Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 16, 2013.

  1. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I think Khan is a character who works on multiple levels in "Space Seed."

    He's a character who nicely rebukes Nazism because he's the literal Superman who actually is smarter, stronger, and more intelligent than regular humans--but he's distinctly not blonde haired-blue eyed Nazi analog. Likewise, as a superhuman we get our crew interacting with them and viewing the condescension from the other side. The fact that Khan is an actual Aryan versus Hitler's awful pseudo-science idea of one just is the icing on the cake.

    For me, the message of Space Seed is, "even if the superman exists, he's not any more qualified to rule or oppress us by virtue of his superiority." It's one of my problems with Dear Doctor where the question is supporting superior life-forms at the expense of the inferior. If that were true, **** those whales. Instead, Star Trek says whales are awesome!

    :)

    Star Trek is about all manner of life having value. It's why I like the fact Vulcans are objectively smarter *AND* stronger than humans.

    It also makes a nice statement about khan whose entire justification in ST:ID is that he's superior to everyone around him by virtue of being a savage superman. Then it all falls apart because Spock is stronger and smarter (AND more savage) than Khan. Which means his entire worldview is worthless. Spock doesn't NEED to dominate the weak and, in fact, takes orders from Kirk.

    In a more typical movie, Kirk would track down Khan and proceed to team-up with him against Marcus. I actually think I prefer the subversion, though. Khan, in another movie, would just be your typical "Jack Bauer" hero who is turning against his evil superiors. Instead, Kirk doesn't care about the big picture at all. He's burning with rage over the death of Pike, who is collateral damage to Khan's plan. A nobody who is Kirk's everybody.

    It was a nice deconstruction.

    I don't quite agree with the statement about Khan in the TWOK. Khan's revenge was everything to him by that point but I felt he was still an extremely nuanced character. His intelligence, superiority, and ruthlessness were all realized for me--as was I think his sublimated guilt over leading his crew to their destruction. Also, TWOK remembers something that I think every rip-off of it has forgotten--that the individuals seeking revenge should actually have a reason to be mad at the protagonists. ST(2009) comes closest and even it is pretty far-off.

    I generally agree with you, though, and think Khan was extremely well-utilized in the film. I'd love to see novels detailing more of this version of Khan as well as their relationship with Admiral Marcus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  3. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Understood, Christopher.

    I respect your opinions and while I disagree, I hope you'll understand I merely have a different interpretation.

    This is my main problem with the work involved, basically going against what I percieve as Star Trek's guiding principles.

    This was another area I really-really hated because I'm a big proponent of neanderthals and human beings eventually interbred to become one race. The whole, "humans eventually annihilated the neanderthals" is the kind of conflict-based science I strongly object to. Even if they did, that would mean nothing other than humans killed the neanderthals and if they died on their own, it means nothing to our ability to live in harmony with other beings.

    My answer to Phlox's position is, essentially, "We'd both be here?"

    Yes and evolution is a process of elimination of those who aren't capable of adapting to new environments but technology is just as much a part of the evolutionary process now as animal claws or sight. Corn, itself, has evolved (via animal husbandry but that is also part of evolution) to live in a symbiotic relationship with humans.

    What Phlox is advocating here seems to be naturalism and I'm not a big fan of that since it bothers me in both religion (that science interferes with a plan) and science (that humanity is outside of natural processes).

    And I may be letting my personal feelings affect the issue but Compassion is an evolutionary advantage.

    And this line bothers me because he's piloting a starship, about as close to God as you're going to get. Archer has interfered in countless cultures both Pre-Warp and otherwise with his choice not to interfere here seeming both arbitrary, hypocritical, and undoing much of the good he's done on other worlds since the cost is so much greater.

    Yes, but the value-neutral forces of evolution are affected by their choice not to do anything. Choosing not to interfere is a choice by its own. Archer and company choose to deny the cure but there's not much to argue for it other than they're following the Prime Directive without a Prime Directive and choosing to play eugenics tampering because they foresee this as affecting another species' genetic potential.

    I won't say more on the subject if you don't have a problem and I appreciate you taking the time to discuss the issue with me.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not going to debate this with you any further, since it's off-topic.
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Right.

    Any case, it's largely a matter of opinion. Sorry for distracting from the Khan topic.
     
  6. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Back on topic,

    I am curious if in the "mainverse" that Marcus was actually an Admiral or the events of the U.S.S. Kelvin and/or the destruction of Vulcan rocketed him into the position. In the "mainstream" universe I don't know if we ever got any information about Carol Marcus' father and David's grandfather.

    Likewise, I'm curious about his version of Section 31 as well. Is it that large (having its own shipyards and massive facilities) or is that a result of Vulcan's destruction resulting in a complete and utter change in the direction of Starfleet at a fundamental level? These are all questions I'd love to see answered.

    While the two universes have split, knowing how the two universes are changing and how they differ would be interesting. Sadly, I don't think anyone is going to publish a book about how they differ on specific points.

    I'm also curious if we'll be seeing mainstream Scotty having invented transwarp beaming (obviously later in life than 2009 Star Trek universe). It'd be quite interesting to see its incorporation into the novelverse, though I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't get much of a role or downplayed.

    I'm also curious if Praxis exploded prematurely in this universe or if it's just in the process of melting.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nothing canonical. I'm not sure if any novels mentioned anything either.


    We don't know that S31 has its own shipyards. It seems to operate largely by suborning other Starfleet personnel and facilities, manipulating events so that they do things that advance S31's goals, even if they don't know that's who they're serving.


    I keep saying, the technology already existed as far back as TNG: "Bloodlines." It's just called a subspace transporter there instead.
     
