NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Brutal Strudel, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, that pretty much sums up the two films, for better or worse. To survive in this current movie marketplace, these films are designed as action shoot em up epics with the good guys fighting a super evil villain hellbent on destruction, because that's what most audiences expects from those kind of films in the Summer. STID tried adding some of the old Trek flavor by going for a now very dated 9/11 conspiracy/truther analogy, but it's more surface level so not to put off audiences who want to just have a good time at the movies, hence that one year time jump to the mega happy ending. Will the next film try to go for a different format so not to feel like this film series is just repeating itself? If the writers/producers are smart enough, they would know to do something different to keep things fresh, but maybe Paramount might not want to stray from the formula of these two films. We'll see. Pine wants to go "dark" with Kirk, I'm not sure I want something like that, but this is their sandbox.
     
  2. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    My only problem with shooting at the Narada is it doesn't seem to have any purpose. It's not a moral issue, it's a logic issue.
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Enough people have flagged the same 'problems' with the scene so it clearly is an issue. Enough people have defended the scene to show that it's not a problem for everyone. It boils down to three recurring issues as far as I can see:

    1. Do we want them to spell out explicitly that killing should be a last resort?
    2. Do we want them to spell out explicitly that Nero is still a threat?
    3. Do we want our hypothetical six year-olds to be given the impression that killing killers without a trial is morally justified and satisfying? (and I'm not sure at what age that I, as a child, would have had the moral awareness to dstinguish self-defence from an execution)

    These are all matters of opinion. Personally I did want them to take a more moral path because it reflects themes from TOS. Yes those themes were inconsistently portrayed but when they actually considered them they came down on the side of 'don't kill today.' STiD was also clearly aiming for something more along those lines and the introduction of Carol may be an indication that they will be aiming to curb Kirk's womanising next time. It looks like it's all headed in more of the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That's a rather amusing spin on what's transpired in this discussion. The language that "it clearly is an issue" and that "it's not a problem for everyone" would tend to suggest that the more legitimate position is to find fault with the scene.

    A more objective assessment would be: some people have a problem with the scene, some don't.

    I utterly reject the notion that there is any sort of objective issue here.
     
  5. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    If you're going to show your characters are capable of being compassionate when all they've done was act like selfish a**holes who kill the bad guys throughout the whole film, it should be something that's taken more seriously than just a 15 second bump on the road where they just end killing the bad guy anyways. Even STID, a film that actually spends more than 15 seconds in trying to have our heroes do the compassionate thing is thrown out the window when Kirk assaults Khan who literally just surrendered to him and later having Spock setting out to murder him. Is it compassion or diplomacy that stops Spock from killing Khan in the end? Heck no.

    And to think that our heroes make a speech about how killing the bad guys out of revenge is "not who we are". Yeah, that knock out punch that Spock delivered to Khan was totally a "Thank god I don't have to kill you now because that's not who I am".
     
  6. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Building A Wall & Making Gondor Pay For It Moderator

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    Khan killed Kirk's mentor and friend, killed several other Starfleet officers, and damn near killed Kirk himself. You'd think we could forgive some understandably angry (and completely futile) punches given that Kirk was originally authorized to kill Khan from afar and decided against it. It seems like people don't even want the characters to be fallible human beings with understandable rage in the face of their father figure's murderer.

    It would have taken away from the scene to have Kirk calmly and rationally place Khan under arrest. The fact that he feels so much hate and rage toward Khan and yet still was able to govern his actions and refrain from assassinating him under counsel from Spock makes his decision all the more significant because it was made while he was in turmoil inside. He wants to punish Khan with all his heart, but when his friend told him it was wrong, he considered it and complied. That shows growth on his part from the previous film, growth toward the more dispassionate Kirk of the TOS-era (who would have just calmly made the arrest), which Pine's rookie hasn't arrived at yet.

    Plus, it's not an accident that his punches didn't even elicit a reaction from Khan. The film is not saying what Kirk did was right. We can tell this by the absolute futility of his actions. He gains nothing from even his reduced attack on Khan (assaulting him instead of killing him). His revenge was an empty act without purpose or satisfaction, a fact which he learns and includes in his speech at the end of the film about the ethical and emotional dangers of seeking vengeance against your enemies.
     
