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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old March 10 2013, 03:00 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

That part where Picard beams down alone and asks the Baku how old they are, and then right after the conversation with Dougherty. Why doesn't EITHER of them suggest during the conversation, that now that contact has been made with the Baku already, that they should just go ahead and attempt to negotiate?
Who would be suggesting what to whom?

Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old March 10 2013, 05:00 PM   #17
sonak
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Timo wrote: View Post
That part where Picard beams down alone and asks the Baku how old they are, and then right after the conversation with Dougherty. Why doesn't EITHER of them suggest during the conversation, that now that contact has been made with the Baku already, that they should just go ahead and attempt to negotiate?
Who would be suggesting what to whom?

Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

Timo Saloniemi

I'm not suggesting a negotiation with the Federation Council, I'm suggesting a four-way negotiation between Picard, Dougherty, the Baku, and the Son'a. It's the obvious move after the holo-ship deception is revealed. Whatever Picard thinks of Dougherty is irrelevant, all diplomats negotiate with people they don't like. Maybe Dougherty would say no, maybe the Baku would say no, but the fact that it's not brought up as a possibility is just silly and a clear recognition that the plot is built on a house of cards.
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Old March 10 2013, 06:09 PM   #18
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

sonak wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
That part where Picard beams down alone and asks the Baku how old they are, and then right after the conversation with Dougherty. Why doesn't EITHER of them suggest during the conversation, that now that contact has been made with the Baku already, that they should just go ahead and attempt to negotiate?
Who would be suggesting what to whom?

Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

Timo Saloniemi

I'm not suggesting a negotiation with the Federation Council, I'm suggesting a four-way negotiation between Picard, Dougherty, the Baku, and the Son'a. It's the obvious move after the holo-ship deception is revealed. Whatever Picard thinks of Dougherty is irrelevant, all diplomats negotiate with people they don't like. Maybe Dougherty would say no, maybe the Baku would say no, but the fact that it's not brought up as a possibility is just silly and a clear recognition that the plot is built on a house of cards.
You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"

"Um, well. Yes."

"What kind of morons do you take us for??"

The Ba'ku had no reason to trust Picard or the Federation after the shit they pulled, and frankly they would've had every right to tell them to fuck off after the deception was uncovered. Why negotiate with people who were obviously willing to use underhanded measures to get what they wanted? (Not to mention, they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)
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Old March 10 2013, 07:01 PM   #19
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"
"No, not the same people. Different people. We don't have a hive mind."

"Ah? Oh. Ok then. Well, get out of our planet anyway! It's mine, my own, my precioussss!"
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Old March 10 2013, 07:36 PM   #20
sonak
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Who would be suggesting what to whom?

Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

Timo Saloniemi

I'm not suggesting a negotiation with the Federation Council, I'm suggesting a four-way negotiation between Picard, Dougherty, the Baku, and the Son'a. It's the obvious move after the holo-ship deception is revealed. Whatever Picard thinks of Dougherty is irrelevant, all diplomats negotiate with people they don't like. Maybe Dougherty would say no, maybe the Baku would say no, but the fact that it's not brought up as a possibility is just silly and a clear recognition that the plot is built on a house of cards.
You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"

"Um, well. Yes."

"What kind of morons do you take us for??"

The Ba'ku had no reason to trust Picard or the Federation after the shit they pulled, and frankly they would've had every right to tell them to fuck off after the deception was uncovered. Why negotiate with people who were obviously willing to use underhanded measures to get what they wanted? (Not to mention, they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)

why wouldn't they trust Picard? They had no reason not to trust him, he'd done nothing but try to help them. And again, the plot never has Dougherty or Picard explicitly explain what the Son'a technology could do for billions across the galaxy. Now why do you think that is? Because they didn't want a scene where the Baku say no to leaving their planet and resettling to help billions. It just wouldn't have worked.


Let's leave aside which side you fall on here. Let's even assume that you defend the principle of the Baku decision. You've STILL got a premise of "Picard reluctantly defends tiny village of self-centered Luddites who choose their own privileged comforts over helping billions." The audience is left wondering why they should care about this small group they've never seen before.
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Old March 10 2013, 07:37 PM   #21
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)
Actually the Ba'ku didn't know who the Son'a were until after Picard told them they were both from the same race

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"
"No, not the same people. Different people. We don't have a hive mind."

"Ah? Oh. Ok then. Well, get out of our planet anyway! It's mine, my own, my precioussss!"
Um, under the situation being discussed they are the same people, you know the whole 4 way between the Ba'ku, Picard, Dougherty, and the Son'a thing.
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Old March 10 2013, 07:42 PM   #22
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Insurrection seems to be the only Trek film that sparked endless discussions about politics and morality. And people still criticize it for being bad. I'd say it's the most effective, literally thought provoking Trek film.

