ROUND THREE: One Trek, One No Trek

May 12, 2013 at 5:06 am

One Trek... One No Trek | Original Star Trek vs New Star Trek J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness

THE DEBATE CONCLUDES

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK INTRO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND ONE

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND TWO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND THREE

The Setup:

JAY: A fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe with little knowledge of the original series.

JOHN: Not a fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe but a huge fan of the original series.

ROUND THREE

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Final Trailer #3

(JAY) The sequel is not far away and you say it’ll get your money but as a sci fi fan and not a Star Trek fan. It makes me wonder what it would take for Star Trek Into Darkness to convince you that it is a tale worthy of it’s name.

I think it’s going to be spectacular because of the approach they’ve taken with the villain. After years of ‘Kahn’ speculation, it appears as though Benedict Cumberbatch is playing an original character. I’m hoping he is an original character. I’m sure you are as well. Why recycle legends like Kahn?  Let’s see something new.

Having said that, I think ‘John Harrison’ will have a lot in common with Kahn. He’s a powerful being who appears to have serious business with the federation and Earth. It’s almost a given that things will get personal with Kirk but I think it will be a classic battle of strategic minds.  They’ve even cast Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus…

Much has been written about John Harrison’s back story. (note: need to find link for this) He’s fighting for a very real and very relatable cause. We’ll have to wait to find out what that cause is but I couldn’t be more encouraged.

Beyond the villain, I’m also excited to spend time with the crew of the Enterprise without the need to establish them. A part of me believes you didn’t respond to the first because they spent a lot of time setting up relationships you already knew inside and out. For me it was new but I can see how it can be frustrating for a long time fan. Especially when you factor in the time travel element they used to ‘reset’ the universe.

Now, the Enterprise has it’s captain and the adventure can begin right away. I hope they deliver more space battles. More strategy. More science fiction concepts. Essentially… More Star Trek. (And more lens flares.)

If Star Trek Into Darkness features more of the crew doing what they do best and a formidable foe, would that be enough?

What did you think of the trailers?  Encouraged?  Discouraged?

COUNTDOWN | Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1

COUNTDOWN | Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Final Trailer

Personally, I think the sequel will surpass the original. They worked so hard to create a new universe of sorts where they have the freedom to do whatever they want with the franchise. They’ve got a blank check. I think it’s fascinating to consider the options they had available to them.

Opening credits. Star Trek.

However, I have to admit I’m not fully versed in what that entails. I know it’s going to be more Star Trek as I know it but will they be able to include enough to please fans of old?  As we reach the end of this debate I’m more convinced that I really don’t know the subtleties that makes Star Trek work.  But I know I’m a fan of this new crew.

Maybe I’m looking forward to the same movie you are. I’m just a lot more excited to see it because I love the new versions of the characters.

As this is technically the final round, I propose we revisit this debate after we both see the sequel. A fourth round.  We can find out if they succeeded in winning you back.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Final Trailer #3

(JOHN) With the new movie closely approaching, I’m rather impressed how the identity of the villain is still a mystery. If they do decide to go the original route, I’d definitely find that a welcome decision, as recreating a previous villain will naturally force me to draw comparisons and stay loyal to the original. That’s just how I roll.

Having still not seen the original series minus The Wrath of Khan, I still find it hard how one can make comparisons to the new characters if they didn’t even really get to know the original ones. In essence, there isn’t really much there to base a comparison due to lack of reference. How do you know you “love” these new characters better than the original ones if you haven’t really seen them?

Star-Trek-Series-vs-Star-Trek-Into-Darkness

Pretty much any recreation of anything that already appeared in The Original Series is going to discourage me. You touched on more space battles, and I will admit that is the ONE thing I am curious about and interested in seeing. It may just be the ship, an inanimate object, but the Enterprise is definitely part of the “cast” of the series and is a character in itself. Even though they made some of their own modifications to the design of the ship, that is the one thing in the new films that I can mildly accept the aesthetic changes to as it still closely resembles the original, more than anything else they have tried to re-create. That quick shot of the Enterprise diving into what looks like water sparked my attention. The ship is something that is timeless, and whether you’re seeing it in The Motion Picture from 1979, or in the upcoming Darkness, it still holds true for me. I can imagine MY crew on the newer ship, and deal with it.

As I stated before, I’ll probably go see the movie when it comes out. But I’ll be there to basically check out the effects and watch someone else mess with “my” universe.

One Trek... One No Trek...

