Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by EJD1984, May 15, 2019.
Sure all good things must come to an end, but why does the Federation have to be evil to end?
Because history inevitably repeats itself.
We'll see, though. Nobody really knows anything for certain at this point.
That's not a truth, but a banal platitude.
Also, quite frankly - the exact opposite worldview of which Star Trek was built upon - that we CAN change and better ourselves (and, in fact, have done so on a large scale over the course of history)!
Trek has had the optimistic point for 50 years. But we need to be proactive in how we safeguard our democracy, and I don't think that's been emphasized enough, although a few episodes like DS9's Homefront and their Section 31 did make it a theme.
I strongly suspect the Picard show, with Patrick Stewart (who is very outspoken about his concerns on where the real world is heading) having a big writing role, may have him fighting a Federation becoming corrupt.
I wrote a joke summary of the show in another thread that I'll post here. For all we know, the show may end up having the same themes as my joke:
Maybe they'll show the Federation slowly becoming the V'Draysh, and bring in David Warner, minus makeup, as mysterious high ranking Federation official Mr. Talbot.
The Federation is involved in all sorts of shady activities, collaborating with the Cardassians to control elections, placing Romulan refugees in camps that officially don't exist, firing Admiral Janeway when she investigates the connections and laughing about it with the Cardassian ambassador, and rolling back environmental restrictions on warp research in the name of progress.
Every time Picard tries to speak out against these acts, his words are called fake and he is ignored. He becomes persona non grata to the point that younger Starfleet officers don't even know who he is anymore.
The gaslighting is so pervasive that David Warner, who is at the same shuttle stop as Picard each day, remarks how the building lights have five lights. Picard corrects him saying there are four. Warner smirks and tells Picard, "Sure there are, whatever you say" dismissively. This all seems so horribly familiar to Picard, but in his old age his mind has forgotten his most painful Starfleet memories to preserve his mental health.
Picard overhears a bunch of Starfleet security officers referring to Warner as General Madred, and hears them saying "Hail Cardassia!" Picard records this on his PADD and rushes off to inform Starfleet Intelligence director Tyler (played by Shazad Latif in old age makeup). Tyler says "We'll look into it," then throws the PADD into the incinerator after Picard leaves.
Picard is then shot in the back while trying to send a message to Data. Warner then bends over Picard and says "Hail Cardassia!" Riker walks in, steps past the dying Picard and tells General Madred that the V'Draysh will make the Federation great again. Madred casually asks Riker, knowing the dying Picard is hearing, how many lights there are. Riker says, "Five".
Picard says, "There are four lights," then dies.
The optimistic message is what DEFINED Star Trek since it's inception. And that means, frankly, since way darker times than today - through the threat of nuclear annhilation through the cold war, race riots, Nixon, the Vietnam war - Star Trek was important as acounter-point to all that (and all the gloom-y SF of that times!).
Of course "protecting paradise" is an extremely viable story (DS9's Homefront/Parades Lost it perfect in this regard!), that NEEDS to be told, and repeated in it's importance!
But you simply can't take out that optmisic premise as a whole - not even to "subvert it" - it simply wouldn't be "Star Trek" anymore. Much more so than if you would take, say beaming or warp or phasers out of it.
Keep in mind given Patrick Stewart's age, I wouldn't be surprised if his entire show is relatively short and thus entirely a dark story about him fighting a corrupt Fed.
As to your concerns the entire franchise will be tainted, there's a high possibility that if Discovery does go to a dark future, it will be one they ultimately prevent otherwise Trek writers will have tied their hands for the next in-universe 1,000 years of storytelling.
We've had 32 seasons, counting all shows, and 13 movies of optimistic federation. A few seasons in a different direction won't erase all that
Don’t know so much about it being “evil”, but I wouldn’t be surprised whether they took notes from that undeveloped Brian Singer series “Star Trek: Federation”, where the Federation no longer exists.
It was meant to be set in year 3000 after the collapse of the Federation and long term stagnation of technology due to on going wars. The Enterprise crew were meant to help restore the Federation. Change the ship from Enterprise to Discovery, push it back a few decades, and you have Season 3!
Which was a stupid concept all around, and rightfully never got published.
Because he went into great lengths to completely ubvert the entire Star Trek universe - everything is evil and broken now - but then, the actual plot - the day-to-day meat of the story - would have been exactly the same as Trek always does: Travelling with a ship from place to place to solve problems and make friends and allies.
For all the presented story possibilites in that pitch - the changed setting was entirely irrelevant. The only major influence it had was that he could Klingons as badguys again, which, yeah... doesn't make a good Star Trek pitch.
Keep in mind that Trek failing to adapt to its changing audience, holding against all costs to the "ideal" as seen in Voyager and Enterprise (where we have Janeway destroying her crew's way of getting home over Federation values or whatever) is what cost Trek its audience in the early 2000s and led to the death of its TV franchise for a time.
No one's talking about our heroes going around vaporizing all the Klingons. But our times have changed and we need to reflect that. Trek needs to be an asset as we face unbelievably dark times to day all over the world, not just escapist fiction. And that means addressing the darkness in our society head on. Patrick Stewart made sure that his show was going to be different from the "usual" before he agreed to sign on.
Since our audiences tend to identify their governments with Trek's Federation, then it makes sense for the Federation to be portrayed in its darker elements so that the audience can wake up to the cruelties their own governments are committing and act and vote. Our entertainment is to service our society, not the other way around. Trek is so popular because the showrunners and actors knew how it was a vehicle to effect positive change. It will lose that edge if it doesn't adapt.
