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Thread: What Are You Watching?

  1. #41

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    They didn't have a 'face' when they were first encountered
    The interesting thing with Borg and how they were introduced in The Best of Both Worlds is that they did have a "face", just not a conventional one. Encapsulated in the form of Picard/Locutus, the Borg became something truly to be feared because of the unexpected horror of having the central protagonist being so easily subverted such that his knowledge was being actively and effectively used against his former comrades. Up until that point, the introduction of the Borg was just that of yet another trumped up, faceless villain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    That being said, there's another difference in that the 'face' of the borg shares the same goals as the borg.
    Yeah, but that "face" is largely an intellectual and metaphysical one that can't be readily grasped by the general audience member or translated well without blatant exposition. To the uninitiated, the Borg are the epitome of one-note villains that are deemed to be powerful and 'special' when they come across as nothing more than fodder for action set-pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Except Riker and Troi, and practically every piece of EU material released after Enterprise. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, especially when the simple explanation exists that Enterprise hadn't been planned during the prior TV series, ergo, Archer couldn't be referenced.
    These patch jobs and convenient gaps in logic doesn't excuse poor continuity or fix the inherent problems associated with "prequels".

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Archer never learns from his mistakes, basically destroys everything he touches, and acts like a prat the entire time.
    Is that really a surprise for you given that all other Star Trek protagonists have done one or more of those things at least once? Expect perfection much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Anyway, point conceded, Superman has foes outside the ones I mentioned, though I'm not sure how they'd do moviewise. Maybe Lex Luthor would be a villain in Man of Steel 2, creates Bizarro, who becomes the antagonist of the third film?
    Don't worry, I was only just listing those enemies that could take Superman on physically (I didn't even include villains that use magic either) in response to Quirel stating that Superman stories always had to resort to the green rock in order to give him a challenge.

    That idea of yours sound suspiciously like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The less we speak of that matter the better...
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  2. #42

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Dividing topics:

    Final Fantasy

    Still struggling through Unlimited. Let's see...the characters are annoying, the English voice acting is atrocious, I have no idea what's going on, and I have to ask, is it possible for Kaze to fire his gun without going through a CGI sequence of the damn thing being loaded?

    ...guess not.

    Star Trek

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    The interesting thing with Borg and how they were introduced in The Best of Both Worlds is that they did have a "face", just not a conventional one. Encapsulated in the form of Picard/Locutus, the Borg became something truly to be feared because of the unexpected horror of having the central protagonist being so easily subverted such that his knowledge was being actively and effectively used against his former comrades. Up until that point, the introduction of the Borg was just that of yet another trumped up, faceless villain.
    I disagree with the last part. The borg were built up through the previous seasons - season 1, Q arguably foreshadows the borg (reference to "you have no idea what's out there" or words to that effect, think they were stated in Encounter at Farpoint), and the destruction of Federation and romulan bases. Season 2, the borg are actually seen, and a later episode establishes that the Federation is preparing its forces for their arrival. In Best of Both Worlds, it's only then we get Locutus and whatnot (don't know if season 3 does much buildup, haven't seen it). Point is, the borg are built up, and the dread was there long before they got a 'face' with Locutus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    These patch jobs and convenient gaps in logic doesn't excuse poor continuity or fix the inherent problems associated with "prequels".
    "Inherent problems" is the key word. Same reason why Chewie never mentions Yoda in the original Star Wars trilogy despite knowing him in the prequels. From a writing/production standpoint, it's the fault of the prequels. At least with Star Trek writers have done what they can to bridge the gap (and in Star Wars too, though I don't know if Chewie ever gets round to the whole Yoda thing by that same example).

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    Is that really a surprise for you given that all other Star Trek protagonists have done one or more of those things at least once? Expect perfection much?
    No, but I do expect competence. And Archer, at least in seasons 1 and 2, is not competent. And what makes it worse is that he's apparently unaware of it. He's far more interested in ranting about the vulcans and going on about how awesome humans are rather than actually doing anything to prove his points. His mission should have been recalled as early as P'jem, but no, he keeps blundering on.

    Superman

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon
    That idea of yours sound suspiciously like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The less we speak of that matter the better...
    I actually liked The Quest for Peace. Key word being "liked" rather than "like" though, because I only saw it in my single digit years, and have come to recognise the absurdities.

