Interview: Michael Dorn On His History With TNG & DS9, Nemesis, the 2009 Star Trek & more

At FedCon XIX, Henning Koonert from our German partner TrekZone had a chance to speak with Star Trek: The Next Generation’s (and DS9’s) Mr. Worf, Michael Dorn. The full interview, where Dorn talks about his time on Trek, "Nemesis", the 2009 "Star Trek" and more is cross-posted here.

 

 

TrekZone Network: You have played Worf for quite some time and he has come a long way over this period. If you think back to the beginnings, when you took on that role: what made it interesting for you? I imagine you were given a description of the character when you auditioned for it.

Michael Dorn: Not at all. No, it was seriously just a name. They didn’t tell you what to do. They didn’t tell you how they wanted the character to be – nothing. You went in to audition for this character name and that was it. When I started, before I came onto the set, I went to Gene Roddenberry and said: hey, what do you want from this guy? Who is he? And being as smart as he is, he said: don’t listen to what you’ve heard or read or seen in the past, nothing. Just make the character your own. And that’s what I did.  

A great opportunity. And this is what I’m saying – how smart he is – because that is how you get an actor to really invest in a role. If you say: do what you want with it. Come on, show me. Actors will go: cool! (laughs) You start thinking about stuff and you get so much from it. I think it was the smartest thing he could have done.

TZN: You hence gained a relatively big influence on shaping and deepening Klingon culture. Which elements of Klingon lore can be traced back to your own input?

Dorn: The Klingons were always, even in the old days, war-like but very intelligent. They weren’t wild or out of control. They just believed in life to the fullest. Life, death, everything to the fullest. The only thing that I really brought to this is the Klingon martial arts and as for the Klingons themselves, a little more of who they are outside of these war-like creatures. Also the idea that there’s different Klingons. [Worf was] a Klingon child that was raised by human parents and he’s able to fit basically into their society very well, although with difficulty at times. I didn’t go to the producers and the writers and made a big deal about it. Once I had created the Worf character and gave him who he is, they took off from that. The stuff they wrote for me was amazing.

TZN: Was there a particular writer or a group of writers that really got the character in your own eyes?

Dorn: Sure. Ron Moore. He was the guy that on our show and Deep Space Nine wrote the best Klingon episodes. He wrote great episodes in general but he wrote the best Klingon episodes. I always could tell when he was going to write a Klingon episode because he was able to grow a beard really quick and I’d see him with the beard, like a Worf-beard, and I go "Ah, Klingon episode coming up!" and he goes "Oh yeah." He wrote the first movie and the second movie too, which were brilliant. He was the guy. Brannon Braga was brilliant also but Ron was the one who wrote the Klingon episodes that were just outstanding.  

TZN: At least two of Worf’s actions during TNG were regarded as controversial among fans at the time: one was when Worf refused to donate blood for a dying Romulan and the other one was when he killed Duras out of revenge. What were your own thoughts when you read the scripts?

Dorn: At that point Rick Berman was the producer – and as I read I was a little concerned. I was not afraid or anything, I was just concerned that this would cast Worf in a strange light. I like being the outcast, I like being the guy that goes against the grain. But this was way out there and in both cases – in the one where I don’t give the Romulan the blood, he said: We just want to show that Worf isn’t a human being. He doesn’t have to give the Romulan blood. So he’s not going to. And he said: if you order me to, I will. But if you don’t, I’m not going to. You just have to take that. And I went: okay. It made sense. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I think it was a great episode.

Michael Dorn at FedCon XIX

And the Duras one I didn’t really care about. I mean, I didn’t really think that that was going to be a problem. I think that everybody would have – especially the Klingon fans- everybody else would go "Oh my God!" but the Klingon fans would go "Yeah!" (laughs) Once again it shows you that Worf will do this stuff. I mean he’s not going to do anything to bring a shame to anybody or to disobey an order but that’s who he is. And I liked it. 

TZN: One thing that Worf wasn’t that good at was raising his son. Avery Brooks was here [at FedCon] a couple of years ago and he was very adamant that his relationship towards his son on the show would be portrayed in a positive, a role-model way because too many black kids grow up without their father. Did you think about your relationship as Worf towards Alexander in those terms at any minute or wasn’t it an issue for you because you were playing an alien?

