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Too many Moby Dick references?

Ali88

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POSTS: 889

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 9:21 am

I think Moby Dick has been referenced maybe too much in the star trek movies

Moby Dick was a big inspiration in TWOK- Khan is like based on Moby Dick and TWOK is essentially "Moby Dick in space"

Picard discusses the theme of "vengeance" from Moby Dick in FC and both Picard and Shinzon quote Moby Dick in Nemesis- "In a mirror darkly"


I bet if Khan is brought back in XII, the writers will go nuts with Khan quoting moby dick

Ali88

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 9:33 am

Quote (starbase63 @ Sep. 15 2009, 9:24 am)
Star Trek has always borrowed from great literature.

Of course ST: NEM has the Moby Dick angle, because it was a well-disguised rip-off of STII: TWOK.

:logical:

true but that doesn't make Nemesis a bad movie


I thought Nemesis was a good movie- for the first time in a TNG movie, it doesn't have Data's emotion chip- which didn't serve much purpose in the first three TNG movies

And Shinzon got a lot of screentime and there was good chemistry between him and Picard, possibly the best relationship between the hero and the villian in a trek movie since Kirk and Khan in TWOK and I loved Data and B-4- a rip off off Spock and McCoy in TSFS but still good

And Nemesis didn't really have any little jokes from the supporting characters to pass the time like Data laughing, joking and singing "life forms, where are you"? or Deanna getting drunk or Riker saying his shaved face is as smooth as an andriod's ass

thereR4lights

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POSTS: 2643

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 9:34 am

starbuck is gona eat this thread up... moby dick is a great story, an original classic that many shows have been inspired by... including star trek... i find no problem in it so far

MrsStarbuck

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POSTS: 4329

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:09 am

Ah, my favourite subject ;)

Ali88, the references to Moby Dick go farther back than TWOK. The first time I really noticed one was in the TOS episode Obsession, where we have Kirk as Ahab, chasing his white whale in the gas cloud.
This has become my favourite episode of TOS specifically because it homages Moby Dick so beautifully IMO. I made a very long post on the parallells between the book and this episode in my review on the TOS board, so I won't repeat the details here, but it works fantastically well I think.

The Doomsday Machine was also a Moby Dick homage, although much subtler than Obsession.


But as to why they reference it so much, it's the greatest novel of all time! ;)

Seriously, many parallels can be drawn between the themes of TOS and Moby Dick:
(I can't really talk of any other Trek series's yet because I havent seen them)

- The main theme of TOS is to 'boldly go where no man has gone before'. I've always likened TOS to the golden age of exploration, when Columbus et. al sailed the globe discovering new countries and new races.
In the early days of whaling, there was still so much unknown about the world's seas, so even though the voyage was primarily about hunting for whales, it was still very much a voyage of discovery, contacting 'alien' races and visiting 'strange' lands.

- The Enterprise's five year mission took the crew away from home for a long time. During that time, apart from when they were on a planet, they were all confined to the Enterprise with each other.
A lot is made of this in Moby Dick, how the voyage can sometimes seem endless and how weeks can blend into years with the same view of water before you almost every day.

- One of the key themes of Moby Dick for me is loyalty. When Ahab declares that he is to hunt for Moby Dick, his crew agree to follow him unquestioningly. Even Starbuck, who sees the folly of Ahab's ways, does his Captain's bidding for the most part out of a sense of duty and loyalty.
This theme is also a key theme in TOS with the crew reguarly displaying their own unswerving loyalty to Kirk.

- Another key theme is obsession. Ahab was obsessed with catching Moby Dick. It could be argued that the rest of the crew, while maybe not obsessed by whaling, were at the very least consumed by the thought.
In TOS we see several times that Kirk is consumed by the Enterprise. In the Naked Time he talks about the ship owning him (much like the quest for the whale 'owned' Ahab).

In a more general sense, there are also many maritime references in TOS, from Kirk quoting "All I need is a tall ship and a star to sail her by", to the Naval themes running particularly throughout the films.

I really could go on and on, but I have a feeling that no-one will read this as it is! :laugh:

Sara_Paris

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:10 am

I love the references particularly in First Contact.

Sara_Paris

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:13 am

Well put indeed Starbuck. I like the way you think. :)

thereR4lights

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POSTS: 2643

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:13 am

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Sep. 15 2009, 10:09 am)
Ah, my favourite subject ;)

Ali88, the references to Moby Dick go farther back than TWOK. The first time I really noticed one was in the TOS episode Obsession, where we have Kirk as Ahab, chasing his white whale in the gas cloud.
This has become my favourite episode of TOS specifically because it homages Moby Dick so beautifully IMO. I made a very long post on the parallells between the book and this episode in my review on the TOS board, so I won't repeat the details here, but it works fantastically well I think.

The Doomsday Machine was also a Moby Dick homage, although much subtler than Obsession.


But as to why they reference it so much, it's the greatest novel of all time! ;)

Seriously, many parallels can be drawn between the themes of TOS and Moby Dick:
(I can't really talk of any other Trek series's yet because I havent seen them)

- The main theme of TOS is to 'boldly go where no man has gone before'. I've always likened TOS to the golden age of exploration, when Columbus et. al sailed the globe discovering new countries and new races.
In the early days of whaling, there was still so much unknown about the world's seas, so even though the voyage was primarily about hunting for whales, it was still very much a voyage of discovery, contacting 'alien' races and visiting 'strange' lands.

