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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 November 23 2013, 07:29 PM   #91
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BillJ wrote: View Post
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Add to this that Khan thought he was stranding Kirk in the center of a dead planet. Emphasis on dead. He hadn't been to the Genesis Cave. Khan's men never got any further than the station. He didn't know there was a natural paradise waiting for Kirk's landing party. He'd have been as amazed as Kirk was at what they found there.
But if he scanned the planet to locate the Genesis Device, wouldn't he have noticed all the flora down inside a dead world? Any other time, sensors can locate a pimple on an ant's ass but here completely miss a giant cave full of plant life and water?

It really is no more complicated than they wrote themselves into a corner so they changed Khan's motivation. It works because Shatner and Montalban chew enough scenery that you get lost in the performances.
What's he scanning for? It's pretty clear that his interest isn't solely one of revenge. As soon as he hears about Genesis, he wants to know more. "I agree to your terms. If ... IF! In addition to yourself you hand over all data and materials regarding the project called ... Genesis." He's tricked Kirk into stranding himself in the center of a dead planet. He's got his revenge, now he wants Genesis. Captain Terrell has given Khan the location of the Genesis device itself, so Khan and his people don't even have to scan any further than to operate the transporter. Terrell and Chekov were Khan's eyes and ears prior to that and he knew as much as Kirk did and likely came to the same conclusions. "I thought this was Genesis?"

Under all that rock, it was a miracle the transporters worked ... It's even easier to conceive of a skeleton crew of refugees from the 20th century lacking the competence required to notice the life-filled bubble scores of meters away from the center of attention.
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Old November 23 2013, 07:35 PM   #92
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

Psion wrote: View Post
Under all that rock, it was a miracle the transporters worked ... It's even easier to conceive of a skeleton crew of refugees from the 20th century lacking the competence required to notice the life-filled bubble scores of meters away from the center of attention.
The writers pre-established that sensors could not detect the Genesis cave. Enterprise's sensors didn't detect it either. While it's an example of sensors working at the power of drama -- perhaps there were Plot-Convenient Deposits above the cave -- both ship's sensors play by the same rules throughout the film and Khan's motivation does not change. Bill is just wrong on this one.
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Old November 23 2013, 07:40 PM   #93
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BigJake wrote: View Post
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One of the things that stuck out at me was the lack of "superior ambition" among Khan's people. They have a super-weapon, a WMD, now. Joachim calls him down on chasing Kirk, but why didn't he try to take Khan out and become the leader?
Khan had the ability to inspire actual loyalty in his people, as we see also in "Space Seed." Presumably because they believed as he did that he was the best of them (his having successfully kept them alive after the unexpected cataclysm on Ceti Alpha V would have reinforced that aura of superiority). That Joachim wanted to restore him to rationality didn't mean his loyalty had lessened.

Also note that even through his mania Khan retains a parallel fixation on Genesis once he's learned of its existence? He would have learned from Chekov and Tyrell that it was more than a "superweapon," it could also provide his people with a new planet. I always took this to mean that even at his maddest, some part of him was still thinking like a prince. It was not so hard to see why his people remained loyal.

(Incidentally, it's instructive to watch TWOK having read Moby Dick. The Trek film is nowhere near Melville's league artistically, but it makes it easier to see what kind of character they were aiming for in their version of Khan once you know the original Ahab. Also Moby Dick is just a really good adventure novel.)
Read Moby Dick; TWOK is a highschool drama club production in comparison. The similarities are on the surface, at best. What they aimed for and what they got were two very different creations.
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Old November 23 2013, 07:46 PM   #94
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Read Moby Dick; TWOK is a highschool drama club production in comparison.
I think I might have just said something like that.

What they aimed for and what they got were two very different creations.
What they got was very concentrated and simplified. But the similarities in spirit between the two characters are quite evident. (Frankly, of the two, it's actually Khan that has the more psychologically believable revenge motive -- at least his is a human enemy and he's lost more than a leg -- though Ahab's madness is worse for being the more irrational and animistic and Melville does a brilliant job at developing it.)
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Old November 23 2013, 08:01 PM   #95
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

By dumbing down Khan, making him just focused on revenge, you loose a lot of his threat, his menace. Which is one of TWOK's failing: Khan simply isn't a big enough threat as he's as he's portrayed. He's more of a Joker or Mr. Freeze type mentality than a Ahab.
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Old November 23 2013, 08:19 PM   #96
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
By dumbing down Khan, making him just focused on revenge, you loose a lot of his threat, his menace. Which is one of TWOK's failing: Khan simply isn't a big enough threat as he's as he's portrayed. He's more of a Joker or Mr. Freeze type mentality than a Ahab.
Was Khan dumbed down in STID?
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Old November 23 2013, 08:28 PM   #97
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
By dumbing down Khan, making him just focused on revenge, you loose a lot of his threat, his menace.
Well, I personally think "dumbing down" is a bit of a skewed description and that Khan's progression to an Ahab-analogue was one of TWOK's deftest touches. In part because it was unexpected and in part because it provided a way to reintroduce him that didn't make Kirk's original decision to maroon him on Ceti Alpha 5 look completely nuts. (Only moderately nuts. )

For my money the revenge motive also actually made him more interesting, not less, than his previous Oriental Despot power-madness; and it also made him more believably flawed and his errors in judgment explicable.

