Saturday, May 30, 2009
More Star Trek Stuff
I decided to post yesterday's entry over at the Raving Toy Maniac's Buzz board and it was funny to see folks totally missing the joke. My point was that a number of the same complaints leveled against the new Star Trek film, could very well be applied to the sacred cow of Star Trek movies -- my beloved Wrath of Khan.
When I first entered the foray into Trek's universe of fandom, it was clearly understood that continuity, when scrutinized, does not hold up very well. We liked the stories. When Star Trek: The Next Generation exploded into a phenomenon popular enough to spin itself off, a new type of fan emerged. A fan that held some vaunted notion that the entire pantheon of Trek was some kind of consistent whole and armed with Michael and Denise Okuda's Star Trek Chronology and Star Trek Encyclopedia to prove it. Unfortunately, this is now the majority of the active fans seen on the plethora of message boards and blog comments across the electronic frontier.
The fandom just mentioned tends to hold the story's ability to entertain secondary to how it fits with what's come before. The Okudas' books were terrific references, but they made assumptions in many cases (and conjectured in others) to make things fit when it wasn't readily clear what or when something occurred. Yes, the authors actually worked on the shows, but the shows' writers weren't tied down to these items. For instance, both editions of the Chronology stated that Kirk's five-year mission ended in 2269; a character in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Q2" mentioned that it ended in 2270. Message boards were on fire that night with accusations of Voyager's writers and producers not knowing what they were doing (again). This type of thinking carried over of course with Star Trek: Enterprise, but I'd be here all day telling you about it. I'll just say that it got really really ugly.
The stories should be paramount (pardon the pun), not how lock-and-step the story elements fit with previous installments. Is it really that jarring if the stripes on Spock's sleeves don't match with the previous week's episode? Back In The Day, part of the fun in all of this was trying to figure out ways to explain the inconsistencies. Unfortunately, the fandom seems to have forgotten that this was supposed to be fun. Thankfully, general audiences have been receptive to the new film and hopefully, fandom will benefit from this New Blood entering the fray like I did back in 1987.
Next time: My review of Star Trek.