    But I guess come to think of it, another problem exists. We've had the "brawling enemy" in Man of Steel already, so after Lex, what is there? Contrast it with Spider-Man for instance - many of the villains are willing to take on Peter directly, but each have their own fighting style. Still, I'm probably still voicing ignorance of Super Man canon, so no biggie.
    Last edited by Hawki; 06-29-2013 at 10:08 PM.

  3. #43

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I disagree with the last part. The borg were built up through the previous seasons - season 1, Q arguably foreshadows the borg (reference to "you have no idea what's out there" or words to that effect, think they were stated in Encounter at Farpoint), and the destruction of Federation and romulan bases. Season 2, the borg are actually seen, and a later episode establishes that the Federation is preparing its forces for their arrival. In Best of Both Worlds, it's only then we get Locutus and whatnot (don't know if season 3 does much buildup, haven't seen it). Point is, the borg are built up, and the dread was there long before they got a 'face' with Locutus.
    Build-up is only ever regarded 'good' (in hindsight mind you) if there's an adequate payoff. Keep in mind, my statement of "yet another trumped up, faceless villain" was just a prosaic, generalised statement that applies to every enemy that the Federation has faced up until they had the limelight shone on them. Sure, they're foreshadowed and shown to be powerful initially but that's hardly a unique defining moment for them since that's just standard procedure when a new nemesis is brought on. They only really "flew" when they got a hold of Picard.

    If you contrast the Borg with Species 8472/Undine, they share much in the way they're introduced (despite the latter being even more powerful than the Borg as well as being xenophobic) in that they are "yet another trumped up (justified or not), faceless villain". They could've both turned out the same way - a faceless enemy that is "strong" but that will eventually be fodder for the protagonists - if not for the Borg having the potential for a more personal/intimate antagonistic relationship which we got through a "face" like Locutus or the Queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    No, but I do expect competence. And Archer, at least in seasons 1 and 2, is not competent. And what makes it worse is that he's apparently unaware of it. He's far more interested in ranting about the vulcans and going on about how awesome humans are rather than actually doing anything to prove his points. His mission should have been recalled as early as P'jem, but no, he keeps blundering on.
    You expect competence from someone who is essentially "green" to the role of being Captain of a new ship and diplomacy? It's not as if he had a "first contact" charter and a book of Federation rules and regulations (he probably helped write it after his blunders with the benefit of hindsight most likely) to refer to.He was in in uncharted waters,of course his personality faults were going to get in the way of things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    But I guess come to think of it, another problem exists. We've had the "brawling enemy" in Man of Steel already, so after Lex, what is there? Contrast it with Spider-Man for instance - many of the villains are willing to take on Peter directly, but each have their own fighting style. Still, I'm probably still voicing ignorance of Super Man canon, so no biggie.
    Brainiac probably has the most to offer in terms of others ways to stretch Superman. Course they could go the outlandish route and do Mr Mxyzptlk - that will definitely be a very unique Superman film.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  4. #44

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Vikings season 1 (6/10): If you're on a GoT withdrawal and are too lazy to read the books, go watch this. It's no GoT but it's the closest thing you'll get to it(well there's Pillars of the Earth I guess but I prefer vikings). The acting isn't as great and the plot is obviously far from a GRRM book but you should find some enjoyable similarities (violence, sex(though no real nudity ), political intrigues, etc).

  5. #45

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I guess the best and worst of Star Trek for me is because of the same thing - it's at its best when it deals with "Rodenberryism" in a good way, the idea of striving for those ideals. It's at its worst when the characters act like those ideals have already been reached and come off as prats as a result (as in, season 1 of TNG and at least half of Enterprise).
    Heh. Reminds me of some old Soviet predictions, which 'mathematically' proved that the world would achieve true communism in a certain number of years. Because human history is a process working towards an ultimate goal, not a bunch of ping-pong balls bouncing around in a dryer. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I'm not a big reader of (superhero) comics,
    Neither am I. Mostly know what I've picked up from my brother, and what little I've read for myself. Used to be a huge fan of Spiderman, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    but of what I understand of Superman, to be honest, I don't think he needs challenges per se to make the character interesting, or at least, not adversarial ones. As Turalyon touched on, we have a god among men who has to deal with the question of how much he should be involved in the affairs of humankind - when is it "right" for him to save the day, and when must he stand aside and allow humanity to overcome his own problems? Such ideas have been touched on in both the movies and comics, so while they don't lend themselves well to action, they can make for good reading...maybe. Like I said, not a big comic reader.
    Eh. I'm going to agree that Superman doesn't need a direct adversary to make a good story. The problem is, most of the stories I've read about him dealing with being more human than human... suck. Badly.

