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4 weeks ago#121
31. Jake Sisko
“Dad, it turns out Nog isn’t a Ferengi at all. He’s a 5’0” thirty-year-old man dressed in Ferengi makeup circa 1993.”

Is the most unbelievable thing in DS9 that Jake Sisko has a hard time finding a girlfriend on a planet where his father is Jesus? Can you imagine Jesus coming back to life today and saying “Hey everyone, this is my son Terrance, say hi, Terrance,” and that kid not drowning in girls?

As the “main character” with the dubious honor of “most missed episodes of any main character, both in absolute and proportional terms” (105 episodes missed, or 60%), I think we’ll all agree that he’s a satellite character. What makes it interesting is that he’s a satellite for two others: Ben Sisko and Nog. Nog is the kid character on DS9 who grows up and changes and actually affects the story, and Jake is very important to that… for the first three years or so. Then Nog goes to the academy and war and stuff, and Jake ceases to matter.

Jake’s basic purpose on the show is to let Sisko explore his dadness. What’s it like to be a dad? How does dadding affect his duties? It’s basically just an elaborate excuse to show Sisko interacting with someone in a way different from how he interacts with all of the Starfleet people. This is similar to Crusher and Picard, except that Crusher serves a real purpose independent of Picard. And in this, Jake does his job extremely well.

That’s the reason why Jake is so high. I don’t really view him as a true character, I view him as a parasite attached to Sisko, draining him of life so that he can live himself and obtain more screen time running through the promenade. Sisko is a great character, so being part of Sisko catapults you to the lofty heights of Fire Tier.

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Started: July 6, 2005

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4 weeks ago#122
30. Ezri Dax
“LOL I’M DAX NOW”

Ezri Dax is the single Star Trek character who has the least right to exist. I’d go so far as to say she shouldn’t exist at all.

So you have a problem: you have a season all written out when one of your actresses bails. Solution? Hire a (younger) actress to be her alien reincarnation.

Ezri probably would have been a great idea if Jadzia had died in season 4 or season 5, but she dies in the last episode of season 6. Ezri has exactly one season to show her stuff, and that means she has like two episodes to integrate into a cast that’s been together for six years. It’s a hard task that she does not succeed in… but I like her anyway.

I’m not sure what it is about Ezri Dax I find appealing, because it’s sure not her character. She’s younger and more inexperienced than Jadzia, and she gets into trouble a lot because she didn’t train to carry a symbiote like she’s supposed to have. She’s a counselor, but no one on DS9 really needs counseling (and it was questionable enough as it was to have Troi on the Enterprise in the first place). She has a romance with Bashir that is so forgettable that even I was surprised by it on my third rewatch of DS9. She gets like two genuine Ezri episodes, one where she has to track down a serial killer, by the way, that episode is better than anything in Star Trek Discovery because it involves logical deductions and figuring things out instead of spouting technobabble (I can’t stop insulting Discovery, sorry, maybe I need counseling), and the other where Worf just assumes they’ll continue dating and she’s not into it.

I guess what I like about Ezri is her potential. She could have been a better version of Deanna Troi, the redemption of the concept that proved it was a good idea all along… but she wasn’t. She just shows up early in season 7, says “LOL I’M DAX NOW,” and that’s it. That, and her actress. I think her actress actually does a great job with what she’s given, she just was brought into the show way too late.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005
(edited 4 weeks ago)

User Info: NFUN

NFUN
4 weeks ago#123
Anagram posted...
She has a romance with Bashir that is so forgettable
i completely forgot about this to the point where i still remember nothing about it!
Thus is our treaty written; thus is our agreement made. Thought it the arrow of time; memory never fades. What was asked for was given; the price is paid

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4 weeks ago#124
NFUN posted...
i completely forgot about this to the point where i still remember nothing about it!
I had to be reminded about it myself when I mentioned Bashir not ending up with anyone and got corrected.

