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Star Trek [+] Star Trek Discovery (Fan) Thread

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I was prepared to be disappointed by the explanation for the Burn, but I kinda... wasn't. In a season whose theme is trauma and its aftermath, shown at both the personal and civilizational level, the Burn being the product of a single child's pain worked for me.

Fair. I don't think they set that analogy up quite well enough, if that's how we are to take it.

The production design for the episode helped a lot.

I agree. In general, the production design and quality have been excellent. And, given the proposition, even the writing is doing fine. I'm just not a fan of the base idea. If I stuff that aside, though, the show was good.

And I'm also looking forward to see what kind of ethical dilemma is in store next week -- they really should have named the planet Omelas IV or something...

Given that the Kelpian homeworld was under attack by The Chain, you mean?
 

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Mallus

Hero
Fair. I don't think they set that analogy up quite well enough, if that's how we are to take it.
I don't think it was meant as an analogy, exactly, just another expression of the season's central theme.
I'm just not a fan of the base idea. If I stuff that aside, though, the show was good.
I'm not sure I think it was a good idea so much as it surprised me and I had apparently done an excellent job lowering my expectations.
Given that the Kelpian homeworld was under attack by The Chain, you mean?
No, I was thinking more of a 'needs of the many/needs of the one' situation with Su'Kal. His well-being pitted against the Federation's need for a planetful of dilithium (this is why I alluded to LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas").

Which may not be what the writers are going for at all.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No, I was thinking more of a 'needs of the many/needs of the one' situation with Su'Kal. His well-being pitted against the Federation's need for a planetful of dilithium ...

Becomes even more interesting if the Kelpian homeworld gets it butt handed to it by the Emerald Chain.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I assume (and hope) they'll use time travel and undo the Burn. Otherwise the bright future of Star Trek is not a bright future. The optimistic view of Roddenberry's vision would be lost. I can't imagine they are not going to use the Guardian of Forever to undo the Burn though.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I assume (and hope) they'll use time travel and undo the Burn.

Ugly precedent, that. Don't like how things turned out? Just hit the reset button!

"All time travel technology is banned!"
"Yeah, yeah, look, if you want it bad enough, you can manage it, and make the universe into what you want!'
"You want another Time War? Because this is how you get a Time War."
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ugly precedent, that. Don't like how things turned out? Just hit the reset button!

"All time travel technology is banned!"
"Yeah, yeah, look, if you want it bad enough, you can manage it, and make the universe into what you want!'
"You want another Time War? Because this is how you get a Time War."
I guess we’re hoping for different things.
 

MarkB

Legend
I assume (and hope) they'll use time travel and undo the Burn. Otherwise the bright future of Star Trek is not a bright future. The optimistic view of Roddenberry's vision would be lost. I can't imagine they are not going to use the Guardian of Forever to undo the Burn though.
I really hope they don't do that, and I don't see things pointing that way. The Burn wasn't caused by temporal intervention, so the Guardian won't allow anyone to use it to go back and undo events. The fact that they specifically waited until after they'd sent Georgiou back to the past before progressing the Burn storyline seems deliberate, ensuring that she doesn't carry the knowledge that would be required to undo it.

Disasters happen, sometimes on a massive scale, and we don't get to just go back and press the reset button. The Federation had 900 years of shining success, and that's longer than most civilisations get. In this of all years, surely the story to be told should be how to build a better future from the present in which we find ourselves, rather than trying to wipe it away as though it never happened.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I really hope they don't do that, and I don't see things pointing that way. The Burn wasn't caused by temporal intervention, so the Guardian won't allow anyone to use it to go back and undo events. The fact that they specifically waited until after they'd sent Georgiou back to the past before progressing the Burn storyline seems deliberate, ensuring that she doesn't carry the knowledge that would be required to undo it.

Disasters happen, sometimes on a massive scale, and we don't get to just go back and press the reset button. The Federation had 900 years of shining success, and that's longer than most civilisations get. In this of all years, surely the story to be told should be how to build a better future from the present in which we find ourselves, rather than trying to wipe it away as though it never happened.
I hope not. I want our future depicted in Trek to be Roddenberry’s utopia. That’s what attracts me to the franchise — the optimism and that vision of the future.

I get that other people want other things from Star Trek, but that’s a big linchpin for me. That particular vision of the future. (Which is partly why I always felt that jumping ahead 1000 years was a mistake, but I may be in minority there).
 

MarkB

Legend
I hope not. I want our future depicted in Trek to be Roddenberry’s utopia. That’s what attracts me to the franchise — the optimism and that vision of the future.

I get that other people want other things from Star Trek, but that’s a big linchpin for me. That particular vision of the future. (Which is partly why I always felt that jumping ahead 1000 years was a mistake, but I may be in minority there).
Well, I really hope you get to see that. But I hope you see it in the Christopher Pike series rather than in Discovery, because this show is definitely more about the journey than that destination.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I guess we’re hoping for different things.

No. You just don't seem to want think of a way to that without time travel.

I want a Star Trek that doesn't write itself into corners that are repeatedly resolved by undoing the plot they already wrote. The fact of the matter is that a Star Trek that is based on a limited natural resource will always fall short of a perpetual utopia. That word LIMITED kills that dream, you know.

Rather than hope they write a time-travel way to undo what has happened (which still leaves them with a galaxy running low on dilithium, remember), how about you hope they find a way to utopia via something other than dilithium? I dunno... how about... trilithium? Or quadrotriticalithium? Or something other than undoing the past rather than working in the present.

