STAR! Trek into Darkness?

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Yoshisummons » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:23 pm UTC

I always thought the 'hardness' of sci-fi was more about it being based on real stuff and less on consistency side. Heck with all the books/movies/shows/games from the Star Wars universe you could argue it's just as consistent if not more(though that's mostly because they give explanations of how stuff works the middle finger and never talk about it at all in detail except in those ship cross cut out books). I mean even in star trek there is always a golden nugget of handwavium at the center of that explanation-pop. As far as I can remember in star trek they really don't go into how the Enterprise(s) deal with heat sink issues or deal with the consequences of having phasor pistol batteries holding enough energy to get a shuttle into orbit(that one in particular was in the original series I think, the only episodes of Star Trek the original series, TNG, and SG-1 I can even remember were the few episodes focused on moral grey areas).
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

Yeah, Star Trek is not very "hard" in the traditional sense of the word. I don't think it's particularly consistent either - there are countless examples of an episode that features a new technology (or new use of old technology) that should revolutionize society/warfare/medicine, but just gets completely forgotten after they solve one problem with it.

Also, the transporter runs on magic: it splits Kirk into his "good" and "evil" sides, and it combines Tuvok and Neelix (members of species originating from different quadrants of the galaxy) in a way that is somehow both physically viable and that combines their personalities and memories. It should also be able to create backups of people, but they never explore the implications of that either.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:18 pm UTC

Hard Sci-Fi doesn't explicitly require that it's based on fact (or at least our understanding of it) - though that does make up a large chunk of hard sci-fi. Hard sci-fi can (and often does) require that the implications of it's technology be fully thought out, or at least as fully thought out as the author can.

Star Trek Teleporters and Replicators, for instance, wouldn't exist. There would be no difference between the Replicator and Teleporter - it's the same device. Insert cow, print 10,000 copies. Insert Duck, Chicken, and Turkey, print Turduckens. Insert self, five man "Wait-is-that-masturbation-or-an-orgy-or-incest-or-huh?" begins. Laws preventing sapient entity printing, technological blocks to stop it, black-market devices with the blocks removed or altered (Just to get a little dark here - printable slaves with fucked-with minds so as to not argue or fight on what the owner wants) and so on would all exist. Hard.

Star Trek uses them to get to planets and back, and make food and simple stuff and doesn't ask questions. Soft.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:28 pm UTC

I've always heard Hard Sci-Fi being sci-fi with few fictional elements in its technology, and is interested in how the technical details of something influence the plot - like the hard sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). As opposed to Soft sci-fi, which has as many fictional elements (i.e. hand-waving) in its technology as it needs as it is interested in how a technology influences characters or society - like the soft sciences (psychology, sociology).
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:03 pm UTC

Let's just end the Hard/Soft debate now.

Mostly because holy fuckbats do the Star Trek people not exploit the Transporter like they should, as that's a far more interesting and relevant topic.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:14 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Star Trek Teleporters and Replicators, for instance, wouldn't exist. There would be no difference between the Replicator and Teleporter - it's the same device. Insert cow, print 10,000 copies. Insert Duck, Chicken, and Turkey, print Turduckens. Insert self, five man "Wait-is-that-masturbation-or-an-orgy-or-incest-or-huh?" begins. Laws preventing sapient entity printing, technological blocks to stop it, black-market devices with the blocks removed or altered (Just to get a little dark here - printable slaves with fucked-with minds so as to not argue or fight on what the owner wants) and so on would all exist. Hard.

Star Trek uses them to get to planets and back, and make food and simple stuff and doesn't ask questions. Soft.


