Shinzon's motives

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by The Overlord, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    See the problem with that is, Shinzon was supposed to be Picard's Khan and Khan had for more straight forward reasons for hating Kirk compared to the reasons for Shinzon hating Picard and wanting to destroy Earth.

    Khan is a better villain because we have a better understanding of what drives him and why he hates Kirk. Sure Khan's megalomania gives him a warped perspective and lets him ignored his own fault for his situation, but he does have a right to be upset, Kirk didn't check up on him after banishing him to that planet and Khan's wife dying would certainly make bitter towards Kirk. All of that is far more interesting then the convoluted, yet underdeveloped motives Shinzon had in Nemesis. Convoluted story telling is not good story telling.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    Where in the movie does it explain that?

    "Nemesis" is certainly not my favourite Trek movie, but I have more issues with the directing than I do with the script.

    Data was my favourite character; I should have been an emotional wreck at his passing.
     
  3. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010


    Well if we want to read between the lines and not have everything spoon fed to us, most of the movie apes Wrath of Khan, the movie makers said this was supposed to be the TNG Wrath of Khan, so it makes sense that Shinzon is supposed to be Khan in this story.

    Well we have to agree to disagree, because I did think this movie had a lot of script problems.

    Another problem is, Shinzon is supposed be an evil version of Picard, but he doesn't feel like that. An evil version of Picard wouldn't destroy Earth, he would gain nothing from that, but an evil version of Picard could destroy Romulus, because the Romulans have been a threat in the past and an evil Picard could use that as an excuse to justify genocide. There would be a method to the madness of an evil Picard, there would be a sinister logic behind his actions, Shinzon's actions don't seem to reflect the type of man an evil Picard would be.

    So having Shinzon threaten Romulus instead of Earth makes for a better thematic story, Shinzon is doing something an evil Picard would do and makes Picard have to save one of the Federation's most dangerous enemies in the process. That is more interesting than what we got in Nemesis.
     
  4. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    ^^ I agree, far more interesting.
    Although the story might be a hard sell to some.

    V/O ANNOUNCER: Watch as Picard actually defends The Federation's most secretive enemy... the ROMULANS.
    JOE SIX PACK: Romul-whose? I wanna see Picard save the Earth again. Because that's where I live dangnabbit, on EARTH. Yee-haw!
     
  5. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I don't know, in Thor the climax of the movie was Thor stopping Loki from destroying the ice giant race, I'm not sure how many people disliked that movie because Loki was threatening the ice giants rather then Asgard or Earth.

    A good writer could make people care about Romulus and root for Picard to stop Shinzon.
     
  6. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Well there could easily be a loop around the facet of Earth hanging in the balance; if Earth's prosperity and safety was tethered to a politically stable Romulus? Maybe they should have aimed closer to The Undiscovered Country than Khan.
     
  7. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Actually, his motives, as retarded as they are, aren't any more retarded than Nero's, yet Trek '09 is considered by some to be cinematic gold! In fact, Nero hanging out for like 25 years in space to blow up Vulcan and and try to do that to Earth, are even worse!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nero and Shinzon are both absolutely terrible villains. The only reason ST09 is somewhat better (though not getting anywhere near cinematic gold, imo), is because 09 has a better sense of humor ( for me, the only real significant improvement Abrams has brought to Trek, so far) and because Nero's sucky characterization feels slightly less disappointing since the film literally spells it out for everyone that he's really just a plot device designed to make the time travel reboot possible, rather than a villain who's actually supposed to be interesting in and of himself.
     
  9. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Bedford Falls
    The movie tanked. Apparently saving Earth didn't interest Joe Six Pack either.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    yep, exactly right. Nero was a lousy villain, but wasn't nearly as significant to the movie as Shinzon was to NEM.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    England
    Shinzon was mentally ill, after a life of terrible abuse. His want to destroy Earth and Picard, to drag Picard down and prove himself equal to them fits with paranoid behaviours.

