Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 47 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 2
Set Bookmark
Brian S
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

@Richard: "I find it hard to believe that people would voluntary walk into a disintegration chamber.... I would imagine that self-preservation is a pretty strong instinct throughout the galaxy."

++++

The episode addresses this point.

Mea--the hostess--says she has no greater wish to die than Kirk or anybody else, but that to her it's preferable to the alternative.

In war, there isn't just death.....there is pain, and suffering, and mutilation, and torture.

Take, for example, the conflict in Syria. It isn't just the deaths from the bombs being dropped on people. Thousands more beyond just the dead are injured, crippled, left bleeding in the streets. Their wounds can become infected, limbs lost. Among the survivors, homes and schools are destroyed. Basic services disrupted, water systems damaged and non-functional. Supply lines are cut, there are food shortages and hunger. Disease runs rampant with no functional medical facilities to treat it. Soldiers/Rebels tend to be fairly barbaric in personal combat, often taking prisoners, torturing enemies, raping civilians.

War is not sanitary. War creates secondary and exponential unintended suffering far beyond deaths from the primary attack.

And even in killing, not all deaths are brought about the same. Most combat deaths are not instantaneous and painless like a disintegration chamber. People spend minutes or hours bleeding out from bullet wounds or shrapnel. Choking to death on nerve agents. Drowning in the ocean after a sub or battleship is sunk. Having their flesh burned off their bones by bombs. Spending several days agonizingly bleeding to death in your home next to your family under 500 pounds of rubble.

As Spock says, there is a certain logic to a war ravaged civilization wanting to do away with all of those secondary harms. None of the Eminians *want* to die, but given the choice between a horrifically painful death where your face and limbs are blown off and you bleed out in some muddy ditch or a clean instant painless death where you merely step into a "disintegration chamber"......one can see the appeal.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Galileo Seven

The most logical, robotic, non-human of them all....Scotty.

The other officers are bickering about emotions and command and humanity......Mr. Scott just quietly tells them, "We need to lose X amount of weight." No whining about how it needs to be done, or what that might entail as far as leaving personnel behind, just cold logical facts.

All the others are crying for a "decent burial," even though it would take time, and resources, and put people in jeopardy......Mr. Scott has no time for your emotional death rituals. He sees no logic in leaving his floorboard for even an instant, just get the job done, burial or no.

And it is his cool under pressure professional logical approach that even gives them a chance. Bravo, Mr. Scott, you'd make an excellent Vulcan.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

"Captain Tony Almeida"

.
C'est magnifique!
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Mar 8, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"I was turned off in the beginning of the movie when a they showed a Star Fleet officer destroy a multi-million dollar building and kill countless lives just to save the life of his daughter."

Not to give any undue benefit of the doubt to this movie......but in the original TOS episode "Space Seed" which introduced Khan, the Enterprise and its entire crew were put into dire peril because a Starfleet officer under Kirk's own command, Lt. Marla McGivers, provides critical aid to Khan and his soldiers in taking over the ship and nearly allows Khan to execute Kirk and the entire bridge crew and almost the destruction of the ship itself simply because she had become extremely attracted to him in the several days he was on board the ship.

23rd century humanity is better, but they're not all flawless.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

I always enjoyed this episode. It's fun, well acted, and I enjoyed how Wesley was able to evade security.

To me, that last segment always the best "Game" in the episode.....Wesley having to think quickly on his feet, to outwit and elude a vastly superior opponent for as long as he could. His escape required athleticism, intelligence, strategy, read & react situations. Moves and countermoves.

There are some gaping plot holes in this episode (what exactly was the purpose of Elana's efforts?), and I understand the critiques of Wesley in general, but I always liked Wil Wheaton, and this was one of my favorite Wesley episodes.

++++++

That said.....there is arguably no greater Wesley Crusher move than to go back to work on the Enterprise during your vacation from Starfleet Academy, somehow manage to hook up with a young smoking hot Ashley Judd, and on basically your one and only date with Ashley freaking Judd, you.....take her to your mom's medical lab to conduct experiments on the potentially harmful side effects of a portable gaming device.

+++++

Also.....lol @ Luke's Scooby Doo parody. That was perfect!
Set Bookmark
Brian S
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Redemption, Part I

>Jammer: "I for one would like to know what it is about the Klingon High Council that continues to see a point in following a family name when it obviously can do nothing but lead the Empire to ruin."

++++

The trappings of individual wealth and power are galactic constants.

