Thursday, June 23, 2011

Star Trek: Redemption Crew, pt 02

First off, I want to say that yes, I get that making dark and gritty versions of characters A) doesn't require any fucking talent and B) misses the point of Star Trek, and maybe slapping the names of characters I didn't really like onto tangentally similar assholes doesn't do much, but this shit is happening.

I got nuttin' else; let's do this!

Captain Jadzia Dax left everything she knew behind for a lover from a previous life. Their passion faded years later and Jadzia was left, bitter and alone from the experience. She’s quickly climbing the ranks, partying her way to the top, but beneath her charming smile and good connections, there is a fierce mind, honed with centuries of experience and focused by years of anger and perceived injustice. She is often seen as a counterpoint to the long-lived, dispassionate, and ethical Tuvok.

Harry Kim is a genius by any standard, but his lack of social aptitude and desire to apply his intelligence led him to eschew Starfleet in favor of being part of something more proactive. In his eagerness to change the galaxy for the better, he’s made a few mistakes. In the process of trying to fix those, he made several others. Harry is torn between his desire to redeem himself and abandoning all hope of ever improving anything. All of his decisions, inventions, and best intentions turn to ash and though he puts on a good fa├žade for Jadzia, he’s on the very edge of losing it with each decision. Of all of the crew, he’s perhaps the one still likely to do something selfless. He contrasts Ro’s “do something good and think about it later” attitude.

Lieutenant Torres has an insatiable thirst for life. She likes fighting, drinking, using, and loving. She’s the swashbuckling rogue of the Redemption, but the joviality is merely a front for how she gets what she wants from others. To her, people are merely machines with buttons to be pressed until something exciting comes out. The engines of Redemption are old designs that benefit from many upgrades, leaving her plenty of time to punch all of the buttons of her crewmates. Her intuitive knowledge and seemingly ephemeral moods sharply contrast to young Mr. Scott’s studious nature and dogged loyalty.

Crewman Kathryn Janeway, simply called Janey by the crew, she’s an adopted orphan saved from the ravages of just another squalid city Redemption collects taxes/tribute from. She’s quite smart, for being such a young girl, but knows more about the ins and outs of living on the ground that others don’t. She’s street smart, smarter still than most of the crew realizes, some how manages to innocently get the crew in trouble with the locals on almost every away mission. Jadzia regards her as a pet the rest of the crew is fond of. She and Yar both come from similar backgrounds, but while Yar rejects her chaotic upbringing Janey accepts it as a part of herself and as a natural state of the universe.

Wesley Crusher surpasses Harry Kim in terms of bona-fide genius. Where he lags behind is mental stability. He’s touched the far edges of the universe at the same time and heard the music strummed on superstrings. It broke him, but turned him into a genius with starships. Every time Redemption gets in over her head or is put on a politically-motivated suicide mission, she survives because Wesley Crusher is Martin Riggs mixed with Walter Bishop garnished with a leaf of Bobby Fischer. His ascendant, militant view gives him quite a bit of clash room with Pulaski’s traditional, almost conservative approach.

Doctor Beverly Crusher (no relation). The temptation is to always go “full Mengele” with evil doctor types. Beverly Crusher is known for being vocal, hardheaded, and principled. The worst part of classic Beverly Crusher is that she made us hate agreeing with her.  The only change needed is to the principles that she’s vocal and hardheaded about. This Beverly Crusher is the worst kind of apologist for the government she serves. “If they were gone, there would be chaos,” is her mantra. It doesn’t matter that reform doesn’t require chaos. It doesn’t matter that their poor governance is what would leave a power vacuum. It doesn’t matter that three years of chaos could lead to ten, twenty, or fifty years of a higher standard of living. She’s committed to upholding the government and one of the few loyal members of the crew. She is the opposite of Chakotay’s sometimes rocky relationship with his own leaders and his doubts about whether the price he’s paid for his own people will eventually pay off.

Jake Sisko is a likable guy. He tells stories and likes submitting articles to the local news outlets about things from the capitol. Whenever he can, he puts together a baseball team and has a game. Everyone enjoys his stories, his articles are always printed, and turnout is always high for his games. To an outside observer, Jake is the small vessels’ morale officer; he’s always there with a supporting word, a sympathetic shoulder, or that one thing that would make a terrible day bearable. The truth is that it’s his job to know everything that’s happening on the ship, to know what every crewman is thinking, and to make sure none of that interferes with the government’s plans. As tall as he is, he casts an even longer shadow over Redemption. Jake is trusted by most of the crew and well liked, as his status is largely unspoken outside of the bridge, unlike Garak, whose opaque past and vaguely defined role as “diplomat,” leaves his contemporaries uneasy.

Seven of Nine is the last remaining consciousness of a human ‘rescued’ from The Borg. She eventually uploaded her consciousness into a computerized matrix to “return to the collective.” Sadly, she became the first of hundreds; an imprint from which artificial intelligences were made. Many in The Federation raise issue with her sentience, but those outside of The Federation say that removing healthy parts of her personality ensure that’s not the case and make sure she’s a model of coordinating ship’s systems--ye gods, I hate Seven of Nine so much for being so shitty. She's a jock-grabbing insult who acts as a conduit for poor writing. It's like someone saw that the most interesting characters in Star Trek are the ones who look at humanity from the outside and decided that Voyager needed two of them (plus Tuvok, plus Neelix). There were several points where she was a used well, but it has never outweighed the bad for me and I hate her so much and what little potential she had was explored pretty well by Voyager and...rage. Uhura on the other hand was underdeveloped to the point of "nice voice," "attractive woman," and "African." Though her role was best parodied by Sigorney Weaver in Galaxy Quest, I want to know more about her. That's more just so much more than I can say for Seven of Nine.

I feel like I should at least write up this much detail for my dream crew, but I think that even three Star Trek articles in one month is a bit much. I'll do it later.


skiltao said...

I will reply to this, once I stop laughing at Harry Kim being a genius.

And yeah, entirely possible to have too much Star Trek.

VanVelding said...

Fuck, I didn't watch much Voyager. I always assumed he had something going for him.

skiltao said...

He started the show fresh out of the Academy, top grades, zero streetwise. His dramatic arc is about becoming a reliable cog in Starfleet's machine. (Well, that and playing a Chekov-lite foil to Paris' Riker-lite.)

...which are, themselves, pretty good reasons to avoid watching much Voyager.