ROUND TWO: One Trek, One No Trek

April 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm

One Trek... One No Trek | Original Star Trek vs New Star Trek J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness

THE DEBATE CONTINUES

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK INTRO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND ONE

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND TWO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND THREE

The Setup:

JAY: A fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe with little knowledge of the original series.

JOHN: Not a fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe but a huge fan of the original series.

ROUND TWO

(JAY) The simple answer to your question is no.  I haven’t seen an episode of the original series.  However, in the spirit of One Trek, One No Trek, I did watch Wrath of Kahn.  I’m happy I did because I recognized a bunch of references from J.J Abrams’ adaptation.  Take the Kobayashi Maru for example.  Kirk cheats and beats the unbeatable test because he doesn’t believe in no win scenarios.

It brings up an interesting point and further confirms that they at least tried to please fans of the original cast.  While I agree that Chris Pine is no Shatner, the spirit of Kirk was alive in him on the screen.  The new Kirk doesn’t believe in no win scenarios either.  In this way, while different, they were still true to the character.  The Kobayashi Maru test was just one of many references they included in the reboot.

Regarding Spider-Man, I couldn’t agree more.  It was a quick reboot but I actually liked Marc Webb’s take Spider-Man’s origin better than Raimi’s.  I’m not saying The Amazing Spider-Man is THE Spider-Man movie (Spider-Man 2 is still my favorite) but I liked it.  Mostly because I love Spider-Man and it was great to see the character on the big screen again.  I suppose the comparison is difficult as so little time passed between the films.  Andrew Garfield had it a lot easier than Chris Pine.  But I’m curious, did they ever do a Kirk & Spock origin story in the series?

I think we both agree that while the new Star Trek was rebooting legendary characters, it was created to bring new fans to the franchise.  Honestly, if they had created all new characters or reused existing cast members, I wouldn’t have been interested.  I wasn’t interested in them before but there was something about that first trailer that hooked me.  Maybe the new Star Trek will be different?  I think that’s why I liked it so much.  It was an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.  At the beginning.  A chance to get to know Captain Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew from scratch.  I just wasn’t interested before.  (Which I admit is tragic as I’m a big science fiction fan.  I’m still baffled that I never watched Star Trek growing up.)

I actually interpreted the ‘new universe’ approach differently than you.  I saw it as their way of preserving the original series while still giving them a clean slate to work from.  When you deal with prequels there is a fundamental lack of suspense.  Take the Star Wars prequels for example.  We all knew Anakin would survive any situation throughout the new trilogy because Darth Vader doesn’t die when he’s a kid.  In Star Trek, they went back to the beginning but there are rules when you are setting a film in an established universe.  Creating an alternate reality means all bets are off.  Every episode of the original series and all the previous movies still happened AND suspense can exist in the universe again.  It could have been a disaster but I actually think Star Trek was one of the better reboots/prequel we’ve seen because it solved that problem.

Beyond that, they were successful in making me want to see the original cast in action.  I thought Wrath of Kahn was a solid movie.  I actually wish there was more ship vs ship action in the new Star Trek as a result.  Kahn vs Kirk was a fascinating battle.  However, I still like the new movie better.  You love the original because they were all you knew.  I feel the same way about the new series.  The alternate universe created in the reboot was my first exposure to the franchise.  J.J Abrams’ Star Trek is my Star Trek.

But I totally get why you’re attached to the original.  Star Trek is a treasured part of your past and brings back fond memories of your youth.  I can’t think of a similar series that I grew up with.  But I would argue that, while it’s frustrating to see new people assume the iconic roles, they did so with you in mind.  But they presented it in a way that would get people like me interested.

I think the filmmaker’s knew they had a 50/50 shot at winning over fans like you.  People who grew up watching the original series.  I think that’s why they sold the movie with the tag line: ‘Not Your Father’s Star Trek.’  It’s a line that speaks to you and I simultaneously.

That was their way of saying ‘Keep an open mind.’  What did your father think of the new Star Trek?

I already discussed how I loved watched Kahn vs Kirk attempt to outwit one another.  The new movie lacked the strategic element.  I think they left that out in favor of a faster paced narrative with frantic action.  That’s more in line with Star Wars than Star Trek.  This is a Star Trek built from the ground up with shorter attention spans in mind.  But that’s the balance I’m sure they struggled with.  I hope they bring that element back in the sequel.

