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From a reader:

Jonah,

Today’s spontaneous symposium on the polical leanings

of the Sith is indeed interesting (perhaps like any

other organization their members come from a range of

political perspectives), but aren’t we squandering our

Trek window?

I, for one, would be very interested in what you and

other cornerites have to say about the Maqi.

Me: Good point. My basic take on the Maquis — note correct spelling, a deliberate reference to the French underground — is that it was half interesting idea, half cheap ploy for Star Trek writers to seem relevant by creating a Palestinian-Israeli story line. It wasn’t that interesting in TNG, but it wasn’t that important either. But the creators of DS9 thought it was interesting enough to base the whole show around it. They were wrong. It got boring and stupid pretty quick which is why they had to create the Dominion and all the Klingon plotlines. This was a good innovation, making the last couple season of DS9 the most entertaining in the modern Trek universe. Lots of Trek first ideas stunk. The Ferrengi were originally cast as the chief Trek villains. They were depicted as dangerous, ferocious, capitalists (and, weirdly, they looked a bit like Nazi stereotypes of Jews). This was an attempt, in my mind, to overcompensate for the collectivist, Cold War inspired, Klingons and Romulans. It was a really, really stupid idea and TNG dropped it. Eventually, they upped the collectivists-are-villains stakes by creating the Borg, who were awesome and popular. Meanwhile, the Ferrengi soon became comedic bit players. And, on occassion, Quark gave some good little speeches about how the Ferrengi’s market-based system was actually more enlightened.

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