Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu May 07, 2020 2:39 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 9:37 pm
Star Trek had a message, yes. But it wasn't preachy.
If you've seen Star Trek Discovery then you know that's no longer the case.

Hell, it's hard to find a TV show nowadays that doesn't try to push some sort of agenda. Whatever happened to just watching something for fun and entertainment value? Not every damn thing has to have a socio-political message.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu May 07, 2020 3:53 am

:lol: "Not every damn thing has to have a socio-political message." I like that.

In CRPG terms, I think that "presenting an issue and letting you make up your mind" would be Dragon Age 1. "Fun and entertainment" - i.e. with very few decisions that make a big difference - would be Dragon Age 3 (and the Elder Scrolls games).

I'm not sure where Dragon Age 2 sits. Probably somewhere between the DA1-"here's an issue, you resolve it"-RPG and the Diablo 2-"Who needs complex characters? Here are thousands of enemies - now FIGHT THEM!"-RPG. ;) What do you think?
MusicallyInspired wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 9:37 pm
Star Trek had a message, yes. But it wasn't preachy. It didn't try to convince you of one side or the other. It took a social/ethical/moral issue, presented you with both sides of the argument, and let you make up your own mind. It treated you like an intelligent human being. The Orville now has taken the lead on this style of storytelling and does so phenomenally well.
I haven't seen The Orville, but that's probably not saying much. When Aussie TV shows any American shows, it has a bad habit of only showing the ones from 10 years ago. :( Especially the really bad comedies like "Two and a Half Men", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Everybody Loves Raymond". Aaaagggghhh! So bad, you cringe. And then there are the reality shows. "Australia's Got Talent", cooking shows, makeover shows, "Big Brother", people who go on dates, people who go on dates in the nude. :shock:

I haven't watched TV in years. Gee, I wonder why. :roll:

The Orville sounds like it's worth watching. I just wish they would put it on TV, at a good timeslot, so I could see it for myself. :( Otherwise, it'll be DVD huntin' for me ... ;)

What kind of situations do they find themselves in? What kind of decisions do they have to make? :)

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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Thu May 07, 2020 11:07 am

DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:39 am
If you've seen Star Trek Discovery then you know that's no longer the case.
Hence why Star Trek is dead to me.
Hell, it's hard to find a TV show nowadays that doesn't try to push some sort of agenda. Whatever happened to just watching something for fun and entertainment value? Not every damn thing has to have a socio-political message.
Absolutely. I miss "old TV."
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 3:53 am
The Orville sounds like it's worth watching. I just wish they would put it on TV, at a good timeslot, so I could see it for myself. :( Otherwise, it'll be DVD huntin' for me ... ;)
I know you're in Aussie land, but the first two seasons were on Fox. It's now coming to Hulu, which is why it's been on break for about a year now.
What kind of situations do they find themselves in? What kind of decisions do they have to make? :)
It has its fair share of just adventure episodes that are just fun to watch, but its moral tales are always interesting and don't treat you like a child. But it's made by Seth MacFarlane so his sense of humour is very evident as well. Some people say the first season does a little too much of his humour, but I find it refreshing. It's like an "every man's starship" story. But it doesn't detract from the drama in the show either.

There's one episode where they discover this planet of people who are basically human and are in a society on the technological level of what we are today. But the only difference is that it is a totally democratic society in every way in that all their laws, rewards, and crime punishments are based on social media up/downvoting. If you get more than a certain number of downvotes you are assigned something like a "lawyer" who is supposed to guide you on your "apology tour" to try to prove to the public that you're not as bad as their first impression and get them to change their votes. If your downvotes get too low, your attitude and personality are "corrected" (you get lobotomized). One of the crew members gets in trouble and they have to rescue them without breaking their laws or announcing they're not alone in the universe. As ridiculous as it sounds, it's kind of an interesting look at our own social media obsessed society. On the one hand you could take it to be a warning of where we might be headed and a reminder of what's really important...on the other hand you could take it to mean that our society isn't so bad since social media opinion on that scale is not near as bad as it could be. Either way it's an interesting problem that makes you think. So it's things like that.

