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Old July 7 2009, 12:39 AM   #618
Trent Roman
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Santayana said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results. By acknowledging the failure of brute force and finding a better option, the heroes of Destiny took the sane course. They rose above repeating the same endless conflict with the Borg and found a whole new paradigm for dealing with them, one that finally resolved the problem once and for all. I don't see how that can be seen as an undesirable outcome.
Because, apparently, the main characters of a story should never ask for help, because then they aren't "heroes." And if they get help, then that renders them subservient to the people who help them.
Now you're simply making gross oversimplifications. I've never said people shouldn't ask for help, nor that we are subservient (indebted, perhaps) if such help is extended. But this was not one of those situations. The Caeliar swooped in, waved their wand, and fixed the intractible problem with little effort (except for Hernandez). Taking what Christopher said, the problem is that the characters didn't find a better option, that they didn't find a new paradigm. Somebody else stepped in at the end, did that for them, then left. Compare to "All Good Things...": Q helps Picard by doing the temporal shifting thing, and Picard does thank him at the end, but that doesn't really change the underlying narrative, in that the risks and discoveries were still Picard's to make. Q didn't solve the problem for him.

No, it's actually more like a return to the Star Trek of the TOS era: A more realistic universe, but with an underlying optimism lacking in most every other sci-fi universe out there.
I've never liked TOS. TNG was the Trek that drew me in. I can't say I've much interest in seeing the TNG era turned into another version of TOS; that's what the TOS era is for.

Because it's not wrecking it. Trek was actually wrecked when Roddenberry tried to Utopianize it in TNG; this is more a restoration of Trek to its best and strongest form, the completion of a task undertaken, arguably, by DS9.
Nonsense; TNG demonstrate that it was possible to tell entertaining and engrossing stories without having to rely on darkness or on having your central characters acting like assholes; that discovery alone was enough to engage the mind. It's a feat unequaled since, at least in the visual medium (a lot of literary science-fiction still manages to thrill mainly on the joys of exploration...)

Because Utopia is a lie. It's a fundamentally dishonest portrayal of humanity and its potential; for Utopia to function, it would have to be a dictatorship. There is no Utopia and never will be, and the pseudo-Utopian elements of Trek always gave the Federation a very sinister and dishonest edge.
I disagree. I have never found the Federation sinister or dishonest, and while, as I said, I do not believe in utopia, I enjoyed the exercise of the Federation as a near-utopia in no different a fashion from the 'dishonest' portrayal of physics or biology on the show. (And a distinction you seem to be glossing over is that the Federation was near-utopia; no one's ever said there weren't problems, just that the big ones--war, poverty, pollution, etc.--had been resolved. You find this dishonest? Can only a world of warfare, misery and callousness be true?)

By spreading to the Caeliar the values of diversity, of sharing knowledge, of equality, of mutual partnership -- by spreading to the Caeliar Federation values -- Hernandez saved the Caeliar from extinction.
The Caeliar had endured for ages, and likely would have still. Unless your suggestion is that the Caeliar are now immortal, for constantly bringing in new people, but that would seem to run counter this idea about the joys of surrendering to death, wouldn't it?

As for Federation values... You know who had Federation values? The Federation. Didn't save them. In Mere Mortals, Bacco organizes an interstellar alliance including most of the local powers in known space, a mutual effort constructed along Federation values of partnership and diversity. Didn't save them. Federation values spent the entire trilogy getting its ass kicked, because the Borg were more powerful. And in the end, it was because the Caeliar were even more powerful, with near-magical levels of technology, that the situation was resolved. Might ruled the day.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Hernandez was the hero, if you want one.
Certainly she is. I said as much in my initial review: this was, in the end, Hernandez' day to shine, and I thought that the whole story would have been much better had it just been the story of the Columbia, the Caeliar and the Borg. Then there wouldn't have been all these other characters taking up space without giving anything back.

I admit it was an unexpected creative choice to remove the agency of most of the main characters in the conclusion, one that at first did put me off a bit, but I don't think that lessens the force of the message or the heroism of the characters, as many get chances to show that heroism in other circumstances throughout the trilogy.
Agency, yes; that's a good word for what ails me (not what you were getting at, I know, but I like it nonetheless). I suppose one could say that the Federation was the swooning, weepy, helpless damsel in distress, the Borg the many-headed hydra seeking to devour her, the Caeliar the arrogant, hard-hearted wizard, and Hernadez the moral sidekick who finally convinces him get his wizardly tuchus into gear and take responsibility. A retrograde scenario, in my opinion, one I find to be unsatisfying.

Ficititiously yours, Trent Roman
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