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Star Trek: Picard
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chucker
 
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2020-01-26, 07:42

Ep 1 spoilers ahead.

Only one episode thus far so who knows what the rest will bring. But, I probably like it more than Discovery so far. Maybe in part nostalgia?

The interview seemed a bit implausible. Maybe the writing there could’ve been better. The dog’s name is a cute reference. Data only being a distant memory from the past (at least so far) makes sense; I was worried from the trailers that this would be too much of a “let’s replay the greatest hits in fan service” thing.

The rough Starfleet premise also makes sense, not to mention being relevant to our times. Dropping Maddox is also smart. If people don’t know who he is, that’s fine. And if they do, that’s cool. The details I’m not so sure about. You suddenly have this massive android program (that wasn’t even hinted at in Nemesis) soon after Nemesis? And then you also shut it down when it fails?

Using an old Borg cube as a sanctuary for Romulans is… interesting. This is a wild new world and I’d love to explore it.

In the past, I had defended that there isn’t any Trek post-Nemesis because frankly, they had messed it all up. DS9 killed off the Dominion as a threat, in terrific storytelling. Voyager was full of dei ex machina and killed off the Borg in… sometimes-good, sometimes-mediocre storytelling. Nemesis got rid of the Romulans before ever really showing them. The late 24th century just honestly didn’t seem compelling to me. OTOH, the days before TOS? Sure. Plenty of stories to tell. How did Starfleet really happen? Instead, Enterprise gets us in the… Temporal Cold War. What. It had some hints like Terra Prime, but it never really had a good answer to “why does this series exist?”

Well, Picard has a few. And it has, at least in the pilot, the right pacing to go with it: when Jean-Luc has lost his meaning in life, stuff moves slowly. And as he figures out what job he has to do, it picks up.

The Dahj character seems a bit much, though.

(Is she a callback to Lal?)
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2020-01-28, 08:19

As is often (usually?) the case, the Red Letter Media guys nicely analyze this stuff, simply laying it out, pointing out any missing clothes and poking holes where holes need poking.

More than any other “review nerds on YouTube”,they use direct video evidence and the words/actions of those involved to make their overall case that many (if not most) modern franchise movies and genre TV shows are incoherent, trying-too-hard unasked-for horseshit made for all the wrong reasons and relying 92% on fan-service/nostalgia to carry the load (which always - always - wears off, and loses its allure way quicker than the creators ever seem to realize).

But I’m not a Trek guy, so YMMV.
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Frank777
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2023-02-10, 18:18

Ouch.
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chucker
 
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2023-02-10, 18:21

I haven't seen any of season 3 yet, but I've seen all of seasons 1 and 2 and, hoo boy.
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drewprops
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2023-02-10, 19:02

I didn't hold out much hope.

Patrick Stewart, it seems, never really understood Star Trek after all.


...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2023-02-10, 19:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Ha, they're bringing back members of TNG cast (Fraker, Burton, McFadden (rawwr), etc.). Isn't that one of the official, agreed-upon signs of a property sailing high over the mako? "We can't float this stuff on its own merit...let's go for nostalgia and stunt-casting!"

It was either that or introduce a baby/toddler to the mix.

I've got a few friends who love Star Trek in all its forms and even they were never big on this show. I don't understand Trek lore enough to know/understand all the "why" and "how", but it's odd to see these three people not dutifully lapping up anything/everything Star Trek.

"Who are you, and what did you do to my friend?!"

But, then, I look at me and my beloved Star Wars, and just how little of an overall rip I give about it anymore, outside of the original trilogy and, to a lesser degree, The Mandalorian (which starts season three in a few weeks, I just learned a few days ago; I'd honestly kinda forgotten about it, which tends to happen when a show goes 2,740 weeks between seasons).

I sometimes wonder if we're just too inundated with entertainment/content anymore (odd question, I realize), and it's become a genuine issue of "quality vs. quantity"? We have a gazillion channels and streaming services, many of them cranking out their own, in-house fare. A true "something for everyone" smorgasbord. But how many of them are actually any good, or taste like anything? How many get green-lit on "promise"/potential and renewed on not much more?
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drewprops
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2023-02-10, 19:30

Well, with the coming industry retraction, some of these crazier shows won't get greenlit as frequently in the near term.

