Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone..

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Infern0, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Do you disagree with my interpretation of the Borg, as I said above? That the drones all connected together act like a giant brain, and this brain has a conscious mind that is the Borg Queen? All she needs to do is to control a body like a puppet.

    This has the advantage of explaining how the queen survived the Cube exploding in BoBW. The body was destroyed, but the mind controlling it was left intact.
     
  2. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    They should have come in force after "Best of Both Worlds" with a hundred ships - enough to overtake the entire Federation. They would have been stopped by the UFP doing what it does best: forming alliances. In this case, with all peoples near and far, friend or foe, for the benefit of all. A thread as great as a Borg fleet could only be countered by the combined forces of everyone in this half the galaxy. The story would have both action and purpose.

    Really, this is what FC should have been. It was the next logical step for the Borg. Of course, the step after that would have been to send a thousand ships, and that would have been the end of everything.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    BOBW worked...as the LAST Borg story.

    If they had it in reverse, with the Borg invasion being small but eventually growing in power that the Alpha Quadrant was being swarmed by them and THEN the Borg reach Earth (I'm guessing this would be a season arc), then Data and Picard do the "Sleep" command it would affect the Entire Collective invasion force. All across the Quadrant all Borg vessels would go to "Sleep" and then all self-destruct at the same time, wiping them out.

    There'd be no need to see more Borg then, because it'd be reasonable to assumed that the entirety of the Collective had been destroyed. And if they WERE seen again, the writers had the leeway to say they'd been depowered. After all, most of the Borg were destroyed in BOBW so what remained in the DQ would be only the remnant.

    And frankly, if the only way to keep an enemy intimidating and fearsome is to keep them "Mysterious" they're a lamely thought-out enemy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  4. Saxman1

    Saxman1 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Word!
     
  5. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    The best episodes with the borg are the ones with horror/thriller accents:
    Regeneration, Q, who; BOBW; First contact; Unity; Scorpion.

    Notice how in 'Unity' and 'Scorpion' the borg were not presented as near-invincible; indeed, they were taking a serious beating in 'Scorpion'.
    Also notice how in 'First contact', 'Unity' and 'Scorpion' they were not presented as unknowns; indeed, starfleet had an ideea about what the borg can do and how.

    But in all episodes mentioned in the first paragraph, the borg were presented as impossible to really communicate to, to negociate with, to convince of anything.
    Their sole motivation was the single-minded will to conquer; they knew no hesitation, no pity and no remorse.
    They were a 'force of nature' in the sense that you could just as well try to reason with a storm; you had to fight them.
    And the battless were always brutal, you were always inferior due to the borg's technological superiority.


    As 'Scorpion' and 'Regeneration' proved, you could make stories with the borg depicted like this even late in star trek's run.
    Of course, these borg were not amenable to in depth sociological analysis, simply because thir motivation was rather simplistic - conquer everything - with no further complexities. This means that you had to use these borg stories sparsely; too much of the same thing becomes boring.


    If one wished to make more episodes about the borg, one would have to 'invent' offshoot branches of the borg with motivations different/more complex than single-minded conquest.

    'I, borg' tried to do just that, but it erred in making the offshoot branch too 'human'; individuals, naive, in the end, fuly benign, etc. Again, not much potential for follow-up stories.

    Make these off-shoot branches adversarial, but not single-minded; let them have collective consciousness, but don't make them slaves of a conquest imperative, give them more complex motivations and societal structures and you'll have material for a variety of stories.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Problem is, the audience had too much of an ingrained idea of what the Borg were to ever accept anything new or different about them. Any attempt at trying something new, like Borg who weren't out to conquer the Galaxy or didn't want to assimilate you, or had ANY sort of complexity to them at all, was doomed to failure from the beginning.

    In other words, the Borg weren't well-thought out even from the very beginning.
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Why did not the Borg send a overwhelming number of cubes and sphere to conquer the Federations?

    This really wasn't a problem until Voyager made clear that the Borg exist in vast numbers, up until then their general size was unknown, and it was better that way. If the Borg had been left with the possibility of being a relatively small force, say a few dozen cubes leading a uncoordinated nomadic existence through the galaxy, that would have been great.

    When Voyager show that there were trillions of Borg with thousands of cubes, that a Queen was obsessed with humans, that there was a trans-warp conduit that exited less than lightyears distance of Earth, the Federation's continued presents in the galaxy made no sense.
     
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I would have just explained that there is no one big "Collective" controlling all Borg. Each Borg Cube would be it's own Collective unto itself, with each "Voice of the Legion" heard from separate Cubes being different enough that it's clear they aren't the same Voice. Thus, that one Cube that attacked in Q Who? and BOBW would've attacked of its own decision and didn't tell the other Collectives (who usually are fighting each other and assimilating one another) about the Alpha Quadrant.

    That way, the Borg are pretty much in constant civil war with one another and the difference in power between Collectives would give writers the breathing room to tell different types of stories (One Collective would favor subtle infiltration/intelligence missions, others are just big dumb "Full-on Invasion" types, others don't care about the Feds but want to assimilate other Borg Collectives to raise their own power and numbers, etc).
     
