Sidral Mundet

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars or Star Trek?  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. Star Wars or Star Trek?

    • Star Wars
      16
    • Star Trek
      5
    • Both!
      9
    • Star What?
      2


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3 hours ago, Rave Blitz said:

I'm sorry.... but once again.... Jettisoning the EU was a TERRIBLE idea, because not only do we now have multiple contradictions and unanswered questions regarding the two film trilogies, but now there are tons of storylines that are discontinued and left on Cliffhangars!

Honestly for each of the decent-to-good storylines, there were about five craptacular ones. The EU was moribund from sheer corpulence. In order to have the view that it was great, you pretty much have to pick and choose which parts you like and ignore things like the entire Yuuzhan Vong Thing.

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"See one of the things you keep forgetting is that George Lucas had a strict death-grip on his storyline. He made sure nothing conflicted [...] across all media tie-ins. It was wonderful, it's perfect!"

 

Uh huh....

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1 minute ago, Rave Blitz said:

The EU filled in the gaps for the films.

They were never part of a tightly-knight cohesive narrative structure laid out by Lucas, as indicated by the contradictory origins for characters like Boba Fett between the EU prior to the Prequels, and the Prequels once they were released.

 

*edit* And don't get me started on the z-95 Headhunter.

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Yes, they do. Another indicator that Lucas did not have a tight grip on the overarching Star Wars narrative. He couldn't even keep things straight between his own movies.

That's not an argument for keeping the existing EU in place, though. A new EU is being constructed as we speak that explicitly takes the contradictory movie canon into account, rather than being a patchwork of retconning pre-Prequel literature to both the Prequels and the original Trilogy.

In case you haven't picked up on it, the EU itself contradicted the Prequels so asserting that the movie contradictions are 'fixed' by the EU is not exactly a compelling argument. The EU was broken by the Prequels almost as much as the Trilogy was.

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I appreciate your enthusiasm and that you believe you have a ready source of rebuttals, but I am not going to sit through video after video of condescending apologia directed at straw men. Especially not with that voice. I am not in the Straw demographic for those videos.

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That certainly is a massive list of quotes, and makes it hard to know which argument you're trying to address. It's best to quote me, trim the post if you need to in order to get the essential point, and then respond with something sourced from your links.

 

But none of it really addresses my main argument: there are already inconsistencies between the EU and the films, indeed among the films themselves, and the fact that there is some existing recon does not necessarily argue for maintaining THAT version of the retconning. Especially since some retconning was done previously that was later upended by the subsequent films and itself needed to be retconned.

You can answer back that Lucas had his hands on everything, but that really proves my point that Lucas himself is not able to keep the narrative straight in light of how his own movies contradict each other and prior EU works.

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41 minutes ago, ABronyAccount said:

That certainly is a massive list of quotes, and makes it hard to know which argument you're trying to address. It's best to quote me, trim the post if you need to in order to get the essential point, and then respond with something sourced from your links.

 

But none of it really addresses my main argument: there are already inconsistencies between the EU and the films, indeed among the films themselves, and the fact that there is some existing recon does not necessarily argue for maintaining THAT version of the retconning. Especially since some retconning was done previously that was later upended by the subsequent films and itself needed to be retconned.

You can answer back that Lucas had his hands on everything, but that really proves my point that Lucas himself is not able to keep the narrative straight in light of how his own movies contradict each other and prior EU works.

 

To be honest the only good retcon ever was Tolkein's The Silmarillion.

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Star Trek seems intent on jamming a moral message down your throat every third episode. Usually it's some kind of quasi-liberal idealism that sounds really nice when you first hear it but which you later realize would be just as restrictive as the right wing-conservative alternative, and would be totally impractical as we are, by our nature, a culture of individuals.

Even when they have episodes that show the Federation being bad, or doing something unethical the conflict is usually structured in such a way as to illustrate what the correct message should be.

I'm also a big fan of the Clone Wars CGI series. It's one of the few animated shows that actually depicts a large military action as a large military action. Not just a small bunch of people cutting down everything in their path despite the odds being ridiculous.

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1 minute ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

Star Trek seems intent on jamming a moral message down your throat every third episode. Usually it's some kind of quasi-liberal idealism that sounds really nice when you first hear it but which you later realize would be just as restrictive as the right wing-conservative alternative, and would be totally impractical as we are, by our nature, a culture of individuals.

Fundamentally, humans are not individualistic in the "rugged individualism" sense. We are social apes, shaped by centuries of evolution to be healthiest and most fit within a group of other social apes. Our interactions and even our sense of morality are biologically informed by the way apes have to behave around each other to survive and thrive. By our nature we're a culture of societies, societies made up of individuals but ultimately social and dependent on interactions with others. There is a wide range of individual takes on how best to do this, as is to be expected; Nature and Nurture both demand constant, undirected forays into every conceivable direction in order to adapt and survive in the long term. But what can be surprising when you look at people as a kind of animal is how uniform the core of our behaviors can be across almost all populations. We're all variations on a theme, and that theme is socialization among ourselves.

