STID and the Eugenics Wars books

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Noddy, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    How do fans of the Eugenics Wars books by Greg Cox feel about the use and interpretation of Khan in the latest movie?
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My memory is a bit sketchy (Greg - can you help out ?), but I don't think there is much of a problem - the major changes are post revival which can be seen as due to the new timeline. The 'magic blood' could just be something that we didn't know about in the original timeline, or something Bones did to it in STID.

    I don't think there is any way to reconcile the new comics back story for Khan though.
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Spock's comment that Khan's goals included "the extermination of anyone not considered superior" (or words to that effect) sounded to me like it could be a reference to Khan's last-ditch plan to use his mother's modified strep-A to eradicate all non-augmented humans on Earth in Eugenics Wars, volume 2. That said, the rest can't fit.

    I read the EW books in the run-up to ID, and I'm afraid I wasn't a fan of them. Although enjoyable in parts, they were too slavish to "Space Seed" in making Khan a Sikh, which was obviously a mistake by Marla. Sikh's are forbidden from removing hair from any part of the body, and Khan was not only clean shaven, but had a waxed chest too! I found the rest too fanwanky. A nice try to reconcile RL with Trek, but one doomed to failure. The framing story was a rehash of "The Masterpiece Society" and didn't engage me one bit.

    Khan's racial identity is a complete muddle in canon, going from brownfaced faux-Indian in SS to White Hispanic in WoK to White British in ID. Now I'm thinking that he was never Indian; that was another epic fail from Marla (the pic of Khan in a turban was painted by Marla too, excusing that). He was only tanned - and he lost his tan on Ceti Alpha V in Prime Trek and in the Section 31 R&D labs in the AU. Thusly, all that's changed is his accent - no more of a big deal than Kirk's eye colour, IMO.
    Admittedly this doesn't explain the complete change of his followers between SS and WoK. One thing at a time:p
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Complete change? Both "Space Seed" and TWoK featured an all-Aryan collection of goons. Supposedly, there were non-Aryans in "Space Seed" somewhere off camera, as Scotty claims Khan's team was of mixed race and we get the impression Khan woke up even those among his seventy-something followers who weren't of pure blood... But the same could apply to TWoK.

    Why should we think Khan would have chest hair? For all we know, he was unable to grow a beard, too... "Shaving" doesn't really fit, as we'd see stubble after nearly three centuries of sleep.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    They also all turned blond. And were somehow all younger. Although admittedly we didn't see all 72 in "Space Seed"
    Marla of course wouldn't know if Khan had some hair growth defect or was perhaps engineered to be a dolphin. Her line about him being "probably a Sikh" is completely flawed.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    "Completely" is too strong an expression: if she had some reason to think Khan was a Sikh, then him not being able to grow body hair (like a significant percentage of mankind today, really) would be a logical conclusion that could go unvoiced.

    Perhaps she recognized Khan's clothing? At the rate things are going, mixing of cultures geographically might be out of fashion by the time we learn to launch ships like that; in the Trek universe, things might have gone downhill faster, what with "Eugenics Wars" and the like. In such an environment, if somebody dares dress like a Sikh from northern India, he either is one, or wants to pass himself as one...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Does Marla, or anyone else for that matter, ever actually say that Khan is a Sikh in dialogue in the episode? Been such a while since I watched it, I can barely remember. In any case, Greg acknowledged it in his books, while also providing a rationale for why Khan was clean-shaven.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It's all in this video, at about the halfway point and then at the end:)
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnhIkX99OYw[/YT]

    "From the northern India region I'd guess. Probably a Sikh, they were the most fantastic warriors!"
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And of course his surname is Singh, like most (all?) Sikh men.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Doesn't she speculate he is a Sikh, before she knows his name?

    Yep, Kahn's still in his hibernation chamber when Marla makes her guess.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The question isn't about what the basis for Marla's deduction was, the question is whether the episode itself established Khan as a Sikh in dialogue. And it did so in two ways: one, by having Marla state it outright, and two, by giving him the surname Singh.
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    True.

    Though the question remains, why did Marla think he was Sikh? Did she know he was Khan?
     
  13. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    What elements from the novels in particular do you reckon are contradicted by the movie?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The real-life answer: the costume, makeup, and hair departments didn't do their homework about Sikhs and so the character's look didn't fit the script. It's typical of '60s TV portrayals of Asia that they wouldn't have cared much about accuracy or authenticity.

    In-story, yeah, maybe Marla suspected who he was and kept quiet. She was a student of such dictators and had kind of a fetish about them.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But do only Sikh men have the last name of Singh?

    I know we had a Lieutenant Singh in Lonely Among Us.
     
  16. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    What about Vijay Singh (the golfer)? He's from Fiji, and don't believe he's a Sikh...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijay_Singh
     
  17. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    Singh is a name used by Sikhs and Hindus. I believe it means lion and it harkens back to the kshatriya caste of warriors. (Hence Marla's remark about warriors.) As Christopher said, the episode is more a garbling of various Indian cultural elements then a true representation. The episode does indicate that a lot about him isn't really known.

    In story it's not necessarily unlikely that Khan was a Sikh by birth/baptism who later gave up or took on another belief system/philosophy. I haven't read the books, but they're on my Kindle for once I get caught up on the 24th Century Stuff.
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    That he was a Sikh or from Northern India primarily.
    Khan's blood obviously never comes up in the EW books or SS/WoK. Also Admiral Marcus' claim that Khan and crew were condemned to death as war criminals doesn't quite mesh with what happened in the second book, but I guess the UN could have tried Khan and co. in absentia after his escape.

    I'm not condemning the books as "wrong", just a different take on Khan's origin to what the Into Darkness writers (at least one of which, Roberto Orci, has read Greg's EW novels) envisioned.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    At the time, I wrote the books there was no reason to believe that Marla was mistaken, but it was also obvious that Khan was not a traditional Sikh. So I wrote him as someone who had Sikh roots, but, as a superior being, did not consider himself bound by any merely human traditions or beliefs.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, that Marcus says Khan is X can probably be taken as solid evidence that Khan is not X... :devil:

    The only reason Marcus even utters that phrase about war crimes is because he is attempting to drive a wedge between Kirk and Khan, in a situation where he knows Khan is not present to contest the claim. (Although being a devious man himself, he might have done well to suspect that Kirk would be piping the discussion to Khan's cell...)

    Khan's blood might be something he did to himself in order to play out the initial moves in the game against Marcus. If he can use his intellect to design starships with technology completely alien to him, he can probably do wonders with biochemistry, too.

    Timo Saloniemi