29. T’Pol
“These humans are so useless, I’m t’polling all the weight around here. Thanks everyone, I’ll be here all night.”

A lot of people like T’Pol. She’s okay. She’s fine. I don’t hate her. But of all characters on this list, she does the least with the amount of time given to her. She’s the second main character of Enterprise, she’s the Spock to Archer’s Kirk, she gets an incredible amount of focus, more than all other non-Archer characters combined, and she uses it to be… okay. I’ve read that Jolene Blalock was a big fan of TOS and was super excited to play a Vulcan, how must she have felt about the first episode having her character strip down to her underwear and slathering gel all over herself?

I’ll give T’Pol this: she isn’t just a generic Vulcan character like Tuvok, and she isn’t a retread of Spock. She’s her own thing, and that contributes a lot to her placement on this list. “Vulcan gets addicted to a drug that makes her emotional because it’s necessary for her job” is a take we hadn’t seen before. T’Pol’s journey as she slowly loses control of herself and learns more about humans is kind of interesting, but I’m going to go ahead and say that it needed to happen before season 3 (the first two seasons of Enterprise are hard to get through).

Enterprise has a problem with Vulcans, in that it turns them into kind of smug jackasses. There was technically precedent for this with the DS9 baseball Vulcan who hates Sisko, but that was one guy. Almost every Enterprise Vulcan acts in a way that’s technically logical but obviously going to anger non-Vulcans and cause problems, and that includes T’Pol. In the first episode, there’s a Vulcan who gets angry and yells at Admiral Whatever. This unfortunately extends into Discovery, where the non-Sarek Vulcans continue to behave illogically because the show wants to make a statement about racism and normal people wouldn’t care about Tellarite Supremacists.

Got off-topic there for a second, sorry. Point is, Enterprise has a serious problem with writing Vulcans, and that affects T’Pol. The difference is that T’Pol has a drug and psychic mind meld addiction, which mitigates it because at least she has an excuse… after season 3, but that’s the half of the show people care about. Remember the season 1 episode where they go to the human colony no one’s visited in thirty years and it’s turned into a caveman planet? No one does.
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Started: July 6, 2005

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4 weeks ago#125
28. Gabriel Lorca
“Yes, I’m evil. I had to shave my mustache because I was pretending to be good, but when it grows back, I’ll start twirling it again, I promise.”

To me, one of the highlights of Discovery is when Admiral Psychologist says “the real Captain Lorca was trapped in the Mirror Universe? Well, he’s probably dead, no point in looking for him,” and no one makes any attempt to rescue him.

Lorca gets this high based purely on his association with the Mirror Universe. Because he has the good fortune to miss season 1’s opening and closing and all of season 2, he avoids most of the show’s worst moments. Like he’s fine when he’s pretending to be a Starfleet guy, he’s like “We need to be willing to do bad things to win” and “I respect Michael because she tried to stop the Klingons before they could do their nonsense,” but once he reveals he’s evil, he immediately becomes hilarious. The first thing he does when he goes into evil mode is kill a guy while talking about how he enjoyed ****ing his sister. My personal favorite Lorca moment comes in the next episode, when he says “Good thing I packed a spare black leather trench coat,” and gets rid of his Starfleet uniform. Have you ever watched 24? Every time a friendly Muslim reveals that he’s actually a terrorist, he loses his American accent and starts talking with an Arabic accent, and it’s ****ing hilarious. It’s the same kind of thing here.

Lorca even dies in a great way. Michael betrays him in the most obvious way ever (like if you fall for the trick she pulls, you deserve to die), then beats him in a fight and says “I can’t kill you because you pretended to be my friend once,” but Georgiou is like “No prob, bro, I’ll do it,” and then stabs him in the back and pushes him into a star-mushroom-engine-thing where he disintegrates.

