If you immediately know the [Stargate] is fire, then the meal was cooked a long time ago

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited April 5
    I am here to talk about the Tollan and how why they basically wiped themselves out.

    The problem with the Tollan was they decided they had ideologically evolved, without actually fundamentally changing their relation to the dynamics of the universe they had to exist in. Declaring that you have a doctrine of non-violence and non-interventionism is crazy when the only ability to maintain that position is being enforced by force of arms (their planetary ion guns).

    In universe there are a group who reasonably can sustain this stance, and in fact do: the Knox. The Knox are non-interventionist, and adopt a doctrine of non-violence, but more importantly actually have a technological skillset and civilization structured to allow it: they can disappear. They can disappear incredibly thoroughly, and as presented their main living structures are actual floating cities who's default stance is to be cloaked. Their moral stance could be questioned, but they're in a position where their technology has been developed actively in the direction of sustaining that stance.

    But for the Tollan, it seems like the Ion Guns were their only major military technology, other then their very basic small arms. They had no apparent research into shields or shield technology, but were entirely dependent on a weapons system who's notable feature was the ability to defeat the dominant military power's main advantage - shields. It is notable that their one absolute mastery technology - phasing through solid matter (no other society is shown as able to do it as a mass-produced technological capability) - would be most practical used offensively.

    The Tollan built their entire civilization around that one sliver of power, and adopted an ideology which absolutely could not be sustained by their actual strategic position - non-violence, non-interventionism. As far as we observe, the concept of SG-teams was foreign to the Tollan. They did not engage in a campaign of active military intelligence gathering against their major opponent. They had no knowledge of Go'auld political or military power, nor did they maintain a substantial spacecraft complement (as far as we know, they maintained no spacecraft as a part of their conventional strategic posture). Even after encountering Stargate Command, Tollan "military" planning did not attempt to adopt or emulate any of the aspects of the program which had displayed success. They did not attempt - most likely by simply lacking the cultural concept - any meaningful exchange of military thinking. The Tollan do not attempt to understand their enemy, or their allies. Because of course, to the Tollan - they have "moved beyond" - needing those things. Even as their entire security is dependent on a single defense they are not investing any effort into actively determining if it is still viable, or at risk of being made irrelevant.

    And this, ultimately, is why they are wiped out. The moment a Go'auld shield survives Ion Gun attack, Tollan civilization ends. Their entire advantage, depended solely on the ability to engage an enemy from beyond their own weapons distance. Given this fault, it seems probable that against a slightly more tactically creative Go'auld force, they would've been conquered much sooner. Ironically, their ideology helped them, just not as they imagine: as a single planet, they weren't worth the bother.

    And so the big question, what could have been done by the Tollan to prevent this outcome?

    Presuming they proceeded as they did up till they encountered the SGC, and became more formal allies, the trajectory of the Tollan could have been prevented! We could perhaps consider if a failure of diplomacy by the SGC that Tollan members of the SG teams were not brought in, though it would seem reasonable to assume the Tollan government prevented the question being asked of the general Tollan populace - presuming they're baseline human, it would stand to reason that some 21-year old Tollan's could be convinced to adventure with the SGC. No practical officer exchange could exist due to their lack of obvious military, but a steady stream of Tollan recruits who were inducted into a military mindset would have served as a practical basis to improve how Tollan viewed their position in the universe. Given their technological advantage, the sharing of knowledge - one way - may have saved them.

    The tollans had the unfortunate circumstance where at first they were totally down to share and expand, unfortunately the first group they ran into was on a neighboring planet, and when they went about sharing openly that planet decided to not be with that program of comity and seeing beyond its borders. It fell apart so fast and so aggressively it fucked up the whole solar system, doomed the tolan home world and set the tollan back immensely. This is recent history for the tollan I believe.

    The tollan weren't so much beyond helping, like the ascended ancients. They were afraid to help because they fucked it up so bad the first time. They pursued isolationism at first out of fear they might cause more harm than good.

    However I would assume that eventually many rose in tollan ranks that did believe they were beyond helping outsiders, especially those from a world like ours that would definitely tear itself apart over ion cannons. As well as others that believed their isolationism and seeming neutrality protected them from the larger ire of the goa'uld.

