John Ostrander: Old Star Trek Tech

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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4 Responses

  1. You might want to read Jeffrey Deavers recent attempt at James Bond. A good portion of his mission was spent downloading apps and
    Looking into his IPhone as opposed to doing James Bond stuff. When I emailed him to ask to not write another JB story he mentioned that even the Fleming stories didn’t have any more action in them than his story did. So as far as Star Trek goes …. Maybe the TV series ended before the phone and app industry kicked off. And the movies have focused more on the story line than the minutiae . Just thinking out loud

  2. Gene Ha says:

    I’m not going to even pretend to defend the ‘realism’ or logic of Star Trek technology. There are a hell of a lot of hallway phaser fights that could have been ended with a WWII grenade.

    I take J. J. Abrams and Next Generation Star Trek as examples of retro-futurism. Just like any reboot of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers has technology that doesn’t make sense. It’s part of the charm, part of the space opera tradition.

    While mounting a grenade launcher under a phaser RIFLE would make perfect sense, it ruins the fun of the series for me when they get all “special ops”: the invasion of Klingon space in Into Darkness and all of the Next Generation movie Insurrection. Those are awful stories.

    Complaining is easy: how would YOU integrate futuristic AV gear into a Star Trek setting? Seriously, I bet you have some interesting answers. What would the equipment look like? How would it change the stories? What story possibilities does it open up?

  3. Why don’t we have video phones as a default? I mean right now? We have the technology, we have (close to) the required bandwidth. It’s just because for most calls, voice is enough. Heck, we don’t even use voice that much, everybody’s texting. When we’re in a nice chair, or having a long protracted conversation, we’ll pull up Skype, and have that face to face. But most of the time, voice or a few tested and abbreviated words will do.

    Seems like that might be the case in a couple centuries. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new communicator did do video, but as an option.

    We can come up with all these clever theories we like, but we all know the reason is ” ’twas ever thus”. This is how it looked in the original series, if they tried to change it substantively, they’d catch hell for it. Heck, they tried to update the tech in the movies and they got bitched at. Remember that big belt buckle all the outfits had in the first film? That was a mini sickbay sensor – it was supposed to constantly beam medical data back to the ship, and the wrist communicator was slaved to it. Nobody liked it, so wonder of wonders, the handheld returned in the second film.

  1. July 22, 2014

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