Faran Tahir, first revealed to be playing a captain in the new Star Trek on TrekMovie.com is out promoting his role in Iron Man and is also fielding Trek questions. The Pakistani actor, who recently has played a lot of villains (including one in Iron Man), tells SciFi Wire he welcomed the opportunity of playing a role where his ethnicity is actually not an issue at all…
The thing that I love about that idea is that, to me, it gives a lot of hope that in the future all these racial divides and all these cultural divides will be non-issues. And that’s the spirit of Star Trek, right? It’s about moving forward with all of this. To me, as an actor, it was very freeing to be able to do that, where my character was not being seen through the prism of my cultural or ethnic ties.
More from Tahir’s at Sci-Fi Wire
It’s wonderful to know that even in this rather cynical age, there are those who still “get” the central idea of Trek — that only together can humanity reach for the stars.
I.D.I.C. Roddenberry would be pleased.
Is it me? Or did I see him in a brief cameo in last week’s “LOST” ?
Either way… he looks like he would be a kick ass Starfleet Captain. I look forward to his performance.
We can only hope. I am glad to hear that he gets “the spirit of Star Trek.” More people should. This world would be a better place.
All these interviews are NOT about Trek yet, but the actors are being asked about it…
A very good sign.
The more we hear from the stars the more I am liking this moive!
Gene would be happy with these comments and Abbrams vision for trek!
I have a feeling that the actors who talk about Trek this way are doing so because they’re tune in to the general atmosphere of the production. If this is so, then that’s a very encouraging sign, since it indicates that The Powers That Be (the producers) are themselves attuned to what originally made Trek such a phenomenal part of our culture. Many of us have been waiting such a long time for Trek to get into gear once again.
All this talk of IDIC makes me think. Yes, racial prejudice is gone by the TOS era as far as humans go, but wasn’t it transferred over to the Klingons, the Romulans, etc? Day of the Dove was on TVLand this morning, and I’m guess that is coloring my response here. I wish there had been one more story after ST6 showing Kirk coming to terms with his hatred of Klingons.
#3, yup that was Tahir playing Ishmael Bakir on Lost
9 – When racism was displayed in Star Trek, it is usually to make a commentary on it.
In Day of the Dove, it was induced by an alien intelligence.
Look at how the episode ended. They came together and solved the root cause. THAT is what Star Trek is about.
It sounds to me like there are a lot of actors who weren’t too keen on Trek before they worked on the film that, now, finally, “Get it.” One can only hope that film has the same effect on the general movie going public that still, after all this time, don’t yet, “get it”.
9 – I think Kirk actually did get over it. He admitted that “People can be very frightened of change.”
His impetus to stop the assassination of the UFP President came partly from his realization of how prejudiced he was on Rura Penthe.
you know, i was excited about this film as soon i heard about it. i love trek that much… but when i saw that this guy, a pakistani, had been cast in such a role… i think that’s when i started to respect trek xi on a different level. i thought, “wow, maybe they get it.”
i hope nothing but the best for this movie!
(also, hi! this is me delurking! :) )
Thanks to everyone for such an enlightened thread. I feel joyful — hokey word, I know, but it’s appropriate — that there are so many of us that understand the importance of uniting as a species on this brilliant blue marble we call Earth.
I want to get up on the soapbox a bit — just for a sec, and I can’t give this the treatment it deserves — and say how much I think that the obverse of what Gene Roddenberry said has been proven true in the last few decades. The truth is that we HAVEN’T united as a species, and we are as riven today as a planetary civilization as we ever have been. And our cause — to become a multplanetary species, to break out of this cradle we call home — has suffered accordingly.
All this money we sink into the military, creating bombs and killing machines… it’s all money that does not produce anything of permanent value. Sure, it gives us the illusion of safety, but it’s all just that. An illusion. Something worthy of Talos IV. The only thing that barely makes it truly valuable is the R & D that comes out of the military-industrial complex, and even at that, there is so much of it that is wasted. Imagine what all that mililtary funding could do in the hands of those whose objectives are pure science, pure R & D into fossil fuel alternatives, health care, and space applications. Not that there wouldn’t be waste in that, too, but at least there would be less of it, because the aims would be what would benefit all of us in the long run.
We’re forced into making better spears, rather than better lives, because so many of us hate each other. We hate this tribe or that, and we fear this group or the other. We stockpile weapons we can never use, to rot away and disintegrate into radioactive dust. All that energy, all that effort, condemned to reinventing better and more efficient ways to kill off the human race.
Are our fears legitimate? Yes, they are, and that’s the tragedy of it. We have legitimate fears, and we haven’t resolved them because we haven’t resolved the problems leading to the threats that cause them.
