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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 15 2013, 03:49 PM   #31
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

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^Yeah, ST V seemed to show a bit of a warming between the UFP and the Klingons after the chill of the Genesis incident. So maybe TUC was building on that assumption. Although it seemed to ignore any such warming on Kirk's part, making him uncharacteristically bigoted toward the Klingons.
Yes, I've always wondered of something happened between TFF and TUC that could explain Kirk's hatred so much. Ofcourse, a Klingon killing his son can be seen as a reason, but we've always been given reason to believe that in the 23rd century, humanity was beyond such petty behavior, hating an entire species for the action of one individual. So Kirk's attitude in TUC was a bit strange.

That being said, TUC is still one of my favorite movies.
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Old September 15 2013, 04:13 PM   #32
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

^The novelization of TUC depicted a Klingon raid on the colony where Carol Marcus was living, badly injuring her and inflaming new hatred in Kirk. But it was an awkward patch for, frankly, a bad bit of screenwriting.
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Old September 15 2013, 04:39 PM   #33
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

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^The novelization of TUC depicted a Klingon raid on the colony where Carol Marcus was living, badly injuring her and inflaming new hatred in Kirk. But it was an awkward patch for, frankly, a bad bit of screenwriting.

Quite so. Personally, I can't think of anything that could alter Kirk's perspective of Klingons so much.
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Old September 15 2013, 08:53 PM   #34
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Mage wrote: View Post
Yes, I've always wondered of something happened between TFF and TUC that could explain Kirk's hatred so much. Ofcourse, a Klingon killing his son can be seen as a reason, but we've always been given reason to believe that in the 23rd century, humanity was beyond such petty behavior, hating an entire species for the action of one individual. So Kirk's attitude in TUC was a bit strange.
I don't know. The idea that, on Star Trek, future people are much more enlightened and "beyond" petty human imperfections applies more to TNG than TOS, where people were a bit rougher around the edges. Remember Stiles getting all racist on Spock in "Balance of Terror," or Kirk letting his past traumas get the better of him in "Obsession" or "Conscience of the King"? Or McCoy losing his temper every other episode?

As the show reminded us all the time, humanity was still a half-savage child race with a long way to go . . . and the crew of the Starship Enterprise were hardly supposed to be a perfect paragons and role models with no flaws or dark sides. (Heck, "The Enemy Within" demonstrated that Kirk's more primitive impulses were a big part of what made him an effective captain.)

Kirk spent his entire career fighting the Klingons, who were also responsible for the destruction of his ship and the murder of his only son. It's only human that he would hold a grudge-- and that a brief, uneasy alliance in TFF would hardly heal all his scars.

As Carol Marcus once observed, Jim Kirk was no Boy Scout . . . .
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Old September 15 2013, 09:02 PM   #35
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
Yes, I've always wondered of something happened between TFF and TUC that could explain Kirk's hatred so much. Ofcourse, a Klingon killing his son can be seen as a reason, but we've always been given reason to believe that in the 23rd century, humanity was beyond such petty behavior, hating an entire species for the action of one individual. So Kirk's attitude in TUC was a bit strange.
I don't know. The idea that, on Star Trek, future people are much more enlightened and "beyond" petty human imperfections applies more to TNG than TOS, where people were a bit rougher around the edges. Remember Stiles getting all racist on Spock in "Balance of Terror," or Kirk letting his past traumas get the better of him in "Obsession" or "Conscience of the King"? Or McCoy losing his temper every other episode?

As the show reminded us all the time, humanity was still a half-savage child race with a long way to go . . . and the crew of the Starship Enterprise were hardly supposed to be a perfect paragons and role models with no flaws or dark sides. (Heck, "The Enemy Within" demonstrated that Kirk's more primitive impulses were a big part of what made him an effective captain.)

Kirk spent his entire career fighting the Klingons, who were also responsible for the destruction of his ship and the murder of his only son. It's only human that he would hold a grudge-- and that a brief, uneasy alliance in TFF would hardly heal all his scars.

