 2017, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
I know I'm still trying to forget Nemesis.
Lupe
Mon, May 29, 2017, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
I can't see the clip, but my heart sunk when I saw Jj Abrams name beside it. I just don't like the reboot movie franchise, and had been holding out hope the new series wouldn't be more of the same. Actually I'm sure that when I first read about the new series, the studio expressly stated that Abrams wasn't involved.

Ah, well.

BTW, I was thinking. Something the new series could cover, which no episode of any series has explained, but merely glossed over - at least as far as I can recall. Something I'd love to see explained:

exactly how and when the human race collectively agreed to abandon money.

And while they're at it, how anyone in Starfleet pays their bar tab at Quarks (except Dax, who has enough Tongo winnings), what anyone's motivation is for Poker Night in TNG, basically how the whole economy works and anything like trade, making spaceships and or so forth actually gets done.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit of a leftie, but it does seem to be one of the underpinnings of Trek which nobody wants to go near: the elephant in the galaxy.. It must have sounded groovy in the 60's but jeez, I mean we're really hurtling towards that particular vision of the future at the moment, right.
Chrome
Mon, May 29, 2017, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
@Lupe

I would say "ST: First Contact" and to a lesser extent DS9's "Past Tense" do try to answer the question of how humanity overcame economic class conflicts. Also, and someone correct if I'm wrong, I think an intergalactic economy still exists in Star Trek as the officers and civilians have varying degrees of wealth. Then you'll see things like officers betting replicator rations and holosuite time, so there's obviously some remaining scarcity. Which leads me to...

"what anyone's motivation is for Poker Night in TNG?"

I'm sure they could wager shift time or services instead. Didn't Troi famously win a Samarian Sunset from Data over a wager? But even if there weren't physical stakes, poker is a game that can be played just for sport. Certainly bragging rights are at stake in TNG's poker.
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Jason R. That Zoe Saldana is a mediocre actress that's your opinion, I'm unsure on what basis you think it's shared by everyone and it was the reason why she got sidelined in the last movie, especially when that flies in the face of her actually being quite popular among fans and critics. You assertion that they 'giving her nothing interesting to do' seems to be unsubstantiated too especially in light of her doing more than the secondary male characters, including Mccoy. Tell me what's so much more interesting in a male character whose only purpose is comic relief and being the friend of the main guy who exists only to further his personal story, instead of his own. Even when Mccoy helps saving Kirk, canon doesn't asknoveledge that because it ostensibly wants to give all the credit to Spock in order to further the kirk/spock dynamic.

" I am saying the people who watched the movies won't be fans shortly because they'll abandon the new movies rather quickly and forget them even sooner. Box office returns seem to bear that out. These new films will be forgotten within a few years."

Yeah, but so far those people had been a vocal supporting fandom for 8 years. The comics about this trek went past 60 issues and still renewed because they sell well (and its mostly fans of this reboot who buy them since its unlikely old fans and reboot haters are interested) There is no reason to believe that if the movies will continue without discouraging those fans they won't still make them successful. BEYOND not doing too well isn't to blame on this trek not having fans, or people losing interest. It's to blame, rather, on fans of this trek getting disillusioned by Beyond hinting at the creative team losing track of what worked in the first movie, and them letting nostalgia influence things too much. They didn't like this movie enough or like the previous ones, simple like that. If you give people movies they like and then give them a sequel that doesn't even feel like a continuation of the story they liked, it's not surprising those people will lose interest. Thats what happens to every product, from movie franchises to tv-shows. I dunno why it's so hard to understand. It's like some people try to blame Beyond failing on everything but the most obvious reason.

As for bromance, its presence is not the problem but oversaturation and redundancy is. When you have a dynamic like kirk/spock, combined with mccoy/kirk friendship, no doubt adding even more bromance can alienate that part of the audience that liked the first movies for providing a different dynamic too. For trek it's even worse because it's a repetition of the old thing so the oversaturation and lack of originality is even more obvious.
The general audience is sick and tired of Hollywood making white men and their friendships the single most important thing. It doesn't hurt to see something different since bromance obviously isn't the be all end all of relationships in the real world. As much as people can love Mccoy, he still is just another white male character in a cast that is over saturated by male protagonists already. Sidelining the female lead character is a bad idea and no doubt alienates a good chunk of the audience that, unlike you, likes her and wants to see more of her not less, especially if what they get in turn is more stuff about the boys only.
With guardians of the galaxy being a hit, again, and the avatar sequels being in the works, Saldana's popularity is only going to rise. Sure, using her image for promotional posters is useful, but the audience is not stupid. If some fans believe that sidelining her to give Mccoy and Scotty more to do is a good marketing move that will capture the interest of those who are making other franchises successful nowadays, I don't know what to tell them besides that they are very naive. Perhaps if either of them had been a Tom Cruise I could understand the reasoning more, but they aren't that popular and they are just..guys. In a cast that has many.
Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:11am (UTC -5)
Damyen, Zoe Saldana is just a pretty face who will not be making movies anymore in the next ten years. I feel extremely confident in that, and would bet lots of money on the proposition. Actresses lament that they "expire", indicating the sexism of Hollywood in treating male and females differently as they age, but the system is even more insidious than that. Hollywood systematically selects women of limited or mediocre talent based largely on their looks, not talent, and so when their primary asset diminishes, they diminish. The sexism is not in recognizing their mediocrity - it is in the talent screening process itself.

That of course is tangential to my main point here. Saldana may be praised by critics and fans in some circles but I have no idea why. Her role as Uhura is little more than being Spock's girlfriend and creating a romantic interest for him. As communications officer she is a plot device, not a character.

I am not talking about merely her role in the plot, incidentally - I am saying that if you look at how the movie treats Uhura, what we learn about her character, her inner feelings and beliefs and what her character is given to do in terms of dialogue and development, it largely revolves around Spock and exists in reference to him. Yes, she is a talented communications officer, the same way Kirk is a talented swashbuckling jerk, or Spock is a talented scientist, but you'll agree there is way more to those latter two characters than their occupations or intellectual abilities. If the NuTrek movies were meant to develop Uhura as the third part of a new trifecta, she was in every way the least of the three.

I haven't checked myself (I have no desire to re-watch the NuTRek movies) but I doubt they pass the Bechdel test. My sole memory of Uhura from those movies was her being in bed with Kirk and her awkward romance with Spock. No scenes of her childhood as with Kirk and Spock, no scenes showing her career advancement and how she got to be in Starfleet academy. There were scenes showing Kirk and Spock as children, showing their development, their hopes, their fears. I recall nothing of the sort for Uhura. Bones got less development, but at least with him they gave him more scenes of real interaction with the main cast beyond being a one dimensional love interest, and they chose a charismatic actor who provided warmth and comedy to the script.

"Thats what happens to every product, from movie franchises to tv-shows. I dunno why it's so hard to understand. It's like some people try to blame Beyond failing on everything but the most obvious reason. "

Aha, but that's not what happened to Star Trek. Despite more misses than hits (let's be honest) the franchise endured for 50+ years, didn't it?

"The general audience is sick and tired of Hollywood making white men and their friendships the single most important thing."

That is debatable. But assuming you're right, then Hollywood is going to need to step up its game when it comes to the selection and cultivation of female talent. I want you to do a thought experiment. I'll use baseball as my example, but if you are into sports, imagine your favourite team. Then imagine if the system selected only the players deemed 9/10 or greater on the physical attractiveness scale as worthy to play. Then imagine what those teams (and the talent pool) would look like. Well they'd look pretty good, lol. But would they be great players? Now imagine if Hollywood moved the scale ever so slightly toward talent versus looks when selecting female talent? Imagine the possibilities.
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Jason R, I think maybe we can both agree that it's precisely because the movies can't rely on the nostalgic old-school fans only, who would watch any trek by default even if only to complain about it, it would be more wise for the creative team to create something new that is more modern and has a chance capturing the interest of nowadays audiences, regardless if they are trek fans or not. It's more wise for them to continue what had worked and made the first movies successful, instead of going backwards to get the, honestly useless, appraisal of a side of the audience that is still a minority no matter how vocal it might be on the internet (and Beyond proves it, again). They honestly can't be so surprised that Beyond didn't go as well as the other movies after they made a conscious choice, at least for me, to tell people who liked the first movies that this one wasn't made for them. The promotion of this movie was a disaster too, from Lin saying they'd ignore stid to the clips they released too.. they seemed to really try their best discouraging people who liked the first movies, which makes no sense. It would be one thing if they aknoveleged their movie is a self-serving product made to placate their own fanboy nostalgia, but playing oblivious why it didn't make enough money and didn't bring back the audience that made the first movies successful is, frankly, very naive. I'd expect better from people who are in the business and should have more avareness compared to biased fans.

and if I follow your logic, why bother making a reboot at all then if trek is dead and people won't care about it anyway? I'm sure that's what they thought when someone wanted to make a reboot and they were discouraged by executives. And yet, JJ's trek ended up being successful until the writers caved under the fan pressure and ruined it. Beyond is even worse because they already had the experience of Star Trek Into Darkness getting criticism for the fanpandering and nostalgia, so for them to make the next movie even more about that seems counterproductive. They were warned.
Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Damyen, wait, you're suggesting that STB was created to placate "old school" fans of the show? Seriously?
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Jason R, again - this is your opinion. I, for one, don't find her a mediocre actress and I fully agree with the people who consider her one of the best things about this reinvented trek. You, of course, disagree, but I don't honestly see how it's relevant to my point since I'm obvioustly not talking about your feelings and opinions, and it seems rather derailing, and bit pretentious, for you to discount my original point on the basis of you thinking that everyone, basically, shares your opinion when I'm talking about people who DON'T.

"I'm am not talking about merely her role in the plot, incidentally - I am saying that if you look at how the movie treats Uhura, what we learn about her character, her inner feelings and beliefs and what her character is given to do in terms of dialogue and development, it largely revolves around Spock and exists in reference to him."

let's be real, that's no worse than McCoy; this is exactly what he's too: what we learn about his character, his inner feelings and beliefs, and what his character is given to do in terms of dialogue and development, it largely revolves around Kirk (and Spock) and exists in reference to them and him being part of the bromance only. That's the only attention he gets. Unlike Uhura, he doesn't even interact with other characters.
You keep avoiding this point by onstensibly ranting about Uhura, as if I'm going to suddenly forget about how McCoy is developed and join in your selective criticism, but the fact that you like him and find it funny doesn't justify the fact you are basically giving to character you like a pass for something you are criticizing in a character you don't like. You are painting yourself into a corner with that.

Personally, just like you find Saldana overrated I guess that, while I have nothing against Urban as an actor, but I find him overrated. Why? Because everything he seems to do is an impersonation of DeForest Kelley, which might work as a reccurring 'living' homage to him, but it seems to completely miss the point of the alternate reality and, actually, make him the weakest of the new cast. He also is too obsessed about his interactions with Kirk and Spock being the be all end all of his character.


"Yes, she is a talented communications officer, the same way Kirk is a talented swashbuckling jerk, or Spock is a talented scientist, but you'll agree there is way more to those latter two characters than their occupations or intellectual abilities."

but Kirk and Spock are the protagonists; Uhura and McCoy aren't that so they will never get developed as such.
In fact, (again another thing you are ignoring) you really can't say we see McCoy's skills as an officer being more emphasised than Uhura's, whose skills still end up being used to make important contributions to the plot, that have little to do with her relationship to either Kirk or Spock, or both e.g., her intercepting the transmission that was key in the first movie; her being the only bridge officer whose presence made sense in the mission to the klingons' home word because she speaks the language (and is trained for combat, unlike McCoy whose presence in this kind of mission would be unfitting.. and it was in fact a bit forced in Beyond); her being willing to sacrifice herself when she wanted to negotiate with the klingons alone if only to give her fellow crew mates more time; her saving Spock and Kirk; her sacrificing herself to save kirk and give the crew more time by separating the saucer section with her still inside, with someone would could kill her any moment. Ultimately, her being the character who interacts with Krall the most and ultimately discovers his identity, making it possible for Kirk to find him and defeat him. She even saved Spock when he thought he was the one saving her! I wouldn't say she makes no contribution to the plot beside being 'Spock's girlfriend' and, honestly, if you reduce a female character only to that - all the while not using the same standard to judge a male character like Mccoy who truly is no more than 'Kirk's friend', it says more about your own bias and sexism, than how the character might be written and perceived by most.

and, I don't remember Spock or Kirk's 'skills' ever being used that much or to the extent you think they are better than Uhura, anyway. I don't think the general audience who isn't familiar with trek already will even know that Spock is a science officer (and what his job is really about), let alone understand what makes Kirk the best option as a captain compared to Sulu or Spock.
I think you are overinflating the male characters on one side of this argument, and totally belittling and underrating the female one on the other side.
It seems a wasted effort anyway. I only see personal preferences here; nothing more.

