Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Captain McBain, Feb 22, 2013.
What's the in-universe explanation for the uniforms screw-up in Generations?
Even in the 24th century, washing machines are a mystery for most men.
An "in universe" explanation"? Um...
Well, in the late TNG/early DS9 era, it was clear that space station personel wore a different uniform to those on a starship. Starship crews were evidently more 'Starfleet formal', whereas base personel were 'Starfleet casual'. But in Voyager, the ship crew also wears the DS9 'Starfleet casual' look, having evidently been launched after Starfleet had issued the order saying everybody has to switch over to the other uniforms. So, "Generations" probably depicts the changeover from one to the other (though the old uniform doesn't appear to have been completely phased out at the end).
I do think it was a bad idea changing the uniforms (the movies and Voyager too -- I'd have prefered if they'd stayed consistent and kept different uniform types for base and starship personel). IIRC, the whole point of the DS9 uniform was that it was supposed to be more like something you'd wear in that kind of dressed-down enviroment. It's the kind of uniform an engineer would have on when he's got his sleeves up and is tinkering with components. Maybe Geordi's team should have been wearing them on the Enterprise more often?
I didn't like that it seemed to have no reason or method of why they would change. In the third season of TNG, remember they had a uniform change. And the lower-ranked officers were the ones that wore the 1st and 2nd season uniforms (a jumpsuit with no collar and a stripe along the shoulder). They should've done that in Generations.
Yeah, it'd be acceptable if they'd had all the senior officers change over, but kept the redshirts in the background wearing the old gear.
I do like CorporalClegg's explanation above, though. A mix-up at the laundromat. I can imagine Commander Riker going into Picard's ready room and saying "Sir, there's been a problem: they sent me back Commander Sisko's pants by mistake".
I always figured that it was Captain's perogative to select the uniform of the day. Janeway obviously liked the DS9 style, as did Sisko. Picard liked the traditional uniform, but later on decided he would allow a couple different variations.
The thing is that's not really true... we saw starbases wear TNG style uniforms... in fact, in late-TNG/early-DS9 the only time we ever saw the DS9 style uniform in use was on DS9 itself. There's nothing to suggest that one is for ships and the other for starbases.
It's not as wacky and random as you you might think. Throughout the course of the movie several of the crew change their clothes. From the old style to the new style, it's that simple. Picard is the only one who changes back after he messes up his new uniform fighting Soran on Viridian III.
Having two types of uniforms in service at the same time just doesn't seem that crazy to me I guess.
Inconsistency maybe, but I'm not clear on how this constitutes a screw-up. It's not as though the uniform a character is wearing changes mid-scene, AFAIK.
I'm pretty sure the decision to incorporate the new design uniforms was intentional. Not a screw-up.
I read somewhere that there wasn't enough wardrobe budget to make new uniforms for everyone, so only the top-tier got them.
At the time, DS9 was still new and VOY hadn't begun yet. There wasn't a big huge rack of the new unis to pull from.
I hardly notice unless I'm watching for it.
Oh, you meant in-universe? It was intentional, not a screw-up.
Since when was a little variety a screw-up? There were tons of uniform variants worn in TMP and STXI, as there are in real life military organizations.
In DS9's "Rapture" we even saw TNG and FC style uniforms together:
While I agree that it's no big deal, a case could be made based on the definition of 'uniform' as being something that... well, has got uniformity. There's almost no point in having a uniform if every other guy we see is wearing a different version of it. Really, it ought to have been an all-or-nothing approach. Give everybody the old uniforms, or give everybody the new uniforms. Don't split it down the middle.
I assume the 'real life' explanation is that Rick Berman decided the unused versions seen on the Playmates figures looked bad on screen, and made an eleventh hour decision not to use them... but still wanted to transition to a new look.
Uniforms have to have utility, too. The guy scrounging in the Jeffries tubes doesn't need to be wearing his formal uniform. The DS9 jumpsuits were more work-oriented, while the TNG uniforms were more like office wear. Both are needed in different circumstances.
^ Indeed, as I already said earlier up thread. That was the thinking behind the DS9 design, that the nature of the space station would require a more "workman-like" uniform than (the majority of) a Starship's duties.
IMO it wouldn't even be an issue which is raised here so often if we'd actually seen them being used as such on the Enterprise prior to the movie, say by LaForge as he's crawling through Jeffries Tube space or something. It's only that we had 2+ years between their introduction on DS9 and the events of GENS, where we hadn't seen a single one being worn on TNG (except by the visiting Bashir in "Birthright").
While they're not the DS9 jumpsuits, TNG did have a yellow "workman-like" jumpsuit throughout its run. It was mainly seen worn by those in engineering and people working in the Jefferies Tube, like Geordi here:
It would have been nice if they had switched over to the DS9 uniform during the sixth or seventh season. In universe explanation, maybe it took longer for the Enterprise to phase out the other one.
I still think that's it. It's too much of a change to happen suddenly after seven years of only wearing one type, whereas if there had been even a vague suggestion in seasons six and seven of the tv show that they switched between these two uniforms all the time in-universe (even if it was only the background guys wearing them rather than the regulars) then the sudden mish-mash seen in Generations wouldn't have made us blink an eye.
And yet, did anyone really blink an eye when they changed uniforms after season 2, but for awhile both syles of uniform were being seen side by side?
How do we, as fans, deal with new elements introduced in Trek? Do we assume the new element is new in and out of universe? Or do we assume the new element is an old element never before seen?
The DS9 jumpsuits were not seen anywhere before their introduction in "Emissary". That's because they were new to DS9, to visually distinguish it from TNG. In-universe, though, what do we say?
Do we say that to commemorate the acquisition of DS9, Starfleet issued new uniforms for officers assigned to DS9 to wear? That doesn't strike me as realistic, in that such a large organization would probably not care about a minor facility such as DS9.
So the alternative is to assume the new element was always available but unseen. The DS9 jumpsuits are some sort of less formal work attire available to Starfleet officers, and given the gritty environment of DS9, a uniform you wouldn't be afraid to get dirty in was needed. Sisko, as a former engineering officer, decreed the jumpsuit to be the duty uniform.
Could they have laid some foundation for the DS9 jumpsuits previously? Absolutely. There were plenty of times that the TNG crew needed to wear something more work-oriented than the office wear uniforms they donned most of the time. There were a couple of jumpsuits that were seen in TNG, such as the pic that Vasquez Rocks linked to. The DS9 suits seem similar to that, with colors reversed, though (and division colors on the shoulders). We could consider that a precursor to the DS9 uniforms.
Screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth - if we are to believe online BBSs.
Not "in universe", but modern military branches each have multiple uniforms that can be worn.
The Navy has shirt & tie w/pants or the crackerjacks, either in white or black, depending on the season.
The other branches have multiple options too.
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