Duras' supporters wouldn't see it as ruin. They would see a Duras chancellorship (whether by Council vote or by violent coup) as the best means for increasing their own wealth and power enhanced. Like many aristocrats, those aligned with Duras would view their own gains of power as being "for the good of the Empire."

If Duras wins the Civil War, his supporters will enjoy even greater influence and control over those who were defeated. And the more battles Duras wins, the more other houses will see the futility of standing against Duras and will be tempted to switch sides and join the "winning" faction in order to survive and avoid their own ruin.

I don't think the forces that lead to Duras' power within the Empire is a difficult concept to understand. To the contrary, it is something of a natural byproduct of aristocratic rule. Wealth and power and influence are all intertwined. Power inevitably consolidates among a few individuals or groups who place their own wealth/power ahead of the good of the rest of society, and the whole body becomes a corrupt organization that pays just enough lip service to "the good of the Empire" to cover their own larger aims of consolidating wealth and power.

Klingon culture is a blatantly aristocratic caste-based society. Some earlier ancestor of the Duras family likely managed to acquire control over a critical planet, or set of resources, then used that power to obtain additional power. Passed down through the generations, that control led to more power. Duras' family power earned them the loyalty of subjects and legions of warriors, which beget access to superior battleships and weapons technology, which beget exclusive access and control over additional resources, which attracted partnerships with several other Houses who saw that their own wealth and prestige could be enhanced by allying with the House of Duras, which beget more of all of the above.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

@Paul: "One of the biggest inconsistencies from TNG to DS9 is the size of Starfleet. In BOBW and Redemption, 40 starships appears to represent a good portion of the fleet. "

+++++

40 ships was probably all of the larger high-powered ships of any firepower had within the multi-day vicinity of Earth

I'm sure they didn't bother ordering minimally armed science vessels, cargo transports, long range shuttlecraft to join the fight against the Borg, and any ships on patrol near Klingon territory, or the Romulan Neutral Zone, or anywhere else in the Federation or beyond that were damaged/under repair or simply couldn't make it back to Earth/Wolf 359 within a day or two at high warp.

I think it's plausible that Starfleet could have had maybe, let's say, 4,000 active duty capital ships spread across the entire Federation at the time of BOBW. So a loss of 40 ships means a loss of 1% of the entire fleet--in just one battle, to just one enemy ship. That would be a pretty viscerally devastating blow, particularly in an otherwise peaceful era of exploration and discovery, even if that percentage is technically low.

Imagine if an enemy attacked the US and killed 1% of our population of 320 million people. To lose 3.2 million people in one attack would be mind-bogglingly devastating.....but whether you consider only 1% to represent a "good portion" depends on your frame.

And then the war with the Dominion facilitated the need for building more ships, including entirely new classes of ships, and enlisting more personnel.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Episode contains not just one of my favorite Star Trek quotes, but one of my favorite quotes in all of TV/film/literature:

Q: "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid."

I've used this line or variations of it in a number of instances. Often as self-motivation.

Whenever I get into a rut where things seem harder than usual, or life feels particularly unfair, I like to use this quote as a reminder that life as an adult isn't always fair. It's not easy. It's not safe. And it's not supposed to be.

Q is being brash in his normally abrasive way, but he isn't just being a jerk. He poetically acknowledges the

Life IS, as Q says, "Wondrous!" And there are many great treasures out there in the world to be found and explored and enjoyed in life. But it is not for the timid. There will be setbacks in life. There will be pitfalls. There will be completely unfair times where you are going along happily minding your own business--and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Q/Life will just throw you into a dangerous encounter you weren't ready for, for absolutely no reason. But that is how the world goes sometimes. And if you can't handle a little bloody nose from time to time and you only want to stay where it's safe, you will never be able to experience or enjoy all the great treasures that can only be experienced if you come out from underneath the covers and expose yourself to the potential for being hurt.

This is peak Trek for me....a great episode with a fun and engaging story, thought-provoking characters, and it culminates with a line that provides an immutable rule of thumb for life itself--struggle and sacrifice are necessary parts of the journey of existence, but the rewards are worth it.
Set Bookmark
Brian S>
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

So let me see if I have this right...

1) Union policy for First Contact is to respond and reveal themselves to any culture with the mere capacity to send radio transmissions into outer space seeking other life....even if those civilizations lack the ability to travel faster than the speed of light....even if those civilizations lack the ability to even break their own orbit?

Our first radio transmissions were right around the turn of the 20th century. We sent out the first message specifically intended for aliens in 1974, but theoretically, we had the capacity to focus and amplify a signal for such a message decades earlier.