I'm pretty sure there's some random technobabble somewhere about different resolutions for replicating things and transporting living things. Of course that is thrown out the window when the transporter randomly duplicates people (Riker I'm looking at you). They also seem to have extremely limited tactical use of the transporter. You'd think you'd have algorithms setup to instantly transport explosives or something to an enemy ship the moment even part of their shields went down. Maybe not the Federation, but hell Klingon's, Romulans, Cardassians etc wouldn't balk at transporting a small nuke into the bridge the moment shields were briefly weakened. Hell just target everyone on the opposing ship and TRY to transport them to your brig. If it works great. If it fails mid transport because of shields or such, well you just killed the whole enemy crew and won the fight anyways.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mosc » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:19 pm UTC

The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information. That's usually how you get around a lot of what you guys are on about. It can't store that much, it has to stream it to get all the data over there. The matter stream seems to be at the speed of light, not faster. I mean, of course it's nonsensical fiction filled with "Heisenberg Compensators" and whatnot. Not that they haven't stretched that plenty either, but that's the general concept.

I think this hits the nail on the head though with star trek. Other Sci Fi would either present far less capable technology or obscure it more completely from the observer rather than giving them complete control over it. Star Trek presents unfathomable technology as a given and then lets writers in the universe use it as they see fit. That's not how it usually works and part of what is leading to this "soft" nonsense.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:32 pm UTC

mosc wrote:The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information.

Except, of course, when it is. Unnatural Selection is pretty much the ultimate example of the whole "new technology (or new use of old technology) that should revolutionize society/warfare/medicine" thing.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:35 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
mosc wrote:The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information.

Except, of course, when it is. Unnatural Selection is pretty much the ultimate example of the whole "new technology (or new use of old technology) that should revolutionize society/warfare/medicine" thing.



Technically I don't think they store her entire pattern, they just use some uncorrupted DNA as a "filter" for the virus (which just happens to fix her hair and wrinkles as well...for some reason). A more definitive example would be Scotty storing himself in the pattern buffer for decades (which of course he did with decades old computer technology).

mosc wrote:I think this hits the nail on the head though with star trek. Other Sci Fi would either present far less capable technology or obscure it more completely from the observer rather than giving them complete control over it. Star Trek presents unfathomable technology as a given and then lets writers in the universe use it as they see fit. That's not how it usually works and part of what is leading to this "soft" nonsense.


It's not just that. Star Trek introduces all of this amazing technology but then has humanity only use it for very narrow purposes, instead of the wide application that innovators would come up with. That way they can still have a more recognizable human society, without worrying about alienating the audience too much with transhumanism, radically different social norms, or medical immortality*.

*It's absurd that people still die after a century or so, given the countless examples of nano-machines, genetic manipulation, and the ability to alter substances at the sub-atomic level with extreme precision.

ETA: I think one good contrast is the Culture series by Iain M. Banks - it likewise has absurdly powerful technology based on nonsense physics, but he explores what civilizations would be like with things like clinical immortality, AI, widespread automation, and virtually unlimited energy.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:41 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
mosc wrote:The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information.

Except, of course, when it is. Unnatural Selection is pretty much the ultimate example of the whole "new technology (or new use of old technology) that should revolutionize society/warfare/medicine" thing.



Technically I don't think they store her entire pattern, they just use some uncorrupted DNA as a "filter" for the virus (which just happens to fix her hair and wrinkles as well...for some reason). A more definitive example would be Scotty storing himself in the pattern buffer for decades (which of course he did with decades old computer technology).

They only had to do that though because they didn't have her "transporter trace" on file because she was a transporter-phobe.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:43 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
setzer777 wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
mosc wrote:The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information.

Except, of course, when it is. Unnatural Selection is pretty much the ultimate example of the whole "new technology (or new use of old technology) that should revolutionize society/warfare/medicine" thing.



Technically I don't think they store her entire pattern, they just use some uncorrupted DNA as a "filter" for the virus (which just happens to fix her hair and wrinkles as well...for some reason). A more definitive example would be Scotty storing himself in the pattern buffer for decades (which of course he did with decades old computer technology).

They only had to do that though because they didn't have her "transporter trace" on file because she was a transporter-phobe.


