Mar 13, 2020
This week on Priority One --- Chabon is back on Instagram with more answers to fan questions before heading to The Hollywood Reporter to discuss Nepenthe. Next, Jonathan Del Arco talks Hugh, and Star Trek has an answer to Covid-19. In Gaming news, the Legacy Bundle bugs get fixed, and the STO team has big plans for the Summer Event ship…. Then, we look On Screen to episode 7 of Star Trek Picard - Nepenthe
Of course, as always, before we wrap up the show, we’ll open hailing frequencies for your incoming messages
This Weeks Community Questions Are:
CQ: Do you plan on using the Vulcan Salute as your new DEFACTO greeting? Have you been using it already?
CQ: What do you think a new summer event Risian Science Ship should look like?
by Jake Morgan
Just as he has the previous two weeks, Picard season 1 showrunner - Michael Chabon - answered fans burning questions on Instagram Live. As in previous iterations of the quick-scrolling Q&A, Chabon had some fun things to say, some insightful thoughts, and a ton of information about Star Trek’s newest series. Be advised, from this point forward - spoilers a-plenty are in bound.
As you’d likely guess, many questions arose about this week's guest stars - Riker and Troi. When asked about Riker’s reserve status, Chabon responded ”He retired from active duty when he was still captain of the *Titan*. Were he ever to be called up to active service, he would presumably retain that rank.”. Chabon later told a fan that much of Riker and Troi’s backstory never made it to the screen, and the Titan was referenced but later dropped for reasons Chabon could not recall. In regards to why Riker and Troi left active duty, Chabon said ”Riker and Troi made the obvious but painful choice to go on inactive states and move to Nepenthe, for the sake of their family and their child’s life”
In regards to why Emergency Holograms were not included in the Synth Ban, Chabon said ”It was certainly debated by Federation policy makers, but a distinction was drawn, possibly because some failsafes and limitations had already been put in place, in the wake of the experience with *Voyager*’s Doctor.”
Finally, Chabon explained the killing of Hugh...sort of One of the stories we are telling in this season on Picard is a story about the tragedy of being Borg, or more precisely, of being assimilated and then, even more poignantly, being restored from assimilation and struggling forever after with assimilation’s traumatic legacy. In a very unique way, Hugh was able to recontextualize his trauma into something that brought healing and hope to others, which gave purpose and brought healing to himself. But his predicament, like that of all former Borg-as he explained to Picard in episode 106-remained essentially tragic, and tragically is how he dies, cut down by someone who sees him as a disgusting monster at the moment when he makes his boldest claim to dignity and freedom.
Chabon doesn’t only do it for the Insta - Q&A’s that is. He also sat down with The Hollywood Reporter this week to talk Picard, and more specifically, “Nepenthe”. Chabon spoke about the reunion of Picard and the Troi-Riker’s, and about the tense moment Picard had with Deanna ”When you're in the scene, and knowing who [Riker and Troi] are, and who they have been, and trying to project them forward into a narrative that feels believable — and incorporate some of the themes of this show, like reckoning with the past, if you're a fan of the show, this interaction — it's necessary. It's not expected, but it's important to the character of Picard to have this moment.” He continues ”When someone calls you out on your [EXPLETIVE] like that? On the things you're dealing with and not acknowledging that you should acknowledge? To me, that's the definition of a friend”
Chabon also admitted to THR that Hugh, and another former Borg - Icheb, were not originally planned for the series. The Showrunner said of Hugh ”The initial germ of having Hugh involved, and that he would die came from the natural discussions of, what does it mean to have been Borg? So once we sort of committed to a big part of our season being about the lives of former Borg — Ex Bs, as we call them — and exploring how their lives are traumatized [from that experience], how they have or have not dealt with that trauma, and how they remain these objects of fear and hatred even though they were victimized by the Borg, to put Hugh in the center of that lead to what felt like a dramatic way to service the character's end.”
Michael Chabon wasn’t the only Star Trek insider to defend the death of our beloved Hugh. Jonathan Del Arco, the man behind the cybernetics, sat down with Jordan Hoffman to discuss Hugh’s ultimate sacrifice. “Well, it’s really important in the show - in the world. Because the world of the show is dystopian, and very few people are willing to put themselves on the line for each other. There's a need for that sort of connectivity and self sacrifice. So honored to have died for Picard.”
Del Arco went on to explain how the news of Hugh’s demise affected the way the actor saw the role, saying “Actually it was very liberating. [...] When you start a new series, you’re always trying to like - not play it safe - but you’re trying to do things that are not going to upset anybody. And actually this kind of blew the lid off that for me as an actor, and I was just like ‘I’m just going to go for it’ and really making bold choices, as an actor. So it was a really fun experiment that way.”
For a link to the StarTrek.com interview, trek out our show notes!
With the increasing risk of Covid-19, more colloquially known as the Coronavirus, the US Center for Disease Control has issued a few tips on how to protect yourself - including avoiding close contact with others and proper handwashing techniques...and Star Trek may be able to help with both!
