Friday, November 30, 2012

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 celebration, and life lessonsfrom ST:TNG

"Ensign's" Log, stardate 2012.335

My dad has been a Star Trek fan for years. In the last few years, I have started to get into Star Trek, and recently began watching The Next Generation. Captain Picard has quickly become my favorite captain.

This evening, I went to the Star Trek: The Next Generation celebration for Season 2 being released on Blu-ray. Two "favorite" episodes, "Q Who" and the extended version of "Measure of a Man," were shown in theaters, with accompanying featurettes. As I had not yet watched either of those episodes, I greatly enjoyed this presentation. Needless to say, I was the youngest person in the theatre...and I am not the least bit ashamed of it! After too much Earl Grey during the showing, I have been thinking about lessons and concepts presented in some of the TNG episodes, and Picard's leadership. Thanks to the tea, I'm also far too wired to sleep.....

 I have come to really like the character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He is a fantastic man with good character who is not afraid to do what he believes is right, even contrary to popular opinion. He has strong morals, and does his best to follow the rules and regulations that he has been given. This makes him a very strong character, and I plan to do some more research on him. (Which means I'll need to watch more Star Trek! :) 

 I want to do more in-depth personal research about concepts in both "Q Who" and "Measure of a Man" before writing about a lot about them, so I don't want to go too far into a full analysis of them at the moment. But having seen these episodes for the first time tonight, here are my surface thoughts...
   "Q Who" is very much a test, of sorts, of Capt. Picard's leadership. He is faced with an enemy that he cannot defeat, a no-win scenario. Captain Picard shows himself to be a man who is not arrogance and selfish, but one who is not afraid to ask for help. "That was a difficult admission. Another man would have been humiliated to say those words. Another man would have rather died than ask for help." -Q to Captain Picard. From my very basic analysis, (having watched "Q Who" for the first time), I was thinking that Picard's dilemma could possibly be compared to Christ's temptations. I also plan to compare Picard's choices to what Captain Kirk, of the Original Series, might of done in this situation, as Kirk "doesn't believe in no-win scenarios". (For example, his "cheating" the Kobuyashi Maru.)
   "Measure of a Man" is based around the qestion of whether or not Luitenant Commander Data, an andriod, has rights. Although the episode is set in the 24th century, a supposably more free and idealistic time, there are very strong has strong ties to the concepts of slavery and the civil rights movement. Although Data is a human-made machine, he is intelligent and  self aware. Is he Starfleet property, or a sentient being with the same rights as humans? I found similar ideas dicussed in "Measure of a Man" to those the Dred Scott case and the 3/5 Compromise. (I'm a history major, what can I say?)

 I don't know when I will have to fully research these episodes, as I have finals coming up, and I just got my first job. One day I will analyze these episodes, and I'll write on here about my findings. Meanwhile, I'll be taking a leadership class next semester, as I have been inspired by Captain Picard to look into this. Too bad Starfleet won't be established for another 150 years or so...I'd love to study command at Starfleet Academy. 

"Ensign" Linsley signing off, Live Long and Prosper!


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