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Thread: What would a box office movie of Alpha Centauri be like?

  1. #1
    Natalinasmpf
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    What would a box office movie of Alpha Centauri be like?

    Yeah, not just game movies, but a box office one. Probably won't happen, but we can fantasise about it. And include the SMAX factions too. And have twelve people in the council, and 2 Progenitors.

    No, I don't want it to follow the novels, either. There should be a huge visual effect on all the aspects. The PSI terror, the reinforcement with the Dream Twister and Neural Amp, for example. The sheer demonlike Hive, or something. And actually using CG effects that are useful.

    The Drone riots. Definitely the drone riots. The sheer violence. The graphical effects of nerve stapling, while Domai quickly appeases them with building hologram theatres through socialist collaboration. And the University ignores them, causing an entire revolution.

    And summarise a 500 year transcend game, of course. It could be like LoTR.

    Actually the main reason is because Alpha Centauri / Crossfire is lacking in graphics, and I thought it should be expressed in some sort of movie. Not just in secret projects either.

    Then maybe it should end with the last ten years being critical. 2467: Morgan unleashes his master plan. Work begins on subspace generators. The University is building Voice of Planet. Tension mounts as all victory goals are hurried.

    The Believers annex Peacekeeper territory, and after fierce fight, Floods of Believer fusion laser troops defeat neutronium garrisons behind Tachyon fields. Disullusioned Peacekeeping citizens with "knowledge" find that secular humanitarian idealism is a burden, thus disgruntled security officers allow them access to the networks. Tachyon and Perimeter down!

    At this exact moment, Miriam calls a council meeting. Repeal the UN charter. Normally, rational people had not allowed this to pass, but at this desperate moment, anything had to go. Morgan, not wanting nerve gas to be used on his headquarters, and Lal, is the only people who object. Pass. Unfortunately, Miriam is now planetary governor with a huge amount of size 16 Peacekeeper bases. Nerve gas troops mount at UN Headquarters, as a huge investment is made to restore the defences ASAP. Formers quickly construct 4 bunkers around the base

    ***Peacekeeper Bunker 1***
    Things are heating up and the situation is tense. The flood of Believers mounting up just beyond the Bunker is getting critical.

    "Uh, sir, they're sending in suicide artillery!"
    "What?"
    "See those pot bellies the enemy troops have? They are explosives actually. After they give us an artillery round, they are going to self-destruct in."
    "Not effective, we are protected!"

    **Singularity Fungal Missile Rains In, Causing destruction of sensor arrays and bunkers**

    "Uh, oh."
    "How did they get that?"
    "Bloody University, Lal apparently failed to convince Zhakarov not to station a fungal missile at a base under heavy threat from conversion zealots."

    And thus, a good amount of nerve gas allows UN Headquarters to fall to Miriam, wrestling away the Empath Guild and Clinical Immortality. At this moment Zhakarov realises it would have been wise not to support the repeal, despite wanting to use his new Singuarity Quantum Laser Drop Troops on Miriam because Miriam now is a serious candidate for rallying planetwide support and council votes that may install Miriam as de-facto Supreme Leader.

    Well something like that. Lets write out the script. Or I just need entertainment. I can't imagine what a real assault would look like. Needlejets, gravships, copters and drop troops! And air transports! And Repair Carriers stationed with 8 Drop Invaders and 8 Choppers!

    Or the morale.

    Of course this might be a bad idea as it gets horribly maimed in the box office, but hey.
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  2. #2
    WotanAnubis
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    Personally, I'd quite like a movie version of the Unity trip. I know, of course, that the end will be terribly anti-climactic (except, maybe, for the massively exploding spaceship), but I'd just like to see everything leading up to that.

    And while the SMAX faction leaders obviously aren't there as major players, it'd be neat to still see them in little cameo's. Like having one of Zak's engineering workforce wearing a uniform with the nametag 'Aki' or something.
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    Paddy
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    sounds good value
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    sir_schwick
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    Considering the scope of SMAC, a high-quality, multi-season TV series featuring Richard Dean Anderson is clearly indicated. However a 1 or 2-hour movie prequel just about the Unity trip would be extremely useful.

