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Edax
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

@Peter G.
No I understood what you were getting at. It's difficult to gauge what the Organians would have considered too much, since I don't think the Organians were actually killed when the mass executions happened. Perhaps they planned to pantomime the subjugation of their people to better study the Klingons? Since the Organians fully cooperated with the Klingons, there would be no logical reason for executions, so I dispute that it would be inevitable. Whilst mass murder could still happen, it would only be pure speculation at that point. The Organians didn’t even react when they were being mass executed in the episode, they were much more distressed at Kirk’s actions.

Going back to the topic of Imperialism, this acceptance of Klingon occupation vs war should have been the Organian's decision, not Kirk's. Organia was in the disputed zone, and the Organians accepted Klingon rule, Kirk really had no legitimate reason to threaten the Organians or engage in a guerrilla war on the planet, since it was now peacefully under Klingon rule. What was the Federation going to do if Kirk somehow managed to drive the Klingons off the planet? Forcefully annex the planet against the Organian’s will? It’s a strategically valuable planet that has rejected the Federation and the Federation would not allow Klingon occupation of it. Can you see just what kind of mess Kirk has potentially caused? Would the Federation have to send in occupation force to prevent further Klingon invasion? Remember, this is the only habitual planet in the disputed area, the Federation would have little cause to dispute the area unless they wanted Organia for themselves. Just how free would the Organians be if the Federation gave them no authority to decide their own fate in this Klingon-Federation war? Kirk’s offer that they had the freedom choose seems really disingenuous since when the Organians refused, Kirk provoked the Klingons against Organians while posing as an Organian.

Considering that the Klingons were just “Russians in Space”, what if the Organians wanted to be under Klingon rule? Some countries actively sought out the Soviet Union, what would Kirk or the Federation have done in this circumstance? Since the Federation disputes the territory, I suspect they would not have allowed that, perhaps even have “made Organia useless to them”.
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Edax
Fri, Dec 2, 2016, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

@Peter G. While it's true the Klingons could have ordered the Organians to do violence against other Organians, this however that is purely speculation. At least this violence would have been the result of an Organian decision, and not the interference from a 3rd party. And perhaps, the Organians would better tolerated minor acts of violence vs a galactic war. The Organians very likely know what submitting to Klingon rule meant anyway, and it was Kirk's blind belief that the Organians didn't know any better that escalated the conflict.

@Skeptical I could see Spock as a character showing disdain for the Organians, especially when he noticed that their culture was totally stagnant. There's no logic in making no effort towards progress, to be content with the dark ages. Notice that Spock made no effort to respect the Organian's wishes, despite the fact that he got along with those damn hippies in Way To Eden.

"And indeed, all they had to do to maintain their way of life is banish the UFP and Klingons from their planet. That's certainly justifiable, and a minimal intrusion on the other two cultures. Instead, they imposed their culture throughout the entire UFP/Klingon territory. I thought defense of culture should only intrude on other people's cultures as minimally as possible? This wasn't defense; this was spreading their dogma through the sword."

I see no reason why the Organians need to follow the Prime Directive. Even though they were more advanced beings, they still carried flaws, such as the intense pain they experience around violent individuals. When the war was brought to their doorstep, the Organians became involved, even if they did not wish it. Spreading dogma through the sword implies aggression, but all the Organians did was act in self-defense and enforced a peace treaty. You can't defend a culture in a war with inaction. If the Organians just banished the two factions, they could have returned, and perhaps have attacked the Organians as an enemy, which would cause the Organians great distress, and having to continually relocate warships without trying to enact a peace treaty would have continually increase their involvement in a war.

"And remember my first point. All of this, ALL OF THIS, would have been avoided if the Organians had simply been honest in the first place. If they wanted to defend their culture, why didn't they try through nonviolent dialogue first?"

The Organians at no point were dishonest. They did try nonviolent dialogue first, rejecting the Federation's offer and accepting Klingon occupation law to prevent a conflict. Kirk ignored the Organian's decisions and wishes at every turn and continued to wage a conflict against the Klingons, and even threatened Ayelborne with "More violence then he'll know what to do with" if he could not arm himself. As for the Organians being TOTALLY honest, imagine the Federation in the TNG days just telling a pre-warp specifies, "Hey I'm an alien!" just for the sake of honesty? It's happened before, but it tends to permanently ruin the observation of the less advanced cultures.

@RandomThoughts I don't quite agree that had Kirk not turned Organia into a battlefield, the Organians might not have interfered. The Organians feel intense pain when around violence individuals, and a fleet battle over their planet could have prompted them to action. I think what's too easily forgotten is that Organia belongs to the Organians, and being the only habitable planet in the disputed zone, they would end up very involved. It would just be a matter of when the Organians have had enough of the conflict that they would act.
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Edax
Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 8:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

I think what's missed about this message is the strong anti-imperialism theme running throughout this episode. Kirk arrives on Organia with the expressed purpose of obtaining the planet for the Federation. Ayelborne welcomes Kirk and Spock as guests, and politely declines the "offer" to join the Federation. Spock shows disdain for the Organians because they don't measure up to the Federation's standards of progress, while Kirk shows disdain for the Organians because they do not immediately adopt Federation ideals. During the episode, we are given clues that the Organians are more sophisticated then the “D-“that Spock rates them on the richter scale, given that they are clearly aware of the Galactic community, already have knowledge of the Klingons and their economic trade status (since they know that kevis and trillium D are useless to them) and the fact that they can detect the Klingon fleet in orbit while Spock can’t with his tricorder. All classic signs of the arrogant imperialist, unable to consider another culture as superior until their own military has been humbled, even Spock isn't immune to it.

