Kahless Mimicking Voices?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Emperor Norton, May 5, 2014.

  1. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So I was rewatching The Savage Curtain, and it reminded me of some canonical issues that need to get excused for that episode. Namely Kahless, who is shown to look exactly like a 23rd century, TOS Klingon and is said to be evil and to be the originator of the Klingons' evil ways. Obviously when this episode was made in the 60s, that was purely the intent. After the Klingons had been revised, the excuse is that it is how Kirk and Spock envision Kahless.

    One of the things that is harder to explain is the false Kahless having the ability to perfectly mimic voices. This was nowhere mentioned in any of the later episodes, and so far as I know it does not seem to be explained or brought up anywhere else. One explanation would be the image of Kahless was given that ability by the Excalbians, but that doesn't make sense. This Kahless, if he comes from Kirk's and Spock's head, has to come from some idea that Kahless was capable of that. And the idea may come from Federation propaganda which was totally invented or at least an exaggeration. Or it may have been something real.

    So any thoughts on the explanation?
     
  2. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When I was a kid, it seemed that Anon Seven had the same voice imitating talent, but now I realize that he was just using some kind of gizmo to mimic Kirk's voice.

    As for Kahless, I just tell myself that it isn't really Kahless, the rock monster is letting the evil team cheat a little by giving faux-Kahless that ability.
     
  3. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I just recently rewatched The Savage Curtain too, and used the exact same reasoning mentioned above to explain how different Kahless was than he is later depicted, but had not considered what you wrote below, mainly because I am not as familiar with the TNG era version of Kahless.

    I cannot offer an solid explanation for Kahless's mimicking ability. However, thinking over the problem, I turned my attention to Lincoln, the only other historical figure the Excalbians copied that we know much of anything about. I figured we might find a clue there.

    I recalled Lincoln had been given knowledge by the Excalbians which, knowing what we know about the real Lincoln, he should clearly no nothing about; the Vulcan concept of Nome, meaning One for example. So, if we know they gave Lincoln "special knowledge" beyond what the original could have possibly known, it would follow they did the same with Kahless. It is consistent.

    I hope that is of some help in getting to the bottom of this mystery!
     
  4. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I suppose there's no reason he couldn't have had that ability, but it seems more the type of skill that leads one to being voted class clown, rather than the model for all men to come!

    Or...maybe Kirk once heard something, remembered dimly, about a Kahless quote, talking about 'speaking with many voices' in a figurative sense. The Excalbians just patched this memory fragment onto the character. Like the Talosians, the Excalbians "had no guide for putting these people back together", either.

    Just throwing the idea out there...
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It would be rather plausible for Kirk-era humans to have really absurd ideas about Klingons in general, and Kahless specifically. Just think what the good old Victorians "knew" about the Chinese...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Remember, these people weren't really the genuine articles. They were just based on Kirk's idea of them. Kirk may have heard of Kahless but knew nothing about him, so the Excalbians just made a "stock" Kahless from what Kirk did know of the Klingons, which was completely inaccurate to the real person. Maybe Kirk just thought faux-Kahless was your typical devious 23rd century Klingon who could mimic voices?
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The interesting issue here is, if the "data" were pulled from the minds of our two heroes, does this mean that both of them agreed with everything they saw? That Surak was like Spock had always imagined him, even if there were elements of Kirk's misconceptions of Surak included in the character? That Kahless had the attributes both humans and Vulcans felt were the correct ones?

    Or should we assume that our heroes felt no need to comment on the authenticity of the characters, or lack thereof? It would have been tactically significant to know whether the adversaries were at least somewhat predictable or completely unpredictable in their thinking and capabilities... But with a trio of them, all bets might be off anyway, and there'd be no point in our heroes speculating that Kahless would use traditional Klingon ways of fighting when he had Green to advise him on completely different tactics.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I found it more amusing that Kahless was such a shitty mimic. He did Surak okay, but when Green asked him if he could cry like Lincoln...he sounded nothing like him.

    Green: "Can you cry like Lincoln?"
    Kahless (voice too high) "Help me, Kirk. Hellllp meeee Kirrrrrrrk!"
    Green: "Hmm. I guess not."
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  9. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some humans are pretty good for imitating voice, so why a Klingon couldn't?

    I don't think Kirk and Spock were persuaded that Kahless had this specific talent. Spock felt the trap because Surak was out of character, not because Kahless was a well-known imitator. They used were used to meet deceptive Klingons, including Arne Darvin, so they figured the "first" Klingon as treacherous as the others. The Excalbians created a plausible Kahless according to Kirk and Spock's minds, not their accurate and conscious idea of him.
     
