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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 November 30 2013, 01:46 AM   #46
teacake
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

And Quark collected action figures as a kid!
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Old November 30 2013, 02:23 AM   #47
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

teacake wrote: View Post
Hey now what about the Shakespeare quoting erudite Klingons of TUC?

Those ones were the best.
Speaking of TUC, one criticism I've always had with Trek was elucidated quite nicely in Star Trek 6 during the dinner scene. Chekov makes an off-hand comment about all alien civilizations have a claim to "inalienable human rights", and Gorkon's daughter calls him a racist and mentions that the Federation is nothing but a "Homosapiens Only club."

And you know what? She's totally 100% correct. Despite the Federation being made up of over 150 planets, Starfleet seems to be >95% humans.

Now that might not be the case within the fictional universe, but that is how it's portrayed on TV. I would say TNG was especially guilty of this. Amongst the "background extras" and the crew who weren't main cast members, how many aliens did we ever see? I get that there's practical considerations involved, that there's a time/money cost associated with putting actors in the makeup chair for several hours just for the sake of visual diversity, but still. To the viewer, Starfleet looks very much like a Homosapiens only club in TOS and TNG.

And even the ship names are almost exclusively people/places/things from Earth. What, Starfleet can't name a ship after some famous historical Tellarite figure or some major city on Andoria? Tolstoy gets a Starfleet ship named after him, as if any alien in the 24th century even knows who the hell Tolstoy is.
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Old November 30 2013, 02:38 AM   #48
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

The Oy! Mixer wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
And I seem to recall somebody giving somebody else a mystery novel at some point in TNG, but I might be thinking of Galactica.
Yeah, that was Adama loaning a hardcover mystery to Roslin. Don't ask me the episode, but I think it was an early one.
Water, the second episode of the series. President Roslin later returned the book in season 2's Flight of the Phoenix.
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Old November 30 2013, 03:07 AM   #49
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

warriorsfan wrote: View Post

And even the ship names are almost exclusively people/places/things from Earth. What, Starfleet can't name a ship after some famous historical Tellarite figure or some major city on Andoria? Tolstoy gets a Starfleet ship named after him, as if any alien in the 24th century even knows who the hell Tolstoy is.
There was the T'Kumbra.
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Old November 30 2013, 03:20 AM   #50
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

warriorsfan wrote: View Post
And you know what? She's totally 100% correct. Despite the Federation being made up of over 150 planets, Starfleet seems to be >95% humans.
Starfleet is the American Navy in space, with a dash of Royal Navy romance thrown in. This was true of TOS and just as true (despite the more cuddly, UN-friendly veneer they tried to give it) of TNG. Earth is a benign hegemony over the member planets of the Federation in the same way that America is seen (by itself and sometimes others) as in benign hegemony over the "free world."

The ships aren't just given Earth names. Most of them are American Navy ship names. Lincoln is described in TOS as an "early Earth President." The universe they venture forth into is arguably an analogue of the world from an American Navy vantage point, which leads to some of its limitations: there is one overwhelming power of self-evident obvious goodness (albeit getting more and more anxious about questions of internal corruption) with a few worthy but minor allies, pitted against a strange and often incomprehensible wider world whose peoples are backward and not-backward in proportion to their resemblance to oneself, and where some are just hostile for no good reason at all.
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Old November 30 2013, 04:39 AM   #51
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Pel the Yeshiva Ferengi wrote: View Post
There was the T'Kumbra.
Yeah there were two or three examples of non-Earth specific ship names...and like 150 examples of Earth-specific ones. The point stands. You had the Gandhi, the Tolstoy, the Crazy Horse, the Melbourne, the Cairo, the Yosemite, the Yorktown, the Yellowstone, the list is endless. To anyone who isn't a human, these names are meaningless.

I get that the reason is to make the show more familiar and relatable to a (primarily) American audience, but it comes at the expense of in-universe realism and makes Starfleet come across as being the sole domain of humanity.

There's always a trade-off. Like using alien species as metaphors for social issues often comes at the expense of having them be one-note and homogenous.
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Old November 30 2013, 05:08 AM   #52
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

I only skimmed the article, but are there any complaints beyond logical inconsistencies? It's nothing more than annoying nitpicking.
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Old November 30 2013, 06:00 AM   #53
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

I don't see what the problem with the Klingons is. I mean, you don't see anyone complaining how lots of Doctor Who aliens who seem just as ridiculous (like the Sontarans) became spacefaring.
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Old November 30 2013, 09:09 AM   #54
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Doctor Who aliens are not fully fleshed out races with politics and planets and diplomatic relationships with humans.
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Old November 30 2013, 06:18 PM   #55
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

teacake wrote: View Post
Doctor Who aliens are not fully fleshed out races with politics and planets and diplomatic relationships with humans.
Since when were the Klingons a fully fleshed out race? They were always two-dimensional warrior tough guys without any depth.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:09 PM   #56
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

For every person who complains that the Klingons are two-dimensional, I'm convinced there's another person who would complain about any effort to add "dimension" to them, claiming they were being written inconsistently. Sometimes you just can't win.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:35 PM   #57
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

They have tons of dimension, all kinds of Klingons are seen. The lawyer in ENT, the chef, the merchants, the old wise Martok, the young testosterone driven males, the teenage metal heads, the woman using Quark to preserve her house, the conniving Duras sisters, Azetbur who was quite refined, religious nutters, doctors engaged in research..

We just remember the loud jerky ones because they are so loud and jerky.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:48 PM   #58
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

warriorsfan wrote: View Post
I get that the reason is to make the show more familiar and relatable to a (primarily) American audience, but it comes at the expense of in-universe realism and makes Starfleet come across as being the sole domain of humanity.
Well, I dunno. In-universe it's perfectly believable for there to be uneven levels of political and military power between member worlds of the Federation and for one race to have hegemonic power, it's only a bit dubious for it to be a projected United States. That it complicates Starfleet's claim to being truly representative in ways that are never really faced up to is a given, but no moreso than American hegemony's claim to truly representing "the free world" is / was complicated. (It's only a shame that they never brought themselves to really exploit those complexities for stories.)
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Old December 1 2013, 12:30 AM   #59
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

We do see Klingon engineers around, they're just not 'honored' in society. I figure there are scientists on Kronos, they just get pushed around and disrespected. Plus they probably stole a lot of technology from races they conquered.
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Old December 1 2013, 03:25 AM   #60
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

I'm not sure how canon this is, but apparently the Klingons got most of their current tech from aliens called the Hurq that invaded their world about 1000 years before TOS. That's how they got into space to begin with.
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