• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Star Wars, Star Trek and other Sci-Fi

edwest2

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
773
No one has greater "control" either. Not when 100 million plus is on the line

Amen to that. Still, some movies have turned out better than others, suggesting that some variation in decision and product quality is possible within the stringent limits of the movie production process while maintaining profitability.


I know what that process is. Generally, there are those with money but no creativity, making, or attempting to make, creative decisions. For movies and TV shows, before actor selection and before the first scene is shot, it's all laid out in black and white in a series of storyboards. Imagine a black and white comic book. Producers look these over and say things like, "How much is that scene going to cost me?" Some are willing to take a risk, most are not. That's all there is to it.

Before release, a movie is prescreened to a small audience of 'average' moviegoers. Afterwards, they tell whoever is in charge what they like and don't like. Then fans hear about reshoots and a delay. In the end, even the producers yield to that. But that still doesn't explain failures like the last Terminator movie. None of the trailers impressed me, and I have a creative background. Why James Cameron attached his name to this... The marketing... Nothing made me feel like this was going to be any good.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,222
Reaction score
2,013
Another old man post from someone who grew up with 60s TV and film.Sci Fi. Anything after 1970 was a let down.
The Apollo.programme had done its job. Star Trek had been and gone. UFO became beige Space 1999 and short skirts were reserved for Eurovision and Buck Rogers.
Of course some brilliant sci fi gets done but those magical years have never been topped
 

edwest2

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
773
Well, there were the first three Star Wars movies. Then Alien - let's add lots of blood and gore, and profanity. Remember the first Alien creature toy? Parents didn't like it. If I was a kid, would I play with that? No, just no. Then lots of implied sex and profanity Terminator and Terminator 2. Can anyone imagine a Matrix playset? You are Neo in your enclosure, plugged in to suck out your life energy, awakened and flushed out... No, not going to buy that playset either...
 

chimeric oncogene

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
236
Reaction score
178
Then lots of implied sex and profanity Terminator and Terminator 2. Can anyone imagine a Matrix playset? You are Neo in your enclosure, plugged in to suck out your life energy, awakened and flushed out... No, not going to buy that playset either..

I hear toy endoskeletons sold well though. Surely toy hunter killers would have been adequate merchandise.

I bought the heck out of the Star Wars Prequel toys. Lego made a small fortune off my parents partnering with Star Wars.

The Matrixes too dark too spindly machines were never going to fly. Too complicated to build, too hard to play with, too spiky and tentacled.

But kids these days arent buying toys anymore. Lego sets are getting dumbed down several years across the board.
 

edwest2

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
773
There was an attempt to kick kids out of the toy and comic book market in the 1970s. The sexually obsessed followed by the dark and gritty. I can hardly find a game without the word dark in the title. And what about cool original names for things? There are way too many unpronounceable things out there. How are retailers going to order? How will parents pronounce that strange word? Oh yes, we're livng in the "future" now and it all has to change.

Quality is quality, junk is junk. I get emails from an outlet trying to sell an overstuffed market at 70 to even 90% off. Take toys away from kids by closing outlets and putting collector magazines online. And then producing high end -- mostly not affordable -- toys, or statues that collect dust.

Nothing complicated about the Matrix, nothing. But mom or dad hearing "There is no spoon" from their boy? No, not going to go over with the average person.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Consider James Cameron's Avatar. I hate hate hate the demonization of economic growth and human progress, rampant technophobia, fetishization of nature, blind ideologically-driven idealism, and disregard for human life and cumulative human happiness that the vile movie tries to brainwash people with, attitudes which have led to untold suffering through lack of support of policies that promote economic growth and which have driven forward the intolerant anti-practical ideological movements of the 2010s, especially on the left.

I love the movie all the same - a masterpiece of worldbuilding with beautiful tech and settings. If we dumped on everything we disagreed with, we'd all end up bitter and lack things to like and people to be friends with. Not everyone thinks like oneself, and that must be accepted.