So Union policy is to reach out to Earth c. mid-20th century civilizations? With absolutely no research on their culture, or anything about them, or what impacts the discovery of alien life might have on such a comparatively rudimentary society that possesses little more technological aptitude than mere radio waves?

I'd be shocked if the Union had ANY positive First Contacts with that policy.

++++

2) Orville can't retrieve their kidnapped officers because the Union wants only a diplomatic approach that doesn't involve force because.....something.

If I had to guess--and I have to guess because no explanation is given for why it's okay to send a diplomatic envoy to an extremely primitive society for a First Contact, but its not okay to defend oneself during said diplomatic mission, nor to justifiably retrieve one's diplomats who have been forcibly kidnapped--I would guess that the Union doesn't want to leave a world's first impressions of the Union being a gang of murderous thugs...not even if the new world is one of murderous thugs that acts first.

So it seems the Union has a potentially noble-ish fundamental policy that the Union values a positive first impression with new worlds above even the lives of its own officers--no matter how bad or violent the new society proves to be--except apparently neither Commanders Grayson or Bortus got that crucial memo, as they are willing to violate this non-aggression policy and kill dozens of Regorians, even though their lives are not in imminent danger (they are jailed, but being treated relatively the same as every other inmate).

And so Capt. Mercer, to avoid violating this unexplained policy of not using justified force to retrieve several kidnapped officers because such a display presumably might harm future relations with the Regorians, opts instead to screw with their entire 3,000-year-old religion--a ruse that will inevitably fall apart the moment that this civilization with radio technology and newly discovered knowledge of interstellar alien species learns how to build sub-light interplanetary satellites and/or spaceships--in the hopes that this betrayal and tinkering with a critical fundamental element of their entire society will be met with a more favorable understanding in the future than a simple military extraction involving stunning a few dozen guards with non-lethal force would have (and, oh btw, Grayson and Bortus killed more guards in their failed escape attempt than a trained Orville security force armed with stun phasers would have).

++++

3) And so Mercer and the Orville crew went to all that trouble to plan to deceive the Regorians by creating a star that they, ummm.....they HOPED someone *might* notice?!

I can buy the premise of an astrological-adherent civilization. I can buy the premise that the disappearance of a star led to some crazy astrological religious beliefs.

But the Orville crew spent hours pouring over historical data from the planet, and they had to indirectly deduce that the disappearance of a star from that constellation *might* have been the impetus for that religious belief, but it sure didn't seem like that specific astronomic event thousands of years earlier was something any of the current Regorians were aware of (otherwise, there would have been a lot more data confirming that in the Orville's research).

So the Orville makes one small point of light appear in the night sky--one that should be relatively indistinguishable from the thousands of other points of light in the night sky--and with the naked eye a bunch of people instantly see it (thankfully the internment camp was subjected to neither light pollution nor clouds) and they all have such a detailed memory of the night sky that they instantly know that this one out of thousands of point of light wasn't there before....and that this one isn't simply a meteorite, or a comet, or an aircraft.....and all this so that the Regorians see it AND believe it means something AND then it's a 50/50 shot that the Regorians decide that it's a GOOD thing (instead of an even more bad thing for which the Jelliacs should be completely exterminated)

.....and then, that the Regorians believe it to be such a good sign that they simply decide on an instantaneous whim to reconsider their millennia-old beliefs that people born under the Jelliac sign are maybe not violent beings and that Grayson and Bortus should be released......even after Grayson and Bortus just straight violently massacred over a dozen prison guards

......and then, after all that, hope that the head prison guard who just saw dozens of his friends and co-workers murdered by a pair of violent aliens wouldn't have just completed the execution anyway, good omens from a strange new light in the sky, be damned.

This episode required my logic and disbelief to be suspended so much, they were pronounced clinically dead on sight.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Mon, Jan 21, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

So the entire 4th season of Enterprise series was just a fever dream by Victoria Principal.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 5:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

> If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage. <

I was a little disappointed that they weren't able to spring Lt. Barclay from the mental hospital, but the shuttlepod did an awful lot like a GMC van, and I could've sworn I heard Ms. T'Pol said, "I pity the fool who tries to attack this mining colony."