I look toward Doctor Who as my example.

The revival of the show was exciting, but over time the style of storytelling strayed far from what I grew up with and I ultimately left it in the hands of new fans.



...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2023-02-10, 19:53

I think that's the built-in problem in shows like that. Reviving/updating something that was once big is a true gamble and not an automatic hit. The world, tastes, sensibilities, rules, comfort levels, etc. have all changed so much. Certain fans will latch on and enjoy, but a lot of them, who appreciated something specific that is no longer present, won't.

I think it would be easier to create a new property from scratch, and do it as well as can be done, than to roll the dice on something from 30 or more years ago and hoping lightning strikes twice. I don't think it ever really does. Murphy Brown, Will & Grace and others have come and gone without much dent. That Roseanne reboot kicked up but its star is such a graceless idiot that she got herself tossed off her own show within minutes, so even it got renamed and is a completely different animal (The Connors, I think...with John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert anchoring it now). And I just saw where Frasier is coming back from the dead. Who knows how that's going to go. But was anyone really asking for it, I wonder?

Some of this stuff is just of its time, and had the right cast, writers, set-up, etc. that it just worked. As much as I love Seinfeld, I never want to see it brought back in any shape or form. That show was just silly and different enough to exist when it did. Trying to do that again would just be sad self-parody and "okay, we can see the strings, guys".

Everything can't - and shouldn't - be a sequel, prequel, update, reboot, spin-off, etc. Yet that seems to be what so much stuff is anymore. And those projects that try to recapture "lightning in a bottle" from 20-30, or more, years ago are just about guaranteed to blow it. The things that made it good, exciting, funny, interesting, scary, etc. on the first go-around probably don't even register/exist anymore. Audiences have changed, the overall mood/vibe of the culture is different, viewers are more jaded (and savvy), nobody has an attention span so you have to shine lights in our eyes/beat us over the head with explosions, T&A or "outrageousness", etc.

I think it's a losing proposition, going back to a (tapped) well. They've got new Star Trek shows based on new characters. How are those doing? I don't follow. Are they faring better than Picard? Is the property dug into/rooted in the culture enough that it can take chances with new characters/crew/ships? A lot of those Trek spin-offs have done well over the years. I guess that's what made them think Picard would be an automatic lock. It just doesn't work that way.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2023-02-10 at 20:06.
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Brad
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2023-02-10, 19:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I haven't seen any of season 3 yet, but I've seen all of seasons 1 and 2 and, hoo boy.
Same. After the first couple of episodes of Picard season 1, the rest of the run has been squarely in hate watching territory for me.

I'm avoiding reviews of season 3, but my hopes aren't high, and I expect I'll be sailing the high seas eventually if/when I decide I want to hate watch season 3.

My wife and I are currently watching all of TNG in order. I've seen it many times, but she's only ever seen a few episodes that I had hand-picked and shared with her over the years, and she's loving it, despite or maybe because some of it is so cheesy and dated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I've got a few friends who love Star Trek in all its forms and even they were never big on this show. I don't understand Trek lore enough to know/understand all the "why" and "how", but it's odd to see these three people not dutifully lapping up anything/everything Star Trek.

"Who are you, and what did you do to my friend?!"

But, then, I look at me and my beloved Star Wars, and just how little of an overall rip I give about it anymore, outside of the original trilogy and, to a lesser degree, The Mandalorian (which starts season three in a few weeks, I just learned a few days ago; I'd honestly kinda forgotten about it, which tends to happen when a show goes 2,740 weeks between seasons).
Imagine if the studio was hell-bent on bringing Harrison Ford as Han Solo back to the big screen only to have his character's son murder him.

Wait, bad example. Let me start over.