    Sleep on
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    The tollans had the unfortunate circumstance where at first they were totally down to share and expand, unfortunately the first group they ran into was on a neighboring planet, and when they went about sharing openly that planet decided to not be with that program of comity and seeing beyond its borders. It fell apart so fast and so aggressively it fucked up the whole solar system, doomed the tolan home world and set the tollan back immensely. This is recent history for the tollan I believe.

    The tollan weren't so much beyond helping, like the ascended ancients. They were afraid to help because they fucked it up so bad the first time. They pursued isolationism at first out of fear they might cause more harm than good.

    However I would assume that eventually many rose in tollan ranks that did believe they were beyond helping outsiders, especially those from a world like ours that would definitely tear itself apart over ion cannons. As well as others that believed their isolationism and seeming neutrality protected them from the larger ire of the goa'uld.

    They became super arrogant without a lot to back it up.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
    SleepLord_Asmodeus
  • SimBenSimBen Registered User regular
    The Tollans are all but explicitly a satire of Star Trek's Federation, and they work really well at that.

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  • SimBenSimBen Registered User regular
    Pretense really works now as a scathing rebuttal of centrism. Zipacna might as well be a right-wing Youtuber in that episode.

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    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited April 4
    SimBen wrote: »
    Pretense really works now as a scathing rebuttal of centrism. Zipacna might as well be a right-wing Youtuber in that episode.

    Fuck that's what the look he's got for the entire fuckin episode is.

    Sleep on
    SimBenToxGnizmoLord_Asmodeus
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    expendable wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    The tollans had the unfortunate circumstance where at first they were totally down to share and expand, unfortunately the first group they ran into was on a neighboring planet, and when they went about sharing openly that planet decided to not be with that program of comity and seeing beyond its borders. It fell apart so fast and so aggressively it fucked up the whole solar system, doomed the tolan home world and set the tollan back immensely. This is recent history for the tollan I believe.

    The tollan weren't so much beyond helping, like the ascended ancients. They were afraid to help because they fucked it up so bad the first time. They pursued isolationism at first out of fear they might cause more harm than good.

    However I would assume that eventually many rose in tollan ranks that did believe they were beyond helping outsiders, especially those from a world like ours that would definitely tear itself apart over ion cannons. As well as others that believed their isolationism and seeming neutrality protected them from the larger ire of the goa'uld.

    They became super arrogant without a lot to back it up.

    Kind of why I find them so fascinating. The whole events surrounding the Tollan feel like they would go into an officer's training manual on galactic-scale strategic planning for new SGC commanders.

    But I do also like imagining the alternative, where we got a view of the clash between Tollan's taking on human military influences, and traditionalists. But I absolutely adored the cultural mashups like Jacob being a Tokra (though they were always somewhat more compatible with the SGC since the Tokra's whole thing was "oh our endgame was always to blow their planet. Why are you looking so shocked?"

    Mvrck
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    edited April 5
    There seems to be some sort of cultural law in the SG universe towards arrogant superiority complexes, how those complexes manifest depending on the culture and psychology of the various groups and being quite telling of them.

    Lord_Asmodeus on
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    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    There seems to be some sort of cultural law in the SG universe towards arrogant superiority complexes, how those complexes manifest depending on the culture and psychology of the various groups and being quite telling of them.

    I

    The funniest example is the atlantis team

  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    edited April 10
    I had been watching through all of Stargate for a few months now. Usually an episode or two before bed. I'm late in Season 3 of Atlantis right now.

    I forgot what a fucking gut-punch Sunday was. I remembered what was going to happen about 10 minutes before it happened, but it didn't make it suck less.

    Doc Frasier didn't hurt some, but not like this.

    expendable on
    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
    SimBen
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    You know what I just realized?

    I really, really like the spaceship designs in this.

    The only ships that are really even remotely aerodynamic are the ones explicitly designed for atmospheric missions. None of the other ones were. And the Terran fleet specifically is really just very simple and classic when you get right down to it.

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  • NorgothNorgoth cardiffRegistered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    You know what I just realized?

    I really, really like the spaceship designs in this.