"Avatar" ended about half an hour too early. After the last of the humans board the shuttles and zip off back into space, the orbiting starship fires up its antimatter engines and nukes the site from orbit, burning the rainforest down to bedrock for a radius of a hundred klicks or so. A week later the humans return and mine the area in peace and prosperity.

And come on, Orion, you know as well as I do that ten-year-old boys dig pretty girls as much as anyone else. Making action girls the main characters in cartoons pays off in so many ways, and has broad appeal to male and female audiences of all ages. To each their own.

See, this is a big part of the problem. "Strong female characters" are *not* the problem. Male fans, even the nerdliest among us, do *not* have an issue with badass chicks. Witness the popularity of Princess Leia. Ellen Ripley. Sarah Connor. Commander Ivanova. Delenn. Lyta Alexander. Kira Nerys. Major Colonel Doctor Sam Carter. Imperator Furiosa. Gamora. Wonder Woman. Uhura. Dana Scully. Captain Janeway, Destroyer of Worlds. Zoe Washburn. What a whole lot of people *do* have a problem with is *badly* *written* strong female characters, who tend to be of the "I don't need no man" variety... and especially when men dislike said characters, they're accused of being sexist. The response to Ghostbusters and Charlie's Angels being two clear examples. Or the failure of the latest "Little Women" to attract a male audience being blamed on "toxic masculinity" and such rubbish.

As I said, I was never a fan of "He-Man" or "She-Ra," but I understand why those who were are miffed by the new show. It's not because the main character is a Strong Female Character... the original one apparently was. The thing is, the original one was a *woman." The new one is an androgynous weirdo, apparently.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
I hear toy endoskeletons sold well though. Surely toy hunter killers would have been adequate merchandise.

I woulda bought *the* *hell* out of flying HKs and tank HKs back in the day... along with USCM Dropships and APCs. But they weren't available. A problem with all of them, though... no "opponents." X-wing toys probably sold well because there were toy TIE fighters to kerplode.

I woulda bought the hell out of decent toy phasers back in the day, too, but I had to wait until I was an adult to be able to indulge in such things. Art Asylum/Diamond Select seems to have made a pretty good pile of cash from their line of phasers, communicators and tricorders from the original series & movies. But they, like all the other vendors, avoided Discovery merchandise like the plague because they knew it wouldn't sell. With two brand new Trek series, you'd think there'd be Trek merchandise... but go to WalMart, you won't find it. No toys, no t-shirts, no *anything.* Macfarlane announced a line of Discovery items early on (figures and phasers and such), but they backed out when they actually got a look at the response to the show. Had the show been good and popular, would merchandise have sold? It certainly couldn't have hurt.
 

edwest2

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
773
I heard a purpose-bad review of the latest Terminator movie online. The term "purpose-bad" being my term for reviewers who want to add an unnecessary layer of nonsense to their reviews. Otherwise, the review was well done. The 'strong young female' in the movie was referred to as 'androgynous thing.' Rather accurate as later clips would show. And a real shame after the "James Cameron" approves or some such.

"Strong female" whatever is a purely political invention by venom-dripping radicals bent on injecting their "vision" into whatever media they can. Entertaining? No. Seeing women be heroic? I'm all for it. Seeing women act like equally bad men? 100% not entertaining from a male or female actor. From an instruction I recently got: "I want heroes who are heroic."
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,028
Reaction score
2,457
Eon by Greg Bear could work as a sci-fi series.

I'll have to take another stab at this one. I just could not get into it. Blood Music, Forge of God, and Anvil of Stars on the other hand. . .
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,063
Reaction score
964
I really WANTED to like Disco Very but frankly not enough to go to 1AM to do so. Quite gutted about the cancellation of ST4 but I've been there before and there is nothing that can be done. The shear cost of the films more than anything else makes me wonder why they did it in such a fashion. It did not have to be that expensive to make an ST film imho.

There was talk of a fan film I cannot remember the title, that was so delayed by legal crap that it went from being a film to a glorified 45 minute single episode in a one series program and made no sense at all. No idea what happened to it in the end but doubtless quietly dropped.

