Planet X Puts Simon Pegg On Trial For Crimes Against The SF Community

(Note: This is a work of fiction. However, real people with real quotes have been inserted into this work of fiction. This is also an inaccurate example of a trial. I’ve tried my best to be as close to real life as possible, but this is a mock trial on another planet. And you know what they say: “when in Rome, do as the Romans”. If your reading this and your an expert on the criminal justice system, any and all corrections are welcome.)

All rise. The Court of Planet X is now in session. Judge John W. Campbell presiding. Please be seated. Calling the case of the people of Planet X versus self-proclaimed geek, Simon John Beckingham Pegg.

Me: Your Honor. Geeks and nerds of the jury. The defendant has been charged with the crimes of haughtiness, rudeness to his peers and disrespect to his elders regarding beloved sci-fi franchises. Four incidents of this disreputable behavior will be used as evidence.

Exhibit A: A Constant Nagging Criticism of George Lucas and the Star Wars Prequels.

The defendant has always let it be known that he has a boiling disdain for George Lucas’ 1999-2005 trilogy. He has spewed bile about it in interviews over and over again. Take this quote for instance:

And I think if anyone can pull Star Wars out of the mire its J.J. He’ll bring the fun back. Lucas seemed to misread what made the first ones great, and concentrate on things that people didn’t really care about, or willfully ignore the things that people cared about. Whereas J.J. embraced them all. We’re going to see the Millennium Falcon again. We’re going to see those characters again. All the things we see about the first three, we will see again.

Or there’s this one:

They’re a monumental misunderstanding of what the first three films are about. It’s an exercise in utter infanticide, like George Lucas killing his kid.

Yet many fans disagree with Pegg’s views. And his response leads to…

Exhibit B: Bully Those That Like The Star Wars Prequels.

This is what Mr. Pegg had to say about those fans. First is this little gem from his show Spaced:

Note: He plays character named Tim and he’s shouting at a little boy for liking “The Phantom Menace”

“You are so blind! You so do not understand! You weren’t there at the beginning. You don’t know how good it was! How important! This is it for you! People like you make me sick!…take your pocket money AND GET OUT!

[little boy runs out crying]

“What a prick.”

He didn’t stop there, he said nasty things about prequel fans out of character too:

I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good. They’re not.

Now that we’ve seen evidence related to Star Warriors let’s move on to the other fans Pegg has offended – the Trekkies.

Exhibit C: Outright Rudeness Toward Star Trek Fans.

Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot was released in 2013. It has an 86% at Rotten Tomatoes and made 467.4 million at the box office. But looks can deceive. At a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Into Darkness was voted worst the worst Star Trek movie of all time. Pegg did not take kindly to the news. Here’s his kind, thoughtful response:

You know what…it absolutely isn’t the worst Star Trek movie. It’s asinine, you know. It’s ridiculous. And frustrating as well, because a lot of hard work and love went into that movie, and all JJ wanted to do was make a film that people enjoyed. So to be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass, fucking ire, I just say, fuck you.

But then his criticism of Star Trek fans shifted to sci-fi fans in general.

Exhibit D: Accusing SF of Dumbing Us Down

Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste. Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes…Adults are watching this stuff and taking it seriously!

And, not surprisingly, geeks did not take kindly to his words because he blamed everyone but himself.

Judge: The prosecution may call its first witness.

The People call the first witness, Israel Sanchez.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Sanchez: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Where do you work, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I work at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid.

Me: And what is your occupation, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I am a biologist.

Me: Can you tell us about the fossilized remains of this animal you discovered, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: In central Spain, we discovered an amazingly preserved giraffe relative that lived between 23 million and 5 million years ago. Its physical characteristics included a short neck, two ossicones and a cranial, T-shaped appendage.

Me: And why did you name it, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: If you remember the Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace film, when Padme Amidala is queen of her home planet Naboo, she shows off several complicated dresses and hairstyles. Well, one of the hairstyles from a scene in Coruscant is strikingly similar to the occipital appendage of Xenokeryx. Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars.