    The only ships that are really even remotely aerodynamic are the ones explicitly designed for atmospheric missions. None of the other ones were. And the Terran fleet specifically is really just very simple and classic when you get right down to it.

    The Stargate designs are so iconic there's a fun game you can play. I spend a lot of time looking at book covers, and oh boy, you can just go to Amazon, look up science fiction and play 'spot the Daedelus'. That ship gets around apparently.

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  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    The Earth designs are the epitome of simple design; start with a box, and only change bits when you have to.
    Probably in-universe someone sketched out a design with a saucer section and separate engines on spars, and Carter looked over their shoulder and said "That looks cool, but I'm seeing half a dozen points of extreme tactical vulnerability. It'd help with the plausible deniability if they got spotted though, I'll give you that."
    SimBen wrote: »
    The Tollans are all but explicitly a satire of Star Trek's Federation, and they work really well at that.
    I saw them and the Nox as more based on the Superior Peaceful Space Elves, personally. The difference was that the Nox had the means to back up their claims (at least that we saw. I was waiting for the Ori to kick the shit out of them, as they'd surely be capable), coupled with the complete lack of interest in stopping atrocities that didn't concern them.

    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
    SimBenexpendable
  • CatalaseCatalase Registered User regular
    Norgoth wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    You know what I just realized?

    I really, really like the spaceship designs in this.

    The only ships that are really even remotely aerodynamic are the ones explicitly designed for atmospheric missions. None of the other ones were. And the Terran fleet specifically is really just very simple and classic when you get right down to it.

    The Stargate designs are so iconic there's a fun game you can play. I spend a lot of time looking at book covers, and oh boy, you can just go to Amazon, look up science fiction and play 'spot the Daedelus'. That ship gets around apparently.
    I just spent a few minutes doing this and you're totally right.

    "Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
    Norgoth
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    Stargate Universe had some good ideas. Turning it the central idea on its head so that instead of the best and brightest, you had the wrong people in the wrong place could have been spectacular. You can do some good character development by establishing weaknesses for your characters and having them face situations that don't play to their strengths. But they went overboard with it to the point of it seemed like all the military personnel at Icarus base were flatly incompetent and should have been drummed out of the program years ago.

    Also they completely screwed up by having one of the recurring characters outrank one of the main characters. So you have this weird situation where a M.Sgt. is routinely being given command over a lieutenant with seemingly no responsibilities.

    And it seemed like there were two competing writing teams. One would do some stuff that took the show in a positive direction by fleshing out some characters to make them complex people and explain why they were the way they were (like Rush) and then the next team would come along and completely undo all of that just to be dicks.

    Ultimately though they relied too much on the interpersonal and internal struggles to carry the entire show and thus the rest of the show was lacking the things that made Stargate fun. It was growing on me and I wish they'd made it more than 2 seasons before getting cancelled.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Stargate Universe was the CW Stargate show that they made a joke about in Season 10, only made real.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited May 26
    universe was definitely an interesting way to take the idea of stargate, it stood to reason that all of the people on icarus base were tragically inept. Think of it like them setting up an entire research base for bill lee suggesting a wacky possibility of using an entire planet to power a gate to dial an address with more Chevrons than any other prior dialing sequence with absolutely no fuckin clue where it lead to. Basically it was a kinda useless base with little to no hope of it ever producing anything of value with an overtly abrasive but brilliant scientist leading the team trying and totally failing to figure out the problem. It wasn't supposed to be a high value base. Then eli actually solved the equations.

    Sleep on
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    Stargate Universe was the CW Stargate show that they made a joke about in Season 10, only made real.

    Depending on which mention of Wormhole Xtreme! you go with, it either lasted 1 episode before cancellation, 3 episodes, or went 10 seasons and got a feature movie.

    SG:U also has considerably less action.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    expendable wrote: »
    Stargate Universe was the CW Stargate show that they made a joke about in Season 10, only made real.

    Depending on which mention of Wormhole Xtreme! you go with, it either lasted 1 episode before cancellation, 3 episodes, or went 10 seasons and got a feature movie.

    SG:U also has considerably less action.

