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Tag Archives: Star Trek

New Star Trek series needs diversity


It’s been announced that there’s a new Star Trek TV series slated to air in 2017.  Here’s the announcement.  There is a worry about the series right off because Alex Kirtzman, who co-wrote and produced the 2009 movie and Star Trek Into Darkness is the executive producer.  I’m worried that the new series is going to break existing lore and even destroy what we’ve seen before.

And then, there’s the worry that this television series is merely going to be produced simply for nostalgia and attempt to capture what made the 1966 series so great (while at the same time, ignoring Next Gen, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise).

But there is a way to make it amazing and it’s just one word: Diversity.

Star Trek was all about inclusiveness.  If we walk away from that, and don’t include people of colour on board the new ship, or those who are LGTBQ+ then this new series will fail.  So, to the executive producers and to the directors, writers, and everyone else involved in the new show, I’m going to give you something.  This is something you can take a look at and help craft a new Star Trek series.

Set it after Voyager.  The complaint from many about the reboot is that it completely ignores Next Gen, DS9, and Voyager.  That in the universe created by the reboot, those three series can’t exist.  So in a new series, set it after Voyager, and make sure to reference Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager.  If that means you have to take a month and binge watch all three of those series, then do it.

Put a second woman in command.  Janeway was a pivotal fixture in Trek and in Voyager.  She was the rock that kept the ship going.  As Idris Elba said in Pacific Rim “all I have to be is a fixed point”.  That was Janeway.  Now we’ve got the opportunity to see what happens to with a woman in command in the Alpha Quadrant.  Hell, let’s go a step further.  Make the captain a woman of colour.  Here’s a character write you, you can have this for free.

Captain Fadra Englen, born 2387, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Ancestry, Palestinian.  Graduated McGill University as a medical doctor before accepting an invitation to Oxford University.  There, she paved the way at how we look at the human body in a different light.  Accepted enrollment into Starfleet where she joined the science division.  Ensign abourd the U.S.S. Albion (promoted to Lt. Junior Grade).  Lt. aboard the U.S.S. Thunderchild (transfered to command structure after she took command of the ship during a fight with the True Way, received the Christopher Pike Medal of Bravery, promoted to Lt. Commander).  Lt. Commander aboard the U.S.S. Lexington (assisted in deep space scientific missions, was in command of a team that investigated the Borg’s technology used to open rifts into fluidic space, promoted to Commander).  First Officer, Commander, aboard the U.S.S. Sabre, an escort vessel assisting trading vessels in the newly created Romulan Republic.  Sabre recalled after a battle that saw her captain killed and Englen had to take command.  Promoted to Captain, given the U.S.S. Ocelot to command.

U.S.S. Ocelot, a retrofit escort vessel, based loosely on the U.S.S. Defiant that helped win the war against the Dominion.  Comes complete with a cloaking device.

So there you go.  Have it.  Take it.  Make it your own.  But make sure that you fill in the other positions on board the ship with diverse characters.  Gay or lesbian, trans-gender.  First Nation, African American, Japanese, Chinese, Korean.  The show was about hope for the future.  If this new series ends up being the same white washed sci-fi as any other, then it fails.

Oh, and I can’t stress this enough.

Go binge watch the other series for a month.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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NaNoWriMo; Set, Ready, Go!


This year’s NaNoWriMo has been set!

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A crossover story, starring the crew of a merchant vessel (a heavily armed merchant vessel), and the citizens of Diessa Plateau in Ascalon.

The crew of the S.S. Tigris hasn’t had the easiest of times.  They aren’t explorers, they aren’t warriors, they are merchants.  But they’ve made some incredible luck for themselves.  Ret N’Vek and her brother and sister joined together with other family members and friends and a few strange companions (including a Romulan android, an Emergency Engineering Hologram who likes Klingon Opera and always agrees to any trade deal with the words “Today is a good day to die”, and a gender fluid Gorn).  They’re first bit of luck came when they managed to “acquire” an old B’Rel Bird-of-Prey.  Klingon raiders attempted to board their ship, so they gave it to them.  In exchange for the much more armoured and armed Klingon ship.