"If the NuTrek movies were meant to develop Uhura as the third part of a new trifecta, she was in every way the least of the three."
if so, she would be like McCoy. He never was a lead character at the same level of Kirk and Spock; anyone who believes otherwise should maybe rewatch the old movies and the show because they always were the Kirk/Spock show. Even him not being in the posters is everything but something new to the reboot. The 'holy trinity' had always been a more fanon thing than actually canon, anyway. Even Nimoy complained he wasn't equally recognized as the lead male character like Shatner was, I dunno how Deforest could ever persuade himself into believing that he was instead (I don't think he was).
Again, your complains about Uhura are unsubstantial, at best, and rely too much on preference that results in a honestly hypocritical argument, anyway. It's like you recognize some problems as such only when it comes to her character, only to justify the same things when it comes to the male ones.
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 7:25am (UTC -5)
Jason R.
"Damyen, wait, you're suggesting that STB was created to placate "old school" fans of the show? Seriously?"

that's what they did. In fact, it's liked by old-school tos fans and reboot haters the most, so you could say that they archieved that. Most of the reviews were along the lines of 'if you are an old fan you will like this the most', and so was the creative team.

If you don't see the nostalgia and fan pandering being heavy in Beyond, and how the movie went backwards to do that (and how it might have alienated reboot fans even more than stid did with its nods and fan pandering), I don't know what to tell you. Honestly, I'm not sure about what had been your argument from the start.
I take you don't like the reboot, at all, and maybe don't like Beyond either? It seems you are just here to say that you don't like the reboot and it should die for you already.
Peter G.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 8:43am (UTC -5)
@ damyen,

I don't know where you get the idea that "Into Darkness" was made to satisfy oldschool fans when I don't think I've ever met anyone who is a fan of a thing and hears it's being rebooted. The original ST reboot was one thing since it had an original story at least, and surprised everyone by bringing back the original characters. But rebooting an actual story (like for instance, remaking "A New Hope") tends to piss people off and is meant to attract new viewers who aren't entrenched with the original, while not bothering to come up with a new idea. I know a few people who liked STID, but none who are appreciative specifically that it was rebooted. Also, I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you think the Abrams is interested in paying anyone fan service. Oh, he wants to throw in things that will be popular, no question about that! But he won't cater to what people enjoyed about the originals, because frankly I don't think he cared about that or is in touch with the details enough to even understand what fans of the originals liked. Since you're on about McCoy, let's use him as an example: Abrams' takeaway from McCoy seems to have been (as you point out) that he makes snarky comments, so NuTrek has used him as comic relief, like Scotty. Well, this is well and good as a device, but this is not what those characters were like in the originals. Oh, sure, McCoy got his share of good lines that made you smile ("I finally got the last word!") but his character is in no way a comedic one. Nor is he, as you insinuate, merely an appendage to Kirk. He is an "old-fashioned country doctor" who believes in human beings above devices, compassion above cold reason, and the well-being of individuals over groups. In effect, his character is a statement about possible technological dystopia and is very important as part of a sci-fi show about a utopia that could all too easily turn into the dystopia as we saw in episodes like "The Ultimate Computer". In terms of Kirk and Spock his is the voice of compassion and humanity, and without him Kirk wouldn't be able to function properly: the usual formula given is that Spock and McCoy represent the two facets of Kirk's command ability, with Kirk adding the "man of action" to both. All three are essential to the series and to the films, even if Nimoy did end up getting more screen time since he was so good as an actor and since Spock was interesting enough to warrant slight preference. But your idea that the trifecta was a fandom creation is poppycock. The entire cast of the original knew it the whole way through and actually chaffed under the fact of Shatner, Kelley and Nimoy blatantly being treated as more important than the rest of the cast. Obviously Abrams was savvy to all this, right, because his takeaway was that McCoy is a funny wisecracking machine. Oh yeah, he's really all about the old fans. Yep.

"let's be real, that's no worse than McCoy; this is exactly what he's too: what we learn about his character, his inner feelings and beliefs, and what his character is given to do in terms of dialogue and development, it largely revolves around Kirk (and Spock) and exists in reference to them and him being part of the bromance only. That's the only attention he gets. Unlike Uhura, he doesn't even interact with other characters. "

While you may be arguing for why McCoy is or isn't important in Trek, or why Uhura might be a better choice to be considered as a main character, what you're actually doing is highlighting why these movies are badly written. The characters are given no sense of having a personal worldview or life of their own. They exist to service the plot only, as if Locutus himself had become a producer and turned them into perfunctory functional units. Uhura in this sense is "attractive female, secondary adjunct to Spock, sixth of 1,000 pretty faces." Let's be fair, even in NuTrek 1 she was little more than eye candy, in an almost exploitative role. I know that feminist theorists may choke over having to decide is having a female in a prominent role is a good thing in an of itself or whether its presentation can undermine that based on how she's portrayed. In the case of Uhura I don't think women were done any favors, let's just put it that way.

As far as McCoy goes I've already said what was missing, so yes, he ended up being largely irrelevant to the films, but not because fans are tired of a "bromance" (which by the way is already a prejudiced term), It's because the core of his character was extracted and replaced by a joke-bot. And even then Urban was given accolades all around because of his work, so just imagine if the writers had actually given him something decent to do. You may not like his homage to Kelley, but you'd be in the minority on that one. It's got nothing to do with why he appears to be sidelined in these films. Spock was front-and-center for the equal and opposite reason, because they actually inserted things into his character that were never there before, giving him, in effect, too much to do. He's supposed to be a Vulcan, a hurting individual, logical, but also passionate, in control, but out of control, disciplined, but also savage and wild (STID), clear-headed, but also muddled and needing Kirk to take charge. You get the idea. Basically they tried to make him everything, and that's too many things to be. Not only is it 'illogical' as an idea, but the actor himself couldn't really pull all that off. And again, his ups and downs seem governed only by what serves to move the plot along. So the fact that Spock appears to be the co-star, while an acceptable marketing choice, nevertheless shows that they were not trying to give the oldschool fans what they wanted. Spock was never meant to be center stage at all times, and in fact himself claimed he never sought it!

It's fine to discuss the merits or flaws of NuTrek, and I'm sure many points can be listed in each category, but the idea that STID and Beyond had problems because they abandoned the new fans to go back to the old ones is simply not right. The old ones were simply never a factor in the studio's decision-making. This isn't even my opinion, but was the stated objective they gave Pegg when he wrote Beyond. They wanted a standard action flick into which he could insert the Trek characters. His original treatment of the script was "too Trekky" for them so he had to change it. And you're arguing that their mistake was catering to fans? No, their mistake is being typical Hollywood idiots.



Peter G.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Ugh, first line should read "I don't think I've ever met a fan of a thing and is happy to hear it's being rebooted."
Robert
Tue, May 30, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -5)
@Peter G. - "I don't think I've ever met a fan of a thing and is happy to hear it's being rebooted."

I for one can say that I am much, much, much more pleased when something I am a fan of is continued in some way as opposed to rebooted.

ST09 - A creative way to get an alternate universe

STID - OH HELL NO! Why did Wrath of Khan need a reboot?

STB - Skipped it. I was already a reboot skeptic (would have preferred to boldly go into the future) but STID killed it.

Spiderman reboot with Garfield? Skipped it. Will probably watch the new one though, because rebooting for inclusion in the MCU seems like a worthy cause. Rebooting a franchise a mere 5 years after it ended just felt like Spiderman : The Search For Sweet Box Office Cash

X-Men First Class? Skipped it, but I eventually warmed up to it, since they made an attempt (Days of Future Past) to link up with the original. But I saw none in theaters and all 3 of the originals in theaters.

Nightmare on Elm Street? Loved the originals, skipped the reboot. Friday the 13th? Liked the originals, skipped the reboot. I haven't seen any of the DCEU... I personally don't think we needed a new Batman right after Bale.

You know what reboot was really, really good and both honored the original continuity but with a fresh take because they set it far enough away from the original? ST:TNG
Jason R.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Count me as one who does not like reboots of things I love.

Actually ST 2009 was doubly offensive to me - not only was it a reboot, but through the time travel plot and the destruction of Vulcan, it was like Abrams was spitting on my childhood. So you couldn't even just ignore that movie as a "reboot" because it actually purported to have continuity with the original - for the express purpose of obliterating it!
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Peter G.,

I totally get what you are saying, but creative teams are naive that way and I honestly think they thought that Into Darkness would placate old fans who didn't like the movie by:
1) having an iconic villain from a popular movie
2) make it heavy on the Kirk/Spock bromance to reassure people they were the same best friends they were in tos
Of course, they failed. It didn't work; reboot haters still hated them, or hated them even more.
And they were warned by some critics that the nostalgia, their attempt to get old fans on board (in a bad way) was undermining what was great about the first movie, and might have alienated that side of the audience that had liked the first movie so much and was responsible for its success against all the odds. They were warned that they were losing track and wasting the potential of their thing. I think this, stid fan pandering, hardly is something I'm alone noticing.

Beyond did it worse, but perhaps in a way that was more acceptable to those old fans they were trying to pander to; I guess because they tried to bring back the old trio, while stid still balanced the old and new without giving up their new dynamic. Maybe the writers are stupid, but I wouldn't overrate fans and their ability to be coherent even about what they like and dislike because, to me, they really aren't. Trek fans can at times be an epic tale about people who want to have the cake and eat it too, and it's not wise for a creative team to read fanboards too much.


I stand by my opinion, having watched tos and the old movies, that the original trio is a myth. It is in the same box of fans preaching about how vulcans can have sex only once every seven years, or Spock (and vulcans) have no emotion. Or that Uhura was a linguist in tos, and she was single because they wanted her to be a feminist icon and not because racism meant she couldn't be a love interest for any of the white male characters. Trek fans see Tos through rose colored glasses, and confuse their own headcanons with canon so much that, I bet, even when they actually watch the show again years later, they are still persuaded that some things are like they remember them versus how they really are. It's a lost cause and I'm not very interested about this kind of argument, anyway.


"In the case of Uhura I don't think women were done any favors, let's just put it that way."

if you guys want to see it that way it's, honestly, more your choice than anything else. Uhura is a fine strong female character and there is nothing wrong about her. They really upgraded her role compared to what Nichols was given to in the whole series and old movies.
If you want to complain about the secondary characters in general fine, but I don't think the female one is the problem here as she still gets to do more than McCoy, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov. If you think that a woman undermined by a relationship while a male character isn't (and it really doesn't matter to me if one relationship is friendship between the men, and another is a romantic relationship between a man and a woman) then probably hollywood did a number on people for real if they internalized sexism to the extent it doesn't matter how female characters are even written anymore, because they are always going to get criticized and their character development ignored or minimized anyway.


"bromance" (which by the way is already a prejudiced term),"

after the actually prejudiced descriptions of Uhura's relationship with Spock in this page, it is a bit ironic you ger touchy and think 'bromance' is a prejudiced term.
It's funny how fanboys will bend over backwards to belittle the female characters and their dynamics, yet when someone does that with the male characters (and I didn't even do that) they get defensive.



"It's fine to discuss the merits or flaws of NuTrek, and I'm sure many points can be listed in each category, but the idea that STID and Beyond had problems because they abandoned the new fans to go back to the old ones is simply not right."

but that's what they did. I don't know how that can be denied.
beyond is popular among old fans who didn't like the first movies the most. Those people, even in this page, wrote everywhere they like the movie because it feels more like 'their trek', especially for giving McCoy more to do, and pivoting away from the new trio with Uhura to be more 'traditional trek' .
Beyond could have been a big success if only that side of the audience hadn't been only a vocal minority and, unfortunately for them, the movie wasn't enough liked by the old and new fans who already liked this trek and wanted them (expected them) to continue what had already worked for them in the first movie. These people don't want the old thing back. They can watch tos anytime; they liked and praised JJ for doing something different. Hence, that audience, that more silent majority - who doesn't even care about doing what we both are doing right now, but will buy a ticket to watch a new movie or buy the comics and the dvds - made Beyond the least successful because it catered to different fans and a different audience.
I don't understand why it is so hard for some to admit that maybe ones who liked the first movies and made them big didn't care about Beyond enough to make it as successful. That's why it wasn't. Any other reason might be as valid in the grand scheme of things, but the main reason why it failed is way more simple than anything I read people talking about so far.
Peter G.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
@ damyen,

"after the actually prejudiced descriptions of Uhura's relationship with Spock in this page, it is a bit ironic you ger touchy and think 'bromance' is a prejudiced term.
It's funny how fanboys will bend over backwards to belittle the female characters and their dynamics, yet when someone does that with the male characters (and I didn't even do that) they get defensive. "

It's prejudiced to say that we wanted a real female character who could stand on her own two feet rather than a mere love interest of a main character? Au contraire, mon frere, this is the same complaint Hollywood actresses themselves make about roles written for women. It is hardly sexist to be displeased at stereotyped roles for women which renders them as eye candy that are defined by their relationship to a man. It is, in fact, a quintessentially feminist argument. Uhura in the TOS was single not because it was making a statement about single working women, but because simply there was no reason for her not to be single. It was irrelevant to the setting and story, just like how her being Spock's boyfriend in ST2009 was irrelevant to the story and even confused it for no reason. Having an underwear scene with her did nothing for the story; it was just gratuitous.