Dorn: That’s right. No, it was not an issue. Once again, almost everybody on the show had good relationships with their counterparts or with their siblings and things like that. But you’ve got to have some conflict, I mean I think everybody has a conflict somewhere. [On the show] Patrick [Stewart] had a conflict with this brother, Jonathan [Frakes] with his father, I had conflicts with my mate and my son, you know. Marina [Sirtis] had a conflict with her mother, each of us. So it wasn’t anything that was rare. I think everybody had a conflict with somebody. Data had a conflict with his brother. So there was a conflict with everybody. So it wasn’t really anything that was out of the ordinary.

But I think that if I was just playing an African-American character, a black character, and I had a problem with my son I don’t think that I would mind if there was a conflict. I mean I had a conflict with my own father. It’s just kinda life. I think Avery was correct that you don’t see that in general. A lot of it is portrayed that way but I think he’s right saying: hey I don’t think we should do this. I think definitely right. But for me, no, I would have said: fine.

TZN: After TNG you made the transition to DS9. Was it an easy decision to give your okay to take on that role for another four years?

Dorn: Yah. Surprisingly, it was easy. I didn’t think it was going to be easy. And I make a joke about "Yeah, they offered me a bunch of money." but that wasn’t it. I thought I was done with Star Trek, I thought I was done with the character. And when they called, I just went "Oh", I mean it’s just a weird thing that I went "Oh, sure." And luckily I was able to go in and ask them to change some things, structural things about makeup. On Next Generation I had to be in makeup every day and I said: can you guys take it easy on that and they said: sure. And the only other thing I told them was that I’m very protective of Worf, he is who he is and he became very popular being this guy and I’d want him to open up but I didn’t want him being taken out of who he is so you don’t recognize him after a couple of years, like he’s laughing and joking and having a good time. And they didn’t. They did a very good job with that, too.  

TZN: Did they give you an idea at the time where they wanted to take the character?

Dorn: No, I think that they really didn’t. I think that they had a number of scripts. They had a number of things that they were thinking about. Also the Jadzia Dax/Worf thing may have been something that they were playing with. But they didn’t really realize that it was going to be a big thing until she and I did our first scenes together. They went: oh my god, we’ve got to put these people together! I think they had it mapped out a little bit but when you get involved in it and see things happening you see the relationships going on. Then they take it from there.

TZN: What did you think of Worf’s role in the Next Generation movies? What did you like about it and what didn’t you like about it?

Dorn: The best movie, I think it was the height of Star Trek for us, Next Generation, was First Contact. I think that that was the movie where they got it right. In Generations the character was an ancillary character, he wasn’t really involved to a great degree. It was basically Brent and Patrick and Shatner. They were all more involved in the storyline.

In First Contact, Worf was a major player and he was part of the attempt to stop the Borg. He was a big part of that. He had a conflict with Picard. And I thought that that was just brilliant. It didn’t overshadow everybody but also it was solid and it was right there. And in the next two movies that started to diminish, less and less and less and less. Until the last movie, I won’t get more into that but in the last movie, there was just nothing in there for me. I was barely in there. And I think that was the way it goes and you have to go: "okay." but that’s something I found a little tough to deal with.

Michael Dorn and yours truly at FedCon XIX

TZN: Did you go into Nemesis with the feeling that this would be the last one? It was promoted a bit strangely with "The beginning of the end of the journey" or something similar. 

Dorn: No, I knew two things: if the movie didn’t do very well, then it would be the last movie. If it did very well, then we’d do another movie. And that has nothing to do with anything except money. It didn’t do very well and so they said: no more, we’re not going to do this anymore.

TZN: Have you seen the latest one, the JJ Abrams movie?

Dorn: Yes, I have.

TZN: What, in your opinion, did he do right with that movie that was lacking in the last one of yours?

Dorn: I don’t think it was a matter of did right or wrong. Or that we did it right or wrong or something like that. It would be between the two movies because they were just two separate movies. He was going for a different audience than we were going for. He was going for a young audience because all the major stars were young guys. You saw that kids that were 12, 13, 14, 15 were going to see the movie over and over and over again because Chris Pine is a hot kid and the little girls love him and it was big and a lot of these movies that we see now are huge – in terms of the sound and it’s big and special effects and all this … for me it was a lot. I was like "Oh my God!" because it was huge. But for kids that is where they are right now. And so I think he was reaching those kids. What JJ Abrams does is, he reaches that audience and that’s what he was trying to do. I think in our last movie they were trying to draw in the Star Trek fans.

