The spirit of the holidays seems to have taken root in the Post-Geek Singularity with fans wishing each other well, looking forward to a better tomorrow and offering advice as to how their favorite things could be made even a bit brighter. 

“I used to be a toxic fan …”

Rob,

After listening to your talk about fandom recently. I had a realization that I used to be a toxic fan – a fan who refused to accept something in my own fandom that didn’t align with my own views.

I would lash out and attempt to force others to align themselves with me, as I’ve gotten new perspective I’ve begins to realize that sometimes true fandom isn’t so easy to describe and to each person their fandom means something different. While a bad product can hurt a fandom it’s the fans who keep that love alive and pass it on to others instead of giving up and letting go.

I plan to continue my Star Trek journey and sharing it with everyone in the PGS and I thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you all. My love of fandom has been rekindled and the beacon has been lit, thank you for your time.

Live long and prosper.

Hang loose,
Heboric

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Some suggestions to make Star Trek better and heal the “rifts” in the fan base.

Hi Rob,

Happy Christmas! I hope you got lots of nice presents.

I just wanted to say I tend to be critical of the people in charge of current Star Trek on social media – but as it was Christmas instead of leaving cynical comments on their Twitter posts that don’t ultimately help I decided to offer some constructive feedback, some points as to how to improve the franchise, to win back the fans. The following was copied into Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise Twitter pages, not to troll but because I genuinely care to help.

“I know I’ve been critical in the past but since it’s Christmas I wanted to offer some constructive criticism in how to unite the fandom back. Some of these could help make you guys popular again:

1) Remaster DS9 and Voyager in proper HD. Yes it will be expensive but if you have the money to fund six different Star Trek shows currently in production you must have the finances for a project that will provide profit years from now.

2) Remaster the DE of Star Trek The Motion Picture. It’s long overdue and needs attention.

Star Trek: Borg (from cut scene featuring Q)

3) Speaking of remastering why doesn’t CBS remaster or re-release its Star Trek video and PC games? Stuff like Star Trek: Borg would love great in HD and the studio has tons of entertaining ST games to bring back for a new audience.

4) Restart the Stage 9 fan game, make it legit. Either make it something we pay for or let it be the non-profit fan game it was. One of the biggest errors that needs to be corrected since you’ve been producing Star Trek.

5) Your shows would avoid so much derision amongst fans if you put everything you’ve produced from Discovery onwards into its own universe. It just doesn’t fit into Star Trek from 1965-2005. Putting it in a different universe allows a different set of rules you can follow.

6) If you’re willing to spend money green-lighting new Star Trek shows why not green-light some TV shows set in the TNG timeline or the TOS but with the relevant production values? Have you seen the fan films? They manage to copy the look and storytelling perfectly.

None of this is impossible, it can be done! Doing a couple of these will unite fandom back together again. Anyway have a Happy Christmas!”

These are just ideas I submitted to them. Whether they read these posts or already have me on mute I’m not sure.

Notice in no way in any of these points do I say they should cancel Discovery, Picard, etc. I was trying to be fair and inclusive of everybody’s needs unfortunately not everybody feels that way. It’s said many times without proof modern Star Trek fans cannot handle any type of criticism yet today I did get first hand proof.

No more than five minutes after posting this some comic book writer and agent called Tony Lee jumped on my post. Perhaps he’s speaking from personal experience but he made out I was being entitled. I replied if they did at least two of these things it would help get CBS in good with modern day franchise detractors, I have faith in CBS, I know they can do it!

He seemed to think I spoke for everyone but I never speak for everyone because I know perfectly well everyone has their own ideas on how something should be good. His reply was also that I’m speaking from a ‘small vocal minority’ who dislike modern Star Trek and that the franchise is fine just as it is meaning that all six of the points highlighted above are unnecessary. He doesn’t care about Star Trek in HD Rob?

My point with this letter Rob is that even when I provide constructive feedback on the franchise people like Mr Lee are quick to defend those in charge and dismiss the feedback. Am I just an annoying person Rob? Is this feedback really useless?

It’s not like I asking them to change how they write Star Trek because that’s their job, not mine.

If a ‘gatekeeping twat’ does exist this guy certainly seems to fit the bill. For people that claim to be more accepting than our ‘small, vocal minority’ this guy in particular has a funny way of showing it.

Apologies for the bitter letter but this really annoyed me today.

