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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 August 21 2013, 06:34 PM   #16
The Wormhole
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Pondslider wrote: View Post
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I certainly agree that John Harrison was more interesting than Khan, and even made a thread to that effect. And certainly since Orci has described the creative process for the character as creating and developing a new character who he then named Khan kind of makes it really pointless for the character to be Khan.

Just what is accomplished by this anyway? It's not marketing, they kept the Khan identity top secret thereby preventing them from taking advantage of any marketing opportunity this idea presents itself with.

One could argue dramatic effect. It would be completely out of left field for Harrison, sitting in the brig to announce he's Khan. And I suppose it would have been if the Abrams posse hadn't constantly been saying there's a twist to the Harrison character related to Trek canon like snickering school children telling the loser kid they know who has a crush on him but refusing to reveal who exactly.

I get the impression they are in love with plot twists and wanted to try their hand at a twist which will be forever remembered in movie history like Vader revealing he's Luke's father. Instead they completely ruined it just made themselves look like petulant children and by extension unprofessional filmmakers.

Or, they like "TWOK is our favourite movie and we really wanted to revisit it. So we remade its most memorable scene and named our villain Khan."

A better approach would have been to stick to the John Harrison character as the villain or if they wanted to use Khan so badly been upfront about it, actually write and develop the character as Khan, and announced to the world as soon as Cumberbatch was cast that he was indeed Khan.
Yup. And since the name Khan was meaningless to Kirk, Spock, McCoy, the reveal carried no weight except for with the audience. The whole thing was a missed opportunity.
And to make matters worse, the movie is aimed at an audience which is supposed to be unfamiliar with Star Trek, so to the general public, hearing the character say "my name is Khan," followed by a dramatic pause just leaves them time to ask "and why is this significant?"
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Old August 21 2013, 06:42 PM   #17
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

I think to some degree even people with only a passing familiarity with Trek are familiar with Khan in at least general terms. Could be wrong, but of all the Trek names someone could throw out, I imagine he's among the most recognizable.
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Old August 21 2013, 11:16 PM   #18
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

serenitytrek1 wrote: View Post

Sometimes Less is More. The Khan scream spoilt the whole scene and even broke the fourth wall for me.
I do not think "breaking the fourth wall" means what you think it means.
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Old August 22 2013, 05:13 PM   #19
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

serenitytrek1 wrote: View Post
If BC was just a brand new character to the Trek Universe, it would have been beyond genius.
Ugh.

There is nothing "genius" about "Harrison".

Part of my considerable disappointment with this film was that it came this close to doing something interesting with the whole Khan idea. He was portrayed as an intelligent and almost sympathetic character with ambiguous morality and reasoning applied to achieve his goals. The same man we already knew but in a different universe perhaps being a something more like a hero instead of a villain.

Then, roughly after the bridge-storming scene, he just turns into a complete scenery-chewing boring EVILBADMAN! waste of time. Look at his delivery when he says "No ship should go down without its captain"... laboured moustache-twirling crap.

There were so many glimmers of hope in this film that it's enough to put me off JJ Abrams and the writers for life that they managed to make it as boring and flaccid as it ended up. Seriously, fucking that up must have taken effort.
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Old August 22 2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Joker wrote: View Post
serenitytrek1 wrote: View Post
If BC was just a brand new character to the Trek Universe, it would have been beyond genius.
Ugh.

There is nothing "genius" about "Harrison".

Part of my considerable disappointment with this film was that it came this close to doing something interesting with the whole Khan idea. He was portrayed as an intelligent and almost sympathetic character with ambiguous morality and reasoning applied to achieve his goals. The same man we already knew but in a different universe perhaps being a something more like a hero instead of a villain.
If you ever watched Space Seed you would know that is nothing new for Khan.

The crew fawned over him and romanticized him (one crew member in particular). And it was all fine and dandy until he tried to take the ship and kill everyone.

He is a master manipulator who is twelve steps ahead of everyone else, he plays on emotions to get what he wants.

And of course his downfall is his rage which often overrides his brilliant mind.

If anything BC basically played a perfect Khan with his own twists thrown in there.
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Old August 22 2013, 06:00 PM   #21
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Agreed 100% with the OP. John Harrison was a good villain, and far superior in both writing and acting to that annoying cunt Nero in the last film. Making him Khan just rid him of importance, and means he'll be stuck as the "lesser Khan" in many fans' eyes, rather than the great original villain he should've been.

I still kinda liked CumberKhan though, as he was painted as pretty sympathetic in a way that worked. Whereas Nero was just a total gorm that was poorly acted.
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Old August 22 2013, 06:24 PM   #22
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Joker wrote: View Post
serenitytrek1 wrote: View Post
If BC was just a brand new character to the Trek Universe, it would have been beyond genius.
Ugh.

