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Lots of New Information on Discovery

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Sim   

This reminds me it has all happened before.

While there are strong visual stylistic connections between TOS movies and TNG/DS9/VOY, there is a huge step between TOS and the TOS movies.

I remember as a kid, I struggled quite a bit for a while when I first saw the TOS movies (although I started watching TOS in 1987, I didn't know for a while the movies or TNG even existed) -- to believe it is the same universe as my beloved TOS. I still somewhat struggle with accepting TWOK (and to a lesser extent, its successors) on that field, because its style is so vastly different from TOS. Thinking about it -- TWOK doesn't just *look* radically different, it's also much more serious and gritty in tone than happy color-y 60s TOS. It's a total visual and stylistic reimagination. Not just looks, like uniforms, ship's inside and so on, as was mentioned before, the Klingons were basically rebooted.

But most fans made this step of acceptance (are there even fans left who love TOS, but still reject the TOS movies?), perhaps because the core of the movie were the three beloved main characters who behaved very much in line of fan expectations... or a large number of today's fans even became fans after TMP and TWOK, so this radical stylistic shift was "priced in" into the franchise for them.

After TWOK, there was no further radical stylistic break again, because IIRC, much of the visual team or at least the company responsible for visuals, stayed the same -- TNG is oriented at the TWOK style, you can well imagine TNG is 80 years after TWOK (much moreso like it seems it's 80 years after TOS).

So we're asked to make the same leap TOS fans were asked to make, when the movies came out.

TWOK worked, because it revived what most fans considered the core of TOS, the amazing triumvirate. There is hope DSC can preserve "the core", too -- whatever we feel that is.

Edited by Sim

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Locutus   
2 hours ago, nepr said:

Then there's this completed 5 year mission.  My understanding is that these weren't so much Trek fans as aspiring thespians hungry for fresh, challenging content.  They made a pretty big splash in Portland, OR, before they were through.

I had a chance to see Star Trek in the Park's "Amok Time" in Portland.  It was PACKED!  I had a great time.  Wish they still did it.

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nepr   
2 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

I love how we are all working out our stages of acceptance in this thread. Because this is really a discussion about what Star Trek is in our hearts. We would all admit that Trek is more than just its visual style, meaning we would accept (and have accepted) Trek in various styles. But the visual styles ARE important because that is the substance--the medium--of our belief in the Trek universe. See quote:

Michael Okuda: "Whenever you have an invented universe, the most important thing is your look, your style. Even if you have a huge budget, you can’t really build a Starship Enterprise, you cannot really build Starfleet Command. What you can do is suggest it and let the audience’s mind fill it in. You pick a style, you pick a particular color pallet, a particular way of shooting things, a particular way of shooting visual effects, a particualr way of telling stoires, and that becomes your style. And once you define that, if you defined it well, if you believe in it, if your stoires believe in it, the audience will buy into it."

This is the crux of so many of our hangups about Prime Universe/prequels/reboots, etc. The visual style is critical because all of Trek's great drama, character, themes, etc. speaks to us THROUGH the aesthetics, which lets the "audience's mind fill it in." We are necessarily attached to the visual styles of the Treks that we love. We like to visit them in our minds. As the Prophets told Sisko: "You exist here." (Hint: They were referring to the past.)   

Now It is CBS's job to make us exist on the Discovery.

/\

I see this as being so critical it almost goes without saying...  almost.  My concern is the DSC troupe getting so caught up with big, raw and gritty that they miss it and don't see that new visuals, new tone, new Trek, don't allow this old foundation to be ignored.  I really suspect this was what made TNG so attractive to people who weren't actual fans of sci-fi or Star Trek.   The setting was inviting, recognizable and looked like some place they would like to be and know.  As The Founder wrote earlier:

"...in Star Trek the ship is a character. It's not just a location in the back drop. It's where our crew has their adventures (most of them) and have development."

To which I would add, it's where the viewers are being asked to return each week.  Maybe the DSC troupe can pull this off at the same time as, or even with the help of big, raw and gritty.  I think one thing they will have to do, if they haven't already, is to get in touch with why they named their series after a Starship.

