I have questions….

(Note: I started writing this a few months ago before I got sick. It had some good points about story telling so I thought I’d share it. Also… SPOILERS.)

picardI just watched the new episode of Picard and I have so many questions.

Why isn’t the Dr in the brig?

Why is everyone saying Data is Soji’s (sp?) farther, not the doctor that created her?

Does anyone else find it utter cringe to call Picard “JP”?

Why did elf boy hug Seven? That seemed so out of character. For both of them.

There were a few things I actually enjoyed. Seven joining the cube was visually awesome (though it was a fast let down since it ended up not mattering what so ever). I could even see her disconnecting since she wasn’t actually part of the collective, but it wasn’t explained well. But I find it telling that my BF, who isn’t as familiar with the borg, had an immediate reaction of “that’s not how the borg work.”

The casino planet seemed out of place, and out of touch just like the casino planet in Star Wars (can we just stop it with the casinos in sci-fi?). The whole sub plot of the child on the casino planet made no impact what so ever on the entire thing and just made Raf look like a bad mom, and a junky. I feel like they could have done something with this, like had them make up at the end since she proved her conspiracy theory was real. But instead it was just a plot point to get her on the ship and didn’t actually matter.

And that’s the way the whole thing felt. Nothing actually mattered. Dr kills someone with no consequences. All the borg die with no consequences. The droids try to kill every organic being in the universe…with no consequences.

Consequences give the story gravity. It makes it matter. And the biggest consequence could have been if Picard actually died at the end. Instead they created a deus ex machina and gave him a new body. He lived, he got rid of his old ailment, and everyone is happy.

Actions should have consequences. Without them what’s the point? Everything is retconned anyway, and nothing really happened, except now androids can dream of electric sheep again.

Anyway, if you enjoyed it… well great. Every story has an audience, so they say. This clearly wasn’t for me and I have no interest in further Star Trek. I’d rather watch Axanar.

Thoughts about Farescape

I watched Farscape a long time ago. It was one of my favorite sci-fi series, possibly because I didn’t have a lot of them to watch when I was younger, possibly because Chiana was the cutest grey alien I’d ever seen. Either way…

Gregg turned it on today and started watching the first episode while I was writing and I was struck by something I hadn’t noticed before, a theme that weaves itself through the entire series and I never really noticed it; Nature vs Nurture.

It’s most prevalent in the character of Aeryn Sun. When she is charged with alien contamination she is sentenced to death and must either submit to her breeding, to the life that she has always known, or run. Choose a new life. Find a new way of being.

Her entire character arc revolves around the examination of nature verses nurture. Can she be more even though she was bred, raised, and brainwashed to be a specific thing? On top of that the people around her, including other Peacekeepers, are influenced by her actions to break from the Peacekeeper mold and become something more, something new. I suppose you could say that the show teaches that one person who steps outside of the norm can make a difference. Sometimes a huge difference.

The whole story revolves around John Crichton and his search to get home, and his adaptation to the new world. At least it seems to be. Looking back on all the episodes it seems the main story was really about Aeryn Sun, and how John Crichton changed her life, and set her up to change so many other lives. The other characters have their own arcs, as does Crichton, but over it all there is Aryen Sun. The person who seems to be the secondary lead, and yet her entire story and characterization is driving the plot forward more than anyone else’s.

I’d have to re-watch the entire series to see if that holds up throughout, but my educated guess, based on watched the entire series a few years ago, is that I would find even more plot points that revolve and change because of her. It’s a brilliant use of characterization that you don’t even really notice as that at first. All of the other characters, even Crichton at times, are mere window dressing. But Sun matters.

I suppose that is a lesson to me, as well. Make my characters, even the minor one, matter to the story. See how they change the plot, change the direction of the other characters around them, and that will make the story better, fuller, and more complex.

As for the nature verses nurture part, by the end of the series Sun has definitely become something entirely different. She changes far more than anyone else, and chooses nurture of herself over nature she was born with. Crichton, and the others on the ship, encourage that growth, but much of it comes from within herself. And I think that is also attainable in the real world. If we choose ourselves, instead of choosing the culture we come from, or the family we were born to, we can rise above all of that and become something better. Something more. It’s not always easy, and those around you might fight against it (like Crais trying to stop Sun at every turn) but it can be done.

Have any of you watched Farescape? What did you think about it?