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Old 02-01-2008, 02:12 AM
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Default Trek 11: Comparisons with the Lord of the Rings

A lot of concerns I've read about the new movie remind me of my thinking about the Lord Of The Rings movies when they came out.

I was disappointed with the first movie of the LOTR trilogy because it departed in obvious ways from the book. I could accept that a book doesn't necessarily translate into a good movie without changes, but there seemed to be needless changes in what Jackson turned out.

However, at about the time of the release of the second movie I saw the first movie again on DVD and I listened to Peter Jackson's commentary, in which he explained why some of these departures from Tolkein's work had been done. I still don't think he needed to change as much as he did, but I could see his point in a number of instances. I still felt he was too keen on shock, horror and monsters (as his other movies bear out), and I didn't agree with his determination to have long action scenes to keep teen boys entertained, but he did tighten up the pace of the story quite a bit from the book, and did remain largely faithful to the book and its themes and its descriptions of the world of Middle-earth, and overall I decided he did a better job of the movie than I had originally given him credit for.

So how does all this relate to the new Trek movie?

I see some parallels. We have an existing concept and canon that is well known and very loved by its fans; a movie-maker who is attempting to translate this to the screen while introducing changes that will be true to the original while still being fresh and modern; a lot of people who are concerned that he will make a pig's breakfast of the canon or the style, props, uniforms or general appearance of things; and a general concern that he may not turn out a movie that is 'Right'; that is, True to Star Trek.

One result of Jackson's LOTR was a division among the fans; some people were displeased with the movies because of how they differed from the books and how Jackson went about telling the story; others, many of whom had no previous commitment to the Tolkein's books, accepted the movies as stand alone stories and loved them, not least because of the afore mentioned shock, horror, monsters and action scenes.

We may see a similar result with Abram's Trek; I expect that many among the existing Trek fans will hate the movie or at least find many faults, but a whole new group of fans (brought into the cinema by intensive publicity while having no previous interest in Star Trek), may love the new movie as it is, and won't care about how this Star Trek relates to the old anymore than most of us care how Christopher Reeve's Superman differs from that of George Reeves, or even Kirk Alyn.

I reckon Paramount is banking on the new fans to refloat the franchise and be a whole new generation of Trek fans, much larger in number, to fill their coffers.

What kind of Trek Abrams produces is yet to be seen and he's giving few clues; reports say that he is aiming to be true to Roddenberry's 'vision' of Star Trek, but whether this means just a general sense of optimism about the future, or if it means embracing Roddenberry's well-documented atheistic humanism and the belief of the upward perfecting of humankind with no religion except Self, is yet to be seen.

Jackson's Lord of the Rings, despite his changes or because of them, was a definite winner for New Line Cinema and it breathed new life into Tolkein's Middle-earth. I think it's safe to say that, whatever changes Abrams is introducing into Star Trek, Paramount is counting on this movie being a similar winner for them.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Eyes View Post
I expect that many among the existing Trek fans will hate the movie or at least find many faults, but a whole new group of fans (brought into the cinema by intensive publicity while having no previous interest in Star Trek), may love the new movie as it is, and won't care about how this Star Trek relates to the old (...)
I agree. And to this generation, Kirk, Spock and Bones will be Pine, Quinto and Urban, not Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley. I think this movie will open up a new era for Star Trek and will give the franchise a much needed boost.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:38 AM
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Good Post! I agree with much of what you outlined here.

Heres the deal.....movie making is an industry like any other and it is about making money period.

It is like flipping a house, you have a budget, you have a cast of players(contractors) and you have your projected profit margin. If all goes according to plan and you make good money, then you buy another house and flip it again. If you lose money then you look at other business opportunities. This is comparable to many industries.

Make no mistake it is Abrams job to flip this house and make a huge profit period. Now he is a hugely creative guy as are his people, but make no mistake he is going to pull out every stop to make this a success. I'm sure he cares on a personal pride level about Star Trek and crafting a fine film and the like.

It is easier to look at who he is not making this movie for:
He is not making it for the die hard fans specifically but he knows he needs to draw them in and will say whatever they want to hear to achieve that. He knows that if the story is
pure canon that the masses will not understand. Frankly I think appeasing everyone is impossible and he knows this.

He is not making this movie out of his pure love for Trek although he does enjoy Trek and now that hes onboard will do all he can to have it be successful because thats his JOB.