  9. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I think this is the crux of the matter, not so much the number of times they appeared. Sure, it'd take some top notch writing to figure out just how Voyager could realistically survive it's meetings with the Borg, but I think it could have been done. Aside from the the 8472 vs Borg thing, I think the idea of a Resistance within the Collective from Unimatrix Zero was a rather good one. An 'arc' of Voyager aiding this Resistance (and receiving their help) and dealing with it's internal issues could have been fascinating. Unfortunately, like many VOY ideas, it was never followed upon. And it came too late.

    Of course, being realistic would still require some real guts in showing real consequences - like say, a portion of the crew being permanently and irrevocably assimilated and the ship being almost destroyed and such. Heck, passage through Borg space might have been the year-long Year of Hell they were planning on (with some BSG on-the-run elements).

    Actually, I liked that. Worshiping 'perfection' seems like a very 'machine' thing to do and 'adding other's distinctivness to their own' to achieve this perfection is an interesting twist on the Federation's own goals and ideals. I certainly find the idea that the Borg thinks it's helping those it assimilates to achieve perfection more interesting than if they were purely conquest-driven. Because basically all the other bad guys are just that - imperialistic conquerers; well, aside from the Dominion and their paranoia motivation, but that's why they are an interesting enemy.

    EDIT:As for why didn't they invade en masse - well, don't forget the Galaxy is huuuge. The Federation was probably no more than a distant blip on the Borg's radar at that point in time. I bet those thousands of Borg Cubes are busy routinely assimilating entire Federation sized empires located closer to Borg space.

    But that conduit opening so close to Earth really was a very stupid thing to include.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    All of which were merely excuses written into the Borg's background to justify the Queen's existence in the first place. Especially considering:

    Why would the Borg need to negotiate? They just kill you and TAKE what they want.

    Why would the Borg need a central nervous system? The whole point of the Borg is they're completely DEcentralized; the only way to stop the is to stop ALL of them.

    Why should the combined intelligence of tens of thousands of individuals all linked together in a hive mind be inferior to the intelligence of a single individual?

    Returning the Borg to a pure hive would require eliminating all those limitations: the Borg become an incomprehensible unstoppable force, they do not negotiate, they do not reason, they do not threaten, they do not communicate. Nor do they conquer or invade or probe or patrol. Nobody knows what the Borg do or why they do it, and it's nearly impossible to understand them; the best you can do is stay the hell out of their way.
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    How about the Reavers from Firefly? Personally, I think the Borg could have worked out alot better if their level of menace was kept on THAT scale: they have no territorial/planetary ambitions, they rarely make an effort to roll an entire planet or a civilization, they mainly just wander around, attacking ships and settlements that happen to have something they find interesting.

    In that sense, a "major" Borg threat need only reflect the fact that Borg cubes are very troublesome in groups, rather like a sudden infestation of sharks near a popular tourist beach. It's not like the sharks are going to gang up and try to conquer Miami or something, but if something isn't done about them they could make the beach unusable for years.

    All I'm really saying is "They're determined to enslave the whole human race!" is setting the bar a little high. It doesn't need to be that epic, "They will invariably try to assimilate anything more sophisticated than a garbage scow" would accomplish a good amount of menace without the need of "unleashing" the monster.
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    They started to wreck the Borg when they let Picard be de-Borged. The ruination continued with the Queen and the overuse on VOY, so that the Borg looked like easily defeated chumps.

    The Borg should be very difficult to defeat (generally impossible); have no Queen or any other aspect of individuality; and once you're Borged, no de-Borgification is possible.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    That's not what the Queen is. The Queen is the representation of the entire single hive mind. She IS the Borg. All the billion Borg drones form one single individual.
     
  14. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    The Borg are a monster, not a villain. Villains are like Cardasssians, Romulans and Klingons - complex societies that can be just as diverse and interesting as the good guys. They are "real" characters who become more interesting the more you explore them.

    Monsters are forces of nature that represent some primal fear. They aren't "real" characters so they become less interesting the more you explore them. The Borg are an example of this type.

    There is a place in Star Trek for both villains and monsters, but they require different approaches. The biggest difference is that monsters cannot tolerate exposure the way villains do.

    Instead, spare the monsters and make more direct use of your villains. Here's an example of how to do that: if the Borg are a threat to everyone in the galaxy, perhaps the villain characters (Romulans for example since this maneuver would be beneath the dignity of the Klingons to attempt) divert the Borg from their own regions of space towards the Federation. Then the story is really about Feds vs Rommies, with the Borg hanging back as the looming, unseen threat.

    Then they misrepresented the Queen badly. She should have been emotionless and completely, terrifyingly self-contained, with a remorseless drive towards greater perfection through assimilation, instead of a scheming minx-type dominatrix who wriggled around and drooled all over poor Data. I really can't envision the entire Borg Collective like that! :rommie: The sexual aspects alone rendered the character comic, and to think of the whole Borg Collective in those terms is downright hysterical.

