Fridge horror for The Apple

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Vandervecken, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't agree, since there's not a shred of evidence to suggest that the inhabitants' ancestors had any such capability. Conversely, the Trek galaxy is littered with advanced aliens who go around playing god on various primitive planets, including Earth. I think I've always assumed that Vaal was imposed by aliens -- although maybe that's because the climax is so similar to that of "Who Mourns for Adonais?" right down to the same music.

    And I still say that even if it was the people's own ancient ancestors, that doesn't make much difference. That's still essentially an alien culture relative to the villagers -- an extremely remote civilization, one with entirely different technology and values, one that made a choice that the villagers themselves had no say in and no ability to understand. I think it's a double standard to say that a society has a greater right to impose oppression on its distant descendants thousands of years in the future than it does to impose it on aliens from another world. Either way, the people in question are being deprived of any right to choose their fate.


    Please don't twist my words. I deeply resent that characterization of my point, because it's a profound misreading. I'm absolutely not saying that we should assume our wisdom is superior. I'm saying that it's never right to follow any law mindlessly, to use it as an excuse to avoid thinking or making a choice. No, we are not superior by default to another race, but that doesn't mean there can't ever be a situation where offering help could be useful. The Prime Directive is meant to keep Starfleet officers responsible and careful in their decisions, to ensure that they remember the priority of the local culture's understanding of their own civilization, values, and needs. It's not meant as a way to avoid responsibility altogether by just rigidly following a literalistic interpretation of the rules. Every situation is unique and needs to be assessed on its own merits -- with the Prime Directive as a vital consideration, of course, but with the understanding that there may occasionally be times when it, like any wisely applied rule, must be bent or interpreted.


    No. I reject the glib assumption that it's impossible for an intelligent, careful, responsible individual to make a choice that is based on an appreciation of other people's needs above one's own prejudices. It is certainly possible to look beyond blind egotism, to apply one's imagination to put oneself in someone else's shoes and understand the validity of a decision that goes against one's personal beliefs. The Prime Directive is a way to ensure that Starfleet personnel do just that -- look beyond their own perspective to consider that of others. But it is not impossible that that approach to decision-making would occasionally lead to the recognition that a people need help making their own choices. Of course there's a risk involved in such a choice, but refusing to make the choice at all can be damaging as well.

    Captain Kirk's speech from DTI: Forgotten History:
     
  2. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    All these years I had always thought it fruit they gave Vaal. Which I thought was dumb because he generated HUGE amounts of energy from it apparently! But now, the exploding rocks make more sense. There is probably a cut scene somewhere that explains it all.

    Greg
     
  3. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Christopher/B], I apologize if I misconstrued your point.
     
  4. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Funny, I always realized they were feeding Vaal the explosive rocks (even when watching as a kid - this is one of the earliest episodes I remember watching, so I have a lot of nostalgia love for it); when I got older, my issue became the depletion aspect you mentioned.

    I suppose we could partially handwave it away as Vaal's zapping of Enterprise was causing considerable energy drain, and that normally the natives only rarely fed him. Perhaps the rocks were only a supplemental source of fuel, based on the cave-like appearance, I'd say some sort of geothermal power was the primary source of Vaal's energy.
     
  5. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to say, ``Now the exploding rocks make more sense'' was not a sentence I expected to read when I woke up today.

    However, yes, Vaal being fed exploding rocks does make a good bit of sense, so far as that goes.
     
  6. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    OK if it is agreed that the did feed exploding rocks to Vaal then my original point stands.
    Its too dangerous to raise children on the Apple planet if these rocks are still lying around. Unless they are only activated by Vaal's presence. I'm going to have to read that new book coming out to find out aren't I? What a shame.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    One does wonder why anyone (aliens? ancestors? alien ancestors?) would design an idyllic, self-sustaining "paradise" and fill it full of land mines and poison-spitting plants? Which is why I finally decided that the explosive rocks were an accidental side-effect that developed over the course of millennia.

    At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When the natives are intentionally conditioned not to walk all over them, of course. ;)
     
  9. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Zahra was a yeoman.

    (sorry, I see that someone had already posted this)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  10. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    Clearly the real Vaal was a Goa'uld system lord and this was his place of worship -- and those exploding rocks were Naquida, which Vaal forced the Vaalians to bring to the temple - he eventually left and took the planet's stargate with him, leaving his temple there.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The rocks' function in the story is very clearly set up, even if the show's editing leaves it unclear that the rocks are Vaal's food.

    SPOCK
    Interesting. Extremely low specific gravity, some uraninite,
    hornblende, quartz.
    (breaks it in half)
    Fragile, good cleavage. An analysis should prove
    interesting. ​

    He throws one half away, and it explodes when it hits the ground.

    KIRK
    Would you mind being careful where you throw your
    rocks, Mister Spock?

    SPOCK
    Obviously highly unstable, Captain. This could be a find
    of some importance. In large quantities, it could be
    a considerable source of power.

     
  12. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would've been more interesting, to me, at least, if Vaal didn't use explosive rocks, but regular vegetation as fuel. Especially if they'd been able to get inside, at all, or at least hear Spock theorize on how it might've worked. What a shame that little misunderstanding had to be cleared up. I liked it better the "other" way, better ...
     
  13. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Zahra wasn't in The Apple, Martha Landon was.

    Zahra was from Operation Annihilate.
     
  14. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Laser Beam-

    I think its time for a new quote. I light of the current disgrace of of an administration the nation suffers under, how about "With oppressive, corrupt government, success is derided, without prosperity, society dies, without healthy society, "freedom" is hollow sustenance"
    or
    "With oppressive, corrupt government individual rights are lost, without rights men are made automatons, when men are automatons, life is useless"

    How about those...?
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ As soon as it starts having anything to do with "The Apple", I'll think about it.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Seriously, we're critiquing people's sigs now?

    Getting back to "The Apple," I was kinda working from the idea (loosely based on the comic-book story) that the Vaalians were not native to the planet but had been deposited there by some more advanced ancestors who had wanted to engineer a pristine "paradise" that would never be "corrupted" by the dangers of progress . . . .

    I also flirted with the notion that the Vaalians themselves had created Vaal and had then contrived to have their memories wiped in order to restore their "innocence"--although this seemed too complicated to get into.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  17. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Um... OK. I was responding to the part about "I don't recall there being ANY female security officers in TOS". I knew she wasn't in The Apple.

    As a few people have pointed out, I was wrong: Zahra wasn't in security. But I have since checked, and it looks like her IDW NuTrek counterpart is, which is probably what lead to my misunderstanding in the first place.
     
  18. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Poor Spock really takes a beating in this episode.
     
  19. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always thought that those who set up Vaal did so to ensure their own personal immortality--or possibly that of their children--in an enforced pastoral setting--and nothing more. As old as Akuta and the other Gamma Trianguli 6'ers are, they are still not the original builders (pretty obviously). Akuta mentions "the Dim Time," but has no memories of high technology, etc., so I'm thinking they're the builders' kids.

    But those builders would have had nothing in mind but personal immortality, or the closest thing to. No higher (or at least more complex) purpose, such as artificially directing evolution by creating isolated sub-populations that would inbreed, fix advantageous mutations, and then outbreed with other small pops for hybrid vigor. That would have required, as an earlier poster mentioned, more Vaals scattered across the planet, which we know there cannot have been, because the Enterprise's sensors would have detected them, just as they had no problem sensing Vaal.

    Although I suppose it's equally possible that the whole thing was set up by sentients alien to Gamma Trianguli 6, performing some sort of experiment.
     
  20. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't see how the PD applies at all in The Apple, since the Enterprise was under direct attack from Vaal.