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MacGuffin?

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Forum icon  ForumsReference Desk → MacGuffin? (replywatch)
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I've recently been doing some research on Hitchcock and the history of MacGuffins, etc. and I was wondering if there's any identifiable MacGuffins in the latest Star Trek film. Could the red matter (for example) be termed as such? --Defiant 08:31, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

TNG was full of MacGuffins. Basically nearly every TNG episode began with one. The plot went as: "The Enterprise-D is helping a planet to find their missing ship or people / avoid a disaster / repair their aqueduct system / test their new scientific invention, and while doing this, the crew discover that the inhabitants of the planet / the invention / the thing causing the disaster are / is not what they / it seem(s), and then Picard and the rest of the main crew are dealing with a difficult moral / sociological / scientific issue. Half the series was like that. It began with an obvious MacGuffin, then the whole thing was forgotten. See: "The Outcast", "Half a Life", "Deja Q", "The Hunted", "The Quality of Life", "A Matter of Time", "The Masterpiece Society", etc. etc. etc. That's why TNG got boring and repetetive for me after a while. --Ltarex 11:22, August 11, 2011 (CET)

Thanks for your insightful commentary. I'm quite new to the term and (though interesting) it seems quite a subjective one, as to what is classed as a MacGuffin. Personally, I'm gonna assume that the gag in Star Trek about Archer's dog was a play on this concept. I've seen repeated, citable references to both self-sealing stem bolts and Krieger waves as MacGuffins, though, so it's good that such info is noted here on MA. --Defiant 09:41, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

Exactly. :-) If it has a citation, great. Otherwise it shouldn't be in the article. If I find any references, I'll let you know.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 09:50, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your input, Cleanse. The humpback whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home seems like an obvious one, though it'd still need a citation. --Defiant 10:14, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

They're maybe too integral to the plot, though. The most commonly cited MacGuffin in Trek that I've seen is the Genesis Device in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. --Defiant 10:20, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

I don't think Archer's dog can be considered a MacGuffin. You are correct, the definition of what a MacGuffin actually is differs from one person to the next - but what the definitions seem to have in common is that it is an object that somehow starts a chain of events that makes up the central storyline of a movie/episode. In my opinion, this is not the case here. Red Matter is also not a MacGuffin, but just a Thingamajig with a very stupid name. :) -- Cid Highwind 10:54, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

Lol! :) I recognize that Archer's dog isn't a MacGuffin in that particular movie, but I personally tend to think of it as a play on the concept. Sort of like they could have based a movie around the search for the dog. --Defiant 11:11, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

...but then, every single device or object could be a MacGuffin - if just a story had been written around it. -- Cid Highwind 13:24, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

Indeed. :) --Defiant 13:45, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

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