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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 January 31 2014, 08:11 AM   #241
MakeshiftPython
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

YARN wrote: View Post
Does nuTrek really have a moral compass?

I mean it expresses tribal morality (looking after your own peeps - the virtue of bros looking out for their bros), it gestures at the importance of teamwork and following rules (even though Kirk is rewarded for breaking the rules too, and his rule-breaking often turns out to be "correct"), and there is lip-service paid to the prime directive, but this Trek isn't really preoccupied with morality as of yet.

Maybe the next film will present a moral dilemma, but so far it has been the good guys working to stop crazy revenge-driven bad guys.

At any rate, I don't see "bad morality" as a reason to object to the last two films, as they weren't really moral exercises.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up the two films, for better or worse. To survive in this current movie marketplace, these films are designed as action shoot em up epics with the good guys fighting a super evil villain hellbent on destruction, because that's what most audiences expects from those kind of films in the Summer. STID tried adding some of the old Trek flavor by going for a now very dated 9/11 conspiracy/truther analogy, but it's more surface level so not to put off audiences who want to just have a good time at the movies, hence that one year time jump to the mega happy ending. Will the next film try to go for a different format so not to feel like this film series is just repeating itself? If the writers/producers are smart enough, they would know to do something different to keep things fresh, but maybe Paramount might not want to stray from the formula of these two films. We'll see. Pine wants to go "dark" with Kirk, I'm not sure I want something like that, but this is their sandbox.
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Old January 31 2014, 08:34 AM   #242
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

My only problem with shooting at the Narada is it doesn't seem to have any purpose. It's not a moral issue, it's a logic issue.
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Old January 31 2014, 09:23 AM   #243
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Enough people have flagged the same 'problems' with the scene so it clearly is an issue. Enough people have defended the scene to show that it's not a problem for everyone. It boils down to three recurring issues as far as I can see:

1. Do we want them to spell out explicitly that killing should be a last resort?
2. Do we want them to spell out explicitly that Nero is still a threat?
3. Do we want our hypothetical six year-olds to be given the impression that killing killers without a trial is morally justified and satisfying? (and I'm not sure at what age that I, as a child, would have had the moral awareness to dstinguish self-defence from an execution)

These are all matters of opinion. Personally I did want them to take a more moral path because it reflects themes from TOS. Yes those themes were inconsistently portrayed but when they actually considered them they came down on the side of 'don't kill today.' STiD was also clearly aiming for something more along those lines and the introduction of Carol may be an indication that they will be aiming to curb Kirk's womanising next time. It looks like it's all headed in more of the right direction.
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Old January 31 2014, 01:17 PM   #244
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Enough people have flagged the same 'problems' with the scene so it clearly is an issue. Enough people have defended the scene to show that it's not a problem for everyone.
That's a rather amusing spin on what's transpired in this discussion. The language that "it clearly is an issue" and that "it's not a problem for everyone" would tend to suggest that the more legitimate position is to find fault with the scene.

A more objective assessment would be: some people have a problem with the scene, some don't.

I utterly reject the notion that there is any sort of objective issue here.
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Old January 31 2014, 03:49 PM   #245
Jeyl
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

If you're going to show your characters are capable of being compassionate when all they've done was act like selfish a**holes who kill the bad guys throughout the whole film, it should be something that's taken more seriously than just a 15 second bump on the road where they just end killing the bad guy anyways. Even STID, a film that actually spends more than 15 seconds in trying to have our heroes do the compassionate thing is thrown out the window when Kirk assaults Khan who literally just surrendered to him and later having Spock setting out to murder him. Is it compassion or diplomacy that stops Spock from killing Khan in the end? Heck no.

And to think that our heroes make a speech about how killing the bad guys out of revenge is "not who we are". Yeah, that knock out punch that Spock delivered to Khan was totally a "Thank god I don't have to kill you now because that's not who I am".
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Old January 31 2014, 04:16 PM   #246
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Khan killed Kirk's mentor and friend, killed several other Starfleet officers, and damn near killed Kirk himself. You'd think we could forgive some understandably angry (and completely futile) punches given that Kirk was originally authorized to kill Khan from afar and decided against it. It seems like people don't even want the characters to be fallible human beings with understandable rage in the face of their father figure's murderer.

