Exclusive: Creator Of ‘Klingon Propaganda’ Revealed | TrekMovie.com
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Exclusive: Creator Of ‘Klingon Propaganda’ Revealed October 31, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Fan Productions , trackback

Last weekend we reported on an interesting new animation on YouTube called "Klingon Propaganda" which led to a ‘Klingon website’. There have been subsequent videos this week adding to the mystery which has been the subject to much speculation on this site and many others. Now the man behind the video has come forward and explained to TrekMovie what it is all about.

 

Klingon Propaganda – one man’s dream of animated Trek
It should come as no surprise that the Klingon Propaganda video and site looked like a viral campaign, because the man behind it actually makes viral campaign animations for a living. As we worked out in our original report, the video was made by Mark Farinas, who also operates as Bad Monkey Studios in San Francisco. Bad Monkey has made viral campaigns in the past, but Farinas tells TrekMovie this was done on his own as a labor of love, with the hopes that it could be a proof of concept and to show interest in a new animated Star Trek series. For full details on how and why Farinas did this, see the Q&A below.

But first, Farinas has just uploaded a new version of the original video, but now with his Bad Monkey logo, an English translation, and credits.

 

Q&A with Mark Farinas, the man behind Klingon Propagana

Can you give some background on yourself and Bad Monkey Studios

I’m an artist located in San Francisco. I’m Bad Monkey Studios’ only employee so most everything I do is a one man show. I work mostly with nonprofit groups on viral videos, but I also have worked with game developers and entertainment companies. My most current non-Trek project is a series of sex ed videos done in a Fortress Macross style to appeal to teens.


Mark Farinas…the man behind Klingon Propaganda, has a good appetite, like a good Klingon

Why did you create Klingon Propaganda?

I love Star Trek: TOS and I love my fellow Trekkies. I thought I could give the fan community a mystery to talk about and research and just plain get excited about. That’s the reasoning behind the Klingon language script. If the movie was in English it would have still been good, but just a movie. In Klingon it becomes a puzzle. I also love the style of Soviet Agit-Prop so I really wanted to do a project that used it.


Soviet artwork Farinas used for inspiration

Is this a promotion for a specific idea you have for an animated trek series?

Another purpose for the puzzle aspect as well and the ambiguity of the movie’s source was to make people wonder if it was an official production. If the reaction was positive I was hoping there would then be demand for Trek in animated form again. So its a test bed for what a modern Trek cartoon could look like.

Are you surprised by the reaction it got?

I had two scenarios in mind: either no one would notice and it would flop, or it would go down just like it did. So, I’m pretty durn pleased. The most surprising thing is that the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. I mean, I changed the Klingons and folks seemed to actually prefer it. I thought for sure I’d have a bunch of guys from the Klingon language camps beating down my door with pain sticks.

Some fans have spotted a Turkish connection, can you explain that?

I married into a Turkish family. The song that accompanies the movie was something the wife played for our kid over and over again. After hearing it a dozen times I was like "This is the most militaristic children’s song I’ve ever heard!" When the chorus comes in I could practically see the fighter jets soring over head. So the song inspired the film.

I also wanted to recreate the Klingons in my own image. I never liked the long haired Viking Klingons of the later series. They were just too dumb and violent to be believable as a space-faring race. So I began to Ottomanize them a bit – make them more civilized, more beautiful, more intelligent. It’s pretty much a love letter to my wife. She inspires me a lot. What better way to honor her than to make sci-fi’s most loved aliens Turks?


Farinas wanted to bring a little ‘Ottoman’ to the Klingons

How long did it take you to make it and did you get any help?

It took about 3 months of work over the course of a year to make. I wrote it, animated it, and even voiced the Klingon dialog. Phillip Spehar, who’s done work for Disney, did those gorgeous matte paintings. The movie gains a lot of it’s professional look from his environments. And of course, the movie wouldn’t have been possible without Skip Dane, my translator. There’s been a lot of talk about the translation not being just right, but Skip did it all alone and in secret and it was still accurately translatable back to English. That’s a hell of a successful job.

What tools did you use to make it?

