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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 29 2012, 03:25 AM   #1
Mojochi
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Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Was Guinan's apparent change in philosophy from Yesterday's Enterprise, to Time's Arrow an attempt at a character arc or just coincidence?

What I mean is that in Time's Arrow, she is resolute about not interfering in the plans of Riker & crew, in the 24th century, when she had knowledge of the events in the 19th

This behavior stands in contrast to how easily she just blurts out to Tasha about her having never been meant to be alive, which single-handedly causes an abomination of their timeline by the creation of Sela, who she had learned about during Redemption.

Would this constitute something of a story arc for her?
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Old May 29 2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Yesterday's Enterprise was about restoring an entire erased timeline, and saving tens of billions of lives. The consequences of Time's Arrow were smaller, and had far less impact.

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Old May 29 2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Yeah in Time's Arrow she was trying to prevent time from being tampered with (from her perspective) and in Yesterday's Enterprise she was trying to repair time (again from her perspective) that had already been tampered with.

And if you recall, in Time's Arrow she convinced Picard to go on the away team thus ensuring that he would save her life.
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Old May 29 2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

So then basically she has no philosophy? She just meddles when she wants & what she told Riker in Time's Arrow was just a cop out, because she didn't want Riker screwing things up?

Then why involve Tasha in the Enterprise C incident, by revealing to her the alternate reality? What purpose could it serve other than to add a messiness factor?
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Old May 29 2012, 11:13 PM   #5
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Sounds like she's more concerned with maintaining her timeline as she knows it. Kind of selfish.
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Old May 29 2012, 11:46 PM   #6
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

I don't know that I'd call it selfish. It's really more about her perspective. When someone or something changes time it's generally considered bad. In Yesterday's Enterprise the situation was much worse than in her original timeline. She was definitely justified in trying to change in back.

Time's Arrow is a little trickier. She might be thinking that just being on the Enterprise could accidentally change things. She had no way to know if not getting involved would cause her own death. Therefore she was obligated to try to make things happen the way she remembered them happening. The desired outcome was her life being saved by Picard which you might consider selfish. I'm more inclined to think of it as self preservation...something any of us would be motivated to do.

And if you really want to get technical, she knew she needed to survive the 19th century so she could one day come aboard the Enterprise and help them out. If she died in that cave then she would not have been there during Yesterday's Enterprise and wouldn't have helped them restore that funky time mess. Therefore everybody on board would have been killed and the Federation would proceed to lose the war with the Klingons.
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Old May 30 2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Q-who was also a weird episode where Q makes her out to be there dangerous being that the crew should be watching out for. I'ts almost as if the writers in Season 2 wanted to take her in a certain direction than decided not to.
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Old May 31 2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Tom wrote: View Post
Q-who was also a weird episode where Q makes her out to be there dangerous being that the crew should be watching out for. I'ts almost as if the writers in Season 2 wanted to take her in a certain direction than decided not to.
I choose to believe that based on Q-who, some of the wiser members of Guinan's species might have some kind of power we never witnessed. Something that Q has come to fear/respect. Obviously Dr. Soran didn't have this power, or he would have used it. But then again, he wasn't very wise.


Out of universe explanation: Yes you are probably right. Season 2 writers wanted to take her in a certain direction and decided not to.
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Old June 13 2012, 02:20 PM   #9
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Then why involve Tasha in the Enterprise C incident, by revealing to her the alternate reality? What purpose could it serve other than to add a messiness factor?
But the Enterprise C needed an experienced tactical officer otherwise they would have been destroyed by the Romulans all too soon and failed in their mission to protect the Klingon colony and prevent a Klingon/Federation war. There were no experienced tactical officers onboard the Enterprise C and Tasha was willing to take on that role if it meant saving billions of lives.

