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methane
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

"What's special about Trek is that there's a way of talking through problems in civilized ways; but the portrayal of it all being easy is the ridiculous part. DS9 cuts that right to the quick and shows how hard it really can be to get over traumas, deal with things that can't be fixed quickly, and to keep vigilant in trying circumstances. "

Yeah...TOS & TNG asserts that everything can be solved and healed in a week...solve the problems of one planet move onto the next. The planet you left lives happily ever after & any scars you personally received along the way are gone before the next week's adventure comes around. (Voyager's magical repairs & resupplies in-between episodes would take this idea to ridiculous extremes).

Now, there are some strong episodes of TNG refute this. Picard doesn't get over the Borg attack quickly. But those are the exception to the rule.

The whole premise of DS9 is that problems don't get solved in a week. Bajor isn't ready to join the Federation at the end of the pilot. Large scale problems aren't solved overnight. But the Federation doesn't give up, it gets to work, and tries to make things better.

With the possible exception of a few episodes (and you know which ones if you've seen the series), DS9 doesn't undermine the fundamental ideals associated with Star Trek. It does repeatedly attack (and sometimes mock) the idea that real-world application of those ideals is easy and quick.
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International Day for Preventing the Exp
Sat, Aug 11, 2018, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

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Thierafhal
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

Come to think of it, Picard doesn't make a very good showing either. After he pushes Wesley out of the way of the rock slide, he just stands there and looks up at the rocks and lets himself get pummeled. He had time to jump out of the way.....
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Thierafhal
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 6:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

@Kristina Anderson, Geordi sure didn't make a very good show of himself in this episode, did he? Not only was his inspection of the mining shuttle shoddy, his placement of the thrusters on the garbage scow weren't very well planned.
Two seconds after he activates them, a panel that one of them was attached to, breaks off...
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RandomThoughts
Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Hello Again, Everyone!

While checking my notes (yes, I have made notes, sue me), I realized I did not mention those fantastic Red Guards. I and my friends over the years had wondered what they did because they never seemed to do anything. But in VIII, if anyone kills the Leader, they must attack everyone! But only then!

*Good Afternoon. I'm Tirga, leader of the Red Guard, and I must ask (because we couldn't tell, quite embarrassed actually), did you attack the Supreme Leader, or was it her? We really need to know because after that trick with the force that cut Snoke in half, we really don't know who the bad guy is here. Thanks for your time...*

It must have helped the Red Guards a great deal when they went back-to-back, because then they just had to try to defeat everyone. If Ren had said something along the lines of, oh... I don't know... "It was her", she'd have been cut down.

Still, I really liked that the Red Guards were top-of-the-line fighters, who could take on anyone. Especially if they were against Force neophytes, which they'd probably have had some instruction on. Too bad not one of them seemed to have a... blaster. Just get three or four of them to distract her (or New Supreme Leader!), and blast away! The Red Knights, I mean Guards, could have been in control... but I digress...

Enjoy the Day... RT
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RandomThoughts
Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 1:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Hello Everyone!

I'm finally putting pen to paper on some random thoughts. Honestly, some of them are still a jumble... perhaps I'll do better after I tie this onion to my belt. Ahh... nice.

They didn't tell us just how much of the Empire fell when Palpatine died. Yes, there was much rejoicing, but if I recall correctly, the Rebel fleet had just been pulverized at the end of VI. If they had sent every one of their remaining capital ships out to a system to protect it/show the flag, wouldn't that have been about ten systems? They cut the head off of the Empire, but it was just too big to die. I really thought when VII came out, they would show this happy New Republic everywhere, but in reality, they showed us one planet that got blowed up real good. Sure, they renamed the Empire (First Order), but I'd imagine they had just as much power after the fall of Palpatine as they did before. Heck, the local Govenor's might have been even more ruthless keeping things in line. Do you think the Storm-troopers on Tatooine just went toes up upon hearing the Emperor was dead? I think not. The Alliance would still have had a big, uphill struggle.

