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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 15:40 
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I'm going to need more than one post for this.

Part 1: the Philosophical

While Star Trek is Gene Rodenbury’s thing, it was really the science fiction writers of the 1960s that shaped the show with their stories from week to week it. The most significant may have been Robert Heinlein (even though he never actually wrote an episode). This is an excerpt from his Wiki:

“Heinlein used his science fiction as a way to explore provocative social and political ideas, and to speculate how progress in science and engineering might shape the future of politics, race, religion, and sex. Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.”

So that’s Trek and Gundam pretty much right there. You’d think Trek/Gundam’s relative hyper realism alone would contrast with Star War’s almost pure fantasy to the point where nobody would make the association but really its the philosophical stuff that makes it totally different. Sure, Trek and Gundam are both set on near future Earth and SW in some…other place in time….so that its always as foreign and exciting as possible whereas Gundam and Trek deal with issues cultures we current day humans actually recognize (and many are bored of) but that’s just part of it.

Gundam’s central theme is the exploration of humanity and its future. Humans have always evolved but so slowly that many doubt its even happening. Now with visual and audio recordings of everything we as a species will eventually have the ability to look back at our previous less-evolved selves (like footage of Star Wars conventions for example). What will that be like? Gundam has dealt with this from its first episode. In 0079 its becoming common to find humans with new minor psychic abilities that have apparently been awakened by generations of living in space and being subjected to the low G, the radiation, whatever it is. (Its my personal hunch that this part of Gundam was inspired by the words of returning Apollo astronauts.)

“The Force” was basically just one of those consequence free Hollywood ideas people invent when they can tell they are missing something in life but don’t want to bother with any actual religions. It went from an almost minor detail in the old movies to something instantly much stupider when Lucas tried to explain what it was and how it worked in the prequels. It was invented as a plot element, to put a God-like power into the story without offending anyone’s actual religion or lack thereof and reducing toy sales. A plot device that gets worse the closer you look at it.

Gundam isn’t doing that at all because we are all the living proof of human evolution and eventually we all move within in it. Its real and it pre and post dates anything you’ve ever seen. Gundam wants to explore that…but really there is more even than that.

Carl Sagan is famous for saying “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” Sagan didn’t write any Trek from what I know but his influence on scifi hippies is such that in the Trek universe there is a monument to him on Mars. In the world of Gundam there is a similar idea. While evolution may make us into something new, what humanity really needs is the wisdom that we hope will come with the New Type of human. And you don’t need to wait countless generations for that. We can work on that now. We can be Newtypes now by making it our focus to attain that understanding now, and that is, if anything, the central thesis of Gundam. Yes, it is a toy ad, but its an ad that challenges is six year old audience to be the generation that saves humanity which honestly sets it pretty far apart from anything.



Part 2 Fundamental Dissimilarities Between Star Wars and Gundam


Star Wars has good guys and bad guys. Like…actual cartoon villains and heroes who are just born that and that’s it. Like..if they are good they have good superpowers…like…OK, fine, but its pretty damn childish or sort of Howard Pile…1950s DC comics. I can buy warp drive in a star fighter but beams of evil? You have to be a baby to believe in “evil” in that way. Its great in a D&D kind of way but not in a “this is a serious drama” kinda way because its just dumb.

Gundam is not for patriots. If you are so damned stupid that you think that any national government is “good” you may have wanked into your flag too many times. Every Government in Gundam is cowardly, corrupt, filled with quislings, sellouts, war profiters, etc and the rebel factions, families, corporations, etc that form the other armies are ten times as jacked up and insane. Just like today! Neo Zion is basically just dynastic trillionaires who moved into space for the same reason their ancestors live on yachts today and much of the stuff from Char’s Counterattack and up almost reads like a cautionary tale…”Stay clear of Rich Energy” Tomino seems to say.

