The post-atomic horror government in "Encounter at Farpoint"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Noddy, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Is there any idea precisely which nation was supposed to be represented in the "post-atomic horror" sequence of Encounter at Farpoint, set in 2079? The soldiers in that scene appear to be American, but there are also one or two Oriental officials in the courtroom. Any ideas?
     
  2. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    First Contact said there weren't many governments left after WWIII, they probably were just some City-State and not indicative of any real nation.
     
  3. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    The United States must have still been in existence though, as it's still around in the ENTERPRISE era, and probably long after. And in FC, Lily Sloane mentions an organization called the Eastern Coalition, or ECON.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure it was the ECON.
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Q at that time would have cared diddly squat if his simulation wasn't historically accurate. If the Q have mind reading abilities, it might be a memory or mental image of Picard's regarding history.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One of the characters would probably have noticed if the re-creation wasn't accurate.

    That being said, it's interesting to note that there wasn't supposed to even be an ECON - all references to it (in ST:FC) were supposed to just be China, but they changed it at the last minute. In any case, it seems obvious that the ECON was organized *around* China, or at least had a heavy Chinese influence.
     
  7. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    There's that giant red and black eagle banner on the wall in that scene. Is that at all suggestive of an Asian regime?
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ It could be. We have no idea what it means. The ECON probably drew from many influences in creating it.
     
  9. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    What about the American soldiers though?
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ We don't know that they're American.

    And even if they are, they could be defectors or mercenaries. Or both.
     
  11. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's Data.
    "Historically intriguing, Captain. Very, very accurate."

    Coming from Data, that's saying something.
     
  12. JariM

    JariM Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't know why but I always got the feeling that the trial scene was set in what is today Russian far east. Maybe somewhere near Mongolia.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Lions and eagles are Old World symbols of power all right, but that doesn't mean squat as such. For all we know, the lion throne would have been war booty from the adversaries of the eagle people, or the entire court decorated with symbols taken from defeated opponents...

    The soldiers could have come from just about any nation - or been generic mercenaries used by all sides. Apart from the Freemason symbols on their foreheads, they wear purely "functional" things (armor and weaponry), and those would probably be for sale to all sorts of bidders; essentially, the AK-47 of the Post-Atomic Horror.

    As for governments, those could have blinked out for a few decades and then recovered, their verified later existence being no proof for their existence in 2079.

    We can speculate along two lines, basically. First, we can assume that this court was typical of a prominent faction in the PAH era, with easily recognizable common characteristics that Data is giving his nod of approval to. Second, we can assume that such courts were a dime in a dozen in the PAH era, not specific to any particular power, and the ragtag nature is what Data finds accurate. But the second option probably couldn't justify the comment "very, very accurate"! Data would rather go for "quite true to form" or somesuch...

    Furthermore, if we assume the court is typical of one power, we can also assume that PAH would not have been a completely global phenomenon. There would be places like this somewhere on the globe, and places mounting peaceful interstellar expeditions elsewhere.

    We can see the court is multicultural, which is bound to confuse the issue. OTOH, the court is a hierarchy, with different ethnicities playing different roles, which could be taken to hold significance. The judge is Caucasian, as are his armed henchmen - does that mean a "western" seat of power? OTOH, the judge is Q, and his "true" face could be something different altogether - perhaps it's not the Asiatic gong-players who are subservient slaves from defeated nations, but the palefaced audience instead? Perhaps the soldiers are Danes in a foreign court, members of a subhuman breed who get to hold guns because the court has nothing to fear from these docile drug addicts?

    As for the ECON, this organization could be just about anything in ST:FC, the only place where it gets a mention. Perhaps the people of Montana are afraid of East Coast Orthodox Nation bombers? Or that the Ecological Nihilists are going to go logger-hunting again? The fact that Picard denounces any connection to the "Eastern Coalition" can be connected to ECON, or then not; Picard may deduce that the vast Eastern Coalition somewhere across the ocean was the likeliest enemy of Montanans in WWIII, but Lily might have faced a more fractional reality where her actual opponents came from a wholly different, more local organization just across the state border.

    Bottom line: we know nothing, and every interpretation is a valid one. But it does seem that the classic West survived WWIII basically unhurt, all its landmarks still standing, its values upheld, its citizens conquering space in this very era. Perhaps interpretations that keep the PAH out of North America at least, and perhaps the whole of the traditional West and more, should be favored?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How do we know different ethnicities aren't just way more spread out around the globe by 2079?
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, before they got Brent Spiner, the Augment trilogy in ENT season 4 was to feature Colonel Green, and that eagle was to have been his crest. I read somewhere that a flag was made, but after the story was rewriten with Arik Soong it only got to be set decoration in "In a Mirror, Darkly"
     
  16. Shatinator

    Shatinator Commander Red Shirt

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    Source? :vulcan:
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Looks European to me, as does the outfit Q has on. Which to me looks like something out of the Renaissance. The spectators look a bit like European peasants from around that same era or prior to it.
     
  18. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Also in FC we learn that within 50 years of the Vulcans making first contact in 2063, most of Earth's serious problems have been solved. I suppose that there could still be these types of kangaroo courts that Q has recreated still running in 2079 somewhere in the world, but not for much longer after that.

    The fact that Cochrane is building his warp ship out of a still-operational Titan missile at an abandoned USAF silo farm, out in the open, tells me that there isn't much of a U.S. Government left to stop him. I mean, try building a large rocket in your backyard today and see how far you'll get before Uncle Sam knocks on your front door.
     
  19. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    According to TNG "The Royale", the US flag was in use until at least 2079, sixteen years after Cochrane's flight, so one assumes the US existed as a geopolitical entity up to that point too.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which doesn't guarantee continuity of existence, or the existence of a working government along with the flag.

    Or then he's working for the government, as one would generally expect for such a project. It's not that there isn't anybody to stop him - it's that the paychecks are late, the colleagues have moved up in their careers (sustenance farmer being a favorite), and the last report sent to Houston came back stamped "Address unknown/City Not Found".

    Timo Saloniemi