Sunday, June 19, 2016

SRSLY..WUT!?!?!?!?



(First off the most obvious. Hey 2016 FUUUUCK! YOOOOUUUUUUU!!!)

So, I'm working a Sunday (I'm over it. I work every Sunday) and things are going okayish. It's lunchtime and I have a couple of sales already with another one lined up for after I smash this TV dinner. My last call was a little bit weird, but yeah that'll happen and at least I learned how to do something I've never done before. So that's good, right? Best of all, I start a four day weekend tomorrow because I decided I needed a staycation and I had the time so why not? It's my vacay and I'll pajama if I want to. So I pulled out my phone because I always do at lunchtime and what do I see? Star Trek has lost a cast member.

No, not the Star Trek I grew up on that's been around for fifty years. Not anyone from the string of TV series that followed it. Nope. Twenty-seven year old Anton Yelchin is dead. Fans of the new Trek movie series know him as Chekov, and he was in lots of other stuff too. I'm a Trekkie though (and proud of it) and so that's the role I'll always remember him for. At any rate, I have a question.

WHAT
THE
ACTUAL
FUCK?!

Listen, I've never been happy to see a beloved celebrity go, but it happens to all of us eventually. Yelchin was twenty-seven though and that makes things that much worse. Leonard Nimoy was nearly eighty-four when he passed. I was devastated. I posted about it. I hated it. But at the end of the day, it didn't matter that I was sad to see him go.  I could at least be happy that one of my earliest childhood friends had lived a long life, had a family and accomplished more than can reasonably be expected of any human being. Guess what? Yelchin was twenty-seven. He had much more left in him.

You'd think I'd get used to this kind of thing. As a Detroit sports fan, I've seen a lot. Reggie Sanders of the Detroit Lions suffered a career ending neck injury on the football field. Mike Utley, who played for the Lions as well, was paralyzed on one. No Red Wings fan will ever forget the day Vladi Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakanov. No one ever deserves what happened to them but it's a little worse to see it happen to someone you follow. I had a number sixteen Red Wings sweater. I loved that guy.Oh, and I grew up watching pro wrestling. I could tell a million stories about wrestlers we've lost far too young.  So maybe I should get over this. I mean, I've been through it and I can't change it but... but... DAMMIT!

There's a lot about the death of Yelchin that we still don't know, the most obvious being how he got ran over with his own car in his own driveway. That sounds like something from a Chevy Chase movie, but it's what's being actually reported. I want to know what happened here. That doesn't even seem possible. This almost sounds like it had to have been human error. Was the car a stick? Was the e-break on? I don't know. But let's focus on something else for a second and never mind the franchise.

I hate it when things like this happen. How old are Yelchin's parents? As young as he is I'm guessing (and no, I don't know for sure) that they're still around. How hard did it hit his father to find out that this had happened ON FREAKING FATHER'S DAY?!?!? No one EVER wants to lose a child. I get that. I have kids. The fact remains that it happened. I feel so sorry for both of his parents. Nothing I've found about him says that he was married or had kids of his own. I don't know whether to be happy about the fact that there are less people hurting because of that or if I should feel sorry for him because he never got to experience those things. Ugh.

Whenever I hear the story of someone who was lost too young, I remember the day my father passed. We just passed the eighteenth anniversary of the day it happened. He was forty-two and every year that fact hits me just a little harder. I mean, I'm thirty-nine now and I'm not planning on heading off to heaven in three years because that's just not long enough. I guess what really bothers me though is that Yelchin never even came close to forty-two. He never even made it to thirty.

I don't know what led to this. I don't know how a guy who should have been at work rehearsing ends up squished by a vehicle that he owned. I'm quite frankly not sure I want to. Whatever it is, it has to be a mess. I just... I don't know. This has me worked up and I'm not sure why. I've never met Anton. I don't know anyone who has. I really enjoyed him in the movies but I haven't spent anywhere near the amount of time with the guy as I have with any of the regulars of the TV series. It's just... I dunno. This one hit me the wrong way, I guess.