The problem was, in my mind, the First Order must have been the rag-tag fleet, and the Republic being big and grand, because the Rebels won in VI. It was the opposite, but they didn't tell us outright, just figuring we'd figure it out when we saw the Death-planet defeating the Capital of the Republic. Except that, well, I certainly didn't figure that out for quite some time. And it stayed that way until well into VIII, even when I saw the crawl saying FO had decimated the peaceful Republic, when I realized only the Main Power could build one of those stupidly huge ships that the Rebel Republic blew up towards the beginning. Then I realized I had it all wrong, and it made more sense for the Republic to still be hounded into the ground, using the same old clunky ships they'd had before. If they took over the Empire completely, they'd probably be using their ships (because, why not?). The New Republic was just a very small slice of a much larger pie. I doubt it was just me, but my thoughts were that after the death of Palpatine, the Republic eventually just took over. I thought the First Order were some embarrassing leftover from the Empire that just needed to be squished so that peace and love could reign. Heck, I had an embarrassed feeling about them in VII, I just didn't realize the how and why until this movie. I'm not a simpleton, but I truly figured the Rebels has won in VI and had control of (most) things by now.

I think my main problem with these two movies is that I got no real sense of urgency or possible defeat, even as the last of the New Republic ships were slowly being destroyed. I was pretty ambivalent actually. In IV, V and VI, I really had the feeling that this could be the end, if they didn't pull the rabbit out of the hat. Here, it seems to be even worse, and... nothing. Though I must divulge that I saw the Original Trilogy on big screens back when they came out. 12 times for IV, seven times for V and five times for VI. And they were three years apart, with no spoilers to be found, unless you bought every single rag out there (and they were mostly wrong on many things).

And the actors, while they did fine, just seem to be missing something. I flashed back to Han in V, sweeping his hand/finger back and forth describing a thought while in the cockpit of the Falcon (or your Worshipfulness in IV), or Luke being the whiny teenager in IV, or the seeming true joy of those two and Leia when they'd brought down the Death Star. They made me feel like they were actually there, in that time, doing those things (include Lando "I have problems of my own..."). The current actors (perhaps it is the direction), just don't seem to bring anything extra to the table. Perhaps the original trilogy just had an off-the-cuff feel that made it seem more real, that THEY WERE THERE. Perhaps the new ones are just too polished and perfect. Maybe they are over-directed.

I might have missed something, but there was no mention of Coruscant in either VII or VIII. It would seem the Republic would have to be in charge there to have any hope of doing, well, anything, as it seemed to be the Hub of both the Old Republic and the Empire. That's where the power was wielded from.

While I realize IV was made to be a stand-alone, in case it failed, you wanted to come back and see more. You NEEDED IT! And V did not disappoint and left us wanting more. And VI did not disappoint me, even with their "small" problem (wait... is that a zipper?). These don't leave me wanting more. I am glad I have seen them, and I'll watch them again. I'll watch the next one. But I don't have that yearning to find out how they'll recover from only having a hand full of unarmed shuttles, the Millennium Falcon, an awesome force-sensitive and one small boy with a neat ring. Oh, and a guy who knows his way around a Star Destroyer. *shrugs*

There was some question about who killed Snoke. I figured it had to be Kylo because they kept showing him as he was being belittled. If they'd had a long shot of Rey, perhaps I'd have thought it was her. But no, it was Ren, because Snoke wasn't smart enough to realize enough is enough when making someone feel small.

Hmm... gravity bombs. Perhaps that ship (what's that new name? Super Impressive Massively Powerful Large Eradicator sounds good. SIMPLE Destroyer) is so big it forms it's own gravity field, thus bombs from above would, eventually, fall towards it. And we've seen other ships with their own gravity (Falcon and... well... all of them) so another theory is they'd fall towards the "bottom" of the ship, then coast into their target. She got that button to fall down towards her after all.

Boy, I really like to give characters the benefit of the doubt, but the Empire General Veers from V could whup General Hux with just his pinky. I'm certain the actor is doing it how he is told, but darned if he wouldn't be a fantastic protagonist in an installment of Captain Proton... And, I just don't get the feeling of Power from him. Grand Moff Tarkin, he had an aura of confidence. I swear when I hear Hux giving orders, I totally expect the underlings to laugh and have him arrested (when seen for the first time). Not joking here. It's that bad for me.

I didn't read too many of the Star Wars novels, because many of them produced a suction, but Timothy Zahn was great. Just throwing this out here, but if he was handed the reins after these two, and wrote up a story, would it be possible to make into a screenplay? Sometimes a good novel just doesn't translate, but I'd think he'd be able to write rings around what we've had so far.

