What were the original plans for Guinan in TNG?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Unimatrix Q, Dec 5, 2021.

  1. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After "Q, Who" there were a lot of ways of using the character and it's relationship with Q, which later came to naught.

    Is there anything known about the possible plans back then? Could it be that Guinan was meant to be revealed as a villain at some point?
     
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  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have this sneaking suspicion that Guinan was originally intended to be a Q.

    Look at the way she strikes a defensive posture when she runs into Q in Ten-Forward. I mean, Q could have turned her into a cockroach if he felt like it, so why does she do that? What's the point? The only way I see this scene making any kind of sense is if they were both Q.
     
  3. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep, that's a strong possility.
     
  4. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She could have also been some sort of entity that is on level with the Q, but distinct and separate from the Q.
    Q sees her as something to be afraid of and distrusted, I doubt he would act that way if she was just another, "ordinary"Q.
    So my guess is she's either something distinct from the Q (but on the same level as far as powers go) or some sort of rebel/renegade Q who lives outside the Continuum (just checking, was the Continuum even a thing at that point or did that come later?).
     
  5. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I 1st experienced TNG, I had similar suspicions she was and happened to be excommunicated; which was something I had a thought about Picard meeting Q wasn't circumstance to Farpoint Station.
     
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  6. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If i remember correctly the term "continuum" was used in "Encounter at Farpoint", but i am not sure about it. But he talked about the Q in plural in that episode.

    In "Hide & Q" he used this word. So the continuum was invented in Season 1.

    That's an interesting theory. Could be that Guinan either was on board at that time or Q knew she would eventually come aboard. Because of her history with Picard.

    Maybe Q was interested in Picard, because he knew that Jean Luc was a friend of Guinan...
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
  7. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    They kept Guinan's nature vague and ambiguous on purpose. I believe the intention was they would fill in the gaps later when the story demanded it. Episodes like Q Who, Yesterday's Enterprise and Time Arrow being heavy Guinan episodes about the nature of her abilities and her origins.

    Then came Generations... The moment Braga and Moore had to sincerely commit and define what the rules of Guinan's powers were, and they were underwhelming. Her species is just long lived and they enjoy listening to stories. Hardly the stuff of legends or worth all the mystery that was built up around her character for several years. Like an empty "mystery box", you might say.

    If I were to submit an option. Q likely made the same deal with Guinan, that he did with Riker. Granted her the gift of unlimited power and she rejected it. I could see Guinan being unamused at Q's prankster attitude and taunting behavior he plays with lesser beings.
     
  8. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, Generations was a train wreck and one of the worst parts was what was done with Guinan in this movie.

    Good point. But it could also be that she accepted, if that happened after she left the Nexus and simply never uses her powers. At least most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
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  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I once read they intended a big reveal that she had powers too, but realised that would necessitate the character leaving the show and she was popular, so plans changed. I think it was the TNG Companion? Or one of those off-brand TNG behind-the-scenes books that were everywhere in the 90's.
     
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  10. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a bummer. I don't see her having powers necessitating that she would have to leave. Maybe just reveal it to the audience, or she could have just revealed it to Barclay or Data and had him swear that he keeps it a secret.

    Or did they mean that her having powers would negate all the calamities they faced...well, for one they already had faced calamities while Guinan was on board and then they could have made it so that she has some sort of oath (or just a personal decision) that for most things she has an oath of non-interference or something like that.
     
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  11. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Captain Captain

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    People have theorized that Guinan's time in the Nexus granted her a defense against Q's reality alteration powers.
     
  12. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

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    Maybe Guinan was the defense attorney for humanity while Q was the prosecutor in the trial of humanity?
    She does help the crew occasionally.
     
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always assumed that for whatever reason she was somewhat immune from Q's powers and perhaps somehow a danger to him, without having Q-like power herself.
     
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  14. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Her actions in "Measure of a Man" and "Best of Both Worlds" suggest her a utility as a guide of sorts. And her knowledge of the temporal differences in "Yesterday's Enterprise" suggest considerable cosmic powers.
     
  15. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interestingly Whoopi Goldberg did voice Gaia on Captain Planet. So she definitely could have pulled off playing a character on Q's level.
     
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  16. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She could also hear ghosts ;)
     
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  17. Finn

    Finn Bad Batch of TrekBBS Premium Member

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    I'm not sure there was a "plan". Whoopi asked for a role on TNG. They decided to build a bar and make her centuries old near-human alien who likes to listen and impart wisdom, and just have her pop up in scenes across episodes when she was available.
     
  18. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sometimes, it's just that simple.
     
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  19. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't there was any laid out "plan" for anything in TNG, probably just vague ideas that were drawn on on a regular basis to create an episodic show.
    The question is this thread is really whether those ideas ever included anything about Guinan having powers or a secret true nature. That scene in Q Who probably just came about because somebody thought it'd be cool/interesting if the barkeep played by Whoopi Goldberg was able to hold her own against Q.

    As any writer will tell you even originally random elements can later be strung together to form a semblance of progression or united canon.
    Tolkien's work is full of that, for example.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  20. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Captain Captain

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    Is it refreshing or depressing to know that some of the fiction we greatly cherish (or at least specific elements of that fiction) wasn't planned far in advance?
     
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