SF Debris – Star Trek (TNG): Redemption

Worf returns to his homeworld hoping to restore his family honor, taken from him to avoid a civil war. Also this week, there’s a civil war. In general, it just sucks being Worf.

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  1. I am like you and thought that those two shows were excellent and it always seem to me that when you wanted to watch a good star trek episode you only need to look for something with klingon or with quark.

  2. I do love these episodes a lot. I had memories of watching it as a kid but I was surprised that the civil war only lasted for the two-parter. You just know that it would be a season long arc if it was in DS9. Actually that would have created room for Sela to come back a lot more often. At least more happens with her character in Star Trek Online. Great review though! I’ve been watching since about a week before your youtube videos got pulled down a few years back.

  3. “…Worf used this skill, and that weapon, to kill Duras, the man who had framed Worf’s father for the traitorous crimes of his own father.” And, oh yeah, KILLED WORF’S BABYMAMMA.

  4. Worf is my 2nd favorite character on TNG. I love how they looked at the conflict within people of mixed cultures through Worf. Some people from Starfleet see him as brutish and possibly dangerous. Klingons see him as weak and infected by human values. Worf sees himself as very much a Klingon, and never renounces that identity, even when he finds himself at odds with Klingon culture.

    I really wish we had more Worf stories in TNG, but I was really glad to see this two parter. It showed the conflict that Worf is facing and he develops as a character, without demonizing Klingon culture.

  5. Snorgatch Pandalume

    I love how SF Debris decries bigotry IMMEDIATELY after concluding that a gungan couldn’t be a good engineer because Jar Jar was a clumsy oaf. Tell me, what’s more bigoted then judging an entire race by ONE individual? I don’t even particularly like Jar Jar, but I’m sick and tired of the stupid, childish hatred I hear every time his name or his race is mentioned. It’s a lazy, easy bit of racism that everyone in fandom uses to get a quick laugh, because everyone hates Jar Jar, and of course we all want to hate what everyone else hates, because that gives us a feeling of unity. You know, sort of how people outside of fandom all laugh at Trekkies, because Trekkies are all overweight, 30+ virgins who live in their parents’ basements.
    Seriously, Epsiode I came out over 15 years ago. The Jar Jar hate, she is old. Find a new hobby horse to ride.

    • Sweet Jebus calm down, it was just a joke, and he said he imagines they LOOK like Jar Jar.

      • Snorgatch Pandalume

        Yes, they look like Jar Jar, meaning a gungan, and all gungans are clumsy idiots, because Jar Jar was a clumsy idiot. So apparently, racism is bad, except for racism against gungans, because everyone hates Jar Jar, so that’s “acceptable” racism. If you can’t see the inherent hypocrisy of this, then I don’t know what to tell you. What’s even more hypocritical is that so many SW fans accuse Jar Jar of being a racist caricature of blacks. I never found him to be such, but then again I’m also not blinded by pathological hatred because the prequels failed to live up to my expectations.

        • Can you be racist against a race that doesn’t exist? And even if you could… would it matter? I mean really, you are insulting a piece of fiction. You can’t refuse to rent a house to gungans. You can’t suppress their right to vote. You can’t arrest them in greater numbers than other groups.

          The problem some people had with Jar Jar (besides being annoying and not funny), is that he embodied some stereotypes about a group of people that do exist. Since he is clumsy, incompetent, and a coward, and he is the only person who speaks like that real group of people… it kinda makes it seem like Lucas doesn’t like them very much.

          • Snorgatch Pandalume

            You can certainly have a racist mindset about a race that doesn’t exist. As for Jar Jar embodying a racist stereotype, I didn’t see it 15 years ago and I don’t see it now. If you insist on viewing things in that light, consider that the other gungans are proud, brave warriors who fight with spears and shields, analogous to Zulus.
            I would consider the Nemoidians–ruthless merchants who sound Japanese–a much more legitimate example of a racist stereotype. I don’t think Lucas hates Japanese people, considering his avowed admiration for the works of Akira Kurosawa, though of course I don’t know the man personally. I suspect it’s more likely that he simply fell back on an easily recognizable stereotype in order to express the character traits of an alien race to his audience. I’d call that being lazy rather than racist.
            By your logic, Lucas must dislike the British, since the Emperor, Grand Moff Tarkin, and most of the Imperial officers have British accents.

