Thu
Jun 12 2014 8:00am

The Perfect Retcon to Star Trek Into Darkness?

Benedict Cumberbatch, Khan, Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness showed up on Netflix recently, and I decided to watch it again (against my better judgement). And there are still some fun moments in that thing, but overall, it’s… really disheartening. Many have said this, so I won’t add to the summit of Mount Critique. We know how it went: None of the shout-outs to former canon were ever earned, Kirk degenerated into a raging frat boy, Carol Marcus was practically an unperson who existed to be RoboCop’s daughter—it’s all been said eloquently and amusingly across various webispheres.

But I did have an idea on how they might fix one of the film’s biggest problems.

The problem, as you might have already guessed, is Khan. Or not Khan, since it makes very little sense to find the guy here at all.

There are several issues with Khan being one of the villains in Into Darkness. Number one is the fact that they whitewashed the character. And do not give me the tired old, “But Ricardo Montalban wasn’t Indian, so who cares?” schtick. There is a big difference between giving a not-white part to a white man versus giving that same part to a person of color, even if they are not the same ethnicity as the character in question. One of those people is regularly granted more opportunity in casting calls. (If you said the white actor, you get no prize, but I thank you for your honesty.) It’s a statistical fact.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Khan, Star Trek Into Darkness

But! I can hear the gasps in the distance. But Benedict Cumberbatch! He’s a dragon! A consulting detective! A consulting dragon detective with his very own hobbit and a voice like melted chocolate from Willy Wonka’s waterfall!

Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor, and I love him as much as the next swooning super fan. It doesn’t change the fact that his villain-ly dialogue is pretty paint-by-numbers. No matter how much he’s giving the performance it doesn’t make Khan workable as an antagonist, let alone one that should feel familiar. There is nothing about the guy that makes you think of Khan, drudges up old memories, not even a silly shout-out line repeat. (Why did no one work “Buried alive… buried alive…” in there? MISTAKE.) Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman admitted that they decided the character could be Khan after the intial scripting process, which makes sense of this problem—the character wasn’t conceptualized as Khan. Later on, they basically just added a couple lines and a Nimoy cameo to legitimize the alteration.

There’s no low-cut pectoral-bearing jackets, no starship dogfight between evenly match opponents, no Shakespeare quotations, not even the fakey yoga-fu Khan practiced in “Space Seed.” There’s no pomp and circumstance, no true enjoyment at the game being played. He’s just a sad guy who talks real slow for some reason, and eventually crushes RoboCop’s skull like a fine pinot blanc grape. He has no understandable reason to hate Kirk this time around, so his battering of the Enterprise and her crew seems arbitrary and a waste of time. Sure, Khan wants to subjugate the universe, but one tiny starship should be beneath his notice with that lofty goal set in his head and a big angry HulkShip at his disposal.

Ricardo Montalban, Khan, Wrath of Khan

Here’s the thing—this guy, the one who wanted to walk atop cold corpses, cry silent, genetically-enhanced tears and over-enunciate his threats? There is no reason this guy actually has to be Khan at all.

To wash the odd taste out of fandom’s mouth, the easiest retcon could be put in place during one of the future Trek films. There are 72 other super humans who Khan calls “family.” They were of all backgrounds and talents, an entire pantheon of super peoples. If one of them was woken up, not knowing when it was or what he would be asked to do, isn’t it possible that he might lie? That he might tell a powerful military leader in Starfleet that he was Khan Noonien Singh? We know that Khan’s exploits were legendary—of all these genetically engineered people, he was considered to be the Attila, the Alexander, the Caesar. Pretending to be him would likely buy you more respect, more time to figure out what was going on. It would be a smart move that could keep your people alive. The sort of move that a super man might employ when woken from a deep freeze a few hundred years in the future.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Khan, Star Trek Into Darkness

If it turned out that this man was not Khan, then all of his behaviors in the film would suddenly ring more true. Here is an individual, damaged by his circumstances and alone, afraid of losing the only people like him in the universe. He is lashing out against everyone who used him or cornered him. Without the weight of Khan’s original (very different) incarnation hanging over him, this character can be his own thing. And all that wishy-washy indecision that led to the stunt secrecy surrounding his identity in the first place could be put to bed. And we wouldn’t suddenly have to wonder how an alternate reality could change the ethnicity of a character born hundreds of years before the skewed timeline.

