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Author Topic: "New" ships in TOS Enhanced discussion
The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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And here I thought we were all geeks here...
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Masao
doesn't like you either
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Not Sol System, evidently. Pfft.

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Sol System
two dollar pistol
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What now? That's the difference between this and Star Wars, is my point. None of the new visual effects affect the plots in any way. The script says "Outside, a spaceship" and outside there's a spaceship. The content, or at least the essential content, is unaltered. And thus I don't see the potential for really meaty nerd rifts.
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The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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Don't get me wrong, I agree with your fundamental point, objectively. TOS was never about the special effects; they were simply there to provide a framework for the stories and characters. In that respect, any changes being made are indeed negligible in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, however, I have a few of my own personal issues regarding the whole "remastered" affair.

For one, I almost universally find the juxtaposition of vintage live action footage with contemporary CGI to be distracting in the extreme and a far greater challenge to suspension of disbelief than what was there before.

I also hold the opinion that ST and SW are historical documents that ought to be preserved as they are and appreciated as such. Tweaking them to appeal to those who can't get past the "cheesy" FX just seems like pandering to me, no matter how reverent those involved may be toward the source material. Furthermore, since pretty much all SFX eventually end up looking dated anyway, updating them is ultimately a Sisyphean task. (IMO, this is even more true in the case of CGI than in that of practical FX.)

Finally, in another vein entirely and at the root of my "geek" comment, is the fact that (for reasons which are not even entirely clear to me) I find a great deal of enjoyment in nitpicking and obsessing over the not-really-so-significant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things details of the ships of ST. (A big factor in why I find this board interesting is that others here seem to feel the same way.) Thus, the inherent contradictions in this revisionist thing pose a bit of a conundrum for me. I find some of what they've done to be interesting, but I don't like the idea of having to disregard what it has replaced.

-MMoM [Big Grin]

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Jason Abbadon
Rolls with the punches.
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When the bad effects distract from the (sometimes) good stories, it's a good thing to update them- fantastic and imaginative new designs help too.
Longtime fans get a "new" enjoiment from watching for updated scenes.

TNG next- please!

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Justice inclines her scales so that wisdom comes at the price of suffering.
-Aeschylus, Agamemnon

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Zipacna
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quote:
Originally posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim:
I also hold the opinion that ST and SW are historical documents that ought to be preserved as they are and appreciated as such.

Indeed. While it is folly to suggest Star Trek is at the same level as such works of literate, reworking then should be as much anathema as say rewriting Shakespeare or Chaucer. To most people Trek is just television, but you can look at Trek and see commentary on the age and so forth. It is as much a document of social history as anything else, and coming in 40-years later and tweaking things in a way takes away from the underlining meaning of Trek.
The whole idea of Trek is to embrace differences and accept, to coin a phrase from the series, infinity diversity in infinite combinations. To come back years later and say "oh this isn't good enough, lets change things" flies right in the face of accepting differences as being meaningful and valid. If Trek and it's fans can't even accept a few outdated effects, what hope does that give for the future of humanity?

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The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Abbadon:
When the bad effects distract from the (sometimes) good stories, it's a good thing to update them

Saying they looked "bad" in the first place is really ridiculous and shortsighted, though. They were state-of-the-art for television at the time, and were just as innovative as any other aspect of the series.

Moreover, as I said above, the fundamental flaw in this is thinking that somehow FX that are state-of-the-art now are going to hold up any better in the long run. Because digital technology and techniques are evolving much faster than the practical methods of yesterday, it takes an even shorter time for CGI to look outdated than it does modelwork. Look at any movie with heavy CGI FX from more than a couple of years ago. Look at the first SW special edition! Hell, look at the first season of ENT!

Are you saying you'll want to see ANOTHER "remastering" after another couple of decades have gone by? You see where my reference to Sisyphus was directed?

quote:
fantastic and imaginative new designs help too.
All the designs on TOS were new and imaginative at the time. The only reason some people think otherwise now is because they've been over-exposed and over-stimulated by 40 years of latest-and-greatest-next-big-things in eye candy.

quote:
Longtime fans get a "new" enjoiment from watching for updated scenes.
True enough, but that's only because of the novelty of it at the moment. Once that's worn off, it will just seem like a gimmick and we may also be left with some continuity glitch headaches and canon-shock hangovers that make us wish it never happened.

Besides, if your enjoyment of the series has now become about watching for updated FX, then you've sort of missed the point. Good effects can distract from good stories just as much (or more) than bad effects.

-MMoM [Big Grin]

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WizArtist II
"How can you have a yellow alert in Spacedock? "
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In a way this reminds me a little of watching an old WW2 movie. I forget which movie it was but there was a scene where a US General patted the barrel of an M48 Patton tank and said "Well, soon we'll be getting rid of this junk and getting the new M4 Shermans". While those with little knowledge of military equipment would buy that scene as is I can't help but think about the fact they are using (at the time) a modern tank to fill in as a historical vehicle. When you see a typical WW2 movie now, (such as Saving Private Ryan or Pearl Harbor)they are usually trying to be historically accurate with the equipment depicted. In a way, we could look at the remastered Trek as trying to be more 'historically accurate'. Certainly "The Doomsday Machine" was a more 'accurate' depiction of what you would expect from that type of space battle with all the debris and the damage to the Constellation.