What you can also clearly see is how films don't change one's opinion. Quite to the contrary, your perception of the entire film is shaped by your predefined opinion. Some think the Ba'ku are the actual egoistic bad guys and deserve everything that happens to them, others think that the Ba'ku are innocent and absolutely right in what they do and how they do it, all in accordance to how they see the real world anyway. But nobody walked out of this film saying "Gee, I never thought of it this way, this film changed my mind."
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Old March 10 2013, 07:50 PM   #23
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Um, under the situation being discussed they are the same people, you know the whole 4 way between the Ba'ku, Picard, Dougherty, and the Son'a thing.
Um, no. There's no reason why the Ba'ku should have to deal with Dougherty, who's quite obviously compromised.
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Old March 10 2013, 08:14 PM   #24
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Insurrection seems to be the only Trek film that sparked endless discussions about politics and morality. And people still criticize it for being bad. I'd say it's the most effective, literally thought provoking Trek film.
It is a poor movie. The only reason it generates discussion is because there are so many mind-numbing gaps in the story.

Plus, you have Picard playing the smug bastard at the end when he says he has to go "slow thing down at the Federation Council".
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Old March 10 2013, 08:17 PM   #25
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Um, under the situation being discussed they are the same people, you know the whole 4 way between the Ba'ku, Picard, Dougherty, and the Son'a thing.
Um, no. There's no reason why the Ba'ku should have to deal with Dougherty, who's quite obviously compromised.
There is never even a hint of seeking out a diplomatic solution anywhere in the movie. Which is part of the reason the movie fails. Picard is suppose to be one of the Federations best diplomats yet doesn't even try to broker a solution that works for everyone.

Essentially, the story fails because Picard is never the Picard we know from the TV series.
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Old March 10 2013, 08:37 PM   #26
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
What you can also clearly see is how films don't change one's opinion. Quite to the contrary, your perception of the entire film is shaped by your predefined opinion.
Oh, I wouldn't say so. I first saw the movie when I was eleven years old, and I remember accepting the basic plot at surface level, obviously not picking up on the subtle clues scatter through the movie. It was only with repeated viewing through the years that the personal opinion of the movie that I hold today was formed.

While the execution of the movie is flawed in places, the story line itself is delightfully complex. It would have been easy to change only a few pieces of dialog to make things simplistic and obvious. Unlike a lot of modern movies, Insurrection presented the audience with information and allowed them to form an opinion as to which of the players actions were ethically correct at the end.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"

"No, I want you to negotiate in good faith with the same people who want to distribute the miraculous properties of the particles to many billions of people across hundreds of planets, so that people outside of your charming little whites only gated community can benefit too."



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Old March 10 2013, 08:52 PM   #27
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

...And all that might be beneficial on the medium to long term. The characters were faced with the strict timetable of the Son'a here, though, and as long as Dougherty refused to question that timetable, Picard had no reason to think Dougherty would agree to any sort of negotiations. Refusing to question the Son'a was revealing enough: Dougherty wasn't thinking of the best of the Ba'ku, and perhaps not even the common good, so irrational was the refusal.

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Old March 10 2013, 10:52 PM   #28
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Insurrection seems to be the only Trek film that sparked endless discussions about politics and morality. And people still criticize it for being bad. I'd say it's the most effective, literally thought provoking Trek film.

What you can also clearly see is how films don't change one's opinion. Quite to the contrary, your perception of the entire film is shaped by your predefined opinion. Some think the Ba'ku are the actual egoistic bad guys and deserve everything that happens to them, others think that the Ba'ku are innocent and absolutely right in what they do and how they do it, all in accordance to how they see the real world anyway. But nobody walked out of this film saying "Gee, I never thought of it this way, this film changed my mind."

by your measure, "dear doctor" is a great episode because it also sparks lots of debate. Or it could just mean that they both share very faulty premises that a lot of fans have come to question.
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Old March 11 2013, 02:52 PM   #29
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

sonak wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post


I'm not suggesting a negotiation with the Federation Council, I'm suggesting a four-way negotiation between Picard, Dougherty, the Baku, and the Son'a. It's the obvious move after the holo-ship deception is revealed. Whatever Picard thinks of Dougherty is irrelevant, all diplomats negotiate with people they don't like. Maybe Dougherty would say no, maybe the Baku would say no, but the fact that it's not brought up as a possibility is just silly and a clear recognition that the plot is built on a house of cards.
You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

"Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

"Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"

"Um, well. Yes."

