Klingons in STID--why do they look like [SPOILERS]?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by DavidLeeRoth, May 17, 2013.

  1. sj4iy

    sj4iy Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, instead of citing episodes and movies, I'm going to say this:

    Klingons in TOS looked human because they didn't have the budget or technology to make them look different.

    Klingons in everything else look different because they wanted them to look scary.

    Done. And yes, the Klingon in ID does have the ridges in his forehead- he even has piercings in each one (which is cool). But the retcon they came up with to explain away this obvious difference doesn't always work.
     
  2. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Kruge in The Search for Spock just came off as Reverend Jim or Doc Brown in Klingon makeup. He was a serviceable villain and had a few threatening and good moments in the film, but I kept expecting him to scream something about the Genesis torpedo requiring a certain number of gigawatts to operate or him to start slurring and asking where Louie or Alex were.

    The TMP makeup along with the red mood lighting on their ships made those Klingons look so eerie and menacing that I always hoped that makeup style would return during one of the later films or series and it never did. When you're a little kid watching the first film that makeup, the guttural Klingonese spoken by Mark Lenard and the booming, ominous Jerry Goldsmith music made the Klingons a race you didn't mess with - nor want to get within a light year of.
     
  3. Norsehound

    Norsehound Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    When the Klingons were unmasked and I saw the ridged foreheads Idid have a small pang of disappointment for defaulting back to the lobster-headed samurai biker dudes. But it quickly passed when I realized two things.

    1: this is the most popular depiction of Klingons. If they went back to TOS they'd be accused of not trying.

    2: They're re-treading so much that this could be a whole other portrayal of the Klinks different from TOS/TNG. After all, they don't seem to be entirely honor-obsessed gore-loving space caricatures. Ruthless Space Pirates with a government seems like a good start.

    Also liking the masks and the forehead piercings on these guys. And finally, something different than the battle armor they've been wearing since TMP!
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I really hope Abrams flushes Ron Moore's Klingons down the head forever.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    This. I got tired of the drunken hair band routine pretty quick.
     
  6. Garak

    Garak Salty Dog Premium Member

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    This has probably been said to you many times already, so I'll just reiterate - they looked like Klingons. 100%, no doubt about it. You should feel embarrassed about making this thread.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    To heck with "canon." Every change in art direction doesn't require an in-universe explanation.

    I mean, seriously, is two minutes of technobabble to justify an updated makeup treatment going to improve a movie? Would TMP have been a better movie, been more exciting or enjoyable, if they had wasted time explaining why the Klingons looked different than they had on the original TV show?

    Back in 1979, it was understood that the Klingons looked different because, well, the movie had a bigger budget and more advanced makeup techniques than the old show. And, frankly, that was explanation enough.

    Heck, STAR TREK managed fine for decades with changing Klingon makeups before Enterprise got around to explaining them umpteen years after the fact--which probably wasn't even necessary at that point!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  8. A Shiny Kaylee Christmas

    A Shiny Kaylee Christmas Have An Awesome Possum Holiday! Moderator

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    If they had shown guys with smooth foreheads, roughly 90% of the audience would wonder what happened to the Klingons. The public image of Klingons are guys with ridges and no discussion of canon, augment viruses or other nerdy shit is going to change that. JJ made the right choice and they looked great, a perfect combination of classic Klingons with a slight change to make them a little different.

    It's a movie franchise, not a historical documentary.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Bingo.

    I mean, should The Avengers have spent two minutes explaining why the Hulk had been slightly redesigned since the the previous movie? In order to "respect the canon" or whatever?

    Sure, you could whip up some bullshit about how the gamma radiation was continuing to mutate Bruce Banner's DNA, so that he now looked more like Mark Ruffalo than Ed Norton, but would that have really improved the movie and made for a more enjoyable cinematic experience? Would Marvel fans have slept better at night knowing that this glaring discrepancy had explained away?

    Of course not. Ditto for explaining why a 2013 reboot of Star Trek with a whole new cast and crew doesn't look exactly like the old movies and TV shows. It's a change in art direction, period.

    Ultimately, it's all just smoke and mirrors (and actors on sound stages) anyway. It's an illusion, a theatrical production, updated for modern audiences.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  10. A Shiny Kaylee Christmas

    A Shiny Kaylee Christmas Have An Awesome Possum Holiday! Moderator

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    A lot of Trek fans really need to drop the idea that Star Trek is anything more than entertainment with a message. It doesn't matter that the new Enterprise doesn't look like the original Enterprise because the Enterprise isn't real. It's a plot device that carries the characters to an adventure. Klingons are just guys in make-up, something that will improve and change as time goes on. They'll probably be CG at some point in the future. Should that be explained in some episode or movie? No, because all you really need to know is that they're Klingons and have some vague knowledge of their current status with the Federation.

