Benedict Cumberbatch /John Harrison [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by serenitytrek1, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed 100% with the OP. John Harrison was a good villain, and far superior in both writing and acting to that annoying cunt Nero in the last film. Making him Khan just rid him of importance, and means he'll be stuck as the "lesser Khan" in many fans' eyes, rather than the great original villain he should've been.

    I still kinda liked CumberKhan though, as he was painted as pretty sympathetic in a way that worked. Whereas Nero was just a total gorm that was poorly acted.
     
  2. serenitytrek1

    serenitytrek1 Commander

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    Genius in the sense off BC's acting and just BC in general. BC playing a new villain would have created another iconic villain for trek THAT IS NOT KHAN.

    BC was superb in this film but as the post above said that doesn't matter now because he will always be seen as a lesser khan and he doesn't deserve that.

    this is perhaps the most fatal flaw in the film. BC should not have been Khan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it's a "fatal flaw". I could go either way on the whole Harrison/Khan thing, but I still enjoyed the film immensely.
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can't quite say how I'd feel if Harrison hadn't been Khan, as presumably that would have had repercussions throughout the film.

    That said, I think there's a great chance I would have been left thinking, "If they're going to do a character like this, why not go all the way and make him Khan instead of an obvious copycat?"
     
  5. Pondslider

    Pondslider Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Then again if they're going to make him Khan why not make him Khan from the beginning make it meaningful. Show the audience where he came from and why he is dangerous so you don't need to "Phone a friend" old Spock to tell them that he's a bad guy. Orci has admitted that Harrison never needed be Khan. He could have said his name was anything and the story would have been exactly the same.
     
  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the only thing that changed was that he hadn't been named as Khan then I'd be wondering why they didn't call him Khan since he's so obviously styled after him.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    But he's not really "styled after Khan." There's nothing about the character Cumberbatch played that is uniquely Khan. The only thing which comes close is his super strength, but really, a of movies today have insanely strong villains, making CumberKhan just another generic movie villain of the 2000s. They could have named him anything without it changing the movie.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did you miss the part where he explains his background?
     
  9. AUbricklogic

    AUbricklogic Ensign Red Shirt

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    I've been questioning this as well ever since I saw it for the second time to go over it again. Why on Earth didn't they write a new original story with BC as the villain? His talent is far beyond the role written in STID and could've been so much more. In fact I'd go so far as to say the new villain BC could've pulled off would've rivaled the likes of TWOK's Khan in Trekkies' eyes.

    They didn't even necessarily have to re-write a lot of it either. They could've simply had Marcus reviving the old "eugenics" projects in order to test creation of beings capable of being "the perfect soldiers". It would've given huge nods to TWOK without trying to copy-paste a lot of TWOK's scenes and thus upsetting a large portion of the fanbase. You wouldn't even have to find the S.S. Botany Bay, you could just have them be a new generation of experimental beings. This would also give a nod to the "Starfleet is not as squeaky clean as you think they are" arc that was apparent in the shows of the 1990s.

    I know a lot of shows basically carbon copy episodes of older series in order to rope people in, but this just wasn't necessary and could've spawned a whole new villain who could've been the NuTrek's "Khan" without having to be Khan at all.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Which could have been replaced with any form of exposition, really. Instead of Khan and his followers, it could have been John Harrison and a bunch of other officers Starfleet experimented on as lab rats. In fact that might have made more sense as it would have given them a more legitimate reason to be pissed with Admiral Marcus.
     
  11. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Take away his memory and he'd be Jason Bourne.
     
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Changing the exposition wasn't brought up, only dropping the name itself.
     
  13. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    They'll be able to do that with the next movie when he returns.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Seriously, you guys. From "no more Khan ripoffs!" to "I wish we'd gotten a Khan ripoff!"


    James T. Kirk is Chris Pine

    Spock is Zachary Quinto

    Khan is Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    My point was that not that much of the exposition would have changed instead of "I'm Khan, genetically enhanced superhuman from the 20th century. I'm seeking revenge on Admiral Marcus because he's a douche" we would have "I'm John Harrison, Starfleet officer used as a lad rat in experiments in genetic engineering. I'm seeking revenge on Admiral Marcus because he's a douche."
     
  16. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And if that was the change then, as I indicated earlier, I might have been left thinking, "Geeze, why not just make him Khan instead of BSing around the fact that that's basically who he is anyway?"

    Besides, it would be -awful- if that was all they changed. Off the top of my head:

    1) Kirk's death scene is an obvious homage to TWoK. If you're going to take away Khan, that entire sequence needs to be tossed out or significantly reworked.

    2) His followers/family/what-not. It's too obvious a callback to Khan to have them and not have him be who he is. It might be workable with a much smaller number...or alternately a much -larger- number...perhaps Marcus was experimenting on a planetary scale.

    3) The phonecall to Spock makes no sense at all if the adversary isn't someone we've seen before.

    This is exactly why I said that I don't know whether the movie could have worked if Khan wasn't the villain...because the minute you want to have the villain not be Khan you cause a ripple effect through the rest of the film, unless you want it to be obvious who he's supposed to be.
     
  17. AUbricklogic

    AUbricklogic Ensign Red Shirt

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    Actually by giving these points, you've proven that it wouldn't be awkward or bad at all to have him not be Khan. For example:

    1) Kirk and Spock's reverse death scene from TWOK is indeed a very obvious (quite literally copy-pasted) homage that would be apparent to anyone who had seen the original. That entire sequence needs no changing and actually would've fit better as an homage to TWOK without it actually having to be a copy-paste that doesn't even fit in its current state. The death scene might even have had more significance because people who have no idea what TWOK was would see it for the first time in a unique context.

