“Q” is for Next Generation Questions

31 Jan
Disclaimer: If you aren’t familiar with Star Trek The Next Generation, or the new J.J. Abrams franchise then this will be full of new things you can use on your geeky friends.
First let me fill in everyone who hadn’t happened to catch the IMAX 3D High Frame Rate showing of The Hobbit. The ones who saw the deluxe Hobbit were treated to a little bonus. Instead of a normal trailer we were shown a ten minute 3D teaser of the new Star Trek Into Darkness. Okay so that is pretty cool and kind of different and I respect that. However, before going on to the real issue I need to get something off my chest. Lens flare is a camera flaw! J.J. Abrams artificially inserts it into everything he does and what was annoying in 2D is downright destruction in 3D. Having lines and circles of light occupying physical positions in space is so completely unnatural that the brain automatically disconnects out of the 3D illusion. That’s why 3D film makers go out of their way to eliminate them. The exception being the 10 minutes I saw of Into Darkness, so my advice is to save your money and see it in 2D.
Anyway what the clip really got me thinking is…
Fans of STNG would have loved to see a Q movie and now that the Trek franchise is through with its Captain Picard phase I feel cheated. Let’s look at some reasons why Q deserved his movie and why it would have been amazing.
Anyone who watched STNG knows that the pilot began with a strange Super being named Q putting civilization on trial, if judged guilty the sentence would be extinction. That episode ended with the jury still out, but Q would visit the Enterprise crew throughout the series taunting, testing, and threatening to judge them out of existence. John De Lancie portrayed the omnipotent character Q with a mixture of playful flare and indifference to the cruelty he’d inflict on “inferior species”. He made the Q episodes funnier and more mysterious, the show where Q is punished by the Continuum and sentenced to live as a human is a personal favorite. Q also made appearances on Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Possessing a fascination and disgust of humanity Q was always experimenting on the crew in absurd and extreme ways, often rearranging the laws of physics to his amusement. In the finale of STNG Q returns for another session in the trial of mankind concluding that (drum roll)… the jury is still out.
I remember watching that final show thinking that cliffhanger was done to leave room for an upcoming movie involving Q where the viewers would finally get a verdict. Now nineteen years later, it’ll never happen. The reboot has blown a huge hole in Trek cosmology angering many Trekkies. Q’s been forgotten but John De Lancie has been seen on Breaking Bad, and unless you’re a Brony you probably missed this little musical number.
Still let’s imagine how a Q movie could play out.
Catching up with Data we see he is pursuing certain experiments in Quantum Physics, 11 dimensional string theory, whatever extreme science, and the results are very odd and unexpected. Again and again he is perturbed by his findings and develops a hypothesis. Q has constructed a very complex and convincing simulated universe and put Data, and who else knows in it. This simulation, although expansive and convincing must have tiny flaws and that is what has been skewing his results. The gang is rounded up to investigate the mystery. What are the boundaries of this simulation? How many people are in it? Adding suspense is when the crew members start suspecting one another of being Q’s simulations. They have to find Q and they have to know…WHY?! They follow the trail of clues and end up being led to some sector of the Gamma quadrant. Containing the same spacetime disturbance that was in the last rebooted Star Trek movie. Q finally pops up and we all find out what has actually happened. Q opened up a bridge between 2 parallel universes that’s what the spacetime disturbance is. So he could study and compare the 2 courses of civilization. The one where all the old Star Trek stories took place as well as the J.J. Abrams rebooted universe. Explaining that both universes always existed and are each equally valid. This preserves all previous storylines, so hardcore trekkies are now satisfied. While allowing the reboot to remain separate and pursue original stories into the future not being bound to adhere to the old trek history. Data finds that the bridge is having subtle ripple effects, that’s what tweaked his experiments. If left unchecked this force will amplify and eventually will (insert catastrophe here).
In the mean time, the young Kirk’s Enterprise is on a survey mission. Q has decided to taunt this crew without their knowledge and has remained hidden also concealing the spacetime rip. The pestering starts slow; nightmares, mechanical failures, lens flare overloads that blind the bridge. Q increases the hazard each time, and watches.
Picard’s ship detects the original Enterprise and needs to notify them instructions on how to help close the spacetime rip from the other side. If not said catastrophe will destroy both ships.  But Q throws the Prime Directive in their face and sites when “Even when the less advanced civilization is humanity itself it is forbidden to interfere.” Q could also pose an ultimatum where instead of the Next Gen civilization being on trial he would only judge the young Kirk version without their knowledge, if that’s what Picard chose. Picard wrestles with who’d have a better chance of proving humanity’s worthiness in the cosmic scheme “Enterprise A or E”. Obviously the movie needs a big action scene in the end…Q of course isn’t bound by The Prime Directive and further toys with Picard by putting Kirk’s Enterprise in a situation far more unwinnable than any Kobiyashi Maru test. Maybe hurtling them toward a quasar or pissing off hostile aliens. Here’s where the action is, warping fights, phasers, plummeting into gravity wells, etc. All that Picard has to do is enter the rift with their advanced technology and easily rescue the old Enterprise but it is too risky. Will the rift be stable enough to enter and will they be able to get back? Will violating their own Prime Directive be the ultimate judgement of “guilty” in the trail of civilization? Or will watching so many die and doing nothing doom humanity, all because of a stupid star fleet regulation? Can Q be trusted with anything he’s said or is this just part of the simulation after all?You know you’d watch this movie, it’s called,
Star Trek
      Fates Entwine
Producers of Hollywood…MAKE IT SO!

Carl Wells


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