• Post New Message
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. GameFAQs Contests
  3. Eight Board-Eighters Rank Star Trek Characters

User Info: Vengeful_KBM

Vengeful_KBM
1 month ago#41
#59. Chakotay

Chakotay. Must. BOX!”
–a very popular meme

Chakotay sucks. Not to put too fine a point on it or anything. There are characters in Star Trek that are poorly acted, characters that are poorly written, and characters that the writers never had any idea what to do with or how to use properly. Chakotay may be the only lead character in a Star Trek series who was a perfect storm of all three of these things at once. If the writers were going to try for some genuine Native American representation, which was, on its own, an admirable idea, they really should have done some actual research instead of relying on some con artist for the obviously fake, ludicrously stereotypical portrayal of Native culture on display in almost all of Chakotay's feature episodes. When people say that “bad representation is worse than no representation at all,” this is the kind of thing they're talking about. I genuinely like Voyager as a show, I do, but sometimes, especially in the early seasons (before the writers seemed to more or less forget he existed and just started acting like Tuvok was the second-in-command), it was really hard to get on board considering this guy was one of the leads.

So, okay, specifics. First of all, any time there was any sort of Vision Quest-related episode I just wanted to die. These episodes are, without exception, a blight on Voyager's record. Even that one Original Series episode where Kirk decides to become a Native American is handled more respectfully. Second of all, on the VERY rare occasion on which the writers found something halfway compelling to do with Chakotay, it would last for an episode and then get immediately dropped (a pretty common problem with Voyager, but particularly brutal when it comes to this guy). I'm talking, like, the second-season episode “Resolutions,” where Janeway and Chakotay get marooned on a remote planet for Reasons and end up starting up a kinda-sorta romantic relationship. The big twist of that episode is that the two of them actually have some pretty decent chemistry... but, of course, their relationship is never explored in such a way again and we're expected to act like it never happened.

https://gamefaqs1.cbsistatic.com/user_image/7/1/6/AAPPSkAAAGhc.jpg
I would have used a picture of Chakotay boxing but Quinton beat me to it.

Point is that they pulled s*** like this all the time, and even though there might be three or four episodes over the series' 172-episode run where Chakotay was more or less all right, he spent the vast majority of that span as dead weight, and bringing the series' momentum to an utter crawl whenever the writers realized they hadn't done a Chakotay-centric episode in awhile and decided to give him another chance in the spotlight. For every “s***tered,” an actually pretty good seventh-season episode with him bouncing back and forth between time periods, there's countless outings like “Tattoo” or “Nemesis” or “The Fight” that I desperately wish I could forget. Although at least “The Fight” is hilarious in an ironic way. I guess.

PS: The fact that I didn't even think to mention he was a Maquis in my write-up is really kind of telling in terms of how much Voyager did with THAT particular concept.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Eddv

Eddv
1 month ago#42
#57 Chakotay
I am a Native American Indian Warrior. Let's do the Tomahawk Chop. Go Braves.

Speaking of lead characters who were nothing but a weight on the show they came from, sup Chakotay. I walked into Voyager HYPED. They had built up the Maquis vs Federation combat really well in DS9 and seeing that conflict presented as the central concept of a new show was a really fun idea. You can see the writers' project in the show's setup where you have federation officers Janeway and Tuvok aligned in one corner with Maquis officers B'Elanna Torres and Chakotay in the other with the slippery Tom Paris in the middle serving as the balance of power and Harry Kim as an after thought, even here at the moment of conception.

Chakotay's complete and utter lack of compellingness as a character - or really the actor's lack of chops as a dramatic lead in a genre television setting - nearly instantly quashed this entire setup. It didnt survive halfway though season 1 outside of being an important part of B'Elanna's character arc, despite the entire rest of the show undermining her dogged determination to have character development. And that....transformation of the show from what it could have been to what it was was quite the disappointment.

Chakotay has a couple episodes I quite like from a TOS-style schlock perspective - The Fight being the chief episode among those. It also seems quite clear to me that Chakotay's actor is far more comfortable doing romance and soap opera acting as those moments are the ones in which he shines - much to Quinton's chagrin re: Seven of Nine later in the show. The fact is he never really gets better. The show continues to suffer under the weight of having a terrible secondary lead until they quietly demote him from that role.
Board 8's Voice of Reason
https://i.imgur.com/AWY4xHy.jpg

User Info: Eddv

Eddv
1 month ago#43
#56 Ash Tyler
Oh Michael, I love you too much to execute my stupid plan

Michael Burnham's love interest from season 1 AKA Voq the Albino Klingon. He was theoretically going to be interesting with the big reveal that he was a Klingon sleeper agent but he was too IN LOVE with Burnham - who basically as far as I can tell did nothing to make that level of loyalty and affection happen besides existing as the perfect person in this universe. But then Star Trek has always sucked at love subplots, see the episode in TNG where they just sort of declared it was horny o clock leading to Troi and Riker and Yar and Data becoming couples (yes thats right Tasha Yar f***ed Data in season 1 and it was weird, you're welcome).