  7. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I find the term "Abramsverse enthusiasts" equally condescending so please don't use it on me.:lol:

    Why label people in a possibly negative way at all?

    By labelling me as an Abrams supporter IMO you are basically saying I'm only defending Kirk's decision in ST09 because I 'love' everything Abrams does and not because I actually support his decision.

    What my children want (some of them are older than 6) is justice.
    I think they would have been disappointed if Kirk had let Nero go.
    I can see Kirk trying to explain it to a 6 year old Vulcan child refugee who had just lost their parents and entire planet. "We had to let Nero go because we asked him to surrender and he said No. What could we do? Killing is immoral. We'll catch him one day"
    I'm wondering if Nero had destroyed Earth instead of Vulcan would people have been so critical of Kirk's decision not to try and beam aboard the Narada and find Nero, gather up and disarm all his men and put them in the brig with goodness knows what future weapons while trying to escape a black hole.
     
  8. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Don't forget Spock did try the Neck Pinch on Khan. Had that worked, I can't see Spock breaking his head open.
     
  9. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Which is really the point I was getting at, and I think it's consistent with what I've asked all along: argue the plot points and character moments, argue the claims, argue the opinions, argue anything you like about the movie(s), but refrain from taking swipes at those who make those claims or hold those opinions. Just don't allow it to get personal, and sooner or later the rest can be sorted out in discussion.
     
  10. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Ah, so you're saying that it would be out of character for Spock to want to kill a helpless enemy? If thats's the case, why does he object to Kirk showing compassion to a helpless Nero?
     
  11. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Well, he was emotionally compromised. Nero had just killed not only his mom (Spock gets violent when Kirk gets rolling on his mom in Paradise Syndrome), but just about every other Vulcan in the universe. And let's not forget that Spock is half human.

    More than that, it was a moment played for comedy. It was funny, because it was out of his usual character. It's funny to hear Spock say, "You know, in this case I'm kinda OK with it."

    This moment is NBD, IMO. What is troubling is that nuSpock, in general, is rather "emo." He is always struggling to keep the balance, either sulking or moments from raaaage! Khaaaaaan! Old-school Spock was intriguing, because when the big soul-sucking monster would appear on the view screen, he would merely cock an eye brow and say something like "Fascinating."
     
  12. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Building A Wall & Making Gondor Pay For It Moderator

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    Because, as was stated in the film, he was "emotionally compromised" by the destruction of his homeworld, the death of his mother, the deaths of hundreds or thousands of cadets and Starfleet personnel in the Vulcan rescue fleet, and the attempted destruction of his second "homeworld" (Earth) in a mere matter of hours before their final battle with Nero.

    ETA: Ninja'd
     
  13. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think we as an audience should have been put in a position of understanding at all because star fleet regulations should have prevented Kirk from ever commanding the Enterprise on such a mission where he would be emotionally compromised. Having Kirk wanting to kill this man out of vengeance, kicking his own crew off the ship and being ok with bombing the Klingon home world is a-ok, but Spock maintaining his composure in a critical situation means "Totally unfit for command!". It's like that whole Starfleet regulation thing about being emotionally compromised was something both Spocks dreamed up that never actually existed.

    No, only Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman.

    :rommie:

    How many times can a joke like that be said here folks? Never!

    He's not proud of punching the bad guy he wanted revenge on, but he is proud of killing the bad guy who was already dying?
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I think that I've learned from this board that most people don't want any growth in the things they watch. They just want the same static characters and settings over and over and over again. Kirk in TOS wasn't perfect and neither is this version of the character.
     
  15. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    And yet he acts more emotionally compromised at Kirk's death, a character he hasn't even known a whole year than all those things you've listed combined. He even got to give a heartfelt one-on-one goodbye to Kirk before he died. Could we use a more consistent character point?
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    This discussion is giving me a flashback to The Onion's mock review of STXI [link, quotes]:

    "... the DVD release will feature a special cut just for the Trek fans with three hours of extra footage in which characters stand around debating the merits of saving the Andorian Ambassador from the surface of Cylax Four until you just wish everyone was dead."​

    ---

    Seriously, though:

    Another thing that occurred to me this morning, what if Spock thought that Kirk was wrong that the Romulans would think it important to spare Nero?

