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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 October 31 2012, 03:14 AM   #1
alpha_leonis
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"The Three Saaviks"

I've heard it said before that the role of Valeris in ST6:TUC was originally intended to be Saavik, but that idea got nixed for a couple of reasons, in favor of creating a new character. But Saavik in that "traitor" role is a very compelling dramatic idea that I personally wish hadn't been scrapped.

Reason #1 that's commonly stated is that Gene Roddenberry didn't want a well-loved character like Saavik to turn out to be a traitor. I'm not sure I buy that one completely -- by that point Roddenberry wasn't much more than a glorified consultant who had very little day-to-day influence on the production of the movies. (I've heard that he pretty much hated the script anyway; one more change like that wouldn't have done that much more damage as far as he was concerned.)

Reason #2: When Kim Cattrall was cast in the role, she accepted the part only on the condition that she *not* be yet another recast of Saavik.

But my question is, why did Kim Cattrall have to be cast in the first place? I have to admit I didn't much like her in that movie. Why not go back to one of the two women who had played Saavik in the past?

I understand that Kirstie Alley was well-established on Cheers by that time, so she may have been too expensive for the movie's budget. But why not Robin Curtis? Was she unavailable? It's not like she'd retired from acting by then; she even came back to play another character on TNG at about the same time.
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Old October 31 2012, 03:50 AM   #2
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

I imagine that the director didn't care for Curtis in the part.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:01 AM   #3
Dukhat
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Yep, I heard that Denny Martin Flynn (or whoever the director was) had no interest whatsoever in working with Curtis.

But I agree that having Saavik be the saboteur would have been better dramatically instead of creating a brand new character for no reason other than to end up being the bad guy.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:07 AM   #4
Mr_Homn
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Dukhat wrote: View Post
But I agree that having Saavik be the saboteur would have been better dramatically instead of creating a brand new character for no reason other than to end up being the bad guy.

certainly a lot less predictable as well.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:38 AM   #5
Greg Cox
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Yep, I heard that Denny Martin Flynn (or whoever the director was) had no interest whatsoever in working with Curtis.
.
The director was Nicholas Meyer, who had previously cast Kirstie Alley as Saavik in THE WRATH OF KHAN. He did not direct the two films with Curtis. (Nimoy did.)

Having Saavik be the traitor would have been more dramatic, I agree, but can't blame Cattrall for not wanting to be Saavik #3--if that was indeed her call.
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Old October 31 2012, 06:31 AM   #6
los2188
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

alpha_leonis wrote: View Post
I've heard it said before that the role of Valeris in ST6:TUC was originally intended to be Saavik, but that idea got nixed for a couple of reasons, in favor of creating a new character. But Saavik in that "traitor" role is a very compelling dramatic idea that I personally wish hadn't been scrapped.

Reason #1 that's commonly stated is that Gene Roddenberry didn't want a well-loved character like Saavik to turn out to be a traitor. I'm not sure I buy that one completely -- by that point Roddenberry wasn't much more than a glorified consultant who had very little day-to-day influence on the production of the movies. (I've heard that he pretty much hated the script anyway; one more change like that wouldn't have done that much more damage as far as he was concerned.)

Reason #2: When Kim Cattrall was cast in the role, she accepted the part only on the condition that she *not* be yet another recast of Saavik.

But my question is, why did Kim Cattrall have to be cast in the first place? I have to admit I didn't much like her in that movie. Why not go back to one of the two women who had played Saavik in the past?

I understand that Kirstie Alley was well-established on Cheers by that time, so she may have been too expensive for the movie's budget. But why not Robin Curtis? Was she unavailable? It's not like she'd retired from acting by then; she even came back to play another character on TNG at about the same time.

In all honesty, I would have LOVED for the traitor to be Saavik. It makes so much sense on so many levels in my opinion and would be a good punch to the story so to speak. From what I recall, and correct me if I am wrong, but Kim Cattrall was Nick Meyer's original choice for Saavik in Wrath of Khan. This is one of those times that I really wish they could hit the reset button on and cast Saavik. Robin Curtis, who I wasn't a big fan of playing Saavik, should have been cast as Saavik, but I also enjoyed, somewhat, the role of Valeris.
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Old October 31 2012, 07:03 AM   #7
t_smitts
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

I think Robin Curtis' role in "Gambit" gives us a bit of a taste of how a traitorous Saavik would've looked.

Novelization aside, Valeris' specific reasons for opposing peace were never made clear, whereas after the events of STIII, it would've been easy to understand Saavik's reasons. Valeris' line to Kirk of "they killed your son" would've packed more punch coming from someone who knew him and witnessed David's death.