So now will come the predictable speculation, but honestly I'm just not in the mood for it. If this next movie hits like we all think it will (and I'm talking about ticket and merchandising sales, not trying to debate about how it compares to ST:TOS) there will undoubtedly be a sequel. I'm not going to spend my time wondering whether or not there will be a Chekov in future movies and who'll they'll get to replace him if so... At least not for today. For today let's all just think about a life taken far too early for apparently no reason and a family that is in mourning. I've suffered the loss of some of my idols before but never like this and never this young. This sucks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Somebody Help Me Out Here

Okay, so I just don't grok something. I tend to think of myself as a pretty smart guy. I've got a decent IQ. I did well in every subject I've ever studied except handwriting and I'm told that that's because smart people tend to sign quickly and without putting a lot of thought into it. That's one of the reasons that doctors are known for poor handwriting. They tend to be pretty smart people. Here's my thing: I just don't understand something here and it's Science Fiction related in this context so I'm going to write about it: How in the BLUE HELL is the society of Panem, found in Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games series considered to be a rightist culture? It is true that Ms Collins has been interviewed multiple times and considers herself to be a leftist. I respect that. She has the right to be a leftist.  But seriously, I just don't get this. Let's go over the evidence as it is contained in the text and someone here, anyone here, please explain to me how this adds up to a rightist society. I'll start with the most obvious reason that this is a leftist government and go from there.

All economic activity is controlled by the government.

Seriously. All of it. The first thing that happens in District 12 when it gets a new mayor is that they close down the Hob. Why? Because unregulated economic activity takes place there. It's not taxed or controlled. People meet and exchange goods freely and the powers that be see this as a bad thing. It is literally illegal for people to have a freaking flea market because the government isn't getting their cut. Listen, I get the necessity of a certain amount of taxation, but seriously why shut it down? At worst there could have been some taxation put in place. The fact of the matter is that the government in the Capitol couldn't stand the thought of someone making money that they weren't taxing and would rather burn something down that allow the people of the District to profit by it. That's a leftist thing folks. The Hob is a free market. That's what those of us on the right support. Burning it down and punishing the dealers there is the mark of a Communist, not a rightist.

And yes, I get the fact that the people of the Capitol are rich. Guess what? Josef Stalin had five dachas and a chauffeur driven car. He was the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Yes, my friends, the leaders of Socialist/Communist nations have always been rich. "From each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs" is the Marxist idiom. It's weird how the leadership in a Marxist nation always "needs" more than the family of four in the three hundred square foot apartment.

Religion has been eradicated

"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

It took me a minute to realize what was missing in the books here. Religion has been killed so thoroughly that it's not even brought up as a taboo subject. Seriously, we don't get so much as an "Oh God" when a tribute is wounded or a quick prayer by that one weirdo when their friend/child/brother/sister/whatever gets chosen as Tribute. There isn't even a crumbling old church that has been abandoned for a generation or generations. There is literally no trace of religion whatsoever. The Marx quote above says it all where that's concerned. The father of the Communist movement hated religion and so do his followers.

Gun Control is absolute

"Every Communist must grasp the truth, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the party." - Mao Zedong

Read the books. Watch the movies. Owning a gun, or even a bow and arrow, carries the death penalty. The reason for this is simple: An unarmed society is a society full of slaves. The Districts are Hitler's labor camps writ large. (And yes, the leader of the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party was a leftist.) Would anyone with a gun put up with the government seizing their child to fight in some sick game? Taking the guns out of the hands of the people and placing them all into the hands of the government is a common tactic of every totalitarian government and was pioneered by the Left. Oddly enough, gun control in the United States started as Jim Crow laws that sought to keep blacks from owing firearms. Yep, you guessed it. It's easier to lynch a man that can't shoot back to defend himself. And those are the same laws pushed for by the Left in the states today, only now it's the state doing the lynching and the general citizenry, as opposed to just one race of it, that is forced into subjugation.

