Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Awesome Idea for "Star Trek: Into Darkness"

A member of the alternate-history website I have been a member of since high school who wishes to remain anonymous has seen Star Trek Into Darknessand posted his own "this is how it could have been done better" suggestions. His critiques are very similar to some of mine, like nobody apparently knowing who Khan is. I found them so impressive that I will post them here, since the idea is posted in a part of the forum that only members can access. Let me re-emphasize that this is not my idea:

I'll tell you what would have been cool.

It would have been cool if they actually treated the destruction of Vulcan as a 9/11 moment for the Federation, with Starfleet militarizing and scouring the galaxy for threats, and getting into pissing contests with the Klingons as a result.

It could be cool if they'd started the movie by confronting the Klingons instead of a volcano. That way we'd establish why the Klingons are such a threat that anyone would betray Starfleet over them. We could also establish that Starfleet has a debate much like the debate over the Iraq War - should they use the destruction of Vulcan as an excuse to take out every threat in sight, or should they focus their energies on the actual problem of strange phenomena in unexplored space.

It could have been cool if Section 31 sent the Enterprise on a secret mission to retrieve the Botany Bay in space, rather than having some stupid torpedo plot and taking a shuttle to a Klingon junkyard. That way Kirk, the audience, and everyone gets a proper introduction to who Khan is.

It could have been cool if we saw Khan and the Starfleet hard liners get together, and watch Khan utterly charm them. They think the Federation has become soft and hippie, and long for the good ol' days of the 21st century when people were willing to create elite supersoldiers to take out terrorists. Khan says he and his buddies represent those good ol' days. He says that since it's the 23rd century obviously me and my guys are just a bunch of totally non-threatening hicks amazed by the mighty Federation, but we can show you 21st century methods and you can use them much more wisely than the people of the 21st century could. You will be totally badass and nothing will go wrong.

It could have been cool if we'd seen Khan and the supersoldiers actually employed against the Klingons. As promised they are brutal but effective, and as expected they go rogue pretty fast.

It could have been cool if Khan's big plan was not petty revenge but to start a war between the Federation and the Klingons, simply because war is inherently good for supersoldiers and would-be dictators. He used to be a ruler and he wants to be one again. And if many in Starfleet were actually willing to side with him on that, because they really want to destroy all enemies.

It could have been cool if Kirk actually sided with the Klingons, against Starfleet, to take Khan out.

Think about it. The fundamental debate about the Klingons parallels one with the "war on terror" - should we fight only those who have attacked us, or should we fight everyone who doesn't like us and might pose a threat? Hardliners tend to argue that if someone doesn't like us, they're just a war waiting to happen, so might as well take them out at the first good opportunity.

The Star Trek philosophy, however, is clearly against the "destroy anyone who might be a threat" position. Kirk should realize that peace with the Klingons depends only on whether they can be trusted to honor a treaty, not whether they're nice people. The Klingons may be barbaric and violent, but they also have an extreme code of honor which Federation hard liners simply ignore. If they sign a treaty they will honor it.

It could have been really cool if Kirk working with the Klingons to stop Khan made them respect his personal honor enough to establish a peace treaty for an unexpectedly happy ending.

Very interesting idea. Also, the idea of Khan attempting to use the war with the Klingons to take over the entire Federation with the aid of Starfleet "hardliners" like Admiral Marcus is just the kind of awesome gambit that someone as dangerously clever and charismatic as Khan could credibly pull off.

And you could get into some really heartrending territory.

*Say Admiral Marcus's wife Carol's mother was killed on Vulcan or in San Francisco by Nero during the events of the first film. If Carol sides with Kirk and the Klingons against her own father because he has so totally crossed the line (seriously, trying to make a 21st Century war criminal into the military dictator of humanity and other races is BAD, even if it's in order to ensure nobody could ever pull something like the destruction of Vulcan ever again), that would a far more interesting conflict than what we got in the film.

*And then what if Christopher Pike, Kirk's surrogate father, ends up a dupe of Marcus or Khan? Then you could have the two of THEM in conflict with each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment