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

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Old June 15 2013, 11:45 PM   #46
Yeoman Basha
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yeoman Basha wrote: View Post
We all have different ideas about where that line is. For me, seeing two actors who obviously look (and sound) very different -- but I'm supposed to believe they are clones, or the same character at a different age -- crosses that line.
But, again, what's the alternative? There's only so much you can do to alter an actor's appearance, and it should be a given that you choose the best performer for a role regardless of what they look like. Sure, it's nice when the resemblance is convincing, but there's no way to guarantee that.

Heck, I never found Jeremy Kemp convincing as Picard's brother. He just didn't look like he could be related to Patrick Stewart. In an ideal world, I would've liked to see Sean Connery in the role. But I know there was no way they could've possibly afforded him. They made the best casting choice they could, and though it was difficult for me to suspend disbelief, I understand the realities of the situation and I don't condemn the episode for failing to achieve the impossible. Yes, I find Hardy's lack of resemblance to Stewart distracting, but I accept that getting the right performance and the best chemistry between the actors was a higher priority, and rightly so, than just what the actor looked like or sounded like. There's a reason it's called willing suspension of disbelief. Sometimes, even when it's hard to believe, you just have to choose to play along for the sake of the story.
The alternative is to not write a clone story in the first place unless it can be done convincingly. Part of the screenwriter's job is not only to write a story that is dramatically compelling (not that Nemesis was) but also to write a story that can be put on film in a convincing way -- using the tools that the filmmaker has on hand at the time. I wouldn't write a Picard clone story for the same reason I wouldn't write a story where the gravity on the Enterprise goes out and the characters spend the entire two hours floating around: it's just too difficult to put on film and make it look believable.

Shinzon was not convincing as Picard's clone, and he couldn't be no matter how many prosthetics they put on the actor. So don't write the clone story in the first place. It's not like the "evil twin" story is a story that needs to be told again because it's just soooo original, or we didn't already see it done to death with Data and Lore. Just come up with a different story -- one that can be filmed in a more realistic way and that would actually be, you know, good.

We all have different thresholds for suspending our disbelief. This is one of mine. Yes, it's all fake and Star Trek is a fantasy but it's not supposed to be a parody. It's one thing to break the fourth wall in a movie like Airplane!, but that doesn't mean I want to see Spock turn to the camera after a fight with Uhura and say, "What a pisser!"
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Old June 15 2013, 11:48 PM   #47
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Heck, I never found Jeremy Kemp convincing as Picard's brother. He just didn't look like he could be related to Patrick Stewart. In an ideal world, I would've liked to see Sean Connery in the role. .
Nah, F. Murray Abraham or Ben Kingsley.
Yeah, there is a certain resemblance between Stewart and Kingsley too, not just in appearance but in speech mannerisms and delivery. And at least then Robert wouldn't have had a Scottish accent.

I have a good ear for speech rhythms, and I've noticed that a number of English actors seem to have almost identical rhythms and performance styles to Patrick Stewart's, including Kingsley and Michael York. It makes me wonder if they all were trained by the same acting teacher, and if so, just how meticulous the training is.


Yeoman Basha wrote: View Post
The alternative is to not write a clone story in the first place unless it can be done convincingly.
I find that a distasteful answer. I don't like the attitude that a given kind of story "shouldn't" be told at all. It smacks of censorship at worst, a failure of imagination and ambition at best. Everything is worth trying, even with no guarantee of success. If it's difficult to pull off, then that makes it a challenge even more worth attempting.


