Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I share a tweet that reminded me of something else. (Image of the tweet appears at the end in case it’s ever deleted. ) To my knowledge, this tweet had nothing to do with RPGs. It was just a ridiculous design made for the sake of ridiculousness.
That said, it instantly triggered an image in my head. Is this the FASA Star Trek RPG equivalent of 3rd Edition D&D‘s roving mauler?
Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, in the final stages of the death of my year-long streak of daily posts, I return to Star Trek. (Star Trek Sunday? Is that a thing?)
Not everything seen as certain death is necessarily the end. There’s often a way out.
Okay, I admit this turns out to be a bad example for inspiring hope in the face of likely death. Plus, perhaps the wrong [guy] died.
Remember, no one’s really dying. It’s just the end of a streak.
I got up at 5:30 am this morning to see the second season finale of Picard and the series premiere of Strange New Worlds. As to the latter, I haven’t been this excited for a Star Trek series since Next Generation was announced. First, it’s purported to be a return to the episodic format that I prefer (though I hear there will be an larger, overlayed story, which is fine). Second — I never thought I’d say this — Anson Mount’s Captain Pike has overtaken William Shatner’s Captain Kirk as my favorite Captain.
This still looks like a large, ensemble cast, so it won’t likely take over as my favorite series, but you never know. It certainly started off great. TOS is back, but without all the cheesy, 60s-era TV technology that the young-uns can’t seem to get past. Also, season2 of Picard ended today, and I was pretty happy with that as well. Here’s a spoiler for the last episode.
With this post, I’ve posted every day for an entire year. That’s right. The last day that I didn’t post was May 1, 2021. Before that, I was last discussing Key Lime Kit Kat bars.
This blows away my current record streak.
But wait a second. Is this even real? Can the post announcing that I’ve posted every day for a year be the anniversary post itself?
I say yes, and if you disagree, just keep in mind that I posted a bonus post on April 9, April 13, April 19, and April 25, so there have already been over 365 posts in this time without this one. There may have even been a couple more bonus posts, but I’m too lazy to look.
On another note, today is the first day of May. May is hockey playoffs, college lacrosse playoffs, preparations for the summer, and — most importantly — the month when all the cool people are born. Plus, I was born in May.
So, in 11 days, the streak will die. I want to focus on other things, and consistency hasn’t led to a large number of non-spam followers. Rarely does anyone retweet the tweets linking to these posts (likes merely gauge your footprint, not increase it), and almost all comments occur on other social media platforms, so my streak hasn’t done anything to improve my online footprint (except for a brief moment). Besides, many of my recent posts have been rather lame. If I didn’t have something to say, I’d write anyway, and it shows. I have a few more posts scheduled for this week, some others in my head that will come soon, and a handful scheduled to publish as far out as December. However, going forward, if I don’t have something to say, I won’t say anything. I’ll never feel rushed, and anything goofy will have to be funny enough to be worth sharing.
I’ve been focusing on gaming lately, with many more gaming posts queued up. Let’s take a short break. Some time ago, I wrote about Tuvix in Star Trek Voyager. That may have been a bit heavy. Here’s a visual representation of that episode.
Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?) Shadowrun and Pathfinder are also trademarks, but I have no reason to believe their lawyers are jackasses.
I was raised Catholic, but I’m, let’s just say, unaffiliated at the moment. Still, if there were any reason for me to engage in holiday traditions, it would be Christmas. In fact, people like me have influenced United States Supreme Court precedent on the Establishment Clause, but that’s a story for another day.
Patrick Stewart likes to talk about Star Trek as the modern human’s mythology, and I guess that applies to me. So, here’s my means to celebrate Christmas. Sort of. It’s all the memes that hit my stream this year, some of which are new to me. This is my mythology.
Humans apparently still celebrate Christmas in 2364, as evidenced by their viewing of Christmas movies.
But seriously . . .
Worf I get, but Gowron? I had no idea that Klingons celebrated Christmas.
Yesterday, I whined a bit, and I’m going to keep this going. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m really annoyed by Star Trek Discovery. It’s probably still better than The Animated Series, but The Animated Series shouldn’t be taken seriously by adults, so it’s got an out. Discovery, on the other hand, should be taken seriously, and it’s finally gotten so bad that I simply don’t like it.
