Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricature?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by GalaxyX, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    That's been around for decades as well. The people who write the Valjiir Continuum stories (see my sig) decided to use it as the clan name for Spock's family.

    Thus, Amanda's line in "Journey to Babel" and the conversation Spock has with Leila Kalomi in "This Side of Paradise" about Spock's family name being unpronounceable are not unreasonable at all. ;)
     
  2. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Totally pronounceable! Let's do this:

    Xtm

    Shtim

    prszn

    pir-szin

    Eastern European consonant clusters, holla! But now it gets tricky:

    twl

    tul-

    (Sort of Welsh Gaelic-ish)

    fd

    -fud.

    (And there again.)

    So, Shtimpirszintulfud. No problem. :techman:

    Ye Gods, for the delightfully bonkers days when you could just throw any old consonants together and have an Alien Name.
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    ^Now trick him into saying it backwards.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    With the "you couldn't pronounce it" business, I always imagined Spock's first name was similar to Superman's pain in the ass, Mr. Mxyzptlk.
     
  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    How do we know Vulcans don't pronounce their "X"s like zeds, or "k" or... "x"?
     
  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    "Z", Vulcans use 'Merican pronunciation. ;)
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Thanks to Harvey. Emphasis mine.

     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    ^ Thanks, Maurice. Good info.


    I guess we should be thankful Chekov wasn't given singing scenes like early Uhura was. Regarding the Monkees connection, here's a box item from Shatner's 1993 TV Guide article:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Interesting posts. Thanks guys.

    Best thing I learned is half of the Enterprise bridge crew is Russian Jewish in origin, even the alien :eek:
     
  10. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    At least they didn't use Mike Nesmith and his dorky hat as the basis for Chekov. It spared us from hearing that Liquid Paper was also a Russian inwention. :techman:
     
  11. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Brent Spiner too, and all the Ferengi on DS9 (Shimmerman, Grodencik, Eisenberg, and Shawn). Not necessarily Russian, but they're all Ashkenazic Jews.
     
  12. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    I meant racial microaggressions. Nobody among the other five makes fun of the other characters for being ethnically white; most sort of jabs at the others are about personality quirks, habits, and intelligence -- in essence, individual traits rather than stereotypes. And Jewish jokes tend to come from Howard when he's self-depricating (but has no problems adopting a South Asian accent to mock his best friend on occasion).

    It's one reason why a few of my South Asian friends in the sciences won't watch the show -- they get enough of those "small" jokes and are told to get over it by their workmates in real life (again, the "It's No Big Deal" handwave); they don't want to watch it in their escapist fiction, either, especially when Raj doesn't call his friends out on it. Raj is a character with a heart of gold and with more career achievements than my friends have at this time, and yet even someone like him isn't immune to race jokes.

    Since the name Sulu is a Filipino name, I'd really like to think he's, in some way, part-Filipino himself. But that's never really been confirmed anywhere in the canon, I think.
     
  13. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Ashkenazic is more appropriate than Russian, especially considering (if I remember well) since Ashkenazic originally designated Jews of Germany and Sepharadic Jews from (Muslim) Spain. Shatner's grand-parents from his father side were Austrians and Nimoy's parents were Ukrainian. Anyway, the vast majority of North-American Jews are Ashkenazic. ;)
     
  14. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    From Generations:

    Chekov: I was never that young.

    Kirk: No..(smiling) you were younger.

    That bit always gets me, as it turns out to be one of the last things that Kirk ever says to him. A really nice touch in an otherwise mediocre movie.
     
  15. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    Raj makes fun of them for being white/american quite a lot... (it would be a bit strange for one white person to make fun of another white person for being white - kind of like a trekkie saying 'You like star trek! Loser!') He also rather reinforces the whole business by making fun of his culture himself on a regular basis. Which i can certainly understand that turning people off, in and of itself - I just really don't see this as a question of Raj being unduly 'attacked' and not standing up for himself (if that were applicable to anyone it would be Sheldon, who usually doesn't understand that people are making fun of him).
     
  16. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    By the way, since season 3, stereotyped gags about Raj are more about gays and than Indians. All the four guys also try to escape from their own origins as Sheldon with the Texan conservatism or Leonard with the weird mentality of his family of scholars.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    I blame Gene Coon.
     
  18. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    I agree....:):)
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    With all the information accumulated in this thread the following is understandable (hopefully):

    Walter Koenig ("König" is "king" in German, BTW) was supposedly once asked at a convention about his personal, favorite episode.

    His answer: "Mind War" (a "Babylon 5" episode featuring his B5 character Alfred Bester, the Psi Corps antagonist)

    As you can imagine, that was most definitely not the answer the Star Trek convention visitors expected. :lol:

    Bob
     
  20. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

    But Walter's best film roles were probably Checkov in Trek II and IV. He was a pivotal character in II (albeit largely a damsel in distress) and he had some of the best comic-relief in IV. There's no sin being used for comic relief, as long as it works, and it did.

    All the characters on BBT are one big stereotype anyway--the nerd. (plus Penny as the bimbo).