Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 151 to 174 of 174 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2017-10-19

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TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: To all Maquis ships -- call off your attack or we will be forced to engage you.

WORF: No response.

PICARD: You are Federation citizens. Your actions are in violation of our treaty with the Cardassians. Call off your attack.

...

PICARD: Are we in firing range?

WORF: Not yet, sir.

PICARD: Arm phasers and photon torpedoes and stand by.

RIKER: I never thought we'd be firing on our own people to protect a Cardassian ship.

Culture: Picard still addresses the Maquis as "Federation citizens" even though he had previously told them they would no longer be Federation citizens. Furthermore, this attack is taking place in the Demilitarized Zone between the Federation and the Cardassian Empire, so it's not in Federation space.

Think about it: Captain Picard is taking a Federation warship into the DMZ in search of independent people who are conducting a private war that is none of his business. He intends to arrest them for violating Federation treaties which they are not beholden to, and he is even willing to fire upon them in order to achieve this goal!

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: Starfleet does not condone the Maquis' actions in the Demilitarized Zone. Any more than your government condones paramilitary actions by Cardassian civilians.

GUL EVEK: We have taken measures to deal with our colonists who have armed themselves.

PICARD: Considering that they destroyed a Juhryan freighter less than a week ago, I'd say your efforts have met with limited success.

Culture: the tables have turned. Where once Kirk was the sabre-rattling soldier trying to protect the interests of the Federation from the stupidity of bureaucrats and naive diplomats, now Picard is the bureaucrat and naive diplomat who tries to stand in the way of the sabre-rattlers who would arm the Maquis.

This would be like an American soldier trying to stop the United States from arming the Afghan freedom fighters when they were fighting against Soviet invaders. Mind you, it would have been nice if the US had also supported the Taliban government's opposition afterwards in order to oppose Pakistan's meddling, but the politicians obviously didn't care about anything but their war against communism.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

NECHAYEV: Evek manages to make the Cardassians sound like helpless sheep being preyed on by Federation wolves. The truth is, we caught the Cardassian government supplying its colonies in the Demilitarized Zone with weapons.

PICARD: Gul Evek assures me that practice has stopped.

NECHAYEV: Ah. How comforting.

...

NECHAYEV: ... the Maquis are moving beyond self-defense. Their ranks are growing... they've acquired ships, weapons... they seem to be preparing for a more aggressive military posture. We have to put a stop to them, before the entire Demilitarized Zone ignites.

Culture: even after discovering Cardassian interference in the DMZ, Captain Picard and Admiral Nechayev both agree to crack down on their own side in this little skirmish, rather than levelling the playing field by playing tit for tat with the Cardies.

There is only one conceivable explanation for such spineless behaviour, and that's fear. They must be so afraid of a possible escalation with Cardassia that they'll do anything to prevent it. They'll even attack and imprison their own people. Although individual Federation ships appear to outclass Cardassian warships, the Cardassians must have a military advantage of some sort. Perhaps their society is so heavily militarized that they have a much larger military than the Federation, thus compensating for inferior starships.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

MACIAS: I lived on Juhraya... the colony suddenly found itself in Cardassian territory when the treaty was signed. Some of us chose to stay and take our chances. One night I was dragged from my bed and beaten. The authorities clucked their tongues and agreed it was an unfortunate incident... and did nothing.

RO: I'm not surprised. The Cardassians intend to make life so unpleasant for Federation citizens that they'll leave.

Culture: Ro Laren agrees with Picard that these people are still "Federation citizens". They're just a special class of citizens, who are bound by Federation edict but not entitled to Federation aid.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

KALITA: How do you plan to get out of the Demilitarized Zone without being searched at one of the checkpoints?

RO: We're going to cross the border here.

KALITA: There are sensor buoys all along the border. If we cross anywhere other than a checkpoint, Starfleet will send a ship to investigate.