It was mostly drawn and animated on a 4×6 tablet in Adobe Flash and Illustrator. Phil used Photoshop to paint the backgrounds. Toon Boom Studio’s camera tools were used for the big connie pullback. A lot of it is Flash style symbol based animation, but some of it, like the explosions and mouth movements, were drawn a frame at a time at 20 FPS.


Farinas Klingon sketch

Some have spotted what may be a political message on the website, was that intentional?

I’m a political guy, so maybe some of that slipped in unintentionally. But that mission statement was mostly written as a classic Trek trope of human’s being a "savage, child species", which, I guess, was itself a political statement by Roddenberry. Both TOS and TNG are full of aliens like the Talosians or Q that judge us to be backward. That’s really what it was all about.

What will you do with the email addresses?

I wanted to use them to let people know about the following videos in the viral series, but I couldn’t get them into my bulk mailing software fast enough. When I get the chance I’ll probably add all those addresses to my regular mailing list so people can know about future movie releases, both Trek and non-Trek related.

So is this the end, or is there more to come?

I do have an idea for a series with a pilot written. The pilot is a good stand alone adventure and could be converted into a generic sci-fi short if needed. I’d love to get it produced, either officially or with the help of fans. So if there are talented sci-fi buffs out there who would like to work with me it would be great to hear from you.
 

For more on Mark visit Bad Monkey Studios

Comments

1. Hat Rick - October 31, 2009

Animated Trek? Yes, more please! :-)

2. Wonderboy - October 31, 2009

Dude they are the same guys who did Venture Brothers I think they are planning a Star Trek Animated series

3. mike - October 31, 2009

Brilliant! Paramount should get him to produce an animated short that would run in the theaters before the next trek flick!

4. Ben Fenagle - October 31, 2009

Brilliant! You ‘Leek; the video and then interview your friend. Your better than Paramouint at your your own PR!!

5. Stephen Whelan - October 31, 2009

people…lets throw some money at this guy and help him get this pilot made…this guy knows his stuff and loves star trek…lets bring it on

6. AJ - October 31, 2009

Nice, nice work. More, please,

7. Trekluver - October 31, 2009

And I thought it was all about Halloween candy…

8. Kilo-Three-Zero - October 31, 2009

As per #1.

9. ooba joagfjie - October 31, 2009

political messages like “ufp truthers” ? is this guy a conspiracy nut?

10. somethoughts - October 31, 2009

You sir are a genius! I loved what you did with the Klingons, Boborci and team you should work with this guy in your next movie and draw on him for inspiration on his kick ass Klingon version and passion.

Again, Incredible, I hope you realize your dreams and we have our animated Trek.

Cheers,

11. richpit - October 31, 2009

As long as he’s not overtly pushing a leftist political agenda, I’m all for more of it and a new Trek animated series. I think animated Trek is a great idea and a great, economical way to get Trek back on TV.

I love the look, feel and quality of the “propoganda video”.

12. Vulcan Fury - October 31, 2009

Maybe ask DC Fontana to help write a pilot for this new animated series? :o)

13. Cobalt 1365 - October 31, 2009

Awesome! I would love to see this evolve into an animated show, or at least a web series.

A word about the survey, wasn’t nurse chapel technically in Trek 11? McCoy spoke to her by name at least once…
My vote is for Yeoman Rand :)

14. I am not Herbert - October 31, 2009

Mark, DUDE, Great job! Hope you get financed!!

…can’t wait to see more! =)

15. Enterprise - October 31, 2009

yeah, all that hype over nothing! Go Internet!

16. NCC-73515 - October 31, 2009

“So if there are talented sci-fi buffs out there who would like to work with me it would be great to hear from you.”

I’d like to offer my voice… I can speak Klingon ;)

17. naHQun - October 31, 2009

I’ll translate.
Seriously.
I would love to be involved.

18. Imrahil - October 31, 2009

Loved it, would watch more. Great attention to detail, nice style.

19. Grayson - October 31, 2009

Not bad, Not bad…

20. Geodesic17 - October 31, 2009

I’d like some animated Trek. They could turn the Countdown series, etc into a good cartoon. Or, have it in the prime universe.

21. CmdrR - October 31, 2009

Series! Series!
Then it can declare war on… and obliterat Star Wars Clone Bores.

