starlady: That's Captain Pointy-Eared Bastard to you. (out of the chair)
[personal profile] starlady
This one gets its own post both because I have thematic thinky thoughts and because it's going to take me a bit to obtain the other movies.

  1. Right off the bat, projection is a huge trope in this movie. Kirk projects his own "obsessive behaviour" about Spock onto "this entire crew," Spock's mannerisms are projected onto McCoy via the katra, the CNO of Starfleet projects his own ideas about "rationality" onto Kirk's career (WTF!?), David projects his own scientific nonviolence onto Kruge, and at the end of the movie we have people beaming around like it's a game of interstellar musical chairs. I think this is more than tolerably clever, and I approve.
  2. One of the things I love about this movie is that it shows off the crew's personalities. Sulu saying "Don't call me tiny" is right up there with Uhura telling adventure boy to "get in the closet" at the business end of a phaser--or for that matter, Scotty and his clear disdain for the transwarp unicorn as well as his merry sabotage of Excelsior. I liked on a thematic level the fact that not all of Starfleet is as enamored of Kirk & Co. as the people in the audience are--it's a nice antidote to the "only you can save us now Kirk!" spirit of the earlier movies and TV shows, and it just makes it all the sweeter when the Enterprise crew take back a bit of their own.
  3. What is with Starfleet captains and admirals being asshats? Grissom's CO and his obsession with rules, Captain Stiles carrying around the 23rd century equivalent of a riding crop (the nail-filing is just icing on the cake), the CNO of Starfleet going on about "Vulcan mysticism." The 23rd C clearly isn't as enlightened as it pretends, which isn't news, but is worth repeating.
  4. It's so heartbreakingly clear that Kirk can either have his relationship with Spock or his relationship with son but not both--David re-entered Kirk's life just when Spock left it, and David gives his life to save Spock (and Saavik, for whom he seems to have had a thing). (Picard isn't the only captain of the Enterprise left without descendents--and if the ship had to die, it's best at least that she died by her captain's hand.) Given all that, I have to think at least a little bit of Kirk's reaction to David's death is also (possibly repressed) reaction to Spock's death, though how much, I couldn't say. At the end of the movie, Kirk essentially has nothing but his friends--which is more than a lot, but quite less than he had at the beginning of TWoK. But as he says explicitly, if he hadn't done it, he would have lost his soul, so on that level, the price is fair. Relatedly: McCoy telling Spock('s unconscious body) that he couldn't stand to lose him again is adorable and tragic.
  5. The secret of Genesis is death; Kruge obtained it in the end (after giving those flobberworms what for, no less). This is both ironic and a reinforcement of the fact that the ends do not justify the means. I give Saavik a lot of credit for calling David on his decision to use "protomatter," and I give David a lot of credit for not begging her question, or the consequences of his actions. Relatedly: shouldn't the plants have started hyperevolving, if the microbes did?
  6. I'm just going to pretend that the massive Orientalism/genderfail of the Vulcan sequence never happened. WTF is with those handmaidens dressed like Egyptian slave girls? And did everyone hear the didgeridoo sound in the Vulcan gong? Relatedly, I wish Saavik hadn't looked down when Spock surveys his shipmates--I'm aware that the shooting script of this movie and the next debated her being pregnant as a result of Spock undergoing pon farr on the planet, but even if she were pregnant, there's no logical reason for her to have been ashamed of her actions (for that matter, shame isn't logical). Granted if anything sexual had happened between them it would have been very dubious consent on Spock's part at best, but pon farr is canonically "fuck or die," and saving his life would seem to override other ethical objections to the situation. Even so, I like Saavik even more than I did before. Also, Sarek is awesome, QED.
  7. I love this movie, but I have no desire to see the new movie cast replay this movie, or any other Trek movie for that matter--and I say this as a Trekkie and as a woman (we don't like science fiction in general and Star Trek in particular, don't you know).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-07 23:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ariadnechan.livejournal.com
Wow i love this movie too the end of the Khan movie united with this one is great and more of the thresome of Mccoy/Spock/Kirk

the one of them can't live without the other too, specially Kirk and Spock, Sarek acknowledeg that situation when he ask why he didn't deliver the memories!!!

