A Poll: Best Star Franchise

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The best star franchise is...

Trek
13
87%
Wars
1
7%
Search
1
7%
 
Total votes: 15
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Ace Rimmer
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:53 pm

I was specifically refering to the current Star Wars animated series, not TAS (Star Trek). Sorry if that wasn't clear. Also, I didn't dismiss it only because it was animated, rather it was animated and not done very well. I can take a poorly done live action series much more than a poorly done animated series.

I have watched every Star Trek episode that I know of and think:

1. TNG Season 7 more than makes up for the flaws of its first season.
2. It took me years to even start watching Voyager, and while it's be bottom series, still wasn't that bad.
3. DS9 was a stretch, and pretty pretentious, but overall decent Trek.
4. Enterprise was better than Voyager (I think) and they shouldn't have picked Sam Beckett to captain (and since they did, maybe named the computer Ziggy ;p ). I would have continued watching it if they made more episodes.

The Star Wars movies are about as goofy as Season 1 of TNG, though still enjoyable.
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Postby xander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:18 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:1. TNG Season 7 more than makes up for the flaws of its first season.

Hell, season 3 makes up for season 1. Season 7 is just icing. ;)

Ace Rimmer wrote:2. It took me years to even start watching Voyager, and while it's be bottom series, still wasn't that bad.

You are wrong. First, Voyager is that bad. Second, Enterprise is worse. :P

Ace Rimmer wrote:3. DS9 was a stretch, and pretty pretentious, but overall decent Trek.

Were I to rank the Treks, TOS, DS9, and TNG would be at the top, in that order--call those the A students. TAS gets a B, Voyager a D-, and Enterprise and F. That being said, I see why a lot of people have trouble with DS9. It took a long time to get going, and once it finally found itself, it delved deeply into serialized storytelling in a way that was kind of new to television in general, and very new to both genre television in general and the Star Trek franchise in particular. It also seemed an obvious imitation of Babylon 5 (I remember hearing at the time that JMS pitched B5 to Paramount, who turned him down, then rewrote the idea into the Trek universe), which may have cheapened it for some, but I always found it distinctive enough to stand on its own.

That being said, it is much better if you don't think of it as a Trek. Treat it as its own sci-fi franchise, and it is quite good.

Ace Rimmer wrote:4. Enterprise was better than Voyager (I think) and they shouldn't have picked Sam Beckett to captain (and since they did, maybe named the computer Ziggy ;p ). I would have continued watching it if they made more episodes.

It was not better, but Scott Bacula was a good choice. They just gave him such terrible material to work with that we never really got to see him shine---especially in the third season when things got really, really dark. Scott Bacula should not be torturing people (or even threatening to do so). In generally, I simply found the tone of Enterprise to be way off, and while I've now gone through all of it, I found myself alternating between boredom, confusion, and disgust. The last season was tolerable, but every reference to the temporal cold warm made me weep.

Ace Rimmer wrote:The Star Wars movies are about as goofy as Season 1 of TNG, though still enjoyable.

I agree vis-a-vis the original three movies. The last three were simply terrible---even worse than TNG season 1.

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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:52 pm

I have to disagree that he was a good choice for Captain; at best he should have been some sort of diplomat. He lacks the culture, toughness, and class of Picard, the humor and energy of Kirk, and determination of Janeway (had a really hard time with that one ;p ). I actually enjoyed watching the series in spite of it's many deficiencies, however I could never truly suspend my disbelief that he would ever make it into that position in real life. A better actor could have made the audience overlook the other flaws with Enterprise.


They should have picked an unknown to play his part.
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Postby trickser » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:44 pm

Picard is probably meant to be an older, settled version of Han Solo? yes,no?
Maybe the Indianerr Jones connection confused me, but i think it would fit.
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Postby xander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:43 pm

Ah, a discussion of Enterprise captains! Set phasers to "nerd"!

