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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 30 2013, 06:14 PM   #1
Shatner_Fan
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(Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Don’t get me wrong, I still like STID … but after having seen it twice and having time to think about it … I can’t help feeling Khan was a letdown. Cumberbatch is good, I love his Sherlock, he’s just not Khan. And the script was the real problem. Khan’s backstory is so rich, one of the best in Trek history, and they chose to barely touch on it. Khan was a major player in WWIII. Controller of more than 1/3 of the world. And for some reason, at the end of his reign, he was forced to flee into space. Very intriguing stuff.

Where was our flashback? A flashback was something TOS and TWOK could not afford, but this new movie easily could have. How great would it have been to see Khan in his time, a “prince, with power over millions”? And to see a bit of why he fled Earth. There was so much opportunity. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned where he was found. It could have been in a cave on Earth for all we know. Botany Bay not shown, crew never revived (again, would have been awesome to see a team of supermen in action), no mention of Eugenics Wars or why he was sleeping. And we never got the sense that Kirk & crew realized what an important historical character they were dealing with, as they did in TOS. Rather than using their huge budget to give us more of Khan than we’ve seen before, the filmmakers gave us less.

And this is a smaller complaint, but we all know Ricardo Montalban was given some of the greatest, most quotable dialogue in film history. His Khan could quote Milton and Melville and Shakespeare. This new Khan deserved some lines from classic literature and got not one. Will people decades from now be quoting anything John Harrison said? I can’t recall any standout lines. This new Khan was generic, he could have been any other character.

In the end, I feel that Peter Weller’s Admiral Marcus was a more compelling, intimidating character. I loved Weller, he commanded the screen whenever he was on and you felt that James T. Kirk was small in comparison.

The film has a lot going for it, I especially love Chris Pine and the growth of Kirk in this film. I liked him better in this film than the first. But as for Khan? Meh. Maybe it’s time to use some Montalban DNA and clone Ricardo.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

I view Admiral Marcus as the main villain of this movie. Sure, Khan was there, and he definitely became a menace, but he wasn't really the bad guy. Khan was just another big superweapon gone awry.

I will say, though, that I would have loved a scene in the beginning of the movie of a starship discovering the Botany Bay. I think that would have been more fun than the unnecessary John Harrison "twist" in the brig. "I'm not really John Harrison. I'm actually Khan!" Who cares? Just have him be Khan from the get go.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:31 PM   #3
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I will say, though, that I would have loved a scene in the beginning of the movie of a starship discovering the Botany Bay. I think that would have been more fun than the unnecessary John Harrison "twist" in the brig. "I'm not really John Harrison. I'm actually Khan!" Who cares? Just have him be Khan from the get go.
Yeah, the reveal was nothing more than just an "ooh aah" moment. It had no impact on the story, it had no impact on the characters, it has no impact on casual viewers, and the only impact it has on fans is fan service.

I agree with this and the original post that I would've liked to see a lot more back story, but at what point does that come at the expense of the other characters? I dunno, maybe they could've just made the movie longer, but I'm sure they had a time they had to keep it under. I certainly enjoyed it enough that I wouldn't have minded it being half an hour longer.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

I think the "John Harrison" thing was simply a way to hold off the pre-release interwebz fan furor over the villain being Khan. Not marketing, just simple misdirection.

Personally I think Benecio del Toro would have been a better Khan. A shame he wasn't available - at least, according to early rumors.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Ryan8bit wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I will say, though, that I would have loved a scene in the beginning of the movie of a starship discovering the Botany Bay. I think that would have been more fun than the unnecessary John Harrison "twist" in the brig. "I'm not really John Harrison. I'm actually Khan!" Who cares? Just have him be Khan from the get go.
Yeah, the reveal was nothing more than just an "ooh aah" moment. It had no impact on the story, it had no impact on the characters, it has no impact on casual viewers, and the only impact it has on fans is fan service.

I agree with this and the original post that I would've liked to see a lot more back story, but at what point does that come at the expense of the other characters? I dunno, maybe they could've just made the movie longer, but I'm sure they had a time they had to keep it under. I certainly enjoyed it enough that I wouldn't have minded it being half an hour longer.
I don't even think a lot of backstory would have been needed. Just an extra quick scene or two of the Botany Bay being discovered. Show some Starfleet officers opening a cryotube. You don't even necessarily need to have dialogue. Just show it happening.

Although I guess that may have eliminated the surprise of "OMG there's people in the torpedoes!"
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Old May 30 2013, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Some people are griping that too much SS/TWOK made it into the film as is and you want them to have included even more, even at the expense of possibly losing screen-time for what was truly original in the film?

Not me. I already know the back story, am glad it didn't waste time going over his origins. That it contained so much original material despite being a rehash saves the day, IMO.

Are general audiences making a fuss over the vagueness of Khans origins? Not that I am aware of. Newbies wanting to find his origins can and will find their way to SS/TWOK eventually.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

I don't really care about his origins. They were no more confusing in this movie that Old Spock and Nero's crazy Romulus-destroying Red Matter adventures.

I just wanted to see the Botany Bay.

