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Old July 18 2014, 04:06 PM   #1
SimpleLogic
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Chakotay, A True Maquis?

So I just restarted Voyager and I'm a few episodes in, and realized Chakotay takes to being a Starfleet Officer pretty quick. By that I mean he is most always by the book, and acts like an Academy instructor at times. Now I know he had Starfleet training which probably meant it was like slipping into an old pair of pants for him, and he was doing his best to be a leader and meld the crews, but for the most part he seemed the least like a Maquis of all the Maquis and he was their leader. After Caretaker he was by-the-book and never looked back.

So I guess what I wonder is if his heart was really into being a Maquis or if he felt it was more of an obligation because of where he was from.

I guess more Maquis/Starfleet conflicts should have been drug out a bit more so we gradually see the trust form.
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Old July 18 2014, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

Chakotay wasn't some simple Academy washout, he'd been a Starfleet officer for years, before resigning to help his home colony after a treaty placed the planet in Cardassian territory.
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Old July 18 2014, 06:41 PM   #3
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

The Voyager writers never really understood how to write the Maquis. Like there was that one part in Learning Curve where he decks the guy and says "That, that's the Maquis way, RIGHT?"

The writers seemed to have the idea that the Maquis were more like space pirates than rebels. I don't think it's a problem that Chakotay was able to slip into the Federation role easily, so much as it's a problem that he stopped really advocating for the Maquis crew after Parallax and we never see him try to uphold the same principles that caused him to take the side of the Maquis in the first place.
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Old July 18 2014, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

Probably my favorite Chakotay line in the entire series is when those two Maquis ensigns (one of which is Seska, I think) tell him that they'll help him take over the ship if he wants to, and he rips into them, like "If I ever hear you talk that way again, I will personally throw you in the brig for MUTINY!"

Way to go, Chak.

That being said, Chakotay is probably the truest Maquis on the ship, and not just because he was their leader. He was only in this because it was necessary to defend themselves in the DMZ. He didn't join out of sheer ego (Eddington), a love of killing people (Suder) or for the thrills (Tom Paris). I'm sure Chakotay regretted that there ever had to be a Maquis in the first place. He didn't want to do it, he just felt he had to.

To put it another way: Chakotay was one of those - probably few - Maquis who actually would have stopped at driving out the Cardassians.
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Old July 19 2014, 02:51 AM   #5
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
The Voyager writers never really understood how to write the Maquis. Like there was that one part in Learning Curve where he decks the guy and says "That, that's the Maquis way, RIGHT?"

The writers seemed to have the idea that the Maquis were more like space pirates than rebels. I don't think it's a problem that Chakotay was able to slip into the Federation role easily, so much as it's a problem that he stopped really advocating for the Maquis crew after Parallax and we never see him try to uphold the same principles that caused him to take the side of the Maquis in the first place.
Yeah I guess that was really about the writing. And rewatching the beginning was what really made me think on his character. I remember most of the latter seasons the most so by then I get that he was pretty assimilated into the crew. But it had been so long since I watched it from the beginning that I had forgot that he basically did that from the beginning.

At least it does speak to his good character that he agreed it would be a starfleet ship and made good on his promise from the start and didn't have an ego about "not being in charge".

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
That being said, Chakotay is probably the truest Maquis on the ship, and not just because he was their leader. He was only in this because it was necessary to defend themselves in the DMZ. He didn't join out of sheer ego (Eddington), a love of killing people (Suder) or for the thrills (Tom Paris). I'm sure Chakotay regretted that there ever had to be a Maquis in the first place. He didn't want to do it, he just felt he had to.

To put it another way: Chakotay was one of those - probably few - Maquis who actually would have stopped at driving out the Cardassians.
Yeah he does seem to more of the "I did it because it was right" and if the whole border conflict hadn't happened he would be a career officer with either his own command or an Academy posting.


I guess my main issue is that he just didn't stand out as being a rebel. I don't dislike his character I guess I just think they could have made him so much better.


And yeah imagine the headbutting if it had been Eddington instead.
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Old July 19 2014, 04:10 AM   #6
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

Chak was a stuffed shirt Maquis and he was a stuffed shirt Starfleet officer.
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Old July 19 2014, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

People overplay this idea that the Maquis are some kind of rebellious element.

The Maquis only broke away because they had their own stake in the DMZ and they felt it wasn't being respected.

Most of them were Federation citizens their entire lives. It isn't like "Taxation without Representation", they weren't giving the big F*** You to the Man. Only Eddington really came across like that, but then again Eddington was a whack job.