Imagine if the studio was hell-bent on bring Harrison Ford back as Han Solo and proceed with the patricide, but since you know he's going to be in the next movie, because the movies are now just called HAN instead of Star Wars, mere minutes later, they miraculously and effortlessly revive his soul into a cloned body that was conveniently sitting off-screen but is just as old and frail and tired-of-your-shit as the original body, and everyone pretends like absolutely nothing happened and it was just another day in the office. In the next installment, Han meets up with Chewie for a few minutes, and through their conversation, we learn that Chewie's parents are actually a pair of thousand-year-old birds, and with a wink and a nod, you learn that that's where the Millennium Falcon got its name. No, it wasn't named that before Chewie came on board. You must be misremembering things. Clearly it was always named after his parents. Anyway, even though we know Chewie and Luke and Leia are still just a short hyperjump away at any time, we never see them except for a couple of walk-in cameos, and instead Han is bumming around the galaxy with his new best friend who he just met last week, and this friend's only personality traits are being hostile and toxic to everyone and everything, but Han treats him like his BFF. These two have been peas in a pod, inseparable and always have been, and always will be. No one could tear them apart. Chewie? Who's Chewie? No, no, Han's soulmate is, umm, let's call him Grimace. So, Han and Grimace discover that actually the original death star, hey do remember that from a few decades ago?, was actually actually designed and built by Han Solo while he was working night shifts to pick up a few extra credits, and it's actually still zooming around the galaxy blowing up planets every other Tuesday. Don't think too hard about that; it just is. So, as old clone Han and Grimace are trying to send the death star back to the Phantom Zone, they run into Watto, and they just have the best conversation reminiscing about the old days and all the instrumental things the two of them did to establish the Rebel Alliance and deploy rebel shock troops across the quadrant. I did mention that Han and Grimace aren't flying around in the Falcon in these movies, right? They're puttering around in a flying school bus. It's an homage to the Space Balls Winnebago, but the studio didn't have the rights to that, and they decided to make something that vaguely resembled the shape but was, by studio decree, always at least 20% different. Or at least, they're in a magic school bus for the first movie. In the next movie, we get a sweeping space shot of them pulling into a shipyard and approaching a shiny tricked out YT-69420 Corellian Freighter, but they actually decide to trade in the school bus for a space VW van that they use to get to the next planet, and then they spend the rest of the movie driving around the planet's surface in a 2008 Ford F-150. Hey, the studio is tight on cash, and daddy needs some more product placement. Anyway, one thing leads to another, Grimace straps down and murders Yoda because we need a reason to have some dark gritty emotions for a few minutes, and at the end of the movie, we learn that it was actually Han's mother who has been piloting the death star around the galaxy. She loves him and misses him, and all it takes is him blowing a kiss through the window for her to turn back into a pumpkin and un-explode the five thousand planets that were in her wake.

Tune in for the third installment when Luke and Leia and Jar Jar and Chewie and Artoo go on one last adventure to find Sebulba's uncle Owen! Chewie is a pacifist now! Character development! Luke hates Jedi and the force! Conflict!!!

And oh yeah, since all the budget is going into the HAN trilogy, Andor and The Mandalorian have never been made, and even though the showrunners have some interesting ideas, they've been put on the back burner for the next few years. We'll have to see how well audiences respond to the HAN trilogy first before we can commit to making any of those shows.

edit: ALSO also... welcome back, Paul! I feel like it's been a minute since I saw you 'round these parts.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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drewprops
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2023-02-10, 20:02

I think I just saw a trailer for this brilliant concept!!


...
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2023-02-10, 20:16

Brad, submit your idea to Disney/Lucasfilm. They'd love to make that, I'm guessing.

It all unfolded so nicely in my head.

Speaking of Harrison Ford, he's been busy lately. A fifth Indy movie coming out this summer (don't get me started; nobody asked for that fourth one, so I don't know WTF they think they're going to pull off differently 15 years later), and then he's been working on TV of late, in one of those 17 Yellowstone spin-offs ("Get off my ranch!") and I keep seeing the promo for an AppleTV show, a comedy thing called "Shrinked" with Jason Segal.

Spoiler alert: he plays the exact same character in every one.

Even Jack Nicholson called and said "Harry, you gotta show a little range and departure from your other roles...".

