Name your imponderables for Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Robbiesan, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen it either, but I read the description here and thought, "Organians on Enterprise. That had to be 4th season under Manny Coto." Checked Memory Alpha - yep yep yep. :)
     
  2. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Should a white European play Othello? I doubt it. I think we'd be appalled by someone wearing black face today.

    Was there a need to make Linda Park a Japanese person? Nope. The Korean culture is just as rich and diverse.

    Star Trek to their credit allowed minorities to be depicted in all manner of roles and not the inscrutable asian dispensing weak philosophy, breaking boards, or being a valet. At the time TOS was made, how many actors were from diverse backgrounds? Not many.

    I truly like Nimoy's work, but when he did yellowface to portray a Mongol, it was supremely annoying.

    Should efffort be made to locate authentic folks to fill cultural roles. You betcha. That's far more believable.

    And why should anyone use a false accent? Not when it's simple to alter the character's history or to work with a speech coach to acquire one.
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Thats not the question. The question is, should Othello be played by anyone but a Moor?


    Hoshi was Japanese before Park was cast. Just as Picard was French before Stewart was cast. They decided to keep them as written.

    Or they could go with the best actor from the general ethnic group and let them act. Getting the cultural stuff right is part of the job.

    Why would it be false if he's speaking English the way he was taught?
     
  4. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The last statement was in response to your statement "Oh, and do you think that every Frenchman who learns English has to speak it with a Pepe LePew accent? "

    There's no reason to do a ridiculous stereotypical French accent when a genuine one, spoken by someone well aware of French and French culture can do it justice. Heck, French was the language of the court in England during much of the medieval period. Based upon what I've read, and speaking to people from England, French is pretty commonly learned in school. How difficult would it have been to speak it authentically since Picard is French? Now that is confounding.

    I don't think say Romeo must be played by an Italian always. But it sure would be weird for a white guy to play Othello. We'd cringe today at that, though historically that has happened with white guys wearing essentially shoepolish on their faces.

    Wouldn't it be more authentic to give a South African the part of Mandela if he's a black African from that region originally. Then he can speak with a natural voice emulating the native speakers like Mandela?

    This isn't a far fetched idea.

    A part that's written as a Japanese person, could easily be modified into a Korean person. I don't see how it's relevant to the story either way. Unless there's specific need for that charcter to be from Japan due to X, then why not adjust it so that it's in keeping with the actor?

    Can you imagine a production like Dances with Wolves with Hispanic actors playing the parts of the Lakota people because the director though the skin tones were good enough? How weird would that be?
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Using warp drive as the line for whether or not to interfere with a civilization is only because when a civilization develops warp drive they are going to run into other races anyway.

    Why do all the Klingons in Matter of Honor speak English? (It wasn't the universal translator. The captain explicitly said 'SPEAK IN THEIR LANGUAGE!' And why does every alien race in the galaxy know every human expression?
     
  6. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    So it would naturally follow that Scotty should have been played by an actual Scot, or Chekov by an actual Russian? (I guess Anton Yelchin gets a pass.)

    Is it ok if I were to be cast as my Native American grandfather, even though I have blond hair and blue eyes?

    I think the discussion is starting to border on silliness.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    The question is about how he speaks English, not how he speaks French.

    Is anyone saying a white actor should play Othello in blackface?

    Or the actor imitate Mandela's voice. Not everyone in South Africa sounds or looks like Mandela.

    Or the actor could learn about the characters intended background and use that inform their performance.

    Graham Greene isn't Lakota, he's an Iroquois. Rodney A. Grant is a Omaha. Tantoo Cardinal is a Cree. Should they not play Lakota characters?

    Many Hispanics are partly or fully Native American. So if the three Non Lakota actors mentioned above are acceptable, then so should Meso-American actors.
     
  8. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sure why not. Just as a Jew may look any possible way, or a Hispanic may look any possible way (from the most blond blue eyed person (rubia) to the darkest skin possible (morena)).

    And I concur, it is getting silly. What I want is for ethnic actors to actually get to work in Hollywood, and not as pimps, manservants, or Native-American scouts. The old way was to eliminate a lot of ethnic actors from the mix except in very marginalized roles.

