Kahless Mimicking Voices?

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

  1. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The only ones who tend to speculate on the true nature of Lincoln's character in order to cast him in a bad light are those who are more likely to wear white hoods and burn crosses. The amount of first hand documentation we have on the Civil War, and on Lincoln himself, is so extensive it's mind boggling. There have been over 400 books written about Lincoln- more than on any other historical figure in history. If any man deserves the high praise history has bestowed upon him, it's Lincoln.
     
  2. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    You really should stick to Star Trek.

    I think everyone is over analyzing a bit, but why not, it can be fun.

    But it was "good" vs. "evil"

    Why is Ghengis Khan even there? Because he was a conquerer? Wasn't Kahless something of a counquerer? Plus, Klingons are sneaky. The mystic Viking warrior crap was a long way off, and they didn't pay those two stunt people playing GH and Zora any dialouge, so it had to be Green, who seemed to already be a leader, or Kahless. Why would Ghengis Khan ever submit to be a foot soldier to someone else, being the leader of the largest empire yet established in Earth history? Why would Kahless, any less, not want to be king of the evil side? I think if they were better portrayals of their actual selves, they would have set on each other much more than they did, which was nil. You can argue that they were only cooporating as long as they needed to, but I still think they three of them would have been fighting from the instant about who was the leader and not passively let "Green" take over.


    It goes back to Roddenberry's concept of conquerer bad, diplomat good. So, Kahless is bad. Surak is good.

    SCOTT: It's a confrontation of some sort. Those are all figures out of history. Notoriously evil.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  3. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  4. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Without disputing that Lincoln is one of those rare figures who deserves to be as famous as his reputation suggests, that abundance of documentation doesn't mean that there isn't room for doubt about who he was or what he did.

    For an utterly trivial example, consider: we do not know exactly what he said in his address at Gettysburg. The drafts of his speech are not perfectly consistent, and wouldn't bind him rigorously to the exact words he used, and newspaper accounts vary, in some cases enormously. What the crowd reaction to the speech was is impossible to determine given the abundance of inconsistent documentation available.

    If we can't know with reasonable certainty the proceedings of three minutes, witnessed by thousands of people and reported on widely in the press at the time, and remembered by its witnesses for decades after, there's room for reasonable people to question the great themes of his life.
     
  5. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Interesting, I was actually not away of that. It's sad to say the same sort of thing is still pretty prevalent even today. Most of the details the general public remembers and believes about major incidents are usually nothing more than speculation made by the talking heads on the 24 hr cable networks, which is often completely wrong. By the time the real facts are discovered and revealed, the public's attention has moved on to the next headline and those real facts tend to be forgotten.

    While it's true we cannot know with certainty what another man, contemporary or historical, truly feels about anything, there is little room to doubt Lincoln's sincerity or earnestness when it comes to "the great themes of his life" (and of course I'm not implying you have done so in any way with your post). However, he was very consistent about where he stood on the convictions he's famous for holding, and it's pretty clear what those close to him felt about the quality of his character. If you've not read it, Team of Rivals is one of the best books about Lincoln and is highly recommended.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As opposed to what? :confused:

    Of course, the question here might be, was it?

    That the Excalbians say that the teams are divided along those lines might be sufficient proof to the contrary. Why would they give the game away?

    Interestingly, the dialogue suggests that other characters were previously captured and forced to play the game, with "power" as the prize for victory; we aren't told who those were (were Kahless, Green or Lincoln perhaps among them?) or whether they won or lost. Were those games about good vs. evil (too?), or about something else?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Your reply shows I didn't express my point well, I blame myself, of course.

    What i meant by "evil" in quotes that it was in the perception of the Federation characters that people like Kahless and Ghengis Khan are evil. So, the Excalibans wanted to know, "What do mean by evil?"

    For example, Lincoln was commander in chief during one of the wars that most of his people died, and he sent many of them to their deaths, as he was in command.

    But the Federation people didn't consider him evil.

    Ghengis Khan created the largest, stable in his life time, nation in current Earth history there by creating trade routes and causing east west cultural exchange and commerce, and he was considered by them evil.

    So, it's not really what they did, but why similar actions by different people are considered alternately "good" or "evil".

    So, back to Kahless. In the minds of most people on the Enterprise, Kahless is like a really horrible entity, "Kahless the Unforgettable, the Klingon who set the pattern for his planet's tyrannies" So everything a Klingon has ever done is "evil" in this point in an over simplified Federation mindset. Being this decietful archtype, I'm not suprised he could change his voice, as it exudes treachery. I'm suprised he didn't have more "powers" but maybe some of the worse things attributed to him were dismissed as legendary, but they belived in his ability to mimic.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding this, if the mimic act was a known or assumed ability of Kahless, that is, known to Kirk and Spock, our heroes should arguably have been wary of it. But perhaps the opponents weren't drawn from the minds of Kirk or Spock? Perhaps Kirk contributed Lincoln, and Spock contributed Surak, but it was Scotty who contributed Kahless and all the misconceptions regarding him...

    If, OTOH, Kahless was just a random collection of evil characteristics drawn from the mind of Kirk, then the Excalbians might have given him the ability for which, say, Li Quan was so infamous for, and Genghis Khan the ability that had made Jack the Ripper notorious. That would certainly keep our heroes from being prepared for the correct set of threats and dangers!

