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Old June 12 2013, 12:48 AM   #126
Christopher
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Re: Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
the Abramsverse also really is a horrific gut punch in its own way for Lucsly and Dulmer. They work tirelessly to protect the idea of a "natural timestream" but we, the audience, know that there's no such thing and that time-travel is just an ocean waiting to be explored.
Um, no, it's been around for the audience since TNG's "Parallels".
And arguably since "Yesteryear." Fontana's script implied/assumed the existence of many timelines that converged around the Guardian.

Not to mention that Lucsly and Dulmur have no way of knowing that the Abramsverse exists.


DarKush wrote: View Post
Christopher,

While Ricardo Montalban was a European immigrant, he lived in Mexico, identified as a Mexican, and faced a level of discrimination that Cumberbatch never had to deal with (nor did white male British actors of Montalban's era either).
I'm aware of that. But again, I'm not talking about the real world. I'm just talking about the issue of how to resolve the question of Khan's ethnicity in the new movie vs. his previous portrayals, and pointing out that since both his portrayers are actually both of European ancestry, there arguably hasn't been a significant change in the character's ethnicity -- just his accent. That's not in any way meant to dismiss or trivialize the discrimination faced by Latino actors in the real world; it's just talking about a different and strictly in-universe topic.


Where am I going with this you might ask? It gets back to the idea of having more people of color in movie/TV roles than less.
And you know I agree completely that that's a desirable goal.


There was no need to whitewash Khan.
No, there wasn't. But if they did sincerely go with the best actor regardless of his ethnicity, instead of favoring him because of his ethnicity, then I don't think it's fair to condemn it. Ideally that's how casting should always be done, in a colorblind manner. I think it's unfair to label it as "whitewashing," because that implies that race was the overriding reason for the casting choice, and I think that's the opposite of the truth here, given that every other actor we know of who was tested for the role was Latino or Spanish. So that means they made a final choice that was opposite to their original ethnic preferences, and that's pretty much the essence of colorblind casting.

Sure, it didn't do much to correct the ongoing disparity in opportunity for white vs. nonwhite actors, but look at the big picture. We've also had plenty of movies and TV shows with nonwhite actors cast in originally white roles -- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang and now Beauty and the Beast's Catherine Chandler (and for once her character explicitly shares her mixed ethnicity), Idris Elba as Heimdall, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Jamie Foxx as Electro, etc. Not to mention all the times Will Smith has played characters who were originally white -- Agent J, Jim West, Robert Neville. (Not to mention that we've finally, finally got a Sinbad TV series where Sinbad the Sailor isn't played by a white guy. Granted, his portrayer in this series seems to be Afro-British rather than Persian or Arab, but it's progress.) So I think to assess the fairness of the casting process, we need to look at all current films, not just a single one.


I can agree with you that Spock was the breakout character on TOS, but I think it debatable that Kirk and everyone else revolved around him. Kirk was a pretty well developed character without Spock and part of Spock's greatness derived from his interplay with Kirk and McCoy. If Spock was so essential why would they eventually start looking to do the aborted second TV series without him? It's likely Nimoy didn't want to come back, but that didn't stop them from going forward with the show and casting a new Vulcan.
Except, of course, they didn't. That version never got off the ground, and Spock did indeed appear in the movies, with most of the films revolving largely around him -- even the one he was barely in, since his name was in the title. (Note that Spock is the only TOS character who ever got his name in an episode or film title -- although the working title for "The Man Trap" was "The Unreal McCoy.") So we have no idea whether their attempt to replace Spock in Phase II would've worked at all. Lots of shows that have tried to replace their breakout characters have ended up quickly bombing when it turned out that audiences wouldn't accept the replacement.

And I'm not talking about how the characters were written in the show; I'm talking about how they were received by audiences at the time. Today's generation of fans seems surprisingly unaware of how passionate the audience reaction to Spock was. It was nearly as intense as Beatlemania. Nimoy was flooded with fan mail, the network wanted him emphasized and played up at every opportunity, and Roddenberry and Shatner had to fight against the tide of network and viewer pressure to keep Kirk central at all.