    And the series would not just be happenings on Planet, it would feature flashbacks to Earth from everyone who was still alive then.

  5. #5
    Hydro
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    A SMAC movie would be good, but they'd better keep the characters pretty close or there will be flames and pitch forks from long-time die hards like me!

    I wonder how they'd keep an intact story line considering the amount of time that would pass from the crash of Unity to transcendence. That would be interesting...

    Hydro

  6. #6
    DarkCloud
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    As mentioned, there's a bit too many characters... I think that the trick would be first to limit it to the first game, and then to focus only on four factions- so as to allow for character development. Best would be a TV series.

    This brings up a good question- who would you limit it to if you only had to choose a few faction leaders? My particular list would be something of the sort:

    * Pravin Lal (the Peackeepers) and his chief lieutenants Zakharov (science and technology) and Morgan (business) and Deidre and planetmind and Miriam of the Believers (Zakharov's arch-rival)
    * Shen-Ji Yang+The Spartans are combined as a secrity police-state based faction (the main enemies of the series)
    * And designed a bit like Michael Ely's AC series.

    So, basically two main opposing sides, then conflicts within Lal's side.

    It's really difficult to determine what the story's focus would best be, however. There are so many possibilities.

    -------------

    I guess the story could be one of :

    "Coming to terms with the new world, the greatest minds of Earth must choose how to unite, how to develop, and how to lead. One will die, one will rise, and one will rule."

    And of course the problem would be, who is the main character? Is it Lal, the leader? Deidre or Zakharov the visionaries? or Morgan... but he's too bland.

    I dunno. For fun, let's see what I come up with focusing on Deidre... I don't particularly think she's too interesting a character in the game, but she does have a lot of the attributes of a strong movie main character.:

    -Zakharov is discussing something with Deidre, voices are raised and she leaves. Camera focus on Zakharov, who is flipping out and turning over lab equipment. It reveals he has some of the local flora/fauna in stasis for experiments. He was arguing with deidre over the ethics of his plans. He thinks he can use knowledge gained from these creatures to improve the human race.

    -Lal is confronted with information about trouble with the colonies. His adjuctants, Morgan, Miriam, and Deidre present it to him. Deidre also complains about Zakharov's experiments. Lal defends the experiments.

    -Deidre is upset, talks with Miriam about the ethics. Miriam states that these are not human beings, so are to serve god's creation.

    -Santiago contacts Deidre... they're good 'friends,' shall we say, from long back (Deidre certainly does give off that vibe to some degree). Deidre states that she shouldn't be contacting her, Santiago is persona non grata. Santiago states she saw Deidre's filed complaint, wonders if she could explain what the problems are with the planet fauna. Deidre states that they might be poisonous, and disturbing them could be causing extra trouble. Santiago consoles her a bit. It's sort of a cold war right now between the two factions.

    etc.

    eventually ending with Deidre defecting to the Spartans, being 'Used' and trapped, then escaping and realizing that Zakharov defected as well since he can better use his unethical experiments there.

    Deidre has to bring down her lover, Santiago, and her hated enemy Zakharov while at the same time balancing the rising fundamentalist tide of Miriam and communing with planetmind.
    Last edited by DarkCloud; January 9, 2008 at 04:32.
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  7. #7
    goldenerasuburb
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    I had been thinking about a miniseries, and these are the story arcs I had come up with:

    1.
    Lal sets out to reunite the Unity Mission under his banner. Along the way, he comes into conflict with the Hive. The Morganites offer Aid against the Hive, but ultimately it cost hims. He has to honor the pact by sacrificing the values he fights for; He backstabs Deidre, he sends in troops to aid against a drone revolts which are geting more and more organised, all of which Yang uses to discredit Lal. In the end, The Peacekeeper's are nearly destroyed, and would were it not for the efforts of one of Lal's right hand man, who as U.N. Headquarters burns is promoted. Lal resigns. Enough Peacekeepers escape to another Continent that their mission may continue. They have a long way to go before they can rebuild to where they were, but they will do so.

    2. There is also the story of an organization of Gaian Scientists started to investigate the mysteries of Planet. I haven't entirely fleshed this one out , but I will.