Even in the Hunger Games, where the entire POINT is to kill everyone the Capitol still doesn't want anyone getting funny ideas about guns. I don't see that as just a coincidence. The fact of the matter is that guns are dangerous to oppressive governments and the Capitol knows that. What if the kid with the gun won and told other people how to use guns? (And for the record, no that's not as easy as the movies make it look.) They're scare of guns. They're scared of what the people will do if given the ability to resist. They're communists.

Media production and consumption are controlled by the Capitol

"A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer." - Vladimir Lenin

Leftists have always understood the power of the media, whether in their hands or the hands of their enemies. I wish I saved the notes I took for a paper on the effects of nationalism on the troops serving on the Eastern Front during World War II. The Capitol uses the media both to inform and to terrorize. Forcing people to watch the Hunger Games every night is an intentional reminder of the war they have lost. It is also a reminder that things will be worse if they rebel again. Snow states as much in his office. He uses the games to take hope away.

Media control is thought control and it's something that every Communist government has used. Lenin, yes, but also Ma, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, the list goes on. Control the media and you control the message. Control the message and you control belief. Control belief and you control the people. It's simple really. It's what the Capitol does. It's what Communists do.

The Peace Keepers are Ubiquitous

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." - Barack Obama

One of the defining characteristics of a fully developed Communist state is it's ability to react overwhelmingly to threats within its own borders. The media controls the mind, the national security apparatus controls the bodies. Whether it's the secret police ala the KGB or its forerunner the NKVD or tanks rolling on Tiananmen Square, a  hard left government must always have the means to crush an uprising should they lose control of any aspect of the society for one to develop.  The Peacekeepers are clearly that force. They're feared by the populace. They're never shown serving the public, but simply in keeping it in check. Would you call a Peacekeeper to help you find your lost child? Neither would I.

Oh, and let's talk about District Thirteen for a second. Don't they beat people up for the "crime" of over-eating? They're more Communist than the Communists. And who does Katniss execute at the end of the series?  President Coin of District Thirteen. The one who allows this to happen. So, we execute the Communist who is more Communist than the Communist and this is a book a rebellion against a rightist government? Huh?

So here's my question:

Why is it that an avowed leftist has written a book where the central government is controlled by leftists? Where food is withheld from people to enforce obedience and given to them in
reward for government service ala the zeks in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago? Could it be because, even to an avowed leftist, a truly leftist government is the scariest thing she cold come up with? That her villains are ultimately the very thing she claims to support? I mean, how much proof do you need? When your own supporters think that you're the worst case scenario isn't it time to back up and evaluate what you're doing?

At the end of the day, I think that a work (series of works?) like this reveals the problems better than anything else in fiction could. Yes, there are real world examples of why this doesn't work. Some have happy endings, the death of Nicolae Ceaușescu being the most obvious example. Others still don't. North Korea is still imploding. China is still nominally Communist while working toward a free market-ish economy. It should be noted that the lives of the people are improving.

There is a disconnect here and it bothers me. I don't get how to get my head around the fact that a supposedly leftist individual can write a book that's all about a rebellion against an obviously leftist government and this is supposed to make sense. Now, don't get me wrong. I love the books. That's why I put the effort into A.) reading them and B.) writing about them. I just don't get it. Any help figuring this one out would be appreciated.

The books and movies of The Hunger Games series are available at the links below:














Friday, June 10, 2016

Darths and Droids by The Comic Irregulars






(Yeah, I'm a fan)

How does one (that one being me) review a story before it's finished? Do I guess what the big finish will be? Do I leave the readers hanging the way the authors have left me well, not hanging, but in suspense? I certainly don't know how it ends and at the end of the day, I guess I'll just have to live with that. At least with The Comic Irregulars webcomic Darths and Droids, I have faith that the ending will be satisfying, if just a bit zany and probably not exactly how anyone planned it.