On March 2nd, former presidential hopeful and founder of “Humanity Forward” Andrew Yang tweeted a photo of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock doing the Vulcan salute, saying “I hate to say this - I’m not much of a germophobe myself - but we might want to work on a personal greeting that doesn’t involve physical contact.”. Sound crazy? The US Government doesn’t think so. In a closed door meeting of the House Democratic caucus on Tuesday morning, an attending physician suggested the avoidance of touching - and offered the Vulcan Salute as an alternative . From the CNN article /”Hand-to-hand contact is to be avoided, the physician said. The physician encouraged lawmakers to use the "Star Trek" greeting, according to Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, though he noted with a laugh he was unable to separate his fingers to properly make the gesture”.
Okay, so we’ve avoided the close contact thing...but what about proper handwashing? Well, according to the CDC, you should be washing your hands often - and for at least 20 seconds. You know what else takes about 20 seconds? Quoting the opening to Star Trek. The brilliant realization was tweeted out by our friends at Roddenberry, with the caption ”We didn’t make it up. #roddenberry #coronavirus”. So wash your hands until you get to “Where No One Has Gone Before”!
by Shane Hoover
There’s good bundle news and there’s bad bundle news, Captains. Bad news - the Star Trek Online Legendary +Starship Bundle is no longer available for purchase by PC players. For those who purchased the bundle already, you’ll still be able to reclaim the ships from the C-Store. For those who did not, you’ll have to wait for the ships or the bundle to eventually return. Good news - if you’re a console STO player, you’ll be able to purchase the Legendary Starship Bundle yourself in less than a month. In a Twitter post dated March 8th, Star Trek Online announced the bundle would hit consoles in exactly 30 days. So save up those strips of Gold-Pressed Latinum, and get your best builds ready to go, console Captains.
On Tuesday morning, Ambassador Kael posted an interesting new article to the STO News blog. With the 2020 Summer Event already on the team’s mind, they’ve decided to let players in on the creative process. On four weekly community live streams between March 11th and April 1st, members of the Cryptic development team will appear on-stream. As Kael’s blog says, "They’ll be coached by a member of our ship design team or our concept artist, and all four of them will be assigned the same basic concept: a Risian Science Ship. For the next two hours, they’ll hand draw a design for a ship based on that concept."
The schedule of team members appearing will be:
March 11th - Senior Environment Artist Nick Duguid
March 18th - Test Analyst Christian Griffith
March 25th - Senior Content Designer Jesse Heinig
April 1st - Systems Designer Jonathan Herlache
Once the concept designs are all completed, the four drawings will be presented to players to vote on their favorite. Then one more live stream will be dedicated to watching official Concept Artist Hector Ortiz turn the winner into a finalized Star Trek Online ship concept drawing. Tune in to those weekly livestreams on Cryptic Studios’ Twitch channel at “twitch.tv/CrypticStudios”.
Join us for TFO Thursday - each Thursday we team up with other Armada members to earn marks and dilithium.
Suppose you’ve been playing the game for a good while now, and you’ve finally hit Tier 6 completion in at least a handful of those Reputations. You’re a little bored, and you’d like to spice up the game with a fun new ship… but you don’t want to spend your cash or convert your Dilithium stash to Zen. You don’t even really care all that much about a new ship trait, because the trait on the ship you want won’t fit your build. All you’ve got to do is remember to visit the Ship Vendor in your favorite social hub. In the Ship Vendor UI, just filter the ship list to rank “Fleet - Tier 6”. Pick out a T6 Fleet ship you’re itching to try. Make sure you’ve claimed at least 5 Fleet Ship Modules as T6 Reputation rewards, for 100 rep marks each. Then go ahead and buy that T6 Fleet ship for just 20,000 Fleet Credits, plus your 5 Fleet Ship Modules. Since the modules obtained as Rep rewards are Character bound, they’re only useful for Fleet Ship purchases, anyway. And 13 modules is more than most Captains will need to upgrade their favorite C-Store ships to Fleet standard. Remember, of course, that Fleet ships purchased through the Ship Vendor are not account-wide unlocks -- and you won’t enjoy their maxed mastery trait. But it’s a great way to try out that one ship you’ve always been curious about without getting too invested.
Wait! Timelines change imminent!
According to a Press Release on VentureBeat.com, mobile game operator Tilting Point has acquired the Star Trek: Timelines title from Disruptor Beam. In support of the new acquisition, Tilting Point announced the formation of a new studio, Wicked Realm Games, along with the hiring of 19 team members from Disruptor Beam. Meanwhile, Disruptor Beam will focus on its proprietary free-to-play gaming engine.
Tilting Point has been partnered with Disruptor Beam on Timelines since offering user acquisition funding in 2017. Speaking in an interview, Tilting Point CEO Kevin Segalla said “We’re very excited about this acquisition of Star Trek: Timelines. It’s a phenomenal game. And we see an opportunity to take the game and add more resources to help make it better. We’ve extended the license on it, and we’re adding new content, including the newest show Star Trek: Picard, which is great.”