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Old October 17 2013, 09:04 AM   #16
Elvira
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

David.Blue wrote: View Post
Just don't like the tendency (shown most especially in assumptions about the Bolians based on Mr. Mott's personality) to see one example of a species then assuming they are the statistical embodiment of their entire culture.
In the case of Mister Mott's species, we saw a young woman of that species who was a Starfleet cadet, she was grey and not blue, and seemed to be a fairly interesting person. Now, as it turned out she was a alien imposter, but it does show that not everyone of that species is a blue skinned barber.

And I personally don't think that these two twins were actually "cat people." Yes they had tails, there are fur-less cats, and the script referred to them as cats. I just don't feel that they were cats.



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Old October 17 2013, 01:44 PM   #17
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

Weirdly (at least imho) the twins were supposed to be Caitians which I don't buy myself. They seem vaguely feline, but very different from actual Caitians we've seen before in TVH and TAS. But then I tend to reject statements of intent by designers, etc. as canon until it ends up on screen somewhere. Recall Andorian antennae used to be what that species used for ears!

So I think of the twins as a different alien species. Their look is cool enough.
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Old October 17 2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

David.Blue wrote: View Post
Their look is cool enough.
NO argument there.


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Old October 18 2013, 01:44 AM   #19
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

I thought the babes in the execrable "Jim's-bagging-them-two-at-a-time" scene matched a description I'd seen of the Cygnans, but it's non-canonical.

As for new aliens: it's more important to have genuinely new concepts for aliens than new designs. This is what always bugged me about the trajectory of the Klingons, which clearly illustrates a few fixed niches in the corpus of Trek aliens: the Klingons were initially avatars of the evils of dictatorship, then were re-designed and pushed into the "warrior culture" niche the Andorians had seemingly been initially conceived for, and then another species with more elaborate make-up -- the Cardassians -- had to be introduced to inhabit the Klingons' old vacated niche.

I personally would like to see a species -- if we want to stick with the old Trek formula of hanging a species' identity around a simple, vivid hook, which is not realistic but is dramatically understandable -- conceived around a philosophical dedication to comedy. Comedy as inky-dark as the void. (This is a variant on the anarchistic species idea I've batted around before.)
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Old October 18 2013, 08:56 AM   #20
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

I want them to make use of existing species and I'm happy for a re-design to make use of more modern techniques but the caitian redux was a lame step back towards bumpy headed aliens I want them to avoid. They obviously went minimalist purely because they wanted a sexy shot and Kirk in bed with hairy women would not have ticked the right boxes.
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Old October 18 2013, 04:20 PM   #21
David.Blue
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

BigJake wrote: View Post
As for new aliens: it's more important to have genuinely new concepts for aliens than new designs. This is what always bugged me about the trajectory of the Klingons, which clearly illustrates a few fixed niches in the corpus of Trek aliens: the Klingons were initially avatars of the evils of dictatorship, then were re-designed and pushed into the "warrior culture" niche the Andorians had seemingly been initially conceived for, and then another species with more elaborate make-up -- the Cardassians -- had to be introduced to inhabit the Klingons' old vacated niche.
Good point! Although in the novels and such between TOS and TNG some writers tried to turn the Romulans into that kind of Samurai-esque culture, before the new series began portraying them as a blend of Roman Empire and Soviet Union.

Klingons of course began as (to quote David Gerrold) "Mongol hordes with ray guns and space ships."

Personally I feel the Cardassians were the single best developed alien culture in Trek, beating out even the Vulcans. On a visceral level I eventually felt I understood Cardassian culture in the same way I have a real sense what Germans, French, Italians and English are like.

I personally would like to see a species -- if we want to stick with the old Trek formula of hanging a species' identity around a simple, vivid hook, which is not realistic but is dramatically understandable -- conceived around a philosophical dedication to comedy. Comedy as inky-dark as the void. (This is a variant on the anarchistic species idea I've batted around before.)
Ever read The Uplift War by David Brin? Among the (many) alien races explored in that book are the Tymbrimi, who revere humor. To them, the greatest artform is the practical joke--which only achieves greatness if it turns around and catches the original trickster in ways he could not have possibly planned. They say when that happens, it is proof God really exists.
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Old October 18 2013, 04:40 PM   #22
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I want them to make use of existing species and I'm happy for a re-design to make use of more modern techniques but the caitian redux was a lame step back towards bumpy headed aliens I want them to avoid. They obviously went minimalist purely because they wanted a sexy shot and Kirk in bed with hairy women would not have ticked the right boxes.
OTOH, its better than the take a Terran animal, make it a biped and call it an alien approach. Suggesting cat like characteristics is more alien than a literal catperson.
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Old October 18 2013, 05:50 PM   #23
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

Here's an idea I got re-reading this and other threads. Can be blended with other ideas pretty easily.

For now I'm calling this race the Xeno ('cause I'm being lazy on that front). Suppose they embodied an issue we're facing today? Make of them a metaphor regarding our own lives, the issues we're facing right this second?

The Xeno are a people with a long history, much older than that of Earth or Vulcan. After developing warp drive, they expanded outward. Another race--let us call them Alphans--were in their way. A war of conquest was long and bloody, with many Alphan refugees fleeing the area as the Xeno Imperium grew. Again, all this was a long time ago, maybe a thousand years. The Imperium wasn't a uniformly bad thing, but it held onto its territories brutally. It eventually let Alphans into its civil service and military. But over time, a series of civil wars and rebellions grew into catastrophe. Whole worlds were made uninhabitable. The Xeno were forced back to their home system where they began the long effort to undo centuries of ecological devastation there.