So long as we waste our lives in the futile technological pursuit of absolute safety, it will always elude our grasp. So long as we keep our eyes low to the ground, looking out for threats and keeping what is ours, the stars will be forever beyond our reach.
As each generation is born and prospers, it needs to ask the fundamental questions of war and peace and seek to pursue what is genuine and to avoid what is futile.
It has been said before, and now it is again: If not us, who? If not now, when?
What’s funny to me is that while we strive for this so-called “color-blind” society, we forget that Roddenberry deliberately put 1 of every nationality on the bridge for no other reason than to have “this color here, that color there”.
To have a color for the sake of color is rather racist itself.
And Trek’s biggest and most epic joke- or failure- is having an Asian- again for the sake of Asian- names Hoshi Sato played by…..
…. Linda Park.
Apparently, in the future, we have gotten past giving non white people white names.
Sometimes, I think multi-culties can’t see the forest for the trees.
It’s not so much “color-blind” as “color neutral” that seemed to be strived for. Color for the sake of color, out of context, would fail to address what it is we came from if we don’t have the understanding of the issues segregation created. It’s that failure to learn from history that creates the notion that “race neutral” is somehow (mistakenly) race biased.
^16 Interesting point. And why is it that the multicult world is universally defined as the dominant European culture making concessions to the rest. Very “White Man’s Burden” if you think about it. I think they are called “races” because it’s a gigantic competition and, as we know, racing improves the breed. It’s like Federalism on a global scale. Duh, that’s why even The Great Bird called it The Federation – each race can do its own thing without having to homogenize or be patronized by mankind. Some were better at this, some were better at that, but all EARNED respect as respect cannot be granted.
Having said that, as a US Taxpayer Dude who is descendant from the European WASPs that built my country from the wilderness, I’m very proud that it was my culture and my people who achieved so much in history that the world is defined in their terms, even Star Trek which had no choice but to acknowledge that accomplishment! Moreso, give me the Eepebnista any day of the week. My family bled for it over centuries of struggle and no one — not anyone — has come up with anything better anywhere.
This is how peace is achieved. This is how tolerance is permitted. By hard work, sacrifice and continual risk. Peace does not happen through dreams and fantasies! It happens when a man is willing to fight to keep what is rightfully his.
Kirk understands this. So does Spock and everyone else on the good ship USS Enterprise.
#16. Are you saying that tolerance is demonstrated by the level a person assimilates to white culture? That’s a little disturbing in its implications. And I say this as a half-Asian that’s much much more aware of my white heritage than my Cantonese heritage.
Roddenberry put someone of each color on the bridge because the Enterprise was supposed to be symbolic of planet Earth. I don’t think the Enterprise is neccesarily, nor does it aspire to be, color blind. It embraces all of its cultures but uses what the crew has in common as strengths. They all went to the same school, so there’s a certain cultural and philisophical similarity there that rises above any other differences.
That is not to be confused with color-blindness. Color-blindness is impossible, and it ignores the positive differences people share. It’s why Stephen Colbert satirizes it as an ideal on his show.
#9. I agree with the general premise that prejudice in Trek moved from fellow humans to people of different species. I always found it a little disturbing to have Starfleet officers refer to someone like Rom as “not a typical Ferengi” or suggest that something was inherent to a particular species. This new prejudice wasn’t dealt with as much as I would have liked except in episodes like Redemption II or episodes dealing with anti-Cardassian prejudice.
I’m not saying that humans should be portrayed with an unrealistic amount of love for everyone else. It would just be dishonest and not very dramatic. I’m just saying that it’s an issue that should be addressed more, since it’s an unsavory part of the human condition that will not go away.
there interviews with the actors are great but what about some pictures already!!!!!
Sarah loves Star Trek – Hates racism
This Captain is going to rock the world :)
To say that it is any culture — even the European-American culture — that achieved the penultimate in civilization is to acknowledge only what is on the surface. The great Isaac Newton said that he saw much further than others not because he was particularly a genius, but because he stood on the shoulders of giants.
Before the rise of the West, there were several civilizations that arose and maintained a degree of greatness unrivaled in its time. It is a truism that we, in the West, live in the best of worlds, since at the height of these previous civilizations, the people there, too, lived in the best of worlds — at that time. Some civilizations have endured and some have been outpaced, and none have achieved the technological or scientific accomplishments of the West. But let us not, in our pride in what we have achieved, forget that others that have come before this civilization achieved just as much, nor nearly so, and without as much the benefit of other cultures.
The West has achieved much, but at a horrendous cost. Millions have been killed in the name of progress, and the power to destroy has fast outpaced the power to create. A great imbalance exists, and an abundance of pridefulness can only lead to tragedy.