And if you think that my criticism in particular is aimed only at her for being female, you may want to recheck what I actually said and decide for yourself how much you'e able to read my mind and know what I think of the rest of the cast. In fact, I think that defining any character by some simple formula (e.g. "Spock's girlfriend", "the comic relief", etc.) is undesirable. I had a serious problem with how Scotty was portrayed as well in ST2009. They took a detailed character with various quirks and who overall was quite somber in his outlook and distilled that into "The Crazy Scotsman!" What an insult. The original crew was meant to show former enemies working together in unison, such as Japanese, Russians, black people, and Americans. Having a Scotsman in the mix was sort of arbitrary but it still added to the diversity just like having an Irishman in O'Reilly on occasion (although to be fair O'Reilly was a bit of a caricature at times). These were all serious people with the exception of Chekhov, who was sometimes serious and sometimes silly. But in ST2009 they actually played the Crazy Scotsman angle for laughs rather than as a sign of respect. In other words, it didn't venerate the differences of cultures on the ship but actually mocked them, milking the silly accents for laughs. They didn't do that as much with Sulu, but I found McCoy, Chekhov and Scotty were all undermined by the writing and direction and made to look like jokes instead of real people. Uhura's distinctiveness was also undermined in my view, just not as silly comic relief.

My problem with the portrayal of Uhura is basically on line with my issues with the rest of the writing and direction; there's no difference there and any sexism you may detect is likely you projecting something onto criticisms that remind you maybe of other things you've heard before. Incidentally I thought a lot of the actors in ST2009 did a very good job all things considered, so my issue again is with the producers and director, not with the cast.
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
Peter G.

"It's prejudiced to say that we wanted a real female character who could stand on her own two feet rather than a mere love interest of a main character?"

It's prejudiced because Uhura is a "real female character who can stand on her own two feet", whether that means. Nothing of what you said makes your opinion a fact, especially when your description flies in the face of what is actually done with her and showed on screen, so it's legit that someone reading that will only see sexism (and bad fanboy cliché, full offense) of the most predictable kind.
I supported my stance with examples of important scenes with her that have nothing to do her being Spock's girlfriend, yet you guys insist ignoring that just because of her relationship. You keep belittling her character for having a human connection, that barely gets enough screentime anyway, in spite of the male characters, for instance Mccoy, being much more defined by their relationships than Uhura is. Even in Beyond, Spock was the one pining post break up, and the one portrayed as being irrational when she was in danger. They even subverted the damsel in distress trope. Im talking about what happened in the movies, while every argument made against her here is just unsubstantial 'because i say so' rants that talk more about personal preferences and bias than anything else.

And to make the matter even more ridiculous and paint yourself into a corner you are using the feminist card to justify your sexism! Oh the irony! you are projecting your sexism on the character and trying to hide it behind what is, for a lack of better word, concern trolling. There are bad female characters who are just love interests, and then there are female characters who are more than love interests, but fanboys label them as such because they dislike the relationship. You are trying to pass yourself as, ladies and gentlemen, feminist savior who wants the best for women! Lol! Please give me a break... you are late to the party too because this kind of concern trolling is very old.

There is also an extra fail element here you are totally unaware of, read below

"Uhura in the TOS was single not because it was making a statement about single working women, but because simply there was no reason for her not to be single."

Not only you don't know what feminism is, but you are showing total ignorance about what black feminism is. For one, Uhura absolutely was single in tos for no other reason than racialized sexism. I suggest you to educate yourself about the racial cultural context of the 60s, and why the kirk/uhura kiss was so controversial. Also read what Nichelle Nichols said about the matter since you are at it (along other things, she said that spock/uhura was tptb's inspiration too but they couldn't have an interracial couple. COULDN'T. ). You can't be so naive.
Secondly, black feminism is not the same as white feminism because, to simplify it, black women are subjected to different tropes than white women are subjected to. Let's make an example: the damsel in distress is not feminist for white women now because they are always represented like that, but for black women who are constantly dehumanized, and whose stereotype to endure is more the 'strong independent woman who don't need no man', that trope is actually progressive because it asknoveledges them as human beings who need love and protection too.

So the plot twist here is that your concern trolling about Uhura being a love interest is not only insubstantial and prejudiced for the character, but it's is totally fail because EVEN if uhura was just a love interest, that would still be progressive for her as a black woman character and still an improvement of the original because, contextually, to black women, and women of color in general, not being the love interest and being 'single' is not new. It's the annoying cliché they fight against. For white women it's cool and empowering to get represented by single ladies and a badass strong female character stereotype, but for women part of other minorities it's not the same thing because they were actually represented with that stereotype already, and for reasons that have more to do with racism than feminism.
You can't analyze fiction without intersectionality, especially when you want to talk on the behalf of minorities you are not part of, and that you don't get to decide what they should think is progressive or not.
Talking about your personal preferences only is much more dignified, honest and safe.

Trek fans were supposed to be better..
damyen
Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
I suggest you to Google for an editorial called "uhura is not a white girl" written by a black woman who eloquently explains why the white feminism discourse is incorrectly applied to characters like uhura, and why it frustrates woc who see their few examples of representation being erased in the name of what is selfishly considered progressive for white girls only, according to their own experiences only. It's never too late to learn about different perspectives over things we maybe take too much for granted.

I wouldnt put feminists on some pedestal anyway; many so called feminists end up turning themselves into the persecutor too holding women to higher standards. White feminism is well know for being out of touch with minorities, and their erasure of woc, disabled women and women in the LGBT. They preach anout women having the right to make their own choices, only to object to them and push them to make the choices the want them to make. The patriarchy limited women, but some feminists end up doing the same thing.
methane
Tue, May 30, 2017, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Women did better in Beyond than in the 2 previous movies. Yes, Uhura had less screentime, but what was mostly lost was her "girlfriend" screentime. There wasn't any translating for her to do, but in the Enterprise-crashing attack she was the kick ass warrior who nobly sacrificed her own freedom to separate the saucer section. That's about as much spotlight as she received in each of the 2 previous movies outside of her girlfriend activities. Any lost screentime for Uhura (or other women from previous movies) was more than made up for by the addition of Jaylah, who took up a lot of screentime & handled herself capably. In smaller roles, the Commodore was a woman & the redshirt who hid part of the weapon for Kirk was a woman. Each of these was depicted as capable & competent (I mean, I think we're supposed to appreciate the redshirt, although I question surrendering a weapon of mass murder to an obvious villain even if it saves Sulu's life)

Overall, women got more screentime and were consistently shown as being competent & capable.

Of course, none of the women's screentime was spent talking to a boyfriend or being shirtless on screen. Apparently this is what Damyen missed. I don't mind relationships on screen, and I certainly don't mind shirtless women, but I don't think many will agree that adding that would have made Beyond great.

The decline in Star Trek's movie box-office has nothing to do with trying to "placate old fans". The old fans were a big part of the success of the first 2 movies! The whole reason why the studio picked Star Trek to put their generic action formula in is because there were lots of Star Trek fans to sell to (note, these aren't all old people; young people are still discovering the TV shows today, despite the fact they're all dated). Now, these fans were not the only reason it had success, but the studio absolutely counted on those people for a good chunk of the box office release.

The decline of the reboot Star Trek movies is similar to most movie franchises. And when you reduce Star Trek to mostly mindless action movie, you really shouldn't be surprised that it's following a standard action movie decline. To be fair, the TNG movies declined as well (they also felt studio pressures to action it up!). I don't think anybody talks about the TNG movies being classics, aside from maybe First Contact (which I wouldn't call a classic, but that's another review). Similarly, unless an upcoming sequel raises the quality, I don't think many will remember these movies any better than blockbusters like "Independence Day" (a blockbuster in its time which got a belated sequel this year to no interest).

Damyen, the studio would be better off listening to what old-school fans really want. The original series was massively popular in the 1980s. Then the Next Generation came out and averaged 20 million fans a week in the US for 7 years at a time the country was much smaller than today (1990 population was 248 million, today it's about 325 million). People are still discovering the Star Trek TV shows today.

Star Trek done well has a far bigger potential audience than these movies have done. But Star Trek done well is not mindless action movie. You can make it work as mindless action movie, but 1) you won't fully engage the natural audience for Star Trek & 2) it'll never be as good as a great mindless action movie in a franchise designed for action above all else.

Making a Star Trek movie that's a pure action movie is like making a Superman movie a depressing story about mindless destruction and hopelessness. Sure, you could do it, and you'd probably make money the first time you did it...but you'd leave everyone much less excited for the next one. You're not playing to the strengths of the character, and the strengths of the character are why he became such an icon in the first place!

Speaking of which...several commentators earlier on this thread mentioned Marvel. I don't think Marvel Studios has been as consistently successful creatively as others, but Marvel Studios has done one thing absolutely right: tailor the stories to the characters & not the characters to the story. If it's going to make a Captain America movie, it's going to be a movie that goes to the strengths of Captain America as a character. They're trying to make a great Captain America movie, not a great action movie that happens to have Captain America in it! If they make an Iron Man movie or an Ant Man movies, it's going to be completely different.

The producers of these Star Trek movies have not been trying to make a great Star Trek movie! They've been trying to make a generic action movie with Star Trek characters thrown in for flavor (so they have at least one audience they think is guaranteed). Of course, favors without substance will go out of fashion over time.

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

Star Trek: $287 million; STID: $467 million; STB: $336 million
The Martian: $630 million; Gravity: $723 million; Interstellar: $675 million

The audience for smart science fiction is demonstrably larger than Abrams Star Trek. The fact that the studios don't want to make Star Trek smart science fiction is lousy business. That would appeal to the strengths of the franchise and make money for them!

Damyen I assure you they could make a smart movie and still give Uhura a notable role! The old school fanboys that you deride would be happy with the result. Would you?
Peter G.
Tue, May 30, 2017, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Good post, methane.

@ damyan,

"You can't analyze fiction without intersectionality, especially when you want to talk on the behalf of minorities you are not part of,[/quote]

I'm so happy that modern 'liberalism' involves dictating to people what they *cannot* do when they discuss issues. Do you realize how patronizing it is to tell people that if they don't employ the particular social justice theory you believe in that they "can't analyze fiction"? I'm additionally interested in how you divined the color of my skin from my post. That's a good trick.

"and that you don't get to decide what they should think is progressive or not."

I'm pretty sure I can assess things as I see fit to do so. I may be right or wrong, but I definitely do get to decide how I do so!

"Talking about your personal preferences only is much more dignified, honest and safe."

Just now you said I "don't get to decide" what I think is progressive, and now you're saying I should restrict myself to my personal preferences. You also seem to be implying that my personal opinion is little more than a preference, like which flavor of food I like. Did it not occur to you that a person's opinion may also be based on facts, and may or may not otherwise be *correct*? It's totally legit if you think my facts are off or what I say isn't true, but it's pretty shoddy to tell me I should restrict myself to stating what I like and nothing more.

"Trek fans were supposed to be better.."

You see the enlightened future as being a place where everyone thinks like you do and there is no disagreement?
damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 2:23am (UTC -5)
methane
You guys are really on denial about this.
If you really think placating a minority of old trek fans is what makes this trek suchess, in spite if beyond proving the opposite, I dunno what to tell you.
Blaming its failure on other things is an attempt to rationalize the fact that the movie you liked the most is the one liked least by the rest of people. It doesn't compute to some that the majority of fans might have simply not liked beyond as much as they liked the other two.
The funny thing is that if things were reversed, and beyond was fanboys' least favorite, I totally bet no one would make excuses for it. You guys would be gloating about its failure.


"Of course, none of the women's screentime was spent talking to a boyfriend or being shirtless on screen. Apparently this is what Damyen missed. "

No, that's not what I missed but nice try. You guys keep trying belittling uhura for her relationship with spock using concern trolling about feminism, and it's pathetic. You can't ask for the original trio and mccoy to get more screentime to get definited by their bromance front anD center, and then pathetically concern troll about Uhura's relationships asking them to get deleted, and for her to essentially lose what you want the guys to have, in the name of feminism.
There is nothing wrong in uhura having 'girlfriend time' , as much there isnt in the men having 'friend time'. You cant have it both ways snd trying to justify your bias and double standards behind feminism is all kinds of FAIL.
you dont care about women represenration. You just dont want them to get in the way of the original trio and 'steal' screentime for those dynamics you prefer. Erasing her relationships to give more screentime to the guys is not pro women, it's just childish fanboy agenda.
There is no difference between Uhura getting screentime for her relationship and Mccoy getting screentime for his. Bromance isn't and shouldn't be the be all end all of the relationships spectrum. Grow up.


