They discover a planet with the mysterious power to provide eternal youth and immortality. Its inhabitants have for centuries lived an idyllic, pastoral existence. Everyone there wants to maintain their peaceful way of life. The captain of the Federation's flagship is adamant that their wishes should be respected. The planet is surrounded by a immense cloud of lethal energy storms, even the most heavily-armoured starships risk destruction should they try to penetrate it.
Starfleet Response: Where do those f*** ing hippies get off squatting on OUR planet?!
To be fair, they come around at the end because Picard points out that they're being pricks.
To be fair? Starfleet never actually knew. It was a rogue admiral who was the Starfleet representative on the whole deal, and his position was, "When Starfleet finds out, it'll already be done. And since I'll have the eternal youth drug, they'll just say 'bad boy,' and let me continue with my career."
Although the fact that he thought Starfleet wouldn't care enough to punish him either shows how insane he is, or sheds some light as to how evil Starfleet is. (I prefer to think he's insane.)
He makes a point about the Dominion War going badly, and suggests that Star Fleet Command has decided that desperate times call for enhanced interrogation techniques moral compromise.
An Expanded Universe novel reveals that this was a Section 31 operation. They don't exactly follow normal Starfleet procedures. After all, there's no way an official Starfleet operation would have a sanctioned cloaking device. Those are still illegal in the Federation, remember?
Does nobody find the fact that they refused to relocate (not kill mind you) these people in exchange for double lifespans and perfect health jarring?
all the critcisms about the "needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few" are based on the idea that the rings around the planet are the ONLY possible source of this beneficial radiation. the crew starts to feel the effects of the radiation as soon as they enter the Briar Patch. Like Picard says there is radiation ALL over the Briar Patch, and the former plot point implies there's another way to harness the radiation without destroying the Ba'ku planet or it's rings. Dougherty just didn't want to take the time to find it.
Maybe because the settlement was a couple hundred and it was an entire planet in question? People should have been asking much earlier, "Why can't you just do what you will on the other side?"
What? Could you make your point clearer?
The Space Amish are one town of a few hundred, maybe a few thousand. On a planet all to themselves. Why did nobody in the Federation say to the facemelts, "Why can't you just settle in the other hemisphere and leave them alone?" This is a widely recognized plothole (I've seen it on the internet in two independent places).
Uh, you may want to check your facts with the source material instead of "two independent places on the Internet." The Internet isn't always right, and this is not a widely recognized plot hole. It is, in fact, not a plot hole at all: in the movie's dialog, Picard brings up this idea with the Admiral, and the Admiral tells him that the Son'a are too far gone, and some of them would die before the planet's natural effects begin to heal them if they just made a separate colony on the other side of the planet. The Phlebotinum is said, again, in plain dialog, to be an all-or-nothing deal. It will irrevocably destroy the planet as part of its working process, no matter what. And, you know, Ru'afo hates the Ba'ku and wants to kill them all.
Ru'afo's motives are why the whole thing happens in the first place. Not even getting into how likely it is he would share, by the Son'a's own (quick) admission, they don't actually know how to actualize the radiation as a medical application, they have to hope they can figure it out after killing the planet.
I was asking why they can't settle on another planet...
Because they don't have the right. Whether it's an acceptable thing to do by current standards is debatable. By 24th century Federation standards, it's abominable. The Prime Directive is supposed to be the Federation's guiding principle. Failing to live up to it is one thing: they're human, they're fallible, they don't always live up to their ideals. But actively subverting it, perverting and twisting it to suit your own desires, is evil.
here's one idea: The Federation is interested in researching the briar patch, trying to find a way to safely harness the metaphasic radiation in a way that does not deprive the Ba'ku, so that everybody wins in the end. However, Admiral Daugherty took matters into his own hands, defied the federation's order of research only and jumped the gun.
You're assuming the Prime Directive is a good thing in the first place. This troper isn't so sure. If Captain Picard came upon two advanced but non-warp capable cultures and one side was attempting to ethnically cleanse the other, the "Prime Directive" would have him sit in orbit and watch as innocent men, women, and children are slaughtered. He would sit in his quarters reading Shakespeare while genocide is committed before his eyes, even though he has the power to stop it literally at his beck and call. Is that really any less evil?
