Why no Sela in 'Nemesis'?

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

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    You are entitled to disregard the audio commentary but then it's your personal preference versus the intentions of the creators. I think the method of scriptwriting sufficiently establishes the accuracy of Sela’s account:
    • Picard discusses the validity of Sela’s claim with his staff and finds no common sense reason why it should possibly be a deception (as it will have no impact on their current situation)
    • Next, Guinan (trustworthy) walks into the Conference Lounge to inform Picard that he (in an alternate reality) “sent” Tasha to the past, which sufficiently explains why Sela’s existence is possible
    • Finally, Sela walks in and she, too, tells Picard that he “sent” her mother to the past, thus establishing the credibility of her account
    Of course, in other matters, Sela couldn’t be trusted because she will put the interests of the Romulan Star Empire before any consideration for the Federation.

    But here she shortly enjoys a moment of advantage (knowledge) which quickly goes south, once she talks about it and remembers how lonely she probably felt after her mother’s execution which was a consequence of her crying, when she was just four years old.

    She would be the last person I’d expect showing “SOME remorse” (= weakness) vis-à-vis her adversary (Picard), who realizes (“doubts”) that her human half is apparently not as dead as Sela wants to make him believe.

    Having suffered humiliation in the presence of Picard here and again in “Unification”, Sela would have been a Romulan character eager to see Picard fail somehow and for a change, but TPTB didn’t pull that option, unfortunately.

    But according to “Yesteryear” it’s rather unlikely:

    BOY: Earther! Barbarian! Emotional Earther! You're a Terran, Spock. You could never be a true Vulcan.

    SAREK: My apologies, visitor. I regret you were witness to that unfortunate display of emotion on the part of my son.

    Already and for children at the age of seven, Vulcans consider emotional display as distasteful and inappropriate.

    And Saavik certainly knew that Spock would have found her tears for him somewhat disrespectful. From a Vulcan point of view what was there to cry about? Spock had died an outspoken “meaningful” death saving his ship, his crew and his friends.
    But obviously Saavik hadn’t mastered emotional control yet, and at her age that looks almost impossible for a female Vulcan supposedly having been raised on Vulcan.

    Bob
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, the creators' intent is meaningless if it doesn't actually show up on screen. And because it doesn't show up on screen, we fans have every right to believe whatever we want despite that intention.

    If you want to use TAS as any kind of reference, then you need to explain things like why the S.S. Bonaventure was described as the first warp ship, and why personal forcefields in lieu of space suits were a technology that was mysteriously abandoned after TAS.

    So explain why it's OK for Spock to cry in TMP but not OK for Saavik to cry in TWOK. And how do you know she was raised on Vulcan? She could have been raised on Earth for all we know.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Said who? Roddenberry, Justman, Berman or Piller? On-screen evidence is canon, fine, but unless the creators' known intentions are contradicting on-screen canon, treating these as non-existent would be an expression of disrespect, arrogance and hubris from "us" fans.

    Sounds like you are advocating an "ignorance is bliss" philosophy. :rolleyes:

    Why do I need to do this? The aforementioned canon methods take sufficiently care of TAS "oddities", which doesn't automatically imply that the whole of TAS is "non-canon" (especially considering that plenty of canon ideas originated there).

    The conflict between Spock's Human and his Vulcan side has been well established in TOS. The reasons for his laughing and crying in TMP are obvious in the context:

    I weep for V'Ger, as I would for a brother. As I was when I came aboard, so is V'Ger now, empty, incomplete, ...searching. Logic and knowledge are not enough.

    In addition V'ger has acquired massive knowledge but can't put it to any productive use. A nightmare for any Vulcan, which merits a reaction especially from one who is half-Human. ;)

    We do not know where exactly Saavik was raised, but it stands to reason that it would have been Vulcan, if we seriously expected 100% Vulcan behaviour from her.

    Bob
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You're using an emotional outburst to claim that Vulcans are expected to control their emotions that young? Seems that very line shows that Vulcan children do not have control of their emotions. I would say that because of Spock's hybrid nature, that Sarek held him to a much higher standard than most Vulcan children are held too.

    What is "100% Vulcan" behavior? At that point in the franchise, there was still very little beyond the surface known about Vulcans.
     
  5. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I won't argue that, but Brutal Strudel's original suggestion had been that Vulcans might still be okay with the display of emotions at the ages between 20-30.

    Sarek had undoubtedly been a dominating father, but to apologize for the emotional behaviour of a seven-year-old Vulcan somehow doesn't add up, assuming such emotional displays should be still okay for a twenty-year-old Vulcan.

