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Fridge: Star Trek

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  • In Star Trek: Generations when the Klingons have taken Geordi prisoner and he is being interrogated, Soran asks if Geordi ever considered a prosthetic to make him look more "normal", and Geordi sarcastically asks, "What's normal?" to which Soran replies, "Normal, Mr. La Forge, is what everybody else is, and you are not." At first I thought this was just an insult directed at Geordi, until I saw the wisdom Soran was showing - everyone has personal quirks and problems which makes them feel abnormal compared to everyone else who doesn't have them. They just don't realize that the people they are comparing themselves to also have other quirks and problems that make them feel abnormal. i.e. from any one person's point of view, everybody else is normal and that person is not. However, even though this would seem to imply that people shouldn't worry about being normal, Geordi obviously didn't understand this, as in Star Trek: First Contact, he had gotten a prosthetic to make himself look more "normal".
    • Actually I came to the conclusion instantly upon seeing Geordi in First Contact, that he had gotten the ocular implants, because he was guilty and taking steps to correct his mistakes. Earlier in the series, in the second season in fact, Dr. Pulaski had asked Geordi as to why he didn't already have ocular implants. He said he was afraid he would lose the incredible vision the VISOR grants, with being able to see almost the entire EM spectrum. But in Generations when he was captured, the Klingons used him to spy on the Enterprise's vital systems. Seeing as how his VISOR was used to successfully destroy the Enterprise-D, I imagine he wanted to avoid that ever happening in the future. And this was the second time his VISOR was used against him; the first time, someone actually used it to brainwash him into being an assassin.
      • Bookverse canon provides a interesting slant on this: it's Starfleet Command that's unhappy with the vulnerabilities of Geordi's VISOR, and they're not going to leave him in his current critical position unless he gets rid of it.
      • It just hit me: Geordi said he didn't want ocular implants because of their limitations in 2365, but had ocular in "First Contact" which is set in 2373. Technology probably improved in that time frame to make implants a much better option.- Otakukun
    • Also, Geordi has always had a special relationship with technology. His best friend is Data, as a result of this mentality. This is also shown when he falls for a hologram. I think the idea of having his eyes upgraded, and more integrated into his body would have been appealing for him.
      • This troper is going back to re-watch all the Borg episodes for Geordi's points of view. Especially the one with Hugh.
      • Us tropers are apparently not the first to notice this. In the novel Vendetta by Peter David, the crew recover an assimilated human woman and attempt to restore her humanity. Three guesses who tries hardest to bond with her...
  • Kirk's overt reaction to Spock on the bridge, and Spock's flight to Gol in the first place, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture never quite made sense to me, until I heard a theory that Something Of A Romantic Nature had happened between them after the end of the five-year mission. That's what sent Spock fleeing to a place centered around purging all emotion. That's why Kirk looks like the sun has just come out for the first time in years when Spock shows up. And that scene in Sickbay, with Spock's admission of "this simple feeling"? That was them getting back together... for good. Thank you, The Ship's Closet. ~Across The Stars
    • In the novelization of ST:TMP, Kirk muses (in an author's Take That to the early slash fiction of the 70s) that he'd heard rumors of that sort, but that they were flatly untrue as he was only attracted to females.
  • For years, I never realized that the President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was blind. Suddenly, the opaque pair of glasses he wears when looking at the Operation Retrieve plans make sense: they're an early form of the VISOR. Also, when Kirk dives over the podium and knocks him out of the way of assassin fire, he'd have no idea who did it — which is why Kirk says to him: "Kirk. Enterprise."
    • That one was actually more or less confirmed by Michael & Denise Okuda in the DVD text commentary for that movie — he was at least intended to be blind originally.

  • The transition from sneaky, underhanded TOS-era Klingons to an honor-bound Proud Warrior Race in TNG-era is jarring to many people, to say the least. But then, you have to take into account that most information on TNG-era Klingons is heard from Worf. Worf, who was orphaned at a young age, rescued, and raised in a culture radically different from his own - of course he idolizes and glorifies his original culture. Duras and Chancellor Gowron go to great lengths to demonstrate that the Klingons are as sneaky, underhanded, and backstabbing as ever.
    • Worf probably got most of his information about Klingon culture second-hand from humans and books; never really having any practical education from other Klingons. Seems like there's a good chance that, having never really known any other Klingons growing up, his idea of Klingons is an idealized one pieced together from whatever source material he could find.
    • Besides, he grew up as the only Klingon amongst (probably racist, based on human nature and what we've seen in the show) humans. It makes perfect sense that he'd try to be the best Klingon he could possibly be.
  • A bit of a mind screw here but considering Universe-2 now knows the fate of Romulus, you can bet they are planing to save it and have a few decades and Original!Spock to perfect Red Matter, which means Universe-2 Nero could wind up the greatest ally of the Federation for saving Romulus!
    • Assuming that Nero is even born in Universe-2, and assuming that the Hobus "supernova" was a natural event...
  • Here's an interesting one from the Undiscovered Country. How could Valeris have quoted Kirk's famous outburst of let them all die (just before her Mind Rape) if he was alone with Spock during the whole conversation. Take a closer look at that scene: just out of shadow behind the giant glass Starfleet logos there is indeed a woman standing there and listening to every single word they say. But what makes this Valeris and not just some random person? Spock was training her as a protege - of course he would have brought her along to his historic meeting at Starfleet Command. All she needed to do was quietly slip in (maybe with help from one of the crooked Admirals if her security clearance wasn't high enough) and no one would be any the wiser.
    • How did the Klingon Jailer know which of the two Kirk's to shoot? the shape shifter had removed her leg cuffs whilst Kirk hadn't. Knowing full well that neither of them could have broken free; he logically shot the one person in the entire prison who could have slid out of those restraints.
