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Superman

I like Smallville.

Even geeks have our guilty pleasures. Let me add that I have been perpetually two to three seasons behind. I’ve just finished Season 7 which sees Lex discovering Clark’s secret and causing something really bad to happen at the Fortress of Solitude.

For up to date fans of the show, this is old news.

But one question that starts to surface by season 7 which I believe is still being asked by the aux currant fans is: When will Clark become Superman??

Age is not an issue yet. After all, Clark is still in his early twenties and it’s SuperMAN, not SuperGUY. So there’s time. The issue is the events in Clark’s life up until now.  There is not much left for him to discover as Superman as he’s encountered just about every major bad guy from his comics rogue gallery already.

But I’ll let the writers of Smallville worry about that. I’ve always felt that Smallville could be subtitled: Becoming Superman – the Hard Way.

And this is what makes Smallville so engrossing to me as a Superman fan: it tells the type of stories that are hard to do with a fully formed Superman. After all, Superman is a tricky franchise: make him too powerful and he’s not relate-able. Underpower him and he’s no longer Superman.

Smallville manages this balancing act pretty well (for the most part) and it helps when Clark still can’t fly.

By the way, when is Clark gonna fly!???

Smallville is now like a pregnant woman at nine and a half months. It’s ready to blow. Clark has been through every trial and tribulation imaginable in ten years and has emerged from each a step closer to becoming Superman – not in powers, but in heart.

And that’s the story that has never been told about Superman in quite this way. He’s more than the sum of his powers. Superman is an ideal.  He’s better than us, not because he’s faster than a speeding bullet, but because he will value the life of even the criminal who fired the gun. Superman challenges us to be better than we are and Smallville shows how Clark learned that lesson.

Who we are left with is a Superman with a real honest to goodness past to that we can relate.  All other incarnations of Superman (Even Christopher Reeves – my favorite) give lip service to the time that molded Clark into the Superman he becomes.  That’s not their fault – they only have two hours to tell the story, but then Superman becomes more alien to us.

We have to assume the Ma and Pa Kent just did good.

With Smallville we watch it happen. Even Tom Welling has grown as an actor into playing Superman convincingly.

So why should Smallville become Superman?  Because it could be the most fully formed and well rounded Superman ever.  I would love to watch Tom Welling and cast carry on the Adventures of Superman with all the back story that they have earned. Erica Durance is a Lois Lane that I would watch along with Tom Welling’s Superman for another ten years. And Michael Rosenbaum?? Don’t even get me started on how great he is as Lex Luthor. In a world of Lex’s dominated by Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey, Rosenbaum gives a stellar third alternative. I want to see Smallville’s Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor go at it.

Come on, CW. Do it.

Call it Metropolis.

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Expanded Universe: there are no two words that cause such controversy among Star Wars fans as these, with the exception, maybe of “Jar Jar”.  Some date the beginning of the Expanded Universe as far back as Del Rey’s “Splinter of  A Mind’s Eye” in 1978.  Other’s cite Brian Daley’s “Han Solo Trilogy” while others hold out for Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire”.  Whatever you consider the beginning of the EU, the fact is that it is exists and it’s here to stay.  There is also another unspoken fact about the EU:

Star Wars isn’t the only one that has it.

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Star Trek 2009

Star Trek 2009

Ba-Bang! Last one.

There was a lot going on in the world in 2001.  As for Star Trek, 2001 was also a big year. Voyager was coming to an end and, unlike other “trying to get home” series like Battlestar Galactica and Space: 1999, this good ship would actually make it.   In its seven year journey, Star Trek: Voyager had become more like the original Star Trek than either TNG or DS9.

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It’s fall of 1994 and on my television set is a preview for the next Star Trek: The Next Generation adventure. There is one crucial difference between this adventure and the usual episode: it can only be seen at a theater near you.

Star Trek Generations

On November 18, 1994, Star Trek Generations premiered in movie theaters.  It was the first Trek series not to be canceled. It had been decided to move these characters from small screen to silver screen. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was in its third season.  The word on the street was that come the new year, a third spin-off (the fourth Star Trek series) called Star Trek: Voyager would be premiering.

For the first time in history, there was a LOT of Star Trek.

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As I write this, summer is coming to a close.  Outside there is the slightest crisp of autumn in the air. JJ Abram’s Star Trek is out of theatres and we can only wait for the DVD release this fall. Holy Frak — It’s September and I haven’t updated my series retrospective on Star Trek!!

Let’s delay no longer. When we last left our intrepid heroes, the original crew of Star Trek had moved on to a series of movies and signed off with The Undiscovered Country in 1991.

But let’s step back about four years to 1987.  Before making peace with the Klingons, Kirk and crew, in a commandeered Bird-of-Prey had just left the 20th century and saved the Earth from a mysterious probe  by bringing back Humpback Whales from extinction.  It was a high time for Star Trek.  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home turned out to be the most mainstream success of all the Star Trek movies.  (more…)

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Star Trek is dead.

That’s been  the common consensus since 2005 when Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled.  Since 1987, there had been four spin-off series and six feature films without respite. The feeling was that there was too much mediocre Star Trek out there and not enough interest. The situation was grim.

Then in 2008 something happened. In the darkened theatre we witnessed the first Star Trek movie teaser since 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.  I won’t go into the fan debate and uproar that pervaded the proceeding year, but we all know what it led to:

Star Trek is back!

I was one to agree that there was a little too much Trek going on back in 2005 (Gasp!).  But was Trek actually “bad” or even “mediocre”??  I’ve always held a theory that Star Trek is like a fine wine.  It needs to age. It needs some air. It needs some time in order to be fully appreciated and enjoyed.   The implication since 2005 was that Trek used to be AMAZING and now it’s not. Spaghetti is my favorite, but if I had it night after night I would want  a break from it too.

So I wanted to test my theory. (That, and I needed an excuse to pop in my Trek DVDs again). I’ve sat down and revisited all the Trek series since TOS.  My goal was to watch it again with two simple differences since that last time I watched it:

1. The new movie was a resounding success.

2. It’s been some time since we had any new Star Trek and there probably won’t be any more for at least 2 years.

So we have age, air and time. Let’s take a look back.

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Trek v Wars

“What do you like better – Star Trek or Star Wars?”

My answer is “Why not both?”

I seem to be one of the few people who is equally obsessed with both. However, I would be will to wager all of my gold press latinum  that I am not alone out there in loving both franchises.  I never really understood why they are compared other than the similarity in titles. After all, other than taking place in space and on board space ships – they are like apples and oranges. They deal with different themes and address different sensibilities. Sometimes you feel like a nut…sometimes you don’t.

That said, we still love to compare the two.  We’ve all seen the You Tube video of the Enterprise-D encountering a Star Destroyer, (If not check it here) but I thought it would be fun to compare the many aspects of technology of the two universes.

This is all loose stuff and not based on any hard evidence.  My sources are the various movies, TV shows, and a fertile imagination.  I do not include tech from the new Star Trek Movie as I am simply not familiar enough with it or the changes to the technology that the Nero Incursion caused. I also do not necessarily include Expanded Universe.  I am sticking to strictly G-level canon.

We at the Starblog would love to here your thoughts and additions! But for now, here we go!

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