TZN: As a final question: a few years ago there was a Star Trek card game [the Customizable Card Game] with characters and ships from Star Trek that was very popular. All of the Next Generation characters were rated on abilities like intelligence and such and they were mostly rated 8 or 9, with Data a 10 – and Worf stuck out with only a 6 in intelligence. Do you think that represented the character fairly? 

Dorn: No! We had script meetings before the first season. And it became a lore or folklore about Worf because Jonathan was arguing about this one scene that was just so obvious. "It is so obvious," he said, "even big dumb stupid Worf can see that." And it was hilarious! And they just kept saying it, whenever we’d be doing a scene and someone said "Oh my God, even big dumb stupid Worf can see that." Hey, I was big dumb stupid Worf. Because he was, he was like "What do mean, Sir?" But I like to think Worf is just a guy. You know, he’s intelligent but he’s just a guy’s guy. He doesn’t understand nuances, he doesn’t understand relationships, he doesn’t understand women, he doesn’t understand anything. He’s just out there trying to make it, trying to stay alive as much as he can without blowing his brains out. But I don’t mind. I don’t mind at all. I think it’s funny. I really think it’s hilarious.

TZN: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us.

Dorn: My pleasure.

 

Henning Koonert, TrekMovie’s German correspondent, is one of the managers for The TrekZone Network, a leading German Star Trek website (and TrekMovie.com partner).

 

 

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Denny Shotgun
December 3, 2010 4:30 pm

im kind of with him on the ST09 was for kids thing….not that theres anything wrong with that – Star Wars was very similar…but i really want the sequel to be ‘adulted’ up quite abit – Empire Strikes Back style… more for adults, not so the kiddies

Mach1
December 3, 2010 4:36 pm

good interview – some nice insights

December 3, 2010 5:09 pm

Excellent interview! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love reading about the TNG folks.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
December 3, 2010 5:16 pm

I disagree that Trek 09 was a Kids thing. I thought Trek 09 was Very intellengent and not dunbed down. Worf was one of the best from Tng and Ds9. He was deep and we basicly got to see him grow up in the 11 years on tv and movies. I hope that they can bring him in some way on the next Trek Movie. Maybe as Moag along with Kang an Kor and Koloth along with Curzon Dax.

December 3, 2010 5:39 pm

@4: “I disagree that Trek 09 was a Kids thing. I thought Trek 09 was Very intellengent and not dunbed down.”

Stardates went from that cool scifi date system to the Earth based system. That’s dumbing it down.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
December 3, 2010 5:51 pm

#5. Yes a couple of things changed. But a lot of things were updated as well. But the big thing for me was also the Relationships with the Crew and Sacrifise done for Family as well. There was Pike Mentoring Kirk and Spok and Kirk starting out hating each other to becoming best frends and brothers.

gingerly
December 3, 2010 5:54 pm

@5

I don’t think making sure more people understand what you are saying is necessarily dumb.

In fact, often making things simple and understandable for the widest possible group of people is the very opposite of dumb, because it takes more effort and intelligence to get that result.

Complicated also doesn’t necessarily mean smarter.

Phaser Guy
December 3, 2010 6:24 pm

If Trek 09 was a kids film that what was Insurrection? Especially the singing scene? Terrible.

Jonathan
December 3, 2010 6:45 pm

I don’t think Arbams was specifically trying to reach kids with ST09. I think he was trying to reach a broader audience than the recent movies have – he was right with Nemesis in that it was attempting to reach Trek fans. And yeah, reaching the younger audience is important because these are the folks who will grow up with it, who will talk about it with their friends and spread it and maybe in the process discover the classic Star Trek and enjoy those too for what they are.

How old were we when we got into Star Trek? I grew up with it since I had parents who were Trekkies but obviously I was about 11 or 12 before I could really fully begin to comprehend what I was watching, and yeah that Trek for me was TNG and DS9.

Shaun
December 3, 2010 7:04 pm

“Stardates went from that cool scifi date system to the Earth based system. That’s dumbing it down.”

i never thought of it as cool; i actually thought it was quite random, in that the dates were basically meaningless. at least that is the impression i got from all of the interviews with various writers over the years. the system used in star trek (’09) actually makes sense.

njdss4
December 3, 2010 7:08 pm

Great interview! Michael Dorn really seems like a good guy.