I think the consensus among fans is that this was a missed dramatic opportunity. I don't know who was responsible, and, honestly, I doubt we will ever conclusively know.
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Old October 31 2012, 07:45 AM   #8
Therin of Andor
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

alpha_leonis wrote: View Post
why did Kim Cattrall have to be cast in the first place?
Nick Meyer's first choice for ST II.

why not Robin Curtis? Was she unavailable? It's not like she'd retired from acting by then; she even came back to play another character on TNG at about the same time.
According to an interview in "Starlog", her agent was never even approached for negotiations on ST VI. The first they knew of ST VI was hearing the announcements of casting in the media. Meyer wanted Kirstie Alley to reprise, and showed no interest in Curtis whatsoever. He pursued Cattrall instead, but she rejected the role... until it became a new character. She even suggested Eris as the character's name. Meyer added the Val' prefix and it appears that was in the Premiere commercial version of the script (but the apostrophe in "Val'eris" vanished for publicity releases and the novelization).

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Yep, I heard that Denny Martin Flynn (or whoever the director was)...
Flinn was the screenwriter.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
I agree, but can't blame Cattrall for not wanting to be Saavik #3--if that was indeed her call.
I know there were interviews at the time. She kept turning it down. She eventually got to design the character's severe hairstyle and even her hairband.

t_smitts wrote: View Post
I don't know who was responsible, and, honestly, I doubt we will ever conclusively know.
Of course we do. Roddenberry was quoted as not liking the idea of a traitorous Saavik because she was supposedly "a beloved character" - but then, Roddenberry came to dislike the idea of any latter day Starfleet characters turning traitorous - and Meyer laughs about this objection in the ST VI commentary because he says that Roddenberry originally opposed the introduction of Saavik in ST II; Saavik was a creation of Meyer's and he reckoned he had a right to turn her into a traitor. She was originally "Dr Savik", a young male Vulcan in a very different ST II movie premise, and fills a similar role to Roddenberry's Xon ("Phase II") and Livingston's Sonak (TMP).
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Last edited by Therin of Andor; October 31 2012 at 08:00 AM. Reason: tweaking
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Old October 31 2012, 08:45 AM   #9
t_smitts
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
I don't know who was responsible, and, honestly, I doubt we will ever conclusively know.
Of course we do. Roddenberry was quoted as not liking the idea of a traitorous Saavik because she was supposedly "a beloved character" - but then, Roddenberry came to dislike the idea of any latter day Starfleet characters turning traitorous - and Meyer laughs about this objection in the ST VI commentary because he says that Roddenberry originally opposed the introduction of Saavik in ST II; Saavik was a creation of Meyer's and he reckoned he had a right to turn her into a traitor. She was originally "Dr Savik", a young male Vulcan in a very different ST II movie premise, and fills a similar role to Roddenberry's Xon ("Phase II") and Livingston's Sonak (TMP).
Roddenberry must've forgotten that he wrote "The Omega Glory", in which a corrupted Starfleet captain is a major character.

But, as pointed out, above, Gene had fairly little to do with the movies after TMP.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:04 PM   #10
SchwEnt
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

I would have been okay with either choice... using Saavik as the traitor or creating a new character.

A much bigger problem for me is when they make a new character that's a rehash of Saavik. Spock's Vulcan protege, manning the helm, even using the same "quarter impulse in drydock" joke.

If they weren't gonna use Saavik, then at least make a new original character. Change something, please. Make him a male, a science officer rather than helmsman, non-Vulcan.

As it is, Valeris is too much of a note-for-note knock-off of Saavik for my liking. That's bothers me more than the issue of Saavik's integrity.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:07 PM   #11
sonak
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

not having Saavik was a missed opportunity. It did make both story sense because of her experiences on the Genesis planet and would have made the reveal a surprise rather than a yawn.
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Old October 31 2012, 04:27 PM   #12
marksound
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Only a couple of times have I seen Kim Cattrall really shine: as Valeris, and as Lassie in Porky's.
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Old October 31 2012, 08:31 PM   #13
AggieJohn
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

It would have been a good kind of bad for me. I liked STII Saavik, it sucked that her story essentially dies in STIII. I never liked Curtis as Saavik, not that she is a bad actress or anything but her version was too Vulcan ignoring the Romulan aspect Alley brought to the role. By STIII she was like a extra in the movie, completely flavorless, as a traitor in STVI she might have gotten her passion back. I agree with previous posts, Saavik has a reason to hate Klingons. In deleted scenes there was hints that Saavik had a little crush on David or a hint of a relationship. Seeing him killed for her would leave an impression.

I would hate to see her as the "bad guy" but it would have made a lot more sense. It would have paralleled the same conflict Kirk was having regarding David's death. It would also have given us some closure on her character which pretty much disappears after STIV for some reason? I mean they did not consider making her a crew member on the Ent A? Especially considering Sulu was promoted to captain of the Excelsior.
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Old October 31 2012, 09:02 PM   #14
R. Star
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

Yeah they line "They killed your son" would've been really strong coming from Saavik.
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Old November 1 2012, 01:01 AM   #15
jayrath
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Re: "The Three Saaviks"

t_smitts wrote: View Post
I think the consensus among fans is (...)
Thank you for polling all fans everywhere. It must have been a Herculean task.
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