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  #11  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:48 PM
mjcrawford mjcrawford is offline
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Originally Posted by thegreatgallina View Post
a "humanitarian and peacekeeping" armada was a pretty bare-bones, missed the point, discription. Roddenberry explained again and again that Starfleet is not a military organization, its an explorative, scientific, and enrichment vehicle that just happens to arm itself for protection.
I know that among my fellow Trekkies this is not a popular thing to say, but the “missing” secular humanism is one of the better “changes” to Trek in this film (IMHO) before you flame me to oblivion, let me elaborate:

Yes, in TNG (the only series that really depicted Roddenberry’s “dream”) the federation was a very atheist, communist, secular humanistic society and it actually is a shining example of what is wrong with just such a society… anyone who is different is bad… or stupid. Worf was the only main cast member who had a different way of thinking about things, and he was generally reduced to comic relief, or an example of bad thinking, it was very rare that Worf’s approach to anything was actually correct. Aside from Worf, the crew may have been diverse genetically, but intellectually they were all a bunch of clones of white-liberal-secular-collage professors. In fact the only race depicted to be capitalist in any way was the Feringi, and they of course were slimy, untrustworthy, had no morals to speak of, and only worshiped profit. It is no wonder why many TNG fans love the Klingons, they are the ONLY real example of diversity on the show.

Interestingly there is one episode of TOS that also reflected Roddenberry’s dream, “the Cage” in which we see a crew of all white (except Spock) all men (except ‘number one’ a main character who did not even have a name and token women for sexual tension) and unified thought.

The rest of TOS celebrated diversity, every member of the crew was proud of their heritage, and was different in the way they approached a problem, and because of that they could solve any problem, society had evolved to respect all beliefs not eliminate all religion. Heck there was even a religious wedding ceremony in a chapel on board the ship, (“…and in accordance with our many beliefs…”) and yes… MONEY existed. (“Scotty, you just earned your pay for the week…” “Well, if you consider my cost, storage and a reasonable mark-up the tribbles will cost 10 credits a head…”)

The new film is truly a return to the Original Series, not to Roddenberry’s ‘dream’ and for that I am thankful. I know that many of you do not think of Starfleet as military, but I have never seen a NASA astronaut, or a merchant marine say as Kirk did, “…I’m a solder, not a Diplomat…” that very line tells you that he is in the MILITARY. Yes Starfleet’s missions are peaceful, just as our military has peaceful missions that it embarks on, however in time of war make no mistake, it is Starfleet, not some other branch of service that will rush into the fight. (DS9 ‘Dominion War’ anyone?)

In this film some people have complained that there is product placement (Nokia, Budweiser, Jack Daniels, Slusho) however I think that the reason for this is clear, J.J. was making a statement that this is not Roddenberry’s Trek, rather a re-imaging of TOS. The best Trek of all. A Trek in which humans are Free to pursue jobs, make money, or join Starfleet, and we have gotten past our petty differences.
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  #12  
Old 05-14-2009, 06:48 PM
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I always thought of the UFP as a United Nations in space. The UN has peacekeepers, the UFP has Starfleet. Of course, the UFP seems to be able to manage itself better than the UN, probably because humans have been able to set aside their petty differences.
Good Point, Lord Voldemort.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:59 PM
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Odd how two people can see the same thing and come to different conclusions.

Everyone was respectful of Warf's religeon and on more than one occasion they all helped him pursue it.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mjcrawford View Post
I know that among my fellow Trekkies this is not a popular thing to say, but the “missing” secular humanism is one of the better “changes” to Trek in this film (IMHO) before you flame me to oblivion, let me elaborate:

Yes, in TNG (the only series that really depicted Roddenberry’s “dream”) the federation was a very atheist, communist, secular humanistic society and it actually is a shining example of what is wrong with just such a society… anyone who is different is bad… or stupid. Worf was the only main cast member who had a different way of thinking about things, and he was generally reduced to comic relief, or an example of bad thinking, it was very rare that Worf’s approach to anything was actually correct. Aside from Worf, the crew may have been diverse genetically, but intellectually they were all a bunch of clones of white-liberal-secular-collage professors. In fact the only race depicted to be capitalist in any way was the Feringi, and they of course were slimy, untrustworthy, had no morals to speak of, and only worshiped profit. It is no wonder why many TNG fans love the Klingons, they are the ONLY real example of diversity on the show.

Interestingly there is one episode of TOS that also reflected Roddenberry’s dream, “the Cage” in which we see a crew of all white (except Spock) all men (except ‘number one’ a main character who did not even have a name and token women for sexual tension) and unified thought.

