What does it take to make great STAR TREK? Or STAR WARS? Or new material for any of the franchises we love? Why have we been let down so many time … just this week? Plus more letters from other viewers.

How hard can it be to come up with a true, STAR TREK story?

Dear Rob,

First some good news. Braxton is going to the 55 year mission convention in August – we already have our tickets.

Now for the reason I wrote …

Moral conflict lies at the heart of classic Star Trek

Braxton and I were talking Trek as we normally do and for some reason we started talking about the Prime Directive. This got Braxton to ask “What would happen if you break the Prime Directive?”

I told him that you would go to jail.

Then he asked “What if you broke it for a good reason?”

I asked him “What would be a good reason?’

He replied Suppose bad guys on the planet kept people in slavery and a crew decided to free them and have them on the ship?”

“Then the Federation would put them in jail and return the slaves because they cant interfere”

At this Braxton exclaimed “Then the crew would have to run away.”

“But the Federation would chase them down,” I said.

Then Braxton said: “Daddy, wouldn’t that be a cool Star Trek show? They would be a crew on the run trying to find a planet for these slaves and running away from the federation . They would be chased by people who were once their friends “

“But wouldn’t that make the federation the bad guys ?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “because the Federation would be acting on what they felt is right. They even may feel sorry for that crew .”

I think my son gets what Star Trek is better then the people who do new Star Trek. Tell us what you think of Braxton’s Idea. Do you think his show would be better then what they are doing now?

Calvin Bowes (and Braxton)

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Let’s leverage the power of positivity.

Hey Rob,

Big Fan.

I just wanted to let you know that when you mention other YouTubers, the algorithm starts recommending them to me. Checking them out, I was really surprised how Hyper-Negative these other folks are. They like to predict the future in the Bleakest of views based on mostly nothing. Really, they seem like complete assholes.

P.S. I like it when your show focuses on success stories, things you love, and insight into film making.

Thanks,

Texas Steve

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Sometimes the “Happiest Place on Earth” ain’t all that happy.

Hello Rob,

She’s petite, soft spoken and, apparently, can curse like a sailor

I believe you mentioned a few days ago if your listeners had a depressing theme-park story that they ought to share it. Well I sure have one for you!

My family visited Disneyland during the 50th anniversary of the themepark. It was an excuse for all my family, extended and beyond to meet-up and take one giant group photograph.

At one point once we split up into our separate families… my sister and I needed to use the restroom. Just before we opened the door an professional Disney cast-memeber dressed fully in Snow White stepped out and yelled in a harsh or stern-torn a bunch of profanities to her assistant about how her heels hurt.

These weren’t PG profanity either.. I won’t repeat it but lets just say the crowd around her. The crowd just patiently waiiting to enter the main restroom building was flush-red with enbrassment.

After she was able to rid her frustration she quickly transitioned into her role as cute innocent princess and waved to the crowd and flashed a fake smile.

That was years ago now but I can’t forget that odd experience in Disneyland.

Thats really all I wanted to share. Hope you have a wonderful day listeners.

Peace,

Kathryn

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Do you know who can fix STAR WARS? Meet Ron.

Brother Rob,

Better known as Notorious RMB. Despite I’ve been looking at your lovely mug and listening to you daily for damn near every day for years this is my first letter to you. I decided to pop my cherry over an idea I’ve had for decades and wanted to share with our geek singularity.

Okay, so Darth Vader has had better days

Here goes … #RonHallFixesDarthVaderandStarWarsPrequels (Thank me Later)

I would like to congratulate myself as the man who will go down in history for fixing both the Star Wars prequels and its central character Darth Vader. If you are anywhere near my old age, you may recall that when Star Wars was out, Geroge Lucas would say in interviews, “If you like Star Wars, the really cool sh*t was BEFORE Star Wars, during the CLONE WARS, that’s the good stuff. We see a young Darth Vader grow, betray and destroy the Jedi, that’s the “reeeeal” story.”

Awesome stuff, right? Riiiight. But we never got that movie.

Instead, we got a string of movies that are Star Wars-like, about trade federations, droid armies and tariffs, tacking Vader’s betrayal at nearly the end for a very unsatisfying and frustrating conclusion. It was ok, but Star Wars is not supposed to be JUST OK.

