Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Agent Richard07, Apr 18, 2013.
That's an outrageous assertion.
It's obviously a non-subtle 9-11/War on Terror/drone strike allegory, but there's a big difference between having similar but different events happen to make a point and directly implicating a brown-skinned man who ruled the Middle East and South Asia for the fictional crime. The backlash against that would have been huge. Making it a genetically engineered pasty white British guy is not going to insult any minorities by showing them still being depicted as terrorists even 300 years in the future.
Not to mention the fallout from emphasizing that the perpetrator is a Sikh given the amount of harassment and attacks Sikhs have had to endure post-9/11 by ignorant assholes who think they're Muslims (not that it would be right to harass or attack Muslims either). People would be (rightfully) upset about it, and the outrage would far exceed any of this nonsense about whitewashing a character that was already played by a white man of European descent once before. It's a no-win situation.
Since the decision had already been made to go with a terrorism and responding out of fear and revenge allegory, emphasizing a brown-skinned Khan, the region he dominated, and his religious background would become a liability. Now, they could have just chosen not to go with Khan (since the rogue Starfleet operative story predated the decision to use Khan), but then you have the problem of the movie not having a hook to attract audiences in the form of Trek's most famous established villain. Could they have done it and still made a blockbuster? Possibly. But it's a greater risk, and studios don't like to take big risks when they're investing hundreds of millions of dollars.
On a separate note, people keep saying that they just "brushed aside" the destruction in San Francisco, but I don't understand what they're looking for here. Did they want them to tack on an extra half an hour to deal solely with the aftermath of the crash? Can't people pretty much extrapolate what will happen for themselves without having it explicitly spelled out? Lots of searching through rubble, lots of funerals and memorials, and then the rebuilding process begins. They showed a memorial to the fallen, they made it a poignant moment by using actual soldiers deployed overseas post-9/11, they made a 9/11 vets dedication, and the story itself was a 9/11/War on Terror allegory. What else should they have done?
PS: There was just an earthquake here as I was typing this up.
Sounds like you had a *groundbreaking* good time!
Did I mention I hate PC ? We basically have to stick to white villains, now.
In response to the Shakespeare boys and girls nonsense, yes. With the world being as big as it is and the pool of talent being as wide and diverse as it is, agencies could afford to hire people who specialize.
Sorry, I just kinda spliced up your post here so as to not make a huge wall of text response here, but these are the points I feel like addressing.
Khan never really struck me as a terrorist anyways. I find this characterization of him somewhat odd. That they put him in such a role and don't think about the consequences of that doesn't really strike me as a no-win situation. The answer is simple: don't use Khan, or don't turn him into a terrorist.
People kept saying before the movie, and somehow keep insisting that Khan is a big deal to reps and hooking audiences, but he's supposed to be a secret! He's not even marketed as Khan. Maybe if they spent the time playing up that this was Khan more instead of playing the whole secrecy angle (which really was nothing more than fan service), then there'd be a point to the whole marketability thing.
As to the "brushed aside" destruction, it's mostly because it just feels like it's done for the cool factor and that it's just all very casual, much like urban destruction in your typical Hollywood fare (Avengers, Transformers, Batman, etc). It's not like it's anything new to fiction where the main characters are invested much more in their personal melodramas when there are thousands of lives in jeopardy, so you're right in that. Still, it just feels odd.
We never really got the full aftermath of the loss of six billion Vulcans, for that matter. In some ways, that bothers me more.
I will say this about movies that destroy cities or large parts of them (and apparently we'll see some more of that in "The Man of Steel"), post-9/11 I don't think there's a "cool factor" to it, any more. It does feel odd, too. It's also too sanitized, given what we saw in New York. Where are all the clouds of dust? The fires? The rush of air and the flow of debris and smoke running through the streets for blocks and blocks? In STID, the Vengeance finally stops, and Khan jumps off into clear blue SF skies and exits down clean streets. We know it wouldn't be that way. It's so much messier. Much more horrible.
If they didn't want to linger on it, as Spock left for the Enterprise, they could've at least done a shot back to the path of destruction. Just a wide shot over Spock's shoulder as he glimpses back at it, himself. Something to show this was not just comic-bookish plowing through buildings for the "cool effect," but there were real consequences. It would've made the memorial scene later even more poignant.
Just my opinion.
Yes, you've mentioned that, and no, we don't "have to" stick to white villains (there are plenty of brown-skinned terrorists, criminals, and villains depicted in TV, books, games, and movies). But why do you have to stick with a brown-skinned terrorist 300 years in the future when it's a completely different context from present day Middle Eastern terrorism? Why do you have to stick with a brown-skinned villain when Khan has already been played by a white man of European descent and was shown with his natural white skin (sans skin darkening makeup) in TWoK? Why do you have to stick with a brown-skinned terrorist when no actual historical terrorist incident is being depicted?
PC would be turning the actual 9/11 hijackers into white neo-Nazis in a made-for TV movie or something. Making a fictional terrorist in a fictional bombing in a fictional future universe a white guy instead of a brown-skinned man is not PC, or at least not anything worth being bothered by. The technical term for a lot of the stuff that gets criticized as political correctness is "not being an asshole." There's no important justification to make the terrorist a brown-skinned man in this case or evoking images of Sikhs being involved in terrorism when they've already suffered from being falsely accused of it in recent years. I'm perfectly fine with Star Trek not going out of its way to offend people needlessly.
Well, it depends. The vague comments about him being a loveable tyrant in Space Seed and TWoK didn't specifically paint him as a terrorist (nor do they rule it out), though to gain control over so much territory in such a short time he might have resorted to those tactics.
