Themes of Family and Conflict on Voyager

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by presence, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. presence

    presence Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Would Voyage have been a better show if it had more conflict, say between the original Maquis members and the original Starfleet crew?

    My thoughts: I loved episodes like "Equinox", but to have had the whole show like that would have been missing one of the main themes of Voyager -- that of Family. Chakotay was very clear where he stood early in the first season, and this set a clear tone for the Maquis-Starfleet relations.

    Perhaps one reason that the character of Kes was ended, was that she was such a loving character?

    Personally, I love both the early seasons and the later ones with Seven of Nine. There was both lots of family themes and occasional conflict.

    How do other folks see this?
     
  2. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A Starfleet vessel is much like a Naval ship and you can't run a ship that requires a crew to do many jobs if there is discord onboard it. Remember the film "Crimson Tide" with Denzel Washington & Gene Hackman? Remember how that crew fell apart when there was discord and mutiny? If a ship lost and alone in the "wilderness" is to survive, the entire crew must work together toward the same goals.

    Kes didn't work because she didn't stand out amoung the other more "colorful" characters. Every character had an edge, something unique that when combined with the whole gave them balance. For example: Neelix's annoying personality combined with Tuvok's lack of emotion and logic gave their friendship balance. Tom Paris rogue mentality combined with Harry by the book personality was also balance. If Tuvok was logic & Janeway was nurturing, then what Kes provided was redundant.
     
  3. data68

    data68 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I wouldn't say there was no conflict between the Maquis and Starfleet.
    See also: Seska
    See also : Michael Jonas

    Not to mention the tactical simulation that Tuvok made in preperation for a Maquis mutiny.

    Also, when Seven first came on board there was tension and conflict.


    I agree that Voyager does have a strong sense of family, maybe more than any other Trek.
     
  4. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Don't forget "Learning Curve".

    Plus, Federation/Starfleet people in the Trek universe don't look to cause trouble. Also the Maquis weren't enemies of the Federation until Michael Eddington started attacking Starfleet ships, that was well after Chakotay and his group got lost with Voyager. The only reason Starfleet went after the Maquis at first was because they threatened the treaty between the Federation & Cardassians. The Maquis are still former Federation citizens, so they aren't natural aggressors.
     
  5. Caprica_Six

    Caprica_Six Admiral Admiral

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    What you are forgeting though is that families have conflict. It's actually quite healthy for there to be conflict. Without conflict how are suppose to know that the characters differentiate in any way? Without conflict they all look like sheep following a leader blindly (think the Brady Bunch and how the Dad is always right with a stupid moral tale at the end of every story). Their situation makes it even more bizzare at the lack of conflict we did see. Considering their chances of actually making it home and what that would mean for the maquis (possible detention as well as finding out about the war with the dominion) you would think that more people would be debating:

    Should we just stay in the DQ?
    Should we be making more of an aggressive effort to get home? (eg think how the Equinox crew and Seska viewed getting home)
    Should we even be a Starfleet ship if their is no starfleet in the DQ? etc etc.

    None of these questions were asked by the crew in a fashion that would indicate they really thought about their situation. Instead the show had to rely on outside influences like Seska and The Equinox to even question things like command structure and what it means to go home. They made the crew too passive to the point where it was almost as if Voyager were watching everything happen to them instead of being a part of what was happening.
     
  6. Dimension11

    Dimension11 Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the point of voyager was to show that while initially there were conflicts among the crew coming from 2 diverse backgrounds, after some time they were able to work together for the common goal of getting home. Hence the reason why conflicts played a lesser part in the latter episodes.
     
  7. presence

    presence Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The part about watching versus action reminds me of one of the themes of a great sf book, Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven. Too bad LeGuin never wrote for Trek!

    I've never served on any type of vessel, though I have to agree with Exodus -- they needed to choose where to put their energy and putting it into endless discussions about whether or not to follow Starfleet regulations in the DQ, or about whether to return to Earth, would have broken them -- each of them -- apart.
     
  8. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Those questions were all asked and answered during the first 2 seasons.
     
  9. Caprica_Six

    Caprica_Six Admiral Admiral

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    Examples?
     
  10. Equinox

    Equinox Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the "Maquis conflict" was great the way it was handled. If anything, it dominated the early episodes too much (neverending Seska along with those uninteresting Klingon-ripoffs the Kazon) and distracted from the show's true strength, the main characters' relationships with each other.

    You have to remember, as others have pointed out, Voyager couldn't afford to have a major breakdown in the system. Not only were they a very small number of persons aboard a fairly small ship, they were also (as far as they know) the only humans/Starfleet people in the Delta Quadrant.

    Keep in mind that while an Alpha Quadrant Starfleet ship would have made things tough for its Maquis passengers if the situation were similar, Janeway was particularly compassionate in offering second chances to every former Maquis. Not all of them would be Lieutenants or Commanders but they would be treated fairly and with respect. If many of these Maquis had issues with Starfleet types in the past or people in general for never giving them a chance to be a positive force, this unasked for gift of acceptance would have taken them by surprise.

    While YOU may have liked to see conflict and inner turmoil (as seen on DS9) if you think about the logistics of the situation and the types of people involved (self trained crewman as Maquis and science-vessel [not Attack ship] officers as Starfleet) the predicament was handled VERY, VERY well from a writing and timing perspective.
     
  11. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Damn, are you're really going to make me go back over S1& 2 again? :lol:

    Ok, here goes.

    The 37's- the end question was: was anyone in the crew willing to stay and make a home in the Delta Quaderant?

    A more aggressive way to get home was addressed in the ep. where Voyager found that "pleasure" planet and Be'Lanna, Carey, Seska & Tuvok stole that device that folds space to get home faster.

    Should they be a Starfleet ship in the DQ, was addressed in "Caretaker". Be'Lanna questioned it, Chakotay replied that Janeway was captain and the end choice was always hers. At the end, Janeway restated it.

    However, Starfleet is still military. Now many think "military" means "soldiers used in times of war" but the military was actually formed for defence and too maintain peace during extreme conflict. With that out of the way, Starfleet officers like regular military are trained to obey their superiors & the chain of command. It would be an act of insuboardination to question the captain or the first officer. However any issues or questions can be brought to the first officer privately to bring too the attention of the captain.