The nuTrek-hater mindset

Over the past few months since the new Star Trek movie opened, I’ve noticed a strange reaction by some of its detractors. They start by ranting that the new movie has erased all of Trek as we know it — that the timeline since the birth of James T. Kirk has been overwritten, meaning classic Star Trek as we knew it, as well as The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and their literary spin-offs “never happened.” And dadgummit, that makes the fan so MAD!

Putting aside the obvious rejoinder that this is all just fiction and none of it has ever happened, some fans try to reassure their frothing-angry peers that the characters in the new movie explicitly said the technobabble had created “an alternate reality,” which means that the Trek they know and love is still out there, intact in its own universe, and the new Star Trek is free to chart a new course in its universe.

You’d think that would make the complainers happy, to have an on-screen justification for believing the Star Trek they profess to love is alive and well. But this is what perplexes me: trying to tell them this just makes them angrier.

Like semantic olympians, they surmount one logical hurdle after another to refute this helpful explanation, digging into Star Trek canon to justify their fury, and they discount any episode (usually TNG: “Parallels”) that might contradict their rage-gasm. To paraphrase one aggrieved fan’s reply, “I don’t care — I’d rather be angry.”

So let me get this straight, Mister Furious: You could accept an explanation that would let you continue to dismiss this film you find so offensive and still “believe” in your unsullied geek religion, but you’d rather scream and stomp your feet?

There’s just no pleasing some people.

9 Responses to “The nuTrek-hater mindset”

  1. tiki god

    I love star trek, but that movie wasn’t MY star trek. Combine that with the fact that since this most recent Trek movie did so well, and you can guarrenty that we will never ever ever seen Picard, Sisko or janeway on the big screen again.

    and that’s what breaks my heart. I was really hoping to see an Admiral Sisko.

    also: I had a bit of fanboi rage after I saw the movie and made a website : http://www.ihatestartrek.com/

    and regardless of the url, I actually do not hate star trek 😉

  2. David Mack

    There are many legitimate criticisms to be made of the new film. Believe me, I’ve made them (albeit in private). All I’m saying is, I don’t understand the rage of fanboys over a matter of fictional temporal illogic. The DVD sets of TOS, TNG, and DS9 are safe and sound on my shelf, right next to the TAS boxed set.

    Erased from existence? Hardly. 😉

  3. Sci

    tiki god: You were already never going to see Picard, Sisko, or Janeway again in canonical films. NEM bombed incredibly badly, and did so at a time when genre films were doing well. INS fell flat even if it did not bomb, and ENT, VOY, and DS9 were constantly losing audiences as their years went on. So it’s inaccurate to hold ST09 responsible for never seeing Picard, et al, again in the canon — you were already never going to see them again onscreen.

    Really, it’s a miracle that Paramount was even willing to make ST09, let alone that it was a hit. Star Trek was dead and buried; ST09, whatever its faults, brought Star Trek back from the dead.

  4. Millie

    Hello,
    To answer your post David, of course you will find people dumb and close minded even in Star Trek fans.
    That being said, i don’t believe fans who dislike this new movie does it because of the fact that they “erase” what has been done in all ST series.
    Rather, it’s the spirit of this new movie that is annoying for a fan like me.
    Instead of promoting an open mind and humanist point of view this movie shift to… well something else… Something less noble shall i say to stay polite. (some will say that might be the cost of sucess)
    One of the last scene being the perfect exemple for understanding that.
    What should have been the humanist scene, THE scene that might have saved this movie : Kirk and Spock ask Nero if he needs any help. Okay Nero is an ass and say “NO”. But was it reason enough to fire all weapons out on an already dying ship ? What about the other romulan’s crew? were they all in agreement in that moment with the wrath of their captain ? Well the new philosophy is we make fun of what star trek spirit has been about and then bring the big gun baby. ironically they are caught by the anomaly, well they could have backed up instead of firing . (Okay in the begining of generation there is the same kind of scene but they were trying to SAVE people not just being cowboys and shooting at dying indians.)
    This scene is just a symptom of this movie. Because really it was like that all along the movie…

    To try to explain my point i’ll take for comparison the movie Generation. The end of the movie is just bad. It doesn’t make any sens. (at least for a standard viewer like me) BUT i still like the movie. Why ? Because it is about growing up. Facing one’s fear of death and fear of the passing time conducting toward the inevitable. So of course i’d rather have had a better ending with things making sens but still this movie was indeed in the spirit of Star Trek.

