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Subject: Answers
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 1998 13:38 EST
From: RonDMoore
Message-id: <19981027133848.13898.00000156@ng106.aol.com>

<<How did a racist like Solak get command of a starship?>>

Solok is not a racist anymore than Spock was. 

<<Why is Solak's entire senior staff amde up of Vulcans?  Are starfleet 
ships segregated?>>

We see many, many starships that are almost entirely populated by Humans, 
why couldn't there be ships crewed entirely or almost entirely by Vulcans?  
The Intrepid was an all-Vulcan crew in TOS.

<<Why would Solak, with his disdain for humans, care about recieving the
Christopher Pike Medal, whcih is named after a human?>.

You're reaching to make a point.  Solok's gripe was with Sisko first and
Humans second.  He held a grudge as long as Sisko did, which may be 
illogical but is not racist.  Also, the analogies to 20th century 
Earth-bound racism begin to break down when you consider that these are 
different species we're talking about here, not different races of the same 
species.  Granted, we sometimes use the tensions between aliens as a 
metaphor for our own contemporary problems, but that metaphor only goes so 
far.  Some aliens are definitely and quantitatively superior to others in 
the Trek galaxy and the observation of that point is not analogous to 
racial hatred as we experience it today.  Vulcans are superior to Humans 
in many ways.  That is a fact, not a racial slur.

<<Re: Sarah Sisko and the Prophets' involvement in Ben's birth:  

First, even though this conception wasn't quite immaculate, we did learn 
that a spirit considered to be holy did descend upon the Mother, leading to 
the birth of the Bajorans' savior.  How intentional was the Christ parallel?
  (And was Sarah a virgin at the time?)>>

We talked about the parallels, but we also talked about various other myths
and legends as we worked through the Sisko backstory.

<<Second, the prophet tells Ben that the union of Joe and Sarah was 
necessary.
Will you be following up on this at all?  Why did the Prophets have to go to
such lengths?  Why did the Emissary have to be the offspring of these two
humans, rather than any other of the trillion citizens of the Alpha 
Quadrant? ("Because Ira thought it was a cool idea" is an acceptable 
answer.)>>

There will be more to come on this subject.

<<Re: Dax:  One of the things that always bothered me about Trill characters
is that the symbiont is so very dominant in the joining.  Poor Ezri, it 
seems, has had her body possessed by this demon who makes her stand on her 
head and drink raktajino.  There is almost no evidence of the former Ezri, 
the young woman who presumably had a perfectly nice life prior to joining 
and running off to Jadzia's old posting.  Any chance this part of the 
character will be shown in the near future?>> 

In "Prodigal Daughter" you'll get a chance to see Ezri's family and see
exactly what her life was like prior to her joining.

<<Was "Take Me Out..." purposefully timed to run during the World Series?  
And since I've heard there are some Yankee fans on the writing staff did you
or any of your staff get to the World Series especially since it was close 
by in San Diego?>>

We knew it would air close to the series, but didn't know it would be the 
same week.  The entire writing staff was poised to go to Game 5 -- which 
left Ira, Rene, and I in the odd position of rooting against the Yanks in 
Game 4.  Serves us right.

<<Mr. Moore, I was just wondering that since you worked on Star Trek 7 and 
8, how Rick Berman and TPTB use test screenings for Trek films. Does 
Paramount put more , less, or about the same weight on Test screenings for  
Trek films than other films ? Which were more important for Generations and
First Contact, the first test screenings, because they were really the first
time someone got to  look at the films  or the final test screenings because
that's when everything was completed ? How did test screening results affect
Generations and First Contact ? On a more personal level, what is your 
opinion of the whole test screening process ? What are its' strengths ? 
weaknesses ? and how would improve the process ?>>

We only had one test screening on both "Generations" and "First Contact" and
in both cases, I'd say the results only confirmed what we already knew.  In
the first instance, we knew we had a problem with the ending and the test
audience said the same thing.  The results then prompted the studio to let 
us reshoot the ending and it's doubtful that would've happened had we not 
had the screening at all.  In the second instance, we were all high on the 
film and the screening told us that we had a hit on our hands, so there was
a great deal of relief spread around the lot.  

I personally have mixed feelings about the whole testing process.  There are
some aspects to it that seem like dubious propositions, such as the "focus
group" selected at the end.  Usually a group of 10 to 15 are selected for
intensive questioning after the rest of the audience are dismissed.  These
sessions quickly devolve into seminars on "the film I wish I'd seen" or 
"other films I liked" instead of meaningful comment on the film that was 
just shown. Testing is a fact of life, due to the enormous amounts of money
at stake for the studio, however, and one has to simply take the good with 
the bad.

<<Dear Ron -- I may not be the first to ask you this, but even if *you* 
aren't the one to do it, do you think *someone* on staff will write the 
lyrics to the UFP anthem before series' end?  And who did the music?  
Thanks!>>

I doubt any of us will write the lyrics unless we have to and the music was
done by David Bell.

<<Ron, I was wondering how I would go about getting ahold of the DS9 season 
7, VOY SEason 5, and Insurrection Press Kitts.  I've heard that they can 
be found since I've noticed that Convention dealers sell the photo's from 
them.  Would you know how I'd go about getting ahold of one of these?>>

I think you'd have to deal with Paramount publicity for that.  Call
213-956-5000 and ask for Star Trek publicity.

<<This is been bothering me for some time now.  Why do flight controllers 
(aka helm officers) wear red uniforms just like command officers do?  I've 
never understood this.  Science and medical are both blue, this make sense.  
They are related fields.  Operations, enginnering and security all wear 
gold, this
also makes sense.  These are all service-related fields.  But helm (conn) 
and command officers wearing red?  What does helm control have to do with 
command? And why is strategic operations a red uniform job?  I have looked 
and looked for an answer and cannot find one.>>

The theory is that a red uniform denotes someone who is on the career path 
for eventual command of a ship, station or base.  Under that notion, a 
command- bound officer could be assigned to any position as part of his or 
her training.

<<You didn't mention how you thought "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" turned
out.  (Personally, I had a blast, and I imagine it must have been a lot of 
fun to write.)>.

I was very happy with it.  My own criticism of the show is that I didn't 
spend enough time with Solok before or during the game.  He should've been a
stronger presence in the show so that when he gets his just desserts in the
end you feel like he really had it coming.  It also would've been nice to 
have had the Sisko/Kasidy scene in which he revealed the backstory an act 
earlier in the show so that you understood what was driving him a little 
sooner. But overall, it accomplished what I wanted it to.
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