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Old February 19 2011, 08:32 AM   #1
The Overlord
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Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

We had a thread about how the Maquis were a wasted opportunity in Voyager, so let's talk about another wasted opportunity Species 8472.

These guys started off as really scary powerful villains, were as evil as the Borg, but with a complete different motive, extermination rather then assimilation. They were pretty awesome in their first appearance.

Then one was being hunted by the Hirogen and Voyager had to protet it, kinda weak. Then in their final appearance they were not evil at all and only attacked Voyager because they thought they were in league with the Borg. That's so lame, they went from pure evil villains who wanted to exterminate all life, to guys who prepared for war only because a misunderstanding. That is so lame. It took all the menace out of these guys.

What do you think, were Species 8472, another wasted opportunity? If they do another Star Trek TV show, they should do what Star Trek Online did and make them evil again. They are too good a villain to waste by making them just confused aliens.
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Old February 19 2011, 12:22 PM   #2
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
pure evil villains
Pure evil villains are boring.

Star Trek is interesting when you can understand and even sympathize with the motives of the enemy. Where it goes foul though is when the enemy ends up neutered.. because of some Mutual Understanding schtick. OR, EVEN WORSE because the Federation managed to enlighten the enemy so they embraced Fed values.
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Old February 19 2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

What appealed to me most about Species 8472 wasn't their 'evil' per se, but their alienness. I also liked their design, the look of their vessels, but their Social Darwinian philosophy had potential, if the writers had really wanted to explore that, without just leaving them as carboard villains. I would've loved to find out how and why they arrived at that mindset. Alas, we really never got to see that.

I personally wished that Species 8472 had wiped out the Borg and become VOY's Big Bad, but then be used sparingly from then on, sort of like how the Borg were used in TNG.
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Old February 19 2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

If they wanted to keep them around, then they shouldn't have overpowered them so much. Same with the Borg too frankly.

For example, just explain that while the Borg can't assimilate them they can still easily kill them. Phasers and other kinetic/energy weapons can kill them dead.

Their ships have no shields whatsoever, so it's easy to destroy their ships. But a single shot from an 8472 bio-ship is enough to destroy a Borg Cube while a Borg ship has to hit them more than once to destroy them.

This gives them numerous weaknesses, while still making them tough enough to wipe the floor with the Borg.

But what the show REALLY needed to do was just keep using its other aliens like the Kazon, Vidiians, Hirogen, Krenim and others more often. That way they'd have a better variety to choose from and not have to keep falling back on the Borg (who are lousy villains anyways).
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Old February 19 2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

I still remember the first time we saw Species 8472 climbing up Voyager's hull.. we all gasped.. that was a great moment.
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Old February 19 2011, 11:12 PM   #6
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

teacake wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
pure evil villains
Pure evil villains are boring.
What about Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, the Joker, the Red Skull, Anton Chigurh, the Daleks and numerous other pure evil villains that people love.

teacake wrote: View Post
Star Trek is interesting when you can understand and even sympathize with the motives of the enemy. Where it goes foul though is when the enemy ends up neutered.. because of some Mutual Understanding schtick. OR, EVEN WORSE because the Federation managed to enlighten the enemy so they embraced Fed values.
But in real life there are people who you cannot understand or sympathize with, like a serial killer or the Nazis. In real life, some people are just evil, they have almost no redeeming values, commit horrific acts that cannot be justified against innocent people, no rational person would sympathize with them and the world would be better off without them. I don't see a problem with a villain that reflects these types of evil people you see in real life.
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Old February 19 2011, 11:32 PM   #7
Anwar
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

Myers et all at least have personalities, personal values and all that other stuff to mull over. The Borg don't even have that, they're fundamentally boring villains.

The 8472 at least had individual personalities so there was potential for growth there, but they were too expensive to keep using. But they ARE still better than the Borg who have no room for growth the way they are.
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Old February 20 2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

What about Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, the Joker, the Red Skull, Anton Chigurh, the Daleks and numerous other pure evil villains that people love.
I don't like any of those guys with the occasional exception of the Joker, who I find most fascinating for his insanity.
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Old February 20 2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

Jeff O'Connor wrote: View Post
What about Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, the Joker, the Red Skull, Anton Chigurh, the Daleks and numerous other pure evil villains that people love.
I don't like any of those guys with the occasional exception of the Joker, who I find most fascinating for his insanity.
Lots of people do like those villains though, there is nothing wrong with the occasional Complete Monster. Not everyone in the real world is sympathetic, some people are truly morally repulsive.
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Old February 20 2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

I guess I can't argue with that one, yeah.
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Old February 20 2011, 05:59 PM   #11
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
That's so lame, they went from pure evil villains who wanted to exterminate all life, to guys who prepared for war only because a misunderstanding. That is so lame. It took all the menace out of these guys.

This is Star Trek not Star Wars. Peace and understanding are supposed to happen. That's what makes the Borg so "bad." You CANNOT ever make peace with them.


Everyone else... Romulans included... should have their moment of reconciliation. That was Nem's big wasted moment. Instead of Earth they should have had to save the Romulan home-world from FoShizzle.