  10. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    Kirk had never heard of Surak, though. When Spock saw him and said his name, Kirk's reaction was "Who??"

    As for Kahless, Kirk and Spock must have had vague enough ideas of him that the duplicate could satisfy them both.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which is sort of unsatisfactory to the fans of Final Reflection who feel Vulcans ought to know a lot more about Klingons than humans do, and lately to ENT fans who get the same impression from the pilot episode already. :(

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Are we all forgetting the recreations of these historical figures were not just from Kirk and Spock's minds? The Excalbians also took information from the ships computer banks:
    (The red light on the navigation console flashes, and the lights dim)
    KIRK: Alert status.
    SPOCK: We're being scanned, Captain. A deep probe, incredibly swift.

    Then at the end of the episode:
    SPOCK: So they were able to create images of Surak and Lincoln after scanning our minds . . .

    This would seem to indicate only the images and personalities of Surak and Lincoln were taken from Kirk and Spock's minds. Nothing is said about were the Excalbians got their data to create the other figures, but it must have been from the ships records.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    For all we know, that information came from their previous victims. It's not as if the Excalbians would have learned anything from their little games this time around, so quite possibly they have done this equally fruitlessly before, and will do it again.

    The scan of the ship (or the crew?) doesn't seem to have yielded anything we could nail down. For all we know, this scan was the thing that pulled the Champions of Good from the minds of our heroes.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The weird thing to me is how this isn't trying to smooth over some later contradiction (i.e. the Klingon devil) or something. It's all right there in The Savage Curtain, that the one who all others patterned themselves after from his day forward...could imitate voices. :shrug:
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    If we want to insert some continuity into this standalone weirdness, we could argue that Klingons are famous of doing voices well. Operatic voices, that is - supposedly every warrior is an accomplished singer who knows all the big parts by heart. Can every hero in a Klingon opera sound the same? If not, then a bit of mimic is built into the average Klingon warrior...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    For some reason, Kahless being a perfect mimic reminds me of those early Scooby-Doo stories where Shaggy was an expert ventriloquist and could "throw" his voice completely convincingly.

    Fantastic silliness!
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lana: "Captain Lammers!"
    Archer: "Nice read, Velma."
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I just thought these guys were a mix of Spock and Kirk's impressions of them and the computer records about them.

    The computer records about Lincoln aren't going to be totally accurate. There's still a lot of speculation about him today. Whether he was really that much of a humanitarian etc. Surak seemed a bit of a jerk to me or was that just Spock thinking everyone hates him.
    Maybe there's a thousand random facts about Kahless (some true, some not) in the computer and they've just chosen to use that one since the bad guys need some help at that stage.
     
  19. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Or maybe the mass murderer Kahless is simply not the same person as the founder of the Klingon culture Kahless! I think it´s safe to assume there´s more than one person with that name in Klingon history ;)

    Mario
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I guess it depends on the nature of the "founder-Kahless". The factoids we are given establish him as a famed warrior from a couple of thousand years back, and we know that such people in Earth history are shrouded in myth when comparable timespans are involved (King Arthur, say). But if Kahless was also the ruler of a fairly well organized empire, it's highly unlikely that the Unforgettable could have been forgotten: history books on him ought to be

    a) numerous
    b) written back in his heyday already, by people in the know
    c) not rewritten by his enemies, as his heritage appears victorious and unchallenged
    d) hence, pretty reliable.

    We know rather exactly who Gaius Iulius Caesar was, despite there having been dozens of leaders of that name around the time, each contributing chapters to Roman military and political leadership history and even to the succession of emperors (heck, the first emperor, Octavianus "Augustus", was named Gaius Iulius Caesar for a while, too!). There's no ambiguity about the "one" Gaius Iulius Caesar. And Kahless is bigger than that.

    Sure, Kahless is also half Jesus Christ, but nobody wrote about Jesus Christ when he lived and died because back then he was considered a nobody. Kahless was already famous in his life (and, supposedly, in his death, although we haven't heard the story of that yet). So there wouldn't be any "gospel" of Kahless, composed ex post facto, just dull factual writings with the mythology scabbed onto that and, if necessary, easily peeled away again.

    There's even the scenario in which the Klingons were starfaring already during Kahless' reign. Whether with indigenous ingenuity or using hardware taken from their Hur'Q slavers, this would provide them with advanced means of records-keeping as well, making Kahless all the more historical.

    I guess that one is the most interesting scenario: Kahless comes from such a primitive setting that he can be credited with forging the first sword, but comes to evict interstellar overlords and give his people the stars... But something more mundane is probably closer to the truth.

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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