Star Wars: EU Read-Through “Dark Force Rising” by Timothy Zahn

dfr-zahnI have embarked on a quest to read through the Star Wars Expanded Universe once more. Be sure to check the linked text there to see other posts in this series. Here, I look at Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn.

Dark Force Rising

Here we are at the midway point of the famed “Thrawn Trilogy.” Does it continue to hold up as well as the first, Heir to the Empire?

In the book, the primary thrust is Thrawn’s–and the Empire’s–search for new ships, which comes to be focused on the “Dark Force”–a mysterious, missing fleet of Dreadnoughts. As the race is on to find where these ships are, Princess Leia travels to the Noghri homeworld and discovers the great injustices that have been dealt to this alien people.

What Zahn perhaps does best of all is the introduction and fleshing out of numerous secondary characters like the Noghri, Senator Bel Iblis, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and more. These characters each have intriguing backgrounds and are genuinely deeply important to the story. This is something I recall not happening in all the Star Wars books as secondary characters are often little more than window dressing for the main characters’ struggles. Here, however, readers are freely introduced to a wonderful cast of characters who have motivations, insights, and their own struggles to go along with those of the main characters like Luke, Han, and Leia.

The Noghri and their planet,  Honoghr, are the other central part of the plot, and Leia’s interactions there are both interesting and true to her character. Zahn did an excellent job setting up this world and its inhabitants as a stage for current and future conflict. Like Kashyyk in Heir to the Empire, Honoghr seems like a fleshed out world rather than a mere stage for events.

Thrawn in this book continues to be an interesting character, but his tactical genius seems to be slipping. The assumptions he made related to the Noghri ended up being mistaken, which is surprising given how much Zahn had previously emphasized his cultural intuition by means of studying the artworks of various peoples. However, this may not be a bad thing as it is clear Thrawn needs to have some weakness, and the most believable one is almost certainly that he would out-think himself.

The biggest problem in the book is, like the first, the rather large number of awfully “convenient” circumstances. Here, however, it is the existence of the “Dark Force”which suddenly everyone knows about and is interested in. Lando, Karrde, Thrawn, and others all have some knowledge about this fleet. Now this isn’t absolutely extraordinary, but what is extraordinary is that after all this time, more than one person just happens to show up who knows where the fleet is, just when the Empire is looking for new ships. It’s just a little too much.

The Good

+Good development of worlds
+Intriguing character development
+The Noghri are a complex, interesting species with great background
+Continued emphasis on secondary characters gives depth to the universe

The Bad

-A bit too convenient that everyone suddenly has inside information
-Thrawn doesn’t seem quite so much a genius as he did before (perhaps this will end up being a good thing)

Best Droid Moment

It’s kind of hard to think of one because there weren’t too many, but I did enjoy R2-D2’s attempt to fight alongside Luke.

Grade: A- “Another great installment by Zahn.”

Conclusion

Dark Force Rising isn’t as flawless as Heir to the Empire, but continued focus on secondary characters, great world-building, and fast-paced action still make it among the cream of the crop for Star Wars books.

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Reading through Star Wars: Expanded Universe- Here you can read other posts in this series (reviews of other EU books) and make suggestions about what I should include in my reviews.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

There are other posts on science fiction books to be found! Read them here.

SDG.

Book Review: “Never to Live” by Just B. Jordan

ntl-jordanNever to Live is madness. The main character, Elwyn, is tortured into madness after she agrees to try to stop an ancient evil. The book then follows Elwyn and a cast of characters on an adventure which seems as disjointed as Elwyn’s mind. There will be SPOILERS below.

Terms are introduced with little-to-no definitions anywhere in the book. Things like “loxasta” are mentioned but their role is never clearly defined nor is there ever enough description to know what they might be motivated by. Locales are as bare bones as possible, often with no description so that it comes as a surprise when someone steps out from behind a tree (after all, how did we know trees were here when there was no description?). Characters similarly have almost no detail, with readers left to try to fill in the pieces of their motivations, descriptions, and backgrounds. All of this is a bit surprising in a book that comes close to 700 pages.

What is done with those 700 pages? The first 100-200 pages are largely a trip through the mad mind wanderings of the main character, Elwyn. There’s not enough detail to explain why these memories are chosen or what context they might have or how, exactly, the torture is happening or even really for what reason. Yes, hints are dropped, but they never meld together to form anything coherent. The next 400+ pages are basically just following the set of characters–largely without motivations–through a journey through the land. During this journey, one character discovers the ability to turn into a dragon, another starts sprouting roots (!), others discuss their thoughts with a demonic character, a dragon shows up, a were-panther follows Elwyn around (why?), and more.

