But Enough About Me!

How do you like my dress?

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
If I had rebooted Star Trek
kateelliott

I hear rumors they’ll be starting to film the second rebooted Star Trek film in January.

I watched the original Star Trek (the classic edition) as a child, mostly on afternoon repeats. Bones was my favorite, but as a girl, watching Uhura every week be an officer on a starship meant a huge amount to me because it meant I wasn’t crazy to think that was something I could dream about.

In later years I watched The Next Generation and what came to be my favorite of the Treks, Deep Space Nine. I even watched as much Voyager as I could stand, although I’ve never seen Enterprise. I’ve also watched all of the films. But of course the original Trek had the greatest impact on me because it was unusual in its day. It pushed the envelope.

So you can imagine my disappointment when “rebooting” Star Trek really didn’t mean rebooting the vision. It just meant most of the same 20th century conceptions only with young actors, better CGI, and a plot that didn’t quite hold up.

Did I really reach this age and be forced to watch the young James Kirk as a rebellious, impulsive boy racing a car in a chase scene down a road? Seriously? That’s it? That’s my reboot?

I wish they had let ME reboot Star Trek.

Let me start with my fantasy cast.

 

Ensign Jamie Kirk should obviously be played by someone young, smart, kickass, tough, and hot. A bit of a rebel. Yeah, like this.

 

(Zoe Saldana)

 

Spock is always a difficult choice, and in this case older than the others, but that’s okay as the most important qualification is present: She’s Jewish.

 

(Sophie Okonedo)

 

Given Hollywood’s evident belief in the interchangeable nature of Asian-Americans, I thought for Sulu it would be okay to go for a Korean-American with some martial arts experience.

 

(Jamie Chung)

 

As for Scotty, since no one can really replace James Doohan in that role, I felt the best bet would be to insist the person actually be Scots, to get the accent right.

 

(Katie Leung)

 

As I mentioned above, Bones (L. McCoy) was my favorite character. Who should play the doctor?

 

(Freema Agyeman)

 

That leaves us with the iconic Uhura, a name taken (according to Wikipedia, so correct me if I’m wrong) from the Swahili word for freedom, Uhuru. I loved Nichelle Nichols in that ground-breaking role. So I’d like to make sure that the role is played by someone the writers will give a lot of screen time to, so the role isn’t given short-shrift or downplayed as a love interest. Uhuru it is.

 

 

(Chris Pine)

 

You’ve noticed I’m missing Chekhov (Walter Koenig was so safely CUTE to my pre-teen eyes). Probably because the whole OMG-they-have-a-Russian-guy-on-the-same-ship-despite-the-Cold-War vibe isn’t quite so startling now.

That’s where you come in. Whom would you cast as Chekhov? And why? Or would you change out Chekhov for a different character? And if so, why?

Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.


Most important qualification for Spock: the actor is Jewish. And see, in my Trek fanfic (written decades ago), Amanda Grayson was Jewish by her mother so, by extension, Spock was Jewish. I think we all know that the Vulcans are one of the ten lost tribes, don't we? ;-)

I'd change Chekhov out for a different character. Where are the Muslims in this vision of Trek? That's what we need here. I'd do it for two reasons. First, Roddenberry put a Russian on the bridge because we were in the midst of the Cold War; the idea that we could make peace and team up peacefully in the future was a big deal. No reason not to extend that positive vision to the US's current bete noir. Though I don't see Arab and Muslim culture as evil or as the enemy, there are plenty of other Americans who do. Roddenberry's approach was about changing the future by envisioning it; that's what we need to do today, too. Second, Arab culture has a long history that is rich in science and math. It stands to reason, to me anyway, that we'll see it in this future just as reasonably as we see ourselves and everyone else.

re: Spock. That's why I picked Sophie Okonedo. I mean, besides that she's lovely and a good actor. She's Jewish (her mother is Anglo-Jewish, her father Anglo-Nigerian)


I like the idea of making the science officer of Arab descent.

The thing that immediately sprung to mind was to make Chekhov Middle Eastern.

This idea is coming up a lot in the comments.

It is about time we have an Indian presence in the core crew. Someone who annoys *everyone* by going off on a "great and ancient civilization" routine during every breather. Would be invaluable when dealing with the Borg too...

Awesome idea. We did see an Indian captain in Star Trek: The Voyage Home, played by Vijay Amritraj, though it was brief. Still, we got to see him in command, making command decisions and trying to manage an overwhelming threat, which I thought was great.

::wistful sigh:: If only, all of this.

I like this idea. I'm not sure if you watched the original Battlestar Galactica (I never did) but when they rebooted it so to speak, they gave a few of the major roles (that had been played by men) to women. Starbuck and the President, for instance.