And Beyond did good with women only in appearance and in a way that is safe for fanboys. The new female characters don't interfere with the old trio and the boys dynamics, so they are OK. Uhura gets important face time with krall, but it's mostly a consolation prize after the writers demoted her from her third lead status to replace her with two white men (both mccoy and scotty btw).
She's ridiculously kept away from Spock and Kirk to give Mccoy more to do, and this speaks volumes. If you really need the writing to be all about the boys and erase women and their relationships to make the male characters and their relationships important, not only it screams insecurity and immaturity..but it suggests those male characters and dynamics must be really weak.
In either case, beyond went backwards about JJ's most new and progressive element that was the new dynamics and making Uhura, not another white man, the third lead.
The rest is a pointless argument that desperately tries to rationalize your bias and ignorance. If you like a more old school trek fine, but don't pretend your conservative 'needs' are progressive and pro women (and pro woc in this case) because it's pathetic.

Honestly it's like talking with kids with temper tantrums because they don't like girls coming to their boys only party. Trek fans like to paint themselves as progressive and modern, but they like trek when IT ISN'T THAT.
damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 3:06am (UTC -5)
Peter G.

"I'm so happy that modern 'liberalism' involves dictating to people what they *cannot* do when they discuss issues. Do you realize how patronizing it is to tell people that if they don't employ the particular social justice theory you believe in that they "can't analyze fiction"? I'm additionally interested in how you divined the color of my skin from my post. That's a good trick."


Did I hit a nerve? If so, good.

You call me patronizing etc when you are the one who wants to establish how everyone, including the demographic Uhura represents, should feel about the character. Who is patronizing? That's you.

Your feminist concern trolling argument is fail. It was stupid for you to bring that up, in the first place. You can't complain now because I demolished it from different angulations.
I called you out on your ignorance, and your defensive reaction only proves the point further.

If you don't 'care' about some things, such as how racism affects the way people perceive media and different experiences shaping what different groups will find progressive or not, it's fine; what I object to is your presumption that everyone should think like you in order to be 'feminist' and progressive. You are the one who opened a can of worms with the " SJW excuses" YOU put in the discussion to rationalize your bias, and you painted yourself into a corner doing so.


"You also seem to be implying that my personal opinion is little more than a preference, like which flavor of food I like. Did it not occur to you that a person's opinion may also be based on facts, and may or may not otherwise be *correct*? It's totally legit if you think my facts are off or what I say isn't true, but it's pretty shoddy to tell me I should restrict myself to stating what I like and nothing more."

Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument. I'm the only one who made examples of facts that actually happen in the movies to support my argument, and explain why I disagree with you and I believe you are holding uhura up to sexist double standards. You are just saying that your opinion, in this case your perception of the female character, is a fact because you say so.
And it's too late for you to get touchy now because I called you out on your ignorance when you are the one who was patronizing in your preaching about feminism and ridiculous excuses like that when it's pretty obvious you don't care about Uhura and women in general (let alone poc). At least be honest and admit it because it's insulting you want to pretend your personal opinion is another thing.
Just don't go in the SJW territory yourself if you cant handle counterarguments and people noticing fundamental flaws in your reasoning.

In either case, you don't come across as someone who can handle different opinions. Sorry to ruin your party but I am assure you that if you get outside this page and post in other fanboards, you will find fans who are more rude than me. I suggest you to stay away from the female fans and woc in particular, especially if you are going to get defensive and call them "liberal agenda' when they disagree with your ridiculous concern trolling, and won't "thank" you for erasing their experiences when you condescendingly try to lecturing them about why it's perfectly pro women and progressive to..erase women to make it all about white men and their bromances and keep trek just like it was 50 years ago.


damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 3:55am (UTC -5)
And it exactly is just a desire of some people to keep trek like it was 50 years ago. Since bromance was the only kind of relationship tos allowed, the moment you see a different kind (and no, kirk's episodic flings don't count), some have a nervous breakdown exacerbated by the fact that, essentially, JJ elevated Uhura to the original trio level or Mccoy's level. Uhura and Mccoy are more secondary characters compared to kirk and spock who get more screentime because of their importance to the protagonists. Any perceived difference even bromance and romance when it comes to what is "good" for the character is just people rationalizing their not bring used to have to "deal" with male/female relationships being allowed to have the same importance for the narrative than the bros. I suspect there is a feeling in some that spock having a girlfriend "undermine" the importance of the bromances because now you have Uhura being someone who is important to Spock too, and the guys aren't the only ones who counter to Spock's logic.

These criticisms, concern trolling and double standards for romantic relationships are in large part all about wanting the characters to remain in an immutate state of no evolution (e.g., urban getting praised for his impersonation when he really doesnt get his character is a different version and he should add something new), and for them to be children where the only relationship allowed is "bromance" between three white dudes.
I have no problem with bromances and keeping with the spirit of the original series, but these are supposed to be adults and they need to be shown as being capable of having different kinds of relationships as well, even it brings some old school fans out if their comfort zone.

These characters are supposed to be grown up, well rounded individuals and the notion that Uhura can't be a strong woman, skilled officer and fine lady just because she is in a relationship and has some screentime used to develop that aspect, just like mccoy&Co have screentime for their bromances, is not only sexist but worse than people who think that Spock cannot have a girlfriend and friends at the same time or the first is undermining the second.
Jason R.
Wed, May 31, 2017, 5:43am (UTC -5)
"Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument."

How about the part where it was pointed out that your central thesis, namely that Beyond was calculated to appeal to "old school" Trek fans, was factually wrong.

From the Wikipedia page:

"In January 2015, after Orci's departure, Simon Pegg and Doug Jung were hired to rewrite the screenplay,[22] with Pegg saying on the previous draft, Paramount "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." Pegg had been asked to make the new film "more inclusive", stating that the solution was to "make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent."[23]"
damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

"How about the part where it was pointed out that your central thesis, namely that Beyond was calculated to appeal to "old school" Trek fans, was factually wrong."

you are bizarre. You are addressing something that has nothing to do with the point I was actually replying to with the part you quoted ('"Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument.")
in fact, my reply was to Peter G. saying that they had facts proving that their opinion about Uhura is factual.
What's your thing here? Taking random quotes from other people out of context and reply to arguments not even related to said quotes?

as for your point, I read that before and it really doesn't matter what is written in that bit you posted, nor it is 'factual' invalidation of the point I'm making, especially when it clashes with what actually happens in the movie and the way it was promoted. Beyond is a very nostalgia movie that is essentially praised as such and reccomented to old fans for that reason. Denying that is pure delusion. Them trying to bring back the old trio dynamic pivoting away from the new reboot one, breaking the romance up to have an excuse to focus on bromance only, sidelining Uhura to give McCoy more to do, were only some of things the old-school fans who hated the first movies wanted and Beyond gave them (in part, when it comes to Spock/Uhura, but the point still stands) and along the reasons (as some comments in this page also show) why they prefer Beyond over the other movies . Don't play me disingenuos.
We don't know what paramount meant with Orci's script being too treky (I read his incipit for the third movie and I can speculate it was too nerdy and science fiction for them, and I guess bringing back both Shatner and Nimoy was too much nostalgia and fanservice even for Paramount), but it's obvious Lin and Pegg catered to old fans (or the haters, for that matter, since a lot of old fans liked these movies) more than reboot fans in Beyond.
The way they kept preaching about the spock/bones bromance, or Lin would repeat like a broken record that he was a fan of trek as a kid (not really trying to reassure trek fans you aren't a non-fan like JJ, eh?) and how much he loved McCoy and the original trio. Totally not a tease for old fans, and especially old fans who didn't like the first movies for certain reasons.
Come on, they were literally ass-kissing reboot haters everywhere.
Didn't work making their movie the most successful, and maybe their attempts actually backfired, but they sent a message loud and clear and it was very deliberate.

of course, it depends on what you consider pandering to old-school fans too. My argument is only about some aspects of it; I don't deny there could be old fans who don't like Beyond and who would need a different kind of 'fan pandering' for the movie to cater to them too. I also don't deny the movie is still 'commercial' in some elements obvioustly put there for those who wouldn't be interested about 'just another star trek movie' (e.g., Jaylah's badass character with cool make up. She doesn't even interfere with the old trio since she doesn't interact with them that much, so she is the perfect, reassuring, female lead character for fanboys) But the point still stands that Beyond is the most safe movie of the 3, made to placate the haters more than giving reboot fans a real sequel of the thing they liked, and that is the most likely by a side of the old-school fans who didn't like the movies for certain reasons.
Now you don't feel it pandered to people like you and it's totally fine, but perhaps you should try to understand that people like you maybe were never the ones I was referring to with my original point.
methane
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
damyen said:

" the movie you liked the most is the one liked least by the rest of people"

go back to my review, I said:

"I will say that unlike the last 2 movies, the parts I disliked in this movie bored me, rather than annoying me or making me angry (blowing up Vulcan for not much payoff...transporters that go across the galaxy!). That's somewhat offset by the fact that I don't think the good parts of this movie hit the peaks of the last 2 movies (though it's obviously been awhile since I've watched them)."

Note that I never once said this was my favorite, though I did imply the planetary section was perhaps the best section of any of the movies.

More to the point: I was never upset over the Spock/Uhura relationship in the other movies. Those movies had problems, but the Spock/Uhura relationship wasn't one of them.

"You guys keep trying belittling uhura for her relationship with spock"

Where did I belittle her relationship with Spock? I did note that relationships were missing from this movie, but that women overall had more screentime. I don't think the lack of relationships is what kept Beyond from being a success. I read an article the other week (I forget if it was a newspaper or online) that specifically noted how Marvel had mostly abandoned relationships in their movies, and they continue to be blockbusters.

Look, I understand you wanting more screentime for Uhura, and perhaps my post came off as more adversarial than I meant it to. If so, I apologize. But I think there are problems with all 3 movies, but those problems don't have to do with how much one character or another has screentime.

"you dont care about women represenration. You just dont want them to get in the way of the original trio and 'steal' screentime for those dynamics you prefer."

I'm not going to claim I care about women's representation as much as you do. But don't accuse me of not caring at all.

The original cast was heavily male, which means that any remake focusing on that crew is going to lean male, however much screentime they give Uhura. If they decide to come out with a new, mostly-female crew for Star Trek movies I'd be interested in it, as long as the stories are good. I do have affection for the original characters, but I'd be exicted about well written Star Trek with a new crew.

"And it exactly is just a desire of some people to keep trek like it was 50 years ago"

Stop putting words in other people's mouths! Star Trek needs to develop. I've never complained about Uhura's screentime. But whatever the character breakdown, it needs to develop by adding quality stories.
Jason R.
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
"you are bizarre. You are addressing something that has nothing to do with the point I was actually replying to with the part you quoted ('"Except, there wasn't a single fact in your argument.")"

Damyen I confess I grow weary of parsing through your walls of text, so you'll forgive me for seizing the low hanging fruit. You have been hammering home the point that somehow Beyond was some kind of attempt to placate old school fans which you continue to assert in your latest post.

After being presented facts which prove that the filmmakers' intention was actually the very opposite of what you are asserting, you then hand-wave the evidence away and continue the same tirade against alleged concessions made to "fanboys" or whatnot.

I thought it was funny that you criticized Peter for asserting opinion without factual basis when it appears one of your central arguments is just that - an opinion devoid of factual backing.

You also seem prone to (1) making unfounded assumptions about the motives of others; and (2) and asserting your own ideology as absolute truth and the standard by which everyone must be judged in their analysis of art.
Chrome
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
@damyen

Being a fan of both new Trek movies and the old Trek movies, I'm sympathetic to your position. I also thought Saldana was well-casted, and I miss not having more of her in Beyond.

That said, I see no reason to take up such an aggressive tone with Jason R. here. He simply doesn't like most anything that came out of the new movies, including Saldana's Uhura. So, why not live and let live on that.

As for Uhura being pushed aside for McCoy? Well, McCoy is one of the big three of TOS. McCoy is not a supporting character like Chekov or Sulu; his views are a central part of a Star Trek Aesop. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy represent the three methods of persuasion, ethos, logos, and pathos respectively. For example, whenever Spock stated a situation with cold logic, McCoy would give a more humanistic and compassionate take on the same situation, and then of course it was up to Kirk to bring things all together and decide using his charismatic style.

I think Uhura has always been of great support to the big three of TOS. And yes, she did have a more assertive role in ST: 2009 and ST: ID compared to Beyond. But that's just because of what the story called for. As others have noted, Uhura did the best she could as a *communications officer*. But, on the same token, it would be hard too imagine how a story with a marooned Enterprise that survived great losses would not put McCoy, a doctor (Jim!), in a prominent role.

So, let's try to keep things in perspective. New writers are coming on board for the fourth film and it sounds like they're going off in an experimental direction. This new movie franchise could still surprise us all with how it handles to regular crew.
methane
Wed, May 31, 2017, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
One thing I did praise the writers of this movie for doing was giving everybody in the cast time in the spotlight. I think they did better than any previous Star Trek movie (including TOS & TNG movies) was using everyone. If you asked me who the leads were, I'd probably say Kirk reflexively, because he's the captain. If I wasn't thinking too hard, I'd probably say Jaylah next, because she's the character I remember the most from this movie. But of course, she couldn't be the 2nd lead...she missed the first hour or whatever of the movie, not appearing until the crew ended up on the planet. (note: extended action limited memorable character moments during that whole stretch).

