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Werthead

Star Trek Thread: Set Picard to Stun (spoilers)

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17 minutes ago, red snow said:

I guess I'm used to star trek characters being super awesome at everything.

Well there's super-awesome and "I can only perform this complex engineering operation blindfolded because I used to do it for kicks as a student" super-awesome.
Also, weren't scientists a wee bit more specialized in previous shows? Geordi never tried to work on biology as far as I remember...

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Re resources being scarcer, this is plausible.

Prior to the Borg, Starfleet was pretty complacent and didn’t have a massive fleet. They lost 39 ships to the Borg (plus about half of every other Starfleet ship that had the misfortune of meeting Enterprise-D).

Other than Galaxy and Nebula, most of the ship designs had been around for almost a century (or longer) - Excelsior, Miranda, Oberth. Constellation and Ambassador classes were newer but still decades old by the time of TNG.

Then the Borg took out 39 ships. A year later, Starfleet can barely muster 20 ships (with skeleton crews) to keep the Romulans away from the Klingon empire.

At that point Starfleet would have been massively shipbuilding, shaken out of their complacency. They also went for smaller ships like thr Defiant, Akira, Intrepid etc classes.

Despite losing ships to the 2nd Borg invasion and the Klingons, they were able to lose ships a hundred at a time for two years.

They lost worlds and shipyards, had to build more. After the war , they needed even more resources to rebuild their fleets and reconstruct seized worlds.

So fair to assume their resources were stretched thin.

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53 minutes ago, Werthead said:

A Federation member world seceding is entirely possible, and this was going to happen during the Dominion War with Vulcan quitting the Federation so as not to take part in the fighting any more. They decided that was a bit too much and pulled back from it.

The internal politics of the Federation, bearing in mind the Andorians' deep mistrust of almost everyone and the Vulcans' overbearing manner, not to mention the Tellarites' mercantile attitude, is something that it'd be fascinating to look into in more detail.

Clearly, although the Federation is cool and all, some worlds aren't that keen on joining up. Bajor never joined the Federation and was all the better off for it.

Only because of the Dominion War, had the war never happened, joining the Federation would probably have been in Bajor's best interest. I honestly doubt, they'd ever have to worry about a second occupation ever happening.

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Quote

 

As an aside, were crew numbers for Voyager confirmed, they seemed fairly high near the end of the series even given the Maquis (how many of those were there?)

 

The crew numbers worked out pretty well. The number of crewmembers who actually died during Voyager's mission is extremely low, and the addition of Seven, the Borg kids, Neelix and 30-odd Maquis crewmembers brought Voyager's numbers up to full strength. There's a few times the crew count was wrong, but most of the time it was actually too low rather than too high.

Not only that, but I remember one fansite went through every episode and every individual extra we saw on the show as a Voyager crewmember and they never exceeded the number of crew (which was more by accident than design, I suspect), which wasn't the case for, say, Lost.

Quote

 

I guess I'm used to star trek characters being super awesome at everything.

 

Lower Decks and Voyager's Good Shepherd are good examples of Starfleet personnel who aren't perfect or good at everything, and there's also quite a few examples of people who didn't want to join Starfleet and do the normal Star Trek thing (Jake Sisko, most notably, but also, eventually, Wesley).

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

A Federation member world seceding is entirely possible, and this was going to happen during the Dominion War with Vulcan quitting the Federation so as not to take part in the fighting any more. They decided that was a bit too much and pulled back from it.

The internal politics of the Federation, bearing in mind the Andorians' deep mistrust of almost everyone and the Vulcans' overbearing manner, not to mention the Tellarites' mercantile attitude, is something that it'd be fascinating to look into in more detail.

Clearly, although the Federation is cool and all, some worlds aren't that keen on joining up. Bajor never joined the Federation and was all the better off for it.