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TSN
I'm... from Earth.
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"While it is folly to suggest Star Trek is at the same level as such works of literate, reworking then should be as much anathema as say rewriting Shakespeare or Chaucer."

Except, people do that all the time. Every summer here in St. Louis, there's a "Shakespeare in the Park" series. This year, they did Much Ado about Nothing. As a Western.

Shakespeare's plays have been set in almost every setting imaginable at one time or another. Obviously, most of those settings are not the ones in which they were written. That's a much bigger alteration than changing the shape of a spaceship that shows up on the screen for five seconds.

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The Mighty Monkey of Mim
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Believe it or not, I hate that kind of thing, too. [Razz]
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Sol System
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Reappropriation and adaptation of shared stories is how new stories are often generated. What is Star Trek without Forbidden Planet and van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle? For that matter, Shakespeare's stories were just cribbed from the popular culture of the day.

So, you know. Let a thousand remixes bloom, I say.

Also, NO GETTING PSYCHED ON / NO CULTURE ICONS

Also also, given that a defining characteristic of Star Trek was that it was produced by a culture just in the middle of waxing powerful across the whole globe, maybe new Star Trek needs to be written by some young idealist in India or China. (Actually, I'd pay huge amounts of money to see Chinese or Indian Star Trek.)

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Sol System
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Though I think we're probably veering off in two different directions here, with me up on the ramparts defending the cultural commons and Mim arguing for the preservation of existing works as-is; which two things aren't at odds.
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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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quote:
Originally posted by Sol System:
...maybe new Star Trek needs to be written by some young idealist in India or China. (Actually, I'd pay huge amounts of money to see Chinese or Indian Star Trek.)

Chinese Star Trek would follow the same overriding theme that's in Chinese literature, Chinese television, Chinese movies, Chinese soap operas: Life is sad. Don't overthrow the Emperor.

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Mars Needs Women
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quote:
Originally posted by Zipacna:
quote:
Originally posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim:
I also hold the opinion that ST and SW are historical documents that ought to be preserved as they are and appreciated as such.

Indeed. While it is folly to suggest Star Trek is at the same level as such works of literate, reworking then should be as much anathema as say rewriting Shakespeare or Chaucer. To most people Trek is just television, but you can look at Trek and see commentary on the age and so forth. It is as much a document of social history as anything else, and coming in 40-years later and tweaking things in a way takes away from the underlining meaning of Trek.
The whole idea of Trek is to embrace differences and accept, to coin a phrase from the series, infinity diversity in infinite combinations. To come back years later and say "oh this isn't good enough, lets change things" flies right in the face of accepting differences as being meaningful and valid. If Trek and it's fans can't even accept a few outdated effects, what hope does that give for the future of humanity?

If the idea of Trek is to embrace differences, then why can't some Trek fans embrace different(and better)effects. And what does all this have do with humanity's future?

Also, I can watch Star Trek with the old effects: I've been doing that for all 19 years of my life.

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Joshua Bell
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quote:
Originally posted by Mars Needs Women:
If the idea of Trek is to embrace differences, then why can't some Trek fans embrace different(and better)effects.

I don't think anyone is imagining a pogrom to burn all extant copies of Classic TOS DVDs. Everyone can enjoy their own.

I think the original question can be boiled down to "when there is a contradiction, is TOS or TOS-R now considered canon?" Never underestimate the longevity or ferocity of debates over canon.

quote:

And what does all this have do with humanity's future?

It's actually quite relevant. Watch any film from the last 15 years and you can fairly accurately date it by the size of the mobile phones. Watch any film from more than 15 years ago and there are many plots which simply don't make sense if you try and place them in the modern world of ubiquitous communication.

Heck, we were watching Star Wars last night with my son. The whole first half of the movie is basically Vader chasing after the stolen plans of the Death Star. In the modern world, the Rebel Alliance would have simply broadcast the plans to the equivalent of the Internet so everyone could have a copy and analyze the flaws. Yes, yes, the SW fans can rationalize it some way, just as the ST fans can rationalize any plot hole. That's not the point - the point is that certain assumptions about "the way the world works" are changing.

As my son grows up, presumably with an iPhone embedded in his hand and a always-on broadband Internet connection, a Google search never more than a few seconds away, streaming blogs about his life in realtime to his worldwide cluster of friends, plugged into virtual and augmented realities, will he be able to look back and enjoy "historical documents" as they were created in the past?

If humans can't handle a past that's too different from the "now", it's going to have a hard time adapting to an ever changing, ever accelerating future.

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