Need I say that it would be perfect for an Encounter Critical game?
Monday, January 17, 2011
Need I say that it would be perfect for an Encounter Critical game?
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
- · JJ Abrams states: “This isn’t a reboot, it’s an alternate timeline.” I call shenanigans; it is a reboot. Reboot means that you’re hitting the reset button and starting over from scratch; an alternate reality means that things are the same up to a certain point in time, but diverge after that. JJ’s implication is that the timeline is the same up until Nero came back through time, but that’s just not credible (explained below). I’d rather they just admit that it’s a reboot than pulling a bait-and-switch on Trek fans. I can live with a reboot far more easily than a half-assed attempt at placating angry Trekkies.
- They threw in a lot of references to the Original Star Trek, but they were out of context.
- When Spock puts Kirk off the ship, he maroons him on a planet called Delta-Vega…. which is a reference to a planet in an episode of TOS, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. It’s located near the extreme edge of the galaxy, so remote that ore ships call on it once a decade or so. It’s nothing like the iceball within visual distance of Vulcan in STXI. Why use an obvious (to a Trekkie) Star Trek reference if you’re not going to get it right? Why not just call it something else?
- One of the writers has explained, “'We moved the planet to suit our purposes. The familiarity of the name seemed more important as an Easter egg than a new name [would have been].”
- I thought that this change was pointless. It seemed like they were pandering insincerely to the Trekkies. It made me care less about the movie. I wondering if that was their purpose?
- In TMP, it’s obvious that there’s already a large planetary twin (or at least an enormous moon) in the same orbit as Vulcan; it’ a huge, planet-like object in the sky, though its name is never revealed. Would the Vulcans name that thing Delta-Vega?
- (Unofficially, it’s called T’Kuht; if you need a name, why not pick that one? Do you even need to give that planet a name?
- The Kelvin is supposed to be from the original Trek timeline, a few decades before TOS , but it is obviously far advanced over the ships of Kirk’s time (just one example, it had a crew of 800, rather than the Enterprise’s 203 crew members (in Kirk’s time) or 430 (in Kirk’s time). Original Kirk’s Enterprise was supposed to be on the cutting edge of Starfleet technology.
- Building the Enterprise on Earth. In Iowa. The writers throw in some technobabble (which doesn’t appear in the movie) about having to calibrate the ship’s artificial gravity systems in an appropriate gravity well, but that’s inconsistent with the original versions of Trek, where ships are built in orbit. The technology is different. This is a reboot, not an alternate timeline! Be honest about it.
- I really don’t like the design of the new Enterprise. I think it looks like a big weird sculpture, not a credible ship; it doesn’t evoke the feel of Star Trek at all to me. I would much rather have seen an update along these lines: http://deg3d.biz/splash_TOS.5_E/TOS.5_E.html . It’s like the original ship would have looked if the original show had high-definition CGI technology available; it’s the same ship, but far more detailed.
- To be fair, I’m not all that fond of the Enterprise from the Star Trek movies, either. I don’t hate it, though; I just don’t buy that it could possibly be the same ship as the original one.
- Most of the main characters are newly graduated cadets, which means they don’t have much “history” with Starfleet to draw upon, much less the experience necessary to run a starship; also, they are pretty much the same age. In the original series, several episodes revolved around or mentioned many characters’ past history. This would not be credible in future installments of the new Star Trek movie series.
- You can see the cement floor and cinderblock walls of the brewery they filmed the Engineering scenes in. You’d expect this in a 1960s science fiction TV show that was filming on a shoestring budget. I’m just sayin’.
- Using “Centaurian slugs” to torture Pike instead of “Ceti eels” (from “TWOK”). This would have been an appropriate opportunity to make a reference to the old Trek continuity, thus demonstrating to Trekkies that they knew what they were doing. They look like Ceti eels; they act like Ceti eels; they’re used the same way Ceti Eels were used. Why did they change the name?
- Excessive use of comic relief. I like a chuckle or two, but all the humor in this movie can be charitably described as "bufoonery", which the original series didn't have a lot of.
- The weird reaction Kirk had to McCoy’s “vaccination”. Comically swollen hands!
- Scotty nearly drowning because he beamed into a water pipe. Hilarious… not. You can remove this scene without damaging the rest of the movie. Minor dialog rewrites would have fixed any problems, and it would have removed an unnecessary scene.
- Scotty’s little alien buddy Keenser gave me Bubo flashbacks. (Bubo is, of course, the annoying mechanical owl from the original “Clash of the Titans”.) Why was he there? What function does he serve? If he’s comic relief, he’s less comical than Scotty.
- When Kirk asks what martial arts Sulu knows, Sulu replies, “Fencing”. Chuckle. Then it turns out Sulu has a collapsible samurai sword. Chuckle again
- Spock knew that the Romulans and Vulcans were related, a detail which wasn't common knowledge in the original series at the time of "Balance of Terror" (the first contact between the Federatin and Rmulans in about a hundred years.
- In the movie, Spock designed the "Kobayashi Maru" simulation. In TWOK, when Spock is dying, he tells Kirk that he never took the "Kobayashi Maru". Technically, I guess, he could have designed it without taking it, but how many computer game designers would do that? More poor attention to detail.
- Lest someone argue that Original Kirk was the same way, let me play Trekkie and point out that Kirk had a more serious side to his personality in his younger days:
- In “Where No Man Has Gone Before”Gary (Ol’ Silver Eyes) Mitchell, Kirk’s best friend, described the young Lieutenant Kirk as “a stack of books with legs".
- In “Shore Leave”, Kirk describes himself in his Academy days as “positively grim”). I’m sure that that made him no friends amongst the many other worthy officers in Starfleet who had more seniority.
- Admittedly, in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, Kirk confesses that he re-programmed the Kobayashi Maru simulator and received a commendation for original thinking. My guess is that he didn’t flaunt his blatant violation of the Academy ethical code the way New Kirk did..
Even though I felt that JJ Abrams had not captured the feel of the original series for me, I was hoping it might be an enjoyable movie in its own right. However, the many issues I detailed above would have spoiled my enjoyment even if the movie had not been called "Star Trek".