While most Ferasan, the crew of the Tigris are members and supporters of the Ferasan Underground, a group fighting to bring peace between Caitian and Ferasan people, and overthrow the oppression of centuries of dogma by the patriarchal central government.  Now that Feras has been annexed by the Klingon Empire, this once thought dead movement has begun to rise again.

This means the Tigris keeps her trade routes in more Federation friendly areas.  Even hotly contested areas like the Betreka Nebula.

Deep inside the nebula is a planetary system, deemed unworthy for conquest or technologically primitive for first contact.  The locals, five higher species including humans, call this world Tyria.

Charr lands are not the places where you’d think a human would live, but for Abisayo Temililu and her lover Pania Alow, Diessa Plateau has done well for them.  Guided by an old friend of the family in Clayton Henry Irons, this pair have made their home with the Iron Legion.  Pania has even made contacts and partnerships with old Iron Legion members serving the Priory, including an old soldier named Grishnack Soulclaw.  Even the mysterious charr witch has offered her own advise and sent a young Ash Legion charr to help this small family live in the Plateau.

But the old aggression far in the vacuum of space still take place.  The Klingons continue to fight off the Cardassians, but this time in the guise of the True Way, an organization of Cardassian and Jem’Hadar soldiers who supported the Dominion.  And then there’s also Orion pirates.  The lives of the people of Diessa are about to be shaken more than any dragon ever could.  What will happen when the citizens of this place look to the sky as a B’Rel Class Bird-of-Prey fights off two Jem’Hadar assault fighters?  And what will the crew of the Tigris make of this strange new world?

Here there be dragons.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Writing

 

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5 Ways ‘Star Trek’ Was Rebooted Wrong | Cracked.com


 

5 Ways ‘Star Trek’ Was Rebooted Wrong | Cracked.com.

Okay, it’s not often I will point people in the direction of a Cracked article, but this one is on point.

Just avoid the comments section with all the people griping and complaining as is often found in many Cracked articles.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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Cats of Fantasy & Science Fiction

Cats of Fantasy & Science Fiction

It’s been a thing to make animals into human type characters, or as it’s called, anthropomorphized. An early representation of this is in Kenneth Graham’s Wind In The Willows, with the characters of Ratty, Mole, Badger, and Mr. Toad.  While Wind In The Willows had animals living in holes but also wearing suits and rowing row boats and talking about cars (as Mr. Toad did), Richard Adams’ Watership Down gave a colony of rabbits more socialized human characteristics while keeping them looking like rabbits.

Naturally, Star Trek has their own anthropomorphized creatures with the Gorn, the Caitians, the Ferasan, and even the primate, acquatic, insectoid and reptilian Xindi.  The Xindi as a combined force felt threatened by Earth and attempted to destroy the planet.  This plan to destroy humans was pushed primarily by the insectoid and reptilian Xindi, while the primate, humanoid and acquatic Xindi were hesitant to use the weapon.

The interesting thing about Caitians and Ferasan (which is a Trek name used because they weren’t allowed to use Kzinti) is their origins don’t begin in Star Trek at all.  They began in the Known Space series by Larry Niven.  There, mankind battled against the war like Kzinti, a feline race who were the size and strength of Mountain Gorillas.  Niven rewrote one of his own short stories to use in the Star Trek Animated Series, adding in Catians and the rest is history.  Of course, Trek isn’t the only place you’ll find feline friends who are their own species within a universe.

The Charr, first appearing in Guild Wars Prophecies, are a war like feline species of the realm of Tyria.  Driving the humans out of Ascalon, the Charr claimed that region was their own until the humans drove them out.  In Guild Wars 2, the Charr have become a playable race, and according to the lore, they are finally calling for a truce with the humans.  Mostly because they still have three other fronts to deal with in the Ghosts of Ascalon, the Flame Legion and the Branded (corrupted dragon minions).  They are a technologically advanced race, as they seem to have harnessed the ability drill for oil, refine into petroleum and use for massive tanks and other machines.  In Guild Wars Prophecies and Eye of the North (where the player meets Pyre Fierceshot), the only Charr that are encountered are males.

Naturally, video games and television aren’t the only place where felines show up.  They even appear in the fantasy and science fiction of collectible trading card games.  One of the biggest being Magic The Gathering.

