2009-05-25

What Is It With You, Anyway?

Bernd is right.

Ex Astris Scientia's Bernd Schneider has been villified online lately for daring to question some off-the-wall press reports (e.g. blogs, esoteric industry insider Hollywood production mags, et cetera) of a massively upscaled Enterprise for the new film. He contested that notion because, to paraphrase his thoughts, (1) it would be completely retarded for them to keep the same TMP-era exterior details, some of which are almost as good as ladders or stairs for giving sizing cues, but then upscale them on the starring ship like some Voyager ship-of-the-week, (2) one can't always trust the claims of VFX guys (be it "impressionist" VFX guys like DS9's Stipes, or Richard Edlund's 500 mile Death Star), (3) there are seeming scaling variations within the film, so it's too early to come down on an abnormal figure without good reason, and (4) basically, the larger that ugly ship is, the more absurd its shape becomes, simply as a question of engineering.

Now, I don't necessarily agree with all that, but I see his points. Sure, given the gaping plot holes, a lazy production ethic based more on flash than substance (resulting in mere upscaled TMP-era components) is not a huge shock to me, and given the apparent parallel universe I'm quite okay with everything being different, even if it doesn't make sense to us why particular things might be*. Vic's dead, after all. (If anything, it could be more different . . . it's always been kinda silly to have mere set redresses in parallel universes.)

And also, not everyone is working from the same evidence. Some have been listening to the desperate efforts of Orci et al. to handwave away the most retarded parts of the film, treating their words as gospel. Some have been looking at some well-selected and seemingly cam-grab-derived screen-caps on online forums, while others have other images in mind or hand. Others base all their info from trailer images that never appear in the film.

Is it really bonkers to wait for a full accounting of the proper evidence before accepting some wacky figure from some unknown dude? I think not. Even the scaling of Star Wars ships, which most people accepted based on similar trade paper statements, has recently come under scrutiny, so it is hardly evidence of wild-eyed lunacy to approach the topic with intellectual caution. And until the DVD Blu-Ray comes out and we can scale to
our heart's content, it's definitely silly for people to freak out at
the present time based on trailer images and vague recollections.

So for me, I'm leaning based on what I've seen and heard toward the 725-ish meter ship, though I'm fond of the claim of 610m. Others haven't seen or heard the same things and so they might lean elsewhere, and I might even agree with them if I'd seen or heard what they have. No big deal. But I'll still call it the Monsterprise either way. :)

It's not a critical issue, the evidence is not readily available yet, and it is not evidence of mental deficiency or some sort of Bernd temper tantrum as some very strange people are claiming. It is the quest for consistency in a Trek universe rendered far more inconsistent than ever. The only thing that's peculiar is to see people freak out about it.


(*) There's a distinction between production and content. From a
production standpoint, having a bridge dome no longer surrounding the
bridge, yet looking exactly the same, except that the former headlight
notches are now bridge windows and the whole thing's twice as big . . .
it just makes no sense at all. But in-universe, we can imagine any
number of reasons for such a shape to come standard relative to the
other shapes, be it subspace dynamics, a particular designer's history
similar between the two universes, or whatever . . . it doesn't
matter.




1 comment:

  1. Ship-design is generally based on precedent. The change to the timeline wasn't that huge: likewise it's clear that in Star Trek, the timeline holds pretty much intact based on somthing more than simple physical causation from the point of change: rather, the future seems to hold together through some unknown force.

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