Questions on Insurrection, on the Baku

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by WesleysDisciple, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I noticed an issue brought up by SfDebris is that, the movie seems to bend over backwards to have the Baku never ASKED directly to give up their home planet, so that this new medical technolagy can be created, which could theoreticaly save billions of lives.

    I admt I did like the movie, but noticed a lot of other reviews of it seem low, is that opinion fairly common, that it bends over backwards ot avoid compromising the Baku.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That's something of a central concept in the movie: that the truth is revealed in increments, and that the early partial revelations don't really solve the moral dilemmas of the plot, they merely mislead our heroes.

    Directly asking the Ba'ku is something our heroes could have done had they known all the facts. But there's no point in asking for the permission to use the Fountain of Youth when a) you don't know you are permitted to even talk to these people because you mistake them for primitives, b) you don't know the Fountain exists, and c) you are being lied at by the evil Son'a and the misled Dougherty, so you don't even know who your real enemies are.

    The Son'a were the only ones who knew all the facts, and they didn't want to give the Ba'ku the chance to say "yes". And the heroes, or Dougherty, or the UFP Council never reached a point where they could have asked the question.

    The Ba'ku still don't get too good publicity here, as they are first revealed to be illegal squatters, then to be sitting on the Fountain, and finally heard saying they just plain won't leave. Selfish bastards, the whole lot, and not really worth the sympathies of the audience. But Picard doesn't know quite as much as the audience does, so he never gets around to hating the Ba'ku.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Squatters? Sounds to me like the planet wasnt claimed by anyone when THe Baku Settled on it.

    And I dont think they'd have minded outsiders coming to visit, if they wanted to partake of the fountain, as long as they didnt disrupt the serene lifestyle the Baku had made for themselves.

    I found the Baku VERY sympathetic, they'd created a Paradise, but wanted to isolate it from the random chaos of Galactic Politics.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Let Insurrection Pissing Match #1701 begin! :rofl:
     
  5. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually they had just built a small rural village and wanted to claim the whole planet and its magical properties for themselves.
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    There is no evidence to support this.

    In fact, given that it was an entire planet and they represented only a small village, there's a good chance they wouldn't even know if others settled it, say, on another continent.
     
  7. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You mean like those pretty tiny federation colonies that settle on planets which out heroes some times help set up.

    Hell even if they knew there is no reason to say they would give a crap as long as their new neighbors didn't screw up their day.
     
  8. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd agree, picard even suggests letting the Soja create a new settlement, but its dismissed....

    Curious admiral said SOME wont survive that long... wonde rwhat it would look like for those who do?
     
  9. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know why this wasn't clarified. An ending where others come to establish colonies or make use of the particles would have gone a long way to make the Baku more sympathetic.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Dougherty's rationale for forcing the Ba'ku to relocate rather than share is a fairly weak one, but we don't hear the full set of evidence he believes in. The Son'a were lying to him about many things, and might have convinced him that sharing would be really bad not just for the suffering Son'a, but for the Ba'ku themselves as well.

    We can rather safely assume that the UFP Council was told the same lies that Dougherty heard.

    Picard never is in on the loop where the fate of the Ba'ku or their Fountain of Youth is decided; he comes into the picture way too late for that. Dougherty's not really obligated to explain himself or the Council to Picard, and he's pissed off with the Captain's antics already, so it's pretty natural that he doesn't expand or explicate. Which serves the thematic structure of the movie very well.

    They didn't realize they were under surveillance by holo-invisible aliens. OTOH, they quickly diagnosed what was wrong with Data, even when LaForge always requires lots of equipment to diagnose his long-time android friend. So we are left pretty much in the dark about how much of their original technology the Ba'ku retain and keep in use, and whether they could use it to spot intruders.

    We can't even tell whether they can spot starships in orbit, because the only ship in the region before the exposure of the alien observation plot, the Son'a command ship, might have been keeping her distance. Even advanced technologies would have trouble spotting distant ships in that soup.