Kirk captained the Enterprise during a period of exploration and expansion. He and his ship really were breaking new ground, but they also had the backup of the Federation if they got into trouble---there were other Federation ships and star bases. The Kirk-era is a somewhat anarchic era in the galactic history presented by Star Trek, akin to the post-Civil War west in the US (i.e. the Wild West). The energy that Shatner brought to the role was good, but Shatner was a terrible actor, and the show was carried by decent writing, novelty, and some good ideas.

Picard was captain of the Enterprise during a period of (for lack of a better word) empire. The Federation represented a fairly well solidified political power in the galaxy, and Federation space was a relatively known quantity without much of an eye toward expansion. The Federation's role in the universe by that time was similar to the UN+NATO's role in the world right now---they served to build consensus and negotiate the peace, but had the military to back themselves up if needed. The Enterprise was a cog (albeit a very important one) in a large bureaucratic machine. In this environment, Picard is a thoughtful and diplomatic character, which suits Stewart, who is a phenomenal actor, but is always better in dramatic roles than action roles (witness the TNG movies, particularly First Contact, where Picard goes all Die Hard).

I haven't seen DS9 since it was on the air, so I can't comment much on Sisko, but he seems to be a cross between a calm diplomat and space Jesus (he is the messiah of the space Jews---er... Bajorans, right? or do the Bajorans represent the Palestinians? I could never get that straight...). Again, same period as TNG, same general political environment.

Janeway needn't be a great captain to be a great character, since she is meant to be way out of her depth. Voyager was not a particularly special ship, as I recall. It just got caught in a bad situation. The determination you identify is important to her character, and in the fictional universe is responsible for Voyager's survival, no doubt, but there is no reason that she needed to have any particular set of features in order to fit well in the fictional universe. In that way, Janeway got to be a bit of a blank slate, and the actress did a fine job with it. My problem with Voyager had less to do with the characters and characterizations than it did with the tedium, human exceptionalism, and bad writing.

And that brings us to Archer. Honestly, Archer reminds me a lot of Neil Armstrong. Kind of a boring guy with a cool job, picked specifically because he was kind of bland. It makes sense to me that a ship of exploration would be headed by a relatively bland but affable person---it is good for the media back home, and good for the strangers that might be met. Bacula was, I think, a very appropriate actor for the role, as long as you believe that the character is meant to be kind of bland. An unknown might have been a better choice, but remember that neither Shatner nor Stewart were really unknowns at the time they took the captain's chair. They might not have had the low-level fame that Bacula has, but it's not like Bacula is an A-list celeb, either.

As I said, my problems with Enterprise were more about tone and boredom. The series never really adopted a consistent tone, and could go from being optimistic about the future in one episode to downright fatalistic in another. Moreover, it suffered quite a bit from the same problem that the Star Wars sequels suffered from: it is great to have a backstory, but not everyone needs to see it. A great example of this: in the DS9 tribbles episode, someone asks Worf about the head ridges, and he replies (paraphrasing) "We don't talk about that."

The DS9 writers could have tried to add more explanation, but they didn't. They knew that the little lampshade they put up would make everyone happy without bogging down the show in exposition. It worked well. Then Enterprise comes along, and spends three or four episodes explaining how the TOS Klingons didn't have browridges because some of Khan's friends---raised by Brent Spiner---got loose. It was like watching bad fanfic, and was completely unnecessary.

Rather than trying to do anything new or interesting, Enterprise spent the better part of at least two seasons trying to fill in canon that didn't need filling in. We didn't need to see the Romulan encounter that is briefly referenced in Balance of Terror (yes, I remember the TOS ep title), nor did we need to see where Dr. Soong (or his grandfather?) came from. The whole series struck me as utterly unnecessary, and utterly lacked any real creativity or life.

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Postby Jordy... » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:23 am

I couldn't agree more.
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Postby xander » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:21 am

Jordy... wrote:I couldn't agree more.

