Janeway's spirit animal really a communication?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by TemporalFlux, May 23, 2007.

  1. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Saw "The Cloud" on Spike the other day, and had a thought. In the ep., Janeway decides to let Chimichanga help her find her animal guide or some such. Well, Janeway finds it; it turns out her animal is a lil' baby lizard.

    This got me to thinking. This animal guide search came after Voyager tore that nebulae a new space hole, and we later find out that the nebulae has "regenerative capabilities" (something lizards are known for in spades).

    So what was Janeway actually seeing in her vision? Was it really just that pink bag of gas she tuned in on? Maybe that's the rub; many of them kept trying to paint the nebulae as a big 'ole monster, but it could've just been a lil' baby lizard.

    I don't know. It just struck me when Chimi opened the session asking if there were even any animals to contact way out where they were. Turns out there was an animal just next door...
     
  2. Adm_Hawthorne

    Adm_Hawthorne Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here.

    Are you saying that her animal guide was really a representation of the nebula, but, because of the state she was put in before searching for her guide, her mind interpreted it as a lizard...?

    Is that what you're suggesting? If so, its an interesting idea.
     
  3. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep; that's pretty much it. At the time of her guide search, she wasn't thinking of the nebula as an animal, so her mind would have just put it terms she understood (especially shaped by all of the Native American overtones that framed the experience).

    The really interesting part would have come if Janeway wasn't interrupted; the nebula might have actually communicated with her but for that. It's all just an interesting aside, but it all came together for me when the spiritual plea was basically given for any nearby animal (if there were any). The nebula would have probably only been the only candidate for a wide, wide radius of distance.
     
  4. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Looking back I think of it as foreshadowing things to come. She did evolve into that lizard at the end of season 2 in Threshold.
     
  5. Scatta

    Scatta Commodore Commodore

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    Sometimes a lizard is just a lizard.

    I don't think it had a single thing to do with the nebula being. I don't see it as being any different from people exploring their dreams.
     
  6. Adm_Hawthorne

    Adm_Hawthorne Admiral Admiral

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    I must admit that I thought a lizard was a bit... off? I really wouldn't expect the Captain of Voyager to have a lizard as an animal guide. Of course, you're not suppose to pick your guide, it picks you, but I still would think they would have given her something a bit stronger than a lizard.

    Be that as it may, I don't think it is how close one is to Earth that determines what animal you get but what you know to be animals. I mean, I'm thinkin' she could have a Targ for all that it mattered. So, yeah, I could see where the nebula could have formed up as a lizard in her mind.
     
  7. Scatta

    Scatta Commodore Commodore

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    ^Maybe the lizard had attitude? I mean, after all, Janeway herself wasn't physically that intimidating. Being big with sharp teeth isn't everything, [darkly] trust me. [/darkly]
     
  8. gcmcdowell

    gcmcdowell Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I always thought it was strange this idea was never picked up again in another epsiode . . . ever. She finds her animal guide, gets interrupted, but never tries again? That never seemed right to me. There could have at least been a throw-away line in some other episode about it. Like the episode where she goes on the "spritual" journey to save Kes - I forget the name right now - that would have been the perfect opportunity to bring it up again.

    On the other hand, if it was a manifestation of the nebula, that might explain why she never saw it again. I'm not sure the writer's had anything so subtle in mind, but it is an intriguing theory.
     
  9. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Sacred Ground" was the ep. with Kes.

    I think they never should have dropped the "Animal guide" idea between Janeway & Chuck. It would have allowed more bonding eps. with these two as well as a far more interresting story about spirituality than Voyager's usual "villain of the week" plots.
     
  10. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

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    I think some Native Americans got insulted by the concept so it along with most of Chakotay's spirituality was dropped. At least that's what I remember hearing.

    kimc, linkless
     
  11. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, now that you mentioned it I do recall something of that nature.
     
  12. Huntingdon

    Huntingdon Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What was insulting about the concept?

    I know nothing about the cultures involved...
     
  13. Katatak47

    Katatak47 Commodore Commodore

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    I was always trying to find some type of symbolism between why a lizard would pick Janeway. I mean, what do we know about lizards? That they can shed their tail if caught? That they are great survivalists under hard conditions? That they do push-ups on hot rocks? ;) Seriously tho'... I don't think I ever really figured that one out to my satisfaction.
     
