Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

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Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

Postby sunnyside » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:07 pm

Some talk of the different alien species in the novels over the the Trek Tech thread got me wondering.

The technology certainly exists to incorporate far more variety into aliens than just a bump on the forehead. In the new Trek series I'd expect to see that come up with the "alien of the week." However I wonder if audiences could really connect if they tried to bring, say, a Horta on the bridge?

I'm somewhat reminded of James Cameron's quote when designing the Na'vi where he decreed that, despite their not being mammals, "she's got to have tits."
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Re: Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:19 pm

I'm trying to think of popular non-humanoid characters.

R2D2, Wall-E spring to mind. But what about biological ones?
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Re: Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

Postby Griffin » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:50 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:I'm trying to think of popular non-humanoid characters.

R2D2, Wall-E spring to mind. But what about biological ones?


Well, they're plenty of cartoon animals that come to mind. Stuff like The Lion King or Finding Nemo. Would they count?

sunnyside wrote: However I wonder if audiences could really connect if they tried to bring, say, a Horta on the bridge?


Doesn't the resolution of The Devil In the Dark require and revolve around the ability of Kirk, Spock and the audience to connect with the Horta?
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Re: Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

Postby Mikey » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:19 am

In any case that I can recall, any character of importance has been widely anthropomorphized - either physically or emotionally. The case of the Horta, to use that example, is only resolved to the audience's satisfaction once it is revealed that the Horta has a very recognizable human-like motivation. I can't think of an instance in which an alien that was truly alien in both mentality and physiology has ever truly been connected as a protagonist to an audience.
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Re: Could people really connect with non-humanoid characters

Postby sunnyside » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:58 am

Griffin wrote:
Doesn't the resolution of The Devil In the Dark require and revolve around the ability of Kirk, Spock and the audience to connect with the Horta?


In an alien of the week kind of way, which I'd consider far different than replacing, say, the Dax characters or Bones with a Horta.
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