How would you rewrite Chakotay?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Abi Smith, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Sophie74656

    Sophie74656 Commodore Commodore

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    The maquis weren't bad guys. They were fighting for a cause, to protect their homes. Just because they received the label of "terrorists" doesn't make them evil
     
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  2. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    Just make him more of a bad ass.

    Not a total law unto himself but if Janeway is having trouble he is the nuclear option.

    In early seasons he would verge on a liability but over time he'd get more into his native American traditions and learn control through that.

    Easy really
     
  3. Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME

    Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I read that Chakotay was an anthropologist training or at least that he was passionate about this science. To that, he is very lulled by spirituality, right?! Result: it was invented that the character was able to contact an animal guide that he had his and which guided him in his daily life... . Alas, this "storyline" was made in a slapdash way and the whole became not only useless but ridiculous.

    That being said, I wonder why producers/writers didn't give Chakotay much more better like the power of ‎therianthropy or zooanthropie (the transformation of a human in an animal, completely or partially, as well as the inverse transformation in the mythological and spiritual context -> cf to Manimal's Johnathan Chase), background which would have been true to character and for us, viewers, substantially more fascinating, because we could have followed him in holodeck, transforming to conform his natural environment (hey, it would have been as interesting as Tom's passion of old cars and sci-fi movies from 40s; Janeway's Da Vinci!) AND of course, he could have used his power to protect his friends/explore... ...

    (about therianthropy: https://www.google.com/url?q=http:/...uAOIQFggyMAk&usg=AOvVaw09TX74mMWad6hUT7qS6J8D
     
  4. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The traditional job of a first officer (real world) is they manage the ship internally, the crew, training, supplies and the ship itself as a piece of equipment. So the captain doesn't have to and can concentrate on the current mission.

    We saw both Spock and Riker doing this.
    That's probably the case with most terrorists. The main thing (imo) that makes terrorists "bad" are their methods and tactics. The Marquis were engaged in acts that probably could have restarted a major war if they had been more successful. A war that had previously killed millions.

    Yeah, they're a bunch of heroes.
    Depicting Chakotay with a strong non-western spirituality was one of the character's early defining features. Dropping this lessened the character.
     
  5. Akiraprise

    Akiraprise Vice Admiral Moderator

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    1. More dissent with Janeway. He's the First Officer it's his job to make her think about her decisions a bit more and to offer alternatives. He did not do this very often.
    2. Focus a bit more on his Native American heritage, don't ditch it, but lose the akoochemoya stereotype stuff. This is a minority that is not featured often in film.
    3. More assertive in general. He was the leader of a freedom fighter group. Let him show that side.
     
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  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Make him an alien, such as an Andorian (ch'Kotai, lol) from a small colony in the DMZ who wanted to preserve their 'warrior' ways, so he has his own traditions, mentality and approach to things. He broke from his colony by joining Starfleet, but after his home colony was bombed and several of his family were killed he went AWOL in order to seek vengeance for the deaths of those in his clan. His warrior heritage and Starfleet training saw him becoming a leader amongst the Maquis, claiming numerous victories for the ragtag militia, each one spurring him on to attempt bigger and more daring raids and attacks, his mind clouded by the blood lust to avenge his fallen kin.

    Then when he suddenly finds himself flung across the galaxy with no way to unleash his rage against the Cardassians, he has to bottle it up. Gritting his teeth to try and put the genie back in the bottle as it were, but he can only do this for so long before he erupts again, focused at Janeway (usually in private) whenever he objects to her plans and idea (which is frequently). After spending recent years living on the run, fighting and struggling to survive, he knows how to get by with nothing and sees her as a pampered snob who isn't willing to make the hard choice that would see them get home no matter the cost. Over time, this would ease and become a relationship of respect and trust, but the real ch'Kotai would always be bubbling just under the surface, ready to call her out when he thinks she's wrong.