Concerning ST09, whether you call it simplifying or dumbing down, there was definitely less technobabble and whatnot. I understand that the general public wouldn’t want to have that in the movie. I just hope the movies continue to have good character development. Two dimensional characters are what will kill Trek for me. I really hope the writers pull through with their idea of having this movie be a bit darker and deal with the characters like The Dark Knight.

Vultan
December 3, 2010 8:00 pm

#9

Same here, Jonathan. I started watching during TNG’s first run. I was around seven or eight years old and immediately loved it! I didn’t quite understand everything I was seeing—the adult themes and quotes from someone called Shakespeare… but I learned. I wanted to learn. I didn’t want the show to come down to my level. Not once.

And that’s why I feel sorry for kids today. Why shoot for the stars when they’ll come to you? No challenge. No reward. No thanks.

Kev-1
December 3, 2010 8:18 pm

I think Michael Dorn did a great job turning what was a very minor character into a major presence in two Star Trek series. Of course, the Klingon provided some needed conflict to Next Generation’s universe. I have to agree with him on ST09, the producers did put what started as “the first adult science fiction drama” into the “young adult”section. They kept the cliche stuff, but dumped the core– not all of it.

Sebastian
December 3, 2010 8:53 pm

While I agree that Trek 2009 was skewed towards a somewhat younger audience (and broader as well) I really think what made it work is that it brought in newbies but still had a lot of substance for older fans (such as myself). Saw it opening night with a group of about nine people (both Trekkies and non-Trekkies); all loved it.

Michael Dorn never accused Abrams and co of ‘dumbing it down’ per se, he merely said that there were younger people going to see it because of all the male eye candy.
True enough.
But as I looked around the theatre, I saw a lot of middle aged folks just like me. And they were digging it as much as I was; and I am as far from a teenaged girl as one can get : D

When I saw MD in person at Comic Con this year, he looked very different physically (much thinner; no “Worf padding”). I read somewhere that he is now a strict vegetarian as well.

No heart of Targ or Pipius Claw for this guy!
Nice interview. Thanks for that.

; )

Red Dead Ryan
December 3, 2010 8:55 pm

Its ironic……had Denise Crosby not asked to leave “The Next Generation”, Worf wouldn’t have become the fan favorite he is today. And Michael Dorn probably wouldn’t have been asked to do “Deep Space Nine”.

Khan was Framed!
December 3, 2010 9:23 pm

#15 – I disagree, there was no future for Tasha Yar as a character; everything interesting about her or Crosby as an actress was already on the table by the time she died.

Worf was entirely watchable; we got to see him deal with & resolve his internal & external conflicts, rise from an outcast to a mythic figure among Klingons & ultimately grow into a wise and balanced Commander.

He’s very much Picard’s protege, more so than Riker or Data, as the Worf shares Picards senses of self discipline & social disregard.

I don’t see how any part of the epic arch that Worf’s story encompasses would be achievable for Tasha Yar.

And did you ever notice that at the end of DS9 he obtains the position previously held by both of his mates: Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. That is a beautiful piece of circular writing-

Vultan
December 3, 2010 10:00 pm

Well, it all worked out for Crosby and her character anyway. The alternate universe Yar and her daughter Sela were far more interesting than the original version. But Yar’s sister made for an interesting episode (about the dangers and rewards of trust/friendship).

Jack2211
December 4, 2010 12:14 am

10. Agreed. The idea (of a date/time system not based on one particular planet) was interesting, but yeah, they were random numbers and not really consistent. And then TNG and subsequent shows started to put calendar dates to events.

I wondered why Dorn seemed to get less and less screen time… I always half- wondered whether it had anything to do with jokes he made around first contact about worf deserving more time on ds9, or being head of the station, or something… I don’t remember exactly what he’d said and am hoping my theory is completely wrong. But it was odd that he got pushed out of the last 3 flicks.

keachick
December 4, 2010 12:32 am

I thought the whole stardate system never made sense. An earth based system using the calendar we are used to and know makes a lot more sense. The other system was stupid. Now I know where I am in this Star Trek – year wise, even it is in an alternate universe. I guess that makes me dumb, to want something simple and sensible.

