Why no Sela in 'Nemesis'?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by dswynne1, May 17, 2014.

  1. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    If this were indeed the case, it may plaster over a lot of the "interrogation inconsistencies" that have been bouncing around on this thread (and others) for a while now. If the attackers were independent of the Romulan Government and simply returned to the Star Empire with a group of generic captives destined for the Reman mines, there would be far less reason for extensive Tal Shiar or other interrogative interference. The Romulan General is then free to spot Tasha a the slave market (or whatever) and make his offer. The secret origin of Tasha Yar can then return to a tale she told her daughter as a child.
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would also plaster over the fact that the Federation knew hardly anything about the Romulans' activities between 2311 and "The Neutral Zone" despite two very prominent incidents. If both the Narendra III and Khitomer attacks were just carried out by some random Rommies flying around in a ship and feeling trigger-happy, then the Romulan government may truly not have had any info about them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, we don't know the exact circumstances but according to Ron Moore's "Redemption" audio commentary it's pretty obvious that Sela's account was intended by the producers to be genuine and accurate.

    (I mean, seriously, in another TOS thread Timo just wondered if we should take Vina's statements about the Talosians as accurate. There appears to be a general growing tendency to double-guess every protagonist's statement. We have no evidence whatsoever, that the Star Trek creators intended such and unnecessary ambiguity. To claim otherwise would be an extraordinary claim that would require extraordinary evidence, IMHO)

    But even if we don't see every incident mentioned in dialogue visualized on screen, shouldn't we assume that the behaviour of certain protagonists would match what we've learned from previous onscreen depictions to arrive at palatable rationalizations?

    In this particular case I'm unable to visualize an incompetent and bumbling Romulan intelligence. Whether breaking Starfleet Code 2 or knowing the senior officers of the Enterprise in TOS was a testament to their efficient intelligence is unknown, but what we learned from TNG and beyond was that the Romulans do have an efficient intelligence and I'm certain it didn't just come into being overnight.


    As for the Sela character backstory I still think it's one of the most interesting Star Trek riddles.
    • How did Sela know that her mother Tasha had been sent by Picard from the future? Did Tasha tell her when Sela was 4 years old but why?
    • Is that something Sela learned from her father after Tasha had been caught? Then how did her father knew and why didn't he hand Tasha over to the Tal Shiar?
    Assuming the latter case is correct, then Sela must have been traumatized: Instead of being turned over to the Tal Shiar, Tasha somehow got executed to have a fast and quick death (hopefully). Theoretically little Sela should have turned her father in, too, for high treason but that would have left that little "bastard" girl orphaned with no more daddy to care for and protect her.
    I'm not a psychologist but I think that's the "recipe" for a disturbed and twisted character growing up among the Romulans.

    In her particular case, of course, it was mommy's action that wreaked havoc with what 4 year old Sela considered a perfect childhood. Sela later puts all the blame on her mother but somehow she knows that's not really appropriate. And worse for her - Picard seems to be every moment a step ahead of her already understanding while she is still in denial. Again, one of the greatest TNG scenes - IMHO - and top notch acting by Densise Crosby. :techman: (and , of course, Patrick Stewart, too)

    Bob
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, we can make a good assumption based on the visual evidence: Sela's bright blonde hair. I'm guessing that blonde-haired Romulans are a rarity, perhaps even non-existent. So perhaps 4-year-old Sela was being made fun of by other kids and asked her mother about her origins. Tasha told her because, well, who's going to believe a 4-year-old's tall tale about her mother coming from the future?

    IIRC, Sela never mentioned that her father knew Tasha was from the future. So I'm assuming he never knew, which would explain why Tasha was simply taken as a consort and not interrogated by the Romulans.

