Bajorans - yay or nay

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DevilEyes, Apr 15, 2010.

?

Bajorans - do you like them or not?

  1. Bajorans are great, a very well developed race/culture, I enjoyed plots that focused on them

    60.0%
  2. Bajorans are dull/annoying, I hated plots that focused on them

    16.7%
  3. They are so-so, I have no strong feelings on the matter

    23.3%
  1. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Quite a few people on this forum seem to have a strong dislike for Bajorans as a whole and think that they're boring or "annoying". Some other people, yours truly included, strongly disagree. Recently, on the "Unpopular opinions" thread in the General Trek forum, someone posted that their "unpopular opinion" is that Bajorans are annoying and that this stopped him/her from getting into DS9. Which is kind of funny, since I posted my unpopular opinion earlier - that I think Bajorans are one of the best developed races in Trek. So... I wonder whose unpopular opinion is more unpopular? :rommie: Let's finally find out how the DS9 fans on Trek BBS feel.
     
  2. TerokNor

    TerokNor Captain Captain

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    I voted for the third option. I like Bajorans... in interaction with Cardassians.
    Bajorans by themselves... they are ...ok, but not that interessting.

    TerokNor
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I always found the Bajorans interesting; they were reasonably well developed and were certainly a fully realized culture, with various political and theological factions (though some of these needed more exploration, in my opinion). They were three-dimensional, too. It is true, though, that they were at their best when paired with the Cardassians- although episodes like the season two opening trilogy did a good job of making them interesting in their own right. I just wish we had seen more of Bajor, to be honest. When we did have focus on their internal politics, etc, it seemed "realistic" enough to me, which I suppose is partly why I like them.
     
  4. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

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    Bajorans are Jews, Cardassians are Nazis--what would happen if they were forced to work together? Boring, boring, boring.
     
  5. Geck

    Geck Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The episodes focusing on Bajoran culture and religion are probably my favourite of the series. They were always consistently well-done and involving. I wish they hadn't got so lost in the shuffle once the Dominion came about, to the point that the whole starting purpose of the series (to get Bajor into the federation) never even happened at the end of the seven years.
     
  6. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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    I really didn't enjoy them on any level and found most episodes about them and most explorations of their culture irritating. I'm glad the Dominon War shifted the focus away from them. From the silly look (make-up) to their characters to their over-the-top religion/victim complex (understandable, but still grating), everything about them bugged me. Kira had some good moments and I really liked the Bajoran girl in "Lower Decks", but whenever I enjoyed those characters, it was always for qualities that had nothing to do with them being Bajoran, so it's more like I liked them despite the fact that they were Bahoran.
     
  7. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    First of all, Cardassians can't be "Nazis", because Nazis were a political party, not a race, nation or ethnic group, while Cardassians are definitely a species/race of humanoids, not an ideology or a party.

    But if you mean that "Bajorans are Jews, Cardassians are Germans" - that only works for t "Duet". There are many reasons why it doesn't work for the entire show, certainly not in the literal way you seem to think.

    For starters:
    - Jews did not have their own country that the Germans occupied.
    - Bajorans did not live as a (hated) minority among Cardassians.
    - In Nazi Germany, Jews did not have the luxury of being considered just an inferior race that should live under German control and accept superior German culture. Jews were considered a vermin that should be exterminated.
    - Cardassians wanted to exploit Bajor and use Bajorans as slaves, but Cardassian Union didn't have a Final Solution policy against Bajorans, even if some commanders - like Dar-heel - seemed to have a pathological hatred for Bajorans. If there was a policy of mass scale genocide, you can be sure that Bajoran victims would amount to a lot more than 10 million on the entire planet (out of billions of people) over the period of 50 years - even with 20th century technology, let alone with superior 24th century technology. We've seen in DS9 itself what happens when an interplanetary power wants to commit genocide - the Dominion managed to kill over 600 million Cardassians in... what was it, a few weeks?
    - There's no way that Jews could have lived in the Third Reich for 50 years and suffered less than 1% of casualties.
    - There's no way that a Nazi official would and could never have had a semi-public or public Jewish mistress, or have her live a life of relative comfort and luxury - not if it was known that she was Jewish. Sexual relations between "Aryans" and Jews were officially forbidden in the Third Reich. As was giving a Jewish family food or medicine.
    - There was armed Jewish resistance, but it wasn't exactly the main reason or one of the main reasons that Germany was defeated.

    There can be - and have been - many real world comparisons to the Bajor/Cardassian situation, but none of them work 100% that you can say "Bajorans are this, and Cardassians are this." I'd say that the best real world parallel is colonialism. Dukat's attitude is certainly very much "White Man's Burden" (or should that be "Grey Man's Burden" ;) ).
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  8. Withers

    Withers Captain

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    There's a term for this (literally); it's called dramatic conflict and it is what makes for good fiction when executed properly. I'm not sure how, exactly, that is anything but antithetical to the word 'boring.'

    I voted "Yay," to the Bajorans. While I found certain Bajorans to be pompous and arrogant, others to be outright racist, and some to be seemingly pure evil... that is the point; they weren't a stereotype of some former human civilization, exaggerated and wrapped in alien makeup. The Bajoran characters were varied. We had people like Bareil, who was politically motivated and very dedicated to his people. Then we had people like Opaka who was extremely spiritual. We had Winn, who was wholly corrupt but perhaps redeemable (during the last seconds of her life), and then characters like Kira who were a little bit of all of them (save for Winn of course.) The Bajorans were varied. They weren't all "Honor, honor, honor," "Money, Money, Money," "Logic, Logic, Logic." Sure, they were spiritual, but that wasn't the only thing ever defined about them and wasn't what identified a Bajoran. Even their spirituality was split and varied (as they showed not only one religion but two.)

