Titan series: In your face Diverse???

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    As none of us were in the room when TOS and TNG were made, there's really no way for us to know what the producers' reasons might or might not have been. All we can do is acknowledge what was produced, and then strive to do an even better job going forward.
     
  2. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Captain Captain

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    IDIC is one of the reasons I love Trek. I'm glad it's there and it's something to aspire to. I must admit having wandered away from the fandom somewhat in the last few years, but a recent IO9 article detailing an exchange between David Mack and a less than understanding fan reminded me of one of the main reasons I love the franchise so much: The attempt to show that we can grow beyond the petty squabbles and prejudices of the day and aspire to something better and greater. For that I thank you, Mr. Mack. And all the other writers of Trek (especially those posting here) who keep striving toward that goal word by bloody word.

    I do have one question though. If the Fed is so diverse, then why would they need to make a special point of the Luna-class being the first fully-integrated ship? Surely that would have been fairly standard from the start, or at least once you were a generation or so in (old prejudices and all that).
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I said before, even with the best of intentions, it's possible to fall back into old habits and stop making the effort to interact with a wider range of people different from yourself if you take diversity too much for granted. It's simpler and more convenient to make ships primarily single-species, so it's an easy habit to fall into if you're not careful and self-aware.

    That's the challenge of self-improvement. The universe is entropic; things tend to decay and get worse unless you make an ongoing effort to optimize them. You have to exercise to stay in shape, and so forth. So you can backslide if you're not careful.
     
  4. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Captain Captain

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    Yes, of course it's a constant struggle. Not something that's static once it is, if ever, actually achieved. As Alan Moore once said, "Utopia is a verb."

    Mine is more confusion about timing, and how long it took.

    So First Contact (event, not the film): 4 April 2063.
    ENT: 2151-2155.
    Federation Founded: 2161.
    Titan: 2379.

    A bit of dialogue from First Contact states the within a generation war, disease, poverty, bigotry, etc is eliminated on Earth. Say 50 years, so by the 2110s. Forty years later humans have gone from inventing warp to their first warp five ship (ENT), and exploring the galaxy. They have run ins with hostile aliens who they eventually (mostly) bring to their cause and within a decade they found the Federation. No mean feat, that. Taking three other species who have been warring with each other for centuries and within a decade create the Federation with them...

    Then it takes that same impossible org 218 years to get the first integrated ship?

    I'm not knocking the series at all. But that doesn't make any sense in-universe. Real world the publisher decided to go for a big mixed crew they couldn't pull off on screen, and good job for that. But to make a big deal about it being the first or most integrated in-universe doesn't make sense with the type of org the Fed is. It would have happened from the start, or within a generation or so, not 220 years later.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Beautifully put.


    It's not the first try, though. I established in Ex Machina that the refit NCC-1701's unusually diverse crew (compared to what we saw in TOS and in later movies) was the result of a conscious effort on Will Decker's part to increase crew diversity in Starfleet. And I tied Orion's Hounds into that by describing how Decker's efforts hadn't really caught on persistently and the Luna class project was an attempt to revive the principle. There may have been other such attempts along the way, since we've seen various ships in the novelverse that were fairly diverse; but it's the sort of thing that can fall by the wayside if a steady effort isn't made, so its application has tended to be piecemeal. (Which is to justify why some books portray diverse crews and other books, shows, and films portray overwhelmingly human crews.)

    Of course, technology is also a factor. I've talked about how 24th-century technology makes it fairly easy to accommodate species with different anatomies or environmental needs aboard th same ship, but that might've been a more difficult thing to achieve in earlier eras, which is part of what kept Decker's efforts from really catching on. It was just easier to segregate by environment. But by the 2370s, the tech is sophisticated enough that the obstacle isn't there anymore.

    Also, one thing to consider is that the mixed-species crews we've seen elsewhere, with the occasional exception like the da Vinci, have mostly been all-humanoid crews. It's easier to accommodate a bunch of species who share a common body plan and basic environment. What makes the Luna class distinctive is not that it's the first attempt to mix human and nonhuman crew, but that it's the largest systematic attempt to integrate humanoid and nonhumanoid crew. So there have been plenty of ships that have had large numbers of Vulcans or Bolians or Betazoids or Andorians or what-have-you, but the Lunas are innovative in that they're designed to be accessible for species as diverse as Pahkwa-thanh and Irriol and Pak'shree and all the rest. So it's the next step beyond integrating the humanoid species.
     
  6. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless its a novel by Diane Duane.

    Which you wouldn't know by watching the movie since it doesn't really treat the TMP crew composition as unusual.

    And kind of a weird assumption about TOS to make what with all the aliens that were indistinguishable from humans (Including Klingons :eek:!)

    Not to mention the whole TMP feeling like a big budget revisioning of TOS what with the Enterprise, uniforms, and crew composition being majorly changed, along with the Klingons suddenly looking a whole lot different. Plus Roddenberry's whole trying to recont TOS in the TMP novelization.

    Plus the lack of aliens on the TOS Enterprise is odd when comparing to the later development of the universe.

    In Season 1 it wasn't too odd becuase the Enterprise was an earth ship as the federation was only created by the show runners near the end of the season.

    And after that its a question of how the federation is supposed to work. Is it a space nation or a space UN?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  7. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Captain Captain

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  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The books have come down firmly on the side of "interstellar state" rather than "space U.N."
     
  9. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    largely I think becuase the TNG era and other later productions went with interstellar state.
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, I think the "space U.N." ship sailed when Star Trek IV introduced the Federation President, and when Star Trek VI made the Federation President into Space George H.W. Bush dealing with the Space Berlin Wall coming down.
     
  11. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay point there, but still later than TOS.

    Aka during the same time as TNG's fifth season airing on tv.
     
  12. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It stands out because suddenly we have Saurian, Arcturian and Rhaandarite crewmembers. There's no need to point out "Our ship has been fitted with shiny new Saurians."

    Concerning the assumption that background Humans were really Human-lookalikes: I'm sure some of then were Ardanans or so, but most of the times when a random crewmember was named, he or she turned out to be Anglo-American. (Doesn't rule out aliens changing their names, like Calhoun.)
     
  13. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And for a decent amount of time the Enterprise belonged to the United Earth Space Probe Agency. And the federation didn't come into being until about the END of season 1. And even after then it wasn't til the movies and TNG that they finalized anything about the federation.

    It seems trek fans seem to forget that the Star Trek universe wasn't some complete spanning thing when TOS first ran and was in fact made up as it went along.
     
  14. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    True, but what about the USS Voyager crew manifest? There were a few aliens, but the crew was mostly Human.
     
  15. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I think it makes sense that crew diversity is a challenge because of different species' sleep cycles. I doubt Starfleet encourages addiction to sleep drugs.