Part of the screenwriter's job is not only to write a story that is dramatically compelling (not that Nemesis was) but also to write a story that can be put on film in a convincing way -- using the tools that the filmmaker has on hand at the time. I wouldn't write a Picard clone story for the same reason I wouldn't write a story where the gravity on the Enterprise goes out and the characters spend the entire two hours floating around: it's just too difficult to put on film and make it look believable.
Yes, using what's on hand at the time. Which means it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be the best available approximation -- trusting that the audience has engaged, non-atrophied imaginations and will actually make the effort to meet them halfway. For generations, filmmakers did the best they could to create images that were beyond the state of the art -- and that's the only way the state of the art could ever advance! If people had thought the way you do, that if something couldn't be achieved perfectly it shouldn't even be tried, then filmmakers would never have challenged themselves to push their limits and discover new ways of doing things. And actors can't improve as actors if they aren't willing to tackle difficult challenges -- like giving a good enough performance to convince an audience to accept that they're the same person as someone they don't look or sound like. Would Tom Hardy be as respected an actor as he is today if he hadn't been willing to tackle challenges like pretending to be Patrick Stewart's clone? Whether he succeeded or not, the challenge itself, the attempt to surmount it, was how he refined his craft and gained experience. Your attitude is one of surrender and avoidance, and that's not what makes creativity work. It's not what enables anyone to succeed at anything in life.
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Old June 15 2013, 11:55 PM   #48
C.E. Evans
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Except Chekov is the one we know is a different age, about 4 years older in nuTrek... but since his birth is after the timeline change, that's allowed. But that means nuTrek Chekov is not actually oldTrek Chekov. A different kid with the same name born to the same parents but at a different time.
Either that, or he was lying about his age in "Who Mourns for Adonais" for some reason. Or he was using some other planet's years rather than Earth years.

Although I'm inclined to agree with the "cross-temporal older brother" theory, because Chekov Prime never seemed to be anywhere near as much of a genius as his counterpart.
Or it might be that a point was just never made of it in TOS (no one calling him a whiz-kid). Otherwise, Chekov did seem able to fill in for Spock at the sciences station when he wasn't on the bridge (even though he was in Command, he also might have had a background in Sciences).
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Old June 15 2013, 11:58 PM   #49
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

^In production order, Chekov started out as a junior science officer and only later became the navigator. Not to mention, why would they bring a navigator on so many landing parties? A science officer would be more useful.

Still, Chekov Prime never struck me as more than a competent science officer -- hardly a Wesley Crusheresque child prodigy.
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Old June 16 2013, 12:03 AM   #50
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Or it might be that a point was just never made of it in TOS (no one calling him a whiz-kid). Otherwise, Chekov did seem able to fill in for Spock at the sciences station when he wasn't on the bridge (even though he was in Command, he also might have had a background in Sciences).
Without knowing precisely how the Academy teaches its students, it would seem that every cadet is exposed to a certain number of core disciplines as part of becoming a Starfleet officer, in much the same way that medical students must rotate through most or all medical specialties before finally choosing one for themselves. It's certainly plausible that a cadet could have a primary area of expertise (navigation) and a secondary area with which he's familiar (exobiology). That Spock was willing to let Chekov work under him speaks volumes about how highly regarded Chekov must have been by his peers.

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Old June 16 2013, 12:07 AM   #51
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post
Still, Chekov Prime never struck me as more than a competent science officer -- hardly a Wesley Crusheresque child prodigy.
I'd agree with that, though as Chekov branched out into other things (tactical and security) as his career progressed, it probably wasn't necessary for him to be anything other than competent as a science officer. Spock was one of the Federation's most accomplished scientists, and the Reliant had Beach manning the post. It wasn't necessary for Chekov to wear more than one or two hats at a time.

As an aside, there's another TWOK plot-hole for you, Christopher. Why would Reliant allow both her captain and first-officer to beam to the surface of Ceti Alpha V? I know the plot reason, but wouldn't Beach have been a better choice?

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Old June 16 2013, 12:10 AM   #52
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Yes. They are the same person.

Everyone in the nuTrek universe is the exact same person as in the oldTrek universe and looks identical to them, including Chekov.
Except Chekov is the one we know is a different age, about 4 years older in nuTrek... but since his birth is after the timeline change, that's allowed. But that means nuTrek Chekov is not actually oldTrek Chekov. A different kid with the same name born to the same parents but at a different time.
Sulu's probably a different age too, given than John was nearly twice the age as Anton was at the time of the first film. And eight years older than George was when he first played Sulu.

Looks don't bother me as much as voices. The two Spocks sound nothing alike.

Yeoman Basha wrote: View Post
And I also agree about Patrick Stewart and Tom Hardy, which was one of my problems with that film. It's like they got an actor who was about the same height and build as Patrick, then shaved his head and figured: Hey, they're practically twins! Forget the fact that the two men's faces were completely different and their voices sounded completely different too.

