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Old January 1 2013, 05:17 PM   #71
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

E-DUB wrote: View Post
Of course the ep could have been done with all whites, (or all Asians, for that matter, and that would have been about the same). But you had to have a cast that would regard Tasha as "exotic" in order for it to work.
Tasha's appearance had nothing to do with why Lutan was intrigued by her. What was "exotic" about her was the fact that she was the security chief, a traditionally male role in Ligonian society. As Hagon said, "With us, it is the duty of women only to own the land, and the duty of men to protect and rule it." (Which underlines one of the story flaws in the episode -- if female warriors were so unheard of in Ligonian culture, then how come Yareena was such a skilled fighter?) It was also a political ploy on Lutan's part, a way to boost his status by committing a bold abduction. As Deanna said, "As a Starfleet Security Officer, she may have represented his riskiest prize."

DarKush wrote: View Post
Sorry Christopher, but none of the above mentioned 'barbaric' races were patterned noticeably after a distinct human culture like the Africanized black Ligonians were. I think the decision to go '1940s tribal Africa' in Tracey Torme's words was due in largely part to the color they chose the make the Ligonians in that episode.
We've already covered this extensively in this thread and the previous one, so if you've read the whole discussion, you should already know that statement is dead wrong. We know for a fact that the Ligonians as scripted were NOT in any way based on "tribal Africa." The scriptwriters are on record as saying they based the culture on samurai, and the dialogue explicitly compares their culture and customs to Sung-Dynasty China and Native Americans. Their costumes are mostly based on Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian designs. They're a melange of multicultural "Other" archetypes and stereotypes. The only things about them that are specifically "African" are the casting and the accents.

Further for all the 'barbaric' white races that have been featured in Trek, you can point to the 'superior' or at least 'advanced' white races that also have been featured in Trek. Can you say the same for black races, or races largely peopled by other non-whites?
As I said, Trek shows went on to improve the racial balance in their casting for all alien races after this episode. We can acknowledge the mistakes this episode made without falsely generalizing them to the entire franchise. As has already been mentioned twice in this thread, the Tamarians in "Darmok," a very advanced and admirable culture in many ways, were portrayed by black actors. And various black actors have played races we've only seen one individual of apiece but that were basically "good" aliens, such as Caldonians, or as you mention, Halanans and Haliians.

So, I don't think we ever saw another group of human-looking aliens played by a majority of black actors.
Which is no doubt for several reasons. One, they probably wanted to avoid the risk of any further missteps like CoH. Two, we saw fewer human-looking aliens overall in later Trek. And three, however diverse they may have wanted the casts to be, they still had to deal with the demographics of the available talent pool.

Benjamin Sisko was the best developed character of color in all of Trek. But after him, you saw a regression that eventually bottomed out with Travis Mayweather. So, the 'progress' you spoke of, didn't last long.
I don't think it's fair to assume that had anything to do with race. Tuvok got as much development as any supporting character on Voyager; it's just that the episodic strictures forced on that show by UPN limited its ability to really develop the characters as richly as the syndicated DS9 was free to do. As for Travis, he got a good deal of development in season 1 of Enterprise, but when Anthony Montgomery had to deliver the climactic dramatic speech in "Fortunate Son," he gave a rather disappointing performance, and after that he became more marginalized. So I think it was a matter of talent there, not ethnicity. They did give him more to do again in season 4, though.

It remains to be seen what will happen with Abrams Trek Uhura and Sulu, though my money is on Spock and Kirk continuing to dominate that series, along with McCoy, similar to TOS show and movies.
Oh, on the contrary, it's clear already from the publicity material that Into Darkness, like its predecessor, is focusing on Kirk, Spock, and Uhura as the three leads. Not only is it natural that they'd want to make the female lead more prominent in a modern film series than she was in the '60s, but there's also the fact that Zoe Saldana is a considerably bigger star and bigger box-office draw than Karl Urban -- indeed, she's arguably the most famous member of the regular cast. They'd be fools not to keep her front and center.
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