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Old August 25 2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: Why Is Diversity Focused Only On Race & Species?

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
I think claiming that there were a diversity of personalities in ST:TNG would be a major exaggeration.

Worf, Data, and Troi to name just three had virtually everything about them defined by their species.

Riker, Picard, Crusher, La Forge, Yar, Crusher....all generally similar. Noble humans joining Starfleet to explore the galaxy.
I don't think that's true. Worf did strive to be a pure Klingon, but he was influenced by his unique situation of having been raised among humans, and when he interacted with Klingons, we learned that he was more acting out a stereotype of what he thought a Klingon should be than actually being a typical Klingon. Deanna had numerous traits that weren't just racial -- she was a psychologist, she loved chocolate and Westerns, she clashed with her mother, she eventually sought to pursue command authority, etc. And Data was hardly typical of his "species," since every other Soong-type android we met -- Lore, Julianna, B-4 -- was entirely different from him.

And yes, obviously a bunch of people working together in the same profession are going to have some similarities; you're not likely to see someone who doesn't want to explore the galaxy aboard a starship whose mission is to explore the galaxy. But there were certainly differences in their backgrounds. In particular, Tasha had a radically different background from the others -- rather than being raised in the paradise of 24th-century Earth, she was raised in a hellhole and rescued by Starfleet, coming to admire what they stood for. There was a lot of potential for her to be a very distinct and complex character, but unfortunately it was mostly squandered. (The best look we got was her speech to Wesley about drug addiction in "Symbiosis." People tend to dismiss that as a preachy "Just say no" speech, but I see it as a clear admission that Tasha had personal experience with drug addiction, which was a very important insight into her character.) Geordi had the unique perspective his VISOR gave him, and the constant pain that came with wearing it, but again, that ended up getting de-emphasized as the show went on. Beverly had the unique perspective of being a widow and a single mother.

Anyway, you're making a lot of vague statements about what you didn't like, but what's your solution? What, specifically, would you have liked to see them do instead?
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