The ultimate in ethical development has been attained not, after all, by the West, with its history of virulent colonialism against indigenous peoples, but by the adoption of universalistic principles developed in the Middle East and elsewhere — by Jesus Christ, for example, whose people were persecuted for centuries by Euroepans.
As educated people we must avoid the belief that we are so much better than anyone else. In many respects, we are not, and to pretend we are only garners resentment around the world. The sooner we humble ourselves, the less others that around the world will be inclined to maintain that resentment.
Ben Linus shot him dead this week
TNG and onwards was pretty white/male/American/homogeneous… Worf, Tuvok, Bashir and the Siscos possibly excepted. Harry Kim, Hoshi and Mayweather may or may not count — they were pretty lame, cardboard characters with little to do. I also always found it troubling how human-centric it was too, when they could have really celebrated a federation made up of different species… to sort of expand the equality.
#16 – How is having a crew from around the world racist?
I don’t think their was any “racism” going on by the choices Roddenberry made with the bridge crew. This was the 60s, and he wanted to show a future where people of different races and cultures could work together as a crew (family). I don’t think it was ever a matter of just throwing people of colour in to “brighten” the set. There is an old joke that he told the NBC suits that he wanted to add some more “color” to the bridge, but I think that was really just the stuff of legend with no fact to back it up. He did the same with TNG, when he introduced a Klingon as a member of the bridge crew.
TNG had both Worf and Geordi… two black men, as bridge officers.
I think we should all remember that Trek is an American production originally intended for American consumption. It would be unrealistic to expect any Trek program or movie to show a truly multicultural crew. However, I believe that its heart is in the right place and that it is an approximation of multicultural ideals as interpreted by its particular ethnographic circumstances (i.e., by Hollywood).
Without getting too far afield, a truly multicultural mileu would be difficult for any general audience to accept simply because the audience would be a product of its own cultural baggage. We see here, for example, that there may be some discomfort with “multi-culti” ideas, and to me that’s perfectly understandably. Not all aspects of multiculturalism are going to be acceptable to everyone, nor are all such aspects going to be accepted — some will have to be modified, for example. To be honest, “multiculturalism” is so often maligned that it has come to be represent whatever bugaboo that certain elements want to assign to it.
But the general idea that humanity should be unified is something that I think everyone agree upon. We might not want to be unified as to everything, but on the things that truly matter, or on as much of them as possible, why wouldn’t we?
hat rick you make sense, thank you
Godspeed Captain Robau!
Thanks, 28 (Battletrek). I appreciate that.
16, 19 – Park is a Korean name, just like Kim.
31. Well, yeah. I was referring to the idea of characters having Western first names vs. Asian first names. Hoshi Sato vs. Harry Kim. I suppose I may have misinterpreted CW’s sentence to mean that by “Asian names” CW meant “Asian actors” and not the character’s names.
But, my point was that keeping Asian given names for the characters was a good thing, or at least not a bad thing. That it shows that there are full Asians with names like Harry and Hoshi and Hikaru demonstrates the cultural diversity that remains relevent in the future even as people that show genetic diversity all assimilate to Starfleet’s ideals when signing up for duty.
warning for trolling
look at his face! he is soooooooo a captain!
And is it not a fact that his ship is a bit bad ass?
said before….it is gonna rock
oh and cw!
your just blind, nowt to do with colour
This thread was doing soooo well up to now avoiding the racial slurs and arguments.
It’s going to be a good movie and I’d like to see a non-humanoid captain in a cameo or minor role to emphasize that Starfleet is not a homo sapiens only club.
Bob…. is it too late to CGI a Xindi-type captain commanding the USS Kickazz?
AP… quick on the draw tonight!
15. It is so rarely said so well.
Thank you, 38 (Wick). That is high praise, indeed.
Sorry to come across as nerdy, but I’m wondering what ship he is Captain of?
It’ll be cool to see the other Starfleet ships in this film.
I guess his ship will be the Kobayashi Maru. *Lol*
Faran is cool, after I blinked twice I was able to identify him on this weeks Lost, “The Shape of Things to Come” playing Widmore henchmen Ishmael Bakir, soon to be killed by Said…
I’d love it if a Trek production could REALLY put the diversity on overdrive. It would be great if they could write a little computer program which would randomly fill out all of the unknown crew with proportional representation of Earth’s population. About 60% Asian, 11% European, 9% Central/South American, 15% African, 5% North American (Which includes, of course, the melting pot which is the USA) and a handful of folks from Oceania. Have many of them be multi-racial, which will be even more common in the future. Have 51% female, 49% male. Folks like myself, Kirk, McCoy, maybe you… would be the exception, not the rule. That’s Earth, in a nutshell… not to mention extra-terrestrials!
Show the world that the Enterprise has an opportunity and a warm bunk waiting for each and every one!