  • After the breakup of the Narada, when the Enterprise is trying to escape the black hole, the ship is losing ground in the attempt, even though at maximum warp she should be tearing across the cosmos. A few months after watching the movie, it hit me why: When the port nacelle was struck earlier in the film by the wreckage of the Mayflower's saucer, it started a creeping damage burnout in the Enterprise's warp nacelles. After the last jump from Titan to the Narada's position, the warp coils were in such bad shape they could barely even hold Warp 1, let alone the speeds the Enterprise SHOULD be capable of.
    • Actually, it was more like they were pushing the engines to their limit, and should have thusly been going at high warp, but the sheer gravitational pull of the "black hole" was so strong that it overwhelmed what the ship could do. The only option was to seal the anomaly so as to remove what was holding them there — and in so doing, they shot forward because they were now unimpeded from travelling at warp speed (not simply because the explosion threw them free).
      • Except that "warp drive" has been mathematically "proved" not to work that way. To Warp, the space in front of the ship is put into a "pocket" like a billiard table pocket, and the space behind the ship is expanded, and once the ship moves, the pocket un pockets itself where the ship was, and this is "why a ship cant go to warp near a planet/ singularity" because the thing that's there, by it's nature, cant be pocketed. in TMP, the Enterprise cruises away by impulse to "empty" space. In Voyage Home, the Bird of Prey goes to warp in Earth's atmosphere. According to the science we have now, Earth would have gone into the pocket, and been destroyed... as well as ships going to warp in JJ Trek. Artistic Licence, sure, but JJ had a real science advisor for the movie.
  • What about the equation of transwarp beaming? Doesn't that knowledge give Starfleet ridiculous power? Even in the 24th century, transwarp anything seems to provide a devastating advantage.

  • Another bit of Fridge Brilliance: In the various alternate futures featured in the the various series, it is never implied that the planet Romulus existed past 2387. Indeed, the TNG Episode "All Good Things" implies something had happened to the Romulan Empire.

  • For years, I'd been confused about a line in Star Trek: Generations. When Picard first meets Soren, Soren wants to get back to the outpost. Picard stonewalls him for a while, and Soren becomes more insistent. Picard continues to stonewall, and Soren says "They say time is the fire in which we burn." Picard is visibly affected by this and has an immediate change of heart. Now, we know why Picard is affected by this (His brother and nephew just burned to death in a fire.), but did Soren know about that, and if so, how? My first thought was that Soren had something to do with it. However, upon examination, that doesn't hold up. Soren is only just meeting Picard, and prior to this, his entire life has been dedicated to his quest. He would have no reason to look up Picard or do anything that would affect Picard. So, no... Soren wasn't involved in it. After dismissing that theory, I just figured that it was a coincidence that happened to fall his way. Coincidences do happen. But then, just yesterday, something clicked in my head. What is Soren? El-Aurian. Who's the other El-Aurian we know? Guinan. What's Guinan said her about her race? They're a race of listeners. Where did Picard find Soren? 10 Forward. What's 10 Forward? A social area for off-duty officers. What happens in off-duty places, like bars? Gossip. Putting this all together, I realized that we're finally seeing the evil side of this gift. Guinan uses the gift as a friend and therapist. Soren uses it to manipulate and extort for his own gain. He's been taken away from his experiments, and wants to get back. He knows Picard is the one who can get him back where he wants. So, he goes to 10 Forward and covertly listens to the conversations of the crew. Picard's issue has obviously entered the gossip grapevine somehow, people are talking about it, and Soren's particularly listening for information about Picard. He hears this tidbit and realizes he can use it to get an upper hand in his conversation with Picard.

  • There was one I saw on the page for Star Trek Online (before the YMMV and Fridge pages were split): A lot of complaints about the game were about how The Federation had become more warlike than in the show and the books. HOWEVER, the roots of this can be seen as far back as TNG, with the aftermath of Wolf 359 and the Dominion War in DS9.

  • Here's a piece of Fridge Horror depending on what view you take about the events of Insurrection: What's to say the Federation or a similar power never went back to murder/relocate the Ba'Ku at a later date? I think I don't need to explain just how much controversy there is surrounding the fact Picard chose to side with 300 people who had no right to be there over improving the lives of billions. Obviously they hadn't by the time of Nemesis but a certain event known as the destruction of Romulus by a supernova a few years later may have made the Federation reconsider. Remember that the potential for war here from the resulting power vacumn is ridiculously large and would have been greater than the Dominion war in terms of threat to Earth due to the the Romulans being directly on our doorstep as opposed to the Dominion who only managed a single attack directly against Sector 001. Combine that with the political sore spot that would be the fact the Federation now possesses a weapon a hundred times stronger than the Genesis device (the Red Matter) and the fact the Romulans may have managed to obtain the plans to Shinzon's revolutionary cloaking device and/or Thaloron radiation weapon at some point; we have a situation where suddenly the ability to heal all sickness, disease and injury among the war weary population of the Federation suddenly sounds like a fantastic proposition. Oh and Picard approaching retirement would also take any danger posed by the Enterprise E out of the equation too.

  • The Star Trek Reboot timeline has changes from the original timeline that couldn't have been caused by Nero or Spock's time-travelling (e.g. the design of the Kelvin, which doesn't fit with the Federation's aesthetics from that time period.). But, actually, there is a good explanation for this: Because of the change in the timeline, the events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek: First Contact happened differently, causing the changes they caused to the timeline to be different, causing things in the timeline to change even before Nero's appearance. This, and other time-travelling could cause minor changes to the timeline, which could add up and explain the differences between the original timeline and the reboot timeline.
