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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 20 2013, 01:53 AM   #76
The Old Mixer
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

Whatever's in the secret sauce, it would still be homogenizing people.
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Old September 20 2013, 01:57 AM   #77
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

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^I'm thinking more that if you wanted to engineer superior humans, and weren't a racist like the "eugenicists" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, you'd draw traits from a variety of donors and encourage interbreeding of dissimilar populations. So logically a lot of the resultant Augments would be bi- or multiracial.
So why is their leader bleach white? Perhaps the eugenics / augment program got its start in the late 30s?
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Old September 20 2013, 03:52 AM   #78
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Whatever's in the secret sauce, it would still be homogenizing people.
No, that's not how it works. Homogenizing is the absolute worst thing you want to do if your goal is to increase the vigor and adaptability of the species. This is why all the racist eugenics programs of the 19th-20th century failed -- because they were doing it backward. Their bigotry blinded them to the simple biological principle that the vitality of a species depends on a large, diverse gene pool, that a limited and homogeneous one is a recipe for extinction.

And I think you're making the mistaken assumption that the process by which Augment DNA altered Klingon DNA was the same one that was used to create the Augments in the first place. I don't think that's likely. The Klingons used their own genetic engineering methods to inject Augment DNA into Klingon test subjects in order to imbue them with Augment traits, accidentally giving them human cosmetic traits as well. The Augment DNA then jumped to a Levodian flu strain (along, perhaps, with some genes from whatever retrovirus the Klingons would've been using to transmit the Augment genes) and became airborne.

Whatever methods were used to create the Augments in the first place would've been something different, presumbly a germ-line alteration, manipulating the genes of embryos before implantation. Indeed, we saw Arik Soong doing this with the embryos he recovered from Cold Station 12. There's no "secret sauce," there's just coding, essentially -- mixing and matching the genes in the chromosomes of embryonic cells. And the donors for those genes, as well as for the original gametes, would've probably been selected from a variety of different ethnicities, in keeping with what we saw in "Space Seed" and ENT. So any given Augment, Khan included, could be of multiracial parentage and multicultural upbringing. Thus there's no reason one of them couldn't be a Caucasian Sikh with a name that's a hybrid of three different cultures.


WarpFactorZ wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
So logically a lot of the resultant Augments would be bi- or multiracial.
So why is their leader bleach white? Perhaps the eugenics / augment program got its start in the late 30s?
White is one of the races, so it would be included too. But he's got a Caucasian appearance, a Sikh religious affiliation, a Chinese middle name, a very unusual first name of Central Asian origin, and a Mexican accent (in one version -- perhaps as "Harrison" he adopted a new accent as a disguise). That's a lot of diversity in one package.

(Of course this is an accident. Khan was a product of two unfortunate 1960s TV practices toward Asian cultures -- homogenizing them into a jumbled mass and casting white actors in Asian roles. But fortunately it can be rationalized in a way that fits what we know about the ethnic diversity of Sikhs and that of Khan's people.)
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Old September 20 2013, 04:48 AM   #79
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

WarpFactorZ wrote: View Post
Sran wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Had Admiral Nogura been seen onscreen in TMP, his return in ST III (and then IV and VI) might have worked.
I've always wondered why we've never seen him. He's probably the most talked about canon character in Star Trek who's never actually appeared on screen.

--Sran
Maybe Admiral Marcus should have been Admiral Nogura instead. They could have still cast Peter Weller, to be consistent with the choice for Khan Noonian Singh.
Well, he did play Buckaroo Banzai.
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Old September 20 2013, 10:03 AM   #80
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

WarpFactorZ wrote: View Post
Maybe Admiral Marcus should have been Admiral Nogura instead. They could have still cast Peter Weller, to be consistent with the choice for Khan Noonian Singh.
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Both choices for Khan, neither of which are Punjabi.
Although, to be fair, many Sikhs are not Punjabi. It's a religion, not an ethnicity...
The point I was making is if someone hires a Mexican to play a Sikh, then casting an Englishman is no different. Some people have a weird double-standard about Khan's casting. I'm well aware that Sikhs are not an ethnicity, even if the vast majority of them are Punjubi or of the Punjab diaspora.
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Old September 20 2013, 03:10 PM   #81
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

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The point I was making is if someone hires a Mexican to play a Sikh, then casting an Englishman is no different. Some people have a weird double-standard about Khan's casting.
I don't think it's weird. In general, casting a white person as a character who's supposed to be Asian is a troubling practice, because it's been going on for a long time and has been a form of institutionalized job discrimination against Asian actors. It was just as wrong in the '60s as it is today. The point is that by now, we should've learned better and stopped doing it. It can be rationalized away in-story in the case of STID, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a problematical choice in real life.