"What kind of morons do you take us for??"

The Ba'ku had no reason to trust Picard or the Federation after the shit they pulled, and frankly they would've had every right to tell them to fuck off after the deception was uncovered. Why negotiate with people who were obviously willing to use underhanded measures to get what they wanted? (Not to mention, they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)

why wouldn't they trust Picard? They had no reason not to trust him, he'd done nothing but try to help them. And again, the plot never has Dougherty or Picard explicitly explain what the Son'a technology could do for billions across the galaxy. Now why do you think that is? Because they didn't want a scene where the Baku say no to leaving their planet and resettling to help billions. It just wouldn't have worked.
Because he was a representative of the same people who came to move them? So what if he outwardly appeared genial and conciliatory? Should they be naive enough to take that at face value, after what they'd been through?

You are still harping on the Ba'ku being forced to leave, when that is absolutely not the only choice possible here.

The rings, we are told, regenerate constantly, or at least they will, until the collector sucks all the magic out of them for good, which will make the planet uninhabitable "for generations." So, the Federation would take what is apparently a renewable resource and turn it into a non-renewable one, in order to make it more convenient. That is worth questioning, too.

There's no indication given in the film that the Ba'ku would be against other settlements on the planet, as long as they respected the Ba'ku way, or at least didn't shit up the place too much. Locutus went into this in some detail so I'm not going to repeat him. Suffice it to say, making it a binary choice between "Ba'ku stay" and "Ba'ku go" ignores the other possibilities, and it's the only way to make your argument work.

Let's leave aside which side you fall on here. Let's even assume that you defend the principle of the Baku decision. You've STILL got a premise of "Picard reluctantly defends tiny village of self-centered Luddites who choose their own privileged comforts over helping billions." The audience is left wondering why they should care about this small group they've never seen before.
They choose keeping their homes over helping billions of people they do not know and have no interest in.

Tell me, how much do you go without so you can help people you've never met? Would you give up your home for the benefit of strangers if asked? Would you be okay with being deceived into it? What about being forced to at gunpoint? Those are the scenarios you are promoting.

The group in question is not the issue. I wouldn't care if it's the Ba'ku, a tribe of Native Americans, or a colony of sentient garden gnomes. Forcing people to leave their homes to benefit others is wrong.

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)
Actually the Ba'ku didn't know who the Son'a were until after Picard told them they were both from the same race
Seems kind of weird that they wouldn't recognize their own kin, but it's been a while since I saw the movie, so you may be right.
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Old March 11 2013, 03:37 PM   #30
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Re: Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Well, I think it's lost on people and we, as the Federation, shouldn't even be asking them to leave. That's the "attack upon its very soul." And by the end of the movie, some of the Son'a are on the planet. Picard said he would visit. I doubt the planet stays as obscure as it is in the beginning of the movie, but that is never talked about in the movie.

This is a moral like any other. If Picard was asked to murder 600 people, would we be screaming that it wasn't enough of a moral dilemma? This is the 24th century where the Prime Directive is as much a part of law and morality as the laws against murder are today. People tend to overlook that when asking these questions.

And to apply it to our world, how would we treat the Middle East differently if we never had oil interests? What else is the Federation willing to do from this point forward for "medical advancement?" As Geordi says, "How can I look at another sunrise knowing what my sight cost these people?" If we didn't have to play footsie with people for their resources, would we keep our moral high-ground? If the movie depicted the way women are treated by Saudi Arabia, for instance, would we still think it's a clunker?

I think there's a lot of merit to this story. I think the "fountain of youth" is overplayed. This is about ending disease and genetic problems that remain unsolved in the 24th century. The problem with peace is that it leaves you defenseless, as the Bak'u are not willing to defend themselves. And this is about the moral equivalency to killing off 600 people for scientific research, say a cure for cancer or AIDS. We have laws against those kind of experiments now. But we have a study where babies are never touched. If we can see that as progress, why can't we understand we are judging 24th century by 21st century morals?

The ONLY criticisms I have of the movie are the lighthearted comedy and the fact the Bak'u are all white and thin.

Also, the only way to keep the "fountain of youth" if the Bak'u leave the planet is to take injections--technology--for the rest of their lives. That's destroying who they are. So it's us or them.
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"Cogley was old-fashioned, preferring paper books to computers. He had an extensive collection of books, he claimed never to use the computer in his office."

Last edited by HaventGotALife; March 11 2013 at 07:40 PM.
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