Star Trek 1357: Do Not Close Your Eyes

1357. Do Not Close Your Eyes

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Last Generation #1, IDW Comics, November 2008

CREATORS: Andrew Steven Harris (writer), Gordon Purcell and Bob Almond (artists)

STARDATE: Unknown (prologue and epilogue set concurrent with The Undiscovered Country, main story perhaps concurrent with First Contact)

PLOT: According to Guinan, something's wrong with the timeline. 70 years ago, a Klingon assassin successfully killed the Federation President at the Khitomer peace conference. Today, Earth is under Klingon rule and resistance cells that look a lot like the crews we know are trying to liberate it. While Picard's team battles Klingons on the planet, Riker and Geordi are busy bringing back a newly invented android called Data who could be the key to defeating the Klingons. Their shuttle is saved by the "Silver Ghost", a legendary starship that was the only one to survive the initial Klingon attack - in actuality, Sulu's Excelsior. Elsewhere, Worf rages at the Silver Ghost and hopes to destroy it. But what's this? Captain Braxton may be responsible..?

CONTINUITY: The turning point features characters and situations from The Undiscovered Country, including Colonel West, the Federation President and the Khitmer conference. Picard's resistance cell includes Riker, Beverly, Data (just arrived), Geordi, Wesley, Tasha, Ro, O'Brien, Robin Lefler (only mentioned) and Guinan (they are lovers). Drex Son of Martok (Way of the Warrior) is killed. Sisko's cell is mentioned as having sacrificed itself. René Picard (Family) is still alive (Generations), though he's lost a hand. Picard recalls how Robert and Marie (Family) were lost. Sulu and the Excelsior (The Undiscovered Country) still patrol the spacelanes as the "Silver Ghost". Tuvok is aboard (Flashback) as is Rachel Garrett (Yesterday's Enterprise). Worf is on the opposite side and has Sulu's rapier (The Naked Time). The timeline could be the work of Captain Braxton (a villain as of Relativity).

DIVERGENCES: That's the point.

PANEL OF THE DAY - Nobody likes the smartest kid in the class.
REVIEW: What if the peace talks between the Federation and the Klingons had fallen apart? Well, like a wounded animal, the Klingons would have attacked with everything they had rather than implode with their economy. The repercussions by the TNG era are pretty drastic, but seem well thought out by writer Andrew Steven Harris. By making Guinan aware that this isn't write (did she have another awkward conversation with Tasha?) and putting Braxton in the background, Last Gen becomes more than just an alternate universe tale. There's a sense that "it happened" and that it can be put right. Harris populates his story with many recurring stars beyond the TNG crew, including Rachel Garrett, infering that she was a young officer on Excalibur before she ever became captain of the Enterprise-C (although now that never happened). Subplots are laid in, such as Picard struggling with raising René in the Resistance, Worf's vendetta against Sulu, and Data's role in all this. Very fun stuff to date, with a cool parallel to explore and varied character dynamics. I rarely have call to criticize Purcell's art, and it's up to his usual standards here too.

4 comments:

snell said...

You know, one day someone needs to do a "Guinan senses there's something wrong with the timeline" stories, only she's wrong...but Picard believes her and ends up changing the "correct" timeline to something else.

Food for thought: after Star Trek XI, is it still appropriate to consider one timeline "true" or "correct?" If we're to believe that movie's Spock, the other timeline still exists as an alternate reality. One timeline is apparently as valid as another, and even the Vulcan genocide doesn't justify working to set things right. (Of course, that means why not rescue Edith Keeler, why bother sending the Enterprise-C back, and essentially invalidating the thesis of every Star Trek time travel story ever...)

Siskoid said...

Well, there are changed timelines (like this, City on the Edge of Forever and Yesterday's Enterprise) and then there are parallel timelines like the Mirror Universe that can exist independently.

Who knows. If there's one thing that isn't consistent it's star Trek's time travel rules.

On Smash said...

First I know these are just stories and everything is for dramatic effect.
I wonder about these alt universe stories where the Klingons just take over most of the Federation. To me it says that the Klingons are inherently more stronger than the Federation because they are all warriors & mean SOBs and not a bunch of wimps always wanting to make peace & sissy stuff like that.

Siskoid said...

In all the Klingon Win stories I've seen, the Federation has always been destabilized by something. In the Mirror Universe, not only do the Klingons ally with the Cardassians, but we're also told Mirror Spock destabilized the Terran Empire allowing the Alliance to gain a foothold.

In Last Gen here, it starts with the Federation President being shot.

In Star Trek, one man can make a difference, so taking out that particular man (Kirk, Picard, Sisko, for example) could lead to a very different timeline. The theme of these stories is frequently just that, anyone can make a difference.

 

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