  • I came to this Fridge Brilliance when I was comparing the various villains across both the series and the twelve movies to date and I realized something: Soran from Generations is by far the most accomplished of the lot. More than Khan, more than the Borg, more than even the Dominion. Because unlike all of them; Soran is the only enemy so far to have directly killed both the a main character (Kirk) and destroy the hero starship (the Enterprise D) and made it stick ie no amount of Timey-Wimey Ball or technobabble or other miracle brings them back to life again either at the end of the episode/movie or at any other time in the franchise. For example, the original Khan killed Spock but was resurrected a film later; The Breen destroyed the Defiant but none of the main crew died; Shinzon killed Data but couldn't destroy the Enterpise E etc. No one else has ever circumvented the Reset Button to the same level as him meaning that, even if he isn't the most dangerous or the most threatening, he is certainly the bad guy who has had most impact on the franchise as a whole.
  • So why did they cut out the Rura Penthe scenes? It leaves a glaring plot hole as to just what Nero was doing in the interim. Viewing the deleted scenes reveals why: Someone apparently forgot to tell JJ that Rura Penthe is supposed to be a big ball of ice where it's freakin' cold even underground in the prison itself, and the scenes as shot involve Nero sweltering bare-backed as he slaves away. Glaring plot hole or glaring plot inconsistency... not a fun choice.
    • Either Rura Penthe has very long and extreme seasons or they were imprisoned very deep within the mine?
  • A nice bit of Fridge Brilliance from Star Trek Into Darkness: It took this troper a while to figure out why the planet in the opening sequence was named "Nibiru". Nibiru is the theoretical name for a rogue planet that the government is supposedly hushing up, due to its imminent collision with Earth. The connection doesn't become apparent until you remember that the movie's release date was pushed back to summer 2013 from late 2012.
    Kirk: Nice going, Spock! We just saved the world!
  • In the prime timeline, Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa, and the Enterprise was "born" in space (in Earth's orbit, to be precise.) And in the timeline created by the Narada incident? It's exactly the other way around!

The Series

Fridge Brilliance
  • Some Fridge Horror about the transporters. They take a person and change him into energy, transmit his code along an energy beam, and reconstitute him in a different place. So it vaporizes you, leaves the original you just floating around in the air, and reconstitutes a copy of you from the atoms in the area where it transports you to. Anyone who's been through a transporter has been destroyed, and what's walking around now is a copy. Almost everyone in the Star Trek universe is a copy of a person, the original of which was destroyed. And therefore, the human soul either does not exist or most people have no soul anymore. (Credit here to David Wong and This Book Is Full Of Spiders.)
  • The verity of aliens and the "evolution" in Star Trek is always mocked, and it was just "hay, add some spots" because of costs, and the need for sexy aliens, however it works scientifically, as the eye was evolved 3 separate times on earth so it makes sense that the basic bi-pedal form has taken hold on most minshara - class planets as it is the most effective way of surviving to civilization the superficial differences visually can be explained by slight variations in the non-essential parts of the chromosome.
  • At first, Star Trek appears to violate tactical logic by lacking any true examples of a Space Fighter, a standard among rival Space Opera settings Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Farscape, Stargate, Andromeda, etc. After all, small, maneuverable fighter crafts can target a larger opponent's vulnerable points in ways a bigger ship can't. Then you realize Deflector Shields mean ships don't have weak points! The only way to defeat an opponent is by mustering enough force to overload their shields, making small ships all but useless in direct combat.
    • It's probably over-stating it to say energy shields are decisive in rendering starfighters ineffective (although they certainly effect the role starfights play in combat and how they are designed). Shields can be redirected to protect an area under the heaviest threat, leaving other areas partially or completely vulnerable. This can allow a heavier combatant to lay down fire against one section of the ship, drawing the defender's shields, while a fast maneuverable ship performs a flanking attack on the defender's exposed section. Remember too that energy shields are standard equipment for most ships in Star Wars, where starfighters play a big role in combat. Also, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we do see a number of smaller craft perform the role of starfighters during fleet engagements, though they're generally larger than an X-Wing or a Viper (and this isn't counting the Bajoran and Maquis resistance fighters, which were pretty much classic sci-fi starfighters). The absence of traditional starfighters from Star Trek can probably be attributed to the accuracy of weaponry, particularly phasers and disrupters. Being little just means you have less armor and a smaller powerplant with which to generate shields and power weapons, so the "fighters" of Star Trek are larger than those in franchises where less precise weaponary is the norm.
      • The Defiant misses more than any other Starfleet vessel on the show, this is probably due to the limited arc of her forward phasers. If you watch the battle between the Defiant and the USS Lakota in Paradise Lost, you'll see that Defiant misses her target several times, but the Lakota doesn't miss even once.
    • Tell me what's easier to hit: 1 massive ship, or 1000 tiny ships attacking from all directions? In WWII, big ships did not have weak spots either, yet they still used bombers and torpedo planes to attack them. One German battleship took a huge number of hits just to get it to start sinking, and that took days to finish.
      • But ships are slowed down by water drag while aircraft are free from it. Despite what most science fiction implies, that doesn't apply in space. So a better analogy would be speedboats versus a battleship.
      • Real life: Taffey. In WW2, a destroyer group engaged the Japanese fleet and the Yamato to stall them long enough for the real Enterprise and her air wing.
      • Star Trek ships have been demonstrated to be far more maneuverable than ships in other franchises. The Enterprise-E is 700 meters long, and yet can maneuver quite well for a ship of its size. In addition, phasers can be deadly accurate, as the Enterprise-D was able to eliminate a squadron of fighter craft in about two seconds, without even so much as flinching.
      • The comment about WWII big ships not having week spots is absolutely incorrect. Ships like the Bismark had an armor belt around the ship. Anything above or below this belt was considerably weaker. That was the reason dive bombers and torpedo planes were used, they were able to hit above and below the armor belt to damage the deck and hull respectively. The critical shot that doomed the Bismark to be scuttled was a torpedo strike (from a torpedo plane) jamming the rudder (a weak spot) causing the ship to effectively go round in circles. I imagine that the limiting factor of fighters in the TOS was due to their inability to mount a warp drive on ships that small at that time. Without warp drive, fighters could only be used locally within a system, or off a carrier type vessel that would be vulnerable to attacks from starships and unable to effect a speedy withdrawal w/o abandoning their fighters.
