History Headscratchers / StarTrek

19th Feb '17 5:18:46 PM thatsnumberwang
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[[folder: Why does female klingon armour have such a fatal flaw?]]
* I realise the real world fanservice reason for the cleavage window built into their armour, but in-universe it doesn't make any sense at all that a warrior race infamous for their love of fighting with bladed weapons would be missing the chest piece. She might as well not be wearing any armour at all.
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5th Feb '17 3:04:37 PM immortalfrieza
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** I'd say that it's simply that beam weapons in general will go directly through most materials one could make body armor out of and the technology to make shields portable enough to be practical didn't exist until the STO era. Maybe Voyager gave it to the rest of the Federation when they got back?


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** Probably because a transporter lock has been shown to be blocked so easily it's surprising carrying around a piece of tissue paper wouldn't be all that a boarding party would need to prevent exactly what tactic. Anyone who is going to send a party to personally board a ship instead of just having it blasted would ensure that the transporters of the ship they are boarding isn't going to work on them before they even began, especially if they do it routinely.
22nd Jan '17 3:47:51 PM NewVirginiaCreeper
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** Judging by the conversation in sickbay in "United," they must do something in terms of balance or some such. Shran says, "What good is a Guardsman without two antennae?" and Phlox answers, "You'll begin to compensate within a day or two." There's also a certain amount of pride invested in them (Shran says, "You should've cut off my head," although he acknowledges afterwards that Archer made the right call in cutting of his antenna), which suggests they may play into status as much as having a biological function.
14th Jan '17 9:20:05 AM NewVirginiaCreeper
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*** "Did the apparent deficit of non-white extras somehow negate Star Trek's message of tolerance and coexistence? Is the moral of the show somehow rendered invalid just because there aren't enough black people milling around in the background?" Yes and no. File it under UnfortunateImplications -- the kind of thing that certainly isn't intentional and no one in particular is to blame, and indeed may have real-world protection concerns behind it, but it still ends up reflecting societal values in a way that is, well, unfortunate (except for the implication that non-white = black, although a great many Americans seem to like to forget that other racial minorities exist). Here's why: there is a tendency in Euro-American society to treat whiteness as a kind of default. Black people are black people, Native people are Native people, etc. but white people are simply people and are presumed to be able to represent humanity seemingly through lacking race (check out Richard Dyer's book ''White'' for a good primer on this). Franchise/StarTrek, while certainly deserving respect for advances in depictions of minorities, still mostly abides by this; as you note, even Star Trek's purportedly postracial future ends up mostly being a white one. For a related point, see this [[http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/human_names.htm study]] of the overrepresentation of English and Irish names for Franchise/StarTrek characters. Franchise/StarTrek is most certainly not unique in this regard, but it seems possible to suggest that it did less to correct it than it might have. That's all I am saying here.

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*** "Did the apparent deficit of non-white extras somehow negate Star Trek's message of tolerance and coexistence? Is the moral of the show somehow rendered invalid just because there aren't enough black people milling around in the background?" Yes and no. File it under UnfortunateImplications -- the kind of thing that certainly isn't intentional and no one in particular is to blame, and indeed may have real-world protection concerns behind it, but it still ends up reflecting societal values in a way that is, well, unfortunate (except for the implication that non-white = black, although a great many Americans seem to like to forget that other racial minorities exist). Here's why: there is a tendency in Euro-American society to treat whiteness as a kind of default. Black people are black people, Native people are Native people, etc. but white people are simply people and are presumed to be able to represent humanity seemingly through lacking race (check out Richard Dyer's book ''White'' for a good primer on this). Franchise/StarTrek, while certainly deserving respect for advances in depictions of minorities, still mostly abides by this; as you note, even Star Trek's purportedly postracial future ends up mostly being a white one. For a related point, see this [[http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/human_names.htm study]] of the overrepresentation of English and Irish British Isles names for Franchise/StarTrek characters. Franchise/StarTrek is most certainly not unique in this regard, but it seems possible to suggest that it did less to correct it than it might have. That's all I am saying here.



