Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Danlav05, Aug 11, 2018.
“No, the joke was funny. It's you, Data.”
It is super concerning that he thinks of Bones as fluff classic or Kelvin, Kirk and Spock need him to be their best selves.
Tbh, Mccoy needs them (or more like Urban needs them to get more screentime, or he seems to think so) more than they need him.
In kelvin trek, Uhura is the voice of reason for Spock and Kirk, but I'd argue that Spock needs her while Kirk needs Mccoy. There is no original trio dynamic because Kirk and Spock are different.
But this isn't the point why that comment by Tarantino is concerning for me. I don't believe in giving characters a symbolic role or making it seems they can't work without each other. That's cheesy crap for me, especially when the actual story shows this isn't the case. I never shared some trek fans obsession for the id-ego-superego stuff either because it wasn't even canon. Roddenberry hadn't even wanted a trio originally, we have that dynamic only because 1) they realized Spock was more popular than the main guy and they needed to use him (and to a lesser extent Mccoy) to enrich Kirk's character and make him popular too 2) the original plan was to have at least one female lead part of the main dynamic but Number One was rejected, Nichols had her lines constantly cut and her role erased, and Grace Lee got fired.
Tl dr: you can like the original trio but also recognize it was itself a product of the sexism and racism of the time that prevented tptb to do something different and less 'boys only'. Nowadays trek doesn't have to still be like that just because it was like that in the 60s.
What I believe into is having dynamic characters who are allowed a personal life. In that sense, the fact both Spock and Kirk have Uhura and Mccoy, thus a life outside each other and the ship, is healthy and important for me.
It's characters who know them, and viceversa, from before they even worked on the ship. And I like the way those interpersonal links inform their interactions on the ship now. Even if you were to watch a documentary about the army or nasa, you'd most likely see that those people are humans with feelings too and thus a life outside their job.
The thing is, I wouldn't watch a movie just about Kirk with some Spock, and I find it concerning that Tarantino doesn't seem to like the ensemble when these movies were an opportunity to do more with it and the enterprise family, unlike the old movies that were too much the Kirk/Spock show (and they were criticized for that. I remember people and the old cast always complaining they didn't do enough with the other characters)
Also, like I said before jj&Co made Uhura and Mccoy the two characters who have an existing bond with the main guys and this not only elevated Uhura to the original trio level, which is by itself a good innovation for a modern reboot (about time they give us more than the usual bromance. It's inconceivable that you still make THAT the sole representation of interpersonal dynamics aboard a ship), but it makes it so that while the main guys are still Kirk and Spock, the audience is allowed to see more of the others too and thus the enterprise 'family'. I wish we could see more interactions between Uhura and Mccoy, as well as Spock and Chekov and other combos. It's boring when I only see the usual suspects given (at times forced) pretexts to interact when a good story can allow the main guys to share screentime with more than 1 or 2 characters.
I find it ironic that Tarantino prefers trek over star wars and yet, he seems to want Kirk to be a Luke Skywalker. If it weren't for Shatner, he'd probably prefer star wars because there aren't too many main characters to give screentime to there, and in general star wars does have more dark themes than trek. I'm also surprised he doesn't like into darkness best.
As a fan of both trek and star wars, I'd find him more fitting for a star wars movie or spin off.
To be fair, Kirk, Spock and McCoy were usually the focal characters because they were the only main cast members. TOS was not originally an ensemble, as Sulu, Scotty, Uhura, Chapel, and Chekov were just supporting parts that were only featured on every other episode. There was very little chance that they would be featured as focal characters like the spin-offs did where Troi would have an episode centered on her. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy getting more attention in the movies is just a product of that.
Also, Number One was actually rejected not due to sexism but because the executives were not taken with Majel Barret, and the fact that there were concerns that Roddenberry was just playing nepotism by having his mistress in a major part. Roddenberry was the one that spread the myth of Number One being rejected due to sexism, just to make Majel Barrett feel better as if she never really had a chance, rather than replace her with a better actress.
The only main character for them was Kirk.
Originally, Spock and Mccoy were supporting too, but Spock became popular so Roddenberry made him and Kirk a duo following Asimov's advice that if Kirk spent more screentime with the popular character, people would love him more as the lead thank to his friend too. Spock and Mccoy had more screentime than the others mostly because they were best friends of hero, not because they were truly co-leads with Kirk. Nimoy had to fight to get more, to get recognized as co-lead.
Nichols said that Roddenberry originally wanted Uhura to have a bigger role too, and he had wanted to work more with the ensemble, but the network and other executives disagreed because they wanted something more safe.
She wasn't the only one who suggested that. She would read the first drafts of the scripts they were given, and then the last ones and she knew how much the final product was the result of several changes and cuts to give more focus to Kirk and his friends. It seems, from different accounts, that tension grew between Shatner and Nimoy as well as between Shatner and everyone.
As for the female characters, I think it's disingenuos to pretend that sexism and racism didn't affect the way the female characters and poc were treated in a show made in the 60s.
If the reason why Number One was dropped was just because they didn't like Majel, they'd recast the character with another actress. Instead, they gave her role to a man, and Roddenberry's original plan to have a female lead was dropped. I don't think there is enough to discount sexism playing a role in that too...
I guess you can believe they didn't like Nichelle or Grace either, and that's why they cut down the screentime of one and fired the latter. .. but what a coincidence is that it's always women that they disliked and thus erased...
I also guess the fact Nichelle was treated like crap by some people behind the scenes because of the color of her skin ( negating her a normal contract, for one, was unprofessional, preventing her from using the main entrance like everyone, or hiding all the fanmails she got from fans is beyond petty and idiotic ) , or the fact Grace was a victim of sexual assault right before she got fired, had nothing to do with sexism and racism..
I'm the first to appreciate a lot of things from that time. I love vintage. And I love tos. It was progressive, for the time.
But those were the 60s. Some problematic things were kind of. . inevitable.
I'd find it depressing for us as a society if nowadays kids who watch tos for the first time don't find some things about it...outdated and cringe worthy.
Some fans romanticize tos so much that they convinced themselves it's the most progressive thing and immune to criticism. Proof in the pudding is the response people get everytime they mention that water is wet and tos was a product of the 60s still (latest example: Kate Mulgrew's comment about the sexism in tos and why she doesn't find it surprising many trek fans online say misogynistic things about female leads).
If fans pretend tos was prefect, it means nothing needs to be improved. In that sense, nostalgia really is a great pretext fans use to demand some things to stay the same in perpetuity.
That's all on Roddenberry for not recasting the first officer with another female actress. Of course, the only reason he gave the part to Majel Barrett was because he was sleeping with her. Since she was rejected by the network, he wasn't interested in recasting, and just gave it to Nimoy. It's also worth noting that his original cast in "The Cage" was all white, so diversity wasn't exactly his initial priority until NBC encouraged it. Even then, Nichols got her part because... again... she was one of Roddenberry's mistresses. I don't doubt he promised her that she would get a bigger part, as one of his greatest faults as a human being was always giving promises he couldn't keep.
Here's a written account of the whole Gene/Barrett behind the scenes fiasco.
"In their book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Herb Solow and Robert Justman claimed that the account of NBC rejecting the female first officer was a myth created by Roddenberry. In their version, NBC was proud of gender and race diversity in its shows, and even insisted on having a strong female leading character, but they felt that Barrett was not a leading-type actress with strong screen presence, suitable for playing such a role. Apparently not wanting to hurt his mistress' pride, Roddenberry purportedly came up with this story in the 1970s-1980s Star Trek convention circuit, which he toured extensively with his by-then wife.
