Where did Spock go?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, May 16, 2010.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Forced Mind Meld?

    The My Brother's Keeper trilogy is about how 17- year old Kirk and Mitchell met and grew up through the academy.
    Mitchell was also in Strangers From the Sky (set partly before "Where No Man..."), was horribly injured right at the start of TOS origin story Enterprise: The First Adventure (presumably so he could be kept out of the story and away from the regular TOS cast) and was totally ignored in Shatner's modern take on Kirk's academy days (released before STXI, but with a similar chaotic vibe), Collision Course.
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because he was naive enough to be easily manipulated by Mitchell where such things were concerned.

    Actually, what Kirk's like in the movie doesn't actually strike me as what Mitchell seemed to be like in that episode. From the beginning, and by his own self-description of his past, Mitchell was a cold, manipulative and self-centered man.
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's funny, because I don't remember Star Trek '09 being about the Air Force Academy. I remember it being about a futuristic, completely fictional, space/military/exploration academy, where present-day American military academy rules don't apply. Because they certainly didn't apply in TOS, which Abrams based his movie on. Shatner's TOS crew's actions were far different from how any U.S. Navy crew would act. So really, Abrams knew exactly what he was doing, because he copied TOS's style of military service.

    Really, we all know you hate the movie, because you bring it up with every post you make. It's like you have absolutely nothing meaningful to say anymore about anything other than finding more and more insignificant things to bitch about with this film. And we're all fine with the fact that you hate it. You don't have to justify your hatred with silly anecdotes that don't prove anything anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  4. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    And Pine's Kirk wasn't? I got a green girl who says otherwise--if she's even still alive. Maybe the green girl he apologized to in her stead will do, since they all look alike to him. (I know, I know, deleted scene... Goes to writer's state of mind, your honor, the same writers who gave us the shuckin' and jivin' robots of Transformers 2.)

    EDIT: Besides, all Gary did was get an uptight friend laid--sure, he had ulterior motives, but come on, this is a guy who took a poison dart on Dimorus for Kirk. Before the Barrier, Gary was easily as good a a guy as Pine's Kirk. Easily. that's why WNMHGB is a tragedy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, seriously. I think Peeples set Mitchell's character up more carefully than that, just as he did Dehner's. It's always seemed to me that what happened to Gary exacerbated aspects of his character that the writer establishes in the first act (more or less): that he tries to control other people, including friends, in his self-interest; that he's arrogant and that his vanity is easily bruised.

    The backstory about him and Kirk could have been anything, after all, that enabled Peebles to tell us what Kirk was like (let's assume that this was the more important task, for the sake of building the main character of the series)...but what it in fact was, was a deliberate story about Gary lying and using people - including his friend - and seeing nothing wrong with it. That's not an accident or coincidence, because none of this is a spontaneous recollection of real past events - it was made up to support the characterization for the story.

    By the same token, while we're probably meant to accept that Mitchell actually is courageous and does consider Kirk his friend, the only reason we hear the "poison dart" story is to show that Mitchell is using it to get what he wants from Kirk now.

    In contrast, and despite Mitchell's remark about a "freezer unit (his wounded vanity speaking) Dehner leads with her feelings. This is why she remains accessible to Kirk and Mitchell does not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  6. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Even if I accept that (and I don't, I think it's childishly reductive--sure Gary has a dark side, who doesn't? Kirk's tried to rape his yeoman), how does it square with what I said about Pine's character vis-a-vis Uhura's roommate? Kirk manipulates her in order to achieve just what, exactly? A childish and pointless victory over a simulation? My point is that Pine's Kirk is easily as much of a user as Mitchell, only our society now sees that as a virtue. Greed is good and the other guy an afterthought, after all, even if it results in economic collapse, millions of gallons of crude in the Gulf or a broken-hearted (or, at the very least, humiliated) green chick--hey, forget her, right? She's just a green whore.

    EDIT: The more I think on your argument, the less sense it makes. Gary almost died because of the dart he took for Kirk. Unless you're willing to argue that his latent esper ability told him that this would be a great way to manipulate Kirk when he finally became an amoral god, there's no way to dismiss it without being silly. The scene was set up to show us the manipulator Gary was becoming and contrast that with the harmless schemer and self-sacrificing hero he had been--a braver Ensign Pulver to Kirk's Lieutenant Roberts. What Gary did to Kirk with the lab technician pales in comparison to what Pine's Kirk did to "win" the Kobayashi Maru.

    Happily, I just figure that the positively grim stack of books with legs that was Shatner's Kirk figured out a less emotionally exploitative way to reprogram the simulator and that the simulation he replaced it with was not so easily (read: moronically) defeated as the one in the film. Considering the completely different paths that put Captain Pike in a wheelchair in both realities, I figure I'm on pretty solid ground here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I'd never suggest that Kirk - Pine or Shatner - isn't cunning and manipulative, particularly where women are concerned. He's not cold or particularly calculating, though. And I think the writers of ST took the Kobyashi Maru story in the only direction they could by making it such a clear cheat that it's hard to argue that Kirk didn't know that it would be recognized immediately as such. What he clearly didn't expect was to miss out on the big galactic crisis because of being suspended.

