Tag Archives: Star Trek Into Darkness

Portrait of a Character – Nyota Uhura

Portrait of a Character – Nyota Uhura

Origins

Uhura (Zoe Saldana version)
Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana version)

Nyota Uhura. The character is, of course, canon.

I have always loved this character’s quiet competence. She was perhaps the first actress I ever saw who worked under the hood of a display, with a screwdriver, as wires sparked. It meant, to me, that she was not just another pretty face and she had more going on. She was an important and valuable member of the crew and not just some eye candy.

Portrayal

As in canon, the character is played by Zoe Saldana when young and by Nichelle Nichols when more mature.

I was particularly thrilled when, in the JJ Abrams films, she showed her competence by making it clear she could speak Romulan. This was a great check back to Hoshi and to what communications people really should be in space.

Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols version)
Uhura (Nichelle Nichols version)

In the Original Series, she was always the calming presence on the ship. If you heard her voice, you knew that, no matter what, everything was going to be all right. For young girls growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, she proved that you can be young and beautiful and feminine, but also powerful, intelligent, and adventurous. I hope Ms. Nichols knows just how many people she inspired.

Personality

Friendly and kind, Nyota is almost the mother hen of the ship in either timeline. She is its heartbeat.

Relationships

Spock

Like a lot of fans, this relationship seems a bit odd but maybe it can work. In the Eriecho series, I give their relationship some play.

Mirror Universe

Mirror Universe Nyota is canon.

Mirror Universe Nyota (Nichelle Nichols)
Mirror Universe Nyota (Nichelle Nichols)

Quote

“It is, and maybe I’m not helping things by calling you sir. Still, uh, I want you to know that, in this timeline, there’s something between us. And I was wondering, in your timeline, was there ever anything?”

Upshot

I do not write enough of her, and I mainly write her in the context of the JJ Abrams timeline. I should revisit her.

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Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Origins

This character was originally going to be a regular cast member but I didn’t really have room for her. So she showed up during The Point is Probably Moot in an alternate timeline.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
English: The actress Alice Eve at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 Italiano: L’attrice Alice Eve al San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alice is played by Star Trek: Into Darkness actress Alice Eve. Of course she has Star Trek cred from that.

Personality

Personable and polite, Alice in the regular timeline is a manners and protocols specialist. She is interviewed by the Temporal Integrity Commission as a possible companion agent for Rick Daniels. Paired together, they could conceivably cover historic state dinners, which is exactly what they end up doing.

In the alternate timeline, she is an Islamophobe.

Relationships

Alice has no known relationships. Rick does not hit on her as he is already realizing that he’s in love with Milena Chelenska.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to a Mirror Alice existing, except that all true counterparts have smaller chances of existing.

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

This is due to the passage of time and the addition of more generations (and, therefore, more variables).

Regardless of what she’d be doing in the Mirror Universe, it would have nothing to do with manners and fish forks.

Quote

“Why would you want to help those infidels? Are you all nonbelievers?”

Upshot

I have no place for this character, and I wish I did, as she could potentially be compelling. Maybe Carmen hires her after the events of He Stays a Stranger.

Now there’s an idea.

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Review – Release

Review – Release

Release constitutes another play on words. Hence it represents both an end to bondage and a sexual act. And Saddik himself considers the latter before the former.

Background

With the destruction of Vulcan, Vulcans are sought in all sorts of remote places. And this includes prisons.

Plot

So in response to a prompt requiring that we write in the Kelvin timeline (sometimes also called nuTrek or the JJ  Abrams universe), I made a decision to write about how the creation of a sentient endangered species would be handled.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Release
Eriecho and Saddik’s Release from Canamar Prison

Hence the story opens with a pair of Vulcan convicts being called into a commandant’s office at Canamar Prison, a canon institution.

They are about to be freed, yet they scarcely know why. All that Commandant Kerig will tell them is that Vulcans are endangered, and the home world is no more. This unsettles Saddik, the elder of the two.

