Star Trek

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Re: Star Trek

Postby Sparky Prime » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:35 pm

Again, it seems like they're just indulging because now they can, unrestrained by broadcast standards.

I think that's exactly what is happening here....

According to Michael Chabon (when asked about the use of swearing and smoking in earlier episodes of this series):
The absence of swear words in Star Trek was never a matter of Federation principle, it was a matter of FCC rules.

Writers of previous eras had no choice. They were censored. Swearing is one of humanity’s most ancient, sensible, and reliable consolations. Personally, I would consider any society that discouraged, banned, or abandoned the use of curse works to be a fucking dystopia.


Which, for cable television, censorship was certainly was a factor. But the way Star Trek always portrayed it wasn't that it was discouraged or banned... There were occasions, particularly in the films, where characters would sparingly use curse words. But the idea behind it was more that humans had (more or less) evolved beyond feeling they needed to use that kind of language. So yeah, he basically confirmed they've stepped up the swearing simply because they can. Icheb's torture was certainly along the same lines. They showed it simply because they could, with out stopping to ask themselves if that was something they should do.

I really feel these writers do not understand the ideas behind what made Star Trek what it was in the first place...
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Re: Star Trek

Postby Sparky Prime » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:50 pm

Chabon has addressed the level of violence shown in Stardust City Rag...

I am not unambivalent about the violence, myself. The choice was not made lightly, though it was made collaboratively, and therefore with a good deal of conversation and debate among the creators. And so I assure you that it is not there simply “because we can,” or because we are trying, as you somewhat uncharitably put it, to be “in.” My partners would all have their own reasons for its presence in this story, as some of us had our own reasons for shying away from it. For me, it came down to this: there has always been violence (and even torture) in Star Trek. Sometimes that violence has been implicit, sometimes explicit, according to the dictates of censorship, the nature of the situation being depicted, the aesthetic of individual creators, or technical and/or budgetary limitations. And the reason that there has always been violence in Trek is that Trek is art, and there has always been violence—implicit and explicit—in art. It belongs there. It belongs in any narrative about human beings, even human beings of the future. Violence, often, *is* the narrative. Its source. Its engine. The question of whether it’s “too much” or not is ultimately a matter of taste. Personally, I come out closer to the “less is more” end. But that is just me. In the end, I saw how little time and space we had to convey a sense of Seven’s history post-Voyager, and the things that drive and haunt her. I decided, with my partners, that intensity was warranted. Seven lives outside the rational confines of the Federation, because that is where she finds her sense of purpose. But life is hard, out there. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t need her help so badly. And she wouldn’t have found such a compelling reason to carry on, in spite of her history of trauma. But, I hear you.


So the reason, for Chabon at least, was that it "is art" and previous series were limited by censorship or other limitations? I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing how that's really any different from saying "because we can". And justifying it by saying "it's art" just comes off very pretentious. Sure, there has always been a degree of violence in Star Trek, but only to what degree it was necessary. Which this episode I'd have to say went well beyond. That's not a matter of "taste". There's a reason why Discovery and Picard are the only two Star Trek series to have gotten a TV:MA rating. I even saw one review where the person said, because of how their country handles mature content, they had to verify their age before being allowed to watch this particular episode. And I'd have to disagree with his assertion that "violence often is the narrative. Its source. Its engine". One of the biggest points of Star Trek is about looking for peaceful solutions, with violence being absolutely a last resort. Humanity is supposed to have evolved beyond this sort of behavior. As far as I'm concerned, he's admitting he doesn't understand the message behind Star Trek here by saying "it belongs in any narrative about human beings". Heck, some of the best Star Trek stories doesn't even involve an actual conflict with any body, but rather is just a situation they have to figure a way out of. Even Johnathan Franks said Gene Roddenberry would have never allowed that scene.
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Re: Star Trek

Postby andersonh1 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:50 am

I agree with everything you've said here. I understand the idea that there's a limited time to show why Seven is motivated to live the way she does, so they wanted something quick and horrible to drive the point home and so they fridged Icheb, but it still comes down to a question of good taste. Yes, violent things happen in Star Trek. But they're not often put right on screen in our face in all their bloody details where we can wallow in the pain of the character to whom the violence is occurring. Mature storytelling lets us know what happened without lovingly photographing every detail. Even when Picard was tortured in that one TNG episode, they weren't hacking his limbs off or ripping off fingernails or things of that nature. When it comes to Icheb, I think the scene in question, as objectionable as I would still have found it, would work by showing Icheb on the table, all the blood on and around him and the surgeon about to go to work, only for Seven to arrive and events to play out. Did we really need to see his eye removed from its socket to get the point across? And the scene could have been dialed back even more than that and still worked.

So no, I'm not buying it. More restraint could and should have been exercised and the scene would have still worked, and if they were on a broadcast network, they would have to have found another way to get their point across. They chose the more explicit scene simply because they had the freedom to do it.

On another note, for me it's disappointing that there's no way I can let my kids watch Seven's return. We all enjoy Voyager, and are fans of the character. Even there, I don't always let them watch every episode. They were excited that the show was bringing Seven back, but as a responsible parent I can't let them watch Icheb get tortured. The producers had the opportunity here to make a more family-friendly show, but they've chosen to aim for more adult fare, and while that's certainly their choice, it's a shame that they made that choice in my opinion.
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Re: Star Trek

Postby Sparky Prime » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:27 am

Troi and Riker finally appeared in the series....

{SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}Turns out they retired (although Riker is still on active reserve) with their children, Thaddeus and Kestra (named for Troi's late sister), to a planet called Nepenthe. Thaddeus had a disease, which apparently could be cured with a positronic matrix (I don't understand how culturing cells in an android's brain would cure a disease but whatever), but after the ban on synthetics, there were no positronic matrices available. Nepenthe has a unique soil that has a regenerative effect, but it wasn't enough (why not Ba'ku? Its Metaphasic radiation was shown to have incredible regenerative abilities and they seem to be living a technological free life on this planet as it is), and so Thaddeus died. Picard and Soji spend a few days with Riker's family. Meanwhile, Hugh is killed by the Romulans for planning on taking the Borg cube out of their control, with Elnor still trapped on the cube. Jurati is revealed to have had a mindmeld with Commodore Oh (guess she's a Vulcan after all, although it begs to question why she was wearing sunglasses) showing her apparently a future where AI destroys planets. This convinced her to swallow a tracking device and kill Maddox. She takes a drug that destroyed the trancking device and puts her in a coma before they arrive to pick up Picard and Soji.
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Re: Star Trek

Postby Shockwave » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:43 pm

Gah, I knew they'd find a way to screw this up. I mean, Data was established as being 100% artificial, no organic components, so his positronic brain having DNA, is stupid. And even if that was the case, couldn't they just make another brain without a body? And I really hope "Let's kill off obscure beloved characters" doesn't continue to be one of the hallmarks of this show.
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Re: Star Trek

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:12 am

Shockwave wrote: And I really hope "Let's kill off obscure beloved characters" doesn't continue to be one of the hallmarks of this show.


Same here. Hugh and Icheb are both characters that fit right into the storyline of the show and would seem to be of more use alive than dead. I'm honestly concerned about Seven of Nine now. I hope these guys know better than to kill off one of the more popular main characters, but you never know.
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Re: Star Trek

Postby andersonh1 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:06 pm

On the other hand, there are lovely scenes like this one. Riker and Troi have Picard all figured out. This show is a mix of bad choices and really good ones. It just seems... uneven. Some of it is bad, some of it is very good. But I do love these scenes with Will and Deanna.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg7EpRn8vZc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMkYqVBRZ9g
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Re: Star Trek

Postby Sparky Prime » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:35 pm

Broken Pieces... Basically a massive information dumb episode.

{SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}14 years ago, in a solar system with 8 suns (which was artificially created), a group of 8 Romulan women experience "Admonition" (sort of an initiation ceremony of sorts to become Zhat Vash I guess, although I'm not sure why it's only women), which is a warning left behind by some power yet now extinct ancient civilization, not to create artificial life because something bad happened to them. The warning is so powerful, most of them commit suicide. Among the survivors are Commodore Oh (who is half Romulan, half Vulcan apparently that afterwords infiltrated Starfleet to subvert their attempts to create artificial life), Narissa and her aunt Ramdha. Turns out the reason the Borg cube shut down was because Ramdha deliberately got herself assimilated, somehow knowing they wouldn't be capable of handling the warning.

Seven of Nine arrives at the cube, having received Hugh's distress call to the Fenris Rangers, finding Elnor instead. She decides to regenerate the cube. The Romulans start killing people, so Seven plugs into the Cube turning it into a "micro-collective" which her acting as Queen. This begins reactivating the Drones in stasis, but the Romulans just jettison them all into space. The Romulans leave, having learned the location of the Android homeworld.

Still not sure why they seem to think there is a whole mass of them when we only know about 2. But it turns out, there are more. As when Rios sees Soji, he freaks out a little bit, having seen her before (I feel this kinda undermines the plot at the start of the season of Soji and Dahj being twins, and the process to create them always makes 2... for some reason. But apparently there could be a whole mess of them as well as other models). Turns out, 9 years ago, his captain was sent on a mission from Commodore Oh to assassinate a girl named Jana (another girl identical to Soji) and a boy named.... Beautiful Flower? Really? Rios confronted the Captain over it, and he committed suicide. Rios covered it up (as ordered) and was later discharged from Starfleet for PTSD.

There's some mention of going to Deep Space 12 to get some help from Starfleet, but then they take a Borg Transwarp corridor to reach the world Soji was created on before anyone else arrives...


I really don't understand why they've taken this route for this series... I mean, I feel like TNG and Voyager already covered a lot of these same issues. Only they portrayed it better and in a more positive way. I don't understand why they've adopted this mentality that AI is inherently bad, like so many dystopian sci-fi series like Terminator or Battlestar Galactica, when that's never been the case in Star Trek. It's a little too convenient that Rios backstory ties into an android cover up. And I'm not sure why they had a Borg cube in the story when it really hasn't amounted to much. Granted, there's still 2 more episodes, but still...
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Re: Star Trek

Postby andersonh1 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:13 am

So Soji's home planet is like {SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}Harry Mudd's android planet from the original series? :mrgreen:
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Re: Star Trek

Postby Sparky Prime » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:30 pm

Didn't the android of Juliana say she (meaning the real Juliana) and Dr. Soong {SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}never had children of their own? So where did Altan Soong come from then? And how does an android (especially a technological one, like Data) "learn" how to do a Vulcan mind meld!?
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