    Not Wormhole Extreme, but the "reboot" with a younger cast and more drama that got pitched during the brainstorming meeting in episode 200.

    Sleep
  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    SGU was a show that got remarkably better as it went on. I kind of hate watched it for the first tenish episodes and then it started to turn a corner. It's too bad it got cancelled but they were too dialed in on the wrong aspects at the start I guess.

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  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    expendable wrote: »
    Stargate Universe was the CW Stargate show that they made a joke about in Season 10, only made real.

    Depending on which mention of Wormhole Xtreme! you go with, it either lasted 1 episode before cancellation, 3 episodes, or went 10 seasons and got a feature movie.

    SG:U also has considerably less action.

    Not Wormhole Extreme, but the "reboot" with a younger cast and more drama that got pitched during the brainstorming meeting in episode 200.

    True, but 200 covered pretty much every sci-fi trope in existence in 40 minutes, so that's hardly a surprise. Anything that looked like a prediction of Universe was probably meant as a parody of Galactica.

    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
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  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    Naphtali wrote: »
    SGU was a show that got remarkably better as it went on. I kind of hate watched it for the first tenish episodes and then it started to turn a corner. It's too bad it got cancelled but they were too dialed in on the wrong aspects at the start I guess.

    They had this weird thing about NOT having a strong intro, but then they undermined that decision by beginning EVERY episode with an identical "previously" segment that played up the drama and feelings.

    There was promise in the idea that the problems weren't going to be solved easily in 40 minutes by having the book guy read some stuff and the smart girl build some stuff while the strong guy shot some stuff. And I think they copped-out super hard by having Chloe magically get smart so she could help Rush and do FTL calculations to make her relevant rather than having her struggle to figure out how to meaningfully contribute. And then they undermined themselves by making her irrelevant after that point anyway.

    Honestly the writing room must have had a bunch of guys from the Angel writing staff, because they really weren't fans of women.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
    Naphtali
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    klemming wrote: »
    expendable wrote: »
    Stargate Universe was the CW Stargate show that they made a joke about in Season 10, only made real.

    Depending on which mention of Wormhole Xtreme! you go with, it either lasted 1 episode before cancellation, 3 episodes, or went 10 seasons and got a feature movie.

    SG:U also has considerably less action.

    Not Wormhole Extreme, but the "reboot" with a younger cast and more drama that got pitched during the brainstorming meeting in episode 200.

    True, but 200 covered pretty much every sci-fi trope in existence in 40 minutes, so that's hardly a surprise. Anything that looked like a prediction of Universe was probably meant as a parody of Galactica.

    God, SG:U really was chasing the "New Battlestar" vibe wasn't it? I never made that connection until now. I always just called it "Stargate Lost in Space, but dark and dysfunctional."

    I did not like new Battlestar. SG:U got better as it went. Battlestar got worse as it went.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
    SimBen
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited May 26
    Oh sgu was definitely trying to cash in on the Battlestar vibe, which was its biggest problem. Especially by trying to constantly extend the interpersonal conflicts of the crew. I think the thing that hurt sgu the most is that stargate wasn't really about deep interpersonal conflict between team members. It's about the team coming together and beating the odds to save people. It's a bit trite but that's what it always was. I'm not totally opposed to the idea of some interpersonal conflict there, and being a bit deeper on characterization. Especially in the bouts of the communication stones and what being that far removed and wrapped in secrecy does to all the characters. However the show should have always been moving towards the crew on the ancient ship not being at each other's throats and going crazy and trying to leave the ship all the time. I never caught the end of it so maybe it was finally moving towards that as it ended, but it should have gotten there sooner.

    Sleep on
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Oh sweet another chance to post a clip from 200

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  • CatalaseCatalase Registered User regular
    edited May 27
    SGU definitely started out infuriatingly paced and written. Too hard of a focus on interpersonal conflicts, even when they would be forced or straight up dumb to continue. "We could not die or I could yell at you more". LAlso very try-hard for that Battlestar or more casual audience with stuff that stuck out badly, like using the stones purely to go to earth and sleep around, or that Janelle Monae concert was also really outta place.

    Season 2 really turned things around. Man am I disappointed we didn't get more of that direction.