    First we had plenty of references to Vulcan behaviour and ethics from Spock himself in TOS, then one episode taking place on Vulcan ("Amok Time") and another featuring his father ("Journey to Babel"), then TAS "Yesteryear" and last but not least TNG's "Sarek":

    PICARD: [Sarek] cried. I saw that. I couldn't believe it. A Vulcan moved to tears by music? It's ...

    Picard's astonishment abundantly illustrates, that he obviously never heard of or saw a Vulcan crying and considers it an almost impossible thing.

    I'd say we got plenty of information on Vulcan culture and social behaviour in TOS, TAS and TNG to arrive at appropriate observations.

    Bob
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure I would hold up "Amok Time" as evidence that supports your position. T'Pring is a back stabbing cheater and T'Pau is dripping with contempt for the humans.

    But you're holding TWoK accountable to an episode that wouldn't be filmed for another decade-plus. Somehow that doesn't seem fair.

    We have two examples of younger "adult" Vulcans, "The Cage" and The Wrath of Khan, I don't think one contradicts another. Honestly, Saavik is the more poised of the two characters we see. I don't think a couple of tears are evidence of anything.
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    T'Pring explains her situation and intentions in an un-emotional manner so convincingly, that Spock even expresses admiration and apparently does not consider her a back stabbing cheater.

    T'Pring feels uncomfortable about Spock bringing his human friends. Humans do not control their emotions and show no willingness to do so, from a Vulcan point of view they could be considered "barbarians". And now these "barbarians" are eye-witnesses of an ancient Vulcan ritual that is full of violent emotions. It's an embarrassing situation for T'Pau and it's obvious she does not appreciate the presence of outsiders.

    I don't see a Retcon Maneuver or changed premise at the expense of a previous character. Considering TOS-Spock once considered it an "insult" being called emotional, "Sarek" merely illustrates what emotional expressions Vulcans find distasteful.

    Spock is half-human and he has worked a few years with human crewmates by the time of "The Cage" and IMHO loosened up somehow (no Vulcan around to judge him). With Kirk and crew it appears he is - again - representing a Vulcan citizen and feels the urge to act accordingly, before he later loosens up again in the movies - which Saavik criticized ("You lied.")

    If we were to assume that Saavik was full Vulcan, I'd expected her to act more like T'Pring. But - and this was the issue which started all of this - her behaviour at the end of TWOK suggests differently and the inofficial explanation had been her half Romulan heritage and the lack of a proper Vulcan education from the age of seven on or something like that.

    Bob
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Scripted and filmed, yes. The line itself was cut from the academy scenes very early in post-production, primarily because corroborating scenes later in the movie wound up never being filmed.

    So it's not something she pulled out of thin air. It was originally a fairly important aspect of Saavik's character.

    TNG had its strengths, but its handling of alien civilizations -- and the implicit diversity thereof -- was absolutely dreadful. I'd even go so far as to say that "Code of Honor" effectively set the pace for the entire series as far as their interpretation of alien (or at least non-Earth) civilizations.

    Picard being surprised by Sarek's emotional display would make sense in the context of talking about Sarek, a two hundred year old Kholinar master; for him to be moved to tears by a musical performance is out of character for him.

    But the statement "Vulcans do not display emotions because they're too logical" is little more than a stereotype, about as much as saying "Humans can't think rationally because they're too emotional" or "White people can't dance because they're too Catholic."

    Enterprise rectified this by depicting a splinter group of Vulcans that don't embrace logic, but then dropped the ball by 1) depicting them as an outcast minority that wanders the stars because nobody on Vulcan will put up with them and 2) having their leader turn out to be a telepathic rapist, just to make sure we all understand that these guys are COMPLETE deviants.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't care either way, honestly. I just don't need the half-Romulan explanation for the tear. Saavik was young and she lost her mentor.

    Vulcans have emotions too, and contrary to popular opinion, they've never done a real good job of hiding them.
     
  11. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Spot on.

    See the entire run of Enterprise for confirmation - although I guess the "behaviour" was explained somewhat in "The Forge" trilogy from season 4.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    To start with, Spock is half-human, but I think we got the idea throughout TOS that Vulcans usually hide their emotions.

    We have seen pure Vulcans in "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" that did a pretty good job in concealing any emotions.

    Same applies for Vulcans featured in TNG and I don't recall Tuvok from VOY showing emotions.

    Just because a prequel series supposedly featured different Vulcans, doesn't change any of that, so this "never" is rather myth than fact, IMHO.

    Bob
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I never said anything about Enterprise. Vulcans in general never did a very good job of hiding their emotions going all the way back to the beginnings of TOS.

