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Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness 514

Posted by Soulskill
from the to-boldly-flare-where-no-lens-has-flared-before dept.
J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of Star Trek was wildly successful. It raked in hundreds of millions at the box office, and revitalized the Star Trek franchise, which had languished for 7 years without a new film and 4 years without a TV presence (after 18 consecutive years of new shows). It also did something no Trek movie had done before; it made Star Trek ‘cool’ in the public consciousness. Combined, those factors ensured Abrams would get another turn at the helm of a Trek movie, and sooner rather than later. With today's release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, that trend is very likely to continue. It's a movie with all the same strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor, and if it worked before, it'll work again. Read on for our review.

Spoiler level: minor. This review contains character and actor names and a couple references to scenes without going into their content.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Star Trek: Into Darkness is a very entertaining film, and you will probably enjoy it.

Into Darkness hits the ground running, quickly reintroducing the rebooted crew and the Enterprise in all its glory. The opening act reminds us of everything we like about the 2009 Star Trek; snappy dialog, direct references to important parts of the original TV show, and cinematography that shows off the power, grace, and majesty of a Federation starship. It also highlights many of the differences between classic Trek and Abrams Trek.

*

In Abrams Trek, everything is fast. Kirk runs fast, Spock talks fast, crewmembers are always scrambling about the bridge and engineering at top speed, and as soon as a decision is made, action is taken. Tension and conflict arises with immediacy, and is resolved at the same pace. In Abrams Trek, no screentime is wasted. If a section of dialog is a bit technobabbley or it’s just providing background, something shiny will appear to keep your eyes and your attention engaged. In Abrams Trek, the lens flare deserves its own billing. Oh my, the lens flare.

But the big question about the Abrams films, both in 2009 and 2013, is: are they Star Trek? It’s a complicated issue, but one that's worth answering to fans of the various Trek TV series. Let's start by answering a somewhat simpler question: are they sci-fi? Not really. They fit the Hollywood definition of sci-fi — after all, they're flying spaceships and talking to aliens — but of course sci-fi is more than that. It's about ideas; it's about taking some part of life and changing it, then seeing what happens as a result. That's why Leguin, Dick, and Vonnegut are celebrated as sci-fi writers alongside Bradbury, Asimov, and Niven.

Into Darkness and the 2009 Star Trek before it aren't about ideas. They're unrepentantly character-driven. They're space operas. Perhaps more importantly, they're action films. I say this not to be exclusionary, but so we can evaluate in the proper context: as a Trek-themed action movie, Into Darkness is fantastic.

But Trek isn't about action (space opera, sometimes — action, no). It has certainly incorporated action; Kirk didn't get the reputation for always having a torn shirt for nothing. But in the TV shows, the action was punctuation; it was the set-up to the plot, or a way to resolve it once a moral issue had been defeated. In Day of the Dove, we were constantly shown fight scenes, but their purpose was to show the exaggerated hatreds of the characters, and to set up the we-must-work-together ending. And let's be clear: Abrams Trek isn't the first time the movie franchise departed toward action, either. Star Trek 2, widely regarded as the best of the films, was certainly a space opera, and you could make the case that it's an action film. The last three Next Generation films tried to be action films and failed. Abrams Trek tries and succeeds.

So, is it Trek? Well, it doesn't pass the sci-fi test, but let's look at the characters. Christopher Pine's Kirk is an exaggeration of Shatner's Kirk. All the characteristics of Shatner's Kirk are present in Pine's Kirk, but magnified tremendously. On the TV show, Kirk had a reputation as a womanizer. In Abrams Trek, Kirk is shown waking up in bed with space-babes and hitting on almost every female he comes in contact with. A lot of times it's for comedic effect, and succeeds at being funny, but it also feels like a caricature. Zachary Quinto's Spock felt much more natural to me this time around, in some ways. He pulls off Vulcan stoicism well. The only downside is that his emotional control feels like a simple prop; he maintains his facade until the writers need to show how important some event is, then it breaks.

The other familiar crew members each get a brief moment in the spotlight, but the limitations of a two-hour movie prevent any significant depth. Bones exists to crack jokes and repeat his catchphrases. Chekov exists to run around looking overwhelmed. Scotty exists to solve whatever problem is keeping the plot from moving forward. Simon Pegg's Scotty is still jarring, to me. His role as comic relief doesn’t mesh well with my perception of Scotty. (People unfamiliar with the original series probably wouldn't notice, or care; he is funny.) Doohan's Scotty was funny sometimes, but not in such an intentional way. It seems odd to have that character cracking wise. Sulu's screentime is brief, but it's good.