Now regarding Uhura, despite the wonderful work that has been done to make her character more important she is still too defined by her relationship with Spock. You can't refute that, so you posit that everyone else is defined or revolve around Spock. That does nothing to support the idea that Uhura can stand on her own without that relationship with Spock. If anything, your argument reinforces it, maybe even endorses it.
I refuse to have a discussion with you if you're going to accuse me of having dishonest or deceptive motives behind my arguments. I resent the implication profoundly.


As for the essay you posted regarding the relationship before, I thought the writer made some good points, but I don't necessarily see Uhura being in a relationship with Spock as any more empowering than being single.
I think the point is that it isn't any less empowering either. Surely an empowered woman is just as free to have a relationship as an empowered man.


But if her relationship with Spock ended tomorrow, where would this character be? Because a lot of the screen time she has gotten thus far usually has her pissed, making googly eyes or fretting about Spock.
She's also been established as a friend and gadfly to Kirk, and as an officer whose linguistic skills are useful to the plot. She's basically taken McCoy's place as the third lead.

And come on, Zoe Saldana's probably the biggest star in the cast. No way would they not find something else to do with her if she broke up with Spock.




hbquikcomjamesl wrote: View Post
Part of my objections to the Abramsverse may come from my intense dislike of reboots and revisionism in general: in Disney's Return to Oz (which I generally liked), I groused as much about the nods to the 1939 MGM film of The Wizard of Oz as i did about things like Langwidere being conflated with Mombi.
I don't understand opposition to reboots and revisionism. If not for the reimagining and reinvention of past works, we'd have no Shakespeare, no Arthurian canon, no Robin Hood mythos (or much less of one), no Ran, no The Magnificent Seven, no West Side Story, no Forbidden Planet, you name it. Heck, every "original" work ever made is a response to or reinterpretation of tropes from earlier works. Virtually all creativity is based in the appropriation and transformation of previous works.


(Even The Nude Bomb [with Max working for an agency called PITS, and no explanation of what happened to 99] was not entirely irreconcilable! And Terence Stamp's Siegfried even had a profoundly wrong accent, yet Bernie Kopell was obviously still alive and available [and even had a cameo].)
Now, there's a case where I much prefer the more authentic sequel movie, the TV film Get Smart, Again!, which reunited all the surviving cast. The problem with The Nude Bomb is that it's not really a Get Smart movie, it's a James Bond parody starring Don Adams. It's a good Bond parody, but it's not really trying to be Get Smart.


At the same time, I also have an in-universe objection to the Abramsverse:
What happens when the Blastoneuron Plague hits Deneva? Would greenhorn-Kirk be able to stop it there? Is Sam even a Denevan resident in the Abramsverse?
Issues 5-6 of the comic tell the Abramsverse version of that event, though it's inexplicably happening nine years earlier (although they do suggest that the parasites skipped over Ingraham B and came right to Deneva, so the timing can be reconciled).


And what happens when V'GER comes home? Is a still-almost-brand-new Enterprise going to be hanging around Earth orbit, cleaning up after the heavy refit the Prime Enterprise needed after the combined wear-and-tear that April, Pike, and Kirk put on it? And then, what happens when a probe shows up in Earth orbit, trying to figure out why it lost contact with all the Humpback Whales? Is the Abramsverse Federation still viable? Will it survive long enough to produce its own Picard, Sisko, and Janeway?
I don't see how that's something to object to. On the contrary, it could be interesting to find out how those threats are addressed in this reality. That was kind of the point of the Myriad Universes series, exploring how certain events played out differently in different timelines. One of the MyrU novels, The Chimes at Midnight, actually does address how the events of the movies including the Whale Probe incident turned out differently -- and worse -- in the "Yesteryear" timeline, although it never addressed how V'Ger was defeated without Spock.

Sure, if the Abramsverse got as far ahead as 2273 and V'Ger just inexplicably didn't show up, that would be a problem. But the second movie ended in 2260. It'll be a long time before it becomes an issue, if it ever does. So what's the problem?
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