In Magic The Gathering there are many different tribes of cat people.  Mirri the Cat Warrior came from an unknown tribe and was banished for having two different eye colours which was seen as a taboo among her people.  Mirri herself went of alone and eventually became a student among the Multani, and eventually finding that she grew an incredible attachment and attraction to a human named Gerrard.  While she never found a chance to tell Gerrard, she did accompany him on many adventures.  Throughout the lore of Magic the Gathering there are many references to cat like people, many of whom live a warrior’s life.

So where exactly did our fascination with feline, or even canine, humanoids come from.  I’m not talking about were creatures, I’m talking about intelligent species that are felinoid.  Naturally cats are seen as important in many different cultures.  In the Mesoamerican Olmec culture, jaguars were revered.  Shamans and warriors alike would wear the skins of jaguars, and many shamans would claim they could shapeshift into a jaguar.  Even the Mayans and Aztecs found favour with the jaguar, though for the Mayans it was more material as the jaguar pelt was highly sought after.  In Ancient Egypt, cats were sacred.  Egyptians had been domesticating wildcats from the Middle East for thousands of years, and cats were seen as graceful and poised, especially with their ability to control vermin and kill cobras.  Mafdet, Sehkmet and of course, Bastet were all Egyptian deities who were depicted with feline heads.  All of them were lions at one time, though Bastet’s features softened over time to reflect the domesticated cat.  Because of this, many felt cats were sacred to Bastet, so when they died they were mummified and laid to rest so their souls may reside with Bastet for all eternity.

Among many First Nations Peoples, cats were seen as independent, yet enjoying social situations.

Even today, many believe that humans didn’t domesticate cats, but cats domesticated themselves.  They saw humans in a non threatening light, among them they could get food, water, and shelter.  In exchange, they need only destroy vermin and keep the humans company.  Fair enough trade.  And over the years, the existence of cats with humans has meant all kinds of folklore from even culture imaginable.  Many of which are carried down either verbally or through artwork or through written word until they make it to our minds in the 21st Century.  And we change things up for fantasy, fiction, and science fiction.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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EDITORIAL – The Future of Star Trek: It’s the Story, Stupid | TrekMovie.com


EDITORIAL – The Future of Star Trek: It’s the Story, Stupid | TrekMovie.com.

I had planned to do my own editorial on Trek, which I may still do, but this one is an excellent article.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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All Things Change


At one time, decades ago, a television series hit the airwaves that was groundbreaking for it’s time.  It dealt with issues of race, gender, gender inequality, war, and had television’s first inter-racial kiss.  If the pilot had stood, it would also have had a woman as the first officer of the starship.  As it happened, it had a black woman as a communications officer, and a Japanese American as a helms officer.  And it didn’t treat them as special or different, they were members of the crew.

That television series was Star Trek.

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For three seasons, it went boldly as it examined the human condition and (at the time) current social issues.  It’s been said many a time, even on this blog, that it even caught the attention of Martin Luther King Jr. who convinced Nichelle Nichols to stay with the show as she represented a black woman in a form not seen on television before.

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The years passed and then came the movies, and a resurgence in Trek proved there was enough interest to produce a new series.  The Next Generation came out, and it too went boldly were its predecessor had gone.  It examined social issues under the guise of science fiction.  From capital punishment, to torture, to the need for diplomacy.

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While TNG was still running, the producers of Star Trek decided they could do another series.  One that ended up much more serious in nature.  Deep Space Nine wouldn’t just explore the galaxy, but it would explore more social issues, using the backdrop of a recently liberated world from decades of oppression as the setting.  The show talked about the ravages of war, racism, inequality, and trust.  It even had the distinction of being the first Trek series to have a black commanding officer.

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Voyager came next, and continued the tradition that had come before.  With the backdrop of an unfamiliar region of space, the crew of the Federation Starship Voyager met social issues head on and often times made a positive mark.

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The last series in the group was Enterprise, and while it went back to Starfleet’s infancy, it still reminded the viewer that Earth had just overcome a massive world war, had dealt with poverty, crime, disease, and had found similarities to overcome their own differences and appreciate their own differences.

And then came 2009.