2 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

Since 1979 we have been conditioned to believe the change in visual style can be understood as the progress of technology in the Trek Universe (although the idea that the 1701-refit is really the TOS ship under its hull plating is a bit of a stretch). We are further accustomed to the TNG/Berman/Okuda-era of Trek having a completely consistent visual style, across three or four series. This had nothing to do with Starfleet tech but was all because those sets were built on the same sound stages and were to cater to the same TV sensibility of the 90s. 70+ years apart, the 1701-Ds corridors were the same as the 170-refit; the battle bridge was the 1701 bridge; the 1701-A engineering was the 1701-D engineering. In canon, the 1701-refit is just a few years removed from the TOS years--what really changed was Hollywood production and Hollywood money. The NX-01 is nearly identical to a ship that was originally designed to be of the same new generation of ships as the 1701-E. This has never been perfect. It is hard to accept imperfection, to gloss over the inconsistencies, but we must. To riff on Nepr's point, the play's the thing, not the props!  Does the wattage of the lighting on the 1701 or 1701-D mean no other bridge had different lighting?

Hamlet agreed!  In fact, he said:

The play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.
 
but, of course, he was murdered before he could catch the broadcast. :(
 
3 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

My advice: resist the limiting notion that Trek can only be done post-Nemesis, or in alternate timelines, or with Star Trek: Continues slavish detail. Really? Just beasue of how Hollywood artists paint with ephemeral light?! On this thread, in the juxtaposed images of the 1701-E and the Shenzhou bridges, the only similarity I noticed was the level of the lights. And the difference--I hope--will be between a bridge where stories happen that I actually care about and stories that I did not.    

It is not false advertising for CBS to say their Trek is Prime. (I suppose Abrams HAD to create a separate timeline because they were reimagining (and killing off) Prime characters--but that chapter is now likely closed). DSC wants to tell its stories in the universe that we already know, one where we fans know what the future holds, which MAY be part of the drama/tension and NOT an obstacle to it.

As old fans, if we de-prioritize mere visuals as the end-all-be-all, there may be many rewards for us in a canonical prequel. 

At the end of the day there is this: Trek dies without new fans; Trek TV will bring new fans; in 2017, TV must be cinematic, so Trek TV must pop off the screen; CBS chose to set their Trek series in the 2250s for specific reasons we are not yet aware of (my hunch is that this is not just a gimmick); therefore the 2250s are going to glow a little brighter than we are used to, but I'm okay with that, because this is a new adventure... and Trek dies without new fans.

I think it was Pablo Picasso who said that good artists borrow, but great artists steal.  My interpretation of this is that if you're great enough, you will take possession of the work you based yours on and it's your work that will be definitive and remembered.  This is, I think, the task that CBS and the DSC troupe have set themselves; to take possession of the Prime Star Trek universe, and I agree with you that if they succeed, we, the fans, the viewers, will be the ultimate benefactors.

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nepr   
1 hour ago, Locutus said:

I had a chance to see Star Trek in the Park's "Amok Time" in Portland.  It was PACKED!  I had a great time.  Wish they still did it.

Feeling so much envy right now!  <looks at face in phone and, yes, it's green.>

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5 hours ago, nepr said:

 

I think it was Pablo Picasso who said that good artists borrow, but great artists steal.  My interpretation of this is that if you're great enough, you will take possession of the work you based yours on and it's your work that will be definitive and remembered.  This is, I think, the task that CBS and the DSC troupe have set themselves; to take possession of the Prime Star Trek universe, and I agree with you that if they succeed, we, the fans, the viewers, will be the ultimate benefactors.

I agree, and yes, it was he. It's a mode of thought that's been echoed by anyone from the likes of Alan Moore to Andy Warhol to David Bowie. All artists worth their salt behave as if the thing they make is theirs alone, whether it's based upon an older work or not. Original thinking without influence is rare. In an age where so much is done for effect, with the Internet there as a testing field for instantaneous reaction, culture has become more caught up with surface detail. But the play's the thing. 

Which appears to be, from reading back over this thread, a consensus of sorts. 

Hopefully the Discovery troupe will go for it and delight us with their new vision of what Star Trek can be. Or, as Kurt Vonnegut put it, “We have such a young culture that there is an opportunity to contribute wonderful new myths to it, which will be accepted." 