Kind Regards,
Pedro

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Boldly going where many Star Trek fans don’t … online.

Hello Rob and PGS members! I am long time fan and listener from Czech republic and decided to write to you about my experience with Star Trek. (Also please pardon my english as it is not my first language.)

Born in 1980, I am the child of communist Czechoslovakia. But then the Velvet revolution happened in 1989 and western culture started to come to our small country, along with it also Star Trek. I was teenager in glorious 90′ and it shaped my life forever.

I can write about how it was at that time with Star Trek TV shows and movies coming to our TV channels and cinemas, but that would be separate and long letter, perhaps for another time. This time I have one Star Trek topic I want to talk about and haven’t heard anyone mentioned on this show (or I missed it).

You see, I have been also gamer my whole life, but I only played games that had story, that intrigued me. After Enterprise ended, there was long period without any new Star Trek TV show or movie. That is where Star Trek Online comes in, my topic for this letter.

from Star Trek: Online MMORPG

Yes, I know, games, and specifically MMORPG, are not for everyone, but hear me out. I have started to play this game right around it’s 3rd anniversary (11th is coming this spring). I am playing this game to this day every day. There is also community and therefore connection with other like-minded people, but most importantly there is THE STORY.

If you look past the leveling and grinding, you have missions with over-arching story, that to me is fantastic and I wished many times we could get this instead of Picard or Discovery as TV show (yep, not a fan of either). To me, this is my cannon Star Trek, continuing where Star Trek Nemesis ended the prime story line.

Of course, it is awesome, that you can captain your own ship, visit Starfleet Academy, Spacedock, Vulcan, Q’noS, Deep Space Nine, even walk on the insides of the Dyson sphere. You can fight against Tal Shiar and help rebuild newly established Romulan republic, based on Spock’s teachings, or visit Gre’thor as brave Klingon warrior.

But the most important thing to me is, that this world and it’s story feels like Star Trek of the prime universe. (To be completely fair, there is also content about Kelvin universe, Mirror universe and even from the Discovery, but that is not part of the main overarching storyline I mentioned.)

I am not expecting you to just take my word for it or to go to play the game to experience it for yourself. I can write more about the main story line, but that would be another looong letter. 🙂 Let’s just give you few hints:

The story starts in year 2409, 30 years after Nemesis, so right there, you are going further in the time. Hobus supernova destroyed the Romulan Empire and remnants are fighting for survival either under oppressive rule of Empress Sela, or hoping for better future under D’Tan (the boy from Unification) and his republic.

The Federation and Klingon Empire are at war again. But what started it, you may wonder? Agents of species 8472 masked as different species of our galaxy as seen in Voyager episode “In the Flesh” have infiltrated several core governments. What is their agenda? And where are the Demons of Air and Darkness and how they plan to re-take the galaxy?

As player, you will discover answers to all this questions and be part of some epic battles. But what will end the war? Spoiler alert – one simple act of kindness. 🙂

I rest my case.

Andrea

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Film franchise and the fate of one-note actors

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

Something I have noticed with certain actors and actresses, especially now, is how they really only star in hit movies when they are in one or two franchises. Everything else they star in is hit or miss with the box office.

For example, Vin Diesel really only has the Fast & Furious movies, and his voice work in MCU movies, which are hits. His movies outside of those franchises don’t do so well, like the most recent film he did, Bloodshot. Chris Pratt is like that as well, like when he stars in a Jurassic World movie or an MCU movie, he has hit movies, but everything outside of that does not do as well.

This is something which has happened when franchises started becoming a thing, during New Hollywood, where some actors and actresses only got a lot of recognition for being in one or two franchises, and their movies outside of them did not always do so well.

Sylvester Stallone in RAMBO: First Blood

Mark Hamill really only had Star Wars which gave him recognition, where he struggled outside of that, with the exception of doing voice work as the Joker on television. Sylvester Stallone really only had Rocky and Rambo which did really well, but everything out of that was unclear, as he had flops like Rhinestone, Oscar, and Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, for example, but also hits like Cliffhanger and Demolition Man.

However, not all of them were like that. Arnold Schwarzenegger had franchises like Conan and Terminator, which did well, but he also had other hit movies outside of those which solidified his status as a big name, like Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, and True Lies.

