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Star Trek Into Darkness: Eye Candy For The Amygdala

Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013 | By: Culture



by Gray Scott

Star Trek Into Darkness: Eye candy for the amygdala. Yes, this is another Hollywood blockbuster depicting a dystopian future with big explosions and small innovations. However, the first ten minutes are worth the price of the ticket. I was pleasantly surprised to see J.J. Abrams using the Ancient Aliens  theory and a huge wink to author Zecharia Sitchin’s  work in the opening scene located on the fictional (depending on who you ask) world of Nibiru.

this essay was first posted at Gray’s blog, Serious Wonder, HERE

This opening scene is multi-layered and cuts deep into the heart of ancient religious beliefs on our planet. It also suggests that our own history could be the product of a visitation by an advanced extraterrestrial  civilization. If the entire movie followed the trajectory set forth in the first ten minutes, Abrams would have created a ground breaking piece of science-fiction. Alas, this was not the case.

After the first ten minutes we enter a slippery dystopian slope. As with most sci-fi films these days, the director and writers reference one or two decent ideas and then surround these philosophical and futuristic ideas with dystopian nightmares. A cliché of a cliché . Things blow up, cars (or in this case spaceships) crash and yes, we even get a fist fight in deep space. Really? A fist fight? Will we have fist fights after the singularity ?

The marketing is on target, and the amygdala pushers did their jobs well, but I’m board to no end with this type of low brow limited thinking science fiction. What made Star Trek so groundbreaking and Gene Roddenberry a household name, was the sense of deep curiosity and wonder, exploration of ideas, worlds and insight. But Into Darkness is really just that. A trip into a dark place in our minds. No innovation, no curiosity and very little wonder. No one even utters the phrase “What could that be?” or “How do we communicate with it?”

Where are all the brilliant innovative science fiction writers? I refuse to believe that the future is going to be the cliche that Star Trek Into Darkness serves up.

The art direction is magnificent and the CGI is beautiful but you will need to arrest your intellect to really enjoy this film. We need our new E.T. moment. We need more science fiction adventure for the intellectual mind, and less eye candy for the amygdala.

this essay was first posted at Gray’s blog, Serious Wonder, HERE



Comments:

Gary, excellent questions asked in this essay. I ask this very question in the article I’ve written for ImmortalLife (due to be published this weekend) the question Ofcourse- why are Scifi authors gravitating towards Dystopia?

if vampire themed stories are on the nations best seller lists and are box office hits,
That should be a clue: audiences are intrigued and want to believe in life extension, immortality, and transhumanism…. Lets build on it in a more utopian and food for though manner.

Also people who came to the Transhumanism party early ... Where’s the roadmap?
for newbies? For the common man? Enough with the preaching and prophesizing.
Let’s address the common man and get them on board, before their Dystopian fantasies come to pass.

By Clyde on May 23, 2013 at 11:18pm

“Where are all the brilliant innovative science fiction writers?”

Why do you hold these people in such awe? Science fiction writers don’t have any special insight into “the future,” as we can see from the failure of the technologically progressive “space age” they predicted for us in the mid 20th Century. The attempt to turn that into reality came and went a couple generations ago. These writers in general hold socially conventional outlooks and look to “the future” as an imaginary realm for playing games. Just ask Ian Banks.

Oh, wait. You can’t do that now - ever.

But you see my point.

An ordinary person who signs up for cryopreservation shows sterner stuff in his or her character than a whole convention center full of science fiction fans. Do you want to spend your life in futuristic make-believe, with a grave waiting for you at the end? Or do you want to turn your fantasies into reality and possibly live to see the future centuries invoked by the science fiction writers you like?

We have a feasible way of making this choice now, at least through brain preservation. (The neuroscientists who advocate this idea think we can turn death from a permanent off-state into a temporary and reversible off-state.) And this choice has practical consequences: It separates the adults from the juveniles, real life from childish imaginings. .

How badly do you want to grow up? Really?

By Mark Plus on Jul 05, 2013 at 5:08pm

Some of your observations are dead on. To begin with many of the scripts for the original Trek series were either written by acknowledged Sci-Fi authors or else adapted from existing stories. Today most of the writing is done by Hollywood mill writers who work off of formulas. Even when the writer has talent those formulas can leech most of the good out of a script. And the writers are seldom all that good. There’s also very little real vision left to Star Trek. The original series often featured stories where the primary adversary was an idea, a belief or a bias of some sort. Today Directors are convinced that we all want flesh and blood villains and care nothing for the “Idea as Adversary”. Eventually, I’m sure, some daring Producer/Director combo will come along and give us quality Sci-Fi with vision. Perhaps then Star Trek will manage to get back on track. Not holding my breath, though.

By Capt. Sheffield on Jul 05, 2013 at 5:42pm


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