Star Trek definitely started out as a sci-fi venue for morality plays. It was also designed from the outset to show a world that Could Be; where people from all backgrounds were equal and distinctions of nationality, religion, or ethnicity only showcased variety instead of determined fates; were class or caste were relegated to the dustbins of history, and everybody's needs could be met without depriving others; where the pursuit of selfish enrichment or empowerment over others was recognized as being more than a little ridiculous and downright harmful; where peaceful exploration of the Universe around us was the ultimate goal, rather than tribalism and imperial expansion.

At its most faithful to the core concept, any Trek series will capture these kinds of themes. It's the world Roddenberry wanted to show to ours.
 

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18 minutes ago, ABronyAccount said:

Fundamentally, humans are not individualistic in the "rugged individualism" sense. We are social apes, shaped by centuries of evolution to be healthiest and most fit within a group of other social apes. Our interactions and even our sense of morality are biologically informed by the way apes have to behave around each other to survive and thrive. By our nature we're a culture of societies, societies made up of individuals but ultimately social and dependent on interactions with others. There is a wide range of individual takes on how best to do this, as is to be expected; Nature and Nurture both demand constant, undirected forays into every conceivable direction in order to adapt and survive in the long term. But what can be surprising when you look at people as a kind of animal is how uniform the core of our behaviors can be across almost all populations. We're all variations on a theme, and that theme is socialization among ourselves.

Star Trek definitely started out as a sci-fi venue for morality plays. It was also designed from the outset to show a world that Could Be; where people from all backgrounds were equal and distinctions of nationality, religion, or ethnicity only showcased variety instead of determined fates; were class or caste were relegated to the dustbins of history, and everybody's needs could be met without depriving others; where the pursuit of selfish enrichment or empowerment over others was recognized as being more than a little ridiculous and downright harmful; where peaceful exploration of the Universe around us was the ultimate goal, rather than tribalism and imperial expansion.

At its most faithful to the core concept, any Trek series will capture these kinds of themes. It's the world Roddenberry wanted to show to ours.
 

Humans are social creatures because it increases our chances of survival. We're stronger together. We know this, and we understand this. We also know that our lives will be infinetly easier if we have the good will of those around us, and that showing other people our good will is a really good way of getting it from them in return.

Where things start to fall apart is when society starts placing limits on us and expecting us to conform to tight social norms. We tend to rebel when these norms are enforced. Especially if we see them as being a barrier to us getting ahead in life or if we think that they are being used to "level the playing field" in ways that benefit others more than they benefit us.

In the original Star Trek we were essentially seeing two classes of people. Military Officers and frontier colonist. So we can't really draw too many conclusions as the scope is limited, but from TNG onward we see a society were the difference between individuals is far less distinct than in real life. People look, dress and act far more similarly than they do in real life, and people who step outside of this model are depicted as being "problems that need solving". Just take a look at the TNG episodes describing Worf's childhood, or when his son is onboard.

We have a free society which means that some people can choose to be aggressive businessmen who make money at the expense of consumers or people within the company by pushing the bottom line. It's not particularly nice, but it happens and our society lets it happen to a certain extent because it doesn't attempt to put limits on things like ambition. Society only really intervenes when things become outright criminal.

This is natural and normal for us.

A society like Star Trek could only exist if the instinct to rise above everybody else, or to surpass everybody else, were suppressed in some way.

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53 minutes ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

Humans are social creatures because it increases our chances of survival. We're stronger together. We know this, and we understand this. We also know that our lives will be infinetly easier if we have the good will of those around us, and that showing other people our good will is a really good way of getting it from them in return.

Well, you're in danger of making it sound more rational than it is. The fact is that on a fundamentally irrational level we're still social because those are the traits that have been bred into us. It subtly affects just about everything we see in the world, right down to the idea that another Person is able to control the elements or the harvest or the hunt in ways that most other humans can't. We can't help but be social in nearly everything we do because that the context in which our biology has been constrained.

As such we have a natural tendency towards behaviors that help maintain group cohesion, e.g. altruism, even if we never consciously consider getting something in return for it. It's literally our instinct. Of course we have elaborate ways of building on top of this basic foundation and creating quite a bit of differences in how we go about satisfying this instinct, but at the core we're social because we were made that way. Enough of our ancestors were the kind that had a strong inclination towards social structure that it's become a universal trait of all modern humans, and a truly asocial human creature, like a praying mantis of a person, is pretty much inconceivable.

Working together cooperative unarguably improved the evolutionary fitness of our species, but it's not because we realize this and choose to keep doing it that we're social today. It's built-in to everything we think of as human.

 

53 minutes ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

A society like Star Trek could only exist if the instinct to rise above everybody else, or to surpass everybody else, were suppressed in some way.

