Sad how Wesley Crusher was messed up

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Lynx, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    During my ongoing "TNG relaunch" I watched "The Game" today (great episode) and then it struck me how sad it was that those in charge messed up Wesley Crusher later on.

    I mean, the guy came on board as a sort of "Wonder Kid" (which annoyed some fans bu not me) and during most of the series we got the impression that he had a splendid carreer in front of him.

    And why not? He had the talent, the interest the skill, will and the overwhelming support from the crew on Starfleet's number one ship.

    Then all of a sudden things started to go wrong. He ended up in a difficult situation in "The First Duty" but things like that happen and he had to pay for it. One could expected that he would learn from the experience.

    But then the character destruction starts. He returns to Enterprise as a spoiled, obnoxious brat with (as I see it) severe psychological problems and it ends with him messing up everything he had worked for so long. In "The Game" he had a romance with the gorgeous Robin Lefler which he should have continued with ( I would have, be sure of that). Instead he ends up with the slimy Traveler for some weird space exploring.

    OK, things like that happen in "real life" and I've seen a lot of wasted talents uring the years I was involved with the music business. Maybe that's the reason that Wesley's fate makes me sad.

    I think that it was wrong to turn him into a loser. I would have liked to see him back on the Enterprise in some movie and then as captain of a ship in some future series.

    Unfortunately, he's no better in the books made after the series. Still the same Traveler super-being mumbo-jumbo. And no reunification with Robin Lefler either. :( If my information is correct, Lefler is messed-up in those books too.

    OK, there are characters who have been more destroyed, like my favorite Kes for example. But still, Wesley would have deserved better!
     
  2. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't like the Traveler god-like thing, either. But Wesley leaving Starfleet could have been handled another way. Even Jake Sisko wants to become a writer. Sisko accepted it, at least later on. He knew how tough a Starfleet career can be.

    Wesley keeps on showing up in the novels - as superbeing. And he isn't the only character they messed up.
    I wouldn't call the Traveler 'slimy', but they should have dropped the matter.
    But hey, they could have turned Wesley into a Q, which would have been even worse.

    I also hated the Worf - Deanna romance. Not credible IMO.

    Lefler is a main New Frontier character. I read these novels, but it's not my favorite Trek.
     
  3. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't mind that ending for Wesley. If anything exploring the limits of human psychic abilities is more important than what he could have accomplished in Starfleet.

    My biggest problem with the handling of Wesley is that he received too much special treatment. If they had given him a way to earn his bridge position instead of being handed it because his mother knew the captain it would have been less obnoxious.
     
  4. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My view is in firm agreement and in firm disagreement with the OP there, haha.

    I personally never liked Robin Lefler. Quite a torturous character. I think Wesley came of age with his come back appearances and the idea of him breaking with Starfleet and breaking with his character traits are good ideas albeit using "Red Indians" and that ill-written, dodgy "traveller" guy as catalysts for his post-Starfleet life is very wobbly. And then of course, we see him again inserted in the films back in Starfleet (or was his scenes cut? I can't remember now). That's certainly a weak conclusion for that character.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'm sorry. I'll take investigating time and space over Robin Lefler everday of the week and twice on Sunday.
     
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  6. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Didn't he earn it because he was the one who convinced the command staff about the Traveler in WNOHGB and got them back from billions of light years away? And he'd already saved the ship from destruction once before too.

    Granted, those were both examples of the somewhat annoying Wesley wunderkind thing which you might object to itself. But given that they still happened, he definitely more than earned it; any 15 year old who still managed to save the lives of everyone onboard twice in a matter of a couple months definitely deserves some recognition, and it's far from being handed it.
     
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So by that logic, if I am working on a bug in my code, and a 15 year old kid walking by points it out to me, my company should instantly offer him a job, instead of the applicant with ten years experience they were planning to hire?

    They gave him a bridge post, passing somebody over who is also talented and worked hard for years. According to TNG's internal logic even the talented have to put in their due time and earn their way up, but not Wesley.

    And it was pretty clear Wesley would not have had the privilege if it weren't for his mother's history with the Captain.
     
  8. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    What? No, not unless the bug in your code would have killed a thousand people. Would it have killed a thousand people?

    Edit: Actually, not even that, really. If they noticed a flaw in active software that was literally just about to kill a thousand people, and they wrote a software patch that corrected it just in time to save those thousand people, and it was their dream to work for the company that produced that software, then I'd think the company should offer them an internship on the development team, yeah.

    But what you said wasn't even close to my logic, I'm not sure how you could think that your example was similar to saving the entire ship twice.
     
  9. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I must admit that I did find that "Wunderkind-syndrome" a bit annoying when I started to watch TNG.

    I never disliked or hated Wesley then but sometimes it was a bit anoying to see him solve each and every problem.

    But later on when I got Internet connection and found out about the common hatred to the character, I felt sorry for him and started to like him instead.
     
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  10. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I was more jealous of Wesley than I hated him growing up watching TNG as a kid. He got to hang out with it's awesome cast. I also didn't like how the kid genius was sent off. All he wanted was to join Starfleet and instead, he leaves it all behind. I'd much rather him getting a post on a deep space science vessel or something. His story had so much potential.
     
  11. Shikarnov

    Shikarnov Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think they messed up Wesley. I think he grew up rather plausibly.

    Yeah, he was sold to us as a very talented teenager -- and even evolved in terms of his thinking and understanding (as much as I dislike the Traveler storyline, I can accept this) -- but, let's face facts, the Enterprise was nearly deserted. If we accept that at least a third of the crew is asleep during each of the three shifts, and most of those awake are adult officers working in various parts of that gigantic ship, that doesn't leave Wesley with many peers his own age (or many at all, for that matter). Of course, he's lucky to have Jean Luc Picard, William Riker, and the rest as peers, teachers, and mentors, but once he left for Starfleet Academy, all that changed.

    Suddenly he was in an environment which lacked that constant, perhaps overbearing level of guidance and structure, and which was teeming with kids his own age still struggling to gain experience and develop judgement, and Wesley went a little crazy at first. He fell in with the wrong crowd. He learned from that mistake. He grew. He changed. He developed his own ideas and opinions (as opposed to being the insecure order taker we saw on the Enterprise). He got snotty and bratty as he struggled to understand himself and wrestled with his own emotions. And he experimented with exercising his power to affect change by interfering with the mission on Dorvan V.

    In short, he became an independent young man with a mind of his own.

    As an audience, I think we suffer a bit because we looked at him either as an annoying kid, a teen with so much potential, or as projections of ourselves: people aspiring to create and live in a better world as depicted by our heroes on the bridge. Wesley failed to live up to our hopes and expectations. But I don't think that means the writers messed up the character. I actually think they humanized him ...

    ... Until they sent him off to live on some "higher plane of existence." That was an unfortunate writing decision.

    I would love to see the man Wesley might have become had he remained a part of humanity, with or without Starfleet. I have little doubt he'd be impressive.