Right, but I think the trace was just a genetic sample like what they got from her hair, rather than a recording of the exact position (Heisenberg compensator!) of each subatomic particle in her body at a certain point in time. Still doesn't explain how it reverted all of the physical changes the virus caused, but that's Star Trek.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

Fair enough. And even if I was parsing things correctly, I think Scotty would still be the better example.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mosc » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:40 pm UTC

And they tried to explain it as best they could when the writer is like "yo dawg, I want to drop a 70 year old scotty into the future". He looped it to continuously transfer himself to kind of lock it in mid stream. How can people really get pissy about this when they travel around faster than light? The transporter physics bother you? Really!?!
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

mosc wrote:And they tried to explain it as best they could when the writer is like "yo dawg, I want to drop a 70 year old scotty into the future". He looped it to continuously transfer himself to kind of lock it in mid stream. How can people really get pissy about this when they travel around faster than light? The transporter physics bother you? Really!?!

FUCKING YES.


How fucking hard is this to fucking comprehend?

It's not that we balk at the notion of transporting people while we don't mind ships traveling at several times the speed of light. The problem is that the shit is inconsistent and developments, irregularities and shit people would immediately jump on to try and replicate both to exploit and prevent from happening in the future gets conveniently ignored!

Let's just go with ONE goddamn example of all the times the shit's broke and done something weird. Barkley and the Transportation Worms. Reign of Fear (second episode of the sixth season according to Wikipedia) if you want to go look it up.

If you don't recall it or never saw it, I'll give you the cliff notes.

Barkley gets transported to a derelict ship, sees a worm thing in the stream. This is discounted both because A) nothing can live in the stream since it's not really a place and B) you can't see a thing in the stream anyway. Later on, Barkely is essentially attacked by a worm thing and grabs it, rematerializing with.. a person. Because the worm things are actually the crew members of the ship trapped in the transporter stream.

So RIGHT FUCKING THERE both facts presented earlier are wrong. A) Shit can live in the stream [as apparently it is a place] and B) you can see shit while transporting.

AND FUCKING NO FUCKING ONE FUCKING EVER FUCKING EXPLORES THAT

FUCK

That's fucking GAME CHANGING shit right there. Sleeper agents hiding in transporter beams, hidden storage areas in the otherspace, a whole goddamn who the fuck knows area of the universe to explored.

COMPLETELY FUCKING FORGOTTEN ABOUT FOR THE REST OF NEXT GEN AND ALL OF DS9, VOYAGER, AND THE MOVIES!


It's not that this shit gets explored, it's not that they seem to discover new stuff every time there's a problem, it's that they always forget the shit they already learned AND no remarks are ever made about the gamechanging discoveries made. Outside of some crap about slowing the warp speeds due to the one episode about the environmental damage high warp speeds were causing and the shit they learned about the Jem Hadar and how to spot a Changeling, I can't recall any discovery that should have completely changed how shit was done coming up again.

I mean.. goddamn, Barkley alone is the source of dozens of "AND NO ONE BOTHERED TO EXPLORE THAT FURTHER?!" by himself.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:57 pm UTC

Yeah, nobody aside from main characters ever explores extremely obvious secondary applications of any technology, and even when they do it's just to solve the problem of the week before mashing the reset button so as to not disturb the status quo.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

Seriously. We accidentally duped Riker? Cool - let's figure out how to do it again both to program our transporters to never do it again on accident, and so we can exploit it to replicate organs or whatever in case our Captain's mechanical heart suddenly detonates and we've got a match on board.

We accidentally merged two members? AND we successfully split them apart again? Let's .. figure out how to do it again both to program our transporters to never do it again on accident, and then send the data back to Starfleet (even though it'll take forever to get there) because that sort of shit they really, really need to know about. And let them figure out how to weaponize it/use it to, along with the dupe method, cure people of being unable to walk or whatever, I mean damn - there's tons of medical applications in fixing nerve damage and the like, I'd imagine.

