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Old January 19 2014, 12:57 AM   #46
urbandefault
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

So it would naturally follow that Scotty should have been played by an actual Scot, or Chekov by an actual Russian? (I guess Anton Yelchin gets a pass.)

Is it ok if I were to be cast as my Native American grandfather, even though I have blond hair and blue eyes?

I think the discussion is starting to border on silliness.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:00 AM   #47
Nerys Myk
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Thats not the question. The question is, should Othello be played by anyone but a Moor?

Or they could go with the best actor from the general ethnic group and let them act. Getting the cultural stuff right is part of the job.

Why would it be false if he's speaking English the way he was taught?
The last statement was in response to your statement "Oh, and do you think that every Frenchman who learns English has to speak it with a Pepe LePew accent? "

There's no reason to do a ridiculous stereotypical French accent when a genuine one, spoken by someone well aware of French and French culture can do it justice. Heck, French was the language of the court in England during much of the medieval period. Based upon what I've read, and speaking to people from England, French is pretty commonly learned in school. How difficult would it have been to speak it authentically since Picard is French? Now that is confounding.
The question is about how he speaks English, not how he speaks French.

I don't think say Romeo must be played by an Italian always. But it sure would be weird for a white guy to play Othello. We'd cringe today at that, though historically that has happened with white guys wearing essentially shoepolish on their faces.
Is anyone saying a white actor should play Othello in blackface?

Wouldn't it be more authentic to give a South African the part of Mandela if he's a black African from that region originally. Then he can speak with a natural voice emulating the native speakers like Mandela?

This isn't a far fetched idea.
Or the actor imitate Mandela's voice. Not everyone in South Africa sounds or looks like Mandela.

A part that's written as a Japanese person, could easily be modified into a Korean person. I don't see how it's relevant to the story either way. Unless there's specific need for that charcter to be from Japan due to X, then why not adjust it so that it's in keeping with the actor?
Or the actor could learn about the characters intended background and use that inform their performance.

Can you imagine a production like Dances with Wolves with Hispanic actors playing the parts of the Lakota people because the director though the skin tones were good enough? How weird would that be?
Graham Greene isn't Lakota, he's an Iroquois. Rodney A. Grant is a Omaha. Tantoo Cardinal is a Cree. Should they not play Lakota characters?

Many Hispanics are partly or fully Native American. So if the three Non Lakota actors mentioned above are acceptable, then so should Meso-American actors.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:22 AM   #48
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

urbandefault wrote: View Post
Is it ok if I were to be cast as my Native American grandfather, even though I have blond hair and blue eyes?

I think the discussion is starting to border on silliness.
Sure why not. Just as a Jew may look any possible way, or a Hispanic may look any possible way (from the most blond blue eyed person (rubia) to the darkest skin possible (morena)).

And I concur, it is getting silly. What I want is for ethnic actors to actually get to work in Hollywood, and not as pimps, manservants, or Native-American scouts. The old way was to eliminate a lot of ethnic actors from the mix except in very marginalized roles.

Another imponderable:
Why aren't the ships more alien looking? Why are so many aliens humanoid? Why not subtitle the many species language more often?
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Old January 19 2014, 01:29 AM   #49
Shawnster
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
During TOS, it was fairly common for all kinds of ethnic people to play Asians. Then you have crazy things like Ricardo Montebahn playing Khan who is a Sikh but never adopts the affectations of a Sikh regarding their spiritual practices (a point very well explained by TheRealKingDaniel in his Imponderables youtube shorts).
Was Khan a Sikh, or was that just Marla's assumption based on how he looked? She looks at him, says "probably a Sikh." How can she look at anyone and guess their religion? For that matter, she also guesses he was from Northern India. Could she really distinguish between Indians and Pakistanis or Afghanis?

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
I don't *think* anything in canon has established that what makes a civilization worthy is necessarily warp drive - warp drive (or presumably any other fast interstellar transport system) is just a dead giveaway that the PD is moot for that civilization, because they are now out looking for other civilizations to interfere with them.
Granted, Picard doesn't say that warp is a prerequisite for interference/non interference, but he does say it's a requirement for first contact.

From TNG's First Contact
PICARD: We've been monitoring your progress toward warp-drive capability. When a society reaches your level of technology and is clearly about to initiate warp travel, we feel the time is right for first contact. We prefer meeting like this, rather than a random confrontation in deep space.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:34 AM   #50
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Was Khan a Sikh, or was that just Marla's assumption based on how he looked? She looks at him, says "probably a Sikh." How can she look at anyone and guess their religion? For that matter, she also guesses he was from Northern India. Could she really distinguish between Indians and Pakistanis or Afghanis?
I have no idea, but it reminds me of people walking up to me and saying, "Oh, you're an Arab, right?" as well as Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

As I recall she's a historian and not an anthropologist, and acquainted with the Eugenics Wars, and so knew him based upon that.

