Tahir Talks Captain Robau

In February TrekMovie.com first revealed that the unknown ‘Federation Captain’ (now known to be named Capt. Robau) was to be played by Faran Tahir. In a new interview with Deadbolt, the actor described his Star Trek captain “a good guy” and said his ship has “muscle.” Tahir also talked at length about the significance of his casting and how faithful the film is.

In the TrekMovie.com report, it was noted that the casting of a Pakistani actor as the role of a ‘heroic Captain’ in 2008 was in the same tradition as Gene Roddenberry’s inclusion of a Russian on the bridge in the cold war. Tahir was asked about that:

…just a couple of days ago a friend of mine – I’m kind of a Trekkie, but some of my friends are like real Trekkies so of course they go to all of these blogs – sent me this link to a blog that has like 500 blogs on it just on that fact. It’s an actor of Middle Eastern decent playing a captain, which hasn’t happened before. There have been other characters of Middle Eastern decent, but there has never been a captain. And a lot of the discussion on the blogs was about the fact. At least for me, personally, it’s great because it is a context in which my ethnicity is not being discussed as an issue. To me, that’s great – about a character in a story who’s trying to get Task A, Task B, Task C done. And you’re not dealing with the color of his skin or whatever, we’re not dealing with all of that. We’re working on a very even playing field and the blogs were also about that. It gives us hope, in a way, if you look at it as the realities of today hopefully will not be the realities of tomorrow.

Tahir also talked about the faithfulness of the movie and a bit out his ship:

It’s very faithful, all of the characters are there. You do get new insights into them and you get things that so far people have probably pulled together from their own research. Some of those questions might be answered and some of them might be challenged, where people thought up certain histories they created. Some of those might be challenged; some might be corroborated. It’s a nice mix. The feel of the movie is great, at least the part that I had. It has a very robust feel to it. It’s very tangible. The ship that I command has a lot of muscle to it. It looks like a capable thing, you know. So yeah, I think J.J. knows what he’s doing. He has a really great vision and a really great way of executing his vision. I think a lot of people will be very pleasantly surprised.

For much more on Tahir’s role in Iron Man (and more on Trek), check out the interview at Deadbolt

NOTE: Deadbolt name his character as ‘Rabu’, but TrekMovie.com has confirmed it is ‘Robau’. Soon TrekMovie.com will put up a video interview with writer Roberto Orci, and one question discusses Tahir and his casting.

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“The feel of the movie is great, at least the part that I had. It has a very robust feel to it. It’s very tangible. The ship that I command has a lot of muscle to it. It looks like a capable thing, you know. ”

Excellent! Can’t wait to see it!

The adventure continues…

Yummy! Can’t wait to see him and the ship he’s commanding!

“The ship that I command has a lot of muscle to it. It looks like a capable thing, you know. So yeah, I think J.J. knows what he’s doing.”

I love a ship with muscle!

Imagining a ship with lots of firepower!


Certainly a word never used to descibe the later, by-the-numbers Berman & Braga years. I certainly am thrilled by the vibe that STAR TREK XI will be the adrenaline shot to the heart that the franchise has needed for years! Really can’t wait… is it too tall an order to ask for a film that will be thoughtful, fun, action-packed, thrilling, cerebral, lusty and yes, “robust?”

I’ve always hoped that TREK XI will combine the epic scope and magnitude of the THE MOTION PICTURE with the intimate character-driven arcs of WRATH OF KHAN, SEARCH FOR SPOCK and VOYAGE HOME, and some of best morality plays of the ’60s episodes.

Must… not… get… hopes up… too high! Argh! Can’t wait for Summer 2009!

He wasn’t of arabic descent, but what about the indian descended captain in STIV? India isn’t exactly considered the far east, at least not when I went to school.

Wasn’t Khan Noonian Singh of Middle Eastern descent? He got to command Reliant once, does that count? haha

This count down Star Trek widget on the site is really starting to piss me off.

