Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by NCC-73515, Jan 4, 2021.
Another loose end to have fun with, Cardassia...
Might be a DMZ as regards some other opposing power, say, the Talarians... Or then it was found convenient to ban warships in that area in general.
But the very idea of having a map in PIC that says "Romulan Star Empire" is absurd already!
I always appreciate thoughts on Star Trek’s political geography. Thanks to OP!
If Star Trek does one thing wrong with its maps IMO, it’s thinking about space as territory - akin to territorial states on Earth where it made better sense as an analogue to the high seas.
Anyway. My thoughts on the map: Maybe it is can be understood as some sort of infographics overlaid on a map of the local galactic neighborhood.
Color could indicate e.g. density of ship travel under a polity‘s flag or even Starfleet/military vessels. Density, and hence color intensity would be high around and especially between core regions while relatively thin in remote locations. Border regions (especially if DMZ are involved) would only occasionally see single patrol ships - appearing as near black. Obviously, it’s not very detailed, but perhaps provides the big picture required by the head of Starfleet - e.g. an alarming increase in Ferengi activity in sectors with Federation systems...
Or color could denote legal status. With different shades indicating which sectors are more or less closed to foreign ships while other sectors permit free travel for everyone - and some open only for e.g. transit but not mining or exploration (akin to the differentiation between territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and the high seas according to the law of the seas.
Maybe you can come up with more ideas.
No nation would want to confess to having areas colored in any shade other than the very brightest, though. If they can't afford to patrol the faraway corner X, they won't advertise it, but furthermore they will insist on a penalty of aggravated genocide with extra tickling on anybody who attempts to challenge control of X, even if they can afford to go easier on folks who try to violate areas that are actually defended.
If anything, ambition probably would exceed borders rather than dwindle towards them. Right off the bat, Kirk seemed to claim jurisdiction over Mudd's ship in space where both skippers were strangers...
Well, ambition is one thing, resources the other. Even Starfleet may not be able or willing to deploy an equally huge number of ships along every border....
But of course it would not be a public map, but rather a very large scale version of those map tables which the RAF used to keep tabs of friendly and enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain. A graphical display of force dispositions for Commanders. You would not want potential enemies to take a look at this map.
The other thing is statistical. If the deep colors represent hundreds or even thousands of ships (maybe because borders are ‚hot‘, maybe because a sector holds lots of key facilities like fleet yards), black regions could still be patrolled bei dozens of single ships or ships on five years missions etc. It just isn’t an operational center of gravity...
The map would, then, give a lot of information about interstellar politics i.e. that the borders between UFP, Klingons, and Romulans are not very contested at this time (a TNG Version might have had these region in deep blues, greens, and reds...).
But yes, I am over interpreting this (and enjoying myself).
And I concede your point (if I get it right) that the law of space (of the UFP) seems more ‚imperialistic‘ (wherever a UFP ship sails, UFP law applies) than of the freedom of navigation type...
TNG Starchart by Ian McLean, on Flickr
Two things I noticed about the chart in PIC:
1. It conflicts with the star charts seen in DIS, which have the A-B border to the "right" of Vulcan
2. Gamma Eridon's location has been moved to a position which is more logical, as it is now closer to what was the Klingon-Romulan border
Where was that second chart shown in PIC? I don't remember seeing it.
Which itself contradicts maps made for previous series which had it "left" of Vulcan.
What second chart?
The one shown at TrekCon.
Oh, then no. It was only made for the con.
The weird thing about the DSC map shift is the way it was done.
I get it that they wanted to get the words "Alpha Quadrant" and "Beta Quadrant" into their map. And I get it that as long as they were reusing Star Charts material, they'd have to go pretty far to the right / widdershins to show any Klingon space, and perhaps a map with lots of Klingon space and fairly little UFP space would best fit the mood where Klingons are frightening and ultimately also expansive.
If they really had to shift the A/B line to the right, though, why did they move it two-fifths of a sector? Why not a whole sector? (That is, they moved it 1 2/5 sectors, rather than 2. Why the fraction?)
Looking deeper into this reveals that they changed the entire sector grid, too. The squares are now of a different size and positioned differently vs. the stars. Possibly Starfleet prefers to use a separate "war grid" to confuse the enemy?
