ENTERTAINMENT – Wonder Woman 84 Premieres On HBO Max As A Complicated Reimagining Of Familiar Themes

“As lovely as Aphrodite – as wise as Athena – with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules – she is know only as Wonder Woman, but who she is, or whence she came, nobody knows!” – All-Star Comics, December 1941


Sitting down to watch Wonder Woman 1984, staring (Gal Gadot) , initially my excitement was fairly high because the impactful Wonder Woman film that premiered in 2017 was such a wonderful lesson in feminine heroism. I was hopeful for a return of such feminine strength of character portrayal, and the film’s opening sequence that begins with Diana’s (Wonder Woman’s) adolescence on her native island of Themyscira or the Amazonian’s place of origin also known as The Paradise Islands. The cinematography of this sequence is quite beautiful. We are given a hint of a lesson to come that focuses on honesty and truth and after all isn’t that what Dr. William Moulton Marston, an international psychology icon, intended for his creation of “Wonder Woman”?

She is described from the very beginning as a, “character founded in scholarship,” by the Phi Beta Kappa (ΦBK) Key Recorder in Autumn of 1942. We learn as a young child, she learned why truth was such an imperative for the Amazonian women that they all lived by. Wonder Woman becomes a reminder for mankind to live up to such a higher calling for society, and when certain villains fall short, she’s around to hold their deeds accountable for the sake of a redemptive world. The opening sequence is very much in the tone of the original film, an excellent depiction of supreme athleticism, muscular control and a love for the continuous struggle of fair competition. This is what draws us into the world of such superior women.

Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig star in WW84.

The film translates into a less perfect time for fashion, political consequence (or Reaganism) and accountability of deeds in the 1980’s. Some of the fractures of the time include a harsh recall of fashion with padded shoulders and fanny packs. Between 1980 and 1982 the U.S. economy experienced a deep recession, the primary cause of which was the disinflationary monetary policy adopted by the Federal Reserve. The recession coincided with U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s steep cuts in domestic spending. Unfortunately, when the economy grew, it was unsustainable. That’s because in Reagan’s second year there was a very serious recession, and the poverty rate reached 15%. The early 1980s recession was a severe economic recession that affected much of the world between approximately the start of 1980 and early 1983. It is widely considered to have been the most severe recession since World War II.

Take note, spoiler alerts begin here!

Many disconnects in story also fall hard and fast as a citrine “Dreamstone” is found by the Smithsonian that is imbued with magical powers by the god of lies, also known as the Duke of Deception in the film WW84. It has apparently been around for centuries and often popped up in civilizations that have collapsed. This should have been a warning bell but the alarm and threat of the stone is not heavily dramatized until the effects of such granted wishes have begun to call in the cost for such wishes.

Kristen Wiig begins to find her footing as Cheetah in WW84

Before Max Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, (an opportunistic media entrepreneur, an oil tycoon, and an enemy of Wonder Woman), wishes to become one with the stone, Diana Prince (AKA Wonder Woman), and Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), both inadvertently wish upon it – Diana wishes to be reunited with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) , while Barbara Minerva wishes to be strong, sexy, cool, and special. These wishes are granted but, we learn later, that they come at a cost.

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in WW84.

Diana begins to lose her powers while Barbara loses some of her humanity. Barbara becomes one of the big bad’s in the movie by taking the form of Barbara Minerva’s Cheetah, she becomes the initial form of a “powered” Minerva in WW84. Barbara slowly transforms into the Cheetah, first by becoming more like Diana Prince.

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot star in WW84.

So much of WW84 is filled with cliché’s and gapping story holes. I am the biggest fan of female superheroes. I have followed Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek for years. From childhood I embraced Lindsey Wagner as The Bionic Woman and Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in the original TV series. These inspirations encouraged me to create my own interpretation of a biracial female superhero in the books of Vela Kurv. However, so much of the story fell flat with Steve Trevor’s re-emergence in this film; while in the TV series, his re-emergence with the timeline change was just so simply explained.