All of this makes sense, in a way, because Never to Live never sets ground rules for how the world works. There are no apparent restrictions on the possible, so having characters randomly start turning into a plant only to reveal later a link between that and a covenant with the dryads–another faction without any background (along with the loxasta, the “kings”–apparently some malicious rulers of some land, though it’s never entirely sure which land where or why, etc.)–seems almost reasonable. The problem is that because there seem to be virtually no rules, no descriptions, and no background, the book never gets its feet grounded in a reality that readers can relate to. It seems entirely disjointed throughout, with little reason to care about what’s happening.

Even when the story starts to wrap up (page 600 and following), some threads are tied, but completely new open-ended thoughts are introduced, like a horse that apparently was Elwyn’s son the whole time. The ending is probably the best part, but it does little to tie up all the loose ends or even make sense of the world in which the story takes place.

On the plus side, there are some interesting points brought up by a character named Weaver–possibly a God stand-in but it is never clear–regarding theology and philosophy. Moreover, the exploration of self-worth and the concept of reducing a main character to madness is intriguing, it just doesn’t work as portrayed in this book.

Never to Live is a tough read. I re-read multiple sections, even going back and re-reading the introductory chapters a few times after things related to them popped up later in the book. Even after that work dedicated to the book, I am left with the conclusion that it is, unfortunately, a jumbled and faceless outline of a story rather than a complete story on its own.

The Good

+Some intriguing philosophical/theological points
+Interesting premise

The Bad

-Completely incoherent opening
-Characters receive almost no development
-Locales have almost no description to ground them
-Ideas are introduced seemingly at random
-Key terms insufficiently explained
-No motivations for characters

The Verdict

Grade: D-

At times incoherent, and on the whole lacking in development, Never to Live is a sometimes tantalizing mess.

I received a review copy of this book from Enclave publishing. I was not influenced or required by the publisher to write any kind of review.

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Microview- Read more microviews to discover more materials to experience! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Just B. Jordan, Never to Live (Colorado Springs, CO: Enclave, 2009).

SDG.

Star Trek: TNG Season 4, “First Contact” and “Night Terrors”

"Lwaxana Troi is coming back to another episode? NOOOO!!!!!"

“Lwaxana Troi is coming back to another episode? NOOOO!!!!!”

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“First Contact”

Plot

William Riker is captured on a mission in which he and other Starfleet personnel were trying to learn more about a people they were going to make first contact with on behalf of Starfleet. The crew of the Enterprise attempts to initiate contact and get Riker back, but factions within the planet’s people themselves try to prevent the change that they are afraid of. Finally, Riker is involved in an altercation as an alien tries to fake his own murder and blame it on Riker. Riker is rescued and the man treated, but ultimately the people decide not to enter the wider universe yet.

Commentary

Wow, at some points this really felt like an episode of The Original Series. The alien coming on to Riker, the campy overall feel of several scenes, each hearkened back to TOS. This can be a good thing, but here it felt deeply out of place in an episode that needed to be taken more seriously in order to really reach the heights it aspired to. The campiness takes away from what is a serious premise and insight into the way Starfleet operates in making contact with others.

Frankly, it is the latter part that really carries the episode. It’s such a fascinating look into the comings and goings of Starfleet life. We knew generally that of course they made contact with other peoples, but never before (at least in TNG), have we seen this in action. It was so interesting to see this that it, again, felt very jarring when the tone was changed from serious to tongue-in-cheek and campy. However, even with the occasional difficulties, this was a great way to experience Starfleet life in a way we hadn’t really seen before.

What did you think of the campy parts? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Grade: B+ “A solid episode about the way Starfleet makes contact.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “The pace was a little off in some places but overall it was a great episode showing the first interactions with a new people.”

“Night Terrors”

Plot

The Enterprise investigates the scene of another Starfleet ship which has been stuck adrift. Everyone on board other than one Betazoid is dead, but there is no apparent explanation. Unfortunately, the Enterprise also finds itself stuck adrift and as the crew tries to get underway again, they also start to experience hallucinations, erratic behavior, and fear. Dr. Crusher finds that they aren’t having dreams–except for Troi. Troi’s dreams turn out to be a message and she works with Data to set up a way to escape from the situation.

Commentary

It’s hard for Star Trek to do horror, but “Night Terrors” shows that TNG is capable of at least maintaining a very strong sense of foreboding throughout an episode. There are some moments that are creepy, and apart from some cheap attempts at thrills–like the snakes in Riker’s bed–most feel genuinely intense–like the scene with Crusher in the morgue. It’s an impressive effort made even more noteworthy because it could have gone so poorly. It could have been very cheesy, and it wasn’t. Kudos!

