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Lewikee
Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 10:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Firstly, I love this episode and I choke up every time at the end. By the way, Picard's acting is key to this episode. It's such good acting that I could even ignore the bad old-age makeup. So I have some responses to issues brought up in this thread (almost all of them interesting!).

In regards to the ethics of the probe:
I rationalize that aspect as the probe doing what life does to everyone of us. We didn't ask to live and yet here we are, whether we like it or not. Then we deal with it as best we can. I think the probe is as unethical as life itself. We all got hit with the "like it or not, live a life" directive. Picard just got hit with it twice.

In regards to why the civilization would choose to be remembered by a single person:
I think that's one of the best aspects of the premise. The point is that the best way to know a people is to live with them, and as them. Any less specific method of being remembered would have led to a watered-down version of their legacy. They wanted to be really known. There's the issue of quantity vs. quality. Do you want to be vaguely remembered by a lot of people, or deeply and emotionally remembered by a single person?

In regards to him searching for remains of Kataan after his experience:
I am glad that didn't happen. The experience is much more meaningful if Picard knows that the probe, the flute, and his memories are all that remain. He will cherish the experience all the more, and won't have to go on what could only be a disappointing search for additional mementos that won't evoke who these people truly were.

In regards to the disparity between the apparent lack of technological advancement of the civilization and the sophistication of the probe:
Yeah I think that's a valid issue. The episode is good enough to let me suspend disbelief in that respect.

In regards to the Kataan culture not being interesting enough:
I agree that they are not all that interesting, but I like it better that way. They are a culture that wants to be remembered, much like we do as individuals. Most of us are not all that interesting, but that doesn't stop us from wanting to be understood and appreciated, especially by those close to us. I view the episode not as "ancient civilization is so interesting it needs to be remembered" but "ancient civilization wants to be remembered, much like humans do."
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