Are we forgetting why Spock is a great character?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Agenda, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Worked fine enough for the first ten Trek movies. Even the six TOS ones that get all the love. Even the fan favourite TWOK which the two Abrams movies practically masturbate to.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Scotty and Chekov were far less interesting in WoK, IMHO. Without prior knowledge of the series, they're cyphers (and if WoK came along today, fans would never ever forgive Scotty bringing his nephew's body to the bridge)
     
  3. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I quit :lol:

    Sorry.
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :rommie: Fans have far bigger absurdities on their plates for "forgiveness" in this day and age.

    The proposition that there's a choice between believable characters or boring ones, or that we'd be stuck watching a bunch of people sitting around reciting orders if characters were believably military, is utterly bizarre and roundly disproved by many a better film (and for that matter, many a more profitable film) than either of the Abramstrek movies. It's disproved in fact by the entire existence of the Trek franchise to begin with; if the above were true it never would have had a following.
     
  5. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not sure this it true BigJake.

    Both TOS and TNG movies were preceded by years and a multitude of episodes that gave preface to the characters.

    That wasn't the case for our nuTrek characters. While the trekkies knew what they "were", the new audience for the most part didn't which means that what JJ said was most true. "These movies aren't made for just fans of trek, they are made for fans of movies".
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or at any rate of Star Wars movies. ;)

    But like I said earlier, the Abramstrek characters are obviously created to capitalize on what popular imagination remembers about the TOS characters. Hence their being an entirely different animal from the actual TOS characters. I don't know that it was a necessary trade-off, but it's what they chose.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/fe...d-existed-when-wrath-of-khan-hit-theaters.php
    Trek's following comes from TOS, which had 79 episodes to flesh out the characters.
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh! Oh! And there were a handful of crazy quotes in Interstat in '82, did somebody mention those? We can't forget those -- why, it's "just the same"! :p

    TOS had a following because you could see (almost) any one of those 42-minute episodes and "get" the characters and believe them in their setting. In any one outing they worked with far less time to flesh out the characters than a two-hour movie.
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Because you're right, but the people saying the same things 30 years ago were wrong? Keep telling yourself that.
    Other than the big three, the other characters had very little development. You learn more about the main cast in the four hours of nuTrek than any four of TOS.
     
  10. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nobody was saying the same things I am 30 years ago, Daniel. But I know it's inconvenient for you to acknowledge that.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    That the crew are acting out of character? That the story is absurd? All there.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, but I'm saying it with a puppet on my hand. That's a subtle but important difference, although it may be lost in forum format.

    SRSLY though, all statements about characters and writing are not alike just because some of them don't match your Required Level of Enthusiasm. Those are just categories of commentary. (Someone who says the nuTrek characters are written to match popular recollection rather than to match the TOS characters, for example, is speaking a fairly plainly evident fact, whether one likes the outcome or not. You like it, I don't, that doesn't change the fact.) Or, to put it another way, you don't get to pretend that everyone who disagrees with you is a nut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I think that once you get beyond McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov, the nu-characters match their TOS and Prime film counterparts, and what people generally remember about the original characters, less and less.

    nuKirk is greener than Kirk Prime was in TOS. In addition, especially in STXI but also in the first parts of STID, he's cockier. I don't know how many people on the BBS have taken his behavior in STXI during the Kobayashi Maru scenario and held it up as example of a violation of the Kirk Prime character. "Kirk Prime would never pew-pew with his finger while gleefully munching an apple," is the sort of thing they'd say, adding that, if he did, it wouldn't have been so blatant and over-the-top. Yes or no aside, the point is that the idea that the depiction of nuKirk is living up to expectations isn't fully supported.

    Proceeding on to the other characters, the differences get sharper.