But better yet, we would also know that Khan was still out there… somewhere. And that would always be hanging over our heads, a perfectly poised hammer ready for whenever he was needed.


Emily Asher-Perrin just really wants them to give McCoy his due in the next movie. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

65 comments
Chris Nelly
2. Aeryl
I've heard this before and I think it's a great idea.
Thomas DeLorenzo
3. flyingtoastr
While I totally agree with the whitewashing critique, I give the producers a modicum of credit because the role was originally offered to Benicio del Toro, who later backed out. Doesn't excuse the outcome, but at least they tried (which is more than a lot of films can say).

But any problems with Kahn are dwarfed by the fact that by the end of this movie they had cured death and rendered starships obsolete. I mean... Magic blood and transporters that can travel dozens of lightyears? Way to kill the entire franchise's premise. Ugh.
Eric Saveau
4. Eric Saveau
I've long argued that "Harrison" should not have been Khan, but Khan's lieutenant Joachim, accidentally thawed first and trying to act in his name. And that after establishing himself and his motives as reasonably sympathetic, should not have suddenly crushed the Admiral's head and said "Oh, that's right; I'm the villain so DIRE HORRIBLE THREATS! And starships inexplicably falling out the sky!" Instead, have it go down like this -

Kirk talks him out of killing Admiral Marcus, not pleading for mercy but arguing that they need him alive for info about how far-reaching his conspiracy is. And to make it palatable, he offers "Joachim" a deal:

Join my crew, serve under me and follow my orders for the five-year mission we will almost certainly get after Starfleet sorts itself out, and we will find an uninhabited but habitable planet that you and your people can settle. We set you there with food and tools and weapons and other supplies to get you started then leave you there, unable to threaten the Federation, but free to build your destiny on your own terms. What do you say?

Yes, it's basically "Space Seed". But "Space Seed" would actually make sense in this context, where TWOK Redux makes none.
Mouldy Squid
5. Mouldy_Squid
There is no way to ret-con anything in this film to make it make any kind of sense. The whole plot is a complete and total wrek. Had "Khan" been simply a genius rogue Section 31 agent it might have made more sense, but the rest of the flaws outweigh any kind of "fix".

Abrams and his writing team showed that they are over-rated hacks without an original thought between them. The Trekker's only solace is that Abrams is now applying his "skills" to Star Wars.

I pray that Abrams has done enough damage to Star Trek that we can finally kill the franchise. It's long past its best-before date.
Eric Saveau
6. Dr. Batman
This is a fun idea to toss around, though I very much doubt the makers of the new Trek franchise will ever consider this alteration. If anything, they will likely just bring Benedict back for Round Two. This series is basically a turn your brain off romp, neither movie makes an ounce of sense when thought about for more than an instant. I'm hoping that JJ's departure means a more thought out plot, while still keeping the same sense of fun that he brought to the films. Logic wise, my biggest question has always been how the Klingons achieved interplanetary travel as a species. Where are the Klingon scientists who created their warp drive? Do their scientists have to battle one another to the death when their theories are questioned? Are there now Klingon beauticians who specialize in forehead jewelry (based on STID's Klingon bling). Also, boy were they bad fighters in this one, let's see some redemption in number three! Bring on Evil Worf, Champion of Alternate Reality Klingons!
Eric Saveau
7. velour
"There is a big difference between giving a not-white part to a white man
versus giving that same part to a person of color, even if they are not
the same ethnicity as the character in question."

