RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,619
Posts: 5,426,282
Members: 24,810
Currently online: 392
Newest member: 8 of 9

TrekToday headlines

IDW Publishing December Trek Comics
By: T'Bonz on Sep 17

September Loot Crate Features Trek Surprise
By: T'Bonz on Sep 16

USS Enterprise Miniature Out For Refit
By: T'Bonz on Sep 16

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes Comic Crossover
By: T'Bonz on Sep 16

Trek 3 Shooting Next Spring?
By: T'Bonz on Sep 16

Star Trek: Alien Domain Game Announced
By: T'Bonz on Sep 15

Red Shirt Diaries Episode Three
By: T'Bonz on Sep 15

Made Out Of Mudd Photonovel
By: T'Bonz on Sep 15

Takei Has Growth Removed
By: T'Bonz on Sep 15

Retro Review: Tears of the Prophets
By: Michelle on Sep 12


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 5 2014, 10:55 PM   #91
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

We really should have a cheat sheet for these But Ricardo Montalban Was White So What's the Big Deal discussions:

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
To which I reply he was supposed to be a Sikh. He then says to me Sikh's have beards, turban and never cut their hair and are Indian.
This. Is. Not. True. Well, it's true that they're Indian, that of course is the entire point, but otherwise this is like saying all Jews dress like Hasidim. They don't. Sikhs can just as easily look like this:

[ img] http://www.ohfish.in/wp-content/uplo...03/Vir-Das.jpg [/ img]

as like this:

[i mg] http://theindianeye.net/wp-content/u...2013/12/21.jpg [/ img]

IOW some are ethnically Sikh and wear secular dress.

So. "They all wear turbans and beards" should definitely go on the cheat sheet as something never ever to say ever, at all. Just painful.

"But Ricardo Montalban was white" should be pretty high on the list, too, if the topic of argument is whether whitewashing of South Asian roles is okay and not whether Ricardo Montalban was better. (In fact... no, you know what? It's largely irrelevant even to the debate about whether Montalban is better or the original character conception is better. It's actually a globally irrelevant thing to say. So on reflection, that probably needs to go on the cheat sheet too.)
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig

Last edited by M'Sharak; March 8 2014 at 05:00 AM.
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5 2014, 11:35 PM   #92
Sindatur
Vice Admiral
 
Sindatur's Avatar
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

The reason for "But Ricardo Montalban" is because folks point at him saying Khan should look like him, and not white
__________________
One Day I hope to be the Man my Cat thinks I am

Where are we going? And why are we in this Handbasket?
Sindatur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 5 2014, 11:51 PM   #93
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

^ Ricardo Montalban was incidentally not white, and was not considered "white" when he was cast as Khan and did not have the "white" experience in Hollywood. He was a Mexican actor and his story is part of the Hispanic story in the entertainment industry. So there's also the problem of "but Ricardo Montalban was white" being technically false, which spoils even that most basic angle.

Racebending's article on this issue was pretty interesting, incidentally.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 12:02 AM   #94
2takesfrakes
Commodore
 
2takesfrakes's Avatar
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

I thought it was great casting Khan as they did for INTO DARKNESS! J.J. Abrams has to make this franchise his own. Canon is out the window, that's how these movies were sold to me and that's what I count on getting. When you think about it, really, it only preserves Ricardo Malteban's interpretation that much better, because it's so different. There's no real comparisson. And the introduction of Carol Marcus was a really nice touch. I can't wait to see what they do with her in the next movie. And this time ... no lame excuses about showing off her body, to make it more commercial, either!
2takesfrakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 12:29 AM   #95
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Basically what I'd say is this:

- There's nothing wrong with having enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch. I think there's a pretty solid consensus that he's a fine actor and did a fine job.

- There's a range of opinions on what conception of the character was stronger and whether STiD's Khan lived up to it or particularly needed to be Khan at all. That's also perfectly fine and as it should be.