I love how the show makes no attempt to explain anything about Lorca. How did he infiltrate the Federation without any knowledge of what it was? How did he learn about the super-secret ship that was the only way in the universe to return to his dimension? How did he get assigned to it? How did he know how to calculate a vector back to the Mirror Universe when he’s a soldier and not a scientist? Shut up, none of that matters.

As far as completely stupid emperors go, Lorca is nowhere near as much fun as Palpatine, but he’s still a lot of fun, and I approve of how completely stupid the show becomes once he reveals he’s actually evil.
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Started: July 6, 2005

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4 weeks ago#126
27. Jadzia Dax
“Careful, or you might get me Madzia Dax.”

Okay, so you have an immortal character with the wisdom of a thousand years or whatever. What kind of personality do you give her? Do you go with the Galadriel-esque “I’m an ancient being beyond your comprehension,” or do you make her an anime teenager who’s bouncy and acts like a five year-old? I bet you didn’t expect Star Trek to err toward the latter.

Jadzia is supposed to be this ass-kicking warrior/scientist/philosopher/sage/adventurer who’s still into things like gambling, sex, and booze, and she pulls it off okay. She’s okay, that’s all I’ve got for her. Of DS9’s main cast, she definitely has the least to do after O’Brien. Sisko has his whole Jesus and war storyline, Odo and Worf are Torn Between Two Worlds, Kira has a lot of baggage from her Resistance fighter days, Quark handles all of the comedy episodes, and Bashir has his embarrassment about being a genetic augment. Meanwhile, Dax borders on being happy-go-lucky. What I’m saying is that of all the non-Jake characters, she has the least to do and the least growth.

And yet, DS9 is just so good that she still climbs her way to Okay Tier. Everyone on DS9 gets so much to do that even its weaker characters are above-average by everyone else’s standards. I like Jadzia being a Klingaboo, I like her silly little love triangle where she just doesn’t care about Bashir at all (she tells him he was her second choice, which, ouch, better to say nothing at all), and I like her acting like a mentor to Sisko because of the Trill reincarnation thing. She lacks the real depth of the other core DS9 characters, but she’s still a solid supporting character. She could have been more, but what we have is still good.

I’d also like to say that she has a disappointing death. Star Trek is very bad at giving characters satisfying deaths, and the one time it succeeded with Spock, it undid it. Later Spock dies of old age or whatever in the Abrams universe, but not before skyping Zachary Quinto and telling him that Khan is dangerous instead of Quinto just looking him up on Wikipedia.
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Started: July 6, 2005

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4 weeks ago#127
25. Saru
“My sister is a primitive hut-dwelling savage. Oh look, there she is flying a spaceship after ten minutes of training!”

Discounting Christopher Pike and Spock, Saru is the highest-ranking Discovery character on my list. He probably doesn’t deserve to be this high, but he’s the only Discovery character who could have been on a real Star Trek, so I give him some leeway.

I kind of like the idea of a species that’s constantly frightened because they can “sense the coming of death,” even if that makes no sense. I also enjoy how they hedged their bets with season 1 by avoiding telling us anything about Saru’s species except that he’s the first one in Starfleet. You’d think that would come up in conversation after the part where his people are like primitives, but okay.

The idea of “I’m a primitive hut-dwelling alien, but through a bunch of silly coincidences, I got picked up by the Federation and now I feel obligated to prove I’m not a primitive by being the best at everything” is really strong. I don’t think they did much with it, but it’s a great premise.

Nothing about the setup makes any sense, of course. Saru’s species was once a dangerous predator, so the prey developed advanced technology and enslaved them, and told them “dude if you live long enough you’ll go insane and die, so kill yourselves while you’re young.” So ignoring any questions about how a species continues developing new abilities and stuff like this while in adulthood, why did the prey species just murder them all to avoid any chance of exactly what happens happening? Anyway, the situation is resolved when Captain Pike completely ignores the prime directive. I’m sorry, General Order One, because “prime directive” sounds too nerdy.