I always got the sense when watching 'Yesterdays Enterprise' that Guinan was thrown off balance by the presence of Tasha after all she has never met Tasha and knows that Tasha should be dead but at the same time has memories of being good friends with her and is having to deal with the emotional consequences of that throughout the episode. When she first encounters Tasha she looks positively freaked out (by Guinan standards) and when they later talk Guinan is more driven by emotion than reason.

Also Tasha had already figured out about being dead or worse before her confrontation with Guinan. She noticed and was worried by Guinans earlier shocked reaction to her and after the senior staff meeting where Picard revealed what Guinan had told him about the changes to the timeline all it took was overhearing someones offhand remark about how they could be dead in the other timeline for her to put two and two together. She already knows that death or some worse fate happens to her in the other timeline before she goes to have Guinan confirm it, and Guinan knows that.

At least thats how i always interpreted things.
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Old June 13 2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Maybe the Season 2 writers just wanted to add some mystery. I'll maintain to my dying breath that Guinan is a Time Lord.
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Old June 13 2012, 09:19 PM   #11
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Maybe I'm looking at this incorrectly, but it seems to me that ultimately her goal was to simply restore and maintain the "original" time-lines. In Time's Arrow, she wanted to maintain the timeline where she meets Picard and survives which I think we would all know to be part of the correct timeline. In Yesterday's Enterprise, again she wanted to maintain the original or correct timeline in which the Federation and Klingon Empire are allies. Although I will admit, in Time's Arrow had the timeline been changed, the affects may be much smaller than in Yesterday's Enterprise. Although once again, one could say that had Guinan not have been there to help Picard in Generations, the loss of life would have been great and who knows what else would have happened with that plot hole called the Nexus.
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Old June 15 2012, 12:11 AM   #12
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Merlanthe wrote: View Post
But the Enterprise C needed an experienced tactical officer otherwise they would have been destroyed by the Romulans all too soon and failed in their mission to protect the Klingon colony and prevent a Klingon/Federation war. There were no experienced tactical officers onboard the Enterprise C and Tasha was willing to take on that role if it meant saving billions of lives.
That's why Picard let her go, not really why she wanted to go, (To have a more meaningful death) & certainly had nothing to do with why Guinan told her about her alt-universe status, (As well as influencing her attitude by telling her that her death had been meaningless) because Guinan wasn't privy to those detailed events of the mission when she blabbed. I interpret her reasoning as simply being that the situation bugged her, & when confronted about it by Tasha, she spilled the beans, because she let the truth from her insight get the better of her, which is in no way related to her involvement in the mission, by informing Picard, to try to restore things properly, & the end result is that things never actually do get restored completely to how they had been, & for the first time ever in Star Trek, we carry forward in an altered time line, with the birth of a time traveling Tasha's daughter existing in their realm

Merlanthe wrote: View Post
I always got the sense when watching 'Yesterdays Enterprise' that Guinan was thrown off balance by the presence of Tasha after all she has never met Tasha and knows that Tasha should be dead but at the same time has memories of being good friends with her and is having to deal with the emotional consequences of that throughout the episode. When she first encounters Tasha she looks positively freaked out (by Guinan standards) and when they later talk Guinan is more driven by emotion than reason.
Emotional discombobulation is a fair point, but in Time's Arrow, her own life is on the line, reason enough to be emotionally invested, & yet she purposely refrains from involving herself in the events, for fear of negatively affecting the time line, which is exactly what she does in Yesterday's Enterprise, when she involves herself by offering Tasha info that she shouldn't know, & actually didn't know, or wouldn't have surmised had it not been for Guinan's odd behavior & an off hand remark. When questioned about it, she could have just as easily treated Tasha as she did Riker

