How would you rewrite Chakotay?

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

  1. Sophie74656

    Sophie74656 Commodore Commodore

    Aug 10, 2016
    New Jersey
    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
  2. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

    Oct 17, 2008
    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

    Feb 11, 2016
    Paris (FRANCE)
    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 ‚Äétherianthropy 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:
  4. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    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

    Mar 4, 2004
    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.
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    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.
    Abi Smith likes this.
  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    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 at 9:22 AM
  8. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2016
    Let sleeping wolves lie
    I kind of agree. Janeway respected Chakotay but she held the Captain's card.
  9. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 16, 2013
    in the bleak midwinter
  10. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 27, 2018
    Yes, really liking Andorian Chakotay, bumping heads with Tuvok, centuries old rivalry, logic vs emotion.
  11. WarpTenLizard

    WarpTenLizard Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 7, 2015
    Planet Spaceball
    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

    Jul 14, 2016
    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.