DC Comics fans are getting a double dose of Wonder Woman this holiday season. Not only is HBO Max streaming Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot on Dec. 25, the channel is also giving fans a special treat by featuring the original 1970s Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter.

The original Wonder Woman series ran for three seasons from 1975 to 1979. The first season originally aired on ABC, and had Wonder Woman coming to America in the 1940s during World War II disguised as Diana Prince, assistant to military man Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner). When CBS picked up seasons 2-3 of the show, the title changed to The New Adventures of Wonder Woman and took place during the ’70s instead of the ’40s.

Lyle Waggoner and Lynda Carter star in Wonder Woman TV Series.

Inside The Comics & The TV Series

In general, the Wonder Woman timeline hasn’t been a major issue when it comes to exploring the ongoing relationship between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. In the comics, Diana first encountered Steve and entered man’s world during WWII, not WWI, and Steve didn’t die during their first mission together. Instead, he remained a major love interest for Diana and served as an ambassador between humanity and the Amazons.

Nor have the Wonder Woman comics had to deal with the same timeline problems as the DCEU. DC’s comic book universe operates on a sliding timeline, with origin stories constantly being updated in order to keep characters rooted in the present day. Diana may have originally debuted during WWII, but her origin has changed to show that she appeared in the DCU in the modern day alongside heroes like Superman and Batman. When DC’s New 52 relaunch began in 2011, it was established that Diana has been active in man’s world for roughly five years.

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot reunite as Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman.

The movie looks to be more in the vein of the 1977 TV series in this regard. That series ran for three seasons, with the first taking place during WWII and the latter two jumping ahead to the 1970s. Actor Lyle Waggoner played a version of Steve Trevor for all three seasons, but in Seasons 2 and 3 he played Steve’s son, Steve Jr. The series was never very specific as to what happened to the elder Steve, only revealing that he died at some point in between Seasons 1 and 2 after being promoted to Major General.


“This world is not yet ready for all that you will do,” as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman emerged in 2017 as a proud statement of how well a woman can change the conditions for mankind in the positive with a well measured dose of balance procured with a female hand of superhero, not just a protagonist doled out with fighting power and speed. She is capable and strong, of course, but she is filled with heart and caring for the condition of mankind and their part in the world as time turns, is how she was depicted.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

It was my wish that WW84 would reflect again, such a stand as described by her creator, William Moulton Marston in March of 1945, “Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” Instead this Wonder Woman of 84 had her hands tied up in clumsy gold wings that dragged and clanged. She didn’t need them to fight Cheetah or Max Lord, all she needed was what she used in the end, her task to remind mankind to believe in truth and stature. This positioning is so much better than the padded shoulders and fanny backs that reminded us of how bad this fashion was in the 80s. The best scenes in the film were in the opening sequence on Themyscira and the final Easter-egg-sequence inside the credits of WW84 starring Lynda Carter. I’m holding onto my belief in the dynamic duo of Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins for a hard-hitting comeback. And I’m still very hopeful for Wonder Woman III.

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Vela Kurv Enjoys Star Trek TNG in “Elementary, Dear Data”

Vela Kurv Academy School Log

Star Trek The Next Generation’s (TNG) famous Captain Picard encourages his crew to explore their own curiosities for exploration with favorite hobbies, even though such tactics sometime expose the ship to great risk. During an adventure on the holodeck, in which Data is portraying Sherlock Holmes, Geordi asks the computer to create a Moriarty adversary capable of defeating Data.
Since the request specifies that Moriarty should be greater than “Data” himself (and not the Holmes character), the resulting character proves himself capable of far exceeding Geordi and Data’s expectations.


From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

A lesson is learned in what is possible in holodeck programming. Moriarty becomes almost self aware. Picard is intrigued by the development and allows the character not to be erased and more knowledge is gained on what is possible inside the holodeck aboard the starship Enterprise.