First of all what you're describing isn't a universally strong trait anyway. Second, you could say that the arc of Western Civilization has been working on this for a long time now. Compare attitudes about the acceptability of slavery and aristocracy today versus two thousand years ago. We've already seen tremendous change in the direction of Roddenberry's vision of the future. Without any significant change in the biology that makes us social, we've reversed course on the appropriateness of things like owning other humans or whether it's acceptable to kill somebody for offending you. Even the state of things at the turn of the Common Era was not always how humans lived. In smaller hunter-gatherer societies were was much less social stratification and more sharing of resources (and more leisure time). Agriculture and urbanization brought a host of new challenges for us to adapt to, and in large part we've been adapting behaviorally instead of biologically.

Star Trek largely takes place in a post-scarcity society where just about anything you need and most of what you could want are a replicator away, powered by practically inexhaustible and non-polluting energy sources. That's a new condition for humanity to find itself in, especially in the context of the world in which Roddenberry was writing. It's not unreasonable to speculate that the zero-sum attitude many people have towards fulfilling their needs and wants would be lessened and/or redirected when scarcity is relegated to history texts rather than a fact of everyday life.

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1 minute ago, ABronyAccount said:

 

Star Trek largely takes place in a post-scarcity society where just about anything you need and most of what you could want are a replicator away, powered by practically inexhaustible and non-polluting energy sources. That's a new condition for humanity to find itself in, especially in the context of the world in which Roddenberry was writing. It's not unreasonable to speculate that the zero-sum attitude many people have towards fulfilling their needs and wants would be lessened and/or redirected when scarcity is relegated to history texts rather than a fact of everyday life.

 

It's probably best if If we put TOS aside for a moment as the TOS universe was much smaller due to the technological restraints and budgetary concerns of the show, and take our cues from TNG, DS9 and enterprise. Where we see a stable environment with much higher production values.

In Star Trek, they suggest that the quest for "more" has been overcome, yet human nature seems to tell us that when you overcome one thing people move on to the next.

In modern day America a significant portion of the population exists in a state where all of their basic needs are met for most of their lives. Yet the acquisition of "more" still remains one of the key forces in their lives. The more that people have the more that they often want.

The middle income salary man strives to become a high income manager, the high income manager strives to become a wealthy executive and the wealthy executive strives to become a rich industrialist. How many people are actually satisfied with what they have, and how many of those who claim to be satisfied have simply done the math and concluded that the hassle of getting more outweighs the benefits achieving it.

Our resources are limited, and our power production is polluting, yet so many people still act as if new consumer products are simply replicated for their convenience and as if their energy needs are met by magic.

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We're still fundamentally living in a world of scarcity. A middle-income salary man is one botched operation or one bad biopsy away from medical bankruptcy. The vast majority of people know that we're not totally secure in our means, that society's ability to meet our needs is constrained, that more and more people are competing for the things we have or want to have and that there's not enough for everybody. In this kind of environment, even those who have practically secured their livelihoods in perpetuity are still living in the context of a society where this is abnormal, and we can hardly expect them all to adjust their drives accordingly.

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16 minutes ago, ABronyAccount said:

Star Trek largely takes place in a post-scarcity society where just about anything you need and most of what you could want are a replicator away, powered by practically inexhaustible and non-polluting energy sources. That's a new condition for humanity to find itself in, especially in the context of the world in which Roddenberry was writing. It's not unreasonable to speculate that the zero-sum attitude many people have towards fulfilling their needs and wants would be lessened and/or redirected when scarcity is relegated to history texts rather than a fact of everyday life.

My own personal headcanon is that the human in Star Trek are the descendants of the survivors of the various wars that Star Trek occasionally remembers. Such the WWIII and the Eugenics war. The world's population was significantly reduced and people were forced into a subsistence existence for several generations.

Once humanity recovered from these wars they passed down the message to the subsequent generations "be grateful for what you have, because it might disappear in a flash".

Thus, the people in Star Trek aren't content because they know that they will always have enough to meet their needs, they're grateful that they aren't living in a radioactive hole in the ground eating rate while Augment try to kill them.

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4 hours ago, ABronyAccount said:

First of all what you're describing isn't a universally strong trait anyway. Second, you could say that the arc of Western Civilization has been working on this for a long time now.

When you look at capitalist and communist societies we see that these traits don't need to be universal. They only need to exist in a certain percentage of a population. The problem is that people with these traits tend to try to get into positions where they can effect a lot of people.

We see them all the time in real life. Even in countries like Sweden and Denmark which are socialist countries with strong welfare states, good healthcare systems, and high ratings on the happiness index. Where, arguably, you don't need to constantly push the envelope in order to achieve a stable standard of living.

Yet you don't see them in Star Trek unless they are a Ferengi.

Surely in a free and fair society you'd have a private company making space ships, yet almost everything human is star fleet.

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