    There was this one series that never got finished because of the negative feedback, but Superman was walking across America. Not flying, just walking and fixing problems as he went along. It read like a novelization of one of those after-school specials, at best. At worst... Superman was spouting off word salads explaining how to make the world a better place. And putting a kid's life in grave danger to make a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Synox-coated...whaa?

    How the heck did you even find that?
    I... uh... read the books...
    OK, so Synox is a contact poison that was very nearly used to kill off Darth Bane (If you remember Poison Ivy or how Saffron knocked out Mal, you're on the right track), so we know that it's lethal and stable. Got to admit that coating bullets is an application that has yet to be mentioned, but getting it to stick to shotgun pellets and not get burned by the propellant is merely an engineering problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    That being said, I like to imagine that the reason projectile-based weapons aren't used against Jedi is that they can use their telekinetic abilities to control the bullets akin to Neo.
    I used to doubt this, as every example of telekinesis in the movies had the Jedi focusing on individual objects. On the other hand, if we take abilities like "force whirlwind" to be indicative of being able to exert force over a volume of space, it's doable. I'm assuming that the Jedi is stopping the bullets and not deflecting them. While the second option is easier, it presents a hazard to bystanders. We're also assuming that the shooter has a ysalamri draped across her shoulders, so the Jedi can't rip the gun out of her hands.

    Anyhow, Randal Munroe calculated Yoda's peak power output to be 19 kilowatts. Now, lets imagine that a Jedi is being attacked with an AA-12 with a 32 round box magazine, loaded with double-aught buckshot.


    So, if an AA-12 can fire 300 rounds per minute, uses 12-gauge 00 buckshot, and each 3" shell has 15 pellets, each pellet weighs one eighth of an ounce. Muzzle velocity is 1225 feet per second. We assume that the assailant is standing 30 feet from the Jedi.

    The energy packed by each pellet is:
    (.5)(2.79 grams)(373 meters/second)^2 = 194 joules.

    And each shotgun shell has 15 pellets, so that's a total of 2.190 kilowatts per round. At peak Yoda power, a Jedi could apply enough energy to slow the cloud of pellets in about .15 seconds. Accounting for deceleration, the pellets would travel 28 meters in that time.

    So, yeah. A Jedi could actually stand up to an AA-12, to my great surprise. At best, you could keep a Jedi at bay for a few seconds, until you run out of ammo or he gets distracted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    That, and if lasers fired en masse can all be deflected by a Jedi's lightsaber, they can presumably move fast enough to cover slugs.
    While I can see a Jedi deflecting lasers fired en masse, as we've seen in the movies, I have a harder time imagining them deflecting a cloud of lead shot.
    There's also the question of what a lightsaber does to bullets. If it merely vaporizes the bullet, there's still a cloud of superheated gas moving toward the...
    Aw, to hell with it. Lightsabers vaporize the bullet, and there's nothing left to worry about it. That's just the way it works, because it ought to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    That, and lightsabers are cool. Deal with it.
    They'd be even cooler installed as a bayonet on my melta pistol!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Sure, but it's not as if any casual person would immediately think of Romulans when someone utters "Star Trek".
    If you say "Romulans" around most folk, they'd probably think of an ancient Italian empire...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Going along these lines though we might as well ask why they don't use warp engines (note that Star Trek warp technology is not like other Sci-fi warp tech since the object still exists in a pocket of normal space-time) for their missile technology as well.
    I figured it was because warp engines are just too large to be practical for missiles. How small can you make them? What's the smallest Federation warp core that we've seen? How many MIEVs* can they carry?

