I’m not talking about characters like Wolverine who have sometimes been morally murky. Nor am I talking about characters like Darth Vader who fell and still found redemption. I’m talking about characters we’ve seen turned into distorted parodies of themselves like Superman in Man of Steel or Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was shocking to learn of Snow and Charming’s decision to exile Maleficent’s child in Once Upon a Time (although we later learned that their actions were solely being controlled by the Author at that point). And now with the rumors that Luke will be turning to the Dark Side in The Last Jedi, I’m forced to ask…why? Why are heroes being corrupted? Do the authors think it makes for a better story? But what is to be gained? Why kill the hope that these characters represented? With the way the world currently is, I would think we could all do with a little hope.
Tag Archives: 2017
Back in 2015, CBS announced the premiere of a brand new Star Trek show, Star Trek: Discovery, the first since Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled in 2005. Set roughly ten years before the events of The Original Series, Discovery follows the journey of the impulsive young officer Commander Michael Burnham (who, confusingly, is a woman) as she comes to terms with her parents’ death in a Klingon attack on a scientific outpost and struggles to honor her logical Vulcan upbringing while still embracing her human heritage. Yes, after her parents died, Michael was somehow adopted by Ambassador Sarek…the same Sarek who is Spock’s father. This makes her Spock’s foster sister, and if you’re wondering how Spock can suddenly have a human foster sister after 51 years (let alone why Sarek would agree to adopt a human child), you’re not alone. Then again, I only watched the free premiere, so maybe it was explained in part 2.
This was only one example of the parts I found troublesome. Time and again the cast and crew insisted Discovery was set in the Prime timeline, yet everything about it looked and felt as though it belonged in J. J. Abrams’ Kelvin timeline. The tech and uniforms were way too modern to be just two years after the events of “The Cage” (TOS’s first pilot episode, later reused in the two-part episode “The Menagerie”). They apparently kept some of the sound effects from TOS, but coming from such highly advanced technology, it sounded jarring and out-of-place. Just because it makes the same boops and beeps as the Prime ships doesn’t automatically mean it’s set in the Prime timeline. Try harder.
I didn’t much care for the Klingon redesign, either. Their look is already so iconic, why mess with it? It’s like suddenly making Vulcan ears round and giving them funny noses instead.
And maybe I’ll catch some flak for saying this, but it’s my blog, so I’m going to–I found it vaguely annoying that they had a woman in command of the Shenzou. It’s nothing against Captain Georgiou–heck, I think the show should have been about her instead of Commander Burnham–but at this point in the Prime timeline, ten years before TOS, women were not allowed to command a starship (don’t believe me? Go watch “Turnabout Intruder”.). Obviously that rule changed, or else we wouldn’t have Janeway and Voyager, but at this point in the Prime history, a woman in command of a starship simply wouldn’t have been a thing. I could easily have overlooked this thanks to Georgiou being awesome, but it was just one more instance of non-canon-compliance they were asking the audience to overlook.
The episode itself actually wasn’t too bad–the show has a lot of potential. I would probably continue to watch it, maybe even overcoming my objections to the canon alterations, if it were broadcast on TV the way every other Star Trek series has been. But it isn’t. CBS has seen fit to make Discovery a paid-access show; the only way to watch the season will be to subscribe to their All Access streaming service. Although Discovery was good, it wasn’t great–certainly not great enough to make me subscribe to their streaming service. And it’s sad because it really feels that CBS doomed Discovery before it even premiered by making this decision. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other people out there who feel the same way I do, that the show was good enough that I would watch it on TV but not good enough to make me pay a monthly fee to watch it. If/when it has low viewing figures, Discovery will be pulled, and the powers-that-be will claim that audiences just aren’t interested in Star Trek anymore. No, what we’re really not interested in is your corporate greed.
All good things must come to an end, and so we round out Tolkien Week with “Into the West” performed by Annie Lennox for The Return of the King. This particular video was shot at the 2004 Oscars, where “Into the West” was nominated for Best Original Song (which it won). Fun fact: The Return of the King won 11 Oscars and is tied with Ben Hur and Titanic for the most wins (and has the largest winning sweep of any movie). It was also the first (and so far only) fantasy movie to win the award for Best Picture.
We interrupt the musical posts of Tolkien Week to wish everyone a Happy Hobbit Day and to wish Bilbo and Frodo Baggins a very happy birthday. Party on, hobbits!
Rolling right along, we come to “Gollum’s Song” performed by Emiliana Torrini for The Two Towers. The title is pretty self-explanatory–it’s the story of Smeagol’s downfall, of his tragic transformation into Gollum, and what it foreshadows for Frodo. In a sense, Gollum is what Frodo could have become if he succumbed to the Ring, and I think Frodo realized that. It was one of the reasons, I think, that he tried so hard to redeem Gollum–if Gollum could be saved, perhaps Frodo himself could be saved from the Ring’s influence as well.
Today we have the haunting and ethereal “May It Be” performed by Enya for The Fellowship of the Ring. I daresay this is the most popular ending song out of both trilogies. There’s no denying it has a definite Elvish quality about it (maybe they secretly hired Elves to record it). And I don’t know if this was on purpose, but I always thought the reference to “an evening star” was a clever reference to Frodo carrying the Light of Earendil.
For today’s entry we have “The Last Goodbye” performed by Billy Boyd for The Battle of the Five Armies. Having Pippin himself sing the credit song for the last-ever Middle-Earth movie was the perfect finishing touch for the six films that captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of moviegoers and changed all our lives forever. It was a bittersweet song for a bittersweet movie.
I’m not crying…you’re crying…