Also thought it was a nice touch when they replaced the usual opening credit song with, "Today, still on their mission from Starfleet, these Terrans survive as explorers of space. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire.....the Enterprise."
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Aug 24, 2018, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

@Rom:
"More generally speaking, how the Dominion endured for two thousand years is difficult to believe based on their Alpha Quadrant behavior. They make some very dumb decisions...For example, had they really had the power to hold on to a large Gamma Quadrant empire for so long, they would have known they had to keep their base happy - i.e. the Cardassians. A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership. "

++++

In the Gamma Quadrant, it seems most of the planets they rule simply through fear and might.

Most of the GQ worlds have either an isolated population, or a small federation of systems. The Cardassian Empire seems like the the largest and most powerful independent group they've "conquered" in some time.

Out in the Gamma Quadrant, they don't need to keep anybody happy. If a conquered world tries to rebel, the Founders simply obliterate that world as a lesson to all the others to stay in line.

I suspect none of the other GQ worlds would still have even the military resources the Cardassians have. The Founders would have disarmed their conquered worlds of most of their military weaponry long ago. Any singular world or small alliance that even drummed up enough resources to fight would have been instantly wiped out.

The Founders don't care about keeping the masses happy because they don't have to care. They live far away on an isolated world. The enforcers of their regime are disposable clones they care nothing for. There's no need to play nice with the subjects because they pose no threat. Anybody rises up, smack them back down with vengeance. That was their game plan and it worked well for centuries.

It was less effective on the Cardassians for two reasons:

1) The Cardassians were very still heavily armed and had nearly the entire Alpha Quadrant working against the Dominion at the same time. When Cardassia finally rebelled, all the AQ superpowers were right on the doorstep. If any other GQ world rebelled, with no other outside support--like the combined might of the Federation-Klingons-Romulans AND the wormhole access cut off--they would've just been easily overwhelmed and dispatched without a second thought. There's no reason to keep any other GQ world populace happy.

2) The Cardassians hadn't been subjected to Dominion rule for more than a few years. The only way the Founders could gain their initial foothold in the Alpha Quadrant was to at least pretend it was more of a military alliance than a pure subjugation. In the GQ, there's no need for alliances or agreements, the Dominion just conquers. Once a generation or two of isolated subjugation passes with no hope in sight, the will to fight back wanes.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@PeterG

"I took Snoke's word for it that he knew Kylo's every thought...the idea that Snoke would gather only some generality like "Kylo will kill his enemy" and not actually see his *every thought* would mean that Snoke is just an idiot. I automatically negated that as a possibility while watching it but upon reflection..."

++

A lot of the Sith masters we know about are killed by their apprentices.

Sidius kills Plageuis
Vader kills Sidius
Ren kills Snoke

Sith masters aren't idiots.....and yet, none of them foresee the moment of their own betrayal.....even though almost all other past Sith masters are, inevitably, betrayed by their apprentices at some point.

It's not idiocy. Arrogance, overconfidence, willful blindness, perhaps, but not idiocy.

In a way, a Sith apprentice's "true enemy" is always his master. The master is the person holding back the apprentice from his true potential. The master is the person exploiting the apprentice. The apprentice doesn't become the master until he kills his master. And the Sith apprentice doesn't become the Sith master just by letting some neophyte Jedi scout do that work for him in her own flailing self-defense

Personally, I thought it was pretty obvious that Kylo Ren killed him. Snoke set that confrontation up to be Kylo's initiation. A test on Kylo's Dark Side journey. That's why Snoke wanted Kylo to strike Rey down. What Kylo did--in proper Sith fashion--was to take advantage of a rare opportunity when his master's guard was down and strike. In this universe, it's the only explanation that really makes sense.

Though I also agree that the writing and direction were poor if this many people genuinely thought that Rey killed Snoke.
Set Bookmark
Brian S
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

Possible explanation for the cloaking device.....it cloaks the ship visually, but not to any sensors.

So maybe you can use a cloaking device to project visible light from behind the ship to the front, thus making it appear invisible to the naked eye.....but any of the other countless devices that can make device that can scan for metal, or scan for life signs, or whatever a warp core is made of would still be easily spotted by any advanced civilization.

Which is also in keeping with some of the Star Trek stories over the years. Cloaked ships tended to have very high energy signatures. Those who knew what they were looking for and how to find it (radiation surge, plasma leak, a tachyon detection grid) could spot a cloaked ship.

In this universe--unlike the superpower that the ST Federation is portrayed as--the human-centric Union is considered to be a technologically pedestrian species in comparison to the Krill and several others. So their cloaking technology might be good enough to fool the cameras and radar of a primitive, barely space-faring world, but it makes sense it would be useless against the scanners of the other adversaries who can easily detect the signature radiation from a warp core regardless of whether or not someone see it just by looking out their window.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

@Omicron: "I think the moral here is that when you have a mob who judges people based on the shallowest of criteria, that's a huge problem
regardless of whether the rumours they spread are true or not.

