For some reason I ‘liked’ Star Trek on Facebook (an error I intend to correct shortly) so I was jarred out of a fanciful daydream when this image appeared on my wall. Yes, that is a nacelle, coming up out of the water.
For those who may not remember, we’ve covered my rejection of Abrams’ work on Star Trek in the past (the label Abramanation is assigned here) as well as my long term unhappiness with where the franchise has been going dating back to before the series Enterprise was rolled out. This is not a sudden separation from Trek on my part, but a well thought out and gradual withdrawal from the fan scene. I simply don’t have enough in common with current fans to have an interest in the ins and outs of fandom any longer.
As the comments followed on the image I was appalled to note this entry;
If you think about it a submarine is very much like a starship. It makes sense that to hide a space vessel waters like a large ocean or lake. It is completely sealed and pressurized. Why not hide it under water?
This is why Star Trek and science fiction in general have become so dumbed down. There is absolutely no engineering resemblance between a space vessel designed to hold air in, and a submarine designed to keep water out. Not similar, at all. But to the layman it’s a “woo-woo” moment. “Look, it’s underwater!” (eyeroll) Oh, really.
Before fans of the franchise pop up with objections, I’d like to offer the following list of observations:
- I don’t accept the premise that “any Trek is better than no Trek” voiced by some of the commenters to that thread, and by fans I’ve talked to in the past. I would specifically prefer no Trek to continuing Abramanations, which is ultimately why I no longer refer to myself as a Trekkie or a Trek fan. The franchise has gone somewhere I do not wish to follow.
- I don’t “hate” the abramanations. On some levels they are quite enjoyable as most eye candy is; the problem is that Star Trek has never been simply entertainment to me. I don’t become a 20 year fan of things that are simply entertaining. I’m not a fan of Gilligan’s Island, although I laughed while watching nearly every episode. Consequently when Star Trek crossed over into the “just entertainment” category, I stopped being a fan of it. Like it or not, I don’t care.
- There are specific problems with every single SF venture that Lindloff and Abrams are involved in. Generally it amounts to not paying enough attention to established factual science (like the engineering issue I pointed out previously) not developing believable characters because of lazy story plotting (“Isn’t it cute?”) and not enough research into established canon. When combined, you have a final product that is nearly unwatchable to the technically educated, ridiculous to the trained storyteller, and offensive to the hardcore fan.
This is why there are so many vocal objections to the latest iterations of various franchises that the average popcorn chewer will dismiss as a hater. It’s not hatred to offer valid criticism for what is a weak effort from people who are being well paid (over paid, from my perspective) and provided with lavish budgets to produce what could be very high quality artistic works, if only they took the time (see James Cameron) to do the due diligence that an undertaking of this magnitude requires.
In Other Words, promoters of the current Abramanation, don’t ask for opinions if you don’t want opinions.
Editor’s note. I finally did see this film edited for television recently (sometime in 2016) I wrote about it here.