The United Federation of Planets has shown itself to be…not as bad as the UN Spacey or whatever you want to call them in Gundam. However there are several Trek stories that focus on it, such as the film Insurrection. It kind of reminds me of that one time in ZZ when people in the Earth government were going to take a one time payment in gold bullion and leave the planet just before surrendering it to Axis or whoever it was. Politicians! Star Wars has a guy in an actual black hat that shoots beams of evil and throttles senators in the name of “The Dark Side”. The Rebel Alliance is basically just good guys. They do the good.



The biggest thing probably is that there is no Earth in Star Wars or if there is our timeline is probably in its future. Imagine Star Trek without Earth, San Francisco, and humans who came from places like France or China? What’s “world war III” supposed to mean to some other galaxy? Gundam is usually at a tech level that’s not even where Enterprise was as there is no interstellar travel and apparently no more hope for it than we have today. Earth is the center of politics in Gundam since its the only inhabitable planet humankind has ever known of. Going to other stars is rarely ever discussed in Gundam. Everything takes place in the Earth sphere except some rare trips to Jupiter or whatever. You have Mexicans and Italians and all that, just like Trek. There is a Mona Lisa in both Trek and Gundam, as well as an Eiffel Tower and anarchists and Christians and wedding cakes and horseback riding and things that look like iPads. You take the Earth out of Trek or Gundam and its something totally different. You lose the consequence and the frame of reference for everything. In Gundam The Origin V or Narrative when that colony drops…man, that’s some heavy storytelling right there, and it was made more impactful by knowing what Australia actually is instead of it just being some other giant island that got half deleted by a space colony.

Now Star Wars has black people and white people and nobody every mentions it and that’s about all you get for Earth culture. Other than that its a Caravan Kid sort of wild ride through all sorts of crazy planets. You can blow up Alderan and its really just…OK, bad guys, sure, but nobody has a reflexive understanding of Alderan like they do with a real Earth location.

Technology…oh boy. Yeah, Gundam essentially used 1970s popular scientific theory of the near future to lay everything out sans the Newtype stuff, of course. Its very Von Braun and Clarke and NASA and whatever. Even in Unicorn they use solid boosters to get into space, just like today, because theres no other way to do it because of…physics. In Star Wars they have gravity pumps or whatever. Zero G is rarely (never?) seen in Star Wars so they don’t have rotating rooms or handrails that pull you along or any of that quotidian technical accuracy of Gundam. In Star Wars for all I know the universe is a crystal sphere. They don’t really get into any of that. No airbags in the cockpit, no ballutes, no space suit tape. Its easy to travel to other stars. Its so common and consequence-less in fact that people will chase you for parsecs just because you own them *money*. Ha! How much money could someone owe you that it would be worth it to travel 80 billion light years? That’s going to cost planetloads of fuel. In reality if its ever going to be possible to travel those kinds of distances it will still always be a major massive endeavor only possible at a civilizational scale. In Star Wars you can go nearly anywhere in anything at any time although IIRC they only move within the same galaxy.

Trek has warp drive like mad but aside from that and occasional ineptness on behalf of writers its fairly realistic or at least tries to be. Star Wars in no way wanted to be that. Both are great ways of going things, of course, but Rocky and Kung Fu Hustle are different art forms. In Trek people stowaway on the Enterprise all the time just because getting to these crazy places is really hard, sometimes even for the best ship known. Its a big deal to go to any other system in Trek, its impossible in Gundam, but even the unemployed can afford it in Star Wars.



Part 3: Similarities Between Gundam and Star Wars


They both have ghosts and those ghosts are otherwise related to the other supernatural elements in the show. I don’t think SW had ghosts until1980 though except for Obi-Wan’s voice in the trench, am I right about that? Trek has ghosts with scientific explanations more like Gundam I guess and SW ghosts are sort of like Gundam ghosts in that they just smile and tell you to calm down but different in that they are spiritual in nature for the most part.

They both have a roundish comical robot that saves the day, although I think Haro only does it once per series and R2 does it a lot. They both get a glancing laser to the head at one point I think but honestly they don’t look much alike.

