Motivation and Bad Guys

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Jetboogieman, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Bad Trekkie that I am I only watched Star Trek Beyond this afternoon when it came on Netflix today.

    I'm sorry but I can't wrap my head around what the hell is it with Star Trek movies and the bad guys motivation for doing what they do.

    The three worst examples are Nemesis, Star Trek Reboot and Star Trek Beyond, no ones motivation makes any sense AT ALL.

    Now I'll preface this by saying that I made snarky comments about Beyond thinking it would be bad, I was pleasantly surprised, it was actually OK, BUT again we go back to how the motivations of all these characters is extremely flawed.

    In Shinzons case, he was cloned by Romulans, sent to mines to die by Romulans, and then he turns around and wants to exterminate Earth? Ah.... What!?

    In Nero's case his wife was killed on Romulus and Spock tried to help but failed, sure I can see his anger clouding his judgment but matters are made worse by the deleted scene where they spent time in a Klingon prison camp, you'd think in all that time he'd realize from a rudimentary understanding of astrology would know that stopping a Supernova wasn't going to be a straightforward endeavor and why wasn't Romulus evacuated, did he think to ask that question, why wouldn't he simply go to Romulus, warn that a supernova would happen in the future, or go forward in time to before the Supernova and grab his wife?

    Then we get to Idris Elbas character in Beyond, what. the. fuck. So his motivation was, my ship was marooned on a planet, no one found me, therefore no one cares about me because I was a soldier and got given my own ship after wars ended, so I'll become a Jem Hadar looking monster, take control of... Whatever the hell those dudes were and proceed kill the fucking shit out of everyone in a Megacity because... Why again?

    These aren't nessecarily Movie breaking flaws, it just feels like shitty writing to me though, like just extremely shitty writing, surely there could be anything else you could write to have a bad guy have a more clear and realistic motivation.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Shinzon was seriously damaged. Wanting to destroy Earth and kill all those who lived nice pampered perfect human lives while he was horribly abused in Reman mines may not make the most sense to us, but it's in line with the messed-up thinking of some mentally ill people I've known. He's lashing out at the people who have what he always wanted.

    Nero's wife, unborn child and entire planet were destroyed. I can get him believing that the Federation/Spock deliberately delayed stopping the supernova until Romulus was destroyed. As for evacuation, it seemed everything happened too quickly to move billions off-planet.

    Edison/Krall was a soldier who saw millions die at the hands of the Xindi and fought the Romulans, and then was made a captain in the Federation whose goals are to make peace with and assimilate those former enemies into their whole. So he goes from fighting and killing these people to working alongside them. I can understand not being too thrilled at that prospect.
    Then his ship is lost and crashes, and the Federation he wasn't happy working for doesn't send help. The rest is provided by weird alien vampire technology that sends him completely bonkers.

    They're maybe not the most nuanced motivations in movie history, but they're a lot more plausible than some of the reasons people in real life do horrible things.
     
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  3. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They're plausible, if you can twist and turn the motivations far enough to make them, make sense.

    But that's just an excuse for sloppy writing IMO.
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ...because it echoes the crazy-ass things people do in real life?

    You're trying to ascribe rational motives to people who are no longer entirely rational.
     
  5. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    REVENGE!

    That's the motivation of Trek villains of late.

    Beyond - Krall - Revenge on the Federation
    Into Darkness - Khan - Revenge on Marcus and Starfleet
    ST09 - Nero - Revenge on the Spocks and the Federation
    Nemesis - Shinzon - Revenge on Picard and the Federation
    Insurrection - Ru'afo - Revenge on the Bak'u
    First Contact - Borg - Twist, Picard wants revenge on the Borg.

    Hahaha

    Also, with the exception of INS and BEY, all the others rift TWOK to certain degrees. Funny thing is, of the 6 TOS films, only 1 of them was about a guy wanting revenge.
     
  6. Malaika

    Malaika Captain Captain

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    I don't think Nero could control time travel and thus save his people. For the time travel rules used in this trek (which is based on quantum mechanics theories) even if he found a way to go back in time he'd basically only 'create' another reality where his wife and people survive, but he wouldn't save HIS reality's people/wife. He could never do that just like Spock Prime/Spock could never really save HIS vulcan, even getting back in time he'd only access to an alternate reality where his planet survives.

    Nero is my favorite of the villains from these movies. I get him, even if he might make little sense, but I get him being someone (and so are his 'soldiers') who lost so much and he became, basically, insane because of that. It doesn't matter if no one could have saved his planet and if really Spock prime had no fault. He just wants revenge, he's not rational.. he's just pain and grief and can't be reasonable. He only lives for revenge because he has nothing left.
    If we want to read more into it in terms of allegory, Nero represents those people from our own society/world that become disilussioned about their governement/people in power whom they trusted, believed into and then felt betrayed by after losing their home and beloved ones.

    Krall was a disappointment for me because I expected something entirely different. The plot twist that he was, in fact, a human was surely interesting but it ruined him a bit from my perspective because I originally got more 'excited' about the idea that he really was just the member of an unknown new alien race whose beliefs are so opposite to that of starfleet that he had no choice but contrast them. I thought maybe his race worked in such a way that starfleet's ideals would be an obstacle to their values and safety/survival. In short, I expected him to be really really ALIEN and thus challenging that way.
     
  7. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Krall makes no sense at all, because the studio was in a rush to get a movie made, had jettisoned Kurtzman and his script late in the game, and had to dash something off to start production, lest everyone involved get tied up in other gigs. So something something space vampire, but then they realized they had a nothing plot that felt like an adaptation of a Sega Genesis game based on the franchise, so they added the Twist! because "who cares, the target audience is mindless teenagers and foreigners who've never seen Trek beyond the previous two movies, if that." Sad!