And the actual "fake news" that the Orville crew planeted in the feed just demonstrate how silly the whole thing is. Should the life of a person depend on whether he has a dog named Chuckles? Now that's one seriously fucked-up society.

(and I'm not saying that we are that much better. That's precisely why the message of this episode is so powerful)"

++++++

I like this comment of yours very much. Just for that, YOU get an Upvote!

However, I also read a rumor on Twitter that you run a human trafficking ring through your pizza parlor.

I suppose I COULD fact-check that rumor, but it's easier for me to just give you a Downvote and wait for you're apology tour.

:)
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

"If The Orville can balance the scales and execute as well as "Krill" does, it might be a good, fun series. But it may never be a great one."

+++++

And I think that's fine.

Six episodes in, I will repeat my comment ont the pilot episode:

"Watchable and entertaining enough....even if a little groan worthy. The best description of--and hope for--The Orville is not TNG, but rather a serialized Galaxy Quest.

Galaxy Quest wasn't great or earth-shattering, but it was good and watchable (and importantly, re-watchable)."

GQ wasn't "The Godfather" or even "Airplane!" but it was enjoyable, funny, and had some decent dramatic points.

Orville isn't going to be "The Sopranos" or "Seinfeld." I neither need it to be nor expect it to be. But it can be an enjoyable way to spend an hour, with some fairly interesting stories.

Irreverant TV shows can produce really interesting and clever stories. Some of my favorite thought-provoking TV episodes are from comedic shows like Futurama or South Park

Ironically, I think the Orville stories are fine, it's mostly the humor that is poorly written. The Orville can be a gold mine full of workplace humor. Move past the uptight behaviors of past Trek crews and have the Orville crew interact more like real people who are actual co-workers on a transport vessel. And to an extent they do this. Like the crew egging Bortus on to eat everything, which is a funny social interaction that is totally realistic. But 500-year old car rental commercial jokes? If they can clean that part up and figure out how to do better situational/character humor and drop the direct 20th/21st century pop culture references, it can be a really good series. And that's good enough, I think.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Sep 29, 2017, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

"Star Trek used to be about imagination, probing human nature, science and fiction, and drama. Now it's about "diversity," elimination of "toxic" masculinity, and promotion of political agenda."

******

Excuse me? Come again? You think NOW it's about *diversity*?!

Seriously, what in the blue hell have you been watching for the last 50 years?

The very first incarnation of Star Trek was all about diversity. Diversity was the central (borderline primary) theme from the start. It's why the Enterprise crew was specifically intentionally shown to be a multi-ethnic, multi-national, even multi-species set of officers. Russian, Scottish, Black, Asian, Female...VULCAN!

The original pilot episode--"The Cage"--had a female first officer because....feminism!

Hell, the character of Spock himself was created specifically to highlight the diversity of the future. This was not an accident, it was intentional and it was a feature of the program which drove its popularity. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

The core of Star Trek is a united egalitarian Federation of diverse peoples, planets, and cultures, and at its center is an Earth where war, hunger, money, and religion are all but gone from humanity.

I truly don't understand people like you, Michael. It's been 50 years. There have been 7 television series, 13 feature-length movies, and countless novels under the Star Trek banner with diversity, social justice, and various progressive political ideals and agendas at their core. If this were still 1968, maybe you could be forgiven for not getting the memo yet. But it's 20-freaking-17.....how is a supposed Star Trek fan, of all people, still offended by the notion of Star Trek captain who has a black-left/white-right face?!


"Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms." - Gene Roddenberry, Social Justice Warrior Admiral
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

"who the f*** cares about canon?"

I've seen this argument pop up a lot throughout this thread, and I honestly do not understand it.

If none of us care about what came before in Trek, then what the **** are any of us doing here on a 20+ year old blog site for fans of old Trek episodes?

As Omicron noted earlier, good writing fits coherently into the whole. A chapter that is noticeably incongruent with the rest of the story is a sign of poor writing that negatively impacts the product.

I mean, if I write the letters of the alphabet as: "A-B-2-D-E-X-4-H-%-J..." it's not the reader who is to blame for being so nitpicky to notice that something is obviously amiss.

