Stiles in Balance of Terror

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by t_smitts, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No that is not a natural conclusion to jump to at all. That's a racist and irrational conclusion to jump to. Because the only basis Stiles has is that they look alike. It's incredibly stupid, if Spock was in cahoots with the Romulans he could have destroyed the ship as soon as he knew the enemies "are ready to proceed on all fronts".. there wouldn't be time for discussion.

    You said there would be nothing wrong with recommending the internment of all vulcans. Sorry, but no, that would be very wrong. It doesn't matter if there were vulcan spies or some vulcans may have been working secretly with romulans (which they weren't, it was a conspiracy of a racist human being racist), you don't punish an entire race of people for it. Lol try telling George Takei that... Imprisoning all Vulcans on Earth, including children, because there might be some vulcan spies according to some clearly panicky racist? A species that has done nothing but help to advance mankind? That's incredibly wrong. You said that "Stiles' distrust of Spock and his entire species is a very rational concern" Are you crazy?

    Sometimes it seems like you type these long ass explanations and happen to just throw in some crazy stuff to see if anyone is paying attention.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  2. Romulus Prime

    Romulus Prime Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Err, millitants in the Middle East often site the Crusades as a means to be violent or stoke hatred towards Europeans, and it's been about 7 centuries since the last one took place. Then you have the animosity between the North and South after the American Civil War, some of which exist even today. Both these examples are things happening between humans on Earth. How is something like a guy carrying a grudge from the (relatively) recent deaths of family members at the hands of the Romulans - aggressive aliens - so beyond disbelief?

    :vulcan:
     
  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure they "really" are different people, but to be fair, neither spelling was actually used onscreen (credits notwithstanding). It could be that the writers of ST III might have intended it to be the same character but just didn't bother to check the spelling.

    Then again, Styles was a stuck-up egotistical jackass, and Stiles appeared to be a normal guy who just hated Romulans due to his family history. So they're probably not the same person.

    Also: The novel Prime Directive did NOT assume that Styles and Stiles are the same.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  4. Bubbles McGee

    Bubbles McGee Lieutenant Commander

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    Thank-you for this! I never knew about it and I always thought Stiles' claim about spies (as well as Sulu's backing of it and Kirk's ultimate acceptance of the concern) really weird and out of place. It makes perfect sense now. Wonder why they would cut something like that out; it seems kind of integral to the whole sub-plot involving Stiles and Spock.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [citation needed]

    Here's what Spock reports about the Romulans:
    Nothing there about the Romulans being isolated, merely that neither side nor their allies had even seen the other.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk says in a Captain's Log that the Neutral Zone is meant to isolate Romulus and Remus from the rest of the Galaxy, though. He may have just been exaggerating.

    OR

    This episode was written with the Romulans being similar to the Kzinti from Larry Niven's Known Space series, wherein after being defeated numerous times by humanity the Kzinti were punished by having their world be blockaded from the rest of the Galaxy. Later they changed their minds and had the Neutral Zone just buffer them from the Federation but not everywhere else.
     
  7. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    With hundred year lifespans being very routine by the 22nd century (as has often been implied and even said outright in various novels, including the novelization of ST:TMP where Kirk who is around 40 at that point thinks he might've "lived another century" as the V'ger energy bolt approaches) then anger about a war among humans makes a lot more sense.

    The grandfather of Stiles who was severely injured in the war and lost two brothers and many friends in the war could've still talked about the "damned treacherous Romulans" at every reunion and family get together that young Stiles attended.

    Remember that up until 1980, the south was called the "solid south" for the Democratic Party because southernors still would not vote for a Republican due to lingering anger over the Civil War.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    You don't think that happens? :wtf:
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know, I'd forgotten that line, so I stand corrected on their being no such reference. That said, the line sounds like "from the rest of the [known] galaxy" or "us".
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk might also be quoting an old slogan, one grossly outdated by historical developments now, but at least as closely associated with the RNZ as the phrase "peace in our time" is with WWII.

