Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Galaxy?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Thor Damar, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    ^ True - I almost forgot about their mental discipline - another reason why I love the :cardie:s, besides everything that has been already stated in this thread (and their shoulders and necks *ahem* ;) :drool: ).

    I would like someone to remind me of something awesome about the Romulans, especially the post-TOS Romulans. Sometimes it seems that they're just used by :cardie:s and :klingon:s as a negative reference. And they had so much potential, which makes it sad. :(
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Shockingly, I have only just found this thread. Personal preference and duty both require me to declare the answer "yes", which I hereby do whole-heartedly. Cardassians are the only race whose masks work both ways. ;)
     
  3. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    This I love!:bolian:

    Thanks for bumping this guys, I'll try and keep it going especially as I like DevilEyes' theories on the Vulcans.:vulcan:

    One good reason why The Romulans are cool? cloaked Warbirds and this thread http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=97455:cool:

    More Cardassianising later!
     
  4. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Cardassians are the most race in the galaxy.

    They don't always drink alchohol, but when they do, they prefer Kanar.

    Stay thirsty, my friends.
     
  5. CaptJamesScott

    CaptJamesScott Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    I think the Cardassians are indictive of DS9 in general. DS9 was a real contrast to the cheery, black and white universe that TNG and TOS created. Cardassians, are imperfect, dynamic people. They're bad guys yes, but they also have moments when they show you that they're not just ruthless and domineering. More than any other race, Cardassians defy the typical Trek alien stereotypes, and are more akin to humans than any other race in my opinion
     
  6. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    no.
     
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    The Cardassian were created in TNG, and they were just as Grey there as in DS9 (and TNG was hardly all "Black and White", same for TOS). The reason they defy the Trek stereotype is because they were a recurring race and not isolated to 3 or so episodes which allowed better growth. The stereotypes apply only to the 1 episode wonders anyways.
     
  8. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    I would be positively appalled if the Cardassians were ever to join the Federation. Oil and water, my friends, oil and water. I am also in agreement that it would be an intriguing development if the Cardassians were able to rebuild and gain allies to the point of serving as a foil for the Federation, rather than an all out enemy. However, I would see their taking this stance a difficult sell for the people. Even most of the non-villainous Cardassians indicated a certain degree not only of xenophobia but a feeling of racial superiority. It would be hard for people who genuinely believed themselves to be better than all other races to accept much in the way of help or camaraderie from others, particularly others with whom they have bitterly clashed in the past.

    I have yet to read most of the novels dealing with Cardassia, either pre or post Dominion, but I did read and enjoy A Stitch in Time a great deal. I think aside from the fact that they lost a huge chunk of their population, and their infrastructure was seriously compromised, they are facing some enormous challenges, similar to ones faced by Japan post WWII after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Entire cultures can and do suffer the effects of PTSD on a large scale. I don't really want to get too into Japan's response post WWII simply because I have some very strong views in light of what they did in China, but Cardassia is facing a similar challenge. Their history leads some--rightly or wrongly can be effectively argued either way dependent upon viewpoint--to the conclusion that they somehow deserved what happened to them. They were unabashed aggressors who had no problem taking what they needed in order for their Union and their people to survive. Of course, this was not necessarily a view shared by every Cardassian, but it is almost always the case that just as people usually bow to the will of their governments, they are also judged collectively by what their governments do.

    Undoubtedly, there are many Cardassians post-Dominion occupation who realize, at least on some level, that their governmental structure, their status quo, and their aggression in the Alpha Quadrant left them vulnerable to what happened to them in the end. Not only did it allow Dukat to broker a secret treaty but to take full authority and enforce it with the might of the Dominion at his back. While I agree that Dukat's arrogance is largely to blame for the debacle, he could never have done it without the governmental infrastructure in place to allow it and the power vacuum left by the destruction of the Obsidian Order.

    War guilt, as someone else mentioned, will now factor heavily into the collective Cardassian psyche. They could not rely much on the help of others primarily because they had spit in the eyes of anyone within spitting distance already and cast themselves in a cruel light by what they did to the Bajoran people and planet and in prior wars and skirmishes. The one thing I can't see them doing that other races are more prone to is whining about how it was unfair or how they are victims. It's just not in their nature. I personally think one of the strengths of Cardassian culture is the insistence on dealing with reality as it is, not on wishful thinking or fantasy.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum is pride. A proud people loathes having to accept aid from others whom they perceive to be weaker or inferior. However, it is an absolute necessity in their case. They took far too large of a beating to go it alone without being devoured whole by either the Romulans or the Klingons. I wonder how this will affect their views of orphans, if it will at all. In the past, orphans had no status in society whatsoever, viewed to be as inconsequential as insects. Now that there must be a very large number of them and genetic diversity is a concern, I would think this might change. I would also think being forced to accept help from outsiders could possibly work to give them a different perspective on what it means to be vulnerable, if not helpless.

