Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Rounding Out the Crew!

Hey, cool! Kirk and McCoy've been cast!

That should be everyone right? Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scotty?

I have to admit, I'm kind of sad Scotty's not going to be Paul McGillon, but hey, Simon Pegg! I think he does have some weird young-thin-Scotty thing going on, so that should be fun.

I have no idea who the guy playing Kirk is, but I'm thinking that's a good thing really. Means awareness of prior roles isn't going to get in the way for me. (I'd worry about that for Quinto as Spock, but I think Spock's probably an easier role to be...Spock in. As opposed to being Sylar-on-the-Enterprise. Kirk's less...I don't really want to say iconic, but there's something that makes him more likely than Spock I think to be over-powered by previous roles. I have no idea if that makes sense outside of my head, but there you go.)

The pictures on IMDB aren't enlightening to me, though I like the one on Blog@. I hope he keeps his hair like that. He looks appropriately smarmy and yet oddly hot. So that's good for a Kirk.

...this is totally going to revitalize Star Trek Original Series slash, isn't it?

The one I'm kind of leery about, well make that two, since I'm not sure it's a wise idea in this day and age to cast a Korean man to play a Japanese man*. Then again, there ARE a fairly high percentage of ethnic Korean people in Japan that it might work. But it does seem to suggest a whole "all Asian ethnicities are interchangeable" thing. Oh well, hopefully Cho, who I'm unfamiliar with, will bust out with a damn awesome Sulu portrayal and I'll be so impressed that I don't think about anything like that. I hope he has a good voice, Takei has, like, the awesomest voice ever.

ETA: Will points out in the comments that Sulu is a Filipino name, however, I have to admit, I still consider him a Japanese character. Mostly because he's been given both a Japanese first name in the book, and when his culture is clumsily referenced in the show, it usually resembles a typical sixties caricature of Japanese.

Karl Urban as McCoy? Really? I mean, everyone else seems fairly visually well matched to their original counterparts. (Saldana and Quinto, I think, evoke their predecessors the most. Yelchin doesn't look terribly like Koenig, but Chekov's a relatively minor role, and he looks about twelve and can presumably fake a Russian accent, so he should work. Even Cho looks like he's at least of a comparative build as Takei was.) They're also relatively minor actors still as well. Quinto and Pegg are probably most famous, and that's for one role, or a handful of quirky, hilarious British movies.

Urban though really doesn't remotely evoke DeForest Kelley to me, not being slender or southern, and none of his roles that I recall have ever utilized a capacity for a sharp tongue or rapier wit able to keep on fairly level playing field with a Vulcan. It doesn't necessarily mean he can't, of course, but it definitely seems like a stretch. With the others, I can easily see possible reasons they were cast. Him not so much. He's probably not more well known than the others, I guess, but he SEEMS like a bigger name, if that makes sense. He's very distinctive.

Oh well, considering everyone else seems to fit amazingly well visually, I should probably give them the benefit of the doubt.

Hey, will there be a nurse Chapel?


  • At October 19, 2007 7:34 AM, Blogger Centurion said…

    You forgot Eric Bana!

  • At October 19, 2007 8:12 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    For those wanting pictures, I gave a photo parade in this week's column:

    Shameless plug aside, I like Urban as McCoy. Originally, McCoy was a little bit of a charmer, a ladies man who couldn't commit, and Kelley was the only cast member who was relatively well known. I like the idea of a younger, good looking cocky McCoy.

  • At October 19, 2007 8:20 AM, Blogger Thomwade said…

    I liked when they were suggesting Gary Sinise for McCoy. That seemed like a dead on choice. Plus, McCoy always felt like he should be older looking than the rest of the crew.

    Cho was in the movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and the first few American Pie films.

  • At October 19, 2007 8:28 AM, Blogger Tom Bondurant said…

    Cho was also in "Kitchen Confidential," one of the many Fox shows that has more episodes on its DVDs than ever made it to air. The show was a kind of geek-TV reunion, with Bradley Cooper (Will Tippin from "Alias"), the little brother from "Freaks & Geeks," and Nicholas Brendon from "Buffy," so it's appropriate that Cho would graduate to Trek.

    Anyway, Cho was good, although his character was a bit one-dimensional.

  • At October 19, 2007 9:35 AM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    John Cho as Sulu? He's a pretty good actor, and damn handsome as well. I imagine he'll do just great.

    Regarding his ethnicity... well, "Sulu" is a Filipino name, isn't it? It sure isn't Japanese. I always assumed Sulu was a multiethnic American.

  • At October 19, 2007 9:37 AM, Blogger E said…

    On the Japanese/Korean thing ...

    I know where you're coming from, but whites play ethnicities not their own all the time, why should Asian actors be restricted? I don't think Kirk in TOS was originally written as a Jew.

  • At October 19, 2007 9:47 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Will: That's a good point! I guess I always considered him primarily Japanese because of the first name the books gave him. :-) And most of the time that they outright tried to represent Asian heritage, they seemed to focus on (60s era and somewhat caricaturized) Japan. Good catch though.