    In the new movie, every one is dumb, exept of course our heroes. Well that’s not true they actually ARE. (Mccoy being an exeption i don’t know why i like him in this movie) But at least they look cool and shiny. Not ONE alien is exploited correctly -Spock is half human and if i read it correctly the movie tells us that he embrace his human side because it’s cool -(i’m being ironic)
    That says something about the ideology behind the scene here. HUMANS are the dominant species here. Well ST has always been about human discovering other cultures, opening their mind, often confined in their restricted views of the universe. That’s what i like in this stories.
    I couldn’t find any of that philosophy in the new movie. And my friends all agree on that, the spirit of ST is no longer on board.
    And that is why i think this movie might stop a dream, a dream of bettering humans by telling them stories that engage them into thinking about things, not just sitting and enjoying the explosions.
    Plus they go through Starfleet academy like if it was summer camp. (sorry this one was just for fun it’s not actually really agains st spirit)

    PS : TIKI GOD i like your site, even if i also like Star Trek :p
    Plus it’s not so bad if you don’t get to see your old caracters… New ones are just as fine if the story is as good as any of one in David’s book !lol !

  5. David Mack

    Thierry,

    You’ve misunderstood me, I’m afraid. I did not say, and I am not saying, that all people who disliked the new movie were motivated by the timeline-erasure issue.

    My point is that the people who are getting upset specifically and exclusively about that issue are not willing to be calmed by the explanation, which is in the movie’s dialogue, that the previous timeline was not erased.

    I am not confused as to why some viewers did not like the latest Star Trek film; I am confused as to why a particular subset of those detractors (“the-timeline-is-erased” whiners) chooses to wallow in anger rather than embrace an interpretation of the events that would mean there was nothing to be upset about in the first place.

  6. tiki god

    As I mentioned above, my primary gripe is that moviewise, that universe is now dead. @Sci was correct though, the universe had already been paved over by the performance of nemesis.

    It would have helped immensely if they made it much clearer in the movie that Picard, Data, Worf, Sisko, et al were still active in their own universe. If I remember correctly, the “Countdown” comic had a scene in it in which Spock falls into the redmatter black hole and the Enterprise is still there with Picard and Data commenting on how they had no clue where/when Spock had been transported to, but that he saved the universe with his actions, and they needed to move on with their lives, explicitly saying that the ‘Prime’ star trek universe was still intact.

    Hell, they could have two different movie franchises going then, one with the TNG era crews and one with the JJ crew.

    My personal feelings are that I hate hate hate time travel stories, if only because there are so many theories of time travel and you have to explicitly tell the audience which one you’re using. Divergent universes like this movie? Or one timeline like in First Contact in which the borg went back and changed the Prime Universe?

    Mind you, I accept that scifi in generally and Star Trek specifically love to do what if time travel episodes, so I bare with it 😉

  7. tiki god

    also: I’d love to see you add a ‘subscribe to comments’ thing on your blog here

  8. Millie

    Well, i understand that, and i agree this fans should behave and probably cool down… Besides it’s just a story like you said so if you want two reality to co-exist they can. I read a very nice board by Christopher L. Benett explaining they had no trouble at all believing in the alternate universe so why wouldn’t they accept this one?
    On that i agree. And i understand your frustration toward this kind of people. Now you know what it feels like to fight against a wall of preconceptions and faith driven people…

    in many cases, when i try to talk about religion, the more i tried to “prove” to the people that what they are believing are actually based on nothing consistent or that science disproved their nice theory about creations, the more i face the “web of faith”.
    I guess to some fans Star Trek as become something close to religion. (spooky especially since Star Trek has spend many episodes of warning us just against that)
    And people can be really dumb when enstrangled in this “web of faith”
    And that David, is why, i believe this people are incapable of understanding a rational explanation to a problem that isn’t even one to begin with.

    So stop waisting your time with people you can’t change and go write nice books (^_-)
    Just kidding. !lol!

    Hey i have a question totaly unrelated… Sorry… Can i read your vanguard book even if i have NEVER read any before ? (i guess so but just checking)
    (^_^)
    Thanks as always
    Thierrry

  9. David Mack

    tiki god wrote:
    also: I’d love to see you add a ’subscribe to comments’ thing on your blog here

    Okay, I’ll look into that.

    Millie wrote:
    Can i read your vanguard book even if i have NEVER read any before ? (i guess so but just checking)

    Do your mean Precipice? I suppose you could read it and follow along without having read the previous Vanguard books, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The saga is meant to be read in order:

    Harbinger
    Summon the Thunder
    Reap the Whirlwind
    Open Secrets
    Precipice

    If possible, I’d recommend you consider buying the whole series.

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