Trek II ~ Khan's Wife

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Keith1701, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    You mean the style of Starfleet arrowhead, set in a circle, that they didn't have on the show back when Space Seed was made, but which is rather more in the style of TMP?



    It's a ret-Khan! ;)
     
  2. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Audiences so not need a visual reference for personal stories, as the person telling it is considered a believeable source. Only screenwriters thinkinf audences all suffer from the videogame mentality--where everything is visually spelled out--resort such uneccessary scenes, and it becomes less about character building than setpieces.

    One great example where no visual reference was needed was in Jaws; we did not need a visual flashback to Quint's experience with shark attacks after the sinking of the Indianapolis to understand his determination to kill THE shark, or why he said he would never wear a lifejacket again. We got it. Similarly, we did not need Marla on screen (in flashback to her death, or anything else), to accept why Khan would want to kill the man he held (ultimately) responsible for exposing her to the creatures of that world.

    I seriously doubt anyone in 1982 (or beyond) questioned Khan's motivations.

    It is called respect for the actress who brought the character to life.
     
  3. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Filmmaking is visual reference of personal stories. How would this have even worked in the silent era otherwise?

    Buster Keaton wants to play a pickpocket. He can go about it two ways:

    Have a dialog frame that reads, "This is Bob; he's a pickpocket."

    Or write a scene where he picks someone's pocket.

    What do you think he's going to do? What's going to be the most effective and believable for the audience?


    He's the villain!

    Ridiculous.

    Since Barney and Fred were drawing on cave walls, the golden rule of storytelling has always been "show don't tell." At least since the Greek plays, [long] scenes have been written and elaborate sets have been erected for the sole purpose of adding merit and weight to a character's actions. Because, you know, they show; they don't tell.

    This methodology has always been apart of film. But, by your logic, they may has well have just left the whole Paris sequence out of Casablanca.

    Funny thing about TWOK is does a lot of telling and not an awful lot of showing.

    Aside from equating one of the great film monologs to a single throwaway line, this analogy is totally erroneous.

    Quint was neither the primary antagonist nor protagonist of the film. He could have been completely cut with minimal effect on the plot. Therefore, his motivations and backstory were ultimately irrelevant to the narrative.

    Brody's, however, were all clearly depicted on screen.

    The shark is never implied nor expected to be anything more than a mindless animal. It's shown to be a mindless animal. But when you call your movie "The Wrath of Khan," it's standard procedure to show why this Khan bloke is wrathing.

    It has long been established as one of the film's biggest mistakes. It's been brought up in reviews and other assorted writings and musings, and gets mentioned around here at least once a year.

    I forgot. Marla Mcgivers is iconic.
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    For the example I provided.

    For another:

    Just as in Star Wars (1977) when Kenobi told Luke this Darth Vader "betrayed and murdered" Luke's father, or Vader helped the Empire hunt down the Jedi, we did not need a pointless flashback to either event, to see that it was used to inspire Luke to eventually fight the Empire, or build Vader's reputation as the great eveil of the galaxy. Obi-Wan's story was enough to get the point across

    I've actually heard prequels fans fantasize about inserting prequels scenes into the hut scene, as if generations of moviegoers needed that, which is--of course--an assbrained desire.

    This from a guy who defends the Harvey Comics-like plotting of nuTrek.

    Back to the matter: the person telling the story is the believable source--we have no casue to question the source (as noted in the Kenobi example)...unless you need everything trotted out in front for your face.

    Funny how no one else ever had a problem accepting Khan's line--or whined about the absence of Marla. They were too busy following the story, which did not confuse anyone regarding Khan's motives.

    Quint's single-minded desire to kill the shark takes center stage: he's the reason the Orca never returns for another ship (or help), which keeps the group at sea long enough for the advantage to completely shift to the shark. By the way, no one builds a character unless it is intended to mean something to his overall behavior. His expressed feelings about the Indianapolis incident come into play when the boat is taking on water, and--of course--as he slides into the shark's mouth.

    Where is this "established" source? Where are the numbers (of any significance) complaining that Khan's wife should have appeared, and failing that, the villain's motive was unclear?

    Where?

    Once a year. Sounds like a glaring problem just killing TWOK's legacy....yep....time for TWOK remastered, where a CG scene of Marla is inserted to finally "clear up" what so many desired for 31 years.


    All this quotes reveals is your disrespect for a then-ailing actress by trying to turn this into a flaming session.

    Good show.
     
  5. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    It's usually best to show the audience an event rather than merely describing it, but the plot and pacing of a particular film don't always make this possible. Khan's dialogue was enough for the audience to understand what happened. Given the horror experienced by Terrell and Chekov as the eels entered their ears, it's not at all difficult to imagine that Khan's wife died horribly.