      • Weakness is also relative. It's entirely possible that at that time it wasn't possible to fit a shuttle-sized craft with powerful enough weapons (or the support systems for those weapons) to get through a very large ship's very strong defences at any points. Remember the Defiant was mainly notable for being grossly overpowered for its frame, and doesn't appear to be engineered to the same "high" standard as other Federation ships. Type-X phaser arrays are absolutely huge, and torpedo bays can cover an entire deck.
      • Lets be honest as to the real world reason for a lack of fighter: The original series was A) on a ridiculously minimal budget and B) Star Trek first aired a good decade before Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica popularized the concept of a Space Aircraft Carrier. Come the latter series with bigger budgets and fighting the influence of these big franchises (which now also had Stargate and its fighters to contend with) the obvious answer was to keep the show firmly set in its roots. The amount of people that would of accused Trek of plagiarism if the Enterprise-E suddenly started launching their equivalent of X-Wings against the Borg Cube would still be going on today. It is also worth noting that the only canonical ship that I can think of that carried fighters was Shinzon's Warbird in Nemesis. Whether it was overconfidence or not is arguable but even when the battle was turning sour did he not think of launching them - proof perhaps that even a weakened Sovereign Class could swat them away like flies.
      • If you're arguing that groups of smaller, combat-oriented ships can overwhelm larger, cruiser-types, then we've already seen that: both the Klingon Birds of Prey and the Jem'Hadar attack ships remain consistent threats throughout the series, able to threaten ships like the Galaxy class or Romulan Warbirds. But if you're saying that a bunch of shuttlecraft-sized ships can be fielded in large enough numbers to be useful, that's doubtful. This page and this page has a good explanation as to why fighters are impractical in space.
  • At first, the absence of any form of data corruption attacks in Star Trek struck me as a kind of Zeerust element that had crept into the show over time: computer viruses were entirely unknown in the 1960's, but the casual viewer today might wonder why someone doesn't try to hack the Enterprise (or the Enterprise crew try to hack a Klingon ship, etc.) But in reality any race advanced enough to build starships with AI-capable computers and has reason to fear its neighbors likely also has strong enough security to render these attacks either ineffective or easily reversed (by contrast, take the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, where the Cylon attack on the humans hinged around their being able to exploit a backdoor in the Colonial defense network created by one of their agents. The mothballed Galactica's lack of a modern computer network is the only reason it survives). Oddly enough, this has the result of TOS appearing to have stronger computer security than its successors (particularly in episodes where the ship/Data/etc. get hacked by an outside entity). —Snarf
    • There is some hacking in Star Trek, but it usually involves either a more advanced alien race, or physical access to the computer they want to mess with. In normal battle situations, the computers probably just refuse to execute any code being transmitted by an enemy ship. —Dr Lunar
    • Let's not forget the use of a (rather flimsy) prefix code that allowed Spock to hack into the Reliants command console to lower it's shields.
    • Phasers are (except in the new movie, due to the change from beam and the implied two-mode limitation) a perfect parallel to the Federation's tendencies for ship design: very multipurpose (Starfleet's ships tend to be made for exploration, but due to the nature of the Star Trek universe that ends up meaning ships that can do a lot of things decently, with crews that can do a lot of things decently. Phasers, over the course of the franchise, are shown to be able to be used for everything from cutting to heating, in addition to the multiple settings actually intended for combat).
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • When I first watched the Original Series episode "Galileo Seven", I was simply appalled by how the humans treat Spock throughout this episode. A shuttle carrying 7 men crashes on an unknown planet, with no way to return to the Enterprise that's waiting in orbit. Spock is the commanding officer of the mission, and throughout the episode uses logic as his guide to solving what appears to be an extremely dangerous situation with very little chance of survival. The humans, however, dispute his every move, constantly admonishing him for his lack of emotions. For instance, he assumes that the hostile creatures on the planet will be scared off by their display of phaser power. He also refuses to spend time burying a fallen Red Shirt. The humans get increasingly annoyed at this, naturally. The episode even ends with everyone (including Kirk) poking fun at Spock's logical way. This goes on for the entire episode. Now, if you examine the episode objectively, putting aside any assumptions regarding whether Spock is doing the right thing, it quickly becomes clear that Spock is actually functioning exceptionally well at the task of getting them out of a very deadly situation alive: 5 of 7 crewmen eventually escape what for all intents and purposes is a no-win scenario. Spock makes one mistake: misjudging the alien monsters' reaction to the phasers, but it was one that anyone could've made: the aliens behaved irrationally, but was there any real reason to assume they would (or wouldn't, for that matter)? Spock's discharging of the shuttle's fuel at the end to create a flare was the only logical solution once they realized the Enterprise was gone. The humans keep suggesting that that decision was spock showing "despair" - an emotion - but really that's just their own interpretation. It doesn't hold much water when you think what else anyone could have possibly done in the same situation. Taking a risk does not mean you're desperate, especially when not taking that risk would be even less likely to provide positive results. In short, Spock was really doing the most logical actions throughout the entire episode and overall this saved his men! Now, bear with me, because I haven't even started talking about the Fridge Brilliance here. If we take the above, and add back the factor of the human crewmembers constantly picking on Spock and criticizing every decision he makes (not to mention the terrible "ha ha Spock went soft" bit at the end), it becomes apparent that the lesson of the episode is that humans are a**holes and that logic is the best tool a commander can have in life-or-death situations. The humans are simply incapable of understanding what Spock did for them precisely by sticking to logic the entire way through. Instead they slam him every time he does not behave as they would expect a human commander (read: Kirk) to behave. This is without even mentioning the fact that Kirk himself would probably have made the same exact decisions as Spock made, only naturally he wouldn't