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Old June 18 2013, 03:30 AM   #1
Infern0
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Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Personally I think this could have made Voyager more interesting.

The man was a terrorist leader, but he became Janeways lapdog way too easily.

I mean a lot of the problem people have with Janeway was that she was at times a morally grey character.

Well Chakotay should have been that imo, instead he was often the voice of reason and it just seemed strange to me.
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Old June 18 2013, 03:42 AM   #2
R. Star
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Well, Chakotay was a very life like and fringe type character in Caretaker. When I watched that episode for the first time, I thought he'd be my favorite character even with the dreadful Indian cliches that episode alone harped at us.

Really the main reason I think Chakotay got relegated out of the spotlight was Janeway. When Jeri Taylor was around, Janeway was hogging the spotlight to put it lightly and everyone else was put on the back burner accordingly. So for the first three years he really was just a sounding board for Janeway's ideas and the guy carrying out her orders. By Season 4, even when Ryan was out of the picture and Janeway was only -a- main character instead of -the- main character, Seven was centered heavily in a lot of episodes as if to compensate for her not being there before and by this point the Doctor was getting more and more episodes since he pretty much was the popular character.

So Chakotay was always there, he was probably doing something important but.. he wasn't interesting enough to capture the attention or likability of the audience and not given enough screen time to repair this damage. Throw in the facepalmingly bad Indian cliches and tribal stories, coupled with Beltran's often lackluster performance and well... yeah.

Really Scorpion was the only other episode Chakotay reached his potential as a character. There he was his own man, standing up to the captain and you see a true difference of opinions and a bit of drama that we were promised with the premise. He could've been a lot more, but really wasn't sadly. Just the captain's yes-man. I've joked more than once that after Caretaker, Janeway had him castrated.

It could well be that part of Chakotay's lack of prominence was just due to the non-use of the whole Maquis storyline as well. Another missed opportunity.
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Old June 18 2013, 03:50 AM   #3
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"



Janeway: Did I see you checking out Chakotay's ass?

7: I was merely gathering relevant data.
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Old June 18 2013, 05:03 AM   #4
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

They should have given him a harder edge, but I would have preferred him be more of a toned down Eddington. A principled counterpoint to Janeway's Federation dogma, only smart enough to know that the Federation and Maquis needed to work together.

Like season 2-3 Tom Zarek.
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Old June 18 2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
They should have given him a harder edge, but I would have preferred him be more of a toned down Eddington. A principled counterpoint to Janeway's Federation dogma, only smart enough to know that the Federation and Maquis needed to work together.

Like season 2-3 Tom Zarek.
That's the way I would have done it. I expected Tom Paris to be the bad ass of the group. The prison scene in Caretaker when he's talking back, the life debt poking he gives Chakotay, and the quick promotion because he's the best (if not the only) pilot. By the last season he became a Delta Flyer/Captain Proton geek (basically where I would see myself in starfleet).
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Old June 18 2013, 06:15 AM   #6
Charles Phipps
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

I would have been happy if they'd been able to actually secure a RL ethnicity for him.
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Old June 18 2013, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

The main problem with Chakotay was that he really wasn't all that different from Janeway in the first place. A principled leader type. They didn't try hard enough to differentiate them to begin with.

Also, they made him less of a traitor than most Maquis. He formally resigned and then joined, instead of defecting and selling out secrets, etc. This, again, sort of undercut his character.

Jeri Taylor never allowing Janeway to be in the wrong sure didn't help matters though.
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Old June 18 2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Anwar wrote: View Post
The main problem with Chakotay was that he really wasn't all that different from Janeway in the first place.
When Chakotay commanded the ship I'd say he's more daring.
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Old June 18 2013, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Watching VOY i have to wonder. How did Chakotay ever reach the the rank of LT. Commander in Starfleet? While the details are hazy. StarTrek.com and Memory Alpha both hint that Chakotay was a Lt. Commander when he resigned his commission. When you watch the TNG episode "Tapestry", Cmdr. Riker says you have to stand out and get noticed in order to be promoted. Hell even Troi was Lt. Commander in "Encounter at Farpoint".

Chakotay doesn't do any of thing to stand out on VOY. He doesn't have any command presence either. Events come along once in a blue moon like "Scorpion". I just don't see how Chakotay could've climbed the ranks to Lt. Cmdr. His Cmdr rank is a provisional rank instilled by Capt Janeway under extreme circumstances due to Caretaker. He's just so bland and uninspiring it seems implausible.
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Old June 18 2013, 09:51 AM   #10
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
Watching VOY i have to wonder. How did Chakotay ever reach the the rank of LT. Commander in Starfleet? While the details are hazy. StarTrek.com and Memory Alpha both hint that Chakotay was a Lt. Commander when he resigned his commission. When you watch the TNG episode "Tapestry", Cmdr. Riker says you have to stand out and get noticed in order to be promoted. Hell even Troi was Lt. Commander in "Encounter at Farpoint".

