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Watched "Space Seed" and Wrath of Khan, in preparation for seeing Into Darkness, and noticed something that others have no doubt long ago pointed out.

Khan's full name? Khan Noonien Singh.

Name of Data and Lore's "father"? Noonien Soong.

Significance? No idea.
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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
The only explanation I ever heard was "the writers just liked the way it sounded." But, yeah.
Jun. 20th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Sounds right.

"Noonien" sounds like it may have been a bad anglicization of "Nguyen" -- the Vietnamese Smith. So I guess they were going for a Pan-Asian thing?
Jun. 20th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
There was also Arik Soong in ST: Enterprise as the scientist/creator of the Augments. Likely a prequel foreshadowing thing to Khan (also played by Brent Spiner, like Data, Lore, and their "father"). It may be coincidence... but could just as well have been planned that way.
Jun. 21st, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
That makes sense -- though apparently there was actually a reason (see below).

I'm embarrassed to say... I was never able really to get into Enterprise. Feel like I should have to turn in my fandom ID card.
Jun. 23rd, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Nah, there's totally a reason you couldn't get into Enterprise. A good reason.
Jun. 23rd, 2013 05:42 am (UTC)

Well. Okay.
Jun. 21st, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
From the Wikipedia entry on the character:

"Khan's full name was based on that of Kim Noonien Singh, a pilot Gene Roddenbery served with during the Second World War. Roddenbery lost touch with his friend and had hoped that Khan's similar name might attract his attention and renew his old acquaintance."

This matches what I remember hearing secondhand at a con back in the mid-1980s, and has a citation, so it's probably legit.
Jun. 21st, 2013 01:02 pm (UTC)
Huh! Well, there you go -- that makes sense.

Though why they used such a similar name for Dr. Soong...
Jun. 21st, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
At this point I'm depending wholly on memory rather than external verification (and my memory on the topic is pretty murky), but IIRC the guy I was talking to had been at the con's main stage while Roddenberry himself was on, and had fielded the question about the names -- I *think* the guy said that Roddenberry said he hadn't heard from his friend yet at the time that he named the Dr. Soong character.

I have no way of evaluating how good my memory is on this bit, honestly -- ISTR seeing Roddenberry on the main stage later in the con as well, which is a bit odd; I'm not sure whether he would have done two main stage appearances at the same con. The only other thing I remember is that it was in downtown LA either near or just after the end of season 1 of TNG -- the big news sweeping the con was that Gates McFadden wasn't going to be back for season 2. So take it with some salt and the associated margarita ingredients.
Jun. 21st, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
Er, while Roddenberry had fielded the question about the names. I should have reconsidered that sentence structure a bit before posting.
Jun. 23rd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
Got it. :-)
Jun. 23rd, 2013 05:09 am (UTC)
Singh is a Sikh name, I believe.
Jun. 23rd, 2013 05:45 am (UTC)
Indeed. Very much so.

The most amusing part of Space Seed? Watching Ricardo Montalban do a really bad, scenery-chewing variation of the Salutation to the Sun whenever he wants to do his Superman routine.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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