 

martinbayer

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
728
Reaction score
202
Oh, and speaking of excellent sci-fi:
The Humanist Inheritance by Matthew J Lineberger featured a slow-mo nuclear war, Zubrin nuclear saltwater rockets, and an actual nuclear attack site before it got pulled off the internet by the author.
Does anybody still have a link to the original posting? If so, it might be available on archive.org.
 

martinbayer

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
728
Reaction score
202
Oh, and speaking of excellent sci-fi:
The Humanist Inheritance by Matthew J Lineberger featured a slow-mo nuclear war, Zubrin nuclear saltwater rockets, and an actual nuclear attack site before it got pulled off the internet by the author.
Does anybody still have a link to the original posting? If so, it might be available on archive.org.
Never mind - found it: https://web.archive.org/web/20071216054053/http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?t=93496
 

martinbayer

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
728
Reaction score
202

That only gets you the first two chapters. I think if you fiddle with the top bar, you can squeeze two more chapters out of it, but archive.org is a dead end otherwise.
I haven't tried it yet, but I think you might be able to get the whole content by doing separate archive searches for each link in the table of contents for the late 2006 time frame.
 

fightingirish

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
1,047
Hi folks,
I have just seen the first three episodes from the new season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery. :eek:
So I have finally came to the conclusion, that I am definite going to bail out of NuTrek.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com

JohnR

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
790
Reaction score
246
Congrats. I bailed out on DS9.
I loved DS9 it’s my favourite Trek.

I agree with you about DS9, but I was bitterly disappointed at the final Battle for Cardassian, when they reused the special effects from an earlier battle, it really annoyed me. I know that it was standard practice in 70's era TV Sci fi, every time I've watched Buck Rogers, I've waited for the Earth Star Fighter doing a victory roll, through the debris cloud of a destroyed Draconian Hatchet fighter, or the battle in BSG where a Viper misses a Cyclon Raider but then gets the next. I've started to expect better with CGI.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
13,000
Reaction score
5,672
Congrats. I bailed out on DS9.
I loved DS9 it’s my favourite Trek.
Indeed. DS9 showed the "dark side" of the Star Trek universe... but STD shows Star Trek to be deeply ugly, populated by deeply ugly personalities. Which means it ain't Star Trek. BEHOLD.
Yes. DS9 seemed a more realistic take on Star Trek, showing that "good" and "bad" are sometimes hard to tell apart. Discovery... well, lets say my wife likes it, but she also likes Real Housewives of {someplace awful} and Keeping up with the {family you wouldn't piss on if they were on fire}
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Yes. DS9 seemed a more realistic take on Star Trek, showing that "good" and "bad" are sometimes hard to tell apart. Discovery... well, lets say my wife likes it, but she also likes Real Housewives of {someplace awful} and Keeping up with the {family you wouldn't piss on if they were on fire}

TOS was a pretty realistic take on humans, but Roddenberry had kinda climbed up his own keister for the first season of TNG. He had decreed that by that point in history humanity had worked out *all* its problems. That there'd be no social ills whatsoever, and that the bridge crew were to *never* show any disagreement or discontent, no interpersonal drama. Took the writers about five seconds to realize "Well this leads to *crap* drama..." When he got shuffled aside, TNG started getting good. And DS9 showed that Starfleets vaunted high moral standards are great and all when you're safely tucked behind a fully charged deflector shield, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when you're down among 'em, surrounded by aliens who don't share your views.

STD and STP, though... yeesh. Star Trek for people who don't know Star Trek, by people who don't like Star Trek.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
As an aside: silicone doesn't readily burn. When it does, it emits a white smoke that is in part extremely fine silicon oxide... essentially glass. You would not want to breath that in. So if you found That Family on fire... run upwind. Watch from a distance.

keepupwithcardassians.jpg
 

chimeric oncogene

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
236
Reaction score
178
I'm not quite sure it qualifies as sci-fi, but "The Boys" on Amazon Prime is one of the best TV shows ever, and is definitely worth a watch. In addition to being twenty roaring episodes of magnificent, satire-filled entertainment, it can be viewed as a serious treatise on the nature of power - the accumulation, exercise, and maintenance of power, hard and soft, economic, political, and personal.