Is that your version of tl;dr? :P

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Postby Ace Rimmer » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:27 am

I'll see your phaser and raise you one disruptor;

Isn't it funny how your description of Archer and the show itself are nearly equivalent?

Bland, Lacked Creativity
Affable (mild?), (Lacked) Life
Good For The Media Back Home, FanFic

Voyager was unique in that it contained bio-neural gel packs.
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Postby martin » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:33 am

Ace Rimmer wrote:Voyager was unique in that it contained bio-neural gel packs.


Actually, the gel packs weren't that special. Voyager was one of the first ships to be fitted with them, but they were merely the new standard in federation computing technology.

Voyager was unique because it can enter a plasma storm (such as the badlands in DS9) without taking the damage a ship its size ought to (this is why it has those moving warp nacelles, insert bullshit about warpfields and plasma storm here). She was specifically designed to chase down the maquis hiding in the badlands. I guess we can also assume it was a little more heavily armed than a usual starfleet ship of its size, given that its purpose was mainly military and not exploratory.

</nerd>
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Postby xander » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:31 am

Ace Rimmer wrote:I'll see your phaser and raise you one disruptor;

Isn't it funny how your description of Archer and the show itself are nearly equivalent?

Bland, Lacked Creativity
Affable (mild?), (Lacked) Life
Good For The Media Back Home, FanFic

Voyager was unique in that it contained bio-neural gel packs.

What is good in a single character is often bad in a work taken as a whole. TOS worked because Kirk could play off of the cerebral Spock, TNG worked because the writers came up with situations that required Picard's approach in interesting ways (Picard's passive-aggressive use of the Prime Directive is masterful, for instance). Post-TNG, Star Trek shows are ensemble shows, and an affable but bland character can provide a good center for an ensemble (take Big Bang Theory for example, or even Voyager, where Janeway is kind of dull, but the characters and situations that surround her are interesting). Bland characters give the viewer someone to project themselves onto, and can help ground a crazy situation in reality.

I felt that Enterprise had a good set of characters. I particularly liked Tucker and Mayweather, but the ensemble worked pretty well. Archer provided a good center for a group consisting of a flamboyant alien doctor, an isolated Vulcan, a good old boy from the south, a stiff-lipped Englishman, and various other sundry characters with strong personalities (even if they rarely rose above somewhat one-dimensional cutouts, thanks to lackluster writing).

The chemistry was fine, but the writing was dreadful. You can have the greatest characters in the world, but if your writers don't know what to do with them, you're sunk.

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Postby Feud » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:58 am

martin wrote:Voyager was unique because it can enter a plasma storm (such as the badlands in DS9) without taking the damage a ship its size ought to (this is why it has those moving warp nacelles, insert bullshit about warpfields and plasma storm here). She was specifically designed to chase down the maquis hiding in the badlands. I guess we can also assume it was a little more heavily armed than a usual starfleet ship of its size, given that its purpose was mainly military and not exploratory.


Voyager was also built to have a warp drive that didn't damage space like previous warp drives did (resulting in a "galactic speed limit" in Federation space).
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Postby Jordy... » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:17 am

xander wrote:
Jordy... wrote:I couldn't agree more.

Is that your version of tl;dr? :P

xander


:( you caught me.
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Postby martin » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:09 am

Feud wrote:
martin wrote:Voyager was unique because it can enter a plasma storm (such as the badlands in DS9) without taking the damage a ship its size ought to (this is why it has those moving warp nacelles, insert bullshit about warpfields and plasma storm here). She was specifically designed to chase down the maquis hiding in the badlands. I guess we can also assume it was a little more heavily armed than a usual starfleet ship of its size, given that its purpose was mainly military and not exploratory.


Voyager was also built to have a warp drive that didn't damage space like previous warp drives did (resulting in a "galactic speed limit" in Federation space).


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Postby zjoere » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:43 am

Can Starcraft be considered a star *franchise?
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Postby xander » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:06 pm

zjoere wrote:Can Starcraft be considered a star *franchise?

Maybe.

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