Beam sabers…I don’t think either invented the idea but for sure Star Wars put those things on the map, especially the boring skinny ones as opposed to fire or something.


I hope that Publius chimes in on this.


EDITED to include all three parts.

EDITED AGAIN to clarify that RH never wrote a Trek episode.


Last edited by signofzeta on 03 Jul 2019, 04:33, edited 4 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 15:58 
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signofzeta wrote:
“The Force” was basically just one of those consequence free Hollywood ideas people invent when they can tell they are missing something in life but don’t want to bother with any actual religions. It went from an almost minor detail in the old movies to something instantly much stupider when Lucas tried to explain what it was and how it worked in the prequels. It was invented as a plot element, to put a God-like power into the story without offending anyone’s actual religion or lack thereof and reducing toy sales. A plot device that gets worse the closer you look at it.

Isn't this also like the Matrix Neo One etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 20:07 
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Someone help me out on how to go about getting into gundam. What’s the order to watch?
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:52 
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signofzeta wrote:

Part 1: the Philosophical

While Star Trek is Gene Rodenbury’s thing, it was really the science fiction writers of the 1960s that shaped the show with their stories from week to week it. The most significant may have been Robert Heinlein. This is an excerpt from his Wiki:

“Heinlein used his science fiction as a way to explore provocative social and political ideas, and to speculate how progress in science and engineering might shape the future of politics, race, religion, and sex. Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.”

So that’s Trek and Gundam pretty much right there. You’d think Trek/Gundam’s relative hyper realism alone would contrast with Star War’s almost pure fantasy to the point where nobody would make the association but really its the philosophical stuff that makes it totally different. Sure, Trek and Gundam are both set on near future Earth and SW in some…other place in time….so that its always as foreign and exciting as possible whereas Gundam and Trek deal with issues cultures we current day humans actually recognize (and many are bored of) but that’s just part of it.

Gundam’s central theme is the exploration of humanity and its future. Humans have always evolved but so slowly that many doubt its even happening. Now with visual and audio recordings of everything we as a species will eventually have the ability to look back at our previous less-evolved selves (like footage of Star Wars conventions for example). What will that be like? Gundam has dealt with this from its first episode. In 0079 its becoming common to find humans with new minor psychic abilities that have apparently been awakened by generations of living in space and being subjected to the low G, the radiation, whatever it is. (Its my personal hunch that this part of Gundam was inspired by the words of returning Apollo astronauts.)


*reach* *reach* *reach*

Quote:
“The Force” was basically just one of those consequence free Hollywood ideas people invent when they can tell they are missing something in life but don’t want to bother with any actual religions. It went from an almost minor detail in the old movies to something instantly much stupider when Lucas tried to explain what it was and how it worked in the prequels. It was invented as a plot element, to put a God-like power into the story without offending anyone’s actual religion or lack thereof and reducing toy sales. A plot device that gets worse the closer you look at it.


I forgot that one. Thanks.

The Force/Jedis = newtypes.

All your arguments are so subjective and vague. Heinlen isn't Star Trek, sorry.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:54 
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substance wrote:
Someone help me out on how to go about getting into gundam. What’s the order to watch?


Just stick to Universal Century and simply watch in the order of production. The same way most Japanese fans experienced it.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2019, 21:54 
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substance wrote:
Someone help me out on how to go about getting into gundam. What’s the order to watch?


This is tricky. There is a chronological timeline order but it's so far from the release order. I would start with the original. It's a bit rough around the edges, so if you aren't feeling it try the condensed movie trilogy version.