Anyway, the big reveal that Voq, who had at that point been one of the few points of legitimate intrigue to me, was actually just this big loser he and the entire show plummeted some more in my esteem. Just a steaming pile of drizzling crap. The best thing I can say for Ash is he left the ship thus sparing us more of his stupidity. The worst thing is that I hear he did not actually leave the show as a result so we aren't entirely home free.

As an aside, I don't like being this negative about Star Trek, but Discovery is not a show that I like even a little bit.
Board 8's Voice of Reason
https://i.imgur.com/AWY4xHy.jpg

User Info: Anagram

Anagram
1 month ago#44
57. Wesley Crusher
“Lieutenant, why do people use drugs?”

Wesley Crusher is one of the most epic miscalculations in science-fiction history. He’s not as bad as Jar-Jar Binks or basically anything that happened to Terminator after the second movie, but he’s pretty bad. It’s a testament to how good the rest of TNG is that it still manages to be entertaining even when laden down with him.

I can’t imagine anyone reading a Star Trek character ranking doesn’t already know why this character is awful. He’s a boy genius with Gene Roddenberry’s middle name, whose greatest problems are that adults underestimate him and that he doesn’t understand why people would ruin their lives with drugs (someone thought that was compelling television in 1987). The idea that a ship full of the greatest minds the Federation has to offer would fail to figure out the things Wesley casually comes up with is preposterous. Despite this, Wesley does have a couple of episodes where he isn’t actively ruining things, and they do eventually do one interesting thing with him in the episode where he covers up a friend’s death, so he places above Neelix and Pulaski.

Hell, even Wesley’s stupid “acting ensign” uniform is bad. Everyone else dresses according to their position while he has a gray jumpsuit on. It’s really easy to see why Wesley’s scenes were cut from Nemesis and his role reduced to an extra at the table with all of the main characters.

Looking back on things, I might admit that Wesley’s lows aren’t as bad as some of the people I’ve ranked above him, but the idea of this character so offends me that I’m sticking his ass in the bottom three anyway. Even ignoring how Wesley has Roddenberry’s middle name as his first name, does anyone like boy geniuses outside of comedy cartoons aimed at nine year-olds? It wasn’t until Joss Whedon made Angel that the name Wesley was redeemed for fictional characters.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: ZenOfThunder

ZenOfThunder
1 month ago#45
every time I watch the episode where Wesley destroys the flowerbed on the Hot Dude Sex Planet™ and the two almost naked guys trot over and take out the lethal syringe to execute him on the spot I literally lose my s*** in an uncontrollable laughing fit

someone in a writer's room came up with that as an A plot for an episode

it's unironically one of the highlights of TNG for me
(|| ' ' ||) drooling while eating
. /|_|\

User Info: scarletspeed7

scarletspeed7
1 month ago#46
Eddv posted...
I quite literally ranked with a N/A rank like 15 posts up from here.
You missed my joke.
"It is too easy being monsters. Let us try to be human." ~Victor Frankenstein, Penny Dreadful

User Info: Anagram

Anagram
1 month ago#47
56. Chakotay
“This reminds me of an ancient Indian saying: Wiseman once say, make up sayings as you need them.”

There’s nothing I can say about Chakotay that hasn’t been said by someone else in the topic. This character consists of approximately three elements: Native American stereotypes, writers having no idea what to do with him, and Robert Beltran just giving up.

Let’s tackle the first one of those elements. Hiring a literal con man as your Native American advisor to ensure cultural accuracy is pretty bad, and it results in a character who is from no specific tribe and instead just a generic Indian. But hey, you know, it’s the future, maybe things changed in the whatever tribe he’s from, I’d be willing to let that slide if anything was ever done with it. Instead, Chakotay’s Native American heritage is used in precisely two ways: advise other characters with trite wise sayings and be the “spiritual” character. I think this isn’t said enough: unless you’re Star Wars, don’t have spiritual characters in space opera science-fiction. It never works out. “I believe there are some things you can’t measure with a tricorder,” how did this guy pass Starfleet Academy. He’s always the one using his Native American powers to psychically lead people in a dream or something stupid like that. Let’s not even talk about the episode where it’s revealed that aliens came to Earth, were impressed at how in-tune with nature Native Americans were, and altered their DNA to live in tribes and always respect it. At best it’s stupid, at worst it’s offensive. And I said all of that without talking about how Robert Beltran is clearly Hispanic. Was it too much to ask that you hire an actual Indian to play a character who says lines like “Looks like you’re with the only Indian in the galaxy who can’t make a fire by rubbing two sticks together?”