    *Multiple Independent Entry Vehicles... because you're launching them against another planet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I guess that these oversights are part of the mindset of an "explorer" race. They're just plain reckless. "Safety? What's that? Ohh, look at that!" (proceeds to get infected by some virulent pathogen, ripped apart by spatial anomaly etc.)
    Darnit. Why does that have to make so much sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I agree. However, they've dug into the "time travel" bucket much, much more than "alternate universe" bucket.
    Except this time around, the whole premise is "alternate Universe"!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    As for physical challenges, there are plenty of supervillains that can go toe-to-toe with him these days so there should be less need to use the green rock plot device as often.
    Like?
    And no, I refuse to count Lex Luthor's mech suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Well, since any schmo can do that, it wouldn't make it very exciting would it? I mean, if the technology was used to its fullest capability all the time, anything can be resolved through timely application of transporter beams and the movie would be terribly short.
    Which is why half the battle when you incorporate a teleporter into your story is balancing it out. Take it from me, it took so long to write a chapter of Isolation (Halo fanfic) where the Covenant get ahold of a teleporter, without ending the story as "And then Vlar dropped the downed Phantom right on top of Montag. The end."

    Star Trek has a bit of a problem, where there doesn't really seem to be any established limits on the teleporter. It's up when it's up, it's down when it's down. You can screen for diseases, except for a few episodes later when you can't.

    One thing I'd like to see is Kirk receiving a forecast from Engineering showing the areas on a planet where teleporters are projected not to work, color coded for the negative conditions.

    I'd say that teleportation is handled well in Schlock Mercenary, as a counterexample. Teraports work regardless of conditions, but Teraport Area Denial fields can block teraports within several light-hours of a projector... unless you apply an ungodly level of energy to overwhelm the TAD... or you build a specialized Faraday cage to prevent detection. The limits are known, which prevents the author from using it as a Deus Ex Machina.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Maybe, but while Star Trek itself isn't obscure, how many species are in common knowledge? Klingons, probably borg, maybe vulcans by virtue of Spock...but if there's a 'secondary level' of species familiarity, then the romulans would definately be in it IMO.
    So, would Tribbles be in the first or second tier?

  6. #46

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    I figured it was because warp engines are just too large to be practical for missiles. How small can you make them? What's the smallest Federation warp core that we've seen? How many MIEVs* can they carry?
    That's a rather arbitrary limitation don't you think? So what if the warp engines are too big for practical missiles? Bigger missiles make bigger bangs. Coupled with FTL and it's an instant win because it's not as if point defense/evasive manuevering would be able to stop such a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Darnit. Why does that have to make so much sense.
    Cos you know it's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Except this time around, the whole premise is "alternate Universe"!
    True, but the premise hasn't been exploited or explored nearly as much as "time travel" (I hesitate to say "or as well" since time travel stories in Star Trek are rather infamous more often than not).

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Like?
    And no, I refuse to count Lex Luthor's mech suit.
    Like I answered above to Hawki's similar question: brainiac, bizarro, parasite and mongul. There are also powerful and unconventional enemies that are a match to Superman but not necessarily in a "brawling" type of way that they could use, like Mr Mxyzptlk.

    Although kryptonite is a gimmicky plot device weakness, if they had to use it, the villain Metallo would be good way to exemplify it because on paper, Supes would have a tough time defeating an opponent that is as strong and fast as him whilst being unable to come near him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Star Trek has a bit of a problem, where there doesn't really seem to be any established limits on the teleporter.
    There are limitations to it, they're just not made clear in the movie. If it were, then we'd get bogged down in all the technobabble and that's not what Star Trek is all about, you see...
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  7. #47

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    That's a rather arbitrary limitation don't you think? So what if the warp engines are too big for practical missiles? Bigger missiles make bigger bangs.
    Correction: bigger missiles make more bangs of the same size. Why build a nuke five times as large when you can build five independent warheads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Coupled with FTL and it's an instant win because it's not as if point defense/evasive manuevering would be able to stop such a thing.
    How close to a planet can a Warp Drive get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Cos you know it's right?
    Meh. Still doesn't excuse some of the stuff I've seen.