XTRA | J.J Abrams Star Wars Episode VII Round Up

“Are you a fan of ONE movie that came out, or are you a fan of science fiction? The exploration of ideas, concepts, time and space? Things that make you think? Equality, the human condition, political issues? These are the things Gene Roddenberry was thinking about when he created the series back in 1966. THAT is what the franchise was built upon.”

I think this is a great point.  At the end of the day, the Enterprise is tasked with exploring strange new worlds and there wasn’t a lot of that in the reboot.  But let’s look at it another way.  They’ve rebooted the series now.  The characters are established and the alternate universe is in place.  I think they have to reboot the series with the original characters.  It’s just not as interesting without Kirk & Spock and it gives them an opportunity to introduce the icons to new fans.   The movie was doomed if they focused too much on pleasing new and old fans.  They still had to tell a good story.  Now they don’t have to set anything up moving forward.  The world exists.  Star Trek Into Darkness will be able to build on the foundation they laid down in the reboot.  They have the attention of the new people (me).  Now they have a golden opportunity to incorporate elements that will put smiles on the faces of Trekkers that didn’t like the first film.

Do you think the sequel has a chance to win you over?  Will Star Trek Into Darkness be what Wrath of Kahn was to Star Trek: The Motion Picture?  I’ve got my money on ‘yes’.

It must have been frustrating to watch Kirk & Spock fight but solidifying that friendship and watching Kirk take his seat as captain was a great moment.  A launching pad for exciting things to come for the series.

They have an entire universe at their disposal now.

Going back to the Spider-Man reboot, I was just happy to see the character alive on the big screen again.  Obviously I don’t get the same feeling with the new Star Trek movie as I have no attachment to the original series but you might if the sequel delivers.  They had to reboot Star Trek with the original cast and find a way to co-exist with the original series.  I think they did a brilliant job.  Imagine if they rebooted Spider-Man but used Spider-Man 2099 as the template.  I think hardcore fans may have been excited but general audiences would have been frustrated.  Where is the Spider-Man we knew?  So you take the classic character and all the elements we know and love and then you bring something new to the table.  (Like the story of Peter Parker’s parents in the new film.)  J.J Abrams brought back classic characters and kept their rich histories in tact but brought us something new.  It’s the spirit of adaptation.  You take risks and hope for the best.  But going in a completely new direction would have been a mistake.

What do you think it would take for them to win you over when Star Trek Into Darkness is released? Maybe there will be elements that make you think back to exploring new worlds with Shatner and Co?  You might just be happy to see something new.  You might just be happy to see these characters on the big screen again.

Accept the new Kirk!

(JOHN)

“You might just be happy to see these characters on the big screen again.”

Unfortunately, these aren’t the actors I want to see portraying these characters. Add to that, I’ve seen these characters live, (and in some cases die) and have accepted that time moves on and their journey is done. Nothing lasts forever and I’m cool with that. There are so many stories to choose from.  If I ever have a craving to see them on screen again, I’ll just pop in a DVD.

I will say that I think I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to people MY age that puts The Original Series as their favorite Star Trek series. The Next Generation ran while I grew up so one would think that was my automatic favorite series in the franchise, but as we discussed earlier, it’s narrowly edged out by the ORIGINAL Kirk and co. I only bring this up again because that may be part of the reason why the reboot didn’t work with me. A lot of other fans I know our age, yourself included, very much enjoyed the new “Star Trek” because they didn’t have the allegiance to TOS that I did. My dad has not seen the new film, nor will he ever. As a loyalist to the original I can tell you he has absolutely no interest in seeing it.

They didn’t do one “single” origin story about Kirk or Spock, more along the lines of adding little pieces of history as the series went along. Kirk was supposed to have already served on a few other starships before becoming Captain of the Enterprise, Spock had already been on board for up to 11 years serving under Captain Pike. These are direct references taken from TOS. I don’t mind “origin” stories, but it depends when they are being told. Many times during some of the original running of the various Trek series’ they did an origin story and that was fine. They used the existing characters and actors to tell it.  Well done. To do an origin story 46 years after the show premiered with a different cast just doesn’t translate with me.

I’m afraid to say that the sequel does not have a chance of winning me over. I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m stubborn but I just can’t accept new actors playing these characters. If it were up to me, they never would have gone back in time to revisit these characters. I’ve accepted that it’s over. I think sequels and prequels and any other kind of ‘quels are becoming a growing problem these days. Studio’s want to squeeze every bit of money they can out of an idea, so more and more we see one movie stretched out into 2,3 or more until they are absolute garbage come the end of the run.