    What do you think of what I've got?
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  8. #8
    DarkCloud
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    Well, storyline one has the makings of a good greek tragedy- a doomed hero... but in terms of what could come after, how is it a given that the PK's will rebuild? Who is the new leader? Is Lal's character effectively dead as far as the series goes? It would pain me to see him leave that easily... Perhaps Zakharov or someone else ends up in charge of the Peacekeepers and starts changing its mission in season two, and then Lal feels a compunction to return and set things right

    Other than wondering where the story arc #1 is headed longterm, that seems pretty solid.

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  9. #9
    WotanAnubis
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    This brings up a good question- who would you limit it to if you only had to choose a few faction leaders? My particular list would be something of the sort:
    The biggest focus would have to be on Deirdre and her Gaians.

    The story of Alpha Centauri isn't just about humanity, it's about Planet as well and the Gaians are the most closely connected to it. The Planet Cult could work as well, but they do not make for particularly sympathetic protagonists (not to mention the fact that they simply cannot be around from the moment the Unity crash-lands).

    Ideally, the series would end with Transcendence. Because the series would not be the game, this could be co-operative effort between, at the very least, the Gaians and the University. Some less sympathetic factions like the Spartans or the Hive might also be involved if only to drive home the point that Alpha Centauri doesn't have clear-cut villains, only differing points of view.


    The other option would be to basically tell exact same story. The Gaians are heading for their Transcendence, shielded and isolated by fungus fields, territory that is of little strategic importance and a non-confrontational form of diplomacy.
    While most of the other factions are too busy raging and warring against each other, a solitary spy (probably our protagonist and presumably Data Angel, but something like Peacekeeper, Morganite or University would also work) discovers that the Gaians are beginning to leave the rest of mankind behind.
    The ensuing fallout would be... interesting.
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  10. #10
    DarkCloud
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    Hm. The second option sounds strangely attractive.
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  11. #11
    Hydro
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    That would be MUCH better then the the way Ely's AC books end.

  12. #12
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    Mrs Pitt be there (angelina jolie)

    so would I
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    vyeh
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    There is a movie based on Doom, so a movie based on AC is not farfetched. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, I would expect Deidre, Miriam, and Corazon to be played by some very sexy actresses!

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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by vyeh View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    There is a movie based on Doom, so a movie based on AC is not farfetched. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, I would expect Deidre, Miriam, and Corazon to be played by some very sexy actresses!
    And Is that so bad?
    Lol, Knowing hollywood, they would have most of the male characters either younger or those 'Defined' Men in the world of the stars (Brad Pitt, George Clooney) Not that is bad, but I think having all new stars and CGI would really make the movie. And It shouldnt be limited to One language. When in the selected hollows of factions, they should concentrate on thier home lanuage from Earth. For instance, Zakharvo speaking Russian to his fellow Scientist, Santiago Speaking Spanish to the military and so on. And since most of the SMAX factions are splinter groups, in the movie (TV) we can see how they are formed, the reasons and the problems faced in the process.

    It would be great idea. And like was quoted before. Having LotR Style would be very cool =p
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  15. #15
    sir_schwick
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    I don't think having a single overall story or movie/mini-series/etc would do justice to the possibilities of Alpha Centauri. One would have to decide who wins/loses and many interesting things would be eliminated. My suggestion would be instead a variety of cinema/television/internet projects that deal with smaller, more specific plots and settings.

    Here are some ideas for this, maybe called the Alpha Centauri Visions:

    1) A good starter and introduction would be a long-movie length project about the end of Earth and the Unity mission. Probably loose and less detailed faction leader histories would be useful, with more focus on the formation of the factions and ideologies. If this was a televised series or was the setup for one, its a good standalone introduction.

    2) Stories about the origins of the faction leaders, giving site back into Earth in its final days.

    3) Explorations of the spiritual and ideological side of SMAC, probably on a faction by faction basis. Think very artistic, probably animated. Might include an exploration of the Gaian Acolyte, the extreme Asceticism of the Hive, discipline of Sparta, etc.

    4) Movies/mini-series about the various wars that may occur. Advantage here is that there is no reason for strictly one time line to work in the series, these are just visions of what could be in this universe.