The comic is a mix of genres. It is based on both the Star Wars movies, starting with Episode One, and pen and paper role playing games, ala Dungeons and Dragons. In reading their FAQs to find out who to credit, I came across info leading me to believe that others have questioned them for the name of the strip, but I think it's pure genius. What could be better than naming your RPG themed webcomic D+D?

I'll let it be known up front that most of the fans of D+D are hard core geeks. You don't have to know the movies, but it helps. You don't have to have played tabletop RPGs but that helps as well. If you don't have at least a passing familiarity with both though, this is going to be a hard story to follow. If you know a little about both, the story is awesome. If you love both and you haven't read this strip from the beginning it sucks to be you. I've been reading this thing for a few years now, faithfully. It updates, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and I can never wait for lunchtime at work so that I can read the latest.

The story really doesn't revolve around the characters from Wars the way it probably seems like it would at first. The story is about the players. We follow the players through school, through loves and breakups and all of life's other little ups and downs based on conversations they have while they're playing. With the "real life" adventures of the players so often mentioned, their personalities come out beautifully. It's awesome. Read this comic enough and you can almost smell the Cheetos on Pete's breath and anticipate how he is going to find even further ways to min/max his character to make it unstoppable. (For the record, Pete plays R2-D2 and his constant min/maxxing does much to explain how R2-D2 ALWAYS comes up with a way to save the day.)(Oh, and for those not familiar min/maxxing is a thing that Role Players where they minimize their abilities in most areas to maximize them in one area. So, with R2D2, he can't talk or walk right and doesn't have arms but when the crew needs something fixed or a computer hacked he's all over it. He is the perfect example.)

The hilarity of the strip, and OH MY GAWD is it hilarious, comes from viewing the decisions that the characters make in the movies as coming through the lens of what a roleplayer would do during a gaming session. Well, that and misunderstandings between the GM and the players. If you don't understand what a Cheddar Monk is or why someone would cast Summon Bigger Fish then hie thee off to the website and get thee to reading!

Part of the fun of the comic is in a box at the bottom of every strip in which TCI makes comments about the movie, they strip or some tips for GMs of various RPGs. It is also worth mentioning that a lot of their GM tips would make for good story leads in fiction as well. Seriously, for those of us (and yes, I am a part of that group) who aspire to one day tell stories for a living getting some good tips from people who tell stories well is a major leg up. I'm not saying that anyone should follow every tip these guys give, but I haven't seen anything that isn't worth at least considering, even if I end up not using a given piece of advice in whatever I'm working on at the moment. The best part is that, even though it's good advice, it's usually given in a humorous manner so it doesn't feel like I'm being preached at. Good stuff.

They have a pretty cool store here too.  All of the proceeds go to some charity or other (the details are on the page) so not only are these guys good storytellers, they're good guys too. I got the shirt I'm wearing upthread there and I love it. Everybody thinks Star Wars when they see it but I know better. It's good quality too. They use Cafe Press and everything has the associated quality that goes with it. I wear this thing so much I'm surprised it hasn't died on me yet but it just keeps ticking.

Honestly, my only complaint about the strip makes me sounds like a whiny little bitch, but I don't care. Every so often, their webmaster goes out of town and I'm stuck wondering whether my next dose of comedy gold is going to post on time. It always does but then I'm stuck in limbo for a few days wondering if the next one will be there.. and so on. One day it's not going to be there and I'm going to...uhhh... well... probably not DIE or anything but I'll be like, totally disappointed and probably sad for a good minute or two.

That actually brings up another good point. These guys are scary consistent in their posting, in a way that most webcomics are not. When you log into the site to view the Thursday comic it's going to be there. Well, unless you log in early which is actually your bad and not theirs. I'm not sure exactly what time it posts but I always check it on my lunch at work at 4 PM Central on the days it's supposed to be there and it always is. So kudos to them for doing what they need to do to get the strip out on time. This kind of dedication to their fans is something I really do love about the strip.

