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Old March 8 2009, 10:12 PM   #50
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
One of the main problems with being a cardassian fan is reconciling any interest or affection for the Cardassians with their canonal appearances and perceived modus operandi as established in TNG, DS9 and VGR. In TNG the Cardassians are a race of brutal deceitful conquerors that utilise torture as a means of getting intelligence and work to undermine the heroic Federation at every turn. (However the first ever Cardassian episode the wounded paints an intriguing and ultimately redeeming portrayal of the Cardassian people. I will discuss this is more depth below). Deep Space Nine has the most interaction with the Cardassians in any trek series so most of what we know about the Union and its people is gathered from the many brilliant episodes that make DS9 trek’s greatest series.
I've been asked this question before, sometimes in private. And I HAVE wondered if perhaps people might think I actually back the idea of a totalitarian and Nazi-like regime and hence require me to explain myself. I definitely do NOT support that. I may be conservative, but I am far from fascist (despite the way some people around here seem to like equating the two to try and discredit those who have a legitimate disagreement with them).

I think it's the idea of what the Cardassians COULD be that's the most exciting, what they have the potential to become if they'd get their act together...we've seen it in enough individuals (Daro, Dal, Lang, Ghemor, Macet, and eventually Damar) to have some pretty strong evidence.

With VGR this portrait takes a dip back into the lazy negative stereotypes of the Cardassians though the characters of Seska and Crell moset , I would argue that Nothing Human has one of the worst and most ill timed examination of the Cardassian psyche, coming as it does during the awesome Final Chapter of DS9.
And add to that--Kejal, the holographic Cardassian programmed into slavery by the Hirogen--was very explicitly identified as not having ANYTHING in common with real Cardassians! I found that pretty ridiculous. We saw real nobility in Tekeny Ghemor and Natima Lang (and others I could name)...why couldn't they have allowed for the possibility that Kejal had drawn upon that particular wellspring to decide who she wanted to be?

I think that had THAT been the context we'd seen Seska and Moset in, it would've been fine. We knew the Cardassians did some horrible things, and I think exploring that was a good idea. But I think Kejal (and the other holograms with her) could've balanced them out and reminded the audience not to judge the ENTIRE PEOPLE, and didn't.

(NB I hopefully plan to write quite a long essay on this subject so rather than make one very long post I will post a number of smaller essays on each particular aspect of the Cardassians. )
I look forward to it!!!

alicelouise wrote: View Post
Your last line: What about Vulcans? Really good question. The Vulcans strike me as a paternalistic, conceited, and secretive people. In TOS, Spock is reticent of revealing Vulcan culture. In "Amok Time" Kirk was tricked into a fight to the death. Why? Spock's intended wanted to run off with another guy. In ENT, Earth could explore only if the Vulcans allowed it. They seemed quite an officious species. Who do these Vulcans think they are? Thor Damar may want to add that the Romulans' qualities of secretiveness and bossiness are not far from the Vulcans'(much as both races would hate to admit it).
Yeah, seriously...I find myself wondering if the Vulcan superiority complex eventually infected humanity and led to the smug self-righteousness of the 24th century. Humanity stagnated, thanks to that. I don't get that same sense of potential to move forward when I look at 24th-century humanity, that I do when I look at the Cardassians.

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
^ Yes they can legally drink Kanar! Good for them!
Not in the US, they can't! Sorry, three more years for you...

USS_Triumphant wrote: View Post
Some of the writers seem to follow a policy that only adversary races can be well-rounded in Star Trek. Romulans and Cardassians are still well-rounded. Klingons were well-rounded in TOS, when they were adversaries, but for TNG they became allies, and relatively one-dimensional.

This is how they keep humans "special", and seemingly the logical leaders of the Federation. We're the only well-rounded race in the Federation.

"We don't know what to do about Humans... You have the arrogance of Andorians, the stubborn pride of Tellarites, one moment you're as driven by your emotions as Klingons, and the next you confound us by suddenly embracing logic." - Ambassador Soval of Vulcan
I think that's exactly it! The adversaries must be fully fleshed-out in order to give complexity to their rivalries with the Federation, but the other allies are merely dramatic foils.

Better hope the Cardassians never join the Federation, or we can prepare to see a lot of their complexity vanish overnight.
God forbid!!!

I would really hate to see them join the Federation. It would be nice to see someone manage to reform and yet NOT feel this burning need to subsume their culture and independence to the almighty Federation. In fact--you know what would be REALLY cool? To see someone rival the Federation not in military might but in a "friendlier" sort of competition. I'd like to see the Federation face the fact that they're no longer looked to as the galactic be-all end-all. I think a post-war, reformed Cardassia could be exactly the right sort of challenge: a society that is no longer expansionistic, but also refuses to embrace relativism/pluralism, and that stays conservative. I think it could cause a great deal of discomfort in the Federation and near it, maybe shake up that self-righteousness a bit.
Are you a Cardassian fan, citizen? Prove your loyalty--check out my fanfic universe, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions. Or keep the faith on my AU Cardassia, Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius!
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