Granted, I wasn’t paying 100% attention to the Oscars Sunday night, but that’s because I was having a ball on Twitter, which is basically just a gigantic chat room with the entire world.
So I missed some of Christopher Plummer’s acceptance speech, including the part where he apparently said that his role as a 70 year old father who comes out of the closet to his son after the death of his wife (Plummer’s character’s wife, that is) was the most fun role he’d ever had.
And I was like – really? Because, Chris, you played a Shakespeare quoting Klingon general with an eye patch.
(“…I’d give real money if he’d shut up.”)
There’s something ironic about that scene. George Takei, a gay actor playing a straight character giving the order to blow up a straight actor who’d make history as the oldest actor to win an Oscar for playing a gay character. Or maybe I’m reaching into things, but honestly: George Takei. Christopher Plummer. William Shatner. Klingons insisting Shakespeare was Klingon. Kim Cattrall. Aside from the fact that you now know how the movie ends, why wouldn’t you want to see this film!??!
Oh, sorry, what film? Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where the Federation and Klingon Empires serve as an exploration of the collapse of the Soviet Union and how enemies must learn to trust and work with each other and not try to kill each other. Honestly, when I saw it many years later, I think the Star Trek writing staff was heavily inspired by the Gene Hackman/Tommy Lee Jones film The Package.
In any case, as General Chang, Plummer hams it up. The Klingons, in general, are insulted when Kirk & Co. try to tell them that Shakespeare was English. “Nonsense. You haven’t read Shakespeare until you’ve read it in the original Klingon.” Or some such.
So basically, when you’re reading about Shakespeare theaters putting performances of Shakespeare plays on in Klingon, you’ve got two people to blame:
1.) Christopher Plummer for being awesome at playing a Shakespeare quoting Klingon.
2.) Mark Okrand, a linguist who invented the Klingon language (and lives in Adams Morgan)
Also, here’s some Flickr galleries of Klingons on Dupont Circle last weekend. Sad I missed it.
Aaand if you’re a fan of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (that subtitle’s another Shakespeare reference), Cliff Eidelman’s complete score has just been released via Intrada.