Things which ended up in Aeon Flux : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread

I don't watch Star Trek (Ok, the 60's version is a cult classic) but I watched an episode once and I thought the Borg's spaceships were remarkably similar to The Habitat in Either Drift Theory. A Trekker friend of mine said:"These predate Aeon Flux". What a disappointment! Worse still is when I found out that the touching story of "A last time for everything" was anything but original. As I understand Captain Picard was killed in an episode and was cloned by someone. Ergo, the original Captain Picard was killed and the clone went on to live. Exactly the same happened to Aeon in "A last time for everything". Of course I haven't actually seen that episode but it made me wonder if those who made AF spent a lot of time stealing ideas from Star Trek. Never mind, Aeon Flux was still brilliant. Actually few have not been influenced by others in some way, be it philosophers,inventors or architects. The idea of the Earth orbiting the sun wasn't new in 15'th century, it was already a popular idea in ancient Greece ( a Heliocentric world). I also remember the disappoinment when I found out that the innovative monocoque-design Lotus 25 in 1962 wasn't all that innovative because monocoque-designs were already used in aircraft-design. You get my point. ( a monocoque is a shell-design which makes a construction remarkably stiff yet still light and aerodynamically efficient, for those who wondered) Please tell me "A last time for everything" predated the Star Trek episode, please!

-- Vercingetorix (, July 03, 2001


None of us involved with "Aeon" was a big Star Trek fan, so I can't tell you whether the Captain Picard clone episode pre-dated "A Last Time for Everything." However, I asked Japhet Asher, and he says "A Last Time for Everything" was one of the first ideas he and Peter had for the series; certainly it wasn't influenced by the Star Trek story. Obviously there have been innumerable cloning stories in the science fiction universe, and it's not terribly surprising that two different shows hit on similar premises. If you want to find influences in "Aeon," you're more likely to find them in 18th Century metaphysical tracts or Futurist manifestos from 1914 than in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

-- Peter Gaffney (, July 04, 2001.

I don't quite see the Borg/Habitat connection (apart from being cubes)... one looks like a big circuit board, the other, something out of a Mobius comic. And apart from similar themes, the two eps you mentioned have little to do with each other. So you can rest easy on that one.

Always liked Star Trek, tho... say what you will, that series did take risks.

-- Inukko (, July 04, 2001.

Whoops, my post came in at the same time as Gaffney's. Good to have that clarified...

-- Inukko (, July 04, 2001.

Thanks Peter! Those sentences made me sigh of relief. Feels good knowing you weren't influenced at all by Star Trek, because I ,as mentioned, was never a "Trekker" myself. 1914 futurist manifestos? Didn't WWI break out in 1914? From what I've read the futurists were mostly Italians and the ideas were somewhat fascist-like. Though I remember a futurist saying something like: "A roaring race-car is more beautiful than Venus of Milo". I always liked that because I love racecars. The engineering, design and the looks are modern "art" to me. By the way, few racecars have been looked upon as "art" but I remember reading in one of my mags that three cars made it to the NY museum of art(possibly engineering art). The Jaguar E-type, the Cisitalia(a rare Italian car) and the Ferrari 640 (a Formula 1 car!). I like Aeon's car by the way, it really is her. "Cars have faces" some philosopher said, was it Sartre, Dali or Freud? Can't remember who. Hey, wasn't it Andy Warhol?? (I know he was better known for his art)

-- Vercingetorix (, July 04, 2001.

Peter (Chung) made an earlier post regarding "Leisure", in which he explains how viewing Star Trek VI inspired him in part to devise a certain aspect of that episode.

-- Mat Rebholz (, July 04, 2001.

I saw that car exhibit in I beilieve it was the museum of modern art. I remember the Ferarri but thats about was a while ago. Its funny what gets considered art these days. I saw a Armani exhibit at the Guggenheim just this year. I think the museums are more concerned with making money then displaying art!

-- Jack (, July 04, 2001.

You're absolutely right. Not so long ago Sony hired an art-gallery in which they displayed the new SACD (Super Audio CD) player. Most people went "berserk" and nearly threw out the Sony on the street. Although I like the looks of really expensive hi-fi equipment and admire my new monster-amp I agree that it's wrong to show (and also demonstrate) them in an art-gallery. Some industrial art is beautiful though. Architecture can be art or really expensive espresso- machines. Whatever. I have a cousin who is a designer but also an artist, I haven't asked yet what he thought of Aeon Flux. As I recall he read plenty of comics as a kid and teen.

-- Vercingetorix (, July 04, 2001.

Vercingetorix, I was never a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation myself, and have never watched an entire episode from beginning to end. I guess I'm a bit disappointed to hear that a similar plot element from A Last Time For Everything had appeared in TNG, but the idea of a copy living on while its original dies is a pretty obvious implication in any cloning scenario-- isn't it why so many people want to have themselves cloned? (Even though Trevor's duplication technique is not the same as cloning) In Aeon's case, having a copy of herself was a way to allow herself to have experiences that she normally couldn't. What prevents us from choosing certain actions, as much as they may tempt us, is knowing that crossing those lines would change us permanently. We are, in a way, the sum of our life experience.

Which brings me to what I find so unsatisfying in Star Trek and most serial T.V. Because most commercial film and T.V. are essentially morality plays, the boundaries of behavior of the heroes are clearly proscribed. We're left comfortable knowing that the characters would never cross certain moral boundaries. This is the "edge" skated by Aeon.