RO: With the right security codes, we can disable the proximity detectors on the buoys.

KALITA: Starfleet changes those codes all the time.

RO: I know the encryption algorithims. If I can access the bouy's protocol subsystem I should be able to figure out the codes.

Culture: the security "backdoor" exploited by Ro Laren is the sort of thing that's designed for one reason, and one reason alone: to allow the authorities or the software developers (who are one and the same in this case) to spy on supposedly private communications at will. No wonder techies in Star Trek can always break through encryption in a matter of minutes or hours.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: We've come up with a plan that has the potential to seriously curtail the Maquis. We want to give them a target so threatening -- that they'd be willing to commit as many people and ships as possible to destroy it.

...

RO: And when the Maquis attack it, Starfleet will be waiting for them.

PICARD: We'll station our ships in the Hugora Nebula to avoid detection.

Culture: Captain Picard is so eager to arrest the Maquis that he's willing to lay a trap for them.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 177: "All Good Things"

GEORDI: There is no Neutral Zone, remember?

PICARD: Right... right. Klingons... in this time period, the Klingons have taken over the Romulan Empire...

GEORDI: And the relations between us and the Klingons aren't real cozy right now.

Culture: the Klingons appear to be the most powerful military organization in the Alpha Quadrant, despite Federation and Romulan blustering to the contrary. In one alternate timeline they defeated the Federation, and in this alternate timeline they were able to conquer the Romulan Empire.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

QUARK: I intend to. This is outrageous... my apologies friends... a minor misunderstanding that will be rectified shortly...

(People start to leave... Quark sees the Cardassians with all the gold before them... to one of his female croupiers...)

QUARK: Give them something to put their winnings in...

(The croupier acknowledges, moves a short distance away, reaches under a table and pulls out a knapsack... As the Cardassians begin to load their gold into the knapsack, we may catch a glance passed between Quark and a deadpanned Kira and O'Brien...)

Culture: Gold is apparently still a valuable substance in the TNG era, despite the widespread belief among Trekkies that they can just replicate it cheaply and at will.

This is but the first of many references to precious metals and gemstones in DS9 which will resoundingly disprove the aforementioned idea.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: (thoughtful) Major, there's a Ferengi legal tradition... it's called Plea Bargaining.

Culture: Interesting. Plea bargaining is a Ferengi legal tradition? This implies by omission that it is no longer in use in the Federation.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: Let's get the civilians to the escape pods, Lieutenant.

Culture: This scene takes place after Sisko's ship has already been critically damaged by a Borg attack, and they still have to offload civilians such as his wife and his son.

In other words, they went into battle against a known superior foe with all of their civilians aboard, even children. What does it say about their society that such a thing could happen? Why couldn't they find time to evacuate them before the battle, when they were able to do so in mere minutes during the battle?

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

BASHIR: I can't believe the Cardassians would ever attack a Federation outpost...

O'BRIEN: Doctor, you ever studied your military history of the border wars? Ever heard of the Setlik Three massacre?

KIRA: I assume, Mister O'Brien you would agree that surrender is not a preferable option...

O'BRIEN: You know what they do to their prisoners, sir...

Culture: I find it incredible to imagine that a medical doctor in the Federation (who should obviously be fairly well-educated) would be unaware of a large civilian massacre which was committed against his own nation-state during his own lifetime. This does not speak well of the Federation's education system.

It also does not speak well of their military procedures, since one would think that a Starfleet officer being sent to a border post would have received some briefing on the political situation and the behaviour of their enemies in the region.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 3: "A Man Alone"

KEIKO: It's not like a starship, Miles... the kind of freedom that children have on the Enterprise just won't work on a space station... there are too many ways to get into serious trouble here ... What this place needs is a school.

Culture: The kind of freedom that children have on the Enterprise cannot be permitted in a civilian setting? Words fail me.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 3: "A Man Alone"

ROM: Little lady, little lady... what do you know of Ferengi education?