    Why would she think it's not appropriate? In denial of what? For all intents and purposes, she hates her mother for betraying her father and hates Picard based on a false pretense that Picard never bothered to clarify to her. I don't see it as any more cut-and-dried than that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  5. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    In regard to the ot, I don't think Nemesis would have been worse if Sela was the main antagonist. May not have been better, but it's not really like it could have been much worse, Shitzon was not a valuable addition to Star Trek. Sela, also not really a valuable addition, at least existed.

    I think it would have been a better plot to find out in Nemesis at the end that Sela was Tasha surgically altered and mentally tampered with to think she is her own daughter.
     
  6. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What's ironic is that the TNG porn satire produced a few years ago actually had a good storyline: Alternate Tasha wasn't dead, just in suspended animation. She was then released and returned to the Enterprise-D, where she interacted with the crew even though she was from the alternate Klingon war universe. Then it turned out that Sela had "programmed" Tasha like Shinzon programmed B4 (to get information about the Enterprise without knowing she was actually doing it). When the truth was uncovered, Tasha ends up dying, but at least she died surrounded by her friends.
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's irrelevant. Nobody's suggesting Decius' friends are going around demanding everyone give him promotions and bonuses. It's simply understood that his friends are dangerous people, and NOT giving him a promotion isn't going to please them.

    Not everyone goes out of their way to avoid displeasing dangerous people. But enough people DO for it to become a significant advantage.

    Which the Romulans still let slide out of respect for that career. It may have been a magnanimous last gesture, but it was NOT the magnanimous last gesture of a nobody.

    When U.S. Presidents leave office in disgrace, they get their own libraries with a permanent full-time staff. When Burger King mangers leave office in disgrace, they get a cleaning bill for their former office. So what kind of Romulan gets to retire from the military to his own private fiefdom on a jungle planet surrounded by the POWs he personally captured and domesticated?

    It was expanded on at some length in the Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock novelizations, though. Saavik strongly implies the Romulans have a reputation for extreme brutality against their prisoners, apparently based on her personal experience.
     
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Somebody was suggesting that, actually.

    His friends are dangerous people, but the impression is that they're only going to make the Commander's life miserable. If Decius gets promoted because of that, then that's just an unintended consequence, and not the standard way people get promoted in the Empire, which was what the above person was suggesting.

    From Memory Alpha:

    So there's quite a bit of murkiness about the situation...far too much murk to be able to adequately prove that Tokath was in any kind of position of power.

    I know what the books say. That's irrelevant to what we saw on screen.

    Was this something Saavik mentioned in the films? I don't ever recall her talking about Romulans.
     
  9. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wait, does that mean it's weird for humans such as ourselves to lust after Donatra? Because if so, that could be awkward for... uh... some people. Hypothetically. If there were any such people. :p
     
  10. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I do agree that her rising in the ranks comes off pretty implausible, but given that it had already been set with "Redemption", I was fine with her appearances after that. Despite that, I think her background provides more drama in the conflict between her and Picard that I wish they had not dropped her character in the show. It would have been nice for her to pop up in the movies, but I pretty much wish they did some kind of resolution in the show too. NEM being the last chance to do that, especially with the Romulans being a part of it.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Vonda McIntyre is a favorite author, but let's be honest, she create entire sections of the Trek novelizations out of her own ample imagination.

    There's absolutely no on screen evidence that Saavik is part Romulan.

    :)
     
  12. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    There isn't any on screen evidence that Saavik was half Romulan, true, but it's so well developed in the novels and comics, I accept it as hard canon. I believe it was intended in the scripts, wasn't it, and just cut out. Is that true or has my imagination run away with me? If so, I wonder if either Alley or Curtis were given any acting instructions on the subject? I do remember hearing Curtis talking about being instructed to play Saavik less emotional.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Scripts go through multiple versions.

    In terms of the scripted scenes that were the finished movie, no, Saavik wasn't a half Romulan.

    :)
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's no way Sela could have fulfilled the role that Donatra did.