(Conversely, STiD Khan had no similar excuse for having loaded the people he supposedly cares about into seventy-two pieces of explosive ordnance, just for example. And his Emperor Palpatine-like "no ship should go down without her Captain" line is motiveless B-villain malice, of much the same type that Marcus is suddenly afflicted with at a certain point in the story -- rather at odds, one might say, with the nutty but still patriotic "bombs away" mentality he'd hitherto displayed. I like the way Cumberbatch sells Khan at other points but I don't think this in any way diminishes or eclipses what Montalban did with the character, not by a long shot.)
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Old November 23 2013, 08:34 PM   #98
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

Ln X wrote: View Post
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
By dumbing down Khan, making him just focused on revenge, you loose a lot of his threat, his menace. Which is one of TWOK's failing: Khan simply isn't a big enough threat as he's as he's portrayed. He's more of a Joker or Mr. Freeze type mentality than a Ahab.
Was Khan dumbed down in STID?
He's talking there about Khan in The Wrath of Khan.
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Old November 23 2013, 08:47 PM   #99
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BigJake wrote: View Post
(Conversely, STiD Khan had no similar excuse for having loaded the people he supposedly cares about into seventy-two pieces of explosive ordnance, just for example. And his Emperor Palpatine-like "no ship should go down without her Captain" line is motiveless B-villain malice, of much the same type that Marcus is suddenly afflicted with at a certain point in the story -- rather at odds, one might say, with the nutty but still patriotic "bombs away" mentality he'd hitherto displayed. I like the way Cumberbatch sells Khan at other points but I don't think this in any way diminishes or eclipses what Montalban did with the character, not by a long shot.)
I've already specifically said on the board that I'm bowing out of further discussion about whether this or that happened in STID until I pick up the disk, so I can rewind it infinity times to split hairs on all the minutia.

That said, one of the questions I have is whether the torpedoes really are live ordnance or not. They can't be scanned, so how do we know? I don't even recall Spock or anyone saying exactly what they did (if anything at all) to turn one (or more) of the torpedoes into something live for the beam over to the Vengeance.

If you tell me they said this or that, I'll just keep my eyes open for it when I do that rewatch in due course.
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Old November 23 2013, 08:52 PM   #100
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BillJ wrote: View Post
People do realize the reason Shatner's "Khan!" scream is remembered is because most people think it's funny
Well the writers of STiD apparently didn't.
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Old November 23 2013, 08:58 PM   #101
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That said, one of the questions I have is whether the torpedoes really are live ordnance or not. They can't be scanned, so how do we know?
Spock uses them to blow him up.
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Old November 23 2013, 09:06 PM   #102
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BigJake wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That said, one of the questions I have is whether the torpedoes really are live ordnance or not. They can't be scanned, so how do we know?
Spock uses them to blow him up.
Eh, that doesn't really answer my question. But that's OK, it's one of the issues I'll be looking to resolve on rewatch.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I don't even recall Spock or anyone saying exactly what they did (if anything at all) to turn one (or more) of the torpedoes into something live for the beam over to the Vengeance.
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Old November 23 2013, 09:10 PM   #103
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
BigJake wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That said, one of the questions I have is whether the torpedoes really are live ordnance or not. They can't be scanned, so how do we know?
Spock uses them to blow him up.
Eh, that doesn't really answer my question.
You sure? It seems pretty definitive to me. You can't detonate things that don't contain explosives. But if you want to verify on rewatch, cool...
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Old November 23 2013, 09:13 PM   #104
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

BigJake wrote: View Post
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BigJake wrote: View Post

Spock uses them to blow him up.
Eh, that doesn't really answer my question.
You sure? It seems pretty definitive to me. You can't detonate things that don't contain explosives. But if you want to verify on rewatch, cool...
The point is, just how ready to explode are they? Are they missing a key component? Does the warhead need to be lifted out and put back in the other way to connect a circuit? That sort of thing. Not to mention, do they even have explosives on them at all, or is putting an explosive on them something that Spock did?
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Old November 23 2013, 09:25 PM   #105
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Re: About the KHAN scream.

No, I'm pretty sure Spock just arms them.

(I'm not sure it's stated how, but I'd assume he deduces how to do so from the information gleaned from Carol Marcus' having disarmed one of them. Although she just did that by yanking on something... so how that would work... uh, please don't ask me to make STiD plot points make sense. Maybe you'll see something on your rewatch.)

In fact it would make Marcus' character arc extremely bizarre -- moreso -- if they weren't explosive to begin with, since presumably he was able to check the torpedoes before he had them loaded on the Enterprise and his plan seems to revolve around getting the Enterprise to blow stuff up on Kronos and start a war.
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