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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 30 2011, 10:48 PM   #1
The Overlord
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Characters who were under used in the movies

What characters from the TV shows were underused in the movies? It seems Dr. Crusher didn't get to do much of anything in the TNG films.
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Old August 30 2011, 11:08 PM   #2
Alrik
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

Depends on who you ask. I'd say Uhura was pretty underused.
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Old August 31 2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

yeah from TNG it's pretty clearly Dr. Crusher, followed by Geordi.

For TOS it's Sulu(until STVI and even then he gets a better POSITION, not screen time) and Scotty
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Old August 31 2011, 06:25 AM   #4
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

For the TOS Movies I would say it was (in order from most underused):
Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty

And then for the TNG Movies (in the same order):
Crusher, La Forge, Troi

Of course if you're including guest appearances just for the films there are a few others that could be added to the list: Ilia, Decker, Hawk (are the main ones I always think about).
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Old August 31 2011, 06:26 AM   #5
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

For TOS, I'd say everyone other than the big Three, except for Chekov in one flick. As Sonak said, Sulu actually ended up with less screen time in TUC.

In TNG movies, Geordi, and Beverly. Of course, if we include Wesley, he'd take the prize.
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Old August 31 2011, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

Kyle and Rand.
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Old August 31 2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

Doctor Christine Chapel..
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Old September 1 2011, 06:13 PM   #8
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

George Takei pushed for his character to get a promotion. By doing so, he also basically ensured that he would not be part of the main action of the film and cut his screen time. Not the best move.

Uhura was criminally underused throughout the films in general, but the same was true in the series.

Chekov fared a little better at least. We saw less stagnation from him than we did from the other characters. He was chief of security in TMP, then he was first officer of the Reliant in TWOK, then he took on both communications and science officer roles to help his friends in TSFS, and then he got some really good scenes in TVH. Unfortunately, he was back at his navigator station in TFF and TUC, which made absolutely no sense.
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Old September 1 2011, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

TOS: Uhura, Sulu and Chekov
TNG: Worf, Troi and Crusher
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Old September 1 2011, 08:37 PM   #10
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

CoveTom wrote: View Post
George Takei pushed for his character to get a promotion. By doing so, he also basically ensured that he would not be part of the main action of the film and cut his screen time. Not the best move.
OTOH he got a couple of scene where he was the lead and not standing in Shatner's or Nimoy's shadows, and he's the first face you see int he movie, so it may have worked out for him after all.
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Old September 2 2011, 11:46 PM   #11
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

I think if the writers had felt more confident in splitting up the crew it would have given us a better dynamic and more scope to introduce the next generation of characters. Chekov's role in STII gave him plenty of time to show his stuff and he did quite well in STIV too. Sulu and Rand's appearances in STVI were cool and it is a shame that it was decided that the Enterprise (Spock & McCoy) had to save the day instead of Sulu using the Excelsior's equipment for detecting gaseous anomalies established in the opening scene. Spock and McCoy saving the day looked cheesy and self-indulgent (they have 400+ crew including a number of scientists and weapons experts but McCoy helps Spock work on a torpedo...?). Uhura's big scene in STIII was more memorable that her enitre appearances in STII or STIV (the fan scene in Star Trek V is memorable to say the least - lol - and all joking aside, I thought it was nice to see Uhura get to do a bit more in STV).

I would have preferred it if they could have seen their way to work the supporting cast into the script in ways that allowed them to shine briefly rather than sit in the background for the whole movie. I really Loved Grace Lee Whitney's cameo in STIII and would have liked to see Chapel and Rand get some peripheral scenes where they could at least have been the focus of attention.

I think all the supporting cast felt peripheral to Picard and Data in the TNG movies but Riker, Crusher, and Troi felt a little more so. Troi did ok in Generations but I would have liked to see a bit more fire in Bev's belly in First Contact.
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Old September 3 2011, 12:39 AM   #12
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

sonak wrote: View Post
yeah from TNG it's pretty clearly Dr. Crusher, followed by Geordi.

For TOS it's Sulu(until STVI and even then he gets a better POSITION, not screen time) and Scotty
Maurice wrote: View Post
CoveTom wrote: View Post
George Takei pushed for his character to get a promotion. By doing so, he also basically ensured that he would not be part of the main action of the film and cut his screen time. Not the best move.
OTOH he got a couple of scene where he was the lead and not standing in Shatner's or Nimoy's shadows, and he's the first face you see int he movie, so it may have worked out for him after all.
Yeah, I think Sonak and Maurice are both correct in this case (also, re: Sonak's point: I'd never thought of that before, but you're right.). I'd bet that if you asked George Takei if he could choose between having more screen time of following orders and punching buttons, or having less screen time and captaining his own ship, he'd choose the latter. Quality over quantity, as it were. No joke, but it worked for Robau in XI and Nimoy in TSFS, and hey, Takei got to yell at Christian Slater (who would ever turn THAT down? ).

Trading statue for screen time was a good move, and it was good to see our favorite characters in the process of actually progressing. The only real progression we saw was Kirk's promotion to Admiral, Spock becoming a teacher, and McCoy retiring. The others may have jumped in rank but retained essentially the same jobs throughout the movies. Sulu getting his own ship showed an actual, large achievement on the character's part.
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Old September 3 2011, 04:07 PM   #13
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

Plus Takei was at that point really starting to push for his Sulu show, so he likely figured less screen time in exchange for the chance of a leading role in a TV series was a fair exchange.

Though he's not as underused as, say, Crusher, I always found the relative lack of Worf in three of the four films a bit odd. First Contact is the only one to give him something that isn't either bad comedy or looking grumpy, yet he was only behind Picard and Date in the recognisability and popularity with the more general TNG watchers, so you'd almost expect a good sized piece of the action for him in each film.

Generations is especially odd on that score, the opening 24th century scene that's specifically intended to introduce the characters, their relationships and overal role in the grand scheme of things to film audiences is all about his promotion and makes it look as if he is indeed a major character for the forthcoming events.

He then proceeds to do nothing except growl "Plasma coil" and "Romulan" every now and then for the rest of the running time. Despite the fact the secondary villains are his personal arch nemeses (something you wouldn't even guess from just watching the film).
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Old September 3 2011, 06:11 PM   #14
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

I think not keeping Decker, Ilia, Saavik, and David Marcus around longer was a missed opportunity.
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Old September 4 2011, 08:08 AM   #15
Merry Christmas
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Re: Characters who were under used in the movies

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
And then for the TNG Movies (in the same order):
Crusher, La Forge, Troi
Troi got to run the ship into a planet, get drunk, talk about the firmness of her breasts
and have telepathic nookie with the villian.

She was definitely used.

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