    Another imponderable:
    Why aren't the ships more alien looking? Why are so many aliens humanoid? Why not subtitle the many species language more often?
     
  9. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Was Khan a Sikh, or was that just Marla's assumption based on how he looked? She looks at him, says "probably a Sikh." How can she look at anyone and guess their religion? For that matter, she also guesses he was from Northern India. Could she really distinguish between Indians and Pakistanis or Afghanis?

    Granted, Picard doesn't say that warp is a prerequisite for interference/non interference, but he does say it's a requirement for first contact.

    From TNG's First Contact
     
  10. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have no idea, but it reminds me of people walking up to me and saying, "Oh, you're an Arab, right?" as well as Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

    As I recall she's a historian and not an anthropologist, and acquainted with the Eugenics Wars, and so knew him based upon that.

    If he's a Sikh, then they've fundamentally altered their hair styles as well as allowing for being beardless in that century.
     
  11. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Or she believes a poor historical theory much like those who think Hitler had Jewish ancestry.
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Really? You seem to be advocating only casting Koreans as Koreans, Frenchmen as Frenchmen and Lakota as Lakota.

    The world is changing. We had a Black man cast as a Norse god in Thor. Black actors are playing Presidents, Generals and businessmen.


    Define "more alien".

    Human playing humaniods? Is that really so hard to figure out?

    I don't mind subtitles, but some people do. And it can get in the way of storytelling when used when not needed.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    That Century would be the 20th.
     
  14. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  15. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But that doesn't mean it is the only circumstance under which they feel it is correct to initiate first contact, only that it was the reason in that case, and Picard was offering the Malcorians that by way of explanation for the specific timing.
     
  16. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yep. Given the constant fear of nuclear holocaust prevalent during the time period of the Cold War, Roddenberry and the writers apparently felt that the Eugenics War would begin by the 1990s.

    So while Khan is a product of the 20th Century, he's then propelled into Kirk's century (23rd). He's bridging 300 years or thereabouts, and hence why I said the generic "that" century.
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Expansion on your idea that Linda Park has to play Koreans and Patrick Stewart has to play Brits, coupled with the idea that Hispanic actors cant play Lakotas.

    Because I'm saying Linda Park can play a Japanese character, but shouldn't play Rosa Parks.

    It's a TV show not an exobiology text. It's needs will be dictated by the story, the budget and technology, not "science" One of the best TOS episodes, "Devil In the Dark" makes excellent use of a non humanoid alien, but doing that weekly runs into problems.

    Trek has it's various aliens using unique designs. They don't look like UFP ships. TOS makes use of this in "The Corbomite Maneuver".

    Subtitling a foreign film is different than using subtitles for a fictional alien. And as with non humanoids, will be dictated by the needs of the story. Its a storytelling tool not a necessity.
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I find aliens speaking their native languages drains the life out of the scenes. Yes, even Klingon. Having them speak English is easier for the audience to follow and its easier for the actors to say actual words than it is for them to spew out a bunch of fictional sounds. Just imagine how dull and lifeless something like the Dominion War would have been had the scenes featuring just the Dominion characters had them just speaking their native languages.

    Sometimes native alien languages can be used to good effect. The Jaffa on Stargate are a good example in which their language has provided a few words which have become catchphrases. But most of the time, I'm okay with aliens speaking English.
     
  19. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, the context and grammar of Picard's comment reveals it's a general statement, not exclusively to that particular instance. Picard said "When a society reaches your level of technology..." the determiner "a" in this case is used to indicate membership of a class of people or things. Picard's statement "when a society reaches your level of technology..." lumps Malcor III into a particular class or group of people.
     
  20. Hazel

    Hazel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The problem with Hoshi is that Western cultures has often portrayed Asian cultures as 'all the same', erasing differences among very diverse people. I'm not saying I feel this way per se, but it can be taken as sayiing 'eh, this actress is Asian - she's good enough to stand in for every Asian culture.'

    Not everything is equal - it's acceptable for a black man to play a character once portrayed as white because lack of representation in media is still a big problem. Casting in the opposite direction erases what steps we've made in representing anyone other than white, straight, cis men.

    In a perfect world, the best actor would get the job regardless of race. In the world we live in, bias, unconscious or conscious, still gets in the way. (Fully looking forward to appearing in the Troll thread after this)