Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by lixluke, May 8, 2009.
I keep reading the thread title and I just wanted to say,
DON'T WORRY I AM NOT GOING TO READ THIS.
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Writing conventions and stranger things
Take a scene from another movie (or play, such as this particular example) about a different time. In Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues, the opening scene takes place on a train bringing new recruits to Keesler Field in Biloxi. They're all in uniform.
This matches the experiences of people I knew who served in World War II, and my father's observations at the draft center in Seattle during the Vietnam War.
Kirk didn't go through the usual recruitment channels. In his typical, maverick way he showed up at the last minute and hopped on the shuttle.
As one who deals mostly with myth and fiction, I spend a lot of time discussing writing conventions with friends and associates. The bigger violation is that even with Captain Pike there to shepherd him, Kirk probably should have been stuffed into a uniform before he either got on or off that shuttle.
As to transporters, I'm not enough of a Trekkie to understand how line of sight affects the transporter, but since clouds of gas and energy in space can interfere with the signal, I can understand if the Federation is wary of bouncing hundreds of recruits through a satellite. This, too, is a writing convention.
And Bones ... well, ConvertUnits.com lists the general distance from Kentucky to Iowa as 544 miles. DistanceCalculator.co.uk lists the distance from Iowa City, Iowa to San Francisco as 1,657 miles.
Furthermore, I don't recall anything about the script that says Bones couldn't have gone wandering after the divorce, and found himself in Iowa at some point.
As writing conventions go, none of these are especially problematic.
It's far from a perfect script. Indeed, there are as many problems as one would expect for a Star Trek installment. But this particular issue is comparatively minor.
I'm more worried about the alternate timeline. If they don't undo this for any sequels that might be made, we have a major problem. In so fundamentally altering the foundation of the character relationships, we're essentially dealing with totally new characters. This is problematic. One easy example would be to point out that Amanda Grayson was alive in the original television series, and appeared in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Spock with a dead mother and all the conflicting emotions that go with that is an entirely different Spock.
(Note: As of April 27, the status of an Abrams Star Trek sequel is that all the general agreements are in place with studio and cast, but no official meetings of any sort had occurred; there is at this time no official script in development.)
And even worse than the timeline is Scotty's sidekick. Personally, my first response, based on the last sequence in the film, is that he's actually the missing dog. But I already know I'm wrong about that. Nonetheless, that thing has Jar Jar Binks potential. I mean, the character, named Keenser, was also used in a promotional Star Trek video game that also featured the e-Surance girl.
"Distance between Kentucky and Iowa". ConvertUnites.com. Accessed May 11, 2009. http://www.convertunits.com/distance/from/Kentucky/to/Iowa
"Distance from Iowa City, Iowa to San Francisco, California". Distance-Calculator.co.uk. Accessed May 11, 2009. http://www.distance-calculator.co.uk/usa-distance-iowa_city-to-san_francisco.htm
Howell, John. "Abrams talks Star Trek Sequels and his love for William Shatner". SFF Media. April 27, 2009. SFFmedia.com. Accessed May 11, 2009. http://sffmedia.com/films/science-f...sequels-and-his-love-for-william-shatner.html
"Keenser". Memory Beta. Wikia.com. Accessed May 11, 2009. http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Keenser
"Erin Esurance". Memory Beta. Wikia.com. Accessed May 11, 2009. http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Erin_Esurance
Yeah. While the whole audience was cooing over that little rat, I was rolling my eyes.
As to your comments about the timeline, I have to disagree. Go ahead, reboot the whole thing. Disregard the old merde. Just--for Allah's sake--write a script without so many convoluted plot devices (I mean what are the odds that Kirk's escape pod would land within a hop-skip-and-a-jump of Spock's cave?).
Is it possible for you to ever not footnote something?
Regardless of the oomph associated with your usual pomp, it's just plain wrong. You mentioned Biloxi Blues, which actually makes my point for me. They were already recruited and in uniform, thus there was no need for a Captain Pike to be there "recruiting." It was, in other words, purely contrived.
