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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old May 2 2012, 02:03 AM   #181
indranee
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

teacake wrote: View Post
It's kind of a visceral response on my part. I know he's hugely popular. I also think he'll be a GREAT villain, very happy about him being in it though the "alien" quality he has is kind of wasted on a human.

It's not wasted at all considering he's an actor

As for his looks, I guess I just kind of like his "different" look. I don't much like pretty boys. And he's definitely not one. He's very much his own man... with a very unique look. I'm also glad (if this is indeed so) JJ didn't put makeup and whatnot on him. That face of his can look "strange" enough, especially when lit and filmed in certain ways.

Last edited by indranee; May 2 2012 at 02:15 AM.
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Old May 2 2012, 02:13 AM   #182
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
In fact, he's got some decidedly "alien" looking features
Yeah I noticed, he's got great Elephant Man-ish bone structure for makeup & prosthetics. That's why I wanted him to being playing a Klingon, DAMMIT! Or Romulan. But I figured the Rommies were last time, right? But Khan is a hew-mon, so it's all going to waste.

Here's what's been bugging me about Cumberbund playing Khan. ... rant snipped...
The fact that you can't even write his NAME (come on, you're a Trekkie; you're used to wierd names, right? ) tells me enough to know better than to convince you otherwise.

Like I said: eye of the beholder. I find him attractive. And I'm glad JJ didn't cover his face in prosthetics.

To each her own.

'nuff said.
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Old May 2 2012, 05:04 AM   #183
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Gonna wade in here... haven't read every post in the preceding 13 pages, but I have read some... long post ahead, my apologies in advance...

[EDIT: Wow, I'm really sorry for the long post. I had no idea it was this long. I guess I got a little carried away... Mea culpa.]

When I saw that spoilers were out, at first, I didn't want to look. I wanted to go into the film with absolutely nothing.

Then I realized that I would have to wait a year for that, studiously avoiding spoilers the whole time... basically avoiding the entire online Trek community for a whole year. Not gonna happen.

Anyhow. I am very excited about Star Trek XII now. Very excited.

To those people who are complaining about Khan: did you actually see the last movie? Did Star Trek '09 not buzz with an intensity that I cannot recall ever seeing in Star Trek before? Lens flares aside, a kind of intensity that grabs you by the collar of your shirt and holds you captive for 2 hours? Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam!

Now, I realize I am overstating my case somewhat. But only somewhat. JJ Abrams recognizes the importance of conveying energy in film these days. The cost of doing business, if you will. Some films convey this energy by having an unnecessary 15 minute shootout at the climax (Inception, I'm looking at you). ST09 didn't do that and ST13 won't either.

(Why am I so sure about that? Because Leonard Nimoy wouldn't have agreed to appear if that was what was being planned.)

So we are looking at a film that is "relentless" (per Chris Pine) but that we can reasonably expect won't have gratuitous, cheap 15 minute shootouts as filler (per Nimoy's tacit approval by appearing).

Now, does this not strike you as a recipe for success? Possibly very great success?

In some ways, Khan is the ideal villain to both satisfy the old guard of fans and draw in people who have never seen Star Trek before. Khan has genetically enhanced strength; that means we'll be looking at some fantastic fight scenes. (General movie-going public excited.) Khan also has genetically enhanced intellect: you know that means there's going to be some serious big-picture chess playing between Kirk et al. and Khan. (Trekkies who like their Star Trek to be at least somewhat thoughtful excited.) And with the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, you can be sure that Khan's intellect will not be overlooked. (Those who have not, go and watch him in Sherlock on Netflix. Now.)

To those who claim that this shows a lack of originality or creativity on the part of Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, etc.: do you think they are really that stupid? To attempt to do a carbon copy of "Space Seed" and/or TWoK would simply be unfeasible for a 21st century motion picture. Too much exposition required. Montalban's appearance aside, "Space Seed" is not that exciting an episode. And TWoK only works because "Space Seed" got a lot of that exposition out of the way. There is simply no way that Abrams et al. would try to copy all of that, because it wouldn't work.