But not so Eriecho, who  barely knows anything about Vulcans, or what it means to be one.  So as the story continues, her backstory comes to the fore, of her birth on a prison transport. Hence this is the only life she has ever known. Furthermore, the only mother she has ever known was a deceased Suliban woman, H’Shema.

The action follows Eriecho and Saddik off Canamar and to their new home, a sanctuary on Mars. Colonel Jack Shaw is in charge, and he’s ecstatic. Partly it’s because it was his idea to try to find Vulcans in prisons. But it’s also because the rebuilding of the population involves surrogate mothers and as much genetic diversity as possible with the limited remnants of a once-thriving species. Therefore, taking note of the Law of Supply and Demand, Shaw has something that others want. Hence he (and the administrators of the other sanctuaries, on places like Andoria) engages in a barely legal practice – gamete trading.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I loved being able to introduce these new characters. People love Eriecho, and it’s been a joy to find her voice and follow her life as she adjusts to life on the outside.

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Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

Sybok is a great character to toss into the Kelvin timeline.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)
Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) (image is for educational purposes only)

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Sybok

The new Kelvin timeline, as depicted by the JJ Abrams films like Star Trek Into Darkness, has a lot of things, but it does not seem to have Spock’s canon half-brother.

Sybok’s canon appearance is rather problematic, as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a pretty bad flick. I am, though, trying not to blame the actor. I’m not so sure that it’s his fault. It’s just an odd premise, that Spock would suddenly have a half-sibling, the guy would essentially be nuts, and that he would be searching for a mythological heaven-type of place but, alas, would instead be the victim of a malevolent alien. About the best thing about the film is Shatner’s line, “What does God need with a starship?

It rather neatly sums up nearly every instance, in Star Trek and in other types of fiction, where there is an entity that is supposed  to be omnipotent yet that entity, when it’s convenient for the plot, suddenly isn’t.

Are you listening, Q?

Portrayal

As in canon, Sybok is played by actor Laurence Luckinbill. Like I said, I don’t blame him for it being a bad film. I get the feeling that Luckinbill did what he could with the material he was given. He has been interviewed, and he revealed that Nimoy had wanted the role to be one of twins. Nimoy had wanted to play both characters, an act that I feel would have been far more of an exercise in ego-stroking than in nearly anything else. At least someone had the foresight to nix that idea.

Personality

Just like in the canon film, I make him a somewhat larger than life character. He is what is called, in canon, V’tosh ka’tur. That is, he does not suppress his emotions. Eriecho doesn’t because she was never taught to, and Saddik generally doesn’t because he was in Canamar Prison for so long that he decided it didn’t matter quite so much anymore.

However, I give him a reason for his behaviors. I give him the canon affliction, Pa’Nar Syndrome, which is something that T’Pol suffers from during the run of Star Trek: Enterprise. Hers was cured by a correctly-performed mind meld, and so I have Spock Prime perform one on Sybok.  This rather neatly ties the two timelines together and it reserves a place for Sybok, who I will probably find a place to use again.

Relationships

I have written no relationships for him, although he leers at the women, young and old, at the Martian Sanctuary. If Saddik isn’t careful, he’ll make a pass at Valeris, and not just to request her professional assistance as a Pon Farr comforter.

Theme Music

The Across the Universe story is full of Beatles songs. Sybok’s is I Am the Walrus, although Nowhere Man would work, too.

Mirror Universe

There are no known impediments to Sybok existing on the other side of the pond.

Portrait of a Character – Sybok
Mirror Sybok

I can see him either as being wholly free of Pa’Nar and therefore much more similar to Mirror Spock in outlook and behavior. Or maybe he’s got it, and it’s far worse. He could be not just a demigod but a rather nasty individual. Perhaps he’s in the Emperor’s inner circle as a henchman. It’s an intriguing idea that I might explore in the future.

Quote

“If I’m going to my tenth, then we should write this day down in history, less than a day – a new record!”

Upshot

For a character who was not treated well in the prime timeline, I like to think I gave him some measure of redemption. Plus at some point Eriecho and Sollastek have to get married! Sybok will have a front-row seat. I guarantee it.

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