Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by darthnave, Feb 14, 2006.
ST is science fiction while SW is science fantasy. Might as well compare lumberjacks with poodles.
Star Trek fans are definately more geeky, but Star Wars fans can be annoying as hell, so I'd call them even.
I hope thats not meant as a derogatory comment against Space Fantasy. With foundational series such as Lensmen and Skylark of Space, Space fantasy jump started modern 20th century science fiction as a whole. I am also sick to death of hearing trek sycophants exclaim how trek i s "intelligent" where SW is a kids show, as its only a convenient soundbite with plenty of evidence available to refute it.
I am curious as to what you mean by the "annoying" part, but having been a full member in fan clubs representing both shows in their heyday, I would have to say that the group I enjoyed being in more, after some thinking about it, was (is) the Star Wars crowd. In any group, the best question to be asked is always: "So you liked that show huh? Well-- SO WHAT?"
Star Wars Fans, the proactive ones, have an answer to that, my trek clubs really didnt. Granted, this was in the mid 90s, before the Internet revolution had really allowed for the spontaneous formation and international organization of groups like the 501st, but still, I think more could have been done than just sit around collecting dues.
I have to admit I'm more familiar with Star Wars, but my heart is really in true SF like Trek. Sure, we can learn a lot from Star Wars, but the metaphors in Star Trek... just brilliant, and the way they're so overt is a part of the charm. I go gaga over entertainment you can learn from, and it's hard to beat Trek at its best.
I see your point, but it's really not as black and white as that. There's plenty of fiction in SW, and there's plenty of fantasy in ST.
There's little difference between the mythology of the Force, and the back story to Q, and his collective.
(to my disappointment, GL attempts to give the Force a scientific explanation in TPM ie the midi-whatdoyoucallthem-thingys)
The Midichlorians continue to be THE most single misunderstood aspect of the prequels, and they are not, nor ever were, meant to be an "explaination" for the Force. We already knew that Force power was genetic and passed from father to son, the MCs jsut told us why. The Force as itself is still the mystical energy field created by all living things and TPM never inferred that it was anything less.
I might require extensive information about why you think the Q are all that mythological. As I recall, they have yet to be given a backstory, and they describe themselves as anything BUT mystical, merely beings living on a higher plane. There really isnt anything stupendous about that. It is sorely tempting to reach for the most superficial of all explanations when we are in a hurry to make a point, but we just simply have to stop and think before we speak from time to time. The Q have flashy special FX, but they are never FX for FX sake, or FX to prove the existence of a mystical energy field. The Q described it themselves as merely what our own technology would look like to primitive cultures. To Equate the Q with the Force is a huge misunderstanding of the what Gene Roddenberrys point of the Q was in the first place. Dont fall for the flashy FX and go watch those Q eps again. Mysticism had nothing to do with it.
Yeah, I forget who said it, but midiclorians = Blood of Heroes, just like lightsaber = magic sword.
I couldn't disagree more.
I wasn't being derrogatory to SW or ST fans at all. It's the first thing that came to mind.
I never really understood the whole Midichlorian thing. I rather it just be the Force and nothing else. But I'm not Lucas so, oh well. Q was awesome though, but I really hated his son.
If the midicholarian thing is misunderstood by alot of people, then it is Lucas's fault for coming up with it in the first place.
I was hoping you could elaborate a bit. On what basis do you have any reason to disagree?
For example, a major point of my argument comes from the mouth of Q2 (Quinn) in the Voyager ep "Deathwish" where Q1 is trying to prevent Q2 from committing suicide. When Q2 is asking Tuvok to represent him in the trial, he gives a speech to the tune of:
"Your technology makes you look like magical creatures to more primitive cultures. It is no different with us."
"Our abilities are vulnerabilities, and each new change brings a new vulnerability."
Now thats what the Q have to say about themselves. They dont claim to be mystical, they dont claim to surround and encompass us, and they dont claim to hold the galaxy together. Merely another species. Now what I would need to even begin to consider another point of view is a contrasting quote. I have been watching the Q since 1987 and know full well who they are and what they were meant to be. I need facts not opinions.
He needed the midichlorians as a hook to explain Anakins spontaneous generation by Darth Plagus in ROTS. Maybe he could have explained it without them, but I honestly dont see the trouble, as I honestly always understood them, and to a large degree have been greatly disappointed in my fellow fans in their inability to follow what amounts to only 2 or 3 lines of dialogue as spoken by Qui Gonn. It wasnt rocket science people, and in choosing who deserves blame I unfortunately have to choose my fellow fans, as they always have to blame everything on someone else, without even considering it their own fault for having a low attention span.
I found the midichlorian explaination to be really fascinating. A symbiotic creature living inside one's cells, enhacning the host's abilities and further connecting all life throughout the galaxy. It doesn't give a scientific definition for The Force, because The Force is just that. It's The Force. Trying to scientifically explain something so huge like that would be akin to defining God. Think of the midichlorians as non-malignant priests of sorts, imbibing spiritual and physical power.
The reason why I use God in this aspect is that if God does exist, there is no scientific explaination for God's existence that we can understand. Everything that God does/would embody is beyond our comprehension, because our comprehension is what the universe is.
Sadly, I never really found that kind of philisophical power in ST. ST was more cold-hard science with utopian images, as would be expected from a scientist who envisions a better tomorrow. Sadly, dystopian images are more realistic, because that's the kind of world we live in. SW at least tries to portray that, to a certain extent.