and is truth that all the characters show their true selves in this movie

About Savic i'm not sure about the porn part, i see her more like a mother acting and not like a lover, but you never know!!!

this is one and the Khan one is the old crew that i love the most

and great captain without descendant is in all the series except for deep space nine but he captain was no great at all, and the serie is worst of the star treek universe to me at least

Is incredible to find some one who is trekky in here and i love SF, i read a lot when i was a teenager and i reread some and rewatch from time to time, recently i download all the next generation series, and i'm so happy i never watch it in english before


(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 00:16 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] feanna.livejournal.com
I don't remeber Saavik's exact expression, but my take on the whole situation is that she did have sex with Spock, but as his katra wasn't "home" there's no mental bond. Maybe she had feelings for Spock before he died, I mean he seemed to be her mentor, so there was some kind of relationship, doesn't mean it would ever have gotten sexual, but then the events of the movie happened, but now Spock's back in his body and maybe she's sad because she knows that Kirk is much more important to Spock than she is. If that makes any sense at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 01:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
No, it totally makes sense, and I also would totally agree that there would be absolutely no mental connection, since there's nothing really to bond with on Spock's side. But Vulcans have a highly developed sense of ethics (at least the Vulcans in Diane Duane's books, which is where I get a lot of my view of them), and my first thought was that she might have felt she'd taken advantage of him--he was physically a teenager and mentally a very young child. But her thinking about Kirk makes sense, and perhaps offers a different explanation for her staying on Vulcan in the next movie.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 04:01 (UTC)
beatrice_otter: Star Trek symbol--red background (Red Shirt)
From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter
According to the books, Saavik was actually raised by Spock. (She was the result of a Romulan genetics experiment that was abandoned and she survived in the desert until the Vulcans found out about it and sent a rescue mission that included Spock, who was the only one who could handle the little savage. So he took a couple year's leave from Starfleet and got her socialized enough that she could go off to a boarding school. He was at least her mentor, and was definitely the closest thing to a parent she ever had. Now, several decades later they actually did get married, but at this point ... it was necessary, but it can't have been comfortable for her, you know? Granted, none of this had been written when they made the movie, but it still fits with her reaction afterwards.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 05:17 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
First in a long line of complicated part-Romulan characters. And yes, definitely awkward for her even without knowing any of the backstory from the novels, just based on what we saw of her relationship with Spock even in Khan.

Yeah, I do find it significant that Spock waits to marry her until after Kirk's apparent death--she is a distant second on the emotional hierarchy, and has to know it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 04:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarfman.livejournal.com

Followed the link from [livejournal.com profile] trek_news.

3. Bennett's Starfleet is a far cry from Roddenberry's. Out-text, this is to offer the dramatic antagonism you cite. In-text, I blame Kirk's own success. In the same way that the first five-year mission bought Kirk a kick upstairs before his field career should have been over, it made Starfleet the 22nd-century in place to be, the highlight of a political c.v. Harry Morrow, with his bigotry about Vulcan ways and his immunity to talk of loyalty, is the epitome of the type of person that will have been drawn to the fleet by the press about Kirk's first mission, and while he won't have nearly been the only one he probably did the most damage. I like to think Kirk's sacrifice on the Enterprise-B inspired Harriman and the rest of his generation to remake Starfleet into what it had returned to being by Picard's time, with truth its first duty.
7. I too want wholly new stories from the future movie series; with, however, tantalizing throwaway dialog suggesting that the crew's still going through all the old adventures but they never go quite the same way.

