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Poll of the Week: No Place Like Home!

Randal Shayne

Poll of the Week: No Place Like Home!   

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Alternate Alpha Quadrant Power Would You Like To Live In?

    • Klingon Empire
    • Romulan Star Empire
    • Cardassian Union
    • Ferengi Alliance
    • Breen Confederacy
    • Tholian Annex
    • Somewhere else? Let us know!

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The United Federation of Planets, most people will agree, is a vision of utopia unparalleled in its progressive stances on the different denominations that compose it, and in its wealth of resources, knowledge and altruistic endeavors. In the two and half centuries since its founding, the Federation has included 150 member worlds and thousands of outlying colonies within its ranks. Likewise, it has also encountered a multitude of other species- specifically, other governments and cultures. The Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi Alliance, the Breen Confederacy, and the Tholian Assembly compose the rest of the Alpha Quadrant principle powers.
As we’ve seen, each one has a distinctive outlook on the universe, and a unique culture to match. The Klingons (especially the more militaristic branch) can be exceptionally brutal, violent and beholden to a strictly maintained code of honor. The Romulans have a similarly militaristic view, this one tinged with the more disreputable side of combat (assassinations, political machinations, etc.) but they also seem to have a deep appreciation for both art and scientific endeavors, setting them apart from their longtime enemy, the Klingons. The Ferengi are well known as the entrepreneurs and merchants of the quadrant, living in a society where money is more than a means to a goal- it is the goal. The Breen are a deeply secretive race, with conflicting reports about everything from their home planet to the reason for their all-encompassing uniforms. They became a household name during the Dominion War, when they sided with the Founders against the Federation/Klingon/Romulan alliance, and nearly shattered the Alpha Quadrant once and for all. The Tholians are even more reclusive, and they take it to a xenophobic degree. These crystalline arthropods exist in temperatures that rival Y-Class Demon Worlds in there extremity. Lastly, and perhaps the most intricate blend of the aforementioned, the Cardassian Union has struggled to find a balance between enlightened artistic and spiritual quests and militaristic domination, creating a world of intriguing but often damaging contradictions, where the citizens are both the enemy and the strength of the civilization.

This poll asks you to consider the possibilities if you were not born into a Federation world. If you had a choice, which would you be a full citizen of? Would the rigid discipline and warrior lifestyle of the Klingons suit you, or would you be more at home among the financially-motivated Ferengi? Perhaps citizenship as a Cardassian appeals to you. Or maybe you fancy satiating your curiosity, and would enjoy learning more about the Breen. Give us your vote, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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This is a hard question and I'm not sure I have a good answer to this.  All of those options are designed as antagonists for the Protagonist, The Federation.  Each of those species, ideally, occupy a specific kid of role.  The Ferengi sit as an opposite on the economic scale of the Federation.  The Klingons serve as a violent mirror to the Federations, supposed, pacifism.  Romulans are the Machiavellian mirror to the Federation's White Knight, while the Cardassians are the mirror for Starfleet specifically.  The Breen are a mysterious enemy, and the Tholians are the personification of Alien.  The Borg, not listed here, represent simply a force of nature. 

All of these antagonists are there to serve as mirrors or foils for specific aspects of the Federation as originally designed.  As such, in many cases, they aren't fully fleshed out.  The Cardassians may actually be the best defined because DS9 used them consistently for 7 years.  One of the things I think Star Trek suffers from is a lack of Allies that don't run counter to the ideals of the Federation.  The alliance with the Klingon's always seemed to me to be a hand wavy way to solve the problem of "We accidentally created a culture that loves war, will fight at the drop of a hat, and really is up to [...] that the Federation really can't condone, but we don't want every episode to be about the War with the Klingons.  So we've created an alliance and it fails whenever we need a good straight up fight, only to be restored again."

The Ferengi aren't really an enemy, they're more the comic relief bad guys, but mostly because we can always pay them off.

One of the issues that arose as Star Trek developed and evolved, is the pure as the driven snow Federation became more realistic, they started including those problematic aspects into the Federation themselves, making the External mirrors more redundant.  A Hawkish wing of the Federation (Klingons) willing to fight anyone for supremacy, Section 31 (Romulans), a handful of Admirals willing to commit coups (Cardassians).

I think in the end I'd probably take the Dominion, if only because they are big enough that if you keep your head down you can probably lead a moderately OK life.  The rest are just stress upon stress.

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