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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old September 10 2012, 02:58 AM   #1
Brutal Strudel
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Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

I always thought Chekov should have been Sulu's exec. That's all, really.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

It would have meant an even smaller part for Walter Koenig, probably, since most of the action on the Excelsior is centered around Sulu. I think the movie is fine the way it is.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

I see two ways to look at it.
Is it good in terms of Chekov's character development, an earned promotion, a good career choice, and so on.

Or is it good for Koenig as an actor, giving him more lines in the script and more acting scenes and other opportunities?

One needn't follow the other. Chekov could be reduced to crewman and a third-watch ass't navigator, but have a major dramatic role in the film. Or he could be promoted to Admiral and have a two-line cameo.

So Exec on the Excelsior as good for Chekov the character or Koenig the actor? Or both?
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Old September 10 2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

Harvey wrote: View Post
It would have meant an even smaller part for Walter Koenig, probably, since most of the action on the Excelsior is centered around Sulu. I think the movie is fine the way it is.
Agree.

Since Chekov already was the Exec on the Reliant in WOK.
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Old September 10 2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

In the novels following Star Trek VI, Chekov did indeed become Sulu's Exec after the Enterprise-A was retired.
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Old September 10 2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

Basically what Harvey said. With Chekov as the first officer of the Reliant and Sulu as the Captain of the Excelsior both got their own moments in those films but were largely cut off from the ensemble interaction and simply not present for huge chunks of the film. Getting promoted off the Enterprise was a double edged sword in that sense.

And that Kyle was an officer on the Reliant and Rand was on the Excelsior is so minor as to constitute trivia.

It'd be nice to see the crew move on and up from their Enterprise jobs, but then there's the problem of how to simultaneously do that and then use all of them in a movie.

Although, say, a hypothetical film or special where Chekov was Sulu's exec? Hell, Chekov being Captain of the Enterprise-B in the Genesis intro (which admittedly clashes with the theme of Kirk besting some young guy) would have made more sense then him rushing off to Sickbay in a thinly veiled redress of McCoy's role.
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Old September 10 2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

Kegg wrote: View Post
Sulu as the Captain of the Enterprise


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In all seriousness, I don't know if there would have been anything to gain by making Chekov Sulu's XO in ST:VI. In both Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country, one of the nice things was that we got to see how Chekov and Sulu acted outside he dynamic of the ensemble. Putting Chekov on the Excelsior would have denied Sulu some much-needed character development. We also would have missed Chekov proclaiming "CLOAKED?!" in his adorable fashion.

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Old September 10 2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

Kegg wrote: View Post
Hell, Chekov being Captain of the Enterprise-B in the Genesis intro (which admittedly clashes with the theme of Kirk besting some young guy) would have made more sense then him rushing off to Sickbay in a thinly veiled redress of McCoy's role.
I agree. I've always wondered if this was Shatner's idea or if it was a Berman thing. Either way, I've always found it to be tired and trite.

I think it would have been way more touching and symbolic for Kirk to grab Chekov by the shoulders and say something like, "I'll go. She's your ship now, Pavel..." It would have also done a much better job of introducing the film's theme.

Plus, it would open up an alternative scenario in those a fore mentioned subsequent novels of Sulu and Checkov romping around the galaxy in dual Excelsiors.
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Old September 10 2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
I agree. I've always wondered if this was Shatner's idea or if it was a Berman thing. Either way, I've always found it to be tired and trite.
Well the original idea was for Kirk, McCoy and Spock to be the three guests. Since Nimoy and Kelley would only have glorified cameos, they turned the parts down, so they substituted Scotty and Chekov. As far as I know they mostly just rewrote their dialogue, the things that Scotty and Chekov actually do in plot purposes could have just as easily been done by Spock and McCoy respectively (and Chekov deputizing people as nurses and heading down to the sickbay is the most egregious example of this).

I think it would have been way more touching and symbolic for Kirk to grab Chekov by the shoulders and say something like, "I'll go. She's your ship now, Pavel..." It would have also done a much better job of introducing the film's theme.
I like that. Passing the baton on to the character who was once defined by being the young guy.
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Old September 11 2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

The novels where Chekov assumed the role of XO for Sulu depict him as somewhat cautious and maybe even a little bit damaged as a result of the events on the USS Reliant. It's actually a pretty good and believable concept. The book War Dragons by Diane Carey is the one that comes to mind.
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Old September 11 2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

..were largely cut off from the ensemble interaction..
The funny thing is, Khan was also cut off from the ensemble interaction - he never met Kirk face to face, or even set foot on the same ship, planet, or other source of gravity at the same time! That didn't reduce his dramatic role much. Separation thus might have done good for one of the familiar characters, too. In the sense of not being automatically bad.

...Especially if the story then has two of them separated from the main bunch, which means the two can have extensive dialogue between them. Sulu alone on the "guest ship" was essentially reduced to one-liners after the teaser was done, and partially because he alone could only do one-sided exposition. If paired with another character of dramatic value, he could argue dramatically interesting things like whether to help the politically inconvenient Kirk or not - without automatically defeating his nameless, worthless opponent in the argument by the sheer weight of his own dramatic worth.

Personally, I think the action in ST6:TUC was already satisfactorily split between various parties, and further splitting would only have been detrimental. We already had two strong foci, Kirk/McCoy/Martia on the prison world and Spock/Chekov/Uhura/Scotty/Valeris aboard the ship, plus cuts into Klingon scheming, Federation politics and a teeny weeny bit of Sulu action. A third strong focus would have been distracting IMHO.

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Old September 11 2012, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

Timo wrote: View Post
The funny thing is, Khan was also cut off from the ensemble interaction - he never met Kirk face to face, or even set foot on the same ship, planet, or other source of gravity at the same time! That didn't reduce his dramatic role much.
It did reduce his screentime. Khan isn't actually present for most of the Wrath of Khan. The difference is, of course, that Khan is an adversary, and a sizeable amount of the film revolves around fighting and out-thinking him - there a long stretches of the film where he's not present but the crew are dealing with the fallout of what he last did, or are thinking of new ways to outwit him, and so on.

Since neither Chekov or Sulu are adversaries, they don't get that kind of focus. Chekov is essentially a chess piece moved around by Khan's gambits, he's most useful in giving a concrete tie to the Enterprise in the sequence where Khan is introduced.

Separation thus might have done good for one of the familiar characters, too. In the sense of not being automatically bad.
I never said it was. Seperation can be good for giving characters interesting scenes - most of the scenes Sulu is in in TUC are about Sulu, after all - but bad in the sense they'll get less screentime.

We already had two strong foci, Kirk/McCoy/Martia on the prison world and Spock/Chekov/Uhura/Scotty/Valeris aboard the ship, plus cuts into Klingon scheming, Federation politics and a teeny weeny bit of Sulu action. A third strong focus would have been distracting IMHO.
I'd agree with that.
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Old September 11 2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

I like the idea of Chekov being the Enterprise-B captain. He was definitely qualified.
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Old September 11 2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

I was always under the impression that the Reliant was a huge black mark on Chekov's record and that's why he was stuck on the Enterprise-A as a commander all those years.
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Old September 11 2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: Chekov in Star Trek VI: Better on Excelsior?

I don't think the Reliant was a black mark at all, but rather an unfortunate event. As far as being the same rank on the Enterprise-A for several years, I never saw it was a given that every officer becomes a captain if they stay in the fleet long enough. Some people with distinguished service records retire as commanders in real life (I knew a World War II veteran who was a bomber pilot in a couple of battles who did so).
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