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Star Trek: Discovery

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Deadline is reporting that Michelle Yeoh will play the captain of a ship with a Chinese name (*not* the Discovery), and for some reason this bugs me. Captain Sulu wasn't ghettoized as an "Asian" or "Japanese" ship's captain, he was captain of the Excelsior. Captain Spock wasn't ghettoized as a "Vulcan" ship's captain, he was captain of the Enterprise (in ST2:TWOK).

For some reason I am reminded of an old quibble of mine regarding Voyager's Captain Janeway. For some reason the first major female captain in this franchise had to have name that sounded kind of girly (Jane-something). Never mind that Janeway's father would also have been called Janeway, or that if Kirk had a daughter and she became a captain then she, too, would be a Captain Kirk. It just feels, to me, like it lacks imagination.

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NBooth   
On 11/23/2016 at 7:27 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

Deadline is reporting that Michelle Yeoh will play the captain of a ship with a Chinese name (*not* the Discovery), and for some reason this bugs me. Captain Sulu wasn't ghettoized as an "Asian" or "Japanese" ship's captain, he was captain of the Excelsior. Captain Spock wasn't ghettoized as a "Vulcan" ship's captain, he was captain of the Enterprise (in ST2:TWOK).

On the one hand, I can see that. OTOH, I do wonder how much of this decision is based on a ramped-up attempt to actually market the series to China. 

On 11/23/2016 at 7:27 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

For some reason I am reminded of an old quibble of mine regarding Voyager's Captain Janeway. For some reason the first major female captain in this franchise had to have name that sounded kind of girly (Jane-something). Never mind that Janeway's father would also have been called Janeway, or that if Kirk had a daughter and she became a captain then she, too, would be a Captain Kirk. It just feels, to me, like it lacks imagination.

FWIW, Janeway was apparently named after Elizabeth Janeway.

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NBooth wrote:
: On the one hand, I can see that. OTOH, I do wonder how much of this decision is based on a ramped-up attempt to actually market the series to China. 

Ugh. If this means any of that "China can save Tony Stark!" / "We need to call the central government!" nonsense, then forget it. Star Trek was all about *transcending* nationalism, not wallowing in it.

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phlox   
9 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Star Trek was all about *transcending* nationalism, not wallowing in it.

That is essential to Trek, isn’t it…

Interesting point about captain/ship stereotyping – but, Ben Sisko as commander of the Deep Space Nine station didn’t exemplify  “ghettoizing.”   Come to think of it, with all the actors from Canada, maybe they should've had more Canadian ship names.

My association with Yeoh is with the character of Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady, rather than the combative Crouching Tiger…a ship’s captain in Star Fleet (I’m guessing) seems an appropriate segue from the activist for democratic government. Still she may have a smaller role compared to the younger woman Lt. Commander on the actual Discovery ship. ..am curious who the actress will be for the lead.

 

 

Edited by phlox

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NBooth   
8 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

NBooth wrote:
: On the one hand, I can see that. OTOH, I do wonder how much of this decision is based on a ramped-up attempt to actually market the series to China. 

Ugh. If this means any of that "China can save Tony Stark!" / "We need to call the central government!" nonsense, then forget it. Star Trek was all about *transcending* nationalism, not wallowing in it.

The counter-argument here is obviously that the form that "transcending" nationalism takes in Star Trek is actually pretty deeply tied to midcentury Western liberalism, with its undercurrent of colonialism (Sulu is a "pan-Asian" character, for instance, which is important for the iconographic element of the TOS bridge, but also runs the risk of collapsing East Asia into a homogeneous thing), so pushing back against that ideology might be interesting. 

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phlox wrote:
: Come to think of it, with all the actors from Canada, maybe they should've had more Canadian ship names.

Well, we've always got quadrotriticale, so there's that!

NBooth wrote:
:
The counter-argument here is obviously that the form that "transcending" nationalism takes in Star Trek is actually pretty deeply tied to midcentury Western liberalism, with its undercurrent of colonialism . . .

Certainly the fact that most if not all of the ships have English names is kind of telling, that way. But they don't *have* to have English names. Presumably a Vulcan could be captain of a ship named the Shenzhou if that's just how the assignments worked out. (But of course, there's a certain amount of racial/species profiling in Starfleet, a la Kirk's statement in The Motion Picture, following Sonak's death, that he'd still like a Vulcan at the science station.)