    If they intend to thrive and not just to survive, they are going to have to take a good, hard look at the attitudes and ways of doing things that made them most vulnerable, both on an internal scale and in their relations with other races. I doubt that they will be foolish enough to believe that any help they accept is completely free, but I wouldn't put it beyond them also to take advantage of Federation idealism and generosity and offer back as little in the way of gratitude or back scratching as they can get away with.

    I don't think we've seen the last of a militaristic Cardassia, or an aggressive one. I do think they are intelligent and complex enough not to make the same mistakes twice. This was an incredibly long winded way to say that the Cardassians are the most interesting Trek race to me. The mere fact that I would be drawn into such a discussion and go into such depth speaks volumes to that fact. I simply cannot see having a similar discussion about Klingons or the Borg. Great topic, Thor Damar!
     
  9. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Personally I didn't find the Cardassians to be the most interesting race in Star Trek. There are many more other races that I find more interesting and make me want to know more about them.
     
  10. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Personally, I found the Pakleds to be interesting.

    And by interesting, I mean chumps I could build an empire around.
     
  11. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    But they are SMART.
     
  12. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    And they make things go!

    (that's enough Pakleds for today - ed)
     
  13. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    I've always been kind of ambivalent to the Cardassians as an overall race.
     
  14. NIUPonyBoy

    NIUPonyBoy Captain Captain

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    I have a question about Cardassian technology.

    Were they not as established in some episodes of TNG has having technology that was not as advanced as the Feds? Like a century behind them?

    Then in DS9 they are about on a par with the Feds. I can see them getting a big advance in tech from the Dominion, but they seemed to be pretty much equal or better in some ways in terms of technology as the Feds at the start of the show. Or did I just see too much?
     
  15. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    They're the Federation's neighbours - methinks they'res going to be some technology leakage, despite Starfleet's best efforts. The ATR-4107 Missile O' Doom was equipped with quantam torpedoes - a recent development as of the late 2360s/early 2370s. I see their ships as being technically roughly on par with Starfleet vessels - but I don't think the Cardassians have ships as big and powerful as the Galaxy-Class etc. - which is why all the confrontations in TNG were like "STFU or we'll pwn u, stupid spnheds, lol". I think they have less resources than the Federation and basically have to make do with smaller, more single-purpose designs. I see Cardassia's starfleet as far smaller and more specialized than the Federation Starfleet - masters of making lemonade out of lemons, if you will forgive the Earthcentric metaphor.
     
  16. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    I'd figure just about any of the monolithic societies would be at a severe disadvantage technologically to the Federation. Just by numbers, it's almost certain that the Federation draws its brains from a population well dozens of times the size of free Cardassia. Add in a totalitarian government, which, depending on how bent it is toward its ideology, can often have a chilling effect on scientific progress--e.g., iirc human genetics was a verboten science in the USSR for some time, and Nazi Germany decided there was nothing more likely to restore the German economy than to drive some of their most brilliant scientists to Britain and America and then put large numbers of their skilled workers in camps.
     
  17. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Edit: Double your pleasure, double your fun!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  18. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Of course, I'm not entirely sure how far the xenophobia actually spreads. The degree to which people actually buy into that is always doubtful when we're dealing with totalitarianism, because you never know who's acting that way because they believe it, or who's acting that way because they know they'd be shot if they didn't.

    That sounds about right...I would also be concerned about the effect of the war guilt as well, especially because I think there are those who would enjoy taking it out on them. We just have to hope they don't wind up in a Treaty of Versailles-type punitive situation, because that could just set up a future war that they AND the rest of the galaxy do not need.
     
  19. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    That's a good point. Also, with Cardassia occupied by relief workers who are actually doing them some good, they will get the chance to see that not every other alien race was untrustworthy or "out to get them".

    Also a good point. Those wanting to punish them should think long and hard about long-term consequences of taking such a hard line stance. In a way, a weakened Cardassia is an opportunity to bring them somewhat out of their insular ways and show them that sometimes compromise really does mean win-win. Being too punitive will just breed resentment. Nobody holds a grudge as well as a Cardassian, except perhaps a Klingon, but with the Klingon you see it coming. With the Cardassian you almost never do.
     
  20. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

    Definitely. Firsthand experience will be a great help, I think. I'll have to PM you sometime with something I've worked on, along exactly these lines. It's not ready for release, though, but I think you might like the concept...

    Exactly. And with Cardassians, you'd have to worry about it not just one generation down the line, but several...
     

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