That said, I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark two weeks ago. It's still the Most Perfect Movie Ever Made™.
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chucker
 
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2023-02-11, 06:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
But, then, I look at me and my beloved Star Wars, and just how little of an overall rip I give about it anymore, outside of the original trilogy and, to a lesser degree, The Mandalorian (which starts season three in a few weeks, I just learned a few days ago; I'd honestly kinda forgotten about it, which tends to happen when a show goes 2,740 weeks between seasons).
I don't care about Star Wars in particular, but for Marvel, for example, they're doing a pretty good job churning out shows and films. Yes, it's started to become formulaic (I don't really care for the big "The Avengers" films; there's just too much of everything), but there's gems in there. For example, Hawkeye is just a six-episode miniseries about one character. That's it. One and done. It's a good story told with high budgets and good actors, and leaves you wanting more.

So you can absolutely do that. And Trek has on occasion done that. Some of the Short Treks episodes do it well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I think it's a losing proposition, going back to a (tapped) well. They've got new Star Trek shows based on new characters. How are those doing?
The real answer is we don't know, because streaming services aren't required to release any numbers. As far as fan reception goes, there's different takes on them.

Discovery seems to be enjoyed by a fair amount of people, but also heavily disliked by others. I count myself among the latter camp.

Picard has seen a similar reception. I have far more complicated feelings about that one. I think there's interesting ideas in it (I rarely felt that way about Discovery). They just aren't executed well.

Lower Decks isn't my cup of tea, but a lot of people enjoy it, and more power to them.

Prodigy seems to be a bit of a sleeper hit. I haven't really heard of people who have watched it and hated it.

Finally, Strange New Worlds is a lot more like TOS/TNG/DS9/etc. were, and I enjoy it for that, though not yet to the extent that I'd call any of its episodes an instant classic.

So I guess the answer is: they're doing OK, but nowhere near as great as Disney has done with its Marvel and Star Wars properties, both financially and also in terms of fan reception.
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chucker
 
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2023-02-11, 06:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Same. After the first couple of episodes of Picard season 1, the rest of the run has been squarely in hate watching territory for me.
I mean, I have a lot of thoughts about the show. There's things to like there! And I wish they'd focused more on those. And obviously, my opinion on which ones they are is universal.

The Short Trek Children of Mars sort of teased season one of PIC, and I wish they'd simply focused on those aspects. Romulan refugee crisis, Picard disillusioned by Starfleet's reaction, retires, grows bitter, realizes he has no friends, eventually turns around and starts a rogue crew to try and help them. That's it, that's the entire season 1. Instead, they muddled it with other stories, some of which were outright stupid, and some were interesting but weren't brought to a satisfying conclusion:
  • OK, so there's a Borg Reclamation Project, and Hugh leads it. (Cheap fan service, but alright.) And ex-Borg are actually victims, not perpetrators. That's interesting. Except they get bored with that plot, so they kill off Hugh, and then have Rissa or whatever her name is airlock thousands of other drones. So suddenly, they're drones again, not individuals, and even though we've just established that they're victims, they don't really at all any more. MOVING ON WE ONLY HAVE TEN EPS!
  • The Qowat Milat sound interesting. (In general, one of the things in PIC S1 that were sort of hinted at was way more Romulan lore. But, alas.) Unfortunately, as soon as they get introduced, they get dropped as a concept in favor of… space legolas, or something. I don't understand this character's purpose, and apparently neither did the producers, because he's unceremoniously dropped early in season 2.
  • Soji and Dash are interesting, but as we get to that weird planet, I just rolled my eyes.
  • We get a Borg cube, and that used to be very scary, but now it's just some thing you operate with a joystick and you land it on a planet and just exit out the back door. It's fine.

Also, Romulan incest, I guess. And Jurati murders someone and that's terrible but it's also OK because she was under mind control and so I guess we don't have to deal with that any more.

Generally, I felt that there was a ton of exposition, until like episode six, which was bizarre for a ten-episode show. Lots of interesting stuff there. I increasingly worried how they were going to wrap all of that app. The answer was: not very well.