: . . . (Sulu is a "pan-Asian" character, for instance, which is important for the iconographic element of the TOS bridge, but also runs the risk of collapsing East Asia into a homogeneous thing) . . .

See also Uhura being born in the "United States of Africa". But Sulu isn't even born in Asia -- he's an American, just like Kirk and McCoy and half of Spock.

: . . . so pushing back against that ideology might be interesting. 

It might. And if it turns out Yeoh's ship isn't even with Starfleet, then obviously my concerns would be moot.

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NBooth   

Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones.

Quote

First up: Actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Falling Skies) will play Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species to the Star Trek universe.

Second, Anthony Rapp (Rent, Road Trip) will star as Lt. Stamets, an “astromycologist,” fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery. Lt. Stamets is the new gay character; previously, Trek icon Lt. Sulu was revealed to be gay in this year’s movie Star Trek Beyond. That was considered a controversial move, however, because it came so late in Sulu’s history, which extends back to the franchise’s original series.

Yeoh's character is given here as Captain Georgiou.

Edited by NBooth

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On 2/27/2016 at 11:45 AM, Justin Hanvey said:

I hope we're getting an event type series of like 10 episodes a season, each season feeling like one of the original series movies. also i know he is so typecast, but after watching Doug Jones as an alien on Falling Skies, and arguably being the best part of that whole series, I'd love to see him as a Data/Spock like non-humanoid alien exploring what it means to be human throughout this new series. He is just such a dynamic physical actor.

Looks like I'm getting my wish! I even mentioned this on Twitter some months back and Doug Jones favorited the tweet.

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phlox   

So if Michelle Yeoh’s character will be part Greek, they’re definitely transcending nationalities (must have heard Peter’s complaint)…and they are all Star Fleet.

Anthony Rapp as an astromycologist made me wonder.  An exotic fungus (possibly eco-terrorism) destroyed most of the food supply on Tarsus IV, which led Kodos the Executioner to kill half the colony’s population in 2246 (“Conscience of the King”).  Maybe that could be in Discovery - the event ‘talked about but not explored.’  

Or some other environmental-issue storyline.

As many have said…the world needs Star Trek now more than ever.

Edited by phlox

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NBooth   
7 minutes ago, phlox said:

Anthony Rapp as an astromycologist made me wonder.  An exotic fungus (possibly eco-terrorism) destroyed most of the food supply on Tarsus IV, which led Kodos the Executioner to kill half the colony’s population in 2246 (“Conscience of the King”).  Maybe that could be in Discovery - the event ‘talked about but not explored.’  

"Conscience of the King" is hands-down my favorite episode of Star Trek ever, so I'd be totally up for that.

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: . . . previously, Trek icon Lt. Sulu was revealed to be gay in this year’s movie Star Trek Beyond. That was considered a controversial move, however, because it came so late in Sulu’s history, which extends back to the franchise’s original series.

Well, technically, it came relatively early in the Kelvin-timeline Sulu's history. Sulu Prime is straight, as George Takei himself has pointed out.

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NBooth   

Star Trek: Discovery casts Walking Dead actress as star — EXCLUSIVE

Sonequa Martin-Green, well known to genre fans from her role on AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead, has been cast as the lead of Star Trek: Discovery, sources tell EW. 

The casting ends meticulous search to find the ideal actress to anchor the eagerly anticipated new CBS All Access drama. Martin-Green will play a lieutenant commander on the Discovery. (CBS Television Studios had no comment).

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Frain is at least the fourth actor to play Sarek now. Mark Lenard, of course, played Sarek several times across TOS, TAS, TSFS, TVH, TUC and TNG. Another actor played him in a flashback to Spock's birth in TFF. And Ben Cross played him in the first JJ Abrams film. (A deleted scene in that film showed Sarek talking to Amanda after the birth of Spock -- an event that took place *before* the Kelvin timeline branched off from the main timeline.)

If DIS takes place in 2255, then it takes place one year after 'The Cage', and thus at a time when Spock was already serving on the Enterprise under Captain Pike. Could we see another actor playing Spock, too? Or another actor playing Pike, for that matter?

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Very likely, I know he's not show runner anymore, but I know Fuller mentioned wanting to explore new characters the first season but that subsequent seasons would introduce old favorites. He was particularly interested in some plot line he's come up with involving Amanda Grayson. 

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Today's big news story is that Rainn Wilson is playing Harry Mudd, the only "villain" who appeared in multiple episodes of the original series ('Mudd's Women' and 'I, Mudd').

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NBooth   

 

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