Two important things I have to say about The Search for Spock otherwise. I agree with Kramer over Jerry on this: Spock is more important that Khan (even though Khan is the better movie and the better standalone Star Trek story) because it's the story of Kirk's final victory in his lifelong quest to cheat death. And, the entire movie would fail if not for the scene smack in the middle on the darkened bridge when Kirk's officers refuse to abandon him; and for that scene to succeed the characters in it must be old comrades to each other and to the audience.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 05:12 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
I definitely agree that III is more important than II wholeheartedly; as you say, it essentially cements and reconfirms the emotional heart of all the original Trek, which previously wasn't much on official display (and which is really the engine of movies IV and V). For my taste, Khan is a bit psychologically overdetermined, as well as slow-paced at times; Spock manages to keep things moving along, and juggles its heaviness and its lightness fairly effectively.

Morrow seems older than Kirk, and I'd wager that he worked his way up through the Starfleet ladder in a staid, rational (dare I say "careerist" manner)--I imagine one would have a very different perspective on the galaxy if one hadn't commanded a five-year mission of exploration out on the final frontier, and so on that level (and also because Kirk has to have been one of, if not the, youngest people ever to attain flag rank) Morrow is perfectly justified; heck, as the CNO of Starfleet, he basically has no choice but to deny Kirk, at least if he wants to keep his job, and it's got to be annoying to see a guy who breaks all the rules get what he wants, and all the glory, time and again.

I would imagine there's a definite tension between the more fast-and-loose elements of Starfleet epitomized by people like Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise and the more by-the-book elements that Morrow (and most of the Admiralty throughout Trek) seems to belong to. In my view, some of this tension has to be a result of the fact that Starfleet is both a military and a scientific/exploratory force, and I think the various and attitudes and emphases almost certainly wax and wane over time--Picard was more by the book, but also very much about exploration and science, while Janeway and Sisko recall Kirk in some of their attitudes (and Sisko's career, like Rachel Garrett's, I might imagine, is very heavily militarized compared to other people's). All in all I think Bennett's Starfleet is much more realistic, and much more interesting, than Roddenberry's (in TOS Command isn't above court-martialing people if circumstances warrant, but there's almost no consequences to violating the Prime Directive, the Neutral Zone, whatever).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-08 14:55 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarfman.livejournal.com

When I cite Morrow as a political type that flooded Starfleet as a fad after Kirk's first five-year mission, I don't meant to say there weren't already some of the type, such as Morrow, in the fleet before and contemporary to Kirk; they're everywhere. My suggestion's that an effect of Kirk's career was to make Starfleet more attractive to that type which then grew in percentage in the fleet. You may be right that Bennett's Starfleet is more realistic, but that isn't necessarily what Star Trek is for.

As for no consequences to violating the Prime Directive, it's another hobby horse of mine to argue that no actions committed by James T. Kirk onscreen have been violations of a just Prime Directive. See my story Half a Worm (http://scarfman.livejournal.com/tag/worm), or Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens' novel Prime Directive.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-09 02:28 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
That's an interesting point about purpose. I shall have to ponder it some more--my initial reaction is that Trek's foundational worldbuilding is pretty...I'm struggling for a word. Optimistic? It's not that I don't believe something like Roddenberry's vision is possible, but it's been a radical departure from our world since 1964, and I think in some ways the petty details of bureaucratic infighting that Bennett brought to Trek, and which later series carried on to an extent, heightens the impact of that foundational worldview, if that makes sense.

Is Prime Directive good? I've been considering reading it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-09 13:29 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarfman.livejournal.com

In these post-Matrix post-grundge post-Goth post-Gulf Wars times, people forget or never knew that the optimism of Star Trek was what made a hit of it in the first place.

I wholeheartedly recommend any Star Trek novels with the Reeves-Stevens' names on them, including the ones that also have Shatner's name on them. Perhaps even especially those.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-09 14:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com
I did read most of the Shatner/RS novels. They were quite enjoyable. I'll keep an eye out for Prime Directive.

Yeah, optimism. I'm interested to see what the next movie looks like, and whether it takes up that theme more explicitly or not.

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