* Another problem with human races on the series is that, realistically, in Franchise/StarTrek's post-racial future, we should see many more people who would appear racially traceless to our eyes, the results of centuries worth of mixing. Hard to cast, obviously. Also, surnames will be a less reliable predictor of outward appearance (a point ArthurCClarke makes in ''3001: The Final Odyssey'' with, for instance, a character of outwardly Japanese appearance named Indra Wallace.

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* Another problem with human races on the series is that, realistically, in Franchise/StarTrek's post-racial future, we should see many more people who would appear racially traceless to our eyes, the results of centuries worth of mixing. Hard to cast, obviously. Also, surnames will be a less reliable predictor of outward appearance (a point ArthurCClarke makes in ''3001: The Final Odyssey'' with, for instance, a character of outwardly Japanese appearance named Indra Wallace. Of course, it's not easy to cast post-racial -- much easier to cast multi-racial.
11th Jan '17 5:39:09 AM thespecialneedsgroup
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*** Incidentally, there are a couple of notable exceptions. Janeway packed a Ka-Bar in "Macrocosm" (Seriously, it was an honest-to-goodness Ka-Bar Combat Knife). She retrieved it from an equipment locker aboard Voyager, implying that combat knives are, in fact, standard-issue aboard Starfleet ships, but nobody ever uses them. Later, in Star Trek: Enterprise, MACOs carry metallic side-handle stun batons. It's a really bizarre choice for an infantry weapon, but they do manage to come in handy on more than one occasion.

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*** Incidentally, there are a couple of notable exceptions. Janeway packed a Ka-Bar in "Macrocosm" (Seriously, it was an honest-to-goodness Ka-Bar Combat Knife). She retrieved it from an equipment locker aboard Voyager, implying that combat knives are, in fact, standard-issue aboard Starfleet ships, but nobody ever uses them. Later, in Star Trek: Enterprise, MACOs ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', [=MACOs=] carry metallic side-handle stun batons. It's a really bizarre choice for an infantry weapon, but they do manage to come in handy on more than one occasion.
11th Jan '17 5:36:57 AM thespecialneedsgroup
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*** Incidentally, there are a couple of notable exceptions. Janeway packed a Ka-Bar in "Macrocosm" (Seriously, it was an honest-to-goodness Ka-Bar Combat Knife). She retrieved it from an equipment locker aboard Voyager, implying that combat knives are, in fact, standard-issue aboard Starfleet ships, but nobody ever uses them. Later, in Star Trek: Enterprise, MACOs carry metallic side-handle stun batons. It's a really bizarre choice for an infantry weapon, but they do manage to come in handy on more than one occasion.
11th Jan '17 5:00:55 AM thespecialneedsgroup
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*** There is an incident that suggests that while individual phaser blasts are at least as powerful in the ''TNG''-era as they were in the ''TOS''-era, phaser power packs in ''TNG'' store significantly less energy overall. In ''TOS's'' "Conscious of the King" it's firmly established that a type-II phaser set to overload could cause catastrophic damage to the ''Enterprise'' if it detonated anywhere on the ship. It's such a threat, Kirk orders "''double'' red alert"--marking the one and only time that this extreme alert condition has ever been referenced in the entire franchise. In ''TNG's'' "The Hunted," however, a phaser actually ''does'' overload in one of the ''Enterprise-D's'' Jefferies tubes, and the damage amounts to a minor inconvenience, at most. It destroys some equipment, but doesn't seem cause any visible damage to the surrounding structure at all.
11th Jan '17 3:53:08 AM TheAntiTed
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* As mentioned in the previous folder, the crew is divided into three divisions, commanding officers, pilots, and navigators are command division, engineers, communications, security and other technical skills are operations, and scientists, medical staff, and consulors are sciences. Command wears gold in ENT and TOS and red in TNG era, operations wear red in ENT and TOS and gold in TNG era, while sciences were blue in both cases. However in the TOS movies, the color system becomes more complex, with more color options that span divisions. In the Motion Picture, with division being indicated by patches, command wears white, engineering wears red, helm, communications and navigation wear yellow, science wears orange, medical wears green, and security wears gray. Then from Wrath of Khan onwards, the colors are command white, engineering and helm yellow, science, communication, and navigation gray, and medical green. Why did they change to a more complex system and then go back to a more simple one?

