My gripes with Asian casting and character naming in Paramount+ Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Enterprise1701, Jan 2, 2023.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was speaking generally this time, not specifically about translators.

    Absolutely. But if I need to do something faster/better than I can manually, or I will fail, that's when we enter "miracle"/deus ex machina territory if I somehow don't fail.
     
  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet also has manual overrides that don't work. I would not expect common sense to prevail.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's... not what we're talking about. Defining the question as "if this happens in the story, then we're stuck with it" is coming at it the wrong way around. Writers decide what's in the story. They're never stuck with it, because they can always reject it and do something else instead. And there are plenty of ways a writer can create a challenging yet soluble obstacle for the characters without sacrificing everyday common sense by making them incapable of coping with technology failure.
     
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  4. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, the Phylosians called their translation devices "voders." And their actually is a device called a voder.

    And if the producers of SNW wanted an Asian transporter chief, then why didn't they just make him Pitcairn's assistant from "The Cage"? And make the name he was given by Peter David and Greg Cox ("Sam Yamata") canonical?
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I know, but I think of that as a subset of the more general category of vocoder.


    Who says they started with wanting an Asian chief? It's more likely they just decided they wanted Kyle, then cast the role without regard to ethnicity. (Or accent.)
     
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  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or...and I know this is crazy...they cast whom they felt was the best actor for the role. And the actor does a good job, and I have enjoyed him in my current rewatch.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Or maybe they just wanted to use the name "Kyle" for the same reason they named the navigator Jenna Mitchell, even though she's obviously not supposed to be the same person as navigator Gary Mitchell. I don't know what that reason might be, but if they did it once, they could do it twice.
     
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  8. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They're not going to do some body-swapping accident that is now permanent hand-waving about it, are they?
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think speculating about that makes about as much sense as speculating about epileptic trees. It's a different character with the same name as a tribute, but it's not meant to be the same character. No big deal.
     
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  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Or, like April, it's the same character played by an actor who happens to be a different ethnicity, because fictional characters are not real and are merely being interpreted by performers.

    I mean, nobody objects to Kelvin Kirk and McCoy having different eye colors than the Prime versions, or Kelvin Uhura being significantly taller and more slender than Prime Uhura, or Kelvin Sulu being a tenor instead of a baritone. Or Jimmy Olsen almost always being played by brown-haired or blond actors instead of redheads. It's arbitrary the way society conditions us to think that skin color or facial structure is an overridingly important difference while eye color or height is a trivial one.
     
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd rather just look at their performance and evaluate that, rather than other markers.
     
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  12. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just thought I'd post this here:
    https://twitter.com/stats_feed/status/1669277081274839046

    Fascinating...there are a few familiar Trek names here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2023
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  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    I'm one of 11 million.
     
  14. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Names from these lists mentioned in Trek (to my knowledge)

    Last names - Smith, Kim, Sato, Khan

    First names -Jose, John, David, Michael, Anna, Mary, Jean, Robert, Daniel, James and Joseph.

    Did I miss any?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2023
  15. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Probably owes its general popularity to being the name of an archangel.
     
  16. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commodore Commodore

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    Middle name included, it is possible to have a Kim Kim Kim.
     
  17. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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  18. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    You have no idea how glad I am to see an actual Southeast Asian name portrayed by a Southeast Asian actor in Trek.
     
  19. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or just one guy named Mitch Kyle.
     
  20. tafkats

    tafkats Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A good point, and one that probably shows the way unconscious biases can persist, even when trying to be inclusive, simply because the nature of unconscious biases is that we're unaware of them. When people from a society dominated by the descendants of white Europeans try to come up with a name that sounds "neutral," they're likely to come up with names like Landry, Mitchell and Vance.

    There may also be some unfortunate implications here: in the U.S., people of western European descent and people of African descent are largely indistinguishable from each other by surname. Most African American people have surnames that originated in England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands etc., and of course that's because their ancestors' family identities were erased by force and they were made to assume the names of the people who enslaved them. Is Trek inadvertently implying this same forced erasure of family identity for AAPI people?

    Of course, it does make sense that in 200 years, it would become harder to guess someone's ethnic background by their name. But it does seem odd that it only goes one way.
     
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