    Speaking of the soup that was the Briar Patch, the Ba'ku apparently arrived around the 2070s. As of the 2150s, the area was apparently Klingon property, as per ENT "The Augments". It seems doubtful the Ba'ku settlement of a Klingon world (no matter how unexplored by the Empire) would have been legal, so the legal intrigue centers on what happened when the UFP annexed this space. Would any inhabitants at the moment of annexation have been declared native owners of the land, regardless of their history?

    Very much so. And it could have been softened by some technobabble about how the rejuvenation doesn't really take and the "patients" or "spa customers" only get temporary or partial relief unless they agree to live the rest of their lives in the Briar Patch - still much better than nothing, but no longer something star empires would slaughter each other for.

    The cut ending where Quark arrives with the intent of establishing the first spa would not have addressed these points satisfactorily, though.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The thing is from a movie making / plot point of view, the Baku CAN'T be asked. Ever, at any point in the movie, not the beginning and not the end.

    Starfleet: "if we collect the particles in orbit, they will help billions of people."

    If the Baku agree to Starfleet moving them to another planet, there basically is no movie, there's no conflict.

    If the Baku disagree after things are explained to them, they become unsympathetic to the vast majority of the movie audience.

    *******

    In the movie, the Baku never say they won't leave, and they never volunteer to leave, they never ask Picard to take a representative outside the Brier Patch to communicate with the Federation council, and no one suggests to them that they do this. The Baku never ask to speak to the Admiral.

    None of these thing can happen in the movie, a lot of other things that would seem to make sense can't happen. The plot of the movie wouldn't allow them to happen.

    For example, when Picard arrives with a shit load of weapons, the Baku (who apparently trust Picard) don't ask him to remove their children to safety aboard his ship. Because this would eliminate Data's conversations with the young boy.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    These things are plot necessities, but they aren't plot oversights.

    Why doesn't Starfleet ask the Ba'ku pretty please, can we have eternal youth? Because the Son'a tell them the Ba'ku cannot be communicated with - they are primitives whose society would crash and burn if Starfleet as much as said "We come in peace". (Which shouldn't fool Starfleet for a split second, because a single native village of half a thousand people could never have attained the iron age technology witnessed. But perhaps the Son'a had ways to make Starfleet believe that these were the last survivors of a more widespread, truly native culture. The Ba'ku probably aren't your typical n'th generation survivors of a starship crash, either, so Starfleet would give the native theory the benefit of doubt.)

    Why don't the Ba'ku ask Starfleet pretty please, can you go away if we give you eternal youth? There's no grounds for dialogue when the spying plot is first revealed; too much distrust around. There's no trust in Picard even after he turns out to be a fairly decent guy, because the Ba'ku have nothing to gain from revealing they remain forever young - it's a secret they desperately want to keep, and they don't know the aliens are already after the very thing. (Okay, they did hold a few Son'a prisoner for a while, so they do know who their real enemies are. But that's not something they would wish to discuss with outsiders who are in obvious cahoots with the Son'a.)

    And then the holoship abduction scheme is revealed, and Picard beams up right away to strangle Dougherty - so there's no time to talk peace with either of the Starfleet stiffs. And then the guns start to do the talking.

    The writers went to a lot of trouble to make it plausible that the truth cannot be revealed. It all becomes necessary not just because the drama calls for it, but because the events do.

    As for evacuating the kids, that would make no sense. Why not evacuate the entire population? They aren't going to score any actual points by staying. But Picard wants them to make a symbolic stand, and those are far more effective with cute kids than without.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    sorry, but there are various points where they could have been asked. That part where Picard beams down alone and asks the Baku how old they are, and then right after the conversation with Dougherty. Why doesn't EITHER of them suggest during the conversation, that now that contact has been made with the Baku already, that they should just go ahead and attempt to negotiate?

    Why don't they? Because it's classic plot-necessitated stupidity. It's like those sitcom plots where there's a huge misunderstanding that would really be resolved with a five-minute conversation. Picard, a diplomat by instinct and nature, DOESN'T suggest doing this because as T'Girl points out, there's no way it could end well. To have a movie, they have to say no.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And when they say 'no' they lose all sympathy the audience has for their plight.
     
