Buckle up buttercups, we have a long post that celebrates 10 years of yurasama_love’s pure rage!
From 1987 to 2004 there was always at least one Star Trek show on the air. This ended when Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled at the end of its fourth season. The last Next Generation movie was released at the end of 2002 and no other movies were on the horizon… until J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman (the Bad Robot crew) were approached by Paramount to revive the series in 2005. The movie, titled simply “Star Trek”, was a reimagining of Star Trek that was originally aired in 1966 with time travel shenanigans that created what is now called by fans the “Kelvinverse”. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and bringing Leonard Nimoy out of retirement to play Spock Prime, the movie was well received by audiences and critics alike. A sequel was expected and fans begged them not to do a reboot of “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan”.
This time, the Bad Robot crew drew in Damon Lindelof of LOST fame into the writing of this film. They apparently did a lot of talking about the destruction of the planet Vulcan in their first film, as the extermination of one of the Federation’s founding planets would have severe consequences. However they decided that the next film would need an imposing villain and Lindelof pushed for Khan to appear while Orci opposed. They compromised by making a horrifying script and completely missing the point of what makes Khan Noonien Singh an antagonist and why he would matter to Kirk or the Enterprise crew at all.
Meanwhile, casting of Benedict Cumberbatch (Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan) relieved fans that this would not be a remake of “Wrath of Khan”. He was announced to be playing a terrorist named “John Harrison”. Many assumed that because he was said to be very powerful, there was speculation he would be the Kelvinverse version of Gary Mitchell (Star Trek TOS, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”). How innocent we were.
John Cho tried to warn us!
Official synopsis released by Paramount:
“In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.
When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.
As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”
While Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t released until May 17, 2013 in the United States, the first premiere was April 23, 2013 and the internet was immediately flooded with the entire plot of the movie. Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan was revealed to indeed be playing Khan Noonien Singh, cosmetically altered to conceal his identity and the entire movie was a sad pastiche of “Wrath of Khan”. In the comments of the April 24, 2013 ONTD post, “Star Trek Into Darkness: The Early Reviews Are In!” by age_of_green, meltdowns happened. Four pages of comment meltdowns, screaming about the whitewashing, being angry at the eventual defense of “well originally Khan was imagined as a Nordic asshole”, the fact that they were rubbing the Imperial salt in the wound, etc. My own comment was as follows:
Rest assured, ONTD, I got free tickets to see this garbage movie and yes, I did regret it.
Big fan of castellans comment:
Additional rage comments can be found in the Berlin and London Premiere posts, if you need to time travel. Keep in mind that many people have deactivated, deleted, or been banned, so many comments are no longer available.
Khan Noonien Singh was named for a man Gene Roddenberry served with in World War II- Kim Noonien Wang. While he was originally conceived of as a man of Scandinavian descent named Harold Erickson, his name and ethnicity were changed at the casting of Ricardo Montalbahn.
His first appearance was in the TOS episode “Space Seed” where he and the crew of the Botany Bay were discovered by the Enterprise. Initially, they were considered refugees from the Eugenics Wars that preceded the chaos of the 21st century and the invention of warp travel by Zefram Cochrane. It was then discovered that instead of being refugees, Khan and his crew mates were perpetrators of Eugenics Wars, with Khan being one of the most brutal leaders of all. After defeating Khan, Kirk and his crew left the Botany Bay crew on Ceti Alpha V to live out the rest of their days isolated. His return for vengeance, a la Captain Ahab for Moby Dick, was shown in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, a movie often celebrated for being the best Star Trek movie (though it fights with Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales for top spot).
While Ricardo Montalban was a Mexican actor with Spanish parents and therefore was not ethnic appropriate casting, the concept of a non-white character being considered one of the most intelligent and ruthless men on American TV in the 1960’s was nearly inconceivable. As a kid watching Star Trek for the first time, seeing an Indian character on a TV show from the ‘60s when I struggled to find representation in media, it was mind blowing!
Who cares that they cast the whitest English man to play Khan Noonien Singh? Who even is Khan? Why does any of this matter? How are you still angry 10 years after the fact? Aren’t you just sticking with the Fuck JJ Abrams icon because you’re lazy?
To quote my friend who saw the movie with me, “I have low standards for enjoying a movie, and I didn’t like that.”
