Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Star Trek didn’t need a Reboot.

treklogo1If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a Trekker.  I have been a fan of Star Trek since Star Trek: The Motion Picture hit theaters in 1979.  I have faithfully watched every hour of the original series in re-runs.  I eagerly waited in line at the theater for each new movie.  I went from casual fan to full-blown, costume-owning, Trekkie when The Next Generation premiered.  I can honestly say that with the exception of the special edition version of the original series and the new J.J. Abrams flick, I have seen EVERY hour of EVERY Star Trek at least twice.

PIT #1 has grown up watching “Tar Tek” with her Daddy.  She is now a graduating senior and considers herself a third generation Trekker.  We cringed along with the rest of Trekdom when it was announced that Brannon Braga was being given the reigns of Enterprise.  We shuddered when season three of that series spent the entire season plodding through the expanse.  We cursed Paramount for their stupidity in releasing Nemesis the same week as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (oh yeah there’s a good idea).  We pined as we watched our beloved franchise dwindle because of recent poor creative and marketing decisions.

What do we like most about Star Trek?  We like the fact that after 40 years the franchise is internally consistent (if you ignore Brannon Braga).  We like the fact that the series requires thought, it’s is science fiction for people willing to think (an trait that is becoming increasingly scarce or so it seems).

That said, Paramount decided that due to the “failure” of Enterprise and the poor box office showing of Nemesis that the public was tired of Star Trek and the series was in need of a reboot.   I believe this notion to be in error as the last few years of Star Trek do NOT invalidate the previous 30.  Fans didn’t abandon Star Trek, Paramount abandoned its fans.

Why was Enterprise a “failure”?  The premiere episode drew in spectacular ratings.  I had to stay up until midnight to watch it as we STILL don’t have UPN (now CW) affiliate in the area.  Veiwership fell off considerably during the first season and continued to drop over the run of the series until UPN decided to cancel the show after season three.  Paramount made a deal with their own network to keep Enterprise on the air for one more year to have enough episodes for syndication.  Why did legions of Trekkers abandon the series?  Was it the cast? no Scott Bakula was marvelous in the role of Captain Archer.  The rest of the cast was equally talented.  Enterprise failed because Brannon Braga ignored continuity and gave us the Temporal Cold War and an entire season of battling the Xindii.  Fans wanted to see the first foray of humans into space.  We wanted to see how the bond between Earth and Vulcan formed.  We got almost none of that.  It is my personal belief that if Berman had fired Braga after season one and done season four as season two, Enterprise would still be on the air.

Why did Nemesis have a poor box office?  Was it the fact that Data died? no.  ‘The Wrath of Kahn killed off Spock and is still the favorite Trek movie on many lists.  Was it a bad story? again no.  I honestly prefer Nemesis over Generations and Insurrection.  Nemesis opened the same week as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  I wish I had a buck for everyone who wanted to see both movies and opted for LotR, thinking they’d get the chance to see Nemesis the following week.  Most of those folks never got the chance to see Nemesis.  Our local theater pulled Nemesis after that first week, ironically to make room for a second showing of LotR..

Neither of these “failures” warranted a complete reboot of the franchise.  It’s like deciding to dynamite your house because the second bathroom is broke and the painters screwed up the paint job on the spare bedroom.  The franchise needed to do something without Braga and needed to have someone with savvier marketing skills onboard.

What we apparently got was Abrams dynamiting the house and rebuilding from the leftover pieces.  At this writing I have not yet seen the new Trek movie.  I will be seeing it, but I have had trouble with calling it Star Trek.  Not because I’m some groganard fanboy who can’t accept change but because I still don’t believe the franchise needed to be re-envisioned.  Last night on Twitter I vented.  I’ve come to terms with how I’m going to go see this movie.

Is it Star Trek?  Yes, Paramount has decreed it so.  Is it my Star Trek?  Unknown, I’ll figure that out after I watch it.  I do know that in my mind, Abrams’ version is the Trek equivalent of DC Comics Earth 2.  That’s how I’ll be watching the movie.  Star Trek has already established “cannon” alternate universes.  Classic Trek, TNG, DS9, VOY, and even ENT all take place in Universe 1.   Abrams’ Trek is Universe 2.  There now I’ve gotten that off my chest.

May 9, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Science Fiction, Star Trek | , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Plot Hooks from… The American Top 40?

In his ongoing efforts to find ideas to keep up with the quick witted teen-agers he GMs for.  Stev, the Vulcan Game-Master looks outside the box for plot hooks and game ideas.  Today he’s seeing what the top ten pop chart singles in America will yeild for inspiration. 

*note* these are the top ten songs as of April 5, 2009

1  The All American Rejects – Gives You Hell
Demons are following your party

2  Britney Spears – Circus
When your party enters the next village they are mistaken for an expected troupe of traveling minstrels.

3  Flo Rida – Right Round
In the Dungeon every right turn actually send the team back to a spot they’ve already visited.

4  Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You
The party finds a magical object if the team ever loses it they begin to experience annoying bad luck.

5  Kanye West – Heartless
The party needs to fight the villians from Disney’s Kingdom Hearts video game.

6  Pink – Sober
The party is immune to the affects of alcohol, having been cursed/blessed by a Tee-Totaling Wizard

7  Lady Gaga – Poker Face
The ability to bluff is the only way to beat the guardian of the treasure.

8  The Fray – You Found Me
An annoying <insert small magical creature or genre specific equivalent> keeps popping up (ie Mr. Mytzlplyk), just to annoy the party.

9  T.I. – Dead and Gone
Somebody the party thinks they killed comes back for vengence.

10 Taylor Swift – Love Story
Like Jason and the Argonauts the team comes across Sirens, however these Sirens are in the tavern.

May 9, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Legacy D&D, Other Systems, Plot Hooks from..., RPG | , , , | Leave a comment