The one character I truly lament is Uhura, though not because of any complaint with Saldana. She serves to highlight one huge difference between Abrams Trek and classic Trek: Abrams Trek is a guy-movie. The majority of Uhura's role in Into Darkness is to be Spock's love-interest. She has one brief moment of being her own person, showing her own strengths — and (very minor spoiler) she fails and has to be rescued by men. Aside from Uhura, there's only one other significant woman character in the film, and her main purpose is to be both eye-candy and a bargaining chip for the men. In fact, thinking back, I'm pretty sure Into Darkness fails the Bechdel test. It bothers me that this happens in a Star Trek film. One of Trek's driving principles is a future of equality; a future free of the sexism and racism and classism we deal with today. It's not always an easy thing to write into a story, especially one limited to two hours — but we should at least try.

*

But let's step back to the more mundane aspects of the film, for a moment. The visuals are absolutely stunning. The alien planets, outer space, and a futuristic Earth are all fascinating to see. More importantly, Abrams shows us the Enterprise as we've always wanted to see her. Whether it's tearing off into high warp, diving through the atmosphere of a planet, or having the hull torn open by phaser fire, the ship looks amazing. The inside looks amazing, too — engineering looks much more like the belly of an enormously complex spacecraft than ever before. The special effects budget was well spent. ...Mostly. Abrams is known for his use of lens flare, but rather than toning it back, it seems like he's doubling down on that reputation. There are also a few action sequences where camera shaking and flashes of light get a bit excessive. I get that moving the camera really fast around a completely CGI environment helps to mask the imperfections, but there are times where you'll know a whole lot is going on without being exactly sure what. I'd happily take a slightly-less-crazy chase scene if I can get a clear look at it.

The scoring is solid. Into Darkness takes its main theme from the 2009 movie, with a few improvements. It doesn't get in the way. The acting is generally fine, as well. The regulars are more comfortable in the roles; this time around, they're playing themselves as much as they’re playing the original crew. Benedict Cumberbatch brings his talent to a leading role, and he does well with what he was given, but he could have been utilized better. His character exists in two modes — complete stillness and furious action. There’s very little in between, and I think that middle-ground is where Cumberbatch thrives, as on BBC's Sherlock. Still, his character made a far more compelling opponent for Kirk than 2009's Nero.

*

There were a few points where the acting did strike a discordant note for me. To explain why, I'm going to step back for a moment and discuss one of the major themes of the Star Trek reboot. J.J. Abrams and the others running the show constantly use aspects of the original show — props, plots, attitudes, and characters — to inform the reboot. However, they’re very, very consistent about re-interpreting all of those aspects. Everything is close enough to be familiar, but different enough seem new. In most cases, it works; new phasers just look better than old phasers. New Spock is different from Old Spock, but not in a bad way. In Into Darkness, we meet a familiar alien race, and the re-interpretation makes them feel a bit alien again. But it doesn't always work, and this leads me back to the acting. Without spoiling the content, there are a few scenes that are much more direct adaptations of old Star Trek scenes than we saw in the 2009 movie. It is a really interesting and cool concept, but the execution felt very odd, for me. I'll try to describe it: knowing how the scene was "supposed" to go, it felt as though the actors were trying to recreate it, but failing. Obviously, this is not the case; it was clearly planned, scripted, and shot with painstaking care, until they got exactly what they wanted. Still, the similarity hit an uncanny valley between original and re-interpretation. Fortunately for most viewers, anyone who isn’t much of a Trek fan isn't likely to notice or care.

As a long-time Trek fan, Star Trek: Into Darkness occupies a conflicted spot in my mind. At the most basic level, I went to a movie and really enjoyed it. I don't regret the $10 I spent on it, and I suspect most people would feel the same. At the same time, I'm a bit troubled by the direction the franchise is taking. There are a whole generation of kids who are now growing up with a very different perception of Star Trek than I did. To them, it's going to be just another Transformers-style action flick with no lasting importance. There's none of the idealism, optimism, or broadmindedness that was inherent to classic Trek. It's not hard to see why that is; stories like that are much harder to tell on the silver screen, and even when done well, they don't make as much money. They're much better suited to episodic TV. Unfortunately, if we see a new Trek TV series (more likely: when we see a new Trek TV series), you can bet it will be done in the style of the Abrams reboot, and I worry that the true sci-fi stories and the thought-provoking allegories will be subsumed by over-the-top action and relentless special effects. At the same time, I think some Trek is better than no Trek, and the two Abrams films make a better legacy for the franchise than Insurrection and Nemesis. I almost envy non-Trek-fans for not having to resolve the conflict of What Trek Is versus What Trek Isn't.

