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Why are all aliens on Star Trek humanoid and can speak perfect English?

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belgurdo

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And in Star Wars, how come we never see any non-bipedal humanoid Jedis/weaponusers?

This has perplexed me for years

And make that my tag, Mike
 

NLB2

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Wasn't Star Trek an analogy of cold war politics? If so it wouldn't make sense for the different allien species to not be able to comunicate.
 

xsarien

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Star Trek fans will tell you that as far as the fiction is concerned, it was because the universal translator - either embedded in communicators, pins, or in ears like some kind of proto-babelfish - was THAT good.

I just take the cynical approach and tell people that your average, mainstream TV viewer has an easier time with following the 45 minute story if everyone just speaks the same language.
 

ManDudeChild

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It originally had to do with characters being able to express emotion, as supposed to the evil monster 50 foot ant aliens that were in some films of the time. He wanted viewers to be able to see the characters mouths and eyes. I don't remember the exact quote. But that was the jist of it.

Of course, as others have said, there are species that don't conform to this in later Star Trek's. Such as species 8472, the Breen, the Aquatic Xindi species, that species in that one episode of TNG where Data has to evacuate that planet that has humans that can survive in hyperonic radiation (I forget their name), and so on.
 

The Shadow

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NLB2 said:
Wasn't Star Trek an analogy of cold war politics? If so it wouldn't make sense for the different allien species to not be able to comunicate.
It may not be the fastest design, but it is the most efficient design for travel over long distances. For every step, the energy input is something like half that of a quadruped.
 

SteveMeister

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There was an episode of TNG that explained this. A progenitor race seeded the galaxy with its DNA, and intelligent species arose along different evolutionary paths on those planets starting from the same DNA blueprint. That's why they're mostly humanoid.

Language? Universal translator. That's come up in numerous episodes and movies as well. In fact Hoshi's role on Enterprise was as a linguist because there WASN'T a universal translator yet.
 

ManDudeChild

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SteveMeister said:
There was an episode of TNG that explained this. A progenitor race seeded the galaxy with its DNA, and intelligent species arose along different evolutionary paths on those planets starting from the same DNA blueprint. That's why they're mostly humanoid.

Language? Universal translator. That's come up in numerous episodes and movies as well. In fact Hoshi's role on Enterprise was as a linguist because there WASN'T a universal translator yet.
Yes, that's the story's explanation in the end. The alien that's played by the actress that was the female Changling in DS9. But the non-story reason is the emotion one. But I don't think the story usually covers it all properly. I know there's some stuff going around about Enterprise explaining it, but the Klingon facial look is an example where the story doesn't fit. Worf's "we don't speak of it" or whatever he said doesn't work simply because of Kayless and Kor for example. They should have left that answer alone, as a running gag like the DS9 gag about Morne never shutting up.
 

belgurdo

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SteveMeister said:
There was an episode of TNG that explained this. A progenitor race seeded the galaxy with its DNA, and intelligent species arose along different evolutionary paths on those planets starting from the same DNA blueprint. That's why they're mostly humanoid.

Star Trek explaining God? Hmm
 

fennec fox

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Repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax"
 
xsarien said:
I just take the cynical approach and tell people that your average, mainstream TV viewer has an easier time with following the 45 minute story if everyone just speaks the same language.
Seriously. Sure you could have interspecies communication be really hard and have no two species be alike, but... that'd be a heck of a lot of trouble, and a direction a show would have to want to go to make it worthwhile.
 

teiresias

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Well, which is more "plausible" a highly efficient computer that can be a universal translator, like in Star Trek, or the Farscape explanation where everyone has a colony of microbes at the base of their brain stems that allows them to understand one another?
 

SteveMeister

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JoshuaJSlone said:
Seriously. Sure you could have interspecies communication be really hard and have no two species be alike, but... that'd be a heck of a lot of trouble, and a direction a show would have to want to go to make it worthwhile.
It's the same reason science fiction shows, movies, and books generally have some sort of ultra fast travel, be it hyperspace, warp drive, wormholes, etc. "Real" space travel is boring. Oh and why you hear ship sounds & explosions & such.
 

Mermandala

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Also their genitals look pretty much the same, maybe a few spots here or some hard fleshy striations there but they all speak of the pompitous of love.
 

The Shadow

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teiresias said:
Well, which is more "plausible" a highly efficient computer that can be a universal translator, like in Star Trek, or the Farscape explanation where everyone has a colony of microbes at the base of their brain stems that allows them to understand one another?
The Star Trek one. As much as I loved Farscape, I never liked the microbe explanation.
 

way more

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Why are there no Democrats in Star Trek?

Because its the future.

I heard that one today. But seriously, I've never been able to figure out what sort of government they live under. It seems like a socialist paradise.
 

way more

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teiresias said:
Well, which is more "plausible" a highly efficient computer that can be a universal translator, like in Star Trek, or the Farscape explanation where everyone has a colony of microbes at the base of their brain stems that allows them to understand one another?
Seriously? Thats worse than, and not as funny as the ear fish in Hitchhiker's Galaxy.
 

DopeyFish

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Data doesn't speak perfect english. He is unable to say "we're" instead of "we are", etc. etc.

Data != contractions
 

maharg

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DopeyFish said:
Data doesn't speak perfect english. He is unable to say "we're" instead of "we are", etc. etc.

