May 8, 2020
This week on Priority One --- We trek out Star Trek: First Contact with director and star Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Fuller’s Mirror Universe, Acquisition Rumors, and Legos! In Star Trek Gaming, Star Trek Online reveals the 2020 Summer Event Ship winner, celebrates the “Year of Klingon,” and helps with Zoom meeting fatigue.
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: What do you think of Bryan Fuller’s explanation of the Mirror Universe?
CQ: Who would you rather take over ViacomCBS? Amazon? Netflix? Apple?
CQ: What are your thoughts on the KDF revamp coming to Star Trek Online? What do you hope to see?
by Jake Morgan
We’re leading with Jonathan Frakes again. We’d apologize if we thought it was necessary, but it’s not. The man is a treasure. So what did the actor, director, and all-around entertaining Frakes do this time? He did a LIVE watch of “Star Trek: First Contact” with IGN, and he did not disappoint.
Frakes joined IGN’s “Watch From Home Theater” to stream the live-chat of the 1996 classic, and as usual, had some interesting insight and entertaining takes on the film. In regards to the rumor that Special Effects house Industrial Lights and Magic wanted to add the Millenium Falcon into the film, Frakes replied ”I like it and it's a rumor I will continue to spread.”
Frakes also credited Ron Moore, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga’s script for the movies success, sighting the comedic interludes ”And THAT is one of the keys to the success of this film, is those comic beats are peppered in, they’re momentary, and then we restart the engine. I think that’s one of the real tricks to Ron and Brannon’s script that’s not always heralded as important and yet vital in an action-adventure movie.”
But Jonathan Frakes answered the real question that’s been plaguing Star Trek fans for years - what’s with the Riker-Chair-Maneuver? ”That started in 10-forward because the backs of the chairs in 10-forward were so low. It was easy. And then I thought ‘this is a really hot dog, EXPLETIVE thing to do, no one is going to let me do this.’ And then nobody stopped me. It’s such a cocky, unattractive, bad cowboy move”
It’s been a long road, getting from there to here. All the way back in 2016, when we could go outside and give hugs to people, seasoned Star Trek writer Bryan Fuller was given the proverbial keys to the castle - he was put in charge of bringing Star Trek back to TV. After his departure in 2017, we learned a few things about his now-defunct vision, including the pitch that the series be an anthology. Fast Forward to this week, and we learn a bit more about Fuller’s unfulfilled plans.
Sitting down with Robert Burnett for his youtube show Robservations, Fuller shed light on his vision of the darker side of trek, more specifically the Mirror Universe. ”The thing that really fascinated me in sitting down and crafting the story for Discovery was just the human condition. And I thought that there are elements in the Mirror Universe that we have seen that have sort of boiled to the broadest ends of the spectrum and everything felt really binary. And what I really wanted to do in setting out is looking at the minutiae of simple decisions that have a cascade effect on our lives. So, it’s not about gold lamé sashes and goatees versus no sash and clean-shaven. It is more about, like, we are at forks in the road every moment of our lives and we either go left or right.”
Fuller elaborated, saying ”It wasn’t necessarily the Mirror Universe we know from all of the other series. It was something that was closer to our timeline and experience, so you can still recognize the human being and go, ‘What did I do? How did that seem like a good decision for me in that moment and how do I continue with my life forward?’ And everything was a sort of an extrapolation out on that. So, there were things that I wanted the Mirror Universe to function in a narrative exploration of like ‘Oh EXPLETIVE, if I just hadn’t done that one thing, everything would be better,’ as opposed to, ‘I don’t recognize that person, I don’t know who that person is, because they are a diametric opposite of who I am.”
This next story requires Nancy Crater, M-113 creature levels of salt - a pinch won’t do - so get ready for some mottling. Could Star Trek, and the newly re-integrated ViacomCBS, be on the market? Film Critic, Comic Book author, and Youtuber Grace Randolph thinks she may have the answers.
In a tweet dated May 1st, Randolph said ”Okay here’s some Friday tea for you. As we’ve been hearing, Apple MIGHT buy Disney - But also Netflix MIGHT buy Viacom (CBS / Paramount, etc). Super rumor stage, but that’s what’s being sipped in Hollywood right now...”
Rumors of Apple purchasing Disney have been floating around for a couple of weeks now, though Nasdaq.com speculates the acquisition is unlikely. But what about Netflix purchasing ViacomCBS? Rumor site Boundingintocomics linked an article to financial website Seeking Alpha, which cited ViacomCBS as a “Prime Takeover Target”. Further, Grace Randolph -the tweeter from earlier in the story - posits on her youtube program, “Beyond The Trailer” that the acquisition would give Netflix access to ViacomCBS’ library and franchises and ”This would make Netflix a Movie Studio Proper, where they could make their prestige films, and they would be Netflix OWNED, but they would not be Netflix branded”. In short, Netflix could release Paramount movies in theaters without upsetting Netflix subscribers.