    I know that Trekkies can get attacked for being more obsessed with fiction than reality, I'm really starting to see that they don't know the difference. You don't see it with other fandoms. The Star Wars fans don't get upset because Yoda looks CG in the prequels and a puppet in the original trilogy and come up with wacky reasons why he looks that way. No, they understand that Yoda isn't real. They're biggest complaint is that Lucas hasn't had a good idea since the early 1980s.
     
  11. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    SHHHH!!! [whisper shout]You're sounding too rational![/whisper shout] :whistle:
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Granted, part of the way fiction works is by tricking your brain into thinking, on some level, that what you're perceiving is "real"--at least for the duration of the experience. That's why we laugh, cry, and experience anxiety at fictional characters in imaginary scenarios. ("No, don't open that door!") And I can see where, arguably, such discrepancies could shatter the illusion by reminding you, if only for a moment, that what you're experiencing is just make-believe.

    Still, you can probably be too nitpicky about this. On some level, part of your brain is still going to inevitably realize that it's just a theatrical production--even if it's simply a matter of recognizing an actor from other roles. ("Wow. Benedict Cumberbatch is really nailing this scene!")

    I actually have a pet theory that there's a spectrum in the way people experience fiction, with some people leaning more toward the immersive ("Ohmigod, they killed Old Yeller!") and others leaning more toward the aesthetic. ("Ohmigod, look at that gorgeous cinematography.")

    Now, all of us process fiction both ways simultaneously, but I suspect there are different ratios involved. And that the folks who are, say, 80% immersive and only 20% aesthetic react more negatively to being "knocked out of the story" than people who are more continuously aware that they're experiencing a work of fiction.

    And, getting personal, I suspect us writer types lean more to the aesthetic side simply because we know from daily experience just how artificial fiction is. Heck, I can change a character's name, history, gender, and motives just by tapping at a keyboard, so I know in my bones that none of it is "real." So tinkering with a latex makeup job doesn't exactly throw me for a loop!

    (And clearly I have thought way too much about this!)
     
  13. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which might be part of the reason why we never saw images of the Botany Bay nor had the precise dates for Khan's rule, the Eugenics Wars and his exile into space mentioned in the new film. J.J. knows about the way the Botany Bay looked and when she was launched from Earth, but to avoid making any small details different and thus incurring the wrath of a million angry fanboys he just decided to say "he was sleeping in cryofreeze for 300 years" and that he comes from the 20th century. The fans will fill in the rest using what was established in stories of the Prime timeline.

    That way J.J. honors continuity but doesn't step in a huge nerd minefield by changing some detail about Khan's age, the wars or his ship. Nobody can lambaste him for screwing up the canon and he can avoid going into messy detail that wasn't that necessary to the plot anyways. It's a win-win.
     
  14. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The beauty of the helmets is that they leave one free to imagine that underneath them some Klingons are smooth-headed, while others are ridged. Even if we never see smooth-headed ones, which we in all likelihood won't, they could still be there, concealed by the helmets. Thus, the whole issue is neatly side-stepped.
     
  15. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Terrific point, Monkey.

    Wait, that didn't sound right. :p Heh.

    In the Rura Penthe deleted scenes from Trek '09 I imagined at least a couple of the Klingon guards at the prison camp were more smooth headed and had inherited the Augment virus from their mid-22nd century forebears. Hey, who can say some of them weren't? It's up to the eye of the beholder.
     
  16. Mr. B

    Mr. B Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They certainly -look- Klingon enough, but they all got gunned down rather easily so it's not like it matters much.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Plus, it's probably the best way to finesse the whole awkward "Eugenics Wars of the 1990s" thing, which worked in 1967, but which would just have moviegoers scratching their heads today. Best to keep it vague, especially if there's no real need to get bogged down in the continuity of the old series . . . .

    Easter eggs are fun. Footnotes just slow down the plot.
     
  18. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You may already have answered this in another thread, but did anyone connected to the new film ever contact you or admit to reading your Khan/Eugenics Wars trilogy to do research on the character and period of Earth history he came from? I suppose it's possible that somebody on the crew read your books and didn't contact nor credit you for anything but I was just curious if your Khan novels got any attention from J.J.'s people.
     
  19. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Then they must be Klingons! ;)
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Several months ago, one of the screenwriters mentioned in an interview that he'd read my Khan books, which was cool. Not sure why they'd want to contact or credit me with anything, since I hardly invented Khan. Heck, I was only seven years old when Khan first appeared on STAR TREK! :)

    There's nothing to "admit to" here. We're all playing in the same sandbox.