[USS Vanguard] Reaction to comments in "Backstage"

  • From: "andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 08:54:04 -0500

I'm glad that Steve's found something/someone of interest in the Meditation 
Suite. I remember when I originally started designing the Vanguard in my head 
and the hand-wringing I did over the Meditation Suite. I discussed Santos, the 
Vanguard and the Meditation Suite with Chris (Soman Drath) and told him my 
thinking behind each.

With Santos, I had tried to craft a flawed character who was damaged both by 
the choices he had made and the conditions into which he often found himself. I 
never completely bought into Roddenberry's vision of a future in which all 
personality conflicts are eliminated, but at the same time, I despised the 
end-run that Berman and Braga have used to inject personality conflicts into 
the franchise (Federation vs. Bajoran on DS9, Federation vs. Maquis on Voyager, 
for example). 

I also felt that a great deal of the success or failure of the Star Trek shows 
could be attributed back to the commanding officer. I did like Next Generation 
and Voyager very much, but their captain-figures were victim to this 
stereotyping, too. These "legendary" Star Trek leaders are mostly 
cookie-cutter: The Swashbuckler (Kirk), the Paragon of Virtue/Renaissance Man 
(Picard), the Mother Figure (Janeway), the Fearless Explorer (Archer).

Sisko was the closest to what I was trying to achieve with Santos, but I think 
my enjoyment of Sisko was lessened by the fact that I didn't enjoy the DS9 
premise, not to mention the fact that Avery Brooks had the emotional range of 

The Meditation Suite was the one aspect of Vanguard I fretted over the most. I 
had found plenty of other Star Trek-related sims online that tried to run with 
a Star Trek-slash-[whatever] theme. For example, the sims geared toward 
Christians: "We are a Christian Star Trek plya by mail sim!!! We r the USS 
Galilee join us to celebrate Star trek explore stragne new world ans priase 
Jesus!! In His name, capt. Ruben St. Paul." This is usually accompanied by a 
JPG of a Galaxy-class ship Photoshopped with a Cross across the bow. To that, I 
say: more power to you. If that's what you like and you find an audience for it 
and you're not trying to hurt anyone else, then get down with your bad selves.

Now, let's just say I'm not particularly Catholic and leave it at that. 
However, when I abandoned Vanier K. Lee (because one day, I came to the 
realization that Lee was static and would never change), I decided to craft a 
character unseen in the franchise--someone whose marriage has failed, whose 
entire crew has died under his command, whose personal trial (during his 
shipwreck) did not originate from circumstances that happened to him (like Kirk 
or Sisko) but rather through a series of choices he made (good and bad). Also, 
I never bought into Picard's assertion that religion was dead in the future: If 
religion hasn't died in 2000 years, chances are, it's going to survive another 
2000, so long as there are people who remember.

Sometimes, I've failed with what I've tried to get across with Santos. Other 
times, I feel I know exactly what he's thinking and feeling. And I love letting 
him interact with all of your characters, too! After all these years, I find 
that your characters' voices are stronger than ever--due to some simply 
fantastic writing and characterization on this sim--and I just have an absolute 
ball letting them all interact. I hope you feel half of what I do for your 
character and you love the interaction as much as I do.
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