Bottom line: go see it.

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Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

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  • Guy movie? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:33PM (#43756157)

    I think it's an interesting comment about the women in the film.

    This is one of only a handful of sci-fi movies that many of my female friends and acquaintances have actually enjoyed recently. I've received so many good reviews of it from women that I was hesitant to go and see it myself because I thought it was going to be too targeted towards the female audience.

    Soulskill (i'm presuming) is a guy, so I find it interesting that you're offended on their behalf and yet a lot of women don't seem to mind it at all.

    Note that I'm passing no judgement there, it's just an interesting observation for me.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenSchuarmer (922752) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:43PM (#43756261)
    It was the 60s, Star Trek TOS was very progressive for its time. Gene Roddenberry had Majel Barrett playing the first officer in the pilot, but the network made him change it.
  • Fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:54PM (#43756411)

    "It's a movie with all the same strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor, and if it worked before, it'll work again."

    It is nothing of the sort. They went a long way toward throwing away the tremendous gains of the 2009 "new" Start Trek movie.

    The first movie took great pains to give them a brand NEW Star Trek world with all the possibilities that implies. It breaks all necessary ties with the past, and gave them a new start.

    So what did they do? They made the second movie a blatant derivative of "The Wrath of Khan".

    With all that possibility, they came close to throwing it all away. As it is, it was WAY too similar to that other Khan movie.

    Pardon me, but I go to movies to see new things. This wasn't it. My rating: FAIL.

  • Re:Guy movie? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:59PM (#43756499)

    > Soulskill (i'm presuming) is a guy, so I find it interesting that you're offended on their behalf and yet a lot of women don't seem to mind it at all.

    You are doing a common mistake here: You assume that a society to be given men power over women is backed by men and opposed to by women.

    While usually such social norms are usually enforced by both genders. Sometimes mothers will be the force behind their daughters being chaste and neglecting their interests. And behind their sons prefering stupid helpless women. In groups with a chauvinistic culture I experienced that it are usually the women that bully any men into chauvinistic behaviour, by ridiculing those not "manly" enough to behave disrespectively towards women.

    It's not "men" against "women". It's people wanting a 19th century role model against those that want a fair society.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:16PM (#43756739)

    Much of Trek is also little more than space western and this is exactly how Roddenberry originally sold it too.

    While it was pitched that way it actually dealt heavily with various political and ethical issues. That was what made it great, sure there was technobabble and bits of "space western" mixed in but overall it was speculation about the future and the present.

    The "new trek" is just action movies IN SPACE which makes it "sci-fi" in the eyes of Hollywood.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dublin (31215) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:18PM (#43756767) Homepage

    And Firefly was a bit higher on the scale, while Max Headroom may actually have been the zenith...

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:18PM (#43756773) Homepage Journal
    Uhura was a major character, she was black, and she was a telephone operator. So take the good with the bad. The woman who is and will always be Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, has, evidence suggests, had a great impact on the self esteem of young black women. So take the good with the bad.

    The first episode of Star Trek, The Man Trap,certainly reflected women in a negative light, as demon who will suck you dry as quickly as they say they love you. Predators who are only interested in what they can get, and will give only as much as they have to bleed you dry. When they are done with you they will just find another, and when they are done with them, and you are rejuvenated, they will deal with you. Yes very misogynistic.

    But Star Trek changed with new episodes and new series. While this is called the reboot, really ST:TNG did that, by advancing time and creating a new reality in line with what we in the late 80's saw our hopes to be. Then DS9 and Voyager continued to match Star Trek to out expectation of a universe accesible to everyone.

    Though they were criticisms, the series and film continued the story, until Enterprise. I think that they messed up on Enterprise because no one really wants a starship that is broken, we saw that from the films, and the earth that was presented certainly wasn't the earth that would be expected given the very rich and varied mythology of the show. The way to deal with the past was not to go to the past, but to jump to another future, as was done with TNG.