22. Rastaman - October 31, 2009

Man I would love a Star Trek animated series. It’s made for it in a lot of ways.

23. Thomas Jensen - October 31, 2009

I’m a fan of the idea that humans, vulcans, romulans and other biped species are genetically related, so this version of klingon I enjoy very much.

Nice work, so very watchable.

24. alphantrion - November 1, 2009

Thanks for turning the Klingons into Turks, I officially declare you as one of us now. (Proud to be a Turk :D)

25. Buzz Cagney - November 1, 2009

That really is terrific, Mark. Very imaginative. I hope it helps push you onto even bigger success.

26. Magicdan - November 1, 2009

I liked it, and would love more! Bring on a new animated series like this. Very cool.

@#15 – It’s not “nothing”, it’s something to enjoy.

27. Sean - November 1, 2009

This guy is amazing. CBS needs to recognize his effort and hire him to make the next animated series. NOW.

28. Qaolin - November 1, 2009

Well done sir. You’ve created a buzz throughout all phases of Klingon fandom. Yes…the Klingon linguists jumped on it like ghob flies on a dead targ.

29. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - November 1, 2009

If he liked the TOS Klingons, and he didn’t like the appropriately-titled “long-haired Viking Klingons” from TNG, then WHY THE HELL DID HE GIVE THEM THE BUMPY FOREHEADS and why does nobody else seem to notice this?!?!?!?

30. VOODOO - November 1, 2009

Well done.

31. Captain Rickover - November 1, 2009

# 29

As a TOS-Purist, you should know that your “TNG-Klingons” are from Star Trek III – The Search for Spock. Why you allways has something to complain? The Propaganda-Klingons are more TOS than any Klingon since 1979! Just enjoy it.

I did and I say: Make an animated TV-series! Go on, Mr. Farinas!

32. Trekee - November 1, 2009

I like the throw back to USSR style Klingons, makes me nostalgic. And while I thought TAS was quite poor technically, there are some nice stories in there. 21st Century animation could make it all watchable.

Depends on the story as always.

33. Gul B. - November 1, 2009

If the Klingons are in the next moive (as they should be), hire this guy to draw a prequel web series (in the vein of the “Countdown” comics). This way, we will have some fun until the next movie comes out, some of the momentum from the first movie will be kept, and Paramount can make some additional $$ from the DVD in the end.
Everybody wins.

Do you hear me, JJ & Boborci?

34. Nomad - November 1, 2009

Nice to see an artistic influence other than Star Trek brought to a piece of Trek fan art.

35. Zebonka - November 1, 2009

Sign this guy up. End of!

36. LCDR Arch - November 1, 2009

What I really want is some one to do animated or comic The Final Reflection. It is the greatest Star Trek book ever and the only one I have read SEVEN times. (Every few years I need to pick it up again!)
Mike Ford created an interesting and noble Klingon with a very different culture. I love his Klin Zha. (It is a fun game too!)

This Klingon video was AWESOME! Kapla!

37. Third Remata'Klan - November 1, 2009

Cute.

38. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

An animated Trek series would be the PERFECT solution to the following problems:

1. How do you keep up popular interest in Star Trek between cinematic offerings?

2. How do you contain the costs of producing an SF series in a generally fiscally austere environment?

3. How do you preserve the mystery and magic of cinematic Trek rather than risk overexposing and diluting its appeal?

4. How do you advance smaller stories — some perhaps taken from Trek novels — about the Federation and its coexistent Galactic sovereignties without blowing out your budget?

5. How do you introduce potentially hundreds of very merchandisable and weird-looking aliens that would make even the most Star Wars equivalents look like humanoid replicants?

6. How do you create buzz that will propel live-action Trek into another half-century of wonder and excitement?

7. How do you keep potentially dozens of Trek actors employed by utilizing their voice talents and fan appeal through clever use of characters, not to mention convention appearances and Web marketing?

The answer? Animated Trek.

Sometimes the answer IS that simple.

39. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Correction: “5. How do you introduce potentially hundreds of very merchandisable and weird-looking aliens that would make even the most bizarre Star Wars equivalents look like humanoid replicants?”