Not to discredit your overall point about whitewash casting, but I think you're playing a little fast and loose with this particuar nuance. I doubt you mean to imply that any old brown person in a brown person's role is good enough... do you?
Thomas Thatcher
8. StrongDreams
@7,
I think the point simply is that in 1967, having a Mexican portray a Sikh was relatively progressive. In 2010, having a white Anglo portray a Sikh was a step backward.
Evan Langlinais
9. Skwid
I proposed this walking out of the theater, and it makes my headcanon a bit more palateable.
Eric Saveau
10. Captain Kirk
This movie was great. Stop latching onto the crappy films from the dark ages and embrace the glory of this great new franchise. Cumberbatch is the man, and way better than any Mexican dude from the 80's. End of discussion.
Eric Saveau
11. jmin
no no no nooooo

We do not need to see a string of Khan movies (presuming it will take several until they get it right). Just chalk this up to bad decisions and make the next movie plot original.
Mike R
12. Redlander
The best way to proceed is to forget the last movie ever happened. Just move on to the next adventure. It's what TOS did. What's that? Spock's Brain? Nah, we aren't going to dwell on it. On to the next planet!
R O T
13. rogerothornhill
As always, very well said. The white actor obviously makes it even more distasteful, but I'm not sure I would have liked it even if Del Toro had played the part (as was rumored he might do). The only thing I really enjoyed in the movie was Pegg's performance, which was as fun as the script allowed it to be.
R O T
14. rogerothornhill
I'm also reminded of Stephen Sondheim's frequent observation that you should never adapt any work as a musical if it already works well in its original form. The same goes triple for remakes--some (the MGM Wizard, Huston's Maltese Falcon, etc.) do work.
Eric Saveau
15. Kelvington
Khan was not the villian, Peter Weller's character was.

I too have no understanding of how Khan became a pasty Brit, since Khan was shot into space hundreds of years before the beta universe came into existance.

The next one should be called, Star Trek: The Apology. But if they call it Star Trek III - The Search For Pike... I'm out!
Eric Saveau
16. snds
The sad part is Orci and Kurtzman weren't even remotely as clever as a number of the posts I've read here. The explaination for Khan being the way he looks in STID was way more convoluted and WAY less convincing...and all done in a comic book: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Khan
Paul Rando
17. SerDragonReborn
I like your idea for a retcon and I'm picturing it happening by way of the REAL Khan (portrayed by somebody non-white, preferably Sikh) showing up in a future movie, which would mean ANOTHER re-hash of TWoK, which, like @11, I don't think we need. So unless they can find a way to enact this retcon without bringing in another Khan, I think they should just start the 5 year mission and have the next film be an original plot on an original planet.
Marilynn Byerly
18. MByerly
The quotes were from Milton's "Paradise Lost," not Shakespeare.
Emily Asher-Perrin
19. EmilyAP
@7 -- Not to discredit your overall point about whitewash casting, but I think you're playing a little fast and loose with this particuar nuance. I doubt you mean to imply that any old brown person in a brown person's role is good enough... do you?

Absoutely not. I simply wanted to point to the major flaw in "but someone of a different ethnicity has already played this character!" argument, which is often used to defend whitewashing as though it is the exact same offense.
Emily Asher-Perrin
20. EmilyAP
@18 - Correct! My brain did a casual switch from Khan to Christopher Plummer in Undiscovered Country. Because I love them both.
Nathan Martin
21. lerris
@15 And this is the core problem with the reboots:
Abrams wrote in a time-loop, which carries with it an implicit promise to respect the rules of the original timeline. Any changes subsequent to the split are fair game.
Yet Klingon culture gets thrown out the window, along with both of their established physical appearances. (Captain Archer was mentioned by name in the first movie, so I would be content with either ridged or ridgeless Klingons)

In the original, the writers' idea of a genetic superman was one who was at the extreme end of the bell curve for intelligence, strength, endurance, etc, but still recognizably human. The new version of Khan should have been sent to Jean Luc Picard's School for Gifted Youngsters.