All it does it just remind me of how bloody long I have to wait for this amazing film to come out. A widget like that only becomes useful in the finally days of the countdown, the final hours.. but the FINAL YEAR? Come on… it’s torture enough reading this articles and not getting anything more than little teaser kisses, but on top of that we have this widget to remind us of how long more we must suffer….


“Robust and Capable” starship – that sounds more than just promising, that’s incredible. Looks like he’ll be inventing a few “Robau Manouvers”

Man, I wanna see the muscly starship! I’m dying to see some truly epic space battles… I wonder how it will compare to BSG’s space battles, which are at the top of my list. Thoughts about that? BSG vs. Star Trek space battles? Personally i like watching leviathan starships going at it, but the fighter sequences in BSG are phenomenal.

*All it does is just reminds*


OK this is ridiculous, my post sounds like it was written by a 12 year old.

5, 6 and 7.

Folks, let me give you a little lesson in history and geography. Pakistan is not part of the Middle East. It was historically part of India until just 60 years ago, when it and Bangladesh were created and split-off from India by the United Nations. India (and Pakistan) are South Asian countries.

There was that captain in the beginning of Star Trek IV when the probe was attacking. He was either Pakastani or Indian.

Well it’s nice to see that diversity in stunt casting is alive and well. I applaud J.J. Abrams et. al for casting someone of middle eastern decent. I know full well that one reason for creating Chekov was due to the fact that we were cold war enemies. I think it’s great, especially as the film heads overseas for kids and adults to see all of humanity represented in a movie that can show a positive future for all of us.

The fanboy in me loves the idea of more and interesting starships, so yes I am looking forward to that as well.

I just wish we didn’t have to wait over a year for the movie to come out, but at close to $200 Million, it needs to be a summer blockbuster!

Anyone realize that the budget for this film is equal to the budgets of the three last films combined? The effects better be outstanding, but the story, which has always been the heart of Star Trek, should be there as well. I want to see a great movie, not an amusement park ride

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout… man, first the con Trek infusion, now this adjective-rich interview with Tahir… He is absolutely going to rock out as a Starfleet captain, a Starfleet captain oozing intelligence, authority, animal-magnetism… Umm..mm…

“…it’s great because it is a context in which my ethnicity is not being discussed as an issue.”

This is excellent news. We should not have the ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or species of origin of any character thrown in our face as part of the plot. These should be “non-factors” within the context of the 23rd Century United Federation Of Planets. It is not supposed to matter. It is enough of a social commentary on the part of the filmmakers to paint a picture of the future without highlighting race, nor do we need any dialogue which emphasizes an ethnic or political boundary that no longer exists in the future. By that time, we (as human beings) are all simply Federation citizens whose ancestry happens to originate from one part of Earth or another (or most likely, several). Such things may be relevant to a person’s culinary taste or personal dress (out of uniform, of course), for example, but not much else.

So did paramount and JJ force all actors to say that the movie is faithful to the original. I dont want faith, I want a good story.

#6: India is not in the middle east. It is in Asia. actually I thought Pakistan wasn’t considered Middle East as well.

Looks nice so far
Too bad we have to deal with JJ’s PARANOIA about secrecy and Paramount’s wrong decisions about dates. The most faithfull fans are the one who are gonna suffer the most.
Gosh, I absolutelly HATE to wait !!!!!

#13, #19—It is a common mistake to refer to the Islamic Republic Of Pakistan as being Middle Eastern, due to the fact that it has the World’s second largest Muslim population (behind Indonesia, which isn’t Middle Eastern either). It is a generalization of the Muslim faith as being centered in the Middle East, which is its origin only, not the dominant geographical location of its practitioners.

