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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old March 8 2013, 10:40 PM   #1
LobsterAfternoon
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Races represented in Starfleet

We've seen a bunch of different races serving in Starfleet. Mostly we see humans, but we've seen a smattering of Vulcans, Andorians, Trill, etc. We've also heard that while our hero ships seem to be mostly staffed by humans, there are some Starfleet ships that are crewed exclusively by Vulcans. With that in mind, how diverse do you imagine Starfleet as a whole is? Obviously there's not a canonical answer for this, but in your head, is it staffed by like, 50% humans? 10% Vulcans? Etc.
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Old March 8 2013, 10:54 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

I like to think Trek crews are "really" as diverse as we see them in the bigger budget movies like The Motion Picture and Star Trek - those cool aliens were always just off-camera or belowdecks in TOS and TNG etc.

That said, Starfleet does seem to be majority human even in those cases. Pulling a number from thin air, I'd say about 70%?
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Old March 8 2013, 11:04 PM   #3
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Seeing as how there are 150 species each numbering from hundreds of millions to billions in population, I alway like to think that humans are in the minority and the ships we've seen are the exceptions.

Like today not every human out there will want/have to enlist into service, most will want their own lives and careers, etc away from Starfleet. So I like to think that humans make up at the very most 10% of active service personnel, but that's just the way I like things in my head.
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Old March 8 2013, 11:45 PM   #4
Pavonis
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Assuming that each Trek series depicts a random ship or installation (presumably every Starfleet vessel or base has incidents worthy of depiction in TV or film, we just don't get to see them), then it would appear that, indeed, Humans or Human-hybrids are the majority of the officers in Starfleet. I'd estimate that two out of three officers are Human, and that up to 80% of the serving officers are Human or Human-hybrids.
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Old March 8 2013, 11:47 PM   #5
sbk1234
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

I always figured that the ships we've seen were those based out of Earth, primarily. There would be some ships, for example, based out of VUlcan, which would have primarily Vulcan crews. There would be ships based out of Andoria with primarily Andorian crews, and so on.
I also figure that there are some species that for their own reasons simply do not enlist as frequently as other species.
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Old March 9 2013, 01:31 AM   #6
Robert Comsol
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Interesting "coincidence". I addressed the issue in a treatise I wrote earlier today and just posted a few minutes ago: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=205531
(some "outrageous" satire and sarcasm included!)

In TOS "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" Kirk said there are only 12 ships "like the Enterprise" in Starfleet which The Making of Star Trek revealed to reflect the original producers' intentions.

And yet, there is not one Vulcan name among them. It obviously took Andrew Probert's intervention that we got a least the Surak shuttle in TMP.

It could appear that Starfleet is really just a UFP label of what actually is still the (original) United Earth Space Probe Agency - an exclusive Homo sapiens club (from a TOS point of view).

Considering that most of the ships in TOS, the movies, TNG, DS9 and VOY carry Anglo-Saxon names, I'd assume we are looking at a majority of humans in the UFP (where it matters) - and almost all of these are apparently Anglo-Saxons.

Maybe the human species is the only one among the UFP members that still enjoys hazardous space exploration.

Bob
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Old March 9 2013, 02:05 AM   #7
LobsterAfternoon
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

I kinda figure the tendency towards earth names in Starfleet is due to Earth Starfleet being the infrastructure that Federation Starfleet was built around. We know that Starfleet likes to recycle ship names, hence even in a multi-species organization, you have Earth names coming up again and again.
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Old March 9 2013, 02:38 AM   #8
Pavonis
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
...
And yet, there is not one Vulcan name among them. It obviously took Andrew Probert's intervention that we got a least the Surak shuttle in TMP.
Would Vulcans name ships? Would Vulcans even have ships from which to take names?

Sure, in ENT, their ships are named, but before that, given just TOS, we know Vulcan is an arid world, probably not possessing bodies of standing water large enough to need to be sailed across. In which case, Vulcans wouldn't have ships or the traditions associated with sailing. Perhaps no TOS starships were named after Vulcan ships or people because they did not possess that habit before joining the Federation.