The main plot is fairly thin–the Enterprise must get unstuck. But that doesn’t really undermine how thrilling the episode was overall. A very cool episode, even if it is a throwaway plot.

Grade: A- “A real sense of foreboding accompanied by an intriguing problem make this episode memorable.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “A Great premise and good acting.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: TNG- For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.

Star Trek: TNG Season 4 “Devil’s Due” and “Clues”

"Oh.... this is YOUR seat? I wouldn't have guessed!"

“Oh…. this is YOUR seat? I wouldn’t have guessed!”

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“Devil’s Due”

Plot

The Enterprise must deal with a hostage situation that involves a whole planet being held against a contract which allegedly places them in slavery to a mythical figure–Ardra–in exchange for the 1000 years of peace they have enjoyed. Ardra herself allegedly shows up and has lots of tricks to back up her claim. However, Geordi’s diligent work leads to the discovery of Ardra’s ship and an epic showdown as Picard embarrasses the woman claiming to be Ardra in court through use of her own powers.

Commentary

“Devil’s Due” is an interesting premise. What would happen if someone used the powers of a starship for something like, say, imitating a malevolent deity? It seems like the perfect con, and “Ardra” almost gets away with it here. Picard, however, is determined to intervene.

The main plot is nothing special–it just serves to set the stage for Picard and Ardra to have a showdown over the fate of a planet, with Data moderating of course. It’s fun, and even though we know Picard will ultimately win, Ardra gives him a run for his money and some good points of hilarity are found through the episode.

The incredulity factor is a bit high in some of Ardra’s uses of her ship. How, for example, did she make the Enterprise disappear or move? How did she show up in Picard’s quarters and disable functions of the computer? These are largely left unexplained. It’s not like we need a thorough explanation of everything, but it would have been interesting to see how she managed to get so powerful in these specific ways.

“Devil’s Due” is a solid episode. It’s not spectacular–the premise is a bit too thin for that–but it’s the kind of fun filler episode that is pleasant to have come along once in a while.

Grade: B 

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was fun to see Captain Picard and his crew problem solve to demythologize Ardra.”

“Clues”

Plot

The Enterprise encounters something that causes the crew–sans Data–to go unconscious and wakes up apparently 30 seconds later. However, as the crew continues to try to figure out what happened, a number of incongruities in the story pop up, and Data falls under suspicion for concealing the truth. He finally admits to Picard that Picard himself ordered Data to deceive them, and a powerful entity is at work here–one that will destroy the Enterprise simply for knowing about its existence. Picard convinces the entity that they will succeed if they try again, and they proceed. This time, no clues are left behind and only Data knows the truth in the end.

Commentary

“Clues” is another one of those episodes with a really solid mystery at its core. What happened in the lost day? Why is Data apparently concealing facts? The episode also introduces the various little inconsistencies in the story in ways that continue to build the mystery rather than revealing it all at once. At the beginning it seems like it is some probably benign mishap that Data possibly suffered, but as the episode continues a sense of foreboding builds that is all-too-often difficult for a show like TNG to pull off.

The best part about this episode, though, is that unlike with the recent “Future Imperfect,” “Clues” manages to wrap up the story satisfactorily. Simply seeing Data, knowing that he will take the terrible secret with him forever, is an extraordinarily bleak ending that wraps the episode up perfectly.

Grade: A “Here’s how an episode with a mysterious main plot should wrap up.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was a good premise and interesting story but it would be nice if they body-snatched someone other than Troi every once in a while.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: TNG- For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.

Microview: “Eternity Falls” by Kirk Outerbridge

efalls-outerbridgeEternity Falls by Kirk Outerbridge is a cyberpunk thriller with quite a bit of depth and insight. There will be some minor SPOILERS in this microview.

Rick Macey is a PI contracted to help find out whether there was something untoward in the death of a woman who’d received the Miracle Treatment–something which should have made it impossible for her to have died of natural causes. In the process of the investigation, he finds himself thrust into a struggle of deep import both in his personal life and to the world at large.

Alongside Sheila Dunn, a prominent executive for the company that makes the Miracle Treatment, he dives into a stirring adventure that will leave readers wonderfully breathless. There are themes of religious extremism and violence, mystery, questions about human nature, and action throughout.

A prominent theme throughout the book is that of faith (or lack thereof). Macey himself struggles with his own deconversion in a world in which belief in deity seems absurd. When confronted with someone else who is a firm believer, the book takes another surprising turn and the moral and theological questions it raises are remarkably interesting. There were several moments I was at the edge of my seat, wondering which direction Macey might go on questions that are of real life import for persons of faith.