Regarding the inspiration I derived from watching the Star Trek 6 movie, I was disturbed by the way the filmmakers were substituting aliens for ethnic stereotypes (Klingons for Russian commies in this case). This got me thinking about how the apparently politically correct Star Trek creators could still traffic in offensive portrayals of foreigners. Hostile aliens are often used to portray a foreign menace, and I'm not sure it's just innocent fantasy. Independence Day and Invasion America were particularly transparent and hypocritical in this regard. It's absurd that Americans could be so paranoid about foreign invasion. And it's not just North Korea or Iraq. Anyone remember Reagan's warnings on the threat of Nicaragua?

The episode Leisure was conceived to invert this convention. The alien, in spite of its appearance, is benign. It is Aeon herself who is the invading alien. It's all about viewer identification.

-- Peter Chung (, July 04, 2001.

You're right, of course. It *is* unsatisfying to watch characters who exist merely for the sake of the plot, particularly when the plot is thin to non-existant (90% of all Hollywood films). What appealed to me about "The Next Generation", though, were the deep themes bubbling under a formulaic surface; the techno-animist world of the Holodeck, for instance. It's not the most well-written series, but does have some merit. It's also the most common source of samples in Psy trance ;)

Peter, with Independence Day, I felt that the alien's cruelty ("what do you want us to do?" "DIE!") was shown just to absolve us of any guilt in causing millions of alien casualties, perhaps destroying an entire race... the aliens have to be "evil", or the extreme violence used against them cannot be justified to the audience. A real "Independence Day" would have made the aliens out to be imperialists, not sadists... but that requires shading, and would tone down the blind jingoism used to market this film. For a better treatment of alien/human conflict in sci-fi films, take a look at "Starship Troopers".

Anyway, thanks for the clarification. Regarding your "Career Suicide" film: how dead is it? Would it be dead by now, or about half-dead? Inquiring minds wanna know...

-- Inukko (, July 05, 2001.

BTW, speaking of inverting conventions, there is a scene in War (the sword/gun confrontation) which always makes me think of Indiana Jones. The 1st one, where Harrison Ford blows away the martial arts guy... was this a conscious parody?

-- Inukko (, July 05, 2001.

I'm in heaven I think after reading Peter Chung's mail. It seems we share a similar way of seing things. Couldn't agree with you more Peter. I was still angry after they had stopped airing Aeon Flux on MTV when Independence Day turned up on the theaters some months later. When I heard what it was about I refused to see it (some surely know I mentioned this when I asked how others felt once AF was cut from MTV). I also noticed the Klingons-russian commie connection in the 60's Star Trek and always hated the fact that Captain Kirk said something like: "I hate Klingons and they are all better off dead". I was a small child when Reagan was president but I've heard he called the Soviet-Union "the Evil Empire". Evil Empire, that might have souded just fine in any B-movie, but this was the president of the USA. To say something so shallow is just unbelievable. Growing up in the cold war wasn't very funny, because I always lived in fear the Soviets might start a nuclear war. As a child you believe anything TV tells you, too bad some never grow up. The tragedy of our world.

(Vercingetorix was the leader of Gaul and he fought the Romans for many years but was defeated by Julius Caesar at Alesia in 52 BC. He was brought to Rome and displayed like a caged animal to the Roman public. He met a pretty gruesome end when he was ritually strangled by the Romans and then beheaded. Julius Caesar himself was stabbed to death by his own only 4 years after. Todays history-lesson folks!)

-- Vercingetorix (, July 05, 2001.

I love the way Aeon Flux made points that made you think. The plots caused you to think beyond the usual boundaries. We are all so capable of selfish reactions based on our fears, and it seems that filmakers often only serve to inflame those inner drives. It never occurred to me that Star Trek's aliens were an exploitation of our fear of foreign invasion, but its pretty apparent once pointed out actually. Pretty interesting stuff.

-- Barb e (, July 08, 2001.

Regarding morality issues and evil - - - If one accepts the "greatest love" as laying down one's life for another, then the opposite, taking another's life (or means to support that life) for one's own survival, would represent evil.

It's one thing to defend one's right to life from attack, but it's not extendable to the destruction of innocent people.

Respecting the person and property of another is the foundation of an organized society.

-- J Ganaposki (, July 09, 2001.

I didn't say evil didn't exist; I just see it as a form of behavior, rather than a personality trait.

People can commit evil actions without necessarily being evil themselves, as Ken Kesey once said: "there are no evil people, only dumb people. And in America people are fat, ugly and dumb".

-- Inukko (, July 10, 2001.

If we are only puppets in the hands of nature and the universe then what is good or evil? There isn't such a thing as good or evil at all, and to talk about what's right and wrong is a pointless exercise. 7 million jews were killed by the nazis. Was that wrong? Well if it was how come it happened? I'm NOT a nazi myself. I'm just trying to say one can never discuss goor or evil in a world where we are random experiments by nature itself to find a winning formula and keep up the "great show" called EVOLUTION. Either you accept the harsh reality of nature and become a "facist" yourself, of course while fooling everyone else you're not, or you simply reject those ideas and believe in a higher justice or a God of some kind. You choose one of these two possibilities, or you use them both whenever it suits your needs, while lying to yourself. I prefer people who call themselves "evil" to those who are "good" but do "evil" without knowing it. It's remarkable. Some people say:"It's in their nature or that's the nature of ones personality", then they say:"Ones got to be responsible for ones own actions". These people use both these phrases whenever it suits them best. Choose one of them! Or both, that's dualism.

-- Vercingetorix (, July 10, 2001.

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