Holy shit. I have no idea if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The opening of MEA wasn’t one of the bad bits, but it is hilarious that we now have two Star Trek shows essentially going over ME material, when ME borrowed huge amounts from Star Trek in the first place (and also from just about every space opera show and a lot of books).
Will watch later and report!
@Vandelay - Yeah I agree with everything you’re saying re: the prequels - huge missed opportunity, but I think Lucas wasn’t quite the loremaster people think he is. Dave Filoni seems to understand the lore and be able to add to it in a way that feels far more cogent and together than Lucas’ - despite not being the originator (I think it’s partly because as someone from the outside, you see it how everyone sees it, whereas Lucas sees stuff differently). This is hardly unknown but it’s interesting.
Yeah the TLJ stuff was deeply pathetic misogyny/racism for the most part, but Star Wars always had conservative fans and conservative interpretations, and nothing about it was hugely progressive (though I daresay Princess Leia, despite being a rather un-feminist trope, actually inspired more women than any woman on TOS and maybe even TNG, in part because of the performance). So it was disappointing but unsurprising (and also looked very obviously astroturfed in a lot of cases - i.e. pre-organised talking points), so it didn’t seem as extreme. Plus TLJ was actually daring and explicitly called for a rejection of the past, which is pretty much like spilling someone’s pint for a lot of aging SW “fans”.
I also largely agree re: Trek. The dated-ness of some TNG episodes is kind of hilarious. It seems almost like something changed in society during that period, and DS9 was late enough to get the memo, but TNG wasn’t, because DS9 ends up having vastly more empowered and less victimized female characters. Though it does have that horrible Quark trans episode which everyone including me tries very hard to forget.
This was a movie, though, back in the era movies in cinemas were still a big thing, not a TV show. With TV shows, sure, parents rarely watch them, especially cartoons, especially with kids over about 8 or so. But with movies, the parents will almost certainly be in the theatre (or worse, grandparents) and see the whole thing.
The executives make the decision, but they make it that way because they’re concerned about audience reaction, and the audience they’re concerned about is the parents, because they’re who determines whether they actually go to the cinema and who write the angry reviews and ask their church to boycott the movie and so on.
Sure, later it’ll come on to streaming and be seen by kids unsupervised or with little supervision, but that’s not what the studios making the movies, at least back then, cared about. They made their money from the actual cinema release (and performed their elaborate tax dodges off the same). Streaming a year or so later was just a nice bonus.
Thus a movie with had anything LGBTQ in it is taking a risk, if it’s for kids (moreso ten years ago than now). A movie with non-white kids in isn’t likely to put kids off (source: I was a kid, and I know I liked movies with kids in but I sure didn’t care what colour the kids were, I doubt many kids really do), but a lot of adults have prejudices such that a movie full of Asian characters means that movie is “not for them” (might not be a hateful prejudice, just an assumption).
Re: appearance, it’s not “aping” anime, I point this out because that actually was A Thing in animation history (an earlier thing). Rather it’s post-anime, so has a fusion of primarily Disney (primarily the Disney revival) and anime styles. There’s more going on with the faces than a lot of anime, but it’s also stuff like the haircuts, clothes, cultures and so on that convey that the characters are essentially Asian.
That said I do suspect the post-anime look may have helped it fly under any radar from network execs thinking “Wait, did we just make a show about ASIANS!!?!?”, which back then was inconceivable (not so now).
I do actually agree that they do use too many anime visual tropes though, especially in the first series, it seems kind of cheesy.