40. cloudynow - November 1, 2009

wow. ussr/ottoman approach is far more better than the tos (and current) mongolianlike stuff. it’s really great and open to far more elaboration, and also easier to relate on. i agree with the one suggesting orci and others should consider this for the nex trek.
and knowing the background children’s song makes it much more funny (yes, i am turkish; and finally we are in star trek too :)

41. Frederick - November 1, 2009

I was right! Just a talanted fan doing it for love of Trek. Nothing connected to marketing by a company wanting to sell something. The kind of thing I like!

42. Bren - November 1, 2009

Hehe, what’s with the icon for this article?

Bravo, Mr. Farinas! I really hope the supreme court listens to the fans on this and takes you on. A Trek animated series with those kind of production values would be amazing.

43. Rexan - November 1, 2009

I’m not a fan of animated series. Great work, but I wouldn’t enjoy watching it.

44. T'Cal - November 1, 2009

I would. The species, planets, and technology are limited only by the imaginations of the writers. It could flash forward or backward easily or cover a vast time span. It could focus on a few main characters or on an ensemble. It could concern one era or be an anthology. The costs of sets SPFX, props, and costumes are non existent. Great stories could be told on without a concern over budgets. I’m all in for a Trek animated series.

45. RetroWarbird - November 1, 2009

Personally, I prefer Space-Viking Klingons – but I do think you can strike a balance between Viking influences and kind of austere, Black Sea style. Which ultimately comes down to splitting the middle between TOS and TNG Klingons. But Vikings weren’t just dumb brutes raiding for no reason – they went out on raids to achieve fame and glory, and then go home and play politics with it. And they advanced over the years at close to the same general rate as the rest of Europe and Asia, so ultimately they became more “civilized” and aristocratic, just like everyone else. And Klingons could use a little more aristocracy and culture (much like how more should be done with comparisons between Romulans and Remans and classic vampire archetypes).

Anyway, long story short, I’m game for an Animated Series.

46. No Khan - November 1, 2009

This is cool. I like the retro look of the Klingons with the movie version of the bumps. I hope thats how they are handled in the new movies.

47. MorbidGorn - November 1, 2009

Long time lurker, first time poster here.

Just had to say that #38 said it all perfectly.

He didn’t miss a single point.

As yes, “Klingon Propaganda” is awesome. Please give Mr. Farinas a chance to give us what we all want, a great new animated Trek series!!!

48. SpocksBrane - November 1, 2009

Hey Anthony, I can understand you not wanting to have things digress into politics, but when you allow posts that use phrases like “overtly pushing a leftist political agenda” and then censor any messages responding to that statement, you’re not just being unpolitical, you’re being politically biased, because then you’re only allowing one side to speak and not the other. Unfortunate.

49. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Thanks, 47. (Lucky number, that. :-) )

Here are some possibilities for an animated Trek series, or an arc within it:

1. Begin with a Mirror Universe story that sets the series apart from the main premise of all the Trek series before it. That is, the Federation, which is really the Terran Empire, is in ruins as massive battles have destroyed much of its central infrastructure. (How does this fit into Mirror Universe canon? To that I say: Canon, schmanon! This is an alternate Mirror Universe, besides….). That is, the so-called “propaganda” film we’ve seen so far has more than a kernel of truth; the Terran Empire is, indeed, on the brink of total destruction thanks to its imperial over-reach and environmental excess. (The Terran Empire, in this sense, is like the Klingons of Star Trek VI.)

2. Mirror Kirk starts out as a privileged Senator’s son, stepping over his brother and his friends to rise in the ranks to become First Lord of Starfleet Academy. An obsequious McCoy is his “trusted” friend — in reality biding his time until he can depose Mirror Kirk. Mirror Kirk then loses everything as his failed Kobayashi Maru tactic causes him to be expelled from the Academy. He is banished to the outskirts of the Empire, where he meets his “friend,” Sulu, in reality an Imperial apparatchik. Sulu cultivates Mirror Kirk as a means to rise through the ranks. Kirk, in the meantime, successfully solicits an offer to act as a double agent on behalf of the Klingons and secures transportation back to Earth.