Hate to tell you this, Michael Dorn, but it is not just teenagers who like Chris Pine. Gosh, he is like a long awaited breath of fresh air. So many actors just seem so ordinary looking and sounding – not bad looking but not much in the way of whatever it is that Chris Pine has got…I hate to use words like “charisma” or “magnetism” so I won’t. He’s just got “IT”!

I like Worf as a character and I liked the way they developed the Klingons as a culture. It would be kinda nice to see the Worf character appear in the Star Trek sequel but I don’t see how though. Perhaps Dorn could play another Klingon, one of Worf’s ancestors, who gives Kirk the run around, as Klingons always did…

Phaser Guy
December 4, 2010 12:56 am

If the next movie has Klingons in it Michael Dorn could play one of Worf’s ancestors in the movie.

Captain Angelo
December 4, 2010 1:46 am

I dunno, I kind of liked stardates the way they were in the TNG era. I may have been random, but it made sense to me. What was the point of even using stardates in the new movie if they’re simply Gregorian calendar dates? Stardate 2387, Spock? Come on. He came from the Prime Timeline. Shouldn’t he have known it was Stardate 64XXX.X?

Ac
December 4, 2010 5:34 am

Wait a minute. Back in the day shatner was considered male eye candy. I fail to see the difference then and the new movie. And how is it dumbing down so that people actually can know what the real date is? Theres a lot of things that can be considered dumbing down but that is not one of them.

Ac
December 4, 2010 5:40 am

Worf go less screen time as well as everyone else cause Picard and data became the most important characters. The fans and writers chose those 2 guys as the most interesting characters.

scott
December 4, 2010 6:34 am

It’s kind of interesting when he says, ” He was the guy that on our show and Deep Space Nine wrote the best Klingon episodes” — He was on DS9 for 4 years, but it sounds like he always felt like a “guest star” there. i.e. TNG was “our show” which makes DS9 “their show.”

AdamTrek
December 4, 2010 7:56 am

#24

I think you’re reading too much into it. Even big dumb Worf can see that.

=A=

Robert H.
December 4, 2010 8:25 am

I know that prejudice is a Star Trek no, no, but just to simply say that it’s to remind us that Worf isn’t human, that didn’t settle.

But I always felt that is it right to force someone to give? It’s not about that Jehovah’s Witness crap, but to give blood is a right and a privilege. Something that cannot be forced.

And with Star Trek 11 looking for a new audience, remember every time they bring forth a new Star Trek, they always bring forth a new audience. As well that was the focus of Enterprise, but it didn’t work out the way they planned so for season 4, so they targeted the old audience.

December 4, 2010 10:40 am

Worf has always been a favorite of mine. He brought great insight og the Klingon culture. He and alexander were great together. Each having growing pains in their relationship as father @ son. I loved the stories. And I grew to appreciate and understand Klingons. Micheal Dorn was great in the role. Many thanks.

N
December 4, 2010 1:12 pm

ST 09 for kids no way. He’s got that wrong. Pine wasn’t cast for young girls. He was an unknown. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

N
December 4, 2010 1:20 pm

I hope we get no more crossovers from the old timeline. Leave TNG to its own universe. Its time for new things not recycle character’s from all the previous series. Over & over people here can’t seem to let go of the Berman era. Let it go. This is a reboot!

Denise de Arman
December 4, 2010 1:24 pm

I hope Dorn has seen the Abrams movie and realizes the potential that Star Trek brings to the big screen. If so, perhaps he can cajol his manager to find him a role in the new movie, Klingon or otherwise.

Khan was Framed!
December 4, 2010 1:24 pm

The old stardates were better; it was part of the Rodenberry vision that we’ve moved into a bigger galactic community & that the calendar would be determined more by a system of galactic age than by an earthbound standard.

Why would a group of Romulans recognize the date on Earth?

This type of thinking was sorely lacking in ST09!!

Too much was familiar, lacking in anticipation of what the world would look like in the future.

Rodenberry & company would look at how the world was 200 years ago compared to the present & use this as a measure for how much further things would evolve in design over the next 200 years.

JJ needs to apply this equation to his art direction & the subtle nuances that make Trek unique amongst Sci-Fi.

“Should Uhura’s underwear look like what women currently wear or should it be more advanced somehow? What did women wear 200 years ago? How much has this advanced in that time?”

This approach adds flavor & ultimately sell the illusion of the world of tomorrow.