    Catalase on
    "Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    Having the drones in Season 2 was such a good thing. A long lasting long running consequence of a few things: Rush's decision to not tell anybody about the bridge and leaving Telford behind on the seed ship and straying from Destiny's flight plan the first time in order to investigate the ship wreckage.

    Instead of solving the drone problem all they could do was stopgap solutions.

    The Novus stuff was neat too. I was waiting or the drones to have been invented by a Novus descendant.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    edited May 27
    Universe felt like they wrote a 5 year plot and felt confident enough that they could ramp it up slowly over a year or two.

    edit: Wasn't that what happened with the Ori arc in SG1? They were promised at least 3 years to tell it, so for once they didn't write a possible series finale for what turned out to be their last episode?

    klemming on
    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
    SimBen
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Happened to Farscape too. They were renewed for Seasons 4 and 5 and the executives pulled the plug on Seson 5 at basically the last moment they contractually could.

  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    klemming wrote: »
    Universe felt like they wrote a 5 year plot and felt confident enough that they could ramp it up slowly over a year or two.

    edit: Wasn't that what happened with the Ori arc in SG1? They were promised at least 3 years to tell it, so for once they didn't write a possible series finale for what turned out to be their last episode?

    And it was part of why Carter went to Atlantis. She still had a year on her contract when SG-1 bit the dust.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    klemming wrote: »
    Universe felt like they wrote a 5 year plot and felt confident enough that they could ramp it up slowly over a year or two.

    edit: Wasn't that what happened with the Ori arc in SG1? They were promised at least 3 years to tell it, so for once they didn't write a possible series finale for what turned out to be their last episode?

    One of the creators talked about how they had a 5 year plan to tell their story a lot. Like they could rush things, but the intent was for season 5 to be the big reveal. I remain annoyed that the intended ending has not been revealed so far. Like it's all over. Just tell us what we could have gotten.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    That has to be the most frustrating thing for a TV writer.
    Being told you have five years to tell your story, so you craft intricate plot arcs, twists, turns, relationships... Always adding potential escape hatches in case one of your stars leaves the show for some reason, building in ways for new characters to show up. But always building the story gradually, so when you get to the twists, they matter to the characters and the audience.
    And then the studio shows up, says "fuck you" and hands you your walking papers after the first season.

    Probably slightly more annoying than the studio saying "You know what? One more season would be great." for three years in a row. Means you can never write an end, you always have to have somewhere for the story to go, just in case it gets picked up again for another season.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • expendableexpendable Silly Goose Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    That has to be the most frustrating thing for a TV writer.
    Being told you have five years to tell your story, so you craft intricate plot arcs, twists, turns, relationships... Always adding potential escape hatches in case one of your stars leaves the show for some reason, building in ways for new characters to show up. But always building the story gradually, so when you get to the twists, they matter to the characters and the audience.
    And then the studio shows up, says "fuck you" and hands you your walking papers after the first season.

    Probably slightly more annoying than the studio saying "You know what? One more season would be great." for three years in a row. Means you can never write an end, you always have to have somewhere for the story to go, just in case it gets picked up again for another season.

    Nobody that matters for such things learned anything important from Seaquest in the 90s.

    Djiem wrote: »
    Lokiamis wrote: »
    So the servers suddenly decide to cramp up during the last six percent.
    Man, the Director will really go out of his way to be a dick to L4D players.
    Steam
  • CatalaseCatalase Registered User regular
    expendable wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    That has to be the most frustrating thing for a TV writer.
    Being told you have five years to tell your story, so you craft intricate plot arcs, twists, turns, relationships... Always adding potential escape hatches in case one of your stars leaves the show for some reason, building in ways for new characters to show up. But always building the story gradually, so when you get to the twists, they matter to the characters and the audience.
    And then the studio shows up, says "fuck you" and hands you your walking papers after the first season.

    Probably slightly more annoying than the studio saying "You know what? One more season would be great." for three years in a row. Means you can never write an end, you always have to have somewhere for the story to go, just in case it gets picked up again for another season.

    Nobody that matters for such things learned anything important from Seaquest in the 90s.

    Dagwood...sad. :(

    "Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
    expendable
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