Khan's Into Darkness Appearance change finally explained

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by BlueMetroid, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well ahem :alienblush: my point still stands. Even if my failing memory doesn't. :lol: I don't care whether they said it in the 80s or 2010s.
    If they update certain bits for current scientific thinking I'm not getting all upset.
    Even though selective breeding seems more deliciously sinister than genetic engineering.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2014
  2. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    The name comes with the religion, not the ethnicity.

    I'll also remind you that the whole thing is a mixup of names from all over the place.
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    And when Noonien Soong turned out to be a white American in TNG...?

    (IIRC, he's described as Asian in the TNG Officer's Manual, which pre-dates the decision to have Brent Spiner play most of Data's family)
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is another weak dodge of a kind we've already seen multiple times in this very thread. The religion is overwhelmingly identified with the ethnicity and we all know that, okay? Can we please just dispense with the constantly-revolving carousel of evasive bull?

    If you choose as a fan to rationalize it in this or that way then cool, whatever works for you. Certainly it's possible for many things to happen to race and ethnicity and the fortunes of names. But you don't get on the strength of any such rather tenuous fanwank to pretend that Khan was not originally sold as an exotic Asian character, or to tell other people that they're unreasonable to make the connection to that concept, or to claim that whitewashing is irrelevant. I think that's something you're just going to have to come to terms with.

    IOW, rationalize things as you please, just don't be a dick about it.

    Also a bit odd, TBH, but at least that wasn't a character who'd already been established onscreen with a specifically Asian backstory, so there it's easier to pass over the name-ethnicity combination as a mere oddity. It doesn't attract the same attention as the conspicuous transformation of Khan for that reason.

    Taking a cue from that, now for something completely different and hopefully a little more interesting than circular bickering about Benedict and Khan:

    This article contains something I did not know about the name "Noonien Singh" and why it turned up in two different versions in Trek: apparently the name was a reference to a real-life friend of his named Kim Noonien Singh.

    The article ultimately pulls the claim from IMDB and I don't know how credible it is, but surely this would be the place to find someone who can verify it?
     
  5. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I'm just glad Spiner didn't lobby to play Data's mother.
    Wasn't the name of Roddenberry's friend simply "Noonien Singh?"
     
  6. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    There've been a couple of people named "Singh" in STAR TREK. I know in TOS the one that was supposed to keep an eye on NOMAD got killed by him. Khan, of course, wore that surname. I believe one of the parade of Chief Engineers in TNG's first season was also named Singh. Then, of course, there's Data's daddy. So, even if Roddenberry never saw or heard from this friend of his again, the guy's name got worn out in the STAR TREK franchise ...
     
  7. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    The story about a wartime friend of Roddenberry's with whom he lost contact has been around for years and has been repeated many times, but never in any greater detail than that. The name has been given sometimes as Noonien Singh and sometimes as Kim Noonien Singh. I've also seen it given more recently as Kim Noonien Wang; Memory Alpha now has that (citing an io9 article as the source,) as does this blog entry.
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Hmm, that makes it sound suspiciously like urban legend.
     
  9. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Or maybe something Roddenberry might relate during the Q&A session at con appearances, the story becoming more polished with repetition. Since Roddenberry was supposed to have flown out of Espiritu Santo during the war, an ethnic Chinese Wang Nun-Yen or a Fijian Indian Noonien Singh sound like equally likely people for him to have encountered there, though the "Kim" part would be out of place in either case.
     
  10. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Captain Captain

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    Well, look at name distributions today. I can't count the number of Asians I've met named Grace, Betty, Doris, Mae, Lilly, Sam, Bruce, Mike, etc... What's to say in 300 years it's uncommon to see white men named Takashi, Mohammed, Noonien, Ahmad, etc...
     
  11. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    No, not okay. The point is that we do not need to be Indian to be Sikh. I'll also point out that "Khan" is not an Indian name, anyway.

    There was no bull. Just because you disagree with it doesn't make it dishonest. Could we please just dispense with the carousel of insults, now ?

    It's a statement of fact.

    <chuckle> I think you're putting way too much importance on this piece of fiction. What YOU are going to have to come to terms with is that nothing is firmly established in fiction, and may be retconned at any time, in addition to the fact that extrapolating from limited data, like in this case, doesn't give one definite answers.

    Oh, the Irony.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    The point is that you do not need to keep dancing around the extremely plain intention of the character's original delivery while pretending that's not what you're doing, as again here. Your private rationalizations are your business; you don't get to pretend they're general facts applying to the rest of us or that your counter-intuitive readings are somehow convincing and obvious and set the parameters of the debate.

    When I say "evasive bull," that's the kind of stuff I mean. It's obfuscation, and if you don't know you're doing it, I'm telling you: you're doing it. And you shouldn't. It makes you look like you're bending over backwards to make excuses for casual racism, pure and simple. And that's bad.

    And this kind of put-on condescension looks even worse. You don't get to pretend that your personal preferences make it your business to dictate who places importance on what. If you don't know that that's what you sound like: that's what you sound like. You should stop doing that. That's bad.

    And you can try to play rubber-and-glue all you want, but at the end of the day you're still the one dancing around trying to make excuses for a form of casual racism. And you're not going to convince me that calling you on that is more dickish than doing it in the first place. That's a silly thing for you to try to do, and you should stop doing that. It's bad.

    I've said pretty much what I have to say at this point, so I'll let you have the last word in-thread if you like. If you feel I'm being extremely unfair to you I'm happy to discuss further by PM.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heck, even the official comic explains the change, acknowledging that Khan was from India.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, pretty much. Whether the comics' solution was necessary or not -- or technically canon or not -- their acknowledgement that the character is Indian isn't surprising, since it's the most straightforward reading of what's already known about the character.
     
  15. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Indeed, though how canon the comics are is anybody's guess. They also "explained" the change in the Klingons' appearance in DS9, though at the time it seemed like a joke, until ENT went back and made it canon, which I found both interesting and unnecessary.
     
  16. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Captain Captain

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    I'm waiting for someone to tackle Bond, and explain how he's looked different half a dozen times, culminating in a new look in which he's only starting his career as 007 almost 50 years after his first appearance.

    Her Majesty's Secret Service must have some serious plastic surgery / time travel capabilities.
     
  17. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Not only that, but he went back and forth between two appearances before settling on a third.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Although rendered moot by Skyfall, it was a longheld fanon belief that "James Bond" was a handle given to a succession of MI6 agents.
     
  19. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    earth...but when?...spock?
    yeah but the dead wife negates that theory
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cover story. It happened to one 007 agent, so they incorporated it into the story of all successors.
     

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