    Not all villans lie. Based on the condition of the Botany Bay, it can be inferred that Khan's telling the truth. His people were struggling to survive on that world. That there would be casulaties should have surprised no one.

    Once again, it's not at all difficult to understand Khan's hatred of Kirk. Look at how he and his people were forced to live after the Enterprise left them there. Would the death of Marla add that much more to the film's plot?

    Never once have I heard anyone complain about her absence from the film. Do you really think that her inclusion would have added that much more to the plot? Khan's motives are clear from the film's dialogue. Although it's usually best to show the audience a given scenario, Ricardo Montalban's acting more than made up for any missing story elements.

    As the film's production staff went to the trouble of bringing back Kyle to be Reliant's communications officer, it would not have made sense to use another actress to play her, and choosing another in place of an ailing woman would have been disrespectful. It doesn't matter that she wasn't a big name actress. She made the character what it was and deserved to play the role had it been used again.
     
  6. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    :confused:

    I'm not sure how well Shaw's monolog would translate to five minutes' worth of dialog frames.

    But here again, Obi's story is not Luke's motivation. Aside for his thirst for adventure, Luke is pretty apathetic to the whole idea until he finds Owen and Buru murdered. There is clear on-screen evidence that it was storm troopers who did it. It is then that Luke sets-off to rescue a princess and maybe roll some Imps in the process. It is the Empire--or rather Tarkin as its figurehead--that's the villain in Star Wars, not Vader. Vader is the foil. His B-plot is used to set up ESB. As far as him being evil, there were plenty of scenes of him doing evil shit to reinforce what Obi had said.

    I'd sure like to know where I did this. All I've done is defend it from hypocritically-biased attacks so completely void of reality, truth, or fact they only serve to promote an agenda. "Harvey Comics-like" for example.

    If provided plenty of criticism of ST09 over the years and have only seen STiD once so far.

    The only wholly, definitive opinion I've even offered in the last couple of weeks is this list:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=8157055&postcount=18

    For secondary plotting elements, dialog is perfectly fine. If it weren't movies would have to be 10 hours long.

    But for the primary story element, the main driving force, whatever you want to call it, there has to be some kind of visual stimuli. "Picture" is part of the medium name. It doesn't even have to be something obvious.

    Sometimes abstract is fine--or even better. There are countless ways Meyer could have presented Khan's lament with even needing to use McGivers. It's too bad she did wear any jewelry or distinctive adornments in Space Seed because they'd be an obvious replacement for the Delta buckle Khan wore.

    It's not about clarity but substance. I already said that.

    I could tell you my laptop is black with silver trim or I could take a picture of it and email it to you.

    They are both equally clear.

    The picture is much more descriptive and provides much greater detail. It adds "weight" to its existence and makes it more "real" for you.

    Still not relevant to Brody's narrative.

    But again it's not so much about showing the event as showing it's the defining force in Khan's motives.

    I agree. When they decided not to use McGivers Meyer should have use that as the plot trigger. Drop the whole wife refrain completely.

    Some lines would've had to have been changed. And he would have had to play it up a bit with the remaining crew--heck there are a bunch of ways he could have gone with Joachim had he chosen this route instead. It wouldn't have taken much.

    But leaving things as he did, Khan's whole arc hinges on Montalban's brilliant performance. But story should never expect to depend on performance. Had a lesser actor had been cast, I can't help but wonder if it would have been a much bigger issue.

    It's actually one huge criticism I have with TDK, even though I think it's one of the best films of the young century. If it weren't for one of the best performances of all-time, the Joker would have been a really flimsy character.

    I think much the same can be said for Khan.

    The whole "disrespectful" thing is played way out of proportion.

    Here's the thing: Rhue was just in a wheelchair. Though I have no way of knowing, I assume her health was otherwise more or less okay most of the time.

    My mom has MS. While she does have bad days, most of the time she gets about just fine. Rhue continued working until 1996. So it's safe to assume she would have been perfectly able to do would have probably been only a couple of days of shooting.

    So if the real reason Harvey chose not to use her was just because she was in a wheelchair--now that is disrespectful if not discriminatory. As I said previously (and you agreed), having her appear in the wheelchair--or some wheelchair-like prop where she was comfortable--would have probably been better, anyway.

    I doubt Bennett is that detestable. So I would bet that whole story is somewhat apocryphal.

    The more likely scenario, as someone suggested up-thread, was she was just professionally unavailable, in which case a recast would have been no big deal at all.