Me: And how does it make you feel to know that actor Simon Pegg has no respect for you?

Sanchez: I think it’s unfortunate, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him.

Me: Members of the court. I’d like to take this moment to name other famous fans of the Star Wars prequels: Robert Kirkman, comic book writer and creator of The Walking Dead. Joey Fatone, singer, dancer and former member of *Nsync. Actress Jaime King. Even more important are scientists like Nate Lo, who discovered bacteria in mitochondria and named it Midichloria mitochondrii. And last, but not least, astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren, Sergei Volkov, Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui and Mikhail Kornienko, who posed as jedi for their Expedition 45 portrait and watched Revenge of the Sith in space. These are the true geeks who, inspired by science fiction, the very genre Pegg says is “infantilizing us”, spend their lives studying the world around us and using their findings to help society better understand our world. And because their tastes are different from Pegg, he has no respect for them. Thank you, Dr. Sanchez.

Judge: The witness is excused. The prosecution may call the next witness.

The People call George Takei.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Takei: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Mr. Takei, tell us your occupation and work history.

Takei: I am a 61-year veteran actor and activist. I played Enterprise helmsman Sulu on Star Trek.

Me: Mr. Takei, can you tell us about the week of July 4, 2015?

Takei: I was informed by John Cho, the actor who plays a younger version of my Star Trek character – that it would be revealed that Sulu would have a husband and a young daughter – as a form of inclusion and as a nod to me as a gay man. This decision was made by Simon, who wrote the screenplay and Justin Lin, the director.

Me: And what was your reaction to the news, Mr. Takei?

Takei:

I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.

Me: So what did you suggest to them?

Takei: I told them to…

Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly revealed as being closeted.

This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision…carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character.

Me: And did they respect your wishes?

Takei: I thought so at first. But they didn’t.

Me: What was Mr. Pegg’s response?

Takei: He said that he respectfully disagrees with me and that if he created a new gay character, it would be tokenism because audiences would just see that character as “the gay character”.

Me: And what did he say about Mr. Gene Roddenberry?

Takei: He said…

The viewing audience weren’t open-minded enough at the time and it must have forced Roddenberry to modulate his innovation. His mantra was always ‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations’. If he could have explored Sulu’s sexuality with George, he no doubt would have.

Me: Your Honor. Members of the jury. I did not use Mr. Takei’s predicament as Exhibit E, because I felt it was better to hear the victim tell his story in his own words. And it’s this recent incident that convinces me that Mr. Pegg should be found guilty.

Here he is, once again, declaring that he knows the franchises he claims to love better than the creators that spent, hours, days, months and years imagining, writing, outlining and fighting for their work to be released to the public. Franchises that he had nothing to do with in the first place. He was a consultant on The Force Awakens, despite the irrefutable fact that he was only 7 years old when A New Hope was released and had no involvement whatsoever with the making of the original trilogy. They already hired Lawrence Kasdan, the co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back to write the script. Because of this, The Force Awakens lacked creativity and originality. It was nothing more than big budget fan fiction with no heart and no soul. And now Pegg is using his delusions of grandeur against not only against Mr. Takei, a legend and icon among many, but the late Mr. Gene Roddenberry, by assuming he knows Roddenberry – a man he has never met – better than Takei, a man whose worked closely with Roddenberry for 23 years. And Pegg is now in charge of the screenplay for the 13th Trek film, Star Trek Beyond. Why? This man wasn’t even conceived when the very first Star Trek series premiered on September 8, 1966. Now, with him at the helm, so to speak, his decision to turn an established straight character, gay, is not only lazy, it’s inconsistent with Trek mythology. Since these contemporary films are prequels, it would be awkward to show Sulu with a family, and then watch the Original Series and wonder why he never brings them up in casual conversation. For gay fans of Star Trek, it would look as if Sulu went back into the closet. It would make Kirk’s aside about not knowing that Sulu had time to start a family in Star Trek Generations, all the more perplexing. I will close my arguments by pointing out that making Sulu gay as a tribute to Mr. Takei is undermining Mr. Takei’s work as an actor, a job that requires you pretend you’re something other than yourself for the sake of suspending audiences’ beliefs for an hour or two. That his sexuality is the only thing that defines him despite the fact that the roles he took as a Japanese American man broke barriers.