IMO, the perfect retcon would involve William Shatner speaking the words "Computer... delete program" while shaking his head in disgust.

The casting for the main crew was fantastic, but they really needed a writing team that understands Trek.
Brandon Daggerhart
22. BDaggerhart
Meh,
Sure it makes sense, but then it gives the writers an excuse to make yet-another Khan movie, and I really just want them to tell some original stories.

I personally still think the story should have been about Gary Mitchell, since they already had a comic that prequeled it very well. That would have been a character that had so much more reason to be upset with Kirk.

But my favorite way this story could have panned out is that Cumberbatch was actually a future evil Picard from a mirror-verse - when I saw the first trailer with him & the Evilprise, I knew there was no way they'd do it, but man, I hoped.
Kit Case
23. wiredog
I figure Khan was an earlier augment and it was the imperfect augment process that turned him white. Well, it's a decent one-liner handwave.

I really hope they bring back the Zombie Tribbles for the next movie.
Eric Saveau
24. JustAnotherTrekker
Interesting idea. Who could it be if it wasn't really Khan? Someone white, evil and who would have no problem lying through his teeth? What if he was actually Colonel Green?
Mouldy Squid
25. Mouldy_Squid
@24 JustAnotherTrekker

A rogue Section 31 agent would have worked just fine. It would give the shoutout to longtime fans, and wouldn't cause a major re-alignment of the base script.
Eric Saveau
26. Dave Caruso
Ret-Kahn.
Eric Saveau
27. Ian1418
I'm puzzled by Ricardo Montalban being a "person of color". His perents were migrants from Spain, thus making him fully European by descent, and he appears as white as William Shatner. This definition of "person of color" seems to be the one used a hundred years ago when Italians and other southern European immigrants were not considered to be white.

As for the new Star Trek movies overall, I think of them as fun action movies that only get worse if you try to look for any substance or nuamce in them.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
28. Lisamarie
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was reading a book on pregnancy, and there was a section on various diseases that are present more commonly in certain ethnic groups. For thessalemia, it mentioned that it was common among 'women of color' and included Maltese and Italians in that list (which is where my ancestry hails from). It was the first time I ever found myself considered a 'woman of color'. Not that I mind - but I don't think I face the same types of challenges that women you would typically think of as women of color do. Although appaerently people would throw things at my immigrant grandfather when my dad was a little boy.
Del C
29. del
Please don't use the epithets "pasty" and "Brit". Thank you.
Mouldy Squid
30. Mouldy_Squid
@15 Thanks for the inspiration. Quick and dirty.
rob mcCathy
31. roblewmac
I enjoyed the movie up to a point. I kind of took "Kirk-B runs into Khan-B" as "of COURSE he does" That's just standard practice for "OTHER TIMELINE" story something old happens in a new way.
MY problem is twofold A They blew up Vulcan. You'd better replace Vulcan with something Huge that only exists in new timline
B they've DONE KHAN I do not want to see any more TOS Redoes
Samantha Ricketts
33. Iqeret
I can understand the problem of Khan's casting from an industry standpoint, but within the ST universe, I don't have a problem with it. After all, it only takes one ancestor to move from one part of the former British Empire to another and shouldn't we be forward-thinking enough to consider one (or a series) of interracial marriages? Looking at my own family, it doesn't take a lot to have a surname from one region of the planet and the racial characteristics from another.

That said, ID was a pitiful script with excellent actors.
JOSEPH HOOPMAN
34. hoopmanjh
I look forward to the scene in the next movie in which Leonard Nimoy confronts Benedict Cumberbatch: "Khan!! Oh, no, wait, that's not him after all. My bad."
Eric Saveau
35. Tehanu
Dr. Batman:
Logic wise, my biggest question has always been how the Klingons achieved interplanetary travel as a species. Where are the Klingon scientists who created their warp drive?
Barbara Hambly's book Ishmael handled this. In that, the Klingons had been conquered by a starfaring race when they were still in feudal-government mode and went from medieval-type peasants to star soldiers in one generation.

