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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 December 3 2013, 02:50 AM   #1
M.A.C.O.
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J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...=entertainment

"The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront 'This is who it is.' It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was," Abrams said. "The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what ‘Star Trek’ is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it."

I bolded what i think is the important text of this quote.

I'm not surprised by Paramount snubbing existing fans but was it really smart to not hype up Trek's most iconic villain? I mean it's not like we're expecting non-fans to watch 2 dozen episodes to understand Khan's character or history.
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Old December 3 2013, 02:51 AM   #2
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post

I'm not surprised by Paramount snubbing existing fans...
I really wish people would get over themselves.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:13 AM   #3
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

If anything, they should never have mentioned that Cumberbatch was playing someone we already knew. They should have just presented him as John Harrison and left it at that. I don't know if they could have kept a tight lid on the truth behind that though.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:15 AM   #4
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

That's the annoying thing. Hollywood thinks their audience is stupid. Maybe they are only projecting and they themselves are stupid.

The irony is that, since Khan was a secret, people went to see Cumberbatch as John Harrison. Yes, they actually wanted to see an original villain, because you advertised the film that way, you fools! There was absolutely no financial benefit in having Khan in this.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:41 AM   #5
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

I don't see what difference it would have made had Paramount been up-front about it. We all knew it was Khan before the movie premiered.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:46 AM   #6
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
That's the annoying thing.
You mean, beside the constant, continuous, and continuing whining?
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Old December 3 2013, 04:22 AM   #7
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

I smell bullshit. The mystery box has always been Abrams' thing, and I seriously doubt the studio wouldn't have jumped at the chance to market one of the most iconic villains in the Trek canon. Afraid that audiences would feel like they're required to watch an episode and a movie to understand what's going on? It's a reboot, it's already assuming you don't have to watch anything that came before. Pinning it on the big bad studio doesn't really fly when he's one of Hollywood's biggest producers of our time. Abrams is part of the system, has been for a very long time enough to get things his way.
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Old December 3 2013, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
If anything, they should never have mentioned that Cumberbatch was playing someone we already knew. They should have just presented him as John Harrison and left it at that. I don't know if they could have kept a tight lid on the truth behind that though.
This. The smart thing would have been to announce when Cumberbatch was cast that he was playing John Harrison and leave it at that. But instead, they just said Cumberbatch was a villain and refused to identify his character for ten months drawing lots of attention and causing all manner of speculation, fueled by Abrams and his henchmen saying he was playing a "canon character." By the time they did reveal the John Harrison name no one was fooled and everyone assumed it had to be an alias.

Maybe Paramount was stupid forcing Khan to be a secret, and I know I wouldn't have made that decision. However, Bad Robot handled the matter in such a piss-poor way. Remember Batman Begins had a twist regarding the identity of Liam Neeson's character that actually worked and fooled people? One thing Bad Robot excels at is copying the work of others. Was it really so hard to look at how Nolan and his folks managed to pull that off and imitate that, or would it have eaten into their time set aside for re-writing TWOK?
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Old December 3 2013, 04:40 AM   #9
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

They just shouldn't have done Khan in the first place.
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Old December 3 2013, 04:42 AM   #10
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

Tosk wrote: View Post
They just shouldn't have done Khan in the first place.
That's certainly true. Especially since they've admitted their "creative process" was to create a new character, which they then named Khan, because Khan is "what everyone wanted."

The irony is, I found John Harrison, renegade Starfleet officer turned terrorist more interesting than Khan.
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Old December 3 2013, 04:43 AM   #11
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

^And here's hoping they don't retcon something else in their third film. A totally new adventure unrelated to anything from the other timeline would be nice.
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Old December 3 2013, 04:45 AM   #12
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

But let's be honest, Trek XIII will totally be about the Borg. Paramount suits probably think it's "what everyone wants."
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Old December 3 2013, 04:49 AM   #13
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

What makes the story of the studio imposing the secrecy very unconvincing to me is that Khan is an iconic villain and studios LOVE brand recognition. Promoting that an iconic villain is returning to Trek builds hype among fans and it gets movie goers interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. That's why Star Trek was brought back in the first place. If he was so much of a niche Trek thing that the filmmakers were so afraid of using, they sure jumped at the chance to include him as quickly as possible.

Really though, nothing about all this adds up, given the script process that Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof elaborated on how Khan was integrated and such. I'm sure Bad Robot was the one that actually insisted on this secrecy because the mystery box has always been their favorite toy to play with. The whole thing with "John Harrison" and the "big reveal" screams of it.

bbailey861 wrote: View Post
^And here's hoping they don't retcon something else in their third film. A totally new adventure unrelated to anything from the other timeline would be nice.
You and me on that. My favorite part of the whole nuTrek universe so far has been the opening pre-title sequence in STID. That's the kind of Trek movie I want. Fun, breezy, adventurous, original, focused on the characters, no gimmicks. Just a straight up Trek story.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
But let's be honest, Trek XIII will totally be about the Borg. Paramount suits probably think it's "what everyone wants."
I'm sure the guys at Bad Robot totally agree on that too. "Yeah, and the Borg cube will be the size of a solar system! Cause everything's big!"
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Old December 3 2013, 04:51 AM   #14
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
But let's be honest, Trek XIII will totally be about the Borg. Paramount suits probably think it's "what everyone wants."
Borg + V'ger + Uhura ends up the Borg queen.
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Old December 3 2013, 07:08 AM   #15
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Re: J.J. admits keeping Khan's identity a secret was a mistake

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...=entertainment

"The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront 'This is who it is.' It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was," Abrams said. "The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what ‘Star Trek’ is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it."

I bolded what i think is the important text of this quote.

I'm not surprised by Paramount snubbing existing fans but was it really smart to not hype up Trek's most iconic villain? I mean it's not like we're expecting non-fans to watch 2 dozen episodes to understand Khan's character or history.
I don't see anything in Abrams' comments to indicate Paramount was "snubbing" any existing fans. Rather, the obvious read (obvious, if you don't have an anti-Abrams agenda, I suppose, or if you just learned how to use context clues in elementary school) would be that Paramount didn't want to promote the film as something that (in their estimation) only fans with a vested interest in Star Trek would be able to enjoy.

Announcing that Khan was the villain in the film would have proclaimed precisely that and anyone who had ever heard of Star Trek or had a passing familiarity with it would know 'Eh, more of the same stuff, why should I go see it?' ---at least, that was the logic Paramount, not Abrams, used to guide their promotion of the film.

Which still doesn't invalidate the usual approach in the Abrams camp of trying to have surprises in their films for the audience. Every single last one of JJ Abrams' projects has made that attempt, to varying degrees of success. It's just Star Trek fans, it seems, who have the hardest time trying to deal with it. Sigh.

So instead, Paramount chose to angle their promotion of the film omitting that little tidbit. There's nothing wrong with that. It makes pefect sense that Paramount would want as many butts in the theaters and as many eyeballs on those screens because means the picture is selling tickets. Why this is such a complex issue to comprehend is beyond me.

The thing every last person on this godforsaken message board needs to have reminded to them is that this is a tiny community of fandom. A small pond of fans in a ginormous ocean of moviegoers. What we want, what we care about doesn't mean jack shit. To assume, nay expect otherwise is foolish.

Last edited by doubleohfive; December 3 2013 at 07:49 AM.
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