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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old October 10 2009, 01:49 AM   #1
Frontier
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Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

It just occurred to me the other day...

...Was the character of Kathryn Janeway killed off in Trek Lit because, through her time as Voyager's captain where she made choices that some did not agree with, she was deemed to be too polarizing and controversial a figure to continue on within the broader stories and universe of Trek Lit as it has become?

IE, Admiral Janeway presented a problem in that she's perhaps the most harshly critisized of all of modern Trek chracters, and in this more unified universe we're now in, where more characters cross between series, having an individual who is an Admiral and our most familair face at SFCommand also be someone whom some folks vocally dislike... so by getting rid of her, such a polarization is removed in the hopes of encouring people to cross-read between series and to be able to better stomach characters and events they might otherwise not like?

...Was Janeway Killed Because a Vocal Minority Disliked Her Enough to Threaten the Broader Scope of Modern Trek Lit, as Well As Perhaps It's Bottom Line Financially?

Was Janeway Assassinated?
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Old October 10 2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Ummmmmmmm.........



No.


Janeway died because it made a good story, it continues to inspire good stories, and it will continue to do so. Simple as that.
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Old October 10 2009, 02:18 AM   #3
Steve Roby
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Another no vote here.

Besides, Archer made Janeway look good.
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Old October 10 2009, 02:22 AM   #4
William Leisner
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

For this theory to work, one would need to argue that the chatterings of internet keyboard monkeys play a role, no matter how tiny, in the decision-making process of the editorial staff.

Therefore, the theory does not work.
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Old October 10 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

I doubt that Janeway was killed because she was a polarizing figure.

Rather, when looked at soberly in retrospect, her death in Before Dishonor showed that no one was safe in Treklit. In that regard, Janeway's death was much like Chewbacca's death in Vector Prime. If Janeway, a canon character, could be pushing daisies in a book, then where would the bloodletting end?
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Old October 10 2009, 03:14 AM   #6
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Chewbacca's dead?!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
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Old October 10 2009, 03:16 AM   #7
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

There's a statue of limitations on spoilers. That happened ten years ago.

Fuck. Ten years since New Jedi Order started. *sigh*
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Old October 10 2009, 05:02 AM   #8
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

What everyone else said. Just because someone's a "polarizing figure" to a few obsessive geeks online doesn't mean there's some huge controversy over her among the fanbase. Usually those epic arguments on bulletin boards are just the same half-dozen or so people rehashing the same arguments over and over again for years on end -- maybe a different half-dozen on each board, but maybe some overlap between boards.

Besides, given the reaction to Janeway's death, I'm rather staggered that anyone could think it was done to avoid controversy.
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Old October 10 2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I doubt that Janeway was killed because she was a polarizing figure.

Rather, when looked at soberly in retrospect, her death in Before Dishonor showed that no one was safe in Treklit. In that regard, Janeway's death was much like Chewbacca's death in Vector Prime. If Janeway, a canon character, could be pushing daisies in a book, then where would the bloodletting end?
I'm sorry but I just don't believe that no one is safe in Trek Lit. I think Picard, Kirk, and Spock are probably pretty safe. Though Kirk died in Generations, Shatner quickly bought him back in his novels, plus there were a lot of novels detailing Kirk's past adventures, with his face plastered on the covers and the new movie gives the character a new life. In Trek Lit., they even bought back Tucker and gave us a glimpse of his future so that's a safe bet that he'll survive the Romulan War. I think Janeway, Sisko, and perhaps Archer were or are less safe maybe because TNG and TOS are more popular.

I'm torn about Janeway's death. On one hand I think its great that a major character bought the farm, even though I think her death was poorly handled in Before Dishonor. I never liked Janeway as much as I did while reading Full Circle, when I saw how much her absence affected the people around her. It made me appreciate the character a bit more.

But I have misgivings because I can't help but think Janeway got something of a raw deal. Even with Sisko, they bought him back though he's been sidelined in favor of Kira and Vaughn. I'm still thinking that enough wiggle room was left in Before Dishonor to bring her back, particularly with how the Caeliar absorbed the Borg. I just started reading Unworthy and I'm anticipating clues to Janeway's return/resurrection, if not in that novel then in future VOY books.
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Old October 10 2009, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Well, we know how Spock dies (or, rather, ends up missing) so, yes, he won't be killed off in the books.
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Old October 10 2009, 01:19 PM   #11
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

DarKush wrote: View Post
I'm still thinking that enough wiggle room was left in Before Dishonor to bring her back
This may no longer apply, as there's a new editorial regime, but...

Margaret Clark said repeatedly that Janeway's death in Before Dishonor was intended to be definitive, and as far as Pocket was concerned it was, but Paramount wanted an exit in case the books needed to bring her back to life for a future film. Thus, the "wiggle room" was by design, but it wasn't a thread to be pulled unless absolutely necessary.
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Old October 10 2009, 06:44 PM   #12
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Another point to be made regarding the OP's theory is that killing Janeway was itself a polarizing decision. So, if the goal was to depolarize the audience how would making another highly polarizing decision accomplish this?

It wouldn't, so the answer must be, "No."
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Old October 10 2009, 08:48 PM   #13
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Yes, Janeway polarized viewers.

Yes, so did her death.

So... when selecting a target for a potentially polarizing death-in-a-novel, she was probably a better choice than a major character that is more universally popular.

You know, I seem to recall similar debate during pre-publicity for "Death in Winter", especially when the cover art came out, the editor and the author were playing coy, and TNG books were launching into a brave new direction. It began to look like Bev Crusher would be killed off "permanently" rather than sending her back to Starfleet Medical as the cut scene from "Nemesis" had suggested.
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Old October 10 2009, 09:35 PM   #14
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

I have to agree with Allyn Gibson-- it drives home that no character is bullet-proof anymore. I'm sure like DarKush there will be those who never believe it (and I largely blame comic books for that, where characters are largely guaranteed to not stay dead), but for me, all bets are off. On-screen Trek may never come back to the Prime universe, so TrekLit is free to do whatever they want, and nothing cemented that for me as much as Janeway's death. (It certainly had me on the edge of my seat all through Destiny!)

In addition, I think that T'Lana and T'Ryssa Chen are rather polarizing characters, and they haven't been... uh, oh.
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Old October 10 2009, 10:04 PM   #15
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Re: Random Thought: Was Janeway Killed Because She was So Polarizing?

Not to sound cold or harsh, but with Janeway's death it was a "shit happens" kind of thing to me. After Generations and the finale of DS9, I became immune to Trek captains being killed off (although I did get Sisko back...mostly).

I went through what Janeway fans are now experiencing when Kirk died, so I do understand how they feel though. But life does go on and so does the Human Adventure, however...
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