IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by serenitytrek1, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah yes - I might be getting ahead of myself. Marcus as first officer of the Enterprise is mentioned in the prequel comic. Some are speculating that Peter Weller will turn out to be Carol's Dad. Either way, Weller has been cast, and he's a white dude.

    The race issue can be frustrating too but equally we have an alien desert with only a handful of aliens being present at graduation. It may be that there are alien academies as well so Earth tends to have humans. It would be nice to see some more new characters from some of the classic TOS races though.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It would be nice if we could just stop treating speculations, rumors, and guesses as though they were worth basing any conclusions on. It's only two months and change until the movie comes out, and there are going to be advance reviews and press coverage before then, so it won't be long until we get genuine answers. And then most of this speculation is going to look pretty silly. At this point it seems better just to have a little patience, since the actual facts are so close now.

    We saw a lot more Starfleet aliens in this movie than we ever saw in TOS, even if they were just background extras.


    Don't Orions count as a classic TOS race? And there was a redesigned Gorn in the deleted Rura Penthe scenes from the '09 movie.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah it's a shame the Rura Penthe stuff got cut. I don't mind the Orions but I'm not a fan of neutering the species' potential by just making them perky green humans. Orions were way more fun in TOS and Enterprise and I also loved the attention paid to the Andorians in Enterprise. It was nice to see the Vulcans (although I wish they'd included T'Pau) but blue is the new green.

    Generally, I'd rather see some familiar aliens rather than new and pointless big eyes or bumpy heads. I have no issue if they want to throw some money at re-imaging the regulars. I have to admit begrudgingly that new aliens done well can turn into fantastic assets for the franchise but there are so many fun pre-existing ones to develop that this would be my preference. :bolian:
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've been regretting for decades that the various makeup creators on TMP, the later movies, and the later TV series kept making up new aliens instead of revisiting what their predecessors had created. We've gotten so many aliens that were seen once and then never used again. It undermines the believability of Trek as a consistent universe. I would've liked to see more ongoing coordination, a commitment to developing the species that had already been introduced rather than making up new ones at random.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    You would have freaked if those female characters got killed over males.

    Canonically, do we know that? Might Keenser be some other gender?

    Then you missed seeing the rescued female. I'm sure I saw one - and I hoped, at the time, that she'd be revealed to be T'Pau.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ditto - loved Ex Machina.

    Lol - no I'm quite happy if men and women get bumped off in equal numbers ;) Canonically I'm not sure if Keenser even has a gender; in the comics he's a dude. And of course I spotted the Vulcan Elder! Plenty of opportunity to give her a name check but she's such a great character it would have been a waste. Chapel was just a tease.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  7. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah. So, there's actually nothing confirmed about "Admiral Marcus" appearing in the movie. Okay.

    Also, not to whine, I realize this is the Star Trek Ongoing thread, but it sounds like that little nugget came from Countdown– which I haven't read yet and would just as soon not have spoiled. Tags next time?

    As for gender and racial balance in the movie: at the time, in the theater, with no time to reflect on what I was seeing, it felt like the movie skewed towards white humans. I'm thinking of the scenes in the big auditorium at Starfleet, like this one: http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/xihd/trekxihd2850.jpg

    Lots of caucasian skin. Now, of course, it is surprisingly difficult to distinguish European, Latino, Native American, Middle Eastern, South Asian and even East Asian skin tones from a distance, especially when they aren't in focus. But still, the overall effect I saw in the theater (which is how most people are gonna see it; very few will go to TrekCore afterwards to examine more closely) was lots and lots of white humans.

    Worth saying that there are, in fact, more aliens in the crowd than first meets the eye.

    Here: http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/xihd/trekxihd0849.jpg Third row middle, looks a bit like a clean-shaven Tellarite.

    Here:
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/xihd/trekxihd0850.jpg Not-quite-Tellarite again and then copper-skinned female with earrings.

    Here:
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/xihd/trekxihd2851.jpg Second row in the middle, another copper-skinned female, this one without earrings. A little to the right of dead-center of the photo is an alien with a huge head, and next to him/her/it is another alien. Near the right edge, in the first row of redshirts is another alien.

    All of whom were barely noticeable in the film, for better or for worse. *shrug*

    Here:
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The composition of a large crowd of extras like that is most likely going to reflect the demographics of the place where it was filmed, in this case the Greater Los Angeles area (the assembly scenes were shot in Long Beach). So the majority would be white or Hispanic (or both), with maybe around 10% each black and Asian. I'd say the crowd I'm seeing in that photo is compatible with those estimates.

    I do recall hearing about crowd-scene casting calls for the film which specifically requested extras not only of all ethnicities, but of "unusual" appearance, presumably people who could pass as aliens of one sort or another. So they were not trying for uniformity, I know that.