At the end of the day the biggest takeaway I can impart is that this isn't the kind of strip that's ONLY worth your time until you can get caught up on it. It's the type of strip that's been worth my time for the last few years now and something that I look forward to. These guys helped me get through my divorce and an unplanned move of over a thousand miles literally without even trying. So check 'em out. They're worth your time too.

Bottom Line: 5.0 out of 5.0 Natutral Twenties

Darths and Droids
The Comic Irregulars
Self Published, 2007-2016

Unfortunately, Darths and Droids doesn't have anything I can link to using my Amazon Affiliates links, but here is some stuff that is related to either Darths or Droids or Both:










Sunday, June 5, 2016

Well... If Hollywood Can't Get Itself Together...

It has recently come to my attention that Hollywood execs thing that the whole universe is stuck on repeat. We have, after all, seen reboots of just about everything that doesn't still have a reboot coming. Think about it. People keep talking about how it's a great time to be a nerd because of all the movies coming out and how mainstream gaming has gotten ( I'm going to leave gaming for another post, mainly because I've been spending so much time playing World of Warcraft that I haven't played anything else in approximately forever.) but what's really coming out? Think about it:

Star Wars: listen, I'm a fan. I wear the gear. I watch the movies. Before I got so wrapped up in MMOs I played the video games. I've even played the old RPG by West End Games. The fact remains that these movies debuted forty years ago and as much as I loved The Force Awakens it was basically a remake. Star Wars basically started the nerd era with its re-releases, special additions and prequels. There were geek movies before all of that to be sure, but it was the wild success of Star Wars and its later iterations that led to the great times we're enjoying now.

Teenage Mutant Turtles: I am, admittedly a bit of a weird Turtles fan. They came in just as I got to old to collect the toy line, but I've read the comics and seen the movies, and I played a collected the old Palladium RPGs back in the day. I love these guys too, but how did they come out of nowhere again? The first of the new movies was kind of meh, and I don't expect the next one to be any better.

The Telegraph has posted a list of reboots coming soon. The list continues and it's quite frankly getting annoying. Very rarely you can get a reboot that was better than the original (Battlestar Galactica anyone?) but it's definitely not something you can count on. I have however, been informed by a good friend and retired Marine noncom that you should never bring up a problem without a solution. Since I believe in taking advice from intelligent people, and since I've been told that Gunny is never wrong, I have a solution. Are you ready for it? It's revolutionary. It's going to turn the whole world on its head. Here it goes: HEY HOLLYWOOD: MAKE SOME NEW STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since that was a relatively imprecise suggestion, I will endeavor to make a few examples of books that I have read that would make great movies. Granted, the whole book to movie thing has been done repeatedly but that's because it works, so without further ado, let me get to my list:

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia: Note to every producer who has ever held a pen or typed a word: If you can't take a story that starts with a big ass accountant throwing his werewolf boss out of a thirteenth story window and continues with battles against vampires, and an ancient curse and make a blockbuster out of it you need to stop trying. Seriously. At that point your probably so inept that you're not sure whether you should retire to bake mittens or knit cookies but it doesn't matter. Just get out of the way and let someone with some talent in. There is a whole series here. I could see this being a TV series ala Game of Thrones, but I'll be honest: I want to see it on the big screen. It'll look cooler when things blow up that way. Also, I want to see who they get to play Julie Shackleford. The only thing better than a hot blonde is a deadly hot blonde. Someone make this happen.

Pixie Noir by Cedar Sanderson: Ok, I'll be honest. Part of the reason I want to see this made it so that I can see a movie with a female protagonist named Bella that doesn't suck. Of course court intrigue, massive monsters and big explosions are why the rest of me wants to see it. Bella gets sucked into a world that she had no reason to suspect existed and things get crazy. This could be massively successful because it would be so much fun. I'd pay to see it and I'm sure a lot of others would too.