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In 2009, the entire original series was rebooted.  And while the cast was good, each actor taking on the role incredibly well, the stories weren’t the same.  Everything was set aside for action, and a lot of exposition.  The original series movies and Next Gen movies had a lot of action as well, but they still managed to tell stories that had similar social issues.  Such as The Voyage Home, and Insurrection.  But the new take didn’t have that same aspect, as everything seemed to be done for high thrills and playing off of tropes that had often gained a snicker or two over the years (such as Kirk and his involvement with women as seen in the beginning of ST 2009 and ST Into Darkness… by the way, those weren’t Caitians, as much as Abrams wants to say they were, they weren’t).  Khan was handled terribly, whitewashing the original Indian aspects of the villain, and seeming to dumb him down.  Khan’s strength wasn’t just his physical strength, but his ability to manipulate and his charismatic nature to convince someone to do something they normally wouldn’t do.  By the time Wrath of Khan was released, it would be expected that Khan was a little insane with revenge, due to the fact he was marooned on a planet, his wife killed by the natural inhabitants of the planet, and blamed everything on Kirk.  In ST Into Darkness, Khan was just angry all the time.  There was no manipulation at all.  There was no cunning that was the level of the original series or in Wrath of Khan.

As far as a science fiction story that manages to use it’s backdrop to tell stories of social conscious, Star Trek has begun to fail.  Worse so that the announcement of the script for a third film has been dumbed down because the producers feel the wider audience wouldn’t understand it.  Which isn’t putting a lot of faith in the fans.  The fans are people who meticulously catalog every aspect of Trek.  The fans are the ones who go out of their way to learn Klingon just for fun.  The fans are the ones who manage to poke holes in the stories, albeit without malice but more light heartedly (look to the Nictpicker’s Guides).

While Star Trek has failed, there is another movies series that has picked up the slack.

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George Miller’s latest in the Mad Max series manages to look at several different social issues, without using exposition, without using glamour shots, and without using gore.  You’d think a movie set in an apocalyptic wasteland would have tons of gore and have a multitude of gratuitous shots.  But no, it’s all done with great story telling.

There’s discussions of rape without actually showing a rape.  The Wives are sex slaves, and it’s basically mentioned that they had been raped.  But there was no need to put this on display at all (which is something the producers of Game of Thrones could take a lesson from).  There’s discussion of patriarchy, there’s discussion of slave trade, there’s discussion of an oppressive systems.  And the best part is, it’s all done with very little dialogue.  Couple that with the fact that a huge percentage of the movie was done with practical effects.  This isn’t even touching on the fact that Furiosa was a disabled woman, which was never once pointed out in a gratuitous way.

Where Star Trek failed, Mad Max succeeded.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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A break from videos


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While I just posted the latest let’s play in Star Trek Online, I’ve decided to break for a bit.  There’s several reasons for that; it’s summer and I wish to take advantage of that; there’s been a great deal of video lag in the videos and I’d like to give things a rest; and I’ve been powering through things pretty fast.  I’ve also been needing to make some changes regarding the recording set up, as I’m not all together happy with the sound.

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So, I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the video for a little while.  I need it, to be honest.  Plus, I’ve also got a book layout design that I need to deal with which is rather exciting.  Sadly, it’s not a book I’ve written, but one that looks pretty cool.  More on that in another post.

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I always had the feeling that these videos would catch up with me and I’d get a bit tired of doing them.  It’s a lot of work, after all, and my computer in its present form is not really up to the task.  I should have a different machine to be able to deal with all the recording and editing.  Plus, I really should be using different software.

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For now, I’ll just take a bit of a break.  It’ll allow me to concentrate on other projects, plus it’ll let me play the game as a game and not look at it as work.  That’s something that’s been hitting me as well.  I’d go to play the game and I’d kind of whine that I really didn’t want to record an episode.  Mostly because I know that the quality wasn’t that great, and I don’t feel that I should post a video when the quality is lacking.

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It’s fun.  It’s an experience.  And I love doing it.  I may do some others at some point in time, in other games outside of Star Trek Online.  As for how long the break is, it’ll be for a couple of months.  I’ll kick things back up again in August, around the time when I come back from holidays.

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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Fun, randomness, Uncategorized

 

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