Actually, this was brought up in the movie as well. The Admiral Dougherty lays it out. "The Son'a are /really/ bad off and some'll die if they settle on the planet and wait for this to happen old-school. And even if they weren't, the Briar Patch is way the hell out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by all that crap, the only way in or out is via sub-light speeds and even then it's a crapshoot as to whether or not your engine gets scrapped, and who in their right mind wants to live here? (whereupon Picard goes 'The Ba'ku, you moron.' ... ok, I'm paraphrasing that, but that's the tone and the look on his face.) Basically, the planet makes for a crappy home base for a people who are active spacefarers.
The Prime Directive doesn't apply anyway. The Prime Directive only applies to Pre-warp species, not post-warp species that have decided to give it up.
The Prime Directive DOES apply, as a matter of fact. The Federation is forbidden from meddling in the affairs of ANY civilisation, warp-capable or not. Of course this rule is rarely followed, but it IS the rule.
There are many things covered under the Prime Directive. Not interfering in pre-warp worlds is but one section. There's also not interfering with internal matters unless deliberately brought into the conflict by those involved. That applies here, the Son'a brought the Federation into the matter so the Prime Directive no longer applied.
Did anyone ever stop to think that this is apparently a Federation planet and these people apparently aren't Federation citizens? And they're pretty much hogging what is said to be one of the greatest medical advances ever? Seems to me like they should just have said "You can stay on your planet if you like but we're going to take OUR radiation you radiation hogging planet squatting hippies".
But where the hell does the Federation get off even saying this is "their planet" in the first place? They've never even been there before! They set some arbitrary boundary based on how far their starships could intrude explore before they kept getting shot at too much to go on, and they say everything in that boundary is "Federation space", and that's it: it's theirs, regardless of what any insignificant people who already happen to be living on the planet may think about the whole deal — after all, since being within Federation space doesn't automatically confer Federation membership, those insignificant people are not Federation citizens, and they are therefore at the mercy of whichever captain or admiral has the least interest in keeping up the Prime Directive. "Might makes right" is certainly a philosophy in its own right, but it's pretty fundamentally at odds with everything the Federation claims it's supposed to be about.
Not that Insurrection doesn't have one badly overwritted, tangled-up mess of an aesop, but the people living on the planet were colonists and, if I remember right, they'd only been on that planet for a hundred years or so. Maybe the Federation had already charted and claimed it back in the early days, and they just didn't make a fuss about the Space Amish who came along in the meantime until the planet became important. Maybe they'd been quietly debating what to do about that situation for years, and using the research teams to keep tabs on things in the meantime, until the magic radiation discovery turned it into a pressing issue.
They had been there for 300 years (not that it would matter: "How many does it take before it becomes wrong?"), which would predate the Federation.
The Federation had no idea that the Ba'ku used to have advanced technology, but gave it up. They thought they hadn't developed it yet. So, as far as they were concerned, the Ba'ku were simply an indigenous pre-warp culture, hence the whole holoship charade.
No, the Federation is well aware that the Ba'ku are colonists:
Admiral Dougherty: The Prime Directive doesn't apply. These people are not indigenous to this planet. They were never meant to be immortal. We'll simply be restoring them to their natural evolution.
And there's the "e-word" being misused yet again. A naturally-formed planet that naturally produces radiation that constantly heals organic beings is part of "natural evolution".
Despite how it is commonly used, there is nothing 'natural' about evolution that means that it has a guided path or being in the presence of a certain kind of radiation is natural. Looking at it in evolutionary terms there isn't anything inherently right or wrong with the plan.
Throughout Star Trek in each and every one of its permutations, our heroes have been depicted as displaying compassion toward their opponents, even after some rather heinous actions on the villain's part. (Example: Kirk offers to help Kruge from falling to his death even though Kruge had given the order to kill Kirk's son earlier.) However, no one blinks at the thought of the Enterprise crew leaving Ru'afo to die on the exploding Phlebotinum collector when they could have just as easily beamed him off as they did Picard. I can't think of another instance when an ST villain was disposed of in this manner.
