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Old December 1 2013, 10:26 PM   #76
JD5000
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

You're very probably right, but does that mean Earth is the only major Federation power that doesn't have a fleet dedicated to the defense of it's planet?

Starfleet pre-dates the Federation.
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Old December 1 2013, 10:29 PM   #77
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

JD5000 wrote: View Post
You're very probably right, but does that mean Earth is the only major Federation power that doesn't have a fleet dedicated to the defense of it's planet?

Starfleet pre-dates the Federation.
Earth Starfleet existed before the Federation. But it ceased to exist when the Federation was born.
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Old December 1 2013, 10:49 PM   #78
BigJake
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

BillJ wrote: View Post
Starfleet is the defense arm of the Federation, not of Earth.
I think the conception of this evolved during the original show. The Enterprise crew are frequently referred to as Earth's representatives and seem to talk and think of themselves this way. I think what eventually evolved was a kind of analogy to NATO, where Earth is first-among-equals and in a practical sense is responsible for the bulk of the Federation's defense for the simple reason that it has by far the largest space service of any of the allied worlds. This basically seems to be the case in TNG Trek, where there are still hints that other member planets (esp Vulcan) have their own space services that are far smaller. (The episode with Ensign Menden in TNG comes to mind, where he seems to be on some kind of visit or exchange program from his planet's space service.)
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Old December 1 2013, 11:47 PM   #79
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

JD5000 wrote: View Post
My understanding is that Starfleet IS primarily Earth's defense force, but is pledged to protect other Federation members, many of which also have their own fleets, albeit much smaller. So if Starfleet is Earth-based, it makes sense that most of their ships would be named after people and places from Earth. Other Trek cultures do this also. There are many examples of Vulcan, Andorian and Klingon ships that are named in the same fashion - after people and places from their home planets.

On the same note, it also makes complete sense that Starfleet would be made up of mostly humans, just as the fleets of the above examples consist primarily of members of those species. Comparably, Starfleet is the most racially diverse fleet in the quadrant, with the possible exception of the Breen.
That's pretty much been my take on it as well, since ENT established Starfleet as an Earth agency that predated the Federation. People always assumed that it was a fully-integrated shared property of all Federation members, but if you look at it as a major Earth contribution to the Federation, a lot of things going back to TOS make more sense.
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Old December 2 2013, 12:34 AM   #80
Anwar
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Back in TOS, the idea was that the Federation was the "Earth Federation". As in, it was a benign Terran Empire who allowed other aliens in as weak partners instead of conquering them like the Klingons or Romulans would.

By TNG, they changed it so they were an equal alliance of worlds.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:17 AM   #81
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Pel the Yeshiva Ferengi wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Also, so far as the audience sees, the only Klingon in the galaxy who really puts honor before all else is Worf. Otherwise we see a bunch of politicians and hypocrites, scheming and plotting to build up their house's power.
Lance wrote: View Post

As far as Worf is concerned, I like to think it's because he grew up outside the empire. He holds himself up to the 'ideal' of Klingon honor, because he grew up in an enviroment entirely seperated from the homeworld. A lot of what he believes is true Klingon behaviour he probably learnt "second hand" rather than being exposed to it in his youth. So as an adult he holds himself up to some mythological profile that no other 'actual' Klingon we see ever meets.

The way I see it, other Klingons talk big about honor, but they don't practice what they preach. Worf does practice the 'PR version' of Klingon honor, because he doesn't know any better.
The Oy! Mixer wrote: View Post
I think ENT may have touched upon this, but there'd have to be a caste system in which the greatest power and prestige went to the warriors, but the brains and grunts who enable them to be warriors would gain honor in their own way for doing so.
I find it problematic to say that Worf is the only honorable Klingon, only because, like what Worf tends to do, it requires using a definition from outside Klingon culture. Indeed, honor is a lot like chivalry. The conduct of knights during the Middle Ages could often be described as being unchivalrous. However, the word referenced a code of conduct in which behavior, speech, rituals, and responses are formalized. The literature of the era, moreover, wraps in an air of romance. Similarly, Klingon honor requires following the rituals and attitudes and meet the expectations of one's place in the hierarchy. Worf may believe that Gorwon is not honorable for attacking Cardassia without provocation, but that's a human definition. On the other hand, Gowron believing Worf is dishonorable for ignoring his oath of loyalty is perfectly Klingon--perfectly consistent with the code of honor. By the end of the series, Worf finds someone--Martok--whose notion of honor is more in line with his, and who would want Klingon society to be more equitable rather than loyalty driven.
Gowron's dishonor isn't because he invaded Cardassia. Gowron is relentlessly politicial. He took personal credit for the victory over the Romulans in Redemption. When he wanted to charge the Dominion on his own at the end of DS9 instead of waiting for the Federation and Romulans to protect their ships it was all about solidifying his position of power and putting himself in the position to take the credit.