have to work through so much opposition. In fact, Kirk rarely takes any time to bury his Red Shirts - certainly not when surrounded by a tribe of gigantic hostile creatures. Kirk wouldn't hesitate to leave a man behind on the planet if it meant saving everybody else, he certainly did that on more than one occasion in other episodes. Therefore the question about this episode becomes totally different: why would the writer portray the humans like this? Was he trying to make a message about how logic isn't always the answer? If that is the case, then everything clearly backfires once you make a thorough inspection as above and realize that Spock was handling everything with pure logic and succeeded as well as could possibly be expected. Was the writer so at a loss on how to get this point across that the resulting episode actually teaches the completely opposite lesson (i.e. that logic is the answer and humans are bastards)? No, I actually think it's the exact opposite of that. The writer (one Oliver Crawford) actually wanted to portray Spock as the coolest SOB in the galaxy, and point out how useful it is to think logically. That's why Spock's decisions are so flawless that he basically wins the scenario single-handedly, and under constant duress from his own men. But if the writer would've just done this at face value, Spock would've easily become the Creator's Pet of the episode, coming off as a smarter-than-thou know-it-all, and instantly gaining the audience's disrespect - since after all we are humans too, and instinctively treat Spock as a weirdo alien who needs to be kept in check so that he doesn't start sacrificing his men for some "logical greater good". No, instead Crawford used Reverse Psychology. He let Spock do everything right, but he kept him sympathetic by having the humans constantly question him regardless. So while watching, the audience is not even aware of what they're seeing. They think the message is that logic is not always the answer, because that's what the humans in the episode keep saying, and are never actually TOLD that the lesson of the episode is the opposite of that. So the audience maintains one belief about the point of the episode, but the actual message that comes across is different, whether you notice it or otherwise. Hence Spock comes across as just-sympathetic-enough ("Awww, he caved and did the emotional thing at the end..."), but whether you realize it or not the episode still conveys the message that you can truly depend on logic as your most powerful tool. It's ingenious... If true. —Headrock
      • Also consider that the fact it wasn't just logic v. emotion it was human v. vulcan. The original troper points out that Kirk probably would have made the same decisions yet not had to put up with as much crap from it. This stems from the misconception that vulcans don't feel emotion and therefore incapable of understanding humans. One of the many indications that even in the 23rd century, bigotry is still alive and well.
      • Although in two of the non-canon novels the one member of the party who was most critical of Spock was eventually brought before a court-martial hearing called by Scotty for his insubordination (which, really, is what should happen) his fate in the series proper is left unresolved. Karma Houdini anyone?
    • In the original Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis", Zefram Cochrane's reaction to seeing the Federation commissioner essentially amounted to "Hey hot girl, let's jump in bed together!" At first, I viewed it as a typical example of the show's 1960s mindset... but then I remembered Cochrane's characterization in Star Trek: First Contact as a libidinous party animal. Okay, there's no way that was done on purpose, but it does make more sense if you view it that way. — Insert Witty Name Here
      • Young healthy male marooned on planet for decades + newly marooned female = Hormone explosion. Doesn't really take lot of analysis to see why he'd be all over her. She's the first live female he's seen in decades.
    • In fact, after seeing him in First Contact, one might even start thinking that when we see him in "Metamorphosis" 150 years later, he seems to have mellowed out a bit. Back in the 21st century, Troi was complaining about how she'd gotten roped into drinking with Cochrane and spent a lot of time fending off all of his drunken efforts to grope her. 150+ years later in Kirk's time, he's obviously excited to see the lady commissioner, sure, but now he's sober, keeping his hands to himself, and asking her politely.
    • In the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before, Kirk's best friend Gary Mitchell is zapped by an energy barrier which amplifies his ESP abilities. What i've failed to realize for twenty years is that Gary starts the episode with jet black hair and ends with distinct grey streaks. Remember, he is already stated to possess heightened ESP abilities which technically make it part of his biology - his ESP is powered by his own lifeforce! On repeated viewing, this actually increases Kirk's dilemma; if he chooses to keep Mitchell alive instead of kill or abandon him, Kirk would almost certainly recover his friend's sanity due to losing his powers through the passage of time - as long as he runs the risk of Mitchell destroying the ship first...
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In the TNG episode "Samaritan Snare", Picard recounts to Wesley how he got into a fight with Nausicaans, only to get stabbed through the heart. He remembers looking at his wound and laughing for some reason. SF Debris theorizes that it's because when Q lets Picard relive that scenario during "Tapestry" (after making himself worse off earlier), he's laughing because he knows everything's in order once again. Even if he's going to die in the future, he's going to die as a person who actually did something with his life.
    • The first time I saw Datalore, I dismissed part of the plot as just "Wesley is right but gets ignored because he's a kid". I saw it again recently and realized that there's a lot more going on. The first time Wesley gets yelled at, they do listen to what he says (Riker goes to check his theory, and finds some evidence that he's wrong); the reason he gets hassled is that how he said it was unacceptably rude—not a small deal in a quasimilitary organization like Starfleet. The second time (the infamous "Shut up, Wesley!" scene), if you look closely at Picard's face (and consider that right after that scene, he sends security to arrest "Data", who—as Wesley realized first—has been replaced by his evil twin), you can see that he's figuring everything out for himself. Meanwhile, this annoying kid is talking and talking while he's trying to think and not telling him anything he doesn't know. "Shut up, Wesley" is not an instance of Adults Are Useless—it's an instance of Stop Helping Me!.
    • Just now re-watching the season three episode "The Price", it dawned on me that Troi, upon asking the computer for a nutritionally void comfort-food sundae before reading a series of letters from her overbearing mother, receives a snarky, passive-aggressive talking-to from the computer in response. The computer is voiced by Majel Barrett, who also plays Troi's mom. Perfect.