    I think you're missing the point, a little, on the dart thing - I didn't say that Mitchell wasn't portrayed as brave or incapable of being loyal. But since he never actually was injured - in the sense that this is fiction where everything is either invented or not sheerly at the need of the author - what's most important in IMAO is why we get to hear this incident referred to. There are two answers, I think - one is to make Kirk suffer a little more for the benefit of the audience, and the other is to show Mitchell once again pulling someone's strings.

    In terms of how action and history reveal the characters in stories, they have only those characteristics given to them by the writer of the story (behavioral nuance being the province of the actor and perhaps the director). They don't have light and dark sides on their own, they do nothing for the sake of anything other than the script itself.

    Mitchell's not "becoming a manipulator" - the earliest description of his behavior (the lab assistant story) is of his being a manipulator. The only thing he's becoming, in the story, is unstoppable.
     
  8. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    That's a little post-modern goal-post moving, isn't it? Of course, these aren't "real" people but, in order for drama to have any resonance, we have to play the game of make-believe that they are.

    And I repeat: the Kirk of Trek '09 is shown to be just as calculating as Gary, with a nasty whiff of racism-by-proxy thrown in for good measure. The only times we've seen Kirk use women in TOS was either when he was spurred by deep-seated obsession ("Conscience of the King") or by an imminent threat to himself and his crew ("By Any Other Name" and "The Gamesters of Triskelion"). The stakes in Trek '09 are nothing like either of those.

    You were right the first time, when you were agreeing with me. ;)
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's just the way I look at these things after I've seen them enough times and based on interest in how they work. I happen to be more impressed by Peeples based on what I think he deliberately did with Mitchell than I was even a few years ago before I really paid attention to the parts (I was asked to review the episode, which I hadn't watched in a long time). Of course it's to be hoped that the audience has a "naive aesthetic response" to the fiction initially, at least on some level.

    As for the rest, we're just going to disagree. I'd describe Kirk as belligerent, but not with a nasty streak. I liked him in general.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  10. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    And I liked Gary. That's kinda my point, and it seems pretty obvious to me that it was Peeples' point, too: Gary didn't ask for what happened to him. Just as the guy on the Valiant couldn't handle it and Dehner couldn't handle it until she experienced a last minute pang of residual humanity, Gary couldn't handle being unstoppable. Otherwise, why include the heartbreaking "Jim?" when Gary momentarily reverts to human after the forcefield drains him of divinity? It's not that I don't think Peeples had a reason for writing that scene as he did, it's that I see his reasons differently than you do. That's the point under consideration here.

    Seriously, how is mapping out the blond lab tech's campaign for her so chilling, really? If anything, it's rather charming--verging on homoerotic--that Gary knew Jim well enough to be able to so ably seduce him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dehner didn't ask for what happened to her either, but her character was different than Mitchell's. That coda tells us a good deal more about Kirk than about Mitchell, IMAO.

    The plot reason for Mitchell fading momentarily, of course, was to establish that he still had limits and could be made vulnerable (it also ratchets up the tension - in principle, this kind of near-miss drives the audience crazy, like when the search party just misses McCoy hiding behind a rock in "The City On The Edge Of Forever"). Arguably, demonstrating Kirk's compassion is the other reason for it - although that's a cliche so well-worn that the writer doesn't really earn points. No TV hero of the day would shoot a defenseless man. No-brainer. :lol:

    And I've been misspelling Sam Peeples' name as "Peebles" again - d'oh! I've gone back and corrected that where I've noticed.
     
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  13. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I knew it was Peeples myself. Our bad.
     
  14. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Gary was a new life form struggling to survive and he knew that meant danger for Kirk and crew and possibly all Humanity. Other than that he was a nice guy.
     
  15. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Shoot a defenseless man? Pine's Kirk did and it almost got him and his newly minted ship sucked into a black hole. Just sayin'.

    And I mentioned Dehner and her last minute change of heart. Even then, she had been seduced: "You can't know what it feels like to be a god," or words to that effect.

    Anyway, you do make a valid point about how the "Jim?" moment serves the plot. I just think that it does a little more than that.
     
  16. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    This is odd... are you saying that Peeples was both deliberate and frivolous in his story telling? And you get to decide which elements are the deliberate ones and which can be dismissed?

    It seems by what you are saying (and I might be misreading this) is that the dart story's only importance is to show Gary as being manipulative rather than also to further flesh out the back story of the character.

    The anecdote ended by noting that he almost died in the incident. Peeples could have used a story where Gary rescued Kirk without risking his own life... but he didn't. And I don't think it was Peeples being careless in either his writing or character development.

    So am I wrong, or are you trying to have it both ways in a single post here? :wtf:
     
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    1966, meet 2009. :lol:
     
  18. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Orders signed by Admiral A. Soprano, Commander Starfleet.
     
  19. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    In 2009, the bad guys always win.
     
  20. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    In 2010, we all realize there are no good guys.