Throughout the episode, the Organians have repeatedly insisted that their people believe in non-violence, but Kirk ignores them every time, because their culture is inconvenient to the Federation. When the Klingons occupy the planet, the Organians do little more than smile. Kirk never considers that the Organians might be happy under Klingon rule, since they accept it right away and smile endlessly. Instead Kirk attempts to start an armed conflict to “help” the Organians despite their every plea that he stop immediately. As a direct result of Kirk’s actions, 200 Organians are lined up to be shot, and Kirk doesn’t show the least bit of remorse, instead acting vindicated of his own actions. Ayelborne repeats “How little you understand us” again and again as the violence that Kirk has brought to their world has nearly brought him to tears. Kirk never bothers to understand the Organians, only judging them, condemning them for not following the example of the Federation of freedom and resistance. Kirk even threatens Ayelborne with violence if he wasn’t allowed to arm himself against their wishes. By his own initiative, Kirk has intervened in the Organians affairs and turned their planet into a battlefield. This all sets up for the deliciously ironic ending where Kirk demands non-interference in the Federations affairs, rendered helpless against the culture he had dismissed as unworthy.

So I don’t think the Organians being non-corporeal beings is cop out. The Organians being more advanced then the Klingons and the Federation was hinted at from the beginning, and it was only the arrogance of these two warring cultures that blinded them. The Japanese regarded the Americans as barbarians until those invincible Black Ships steamed into their harbor and forced a treaty to be signed. The Chinese dismissed the British as inferior during the lead up to the Opium War until the British Navy forced a treaty to be signed. The Organians are only serve as metaphor for a superior culture to the already advanced future world of the Federation.

As for why the Organians assume corporeal form and maintain a primitive culture, it could serve as some kind of embassy for less advanced cultures, or perhaps that was the Organian equivalent of maintaining a garden, or Chateau. They were open to visitors until violence was brought on their world, which was intensely painful to them, which provoked the Organians to action. Unlike Skeptical, I do not see this as the Organians imposing the philosophy of pacifism via violence, but rather a defense of their own culture. If the Federation and Klingons will not leave the Organians in peace, then they will make the peace because they have the power to do so.
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Edax
Tue, Nov 15, 2016, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

@Latex Zebra
When they first entered disputed Krenim space, the Krenim were far to weak to be a threat. When the time change happened, the space was no longer in dispute, but firmly with the powerful Krenim Empire. During the last change, the Krenim were far weaker, but not as weak in the opening timeline, and apparently without a chip on their shoulder. (From Annorax's claims, the Krenim were conquered in his time, so perhaps they are a vassal and the territory dispute is from their client Empire with another race.)
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Edax
Sun, May 1, 2016, 11:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

Something that really irritates me about Enterprise is the sexism on display. Hoshi is intelligent and has invented revolutionary technology and helped facilitate first contact with a number of species and diffused a number of diplomatic problems: no promotion in 12 years. Trip on the other hand is dumb as a bag of hammers, racist, “learned about warp cores working on a fishing boat”, will blow up the engine and cause himself severe brain damage that requires a partial brain transplant not 2 episodes from now, and this is the man then gets promoted to captain of the Enterprise??? Is that the Star Trek utopian message? That if you’re a white male, you’re on the fast track to the top, no matter how inept and incompetent?

When T’Pol is captain (finally she gets to wear something that makes her look like a professional), it is automatically described as a “disaster”. When she desperately rams the Xindi ship, Trip viciously condemns her decision, but he doesn’t offer an alternative on what they could have done. T’Pol gets them out of a tight situation, and Trip just disrespects her authority in front of everybody and offers nothing constructive (yeah, real command material there Trip…), whereas T’Pol remains very professional coolly reminding him that she’s in charge, and that he must go through proper channels to have her removed. And we’re supposed to believe her command is a disaster? T’Pol managed to get everybody out of the Expanse alive whereas Trip’s command resulted in his death, and the death of his bridge crew in the first few minutes of the battle.

Reed, another white male, gets to be a captain of his own ship, but at least that makes sense given that he’s competent and knows how to follow the chain of command. Though the reason he’s manning a tactical station instead of captaining his ship is beyond me. Was his rank honorary?