- There is something wrong, however, with trying to pretend that there is no there there when somebody mentions that there's something weird about casting a white actor as a South Asian character. At a certain point, trying to make out like noticing that is some sort of fanaticism is just flat out defense of racebending / whitewashing, which in turn is defending a form of casual racism. That's not okay. It's icky, and it sucks, and I humbly submit that people need to just stop doing that.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 12:56 AM   #96
Ovation
Vice Admiral
 
Location: La Belle Province or The Green Mountain State (depends on the day of the week)
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

BigJake wrote: View Post
We really should have a cheat sheet for these But Ricardo Montalban Was White So What's the Big Deal discussions:

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
To which I reply he was supposed to be a Sikh. He then says to me Sikh's have beards, turban and never cut their hair and are Indian.
This. Is. Not. True. Well, it's true that they're Indian, that of course is the entire point, but otherwise this is like saying all Jews dress like Hasidim. They don't. Sikhs can just as easily look like this:

[i mg]http://www.ohfish.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Vir-Das.jpg[/ img]

as like this:

[i mg]http://theindianeye.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/21.jpg[/ img]

IOW some are ethnically Sikh and wear secular dress.

So. "They all wear turbans and beards" should definitely go on the cheat sheet as something never ever to say ever, at all. Just painful.

"But Ricardo Montalban was white" should be pretty high on the list, too, if the topic of argument is whether whitewashing of South Asian roles is okay and not whether Ricardo Montalban was better. (In fact... no, you know what? It's largely irrelevant even to the debate about whether Montalban is better or the original character conception is better. It's actually a globally irrelevant thing to say. So on reflection, that probably needs to go on the cheat sheet too.)
Actually, Sikhism is a religion with a multi-ethnic (if predominantly Indian) composition. The idea of using Sikh to denote ethnicity is currently a hotly debated topic, but it is far from a settled issue, so while it may well be true that not all Sikh males wear the accoutrements that are typical, it is certainly not an established FACT that Sikh is a universally recognized ethnicity.

So while it is all well and good to argue that Montalban was not "white" (which, in and of itself, does not make him more appropriate to play a Sikh character than Cumberbatch), arguing that Cumberbatch cannot play a Sikh because he is white is not a compelling argument. There are white Sikhs in the world.

Lastly, as the character is entirely fictional and is, within the story, the product of advanced genetic engineering (and thus highly likely to have genetic elements from multiple ethnicities--including whites), it is not inconceivable for the character to be portrayed by a white actor. And it is especially NOT compelling to argue Cumberbatch is unacceptable when many (perhaps not you) would have been silent on the matter had del Toro accepted the role instead (as he would have "looked more like" Montalban, sharing an Hispanic heritage). If we can excuse Montalban in the 60s, we could not, on the basis of "proper ethnic casting" (as argued by many--including you), accept Montalban today were he young enough to play the role. By that logic, we could not accept del Toro either (though I suspect the "outrage" would have been far, far less present if del Toro did play the role).

I have two films in my collection that I use in class that focus on T.E. Lawrence and Emir Faisal. The more famous, from 1962, stars Alec Guinness (wasn't a "sir" yet) and the more recent, from 1991, stars Trek's own Alexander Siddig as Faisal. In class, we make a point of discussing why Guinness was considered acceptable in 1962 and why he would not be considered acceptable in 1991. A considerable portion of the reason lies in the fact that Faisal is was a real person, not a totally fictional character concocted in a test tube. It would certainly be unacceptable for a white actor to play Faisal today. But that is qualitatively different than playing Khan.

Would it have been better to cast an Indian actor as Khan? Perhaps. But the character allows for "a few outs". One--he was an engineered being. He could have any characteristics the lab techs wanted to give him. Two--regardless of whether one found it compelling, in-story, the idea was to have the audience think the character was someone else. As the film is set in the 23rd century, and Trek has a long history of tech that can significantly alter someone's appearance, then having Khan appear differently than expected is no great stretch. The comic story provides one possible explanation. If anyone had asked me right at the "reveal" (or just after the movie) to come up with a reason why Khan looked so different from the original, I would have said two things. A) He's in disguise and those are far more substantial (if desired) in the Trek world than in ours. B) If that is the reason he looks different, a 15-sec. scene or a line of dialogue to note this would have been a good idea (to head off all the "outrage"). Perhaps the filmmakers assumed the audience who cared enough about an explanation would arrive at the "disguise" idea and leave it at that. Don't know if anyone's asked them.

It's science fiction. Heavily altered appearances (explained or not) are not a big deal. If people can buy all the disguises of Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible series...

