Star Trek

I saw Star Trek today with my parents and my brother. It was so cool! Spock was really great. I think I liked watching him more than Kirk.

My Star Trek backstory: I was a Star Wars kid. My brothers and I watched my dad’s VHS tapes of the original trilogy many, many times. My parents watched both Star Wars and Star Trek, although Mum favored the latter. She thought it was more creative than Star Wars, it could do so much more, explore different ideas. I think she saw the original run on television. Both parents watched The Next Generation and Voyager, and Daddy watched Enterprise. I watched TNG as a kid, saw some episodes of Voyager, and I’ve seen a couple episodes of the original series. Haven’t seen any of the movies. Except for the newest one, of course. Yes, this was my first Star Trek movie. *grin*

So back to the movie. Figuring out who the characters were was fun; since I’ve only seen an episode here and there I only really knew Kirk, Spock, and the doctor. But from popular culture I’ve picked up Scotty, Uhura, and Sulu, and I learned about Chekov from Futurama. *grins* I didn’t figure out who the other guy driving the Enterprise was until I heard him pronounce Vs as Ws. XD

I’m not sure that I like knowing who some of the actors are though. While seeing Zoe Saldana was a delightful surprise, I see her more as Zoe Saldana, not Uhura, which kind of ruins things… It doesn’t help that I haven’t really seen Uhura in the tv show, so it’s more Zoe playing a part for me, not Zoe playing this character that I should know.

Another big surprise was Simon Pegg! I didn’t recognize him until his second camera shot, and even then I wasn’t sure until Mum whispered to me, “Hot Fuzz,” and that she was sure it was him. I’ve never seen Scotty in the show … or at least I’ve seen him portrayed in Simpsons and Futurama more often than in Star Trek which probably isn’t a good thing, heh. But I really liked the character. I really liked Simon Pegg. XD I never did see that movie where he was playing that running character.

Watching John Cho was fun, but I kept remembering him in his Harold (& Kumar) role, and yeeeah that sort of really ruined the role for me. murrr. But again, I haven’t seen much of Sulu in the show so I was watching him playing a character, not playing someone I should know.

During the course of the movie I realized, hey, Star Trek was really cool, it had an Asian character in it! Sort of like Whoopi Goldberg’s story about loving Star Trek and seeing a black woman on tv. Because I remember early in the movie there was another Asian character, who I think got blown up, but regardless he was there, being Asian.

Normally I hate being so ethnocentric, I mean why should it matter what ethnicity or color someone is, right? We should all be colorblind. But I’ve been thinking about Asians in the media more and more, starting from the time when I heard about Avatar characters in the live-action movie being cast as white people. (Or at least all the good guys.) Um, nice way to whitewash a story which is so very influenced by Asian cultures.

I’d read Derek Kirk Kim’s blog entry about Avatar and his story about how he and his brother loved acting, but never tried to make it in Hollywood because they didn’t want to get stuck with stereotypical roles. Then when I linked it online, someone told me her husband quit acting for the same reason.

While I didn’t care at the time about the lack of representation of Asians in the media (I don’t need to see “myself” on the screen because … well I just don’t, I’m secure enough to not need it), I realized oh, it’s not just about me, there are Asians out there who would like acting jobs but can’t get them because … they’ve got Asian faces. Hollywood (rightly?) thinks that most of America can’t connect to an Asian face, they need to see a white (or sometimes black) face to really empathize with the character.

(Mum is of the opinion that Hollywood isn’t really as liberal as it seems, because everyone is white. There are some black actors, a handful of Asians, very few of any other ethnicity. No one is willing to use non-white actors, lest they put off everyone else in the industry. But I digress.)

This week I saw a new episode of Without a Trace that had Chinese people in it! When I saw the previews I was intrigued, it’s not often there are Asians on tv. (I still remember that episode of Cold Case that was about the Japanese internment camps, which I will not comment about here.) I stepped in about 20 minutes into the episode, and I was really happy to see Asians speaking English with American accents, like most Asians that I know! But the more I watched the episode, the more it was about a Chinatown scandal and about being ethnically Chinese.

So … wow. Chinese people only go missing when it has to do with being from China, huh? Or in the case of the other episode, Japanese people only go missing when it involves the internment camps.