  15. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh no, not again...
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Who would be suggesting what to whom?

    Picard is outraged that the Ba'ku have been victimized. He wants an immediate end to that, not any silly negotiated compromise. As far as he knows, Dougherty is a criminal, and by reporting to his superiors, Picard can get Dougherty thrown to jail and the Council to start talking with the Ba'ku.

    But then comes a surprise twist: the Council thinks the abduction plan is fine, Dougherty is the hero and Picard is the villain. Who could negotiate with the Ba'ku now? The Council? They are not interested, as far as Picard can tell - at least until Picard can get a message out of the Briar Patch and sort things out, but that's a slim hope if the Council really is as villainous as it seems. Dougherty? He's certainly a villain. Picard himself? He is a lowly Captain who has absolutely no say on what happens to the Ba'ku. Not unless he uses firepower to gain a say.

    There is nobody to negotiate with. Picard thinks there might be, but Dougherty straightens it up for him: the Ba'ku are allowed no say, because of course they would say no to the scheme that has already been declared to be a workable one.

    The writing is subtle and clever on that. UFP Council made its decision under the delusion that the Ba'ku were primitives who could not be contacted and would not care. Picard tries to point this out to Dougherty, at which point Dougherty says he doesn't care. So Picard finally knows exactly what to do: one, inform the Council of the real nature of the Ba'ku, and two, stop or at least stall Dougherty who most definitely is a villain now, having openly stated that he still sticks to the original plan in face of contrary evidence.

    It's the fault of the Briar Patch that negotiating THERE and THEN will get nobody anywhere - all the parties interested in talking with the Ba'ku are on the other side of the Patch. And negotiating LATER will only happen if Picard fights back Dougherty with arms.

    So, not a plot oversight, but a carefully spelled out plot element.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not suggesting a negotiation with the Federation Council, I'm suggesting a four-way negotiation between Picard, Dougherty, the Baku, and the Son'a. It's the obvious move after the holo-ship deception is revealed. Whatever Picard thinks of Dougherty is irrelevant, all diplomats negotiate with people they don't like. Maybe Dougherty would say no, maybe the Baku would say no, but the fact that it's not brought up as a possibility is just silly and a clear recognition that the plot is built on a house of cards.
     
  18. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    You only think it's built on a house of cards because you don't see how the Ba'ku could say "no" and still appear sympathetic. But that's easy.

    "Excuse me, but would you be willing to negotiate for the Federation and Son'a to have access to this little Fountain of Youth you've got here?"

    "Uh, you mean the same people who spied on us, disrupted our village, and were going to secretly steal our planet out from under us? These are the people you want us to negotiate in good faith with?"

    "Um, well. Yes."

    "What kind of morons do you take us for??"

    The Ba'ku had no reason to trust Picard or the Federation after the shit they pulled, and frankly they would've had every right to tell them to fuck off after the deception was uncovered. Why negotiate with people who were obviously willing to use underhanded measures to get what they wanted? (Not to mention, they knew the true motives and identity of the Son'a, who did not come back to reconcile, but to uproot/murder their parents.)
     
  19. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "No, not the same people. Different people. We don't have a hive mind."

    "Ah? Oh. Ok then. Well, get out of our planet anyway! It's mine, my own, my precioussss!"
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    why wouldn't they trust Picard? They had no reason not to trust him, he'd done nothing but try to help them. And again, the plot never has Dougherty or Picard explicitly explain what the Son'a technology could do for billions across the galaxy. Now why do you think that is? Because they didn't want a scene where the Baku say no to leaving their planet and resettling to help billions. It just wouldn't have worked.


    Let's leave aside which side you fall on here. Let's even assume that you defend the principle of the Baku decision. You've STILL got a premise of "Picard reluctantly defends tiny village of self-centered Luddites who choose their own privileged comforts over helping billions." The audience is left wondering why they should care about this small group they've never seen before.