But the truth is, I don't think any character was a lead this movie, at least, not in the sense of previous Star Trek movies. Uhura's screentime was down, but so was Spock's & Kirk's. That meant more time for Scotty, Checkov, Sulu, & McCoy, as well as more time for Jaylah.

I think that was a strength of the screenwriters; it takes skill to get every character contributing meaningfully in a movie...especially when so much of it is driven by special effects. Yes, it does highlight how there was only 1 woman in the original crew, which is probably a reason why writer's introduced Jaylah. Because of her, I do think the overall screentime for women did not go down from the last 2 movies.
damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
@methane the problem sacrificing relationships is that you sacrifice the humanity of the characters, and in a way, character development. Marvel has an appeal to the masses that trek doesn't have so they might be safe but trek is different. JJ infuses his stories with heart, Lin assumes the audience can have everything implied and they will understand even if, unlike him, they didn't read the script. JJ tries to use much of the action scenes as a means to say something about the characters personally, however little and however limited the screentime is to show everything; lin is more about how to use character moments as a pretext to have action scenes. All in all, it's hard for the audience to care about the characters when it seems like the director himself doesn't care about them either. I didn't even get the feeling, and I realize it may be just an impression, that Lin would have watched Beyond himself.
Heart is everything in trek, for me, and as important as the science and anything else.

@Jason R.
I think I explained my point and the "facts" I base my opinions on well enough, but it's me. You seem to still not really get what I'm really talking about, but I don't know any other way I can make my point more clear.

@Chrome
For me it's a matter of priority and making mccoy the third lead is not one, especially when we have two white male protagonists and the creative team made an attempt to make this trek more modern and includive, and balanced, by elevating Uhura to the original trio. Like you said, most of characters are guys so the balance is already nonexistent, it's wise to not push things too much and unnecessarily challenge an audience that might be tired of some things and not willing to give trek a pass, not even for nostalgia.

"Well, McCoy is one of the big three of TOS. McCoy is not a supporting character like Chekov or Sulu; his views are a central part of a Star Trek Aesop. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy represent the three methods of persuasion, ethos, logos, and pathos respectively. For example, whenever Spock stated a situation with cold logic, McCoy would give a more humanistic and compassionate take on the same situation, and then of course it was up to Kirk to bring things all together and decide using his charismatic style."

The reboot characters don't have the same dynamics they had in tos because they are different people. And honestly I'm against the insistence upon giving them these roles at any cost. New Spock is not just cold logic, he isnt even pretending to be only vulcan and denouncing his human side. For the way he is, and the experiences he had (the loss of his planet, his relationship with Uhura, the better relationship he should have with Sarek after the latter cleared the big misuranderstanding between them, and about vulcan feelings. All things mccoy knows about) it frankly makes the banter with mccoy forced if they try to make them like in tos. It feels like mccoy is just prejudiced and attacks spock for no valid reason. This spock isn't equally 'annoying' with him. He seems to just be a cool dude who minds his business and tries to survive a traumatic experience and not lose everything he has lost. His relationship with Uhura adds another possible element of hilarity in that for all mccoy's prejudices, the vulcan still is the one who is making a relationship work while him and Kirk stay single (and divorced) it would make more sense for them to use this aspect, or make him and uhura talk about the struggle of being one the best friend of someone like kirk, and one the girlfriend of Spock. Him and Uhura could be k/s voice of reason, and in some way they were in the first movies.
There are many ways they can find a place for mccoy in THIS trek and in these dynamics without having to get back to the old dynamics only at any cost.
Honestly, I can't lobby for them to turn Spock into an impersonation of Nimoy just to give Mccoy something to do, or to keep the characters the same. It goes against their integrity and frankly, Nimoy himself was very happy about Quinto's new Spock being different. He liked the idea of adding something new to the character (and he was jealous of him getting the romance )
There is nothing wrong in doing different things and in some way, that's the beauty of some reboots.

damyen
Wed, May 31, 2017, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
And @Chrome, if you notice Kirk is different too. I don't see him bringing balance between Spock and Mccoy. Look at him, he's raw emotion and it's him and spock who antagonize each other with their different perspectives. It rather seemed that Kirk was the McCoy who clashed with Spock's logic, with Uhura and Mccoy being the ones more in the middle. Another important difference is that this Spock is in many ways what it took Nimoy 50 years to make tptb asknoveledge: he's the protagonist, too.
As much he was important, iconic and popular in the old thing the protagonist still was Shatner only, with Spock being an important and very popular sidekick. You can't have the original trio in the reboot now to be used to say something about the main guy, Kirk, when the main guy isn't just him anymore. Spick and mccoy cannot serve that purpose only anymore.
In a way, that's one of the reasons why spock has a different dynamic outside of kirk: because kirk does have that too with mccoy being his friend before spock became his friend too. And mccoy is the one he hangs out wuth the most, probably, because they are more similar than him and spock who make more a good team instead.
If Spock is too defined by his dynamic with Kirk and has no life outside that, no arc and no other connection, while kirk gets that, then he isnt a protagonist too.
What was given to Uhura essentially is similar to the reason why spock and mccoy were, in tos, more prominent characters than Sulu, chekov and others.
Chrome
Wed, May 31, 2017, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
"Like you said, most of characters are guys so the balance is already nonexistent"

The writers are just trying to tell a story, they aren't trying to fulfill an affirmative action quotient. That's not to say that I'm against a more inclusive Trek, but I also don't think writers should be constricted to follow some sort of social justice agenda to appease fans. Following that agenda usually doesn't always work out. For example, I haven't heard anyone say how great it was to finally make Sulu openly gay in this movie. It's because there's a difference between organically addressing diversity through storytelling and throwing in diversity for diversity's sake.

As for your points about how the big three characters having changed in the reboot, I agree, but I think the core dynamic is still there, and it's still important. At least part of the magic of retelling a TOS story is you get to have TOS characters doing things in the TOS formula. If the core traits of characters get changed too much, the value in even using the TOS story is lost.

Still, there's still a place for more Uhura, and maybe more Jaylah! I think there's a lot of ways to challenge Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as characters without removing what made them great.
Ravenna
Wed, May 31, 2017, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G,

Ok, Curiosity gets the better of me: why do you find "bromance" a prejudiced term? Does it strike you as belittling to men?

I ask because the ten has always slightly bugged me for the opposite reason. To me it is a term of admiration, one that calls to mind the thousands of celebrated male friendships throughout history and literature: Achilles and Patroclus... Gilgamesh and Enkidu... David and Jonathon.... Butch and Sundance....Kirk, Spock, and McCoy... Riggs and Mertaugh. Everyone respects a bromance.

Now I try to think of great female friendships. I come up with mawkish chick-flick stuff like "Beaches" . I think of Beverly and Troi, who in seven years were shown having, what, four conversations? always about their boyfriends.

(I haven't seen much Voyager - I am curious about it because I've heard the captain and Seven develop a serious friendship of sorts. But I've also heard Seven wears prosthetic breasts and was brought on mainly to cater to and titillate the male fans of ST..)

I love bromances. I love depictions of friends bonded by affection, shared adventure, and insulting banter. I am just bitter that sismances either never exist, or are never portrayed.
Peter G.
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 12:43am (UTC -5)
@ Ravenna,

Good question! It made me think about it so that I was sure what I thought. You are right that close male relationships weren't historically held in disdain; and yet somehow I don't feel the term is complimentary. At least, not in all contexts. I think part of it has to do with one grouping from your list - Achilles and Patroclus, who were not male buddies but were assumed to have been lovers. At that time it would have been sort of scandalous, but not really. Nothing about it diminishes Achilles as a hero, at any rate. More on that in a moment.

I see part of the issue here as being about some brands of feminism, most notably the kind that came about in the 90's, and which still exists today, which can involve a double standard involving it being ok (or even recommended) to mock men and insinuate that they're incompetent or stupid, while also blaming them for various things (patriarchy, oppression, etc.). A friend of mine once mentioned that the TV show "Home Improvement" really captured the essence of mocking men for being men, and that example has stuck with me. The idea there is that men bonding over some shared activity (be it handy work, sports, or whatever else) is roughly equivalent to them playing with toys and that they are too dumb to understand the finer things in life or their own emotions.

This sort of thinking has made quite a comeback in the last few years, and can be seen in "intersectional" type statements such as we just saw from damyan, where he is critical of the state of Star Trek's cast. In his own words: "As much as people can love Mccoy, he still is just another white male character in a cast that is over saturated by male protagonists already." I don't think he meant any disparagement of men here, however there is an implicit trope that's come about when using terms like "white male" which always carries a negative connotation in these circles; or even worse, "white cis male". One is repeatedly informed that white (cis) males need not offer opinions in any area where someone else is more qualified because of their physical characteristics, and I likewise hear disparagement of anything to do with 'man culture', whatever that means. It's never complimentary to find oneself high up on the list of people who need to 'check their privilege.'

So when I hear the term "bromance", on the one hand, yes, you can infer that there's some sense of "brothers for life" or "best buddies", and I've seen contextual uses where it really is intended to mean that (especially when the use is by a friend of the person being said to be in a bromance). But I think more often than that the term is used to disparage male friendship and add the implication of romance, as in, homosexual love, which brings me back to Achilles and Patroclus. When we think of the two of them, we shouldn't call it a 'bromance'; if anything, it should be called a *romance*, assuming they really were lovers. And yet, despite the public understanding of homosexual love not being the boogeyman it used to be, that connotation still hangs in the air of a guy being called gay, and his close friendship with another male being attributed some sexual connotation to poke fun at them for being both male and close with each other.

Here's the case in point from last year: you may remember when the narrative was floated into the mainstream that Trump and Putin were praising each other, and various sources began to suggest that they were having a bromance. This was no compliment, and directly was meant to mock them both in homosexual terms and undermine their masculinity. And this was no isolated incident in Trump's case, where they had already been poking at his sexuality for some time (the size of his hands, the naked statue, etc.).

That is an extreme example, but more broadly I see the social justice narrative as being something to the effect of "We've had enough with hearing about advantaged people having good things or being praised. They need to check their privilege and see how unfair it is." This schema applies equally to various groups of 'advantaged' people, most notably including white people, men, and heterosexuals. When I hear talk of "bromance" within any kind of context of this type of thinking I tend to catch a whiff of the implication that there is something distasteful about any kind of celebration of male-oriented things. I mean, let's be honest, when damyan above kept incessantly using the term "bromance" to describe what has been otherwise always called a friendship, I can't view it in any way other than as deriding it in some way. It's certainly not meant to convey anything good, as in "wow, what an inspiring bromance."

Another thing I'll note is that the term itself is more or less derived from bro-culture (specifically skateboard culture), and when people of that social milieu (especially from the west coast) use the term it comes out sounding way different than when people who have little respect for bro-culture use it. In the latter case it usually comes off sounding to me as mocking.

Here's a quote from the Wiki article on bromance:

"Several characteristics of bromance have been cited:

-Bromance conveys a male homosocial relationship that goes much further than traditional homosocial practices.[2] The increased closeness goes beyond being mere friends, to a deep bond that has been characterized as capturing the conceptual edge of "is gay / is not gay".

-Its emergence as a distinctive conceptual genre and theme in the movie and television industry is seen as reflective of a "broader acceptance of non-heteronormative cultural expressions as well as the prospect of a same-sex intimacy that transcends matters of sexual orientation".

-Contemporary cultural circumstances, including the struggle for and attainment of gay marriage equality, and specific elements of the depiction of bromance in movies and television separate it from buddy films, as well as historic romantic friendships, which reflect a different social construction."

You can see that sexuality is all over this term when employed in gender studies or social justice contexts. It doesn't have the same flavor at all as when used by "how ya doin' bro!" type guys, such as skateboarders.

Sorry for the wall of text, but it was a good question and took me a long time to get through my thought process to try to answer it. I probably only succeeded a little.
damyen
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 5:04am (UTC -5)
@Ravenna, your point about bromance is more or less the way I use the term myself in context of replying to people like Peter G. who uphold male bonding as the most important, only profound kind of relationship, all the while bring condescending over relationships that include women, especially romantic ones. So using bromance to describe those is a way to nod at this double standard and what you said about the fact that male bonding is always considered OK, great, important, precious, deep and so on but female characters and their dynamics hardly get the same respect because everything related to girls is considered "less".