- The Enterprise's five year mission took the crew away from home for a long time. During that time, apart from when they were on a planet, they were all confined to the Enterprise with each other.
A lot is made of this in Moby Dick, how the voyage can sometimes seem endless and how weeks can blend into years with the same view of water before you almost every day.

- One of the key themes of Moby Dick for me is loyalty. When Ahab declares that he is to hunt for Moby Dick, his crew agree to follow him unquestioningly. Even Starbuck, who sees the folly of Ahab's ways, does his Captain's bidding for the most part out of a sense of duty and loyalty.
This theme is also a key theme in TOS with the crew reguarly displaying their own unswerving loyalty to Kirk.

- Another key theme is obsession. Ahab was obsessed with catching Moby Dick. It could be argued that the rest of the crew, while maybe not obsessed by whaling, were at the very least consumed by the thought.
In TOS we see several times that Kirk is consumed by the Enterprise. In the Naked Time he talks about the ship owning him (much like the quest for the whale 'owned' Ahab).

In a more general sense, there are also many maritime references in TOS, from Kirk quoting "All I need is a tall ship and a star to sail her by", to the Naval themes running particularly throughout the films.

I really could go on and on, but I have a feeling that no-one will read this as it is! :laugh:

like i said... eat it up girl...  ;)

thereR4lights

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POSTS: 2643

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:15 am

also... as much as mody dick i like moby dick... its not the greatest novel of all time :p

MrsStarbuck

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:21 am

Quote (Sara_Paris @ Sep. 14 2009, 4:13 pm)
Well put indeed Starbuck. I like the way you think. :)

Thank you :)

Moby Dick truly is my favourite work of literature in the whole world. It contains the most beautifully crafted characters, the most wonderful dialogue and all the key themes you'd expect in a gripping adventure story (including enough symbolism and sub-themes to keep you dissecting it for years to come).

I always say to anyone who hasn't read it that it IS a slog to get through sometimes, although to me, the slow passages reflect the slow months at sea when there was nothing for the men to do, but when you finally finish it you feel completely exhilarated. You feel like YOU'VE just got back from a years-long voyage at sea yourself!


When I first started seeing Moby Dick parallells in Trek I couldn't have been happier! Here was my favourite novel and my (newly) favourite series colliding! It just makes me adore Star Trek even more than I already did!

Vice_Adm_Baxter

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:30 am

Quote (starbase63 @ Sep. 15 2009, 6:24 am)
Star Trek has always borrowed from great literature.

Of course ST: NEM has the Moby Dick angle, because it was a well-disguised rip-off of STII: TWOK.

:logical:

TWOK  was a rip off of moby dick and several other greats....  :logical:

Vice_Adm_Baxter

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POSTS: 0

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:31 am

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Sep. 15 2009, 7:21 am)
Quote (Sara_Paris @ Sep. 14 2009, 4:13 pm)
Well put indeed Starbuck. I like the way you think. :)

Thank you :)

Moby Dick truly is my favourite work of literature in the whole world. It contains the most beautifully crafted characters, the most wonderful dialogue and all the key themes you'd expect in a gripping adventure story (including enough symbolism and sub-themes to keep you dissecting it for years to come).

I always say to anyone who hasn't read it that it IS a slog to get through sometimes, although to me, the slow passages reflect the slow months at sea when there was nothing for the men to do, but when you finally finish it you feel completely exhilarated. You feel like YOU'VE just got back from a years-long voyage at sea yourself!


When I first started seeing Moby Dick parallells in Trek I couldn't have been happier! Here was my favourite novel and my (newly) favourite series colliding! It just makes me adore Star Trek even more than I already did!

Very interesting!  :D  :D  :D

MrsStarbuck

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POSTS: 4329

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:50 am

Quote (Vice_Adm_Baxter @ Sep. 14 2009, 4:30 pm)
TWOK ¿was a rip off of moby dick and several other greats.... ¿:logical:

Awww...homage, not rip-off please ;)

thereR4lights

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POSTS: 2643

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 10:52 am

Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Sep. 15 2009, 10:50 am)
Quote (Vice_Adm_Baxter @ Sep. 14 2009, 4:30 pm)
TWOK ?was a rip off of moby dick and several other greats.... ?:logical:

Awww...homage, not rip-off please ;)

agreed

MrsStarbuck

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POSTS: 4329

Report this Sep. 15 2009, 11:03 am

*gasp* We agree on something 4lights! ;)

Vice_Adm_Baxter

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Report this Sep. 15 2009, 11:25 am

Quote (thereR4lights @ Sep. 15 2009, 7:52 am)
Quote (MrsStarbuck @ Sep. 15 2009, 10:50 am)
Quote (Vice_Adm_Baxter @ Sep. 14 2009, 4:30 pm)
TWOK ?was a rip off of moby dick and several other greats.... ?:logical:

Awww...homage, not rip-off please ;)

agreed

Call it what you wish, its still based off of the greats, just like NEM is(the greats now include TWOK)

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