The show eventually gets a story arc too too that's really engaging. But make no mistake, the show is as serious as it can be funny at times. If there is a moral message it's sending it's nothing more than "Hey, here's a problem we haven't solved yet. Interesting, isn't it?" rather than "You must behave this way in this situation or else you're evil." It stays away from judging you.

There have also been a few Star Trek alumni guest stars, not least of which is the actress for the Kassidy Yates's character from DS9 who is a main character on the show as the Chief Medical Officer.

And Norm Macdonald is in it as an alien green blob. Come on, you gotta see that.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Collector » Thu May 07, 2020 6:33 pm

Stewart is trying to do X-Men, not Trek. F*ck all of that unrealistic action garbage. I want something of substance and thought.. and with an optimistic bent. Trek is NOT dystopian.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Fri May 08, 2020 3:34 pm

With the prophecy garbage and the retcon of all the sudden Romulans despising artificial lifeforms....Earth engaging in prejudice. It all flies in the face of everything Gene Roddenberry wanted Trek to be.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Collector » Sat May 09, 2020 10:33 am

I was willing to give it a try, but I was not holding my breath when it was coming out. I have little use for it after seeing the first episode.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sat May 09, 2020 12:55 pm

If you watch anything, definitely watch the final episode at least. There's a beautiful scene with Data. And that's about the only flawless moment there is in the entire season. It's legitimately Star Trek and legitimately TNG.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sun May 10, 2020 6:01 am

Hmm. I know more about Gene Roddenberry's Trek than any of the others (don't know much about them). But from what I know about Original Trek, I thought the whole point was to comment on social issues in 1960s America (e.g. religion, sexism, racism, nationalism, global war etc.) through the medium of sci-fi. The point was definitely not supposed to be "Aha, aliens! But they're shootin' at us! We're mad now, let's go huntin' an' killin' some aliens! Pew pew pew!" :roll:

Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am. I'd love to learn. :)

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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun May 10, 2020 2:17 pm

I didn't say otherwise. I said it raised social issues and presented arguments from BOTH sides, and then let you make up your own mind without preaching one direction or the other.
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by notbobsmith » Sun May 10, 2020 5:10 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 6:01 am
Hmm. I know more about Gene Roddenberry's Trek than any of the others (don't know much about them). But from what I know about Original Trek, I thought the whole point was to comment on social issues in 1960s America (e.g. religion, sexism, racism, nationalism, global war etc.) through the medium of sci-fi. The point was definitely not supposed to be "Aha, aliens! But they're shootin' at us! We're mad now, let's go huntin' an' killin' some aliens! Pew pew pew!" :roll:

Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am. I'd love to learn. :)
Star Trek (and arguably sci-fi in general) has always been about commentary about social issues, which is why I find the criticism against Discovery and Picard kind of odd. TOS, for starters, had a multi-ethnic crew in the 1960s. They tackled racism ("Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"), war ("Balance of Terror", "The Doomsday Machine"), and "A Private Little War" was basically a commentary on Vietnam (i.e. a third party being used as a proxy for two much larger powers). TNG tackled gay rights in "The Outcast", albeit in a way that makes no sense. Environmentalism ("Force of Nature"). Treatment of Native Americans ("Journey's End" and a good chunk of VOY with Chakotay). DS9 was basically Bajor=Tibet and Cardassians=China. They addressed refugees in "Sanctuary". Poverty in "Past Tense". VOY addressed health care reform in "Critical Care". Then there was the episode of ENT where Vulcan mind melds are socially unacceptable and can transmit disease making it an allegory for homosexuality and HIV/AIDS. Then there's the whole idea that the TNG era is a Communist utopia with no money. Everyone is vegan, too. So the idea that somehow the most recent incarnations of Trek are somehow doing something different just doesn't make any sense to me.
MusicallyInspired wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 2:17 pm
I didn't say otherwise. I said it raised social issues and presented arguments from BOTH sides, and then let you make up your own mind without preaching one direction or the other.
Many of my examples are one-sided and anything but subtle.

