Q Makes No Sense

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by _Picard, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. _Picard

    _Picard Cadet Newbie

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    Hello everyone!

    I recently started watching Star Trek TOS at a speed of about one to half an episode per day. It can be a little cheesy at times, but I've definitly taken a liking to it! Yesterday I thought it would be fun to alternate between TOS and TNG, so I watched the episode "Encounter at Farpoint." I liked it, but came up with two questions.

    I'll get the easy one out of the way first. Why was the space jellyfish shielding the away team's signal from reaching the ship while they were exploring through it's tunnels?

    And now my other question: what is Q's purpose? He tells Picard that they'll have a fair trial, but then he threatens to kill Data and Troi if Picard doesn't answer guilty. Later, he held the mobility of the Enterprise hostage until Picard allowed for an away team to explore the mystery spaceship. Then he wouldn't let Picard bring the away team back to the ship until Picard made this vauge promise to do whatever he asked. (Thankfully the jellyfish returned them before Picard had to make that deal.) And later still, Q tried to convince them to blow up the alien ship. Needless to say, I'm a little confused on what he wanted to accomplish.

    So, any thoughts on this? Maybe it's just me, and this is all as plain as day...
     
  2. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Q character was added to the script to pad the story out to 2 hours.
     
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  3. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Commodore Commodore

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    Q wanted to test if humans are still savage or can figure out what happened without killing innocent creatures.
     
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  4. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    Also, that trial is mentioned later couple of times during the show, maybe it's more than just a thing in this one episode.
     
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  5. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hi!

    :)

    I'm guessing it's because the space jellyfish was presuming these new humanoids in their red, blue, and yellow outfits were no better than Groppler Zorn.

    Yeah, @Orac pretty much nailed the behind the scenes reason and @NCC-73515 brought up the in-universe reason. The Q were putting humans on trial. Our Q representing the Q was something of a rogue and even took a liking to Picard's chutzpah - otherwise all those episodes of Q pushing Picard to see bigger things (either directly or via mockery) would not have taken place.
     
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  6. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    I feel like I have to post this thing, again, that I've thought about the trial.
    TNG is the trial of humanity. It started in the first episode, went on for 7 years and ended in the last episode. I don't remember the exact quote but in 'All Good Things...' Q said something like "7 years ago we said we would be watching you and we have been".
    The trial was mentioned at least in 'True Q'. Q says that "the jury is still out on that" when the trial is mentioned.

    Even if humanity had not passed the trial it was somekind of wake up call.
     
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  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think the Q Continuum as a whole probably gave as much thought about Humans as we would a small colony of ants on the side of a distant highway somewhere. But the particular Q that intercepted Picard and the gang saw something different--he saw what Humans could be and likely because he was by nature a meddler, decided to poke Humanity in "Encounter At Farpoint" and see what happens...
     
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  8. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah I'm not a fan of Q and the Continuum either. I just don't like omnipotent crap, no matter what work of fiction.

    Also....how arbitrary is their "test to see if a species is worthy to expand into the universe"? Why did they test humanity in particular? I know the Expanded Universe offers some answers, but the show sure doesn't.
    I mean did they test the Klingons? The Kazon? The Borg? The Dominion? The Ferengi? The Romulans? The Cardassians?
    Hey Q, instead of playing pranks on Picard you might want to do something about the people slaughtering whole planets? Maybe?
    And "Trial of Humanity?" There were 3 non-humans (well 2 1/2) on the bridge when Q showed up. What about them? What about all the other species in the Federation?

    And why in Picard's time? Why not when Archer set his first foot into space (I mean we would have lost, but well...)
     
  9. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Q probably chose Picard's time and Picard himself to give humanity the best shot at survival, since he is the best of us at that time
     
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  10. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    The Continuum were better off when it was described and represented by John De Lancie only; like the representation of Michael Dorn's Worf, actors who appeared as the alien race tend to simply "ape off" of what was done. The more I saw of the Continuum made them feel less threatening and more comedic.
     
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  11. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Fascinating possibility - and probability!

    The Q must have been watching the humans for some time, since being omnipotent and all they wouldn't have just stumbled on this tiny widdle species until then.

    Might be because the Q remained incognito... or humanity was taking longer to develop and with Picard they were at breaking point... or Archer is just incredibly boring. Unless the dog was Q incognito, taking notes. But regarding that notion, I'm clearly barking up the wrong tree...

    As for Romulans and Ferengi and so on... there's a slew of spinoffs just waiting to happen.

    But given Q's continuity is lax and made up as they went along - had it not been for John DeLancie's portrayal, I doubt Q would have become a recurring character. I'm getting the feeling Q was supposed to be a one-off but was unexpectedly well-liked.
     
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  12. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Comedic or mockery?