    Vulcan is the original homeworld of the Romulans. Romulus could conceivably disavow Nero's actions, and even wish to see Nero executed themselves.

    In "Unification", Romulus didn't want to destroy Vulcan, they wanted to take it over.

    ---

    Could STXI have been improved by having a "scene set at a long table in which interstellar diplomacy is debated [in] endless detail"? Maybe. I like those scenes.

    But all Trek films fall short of my preferences in some way, and the particular scene in question doesn't need to be overloaded with such a debate.
     
  17. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    My distaste in these movies has to do with NuKirk not being anything like classic Kirk. I simply don't like NuKirk. And really, wasn't using "Static characters and settings over and over and over again" exactly what Star Trek Into Darkness is guilty of? There is not a single new Star Trek contribution in that film's entirety.
     
  18. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Building A Wall & Making Gondor Pay For It Moderator

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    It's almost as if the head of Starfleet ignored normal regulations because he had a hidden agenda and purposely sent the hothead bent on revenge after Khan with a bunch of long range torpedoes that could start a war with the Klingons or something. Somebody should write a movie about that.

    Spock removed himself from command because he realized how much the loss of his mother and homeworld were affecting his judgment when he almost killed Kirk over some obvious taunts. We don't know if the rest of the crew would have gone along with the decision had Kirk just cited regulations, or if the regulations would have even qualified to remove Spock from command, because Spock took the choice out of their hands.

    If you're talking about Kirk with Nero, where was it ever shown that he was proud of killing him? And again, I have to point out that the idea that Nero was "dying" is pure speculation. He could have been traversing the wormhole to another universe in his still very dangerous even without the red matter ship for all we know.

    First of all, it's stated quite explicitly in the film that Spock is still deeply troubled by the destruction of Vulcan and the loss of his mother a year earlier, as one would expect. So he's still got that emotional baggage to deal with. Then Khan kills his former captain and friend, and he mindmelds and absorbs the emotion of that event; the fear of death, the loneliness and pain. Then Khan kills Spock's "new" BFF Kirk (although a year is a pretty good length of time to build a friendship, especially one forged in exploration and combat), the man who had just saved his life at the cost of his rank and ship (albeit temporarily), something Spock would secretly feel guilty about. He's got all of that swirling around in there, along with Khan trying to blow up the ship his girlfriend is on. How is his primal scream not completely understandable given those circumstances, especially considering what we know about the actual depth of Vulcan emotions that they have to suppress?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Positively identified as a criminal" =/= "Subjective prejudicial judgement based on a hunch"

    It's not like Kirk shot the Narada to pieces just because the Romulans killed his father. Nero committed some very specific actions that lead to the deaths of billions of people and circumstances suggest an extremely high probability that he would do so again. For everyone's safety, he needs to be neutralized. Captured if possible, killed if necessary.

    The kill became necessary in Nero's refusal to surrender. Even the slim chance that he and his crew might survive the destruction of their ship and remain free to act is, simply, unacceptable.

    We get blinded by the sort of "pulled from my ass and it worked the first time" tech progression of Star Trek, but in the real world alot of those kinds of elaborate stunts we envision Treknology being capable of would require a fair amount of prototyping, testing and simulation, training and practice, in order to be used successfully.

    It's not the kind of thing you can pull off in a flash of inspiration and say "Hey, Scotty, you think you can rig up a dose of knock-out gas, beam it to strategic positions within the enemy ship -- in just the right distribution to make sure it gets anyone, but not dense enough to cause respiratory problems -- and then quickly target and beam aboard all of the Romulan life forms there, six at a time, making absolutely sure you don't accidentally beam over someone who is still conscious?"

    No, the problem with Treknology is that TNG+ treats as if it were sorcery and not science: that you can conjure up just about any working gadget with the proper incantation of science-sounding words.

    Engineers are hardly above having to improvise to make ends meet, but they go through a process of trial and error, experimentation, troubleshooting, testing again, retrying, more troubleshooting, etc. Even Apollo 13's famous air-scrubber improvisation took several hours of hard work by some of the best engineers on the planet; the one thing they DIDN'T do was sit in a room somewhere and have someone say "What if we modified the S-band radar to emit a forced neutrino pulse that will convert the Carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen?"
     
  20. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Jeyl, everyone got that memo in May 2009.