Rogerothornehill:
I'm also reminded of Stephen Sondheim's frequent observation that you should never adapt any work as a musical if it already works well in its original form.
I hope he wasn't trying to imply that there was anything wrong with Smiles of a Summer Night before he got his hands on it.
Alan Brown
36. AlanBrown
@26 "Ret-Khan"
Brilliant!
Actually, while this particular reworking probably won't happen, I think the movie would have worked much, much better if it had only been a stand-alone tale inspired by "Wrath of Khan," not a quasi-remake. The first movie was a new adventure, and the second should have been, also.
Eric Saveau
37. Nik_the_Heratik
The biggest let down for me is the failure to do anything new or interesting. Completely wasted opportunity to actually explore, well, anything.

Turning Kirk into a useless frat boy, Starfleet into a weak ass organization that can be brought down by a cryo-freezed GI Joe, and Spock into Mr. Emo Deathwish guy was small potatoes comparatively.

The best way to fix the head canon is to just pretend that it's not Star Trek at all, but generic SF space romp that needs to give more screen time to the space doctor guy. That's what I did, and I enjoyed the movie afterwards.
Eric Saveau
38. StarFuryG7
You mean there would be no pictures of 20th century Khan in the Abramsverse?

Aside from the fact that Roberto Orci is simply spiteful when it comes to this sort of thing and would never give what you're asking for anyway. It's just his nature.
Eric Saveau
39. Ace Hamilton IV
Your idea is a good one, though you're not the only one to come up with it.

RELEVANT LITTLE KNOWN FACT: In Space Seed, one of Khan's crew is named Harrison.
Eric Saveau
40. FDS
Unfortunately, this piece and some of the comments read like the type of appologetic head cannon that fans of a certain long-running CS television series get to detailing (although they also claim to have been disheartened by recent seasons, and also claim that they know better than to tune in), but what they write about to justify what they view is merely self-flagellation to preserve some sanity with their viewing habits.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that the movie, while enjoyable enough on its face (at first blush) as a summer popcorn matinee is that it is guilty of all the misery assigned to it and far worse than even that, but there's no reason to rehash these facts as they have been well-established elsewhere - other than, as #16 points out, even where Orci has been involved in material attempting to clarify and explicate problems with the NuTrek universe (see any of the other NuTrek IDW comics), they are childish at best, nonsensical at most, so there's no reason to expect that a first time outing as director by him will mean anything other than an even more inferior end product, not simply as to plot, logic or continuity, but in general (save for the perhaps less lens flare).

As a final thought, and this is as a research nerd and a non-Caucasoid one at that, it would be appreciated if a link provided to a statistical fact did not merely lead one to one tumblr that credits another tumblr post for a visual (the infographic) but niether of which provides any type of source (independently verifiable or otherwise) for the numbers used in said visual.

Whether we mean to quote Shakespeare, Milton, Twain or Carroll D. Wright (http://tinyurl.com/l2m2sw7), it can be said, "It is our duty ... to prevent the liar from figuring; in other words, to prevent him from perverting the truth, in the interest of some theory he wishes to establish.) As someone who has worked with the by-products of film and television production, and has had to review numerous documents of casting, pre-production and production, I would have no doubts that a truly open casting call could be considered a rarity or that most parts are cast not with the best performer, but merely by one amongst those most readily accessed and available to the producer/crew, etc., but as an audience member of this site, one would still prefer that a "statistical fact" be empirically based and that evidence to support it be available before we call it a fact, statistical or otherwise.
Eric Saveau
41. DarthVarner
I can't believe the obvious "RetKhan" pun has not yet been made.