We got probed and our Captain spent an entire lifetime learning all sorts of agricultural and flute-based skills? Holy shit, replicate that and have our Star Fleet Ensigns start their second day with a lifetime of experiences of being Starship Captains, Engineering Chiefs, Second-in-Commands, Fleet Leading Commodores and Admirals. Who gives a shit if it can only teach them what we already know - that's the entire point of experience! To learn from it! Starting people out on the 50th square instead of the 1st is a HUGE boost!

Also, mad flute playing skills, yo.

The Borg ships can repair themselves on the fly, and we've beaten a few of them? WHY AREN'T OUR SHIPS FIXING THEMSELVES YET?
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:08 pm UTC

Don't forget about using special dilithium to go at warp 10 and simultaneously occupy every point in the universe (without causing any physical damage and while somehow coherently seeing parts of the universe and deciding where to stop).

To be fair, alpha quadrant scientists are pretty fucking stupid - they were shocked to discover that all of the bipedal species with slightly different foreheads (who could easily interbreed) *didn't* just independently evolve that way by chance.

ETA: Then again, judging by several episodes (including that aforementioned warp 10 episode where it "evolves" them into lizards) "evolution" in the Star Trek universe is more akin to Pokemon than anything in our universe.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:10 pm UTC

They aren't much smarter elsewhere.

Maybe there was some event in the early 2100s that made everyone stupid?

Hell.. VISORs. Now, I can understand why everyone doesn't have a VISOR implant. But VISOR sunglasses? Why is that not a thing?
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:12 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:They aren't much smarter elsewhere.

Maybe there was some event in the early 2100s that made everyone stupid?


I think the peak was probably the Earth dinosaurs who developed interstellar travel to escape extinction, and did so without leaving any signs of fossil fuel or heavy metal usage.

ETA: I never got the visor - it can show a wider spectrum than normal human eyes, but can't just *not* show stuff that's not in the visual light spectrum?
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:27 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I mean.. goddamn, Barkley alone is the source of dozens of "AND NO ONE BOTHERED TO EXPLORE THAT FURTHER?!" by himself.

I like to imagine that, at some point after the existing canon, Lt. Reginald Barclay snaps, uses all of these ideas and becomes an old-school conquering God-King...
In "Genesis", Barclay's T-cells have a bizarre reaction to a medicine, creating an airborne virus that causes Barclay to de-evolve into a spider-like ancestral form...

...USING THIS F***ING TECHNIQUE.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:02 pm UTC

Yes, let's. Because I'm right :P
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Jorpho » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:25 am UTC

Having read "The Physics of Star Trek" by Krauss (and it sequel), I am left with the impression that during TNG, the writers at least tried to wave vaguely in the direction of the plausible. With DS9, of course, it was easy to say "The Prophets Did It!" And by Voyager it seemed quite clear no one particularly cared anymore.

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setzer777 wrote:I think the peak was probably the Earth dinosaurs who developed interstellar travel to escape extinction, and did so without leaving any signs of fossil fuel or heavy metal usage.
Well, they left everything at the meteor impact site, of course.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mosc » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:15 am UTC

I think the difference is that Star Trek tries to use the science fiction as a frame more directly. It wants a very specific type of result from the technology. Most science fiction introduces the science and has a more narrow focus on highlighting it's positives and negatives on humanity, usually negatives. Star Trek also gets hit with trying to portray a consistent science while allowing a fairly wide variance of episodic fiction to develop on top of it.

Best corollary I can come up with is a comic. Lots of writers and backstory. Problems with daily life in a universe with non-daily livable modifications to normal limitations. Contradictions are fundamental and unavoidable. Star Trek even tried to reboot itself completely ridding of all the old continuity issues.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:44 am UTC

So, I finally got around to watching this.

Is it just me, or are there only about a dozen competent people in the whole Federation, and most of them are Enterprise bridge crew?

For instance, during Harrison's attack on Star Fleet HQ, the heavily armed security personnel who show up line up in front of his guns to let him shoot at them, while the only person in the room who even considers flanking him by going maybe 20 meters away is Kirk.