    And I would like to rant about McCoy's rant in WoK. He hears about the Genesis device, and he starts preaching doom and gloom... about nothing. "God made Earth in six days, Genesis will do that in six minutes"? A'ight. Not a very coherent argument. At least he should have pointed out that Genesis is too good of a weapon to be used for peace only, perhaps even mirror some of the arguments surrounding the Neutron Bomb.

    Alas, it was not to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    True, but the premise hasn't been exploited or explored nearly as much as "time travel" (I hesitate to say "or as well" since time travel stories in Star Trek are rather infamous more often than not).
    Save the whales! Because otherwise a big dumb probe is going to exterminate us just like how we drove those helpless animals to extinction!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Although kryptonite is a gimmicky plot device weakness, if they had to use it, the villain Metallo would be good way to exemplify it because on paper, Supes would have a tough time defeating an opponent that is as strong and fast as him whilst being unable to come near him.
    The problem with that is, doesn't Metallo look like the Terminator? o.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    There are limitations to it, they're just not made clear in the movie. If it were, then we'd get bogged down in all the technobabble and that's not what Star Trek is all about, you see...
    Could've fooled me.

    -Explaining what the limitations of the teleporter are, or even my idea of 'teleporter failure forecasts', hardly strays into the realm of technobabble. It's merely laying down rules that the writers are implicitly promising not to break, while enumerating the obstacles that the characters have to work around.
    Technobabble is... well, I think it's anti-science. It's taking preconceived notions and dressing them up in a veneer of scientific validity, even when the science itself says "not so fast, bub." That's why evolution is used to justify so much gorram tomfoolery in Star Trek.
    Then there's handwaving. How does it work? It just does. Hell of a lot more honest than technobabble.
    Slightly related is "Jargon". It's there for flavor, not as an explanation of how something works or what the negative space wedgie of the week is.

    Also, is Star Trek teleporter technology really all that consistent? In my experience, what it can or can't do depends on the plot of today's episode.

  8. #48

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Correction: bigger missiles make more bangs of the same size. Why build a nuke five times as large when you can build five independent warheads?.
    Then again something moving at Star Trek's version of FTL wouldn't need need much of a warhead for catastrophic damage to be inflicted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    How close to a planet can a Warp Drive get?
    Direct impact I'd suppose. Star Trek FTL does not work with the object going into "hyperspace" or some other "dimension" - the object undergoing FTL is still actually capable of interacting with objects in "normal space".

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    And I would like to rant about McCoy's rant in WoK. He hears about the Genesis device, and he starts preaching doom and gloom... about nothing. "God made Earth in six days, Genesis will do that in six minutes"? A'ight. Not a very coherent argument. At least he should have pointed out that Genesis is too good of a weapon to be used for peace only, perhaps even mirror some of the arguments surrounding the Neutron Bomb.
    Been awhile since I've seen it again but I guess Bones is making a moral argument/judgement about playing God. As with most moral arguments, credence, logic and "sense" are sometimes secondary in importance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Save the whales! Because otherwise a big dumb probe is going to exterminate us just like how we drove those helpless animals to extinction!
    Funny thing with this movie (albeit yet another time travel story) is that it's actually fairly highly regarded as a Trek film.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    The problem with that is, doesn't Metallo look like the Terminator? o.0
    So? Make him look different then, it's not that hard. They managed to do an underpants-less Superman, surely someone can reinvent a design for Metallo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Could've fooled me..
    Yep. As I said, it's not made clear in the movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Explaining what the limitations of the teleporter are, or even my idea of 'teleporter failure forecasts', hardly strays into the realm of technobabble. It's merely laying down rules that the writers are implicitly promising not to break, while enumerating the obstacles that the characters have to work around.
    'Fraid so. Any attempt to explain the pseudo science of any element of sci-fi usually devolves into some form of technobabble. However, from the perspective of a Trek fan though, they should actually expect it. That the new movies hardly ever indulge in it should say something to long-time fans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Technobabble is... well, I think it's anti-science. It's taking preconceived notions and dressing them up in a veneer of scientific validity, even when the science itself says "not so fast, bub." That's why evolution is used to justify so much gorram tomfoolery in Star Trek.
    Then there's handwaving. How does it work? It just does. Hell of a lot more honest than technobabble.
    Slightly related is "Jargon". It's there for flavor, not as an explanation of how something works or what the negative space wedgie of the week is.
    To the layman, any scientific concept being explained in basic principles can still be mistaken as technobabble. "Treknobabble" varies in its complexity and plausibility depending on what specific tech they're talking about. Transporter tech is probably the most outlandish and impossible to actually ever recreate fully in real-life (moving one atom over a short distance is one thing, moving and recreating a mass of organised atoms over huge distances is another) so the treknobabble there would understandably fall into the jargon or handwave type.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Also, is Star Trek teleporter technology really all that consistent? In my experience, what it can or can't do depends on the plot of today's episode.
    Pretty much this. Teleporter tech is pure science fiction with a solid emphasis on the "fiction" part. As such, it has whatever rules the writer conceives of on the day, plotholes be damned!
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  9. #49