    That said what Abrams is doing is not a reboot. BSG was a reboot. The new Doctor Who is a reboot. What this Star Trek is more akin to the new Charlie's Angles, a brazen attempt to generate huge amounts of cash based on old ideas. This is, as some characterized the remake of Indiana Jones, purely physical and sexual assault.

    There would have been so many ways to use these actors in different characters. What would, god help us, the children of Riker and Deanna look like and do? The DS9 timeline is not popular, but there were some interesting life forms. Everyone is complaining about the mythology and timeline, but that is not the problem. The problem is the characters of Star Trek is stuck in the 60's. Trying to make them fit what we have today is not rational. The black woman is not automatically the telephone operator. The white man is not automatically the leader. It seems that the movie is made to promote the nostalgia that so many feel, that the 60's, when everyone knew their place, was better.

  • WTF?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Libertarian001 (453712) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:23PM (#43756833)

    Why do people keep saying that JJ Trek 1 was a good movie? No, no it wasn't. Ignore whether it was Trek or not. Ignore whether it was SciFi or not. It was a bad movie. The casting was great (except for Chekov), the performances were great. The sets were... like watching how Apple would design something...

    But the plot. Ugh. The entire time I was thinking about how I saw that exact scene in some other movie. Hey, JJ, you know the Spinning Blades of Doom (TM)? Yeah, Galaxy Quest was making fun of you with that, not encouraging you. Sure, make Kirk the youngest CO ever. I'm cool with that. Right up until, apparently, there's not a single officer on the entire ship... except for Spock... and you can just bring up his mommy issues to take command.

    I'm not a Trekkie. This isn't about not liking how things are now. I find much of Old Trek to be unwatchable. That was just a crap movie, and I saw absolutely nothing to make me want to watch this new one, and every reason to just skip it.

    Pass.

  • by msmonroe (2511262) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:24PM (#43756849)
    I think the comparison between the Star Trek of Today and the Star Trek of yesteryear is vastly unfair. The world of today is very different. The original Star Trek was set in a time that was practically before manned spaceflight; The concepts of space travel as well as technology were new except to the select few original nerds and geeks that read sci-fi by the masters or followed comic books. If the original Star Trek did anything it was to try and bring these ideas of technology and space flight to the masses. Some of the ideas are rather anachronistic and taken from old westerns, don't get me wrong it's great stuff. It also dealt with some social issues of the day, which was pretty common back in the day for classic sci-fi. Now everyone knows about technology and spaceflight nothing really wows anyone so it's really pointless to try and push that button; people are pretty jaded. Westerns are gone, for the most part anyway, and most of those concepts are long gone and if you tried to make a series with those concepts people would probably laugh and think it was kitsch. The awesome thing about the reboots is that it brings back to life for today's generation and it IS more of a space soap opera but that is what is popular today, like westerns were at the time of the original trek, and to bring people in you have to film something that is marketable and sell-able. If you want to see something classic like Star Trek, go watch the masters; the original crew, love those guys. I love the new crew as well, their just freaking awesome; I just realize that this is a different time and a different world. Besides I wouldn't want a line for line reboot anyway, I want to see something new.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:30PM (#43756939) Journal

    I don't think it's a matter of how Abrams' Trek compares unfavorably to the scientific and philosophical "Old Trek". This is not an entirely accurate characterization of Old Trek, and completely ignores the substantial difference between Old Trek and Middle Trek. Whereas Original Kirk often resolved things with a directed phaser burst or clunky fight scene, the series of the Berman era, starting with ST:TNG, went too far the other way, preferring to move the plot forward with endless meetings and discussions and existential crisis and long meaningful stares. (Side note, I think this was primarily because meetings are cheaper to film than fight scenes, but feel free to disagree.) This is where the technobabble reached a peak, as babbling nonsense to get out of a predicament is viewed as somehow more cerebral than kicking ass. Or actually coming up with a plausible predicament with a plausible solution.

    And as we know, Berman's Super Talking Trek eventually collapsed in upon itself. Personally, I've seen every single episode of TOS several times, but I stopped watching each of TNG, DS9, and Voyager before they played out. And I only ever saw perhaps four episodes of Enterprise. (Of which, one was the arguably decent follow-on to "mirror mirror".) Why? Because with a few exceptions, it was boring as hell. The same endless discussions scored by the same eight bars of cello and viola until you want to claw your eyes out. It was an exercise in frustration.