As for your wonderful little geography lesson, it just doesn't pass the stupid test. The have shuttles, so why the need to layover some place? How does it explain the "townie" remark, etc? No, I'm sorry. This was a contrived plot device -- one that easily could have been avoided, as is the case with most of the gaffs in this film.
blah blah blah, the plot was full of more holes than swish cheese shot at with a shotgun, no one is arguing against that are they?
It's a Star Trek film, for heaven's sake
To the other, is it possible for you to write a post disagreeing with someone without whining like a petulant child?
Regardless of the venom associated with your usual stupidity, it's just plain ridiculous. Pike's gotta fly back to HQ at some point.
Organizations like the Federation will gather groups of recruits in one place and transport them to their common destination en masse.
Remind me. I don't drool over every line of the script.
Beyond that, there are two things to remind here: First, it's a Star Trek film. A Star Trek film with an airtight script wouldn't be a Star Trek film. Secondly, it's an Abrams film. Sure, Abrams is hip, and his plots are more complex compared to the standard action or suspense films, but his projects are riddled with small, weird quirks. One of the most ridiculous I've seen so far was an episode of Lost with two scenes set in different places and decades apart in the timeline shot at the same location. I'd have to go back and watch it again to be sure, but it really, really looked like the same place in the woods.
One of the problems writers frequently encounter is whether or not they can overcome their own disbelief. I struggle with it in my own stories, and I see it in a lot of manuscripts, and discuss it with a lot of writers. On the upside, it's usually a challenge for the better writers. More often in weaker stories, the writer is too focused on an ego trip, marking the things he finds important instead of identifying what's important to the character.
The suspensions of disbelief involved with this film are, in fact, something of a challenge. In the larger picture, though, this particular issue is laughably insignificant. Suspension of disbelief is most effective when the audience is sympathetic to the story. Those who walk in looking for something to complain about will always find something.
Like the whole bit with young Kirk wrecking the car. I can't count the number of things wrong with that scene. But, to the other, I don't really care, either; it's a Star Trek film, after all. And whether it's Scotty carrying a wounded man to the bridge instead of Sick Bay in Wrath of Khan, the sheer naîvete of the crew in The Voyage Home, the gonads at the knees in Undiscovered Country, or even a legitimate question about the different behaviors of two of the red-matter black holes in the current chapter, one thing you can always expect of Star Trek is that the story will always be littered with random, odd elements. Some of them can be answered within whatever limits of plausibility apply. Recruiting, for instance. Or the question about the black holes; the difference had to do with the amount of red matter used to trigger a singularity. Sure, the whole red-matter thing is utterly implausible in and of itself, but why worry about it? So is the idea of warp factors. (Hell, I'd put an Infinite Improbability Drive ahead of a Warp Drive for plausibility.)
I see the films because I want to enjoy them. So I give a certain trust to the writers and director. I mean, shit, look at how many people believe the Bible is a true story. Those who want to believe have no problem with the implausibility, the contradictions, or the inconsistencies. And nobody's ever fought a war over Star Trek.
The Onion had a great little spoof video on fan reaction. Funny.
How this plot hole: a star fleet cadet (new Kirk) is jump ranked to captain of the flag ship?
They could theoretically fix it with a visit from the 29th century time travelers who fix things like this- but who would pay to see that?
I would like the Star Trek franchise to consider instead of spending $100 million for a sequel 2 years from now that with the same money they make 24 TV episodes at $4 million each.
That's an easy one. Captain Pike was playing favorites, he admired Kirk's father and had high expectations for Kirk (like coaches that make their players bad grades disappear). It was his ship so he can tell people what to do on it. There was obviously no one in position to take control of the ship should anything happen to Spock, so he appointed Kirk to that position as he thought Kirk could handle the job. The whole ship was full of cadets anyway, so someone would have to be jumped a few ranks regardless.
Cronyism in the 23 century, honestly I would have expected things to change. This is why I'm a transhumanist: by the 23 century I hope there aren't any humans left just a superior replacement.
