The racist legacy of Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Afrika Bambaata, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well honestly if that's the case; it was done in very poor taste.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I was at a small convention in Sacramento in the early 90s, Michael Dorn and DeForest Kelley were the only big names. Dorn told a story about Patrick Stewart. When they first started the series, Patrick would talk about his 15 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Each time Patrick would mention it as the series went on, his tenure with the RSC somehow expanded, up to 25 years with them.
     
  3. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just goes to show the double standard.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Jonathan Swift he ain't.
     
  5. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So...seven pages in, and cadet "Afrika Bambataa" has yet to chime in with his thoughts other than his first ever post at the TrekBBS.

    So either he is just a troll, or he has some serious racial issues himself that really have nothing to do with Star Trek, and he just found some random thing to vent about.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  6. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It means that the real prejudice of TOS was against red people. :mallory:
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure if someone pulled random examples from the long running series Good Times, they could build a complaint that there weren't enough white people on the show.
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That wasn't the OP, that was me. Star Wars is full of allusions and analogies to films and series of the 1930's.

    Like I said in this earlier post of mine the droids are sold like slaves to new masters to work on a [moisture] farm. Yes, they are just robots, but then George Lucas made Anthony Daniels act like Mantan Moreland ("Moreland's characters were nervous and jumpy, and ready to leap out of his skin at the slightest noise. He could pop his bulging eyes and had a way of making his entire body quake with teeth-chattering tremors"), to whom I was introduced to in a Bill Cosby program about black stereotypes and also watched him perform in a couple of Charlie Chan films as Chan's driver (interestingly, the debates revolving around the Charlie Chan character being an offensive stereotype obfuscate the other issue whether his driver is an offensive stereotype, too).

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but after that I no longer felt Threepio just to be a "fussy English butler" (haven't seen one like him elsewhere, yet) as his roots looked somewhat differently. YMMV.

    Bob
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    3PO and R2 were also compared to Laurel and Hardy for a while.

    Arthur Treacher (some people might only know of him for a fish & chips chain) was famous for playing butlers in the 30s, and served as a sidekick ala Ed McMahon on one of Merv Griffin's talk shows.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But Threepio wasn't intended to be butlerish as scripted. Lucas had a "used car salesman" type in mind, planned to overdub Daniels, but apparently came to realize Daniels' delivery was the way to go. Lucas has pointed to The Hidden Fortress as one of his inspirations for Star Wars, and when you watch the film you immediately see it.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually it basically does. TV shows, stage plays and movies are presentations, until something is shown or mentioned it doesn't exist.

    Poor fashion choice, they deserve to die.

    :)
     
  13. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There were plenty of examples of minorities in TOS besides Uhura, like Lt. Boma (who was high-ranking enough to question Spock's authority) or the flawed genius of Richard Daystrom in an era where many whites still saw blacks as sub-human. Within the cultural backdrop of the 60s, it was extremely progressive. And sometimes it dealt with prejudice head-on, like the questioning of Spock's loyalty in Balance of Terror because he was from a similar race as the Romulans, or how the Horta were thought to be monsters because they are so anatomically different in Devil in the Dark.
     
  14. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Also Doctor M'Benga, not only a Starfleet physician, but also a specialist on Vulcan physiology.
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have "The Hidden Fortress" and I can attest to Maurice's claim. The movie starts with the two aforementioned characters scrambling through the desert hurling insults at each other, which was clearly where Lucas got the idea for the droids scrambling across Tatooine.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not only that, but the story is largely told from the POV of these two "peasants".
     
  17. urbankringle

    urbankringle Commodore Commodore

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    MLK's niece tells the same story. That doesn't make it any more or less true, but it does corroborate it.
     
  18. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. Star Trek was one of the few shows at that time that gave people of different races a chance to work together, productively. The best Captain in the series, IMO, is Captain Sisko, who became a Prophet of the Bajorans.

    My stepdad complains that some shows make fun of old people. But, I say, comedies make fun of everyone, not limiting their humor to one group or another.

    I think Star Trek drama was similar, in presenting people of all races with all types of personalities. Lt. Uhuru has been one of the most-popular of the TOS crew, and Dr. Richard Daystrom was considered to be one of the most-intelligent humans ever.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  19. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In particular, Star Trek has a ton of black characters. If anything they're shy a bit on other ethnicities such as asian, south asian, middle-eastern, and maybe gingers.

    I recall with hilarity when my nan (who WAS racist) anounced that she disliked shows that featured too many black people while watching an episode of TNG. The show featured a black engineer, a black helmsman, a black dude playing a Klingon, and a black transporter chief. And I love Star Trek because I hadn't even noticed. It really is what it is - a diverse group of actors doing their jobs.

    Now if you want to start a new thread saying Star Trek is sexist, I'm with you on that. ;)
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I'm familiar with the history of Star Wars using The Hidden Fortress as source material, but I've not seen the film. I've not seen any of Kurosawa's films I think, only American adaptations. In my fictional sci-fi universe, some of my control consoles and small vehicles like jetbikes are marked Kurosawa as a manufacturer's nameplate.

    I should look for that and Seven Samurai at the used video store right up the street.

    Hopefully I can find something on dvd that is undubbed and with subtitles, or has an optional dubbed version.