Now that it has, I'll show myself out.
Eric Saveau
43. RadCap
Reverse racism is still racism.
Chris Nelly
44. Aeryl
@43, No it's not. "Reverse" racism does not exist, because racism is an oppressive structure which targets people of color. Structures, by their very natures as structures, can't then be used to target those that they advantage.
Mouldy Squid
45. Mouldy_Squid
@44 Aeryl:

Perhaps it would be better to say that racism is an opressive structure which targets people because of their race. It is entirely possible for racism to be directed at caucasians.
Eric Saveau
46. Seanno
Don't forget that there was none of the cat and mouse starship battle, or all the references to Moby Dick that made the original movie so great. I gave this movie an 7/10. It could have been so much better. Too many cooks in the kitchen? No clear vision when there are so many people with input to the film's storyline. It was fun to watch, if you simply turn your brain off.
Jan Kafka
47. JanKafka
While I don't recommend wasting money on it, the recently released comic supplement-to-the-dreadful movie, "Khan" spent three issues *simply explaining why Khan, the real Khan, was white.* And ripping off Ender's Game. So I wouldn't count on this.

Chris Nelly
48. Aeryl
First of all, not all white people are Caucasian, and not all Caucasians are white people.

You know, I know this is an international site, and sure in countries where white people are a minority, this can be true.

BUT, we are talking about an American production with a majority of American actors, so let's not muddy this issue.

What @43 is saying, is taking this role away from a white dude, is "reverse racism"

No.

White people are not harmed by a lack of representation, even in the foreign film market. People of color are. There are studies showing how people's perceptions of people from different races and nationalities are shaped by media, there are studies showing how a lack of representation hurts minority students.

Cumberbatch's character being retconned in a way that addresses that lack, that harmful lack that impacts the lives of people around the globe, is not "reverse racism".

And I will state again, "reverse racism" does not exist. Again, it's about structures. Sure some of those structures, in other countries, are racist against white people, but that's not "reverse racism" it's just plain old racism backed up by that countries demographics.

Instances of POC in the US expressing frustration at a racist system, generalizing white people as "honkies" or "crackers" is not "reverse racism" because those statements have no institutional backing to harm white people.

That's the difference between racism, a system, and bigotry, an individual prejudice. Bigotry exists everywhere, amongst every group. Racism is that bigotry having the power to negatively effect the lives and opportunities of others.
Eric Saveau
49. RadCap
Aeryl - racism is not a "structure". It is the absurd belief which ascribes moral, social, or political significance to a man's genetic makeup (and is thus a form of Determinism). Attempts to redefine the term are merely attempts to justify the belief.

Put simply, demanding someone be considered for something on the basis of their race is racism - regardless of the color you are basing that demand upon. Demanding that someone be considered because they are white is racist. Demanding that someone be rejected because they are white is also racist.

It is unfortunate that you seek to excuse the latter form of racism.
Eric Saveau
50. RadCap
"Bigotry exists everywhere, amongst every group. Racism is that bigotry having the power."

This is false. Bigotry is a wider concept. Bigotry is judging people on the basis of a person's , race, religion, national origin, gender, disability or other characteristics.

In other words, racism simply identifies a particular form of bigotry. It distinguishes one form (judgement based on race) from all the other forms (judgments based on religion, gender, etc).

So - again - the attempt to redefine racism is but the attempt to justify racism.
Christopher Smith
51. nerdalert
Ummm.....I was gonna talk about Khan and Star Trek and spacshee kind of stuff, but as I scrolled down, I think I must have been transported to another website. Exiting now....
Eric Saveau
52. SteveL
I don't remember -- did Khan ever identify himself as Khan Noonien Singh in the movie, or was he only ever identified as Khan? If he only identified himself by his first name, another possisble explanation is that he's not the Khan, he's someone who was named or took the name in honor of the Khan.

