BY ANY OTHER NAME: Rojan and the cubes

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Foxhot, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    When Rojan reduces Shea and Thompson, the camera work deliberately shifts position of the cubes so we don't necessarily remember which was which. Shea is restored but Thompson isn't.

    Both were equally nonessential to Rojan so both were picked. After seeing this episode umpteen times I just asked myself yesterday: did Rojan deliberately select her? Or, being both nonessential, did he simply randomly act without remembering which was which? I'd steer towards random unknowing on his part. What say you?
     
  2. ItsGreen

    ItsGreen Commander Red Shirt

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    [​IMG]


    (one of my submissions back in the day on "You Can't do that on Star Trek")
     
  3. DaleC76

    DaleC76 Captain Captain

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    That really creeped me out as a kid.
     
  4. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know if Rojan made a deliberate choice, but I will give the director credit for "blocking" the shots so that it was internally consistant. The "cube" he crushed was indeed the young woman.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  5. Trek Sifter

    Trek Sifter Ensign Red Shirt

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    That's an interesting scene (I admit I was surprised that the male redshirt wasn't the one to die).

    Rather than "random unknowing," I'd think of it as deliberate neutrality--or maybe just plain apathy for which one it'd be; I don't think Rojan thought that one or the other would have been more persuasive to remain alive. I think that as a non-human, he saw them as equals, so he thought the point of his persuasion was specifically his ability to kill--not whom he'd kill.
     
  6. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A bit off-topic, but Rojan and the Cubes sounds like it would have been a good name for an '80s New Wave rock band.
     
  7. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    Each time I watch this episode, I carefully try to follow the cubes through the scene. I agree that the director/crew got it right - the female crew member's cube was destroyed.
    I can't say what Rojan was thinking when deciding which to destroy, but the writer certainly did give it thought. In destroying the woman's cube, it gave a greater impact to the story - remember the context of the time.
    As an aside, when watching the episode I often wonder did the restored crew member have a headache, or other assorted bumps and bruises from being tossed about while in a 'dehydrated' state?
     
  8. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Once he was restored, Shea looked perfectly normal and unhurt. And he was still upright, which given these cubes were truly ten-sided, defies the odds.
     
  9. Trek Sifter

    Trek Sifter Ensign Red Shirt

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    I'd love to have this part elaborated on (I didn't live through the context of the time, by the way). If it was the woman that survived, it'd be a sort of damsel-in-distress situation--is the impact the fact that the situation didn't allow for woman-saving to occur? (Also, is it somewhat good/refreshing that the damsel-in-distress cliche was thereby avoided?)

    I'm also wondering, what if it wasn't revealed right away who the survivor was?
     
  10. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Except they aren't 10-sided, nor are they cubes. They're 14-sided (d14 to all the D&D players here :p). AKA tetradecahedron.

    What I always wondered is where they got stored for the duration of the episode, and what the fallout was when they were restored. It must have been hellishly disorienting, to put it mildly.
     
  11. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I kept thinking about the remaining crew and the Kelvins casually walking around the halls littered with those shapes. You'd think someone might be conscientious enough to stow them all in a big room somewhere, where they'd be safe. I wouldn't want to bargain bin them into a huge pile—imagine the chaos if one of the Kelvins blithely restored the entire pile all at once! Phone booth cramming, Kelvin style.

    And why did the Kelvins send a "generation ship" from Andromeda if they could...

    Hey, Doc Ostrow! Stop juggling your patients!
     
  12. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Even at the highest warp speed they could manage, it still took more than one Kelvan lifespan to get from one galaxy to the other. That's why they would need a generation ship.

    Orion Press has a series of rather scarifying stories about the Kelvans, not to be read by the squeamish.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think Metryq meant, why didn't the Kelvans reduce themselves to cubes for long term travel, with their equipment set to automatically restore the crew once it reached our galaxy.

    The savings in life support system resources and food would be simply vast.
     
  14. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .

    Maybe is just me, but a woman's death has more impact than a man's does. It elicits more sympathy, and generates more loathing for perpetrator. Coupled with Kirk's obvious 'fondness for the ladies' this is the writer's way to clearly delineate the Kelvins as evil.
     
  15. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    It would, but maybe there isn't any automatic switch on their belt gadgets? In any case, risking the whole crew in such fragile forms wouldn't be a very smart move. It takes hardly any effort at all to crush those polyhedrons.
     
  16. Trek Sifter

    Trek Sifter Ensign Red Shirt

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    Ah, okay, I see--thanks for the elaboration :)
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Rojan cared which dodecahedron he crushed, it was simply a means to say to Kirk I have control and you have none.
     
  18. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cuboctahedrons, not dodecahedrons. A dodecahedron has 12 identical faces, each face being a regular pentagon.
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    ^I stand corrected
     
  20. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Given the context of the time (and even today) that scene has a big impact. Yes, because the girl is cute and we don't know much of her...she elicits sympathy. However, the fact that a black male character lives over the damsel who is a white....kind of buys into the entire Star Trek idea. I'm sure there can be articles or 'stuff' written about Rojan's choice, and if he did or didn't actually know who the cubes were. Furthermore, maybe he knew of Earth's past or maybe the 23rd century treatment of non-white human characters - if that still existed. Remember Sisko, even in the 24th century was still bothered by racism from Earth's past, hinting that there was possibly racism during his own time period.

    We have to remember this episode is from the 1960s where black characters in films and television had a high mortality rate. Again, even today in films - especially horror films - the black or non-white characters are usually the ones to 'buy it' first or, at least, not make it to the end of the show. I recall being happy about Will Smith's Captain Steven Hiller being the hero in a summer blockbuster - and not dying - in Independence Day. So, while I feel for Julie Cobb's character, I think it's interesting who lived and who died. It's a very poignant Star Trek moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

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