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I appreciate the thoughtful above comments. 

Just wanted to speak on Founder's point about the ship being a character. This is true in that we care as much and want to spend as much time with Spock as we do the 1701. And like any good character, we have to have a history with them, we have to have shared moments that engender that sense of caring. We all have our favorite ships. The 1701-E is a beautiful ship but I don't care for it because save for a few moments from First Contact, I have no fond memories of her. I feel like a grew up on the 1701-D almost as much as one of those kids seen running around the corridors in the first season. The warm colors and soft trilling of the TOS 1701 is almost like the womb of my imagination. I would book a transport to DS9 in a heartbeat. 

All of this to say: we do not know that DSC is going to obliterate the 1701 design like Abrams Trek did. I hazard to guess that we will probably see Constitution class ships on DSC, if not the 1701, and she will look pretty much the same on the outside. And even the interior just might stick pretty close to at least the SHAPE of what was on TOS if not the color and the lighting. 

Part of the reason I think this is because of the design of the Discovery herself. She is based--I believe--on a design from the 70s for TMP(?). She looks very much like a TOS era ship. Not sleek at all. Lots of odd angles, juxtaposition of shapes, almost clunky by comparison to other modern Trek ships.

[Sidebar: why have Starlfeet ships gotten flatter since the 70s? The 1701 refit is a regal tall ship, from the the Excelsior to the Delta to Epsilon to VOY to NX-01, ships have flattened out. Would love to see another tall ship.]

And no matter what she looks like, I hope the Discovery is a character that I learn to love like other Trek settings. But that will require good stories and happy memories. Looking forward to it.      

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57 minutes ago, Justin Snead said:

All of this to say: we do not know that DSC is going to obliterate the 1701 design like Abrams Trek did. I hazard to guess that we will probably see Constitution class ships on DSC, if not the 1701, and she will look pretty much the same on the outside. And even the interior just might stick pretty close to at least the SHAPE of what was on TOS if not the color and the lighting.  

Well for one, the Enterprise in Abrams films existed in a different universe and was built under completely different circumstances than the one from the old universe, so any differences in appearance are easily explained.

In addition, not only is the saucer of Abrams' Enterprise nearly identical in appearance to the one of the refit-Enterprise of the first 6 films, the saucer and secondary hull are actually similar in size to the Enterprise-C, meaning the ship is not nearly as "ridiculously-sized" as so many say it is. Only its large engines give it the tremendous length that ILM eventually settled on.

So to imply the TOS 1701 design was "obliterated" really isn't true. In fact, if any ship that wore 1701 obliterated that design, it would be the top heavy Enterprise-D.

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Locutus   
13 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

I appreciate the thoughtful above comments. 

Just wanted to speak on Founder's point about the ship being a character. This is true in that we care as much and want to spend as much time with Spock as we do the 1701. And like any good character, we have to have a history with them, we have to have shared moments that engender that sense of caring.  ***.

*****

[Sidebar: why have Starlfeet ships gotten flatter since the 70s? The 1701 refit is a regal tall ship, from the the Excelsior to the Delta to Epsilon to VOY to NX-01, ships have flattened out. Would love to see another tall ship.]

The first time I heard someone describe the Enterprise as a character, I immediately could relate.  Hopefully, Discovery can recapture that connection to the ship.  When the NCC-1701 was destroyed in Star Trek III, it was heartbreaking.  By First Contact, I did not have that same connection.  I cringed a little at Picard's line "there are plenty of letters left in the alphabet."  If the Shenzhou is lost in battle (which I suspect it will be), I would hope I am connected to it and feel the emotional impact of that.  If it is destroyed, I expect much of the crew will be too, and that may deepen the sense of loss.

"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

With regard to your sidebar, I don't like the way that Starfleet ships have flattened out over time.  When I first saw the Enterprise-E, I was immediately struck by how the ship lacked "dimension."  It is probably the main reason I was never drawn to it.  At the time, I thought it had something to do with the digital effects, but we have seen the pattern of flat ships repeated.  Perhaps they are trying to make the ships more like sports cars or stealth ships for the coolness factor.  Unfortunately, the USS Shenzhou seems to carry on that pattern.  Hopefully, the Discovery will not.

