rewatch prewatch

So, a few days after I decided that substack wouldn’t work for this and paid for web hosting for this thing, they launched a community discussion feature, OF COURSE. I’m probably going to stick with the blog format for the time being on the grounds of “eh, I’ve got it, might as well use it” but if anyone has strong feelings either way, let me know.

Anyway, this weekend, I ended up rewatching some Next Gen as well, including, most relevant to this endeavor, “Ensign Ro”, so if anyone wants to rewatch that in the next few days and then discuss on this post, feel free! Otherwise, here is the viewing schedule for June.

June schedule

  • June 11: “Emissary”, both parts
  • June 18: “Past Prologue”
  • June 25: “A Man Alone”

4 thoughts on “rewatch prewatch

  1. Ro: *beams aboard with a Bajoran earring*
    Riker: You will follow Starfleet uniform code on this ship, Ensign. >:(((
    Worf: *walks past wearing Klingon sash*
    Riker:

    Just always bugged me? Not that TNG ever had any consistency in the quasi-military Starfleet traditions/codes. Also the forced ignorance with Picard not knowing how Bajorans used family and individual names despite having studied Bajoran history? And that being not exactly a totally alien concept since IDK a lot of Asian cultures on Earth do that too?

    Possibly more relevant, I always wondered – can’t actually remember now if this was addressed on DS9 or not – whether the Bajorans who were featured in the show trying to rebuild Bajor after the occupation ended had any kind of relationship with the Bajorans who lived as nomads in refugee camps all over the place. I thought it could have been the foundation of an interesting conflict between the resistance cells who stayed behind to operate against the Cardassians (at great personal risk) and those who fled the planet instead, but I don’t remember them doing anything with that.

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    1. Ro: *beams aboard with a Bajoran earring*
      Riker: You will follow Starfleet uniform code on this ship, Ensign. >:(((
      Worf: *walks past wearing Klingon sash*
      Riker:

      RIGHT? Honestly I feel like if that had been intentional it could’ve been kind of brilliant, given the bans we’ve seen in the last few years on “religious headwear” that are in fact usually aimed at Muslim women and, to a lesser extent, Jews. Especially given how hard they seem to lean on the “Bajorans as Space Palestinians” thing in TNG, which I feel like they kind of backed off of in DS9 in favor of the less controversial “Bajorans as Space Jews In 1930s Europe”.

      Also the forced ignorance with Picard not knowing how Bajorans used family and individual names despite having studied Bajoran history? And that being not exactly a totally alien concept since IDK a lot of Asian cultures on Earth do that too?

      LMAO right, like, that is not some super-obscure detail of Bajoran culture (also, they seem to have dropped the “Bajorans are individual people, Bajora are the people as a whole” thing by DS9, which, I get that they might have decided from a Doylist perspective that that’s just too complicated, but a line or two of in-universe explanation might have been cool)? It’s not uncommon on Earth either?? Making it clear to the audience, fine, but there are better ways to do that than to say that a dude who’s supposedly made a study of their culture wouldn’t know something as basic as how they do names. Although again, if it had been intentional, that could have been kind of a phenomenal way of showing, like, how tight Cardassian control over anything to do with Bajor is, how many records of Bajoran history and culture they’ve destroyed/classified, or even doing some of the deconstruction of Trek tropes that DS9 went more into, like how the Federation’s concerned interest can also look a lot like arrogance and paternalism, so that an educated Starfleet captain could know a lot about Bajoran history but very little about them as real people right now.

      And YESSSSS I feel like there’s some discussion of people who fled Bajor vs. those who stayed in DS9, but it’s not fully explored as the divide it could’ve been — there’s definitely a lot of People’s Front of Bajor vs. People’s Bajoran Front issues, sometimes hinted at and sometimes made more explicit, but it mostly just comes up as necessary to provide Kira or Odo some element of backstory. There’s also a fantastic moment between Winn and Kira, too, which I went and dug up because it was so interesting and, again, hints at some of the internal divisions within Bajor that could’ve been explored more:

      “Those of you who were in the Resistance, you’re all the same. You think you’re the only ones who fought the Cardassians, that you saved Bajor single-handedly. Perhaps you forget, Major, the Cardassians arrested any Bajoran found to be teaching the word of the Prophets. I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years, and I can remember each and every beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith…and my courage.”

      TL;DR someone needs to give me the money to make a Star Trek: Occupation series that will end around the beginning of DS9.

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      1. “…like how the Federation’s concerned interest can also look a lot like arrogance and paternalism, so that an educated Starfleet captain could know a lot about Bajoran history but very little about them as real people right now.”

        You know, I’m sure the writers didn’t intend it that way, but that rings true. A takeaway I keep having from watching old Trek as an adult that I enjoyed uncritically as a kid/teen is that the Federation colonizes all over the place and has pretty arrogant ideas about the universal applicability of human (actually mostly Western European human) culture to completely different planets. One that sticks with me is a Voyager episode (can’t remember the title) in which Chakotay tours an alien burial ground and fills it with assumptions about what it means that the bodies are unclothed and accompanied by objects and arranged a certain way, etc.

        Oh and also “Angel One” but probably the less said about that the better.

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