    So the only reason left not to recast is this silly notion that's currently running amok that suggests TOS characters are sacrosanct and immune to recasting.
     
  7. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    And I stand by what I said to you before. I would have been okay with Rhue appearing in a wheelchair or some similar device as a means of showing the effects of the eels on a person's nervous system. However, I don't believe her inclusion would have been absolutely necessary to tell the story of what happened to her. Montalban's delivery of the lines discussing her death was well done and conveyed what needed to be said, IMO.

    I don't think Star Trek actors are immune to recasting. Kirstie Alley was replaced by Robin Curtis in the next film to play a character who was much more important than Rhue's. Be that as it may, it's always preferable to use the same actor or actress when possible, as fans often become just as fond of the performer as they do the chatacter. If Bennett was thinking of replacing Rhue simply because she was confined to a wheelchair, I'm not sure if there's a punishment availible that would be enough for him. We don't have any evidence that he actually wanted to do that, however.

    I don't think it was absolutey necessary to have Rhue appear, regardless of any health problems she was experiencing. I have hard time believing that she would have added anything to the story. Shatner and Montalban did a fine job carrying the film on their own, although strong performances by Nimoy and Judson Scott helped, too.

    --Sran
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    You are calling Vader the foil, but from the opening attack on the Blockade Runner, Vader was sold as the figurehead, no matter Tarkin's position on the Death Star. Later in the film, Kenobi's tale served to hammer the fact Vader was a longstanding evil from years gone by--one Luke could relate to as he was said to be his father's murderer.

    Yes, Owen & Beru's deaths served as a motivator, but Kenobi told his fiction for a reason. There would be no reason to create such a story unless he wanted it to prod Luke into joining the cause. That story--sans visual reference--contained a wealth of information to make the wheels trun, and again, serve as a point of inspiration to Luke.

    How easily you miss your own hostile, one-sided, bias-driven thought in the reply above. It suggests nuTrek is beyond deserved criticsm, which its defenders attempt (and fail) to spin as "hypocritically-biased attacks so completely void of reality, truth, or fact."

    Sound familiar?

    ...yet there was no outcry that the Marla reference lacked substance. The audience accepted Khan's story--just as they accepted Chekov's spitting, compressed story of Khan's revival. It was more than enough, and we did not need to see relevant scenes from "Space Seed" along the way.

     
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, if I recall correctly, "Space Seed" was selected after Bennett screened all 78 one-hour episodes of TOS looking for the best one with sequel potential - and quickly latched onto that one. They had no idea if Montalban was interested - or even available - since he'd become synonymous with the white-suited Mr Roarke ("Fantasy Island") - Madlyn Rhue even guested on that show - and they didn't write the Khan synopsis on the assumption that Montalban would be reprising the role. Casting the strongest actor in their (meagre) price range was their goal, and they were pleasantly surprised when Montalban was amenable.

    Recasting was not necessarily a big deal. Remember that one plan for ST:TMP, that very nearly could have happened, was Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Kirk and Spock (or Spock and Kirk?), and Walter Koenig guesting as Chekov's father.
     
  10. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't know that, but I can see the logic in using movie actors for a movie, for box office draw, among other things.

    Do you have a link to that, by the way? Was it really more than just a rumor?
     
  11. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    The screening/selection is correct, however in regard to casting, why bother with RM at all, if recasting was not a problem? Just get anyone to take the role. The thought of even trying to get RM speaks to a concern about authenticity.
     
  12. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow, I sure didn't know her having multiple sclerosis.:(
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Movies are made by committee. Everyone will have different concerns. Someone must have thought it was worth seeing if RM was busy/interested.

    They didn't bother trying to find Mark Tobin to reprise Joaquin. They simply renamed the character Joachim, went blond Aryan as a "look" - and hired "The Phoenix" himself, Judson Scott, predicted to become a Very Big Name Star on the strength of that work.

    "The Making of ST:TMP" by Susan Sackett & Gene Roddenberry, IIRC. And probably Susan's monthly column in "Starlog".

    Walter Koenig also mentioned it somewhere. He bumped into Roddenberry during early plans and GR promised to write him in as Chekov's father. So perhaps his books "Chekov's Enterprise" or the later "Warped Factors".
     
  14. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    They did film a scene where Khan mentions Marla by name. It is in the 'workprint' I saw at the UCLA film school.
     
  15. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not being familiar with the Augment story arc of ENT, I did some research.
    All of which wouldn't be written until more than 20 years after ST:WOK.
     
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    ^Correct. The idea hadn't been conceived when they decided the fate of Khan's wife.

    --Sran