The film never takes the time to consider how little thought Khan would’ve given to killing Pike, a disabled person. Khan likely believes that all disabled people deserve to die for the good of humanity. Hell, he probably had an extermination program against disabled people during his heyday. By ignoring Khan’s eugenicist ableism, the film loses a good deal of the moral complexity found in Star Trek.
We never see Admiral Marcus weigh the options of aligning with a genocidal murderer in the name of Federation security. If Khan advised him to implement a eugenics policy to save the Federation, would Marcus do it? Who would Marcus kill to protect the many? Would he go for Pike, one of his own officers?
We also never see Kirk truly consider the ethical implications of teaming up with Khan for the infiltration of Marcus’ starship. Is Kirk just as bad as Marcus now? By partnering with a man who would want Pike exterminated, does Kirk betray his memory? Is stopping Marcus worth the risk of Khan escaping and conquering Earth again?
But none of these kind of questions get asked in the film because the J.J. Abrams version of Star Trek is more interested in gunfights and girls in their underwear than the hard questions that need to be debated to build a better future for life on this planet and far beyond.
I wonder if they would have had time to do all that? Although it seems to me they did cut parts out of the movie.
Isn’t the point of the show and the movies to spark the discussions within ourselves, not to have the discussions for us?
While the Star Trek franchise most definitely encourages discussion amongst fans, one of the trademarks of the shows and films is the characters debating whether they have the right to take a certain action or if they have the ethical responsibility to behave in a certain fashion.
See: “The Menagerie,” which is one long debate about whether breaking Federation law is permissible if it is on a perceived mission of mercy. Or “The Measure of a Man,” which is another long debate about what constitutes a person. Or “Who Watches the Watchers?” where Picard does one of his classically trained monologues about religion vs. secularism. Or “In the Pale Moonlight,” where Sisko and Garak tackle whether murder can be justified to save countless lives in the Dominion War.
literally reblogging to say that “who watches the watchers” is an absolutely TERRIBLE, racist as fuck episode
GOD I HATE THAT EPISODE SO MUCH
So do I. I don’t agree with any of the bullshit Picard spewed in that episode, nor do I agree with Spock fucking kidnapping a disabled person out of some able-bodied martyr complex in “The Menagerie.” I just listed those because they were particularly transparent in their aim of discussing something—and then settling on the writer’s opinion as the best option.
But, anyway, Picard is such a fucking white New Atheist douchebro in that episode. He, like, has no conception of “objectivity” or “rational thought” being culturally constructed and that he is superimposing his white male human understanding of rationality onto a different culture that his organization has been colonizing through secret scientific/anthropological observation.
If you want to know why my answer to the question, “Kirk or Picard?” is Sisko, watch “The Menagerie” and “Who Watches the Watchers.”
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