Star Trek Technology Has Impacted Our Lives

Star Trek technology impacts our lives

 

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, we look back on the impact the famous TV show has had on our lives. It is clear to see that Star Trek has inspired many inventors and scientists to conjure up real-world equivalents of the many gadgets and technology seen in Star Trek and its spinoffs.

Just look around you and see what Star Trek has inspired. Go answer the call coming into your cell phone. Back in the old days you could not carry that phone in your back pocket. Thank Star Trek for allowing us to carry our phones around and for many other improvements. That is just one example of an everyday piece of technology inspired by a fifty-year-old TV show.

Star Trek technologySome devices, of course, existed before the TV show like automatic doors, but Star Trek popularized the real-life inventions and made them common place. Now many inventions and technologies still elude us today like faster-than-light travel and teleportation. Or the technology is still crude and in its infancy like 3D printers. That does not mean we should just dismiss them as fanciful sci-fi dressing. As shown with communications technologies, it is possible with enough drive to be able to create warp drive engines or anti-gravity boots and much more. Many scientist are feverishly trying to crack how to propel spaceships past the light barrier and it may take centuries but it can happen much sooner thanks to the drive and inspiration of the legendary TV show.

Star Trek has and continues to light up the imagination of those that will create the next revolutionary technology. Be it in medicine with nanites or just trying to imagine the practicality of energy shields. Even if the devices and tech seen in Star Trek may be unrealistic it does not mean that we should not dream about recreating them. What makes these instances of real life catching up to science fiction so unique is that these inventions are practical and have changed our lives for the better. That is something to be proud of as a Star Trek fan.

Whether the Star Trek technology directly or indirectly inspired or popularized real-life inventions or if it still lies in the realm of fiction here are the ten best Star Trek inventions/technology.

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Star Trek Beyond: A Tale Of Two Trailers

new star trek beyond

Late last night Paramount Studios released the second trailer for this summer’s Star Trek Beyond. In short, what a difference a second trailer makes! Many will remember that this past December the film studio premiered the highly anticipated first trailer for Star Trek Beyond. Star Trek fans were anxious to see how the Star Trek reboot would look like without J.J. Abrams directing it, instead it is helmed by Justin Lin who directed one of the Fast and Furious films.

To say the reaction was negative is the understatement of the year. The only film trailers that were more poorly received were the ones for Fant4stic and the Ghostbusters remake. “Sigh” We all knew the Star Trek Beyond trailer was garbage seconds into the trailer when the soundtrack started screeching out the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”. One has to wonder what genius in the Paramount marketing department thought it was a good idea to insert such an annoying hip hop song into a Star Trek film. Just because J.J. Abrams is supposedly messed up crewa huge Beastie Boys fan does not mean that a beloved film franchise has to be polluted with the obnoxious music. This was an early indicator that the Star Trek reboot was not going to be well received. The atrocities did not end there with the Star Trek trailer. It over-emphasized big explosions, meaningless fights, motorcycle stunts, and the result was that Star Trek Beyond looked like just another empty action film.

Understandably, the people behind Star Trek Beyond were flabbergasted at the negative response. Many of them like Simon Pegg and the director Justin Lin pleaded with fans to keep an open mind and that the film would be true to the spirit of Star Trek. For many Star Trek fans who felt disrespected already by the attempts to make Star Trek more “mainstream” these pleas were seen as signs that something was wrong with the film. It is incredible how the reactions to  Star Trek trailer have tainted the perception of the film.

Fortunately, the second Star Trek trailer for Star Trek Beyond is much more in line of what we expect from Star Trek. It evokes a sense of wonder and danger. It still has many money shots of explosions and fights but they are well balanced and the trailer actually makes sense because it lays out the film’s plot without giving away too much. From what can be seen the Enterprise is assigned to deep space and attacked by a swarm-like alien species. Captain Kirk is forced to order an evacuation and he has to find a way to reunite his scattered crew and take on the alien baddie. For once, if this is the plot, the story seems original and is something that the Star Trek reboot sorely needs: the chance to explore new paths and do something different instead of regurgitating old story lines and villains. What’s more is that the trailer actually does its job of making us curious and respecting the spirit of Star Trek. Plus, the shot of a starship that looks like an NX starship from Star Trek: Enterprise icing on the cake.