  14. Scatta

    Scatta Commodore Commodore

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    ^The lizard was the only one who wasn't afraid to come aboard Voyager. It doesn't burn easily, so it wasn't as worried about the constantly-exploding power conduits.

    ---

    As for the Chakotay stuff being offensive, I don't understand that. Then again, I read once that some people found the second-coming of Kahless in TNG's "Rightful Heir" to be offensive and that whatever tribe they were originally going to use in "Journey's End" wouldn't allow it and they had to make up a tribe, so I guess there must be something against it or some inaccuracy that bothered people. They should have just had Chakotay be a part of that fictional tribe they created, just to be a bit safer.
     
  15. TemporalFlux

    TemporalFlux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know what the behind the scenes situation was on Voyager, but there could be another explanation. It's a question on how far this extends, but there is a union rule that says you must actually use higher paid Native American extras if you are going to overtly portray the extras as Native American.

    I know this because Sliders production faced this Native American issue a few times with its extras. The only time that the issue caused an on screen hiccup was the season four premiere "Genesis" filmed in 1997.

    The start of that Sliders episode was supposed to portray a modern "Little Big Horn" with Native Americans on motorcycles chasing the Sliders, but the new production team didn't learn about the Native American union rule until it was too late. As a result, they pulled in some stereotypical bikers at the last minute and slapped war paint and feathers on them; the scene didn't make much sense as a result.

    Anyway, Beltran is not actually Native American to my memory; so that could be the reason Voyager production quickly toned down the Native American stuff (i.e. the union called them on it). Again, I don't know if these union rules would fully extend to a lead actor, but I could easily see it extending that far.

    Anyway, I can understand why that rule is there. We put those people through enough hell; we practically ended up exterminating them. In that light, can you imagine how it would be if a Native American actor was over-looked for a Native American role?
     
  16. Adm_Hawthorne

    Adm_Hawthorne Admiral Admiral

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    One of the complaints they had was that he wasn't part of an actual American Indian nation, and, in making up this so-called "rubbertree people", the writers/producers were being highly offensive to the American Indians because they were bringing in all these stereotypes into his character.

    If they had actually used a real American Indian nation, they could have used a consultant from there. As such, they could have taken the customs of the real people and placed them into the character of Chakotay.

    They didn't do that, though they did claim to have a consultant. As such, Chakotay become a farce, and the writers/producers created an exceptionally offensive character with very appalling story lines.

    Anyone remember "Tattoo"?
     
  17. Scatta

    Scatta Commodore Commodore

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    ^I never saw "Tattoo."

    I thought Chakotay was supposed to be Mayan, though, and that they were being completely inaccurate. Maybe I imagined that.
     
  18. Searider Falcon

    Searider Falcon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If they intended for him to be Mayan, they did a lousy job on research.

    It seems to have developed as fanon in fanfic that he is Mayan. But it doesn't add up at all.

    When you more closely examine his heritage, customs, traditions, it become clear that none of it comes from any one group, but rather a combination of several. He is indeed a "Hollywood Indian," a stereotype dreamed up by people who really don't have a clue that there are often vast differences amongst the various groups.

    If you're interested, Spiletta wrote a pretty good essay that picks apart all the things we know about Chakotay and points out from where each of the things we learned about his tribe really came.

    http://www.spiletta.com/rubbertree.html

    For those who find that to be tl;dr, her conclusion was that the only connection Chakotay and his fake tribe had to the Mayans was geographical. Everything the show told us really came from several groups spread throughout the US all mixed up together, and they didn't even really do a good job making those things they borrowed completely accurate as far as how and why things were done.
     
  19. Scatta

    Scatta Commodore Commodore

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    ^What a coincidence, that's one of the sites I looked at right before I made my last post. Thanks for linking it, though. I almost did as well, but I figured it was pretty obvious that if they'd meant for him to be Mayan they either changed their minds or totally messed up. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have skipped it. It's a pretty interesting page.
     
  20. Arianwen

    Arianwen Admiral Admiral

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    Robert Beltran is half American Indian and Half Mexican.