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On May 23, 2017 at 10:56 PM, Cdydatzigs said:

Well for one, the Enterprise in Abrams films existed in a different universe and was built under completely different circumstances than the one from the old universe, so any differences in appearance are easily explained.

In addition, not only is the saucer of Abrams' Enterprise nearly identical in appearance to the one of the refit-Enterprise of the first 6 films, the saucer and secondary hull are actually similar in size to the Enterprise-C, meaning the ship is not nearly as "ridiculously-sized" as so many say it is. Only its large engines give it the tremendous length that ILM eventually settled on.

So to imply the TOS 1701 design was "obliterated" really isn't true. In fact, if any ship that wore 1701 obliterated that design, it would be the top heavy Enterprise-D.

I take it you are a Kelvinverse fan. No shame in that. I was not criticizing the Abrams 1701, but trying the make the following point: IF DSC is set in the Prime timeline and they show the 1701 in such a radically redesigned way as the new films, without the fig leaf of an alternate timeline, THAT would be hard to accept even for a pro-Prime-prequel advocate like me. I predict that if we see a Constitution Class on DSC it will be very similar to the original. 

Unrelated: here is my podcasts' take on the Discovery trailer: http://www.justinscottsnead.com/dsc-001-the-first-discovery-trailer/ 

Edited by Justin Snead

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30 minutes ago, Justin Snead said:

I take it you are a Kelvinverse fan. No shame in that. I was not criticizing the Abrams 1701, but trying the make the following point: IF DSC is set in the Prime timeline and they show the 1701 in such a radically redesigned way as the new films, without the fig leaf of an alternate timeline, THAT would be hard to accept even for a pro-Prime-prequel advocate like me. I predict that if we see a Constitution Class on DSC it will be very similar to the original. 

Unrelated: here is my podcasts' take on the Discovery trailer: http://www.justinscottsnead.com/dsc-001-the-first-discovery-trailer/ 

I do agree that if they attempt to show the TOS-era Enterprise somewhere in DSC, it'll look laughably quaint rather than an apex of Starfleet tech.  My guess is that they won't show the 1701; it'd be a bad idea anyway, as it would just be another crutch for the series to use (and it already has Sarek).   The anachronisms of technology would be hard enough to explain away, without (as you so smartly put it) the 'fig leaf' of an alternate timeline, but showing TOS-era tech alongside DSC technology (as seen in the trailer, at least) might be a bit disconcerting to the hardcore faithful. 

Personally, I would be okay if the Enterprise were shown in DSC's universe as a slightly sexier approximation of what we saw in TOS; a halfway blending between TOS and DSC-tech.  I see TOS as more about stories than production design anyway, but I can see how the hardcore faithful might have issues with resolving the disparaging continuities.

I'm a fan of both the Kelvin timeline ST (nope, no shame either...:happy:) and TOS (and TNG and the rest).  I thought two of the three Kelvin timeline movies worked, one didn't.   That's not such a different ratio than TOS or TNG; most of the episodes worked, a chunk of them don't.  

As for 'alternate universes'?   For me, they're just different interpretations of the same material.   Not really all that different than classic Doctor Who vs. the 2005 series, or the various James Bond or Sherlock Holmes interpretations.  Yes, many of the events are congruent (more or less), but differences in look and even tech are presumably par for the course.   Perhaps DSC will eventually lead to many of the events of TOS (and TNG, etc) but there will be differences.

For me (and this is just my head-canon) they're ALL alternate timelines, even ENT (or especially ENT).  I can barely reconcile the Space Hippies of "Way to Eden" living in the same universe as the The Motion Picture. :laugh:  

And with all the time travel in Star Trek?  I think a little tinkering with the overall picture is to be expected...

 

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If they did show the E, it'd only be from the exterior, and even than I think they'd have to retool ot and pretend that that was the way it always looked.

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Uma...Oprah,? From that embarrassing Oscars night where David Letterman hosted? He was so unfunny that when he said that, it was more like confusing than funny. Glad he is no longer hosting the late night. Colbert is funny.

Also the link to my review was pulled for a content ID bot that thought I used too much CBS footage, which I did not. What little of it was fair use for review. I posted with it all cut out.