Although her character was dropped from the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", after Star Trek was picked up as a series, Barrett, now disguised as a blonde, was given the role of Nurse Christine Chapel in the episode " The Naked Time" by Roddenberry, albeit surreptitiously according to Justman and Solow. Because the network did not like her role in "The Cage", Barrett donned a blond wig for her role and went by the name "Majel Barrett" rather than "M. Leigh Hudec," as she had done for "The Menagerie." In effect, the surreptitious act of sneaking Barrett back into the Star Trek production against the express wishes of NBC, turned out to be one of the reasons for Lucille Ball after she was informed of this, to ordain the firing of the pair of them on the spot, as a moral propriety valuing Ball could not abide with nepotism. Concurrently, she had become aware that a married Roddenberry conducted an illicit affair with Barrett, which was an even stronger reason for her wanting them to be gone from her studio; Ball's own marriage with Desi Arnaz had fallen apart in no small part due to his philandering. It was Herb Solow who, through an intermediary, managed to convince Ball otherwise, though he had the toughest of times doing so. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, 1997, p. 223; These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed, pp. 25-27)"
When it comes to behind the scenes stuff, I'm much more willing to take the word of Bob Justman over Roddenberry anyday.
Roddenberry didn't just promise Nichelle a bigger part. She and the others saw it, their original scenes, in the first scripts they were given before the cut and changes before filming.
I don't get why one has to assume she lied or Roddenberry lied. Why couldn't he really want to do more with other characters but couldn't? Why dispute that?
But I see a pattern here.
In Majel's case, would they even admit it if sexism was the reason? If I do the same thing you do I could speculate maybe it's better for them to say the character sucks (yet, similar role given to a dude is great) or the actress is bad. It puts all the blame on her. It isn't like these arguments are never used for actresses, even nowadays.
They wanted a "strong female leading character" and yet, they never had one in tos. And the few female characters they had were reduced in role to focus on men. This also in context of a show where sexism certaintly wasn't impossible to find.
I'm not one who considers Roddenberry a saint, but the main point here doesn't change: sexism and racism were part of the reason why you didn't have any real female lead and thus why bromance was the be all end all of interpersonal relationships. Minimizing that, thus the context of the 60s and how much it influenced the original thing, doesn't make you get points here and neither do these speculations about the women getting roles only because Roddenberry had relations with them (at the time it's likely most of the cast got their roles because of their connections, anyway. But of course it's always women who are singled out about these things, even nowadays). That's deflecting the actual point.
If anything, if that is true (the idea you had female characters only because Roddenberry was atttacted to the actresses) it should make one understand, all the more, how problematic the time was and the fact that getting few female roles wasn't a given.
Tos is a great example of not following what you preach. It tried to be diverse and inclusive, but the guys who created the show were still living in the 60s.
Pike's line about how weird it's to have a woman on the bridge, for example, is him voicing the feelings of the writer from the 60s, rather than being an in character, realistic, representation of a spaceship captain from the future.
Even the interactions between Spock and Mccoy come across as meanier and more racist/xenophobic today than they were probably perceived by tptb at the time. Spock was a biracial kid allegory, his conflict echoed common tropes about mixed people at the time (eg movies like 'Imitation of life'). Mccoy would at times say things that made him more the stereotype of a white racist guy from the 60s than a man from the trek reality who should know better and thus shouldn't treat Spock as the alien freak who needs to get humans when, well, humans are aliens too there..
How bad it must be for Spock to get attacked by vulcans because he has feelings, and by humans because they think he doesn't have them.
Well, yeah, of course Roddenberry was sexist. One only has to watch “Turnabout Intruder” to get a rancid taste.
Every franchise gets run down to the ground eventually as producers try to squeeze as many dollars as they can from viewers. In which case, make it fun.
So... Star Trek shouldn’t be fun?...
I wonder how many grumps grumbled when watching “The Trouble with Tribbles”.
They rooted for Mr. Barris.
Not trying to get anyone to watch a Tarantino 'Trek film. Just stating how he typically behaves when it comes to people discerning his motives and style of film-making. Personally, I will be seeing the next 'Trek film, whether or not Tarantino is directing it. #TrekForLife
If Tarantino makes this, I hope it's all new characters for the most part. Star Trek needs someone like him to come in and add their own unique flare to it.