No risk, no reward. A qualified leader cannot be afraid of measured risk, especially when greater useable knowledge is the reward.


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Star Trek TNG Where Silence Has Lease

Vela Kurv Sits and Watches “Where Silence Has Lease” on Star Trek TNG

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On Star Trek TNG, “Where Silence Has Lease”

In Star Trek TNG, Captain Picard’s U.S.S Enterprise-D encounters a mysterious void in space. Picard, ever the explorer moves the ship in closer to investigate. To his surprise, it envelops the Enterprise and his crew can’t maneuver out. Picard must now negotiate with an all powerful being that has already killed a crew member in a mere experimentation to view human death.

Picard counters this malevolent species by threatening to destroy the Enterprise. This is a bluff that works and in the end he gains the acknowledgement that next time he encounters this powerful being, it will be amongst the stars and not in a void in space.


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Marina Siritis stars in Star Trek TNG. From Pinterest, Copyright free image.

Vela Kurv is Mystified with “The Child” on Star Trek TNG

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Marina Siritis stars in Star Trek TNG, The Child.

Captain Picard must deal with the unimaginable. Counselor Deanna Troi is impregnated by an unknown alien life-form. Determining whether the life-form is a threat or if it has a peaceful purpose of simply acquiring intelligence is Picard’s best guess. Fortunately a peaceful purpose turns out to be so.

Diana Muldaur stars as Dr. Katherine Pulaski on Star Trek TNGAdditionally Picard meets his crew’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski.

Diana Muldaur stars as Dr. Katherine Pulaski

Both aforementioned circumstances are unknowns and are intertwined. Picard’s practical ability to examine and discern allows the threat of a medical contaminate aboard his ship to be exposed. And the fast growing child, an intelligent species in and of itself, sacrifices his young human life to preserve the Enterprise crew. This allows the starship’s rescue mission carrying the medicines needed to eradicate a killing disease to occur. Picard’s tact and resolve is a model to be imitated.


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Star Trey Voyager Resistance Episode

Vela Kurv Watches “Resistance” in Star Trek Voyager

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Janeway is forced to rely on her own devices when Torres and Tuvok are captured by the Mokra during an away mission searching for tellerium.

Star Trek Starship Voyager suffers a serious shortage of tellurium, critical to the ship’s power generation systems. In an effort to acquire the tellurium, Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her away team visit a Class-M planet where the people called the Mokra live. The team is forced to operate covertly on the planet, because of the oppressive nature of the Mokra government.


After crew members are detained, Janeway is successful in befriending an Alsaurian resistance fighter named Caylem who is killed but not before he is instrumental in helping the Voyager away team deal with the Mokra officials. Janeway is appreciative of his sacrifice; it reinforces her belief system on loyalty, and the unified purpose that has been building between her Voyager crew. This new crew born out of two crews that were juxtaposed in mission and purpose; one renegade, one military, but both now search for a much shortened journey back home to Earth.


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Star Trek Voyager Episode Manuevers

Vela Kurv Watches Revenge in Action in “Maneuvers”

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Star Trek Voyager Episode Manuevers

Chakotay ignores his duties of command believing that his past relationship with former Voyager crew member Seska, a traitor, is responsible for the Kazon warriors that penetrate Voyager’s hull and steal a transporter control module. The device represents a significant security risk since the Kazon do not possess transporter technology in this Delta Quadrant of space.
Chakotay commandeers a shuttlecraft, is captured by First Maje Jal Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim sect who has unified with Seska. At Janeway’s discretion in allegiance to her first officer Chakotay who much of her crew respects, Voyager rescues him. Chakotay learns that personal vengeance no matter the egregiousness of personal attack is no reason to martyr himself when his loyalty should now always be to the Voyager crew. They are all in their plight together. All crew personnel might align together to find their way home to Earth.