Pakistan is also the subject of much tension within the United States over the issue of sanctuary for Al Queda terrorists within its borders (which is perceived by some as tacit support). This is the significance of Mr. Tahir’s casting in STXI. This is a classic subtle Star Trek social statement. When Walter Koenig was cast as a Russian officer aboard the Enterprise, there was much tension between the West and the Soviet Union. Such a casting decision highlights the Star Trek vision of mankind’s future as a united one, and is a reminder to the audience that current problems do not have to be future ones. There is hope.

Geography lessons are irrelevant…

I believe the captian in trek iv was Veejay Singh, a professional tennis player. He appeared in a bond film once too, as I recall

As for Khan captaining reliant. Nah, he was just another middle eastern hijacker.

Khan Noonien Singh’s origins are in his name:

Khan – Mongolian
Noonien – Han Chinese
Singh – Indian

Not Middle Eastern, but rather from the Asian supranational organization known as the Eastern Coalition, or ECon for short.

#23 – I guess according to memory alpha that Eastern Coalition was only mentioned in First Contact (I checked to see if it was mentioned in TOS but as I recall it was only mentioned in FC).

Only 23 days till the “one year to go” mark

We’ve seen Indians play Starfleet captain’s before.
Vijay Amritraj, an Indian actor, played Captain Joel Randolph in Star Trek IV. Before him Reginald Lal Singh played Captain Chandra in the TOS episode “Court Martial”. I suppose we have to concede he is the first ” actor of Middle Eastern decent playing a captain”. Does it mean anything? You can’t necessarily tell a character’s cultural background from the actor’s appearance or performance.

I’ve seen Faran Tahir in other projects and he is a very good actor.

Oh, and giggity giggity…

Makes me wonder if his ship is one of the old Daedalus-class ships we never saw…you know, the ones with the a sphere section instead of a saucer section.


(Insert second post here)
Even though the website given says the class was retired in 2196…no reason why they couldn’t have flown for some extended period of time as a modified class or something of that line.
After all, isn’t this class one of the few things we hear so much about in the early Kirk era that we haven’t even seen?

Interesting site about what I thought should have been seen in any prequel series about the start of the Federation… but I guess TPTB knew better.

Anyway, good site, but it must be abandoned, all the links are dead as far as i could tell…


Funny that Faran has portrayed characters named Mr. Khan and Dr. Singh…. heh.

As to Mr Lecturer, #13… Mr. Alex Trebek says “Ooooh, no. So-rry.”
I teach World Geography. If you do too, my apologies, but I rather doubt it. The Middle East is a cultural concept. Please see… for authority (skipping Wikipedia or Encarta, etc.), the Middle East Institute:
“…spanning from Morocco to Pakistan…” and

The family name itself, Tahir, is a very Arabic word to describe the Islamic concept of cleanliness in personal hygeine. Seems appropriately Middle Eastern.

After all, consider that the Near East was Anatolia (modern Turkey), and the Far East was China and neighbors… so what else would you call the western parts of the Indian Subcontinent? They’re not Far East, so Middle East is correct.

Oh, and don’t blame the United Nations for the Partition of India. That was completely due to the British. The United Nations was only formed late in 1945. Blame them for later events, but not India.

Given Design Lineage, the Daedelus class strikes me as a modular, “build it in a hurry design”… They needed something quickly, so simplicity was key, hence the cylindrical star drive section.

I think it’d be cool if was saw a couple old designs, or designs that actually look like they could be predecessors to the Constitution class.


I much prefer battles between the big ships. The battles in BSG and some of the StarWars movies remind of a flock of mosquitos buzzing around shooting coloured spitballs at each other. There’s no sense of power or epic scope. To me, the best space battle scenes in the Star Trek universe were on DS9 – they had many, many awesome dust-ups involving hundreds of huge starships between the Dominion, Federation, Klingons, and Romulans – way more battles than all the other trek series’ combined, and impressively done on a TV series budget.

A good ST movie needs more than space battles, but a few good ones don’t hurt. Would be nice to see the 1st war between Earth and the Romulans in the new movie.