    • You’re reading a lot that isn’t there. Chuck is working within the racist guy’s mindset. He’s trying to figure out why the aliens mentioned would be thought to be horrible engineers. He’s not himself saying that they couldn’t be engineers.

      Don’t go looking for reasons to get offended. It only makes people discount what you say. Look for ways that something that initially seems offensive might not actually be so. Then decided which interpretation makes more sense.

      Chuck has never been racist in his entire set of reviews. In fact, he’s been very much anti-racist. To think he was being racist now is silly.

      • Okay, Snorgatch… I’m going to argue that you can’t be racist toward a species that doesn’t exist. You answered if you can be racist toward a race that doesn’t exist, but you gave no reason why it should be true. Overt racism requires that you discriminate against or act against a group because you believe yourself to be superior or you have the idea that all people of a certain race behave in a certain way. With a fictional race, you know that group doesn’t exist. They can’t all behave a certain way, because none of them behave at all. You can’t be superior to them. because they have no qualities except those described by an author. You know they aren’t real and so you can’t be racist toward them. Any jab toward them is more of a joke or pointing out that the race isn’t written well than any real sign of racism.

        I wouldn’t say that the other Gungans are depicted well either. They are paranoid, primitive, and don’t show high intelligence. Jar Jar is by far the worst, but the rest of the race doesn’t really get off light.

        The Nemodians are totally a racist depiction too. Just because Lucas has some people of that race that he likes, doesn’t mean that he is immune to a racist depiction. That falls to a form of covert racism. You say that he is being lazy by falling on stereotypes, but guess what… that looks a lot like covert racism. It’s like he is telling the audience, ‘hey, you know what Asians are like, right? Well these people are space Asians.’

        Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word dislike. You don’t have to dislike a race or believe the stereotypes to depict something in a racist way. He may know that people similar to the aliens he is depicting don’t really act that way, but covertly, he is supporting those stereotypes.

        Of course, I don’t use any of this to condemn George Lucas. I don’t think he depicted Gungans or Nemodians out any ill will or mean-spiritedness. These kinds of depictions happen to everyone. people just point them out so maybe in the future others can avoid falling into the same traps.

  6. “Space is really, really big, so we would need trillions of starships….”

    Stop! If you point out the lack of real world logic everything will unravel.

  7. For those of you new to SF Debris and would like to see more, Chuck has a massive backlog (and even a few episodes like his system shock 2 lets play that he has done since joining channel awesome but hasn’t uploaded here yet) stretching back over 5 years on his site and his blip channel.

    Starting at the beginning of his library of videos on either sites is one of the best ways to tackle it since as you may have noticed (or been confused by) he tends to periodically make in-jokes referencing previous reviews. The only problem with this approach is that you will still have the same problem to a lesser extent because the first videos on both sites are not the first videos he did. He began on youtube but after getting two dmca claims filed against him he took all his videos down and only uploads trailers there now. So how do you watch his old videos? Well he has since last year finished re-uploading them all to his site/blip but he did them in a fairly random order (one of his first voyager reviews was one of the last to be re-uploaded) or if you really want to you can find the original videos (he redid them when he re-uploaded them) in their original order on various forums and torrents for download.

  8. I do think there were some needless attempts to add things to this episode, such as Sela and the Data conflict. It could simply been a simple as being a little perturbed as being replaced by someone who did’t outrank him. Compare it to Riker’s reaction to Jelico. Jelico outranked Riker and had more experience with the Cardassians. Riker was being a petulant douche because Jelico had a different manner than he was used to; something Riker as an experienced officer should have been well acquainted with. On the other hand, here you had two Lt. Commanders, and while Data was probably more experienced, he was still in the Ops division, not command as the other guy was. There’s also more experience with this particular crew.

    Of course it begs the question of what was the problem with keeping the crew together so long. With all the Borg losses, why weren’t Enterprise crew members promoted? They were already considered the best of the best and now the rest of the fleet is severely depleted of experienced officers due to the Borg.

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