3. Back on Earth, McCoy develops a slow-acting poison that kills most of the Academy staff, positioning him as the new First Lord. Using Academy resources, he develops a planetary pathogen, holding Earth hostage unless it submits to his demands. Arriving unexpectedly, Kirk “saves” the Earth by apparently killing McCoy. For this he is acclaimed Emperor.

4. The young Terran Emperor, Kirk, promptly declares Earth the territory of the Klingon Empire, as a perplexed and logical half-Vulcan looks on ….

50. H'yorD - November 1, 2009

While I’m not too keen on having another animated Trek series, I just wanted to commend Mark for this great contribution both to the Trek fan community and to the Klingon fan community.
I was actually one of the people nitpicking at the Klingon, but nevertheless I very much enjoyed it; you guys gave it more effort than Paramount has in decades!

Qapla’ !

51. No Khan - November 1, 2009

29. The Klingons had short hair & bumps in TMP!

52. Daoud - November 1, 2009

And John Colicos’ forehead was looking pretty furrowed and bumpy in TOS Errand of Mercy. Why Kras’ baldness in TOS Private Little War was an indication of his bumps about to grow back, right? ;)

Anyone who complains is stomping on Roddenberry who I quote “they always looked that way” in response in 1979 to why the Klingons looked different in TMP.

53. Doug - November 1, 2009

Kewl cartoon…

But, is it possible for these people to leave politics out? I don’t like it from the left or the right but it seems it’s ALWAYS the left trying to force their opinions on others. Sheesh.

54. Roger - November 1, 2009

@53. I know! I mean, I just want to enjoy Star Trek…which has NEVER had any political opinions or leanings whatsoever. ;-)

55. I'm Dead Jim - November 1, 2009

@29 Yes, I noticed it and I DON’T CARE!

Yessir! More of this, please.

56. I'm Dead Jim - November 1, 2009

@ 53… I agree. Less political. And God bless the right for never, ever , not even trying to force their views on the American people. ;-)

57. SpocksBrane - November 1, 2009

@53

I agree that politics are way too often injected into more and more places these days, which is sad. But I’m a bit confused in the rest of your statement. Maybe it’s me, but I never understand statements that start out with “why can’t we all just get along?” but end with the qualifier “…if only the other side would just stop being so partisan!”. That in itself is an extremely one-sided partisan statement, thus contradicting your entire point.

But then again, it’s hypocritical for me to complain about politicization and then go to keep the discussion of politicization going…

So moving on…one interesting Easter egg I couldn’t help noticing was all the references to the (old continuity) Cage era design. In the Klingon vid you have the Constitution class with the Cage era nacelles, and then in the UFP response, everyone is dressed in the old Cage/WNMHGB turtlenecks. I guess that’s a clue at to when these vids are supposed to be taking place…

58. Lord Ravenwood - November 1, 2009

Wonderboy (Post # 2):

These are NOT the same guys who produce “The Venture Brothers!”
“The Venture Brothers” are a procuct of Doc Hammer and Jackson Public under the banner of Astrobase Go.
And NO, they have no plans or interest in doing an animated version of “Star Trek.”

59. dmduncan - November 1, 2009

I love the style, the animation, and the overall effect.

But I saw the “teledeporter” background art on the website, and I really don’t want to see Star Trek used to serve someone’s controversial political agenda. If Star Trek becomes something that tries to make you feel a certain way about this or that issue rather than inspiring you to think about issues, then it has become cheap political propaganda.

How would you feel if you saw a Star Trek cartoon about the Teleaborter? Where pregnant women file into the Teleaborter room and have their babies beamed out. All slim and trim they then thank the Teleaborter operator for making their lives SO much more convenient, and we end with a shot of a bunch of blue babies writhing in agony in space until they die?

Not exactly what you’d want to see in a Star Trek cartoon, is it?

Ultimately either you have to learn to live with people you disagree with, or you have to kill them. And propaganda is a wedge that makes the latter more likely than the former, because it bypasses reason and goes straight to the heart, and that is what drives the mob. And there’s already too much of that going on right now. I would prefer Star Trek be a haven from all the political machinations we are hit with from every angle today.