Peter G.'s only made your point and showed this blatant double standard, not to mention his hypocrisy in that he's defending the bromances and being touchy about people who slight those dynamics as something less (in spite of those dynamics being, in large part, always overinflated in pop culture) when he's the first who is undermining and belittling a relationship with a woman, and making it pretty obvious he considers uhura's dynamic less important and interesting and with depth than the "dudebro" (this is a disparaging term for male bonding if I wanted to use one, not bromance), in spite of her dynamics being treated as important to the narrative and the male characters no less than bromance. In fact, besides the spock/uhura romance (a term that is accurate and not offensive, just like bromance, but that contextually the fanboys tend to use to slight romantic relationships a bit, especially like in this case where you are talking about two adult people who are in a relationships since, now, years), people like him probably ignore the kirk/uhura friendship too (because she's a woman and he was attracted to her at first. Cue those who see a love triangle with spock that, literally, doesn't exist because she was never interested about him, and he needs error was in competition with Spock. He saw they are a couple and moved on, he even shows a deep respect for their relationship. Support even) in spite of that being part of the narrative from the beginning and thend hints of bond and care between them being no less than between kirk and scotty, or kirk and bones, or even kirk a different spock. Not to mention bring far less baseless as friendship in this trek than these spock/mccoy.
He also displays blatant double standards (again, ironic when he's accusing others of having double standards for white guys) for uhura and her relationships in that he criticizes them and considers her bad for stuff he gives the guys, particularly mccoy, a free pass or even praises them for (e,g., mccoy is much much more defined by bromance than Uhura is by romance and her dynamics in general)

To make matters worse, he tries to hide his double standards and sexism behind concern trolling and phony feminist concerns: boys being defined by bromance is gold, but a strong badass competent woman who makes important contributions to the plot more than the secondary male characters do, automatically is just eye candy and a sexual object just because she dares to be in a relationship. So, apparently, if the writers sideline her and ignore her dynamics to give male bonding more screentime it's for her own good and the best for women ;) seems legit!

He also is all about white male characters being the ones oppressed, apparently, and yet he derides my bringing up intersectionality to explain that applying white feminism to uhura is a bad idea, anyway, because black women, who feel represented by her, historically are subjected to different, often opposite, tropes in the mainstream so even what he finds cliché and sexist for white female characters, might be progressive for black women and therefore he might be inappropriate in his stance and come across as romanticizing something racist, all the while he tells himself he is calling sexism out (or more like he's disguising his own sexism)

It's funny how some people get offended and defensive when it comes to their own group (e, g., getting touchy about white dudes and bromances), and yet when it comes to other groups (be it women, poc, gay guys etc etc), pointing up the ignorance and prejuduces that they are displaying themselves, they get offended and call their discourse condescending "social justice warrior shit".

"Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you."
damyen
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Sorry for the typos, me device auto-correct's fault I need to disable it.
Peter G.
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 6:36am (UTC -5)
"people like Peter G. who uphold male bonding as the most important, only profound kind of relationship, all the while bring condescending over relationships that include women,"

As Jason said above, it's tiresome to try to communicate with someone who is uninterested in what the other person has to say and will invent epithets to smear his opponent with. There is no way to engage with extremists on topics in any case, but I feel that your replies have gone from being non-responsive to being disingenuous.

"he tries to hide his double standards and sexism behind concern trolling and phony feminist concerns"

That will be all for me. I'll restrict my interactions to contributors who don't engage in flame wars.
Yanks
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 8:13am (UTC -5)
Chrome,

"That's not to say that I'm against a more inclusive Trek, but I also don't think writers should be constricted to follow some sort of social justice agenda to appease fans. Following that agenda usually doesn't always work out. For example, I haven't heard anyone say how great it was to finally make Sulu openly gay in this movie. It's because there's a difference between organically addressing diversity through storytelling and throwing in diversity for diversity's sake."

*** Yanks stands and applauds ***

Well said.
Robert
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 9:02am (UTC -5)
"For example, I haven't heard anyone say how great it was to finally make Sulu openly gay in this movie. It's because there's a difference between organically addressing diversity through storytelling and throwing in diversity for diversity's sake."

On the one hand yes. On the other hand, in Star Trek.... no.

Gene SPECIFICALLY put a Russian on the bridge because we were having problems with them. He specifically put an alien on the bridge because he hoped when we reached the Stars we'd make peace with them. He specifically made a woman the 1st officer (though the network noped the hell out of that one) to show that men and women would work together as equals in the future. He put a black woman and an asian man on the bridge together to show different colors working together. And I think if he were alive today he'd be happy that Sulu was gay.

Now the reboot is tough. Yes it'd be nice to have a better male/female balance... but you're rebooting a property that was about 6 men and 1 woman. Do I think we need to crank up the affirmative action on that one? No... I don't. But to say that throwing in diversity for diversity's sake is not a good thing is about as anti-Trek as we can get.

IDIC!
DLPB
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Well said, Chrome.

@Robert

Back then, those issues hadn't been done to death. They weren't tired, cliche, and in your face. And, in fact, the pendulum had swung too far right. Perhaps. Today, the pendulum has swung right over to bat-shit crazy left - and people are getting fed up of being spoon fed propaganda. As Chrome said, it's one thing to address issues organically - It is quite another to shoe-horn in your own propaganda or agenda—or add things simply to appease the diversity nuts. In fact, it does far more harm to their cause than it does help. You can't smash people over the head with token gestures and propaganda and then expect that people take the message favourably. It's a bit like how Hillary kept reminding women that she was a woman - so 52% of white women said "Go away, thanks." ;)

As I said, in the 60s, these issues needed addressing. Today, they are just irritating, and blatant, and forced in our faces for no intelligent reason.

It's happening everywhere, not just Star Trek. In Britain, many soaps deliberately push this agenda and go way too far with it. It's coming to a point where all the characters are homosexual or else deviant in some way. I recall a storyline where a "bible bashing" teen girl was suddenly a lesbian. No lead up to it... she just suddenly was, after years of her not being. The idea here was clearly a huge assault on Christianity. It ended with two girls kissing, as the camera closed in on a bible on a chest of drawers.

Can you imagine the resentment that causes? I am no longer religious in any way, but when I saw that scene, it really really irritated me as well. God only knows what it did to Christians who saw that. I will guarantee you that that storyline did far more damage to homosexuals than it did help.

Liberals keep shooting themselves in the foot. Case in point, that moronic mock Trump execution by that daft lady the other day.
DLPB
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 9:30am (UTC -5)
www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/corrie-boss-defends-controversial-lesbian-16948 60

lol. Yes you did use the show to peddle your own agenda. The bible part was completely inappropriate.
Robert
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 10:33am (UTC -5)
@DLPB - "Can you imagine the resentment that causes? I am no longer religious in any way, but when I saw that scene, it really really irritated me as well. "

Absolutely I can imagine the resentment.

"As I said, in the 60s, these issues needed addressing. Today, they are just irritating, and blatant, and forced in our faces for no intelligent reason."

Just because you decree it so doesn't mean they don't need addressing. When we've had as many women Presidents as we have had male ones, we can talk about what issues no longer need addressing (note that you need not address that point, it was meant as extreme hyperbole, not a legit suggestion).

My point is merely that having Sulu be gay can't be described as bad in a world where parents freak out that Hank the octopus runs past 2 women pushing a stroller together in "Finding Dory" when the movie is headlined by arguably the most famous lesbian in the world. Like... maybe having Sulu be gay for diversity's sake was ok and doesn't need to be "organic" (whatever that means in context).

That doesn't mean I think there needs to be copious amounts of time devoted to Sulu's love life or anything. In fact, the more sci-fi and space adventure we get and the less soap drama the better. I just don't think making Sulu gay for diversity's sake is a bad thing. I'm not trying to say anything more or less than that.
Robert
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 10:39am (UTC -5)
@DLPB - "Liberals keep shooting themselves in the foot. Case in point, that moronic mock Trump execution by that daft lady the other day. "

I am trying not to go into current politics much. I think there's too much Trump all over. But I have to ask, seriously. What exactly is wrong with what happened in the Trump execution?

A "shock" comedian (they are not my thing, but they do exist... and they exist on both sides) crossed a line (which is sort of their job anyway... though this was three or four lines further than the line one should cross), was derided for it on both sides (her liberal co-workers did not back her, liberal politicians complained, Chelsea Clinton complained, etc.), she apologized and was fired. Like... what should have happened? How is this a function of the "Left" doing anything wrong?

And individual did something wrong, nobody backed her up on it, she apologized and lost her job. If only ever incident of somebody doing something stupid was handled so neatly.
DLPB
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 11:03am (UTC -5)
1. It was in ridiculous taste at a time when innocent people are being executed by Islamic State in that exact manner.

2. His own 11 year old son saw it - and so did others in his family. How is that any form of protest at all? It's just crappy. Even CNN has disavowed the people involved.

3. All that kind of thing does is turn more people away from rational debate - or from coming together . And it definitely hurts the Dems' cause (not that I care - I can't stand them).

4. I have more of a problem with the fact the reporter for CNN, Kathy Grifin, was involved. She has been, rightfully, sacked.

I imagine that you'd not have a problem if this had been Bernie's head? Or Obama's? Or Martin Luther King? I doubt it.

Apologizing doesn't do squat. The damage has been done and she isn't a very nice person to have done it in the first place. That brainless conduct is typical of the left these days. They like to portray themselves as the moral guardians and the Republicans as nasty... but the evidence is to the contrary.
Robert
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 11:09am (UTC -5)
DLPB, I think you're missing the point. I did have a problem with it. We've had Presidents assassinated before. Joking about it is unacceptable. My point is that it's not a symptom of the deranged left.

The TLDR is that a liberal shock comedian made a joke in really poor taste, it landed flat, NOBODY laughed (on either side of the aisle), nobody supported her, she apologized and got fired.

My question to you is... what do you think should have happened that didn't? In what way does one individual doing something stupid reflect the entire left if the entire left is willing to admit she was wrong? Should the ENTIRE right be held responsible for every vile thing that the worst member of your "team" does? Like... is that the place we want to be?
DLPB
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 11:10am (UTC -5)
Employee not reporter. She is an employee, I take it?
Robert
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 11:23am (UTC -5)
Not anymore! :P

Free market self correcting is the best kind of solution IMHO. People should be allowed to say WTF they want and businesses should be allowed to pick and choose who they want representing their brand. This is going to follow her a long time. As well it should.

But if you look at the reactions on the left, nobody had her back. And in reality... the same is often true when it happens on the right. When somebody does something vile they get slammed for it. They lose their job. Nobody has their back. Mel Gibson suffered for his anti-Semitic rant for instance. Nobody defended that.
damyen
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
@Robert
"Now the reboot is tough. Yes it'd be nice to have a better male/female balance... but you're rebooting a property that was about 6 men and 1 woman. Do I think we need to crank up the affirmative action on that one? No... I don't. But to say that throwing in diversity for diversity's sake is not a good thing is about as anti-Trek as we can get."

last point is the point.

and the balance is already off so at the very least the creative team shouldn't make it all the more off by sideling the one female lead character they have, and the few relationships that include said female lead and make the story less a 'bromance show' only. Especially not when those elements had been among the most popular, talked about, attention grabbing and praised things from the first movies.

and I want to add that making Pegg one of the writers unfortunately resulted in the most predictable thing everyone knew he would do: he wrote himself a bigger role. That's why you don't make one of the actors, especially of secondary characters, one of the writers too.
It's lame enough to sideline Uhura (when she was the third lead of this trek) to give McCoy and more old-school bromance the spotlight (when you could have sacrificed the screentime of other characters or plot elements instead), but for them to give more screentime to Scotty, almost as if they wanted to make him the fourth lead in the original trio instead of Uhura/McCoy, is really testing some fans' endurance.

I don't remember anyone ever asking for more Scotty or more Scotty/Kirk bromance, and while many wanted more Bones, I didn't read all these people clamoring for another bromance with him becoming front and center, especially when his relationship with Kirk already was well developed from the start. It was enough. You really need to make it all the more about bromances when you have Kirk/Spock and Kirk/Bones already?
We can't lament oversaturation of diversity in trek (so. ironic) all the while we have no issues with oversaturation of white men and their bros dynamics.

No one says you gotta eliminate white men and bromance, but AT LEAST don't make them mutually exclusive with different things and if you absolutely need more attention for bromance and the boys, at least don't take screentime away from the few different things we already have.
Even the Uhura nd Sulu dynamic didn't get any real development in spite of the creative team praising themselves so much for spitting the group up SO that they could explore ALL these different and new dynamics (it's still up to debate what's 'new' about the spock/bones banter). I see more humanity and a hint of friendship between them in that scene from Into Darkess when Sulu says 'I'm sorry Uhura' as they have to leave Spock in the volcano. It's a small thing that makes it obvious he knows what Spock means to her and he cares about it because his colleagues are his friends too. Why we didn't get anything like that in beyond when Sulu's family was in danger (as Krall was about to attack Yorktown). Why weren't these two characters allowed to be worried about their loved ones and bond through that?

TLDR I don't think fans of the first movies who were disappointed by Beyond for its treatment of Uhura and her relationships , are unreasonable nor I think they want to foundamentally change everything. If anything, the unreasonable ones are the old-school fans who post JJ's first movie were whining that this wasn't their trek anymore just because the 3 white men weren't the most important thing anymore. Unreasonable are the people who were clamoring for this trek to say goodbye to its integrity and everything people liked in the first movies and wanted to see more of, for the sake of nostalgia. Unreasonable is not even trying to understand why many of the people who loved (loved) the first movies and made them successful, couldn't make Beyond as successful not even if a lot of them still liked it (and maybe they had such low expectations after the messy behind the scenes developments, that Beyond was at least 'not too bad')




Chrome
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
"Why we didn't get anything like that in beyond when Sulu's family was in danger? Why weren't these two characters allowed to be worried about their loved ones and bond through that?"

