Cool with Q, but not the spore drive? Interesting...

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There once was a guy named Q who could traverse all of time and space at will. How? Did he have a ship? No. Did he have technology? No. The one & only answer we're given is that he's really good at snapping his fingers.

    For all intents & purposes, Q (as a concept) is not a science-fiction character. He is a fantasy character. Even Harry Potter goes to the trouble of casting spells, but Q's finger-snapping is all we get.

    Someone might say, "Well, the unexplained always looks like magic until it's understood." Awesome. So I can come up with the most far-fetched and outlandish ideas, and as long as I don't *explain* it, it's plausible and acceptable? Q made all kinds of appearances in THREE Star Trek series, and after all of that, we're still left with more finger-snapping. Is this the standard of good science-fiction?

    So if "less is more" when it comes to explaining things, maybe DSC should've done all the same stuff, but without explaining any of the science behind it, just taking it on faith. It's ironic that when the Red Angel was first introduced, lots of people found any religious undertones to be offensive (before it was revealed to have mechanical/artificial properties by Saru). But Q amounts to a supernatural entity in pretty much every way, and he's been embraced by 3 series. People take him and his abilities "on faith."

    For years, I wanted to see sci-fi do a simple task: 1) pick up a real science journal, 2) glean the latest theories/breakthroughs/technology, 3) develop & incorporate them into storylines that were realistic and challenged the imagination. DSC has done exactly that, incorporating the work of the real-life Paul Stamets. They are doing exactly what science-fiction is supposed to do, and it's to be applauded.

    And let me say that it's always good science to dissect and challenge theories, even those of Stamets. But my point is that it's a double-standard to hate on a scientifically-based idea in favor of one that isn't science at all - namely Q. If you find Q's finger-snapping methods of traversing time & space to be more favorable, you might be in the wrong genre of fiction. May the force be with you if that's you.
     
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  2. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Part of the charm of Q is that air of mystery....the very fact that how he does what he does is not explained.

    For me, it's like the original Halloween compared to the remake. The newer version goes into back story and explanation and reasons and all that and takes away a lot of the mystery.

    Sometimes things are best left unexplained and up to the imagination of the viewer....
     
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  3. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love mystery. It's an effective writing tool, and fun for the audience. Part of the fun of this season of DSC is the mystery of who the Red Angel could be, what could her/his/its intention be, etc. But for sci-fi, the standard is different than fantasy, because we expect those questions to be answered (hopefully by the end of this season).

    I can live with having Q in the ST universe, but this has more to do with Q vs. spore drive, and some of the double-standards that exist in how people perceive one vs. the other.
     
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  4. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pretty much.

    It doesn't matter how the creators would've approached Spore Drive, people would've found a way to come up with something to bash it with.

    I think it's wonky but, then again, so is Q. And so is the Flux Capacitor. You're either willing to go with it or you're not.
     
  5. Teelie

    Teelie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My problem isn't with the Spore Drive existing so much as when. It's a prequel series and yet none of the previous series even so much as made a passing reference to it before. It's so out of left field compared to the rest of the canon.

    Q is a quirk of Star Trek. He is more of a fantasy character but he still works in that universe. Mainly because he was a rarely used antagonist/prop for the story. The Spore Drive is a big, seemingly revolutionary part of the lore we never heard of.
     
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  6. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stamets has Tartigrade DNA in him now. Cornwell raised objections to it to Lorca in the first season, but what was done was done. I don't think any other starship will ever use Spore Drive. As long as the Klingons can't duplicate the technology because of Bullshit Technobabble Reason, I'm okay with it.

    The Excelisor was supposed to have Transwarp Drive. That never went anywhere and, subsequently, is never referenced in TNG/DS9/VOY.

    If Starfleet begins to have fleets of ships with the Spore Drive, and it's not limited to Discovery, then I'll start saying "Wait a minute... " So far, it seems to be isolated to just that one ship and just the one person who can operate it.
     
  7. Cake

    Cake Captain Captain

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    I don't see why Q is a fantasy character. He is a fictional character of an alien race just like Klingons, Romulans, Borg, etc. That makes him a scifi character. Just because they portray him as much more advanced and powerful than humans doesn't change it.

    And his finger snipping is just a stylish expressive display he uses when he appears in human form. Just like his costumes. After all he doesn't really have fingers in the first place, so those are definitely not the reason for things happening. I am sure he uses his mind, energy, whatever it is which gives him power exactly to make things happening.
     
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  8. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As far as antagonists go, Q appeared at least as often as the Borg, and had critical roles in the premiere and finale of the series. One could argue that he was actually a bigger threat than the Borg. The Borg promised assimilation. Q promised annihilation if certain criteria weren't met. We don't take him as seriously because he was portrayed in a very lighthearted way, but if his character had been more serious, we would perceive his threat to humanity a bit differently. That finger-snapping could've been humanity's end.

