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Poll of the Week: Greatest Rivalry


Jo Marshall
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Poll of the Week: Greatest Rivalry  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these on screen rivalries was the best of Star Trek?

    • James Kirk and General Chang
      1
    • Benjamin Sisko and Gul Dukat
      7
    • Jean Luc Picard and The Borg Queen
      1
    • Kathryn Janeway and The Borg Queen
      2
    • Data and Lore
      1
    • James Kirk and Khan Noonien Singh
      0
    • Jonathan Archer and Thy'lek Shran
      1
    • Quark and Odo
      6
    • Other! Which rivalry did you love?
      1


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Since the earliest times, we fill tales and saga with the struggles of the epic hero and the vicious villain, from Homer’s The Iliad through to the casting down of Lucifer in John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost. Each story shows the archetypes of good and evil, the battle between the two raging on throughout the narrative in themes, concepts and arcs. If we’re lucky, the fall comes with a redemption arc, allowing the villain to redeem themselves and repent for their actions in the eyes of the beholder, and the hero to show themselves to be magnanimous and gallant in their forgiveness.

In our beloved world of Star Trek, this epic battle between good and evil is a little more complex. The villains presented to us over the course of the series allow us a deeper look at their motivations, perhaps even what makes the villain tick behind the simplification of evil doing evil for the sake of being evil. There are glorious examples of this in the way Deep Space Nine treats their villains in Kai Winn and Gul Dukat, allowing the viewer that additional knowledge about the motivations behind their actions.

Similarly, within our own Star Trek universe of Starbase 118, we’ve had our epic battles between good and evil, between hero and villain, and our intricate narratives reflect this. And sometimes, just sometimes, evil wins.

This week we’d like to open up the discussions of those epic villains in the Star Trek universe, those wonderful rivalries which kept us glued to the serial episode after episode, and which you believe to be the best of those rivalries.

Which of these on screen rivalries was the best of Star Trek?

 

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Although, in general terms, I have to say that the rivalry between Sisko and Dukat is beautifully written and more significant for the overall sense of the show, my vote here has to go to Quark and Odo.

Mostly because the basis of their relationship is based on that enmity (or frenemity?) and in a good part of the actions of both are based on the high possibility of pestering the other. And they grow from that, even if that, in Quark's case, means not changing at all because it has decided to do so. And I feel that's perfect. Quark couldn't be Quark without Odo, and Odo would be a poorer version of him without Quark, whereas Dukat and Sisko are complete characters without each other.

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I chose other because while I love the rivalries between Picard/Janeway and the Borg Queen, I'm going to have to say between Picard and Q. Mainly for the fact that Q was a pain in Picard's side each time he appeared on TNG. Q's antics were more for Picard to learn a lesson, but the ways he went around it caused everyone to be in danger. 

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I'm a huge fan of the Vitriolic Best Buds trope, so Odo and Quark get my pick here.

With that in mind, I feel like a special mention needs to be given to ENT's Malcolm Reed and Hayes. I know a few people who felt it was just a silly conflict overall (Starfleet vs MACO), but I've been in RL situations where I've seen (experienced) misunderstandings that devolve into this kind of paranoid desire for control over what people believe belongs to them. The stupidity of the conflict on Enterprise hghlights a human element -- because sometimes we do dumb stuff, and we don't realise it until later. Sucks it ended the way it did, though.

Edited by Blake
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