    That female, or one of the same species, also appeared as a background bridge officer on the Enterprise, manning the console just starboard of Spock's. She was called "Madeline" behind the scenes.

    The big-head guy also ended up on the Enterprise, in the torpedo bay. He was nicknamed "Dexter."

    And if you look over the names and photos of the extras playing Enterprise crew on that Memory Alpha page I linked to, you'll see they're a very ethnically diverse group.
     
  9. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ Thanks for the background info and links, Christopher. Very cool.

    To be clear, I agree that there definitely is a range of ethnicities present among the extras playing the Enterprise crew, and it's clear that the crowd at Starfleet is also somewhat ethnically diverse. All I meant was that, as I was watching the movie, the ethnic diversity seemed much less noticeable, to such a degree that I remember remarking on it to myself. That's clearly an issue of perception, not of the particular extras they hired. Still, it's interesting.

    Anyway...
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The diversity in humans was something I really liked in Star Trek. Abrams didn't smack you in the face with trite speeches about how humanity has evolved beyond racism, he simply showed it.
     
  11. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah I think the background actors are quite diverse in gender and ethnicity. They can probably tease it up a notch as far as the speaking roles are concerned - possibly two notches as far as gender is concerned.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Really, given the premise that this is an alternate timeline that diverged from the original, they're limited by the character casting of the original, which was heavy on the white males by dint of being a 1960s TV show. They'd be freer to add diversity if it had simply been a wholesale reboot, Galactica-style. Then they could have, say, a black McCoy, a female Sulu, whatever. (Khan Noonien Kaur?)
     
  13. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually according to a spoiler review of some scenes in shown in Brazil Weller is playing Admiral Marcus
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We still have Stella Mudd.
     
  15. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, that's crossed my mind more than once. For the 1960's, the TOS cast was pretty diverse. Nowadays, the lack of women is really noticeable. And I have to admit that I think Abrams et al could've made better efforts to incorporate non-stereotypical female characters into the film. But that's a discussion for another sub-forum.

    Am I right in remembering that there actually were rumors going around, probably in '07 or '08, that Sulu was going to be reimagined as a woman? I'm pretty sure I remember Graham Kennedy over at DITL running a poll on the question, but I can't remember what motivated him...
     
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the BSG reboot was very good, but it was only really Starbuck that was re-imagined as a woman - and very well I might add. The other characters were basically different characters with the same name. But BSG did not have the same loyal fan base as Trek. I think re-imagining the characters' gender in Trek would be a big mistake.

    However, it's also true to say that NuBSG didn't treat the original female characters with any kind of respect. Athena, Cassiopeia, Serena, and Sheba were largely absent in anything resembling their original forms. A version of Athena crops up, although as a different character with the same name, it's arguable that Six has adopted a few traits of Cassiopeia, but she has a different name, although I think a fairly decent version of Sheba appears in Razor.

    There is a difference between improving the gender imbalance and being true to the characters. For my part, I think they should have saved Chekov for a sequel (much like Robin in the Batman franchise) and made room for one or both of the other recurring women. Rand could have been updated as a more security trained Pike's Yeoman and could have been sent to Delta Vega as Kirk's security escort (although by transporter instead of an escape pod) and should maybe have taken on Chekov's transporter role and manned the transporter on Delta Vega to give her an extra niche and give us a nod to her role in TMP. Chapel could have been a biologist drafted in as a nurse by McCoy following the attack to avoid her being pigeonholed as McCoy's helper from the start.

    Featuring all three women, even in minor roles (and none of the above would have altered the plot significantly) would have bumped the profile of females in the franchise slightly and if new characters like Marcus come along, they help to even the balance a bit more instead of being a drop in the male ocean.

    Non-fans would not know or care who Chekov is and fans would understand that he's too young to be an officer at this time. I don't think there would have been an uproar.

    The comics have an opportunity to feature more women and have featured Rand and Zahra as recurring security guards alongside Hendorff and Boma but I think if they do want to even up the roles a bit more they do need to give Rand a slightly more prominent role. They should also take a look at some of the other women who featured in TOS and slot them in where appropriate. Stick Carolyn Palamas on any landing party featuring pre-industrial societies, use Mulhall alongside McCoy for any astro-biology plot, use Masterson when dealing with phaser repairs, use Noel when dealing with psychology or pshychiatry (instead of nobody as in the reboot of WNMHGB). There are more than just a few yeomen out there - the writers just need a list of characters and roles to work from.

    NB: It would be nice to see Reilly, Kyle, DeSalle, Decker, and Ilia too, as well as some new aliens but they should put a bit more effort into the laydeez IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    First off, you're forgetting that the original BSG did have a fiercely loyal, if small, fanbase that raised enormous howls of protest at the gender-swapping of Starbuck and Boomer. It was a massive online controversy for a while, which is why Starbuck is the go-to example for a gender-swapped reimagining to this day. But ultimately those protests didn't matter because the show itself proved that the characters' sex didn't really matter to how they were portrayed.