In Greg Cox's Eugenics Wars books, Khan's allies used nerve gas to target a rival leader in a terrorist attack and Khan attempted to use biological warfare to get revenge on the people of Earth. The writers of the film have said that they're fans of and are inspired by the tie-in fiction on multiple occasions.
It was only a "secret" in that they didn't openly promote it, but it was pretty obvious among fan circles who the villain was and would be spread by spoiler reviews and word of mouth to the general public once the movie premiered.
In the original Space Seed, it is stated:
We know later that some of these nations were in Asia and the Middle East.
There are many historical examples of coup d'etats where terrorism wasn't used. Wikipedia describes the coup d'etat and lists both successful and unsuccessful ones. A number of coup d'etats were orchestrated by the military, so it's conceivable to me that people like Khan were able to convince the military leaders of weak nations, as one could find in Asia and Middle East, to join his cause and overthrow an existing government.
Khan wasn't depicted as a lovable dictator. Yet, he wasn't depicted as a murderous dictator either. This interpretation came up later.
(Space Seed is quite clear on Khan not being a murderous dictator when Scotty said:
Well, to echo what you just said, we don't "have to" stick to brown villains. First off, Khan wasn't a terrorist. His target was a military installation both times.
Second I'm just saying that IF they chose a causasian in order to be PC, it's silly. I don't think they did, personally.
Woah, I didn't say any of that.
That doesn't, in and of itself, exclude him from being considered a terrorist.
However, and moreover, Khan was purported to have been responsible for an attack on a branch of Federation Archives, supposedly not a military target. Khan was thereby accused of being a terrorist. The "drone strike" was ordered to punish that alleged crime, which was in fact a false charge, because the building attacked wasn't really an archive.
I am prepared to be lambasted for this question.
When I saw the explosion, I thought the death toll would be greater than 42. I mean this explosion tore through several underground levels and caused damage at street level. Why weren't more people killed?
I'll be mean here - perhaps they were only talking about Starfleet deaths.
Maybe there were a lot of injuries and with 23rd century medicine they could save them.
Yes, I know. I didn't say he used terrorism for sure, I said it wasn't specifically ruled out and could have possibly been used. Plus, there's no coup that gained control of a quarter of the surface of the Earth in a couple years, so it's not really comparable to any real historical situations.
That was just a joke about how some of the Enterprise crew sort of admired Khan and viewed his rule through rose tinted glasses of history.
That makes it clear that he didn't massacre his own people once he consolidated power. It doesn't say anything about what he did to his enemies and populations that wouldn't submit to his rule.
It's been a while since I read the novels, but this is what it says on Memory Beta:
So, like I said, an ally of his used nerve gas on the UN to kill an enemy (I don't recall if Khan was aware that he would do this or not) and Khan tried to use biological weapons against the people of Earth. Neither of which are military targets.
 It occurred to me that you weren't talking about the EW novels or the 9-11/War on Terror allegory and are talking about the crash in San Francisco in the film instead. In which case, targeting Starfleet HQ in the middle of San Francisco with a ship a quarter of the size of the peninsula (exaggeration, don't look it up) is hardly an indiscriminate act. Thousands of innocent civilians both on the Starfleet HQ campus (if it's anything like real military installations where it's a mix of military and civilians) and in the surrounding city would be killed.
Besides that, when the computer told him that he couldn't reach Starfleet HQ, he had no problem taking out a huge chunk of San Francisco instead.
Nor did I accuse you of saying any of that. It was a general you.
Pardon the question, but since I've only seen the movie once, it still puzzles me on the sequence things
1-Nutjob Admiral discovers/finds out about 20th century supermen in cyrofreeze
2-NA thaws out Top Superman, begins using him as evil-weapons brain trust. So Far I understand.
But was the attack set on the "archives" set up by Marcus with Khan executing the plan? The bomber did send a message to Marcus. When did Marcus and Khan stop working together to start a war? Again, questions of a single-viewing.
Khan overrode the computer. If the Vengeance had not come in low, it would have hit Starfleet Headquarters.
Now, Khan is a murderous bastard. He could have ordered the ship to self-destruct, thus incinerating San Francisco. What are the lives of a city to a man who murdered millions? Or was that a line that the writers weren't willing to cross?
Why is it that so often when it's suggested that people treat others with respect or stop some bigoted behavior someone starts denouncing "PC?"
They really give the impression that political correctness might have some virtues when they behave that way.
Admiral Nutjob announced the death toll at 42 before privately letting Kirk in on the target having been a secret Section 31 base below. I suspect 42 people died in and around the Kelvin Memorial Archive, not counting those beneath.
Well no, but my point is that in actuality he didn't specifically target civilians.
And even then, can the nuclear bombings of Japan be considered terrorism ? I think it's a bit more complex than that.
No, I meant in the official Trek stuff. TOS, TWOK, STID.
No. They talk about that. Khan was hurting Marcus for, in his mind, killing his family.
Not to start a whole tangent on that can of worms, but yes, I think they were the very definition of terrorism (going by the definition: "the use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of inspiring terror and intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons"), regardless of whether one thinks their use was justified or not in that context and era. Of course, many of the same actions that would be considered terrorism if perpetrated by a rogue group would be considered legal by the UN if perpetrated by the armed forces of a recognized state during an armed conflict, so yeah, like you said, it's a gray area.
Yeah, I caught that after the fact and addressed it in my edit. It was a conflation of two different arguments about the events in the Eugenics Wars books vs. the events in the show/films.
Separate names with a comma.