So I think we can rest pretty assured that ST13, while very likely containing allusions and easter eggs to Khan's previous appearances, will be almost entirely original.

Regarding Khan's ethnicity: I submit that Cumberbatch was chosen because he was the best actor for the role. That should be the most important criterion for casting.

But furthermore, there really was no way for The Supreme Court to have it perfect in this situation. Khan is already pretty straightforwardly established canonically as not looking/sounding like he comes from the Indian subcontinent. So if they cast someone of Indian descent for the role, then they risk alienating fans who might see it as brazenly ignoring what came before.

And we talk about the political correctness of choosing an Englishman for the role of someone named "Khan Singh," but consider this: if they had gone with someone like...

Sunkrish Bala
Samrat Chakrabarti
Kal Penn
or even Faran Tahir


...to play Khan, then you would have had the very white, All-American looking Captain Kirk battling an evil person with brown skin. Now, wouldn't that risk appearing insensitive? Wouldn't some people (non-Trekkies) be unhappy about Star Trek appearing to reinforce negative stereotypes about people with brown skin?

And if they had gone with someone like Tahir, who is of Pakistani descent, then people might see pretty direct parallels with America's current involvement in Afghanistan right now. And that would distract from the movie.

I'm not saying that Star Trek can't have a non-white villain. But in the scheme of things, Khan's ethnicity isn't that important to his identity; Khan Singh could have come from any number of places on Earth and his character would have been exactly the same. Therefore, it's best to simply cast the actor based on his appropriateness for the character as a whole, and not just the ethnicity.

My point regarding Khan's ethnicity is that Star Trek is not produced in a vacuum. Writers, producers and directors have to think about what they put in, and consider how it will look both to long-time fans and the public at large. Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman and all of them know what they are doing. I trust that they made the right call about this.

(Also, I like the idea that someone posted a few pages back that Cumberbatch (without make-up) represents a surgically altered Khan designed to infiltrate Starfleet. Someone pointed out that not everyone in Starfleet is white, and I agree. However, Khan changing his ethnicity would go pretty far in making him unrecognizable. So it would be pretty easy to explain away Khan's pale white skin in that way, if it were necessary.)

(Also, on further consideration, there are white people who live in India today, and surely there is at least one white person who is a Sikh, a citizen of India [and therefore Indian], but who looks as white as Cumberbatch. Therefore, it's not impossible that Khan could be both white and Indian.)

Sorry for the long tangent.

As I said, I think ST13 is going to be great, and I hope that it becomes the catalyst for getting Star Trek back into the medium "for which [it has] demonstrated unswerving ability": weekly, hour long installments on television.
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Old May 2 2012, 08:18 AM   #184
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

I'm ambivalent about this issue. On the one hand, I was hoping that they'd save Khan for the third and final movie. Many others wanted them to do something original in the sequel. On the other hand, his inclusion garnered so much attention and speculation I suppose they can be forgiven for going this route if the rumour is true.

Cumberbatch's casting is an oddity. I don't understand why they would have considered inviting him to audition in the first place (he's good but so are a lot of other south asian actors). Persis Khambatta was Indian and was fairly pale but Cumberbatch isn't just pale, he's positively pasty.