    Next is Spock. We know that Spock Prime had emotional meltdowns on TOS, when he was under the influence of alien spores or undergoing pon farr. However, his melting down because of (at least what were arguably) external events, as he did in STXI at the destruction of Vulcan, was something that we'd never seen before. His emotionalism compromised his fitness for command, which is something else we don't remember from the series or the original films (I'm blocking STV, so maybe there's something there; I'm not sure). Arguments about whether this is how Spock Prime would have behaved in a similar situation aside, and arguments about whether it was just an unclever way of getting Kirk into command aside as well, nuSpock himself played against expectations in STXI, by having his emotional reactions matter so much to the story.

    The two biggest exceptions to the notion of playing up to expectations are Scotty and Uhura.

    In Scotty's case, he took an antagonistic stance against Kirk in STID, which elevated Scotty morally above Kirk and which materially advanced the story. While it's accurate to say that up to that point, Scotty was characterized to capitalize on expectations of his TOS depictions, particularly those in the TOS-Prime films, I think that the Scotty we saw in STID revealed and brought to the fore a side of Scotty that we rarely, if ever, saw before.

    In Uhura's case, her relationship with Spock is quite obviously explicitly not what most people remember about her. Issues as to whether nuUhura is deep enough or independent enough are irrelevant to the actual point here.

    This is not an evaluation of whether the characters were handled deeply enough. Pretty much by default, though, nuScotty and nuUhura are deeper than their Prime counterparts.

    And whether Orci et al. were the best writers or not is really quite a separate issue also. The nufilms are not immune from numerous criticisms. However, the idea that the characters were only played to expectations isn't really what happened; that's not what's going on here. At the very least, there are significant beats that go against expectations.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Well, I think nuKirk and nuSpock are examples of the dissonances created between characters catering to popular (mis)remembrance and the original articles. Kirk being weirdly cocky and kind of a shallow horndog struck a false note for some fans -- especially those who were more familiar with TOS Kirk -- but didn't trouble general audience expectations at all, because cockiness and space babes are what popular memory thinks Kirk was all about. Likewise with "emotional" nuSpock -- Amok Time seeped into cultural memory without the context for Spock's outbursts in that episode intact, so for general audiences it seems a perfectly valid call-out to Prime Spock's old struggle with his human side. It's fans who notice that the ice of Vulcan reserve in the new version seems thinner than before.

    But yes, Pegg's Scotty does grow beyond simple nostalgia-exploitation into being something of his own character in STiD, this is true. And NuHura is a salutary effect of writing to general audience expectations -- the TOS character was fairly thin and decorative to a degree that would draw comment from a modern audience, so at least this version (although a fairly typical Sassy Female type when all is said and done) gets more screentime and more to do.
     
  15. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TFF gets all the love??? :vulcan:

    If TWOK came along today, fans wouldn't even know that was supposed to be Scotty's nephew, because that wasn't explained in the theatrical cut.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Which would then lead to a bunch of slash fiction jokes. "Seriously, why is Scotty so interested in young Peter Preston? Just what the hell is going on there?"
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I never said you were a nut, and in fact I agree with you that the nuTrekkers are based on the perception of the originals - but I think that perception exists for a reason, that it is a valid interpretation of those characters.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The elevators weren't functioning properly. No problem.

    Yeah they were. Fans complained bitterly about TAS, and TMP, and ST II, and ST III, and so on... See any volume of Signet's "The Best of Trek". No Trek movie has been universally accepted, and each new incarnation has had its own groups of detractors telling others that if only they were "true fans", then they'd see the faults. Nothing new here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought of you just after I posted that. :)

    Put it this way: you can locate people who disliked The Empire Strikes Back and people who disliked The Phantom Menace. The fact that both films had critics doesn't remotely mean both films are qualitatively on equal footing. This business of "you're saying what people thirty years ago were saying" is basically an attempt to obscure the actual particulars of context and the content of the films involved; it is a silly game of false equivalence and it needs to go.
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    When they're saying the exact same things they sure are. You won't find anti-ESB complaints that read so similarly to anti-TPM ones as you do with WoK and ID.