Sunday, July 15, 2007

Civil War in the United Federation of Planets +

Meanwhile, back on the question of civil war within the Federation, it certainly seemed for a while as though Star Trek's producers really wanted to get into this question. Could the Federation survive a threat to its existence with its utopianism intact? Or is it necessary that some within the Federation practice realpolitik even if doing so to save itself undermines the very principles on which it was founded?

Both Star Trek: Insurrection and several of the later episodes of DS9 (those dealing with the mysterious "Section 31") seemed to want to explore this question. But both VOY and ENT appeared to take the franchise back toward the traditional view of the Federation as a pure force for good (at least, for ENT, once it was founded).

So when all is said and done, my guess (and that's all it is) is that the main storyline of Star Trek Online will not be an internal fight, with the profound brother-against-brother emotional dramas of such a conflict. I suspect it's more likely to be a much simpler straight-up fight for survival against a Major Foe -- basically another Dominion War, except that this one will be unwinnable for as long as Star Trek Online lasts.

Which is a bit depressing.

Arguing against that rather mundane scenario are the possibilities in the idea of the kuvah'magh, Miral Paris. I really liked what Perpetual was thinking of doing with this bit from Mike Sussman's VOY: "Prophecy" story. The grave discomfort Starfleet had with a Starfleet officer also being an important religious figure was touched on occasionally with Sisko. But a Starfleet officer who becomes a spiritual leader to thousands of Klingon warriors, especially at a time when it may be necessary to rally all the major polities of the Alpha and Beta quadrants... wow.

It would have been interesting to see whether Miral Paris was treated as an unacceptable problem for the Federation, or as a desirable tool... or both.