La'an: Missed Opportunity?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Death Ray, Aug 3, 2023.

  1. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I already told you what I thought.

    Don't reduce La'An to expectations based on her ancient family history. That is, in large part, the point of the character and her story, which you seem not to have noticed.

    Shoehorning her into a Khan storyline isn't an opportunity, but rather a distraction.

    AFAIK, you are "the first person to raise this issue," which might tell you something.
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They didn't. They chose a different direction for the character. La'an is closer to Spock in that she feels an outsider because of her name and genetic background, rather than having aspirations, and running up against discrimination. Her and Una tell similar, but not identical stories because they wrestle with their history in different ways.

    It's different but doesn't mean the writers missed something.
     
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  3. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Premium Member

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    Apparently the writers decided that Una was to be the subject of the story they wanted to tell.

    So while your musing are interesting, they have nothing whatsoever to do with SNW as it has been presented.

    Nor, it seems, will that particular line of thought be addressed in the manner you wish to see.

    Personally, I'm fine with what they decided to create and have no desire to see the La'an character pulled into that particular convoluted web.
     
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  4. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    But they subverted the idea that La'an's inherited genes are irrelevant when the attorney confronted La'an about her heritage and La'an confessed that she feared that she actually could pop. She is the intended Data of this "Measure of a Man" episode, whether the writers wish it or not. Throwing Una into the mix is just putting a hat on a hat.
     
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. They are taking a point of view and approaching from two different ideas with two different characters. Missed opportunity it is not. It is a deliberate choice.
     
  6. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Premium Member

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    The trial was about the use of artificial means of genetic engineering in the present.

    Not about what an individual inherited three or four times removed from their ancestors.

    Una's family decided to modify her genetics and Una knowingly hid that fact.

    La'an inherited her genes and everybody was quite aware of that from the day she was born.
     
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  7. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    That's fine, everyone has a right to their opinion. It's clear to me that the writers didn't really understand the material. I mean, for crying out loud, La'an's own name is "Noonien Singh". In Start Trek terms this is the same as being named La'an Hitler. How much more could they have telegraphed that La'an was ripe for a witch trial?

    I sez that the writers rented the hall and engaged the orchestra... but they clearly couldn't dance.
     
  8. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    That just doesn't work, because Una also inherited her gene editing-- or at the very least, had no say in it. And La'an remains a better target for prejudice because it would be even more unfair to persecute her. She is more sympathetic in this instance.
     
  9. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Premium Member

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    But she was aware of it and hid it.
    As I said above, La'an's inherited genetics were known from the day she was born.

    I very much doubt the Federation would put someone on trial for something a very distant relative was guilty of committing.

    You're trying to compare apples and oranges and it just doesn't fly.
     
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  10. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    I can only repeat that Una COULD HAVE BEEN be a successful vehicle for this story, but only if they had first set it up that La'an, the natural target of this kind of maltreatment, was simply a red herring.

    Like I said: La'an is Chekov's Gun. It doesn't really matter if the writers wanted to use Una or not. They has already set up La'an as the natural vehicle for this storyline, and that thread needed to be played out.
     
  11. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Premium Member

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    Only in your own little world.

    And with that, I'm done.
     
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  12. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I have yet more to say :)

    This episode showed that the writers really don't quite grasp their own sci-fi premises. Take TNG: You use lumpy-headed Worf, not Riker, to tell fish-out-of-water stories. You use Data, not Troi, to tell stories about what it means to not grok emotion.

    By that same logic, you use La'an, not Una, to tell a story about prejudice against genetic engineering. It's Storytelling 101.
     
  13. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I love how people insult writers with impunity just because of different storytelling choices.
     
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  14. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I am a writer, and I know a mistake when I encounter one. Yes, I know that this episode featured emotional subjects, but this is also Star Trek, not JAG. They wrapped an immigration/bigotry message in a sci-fi wrapper, but they chose the wrong character to deliver it. And frankly, using Una to tell a story of Federation bigotry absent a sci-fi element would have been much more powerful.

    The characters on this show serve two purposes: One is to showcase their personalities, yes, but the other is to satisfy sci-fi premises. Data, Geordi, Troi, Spock, Worf, the Doctor- they have magical talents born of their sci-fi nature. You can't introduce those elements and then ignore the consequences that flow from them. La'an is the "genetically engineered character". It's right in her name. It's her gimmick. Why make her a descendant of Khan if not to explore this? To patch her gimmick onto Una required a decent justification which this storyline did not provide, IMNHO.
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So we can insult writers on that basis alone?

    Good to know. I will leave you to write it better then.
     
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  16. Xerxes82

    Xerxes82 Captain Captain

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    She isn't though. It's established in S1 that La'an IS NOT IN ANY WAY engineered or modified. Her distant ancestors were, but she herself is a perfectly ordinary, luck of the draw, naturally born human. With literally generations of interbreeding between her ancestors and perfectly ordinary humans in between, La'an can no more be said to be engineered than you or I.

    You've decided the character can only be one thing, serve one role. The writers of the show have a much more nuanced take. Which also enables them to utilize La'an for the subplot, wherein she is concerned that she has accidentally outed Una. Using La'an's own disgust at her heritage, and the complicated feelings said heritage engenders when she learns of Una's augmentations in S1, provides an interesting and important counterpoint to the actions of Starfleet during the trial. If La'an, who more so than anybody has a reason to hate/fear/be disgusted by augments, can accept Una as a person in spite of them, then certainly Starfleet, which is much further personally removed from the consequences of the Eugenics Wars, can do the same.
     
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  17. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks! :luvlove: I'll actually be launching a Kickstarter for it in about a month!
     
  18. SpockOfNine

    SpockOfNine Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Her ancestors had enhanced genes but that does not mean those enhancements stuck around for generations worth of breeding with normal humans.
     
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  19. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Hold on, though: That's a fine enough backstory, but it only makes it all the more necessary that she be the one on the sacrificial alter when the hounds of prejudice arrive.

    Una and La'an are both equally innocent of being bad people, of course, but it literally doesn't matter that Una is superhuman and La'an is not. Both now have the character arc of emerging from genetic engineering, when before that was La'an's unsual gimmick, just as Geordi had his VISOR and Worf had his ridges. For no sensible reason, they have ported over La'an's distinctive moral challenge--the risk of being judged as a danger to humans because of her ancestry--to Una. They gave her the same moral challenge AND the same sci-fi gimmick.

    And that is what I think was a misstep: The duplication of La'an's novel characteristics. La'an, from the start, waved a handkerchief and declared her descent from sketchy ancestors. Sketchy why? Because they had different DNA. And now that is Una's dillema as well. It should have been one or the other, not both.
     
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  20. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    I dunno... Mu'ad Dib's DNA sure was potent!