By the time the Enterprise is falling out of the sky, I was literally yelling at the screen "It's called free fall! Everything falls at the same rate!" Sure, it let Chekhov actually do something right for once, but if the artificial gravity failed, everyone should have been floating, and if it didn't, down should be in the same direction relative to the set as it always was - what shouldn't be happening is an apparent ~1g changing direction to always point at the Earth as the ship rocked back and forth...

By the time the ship dropped below the suspiciously solid cloud layer and the camera lingered, I didn't need to hear the strange sound effects to know what was about to happen - what should have been an emotional moment ruined by being heavily telegraphed, and by my having next to no investment in the situation any more.

Why is it that a pair of starships can drop out of warp, fight a major battle, and literally drop out of the sky onto a major Federation planet, and no-one notices - or, if they do, they can't be bothered to do anything about it?

For that matter, how come Spock can put in a phone call to Spock on New Vulcan (wherever that is) but can't manage to get an SOS out to the planet that would be filling the screen if the camera didn't happen to somehow never point in the right direction? You'd think he could at least get Nimoy-Spock to relay a message!

I suppose we at least finally have an in-universe explanation for Kirk getting given the Enterprise almost before graduating the Academy - the Federation genuinely is that short of even vaguely competent people...


Overall, the movie has some cool scenes and sequences, but the connecting plot is more a join-the-dots exercise to get from one cool scene to the next, without bothering to ask the question of how (or even if) the scenes should fit into a single story together than a coherent plot...

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:39 am UTC

mosc wrote:The transporter is not capable of storing a person worth of information. That's usually how you get around a lot of what you guys are on about. It can't store that much, it has to stream it to get all the data over there. The matter stream seems to be at the speed of light, not faster. I mean, of course it's nonsensical fiction filled with "Heisenberg Compensators" and whatnot. Not that they haven't stretched that plenty either, but that's the general concept.
I missed this before. There was that one episode of DS9 when the transporter malfunctioned and so they decided to dump the transformer buffer into the station's main computer, effectively shutting down the station. Then somehow the people being transported started appearing in Bashir's James Bond-style holosuite adventure. Man, DS9 got crazy sometimes.

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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:20 pm UTC

I have a question for everybody. One of the big things TOS was renowned for was having these progressive things already done in the setting, for instance having an empowered black woman and having sympathetic Japanese and Russian characters, later Dax's bisexuality and other things I'm probably forgetting. In the vein, what would everyone like to see in the next Start Trek series?
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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:45 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I have a question for everybody. One of the big things TOS was renowned for was having these progressive things already done in the setting, for instance having an empowered black woman and having sympathetic Japanese and Russian characters, later Dax's bisexuality and other things I'm probably forgetting. In the vein, what would everyone like to see in the next Start Trek series?
To it actually be like Star Trek and not just another action movie/show. Star Trek was about making human progress, economically, technologically and morally. I want it to have the idealism it started with and continued with and not just be an action flick.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

A meant like, specifically. What human progress do you want to see made? How do you want that progress to reflect in the cast and crew?
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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:01 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:I have a question for everybody. One of the big things TOS was renowned for was having these progressive things already done in the setting, for instance having an empowered black woman and having sympathetic Japanese and Russian characters, later Dax's bisexuality and other things I'm probably forgetting. In the vein, what would everyone like to see in the next Start Trek series?
To it actually be like Star Trek and not just another action movie/show. Star Trek was about making human progress, economically, technologically and morally. I want it to have the idealism it started with and continued with and not just be an action flick.

I don't see how that sort of movie could possibly turn a profit.

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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Dark567 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:11 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Dark567 wrote: To it actually be like Star Trek and not just another action movie/show. Star Trek was about making human progress, economically, technologically and morally. I want it to have the idealism it started with and continued with and not just be an action flick.