If you had a choice between absolutely saving your captain, one of the greatest men you'd ever known and someone you loved like family, and risking his life so that you could also save the man trying to not only kill him but commit small-scale genocide, would you seriously take the risk of your captain dying just so you could feel better about yourself on having adhered to principle? It's stated several times that the beamout had an extremely thin margin of error, period, so it's as likely as not that whoever was working the transporter realized they could only get one beamout, so of course they took Picard.
Sojef tells Picard that the colonists left their Crapsack World and arrived at the Ba'ku planet three hundred and nine years ago. Yet according to Riker and Troi's research, the Son'a conquered and subjugated two other races "half a century ago." Given that the Son'a were actually Ba'ku kids kicked out of the colony "a century ago" after failing to take over,this doesn't make sense.
Nothing says that these events had to happen one right after the other. The Ba'ku could have kicked the Son'a out some time before leaving their Crapsack World. They didn't have to kick them out as they were leaving their home planet.
I don't understand the problem. They colonized the planet three hundred and nine years ago. They banished the Son'a two hundred years later, or one hundred years ago. Fifty years later the Son'a conquered those other races. Fifty years from that is the present. Why is that confusing?
A more interesting set of questions in this vein is if there are only 600 Ba'ku, how are the Son'a supposed to have conquered those two races? Do the Son'a massively outnumber the Ba'ku? And if that's the case, then why did they leave the planet in the first place instead of exercising majority rule?
They obviously had warp-level technology when they were kicked out, which means they likely had something equivalent to phasers/disrupters and photon torpedoes to work with. The races they conquered were probably pre-warp civilizations who could have been laid low by a particularly canny and ruthless individual using a Federation shuttlecraft, let alone a full-sized ship. If they picked their targets carefully, it wouldn't take a lot of time and effort.
It seems like the Bak'u are a race ofbitches in sheep's clothing. They want to maintain their hold over the planet and its planet of youth powers, but don't want to dirty their own hands defending it. So they manipulate Picard to stand against Starfleet and the Son'a. And the fact that they forced the Son'a to leave simply because they wanted to explore the galaxy again makes it more infuriating.
The extended universe tries to fix this; the Ba'ku don't care at all if anyone else settles the planet (the Son'a end up building their own, non-genocidal colony far away from the Bak'u settlement) or if Starfleet builds a presence in the system (a starbase in orbit,) they object to their way of life being disrupted. They don't care if anyone makes use of the magic radiation, they just want to be left alone. The Son'a were unwelcome because they didn't just advocate wanderlust, they advocated industrialization. In the movie, the Son'a and Admiral Dougherty adamantly refuse any option that allows the Bak'u to continue existing as they do, and the only (possible) way of using the radiation that doesn't involve moving to the planet would render it desolate. The fact that the Bak'u are completely unwilling to defend themselves when pushed against the wall, though, is pretty silly.
I consider it silly as well, but it's at least a little better than another example of Technical Pacifist. They seem to have not even particularly wanted Picard and the rest to fight back on their behalf, but simply accepted that it was going to happen at some point.
You kind of forgot the part where the Son'a did the whole violent coup thing. So, no, they weren't just kicked out because they wanted to explore the galaxy.
Geordi claims that Data's ethical subroutines were controlling him when he was running wild at the start of the movie. Even ignoring the question of how you can have him acting in a perfectly ethical manner beyond 'don't hurt people around you' how was firing on Picard's ship at all ethical? What exactly is his definition of 'ethical'?
Data didn't recognize people, only groups. The Federation and Son'a were threats, in which classification Picard's Federation shuttle would lie. Data could have destroyed it but didn't. He only tried to drive them off. He also made sure not to kill anyone.
Why the hell did the Son'a try to do the complicated plan of allying with the Federation? They already enslaved two races! They could take the colony by force! Alternatively, they were supplying drugs to the Dominion forces. Why not use the Jem'Hadar?