Lastly, please don't think I'm against VII and VII, it's just that I think they could have been so much more than they were. I did like the light moments in the movie. I did like the little bird/thing near tears as Chewie was about to have dinner. I did like the little bird/thing on the Falcon (because we always seem to need to have something that is totally incongruous with the rest of the plot (and I'm okay with that)). I did enjoy the battle at the start of the movie. I did enjoy being told "This is not snow. It's salt and it's different. Get it?"

Well, okay, last is now. How stupidly big are these ships going to get? We had the Star Destroyer in IV, then the Super Star Destroyer for Vader. Now, we've got SIMPLE, and that seemed so stupidly huge until we saw the one Snopes was on (it was even bigger, wasn't it? I think so...).

Thank you for listening. I was only able to read half of the reviews, because darned if it didn't take me an hour to get through those, so I might have mentioned something that was already mentioned. If so, many apologies and please have this albatross as way of recompense.

Have a Great Day Everyone... RT

P.S.: Heh, I kept thinking Snopes instead of Snoke, and finally mis-spelled it near the end. I kept it there because it made me smile. Your mileage may vary. :D
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RandomThoughts
Sat, Aug 4, 2018, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

Hello Everyone!

@Joe M.

It has been a while, but I always thought they figured the Archon crew had been absorbed into "the Body", but they had fought it long enough they had earned Legendary status among the rebels. That was my take anyway. The Landru computer seemed to have been around for a long time before the Archon arrived.

Regards... RT
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Thierafhal
Fri, Aug 3, 2018, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

Jammer comments that the weight of the problems resolved in the fight between the Picard brothers, is lost. I certainly think the weight is softened, but not lost.

In this 'not quite serialized' era of trek, the fact that there even was this problem from the episode before that takes a whole other episode to resolve, was unique.

Unfortunately as the status quo is back to normal the following episode, I think that making the implications of Picard's torture at the hands of the Borg 'resolved' was the right decision.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Fri, Aug 3, 2018, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

I have a weakness for possession stories where the characters get to act very out of character.

Marina Sirtis benefits the most from the outing. And I thought Troi/Data/O'Brien made a potent trio.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Fri, Aug 3, 2018, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

The set-up was really weak as others have discussed and distracts from the episode. Yet watching them react to an amnesia-induced reset was very interesting.

I think this would have worked a lot better another one of Q's tests.

I enjoyed Erich Anderson's guest appearance.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Thu, Aug 2, 2018, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

For people in a quest for perfection, they were happy with rather ordinary physiques. Seems like they would have muscled up some.

And I'm not sure how having a couple of dozen people out of thousands leave your colony is somehow as bad or worse than having everyone destroyed by seismic activity.

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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Tue, Jul 31, 2018, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Violations

I think about five more shots of those poker chips spilling to the floor would have greatly improved the episode.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

I think I see pattern emerging with one commenter with pretty much any episode:

The show is boring. It's playing in background while he does other things. If something has even a molecular whiff of homosexuality about, he springs to brief attention.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Up the Long Ladder

Funny how that these episodes that kind of suck generate such passionate commentary on various issues.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Up the Long Ladder

Funny how that these episodes that kind of suck generate such passionate commentary on various issues.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

This episode was pivotal in the evolution of Next Gen and "Trek" in general. Wonderful!
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Night Terrors

^ I feel that way about your comments.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Reunion

Well, do what you want. But perhaps you might have enjoyed the show more if you had put away your Instagram, and perhaps the Instagram might have been better if you had turned off the show.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Redemption, Part II

@Dave: That could have been interesting. Although the anti-Denise crowd would have had ministrokes!
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: New Ground

And regarding that Soliton Wave that apparently gave Geordi quite the erection:

From what little they explain about it, I don't see any practical use for a starship that needs to be able to go in and out warp and change directions in an instant.

I suppose if it's a highly energy efficient and far safer than it proved to be in this test, maybe it would be a better way to transport raw goods between two stable places -- say Earth to Vulcan.

I'm not sure how the test ship wasn't smacked to bits at the beginning of the experiment. And like someone else said, this thing seems to have a better future as a defensive weapon than a way to get around.

Romulan ship decloaking? Just Soliton Wave it back to its side of the Neutral Zone.

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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: New Ground

OK -- no one else has said it, so I will.

Alexander is kind of prissy for a human boy, much less a three-fourths Klingon boy.

Lord knows child acting must be the toughest kind to cast and direct. But you'd think someone first in casting and later in directing would have found some way to draw a little more rough-n-tumble out of the character.