The devil’s in the details & I think that is one major place where ST09 failed completely; the story was great, the casting superb & the visual effects were amazing (with exception to the most hideous Enterprise ever), but the little details that define Trek were very absent.

Vultan
December 4, 2010 1:32 pm

#31

Well put, Khan’s attorney.

Vultan
December 4, 2010 1:32 pm

And kudos to Dorn for telling it like it is.

December 4, 2010 2:38 pm

@31

Thanks Khan for bringing out those details. I guess some folks just don’t like it when Earth isn’t a part of the equation anymore. Ironic since that’s exactly how the original series played out. How many episodes ever went to Earth in the present day for Kirk and crew? None. Unless it involved time travel or an alien copy, Earth was never a factor in the series. It was always focused on what was going on out there. The series never resorted to “Uh oh! Someone wants to blow up Earth! If that happens, the Federation is doomed!”.

Just watch this teaser for the remastered episode for “The Doomsday Machine”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH-XWwj07v8

The teaser states “The Ultimate Weapon is headed for Earth!”. Last I checked, Earth didn’t reside in the Rigel system. You see what they did there? They’re using Earth as an element when it wasn’t an element at all in that episode.

If Earth was destroyed and not Vulcan, Star Trek would be much better off. If they did, writers would actually have to be a lot more creative since they cannot resort to the “SAVE EARTH!” story. But as I said. This is the dumbed down Trek where Earth is the center of everything in the universe.

Red Dead Ryan
December 4, 2010 6:29 pm

The new guys decided to do some things differently with “Star Trek”. Including stardates. It really isn’t that big of a deal as they wanted to do something the previous writers couldn’t: make it consistent and easy for the casual audience to understand. Time to let it go, folks, this is how everything is going to be done from now on. Just like in the movie, there will be no reset.

34

Will you give it a rest with the bitching already? Everybody knows how much you hate the new movie!

Phaser Guy
December 4, 2010 6:38 pm

Man, these Trek 09 bitching threads are tiresome.

argie_bargie
December 4, 2010 7:26 pm
34 probably because the federation is a ‘mainly’ human thing, entertainment wise it would be silly if earth was destroyed. ‘save earth’ works in a lot of media, the writers were just being smart in how they used the idea. the new film wasnt dumbed down in the slightest. it was necessary to broaden the fanbase to stop the franchise from dying, and by bringing in the crowd that wouldnt usually watch trek in all of its wonderful forms ( my favourite being voyager, if anyone doesnt like it, i dont give a monkeys ), it has been kept alive in the timeline that has been made because of the nero thing. i can understand why fans who have had it their way for years wouldnt be happy with that, but the thing is, it had to change to keep the fanbase fresh, and keep it alive by keeping the revenue coming in. as much as it is wonderful entertainment with a nice bright vision of a somewhat idyllic future, it is still a business franchise that wasnt seen as something accessible and fresh to a broader audience. i was happy with the way trek was before this feature. i was happy with the way the countdown comics tied TNG with the new timeline. and i am happy with the new film ( its nice to see the pains the makers have gone to to keep continuity ). anyone can be happy with ALL of trek as long as they… Read more »
argie_bargie
December 4, 2010 7:29 pm

dorn was kinda in the 2009 trek anyway because of the countdown comics. but it would be cool if he was in the next film in 2012 if he was like one of worfs ancestors or some other klingon, or even just some guy..

December 4, 2010 7:38 pm

“Will you give it a rest with the bitching already?”
“Man, these Trek 09 bitching threads are tiresome.”

Here’s some free advice. Why don’t you just live with the notion that you like Trek09 and whatever we say won’t sway you from your opinion? That way you can save yourself the time it takes to type the message and you won’t look like a whiner as a result.

Honestly, it’s just a movie.

December 4, 2010 7:53 pm

@37: “the new film wasnt dumbed down in the slightest.”

Tell that to NuUhura. Her classic role was doing all the communications work, but here her role has been so dumbed down that hailing another ship is Chekov’s job.

Phaser Guy
December 4, 2010 8:22 pm

39. How about you actually come up with some valid arguments?

Red Dead Ryan
December 4, 2010 8:28 pm

39

“Honestly, it’s just a movie.”

Yes it is. Don’t bother reminding us of that, it’s YOU who seems to get your knickers in a twist just because the new movie did some things differently.

