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Old March 15 2009, 03:53 PM   #76
Anwar
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

I don't know about Star Terk, never watched it. But I do think the Cardies are one of Trek's best alien races.
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Old March 15 2009, 03:57 PM   #77
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

And they have a really cool name. "Cardassian". You can just say it over and over. Cardassian Cardassian Cardassian! Like that old Python sketch - it's a great "woody" sort of phrase. Not "tinny" at all.
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Old March 15 2009, 10:15 PM   #78
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
And they have a really cool name. "Cardassian". You can just say it over and over. Cardassian Cardassian Cardassian! Like that old Python sketch - it's a great "woody" sort of phrase. Not "tinny" at all.
Oh damn. I just watched that, and no...I can't say I have THAT sort of reaction!
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Old July 1 2009, 06:42 PM   #79
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Wow, I just found this great thread. Cardassians are definitely one of my favourite Trek races as well - very interesting, and, as others have pointed out, one of the few that actually has been portrayed with versatility and complexity. I must say that I also find Bajorans and their storylines very interesting - and most of all, Bajoran/Cardassian interaction and intertwined history. I am also glad to see that there are other people who dislike TNG-era Klingons. They are one of my least favourite Trek races, after Ferengi, even though some individual Klingons and their stories have been compelling. The best Klingon episodes were always those in which their image was subverted by revelations about the political games in the Empire, and the hypocrisy that often lies in their protestations of "honor": the arc about Duras in TNG, Gowron's actions in DS9, "The House of Quark" in which Quark had his best moment ever, showing Ferengi courage while exposing the hypocrisy of his Klingon opponent who was using violence and protestations of 'honor' to steal the land and property (I didn't think that a Klingon/Ferengi episode could be intelligent and great, but I was proved wrong.) Unfortunately, too many times Klingons were used just as walking stereotypes.

It doesn't hurt that I also find Cardassians strangely sexy - perhaps the second sexiest race in Trek as far as I am concerned. (Bajorans would be in top 5, but they have considerably less makeup, which makes it less remarkable.)

However, I have to say a word in favor of the sexiest race in Trek

alicelouise wrote: View Post
plynch wrote: View Post
Amen to Thor Damar! Klingons are simply stupid. "You have offended me. I fight you." They'd never get anywhere that way, always infighting. Cardassians were the closest to having a fascist vibe, too, which is a cool feel, even the way they stand.

Garak is my favorite Trek character ever, and I'd even nominate pre-Pagh Dukat as one of my top-3. When he gets into self-justifying mode, not only does he believe it, but if some of what he says is true, he actually did do some good, spare some Bajorans, while occupying them. Kira is unable to consider that. He is simply "bad" to her; this sets up one of the "good guys" (Kira) actually being morally blindered (a bit), though of course she had her reasons.

Post-ers have all commented on villain races. What about Vulcans?
Your last line: What about Vulcans? Really good question. The Vulcans strike me as a paternalistic, conceited, and secretive people. In TOS, Spock is reticent of revealing Vulcan culture. In "Amok Time" Kirk was tricked into a fight to the death. Why? Spock's intended wanted to run off with another guy. In ENT, Earth could explore only if the Vulcans allowed it. They seemed quite an officious species. Who do these Vulcans think they are? Thor Damar may want to add that the Romulans' qualities of secretiveness and bossiness are not far from the Vulcans'(much as both races would hate to admit it).
^ Exactly! And that is just the tip of the iceberg. ThorDamar, how can you not find the Vulcans interesting? They're the people who try to suppress all emotion to the point of pretending that they have none - while actually having much more intense, violent emotions than any of the races they despise for their 'emotionalism'. Their history was so violent that they nearly destroyed themselves before choosing to logic and stoicism as their way of life. They worship logic above all things, yet they are still keeping their old traditional customs which are highly illogical, such as their stupid and violent mating/marriage/divorce customs. They are one of the founding races of the Federation, yet they so often exhibit definite traces of arrogant nationalism and even racism and xenophobia. Is there any race in Trek that is more contradictory? Those people are really screwed-up. And let's not forget that they're one of the very few alien races in Trek who are actually described as having superior abilities compared to humans - and not just physical ones, although it is great that Vulcans are so much physically stronger than humans, even though they rarely chose to show that strength; but their mental abilities such as mind-meld and telepathy (which is interesting as long as the species is not full of people who choose to become counsellors and say things like "I sense XY [insert feeling] ") offer some really fascinating possibilities (pun not intended, but welcome ). This is something that can't be said for Cardassians or Bajorans - as complex as their culture is and as interesting as their individual characters are, they are basically humans with rigged noses or scaled reptile-like skin. Can you imagine just how dangerous s could be if it were not for their culture and morals and way of life? And the individual Vulcans are certainly not to be trifled with when they're losing their self-control.

