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Headscratchers / Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

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     Character Greeting 
  • When La'an and M'Benga greet each other, they both trace under their eye with their finger. Is this something from a human culture IRL? I've never seen it done before.
    • It doesn't seem to be from any real-life culture. Maybe it'll be explained later on.

     Problem with so-called Augments 
  • Am I Missing Something: one of the problems La'an Noonien Singh had growing up was that she was always associated with her ancestor Khan. And that she was an "Augment." Can someone explain something? McCoy mentioned in "Space Seed" that the Eugenics Wars was the result of "selective breeding," not artificially enhancing the individuals, like Julian Bashir. How did these two points get mixed? Since La'an is a few generations away from Khan, and the "selective breeding" program was ended, shouldn't she be closer to a "normal" human?
    • She is a normal human, at least as far as we can tell. She was bullied as a child because of her last name, because Kids Are Cruel and Khan's name is infamous enough that anyone who shares it likely suffered similarly.
    • That she is a normal human, like Khan was, I get. When did the "Augments" get equated with the genetic "supermen" and mistaken for those who were artificially enhanced?
    • Augments being selective breeding has been retconned, I think; now, Khan and his friends were also artificially enhanced like Julian, which led to the banning of doing exactly that. OK.
    • It's alternately referred to as eugenics and genetic engineering even in TOS, so the distinction appears to be largely academic. Whether you're recombining DNA or selectively breeding, you're futzing with genetics in a way that is prohibited by law in the Federation.

     La'an's Name 
  • La'an's name is "La'an Noonien-Singh", and was once actually called just "La'an Noonien", as a sign she was related to Khan Noonien Singh. But unless Khan Noonien Singh had two last names and no first name, "Noonien" would've been a first name (since Khan is a title), so why would La'an end up with it? And why wouldn't they change it, if it's so clearly linking them to Khan? Why does it clearly link them to Khan, considering that "Singh" isn't that rare?
    • "Khan" isn't just a title, it's also a fairly common personal and family name.
    • One wonders why her family would even *keep* the name.
      • In "Space Seed" itself, Spock was surprised that Kirk and the others had positive comments to say about Khan, which indicates there was some level of grudging admiration for him. Combine that with examples from real life of people admiring actual dictators, and it's entirely possible that some of her ancestors were proud of being connected to him, and eventually some of his descendants just kept the name.
      • Genghis Khan and Vlad the Impaler are both national heroes in their respective home countries and Napoleon has monuments all over Europe and is very well regarded among French. Is indeed not so hard to picture people who would rescue Khan's figure in the future.
    • Regarding the two last names, it's not unheard of for people with compound last names to go by either their full last name or an abbreviated form depending on the circumstances.
    • I don't know if is the case of India, but in many Eastern cultures you tend to use two last names (China for example), is very common in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world and it has recently being popularized in the US specially because a lot of people considered the practice of the "maiden name" (a woman taken the husband's last name) to be sexist. Considering that Star Trek happens in the future and a very progressive one is not that difficult for Khan to have two last names. Aside from that the name "Singh" (meaning lion) is mandatory for Sikhs which caused some problems in some countries with large Sikh migration thus in some cases was mandate for Sikhs to have two last names to help differentiate them. In general terms, is not a stretch by any situation that indeed Khan had two last names.

     Vulcan Mind Meld 
  • Has anyone noticed that Spock seems a little too free on using the Vulcan Mind Meld? When it was first introduced in "Dagger of the Mind", Spock said that it was an intensely personal experience and that they (Vulcans) didn't speak of it often with "off-worlders." Now, it seems that they throw it in as a plot device. Anyone else think this is so?
    • Not in this instance, considering that the crew were racing against the clock, were outgunned, and the entire fate of Enterprise and her crew were in jeopardy. And even then, Spock looked distinctly uncomfortable with doing the Mind Meld with La'an, and it seemed that he wanted to give her and himself an out. Additionally, when La'an is getting hints of his internal sorrow and turmoil over Burnham's fate, he abruptly terminates the connection, and doesn't offer any explanation for what La'an experienced.
    • It's a problem, but it's by no means a new problem. Trek writers have been using mind melds as an almost mundane plot device as far back as the second season of TOS. And I only say "the second season" because it's not entirely clear what he did to that random guard during the jailbreak in "A Taste of Armageddon;" but it certainly looked like some kind of mind meld.

     Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach 
  • What do you mean you can't find anti-grav technology? If you can build star ships with their own gravity, then surely either the Majalans or the Federation itself can build a strong enough Anti-grav generators to float as much land as they need?.
    • It seems fairly reasonable to say that keeping huge continents floating far above the surface of a planet is orders of magnitude more difficult than generating a bit of gravity in a relatively small ship. And for all that Alora claims they looked for other options and feel bad that they couldn't find one, they seem perfectly content to keep their system going as it is. We know for a fact that they have the capability to colonize other planets, there's really nothing stopping them from saying "no more child sacrifices" and just migrating off Majalis.
    • There's clearly a cultural and religious aspect keeping them there.
    • They probably wouldn't accept Federation help anyway. "We tried to fix it, we failed, therefore nobody can fix it." I mean, the Elder was one of the "good ones" and even he sneered at the idea of Starfleet technology being useful compared to their own.
    • They also have distinctly primitive starship technology, the one colony is barely functional and their method of searching for a fix apparently does not include asking for help. Like, they're in contact with a civilization that contains some of the best engineers in the galaxy and if they were upfront with "our ancestors set up this awful system, please help us fix it", the Federation would almost certainly have gladly gotten involved. They want to see themselves as superior, but all they have for themselves is their medical tech and a machine they don't understand that obviously doesn't work the same way as normal antigrav.

     Dr. M’Benga’s book. 
  • Is the story Dr. M’Benga reads to his daughter a preexisting story, or was it made for this show?
    • It was made for the show. In-universe, the book was written by Benny Russell from Deep Space Nine.

     Gorn birth 
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness McCoy mentions that he helped a pregnant Gorn to give birth once to octuplets which makes sense as creatures with complex brains as sapient beings will would unlikely by oviparous and would require a womb, but in SNW Gorn are shown to reproduce not by normal pregnancy but by infect others Xenomorph style so... which one was it?
    • Could be a difference in the timelines, or that they CAN reproduce via more normal means, but the "infecting" is preferable, as it ensures both food and possibly genetic diversity
    • There's several possible options, one theory is the Gorn shown in TOS and mentioned by McCoy in Into Darkness are different types of the same species, one of which is a parasitoid and the other isn't, another is that McCoy is severely underplaying to Carol Marcus the absolute horrific details of Gorn birth and that "performing a C-section" was more having to rip creatures out of a human host or the third option, which is that he's lying through his teeth to impress a pretty woman because no one knows anything about the Gorn anyway so he can make anything up to seem cool.
    • Is is possible that Bones needing to preform a C-section might indicate that the Gorn in question wasn't giving birth naturally? Or, rather, that the parent themself was acting as the host, and a Cesarean delivery prevents the offspring from eating the parent alive during the birthing process?

     Blatantly evil Gorn 
  • Since when have the Gorn been beings of pure evil? They were initially antagonists because of a misunderstanding. Now they utterly monstrous savages.
    • Yeah, that's a pretty blatant Cerebus Retcon, which does not fit with their characterization in "Arena." Though visiting the pages for TOS will show that there's some confusion about how the Gorn could be really sympathetic when it was made clear they ignored surrender messages when they apparently understand human communication well enough to fake a deliberate lure for Enterprise, it's long been assumed that the Gorn are at worst Blue-and-Orange Morality leading to violent conflict, not that they are, as the writer who brought them into SNW claims, "pure evil."

     Pike's rank in alternate timeline 
In "A Quality of Mercy", Pike is shown as the captain of the Enterprise in the alternate timeline shown by Future Pike, who is wearing an admiral's uniform. In the original timeline (and in TOS, Discovery, and SNW), Pike was a Fleet Captain and no longer captain of the Enterprise. However, in the alternate timeline, Spock says that the training accident happened six months ago, with no casualties. Does this mean that Pike sending the letters to the cadets made him less likely to take risks, and thus leave the captaincy of the Enterprise, only to do so after Spock died?
  • The likelihood is that, if Starfleet is losing so badly, they need someone who was there at the beginning of the war to try and lead the charge against the Romulans. Kirk never would have taken it, but Pike, feeling responsible for the whole thing, would have done so in case he goofed up again. The man does have a very strong guilt complex.