Because they'd have to launch a full-scale invasion. Crap area of space or not, the Federation is going to notice when warships start moving into its territory.
They were in the middle of a war. The Dominion was already sending ships through Federation territory, even holding on to Betazed. Yeah, that's weird. Troi seemed pretty chipper considering her planet was under Dominion occupation...but yeah. Send one ship with maybe 200 Jem'Hadar and problem solved.
The Son'a wanted to harness the power of the planet for themselves. Since the war was going so swimmingly for the Dominion, taking part in this harvesting operation would be unnecessary at best and a drain on their resources at worst. If they had to deal with the planet at all, the Dominion would most likely just carpet bomb it into oblivion, something the Son'a definitely wouldn't want. The Son'a came to the Federation because they'd be desperate enough to go along with the plan.
They wouldn't have to launch a full-scale invasion or use force at all. These people were pacifists who shunned technology, if the Son'a wanted the planet without killing any of the Bak'u, what was stopping them from building an internment camp in some remote corner of the planet and transporting the Son'a into it? Hell, that was more or less the exact plan that they were going to use to relocate the Bak'u anyways.
They don't need the full-scale invasion to deal with the Bak'u, they'd need a full-scale invasion to get to the Bak'u. The Bak'u planet is in Federation territory. In the "Son'a don't contact the Federation" scenario being presented, the Federation doesn't know the Son'a's motives, but they do know that they're allies of the Dominion, and if you're considered a hostile target and you're messing around deep in enemy space, you'd better have stealth, speed, or power so that the enemy forces don't blow you to hell because they think you're on a scouting mission or are otherwise considered a target of opportunity. A Son'a ship flying around Federation territory trying to do a secret mission is not going to be tolerated. A Son'a ship with a few Jem'hadar escorts are similarly not going to be tolerated. Sure, the Federation might be stretched thin, but they'll probably try to do something. Sure the Dominion was sending ships into Federation territory, but these were not lone vessels, and if they were, they were usually part of larger fleets that were too close to engage comfortably.
The Son'a exile doesn't make any sense. So the Bak'u children want to industrialise and reclaim their lost technology. Okay. So why didn't they just set up their own colony, ON THE SAME PLANET? Planets are — how should I put this? — fucking massive. And the Bak'u number six hundred. Why didn't they just say, "yep, we're exiled now, kthnx bye!" and set up a few hundred kilometres away? More to the point, how the fuck did the Bak'u manage to exile them? They refuse to pick up weapons! What are we supposed to think, a) the Son'a went into exile because of strongly-worded letters of disapproval, or b) the perfect Space Elves armed themselves and threatened to kill their children if they didn't run away and accept a slow death? Jesus Christ, the Bak'u are assholes. Picard should've just invoked the Prime Directive (remember, they're the same species, and the Prime Directive prevents him from interfering with internal matters of other races), and then lived it up thanks to the de-aging technology.
If memory serves the admiral suggests that the planet's effects would take too long to save them. So actually the movie gets even worse with the heroes refusing the option that keeps both sides alive.
The Son'a were dying — of old age — because they chose to go off conquering other planets instead of living in peace on the one that made them eternally young. After the logical consequence of their choice has caught up with them, they decided they'd rather have their cake and eat it, too. It would've been decidedly unheroic to steal other people's immortality to give it to these thugs who willingly gave up on their own.
The Son'a exile happens this way, if you pay attention to the movie: The rebellious kiddos say "We want to industrialize." The establishment says, "No, we don't want to." Rebels: "But we WANT to!" Establishment: "Go do it somewhere else then." Rebels: "NO WE'RE GONNA DO IT HERE!" Then the rebels try to take over by violence and force everyone to do what they want. They get their butts whooped and the establishment says "We don't care where you go but you can't stay here." 'Here' being the actual settlement itself. It was probably the Son'a's own decision to take some of the old technology and leave the planet... but even if it wasn't, they'd attempted a violent coup so exile is still a pretty lenient punishment.