If someone wants to write a "Fiddler on the Roof" prequel that tells the story of Tevye's early life and marriage to Golde, it can't include a scene where Tevye has a bad date with a chick he met on JDate.com. It doesn't matter how small a detail it was or how well-written the rest of the story is, putting technology that is noticeably a century out of place for the timeline of the story is going to be jarring to anyone who understands or cares about the story enough to pay money to see a FOTR prequel.

I didn't care much for the JJ Trek movies. But Abrams did make one astute comment in an interview I read to the effect of it's hard to write new stories in the Trek prime universe because you are shackled by 40+ years (or 400+ years) of prior stories. I respect that. I respect the difficulty of that. I understand the desire to break free and do new things.

But that's why you go into the future. A post-Dominion War Federation/AQ was ripe for storytelling that mirrors our time. Detente, new relationships among the superpowers (at times both peaceful and distrustful), battle scars, letting go of old grudges, new villains, perhaps even the potential for small factions of radicals that emerge to threaten the established order and test the bonds of galactic peace and stability. To go with new imagined technologies and exploration. The 25th century has fertile Trek storytelling ground, even with the weight of the past.

ENT, the JJ movies, and now Discovery all decided to shackle themselves even tighter by telling stories we already know the larger outcome to. It can be done and even done well. But re-treading over the same territory just ups the difficulty level. TNG only had 3 seasons, a cartoon, and a couple of movies to deal with, and it flew nearly a century into the future to spread its wings and avoid the shackles
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I liked the pilot episode enough. Not blow-me-away great, but watchable and entertaining enough....even if a little groan worthy.

I think the best description of --and hope for--The Orville is not TNG, but rather a serialized Galaxy Quest.

Galaxy Quest wasn't great or earth-shattering, but it was good and watchable (and importantly, re-watchable).

GQ was most definitely a copy/homage/parody of Star Trek. It had some good humor, some bland humor, and also some juvenile groan-worthy humor....but it worked.

Despite being an obvious comedic parody, GQ also had its own feel and managed to be interesting in its own light. In between jokes, it had some heart and some enjoyable drama/non-parody moments. The writing, acting, and story were all done quite well.

That, I think, is the path the Orville needs to follow.

For me, the big question here is: How long can you make a parody copy of a copy work for?

Galaxy Quest was entertaining.....for about 100 minutes. I'm still entertained by the Orville after ~120 minutes. How well is The Orville schtick going to hold up after 7 hours? 13 hours? 20 hours?
Set Bookmark
Brian S
Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I remember a few years back when the first ST reboot film came out, I read an interview Abrams gave talking about the time travel plot line wiping clean all the past histories of the crew and the necessity for it.

He said something to the effect of, while Star Trek has a deep and rich history to draw from, sometimes the weight of that history can act like a shackle ball & chain for writers, weighing you down from telling new and interesting stories because you have to carefully fit every part of your story into all the existing pieces.

I know Jammer's made that point before. After 40+ years, 5 series, 10 feature films, nearly 1,000 hours of stories between the mediums....Star Trek did kind of burn out under it's weight. A lot of the stories had been done before. A lot of the galactic real estate has already been covered. Voyager had to go to the other end of the galaxy to find any real estate to work with. Everywhere Enterprise went, it had to be careful not to step on and break any of the countless hours of TV, movies, and expanded universe stuff to come.

As terrified as I was of a JJ Abrams-brand Star Trek reboot and what I saw in the trailers leading up to the release, when I read those remarks from him, I begrudgingly accepted them. He was right, to an extent. You can't introduce a brand new Star Trek crew for a couple movies. TOS-Kirk Trek was the best candidate for a CGI reboot, and while I believe they could've still done a new movie with Kirk & Co. within the existing universe, I could concede that it would be hard to squeeze in a new meaningful entry between 3 years of TV and 6-7 feature films, up to Kirk's death. Abrams had a point....the time travel device cleaned the slate for new fresh movie ideas to come for.

So even if I didn't like it, the first reboot did it's job adequately enough, the crew was pretty well done, and the movie wasn't as bad as I feared it could've been. Abrams did what he felt he needed to do, connected the two universes while preserving the old one, and cleared himself the space he needed to boldly go forth and tell new stories where no Trek had gone before. It at least piqued my interest.

So what did Abrams do with all his hard-fought cinematic space and freedom? Ripped off Wrath of Khan. Badly. Word for word, in some cases. Even Melania Trump thought it was too blatant (:P)

Seriously though.....WTF?!

I have a bunch of other quibbles that are mostly just your standard plot hole and scientific impossibility sci-fi gripes, which many folks have already covered.