Having seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a couple times in cinema, I actually think IF THAT Quentin Tarantino turned up to direct a Star Trek, it would be probably end up being the definitive entry in the film series. Far from what fans probably fear when they watch the likes of Django Unchained, as I got out on BD just yesterday. I think he's pretty respectful of each genre he's taken on. But if you're worried a Tarantino Trek would end up being a cookie cutter shape like The Wrath of Khan, every film after feels the need to recreate... then yes, I can well see that happening. Simply because studios like a successful formula and don't take many risks in trying new things, until audiences tire of the same and don't show up. It's interesting to note here that none of the main characters are particularly out for revenge in this Tarantino film, but they do have are mundane motivations ranging from fear of being obsolete and out of a career, to the blissed out insanity. So maybe Tarantino's Trek will similarly be as bored with bumpy-head aliens with a chip on their shoulder? I likewise hear where we should be at with decent female characters and it's hard not to disagree with Margot Robbie needing to have been given more to do, than playing somebody shown existing and a desirable film star.
Barring bad language, OUATIH is practically a comedy drama suitable for everybody. There's no nudity and I'd say both male & female figures are equally objectified, because they're all film stars and cast on their attractiveness to an audience. It's easy to imagine Tarantino in that 1969 mindset, turning his mind to writing for a TV show cancelled at the time, sold as a western in space. The violence is restrained by his standards and only provides show-stopping end to a story that's increasingly shown losing its grip on reality. The undercurrent of the "Manson Family" permeates through, and knowing the horrific reality of Sharon Tate's murder, it's interesting how when events suddenly swerve off into the Twilight Zone, an audience otherwise revolted by Tarantino's trademarks, end up laughing and cheering its use. The ending is pure Hollywood and emotional for reasons that hit harder than any punch thrown.
Would I object to a Star Trek film that's slowly drawn out, taking in beautiful landscape images and approaching 3 hours long? Well, I quite liked The Motion Picture but Tarantino is incapable of scripting characters to be quite that slow and ponderous. QT is definitely old school and he couldn't do that disorientating, always on the move, fast cut camera-style that JJ Abrams loves, even if he tried I suspect. Again, no bad thing for me.
Tarantino loves employing past talent and involves John Dykstra frequently in SFX, which I find an exciting prospect.
Plenty of positives to outweigh the negatives associated with Tarantino. I'm open to everyone else being surprised with the kind of film he'd make, because I think I know this Pulp Fiction in space stuff is playing media outlets along. If you love Star Trek you basically know it has a strong positive ethical identity and there are lines you can't cross. And if you try, a) there are inventive story reasons why characters in-universe might and b) the studio will sure as hell stop you, if they aren't appropriate. Simply because the franchise also has to be a commercial product sellable to kids of all ages. Any subject material considered too strong would undoubtedly be picked apart and toned down, R-rating or not. Interestingly whenever that comes up, what somebody British like myself thinks of being discussed, is probably NC-17... given here just as many R films make 15 as 18 in certificate.
Something else to consider, should Quentin Tarantino choose to direct -- he might very well not, having provided the scriptwriter and having his name among the producers -- is the soundtrack.
Star Trek isn't a period piece, so repurposing popular music to underscore what's happening onscreen isn't really an option. We wouldn't be suddenly hearing "Faith of the Heart" redone by Evanescence accompanying a key scene, although the movies have featured Steppenwolf and Beastie Boys, Public Enemy in-universe. Not to mention a Rhianna song completely unconnected to the actual story, playing under the closing credits of Beyond.
Does he go to Michael Giacchino and ask him to provide the music? The only time Tarantino has employed a composer was Enrico Morricone for The Hateful Eight, and that was after upsetting him for snatching his work for Django Unchained. Does he go wholly electronic, like an 80's sci-fi movie? Or repurpose existing orchestral work by Jerry Goldsmith, or somebody else? Which, seems his style... creating a literal greatest hits mixtape of music written for some previous movie scene but twisted in intent to play differently.
I didn't even think about music. The Hateful Eight composer would be excellent for Star Trek.
He has the ability to compose very harsh sounding songs like we'd hear in the 60's and 70's in a modern setting. It would mesh well with the Enterprise crew and give the film a retro vibe.
The only sci-fi flick I’m aware of Morricone doing was MISSION TO MARS, a score I actually liked, but understand it has its detractors.
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