I understand that their might be concern about having a 'brown' villain, although I believe Khan was actually a Sikh so it could be a good opportunity to distinguish that (not sure why he didn't wear a turban much, but I digress). But Khan was an Indian character and his ethnicity would not have been affected by the time travel. I think they should have put more effort in to cast his ethnicity correctly. I hope 'racial sensitivity' was not a consideration as that would fly in the face of racial equality. I watched 'My Name is Khan' and the point made in that movie was that there are only two types of people, good people and bad people (ok it's an oversimplicfication but it was an explanation to an autistic child - even Khan was not all bad). If someone is a bad cartoon villain, that is their defining trait, not their ethnicity. Ethnicity is only an issue if a particular ethnicity is repeatedly and unjustifiably portrayed in a negative light.
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Old May 2 2012, 09:08 AM   #185
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Anticitizen wrote: View Post
The salt vampire wasn't evil, for instance - just starving (and the characters mourn the loss of a unique species dying out). Charlie X wasn't evil, just a frustrated teenager with powers beyond his control. Roger Korby wasn't Roger Korby at all, but the flawed creation of a mad genius... and so on.
V'ger wasn't evil; it didn't even notice that carbon units were sentient.

Khan wasn't necessarily evil; he'd been bred to think of himself as superior, and his two exiles and the death of his wife had driven him to madness.

Kruge wasn't evil, just very Klingon in his mindset. His people saw the Federation as evil; they were testing a torpedo that could remake entire planets, eradicating the original populace.

The Probe wasn't evil. It probably didn't notice that humans were sentient.

Sybok wasn't evil, he was just a naughty boy.

Chang was villainous, but also very Klingon in his mindset.

Soran was insane, an addict, driven crazy in his desire to return to the Nexus.

The Borg were more like a force of nature.

Ru'Afo was a petulant, rapidly-aging child, exiled from everlasting life.

Shinzon was a petulant, rapidly-aging clone, held prisoner for much of his life, forced to work in the mines, and probably driven crazy in his desire to have the life enjoyed by his unwitting DNA donor.

Nero wasn't necessarily evil; the death of his wife and entire world had driven him to madness.

How are they any different to the Salt Vampire, Charlie X or Roger Korby?
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Old May 2 2012, 10:20 AM   #186
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post

Sybok wasn't evil, he was just a naughty boy.
A very naughty boy.
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Old May 2 2012, 12:25 PM   #187
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

wait. there are people who think Cumberbatch is ugly? Now I've seen everything. Everyone I know with an uterus and quite a few with testicles think he's the most sexiest being alive. My gf would leave in a second for Cumberbatch and maybe I join her.
Some peoples tastes are just weird.
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Old May 2 2012, 01:52 PM   #188
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Just to get my two-cents in:

Personally I think it's a mistake to use Khan. The character, Ricardo Montalban's performance, and TWOK movie are nearly legendary, and there will be endless comparisons.

I'm just seeing this as a lack of true imagination for the part of Orci and Kurtzman, and they should have just created a 100% new story. Plus with the inclusion of Nimoy/Spock into the plot-line, almost feels like a cheat (Theory - He'll get wind of Kahn, and give some advice/intel as to how to deal with the situation). Does this imply that as long as Spock Prime is alive, he'll get calls on a regular basis "How did you deal with this "current crisis"?"

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

OK - My lonely little opinion and rant is done for the day.

*Unless this is a Team Abrams miss-information stunt.
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Old May 2 2012, 01:55 PM   #189
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Someone in the Sherlock discussion thread said that Cumberbatch looks like he'd make a good Andorian. I can see that.
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Old May 2 2012, 02:02 PM   #190
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

teacake wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post

Sybok wasn't evil, he was just a naughty boy.
A very naughty boy.
You mean he's not the Messiah?
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Old May 2 2012, 02:02 PM   #191
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
Just to get my two-cents in:

Personally I think it's a mistake to use Kahn.
Okay, but what about Khan then?
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Old May 2 2012, 02:41 PM   #192
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

^ lol nice.

I am honestly on the fence about BC as Khan. I don't often reserve judgement but I will this time.
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Old May 2 2012, 03:22 PM   #193
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Anticitizen wrote: View Post
The salt vampire wasn't evil, for instance - just starving (and the characters mourn the loss of a unique species dying out). Charlie X wasn't evil, just a frustrated teenager with powers beyond his control. Roger Korby wasn't Roger Korby at all, but the flawed creation of a mad genius... and so on.
V'ger wasn't evil; it didn't even notice that carbon units were sentient.