Data != contractions
Except when he can.

mac said:
I heard that one today. But seriously, I've never been able to figure out what sort of government they live under. It seems like a socialist paradise.
It is. Very classic utopian.
 

DarthWoo

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Mermandala said:
Also their genitals look pretty much the same, maybe a few spots here or some hard fleshy striations there but they all speak of the pompitous of love.
Anybody remember the Centauri genitals from Babylon 5? :D
 

firex

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If Star Trek aliens weren't humanoid and spoke English, how would Captain Kirk bang the hottest female they have?
 
teiresias said:
Well, which is more "plausible" a highly efficient computer that can be a universal translator, like in Star Trek, or the Farscape explanation where everyone has a colony of microbes at the base of their brain stems that allows them to understand one another?
Well, it seems more realistic that a great computer could work for such a function; one NOW with voice recognition, Babelfish, and voice synthesis could probably do a shitty job (and probably has for someone who's set it up). On the other hand, something more basic like the microbes would seem a better explanation for a truly universal communication. Babelfish isn't all of a sudden going to learn Atlantean when I meet some.

mac said:
I heard that one today. But seriously, I've never been able to figure out what sort of government they live under. It seems like a socialist paradise.
Basically. People seem to work because they want to, energy is abundant, and the necessities of life can be replicated from filth. I don't recall anything like voting being brought up, though there are obviously leaders.

Mermandala said:
Also their genitals look pretty much the same, maybe a few spots here or some hard fleshy striations there but they all speak of the pompitous of love.
The result of this is one that's long bugged me. Here on good ol' Planet Earth we tend to define species by whether or not two creatures will produce fertile offspring. Yet we have situations in Star Trek like a half-Klingon/half-human giving birth to a 3/4-Klingon 1/4 human, which seems to fly against that. I know the "progenitor race" thing has already been brought up, but the humanoid species are obviously still very much different.
 

ManDudeChild

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Mermandala said:
Also their genitals look pretty much the same, maybe a few spots here or some hard fleshy striations there but they all speak of the pompitous of love.
Don't forget Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The alien with the knee genitals.

JoshuaJSlone said:
Basically. People seem to work because they want to, energy is abundant, and the necessities of life can be replicated from filth. I don't recall anything like voting being brought up, though there are obviously leaders.
That depends on what Stark Trek you're drawing from. In TNG that's what Troy says to Mark Twain when he's on the Enterprise, with the working for betterment, and money being a thing of the past. However, in both TOS and DS9 that's contradicted. There are occasions when Kirk says that a crew member has, "earned their pay." Then there's the Orion Syndicate, the Ferengi, and how latinum's a common currency among species generally speaking. Also, there's the mention of voting in the episode of DS9 where Sisko is in charge of Earth's security. The President of the Federation comments on how he got the job.
 

fennec fox

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mac said:
Why are there no Democrats in Star Trek?

Because its the future.
Aw, man, I coulda been the hit of Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents if I knew that one.
 

shoplifter

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Money basically IS a thing of the past in the federation. Gold-pressed Latinum is used for non-federation trade (with Qo'noS or Ferengenar), for occasions where the crew must actually pay for something (likely things like Risa, or bars like Quarks).

IIRC, the Federation council is made up of elected representatives from all member worlds. I'm sure that local posts are elected as well depending upon the political structure of the varying worlds. Some sort of democracy was a requirement for joining the federation, I'm pretty sure.

I'd certainly rank the Federation as a highly advanced Socialist Representative Republic, since it's not a true democracy (much like the US!)
 

ManDudeChild

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shoplifter said:
Money basically IS a thing of the past in the federation. Gold-pressed Latinum is used for non-federation trade (with Qo'noS or Ferengenar), for occasions where the crew must actually pay for something (likely things like Risa, or bars like Quarks).

IIRC, the Federation council is made up of elected representatives from all member worlds. I'm sure that local posts are elected as well depending upon the political structure of the varying worlds. Some sort of democracy was a requirement for joining the federation, I'm pretty sure.

I'd certainly rank the Federation as a highly advanced Socialist Representative Republic, since it's not a true democracy (much like the US!)
But once again, I bring up the Kirk and Scott's pay, and the boat he bought in Star Trek VI. They still have currencies and exchanges, as using latinum with external forces still counts, and the credit system the Federation uses within. Then there's the trading of materials such as dylithium crystals, and other natural resources. I could agree that money is more of a back burner in the Federation, but it still exists, as does similar exchanges even if only used in an external fashion.
 

Escape Goat

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Dealing inside the Federation you probably don't need money. With people unaffiliated they use gold pressed latinum because it cannot be replicated.
 

xsarien

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Teh Hamburglar said:
Dealing inside the Federation you probably don't need money. With people unaffiliated they use gold pressed latinum because it cannot be replicated.
Is that the official line? (No, seriously, I've always wondered about that little moment of "They do/use/say/whenever it's convenient for the plot...")
 

Escape Goat

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I read it in one of the books. I dont think they ever explained why gold pressed latinum was official currency in the shows.
 

ManDudeChild

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Teh Hamburglar said:
I read it in one of the books. I dont think they ever explained why gold pressed latinum was official currency in the shows.
Unless it's an official book, it doesn't count. General rule of thumb for Star Trek stuff is that only stuff in official books, series and movies count.
 

ManDudeChild

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Kuro Madoushi said:
Sure...Captain Kirk Met with God...and then he said, "What...does God...want...with a spaceship"
That wasn't a god. That was simply a being imprisoned on that planet.
 
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