Now, on the other hand, I have to say that, contrary to what a few people here think, their "cousins" Romulans, are actually quite disappointing and ordinary in comparison (even though I liked them in TOS). First of all, those stupid TNG and post-TNG rigged foreheads - what's up with that? They are supposed to look identical to Vulcans (that was the whole point of "Balance of Terror")! It would have been much more interesting if they were actually genetially identical to Vulcans and only separated by culture - imagine if they used it to infiltrate the Federation with undercover agents? You'd have to wonder who the real and the fake Vulcans are. Secondly, and more importantly, they are nothing but another militaristic race prone to deceit and secrecy, but don't seem to have any of the superior mental abilities of Vulcans. And most of them don't even have the intense passions that Vulcans are always hinted to have. As a branch of Vulcans who decided not to follow logic and stoicism, Romulans should really be more a lot more intense, crazier, more dangerous and fascinating that they've been shown to be, they should be what Vulcans would be if they rejected logic or had their emotional control stripped from them. But instead s just seem like poor man's Vulcans, stripped of most of what makes s interesting.
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Old July 1 2009, 06:53 PM   #80
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

My, my, but you underestimate Cardassian mental discipline, don't you, DevilEyes? These people are capable of resisting mind-melds, not being read by telepaths, have eidetic memories--need I go on?

Also, I might add something interesting to think about, when it comes to the Cardassians' abilities as spies. They are remarkably successful at it--and considering that their hearing is quantitatively inferior to other species, to include humanity, this is an even cooler achievement. (Personally, I like to think that they don't artificially enhance their hearing--that it's all in the technique. )
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Old July 1 2009, 07:02 PM   #81
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
My, my, but you underestimate Cardassian mental discipline, don't you, DevilEyes? These people are capable of resisting mind-melds, not being read by telepaths, have eidetic memories--need I go on?

Also, I might add something interesting to think about, when it comes to the Cardassians' abilities as spies. They are remarkably successful at it--and considering that their hearing is quantitatively inferior to other species, to include humanity, this is an even cooler achievement. (Personally, I like to think that they don't artificially enhance their hearing--that it's all in the technique. )
^ True - I almost forgot about their mental discipline - another reason why I love the s, besides everything that has been already stated in this thread (and their shoulders and necks *ahem* ).

I would like someone to remind me of something awesome about the Romulans, especially the post-TOS Romulans. Sometimes it seems that they're just used by s and s as a negative reference. And they had so much potential, which makes it sad.
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Old July 1 2009, 08:13 PM   #82
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Shockingly, I have only just found this thread. Personal preference and duty both require me to declare the answer "yes", which I hereby do whole-heartedly. Cardassians are the only race whose masks work both ways.
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Old July 1 2009, 08:18 PM   #83
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Shockingly, I have only just found this thread. Personal preference and duty both require me to declare the answer "yes", which I hereby do whole-heartedly. Cardassians are the only race whose masks work both ways.
This I love!

Thanks for bumping this guys, I'll try and keep it going especially as I like DevilEyes' theories on the Vulcans.

One good reason why The Romulans are cool? cloaked Warbirds and this thread http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=97455

More Cardassianising later!
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Old July 1 2009, 08:21 PM   #84
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Cardassians are the most race in the galaxy.

They don't always drink alchohol, but when they do, they prefer Kanar.

Stay thirsty, my friends.
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Old July 1 2009, 09:16 PM   #85
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

I think the Cardassians are indictive of DS9 in general. DS9 was a real contrast to the cheery, black and white universe that TNG and TOS created. Cardassians, are imperfect, dynamic people. They're bad guys yes, but they also have moments when they show you that they're not just ruthless and domineering. More than any other race, Cardassians defy the typical Trek alien stereotypes, and are more akin to humans than any other race in my opinion
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Old July 1 2009, 09:40 PM   #86
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

no.
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Old July 2 2009, 12:26 AM   #87
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