Same thing with Harrison Ford, as he had franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but also had hit movies outside of them to solidify his status as a big name, like Witness, Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, and Air Force One. Sigourney Weaver had the Alien and Ghostbusters films, but outside of that, her movies were hit or miss, as she had hits like Working Girl, but flops like 1492: Conquest Of Paradise.

Bruce Willis had the Die Hard movies, but also had hit movies outside that like Pulp Fiction, Fifth Element, Armageddon, Sixth Sense, and Unbreakable. Mel Gibson had the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon films, but was also in hit movies outside of those, like Braveheart, Ransom, and What Women Want.

Actors and actresses, who didn’t do franchises, were able to star in a series of hit movies to solidify their statuses as big names. Michael Douglas had a number of hit movies to establish himself as a big name, like Romancing The Stone, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, and Basic Instinct. Julia Roberts had a number of hit movies like Pretty Woman, Hook, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, which established her as a big name.

Cary Grant with Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story.

That was similar to Classic Hollywood, where there weren’t really any franchises, unless you count something like when Sean Connery did James Bond, so actors and actresses starred in a variety of different films which made them big names. Cary Grant starred in hit movies which solidified him as a big name like Bringing Up Baby, A Philadelphia Story, Notorious, To Catch A Thief, and North By Northwest. Audrey Hepburn had hit movies like Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Breakfast At Tiffany’s to solidify her as a big name.

That was just something I noticed with actors and actresses over the years, where they no longer had a variety of films to establish them as big names, as franchises started coming.

Thanks, live long and prosper.

Omar

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This Imagination Connoisseur “fan boys” over the Filipino film, FAN GIRL.

Hi Rob and to the Post Geek Singularity,

It’s me again, Mike F., the self-appointed guardian of Filipino cinema.

I don’t know if you have read my previous letter which is the first installment of my new segment which is the unofficial spin-off “WINEning About Filipino Movies.” In this letter, I am moving on to the second installment in which I am going to feature a very recent film. It is the 2020 drama film “Fan Girl” directed by Antoinette Jadaone (pronunciation: ha-daw-ne) which is one of the official entries in the currently running 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival. It stars rising actress Charlie Dizon and Paulo Avelino (playing fictionalized version of himself).

Charlie Dizon and Paulo Avelino star in FAN GIRL, a 2020 Filipino film in this year’s MMFF.

The story revolves about an obsessed teenage girl who spent an unforgettable night with her idol, Paulo Avelino. I’m not going to discuss the plot much because of spoilers and there are elements that weren’t shown in the trailer so I will do my part of not revealing that. There have been a lot of films that deal with celebrity obsession but some of them are too over the top (at least for me).

What I love about “Fan Girl” is their nuanced way of tackling that. They were able to show why the main character loves Paulo. It’s not just obsession or being a fanatic or worshiping a celebrity. They went deeper on that and they went grounded. Much of the story is told from her perspective and it gave us a POV on being a fan that most of us won’t usually think of. It’s also a coming of age story since the main character gets to learn some things as she spends time with Paulo.

Dizon gave a wonderful breakthrough performance as the main character (who is by the way unnamed until the end part of the film). What a fantastic performance it was. She has a lot of emotional scenes and she nailed every single of them. It’s a heavy role and it is impressive for someone who is a first time lead in a movie. She’s gonna have a great career in years to come.

As for Avelino, even though he is playing a fictionalized version of himself, he is playing a challenging character that really tested his acting skills. I won’t reveal why exactly, but you’ll get it when you see it. I’ve seen Avelino in numerous films and shows and this is definitely one of his best. It is also a well-written film with witty dialogue in some parts.

“Fan Girl” is the film in the festival that was one of my most anticipated because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it thanks to its successful run in the Tokyo International Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter even gave it a positive review. The film certainly lived up to my expectations. I really love the film and it is definitely one of the best Filipino films I’ve seen in recent years. This is also Jadaone’s best film so far in her career.

She has directed a lot of wonderful romantic films for the past several years. This is her most matured film yet and it is her best. She proved here why she is one of the best directors working today in Philippine cinema and I hope she’ll do more films outside the romance genre because she proved here that she is capable of doing more beyond that. Anyways, I really really like the film.

Luckily, the film festival is virtual so everyone worldwide can watch it through the Filipino VOD platform Upstream.

For my bottoms up scale, I am giving it 4 glasses of wine.

Anyways, that is all my letter for now. I hope you will all check out thar wonderful Filipino film. I think a lot of you will like it. I actually won’t mind if this becomes my country’s entry at the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.

