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Old September 15 2012, 10:17 PM   #4
Deranged Nasat
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Re: What if... ETERNAL TIDE SPOILERS

I know the question is would my opinions be different; I'll get to that in a moment.

To be honest, I think the plot detail you describe would have been irritating to most readers, regardless of where they stand on the issue of Janeway and her resurrection.

While I do recall some discussion about whether Janeway's death was a "worthy" one - as well as protests from some fans that the death wasn't handled in a manner they thought did justice to the character - the main issue always seemed to be the fact that she died at all. Had The Eternal Tide been the final adventure of Janeway, those who disagreed with the move to kill her would be saying "you brought her back briefly only to throw it away and kill her again. She's still dead, so what's the point?" Maybe they would indeed find the new death "worthier" or more in keeping with how they wanted to see the character handled - and maybe they'd find some satisfaction in that - but I think any concerns over the nature of her death were only ever a secondary layer of irritation; the main sore point was the death itself. So I assume that those fans who disagreed with the decision to kill Janeway would find her "better" death a pointless exercise - if you're going to give the impression that a "mistake" was made and Janeway's death needed "fixing" (because that's what it would look like to many readers), the quesion some fans would ask is "why fix the manner of her death and not fix her death" - which was the point they had issue with.

Meanwhile, those who had no issue with the death but weren't strongly opposed to resurrection either would perhaps be thinking "well, that was pointless. She's back and gone again". It might even look more amusing than dramatic - "oh my god, they killed Kathryn!" - or else the very act of giving her a second shot at death might be seen to diminish any point to the original. I don't really see even these "neutral" readers being too impressed. That's just me of course, I could be wrong.

As for those fans who think resurrection diminishes the emotional realities of death and how we cope with it, and so reduces the power and impact of the fiction, they might well be even more displeased with "returning for a supposedly better death" than the "returning to life" story we got. My own opinion...well, I very much liked The Eternal Tide, as anyone who read my review of it knows, and I thought highly of the sensitive way in which Beyer handled the resurrection. Personally, though, if it were up to me, resurrection would be a no-no regardless of the character. Even if I thought a death was handled poorly, it just doesn't sit right with me to "undo" it. However, that's just me - the decision was of course not mine and I'm grateful that the resurrection was handled well and tackled by an author who knows what she's doing. Great care was taken by Beyer not to diminish the pain, loss and growth experienced by the Voyager characters since they lost Janeway, so it was, as resurrections go, a far less "damaging" one than I might have feared; not truly a reset button emotionally, thank Q. And I would indeed rather have a living Janeway than a dead one - I just wouldn't violate my "no resurrections" rule over her (or any character).

However, the idea of bringing her back just for a second shot at death, I would have found much harder to swallow. If you can shout 'take two!' and keep trying until you get the death you want...well, I see that as considerably more dangerous to my personal tastes regarding death in fiction than a clean resurrection. At least a resurrection like the one Janeway got is rooted in a desire to have the character live again - it's cheating the realities of death, yes, but death isn't truly the issue there. Making the manner of death the important thing...I wouldn't be very impressed with that, to be honest.

That's my patented Nasat Wall of Text on the question
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