We all have our little pet peeves and things that take us out of the story. This is one of mine.
For me I find it destracting as Tom looks like a bald Wil Wheaton!
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Old June 16 2013, 12:19 AM   #53
Geoff Peterson
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Heck, I never found Jeremy Kemp convincing as Picard's brother. He just didn't look like he could be related to Patrick Stewart. In an ideal world, I would've liked to see Sean Connery in the role. .
Nah, F. Murray Abraham or Ben Kingsley.
Yeah, there is a certain resemblance between Stewart and Kingsley too, not just in appearance but in speech mannerisms and delivery. And at least then Robert wouldn't have had a Scottish accent.

I have a good ear for speech rhythms, and I've noticed that a number of English actors seem to have almost identical rhythms and performance styles to Patrick Stewart's, including Kingsley and Michael York. It makes me wonder if they all were trained by the same acting teacher, and if so, just how meticulous the training is.
Stewart and Kingsley are both from Northern England and members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. York is from Southern England was part of the National Theatre. I think all three are of the generation where regional accents were looked down on and actors were encouraged to lose them.
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Old June 16 2013, 01:23 AM   #54
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Sran wrote: View Post
As an aside, there's another TWOK plot-hole for you, Christopher. Why would Reliant allow both her captain and first-officer to beam to the surface of Ceti Alpha V? I know the plot reason, but wouldn't Beach have been a better choice?
In light of the original series, which featured Kirk and Spock going on landing parties all the time, it is hardly inconsistent.
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Old June 16 2013, 01:28 AM   #55
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

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In light of the original series, which featured Kirk and Spock going on landing parties all the time, it is hardly inconsistent.
As Spock was also senior science officer, his presence made sense, though you're right that it was probably standard practice to send both the captain and the XO on landing parties.

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Old June 16 2013, 01:47 AM   #56
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
As an aside, there's another TWOK plot-hole for you, Christopher. Why would Reliant allow both her captain and first-officer to beam to the surface of Ceti Alpha V? I know the plot reason, but wouldn't Beach have been a better choice?
That's a plot hole with something like 90% of TOS. Really, the captain shouldn't be going on landing parties at all -- that's not his or her job.


Rarewolf wrote: View Post
Sulu's probably a different age too, given than John was nearly twice the age as Anton was at the time of the first film. And eight years older than George was when he first played Sulu.
But Walter Koenig was nine years older than Chekov. And Harry Mudd was supposed to be 47 according to the "Mudd's Women" script, but Roger C. Carmel was only about 32 at the time. Not to mention that Patrick Stewart was about a decade younger than Picard was supposed to be, and Aron Eisenberg was 24 when he started playing the "teenager" Nog. Just as with faces and voices, one mustn't confuse the actor's age for the character's age. Lots of actors look older or younger than they really are, or at least can pass for it, so lots of actors play characters whose ages don't match their own.
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Old June 16 2013, 02:26 AM   #57
Yeoman Basha
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post

Yeoman Basha wrote: View Post
The alternative is to not write a clone story in the first place unless it can be done convincingly.
I find that a distasteful answer. I don't like the attitude that a given kind of story "shouldn't" be told at all. It smacks of censorship at worst, a failure of imagination and ambition at best. Everything is worth trying, even with no guarantee of success. If it's difficult to pull off, then that makes it a challenge even more worth attempting.


Part of the screenwriter's job is not only to write a story that is dramatically compelling (not that Nemesis was) but also to write a story that can be put on film in a convincing way -- using the tools that the filmmaker has on hand at the time. I wouldn't write a Picard clone story for the same reason I wouldn't write a story where the gravity on the Enterprise goes out and the characters spend the entire two hours floating around: it's just too difficult to put on film and make it look believable.
Yes, using what's on hand at the time. Which means it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be the best available approximation -- trusting that the audience has engaged, non-atrophied imaginations and will actually make the effort to meet them halfway. For generations, filmmakers did the best they could to create images that were beyond the state of the art -- and that's the only way the state of the art could ever advance! If people had thought the way you do, that if something couldn't be achieved perfectly it shouldn't even be tried, then filmmakers would never have challenged themselves to push their limits and discover new ways of doing things. And actors can't improve as actors if they aren't willing to tackle difficult challenges -- like giving a good enough performance to convince an audience to accept that they're the same person as someone they don't look or sound like. Would Tom Hardy be as respected an actor as he is today if he hadn't been willing to tackle challenges like pretending to be Patrick Stewart's clone? Whether he succeeded or not, the challenge itself, the attempt to surmount it, was how he refined his craft and gained experience. Your attitude is one of surrender and avoidance, and that's not what makes creativity work. It's not what enables anyone to succeed at anything in life.
I'm sorry that you find my answer distasteful but the only "censorship" I see here is that I have no desire to watch a story that is simply bad and insulting to my intelligence. Telling the "evil twin" story for the umpteenth time, with no real character development or interesting themes to speak of is just plain bad storytelling and has no interest for me. So why would I want to do all the mental gymnastics required to believe two different-looking actors are playing the same character when the story is lousy to begin with?