    By the same token, there were a lot of objections to Elementary casting Lucy Liu as Watson -- and Sherlock Holmes fandom is far older than Trek fandom and just as dedicated. But the show is a big hit, and while I'm sure there are plenty of purists who hate its revisionist take, there are plenty of other Holmes fans (myself included) who love it, and plenty of new fans who've been brought in by it.

    So yeah, sure, if a Trek reboot changed the characters in a more fundamental way than Abrams's version has, there would be uproar from the purists -- but ultimately that would not matter so long as the actual movie or show were done well. Anything worth doing is going to upset somebody, because people's tastes are so diverse. The only way to offend no one is to delight no one, to do something so bland and empty that it has no real impact of any kind. So you can't let fear of controversy keep you from trying things.


    Did the original BSG treat them with any kind of respect, though? Serena was killed off very early and rarely mentioned thereafter. Athena gradually faded into the background and was dropped altogether in the latter part of the season. Sheba was supposed to be a tough fighter pilot, but she was played as a simpering, whiny love interest most of the time. And Cassiopeia had the potential to be something intriguing -- like Firefly's Inara, a sex worker in a society where the profession was legal and respected -- but due to the network's fear of that idea, she was hastily retconned into a nurse and was basically just there to be a love interest for Starbuck.

    The one thing about the original BSG that impressed me where its treatment of women was concerned was that it didn't go for cheesecake and skimpy outfits the way something like TOS did. There were a couple of early scenes where we saw women in flesh-toned leotard-like undergarments that made them look scantily clad but were actually all-concealing, but after that they were usually fully clothed, and it was the men who occasionally lost their shirts or played sports in gratuitously scanty attire.


    Do you mean Charlene Masters?
     
  18. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think any reboot is going to please everybody but the Trek fan base is big. There are plenty of vocal objections to reboot we have now. Some people even cared that Pine's eyes were the 'wrong' colour.

    Sheba used to annoy the hell out of me because she always looked like she was about to burst into tears. However, you've hit the nail on the head with the ways that modern writers could have updated a character like Cassiopeia (although they would no doubt be accused of making an Inara knock off). Athena tended to be generic fighter pilot for the latter episodes with no dialogue of any note from what I recall. Same with Trek's women - they would not be hard to modernise but the writers would have to respect their contribution to the story as it can be today instead of leaving them to dole out coffee, hyposprays, and glimpses of leg for their unrequieted loves.

    NuBSG wasn't faultless though. Duala was a third tier character but she had her moments in seasons 1 and 2. In later episodes she was relegated to a tiresome love triangle plot. She had a couple of cracking scenes with Adama in season one but despite them having a closer relationship in the later seasons we never got a single scene of them together where they could build on those early scenes. It was such a waste!

    I always get Masters' name wrong. But yeah - plenty of plots involve fixing phasers. Why not use her?
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Relative to the population of active posters on an online bulletin board, there are "plenty" of objections. Relative to the total number of moviegoers, there are very few. The 2009 movie was the most financially successful Trek movie since TMP (adjusted for inflation, and largely because TMP was in theaters for far longer), and on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb it's got the highest approval rating of any Trek film ever. So the percentage of fans who disliked the movie, particularly over reasons as trivial as eye color, is much, much smaller in real life than it appears to be on the Internet.

    The thing is, the people with the most intense opinions about something, particularly negative opinions, are motivated to comment far more aggressively and frequently than people with less extreme views, and that creates the false impression that the fiercest protestors represent a much larger percentage of the audience than they actually do. And just in general, the percentage of fans motivated to participate in online discussions is fairly low and not statistically representative of the whole. So what can be said of online commenters cannot be extrapolated to the fanbase as a whole.


    Athena was only a pilot in the "Lost Planet of the Gods" 2-parter, I believe. For the most part she was BSG's Uhura -- or perhaps BSG's Tawny Madison (from Galaxy Quest). She was the good-looking female bridge officer who was mainly there to give exposition, when she wasn't just there to be the Veronica to Cassiopeia's Betty. (Sorry for the overload of pop-culture references.) In her last appearance in "Greetings from Earth," she was a schoolteacher. So basically she filled whatever traditional feminine role was called for.


    The thing is, Duala essentially was Athena in terms of her role aboard ship, so one wonders why they didn't just call her that. Perhaps because they saved the weirder character names for pilot callsigns. And of course if she'd been Athena, and thus Apollo's sister, there would've been no romance with Apollo (not that that plot thread worked out very well anyway).
     
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's true! I did think Dee was Athena in another guise initially and she was developed only slightly more. I think they just teased me with that scene when she dressed down Adama in season one. That's the Dee I wanted to see again! Oh well.
     

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