The actual weird double standard is going on here in the present. Lots of movies these days are casting nonwhite actors as characters originally created as white in past decades -- Kingpin, Lana Lang, Pete Ross, Nick Fury, Heimdall, Perry White, Felix Leiter, etc. In those cases, old racial biases are being corrected and casting is getting more inclusive. And yet recently there's been a spate of movies where nominally nonwhite characters have been played by white actors -- the Mandarin (though that was an in-story satire of yellowface casting), Khan, Tonto, the Shredder in Michael Bay's upcoming Ninja Turtles movie. (Although a couple of those were offensive racial stereotypes to begin with.) And that's in the wake of the casting controversy over The Last Airbender a few years ago. So there's this strange and disturbing backslide going on in many films at the same time that progress is being made in others.
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Old September 20 2013, 05:26 PM   #82
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

Generally agreed with your points there, Christopher.

Race is quite the touchy subject, and it can be difficult to not appear insensitive when discussing it. It's interesting to note how folks like John Colicos and Michael Ansara were made (and I quote) "swarthy" to play Klingons on TOS, similar to what was done with Montalban, who, unless I'm mistaken was never particularly dark of skin without makeup assistance.

I think the reason some folks find fault with Cumberbatch vs. Montalban is that Cumberbatch is obviously Caucasian, where Montalban gives the appearance of not, which is somewhat fitting for a character whose name certainly would seem to indicate non-Caucasian ancestry. It doesn't make sense, but Montalban was more acceptable as a part of the standard casting procedures of the time.

Personally, I just choose to assume that Section 31 had Khan cosmetically altered to be unrecognizable to anyone who might have had a history book. I'm not opposed to changing the race of a character for the sake of diversity, if the nature of the character remains unaltered by it. Michael Clarke Duncan's Kingpin for example. However, such things often get accused of tokenization.
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Old September 20 2013, 06:31 PM   #83
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

Praetor wrote: View Post
Race is quite the touchy subject, and it can be difficult to not appear insensitive when discussing it. It's interesting to note how folks like John Colicos and Michael Ansara were made (and I quote) "swarthy" to play Klingons on TOS, similar to what was done with Montalban, who, unless I'm mistaken was never particularly dark of skin without makeup assistance.
Although Ansara was Syrian-American, so he often got cast as Arab characters, as well as Native Americans and other "brown" ethnic groups. It was pretty much standard practice in the day for anyone with an exotic look to be cast as various other races interchangeably.


I think the reason some folks find fault with Cumberbatch vs. Montalban is that Cumberbatch is obviously Caucasian, where Montalban gives the appearance of not, which is somewhat fitting for a character whose name certainly would seem to indicate non-Caucasian ancestry. It doesn't make sense, but Montalban was more acceptable as a part of the standard casting procedures of the time.
Except it's not an entirely new problem, since Montalban was put in brownface to look Indian in "Space Seed," but used his normal complexion TWOK. Not to mention that Khan's supposedly multiethnic followers were cast as a bunch of blond Nordic types (who were also far too young to have been stranded as adults 15 years earlier). So there were issues with the portrayal of Khan's ethnicity decades before Cumberbatch came along.


I'm not opposed to changing the race of a character for the sake of diversity, if the nature of the character remains unaltered by it. Michael Clarke Duncan's Kingpin for example. However, such things often get accused of tokenization.
I don't see it as tokenization. I see it as correcting a past imbalance. If these classic comics had been created in this day and age, they probably would've been given more diverse casts to begin with.

Really, I'd say tokenization is including a minority character just for the sake of having one and then not having the character be important to the story. What we see these days is colorblind casting for characters who were already important. Okay, Perry White was not particularly important in Man of Steel, but that's just part of the film's larger storytelling issues (Jimmy wasn't even there). But Kingpin was certainly important to Daredevil, Heimdall played a supporting but pivotal role in Thor, Lana Lang was immensely important in Smallville, Nick Fury is hugely important to the MCU, etc. If the character has a worthwhile and meaty role, it's not tokenism, it's genuine inclusion.
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Old September 20 2013, 07:39 PM   #84
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

I agree with you, Christopher, basically on all of that, I'm just outlining how I see others reacting to it the way they do.
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Old September 20 2013, 07:43 PM   #85
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

Well, sure, I don't see it as me vs. you. I'm just expressing my thoughts in response to those other people's view.
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Old September 21 2013, 12:26 AM   #86
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Re: Why was Robert Hooks Replaced with Brock Peters in TVH

Christopher wrote: View Post
Okay, Perry White was not particularly important in Man of Steel, but that's just part of the film's larger storytelling issues
Perhaps not so important in that film, but in a case like this where they're trying to start a franchise, they're casting somebody who's liable to have more to do in future movies.

And even when he's not doing anything terribly important to the story, he's still Superman's boss, for goodness sake!
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