      • There was one instance where Troi's Mother actually wonders aloud about the computer's voice.
    • Here's a wacky fan theory that some of the writers have actually commented on its unlikeliness (but likewise never refuted it outright): In the episode "Yesterday's Enterprise", there is a highly militarized version of Starfleet in a losing war with the Klingons. Then it hit me: "Yesterday's Enterprise" actually takes place in the Mirror Universe! At the end of the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror", Kirk leaves goatee-Spock with the objective of overthrowing the Terran Empire and setting up a more Federation-like government, which in DS9 we find out leads to the Terrans being overthrown by the Klingons and Cardassians (although the Klingons are considered the major partner in the alliance). What the viewers are seeing is what the post-Spock reformed Empire was like prior to being overrun by the Klingons.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • Captain Sisko, at the end of the last episode of Deep Space Nine, left his treasured baseball in his old office at the station. He never leaves the station permanently unless he takes his baseball with him. Oh yeah. He'll be back someday. ;)
    • "In the Hands of the Prophets" was always Anvilicious. What made it anvilicious most of all was that the religious zealot (Winn) almost immediately jumped to terrorism to solve the problem. This became brilliant when I realized something: it's really just the hammer and nail problem. For 50 years, the Bajorans had been solving all of their problems with terrorism; that's all entire generations of them knew. And it worked; the Cardassians left. So peace breaks out, and how do they propose to fix a relatively minor dispute? Terrorism. It also explains why the coup attempt seems to come at the end of the season seemed to come off so well. - Korval
    • You don't really need the apocrypha of Deep Space Nine to know that Mila is Garak's mother; if anything, their first interactions on-screen confirmed it in my mind. Considering Tain never acknowledged Garak as his own son until he was dying, it's the only explanation for why Garak grew up in Tain's house... then again, Garak could just be a child of another household servant, but Mila is the only one he has ever displayed fondness for, so I think Mila being his mother would be the best explanation.
      • This also explains exactly why Garak being Tain's son has been such a closely guarded secret. It was established earlier that any Cardassian who has been exposed as having an affair is looked upon quite disfavorably, so any word about Garak being the product of an affair between Tain and his housekeeper would bring all of Tain's various enemies down on him pretty quickly. Plus, there was that bit in "The Die Is Cast" where Tain wants to have Mila killed along with his rivals during his rise to power because she knows dangerous things that could undermine him.
      • Well, affairs and out-of-wedlock are usually different things, which brings us to something else we saw in the show. If Garak was publicly known to be an illegitimate child what would his status be? He was already in the situation of being publicly unacknowledged by his father and, if Mila was his mother (and even Odo implies he suspects it with the "I can believe there's one [person who would regard Garak with affection]" which obviously alludes to the idea that the only person who could ever love some people would be their mother), then he'd be publicly unacknowledged by his mother as well. That's very close to making him an orphan (two parents who can't publicly acknowledge him). Now watch the episode "Cardassians" where we learn orphans have no status in Cardassian society (the implication being they're actually treated better in Bajoran orphanages than they ever would be on Cardassia). Look at Garak's reaction when he spots the Cardassian orphans watching him. He looks like he's just been punched in the stomach and then he all but flees the place, even his attitude towards the Bajoran in charge of the centre has changed. He's utterly shaken. When Bashir later stops the runabout to confront him, Garak automatically thinks the plight of the orphans is haunting Bashir. As it turns out, that's not on Bashir's mind at all... but it must have been on Garak's still for him to jump to that conclusion. Given his parentage and the secrets surrounding it, it's a miracle he wasn't an abandoned child with the according "orphan" status. With hindsight there's an almost "there but for the grace of God..." sense to this. At the very least, the subject of the orphans did seem to hit a nerve for him.
      • As far as I can recall, there never was any implication that Tain had a wife or family other than Mila and Garak, so it was probably less an "extramarital affair" and more that having any kind of family ties—even unofficial ones—would put Tain's position at risk, since his enemies could exploit them.
    • In the episode, "The Assignment" it would seem strange that the prophets would not have expected the Pah Wraith's return and surprise attack - them being timeless, able to see anywhen at once, would have surely seen it coming from the beginning of time and taken precautions against it. But of course because the attack failed, it's possible they never did or never will find out about it - if they were looking out of the wormhole it would just look like DS9 zapping a shuttlecraft with something - so it's possible they simply don't know about the attempt.
      • Alternatively, not being stuck in linear time, the ones living in the wormhole were entirely aware of how the episode would end, and didn't feel any intervention was necessary.
    • Look at how mirror Bashier acts: he's an aggressive idiot who is constantly unable to grasp the full scope of both his actions and any of the major events around him. Now originally I thought that this was just another Mirrior re-imagined character but consider that Prime Bashier was genetically altered to become a genius and suddenly Mirror Bashier's actions suddenly becomes clearer: this is what the real Bashier would have become without the surgery.
  • Looking back it is interesting how many little references there are to Bashir being genetically engineered that, whilst probably unintentional, do add to the series somewhat. One example is as early as season 2 episode 11 Rivals where he casually reveals to O'Brien that he once faced a Vulcan in a Racquetball final - and won. Keep in mind Vulcans are at least three times as strong and fast as a human and suddenly that excuse that he more or less had a lucky shot suddenly seems ever so slightly suspect.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • Consider the opening song to Star Trek: Enterprise. People say that it doesn't sound like a Star Trek theme song - it's the wrong genre, it has words, etc., etc... Consider, though, that "Where My Heart Will Take Me" is set at the beginning; for the Trek universe, it was the original genre, and the themes everyone's more familiar with came later... after the Federation was created, and the society being portrayed had changed. As for the lyrics, they (fairly blatantly) describe humanity's determination to advance, expand, and move forward.
