May 20, 2013

New "Scotty" spouts off on the new Trek's politics

Just like the villain of the new Trek stated last week, new "Scotty," Simon Pegg, had this to say about the film's theme:

"In the face of overwhelming militaristic might, you can argue John Harrison is in fact kind of a strange dichotomy between freedom fighter and terrorist, and the militarized Starfleet is slightly more the heavy handed aspects of American foreign policy," Pegg says. Admiral Marcus (played by Peter Weller) has weaponized the Enterprise because he thinks war with the Klingons is inevitable, and Pegg believes there's an argument to be made for his view. But, he adds, "There is always diplomacy, and there is always an alternative to violence...."

There is a parallel with the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the decision to attack Iraq. Iraq had nothing proven to do with 9/11, and yet [President] Bush used that as an excuse to start a war with those people. You can always see the Klingons as like Iraq and John Harrison the proxy for Osama bin Laden."

Admiral Marcus certainly seems like a stand-in for former Vice President Cheney. "Absolutely," Pegg laughs. "He's definitely a Republican."

Wow. How "brave." Hell, why not make it a Vietnam War parable, then? Y'know, an internal struggle between two factions of Vietnamese which had nothing to do with the US, yet [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson staged a military incident to thereby allow the US to get involved ...

It's become quite tiresome to point out the stupidity of these comparisons, especially given Trek lore and canon.

SPOILERS BELOW THE FOLD.

(Keep in mind what follows is stated without my having seen Star Trek Into Darkness as of yet. I'm not certain I will see it, either.)

The film's villain, "John Harrison," is actually Khan -- the classic villain from the Original Series and the second Trek film (and played by Ricardo Montalban). It is hard to see how Khan could ever be considered anyone's "freedom fighter." However, an in-depth synopsis of Into Darkness can be found here, and even with some differences (the new Trek is set in an alternate reality), I still think the connection to big 'ol bad Bush and Cheney is questionable. Indeed, the one connection to the "real" Trek universe -- Ambassador Spock -- fills in Kirk and co. all about the evil that is Khan in this sequel. So, consider:

  • Khan is a much greater evil than Saddam Hussein; indeed, 300 years prior Khan was a planetary despot;
  • The Klingon Empire -- supposedly "representing" Iraq -- is a much greater military threat than Iraq;
  • The Federation's Section 31 isn't unlike our own NSA and CIA to a degree.

Hmm. OK, I say make the comparisons to Bush/Cheney! The only really objectionable facet to this whole scheme in my view is Section 31's attempts to recruit Khan for its own ends. But preparing for conflict against the Klingons? Remember that in this era the Federation is pretty much constantly at war with them. The Klingons are troublemakers to the extreme, brutal warriors who have moved away from reason and enlightenment (as described in an episode of the prequel show Enterprise). Even in the sixth Trek film, Capt. Kirk's own words came back to haunt him ("I never trusted Klingons, and I never will"), not to mention he explicitly told Spock to "Let them (the Klingons) die" when Spock informed a Federation confab about the Klingons' desired peace initiative. (Brought about, of course, because their empire was dying.) Thus, what is so wrong about preparing for what is almost a certain conflict with the Klingons? In fact, it makes a helluva lot MORE sense in Into Darkness's case what the Federation (Section 31) was doing than what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney actually did, since, as I noted, Khan and the Klingons are much greater threats. If we're making a comparison, then, it seems to me to justify the former president's actions.

Of course, it can always be argued that what Bush/Cheney did was perfectly reasonable based on several rationales (most of which I still disagree with), but certainly some of them include not allowing a despot like Saddam Hussein to continue to thumb its nose at the international community especially in a post-9/11 world ... to permit him to become an even greater threat.

RELATED: Since guys like Pegg and Cumberbatch want to make present-day comparisons, let's make some of our own. How does our present political world compare to the Federation's of Kirk's time? Here's what I say:

THE FEDERATION: Essentially the First World -- the US, Western Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea.

THE ROMULANS: China and North Korea.

THE CARDASSIANS: Russia.

THE KLINGONS: The Muslim Middle East.

BAJOR: Lebanon.

THE FERENGI: Switzerland.

Posted by Hube at May 20, 2013 05:34 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Weren't the Klingons formerly stand-ins for the Russians?

Posted by: ShadowWing Tronix at May 20, 2013 10:25 PM

I believe so. But the world has certainly changed in almost 50 years!

Posted by: Hube at May 21, 2013 07:33 AM

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