We all laughed…because it’s true. Now I know this is a different scenario and I also know that once again, it’s all about dollar signs. Can’t we just let some things end?

“Maybe the new Star Trek will be different?”

Different than what? Having not ever seen an original episode or movie previous to this, what was the concern?

….and yes, I will probably go see the new movie in theaters.  To me, I won’t be going to see Star Trek. I’ll be seeing a sci-fi/action movie that just happens to be using some names I recognize.

ROUND ONE: One Trek, One No Trek

April 5, 2013 at 7:17 am

One Trek... One No Trek | Original Star Trek vs New Star Trek J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK INTRO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND ONE

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND TWO

ONE TREK…  ONE NO TREK ROUND THREE

JAY: A fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe with little knowledge of the original series.

JOHN: Not a fan of J.J Abrams’ Star Trek Universe but a huge fan of the original series.

THE DEBATE BEGINS

ROUND ONE

(JAY) When J.J Abrams’ Star Trek first trailer came out, we were both pretty pumped but for different reasons.  For me, it was the first Star Trek movie I was genuinely excited to see.  For you it was a chance to see classic characters re-imagined.  Of the two of us, you were definitely more of a skeptic.

I grew up at the height of The Next Generation so I never got into the original series.  You would think I would have been all over Star Trek growing up but I was never interested.   Still, I was aware of Kirk and his crew.  How can you not be?  Whether you love the series or not, you can’t deny Star Trek’s impact on pop culture.

It was obviously the filmmakers goal to simultaneously pay homage to the original series while introducing new fans to characters.  This approach worked perfectly for me being relatively new to the Star Trek Universe.

I suppose my question to you would be how you discovered the original series?  And what were you hoping J.J Abrams would deliver for long time Star Trek fans like you?

One Trek...  One No Trek...

(JOHN) Skepticism is an understatement when it they announced a new Star Trek.  A reboot that involved characters so near and dear to my heart.  Like yourself, I’ve always been a bit of a trailer junkie and it is in fact trailers and teasers that got me interested in editing as a career path. I’ve always been fascinated how a trailer could take many of the main sequences and dialogue from a film and put them together in a way that still leaves the viewer wanting more.

But how many times have we seen a trailer that looked awesome, only to find the film itself was actually not what we expected? (Personal examples: Once Upon a Time in Mexico,  Matrix: Revolutions. True, these are sequels that build upon pre-established characters, but then again, isn’t “Star Trek”?)

The ability to draw people in and often trick the viewer into thinking a movie is going to be awesome (when unfortunately a little too often it doesn’t meet expectations) is what I love about movie trailers. So when I saw the trailer for Star Trek, I wasn’t excited for the movie itself, rather how good they were able to make it look. Add to that the music they used was pretty damned good.

I shall try to contain my inner Trekker from taking over and ranting too much. (Yes, Trekker. I’m not a Trekkie. I don’t dress up.)

I discovered the original series when I was a kid through my dad. He has always been a fan of the original series.  During my youth an old TV station called CKVR based out of Barrie, Ontario used to rerun the original series and he would always be taping them on VHS.  He would catalog them and keep track of which episodes he had and which ones he still needed.

My Saturday afternoons as a kid consisted of playing road hockey with my dad, then coming inside, eating Kraft Dinner and watching an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series with him. You could practically set your watch to it. In fact, I’ve been told that even before I could really comprehend what I was watching, I used to tell my dad that I wanted to watch “Spock Ship.” This is what I thought the show was called as a toddler.  Talk about an early start, eh? The adventures of Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew became a part of my upbringing and the characters became almost like family. Almost everyone has a show they look back at growing up and loving.  For me it was The Original Series (TOS). So, right there, it is easy to see how I have a very personal connection with the show, the characters, and the actors who portrayed them. They became a part of my Saturday afternoons, right there with my dad, road hockey and delicious Kraft Dinner. (I shudder to think how much of that stuff I have eaten over the years.)

Now, what was I hoping J.J. Abrams was going to deliver for a long time fan like myself?

To not screw it up. To be loyal to the original. To respect what came before it.

… Oops.

The moment I heard that they had the stones to RE-cast the original characters, I lost all hope.  Someone ELSE other than Shatner playing James T. Kirk? A different actor donning the ears and bringing Mr. Spock to life? Not possible.  Not after all this time.  Not after, as you said, the show, characters and actors themselves became a part of popular culture. They are entrenched. There’s no going back.