Robau will be captain of the ….

Enterprise. At least one version of it.

MIchael Ansara (born in Syria) played a Captain in Star Trek TOS. Not a Federation Captain, but a Captain, nonetheless.


Lots of muscle?

Like a BC (Battle Cruiser)?

#29—If you are referring to (or taking a shot at) ENT, as I suspect, I must point out that the 1st Daedelus Class Ships were launched in 2161, nearly coinciding with the formal establishment of the UFP (after the ENT series finale). Therefore, one of those starships making an appearance in ENT really would not make sense. If there ever were a “prequel” series about the “start of the Federation”, rather than a series about human deep space exploration set a decade before the UFP, like ENT, then a Daedelus appearance would make perfect sense.

He sounds like an insightful guy, and he’s got a very good face … if he’s got a voice to go with it, that’ll make some very awesome and very captainy screen-presence.

Just a little note for all those who like to speculate on character names…

The name Robau sounds, if you pronounce it the german way, exactly like
“Rohbau”… and rohbau is the german word for “a house UNDER CONSTRUCTION” (roh means “raw” and “Bau” is the building)

Remember the headline in the teaser? Maybe a coincidence…maybe not….

There was a middle eastern Caprain STIV, The probe got the ship and they were going to deploy a makeshify solar sail.

Vulcan I.D.I.C. ….. now that’s what’s up.

# 38

Nice bit of trivia cheers

He’s gunna kick some Romulan ass!!!

prehaps in another ship, prehaps he is a captain from the post nemesis line???

Khan was a Sikh from northern India, not middle-eastern.

I don’t see any pointy sideburns on that guy.

Khan was genetically engineered anyway, so he doesn’t count as middle-eastern, even though many have made the correct point about Pakistan being south asian.

I’m in the HORATIO HORNBLOWER & BILL BUDD school of TREK enthusiasts. If you haven’t dug in to these books, you’re in for a real treat. It’s like STAR TREK’s long-winded ancestor. I mention this because the examples of OTHER captains, positive and negative, play a significant role in those books. I could see ST2009 taking that approach with guys like Captain Robau, who display traits we come to associate with the smart ass from Iowa.

Also, on the ethnic topic, Robau is a Sulu-like name. Just as we know Sulu to be culturally Japanese with a Filipino surname, whatever cultural identity this captain has, his name is French and it’s the name of a city in Cuba.

I didn’t recognise Khan in the movie (ST II). He kinda looked like an old white woman (from the neck up anyway), not a striking North Indian eugenics superman.

Anyway, Faran Tahir is hot… he’d make a nice Deltan :D.

Actually, I amend that last statement. I had a look at the stills again from the movie and he had some serious cleavage going on!

I blame Gandhi, Jinnah, and Mountbatten for the partition of India!

Khan Noonien Singh was written to have been a North Indian, IIRC. howeve, the name “Khan” is a popular last name in both India and Pakistan. some of the biggest names in Bollywood are Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan etc. and some of the biggest names in cricket in Pakistan are Imran Khan, Majid Khan etc etc. Khan is a popular South Asian Muslim name and I believe that is what Roddenberry intended his Space Seed strongman to be..

I’d like to know why roberto orci alex kurtzman more than once have used the name ROBAU as characters in their scripts.

My surname is Robau and it is very uncommon. Mostly of Cuban/Spanish decent.

roberto orci alex kurtzman have used the name Robau with Don Robau, a character in their Zorro movie with Antonio Banderas. Yes it’s also German for house under construction. But Don Robau has nothing to do with ‘under construction’. Robau comes from Spain and French border in the catolonas. It’s a surname (my family name) my great parents migrated to Cuba. Jose Luis Robau is a famous general who fought in the war of independence from Spain in Cuba. I did not know there was a city named Robau in Cuba – I will look it up. I would really love to know where their affiliation with the name Robau comes from and why they have used it more than once.