Outerbridge writes great action scenes as well, and a climactic conflict is particularly page-turning. Not all authors do possess a  gift for making fights interesting, but Outerbridge succeeds here in a big way.

Two downsides in the book are worth mentioning. First, there are a few moments in which gender stereotypes are unfortunately perpetuated. Macey, at one point, complains inwardly about “how quickly their [women’s] feelings got hurt…” (87). Moments like this are few and far between, and may simply be blamed on a kind of stereotype in Macey’s own head rather than something Outerbridge puts forward, but they are still unfortunate. Second, the technology, at times, is not sufficiently explained. Of course with anything sci-fi, there will be suspension of disbelief, but too often it seems that something is “hacked” into or somehow disabled without any description of just how this might have been accomplished. This problem is made more evident by the times Outerbridge does offer such descriptions, because they are quite good and mesh well with the expectations for cyberpunk.

Overall, Outerbridge seems to have hit gold with Eternity Falls, and this reader, for one, will seek out his other works.

The Good

+ Great genre mix of cyberpunk, action, and detective drama
+ Fantastic action
+ Genuinely insightful moral discussions…
+ …paired with great reflections on faith

The Bad

– Some gender stereotypes perpetuated
– Some of the technology could have used more description

The Verdict

Grade: A

Kirk Outerbridge’s Eternity Falls is a unquestionably fun romp on a journey of mystery, faith, and exploration of the human psyche.

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Microview- Read more microviews to discover more materials to experience! (Scroll down for more)

Source

Kirk Outerbridge, Eternity Falls (Colorado Springs, CO: Enclave, 2009).

SDG.

 

Star Trek: TNG Season 4- “Data’s Day” and “The Wounded”

Data, this might not be the right kind of dancing for a wedding...

Data, this might not be the right kind of dancing for a wedding…

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“Data’s Day”

Plot

Data is recording his day aboard the Enterprise in order to send it on to Starfleet to study the observations of an android. The day involves Chief O’Brien’s marriage to Keiko, Romulans and a potential diplomatic emergency, and the standard routines of Data’s day. It turns out the ambassador the Enterprise is ferrying is actually a Romulan spy that is now returned to them, and Data acts as father of the bride in Keiko’s marriage to O’Brien (after some ups and downs).

Commentary

An episode narrated by Data! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, actually, not much. It’s a very solid episode that introduces Keiko–O’Brien’s fiancee/wife–along with following Data throughout a day. The Romulan subplot (more on this below) is introduced to add suspense. Data’s breaking of the news regarding Keiko’s decision to cancel the wedding with Miles O’Brien was hilarious. The integration of humor throughout the episode helped keep it from ever getting bogged down. Data learning to dance with Dr. Crusher was another fun and very believable bit of the story.

The best part of the episode is how it simply shows what Data does throughout a day. People who have watched the series this long are necessarily drawn to learning more about the “mundane” activities of the ship, and “Data’s Day” is simply fantastic at showing some of these details. One is the way the ship powers down the lights for the “night watch”–a nod to a potential human need to experience “night” even aboard a ship going all over the galaxy. Little tidbits like these are welcome and infuse TNG with some reality that is totally endearing.

Perhaps the only real shortcoming of the episode is that it tries just a little too hard. The Romulan plot is frankly superfluous. Though interesting, the episode could (should) have jettisoned it without any loss. Simply following Data’s life throughout one day would have been enough without the attempt to add suspense to the situation.

That said, “Data’s Day” is just a really fun episode that blends a conspiracy, a wedding, and a standard day into one. The insights into life on board the Enterprise was welcome and surprising. It’s so fun to see the show succeed at an episode that could have gone terribly wrong. Well done!

Grade: A- “A pretty awesome blend of three episodes that actually works.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “It was a fun change of pace from the normal episode structure and Data was delightful.”

“The Wounded”

Plot

A Cardassian ship attacks the Enterprise, claiming the Federation has violated the treaty with the Cardassians and that they are at war. After tensions are calmed momentarily, Picard is instructed by Starfleet to investigate and the Enterprise brings aboard some Cardassians as they explore the possible misunderstanding.

Commentary

Miles O’Brien gets even more screen time in this episode and that is a very good thing. He really does not like the Cardassians, though through the episode he seemed to be in denial of this fact. Finally, he comes to realize he hates his own confrontation with killing and the atrocities of war. He integrates this into his discussion that convinces the renegade Captain Maxwell to stand down in a frankly stirring scene reflecting the loyalty bought by side-by-side struggles. O’Brien is just spectacularly acted by Colm Meaney and I can’t wait to see more of him. The ascent of O’Brien in TNG has come to glorious fruition and to see him carry an episode in many ways was just fantastic.