Star Trek is best when it makes you think about things and respects you enough to let you come to your own conclusions about what you saw—Did Kirk do the right thing when he blew up the computers of Emeniar 7? And it’s at its worst when it just appeals to your emotions about political ideas—Kirk giving his rousing speech about the greatness of the Declaration of Independence in The Omega Glory.

I don’t want to see either the Jon Stewart or Dennis Miller versions of Star Trek cartoons.

60. John in Canada, eh? - November 1, 2009

As others have pointed out, there are some decent stories in TAS. It would be great if 2 or 3 of the better ones could be made into a longer story, and animated with today’s techniques. Maybe get Takei, Koenig, and Nichols together to voice additional scenes with their characters, too. Add a movie-quality soundtrack, Dolby 5.1 sound effects, and you could have a great movie!

61. Eli - November 1, 2009

Will someone please introduce Mr. Bad Monkey to Mr. Bad Robot and get an animated Trek series off the ground already?

I’ll kindly wait right over here…

62. I'm Dead Jim - November 1, 2009

@61 Ha ha! Bad Monkey joins with Bad Robot and they produce Bad Mecha Kong! Call Tokyo!

63. Demode - November 1, 2009

Would be cool to get a new TOS STYLE CARTOON. Also, a VERY SMART way to keep the original TOS cast working on Trek… no reason why Shatner, Nimoy, Takei, Walters and Nichols couldn’t provide the voices… they all have great voices that work well in animation. Just look at their work on Futurama and the Simpsons! As for Scotty and McCoy, they would obviously have to be recast, but I don’t think it would hard to respectfully fill those roles. Hell, maybe Urban and Pegg could do it :)

64. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Also, can you imagine how liberating it would be for the Shat to voice Evil (Mirror) Kirk? He’s can be quite hammy, I should venture.

Actually, to be frank, I think his acting skills are often under-rated. A man of his age, still so full of vigor and vim.

65. pock speared's leftist agenda - November 1, 2009

go for it, it’s great. and we all know the best way to take over the planet with our socialist evil is with a cartoon. thing of the young minds we can turn gay and democrat! bwa. ha. ha.

66. pock speared's leftist agenda - November 1, 2009

er.. “think”, not “thing”. i get sloppy when i’m taking over the world. sorry.

67. Gary Sebben - November 1, 2009

I guess its easy for conservatives to love Trek now a days when racial and gender equality are givens and the cold war is finished. It’s the status quo now, but 45 years ago it was hippie lib-tard talk. If that same Trek was made today it would be about torture, homosexuality, and illegal immigration and it would all be leftist and unpalatable to all these people complaining.

And as for the Deportation movie… Spock is obviously a LEGAL immigrant in it. He has a GREEN CARD. If you’re against green card holders having rights or if you don’t see a difference between legals and illegals then you are the problem that movie addresses.

68. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Green card, huh? Bully for that! Suits the color of his blood, too. ;-)

69. pock speared's leftist agenda - November 1, 2009

#68
very well said.

70. st381 - November 1, 2009

The 2 minute Klingon propaganda video was cool but I do not think watching that style of animation every week as a Trek animated show would be. It was very imaginative and a lot of talent went into the video but it seems more like Adult Swim fare on Cartoon network at 3am stuff rather than main stream Star Trek let’s have more than 15 fans watch it stuff.

(I await your flames in my tinfoil suit….)

71. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Well, since you asked….

What’s wrong with Adult Swim? Or the Cartoon Network, for that matter? Samurai Jack ran on CN and it was pretty decent.

I think we’re looking for edgy here. Maybe not Metalocalypse edgy, but edgier than the original TAS, I daresay. Something that will make the critics sit up and take notice. You know how critics love edgy.

Maybe Fox Animation Domination edgy.

One thing to avoid is the Clone Bores syndrome: Tame even for its intended audience.

72. pock speared - November 1, 2009

#71, #72
i’m with both of you, really.
adult swimtrek is probably the best future and most likely the next evolution of star trek for the next decade or so. kudos to anthony for championing it as a valid iteration of our passion for both trek and the web culture this site represents.

73. Hat Rick - November 1, 2009

Thanks, 73. And as far as politics is concerned, for now, animated Trek should only do ONE kind of politics: The Galactic kind, with Klingons, Vulcans, and Evil (???) Mirror Spock.