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* As mentioned in the previous folder, the crew is divided into three divisions, commanding officers, pilots, and navigators are command division, engineers, communications, security and other technical skills are operations, and scientists, medical staff, and consulors counselors are sciences. Command wears gold in ENT and TOS and red in TNG era, operations wear red in ENT and TOS and gold in TNG era, while sciences were blue in both cases. However in the TOS movies, the color system becomes more complex, with more color options that span divisions. In the Motion Picture, with division being indicated by patches, command wears white, engineering wears red, helm, communications and navigation wear yellow, science wears orange, medical wears green, and security wears gray. Then from Wrath of Khan onwards, the colors are command white, engineering and helm yellow, science, communication, and navigation gray, and medical green. Why did they change to a more complex system and then go back to a more simple one?one?
** Someone higher up decided that a change was needed, and their successor decided to go back. This happens *all the time* in real life; the US Navy for example has changed working uniforms three times between 2008 and 2016, while at the same time introducing a new service uniform, replacing two combat uniforms, restoring an old dress uniform, and flirting with restoring another. The Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps have all changed uniforms as well in the same time frame. Reasons include adapting to changing combat circumstances, adapting to changing social norms, keeping up with civilian fashion, admirals trying to "leave their mark" on the service, and so on.
31st Dec '16 6:54:13 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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** ''Headscratchers/StarTrekS3E12TheEmpath''
28th Dec '16 8:41:59 AM inspibrain101
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** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQTsaDKxmvA Oh, it's not just Star Trek.]] I defy you to find any movie or series where some main character hasn't lost a parent tragically to cancer or mugging-gone-wrong or alien invasion. There are a few reasons for this: first of all, like mentioned in the previous point, nothing makes better filler episode than a tear-jerking episode where a character angsts about their absent parents. Second, (and this particularly applies when it's a kid missing his parents,) no parents means no one to fret and keep the main character home, rather than out risking their life fighting the MonsterOfTheWeek. On the flipside, the character him/herself is more easily able to plunge headfirst into danger without stopping to consider, "What will my mother do if I die?" Now, this trope isn't actually all that much of a stretch; [[http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-untold-burden-one-in-seven-americans-lose-a-parent-or-sibling-before-the-age-of-20-88809487.html a 2010 American survey]] showed that 1 in 7 Americans lose a parent or sibling before the age of 20, and a lot of the angsty issues we see in our favorite book, movie, and tv characters seem pretty consistent with other findings of the survey.

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** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQTsaDKxmvA Oh, it's not just Star Trek.]] I defy you to find any movie or series where some main character hasn't lost a parent tragically to cancer or mugging-gone-wrong or alien invasion. Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, and Batman are all missing both of their parents. There are a few reasons for this: this trope: first of all, like mentioned in the previous point, nothing makes better filler episode than a tear-jerking episode where a character angsts about their absent parents. Second, (and this particularly applies when it's a kid missing his parents,) no parents means no one to fret and keep the main character home, rather than out risking their life fighting the MonsterOfTheWeek. On the flipside, the character him/herself is more easily able to plunge headfirst into danger without stopping to consider, "What will my mother do if I die?" Now, this trope isn't actually all that much of a stretch; [[http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-untold-burden-one-in-seven-americans-lose-a-parent-or-sibling-before-the-age-of-20-88809487.html a 2010 American survey]] showed that 1 in 7 Americans lose a parent or sibling before the age of 20, and a lot of the angsty issues we see in our favorite book, movie, and tv characters seem pretty consistent with other findings of the survey. Granted, this is often a trait associated with Mary Sues. But the beauty about this trope is that, when it's used in most tv, movies, and books, it's handled very tastefully and realistically, and usually enhances the character and the story.
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