As Carol Marcus once observed, Jim Kirk was no Boy Scout . . . .
Good points, I agree with some of it. But then again, Kirk was never portrait as a bigot before, somebody who had problems with people from another species just because of them belonging to said species. So that was a bit odd to me.
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Old September 15 2013, 09:11 PM   #36
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Mage wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
Yes, I've always wondered of something happened between TFF and TUC that could explain Kirk's hatred so much. Ofcourse, a Klingon killing his son can be seen as a reason, but we've always been given reason to believe that in the 23rd century, humanity was beyond such petty behavior, hating an entire species for the action of one individual. So Kirk's attitude in TUC was a bit strange.
I don't know. The idea that, on Star Trek, future people are much more enlightened and "beyond" petty human imperfections applies more to TNG than TOS, where people were a bit rougher around the edges. Remember Stiles getting all racist on Spock in "Balance of Terror," or Kirk letting his past traumas get the better of him in "Obsession" or "Conscience of the King"? Or McCoy losing his temper every other episode?

As the show reminded us all the time, humanity was still a half-savage child race with a long way to go . . . and the crew of the Starship Enterprise were hardly supposed to be a perfect paragons and role models with no flaws or dark sides. (Heck, "The Enemy Within" demonstrated that Kirk's more primitive impulses were a big part of what made him an effective captain.)

Kirk spent his entire career fighting the Klingons, who were also responsible for the destruction of his ship and the murder of his only son. It's only human that he would hold a grudge-- and that a brief, uneasy alliance in TFF would hardly heal all his scars.

As Carol Marcus once observed, Jim Kirk was no Boy Scout . . . .
Good points, I agree with some of it. But then again, Kirk was never portrait as a bigot before, somebody who had problems with people from another species just because of them belonging to said species. So that was a bit odd to me.
Well, it could argued that it wasn't a racial thing as much as a lifelong-adversaries thing. Remember, the Klingons (in TOS terms) are basically the Russians during the Cold War. So Kirk wasn't opposed to the Klingons because of their species ("damn those bumpy-headed bastards!") but because the Klingons have always been the enemy of the Federation and he's learned from hard experience that they're aren't to be trusted. He's suspicious of their government, their military, and their culture, not their race.

Besides, he's surely lost plenty of redshirts to the Klingon aggression . . . and he's usually quick to assume the worst of them back in the original TV series. Indeed, back on TOS, a Klingon showing up was NEVER a good sign.

Watch out for that poisoned grain!
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Old September 15 2013, 09:30 PM   #37
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

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Watch out for that poisoned grain!
One of many covert Klingon schemes foiled by the Federation during that time period. Darvin's failure was a disgrace. But it paved the way for a great DS9 episode.



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Old September 15 2013, 10:37 PM   #38
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Well, it could argued that it wasn't a racial thing as much as a lifelong-adversaries thing. Remember, the Klingons (in TOS terms) are basically the Russians during the Cold War. So Kirk wasn't opposed to the Klingons because of their species ("damn those bumpy-headed bastards!") but because the Klingons have always been the enemy of the Federation and he's learned from hard experience that they're aren't to be trusted. He's suspicious of their government, their military, and their culture, not their race.
But that's exactly why he would never, ever say "Let them die." That's the statement of a racist who wants the whole species to go extinct. It's so massively out of character that Shatner resisted saying the line at all, and did all he could to soften it, to show that Kirk regretted saying it.


Besides, he's surely lost plenty of redshirts to the Klingon aggression . . . and he's usually quick to assume the worst of them back in the original TV series.
But he was also the one who reached out to Mara and tried to convince her there was a better way than war between their peoples.
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Old September 15 2013, 11:04 PM   #39
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

I always saw the "Let them die!" line as an emotional outburst, not a statement of policy. And certainly Kirk proves by the end of the movie that, ultimately, he's capable of looking beyond his own history and emotional demons--just as, indeed, he did in "Day of Dove."