But it pains me to no end that they went to all that trouble to wash away the old Trek universe (to the disgruntlement of many existing Trek fans) and then just went: "Okay, new story ideas now, people, new stories. We've got a new film to create, what are we going to do? Any new ideas? Anybody? Anybody at all? So, we've got nothing, huh?!" "Well, we could just do Wrath of Khan again. I hear Trek fans liked that movie" "Brilliant! Alright, lunch!"

I haven't watched any of the trailers for ST: Beyond (I refuse to on principle) but I'm going to go out on a (I think pretty sturdy) limb here and just assume that the Enterprise gets destroyed at some point in ST:B (presumably by self-destruct after the villain army tries to take it over). And I'm just calling it now, ST Reboot:4 involves time travel that takes the crew back to 20th/21st century Earth (toss-up on whether they just go present-day, 1980's flashback, or possibly full on 1960's retro).

+++++

One major plot line issue though.....I know it's a reboot, and in this new timeline everything is bigger, more militarized, darker, and everything has changed.....but Khan Noonien Singh wasn't supposed circa-21st century Steve Rogers minus the spandex and vibranium shield. Yeah, he had a genetically enhanced brilliant intellect, and he had more strength than Jose Canseco & Mark McGwire's love child.....but Khan was still ostensibly a human. Khan can't jump 30 feet straight up as if he were playing hopscotch. In the original Space Seed, Khan was an extremely strong opponent, but non-roided Kirk ultimately defeated Khan on his own in one-on-one hand-to-hand, combat thanks to a cheap lightweight 1960's PVC--errr, uhhh, I mean, a totally solid hard spaceship pipe (probably made of vibranium, or something) and cracking him in the back with it.

Seriously, go re-watch the Spock-Khan battle scene in STID (or not), and then watch the end Kirk-Khan battle scene from Space Seed on YouTube. That's the same guy Kirk fought and won against? I know we're trying to modernize some of the old special effects a bit, and yeah, those old TOS scenes could be quite cheesy at times.....but Space Seed looked much more like something based in reality.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Mon, Mar 2, 2015, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

@zzybaloobah: In any case, the bioweapon attack on the Founders isn't "genocide" -- not in the normal sense of the word.
Genocide has strong negative connotations for 2 reasons:
1) It's *mass* murder. Arguably, the Great Link is a single organism. The rules of "mass murder" simply don't apply.
2) It's indiscrimate targeting of all, including non-combatants. But, all Founders are either direct combatants, or members of an entitty that is guilty of massive war crimes, including genocide and the total subjugation of slave races (Vorta, Jem'Hadar). If breeding slave races to fight your battles isn't a massive war crime then I don't know what is.

---------

Interesting points.

It could even be argued that the Founders are the only real combatants since the Jem Hadar and the Vorta are just clones serving the Founders purposes and fighting on their behalf.

Part of the reason the Dominion is so strong and so close to winning the war on multiple occasions is that the Founders don't really care about the lives of anyone. There is no cost to them. If Jem Hadar/Vorta are killed, you just manufacture more of them. They have two slave races of entirely disposable people genetically programmed to fight and die for the Founders. A billion Jem Hadar could be killed and the Founders wouldn't care. Simply ramp up production at the cloning facility and in a few months or years, the loss is nullified.

Without the virus, the war against the Alpha Quadrant was entirely a win-win situation for the Changelings. If the Dominion wins, they win. If the Dominion loses, billions of AQ solids are exterminated. Remember, the Changelings hate ALL solids. Their goal is to control or destroy all of them. So even if the Dominion loses and fails to gain control over the entire AQ, what do the Founders get? Billions of dead Cardassian, Klingon, Breen, Romulan, and Federation peoples. Hardly a loss from their POV. The Founders would just assume kill all Cardassians as rule over them, and they don't really care anything for their disposable slave Jem Hadar or Vorta. All of their "solid" enemies everywhere die brutally while they sit back comfortably out of harm's way.

Attacking the Changelings through this virus seems the only way to get them to have any skin (or liquid) in the game.


Though, I must bring up one other point I just considered and hadn't really seen addressed elsewhere.......Odo was apparently infected with the virus back in S4. The Dominion certainly posed a threat at that junction and there had been a few deadly skirmishes, but the Federation was not technically at war with them yet. The Cardassians hadn't even yet joined the Dominion. It wasn't a peace, and the Cardassians/Romulans had tried to destroy the Founders' homeworld with conventional weapons the prior year (a military strike that Starfleet Command seemed tacitly willing to accept even if not wholly endorsing it or willing to carry the attack out themselves), but it is fairly dark to wage this kind of biological warfare as a first strike against an enemy that the Federation wasn't even technically at war with yet.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
GARAK: How little you understand me.