It's a reboot. Call it a reboot.

It's going to cost money, Not sure CBSAA is worth it. Will likely wait for the BluRay. No bootlegs. No.

You're right. The suits don't know what they are doing.

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22 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Surprised-Face-GIF-Image-for-Whatsapp-an

Oh my...

I had no idea that he was jumping into both ends of the ST pool.  And now hearing that he is a full producer on DSC as well (!).  I’d thought he was previously credited as a consultant of some kind.  

I’m even more curious what he’s bringing to the ST table this time.  And, to be honest, a part of me is also wondering (worrying?) that it may continue the effect that Meyer (intentionally or not) has had upon the ST movie franchise since 1982.  Ever since TWOK, too many of the ST movies have been chasing that movie’s tail; either emulating its characters or stealing stories or even lines of actual dialogue.  For examples of this, I recently wrote an entry on TWOK in my blog; scroll down to the section, “The Khan Jobs”: https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/06/04/yes-we-khan-star-trek-ii-the-wrath-of-khan-at-35/

What I’m hoping is that this is the ‘fresh and innovative’ Meyer at work (the one that tackled the heavy space opera TWOK right after the whimsical time travel fantasy, “Time After Time”).  I’m hoping it’s not Meyer using his old TWOK-success template from 1982 yet again; too many ST producers & writers since Nicholas Meyer have already been doing that...

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scenario   
18 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

Uma...Oprah,? From that embarrassing Oscars night where David Letterman hosted? He was so unfunny that when he said that, it was more like confusing than funny. Glad he is no longer hosting the late night. Colbert is funny.

Also the link to my review was pulled for a content ID bot that thought I used too much CBS footage, which I did not. What little of it was fair use for review. I posted with it all cut out.

It's a reboot. Call it a reboot.

It's going to cost money, Not sure CBSAA is worth it. Will likely wait for the BluRay. No bootlegs. No.

You're right. The suits don't know what they are doing.

CBS has three choices with ST. Put it on CBS and have it canceled after one season because it doesn't make enough money for what it costs. Sell or lease the rights to a third party and hope that they can do a better job. Or put it on all access where it doesn't have to make a profit with one or two showings because they can keep making money on it for years. 

When it comes to the actual show, I'm not making any decisions about it until I see it with my own eyes. 

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6 hours ago, Sim said:

Hmm... intriguing!

As far as rumors are concerned, ich much rather read positive than negative ones... :thumbup:

Yep, me too!

5 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

 

Oh my...

I had no idea that he was jumping into both ends of the ST pool.  And now hearing that he is a full producer on DSC as well (!).  I’d thought he was previously credited as a consultant of some kind.  

I’m even more curious what he’s bringing to the ST table this time.  And, to be honest, a part of me is also wondering (worrying?) that it may continue the effect that Meyer (intentionally or not) has had upon the ST movie franchise since 1982.  Ever since TWOK, too many of the ST movies have been chasing that movie’s tail; either emulating its characters or stealing stories or even lines of actual dialogue.  For examples of this, I recently wrote an entry on TWOK in my blog; scroll down to the section, “The Khan Jobs”: https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/06/04/yes-we-khan-star-trek-ii-the-wrath-of-khan-at-35/

What I’m hoping is that this is the ‘fresh and innovative’ Meyer at work (the one that tackled the heavy space opera TWOK right after the whimsical time travel fantasy, “Time After Time”).  I’m hoping it’s not Meyer using his old TWOK-success template from 1982 yet again; too many ST producers & writers since Nicholas Meyer have already been doing that...

I know what you mean. It's so tried and tested, and if anyone has a right to trade off TWOK's success, it's Meyer. But it's been done.

I think he's too smart, too aware to do that though. As a writer, he tends to "turn his volume to zero" every time he begins - the three Trek movies he was directly involved in couldn't be more different from one another, bar various superficial details. He's both a seasoned and a disciplined storyteller.

(Now I'm going to read your article, and will probably end up contradicting myself.) ;)

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Yep, me too!

I know what you mean. It's so tried and tested, and if anyone has a right to trade off TWOK's success, it's Meyer. But it's been done.