CaptJamesScott wrote: View Post
I think the Cardassians are indictive of DS9 in general. DS9 was a real contrast to the cheery, black and white universe that TNG and TOS created. Cardassians, are imperfect, dynamic people. They're bad guys yes, but they also have moments when they show you that they're not just ruthless and domineering. More than any other race, Cardassians defy the typical Trek alien stereotypes, and are more akin to humans than any other race in my opinion
The Cardassian were created in TNG, and they were just as Grey there as in DS9 (and TNG was hardly all "Black and White", same for TOS). The reason they defy the Trek stereotype is because they were a recurring race and not isolated to 3 or so episodes which allowed better growth. The stereotypes apply only to the 1 episode wonders anyways.
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Old July 30 2009, 08:21 AM   #88
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

I would be positively appalled if the Cardassians were ever to join the Federation. Oil and water, my friends, oil and water. I am also in agreement that it would be an intriguing development if the Cardassians were able to rebuild and gain allies to the point of serving as a foil for the Federation, rather than an all out enemy. However, I would see their taking this stance a difficult sell for the people. Even most of the non-villainous Cardassians indicated a certain degree not only of xenophobia but a feeling of racial superiority. It would be hard for people who genuinely believed themselves to be better than all other races to accept much in the way of help or camaraderie from others, particularly others with whom they have bitterly clashed in the past.

I have yet to read most of the novels dealing with Cardassia, either pre or post Dominion, but I did read and enjoy A Stitch in Time a great deal. I think aside from the fact that they lost a huge chunk of their population, and their infrastructure was seriously compromised, they are facing some enormous challenges, similar to ones faced by Japan post WWII after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Entire cultures can and do suffer the effects of PTSD on a large scale. I don't really want to get too into Japan's response post WWII simply because I have some very strong views in light of what they did in China, but Cardassia is facing a similar challenge. Their history leads some--rightly or wrongly can be effectively argued either way dependent upon viewpoint--to the conclusion that they somehow deserved what happened to them. They were unabashed aggressors who had no problem taking what they needed in order for their Union and their people to survive. Of course, this was not necessarily a view shared by every Cardassian, but it is almost always the case that just as people usually bow to the will of their governments, they are also judged collectively by what their governments do.

Undoubtedly, there are many Cardassians post-Dominion occupation who realize, at least on some level, that their governmental structure, their status quo, and their aggression in the Alpha Quadrant left them vulnerable to what happened to them in the end. Not only did it allow Dukat to broker a secret treaty but to take full authority and enforce it with the might of the Dominion at his back. While I agree that Dukat's arrogance is largely to blame for the debacle, he could never have done it without the governmental infrastructure in place to allow it and the power vacuum left by the destruction of the Obsidian Order.

War guilt, as someone else mentioned, will now factor heavily into the collective Cardassian psyche. They could not rely much on the help of others primarily because they had spit in the eyes of anyone within spitting distance already and cast themselves in a cruel light by what they did to the Bajoran people and planet and in prior wars and skirmishes. The one thing I can't see them doing that other races are more prone to is whining about how it was unfair or how they are victims. It's just not in their nature. I personally think one of the strengths of Cardassian culture is the insistence on dealing with reality as it is, not on wishful thinking or fantasy.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is pride. A proud people loathes having to accept aid from others whom they perceive to be weaker or inferior. However, it is an absolute necessity in their case. They took far too large of a beating to go it alone without being devoured whole by either the Romulans or the Klingons. I wonder how this will affect their views of orphans, if it will at all. In the past, orphans had no status in society whatsoever, viewed to be as inconsequential as insects. Now that there must be a very large number of them and genetic diversity is a concern, I would think this might change. I would also think being forced to accept help from outsiders could possibly work to give them a different perspective on what it means to be vulnerable, if not helpless.

If they intend to thrive and not just to survive, they are going to have to take a good, hard look at the attitudes and ways of doing things that made them most vulnerable, both on an internal scale and in their relations with other races. I doubt that they will be foolish enough to believe that any help they accept is completely free, but I wouldn't put it beyond them also to take advantage of Federation idealism and generosity and offer back as little in the way of gratitude or back scratching as they can get away with.

I don't think we've seen the last of a militaristic Cardassia, or an aggressive one. I do think they are intelligent and complex enough not to make the same mistakes twice. This was an incredibly long winded way to say that the Cardassians are the most interesting Trek race to me. The mere fact that I would be drawn into such a discussion and go into such depth speaks volumes to that fact. I simply cannot see having a similar discussion about Klingons or the Borg. Great topic, Thor Damar!
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Old July 30 2009, 09:07 AM   #89
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Personally I didn't find the Cardassians to be the most interesting race in Star Trek. There are many more other races that I find more interesting and make me want to know more about them.
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Old July 30 2009, 09:10 AM   #90
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Personally, I found the Pakleds to be interesting.

And by interesting, I mean chumps I could build an empire around.
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