There are plenty of children named for famous people and/or for their ancestors. Two of Khan's followers may have had a genetically enhanced child and chosen to name their child in honor of their leader and/or idol. If he was unbalanced enough psychologically, he could even have had the line between himself and the Khan blur in his mind -- he may have convinced himself he was the Khan when he was only a Khan.

So ... genetically engineered? Sure.
Psychologically disturbed? In more ways than one.
The same Khan as portrayed in the original timeline by Ricardo Montalban? No.
Someone who believe he is the same Khan as portrayed in the original timeline by Ricardo Montalban? Yes.
Eric Saveau
53. RadCap
The redefinition of the term racism to justify *some* racism is a classic example of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.
Eric Saveau
54. SteveL
One more thing I thought of just as I hit Post -- being frozen for two hundred years or so probably Swiss cheesed Khan's memory at least somewhat, which would contribute to his mental instability.
Katharine Duckett
55. Katharine
Moderator here to remind everyone to keep the discussion civil, as it's getting a little heated, and not to target other commenters personally. Please be respectful even when disagreeing with one another, in accordance with our moderation policy. Thank you!
Jan Kafka
56. JanKafka
@ 52. SteveL I don't remember -- did Khan ever identify himself as Khan Noonien Singh in the movie, or was he only ever identified as Khan?

In the movie he only identifies himself as Khan.

The comic books, which are written or overseen by Orci, absolutely identify him as Khan Noonian Singh, so that is the writers' intent for this character. No matter how little sense it makes.
Chris Nelly
57. Aeryl
@53, Alright, explain exactly how retconning Cumberbatch out of the role harm's white people in a way to be justified as a racist act?
Jan Kafka
58. JanKafka
A funny but inciteful take on "reverse-racism" by comic Aamer Rahman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw_mRaIHb-M
Eric Saveau
59. RadCap
"harm's white people"

Again, "harming" a particular race isn't the definition of racism (and is, in fact, itself a racist premise). So it is not something that needs to be 'explained' in order to identify the racism in the act of demanding a job be given to (or denied) a person simply because of the color of that person's skin.

Judging that a person should get a job because of their race is the racism.

Whether one makes the demand that a person be judged on the basis of white skin, black skin, or green skin doesn't change this fact. The particular color of skin one favors (or rejects) is irrelevant. The reason it is wrong to demand Cumberbatch get a job because of his race is the exact reason it is wrong to demand Cumberbatch be denied a job because of his race. Both acts are immoral for the same reason.

It is the judging of people based on the absurd standard of 'skin color' which is the racism - the immoral act.
Chris Nelly
61. Aeryl
I would say that ignoring the impact an act has, as you wish to do, making the act of denying a POC a vital role equivalent to the same thing for a person of color(let me guess, you got really mad about Heimdall and Rue) is pretty much the ultimate immoral act.

I see that all talk of representation and all that's gonna go right over your head, so I'm gonna bow out of this conversation now.

Have a nice life!
Stefan Raets
62. Stefan
Moderator here. Aeryl, RadCap and others: at this point, I think it's high time we all move on from trying to define racism, a topic that inevitably leads to over-heated discussions. Thanks.
Eric Saveau
63. RadCap
"all talk of representation and all that's gonna go right over your head"

Characterizing a principled rejection of racism as ignorance is but name calling. It is a shame the conversation had to end on that note.
Eric Saveau
64. RadCap
Stephan - didn't see your note before posting. Feel free to delete if you see fit.
Eric Saveau
65. Lilly of the Valley
It's too late for this movie. They fucked up on so many levels.
Eric Saveau
66. Josh Luz
I didn't even dislike the movie and that retcon works for me.
Steven Lyle Jordan
67. Steven Lyle Jordan
@21:
IMO, the perfect retcon would involve William Shatner speaking the words "Computer... delete program" while shaking his head in disgust.

The casting for the main crew was fantastic, but they really needed a writing team that understands Trek.
You called it.

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