  8. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    That's a very good point. It also seems unlikely they could assemble their own shipyards on their own. It seems more likely Admiral Marcus just created the Vengeance on his own--though, I did note that the crew is private security versus Section 31 or Starfleet. Which means they probably don't have the numbers to crew it.

    Especially after Khan's destruction of their base.

    I liked the Vengeance an abnormally large amount and wonder if it's unique to the Abramsverse. The idea of a 'Dreadnought-class' vessel larger than regular destroyer-sized vessels would be awesome.

    I'll have to check that out.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I don't agree, actually -- I think the attack on San Francisco was thematically important, because it established a link to the issues of terrorism in the modern world.

    To wit: Al Qaeda grew in strength and sophistication to the point where it was able to attack the United States on 9/11 because the United States had provided so much assistance and aid to the anti-Soviet mujahideen forces in the 1980s; al Qaeda then built on the weaponry and organization these movements had developed, recruiting and growing. So 9/11 was the unintended blowback of the U.S.'s involvement in (and subsequent abandonment of) Afghanistan.

    The attack on San Francisco parallels this. Khan is unleashed by Admiral Marcus and Section 31 in their bid to militarize Starfleet and launch a war against the Klingon Empire that they can claim is "justified." When Khan turns on them and attacks San Francisco, this is the unintended blowback of their decision to try to use Khan against the Klingons, in the same way 9/11 was the unintended blowback of the U.S.'s decision to use the mujahideen.

    (If anything, Khan's attack on San Francisco should have been given greater attention and weight in the plot -- though the movie was getting a bit long by that point, yeah.)
     
  10. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher,

    In reply to your response to my last post...

    Certainly TWOK could've been written to provide a meeting or confrontation between Kirk and Khan, but I am a loss to say how that would've pulled that off in the confines of the film/story that we got. And they didn't have to write Khan as so far gone as they did in TWOK, though I do think his madness increased as the film went on.

    As for hurting Kirk, it didn't have to be solely physical pain. Khan realized that Kirk was goading him, that Kirk wanted him to beam down to the asteroid so he didn't. He understood at that point that he could wound Kirk more deeply by killing his friends and destroying the Enterprise while leaving Kirk stranded and helpless to prevent it. By the end though Khan had become so unraveled and hellbent on getting revenge that Kirk's taunting worked, and when Khan took the bait it sealed his doom.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's the point. They didn't have to tell the exact same story. They made it up, after all. There were lots of possible stories they could've told.


    Again, whether you can rationalize it is beside the point. I do understand the characters' motivations in story. I'm not talking about the characters. I'm talking about the actors. I'm talking about my regret that I didn't get to see the actors play off each other.
     
  12. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    You asked me a question about the characters, specifically Khan's actions, and I gave you my thoughts on why he did what he did. As for the actors unfortunately there's nothing that can be done about your regret of them not being put in a scene together. As a fan I think I can relate to that sense of regret for many TV shows and movies.

    As for TWOK I was fine with the movie we got. Keeping them apart made it unique and I still love the scene where Kirk first gets a visual of Khan while on the Enterprise bridge. His reaction was priceless. There was interaction between them, just not face-to-face or rather them being in the same physical space at the same time. To be fair I can't ever really say if they had gone a different route that I wouldn't have liked it more or better, that's just a hypothetical.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yes, there was the appearance of interaction between the characters, but it was created in the editing bay and the special-effects lab from entirely separate performances filmed weeks apart. Again, I'm talking about the craft of acting, not the structure of the story. When two actors are able to play off of each other, to have a real conversation and play off of each other's delivery and emotion, there's an added energy and vitality to the performance. They can bring things out in each other that wouldn't be there if they do their scenes separately while some off-camera assistant just feeds lines to them. It makes their performances better, richer, more interesting to watch. (Or listen to. Animation voice director Andrea Romano, famous for her work on productions like Batman: The Animated Series and Avatar: The Last Airbender, prefers to have her actors together in the studio and playing off one another whenever possible, rather than recording their lines separately as has long been the norm in animation, because of the richer and more dynamic performances it generates. Comedies like Futurama and The Simpsons also generally try to get the cast to record together because the performances are funnier when they can play off one another.) So as a rule, it's better from a performance standpoint to have the actors together. I'm not interested in arguing whether the story needed them to meet. I'm saying that both Shatner and Montalban could've given us better-acted, more interesting performances if they had been able to meet. Their performances in the movie we got certainly weren't bad (although Meyer pushed them way too far toward melodrama at times), but what I'm trying to convey here is that they could've been better if the actors could've played off each other directly.

    It turns out that the reason the film was structured the way it was, without Kirk and Khan meeting, was because Montalban had to film his scenes weeks before the main cast came in to film theirs, in order to accommodate his shooting schedule as the star ofFantasy Island. So it wasn't something that was done because it was the best way to tell the story; it was something the filmmakers were forced to do for entirely external reasons. It's very possible that they wanted Kirk and Khan to meet face-to-face but had to settle for keeping them apart. In early drafts, there was a final confrontation between Kirk, Khan, and David.
     
  14. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    Christopher I'm not arguing with you about this. I don't disagree that the performances could've been better if Shatner and Montalban had acted together, but it's a hypothetical that unfortunately can't be proven or unproven.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It just seemed to me that you misunderstood what I was actually trying to get across, that I was making a point about the performances rather than the plot.
     
  16. Cap'n Calhoun

    Cap'n Calhoun Cadet Newbie

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    Here you go. From source: http://trekmovie.com/2013/05/15/sticky-star-trek-into-darkness-arrives-in-north-america-and-most-of-the-world-open-thread/:

     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  18. Ben

    Ben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I always thought it was really cool that Kirk and Khan don't actually meet face-to-face. Accident or not, I think it's great.
     

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