In terms of the old grid, the A/B line has only moved one full traditional sector antispinwise, for unknown reasons. Perhaps we're looking at the theater of operations at an angle? This wouldn't excuse the resized sector grid because the squares are still square, but there's little to go against the idea that most of the stuff on that map is at least a dozen lightyears "above" or "below" Sol wrt to the galactic plane and therefore subject to a shift wrt the A/B line (that is, Sol's position) when the angle changes.
What really bothers me about the shift on the DSC map, is that Memory Alpha is taking that as gospel. As Memory Alpha gets used by writers as a quick research tool, it's going to have an impact both on canon and licensed material going forward.
Unless the Picard map somehow makes another appearance and takes precedence, we're probably going to lose the "Sol is on the Alpha/Beta meridian" concept going forward. I really don't want that to happen.
M-A is also using stuff from the Picard map here. Bunch of systems were added to M-A's Beta quadrant and Alpha Quadrant pages because of this map. Like literally the same day that the map was posted here.
But in the main article pages for say, Vulcan, or rather Ni Var, they're listing it as in the Alpha Quadrant, based on the DSC map. References to the Picard map are few and far between outside of background notes. My point is that, a Trek writer, glancing at Memory Alpha, is going to see something like MA saying "Vulcan is in Sector 001 of the Alpha Quadrant" and is going to run with that, and we're going to eventually get an entire generation of Trek shows that does away with the Alpha/Beta meridian centered on Sol as we've known it since the Okudas came up with that explanation.
Not that we needed that explanation anyway, because their whole reasoning for having the Federation straddle the Quadrants was to account for Kirk's line in TWOK about being "the only ship in the quadrant," which came from a time when "quadrant" was basically interchangeable with "sector" before the Four Galactic Quadrants were codified in "The Price." Kirk meant "subquadrant" or "sector quad" or whatever. Not the "only Federation ship in this entire quarter of the Galaxy that holds about one-third of Federation territory."
But I digress. It's been a convention for decades, and scores of licensed material expand on the subject much of which were adopted into canon or at least Okudagram-style displays. Then for some reason, the DSC art department decides to shift the line 1.40 sectors to the right -- for who knows what reason -- and now the primary reference source people go to has adopted that in such a way it's going to influence everything in the future.
There's also a map on a PADD prop in Insurrection that has Sol on the dividing line. I believe the map itself was originally made for the DS9 Tech Manual.
It also appears as the main menu screen in the game Elite Force.
Yet no actual onscreen source ever indicated that Vulcan would be in Beta. That is, nobody said such a thing; nobody showed a map where Beta would have been indicated; and now we at long last have this all-new knowledge where the line actually runs, and it contradicts nothing. It's a good thing if M-A now adopts it as well.
As for the map above, the intent isn't for Sol to be a thousand lightyears across. Indeed, since the map has no Federation labeled, the blob probably is it, even if a bit funnily named. Not really a thing we'd need to consider...
...Although yes, an interesting single example of the Okuda idea clearly being known to some people. (That is, to the Okudas!)
I don't disagree that Memory Alpha should be adopting it. It's the clearest indicator we've got in canon. What I regret is that whoever decided to move the border on the DSC map did so. And with the Picard map not matching, obviously there's still some confusion on the point, which could eventually be clarified naturally in dialogue. Except now, that dialogue is going to be influenced unnaturally by Memory Alpha (correctly) adopting the DSC map over the PIC map in most cases (because it's clearer). It's just a mess, as usual, I suppose.
Why did DSC make that seemingly arbitrary change. If we knew that for certain, it might make it more palatable for me. As it stands, it's another thing that invalidates decades of licensed works (which is fine) even as it essentially canonizes the very thing it changes (Star Charts). Add the inconsistency with the Picard map, and it's just very annoying to me. I know it largely doesn't matter. But I know we're going to keep seeing the DSC map in DSC, and if the PIC map keeps getting used there (and other "contemporary" series), we're going to have two competing definitions of the Quadrant border going at the same time. And that's going to drive me bonkers.
...In this respect, it's a good thing we saw the DSC map up close and the PIC one was in the background and so off focus that the A/B line could not be seen at all.
The PIC map is also a Starfleet thing, and PIC has relatively little to do with Starfleet, so there's hope that the map won't see reuse.
The Discovery one is the one with the off centre quadrant border, not the Picard one.
If Sol is on the dividing line is Earth in Alpha or Beta Quadrant? Or due to the rotation around the sun is it in Alpha half the year and Beta the other half?
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