Impaler by Kate Paulk: Yes, it's Count Dracula but not as we've ever seen him. This is a story that involves two things no other Dracula story I've ever read or seen does: Vlad's younger days and his family. The real Vlad Dracula was a complicated man and this story reflects it. Also, if there is anything that has been proven by The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings it's that massive medieval combat appeals to modern audiences and there is plenty of it here.


Draw One In the Dark by Sarah Hoyt: Shapeshifting people. Dragons. Diners. Sexual tension. Death. Romance. What else do you want out of a movie? This one is heavy on the paranormal but so is a lot of other stuff and it sell tickets. They're remaking The Craft and Sarah blows that away. Of course, there are only two sequels to this novel published so far but they'd both make great follow ons after this one makes millions and millions.

Dipped, Stripped and Dead by Elise Hyatt: Ok, so this is a mystery and I'm mentioning it on a SF/F blog. Good thing I'm not a purist. Not only is this a great mystery but it has one of the best casts of characters I've ever read. Dyce is the main character and she's a little off but her son Enoch aka "E" is the coolest little kid ever.

Artifice by Lianne Miller: Wow. If you've ever wondered what a modern hospital would do if presented with a vampire read this book. If you want to sell millions of tickets, turn it into a movie. Eliza is not only a great character but her character arc is amazing and the twist and turns in this one will keep an audience enthralled.

Castaway Planet by Ryk Spoor: Robin Crusoe IIIINNNNN SPAAAAACE! 'Nuff said. Honestly, I see this as more of an animated family film but it's one I'd love a chance to take my daughters to see. Disney could rock this thing and I'd love every minute of it.

I'm tempted to add Amy Lynn by Jack July, but there is one scene in particular that would have to be in the film and I don't know if Hollywood has the balls to do it. I mean, I'd love to see it, but umm... yeah. Then again, maybe they would if half of what I've heard about the Game of Thrones TV series is true. (Sorry, I don't have HBO). But regardless, what's better than southern justice and war stories? Both in a single package!

That's just a few but it's my two cents. If any of you have suggestions, I'm open to them. The point here is as much about the fact that there is plenty out there to use and I'd like to see it. I seriously heard a rumor that there may be a Greatest American Hero remake coming and that wasn't even all that good the first time. It's not that hard. Just find an awesome book, fork over a bunch of cash to the author and make a movie out of it. We really don't need remakes and reboots of movies from thirty years ago.

The works suggested above can be purchased at the links below:

















Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Thoughts On the Teaser for the New Star Trek Series

New Crews, New Villains, New Heroes, New Worlds

Those are the words from the teaser for the new Star Trek series, herein known as Star Trek: The New Series or ST:TNS. Don't look at me, they won't give me a real title either. They are the closest thing I have to insider information. They don't make me excited. Hell, they don't even make me happy. Put quite frankly, they make me a little pissed off.There is something that makes for a long lasting series. It doesn't matter if it's Three's Company, The Brady Bunch, Friends, Seinfeld, Battlestar Galactica or freaking Jeopardy. The one thing ALL OF THEM had in common was a central cast, even if it is a single cast of one for Jeopardy.  Even Quantum Leap had Sam and Al and every episode Sam was someone different but he was still Sam. Think about it.

Let's take MASH as an example, because I grew up with that show. Yes, Henry left and we got Colonel Potter. I always liked Potter better anyway. Yes, Trapper John left and we got BJ and there was Frank/Charles too. At the end of the day though, we always had Hawkeye. We always had Radar. Klinger was around from the first season onward as well and, let's face it, MASH just wouldn't be the same without Hot Lips. I had my first celebrity crush ever on her in like 1984.  Yeah, it's like that. And yes, I know the series ended in 1983 but it was in re-runs BEFORE it ended. And then what happened?

Over time, you really grew to love these characters. You felt like you knew them. When I was little I wondered what was in that still that they were always drinking out of. Now I'm bitter because they won't share. The thing is, I had a real attachment to them and so did the rest of the audience. You tuned in every week to find out what they were up to and what was going to happen to them. It mattered to you because they were your friends. When Hawkeye kissed Margaret it was exciting. When Henry got shot down on the way home we were all in shock. (Okay, I was in shock the first time I saw it. I missed the episode the first time around. Something about a wet diaper I was wearing I think.) I could go on, but I think my point here is made. It was the people that had us all tuning in every week.