    I wonder if those who refuse to accept Shinzon's motives have any experience with the mentally ill?

    See also: Hitler. The legend goes that a Jew beat him out of a place in art school, thus: attempted genocide. Yet nobody calls him unrealistic.
     
  12. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I'll call him a whiny-ass moron. Just because a character potentially has a moderately believable real world explanation, doesn't make them a good character. Especially since the movie couldn't be bothered to engage Shinzon as truly insane, so much as just generically destructive. If it had been less of a straight-up adventure with Shinzon as the Bad Man and more of a serious drama about what to do with this clearly damaged, but unfortunately powerful person, then maybe it would have been a slightly better movie.

    Also, Hitler's story has a few more stops along the way than just 'failed artist -> attempted genocide'...
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    "he's just crazy" is pretty much THE definition of a poorly-motivated villain.
     
  14. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Location:
    Everett, Washington
    Avatar, also, proves that you don't need Earth to hang in the balance, or much of Earth at all, to make a successful science fiction film. (Note: I don't like Avatar, but it was a mega huge hit, and people were damn near killing themselves over the emotional connection they had with a completely alien species and planet that had no connection to Earth at all.)

    I would honestly totally rewrite Shinzon as a character. I'd cut out the whole Troi subplot, i'd cut out the dying subplot. Instead his focus would be entirely a Hitler-inspired ideology of genocide against the Romulans. The Enterprise would, much like her predecessor in Yesterday's Enterprise, make a last ditch stand. This time, defending the Romulan's from Shinzon's radiation weapon.
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    That a scifi story needs Earth to be successful is bullshit talk anyway. The success of a film depends on the execution and not on a list of checkpoints of stuff to put into. Oh, we need a scene on Earth at 8 minutes, a hot babe at 12 minutes, an explosion at 15 minutes, and the car chase at 24 minutes needs to be with BMW cars because market research shows that people associate BMW cars with aggression and action. All that is bullshit.

    Sad thing is that some producers and writers actually think like that.
     
  16. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    Bedford Falls
    Proof positive that you can make a genre film that has nothing to do with Earth and take the box office by storm? Star Wars.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    And yet I recall discussion at the time that Alderaan was deliberately made a blue planet to remind us that it could have just as easily been Earth.
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Location:
    CommishSleer
    We still associate ourselves with the 'humans' in Star Wars.

    We only really cared about the Ewok planet because our heroes were there.

    I care about Romulus and Vulcan being destroyed because I'm involved in the mythos but my non-Star Trek husband couldn't care less about them.
    I also didn't care about the people on Veridian 3.

    When we hear about an overseas disaster it sometimes only makes the news here if our fellow countrymen were involved.
    I hate to be mean but the massacre in Kenya recently only became of 'real interest' on the news because citizens from our country were killed.
     
  19. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Location:
    Everett, Washington
    It's less about being human, and more about familiarity and proximity.

    The people on Veridian 3 were never shown as a living breathing people, we never got to know them in any way, and thusly their death is distant, cold, and not much of a stakes raiser emotionally.

    Whereas in the aforementioned Avatar, or even Star Wars (Since, contrary to their appearances none of them are "human" )we get to know and understand the characters, their motivations, their strengths and weaknesses, and their relationships with each other. Good story comes from good character.
     
  20. Khan444

    Khan444 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Nero may not have been a particularly memorable villain, but he was still better than Shinzon. At least Nero's insanity was more apparent and his mad quest for revenge, as problematic as it was, made SOME sense, unlike Shinzon. Spock did promise to save Romulus, and failed, resulting in the death of Nero's pregnant wife and the extinction of most of his race. That may not be much, but it is still more motive than Shinzon, who has NO reason to hate Picard or Earth and EVERY reason to hate the Romulans. Also, trying to justify Shinzon being poorly written by bringing up Nero doesn't change the fact that Shinzon was poorly written, it just means that Nero was as well, but Shinzon was written worse.