Right, exactly that. Sulu's family time was a fine idea with poor execution. It didn't contribute to the story, and it felt more like Sulu was given a diversity medal instead of actually having a thread in the story. That's not celebrating a diverse cast, it's just tokenism.

As I think I've expressed numerous times here, there's no problem with giving Uhura/Saldana more screen time, but definitely not at the cost of fragmenting the story that's being told. If the writers thought that McCoy fit better for certain scenes because they wanted to highlight the Kirk-Bones relationship or the Bones-Spock antagonism, or because someone needed medical attention and a doctor was necessary, then I don't see what the issue is in utilizing McCoy.

Incidentally, Karl Urban (McCoy) has third billing over Zoe Saldana (Uhura) with fourth billing. So, if anything, maybe Karl Urban was a little upset at getting less time in the first 2 films? Something to consider.
FlyingSquirrel
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
"I love bromances. I love depictions of friends bonded by affection, shared adventure, and insulting banter. I am just bitter that sismances either never exist, or are never portrayed."

I don't much like the term "bromance" (and I'm a guy) - not that I find it "belittling" exactly. It's more that it seems like there's a certain type of behavior and attitude associated with the term "bro" that I mostly dislike, and so "bromance" to me implies that the two guys are stereotypical "bros."
Jason R.
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
I'm not a big fan of the term either. At its most innocuous it's just one if those trite pop culture terms that shouldn't be used by anybody over 12 or not writing for a gossip celebrity rag.

At its worst, its a barely veiled insult designed to belittle by insinuating that close male freindships are homosexual.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Damyen, how about you take a chill pill? Every single post of yours, and I do mean every single one, is full to bursting with barely contained rage, defensiveness, and constant belittling misrepresentation of other posters' positions. It's frankly insulting not only to the people you converse with but also to intelligence of bystanders like me. Please come off your self-imposed pedestal and try to engage others with some goddamn good faith.
Jammer
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Certain people just don't want to listen or respect fair-play discussion. They just want to push their narrative at all costs and they entrench themselves because to give an inch or grant that people might be arguing something in good faith is apparently akin to conceding your life, I guess.

It is exhausting and needless. Can we just drop it? And stop saying "concern trolling." That's presumptive and condescending as hell.
RandomThoughts
Thu, Jun 1, 2017, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Well, did anyone else feel that a huge (HUGE) space station out there for seemingly no reason took them somewhat out of their immersion, as I mentioned in Aug of '16?

And with all the time it took to build it, no one went towards that spot in space until they were done? I mean, I liked the movie well enough, but shoot, they just stayed in their little pocket the Whole time?

I still wonder what that station's use would have been, if they had no knowledge of what was Beyond... :D

Regards Everyone... RT
damyen
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 3:34am (UTC -5)
@Chrome

" because someone needed medical attention and a doctor was necessary, then I don't see what the issue is in utilizing McCoy. "

Not to nitpick here, but we only see Mccoy playing his doctor role once, then him participating to the rescue mission and then piloting that ship with spock were, imo, forced pretexts to make him and spock play the action duo and be defined by their screentime together. His expertize wasnt more useful (if anything, it would make more sense for the doctor to stay behind on the ship and wait for injured people to help, and coordinate the remaining medical staff from there) , saved maybe for him piloting the ship (where spock probably was the more nonsense choice because of his injury that made him too weak to effectively rescue uhura, like, 2 minutes ago. She had to help him stay up but suddenly he's fine and can pull kirk like that using the arm on the side of his body that has a bleeding hole? Ok)

It's a pity, for me, that when the group finally reunites, Spock is still not allowed to share that many important interactions with the others. Say what you want about the other movies, but he was treated as one of the protagonists while here he doesn't even interact with the villain (or any of the villains). Too many things are only implied and he deserved to have at least one scene with his girlfriend where they discuss what happened (the fact everyone gets to talk about their relationship but Uhura also is bad because it's like erasing the woman from her own relationship while also using it to give the guys, in this case mccoy, something to talk about)
Mccoy gets it even worse because once again, he only interacts with Spock and Kirk. At least in the other movies he interacts with background characters, Sulu, and even Khan. Here he gets even less.
He doesn't even get to be sad about Kirk leaving? You can't give them the friends moment at the beginning and then make me believe that Kirk didn't tell him he was leaving, or that MCcoy doesn't care and everyone's only concern is kirk and spock possibly not working together anymore. You can't make it all only about what kirk would do without spock, all the while ignoring that MCcoy is Kirk's friend as well and he equally put himself in danger to save him in the end.
It seems beyond cannot multitasking with the dynamics in certain points and things become mutually exclusive when they don't have to be.


"Incidentally, Karl Urban (McCoy) has third billing over Zoe Saldana (Uhura) with fourth billing. So, if anything, maybe Karl Urban was a little upset at getting less time in the first 2 films? Something to consider."

What's to consider? It makes things worse. I find there is nothing to praise them for after they essentially sidelined the third lead woc from the first movies to give her spot to another white man. To give him a raise at the expense of an actress who is a bigger name than his, too. They went backwards; that's the opposite of "trek" for me.
And then, as if nothing had changed, they kept using her face, not his, in posters with the protagonists because I guess they know the actress is more popular, and that her image is more useful than that of just another guy (but this isn't enough to pay her fair)..
This only makes their deliberate choice to cave under Karl's complains and go backwards with the dynamic all the more stupid because they weren't even honest about it; it's like they did something well knowing it would make this trek go backwards and would come across as conservative, and would alienate a side of the audience.
Urban exaggerated things anyway and overinflated his character. I'm sure that when he accepted the job before filming the first movie no one told him he would be the third male protagonist so he knew what he was getting himself into. There is no reason besides nostalgia (for a guy who isn't him anyway) why he must get more screentime than the other guys. John Cho and Anton Yelchin got way less than him but I don't remember them complaining. I don't believe he wouldn't come back because regardless what he said, trek is the only big franchise he's part of and any other guy would kill to play Mccoy.
ravenna
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 6:04am (UTC -5)
@Peter G,

Thanks for a thoughtful answer. You and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but I respect you and I understand at least some of your feelings. FWIW, I also understand Damyen's.

I want to give an equally thoughtful response. My problem is that for every point you raise, a six-page essay springs into my mind. Issues are complicated. Writing is an imperfect means of communication. Plus, I'm wordy.

Okay. Where we disagree: I don't see the homoerotic sneer that you see in the word "bromance." Of course any word can be said with a sneer if desired. ("Jim and Bones are, cough-cough, close FRIENDS if ya know what I mean.") But I just haven't seen it used that way. Maybe you hang around a bunch of homophobic jerks ? Consider the possibility!

Trump: I don't think Trump is being called gay in any way. In regards to Putin, the 'bromance' was meant as a jab at Trump's perceived malleability and idiocy: he initially seemed to fawn over Putin in a childish way, while Putin appeared to be savvy and likely to dance Trump on his lap like a puppet. And of course it was Trump himself who made his genitals and his sexual prowess -- along with his views on pussies and his alpha-male rights to ogle and grope women -- into subjects of media discussion. You're not making Trump out to be the innocent victim of in appropriate sexual slurs here, are you? Because that would baffle me.

I'd love to discuss Achilles/Patroclus for a really long time, probably until you cry witih boredom. The jury's out on whether Homer meant to imply a sexual relationship between them, or just an impassioned love between manly men at war. They both have sex with women. I don't think anyone would have attached any sense of scandal or shame to the relationship, even if gayness was inferred. Pederasty was a normal part of Greek male life and wasn't stigmatized.

(Achilles/Patroclus wouldn't have been a case of pederasty, since both were grown men, but my point is that love between men was accepted. In a time when males lived very separate lives from their locked-in, uneducated, and vastly
'lesser' (in their view) womenfolk, it was normal that men's strongest bonds were forged with other men. Women enter the tent of Achilles and Patroclus, but only as slaves - trivial objects; war booty to be raped and bickered over. The men are the main characters. Their attachment to each other forms the mighty heart of the Iliad and serves as the wellspring of their heroism and sacrifice and fierce manful passions, as well as Achilles' character growth. So if Ach/Pat is what you think of when you think of 'bromance' , then I think you should love bromances. )


As to your complaint about those nineties comedies, and that stripe of feminism that says it's okay to mock men... ah, that's worth at least an eighty page manuscript from me, all by itself!

Look: my first response to your complaint was sympathy. I have misspent enough time on far-left political discussion sites to be infuriated by the lowbrow comments which invariably follow every random shooting, every petty outrage-du-jour news item: "We have a toxic white American cis-male Christian gun-loving culture! Full of rabid policemen! That's who's to blame! " So yes. I know what you're talking about.

But my delayed response was anger . It is the same anger, I think, that Damyen is expressing.

To try for a comparison: imagine the anger of a destitute McDonald's worker who hears a well-dressed businesswoman complain about her lot: "it just sucks being in the top tax bracket. Unfair! The government took a hundred grand from me last year! And I bet they used it on Section Eight housing and public health clinics - stuff I'll never use in my life!"

Well, that woman's feelings are normal and understandable: none of us likes to pay taxes. But to the poor worker - who's constantly slighted and ignored by all the rich people who treat him rudely because he works at McDonald's - her comment translates as, "I don't give a damn about you or your stupid problems.
I only care about my comparatively trivial rich-person problems. I'm a whiny selfish jerk."

I can empathize with you. Now try to empathize with me.

Insulting portrayals of females on TV are the norm - always have been. They are so much the norm that you probably don't notice them, or you think they're trivial and women should quit bitching, or you make excuses for them, or you laugh and enjoy them. Plenty of women adapt to where they agree with those points of view. It's like being born into a tribe of untouchables and raised on dog food from birth: you see that other people are given decent food and you know you'll never get a taste of it. But if you let yourself think about that, you'll be crazed with helpless outrage. So you eat your dog food and tell yourself it's healthy and deliciious. Then maybe you get mad when someone else in the dogfood group says, "This isn't fair! Why are they always humiliating us like this?" Because you'd rather keep your sanity than fight a losing battle.

(Just one example: I was excited to watch "Sherlock." By the end of episode two, I quit it in rage. In two episodes, I'd been shown seven or eight females, all of them in bit parts - and about six of those were shockingly demeaning female stereotypes. It was the misogynist equivalent of a show with six grinning black mammies in the background, or six devious money-grubbing Jews. That's "Sherlock," a glossy modern TV show. A show that everyone raves about.)

If you're still with me, take the next step: try to absorb the fact that these insulting TV portrayals, that to you are the worst sexism you've ever experienced, are to women the absolute *mildest* form of crap that we are forced to swallow. The insults built into TV and media are background stuff - part of the day-in, day-out low-level condescension and lack of respect and sexual double-standard that's our dog food, dished out three meals a day forever. But those daily expected meals pale in comparison to the worse things - things that are very common, and range from humiliating, to desperately unjust, to terrifying, to fatal.

I am not playing a tiny violin and demanding pity. I am asking you to take one step back and recognize that what you complain about, is a tiny taste of how the other half lives. That doesn't mean you deserve to get your feelings hurt by TV shows or sweeping sexist generalizations, any more than I do. But if a taste of that is bitter: imagine a lifetime of it. I can only hope that the experience makes you more aware of women's problems: more concerned about sexism, not more angry at females. That's up to you, though. I've heard plenty of males insist that thy're on the losing side of the battle of the sexes. They're idiots.

(Slight final tangent to an utterly tangential comment: I don't actually think that those insulting anti-man comedies you mention are any kind of forward progress against sexism. They remind me of a common "compliment" that high-status businessmen pay to low-status secretaries: "Ha ha, I know you're the real brains of the outfit. Your boss is just the front man, right? Bet the whole place would fall apart without you!" Yeah, it's just patronizing bullshit. It doesn't come with any real respect; quite the opposite because it's a canned phrase that assumes the listener is a gullible idiot. The secretary hears it, and maybe she's flattered or maybe she thinks he's an ass - but either way, she's been put firmly in her place.


I now must apologize for this whole comment, which has nothing to do with Star Trek and hella little to do with bromances.
Robert
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 7:18am (UTC -5)
Trying to decide if I should type this, but I think it's relevant to Trek because of the original three.

First, I haven't seen this and didn't intend to... the last one was so annoying to me that I gave up. Maybe I should.

Second, I'm a tiny bit liberal (just a touch :P) and I just argued that diversity for the sake of diversity is very Trek. If we launch a new show and the cast was all male I wouldn't watch it. Truly.

But the cast is what it is, this being a reboot and all... and I don't know that always headlining Uhura because she happens to be the token woman/POC is the right solution to this problem.