Here's the thing: ST:TNS is advertised as new crewS -plural. We've all seen episodes of Trek at one point or another that feature multiple starships. The Battle of Wolf 359 comes to mind, as do multiple episodes of ST:DS9 during the Dominion War. The thing was that the Enterprise crew was always the main cast of ST:TNG. The crew of DS9 was, oddly enough, always the central cast of ST:DS9, along with the odd Ferengi here and there, all of which were still in the mix for the war. When our friends went through hell, we went there with them. It didn't matter if it was Kirk taking over the crime syndicate in "A Piece of the Action" or Archer in "Shockwave Part I and II" we went bled with our heroes because they were part of our lives. It doesn't sound like the new series is going in this direction though, and that bothers me.

If, and this is a big if, I'm reading this right, we're not going to get a central cast. If they're going to jump around from crew to crew with no continuing cast of characters, what's the point of tuning in every week and/or paying for the CBS All Access if we're not going to have a crew we care about? Where does the connection come from week to week?  I work for a living. I have kids in another state that I struggle to keep up with. I write. I read. I game. If you're not going to give me a cast of characters that I can get to know and actually give a fuck about why would I tune in?

Listen, we've all heard the debate about what made ST:TOS great. Was it the tech or the message? Was it the first inter-racial kiss or the thought of crossing interstellar distances with about the same amount of difficulty that the US Navy has crossing the ocean now? I've heard nerds rage at each other about this. I've read more on the subject than I quite frankly care to as well, but know this: What made that show work was the crew: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scott, etc. When the ship was shaking and Scotty was screaming "I'm givin' 'er all she's got Captain!" what came next mattered to us. The messages were absorbed by identifying with the characters. The tech surrounded them and made what they did possible. In both cases, it was the characters that made us care.

So here is the point: I hope I'm wrong here. We lost a decade of Star Trek on TV because a movie failed to make money and "the audience was saturated." What's going to happen if this series fails because these asshats won't use a formula that they have used time and again for decades? Why would they do this? Listen, I know they're starting a new service and they need a revenue stream to make it viable long term. I know how loyal Trek fans are because I am one. I also know that Star Trek: Nemesis failed because the movies had not stayed true to what worked for the TV show. Now they're trying a new idea, built from scratch, that doesn't stay true to the history of the brand. Here's hoping that it works because I want to see this brand continue to move forward.

The really scary part is that all my other complaints make sense based on this. Think about it this way: Why don't we have an announcement about a cast? Because there's not going to be a steady cast. Why don't we have the name of a new ship? Because there are going to be eleventy bajillion of them. Why don't we have the name of a captain at least? Same reason. Why haven't we seen new uniforms? Maybe those will change. It it's a new crew and a new ship every week they could be using new time periods every week too. Lord knows Trek doesn't have a consistent continuity so there's no reason to worry about screwing it up.

This is a business too and let's think about things this way: How much is it going to cost to continuously construct new sets? How much is it going to cost to constantly be making new uniforms for new actors? How much is it going to cost for the constant changeover in props from episode to episode. If it doesn't make money it'll get dropped. With the extra expenses caused by going from one crew to the next, how is this thing going to make money? I mean, I don't have any stock in CBS so it's not going to make any difference to my bottom line personally. The fact remains that a financial loss has had huge implications for the franchise we all love once already. It could happen again.

Guys, I want to see this show succeed. I really do. But if that's going to happen, it needs to be good. Looking at what I see coming it doesn't look good. I really am afraid this will be it. Why continue making shows if this one fails? Especially given the fact that they gave up on Trek after a successful run with ST:ENT over something that had nothing to do with the show itself. Please, God, let me be wrong but this just looks scary to me.

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