    • Similar to the above, many people were more than a little put off by the fact that Klingons in Enterprise had their ridges, with (initially) no explanation of why they suddenly gain and lose them over a period of only a few hundred years. Eventually, Enterprise explained what happened to cause the loss of ridges: While experimenting with the Augmentation procedures used on people like Khan, the human augment DNA made them look more human-like. It mixed with a virus and spread throughout the population, and eventually they found a cure for it and were able to change back to their normal "ridged" look. Now, one known side effect of the Augmentation procedure is a drastic increase in violence and bizarrely aggressive behavior. Apply this to the Klingons, and what's known about them throughout TNG and beyond: Klingons in the TNG era respect honor as a warrior above all else, and try to uphold that in all things. Klingons in the TOS era are ruthless and deceptive, employing tactics that are far from honorable. No onscreen explanation for their prior behavior is ever given. However, by thinking about this with the augmentation in mind, it becomes obvious: the only period in the whole canon where the Federation and Klingons are really at war (the short time in Deep Space Nine excepted) is during the TOS era - the very era where the entire population is afflicted with a condition that makes them unnecessarily aggressive. Now, note how in the TOS movies, the Klingons are starting to get their ridges back: at the exact same time, they're also starting to actively seek peace with the Federation. Coincidence? Likely, but when you put it all together it makes perfect sense, and wonderfully explains the transition from Always Chaotic Evil to Proud Warrior Race through obvious canon means.
    • I always tried to be forgiving to Star Trek: Enterprise, partially because of my love of Star Trek and because I felt it was better than most others shows on television anyway. But one episode I found hard to justify, "Regeneration" with the Borg making an appearance 200 years before they should have. The episode itself I found to be rather good, actually, despite the chronological issues and other anachronistic details. The Borg hadn't been that frightening since Star Trek: First Contact (no Borg Queen to humanize them), and in fact ties directly into that movie. It even has a sly Stable Time Loop thrown in. But when I started to think over the skewed Borg chronology depicted in Star Trek: Voyager, I realized that Enterprise was trying to make more sense of the logistics behind their very first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In that episode, Guinan had to inform the crew of who the Borg were, being that she was a refugee from a Borg attack. Wouldn't The Federation have at least some knowledge of their existence, especially since they were harboring refugees? While the "Regeneration" episode didn't explain everything, it did acknowledge that there was some info on them and was likely classified until the Enterprise-D made official first contact with a Borg Cube. — KJ Mackley
      • It's explicitly stated in Voyager that there were at least rumors of the Borg before Enterprise-D encountered them. Seven's parents went looking for them about a decade before official first contact. Also in the first episode with the Borg, they mention that a planet attacked by the Borg looks just like the remains of Federation and Romulan outposts that were destroyed along the Neutral Zone. Which implies the Borg were already making moves into the Federation's neighborhood. So yeah, the Enterprise Borg episode actually fits surprisingly well. —Dr Lunar
  • Though probably just a product of confused writers, some of the oddities in the Voyager characters do make perfect sense. Maybe midway through the series, Chakotay is suddenly always counseling Janeway about the consequences of her plans, and is distrustful of Seven of Nine; this all being after Seska's betrayal. Seven's attraction to Chakotay in later seasons seemed sudden to a lot of viewers, her only explanation being, "The Commander has... admirable qualities." Seven, at this point, is trying hard to become as human as she can, and who's the most un-Borg person on the ship? Chakotay. It's only a shame the writers didn't explore these ideas more deeply in the actual show.
  • Star Trek writers don't seem to get evolution, always portraying it wrongly. But, although IRL it would be wrong, evolution in star trek is merely consistent. All potential evolution lines are hardwired into a species' DNA, with the actual circumstances determining how it ends up. This realization actually makes every plot involving evolution make sense.
  • The Borg are often criticized for attacking the Federation with only one cube (and trying it twice), while at the same time doing things against humanity that they do not do against other species (messing around with time travel, trying to "seduce" people like Locutus of Borg and Seven of Nine to rejoin the Collective, etc.) However, the Borg are not actually interested in humanity. Like the Kazon, humanity is described as inferior and its technology pales before the Collective's. However, the Borg ARE interested in Q. Q first brought them into the line of sight of a Borg cube, and saved them right as they were about to be assimilated. The Borg want to know more about Q (since being semi-omnipotent puts you pretty high on the Collective wishlist) but at the same time they know they can't fight Q directly and thus want to cut their losses by only sending one cube at a time. The Borg, in a sense, are right that doing things like traveling through time and picking specific human representatives attract Q's attention, if the game Star Trek: Borg is to be believed. - Freiberg
    • There's an alternate possibility, one that can amp up the Fridge Horror of the matter. The Borg can't innovate. It's one of their biggest flaws. Their advancement depends on the advancement of the species that they assimilate, the knowledge that they gain in the process of assimilation. They send a single cube against Earth not because they're actively attempting to assimilate the Federation at this time, but because they're FORCING the Federation to develop new ideas and technologies and use them against them. Once they reach a point where the Borg can handle anything the Federation throws at them, they'll finish the job and be all the stronger for it, with the new technologies, theories, and ideas that the Federation has developed to counter the Borg.
      • The Borg innovate all the time, it's how their "adaptation" works. They're often shown using traditional scanning and analysis techniques. (Seriously, the idea that the Borg have to assimilate to gain knowledge is one of the most spectacularly incoherent things Voyager ever threw out; you pretty much have to ignore it if you want them to make sense.)
