La'an: Missed Opportunity?

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

  1. SpockOfNine

    SpockOfNine Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    La'an is also not a giant psionic worm-lady, so manybe's Khan's genes weren't as good as Paul's :guffaw:
     
  2. The_Baron

    The_Baron Captain Captain

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    The difference, I think, is that Una's from a species that still actively modify and enhance their genes, and were denied memebership because of it.

    unas family, despite knowing this, continued to live on a federation and lied about the enhancements they had chosen to have done...

    La'an had no choice in anything. She's simply descend from someone who was enhanced several generations ago. Do we even know that La'an, at this point, retains any enhancements?

    It's illegal to practice genetic enhancement. It's not illegal to be descended from someone who was enhanced, before it was illegal.
     
  3. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    In fact, there is no evidence thus far that it has.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And there's the red flag when it comes to the entire premise of this thread.
     
  5. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Well...yeah.
     
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  6. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    I don’t think so. All you’d have to do is explain that SNW set this story up the right way in previous episodes. But no one is claiming that they did.

    (Also: It is sci-fi malpractice to establish that La’an is descended from Khan and then remove even the possibility that she has the “Khan gene” buried in her somewhere, ready to turn her into Mr.Hyde. They can still do this, but now that Una is established as the character with the X- Man DNA (I mean, she was Mystique after all), it will be harder to make La’an superhuman as well.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2023
  7. Xerxes82

    Xerxes82 Captain Captain

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    Again, no. Just no. La'an hates her ancestry because she's descended from brutal tyrants who attempted to take over the world. She holds disgust for augments because she views that as the reason why they turned on their fellow man. And while she does fear being tarred and feathered with the same brush as her forebears, the angle you are missing is that her heritage has filled her with her own prejudice towards augments.

    La'an wouldn't feel persecuted or done wrong if someone judged her for her ancestry. She EXPECTS THAT. She holds it against herself far more than anybody in the series has been shown to so far. But, and here's the kicker, being born into a family or species isn't a crime. That's not what Una is accused of when she is targeted by Starfleet. And it's all you could accuse La'an of. In fact, La'an had to grapple with that very prejudice when she discovered that the woman she most looked up to in all the galaxy was herself an augment.

    YOU want the story to be something it isn't. You keep declaring that the character must be this specific thing, because you say so, and on the basis of having absolutely no knowledge of the how the show established her backstory or what they did with it in S1.
     
  8. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    There's not a "right way." There's the way that you'd have liked them to do, the way they did, and the way other viewers have responded to it.

    They don't have a "Chekhov's gun" situation here. Instead, based on her name and background you developed extremely specific expectations about how she might best be used, and are apparently persuaded that "the rules of drama" or somesuch required that. Well, our expectations are our own challenges, and the rest of it is just untrue.

    They've made La'An a great deal more interesting than the advance announcement of "Somebody Noonien-Singh" promised to be. It would have been a shame to waste the character on a storyline that worked better with another. And it has worked much, much better with Una.
     
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  9. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Sci-fi malpractice?" Are you both a writer and an attorney?

    The writers made a choice you disagree with. Fine, that happens sometimes, you're allowed to express your disagreement with their choices.

    But you've gone beyond that into insulting them for doing something you disagreed with, and that's not fine, and it makes me wonder how well you'd respond if people were reacting to your work as you're reacting to their work.

    Also, even if this is a subversion of Chekov's Gun, and I don't necessarily agree that it is, doesn't a good writer know both when to embrace a trope and when to subvert expectations?
     
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  10. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Gotta disagree. The whole “Trial of Una” drips with references to racial persecution, and then becomes an allegory for current issues regarding refugees and the US border.The genetic engineering hook is just the entry for this topic, and La’an’s character was already tee’d up to be the perfect vehicle for this kind of story.

    So again: Use Una if you want for a moral conundrum about ancestry, but DON’T make genetic engineering the sci-fi element. Come up with something new.

    (I really think this story must have been written for La’an and then Rebecca Romaine’s agent told the show runners that she wanted some juicier episodes.)
     
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    Because La'an isn't a product of Eugenics and engineering. Una is.

    Two different experiences.
     
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  12. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Premium Member

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    Why don't you just go and write it then come back when you're done and show it to us and let us decide how well your idea translates to an audience.
    (in the TREK LITERATURE Thread)

    It's all well and good to make proclamations about what you think is better, but put your money where your mouth is and let us decide.

    A good writer doesn't need to declare themselves to be better, they need to do the work and let their audience decide that.
     
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  13. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    But what you have described is EXACTLY what Chekov’s Gun is. They created a character with a tormented backstory involving shady ancestry and the hook of “rogue DNA”, and then when the time comes to exploit exactly those topics for a witch trial episode, one that mentions the very Eugenics Wars that are intertwined from La’an’s own backstory, they inexplicably put in Number One as the pinch hitter? That is just bad storytelling.
     
  14. JHarper

    JHarper Commander Red Shirt

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    They also did a La'an story where she deals with prejudice because of her last name (or rather the absence of that prejudice) and directly confronts her ancestry in "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow". Besides they set up the stuff with Una in third episode (and indeed there's a conversation between La'an and Una there that goes into the difference in their situations), it always going to come back around to her when the truth got out.
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. They didn't confuse the two. They had two distinct characters, with similar backstories. Una, who was genetically engineered and lied about it; and La'an who was bullied and harassed for her ancestry and decided to become a hardass who never lets people in because she fears her ancestry. And that's in broad strokes. The specific details were set up in Season 1, episode 2 and 3, with secrets abounding as more people find out and then the consequences.

    I prefer La'an's story to Una's but that is personal preference. The storylines are set up from the beginning though.
     
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  16. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, I will see you and raise you! One of the reasons this episode is of interest to me is that I wrote a Star Trek homage/parody years ago before SNW began (see the link below) that has a character who is also written as a descendant of Khan. The characters are not similar otherwise, but I was naturally curious as to how SNW would utilize the same tempting premise. (And hey… I will be relaunching the series next month, so you can absolutely judge for yourselves! )

    I can’t do much more than repeat myself at this point. The problem is not the characters or the drama. The problem is the sci-fi. Una should have been given a conundrum that did not mirror La’an’s so closely, or else La’an should have been the one on trial.
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The sci-fi is fine. Largely because it's limiting to say that only one person can have the story.
     
  18. Death Ray

    Death Ray Commander Red Shirt

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    Let me grant that they did that, then. Even so: isn’t that like having a show with two Data? Why would they make eugenics the dilemma for both characters? Why couldn’t Number One have had her own unique problem?
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would welcome two Datas. To me, it's frustrating because Trek operates under this idea that only one person can have the problem. And that's absurd. The people I work with and connect best with have similar problems and then we collaborate to improve based upon experiences, both good and bad.

    Star Trek has done well to show that not everyone handles problems the same way, so to me this sci-fi element similarity (and it's surface level at best, since Una is modified further than La'an's just family history) that allows for character drama and shared experiences and mutual support.
     
  20. The_Baron

    The_Baron Captain Captain

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    Was this entire thread done to get us to buy your comics?!:rommie:
     
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