"The Boys" also touches on the relative insignificance of the individual (superpowers or no) when compared to vast corporations and even vaster governments, the impermanence of ideology, and the power of democracy and the body politic (and of course, how that power can be harnessed).
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
13,000
Reaction score
5,672
I'm not quite sure it qualifies as sci-fi, but "The Boys" on Amazon Prime is one of the best TV shows ever, and is definitely worth a watch. In addition to being twenty roaring episodes of magnificent, satire-filled entertainment, it can be viewed as a serious treatise on the nature of power - the accumulation, exercise, and maintenance of power, hard and soft, economic, political, and personal.

"The Boys" also touches on the relative insignificance of the individual (superpowers or no) when compared to vast corporations and even vaster governments, the impermanence of ideology, and the power of democracy and the body politic (and of course, how that power can be harnessed).
Seconded. Its awesome.
 

Arjen

It's turtles all the way down
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
2,861
Reaction score
796
I started to hate anything Star Trek when it dawned on me the actors all looked like they just had a four-hour session at a very expensive hairdresser's, with all the shots on board the Enterprise appearing as if they were shot in a big lawyer's office. Oh, and rubber-faced aliens.
What finally threw me was the faffing about in alternate realities, resulting in storylines so messed up I couldn't be bothered to follow them. I did like Q and Garak, though.
 
Last edited:

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,063
Reaction score
964
Part of my problem with the franchise, not the product or the ideology, is the way they throw money at it and think that is enough. There are sci-fi films and programs with perfectly adequate effects without selling the kitchen sink to pay for it. The problem then is the product is seen as so niche it does badly in comparison. The chances of another film for example, are slim to none in the near future. What a waste. The Expanse, anyone?
 

chimeric oncogene

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
236
Reaction score
178
Writing should count for more, TBH. You're already spending millions on special effects and actors. Why not spend a few hundred thousand dollars and a few months-years extra polishing the concept, story and script? But I guess timetables are tighter in the movie/TV industry than they are in the fighter jet business.

The concept and plot is where The Boys really nails it, btw. While it's based heavily on a comic book series, major changes were made to the characters, concepts, and storyline - mostly for the better, as far as I can tell - because the final product was absolutely mind-blowing.
 

The Artist

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
638
Reaction score
277
Part of my problem with the franchise, not the product or the ideology, is the way they throw money at it and think that is enough. There are sci-fi films and programs with perfectly adequate effects without selling the kitchen sink to pay for it. The problem then is the product is seen as so niche it does badly in comparison. The chances of another film for example, are slim to none in the near future. What a waste. The Expanse, anyone?
I knew Walt Jefferies through the American Society of Aviation Artists and something he said a few times at the Artist's Forums is related to your comment. He'd say "We had a great budget for Star Trek because we operated off of Mission Impossible's budget. At the end of every shooting day, we would raid the dumpsters outside the Mission Impossible stages and grab anything that looked technical to use on our sets and props."

The Original Series did indeed put the story first. I believe the cause in the change in the look of the later shows was the Star Wars effect. Star Wars wowed people so much that it changed expectations for the look of science fiction movies. And, for my two cents worth. While there have been good Trek movies, I believe the Star Trek format works best in the small screen format with a focus on stories that give you things to think about.
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,063
Reaction score
964
The point I am trying to make is that you can have decent effect, script etc without blowing the bank or piling debt on top of costs. Why have they not done it?
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,028
Reaction score
2,457
I'm not quite sure it qualifies as sci-fi, but "The Boys" on Amazon Prime is one of the best TV shows ever, and is definitely worth a watch. In addition to being twenty roaring episodes of magnificent, satire-filled entertainment, it can be viewed as a serious treatise on the nature of power - the accumulation, exercise, and maintenance of power, hard and soft, economic, political, and personal.