The Ba'ku claim not to use machines in the movie. Ignoring the fact that we do see them using machines (primitive machines but still machines) in the movie where did their clothes come from? Those clothes look rather clean, they fit well and they don't have many apparent patches on them, none of which you would associate with clothes in a society that rejects machines to make and clean clothing.
In "Homeward", Picard had accused Worf's adoptive brother of saving an alien civilization by using a holodeck recreation of their planet only because he was married to one of them. In this film, he stands up for the Ba'ku against the Federation and Son'a, who are incidentally using the same tactic, primarily because he's enamored with Anij.
Where is the hypocrisy? He believes secretly abducting people and putting them on a holodeck for the purposes of relocation is bad. He was against this tactic on both instances even though one saved lives and the other was a forced relocation because the Federation wanted their planet.
Why can't the radiation make Picard's baldness go away? It causes Worf to have accelerated hair growth, and Geordi to not only regrow his eyes, but make them functional!
Patrick Stewart lost his hair when he was especially young, like 21 or so. I wanna say he was in his 50s when this movie was made, so maybe it was just too much of a gap.
Plus the movies retcon Picard into having gone bald when he was that young as well, so unless the radiation started reverting him to a teenager (which it specifically doesn't do), it wouldn't make him grow hair on his head again.
Why are people so absolutely insistent on casting the Ba'ku as the villains of this movie? Is it just because they're trying to shoehorn a metaphor for universal healthcare onto the movie or something? Repeatedly on the wiki I've seen people go off on huge long rants about how the Ba'ku are greedy heartless bastards selfishly keeping the planet to themselves who kicked the poor So'na out just because they didn't want to live in squalor. When you point out dialog from the movie that contradicts this (the Ba'ku say they're perfectly happy to let other people visit as long as their own way of life isn't disrupted, and the So'na attempted a violent coup against the colony and that's why they were kicked out), those get edited away and the original complaint stays. Or then you've got the people who try to use "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" as an excuse for doing it anyway, ignoring that in this case doing so goes against everything Star Trek has ever advocated because in this case it's actually saying "We think we need your stuff more, so give it to us or we'll take it." People seem really determined to ignore the actual facts laid out in this movie so they can stay angry at it, and that bothers me.
Yeah, I feel like the "The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few" excuse is just something people say to avoid looking for alternatives. Just because a few people have things that many need, does not excuse forcibly taking it if either alternatives are possible, or at the very least, the people making the claim are shady at best (seriously, if you're so concerned about the Dominion War, maybe you shouldn't take things at face value when dealing with known allies of the Dominion). Also, I honestly feel that this particular medicine isn't the game changer it's made out to be, since it can't restore people who have been vaporized in an orbital bombardment. I'm pretty sure those 900 billion that are estimated to die are primarily going to be from brutal suppression of uprisings and blowing up cities, the kind of thing life-saving treatments are going to be denied by the oppressive overlords.
For me, because it's almost the exact opposite morality from the one that the various series present us with the Maquis. In each case, you have a bunch of colonists who are forcibly relocated off the planet that they settled in order to serve the Greater Good. Yes, in the case of the Maquis we also have the fact that they've decided to react by becoming terrorists, but even before that, their relocation is still presented as a regrettable but necessary act and the right thing to do. But here, Picard says that some of history's greatest crimes were the forced relocations of people, while ignoring the fact that he himself has willingly participated in forced relocations before! Granted, he came up with an acceptable compromise in that situation, but if the settlers in Journey's End hadn't agreed to that, I have little doubt that Picard would have carried out the relocation anyways. It's the underlying inconsistency that forced relocation can be some horrendous evil in the movie, and an unfortunate but necessary act in another that's the issue.
This isn't a fair comparison. There's a difference between the Federation relocating a colony of (at first) their own citizens from what has become hostile territory, and the Federation reinterpreting its own laws to grant itself power over a planet that has been inhabited by a non-aligned people since long before the Federation even existed. And this (along with the above arguments about the questionable usefulness of the medicine) is what keeps me on side with Picard and the Ba'ku, because the Federation are setting a horrible precedent here, essentially giving them the right to take control of any populated planet in their territory so long as it's merely a colony and nothing else.