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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 September 5 2012, 06:36 AM   #91
AllStarEntprise
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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Focusing only on the villain. I'll compare Khan and his actions and motivations to the comparable villains of the other Trek films. They being First Contact, Nemesis and XI
Khan was there first. All the other films you mention were trying to copy The Wrath of Khan to various degrees. Behind-the-scenes people on Nemesis were even calling it their "Wrath of Khan".

Remember the old saying: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Nice proverb. However given Khan's feats and later feats of the villains I mentioned, I don't think we should hold Khan above the rest like he's special. Actions matter and Khan doesn't have the record to run on as the supreme villain of the Trek film franchise. He's not a Darth Vader level character. Vader who in Ep. IV and V showed himself to be strong, cunning, expert pilot, ruthless even toward his own men, and without mercy. Khan is more like Darth Maul. A glorified one shot villain who's only claim of success is killing a main character. Maul killed Qui-gon and Khan's actions killed Spock.
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Old September 5 2012, 09:16 AM   #92
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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What makes II, III, VI and VI so special is that they dared to move the characters, and in doing so, dared to move us. TMP said "here's a space cloud looking for God," and V said "here's a crazy Vulcan looking for God," and then basically simply had the characters along for the ride. These would have made great themes for Star Trek episodes, but they don't hold up as being movies.
You're making a false correlation between the plot and the characterization. TMP could have been much more character driven had the filmmaker's chosen to do so, and without hanging the plot. They already had Spock confront his lifelong ambition of total logic and find it lacking. That's daring to move the characters. In TMP's case they just didn't focus on it as much as perhaps they should have. The could just as well have had a character arc for Kirk in which his actions re V'ger force him to confront things about himself. It's not an either-or.
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Old September 5 2012, 01:58 PM   #93
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
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Focusing only on the villain. I'll compare Khan and his actions and motivations to the comparable villains of the other Trek films. They being First Contact, Nemesis and XI
Khan was there first. All the other films you mention were trying to copy The Wrath of Khan to various degrees. Behind-the-scenes people on Nemesis were even calling it their "Wrath of Khan".

Remember the old saying: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Nice proverb. However given Khan's feats and later feats of the villains I mentioned, I don't think we should hold Khan above the rest like he's special. Actions matter and Khan doesn't have the record to run on as the supreme villain of the Trek film franchise. He's not a Darth Vader level character. Vader who in Ep. IV and V showed himself to be strong, cunning, expert pilot, ruthless even toward his own men, and without mercy. Khan is more like Darth Maul. A glorified one shot villain who's only claim of success is killing a main character. Maul killed Qui-gon and Khan's actions killed Spock.
You seem to equate killing more people with being a better villain, which I don't understand.

You have to look at Khan's actions and compare them more to a person who hit the lottery. Most people when they hit that jackpot dive in and don't think about tomorrow. Khan had been stewing in Hell for fifteen years, then he got a shot at payback at the person who put him there.

Khan's actions aren't rational, but they are predictable for someone whose been in that situation.

The Genesis Device is a plot device used to up the urgency of our heroes engaging Khan (the number of people killed doesn't matter, it's that the threat exists). It keeps Kirk from disengaging and warning Starfleet. It serves the exact same purpose as Thalaron radiation and Red Matter.

Again, there's a reason why The Wrath of Khan has been used as a template for Trek films multiple times... because it is the "cream of the crop". I may watch other Trek films more, but if I'm introducing someone to the Trek films... it's the one I go with. Think about how simple the concept is, "bad guy with a big gun has an axe to grind". It was copied in both Nemesis and Star Trek 2009 and arguably in First Contact and Insurrection. Yet, in none of these films does the villain come off as sympathetic as Khan. Khan has an actual score to settle, he was wronged by Kirk.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:09 PM   #94
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

I don't see how Wrath of Khan is used as a "template" at all. Lots of films have villains with revenge fantasies and I never had any sympathy for Khan.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:11 PM   #95
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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I don't see how Wrath of Khan is used as a "template" at all. Lots of films have villains with revenge fantasies and I never had any sympathy for Khan.
For Nemesis they came right out and said they were copying TWOK and if you can't see the glaring similarities between it and Star Trek 2009 you're simply being obtuse. But, filmmakers usually try not to copy themselves so much within the same film series.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:18 PM   #96
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

It's amazing how little fandom has changed. I've been reading Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History and the comments about Wrath of Khan in fanzines at the time mirror those I've read here on TBBS since JJ Abrams' Star Trek was released in 2009.