Of course "lousy" is in the eye of the beholder, but the fact remains that Nemesis was a major flop both critically and commercially, so obviously something wasn't working right.

I'd say Tom Hardy is doing well today in spite of his turn as Shinzon -- not because of it. Yes, actors have to set challenges for themselves, but those challenges should be interesting and well thought-out. I mean your argument is all great in theory -- we could just have the actors stand on an empty stage, without sets or props or costumes, and have them play out a Star Trek movie that way. Or we could go back to the times of ancient Greece when all the roles, including females, were played by men, and we would all just willingly suspend our disbelief. It would be challenging for the actors. But it would not work in a modern-day Star Trek movie.
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Old June 16 2013, 03:15 AM   #58
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

I was watching this weeks new episode of Defiance when I noticed something which took me right out of the story...

When the NASA astronaut was presented to the people of Defiance for the first time, they all some how kept from crowding in front of the camera. Everyone was behind the star despite better views being available if they'd only come around to the near side where no one was standing.

Somehow, I managed to wave it off, kept watching rather than throw my hands up in disgust and turn it off.
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Old June 16 2013, 03:29 AM   #59
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Yeoman Basha wrote: View Post
So why would I want to do all the mental gymnastics required to believe two different-looking actors are playing the same character when the story is lousy to begin with?
But you're not just complaining about this single story. You're saying that because you didn't like this single story, that means nobody should ever try to do anything similar to it. And it doesn't make sense to blame the whole category just because you didn't like one example of it. It's the blanket generalization I object to. Not to mention the attitude that one perceived failure is a reason to give up trying altogether.


I'd say Tom Hardy is doing well today in spite of his turn as Shinzon -- not because of it. Yes, actors have to set challenges for themselves, but those challenges should be interesting and well thought-out.
And what right do you have to assume he didn't find the challenge interesting and useful just because you personally didn't like the result? How absurd is it to assume that his experience of the job was identical to your own? I mean, he was cast to play opposite Sir Patrick Stewart, one of the finest actors in his nation, and to work with him in portraying two alternate versions of the same character. Ignore the rest -- I can't believe he wouldn't see that as a fascinating acting challenge and one hell of a career opportunity. There are much worse ways to improve your acting than to emulate Sir Patrick.
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Old June 17 2013, 12:05 AM   #60
C.E. Evans
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Re: Would Spock Prime think Kirk and a young Kirk Prime look identical

Christopher wrote: View Post
^In production order, Chekov started out as a junior science officer and only later became the navigator. Not to mention, why would they bring a navigator on so many landing parties? A science officer would be more useful.

Still, Chekov Prime never struck me as more than a competent science officer -- hardly a Wesley Crusheresque child prodigy.
I don't think even nuChekov is quite up there with The Chosen One Wesley, but Chekov Prime could still have been considered a bright kid in his own right, although his impulsive youthful demeanor may be what comes across the most, perhaps.
Sran wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Or it might be that a point was just never made of it in TOS (no one calling him a whiz-kid). Otherwise, Chekov did seem able to fill in for Spock at the sciences station when he wasn't on the bridge (even though he was in Command, he also might have had a background in Sciences).
Without knowing precisely how the Academy teaches its students, it would seem that every cadet is exposed to a certain number of core disciplines as part of becoming a Starfleet officer, in much the same way that medical students must rotate through most or all medical specialties before finally choosing one for themselves. It's certainly plausible that a cadet could have a primary area of expertise (navigation) and a secondary area with which he's familiar (exobiology). That Spock was willing to let Chekov work under him speaks volumes about how highly regarded Chekov must have been by his peers.
That's pretty much what I was thinking.
Why would Reliant allow both her captain and first-officer to beam to the surface of Ceti Alpha V?
Depending on what you think his uniform was in Star Trek II, Chekov may have been the exec and chief sciences officer on the Reliant.
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