Judge: Will the jury foreperson please stand? Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson: Yes. The jury finds the defendant…guilty.

Judge: Thank you jury. Ladies and Gentlemen. Due to the amounting evidence against Mr. Pegg, I think we can’t afford to wait another day to give the defendant his punishment.

From this day, forward, Mr. Pegg, you will be stripped of any film making duties, be it screenplays, producing, directing, editing and creative consultant. You will be restricted to acting and acting in other’s films only. However, you will be suspended for one year from film roles to spend the next two years, with worker’s compensation, reading and studying the works and history of science fiction. You will be given all the major classics of SF, from Asimov to Zelazny, to complete while wearing a different Star Wars prequel t-shirt everyday.

Court dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments

Filed under fandom, Star Trek, Star Wars

13 responses to “Planet X Puts Simon Pegg On Trial For Crimes Against The SF Community

  1. Pegg’s unpleasantness at least contributes to the diffidence I continue to feel towards The Force Awakens and the rest of this new corporate and tailored era of Star Wars; in particular, hearing he was featured in the bonus features on the TFA Blu-Ray once more talking up “practical effects” was one reason I haven’t bothered to buy the disc… (I suppose I’ll have the chance to at least confront the movie again sooner than I’d expected, though; it did just get added to Netflix in Canada…) His comments that seeing the Millennium Falcon and “those characters” again would “make” Abram’s movie seemed an almost contemptuous simplification to me even before we learned the old characters seemed defined mostly by their in-between failures and running from them. (I do have to admit, though, I’m not completely opposed to the idea; it seems more a matter of rushing by it while still trying to play up Han, Leia, and Luke as beloved figures…) Basically, I’m a lot more inclined to think Pegg and the people he says he’s speaking for “misunderstand” the Star Wars movies than George Lucas.

    As for the latest developments with Star Trek, though, while I do have ideas why George Takei might have some issues with “isn’t it great Sulu’s going to be that much more like you?”, I can at least see a point to there being some problems too with “introducing a character just to be gay,” and can suppose “it’s an ‘alternative universe,’ not a mere ‘prequel'” could be brought up. It does, though, sort of get me thinking that much more about how much effort is being put into “using established properties” these days to save on trying to make new things appealing…

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    • Heck, when I found out that Pegg was picked as creative consultant for TFA, it turned me off from seeing the film altogether. What a slap in the face! Then when he was picked to write the screenplay for Star Trek Beyond, and he said, “we wont make it too ‘trekky'” I thought, “then why call it ‘Star Trek'”?

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  2. People like Pegg are the reason why I lost faith in modern Science Fiction. I mean, the rest of the Disney-verse Star Wars ain’t bad. Rebels kinda grew on me even though it had a slow start. But people like Pegg spouting anti-Prequel, OT-fellating bullshit is what makes Star Wars less like Star Wars and more like the many Science Fiction movies trying to copy Star Wars. It’s the drive against deep lore and compelling science fiction towards blind action movies which are in the same level as Michael Bay. It’s funny how the people who shit on Michael Bay’s films embrace his ideas on film-making in the end. And yet they’re so surprised that Bay makes millions despite them hating on him, when in reality, they, by rejecting the complex approach of the Prequels and clamoring for a simpler storyline and action, have ushered in the kind of movie environment where people like Bay would prosper.

    People like Red Letter Media hate on Lucas for creating a complex plot for the Prequels, which was similar as to how many literary critics hated Tolkein for his complex world in Lord of the Rings. They keep clamoring for the simple and hate the complex. I can understand complaining about the awkwardness of teenage Anakin, but it was a minor detail, and the same goes for the flaws of the other two prequels when compared to all the action, lore, and universe-building they brought in. Tolkein was also accused of making something anemic and lifeless, yet today nerds everywhere worship at his works. In the end, once hype dies down, and people have a second look at things, they eventually see which works have substance and which don’t. The Prequels, flawed as they are, have substance. Force Awakens, for all their talk of practical effects and better direction, do not have substance on its own. It’s only a substantial film if you haven’t seen A New Hope. Also, the Prequels had a lot of practical sets and effects as well. Not all of their scenes were shot in greenscreens. Episode I alone had more practical effects than the OT had combined.