Boldy Writing wrote:
The bulk of Interstat's July issue, however, was devoted to movie comments. I said, "I have been watching Star Trekfor 16 years now...and I must say that Star Trek:The Wrath of Khan strikes me as the best one of all." Roberta Rogow added, "There is so much that is RIGHT about ST:WOK that it's hard to pick holes." Daniel Wolpe said simply, "I thought it was TERRIFIC!! It was great!! WONDERFUL!! EXCITING!!" There were also some who enjoyed the movie, but had reservations. D. Booker said, "but why such a hackneyed tune as 'Amazing Grace?'" Jeffrey K. Wagner said, "I was very much surprised that Khan recognized Chekov, considering that he wasn't in first-year episodes." Other fans, in this month and successive months, complained about Kirk saying "I feel young" so soon after Spock's death. A few others objected to the movie outright. In July, Barbara Gordon said, "Perhaps I am hard to please, but in spite of some good moments, I did not like ST II, for many reasons." In August, Bobbie Hawkins said, "I wouldn't say TWOK is the best episode, nor is it even anywhere near the top 2 or 3 episodes. I would place it with the bottom 20 or 30." Jane Wesenberg added, "To me, STII was a painful, dismal failure.... I cannot conceive of, nor will I accept, the death of Spock as part of the 'real' or mainstream Trek saga." To which Ellen L. Kobrin responded, "To any and all who don't like ST:TWOK for whatever reason: All I can say is that I feel truly sorry for you."
eBook available here: www.ftlpublications.com/bwebook.pdf
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Old September 5 2012, 02:22 PM   #97
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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I don't see how Wrath of Khan is used as a "template" at all. Lots of films have villains with revenge fantasies and I never had any sympathy for Khan.
For Nemesis they came right out and said they were copying TWOK and if you can't see the glaring similarities between it and Star Trek 2009 you're simply being obtuse. But, filmmakers usually try not to copy themselves so much within the same film series.
Nemesis does have some similarities, they actually said that? Shinzon was the worst villain of the TNG films, he was pointless.

XI...if Khan had a time machine...yeah, it'd happen the same way pretty much.

First Contact and Insurrection are far from WoK clones though. I'll defend them.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:29 PM   #98
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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First Contact and Insurrection are far from WoK clones though. I'll defend them.
The thing about First Contact is similarities exist but they spun it in an interesting direction. Insurrection is just a "bad guy with a big gun and an axe to grind", just the axe wasn't with any particular member of the crew.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:40 PM   #99
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

What seperates Kahn's villian character to others is simply the performance of Montalban. It was flawless. There hasn't been any villian in any other movie that is as memorable as Kahn. Hell, even F. Murray Abraham who is an outstanding actor in his own right couldn't get people to care about Ru'afo. On paper Kahn's character and role as a villain in TWOK were extremely simple. He made it work though.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:43 PM   #100
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

I feel that it is. Overacting, big plot holes, Kirk and Kahn never confront each other in person, and the one resonant note, Spock's death, cheapend by his resurrection in the next movie. I have come to dislike all of the original cast films except TMP.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:47 PM   #101
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

BillJ wrote: View Post
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First Contact and Insurrection are far from WoK clones though. I'll defend them.
The thing about First Contact is similarities exist but they spun it in an interesting direction. Insurrection is just a "bad guy with a big gun and an axe to grind", just the axe wasn't with any particular member of the crew.
Villains wanting revenge doesn't make a WoK clone though, I mean it was hardly innovative back then.

I think your reaching a little to find similarities in FC, I just don't see it.
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Old September 5 2012, 02:58 PM   #102
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

NrobbieC wrote: View Post

Villains wanting revenge doesn't make a WoK clone though, I mean it was hardly innovative back then.

I think your reaching a little to find similarities in FC, I just don't see it.
The similarities in the two films is more in the way Picard and Khan ditch common sense for revenge and, of course, the Moby Dick quotes spoken by both. What makes it stand out is, that like Montalban, Stewart had the acting chops to pull it off.
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Old September 5 2012, 03:11 PM   #103
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

BillJ wrote: View Post
NrobbieC wrote: View Post

Villains wanting revenge doesn't make a WoK clone though, I mean it was hardly innovative back then.

I think your reaching a little to find similarities in FC, I just don't see it.
The similarities in the two films is more in the way Picard and Khan ditch common sense for revenge and, of course, the Moby Dick quotes spoken by both. What makes it stand out is, that like Montalban, Stewart had the acting chops to pull it off.
Fair enough, I can go with that.
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Old September 5 2012, 03:47 PM   #104
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

Use of Time wrote: View Post
What seperates Kahn's villian character to others is simply the performance of Montalban. It was flawless.
It was hardly flawless.

It was one huge slice of ham (even bigger than Shatner's) smothered in glaze. Thing about ham smothered in glaze is it's really effing tasty.

From a technical, "craft" standpoint, Hardy, McDowell, and Lloyd all did a better job. Unfortunately, Hardy's script was shit, McDowell's character was uninteresting, and Lloyd had certain preconceptions hanging over his head that made it hard for people to take him seriously.

You can even give Krige some merit in that she was actually able to whittle some nuance into her character, which is really something all the other actors failed to do. This is especially significant because her character was so one dimensional.

NrobbieC wrote: View Post
I think your reaching a little to find similarities in FC, I just don't see it.
Bill is just reaching.

The "Star Trek film formula" has nothing to do with TWOK--it was just the first in the franchise to use it. The "intrepid adventures square off against uber evil set on destruction and revenge" has been the industry standard for genre films for 40 years. It was conceived and put into play years before TWOK. Paramount was (and has) simply towing the line.

Berman's endless need to emulate TWOK as answer to that says a lot more about him than it does the film.
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Old September 5 2012, 05:09 PM   #105
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Re: Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post

From a technical, "craft" standpoint, Hardy, McDowell, and Lloyd all did a better job. Unfortunately, Hardy's script was shit, McDowell's character was uninteresting, and Lloyd had certain preconceptions hanging over his head that made it hard for people to take him seriously.
I actually count Kruge as my favorite movie villain. I thought McDowell played a "sympathetic" bad guy well and Hardy and Bana made the best of very thin characters.

But if I'm showing a Trek film to people who don't know Trek, I'm going with The Wrath of Khan.
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