How Star Trek's future stopped being optimistic

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by lawman, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even if their technology only were, say, a thousand years ahead of ours, that could make them so unbeatably superior we might not be able to offer any effective resistance to them at all. And a thousand years is nothing on a cosmic timescale- not even a million years is.
     
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  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm...Star Trek still seems very optimistic to me. It still promotes that we will have a future, and one in which people will be judged more for what they do than their race, creed, sex, or faith. It won't be an easy future to obtain, and there will be setbacks and stumbles and even tragedies along the way, but isn't that how we all grow?
     
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  3. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They did have an anti-alien group by the very end of the series. And there was anti-Vulcan sentiment, at least within Starfleet, based on Vulcans holding back their warp program. Trip does defend the progress made by Earth to T'Pol's face, ridding themselves of war, poverty, disease, hunger. But the non-Starfleet perspective from those not aligned with the anti-alien group was not developed at all. There’s also the opening of “In a Mirror, Darkly” which suggests that a peaceful first contact was not a guaranteed thing in the mirror universe at all, and a key divergence point from the prime universe.

    Enterprise was also done in the American lense. It does not take into account perspectives from other regions. We don’t know how Europe, Japan, India, Middle East, South America, Africa, even America's neighbours in Canada, Mexico & Cuba, reacted to first contact, even though cultural differences are still a thing in the show (ex. America and Europe). Although since Phlox did not admit to visiting Mecca when listing the religious sites on Earth the visited, it can at least be implied that even aliens that don’t practice the Muslim faith is a factor in not being able to visit. But even that thread was not explored in depth in Enterprise, in the sense of how both humans and Vulcans would react if a Vulcan adopted a human religion.

    It al boils down to the writing and poor pre-planning, since the show didn’t even refer to the post atomic horror beyond a Colonel Green reference, or the struggles to forming a world government with the Vulcan's looking over them in the lead up to the NX-01’s maiden voyage.
     
  4. Holly-deck One

    Holly-deck One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We might have gotten some of that if UPN let them have the first season on Earth.
     
  5. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's a big part of what I always used to like about it. What I'm saying is that in the current version of Trek's future history, it's unfortunately depicted as not merely "not easy" but actually impossible to attain, unless we make a huge technological leap (that's actually impossible with real-world physics) and meet friendly aliens (who don't actually exist in reality). Otherwise, the message is that our problems appear to be insurmountable. :(

    (And FWIW, the same basic point applies even if Vulcans were only the inspiration for us to get our act together, rather than active helpers. Either way, they were the catalyst.)
     
  6. Dee1891

    Dee1891 Captain Captain

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    Force people or others to conform? Force?


    I believe this is a worldwide phenomenon.
     
  7. Captain Kris Kringle Pike

    Captain Kris Kringle Pike Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe not force. Pressure? Peer pressure? Social pressure? If enough people do it it must be right, right?
     
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  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    There's no real evidence of that. If anything, Trek's message is that a lot of our societal problems will eventually become petty and antiquated over time. The fault with that may be that Trek depicts such reforms as taking place within a century or two with a major event as the trigger, but a case could also be made that the franchise isn't called "Star Trek" for nothing...
    The Vulcans were not our inspiration or catalyst to get our act together, it was rather the overall awareness that we weren't alone in the Universe and it wouldn't do for us to go out there without our own house in order...
     
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