    The only one that did a serviceable job was Arlene Martel. Even then her actions were driven by emotions. "I prefer Stonn", "And as the years went by, I came to know that I did not want to be the consort of a legend.", "For you would be gone, and I would have your name and your property, and Stonn would still be there." She didn't want to be lonely and would do anything, including cheat on Spock, to keep from being lonely. She may have worked out the logic, but the actions were driven by emotion.

    There's Sarek during "Amok Time", not arguing with Amanda's assertion that he was showing pride in Spock. There's the smile at the end (not a grin, but a smile) towards Amanda as he explains why he chose to be with her.

    There's Tuvok showing irritation/frustration with Neelix who is always up in his business.

    Do Vulcans scream in anger and belly laugh like Klingons? No. But trying to deny that Vulcans show emotions is simply someone trying to rewrite history more to their liking.

    If these are truly emotionless people and a society as a whole: why the need for Kolinahr? Why the need to suppress what they already had under control to begin with?

    The whole reason that Vulcans in general are interesting is because of that bubbling cauldron of emotion that exists just under the surface.

    So, once again, I see no problem with a Saavik who is biologically fully Vulcan, shedding a tear for the loss of her mentor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  14. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I don't really see emotions here but considerations of social status and social interaction. And she is brutally honest about that. If Spock won't release her she will still interact with Stonn.
    In terms of reputation it would be bad for both of them, so Spock releases her - it's the logical course of action. ;)

    Bob
     
  15. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Man, I do love T'Pring. One of the more interesting of Vulcan characters, even in her short time on screen.
    Vulcans do have emotions, they just suppress them, and some are better at that than others - and their control varies due to circumstances.
    I still accept Saavik as half Romulan, and I really think if she were to be brought back into ST on screen someday, that would be referenced.
    As for canon, there's no real arguing there. All canon is personal canon. I have a lot of love for the ST novels and I generally accept them as canon, but some of them will contradict each other. So does on screen stuff sometimes.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Tuvok did so (or seemed to) quite a few times in Voyager, particularly during Kes' metamorphosis. It's just that Tim Russ' acting is so bland it's kind of hard to tell.:rommie:

    None of which stem from any motivation other than an inherently EMOTIONAL desire.

    Her exact words: "I wanted Stonn." "I did not want to be the consort of a legend." These are emotional considerations: having Stonn would please her, having a famous husband who is never home would displease her. It's not like she evaluated Stonn as a genetically compatible mate whose skill set and experience neatly complimented her own talents in a mutually beneficial arrangement. She wanted Stonn because she was attracted to him, and he wanted her for the same reason. There's nothing logical about sex, even on Vulcan.

    An important thing to note, which was observed above, is that not all Vulcans actually achieve Kohlinar, nor do they even bother too. Kohlinar requires a huge amount of study and discipline and implies not merely the CONTROL of emotions, but to renounce them altogether and eliminate them from one's psyche. Every-day Vulcans don't go that far: They don't renounce their emotions, they simply hide them, and carefully control the time and place and even the way those emotions find expression.

    Sarek is the ultimate example. We saw his REAL emotions when he mind-melded with Picard in TNG, and since then there's been no doubt that the reason he married Amanda is because he was crazy about her. Like all Vulcans, however, he came up with a logical reason to justify the yearning of his heart and found ways to express his emotions in a manner that would be consistent with Vulcan's societal norms (and through Picard, expresses his deep regret that he couldn't bring himself to deviate from those norms to show her how he REALLY felt).

    It's only the Kohilnar masters who are not even MOTIVATED by emotion: people who have successfully and completely tamed their Id. Their motivations are very different from those of normal Vulcans: mechanical, dispassionate, calculating, and possibly even cynical. I doubt even T'pau had THAT kind of discipline.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have to say that the scene in the transporter room after the destruction of Vulcan, in Star Trek (2009), between Zach Quinto (Spock) and Ben Cross (Sarek) was really well done. Where Sarek admits he married Amanda because he loved her.
     
  18. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have always felt Katsulas Played Tomalak in AGT as if he were G"Kar
     
  19. solariabsg25

    solariabsg25 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is of course no such thing as a stereotypical Vulcan.

    Sakona thought it was logical for the Maquis to fight Cardassians in the Demilitiarised Zone, Valeris thought it was logical to start a war with the Klingons, viewpoints which would seem to be at odds with most other Vulcans.

    The problem with Sela is I could see her in the movie, but she would simply have been a peripheral character.
     
  20. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I was just thinking, looking at the Sela's failures in Redeption and Unification, she was probably quietly retired by the time of Nemesis. Probably with a disruptor.