New Aliens for a New Trek?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by David.Blue, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    Good point! Although in the novels and such between TOS and TNG some writers tried to turn the Romulans into that kind of Samurai-esque culture, before the new series began portraying them as a blend of Roman Empire and Soviet Union.

    Klingons of course began as (to quote David Gerrold) "Mongol hordes with ray guns and space ships."

    Personally I feel the Cardassians were the single best developed alien culture in Trek, beating out even the Vulcans. On a visceral level I eventually felt I understood Cardassian culture in the same way I have a real sense what Germans, French, Italians and English are like.

    Ever read The Uplift War by David Brin? Among the (many) alien races explored in that book are the Tymbrimi, who revere humor. To them, the greatest artform is the practical joke--which only achieves greatness if it turns around and catches the original trickster in ways he could not have possibly planned. They say when that happens, it is proof God really exists.
     
  2. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    OTOH, its better than the take a Terran animal, make it a biped and call it an alien approach. Suggesting cat like characteristics is more alien than a literal catperson.
     
  3. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    Here's an idea I got re-reading this and other threads. Can be blended with other ideas pretty easily.

    For now I'm calling this race the Xeno ('cause I'm being lazy on that front). Suppose they embodied an issue we're facing today? Make of them a metaphor regarding our own lives, the issues we're facing right this second?

    The Xeno are a people with a long history, much older than that of Earth or Vulcan. After developing warp drive, they expanded outward. Another race--let us call them Alphans--were in their way. A war of conquest was long and bloody, with many Alphan refugees fleeing the area as the Xeno Imperium grew. Again, all this was a long time ago, maybe a thousand years. The Imperium wasn't a uniformly bad thing, but it held onto its territories brutally. It eventually let Alphans into its civil service and military. But over time, a series of civil wars and rebellions grew into catastrophe. Whole worlds were made uninhabitable. The Xeno were forced back to their home system where they began the long effort to undo centuries of ecological devastation there.

    Today, the Xeno have a very mixed reputation. Some look back upon their Imperium with great fondness, longing for past glories. This has given rise to an Imperial Faction perfectly willing, even eager, to kill and destroy towards their ends. Most Xeno are just ordinary folk, albeit with a lot of pride in their past and slightly condescending attitudes towards other races. They have a fearsome reputation but little justification for it, not anymore. In fact the so-called Modern Faction is very suspicious of anything that hints of taking up their old imperialist ways. One reason they joined the Federation was to avoid having a military of their own!

    In short, a civilization with some real darkness as well as glory in their past, one in which they feel pride as well as shame. Others routinely mis-judge them, in one way or another, while they themselves continue to come to terms with issues still not fully resolved. Call them an analogy for the modern day Germans, for Arabic Muslims, for Americans still trying to come to terms with slavery, or whatever.

    Naturally, having either an Alphan or a Xeno (or both) as a regular would be the way to make this work dramatically.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If there is to be another Empire, I would like to see it be composed of a dozen or so species. Not one ruling species and eleven second class associates (dominion), but have them all be up front.

    With some federation/Starfleet people, have some of them be old enemies, perhaps from centuries past. Old bad blood.

    Like to see some Starfleet people who were outside the normal range in terms of size. Children with makeup and a voice over to appear as adults would be one way to do this. Have the turbolift doors open and a seven foot tall officer briefly ducks to exit onto the bridge.

    ^(oo)^
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's interesting. I think I missed a lot of this by not being super into the Dominion War arc... though I found Garok, Dukat and Damar all to be interesting characters, and I do 'like' -- not quite the right word -- the Cardassian interrogator we meet in the "There! Are! Four! Lights!" episode of TNG. I had the general impression that the Cardassians became rather like what the Klingons might have become if the franchise had taken up Ford's ideas about them.

    The Tymbrimi! Wow, I'd forgotten all about them, haven't read those books in ages. Lots of interesting alien-race ideas in them, even if I was never quite sold on the setting's premise (which was nevertheless an interesting solution to the "where are all the ancient alien empires" problem). So there is some precedent, though I think what I have in mind is a bit on the darker side than what Brin goes for.

    As for the post-Imperium and-disaster history and species outline that you posit, I think it's the kind of thing that could be used to add some "oomph" to an existing species. Think how much more interesting that kind of leavening would make, say, the Deltans. (I'm kind of joking about the Deltans... or am I?)
     
  6. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    One of the details I adored was how Dr. Bashir found Cardassian mystery novels boring--everyone was always guilty. But Garak insisted that was the point, determining the degree of guilt in each case.

    I kinda got that impression.

    I'm totally fine with that!

    Yep, that's the kind of tension I was thinking.

    I like it! The kind of parts Michael Dunn and Ted Cassidy used to get!
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't buy the twins in STID as Caitians, the look is entirely wrong. They're an alien race who have tails, which surely can't be that odd--look at how many different species on Earth have them for various purposes.
     
  8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Hardly the first Trek alien to get a makeover.
     
  9. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ... Agreed!
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you're going to have Caitians, then do it right.

    [​IMG]


    :devil:
     
  11. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Bast does not exist.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The layout they had with the bridge set on TNG I thought would have been perfect for some unusual crew members. Where Worf often stood at his security/weapons station, you couldn't see them from the waist down, they wouldn't have to be seen walking around.

    So if you had a character with four arms, the people operating the second set of arms on the actor could be below the level of the console and the camera wouldn't see them. The character would be behind Picard (or whoever) with four hands moving across the face of the console.

    .
     
  13. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    Thinking possible alien races, my mind went to the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade with its Clans, each an archetype--with surprising parallels to some species in Star Trek. For example, the supremely organized and ruthless Tremere remind me very much of the Cardassians. Likewise the honor-bound Brujah are somewhat Klingon-esque, the uber-practical and ambitious Ventrue echo the Romulans. Shape-shifting Tzimiscze who see themselves as higher being than everyone else, crafting whole new species for their own ends--sound rather like the Founders?

    Looking to those very archetypes, one can use the same archetypes to design some other alien race. The Toreador, for example, embody the idea of life-as-art, who literally look upon artistic achievement the way Ferengi see profit (even though of course many of them have no real talent at all). Likewise the Malkavians have let go of linear thinking, becoming in the process oracles of strange power (they think nowhere near anyplace that has ever heard of a box).

    Just a thought...