Some naysayers point to the obvious fact that Netflix is currently running a substantial debt, and could not float the estimated 5 BILLION dollar acquisition cost. But what about another streaming service, one owned by a billionaire trekkie with a walk-on part in “Star Trek: Beyond” - the Jeff Bezos lead Amazon Prime?
Speaking of fun. Who doesn’t like Legos? The Danish building block toy has inspired, entertained, and enlightened the lives of people across the globe for nearly forty years. And despite the fact that Star Trek has never been included in the Lego block-world, it doesn’t mean fans can’t bring it in themselves.
That’s exactly what Reddit user M-2-M did, using Lego’s Free Digital Designer. Starting 3 weeks ago, M-2-M has created the cast of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, as well as sets from the first season of TNG in chronological order - starting with “Encounter at Farpoint” and currently ending at “Heart of Glory”. These are hugely fun, intricate, and creative and we recommend you follow the link to have a look at them all!
by Shane Hoover
Just under 20,000 players voted in Star Trek Online’s contest to choose the next Risian Summer Event ship, and the results of the voting have now been announced. In a pair of posts on May 1st, the official STO Twitter account declared Nick Dugid’s design as the winner, taking nearly 38% of votes. The senior environment artist’s ship design will now be fully developed by concept artist Hector Ortiz and handed over to the dev teams to realize the ship for 2020’s Summer Event on Risa. Congratulations to Nick Duguid, and also to the other three game devs who contributed to the contest. Christian Griffith’s design came in a close second with 32% of votes, while Jesse Heinig and Mike Fatum’s designs took in 16% and 13% of votes respectively.
If Nick’s design wasn’t your personal favorite, perhaps you’ll find some solace in another STO account tweet declaring “You never know where these other designs might end up.”
We recently shared Thomas Marrone’s surprise reveal of an updated Klingon Bird of Prey model, and now Cryptic have revealed that this year holds much more excitement for Klingon loving players. In fact, 2020 has been dubbed by the game as “The Year of Klingon”. A game news blog dated April 29th announced a new major, multipart Klingon focused storyline set in the game’s current timeline of 2411. The blog acknowledged that the game’s current Klingon arc is both well loved by players and at the same time lacking many recent technical improvements. Cryptic said, “we’re spending time and resources to give these pieces of content visual and gameplay facelifts. Over the next twelve months (maybe more), you’ll see new Klingon character models for some of our classic characters like J’Mpok, updated skins for the classic Klingon ships like the Bird of Prey, new environments and cutscenes to refresh this old but beloved content.”
Like the recent Star Trek Discovery content releases, The Year of Klingon will be released in installments. To communicate their efforts and generate excitement over this time, there will be regular spotlights on the ongoing development. The first, tagged #StovokorSaturdays, will reveal pieces of updated content weekly on game social media accounts. One #StovokorSaturday has already gone live, providing a brief video of updated Klingon character textures like hairstyles and skin complexions. Other outlets to come are artist streams on the official Twitch account and weekly team interviews on the Ten Forward community stream.
That brings us to our first community question for Star Trek Online: What are your thoughts on the KDF revamp coming to Star Trek Online? What do you hope to see?
“Don’t video call for the job you have, video call for the job you want.” So declared Ambassador Kael in another official blog post this week, where he shared 16 Zoom meeting backgrounds created from locations within the game. The backgrounds were all created and provided by player Primar13. The images include a wide selection of ship bridges, plus important locations like Starfleet Academy and the Klingon High Council chambers. If you want to join your next video conference from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, just follow the link in our show notes.
The second part of STO’s current four part Event Campaign has just begun on May 7th on all platforms. Players can participate in two featured TFOs to protect the living planet, Pahvo, from the Terran Empire. Completing daily progress in the Event will earn players points toward Campaign rewards such as either 1000 Lobi, or 200 Lobi and a 100% off coupon for a Tier-6 C-Store ship. Completing 14 days’ worth of progress during this Defense of Pahvo Event will unlock the following prizes:
25,000 Dilithium Ore
3 Featured TFO Reward Boxes, containing a choice of 1 Spec Point or 1 Enhanced Universal Tech upgrade
The new Universal Kit Module - KIDD Drones
The KIDDs, or Kinetically-Impelled Detachable Drones, were last seen protecting Commander Jett Reno aboard the wreck of the U.S.S. Hiawatha in Star Trek: Discovery. This kit module provides both a passive mode and an activated mode. When passive, the module spawns one drone with limited capabilities that follows the character into combat. When activated, however, three drones will enter combat for a brief time and more effectively damage and disable foes.