    Perhaps. But I do maintain that the evidence was very much in favor of a species-wide conspiracy, from a species known to have fought a species-wide war against the entire mankind - probably one aiming at annihilation and lacking in mercy and other niceness, judging both by the briefing scene dialogue and by the later evidence of the Romulan xenophobia. Our heroes ran into Space Nazis here, and were belatedly awakened to the fact that people in their midst had been wearing the uniforms, boots and swastikas all the time - every man, woman and child of them. Stiles' concerns would be about as racist or counterfactual or falsely generalizing as the claim "all blacks have skin colors in shades of brown". What practical significance the claims would have would remain to be seen.

    I just happen to wonder if people really are as stuck with their assumptions as they appear to be, when the fantastic science fiction context really flies in the face of just about any assumption we dare make.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Not everybody. The episode is also explicit about the fact that the Romulan Commander is weary of constant wars against . . . somebody.

    The Romulans couldn't have been too isolated if Mark Lenard has spent his entire career waging wars on behalf of the Empire . . . . .
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then why did Kirk say the Neutral Zone was meant to isolate the Romulans from the rest of the Galaxy? As in, blockade their home system from everyone else?
     
  13. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    There's a book I'd like to read!

    By "Galaxy" I'm sure he meant the Federation/Earth.
     
  14. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kirk probably believed that was true and it the NZ was probably meant to accomplish that but obviously it failed.
     
  15. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    Maybe he was fighting internal wars against domestic enemies of the Empire.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And that's the point I was originally making - that if we take the episode as written, the Commander would have to have been talking either about internal strife, or then about the old war with Earth. Both of which are possible insights into what the writer was thinking, although the odds are that he did not actually put thought into these curious lines.

    Of course, other episodes open up new possibilities in addition to the above two. But the idea of the Commander being a veteran of the old Earth war remains intriguing. The guy on screen looks a hundred years old, sharp, for a Vulcanoid - as we learn in "Journey to Babel"! ;) But perhaps he has aged less than Sarek because he isn't suffering from the early symptoms of the Bendii syndrome, and is in fact a hundred and thirty years old, having fought Earth for a decade and been idled ever since.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since "Balance" was inspired by "The Enemy Below", then the Romulan Commander was inspired by the WWII German Commander who served in WWI. So, maybe he DOES mean the old Romulan War except there's a 100 year difference and not 20-ish years.
     
  18. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    It seems that in both "Balance of Terror" and ST:TNGs "The Neutral Zone" writers were very prone to put in absolute terms about the history of relations with the Romulans that sounded absolute but were later proven to be false or exaggerated.

    For example "The Neutral Zone" implies that there as been absolutely NO CONTACT one way or the other with the Romulans for 53 years.

    Yet, there was a military confrontation with them just a few episodes earlier (though not shown). And we learn later of a vast number of battles and confrontations with the Romulans during that gap.
     
  19. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The very thing I was going to write!
     
  20. Unwrapped

    Unwrapped Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    There's also another interpretation, which to me would seem more plausible even with the omitted lines left in about potential sabotage. If Stiles is nursing a grudge against an enemy he's never seen personally but heard about, why should he automatically assume that the Enterprise's scan of the Romulan bridge is accurate? It was established from TNG on that the Romulans tend to be baiters and not direct aggressors. They lay a trap and then see if the other power takes the bait, so they can say they're merely "defending" themselves if a war starts.

    Given this, why not infer the following possibility: the Romulans can assume that an enemy might be able to scan their bridge; humans and Vulcans are allies and key members of the Federation, their primary enemy; if their crew therefore looks like Vulcans and they're visually scanned, it could create a potential rift between the two races and undermine the Feds. Not every officer naturally would start accusing their crewmates of treachery, but enough guys like Stiles would still make things difficult in an ideal circumstance. Whatever political bickering is created opens up a hole for the war machine to punch through.