Star Trek Into Darkness and the 4th wall

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Cara007, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness whnand the 4th wall

    We've dealt with The Cage and The Menagerie at length above.

    Under the influence of a foreign agent, the usual explanation for dramatic breaches in Vulcan reserve. Cf. also "Amok Time" and "This Side of Paradise" also as we already covered upthread. Likewise "All Our Yesterdays" where his journey into the past put him in touch with more primal Vulcan emotion (an explanation that admittedly never quite made sense to me, but it was explicitly not "Spock as normal")

    He deduces that it's logical to resort to a desperate act given the minuscule chance of rescue. For all the needling he takes over this in the "let's all have a good laugh" ending, I've always found that explanation perfectly believable.

    I've always had the sense that the rather illogical notion of Vulcans never lying was an innovation of the films. That may be wrong, but if it is mentioned in TOS I would class it with throwaway, pretty clearly dry-humour or ironic statements like "Vulcans do not speculate" and "Vulcans never bluff." There are countless instances of Vulcans doing both (and of lying, for that matter), but they don't count as breaches in the emotional reserve which is the real distinguishing characteristic of Vulcanness.

    I can count four unequivocal breaches of Vulcan reserve in 79 episodes of TOS (not counting The Cage which predates the idea and The Menagerie which imported that simple inconsistency). Yet Spock was central to more stories than that...
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Saavik cried at Spock's funeral.

    And perhaps nuSpock was sensing the approach of Khan (the very next scene) when he yelled "Khaaaaan!", even though he hadn't yet mindmelded with him. Similarly, elder Spock had, in his younger years, sensed the deaths of an all-Vulcan crew in TOS, and sensed the approach of V'ger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness whnand the 4th wall

    My point is when writers want Spock to be front and center in a story they challenge the Vulcan Two Commandments. How this happens isn't relevant.

    The line about Vulcans lying is from The Enterprise Incident.

    It's a key element in the Romulans buying into the ruse Kirk and Spock have set up.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness whnand the 4th wall

    But once they incorporated The Cage into The Menagerie (and the series proper), they were validating that adventure and those actions became part of the character history. It doesn't really matter if "logic" wasn't part of the character during the creation. If they didn't want a smiling Spock to be seen they could've clipped the footage accordingly.

    It isn't an inconsistency that they had Spock undertake actions prior to TOS that aren't consistent with what people think they know of the character.
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness whnand the 4th wall

    Right. In which case cf. earlier comment in re: "Vulcans never speculate" and "Vulcans never bluff."

    Spock quite obviously prefers to deal with fact, but does mess with people whenever it is logical to do so. "It is no myth... [suckers]." That's interesting but it doesn't really qualify as a breach in emotional reserve, which I generally take to be far and away the bigger deal in terms of Vulcan makeup.

    EDIT:

    In one of two ways. First: they present a situation in which Spock's Vulcan-ness makes problems for him that he has to resolve without breaking with his logic (in much the same way that Data would later be presented with having to figure out how to deal with non-logical situations or subordinates or enemies without having emotion at his disposal), as in "Galileo Seven".

    Second: by having some unusual circumstance strip him of the reserve. The second way was used a lot more sparingly than the first, I think wisely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  6. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N15J4ibej8[/yt]
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Re: Star Trek Into Darkness whnand the 4th wall

    But its not a throw away line as you presumed but as I said a key element. Lying and deception are not as foreign to Vulcans as some fan think. While they might do so for "logical" reasons, they are also self serving and for "king and country".
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Key element to the story, but it doesn't seem meant to establish the inability to lie as a second pillar of Vulcan-ness and I've certainly never been one of the fans who thought lying and deception were foreign to Vulcans. :) The emotional reserve criterion is the only real "universal" such as it is that I know of.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The Two Commandments are more of fannish misconception than pillars of Vulcan Society. That writers like to play with these show why they're misconceptions. Yes, Vulcans are emotionally reserved, but it's not an unbreakable reserve. As most Spock-centric episodes show.

     
  10. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We can't reliably infer "universals" from what we get in canon. Before ENT, we met few Vulcans: Spock, Sarek, Tuvok, and occasional guests with small roles. Very small sample.

    From ENT I got the impression that Vulcans are logical in the same way Klingons are honorable: it's a cultural value and everybody invokes the word a lot, but few truly understand it and excel in its application. Spock embodies Vulcan values the way Worf embodies Klingon values, and neither one is typical of the general population of their worlds.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Both tend to over emphasize their "alieness" when around humans.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TAKE TWO: Our chief weapon is emotional reserve. That's all, just reserve. Yes, alright, reserve and pedantry... shut up!
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I was referring to what King Daniel Into Darkness was talking about, which was not just the eyeline but the whole scene, including, if not most especially, the dialog. McCoy finally got the last word when? At the end of an episode?!? That McCoy is looking off at whatever he's focusing on, that probably doesn't even really exist in-universe, is, relative to the dialog involved, just the cherry on top.

    It's the implied reference to the episodic structure that makes it leaning on the fourth wall, but since there's still "plausible deniability" as it were, in that, despite the implied reference, one could suppose that in-universe McCoy just means he's getting the last word in at all rather than at the end of an episode, this isn't breaking the wall.

    edit - I have no question that you're right that McCoy is not looking directly at the viewer. The eyeline certainly seems to be an example of intimacy, as you say, but the added dimension suggested by the dialog would seem to me to suggest an intention by the director to tease the viewer with a dose of double meaning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  14. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    OMG!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I've still not seen the film.

    For a true example of breaking the fourth wall, watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off and see how many times Ferris talks directly to the camera.

    There are also notable examples in Airplane! and Top Secret!

    Sometimes a scene intended to be serious can become so self aware, it can pull a viewer out of the moment. But that's not breaking the fourth wall. Based on comments here and elsewhere on the board, I suspect that's what's happening in Into Darkness, given its deliberate parallel to TWOK.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  16. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    It's more like flirting with the fourth wall. Sometimes it works if you do it right, especially with a humorous approach. With Khan's dramatic reveal? It's definitely comedic, unintentionally. I think they should have done it in the reverse. Spock asks Kirk to come check something out on the computer. Kirk looks shocked, they look at each other thinking the same thing. Cut to Kirk walking in the brig. The camera focuses on Khan, with Kirk in the background out of focus saying "I know who you are... Khan Noonien Singh", then we see Khan's face change. And just to let audiences know why it's a big deal, Bones doesn't know and asks why everyone is so shocked ("I'm a doctor, not a historian") and Kirk lays down the whole backrgound on Khan being the most notorious of all Earth's tyrants.
     
  17. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Unfunny.
     
  18. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    "Oh, come, come beamme, where's your sense of humor?"
     
  19. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    Right here, and working perfectly.
    That video just isn't funny.

    This one is:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfX5nAvuvr0[/yt]
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: