Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Trekboy1993, Dec 18, 2017.
No, he's far too "soft"... thankfully.
That makes sense. Modern cultural ideas do merge and blend. Chakotay was not my favourite character on Voyager but his spiritual and ethnic portrayal was something I appreciated about him. He had a sensitivity and respect for other characters belief systems too, which is a tolerance that Star Trek does try to aim for.
Exactly. It's as if you identified a character as being proud of their European heritage, and then trotted them out in a kilt, lederhosen, and wooden shoes, playing the maracas and the traditional family kazoo. What difference does it make? It's all European, right? (Well, except for the kazoo, which I tossed in as an example of general just making crap up, as TPTB did with Chakotay.) The Native American nations were quite as diverse as the European ones.
They intentionally kept his background vague because it was easier for them. It enabled them to take any kewl NA thing they could think of -- or invent! -- and make it part of Chakotay's backstory. Which they then proceeded to do. Sometimes, as Timewalker pointed out with the sand painting, taking that kewl thing and getting it wrong.
"That gave them the wiggle room not to be scolded by people who think they know everything." Like Timewalker, I suppose, and maybe me as well. Or by any number of actual Native Americans. So I just have to ask -- how'd that work out for them?
What if they're just making things up as they go?
Chakotay is a fictional character, from a fictional off world, with a Native American heritage that includes aliens and sky people. He is not a case study for a documentary.
Exactly. Chakotay was not pinpointed to one reference. In fact who is to know what has evolved in this future world? Cultures change and blend. I represent a variety of influences myself and do mix my clothes! Bad me. I'm Australian and I wear a cross, sometimes greenstone and sometimes western and aboriginal patterns together.
And yet, if I wrote a story about a fictional Native American that played so fast and loose with Native American customs and traditions, and excused myself on the grounds that he was only a fictional character, no editor would take me or my story seriously. (They would, in fact, probably tell me to do my research!) And if I somehow managed to get it into print, I would be castigated by any knowledgeable reader. And rightly so.
This is not a story about a Native American. He was born on a made up colony. Generations were. In his heritage there was Native Americans (non-specific). We were told of aliens. I wonder if the aliens were written with correct research of their individual customs
So in other words, the only Native American regular character in all of live-action Trek isn't "really" Native American and it isn't necessary to present him as if he is.
Wow. If I were Native American, I'd find that unspeakably flattering.
They might if your story was set 300 years in the future on spaceship. Also this universe has aliens and alien worlds.
@Holly Day: I don't claim to know everything. But I do claim to know certain times when Hollywood producers screwed up and when people are presenting ignorant arguments to defend those screwups.
I'm thinking I wish now they had made Chakotay hispanic.
I'm thinking we just found something we agree on!
Of course if they did make him Latino they would still go with broad strokes to define his character. He would celebrate the Day of the Dead, be Catholic, like Latin Music and like to run with the Bulls once every year. It might not make any sense if you look at it to hard but it would be just familiar and generic enough to pass muster.
Hispanic/Latino = Colonials plus Native Americans.
It's likely that he was a little bit Hispanic, but his upbringing taught him to ignore everything in his genealogy except for the Native American bits.
I would hope that the running with the bulls stuff would have been discontinued by the 24th century.
Sure, why not? Still more than Torres got for being Latina.
I have a fantastic idea that you're all going to love...
Apocalypto! Let's debate its fictional historical authenticity!
After doing a little research, it seems there has been some misleading information being posted here, or let's just give the benefit and say misinformation.
About this Jamake Highwater: He was a successful writer and musician,(and who knows what else) who made a career posing as a Native American since the 60's, when in reality, he a Jewish guy named Jackie Marks.
It's been inferred here, that the reason Chakotay's character draws from different tribal traditions, and not any single nation/tribe is because they were getting bad information from a fraud consultant.
That doesn't appear to be the case at all. "Jamake" appears only to have been a consultant to Voyager in 1993. The only reference I could find to this was in a pocket book's bts reference book on VOY season 1 called "Vision of the Future." It appears to be a single sentence.
Maybe late 1993? If he "consulted for Voyager at all, it was in the very prelim drawing of characters. TNG's "Journeys End" didn't air until march 1994. Voyager premiered in Jan. 1995.
And looking through the credits for numerous episodes on IMDB, including Caretaker, Cathexis, Tattoo, and a bunch of others, he is no where credited.
Mike Okuda, Andre Bormanis, Rick Sternbach, et al, are always credited when they've acted as consultants, be it technical, scientific, visual, etc.
(Can anyone find another source on when and how this guy worked on Voyager?? He may not have been there at all. He made all sorts of false claims and stuck many misleading records on his resume)
This article kept popping up during numerous searches, so I read it.
It paints a very different picture of Chakotay's development. Voyager's creators(Michael Piller & Jeri Taylor), seem to have made a cognizant effort to get the character right; to not fall into old stereotypes, and the reason Chakotay's character was changed from a plains North American, to Hopi, to ultimately a pre mayan tribe "South of the Border" was in response to audience/advocate feedback.
He was drawn from the TNG episode, but evolved to something else. As a fictional character, he didn't give a crap about his "culture" until his father died, then he tried to honor his Father's beliefs in the same way Worf aspires to be "Klingon."
I also now get the impression that Chakotay among quite popular among native American Indians. And even though some Native authors/activists have criticized various aspects of Chakotay, they also offer praise.
While some may see Chakotay as following certain old Hollywood stereotypes, he's broken many others. He speaks normally, like everyone else, he's scientifically proficient, a high ranking officer, he's loyal to Janeway, but not a sidekick. He's not an expert in spirituality, but a novice. He can't start a fire without matches. He can't make a bow and arrow like Tuvok. He loves and misses his dad, and lives with regret for not treating him better.
Btw, his dad does not have the tattoo. Chakotay went and got that done on his own, as an adult, after leaving Statfleet
Are Voyager's producers paragons of virtue? No, none of us are, but maybe they showed more virtue in this case than we might want to give them credit for.
Separate names with a comma.