"The Boys" also touches on the relative insignificance of the individual (superpowers or no) when compared to vast corporations and even vaster governments, the impermanence of ideology, and the power of democracy and the body politic (and of course, how that power can be harnessed).
Seconded. Its awesome.
Thirded. Can't wait to see Dean Winchester Soldier Boy on there in Season 3. Giancarlo Esposito must be having a blast these days. (On The Boys and The Mandalorian.)
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
5,784
Reaction score
4,008
"Keeping up with the cardassians..." I can't breath anymore, somebody help !! Hilarious.

Do you know that, in French language, "Kardashian" sounds like "coeur de chienne" which exactly means (drums rolling)
...
"heart of a bitch" (bitch, in the sense of: female dog, so "heart of a female dog")

...one can't invent such coincidences.

It's just like freakkin' North Korea and the Kardashians both being led by... a KIM.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
The point I am trying to make is that you can have decent effect, script etc without blowing the bank or piling debt on top of costs. Why have they not done it?
Modern Star Trek in the form of STD and STP look freakin' *fantastic* in terms of production value... but they look freakin' *terrible* in terms of the actual designs. The ships and technologies in STD, set ten years before TOS, look far more advanced than those of TNG, DS9 and VOY.. Which is *stupid* because fifteen years ago, "Enterprise" showed that you could take the TOS costumes, props, set designs and "Enterprise" class of vessel, leave them largely unchanged, and make them look brilliant. There's no reason why STD couldn't have designs that actually fit into the timeframe and still looked great... except the people making the show simply didn't want to.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLspL9_6liA


What's worse: they've reused numerous STD assets both in STP, set something like 150 years later, and in season three of STD, set a *thousand* years later. The same ships and shuttles keep reappearing because the producers are simply lazy, much as the producers of "Rise of Skywalker" were lazy in simply taking the Star Destroyers from "Rogue One," slapping a giant Compensating-For-Something-Cannon on them, and calling them an advanced new vessel.

And since they can't be bothered to make the show look right, why should they be bothered to make the show *feel* right in terms of scripts? STD rather infamously disdained actual sci-fi writers in favor of those who had written for the likes of "The Gilmore Girls." Compare that to writers from TOS... Ellison, Bloch, Sturgeon, Gerrold, Spinrad, etc.. The current list of show writers for STD is HERE. See if you recognize any of them from the sci-fi you've read. A lot of them, STD is the *only* writing credits they have. STD got their writers from the Woke Bargain Bin and it shows.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,222
Reaction score
2,013
Star Trek rather like theJames Bond films changed with the decades in which it was made.
As an old f**t Kirk and co are like Sean Connery, Lois Maxwell (the one and only Mish Moneypenny) and Bernard Miles as M. You know what you are getting and its like a comfortable pair of shoes.
I was the wrong age for Star Wars when I first saw it in the 70s. I like Carrie Fisher but she is no Jenny Agutter or Gabrielle Drake or Erin Gray for that matter.
I have a soft spot for Jar Jar Binks after I activated twelve of his jiving plastic replicas in the High Wycombe branch of Woolworths and watched people flee in horror.
 
Last edited:

JohnR

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
790
Reaction score
246
I'm sorry but in my list (which is very long) of things that is wrong with the three prequals, Jar Jar Binks is the top of it.

As regards the three sequels IMHO opinion they arie just a rehash of the episode IV - VI.

There a change to the 'texture' of the films which would have been alright in a new franchise but with existing one if felt weird.

That also applies to the Star Trek restart I can't get used to some of the changes - Using the Budweiser Brewery for the Enterprise's engine room is to weird.

Going back to Star Wars, off the five sequels my favourite is Rogue one I think it rounds out nicely. The only thing I dislike is the music I really missed the John Williams sound track.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,258
Reaction score
1,925
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
I'm sorry but in my list (which is very long) of things that is wrong with the three prequals, Jar Jar Binks is the top of it.
The sequel trilogy could have been awesome had they finally recognized that the primary motivating force of both the prequels and main trilogy was not Darth Sidious/Palpatine but Darth Jar Jar.
 

Similar threads

Top