But anyways, thank you for reading. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and stay safe.

Mike F.

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Is it possible Nickelodeon will have “the Power live long and prosper” by putting Dino-Fury and Prodigy back-to-back?

Hello, Rob and fellow PGSers.

I thought I would send my holiday greetings to you and everyone across the PGS and thank you for another great year of fun on your livestreams–not just “Robservations”–despite various jeopardies.

Dino-Fury will bring the Power Rangers to Nickelodeon in 2021.

I am already set for 2021 and everything happening, from the debut of “Power Rangers Dino Fury” to the debuts of new “Star Trek” shows–including “Prodigy” and “Strange New Worlds.” I can imagine Nickelodeon airing “Prodigy” every Saturday morning after “Dino Fury.” Here is the hope that 2021 will rule rather than drool.

Have a better holiday and an even better year to come and–to paraphrase both the “Power Rangers” and “Star Trek” in a mashed-up way–may the Power live long and prosper.

Keep believing in business before friendship, getting what you negotiate rather than what you deserve, and placing your characters before your universe rather than the other way around. Please take care of yourselves and each other, and keep masking up!

Regards,
Donny P.

P.S. I still hope for the other two letters would be read in a future show, whether before or after 2021 begins….if possible. Fingers crossed.

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Is DIE HARD a Christmas movie that’s endearing or an action movie that’s entertaining? Maybe it’s both!

Dear Rob,

Greetings and Merry Christmas, Rob.

I thought I would write in on Christmas Eve with my thoughts on DIE HARD.  As a christmas movie, it is quite engaging – and as a action movie, it is also entertaining.

Merry Christmas, John McClane.

The things that make the film great ranging from John meeting Holly, to John talking to Argyle and later Al Powell, and of course you also have Thornberg and Ellis and Dwayne T. Robinson – which are basically the three “Walter Pecks” of the film: Thornberg, because he believes that he wants to get a good story, Ellis (played by Hart Bochner), because he tends to have his own agenda of trying to talk to Holly and also annoy Hans and his German terrorists, and the third is Dwayne T Robinson (Paul Gleason), who clearly doesnt believe John on the radio, and doesnt think he’s a New York cop. Thornberg, Robinson, and Ellis all should equally be ashamed of annoying McClane.

If this film had better humor (on the level of Ivan Reitman’s GHOSTBUSTERS), then Bruce Willis’s John McClane probably would have running joke comebacks on the level of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman. Jokes that could get the viewer laughing more rather than have cuss humor.

Clearly there is NO discpline from later halves of the story, when Robinson tries to annoy McClane by allowing the two agent Johnsons. And it becomes even further “Walter Peck B.S.” against McClane by claiming he’s not doing the right thing to do his job to stop Gruber and his german terrorist gang. I am clearly not a fan of Dwayne Robinson acting like that – that’s like the NYPD BLUE cop in DIE HARD 2 played by Dennis Franz constantly yelling at John.

The film does have some quite respectful moments. The fun moment of the film I enjoy outside of the many fights between John and the Germans is the vault scene.

It is the vault scene that has Michael Kamen’s take on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. My thought was, this is cool that they used Symphony No.9 – the Ode to Joy symphony was also used at the end credits of the film (after Let It Snow). Seeing the vault scene always associates with Christmas because you tend to see lights flickering when the vaults opening , and there is so much going on – between Hans’s henchmen and the scenes involving the two Agent Johnsons – that the viewer would be able to tell between scenes while Ode To Joy is playing, who is talking

My question for you, Rob: do you think DIE HARD would have improved had John McClane been given better humor and was better discplined?

Thanks for listening,

Sincerely,

Aaron J.

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Thanks for your take on Trek

Mr Robert,

I wanted to express my thanks for your content which gives a humble person as myself a greater and richer understanding of the Trek Universe. I’m sat relaxing watching Wrath of Khan on Xmas Eve which is awesome! Work international travel all that other stuff pales into insignificanse compared to Trek.

Thank you Robert for all you extra content and your guidance. But in the year 2020 on Xmas Eve I’m watching Wrath of Khan which should say it all!

Warm regards

Mark N.