The real interesting thing is that her new philosophy in Time's Arrow shows up after she learns about the daughter of Tasha Yar, which she points out to Picard in Redemption, & indicates that she knows that they were involved in the turn of events. It would be easy to think that she feels responsible for Tasha's alt-universe fate, & chooses to not make similar mistakes from then on
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Old June 15 2012, 02:28 AM   #13
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Emotional discombobulation is a fair point, but in Time's Arrow, her own life is on the line, reason enough to be emotionally invested, & yet she purposely refrains from involving herself in the events, for fear of negatively affecting the time line, which is exactly what she does in Yesterday's Enterprise, when she involves herself by offering Tasha info that she shouldn't know, & actually didn't know, or wouldn't have surmised had it not been for Guinan's odd behavior & an off hand remark. When questioned about it, she could have just as easily treated Tasha as she did Riker
Tasha and Riker were two different cases though. Riker was her friend and alive and well in both timelines. Even though Guinan remembers that Tasha was dead and gone and they never met in the original timeline she still has the memories of being good friends from the alt-timeline and the emotions that go along with that. I always interpreted her coldness, maybe even cruelty, in the conversation where Tasha's meaningless death is revealed to be Guinan attempting, and failing, to distance herself emotionally from Tasha.
Guinan, in trying to restore the proper timeline, isnt just returning to a reality where a good friend of hers is dead, shes returning to a reality where she never met that good friend to begin with. That scene at the end where she asks Geordie to tell her about Tasha, thats her mourning the friend that she now remembers caring for but never got a chance to meet.

(That is of course all my own interpretation )

Also its a common portrayal within fiction for a good person to find it easier to sacrifice their own life/desire than to sacrifice the life/desires of someone else that they care about.

In reality it isnt as clean cut whether an individual would be the type who finds it easier to sacrifice themselves rather than a friend or the kind who would sacrifice everyone else no matter how dear they were to the heart if it meant they could avoid having to sacrifice themselves or anything inbetween but TNG rarely had their main characters deviate from the 'dont hurt them take me instead' model of self sacrifice.

Mojochi wrote: View Post
The real interesting thing is that her new philosophy in Time's Arrow shows up after she learns about the daughter of Tasha Yar, which she points out to Picard in Redemption, & indicates that she knows that they were involved in the turn of events. It would be easy to think that she feels responsible for Tasha's alt-universe fate, & chooses to not make similar mistakes from then on
Thats a really good observation. Past mistakes making Guinan more cautious/careful sounds perfectly logical to me
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Old June 15 2012, 02:47 AM   #14
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Merlanthe wrote: View Post
Thats a really good observation. Past mistakes making Guinan more cautious/careful sounds perfectly logical to me
Well, that's really the point of the thread. Can we consider her refusal to aid Riker as being part of a story arc for her character, having been in a similar situation during The Ent-C incident & chosen, unwisely, to allow her special insight to cause an abomination

Especially since her insight during Time's Arrow is much more concrete, having most likely had all the results told to her by the returning Sam Clemens, unlike Yesterday's Enterprise where she is going only on her own awareness

Surely she could have been much more measured in helping Riker, because she knew the outcome, unlike how she handled Tasha, wherein she had no real idea how her meddling would turn out. Yet, she refuses to help Riker, even though it's potentially less of a risk to do so. She could tell him exactly what to do, & likely face no adverse consequences, but doesn't & I have to think it's maybe because of a new attitude that stems from the Tasha debacle

I like to think she got wiser & more conservative, after learning what her actions had caused for Tasha, & subsequently Starfleet & Romulus, by the introduction of her daughter


Last edited by Mojochi; June 15 2012 at 02:51 AM. Reason: to add funny picture :P
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Old June 16 2012, 07:38 PM   #15
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Re: Guinan: From "Yesterday's Enterprise" to "Time's Arrow"

Tom wrote: View Post
Q-who was also a weird episode where Q makes her out to be there dangerous being that the crew should be watching out for. I'ts almost as if the writers in Season 2 wanted to take her in a certain direction than decided not to.
I figured later on that Q was put off by the fact that he could change so much but she could see through it unlike so many other species. That took away some of his power over Picard & Co., which Q loved having.
JRoss wrote: View Post
Maybe the Season 2 writers just wanted to add some mystery. I'll maintain to my dying breath that Guinan is a Time Lord.
Cool theory!
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