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Old July 7 2009, 03:13 AM   #619
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
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.
Well, of course they didn't find a better option. The only options are to attempt to defeat the Collective militarily, which is doomed to failure, or to persuade a more powerful civilization to intervene on the Federation's behalf. Really, that's always been the only real option.

The Borg, as established canonically, are simply too powerful to defeat otherwise. In the canon, a single cube consistently proved nearly impossible to defeat even by fleets of ships. Even the supposedly Borg-defeating Voyager really never managed to destroy a single Borg cube on its own efforts -- the only Borg vessels it ever managed to destroy (prior to the future tech in "Endgame") were the small support ships at the beginning and end of "Dark Frontier." When Voyager tried to go one-on-one with a cube in "Unimatrix Zero," it got its ass handed to it.

When faced with an armada of over 7,000 cubes, it's simply not realistic to depict a military solution as being a viable option. To do so would to be an absurdity, and the Borg have been firmly established to be so much more technologically advanced -- and now, so much more careful about internal security aboard their ships -- as to render attempts to use Federation resources to hack into the Collective again ineffective.

There simply wasn't any way to defeat them with the means at the Federation's disposal, and for Starfleet to keep trying to do the job itself would be fundamentally irresponsible -- an act of hubris rather than a responsible action taken to defend the Federation, which is what asking the Caeliar for help was.

And they did find a new paradigm. Hernandez fundamentally changed the nature of the Borg and the Caeliar. That's not nothing.

Somebody else stepped in at the end, did that for them, then left.
I suppose this is my second problem with your criticism of the trilogy: I reject the idea that the Caeliar are "someone else." The Caeliar are as much the main characters of this story as the Federation, and for a reader to alienate themselves from them as the "other" who aren't as legitimate of protagonists as the Federation, I think, is unfair. Destiny is as much about how the Caeliar as the Federation. They're the main characters, too.

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.
Totally disagree. TOS is what real Trek is, and it was TNG that was a perversion of what Trek is supposed to be.

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;
And no one is asking for a reliance upon darkness or characters being assholes. But TNG under Roddenberry didn't do that -- TNG under Roddenberry, with rare exceptions, provided shallow, two-dimensional characters spouting ethnocentric propaganda and using mindless technobabble to solve their problems.

Something like TOS managed to tell entertaining and engrossing stories without relying on darkness or asshole central characters, and did so with real characters that weren't perfect but were still admirable.

I disagree. I have never found the Federation sinister or dishonest,
How on Earth can you watch "The Last Outpost," in which the smug Federates pass judgment against the foreign society of "primitive" Ferengi that they have only just encountered, declaring them to reflect an earlier, inferior period in Human evolution that needs to be kept alive so as to spread Federation culture to them ("If you kill them, then they will learn nothing!") and thereby civilize them, and not get a sinister vibe off the Federation? How on Earth can you listen to Picard spouting self-serving propaganda about how much more evolved Federation Humans are than, say, 21st Century Humans even as he's engaging in an obsessive revenge quest that only one of those "primitive" 21st Century Humans can shake him out of, and not realize how fundamentally dishonest the Federation is about its own supposed enlightenment? How can you watch the TNG-era Federation condemn entire civilizations to war, isolation, or extinction in the name of "non-interference" (while conveniently preserving Federation technological and military dominance over its neighbors) and not notice how self-serving the UFP can be in spite of its propaganda?

The Federation of Roddenberry-TNG (Michael Piller-TNG was much better, but still disturbingly prone to goodthink and doublethink) was little better than colonial Europe, gazing up the nations of Africa and declaring them primitive and unevolved and in need of European culture and European dominance. It's certainly not a society that has any respect for cultures that differ from its own.

The Caeliar had endured for ages, and likely would have still. Unless your suggestion is that the Caeliar are now immortal,
Not immortal. Just that if they learn to bring new people in, to unite in diversity, that they're no longer doomed to certain extinction. And it was only by recognizing that they were NOT immortal and that they would inevitably go extinct if they refused to start creating a polyglot society comprised of Caeliar and non-Caeliar -- by accepting their own mortality, in other words -- that they created an actual future for themselves.

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?
I never said anything about the joy of surrendering to death. As I noted above, acceptance is not submission. And as I just said, it was only by accepting their own mortality that the Caeliar managed to prolong their civilization's life.

And they only did so after being persuaded to by someone representing Federation values.

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.
Might used for Right saved the day. No one has ever argued that Right will always win and that Might never has a role. But Federation values ensured that Might was used for Right. Federation values saved the Caeliar, and saved the Federation.

It may not be the kind of agency you want your "heroes" to have, but that doesn't make it less legitimate.
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