Honestly, I had seen TWOK many times before I ever saw "The Space Seed," and Khan's origins in that movie were just as confusing. Wait, so you and Chekov know each other? And you're marooned on this planet? But you've been alive since 1996? HUH?!
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Old May 30 2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

^^^ Very good point. There was no more exposition on Khan's existence in TWOK as there was in this film.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:39 PM   #9
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Shatner_Fan wrote: View Post
Don’t get me wrong, I still like STID … but after having seen it twice and having time to think about it … I can’t help feeling Khan was a letdown. Cumberbatch is good, I love his Sherlock, he’s just not Khan.
I agree. I loved Cumberbatch in this movie--except where he was revealed as Khan. That's what took me out of the movie and made me think "they're just cashing in on the name." I would have liked it so much better if John Harrison was either one of Khan's followers or was someone from the 23rd-Century that had been genetically enhanced. To me, Admiral Marcus was the real villain in the movie.

But if go with the article from our very own TrekToday, Co-writer Bob Orci originally argued against using Khan but Producer Damon Lindelof was persistent. The story was initially written without Khan but then a way was found to bring him into it.
http://www.trektoday.com/content/201...rtain-villain/
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Old May 30 2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
^^^ Very good point. There was no more exposition on Khan's existence in TWOK as there was in this film.
There's a difference.The story in TWOK assumes viewers have already seen Space Seed.

The Abrams movies are supposed to be for a "new" audience. I can't imagine a person who has never seen any Star Trek before understanding the significance of the Khan and the augments from what was onscreen in STID.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
^^^ Very good point. There was no more exposition on Khan's existence in TWOK as there was in this film.
There's a difference.The story in TWOK assumes viewers have already seen Space Seed.

The Abrams movies are supposed to be for a "new" audience. I can't imagine a person who has never seen any Star Trek before understanding the significance of the Khan and the augments from what was onscreen in STID.
Then again, we might just be assuming that they won't understand.

I never read any of the Harry Potter books, and my friends assumed that I wouldn't understand the movies without them because the movies "left important things out." But then I went ahead and completely understood everything going on in the movies, even without all the supposedly-necessary backstory.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:02 PM   #12
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

The Keeper wrote: View Post
Some people are griping that too much SS/TWOK made it into the film as is and you want them to have included even more, even at the expense of possibly losing screen-time for what was truly original in the film?
I don't know of any gripes about too much Space Seed. And really, at a certain point it didn't matter what you did with Khan, whether it was direct quotes from TWOK or a completely new story, people would still be calling it rehashing. So you might as well make the most of it.

And besides, a lot of the point of the OP was that he wanted to see a lot of what happened before Space Seed. It sounded like it could be interesting.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:07 PM   #13
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Agreed, Third Nacelle. My point was that Trek has a huge canvas now, more so than it’s ever had before. If you’re going to reintroduce Khan, why not give the new audience something the old audience was never able to see – namely, more of Khan’s epic origin? And as has been pointed out, it didn’t need to take up a huge amount of screen time – it could have been shown to us as Khan “narrated” his story to Kirk once he revealed who he was. A few scenes showing him in power on Earth, then being forced to flee, then the Botany Bay being discovered would have fleshed him out and made him feel more like Khan.

That and, as I pointed out, better dialogue. Montalban was charismatic & grandiose, spouting one classic line after another. Cumberbatch was cold, ultra-serious and wasn’t given any great, memorable lines. And not seeing his people revived just feels wrong too.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:12 PM   #14
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

Wow. It amazes me that I totally disagree with most of you. When the rumours first started to circulate about the possible use of Khan as the villian I was really disappointed. I wanted my characters to encounter new situations, not retread the past.

However, Cumberbatch's performance totally won me over. Where TOS "told" me that Khan was a huge menace and an imminent threat, Cumberbatch showed me that this was the case. I believed that he was capable of anything. I didn't have a feeling of dread when Montalban was on screen...I certainly did when Cumberbatch was.

As for backstory...I didn't feel it was necessary in this case. We were shown that Khan was concerned for his own people, and that he believed that they had all been wronged. He was going to act to correct the wrong. I didn''t need to know the whole story. He and his people could have been evil just because that was their nature...and I find that even scarier than than a full explaination.

For me, this Khan rocked.
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Old May 30 2013, 08:47 PM   #15
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Re: (Spoiler) Left Me Cold

He did definitely show what he was capable of in this version, jumping fantastic distances, cutting up Klingons like tracing paper, etc. That much of it I liked. What I didn't like was Cumberbatch's line delivery. His voice I was okay with, but he seemed to over-deliver the dialog with exaggerated wide-mouthed diction. Hard to describe, but I found it somewhat distracting, particularly in the brig interrogation scene.

Again, I still think Benicio del Toro would have made for a far better Khan. Not just because he, like Montalban, is of Hispanic origin and could lend a bit of exotic that the role should demand, but also because he can be just as menacing, but with an extra subtle hint of batshit crazy without going too over-the-top. Put some long hair on him with a ponytail, and HE is Khan incarnate, IMO.
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