    I'm still puzzled by the "You should stick to Star Trek" thing...?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. patweb

    patweb Ensign Red Shirt

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    The fact that Kahless could mimick a voice he only heard a couple of times points to the likelihood that this power was given to him partly to amuse the Excalbians.
     
  10. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Is there any insight to be gained by looking at what Kahless's voice mimicking achieved? It only seemed to be successful in rooting out another Excalbian, as someone pointed out, neither Spock nor Kirk were tricked by the ruse.

    Something else I always wonder, did the Excalbian's who were "killed" really die, or was it part of the act, and once they returned to their normal state were still alive. Any thoughts on that?
     
  11. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Along similar lines, it's worth noting that when amongst themselves, the Excalbian/historical figures seemed to act and speak like they were the genuine articles. No "Boy I can't wait to shed this Colonel Green guise!" In By Any Other Name, the Kelvans among themselves made no secret of what they really were. Do the Excalbians have the ability to suppress their own identities when 'disguised'?
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We could be seeing a collective sapience for all we know, or at least a single individual with many bodies. Or the rock monster could be another puppet manifestation of the essentially formless Excalbian species. Or a robot of sorts, readily programmable for a variety of purposes: spokesperson for interacting with aliens, fake Earthling for amusement, who knows what else.

    The default assumption, that the talking and walking rock is an Excalbian, might not do justice to the evident capabilities of the species. Reading minds, changing appearances, and manipulating orbiting starships at will... That's a combination of skills only found in God Himself, or at least the ST6:TFF incarnation of Him! (Although the Melkotians did relatively well there, too.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Good point. I like how you've drawn from the Kelvans as an example of what may be transpiring here. It is very possible The Savage Curtain was influenced by that Other episode, as it was produced earlier in the series. It's also interesting to me the alien race in By Any Other Name was basically named after a measurement of temperate, and a distinctive feature of the Excalbians is their extreme heat.

    I like the idea here too, since the planet in its natural state is a liquid sea of molten rock. However, there is one line of dialog which posses a problem:

    ROCK: Our world is called Excalbia. Countless who live on that planet are watching.

    That would indicate separate individuals and not one massive being. One thing that always felt odd about that line, weren't they on Excalbia? It makes it sound like their on some other planet. Perhaps this is a holdover from an earlier version of the script, I guess we'll have to wait for These Are The Voyages Vol 3 to see if there are any clues there!

    It could be the planet they are on is not Excalbia, but another world the Excalbian's use for these tests. Maybe its liquid state is ideal for the Excalbian's "godlike" manipulation of matter.

    One last thought, does the premise of this episode remind anyone of Solaris at all?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  14. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course, if you treat only TOS as canon the whole problem goes away...

    :p
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Right. Possibly a DS9 Founder/Changeling -style setup...?

    That's a good catch, and it would indeed make story sense for this place not to be the homeworld of the species but rather a forum for their experimentation. They can turn molten lava into "Earthlike" (or at least Hollywood-studio-floor-like) terrain, and rock creatures into Lincolns; perhaps they also turn molten lave into these crude rock creatures at will, to facilitate their games, and the actual Excalbian species is something different altogether, naturally capable of feats such as matter manipulation and interstellar vision... (Or then it's all done by machines, and their technology simply is difficult to spot by human eye.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Most definitely, there can be no doubt they are shape shifters at any rate.

    After reading your last post I went over the transcript of the episode more closely. I must say everything in the script except that one "that" seems to indicate they were on Excalbia. At this point, after a more detailed look at the dialog, I'm inclined to think it was a misspoken word which no one caught. The Rock was probably supposed to have said "on this planet" instead of "on that planet." This does not discredit your conjecture about the true nature of the Excalbians though. With the kind of games they play, they may have good reason to keep their true nature concealed.
     
  17. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Now with the expanded universe, I suppose someone already wrote something to explain that Kahless was able to mimick voice because he was a Section 31 operative.
     
  18. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    When in doubt, Section 31.
     
  19. SermanyuQngan

    SermanyuQngan Ensign Newbie

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    To me it becomes quite simple if we use non-canon sources, that is. At least some sources any way, namely Michael Friedman’s “Kahless.” In that novel Kahless, the Original, and Kahless the Clone both matched in an original ability of Kahless, that was "lip reading." So taking this into account, it could have been propagandized Federation misinformation about the sinister skills of the ancient Klingon warlord or simply inaccurate and garbled up data, considering the non-existent cultural/diplomatic ties between the two governments at Star date: 5906.4.

    In other words the fact that Kahless was able to read lips had metamorphosed, through slander and gossip, into an incorrect belief that Kahless engaged in ventriloquism. What the ancient Greeks called “Gastromancy.” Which I want to say I read somewhere was a skill that was used by the Greeks on the battlefield (unfortunately I can’t quite remember where I heard that at the moment). Anyhow, I believe this is one way we can reconcile these two differences in the Kahless of “The Savage Curtin” (TOS) and the Kahless of TNG.

    What do you think…? :shrug:
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Of course, we can also say that Kahless in all of his incarnations was a skilled ventriloquist. Perhaps all Klingons are that by their very nature? Kahless never had a need or chance to demonstrate the skill in any of his other appearances. But theoretically, somebody like Worf might have made use of the skill if it were a species trait - say, when imprisoned by the Breen.

    Timo Saloniemi