I think Alexander would have been chewed alive in a Klingon school.
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Sun, Jul 29, 2018, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Big thumbs down.

Matt Frewer is beyond annoying. The crew is way too gullible. The solution to fix the planet is preposterous.

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Richard Poythress
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

Finally watched this episode all the way through. The pacing was unusually excellent for a Voyager episode; I could scarcely believe that an hour and half had elapsed when the end credits rolled. The camerawork and direction were also a cut above, which helped to make the "telefilm" feel special. Also, I'm (pleasantly) surprised the censors let them keep that shockingly graphic shot of blood spurting into the camera lens.

In some ways, this episode takes us full circle by exploring issues raised early in TNG's run with sentient holograms like Minuet and Moriarty. The end result is a thoughtful and relevant exploration both of the understandable yearnings and unnecessary violence that often accompany liberation movements.

To muster a feeble criticism, it was jarring when Iden went from zero to deluded psychopath in a manner of a few minutes, but I suppose we could attribute that to either deception or the overriding aggression that he was programed to display under stressful situations. It also seems like the Doctor got off easy after betraying the crew, although this is remedied somewhat in "Author, Author".
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

Enjoyed both your insights, Peter G and William B.

And yes -- I like the reunification theme with two wildly different interpretations of what that would be.

And finally, Earth's own history is filled with implausible military ventures:

-- Why did the agricultural South, with almost no industry to speak of and 9 million people (many of them slaves), think it could take on the much more industrialized North with 22 million people of almost all free people?

-- Why did Napoleon think he could march across Russia in winter?

-- Why did Tem├╝jin think he could build an empire stretching from to Korea to Eastern Europe on horseback? Oh, wait! It worked -- and he became Genghis Khan!
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Sarjenka's Little Brother
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

As for the Romulan invasion of Vulcan, yeah it's a little farfetched. But not nearly as much as y'all are making it out to be.

Point One: You keep treating "Federation Space" like it's land on a planet and occupies a densely settled continent that would be hard for an army to cross.

"Federation Space" is basically little dots of life in a vast expanse of emptiness. ALL KINDS OF SHEET is happening in "Federation Space" all the time. The Breen got into "Federation Space" and effed up Betazed. And we have no idea if Vulcan is "in the heart" of Federation Space anymore than Betazed. We have no real idea where anything is. They never explain it.

What we can extrapolate:

They went from Vulcan to Klingon Space to the Romulan home world in what appeared to be pretty short order. And if the Romulans are offshoots of the Vulcans from way back, then they probably didn't go that many light years to find their new home world back then.

So between the general vastness of all space and a reasonable conclusion that the Romulan home world ain't a big haul from Vulcan, it's not such a silly idea that they could reach it.

Point Two: Holding the planet with 2,000 soldiers. Yeah, a bit farfetched again -- BUT:

Think about the few depictions of Vulcan onscreen. They seem to live in almost primitive conditions, sparsely settled around caves. You never see matte shots of a huge city like on Earth or the Klingon or Romulan or Cardassian home worlds.

Yes, they were warping while we were in the Iron Age, but since then, their technology seems almost stagnant. They don't seem to employ a lot of it in their planet.

And there's every reason to think the planet is actually sparsely populated. These are logical people on a hostile, dry planet. They probably keep the population very low to extended resources. Vulcan doesn't look like the kind of planet that would be hospitable to hosting billions of inhabitants.

Then given their extreme devotion to peace -- they're constantly chiding their human allies over their rash emotional warlike responses -- it's likely they actually don't have a lot in the way of planetary defenses.

Finally, there's something of an intellectual arrogance that runs through them. They probably never conceived anyone could pull this off or even want to invade them, so they don't prepare against it.

Overall, for all those factors, I'm not sure the invasion plan is nearly as far-fetched as many of you have made it out to be.

I see it a lot like the U.S. and Iraq in 2003. Easy to invade, hard to hold. It's the "entrenched" part that gets more far-fetched.

I think the Romulans could take the planet, BUT:

1. If they think the Federation would just sit back and accept it, that's a massive miscalculation. (And I think that's where Romulan arrogance comes into play).

2. They'd encounter the most effective passive resistance campaign on Vulcan in the history of the galaxy! I think the Vulcans would mind-phuck them pretty quickly. The invasion force could eventually be assimilated into Vulcan culture without the Vulcans even engaging in what we think of as traditional warfare tactics.
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