If there are any other honorable klingons than Worf in TNG, it's people like Kurn and Dax's revenge squad.

When Ezri lectured Worf about her opinion of the Klingon Empire, she was just saying what twelve seasons of two series had shown to us.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:19 AM   #82
BigJake
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Anwar wrote: View Post
By TNG, they changed it so they were an equal alliance of worlds.
AFAICS Earth is still more equal than others in TNG Trek. Certainly more politically and militarily important.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:27 AM   #83
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Pel the Yeshiva Ferengi wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Also, so far as the audience sees, the only Klingon in the galaxy who really puts honor before all else is Worf. Otherwise we see a bunch of politicians and hypocrites, scheming and plotting to build up their house's power.


The Oy! Mixer wrote: View Post
I think ENT may have touched upon this, but there'd have to be a caste system in which the greatest power and prestige went to the warriors, but the brains and grunts who enable them to be warriors would gain honor in their own way for doing so.
I find it problematic to say that Worf is the only honorable Klingon, only because, like what Worf tends to do, it requires using a definition from outside Klingon culture. Indeed, honor is a lot like chivalry. The conduct of knights during the Middle Ages could often be described as being unchivalrous. However, the word referenced a code of conduct in which behavior, speech, rituals, and responses are formalized. The literature of the era, moreover, wraps in an air of romance. Similarly, Klingon honor requires following the rituals and attitudes and meet the expectations of one's place in the hierarchy. Worf may believe that Gorwon is not honorable for attacking Cardassia without provocation, but that's a human definition. On the other hand, Gowron believing Worf is dishonorable for ignoring his oath of loyalty is perfectly Klingon--perfectly consistent with the code of honor. By the end of the series, Worf finds someone--Martok--whose notion of honor is more in line with his, and who would want Klingon society to be more equitable rather than loyalty driven.
Gowron's dishonor isn't because he invaded Cardassia. Gowron is relentlessly politicial. He took personal credit for the victory over the Romulans in Redemption. When he wanted to charge the Dominion on his own at the end of DS9 instead of waiting for the Federation and Romulans to protect their ships it was all about solidifying his position of power and putting himself in the position to take the credit.

If there are any other honorable klingons than Worf in TNG, it's people like Kurn and Dax's revenge squad.

When Ezri lectured Worf about her opinion of the Klingon Empire, she was just saying what twelve seasons of two series had shown to us.
Perhaps I should summarize my point so you might better understand: Klingon honor really only makes sense in context; human concepts of honor are but an interesting counterpoint.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:40 AM   #84
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

I understand your point, but what I'm saying is that Klingons do not live up to their own concept of honor. Kor committed acts humans would consider atrocities in his prime, but I would include him as honorable. For Klingons who are in politics, honor is basically a political talking point, like 'Family values' are to humans. They talk about honor and tell everybody their opponents have no honor, then they do whatever they want and don't worry about honor. The concept of honor is a tool for their political gain, when all they really care about is increasing their power base and the strength of their house.
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Old December 2 2013, 01:58 AM   #85
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

^Of course honor is political: it was a concept introduced to put Klingon society in order. Among the ways to increase one's honor is to gain adherents, growing one's house. The things we know that are honorable are their allegiances, their valour, and their adherence to ritual. Gowron, at the apex of the Klingon caste system, enjoys privileges in setting what is honorable. Indeed, it is to him that almost all allegiances should be focused, and I suspect no house could call him into account. Can Gowron do whatever he wants? That's hard to say. However, the only thing that he can do to dishonor himself is to lose: the prospect that his strategies might bring to defeats is what leads to his downfall. The burden of honor probably falls more heavily on his inferiors. Was there corruption in the Klingon system? Duras' challenge to the chancellorship points to corruption. Corruption, however, cannot be equated with the hypocrisy of the whole system. Certainly, problems with elections could not be an excuse for throwing out democracy. Are there things that Klingons could do that in your words, "humans would consider atrocities," yet still be considered honorable? The human needs to be taken out of the equation.
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Old December 2 2013, 02:48 AM   #86
Nightdiamond
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

I remember this from The House of Quark--this is how weird it can get:

Quark scuffles with a drunk Klingon in his bar, the Klingon falls on his on own knife and accidently kills himself.