There is nothing "genius" about "Harrison".

Part of my considerable disappointment with this film was that it came this close to doing something interesting with the whole Khan idea. He was portrayed as an intelligent and almost sympathetic character with ambiguous morality and reasoning applied to achieve his goals. The same man we already knew but in a different universe perhaps being a something more like a hero instead of a villain.

Then, roughly after the bridge-storming scene, he just turns into a complete scenery-chewing boring EVILBADMAN! waste of time. Look at his delivery when he says "No ship should go down without its captain"... laboured moustache-twirling crap.

There were so many glimmers of hope in this film that it's enough to put me off JJ Abrams and the writers for life that they managed to make it as boring and flaccid as it ended up. Seriously, fucking that up must have taken effort.

Genius in the sense off BC's acting and just BC in general. BC playing a new villain would have created another iconic villain for trek THAT IS NOT KHAN.

BC was superb in this film but as the post above said that doesn't matter now because he will always be seen as a lesser khan and he doesn't deserve that.

this is perhaps the most fatal flaw in the film. BC should not have been Khan.

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Old August 22 2013, 06:34 PM   #23
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

serenitytrek1 wrote: View Post

this is perhaps the most fatal flaw on the film. BC should not have been Khan.
I don't think it's a "fatal flaw". I could go either way on the whole Harrison/Khan thing, but I still enjoyed the film immensely.
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Old August 22 2013, 07:00 PM   #24
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

I can't quite say how I'd feel if Harrison hadn't been Khan, as presumably that would have had repercussions throughout the film.

That said, I think there's a great chance I would have been left thinking, "If they're going to do a character like this, why not go all the way and make him Khan instead of an obvious copycat?"
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Old August 22 2013, 08:06 PM   #25
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

DonIago wrote: View Post
I can't quite say how I'd feel if Harrison hadn't been Khan, as presumably that would have had repercussions throughout the film.

That said, I think there's a great chance I would have been left thinking, "If they're going to do a character like this, why not go all the way and make him Khan instead of an obvious copycat?"
Then again if they're going to make him Khan why not make him Khan from the beginning make it meaningful. Show the audience where he came from and why he is dangerous so you don't need to "Phone a friend" old Spock to tell them that he's a bad guy. Orci has admitted that Harrison never needed be Khan. He could have said his name was anything and the story would have been exactly the same.
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Old August 22 2013, 09:10 PM   #26
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

If the only thing that changed was that he hadn't been named as Khan then I'd be wondering why they didn't call him Khan since he's so obviously styled after him.
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Old August 22 2013, 09:23 PM   #27
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

DonIago wrote: View Post
If the only thing that changed was that he hadn't been named as Khan then I'd be wondering why they didn't call him Khan since he's so obviously styled after him.
But he's not really "styled after Khan." There's nothing about the character Cumberbatch played that is uniquely Khan. The only thing which comes close is his super strength, but really, a of movies today have insanely strong villains, making CumberKhan just another generic movie villain of the 2000s. They could have named him anything without it changing the movie.
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Old August 22 2013, 09:39 PM   #28
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Did you miss the part where he explains his background?
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Old August 22 2013, 09:59 PM   #29
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

I've been questioning this as well ever since I saw it for the second time to go over it again. Why on Earth didn't they write a new original story with BC as the villain? His talent is far beyond the role written in STID and could've been so much more. In fact I'd go so far as to say the new villain BC could've pulled off would've rivaled the likes of TWOK's Khan in Trekkies' eyes.

They didn't even necessarily have to re-write a lot of it either. They could've simply had Marcus reviving the old "eugenics" projects in order to test creation of beings capable of being "the perfect soldiers". It would've given huge nods to TWOK without trying to copy-paste a lot of TWOK's scenes and thus upsetting a large portion of the fanbase. You wouldn't even have to find the S.S. Botany Bay, you could just have them be a new generation of experimental beings. This would also give a nod to the "Starfleet is not as squeaky clean as you think they are" arc that was apparent in the shows of the 1990s.

I know a lot of shows basically carbon copy episodes of older series in order to rope people in, but this just wasn't necessary and could've spawned a whole new villain who could've been the NuTrek's "Khan" without having to be Khan at all.
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Old August 22 2013, 10:05 PM   #30
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Re: Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

DonIago wrote: View Post
Did you miss the part where he explains his background?
Which could have been replaced with any form of exposition, really. Instead of Khan and his followers, it could have been John Harrison and a bunch of other officers Starfleet experimented on as lab rats. In fact that might have made more sense as it would have given them a more legitimate reason to be pissed with Admiral Marcus.
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