Did Spock torture Valeris

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Jetboogieman, Jul 2, 2011.

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  1. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So the question is, did Spock torture lieutenant Valeris in star trek 6?

    In the scene on the bridge just after Valeris is exposed in sick bay, we all know that Spock mind melds with Valeris to gain the names of the conspirators and the location of the peace accords.

    And as we all know the names come quickly but the location doesn't, and Spock then uses two hands, seemingly increasing his mind power over her, causing what appears to be severe mental pain, she also screams.

    Did Spock telepathically torture her with his obviously more powerful mind to gain the location he thought was hidden deep inside?

    And if the answer is yes, was it because he believed the ends justified the means, was it a human part of him that was also incredibly angry with Valeris, or was it a combination of the two?
     
  2. balls

    balls Commander Red Shirt

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    In my opinion, the most "UnSpock" like moment in Trek history. I know a lot of folks will disagree, but I really dislike that scene. For a guy that professes, "There are always possibilities" this seems like departure for one of our most beloved characters. Spock isn't Jack Bauer.
     
  3. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I dunno if its an "unspock" moment.

    I think it can be justified within the context of the movie for Spocks character.

    I mean, Valeris was the person he trusted to succeed him, the person who's actions led to his best friend being put on one of the worst prisons in the galaxy and almost killed and jeopardized everything he worked for, for peace with the Klingons...

    It feels almost right that Spock got so angry with her.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It wasn't torture, it was mind rape. He forced his way into her mind, against her wishes, and took what he wanted.

    And I can't believe Nimoy agreed to the scene. Spock might as well have bent her over the helm.
     
  5. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't believe he telepathically tortured her, as in applied pain to force her to reveal the location. I do believe that telepathic process of extracting the information she was hiding from him was very painful for her.

    The dentist doesn't torture you to get your tooth out but it is painful having it extracted.
     
  6. balls

    balls Commander Red Shirt

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    I would agree with you to a point about the dentist. However, I had to make a choice to go to the dentist to have the proceedure done. Valeris has no choice. I'm trying to think back to all the mind melds that we've seen Spock do, I can't recall anything like this. I don't recall the people (or the Horta, Gracie) scream out in pain. I guess the part of the scene where Valeria recoils, only to have Spock pull her back with some force disturbes me.

    From a storytelling point of view, is it even needed? She gives up the information about who was involved, the only thing she doesn't give up is the location of the peace conference. He gets that anyway from Sulu. So what was the point? Dramatic impact? Probably. Even the reaction shots from Uhura and Scotty make me feel that they were shocked by what they just saw.
     
  7. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    In the real world, I would argue that Spock should do some time for this.

    From the point of view of an audience member it was just a bad creative decision.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure if there's any anger in that scene, but there's certainly some emotion. Largely I guess it's supposed to be Spock's disappointment on Valeris, on the fact that she didn't follow the same path of logic that Spock considered the only true and allowed one. And then there's the moment of pain, and Spock's apparent repulsion at what just happened. But it's unclear if anger plays any role in Spock's pursuing of the meld.

    I guess I'll never get that rape thing. Is it automatically rape when X violates Y and they are of different genders? Had Spock shot Valeris with a phaser, or punched her in the face, would that have been rape, too? If Valeris had done the reverse, would that have been rape? If Spock bitch-slapped Kor and it later turned out both happened to be homosexuals, would that retroactively become rape?

    I mean, rape is of course a fine hateword, nothing wrong with that. I can say that you rape me every time you post something I don't like, just like I can say you are a nigger or a retard, quite regardless of your skin color or IQ. Doesn't mean it would be objectively true, but who cares? It's titillating to think that a female character being hurt is automatically also giving sexual pleasure to a male character.

    Or that Picard was committing autoerotic rape when driving that stake through Shinzon.

    She failed to divulge a lot of other important things, such as the plan to assassinate the UFP President. It doesn't matter whether she knew about those or not: the mind meld was required to find out whether she did know. Kirk intuitively jumps into the conclusion that the peace conference is in jeopardy, but the meld might well have revealed a plan to blow up Earth as well. We can only speculate on what was revealed to Spock but not forwarded to Kirk...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    I guess that rape would recquire a certain level of intimacy... or rather a violation of intimacy which results in physical/psychological pain. Since the Vulcan mind-meld does in fact constitute a more intimate act than the examples listed above, I have no problem with calling it "mind rape".
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Surely jamming a knife in somebody's stomach is even more intimate? Or throttling somebody?

    Rape is a very specific act, both in the sense of the criminal law and in the sense of the physiological background and execution. Violently rummaging through somebody's mind for information meets none of the specific criteria. All we have are the external things: a big man looming over a small woman, and the woman trembling in apparent pain and fear and then moaning. Obvious writing/directing intent there, but hardly grounds for changing the Webster's definition.