I tend to think Chakotay was more like what most Maquis were: ultimately he's more Starfleet than anything else. He's got beliefs, but it isn't like he just said "Okay, screw the Federation!", it was more about fighting his own corner because the Feds weren't going to do it for him.

While I don't disagree that the Maquis were under-utilized on Voyager, neither do I hold to the often repeated view that there should have been insurrections aboard the ship all the time and whatnot. I just don't see that as being who the Maquis really are.
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Old July 19 2014, 11:47 PM   #8
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

'Rebel' is the wrong word. After the Federation gave away their homes in a treaty they attempted to secede from the Federation and keep their homes, so 'Rebel' isn't an accurate description of that. More like, a non-slavery version of the Confederacy.
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Old July 20 2014, 03:54 AM   #9
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

^ That's not a bad comparison. The thing about the Maquis is that as a movement, they probably needed to be explored more than they were. My interpretation of the Maquis is that it was made up of a complex and diverse group of people who all have their own stake and probably their own feeling of discontent with the situation inthe DMZ. I suspect that there are a lot of them who still hold to Federation ideals but simply find themselves fighting for another side, people like Chakotay. He's a former Starfleet Academy graduate and officer, this is not a man with 'rebellion' to his very core. Contrast this to B'elenna Torres, who failed her Academy entrance completely and was never Starfleet. Quite apart from her feisty temper, she was a Federation citizen without necessarily being 100% signed up to the ideals, so she was a rebellious spirit always more inclined to Fight For Her Freedom (consider that Torres was conceived as yet one last attempt to get Michelle Forbes to sign up to a series as Ro Laren; and follow the fallout from the events of "Preemptive Strike" to their logical conclusion).

Basically, I don't tend to look at the Maquis as a whole being rebellious by nature. They're fighting for their homes and fighting for their beliefs, but ideallogically they are basically a splinter off the Federation/Starfleet. A lot of them probably still hold onto Federation morals. Most of them probably are like Chakotay, they'd be people more inclined towards joining Janeway's crew than they would be to rebel against it.

The most 'hardcore' Maquis we ever saw were Torres (who eventually settled into a regular job and stopped being a pain in the ass), Eddington (who was a certifiable nutjob), and Seska (ultimately unmasked as a Cardie spy). The rest of them are usually depicted as morally decent people who just have their backs to the wall in a difficult situation.
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Old July 20 2014, 03:58 AM   #10
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
'Rebel' is the wrong word. After the Federation gave away their homes in a treaty they attempted to secede from the Federation and keep their homes
Actually, it was the other way around: it was their idea to stay in the DMZ to begin with. They knew full well they would be living under Cardassian rule, and still they stayed. So it's not like the Federation abandoned them - the Feds wanted to help them move, but they refused.

This doesn't excuse how the colonists in the DMZ were later treated by the Cardassians, of course. But it puts paid to the cliche that the "Federation gave away their homes", when in fact it's the opposite.
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Old July 20 2014, 12:34 PM   #11
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

A true Maquis? Chakotay's not even a true Native American!
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Old July 20 2014, 04:42 PM   #12
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

Chakotay was pretty bad ass in the early episodes, standing up to Janeway and punching that Maquis guy that disobeyed Tuvok's orders. I just rewatched season one, and Chakotay was like a non-character in the pilot but he quickly becomes a grounding force in the show imo. The whole Maquis thing in general is as vague as the badly written Cylons from BSG. But yeah I'm a fan of the character. I also came to the disturbing realization that I like Kes more than Seven of Nine.
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Old July 27 2014, 02:21 AM   #13
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

My take on Chakotay is that he was trying to get the crew home, and the crew needed to be united to that common cause. The Marquis cause was effectively a dead end for them at that time, since they were so far away from the Alpha Quadrant. There wasn't much they could do against the Cardassians in the Delta Quadrant - outside of Seska, of course.

I wish Seska had stuck around more, even as a recurring crew member. Crazy as that is, she could want to go home, so they work together for a common goal. A little conflict and a grey/evil recurring crew member would liven things up.
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Old July 27 2014, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

The problem was that the Maquis hadn't really been developed enough to work as a counter to the Feds, and the only real reason they were fighting the Feds (the DMZ conflict) was no longer present. There wasn't any hostility or bad blood between them beyond that, and they weren't even that ideologically opposed to the Feds either.

Now, if the other crew were Romulans instead then there's lots of potential conflict to mine.
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Old July 27 2014, 09:48 AM   #15
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Re: Chakotay, A True Maquis?

There are two reasons that a spy targets someone.

1. Urgency.

2. Weakness.

In the case of 1, there would have to be some threat that Chakotay was about to do something awful, and in the case of 2, he was the lowest hanging fruit ho was the easiest to manipulate and/or fool.
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