To be clear, I did find Picard to be bit disappointing and I am not really a fan of Discovery. But I this is for different reasons other than "Since when was Star Trek so preachy?!" It always has been.

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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by DeadPoolX » Sun May 10, 2020 8:19 pm

I think, perhaps, the reason TOSs's social commentary seems unoffensive to us is because the message it was trying to get across is, for lack of a better term, "no duh" for a modern viewing audience.

For instance, a big issue was not just having a female bridge officer (originally Roddenberry wanted a female second in-command, but the network turned that down flat), but also an African American female. Kirk and Uhura were also TV's first interracial kiss.

Most of us today would look at that and think, " So what?" To us it's commonplace, or at least not something that's completely bizarre. To viewers in the 1960s, however, it was a major issue for those for and against it.

Having a Russian man on the bridge was also a big thing because TOS was shown during the height of the Cold War.

Many of TOS's storylines and alien interactions were analogous (to varying degrees) with the issues between the US and the USSR. The Klingon Empire was an alien stand-in for the Soviet Union. Unsurprisingly, the Federation was supposed to the United States, or at least NATO. Look at the starship designations: every name begins with "USS" which is what you see on American naval vessels. They retconned this and made "USS" stand for "United Star Ship" ("United Space Ship" was also used earlier on) instead of the modern-day "United States Ship."

All of this to say that TOS was probably seen as quite controversial and may have been considered "preachy" back during its initial run.

I think the big difference today is that during the 1960s, TOS had to be subtle in its approach. This wasn't necessarily because the writers or Roddenberry wanted that, it was due to stricter guidelines and censorship. Nowadays a show can bash viewers over the head with social commentary and get away with it, so the art of being intentionally or unintentionally subtle is no longer relevant.

For the record, I dislike the socio-political commentary you see in almost every show today, especially because it feels forced, like writers are using a checklist in order to seem progressive. I have nothing against social commentary or inclusivity, but it needs to fit the narrative.

Plus, I really wish some writers would stop changing the sex or race of established characters. This hasn't been an issue with Star Trek, but it has plagued many other shows, movies, and books. Sometimes it can work (Nick Fury comes to mind, but that has more to do with Samuel L. Jackson's inherent badassery) and other times it's just really, really weird (Flash Thompson or Mary Jane in the new Spider-Man movies).

A good way around this is to create a new character. The best example of this is Miles Morales, a young, black Spider-Man from a different reality. He's a new character, so that's cool, and nothing says Spider-Man can't be black. However, Peter Parker isn't black so he shouldn't be changed, and Marvel did an excellent job with this by leaving Parker the way he is and adding a new character.

Anyway... I've written enough and it's time for dinner. :)
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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Mon May 11, 2020 9:28 am

I agree with DPX, but I have a corollary to point out:

And sometimes, movie writers just create a new character for the sake of doing so. And it confuses or pisses off the fan-base of the original source material.

Case in point: Tauriel in the "Hobbit" films. Sigh. :( The film(s) could so easily have worked without Tauriel and her pointless romance with Kili. Take out Tauriel altogether, and it doesn't impair the plot one single bit.

I have nothing against Evangeline Lilly (she is a fine actress), but rather the role she was given. She is simply there to be Kili's love interest, defy Legolas, get Legolas into trouble, save Kili, be the reason that Kili dies, and then defy Thranduil. Against Lilly's wishes, apparently, Tauriel is involved in a love-triangle (between Kili and Legolas), whereas when the movie was shot, it was just her and Kili - which would've worked better, IMNSHO. It only became a love-triangle after PJ made some "alterations to some scenes added a couple more scenes..." and ta-da - suddenly Tauriel is an immature brat and the object of both Legolas's and Kili's affections. In other words? A giant walking cliche. :P

Comments? ;)

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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by Tawmis » Tue May 26, 2020 5:51 pm

This is actually a pretty fun watch. Kinda long, but fun.



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Re: Star Wars / Star Trek Discussion (SciFi In General)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue May 26, 2020 7:55 pm

I gotta say, seeing the Death Star swallowed up by a Red Matter explosion was pretty enjoyable to watch.
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