    There are undeniably sexual aspects to assimilation, but to start making them obtrusive and literal turns them into gross comedy. Just another way in which the Borg are very delicate, like all Monsters, and easily misused by poorly thought out writing.

    If the Borg will just attack whatever's right in front of it, a la the Doomsday Machine, and have no will to selectively go after humans or Ferengi or whatever, then that's a good way to keep them from being too powerful for it to be plausible they wouldn't take over the galaxy right away. Then it becomes a game of each society in the galaxy trying to divert the Borg to their foes - that could be an interestingly nasty little game in which the Borg are the threat, but not really the ones driving the story.

    Another idea: what if Founders are the only beings in the galaxy that the Borg can't assimilate, and the Feds have an iffy relationship with the Founders? Extend the Dominion's immunity this way: when the Founders find Borg on their boarders, they institute a policy of immediately killing any Jem or Vorta who is assimilated by remote control (via whatever tech you like) so that the Dominion's military and command structure is immune to the Borg. That complicates things for all Alpha Quadrant powers!
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Each drone is a brain cell, all drones together from a single brain. A single cell is nothing, without function. All together form something greater. Just like with a human brain, but on a much larger scale. Why shouldn't the individual mind that is the collective have emotions?
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    True as all that is, a recurring monster can still have effect as long as you construct it in such a way that the monster's ambitions are always VERY specific. TOS, for example, featured multiple monster stories all with slightly different motivations. "The Doomsday Machine" would have worked exactly as well with a Borg Cube ransacking a series of major cities in a densely populated system.

    Come to think of it, the Husnok from "The Survivors" would have worked just as well as the aftermath of a Borg attack, provided you change the ending to have Uxbridge merely destroy their fleet and not the entire species.

    So it isn't, in the end, necessary to have the Borg as a threat to the entire Federation, just as a potential threat to everyone everywhere whenever you see them. Sort of like Q, come to think of it; he initially started out trying to pass judgement on all of mankind and humanity's future in space is implied to depend on Picard's actions. Later on, he's just an omnipotent jackass who likes to punk the Enterprise whenever he gets bored. IMO, Q had more appeal in the latter context than the former.
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Because the individual mind isn't going to start giving out handjobs to every pale-skinned microbe it happens to find by the wayside.
     
  18. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    Comparing the Borg to the Reavers isn't valid, since the Reavers aren't as overpowered as the Borg are. Their weaponry and numbers aren't stupidly superior to the protagonists/main authorities.

    Comparing them to tornadoes or shark packs isn't valid either, because neither of those things go out of their way to attack humanity. Sharks will attack whoever they encounter and not try to invade the land, and tornadoes just dissipate or move on after a while instead of actively trying to kill every human it encounters.

    The Borg were too overpowered, too poorly thought-out, too boring and too dead-end to work more than once or twice. A major overhaul of the entire Borg concept would be needed if you wanted to use them more than once or twice.
     
  19. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    I have to agree with this... When you think of the medical implications of Borg nanoprobe infiltration, there just doesn't seem to be any plausible way to recover considering the extent of neural damage. The nerve and brain cells are hijacked, plus who knows how much of the other cells are re-engineered to Borg specifications (they have this uncanny ability to regenerate plus they can function in space without a pressure suit). Given what we've seen with other humans that have been significantly damaged by aliens or infections, and how they ended up dying from it, I just didn't buy into Beverly's ability to reverse the damage.

    Frankly, if they came up with some kind of technique involving the transporter, that uses a previous image of a being and can revert them to it, I could believe recovery from being Borgified.


    Anyway, recovery aside, my big beef was this whole "sleep" technique to cause an overload. Give me a break... these are super technologically advanced beings. They wouldn't have such an obvious loop hole. I really have to believe they'd have all kinds of safeguards in place to prevent any kind of overload. After all, look at how adept they are at recovering from significant damage. To me, this was the big mistake.

    What should have happened is that Data would have been able to slip in a command to sleep and STAY in sleep mode. The stipulation being that the Enterprise wouldn't be able to conduct an overt attack, because that would trigger them out of stasis. You just go aboard, plant a bunch of matter anti-matter explosives at key stations, then get out... and watch the fireworks from a safe distance.

    Later, when encountering the Borg again, they'd try the sleep command again and find that the Borg rewrote the subroutine to authenticate the source, foiling the attempt. Going forward, they NEVER should have introduced a Borg Queen. They were far more menacing as this massive collective with no real face. There would be plenty of story alternatives to work on this concept, rather than giving focus to some kind of Queen. Although, I could see them capturing a Starfleet officer and making them a spokesperson again, like they did with Picard/Locutus.

    Also, there some serious flaws with a Queen. You're bottlenecking processing into one being. The open collective has far more capable throughput. And remember... with all of that processing, don't you think that they'd be far more intelligent and agile? No other species would stand a chance. Not even species 8472.
     
  20. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

    The only way to get the "Faceless Collective" thing to work repeatedly would be if each Borg ship was it's own Collective, and each Collective was different in its' methodology because of the people its Collective was made up of (A Collective that contains more Klingons than others surely would reflect that in its actions).

    A big voice saying "Resistance is futile" over and over and over, just is boring.