KEIKO: I understand you employ a work-study approach with apprenticeships in a wide range of economic and business fields...

ROM (laughs): We throw them into the cutthroat competition of Ferengi commerce... and anyone who survives, graduates. Are you prepared to teach that to my son?

Culture: A fine example of DS9's relentless attempt to turn the various principal species into one-dimensional caricatures. How could a technological society possibly function in this manner, with formal education completely eradicated and replaced with "learn as you go" techniques? Is this how Star Trek's writers perceive the concept of capitalism? It's almost as recklessly cretinous as a society composed entirely of warriors.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 4: "Past Prologue"

GUL DANAR: My "request" for this man is made in connection with an extremely sensitive issue. I can only tell you that we are certain he plans to commit more acts of terrorism...

SISKO: He tells me that he has renounced the Kohn-Ma... and wants to help to rebuild Bajor...

GUL DANAR: He committed brutal acts of destruction and murder and he must pay for those crimes...

Sisko stands... uncomfortable with his role in this... thoughtfully paces...

SISKO: I appreciate the Cardassian position... but I know if a Bajoran freedom-fighter is turned over to the Cardassians by the Federation... that would be a mistake that would undermine everything I'm trying to accomplish here. So, with apologies, I'm going to grant him asylum for the time being. Eventually, he'll want to relocate to Bajor and if you want to pursue the matter with the provisional government that's your business.

Danar looks at him with stiff rage, wheels around; storms out.

Culture: It is virtually impossible to look at an exchange like this in the year 2004 and wonder if it would have been made differently or not at all today, in the current political climate of undeclared yet very real war between religious fanatics (who call themselves "freedom fighters") and secular western society (which calls them "terrorists").

Would Sisko be so eager to classify a man whose tactics admittedly involved the murder of innocents (even his own countrymen if their politics offended him) as a "freedom fighter" if this episode were written in 2004? I suppose we'll never know.

Of course, the episode resolves the problem neatly by conveniently having the man resume his terrorist ways. But what if he had genuinely had a change of heart? Would viewers in 2004 accept that he should escape any and all retribution for his crimes?

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 20: "In the Hands of the Prophets"

KEIKO: Commander Sisko encountered the entities who created the wormhole when he...

WINN: Excuse me, by the "entities," do you not mean "the prophets"... ?

KEIKO: Yes... on Bajor... the entities are worshipped as prophets. Our studies of the wormhole have shown that it was formed by unique particles we call verterons that are apparently self-sustaining... this begins to explain how a ship at impulse can safely pass through...

WINN: Ships are safely guided through the passage by the hands of the prophets.

KEIKO: In a manner of speaking...

WINN: Not apparently your manner of speaking...

KEIKO: Perhaps we should discuss this after...

WINN: Do you believe the celestial temple of the prophets exists within the passage... ?

KEIKO: I respect that the Bajoran people believe it does.

WINN: But that's not what you teach.

KEIKO: No, I don't teach Bajoran spiritual beliefs. That's your job. Mine is to open the children's minds... to history... to literature... to mathematics... to science...

WINN: You are opening the children's minds... to blasphemy.

Culture: This episode is an oft-cited proof of the secular nature of Star Trek and the Federation. The Federation does indeed appear to be secular, as one would expect of an advanced society.

However, there is a certain schizophrenia inherent in promoting a secular worldview in the context of a story arc where the "gods" of a religious society have been shown to actually exist, and in fact will eventually become so important that the whole DS9 story arc hinges on their actions, the DS9 crewmembers start referring to them as the "Prophets", etc.

Star Trek's stand on religion was quite clearly negative during the time when Gene Roddenberry had the most influence on the show (early TNG) and became more positive over time until the utterly abominable Voyager episode "Sacred Ground", where faith is pitted directly against science and (naturally) wins. No doubt this kind of story sells well to the sort of person who believes in such irrational foolishness as 6-day creationism.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 20: "In the Hands of the Prophets"

KIRA: It was all to get him here, wasn't it. The school, the protests... the bombing. You knew that would bring him out of the monastery. You did it all to kill him, to stop him from becoming Kai.