In concept, “By-the-book Starfleet captain and rebellious renegade must work together” is a great combination. The writers drop this idea after like three episodes, and no one suffers from it more than Chakotay, because he has no personality traits (besides “Indian”) other than that he supposedly captained a Maquis ship. After this, he becomes just a guy. The show would’ve been better if anyone else was first officer besides him… Maybe not Harry, but we’ll get to Harry. Anyway, the writers instantly ran out of things for Chakotay to do, that’s the point.

Robert Beltran is like a walking joke. He visibly gives up, to the point where you can’t be sure he’s even alive. For all I know, it’s a doppelganger who’s using the show as an opportunity to work on its human disguise. Garret Wang (Harry Kim) has said in interviews that the human characters were told to “act wooden,” and no one mastered that better than Robert Beltran. He tried to get himself fired by asking for a salary raise, and they just gave it to him. He demanded they give his character a love interest, and they do it in the last episode by pairing him with a girl he’s spoken like ten lines to.

Chakotay is used well exactly one time, and that’s why he’s above the likes of Pulaski and Wesley. He is used well only in Scorpion. That’s it. The episode where Janeway is like “LOL I WANNA MAKE A DEAL WITH THE BORG” and Chakotay is like “Here’s a wise non-Indian saying about scorpions trying to cross rivers, I don’t approve of this course of action” and there’s a little thing I like to call “tension.” Even then, though, Chakotay’s best moment is when he’s the fourth most important character in the episode.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: Anagram

Anagram
1 month ago#48
ZenOfThunder posted...
every time I watch the episode where Wesley destroys the flowerbed on the Hot Dude Sex Planet™ and the two almost naked guys trot over and take out the lethal syringe to execute him on the spot I literally lose my s*** in an uncontrollable laughing fit

someone in a writer's room came up with that as an A plot for an episode

it's unironically one of the highlights of TNG for me
Early TNG has some fantastic bad episodes like that.
Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005

User Info: scarletspeed7

scarletspeed7
1 month ago#49
Chakotay isn't my bottom spot I'm sorry guys.
"It is too easy being monsters. Let us try to be human." ~Victor Frankenstein, Penny Dreadful

User Info: Vengeful_KBM

Vengeful_KBM
1 month ago#50
#58. Travis Mayweather
I was a main character on all four seasons of Enterprise. No, really, I was!”

Of all the characters in Star Trek, I don't think there was one more ultimately pointless and underutilized than poor Travis Mayweather. I almost feel bad putting him this low, but the guy was a credited main cast member for the entire 98-episode run (only not appearing in three of them) and over that entire stretch of time had absolutely no personality or relevance whatsoever. Even the Original Series didn't shaft anyone quite as badly as the writers of Enterprise did Travis Mayweather. His entire function, for four whole years, was to sit there, wide-eyed at the helm, shut up, and drive.

https://gamefaqs1.cbsistatic.com/user_image/8/6/3/AAPPSkAAAGjv.jpg
Even in the mirror universe they didn't do s*** with him.

Which is a shame, because the concept for the character was halfway decent: Enterprise taking place as it did in the early days of space travel, Archer's Enterprise turned to a guy who was born to cargo runners and grew up his space, ostensibly giving him more relevant first-hand experience than anybody else on the show. Unfortunately, the show went exactly nowhere with this concept, giving us a single subpar highlight episode for the guy in the second-season outing “Horizon”. Plot synopsis: He visits his family on the ship where he grew up. That's... pretty much it. The writers gave themselves the one chance to further explore his backstory, and by the end of an episode with him, we feel like we don't have any more information than we started with, apart from knowing his family's names. Hell, the most memorable part of the episode is in the B-plot where T'Pol reacts to the movie Frankenstein.

So yeah, that's all there is to say about Travis Mayweather, one of the most useless nothings of a character in franchise history. You have to feel bad for Anthony Montgomery, but it's hard to say if his performance was even good, they gave him so little to even work with. I wouldn't be surprised if even he forgets he was on Enterprise sometimes.
  1. Boards
  2. GameFAQs Contests
  3. Eight Board-Eighters Rank Star Trek Characters
  • Post New Message