The basic plot of this movie is that John Harrison/Khan is committing terrorist acts that only Kirk et al can counter, despite Kirk et al being punished for violating the prime directive on a primitive planet. Turns out, Khan is doing all this because he and his group of augments, escapees from the end of Eugenics Wars, were found and taken advantage of by Admiral Marcus of Starfleet. Marcus used Khan’s knowledge to create more advanced ships to further militarize and turn Starfleet fascist after Vulcan was destroyed in the first movie. How this makes sense considering Khan is from 2 centuries ago and predates Earth warp, I DO NOT KNOW.
Essentially, Cantbekhan’s character is the most ridiculous Gary Stu/McGuffin ever. A list of things this man is capable of:
- Can outsmart the entirety of Starfleet, despite predating warp speed technology
- His blood is magic and can heal anyone, including bringing people back from the dead
- He can outrun a Vulcan
- He can create transporter technology that can send him from Earth (Alpha Quadrant) to Qo’noS (Klingon homeworld in the Beta Quadrant), thereby negating spaceships
The other legacy character included in this film was Carol Marcus, portrayed by Alice Eve. Carol Marcus was introduced in Wrath of Khan as the woman in charge of the Genesis project (a key plot point in Star Trek 2 and 3) and the mother of Kirk’s only child. Her whole purpose in this movie was to be Admiral Marcus’ daughter and to be stripped down to her underwear. She’s a scientist who is completely useless.
The biggest issue I had with this movie was the reversal of the Spock dying/Kirk weeping moment from Wrath of Khan, where Spock sacrifices himself to save the crew of the Enterprise. Instead of emotional payoff of years of connection, it’s hammy and ridiculous, and completely ruined with Kirk being brought back to life with Khan’s magic blood. You can compare the deaths below:
This is not to speak of the criminal underutilization of Bones, Chekhov, Sulu, and Uhura. The movie was unbalanced, poorly written, filled with even more lens flare, and with little emotional payoff. Literally the only worthwhile part of this movie was Sulu sitting in the captain’s chair for all of six seconds.
Not to mention, the movie opens with NCC-1701 Enterprise UNDERWATER in order to pick up Kirk, Spock, and Bones on the planet Nibiru instead of, I don’t know, maintaining orbit and using transporters to get their people out. WHY IS YOUR SPACESHIP UNDERWATER??????
JJ Abrams went on to apologize in December 2013 saying that he regretted hiding Cumberbatch’s actual character identity. It was done so that the fun would be preserved, since the main characters didn’t know who he was for the first half of the movie (they didn’t seem to know who he was when it was revealed, so what was the reason?) and the studio wanted this to appeal to non-fans. As milkchocolate in their post says, “He essentially is saying it was the studio’s fault because they wanted to make Star Trek a mainstream thing and didn’t want to pander to Trek fans.” When you look at a post made on ONTD on September 12, 2013 where he says “This movie was not made for only one group, but it was made for movie goers” I wonder if he’s talking about himself or Paramount?
Reminder that JJ Abrams doesn’t understand Star Trek:
As for why I hate Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan for a role he auditioned for and got without actually knowing who he was playing initially, the reason can be found in Brent Spiner’s Nerdist podcast episode, released on May 30, 2012 from Phoenix Comic-Con 2012. This episode is actually removed from The Nerdist website and can be found on archive.org.
Transcript of important bit:
Brent: My family and I went to London at New Year’s and we were eating at a restaurant with Patrick called the Ivy… and we saw Benedict Cumberbatch across the room.
Host, audience: Whoooo, “that’ll get a room going”, etc.
Brent: So we saw Benedict Cumberbatch across the room, he was sitting with Eddie Redmayne… anyway, Benedict saw Patrick and myself and he said, “I have to talk to you” and Patrick said, “All right, call me”. And he said, “no no, I have to talk to you now.” He (Patrick) said, “what is it?” And he (Benedict) says, “I’ve just agreed to do the new Star Trek movie.” (Patrick) “No, really?” (Bendict) “Yeah well, is it going to damage my career?”
Hosts: what the fuck did he really say that?
Brent: And I said, “Let me tell you something Benedict, you’ll never work again after this.”
Imagine going up to Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner in a restaurant to ask if Star Trek will ruin your career!
Thanks everyone, for going along with my fury and rage for 10 years! Here’s to another 10 years and eternity! Live long and prosper!
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