Yes, this is Just Another Sci-Fri-day, Part 2…
There were four panels your favorite geek minister wanted to explore on WonderCon Anaheim’s first day, and a psychological debate of Star Trek vs. Star Wars was one of them.
That just sounds so deliciously awesome, now, doesn’t it?
Shame, then, that I was turned away from my first panel ever. Yup. I had no problem the last 2-years getting into San Diego Comic Con’s infamously “impossible” Hall H – site of many major panels like “Game of Thrones,” “Walking Dead,” The Hobbit, and The Avengers, just to name a few – yet I couldn’t get into a “minor” panel at WonderCon.
Blame it on the late timing of the BSG panel (which finished at exactly 1:30, time of the STvsSW panel), blame it on the massive line that went out the door (this is Anaheim, really?), and new security/fire marshal procedures (no respect for press, no standing in the back).
Hey, can’t see them all.
Thankfully, one lucky bloke named Eric Pfieffer – perhaps Michelle’s nephew – of Yahoo! News was able to cover it, and do a damn good job doing so.
I’d recommend checking this piece out by clicking here.
(You just know this self-loathing Hollywood-based blogger would never do that, but I’m glad at least one press guy got in.)
Heck. That minor blurb allowed yours truly to pound a Meatloaf Parmesan Burger at one of the Anaheim Convention Center’s amazing array of food trucks with our newest contributor @TheMcphailure and browse plenty of cool action figures on the showroom floor.
So not only did I never imagine myself not getting into a panel at WonderCon, but how about going to a Star Trek panel.. period!
“Let’s talk about Star Wars,” darted panelist Rod Roddenberry, TV producer and son of Gene Roddenberry, who produced the original “Star Trek” series. That quip actually received cheers from some of the Trekkies taking part in Room 207, further displaying the shrinking steam between Jedi Knights and those of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The GEEK Magazine panel also provided some surprising analysis on J.J.’s new take on the franchise, as well as some surprising – or perhaps unsurprising – hypocrisy. Both “Star Trek” producer (“The Next Generation”, “Voyager”, “Enterprise”), Brannon Braga, and GEEK editor-and-chief, Bond.. Jeff Bond, found themselves constantly playing tug-of-war with Abrams new take.
“I’ll accept any Star Trek, despite any deficiencies [that Abrams’ version might have],” said Braga. “Star Trek has alchemy to it. And when it’s firing on all cylinders, when it’s got a great concept, with stuff for all the characters to play, [then] it’s exploring a moral dilemma. I think the movies that work best have all of them. I think the best movie of them all, [Star Trek II: Wrath of] Khan, has a lot of depth to it. It’s about dying… time… rebirth. It’s a beautiful film.”
While Braga appeared bored during the panel – and even blurted so, despite Roddenberry claiming that none of the Trek flicks ever had a strong message – Jeff Bond had an even tougher time with his opinions of the new Star Trek.
“There are flaws and crazy science nonsense in the J.J. Abrams movie, [but] it’s like a funhouse mirror version of Star Trek,” spewed Bond. “The core of Spock is still the same. I love that he’s kind of a screwed up character, not always the guy who’s completely in command of what he is yet. He’s actually doing some crazy, wrong things. His whole relationship with Uhura is a huge problem, but I love that.” Thus, according to Braga and Bond, the new Star Trek is lacking a moral dilemma, yet this “crazy” Spock is out screwing around with Uhura, which could easily be interpreted as an inter-promotion on the ship.
An unexpected, albeit “wrong,” inter-species romantic relationship sounds like a fascinating moral dilemma to me!
Despite some of the panelists jumbled criticisms of J.J.’s Trek, I had an easier time than I imagined relating to many of their introductions into the franchise. I, for one, have never liked anything Star Trek until the 2009 film. So, hearing that both the son of the creator getting into Trek late and even Braga’s story how he was more the ‘comic and horror guy’ growing up who “thought everyone else was a nerd, despite probably being the biggest nerd of all” made this dude feel a little more at home.
Esteemed film critic Scott Mantz was arguably the biggest Trek nerd on the panel, constantly battling himself over tradition and the new. “Abrams’ movie did almost [everything] exceptionally well. After watching Star Trek my whole life, not once did I think of [William] Shatner and [Leonard] Nimoy. But [Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto] nailed it. They took Star Trek in new direction, gave it a fresh set of eyes, made it cool, sexy.. a Star Trek movie for everyone.”
“My mom even liked it and she hates Star Trek.”
Above all else, Braga more than likely nailed the biggest difference between the original Star Treks, JJ’s, and Star Wars: “Star Trek is more a TV show — and that’s what I’m waiting for.” Bond constantly agreed with Braga and disliked J.J.’s take so much (please sense the sarcasm..) that he claimed it “felt like I was at home watching ‘Star Trek’ from when I was 12-years old.”
Oh, Trekkies. Talk about a war.