Culture: As expected, the writers take the easy way out. After establishing a potentially huge cultural conflict between the Bajoran religious fanatics and the Federation secularists, they just wave it away by having the whole conflict turn out to be an assassination plot by Kai Winn. Mysteriously, this completely mollifies all of the Bajoran religious complaints that she has been whipping up into a frenzy, and the issue is promptly forgotten, never to come up again. To say this is unrealistic would be an understatement: every leading creationist in America could be revealed as a neo-Nazi and it wouldn't dampen the ardour of creationists by one iota.

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

P.66 (flashback): Kathryn had wanted to attend the Institute. Each state had such a school geared for a pre-Starfleet Academy curriculum, and created to channel the best and the brightest right to San Francisco ... Kathryn would have been much happier at the Institute. She wouldn't have had to take such pointless, traditional studies as piano, ballet, and cooking. Cooking, for heaven's sake! Who would ever need to know how to cook? She could have concentrated on mathematics instead.

Culture: We learn that "the best and the brightest" of Earth society are sent to Starfleet Academy. This is a bit odd; while I have the utmost respect for those in the military, I don't think that even they would honestly describe themselves as "the best and the brightest" of all society. As demanding as military command (for example) may be, I suspect the average military commander would agree that someone like a theoretical physicist or neurosurgeon is probably more deserving of such a title.

But of course, I am projecting our society's values and structure onto the Federation, which I should not do in light of one major distinction between the real world and the world of Star Trek: in the Federation, the theoretical physicist and the neurosurgeon are probably both in Starfleet, and it even appears that Starfleet is the best (or perhaps only) way to achieve an elite status in any scientific or engineering profession.

It is also noteworthy that there appears to be a sharp contrast between the (well-established) sexual egalitarianism of Starfleet and the rest of Earth society, where it almost seems as if regressive 1950s-style sex-role stereotyping is the norm. The way this passage is written, it almost seems as if any woman who wants to escape a Stepford Wives existence should go to Starfleet.

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

P.146 (flashback): "I know Cheb. He has a silver tongue. If he'd lived four hundred years ago, he would've been a salesman."

Kathryn smiled. They'd studied about salesmen in school, about the time in Earth's history when people actually tried to talk people into acquiring things they didn't need, just to make money. It sounded so bizarre that she wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't studied the era and seen examples of the persuasive techniques such people used.

...

"When do you go back to school?" Hobbes, she knew, was returning to Indiana University, one of the most prestigious non-Starfleet institutions in the country and one of the hardest to get into.

"In about a week. I'm finishing up an honors thesis I've been working on this summer."

"In what subject?" Kathryn realized that she'd known Hobbes since they were children, but had almost no idea of his interests, his studies, his hobbies. Did he still play tennis?

"Philosophy. That's my major field." He chuckled. "Probably not too thrilling to someone on the science track at Starfleet Academy."

"I've always enjoyed philosophy."

Culture: Again, we are reminded of the following facts about Federation society:
  1. For the umpteenth time, it is not capitalist. The total absence (indeed, the shock and confusion produced by the very concept) of salesmen is yet another nail in the coffin of Trekkie apologists who would deny that Earth has gone communist. Capitalism inherently produces people who have a powerful incentive to convince you to purchase their wares, regardless of whether you actually need them. In fact, this disconnection between sales and "need" was (surprise!) one of Karl Marx's key (deeply flawed) arguments against capitalism.
  2. Yet again, we are reminded that Starfleet sits atop the hierarchy of all Federation society. Universities are obviously segregated into Starfleet and "non-Starfleet", and the best a non-Starfleet university can do is reach the top of a lower class.
  3. OK, we get it: the people who write Star Trek think that every smart person in the world studies philosophy. I'm sick of hearing them drill this message home over and over and over and over and over and over and over ...