The execs at Paramount are bottom line thinkers and are only interested in the maximum numbers and profitability period. They could give a rats *** about Trek if it makes little or no money.They would drop it like a brick and never look back. They understand that they have to get more than just the fans to drink the koolaid and JJ abrams is a hot commodity at producing these results.

JJ also know this is big career risk so he absolutely wants a blowout success again in his quiver.

Remember the Emerich/Devlin team and them being touted as the next big thing with movies like Universal Soldier,Stargate,Independence day and how it seemed everything they touched turned to gold. Then they took the big risk with remaking Godzilla. Well
that turned out to be a nail in the coffin for them didn't it.

If Directors,writers,producers etc. lose the ability to make the money for studio they will
not be working. JJ knows this and is going to target the largest possible audience with this film.

None of this means the film will not be great as I think it will be but the diehards need a
bit of and open mind and not be putting every little thing under a microscope, because in so doin I can almost guarantee you will be disapointed.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:45 AM
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If it was Peter Jackson rebooting this, then I could imagine STXI to be more like LOTR.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:58 AM
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Here's my $.02 - this sort of controversy erupts anytime a much beloved work of fiction is interpreted by a creative team other than the author or team that originated it. Consider:

- Who's the better Bond - Connery or Craig?
- Was there any better team to author the Fantastic Four than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?
- Did the X-Men (or Spiderman, or Incredible Hulk, or Batman) movie adaptations "sell out" the comic?

Then, there are some works that are just too iconic to "re-boot". Thank God we have never seen updated screen versions of "Casablanca", "Gone With the Wind" or "The Maltese Falcon".

Having been a Trekfan long enough to have participated in the first letter-writing campaign to save "Star Trek", I was of two minds when I heard the news about the new movie - "Fantastic!" and "Dear God no!". A lot of the early comments by those involved on the creative team did little to allay my fears - anyone remember "This is not your daddy's Star Trek"?

Trekmovie.com did an interview with the creative folks and cast last week. Taking their comments in the context of what little we know about the plot of the film, I'm feeling a little more comfortable with how things seem to be shaping up. My interpretation of their comments leads me to conclude that Abrams and Co. are:

a)seriously interested in preserving the core of TOS, namely Roddenberry's vision of human potential, the elements of the characters and their relationships, the essentials of design;

b) updating what they view as the "supporting details" i.e. the look of the Entrprise, costumes, props, where the Enterprise was built, etc. This is where "purists" like myself feel the new film might be treading on thin ice. I feel it is a calculated effort on the part of Abrams and Co. to expand the appeal of ST to a wider audience who might be turned off because they believe their cell phone is more advanced than Kirk's communicator; and,

c) acheiving all this while respecting the millions of fans that have come to love ST and its visions of the future over the years.

Perhaps the storyline will include some explanation for the different "look and feel" between TOS and the film. After all, we will see Spock teamed with a younger version of himself but on an Enterprise that looks decidedly different from the one on which he served. I cannot imagine that he would not be curious enough about the changes to explore them and offer a plausible reason for the difference. At last, that is my sincere hope.

But if the history of these kinds of adaptations shows anything it is that if they are successful, the source of their inspiration will also grow in popularity: how many people were moved to read Tolkein's trilogy after seeing Jackson's adapation? I have nephews who, once they found out Spiderman was a comic before being a movie, demanded more, more, more. So to, hopefully, with Star Trek.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:43 PM
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great, yea im a new trekker, and I first got hooked on the animated series becuase my parents had a vhs tape of it. And the movie should be such a block buster it might promote new fans to search out the old show and watch it. So I agree whole heartedly
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:05 PM
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Having loved LOTR since high school, way back in 1975, I was very wary of the movies....but when I walked out of the first movie with my oh, so patient husband who utterly hates all such things....I said "I know what I want for Christmas in a few years: the complete set of Lord of the Rings DVDs"....I was BLOWN AWAY by Peter Jackson's wonderful work...

so...if this movie is a comparable experience then it's going to be amazing.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:36 PM
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I imagine it will be like the wrath of khan compared to the motion picture.but LOTR no,apples and oranges
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:04 AM
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It's not a matter of who's better, or what ship looks the coolest.

It's about the MESSAGE of Trek. Even if Trek was done by Muppets, if the MESSAGE is there...that's what really matters.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:08 AM
Don Farnsworth Don Farnsworth is offline
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And this all has exactly What to do with William Shatner?
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