Khan wasn't necessarily evil; he'd been bred to think of himself as superior, and his two exiles and the death of his wife had driven him to madness.

Kruge wasn't evil, just very Klingon in his mindset. His people saw the Federation as evil; they were testing a torpedo that could remake entire planets, eradicating the original populace.

The Probe wasn't evil. It probably didn't notice that humans were sentient.

Sybok wasn't evil, he was just a naughty boy.

Chang was villainous, but also very Klingon in his mindset.

Soran was insane, an addict, driven crazy in his desire to return to the Nexus.

The Borg were more like a force of nature.

Ru'Afo was a petulant, rapidly-aging child, exiled from everlasting life.

Shinzon was a petulant, rapidly-aging clone, held prisoner for much of his life, forced to work in the mines, and probably driven crazy in his desire to have the life enjoyed by his unwitting DNA donor.

Nero wasn't necessarily evil; the death of his wife and entire world had driven him to madness.

How are they any different to the Salt Vampire, Charlie X or Roger Korby?
I think the difference is in the thematic tone -the motivations of the antagonist, and how the protagonists respond to the antagonist. In much of classic Trek, the protagonist tend to find non-violent solutions to problems and, if the antagonist meets a demise, there's a sense of regret or mourning at that fact. For instance, from a straight up 'Battle Episode', Balance of Terror - 'A pity we had to meet this way, Captain... in another life we could've been friends'. Kirk didn't finish him off; the Romulan commander chose to self-destruct out of duty despite Kirk's efforts to talk him out of it.

Compare to the reboot, in which Kirk fires torpedoes at an already-doomed ship. That's literally overkill!

The antagonists typically either didn't die, or met their doom as a result of their own actions or hubris, etc. Rarely was anyone actually dispatched by 'the heroes'.

And, it's not just the protagonists that have shifted in tone. The classic Trek antagonist was rarely a mustache-twirling villain - and the rare exception is someone like Khan - but they've become the norm. Rather than being motivated by ideologies or practical goals, they've increasingly been anger-revenge-fueled hate machines.

The Wrath of Khan, the first Trek film to feature a snarling villain, but it was handled with classic Trek sensibilities. Except for a frustrated scream by Bill Shatner (KHAAAAAAAAN!), the heroes never act particularly angry or spiteful - they're just trying to stay alive. As with the Romulan commander, Khan meets his end in a self-destruct while the Enterprise limps away. But none of this really matters, see: the real antagonists of the film were the thematic ones, such as Kirk's mid-life crisis and lack of sense of purpose, and human behavior in the face of 'the no-win scenario'. Khan was just a vehicle for bringing these thematic elements to the screen.

Here's an example that really bugs me - Soran from 'Generations'. He didn't need to be a mustache-twirling Snarling Villian, but they made him one anyway. Driven mad by a desire to return to the Nexus, sure, but not overtly spiteful. It would have made for a more interesting character - he knows what he's doing is wrong, but he feels that once he makes it to the Nexus he'll be in a place of peace where moral considerations can no longer trouble him. It could have been a good analogy for the way religion has made many people behave on Earth - atrocities have been committed in the name of religion because people had their concerns placed in the idea of an afterlife, rather than trying to make this one better. Could have made for one of those classic Trek-style debates in which Kirk or Picard lays down the Speech Hammer on the antagonist, letting everyone know the ideological Moral of the Story. Missed opportunity, because you'd have Kirk and Picard on the debate team together!

Instead, we got a huge missed opportunity. William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and Malcolm McDowell are some of the most dramatic stage-style actors in history - the scenery could have been chewed to pieces. It could have been majestic! But alas, due to the antagonist being reduced to an Evil Villain and not an ideological opponent, the climax is reduced to... punches and kicks. The next movie devolved to the heroes popping quips ('Assimilate this!' 'Resistance is futile!'). Insurrection, Nemesis, and the reboot might as well have put literal Snidely Whiplash mustaches on their villains for them to twirl.