    So while I wasn't exactly in love with every Bajoran character I thought their execution (the story that was told of them) was spot on with how a species should be fleshed out on a show like Star Trek.


    -Withers-​
     
  9. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And here are some of the comparisons made about Bajorans and the occupation (I had to put this in a separate post, since it was too long):

    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Talk:Occupation_of_Bajor


    http://www.indopedia.org/Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine.html

    http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2008/01/back-through-wormhole-part-iv-looking.html

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/07/i-am-properly-addressed-as-ensign-ro.php

    http://astroguyz.com/2008/06/26/sci-fi-on-tv-movies-the-good-the-bad-the-alien-ugly/

    http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Generation-Episode-Ensign/dp/630417957X

    http://jeffords.blogspot.com/2009/10/star-trek-next-generation-ensign-ro.html

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StarTrek


    http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0509/0509startrekp1.htm


    http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3349967&postcount=79[/QUOTE]
     
  10. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    This.

    I voted Yay. The Bajorans are easily one of my favorite races in Trek, and an example of an alien race done correctly. They weren't just a parody or example of some aspect of real life humanity.

    Um, the make-up for Bajorans was probably the most understated of any alien make-up in Trek history. The only times the make-up was less was when an alien race was EXACTLY identical-looking to Humans. If any DS9 character had "silly" make-up, it was Odo - they just plastered his face flat.
     
  11. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is also the reason why I like them. There was so much variation among Bajoran characters. Here's my earlier thread/OP where I explained why I like them.
    http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=101855

    Also, not every Bajoran was religious/spiritual - Ro Laren wasn't, and Tahna Los didn't seem to care about destroying the "Celestial Temple", so I am pretty sure he wasn't, either. (Which proves that it's perfectly possible to be a nationalistic Bajoran without being religious.)

    Well, one might say that it was silly in the sense that every alien who looked almost like a human is "silly", i.e. it's unlikely they would look that way - which would also mean that Vulcans, Trill, Betazoids, Deltans, Ocampa, TOS Romulans, most aliens encountered in TOS, etc. are "silly".

    But if it means "silly" as in bad-looking, fake-looking, or silly-looking, I don't think so, and I can think of many much sillier looking races in Trek. How about the Kazon, or these guys , or how about these, or or maybe these ? :rommie:
     
  12. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I loved them. The setting of Bajor and the people who lived there were a crucial part of DS9 for me.
     
  13. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    At the time it was airing I thought all the political stuff was boring. Now that I'm older I quite enjoy it, and the Bajorans as well.
     
  14. Dick1979

    Dick1979 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It's funny you should make that comparrison. I too have drawn the same parallels between these two species. As a
    Matter of fact I have compared each major species in the Trekverse to that of our world. It's goes as fallows:

    USA = The Federation
    china = Vulcan
    Japan = Romulan
    Russia = Klingon
    Euro Union = Trill, Betazed, Andor

    Okay, bring on the heat.
     
  15. Zameaze

    Zameaze Commodore Commodore

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    Yes there is, and it certainly has nothing to do with with this unoriginal, banal, and jejune idea of putting a cat and a dog together in a bag to see what happens.
     
  16. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, for real dramatic conflict you have to look at the Starfleet and the Maquis in VOY... :devil: :whistle:

    Please enlighten me - what makes good dramatic conflict? Two groups of people who have no problems in their past whatsoever? Two groups of people with very few problems that they will solve until the end of the episode? What exactly?

    All those war crime tribunals, truth and reconciliation commissions, etc... Thank you for making me understand how unoriginal, banal and jejune they are!
     
  17. Kai Winn

    Kai Winn Captain Captain

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    weren't the borg frequently compared to the usa? this has some merits, both are socially committed, willing to naturalize almost any race, technologically advanced, strive for perfection, and maintain order far beyond their own territory.
     
  18. Withers

    Withers Captain

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    I'm also not clear on what your issue is with the premise of having two diametrically opposed species featured within the same show. The alternative, as has been noted, is the Maquis/Federation relationship on Voyager or the complete absence of any such adversarial cornerstone relationship in TNG. Since TNG is often lampooned for its unrealistic portrayal of relationships in the future (i.e. everyone gets along) and Voyager has been castigated since the end of season one for its failure to explore the nature of conflict realistically, I'd say DS9 did what could have been reasonably expected as the alternative to those two things quite well.

    Not liking the Bajorans or the Cardassians or the characters entailed in either species is one thing. Not liking the idea of conflict in a drama, however, is tantamount to not liking the idea of jokes in a comedy.



    -Withers-​
     
  19. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    According to Memory Alpha, the reason they decided to set DS9 around Bajor in the first place is because of the popularity of Ensign Ro. How ironic that Michelle Forbes opted not to join the cast. Oh, well. We got Kira instead.
     
  20. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    USA = The Federation? That's probably what it stood for in the TOS, but it doesn't really make sense. European Union = the Federation, in some aspects anyway, would make more sense.

    China = Vulcan? I don't see the connection?

    And would that mean that China is a founding member of USA? :rommie:

    TOS Klingon Empire clearly stood for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. But I don't see any similarities between Russians and Klingons as depicted in Star Trek.

    European Union = Trill, Betazed, Andor?! :wtf: How does that make any sense at all? :confused:

    And European Union is also a member of USA? :cardie: