Monday, April 8, 2013

Star Trek Countdown To Darkness #4 Preview

The final issue of Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness mini-series hits stores Wednesday. The issue is a prequel to the movie but exactly what the connective tissue is remains unclear. I am starting to suspect its not a specific character or event but a theme around the Prime Directive. This directive is more or less defined as observe and do not interfere for any civilization that does not have warp technology.

The idea behind it is a civilization should be allowed to develop at its own pace with all the rewards, problems, and death (including genocide) that comes with it. On a small scale it would be like trying to learn to run before learning to crawl while never being allowed to fall. Or on a macro scale, try to imagine what kind of impact it would have had on our religion and culture if a flying saucer landed in Rome in the 500s while the Bible was still being created? The possibilities go from nothing to everything. The problem with the Directive is ultimately the consequences are an intellectual exercise about a potential future being contrasted with a present event of immediate consequence. That future damage vs present damage has been used for many great Star Trek stories.

In the comic story, the present damage was genocide on the planet Phadeus IV. Captain Robert April, previous captain of a previous generation of the Enterprise, violated the Prime Directive to stop it. April took over as leader of the intended victims' and with Starfleet weaponry started a rebellion. The current Enterprise, simply surveying the planet, discovered the advanced weaponry and its source. Through various events, April was able to use his previous captaincy to gain control of Kirk's Enterprise and is now using it as leverage to maintain control of the planet from the Klingons. A preview of the final issue can be found here as April attempts to stop Kirk and Spock from regaining control.

So it seems that Kirk's first experience with the Prime Directive may have left a sour taste in his mouth over why it exists making it easier to violate it later as depicted in the opening events of the movie. Exactly if or how those consequences will be played out remains to be seen. If Trek history is any guide, it will be a slap on the wrist as heroics that follow lead to a cancellation effect (whether deserved or not).

On an unrelated note, it makes no sense that Klingons wear helmets. There is no practical reason to do it. From a film making perspective, the likely reason was to avoid the time and expense of the Klingon makeup but from a story perspective it actually makes them seem less like a warrior race and more like a bunch of safety conscious wimps.

1 comment:

  1. You're right. It's always been a point of pride that the Klingons DON'T wear armor, much less helmets when their on their own ship.