Last Login: 06/05/2016 12:05 am
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Well, I have the entire original series on my computer, as well as the animated series. I am an expert in all sorts of Star Trek trivia, particularly stuff that relates to timeline issues or uniform history or technology or other tidbits about the entire fictional world. So I did know a lot about the original characters and their lives, enough to catch all the references they threw. The writers were just geniuses. They are the same writers who worked on Lost, Alias, Fringe, Mission: Impossible 3, Transformers, and Transformers 2. They're both avid Star Trek fans, and they read a lot of the novels and comics, even though the Star Trek expanded universe isn't considered canon the way the Star Wars one is. That's where we got information such as McCoy being divorced and a graduate of Ole Miss, and Uhura's first name being Nyota. They FINALLY made Uhura's first name canon!
However, I do agree with you about the story needing to focus on the characters. I think that's the magic of this Star Trek movie. That's why it worked, and why it could draw everyone in. You see, a long time ago, Gene Roddenberry developed a philosophy that the best science fiction worked by using the science fiction as a lens through which one could tell stories about the world - about the real world and what's going on in the present and universal human themes. The original Star Trek was so popular because, in a world dominated by utterly stupid science fiction shows like "Land of the Lost," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," or that hideous space sitcom "Lost in Space," "Star Trek" was "smart" science fiction - sci-fi with a punch. Gene dared to tackle the issues nobody wanted to talk about: bigotry, racism, war, corruption, propaganda, economic crisis, sexism, religious fundamentalism, you name it, he talked about it. And above all, he proposed a dream of humanity's future, a world in which we've finally put our issues aside and realized that we're more alike than not. So even while he pointed out all of our silly problems, he gave us hope that we could overcome them and gave us a goal to shoot for. That, more than any piece of technology his show inspired or predicted (and there are a lot. Our folks at UC Berkeley just invented a cloaking device, for example), was the key to people liking Star Trek back then. But Trek has become so big, so convoluted, and so complicated that not only do people feel too scared to get into it because there's so much to learn from 43 years of history and rabid fandom, but it's as if somewhere along the way, the showrunners lost Gene's message - that in the end, it's all about people.
Zachary Quinto's acting was so good that I swear, I hope he gets an award for this. Do you have any idea how lucky he is to get this role? Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner signed contracts giving them some authority over any recasting of their classic roles. Zachary had no idea he was in the running to play Spock until a friend told him that people were debating who should play Spock in the new Star Trek movie and his name popped up on the list. J.J. wasn't too convinced after his first audition, but Leonard watched his audition tapes and called J.J. Abrams to tell him that this was the guy he wanted to play the young Spock. J.J. then saw a second audition and agreed. Zachary says that playing Spock was an absolute dream come true for him, because he had always considered the character amazing because of his powerful internal struggle and how much he's had to fight to maintain the balance between two two sides of his heritage, and that the character was always trying to find out how to evolve in a responsible and respectful way. He and Leonard Nimoy became great friends - you could probably say that Zachary is Leonard's Padawan learner now.
When Quinto auditioned, he wore a blue shirt and flattened down his hair to feel more like Mr. Spock. Once he got the role, he shaved his eyebrows off, bound his fingers with
It is awful, but it's totally in character for my roommate. I think that being a rich white boy and the son of two doctors spoiled him. He's the kind of person who makes pretenses about being intelligent, and talks big, but tends to not follow through when you have to walk the walk, which is why he's now on withdrawal from the university and I made it out on time. We were supposed to graduate one right after the other, as he was accepted as a spring admit. And he didn't even spend the year he had on withdrawal really studying or trying to do something that would convince the faculty that he would be ready to resume work the following Fall. He just spent the whole year sitting around watching TV, inviting guests over (I *HATE* guests, especially when I'm working), playing video games, making a mess of the apartment and reading bad fanfiction. He's not a bad person, but he's irresponsible and undisciplined, and I'm starting to believe he's one of those people who just tends to think he's entitled to have things go his way. So maybe fleeing back to San Diego while I fought my way back to the top and made it was a good thing for him... but he's so egotistical, so sure that he can do no wrong, that I doubt he'll ever learn. Oh, well. I still wish him the best.
As for Berkeley being a prestigious school... well, we are a prestigious school because only the strongest and smartest - or at least the most diligent, ambitious, and hardest-working - survive. I have friends doing the same major as I'm doing in other schools and they have never had to pass their tests on curves. Here at Berkeley, if you are a science, engineering, or sometimes math or business student, you're doomed to almost always pass your tests on curves unless you're either an absolute genius or someone who is totally devoted to academics and is willing to completely give up hobbies and social interaction for grades and extracurricular major-related stuff. I know I'm not that disciplined or mechanical. I need to have some time out to enjoy myself.
Besides... MCB isn't a major I learn easily. If you looked at my grades, you'd probably think I was more cut out to be a humanities major or someone majoring in the social sciences. If I were, say, an English or History major I would probably be graduating summa c** laude. But the fact is that although I learn those things quickly and can easily B/S a paper on the night before it's due and still ace it, it's not what I feel like I was meant to do, and science/bioengineering is. The truth is that many years ago, when I first became a Star Trek fan, I didn't just see a TV show. I saw a dream - a vision of who and where we could be in two or three hundred years. A dream that, to this day, I still wholeheartedly believe in. I honestly think that Star Trek is mankind's destiny, and I swore that I would do everything in my power to bring our world closer to Gene Roddenberry's vision. THAT is why I never gave up my major, no matter how many classes I failed and had to retake, no matter how many setbacks I received, how many sleepless nights I had to endure, or how many summers I gave up. THAT is why I'm so sure that the path that I've chosen is the right one for me.
And speaking of Star Trek, I thought I'd leave you with a very well done set of computer-generated plan images of the newly redesigned U.S.S. [i]Enterprise[/i] NCC-1701 from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie. It's done by a German fan and graphic artist named Tobias Richter, who works for The Light Works. The movie itself was absolutely incredible. I'm surprised that it single-handedly revived the whole franchise, and did what the old people who ran Trek couldn't do for six years. It made Star Trek popular again all over the world - everyone's talking about it, all the news shows headlined it, the critics loved it, and the writers, director, and actors became superstars because of it. You know, Star Trek's situation was a lot like my academ