Frankly I would have preferred to see it happen on screen. Conflict followed by more conflict followed by a tentative peace followed by a renewed conflict followed by a final understanding. I'm hoping that's the way Star Trek Online goes. Would be cool IMO>
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Old February 20 2011, 07:25 PM   #12
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

AriesIV wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
That's so lame, they went from pure evil villains who wanted to exterminate all life, to guys who prepared for war only because a misunderstanding. That is so lame. It took all the menace out of these guys.

This is Star Trek not Star Wars. Peace and understanding are supposed to happen. That's what makes the Borg so "bad." You CANNOT ever make peace with them.
Except that is not always possible, not everyone is interested in peace and has no desire to understand anyone else. Look at the Nazis, any peace with them would have been unjust and corrupt, allowing a greater evil to triumph. An unjust peace is not good and not everyone is violent because they are "Misunderstood", some people thrive on dominance, hatred, aggression. Almost all of those truly psychopathic serial killers cannot be rehabilitated, because they have no empathy for others and never will. War is a bad thing, but sometimes its better then allowing those who propagate tyranny and genocide to triumph.

AriesIV wrote: View Post
Everyone else... Romulans included... should have their moment of reconciliation. That was Nem's big wasted moment. Instead of Earth they should have had to save the Romulan home-world from FoShizzle.


Frankly I would have preferred to see it happen on screen. Conflict followed by more conflict followed by a tentative peace followed by a renewed conflict followed by a final understanding. I'm hoping that's the way Star Trek Online goes. Would be cool IMO>
Its bad writing for Species 8472 to go from ultra social Darwinists who see all other life as something to be destroyed, to just being confused who only went to war with non Borg species because of a misunderstanding.

This unexplained change makes Janeway's actions in "Scorpion" to go from being somewhat understandable, to being completely foolish. If Species 8472 were only aggressive because the Borg invaded their space and only wanted to invade thse Federation because of her alliance with the Borg, she comes off as extremely foolish. Why couldn't Kes sense these non evil intentions from Species 8472, why did she just sense malevolence? Changing Species 8472 makes Janeway's actions in Scorpion go from from somewhat dubious but perhaps understandable, to being completely stupid. If Species 8472, why didn't use their mental powers to tell Kes the real story, instead of saying "The weak shall perish" over and over again.

This change just contradicts so many things and makes the Voyager crew seem foolish.
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Old February 20 2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

It ever occur to you that the 8472 aren't a Hive Mind themselves, and some of them wanted xenocide (the ones Kes heard) while others were more open minded?
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Old February 20 2011, 09:00 PM   #14
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

Anwar wrote: View Post
It ever occur to you that the 8472 aren't a Hive Mind themselves, and some of them wanted xenocide (the ones Kes heard) while others were more open minded?
Except wouldn't Kes have sensed that, why did she only sense the evil thoughts?

Also how of them were genocidal and how much many were not? Were a majority of them genocidal or were a majority ones who believed only defensive wars? Because if the vast majority were genocidal, a few of them not being genocidal doesn't make their society any less of a horrific. If the vast majority were not genocidal, then were was no threat and that undermines everything we saw in Scorpion. If some were genocidal and others were not, why did that play out in the show? Why was there more members of Species 8472 calling for all life to wiped out just for being inferior in "In the Flesh".

The problem with this change is it seems arbitrary, it isn't a part of natural character development, they went from one extreme to the other. That's why it is badly written, instead of developing into this change of character, it just came out of nowhere and changed a bunch of things from Scorpion and made the Voyager crew look stupid, especially Kes and Janeway.
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Old February 20 2011, 09:18 PM   #15
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Re: Species 8472, another wasted opportunity?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
Except wouldn't Kes have sensed that, why did she only sense the evil thoughts?[
That was what that specific 8472 was thinking, not the entire species.

Also how of them were genocidal and how much many were not? Were a majority of them genocidal or were a majority ones who believed only defensive wars? Because if the vast majority were genocidal, a few of them not being genocidal doesn't make their society any less of a horrific. If the vast majority were not genocidal, then were was no threat and that undermines everything we saw in Scorpion. If some were genocidal and others were not, why did that play out in the show? Why was there more members of Species 8472 calling for all life to wiped out just for being inferior in "In the Flesh".
They didn't focus much on the 8472 as a species because of how expensive they were, and the writers realized they were too powerful to be left alone. They needed to be resolved and quickly (if the show was made when CGI was cheaper it'd be another story). Some overeager members of their species felt cocky from how the Borg couldn't fight back and boasted they would exterminate the weak, but then when VOY showed they could kill them the genocidal 8472 realized THEY were now weak and had to reconsider.

The problem with this change is it seems arbitrary, it isn't a part of natural character development, they went from one extreme to the other. That's why it is badly written, instead of developing into this change of character, it just came out of nowhere and changed a bunch of things from Scorpion and made the Voyager crew look stupid, especially Kes and Janeway.
Like I said, too expensive to do an arc about them. And if Janeway HADN'T used the nano-weaponry on them then they might've kept on with their ways instead of rethinking that maybe not all the species of our universe deserved to die.
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