Chakotay doesn't do any of thing to stand out on VOY. He doesn't have any command presence either. Events come along once in a blue moon like "Scorpion". I just don't see how Chakotay could've climbed the ranks to Lt. Cmdr. His Cmdr rank is a provisional rank instilled by Capt Janeway under extreme circumstances due to Caretaker. He's just so bland and uninspiring it seems implausible.
I see no reason not to see why Chakotay couldn't have risen to Commander and/or higher. He was a quiet, soft-spoken type but he was apparently very effective as a guerilla warrior against the Cardassians.
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Old June 18 2013, 01:31 PM   #11
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Eh, in the militaries of today's world time served matters as much as competence and standing out. A career officer who's competent, even if uninspired, will steadily rise in rank to Lieutenant colonel/commander over the course of their career. They may not get a command or a prestigious assignment, but a steady rise in rank is a given.

Even Reg Barclay, with all his flaws, made commander in Endgame's future. The only exception to this is really Picard's alternate life that Q presented with him being a lieutenant junior grade for 30+ years. Which just isn't realistic and I think was just a case of Q taking an exaggerated liberty to rub a little more salt into the wound.
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Old June 18 2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

R. Star wrote: View Post
Eh, in the militaries of today's world time served matters as much as competence and standing out. A career officer who's competent, even if uninspired, will steadily rise in rank to Lieutenant colonel/commander over the course of their career. They may not get a command or a prestigious assignment, but a steady rise in rank is a given.

Even Reg Barclay, with all his flaws, made commander in Endgame's future. The only exception to this is really Picard's alternate life that Q presented with him being a lieutenant junior grade for 30+ years. Which just isn't realistic and I think was just a case of Q taking an exaggerated liberty to rub a little more salt into the wound.
Though Barclay also was a Lt. junior grade for an impossibly long time as well.

Weird how that happens in Trek. People either are promoted too quickly or too slowly. Not to mention there are too many people of officer rank to begin with.
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Old June 18 2013, 02:29 PM   #13
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Chakotay can be soft spoken at times but he did everything Janeway did during the series in the first episode. Defending against and escaping from a bigger foe (Cardassians), navigating his crew through a dangerous location (the Badlands and Neelix's asteroid field), he even had the guts to set a collision course into a bigger ship then the Krenim ship Janeway crashed into and didn't need time travel to fix everything.

Last edited by bbjeg; June 18 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old June 18 2013, 02:29 PM   #14
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

R. Star wrote: View Post
Even Reg Barclay, with all his flaws, made commander in Endgame's future. The only exception to this is really Picard's alternate life that Q presented with him being a lieutenant junior grade for 30+ years. Which just isn't realistic and I think was just a case of Q taking an exaggerated liberty to rub a little more salt into the wound.
I felt that episode would have been more interesting if Picard had found out being a Lieutenant Junior Grade with an area of special concern (say, cosmic dust) allowed him to have a family and Mediocre Picard was actually fairly happy.

It makes sense in an integrated NASA-like group that the posts normally held by civilians get ranks.
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Old June 18 2013, 02:59 PM   #15
R. Star
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Re: Should Chakotay have been more of a "bad ass"

Kevman7987 wrote: View Post

Though Barclay also was a Lt. junior grade for an impossibly long time as well.

Weird how that happens in Trek. People either are promoted too quickly or too slowly. Not to mention there are too many people of officer rank to begin with.
He showed up in 2366 on the Enterprise-D as a Lieutenant jg. By 2376 when he showed up on Voyager he was a full lieutenant. Heck, he might've been full lieutenant by 2373 in First Contact, we didn't actually see him in uniform.

So ten or so years is a long time, but yeah... Reg was screwing up a lot with his holo addictions, and severe phobias so often getting in the way of his work. It stands to reason once he became more steady... as was described in the Endgame future, he could start working his way up the ranks again.

Either way, it's perfectly concievable that Chakotay steadily rose up the ranks even if he didn't do much to "get noticed." I always liked to think that the "lieutenant commander in Starfleet" who resigned on principle who was her instructor at Advanced Tactical that Ro mentioned in Preemptive Strike was Chakotay.

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post

I felt that episode would have been more interesting if Picard had found out being a Lieutenant Junior Grade with an area of special concern (say, cosmic dust) allowed him to have a family and Mediocre Picard was actually fairly happy.

It makes sense in an integrated NASA-like group that the posts normally held by civilians get ranks.
That might have been interesting. Both the civilian honorary rank bit and the happy family part. Though over all I think it would've distracted from the over all theme of the episode and clouded the issue.
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