Timeline is Origin (excellent), IGLOO (s****y CG tech demo) Original Series (okay), The 08th MS Team (great OAV imo but totally a gaiden and doesn't feel like a typical Gundam entry, ymmv), 0080: War in the Pocket (great and short), 0083: Stardust Memory (okay, watch after Zeta), Zeta Gundam (HNNNNNNNNNNG the best), ZZ Gundam (okay), Char's Counterattack (okay), Gundam Unicorn (excellent), Gundam F91 (kind of a mess due to it going from 50 episodes to a single movie, it's not a huge time commitment so I'd say watch it) , Victory Gundam (technically UC but doesn't really fit all that well), G-Savior (awful).

Anything not UC? Whatever...

I'm sure Zeta will chime in on this as well.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2019, 10:50 
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forper wrote:
I forgot that one. Thanks.

The Force/Jedis = newtypes.

All your arguments are so subjective and vague. Heinlen isn't Star Trek, sorry.

And yours totally aren't.

Newtypes are just another incarnation of the fad Japan had through the 70's over the supernatural, psychic powers and UFOs and such. They had nothing to do with the Force. The only inspiration I can accept it took directly from Star Wars was with the beam sword. Everything else is entirely subjective.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2019, 21:55 
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takeshi666 wrote:
forper wrote:
I forgot that one. Thanks.

The Force/Jedis = newtypes.

All your arguments are so subjective and vague. Heinlen isn't Star Trek, sorry.

And yours totally aren't.

Newtypes are just another incarnation of the fad Japan had through the 70's over the supernatural, psychic powers and UFOs and such. They had nothing to do with the Force. The only inspiration I can accept it took directly from Star Wars was with the beam sword. Everything else is entirely subjective.


Really?

Similarities to Star Wars. So far I've given 4 solid examples:

1. A rebellion against an empire
2. A young unlikely hero
3. A magical super power for a chosen few
4. laser swords

Zeta wrote a vague freshman essay on 7 generations of SciFi influences.

Yeah but keep your head in the sand and keep blindly supporting him because I dunno he said your LD purchase was cool or something and I said your taste in music is terrible.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2019, 22:15 
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forper wrote:
takeshi666 wrote:
forper wrote:
I forgot that one. Thanks.

The Force/Jedis = newtypes.

All your arguments are so subjective and vague. Heinlen isn't Star Trek, sorry.

And yours totally aren't.

Newtypes are just another incarnation of the fad Japan had through the 70's over the supernatural, psychic powers and UFOs and such. They had nothing to do with the Force. The only inspiration I can accept it took directly from Star Wars was with the beam sword. Everything else is entirely subjective.


Really?

Similarities to Star Wars. So far I've given 4 solid examples:

1. A rebellion against an empire
2. A young unlikely hero
3. A magical super power for a chosen few
4. laser swords

Zeta wrote a vague freshman essay on 7 generations of SciFi influences.

Yeah but keep your head in the sand and keep blindly supporting him because I dunno he said your LD purchase was cool or something and I said your taste in music is terrible.


Does this really have to go this way?

Why?

What the hell is the point?

Is this going to turn (if it has not done so already) into a childish slag fest?

Does any of this really matter?

If yes then have fun, whatever makes you guys happy I suppose.

Cheers to all :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2019, 23:10 
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I remember when I was younger at comic and toys shows, the fools always thought that Lensman was a rip off of Star Wars :yawn:

If you expose yourself to stuff then you realize that the stuff you thought you liked was all rip offs of other stuff from many years before.

Look at the Cowboy Bebop with Ganymede, they've been writing scifi stories about that for years before bepop did it.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 06:42 
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forper wrote:
1. A rebellion against an empire
2. A young unlikely hero
3. A magical super power for a chosen few
4. laser swords

And apart from 4, NONE of these are unique to Star Wars, and 1 doesn't even work as a metaphor because the "rebels" in Gundam are the villains!

Here, this is what you come off as:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 10:48 
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^insults are the last bastion of someone losing an argument

takeshi666 wrote:
forper wrote:
1. A rebellion against an empire
2. A young unlikely hero
3. A magical super power for a chosen few
4. laser swords

And apart from 4, NONE of these are unique to Star Wars,


Yet ALL FOUR are common to SW and Gundam. So what was that about Star Trek influencing Gundam more than Star Wars did again? :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 11:30 
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So before the current kerfuffle there was this:
wrote:
audioboyz1973 wrote:
Favourites are First Contact and Undiscovered Country.