Want to make a new Star Trek? Fine, do just that! NEW! Create NEW characters! They did it 4 separate times after TOS was over. With the exception of The Next Generation (because that was airing as I was growing up and is practically 1-B to the 1-A that is TOS) I was slow to accept the new series’ each time they came out. But that’s okay. Because even though they were all under the “Star Trek” umbrella, they were also all different and new characters, and if I didn’t care for some of them, that’s fine. It’s not like they are trying to mess with the original. (As a side note, after given enough time and getting used to the new and different characters, I grew to enjoy aspects or all of the more recent incarnations of Trek, those being Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.)

IF…

IF they had cast unknowns as the original characters…IF they had decided not to mess with 701 episodes, 10 feature films, and over 40 YEARS of history…they might have had me. I may have accepted it.  They decided against that though. They decided to cast one of the Tremor Brothers as Kirk, Sylar as Spock (I will give them credit, he was the ONE actor who I think actually resembled his previous counterpart), KUMAR’s freaking pot smoking, White Castle craving buddy Harold as Sulu and Shaun/Nicolas Angel as Scotty? Simon effing Pegg?? All of a sudden Scotty is a comedian? Complete with a sidekick?? And yes, you could say “but John, they DIDN’T mess with history, they created an alternate universe!” well that’s almost worse! To me, I’m taking that as a huge middle finger from the creators of this movie. (Spoiler Alert…although to me, it just seems like they were trying to spoil the whole franchise) I’m interpreting that as they didn’t like what had been established and what had transpired beforehand. “Hey, I don’t like what you’ve done here, and because I can’t come up with my own original ideas, I’m going to take YOUR characters and YOUR universe and erase everything and use YOUR stuff to make what *I* wanna make. So there.” So now that I’m playing with your toys, let’s kill off Spock’s mother. Let’s destroy Vulcan. Let’s have Spock and Uhura try and get into each other’s pants. Excuse me?

My real question is why. Why did they have to use TOS characters? Clearly the answer is money. They figure if they are going to “re-boot” the franchise (isn’t there too much of that going on these days? A Spider-man reboot 5 years after the third installment of the previous incarnation premiered?? Are you kidding me? Hey, The Avengers just came out in 2012…lets reboot it in 2013.)  Then let’s start at the “beginning” and use characters people know or have heard of and gear it towards young people and get them invested in Star Trek again.

For right or wrong, it worked. The movie did extremely well. It catered to all the people who just wanted to see explosions and sex (well who doesn’t) and slapped the title “Star Trek” on it. Star Trek is “cool” now! “I’m a Star Trek fan!”… Are you? Please, be specific. Are you a fan of ONE movie that came out, or are you a fan of science fiction? The exploration of ideas, concepts, time and space? Things that make you think? Equality, the human condition, political issues? These are the things Gene Roddenberry was thinking about when he created the series back in 1966. THAT is what the franchise was built upon.

So I guess my question to you is, by using the names, characters and setting of TOS in “Star Trek”, are you at all interested in seeing where it came from? Are you invested in The Original Series? Have you watched a single TOS episode or movie? Because if not, then what was the point of using those characters?

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

December 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

THE LENS FLARES HAVE RETURNED!

It’s finally here!  Our first real look at J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness.  It’s rare to get any actual information from the people at Bad Robot so a new trailer is pretty big news!  Let the speculation continue as we crawl towards the May 2013 release.

Here are five of my favorite moments from the trailer:

5. “YOU THINK YOU’RE SAFE?”

Star Trek Into Darkness looks like it features an angry and formidable foe.  Time will tell if the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison as they say.  But he still might turn out to be Kahn or Gary Mitchell.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

4. THE CLIFF

This is an incredible shot of Kirk & Bones running through a red forest before leaping off a tremendous cliff.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

3. STARSHIP SPLASH

The image of a Starship (I’m assuming it’s not the Enterprise) crashing into water is as epic as it gets.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

2 ADMIRAL PIKE’S VOICE OVER

The first half of the trailer is dominated by admiral Pike’s brilliant voice over.  He warns Kirk to learn humility before he gets himself and his crew killed.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

1. HANDS ON GLASS

“Is there anything you would not do…  For your family?”

An iconic moment from the Wrath of Kahn returns as Spock & Kirk find themselves on opposite sides of the glass.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

Click here for more Movie Coundowns.

Also, I have to say that space jumps surrounded by debris is pretty awesome:

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

 

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1