    But looking over the suggestions Plinkett made for the prequels, they would have been far worse than the actual product George Lucas made. I mean, hell, his recommendation for the Rise of the Empire was that an army of monster clones would attack the Republic, while the Republic starts to rot away from the war and Palpatine would make speeches about sacrifice for the country-which he assumes to be how Nazi Germany was formed. Except Nazi Germany was formed in a peacetime economic depression, not a war. And also, if the monster clones attack the Republic, the people would rally behind the Jedi for protection. Plinkett’s plot would lead to the creation of an Empire-just not the Jedi-hating Empire we saw in the Original Trilogy. Instead, the people would rally behind the Jedi and see them as their only hope against the Clones. With no alternate army like the Clones from AOTC, the people would start giving away rights, manpower, and resources to the Jedi in exchange for protection, and 20 years down the line, we’d see a feudal Empire where the Jedi would have control and governance over each system in the galaxy. Each Jedi Councilor would have 1/12th of the galaxy for him or her to administer, and he or she would have a twelfth of the Jedi Order’s knights to boss around and send to hotspots when they pop up. The military and the people would not be following the Sith, they’d be following the Jedi, whom they would see as saviors and gods after the Jedi save them from the monster clones.

    As for how I felt about Force Awakens-it was a fanfilm with a large budget. But even then, the Dark-Side villains would not be as bad in the fanfilms as they are in TFA. I mean, even counting Kylo’s injuries, Rey left so many openings in their duel that any duelist, wounded or otherwise, could have easily struck her down or given her a solid taco shot. Compare that to the Darth Maul fanfilm where the titular character and his Jedi opponents have such skills with their moves that one assumes they got training from the people who shot the prequel movies. Even the fans could show better work than the official movies. Not to mention the games, where Knights of the Fallen Empire created a better story about a Force-user going to the Dark Side and attempting patricide in a 4 minute trailer than TFA did in 2 hours. Even though Knights of the Fallen Empire and The Old Republic at large has a B+ to A- grade when it comes to storytelling in Star Wars’s Expanded Universe, they still managed to outdo a greatly-hyped film in 4 minutes of a trailer. Hell, even Force Unleashed 2, which was considered by many to be a failed game, still told a better story in the same amount of time as Force Awakens, with a character that’s more likeable than Rey and whose powers are at least more explainable. Not to mention a better story arc. So when even the red-headed stepchild of the Star Wars Expanded Universe manages to outdo the movies, it really goes to show that they need to work on better plots. My recommendation is that they hire all the great EU authors to write the next few movies with some supervision from Lucas. “Some” being the operative word here.

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  3. How would you rate the two KOTOR games and Star Wars the Old Republic as both games and as stories?

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    • I don’t play video games because I suck at them but I’ve seen the “movies” for The Old Republic (the first one with Satele Shan on Korriban, the 2nd with the troopers on Alderaan and the 3rd with the two force-sensitive brothers) and I found them to be intriguing. Gorgeous graphics. They would make great TV specials.

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      • You don’t need to play SWTOR to know the story. Hell, many SWTOR players have made a habit of posting playthrough videos, and most of them even cut out the gameplay and only show the story bits. Really fun, though. Nice stories. Especially with the Sith ones.

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  4. Time for you to put Red Letter Media on trial!

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  5. joe

    james doohan would be very disappointed that they cast an arrogant entitled fanboy like pegg to play scotty

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  6. joe

    oh and f**k him for disrespecting the prequels prequel fans and mr.lucas if i were involved with disney he would not be involved with the franchise and i wouldn’t have screwed lucas over and destroy the power trio of han luke and leia like disney did

    Like

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