Last edited by M'Sharak; March 8 2014 at 05:01 AM.
Ovation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 01:10 AM   #97
Ryan8bit
Commodore
 
Ryan8bit's Avatar
 
Location: St. Paul, MN
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Ovation wrote: View Post
By that logic, we could not accept del Toro either (though I suspect the "outrage" would have been far, far less present if del Toro did play the role).
I'm one of those people who wouldn't have wanted del Toro either. But I understand why there would be less controversy. Think of it as two options:

1. You could cast him like how the character was originally described.

2. You could cast him to be of Latino heritage, perhaps similar to Montalban.

Neither of those stray as much as the casting they actually ended up doing, so at least they could be maybe halfway similar. But it was probably a tough one for the production to win no matter how they chose, and not only for reasons of skin tone or nationality.
Ryan8bit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 01:11 AM   #98
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Ovation wrote: View Post
Actually, Sikhism is a religion with a multi-ethnic (if predominantly Indian) composition.
Yes. Predominantly Indian.

while it may well be true that not all Sikh males wear the accoutrements that are typical
It is incontestably true. There is no "may" about it.

it is certainly not an established FACT that Sikh is a universally recognized ethnicity.
I don't suppose it matters all that much, although this actually strikes me as obfuscatory and plain wrong; inasmuch I'm not aware of any significant controversy over whether Sikhism is an ethnicity as well as a religion and I have no idea what work "universally recognized" is supposed to be doing there. But never mind.

So while it is all well and good to argue that Montalban was not "white"
It is in fact correct, not just "all well and good."

. . . arguing that Cumberbatch cannot play a Sikh because he is white is not a compelling argument.
Nor is it what I said. I said that it's valid to question whether Cumberbatch's casting was racebending, not that one cannot fanwank a reasonably sound explanation for Khan being white. (Although the world's tiny handful of white Sikhs wouldn't be my go-to. Different strokes.) You just can't eliminate the relevance of the question of racebending by fanwank. It's going to remain relevant.

And it is especially NOT compelling to argue Cumberbatch is unacceptable when many . . . would have been silent on the matter had del Toro accepted the role instead . . .
Montalban's casting was only progressive for the Sixties. I would in fact expect most of the same kinds of questions to come up for a similar move in the present day as they did with Cumberbatch.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 01:36 AM   #99
Ovation
Vice Admiral
 
Location: La Belle Province or The Green Mountain State (depends on the day of the week)
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

If del Toro had been cast, the objections would have been fewer and milder by quite a bit.

As to the "race bending" idea, I think it is overblown and I don't much care if that offends anyone. First, Khan is a totally fictional character. Second, a careful examination of the character onscreen (let's leave aside all the ancillary novels and comics) shows that being genetically engineered is a far more prevalent and prominent characteristic of the character than his being Sikh (something only guessed at by a character who displayed few signs of competence in her field--a field I know well as it is mine--and never corroborated onscreen). Third (admittedly a guess of my own), I'd wager a considerable portion of those who first encountered Khan in TWOK, along with a strong majority of those who first did so in STiD, were unaware of the character's Sikh heritage (as it is unmentioned in either film) but are aware of his being a product of genetic engineering (as it is pointed out in each film). So I'd say his Sikh heritage is of secondary, if not tertiary importance, which makes the need for him to be portrayed by an Indian actor similarly diminished.

Having said all of that, I think Naveen Andrews would have been a fine choice for the role (it certainly would have rendered all this gnashing of the teeth moot). But I simply cannot get up in arms over the casting of a white guy to play a test tube experiment in a science fiction movie instead of an Indian guy just because of a character's name and a minor, supposed, characteristic that is only stated once with no certainty.
Ovation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 01:57 AM   #100
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Ovation wrote: View Post
As to the "race bending" idea, I think it is overblown and I don't much care if that offends anyone.
And I think your dismissiveness is foolish and dickish in almost equal measure.

First, Khan is a totally fictional character.
[i mg] http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/h...m-animated.gif [/i mg]

"Racebending" is a term that pertains to the casting of movies. "He's a fictional character" is probably the most perfectly irrelevant objection to its use that you can attempt to raise. The term is talking about how studios are approaching the market place and treating actors, not whether the characters involved are fictional or not. It comes up because the question of whether some groups of actors are getting screwed over by casual racism is unavoidably relevant to the entertainment business and to many of its viewers. Of course most of the characters are going to be fictional for God's sake.