:-)

74. VZX - November 1, 2009

I wonder what Bob Orci and othes involved with ST09 think about this Klingon vid. I really hopes it gives them ideas on the proper usage of Klingons.

75. dmduncan - November 1, 2009

@68: Perhaps an apoplectic fit in the midst of my prose kept you from completing or understanding the entire SEVEN paragraphs, but I didn’t SEE any movie with Spock involving deportation. I saw only the background art where the “Teledeporter” was depicted and inferred from the art the possibility that Star Trek would be used for propaganda, which I didn’t want to see, and which Star Trek has only done on rare occasions.

So I don’t know WHAT you are groaning about. My point was a general one, not a specific complaint about some movie which I never claimed to see.

“If that same Trek was made today it would be about torture, homosexuality, and illegal immigration and it would all be leftist and unpalatable to all these people complaining.”

Not under Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry it wouldn’t. Gene Roddenberry himself quashed David Gerrold’s script dealing with homosexuality on TNG. How does that taste on YOUR palate?

Was Gene Roddenberry a leftist? Just ask Alexander Courage, who could tell you a story about his own encounter with Gene Roddenberry’s capitalism. Nice story, that one. Unless you happen to be Alexander Courage.

Who else can we call a leftist? Gene Coon? A US Marine combat vet who created the United Federation of Planets, Star Trek’s best anti-war stories, the Prime Directive—AND THE KLINGONS (Doh!)?

Spare me your territorial revisionism. BLEAT all you want about what Star Trek is and who it belongs to, and the fact will remain that Star Trek is a show that appeals to a WIDE variety of people across disparate religious and political boundaries, however hard it might be for you to accept that people you do not like yet like some of the same things you do. Heck, it ALmost makes them seem human, doesn’t it?

NOT propaganda, but intellectually provocative material—that’s what Star Trek OUGHT to be doing—even if it’s in cartoon form. When Kirk destroyed Emeniar 7′s computers, the episode didn’t say, “OUR WAY GOOD, YOUR WAY BAD!” No, they actually discussed the merits, you got to see things from the Emeniarans point of view too, and you actually had to THINK your way to a conclusion about what Kirk did. Was Kirk right? Was the Emeniaran way that bad? Did Kirk have the right to do what he did? What if they can’t solve their problems peacefully and revert to real war again?

I want interesting things to think ABOUT, delivered with some depth of field, not some silly cartoonish feud between left and right. The Organians would approve.

76. Closettrekker - November 2, 2009

#68—-”I guess its easy for conservatives to love Trek now a days when racial and gender equality are givens and the cold war is finished. It’s the status quo now, but 45 years ago it was hippie lib-tard talk.”

Um….You’re confused, it seems. Star Trek (TOS) did not take sides in political splits. It presented issue allegories, but allowed the audience members to make up their own minds as to whether Kirk was correct or incorrect in arming the hunters of Neural with flintlock rifles, for example. If anything, “A Private Little War” demonstrates that Star Trek respected its audience enough to display both the merits (Kirk’s message) and the dangers (McCoy’s message) of the Truman Doctrine—-smack dab in the middle of pre-Tet American involvement in the Vietnam Conflict.

Did Trek depict humanity as having evolved beyond racism? Not really (see Lt. Stiles in “Balance Of Terror”), and even when it did take a moral stand on that issue, it was hardly groundbreaking or even all that controversial….Star Trek aired several years *after* the passing of the Civil Rights Acts.

And ‘gender equality’? You’re kidding, right? Because Chapel admitting that the only reason she’s in space at all is so that she might chase after a certain man (“What Are Little Girls Made Of?”), or McCoy’s concern over Scotty’s infatuation with Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas being driven by the notion that, in a few years, she’s just going to marry and leave the service in order to pump out a few kids really screams “You’ve come a long way, baby!”…. Give me a break. What show were you watching?

You didn’t have to identify yourself as “liberal” then to enjoy Star Trek, nor do you have to do so now. Whether liberal or conservative, all of us are entertained and/or intrigued by the prospect of a future in which Humanity has rid itself of many social ills which plague the Earth today and has fully embraced the concept of exploring “the final frontier”….in other words, a better future for our children’s children and so on.