    By VOY, there wasn't much left they could do. The three VOY episodes were mixed bags but once they took this big mysterious place into the old west in a desert so we the audience could "understand it", the Q were demystified completely. Oh look, it's a supernatural by supernatural fritters and we're given low budget rusty 1940 gas station to relate to.

    It didn't help that the Q of all beings would be so splintered by a huge contrivance of forbidding suicide. That started the ball rolling.

    Still, the Q and Gray episode, before going into 1950s desert land, had a few humorous quips. They just can't compensate for the rest of it. :( Q easily could have remained without the need to visit his plane of existence... Unlike with Sisko, he feels as much at home with Janeway as he does with Picard.
     
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  13. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    Hopefully a being like Q would think more of us than we think of ants because humans are self aware creatures. Does that make us more important or better than ants? I don't know but being aware of oneself must mean something.

    All that omnipotent thing can be explained by advanced technology. :)
    Maybe more advanced than we can think of quickly.

    Maybe the Q did test others too, we just don't know about it. Or will test them. Or has tested many times?
    Who knows if TNG is the only trial of humanity.

    Well, there are more humans (and aliens) on the Enterprise.

    Maybe it is the perfect time for the trial? Humanity is not too stoneagey and not too developed? Somewhere in the middle.
     
  14. ThreeEdgedSword

    ThreeEdgedSword Captain Captain

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    I see Q more or less like one of these ancient Greek Gods: omnipotent beings with very human weaknesses, who enjoy toying with mere mortals.
     
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  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Q was given a directive by the continuum to test humanity's right to be expansionist. He, himself, likes entertaining himself by manipulating people, so he combined the two.
     
  16. Imaus

    Imaus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It does seem like TNG era Humanity, at the start, had been oddly stagnant. One of Q's maxims that is oft repeated is that

    "It's dangerous out here. If you can't handle a little bloody nose, then go home" or something to that effect.

    Q is both the writer's desire to introduce higher and higher stakes to TNG and the in-universe answer to a hundred years of slow progress. The Federation had made peace with the Klingons. The Romulans hid again for some reason after Naranda III and maybe some battle in some nebula. The Cardassians were barely a existential threat, though a nuisance. The Ferengi were little more than raiders to the scopes of the Federation. The Tholians, Gorn, Sheliak were all isolationist as well.

    Then comes Q and in a way that leads to the Borg coming around (well, the Borg were apparently on their way), that leads to Sisko getting on DS9 and that leads to the Dominion...the Federation in ten, twelve years is vastly different.

    Of course I wonder what Q thinks of the Federation now.... Reactionary, isolationist, paranoid.
     
  17. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Q must see the potential in humanity even with their issues, exactly like Picard
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Picard was certainly not "the best of us" in the first season.

    Anyone who would dismiss the right (moral and ethical) of the frozen 20th century people to be revived and live again just because they were from 400 years previously and "already dead", and not giving a damn that they could be revived and cured, is definitely NOT someone I would put in the category of "the best of us."

    Picard treated the 20th-century humans with utter contempt. They were nuisances to him, the way a stray litter of kittens would be a nuisance to someone who doesn't like cats. Nobody even thought to offer them counseling until they got irritated with Claire's crying about her family - they were clueless that of course she would be emotionally distraught once her new reality began to sink in.

    It's as I said in another thread: I like Patrick Stewart. I do not like Picard.
     
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  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Probably not to most Q. To most of the Continuum--at least at the time of "Encounter At Farpoint"--Humans were truly nothing more than ants in the larger scheme of things. The Q and similar omnipotent races are largely unaffected by anything that happens in our Universe--even its end wouldn't matter too much as they exist on a higher plane. Only Picard's Q really thought Humans were worthy of some notice, and it was likely only him that brought Humans to the attention of other Q.
     
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  20. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it goes deeper than that. In True Q, it's clear that Q is acting on behalf of the whole continuum, & that they have an active opinion about humanity, being problematic enough that when Amanda Roger's parents chose to live as human, they got executed for it.

    In Hide & Q, Picard had a rather pointed Shakespeare debate with Q about the future of humanity being "like a god". As we eventually see, with Wesley, some humans are on the precipice of new horizons of evolution already, & a future where they exist like hyper-evolved beings is within their grasp

    Q's final test is pretty simply about the havoc human's could cause by not actively thinking 4th dimensionally. I suspect the Q expect humans to achieve Q levels of power someday, which represents a danger to them, & maybe the universe.

    It also represents a possible end to their reign of supremacy, because humans seem to share different, more altruistic ethics, which could put a hampering on their party, which is why Amanda's parents had to go, for seemingly finding value in that way of life

    In short, when we evolve to be like them, we're maybe gonna be killjoys for those mischievous d-bags, lol, hence they have a vested interest in our journey
     
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