I'm still enjoying "Picard" but I do wonder if it would have been a better show with him as a high ranking ambassador getting mixed up in the type of politics you mention?  A flashback of him trying this instead of sulking on his farm would be nice. Or maybe after he "saves the galaxy" this season he could use his clout to try and change things? I guess if Discovery has taught us anything it's that these new shows can change a lot between seasons.

That said, a friend made a good point when he said the last episode should have been called "I want to play a french pirate" because it does seem like Stewart has quite a bit of clout regarding what happens in the show.

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2 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Well there's super-awesome and "I can only perform this complex engineering operation blindfolded because I used to do it for kicks as a student" super-awesome.
Also, weren't scientists a wee bit more specialized in previous shows? Geordi never tried to work on biology as far as I remember...

I thought it was partly because mycelium/space fungus can do everything so why can't any of the crew do anything? Which is a bit of a shame given how many characters there are from the bridge that have received virtually no character development. Let them specialise in something so that someone other than Tilly and Stamets can take part.

 

2 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Re resources being scarcer, this is plausible.

Prior to the Borg, Starfleet was pretty complacent and didn’t have a massive fleet. They lost 39 ships to the Borg (plus about half of every other Starfleet ship that had the misfortune of meeting Enterprise-D).

Other than Galaxy and Nebula, most of the ship designs had been around for almost a century (or longer) - Excelsior, Miranda, Oberth. Constellation and Ambassador classes were newer but still decades old by the time of TNG.

Then the Borg took out 39 ships. A year later, Starfleet can barely muster 20 ships (with skeleton crews) to keep the Romulans away from the Klingon empire.

At that point Starfleet would have been massively shipbuilding, shaken out of their complacency. They also went for smaller ships like thr Defiant, Akira, Intrepid etc classes.

Despite losing ships to the 2nd Borg invasion and the Klingons, they were able to lose ships a hundred at a time for two years.

They lost worlds and shipyards, had to build more. After the war , they needed even more resources to rebuild their fleets and reconstruct seized worlds.

So fair to assume their resources were stretched thin.

That's an interesting breakdown and it could well suggest that starfleet is stretched very thin - especially after the mars incident. It would also go someway to explain why the rangers had to pop up - it's much easier for vigilantes to adapt existing ships or even build new ones than to make starfleet class ships. It's why i tend to think a lot of what we are seeing are on frontier like parts of the federation where there simply isn't anyone policing. Besides the "secret" group Earth seems relatively safe and crime free.

Starfleet needs to find exogol - problem solved.

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2 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Re resources being scarcer, this is plausible.

Prior to the Borg, Starfleet was pretty complacent and didn’t have a massive fleet. They lost 39 ships to the Borg (plus about half of every other Starfleet ship that had the misfortune of meeting Enterprise-D).

Other than Galaxy and Nebula, most of the ship designs had been around for almost a century (or longer) - Excelsior, Miranda, Oberth. Constellation and Ambassador classes were newer but still decades old by the time of TNG.

Then the Borg took out 39 ships. A year later, Starfleet can barely muster 20 ships (with skeleton crews) to keep the Romulans away from the Klingon empire.

At that point Starfleet would have been massively shipbuilding, shaken out of their complacency. They also went for smaller ships like thr Defiant, Akira, Intrepid etc classes.

Despite losing ships to the 2nd Borg invasion and the Klingons, they were able to lose ships a hundred at a time for two years.

They lost worlds and shipyards, had to build more. After the war , they needed even more resources to rebuild their fleets and reconstruct seized worlds.

So fair to assume their resources were stretched thin.

Is any of this directly addressed in the material or are you just a better writer than these hacks and are projecting onto their flawed creation?

I know which one I think it is.

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9 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Is any of this directly addressed in the material or are you just a better writer than these hacks and are projecting onto their flawed creation?

I know which one I think it is.

The new trek shows could use someone like this as a creative consultant. It doesn't seem like they have one.