    I submit that Abrams' trek was meant as a direct counter to the Super Talking Trek of the Berman era. It's not necessarily TOS reinterpreted as a space opera, because, let's face it, a lot of TOS *was* space opera, just with less money and lower technology. Abrams' Trek takes the action qualities of TOS and gives it a huge boost of technology and caffeine, without losing sight of TOS beginnings: Horatio Hornblower in space. I haven't seen Into Darkness yet, but noticed the "wooden ships and iron men" feel to the battle scenes in the trailer, which Previous Trek had seldom been able to convey. I really don't have a problem with that.

    But the lens flare, that has to go. What idiot thought that up?

    I mean really, if Roddenberry and Coon and Fontana and the rest had access to something that looked like a decent space suit and the ability to film EVAs and descents into volcanos and small vehicles dogfighting in space, and the Enterprise in atmosphere, don't you think they would have used them?

  • Re:not a fan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@[ ]oo.ca ['yah' in gap]> on Friday May 17, 2013 @04:44PM (#43757101)

    You mean the scene where Kirk says, "oh it will fit..." is classic? How many times have we seen a scene like this? Only now it has lens flare and 3d effects! Yes that is just wonderful!

    The problem is that Abrams took it in the wrong direction. Lets compare this to say Oblvion? At least there some interesting questions were asked with kick ass graphics! IMO this is the direction of SciFi. Or what about even Cloud Atlas! Not the fastest moving of things, but pretty decent actually. No Abrams is selling us the crack in movies we know as Transformer-ietes. In about a decade the Star Trek movies will be dated like Miami Vice is today! Compare that to Magmum Pi. Same era and pretty darn dated, but it is a good watch even to this day.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ToadProphet (1148333) on Friday May 17, 2013 @05:17PM (#43757573)

    You may want to listen to the content of that 'endless discussion' sometime. There's very few significant topics that weren't addressed somewhere in the Star Trek franchise. And it had a somewhat novel way of addressing them - often from the point of view on non-humans. Sure, that had been done before - but not on that scale.

    Very few entertainment franchises, and certainly none as successful as Star Trek, have addressed the breadth of topics that it has.

  • Re:ITT: (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @05:56PM (#43757955)

    Mostly wrong.

    1) Science fiction isn't predictive, it's descriptive. This is what the original series excelled at. It's about us (i.e., humanity) and our journey.
    2) Special effects aren't a substitute for good story telling.
    3) The original is just as good now, perhaps even better today as compared with Abrams' shallow, microsecond cut, throw away plots, driven by two dimensional characters.
    4) The arbiter for value is time. Star Trek TOS is as admired and as popular almost 50 years later.
    5) I was completely in favour of the reboot, but Abrams just doesn't get it.

  • Sexist future (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday May 17, 2013 @06:02PM (#43758003)

    Note the security officers escorting the villain in the picture here...

    ALL men.

    Because, you need BIG STRONG ARMS to pull the trigger on a recoil-less phaser rifle.

    I guess if a woman had been in the security detail, the villain wouldn't have escaped and the movie would have ended too quickly.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday May 17, 2013 @08:26PM (#43759049) Journal

    Actually, Simon Pegg (Scotty) had this [collider.com] to say about the Lens Flare:

    [Interviewer:] Who made the first joke about lens flares?

    [Pegg:] Probably some film student who wanted to demonstrate his or her knowledge of film terminology, thus elevating themselves to an assumed level of critical superiority, which gave them the kind of smug, knowing smile that indicates a festering sour grape, fizzing in the pit of their own ambition. It’s become a sort of communal stick to have a crack at JJ with, mostly by people who didn’t know what the fuck lens flare was, until someone started sneering the term all over their blog. It demonstrates JJ’s supreme talent as a film maker that the main means of knocking him is to magnify a throw away artistic choice, into some sort of hilarious failing. Lens flare is essentially an anomaly caused by light hitting the lens and creating refracted shapes. Because it draws attention to the fact that we are looking at a filmed event, it actually creates a subliminal sense of documentary realism and makes the moment more vital and immediate. In the same way Spielberg spattered his shots with bloody seawater in Saving Private Ryan, JJ suggests that the moment we are in is so real and alive, there just isn’t time to frame out all the light and activity. The irony is by acknowledging the film’s artifice, you are enhancing the reality of the moment. It’s clever and I love it. On set we call it ‘best in show’ and our amazing director of photography, Dan Mindel has a special technique to achieve it. To the detractors, I offer a polite fuck you and suggest you find a new stick to beat us with, if being a huge, boring neggyballs is necessary for your personal happiness.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday May 17, 2013 @08:44PM (#43759167)

    > Serious social issues were explored in an entertaining way.