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Thoughts on DUNE’s future from “The Terminator” …

Dear Rob,

The terminator is back, yet again! I 100% agreed with everything you said about my letter yesterday. I sincerely believe that a simultaneous HBO Max release for Dune would be extremely viable for everybody involved and hence create more Dune movies. Speaking of which, I was actually finishing the last draft of my article yesterday, which was exactly when you answered my question on Robservation.

This article is about all of the reasons why I believe that a theatrical-only release is not a good idea and why HBO Max has more advantages than disadvantages. In brief, the points I made were as follows:

COVID – There is a possibly that the pandemic will last longer than expected. Experts previously predicted that it would end at various points in 2019 and the pandemic is yet still viral.

The DUNE franchise has a lot of room to grow – even if it launches a year late due to COVID-19.

Expected To Surpass 2021 – There is a mutated version of the virus which was discovered in London, England, U.K. This means that more vaccinations will be required to gain herd immunity and therefore I think it might take longer than the summer of 2021 for everything to become normal.

Locking-out Views – If the pandemic is still around and some of the big theatre chains, i.e. AMC, are bankrupt, this will significantly decrease the audience capacity and so reduce any potential box office.

Deadly Delays – The more a film is delayed, the more expensive it becomes. This is because studios typically borrow money from investors and delays will result in additional interest payments as well as marketing costs. This means Dune will need to make more money just to break-even, something which is highly unlikely.

Theatrical Gamble – Even without a pandemic situation, Dune was always a gamble for the box office due to the nature of the source material as you pointed out yesterday. It definitely has potential, but the reality is that Dune is far better suited for streaming. Even when Blade Runner 2049 flopped in the domestic box office, it actually made a decent amount of money via video sales, i.e. DVDs and Blu-Ray. It became the third highest-selling video title in 2018. At least in America.

HBO Max Popularity – By the time Dune actually comes out, there will be a decent levels of subscribers. Like you said, HBO Max will encourage people who were never interested in Dune to actually become interested and therefore increase its popularity enough to justify a sequel.

Subscription Success – If Blade Runner 2049 proved popular from its video sales, I am sure that Dune will invite and sustain a lot of HBO Max subscribers and therefore Warner Bros would want more Dune movies to maintain and increase the standards of their service.

Desire For More – If Disney is making a set of movies and TV shows based on the MCU and Star Wars for their streaming service, then surely Warner Bros would want to fill up HBO Max with as much Dune content as possible. After all, they are already planning to shoot Dune: The Sisterhood at some point.

Lack of Censorship – Studios won’t have to worry about mature-ratings on a streaming service. If Denis Villeneuve wanted to include something heavy, I imagine Warner Bros and Legendary will approve. If The Irishman, a $175 million dollar and a 3 hour slow-burn R-rated movie can be made for streaming and be considered a success, then so can Dune. The producer of The Irishman mentioned that this movie would have been a “theatrical bore”, so a streaming service was the best choice they had, which I believe is relatable to Dune.

TV Series Format – I know you said they were planning a Dune trilogy, but I honestly believe that adapting as a TV show or miniseries with a similar budget to Game of Thrones would have been the best case scenario. You could cover every content of the book and air it around the world, regardless of the pandemic situation. I feel like this would be the most viable choice in the long-term. After all, the only successful adaptation of Dune so far was the 2000 SyFy miniseries.

Legendary Lawsuit – Even though Legendary financed 75% of Dune, I remember you said on the John Campea show that Warner Bros retains the full distribution rights, whereas Legendary only has the rights to approve a new release date. Since Warner Bros is technically releasing Dune in the cinema anyway, they are not breaking any contractual obligations. So, why do people say that Legendary is likely to win the lawsuit?

If you want a more detailed look into the points I’ve covered, here is the article as follows:
“ https://arnoldkhan.medium.com/2021s-dune-rumoured-theatrical-only-release-c0d2cf0c1b85 ”

Speaking of which, Rob: You mentioned that you use to work at Warner Bros. I imagine you have links to some of the people you formerly worked for? I don’t suppose it’s possible for you send this article to one of your contacts? If you approve the article, of course. I want somebody in Legendary to read this article in an effort to convince them to keep the HBO Max premiere. I feel like maybe, just maybe, this article might change their minds.

Thank you for the read, Rob! I hope you and your family remain well and I wish you a Merry Christmas! And yeah, I can imagine Predators having a wife, children, family etc. Makes me feel guilty when I terminated that one predator over in Vietnam. #GetToTheChoppa

Kind Regards!

Terminator out.

Arnold S.

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