    Granted, some of this could be done with a human character, but with an alien mindset (look at the likes of Worf, Kira, Garak or Quark) then immediately there is another outlook on the world, one that does not conform to human values. Add to that a more militaristic character to contrast the fact Janeway is a scientist at her core, then it would give two different approaches. As well as highlighting the fact that the Maquis are probably better at surviving on their own with minimal resources, which saw them do a lot of underhanded and illegal things in order the scrap by to see another day, whilst Starfleeters would be more inclined to preserve their high-minded values and ideals, then there is even more for them to disagree on.
     
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  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thing there is Janeway was also in a position of want. Janeway wasn't just offering Chakotay and the Maquis a "ride home," Janeway didn't have enough trained personnel to operate Voyager for a protracted time period of time. It wasn't a option, she had to have more trained people.

    Chakotay should have employed this as a bargaining position, which he did to a limited degree. This is how he made himself first officer. Which never would have happen if Janeway wasn't near desperately in need of Chakotay and the large group of (again trained) people he could bring to her ship.
    Maybe dissent is the wrong term, but Janeway could have employ Chakotay more as a source of opinion and advise, a sounding board.

    It just seemed so right when in Scorpion Chakotay told her a story/parable to get a idea across to her, and (as a audience member) I wondered why this didn't happen more often.

    Sometimes it seemed like Chakotay was first officer in name only, and Tuvok was the first officer in fact.
    In all honesty, it must be hard to write a character (on a weekly basis) who doesn't think like a Human, and plain isn't a Human.

    When Worf refused to voluntarily help save the life of the Romulan who needed a donation from Worf, for the first time Worf became a true alien with a unique culture and world view ... he didn't think like Humans in the 24th century thought.

    Vulcan don't think like Humans and possessed a culture that isn't Human.

    The Cardassians never (to me) came off as a distinct non-Human people, most major Trek species don't. The Andorians on Enterprise started to but weren't explored deeply enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  8. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I kind of agree. Janeway respected Chakotay but she held the Captain's card.
     
  9. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kachotay
     
  10. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, really liking Andorian Chakotay, bumping heads with Tuvok, centuries old rivalry, logic vs emotion.
     
  11. WarpTenLizard

    WarpTenLizard Commander Red Shirt

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    Damn good question!

    My first instinct is to say, make him from a real tribe and do real research. But the problem with that is, how many real life Indian tribes would be likely to up and leave the land their ancestors lived on (which I understand is very tied to most tribes' cultures) to live on an alien planet, and thus end up with the Maquis?

    I guess maybe, look for a real tribe where that could plausibly happen (and talk to actual people from that tribe to get their input).

    And the tattoo. I... I don't know. It's so cool looking, but having no basis in any real tribe, I don't know how it could be fixed or kept. Unless it can be written as some new 24th century tradition. One way or another, EXPLAIN IT.

    After fixing the Native American aspect, I'd fix his relationship with Seven. It could've been really fascinating if given the proper buildup and development.
     
  12. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hadn't considered the Andorian Vulcan rivalry thing. Which of course comes from ENT and hadn't been created yet.

    If we're bringing things from the future of Trek for consideration, how about the novel universe's Andoria having left the Federation. Prior to hearing about the novel, while doing a re-watch of TNG a few years back I thought that might be a explanation for the absence of Andorians in the 24th century Starfleet.
     
  13. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

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    I would want to see him retain more resistance to the Federation. He isn't a first officer nor a Starfleet officer and he and his crew, while allying out of necessity, should have retained their beef with the Federation. It would have been interesting to see his tactics and ideas oppose Janeway's more frequently.
     
  14. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd have him being messing with people with the Native American stuff

    "Yes Tom, it's an important of the ritual to smear this poop on your face".

    (Boy this crew is dumb, they will believe anything).
     
