Thread: STID realistic?
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Old November 6 2013, 05:45 PM   #289
Crazy Eddie
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Re: STID realistic?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
BigJake wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
On the contrary, while the TNG episode obviously has a core element of the TOS episode in common with it, that core element is removed from the factors that mitigated Federation culpability.
To be fair, however, "Too Short a Season" also provided a rationale for the seeming "necessity" of Jameson's actions: there was no way around giving Karnas what he wanted in the initial instance to save the lives of Federation hostages, and since Jameson could not plausibly either leave those people to die or consign Karnas' enemies to death at his hands, he took the "Private Little War" route.

This rationale is a bit thinner, dirtier and more questionable than the classic balance-of-power dilemma set up for Kirk in the TOS episode, and I think is calibrated to be that way in order to better sell the theme of sin and redemption and to avoid it seeming too obviously a critique of the Vietnam War analogy of the original episode.
You could say that TSAS played like an updating of APLW, with the twist that, instead of coming out in favor of Vietnam, it critiqued Iran-Contra.
Not really, considering that Karnas emerged as an ALLY of the Federation in the end. In that sense he's basically an ascendant Tyree, finally having defeated the Klingon-backed faction and achieved hegemony of his little planet. Indeed, in the very beginning of the episode, Picard describes Karnass as "instrumental in the planet's unification and peace." IOW, as far as the establishing premise, Karnas is supposed to be the GOOD GUY.

"A Private Little War" only works as a commentary on Vietnam if you take the Klingons as a race of one-dimensional mustache-twirling mooks: "Proxy war is unfortunate, but neccesary." Too Short a Season turns that on its head by making the identity of those factions totally irrelevant: the factions are basically interchangeable, and they're killing each other with the exact same weapons. It doesn't matter who wins; millions were slaughtered in the process, and the man who sold the weapons has some blame in the outcome.

You couldn't have Karnas as, say, a Klingon with Jameson arming his enemies; that would lead back to the "evil mustache twirling mooks" and then Karnas is just being a Klingon bastard. You couldn't play it as a straight "Tyree" either, because Karnas would have no reason to seek revenge and the episode would be dead on arrival. Whoever Jameson gave weapons to, the episode would get bogged down in the moral calculus of "Why did you chose that faction? Maybe it wasn't such a good idea, maybe you should have chosen the other one..." Which undermines the point of the episode: You shouldn't have supported anyone at all.

So in Too Short a Season, the logic of proxy war is entirely besides the point and is neatly sidestepped, focusing instead on Jameson's complicity: it doesn't matter who he gave the weapons to, because the people he gave them to committed atrocities by the megaton.
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