----

It's scenes like this that further my belief that Garak is and always was sympathetic to the Bajoran people and that his sympathy is probably what led to his exile from Cardassia in the first place.

It's not hard to imagine that Garak was given a brutal assignment against the Bajorans while a member of the Obsidian Order, and then refused to carry it out. In the S2 episode "The Wire," Garak tells a trio of lies about the reason for why he was exiled. You can't trust any of them, but all of them have some variation of him sparing a large group of Bajoran civilians.

Garak has never shown revulsion, condescension, or even restrained antipathy towards any Bajorans. He's lived on the station for years with them. He hated Dukat (the prefect of the Bajoran Occupation). For someone so formerly ruthless and cold-hearted, he has regularly shown empathy towards the Bajoran people, and been unusually candid about the distasteful atrocities committed by Cardassians during the Occupation.

Now, in the midst of the Cardassian rebellion, when he's finally getting a chance to fight for/with his people again, he sides with a Bajoran over a Cardassian.

And I think his words here are very telling. He doesn't say that he's defending Kira because he likes/knows/trusts Kira more than Rusot or because the mission requires it (the way Damar does). Rusot makes it racial. A *Bajoran* is inferior to and worth less than a Cardassian, in his eyes. It's a sentiment Rusot has lived by. It's a sentiment Dukat and Damar have lived by (though Damar is starting to open his eyes to a different perspective). But Garak doesn't hesitate or even have to think about it. "How little you understand me." He's already there. Unlike most Cardassians, Garak already sees Bajorans as equals rather than inferiors. I think he's felt that way for a long, long time, and given the common thread in his "lies" about his exile, I think his feelings towards them played a part in it.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: When it Rains...

Kira arguably loved Ziyal more than Garak did. Garak may have been somewhat interested in her, but Kira loved her like a surrogate parent or a sister. Combined with her general hatred of Cardassians in general and the number of times Damar and Kira were at each other's throats, I think Kira had far more reason to want to kill Damar...and she was willing to set aside her feelings for the mission.

On top of that, Kira is portrayed as being far more of a loose cannon prone to acting on her feelings of anger and hatred whereas Garak is a very cool customer who generally seems to keep a lid on things, focus on the job at hand, and act with cold calculating precision. Heck, he even fought side-by-side with Dukat in the Klingon attack of DS9. I'm sure Garak was tempted to kill Damar (just as he was tempted to kill Dukat). But if an angry hothead like Kira was able to control herself, Garak certainly would have.
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

Boy, Worf is having the worst luck....Over the last 4 episodes, he's been on 3 ships that have been destroyed (the Klingon ship, the Runabout, and now the Defiant).

Worf just spends like a week in an escape pod, gets rescued, then captured & tortured, is bailed out at the last moment before his execution, and just as he gets back to the station, the first battle he gets sent out on....right back into an escape pod.

Worf should probably just take an extended shore leave, though at this point he'd probably find a way to get a paddleboat blown up, too.

Still, he's probably enjoyed his time in escape pods more than he did his own honeymoon on Risa
Set Bookmark
Brian S.
Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

So, remembering back to the series pilot episode "Emissary" when Sisko explains the concepts of linear time, death, and procreation to the Prophets.....it would seem they already know all about those things.

Personally, I found this plot twist very disappointing. Sisko's decisions and actions with regard to Bajor and the Prophets seemed far more meaningful when they were just those of a human interacting freely. Now that we know his entire existence is just a byproduct of Prophet manipulation, all of his current and past behaviors are viewed as being those of a baby Prophet rather than a human Starfleet officer.

Later in the season, they make a big deal about Sisko building a home on Bajor. And that would be a big deal, if Sisko were a human. But essentially he's not. He's half Prophet. His entire existence was conceived for the purposes of serving the Prophets and defeating the Paghwraiths. The Prophets are his family. Looking back over the series, it makes his acceptance of the Emissary role more of a pre-ordained inevitability than a conscious choice. Sisko's willingness to let go of his son Jake in "The Reckoning" now makes it look less like a leap of faith and more like something he was just supposed to do.


@Phillip: I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are totally right. Sisko is a Prophet rape baby.
Next ►Page 1 of 2
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.