And I think what bugs me the most about the reboot was that the heroes weren't shown as being principled. To me, this is THE defining characteristic of the classic Trek protagonist - they have all been deeply principled, and the stories were, more often than not, morality plays which ended with the aforementioned Kirk or Picard 'Big Speech' about the principles concerning the situation. This was completely absent from the reboot - the heroes are only 'heroes' because there's a Snarling Villain out there who likes to blow up planets. There's no ideological conflict; it's all literal conflict. Spock is apparently bottled rage, Kirk is a douchey man-whore who sleeps around so he can cheat on a test, Uhura's sleeping with her instructor and uses the leverage from it to get her assignment changed... etc. The 'good guys' aren't good guys anymore, they just happen to be better than the villain.

And now it appears they will be returning to that same poisoned well - they've apparently decided to resurrect the Snarlingest Villain of them all, Khan, because they apparently feel that audiences can't relate to any motivations other than pure, emotional rage.

I'm reminded of that awful latest remake of The Time Machine. In the original HG Wells story, the time traveler creates his machine out of pure scientific curiosity and drive. The Morlocks in the future aren't villains, any more than humans today are villains for raising cattle, which is what the Eloi have essentially become. In the recent movie, the writers apparently feel that the average moviegoer can't understand any of this. They give the protagonist a girlfriend who dies tragically, and he creates the time machine in order to attempt to save her - because to the modern scriptwriter, 'the power of love' is the only thing that can motivate a scientist, apparently. Then they turned the Eloi into intelligent, desperate victims of the Big Bad Morlocks, who were given a Snarling Villain commander - completely missing the entire point of the original narrative. The same problems recent Trek suffered from, IMO.
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Old May 2 2012, 03:45 PM   #194
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
Just to get my two-cents in:

Personally I think it's a mistake to use Khan. The character, Ricardo Montalban's performance, and TWOK movie are nearly legendary, and there will be endless comparisons.

I'm just seeing this as a lack of true imagination for the part of Orci and Kurtzman, and they should have just created a 100% new story. Plus with the inclusion of Nimoy/Spock into the plot-line, almost feels like a cheat (Theory - He'll get wind of Kahn, and give some advice/intel as to how to deal with the situation). Does this imply that as long as Spock Prime is alive, he'll get calls on a regular basis "How did you deal with this "current crisis"?"

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

OK - My lonely little opinion and rant is done for the day.

*Unless this is a Team Abrams miss-information stunt.
I just can't fathom the comments here. Khan is a legendary character and Ricardo Montalban gave a great performance. Nothing that Cumberbatch does will taint that. He will make it his own unique role. It's only because one actor has so far played Khan that we have this uproar over it.

Why do people call this a lack of imagination? Is reimagining the original series not considered a lack of imagination? It comes across as having double standards.

3 years ago people said going back to use the original series characters was unimaginative. Then people chimed in with Nolan's Batman argument using that as an example that something fresh and new can be brought to the franchise.

So if they can redo Star Trek like Nolan redid Batman why can't they redo Khan like Nolan did the Joker (an iconic character played by multiple actors). And if Nolan's Joker can wear white paint on his face instead of having perma white skin then Cumberbatch's Khan can have a different skin tone too.
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Old May 2 2012, 03:49 PM   #195
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Re: SPOILERS!!! NEW AICN RUMORS (APRIL 30)

teacake wrote: View Post
Cumberbatch, an actor who I find repulsive to look at, so repulsive I don't watch Sherlock...
I don't know what I can about this other than I have a friend you might get along with. She loves all things Twilight and hates The Princess Bride.

Or as I like to said to a friend in common: She avoids everything that is awesome like the plague and loves to wallow in shit.
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