If he's a Sikh, then they've fundamentally altered their hair styles as well as allowing for being beardless in that century.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:41 AM   #51
Gov Kodos
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Or she believes a poor historical theory much like those who think Hitler had Jewish ancestry.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:50 AM   #52
Nerys Myk
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
And I concur, it is getting silly. What I want is for ethnic actors to actually get to work in Hollywood, and not as pimps, manservants, or Native-American scouts. The old way was to eliminate a lot of ethnic actors from the mix except in very marginalized roles.
Really? You seem to be advocating only casting Koreans as Koreans, Frenchmen as Frenchmen and Lakota as Lakota.

The world is changing. We had a Black man cast as a Norse god in Thor. Black actors are playing Presidents, Generals and businessmen.


Another imponderable:
Why aren't the ships more alien looking? Why are so many aliens humanoid? Why not subtitle the many species language more often?
Define "more alien".

Human playing humaniods? Is that really so hard to figure out?

I don't mind subtitles, but some people do. And it can get in the way of storytelling when used when not needed.
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Old January 19 2014, 01:56 AM   #53
Nerys Myk
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
Shawnster wrote: View Post
Was Khan a Sikh, or was that just Marla's assumption based on how he looked? She looks at him, says "probably a Sikh." How can she look at anyone and guess their religion? For that matter, she also guesses he was from Northern India. Could she really distinguish between Indians and Pakistanis or Afghanis?
I have no idea, but it reminds me of people walking up to me and saying, "Oh, you're an Arab, right?" as well as Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

As I recall she's a historian and not an anthropologist, and acquainted with the Eugenics Wars, and so knew him based upon that.

If he's a Sikh, then they've fundamentally altered their hair styles as well as allowing for being beardless in that century.
That Century would be the 20th.
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Old January 19 2014, 02:28 AM   #54
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

[QUOTE=Nerys Myk;9139366] Really? You seem to be advocating only casting Koreans as Koreans, Frenchmen as Frenchmen and Lakota as Lakota.

The world is changing. We had a Black man cast as a Norse god in Thor. Black actors are playing Presidents, Generals and businessmen.

Define "more alien".

Human playing humaniods? Is that really so hard to figure out?

I don't mind subtitles, but some people do. And it can get in the way of storytelling when used when not needed.
I've never said that only Lakota actors should play Lakota. I have no idea where you're getting that idea. It didn't originate with me. There is a great enough difficulty for a Native American actor to find a role now as it is.

Likewise I have no idea how what I said is any different that what you said. Ethnic actors shouldn't be limited at all in the occupations depicted in their productions. In fact we agree.

However life would evolve on other worlds, it probably is not going to look anything like us, nor communicate like us. It's obvious that human actors will be depicted as humanoid aliens. It's also obvious that more attempts should be made to consider the alien aspects of encountering other species. Cursory glances in any exobiology text always discuss this.

As a result of those profound differences, then the ships would likewise appear unique compared to our own.

I cannot understand the issue with subtitles. Some of my favorite films are foreign films. Nothing breaks the spell more than the universal translator always removing the extraterrestrial element from exploring space.
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Old January 19 2014, 02:35 AM   #55
USS Triumphant
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Granted, Picard doesn't say that warp is a prerequisite for interference/non interference, but he does say it's a requirement for first contact.

From TNG's First Contact
PICARD: We've been monitoring your progress toward warp-drive capability. When a society reaches your level of technology and is clearly about to initiate warp travel, we feel the time is right for first contact. We prefer meeting like this, rather than a random confrontation in deep space.
But that doesn't mean it is the only circumstance under which they feel it is correct to initiate first contact, only that it was the reason in that case, and Picard was offering the Malcorians that by way of explanation for the specific timing.
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Old January 19 2014, 02:43 AM   #56
Robbiesan
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Robbiesan wrote: View Post
If he's a Sikh, then they've fundamentally altered their hair styles as well as allowing for being beardless in that century.
That Century would be the 20th.
Yep. Given the constant fear of nuclear holocaust prevalent during the time period of the Cold War, Roddenberry and the writers apparently felt that the Eugenics War would begin by the 1990s.

