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Old January 28 2013, 05:27 AM   #16
The Overlord
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
They clearly worked better as comic relief, though I think it is possible to make them villains that work. They'd just have to be villains in a different mold than the Klingon/Romulan replacement they were originally imagined as.

Think about it, the Ferengi are basically corporate CEOs. That's some pretty scary shit right there.
The problem is the Ferengi in "The Last Outpost" came off as a generic warrior race rather then a collection of slick corporate moguls. From the get go, they should have been more like Lex Luthor and less like jumping monkeys.

Last edited by The Overlord; January 28 2013 at 05:48 AM.
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Old January 28 2013, 05:58 AM   #17
Melakon
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Armin Shimerman blames the monkey business on "The Last Outpost"'s director. I have to wonder if the actors' auditions were based on that, or if the director suddenly got that idea on the set. Moreso, why didn't anyone fire him after seeing the dailies?

The serious viewscreen face to face scenes differed immensely with what we saw on the surface.

I thought the power whips were pretty cool though, definitely a different weapon than the usual raygun, but apparently the prop never worked right.
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Old January 28 2013, 06:55 AM   #18
Lance
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Browsing through that Memory Alpha article somebody posted above, it seems to me that several factors conspired to weaken the Ferengi from the very start. I mean, Michael Westmore talks about how he softened up the original visual conception into what we eventually got, removing any sense of menace from their original 'look' in the process. That can't have helped.

That said, they are effective villains in at least a few episodes (noteably "The Battle" and "Peak Performance", although the former does have a few residual moments of the comedic florishes from "The Last Outpost").

On the other other hand, we have "Rascals". Maybe I'd believe in a bunch of Ferengi taking over the Enterprise if it had happened in Season One, but by the time that episode was filmed the Ferengi had descended completely to joke status. Which is IIRC the reason they were chosen as villains of the episode at all (the writers felt they were the only threat that could be believably stopped by children).
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Old January 28 2013, 06:57 AM   #19
Lucky
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

I preferred them as comic relief.
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Old January 28 2013, 06:57 AM   #20
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Melakon wrote: View Post
With the Ferengi, "comic relief" and "villains" were never mutually exclusive.
So true. It is no secret that I've never been a DS9 fan, but my 2 favorite exceptions are "Little Green Men" and "Trials and Tribble-ations". Ferengi work best as comic relief AND villains. As for their original appearance, it is best forgotten.
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Old January 28 2013, 08:15 AM   #21
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

One of my favorite lines though, comes from "The Last Outpost".

DaiMon Tarr: We offer the lives of our second officers as required by the Ferengi Code.

Data (aside, to Geordi): Fortunately Starfleet has no such rules involving its second officers.
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Old January 28 2013, 12:36 PM   #22
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

The notion that capitalists are lovable is grotesque.
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Old January 29 2013, 07:23 PM   #23
137th Gebirg
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Quark had two scenes in DS9 that summed up the Ferengis and Humans perfectly, IMO:
"The Jem'Hadar":
Quark: "You Federation types are all alike: You talk about tolerance and understanding, but you only practice it toward people who remind you of yourselves. Because you disapprove of Ferengi values, you scorn us, distrust us, insult us every chance you get."
Sisko: "Quark, I don't have to stand here and defend myself."
Quark: "Tell me, Commander, would you allow your son to marry a Ferengi female?"
Sisko: "I never thought about it!"
"The Siege of AR-558":
Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people... will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don't believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
I don't think there have ever been better summations of the two species in Trek.

I, too, hated the Ferengi with every fiber of my being when I first saw them, but they definitely evolved into one of the most interesting races shown in the series and the Rules of Acquisition was a brilliant codification of their culture.
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Old January 30 2013, 03:18 AM   #24
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

I think DS9 proved that ferengi are best as neutral counterpoints to Federation dogma.

stj wrote: View Post
The notion that capitalists are lovable is grotesque.
It could be worse. They could be spreading the notion that everybody is equal under Communism.
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Old January 30 2013, 10:32 AM   #25
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?



You tell 'em Quark.

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Old January 30 2013, 01:08 PM   #26
Obiwansolo18
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Ferengi are total comic relief in ds9 and tng, they tried in tng to make villains but they where hilarious in that too, it's the ears I think.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:17 PM   #27
Gov Kodos
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

The Ferengi were one of the most entertaining aspects of DS9, and modern Trek in general.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:20 PM   #28
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Obiwansolo18 wrote: View Post
Ferengi are total comic relief in ds9 and tng, they tried in tng to make villains but they where hilarious in that too, it's the ears I think.
The Ferengi lobejobs on DS9 were so gross!
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Old January 30 2013, 11:00 PM   #29
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

Quark's moments are some of the best writing in Trek, along with Garak. Time to rewatch DS9?
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Old January 30 2013, 11:55 PM   #30
stj
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Re: The Ferengi: Better as comic relief or villains?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
I think DS9 proved that ferengi are best as neutral counterpoints to Federation dogma.
Sorry but "neutral counterpoints" is gibberish. Also, "Federation dogma" doesn't make clear whether you're actually making a claim about the fictional Federation or expressing your feeling about the supposed "dogma." It is always comforting to see the poor judgment of anti-Communists confirmed.

The two quotes cited above do seem to be very symptomatic of the role of the Ferengi as artistic constructs. Tolerance primarily means respecting legal rights. Broader interpretations, which are by no means universally accepted, include eschewing driminatory practices in favor of the prevailing sect, ethnicity, party or nationality. The Jem'Hadar quote implicitly equating tolerance with indiscriminate liking, or even flattery, is rheoric, in the pejorative sense. The only reason I can see for taking it seriously as a pointed comment (instead of Quark spewing BS,) is a distaste for tolerance as such.

The quote from The Siege of AF-558 isn't readable as BS from Quark, but must be read as a shout out from the DS9 writers. That's a shame, because only blind prejudice allows one to insist that this is true. Loss of creature comforts has occurred many a time in history, but this quote misrepresents the experience of the past. It comes from willful ignorance and a reactionary disdain for humanity.
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