As for season 2, I don't even know what the hell that was? Q wants a hug from Picard, but before that, let's first create a Mirror Universe that isn't the Mirror Universe, and Picard has to travel to the past, where Q conveniently is as well, and acts a foil for reasons that aren't explained; also, Brent Spiner needed a paycheck? And then Jurati becomes another Borg Queen-ish, Rios looks cool with a cigar and bangs a doctor who has zero ethics, Guinan is shown but plays no real role, Picard's mom killed herself because mental health treatment in the early 24th century is apparently worse than in the early 21st??, Picard's dad is kind of a dick, and eventually, Picard and Q do hug, in the room where Picard's mom hanged herself, because that's exactly the kind of cynical romance Pic and Q have always had with each other, maybe? Oh, and also, dungeons.

I… I really don't know what, if anything, any of that was. Were the writers trying to introduce another Borg collective? Or show us that Picard's childhood was traumatic? Why bring us to just the right time for the Bell riots and even tease that in multiple ways, but then not bring it up at all?

So anyway, yes, I'm very optimistic season 3 will be excellent.
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drewprops
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2023-02-24, 07:51

I finally watched the first episode. It feels derivative, and unnecessarily gritty. The sole bright spot, for me, is Riker throwing in some funnies here and there. Why can't we have THAT version of Star Trek for a season?

The world is gritty. Give us some of our beloved friends on a great last adventure together.


...
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chucker
 
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2023-02-24, 08:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I finally watched the first episode. It feels derivative, and unnecessarily gritty. The sole bright spot, for me, is Riker throwing in some funnies here and there. Why can't we have THAT version of Star Trek for a season?

The world is gritty. Give us some of our beloved friends on a great last adventure together.


...
Yeah, DIS and PIC are both fairly grimdark, for some reason.

Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks are far more uplifting. (Not sure about Prodigy. I assume so?)
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Brad
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2023-02-24, 12:08

Prodigy is surprisingly good quality for what's ostensibly a kids show (produced by and aired on a network for children and preteens). The characters are clearly naïve and young, but they're not stupid, and it certainly feels (and looks) more like the offspring of a forbidden Star Wars-Star Trek coupling than most other traditional Trek fare. Although it has a few grimdark moments (relatively grimdark… for a kids show), particularly at the start as it's establishing the origin story, the overall tone is much more uplifting and encouraging than not.

I would have enjoyed Prodigy as a youngling, and I think it fits much better with the Star Trek canon than any of Disco or Picard.

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psmith2.0
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2023-02-24, 14:27

I've grown so tired of "dark 'n' gritty "entertainment" in recent years. That stupid Joker movie a few years ago was my "enough!" point. When moron neckbeards in the theater around me screamed/cheered at all his bad, mean acts, I just wanted to cry and walk to whatever was playing next door. All my favorite TV shows have taken this route, where even something "safe" and "watchable" like the Law & Order offerings are now so relentlessly bleak, with the bad guys often getting away with their crimes, cops getting hurt/killed and the cops/D.A.s hands tied by the law. I know that's real life, but it's disheartening.

I hate seeing the villains prevail. It doesn't sit right with me, ever.
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PB PM
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2023-02-24, 15:42

Yes. Enough with the dark BS. Star Trek is about hope for a better future. The previews of most of the new stuff was enough to turn me off.
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chucker
 
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2023-02-24, 16:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by psmith2.0 View Post
I've grown so tired of "dark 'n' gritty "entertainment" in recent years.
I liked it in the Nolan Batman trilogy. It was a nice fresh new take on Batman. (Yes, I know he didn't come up with it; authors like Frank Miller did.)

But… I've been over it for a while. Mostly. I did enjoy Breaking Bad, and that was ultimately one man's really grim character arc.
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drewprops
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2023-02-24, 23:52

Episode 2 of Season 3 of Picard has been more interesting.

Still grim. Still dark.

I'm two thirds in and am not rolling my eyes as much.

...
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chucker
 
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2023-03-02, 04:03

Hum.

I've seen several people who didn't like episode 1 say they liked episode 2 a lot more. I'm… kind of in the opposite camp. Episode 1 was a good start; episode 2 felt a bit slower.

I guess I'm glad they didn't dangle too much for too long, though. Paternity of the kid and Raffi's handler? Answered. Done and done.
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