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Old July 21 2013, 06:13 AM   #391
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Darkwing wrote: View Post
Eddie, remember Trek was based on the age of sail.
No, Trek was based on the age of American colonization (hence Rodenberry's "Wagon Train to the Stars" pitch and the treating of whole planets as simply larger-than-normal adventure towns). As such, Enterprise' mission was originally conceived as a group of professional explorers opening up space for Earth expansion on "the final frontier". The military nature of whatever organization the Enterprise belonged to wasn't really even a question (nor had they completely decided what kind of organization that really was, e.g. UESPA vs. Space Central vs. Starfleet).
Yes, Roddenberry explicitly based it on the Hornblower novels. The "wagon train to the stars" bit was his pitch to the networks BECAUSE it was a current show they could grasp as a metaphor.

Meyer based Khan on submarines, not age of sail.
I'm not sure you really have that right. Rodenberry drew inspiration from the hornblower novels (very loosely at that) for the character of Kirk and his tendency to lead away missions all the time. The Adventure Town conception, however, is straight out of the Wagon Train formula (and copied just as closely, sometimes inexplicably so, in shows like Lost In Space and Wild Wild West). It was one of the more common tropes in the 1960s because the only successful TV shows at the time were, in fact, westerns.

Meyer, on the other hand, is said to have depicted Starfleet as "Horatio Hornblower IN SPACE!" hence the change in uniforms and costumes, the bridge layout, the whole "Peter Preston always wanted to go to the sea... cough cough... er go into space" thing, and the depiction of photon torpedoes as basically flaming cannonballs. The mutara nebula scene borrows some inspiration from submarine movies in a highly convoluted and convenient way (in exactly the same way and for the same reason as "Balance of Terror") but that wasn't his overall basis for his depiction of Starfleet.

No, I'm saying that you seem to assume a military starfleet MUST look like the Macarthur.
Significantly, I'm saying the Macarthur is a very clear example of what a military organization looks like on a mission of exploration. Starfleet wouldn't have to copy it precisely, but some of the differences between them would be somewhat harder to explain.

It could just be that "The Mote" is one of my favorite science fiction stories (as you can probably tell) and I tend to hold it as the gold standard for imaginative space opera in general. But when a comparison to other stories produce so many similarities (e.g. "Abbadon's Gate" or Seaquest DSV) I tend to believe that the basic structure of the Macarthur's exploration mission would be at least partially reflected in a military Starfleet were that actually the case. Especially since we have "Yesterday's Enterprise" as a glaring example of what a military Starfleet would actually look like.

In summary: for all the characteristics people keep listing of modern militaries, the one thing they all possess -- the one thing Starfleet lacks -- is absolute clarity over the fact that they ARE the military. That there's even room for the question suggests everything we need to know.
That tells me you know nothing about the military.
If you are suggesting that there are active members of the military who do not believe that the military IS the military?

If that's really the case, you might just be right.

I didn't say "strange", I said inane, as in stupid and irrational.
A French guy with a British accent is stupid and irrational. A non-military Starfleet is just a different spin on future geopolitics.

Why are you so devoted to "proving" the non-military nature of a patently military organization?
I'm not "devoted" to anything of the kind, I just call it like I see it. It's an organization whose ranking officers have several times referred to it as a non-military in nature; its founding goal is said to be the peaceful exploration of space; several of its officers have at times alluded to a set of core beliefs that all life forms -- even hostile ones -- have a right to live and have gone out of their way to avoid the deaths of even implacably hostile life forms.

Taken as a whole, this tells me that Starfleet is a space agency created for the peaceful exploration of space and for scientific research. They are equipped with defensive systems and weapons due to the inherent dangers of space exploration itself; they are tasked with peacekeeping and emergency response duties due partially to the weapons they carry and their overall capabilities but largely because of their high profile and extensive presence in and around Federation space, and because it tends to be staffed by officers of uniquely high moral character (with a few highly notable exceptions).

It's not just a point of semantics. It's a very different kind of organization with a very different kind of background. Starfleet wasn't created because the Federation needed someone to fight for their interests in space, Starfleet was created because the Federation wanted to explore space.
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; July 21 2013 at 06:31 AM.
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