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Then again something moving at Star Trek's version of FTL wouldn't need need much of a warhead for catastrophic damage to be inflicted.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Warp doesn't propel ships to faster-than-light velocities. It just slips a fiver under the table so that physics looks the other way while the Enterprise twists the universe into a pretzel. The Enterprise is moving at sublight speeds that...

    Ugh.

    My point is, has there ever been an instance where a ship moving at warp speeds has collided with an object in realspace? If so, is it any worse than a collision between two warships in normal combat? Are there any planets that are missing entire tectonic plates because some navigator forgot to carry a 1?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Been awhile since I've seen it again but I guess Bones is making a moral argument/judgement about playing God. As with most moral arguments, credence, logic and "sense" are sometimes secondary in importance.
    *headdesk*
    "Sometimes secondary in importance"? Yeah, sure, if you want your character to sound like an idiot. It just seems inconsistent with Star Trek's ethos that Bones is saying "we shouldn't play God" instead of "We ain't nearly mature enough to play God."

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Funny thing with this movie (albeit yet another time travel story) is that it's actually fairly highly regarded as a Trek film.
    I'm not sure why it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    'Fraid so. Any attempt to explain the pseudo science of any element of sci-fi usually devolves into some form of technobabble. However, from the perspective of a Trek fan though, they should actually expect it. That the new movies hardly ever indulge in it should say something to long-time fans.
    The problem with a lot of Treknobabble is the following:
    1: A lot of it is built around circumventing problems, rather than solving them. Main phaser banks are offline? Oh, we'll just reroute power through the main deflector dish and yakka yakka yakka. Good Treknobabble would be using previously established technology in a new way that doesn't break the rules, like when they used the holodeck to keep a crewmember alive while they hunted down organ-thieves and retrieved his lungs.
    B: Treknobabble isn't consistent. I'll bet you cold hard cash that the Holodeck-as-life-support was never used after that episode.
    III: The writers don't know any actual science, but just go for buzzwords. See 'quantum', 'resonance', 'phase', and 'reroute full power to that part that's failing and probably needs LESS power'.

    How to get around Treknobabble? Establish a technology and limits to that technology. Come up with reasons for those limitations that make sense. When one of the writers ignores or handwaves away those limitations, haul him out back and give him a nine-millimeter brain hemorrhage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    To the layman, any scientific concept being explained in basic principles can still be mistaken as technobabble. "Treknobabble" varies in its complexity and plausibility depending on what specific tech they're talking about. Transporter tech is probably the most outlandish and impossible to actually ever recreate fully in real-life (moving one atom over a short distance is one thing, moving and recreating a mass of organised atoms over huge distances is another) so the treknobabble there would understandably fall into the jargon or handwave type.
    "So, why can't we teleport into that cave?"
    "The local magnetic field is screwing with the sensors, so we can't accurately predict where we're going to beam you. You can try teleporting if you want to take the risk of merging with an inconvenient stalagmite."

    The above has elements of technobabble, but I think it could work as a framework.
    -Keep explanations simple and restrict them to the 'whats'. The audience just needs to know what is going on, not how or why it's happening.
    -If the 'whys' do come up, keep it simple and consistent.

    Think of explaining a television to a kid. He can see what it does, and you can explain some of the stuff he doesn't know (Radio signal comes in, gets translated by a converter into pictures, and little lights on the screen display those pictures.) but the explanation of digital encoding or LED design is completely superfluous.