    From recent sci-fi, I've learned to ride it out to see how the writers will tie up all those loose ends you brought up. Sometimes it's been really rewarding to let that process play out, other times it's been nothing but frustration. But I think that having such thoughtful superfans behind the making/writing/production of this show, I want to give the benefit of the doubt.
     
  9. cultcross

    cultcross We truly were a song of ice and fire Moderator

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    Or is just called 'warp drive' in the later shows, hence the new warp scale.

    Personally I'm hoping for a lot more than that as an explanation - if we are to believe that a) nobody ever came up with an alternative to the DNA splice, and b) in emergency situations like Voyager, nobody was willing to do the Tardigrade DNA splice to get them home that's not much better than not explaining it at all. I'm imagining by series end there will be some reason why the drive just flat out won't work anymore.
     
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  10. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd bet money we'll probably get more of one.
     
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  11. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I don't have a problem with the Spore Drive itself. It is in and of itself an interesting sci-fi concept. I have a problem with trying to cram it into the TOS time period, and that its use has been pretty uninteresting for the most part.
     
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  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with the OP. I'll never understand how Q gets a free pass but things like the spore drive or red matter get dissected like a high school project.
     
  13. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    Q, Apollo, the Guy That Made Barclay Really Smart Cause He Was Too Damned Lazy To Go See Enterprise Himself, the Douwd, the Wormhole Prophets, the Organians, Evolved Kes, etc seem to be on various levels of ascension on some godlike being scale, well past the normal humanoid races in the galaxy at this time. Their existance and level of thought is so high that they follow Clarke's law in that their technology is perceived to be magic. They've been seen enough that it's difficult to scoff at them because oddly enough, they're more common than Star Trek toilets or laundry facilities.

    The Spore drive on the other hand is apparently "invented here" tech, and its been a plot point for so long that it has to be addressed. Apollo can be dealt with. Q can get his feelings (and face) hurt by Sisko and run off or a few millennia, and no one can get too flustered about it. Even the Organians can decide they're not interfering in wars anymore because reasons.

    But everyone knows that Starfleet had a spore drive because they used it. The Klingons know about it, Mudd knows about it (and presumably Baron Grimes), and realistically if they know, the Romulans know. They may not know the full scope of what it's capable of, range etc, but assumptions could be made. It was a mistake having the Genesis device just waved off. Even a throwaway line like "oh yeah, turns out you just turn your deflector to this setting. Totally nullfies the genesis wave and stops the device from working. Just another problematic thing David Marcus forgot to mention and his mom didn't notice." would have been nice.

    I'm hoping we get more than a throwaway line why it doesn't work anymore and no one ever manages to get it working again.
     
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  14. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Man Premium Member

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    So, what happens to your argument if one isn't "cool with Q?"

    Right.
     
  15. saladdays

    saladdays Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, that's precisely Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    I'm sure there are some limits, but it truly depends on the type of story. If you are doing a strictly near-future sci-fi based in realism, then maybe a Q-like character doesn't make sense. In Star Trek, we already have Godlike beings out there that seem "magical" to some extent, and even things like starship functions which, despite being explained away by Trek babble and such, still seem very "magical."

    I feel you are getting to hung up on the finger snapping, which seems to be more on aesthetic then actually doing something meaningful. I mean, I feel like Q could do whatever just be thinking it instead of actually snapping his fingers, kind of like how Thanos in the MCU snaps his fingers in the infinity gauntlet.
     
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  16. ITDUDE

    ITDUDE Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Remember that other small ship in Delta quadrant that was willing to kill sentient(?) being because they were high in warp energy content? Even if in 24th century Spore Drive is subject to same laws as Talos IV or Prime Directives, don't you think those people wouldn't care and do whatever it takes?
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Then what's the line? When does it become "too magical" for Star Trek? Because, even if one isn't ok with Q (which, I find interesting, given his pervasiveness in TNG, and appearances in VOY), what about the Prophets, Apollo (and other Greek gods, as he alludes to), the Organians, Trelane, Charlie X's "parents," and on and on?
     
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  18. MoonlightSinatra

    MoonlightSinatra Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What I might expect is that the mycelial network locks everyone out, and therefore NO ONE can use any spore technology. Some threads in this season so far seem to me to be moving in that direction.

    I can’t see it being a rule put in place or something like that. That would be ridiculous.
     
  19. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ransom would probably try to make a Spore Drive. I wouldn't put it passed him. But those Slimer Aliens probably couldn't navigate the Mycellial Network, or the Equinox crew couldn't scrap together whatever they needed to make a Spore Drive Chamber. If they didn't have the specs, they'd have to reverse-engineer it. I don't know if that's the team who could do it.

    But don't misunderstand me. I think they would've had a Spore Drive if they could duplicate it, under the right circumstances.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    That to me seems just as implausible as a rule forbidding its use. All these different races, once they get wind of it, would figure out different ways of accessing it.