I don't think he "owned" the ship, imaging if the captain of the USS Nimitz wanted to handed over command to an naval cadet because he liked him and because he was an exceptional cadet, do you honestly think the navy would let him?
Let me get this straight, out of all of star fleet they were so short on senior officers they promoted cadets to captains? That hard to swallow, again imagine the navy short on officers promoting cadets to captain ships, even Hitler in his final days did not give his children soldiers commissioned ranks.
Laurentian system, Wrath of Khan, and Alan Ruck
For some reason not well explained, the primary corpus of the fleet was tied up in the Laurentian system. I have no idea what that was supposed to be about. Maybe there's a Laurentian Incident video game coming, or something. Featuring Jack. You know, In the Box?
No, really, I don't know why.
And they're not exactly children, per se. They were at least college age, which is proper for military service. And the Federation is known to send cadets into action, such as in Wrath of Khan. And wasn't there something up with the Enterprise-B in Generations? Or was it just that Captain Harriman was an idiot?
I never got that.
I mean, the Enterprise was the flagship of the UFP (home to half a trillion people, I imagine). The best they could do was Harriman? Shouldn't getting the captain's chair on the Enterprise come after a stellar history of service on other ships?
Because he proved himself by being smarter than the captain.
that great grade school logic unfortunately in the real world no matte what you have to go through decades of hard work to become captain of a flagship. No one in their right mind would ever uprank a cadet to captain of a flagship today, tomorrow or in the 23rd century.
So that what Cameron been up too.
I thought Spock was the captain until he gave command to Kirk when he lost control of his temper
He was acting captain by Captain Pikes assignment, pike also made Kirk acting 1st mate, so when Spock left his temporary position, Kirk up-ranked to his new position as acting captain. After the conflict there was no sane reason to keep him as captain.
I thought it was Kirk's idea to go to Earth and save it instead of hooking up with the rest of the fleet. Saving an entire planet seems like a good reason. :shrug: Seems like the Starfleet people on the planet would think it was a good reason.
Such battlefield promotions do happen.
To the other, is it possible for you to write a post disagreeing with someone without whining like a petulant child?
I'm not whining, I'm simply shooting holes in your rationalizations.
No venom. Just responding, but as usual, we get your usual back.
I'm not debating that really.
I simply don't see why Iowa. And before someone says why not Iowa, think about how easy (and more believable) the film becomes if it's not Iowa. You know, the same Iowa where Kirk HAPPENS to live and they HAPPEN to be building the Enterprise. This is what I mean when I say that a lot of the gaffs in this script could have been avoided, but Abrams wanted everything to fit together oh so perfectly.
Furthermore, if the recruits were just gathering there, it doesn't seem likely a captain like Pike would be there with them, and if he were, he certainly wouldn't be a "recruiter."
And after further reflection, it occurs to me how FATALISTIC this whole movie was. Think about it. All these pieces keep falling into place and people are told time and again about their destinies. We're a long way away from Roddenbury's crew of trained professionals, randomly assigned, culling their talents to work things out. Basically, we're not in a world where only certain ubermensche can get things done, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Nor do I.
The remark stuck out simply because I lived in military town at one time, and the base/townie relationship was tense. The line, which I can't remember specifically, is what predicates the bar fight. One of the cadets asks Uhura something about being bothered by a Townie. I'm not sure how that fits in with whatever it was they were supposed to be doing in Iowa.
Look, I agree Trek always has problems.
It's just in this film the problems were obvious and avoidable (I had too many WTF moments). And no, I'm not Abrams fan. Like a lot of other "hot" Hollywood properties, I find him to be boring and formulaic and not terribly talented.
Yes, the Iowa issue is, but it's indicative of a larger problem that infected more important parts of the film, which when added up, made the viewing experience difficult.
I went into the film having heard how great it was, so I was optimistic. I also went in wanting to like it, because frankly, the last half dozen or so Star Trek films have been terrible. I couldn't go with this one. It just didn't work for me, but as I noted elsewhere, I am hardly the target audience, so oh well ...
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