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Old July 30 2012, 05:19 AM   #326
Paper Moon
Commander
 
Re: TP: Raise the Dawn by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Paper Moon wrote: View Post
Personally, I've never really seen a sexual subtext to Spock/Valeris; a father-daughter dynamic, maybe (more so than Spock/Saavik), but beyond the scene in question, nothing sexual. I am curious: are there particular scenes/lines that you would cite supporting that?
It's more a matter of subtext and performance, I think.
Still, are there particular scenes that you would cite as having such subtexts or performances? The closest thing I can think of is their scene together in Spock's cabin (heh, I guess that setting itself could count), and I just don't see it there.

Moral people can do immoral things for moral reasons, and I think that was what Spock was doing. And I find that believable. Not admirable, but believable.
To me, the issue is not about whether it was right for Spock to make that choice, because Spock doesn't actually exist and made no choice at all. The issue is whether it was right for the writers and director to choose to portray him getting the information in that way. I think they could've found a less disquieting way to address that plot point. And that's what Dillard tried to do in her adaptation.
I see your point; you've moved the goal posts slightly, but I digress. I think the writers made a good thematic point, though: even Spock, one of the architects of this great peace, had to make a sacrifice. In his case, it was a bit of his moral integrity. That scene, as awful and disquieting as it is, is a key dramatic point in the course of the film.

That all said, going back to the original point, I think that Spock's actions clearly affected him (look at his face as he says, "She does not know.") sufficiently enough that he would not ever do such a thing again, even under orders. So he would have never done it to Tomalak. (And anyway, doing so would've been a major diplomatic incident in any case, with Picard so clearly not taking the Romulans at their word.)

I believe Dillard touched on this indirectly, but I think Kirk believed that all Klingons were part of that conservative, warmongering military establishment. (The novel establishes that Azetbur and Gorkon were not part of the military caste.) And how many Klingons would Kirk, indeed, any Federate, have met who were not warriors? Again, not saying that it was justified, but people do engage in logical fallacies, particularly when they are clouded by grief, and particularly when they have decades of experience being removed from the objects of their prejudices, with no one-on-one interactions to force them to confront their prejudices ( la Mara).
But there you are. Kirk has had such one-on-one interactions. Not only was there Mara, but we saw him getting along decently enough with the Klingons at the end of the previous movie.

Besides, he's not "people," he's James T. Kirk, a man of great intelligence, thoughtfulness, and principle. Yes, of course some people do react that way, but I don't find it credible that he would be one of them. It just doesn't track with what we know of him. Hell, Shatner himself felt it was out of character and didn't want to play the scene that way at all. Who would know better than he?
True, but those interactions were about 30 years and 6 years ago, respectively. Plenty of time for them to be eclipsed emotionally.

And I'm not as convinced of Kirk's infallibility as you are. Picard, who is of equal intelligence, thoughtfulness and principle, allowed his feelings to affect his command judgements regarding the Borg on multiple occasions. (As did his feelings about children in Greater Than The Sum.) Why is it so implausible that Kirk makes the same mistake regarding what may be the most traumatic incident of his life?

It surprised me, though, that, while Dillard provided a further explanation for Kirk's hatred, she did not do so for the other crew of the Enterprise; in fact, if anything, she intensified their bigotry (with the exception of Uhura). Chekov was particularly bad, as I recall. I didn't like that at all. Not that they're perfect in the film, but still.
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