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Old January 17 2013, 03:05 PM   #40
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Re: Did Klingon culture become too stereotyped by the end of DS9?

I think you can take everything said in this thread about Klingons, including retorts, and apply them to the Vulcans. And the Ferengi. And the Bajorans. And the Humans (yes, humans, and perhaps especially so, considering). And the Romulans. And the Cardassians..

Face it folks, this is Trek's "thing". As others have pointed out, it's a story telling mechanism preferred by the franchise. They represent aspects of human psyche given (often) exaggerated form so that we might reflect on them externally and, through them, our own selves. It's a storytelling convention as old as Homer's Iliad (and probably much older).

Star Trek is not, nor has it ever been, a documentary about realistic simulated aliens. It's a series of science-fiction morality tales, with fantastic monsters, fearsome warriors, magical wizards, strange peoples and fair folk. In other words, despite the warp ships and replicators, it's just business as usual when it comes to fantasy. Each era has wanted to tell their stories differently, and so their creatures change to suit this (Faeries become High Elves become Vulcans), but they still essentially represent the same aspect (wise, knowing, haughty, ancient).

If it doesn't truly detract from the meat of the story the writers are trying to tell, then it doesn't warrant being pointed out as a flaw. When it does, then that's more likely simply bad writing rather than a failing of the concept of the race. If this happens consistently, as with the Kazon, it's proven to be a poorly conceived people.

You don't want to go too far with it, though. To the point where they become pantomime. Then they cease seeming real and risk damaging the stories they're a part of. Klingons are certainly among the worst in this regard, but they do not really stand out as wholly unique in one-dimensionality and very few episodes are diminished as a result of it.

In other words, Star Trek is not about them. It's about us.
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