    2) The only difference in Khan's people would've been their origin story which is about 1-2 sentences worth of explanation in a dialogue placed early in the movie's setup phase. In fact they would just have to change the number of people created to make Section 31 look even more diabolical and "outside Starfleet's morals" in a way.

    3) Honestly the phonecall to Spock is probably a scene that should've been done away with anyways. It makes absolutely no sense that the current Spock can just call up old Spock for everything the Enterprise runs into. The Temporal Prime directive apparently isn't important to Spock anymore and destroys every ideal surrounding Starfleet's handling of temporal anomalies. How are these officers supposed to grow up and become competent if they are literally given everything and learn/cope with nothing?

    The way I see it, dancing around Khan without actually being Khan is a true homage and not a poor copy-paste job that we got instead. Homages are meant to be subtle. It also would've lent to the idea that the adamant defenders of Nu-Trek have always maintained; that Nu-Trek is an alternate timeline with similarities to the original without being a bad attempt at copying the original. If you're going to be another universe, make it another universe with unique villains or its not a reboot, its a bad copy. The new timeline has so much potential if it tries to break itself away from the original. It has little to none if it continues on this road.
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    1) It wasn't a copy-paste given that the roles are reversed and it calls back to earlier developments in the film itself, and you're doing it a disservice to call it such. That said, if Khan wasn't involved then it would remind me more of NEM's take to emulate TWoK without "overtly" emulating TWoK...and that's not at all something I wish to see again.

    2) That's my point though - changes would need to be made. The premise brought to me was "drop the name Khan but keep everything else". Any changes made to the film aside from that support my point that it's not that simple.

    3) Personally I liked the phonecall, and Spock Prime made a point of saying that he wasn't generally comfortable discussing this sort of information. It seems likely that for a lesser (or perhaps less personal) threat he wouldn't have been so forthcoming. Anyway, if you know there's a future version of yourself out there that may have information about a current threat that you don't possess, it would be the height of irresponsibility -not- to ask them about it.

    Since I didn't feel what transpired was a poor copy-paste job but rather a fairly respectful homage that maybe on occasion was a bit too on-the-nose, the idea of dancing around Khan without making it obvious that that's exactly what they're doing strikes me as...dubious. Which is what I've been saying the whole time. Maybe they could have made it happen, but since we don't have such a version of the film to look at for comparison, I'll say I'm glad they didn't try to pull off that kind of dance. It's been my experience that Trek writing frequently doesn't handle that particular kind of delicacy very well.

    Anyway, we have exactly two movies now to use as a baseline for how the series might progress, so to conclude it's never going to do anything original with that degree of evidence seems shortsighted.

    If memory serves, the first two episodes of TNG weren't exactly breathtaking either..but they did lay the groundwork for, pardon my French, some pretty cool shit to come.
     
  19. AUbricklogic

    AUbricklogic Ensign Red Shirt

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    Actually it is in fact a copy-paste. If you tried to turn in any sort of literary work that is clearly based on a preceding work from another author and have so many exact lines and dialogues, your professor would undoubtedly note that you had essentially copy-pasted from the older work and almost certainly give you a very poor grade as a result. This is not an opinion, its pure academic and literary standards. If you tried to emulate a song this closely with exact lines being taken, you would have a lawsuit against you which you would most certainly lose (there's mountains of evidence to support all these statements). If there weren't already a large number of cases where this has already happened in this exact manner, I might give your view some more thought but this is not the reality of the matter.

    Taking the idea too literally has led you to a rather skewed viewpoint. Most all of the story can remain intact as it is with extremely minor changes being made and the so-called "villain" doesn't have to be Khan for any of it to make sense. All changes in any scene are extremely minor and the overall script and most other scenes for story-line development could remain almost identical.

    However, you are correct if you take the statement completely literally. Just going through the script and changing the name "Khan" would not work. This is not what I understood from what people were suggesting though. I took it as "96% of the dialogue and scenes would work with any villain, not uniquely Khan. The other 4% would need adjusting or deletion/replacement scenes but only 4% or so wouldn't work with a different villain."

    The idea of a timeline being different would make such a phonecall extremely illogical. How could he give you advice on an event that is not unfolding exactly the same as it was in his timeline? Temporal mechanics 101 stands contrary to your statement. It also was very poor in my opinion having Spock Prime quite literally state "I have told you I would not reveal anything that might alter your fate. That being said, I'm going to reveal a lot of things that will most certainly alter your fate." It attaches this timeline to the old one and I was under the impression the whole point of the Nu-Trek timeline was to reboot and break away from the old one. This scene flies directly in the face off their own statements about a desire to be a different Trek universe.

    I know that TNG basically copy-pasted episodes from TOS like "The Naked Time" for example or "Where No Man Has Gone Before", but you can do that with a TV show and not get a huge amount of backlash because you have many more episodes left in the season that will diverge the storyline and promote more unique stories down the line. In a movie, its a lot worse to do something like that because the feature is just a feature. There is no 20+ movies scheduled to come out in the same year that could complement or elaborate upon the characters and long-term plights without losing the audience over years of production.

    I thought the 2009 reboot did a decent job of allowing us to see the open door for some "cool shit" as you put it. It was completely unnecessary for them to make another film that did nothing special compared to the first. In my very small and largely-unimportant opinion, they should've used the 2nd movie to build upon what the first one established. They can still toss in some small homages that probably only avid Trekkies would get, but it was important that they break away from the Prime universe as much as possible. The whole point of rebooting was so they could be a new universe and bringing Khan back is completely the opposite of that. If anything showing that Khan might not be so pivotal to this universe would open far more doors and more "cool shit".
     
  20. Kruezerman

    Kruezerman Commodore Commodore

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    "Out of danger, you saved the crew."

    "You'll flood the whole compartment!"

    What, two lines of dialogue? That's a copy-paste/blatant ripoff?