    Better yet, think of a mechanic explaining a broken machine to his boss. He's not going to launch into a detailed explanation of the physical processes that caused the transmission to drop out of the car on the highway, he's just going to say what broke and needs fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Pretty much this. Teleporter tech is pure science fiction with a solid emphasis on the "fiction" part. As such, it has whatever rules the writer conceives of on the day, plotholes be damned!
    And that's why Star Trek is crappy science fiction.

  10. #50

    Default Re: What Are You Watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    My point is, has there ever been an instance where a ship moving at warp speeds has collided with an object in realspace? If so, is it any worse than a collision between two warships in normal combat? Are there any planets that are missing entire tectonic plates because some navigator forgot to carry a 1?
    Apparently, it is possible to ram objects at warp speed as an offensive measure (Riker suggests this in the classic "Best of Both Worlds" episode - the Borg/Locutus one) with the assumed results being catastrophic. It never happened of course, but the implication is there. It's all speculative anyway, like all science fiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    *headdesk*
    "Sometimes secondary in importance"? Yeah, sure, if you want your character to sound like an idiot. It just seems inconsistent with Star Trek's ethos that Bones is saying "we shouldn't play God" instead of "We ain't nearly mature enough to play God."
    So? The difference between those two statements is almost negligible. Besides, people make "silly" moralising, off-hand judgements/statements all the time. It's all a matter of perspective. For example, the only reason why the the statement "killing is bad" has any merit is because of it's weighty moralistic consequences not because all practical and logical considerations were taken into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    I'm not sure why it is.
    Mainly because it subverted the expectations (that were steadily growing around it from all the previous movies and such) of the genre at the time? It was apparently funny without being contrived - guess it's one of those "had to be there moments".

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    A lot of it is built around circumventing problems, rather than solving them.
    What's wrong with that? Sure, it comes out as a handwave at the end of the day but at least you're given that rather than no explanation (fake in real-life, contrived or otherwise) at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    Good Treknobabble would be using previously established technology in a new way that doesn't break the rules
    I contend that there is no such thing as "good" technobabble in science fiction whatsoever because it's all hogwash at the end of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    How to get around Treknobabble? Establish a technology and limits to that technology. Come up with reasons for those limitations that make sense. When one of the writers ignores or handwaves away those limitations, haul him out back and give him a nine-millimeter brain hemorrhage.
    Sounds good in theory though sadly, no-one but the hardcore would appreciate the difference nor care for it. The premise of the tech is already fanciful, does anyone really cares if the explanations for that tech happen to also be (shock! horror! ) fanciful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    "So, why can't we teleport into that cave?"
    "The local magnetic field is screwing with the sensors, so we can't accurately predict where we're going to beam you. You can try teleporting if you want to take the risk of merging with an inconvenient stalagmite."

    The above has elements of technobabble, but I think it could work as a framework.
    -Keep explanations simple and restrict them to the 'whats'. The audience just needs to know what is going on, not how or why it's happening.
    -If the 'whys' do come up, keep it simple and consistent.

    Think of explaining a television to a kid. He can see what it does, and you can explain some of the stuff he doesn't know (Radio signal comes in, gets translated by a converter into pictures, and little lights on the screen display those pictures.) but the explanation of digital encoding or LED design is completely superfluous.

    Better yet, think of a mechanic explaining a broken machine to his boss. He's not going to launch into a detailed explanation of the physical processes that caused the transmission to drop out of the car on the highway, he's just going to say what broke and needs fixed.
    Would be nice and all, but for brevity's and entertainment's sake it's largely superfluous. If some science fiction tech is not working, who cares that it's not working because of this possibly real-life principle? Really, the overall effect of providing accurate technobabble is not that much different from still saying "it's just not working/doesn't work that way". It's all plot device-y at the end of the day. The things that most people are interested about are the consequences of the plot device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirel View Post
    And that's why Star Trek is crappy science fiction.
    Since there are many types of science fiction, Star Trek would be very crappy indeed if you were looking for "hard" science, which in itself is pretty niche in general. Fortunately, Star Trek (like most sci-fi in general) was never really about "hard" science anyway. It's just as crappy any other similar sci-fi, say, like Starcraft.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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