As an old guy, I don’t like the way modern storytelling has proceeded. This is meaningless, as I’m no longer the target audience, but I’m going to share why that’s the case. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy represented the ethos, logos, and pathos of Starfleet, all wrapped up neatly in three characters. Focusing on only three characters has the advantage of developing those characters so thoroughly that the viewers’ appreciation of them is maximized. Modern writing focuses on far too many characters, which means there’s less plot and more minutiae. For example, we know that Chief O’Brien’s wife’s mother was born in 2269; we didn’t know Sulu was born in San Francisco until the fourth movie.
I experienced a similar issue with the TV show, The Flash. Among several issues with the show, one that drove me nuts was that over half the show’s runtime (I’m not exaggerating) had nothing to do with the main storyline. Instead, presumably because the writers weren’t talented enough to produce a complex story, over half of each episode had the characters 1) saying how much they loved each other; and 2) saying why they had to leave and never come back. As for number one, I’m all for character development — that’s the strength of the Triumvirate — but as Kirk once told Uhura, “Too much of anything, Lieutenant, even love, isn’t necessarily a good thing.” In this case, the “too much” isn’t character development itself, but rather how much of the runtime is dedicated to it. As for number two (huh-huh), there were a couple of characters that kept leaving “forever” but returning as soon as an actor needed another paycheck. It was maddening. (Note: The final straw for the Flash was a different issue altogether: A woman with no superpowers deflecting automatic gunfire with a sword. Even Deadpool couldn’t do that, and he’s utter deus ex bullshitina.)
This is what Discovery does. It spreads its development around the personal storylines of so many characters that the plot takes up almost none of the episode. This is easier writing, of course, which is probably why they write it that way. Most modern shows are like this, as have been past seasons of Discovery, but Discovery keeps adding characters, and it’s now unbearable.
I know that Mary Wiseman, the actress playing Tilly, has caught a ton of grief for her continued weight gain. A lot of it has been mean-spirited, and I don’t like that. However, there’s something to be said for placing your trust in someone who’s clearly not physically fit to rise to the challenges Starfleet personnel typically face. In the real world, the US Army has engineers, doctors, and other specialized soldiers, and while they’re not all Ranger qualified, they must do PT and maintain a certain minimum level of fitness. There’s good reason for that. How does Tilly get around that? In season 3, they have her “jogging” around the ship and running laps around the physically fit characters. Is this because Mary Wiseman is in better shape than they? Nope. It’s because, well, the script says she does. Who cares if it makes sense? They want her to be one of the stars of the show, so . . . she just is despite everything cutting against it.
Her physical fitness isn’t her only issue. While I don’t like unqualified viewers flippantly diagnosing on-screen (i.e., make-believe) characters with conditions the scriptwriters don’t understand and probably don’t care to understand, it’s clear that the Discovery scriptwriters intend for Tilly to suffer from some mental disability, probably something along the lines of autism. This has been made exceptionally clear in the current season, where her condition has caused her to break inside. Rather than immediately remove her from duties, the script instead had David Cronenberg tell her that the mission she led showed how great she was. He completely ignored the fact that she created the situation in the first place, getting someone killed and almost costing the entire crew their lives. The scriptwriters could have written whatever unrealistic story of heroism they wanted, but they wrote that, and thought they were writing a success story.
The mission was a disaster, though at least the outcome was close to logical: Tilly’s incompetence led at least to one death. So, that particular scene was the worst of both worlds: It had Tilly “win” even though she shouldn’t have, yet their definition of “win” was laughable. There’s no good in there. None.
This is nothing new. For many stories on TV today, many characters succeed not because they employ the most effective and/or skillful path to success, but merely because the script says so. The writers want these incompetent and/or idealistic characters to succeed, so they just do. There’s no rhyme or reason to the success. They get what they want despite themselves, and that poor writing grates on me (as I’m sure mine does on you).
Obviously, some of my concerns are generational, so they may not apply to you, but some of it is logical, and if there’s anything a Star Trek fan should demand of a Star Trek series, it’s adherence to logic. As good as its season-opening episodes have been, I think I’m tapping out on Discovery. I’d like to see how the actual main storyline plays out, but it’s not worth sitting through 40 minutes of drivel. Besides, it’ll probably be a cheap ending relying entirely on deus ex machina.
I hope Strange New Worlds turns things around. I haven’t anticipated a Star Trek series this much since The Next Generation.
I’m not sure I agree with Uhura as a Thief. She’s clearly charismatic and never used the mentioned skills. I also would have labeled Scotty an Artificer. If I’m not mistaken (I know very little about 2nd Edition), the Alchemist is a new class in 5th Edition. The artificer goes back to 3rd Edition. Duelist is a build but certainly fits Sulu based on one of his most iconic scenes.