The ending of this episode really grates on me. It’s not the reset button that bothers me, it was obvious that was going to be pushed the moment Earth blew up, it was how we got there. T’Pol, whom throughout the episode has slowly devoted her life to Archer, captaining a ship throughout its darkest hours and deciding to tie her fate to humanity’s…is thanklessly shot in the back to die instantly while operating controls to save the day. They couldn’t even give T’Pol the heroic moment, despite all the sacrifices she made, they have to give it to Archer, whom gets shot square in the chest and is barely fazed, then gets shot in the back by the exact same weapon T’Pol was, and he can still has the fortitude to move levers around, this despite the fact that T’Pol, being a Vulcan, has the strength of 3 humans. Jeez, what does that say about T’Pol, that she can’t even last as long as Archer, a man who loses every fist fight he ever gets in, despite her discipline and strength. And as a final indignity, Archer collapses on T’Pol’s, as if all she was good for in the scene was to have her dead body soften the fall for the real hero: Archer. Even Phlox gets to have a heroic death, with sparks flying and his body flying several feet during his last stand. Guess the best women can hope for being allowed to wear a uniform…

Still, horrible sexism aside, this was a great episode; combining the movie Memento with Year of Hell was an interesting idea. I do agree it should have been a 2 parter, imagine of Year of Hell as single episode, there would be no time to explore the damage or consequences. This episode I feel glosses over T’Pol’s captaincy too quickly, seeing what was left of humanity in that colony would have been interesting. Heck, how they rebuilt Enterprise’s nacelle is a total mystery, it would have been interesting to see Trip on EVA rebuilding the coil, Star Trek nacelles are hardly ever mentioned in the shows for some reason, and seeing a retro nacelle with the turbine would have been cool. So many things could have made the episode better, such as ditching the total reset button that means all of what we said never happened and had no effect. I point to the Stargate SG1 episode There But for the Grace of God where Dr. Jackson ends up in an alternate dimension, where the impending Earth invasion happens is in progress. Not only does he witness the devastation of the invasion and watch all his alt!friends die, but he also attains critical intel from that universe and brings it back into the prime universe. Everything that happened in that episode happened, while also showing what the stakes were, and providing tools for the characters to work against the problem. Archer should have gone back and retained some of the memories, even if it was a few hours of his last day. He should have taken with him some knowledge, like T’Pol’s regrets as captain, (ex. The Xindi aren’t united, we should have gotten some of them on our side, I shouldn’t have gotten high on Trellium-D, ect.), so that Archer in the present can now go forward with a plan and a direction, even if the outcome of the new direction is still uncertain.
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Edax
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 12:44am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Judgment

It should be pointed out that this is one of the few Enterprise episodes to actually have a commentary about current day issues. This episode was broadcast about a month after the invasion of Iraq, nearly 94% of America was in favor of the war, and all dissent was heavily railed against as being unpatriotic. Even the media was in on it, never providing a consensus on what the Invasion of Iraq was even about, and any doubt that the question evidence about WMDs weren't aired. And much like the declining Klingon Empire, America too is in decline, spent and exhausted with war, having spend enormous resources on a war that merely lead to a rise of a new enemy, meanwhile the country now nurses a massive debt and a congress too crippled to do anything about it. And how many fundamental American ideals have fallen by the wayside since (much like how many decent Klingon laws were ignored during the trial because they were inconvenient).

As and aside, it's always nice to see a non-warrior Klingon fleshed out in the franchise. We occasionally got to see a Klingon scientist or priest, but they were never allowed to be fleshed out like they were in this episode. So good job Enterprise, you finally were competent enough to both be about something, and add something to an established Star Trek race.
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Edax
Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 3:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Hide and Q

The thing that bother's me most about this episode...Is that Q is dressed as a British general (mostly), yet everyone identifies him as a French Marshal? French Marshals dressed in blue, white and gold, with maybe a red sash. Q is dressed in red and white, the colors of the British, France's sworn enemy! That's be like Q dressing in a SS uniform, and everyone referring him to an American general. Just how lazy is their custom department? The French soldier uniforms look terrible, but at least they got the general color scheme right.
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Edax
Thu, Oct 9, 2014, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

I'll buy that the Queen would want Seven back. One thing that I thought gave the Borg a lot of character is that they would expend a lot of resources trying to reclaim former drones, as if they themselves regarded them as lost children. It continued to reinforce the idea that the Borg truly believe that they're doing the best thing for you by assimilating you, bringing you close to perfection. And if you lose your way, they'll move heaven and earth to make sure you can find your way back into the Collective.
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Edax
Sun, May 27, 2012, 5:14am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I still remember the sound those aliens make to this day. *shudder*
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Edax
Sat, May 26, 2012, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

@Paul York. Uhh Paul? By what definition do you consider a hamburger sentient life? Last I checked, food animals didn't have human rights, and I doubt it would in the future either. Saying things like bloodworms have legal rights (cause all sentient life have that) is just the height of silly.
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Edax
Sat, May 26, 2012, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

Hey, let's face it, TNG in the first two seasons sucked. Voyager was far better then this, so it's not hard to see why Shatner wouldn't want to do it, cause yeah, TNG was going the way of show Enterprise at the time.
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