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Old 03-12-2011, 12:04 PM
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horatio horatio is offline
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
With that, then, Kevin, the Enterprise crew will have to be subjected to considerable danger...thus making the next Trek film likely another heavy action-adventure film...much to the chagrin of the Roddenberry dogmatists. (A term I am not using insultingly...but for describe those who want to see a TV series episode type story made for the big screen that involves more exploration and cerebralism than a largely action plot.)

Although, there are other avenues that can be approached aside from action/adventure. The crew could be stricken with a major illness over or on an alien world. A technical catastrophe (similar to one that struck the Enterprise D when they hit a quantum string in one TNG episode) that also causes grievous injury to many of the crew, and disables the ship...a sort of "ship in distress in the far reaches of space with no help to be found" film...a ship disaster film.

In any case, the point I'm making is that something has to happen that strikes a chord with the audience to care about the fate film's this case, the stalwart crew of the Enterprise.

One of the most popular Trek films largely dealt with a threat to Earth, because the audience cares about our homeworld. (Witness The Voyage Home). Star Trek TMP could've worked in this fashion if the characters weren't (supposedly, from most others' point of view) so wooden, and the story not so sterile. Wrath of Khan worked because the Enterprise crew were in grave danger from a madman. Trek III worked because the Enterprise (a character unto itself) met its fate. Trek V? Well...let's just say "Thank God for VI!" Trek VI worked as a murder mystery and a light action film.

Generations worked only because it was the first TNG film. There wasn't really that much to care about in Generations. To most who are well versed in Trek, this really felt more like an overblown episode with the heavies feeling more like afterthoughts and guest-stars as opposed to genuine threats.

First Contact worked by bringing back the Federation's most popular nemesis (The Borg), and again putting Earth (there's that lovely blue planet of ours) in grave peril.

Insurrection again didn't work all that well because the planet was alien...someplace the general audience didn't really care about. The threat to the Enterprise crew (F. Murray Abraham's considerable acting skills notwithstanding) was just not compelling. There wasn't much to grab the audience with...not even the theme of forced relocation.

Nemesis....well, despite my love for this movie, I do see the flaws. Lots of Scimitar sized plot holes (although my imagination and experience with Trek allows me to deal with them satisfactorily), seemingly cookie cutter characterizations, and a gigantic space battle where shields were "down to 10 percent" and the "warp core was offline" for the umpteenth time in Trek film history. Although Earth was a potentially threatened party, much of the Trek audience, and pretty much the general audience just didn't give a frak.

So basically, while the first new Trek film was massively popular for its radical turn it took with the action, humor, and overall storytelling, a second new film will have to engage the audience on a level where they really do care about what's going on...and in an exploratory piece, or an alien world piece, that will have to involve some kind of major adversity to something we care about...namely the crew of the Enterprise.

Just my two quatloos and three strips of latinum.

BTW, I say "Bringon the Klingons!"
I don't think that there is necessarily a conflict between action and what you call Roddenberry dogmatism. I'd even go further and claim than neither leads to a good Trek movie. TWOK is neither much of an action movie nor did Meyer care about Roddenberry whereas (supposedly) cerebreal stuff like TMP or action stuff like NEM doesn't constitute the best of Trek.
We don't like movies like TWOK, TVH, TUC or FC because they are such superb action flicks or because they say something supersmart. To say it with the words of Kurosawa: "A truly good movie is really enjoyable, too. There's nothing complicated about it. A truly good movie is interesting and easy to understand."

Originally Posted by kevin View Post
I understand that any film is going to have an element of putting the characters into a situation where we the audience are invested in the outcome.

But I'm just thinking that three of the last four films have involved a threat to Earth of one form or another, and it sorta defeats the point of building a huge starship designed to explore the galaxy if it never goes far from home.

TOS went for three seasons without even showing us Earth (I tend not to really count the few seconds of fantasy given to Pike in 'The Cage') so I think it's absolutely possible to create a story that doesn't have to be in it's vicinity and become based on a situation encountered out in space somewhere.
You are right that TOS as well as any other series worked without the 'put Earth in danger' trick that was used in five of the eleven movies but it's hard to make a movie like a TV episode and use e.g. the 'away team meets another species on their planet' idea. INS did that and it didn't work very well. Some fans complained that they didn't care, respectively that the movie didn't make them care about the Baku or Sona.
That's why movies don't explore in the literal sense. Either Earth is in danger or you meet old enemies or you really are out in the blue. TFF did literally explore and felt as some folks have pointed out like a third season TOS episode, INS was a large away team mission and GEN happened out in the blue ... but neither of those movies is very popular. Incidentally I like them despite their faults.

You can't have a cinematic movie that uses TV patterns and that's why I don't mind the constant shift between epic movie and interlude piece (TSFS, TFF, GEN, INS). This will most likely not happen in the instance of the twelfth Trek movie so I wouldn't expect series patterns in it.
But I neither think that they will put Earth in danger again as they gotta put especially Kirk far away from home, otherwise it feels as if he is staying close to the craddle and just cruising around the neighbourhood.

Last edited by horatio : 03-12-2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: hunting down the wicked typos
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