    Dam straight. ST:TNG was a good social commentary disguised as sci-fi. The original did a good job too.

    That's what the heart of Science Fiction is: Exploring the social consequences, implications and ramifications of how technology effects people's lives. The "classic" Sci-Fi writers (Isaac) Asimov, (Robert) Heinlein, (Arthur) Clarke are some of the BEST _precisely_ because they explored these social issues at a deep level. Great Sci-Fi encourages and rewards deep thinking.

    For any series that reboots / remakes / re-cash-grab one would expect a bit more BACK story in the first place. i.e. WHY did Star Fleet invent the Prime Directive in the first place? HOW did they come to that "non-interference" was the only "valid" choice. If you are going to invent artificial rules on xeno-politics then at least treat the viewer as having some intelligence. Hell, if ST:TNG could do it for 7 years, there is no reason why a movie can't. In about 10 years humans will finally meet aliens and we'll get to see some wildly different perspectives on intelligent species communication that will make ST look like a joke / toy in comparison.

    Is the new Star Trek a sci-fi? Hell no, not even close.

    Is it a decent action flick. Yeah. It was entertaining; if one ignores the one-dimensional characters, plots holes, then mildly yes. There is a time and a place for "dumb sci-fi". The ONLY credit I give to the new Star Trek is that it made it accessible to the general populace. "Coolness" should never depend on "popularity".

  • Re:not a fan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Your.Master (1088569) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:34PM (#43759689)

    Because it's not wrong.

    There is no "absolute position". Anything running on inertia can be said to be said to be moving at any velocity you choose depending on your frame of reference, including motionless. Now, planets don't run solely on inertia -- they orbit because of gravity. But gravity folds spacetime, which is still what you're travelling through. Plenty of good reason to think you'll end up at basically the same position relative to the barycenter of the most significant gravity sources of your point of departure.

    You wouldn't time travel to the "same location in a different time" because that doesn't exist. The current time is part of the coordinates in the time-space continuum. We ignore that in our everyday lives as we constantly time travel forward, because our position relative to the barycenter of the most significant local gravity source -- the Earth -- does not change substantially.

    Where do you think they would go if it isn't the approximate same location as measured from the local planet/solar system/galactic center/appropriate scale alternative? Every other location in the universe save that one seems like an arbitrary choice to me.*

    *Okay, I can imagine another location: perhaps if you worked out what would happen if you ran the universe backwards, but without gravity, such that everything is inertia, you could end up there. Seems unlikely though. How often does that sort of thing happen in physics where you basically have to backtrack through an alternate history to determine how real history happened? If we accept that time travel exists, we can accept that it's weird, but I'd go for a simpler answer while we're basically making shit up anyway. I think most people think of this as time travelling back 6 months in time and ending up on the opposite side of the sun, as if the sun were the center of the universe and time a universal constant.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:09AM (#43760031) Journal

    Firefly was arguably superior.

  • Re:not a fan (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 18, 2013 @12:39AM (#43760137) Journal

    Oh watch me go off like a mushroom cloud superfly TNT on THAT one, that is one of my biggest WHAT THE FUCK??? moments in the entire history of Star Trek!

    In ST:DS9 they said that the gun the Vulcan that snapped and was killing people on the station was using was "one of the last slug throwers" and was old tech...now wait just a fucking minute. You have a gun that lets you 1.- See through walls several layers deep, no matter what the make of the material, 2.- Give you perfect targeting through those walls, and 3.- Allows you to transport a bullet through any object and hit your target perfectly every time...and you are IN A WAR YOU ARE LOSING and you don't fucking use this gun? WHAT THE HOLY FUCK!!!

    That is when I had to stop watching because it was pissing me off too much, every single Dominion war death could be blamed on leadership too fucking STUPID to hand out a weapon that could easily help them win the war...morons, the entire federation is made up of morons.

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