And it’s that single premise that is what kept us forking out Star Wars big bucks all these past decades. That damn George Lucas, the ultimate tease or deep pocket mad genius, you decide.

Well, some may say I’m a little out of my lane, being Ron Hall, “Martial arts movie master”, and all… but I believe I have singlehandedly fixed Star Wars. I know that’s a heavy-duty proclamation, but ride with me for a minute, we’ll get there.

The problem with both the prequels and Darth Vader is in portraying the most villainous scum in all of the galaxy and in cinema as a little innocent, bland unassuming little boy.

Nah. That’s not Vader. But you know who is, Carrie, that’s who. Yep. Carrie is Darth Vader.

Now for those of you too young to remember, Carrie was a Brian DePalma classic, based on a Stephen King novel about a young woman who possesses telekinesis and when pranked kills her entire high school class, teachers, and mother too. It wasn’t that she was she so bad, or evil, she just had ….issues, issues so powerful it destroyed Carrie and everything around her.

That’s Darth Vader. A kid with power beyond his comprehension and control, that must be monitored, studied, and manipulated by … you got it…. the Jedi. They take this little kid in and discover he’s too damn powerful. WTF. They fear him, some even resent him, but they have little choice than to keep him close cause they don’t know what to do…… but you know who does….. that’s right… Palpatine… he knows exactly what to do with the confused, dejected, powerful, potentially unhinged dark force of nature…… make him his number one enforcer in his quest to rule the galaxy.

See the way Lucas has it.. you never once believe that little cute innocent, unassuming boy, who builds robots and races pods would ever become the baddest mofo in the galaxy, but as Carrie.. it makes all kinda sense and you believe. Vader then becomes that tragic hero destroyed by powers and circumstances beyond his reason and control and when he dies combating that urge, he is both a heroic and tragic character who now lives up to his role as the most iconic villain of all time.

Also, instead of having Obi-Wan, his mentor and almost father go to kill him( which makes Obi-Wan seem like a betraying coward) have Obi-wan go to SAVE him only to discover Anakin is so corrupted he is FORCED to stop him.

Those two simple things can change the course of the prequels and give Anakin the foundation to become the Darth Vader we believe in, fear and love to hate. As it stands, no way can you convince me a cute pod racer with fat dimples becomes the most treacherous villain in all of Star Wars and cinema.
I don’t buy it, I never bought it. and you don’t either.

Lucasfilm, thank me later.

( You reading this can thank me now.)

#RonHallFixesDarthVaderandStarWarsPrequels

PS. I want to end by commending you on how you have grown as a broadcaster in the past few years. You, my man, are rapidly ascending to the height of your powers, and no doubt all kinds of wonderful geekiness will emerge from it.

Peace out my brother,

Ron Hall (a.k.a. Kung Fu Brother)

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Some observations from long-time Imagination Connoisseur, Torin Atkinson

Hello Rob!

I hope you are well! A couple amuse-bouches before the main course:

Dave Bautista stars in ARMY OF THE DEAD

1. Army of the Dead was exactly what I expected – same old same old – but I didn’t quite expect Oceans 11 meets Game of Thrones meets John Wick meets Aliens meets Miracle Mile …with zombies. A case study in how not to film emotional conversations (a lot of ‘tell don’t show’ moments) – although probably no one came for that so…grade C.

2. Who won the IICFF? Will there still be creator interviews?

3. As you may recall, a couple times via superchat I mentioned my good friend Greg has a terminal cancer diagnosis. Greg was a regular on my old podcast, Caustic Soda, which ran for 6 years and looked at weird, gross and disturbing topics through a comedic lens. You know, gallows humor. We covered doomed expeditions, toys that kill, fecal matters, etc etc. We even did episodes on space junk, near earth objects, and aliens with Fraser Cain from astronomycast, and you better believe there was a lot of Star Trek references.

Now, 5 years after our finale episode, we got the pod crew back together to do an episode called “The End” in honor of, and featuring, Greg. Greg is an evolutionary biologist here in Vancouver at UBC so we would call him in for a lot of our animal-themed episodes, like the “jellyfish” episode where we all ate jellyfish ‘live’, much to our horror. But this new episode was all about the science of dying and Greg’s personal journey.