  15. Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME

    Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Retain more resistance to the Federation"...?! It seems to me that if The Val Jean was in The Badlands, it was precisely to be out of reach of the Federation and its armed wing, Starfleet and its armada of vessels and trained crew, against which Chakotay knew that he and his crew couldn't be on equal footing with, despite their unconventional practices/tactics.
    .
    And, as for their presence aboard of Voyager, it's more a matter of luck to have crossed Janeway's path than any other Starfleet captains like Sisko, who wouldn't have been as generous in their treatment of rebels as she was (in accepting much of Chakotay's requirements and in treating him quite quickly, as her equal at the risk of her crew and her ship in danger, especially at the beginning).
    For my part, just once, I would have been interested to see Chakotay rebelling against Janeway at least once, and not half empty, to see if

    1) he would have had the courage to oppose body and mind to Janeway, and above all, to assume fully (he and his former crew) the consequences of an after-action of rebellion = a visit in Voyager's confortable brig & an official reminder of the current situation,
    2) Janeway would have had the courage to show the same behavior she had with the Equinox remaining crew, with Chakotay, B'Elena and Cie.

    -> as I once said, I think these latter took a bit too much ease with time (I mean during the journey of 7 years) and the return on Earth, via the AQ, could be painful for some of them., especially if they keep showing some disdain or even anger with the Federation (from their attitude could depend on their future).
     
  16. Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME

    Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lately, a friend of mine with who I watched some episodes, shared a point of view which let me interrogative (well, maybe not so much because well, I admit to have asked myself the question... :whistle:).

    Her point of view was that, in particular in first 3 seasons but we could add the 4th with Seven, the 5th's Counterpoint with Krashyyk or s6's Workforce with Jaffen, each time that someone showed any interest in Janeway, Chakotay showed possessive and therefore defensive of a precious good that he considered his like a preserve. Result: were all the decisions he has taken, presented with force as command decisions by him, really were or some of them were controlled by a form of jealousy, even unconscious? I can not help but wonder because let's be honest, some of them did not fit the character.

    - Janeway/Paris's special relationship in general and the fact that in Threshold, our young helm officer fathered Janeway's offspring
    -> how a man of honor and who respect all form of lives (except Borg) like him can leave behind very young 3 living beings without even trying to do something, while several episodes later, he was ready to cross swords with Seska and Cullhun to
    to retrieve a baby that he believed to be his?!

    - Janeway/Seven's relationship during the whole S4 where Chakotay never stopped
    criticizing Seven, especially the time Janeway spent with her, etc...).
    -> was his decision to pursue Seven on Voyager a way to get under Janeway's skin, to make her jealous? :shrug:

    - Janeway/Q or Janeway/Krashyyk or Janeway/Jaffen, where he is clearly possesive and jealous, as if Janeway had the right to flirt just with him, Chakotay.

    (About Jaffen, his decision to bring back by all means, Janeway onboard Voyager while he knew - in particular to have witnessed the strong sentimental/loving attachment between Janeway and Jaffen, maybe the very first time for awhile - was clearly taken with a particular expectation: that once back in her environment, Janeway come to her senses and be back to normal as a single Captain.
    -> on the other hand, Chakotay didn't hesitate to respond to ladies solliciations as they arised. With Seven, he was ready to pursue the romance onboard, no matter where it would lead them. At least that is what he said.

    What do you think? And please, don't burn me! :whistle::hugegrin:
     
  17. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. cosmic mouse

    cosmic mouse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't notice this at all when watching the series through the first time. Do you have specific scenes in mind where Chak's jealousy is obvious?
     
  19. Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME

    Ghislaine H. B. BRAEME Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, for Q: look at Chakotay's face right the moment Janeway told him that Q's will to mate with her in order to create a Q Jr, for ex. Surprise, atonishment then jealousy were written all around. He could have let her handle the situation (Janeway was enough strong to take the things over control, especially about Q) but surprisingly & coincidentally, Chakotay was never located too far from Janeway each time Q was in the area (while Q has never been known to be dangerous physically for any Starfleet captain, right?!). For Jaffen, I'd say all scenes where Chakotay witnessed how closed Janeway and Jaffen were. His silent reaction when she told him her intention to live with Jaffen?! And to end, the fact that he almost forced her to come back on Voyager while he could have just let live her romance, seeing how happy and free she felt.
    -> I mean, would he appreciated Janeway meddles in his romance with Seven on Voyager? No and besides, he kept silent about that! Not crazy our Chakotay! :angel:
     
  20. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With a pen.