For the Star Trek Fans: Fade In: The Writing of Star Trek Insurrection

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Dr.Traveler, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    Ain't It Cool News Link to the book

    This one is for all of the Star Trek fans. Michael Piller wrote a book about the writing of Star Trek: Insurrection that Paramount refused to let him publish. It is now available online. The link above links to the Word file from TrekCore.

    Insurrection was a pretty terrible movie, and the book gives insight into how it got that way, and what the warning signs were that they were making a terrible movie. What's really fun is that as you read it you get an insight into Star Trek: Nemisis, which is never once mentioned in the book. However, you begin to see that elements of Insurrection that were rejected as being bad ideas ended up forming the basis of Nemisis.

    The most dissapointing thing about this to me is learning that the scene where Picard learns to control time was added so late in the game. That to me was one of the most interesting things in that movie and I've always felt that with a good rewrite Insurrection could have shown us the origin of the Q and suddenly become a much more interesting film.

    Regardless, if you've got an afternoon to waste on Star Trek, give it a read.
     
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  2. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    Thanks!

    But, shoot! I clicked on the link to get the book and got a 404.

    No go.
     
  3. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Jim, I can't hold her. She's breaking up...
     
  4. Dr.Traveler
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    Blast it. I was worried that Paramount would make sure it got pulled.

    The quick version:

    Pillar sat down to write a story about Picard faced with hunting down an old friend who has gone rogue to protect a Fountain of Youth planet from the Romulans and rebels from Starfleet while Data is forced to deal with younger less advanced androids. Troi is hit on by the big bad guy, Riker gets uncomfortable, and Worf gets in a duel or two. Picard's (now young) friend dies and the Next Gen rush the Fed Council like the end of Star Trek VI to set things right.

    Paramount, Patrick Stewart, and Brent Spiner all hated it. Spiner specifically asked to get killed off in Insurrection. Stewart wanted an action film and hated including the Romulans.

    So they rewrote it a bunch of times. Over an over. And basically every time they thought they had a good script they'd show it to someone else and that person would hate it. In trying to make everyone happy they lost the movie.

    What's hillarious is that it all leads into the next one. Stewart wants to be an action hero? We get the ridiculous scene in Nemisis with the dune buggy. Data wants to get killed off. Wham. Data interacting with stupider androids? Nemisis. Romulan bad guys? Nemisis. Troi and the bad guy? Nemisis.

    If I see it pops back up on the net I'll post a new link. It's not too brutal on Paramount, so I was hoping it'd stick around.
     
  5. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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  6. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    From the book:

     
  7. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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  8. Harry Dresden
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    Harry Dresden Latinum, Plantinum,Silver,Gold Member Supporting Member

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    unless they put Trek into the hands of someone who knows how to write for Trek.....it may be over.....they even let the Novels die.....and the B&N guy by my house said Trek novels always sold well.....
     
  9. mudwhistle
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    mudwhistle Diamond Member

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    I'm a Star Trek fan and I'm ashamed to say I've been disappointed with all of the movies. They seem more a social/political commentary then a Sci-fi flick. The simple fact that Star Fleet is based out of that loony bin called San Francisco is a prime indicator.

    If the writers had focused on more action rather then trying to teach us about diversity and all of the other favorite liberal issues the films would have been more successful. Vulcans are a good example of this. A violent society that has given up all irrational thought in hopes of saving their race from extinction. So they remove all emotion from their lives to find peace. Then you have Klingons who put emotion in everything they do. They're the bad guys. These are great ideas but shouldn't be the only focus.

    By trying to show us the evil of being human the writers forgot the number one rule in movie making....entertain rather then lecture your audience. They paid for a mindless escape from reality.

    The success of the new Star Trek film is a testament of what you can do if you think outside the box. The film had to go in a different direction to be successful. The only negative of the film is the simple fact that they couldn't find a convincing replacement for Spock. His interactions with Capt Kirk are the driving force throughout the series and was lost in the later films. They pretty much exploded what worked by making Spock and Kirk enemies and by introducing a love affair between Spock and Lt. Uhura.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  10. mudwhistle
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    This is what I saw was wrong with the films:

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture - They spent half the film staring in awe at the inside of this huge machine. Practically put me to sleep.

    Star Trek II: The Wraith of Khan - Best movie entertainment-wise of the films. Not much wrong with this one. Spock gives his life to save the lives of everyone on board which people were talking about for years. It provided emotional content that was missing in all of the other films. Kirstie Alley is introduced as a young female Vulcan Star Fleet Academy student and practically steals the movie from everyone else. William Shatner playing now Admiral Kirk shows his solid leadership abilities, his intelligence, his originality, and his dogged refusal to lose in any endeavor. It's what makes him the best Starfleet captain in the fleet.

    Star Trek III: The Search For Spock - They couldn't get Kirstie Alley to come back and probably because she saw that the script sucked and backed out.

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - This is the first film where you only get a glimpse of the Enterprise but it doesn't seem to matter because this film was more light-hearted and entertaining. Unfortunately the crew has to go back in time to find Humpback Whales and bring them back to the future to save the Earth from another giant machine that threatens the planet. A notch below STII but still the threat could have been more original.

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - This in my opinion was the worst Star Trek film of the batch. Spock's half-brother is trying to discover God and instead they find some blue being acting like a God and has amazing powers yet needs a ride aboard the Enterprise. Silly. It would have been better if Spock's brother had been a violent psychopath rather then some super smart guy....best in his class.....just looking for truth. The opportunity to show how bad a Vulcan can be was lost.

    Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country - Klingons are dying and Kirks wants to help them but Spock, who has left the Enterprise is now an ambassador between Star Fleet and the Klingon Empire, wants to foster peace. Problem is extremists torpedo the peace process and set Kirk up as a murderer. Kirk saves the ship by surrendering himself into the hands of the Klingons. A renegade Klingon going around murdering innocent civilians would have been more compelling then what was presented here.

    Star Trek Generations - The new crew is introduced and the old is ushered out. The storyline is something one would like to put in a couple of TV episodes but not something worth basing the entire film around. Oh...and the Enterprise is destroyed which seems to happen in just about all of the later films.

    Star Trek First Contact - The Borg is introduced and destroyed in the same film. One of the more interesting bad guys the Borg are invulnerable in the TV show but because Picard knows their weaknesses, which he learned from the time he had been assimilated into the collective, they are able to destroy a Borg ship that's attacking Earth. Chasing a smaller Borg ship containing the Borg Queen (and central brain behind the Borg) into the past the Borg attempts to change history. Picard treats the destruction of the Borg like that of Captain Ahab vs Moby Dick. It's too damned obvious to sell it. Also it's next to impossible to turn a prissy like Picard into a ruthless single-minded killer. The inventor of Earths Warp Drive technology is introduced and most of the stupid scenes of Enterprise crew-members fawning over this unwilling hero pretty much drive the film over a cliff. It could have been so much better.

    Star Trek Insurrection - A study on saving the planet from human kind. Also the Prime Directive is broken at the behest of a long lost relatives of peaceful humanoids who are attempting to spy then later steal the benefits of rings around the planet that heals and produces long life to the planets inhabitants with the help of some members of Star Fleet. Data rebels and acts as a whistle blower. Not very original.

    Star Trek Nemesis - A genetic double using Picards' DNA and Remian DNA is using a huge powerful ship to wrech havoc on Romulus and on Star Fleet. Of course the new version of the Enterprise is destroyed because the only way they can defeat this ship is by ramming it. This is akin to Super man being hurt by throwing a gun at him yet bullets can't. Focused Phasers and Proton torpedoes can't do it but ramming it with a Starship can.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010

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