Note: thanks to Darth Servo for pointing out a typo.

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

p.151 (flashback): Admiral Paris was no longer on the active faculty of the Academy, having been transferred to Starfleet Command; it was bold of her even to approach him with her request. And if he did agree to be her advisor for her junior honors thesis, she would have to work twice as hard as anyone else, for Paris was that demanding.

P.162 (flashback): William Riker smiled, and if he was handsome before, he was gorgeous now. Just like Cheb.

...

"I hear you landed the Scorcher for your junior thesis."

"Is that what he's called? I'd never heard that."

"He leaves only scorched earth in his wake. No prisoners."

"He's demanding, but I thought he was awfully nice. Very devoted to his family. Are you doing a junior thesis?"

"I'm focusing on exopaleontology. Someday I want my own ship, and I think a broad educational base with an emphasis on the evolution of galactic cultures is the best background I can have."

Culture: An Admiral at Starfleet Command is allowed to divert time to mentor cadets at the Academy? Interesting.

It's also noteworthy that Riker believes the best possible background for starship command is one that is clearly geared toward diplomacy rather than military actions. Perhaps this explains his inexcusable incompetence in the battle of Star Trek: Generations which led to the destruction of the Enterprise-D.

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

P.181 (flashback): "Sir," said Ensign Rhodes, "are we going to war with Cardassia?"

"I hope not. That's part of the purpose of missions like this - to prevent war. But I'm afraid that's more up to the Cardassians than to us."

...

He stopped and looked down at the table for a moment. "Reports we've gotten about their treatment of some of our colonists they've captured aren't - pretty. They have some particularly advanced technology for causing pain, for example."

Culture: Yes, that's an accurate quote. The Federation is still reluctant to go to war with Cardassia even after some of its citizens are captured and tortured by them. Unbelievable ... what do the Cardassians have to do in order to make the Federation mad? Ass-rape the Federation President himself?

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

P.185 (flashback): "I was born on Klatus Prime. Ever heard of it? I didn't think so. It's a small mining colony in Sector 22309. My family had been miners there for generations. It wasn't quite as easy a life as you have on Earth ..."

Culture: Earth appears to be the Federation's most luxurious planet, which is not surprising given the fact that it appears to have no real industry other than either being a government employee or catering to them.

It is also noteworthy that the Federation still maintains mining colonies despite the annoying persistent Trekkie claim that they have no need of such primitive economic industrial constructs in a replicator-equipped age.

VOY Season 0, Ep# 0: "Mosaic (novel)"

P.279 (flashback): Tuvok began to speak, and in a few minutes her cheeks were flaming and her heart thudding in her chest: she was furious. She worked to control her temper as the Vulcan's rich voice droned on and on. "... and tactical logs indicated that there were no test firings, no battle drills, and only two weapons reviews during the mission. All told, there are exactly forty three violations of tactical procedures, ranging from the minor to those I would consider significant."

With that pronouncement he set down his last padd and folded his hands in front of him, solemnly regarding her. A deep hush had fallen on the room, and Kathryn realized she was going to have to defend herself. Admiral Finnegan turned to her, and though his voice was quiet, it held no hint of pliability. "You may feel free to answer the charges, Captain."

Kathryn took a moment to compose herself, then stood. "Sir, I was raised in the traditions of Starfleet. I learned the precepts of this organization at an early age; I admire and honor them." She paused, looking from one to the other, but studiously ignoring Tuvok the Vulcan.

"It has always been clear to me that Starfleet is first and foremost an institution which is dedicated to exploration and investigation. Its primarily responsibilities are the acquisition of knowledge, the seeking out of new worlds, and the establishment of cordial relations with other species. Those tasks represent the mandate we have created - a mandate which is both positive and powerful." She looked directly at Admiral Finnegan. "This is not, strictly speaking, a military organization. It functions as such only when there is a need for self-defense. The military aspects of Starfleet- its command structure and nomenclature, for example- are in place primarily as a framework within which its members can function according to clearly established guidelines."

