Exploring Picard’s Galaxy

Essays on Star Trek: The Next Generation

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About the Book

Serving as the sequel to Gene Roddenberry’s original television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation pushed the boundaries of the “final frontier.” At the same time, the show continued the franchise’s celebrated exploration of the human experience, reflecting current social and political events. ST:TNG became immensely successful, spawning four feature films and several television spin-offs. This collection of new essays explores both the series’ characters and its themes. Topics include the Federation’s philosophy concerning technocracy, sexuality and biopolitics; foreign policy shifts in the Prime Directive; key characters including Jean-Luc Picard, Data, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar; and Klingon martial arts, music, and history.

About the Author(s)

Peter W. Lee has written many articles on film and comic books. He lives in Simi Valley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Peter W. Lee

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6661-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3096-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Pushing the Boundaries of the Final Frontier 1

Part I—Building a Galaxy: Structural Foundations in Interstellar Government

Engage! Captain Picard, Federationism and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Emerging Post–Cold War World (Alex ­Burston-Chorowicz) 7

An Impossible Standard: Dangerous Knowledge, Moral Progress and the Prime Directive (Larry A. Grant) 23

Policing Loyalty: Comparing the Tal Shiar and the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Anh T. Tran) 43

“You will be assimilated”: Multicultural Utopianism in the 24th Century (Mehdi Achouche) 60

Material Agency: The Limits of Technostructure in the 24th Century (Justin Ream and Alexander Lee) 74

Part II—Gender and Identity Constructions

Perfect Society and Flawless Human Beings: The Biopolitics of Genetic Enhancement, Cloning and Disability in the 24th Century (Simon Ledder, Jens Kolata and Oonagh Hayes) 91

The Borg: The Antithesis of Lieutenant Commander Data (Olaf Meuther) 118

“It’s Kirk vs. Picard!”: Changing Notions of Heroism from the 1960s to the 1990s (Katharina Thalmann) 134

The Queerness of Villainy in the 24th Century (Bruce E. Drushel) 150

Going Where No Woman Had Gone Before: Women’s Roles on the Enterprise-D as Reflective of Women’s Changing Roles

in the American Labor Force (Erin C. Callahan) 166

I Sensed It: Deanna Troi’s Cognitively Restructured Trek and the Futurism of The Next Generation (Joul Smith) 179

Out of Order: Tasha Yar’s Downfall in the Age of Reagan (Peter W. Lee) 198

Part III—Cultural Textures in Twenty-Fourth Century Living

Klingon Kung Fu: Martial Arts in Future History (Jared Miracle) 211

Listening to the 24th Century: Music and Musicians Heard Throughout the Voyages of the Enterprise-D (and Some of the Enterprise-E) (Tom Zlabinger) 223

The Future Past: Reflections on the Role of History (Alexander Simmeth) 237


About the Contributors 249

Index 251