It would have taken away from the scene to have Kirk calmly and rationally place Khan under arrest. The fact that he feels so much hate and rage toward Khan and yet still was able to govern his actions and refrain from assassinating him under counsel from Spock makes his decision all the more significant because it was made while he was in turmoil inside. He wants to punish Khan with all his heart, but when his friend told him it was wrong, he considered it and complied. That shows growth on his part from the previous film, growth toward the more dispassionate Kirk of the TOS-era (who would have just calmly made the arrest), which Pine's rookie hasn't arrived at yet.

Plus, it's not an accident that his punches didn't even elicit a reaction from Khan. The film is not saying what Kirk did was right. We can tell this by the absolute futility of his actions. He gains nothing from even his reduced attack on Khan (assaulting him instead of killing him). His revenge was an empty act without purpose or satisfaction, a fact which he learns and includes in his speech at the end of the film about the ethical and emotional dangers of seeking vengeance against your enemies.
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Old January 31 2014, 04:28 PM   #247
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I got carried away, because a lot of times it seems folks will defend anything in these films or at least give it a pass because they think the film is fun and shouldn't be criticized, an overreaction to the flamers who always bash whatever happens in these films no matter what. At least, that's what it seems to me. If "apologists" comes off as a putdown for some folks, I suppose "Abramsverse enthusiasts" will suffice.
I find the term "Abramsverse enthusiasts" equally condescending so please don't use it on me.

Why label people in a possibly negative way at all?

By labelling me as an Abrams supporter IMO you are basically saying I'm only defending Kirk's decision in ST09 because I 'love' everything Abrams does and not because I actually support his decision.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
3. Do we want our hypothetical six year-olds to be given the impression that killing killers without a trial is morally justified and satisfying? (and I'm not sure at what age that I, as a child, would have had the moral awareness to dstinguish self-defence from an execution)
What my children want (some of them are older than 6) is justice.
I think they would have been disappointed if Kirk had let Nero go.
I can see Kirk trying to explain it to a 6 year old Vulcan child refugee who had just lost their parents and entire planet. "We had to let Nero go because we asked him to surrender and he said No. What could we do? Killing is immoral. We'll catch him one day"
I'm wondering if Nero had destroyed Earth instead of Vulcan would people have been so critical of Kirk's decision not to try and beam aboard the Narada and find Nero, gather up and disarm all his men and put them in the brig with goodness knows what future weapons while trying to escape a black hole.
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Old January 31 2014, 06:32 PM   #248
Dale Sams
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Jeyl wrote: View Post
If you're going to show your characters are capable of being compassionate when all they've done was act like selfish a**holes who kill the bad guys throughout the whole film, it should be something that's taken more seriously than just a 15 second bump on the road where they just end killing the bad guy anyways. Even STID, a film that actually spends more than 15 seconds in trying to have our heroes do the compassionate thing is thrown out the window when Kirk assaults Khan who literally just surrendered to him and later having Spock setting out to murder him. Is it compassion or diplomacy that stops Spock from killing Khan in the end? Heck no.

And to think that our heroes make a speech about how killing the bad guys out of revenge is "not who we are". Yeah, that knock out punch that Spock delivered to Khan was totally a "Thank god I don't have to kill you now because that's not who I am".
Don't forget Spock did try the Neck Pinch on Khan. Had that worked, I can't see Spock breaking his head open.
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Old January 31 2014, 06:48 PM   #249
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I got carried away, because a lot of times it seems folks will defend anything in these films or at least give it a pass because they think the film is fun and shouldn't be criticized, an overreaction to the flamers who always bash whatever happens in these films no matter what. At least, that's what it seems to me. If "apologists" comes off as a putdown for some folks, I suppose "Abramsverse enthusiasts" will suffice.
I find the term "Abramsverse enthusiasts" equally condescending so please don't use it on me.