    Okay, let's agree to having "mind rape" entered in the 2293 edition. That's little different from entering "mind fellatio" to describe what Spock did to van Gelder in "Dagger of the Mind", though. Utterly misleading and needlessly provocative.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So Spock totally mind raped that poor Romulan while he was unconscious (!) in Trek 2009, and nobody cares.


    Spock already mind raped and mind impregnated McCoy in TWOK. What a mindfuck!
     
  12. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the majority of the real-world moral concern over torture in interrogation has been whether or not the lives and safety of the innocent are more important than the comfort level or even the lives of criminals being questioned. It is more in the questions of whether or not we can know they are criminals without due process of law, and whether or not torture is justified for extremely questionable results (as in, intelligence gathered in this way by humans, who aren't skilled telepaths, has a high probability of being false).

    In this case, the lives and safety of the citizens of at least three interplanetary political entities were at imminent risk, the crew knew without question that Valeris had committed acts of sabotage and was apparently even willing to commit murder as part of the conspiracy, and Spock had an ability and sufficient skill in using it to know how to get the needed information and whether or not it was true information, at least insofar as Valeris knew it to be true. Valeris, being an officer in a all-volunteer Starfleet, had volunteered herself to being subjected to its command structure and code of justice, and while under normal circumstances Spock's actions might have been considered unethical, these weren't normal circumstances, and I doubt very seriously there was anything in Starfleet's laws regarding it, since Vulcans are very private about a lot of their rituals and abilities, and there is no canonical evidence that Betazed had met the Federation yet.

    In short, I had no problem with the scene or with Spock's actions. It is possible that Spock actually did face a criminal inquiry on Vulcan, afterward - we don't know. But he was probably cleared because, ultimately, his actions were logical.
     
  13. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The other mind melds weren't "like this" because they weren't with people who had most likely sworn upon their lives to protect the information they had.

    What if you had a bomb in your molar that was going to go off and kill a small city? What if the dentist held you down and ripped it out of your head to protect people? Is he torturing you? No, but he is hurting you.
     
  14. Ziriath

    Ziriath Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I did not have a big problem with that scene. It was important to get that information, and I think there are worse ways to break a prisoner.
    Way more uncomfortable scene was in TFF, when Kirk pwned that cat girl and left her in the pool with her face down. Yuck.
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also forgot to mention that McCoy had a mind abortion after Spock mind raped and mind impregnated him.
     
  16. balls

    balls Commander Red Shirt

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    Is Spock a member of Section 31? It just seems to me that the character that I have loved for some many years just crossed over a line with the force he used on Valeris. I get that he needed the information. I'm not watching "24". If I am, I know that Jack Bauer is going to do everything possible to get the information he needs. That's his character and I'm okay with it. Look at the reaction shots of Uhura and Scotty. It's your own interpretation of what they are feeling. I think they are disturbed by it as well.
     
  17. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I find it rather disturbing that you describe stabbing another person as "intimate". Stabbing someone isn't an otherwise desirable action that only gets perverted through the act of violation or forced application (like in rape or mind-rape).
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Rummaging through the mind of another appears rather revolting to me... If there's "intimacy" to be found in it, it's similar to the benevolence one might find when a surgeon stabs his or her patient in a helpful manner! That aspect aside, it sounds like a fundamentally offensive act that requires quite a bit of perversion to be viewed in a positive light, not like something that gets perverted from good to evil.

    Beyond this, the main hang-up I have with this "rape" terminology is that there is little if any connection between the act of intimacy expressed through consenting copulation and the act of aggression expressed through rape. These are not two sides of the same coin, but two completely separate phenomena only connected by the use of the same body parts - the same way stabbing somebody through the mouth is related to kissing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Biffette

    Biffette Captain Captain

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    I thought about this quite a bit the last time I watched TUC. He is definitely forcing himself into her mind against her wishes, but on the other hand it isn't about intimacy or power or control or anything like that. He's searching for evidence, for knowledge related to a crime or series of crimes. To me it is more like a mental cavity search; invasive, uncomfortable, unwanted, but more procedural than anything else. Not torture because he's not trying to manipulate her into giving him something, anything just to make it stop, he's going in there and taking it himself. And the decision to think of it that way helps me sleep at night.
     
  20. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not to boil it down to a matter of practicality, but if not for the mind-meld, how else would the Enterprise crew have obtained the information they needed? Would physically torturing Valeris to obtain it be preferable? Probably not from the perspective of the average movie-goer.

    Having Valeris experience a change of heart might have been nice, but I don't think it would have felt particularly realistic.
     
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