Later the Klingon's brother comes to question Quark;

D'GHOR: I hope you're not going to tell me he died in an accident.

QUARK:You do?

D'GHOR: Yes. Because there's no honor in such a death. And if Kozak died in disgrace, that disgrace would be passed along to the rest of his family.

D'GHOR: On the other hand, if he died as a warrior, in personal combat -- then there would be no dishonor for him or his family.
Quark is kidnapped by the dead Klingon's wife and taken to the Klingon home world. He tells a Klingon named Tumek what happened:

TUMEK: What he told you were lies. He wanted you to say that Kozak died in honorable combat so that no special dispensation would be granted.

QUARKI don't understand.

TUMEK:If Kozak died in an accident... and left no male heir, the Council might have decided that this was an unusual situation... and granted special dispensation. That may have allowed Grilka to head the family even though she's a woman.

Tumek: but if Kozak died in...an honorable fight, and was simply defeated by a better opponent, then there would be no special dispensation...and without a male heir the House will fall.
It's like by this point Klingon culture was just loaded with cliches and stereotypical Klingon behavior.

All this is about inheritance . and it all depends on whether he was killed in an accident because that was considered a very unusual circumstance.
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Old December 2 2013, 04:04 AM   #87
Johnny Rico
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Sran wrote: View Post
I agree with some of what's written as it relates to The Next Generation. I've always found Deep Space 9 to be a realistic look at a future society, as it takes the problems and concepts of our recent past and applies them to the twenty fourth century. I do wonder what DS9 may have looked like had it aired after September 11, but as it ended more than two years before the terrorist attacks occurred, it's an accurate extrapolation of events moving forward from 1999.

--Sran
Ron Moore's BSG gave us that post-9/11 scenario.
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Old December 2 2013, 04:24 AM   #88
Nerys Myk
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Anwar wrote: View Post
Back in TOS, the idea was that the Federation was the "Earth Federation". As in, it was a benign Terran Empire who allowed other aliens in as weak partners instead of conquering them like the Klingons or Romulans would.

By TNG, they changed it so they were an equal alliance of worlds.
Never got that impression. Journey To Babel shows a Federation of equals and the representative from Earth isn't even shown or mentioned. Sarek, a Vulcan, seems to hold a lot of sway in deciding what's to be done about Coridan.
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Old December 2 2013, 04:56 AM   #89
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

Sran wrote: View Post
I agree with some of what's written as it relates to The Next Generation. I've always found Deep Space 9 to be a realistic look at a future society, as it takes the problems and concepts of our recent past and applies them to the twenty fourth century. I do wonder what DS9 may have looked like had it aired after September 11, but as it ended more than two years before the terrorist attacks occurred, it's an accurate extrapolation of events moving forward from 1999.

--Sran
This got me thinking. A lot of what makes DS9 in particular so poignant is that it at times it presents the post 9/11 world pretty accurately despite the fact the entire series pre-dates 9/11.

The best example would be when the Breen attacked Earth. The general sense of gloom that lingers in the atmosphere of that episode practically echoes what it felt like on 9/11. And given that the episode aired two years before 9/11, I've always felt it to be a better analogy to that day than any of the obviously influenced by 9/11 stories shows and movies have done since.
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Old December 2 2013, 05:13 AM   #90
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Re: Why Star Trek Sucks

BillJ wrote: View Post
JD5000 wrote: View Post
You're very probably right, but does that mean Earth is the only major Federation power that doesn't have a fleet dedicated to the defense of it's planet?

Starfleet pre-dates the Federation.
Earth Starfleet existed before the Federation. But it ceased to exist when the Federation was born.
I think It's more accurate to say that it ceased to be "Human-only" when the Federation was born. After that, it expanded to include the races from the other member worlds.
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