As you can imagine it was very bittersweet for us and for our fans, who had been clamoring for a reunion episode but not under these circumstances! Anyway, I wanted to plug the episode which we just released yesterday. Whether or not you’ve dealt with death, cancer and grief, I promise you’ll find it enlightening, therapeutic and entertaining. And yes, with many Star Trek references!

The site is causticsodapodcast.com but you can find it on most podcast services

Please share that with the post-geek singularity and remember to tell your loved ones how you feel, today and every day!

Thanks,

Toren A.

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Can Zack Snyder survive THE ARMY OF THE DEAD?

So… I watched Army of The Dead tonight.

What has Zack done and what is up with ARMY OF THE DEAD?

I was so in love with Snyder cut of Justice League. How could he falter like this? I started making a list of grievances but I had to stop. I don’t want this movie to last for ten hours. I was 20 min in, and wanted it so much to end. This is the list I got to before I lost hope:

Stupid, stupid Army of The Dead

  • Transporting an insanely guarded payload. OK. Let’s talk to each other and not look at the road.
  • Great! Hummers guarding payload swerves away from God dammed station wagon. Boom.
  • Soldier does not seem to know what payload means over radio.
  • You just saw your fellow soldiers mauled by something. You’ve not ran far enough after a 30 sec sprint up a hillside.
  • Even Zombies are so taken by the Las Vegas skyline, they stop to take it all in.
  • Why is that crane guy playing tetris dropping containers from way far up?!
  • Nice. The IR temperature checker used in camp is shittier than the one I have in my home.

I gave up. I won’t pause this movie every five min and watch for 10 hours. I’m. 20 min in and I want it to be OVER!

How on earth could this have been made, by the same man who had scenes so tense in the remake of the legendary Dawn of the Dead? It had scenes that to this day scares me so much I need a pillow. And I have a large body to hide.

What is this movie? It’s hardly enterianment. It is an insult. How can he be happy sending this out? Is he high, on his own supply? I can’t fathom it. I don’t even want to watch the Snyder cut in a while. Snyder! You have insulted my snout. I have spoken.
Terje Mørk

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Did the difference between “films” and “movies” start in the 1970s?

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

Hisham’s letter, where he brought up Martin Scorsese saying Marvel movies are not cinema, had me realizing something.

For some time now, I have noticed how there are a certain number of people, who seem to differentiate cinema into 2 categories, saying there are films and there are movies.

What’s the difference between movies and films?

Now, before I go into my personal view on that, I have a theory which might explain this. Starting into the late 70s and going forward, the rise of blockbusters came to fruition. This lead to what is known as the blockbuster mentality, due to the growing focus of them being created, which is seen as causing the death of more artistic and smaller scale stories. This, I feel, is what caused the division of saying there are films and there are movies, because blockbusters have become the main focus of the industry.

For my personal view on this, I find that to be a little ridiculous. From how those people are differentiating the two, it makes feel like what they are saying is how film is something arthouse and what usually gets Oscar buzz such as Nomadland, Lady Bird, Boyhood, Roma, and stuff like that, while movies are the more mainstream mass market stuff like the MCU, Star Wars, and stuff like that. I’m not sure why some people see a difference between the two, since to me, film and movie are the same thing, regardless of the scope and scale.

I think movie is a more casual term, while film is a more formal term, both meaning the same thing. It’s not like there is film school, and then there’s movie school, or there’s a filmmaker and there’s a movie maker. I can be entertained either way, whether it’s arthouse or more mainstream. For example, I like Lost In Translation, which is more arthouse, but I also like things such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Back To The Future, E.T, and so on, which are more mainstream. When I watching something, I don’t care something if it’s arthouse or not, I just care if it’s good.

If you look at Classic Hollywood cinema, there were all different types of stories told, but nobody who watched them differentiated them into films and movies. You can look at film noirs like The Maltese Falcon, Sunset Boulevard, and Double Indemnity, adventures like The African Queen, King Kong, Jason & The Argonauts, and The Adventures Of Robin Hood, comedies like Bringing Up Baby, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment, romance like Sabrina and Roman Holiday, epics like Gone With The Wind, Ben Hur, and Spartacus, musicals like Singing In The Rain, and so on, but nobody would say some were films while others were movies. When people watched all of those, they would just see them as being the same thing.

It’s a shame that type of thinking is not seen by some people, but that’s just how I see it.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
Omar 94

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