Star Trek Problems: Prime Directive is a Bitch

Star Trek Problems 78: Prime Directive is a Bitch

Vincent’s Comments: Chris Piers has again graced us with another Star Trek Problems! This time we get at the weirdness and seemingly arbitrary use of the Prime Directive when it comes to advancement in civilizations. I wrote a big old article about this very topic. I think I should post it now. Or just read this because it boils it all down to three comic panels.

  • Lamar the Revenger

    Good point.

  • Chris Piers

    Thanks! It really felt weird in the latest Star Trek movie where Kirk got in so much trouble for helping the primative society that was going to be wiped out from the mega volcano. It’s like, sure, interfering does change that culture and that isn’t a good thing. But is letting them be wiped out somehow better?

  • Big Jim

    I think it is especially weird for such a primitive society, one that, for example, might believe the Sun and Moon are monsters that chase each other over the back of the giant turtle they all live on. Really, what’s seeing one starship dropping a freeze bomb into a volcano going to change in the long run?

  • To play devils advocate, so to speak, is that it might change their religion forever which could lead to some bad consequences. However, I’m not big into the prime directive regardless.

  • Big Jim

    Good point. Possibly everyone else continued to worship the scroll (or whatever it was Kirk stole), while those who were there that day started worshipping the Starship. Christianity, Judaism, Islam all have a common root, which is why all three claim the same locations as their respective holy sites. So, yeah, could be problematic.

    Or, it might just lead to the eventual evolution of the most enlightened and magnificent society in the galaxy.

  • Andrew Williams

    Well, at least the Prime Directive is subverted by Nikolai, and then they help out anyway. He’s a plebe though, so his thoughts don’t count. “We at Starfleet are more enlightened than you riffraff in the Federation.”

    It should really have been:

    “No! Beam them back to their planet to die, it’s the enlightened thing to do!”