They have, right on hand, a planet of weird minerals, and a character that interacts with those minerals. Have him create or reveal something that can be the basis for drive systems. Poof, The Burn is resolved without time travel, and the galaxy can move forward.
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
I hope not. I want our future depicted in Trek to be Roddenberry’s utopia. That’s what attracts me to the franchise — the optimism and that vision of the future.

I get that other people want other things from Star Trek, but that’s a big linchpin for me. That particular vision of the future. (Which is partly why I always felt that jumping ahead 1000 years was a mistake, but I may be in minority there).
If, after Season 3, Discovery continues in the distant future . . . the story can be about rebuilding utopia. I think stories set in utopia's are boring, but stories about folks trying to build or rebuild utopias, that could be interesting.

In every Trek series, the Federation is presented as a near-utopia, but with severe problems lying just beneath the surface. The fall of the Federation in Discovery is in part due to "The Burn", but also due to the Federation's arrogance we've seen in several of the earlier Trek series. A redemption arc for the Federation sounds good to me, a very hopeful storyline.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
In regards to the "hopeful future": I think it's okay if a more or less "natural catastrophe" (especially instead of deliberate sabotage or warfare) wrecks the Federation is not removing the concept of a hopeful future.

Because we get to see how these people deal with the catastrophe and slowly pick up the pieces to build it back up. It means that even when facing adversity beyond anyone's control, the ideals of the Federation carry weight and will continue to inspire in the future. The Federation is something you can slow down for a while, but you can't get rid of it, because people are always pushing towards something good.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Because we get to see how these people deal with the catastrophe and slowly pick up the pieces to build it back up. It means that even when facing adversity beyond anyone's control, the ideals of the Federation carry weight and will continue to inspire in the future.

Which should ring pretty solidly with people who have spent a year with a pandemic tearing down their lives. A rebuilding story seems pretty apt and timely.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
No. You just don't seem to want think of a way to that without time travel.

I want a Star Trek that doesn't write itself into corners that are repeatedly resolved by undoing the plot they already wrote. The fact of the matter is that a Star Trek that is based on a limited natural resource will always fall short of a perpetual utopia. That word LIMITED kills that dream, you know.

Rather than hope they write a time-travel way to undo what has happened (which still leaves them with a galaxy running low on dilithium, remember), how about you hope they find a way to utopia via something other than dilithium? I dunno... how about... trilithium? Or quadrotriticalithium? Or something other than undoing the past rather than working in the present.

They have, right on hand, a planet of weird minerals, and a character that interacts with those minerals. Have him create or reveal something that can be the basis for drive systems. Poof, The Burn is resolved without time travel, and the galaxy can move forward.
Like I said, we want different things. That’s perfectly OK.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
This is probably a stupid question, but somehow I managed to miss it!

So the Federation does still have FTL travel, right? Is that due to a depleted store of dilithium, or something else? I know dilithium is now sought after and valuable; is it just that FTL travel is now very expensive and done sparingly?
 

MarkB

Legend
This is probably a stupid question, but somehow I managed to miss it!

So the Federation does still have FTL travel, right? Is that due to a depleted store of dilithium, or something else? I know dilithium is now sought after and valuable; is it just that FTL travel is now very expensive and done sparingly?
Yes. As dilithium resources dried up the Federation experimented with finding alternative substitutes - different ways of powering warp drives, or other means of FTL travel - but none of them worked reliably. They're currently limited to the small quantities of dilithium they still have access to, plus Discovery's spore drive.

Their other limitations are, of course, in number of ships and personnel. They would have lost most of their fleet in the Burn along with everyone serving aboard those vessels, and limitations to travel capabilities will have severely reduced their capacity to replenish either.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yah. As MarkB said - they lost "countless ships and millions of lives" in the Burn. Anything with a warp core active at the time went boom when the matter/antimatter streams in the core collided without dilithium mediating the reaction.

They remark that, spore drive aside, the dilithium on board the Discovery, likely enough to power the ship at Kirk-time levels of use for years, is a massive treasure itself.

As a result of the loss, the Federation went from about 350 member worlds at its peak down to 38 in what we see in the show.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yah. As MarkB said - they lost "countless ships and millions of lives" in the Burn. Anything with a warp core active at the time went boom when the matter/antimatter streams in the core collided without dilithium mediating the reaction.

They remark that, spore drive aside, the dilithium on board the Discovery, likely enough to power the ship at Kirk-time levels of use for years, is a massive treasure itself.

As a result of the loss, the Federation went from about 350 member worlds at its peak down to 38 in what we see in the show.

I don't think the 38 world's will matter to much. They'll share the spore drive tech and save the federation.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't think the 38 world's will matter to much. They'll share the spore drive tech and save the federation.

It is not clear they can. Stamets, to date, is the only person capable of piloting the thing. Without another tardigrade, they may not be able to modify anyone else to become a spore-drive pilot.
 

MarkB

Legend
It is not clear they can. Stamets, to date, is the only person capable of piloting the thing. Without another tardigrade, they may not be able to modify anyone else to become a spore-drive pilot.
Yeah, that's a plot thread that seems to have fallen by the wayside. At the start of the season they were working on a more universal interface, but even after the ship's upgrades and the new non-invasive interface for Stamets, finding a way for someone else to pilot the drive seems to have either stalled or been forgotten, though I expect they'll pick up this plot thread before the end of the season.

There's also some question as to whether the drive is viable en masse at all. Can the mycelial network sustain constant usage by thousands of starships?
 

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