I think he's too smart, too aware to do that though. As a writer, he tends to "turn his volume to zero" every time he begins - the three Trek movies he was directly involved in couldn't be more different from one another, bar various superficial details. He's both a seasoned and a disciplined storyteller.

(Now I'm going to read your article, and will probably end up contradicting myself.) ;)

You’re right, in that Meyer is a deeply bright guy (his book, “The View From The Bridge” is a must-read for ST and movie/writing fans), and yes, I’m sure he wouldn’t try to repeat himself, but I hope that Paramount isn’t seeking his involvement for the next movie in the hopes of doing just that. 

At any rate, I generally smile when I hear the name Nicholas Meyer. :)

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4 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Hmmm.... nice way to give her some of Spock’s childhood conflict-dramas, but without the actress having to endure pointed eared makeup. :laugh:

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33 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Hmmm.... nice way to give her some of Spock’s childhood conflict-dramas, but without the actress having to endure pointed eared makeup. :laugh:

Yeah. It's a deft bit of character detail underlining that nurture is as big as nature in terms of forming character. 

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Yeah. It's a deft bit of character detail underlining that nurture is as big as nature in terms of forming character. 

I’ve always seen it as a 50/50 split; wonder how its going to figure into Burnham’s character; is she, like TOS Dr. Miranda Jones, envious of Vulcan emotional control?  There’s lots of area to explore with the idea of humans seeking out Vulcan control and mental discipline.   On ENT, we usually saw Trip and Archer (acting a bit like ‘ugly Americans’) mercilessly tease and offend T’Pol (their attempts at jocularity would, no doubt, appear distasteful to a Vulcan); but we rarely see those humans who would admire and try to be LIKE the Vulcans.  I’m sure there would be many humans just lining up to go off planet in an attempt to seek Vulcan education and discipline. 

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Locutus   
1 hour ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I’ve always seen it as a 50/50 split; wonder how its going to figure into Burnham’s character; is she, like TOS Dr. Miranda Jones, envious of Vulcan emotional control?  There’s lots of area to explore with the idea of humans seeking out Vulcan control and mental discipline.   On ENT, we usually saw Trip and Archer (acting a bit like ‘ugly Americans’) mercilessly tease and offend T’Pol (their attempts at jocularity would, no doubt, appear distasteful to a Vulcan); but we rarely see those humans who would admire and try to be LIKE the Vulcans.  I’m sure there would be many humans just lining up to go off planet in an attempt to seek Vulcan education and discipline. 

I am really excited to see her character and love the background story.  I never thought about it, but you hit the nail on the head with the "ugly American" analogy regarding Archer/Trip.  And you're right, Earthers would be lining up to visit Vulcan and appropriate their culture.  I know I would!

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5 hours ago, Locutus said:

I am really excited to see her character and love the background story.  I never thought about it, but you hit the nail on the head with the "ugly American" analogy regarding Archer/Trip.  And you're right, Earthers would be lining up to visit Vulcan and appropriate their culture.  I know I would!

Me too. Am hoping we're a little more enlightened as a society in the 22nd century! 

I liked the Trip/T'Pol relationship and thought that, over time, it was one of the best things about Enterprise, but those early episodes grated where there was that constant antipathy/disrespect towards offworlders/difference. If Star Trek was analogy, that was a pretty unpleasant one. It smoothed out with time. 

All of which points to a different approach in Discovery. I like the title of the show and the inherent theme of "discovery"... it points to keeping an open mind, finding new perspectives, exploring, um, new civilizations and ways of seeing the universe. Very Star Trek. It sounds like that's how the producers and writers are approaching Burnham's character.  

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I also like her affiiliation with Vulcan. I probably wouldn't have picked Sarek as her mentor but hey, I can appreciate the effort they're making. I do hope it's written in a much better way than the whole "you poor girl, a WOMAAAAAN like YOUUUU doesn't belong on a planet like Vulcan" stuff Miranda Jones has to listen to from Bones and Kirk, though. (I love Miranda Jones. I can relate to her quite a lot, and it always irritates me how she's treated by Kirk and Bones - like as if she's some kind of weirdo for wanting to be among Vulcans because their emotional control is soothing.)

Anyways. I do like this aspect they're introducing here. Gotta give credit where credit is due. ;)

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