I asked Mum, why are Asians in the media always portrayed as being ethnically Asian, not as Americans with Asian faces? She said it’s because Hollywood just doesn’t get it, they don’t know what Asian Americans are really like, they can only think in terms of country of origin.

I guess not only do Asians not make it as actors, they don’t make it as writers either?

I put forth all of that in order to, in a roundabout way, explain why I really love Star Trek and how it’s so cool because it had an Asian character in it! Now I feel like watching the original Star Trek series just so I can know those characters. I will just have to grit my teeth and bear it whenever Shatner’s on screen…

edit@10pm, August 9, 2009: I found an entry someone wrote on Livejournal about the character Uhura on Star Trek that I really enjoyed reading and thought I’d link it here.

books about other books?

Hah! I knew I couldn’t be imagining things when I read about Neelgaimon in Children of the Jedi! (Although I didn’t catch the sandmine/sandman thing. Probably because I’m not a big fan of Barbara Hambly’s writing style. >_> It seems like not only is she telling too much, but she’s showing too much as well. [I don’t necessarily believe one should show over tell or vice versa, just whichever one works best for the situation.] No wonder it’s taking me so long to get through the book.)

Then earlier, when reading InterWorld, I was reminded of Ender’s Game/Shadow. I don’t remember if it was the school, or the Nowhere-at-All and flying/falling (down). Then there’s also a character named Jai. heh.

/end dork

Star Wars costume design

Gah! Shouldn’ta read the news at Natalie Portman Empire. They mentioned that Natalie Portman wrote an intro to a Star Wars book …

I want!!! O_O But it’s two hundred ninety-freaking-five dollars …

Actually I don’t really care about the special stuff (swatches, wookie belt buckle…), I just want the costume designs/sketches. ^^ That’s always been my favorite part of the SW Artbooks. (Yeah, I spent $50 for just a few pages of illustration….)

Mitsuwa, Ringu 2; tv, Ewan McGregor, RRK

Mommy and I got treats at Mitsuwa. We got nori and boro and rice candy. w00t! Except … they cheated me. ¬_¬ It saaaays “free children’s STICKER inside” and they give me a temp tattoo. Boo.

Mommy and I saw “Ringu 2” at Mitsuwa. Actually, I think that store is called Book Market or something. (It says “Recycle!” on their bag, haha.) Anyway. We were looking at the back and then Mommy put it back and as she was putting it back I noticed this tiny picture in the corner and I picked it up again and showed it to Momma and said, “That’s creepy.” It was just a picture of hair hanging off something with a white sheet covering the head and body. ^.^;; But it still gave me chills. >.> Yeah. I wanna see the Japanese version. Muuust haaave! Also the Animatrix. Hehehe. We watched the second one in multimedia. It was cool.

After dinner today I flipped through my favorites and Ewan McGregor was on the International Film Channel. I think he did an independent film recently? I’m not sure. It looked interesting, the little clip I saw … He said he doesn’t limit himself to just Hollywood films, he bases it on whether he can get excited about the script, and I thought … ‘He liked the Phantom Menace script?’ Well, maybe it looked good while it was on paper or something …

Oh yeah. I saw the last ten minutes or so of Rurouni Kenshin today. I saw what’s-his-name, the guy Noelle is talking about, the “12-year-old assassin.” :b Yeah, no kidding. x.x I don’t like his voice. I also don’t like Misao’s voice. Wai wai! I saw Misao today! Coool! :D (‘Cause Kaoru was such a disappointment :b) And people kept calling Kenshin a bum. Haha. Oh yeah. What’s-his-name. The guy who’s being called “Leader.” (I say, “Take me to your Lee-dur! :B” whenever I hear it. ^^;;) He had those two blades out of one sheath. Hehehe. nifty. Yeah.

;_; not Natalie Portman!

Wahhhhh! Some people are so cruel! ;_;

Worst Picture (Attack of the Clones)
Worst Supporting Actor: Hayden Christensen (Attack of the Clones)
Worst Supporting Actress: Natalie Portman (Attack of the Clones) *stab stab*
Worst Screen Couple: Hayden Christensen & Natalie Portman (Attack of the Clones)
Worst Director: George Lucas (Attack of the Clones)
Worst Remake or Sequel (Attack of the Clones)
Worst Screenplay (Attack of the Clones – screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathon Hales)

I mean, the worst screen couple is kinda funny-ish. ^^; Kinda. But not Natalie Portman!!! *goes off to smack someone*