Maybe the human species is the only one among the UFP members that still enjoys hazardous space exploration.
Very likely. Humans are the crazy tourists wandering the galaxy, when all right-thinking civilizations know you stay safe by enjoying the comforts of home. But, hey, if the crazy humans are out there anyway, they may as well serve a purpose by protecting the rest of the sedentary Federation members from the other crazies that wander the galaxy, like the Klingons....
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Old March 9 2013, 04:39 AM   #9
Nerys Myk
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
...
And yet, there is not one Vulcan name among them. It obviously took Andrew Probert's intervention that we got a least the Surak shuttle in TMP.
Would Vulcans name ships? Would Vulcans even have ships from which to take names?

Sure, in ENT, their ships are named, but before that, given just TOS, we know Vulcan is an arid world, probably not possessing bodies of standing water large enough to need to be sailed across. In which case, Vulcans wouldn't have ships or the traditions associated with sailing. Perhaps no TOS starships were named after Vulcan ships or people because they did not possess that habit before joining the Federation.
Is there a reason Vulcans wouldn't named ships? They see to be respectful of their ancestors. While they may not have large bodies of water, they could still have other forms of transport. We name trains, planes and automobile. The Vulcans could have done likewise. Perhaps they use wind powered vessels to cross the deserts in ancient times.
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Old March 9 2013, 08:22 AM   #10
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

When looking at crowds on starships, most of the faces appear human, but with so many human-looking species in the galaxy (Betazoids, etc) then there is no way to know for certain the demographics. It's only when you see a blue face, spots or pointed ears that you take note of different species.
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Old March 9 2013, 10:18 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Yes, Vulcans definitely name their own ships in ENT. No, they probably did not name the apparent (but not confirmed) Starfleet starship Intrepid of TOS fame (what a silly name - trepidity or its opposite shouldn't be in Vulcan vocabulary). Yes, they probably named the Starfleet starship T'Kumbra from DS9. No, we don't know whether the names of Vulcan ships or Vulcan-operated Starfleet ships or ships with Vulcan-sounding names but potentially non-Vulcan operators are names of people, or places, or concepts, or a possible mixture.

On that last note, though, many a Vulcan ship name features the T' prefix that may be closely related to Vulcan female proper name conventions. And although the movie ST:FC never explicitly stated this, the vessel that made first contact with Earth was supposed to be named T'Plana-Hath, which we know to be the proper name of a Vulcan thinker as per ST4. And then there's the Surak class mentioned in some Okudagrams, clearly named after the Vulcan celebrity - but not necessarily by the Vulcans themselves. (The Suurok class of ENT fame, another only fuzzily canonical name, seems to be unrelated.)

So far, only one other nonhuman culture has been honored (or derided?) in Starfleet ship naming: there was a USS Gorkon in "Descent". Would that be like the Nazis naming one of their ships the John Jellicoe out of respect for the great naval leader - or to ridicule the man who could have defeated the German navy in WWI but fumbled it and thus became a German war hero of sorts? Gorkon's stature in Klingon history is probably not high, as from their viewpoint, he lost the Cold War against Starfleet hands down and secured the triumph of the Earthling ways for the next half a century or so.

Of course, some names we think are human may in fact be alien, just with similar spelling. Or just sounding similar but spelled differently, and the canonical pronunciation is accompanied by noncanon, logical-sounding but wholly incorrect human spelling in the various encyclopedias, chronologies, novels etc. Say, take something like USS Crazy Horse, a name never mentioned in writing in canon Star Trek, and assume that it is in fact USS Crey Zioche, after the Bolian pacifist poet...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old March 9 2013, 09:11 PM   #12
CoveTom
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Timo wrote: View Post
...what a silly name - trepidity or its opposite shouldn't be in Vulcan vocabulary...
"What is now required is a feat of linguistic legerdemain, and a degree of intrepidity..."

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Old March 9 2013, 10:00 PM   #13
Pavonis
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

I'm sure Timo meant that the word "intrepid" wouldn't be considered as an appropriate name for a starship crewed by people from a society that consider both fear and fearlessness illogical and irrational concepts.

It's likely, then, that Intrepid was a name assigned to the ship before the crew was assigned to it, and not one given to it by the Vulcans.
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Old March 10 2013, 12:34 AM   #14
CoveTom
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Thank you for taking my joke and reducing it to a literal argument about whether or not the word "intrepid" is in the Vulcan vocabulary.
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Old March 10 2013, 01:02 AM   #15
Pavonis
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Re: Races represented in Starfleet

Your humor is too subtle.
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