Less the heroes of our stories than the villains of some other bastard’s

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Froborr
    November 28, 2014 @ 6:30 am

    This is like a love letter to silly, frothy comics. I adore it.

    Though I will say "a genuinely multicultural community. Each character gets a small scene where they speak directly and privately to the audience about what the season means to them and why this year's celebrations, their first on the Enterprise are important to them" sums up why I hate Christmas quite well. Not everyone HAS a particular meaning to "the season," and the presumption that they do is a result of the massive normalization of a particular strand of Christian, European tradition. (This is most obvious if you compare Hannukah in Israel or other non-Christian countries to Hannukah in Christian countries, especially the U.S. In non-Christian countries it's got an importance about on par with Presidents Day–Jews are aware of it, might take it off work, but it's not exactly something most people attach a lot of meaning to.)


  2. Josh Marsfelder
    November 28, 2014 @ 8:38 am

    True, but, on the other hand, a lot of non-Christian, non-Western cultures do have winter and winter solstice traditions, which, apart from Space Santa, is really as far as this story goes.


  3. Dustin
    November 28, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    Given the budget a show like this had to work with, anthropocentrism is pretty much baked in. Creature effects and heavy makeup work are super-expensive. Best take it as read that although there are loads of non-human beings in the Federation, we're just following the adventures of a mostly human crew.

    It's one of those cases where a philosophically-problematic element is easily explained by an unavoidable real-world production constraint: all TV is made by, and performed by, humans.

    Thus, as you say, the importance of media like comics in overcoming issues (ha) that television is definitionally incapable (or was, rather, as of 1987) of addressing.


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