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Chabon has been pretty active on Instagram (spoiler tagged for length, not spoilers):

Spoiler

First of all, I think that the phrase (or a version of it) “Star Trek has always reflected its time” is open to multiple, potentially conflicting interpretations. It can mean, “Individual Star Trek series have always (consciously) reflected thematically many of the most pressing issues of the time when they were made.” I think that’s the sense intended by people involved with making the two current series, and it’s pretty obviously true—starting with persistent themes of nuclear annihilation, racial prejudice, mechanization, totalitarianism vs liberal democracy, on TOS, through DS9 with its themes of individual vs group identity, chosen family, reason vs faith, and the inevitable moral compromises of war. (That’s only the *conscious* ways in which Trek has reflected the times in which it was made.) But the phrase could also be taken the way (I think) you take it: that the world, the milieu depicted by Star Trek—the characters and their interactions, their capabilities and limitations as individuals, the social institutions and mores and technologies and economics and culture—reflects the world and era in which it was made. I think you’re saying that this is wrong, that here is exactly where Trek doesn’t, hasn’t. and *shouldn’t* reflect the world and times. That it has always presented its crews, Starfleet, and the Federation as improvements, as realizations of our best potential, as aspirational. If Trek has reflected our world, it’s in a kind of utopian funhouse mirror, where everything looks better. I would say that by and large that has been true, though possibly not as to the degree that many Trek fans claim, or feel. But there’s another side to the world—the people and society—depicted in Star Trek, which is all the characters, planets, cultures, mores and interactions that take place outside of Starfleet, the Federation. Many of these “outside” cultures and characters—the empires and alliances and unions— *have* deliberately reflected aspects of our world, with its all imperfection, intolerance, brutality, its humiliations and injustices, its evils. I don’t mean just in a thematic sense, but in the behavior of individual non-Federation, non-Starfleet characters, in the construction of societies around prejudices and inequalities, violence, lust for power, etc.

That brings us to Picard. In the one, long, ten-part story we’re telling, we’re asking two questions about the greater world of Star Trek (i.e, the Federation *and* everything outside the Federation). One—a venerable Star Trek question, with a long pedigree in previous series and films: What happens when the Federation, the Roddenberry Federation with all its enlightened and noble intentions, free from want, disease, (internal) war, greed, capitalism, intolerance, etc., is tested by forces inimical to its values? What happens when two of its essential principles; (security and liberty, say) come into conflict? The answer has to be—at first, it buckles. It wobbles. It may, to some extent, compromise or even betray its values, or at the very least be sorely tempted to do so. If not, there’s no point asking the question, though it’s a question that any society with aspirations like ours or the Federation’s needs to ask. If nothing can ever truly test the Federation, if nothing can rock its perfection, then it’s just a magical land. It’s Lothlorien, in its enchanted bubble, untouchable by the Shadow. And, also, profoundly *inhuman*. To me it’s the humanity of the Federation—which means among many admirable things, its imperfection, its vulnerability and the constant need to defend it from our own worst natures—that makes it truly inspiring. The other, related question we’re asking is: What about the people who live outside, at the edges (or even within) the Federation but who, for various reasons, aren’t quite *of* it. Ex-Starfleet officers, refugees, people like Seven who served on a Starfleet ship but was never actually in Starfleet. People who have fallen through the cracks, or fallen victim to their own weaknesses. What is life like for people who, for whatever reason, live beyond the benevolent boundaries of the Federation—where, for example, post-scarcity is a dream, and there is a monetary economy? Again, there is precedent for this kind of story on Trek, but the fact that our story only resolves over ten episodes, not one, or two, or four out of a season of 23, might make it feel, sometimes, that there is more darkness, more trauma in our characters’ lives. More *struggle.* This show unquestionably has darker tonalities than some others (DS9 is the standout exception). It lives more in the shadows, where the Federation’s light can’t always reach. That isn’t to condemn, criticize, undo, break or, god knows, betray the Federation or Gene Roddenberry’s vision. Shadow defines light.