Congratulations Paramount, this new Star Trek Beyond trailer may not have completely rid the bad taste left by the first trailer (the continued usage of motorcycle shots only serves to remind us of the film’s attempts to appeal to the empty-action crowd), but it may have reignited interest in the latest Star Trek film entry.

Lewis T. Grove

Captain America: Civil War…The Aftermath

civil war

WARNING: The following will discuss major spoilers in Captain America: Civil War, anyone who has not seen the film yet and do not want to be spoiled should stop reading from this point on.

Captain America: Civil War, like the previous Captain America films, has had a profound impact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The biggest fallout from the deteriorated relationship between Steve Rogers/Captain America  and Tony Stark/Iron Man being the disintegration of the Avengers team.

team cap 3

Naturally, we cannot expect this situation to last in the MCU. Despite the world’s animosity towards superheroes, it does need a superhuman team to take on the larger-than-life threats. What will likely happen in between this film and the next Avengers film is that the team will be reformed. As to who will make up the new Avengers is open for speculation.

New Avengers and Fugitives

But if the Marvel Studios films loosely follow what happened in the comic books then there might be two teams of Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War, Part I (at this point we don’t know what the film’s new name will be so let’s call it by its original title for now). In the Marvel Comics following the Civil War mini-series there were two Avengers teams, one was known as the Secret Avengers and operated outside the law and there was the “official” Avengers, which was later infiltrated with nefarious sorts and morphed into the Dark Avengers.

team iron

Avengers: Infinity War could roughly follow this development by having Tony Stark leading a new team composed of Vision, Wonder Man (Nathan Fillion will cameo as Wonder Man’s civilian identity of Simon Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, so he is a natural to play Wonder Man–a casting decision we foresaw years ago), a new Captain America, Captain Marvel (someone that the film’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, have suggested may appear), and someone new to the MCU perhaps She-Hulk or Tigra or even Black Knight.

Now the film could be about how the official Avengers are treated as celebrities, but the reality is that many of the new recruits are traitors. Think about it. This plot twist would be a variation of the Thunderbolts’ first storyline and Wonder Man’s initial appearance. When Wonder Man first joined the Avengers he was supposed to betray the team but had a change of heart and became an actual hero. The original Thunderbolts team was actually Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil, who were pretending to be heroes. This twist could be unveiled to audiences who would be shocked that new recruits like Tigra or Black Knight are actually supervillains and Zemo was behind the scenes plotting this machination much like he did in Captain America: Civil War.

team cap again

Meanwhile, Steve Rogers could adopt a new identity as either Nomad or the Captain as he did in the comic books. He would be without his shield, which he abandoned at the end of his third film. The new, evil Captain America (who can be Johnny Walker, the future U.S. Agent) could be the one wielding the shield while Rogers could use an energy shield like the one that Phil Coulson used in a recent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. Of course, by the end of the film Rogers will rightfully regain the real shield. It could be given to him by Stark as a symbolic way of renewing their partnership.

Before that happens, Rogers will probably be leading his own clandestine team made up of Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Falcon.

Accords & Aftermaths

So, Secret Avengers, Dark Avengers, what does any of this have to do with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet? rhodey downPerhaps Thanos’ team of the Black Order could show up on Earth looking for the final Infinity Stone, which happens to be embedded on Vision’s forehead. The aliens defeat the Avengers and take the Stone or are behind the betrayal. This would lead Stark and Rogers to realize they have to join forces to combat Thanos and the film ends. Cue the post-credits scene with a triumphant Thanos and his completed gauntlet.

OK, so what about the rest of the MCU? How does Captain America: Civil War affect it? To be honest, it may have minimal impact outside of the third Avengers film and the Black Panther solo film, and the reason can be seen in the lineup of films between Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther.