Khan is also great and Khan/Spock/Voyage make a nice sort of trilogy.



Based on your recommendation I pulled out my LD of Star Trek VI yesterday. Never seen it before.

Are you kidding me? You prefer this courtroom procedural that's more like an episode of Murder She Wrote than the epicness of terraforming a whole world, The original Enterprise going down, Spock DYING and coming back to life, Kirk's son dying, meeting God in TMP and time travel in IV?? Huhhhhhhh?????

:thumbdown:


Then soon after this:
wrote:
audioboyz1973 wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
I liked Enterprise a lot more than some people.

Glad you said it. Very often underrated imho. Following on from Voyager just showed up so much of that show as quite tired and ordinary. When it was cancelled at Season 4 and they let loose on some pent up storylines it was just so great.

signofzeta wrote:
I don’t like DS9 because it’s all about race wars and fighting and crap making it closer to Tolkien than Heinlein IMHO. It needed less NFL and more MIT.

I get that. But the show was al about doing something different as there was the TNG overlap. Star Trek still needed conflict even if not from the main characters; so if from a whole different race from a different sector of the galaxy? The Dominion were the new Klingons?

Have to say that of all the ST shows DS9 had the most fabulous group of regular character actors performing; Gul Dukat, Quark, Garak, Weyoun/Brunt, Grand Negus and many others I failed to mention; though Jeffrey Combs, Marc Alaimo and Andrew Robinson are some personal favourites.


Yeah but you thought Undiscovered Country was better than the first 4 films so all this opinion above, is invalid.


These "conversations" follow a familiar and tired pattern. Best not to take the bait in the first place and give it the attention it deserves.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 13:48 
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forper wrote:
^insults are the last bastion of someone losing an argument

Weak show.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 14:30 
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Macbeth in Klingon wins everything so all this Star Wars, Gundam and Star Trek conversation should be over and moot.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 17:40 
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xtempo wrote:
Macbeth in Klingon wins everything so all this Star Wars, Gundam and Star Trek conversation should be over and moot.

I'm also seeing a lot of people trash talk TAS for some reason so maybe I shouldn't give it too much weight.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 18:51 
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takeshi666 wrote:
xtempo wrote:
Macbeth in Klingon wins everything so all this Star Wars, Gundam and Star Trek conversation should be over and moot.

I'm also seeing a lot of people trash talk TAS for some reason so maybe I shouldn't give it too much weight.


Trash talking Uhura running exactly like Wonder Woman did?? Now how could any sane person trash talk that!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2019, 21:37 
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takeshi666 wrote:
forper wrote:
^insults are the last bastion of someone losing an argument

Weak show.


Yes, your arguments were very weak, a "weak show" if you will. Oh well, try again next argument.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019, 07:09 
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audioboyz1973 wrote:
takeshi666 wrote:
xtempo wrote:
Macbeth in Klingon wins everything so all this Star Wars, Gundam and Star Trek conversation should be over and moot.

I'm also seeing a lot of people trash talk TAS for some reason so maybe I shouldn't give it too much weight.


Trash talking Uhura running exactly like Wonder Woman did?? Now how could any sane person trash talk that!!!

Just because the animation is bad doesn't mean the series itself is bad. I can't believe how hung up people get on that. It's a lot like how Carnage in C-Minor is considered the worst episode of the original Transformers cartoon, when it's only the worst animated episode. It certainly isn't the worst in every other aspect.
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 Post subject: Re: Rank Star Trek series best to worst
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019, 22:50 
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I'd never seen TAS until the DVD release, so about 10 years ago.

New Trek episodes (well to me) that also evoked childhood memories of simpler happy times watching Super Friends on Saturday mornings? It was all good.
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