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Saw Star Trek

The Good: Spock, McCoy, Chekov all hit the right notes, and in the case of Chekov, actually improved upon the original. Kirk fundamentally wrong on a few important levels, but not the actor's fault.

The Bad: Art design was awful. Steaming piles of awful. Fail upon crap upon awful. Totally blew it in every way.

The Ugly: Spock/Uhura? Please. Even if time is rebooted, Spock's biology wasn't. Also, giving Sulu a katana kinda negates the whole point George Takei was trying to make when he asked for a foil in Naked Time. Apparently it was not a katana, it just looked like one. It seemed to lack any form of a handguard, which is one reason it didn't register as "sabre" to me. (The other being no taper in the blade.)

Overall: Wasn't great, didn't suck (except for the art direction, which did suck). Don't have any desire to see it again — unlike the boxed set I just bought of the remastered original series. Cardboard sets and wobbly boulders, yes, but still awesome in a way this one wasn't.

-The Gneech



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Cardboard sets and wobbly boulders, yes...

I pro port that it is one of the formula ingredients that made it great.
Jun. 1st, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
Wobbly sets and bubble wrap monsters certainly worked for Doctor Who!
May. 31st, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
I'd say McCoy was the best of the bunch (not including old Spock, for obvious reasons). The catch phrases, the proneness to irritation, and the age.

I didn't like everything about the design, but I did like the exterior of the Enterprise. The interior I'm still on the fence over. And I couldn't agree more about Spock/Uhura.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
See also Pon Farr.

May. 31st, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
it was my fav of the series so far :)
Jun. 1st, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
PErsonaly, I agree with you. The entire style of Sulu with the sword was WAY too eastern. As cool as the thing was.
Jun. 1st, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
>_> But it was a SPACE katana. Everything's better as a space version of itself. :P
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
Sulu's weapon was a foreshortened combat sabre, and his stance was a modified theatrical sabre fencing style, not theatrical kendo or Japanese.

Sabre is a curved single sided blade without significant point, so it's easy to mistake it for a katana, but it was quite acceptable as an actual combat ready collapsable weapon projected a few hundred years in the future. More to the point, the basic stance for sabre, whether theatrical/fight combat or actual fencing, is quite distinctive.

Speaking purely as a monumental fencing geek? Sulu was clearly a Western fencer, not a Japanese one.
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
I'll take your word for it. :)

Jun. 1st, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Here's an often inaccurate but reasonable enough rule of thumb.

Katana is a two-handed weapon. Stance is therefore generally forward instead of side profile.

Sabre, like all fencing weapons, is a one-handed weapon. Stance is generally side profile to minimize what your opponent can hit. When you saw Sulu doing those little hops, they would always end with Sulu side-profile to his enemy.

There's a lot of other little things, but one handed vs. two handed and front vs. side profile are generally giveaways.

(Lightsabers in Star Wars, despite being named 'sabers' and having straight blades, are almost always front-profile and much of the time are two handed. As they are fast weapons, they end up being katana-like. However, Count Dooku both fought with his pistol gripped lightsaber one handed and side profile. This was in part to make Dooku distinctive, and in part because Christopher Lee's previous training was classical stage combat and fencing iron. On the other hand, even when Vader, Anakin or Luke wield their sabers one-handed (or two blades, one in each hand) they typically hold their weapons in a forward guard standing front-profile.)
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Not a Katana. *Not a Katana*

Two edged sword, straight blade. Thickness of about two fingers. It's a Rapier.
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Single bladed. It's a saber. Even without pronounced curve.
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
You know I've now had to cancel three times going to see this. If for no other reason then having had eyes on it while it's on the big screen I want to go. I've already been told that it's not the Star Trek we grew up with so I'm ready for that. I'll have to hold judgment on what they did but Sulu with a Katana is just wrong and I truly hope they don't hose the rest of the crew's backgrounds that way. Oh well, it should at least be entertaining.
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
What's wrong with Sulu having a katana? I don't get it.
Jun. 1st, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
'way back in 196_, George Takei was given the script for Amok Time, in which a loopy-due-to-virus Sulu was chasing people around the Enterprise with a katana. He went to the writer and said, "Well, that makes a certain amount of sense from his ancestry, but you know, I'm a Japanese-American. I didn't play 'samurai warrior' when I was a kid, I played 'Robin Hood.' How about we have Sulu doing European fencing?"

The writer said, "Sure, we can do that. Can you fence?" George Takei said, "Oh yeah, my favorite hobby ever!" So the writer said, "Okay, Sulu will be fencing."

That weekend, George signed up for fencing lessons.

-The Gneech
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Really? That's cool. I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
It gets even better -- turning into one of my favorite TOS era stories. Of course, I'm a hopeless Fencing geek, but still....

See, the weapon Takei was given was actually a fencing iron. Specifically a 'fencing saber,' which is quite thin and has an almost flat end on it, so it can be bent slightly to approximate a sabre's curve. This was chosen first off for safety -- the 'blade' of a fencing iron is essentially a metal rod -- capable of stinging and raising nasty welts, but not really a cutting weapon -- and visual impact. (Foil and Epeé fencing irons, being 'point-only' weapons, usually have balls or caps on the end of the weapon to make them safe. That has the effect of making the fencing iron look like a toy to the uninitiated. Sabers, as they are 'bladed' weapons, typically aren't used for stabbing, so their tips are bobbed -- essentially folded over on themselves -- and look better.) If you look at Sulu in the corridor, you can see the bobbed end on the saber.

The thing is, fencing irons are flexible, but sharp impacts on their end can cause the tip to snap, breaking the bobbed end off and leaving you with a very thin jagged tip on your fencing iron. A very thin, very jagged, very sharp tip. Inexperienced fencers are prone to breaking their tips this way.

Takei was incredibly enthusiastic with his fencing iron... and still very inexperienced. He broke the tip. And no one on set actually knew what that meant. This is why I specified Sulu in the corridor for an example of a bobbed end. If you look at Sulu on the bridge, his fencing iron has no such bobbed tip.

Now, George Takei, like many of the actors on TOS, was a little fed up with William Shatner. And he was playing a scene with Shatner where he was holding a weapon and threatening him. A weapon that Takei was quite certain was harmless.

So, they called action for the first time, and Takei, instead of doing what you saw on the screen, did what many would do and cheerfully screamed a blood scream while attacking Shatner, swinging with the blade, which stung Shatner even through his velour shirt.

There was a hubbub, and then they reset.

And Takei did it again. But this time he went in thrusting.

The broken tip went right through both velour and skin.

James Doohan, Walter Keonig, Nichelle Nichols -- they all talked a good game about hating William Shatner. Only George Takei was man enough to cold stab the man while filming.

(The injury was minor, Takei was abashed, they got Shatner a new shirt and got through the scene. Still, cold stabbed the man)
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
You needn't worry about Sulu having a Katana, as he doesn't. ;)
Jun. 2nd, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Snazzy Review.... tanx!!
Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
I enjoyed it myself, but I'm rather forgiving. Do agree on Spock/Uhura, it isn't Star Trek 90210 (or the teenage version of Stargate introduced in the episode 200).

Still worst thing of all, the only thing canon any more is Enterprise. :P
Jun. 4th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
You JUST NOW bought the remastered series?? INFIDEL!!
Your agonizer, Mr. Gneech...
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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