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Old June 10 2013, 04:47 PM   #104
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Re: Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

DarKush wrote: View Post
Beyond the issue of religion, Roddenberry, etc. developed Khan as a character who was non-white. Now Abrams, etc. has made him white, with no explanation as of yet. I think at the least an explanation should've been given in the film.
Except that Nicholas Meyer made him white 31 years ago. In "Space Seed," Montalban was made up "brownface"-style, his complexion darkened to fit the South Asian ethnicity he was supposed to have. In TWOK, he had his normal, lighter complexion with no explanation. (Not to mention that Meyer turned the ethnically diverse supermen of "Space Seed" into a uniform bunch of blond Nordic types, and made them about two decades too young, given that they'd been stranded as adults 15 years earlier.)

As a person of color I was disappointed that they went that route.
My own color is sort of a light peach, but I was just as disappointed.

To be fair, they were looking at Benecio Del Toro (sp), but I wish they had looked at other non-white actors, particularly Indian actors.
In fact, Del Toro was one of four or five Latino actors they tested for the role. Cumberbatch is the only known actor they considered who wasn't Latino. Which does suggest that they genuinely wanted a Latin actor but ultimately went with the best performance and screen presence, which happened to be Cumberbatch.

Still, I agree, if it had been up to me I would've looked at South Asian actors first.

Granted this might have forced them to give up the ghost on Harrison's secret identity, which was a big deal for them, but still I think it would've been better than whitewashing the role.
It's not like they were at all successful at keeping the secret anyway -- particularly given that fans were speculating about Khan being in the sequel before the movie was even written.

At the end of the day it means, to me, that one less role (and in a major film) goes to a person of color and I don't think that's a good thing for Hollywood or audiences down the line.
I agree, it's unfortunate. Hopefully the next film will make up for it. I'd still love to see Lance Reddick as Kang, if they do a Klingon-centric story next time.

Before people think I'm downing Abrams I do think he has been pretty good on the diversity front, compared to most in Hollywood. I like what he did with Alias and Undercovers.
True. And Bad Robot seems to be doing pretty well on that front in the upcoming Almost Human too.

In his Star Trek, Uhura has taken on an importance that she never had in the original series and within Star Trek period black female characters haven't gotten much attention or development at all (possible exceptions Lily Sloan and Kasidy Yates). All that being said, Uhura still is too much of Spock's girlfriend, but at least she gets more face time and is in the mix more than Nichelle Nichols was allowed to be (Nichelle is still my favorite Uhura though).
I read an essay a while back arguing that having Uhura be Spock's girlfriend didn't really diminish her the way some have said:

Uhura being single in TOS was not empowering.

She was single because the male leads were all white and as a black woman she was less of a person than them, she was less of a person than a white woman, and the fact that this serendipitously ended up meaning that she didn't have to spend all of her time mooning pathetically after dismissive men does not make that any more acceptable.

She got to sit in the back and rarely do anything and have her sexuality ignored not because they respected her so much as a colleague and a person, but because she was not a full, real human being and when you're not a full, real human being the idea that actual people would ever desire you or romance you or love you is ridiculous. The idea that you might have any kind of sexuality at all, regardless of what it is, is irrelevant. You are invisible.
So the gist is that by showing Uhura as someone who's a capable, intelligent black career woman who's also acknowledged as someone worthy of being loved by and sexually involved with one of the film's heroes (and desired by the other) is an acknowledgment of her equality. And saying that a female character is diminished by being a love interest is a double standard, because Spock is her love interest too, and nobody says that diminishes him.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Something else I remembered - Admiral Marcus tells Kirk that since first contact with the Klingons, they've conquered two planets that they know of. Those could be recent happenings, but it's possible one or both occurred prior to the timeline divergence, which may be relevant to the Rise of the Federation novels.
Doubtful. The Romulan War novels established that the Klingons drew inward to deal with their internal crises (mainly the rise of the QuchHa' and the resultant racial strife), entering a period of consolidation rather than expansion. This is a handy way to reconcile ENT continuity with what TOS and TUC established about Federation-Klingon conflict only really dating back to the 2220s, about 70 years before TUC. Presumably they began a new expansionist phase around then and began clashing with the UFP.

Although conquering only two planets in the subsequent three-plus decades seems rather unambitious. That line of Marcus's struck me as rather odd -- particularly since it implied that the Klingons had only been recently contacted, even though the presence of models of the NX-Alpha and NX-01 on Marcus's desk in that very scene reinforced that ENT is part of the film's continuity. So I'm disinclined to take Marcus's line too literally.
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