Personally I've always been a fan of thoroughly exploring the WHOLE cast in Trek. I felt TNG/DS9s ensemble focus was more interesting than TOS's trinity. But when you focus on the ensemble sometimes it's your day to shine, sometimes it's not. Always putting the focus on Saldana, talented as she is, isn't the way to fix this problem.

So how do we fix it? Well if we can have an all female Ghostbusters then I think we just let it go. It's a reboot of a 60s television show. There are built in problems to the concept (I would have boldly gone into the future, but my feelings on reboots stand above this). I'd rather worry that we're 20 movies into the MCU and we've yet to have a woman headline them. Worrying about the gender balance on a 60s reboot seems a waste to me. Are we going to complain if they make a Three Stooges movie and they are all guys? Further... can nothing ever be all guys again? Maybe McCoy and Scotty shining in this one is ok. Hopefully Uhura will shine in 4 or 5 (though I still won't be watching).

Ok and third... gulp... Trump/Putin. Yes, there is gay insinuation. I personally don't like the concept of using gay as an insult... But when you have a thin skinned guy who's obsessed with masculinity, well I do get why it's fun to poke him that way. But I've never heard anybody refer to it as a bromance. To me, bromance is the white version of "they love each other, no homo". It implies not gay, but close (and maybe close in a way macho men weren't allowed to be). House and Wilson, Kirk and Spock, O'Brien and Bashir, Oliver and Diggle... this is where I hear the term. And it always feels positive, like people are excited to see close male friendship. It never feels gay or questioning masculinity or snarky.
Jason R.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Ravenna your post wasn't directed at me, but I wanted to thank you anyway for it as it was very thoughtful. I look forward to Peter's response.

My small point in response - the problem with the victim mentality you espouse is that there's always someone worse off than you. You were fed dog food? The guy down the road wasn't fed at all.

You see this problem as each victim group claims the higher ground - the white woman feels entitled to feel aggrieved next to the white man, but to the black women she's just a spoiled little privileged white girl. But then to the transgendered woman the black woman is the one who is privileged.

We can do what we have been doing and create hierarchies of privilege (with those holding the least privilege at the top of the inverse totem pole) and go down the rabbit hole. But concepts such as privilege do not advance the cause of equality - they are divisive, often flagrantly racist / sexist and promote hate.
Jason R.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 9:09am (UTC -5)
And to add: I don't suggest that men are on the losing side of the battle of the sexes. But the way forward is through mutual respect. To the extent that feminists trivialize or dismiss male grievances, or even seek to belittle / disrespect men, that does not advance females - indeed it undermines the cause.
Peter G.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 10:04am (UTC -5)
@ ravenna,

My entire reply to you had a single objective: to demonstrate why I think the term "bromance" is prejudicial and can have a negative connotation. Just from the Wiki quote alone it seems to me that the quasi-sexual baggage is pretty well baked into it, and that only the most well-meaning usage, particularly when employed in a bro-culture context, can avoid this homoerotic association. However I can also see why some people like yourself might not find this offensive, even granting what I said. After all, if there's nothing wrong with homosexuality then implying a homoerotic element to a friendship is surely no slight, right? Ah, but that's the tricky part. We may have gotten to the point in [liberal] society where it'll be generally acknowledged that being homosexual is nothing to sneer at, and yet it doesn't follow from this (but many people think it does) that calling a straight person "gay" should therefore carry no negative weight. But of course it does, right or wrong. I'm pretty confident that "bromance" has a subtle sexual connotation to it, but I can agree to disagree about whether that in itself should be deemed irksome.

Regarding your initial sympathy and delayed anger, I have to suspect that there's been a bit of confusion about what point I was trying to make. Since my only goal was to try to unpack the meaning of a word, I used some stepping stones to get there, such as mentioning 80's comedies, the tendency for belittling of men to be socially acceptable, and how white/cis/straight people have been subject to some criticism lately. But I should clarify that I was not trying to argue any of these points in particular, nor was my objective to make a case about these issues that needs addressing. I was using them as premises to make the point about the word "bromance", and was certainly not looking for sympathy or trying to get anyone on board with feeling badly for men or white people. So in a way perhaps your slow anger resulted from your sympathy; both were likely a result of you perhaps thinking I was looking for understanding and compassion, and indeed I can understand why it would make someone angry to read a vaguely manipulative tract wherein sympathy is sought for a group that ostensibly doesn't have major grievances to air (in fact I do think they do have major grievances to air but that has nothing to do with the battle of the sexes or with our discussion here). Just as an example of your takeaway:

"As to your complaint about those nineties comedies, and that stripe of feminism that says it's okay to mock men"

You see, I wasn't making a complaint. I was simply stating what I see as a fact and was using it as context. Maybe I *could* make a complaint about that in theory, but I'm not doing that. I think damyan was making the same mistake, assuming that because I cite what I see as a fact I'm therefore complaining about it and seeking redress or sympathy or something. Such is not the case, for me at least. It's nice in a way that your instinct was to try to empathize with my position, but the truth is that I was making a simple logical argument. The whole "bromance" tangent began just because I mentioned in passing that I find the term prejudicial, and I only mentioned that because I was trying to point out an irony of posts purporting to speak of social justice using terms that I think in context could be seen as derogatory. I said it because I observed it, not because I was upset by it. Overall in this thread the only negative emotion I've experienced is some ennui in trying to get through aggressive walls of text, but I'm not put out by the subject matter or anything like that. My aim, as always, is to discuss Trek and to try to mine out what important things can be discussed there.

I hope this clarified!

PS - I would not personally define Ach/Pat as a bromance (in the positive sense). The presence of women in their tents doesn't really speak to whether they loved each other in that way, and a small note about Pat's age - he may have been adult by the time of the story, but he hadn't always been one. Just saying. It's even possible it was a pederasty thing previously and by the time of the story they had stopped that kind of interaction but still retained the bond. Who knows.

Robert
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 10:47am (UTC -5)
It's worth considering that bromance may be negative in non-liberal circles. I mean... Obama joked about his bromance with Biden... and I assure you he didn't mean anything sexual about that. So it's worth contemplating that to conservatives there's still a nasty playground "well if you love him so much, why don't you marry him!" snark to the term, whereas to liberals it's literally just a term that describes a thing and has no baggage on it. But then I feel conservatives lean homophobic, so they sometimes seem bothered by a lot of terms that are harmless (to me). Like I imagine metrosexual would bother somebody who is uncomfortable with homosexuality.

That said, considering the amount of Kirk/Spock slash out there... anybody who wants to go THERE already can. So ya...
Chrome
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 11:21am (UTC -5)
For my part, I've never heard the word bromance used in a negative connotation. It's like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon or Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker from Rush Hour. Two guys bond over the same struggles, and make a good team. Nothing more than that.

That may just be how it's used in the U.S., though, and maybe only in the circle I'm aware of. I'd be interested to know if other countries use the term differently.

As to the topic at hand, I think Robert's last comment pretty much sums up my feelings on Beyond's use of the main cast.
Del_Duio
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 11:26am (UTC -5)
@RT:

I thought that the space station itself was really cool but not "Star Trek". If it were for another sci fi movie that might sit better with me. Again, it was great but not Trek.

Besides, the canon Trek space stations are pretty awesome as they are, no need to go about making stuff up for the hell of it I suppose :D
Peter G.
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Haha, I'm sorry that this sidetrack ended up taking so much attention. My long reply about "bromance" was just to try to answer ravenna's question adequately, but it's really not a big deal to me either way. It's interesting to discuss a small issue in detail to try to examine it, but I didn't mean to make some kind of issue about it. It barely matters to me other than as a kind of "eh" when I hear it.

@ Chrome,

"For my part, I've never heard the word bromance used in a negative connotation."

Other than in the Trump/Putin case (and yes, there were articles where it was facetiously called a bromance) I agree that the term isn't used in an actively derogatory way by most people. It's not the intended use I'm referring to, but the baked-in implications that I perceive ride with it regardless. Maybe some others don't pick up on that, but I think there's something there. Ah well.
DLPB
Fri, Jun 2, 2017, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
'Bromance' is a negative connotation - but it's benign and usually used in very good humour. Most sane people don't go off their rocker because someone uses a word they don't like. I know that's not typical these days, in the Snowflake Generation.

Having close ties with another male may make people use the term either in jest or as an insult (that goes for many words. Context is king.) As I said, it's nearly always used in a humourous way. Honestly, how is this important enough to discuss in novel-length conversations here?
RandomThoughts
Sat, Jun 3, 2017, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

@Del_Duio

Yes indeed, it would have been better in another type of series, or at the very least, somewhere close to the Homeworlds. Not that we ever saw anything Close to this before in TOS. Vulcan dissolves and they decide to make huge (HUGE) circular space stations on the edge of nowhere? When did this happen? Was Vulcan the voice of reason behind not making something like this? Or is it more sinister? Something from just after the time shift made them pour resources into weird and strange things, even before Vulcan vanished?

I thank you for the reply. I was hoping to change the track away from the discussion that had gone before, if only a little bit. It seems even a mention from Jammer could not stop the course this thread has taken. That is a first for me.

Regards... RT
skiffle
Sat, Jul 1, 2017, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
I think it's funny all of you debating bromance, and love interestests, and trifectas and liberalism and all that other nonsense, as if they are reasons to like/not like these first 3 reboot movies.

They all suck if you ask me, because they are plot-hole ridden cgi laden nonsense of the first order, with little to no developed or believable or likable characters, driven solely by fistfights and explosions.

st09 1 star
stid 0 stars
stb 1/2 star

And I am very much a star trek fan, having seen every ep of every series and every movie, having seen most of both the eps and the movies many times over.

These movies are just bad is all. And I will never watch any of the 3 again. I'll watch a new one if it comes out, and odds are I probably won't watch that ever again either.
John Harmon
Fri, Jul 21, 2017, 3:59am (UTC -5)
@Chrome

"It's because there's a difference between organically addressing diversity through storytelling and throwing in diversity for diversity's sake."

Ok...what's the difference then?
Chrome
Fri, Jul 21, 2017, 11:32am (UTC -5)
For example, give Sulu a conversation with his family and have maybe the husband know something about the Nebula, about Krall, or even a weakness about the Yorktown station that's exploited later. Otherwise, it's just window dressing. They're adding a gay character so they can pat themselves on the back and say what a wonderful thing they've done to help the gay community.

I don't buy it!
Syndrin
Mon, Aug 28, 2017, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
This movie was just.....alright because it had 2 huge problems. One was the power of the swarm weapon/attack...it was ridiculously powerful - silly really....so much so that no one would really stand a chance against it, if they decided to employ it en masse.
The other was the scope of the Yorktown space station......that was so far beyond the technological and resource capabilities of the Federation that it was laughable....this from an organization that has trouble keeping its roster of starships up to par. As soon as I saw it, I thought simultaneously "cooooool" and "ridiculous"...there's always such pressure to come up with "bigger and better" from the previous installment that it sometimes ignores plausibility and ultimately hurts the story.
Paul
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
@ John Harmon and @Chrome:

I think I just realized where the problem lies. When they put Chekov on the bridge of the Enterprise, nobody made a fuss about him being a russian (in universe), yet it was obvious that he was one. At that time, half of america or more believed the russians were some kind of communist deamons. So they had both a way to unintrusively put him there and comment on an issue that was present at the times.

Now, with Sulu, everybody knows that the character was not gay in the original series - which caused much backlash, even George Takei was against that change. Taking an established character and making him gay just because - yeah, thats tokenism. If they introduced a new Character, lets name him Bob, and have a little sidestory were Bob talks with his husband Frank, and everybody just goes about his buisiness: Sure, why not? I guess nobody would have cared. Take The Orville for example. They have a gay couple (granted, their whole species is monogendered), but that didn't phase me in the slightest. It didn't come across as "Lets push our liberal agenda folks! Look here, we even got a gay guy!"

So to sum up, there is nothing wrong with having a gay character in and of itself. There is something wrong with putting one there just to appease the PC crowd, at least it put a bitter taste in my mouth. And it did something ... very un-treklike in the end. Now I am sitting here being unhappy that a character in a show is gay. Thats the exact opposite of what Star Trek wants to achieve, I guess. Well, it's not even that I am unhappy. It is just annoying because so much fuss was made about it. For weeks everybody only talked about how Sulu is gay. The scene itself was perfectly fine. But why make such a big fuss about it? If being gay is being normal - there is no need to even mention it, period. Why are we talking about gay characters again? Why is it important if somebody is gay? Besides them shitting on canon (again), is there a reason this is even worth mentioning?

Same goes for pretty much everything being pushed by certain people nowadays. I never cared that Sisko was black. Now with Discovery, and how they brag that most of their cast is none-white, I am thinking: Yeah, uh, what are you trying to say? White people are evil? Colour matters?

Wow, I just realized that Tuvok was black too. I totally forgot. Never before has the color of his skin even mattered to me. Damn our times for making me think in racial terms all the time. I guess that really annoys me more than it should, but a few years ago, I would never have thought about this stuff.

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