Now she turned directly to Tuvok, looked him square in those shielded eyes of his, and drilled into him. "Tactical functions, weapons checks, battle drills - those are activities I consider low-priority. As long as I am assured that we are at the ready in case of attack, I see no need to spend large amounts of time drilling the crew in the mechanics of war ..."

...

"Captain, you completed your first mission in fine style, and I'm entering a commendation from Admiral Paris into your record; he feels the pulsar data you compiled is of extreme value."

"Thank you, sir."

"You show all the potential to become an able captain, indeed. However, Mr. Tuvok here is quite right in his insistence that tactical regulations not be ignored because of your interpretation of Starfleet's charter. From now on, you're to stick to the rules."

"Yes, sir." Kathryn was stung by the rebuke, but swallowed her feelings.

"However, we had a thought which might serve everyone's best interests. We've been looking for a suitable post for Ensign Tuvok, who is eager to return to deep space. We've decided to assign him to your ship to serve as tactical officer on your next mission."

...

"I'd like some time to think it over, sir." she replied.

The admiral nodded genially. "Take all the time you'd like, Captain. But realize- this decision has been made."

Culture: Janeway parrots the standard anti-military doctrine of the TNG era in which they claim (against all reason) that Starfleet is not a military organization. Interestingly enough, she is given a firm rebuke for this ridiculous attitude by a superior officer.

Better yet, they followed up this rebuke by assining Tuvok to her ship in order to babysit her and make sure she followed the regs! There is something rather hilarious about that, when you think about it.

VOY Season 4, Ep# 74: "The Raven"

JANEWAY: When I was a child, I studied these drawings. I even built some of the models. Da Vinci has always been an inspiration to me.

7 OF 9: He was ... a busy man.

JANEWAY: Yes. A prolific artist, and a scientist as well. Far ahead of his time.

SCREENPLAY: 7 of 9 has spotted the "flying machine" hanging from the ceiling. She stares at it, rapt.

JANEWAY: That design, for example. He conceived of an airplane centuries before one was actually built.

Culture: proof that Starfleet officers are trained in the arts, not the sciences. Da Vinci may have a great "Renaissance Man", but his "prescient" inventions were nothing of the kind, and any engineer would know that the instant he saw one of Da Vinci's "designs".

He is credited with early designs for tanks and helicopters, but those "designs" were literally just doodles; threadbare sketches with nary a technical detail in sight, to say nothing of a workable design or even a fleshed-out concept. His infamous sketch of a corkscrew helicopter had no counter-rotating screw, which indicates that the problem of reaction force had obviously not occurred to him. His idea was grossly flawed even in theory, never mind application. His legendary sketch of a wooden "tank" contained no technical details whatsoever, and looks like nothing more than a child's sketch.

These were not prescient designs; these were doodles that he obviously knocked off in his spare time. Artists and philosophers may lack the skills to differentiate between a doodle and a design, but if Starfleet officers had a fraction of the technical training they're supposed to have, they would know better.

VOY Season 4, Ep# 74: "The Raven"

7 OF 9: We lived here for a long time. My father did experiments. They were very important, so we had to travel a long way. I had my birthday here. My cake had six candles, and one more to grow on. And then the men came. Papa tried to fight them, but they were too strong. I tried to hide ... maybe they wouldn't find me, because I was little ... but they did.

Culture: the writers try to play up this scene for pathos, but what the hell kind of parent takes his child with him on an exploration mission into Borg space?

It is already well-documented that Starfleet officers are encouraged to drag family members along with them into danger (hence the insane policy of keeping children on the Enterprise-D), but this is simply ridiculous.

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