The rest of TOS celebrated diversity, every member of the crew was proud of their heritage, and was different in the way they approached a problem, and because of that they could solve any problem, society had evolved to respect all beliefs not eliminate all religion. Heck there was even a religious wedding ceremony in a chapel on board the ship, (“…and in accordance with our many beliefs…”) and yes… MONEY existed. (“Scotty, you just earned your pay for the week…” “Well, if you consider my cost, storage and a reasonable mark-up the tribbles will cost 10 credits a head…”)

The new film is truly a return to the Original Series, not to Roddenberry’s ‘dream’ and for that I am thankful. I know that many of you do not think of Starfleet as military, but I have never seen a NASA astronaut, or a merchant marine say as Kirk did, “…I’m a solder, not a Diplomat…” that very line tells you that he is in the MILITARY. Yes Starfleet’s missions are peaceful, just as our military has peaceful missions that it embarks on, however in time of war make no mistake, it is Starfleet, not some other branch of service that will rush into the fight. (DS9 ‘Dominion War’ anyone?)

In this film some people have complained that there is product placement (Nokia, Budweiser, Jack Daniels, Slusho) however I think that the reason for this is clear, J.J. was making a statement that this is not Roddenberry’s Trek, rather a re-imaging of TOS. The best Trek of all. A Trek in which humans are Free to pursue jobs, make money, or join Starfleet, and we have gotten past our petty differences.
As much as it surprises me to say this, I agree. I am a Socialist to my very core, but I too believed TNG took the whole self-righteous, secular humanist aspect too far. That's why I liked DS9 so much, because the Starfleet officers all had the twin foils of the uber-capitalist Quark and religious Kira to kind of cast a different light on things and show that the Federations way wasn't better, just different. It's actually that show that helped me accept different political viewpoints and not be quite so opinionated, lol.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
And happens to have rank and chain of command, courts martial for disciplinary cases, military decorum and protocol....yeah...really not military.

I do not say this ill toward you, greatgallina, but toward the contradictions that often dotted GR's vision.

I wouldn't say so much that Star Trek missed the point as GR missed the mark.
Yeah, people always throw down GR's quote about it not being military, but he was either blowing smoke or somewhere along the way (very early on) it evolved and changed.
Starfleet is the military of Earth's future. Plain and simple.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:10 PM
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Yeah, people always throw down GR's quote about it not being military, but he was either blowing smoke or somewhere along the way (very early on) it evolved and changed.
Starfleet is the military of Earth's future. Plain and simple.
Aye...and this very line to me smacks of "military"

Kirk, in Errand of Mercy.

"I'm a soldier, not a diplomat."
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:10 PM
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Vulcan's were big on religion.

Klingon's were big on religion.

Ferengi were big on religion, in a humorous way.

Bajorans were all about religion.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2009, 07:11 PM
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Odd how two people can see the same thing and come to different conclusions.

Everyone was respectful of Warf's religeon and on more than one occasion they all helped him pursue it.
And if not helped...at least encouraged.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:13 PM
teamosil teamosil is offline
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The core value of Star Trek, in my opinion, is creating strength through embracing difference. The goal of the prime directive itself is to allow societies they encounter to develop in their own unique way so that when they are ready, they can contribute that cultural uniqueness to the universe without having it be shaped by the existing metaculture. There are tons of story lines throughout the franchise where they manage to overcome one challenge or another by taking the different perspective of another species into account and changing their own outlook as a result, etc.

I agree that this movie lacked a bit in that message. Basically all of the elements of inclusiveness that were to be found in this movie (having women in positions of authority, inter-racial or inter-species romance, having trusted members of the core crew be from other nations or planets, etc) all came from TOS. That a movie made 40 years later doesn't have anything new to contribute to the discussion of diversity is kind of unimpressive.

They changed Spock's persona in ways that made him less representative of difference. In fact, they made a big point about him heroically choosing to shun what made him different from the rest of the crew. They failed again, despite 20+ years of promises from half a dozen representatives of the franchise to have a gay or lesbian character. They reverted to the notion of an un-reasoning enemy and the futility of diplomacy.

Overall, I think it was a great movie. I was thoroughly entertained. But, I definitely would like to see them carry on the overall theme of embracing difference more strongly going forward.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
The core value of Star Trek, in my opinion, is creating strength through embracing difference. The goal of the prime directive itself is to allow societies they encounter to develop in their own unique way so that when they are ready, they can contribute that cultural uniqueness to the universe without having it be shaped by the existing metaculture. There are tons of story lines throughout the franchise where they manage to overcome one challenge or another by taking the different perspective of another species into account and changing their own outlook as a result, etc.

I agree that this movie lacked a bit in that message. Basically all of the elements of inclusiveness that were to be found in this movie (having women in positions of authority, inter-racial or inter-species romance, having trusted members of the core crew be from other nations or planets, etc) all came from TOS. That a movie made 40 years later doesn't have anything new to contribute to the discussion of diversity is kind of unimpressive.

They changed Spock's persona in ways that made him less representative of difference. In fact, they made a big point about him heroically choosing to shun what made him different from the rest of the crew. They failed again, despite 20+ years of promises from half a dozen representatives of the franchise to have a gay or lesbian character. They reverted to the notion of an un-reasoning enemy and the futility of diplomacy.

Overall, I think it was a great movie. I was thoroughly entertained. But, I definitely would like to see them carry on the overall theme of embracing difference more strongly going forward.
You bring up good points, indeed....but those points are best delivered in episodic television, not in a movie that may produce sequels only every two to three years. (Personal opinion only....not fact.)
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