I watched some of the original Battlestar, and I think the reboot did a better job than most. In fact, having seen the rebooted BSG (first two seasons), I was expecting something more like that for the rebooted ST until I found out that JJ Abrahms was doing it; then I knew it would be more of the same old retro fare.

Excellent. You can tell you're a fantasy writer:)

LOVE. This makes me so happy.

I would be even happier if such a thing actually made it to the screen. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.

I'd like to live in the universe where this film was produced.

I'm envisioning a small slender Muslim woman, quite possibly hijab-wearing as the science officer.

As the young, hotshot, prodigy science officer!

I have to say, I love what you've done here with the cast :D My daughters will love it too.

I don't know enough actors to pick out a Chekhov for you, but scarlettina's comment is pointful.

There have been a lot of good suggestions. Forex, a Bollywood actress who is also Muslim.

Sign me up for your new (un)reality!!!

When I was in junior high (as we called it then), my brother and I drew a space ship and then signed up our classmates for crew positions. I gotta say, altho in our small town the crew wasn't diverse ethnically it was certainly more diverse genderedly than the rebooted ST

If you're changing things around, how about a gay or trans character?

Laura Anne suggested a trans character, above. I think it's an excellent idea.

Something that really bugs me about the recent Star Trek movie:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/01/something-that-really-bugs-me-about-the-recent-ligstar-treklig-movie

I wrote that last year. It still bugs me, and fills me with a lack of enthusiasm about the sequel.

I'll probably see the sequel eventually. But it won't be Trek.

I dunno, there's a big difference between the Gorn and someone who commits genocide to settle a score. Which isn't to say I think it was a good message to send, I think that whole plotline was terrible to begin with. But still. I think even the original Kirk would think twice about being compassionate to a mass murderer.

Maria Sharapova

Isn't she a tennis player?

Sarah Shahi?

I bet she could do a Russian accent. And it's not like Russia is devoid of people of Persian and Arabic descent...

She would definitely work.

But why would the character have to be Russian? That does strike me as an artifact of the Cold War.

I lovemthe way your imagination works. I vote for an Occupy Hollywood movement to do a real reboot movie this time.

Sadly, it's not clear that OccupyHollywood would have any impact.

Here via Sarah Monette. and <33333 =)

Thank you! I had fun writing it and finding images.

If i'd been in charge of the Star Trek reboot I would have canned the whole thing and put money into something original instead.

I wonder if anyone has done a statistical count in recent years of what percentage of films now are reboots, remakes, and sequels. It seems like it's worse than it's ever been but I suppose that may just be perception.

Love the idea of Freema as Bones. I'd like to see Naveen Andrews as Chekhov (although obviously he couldn't be called Chekhov, I'm not even going to attempt to think of an Arabic name) or Chiwetel Ejiofor as we need some more male eye candy much as I love Chris Pine.

I'm always in favor of more eye candy. I specifically did it this way to flip the gender ratio of the reboot. My overall preference is for gender balance in casting.

I love everything this post chooses to be, and I would watch this movie with wholehearted joy. (I did enjoy the reboot movie, but it was not wholehearted, for exactly the reasons you mention.)

I would have liked the reboot more if I weren't middle aged and cranky about feeling that film was hitting a new cultural stagnation. The actors were all very appealing.

Since your cast is decidedly Whovian...

(Anonymous)

2011-11-22 06:17 pm (UTC)

... why not have that gorgeous redhead Catherine Tate as Scotty? She was my favourite companion of all the new ones (speaking of reboots...), and I bet she could do a kick-ass Scottish accent. Better than Simon Pegg's, anyway.

Although, I have to say this about the JJ reboot: Zachary Quinto was inspired casting as Spock!

Re: Since your cast is decidedly Whovian...

kateelliott

2011-11-22 07:16 pm (UTC)

Katie Leung is Scots, which is why I picked her. (She played Cho Chang in the Potter films)

Catherine Tate is fabulous but older than what the reboot concept originally was set up for, which is starting the "names" at the academy. otoh, someone suggested that one of the characters would be an older person starting as second career, which is also an awesome idea.

You have different nationalities, and a female oriented crew, but they're all young. How about Helen Mirren in the Scotty role or as Captain? I think a wider generational dimension is as interesting as a wider gender or cultural/nationality dimension. I also liked the gender mismatch in symbionte/host Jadzia Dax

You make an excellent point.

I myself decry the ageism of Hollywood (especially toward women but not confined to women), and yet I wholly bought into the idea that a "reboot" must necessarily feature all young actors. As someone said above, a person changing careers might just as likely enter Starfleet Academy at midlife, and even more so in a future where, presumably, people live longer and healthier lives and thus have opportunities to choose more than one vocational path during their life times.

So, yes, a true reboot should offer an even greater degree of diversity than the one I listed above.

Also, I love Helen Mirren. But I really want Katie Leung as Scotty.

You are viewing kateelliott