Second, a careful examination of the character onscreen . . . shows that being genetically engineered is a far more prevalent and prominent characteristic of the character than his being Sikh.
This is more relevant, though it mostly gets us to the question of why make him Khan and open that can of worms at all.

Third . . . I'd wager a considerable portion of those who first encountered Khan in TWOK, along with a strong majority of those who first did so in STiD, were unaware of the character's Sikh heritage
As one of these, it was always extremely clear to me from TWOK that he was meant to be an exotic Prince of some kind. His being specifically Sikh is obviously a pretty widely-known factoid from "Space Seed," however, as it's something that even non-Trekkie reviewers picked up on.

I simply cannot get up in arms
This phrasing is just another version of "You People Are So Sensitive" and another thing you're better off just not doing in conversations like this, IMO. That someone thinks the question is valid does not mean they are "up in arms."

And yes, I see you still think you can fanwank the question into being irrelevant, and no, you still can't do that. You can repeat that tactic a thousand times, it will be just as ineffective each time.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig

Last edited by M'Sharak; March 8 2014 at 05:01 AM.
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 02:45 AM   #101
Sindatur
Vice Admiral
 
Sindatur's Avatar
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Eh, if all you're looking for is to cast the Character of Khan as non-white, then yea Del Toro would be fine.

However, Del Toro is as different from Montalbon as Cumberbatch is. Montalban, although of Mexican Geographical Ethnicity, is far more a European Spaniard genetically or aesthetically, than Mexican, is he not? He doesn't have the look of South American Indians mixed in. He's got the Sharper European Features mixed in (That comparative of Cumberbatch and Montalban shows they do indeed share many of the same "type" of features).

Going with the "cast a Mexican" thing, seriously, India and Britain have a long relationship. you are far more likely to find a White British Dude in India, then you are a Mexican.

Again, if all you care about, is a person of Color, then I can't dispute deliberately hiring a Mexican (Or even a Black Man). But, your typical Mexican actor is not closer to Montalbon, IMHO. I do agree, that it would've been great to actually hire an Indian for the role, but, I don't think aiming directly at a Mexican for the role gets you any closer to Canon.

In Fact, if you cast a Black Man, (depending upon his Features), I'd find him more likely to be from the region, than a Mexican with South American Indian Features
__________________
One Day I hope to be the Man my Cat thinks I am

Where are we going? And why are we in this Handbasket?

Last edited by Sindatur; March 6 2014 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Cleaned up tenses and expanding thoughts
Sindatur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 03:10 AM   #102
Set Harth
Rear Admiral
 
Set Harth's Avatar
 
Location: Police State
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

2takesfrakes wrote:
Canon is out the window, that's how these movies were sold to me
No.
__________________
"Your advertising's just dandy. Folks'd never guess you ain't got a thing to sell."
Set Harth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 03:16 AM   #103
Sindatur
Vice Admiral
 
Sindatur's Avatar
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Set Harth wrote: View Post
2takesfrakes wrote:
Canon is out the window, that's how these movies were sold to me
No.
Hmmm....I personally think you're a fool, if you try using a Cannon, inside, in any way other than out the window
.
.
.
.
....Oh
,
,
,
,
...wait

Never
mind

__________________
One Day I hope to be the Man my Cat thinks I am

Where are we going? And why are we in this Handbasket?
Sindatur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 03:21 AM   #104
Set Harth
Rear Admiral
 
Set Harth's Avatar
 
Location: Police State
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

BigJake wrote:
"He's a fictional character" is probably the most perfectly irrelevant objection to its use that you can attempt to raise.
I'm seeing an increasing reliance on this kind of strategy in SW discussions elsewhere on the interwebz. "But what you fail to understand is that these characters are fictional." No, I get that, and it's pretty much the worst strawman in the universe.
__________________
"Your advertising's just dandy. Folks'd never guess you ain't got a thing to sell."
Set Harth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6 2014, 03:31 AM   #105
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Set Harth wrote: View Post
BigJake wrote:
"He's a fictional character" is probably the most perfectly irrelevant objection to its use that you can attempt to raise.
I'm seeing an increasing reliance on this kind of strategy in SW discussions elsewhere on the interwebz. "But what you fail to understand is that these characters are fictional." No, I get that, and it's pretty much the worst strawman in the universe.
Yeah, pretty much.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen "Take me off" - The Stig
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.