I don't see how that sort of movie could possibly turn a profit.
Unfortunately, probably not. This is a big reason why Star Trek always worked better in the television format where the monetary stakes are lower, and its okay for plots to be driven by dialogue instead of effects and action.
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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:30 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I have a question for everybody. One of the big things TOS was renowned for was having these progressive things already done in the setting, for instance having an empowered black woman and having sympathetic Japanese and Russian characters, later Dax's bisexuality and other things I'm probably forgetting. In the vein, what would everyone like to see in the next Start Trek series?
Don't you think you should start a new thread for this..?

It doesn't really matter what they do "in that vein" if the writing sucks – the reason you're forgetting whatever Voyager and Enterprise might have done is probably because what they did wasn't very good and being "progressive" alone was not enough to save it. That's all there is to it.

And actually, I remember someone back in the day commenting about that episode about Dax's same-sex kiss and how it was nothing like the old TOS since lesbianism was already sufficiently hip (or something like that) at the time.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:01 pm UTC

Are we putting all the new Star Treks in here, or do we start a new thread for the 3rd one.

Apparently, Simon Pegg is going to be cowriting it. Things just got interesting.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:08 pm UTC

The Cornetto trilogy was downright sophisticated by most standards, and is practically High Art compared to the last two Star Trek films. Interesting indeed.

If they're willing to make bold lateral moves like that, though, why didn't they bring on Frakes like many were hoping?

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mathmannix » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:41 pm UTC

Well, Frakes directed the epic First Contact (and one of my favorite ST episodes, "Cause and Effect"), but he also directed the monstrosity Insurrection. So, hit or miss?
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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:38 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Don't you think you should start a new thread for this..?
As far as I understand how the moderators like to do things, no; each franchise gets a thread which often starts as a thread for a specific element in the franchise. I've read the whole thread and about half the discussion is about the rest of the franchise.

the reason you're forgetting whatever Voyager and Enterprise might have done is probably because what they did wasn't very good and being "progressive" alone was not enough to save it.
I just finished watching the entirety of Enterprise, so I'm pretty sure I'm not forgetting it. I'm actually specifically disappointed in it; of the (roughly) 13 major interpersonal relationship seven were male-male, 5 male-female, 1 female-female, and T'Pol-Hoshi wasn't that good or frequent.

There were some progressive plot-lines:
Spoiler:
like when T'Pol (metaphorically) was raped and got AIDS. There was also an arc about Vulcan's militarism. Also the Xindi arc ended in reconciliation, not conquest.
But those were all active, there was very little in the setting itself. For instance the sex ratios (as mentioned above); they also explicitly mentioned the sex ratio on the ship was 2/3 male, which seems weird to not even pretend the unseen crew are fairly chosen.

I also found the attitude on mental health grating. In one episode Hoshi was having nightmares, talked to the doctor, and had to request this not be mentioned in her medical record. This suggests that 1) command officers could see her medical record and 2) cared about psychiatric minutiae; probably modeled after the modern American military's bass ackwards policies. At the very least major issues should be only reported to command, in summary, after a doctor determines their significance. At best the doctor shouldn't have that conflict on interest at all. Maybe the wanted to be realistic? but that's not realistic: someone in Hoshi's shoes would have avoided medical help.
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mathmannix » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:58 pm UTC

I think I'd like to see a present-day version of Star Trek... many of my favorite episodes and movies were the ones where they went back in time to the present ("Tomorrow Is Yesterday", Star Trek IV, "Future's End") or the near-future ("Past Tense", First Contact), or even the near-past ("The City on the Edge of Forever", "Time's Arrow", "Little Green Men", "Carbon Creek" - although that wasn't time travel). Now that Khan has been revamped, they could make a TV series version of the Eugenics Wars books by Greg Cox, or something similar. Great if they could get that Benedict Cumberbatch guy, but if not, then somebody who looks like him. Or maybe a whole new series with Star Trek officers from the future sent back in time to ensure the timeline is kept correct. It could have all new characters, or a few minor characters from the different series in the Next Generation era (like what Peter David did with his "New Frontier" books.) Ooh, maybe a task force of Alexander, Naomi Wildman, and Jake Sisko.