So while Khan is a product of the 20th Century, he's then propelled into Kirk's century (23rd). He's bridging 300 years or thereabouts, and hence why I said the generic "that" century.
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Old January 19 2014, 03:13 AM   #57
Nerys Myk
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Really? You seem to be advocating only casting Koreans as Koreans, Frenchmen as Frenchmen and Lakota as Lakota.

The world is changing. We had a Black man cast as a Norse god in Thor. Black actors are playing Presidents, Generals and businessmen.

Define "more alien".

Human playing humaniods? Is that really so hard to figure out?

I don't mind subtitles, but some people do. And it can get in the way of storytelling when used when not needed.
I've never said that only Lakota actors should play Lakota. I have no idea where you're getting that idea. It didn't originate with me. There is a great enough difficulty for a Native American actor to find a role now as it is.
Expansion on your idea that Linda Park has to play Koreans and Patrick Stewart has to play Brits, coupled with the idea that Hispanic actors cant play Lakotas.

Likewise I have no idea how what I said is any different that what you said. Ethnic actors shouldn't be limited at all in the occupations depicted in their productions. In fact we agree.
Because I'm saying Linda Park can play a Japanese character, but shouldn't play Rosa Parks.

However life would evolve on other worlds, it probably is not going to look anything like us, nor communicate like us. It's obvious that human actors will be depicted as humanoid aliens. It's also obvious that more attempts should be made to consider the alien aspects of encountering other species. Cursory glances in any exobiology text always discuss this.
It's a TV show not an exobiology text. It's needs will be dictated by the story, the budget and technology, not "science" One of the best TOS episodes, "Devil In the Dark" makes excellent use of a non humanoid alien, but doing that weekly runs into problems.

As a result of those profound differences, then the ships would likewise appear unique compared to our own.
Trek has it's various aliens using unique designs. They don't look like UFP ships. TOS makes use of this in "The Corbomite Maneuver".

I cannot understand the issue with subtitles. Some of my favorite films are foreign films. Nothing breaks the spell more than the universal translator always removing the extraterrestrial element from exploring space.
Subtitling a foreign film is different than using subtitles for a fictional alien. And as with non humanoids, will be dictated by the needs of the story. Its a storytelling tool not a necessity.
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Old January 19 2014, 03:37 AM   #58
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Robbiesan wrote: View Post
I cannot understand the issue with subtitles. Some of my favorite films are foreign films. Nothing breaks the spell more than the universal translator always removing the extraterrestrial element from exploring space.
Personally, I find aliens speaking their native languages drains the life out of the scenes. Yes, even Klingon. Having them speak English is easier for the audience to follow and its easier for the actors to say actual words than it is for them to spew out a bunch of fictional sounds. Just imagine how dull and lifeless something like the Dominion War would have been had the scenes featuring just the Dominion characters had them just speaking their native languages.

Sometimes native alien languages can be used to good effect. The Jaffa on Stargate are a good example in which their language has provided a few words which have become catchphrases. But most of the time, I'm okay with aliens speaking English.
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Old January 19 2014, 05:53 AM   #59
Shawnster
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Shawnster wrote: View Post
Granted, Picard doesn't say that warp is a prerequisite for interference/non interference, but he does say it's a requirement for first contact.

From TNG's First Contact
PICARD: We've been monitoring your progress toward warp-drive capability. When a society reaches your level of technology and is clearly about to initiate warp travel, we feel the time is right for first contact. We prefer meeting like this, rather than a random confrontation in deep space.
But that doesn't mean it is the only circumstance under which they feel it is correct to initiate first contact, only that it was the reason in that case, and Picard was offering the Malcorians that by way of explanation for the specific timing.
No, the context and grammar of Picard's comment reveals it's a general statement, not exclusively to that particular instance. Picard said "When a society reaches your level of technology..." the determiner "a" in this case is used to indicate membership of a class of people or things. Picard's statement "when a society reaches your level of technology..." lumps Malcor III into a particular class or group of people.
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Old January 19 2014, 05:48 PM   #60
Hazel
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Re: Name your imponderables for Star Trek

The problem with Hoshi is that Western cultures has often portrayed Asian cultures as 'all the same', erasing differences among very diverse people. I'm not saying I feel this way per se, but it can be taken as sayiing 'eh, this actress is Asian - she's good enough to stand in for every Asian culture.'

Not everything is equal - it's acceptable for a black man to play a character once portrayed as white because lack of representation in media is still a big problem. Casting in the opposite direction erases what steps we've made in representing anyone other than white, straight, cis men.

In a perfect world, the best actor would get the job regardless of race. In the world we live in, bias, unconscious or conscious, still gets in the way. (Fully looking forward to appearing in the Troll thread after this)
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