Had a similar debate about the new BSG and ST, in the same lines of this debate here, so forgive me for using some of my arguments from that debate to support my opinion here.
Oh yes, and both franchises have their places, but SW ranks a whole helluva lot higher than ST ever will in my book.
I would love to read that BSG debate as the show is growing higher on my list, is it around here?
And I am forced to agree about Treks transparent philosophy. THe show really took a nosedive in both creativity and scope after TNG went off the air, relying on love affairs and nickel and dime plot complications with a story-telling scope that you could watch shrink every week right before your eyes. TOS had some great metaphor, and TNG had some good sociological studies (thinking of "The Survivors," "Yesterday's Enterprise", "First Contact," (4th season ep, not the movie); and "Conundrum," amongst others). But DS9 was far too wrapped up in its own "Melrose Space" as it were, and Voyager, despite how much I rooted for that show, was left with the left-over writers after all the good ones had left.
Sadly, that debate was on the IMDB message board about a week ago, and it's lost amongst the spam of retards and dullards. It was a great debate though, over the TOS BSG and the re-imagined BSG.
DS9 was far more than "Melrose Space". Go watch "In the Pale Moonlight" and tell me that it didn't have its own sociological discussions.
Or watch Nog's arc in Season 7, when he loses his leg and has to come to grips with that level of loss.
Or how about "Far Beyond the Stars", which directly addressed racism in society?
"Melrose Space" lol. I agree with K_K in his championing of DS9. Some of it's content is majestic, and a good deal of it's content is the most solid sci-fi you'll ever see.
Also the Q are nothing like 'The Force'. The Q are merely another several hundred steps up on the evolutionary ladder. There's nothing supernatural about them. The Force, as most choose to see it, is an unexplained energy (midicholorians are merely the messengers). The Q are a species for whom mystery works better than a cast iron explanation. The mystery of the Q is necessary for them to retain their menace... and yes, despite all of Q's games, it is a menace.
It is far superior in quality to most of Voyager.
In fact, my family used to call Voyager "As the Warp Coil Turns" and "All My Shipmates".
Yes I saw all of those, and "Far Beyond the Stars" is one of the handful of eps I ever taped, and a personal favorite of mine. But my major concern would be-- are those eps the rule, or merely the exception? (I was unimpressed with the whole Nog arc anyway.) DS9 was the first TREK to have an ad in TV Guide for an upcoming show that didnt mention a thing about new worlds or new civilizations, but actually said, and I wish to begeezus I was making this up: "Tonight, will Odo reveal his feelings for Kira?" For the love of creation, THIS is what they were spending their 1.5 million dollar an ep budget on????? These are our new worlds and civilizations? Think of how many eps Ds9 wasted on insipid love triangles, on will-they-or-wont-they eps, and on generic "Woe is me for being an outcast" (a particular plotline they fully succeeded in running right into the ground by having it apply to no less than 4 separate characters). They cannot have 5 good eps a season and then claim that makes up for the other lousy 20.
I was just thinking of last nights BSG, and how it made all the treks look like afterschool specials. The writers of DS9 took themselves more seriously than their audience ever did.
Look at the credits for both shows. You'll see a lot of the same names cropping up.
The thing is that DS9 and the other Treks of that time period laid the groundwork for shows like BSG. Do you really think that BSG would have happened the way it is today if DS9 (run by the same Ron Moore doing BSG) and Babylon 5 hadn't shown that large, multi-episode arcs actually work?
K_K is right. DS9 helped lay the tracks so that shows like BSG could ride along them... and now everyone is saying how brilliant BSG is. Well I'd bet that in another few years another show will come along and - according to the masses - make BSG look like whatever condescending comparison one wishes to apply to it. Things move on. DS9 was a trailblazer. You have to judge each show on its own merits, not against a show that has many years on it, and many years of experience and refinement of the genre to better itself.
As for the 'interpersonal' plotlines DS9 used, yes, I'll admit that Season 7 went a little too far in some respects, and was lazy on occasion, but to suggest that season 3 - 6 of DS9 are as full of holes as you suggest is very wrong.
EDIT: It should also be noted that DS9 was never really about 'new worlds and new civilisations'; it was about the ones we have learning to live with each other. Once the Dominion had been introduced, were didn't get any new major players to grapple with until the show's conclusion. DS9, to me, was all about resolution. Odo revealed his feelings to Kira. What's the problem with that? Is sci-fi not allowed to devote episodes to two characters coming together? To an unlikely romance that has been developing for years and years? Or is that sort of thing solely the preserve of sitcoms and Hugh Grant films?
Is sci-fi not allowed to devote episodes to two characters coming together?
As far as I am concerned, No. That doesnt have any place in sci fi. Not at the EXPENSE at the rest of the plotline at any rate. It is appropiate when offered as one piece as a larger puzzle, but not as the A plotline for the hour alongside a throwaway B filler plot to round out the hour.
I am just severely old school on such matters, raised on the classic written golden age of the 30's and 40's. None of those stories ever had love stories and they not only did just fine without them, they excelled, and they gave us the sci fi legacy we are still reaping today. I take the definition of sci fi very seriously. It has to be a technological exploration or a metaphorical analysis or it is simply a waste of my time, time better spent watching sitcoms that have such plotlines more often and tend to do them a lot better than trek ever did. A sci fi story just really should be about a higher idea than pandering to its female demographic.
(There are other points to be made, as I dont disagree entirely with the rest of what you said, so I'll respond to that when I get back).