The moral questions found in the episode related to war are also worth mention. Retaliation is not justice, and the episode does a fantastic job of introducing this concept through its narration of events and the use of Captain Maxwell. The increasing tension as we watched Maxwell blow away Cardassians on-screen was done really well simply by showing red blips disappear. It was a great juxtaposition of simplicity–blips representing ships–and reality–those ships were 650 deaths. Questions of the morality of these actions were not overdone and the subtlety with which they were conveyed was done quite well.

The Cardassians themselves are an intriguing race. Seemingly warlike, but not tempered by the same concepts of honor that the Klingons have or the subtlety of the Romulans, they present what feels like a more imminent threat than some others introduced in the series.

The final conversation between Picard and Gul Macet was a great way to close out the episode and show that some ambiguity remains in the relationship between the Federation and the Cardassians.

“The Wounded” is an impassioned narrative that deserves its place among the great episodes of TNG.

Grade: A “The introduction of the Cardassians to the universe is a stirring story of conspiracy, morality, and loyalty.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “It was fun to meet a new race and the storyline was very good.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: TNG- For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.

Star Trek: TNG Season 4 “The Loss” and “Galaxy’s Child”

Troi- check your body language! You're better than that!

Troi- check your body language! You’re better than that!

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“The Loss”

Plot

The Enterprise encounters some two-dimensional life forms and during the encounter, Troi somehow loses her empathic abilities. As she struggles to come to terms with this loss, the crew of the Enterprise seeks to escape from the creatures’ hold on the ship as they are brought into peril. The crew figures out a way to escape the clutches of the 2D creatures and after escaping, Troi’s abilities are restored.

Commentary

It was very interesting to see Troi have to deal with the loss of her abilities and come to the realization of how much she relied on them–yet could succeed without them. It was a great way to introduce some major character development for Troi. In particular, her realization that she could be a successful counselor apart from her abilities lends her character insight going forward in a believable fashion. The problem with “The Loss” is the major pacing issues that crop up throughout the episode.

It just doesn’t move very quickly. The interactions with Troi are compelling and really the only thing that held my attention throughout. The use of the 2D creatures seemed simply unimportant. It would have been better if the episode had simply focused more on Troi and her difficulties overcoming grief that came with the loss of her empathic abilities. She delivers a stirring performance and traces the “5 stages of grief” in an engaging fashion, but any scene without her basically became background noise against the drama of her character’s struggle.

A good episode with (finally) some development for Troi’s character. I just wish it had done more with it.

Grade: B- “Interesting premise, but a plodding pace sinks it.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A “The character development of Troi was really great and dealt well with issues of loss and sickness.”

“Galaxy’s Child”*

*This one is out-of-sequence because the discs were packaged 1-2-4-3-etc. instead of 1-2-3-4. Blame the manufacturer and enjoy this review anyway!

Plot

A previously un-encountered being is accidentally killed by the Enterprise when it acts aggressively. However, it turns out the being was pregnant and the Enterprise works to save the child. It imprints upon the Enterprise and the crew must hurry to get it to seek after its own kind. Meanwhile, Dr. Brahm–previously encountered only on the holodeck in “Booby Trap,” is on board and Geordi La Forge struggles to reconcile his concept of her with his experience of her holodeck persona. Ultimately, the two must work together to save the ship. They succeed, leading to their ultimate reconciliation and friendship.

Commentary

Look! An episode about Geordi’s ineptitude regarding women! We haven’t seen this before! Oh wait.

Seriously though, “Galaxy’s Child” is an entertaining episode all-around. The discomfort La Forge suffers with his encounter with Dr. Brahm provides an intriguing look into how we view reality through lenses. La Forge’s lenses seem to be clouded by his connection with a holodeck imitation of the real thing. When he founds out she’s married, his interactions afterwards with Guinan are good too. It’s not the worst portrayal of broken hearts in the series so far.

The plot with the “child” is also interesting, but ultimately does not carry as well as it may have. The delight that Picard and Riker displayed upon realizing they’d never encountered such a being before was so in-character and superbly done! Picard’s distress over killing it was also spot-on.

This week had two episodes carried by characters outside the usual suspects. It was an uneven ride, but ultimately a good one. TNG continues to thrive on its superb characterization.

Grade: B- “A decent, but not enthralling look at poor Geordi’s love life.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B- “It was okay, but nothing was particularly compelling.”

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason- Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: TNG- For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.