People are complicated. I'm sure that, back during the Cold War, that there were plenty of American soldiers that hated the Russians in the abstract, but we're still capable of seeing the humanity of the enemy as well.

Kirk isn't always right all the time, and was certainly capable of letting his emotions get the better of him on occasion, but his higher angels always prevail in the end.
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Old September 15 2013, 11:49 PM   #40
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

That was exactly that. I know Shatner fought hard for a reaction shot of Kirk recognizing what he just said. But Meyer chose to show Spock instead.

Kirk said "Let them die" after he just learned that Starfleet was going to be dismantled, that Spock walked over his helmet and that his potentially last assignment was dealing with the Klingons.

It was an emotional outburst, nothing more.


What I don't understand is that people completely overlook the fact that Kirk overcame his racism, mistrust and hatred against the Klingons. That was the whole point. Instead they mostly point at the let them die and then complain that it was out of character. He is very well in character at the end of the film again.
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Old September 15 2013, 11:49 PM   #41
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
I always saw the "Let them die!" line as an emotional outburst, not a statement of policy. And certainly Kirk proves by the end of the movie that, ultimately, he's capable of looking beyond his own history and emotional demons--just as, indeed, he did in "Day of Dove."

People are complicated. I'm sure that, back during the Cold War, that there were plenty of American soldiers that hated the Russians in the abstract, but we're still capable of seeing the humanity of the enemy as well.

Kirk isn't always right all the time, and was certainly capable of letting his emotions get the better of him on occasion, but his higher angels always prevail in the end.
Well said. It's easy to try to hold up a man like Kirk as some sort of standard, but he's human like anyone else. That's why I've always preferred his character to Picard's (even though I like both a lot). Kirk seems like a real human being who's done great things, rather than a legend who happens to look like a human being.

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Old September 16 2013, 12:04 AM   #42
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Sran wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
I always saw the "Let them die!" line as an emotional outburst, not a statement of policy. And certainly Kirk proves by the end of the movie that, ultimately, he's capable of looking beyond his own history and emotional demons--just as, indeed, he did in "Day of Dove."

People are complicated. I'm sure that, back during the Cold War, that there were plenty of American soldiers that hated the Russians in the abstract, but we're still capable of seeing the humanity of the enemy as well.

Kirk isn't always right all the time, and was certainly capable of letting his emotions get the better of him on occasion, but his higher angels always prevail in the end.
Well said. It's easy to try to hold up a man like Kirk as some sort of standard, but he's human like anyone else. That's why I've always preferred his character to Picard's (even though I like both a lot). Kirk seems like a real human being who's done great things, rather than a legend who happens to look like a human being.

--Sran
Exactly. I prefer to think of the TOS crew as flesh-and-blood human beings, not plaster saints.
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Old September 16 2013, 12:29 AM   #43
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

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Exactly. I prefer to think of the TOS crew as flesh-and-blood human beings, not plaster saints.
I like the DS9 crew for same reason. It's easy to ridicule Sisko for the choices he made during the Dominion War or Bashir for lying about his genetic enhancements for years before getting caught. But these weaknesses show that each is an actual person with flaws and feelings. It's much easier to relate to someone who thinks and acts like a regular person instead of trying to embody an ideal.

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Old September 16 2013, 12:51 AM   #44
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Sran wrote: View Post
It's much easier to relate to someone who thinks and acts like a regular person instead of trying to embody an ideal.

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Bingo.
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Old September 16 2013, 01:40 AM   #45
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Re: Why didn't Chang challenge Gorkon?

Acting like a real person is one thing. Expressing the sentiment that an entire race should go extinct is another. There are a lot of ways to be a believable, flawed human being without ever uttering a word about genocide. They could've had Kirk and the others be uneasy with the prospect of peace without taking it in such a racially oriented direction.
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