“Here’s some free advice. Why don’t you just live with the notion that you like Trek09 and whatever we say won’t sway you from your opinion? That way you can save yourself the time it takes to type the message and you won’t look like a whiner as a result.”

Yeah, well, here’s an idea for you, “Jeyl”: Why don’t you take your own advice and stop posting the same complaints over and over. It’s the best way to avoid being a whiner.

And another thing: Is there any aspect of the Star Trek franchise you DO like? Because I’ve never seen you post anything positive about anything on this site. This place isn’t just for negative opinions and bitching you know!

Vultan
December 4, 2010 9:26 pm

Um, going back to Jeyl’s original comment, it looks like his argument was valid—stop making Earth the center of nearly every Trek movie. Yeah, I can agree with that.

For all the problems with FF, Generations and Insurrection, at least they did place the danger on some other planet. Generations’ big failure (among others) was not allowing the audience to see some of those billions of people who were going to die if Soran got his way. You can’t really get emotionally invested in people you never see. Yeah, it is a pretty callous way of thinking, I know, but it is human nature.

Anyway, to Abrams’ credit he did allow us to get to know the inhabitants of (his) Vulcan a little… before he destroyed it. :)

Phaser Guy
December 4, 2010 10:03 pm

Earth wasn’t the center of activity in 2, 3, 5, 6, Generations and Insurrection. The TNG films focused on Earth’s safety in 2 films while The Classic series focused on Earth in 1 and 4.

sean
December 4, 2010 10:16 pm

Earth was always the center of the Trek universe. That’s nothing JJ Abrams invented. The shows/movies have even poked fun at this fact (the Federation being a ‘Homosapiens-only club’, numerous Quark diatribes). The reality is that this a show made on Earth, for Earthlings to watch. Earth is going to be involved! Might as well get used to that fact.

And honestly, people are complaining about stardates now? For pete’s sake, they’ve never made ANY SENSE. They were completely arbitrary. At one point, Roddenberry said they were mission dates, which is of course ridiculous because why would an alien race know how long the Enterprise had been out of spacedock? Then stardates had 5 digits in Next Gen. Why? Because Gene wanted them to be different from TOS dates. No reason beyond that! They made sense in keeping track of seasons, but whenever they’d refer to past events they were terribly inconsistent. JJ just made up a new method. No one in the movie specifically says they stand for Earth years, so I don’t see how they’re any different from what we’re familiar with.

Red Dead Ryan
December 4, 2010 11:22 pm

There are plenty of examples of other planets being in peril. Including the Romulans’ attempt to invade Vulcan in “Unification”. “A Matter Of Perspective” had the Enterprise D stabilize a geologically active planet, where an outpost was located. Betazed was briefly occupied by the Dominion. Not to mention the Borg destroying numerous outposts and colonies along the Romulan Neutral Zone and in Federation space.

Instead of crying about the whole “Earth being threatened” schtick, the better arguement would be against the “any populated planet being threatened by a hostile race, mad man, or natural disaster” cliche.

Vultan
December 5, 2010 12:15 am

I think the complaint about “Earth being threatened” is being brought up because the last two movies dealt with that issue, with a madman… from the Romulan system… with a giant ship… with a superweapon. Gets a bit repetitive, don’t you think? Don’t you think? Don’t you think? ;)

But I’m sure the writers will probably change up the threat (or threats) next time around… hopefully. Maybe a good intergalactic chase is in order, or a rescue mission, or—I know—the search for God! (I kid, I kid…)

Anyway, I think we can all agree the madman-out-for-revenge thing needs to be… uh, “decommissioned.” Yeah, that’s a good Trek-ish word.

Vultan
December 5, 2010 12:21 am

As for the stardate thing, I couldn’t care less which system they use. Futurama did it best however:

Zapp Brannigan: Captain’s journal. Stardate: uhhh…
Kif Kroker: April 13.
Zapp Brannigan: April 13… point two.

:D

Vultan
December 5, 2010 12:28 am

And then there’s this:

Zapp Brannigan: Captain’s log. Stardate: 3000.6.
Kif Kroker: Who are you talking to?
Zapp Brannigan: You, Kif. Aren’t you writing this down?

Sorry for the triple post, but anything said by “The Zapper” is worth repeating.

SChaos1701
December 5, 2010 1:04 am

@5

God forbid we have a real world reference for the date.

wpDiscuz