    E: Mostly because in our culture white people don't have the same stigma or marginalization as "Other". Jews, Irish and the like have and do undergo discrimination of course, but it's not the same level of "all brown people are the same" or "all Asians are the same". There's always an acknowledgement that a culture is different.

    But for non-whites, that understanding simply doesn't exist and it's a way of further dehumanization. Thus it is a bigger deal for predominantly white producers to make an effort to respect the cultural/ethnic differences, because it's not just a simple casting anti-type, as Shatner as Kirk was, but as a reflection of the more disturbing elements of our society.

    We can't treat the situations the same because the underlying cultural elements make certain that they aren't the same.

  • At October 19, 2007 9:52 AM, Blogger Julia said…

    On the Sulu casting: well, James Kyson Lee is Korean and he's currently playing the Japanese Ando Masahashi on NBC's "Heroes".

  • At October 19, 2007 10:03 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yes, however, there is a significant ethnic Korean population in Japan itself. Lee's also not the only character from Japan, so it's more likely that his casting was a deliberate choice.

    When there is one Asian cast-member though, I think it's probably more important to try to be consistant.

    Admittedly, it might get addressed later as a deliberate choice, but until then, it still seems like a possibly questionable decision.

    Considering the old movie traditions of yellowface, Fu Manchu, Ming the Merciless, Mr. Miyagi, and all the casting consisting of "random Asian person" as "other random Asian person" irregardless of nationality or culture, it's hard to give Hollywood the benefit of the doubt.

  • At October 19, 2007 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stuff like that happens in Latino roles all the time. As much as I like Al Pacino, they really couldn't find Latino actors to play Tony Montana and Carlito? In Pacino's case it's not so much the depiction (although his Montana was way over the top), but the thought that the casting folks couldn't think of any Latino actors to play a major role irks the hell out of me. However, I'm at peace with a Cuban actor playing a Puerto Rican.

    That being stated, I think Cho was a good choice for Sulu. I agree with Will Staples that Sulu is more of a multi ethnic American.

  • At October 19, 2007 2:25 PM, Anonymous green with wheelpower said…

    "San Fransico, I was born there"--Sulu, Star Trek IV. He's a Multi-ethnic Asian AMERICAN, therefore Japan's Demographic is moot.

    Also, if the producers respect Rodenbery's IDIC phillosiphy (they damn well better!!) we should have nothing to worry about. My question is can he play the seed of the future fully developed badass captain of Star Trek VI

    I to, was surprised when I read Urban's name this morning, but he sure has deverse roles for his carreer length. I'll hope for the best.

  • At October 19, 2007 7:43 PM, Blogger Willow said…

    Karl Urban as Julius Caesar in Xena, had a pretty sharp tongue. He held his own in scenes against Lucy Lawless and Hudson Leick.

    I think he can hold his own as a smart, dapper, Southern doctor constantly needling Vulcan Spock. And he's got a good ear for accents.

  • At October 20, 2007 4:48 PM, Blogger Rocketlex said…

    I believe I heard it addressed in some documentary on Trek that Sulu was intended to be multi-ethnic because the idea was, in the future, boundaries of country and race are either crumbling or gone and so a person being of a single ethnicity is rare.

    I've no doubt it was just a cover buuut it strikes me as a satisfactory reason.

  • At October 20, 2007 5:09 PM, Anonymous suedenim said…

    I'm just glad they don't appear to be casting *too* young.

    I'm a little leery of the characters *all* knowing each other before the five-year mission, because the military generally doesn't work that way, but at least they're not casting a bunch of CW stars or American Idol runners-up. (I had visions of the show we briefly see in Stargate SG-1's 200th episode....)

  • At October 20, 2007 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I suggest Aisha Tyler as Nurse Chapel. It came into my mind the instant I read that last line.

    She's an excellent actress, attractive, and I think audiences would love to see her on a Trek show.

    Alan Coil

  • At October 23, 2007 12:05 AM, Blogger False Prophet said…

    Sulu was intended by Gene Roddenberry as a "pan-Asian" character, which George Takei has confirmed in several interviews, including this one.

    That doesn't stop the Japanese Trekkies from claiming him as their own, however, as humourously noted by William Shatner's SNL monologue during the promotion of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:

    In Japan, I understand they refer to Star Trek as "Sulu, Master of Navigation."


  • At October 26, 2007 12:21 AM, Blogger Hale of Angelthorne said…

    This is also a perfect opportunity to revamp the background, bring it up to speed, ditching the "Des Moines Motel 6" Enterprise interiors from TOS (tho' the ones on the Menagerie were cool), the obviously sixties-dorky uniforms (may as well use the ones from STII, they're the ones the fans all loves) and update the future history. Doesn't have to be as radical as Battlestar Galactica, but it's been 40 years! DC can't even make it 4 years without a Universe-shattering retcon.


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