Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology II, Unit 2: What is Alien? > What is the Role of the Alien? / Aliens Look Different

In this unit we are looking at 2 aspects of the Alien

  • The role they play
  • The way they look

What is the Role of the Alien?

Aliens can play all different kinds of roles and with that the writer of the series was able to address all kind of issues in society without being called racist or sexist or any other things.

For the role we need to watch 3 episodes and 2 movies. I did watch the movies; they are not available on Netflix (my favourite streaming platform). We are also asked to rank the episodes into a self-reflecting order for the time it was produced. I have ranked them into order that it made me more self-reflecting.

  • “Darmok.” Star Trek: The Next Generation, broadcasted in 1991.

Aliens: The Children of Tama. (Tamarians)
No history of violence known; language has been ‘incomprehensible’ by humans. The Tamarians speak with persons and locations. Persons and locations of the past, that tell the full story in 1 word. They communicate through narrative imagery, a reference to the individuals and places which appear in their mythohistorical accounts.
Both captains are at the planet (El-Adrel) and Picard is able to start to understand what Dathon (the other captain) is telling him. That a danger shared can bring people together.
When Riker gets Picard of El-Adrel, Picard is able to tell to the Tamarians that Dathon is dead and how he died, in the Tamarian language.

  • “Turnabout Intruder.” Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcasted in 1969.

There is not really an alien in this episode. Only an alien technic which can separate body and mind and then swop the mind into another body. A lady friend of Kirk from the past wants to take over his body to show the difference between male and female and what they can achieve inside Starfleet.
In 1995 there was Star Trek Voyager a series whit a female captain.

  • “The Icarus Factor.” Star Trek: The Next Generation, broadcasted in 1989.

In this episode it is about family relations and how harsh we be to each other.
And about Worf, it is the 10th anniversary of his Klingon age of ascension. It’s a ritual of great significance. A rite of initiation marking the new level of Klingon spiritual attainment. It’s a day of celebration and ritual spent with one’s fellow Klingons. Worf is upset, because there are no Klingon friends on board, to celebrate with him. Wesley, Data and Geordi come up with the idea to create a simulation on the holodeck. To get him out of the social cultural isolation and to share this important part of his life, his being.
So, two opposites. Family and misunderstanding. Friends who can help you to feel good.?

Aliens Look Different.

I have watched the four examples from the Watch List in order of when they were broadcasted and described the (race) issues in our time frame. Looking at the country I life in and to countries around me.

  • “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcasted in 1967.

Tribbles are little furry animal looking creatures that purr when they are close to humans or Vulcan’s, but shrieks with getting at a Klingon.
Tribbles are breeding fast, how they breed is unknown.
When I see this aspect of the Tribbles I need to think of the rabbit in Australia. The rabbit has been brought into Australia and it became a plague.
In this episode a shipload of Quadro-triticale (a High-yield grain) needs to be protected against Klingons.
At the end of the episode it turns out that the assistant of the minister, the one who has been trusted the most, is the enemy and it is a Tribble who helps to find out.
Lesson: An Alien can look cute, but can swamp the whole place and become a threat.
Lesson: The obvious enemy does not have to be the real threat
Lesson: A person who is close can be the enemy and we will not see it.

  • “Elaan of Troyius” Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcasted in 1968.

Ambassadeur Petri from Troyius and a Dohlman from Elas (female, looks like Cleopatra.) are on board and the Dohlman seems to be the boss. She needs to get married to the head of Troyius, to stop a war between the two planets.
The secret of the woman on Elas: When the flesh of a man is touched by the tear of a lady his heart is enslaved forever.
The Dohlman puts a spell on the captain by crying and Kirk wipes the tear away. Her main goal is to use the ship to destroy the planet that they are in war with. Kirk is stronger than the spell. His strength comes out of his obligation for the federation and his love for the enterprise.
A member of the crew from the Dohlman wants to shell out the enterprise to the Klingons. The Klingons are not interested in peace between Troyius and Elas, because the planets are having minerals they would like to have. When the Klingon ship is damaged by the enterprise, Kirk let them float and the Dohlman is surprised about it.
In the beginning the Dohlman is a hard lady who is not having manners nor respect to other people. At the end she has turned a little around and respect the fact she needs to get married to get peace.
History: In the past a lot of weddings have been proceeded to keep the peace in between different countries. UK and France for instance.

  • “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” Star Trek: The Original Series, broadcasted in 1969.

With the first contact of the Alien Lokai in this episode they see a person who is half white and half black and drew the conclusion, that this is the result of a dramatic conflict in evaluation and he needs to be one of a kind.
When the second Alien, Bele appears it turns out this two men are in conflict with each other. Bele is saying that Lokai is a murderer and Lokai is saying that his people have been oppressed by Bele’s people.
Bele is send by his government to arrest Lokai. This happened 50.000 earth years ago. Now he got him and he wants to take him back to their planet; Cheron. So with mind power he takes over the ship.
Kirk and Spock do not see the reason why these two men are fighting with each other and Bele informs them their difference. Bele is black on the right side, Lokai on the left.
When they end up at Cheron they find out, all the people are dead. They have annihilated each other, totally. There is nobody alive on Cheron because of hate. The cause you fought about no longer exists. Lokai goes to the planet and Bele follows him. They cannot give up the hate each other.
Lesson: For two opposite parties the difference can be clear, a spectator does not really have to see it as a difference.
Lesson: Hate can destroy so much and still hate stay’s within you.

  •  “Far Beyond the Stars.” Start Trek: Deep Space 9, broadcasted in 1998.

In this episode Sisko is having a vision, like he has had before about Bajor. Only this time he goes back in time to earth. The time where black and white people were separated by racists ideas.
Before he gets his visions he tells his father, who is visiting, that he is tired of losing friends in battle and he maybe want to resign.
In his vision he is a writer of a SF magazine and he comes up with a story of Deep Space 9. The editor tells the story can not be published because the captain in the story is black. A colleague comes up with the idea to write it as a dream. Even that will not happen, because the owner of the magazine does not agree with the context.
In his dream Sisko keeps walking into a reverend who keeps talking about the prophets.
At the end he is back on Deep Space 9 and he remembers the whole story. The vision only took a couple of minutes.

This episode is hurting equal rights for all colours

At the end Sisko is even wondering what part is true. That he had a vision in the past, of that Bennie is dreaming about him.
The vision make him decide not to resign but continue the mission.

The pain the writer Bennie felt, when his story was not published was making me cry.
There has been a time, that racism was that clearly visible. It is said that racism is being oppressed, but I’m wondering and hoping for the times that the future of Deep Space 9 is really true. No judgement on the outside of humanoids, but acceptance of all.

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