In a series full of dumb stuff, the dumbest thing in Discovery might very well be Saru’s species being given space fighters to help in the final battle because we need it to be more like Star Wars. This isn’t really Saru’s fault, so I didn’t ding him for this, but if you write a gigantic space battle scene with laser explosions and a bad guy being kicked into a disintegration booth and his face exploding because you want to stop HAL 9000 from eating all sapient life in the galaxy, then you have completely misunderstood what Star Trek is.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: scarletspeed7

scarletspeed7
4 weeks ago#128
Man, I'm going to be such an outlier on this ranking.
"It is too easy being monsters. Let us try to be human." ~Victor Frankenstein, Penny Dreadful

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SaveEstelle
4 weeks ago#129
Anagram just blowing away the rest of us! I’ll probably make some comments on these the next time I write.

scarletspeed7 posted...
Man, I'm going to be such an outlier on this ranking.

I know the feeling
Hi! I'm Quinton.
Did you know that Emilia Clarke will be my wife in 2023?

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4 weeks ago#130
- Okay Tier -
Okay Tier is for characters who are okay. Not great, but they have genuine reasons to be on the show, are written mostly well, and are pretty cool guys who don’t afraid of anything.

25. Geordi LaForge
“Is it weird if you make a hologram of an attractive woman, program it to think you’re the hottest man alive, and have sex with it while pretending it’s the real person? Asking for a friend.”

Star Trek has a well-deserved reputation for technobabble, but TOS isn’t guilty of it at all. The most technical that happens in TOS is Scotty complaining about “energy” or “wiring.” The true criminal here is Geordi LaForge, in more ways than one.

We can all make fun of Geordi for the creepy sex stuff, and yeah, he deserves it. There’s the time he makes a hologram of a real person and falls in love with it, and when the real woman finds out, she apparently doesn’t file a complaint at HR? I would think the best-case scenario for Geordi at that point is being transferred to a less prestigious ship, but she forgives him pretty quickly, and even marries him in an alternate timeline. Then there’s the time he has to watch a video journal of a dead woman, falls in love with her, learns she’s not dead, and creeps on her.

But I want to move past all that and talk about the most interesting aspect of Geordi, which is the acting. It wasn’t until recently (about a year ago) that I read an article by LeVar Burton where he discussed what playing Geordi was like, and he was like “I had to spend a lot of time getting down how to show emotion while wearing a thing on my face,” and I was like man, that does sound hard. He talked about how he put everything into giving Geordi a constantly enthusiastic, happy outlook and personality, and that although you don’t learn a lot about Geordi through his backstory (of which he has almost none), you learn a lot through the acting. Reading that gave me a huge amount of respect for Burton and Geordi, at least during the show era. Movie Geordi is basically just an extra.

Anyway, the technical aspects of Geordi’s character are sort of more interesting than the character himself, who’s just “the engineer.” Non-Geordi episodes just have him drop in, say “SHIELDS ARE AT 30% CAPTAIN,” and disappear. Geordi/Data episodes have him as the supporting character for the immensely more interesting Data, where he’s there to explain in human terms whatever new nugget of humanity Data has discovered, and invariably does a bad job of it. Geordi-specific episodes show him to be the most awkward person on the ship after Barclay. Aside from the romance episodes, what does Geordi even have? The episode where he turns into a shadow monster?

Fun fact, there’s a commentary for the season 7 episode about Geordi’s mother where the writer describes the pitch. “Someone had the idea for an episode about Geordi’s mother, and we were like… *sigh* Are we running so low on ideas that this is where we’re at? Geordi’s family?” Poor Geordi. By that point, we’d had episodes about the families of Picard, Riker, Crusher, Data, Worf, and even Yar, but it was Geordi that was a step too far. And really, they were right. Season 7 is clearly where they just ran out of ideas in general, at least until the final episode.
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Started: July 6, 2005
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