    5) Stories of the common man in this future: love stories across borders, comedic farces, dramas, etc. Even translate some myths into this universe.

    6) Stories about the end times on AC, such as Transcendence, Planet Buster Annihilation, Unity, Technological Singularity, and the Alien Fleet.

    7) Parodies galore using the SMAC setting. Done well, they are predictable but we like them on most other kinds of programs.

  16. #16
    Hydro
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    I wonder if SMAC would be good like a Battlestar Galactica-like series? Like BG, SMAC has strong characters and a great backdrop (Planet). But SMAC lacks a Bad Guy. Perhaps the aliens?

    There is far too much to do if you want to include more than a slice of the story. If it is stand alone it would probably have to focus on one faction. My preference would be the Gaians, of course!

    Hydro
    Last edited by Hydro; January 14, 2009 at 09:07.

  17. #17
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    I see no way in which a feature movie would work, mini-series is a minimum, even for an introduction. My suggestion would be,as suggested, BSG-like series (which has an identical theme - survival of mankind) centered around an old idea of mine.

    Unity is not hit by anything and Spartan conspiracy is resolved in a peaceful way after a violent stand-off (they are promised an autonomous settlement on the Chiron). The crew doesn't splinter and the colonization seemingly goes according to original mission plan. Garland and Lal struggle to keep various would-be faction leaders in check while trying to establish colonial settlements, explore Chiron, and deal with the realization that Sol system humanity has came to an end. Prominent characters are profoundly affected by knowledge that they have both opportunity and duty to direct future of mankind in proper direction. They clash, plot and are increasingly misgiving about the direction the mankind is heading.

    Spartans are waiting their opportunity to assert full independence, Yang tries to manipulate himself in a position of power and stresses the mistakes of Garland and Lal while Zakharov heads an increasingly self-reliant power bloc of engineers and scientists. Morgan, although an outsider, is challenging the power structure through his personal appeal. Meanwhile, many colonists seek Miriam's guidance and she is increasingly becoming convinced of her own divine mission. Lastly, Deirdre turns to understanding and appreciation of native life but is being forced to take matters in her own hands.

    It is only a matter of time and convenience before the colonization mission violently fragments up.
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  18. #18
    Lord_Icewind
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    Hey, I like that "What if...?" kind of idea. The mission went well (at least initially); they landed, worked together...but they started to get further and further apart.
    I'll give it some thought, but my fav right now for a mini-series is the last idea proposed :3
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  19. #19
    Alinestra Covelia
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    I don't know if a movie of SMAC could really be done. You might be able to compress the Unity revolution and reactor malfunction story into a few short hours, but it's really hard to do that without narrowing the faction leaders to just a few as protagonists.

    SMAC might work better as a series. The first season could focus on the Strange New World motif, with hard science fiction as the main draw, and a secondary draw being the personalities. The next few seasons could go more in depth with the Planetmind subplot and the Progenitors, if needed.

    One thing I think would have to be done would be to make sure each faction has some degree of sympathetic portrayal, and a few presented drawbacks too. The original SMAC tended to make out the Hive, the Believers, and the Spartans as the main antagonist factions simply through their more expansionist gameplay. But don't forget that Miriam was presented as a deeply philosophical science-skeptic in the original Michael Ely short fiction, and not as the raving technophile she is in-game. Also, in the original fiction, Santiago is the primary cause of the rebellion, and Sheng-Ji Yang seems to be taking measures to stop the riots - but Garland only sees a video feed of Yang killing one rebel soldier, and from that he judges Yang to be a murderer and broadcasts his condemnation of Yang's (arguably minor, arguably entirely justifiable) crime.

    Each philosophy of the original seven factions has something to recommend it, especially in the extreme circumstances they face on Planet. A good adaptation of this, whether in text or in video, would do well to examine that issue and treat it in a mature and complex fashion.

    It's okay if the end decision is "this faction just doesn't work, after all". We came to much the same conclusion about communism in the 20th century. But the right way to do that is not to carry out McCarthyist condemnations - it's through assessing their strengths and weaknesses and arriving at a conclusion based on logic and facts, not on emotional or gut responses. SMAC is much bigger than that.
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