Why label people in a possibly negative way at all?
Which is really the point I was getting at, and I think it's consistent with what I've asked all along: argue the plot points and character moments, argue the claims, argue the opinions, argue anything you like about the movie(s), but refrain from taking swipes at those who make those claims or hold those opinions. Just don't allow it to get personal, and sooner or later the rest can be sorted out in discussion.
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Old January 31 2014, 07:11 PM   #250
Jeyl
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Don't forget Spock did try the Neck Pinch on Khan. Had that worked, I can't see Spock breaking his head open.
Ah, so you're saying that it would be out of character for Spock to want to kill a helpless enemy? If thats's the case, why does he object to Kirk showing compassion to a helpless Nero?
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Old January 31 2014, 07:22 PM   #251
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Don't forget Spock did try the Neck Pinch on Khan. Had that worked, I can't see Spock breaking his head open.
Ah, so you're saying that it would be out of character for Spock to want to kill a helpless enemy? If thats's the case, why does he object to Kirk showing compassion to a helpless Nero?
Well, he was emotionally compromised. Nero had just killed not only his mom (Spock gets violent when Kirk gets rolling on his mom in Paradise Syndrome), but just about every other Vulcan in the universe. And let's not forget that Spock is half human.

More than that, it was a moment played for comedy. It was funny, because it was out of his usual character. It's funny to hear Spock say, "You know, in this case I'm kinda OK with it."

This moment is NBD, IMO. What is troubling is that nuSpock, in general, is rather "emo." He is always struggling to keep the balance, either sulking or moments from raaaage! Khaaaaaan! Old-school Spock was intriguing, because when the big soul-sucking monster would appear on the view screen, he would merely cock an eye brow and say something like "Fascinating."
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Old January 31 2014, 07:24 PM   #252
Locutus of Bored
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Don't forget Spock did try the Neck Pinch on Khan. Had that worked, I can't see Spock breaking his head open.
Ah, so you're saying that it would be out of character for Spock to want to kill a helpless enemy? If thats's the case, why does he object to Kirk showing compassion to a helpless Nero?
Because, as was stated in the film, he was "emotionally compromised" by the destruction of his homeworld, the death of his mother, the deaths of hundreds or thousands of cadets and Starfleet personnel in the Vulcan rescue fleet, and the attempted destruction of his second "homeworld" (Earth) in a mere matter of hours before their final battle with Nero.

ETA: Ninja'd
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Old January 31 2014, 07:33 PM   #253
Jeyl
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Khan killed Kirk's mentor and friend, killed several other Starfleet officers, and damn near killed Kirk himself. You'd think we could forgive some understandably angry (and completely futile) punches given that Kirk was originally authorized to kill Khan from afar and decided against it.
I don't think we as an audience should have been put in a position of understanding at all because star fleet regulations should have prevented Kirk from ever commanding the Enterprise on such a mission where he would be emotionally compromised. Having Kirk wanting to kill this man out of vengeance, kicking his own crew off the ship and being ok with bombing the Klingon home world is a-ok, but Spock maintaining his composure in a critical situation means "Totally unfit for command!". It's like that whole Starfleet regulation thing about being emotionally compromised was something both Spocks dreamed up that never actually existed.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
It seems like people don't even want the characters to be fallible human beings
No, only Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman.



How many times can a joke like that be said here folks? Never!

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
His revenge was an empty act without purpose or satisfaction, a fact which he learns and includes in his speech at the end of the film about the ethical and emotional dangers of seeking vengeance against your enemies.
He's not proud of punching the bad guy he wanted revenge on, but he is proud of killing the bad guy who was already dying?
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Old January 31 2014, 07:40 PM   #254
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Jeyl wrote: View Post

He's not proud of punching the bad guy he wanted revenge on, but he is proud of killing the bad guy who was already dying?
I think that I've learned from this board that most people don't want any growth in the things they watch. They just want the same static characters and settings over and over and over again. Kirk in TOS wasn't perfect and neither is this version of the character.
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Old January 31 2014, 07:46 PM   #255
Jeyl
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Re: NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Because, as was stated in the film, he was "emotionally compromised" by the destruction of his homeworld, the death of his mother, the deaths of hundreds or thousands of cadets and Starfleet personnel in the Vulcan rescue fleet, and the attempted destruction of his second "homeworld" (Earth) in a mere matter of hours before their final battle with Nero.
And yet he acts more emotionally compromised at Kirk's death, a character he hasn't even known a whole year than all those things you've listed combined. He even got to give a heartfelt one-on-one goodbye to Kirk before he died. Could we use a more consistent character point?
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