Or, another route would be to finally fulfill Gene's vision of the spinoff "Assignment Earth" TV series. (I didn't like that episode per se, because it was a backdoor pilot, and I almost always hate those. It wasn't Star Trek, it was a backdoor pilot. But I like the concept.)
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Re: STAR! Tr...ek?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:58 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I'm actually specifically disappointed in it; of the (roughly) 13 major interpersonal relationship seven were male-male, 5 male-female, 1 female-female, and T'Pol-Hoshi wasn't that good or frequent.

There were some progressive plot-lines:
Spoiler:
like when T'Pol (metaphorically) was raped and got AIDS. There was also an arc about Vulcan's militarism. Also the Xindi arc ended in reconciliation, not conquest.
But those were all active, there was very little in the setting itself. For instance the sex ratios (as mentioned above); they also explicitly mentioned the sex ratio on the ship was 2/3 male, which seems weird to not even pretend the unseen crew are fairly chosen.
There was that one episode in which a trio of aliens comes on board: a male, a female, and and "it", who is a member of a very tiny minority and is there because the other two need It for them to conceive. The It doesn't even have a name, but Trip recognizes It as intelligent and takes it upon himself to introduce It to education and art and so on. In the end, the other two aliens are shocked when It starts acting more assertive, and It ends up committing suicide off-camera rather than return to Its former life.

It seemed like such a setup for a new episode in which the Enterprise would return to the planet only to find that the government was overthrown and the society is now ruled with an iron fist by the tiny minority of formerly-oppressed Its who, inspired by the legend of Trip and the suicidal It, have come to the revelation that they can dictate who gets to reproduce and who doesn't. And then of course Phlox would save the day by cooking up all by himself an ingenious method to allow the males and females to reproduce without the assistance of an It, 'cause that's how Starfleet rolls.

...But that would probably be too controversial when they could just recycle another Voyager script.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:07 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote: Now that Khan has been revamped, they could make a TV series version of the Eugenics Wars books by Greg Cox, or something similar. Great if they could get that Benedict Cumberbatch guy, but if not, then somebody who looks like him.)
I think the Eugenics Wars are best in the background of star trek, as a contrast to the good that man could become.

Also: no, not somebody who looks like Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch doesn't look like Khan (for that matter, Ricardo Montalbán wasn't much better). The guy that comes from India and rules it should be some kind of Indian.
It seemed like such a setup for a new episode in which the Enterprise would return to the planet only to find that the government was overthrown and the society is now ruled with an iron fist by the tiny minority of formerly-oppressed Its who, inspired by the legend of Trip and the suicidal It, have come to the revelation that they can dictate who gets to reproduce and who doesn't. And then of course Phlox would save the day by cooking up all by himself an ingenious method to allow the males and females to reproduce without the assistance of an It, 'cause that's how Starfleet rolls.
And then Dr. Phlox refuses to use his solution because, ya know, genocide.

Also, how would the progenitors have legends if they're not allowed to talk to each other or learn to read?
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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby Jorpho » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:19 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Also, how would the progenitors have legends if they're not allowed to talk to each other or learn to read?
Oh, the way things usually go in these stories: some of them have already been establishing their own secret means of communication, some of them are quietly listening in on conversations when nobody thinks they're paying attention, that sort of thing.

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Re: STAR! Trek into Darkness?

Postby mathmannix » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:09 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Also: no, not somebody who looks like Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch doesn't look like Khan (for that matter, Ricardo Montalbán wasn't much better). The guy that comes from India and rules it should be some kind of Indian.

Well, no, not necessarily... he was genetically engineered. Kind of the whole point, really. I'm pretty sure he was genetically engineered to be physically strong, fast, etc., mentally superior (with great leadership and charisma if that's at all genetic), and probably tall and handsome. As far as whether he looked Indian, or Mexican, or British, or Austrian (like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins)... I don't think that mattered, in-universe or out.
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