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Star Trek Voyager episode Tattoo

Vela Kurv Learns All About “Tattoo” in Star Trek Voyager

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Star Trek Voyager, Tattoo episode


First Officer Chakotay (Robert Beltran), in Star Trek Voyager episode, Tattoo, finds a familiar cultural symbol on an away mission. He and his away team prepare to extract polyferranide deposits found below the planet’s surface. Chakotay’s challenge is to follow orders and direct the team to retrieve the deposits for Voyager or leave the planet and its inhabitants alone.


Robert Beltran stars as Chakotoy

He connects with an experience he had as a child and tries to contact his spirit people.


In true Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), fashion, respecting the good of exploration, believing that Voyager will find alternative resources, Chakotay makes contact with members of a humanoid species that his ancestors once called the Sky Spirits. Respecting the wishes of the planet’s inhabitants, Voyager departs without the needed polyferranide.


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Tim Russ as Lt. Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager

Vela Kurv Watches Star Trek Voyager Experience a “Persistence of Vision”

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Janeway goes to sick-bay, but The Doctor cannot find anything wrong with her brain.

Passing through Bothan space, Starship Voyager crewmates suffer severe disorientation when a Bothan being causes the ship’s personnel to experience disturbing hallucinations.


One of Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew), biggest advocates aboard ship is Kes (Jennifer Lien), and she is able to use her own telekinetic abilities to attack and free the crew from their debilitating hallucinations.


Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ star in Star Trek Voyager

Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ star in Star Trek Voyager

Janeway’s resolve to grow yet defend have taken root in Kes and her actions that lead to the crew’s release, prove this in this episode.


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Vela Kurv Deals with “Parturition” in Star Trek Voyager

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  • RileyRose Author, McKesson

Relations between Neelix and Lt. Tom Paris fall to a new low when they have a food fight in the mess hall over Kes.

Jealousy and resolve is the challenge and the lesson in this episode. Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), has one primary goal; find a source for food supplies. However, what is found is Planet Hell. It is a Class-M planet believed to support extensive vegetation. The Talaxian, Neelix – Ethan Phillips, (also in love with the Ocampa, Kes – Jennifer Lien) is jealous of chief helmsman, Tom Paris’ (Robert Duncan MacNeill), attention paid to Kes. Neelix’s high emotions erupt into a physical fight and Janeway orders them to settle their differences for the sake of the crew’s survival; they must explore Planet Hell for the needed food supplies.

Janeway’s orders force them to work together and in the midst of doing so Neelix and Tom Paris are trapped together on the alien planet. They must work together so that they and their new found alien baby ward can survive.

Robert Duncan McNeill and Ethan Phillips star in Star Trek Voyager

Janeway cautions Tom Paris and Neelix to put their differences aside.

The experience unites them and forces them to reason one with another. In the end, their ability to follow Janeway’s orders resolves their differences even if an additional food source is not the actual vegetative food supply thought present by the ship’s engineers.


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Vela Kurv Wonders About “Non Sequitur” on Star Trek Voyager

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Captain Janeway’s (Kate Mulgrew ), leadership and development is seen in her operations officer, Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) . He must keep his head but shows his loyalty to his lost crewmates when he chooses to return aboard ship instead of a new life with his love and success on Earth.


Harry Kim wakes up in San Francisco having never been assigned to Voyager which Starfleet considers lost.

Garrett Wang stars in Star Trek Voyager Non Sequitur

Kim returns from an alternate universe with the assistance of an extradimensional being. His loyalty to his crew is also proven by his persuasion of friend and chief helmsman Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), to return both of their lives to service aboard the Starship Voyager.

Janeway’s leadership has transpired into loyalty and the beginnings of a starship family are forming. This is proof of a strong leader, when her crew would choose their lost plight over a life of love and success in an alternative reality of ease. I can only hope that I can engender the same kind of devout loyalty in my staff.


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