Byzantine empire is not a seperate entity from the Eastern Roman empire, however. It was part of the same continuity from when the empire was partitioned in 395, and remained so until the mid 15th century. Considering Constantinople had been the capitol of the empire before that since Constantine's time, it could be assumed to have at least as much continuity as the western roman empire (which did not use Rome as a capitol, using Milan and Ravenna instead. )
More confusing is that the Eastern part of the empire reconquered much of the West's holdings under Justinian in Africa, Italy and elsewhere and held them for awhile.
Anyway, I like Garth's analogy.
Well, they did call themselves Basileia Rhōmaiōn, which is just Greek for Roman Empire. The term Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire was made up by later historians to differentiate it from the "original" Roman Empire, but the Greeks themselves definitely considered it to be legally the same state. Even Mehmed the Conqueror began calling himself Qayser-i Rûm (Roman Emperor) after he conquered Constantinople because he asserted legal continuity.
I didn't intend to say the Byzantine Empire was separate from the Eastern Roman Empire, I just wanted to give both of the names it's known by.
I understand. No chance of derailing the thread into a discussion on whether the Donation of Pepin meant that the HRE was a true successor state to the Roman Empire then, i suppose.
I mean Picard is probably an descendant of Charlemagne. There. I'm back on track.
That doesn't mean much. They did a study where they concluded most of Europe was descended from Charlemagne, I think: https://www.theguardian.com/science...-genetic-ancestry-charlemagne-adam-rutherford
works for me. I'm claiming Aquitaine.
"Listen, we're all *possibly* Frank Sinatra's son." -Ronan Farrow
What killed the TVfranchise was the lack of innovation, especially in the re-use of wholely familiar plots and tropes, and the lack of creativity and new, exciting ideas. NOT the underlaying ideological foundation!
But Star Trek is that one shining light of hope! The beacon of a betterr future waiting for us, if we just get our crap together. You don't get to be that if you become a hollow depressing pseudo-dystopia copy of any other SF franchise that's currently around anyway.
And as I said: Star Trek carried that beacon of optimism through way darker times than today. I know, nowadays feels a bit depressing, because it looks like we're moving backwards instead of forwards. But an honest look at history clears that up as a lie - every enlightened period was followed by a hard counter revolution. After the civil rights movements, reactionary assholes in the U.S started to raise Confederate Monuments throughout all of the U.S. as a symbol of continued oppression. Now the fight is about weather or not to tear those down as well. NOT aboutYes, it's two stepts forward, one step backward, and right now we're moving backwards on a lot of tings. But that doesn't change the whole worlds direction into a more enlightened future. Can you even remember the last great landwar?
I just don't get it, how the fuck do people can be so enamored with an IP, and then want to strip it bare of everything that makes it special?
Like, reading your posts, I get serious Zack Snyder-flashbacks, about how he thinks Superheroes not killing is "unrealistic", and who seems to entirely alien to the mere concept of altruism. Like, Zack Snyder makes interesting movies - but why would you let someone like him make frikin' SUPERMAN or Batman?
And then let them run around, killing people, and doing everything for selfish reasons? Because everything else would be "unrealistic"? In an IP about brightly colore good-doers?
That's how your points sound to me. The absolute straight up definition of "missing the point". Like, people complained about TNG had been so much on the nose about it's humanistic messages, that they were straight up spelled out in many episodes. And now it comes to light - people straight up didn't understand even that! That the problem wasn't that they were "so much on the nose". But that you want to dismantle the entire humanist foundation of the speech itself? Like what the fuck?
For what it's worth, I'm against Snyder's DC movies. But no one's talking about changing Picard's character, but adding new evil characters to the Federation to reflect darker times.
I'd be perfectly fine with Batman being a hero but new evil members of the Justice Legaue turning it into an authoritarian group, with Batman trying to fight them.
The Federation is not a character, but an institution.
I'm going to say while I have no problem with Darker Trek, I also have no problem with Brighter Trek either. How dark or bright it was didn't play a factor in my deciding to not watch Star Trek in the early-2000s. VOY's up-and-down quality was starting to become too much, so I stopped watching when it added up, and ENT just didn't grab me to begin with. Not because of "It's not dark enough". Season 3 of ENT didn't win me back either. Archer and Trip reminded me too much of Bush, and "Star Trek does 9/11" wasn't my thing.
I'm also okay with Discovery and Picard not tackling Current Events because, if they did, let's be honest: they'd be all about Trump non-stop. I've had enough of him.
I think the problem is not "evil characters in the Federation".
That is a well-known trope already, and fits very good with the Star Trek "realism", that has bad guys in the good Federation, and good guys in the bad Romulan/Klingon Empires.
What IS a problem would be a theoretical corruption of the Federation itself.
Which - thankfully - is only a theory so far. But nevertheless - Star Trek works on the principles that we - future humans - have become better than the humans of the present. And achieved spac travel, and a galactic community and such. Having that "Federation go corrupt" would mean only so much - because we never really learn how the "good" Federation works either, that's just backdrop for the primary adventures of the main cast - but would at the same time be fundamentally detrimental to Trek's core value, and quite frankly also it's role in the real world, as an Utopic example to strive towards to (without ever getting too much into the details - because that's the stuff for future, better enlightened humans to work out).
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