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Old November 14 2011, 04:54 PM   #157
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Re: the state of sf/f TV development for 2012-13

Kegg wrote: View Post
True, but that didn't necessitate the Queen, so no, zombie-type villains do not need to be given a 'face' to continue to work in stories.
It's dangerous to take any analogy too literally, and that applies to this whole "zombie" business here. The decision to create the Queen was another application of the same principle: making the story more personal. The Queen, like Locutus, Hugh, Seven of Nine, etc., gave the Borg a face and a voice, enabled them to be treated on a character level rather than a force-of-nature level. True, there had been prior ST movies with impersonal threats -- V'Ger, the Whale Probe -- but the most successful ones usually had memorable villains like Khan or Chang. (And even V'Ger was given a spokesperson in the Ilia Probe.) Clearly they were going for the same sort of thing, and while I agree that it was a significant reinterpretation and something of an oversimplification of the Borg, it seems to have worked, since FC was the most popular and successful of the TNG movies.

(A vaguely related argument would be whether or not assimilation was necessary either - in some senses, the Queen is the natural response to the assumption the Borg enslave new minds, rather than have them birthed. An ant-like society of hive mind drones may not have individuality, but they may not be slaves, either - since the decisions of the whole would come organically from that collective, a transhuman one-brain one-vote system... or not.)
I've always preferred to interpret the Queen merely as a central processing and decision-making node for the collective consciousness -- sort of like the frontal lobe of the human brain. It's the whole collective doing the thinking and deciding, but the "Queen" unit is the nexus that links and coordinates the whole process, and so to our human eyes it gives the illusion that the Queen is an individual doing all the thinking and deciding.

The fact that Queens were later established to be replaceable and interchangeable reinforces this notion. Destroy one Queen body, and another takes its place, indicating that the body doesn't house the actual Borg consciousness but is merely a cog in the machine -- a vital cog, but one that can be swapped out.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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