    I dunno, it may not have risen above subtext, but the Borg Queen seemed pretty revenge-y towards her ex Locutus. Another reason why Generations is still the best Trek movie since TUC! Soran isn't driven by some petty quest for payback; he's just a junkie looking for his fix. :bolian:
     
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  8. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah, so the excuse that the writers couldn't come up with a clearer and more sensible motivation that would have been more engaging for the audience and made the entire story make more sense is just that the characters "weren't rational".
     
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  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    (eye-roll) I wasn't suggesting the writers couldn't have come up with better stories, and I think you know that.
     
  10. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah yes of course, no you're right, the fault was most certainly mine.

    If I hadn't of been so foolish as to ascribe rational motives, well actually any motives whatsoever to poorly written characters it would have made sense.
     
  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not really clear on whether you're being facetious or not, but I do think you're trying to assign rational motives to characters who aren't entirely rational. In-universe it fails because the characters aren't rational. Out of universe it can be argued that the movies might have been better if the characters had been more rational and consequently their motives had presumably made more sense.
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I always hear complaints about insane movie villain motives and think, "these people have never had to deal with anyone with serious mental health issues."
     
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  13. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    THIS!!! SO F*@%$*G MUCH THIS!!!!

    For the last few years, I've been learning how to function with a anxiety disorder that lead into OCD. Big ups, big downs. I've done and said things that a lot of people just couldn't realize or understand. They thought, that's not what people do.

    Well, no. Adjusted people who've got nothing to burden them, don't act like that. Other people put one leg over the balcony because they are convinced that their loved one would rather have them jump than actually still be around.

    Sure, it's layered on extra thick for movies, but someone becoming so selfdestructive because their sense of reality is twisted? Yup, totally believable.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...It's just too bad that we don't get a shot at a rational villain often enough.

    Khan was cool. Marcus was cool. Their joint villainy was rational as such - it just takes a bit of effort to decipher which villain is doing what and why, and what is deception aimed at the other villain rather than a genuine act of villainy. But more movies with that sort of intricacy would have been tedious.

    Nero didn't need to be cool. Nero was hot. And Nero was no soldier or criminal mastermind, which was nice for a change. It's not a surprise that his excuse for a revenge plan should look like something put together by a miner. But more movies with that sort of straightforward desperate aggression would have been tedious.

    Krall was simply crazy, which is fine with me. He had a plan. His plan didn't need to make sense because it involved sufficient brute force, faced no process of critical analysis at any point of its inception, and could be put forth by the lone villain plus millions of apparently literally brainless henchmen. He acted on his plan, and the heroes had to stop him there. Standard "disgruntled employer steals bulldozer" stuff, only with a really big bulldozer this time. But more movies... Well, you get the gist, and no doubt the writers do, too. After all, they don't really repeat themselves here, despite appearances.

    But why, oh why, did Shinzon have to be crazy? Not even berserker crazy which would have been entertaining, or delusional crazy which would have been entertaining, but realistic standard crazy person batshit crazy which is just plain lame coming from a supposed leader and successful coupster?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I work in a hotel, I've had plenty of experience dealing with serious mental health issues.
     
  16. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    No, that's customer service — trying at times, I'll agree, but not the same thing at all.
     
  17. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In that case I was most definitely being facetious.

    In any case, if people just want to ascribe mental illness and irrationality as an excuse for clearly shitty writing they can have at it.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Ghost of Tom Joad Premium Member

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    Shitty is just an opinion.
     
  19. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't find anything confusing at all about Krall/Edison's motivation, and I still can't figure out why other people were. It seems crystal clear and is punctuated throughout the movie. The theme of a lost captain that becomes deranged psychologically due to loneliness, exposure to the elements, or feelings of betrayal, exacerbated by those same events and a little alien tech has been used in Trek before and elsewhere in some high profile movies. In this case, it's Trek, so they use Krall to make a point about unity, diversity, and peace..the exact opposite of what Krall is fighting for. It's a very Trekky theme that Roddenberry would have loved.

    I find your Krall summary kind of odd, since I saw both a video on youtube online as well as some fans supporting Krall in the movie. Lots of conservatives think we'll die off and float away if we don't fight for everything we need or want. To them, violence is like breathing.

    RAMA


     
  20. JamesRye

    JamesRye Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "I always hear complaints about insane movie villain motives and think, "these people have never had to deal with anyone with serious mental health issues."

    I deal with people with serious mental health issues, and I find your equating them to moustache twirling stereotypical movie villains insulting.

    The original poster outlines a very real problem with 'Beyond', ST09 and especially Nemesis. I thought for one moment towards the end of Beyond, that the baddie might realise the error of his ways and work with Kirk to save the station. I thought Krall would rediscover his humanity.

    Actually, Kralls motivations could have been the films strongest point, but they were rushed over. Clearly, he is supposed to be a parallel to Trump. I liked Beyond well enough, buts its FULL of poor writing:

    1. How did Krall spy on the Federation? He abandoned his starship and has tech thats real old - how did he manage to hack in to starfleet archives?
    2. Aint it convenient that the Enterprise goes to Yorktown Station carrying the exact artifact Krall wants?
    3. Krall can get revenge whenever he wants!!!! He's got this massive drone army that could have trashed Yorktown base AT ANY TIME!!!
    4. How did Krall loose his ship! How the heck is it still flyable? Why did it need to whizz off down a cliff to get going?
    5. He's mad that the Federation is now peaceful, so he's going to commit an atrocity? How will this meet his goals? Better plotting would have been to have him FRAME the Federation for an atrocity so as to incite a war.