Today, the Xeno have a very mixed reputation. Some look back upon their Imperium with great fondness, longing for past glories. This has given rise to an Imperial Faction perfectly willing, even eager, to kill and destroy towards their ends. Most Xeno are just ordinary folk, albeit with a lot of pride in their past and slightly condescending attitudes towards other races. They have a fearsome reputation but little justification for it, not anymore. In fact the so-called Modern Faction is very suspicious of anything that hints of taking up their old imperialist ways. One reason they joined the Federation was to avoid having a military of their own!

In short, a civilization with some real darkness as well as glory in their past, one in which they feel pride as well as shame. Others routinely mis-judge them, in one way or another, while they themselves continue to come to terms with issues still not fully resolved. Call them an analogy for the modern day Germans, for Arabic Muslims, for Americans still trying to come to terms with slavery, or whatever.

Naturally, having either an Alphan or a Xeno (or both) as a regular would be the way to make this work dramatically.
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Old October 18 2013, 06:31 PM   #24
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

If there is to be another Empire, I would like to see it be composed of a dozen or so species. Not one ruling species and eleven second class associates (dominion), but have them all be up front.

With some federation/Starfleet people, have some of them be old enemies, perhaps from centuries past. Old bad blood.

Like to see some Starfleet people who were outside the normal range in terms of size. Children with makeup and a voice over to appear as adults would be one way to do this. Have the turbolift doors open and a seven foot tall officer briefly ducks to exit onto the bridge.

^(oo)^
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Old October 18 2013, 09:02 PM   #25
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

David.Blue wrote: View Post
Personally I feel the Cardassians were the single best developed alien culture in Trek, beating out even the Vulcans. On a visceral level I eventually felt I understood Cardassian culture in the same way I have a real sense what Germans, French, Italians and English are like.
That's interesting. I think I missed a lot of this by not being super into the Dominion War arc... though I found Garok, Dukat and Damar all to be interesting characters, and I do 'like' -- not quite the right word -- the Cardassian interrogator we meet in the "There! Are! Four! Lights!" episode of TNG. I had the general impression that the Cardassians became rather like what the Klingons might have become if the franchise had taken up Ford's ideas about them.

Ever read The Uplift War by David Brin? Among the (many) alien races explored in that book are the Tymbrimi, who revere humor.
The Tymbrimi! Wow, I'd forgotten all about them, haven't read those books in ages. Lots of interesting alien-race ideas in them, even if I was never quite sold on the setting's premise (which was nevertheless an interesting solution to the "where are all the ancient alien empires" problem). So there is some precedent, though I think what I have in mind is a bit on the darker side than what Brin goes for.

As for the post-Imperium and-disaster history and species outline that you posit, I think it's the kind of thing that could be used to add some "oomph" to an existing species. Think how much more interesting that kind of leavening would make, say, the Deltans. (I'm kind of joking about the Deltans... or am I?)
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Old October 18 2013, 10:44 PM   #26
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

BigJake wrote: View Post
That's interesting. I think I missed a lot of this by not being super into the Dominion War arc... though I found Garok, Dukat and Damar all to be interesting characters, and I do 'like' -- not quite the right word -- the Cardassian interrogator we meet in the "There! Are! Four! Lights!" episode of TNG. I had the general impression that the Cardassians became rather like what the Klingons might have become if the franchise had taken up Ford's ideas about them.
One of the details I adored was how Dr. Bashir found Cardassian mystery novels boring--everyone was always guilty. But Garak insisted that was the point, determining the degree of guilt in each case.

The Tymbrimi! Wow, I'd forgotten all about them, haven't read those books in ages. Lots of interesting alien-race ideas in them, even if I was never quite sold on the setting's premise (which was nevertheless an interesting solution to the "where are all the ancient alien empires" problem). So there is some precedent, though I think what I have in mind is a bit on the darker side than what Brin goes for.
I kinda got that impression.

As for the post-Imperium and-disaster history and species outline that you posit, I think it's the kind of thing that could be used to add some "oomph" to an existing species. Think how much more interesting that kind of leavening would make, say, the Deltans. (I'm kind of joking about the Deltans... or am I?)
I'm totally fine with that!

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
If there is to be another Empire, I would like to see it be composed of a dozen or so species. Not one ruling species and eleven second class associates (dominion), but have them all be up front.

With some federation/Starfleet people, have some of them be old enemies, perhaps from centuries past. Old bad blood.
Yep, that's the kind of tension I was thinking.

Like to see some Starfleet people who were outside the normal range in terms of size. Children with makeup and a voice over to appear as adults would be one way to do this. Have the turbolift doors open and a seven foot tall officer briefly ducks to exit onto the bridge.
I like it! The kind of parts Michael Dunn and Ted Cassidy used to get!
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Old October 19 2013, 07:45 AM   #27
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

I don't buy the twins in STID as Caitians, the look is entirely wrong. They're an alien race who have tails, which surely can't be that odd--look at how many different species on Earth have them for various purposes.
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Old October 19 2013, 10:27 PM   #28
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I don't buy the twins in STID as Caitians, the look is entirely wrong. They're an alien race who have tails, which surely can't be that odd--look at how many different species on Earth have them for various purposes.
Hardly the first Trek alien to get a makeover.
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Old October 20 2013, 01:14 AM   #29
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

... Agreed!
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Old October 20 2013, 02:09 AM   #30
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Re: New Aliens for a New Trek?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I don't buy the twins in STID as Caitians, the look is entirely wrong.
If you're going to have Caitians, then do it right.




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