Up next is Doctor Strange, which seems likely to be set apart from the traditional MCU. Unlike Ant-Man, do not expect to see an Avenger making a cameo in Doctor Strange. At best, there may be a reference to one of the Infinity Stones. The same situation will apply to Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. That sequel takes place in outer space and according to director James Gunn, doesn’t have anything to do with Thanos.

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Captain America: Civil War Is Another Triumph For Marvel

cap 3 poster

Captain America: Civil War is the culmination of the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic  Universe (MCU) and launches Phase Three in a bold and somewhat darker direction. That is because by the end of the film, relationships are frayed, perhaps permanently, and new players have arrived to carry the torch.

A first look at the cast of characters appearing in the film, which includes most of the Avengers, may lead one to believe that the film should have been called Avengers 2.5, but this is first and foremost a movie about Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans). We see that he is still struggling to fit into the modern world being that he is a product of long bygone era.

WS vss Iron Man

The movie is also a direct continuation of the previous film Captain America: The Winter Soldier in that the Winter Solider aka James “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is the focus of pursuit for everyone. At the same time, the events at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron play a major factor that somehow manages to validate that film since it is considered to be an inferior sequel to The Avengers.

The destruction in the country of Sokovia at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron added to the world’s growing unease with superpowered people. This suspicion is compounded after the opening segments of Captain America: Civil War when innocent civilians are killed during a fight the Avengers have with terrorists.

stark rogers

Enter: The bureaucrats in the form of U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) who demands that the Avengers sign an accord by the UN that places the superhero team under supervision and dictates that they cannot act unless ordered.  Steve Rogers objects to this, but his fellow partner and Avenger Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr. ) disagrees. He feels that superhumans need to be curtailed partly based on his own guilt about creating Ultron. Later, a terrorist bombing at a UN conference, supposedly by the Winter Soldier, sets off an alarming series of events that turn the two friends into bitter enemies as both men gather allies for their causes.

cap and iron man

Captain America: Civil War is already considered one of the greatest superhero films of all time and that praise is justified. Unlike the similar-themed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this film flows cleanly, is coherent, not choppy and adequately presents both sides of the issue. Even though Captain America is the star of the film, great pains are taken to show the validity of the other side. It becomes difficult at times to find someone to root for because we know they are both in the right. It illustrates the tragedy of a civil war amongst former friends.

cap and agent 13

The directors Joe and Anthony Russo return for their second Captain America film and have beaten the second film curse for MCU directors. At the same time, they demonstrate with Captain America: Civil War that they can handle a large, epic story with multiple characters that are all given their moments to shine. That is an unbelievable effort that lesser directors and writers have difficulty accomplishing.

Despite the film’s length (over two hours) it leaves viewers wanting to see more of this world unfold. That is due to the constant action, fast-moving plotline, and smile-inducing appearances by other characters that get their moments in the sun and not just in action sequences. We meet T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), a noble African king out for vengeance, and of course, everyone’s favorite Web-Slinger, Spider-Man (Tom Holland). This MCU version of Peter Parker is the most authentic and realistic take of Spider-Man ever shown on film and leaves one hungering for Spider-Man: Homecoming already. Other stand out characters include Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), the Vision (Paul Bettany), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).

team cap

team iron man

The much talked about fight scene the superheroes have with each other in an airport is worthy of the hype and shows the heroes at their best. It was a comic book fan’s dream come true seeing all these superheroes doing their thing. Needless to say the special effects were flawless, as was the intricate fight choreography. However, a following fight scene later on is much more involving and personal, while at the same time heartbreaking as we see that Rogers and Stark are at a point of no return with each other. By the end of the film, everything has changed not just for the two main characters, but for the allies that took their sides.

cap 3

Captain America: Civil War is a triumph that is worth multiple viewings not just because of the spine-tingling action but because at its heart the movie is about friendship and how it gets fractured. It is hard to believe this but even though this is Marvel Studios’ thirteenth MCU film, it proves that the Marvel Cinematic Universe can still surprise and excite us as it continues to expand.

José Soto