No one can claim ownership of that…least of all you.

77. TomBot3000 - November 2, 2009

A pleasant enough diversion… I too think it would be interesting to see Klingons portrayed a little closer to TOS/TMP hybrids. It might open up some new avenues…

78. dmduncan - November 2, 2009

Although “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” was produced in Star Trek’s downhill season, it was actually written by Gene Coon during the first season. And how fitting an episode to reflect upon today. What’s it about, with the two aliens, last of their kinds, feuding to extinction, each one colored black and white but on opposite sides as the their hatred’s reason to fight?

Was it racism? Today I see that episode in a new and more relevant way. That list of social ills 68 thinks Star Trek ought to address is curiously missing a problem more dangerous than any of those he mentioned: political extremism.

That episode can easily describe political fanatics in our time who see the world in stark black and white terms, and then who hate or WISH they could kill each other because where the other is black YOU are white, and where you are white the OTHER is black. That is actually a more fitting current allegory for what we see happening politically right now than racism, because it reflects the truth: Political fanatics of different view points HATE each other precisely because their viewpoints are opposite on the same issues—which is an allegorically close match for being of opposite colors on the same side of your body.

79. The Angry Klingon (without a trenchcoat) - November 2, 2009

@dmduncan
THANK YOU for several very well thought out and presented posts.

80. ChurchHatesTucker - November 3, 2009

Y’all do know that there IS an animated fan film, don’t you?

http://www.farragut-animated.com/

81. ter'eS - November 4, 2009

While I love the movie and its non-standard-Trek aesthetic, I’m sorry, but this has been bugging me all weekend, so at the risk of seeming like an anal language geek:

I just can’t agree when you say “There’s been a lot of talk about the translation not being just right, but Skip did it all alone and in secret and it was still accurately translatable back to English. That’s a hell of a successful job.”.

I would not agree that it is “accurately translatable”; the subtitles have only a glancing likeness to what I can make out of the Klingon words. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling; Skip did an adequate job for someone working all alone and in secret, but it’s a successful job only if you consider the sentence “You dood gooding welly of movie thinging.” to be a successful compliment in English.

If you ever make another of these, I strongly urge you to not go it alone and in secret. There are plenty of skilled Klingon users who would be happy to help (and who can keep a secret). Klingon has a published grammar with real rules; if you’re not going to follow them, why bother at all?

82. Closettrekker - November 4, 2009

#82—I can’t believe I just read that post.

83. Andy Patterson - November 7, 2009

I like….he uses original Andorians. Albeit i find it hard to believe they’d be enslaved…even by the Klingons.

84. Son of a Maui Portagee - November 7, 2009

#83.,

I can’t believe how much short shrift Doohan gets in those eloborate “discussions.”

85. Hawaiowa - November 21, 2009

What about an *anime* Trek?

This vid was incredible! I completely enjoyed the ‘brut art’ take on the Soviet-era propaganda art! It’s one of the best fan-made Trek shorts I’ve seen in a long time. I agree with all the others who commented “give this guy a job”!

Funny how misinterpreted the 60s have become as time passes by. Many of the comments about TOS and it’s ‘message’ indicate this. Did you know that Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise around the Sun?

This is the one area that has been overlooked by Par for at least a decade. If Par licenses Trek for animation, give it to one of the Japanese major studios and let them do a ‘take’ on it. One of the ongoing problems with Trek is that it’s too ~American~ at times, which loses the overseas audience. Trek has that universal appeal that comes with all monomythic epics, and this could easily be translated cross-culturally. How about a Japanese crew on a TOS/TNG/ENT era ship? Or perhaps a new timeframe (frankly, the franchise needs a new timeframe as much as it needed a ‘alternate’ timeframe). We’ve spent over 20 yrs in TNG timeframe and 40 yrs in TOS timeframe…perhaps it’s time to move forward another century.

The big mistake would be to create something animated that simply rehashes the 09 film.

86. Blaine - October 11, 2010

Myself I conceived an empire that was based on the Ottomans, but it dealt with the prospect that TOS Klingons were like the Janissaries and their TMP counterparts belong to the so-called Imperial race.

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