Every new Trek series since TNG has sought to escape what can feel like the confines of previous series, not simply of canon (which can also be a strangely liberating force) but of the kinds of stories, about the kinds of characters and societies, that have already been told. Each new series has expressed this impulse to “light out for the territories” in a different way. TNG went a century into the future of TOS. DS9 went onto a station full of aliens that was both beyond the edge of the Federation and next to a wormhole that led to the Gamma Quadrant. VOY put 70k light-years between it and its predecessors, and introduced a raft of new species and worlds. ENT went deep into the early past of the Federation. Next season’s DIS goes to the Trek universe’s far-future.
The space we found for Picard is not “dark Federation.” It’s one of people who live and work at or beyond the margins of the Federation who travel beyond its boundaries to find the truth.

 

Edited by DaveSumm

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His argument kind of confirms what I suspected in that the show is more about seeing the non-federation parts of space. His suggestion it's about testing their principles makes me think we need to see how the show pans out. If that secret romulan group has infiltrated starfleet and the federation there is a relatively easy fix although the more interesting angle is that parts of starfleet and the federation have acted in such a way out of their own volition.

I bet he's looking forward to adapting his own work. Although he may as well brace himself for being told he's wrong about that too.

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Looks like the Melinda Snodgrass character creation issue has been resolved:

It was very nice of Michael Chabon to give me a name check and also the many other women of Trek who have contributed so much to the universe over a number of decades. I'm honored to be in the company of such amazing women.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B89vPpUAPAx/?igshid=13394633jl3wo

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51 minutes ago, Muaddibs_Tapeworm said:

I've never seen an episode or movie of Star Trek outside the J.J. Abrams movies. Where should I start?

Well, let me ask you what you thought of the J.J. Abrams movies? Like are you looking for more of that? If so I guess I'd say Discovery or one of the movies. 

I'm sure this is an unpopular opinion but I wouldn't start with anything from the Roddenberry Era. (the original show, the first movie and the first couple seasons of TNG.) The franchise didn't really get great until he lost direct control over it. I think a lot of people trying to watch the franchise in production order would get turned off pretty quick. 

Edited by RumHam

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On 2/25/2020 at 6:52 AM, Rippounet said:

Also, weren't scientists a wee bit more specialized in previous shows? Geordi never tried to work on biology as far as I remember...

Well they are a research ship experimenting at the edge of biology where the line between physics and biology blurs, it stands to reason the scientists would be proficient in the relevant areas.

On 2/25/2020 at 9:05 AM, red snow said:

That said, a friend made a good point when he said the last episode should have been called "I want to play a french pirate" because it does seem like Stewart has quite a bit of clout regarding what happens in the show.

This could well be part of why they chose the story they're telling in S1 - if it's a story that interests PatStew, and it certainly seems that it is, he may have pushed for it to be the late redemption after an earlier failure.

On 2/25/2020 at 9:14 AM, red snow said:

I thought it was partly because mycelium/space fungus can do everything so why can't any of the crew do anything? Which is a bit of a shame given how many characters there are from the bridge that have received virtually no character development. Let them specialise in something so that someone other than Tilly and Stamets can take part.

I'm really hoping we're going to get this now. The focus on the characters before they went through the wormhole felt like a "thats the end of this extended prologue, these characters will be the main focus from now". Hopefully.

@Werthead I'd never connected DS9 and the Balkans, that really does fit. 

Jace the trailer was all of 5 minutes of screen time and a very minor part of the story. It might not be abject poverty but it's clear that she didn't retire to quite the level of comfort that Picard did. I also think after the most recent episode that we're supposed to take her bitterness towards him as only partially fair - that losing her job made her confront how she failed her family/son and she unfairly bundles that up with her anger at Picard. It came across like it was entirely true because he also blames himself. Characterisation, not plot holes.

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Or maybe instead of all of y'all coming up with increasingly sophisticated excuses for this drek, they could write a good show. One that clever and passionate nerds don't have to fill in the blanks for.

Edited by Jace, Basilissa

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