    • Then again, there is definitely a Humans Are Special vibe throughout the franchise. Q mentioned that one day in the distant future, humanity would surpass the Q Continuum. One of Soval's lines in Star Trek: Enterprise (one of the last before his death) mentions how humans can be as warlike and emotional as the Klingons or Andorians one moment, and then turn around and use cold hard logic the next. The Bajoran Prophets, a race of omnipotent energy beings that exist outside of normal time, specifically created a human to serve as their emissary to a completely different race. The Borg realize this quality of humans, which is why they sent a cube thousands of light years outside their territory, twice, in order to assimilate this quality. Problem is, assimilating the physical body doesn't assimilate the humanity. That has a great deal to do with why the Borg Queen tries to get a fully individual human to work for her.
    • Several theories about the Borg's creation from licensed non-canon works mention the crew of an ENT era ship being integrated into a neural network and becoming the first drones, while others mention the V'Ger entity being involved in the Borg's creation. According to these, humans might actually be the origin species of the Borg.
  • So why, despite being warned by Kes in Before and After, do the Voyager crew completely forget about the Krenim by the time of Year of Hell? Simple. Anorax did it. It is stated that he had been manipulating time for over 200 years; and had probably altered it a good dozen times between the two episodes. The Voyager that took centre stage during Before and After is a completely different ship to the one featured in Year of Hell. This also explains the disappearance of Species 8472 and Seven of Nine.
  • A little bit of Fridge Horror in the backstory of Star Trek: There was a Third World War, and it was devastating on a global scale, killing half a billion people and ending most formal governments on the planet. And it's a "future" war. It hasn't happened yet. As optimistic as the Trek universe is, it still predicts a horrible end to everything we know and love, and further it seems to imply that it needs to happen. The post-apocalyptic dark age is the kick in the pants the human race needs to start building a better society. Things do get better, but they have to get a lot worse first...and everything about 21st-century society has to die for it to work.
    • Then again, in the history of the Trek verse, we've all already lived through the Eugenics Wars, so maybe that Third World War should be taken with a grain of salt.
      • Well... the Eugenics wars were actually retconned as to being in the twenty first century and not the twentieth. Episodes such Futures End where there was no sign of war or Botany Bay level spacecraft, The Augments where Archer and Soong pretty much state that it was a hundred years ago and of course we have all the discussions between the genetically engineered Bashir and his co-workers. There is a very popular fan theory that believes the Eugenics Wars and the Third World War was actually the same thing - after all; doesn't it stand to reason that the world powers would have been using Super Soldiers to fight a nuclear war considering the technology essentially exists today?
      • I don't know when, but I'm almost completely certain (note:almost) that somewhere in-canon, in actual spoken dialog, it is explicitly stated that the third world war WAS the war between Khan and his Eugenics derived kindred, a.k.a. The Eugenics Wars.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
    • In "The Slaver Weapon" the titular weapon is retrieved from a stasis box along with a picture of an unknown alien Spock and Sulu presume to be one of the long-vanished Slavers. Sulu later speculates that the versatile nature of the weapon, combined with its complete lack of visible controls and self-destruct ability, makes it an ideal weapon for a spy. Although the Standards and Practices of 1970's children's television would never have permitted saying so in the script, the presentation of both the weapon and picture in the same box suggest that it was an assassin's weapon, and the picture that of the assassin's target.
  • Fridge Horror: When the holodeck is first introduced, it is made explicitly clear that its characters are not sentient: Troi and other telepaths cannot sense them (then again, she also can't sense Data). Moriarty is the first exception, and he is presumed to be unique. But by the time the Doctor is introduced on Voyager and Vic Fontaine on Deep Space Nine, it is clear that all holodeck characters are sentient, or at least will become sentient if they're left running long enough. That means that all over the Federation, ordinary people are constantly creating, murdering, editing, resurrecting, and duplicating sentient beings with no more moral consideration than you'd give to a sheet of paper out of a printer. And that's just people with clean fantasies, and not porn and gorn-filled ones. The Voyager episode "Author, Author" finally starts to address this, but does it in the most tepid way possible and treats the whole thing almost as a joke. All the Fantastic Aesops about Data's rights become meaningless when you realize the Federation is filled with A.I.'s, and nearly all of them are considered as disposable as Kleenex.
    • That's the sentient/nonsentient distinction (as well as programming blocks in the case of holodeck characters that the doctor lacks, so holodeck characters normally can't see/hear the archway, or if someone in the holodeck gets called on the comm system, which the EMHs lack due to being intended to replace actual crewmembers). The doctor in the first episode couldn't really be considered sentient when first activated, while leaving a holodeck running for ages has its own problems, as seen in Voyager. It's the same as the exocomps seen in TNG - if given enough time/opportunity they may, but they aren't by definition.
    • But are the simulations in the holodeck distinct individuals, or merely avatars of the holodeck computer? Voyager's Doctor was on an independent system from the holodeck, one dedicated to medical emergencies, so in a way the only difference between him and Data is the presence of a physical body. Moriarity in TNG could be explained as a programming glitch (albeit one that was eventually locked away into his own storage medium—effectively a pocket universe for him). The others—just subroutines, and the computer itself could terminate them if bandwidth becomes scarce.
    • It's discovered on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that the holographic lounge singer Vic has a puzzle written into its programming as a "surprise" for his user. After a given amount of operating time, holographic gangsters will kill Vic unless his user intervenes. When Bashir tries to get this disabled he is basically laughed at, even though Vic is clearly sentient by this point (he can even turn his own program on when deactivated). It's made crystal clear that Vic has no rights as a sentient being whatsoever.
      • DS9 is a unique case, in that the Federation is working with ex-Cardassian hardware. How the Cardassians treat their AIs is probably no different than how they treat each other.
    • It doesn't necessarily follow that every holodeck character is sentient, or potentially sentient. The Doctor and Vic were both described as unusually sophisticated programs.
  • Why would a Proud Warrior Race who put Honour Before Reason use the primarily defensive Bat'leth as their weapon of choice? There's no honour in winning a battle through luck, therefore they use a weapon designed to make a fight last and so give a better chance of the outcome being fair!

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