    As we all saw, Donatra was an honorable character and, in the end, relatively friendly towards the Federation; Sela was a radical ultra-nationalist "more Romulan than Romulans" who hated everything about her human half, and by extension, hated the Federation itself. There's no way Sela would have ever helped Picard and crew like Donatra did.

    Remember, Donatra seemed rather horrified at Shinzon's plans to wipe out Earth and all the rest of the Federation planets. Sela would have enthusiastically joined in said plans. And whereas Donatra dispatched medical personnel and supplies to aid the stricken Enterprise-E...Sela would have locked weapons and destroyed them.

    Sela was full of hate. Donatra was not.

    And also remember that there's absolutely no reason to believe anything Sela says. Just look at her attitude; she willingly betrayed her mother to death, and anyone who does that, can't be trusted. Sela said that her father saw Tasha "and became enamoured with her", but for all we know, the general simply had his way with Tasha, let her live long enough to see Sela's birth, and then disposed of her. (Tasha was, after all, a prisoner of war. Of the Romulans, no less. Nobody seriously believes that any of the Enterprise-C survivors - Tasha included - would ever have been allowed to live, right? Romulans simply don't do that. Sela also said that Tasha willingly submitted herself to the general if the Ent-C survivors would be spared - but why take Sela, or the general, at their word? He could easily have ordered the survivors executed anyway.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  15. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nepotism would easily have accounted for Sela's rank. It's pretty plausible. She's the spoiled rich kid who got everything handed to her and failed. Imagine how good she would be with some humility and ten years to get better.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    True enough. The Romulan general probably didn't much care for Tasha herself, but I'm sure he did all he could for Sela.
     
  17. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    But it’s a helpful approach to rationalize her tears at the end of ST II: TWOK, because shedding tears would be totally distasteful and out of character for any educated Vulcan. ;)

    :confused: Where is any evidence for that claim? Ron Moore’s audio commentary on the “Redemption” Blu-ray disc makes it rather clear that Sela’s account is genuine and accurate, because that’s how TPTB wanted it to be.

    Before we start double-guessing the statements of protagonists (and especially in this particular episode :rolleyes:), we should present good reasons to do so. I’m not aware that the TNG writers deliberately introduced ambiguous statements to confuse the audience.

    And I look at her attitude – that of a four year old child that understood it was going to be separated from his daddy and didn’t want that to be happening.

    What I get from the Sela scene in “Redemption II” is that she actually regrets what happened to her mother, but couldn’t possibly say so in front of Picard. Therefore she puts all the blame on her mother (not convincingly enough, apparently, if you look at Picard’s reaction – I love this scene, one of the best TNG has to offer).

    Bob
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I hate to sound harsh, but I don't really care what the commentary says. Sela is clearly not to be trusted, and I see no reason at all to take her at her word. I don't even care that she was only 4 when she effectively killed her mother. The least she could do was show SOME remorse.

    Although in Romulan society, being an informer might be encouraged...probably is, if Sela is any indication.

    And I also stand by my statement that Sela could not have taken Donatra's place in the film. Sela would never have helped Picard and crew, and would have probably fired on and destroyed them (whereas Donatra dispatched aid). And Sela would have been an enthusiastic participant in Shinzon's plans to wipe out every Federation world.
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Personal canon is the word you're looking for, because if there isn't any screen evidence, it's not canon at all.

    It was intended for Saavik to be half-Romulan in TWOK. By TSFS, that idea was dropped and for all intents and purposes, Saavik was full Vulcan.

    Spock cried in TMP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  20. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    He also laughed. Both were signs that he was embracing his human half, having learned from Vejur that the non-emotional ideal he had sought was "cold, barren."

    It is possible, though, that a Vulcan aged 20 to 25 is not expected to have such total emotional control--it would explain Spock's emotional displays in "The Menagerie." For a race that lives a quarter of a millenium, full adulthood might not be reached until the thirties or so. Saavik's tears--like Spock's grinning at the Talosian flora and exclaiming "The women!"--could be chalked up to adolescence.